Business Video Production
What To Ask & Look For When Selecting a Video Production Company
Part 3 – Presentation Recording Options:
In Part 2 of this series on Business Video Production we spoke about planning to record a presentation and the importance of pre-planning, plus many of the variables you will run across and need to address. Part 3 takes this a step further by explaining some of the options and choices you have for recording more than just the speaker at the presentation such as the PowerPoint, Interviews and Shots of the Event. Our Las Vegas video production company, Aardvark Video, has been recording presentations for years and we are happy to share what can be important in your planning.
These are options you’ll want to discuss and decide on with your video production company when planning a presentation recording.
Very often a speaker has a PowerPoint (PPT) or similar graphics on screen to reinforce what they are saying. Without this, often what the presenter is saying is an incomplete story. The speaker might say something like “it is evident from this slide, etc.” and unless you can see the slide, it won’t make sense. Bottom line, you likely will want to include the PPT either with a live recording or later in editing.
Many video production companies handle this by during subsequent editing adding the PPT slides. This requires exporting the slides as images in PPT. Depending on the version of PPT you have, it might be as simple as using “save as” and choosing one of the image options. You can export individual images or the whole presentation. This works very well for slides that don’t have a lot of transitions or builds and particularly well if they are static on the screen for long intervals. It also helps if the presentation is easy to match voice to slides. You’ll need to sync up what is being said to the slides. A simple way to do this is during the presentation, have your video production company use a camera recording the sound, pointing at the screen and used as a guide during editing.
Though effective for many presentations the edit won’t capture PPT transitions, builds or anything else happening live on the screen. Additionally, if there is internet connectivity going on during the presentation, it will be nearly impossible to duplicate. Taking editing complexity a step further, instead of exporting slides, Camtasia or a similar screen capture application can be used in subsequent editing to capture a PPT presentation played back and synced to the voice/presentation captured with your screen camera. This isn’t ideal because it is a lot of work and expense to edit and still doesn’t address capturing some of what went on on screen.
Because of these limitations, we don’t recommend either of these options unless the presentation is very simple.
Our recommendation and the way we usually do it is to capture the PPT live by having the AV company staging the event give us a feed of the VGA going to the projector(s). We have equipment that converts this feed to video with audio and captures a high resolution copy of everything going on the screen including emphasis provided by the speaker with his cursor plus any video or internet connectivity shown. In editing you can combine the images or show each separately. You will want to consider this as an option and discuss it with your video production company and the AV people prior to the presentations because arrangements for equipment and testing is needed. Of course this will still require combining the speaker and the presentations later in editing. We provide the final product of this process often as presentations on the web and as DVD packages.
Presenter and Powerpoint (PPT)
Live Recording and Streaming
This is where both the speaker and the PPT are fed to a “video mixer” such as the Tricaster we have and combined as it occurs live. This opens the door for providing the presentation streamed online to more people than can attend the event either free or as a generator of revenue and gives you a finished copy which with limited subsequent editing can be available for viewing on the web or for other distribution. This can include multiple cameras, additional graphics and anything else you want to include as an input. If you plan on streaming, you’ll need to secure high-speed internet connectivity from the venue. If this is your option, advanced planning and testing is needed usually at least a day before the event. Additionally if graphics are to be added, they need to be prepared before the event.
So far we’ve discussed aspects of the presentation recording. However if you want to increase the ROI on having a video crew at the show, there are other things that can be done.
Video of the Venue
If you want to add more pizzazz to what is produced, you can have your video crew shoot shots of signage, audience, the venue itself and anything else going on which can be added to your finished video. You’ll need to cover this with your video production company because it may require additional time, equipment and crew.
If you want to get more utility from the day such as footage to be included for marketing purposes and creation of a marketing video for the presenter or your organization, either an interview area can be set up or your video crew can “wander” to get positive reaction interviews from the audience. You’ll need to cover this with your video production company because it may require additional time, equipment and crew.
Presenter Marketing Video
When there are many people sitting around a table, at a panel table or in the audience you’ll want to be certain that the person speaking is recorded clearly. Often people interrupt each other and go back and forth in dialogue quickly. This is extremely difficult with the standard audio microphones and audio mixers commonly used because it requires an operator who must be quick enough to adjust the level up for the person speaking’s mic and put the audio level down for everyone else. If all mic channels are left with the levels up it introduces a lot of noise. One solution used is to have tabletop omni-directional mics in the center of a table so that when people interrupt each other, they all can be heard. However this leads to noise from all sides of the table instead of just recording the person speaking. The solution we’ve found most effective is to use directional tabletop microphones and an “automatic audio mixer”. If a moderator walks around or stands in front of the group, a wireless mic on that person is used additionally. An “automatic audio mixer”, as the name implies automatically opens the mic channel for the person speaking and lowers the other channels for the other microphones. This tends to record very clear sound. An automatic mixer with multiple directional mics is an option you can pursue if you are planning this type of event. It is an option we recommend when requested to record this type session.
Often for this type of event we also record directly to a DVD Recorder so that the participants have a record to review immediately. A DVD recorder produces DVDs that can be played on any DVD Player. Again this is an option you can discuss if you are planning a live event. The image you see above is a crew at a focus group using an automatic audio mixer and recording directly to DVD.
Video is of course more inclusive than photography. However if you have a need for print resources, it is always best to hire a photographer. Many video production companies do this as part of their services and arrangements will need to be made.
These are all techniques we at Aardvark Video have been utilizing and implementing in our client’s videos. We have the latest technology and equipment available to meet any of the requirements and strategies listed.
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