Demonstration Session

Thursday, August 4, 2016

11:30am – 12:30pm

Nathaniel Bryant, Beekeeper Group

Beekeeper Group’s lead videographer will guide you through the production process of capturing engaging constituent testimonial videos. Learn how to find and prepare your talent, get the right equipment, set up a makeshift studio in any location, film and then edit.

Have feedback on this session? We’d love to hear it! Submit it here.


If you are working with a vendor or producing on your own, there are several things to keep in mind when creating videos for your organization. The most important topics to keep in mind are pre-production need, lighting needs, audio techniques, and post-production planning. It is also important to keep the cost, quality and content strategy elements in mind when shooting.


Initial Preparation

  • Ask who is your audience? Why are you making the video? How will it be delivered? Through social? On an email campaign?
    • All of these questions will factor into what your production needs are, who needs to be shooting, where you should share your content?
    • Think about where it will go, who’s going to see it, what they will be looking at it on?
  • Those first five seconds of your video (what people see when scrolling through a feed) are the most important part of your video.


  • This will influence everything – the icons you use, the music, the graphics, etc. all are centered around this.
  • Fit the needs of your budget


  • Get your message solid. It will evolve and change, that’s not a problem. Just make sure that everyone is on the same page. This will help everything involved in the next few phases.
  • Make sure that your internal stakeholders are primed with the message and goals of the video to ensure that there are no hang-ups along the way. This will benefit you along the way.


  • Audio is more important than visual quality. Bad audio will take people out of a video experience. Ensure that the video is quality.

Tools of the Trade

There are several different options for cameras and equipment pieces to use for constituent videos. Feel free to reach out to Beekeeper Group for additional options.

  • Lenses: The C100 Canon Lens provides a more cinematic look. (21-105mm range)
  • Microphones: Roadie/Shotgun Mic – it picks up what’s right in front of it, but not around it. Most constituent videos will only need this type of mic.
  • Camera Type: DSLRs are great for both video and stills. Note: DSLRs have bad audio, so you will need to adjust accordingly.
  • GoPros: Good for livestreaming and shooting along with your phone.
  • Tripods: Use a tripod in order to assume more control in your shot. Keep the frame consistent if you are shooting several individuals at once by using a tripod.


Rule of Thirds…

  • Put your subject in the four bottom or top most right or left portions of the screen.
    • For constituent videos, use the top two in order to maximize the space in the frame.
  • Make sure that the subject does not look too far to the side for indirect addresses.
  • When you do multiple interviews, make sure to keep everyone balanced. Put some people on the left and some people on the right. Don’t put everyone on one side.

Lighting Rules

  • Do not put a person right next to the wall. Bring them off the wall. You do not want the wall to compete with the person.
  • Do not put plants in the frame. Keep distracting patterns out of the frame.
  • Note: Some lights can use a “diffusor” or “air box”

Side note: You should definitely use an external monitor for shooting to ensure that the lighting options look aesthetically pleasing. Use an HDMI enabled camera along with a laptop that has an HDMI port to check your footage during the shoot.

Available Light

  • Use available light when you are in a situation where you cannot use lighting equipment.
  • Avoid Backlighting – don’t have put your subject in front of the light.
  • Use the available light and make them partially or full face the light

When you are out of doors.

  • Avoid direct sunlight. Use something to diffuse the light.
  • Bounces/reflectors work well for this purpose.
  • If you don’t have a reflector, find a shady place to shoot in order to avoid the exposure.

Microphone Placement People

  • When wiring someon someone
    • Make sure that the wire is not exposed.
    • Don’t worry about placing the mic close to the mouth of the individual; the sternum make the sounds so there’s no need to worry about proximity.
    • Have it pinned to their top with the wire coved and placed in their pockets.

When using a Step & Repeat

  • Do not put your subject right next to the banner
  • Place the subject next to it and move slightly forward in order to find the best balance in banner and focus.

Post Production

  • Recommendations for Editing Platforms.
    • Adobe Premiere is great for both beginners and experts.
    • Note: Premiere and AVID are the industry standards for video editing.
  • Will you be:
    • Layering in music?
    • Adding in graphics?
    • Sound effects?
    • Additional items
  • Typical Constituent Layout
    • Bumper Slide
    • Advocate Interview Footage
    • CTA Content
    • Bumper Slide

Notes for Post Production

  • Make sure that you get your soundbites correct – verbatim.
  • File management is important – make sure that you back up your footage.
  • Dropbox, Box, Vimeo and other are good resources to back up your content.
  • External hard drives are also a good resource to invest in but should not be your only option for saving footage.