Avoid amateurs!

Save money with tips from a professional - your advertising video for your company: what you should pay attention to - and what you should avoid.

Blog  Workshop 

Number 1: avoid amateurs - there is a professional chef in a restaurant's kitchen for a good reason, hire a professional for your video too.

Today everyone can record a video in high definition quality with their mobile phone. The difference is: a professional would of course be able to make a usable video clip with his cell phone, but an amateur won't be able to shoot a high class movie even with the best camera in the world. Like every other profession, being a filmmaker also has to be learned: cameraman, cutter, sound engineer etc. - you won't put a chimney sweeper in your kitchen either. The comparison with a cook makes perfect sense, because there are as well very talented amateurs and lots of courses for ambitious amateurs. This would be enough for private use and as a hobby cook you can show off to your family and friends. But for a professional hotel business, you need a professional chef who was trained to work in this area. For a professional video, you also need a professional - otherwise you can as well throw your money out of the window, no matter how "cheap" the offer may be.


Number 2: Don't trust a sling price - quality has its price, which you can also afford.

Most offers on the market look like this: the seller promises the video won't cost anything, nowadays those things are for free. There is no way this would work out, which professional works for free? The fees of the film industry are no secret (the collective agreement is published on the website of the Association of the Audio and Film Industry in the wko) and quite affordable, if you compare the fees with the hourly rates of a craftsman. So take a close look at what you are paying for. Poorly paid film teams are very rarely real professionals and poorly paid film teams rarely use professional equipment - trust your common sense: cheap and quality rarely go together. And take a close look at what you pay for: what you are most often billed for is the fee for placing the video on a website, after a year you pay again for the extensions and if you also want to use the video outside the website you have to pay again. And if you don't renew the contract, the video is gone or you buy it for a horrendous price.


Number 3: What's the use of a video that nobody sees - if you don't present your video properly, no one will look at it.

Website visit numbers of all internet platforms are being kept a secret because they are appallingly low. This probably has to do with the fact that these platforms are no longer as popular and have had their day as a business model. The majority of users now search via Google or booking platforms. You must therefore use your video where it can be seen and therefore brings new customers. On your own website, the video should be seen right from the start, placed very prominently (and not hidden in a submenu) and, even better, on all booking platforms (regardless of whether booking.com or a regional platform, e.g. your tourism association). There, your video should be linked directly, you should spread the video, use it everywhere, make a real campaign with the video, from local television to all channels on the social networks. Videos are a magnet for the search engines on the Internet, because the Internet works very simply: new content is like feeding the internet - and a video pretends to the search engine that there are always new images.


Number 4: What's the use of a video that does not belong to you - most providers do not sell the video itself, only the amount of times you can show it.

You have probably already experienced this, the production of a video was sold to you and after a year you should pay again so that the video remains online. And if you want to use the video yourself, not just a link on your homepage, but the finished film as a file, then you will be billed with a horrendous amount. Therefore, make sure that you really buy the whole video and the rights to do what you want with it afterwards. You can regocnnize this by looking at the copyrights, especially for the music, that's why you should ask the seller specifically about the music that is used and the rights. Because regarding the music for a video, there is usually a composer for the music who theoretically receives royalties every time his music is played. I.e. If you want to show the video on your website, you have to make a contract with the composer or someone who represents him, for example the AKM in Austria, and pay for it. This is current copyright law and only the legislator could change that. Music that is supposed to be "free of rights" usually sounds just as bad and cheap (apart from the fact that it is not legally "free of rights", but the rights are only paid across the board). That's why you should ask your seller beforehand how the rights will be handled. The correct answer should be that it depends on where you want to use the video (internet, events, TV broadcast) and an agreement must be made with the respective publisher or service provider (e.g. the AKM).


Number 5: The others have nice pictures too, but no nice video - every website has nice photos, but a “nice” video that was made as professionally as the photos is rare.

A video about your company is an advertising video and not a documentation. You should therefore not document your company in every detail, but convey a mood, a feeling. You should also spend at least the same effort and the same care that you invested in photographing your advertising material for your video. For example: a short trip with the camera slider in the kitchen, where we see the kitchen crew in pale white jackets handling pans, knives and appetizing-looking ingredients (we see the chef lovingly putting the last garnish on a gorgeous-looking plate) , makes the viewer a lot more hungry than seeing people eating in a dining room). The same applies to the breakfast buffet: crispy-looking pastries, bright orange juice and steaming coffee / tea - just the description of these pictures makes you want breakfast. They show their best side: the best room in which a dashing maid or boy smoothes the bedspread and the boss arranges the flowers or the fruit basket at the table (with a small "welcome" card in the picture) and the wellness area, where we see slender legs entering the sauna or entering the pool etc .; in a good film, the viewer can think the scene through to the end - which usually also makes a good film successful. Four or five well-considered and perfectly filmed scenes describe your business and the mood that awaits the guest and make the video universally applicable. The video does not replace the hotel description, the list of your inventory and the list of services you offer, but conveys the atmosphere in which your guests will feel comfortable.


Number 6: a TV contribution is not an image video - TV Programmes report, rather than advertise.

A television team rarely has enough time and therefore needs to finish shooting as quickly as possible. Broadcast cameras, they are called ENG (electronic field production) teams, also work differently. The filmed material is intended to illustrate a story and not to advertise. Usually, except for interviews, no additional light is set, both the camera part and the optics are a compromise, sufficient for the quality of a television broadcast, but rarely sufficient for a good promotional video. The cameraman usually operates alone and has several other shoots on that day. A TV report is good for the PR of a company, but it is far from being an advertisement.


Number 7: Nothing really works when done in a rush -  a decent video takes time, two hours are not enough

Yes, sure, the result may not be that bad, and well some takes are not that bad... For a professional video, however, it takes at least one day, because just carefully illuminating the individual scenes takes at least an hour, that's why the whole thing takes time. How do you usually recognize that you are dealing with professionals (except for the topic of music, which we have already mentioned). First of all by the light: a good cameraman uses the available light sources and tries to amplify or weaken the natural light to create the picture. In order for the orange juice to shine at the breakfast buffet, spotlights (e.g. Dedo Lights) that need to be set precisely are needed, nothing lights up by itself. Professional film lights are not stage spotlights (the famous silver jugs) and certainly not construction site spotlights. Next big point is the camera: the size alone does not matter anymore, on the contrary, it is astonishing what all the technology can be produced today in the smallest space. And modern cameras today consist of a chip or sensor and a lot of software that interprets the light signals captured via the optics as images. Cameras don't have to be "big" nowadays, but professional equipment can usually be recognized by the optics and the tripod. Let's stay with the tripod: three tripod legs that are infinitely adjustable, the tripod is available in every variant - even if the tripod knuckles are fully extended, stable and without wobbling. The tripod head rests on the three legs in a bowl, on the top of which the camera is mounted. The head is also larger and, above all, usually quite heavy, swivel levers can be mounted on the left and right. But what a professional, except for a TV camera, rarely uses: a remote control for zoom and focus mounted on the swivel lever. Professionals do not use autofocus either, but pull the focus manually, usually via an adjustment ring - the follow focus, which is mounted on bars near the optics. Keyword optics - professional optics also look like this and usually cost a multiple of what you would be willing to spend on them. And professionals usually also have an external monitor with them, on which they can check the settings before and after shooting on the set.

It's the same for a cook, you can differenciate by the way he holds a knife in his hand and how he cuts onions if he's a professional or an amateur.