As a social media marketer, one of the most fun yet draining tasks I do is filming videos. Particularly short-form videos for TikTok, Reels, and Shorts. While most of my videos star yours truly, I occasionally see great opportunities to involve my coworkers or the agency teams that we work with.
But if filming alone can be a struggle, filming with others, especially in today’s remote-work environment, can prove even more difficult.
In this post, I’m going to be talking through some strategies to help make the filming process easier when collaborating with others!
First, let’s talk about scheduling. Many short-form videos are filmed spontaneously. But when working with others, things need to be more structured.
Respecting someone’s time is important, especially when filming silly videos. So, make sure you schedule enough time to explain your ideas, take in their feedback, film, watch, and refilm if needed. While blocking 30-60 minutes on your colleagues’ calendars can feel like a commitment for everyone, the only thing worse is having to block even more time due to lack of preparedness…
Planning ahead and finding video/audio inspiration is also required to keep the filming process on track. Often, filming short-form videos with others can become side-tracked, or completely derailed by the nature of some content.
That brings us to my next point. Have a plan in mind with the overall goal of how you want the video to look and make others feel. You’ll want to share your ideas and goals with any participants to set the tone of the video. I also recommend testing and setting up any filming equipment, props or staging before your colleagues even arrive for the video shoot. This will help make the filming process as efficient as possible for everyone involved.
The Creative Process
Then, leave room for them to be involved in the creative process. This is where derailing may occur. Keep your team on track and focused by bringing them back to the overall goal and tone of the video that you have in mind. You’re the expert on this stuff, so they should trust your guidance and direction with the video.
Sometimes participants can feel uncomfortable playing a role that you had in mind for them. Having role/video options for someone to choose from can be a helpful way to keep things moving! This will also save you from frantically looking for new inspiration pieces during your dedicated filming time.
Gather Lots of Inspiration and Batch Your Production
Try to have at least 3 pieces of inspiration or ideas to use if participants aren’t comfortable with what you originally had in mind. Ideally they’re comfortable with multiple options and you can film several concepts in one shoot. Batching your production of multiple videos into one shoot can be one of the most powerful ways to show respect for your colleagues’ time. “Context shifting” has been proven to cause huge losses of efficiency for people, so you want to take advantage of the time that you have your team ready to act on camera, so that you won’t have to ask them to do it again next week!
If you can’t find any pieces of inspiration that showcase the idea you have, make your own!
Having an example to show others is a great way to get everyone on the same page about the content you’re hoping to create! This video can be low-quality and done quickly, the only people who will be seeing it are those who are working with you on the project.
It’s good to have different kinds of short-form video in the instance that someone is reluctant to participate in a certain role. If they don’t want to be involved in a lip-sync skit, maybe have them point to music queues in an audio. Check out our past blog to see examples of different types of short-form video content to try!
The point is to get your message across to the right audience and that can be done in many different ways! You never want to make someone participate in something they are not comfortable doing.
For instance, you most likely won’t be seeing my manager in a dancing video because, well, he just wouldn’t be comfortable with that and that’s totally okay! (Even though I would love to see that happen, fingers crossed for one day!)
One of the biggest pieces of advice I have for you is to make it FUN!
Short-form videos are a great way to let your creativity shine! Some of your coworkers, clients, or customers may not have fun outlets for their creativity at work. Allow them to show off their ideas and let loose for a minute by connecting with their audience. This will produce more genuine and authentic content, which is what people want to see!
Again, beware of too much fun and derailing, but don’t let that stop you from a bit of horseplay. It’s all about balance!
Even if you’re collaborating remotely over Zoom or FaceTime, you can still follow these guidelines to produce amazing content!
My tips specifically for these scenarios are:
- Be patient with any technical difficulties because there most likely will be some
- Go over how you want the remote session to work so you both have an understanding and preparedness going into your meeting time
- Send a written out description of ideas and links to any inspiration for them to check out beforehand. Explaining and showing examples over a lagging Zoom call can be incredibly irritating and time wasting
- Make a list of what each person will need to bring to the filming: props, outfits, tripods, ring lights, etc.
- Check equipment beforehand
- Give clear instructions and reference the materials you sent them earlier so they can recall for themselves the video you’re trying to make
- If you know the person you’re collaborating with virtually isn’t the most social media/tech savvy, record a video of you pulling up a certain effect/filter/audio or anything they will need to find themselves beforehand
- Have chargers and extra batteries on stand-by! (You veteran marketers out there know that this is one of the most common and avoidable reasons for needing a reshoot!)
Lights, Camera, Action!
And now you should be equipped and ready to have a successful short-form video filming sesh with someone else in-person or virtually!
If you’re looking for software to help you schedule all the amazing short-form videos you’re making, check out Cloud Campaign! Feel free to test out the platform for free with our 14-day free trial.