How Produced Should Winery Videos Be? From Film Makers to Home Movie Makers

“We want it to look good, but we just don’t want it to be….overproduced” 

On-line video is certainly it’s own unique animal, so what level of video production is needed and how much is too much?

My inkling is that when people say they don’t want their videos to look too Hollywood, they are talking about wanting to steer away from a commercial, salesy feel.  That what they are really wanting is something that looks and feels a bit more authentic, emotionally connected, and human.  They want to forgo the flying logos and helicopter shots of the vineyard for a  more simple, relationship based approach.  Less “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” and more “Hey, we’re people just like you.”

It’s one thing to want to create a more casual looking video for social media or online consumption that still is lit well and has great audio, and it’s another thing to attempt to film with your home hand-held camera without proper lighting or a good microphone in the hopes that your more “raw” looking video will be good enough to represent your wine.  It’s a classic mistake that can work against you and your wine brand.

Here are a few tips when thinking about your next production that help you to avoid that “overproduced” looking video and yet still meet the level of production needed to represent your winery properly.

Tip #1: Get good audio: Audiences will put up with so-so visuals, as long as the audio is clear, clean and warm.  Using an on-board microphone that picks up wind and echo and does not record loud enough sound is enough for viewers to say “no thank you” with the click of a mouse.  If you are going to film on your own, get yourself a camera that accepts a lapel mic that plugs directly into the camera.

Tip #2: Hire a professional crew: You can hire a video crew to capture your footage without breaking the bank by grouping your videos into campaigns instead of thinking in terms of one-off promotional pieces.  If you’ve already gone through the time, energy and resources to get a crew out, get six videos done in the same time it would take to do one by pre-planning to make the most of film time.  Go for quantity and push your crew to get as much B Roll and beauty shots as you can get.

Tip #3: Drop the script in favor of talking points. Go with interview style video as the foundation for your messaging. Get great talking head of a real conversation between the on-camera talent and someone sitting to the side of the camera.  Talking directly into the camera and hiring voice over artists comes across as salesy and hokey.  Throw away your scripts and speak from the heart and you’ll make that real human connection that you are looking for.

Tip #4: Get right to the substance: Answer the top three questions that your viewers have when visiting your website or social media page.  Skip the hype and get right to the issues at hand.  If I want to know more about the wine club and what I’ll get if I join, tell me that information right away.

Put the sales/marketing speak away and talk to me like a real person.  I shouldn’t have to wade through 30-60 seconds of introductory beauty shots, fly overs of sparkling ponds and close-ups of sunlit wine pours for me to get the answers to my questions.  If done right, all those beauty shots are embedded throughout the entire video.  Your branding comes in the form of the pace of the editing, the way the person speaks in front of the camera, the surroundings and the B Roll you choose throughout the entire video.  But give me the answer I’m looking for up front and in the first minute.

Here’s to video that sells more wine!
Lisa Gottfried

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