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Research Videos - how to va va-voom your viewers.

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

Camera, light, action! This was probably not what you had in mind when you signed up to those econometrics and statistics courses at university .

The sales guy wants a video.

Economists, strategist and analyst are increasingly being told to start creating more videos by their sales and marketing teams. It is part of the digitalization. Everyone needs a video. At least that is what your marketing and sales team say.

The talking head.

So we ended up with the talking head video. A talking head video is when somebody booked a conference room and put you in front of the camera ("the talking head"). Camera, Action! (they forgot to get some lighting in.)

How can we bring some va va-voom into that research report?

I used to work as a documentary film maker. Filmed interviews is one of the cornerstones in creating great docs. So here it is. My top tips how to bring some va-va voom to that inflation report of yours.

Ten Tips

  1. Sound is everything. Never film without a professional microphone. When I say never, I mean never (hint hint).

  2. B-Roll. At Iksplein we like to add animations and interactive charts as cut away scenes (“B-roll”). It helps to keep the viewer engaged. It also helps us in the edit to cover up any mistakes or re-takes - work with what you got

  3. Add footage from your work. We love your conference room, but let’s add a few shots from the trading floor or your building so people can see where you work. These can also be used as B-roll if needed. (We are desperate for B-roll in post-production).

  4. Professional lights: We need lighting to eliminate or soften shadows in the only free conference room you could find us. The best option is a room with a window. Never underestimate natural lights.

  5. Makeup (yes even for the lads). People sweat when they are in front of the camera. Perhaps it is nerves, or perhaps it is our strong lights. :

  6. Add music. Yes, always add a soft music track in the background. It makes a huge difference to that next quarter forecast.

  7. Add subtitles. It helps you to reinforce your message when people can see AND hear you. Also, remember your video may play in the social media (without the sound). Let’s also help our brilliant (but non-native english) speakers with un peu d’aide. Voila!

  8. The slider. This is a great technique for interview settings. Using a slider (also known as panning) is when we stick the camera to a rail and move it horizontally. We do this to liven up the scene. (You sitting in a conference room in your best suite).

  9. Re-takes. We always do a re-take. If possible we ask you to bring a colleague to do the same presentation. We then can then mix and match it in the edit.

  10. Use a prompter. Stage fright when we turn on the camera? Don't worry its normal. If it helps, you can use a teleprompter. When you read from a teleprompter you may sound more robotic, compared to delivering a natural line so practise a few times. You can use your laptop as a prompter.

  11. Add professional titles so we know who the talking head is.

Lastly, add an annotation link in the video itself so people know where to find your research with a simple click. (Yes your call to action...your research website, Linkedin profile, publication etc).

How long should it be?

We know that you are passionate about your topic, buts let's stick to 3 minutes. It has nothing to do with you - check out these engagement graphs from our friends over at Wistia.

"Every second counts between 2 minutes and 6 minutes.."

How long will it take to do this va va-voom research video?

Budget a half-day to do the actual filming. (Setting up, testing lights and sound and film you). We then need another day in edit/post-production. Planning is also key. We understand that your research is a current topic. If you send us your outlook in advance, we can start preparing the B-roll (the animations) before the actual filming. (It takes us 1-2 days to prepare the animations depending on your needs).

Other options?

Camera shy? Did you know that we can animate your research report and get a professional voice artist to read your script? We can even help connect your spreadsheet so that you can update the video automatically.

Good luck,


For any questions related to this article drop us a line.

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