Short vs. long form videos for businesses

Short vs. long form videos for businesses

Undoubtedly, we are a nation of video lovers, with people spending several hours on a daily basis viewing on TV, mobile devices, social media, and the web. The demand for videos is skyrocketing, but contrary to popular belief, so are our attention spans.

Find out about the importance of longer form video for your promotional campaigns



A video marketing plan entails a steady stream of new video content posted all through the business year. Your Periodicity is defined by your key priorities set by your business goals and how often you need video content to support said goals. For example, a fashion brand would need 4 videos; one for each season, whereas, a marketing agency would need a plethora of content to help illustrate their clients needs. We will work in tandem with your marketing team/plan to define and tailor make your periodicity so that the videos reflect and enhance your marketing priorities.We re-imagine your content from the people, purpose, product videos, and with some additional footage, inspired by your business goals, we will provide you with a new video for each of your Key Periodicities.

This is a holistic approach that will mean you will have a consistent video voice throughout your marketing year. While more videos you have with us also means better ROI as the value increases with each video, Periodicity helps you to create an impression, and maintain it’s impact longer. Remember that 78% of people watch online videos weekly – be a constant part of that.

This is a prime example of periodicity. Guinness have designed a series of follow up documentaries discussing the processes and methods behind brewing their drinks. Each of these videos function as a prop to the main TV commercial but they can also be used for different events and audiences. Furthermore, the value has been saved due to the fact that they have combined all the workload within the same shoot, giving a consistent voice to the style of the marketing approach.

These videos do not only inform but again act as another opportunity to sell how your product is made and the people who work in your company.

The Product Film

We pay to watch stories at the cinema, and your story- the ‘making of’ or ‘behind the scenes’ documentary about your product/service should be no different.

Amazing stories can be carved out of how the product was made or the people behind its creation. And those stories can captivate your audience - making them to understand the pain and the hardship that went into your brand and product’s development. It further means that your customer will have a better value perception for your products/services – making it more desirable - or alternatively ... it’s just a good way to give your audience a fun insider view of how you work. 

The product film will be a useful asset to your business at any point in your sales funnel, whether it is converting new customers to your webpage through social media campaigns or sealing the deal and building brand loyalty through a detailed explanation of your product. This approach offers great value for money while also providing you with a timeless source of content to be shared many times over. 


The key to a successful PRODUCT FILM is pre-production. At no extra cost, we offer this service to all our clients. The advantage of planning your production, whether this be over a coffee or through a series of emails, is paramount to the success of your project. One of the key areas that we need to understand; is how you plan on using the films created - will it be a series of films or will it be a stand-alone film; when and where will it be shared. Having a detailed understanding of these goals will help us shape the production.

STEP 1 - Pre-Production

Decide what you want from the project, where will the films be displayed and how will each version function within your sales funnel. Deciding this at the beginning helps us to design the questions and the storyboard for each iteration of the film, meaning we can optimise each for maximum performance. For example, different social media platforms have different traits and time allowances, therefore a one-size fits all approach will fall short of your expectations. 

Arm us with as much information as you can then we will devise the script and storyboard for the project. For some, this may seem like overkill, however, it is a great way to ensure that we are aligned to your vision while it also means that we will all be pulling in the same direction. Furthermore, this will mean that the postproduction - the editing process - will flow smoothly and very quickly. 

STEP 2 - Production

During the pre-production, we would have discussed how we plan to film your Product film or behind the scenes film, whether this be 1 day occasion or several. The above example was produced for an awesome game company, Coatsink, and it was agreed that the shoot would only last 1 day - knowing this in advance meant that we could arm our gear bag with enough equipment to capture as much as we could within this limited timeframe. 

Another feature of Pre-Production is that; we would have agreed on the final script and therefore the questions to be asked during the interview. This means we can ensure that the interview step is completed effortlessly - and in this case, it was essential, as the actors were on a very tight schedule. It also allows the crew more time to make the subject more comfortable and offers them an opportunity to prepare their answers prior to filming.

STEP 3 - Post-Production

Because of the time spent in pre-production we begin our mission to complete your Film within a timely manner. Another great feature of pre-production is deciding all the little things before we begin, such as the fonts, company logos, music choices. Deciding these elements means there will be no time wasted in the edit - plus; never under estimate how important the music is to final edit.

This approach can be both creatively and financially rewarding for your business, while it is also a very simple and straightforward process that most, if not all, top brands around the world have adopted. 



Below is a great example of a Product Film for Carhartt, obviously we did not make this but it demonstrates the power of what this approach can achieve. We believe that every business has a story and leave it to us to make a feature from it!

The People Video


For many sectors, there is a skills shortage and as a result attracting the right member of staff can be difficult. However, huge companies like Apple or Google never struggle in this area as they have a plethora of content that sells their company culture and values. The recruitment video will advertise your company culture, something for potential employees to believe in, to develop an understanding of what it is like to work in your business. In doing this it will help you to promote future vacancies by promoting that it is a great place to work – for some, your business is only as good as the people that work in it!

The Purpose Film


You may have heard this many times before but the adage that 'People buy from people' has never been more prevalent than it is today. If you take a look at some of the largest advertising campaigns of recent years you will notice the push from the spectacular to the heartfelt. Take a look at this example video we made for a school demonstration.

This video compares the Guinness ad's from the 90's with an ad they did a couple of years ago. Both have a place in the world and both function amazingly, however, you will notice that their trend has leaned more towards illustrating their history; their cause and the their reason why they exist. With the emergence of social media, a lot of brands are spending millions trying to connect with their clients and their customers have never had a stronger voice than today. Therefore it is paramount that brands and/or business connect with their customers on a deeper level.... and most business have a story that is worth telling.

We have termed this style of documentary filmmaking as 'The Purpose Film'. It is designed to showcase your purpose- the raison d’être, the reason why you started your business and what your ambitions are for the future. The ‘Purpose’ video can be a great tool to seek investment, whether this is an immediate need or something for the future. It is something that is designed to inform your customers about who you are and why you do what you do. And in doing this you have the potential to build brand loyalty and this arguably makes for repeat business and more understanding customer base.

in conclusion good content marketing should raise awareness, increase conversion, or boost customer loyalty but what if there was a way to do all three at once....

How it is done

To produce a 'Purpose Film' is really straightforward. To help us explain, let us look at a film we produced for Kathleen James, the founder of @elfgiftstainedglass. If you look at the example at the top of this article, we completed this within 3 days.

Day 1

We spent the first day with the artist discussing her practice and essentially spending some time getting to know the person behind the business. We believe that it isn't just a case of gathering information from the person but it is about building a genuine relationship with the client (for which we are honoured that we still maintain all our friendships long after the work has completed). From our discussions we then devised a serious of questions and mapped out a storyboard based on her story. Additionally, we allowed some time to complete a quick location check.

Day 2

We then spent day filming Kathleen in her studio while she was producing some of her artwork. 

Day 3 

Then on the third day we spent all our time completing the interview. 

So as you can see, the process is really straightforward with minimal disruption; each day has a simple objective and each day is designed to be as painless as possible (we understand that most people are not comfortable on camera...). Depending on what type or artist/team of artists, business or corporate team we can manipulate the above Template to work for you. 



The purpose of these blogs is to act as an informative discussion to filmmaking, whether you are a filmmaker looking for advice or an employee looking to commission a video. We have over 10 years’ experience within the industry working for a variety of clients with very different and demanding briefs. The aim to not only inform but to help facilitate the collaborative process, whilst the tips discussed throughout will also serve as a way to help save money. Our Key focus is on Preparation. There can never be too much preparation, the more there is means that it will be less likely that you will encounter problems and unforeseen errors, which in most cases can result in re-shoots and extra editing days thus extra cost, not to mention adding tension and strain to the working relationship – all of this is easily avoidable.

Preparing the Interviewee: Why is this Important?

This is THE most important aspect of the interview. Although you want the interview to be natural so that your audience views it as an authentic testimonial, it is essential that the interviewee is prepared. We recommend scheduling a meeting with them to discuss your vision and what you want to achieve from the video. If this cannot be done and discussed over an email or a telephone call. Ultimately, by sharing your vision you will provide the interviewee a basis to form their opinion from. It is important that this is completed regardless of how well informed they are – don’t assume that they fully understand your vision – it is always better to set their expectations and clarify this prior to filming to ensure there is no misunderstanding. Secondly, present your questions to them and discuss this with them. They may be able to provide you with some useful input that you didn’t realise before and highlight where certain questions may not be relevant to them. Additionally, if they prefer to prepare their answers before filming you will then have the opportunity to proofread this – ensuring quality control. At this point give them the option of using a teleprompter during filming. Explain a few pointers from your brand perspective – remember you want to sell a positive experience therefore, explaining the difficulty at the beginning may seem like a great turnaround story, it won’t be used in the final version of the film if the edit does not have the space – it is important to maintain the positive impact through the video to leave the audience wanting more. It is also very advisable to highlight the use of certain words, refrain from negative words such as poor, lack of, and stick with general buzzwords – this has been used by sales people for centuries: they all cannot be wrong!



The biggest problem when producing a video for a client is controlling expectations and while on most occasions all aspects of production are discussed prior to confirming the job, there is always something that is missed or misunderstood, and interviews can be one of the most unpredictable and time consuming aspects of film production if they are not prepared for properly.

Fundamentally, if you are commissioning a video, which involves interviews, then we can expect that the main aim of the video is to convey the message of the business/brand in a concise manner through the form of a personal testimonial, whereby the interviewee can be a customer of the client or the clients themselves. In other situations, one may interview an employee about a particular product/process (often found in public organisations) but the outcome is the same; to convey the brand image and celebrate the products/services successes – to fundamentally Sell the product/service.

Questions: How to decide which questions to ask

For the purpose of a commercial it is better to limit the volume of questions. On most occasions we are asked to be the interviewer and therefore devise the questions ourselves (this is always provided to the client to proof read then the interviewee) however, if you, the client, prefer to be the interviewer, because you know your business better than anyone else, then it is important that you limit the volume of questions to 5 main questions with 5 sub questions (these are to be used if the main question doesn’t provide the answer your looking for). It is not advisable to persist in asking the same question several times if your interviewee is not providing you with the answer you want – this will make it uncomfortable for them and frustrating, remember you want to make the video look as authentic as possible and making someone frustrated will not achieve this – hence the importance of preparation and providing your interviewee with the questions prior to filming. Furthermore, too much time spent during the session will mean a lot of unnecessary footage that will in turn mean that the editor will have to preview said footage thus incurring extra time to edit and therefore increased cost.



The biggest challenge with the set-up of the Interview styled approach to commercial filmmaking is understanding that, regardless of what amazing things the interviewee has said, we need to ensure that this functions within the brief and more importantly the agreed timeline – this is often controlled by the output, whether it be social media or on a website (often there is an expected timescale usually 3 minutes in addition to a social media 30 second version) – therefore in order to fit the interviews within this timescale, a lot of the interview needs to be cut or trimmed to the essential key points. Once the first draft is completed there isn’t a lot of room for manoeuvre to add more dynamic shots, such as location shots and miscellaneous shots of people working, etc, and the end product can become very dull and the video won’t function as it is designed to – to engage and sell your service/product.

Mise-en-Scene: What is it? What does it do?

Mise-en-Scène is the arrangement of scenery and stage properties and/or the setting or surroundings of an event. If you are choosing the location then we advise that you apply considerable thought to the location – for example, most office spaces in modern buildings all look very similar and very generic and most lack personality. This is not ideal for filming. Think, what will the background say, for example, filming with a bookcase behind the subject not only provides a visual draw but also says something about the person being interviewed – makes them appear as though they are an intellectual (grotesque example but you understand my point). Note that most high-end productions schedule days and teams to organise this element of production followed by an art department for whom will be tasked to organise the mise-en-Scene and design the overall look of a space – this aspect of production cannot be undervalued. It is easy to miss-appreciate this, as there is often an illusion, given by high-end references, that filming in certain locations looked quick and easy to set up but this simply is not the case. What looks like a simple set up in an office will have been researched and designed prior to filming – remember most offices are boring spaces – this takes time and there is a cost. Everything that is in shot will be digested by your audience; first impressions are everything!



The major advantage of the interview/personal testimonial is that this particular style of commercial naturally connotes authenticity and taps into the emotional response of the viewer, thus making it more believable. This is an essential approach if one is trying to sell a service, as this style buys into the old adage of “people buy from people”. That being said there is a tremendous task for the production team to ensure that this is delivered in a sellable and cost effective way. However, there is also a big responsibility from the client to assist in this outcome.

Thinking about location: Less is Certainly More

This is an aspect of filming where the production team will discuss with you from the beginning but it is always something that deserves considerable attention. It is advisable that the production team see the location prior to the filming date or if this not possible, schedule a time several hours before the session in order to afford the production team the time to compose a detailed approach to filming; meaning getting the right shot for your video. (the extra time will result in higher costs but this is for the benefit of your video as the production team will offered the opportunity to think more creatively about your video). This can also mean spending time to move furniture in the space. It is very important that one considers the limitations of cameras within a space – too small of a space may mean the camera man won’t have enough focal length to interview the person effectively; too noisy of a space will mean poor audio quality. Generally, we appreciate outside can be really engaging but you will have to realise that the changing light /colour of the sun throughout the day (especially in England or other countries which generally have a lot of cloud coverage) might have a negative impact on the consistency of the video (one interview shot in the morning will be of a different light to one that is shot during the afternoon). We like controlled environments as much as possible. (we always bring a set of lights to shoot indoors.) It is also really important to be realistic about what can be filmed within in one session. There is no point of trying to “fit” several interviews within one day as this will be rushed, remember it is about creating a good atmosphere on set to ensure that your interviewee is feeling relaxed – this goes back to the aim of the project; to make it look authentic. It is also important to consider that choosing too many locations can easily become counterproductive as it takes time to set up the camera, lights and sound as each location is different and has different demands. Essentially, doing too much in one day will be a rush to complete the job, which in turn means that everybody involved is not performing to the best of their ability, in turn, having a detrimental effect of your final product – something that none of us what to happen.



It is important to note that there is a lot a filmmaker can control and a lot they are responsible for and in addition they can offer a lot of expert advice, however, within the vein of collaboration: a working practice whereby individuals work together to a common purpose to achieve business benefit; it is important that a client considers their responsibilities. And one key aspect of this is when the client chooses to be the interviewer…

The Interviewer Effect: What is it? How to deal with it?

An interview is a form of social interaction and therefore the influence the interviewer is vital to the success as their actions have a direct influence on the performance of the subject thus the final product. Making the interviewee feel relaxed and at ease will provide a more realistic performance and appear more authentic. However, this isn’t just about the interaction when the camera is on, it is immediate when you are introduced to the subject, its about creating/building a relationship from the beginning. Notably, not everyone is easy to socialise with and adapting for the benefit of the interviewee is a developed skill. We often joke with the subject and ask them about their careers, hobbies, essentially, something that is unrelated to the interview but something that they are comfortable and happy to talk about. It is good to do this not only before but during the interview. We often record these interactions as they provide some great content for cutaways in the final edit.

Remember these points are purely designed as insights into the filmmaking process. if your not a filmmaker then nobody expects you to have prior knowledge of what is written as this is not your profession, it is ours, however, it is recommendable to read through this so that you can align your expectations and avoid unnecessary mishaps so that you and your production team can work better together and produce an amazing Video – something that will sell your service/product for years to come.