Mini-documentaries Extended ArticleAnatomy of a Mini-Doc: What It Is and How to Knock It Out of the Park“Documentary” used to be a dirty word to the average viewer. Normally educational, often stodgy, and more than a little cheesy, documentaries were the… Read More are less about your brand’s visual aesthetics and focus more on expressing your company’s core value or mission statement in a documentary-style format. This is usually accomplished through interviews with key company representatives, like founders, employees, or satisfied customers.Client: RFK - School for the Visual Arts & Humanities (LAUSD) To make a big impression, it’s important your mini-doc keeps it short and sweet. You want to highlight excellent sound bites that tell viewers exactly who you are, all while maintaining their attention. While feature-length documentaries have enough time to develop a full, three-act story, mini-docs don’t. They have to establish their story by quickly answering three crucial questions: what, why, and how. What is the focus of this video? Why should the viewer care about this? How does your subject work? This helps you get key pieces of information to your audience in a fun and interesting way.

Growing a business isn't easy. First, you need a viable idea. From there, you need to discover a profitable niche, define a target demographic and have something of value to sell them. Whether you're peddling products, services or information, getting the word out has become increasingly burdensome. And without the right marketing strategies to fuel your growth, churning a profit and staying afloat is virtually impossible.

Extras are unique to your needs — you might benefit from behind-the-scenes footage, a quick photo session, or certain types of b-roll. Get it done! Any content you can create on set during production will only benefit you. It can add more long term value to your clients and give you more content to post. If you work with an agency, ask them what they can do. You might even ask for raw video footage so you can continue editing and repackaging your video for future use. Think about your needs and see what you can do!
Customer testimonials are usually between 30 seconds and two minutes long and can focus on one happy customer or numerous. These videos are highly versatile, meaning you can publish them almost anywhere. You’ll just want to make sure whoever you film is wholly authentic — a forced or fake-feeling testimonial could be more detrimental to your brand, so take some time to find the perfect person.

By planning your video content in advance, as is done at the strategy stage, you give yourself the opportunity to more efficiently and effectively create that content. Filming and editing footage in batches across multiple videos allows you to embrace economies of scale. If you're producing a lot of similar content then video templates can help you keep a consistent look and feel to your videos, in line with your brand. Basically, as with most things in life, planning ahead saves you time and money in the long run — and more importantly it sets you up for success.


The other thing that will set the mood for your entire production? Physical styling, including makeup, wardrobe, props, and set decorations. Whether you go big or go small, these things will communicate the bulk of your story. You should iron these out in the creative planning stages, though the specific details and purchases can come later. But how your video looks can deeply affect its success, so make sure your stylistic choices match the story you’re telling and your ultimate marketing goals.
Professional cameras, like DSLRs, give you fine control over the manual settings of shooting video and allow you to achieve the shallow depth of field (background out of focus) that people rave about. While they're primarily used for photography, DSLRs are incredibly small, work great in low light situations, and pair with a wide range of lenses — making them perfect for video. However, DSLRs do require some training (and additional purchases) of lenses.
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