5 Things You Need to Know Before Shooting a Commercial Video


Video commercials have been around since forever. Most businesses often use video marketing to advertise their products, raise brand awareness and reach out to potential customers.

As a videographer or cinematographer, there may be times when you have to shoot a commercial video for a brand. Maybe they’re trying to launch a new product or advertise their brand and services. Or maybe they’re trying to launch a new marketing campaign for Mother’s Day.

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to know the rudiments of commercial videos just before you pick your camera gear.

So, without further ado, here is your ultimate videography guide and crash course on everything you need to know before shooting a commercial video.


Establish expectations and requirements

When it comes to shooting a commercial video, you can’t know for sure what’s on the client’s mind. That’s why you should be able to predict their expectations and requirements. There are a host of videography services to get lost in, so use them to your advantage!

What exactly is your audience looking for? Do they have any key requirements you need to know about? If you don’t ask these core questions, you might end up shooting a behind-the-scenes video when what they wanted was an explainer video.

To ensure that you’re on the same page with your client, you could ask them for a sample that closely resembles what they need. This way, you can have a clear idea of what they are looking for and know if you’re up to the task.

Even better – ask your client to write up a comprehensive video brief. Follow this link to read more about this and to download a free video brief template that you can use immediately.


Give a realistic quote

Unfortunately, creative jobs, including writing and sometimes cinematography, are grossly underpaid. As such, when giving your quote, ensure that you don’t set yourself up for a situation where you will be paid less than you deserve.

You should take into account your time, efforts and expenses (including the miscellaneous ones that may seem too insignificant to note). Try not to charge low rates because you feel incompetent or too inexperienced for the project. If you’re getting the job done, then you deserve to be paid an amount commensurate to your efforts.

Pro tip: If you aren’t sure what you should charge for a commercial video, ask any professional or expert in the field.


Commercial videos


Create a relatable script and storyboard

The best commercials are the result of intense preparations and an amazing script, of course. Before you start shooting your commercial video, it’s important to draft a relatable script first.

It should be relevant to the brand’s values, tone and overall personality. It should also be able to appeal to the taste of the target audience. Your viewers would not tolerate entertaining videos that don’t reflect their interests or needs.

For instance, if you’re trying to create a commercial video for an essay writing service, your script should reflect your target audience’s pain points and interests. You could also throw in a healthy drop of humour if applicable – laughter almost always goes down well.

Once you have created a relatable script, you’ll next have to create a storyboard. A storyboard helps you decide and define what shots you need before you start filming. To create a storyboard, you can use something as simplistic as rough sketches or still photography. Some videographers even use stick figures to create a storyboard.

Figure out which method works best for you and run with it.


Know what B-roll footage you need

When it comes to shooting a commercial video, B-roll footage might just be the missing piece you need to add credibility and spice to your commercial. In fact, this is one trick videography experts often use when shooting commercials.

B-roll refers to any footage that doesn’t include your primary subject or character. For instance, if you’re shooting a commercial about a new thermostat, your B-roll footage could include shots of satisfied customers enjoying a warm home.

When mapping out a plan for your commercial, it’s important to outline what B-roll footage you will need and how much will be included in the video.


Don’t use too many effects or dramatic transitions

Here is the ultimate video editing tip: never overuse effects or transitions. As a rookie videographer, it may be tempting to fill your commercial video with dramatic twists and effects. However, if you’re trying to shoot a professional commercial without it coming off as cheap, you will have to go easy on the effects.

Avoid using dramatic, pre-installed effects or movements such as radial wipe transitions. The more dramatic your transitions are, the less professional your video would seem. Remember: the focus should be on your content and creativity, not your transition skills.


Final Thoughts

So, these are the five things you need to know just before you start shooting your commercial video. Mastering these skills may be a challenging task, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to impressing your client.

Author Bio

Amanda Dudley
Amanda Dudley is a lecturer and writer with over ten years of experience in the educational sector. In 2001, she received a PhD in History at Stanford University and subsequently decided to continue her educational career.

In addition to teaching students, Amanda also helps to improve their academic performance by working as a part-time essay writer at EssayUSA. There, she delivers well-written academic papers, essays and dissertations to students who may be struggling with essay writing.





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