The One-Shot-Video: 5 Tips to Surprise with Video

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Sometimes your video challenge is just that little bit different and then we thrive on making it work for you. Take this example, when a group of students was asked to come up with a one-shot video, for an assessment. What was being tested on their end was their ability to work together, to coordinate and to be creative with a small budget. We love the end result because it brings out the enthusiasm and energy of the group and the format would work really well to spice up an event or a function.

In case you are presented with a similar challenge (to make a lip sync video and to make it so there’s no editing involved…), then stay calm and apply these 5 tips:

1. Let the location become part of your story-telling

By allocating different actions to different places in a building, you take away the boring aspects of a one-shot video. If you would be capturing actions in one location for 4 minutes the result would be far less compelling and this is how the students solved it. They thought having the roving camera go through the building was a great plan. And it was. Our Producer Kyra will tell you how interesting it is, to film while you are walking backwards for 4 minutes, not to mention the flight of stairs that was included in her little itinerary.

2. Act like you really mean it.

With this kind of projects there is no b-roll, overlay footage, there is no cutting away and there is no second take. So…everything anyone does on camera becomes part of the performance. So in order to make every second meaningful our Perth students story-boarded everything so lots of interesting and colourful new actors would walk into the frame every couple of seconds. The intensity of the performance, the ever changing backgrounds of the location, and the multitude of props became different layers of this one-shot video.

3. Prepare as if your life depended on it.

This is where the educational aspect came in. The key to getting a one-shot video right, is to have a group of people who are prepared, in the moment, focused and synchronised. Rooms needed to be ready, props had to be in place, and there was some serious work in the choreography department. And then there’s this reality, that if you make a mistake, the entire group, the whole sequence, will need to be redone. Talking about learning to work together as a team in a spirit of forgiveness…

4. Movement is King

The choice to have the camera (and the Producer who is operating it, thank you Kyra) move through the entire building while filming…is an interesting one. It requires skills, agility and effort, and the result is stunning. Without a single editing cut, there’s never a boring moment in this video. This is why choosing a roving camera approach pays off really well, provided that your actors are willing to apply the other 3 tips.

5. Dare!

Most importantly, the fact that you would choose this format and go through the process of preparing for it, deserves an applause. If part of your challenge is to hook your audience and to do something that really stands out, then this type of formats is solid gold. So if your challenge is to do something more out-of-the-ordinary, go for it!

The one-shot-lip-sync format is not your average Corporate Video format for Marketing or Training. But as part of an internal communication process, a motivational awareness campaign, or any other type of informal use of video, it’s a great and powerful format.

Curious to hear what your organisation will come up with. And please get in touch if you need any help.

Els Van de Veire

Creative Director at MultiMediaMakers
Director/Owner, Creative Director, MultiMedia Designer, Journalist and Producer, Els builds on 20 years in broadcast and online media to make the most of every pixel and every second of compelling content.
Els Van de Veire

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