10 Tips for Creating a Promotional Video from Your Screening

If you had a videographer record your event, you can use that video to create a promotional video or series of videos to use in the future. If the videographer isn’t a good editor, you can use the raw footage or initially edited footage to edit yourself or hire a video editor. In the editing process, you can create one or more short videos to promote your film in gain media coverage and sales through DVDs or streaming. You can then use this media coverage and sales record to interest distributors in picking up your film.

Here are some tips on how to create and promote a video of your screening.

1) To work most effectively with your videographer, know in advance what you want, although this can change as you get more feedback on ways to use these videos.

Typically, the videographer will ask for a payment for the initial video session (about $75–125 an hour) plus a payment for editing, which includes your feedback on what to edit in your first review (about $100–200 for this). If you want additional editing, expect to pay for this on an hourly basis. If the videographer wants to quit after the first edit, since not all videographers are experienced video editors, get the footage from the unedited video, the first edit, or both. Then, you can hire a video editor to complete the edit, which is what I did.

While a common arrangement is paying for the video shooting when the videographer arrives or finishes shooting the video, sometimes the videographer will ask for the full amount upfront, though it’s better not to do this, since you can be stuck if the videographer doesn’t show up or you don’t like the results. Another possibility is paying one-third to one-half down on hiring the videographer, another one-third to one-half when the videographer shoots the video, and the last third or an additional payment for editing — commonly before the first edit, though sometimes you pay this after the videographer submits the edit. Preferably, pay the amount due for the filming and initial edit when the videographer arrives to show your good faith that the videographer will do a good job.

2) When the videographer sets up, he or she will ask about what to shoot. This should minimally include a few shots of the opening of the film and the credits, as well as your introduction and any discussion or Q&A at the end. Additionally, the shoot may include a display table and the attendees, if you have a large enough crowd.

The videographer may also want to set the audio level for your speaking before and after the film, which means testing the mic and setting the volume by asking you and everyone making introductory and concluding remarks to speak into the mic several times in order to get the volume right.

3) Ask the videographer to film the audience before or after the screening if it is large enough. If so, let those in the audience know about the filming, so they can move to the rear of the seating area, if they don’t want to be in a shot. In larger events that are being videotaped, the organizers often have a waiver form that attendees must sign to indicate they understand and agree that they may be videotaped at the program; although if they don’t want to be filmed, they can tell the videographer not to include them or they can move out of the way. If you don’t plan to videotape the audience, explain that the videographer will only film you speaking before and after the film.

Finally, go over with the videographer what else to include in the video besides your screening. Commonly, this will include anything on the display table and possibly a shot of your flyer about the screening. If the videographer plans to shoot the display after the screening, leave it up when you pack up after the event so the videographer can film it. If people participate in networking before or after the screening, the videographer can film that.

When you introduce the screening, you can introduce the videographer and explain that he or she is filming the event.

4) Once the filming is over, discuss the editing arrangements with the videographer. You can provide a general idea of what you want, such as indicating that you want the opening screen with the film title in the beginning of the video and that you want to insert other videos in the middle or at the end. It’s best to send your specific editing instructions in writing, after you view the raw footage, so you can indicate what you want to cut or change by indicating the time codes on the video player.

While you can trust some videographers to be effective when you ask them to make the cuts for a shorter video, such as cutting a 40-minutes video to 2–3 minutes for a promotional video, other videographers ask you tell them precisely what to cut. And by precise, they mean they want the second on the timeline where to start and end each cut.

In addition, the videographer may ask you to send in some copy for titles for the beginning, end, and selected transitions. Additionally, give the videographer your contact information and any links for obtaining copies of the film or viewing it online to include at the end of the video.

5) Usually, the videographer will send you the raw video footage to review in a platform like Dropbox or on their website. You can then watch the video online or download and view it on your computer. Preferably, download the video, so you have the original footage if you need it.

When you play the video, you’ll see the seconds on the timeline so you can indicate where to begin and end a cut. Yet, this is still a rough guide for editing, since the time can vary by a fraction of a second in either direction. Thus, include a few words indicating where you want the cut to begin and end.

Sometimes it can be difficult to review a video online to determine the times for making the cuts, because on some online platforms, when you stop and start the video, it can go back to the beginning. If that happens, you have to move the timeline indicator under the video to the beginning of the cut to start the video again. Should this situation occur, allow two or three minutes to write down the times to begin and end a cut for every minute of video.

Thus, it’s better if you can download the video and view it in a video player, such as the Windows Media Player or Camtasia. Then, you can really stop and restart the video without losing your place.

6) After you provide these detailed cuts for the videographer, if done correctly, that completes the project. To verify that it’s finished, review the edited video on Dropbox, on the videographer’s website, or download it and watch it on a video player. If still not correct, the video editor will often make any further corrections without additional charges, although in the spirit of good will, you might offer to pay for any changes.

7) If the videographer is not an experienced editor beyond doing simple edits, find a video editor, who may also be a videographer. You may find leads to a video editor through your business contacts or post a request for an editor on your neighborhood online forum. Other ways to find an editor include Craigslist, Upwork, and Fiverr. To help you decide who to hire, review examples of previous videos the editor has edited, and ask about pricing and availability. Commonly, editing costs range from $50 to $100 an hour.

8) Consider cutting the video footage into a series of short videos rather than only making a single longer video. A video of about 5–15 minutes might make an interesting short about putting on a screening, but for promotional purposes, limit the videos to 2–3 minutes, and preferably 1 to 2 minutes.

9) A good way to use these short videos is to post each one on YouTube or Vimeo. Then, you can post that link on your website, in a blog, or in a post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social media. You can also send the link or video file to the media or interested distributors. If you have created a series of videos, you can link to a different video with each post.

Another way to use short video segments is by linking to the video with a blog or press release or by embedding YouTube link on a page on your website. Then, a visitor can click on a thumbnail to go the YouTube video posting.

10) You can use photos of your screening in your flyers, press releases, or pitch letters to get media interest and show prospective distributors. Include the audience in these photos if you have a large enough crowd. If there is networking before or after the event, include that in your photos, too. If you only have a small crowd, skip any audience shots and focus on the opening, the film title and credits, and photos of you doing the introduction and any closing remarks.

These photos can be taken by a camera or phone. If a videographer creates a video for you, he or she can give you some still images from the video. You can leave the selection up to the videographer after providing general guidelines on what to include, such as some images of you talking enthusiastically to the audience.

To be even more precise about what to include, indicate the second on the timeline where the image to turn into a photo appears. The videographer will then send you a .JPG for each photo. Another way to get photos from a video is to play the video on your computer and take screen shots of selected images. Then, turn save them as JPG files. Once you get these JPGs, you can include these photos on your website or in press releases and social media postings.

GINI GRAHAM SCOTT, Ph.D., J.D., is a nationally known writer, consultant, speaker, and seminar leader, specializing in business and work relationships, professional and personal development, social trends, and popular culture. She has published 50 books with major publishers. She has worked with dozens of clients on memoirs, self-help, popular business books, and film scripts. Writing samples are at www.changemakerspublishingandwriting.com.

She is the founder of Changemakers Publishing, featuring books on work, business, psychology, social trends, and self-help. The company has published over 150 print, e-books, and audiobooks. She has licensed several dozen books for foreign sales, including the UK, Russia, Korea, Spain, and Japan.

She has received national media exposure for her books, including appearances on Good Morning America, Oprah, and CNN. She has been the producer and host of a talk show series, Changemakers, featuring interviews on social trends.

Scott is active in a number of community and business groups, including the Lafayette, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek Chambers of Commerce. She is a graduate of the prestigious Leadership Contra Costa program. She does workshops and seminars on the topics of her books.

She is also the writer and executive producer of 10 films in distribution, release, or production. Her most recent films that have been released include Driver, The New Age of Aging, and Infidelity.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her J.D. from the University of San Francisco Law School. She has received five MAs at Cal State University, East Bay, most recently in Communication.

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