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How to produce a video when you’ve got nothing

stock footage video edit

How to produce a video when you’ve got nothing

It may not seem feasible, but you can actually produce a video when you have no content. All you need is an idea. We can do the rest with stock footage, a voice over and branding. And make it look incredible.

Only recently, Newcast Studios was approached by one of our clients Aspen Medical to produce a video to promote a product for their Chinese market. They had an idea, and a script ready to go. The only problem was, they didn’t have any footage of China … and they weren’t about to spend thousands on just sending us over to Zhejiang just to produce a 2 minute video.

But where do you even begin with this video? We will admit, it does sound like the kind of video that isn’t going to turn out very appealing. But if you’re clever, you can make stock footage, a voice over, some visual and audio effects and music work seamlessly together.

Working with a voice over

An easy solution to a video with no content is to write up a script – your message – and get it read out by a professional voice artist. It will save you from having a promotional video that is only music and text/images, and add that extra level of professionalism.

Working out the visuals

The first step was to storyboard imagery ideas for each section of the script – key words for visuals that would match the script.

Once we had an idea of what to look for, we went on a hunt for free content. It’s always best to look for as much free stock footage first, because it saves you money. There are plenty of sites out there that actually have some high quality content available for free! Even some of it’s in 4K. The future is now.

Your last and inevitable resort is purchasing some stock footage – but there are a lot of sites out there that have reasonable pricing for really great – and oddly specific – clips. It’s worth it! This is how the video looked with voice over and stock footage matched:

Giving your video an extra kick

So, we have a stock footage video. Great. Now how do we make it better?

A good first step is to play with the look of your clips, aiming to make all the mismatched content look like it was filmed by the same camera. This can be tricky, but with plenty of playing around with adjustment in colour, exposure, contrast, it can be achieved. An easy way to do this is to apply a filter.

Introducing sound effects to your visuals is also a nice touch – it gives your ‘fake’ stock footage some subtle realism because you’re tricking your ears into thinking they can hear the visuals.

Once we had made all the clips seem consistent, we realised that there was an opportunity here to create a transition between the clips. Transitions not only added a sense of movement between the clips, but it also created a ‘style’ for the entire video which made the stock footage seem even more unified!

We added this zoom effect that you can check out below, along with the filter and sound effects:

Final touches

Another idea to make your video come to life is to also add some overlay graphics to communicate key parts of your message visually. We placed the statistics into the video as text, to really emphasise the message. And finally the video is done!

Or is it? This video was for Aspen Medical’s Chinese market, after all. So of course, we had to do a version in Mandarin.

A video made from nothing can look amazing, we promise! Speak to us today about how we can achieve this for your business.

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