How to make a video: aim for not shit

I've made a lot of videos in my career. Some better than others. I've learned a lot doing them. And through mistakes, inevitably some things not to do. That learning continues, of course. But a few things I have learned are that:

Before you make a video, it's always good to ask why you're making it. It's good to ask because video is an expensive and time-consuming way to make content. It's unbeatable for what it's good at. But if you can do it another way, you should take a good look, because it'll almost certainly be faster and cheaper.

It's great when people are excited to make a video of course. But to be 100% honest, it can make me a little anxious too. Because there may be some bubbles that have to be burst.

It's so tempting to aim much much too high. Like multibillion corporations or the famous YouTubers make. The thing is: the more ambitious a video the more expensive it is. And on top of that, the more things that can go wrong. The more complexity you add, the more points of failure there.

Some potential points of failure are:

Each of things is a craft that takes time to hone. They take creativity, good judgement and good taste. It's likely going to take a team of experienced people. People who know how to avoid the pitfalls they've fallen into before.

The reason I write this is because so often, how hard video is to work with as a medium is overlooked, and the results can be mixed, even bad. The footage might be too dark. The camera's in the wrong aspect ratio for the platform. The voice over is cheesy. It's too long.

The way to make an OK video – and OK is plenty ambitious enough – is to look at every piece of the video and what you can possibly do to make sure it's not shit.

If when you work with a video person, and they try to manage your expectations, this is why.