An Industrial video is a video production that targets industry, manufacturing, and automation as its primary audience. Industrial videos can be educational explainer videos to illustrate the manufacturing process or facility.
While the primary purpose of an educational film is to inform an audience, the purpose of an industrial video can vary depending on the client.
An industrial video may be used for:
- Marketing, communicating to potential clients the value of services or products.
- Customers, such as a video that explains how to use a product.
- Sales, such as a demonstration of capital equipment in working order to enhance sales overseas.
Industrial videos have increased in demand because of the changing pace of technology and the reduced cost of video production. Most industries have started building digital assets (product photography and video) to improve sales and communication with their clients. These digital assets are also used at trade shows and conferences to demonstrate services in their industry.
Types of Industrial Videos
Before diving into the film pre and post-production it would be best to define what industries a typical industrial video would cover, and this isn’t just automation and robotics.
Industrial videos can range from a variety of industries such as manufacturing, automation, automotive, laboratory, construction sites, building, science and technology, and anything that shows the laborious tasks at the workplace.
Our specialised filming niche has been robotics and technology, and we have built up a solid reputation in this. Because of our experience in capital equipment and automation filming, we are hired more often for filming industrial videos.
Video and The Internet
It is worth pointing out that the internet is most likely where your video is going to be used, unless you target audience is at a trade show and you want to loop some videos on a display screen. Most video productions will end up on either one or all social media platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. Your company website can display this video in all its glory, with the footage embedded from your company’s YouTube account.
Video is also excellent to build traffic on Google, and YouTube is the second most popular search engine above Bing.
Filming and Production
Like all filmmaking, industrial videos go through the stages of development, pre-production, production, post-production, and distribution. Choosing us to film and produce an industrial video is a wise choice because we started filming capital equipment manufacturing. We have specialised in this field ever since.
Pre-production is where it’s at with good video production – fancy cameras can only go so far with a good industrial video. Some of the worst films you have seen had top of the line cinema cameras and lighting, so it goes to show a lack of planning and clear perspective of the objective can be a disaster, only a disaster with fancy cameras and crisp footage.
Learning to communicate as simple as possible what the video is about and how it can benefit the client is all it can take to turn a bad video into a good video. Some advice I once received that I have always used was ‘Tell them what is it, tell them again, and then tell them what you’ve just told them’. This may mean that the end product will be simpler and thus more effective at achieving a desired outcome of increasing sales, closing the deal or perhaps just to communicate the throughput and output of your capital equipment.
At the pre-production stage, we work closely with the client to research the environment or facility where we will be filming, the key messages to get across and the purpose of the video, and the manufacturing process that we need to capture in clean logical order. Together we will produce either a storyboard or a shot list to minimise the margin of error and to ensure we capture all of the footage we will need.
We will also use this time to plan the aerial drone flight, choosing the best weather as well as providing a pre-site safety assessment for a safe flight.
With pre-production, the 6P Rule (aka Prior Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance) is vital to ensuring everything goes to plan. An example of this could be making sure there is a shot list in place and allowing creative freedom can make or break the video production before it has even begun.
At the filming stage, we usually aim to get all of the footage within a single day, filming any interviews (when a video camera records the talent and audio is captured by a microphone). in the morning, having a break at midday and then proceeding to film industrial b-roll footage in the afternoon. A top priority is minimising any disruption to the workplace.
For automation or capital equipment manufacturing clients we are usually assigned an employee or somebody from the marketing department who can assist with the production, and their role would be to liaise between the filming crew and on-site engineers who will be setting up the machine, stopping and starting automated sequences for filming.
During post-production, the footage from the production phase is assembled into a coherent video ready for review by the client. Once the video is complete, the industrial video is distributed and exhibited. If the project was a training video, the video may be included with the product, so the buyer can learn to use it most effectively. If the project was a marketing video or capital equipment manufacturing video, it may be directly mailed to potential clients to encourage them to invest in automation. Or if the product was designed for exhibition, it may be shown at a trade fair. The use of industrial videos for corporate use has been increasing, suggesting that industrial videos will continue to be produced in the future.
At the time of writing this article, we currently shoot with around £20k of equipment. We use small cameras as opposed to large bulky cinema cameras which are very awkward to work with, and the gap between smaller cameras and cinema cameras have been closing drastically when it comes to cinema quality video and colour. The cameras we use would qualify for Netflix if only Sony had enabled timecoding. If the production requires insanely good footage we will hire a Sony FX9 with a cinema lens and opt for RAW 12-bit video.
We prefer to use the Sony A7SIII, A7III with Slog-2 as well as D-log on the Mavic Pro 2 drone, and these all work well together. The smaller A7 cameras are ideal for mounting onto the structural parts of automated machines if required, and we like to use a mixture of footage and time-lapses / hyperlapses on fixed tripods, sliders and gimbals.
We use Zeiss Batis and Sony’s G-master lenses because they have beautiful clarity, good autofocus performance and colour.
We specialise in industrial videos – this is our bread and butter after all. We approach each video production as a challenge. We look at the objective laterally and try to sell the video or product for you. This involves proper planning beforehand and a good eye for detail.a