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Adding a Video Tour of Your Veterinary Practice to Your Website (or...show us what you've got!)

Posted in Web Sites @ Oct 9th 2012 6:19pm - By Andrew Burden, InkSpot Media
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“There are no rules in filmmaking. Only sins. And the cardinal sin is dullness.”

Frank Capra

The radio studio was dimly lit, the walls looked grainy and the dials in front of me were blazing, with the patch network command for the live sports commentary flashing an angry,  impatient red. I remember the snow was falling from the darkened sky outside, and while I was in the middle of the city, it was eerily quiet out.

I can clearly remember these details of that particular news-reading shift on local BBC radio; but ask me what I was reading and I couldn’t possibly tell you. That was a few years ago mind you, but even if you’d asked me directly after the bulletin I still wouldn’t have had a clue.

The reason? I was simply and absent-mindedly reading words. I was reading words I’d written and words that had been written by someone else in a news agency office a hundred miles away.

Now, if you’d asked me what I felt about some of the stories of the day, you’d have gotten acompletely different response. You’d have got my perspectives, my feelings on them.

When it comes to video production, the same holds true. If you’re about to have a video made here are some things to bear in mind.

It’s important not to fall into the ‘corporate’ trap when it comes to showing yourself off to prospective and existing clients (reminding them why they chose you in the first place).  By corporate I mean overly composed sets, a fully scripted vet, mock surgeries, mock blood tests and an eerily quiet surgery.

The result of this clinical manipulation is a predictably professional, but cold video, which might well highlight your wonderful facilities, but doesn’t tell me anything about your personality, why you became a vet, what you love about the job.

All it will tell me is that you can read.

Let me get to the point here; the technical aspects of video production to one side for a moment, there is only one thing that matters (for me at least) and that’s authenticity.

As Capra said; there are no rules in filmmaking. He’s right, but in my time spent producing multimedia content for The University of Nottingham, I did have one rule – not to make an academic do something for the camera that they wouldn’t do in the course of their daily routine.

An older attitude to filmmaking would have the academic fill a test tube with a bright, glowing green fluid and pretend to study it intently. That’s all well and good, and of course it looks pretty on screen, but it’s not real. The closest that academic came to bright green anything was probably the traffic lights on their way in to work that morning.

The same problem exists for filming vets – to artificially create a scene like this is to suggest that what they do daily is not interesting enough to make it into the video.

The approach can be much simpler, and much more effective. If you’re lucky you’ll have a videographer who will have done their homework on you, the clinic and what you’re all about. They’ll then have a conversation with you about your life, your clinic and what clients can expect. What emerges from that are genuine responses, anecdotes and views, and ultimately genuine personality.

They should also show you doing what you do best – filming an actual consultation, and actual surgical procedures, actual interactions with staff and clients.

In short you’re captured doing what you do best day in and day out – because that is what the clients will experience.

Of course elements will be added in post-production to make things more emotive and interesting for the viewer; vignettes, music, jump cuts etc, but they’ve yet to come up with editing software that can generate a human personality. Like those forgotten news stories, you won’t get that from reading to a camera.

Don’t get me wrong – there is of course a corporate element to a video like this, you are after all trying to convince your prospective clients to give you a go and to let them know what you offer.

But remember this – you’re not ‘selling’ your clinic to the clients, you’re ‘showing’ them the clinic and staff. Err too much on the sales side and you’re guaranteed to have a pretty, but ultimately cold video.

The most important thing for me when choosing a vet, is not what facilities they have, what qualifications they have, which associations they belong to – all of that I take as a given. What I really want to know is who is the person who is going to be taking my sick pet from me and making it better?

I know it might sound horribly simplistic but if you take anything away from this – when making a video/having a video made for your clinic, just be yourself, the rest is editing.

~~~~~~~~~~­­­

Andrew Burden is a trained journalist and has worked for Primedia in South Africa and the BBC in the UK, moving on to the University of Nottingham, Andrew spent years producing multimedia content involving academics, including the multi-award winning Election 2010 blog, and Politics in 60 Seconds video series.

InkSpot Media - Video Production, based in the UK, is focused on creating unique, emotive and human videos for small businesses, higher education and sports clubs. Andrew has become somewhat a specialist in vets' videos through slaving away, mostly under duress, for his wife's company, InkSpot Social Media for Vets.

Comments

Dalton Hindmarsh @ Oct 12th 2012 7:49am
Any suggestions for "selling" a 24 hour emergency and critical care hospital?
Judy @ Oct 12th 2012 11:04am
That's great question Dalton. Who are you looking to market to? Pet owners or other vet practices for referrals?

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