360 videos are growing in popularity among video producers. Scrolling through Facebook and Snapchat makes clear how popular they have become. These videos are engaging and unique now, but brands and businesses are investing in them, hoping that they’ll provide long-term value. Benefits of 360 videos include:

  • Increased interaction rates
  • Higher earned media metrics such as shares and subscribes
  • higher click-thru rates.

It’s no wonder that more and more marketers are considering adding 360 videos to their repertoire. While new and exciting, 360 is also different from regular video in several ways. When choosing a vendor to produce your 360 content, make sure that it has the right experience and adheres to the following:

GROUND AND THE SKY

This is a relatively new concept in video production. Traditionally, a director set up a shot with lighting just beyond the camera’s field of view while an entire crew behind the camera made sure everything was set just right. With 360 video, everything is in the field of view, and you don’t have the luxury of setting lighting or holding a mic boom without the video looking unprofessional. Here’s a field of view for a normal 360 shot:

Everyone within eyesight of the camera will be in the shot. The camera operator, the only who’s not, should know how to frame a 360 shot. (We cover this below).

LIGHTING

As noted, you don’t have the same luxuries as in traditional video production because the field of view shows everything. Chris Lavigne, a video producer for Wistia, writes that “flat lighting is your very best friend.” This allows all lenses to expose at the same speed, producing an even image all the way around. If one lens is exposed to more light, that image will appear brighter and distract the viewer.

Wistia tried shooting a video with studio lights and then fixing it with rotoscoping. Here are the views before and after:

BEFORE

360 lighting

AFTER

Lavigne was able to remove the lighting stands, but very little movement is possible. He suggests that this could work for stationary shots but isn’t very practical overall.

ACTION

Because 360 video has no real focal point, just the starting one, placement becomes paramount. Ideally, your image will include activity all around the camera. So no matter where the viewer decides to look, there is a story being told.

This doesn’t mean add unnecessary elements to your story. There shouldn’t be so much action that viewers get confused or dizzy. Instead, as your video progresses, make it clear where you want them to look at any given moment. Many viewers will figure out where the most compelling action is happening. However, their eyes may wander so giving them a few additional elements to see can enhance their experience. For instance, if you want the attention to be on a young boy playing the piano, you could place his mother behind the viewer so when they turn around they see her looking at him through the doorway. Whatever you decide, ensure your story is compelling!

DO YOU REALLY NEED 360 VIDEOS?

While 360 is very cool and very engaging for viewers, just shooting 360 on a whim can confuse them. If you’re demonstrating 360 video’s capabilities, fine. But if you’re shooting something educational and really want the viewer to focus on a certain aspect of your video, 360 may not be the answer.

Before you start shooting 360 videos, MediaShift suggests asking yourself:

  • What is the goal of the video?
  • Should I really shoot this in 360 degrees?
  • What do I want to achieve by using 360 video?
  • Can I get the same results with a regular camera?

360 videos are likely here to stay, not just a passing fad in marketing. Investing in videos now could pay off in the long term, especially for a growing business trying to reach new audiences online.

If you want to start producing 360 videos or seek a consultation, contact Twice Media Productions. We have the equipment and experience to help you make the most of your video content to include in marketing across all your channels.

Be sure to visit Houston360video.com for more useful tips and information.

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