Want to make your next video really stand out and go viral? Hint: Make it funny!
Here at White Lens Productions, we have made literally hundreds of videos over the past 15 years. And the videos that have always received the most longevity and traction for our clients are funny, cleaver, witty videos.
Funny videos can get points across where oftentimes serious and more straight forward videos cannot and do not.
The question that usually comes up is, "when should we use humor to help convey our message? What types of video humor should we produce?"
We have walked through that very path with many of our customers in the past. For us we like to ask these questions first:
What is the message you are trying to convey?
Who is the attended audience?
How much time is allowed for the video?
Making an office employee go through a laser field to leave an office.
What is the message you are trying to convey?
Humor just for the sake of being funny for your business or organization doesn't do much! However humor with a message can go a long way. When our clients come to us and say "we want a funny video about X" we often will go through a few brainstorming sessions. When we do this, our writers and creatives have the rule of, "there is no such thing as a bad idea! Everything gets presented!
We start with our focused message - what do we want to convey to the audience?
What is a common misconception, problem, idea or attitude that is associated with this?
What is the most outlandish way we can show this problem? Again no idea is a bad idea?
Is the problem the "villain" in the story? Is it the "humor of the story"? How do we "interact" with the problem during the video? Can there be a story within the story in our video?
Types of funny videos to produce
Once we have these outlined then we will also ask what type of videos can we do?
Spoof videos - making fun or replicating something our audience already knows or can identify with
Outrageous videos - taking a known product or task, and making it outrageous and larger than it would be normally
Reverse of the norm - putting a charter in a situation doing the "reverse of the norm" and dealing with the outcomes
Insider language videos - These are great for closed events where there is inside language or jokes that the organization understands and can "get" together
One outlandish video was replacing smoke detectors with firefighters in and around a home.
How to make your funny video flop?
One thing to think about is, who is going to be "IN" the video? We've seen (and have been apart of a few) videos that would have been great, if only . . . . we didn't use "Joe or Jan". Meaning, the organization or company feels that they must star in their own video. Or they have "a guy" who is "funny" and we should use them.
Just like in Hollywood, one actor can't play all the parts - the same goes for your funny video. Cast it right!
Not all humans are made the same. So truly casting the right person for the part can really make it work, or make it a bust. This doesn't always mean you need to hire an actor, but work with your production company or agency to do additions if possible. Trying to fit a round peg in a square hole just doesn't always work.
Oftentimes we will write up the "type" of character we feel is right for the vision of the video. We will be as specific as possible for this, and any other "main" characters in the script. If we can find this within the organization then great - we can save some of the budget or other resources. If not, we can all have an honest conversation with each other on the expectations of the video.
Acting on camera is a very tough thing to do. This is why Hollywood pays actors so well. If you can't hire an actor for the part, be ready to really stretch yourself and take plenty of direction from a talented director.
Exaggerating real life is often key to many comedy videos
Remember - one of the art forms of comedy is to always play it larger for the camera than you ever would in real life. If not, the performance will often come out as very flat. When we work with out talent, we will generally "ramp up" the performance for each take. And usually out of our month comes this statement - "Ok, now I want you to exaggerate all your facial expressions and body movements more than you every would in real life." Those are generally what makes it in the edit.
Funny videos don't mean cheap and fast
We have found this misconception that often pops up.
"Let's just make a quick funny video!"
This can not be further from the truth. We call these "cheapened funny" - We've all seen them before. You watch them and there is barely a laugh or chuckle in the room. The lines are dull, predictable, the audio is bad, the acting is bad, the lighting is bad and the video plays "flat".
Great comedic videos don't just happen - they are designed.
Great comedic videos don't just happen - they are designed, meaning that there was some serious time put into the video to make sure it was just not "winged". Winged videos rarely ever show well. Be sure to have budget for great writing, great acting and great production.
It doesn't mean that the production can't be budget sensitive. We recently produced a very funny video for a client that consisted of one location, one light, one camera, no audio and one camera person. The whole video was shot in 2 hours. But we had a well written script, and knew exactly what was required for the shoot. We also budgeted the video with a small budget from the beginning and placed most of the budget resources into scripting.
Sometimes the "hero" can be the problem - make sure to play it right
Let's make a funny video go viral
We love making funny videos. In fact we have won a few awards in writing and producing really funny videos for our clients. We truly believe that the right funny video can get more brand reconnection for your organization and even messaging than nearly any type of videos one can produce.
Reach out to White Lens Productions for a free strategy session to get your next video going. White Lens Productions serves the greater Austin, TX. Leander, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Round Rock. We help medium sized business and organizations who desire to get the most out of their marketing budgets.