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Xan Parker, Executive Producer of DB Productions, is an award-winning documentary film producer who has produced a number of investor videos. Here, she shares a few high-level tips for creating successful investor videos.

Production values matter.
Investors are regular consumers of television and movies. Thus, their standards, like yours, are very high. If your investor video looks poorly produced – bad lighting, poor sound quality, choppy editing, etc. – it will take the viewer out the experience you are trying to create. Low production values signal lack of professionalism or simply lack of attention, and won’t be effective at creating an authentic, reassuring or inspiring experience for investors.

Prioritize before production.
What are your most important messages? Who are the best people to deliver these messages? What are the must-have locations? You can’t do everything in one video, so it’s important to set your priorities before production begins. Getting this right will save money and result in a more focused, more effective finished piece. You don’t need every senior executive in the film, just the ones who can deliver the right messages with appropriate authority. Filming people whose footage ends up unused is not only a waste of time and money; it can result in unpleasant personal and political conflict. Better to figure this out ahead of time and avoid stress down the road.

Stay focused on the end goal and don’t sweat the small stuff.
As an investor relations professional, you’re the expert on your audience and the messages you want them to hear. Your job is to clearly articulate this to your video production team. Their job is to translate your goals into a compelling video. Trust them to do this. Don’t be afraid to let go a little. Stay focused on the overall goal for the film and don’t get bogged down in the small details of production.

But stay involved in the process.
When it comes to strategic issues, the production team definitely wants your input. The best investor films result from an effective and positive collaboration between the IRO and the production team. Count on being present at all interviews; you’ll watch play backs to evaluate footage and suggest new interview questions or angles. Your involvement will add to the authenticity of the film, and help deliver a more powerful message.

Don’t be afraid of conversation.
Too many IROs allow their management teams to use a teleprompter during a shoot. The usual excuse: “My boss doesn’t have time to prepare for the interview.” Try not to let this happen; watching an executive, now matter how practiced, reading from a teleprompter is almost always deadly and defeats the purpose of an investor film, which is to project transparency and authenticity. If necessary, have a teleprompter on site; you can ask the executives to read from it and then deliver the same points conversationally. It often helps if you sit behind the camera, asking questions in a casual way that stimulates a conversation rather than a lecture.

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