As I write this article it is raining. In fact January 2014 has been England’s wettest month since records began in 1766.
With flooding even in my local town I took time out of my workday to capture the impact on video.
Why am I telling you this?
Seize Content Opportunities When They Arise
This flooding is potentially useful to me in my housing niche (I run the website House Planning Help). I don’t actually need this footage at the moment but I went on the shoot for my library.
I am aware that these floods could be the affects of climate change and if I ever want to illustrate a flood, which I see as pretty likely, now I have the material.
Why Did I Seize This Particular Opportunity?
1. This happened on my doorstep! In other words it was minimal effort to collect the footage.
2. I didn’t know whether I would get another opportunity. It’s certainly unusual for this area and if I hadn’t done it then I couldn’t be sure I would get another chance. Also, if later in the year I did decide that I needed this footage urgently this wouldn’t be something I could just go out and record, so I’d end up purchasing stock footage.
3. I knew I could capture generic footage that would illustrate an idea rather than something specific that could never be used again.
If you use video for any content marketing purposes then it is worth thinking about what a library can do for you.
One of the problems with creating compelling videos is that they use up shots very quickly. What seemed like loads of material on the shoot disappears before your eyes during the edit!
So the moral of the story is maximise your time on location and build up the b-roll (or useful cutaways).
What is a Video Library?
At it’s most basic level (these days anyway) it is a big hard drive, full of all your raw material.
It’s also important that you can access this footage easily, so a file structure and some labelling will help.
How Do I Start My Video Library?
If you’ve taken video before or commissioned it, then you’ve probably started without even realising!
However, make sure that you:
1. Keep the raw files, the original footage. Don’t delete anything if you can help it.
2. Check you’ve got the rights to use this footage. This is particularly relevant if other people have shot the material for you. Even if you don’t foresee the material ever being any use again, it doesn’t hurt to have the raw files and the rights to be able to use it in any upcoming productions.
3. Record in the best quality available to you.
Finally have a think about what generic shots might be useful to you.
Going back to my niche of energy-efficient homes, I know that I want as many shots as possible of insulation going in or perhaps houses being checked for their airtightness. These are core principals that I’ll have to illustrate many times.
This doesn’t mean that I’m rushing out to get all these shots now but I’m quietly building up my library as and when I get the chance.
Over time my archive should become more valuable. I can specifically take into account footage in the library and then shoot a bare minimum of new material (saving me time and money). Importantly, however, I should be able to maintain the quality of productions.
What footage would enhance your video library?