Why video matters
People are visual beings, and video continues to rise in importance as a medium for communication. Viewers retain more of the message when they watch it in a video, compared to when they read it in text, meaning video plays an important role in communicating both intention and impact.
Whether human-centred or information-driven, videos should lead with values and emotion first to capture the viewer. They can deliver policy messages once the audience is engaged.
- Human-centred: Videos, which tell a human story, follow the basic principles of storytelling. For greatest impact, they should be short, focused and connect with the audience emotionally.
- Information-driven: Video can effectively translate complex or technical information into a visually appealing and engaging format. The script should convey the information clearly and concisely, avoiding jargon and unnecessary details.
Planning your production
The first stage of any video production is planning. Script and storyboard your video considering what shots and images you need to tell the story or visualise the information presented. Think about statements and soundbites you could use to deliver your point. For timing purposes: 60 seconds = maximum 100 words.
Before starting a video production, consider the following points to ensure a clear and complete briefing for the assignment.
- Assessment of needs and synergies with priorities: Is video the best solution for given your communication needs and EU priorities? Contact INTPA 02 at the beginning of your project to discuss your needs in detail.
- Purpose: What do you want the audience to do, think or feel after watching the video?
- Audience: Who is the audience and what are their values? What type of content and product will connect with them? Where do they consume video?
- Distribution: How will you reach your audience? What is the paid media strategy? Who are your key partners? Do you need different language versions?
- Key message(s): What do you want the audience to take away? If you have multiple messages, consider more than one video to ensure it maintains focus.
- Type: What type of video (micro-documentary, human story, info-clip, etc.) will best meet the need the video aims to fulfil
- Cost: What is the return on investment to produce and disseminate the video?
- Length: Shorter videos (the maximum length depends on the channel) are more effective than long ones. Adapt the length of the video to your channel and audience.
- Content: Follow the basic pre-production steps: concept – script – storyboard
- Style: Follow the INTPA style outlined in the INTPA Digital Style Guide(PDF - 6MB).
- Format: Landscape for websites, Twitter and YouTube, square 1:1 or portrait 4:5 for Facebook and Instagram.
- Sound and subtitles: If you use a voiceover, the video should have subtitles. A clean version of the video (without subtitles) along with the subtitles in .VTT format should be provided when the video is delivered to the EC Audiovisual library. You must purchase all rights to any music or sound effects used. Please not that for social media it’s better to have subtitles burned in or use the format of the platform.
- Timeline: How long will the video take to produce? Is there a hard deadline for completion (event, announcement, international day, etc.)?
- Approval: Who is the owner of the production? Who else needs to be involved in the approval process?
- Monitoring and evaluation: What are the KPIs for the video? How will you measure the impact on the target audience?
- Legal aspects: You must have all the necessary intellectual property rights or the licenses for the material. See the legal requirements below
- Source files: Original raw footage can be used in new productions. When delivering your video to the EC AV library, flag the possibility to deliver raw footage (B-rolls)
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- All visual material produced by or for the European Commission needs to be compliant with © European Union and meet all the requirements as stated in the EC Audiovisual library.
- All videos produced or contracted by the EC must be published in the EC Audiovisual Library.
- If you are taking videos or using videos from partners: anyone featured in a video must sign a model release form. In the case of a minor, both the subject and legal guardian need to sign a form (see model release forms available in 31 languages).
- If you are using stock videos: keep a record of the licences and/or proof of purchase when downloading videos from stock libraries.
- If you are working with a contractor, always stipulate the legal requirements in your contract
- You can address all questions about content delivery to the AV library to INTPA-WEB@ec.europa.eu
- IMPORTANT: If your material is not in the EC Audiovisual Library the EC cannot ensure its further use. This will also increase the visibility of your material as all EU services, journalists and interested public have access and can download and share your photos and videos.