Making a Promo Video
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Making a Promo Video

Friday, 03 May 2019
Video Length:  1:01:25
Presented By:  Paul Houchin

So you want to make a promotional video for one of your projects but don’t know where to start. We spent a week putting together an example video for a local park project. Tune in to learn about some techniques and resources we used. We’ll go over our successes and outline a few potential pitfalls to be cautious about.

Los Osos Skate Park Promo Video Example

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • View Final Video
  • Preparations, Planning, and Setup
  • Tips and Tricks for Shooting Footage
  • The Editing Process

0:00 – 2:56: Intro/TOC

2:57 – 5:15: Final Video

5:16 – 14:25: Preparations, Planning, and Setup

Define your style with a style guide (5:36)

Use a style guide, or come up with some design direction. This is your video, so put your style into it.


Style guidelines:

  • Use of logo(s)
  • Font style
  • Colors for texts and graphics
  • Music


A style guide will help you keep your video on brand along the way.


Examples of style items we used in our video (6:30)


Create a plan (6:45)


1. Come up with an outline.


2. Write a script.


3. Draw up a storyboard.


4. Make a shot list.


Outline and script (7:17)

Outline initial ideas for the video.

  • Thought blocked? Just start writing whatever comes to mind and look for inspiration.
  • Finding the park’s website was a big help in starting our narrative.


From the outline, create a script. (8:40)

  • Generate a direction for the video through telling a story.
    • Introduction
    • Main content
    • Conclusion
  • If you can, include a professional writer.


Create a storyboard (9:13)

A storyboard is a collection of illustrations and notes to help pre-visualize and plan the video content.


  • Not essential but beneficial.
  • Great tool to plan composition for shots
  • Conveys your vision to anyone else working on the video.
  • Download free storyboard templates at


Basic storyboard symbols (10:00)


Storyboard examples (10:18)


Create a shotlist (11:28)

A shotlist is a list of all shots that are needed to accomplish the goals set by the storyboard.


  • Create a spreadsheet
    • Shot number
    • Location
    • Shot type
    • Camera movement
    • Description of shot
  • Itemized list helps you get all the shots you need efficiently.


Shot list example (12:20)


Basic shots used in the video (12:26):

  • Full shot (Subject is shown in its entirety and roughly fills the frame.)
  • Wide shot (Subject still the focus of the shot, but the shot is filled mostly with the subject’s surroundings.)
  • Medium shot (Subject is still in shot but not entirely. Shot still contains elements of the subject’s surroundings.)
  • Close-up shot (Part of the subject fills the screen. Emphasizes subject, gives detail, and lacks surroundings.)


Prepare equipment before shooting (13:40)

Don’t find out on the site that your equipment doesn’t work.

  • Test all equipment before traveling to the site.
  • Check for full batteries and working memory cards with free space. Bring spares just in case.

14:26 – 33:18: Tips and Tricks for Shooting Footage

Tools we used (14:32):

  • Phone camera
    • Quick supplemental photos
  • Video camera (Nikon D5500)
    • Record on-site footage
  • Image stabilizer (Gimbal) (Maza Aircross)
  • @Smooth footage when handheld

  • Drone (Yuneec Typhoon H)
    • Capture bird’s-eye views
  • Google Earth
    • Earth animation
    • Satellite images of Los Osos and park
  • Rendered landscape plan
  • Camtasia
    • Camtasia used to record the Google Earth animation
  • Photoshop
    • Edit photos, landscape plan, and satellite imagery


    On-site footage (15:55)

    We traveled to the site twice to obtain all the footage.


    First visit:

    • B-Roll footage
    • Took a lot of photos
    • Tried to get the full shot list
    • Learned to expect delays


    Second visit:

    • Drone footage
    • Action shots
    • Any missed shots
    • Redid bad shots


    B-Roll footage (17:20)

    B-Roll footage is supplementary footage to the main shots.


    • A great way to warm up to the site.
    • Shoot various areas with an array of shot types.
    • Video storage is cheap, so shoot a lot of video!
    • Use a Gimbal to help stabilize footage.


    Main footage (18:28)

    • Add movement to offset low-action park.
    • Keeping the camera static is acceptable.
    • Having a mix of static shots and moving shots gives you more options in the field.
    • Composition is most important.
    • Make sure your subject is in frame and in focus.
    • Use the rule of thirds.


    Adapt at all costs (AAAC) – epic Shaun rant (20:19)



    Photos (22:03)

    Photos provide alternative takes on shots.


    Review footage (23:08)

    Review, choose the winners, and organize your footage.


    Revisit storyboard and script (24:05)

    After shooting on site and reviewing the footage, we have a better grasp on what we’re working with. Some considerations at this stage:

    • Did we get all the footage we need?
      • If you were able to get all the footage necessary on your first visit, great!
    • Are we still following the original plan?
    • Should adjustments be made to the plan?


    Return to site (25:35)

    On our second trip, we were able to get:

    • Drone footage
    • Footage of schoolhouse
    • Tennis action shots


    Google Earth capture (26:50)


    Additional resources (31:25)

    Voice narration performed by Christian H. Miles

    • Budget-friendly professional
    • Quick setup
    • Fast turnaround


    Music choice: “Epic Cinematic”:

    33:19 – end: The Editing Process

    Digital video editing overview (33:19)

    Many video editing applications are available. Luckily, most follow the same basic format for video editing.


    Digital video editing demonstration (33:55)


    Items to demonstrate:

    • Using the timeline
    • Trimming
    • Transitions
    • Using images/photos and the Ken Burns Effect
    • Mixing voice narration and music
    • Exporting the video
    • Uploading to a video host


    Demonstration of editing in Camtasia (35:04)


    Importing footage and adding it to the timeline (37:00)


    Trimming footage (38:30)


    Creating transitions (41:35)


    Editing a still shot in Photoshop (45:15)


    Bringing the edited image into the video in Camtasia (47:00)


    Importing and incorporating a landscape plan (47:55)


    Adding an animation (50:50)


    Importing and incorporating audio (53:30)


    Exporting the video (55:20)

    Take care to check your resolution settings and frame rate. Be aware of the resolution you’re shooting in so the footage remains consistent.


    Pro tips to take with you (57:40)

    • Keep your media organized.
    • Create a story with the video.
    • Don’t overuse transitions.
    • Use appropriate music and narration.
    • Edit to the music.


    Replay of the final video (58:20)

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