Creating a holiday video can be a struggle. Creating a holiday video within a short timeframe can be a nightmare, but it’s not impossible. Having creative limitations sometimes actually enhances the process. 

In this blog, we’ll take a look at our own holiday video, walking you through our process from start to finish as we sought to create a cost-effective, entertaining holiday video that we could plan in a week and film in a day.

The Challenge

As a video hosting platform, we take immense pride in creating high-quality content for our viewers; our holiday video is no exception. We wanted it to highlight the use of video by characters who resemble our customers, and though we have all types of customer use cases, we decided to narrow it down to inter-office management videos.

Our goals were challenging for several reasons. First, office videos don’t exactly scream holiday cheer. We would need to come up with a script that entertains despite the everyday location. Second, to keep the cost down, we used our SproutVideo office. Our space has an open layout, while in an ideal world we would have shot in individual offices. But renting office space in New York City is wildly expensive, so we had to make it work with what we had.

Behind the scenes of holiday video

The Idea

We came up with the treatment of an in-office competition between two employees trying to outdo each other. This satisfied our goals while still being entertaining. Our in-house marketing team was able to brainstorm, workshop, and polish this idea in record time. If you’re looking to make a video even faster, check out our guide for planning a video in a day.

To save budget and time, we wrote a script with only two main characters, and relied on voiceovers for the rest of the office reactions. We figured, anything we could allude to off camera, but not show, would save us time and effort.

The Film

With some clever editing, we were able to achieve the look and feel we were going for: a friendly competition between coworkers, each trying to outdo the other by spreading the most holiday cheer to their office.

Behind The Scenes

We transformed our own conference room and one of our shared spaces into single offices for the camera.  Not having to change locations meant we could shoot it all in one day.

The team consisted of our two main actors, a director/DP, and five crew: AC, Gaffer, PA, makeup, and set design. Outside of the two actors, the rest of the roles were played by our crew. Our camera assistant is a professor. The carolers are our production assistant, set designer, gaffer and a cameo appearance from our CEO. The people walking by with instruments are our director, set designer (again), and camera assistant (again.)

Group selfie from holiday video

The one thing we spent on was a camera and a lens upgrade. While we normally use our in-house Sony Fs7 and Fujinon Lenses, we decided to rent an Arri Amira and Cooke Speed Panchro Lenses for this shoot. These vintage lenses added a little something extra to elevate this project above our normal day-to-day production. To learn more about these Cook speed Panchros, check out our recent post on using vintage lenses.  

Behind the scenes of holiday video

Questions about our video process? Ask away in the comments below.

From all of us here at SproutVideo, Happy Holidays!