Thoughts from the Road – Video Formats

At the heart of audiovisual production, and indeed live events in general, there is a message that needs to be communicated. Whether it’s spoken word alone, performance based, or entirely visual, taking care of the delivery of the message is absolutely critical.

It’s very often that our clients’ events are centered around showing a video – and one that’s been created with great care, attention to detail, and of course money. However, for the same reasons you might want to catch a new film in a theater as opposed to on your couch, the quality of the video’s presentation – its delivery – can make or break the impact it has on its audience. An equal amount of care should be given to the delivery as with its creation, and it all starts with planning.

Aside from designing an optimal physical setup, whenever possible, the videos (and all other visual content) should be sent to your audiovisual partner in advance of the event date. This allows us to check the quality of the video, the formatting, and to add it to our workflow on the very same laptop that will be used to roll it during the show. The purpose is to rule out any and all variables possible that could lead to a flawed delivery, and there are plenty of times when we catch problems at this stage. Sometimes it’s a spelling error, an editing gaff, or even an incorrect, corrupted, or unfinished file; but regardless, catching it early is key.

Industry best practice for delivering videos is to use a program specifically designed for live event video playback, called Playback Pro. The best choices of video format to use with this program are either .MOV or .MP4. There are options for converting files (adding one more variable to control), but since most video editing software can render several different file formats – best to create it in one of those two at the source.

All of this is of course best-case scenario, and there are times when flash drives are handed to us shortly before we’re asked to roll those videos. Open communication of concerns is important at every step of the way, but rest assured that when the doors open and the lights come on, we’re always on the same team and ready to work with you however we need to in order to produce a successful event.