Adding Logos To Videos

video production corporate video

Similar to our previous post, here we are looking at different methods on how to include visual elements in videos. While some of the techniques outlined here are similar to that last post, they're slightly more aligned with having a logo appear at the end of your video as opposed to having text appear throughout. It's often desirable to include a logo at the end of a video in order to remind the viewer of the company or brand and leave them with that final image in their minds. You can find this method being used in promotional videos, advertisements, and other corporate/commercial videos.

If you're editing a video for your own company or a client's, the methods that we go over here should help to solve potential issues as well as show different creative options that you might use when including logos in videos. First, we'll cover the most common way that logos are displayed after a video is completed.

Overlaid On Black or White

If you're not looking for different or creative ways to display a logo in your videos, the most logical and easy method is to simply cut to black and have the logo appear there. This method works fine and will in no way take away from the professional look in your video that you might be going for. Cutting to black and bringing up either ending credits or logos is something you see in many feature films and other professional video formats (commercial/corporate included). Cutting to black keeps things clean and is a great go-to method when adding logos to videos.

Alternatively, you can have the logo appear on a white background instead of cutting to black. This can be useful for a couple reasons. First, the logo in question might simply look better on white than on black. For example, if the logo has any black visual elements in it, they will get lost in a black background; placing the logo on white resolves that issue. Second, a white background can better suit the feel of the video it's being used in. A white background could help to keep the tone lighter and happier, while a black background could come across as more serious and cinematic. At BiteSite, we have even opted for white backgrounds for this very reason, even when the logo would have appeared just as visually pleasing on a black background.

Overlaid On Video Footage

Pushing things a bit further in terms of creativity, logos can be displayed on top of video footage rather than simply on black or white. This requires that the final shot of the video is chosen with the logo in mind so that everything looks clean and works well together visually. Using this method can help to create a unified feel to the entire video; you're not cutting away to a completely new visual to end it off. Cutting to black or white can sometimes be a bit jarring. Rather, you're sticking with a similar visual look that the viewer has grown accustomed to as they've been viewing the video up to that point. Simply cutting to a different shot (rather than black or white) and having the logo appear on top can help to mitigate that jarring sensation you might otherwise create.

Even if none of the shots that you have available are well suited for placing a logo on, you can still use this method if you first apply a blur effect to the footage to have it appear less visually noisy. Many visual backgrounds can be used once blur is applied, some might just require more blurring than others. That being said, blur doesn't necessarily solve the issue of your logo potentially looking better on a lighter or darker background. Blur will only solve the visual noise, not the lightness or darkness of an image.

Composited Into The Shot

While this technique requires a bit of planning and creativity and can also require a little more work in post-production, it's not too difficult or time-consuming to implement. Compositing the logo into the shot refers to having a shot that is specifically meant to have a logo placed in it. This can be as simple as shooting the shot in such a way that the logo fits well on top of it, for example shooting an outdoor landscape shot with enough empty sky to hold the logo. You can also push this further and have motion occur in the shot where someone or something in the frame moves out of the frame, revealing the logo from behind. For example, someone speaking to the camera in the frame can deliver their final line, and then walk out of frame, revealing the logo which would appear to have been floating behind them the entire time. To see what I'm struggling to convey here in writing, check out the video that is posted along with this article.

When you use techniques like this, it can help to add a little more visual appeal and gives more attention to the logo itself. It can be a great way to have a stronger ending to your video without going overboard.

Full Screen Logo

Lastly, you can have a logo animation that takes up the entire frame of the video. Picture for a moment the Paramount logo intro that you see in many feature length Hollywood films; that constitutes a full frame logo animation. When displaying the logo in this way, you no longer need to display it on black, white, or overlaid on top of video footage. Rather, the entire logo becomes a video clip in itself which you can simply end the video with. Furthermore, you can incorporate this full screen animation into the edit by creatively wiping to it rather than having a potentially jarring cut from the video footage to the full screen animated logo scene. For an example of this, check out the video posted along with this article.

Keep It Simple

That covers some different methods you can use for adding logos to videos. When it's all said and done, you can always just cut to black (or white) and have the logo appear there. It's generally best to keep things simple or in line with whatever brand or company you are dealing with. When using any of the other methods outlined here, just make sure that it does fit in with the overall tone and feel of the video and suits the company's wishes as well.

Timclark
Tim Clark
Filmmaker, BiteSite

Adding Text To Your Videos

video production corporate video

When you get into video production you'll find that the more tools you have at your disposal, the better equipped you'll be to get your message across. Additionally, more skills will generally open up new and creative ways to execute on that message, helping stand out and be original. One of those tools is the ability to add visual elements to your video on top of the original footage that was shot on camera. In today's post, we'll be talking about one of those elements (text) and some techniques you can utilize to use text in to your videos.

There are many opportunities to implement text in video. Sometimes the decision to include it will be a necessity while at other times it can provide a creative and different way to communicate the message. For example, a title graphic at the beginning of a video to introduce a topic is not uncommon. Less uncommon, but perhaps an effective implementation, is including text throughout the video in order to repeat and emphasize points being made vocally. Text throughout the video can also help to break it up into sections and give it a more structured feel. You can also have ending titles or credits, closed captions, lower thirds to introduce a person's name and position, etc.

It should also be mentioned that while we are focusing on text graphics, the techniques outlined here can also be applied to any other visual element you want to include in your video such as logos, icons, motion graphics, and more. Let's get started with the first way you can incorporate visuals into your video.

Overlay Text

Overlay text is quite simply overlaying the text on top of your video footage. This can be useful in order to repeat and emphasize what is being said by someone on camera and can help to keep the pace of the video up by not needing to cut away from the main content. Oftentimes this technique is used to display the introductory title of the video. In fact, in any feature-length movie you watch, you'll likely see overlay text at the beginning of the film, showing either the actors names or the main title of the movie. So, now that we've classified 'overlay text', what are some techniques you can implement to use it in an effective way?

Text will oftentimes get lost in the visual noise of a video background. It will either blend in too much, or there just won't be a logical place to position it based on what is in the shot. Sometimes it's best to either just go without text, pick a different shot to use the text with, or use any one of the three methods outlined below. Let's start by looking at shade and colour.

Shade and Colour

To put it simply (and it is simple), if your video background is bright, keep your text dark, and vice-versa. Additionally, contrasting hues (warm vs cool) or different levels of saturation can also help the text to stand out from the background rather than blending in too much.

Drop Shadow

Applying a drop shadow effect allows you to be less restricted in choosing the shade and colour as no matter what look you choose for the text, you can just add a contrasting drop shadow behind it. If your text is light, add a dark shadow and vice-versa.

Bounding Box

Lastly, you can also separate your overlay text from the background by putting a bounding box behind it. It might not be the look your going for, but is the most widely applicable way to include text no matter the background it's being placed on.

Blurred Backgrounds

Blurring the video background is a similar technique those mentioned so far as it's about separating the text from a noisy background. All editing applications will likely have a blurring effect, causing the detail, contrast, and hard lines of a video's image to soften and blend in with each other. When you apply enough blur, the image becomes much more uniform and calm. Once blurred, you can place text, or any other visual element on top and have it completely legible, just as much so as if it were on a white or black background with no visual information at all.

When it comes to scenarios where blurring can be used, well, of course it's up to you! Generally though, this can be useful at the end of a video where the final scene eventually becomes blurred and the final titles or logos are displayed on top. Other than that, a blurred background can work anywhere else where you want to create a relevant and usable image behind your text rather than something more plain or design centric.

Composing Text with the Shot

This method is all about creatively and consciously positioning your text on a video background in a place where it appears natural, pleasing, and legible. There are two ways that you can go about using this method. First, you can have happy surprises where a particular shot just happens to have the qualities required for text to be added and look good. The second way to implement this is to actually shoot your shot with the text placement in mind. For example and landscape shot with only a bit of sky might be too noisy in all places of the image for the text to stand out. However if you shot with text in mind, you might include a lot more of the sky, allowing text to be placed against a consistent and calm blue hue. For another example, reference the image here, or check out the video included with this post.

Full Screen Title Cards

Lastly, you can add text to your videos by creating a full screen title card. This is the only method here where the original video background is completely discarded and an entirely new visual is created from scratch. This might sound like a lot of work, but it can be as simple as creating a solid colour that covers the entire frame, and placing your text on that. That being said, it can be helpful to dress things up a bit by adding some visual elements as well. In these cases a graphic designer would be quite valuable!

Full screen title cards also have the advantage of breaking up the video footage into sections. When you cut away to a title card, it gives the impression that you are taking a pause to acknowledge that a new point is being made, even if the audio of video continues to play underneath. Full screen title cards are very useful in educational content, pre-recorded video presentations, an otherwise creative ways to implement text into video.

That's it! Keep Text in Mind.

That covers four different quick and simple techniques on how to add text to your videos. Sometimes it can seem like adding text to your videos will just appear tacky and cheap, but hopefully these methods help to mitigate that concern. There are of course endless ways you can creatively implement text, but the creative energy and time spent on those applications might not be feasible. Lastly, the design of your text will play a big part in how it fits in to your video. It's important to consider font, point size, layout, and colour. While graphic design and working with type is entirely its own domain, the techniques outlined here will help to fit that text into your video once the design is complete. Stay tuned for more content like this and feel free to leave a comment below!

Timclark
Tim Clark
Filmmaker, BiteSite

How To Conduct an Effective Interview For Corporate Video

video production corporate video

In a lot of corporate videos, shooting an interview is often going to be a part of the production. Having a subject deliver answers on camera can be an effective way to create a genuine, unscripted, and impactful message for a promotional video. Usually, the interview is best suited for either documentaries or testimonials, but can also be effective in other forms of promotion as well.

In our recent blog and video posts we've been covering a lot of ground on what it takes to create your own testimonial video. We've looked at the steps you can take to prepare for a great interview, shoot an interview, edit an interview, and how to shoot great b-roll to compliment the interview footage. In this post, we'll be looking at how to go about conducting the interview as the interviewer.

This information can be looked at as the next sequential step after you've properly prepared for the interview. You know what the message of the video is, what questions to ask, and you're now sitting down with your interview subject, ready to hit record.

While conducting an interview doesn't require that you consider everything outlined in this post, the points covered here can really help to improve the end result of your video. This information is here to support you in having an interview where the subject is relaxed and delivers the answers you want in the most natural (and therefore believable) way they can. So, what are some things you can do to ensure everything runs smoothly? First, it's a good idea to provide some context to the interviewee before you start recording.

Prepare The Interviewee

Before you hit record and start asking questions, it's a good idea to give the interviewee some guidance on how the shoot will go. While you want the interview to seem fairly close to having a casual conversation, there are some things that are unique to a shooting scenario that should be mentioned so that the interviewee is aware. Additionally, giving them some context and guidance right off the bat will also help in creating a relaxed and familiar environment; the subject will know what to expect. So, what are some things you can let them know? First, you'll want to mention that things should in fact run similar to a casual conversation, with the exception that you'll be the only person asking questions. Other details to mention include the following: they should be looking at you rather than at the camera, they should feel free to talk as much as they want (more is better), don't be thrown off by your non-verbal reactions (more on this below), and how long the interview will last. Pretty much, it's those little pieces of information at the beginning that are either important enough to mention, or at the very least will set your subject at ease by providing some context for how things will go.

Ask More Than You Need To

This tip is something that can really differentiate a professionally run and effective interview from a lackluster and inefficient interview. Again, this feeds into the idea that you want the interview to run like a casual conversation while still getting the answers you want to hear. So, ask more questions than you need to and ask them in a conversational way. Rather than just rhyming off questions one after the other no matter what answers are given, listen to each answer and be genuinely interested in what the subject has to say. This will likely lead you to ask follow-up questions, sometimes providing even more insightful and effective answers for your video edit. As well, whatever tone and enthusiasm you offer your interview subject will strongly influence the tone and enthusiasm they give back to you. This being the case, fast-fire and succinct questions are not what you want to be providing. Whatever answers you're looking for, do whatever you need in order to mirror that tone and energy in yourself. While each interview is unique, this mindset will prove to be very useful in some circumstances. At other times, the subject will seemingly do all the work for you.

Don't Interrupt Answers

Contrary to how you might conduct your day-to-day conversation... Hold on, let's start that again. During the interview, you want to be careful not to interrupt your subject's answers. The are a couple reasons for this. First, you want as many lines spoken by your subject as possible. Interviews will typically last no more than one hour, so there's no risk of getting too much content and overworking yourself; the more footage you have to work with in the edit room, the better. Including yourself in the conversation more than you need will only lead to shorter answers. While follow-up questions are a good thing, do your best to wait until they are finished speaking to ask them. Besides not wanting to stunt the answers, having your voice interject their answers will make things a lot more difficult in the edit and at times will render some answers unusable. Most likely, you won't want to hear your voice in the final video. Any time your voice is heard, that section of the footage becomes unusable.

This being the case, you do still want to react to what they are saying in a non-verbal manner. In normal conversation it would be natural for you to respond from time to time with "i see" or "ah!" in order to let the person you're speaking with know that you're listening and understanding. While you still want to convey that you're following along, it's important to do so non-verbally. Nod your head, smile, and otherwise react in a way where the microphones on set will not pick up any sound from you. As mentioned in the first point, it can be a good idea to let the subject know at the very beginning that you won't be reacting verbally to anything while they are delivering their answers, laughing included.

Try To Have A Conversation

This idea of conducting the interview shoot in a similar fashion as you would have a normal conversation has been mentioned a couple times now. It's worth touching on again as it's one of the fundamental and overarching strategies you can use to get great answers from your subject. The more relaxed your interview subject, the more genuine, unscripted, energetic, and well-formed their answers will be. This point is also worth keeping in mind as you manage yourself during the interview. Conducting an interview in a conversational way while still leading it in the direction you want (in order to get the answers you want) is no small task. It's easy to get distracted, go off on a tangent for too long, or get uptight trying keep things relaxed and conversational while still keeping in mind all of the points you want to touch on. This is where preparation can play a big role. While you don't need to memorize all the questions (and having them written down is fine), just remembering to go back to them before time runs out is something to be prepared for.

Try Not To Script Answers

Videos can have a range of styles to them, from completely scripted with paid actors, to not scripted at all with relevant subjects. What we're discussing here is the interview where questions are prepared but answers are completely unscripted. The important thing is to stick to that format once it's decided on. It can be tempting at times during the interview to spontaneously feed an answer to your subject. You might ask a question that gets an answer pretty close to what you wanted to hear, but wasn't quite there. It's these times where you might want to say "that was great, but can you say that again and just mention...". While this can sometimes be effective and still lead to an answer that sounds natural, it will often do the opposite. Feeding lines to your subject will usually return answers that sound scripted and unnatural.

Another way this scripted tonality can creep into your interview is if you ask your subject to repeat the question in their answer. You might ask, "what do you like most about product A?" to which the reply is, "It's made with only the best materials". Most likely what you wanted to hear was "What I like most about product A is that it's made with only the best materials". That answer has more context and will better work in the edit. While it can seem perfectly natural to ask your subject to reframe their answer in this way and can even be a good strategy if you're just starting out in corporate video, it's usually better go about it in a different manner. Any time you directly ask the subject to rephrase an answer, it's more than likely going to sound scripted and unnatural. Rather, you can rephrase your own question in order to reset the stage, reset their question, and hopefully have it delivered again in a better way with more context. Continuing from the example mentioned here, you could rephrase your question to "Okay I'm sure there's a lot of great things about Product A, can you just generally talk about what you like about product A, and potentially touch on anything that really stands out?" Hopefully, your rephrasing of the question will lead to an answers that provide better context.

It's All About The Conversation

In the end, if all you focus on during your interview is keeping it conversational while still working in the questions and topics you want to touch on, you should have what you need to go off and edit together a solid video. The big take-home message is to keep it conversational and positive rather than a rapid-fire interrogation style interview. It can definitely be challenging to focus on some of the more subtle points here, especially if you're a one-person crew and you're running the camera, audio, and lighting in addition to being the interviewer. Fortunately, the interview style testimonial video is one of the easier productions to master, and more than likely you'll be pleasantly surprised in the edit room as you put together a smooth flowing video that does a great job of outlining the benefits of a particular product or service. We wish you well in your interview pursuits. Feel free to comment below with any thoughts or questions.

Timclark
Tim Clark
Filmmaker, BiteSite

Prepping Interviews for Corporate Video

video production corporate video testimonial videos

This week continues our look at the relatively simple yet powerful testimonial video and how you can create your very own. To recap, a testimonial video's main content is the unscripted answers a person delivers based on questions asked by an interviewer. Testimonial videos can also include b-roll footage and a music track. These types of promotional videos can be a great way to effectively communicate the value that a business offers. People respond to word-of-mouth recommendations, and if you're a startup business this is often the most powerful way to gain trust and grow.

Here, we will be looking at the steps you can take during pre-production (preparations before the shoot day) to ensure that your shooting and interviewing go well and leave you with high quality content to work with in the edit room. Some of the points made here will be straightforward and logistical, while others will be more conceptual and strategical. Let's start with our first tip.

Tip #1 - Figure Out Your Messaging

Determine the Key Message

Determining the messaging for any type of video or marketing content is an important initial step. It can be tempting to start writing down questions for your interview subjects right away and then just go ahead and start shooting. However, it's best to figure out the key message you want the video to deliver, and direct your interview questions accordingly.

Oftentimes there will be several ideas that come to mind, especially when it comes to the testimonial video. You could guide the interview in a direction to focus on a business's end product or service, a particular aspect of that product, on the people behind the business, or the problem that their business solves, etc. While it can be tempting to include several different points that provide insight into all the wonderful ways a business is effective, this can cause the video to be less impactful by not focusing in on one clear, understandable, and strong message.

So, how do you define the core message for a testimonial video? At BiteSite, we like to meet with our clients and have a whiteboard brainstorming session. For testimonial videos, this session typically lasts about one hour and involves a lot of discussion on all the ideas for the video. By the end of this meeting you'll likely have several different key messages. Circle each key message so they stand out from all of the other information and ideas you'll have written down during the meeting. Then, decide on one or two key messages to focus on in your video.

Apply The Key Message To Your Interview Shoot

Once you've determined the direction you want to take the video, you'll need to apply that to an unscripted interview shooting scenario. It will be necessary to guide an interview in a particular direction since the interviewee will be delivering answers of his/her own accord and is likely unaware of what answers you're looking for. Besides knowing that the purpose of the interview is to speak favourably on a particular company, the interview subject won't know that you're wanting to focus in on one or two particular aspects about that business. In fact, it's best that the interview subject feels as free as possible in expressing themselves, even if that means communicating not as favourable sentiments about the company in question. Having an authentic and unscripted interview is an important factor in crafting an impactful video.

Despite this, you can prepare for and conduct the interview in such a way to draw out the answers you want from the interviewee as best you can. To do this, write down the ideal answers that you would want to hear from the interview subject, essentially writing out a script for your unscripted video. From these ideal answers, create the questions you would ask to get those answers. Those are the questions to ask in the interview. While it's unlikely that your interview subject will deliver your ideal answer word-for-word and sometimes will even give unexpected answers, your questions will now have a much better chance of getting the best answers from your interviewee that support the key message of the video. Once your interview questions have been crafted, that's it; you don't' want to be feeding lines to your interviewee or directing their answers to suit your messaging. It's worth mentioning again that the interviewee should feel as free as possible to deliver any answer they want.

To summarize, have a whiteboard session to determine a key message, write out ideal answers that support that key message, and then create interview questions that would warrant those ideal answers.

Tip #2 - Scheduling Your Interviews

Scheduling interviews is all about having a smooth-flowing and low-stress shoot day in order to save on everyone's time and get the best content possible from your interviews. Oftentimes it will be fitting to conduct just one interview at the interviewee's place of business. Other times, you'll be conducting multiple interviews to include in one testimonial video and the time and effort will compound. Each shoot requires travel time, setup and tear-down time, and correspondence with each interviewee to coordinate time and location. This is where it can be quite valuable to strategically schedule your interviews. The single-most effective way to save on your own time is to conduct all the interviews in one day, at one location. If conditions allow for that, it can make a lot more sense than setting up multiple sets over the course of several days. Understandably, this isn't always possible as you might be dealing with several people's schedules and trying to find one day where everyone is available to meet up at specific time periods.

Proving that it's not always possible to have the most ideal shooting schedule, we at BiteSite have produced videos where the shooting schedule differed considerably from project to project. Sometimes shoots have involved one interview at one location, multiple interviews in multiple locations (crossing cities and even countries!), and multiple interviews all at one location. It all depends on the project's unique scenario.

Tip #3 - Do a Location Scout

Check out the location before you shoot there. Doing a location scout saves you from having any unfortunate surprises on the shoot day. After having everything and everyone arrive at the location on the shoot day, you don't want to have any unforeseen disturbances that make shooting either less than ideal or flat out impossible. While you don't need to become a location scout expert (you can in fact hire professional scouts to search out and find suitable locations for your shoots), it's worth at least visiting the location before the shoot day to make sure it's workable. Some things that could warrant a change of location might be audio issues such as a persistent and loud ventilation system or lack of a private and quiet shooting area in an otherwise noisy office environment. Smaller things to look for could be control over lighting (window light can become an issue), access to power outlets, and accessibility (stairs vs. elevators, and parking).

Additionally, visiting the location allows for time to plan how you want to setup your shoot in terms of framing and lighting. This can help to reduce time-spent on the shoot day and keep things moving along smoothly.

Tip #4 - Conduct A Pre-Interview

Pre-Interviews are a very effective way to prep for interview shoots. In fact, this is probably the most important point made in this article. Having your interview subject deliver the best answers in the best way is going to be key in creating an effective video. Pre-interviews can help a lot to achieve this. So, what is a pre-interview?

A pre-interview is a casual conversation that you have with your interview subject at some point before the actual interview shoot. This conversation can be done in any manner, whether that's in-person, online through voice and/or video, or over the phone. During the pre-interview you're looking to learn things that may influence your questions on the shoot day as well as establish comfort and trust with the subject so that they feel able to express themselves as best they can on camera. Generally, you're looking to have that initial meeting (especially if you've never met the interviewee before) to establish comfort and set the stage. Going through this process will also refresh and prep both your and the interviewee's minds so that you're both mentally on-the-ball for the interview. Having a pre-interview can be the difference between "uhh I can't recall at the moment..." to "there's a great story behind that...". When it comes to influencing your actual questions, the pre-interview can be very helpful; you may learn new things that inspire new and relevant questions that you otherwise would not have thought of or would not have been as well prepared for on the interview day.

Up Next

That covers four important tips to consider when it comes to preparing for an interview video shoot. In our next post we'll be going over ways to improve the skills of conducting the interview on set. Until next time, happy interviewing!

Timclark
Tim Clark
Filmmaker, BiteSite

4 Great Music Services For Your Videos

video production corporate video

Whether you're creating a commercial promo video, interview testimonial, documentary, animated explainer, etc., the music track will be an important ingredient in the overall effectiveness of the video. While it's true that creating high quality video content largely relies on the fundamentals of video production (things such as having your frame look good and recording quality audio), the music track can be the element that elevates your video to a higher and more effective level of communication.

In fact, the music track you select plays a key role in the overall feeling a video gives off. While the spoken message of the video might remain the same, the emotional impact it leaves on a viewer can be greatly influenced by the music. At times you will have a lot of freedom in choosing what style of music you go with, and other times you'll be looking for a specific sound.

In this post, we'll be looking at 4 different websites that are all unique in their music offerings and license terms, and together should be a well-rounded song solution for almost any video project. At BiteSite, we've utilized all of these sites for our many and varied videos. We'll also mention a couple of additional options that work for either zero-budget productions or productions where you're looking for a more original or unique style of song selection.

After looking at these valuable resources, we'll go over some strategies that you can use on these sites to make your quest for the right song a little faster and more effective.

Licensing

It should also be noted that while the licensing terms differ for each site (outlined below) all of them require that you pay a licensing fee in order to use their tracks. While there are always many terms and conditions outlined for licenses, you will generally be interested in two things: the term and the usage. The term refers to how long the license lasts before it expires (if it ever expires), and the usage refers to how many projects you're allowed to use the song in. Additionally, terms can change depending on the use of the video. For example, if a song is to be used in a paid advertisement, its terms and cost will generally differ.

We won't be going deep into all the legalities of music licensing in this post. The purpose here is to offer some options for music collections and outline generally how they compare so that you can be better equipped when going about selecting music for your own video project. Music selection can be a daunting process and sometimes requires a lot of time to be put into previewing tracks online. We hope this information makes that process a bit easier.

AudioJungle

AudioJungle is the first site we used at BiteSite for selecting our music tracks. It offers decent quality music tracks at low prices. Their site's current tagline reads "royalty free music and audio tracks from $1". While AudioJungle does offer cheaper prices than the others, it requires that you re-purchase the song every time you use it in a new project. The term however is ongoing; you can use the track indefinitely once purchased. The one-time-use stipulation can be reason enough for some to not use AudioJungle at all. Once purchasing a song, it's nice to know that you can use it as much as you want, essentially getting more bang for your buck. However, if you're confident the song won't be used again or you wouldn't mind repurchasing, AudioJungle's licensing may not be as much of a problem.

AudioJungle does also offer higher priced tracks, with the general quality of music increasing with the price. Generally though, you'll have a harder time finding a quality track to suit your video.

Pond5

Pond5 is similar to AudioJungle, yet differs in its licensing terms and generally offers a higher quality of music at higher prices. Pond5 offers the majority of its selection for an unlimited number number of projects, and also for an unlimited amount of time. For this reason only, we've said goodbye to AudioJungle and have used Pond5 ever since. You never know when a client might come back asking for a re-edit or a new version of a video to put out. Not having to repurchase the song is a nice thing to have in these cases. Even if it's not planned outright, knowing that you can use a song in multiple projects if needed offers peace of mind. As mentioned, we've also found that the quality on Pond5 is generally better in comparison to AudioJungle.

MusicBed

MusicBed differs greatly from the sources mentioned so far and is generally used for scripted videos that are looking to inject a lot of emotion and tone into their messaging. MusicBed provides very high quality music from legitimate musicians who create tracks that you could imagine hearing in a Hollywood movie, documentary, or high-gloss commercial video. You could classify a lot of the songs MusicBed offers as singer-songwriter style music.

Most of MusicBed's licenses are perpetual and single-use only. That is, while a song can be used for an indefinite amount of time once purchased, it can only be used for one individual project.

Since the quality is so high, you're probably assuming the tracks from MusicBed are therefore quite a bit more pricy, and you're right. However, Musicbed recently started offering a subscription-based payment plan that makes their songs quite a bit more affordable. Plans differ based on who is using them (personal vs. business), but generally these plans are a great option if you're putting out multiple videos a month.

It's quite impressive that Musicbed has a subscription-based payment plan for such high-quality songs and can be a very attractive option if it's the type of music you're looking for.

Filmstro

Filmstro differs substantially from the previous three options in terms of its service offering. Filmstro offers a software application that can integrate with most editing apps that allows you to customize how a particular music track sounds. To see how it works, you can visit their website. Basically, you have three parameters that you can modify in each song: Momentum, Depth, and Power. Each song can therefore be adjusted considerably. We've found this functionality that Filmstro offers to be very effective. It's clear that a lot of thought and ingenuity went into the creation of this software.

When it comes to its application, you can adjust a song to match your edit rather than vice-versa. Normally you would be editing your video to match a song's beat, length, or intensity. With Filmstro, the song can be adjusted to match your edit just as you need. As well, finding the right tone for your video becomes a little easier. Using other sites, you'll find songs that are almost right, but are just a bit too fast or have something in them that makes them not right. Filmstro can generally solve this issue with it's added functionality.

In terms of quality, Filmstro generally offers high quality tracks that you could argue rival Pond5's. Filmstro's tracks, while not as original and singer-songwriter as MusicBed, are generally more suited to scripted and cinematic style videos.

Filmstro is a subscription based service only and each song can be used for multiple projects for an indefinite amount of time. As with all music providers, licensing and pricing changes if you're using the music for paid-advertising.

Other Options

In addition to the four options listed so far, there are also options that offer music free of charge, such as FreeMusicArchive. Generally, these sites will have lower quality music, but can be suitable for videos that are not meant to come across as super high quality. Additionally, you can support musicians on Patreon in return for usage of their music. Each musician will have their own terms outlined for how their music can be used, along with a tiered payment system with different benefits for different price-points.

How To Go About Choosing

So, once you've decided on a service to use for selecting your music, what is the best way to utilize that platform? It's always a good idea to use the search tools that each site offers to the best of their ability.

First and foremost, knowing the right keywords to use is key. Once you've begun, you should start to get a feel for what results different keywords return. You might be using words like upbeat, inspiring, cinematic, calm, alternative, etc. You can also sort your search results by popularity, price, tempo, and duration. You can also search for a well-known artist that you know of that has the sound you're going for. Sometimes songs will have names or tags of that same band (eg. Coldplay) if the song has a similar sound.

It's also a good idea to create collections of songs that are possibilities for your video. Once you have a selection of five to ten songs, you can compare them to each other and hopefully find one that works best in comparison to the rest. Most websites will allow you to curate collections of your top picks.

Another strategy that can be quite telling is to playback songs from the website as you playback your video at the same time in your editing application. This can be help in determining how a song will match up with your video. Sometimes you'll find a song that you think will work well, but when played back against your video, doesn't match as well as you thought it would. You can even take this a step further and download a preview of the song before moving forward with the purchase. The preview will have an audio watermark, making it unusable for a final cut, but you can still use the preview to determine if the song will work in the edit. Once you're confident in your song choice, you can go ahead and make the purchase.

Happy Searching

The four resources listed above should provide a solid and well-rounded solution for your song needs. Song selection usually requires a certain degree of patience as you playback sample after sample, but having these strategies and a variety in sources will hopefully help to speed up that process. While the type of project you're working on will determine how much time you want to spend on song selection, it's always a good idea to put some effort into picking out the right track.

Timclark
Tim Clark
Filmmaker, BiteSite