The 6-Step Process

Step 2: Storyboard


Deciding your shot sequence is easy. Once you have a general idea of what shots best help customers, choosing shots can be done at the shoot on the fly. Biveo recommends that your shots simulate a buying experience to help the customers envision what it would be like to do business with you. Here are our best ideas to build off of.


Hotels, Resorts & Rentals

Part A: Marketing Research Findings
Review What Customers Want in a Hotel Video

Average Preferred Maximum Time Limit: 83 seconds

Owner Narration: 14% want to hear from the owner/manager; 49% are indifferent; 37% do not want narration in the video.

Industry Overview: There is a general fear among consumers that the hotel might not look as good in person as the video portrays it to be. 70% of all consumers say they would watch a video before choosing a hotel when seeking.

Things that Improve Customer Interest:

  1. Nice rooms (large, spacious nice layout, up to date, 3D view, multiple rooms shown, large windows, full size showers)
  2. Desirable location (seeing safe, accessible, nice nearby attractions & restaurants, scenery)
  3. Appealing amenities (pool, hot tub, gym, continental breakfast, wifi, large TV, blowdrier, balconies)
  4. Overall appearance of hotel is nice, well kept (clean, nice decor, tranquil, spacious, luxury)
  5. Good pricing/deals
  6. High quality food service/dining and bar area (happy hour)
  7. Realistic views/honest picture/footage felt authentic/no surprises upon arrival
  8. Professional, friendly staff
  9. Concise/sticks to facts/gets to point/quick
  10. Well lit/good lighting

Things that Scare Customers Away:

  1. Undesirable rooms (Small, cramped, dated, bad beds or lack of seating, bad TV)
  2. Unclean or unkempt
  3. Undesirable location (impractical proximity or bad part of town, not secure)
  4. Undesirable decor (run-down, dated, cheap-looking, does not like theme)
  5. Exaggeration/staged/unrealistic/misleading/cherry-picked shots, cheesy or pushy sales pitch
  6. Video gets off track/too long/not concise
  7. Lack of amenities (no pool, gym, free breakfast, wifi, fridge, microwave, coffee machine, balcony or large closet)
  8. Overpriced
  9. Low quality production, vague or unclear shots, poor audio
  10. Parking (not free, none available, potholes)

See full survey results list of 44 things customers want in a hotel video.

Part B: Storyboard*
*Custom hotel storyboard coming soon. For now, reference the following general storyboard.

1. Establishing Shot: The purpose of an establishing shot is to show the viewer where they are. This requires a wide shot/long shot as opposed to medium or close-up. Providing customers with a big-picture, bird's-eye-view of the business from a distance will help them visualize being able to recognize the location when driving to it. (Narration begins in background)

Storefront/Office Businesses

Open with two four-second shots of the building, one from a distance to help customers identify the building in its surroundings, and one of the building itself. Try to avoid having anything distracting in the foreground of your shot such as a car. Avoid opening with a graphic logo unless it is on top of authentic B-roll footage. Another option is to slow zoom in or out for about 8 seconds. Consider including a shot of the parking lot to help people visualize the ease of doing business with you.

On site Businesses

The most common shot length is four seconds. If your business primarily makes service calls, open with the company vehicle arriving at a job site from the perspective of the customer's home. This will help customers visualize doing business with you.

2. Virtual Visit: Show the customer what they would see if they were visiting. If your business sells ambiance or a fun experience such as a restuarant, include close up shots. If your business does not, such as a plumber, avoid using close ups. Wide shots provide information, close ups build a feeling. The shot sequence for a restautant may look something like this, "wide shot, medium shot, close up, close up, medium shot, wide shot." A shot sequence for a plumber may look something like this, "wide shot, wide shot, medium shot, wide shot, medium shot." Make your video about what you can do for the customer. For some business types it can be beneficial to tell your story, if this is you, only tell it to the extent that it communicates what you can do for the customer. Avoid the temptation to make your message self-congratulatory.

Storefront/Office Businesses

Show what the customer would see if they were walking in the door. If it is a large open area, take a slow pan of their initial view. If the view is limited, take a still, or short slow pan of what they would see.

On site Businesses

Show the crew setting up and going to work.

Storefront/Office Businesses

Continue to take the viewer on a tour of the business with mostly stills, but including pans, zooms or rolling on a track where it is useful.

On site Businesses

Continue showing the crew working on varying tasks.

3. Cut to the Narrator. The narrator has been speaking in the background until now.

All Business Types

In editing, we suggest cutting to the narrator for the first time around the 20 second mark for 1-minute vidoes, or 16 seconds for a 40-second video. B-roll shots of the building, vehicles, equipment and staff take a higher priority than showing the person speaking.

4. Business in Action. Shots that fill the next 20 seconds (for a 1-minute video)

All Business Types

Resume with shots of the business in action, features, samples, or before-and-afters that will often line up with what the narrator is talking about. Try to choose B-roll shots that relieve the most customer pain, or demonstrate the highest level of difficulty. For example, a cleaning service should be shown scouring a bathtub or sanitizing the inside of a refrigerator as opposed to dusting a fireplace mantle.

Businesses that Sell Ambiance

Businesses that sell ambiance such as restaurants, bars, spas, theaters should incorporate more closeups and camera effects such as slow motion, shorter scenes and blurred transitions using the aperture setting on a DSLR camera. They should be more entertaining and include background music.

Examples of building ambiance for restaurants:

  • Close ups of beer tap, decor or food
  • Rolling closeups of wines or decor
  • Slow-motion shots of drinks or dessert toppings being poured
  • Shifting the focus from background to forground or vice versa (Requires a DSLR or Hybrid camcorder with manual aperture)
  • A flurry of short frames around one second each
  • Shots of smiling staff or customers laughing, smiling, toasting

5. Return to the Narrator.

All Business Types

We suggest cutting to the narrator for the second time around the 40 second mark if it is a 1-minute video.

6. Business in Action: Shots that fill the next 20 seconds

All Business Types

Continue with your action shots of the business. Repeat these last 2 steps, aiming to keep your video between 1 and 2 minutes.

7. Concluding the Video.

All Business Types

End with a shot of the building while slowly zooming out, and/or group shot of the staff in front of the vehicles, or similar final shot. If you want your logo in the video, place it on top of action shots rather than a solid color or animated screen.

Make sure to review the tips in Step 4, the "Shoot", before filming.

Step 2: Storyboard