“WHEATON!!!!”

Quality Video Content: why it should start with extensive pre-production

The title of this blog introduces a recurring guest star on the hit comedy The Big Bang Theory. Specifically the person Sheldon Cooper finds across his gaming table playing the Mystic Warlords of Ka’a. Actor and board game enthusiast Wil Wheaton. He is known for his appearance in the web series “The Guild” (If you haven’t seen it and you love online gaming, watch it here, it’s quality video content), his role in Star Trek: The Next Generation and voice acting in multiple video games.

Next to his (voice)-acting, he is the host of the Geek and Sundry web series Tabletop. In this series, Wil plays boardgames with his famous friends and shares it online. The episodes are extremely well produced. Many television shows can learn from this honest and simple approach to content creation.

Interestingly, this web series actually lead to commercial success for board game shops and developers. Since the start of the series in 2012, a Canadian online gaming shop started to measure the effect of the release of a new episode online with the sales of the board game that was featured on the show. They only measured it only for the first few months. But others kept tracking episodes and as a result, on average the outcome showed that board game sales increased when featured on the show. This is the “Wil Wheaton Effect”.

Wil Wheaton effect relating to pre-production

http://www.starlitcitadel.com/helm/2012/05/08/the-wheaton-effect/

So this proves to us the quality content leads to increased sales and revenue. Key in this phrase is quality content. Just shooting some bits and bobs and editing it together doesn’t reflect quality. So in order to produce quality video content, you need a team that masters three basic elements: Pre-production, production and post-production.

Quality video content and pre-production

Pre-production might be the biggest and most expensive phase quest for quality video content. It defines, shapes and builds your content by research, idea generation and conceptual development. Iterating between timelines, scripts and storyboards to find the right content that resonates with the audience. In my opinion, that is what Tabletop has done really well. They research all games, play test them to see if they work on camera. They work on ways to communicate the joy of playing a game with a storytelling narrative. And even the slight angle design on the table gives the audience a good overview of the progress of the game.

In conclusion, when thinking about producing your own video, don’t just grab a camera and shoot. First of all do your research, test your concept and most importantly, prepare as much as possible to make sure you are delivering quality content.

Finally, if you read this blog and are interested in board games, check out your local board game cafe like Meeple Mayhem here in Birmingham. They have an amazing collection of games to play if you’re not looking to buy. And if your looking to buy some board games, drop by Waylands Forge or any other local shop where you are. They’ll help you out to find the perfect game for you.

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