Remote Directed Video (RDV): A New, Affordable Way to Create Video Marketing Content

Corporate video production methods run the gamut, from simple smartphone productions to elaborate studio productions. Quality is loosely associated with complexity and cost, with a good number of low budget productions that disprove the rule.

A far better predictor of quality is skill and experience. In the hands of an experienced videographer, even the most budget-conscious productions can produce quality video.

Unfortunately, many marketers find themselves between a proverbial rock and a hard place when it comes to video. They lack the big budgets to hire a studio, and they lack the in-house skill and experience to produce video themselves, with the limited budgets that they do have.

Remote Directed Video (RDV) is helping marketers flip the script, to make quality video an accessible, powerful part of their marketing strategy.

Remote Directed Video, with the Emphasis on “Directed”

Remote Directed Video provides much of the skill and experience you may be lacking, at a price that won’t strain your budget.

RDV allows a skilled video director to control a client’s smartphone camera from anywhere with a WiFi connection. The client downloads a free app and enters a session ID provided by the remote director.

Once in the session, the director can control the client’s camera and microphone settings. Better yet, the app allows the client and the director to see each other and communicate with each other through the same phone.

Remote Directed Video Interface

This allows the director to coach the client through the recording session, as if he or she was physically present.

  • “Move the camera to the left.”
  • “That last take lacked energy. Let’s try it again.”
  • “Straighten your collar.”
  • “I could hear a siren in the background. Let’s reshoot that last segment.”

These are just a few of the very typical adjustments that an experienced director might offer, in the middle of a recording session. Small “bloopers” like these occur in almost all recording sessions, but they often go unnoticed while you’re focusing on camera controls, lighting and scripts.

Eliminating Creation Frustration

“Over the years, I’ve been on enough sets to be able to speak authoritatively about the common frustrations of shooting video. Large crews have their own dynamics that often lead to frustration, but small, inexperienced crews or DIY shoots are the worst. There just aren’t enough experienced hands and eyes to avoid common mistakes.

To this day, I do everything I can to avoid shooting my own vlog-style videos. Strapped for time as I usually am, it can take far too long to shoot even simple productions by myself. There are just too many things that aren’t quite right that only show up once the video is shot.

Whenever I can, I have someone supervise my vlog shoots, if for no other reason than to assure me that the footage is, in fact, good enough for release, so that we don’t have to waste our time with another shot.”

It’s the job of a trained director to juggle all these considerations and notice all anomalies that can render a video unusable.

With RDV, the director assumes all responsibility for technical considerations and coaching, freeing the onscreen talent to focus on delivering the best performance possible.

RDV improves the success rate of videos, and can dramatically reduce the time it takes to produce them.

RDV Dramatically Reduces Production Costs

When you consider all that goes into a big studio production, it’s no wonder that they can cost many thousands of dollars. There are multiple people to pay, expensive equipment to procure, and a host of other expenditures.

RDV, on the other hand is very affordable.

There are no camera operators, gaffers, audio technicians, or set designers to pay. There’s no expensive equipment to buy, and, there are no travel costs. This holds true if you’re shooting the video yourself, or paying a professional to shoot it for you. Flying a film crew across the country with all the equipment needed for a shoot can be an expensive proposition.

RDV is typically provided as a service. The service provider (usually a video marketing agency) will most often sell the service in the form of a set block of videos. Sometimes these blocks are sold on a subscription basis.

Many service providers also provide editing services as part of their offering. This ensures that your videos are professionally produced, from start to finish. Additionally, with central editing, you can count on some level of consistency between videos, which is especially important if you’re shooting a series of similar videos.

(Be sure to check with your video marketing agency for package and pricing information.)

Video Marketing Strategy
Remote Directed Video Capture
Video Post Production

What Kinds of Videos Can You Produce with RDV?

Technically, you could use RDV to produce any type of video you could imagine. Practically, the price advantages of RDV production begin to disappear with length and complexity. At some point, having a film crew and director on site becomes more affordable.

If you’re new to video, RDV offers an affordable way to get into quality video production. If your experienced has been limited to posting videos of company gatherings to social media, or webinar videos to your website, RDV offers an opportunity to up your game.

If you’re already producing videos yourself or with a studio, RDV is a good way to broaden your opportunities for video production where budget and geography might prove challenging.

Videos most suitable for the RDV process are videos with a single purpose. A single thought leader idea. A single promotion. A single customer testimonial.

RDV can be especially useful for enabling the production of microcontent, or content that would benefit from the power of video, but would never warrant a big budget. You would probably never hire a film crew to shoot a simple 90-second announcement for an upcoming seminar. It would be cost prohibitive, even though it would probably be more effective than a simple text announcement.

RDV makes simple shoots like that affordable, allowing you to bring the power of video to bear on even the most simple projects. For those already shooting video with a studio or video marketing agency, RDV enables a whole new genre of video production, to bring you one step closer to fulfilling a video-first marketing strategy.

The Best Videos for RDV

  • Thought Leader Videos
  • Announcements
  • Promotions
  • Sales
  • News Releases

Video Created with RDV

Video Content Creation Made Fast & Affordable

Create Video Regularly and On a Budget Cover

Never miss another opportunity to take advantage of video! Learn how to dramatically reduce the cost and frustration of producing quality video content


Download the free guide to learn how!

Common Objections to Using the RDV Process

RDV is relatively new, so it’s no surprise that some people are hesitant to jump on the band wagon. Here are some common objections and their answers or solutions.


The quality of RDV isn’t good enough.

Most of today’s smart phones have very good cameras. All the cameras certified for use with RDV are capable of shooting in both 1920 x 1080, and in 4K. A skilled director can adjust white balance, frames per second, ISO and other camera setting to help ensure that your footage is captured right the first time.


I include b-roll footage in my productions. RDV only makes sense for talking head footage.

Not so. As long as you’re within Wi-Fi range, your remote directors should be able to direct the capture of b-roll footage to help liven up your videos. Plus, a good director should have plenty ideas for what b-roll footage works best for any given production.


Why can’t I just shoot this kind of video myself?

You can. RDV is for people who want the assistance of an experienced director to help them strategize, handle all technical considerations, coach them through the shoot, and then produce edited, audience-ready videos for distribution.

Most video marketing agencies offer RDV as a turnkey service, providing everything from strategy at the front end, through production, post-production and promotion at the back end of the process. (Again, be sure to check with your video marketing agency for pricing and packaging options.)

RDV: Not for Everyone, But a Great Option for Most

Remote Directed Video solves a big problem by introducing a director to video shoots that would otherwise be conducted without assistance. It’s that extra set of skilled hands, and that extra set of experienced eyes that can spell the difference between a solid video and one that is not expertly shot.

RDV has limitations, however. If your producing a long, complicated video, you’re probably better served with a more traditional approach to video production.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking to get into video marketing for the first time, RDV is a great way to start on the right foot. Your videos will almost certainly be more professional than if you started producing video without assistance.

Early success is important with video marketing, and RDV could mean the difference between sticking with video marketing, and throwing your hands up in frustration and despair.

Remote Directed Video

RDV is probably not the best option for shooting a corporate documentary, but it’s hard to beat for shooting short announcements, promotions and thought leader videos. All that microcontent adds up, and supercharging the content with video can really make a difference over the long run.

So, whether you’re new to video or seeking to add the power of video to smaller marketing projects, RDV might be worth a try.

Ready to Give Remote Directed Video a Try?

We offer RDV packages starting at only $2,499 for six videos, with the assistance of our marketing experts and remote directors. Learn more about our Remote Directed Video production service.