Adapting Video Production for Medical Training: A Collaboration with LuMind IDSC Foundation

With year three of the COVID-19 pandemic underway, Skillman Video Group remains committed to working with companies of all sizes and building gold-standard content, and we recently teamed up with a non-profit to produce over 21 medical training videos.

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LuMind IDSC Foundation

Despite the challenges and setbacks arising from these new circumstances, we are proud to adapt quickly and efficiently to create the best possible end result for our clients.

At Skillman Video Group, our priority is to tell meaningful and genuine stories to connect companies to their people. Our marketing videos engage the hearts of the companies we work with and uncover creative ways to communicate these values to a larger audience.

We work with companies that are grounded yet intellectually curious about the endless possibilities of our acute command of video and firmly believe that, with a can-do attitude, anything is possible.

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Our clients benefit from a work process that involves extensive back-and-forth brainstorming to ensure that everyone is on the same page and happy with the end result. When the going gets tough, we persist in getting our projects completed in a timely manner, on budget, and with excellence.

Recently, Skillman Video Group was honored to team up with LuMind, a non-profit dedicated to Down Syndrome research and connecting treatment to those living with the condition. They focus heavily on researching and advocating for those with Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease; people with Down Syndrome are over eight times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s at age 55 and up.

Our Proven Process

Skillman Video Group employs a proven process with each new project that we take on. It involves six steps:

  • Discovery (gaining a complete understanding of who we work with),
  • Strategy (ascertaining how the video will be used and solidifying the key themes and messaging),
  • Creative/Concept (narrowing all the dynamic ways in which video can serve the strategy),
  • Planning/Pre-Production (the organizing of all elements for production),
  • Production (the days of filming), and lastly,
  • Editing/Post-Production (putting all the pieces together into a polished video).

In this blog post, we cover the first five steps of our proven process. We will publish a follow-up post once our post-production team completes editing all the medical training videos.

Discovery: Locating Purpose

For this phase, we needed to get a sense of who LuMind is and what they need to accomplish with our video. Founded in 2004, LuMind was centered around helping those with Down syndrome have a better life by funding more research opportunities, and with the medical training videos, it was especially important to establish that emotional connection.

We were able to better understand LuMind’s purpose when we were able to interview the CEO, Hampus Hillerstrom, about how LuMind was started to rectify the significant scientific research gap regarding Down Syndrome, alongside its persistent link to Alzheimer’s.

Providing resources to those who would otherwise not have found them is the crux of LuMind’s purpose. Skillman Video Group was particularly focused on defining the scope of the training videos, and how to make an impact with videos only seen by employees.

Strategy: Why LuMind’s identity matters

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The most crucial elements of LuMind’s message become the building blocks of the videos we create. We were able to find some of LuMind’s most important values:

  • Community
  • Excellence
  • Innovation

Using these core values, we can then determine the best way to present the training videos in a way that leaves the viewers with these important values impressed upon them.

‘Strategy’ is one of the most important steps because it determines what LuMind has at stake in order for these videos to be successful. Not only does our video production establish LuMind’s authority, but it also establishes that LuMind has the complete context of the problems they are solving.

When producing training videos from three minutes to an hour long, it was of utmost importance that the parts of LuMind’s identity were not invisible in the background.

Creative/Concept: Maintaining intentionality

This stage will determine the tone, style, and visual aesthetic for the final presentation of the videos.

Using the prior two building block stages, we can move forward to develop a method for executing the messages that everyone is happy with. The back-and-forth process is happening at all stages of production, and LuMind wanted to have doctors introduce each of the videos in short segments in order to establish an authoritative voice.

We quickly planned where and how to shoot these introductory segments in order to adapt to LuMind’s vision.

It was decided that the most effective way to shoot the training content and remain authentic would be to shoot it unscripted with a two-camera setup as if it were a live event. Scripting such intricate processes between the doctors and caretakers evaluating patients would not portray an accurate representation of what a trainee might face in real life.

Careful consideration of technical elements like choosing the appropriate camera settings all played a big part in the construction of the aesthetic, as well as ensuring consistency for the look of the training videos.

Planning/Pre-Production: Using location to establish authenticity

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When deciding where to shoot the videos, we thought it would be most authentic to shoot in a hospital.

Unfortunately, the time we had booked the hospital was also when the delta variant of COVID-19 was spiking, so we were forced to relocate to the shoot location to LuMind’s headquarters. Without access to the hospital, we had to bring in props to make each scene in the training videos look like it was shot in a clinical setting.

We were set to shoot 22 videos for LuMind in the span of three days. This means more locations, more crew members, and more storage and batteries needed for all the video and audio equipment. With so many moving parts, we were fortunate to have a robust project management system in place to make sure everything needed was accounted for.

Skillman Video Group’s purpose is to make you look your absolute best.

Not only are we focused on marketing, but we are also educating. We extensively coached the doctors so that they were able to not be interrupted by the production crew and so that they were ready to make themselves camera-ready. We engaged in thorough discussions on our expectations on both ends so that we were all on the same page when it came time for shooting.

(If you’d like to learn more about coaching before shoots, make sure to check out this video “How to Prep On-Screen Talent for Interviews“.)

Production: Trust on Set

We had to get creative with how we utilized LuMind’s headquarters as opposed to a hospital, transforming conference rooms into patient rooms, with specific set decorations and furnishings.

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An audio engineer was brought on to the project to: ensure premier quality audio in a wide variety of spaces, place the mics so that they captured complete audio but were not intrusive on the action, and deal with all the unexpected challenges of each new environment, ranging from basements to conference rooms, to a large atrium.

Alongside the technical elements that we had to deliver on, we were actively considering the human element of these videos and the emotional impact they would have. We worked with families and people with Down syndrome for multiple hours during the shoots and had to make sure that forming a trusting, comfortable atmosphere was our priority.

We were very proud of the way the shoot went and our ability to adapt to the always-changing circumstances, especially for such a large-scale project. When the details of a project are fully fleshed out and organized, we can be confident that we are delivering an end product that everyone is pleased with.