Transform Any Lab Protocol into a How-to Video

How To Transform A Written Biotech Lab Protocol Into a How-to Video

I’d like to share the Biotechnology Video workflow process I developed.  It transforms any biotech laboratory bench top protocol into a step-by-step Biotechnology Video tutorial.  A Biotechnology Video will train users, reduce the number of calls to your support desk and help your customers succeed with even the most complex protocol.

A Biotechnology Video can contain on-screen notes, photographs, illustrations, charts and tables along with step-by-step captioning that can be stopped, rewound and played back.

The Biotechnology Videos can be uploaded to a YouTube or Vimeo channel, and can be hosted on any webpage. They can be made public or private granting access to the world, to any group, or any individual.

Biotechnology Video Production Begins With The Protocol Development Team

The protocol development team typically consists of the scientists who developed the protocol and the lab technicians working to perfect the steps of that protocol on the bench top within the lab.

Begin the Biotechnology Video development process by meeting with as many of those team members as possible to ask the following questions.

– What are the most critical steps for success?

– How prone to failure are those steps?

– And what are the most common factors that might lead to an unsuccessful run?

By asking those questions, we start to formulate a checklist of benefits that a detailed training video will bring when it supports best practices and prevents possible pitfalls.

What are the most critical points of the process and what aspects of the protocol would offer the strongest benefit if captured visually?

Are there steps that rely on achieving a certain level of translucency, opacity or viscosity?

Is there a color transformation to distinguish that can be accurately and visually rendered on video?

Is there a specific technique that delivers better chance of success and could be learned readily from observation within a video?

Is there a global audience of world-wide users who might gain insight from video when English is their second language?

These are a just few areas of consideration when planning a video tutorial but by referring to this short list of elements to consider, perhaps you will think of similar aspects of your own workflow that can benefit from being clearly presented within a well produced video tutorial.

Request a walk-through of the protocol with the people who will perform the steps during filming. This is an opportunity to gain added insight into the overall workflow of the protocol and to look at the individual steps to determine exactly how to use video to capture those steps. It is also an opportunity to see the actual lab space where the filming will be done, and to make notes about placement of lights, the need for detailed photos, and to capture back ground footage that might be required, and to note ambient room noise to be considered during filming.

In the dry run ask again what critical factors determine success and which protocol steps might present the highest possibility of a failed run.

Those are the steps that require detailed, close-up filming with maximum attention to every aspect of technique, process, and procedure.

Are there cautions to offer? … Are there steps for best practice to add?

A Biotechnology Video will Increase Success In The Field

Keep in mind that for a new protocol, successful execution by a development team may not translate immediately into as high a success rate in the field.

Ask questions about the learning curve to determine the level of overall difficulty of successfully executing the protocol.

Give thought to how visual and narrative based video training will best guide your customers along that learning curve.

To assure accurate correlation between the written protocol and the training video, ask that each written step be spoken and that the step number within the written protocol be mentioned as the protocol progresses through the video clips.

That spoken step number will be cut during edit but serves to identify the steps along the way for correlation within the script. This is essential to assure accuracy when adding text annotation to the video during post-production edits.

The person performing the protocol steps speaks the steps of the protocol, along with any cautions, warnings, or suggestions for improved results.

Point the camera at the benchtop capturing only hands, lab instruments, tubes, reagent kits and any other visual aspect of the step-by-step process needed to guide the viewer of the finished video through the protocol.

Proceed through the protocol from start to finish, recording each step along the way with an audio track of the technician’s voice guiding you as you go.

Biotechnology Video Production Is Our Specialty

Although a protocol may take hours or even days to record in real time, the final edited video is typically broken into one or more 3 to 7 minute finished videos for publication to a corporate website or any social media channel. This is accomplished by using the audio tracks of the clips that contain the voice of the technician speaking through the process, which will be paraphrased into a voice-over script for insertion during post-production.

Carefully correlate the video cuts and edits with the protocol steps as described by the technician and read back the voiceover script during post-production keeping in mind that the protocol is your guiding light.


While protocol workflow tutorial videos require special consideration, accuracy and technique, when well executed, they are an extremely powerful tool that enables your customers, field service support team members, and help desk personnel to experience the steps of a protocol first hand, without any costly consequences before undertaking the live protocol.

Your customers and teams members will thank you for that.

We Offer Biotechnology Video Production Services Worldwide

What we covered in this video is a fairly high level view of the video protocol production work flow but should help you see the strength of a well produced step-by-step, protocol workflow video.

Please contact us for details or with any questions at all. We have worked in many countries and we love to travel to client sites.

Thanks for watching.

~ Frank

I'd love more clients. Please share. But remember, I own all copyrights to the work on this site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *