Full service filmmaking
Whether you need a short video introduction for your site, or a more in-depth film to showcase you or organisation, I can help you to create the right video for your needs. I offer a full service including:
- Planning and Logistics
What type of film do you need? Think first about what you want to say, and who you want to say it to. What is the purpose of the film, and who is the target audience? There are lots of styles to choose from:
Simple interview or talking head based film
A simple, straightforward talking head video is an ideal way to get across information quickly. Seeing someone talking, rather than just reading their words on a website, has the added benefit of allowing the viewer to read the person’s face too – and to pick up on their body language. These are usually as short as possible to keep the audience’s interest.
Sir Tony Robinson offered to be in a short film for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) to use to highlight awareness of our ageing society. Short but punchy, this gets his message across in a concise and memorable way.
Press call video
A quick but effective method is to gather short interviews and vox pops at a pre-arranged press call for any newsworthy event you may be organising. This doesn’t take up any extra time from people’s schedules, and with a couple of hours to get the interviews, I can put together a short but effective video, within 24 hours if needed. This is one example for the National Railway Museum, which reached 25,000 people via social media:
Taking the benefits of a simple interview, and adding in shots of a product, location or activity makes a strong promotional film. Whether it’s promoting a product, advice or your organisation, a short video can reach people in ways other marketing materials can’t. Ideal for social media or for loading onto tablets and laptops for sales presentations. Quickly and simply sum up what you want to say in a short, visually interesting and accessible way.
These are usually 2 – 6 minutes long, though again shorter normally works best.
This first film was commissioned by the National Railway Museum in York for social media promotion – featuring Christmas dinner being cooked inside a locomotive! This novel event captured social media’s attention, with over 80,000 views on Facebook and Youtube within days of the video’s release.
For a more detailed explanation of your service or organisation, I can spend time creating a longer film made up from several interviews or filming at events or activities. This involves working with my client to develop the story the film needs to tell, working out who is best to tell which bits of it, and what should be shown within it. Having several interviewees helps to keep the viewer interested, and give a more rounded feel to the film.
These tend to be up to 15 minutes long.
This example is a visit to North Bransholme Estate in Hull 5 years after The Riverside Housing Group took over running it. Featuring interviews with local residents and staff members, and a catch up with the Lord Mayor of Hull. It looks at how they developed housing for people suffering under the bedroom tax, as well as building the first new houses on the estate for over 40 years.
Presentations and conferences
If you need a presentation filming, for instance to host online at some point after the event, I can set-up at any venue and capture it, taking a live audio feed from the presentation system for best quality sound. If you have slides available from the presentations these can be incorporated into the final video too.
This video summarises a conference put on by MyKnowledgeMap to let potential clients learn more about their software packages, featuring vox pops and clips from the conference.
If you’re thinking of filming a conference, there are several things you should think about.
It’s always good if I can come to see the venue before the actual conference. If you’re having a visit beforehand I always offer to come along with you, that way I can decide where camera’s could go and talk this through with you so there are no problems on the day. It’s also a chance to find out what sound system the venue has, if any, and to think about how best to capture audio.
It’s best to film on a minimum of two camera’s to allow the edit to have some variety. They will need to be positioned so each camera has a good shot, which sometimes means they take up space near delegates. On the whole delegates are fine being sat next to a camera – It usually means they wont appear on camera themselves which makes them happy!
It’s best to get set-up early, so I always aim to be ready at least an hour before delegates arrive, so I’m ready for the start of the conference and also I’m not getting in anyone’s way whilst setting up tripods and microphones. I always aim to be discrete and to take up the smallest amount of room as possible.
Lighting can be tricky – conference rooms are normally lit for the benefit of the audience rather than camera’s. Often venues have fairly low lighting, and unless you want separate spotlights on the speaker (which can be arranged) we just have to make-do. The camera’s will work fine under low light, but the image is only going to be as bright as it was in the room on the day.
Windows also make a big difference – bright sunny days can be difficult if sun is streaming through the window, and if it’s a long day the sun will be in different positions throughout the day. Also if there’s a projector, it’s likely the room will be darker so that it shows up better. But all these things can be worked around with some pre-planning and awareness.
What do you want the output to be?
It’s important to decide beforehand what you want to do with the finished footage. Capturing everything that happens over for instance an 8 hour conference, means that there will be 8 hours of footage to edit. Do you want it all? How will it be distributed – online, by DVD or memory stick? Would you like a compilation of clips to sum up the conference in a short 3 – 5 minute film? The more footage there is, the more time it’ll take to edit it down.
Need to promote a new position or job role to a wide audience? Want to do it on social media? A short video offers a quick insight into what a job will entail, with a chance for people currently in that role to explain what they do in easy to understand terms. I made this for North Yorkshire Police and they saw a large increase in the number of people applying for positions as a result of the campaign.
Educational and training
Video is an ideal medium for getting educational or training messages across. Videos can be watched multiple times as and when the viewer wants or needs to, and also watched anywhere they have internet or DVD access, including on phones.
I filmed, edited and authored a training DVD and CD resource detailing how to carry out the Comet Assay procedure for the Department of Nutrition at the University of Oslo. It was shot in Norway, carefully covering the eight different stages in a way that is easy to follow for training purposes. I also authored a DVD with supporting materials on a CD for this project.
Social enterprise and charities
I work a lot with Social Enterprises and Charities, so am well used to working on a tight budget, and also in crafting a careful message about specific messages, issues or campaigns.
The Beautiful Splint Company makes medical jewellery for people who need specific support for their joints, for instance due to arthritis. This film follows Emma, an artist who has Ring Splints made for her fingers due to hypermobility caused by Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which has also resulted in arthritis in her finger joints.
Something a bit different??
If you want something totally different to the above – have you ever considered animation? It’s a very effective way to get messages across, especially if those messages are a bit of a hard sell…
This first example shows hand drawn timelapse animation being used to create a distinct and vibrant style.
I was commissioned to animate 16 films based on storybooks written and illustrated for a project to teach children good toothbrushing skills. This second example is a compilation of scenes from several of these books, the final films were between 5 and 8 minutes long. I recorded the author, Miles Salter, reading the stories, and was given pdf artwork of each book, brilliantly designed and illustrated by ponybox.com. Animated using Toon Boom software, the films were for Queen Mary University London.