A behind the scenes look at video production and editing
Here at 20/20 Productions, we’ve been creating moving image for a variety of organisations for almost 30 years. We’ve picked up a thing or two along the way, so we thought we’d give you a behind the scenes look at our video production and editing process.
Here’s what we do to make our clients’ video content stand out…
PlanningWhen it comes to producing videos, the very first stage is arguably the most important: planning.
Before even picking up a camera or a graphics tablet, we make sure we’re absolutely certain of the purpose of the video. Sure, interesting shots and new techniques are great to have, but if the video isn’t doing what it’s supposed to, then it’s not much use.
Whether it’s raising awareness, encouraging viewers to take action or simply to entertain, understanding the reason behind the creative is crucial to its success.
After that, planning the shots becomes a little easier because you know what you’re looking for. Our production team likes to plan out how they will get across the basic messaging of the video, and any shots necessary to convey this – whether this is through shooting film or through animation.
Sometimes, at a shoot, you might not have total control over events – for example, at a live event or outside location, you might not know the exact conditions you will be filming in, or what interviewees are going to say. However, by understanding the sort of message the client wants to get across and the possible ways we could go about achieving this, we are much better prepared to shoot a successful programme.
Using the right equipment
Any video production company worth their weight will have high quality filming equipment at their disposal. This is to make sure the end product looks as professional as possible.
At 20/20 Productions we’re big fans of the Canon C300 Mk 2 camera for the 4k quality and cinema lens choices, as well as its neat size and flexibility. For animation, we use After Effects and Cinema 4D along with Final Cut Pro X, because they are the best tools out there – and we want the very best for our customers.
Of course, we’re never too far from the latest technologies - we like to make a point of investing in the equipment that will keep our work at the cutting edge. Recently we used Go Pro minicams, drones and timelapse to film the stunning Scottish countryside for a client. The results were amazing, and helped to convey the intended message much better than could have been achieved with a single camera.
Once we know what we want to get across, we then set about making the story as interesting and engaging as possible – both from a narrative and visual perspective.
Good film makers will almost always avoid the literal route wherever possible – why spell something out when you could illustrate it, conveying the same message, but in a much more captivating way? Using metaphors and abstract situations are successful approaches.
A tip we often keep in mind is to consider the subject and then brainstorm how we can show a different side of it. The approach is not always the same – we might use an alternative vantage point, an unusual technique or speak with our client to draw out a side of their story that’s not been told before.
Whatever the chosen method, the most important thing to ensure in a creative video is to always ask the question, ‘what can I do to keep the viewer watching?’
In his book on creativity, Zig Zag author Keith Sawyer argues that creativity is actually enhanced by constraints. There’s no greater example of that than in the edit suite, where you are limited to the footage that was shot on the day.
We see the edit as an opportunity to re-tell the story in the most dynamic way – and it can get pretty ruthless. If it’s not engaging or if it’s not adding to the narrative – cut. If it can be conveyed more concisely – cut. If it can be picked up elsewhere in the film, or explained through context – cut.
When editing, we get to make sure we’re not patronising our audience by telling them what they already know, or can easily discern. This way, our video content is more dynamic, and encourages active rather than passive viewing – making it a lot more memorable.
By working with an experienced video production team, you can be sure your audience hears (and sees) whatever you want to communicate - loud and clear.