I began work on my Final Major Project at the start of October 2012 with my original client, the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. BRIC-ITT is one of the organisations run by the Chamber of Commerce and I thought educating people about international business would be interesting and I strongly believe that international trade could help our economy in today’s climate.
Going into the project I had already learnt how to use a DSLR camera, edit using premier pro and complete pre-production which gave me a strong foundation to work with and improve on. I feel that during the process of making the corporate video I have improved my ability to liaise with clients as well as honing my production management.
I started by analysing existing corporate and promotional videos, to discover the codes and conventions of the genre. I learnt that simple formats are usually the most effective. By researching the subject of the video you can pin point the most significant information to pass onto the viewers. The client wanted a 5 minute video to showcase the services offered by BRIC-ITT.
After issuing a questionnaire to 50 people between the ages of 15-25, I learnt that a large quantity of them were thinking of a career in business in the future. I planned to make the video appeal to young people who are looking to start careers in business and possibly trade internationally. A similar target audience to The Prince’s Trust because they do a lot to help aspiring businessmen/women. The reason I did this is that young people are the high flying businessmen and women of the future. Using titles, upbeat music and the bright colours of the BRIC countries’ flags would engage my target audience without alienating others. The three questions I chose to focus on in the promotional video were ‘ What is BRIC-ITT?’ – in this section I would clarify the position of the company and their role in helping businesses, ‘What do BRIC-ITT offer?’ – here I would go into the services the organisation provide and the content of their website and finally ‘What are the BRIC markets?’ – explaining which countries are included in BRIC and how they can make a positive impact on trade.
Completing the theoretical budget for the production was quite difficult. Finding out how much crew members would be paid on a real production, this was done by looking at BECTU rate cards and researching other expenses like public liability insurance. Then the real challenge was making all the figures as close to £10,000 as possible, it was time consuming but now that I know how to complete a budget for a production I can use this skill and the template I used in my next production.
In November our class took a trip to the BVE Expo in London. This was a great opportunity to network and see all of the latest production equipment on (or soon to be on) the market. We met several professionals who were interested in the course and gave some helpful advice for my FMP project, reiterating that as long as the execution of a production is great the simplest of ideas can be effective.
On the 10th January I pitched to the client and I was pleased with the feedback I received. They said they liked by proposed target audience and it was reassuring to hear that we were all on the same track. I mentioned providing a transcript for the video (so it could be easily translated) meaning that it’s audience wouldn’t be limited to english speakers, the client particularly liked this idea. I had a bit of trouble with the delivery of the pitch. I have never been the strongest public speaker and tend to speak a little too quickly and not breathe quite as much as I should. I realise now that this is something I have to work to get over, keeping myself calm and having a little more practice doing pitches will help this problem reoccurring. Despite my slight dissatisfaction with my performance today, I managed to effectively communicate my ideas to the client and I was pleased to receive positive feedback and the full attention of my audience. The time management and planning of this unit came easily to me, organisation has always been one of my strong suits and I believe this is something that will help me in future productions.
However due to unforeseen circumstances, we had a lot of trouble getting in contact with our client at the Chamber of Commerce. So I had to switch clients and work with the Millennium Point Trust to create a 2-3 minute video for their brand relaunch highlighting the key information about the organisation,the structure of the company, the services within the building etc. Looking back I regret initially choosing the Chamber of Commerce as my client. It significantly delayed my production, I spent a lot of time doing research for the BRIC-ITT video and because I had to swap clients so late I didn’t have time to conduct my research for Millennium Point so thoroughly.
Although it was frustrating having to generate new ideas for a project not all was lost. The research I did about the codes and conventions of corporate and promotional videos was transferable and because the Millennium Point building is so close to BOA’s building it was more convenient to film, liaise with the client and I already knew a lot about the organisation.
Production began on 4th March, we filmed CEO Philip Singleton’s interview which would act as the backbone for our promotional video. We filmed using two cameras, one to be in colour and the other in black and white. This was a request from the client and made the video visually interesting. Shot wise I was very happy with the footage however looking back with hindsight I would have liked to be more assertive on the day of the shoot to ensure we got the content necessary for the piece. Philip covered all of the points we needed him to but because he wasn’t working from a script he tended to repeat himself or go off topic a little. This made the edit quite challenging because he didn’t use the question in his answer and the answers didn’t flow naturally from one to another. We resolved this issue by transcribing every thing Philip Singleton said in the interview, it was quite a strenuous task but it made everything so much easier in the long run. We used the transcript to produce a paper edit.
Once we produced the basic structure for the film we needed to make sure the client was happy with it. So we invited Lindsey to look over it. Luckily she approved and she agreed that we needed to get Philip into the radio studio to record some short clips to make the audio flow better and be more succinct.
The main objective I had was to fulfill the client’s needs, in order to do this we had a lot of meetings with them to make sure everything met their specifications. Lindsey (our contact at Millennium Point) said that she wanted the main focus of the short video to be on the organisation’s future and to include a montage at the end of the short video to show in a couple of seconds the building’s best bits. Lindsey made it clear that she wanted the video to reflect the general ambience of the building and show off the new branding. For this reason we included the branding at the front and again at the end, just to make sure people remember it. The meetings were very important because we wanted to make sure the product we were going to deliver would be suitable for the launch.
For the longer video we made the decision to use the interview aswell as various other voices for a voiceover to add variety and make the piece more interesting. The shorter one we used just Phil’s interview but there were some points he didn’t cover quite as well as the others so we showed the client the structure we had produced so far and decided to bring Philip Singleton into BOA’s radio studio to record a voiceover just perfecting the audio.
Once we were given to go ahead with the structure we could work on the cutaways to cover the voiceover and parts of the interview. We went over to Millennium Point to get some test shots from around the atrium and foyer. We did not use a tripod for the test shoot day, instead we used Monopods, which was a shame because a lot of the test shots we got could have been used within the video but due to a slight shake, we had to take them again with the tripod the next shooting day. I think our shoot days were pretty efficient. We created a shot list after we transcribed the interview and had our meeting with Lindsey so it was just a case of ticking off shots we already planned. This saved us a lot of time and energy.
We also didn’t have any extras with us during the test shoot so it was difficult to get footage of people enjoying themselves in and around the building. So the next time we shot we brought a group of year 12 students with us who were willing to act as visitors. It meant we could get close ups and show people taking full advantage of the facilities on offer at Millennium Point.
We also used the track and dolly to get the moving shots around the atrium to make the video look more professional and add a bit of variety to the shots. We hoped to use the Jib but unfortunately it didn’t come in time. I think we effectively used the track and dolly as a substitute though, the movement was fluid and because we had two people pushing the dolly along the track and panning across the atrium at the same time. It took a couple of practice tries but each time we did it, it became smoother.
We had some trouble booking a time to shoot in Think Tank because we couldn’t shoot while members of the public were there. We had an hour, before the ThinkTank was open to the general public. Luckily, I had been to ThinkTank before so knew where the most visually interesting exhibitions were. I just wish that we would have been able to spend a little longer there with some of the extras (We weren’t able to bring the extras to the shoot in the ThinkTank). In the end though, the video doesn’t feel like it is missing footage from the ThinkTank, we had enough footage from the rest of the building to make up for it.
When Philip came into BOA to record the pick ups for the voiceover we knew exactly what he was going to have to say because after the meeting with Lindsey we went through and picked out exactly what was missing. Philip took direction very well and we recorded what we needed very quickly. We were then able to use the rest of the time Philip was here to show Philip the video and ensure that he was happy with it.
Before the final meeting with the client we went through the edit, adding Philip’s newly recorded audio. We realised the audio recorded during the interview had a slight buzz and the new audio did not have this noise. We had to find a way to make the new audio and the audio from the interview to match up. Once the audio was corrected and we inserted the cutaways we had captured, another meeting with the client was set up. This was the final meeting we had before the brand relaunch so it was important we ironed out any issues the client had with the product. Luckily for us, because we had kept the client informed throughout the production process we had met their specifications and only had to make a few minor changes before it was ready to be exported ready for the brand relaunch.
The brand relaunch was the first time I had work I directed/produced shown on a huge screen in a crowded atrium full of professionals. I was very pleased with the final result and the feedback I received from the client and people attending the event.