Tag Archives: Corporate Film

Corporate Film Production… that’s us!

Many of our clients still use the term ‘Corporate Film’ to describe the range of services we offer. The current-day term for this service is wide and varied – but includes any film content used within your business. This includes promotional films, website video, docs and business event coverage. Whatever you want to call it – Video Artisan can create it.

Furthermore, we pride ourselves on creating exciting film content that will help you to grow your business. We don’t just shoot and slice video – we craft films with purpose. Working closely with you we will help you focus on the viewer and how they should respond and react. You might be looking for a film to help selling products?  Maybe you are looking even broader for something to enhance other branding activities? Perhaps something more educational – or purely just creating video content for you to share online?  Whatever it is, Video Artisan has the skills and creative juices to deliver a cost-effective solution for your corporate film.

Business Video Production in Essex

Covering the planet, we are based in Loughton, Essex. Our studios are very well connected – with a local tube station, the M25 motorway and a choice of two airports nearby. We can be in Central London in a jiffy. And let’s not forget the beautiful Epping Forest which sits just outside our studio windows.

In addition, we offer freelance operatives on camera and for video editing. We’ve got tons of kit with all the usual cameras, lenses and technical backup you would expect.

Video Training

Bespoke Video Training

The continued rise in demand for online video has seen us providing bespoke media and video training packages to all manner of clientele. In the past month, this has included basic one-to-one coaching to local businesses though to specialist aviation industry training as far away as Brunei!

Though online video has been with us for some years, organisations are now really starting to understand how video can drive their business forward. And, for many, buying in video training and doing it themselves is the most logical way to achieve this.

CAT Video Training

A great example of how a Video Artisan bespoke video training package can help a business grow is our relationship with CAT Publications (Conference And Travel Publications). CAT have been creating print, online, educational and research content for the international events industry since 1987. Their editorial expertise and industry knowledge has helped them maintain their position as the most trusted resource for anything “events industry” related.

CAT are not shy about harnessing the power of video though. We have produced many films for them in the past five years – with numerous event documentaries on their M&IT Awards, Agency Challenge and Masterclasses. However, the next logical step for them was to start repackaging their extensive editorial output into a video format. The long-term aim is to create a vibrant online video channel of up to the minute news content and comment on the events industry across several their publications.

Video Training at CAT
Everyone enjoying the video training at CAT

Having already experimented outsourcing the the video element of this with their Intellectual Capitals product, they soon realised the most cost-effective and time-efficient approach would be to invest in the skills of their existing editorial team. They obviously didn’t need any guidance in journalism – but a well-structured video training and support package would enable them shoot, edit and produce compelling content, in-house. This would mean they could get their video content out faster and build even greater engagement with their audience.

More than just Video Training

Apart from the video training element of this service, Video Artisan also helped CAT with their investment in the kit needed for their in-house productions. This included specifying a lightweight camera system suitable for roving reporters, video editing software and all the video accessories needed to create professional looking videos (see notes below on the kit).

The initial training was spread over two days – starting with the principles of creating video interviews, developing a house-style and basic camera craft and sound recording techniques. Practical filming assignments were then followed with guidance on how to package up footage and other media assets using Edius editing software. The final steps included outputting settings and how to share content on social media platforms and achieve the best possible search engine visibility.

This is very much an ongoing relationship with CAT. The initial support package means we are going to be very instrumental in helping them to create their first two or three real pieces of video content. By then they should be well on their way to achieving their goals. However, as their video channel develops, there will be further involvement from Video Artisan that will see CAT evolve into the leading resource of video news and feature content for the events industry.

Your video training needs

Our main strength at Video Artisan is our ability to shape and develop video training services for any application or size of organisation. Through our extensive industry contacts and partners we can offer complete media training solutions – covering technical, creative and on-screen performance coaching to broadcast standards. If you’re thinking of creating your video content in-house, please get in touch for more details on our bespoke video training services. Email kevin@video-artisan.com or call 020 3602 3356.

NOTES: Video Artisan specified the JVC GY-HM170 compact 4K camera, E-Image EG03A2 tripod and accessories – sold as a bundle through ProAV . Additional filming kit included RODE NTG1 shotgun and Filmmaker Kit radio mic system. This configuration was chosen because its ability to easily shoot in either automatic, semi and manual modes – enabling their journalists to concentrate on the story but giving them the ability to develop their manual camera control skills over time.

Edius Pro 8 editing software was chosen for its ease of use and ability to incorporate source material in a range of formats. This is also the main editing system used by Video Artisan and therefore enabled easy remote support to CAT on future projects.

Video training with Edius
Video training with Edius
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Awards Event Documentary production

M&IT Awards 2017

Yet another Awards Event Documentary

This is the third time we’ve been commissioned to create an awards event documentary for CAT Publications.  It was very special this time though as it was their 30th Annual Awards.  That’s some achievement.  It was also another great reason to create an awards event documentary to remember it by.

This is an amazing event, attended by more than 1,300 key people from the top organisations in the meetings and events industry.  Its purpose is to celebrate and reward the very best across a wide range of categories.  This includes hotels and conference venues, agencies, airlines and banqueting providers.  Like all the best awards nights, the winners are not revealed until the awards night itself to an ever-so excited audience.

Awards Event Documentary A&O

The purpose of this Awards Event Documentary isn’t purely for prosperity though.  CAT use these films as a part of their marketing activities for the following year’s event.  In fact, the film is one of their most powerful tools in sharing the atmosphere and scale of the event.  For anyone who has not attended the awards before, this short awards event documentary will give them a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Furthermore, the film plays an important role in attracting entries in future awards.  As the only awards scheme in the events industry which is voted on by the end user, they are extremely highly valued.  The film therefore had to show the impact that winning an award has on the recipient’s business.  Likewise, the film had to impress the value of brand association for future sponsors.

Production process

The narrative for this awards event documentary was pretty much set in stone.  Shooting was therefore straight forward, with three camera crews recording the general atmosphere shots.  We also had two fixed cameras covering the main presentations.  The main host was TV’s Eamonn Holmes – and along with various guest speakers, provided the main structure to the edit.  In addition, winners were pulled backstage after their presentation to be interviewed by another camera team to captures their elation.  Whilst this was an extremely quick turn round it also gave us the opportunity to ask them their views on the event in general.

The backstage interviews, along with the winner’s stage presentation, were also cut into individual short clips.  These were then sold to the winners post-event for them to use within their own marketing to promote their success.  This enabled CAT to recoup some of their investment in the creating the documentary. (see example here)

Editing the main Awards Event Documentary was made easier by the excellent neon drumming performance by Spark!  They were spectacular on the night and provided us with a dramatic up-beat soundtrack to cut to.

Video Artisan and CAT Publications

This is just one event we work on for CAT Publications each year.  Other events include their series of masterclasses for the events industry – and also the ever-popular Agency Challenge events at which we provide video team-building challenges for the delegates.  There’s another one of these coming up in July.

More information

If you are organising an awards event, or any other corporate event that really would benefit from being made into a short documentary, then give us a call.  You might be surprised at how a little investment in a video film could take your event to the next level.  Call Kevin on 020 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com

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Filming a Team Building Event

Filming a Team Building Event
The story behind filming a team building event

2014 kicked off with us filming a team building event hosted by CAT Publications – namely the ‘M&IT Agency Challenge’ held at the Landmark Hotel in Central London. As publishers of Meetings & Incentives Travel Magazine, these events bring together buyers and sellers from within the corporate travel industry for a fun-packed day of activities and presentations.

This is the second time we’ve been engaged to film one of these tremendously successful events (see here). Through better engagement buyers get a clearer understanding of the range of services and destinations available to them – whilst suppliers are provided with the opportunity to build better relationships with new and existing clients. Going by the feedback from all attendees and the general atmosphere I think CAT Publications have got the mix of learning and fun in the right proportions – and it was great to be part of it.

More than just filming a team building event

Filming a team building event presents its own challenges, but in addition at these events we also supply video camera kits for the teams of delegates to use in one of the many challenges which they have to complete during the day. The video challenge this time was to create a 30-second commercial based on any one of the supplier presentations given on the day. If that wasn’t challenging enough, they only had 30-minutes in which to plan, script and shoot it!

Thankfully for them they didn’t have to edit it too. That was left to me and meant that I had to complete the edit on all six team videos only an hour or so after the last team finished filming so they could be judged and then screened later on in the evening during a gala dinner.

Whilst I was tucked away in a separate break-out room for much of the day either editing or briefing teams on how to use the cameras, my wingman for the day, Dilip Patel, was doing the ‘filming a team building event’ bit. This was far from filming entire coverage of each and every presentation and team challenge but rather gathering enough b-roll material so that I could cut together a 3-minute short documentary of the day.

Filming b-roll
Dilip filming b-roll

The narrative was achieved by filming an opening and closing piece with Martin Lewis, the Managing Editor of CAT Publications. Luckily Martin is a natural in front of camera and he also acted as interviewer at the end of the day to capture some of the feedback from delegates which helped us tell the whole story.

Video Challenges

The video challenges were staggered throughout the day, with either one or two teams doing this challenge at any one time. This started off with me giving them a very brief introduction to the cameras they’d be using. Once again we’d relied on Hireacamera to supply Canon XF105 cameras which were configured in full-auto mode to free up the teams from having to learn how to control focus, exposure and sound levels. Once they’d started creating their films I would then follow the teams to make sure they didn’t have any technical issues and, at the same time, capture of few shots of them creating their films to add to my b-roll. Thankfully these cameras are extremely easy to use in full-auto mode and didn’t present any problems for the teams who were working to an extremely tight deadline.

I’d installed my backup desktop Edius edit suite in my breakout room and, thankfully, none of the teams presented me with too much of an editing challenge – although not one of them managed to stick to the 30-second duration. This was one of the criteria the films were being judged on so no one managed to get an advantage in this respect.

Once the judging was completed I had to then get the files out in a format that the staging company could play out later that evening. There were one or two challenges with this but we got there in the end. The result was it created a fun opening to the gala dinner that evening where each team got to see their own film, and the other team’s, for the first time.

Kit used for the event documentary

Canon 5D DSLRs are great for filming a team building event but even they struggled under a range of challenging lighting conditions. In the main presentation area the staging company were using those wonderful blue LED lights to create a wash of light around the room – and this was coupled with natural daylight from windows and mix of tungsten and fluorescent house lights. No matter how hard you try it’s impossible to get a really accurate white balance under those conditions. During the evening events we had to work pretty much under candlelight alone. Other than that it was perfect!!!

Filming a Team Building Event lighting
Working with available light

Happy clients

Will we be filming a team building event for CAT Publications again? You bet! Plans are already underway for another one in the not too distant future. Like anything in life the more you do something the better you get at it. Whilst we managed to tick all the boxes for CAT Publications again this time we’ve got some ideas on how the video challenges can be improved further.

If you are thinking of running a team building event or corporate away day in the future and are looking for a fun and productive way in which to engage your delegates – and at the same time capture the event on film for future promotions – then please give us a call.

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Shooting as a freelance cameraman

I had the pleasure of working for Stuart Boreham last week as a freelance cameraman on a film he is producing about the groundworks taking place on the impressive Lots Road Power Station development in Chelsea.

Working as a Freelance Cameraman
Working as a Freelance Cameraman – photo by Stuart Boreham

This was a massive privilege for me as I’ve been a great admirer of Stuart’s video and photographic creations for many years.  As well as being a winner of a number of IOV Awards I think his body of work speaks for itself (take a look at his Vimeo channel).

This one-day shoot was just part of year-long project Stuart is working on for Careys who are carrying out the groundwork on this £500M development.  The entire site is being developed by Hutchison Whampoa and will consist of 13 separate buildings including two multi-story luxury tower developments.  With part of the development in Kensington & Chelsea and part lying within Hammersmith & Fulham, the site has not been without its planning challenges.  Now finally under way it will eventually become one of the most impressive Thames waterside features.

 

My freelance cameraman services were required to capture part of the action as a steel bridge was lifted over a creek separating the two sides to site. In addition to me filming on a Sony EX3, Stuart also had another freelance cameraman shooting on a DSLR doing the funky slider shots as well as filming from a cherry picker once the bridge lift was taking place.  Stuart had also located a couple of GoPro cameras, plus a Sony EX1, to capture a range of timelapse sequences of the movement. Whilst all this was going on Stuart was taking stills of the proceedings.

Even though there was a lot of hanging around waiting for the action, once things did get started it was all hands on deck and meant dashing from one side of the creek to the other in order to get the bridge being lifted into its final position.  I don’t mind admitting it was exhausting work.

I hope this is the beginning of more calls from Stuart for my freelance cameraman offerings.

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Filming customer references

Filming Customer References

Why you really need to start filming customer references

One of my most exciting and promising contacts came in towards the end of 2012 with an approach from a local agency on filming customer references for a number of blue-chip clients.  One of their largest and more prolific clients that use their services is British Telecom.

The agency specialise in producing a mixture of marketing collateral based on interviews and interactions with their client’s customers.  These marketing tools can be brochures, website content, fact sheets and/or videos – which are ultimately used to help their clients sell more of their products or services.

Filming customer references for BT

My work for them started with a edit-only job on a short film about ABM Rexel in Spain outsourcing their world-wide telecommunications infrastructure to BT Global. Filmed in Spain by a separate film company, the first task was to transcribe and then translate the customer interviews from which the agency produced a paper edit for me to follow.  Two versions of this film were eventually produced – one with and one without English subtitles.

The second commission was a short film about the John Taylor Hospice who had adopted BT’s N3 Mobile Health Worker technology into their practice in Erdington, Birmingham.  This was partly finished project which required additional and more up to date footage by way of filming customer references and BT representative interviews at the hospice. In a nutshell, N3 Mobile Health Worker is a system which enables health workers to instantly access patient records in the field – and also to enable collaboration with other health workers involved in their care.

The original footage supplied by BT was taken roughly a year before my involvement and consisted of interviews with various health workers who use the technology in their work.  These were all filmed in standard definition so I had to be a little creative in using them against the new high definition interview material.  Insetting these shots into pictures I took of the the mobile device overcame this problem quite well.  I also think the benefits of the N3 Mobile Health Worker technology to the hospice and their patients is very clear from the final film…

The task of filming customer references

Filming customer references and case studies are relatively straight forward filming challenges.  However, the work that goes on prior to filming is key to their success.  The agency are incredibly skilful word-smiths who understand their client’s needs and know how to capture the messages that will result in their clients achieving their goals.  They also fully understand the video production process and the best ways to get the message over using video.  Every shoot is therefore tightly storyboarded and planned – but at the same time they realise the benefits of using creative professionals such as Video Artisan to help direct and craft the content into something with purpose.

I’m now in the middle of the third film for this agency and BT Global which is in the final approval stages.  We’ve also started planning another film which is due to go into the filming stage mid-April – so it looks like this is going to be a regular stream of work for Video Artisan.

I’ll be adding these films to my showreel as each one gets signed off – so keep an eye out for them.

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