Video Production for Schools

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I am sharing a video I produced recently for George Mitchell School.

Since the lockdown in the UK from the coronavirus, it has become increasingly difficult for Schools to allow visitors on to their premises. This makes it particularly difficult for school ‘open days’ where normally large numbers of prospective students with parents would be guided around coming in to close contact with teachers and existing students. These ‘open days’ would be a key source of information about the school as well as giving a sense of the atmosphere.

Therefore producing a video such as this is a very good solution to the problem. Hosted on the homepage of the school’s website it allows the staff to convey their key messaging in a very succinct way. The video also shows off the range of different subject the school has to offer whilst simultaneously demonstrating how happy the current students are in the teaching environment.

Perhaps your Business or workplace has been adversely affected by the lockdown restrictions and you are no longer able to host an event? Well, please consider video production as an alternative that can help you reach your intended audience and keep people informed about your organisation. Get in touch if there is a potential video you would like to be made.

A fun job filming Spitfires

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I had a great time filming these Spitfire planes for Formidable Media. As always with video production, no two days are the same and sometime you get to film a subject matter that really interests you. The Silver Spitfire in the pictures below is flying around the world. An original plane from WW2 could fly a maximum of 1 & 1/2 hours before running out of fuel but this specially modified SIlver one can fly for 4 hours.

The Spitfire was designed as a fighter plane for the Royal Air Force. It wrote history during the Battle of Britain. But thanks to its characteristic, elliptically shaped wings, it is also a genuine design icon.

The shoot was a big crew with 6 cameras on the ground and one helicopter for aerial photography. All the pictures were lived streamed via social media.

This event was filmed for IWC watches. They are taking the “Silver Spitfire” on its longest flight ever. The aircraft has been painstakingly restored over a period of 2 years by 14 specialists. An unusual polishing process has given it a high-gloss finish whilst preserving the patina that history has left behind on the metal fuselage of the plane, built-in 1943.

The big adventure gets started at Goodwood, in the south of England where I was filming. To cover the more than 43,000 kilometres around the world, they will need to divide the flight into about 150 legs. In the course of its journey, the Spitfire will have to cope with a gamut of extreme conditions.

The flight route has not yet been finalised. The details will depend on the weather conditions. However, it will definitely fly from Goodwood in the south of England over Iceland to Canada and then into the USA to allow the crew to take advantage of the comparatively mild weather conditions of the Arctic. It will then fly over Alaska and Russia to Japan and South East Asia before the pilots head towards India. The “Silver Spitfire” will then return to Europe via the Middle East.

You can see a video of the Live Stream of this very cool event below:

More information about this incredible journey can be found if you click here.

My latest Showreel for 2019

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I’m pleased to share my latest Showreel of work. I hope it shows the diversity of videos I have had the pleasure of making.

Advice for Editing a Showreel

Editing your own Showreel is no easy task as many freelancers will tell you. First of all finding the actual time to work on it when you’re really busy and then when you finally sit down to edit, you have to scrutinise your own work.

My advice to anyone wanting to make their own showreel is to just get out a pen and paper and scribble lots of notes first. Begin by writing down just from memory which jobs you’re most proud of and even jot down specific shots that come to mind. Once you have done that, you can then trawl through your hard drives to see what other work you might have forgotten and add that to the list.

If you’ve done a showreel before in the past but it needs updating, your old reel is a good starting off point. I would suggest itemising everything that is in your current reel no matter how old it is; perhaps even put this list into a spreadsheet if you are keen on Excel? Then go through it systematically and mark up what you want to keep and what you want to lose. I find having these notes makes it a lot easier to come back at a later date as you will be stopping and starting work on this a lot.

In terms of the editing process, I would get as much footage on a timeline as possible and watch through everything, just looking for common themes within the footage. In Adobe Premiere I used markers on the timeline to help show the length of each section when editing. If you want to learn exactly how to do that there is a useful article here.

Once you have a basic assembly of the edit, start looking for some music before you begin heavily cutting bits out. I would personally avoid music with vocals but there are no rules, if it works for you and your style, go for it.

After you have your first edit I would ask friends and colleagues to view your work and ask for some constructive criticism. Even ask for some outside opinions from strangers on online forums if you think you can handle it. Try not to be too precious over things which is hard to say about your own work; just really listen to what other people are saying and make amendments accordingly. If something just really isn’t working don’t be afriad to let it go.

I also don’t think there is an ideal length. Perhaps at 2mins 30sec mine is slightly on the longer side but there really aren’t any hard fast rules. A drama director or actor will need a longer reel than perhaps an animator or colourist, just go with what feels right for your type of work.

Finally, a Showreel is never finished. It is an evolving phenomenon, so there is nothing stopping you from making additions and cutting things out again at anytime.

Providing you make the time 🙂