Some jobs are simple enough just need to someone skilled with a camera and a bit of editing. Some require a full managed crew with complex lighting, possibly in a studio and with a siginificant degree of post production work. Or sometimes your business might need something that is made using motion graphics and doesn't feature any live footage at all. More often than not, I tend to find that most jobs these days need a combination of all of these skills.

With video becoming such a vital component of any modern businesses' marketing approach, its important when choosing someone to partner with to find someone with a good track record in all the required disciplines who can add value at all stages of the process, from the initial concept and planning stage right though to final delivery and distribution - so that you can be sure that you get the right solution for you and one that meets your business objectives head on.

There's often more to it than meets the eye, so to give you an idea, here's a quick run through of some of the more detailed aspects of the video production process, all of which are areas I offer as part of my service to my clients.

PLANNING and CONSULTANCY

So you need some video? Sometimes clients have a very clear idea what they want but often it takes a bit of help to get the idea right before anyone even thinks of going near a camera. As a former account director at one of Edinburgh's leading marketing agencies, with experience working with a number of high profile brands, I'm well placed to help you establish the right concept for your video. Tell me what your business objectives are and want you want to achieve and we can take it from there. You may also need help preparing a treatment and/or storyboards to help you get the project signed off. Of course, it's always worth taking about budget at the outset to ensure everyone has the right expecatations and to avoid unexpected costs later in the process. I'll also advise you on any other other aspects you might need to consider, for example insurance, music and voiceover. It's never too early to give me a call!

 

FILMING / CAMERA WORK

I can accomodate a wide variety of filming assignments - it all depends on what the job requires!

I am equipped with my own HD camera and basic lighting kit allowing me to respond quickly if required for a shoot at short notice, which is ideal for less demanding briefs and capable of providing excellent results in a surpringly large number of situations, especially where circumstances don't allow for additional lighting and I have to make do with available light. Examples of this type of shoot might include PR work, customer testimonials or basic interview or 'fly on the wall' footage. In fact, many of the examples you can see on my showreel and on the examples page were shot using this camera set-up.

For larger shoots, I'll take charge as D.O.P. (Director of Photography) and take responsibility for how every shot is set-up and framed but also calling on an established team with whom I regularly work to help with set-up, lighting and addiitonal camera work where and if required. For anything but the smallest of corporate shoots, this is often the right way to go. Camera and lighting choices will depend on exactly what is required and its intended audience / destination. I'll advise you on exactly what we'll need to get the best results for your budget.

 

MOTION GRAPHICS

Motion graphics relates to all forms of digitally generated graphics work delivered via the video format. Many corporate films are made now without ever reaching for a video camera, instead using animations and infographics -.perhaps with voiceover and/or music - to get their message across. I am also often called upon to use motion graphics to create confernece visuals, animated billboards and POS advertising.

Alternatively, having skills in motion graphics means I can apply these techniques to make high quality animated titles, intro sequences, diagrams and so on to conventional video. Most corporate films these days require a blend of live action and animation/graphic work so it's important to work with someone skilled in both. You might even find you need a bit of special effects work along the way - for I've been called upon to remove logos from moving objects in the past or add text to objects in footage which wasn't there before! You'll be surprised at what's possible so don't feel you have to be limited by your imagination - a quick glance at my showreels will give you some examples of the sort of things I am able to achieve for my clients. It doesn't have to stop at plain video.

 

SOUND AND MUSIC

Sound can plays an important role in the success of any video project. Music, in particular, is a common requirement and I can help you with both sourcing and clearance. I am also experienced in capturing good quality sound on set with both lapel and shotgun mics available as part of my core shooting kit. In addition, I have my own fully equipped music studio which allows me to record voiceover, edit, mix and monitor video soundtracks to a high quality.

 

GREENSCREEN / CHROMAKEY WORK

Greenscreen is the technical term for situations where you shoot a subject against a coloured background which is then removed in post production and replaced with a different background. I have my own portable greenscreen set-up for such situations and you can see some examples of this technique in action on my showreels where I have placed clients in 'vitual' sets that I have created digital using 3D models and motin graphics.

 

EDITING

You can make or break your video during the editing process so it is very important to get it right. I always edit my own footage for clients and for me, the editing thought process begins on set. As we set up the shots, I'm already keeping in mind the shots I will need to create a great punchy edit for you once back in the edit suite.

Once a preview is ready, it can be forwarded to you via download link for you to view wherever you are based. Getting the right edit is often a collaborative process between producer and client and I'm happy to work with you right through the process to ensure you are entirely happy with the final cut.

 

COLOUR CORRECTION AND GRADING

If you've ever watched a 'making of' documentary for a Hollywood film, you may have seen how footage that comes straight off camera looks radically different from how it looks in the movie theatre. This process is known as grading. It's now common practice to shoot professional video using what's known as a neutral or picture profile in order to give the editor maximum ability to craft the right colour balance during post production and this is a practice I also follow.

Grading is one of my favourite parts of the process and given how important a role it plays in creating great looking footage, it always surprises me how some providers overlook this. It takes a bit longer but is always worth it if you want great looking footage that stands out from the crowd.

Colour correction is part of the overlall grading process but also an important one in its own right, as it's vital to ensure that all the clips in an edit share the same overall colour tone so that the film is not jarring to the viewer. It can also be used creatively to solve lighting problems that were unavoidable on set. For example the before and after shot below suffered from the subject being in shadow against a extrmely bright sun lit background. A bit of work in the edit suite brought it back to life nicely!

Colour Correction - before and after comparison

 

TV ADVERTISING PRODUCTION AND CLEARANCE

I have produced a number of TV adverts broadcast on STV using a combination of both filmed footage and motion graphics. As well as handling the entire produciton process, I was involved from the outset with respect to tasks such as storyboarding and scripting. I also handled the all important regulatory clearance for the advert through industry body Clearcast and the digital submission of the final content to STV. There are specific rules and guidelines to watch for when producing content for broadcast but I have the experience to guide you though all of that and it may surprise you how affordable and straightforward TV advertising can be.