The Ideas

When UK Models from the west-end, London, approached us to make a UK Models Promotional Video the first things we asked were:

  • what is the purpose of the video,
  • the intended response,
  • examples of similar themed videos that they liked,
  • videos their competitors have made along with any other videos they like the look of.

What UK Models were after was a script that would resonate and engage with their target audience so they’d be more likely to get in touch. This was not going to be a standard predictable corporate video.

After casually bouncing some light ideas around, you know, testing the waters, we realised that we were on the same page and decided a meeting was in order. Meeting the client in person, seeing where they work and getting a feel from what they’re after made all the difference giving us two immediate concepts, each with their own style and approach.

It was important to make both concepts unique even from each other to offer more variety. Each concept was packaged into a separate treatment with descriptive notes on what it would look like and the intended response complete with images and reference videos outlining specifically what to look for in each one. UK Models made their choice out of the two; we then went on to development.

The Development

We had the winning concept; we just needed to build it into a winning video. For us this meant strengthening elements within the concept while adding new elements to make it pop. Here we really focused on the scripting, its pacing and the look with the intention of shooting, lighting, editing and scoring the promo all within a certain style.

With the visual element locked we then turned to who would play the leading role. We were looking for an actress who was charming, fun and most importantly of all could follow direction. After a long day of auditions we found our lady in Sophie Wardlow who won us all over.

Next was choosing the location. We knew the look we were going for, a candid interview in a studio designed to look like it’s in the middle of a scene change during shoot. Camberwell Studios was a first choice for us although we still visited other possible locations to be sure, in the end Camberwell Studios had everything we needed.

Cast – check, crew – check, location – check, shoot date – check. It was then time to roll cameras and shoot this promotional video.

The Execution

First things first (once everyone’s in and had some breakfast) we had to dress the set. The aim was to create a foux set, sounds easy enough, although creating a fake set that has a consistent theme yet seems to have set dressings, equipment and props that are deliberate but appear arbitrary was actually quite difficult. Once we were all set up and happy with the set we began lighting the set which was the job of the DOP. Although we only had two lighting set ups, one for each setting, we really had to nail it to get the right look and mood which took about an hour including dressing the set but in the end it was all worth it.

The second set up was a photoshoot against a colorama with multiple costume changes. This is the part where things became fun because we weren’t confined to a script and just went for it freestyle! We had three looks for Sophie to be styled for which meant three different attitudes to convey; brought out with the help of the on screen photographer played by a real photographer.

Shoot day complete, shots in the can; then it was on to the edit.

The Finish

Here’s where everyone does things a little differently. One of the major benefits of editing your own work or at least being a Film Director who knows how to edit is that you are able to shoot exactly what you need and can see how it’s going to be put together while you’re shooting.

Job one: review and log. Every second of the footage is viewed and then given a file name relevant to the shot, what happens in it and quality. Once the review is complete the files are imported into the editing project and put into relevant folders. This is to make life easier so that you can find the shots you need when you want them.

Job two: assembly edit. All the various takes are viewed and the best are chosen and put in sequence. Once the sequence looks good (in this case) the cut in’s were chosen to match the feel and rhythm that was intended and once added to the video the first cut was complete.

Job three: track and grade. Getting the right track sounds easy enough but putting into action is an intensive job. After trying MANY tracks, each varied and original, we found the right sound to match the feel of the promotional video. With that done all that was left was to colour grade the video to give it a unique finish that I am very proud of (if I do say so myself).

Check out the our UK Models case study.

Tai Campbell, WebVideos Ltd

December 2012

London based Video Content Production company

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