Promotional Video


The Making Of Documentary – Media & Make Up

Film Editing Criteria 1.1, 1.2,3.1 & 3.2

On 12th March myself, Frankie, Craig,  Andrew, Vicky and Sam were asked to film a ‘making of’ style video for the Media Make-Up Department as they helped out the BSC students with a short, zombie based film. We arrived in the morning and began to shoot straight away. Throughout the day we followed the media make up students as they prepared actors and got them looking the part. In the afternoon we focused more on the behind the scenes action of the BSC students as they shot the film.

The day was a great experience and I enjoyed helping out. It was a useful insight in to how the BSC students shoot their films compared to us and it was nice getting to know some of the Media Make-Up students.

Below is a screenshot of the editing process after I had acquired all the footage we had. There was an issue when Sam’s video footage went missing but we had to just use the footage we already had and stills.

Screen Shot

Here is my final edit of the day:

Evaluation of Promotional Video

Assessment Task 4 – (Criteria 4.1 & 4.2)

Evaluation of Chevrolet Promo Video

On Monday 29th April, after everybody had finished their videos, ourselves and the BSC students did a critical analysis of everybody’s videos in the film studio. This was to get essential feedback for our videos and to see where they could be improved or adapted. Feedback forms were given out to everybody. Assigned randomly, the forms contained a few different questions on different videos, this was to give a wide opinion and get a fair representation of people’s views on each video. All the feedback was anonymous. Some of the feedback we received can be seen below:

‘Sound effects were good, could have been improved with more time.’

‘The video was funny, universal and hit the brief well.’

‘I liked the sounds of the characters. It could have shown more of the football match.’

‘Fantastic stop motion and could have been improved with more time.’

Overall I was very pleased with the video. Given more time I think we could have made the movements of the Play-Doh more fluid and life like. I would have also liked to experiment with some more effects but as this was our first attempt at a ‘claymation’ film I was very proud of the work we accomplished in a relatively small amount of time.

Evaluation of ‘The Edge’

This project was a pleasure to work on. Everybody worked very well together and the performing arts students were a joy to work with and showed professionalism of the highest standards. I hope to work with them again. The finished product was shown before the live performance at Melton Theatre, which I attended. I was extremely pleased with how the video looked; it was received well by the audience and received a well deserved round of applause.

To conclude, I was very pleased with this entire project and find it difficult to think of things I would do differently if I had the chance.

Jon Holmes comments on ‘The Edge’:

HND students and Level 3 Acting students have been working collaboratively to create a short promo for the forthcoming, self-devised Acting Performance of Macbeth, called ‘The Edge’.

The shoot was a short, but very intensive day; in very hostile working conditions in a Bolier Room. The performers not only had to adapt to the conditions, but also stay focused on character and theme when called upon. As with all shoots of this type and quality, there were numerous takes needed from varying angles. Each set-up or shot would take 30 mins to an hour to compose and light, which required focus and dedication from the actors to produce when called upon; not one of them found wanting.

Additionally, the film was shot on Film Standard Prime lenses. This gives the promo that “filmic” look, but also gave the performers another, added restriction to their performances, namely: shallow depth of field. On all shots, the performers had little or no room for error having to work within a very confined focal range of 5 – 10 mm, which meant that the students had to hit their ‘Marks’, or they wouldn’t be in focus. This calls upon multi-stranded concentration –   using physical memory and procedure – whilst staying true to the core of their characters and physical performance.

The HND Moving Image students worked very hard to not only preserve the inherent themes of the brief/adaptation through the aesthetic of the piece, but also to work within very tight and filthy conditions. This was a real test to not only light a shot for aesthetic, but also to work with limited power requirements and space. Again, like the actors, all students were very professional in their approach and produced very professional results in a relatively short space of time.

Moving Image students commented on the fact that this was only made possible by working effectively and positively as a team across both the other moving image students and the actors alike. They said that the focus and the commitment of the actors made the project possible and without the performers’ dedication to the shoot and to the process of filming, it wouldn’t have worked.

The Development of Promotional Video

Assessment Task 1 – (Criteria 1.1)

A Critical Review of the Development of Promo Practice, Codes and Conventions.

Promotional video has been around for many years and has been used in many different ways. Whether it is to promote a new product or simply to gain publicity, promotional videos have become an important part of both the moving image industry and for businesses throughout the world. Promotional videos come in many different forms, some use facts and statistics to clearly get a message or information across; others use a more artistic approach and convey a message through music or association to advertise. As the name suggests, the main purpose of the promotional video is to promote a business or a product, all the biggest companies in the world use promotional videos in one way or another to advertise themselves and their products or services. I will be looking into the development of different types of promotional video.

In my opinion, there are two types of promotional video used for advertising. There are videos that showcase a product or a company and promote its benefits and services through demonstration. A good example of this technique is Google’s promotional video for Google Glass. This futuristic video shows people all over the world using Google Glass to call friends, take pictures and capture their activities on camera, all combined with an upbeat music soundtrack. The entire video is shot from a first person perspective; this allows the audience to clearly see exactly what the product is and what it does. Although only a lucky handful of people are able to actually use Google Glass, with over twenty-one million views online, this video allows everybody to get an idea of what it is like to use the product. The two minute video concisely shows viewers what Google Glass is and what it does but still leaves them wanting to find out more, thus creating more business and publicity for Google with every view and every share of a simple two minute video.

The other type of promotional video is used simply to create a ‘buzz’ about a company or product, without necessarily showing the company or product in detail. If a video captures the attention of the viewer and makes an impact then it will be passed on and shared with other people, creating a snowball effect that results in hundreds, thousands or even millions of views. Even if the video has nothing to do with the product or company, if it is seen by millions then people will be aware of the video and the company. One of my personal favourite companies for using this technique is German car Manufacturers Audi. Audi have a very strong presence online and in the video community due to their effective promotional videos. In 2013 Audi released an online video entitled ‘Prom’, lasting one minute, the video is basically a very short film about a student going to the prom without a date and being given his father’s Audi for the night. Instead of showcasing the car in great detail, Audi focused more on how driving the car makes you feel, prompting the ‘Bravery – It’s What Defines Us’ slogan. This video has over ten million views online, that’s ten million people who are aware of Audi and what they do which is why I believe promotional videos like this have the power to turn viewers into customers.

Music has become an integral part of promotional videos. The use of songs in television adverts and promotional videos can be extremely effective and can promote the song as much as the product. After Sony used Jose Gonzales’ acoustic cover of the song ‘Heartbeats’ in its 2005 video for the new Bravia television line, the track went on to be released as a single in 2006 and reach the top ten in the UK singles chart. Similarly, products are sometimes shown in music videos as a way of advertising to a certain target audience, for example Mini featured one of their cars in a One Direction music video, promoting their cars to hysterical teenage girls/the younger generation.

The final type of promotional video that I will be looking at is health and safety videos, specifically road safety videos. This type of promotional video uses different techniques to get across a similar message. In 1998, THINK! Road Safety released the video campaign of two animated hedgehogs singing about road safety, this was directed at young children in an attempt to teach them about crossing the road safely. This was a very simple and direct approach to advertising road safety which was perfect for the target audience. The music combined with the message ‘Stop Look Listen Live’ at the end was a great way of getting young children to remember the message. Compare this to the new 2013 anti-speeding video, aimed at young drivers which use a very different technique to grab the audience’s attention. The video is dark and has a depressing feel about it, using fast cuts builds the tension up to a car crash which results in the driver of the car becoming paralyzed.  Graphically showing the consequences of speeding uses shock value to get across the message and I think this technique works very well for the target audience.

Promotional video is a hugely important tool for companies and as technology and social media evolve I think that videos promoting products and services will become more in demand by companies throughout the world, from small privately owned companies to multinational conglomerates. There are many different techniques and methods of using promotional videos, ranging from animated singing hedgehogs and graphic recreations of car crashes, to modern and artistic showcasing of a new luxury car. An effective promotional video must consider the codes and conventions it uses in order to attract the attention from its target audience. Editing techniques, effects and the use of music are just a few of the techniques that can create a memorable promotional video. A successful promotional video can drastically raise the profile of corporations and businesses which is why I believe that promotional videos will be around for many years to come and will continue to advance in new and exciting ways that will benefit both the companies and the moving image industry.

Promotional Video – Paul Lee

Assessment Task 2 – (Criteria 2.1 & 2.2)

Plan a promotional video.

In February, I, Joey, Richard and Pete were asked to create a short promotional video for Paul Lee, a performer who covers the songs of Meatloaf.

Mr Lee was due to perform in the Brooksby Melton College Theatre so we would be there on the night to gather as much footage as we could for the video. On the night of Friday the 8th, we all met at college with our 550D cameras, tripods, spare batteries and memory cards. We decided to film at 1080 x 1920 at 25fps and positioned ourselves at various locations around the stage, I and Joey were at the front, behind the barriers so we couldn’t be seen by the audience ad Richard and Pete were each side of the stage.

I and Joey were attempting to get close up shots of the performance with some focus pulls, and filler shots. The show lasted just over two hours with a thirty minute interval in which we exported the footage on to a Mac before continuing filming in the second half. For the audio, we asked the sound technician at the theatre to record what he could, which turned out well and we transferred it straight on to the Mac with the footage ready for the edit.

Client Work – BMC High School Musical

Assessment Task 2 (Criteria 2.1 & 2.2)

On May 20th, myself, Joey, Frankie, Jordan and Andrew volunteered to film our college’s performance of High School Musical in the theater. The showing would be performed by the first year performing arts and musical theater students.

Before the show, everybody booked out and gathered the equipment we would be using for the night. The equipment list consisted of:

  • 4 x Cannon 550d’s with a spare battery for each camera. (All with SD cards)
  • 2 x 32gb SD cards 1 x 64gb SD card and 4 x 8gb SD cards
  • 3 x tripods
  • 2 x mic stands with road mics with 2 XLR cables
  • 1 x zoom microphone

Our original plan was to ask the theater technicians to record the audio as we have asked them to do on previous projects, however when Joey and Jordan asked we found out that it wouldn’t be possible due to technical difficulties. Our plan B was to use two microphones, located at the side of the stage, to capture the audio. A friend from the BSC, Nick, suggested using the zoom microphone in the center of the stage whilst using the Rode microphones at the side of the stage in order to capture the audio from three different places. We proceeded to use this set-up and although it wasn’t as clean sounding as the technical recording we had planned first, it was still usable for post-production.

After we sorted out the sound recording issues, we decided where we would all be sat for the filming process. Joey was located center stage, below the boards at the front for central views and close ups. Myself and Frankie where located at either side of the stage to get establishing/cross shots. And Jordan and Andrew where located at the back of the theater to get wide angle shots.

The show began and we stated to film. As the show went on, we all encountered a few problems. There were problems with the camera focus from Jordan’s camera, which was sorted out quickly. Mid way through the first half my battery power began to die, but fortunately we had put a spare on charge by me in case so that was also changed quickly. Frankie and I were also both short on memory from the memory cards, so we selectively chose which bits to film between ourselves. After a short interval, we continued the film the second half of the show with little trouble.

Overall, I feel this production was a success. Although we all had problems to deal with, I think everybody performed well under the pressure. I would be happy to work with the same people again, in the same conditions. However this did teach us all to thoroughly prepare and double check all aspects of the camera, including memory and battery life.

Promotional Video – Chevrolet

Assessment Task 3 – (Criteria 2.1, 2.2 3.1 & 3.2)

Produce a promotional video.

For this task, our class was put into small groups of 2-4 people and informed on an annual competition that Chevrolet run. The competition required us to plan, shoot and edit a promotional video for Chevrolet, incorporating certain aspects that can be read in the Handbook.

This year the competition was about football, probably due to the new contract Chevrolet had recently signed a sponsorship deal with Manchester United. Nonetheless, the video contest was to create a video piece, lasting no longer than 90 seconds, which explained the basic rules of football to those who didn’t follow or play the sport.

We were told the video should be entertaining, upbeat and should have the ability to turn people who aren’t interested in football in to fans in some respect.

Rules:

• The creative concept should be visual/musical in nature in
order to be suitable for use in multiple languages.
• Due to copyright issues, clips from advertising or movies
that were not created in-house should not be used.
• Original music should be used; otherwise, permission from
the composer must be obtained in writing and submitted
with the project.
• All videos should feature a short “powered by Young Creative
Chevrolet” sequence at the end which can be downloaded
from the YCC website.
• Images of an inappropriate nature that could be harmful to
the Chevrolet brand will not be accepted; Chevrolet Europe
reserves the right to disqualify any film deemed inappropriate.
• The following may not be shown or represented: illegal or
criminal activity; dangerous behaviour, including reckless
driving, or the encouragement of dangerous; political,
religious or sexual themes.

Initially I was in a small group consisting of 2 other members, however due to differences and getting little work done I chose to move groups to work with Jordan and Richard. I helped out with the filming of their video and offered support whenever I could. This video production went well and the finished project was well received. However, I then decided to help Frankie with his animation video as this was an area I had never been involved with before and it would be good practice. The major downside to switching groups like this was the lack of time we were left with to complete a video which, at this stage, wasn’t even planned.

So Frankie and I proceeded to plan and set up our video. By this time, the submission deadline was only 5 days away so our task was to create, shoot and edit our video in a week. Although sounding daunting, having less time actually acted as an incentive to work as hard as we both could and I think we both did very well to finish a video we were both pleased with before the deadline.

 

Our idea was to use Play-Doh to create a ‘claymation’ style video in which two characters evolved in to the sport of football. With one of the characters being sad, the other character tries to cheer him up by turning into different shapes and sizes but with no success, until he changes into a ball, which then leads on to both the characters turning into 11 players. A football pitch appears and both now teams prepare for kick off. When we got started with the planning of the video, the ideas started to flow naturally and between us, we came up with an idea we were both happy with.

Our Plan: Using animation for our video suited our limited time as it meant we did not have to find actors or book multiple locations. The only location we would need is C20. Most of the equipment we would need would already be in that room so logistically it made sense to try and film in there. It also had an ample power supply that could support our power needs. C20 is also windowless so we could easily control our lighting and keep it consistent over the two days we planned to shoot regardless of weather conditions. Equipment list:

For our shoot we would need: Canon 550D, DragonFrame Software, Macbook, Tripod, Glide Track, 2x Flo Lights, Greenscreen, Play-Doh. The only thing we would have to buy is the Play-Doh which came to a little over £5 which was well within our almost non-existent budget.

Because dialogue was not allowed in our video, we decided to record the audio after our shoot. To avoid actual dialogue and to keep in line with the rules of the competition, we wanted our play-doh characters to mumble gibberish so we could get across the tone and emotions of the characters without using language, hence there being no need for a script. We wanted our video to seem like one long, continuous shot and the software we used enabled us to do this easily because each frame is an individual photo, enabling us to make small subtle changes after each photo that would eventually create a smooth and fluid motion when we edited all the clips together.

To shoot our video we used a program called Dragonframe, a Mac and my Canon 550d for the animation. The software we used basically took a photograph each time you pressed a keypad. After each photograph we would slightly alter or move the characters and surroundings to create smooth, natural looking movements. The process took a long time but it was worth it, eventually. Pictured below is the set-up we used. The photo shows the Mac with the DragonFrame Keypad which was all connected to the camera. We also used a small glide track balanced on two boxes to control the cameras side to side movement; this gave us plenty of control to move the camera from side to side without affecting the height of it. We had to be sure the camera would not move up or down because this would cause a problem when trying to align the Play Doh with previous frames.

Dragonframe – Pictured above is a screenshot taken from DragonFrame. I really enjoyed using this software and look forward to using again in the future. It was simple to use and gave us the result we were hoping for.

During the filming process, we did face a few problems. We had to start again twice. The heat from the flow lights dried out the Play-Doh very quickly, making it hard to mould in to the shapes we wanted. The Play-Doh would also fall over from time to time, making it extremely difficult to put back in exactly the same place. Even a few millimetres off the previous frame made it very noticeable when we watched it back. However after a hectic week we finished the video to a level we were both pleased with. The finished video had to be submitted on two DVD’s, one was for viewing and one was for sharing. The viewing file had to have an aspect ratio of 768×432 (16:9) and no larger than 60Mb and the sharing file was 320×179 and no larger than 80Mb.

 

 

 

Assessment Task 4 – (Criteria 4.1 & 4.2)

Evaluation of Chevrolet Promo Video

On Monday 29th April, after everybody had finished their videos, ourselves and the BSC students did a critical analysis of everybody’s videos in the film studio. This was to get essential feedback for our videos and to see where they could be improved or adapted. Feedback forms were given out to everybody. Assigned randomly, the forms contained a few different questions on different videos, this was to give a wide opinion and get a fair representation of people’s views on each video. All the feedback was anonymous. Some of the feedback we received can be seen below:

‘Sound effects were good, could have been improved with more time.’

‘The video was funny, universal and hit the brief well.’

‘I liked the sounds of the characters. It could have shown more of the football match.’

‘Fantastic stop motion and could have been improved with more time.’

Overall I was very pleased with the video. Given more time I think we could have made the movements of the Play-Doh more fluid and life like. I would have also liked to experiment with some more effects but as this was our first attempt at a ‘claymation’ film I was very proud of the work we accomplished in a relatively small amount of time.