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What Goes into a “4 Hour Shoot”

Demystifying Video Production Times

I want to take a moment to be transparent and discuss how much time it truly takes to produce a video.

Production time can vary considerably depending on various factors so I’m going to keep things simple and focus on a typical event, corporate or commercial video.

If you don’t have the time to read ahead then not to worry. I’ll give you the answer first, and the details after…

1 hour of filming requires and additional 3 – 5 hours of non-filming time.

 

Pre-Production (typically 1 – 2 hours)

  • Research the clients brand, ethos and style
  • Receive brief and research ideas
  • Storyboard & script writing
  • Quote & invoicing
  • Contracts
  • Packing the correct equipment
  • Charging batteries
  • Formatting SD cards
  • Double checking equipment is present and correct
  • Hiring equipment
    • Researching the best equipment for the project
    • Paying for the equipment
    • Collecting the equipment
Travel
    • Checking travel times & routes
    • Fuel
    • Time spent travelling
    • Paying for congestion charges & tolls where neccessary
    • Parking costs
Production (4 hours)
    • Check the location (if no pre-site visit was planned)
    • Deciding the best spots to film
    • Setting up equipment (15 minutes – 1 hour)
    • Filming 2 – 3 hours
    • Breakdown equipment (15 minutes – 1 hour)
Post-Production (8+ Hours)
    • Copy video and audio files to hard-drive
    • Back up files to second (remote) hard-drive
    • Catalogue files into folders
    • Obtain relevant assets from client (e.g. logos, font families, brand guidelines etc)
    • Create project file in video editing software
    • Import files and create optimised media/proxies
    • Sync audio and video files
    • Editing
    • Effects
    • Animation and titles
    • Colour correction/colour grade
    • Export drafts
    • Upload drafts to video hosting site and refer to client for feedback
    • Make amendments according to clients feedback
    • Re-export and deliver final video

Filming The Lumineers for the Tape Notes Podcast

The Lumineers & Tape Notes Podcast

Tape notes is a podcast focused on how some of the world’s most well known musicians create music. They feature on all major podcast and streaming services including Apple Podcasts, Acast and Spotify. Here’s how Tape Notes describes their podcast…

“Their conversations lift the lid on every stage of the creative process, from kindling the first spark of a song idea, through decisions on style and instrumentation, to finessing the final product”.

The podcast is hosted by Radio X presenter, John Kennedy, and produced by Will Brown and Tim Adam-Smith.

The Lumineers are a Denver based folk-rock band led by Wesley Schultz and Jeremiah Fraites. They’ve had world-wide success with singles like “Ho Hey”, “Stubborn Love”, “Ophelia” and “Cleopatra”. Their second album reached number in the UK singles chart and their first and third albums were featured in the top 10.

Purpose of the Video

The success of a podcast is most measured most simply by the number of podcast subscribers and the number of listens per episode. Improving these numbers comes from increasing awareness and popularity of the podcast across various channels and mediums. To appeal to a wider audience, Tape Notes decided they wanted to film the podcast and post the edited footage to YouTube.

The video features highlights of the conversation and directs viewers to the podcast and streaming sites where they can listen to the full episode.

Space & Camera Set Up

Tile Yard Studios was the location for this episode of the podcast. Finding a good location to film can immediately improve the production value of a video and the recording studio was an ideal backdrop. There was a mixture of modern recording equipment and retired paraphernalia that made for an attractive background.

The lighting was dim, ambient tungsten lights (more on this later).

Will and Tim organised the audio, while I focused on the cameras and lighting.

There were two static cameras and one “roaming” camera. The static cameras were a wide angle of the entire space, and a medium angle focusing on Wesley and Jeremiah (from now on referred to as Wes and Jerry). The roaming camera was a tight frame which changes between whoever was speaking at the time.

At this point it’s worth pointing out that John (the host), Wes and Jerry were joined by The Lumineers’ producer Simone Felice. The role of a producer can vary wildly, but they are always essential in the creation of an album. Simone is well-known in the music industry for producing albums for the likes of Jade Bird, Vance Joy and, of course, The Lumineers.

The Lighting

So back to those tungsten lights. They were dim – the cameras were shooting at ISO 5000 (not ideal for good footage). Fortunately the lights were all tungsten. Having one type of light/colour temperature is generally easier to work in situations like this.

To increase the amount of light in the room, I used the Aputure 120dii, which was diffused with a softbox (it softens the light). The colour temperature of the light is 5500k, which is a neutral white that you expect from sunlight.

The Aputure was modified to match the colour temperature of the tungsten lights by placing a CTO gel (plastic orange film) in front of the light. The CTO turns the neutral white into tungsten (white to orange).

Once the lighting was in place, the white balance in camera was set to 3500k.

Matching Camera & Colours

All three cameras are models made by Sony. Unfortunately, using the same camera manufacturer doesn’t guarantee that colours will match (even when the same settings are used on all three cameras).

Therefore, a colour chart was used to ensure that the cameras’ colours matched. The chart consists of 18 colours and white, greys and black and it’s designed to help synchronise colours between cameras or location.

The colour chart was filmed on location by all three cameras. If you look carefully you can see small differences in colour, exposure and contrast. For example, the grey boxes in the centre image have a noticeable magenta cast. The other images have more of a green cast.

After filming, post-production begins. Editing begins by importing footage into Premiere Pro (editing software). The next stage would involve compiling the footage into a sequence. On this occasion, we are going to jump ahead to colour correction…

The footage doesn’t look too bad straight out of the box. The images from left to right are the A Cam, B Cam and C Cam. You’ll notice the image in the centre has a slightly more magenta tint. This corresponds to what we are seeing in the colour charts above. 

There are also differences in exposure, contrast, saturation and hue. Most people have a grasp on the terms exposure, contrast and saturation are. Hue is tougher to explain, but relatively easy to exemplify.

Caucasian skin is an orange colour. Although various factors may cause skin to be a little more red/pink or more yellow/green. This can be a person’s natural skin colour, or something more temporary such as from exercise, being in a warm environment or wearing make up.

Essentially hue is where a colour lies on this spectrum. As far as skin tones are concerned the spectrum is MAGENTA-RED-ORANGE-YELLOW-GREEN. Orange is generally considered typical skin colour but the factors mentioned previously can shift the hue towards magenta/red or yellow/green.

Getting correct skin tones is one of the most important elements of colour correction and the colour chart is designed to help achieve a natural look.

The images taken of the colour chart are imported into a program called Davinci Resolve. Resolve’s is an editing programme and includes software that allows you to analyse the colour chart from the podcast shoot. It then recognises inaccuracies in the colour chart, corrects them, and applies the changes to the all the footage. This is repeated for footage from each of the three cameras and the colours will match PERFECTLY… well almost.

Davinci Resolve Colour Chart

It takes a few tweaks to the hue and a few other adjustments to match the footage from the various cameras.

At this stage the footage from all the cameras matched. However, all three cameras appeared to be presenting skin tones that were a little too red/magenta.

There were 8 individuals in the studio at the time of recording so the room was warm. That warmth may have contributed to the some redness in the skin tones. Regardless of what caused the red skin, it needed to be corrected. This was done by pulled the red hue towards a more natural orange skin colour.

The screenshots below show the uncorrected footage (left), the footage corrected with the colour chart (centre) and the final image with some small tweaks to the hue of the skin (right).

Double Checking

Viewers may still look at colour corrected footage and think that the colours don’t look right. Perhaps the skin colour was correct when it was a little more pink?

Fortunately there’s an objective approach to prove that the corrections that were made are objectively correct. There’s a tool within the editing software that visually represents colours by mapping them onto a graph called a vectorscope.

Skin tones are so important in colour correction/grading that the vectorscope has a dedicated line to represent skintones. If the colours that are mapped onto the vectorscope fall along this line, then you can trust what your eye is telling you. If your data points are skewed or aren’t close to the skin tone line then something may have gone wrong.

The left image represents the image after the colour chart was used to correct the image, but before the second round of adjustments were made. The skin tone line is the line that would be NW on a compass. The white cluster falls close to the line, but it’s skewed towards the red point on the compass.

The right image represents the skin tone of the final image. You can see the white cluster falls neatly onto the skin tone line. That means the adjustments that have been made were correct. 

Final Thoughts

Colour correction is a thankless task. When it’s done correctly, nobody should notice. However, it’s an essential part of a professional video production and something that is offered in all of our video productions.

Get in touch with us with details of your next project. Alternatively, if you have footage that requires correction/grading then contact us for more information.

Campaign Becomes G19 Awards Finalist

Earlier this year we worked with Fireworx, a digital marketing agency based in London & Bournemouth, to produce a video for a new promotional campaign. Their client, Atlas Roof Solutions, wanted a creative video for a new product that they were bringing to market.

Product & Brief

The “Lantern 2.0” is the “UK’s most thermally efficient aluminium roof system”. Atlas’ brief was to produce a creative and contemporary video to reflect the product’s sleek, lightweight and minimalist design. This was the result…

Results

The product’s key features are the slim aluminium frame and it’s thermal efficiency. We chose to use low key, contrast heavy lighting that is regularly used by premium brands such as Apple and Peloton. We felt this type of lighting would focus attention on the sleek contours and textures of the product. Initial tight framing further enhanced focus on the individual product features.

The result was a video that not only fulfilled the clients brief, but also produced an outstanding ROI within the wider campaign that was led by Fireworx.

Collaboration

We regularly work with Fireworx, and it’s always great to see the team integrate our visuals into a wider campaign that delivers a strong ROI. They approached the campaign through a variety of traditional and digital marketing. You can read Fireworx’s full case study and campaign analysis on their blog.

The Awards

The success of Lantern 2.0 campaign has since been acknowledged by the G Awards, who run the the biggest Glass and Glazing industry awards in the UK. Atlas are finalists in two categories “New Product of the Year” and “Promotional Campaign of the Year”. The winners will be announced on 29th November – good luck to Atlas and watch this space.

We love to discuss and help develop ideas. If you have an idea for a promotional video that you would like produced then get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

4 Video SEO Tips That Will Improve Your Google Ranking in London

Video SEO is one of the best marketing tools that businesses can implement. If you’re in an SEO-competitive market or area, such as London, then using video can improve your Google search engine ranking.

Companies have been using “conventional” search engine optimisation for over 20 years to improve visibility in search engines such as Google and Bing. SEO experts Moz estimated that Google’s first page captures 71% of all clicks. The effectiveness of SEO has led to an incredibly competitive market and Forbes believes that the SEO industry will exceed $80 billion in 2019.

Modern businesses are now finding new ways to compete in an increasingly competitive SEO market. Long-tail search terms have become increasingly popular in the digital marketing game. Long-tail search terms involves optimising for niche keywords and longer phrases in search engines.

Another method (and the subject of this article) is video SEO! So without further adieu, here are 4 ways that you can use video SEO to get to the top of Google and YouTube…

1. Use videos – that’s right! Simply using videos on your website will improve the ranking of your existing webpages. Google may also offer video results amongst traditional text-based search results. As you’ll see below, the video links have been ranked below paid adverts and above traditional search results.

2. Upload to YouTube – YouTube was bought by Google in 2006. Therefore YouTube videos are favoured by Google and often rank higher than videos hosted on Vimeo, Wistia or other media hosting platforms. Essentially, Google awards websites that have YouTube videos embeds. It also favours YouTube videos in the video tab section that is visible at the top of Google.

Using the search “Video SEO London” you can see that all but one result is a link to YouTube. The only result that is not a YouTube link is a webpage featuring embedded YouTube videos.

 

3. Write an SEO description – if you already have an SEO expert, or a savvy copywriter, then this will be an easy step in improving your video rankings. Google and YouTube will both “crawl” the description that features on your YouTube video. Writing 400-600 words and using a multitude of relevant keywords is a good place to start. If your video includes narration, interviews, or dialogue, you can take a short cut and simply write a transcript.

4. Create compelling content – a well produced video is self-serving. Engaging, professionally made videos that answer the viewers questions will achieve greater views and longer viewing times. As a result, YouTube and Google’s algorithms will improve the ranking of that video, thus making the video more visible in searches… and the cycle continues.

Videos should be an essential part of any marketing strategy. Not only are they an effective way to advertise your business, but they also help bump you up the search engine rankings.

Video SEO is part of our holistic approach we offer our clients in London and Bournemouth. If you’d like to know more about our video production services, then get in touch.

About

Roam Film provides commercial and corporate videography services in London and across the UK.

Bournemouth

Bryanstone Works
11 Upper Norwich Rd
Bournemouth
BH2 5RA

London

Hazlewood Mews
Clapham
London
SW9 9BL

Connect

info@roamfilm.com
+447709656527