For the last 2 weeks I have been working together with a film producer to create a brand video for our company. It was tense experience, but I learnt. The producer helped us with the idea, directed and helped with post-production. My main job was to work along with him to study the process of a professional production. This is how it went:
- Define the goal of the video: who are the audience, when and where it will be launched, what is the result expected.
- Define the main content: what we want to say. We set up an internal meeting and visualized all of our ideas in a white board (mind-mapping).
- Estimate the budget, resources (finance and human resources).
- Propose ideas, references with the styles that we find suitable or close to our images.
Based on all the information above we decide the style and method how the video should be constructed. This is where Chris stepped in and proposed his idea based on his long experience working in film production, especially corporate videos. The idea got approved, Chris quickly set up a working schedule (including preparing, shooting, recording and post-production) and we proceeded to the next phase.
- Create a story board. In this case we didn’t draw a storyboard on paper. Instead, we produced a draft video with sample shots downloaded from Shutterstock.
- Complete the concrete script. This was still changeable later on but it was important to have it implied in the draft video as suggestion for timing and/or music theme.
- Create a shots list. Number the shots, decide which will be produced in-house and which will be from external sources. For the shots that will be filmed in-house, we created a more details story-board for them on paper, cast the talents, scouted the location (lab room), decided the accessories that should be in the scene (brand-related items i.e T-shirt, key chain).
- Print out the actual story board. This would be very helpful for everybody in the production to follow the shooting schedule.
We spared half day for setting up equipments, rehearsed the shots and one full day for shooting. Since we didn’t work together before, the rehearsal was extremely helpful for everybody to understand their co-worker and to picture how it would be going on in the actual shooting day.
- Rehearsal day. We tested the location with one 4K camera, 3 studio lights that were available at the office. Since the shots were required to be low-key, it was actually quite okay. But to generate more dim and special effects, we still decided to rent a few red lights and one big diffuser to block the unwanted white light. It was also pointed out that we will always need at least 3-4 people to be in the production: director, camera operator, lighting technician and ofc. actors. In ‘tiny’ production, director and camera operator can be one, though that would restrict the director to control the whole process effectively.
- Shooting day. We started early at the filming equipments company to get the lights, diffuser, tripod, sand-bags (to keep the tripod balance when using heavy camera at high angle), apple boxes, and some other things. We used a GH4 to shoot in 4K, 3 SSD to record and back-up everything. All the main scenes were done within the morning (4 scenes). The afternoon was spent to explore more creative scenes which turn out to be very useful later (4 scenes). We were also able to apply the LUTs on screen simultaneously when we were shooting, so it gave us a clear idea how the log footage could work. At the end of the day, it was very important to back up all the work into at least one other computer to make sure that we will have them in at least 2 different locations (we actually used one laptop and one external drive).
(to be continued)
One day I’m gonna move to Japan and have my own kotatsu that faces an open window where I can see a tall maple tree in a small garden that smells full of moist soil after the rain.
#soon #notthatImnotlovingmytinylittlecuckkonestnow #itsjustawesome