Good Video: Planning

Last week we have discussed the importance of understanding the video and how people use variety of things together to create an ambience that pulls a viewer in (alongside some examples). What I want to bring up today is even more important, yet rarely discussed and widely ignored by people who are starting out: planning.

Before we start, let me address one issue, there is nothing wrong with improvisation and the “spirit of the moment”, but those will come way easier when you have planned before. The idea is brutally simple if you have planned for most of the video already, the unexpected moments are much easier to deal with. Whether it is a spark of creative energy or equipment malfunction.

Let’s tackle them step by step:

  1. Message and feeling

Now I am going to sound like a broken record yet once more: “CHECK YOUR AUDIENCE & WHAT MESSAGE THEY RESPOND TO?”. This includes any stats, info, pen portraits, season, feeling, client’s wishes and so on. Not to sound ominous, but if you at least don’t keep this in mind, you will fail.

So, with Christmas advertising long done and launched we are focusing on other things coming up. Mostly, the spring and summer stuff, but let’s pause on Christmas. Jolly seasons can be one of the toughest shoots you will ever do (especially if you are shooting outside). At this time you need to convey a certain feeling and the cheer of the world. Despite how good it looks at the end trust me it can be a gruelling experience. The weather has to become your friend not your enemy. Let’s be honest don’t you think Christmas as soon as you see snow (just look at John Lewis Snowman advert OOH gets me every time).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0N8axp9nHNU

  1. Script & Strips (reel, comic, line or whatever else people call it)

No here is a fun thing, to me this is “chicken and the egg” situation, which comes first. I prefer to have a script first, so I roughly understand what shots to use, how to position the characters better etc. Some people are the opposite, do the scenes first figure out the moves later. My advice is start using my way, because generally it is easier (and it is the right way).

Here is a rough mock-up I did for one of mine “free time” projects.

Scene 1: Car Upside down after a crush. Screaching sounds and a man in pain.

Car upside down

Scene 2: Flash back to how we got there. Two young lads walking to a car discussing the night after a couple of drinks.

Walk to the car

Scene 3: Following the car from the back (3rd person view). The driver (one of the friends) gets annoyed with a car in front for obbeying the speed limits.

Swerve

Scene 4: After the crush is repeated quickly we cut to a hospital corridor where one of the guys is summoning the courage to go inside the hospital room.

Scene Hospital Corridor

Scene 5: When he finally enters, viewer sees a guy in a wheel chair looking out of the window. Close up to the lips and chin of the guy who walked in.

“Hi, I am … sorry”

Inside patient room

Scene 6: Cut to black, logo and slogan appear (dead silence)

  1. Equipment

Now I am first in line of people who will say you can shoot a great video on your iPad. However, for some projects this may simply not be enough. So, before you venture out there, plan what will you take and when will you use it.

  1. Actors, products, places

Now here is where all the preparation comes in. If you have worked hard on stage 2, this will be easy, as you will have a very clear idea of what to do next. This will include all the locations and what people have to look like. Of course, you will rarely be able to find exactly what you were looking for, but at least you will come close because of the work done.

Now actors, as you grow you will be able to hire models, actors etc., but for now try to stick to your friends or aspiring “Instagrammers” (yes very easy to find there and cheap). When looking for actors make sure you know what you want them to look like and what role to play. Maybe give them examples or even exercises to do. If it is a lady, make sure to specify the make-up too. Will save loads of time.

Products, well, relatively simple. Make sure you ask your client for at least 3 samples of whatever you will be shooting. Additionally you might want to learn a few  “fake” product tricks (Please let me now in comments and I will either write a blog about it or message you directly).

  1. Shoot dates (organising people and weather)

Now we come to the painful bit, making sure everyone and everything is available. Now in the full professional shoot that wouldn’t be a problem you hire actors and models, you say they come. But unfortunately, you are not there yet. So my advice prepare a week in advance and make sure (during the week) everyone sticks to the plan.

The worst moment is when you have to shoot in a particular weather. Unless you know your way around AfterEffects & PremierePro (or powerful enough alternatives), you will need to wait. This especially puts more pressure on you and your crew, as everyone has to be available as soon as the rain, snow etc. hits.

To sum up this week’s video idea there are three words: “Plan for everything”. If do your planning in advance you will free up so much time to improvise and add a few different angles to your shoot that you might have not thought of doing before.

This is it for video advice this week, but look out for next week’s blog on actual shooting and editing to make your final video shine.

Advertisements

Advertising that Made Me Buy!!

Advertising that Made Me Buy!!

Look at the cover image for this blog post! Everyone is exposed to brand messages on daily basis. However, everyone has their own little actions to protect themselves and block those messages. Starting from making tea all the way to scrolling Facebook feed. That being said, there are some adverts that touch us and actually make us do something. Here is the list of best adverts (in my opinion) from different sectors (in no particular order), that influenced me, with justifications for my choices.

WWF – #iProtectTigers

LINK

I have been supporting WWF initiative to protect Bengal Tigers for a while now (so in a way you can say that I am biased). When I first saw this advert, I might have shed a tear (movie like manly tear though), when my friend saw it within 2 days he called to say that he is now donating too. So why did it work? One simple reason! It breaks the barrier between what we hope to do and what we can achieve.

Baileys – Christmas Nutcracker

LINK

Now, am I fan of ballet? No. Do I drink Baileys? No. Why did I buy it that Christmas? Simple, every time I was invited to a party hosted by a girl I would bring one. This advert portrays a certain romance and excitement. Tell me you haven’t attended a Christmas party where there was no drama!?

All I can say is that Baileys has done a fantastic job that year. Never left for a party without a bottle of it.

Toys: Special from Our Founders

Peter Turay, Content 45 Managing Director

Beyblade

These radical spinning tops were awesome as a 10-year-old kid!  Who would have thought I’d be obsessed with collecting them all?

From the TV advert to watching the VERY 1ST episode of this exciting anime on Cartoon Network, I’d be practising my launch and battling out my Dragoon Beyblade against both my late brother and primary school friends at break, lunchtime and even after school.

However, when they broke from trying out ridiculous stunts on the brick wall; I’d pester my parents to buy me another cool beyblade top.  Talk about nostalgic marketing huh?

Alex Pushkin, Content 45 Creative Director

Pokeball

It looks absolutely ridiculous to me now, but I want a real Pokeball on my desk! This is not the advert I saw when I was growing up. I remember the one I saw in breaks between Pokemon series and damn I wanted one. It would open, have a miniature figurine inside and I would battle my vicious opponents in school (my year 3 school friends). No matter who will tell you what, but pester power works!

Creating a Logo: A Step to Your Brand Identity

Creating a Logo: A Step to Your Brand Identity

Probably one of the most confusing beginnings of a blog article, but there is no full proof formula. Each designer has a different way of creating it. Sometimes the idea comes right away, sometimes it doesn’t come for days. Here I will share how Content 45 logo was created.

First step for me is research about the company, its history, morals, beliefs and goals. However, when it comes to start-ups you won’t have such depth of information. So, in such scenario we skip to step two, which is word associations.

Content 45 is a digital agency providing variety of services to SMEs, created by highly zealous entrepreneur (my boss is actually like this). Here are the word associations I came up with when thinking of digital agencies.

“Social media platforms, engagement, conversation, people, amplification, buzz, young, results, ROI, communities, photography, blogging, pixels, posts, waves, pictures, curious”

The ones that I find more interesting, I then highlight and research separately in more detail. That includes anything from pictures to blog articles. After that is done we move onto step three, pencil and paper.

picture1Now you can see the first “joking” idea I had, and for the lack of clarity I crossed it out.
Now here is where a great partner and friend is great help. Peter and I have known each other for more than 4 years now and despite agreeing on a lot of things there is still healthy bouncing of idea of each other. People like that are very important for generating ideas. I sent a few straightened mock-ups to my boss and great friend, Peter who said I can see the potential but make it more digital. This is when I cried out pixels and frames, then he added waves. Here is the first sketch on paper, that I have done. After a few play around the final sketch with annotations was created before developing it in Illustrator.

picture2

Now, here is when it get’s a bit more complicated if you haven’t previously used Adobe Illustrator software. Creating a vector graphic (graphic design term that describes an artwork that can be resized for any publishing parameters without losing any quality) I have arrived to this black and white mock-up.

picture3If we look back at step one we can recognise a few key words (just to stress how important that step is). Post and waves are here. That being said, there is still one element missing – background. Here is where pixels come in from our discussion with Peter, after all what is more digital than this. As you might imagine creating a pixel grid in black and white for the logo is challenging. This is where psychology of colours comes in. Despite some people reservations that it doesn’t matter, I assure you that it is crucial step. After all combination of red and yellow makes you hungry (guess what logo I am talking about). There are plenty of infographics out there, so make sure to have a look at them if you are creating a logo. However, as blue is a sign of stability, reliability and calmness, we decided that Content 45 should use it to project those qualities for the clients.

So after looking and Newton’s colour wheel (Yes, the guy who had an apple fall on his head also created probably one of the most important discovery for colour for designers), the colour palette of blues was created and used for pixel background. Here is the final logo.

Content 45 Logo

If you have any questions about the article please write them in the comments below. We would love to hear your thoughts and questions. Thanks for reading!