Welcome to our digital marketing blog. Here you will find free advice discussing all the tips and tricks you need to make and promote the very best online content.

From practicalities on set to the latest digital marketing trends, we’ve learned—sometimes the hard way—what does and doesn’t work. Here we hope to impart the methods and techniques we’ve come to know and love.

video production advice

Video Production Advice – How to “Make it Rain”

By Video Production Advice

Producing a “rain scene” was something new to us. And boy oh boy did we have to learn quickly.

We were shooting a fitness based product that would be released as a tie in to the “Step Up” film franchise and the project was overseen by an LA film studio who held the rights to the original Movie. As they wanted to ensure continuity in this spin off reduction they insisted that a cinematic quality was retained in our footage (even though strictly speaking….we didn’t really have a cinematic budget). 

Here’s the brief and our challenge:

Shoot an authentic nighttime rain scene that has an edgy “street” setting.

Video Production advice

Our initial gut reaction was……”is that all”

But sarcasm aside we knew we had our work cut out to make this a reality.

Sourcing the location was the easy part and we worked with a reputable location agency to identify the best site.

Next we worked with our Gaffer and DOP to devise a lighting plan that would enhance our rain scene. Here was the first learning curve that we hit and a great tip to pass on. If you’re lighting rain the key is to light it from the back. Now usually when producing content (unless specifically requested) we wouldn’t use a powerful back light. This is because a strong back light means that your subject can appear silhouetted or in shadow due to the amount of light they are getting form the back,

However if you need a “rain scene” then unless you light the rain from the back you wont actually see it in camera. So light your rain from the back using a powerful single source and you’ll achieve a stunning shimmer to your rain scene.

Video Production advice

Next up… Do you want thick or thin rain????

This was the question we were asked when sourcing a supplier for the bowser and rain machine.

The fine rain (soaks you through) produces a significantly different look to the final footage. So be aware that rain comes in different sizes!

For the most visually dynamic results the thicker rain gave us the best look on camera and caught the light (which was coming from the back remember) perfectly

The final thing we learned (and trust me…we learnt this the hard way) is that you also have the option of cold and warm rain. Now there is a significant cost saving to using the cold rain water (and in the end that’s what we went with) BUT here’s the thing. If you may need your performers to do several takes then using cold rain will drain them completely.

Our shot required a dance sequence to be shot in the rain (and in the middle of the night…which was cold!) and after 2 takes the dancers were completely drained of any energy, Luckily for us we’d nailed the sequence in just 2 takes but this was by no means a forgone conclusion. And with our dancers soaked through and exhausted we couldn’t have shot a 3rd take.  On reflection if we were to produce a scene like this again I wouldn’t hesitate to use the (more expensive) warm rain!!!

Video Production advice

Oh….and it goes without saying that you should cover every base from a Health and Safety angle when using a rain machine.

So that was it. Our first rain shoot which was, to be honest, very stressful. 

explainer video

How to make the most effective Animated Explainer Video in under 2 minutes.

By Explainer Video

We all know how powerful and effective a good explainer video can be. But in todays now and next generation of viewers, getting your message over in a neat and efficient duration is critical. Simply put, shorter films work much harder for you than longer ones.

Lets look at the stats – If your video is over 3 minutes long then pretty much 50% of you viewers won’t watch until the end.

This figure is even sharper if you’re pitching ap product to the younger audience.

So how can you cram everything you want into a short duration film without sacrificing the important stuff?

One of the most important aspects not to lose sight of is this –  the greatest strength of an animated explainer video is that it can “show and tell” at the same time. That is to say a voiceover can deliver one important message while the visual can illustrate a different (although not completely unconnected) part of your message. 

So you can double up on your messaging to enhance the power of your explainer video.

However one note of caution here – As mentioned the visual and audible parts of your message can be be different but SHOULD NOT feel disconnected.

So in terms of timing and planning your script and storyboard here’s a great guide to what trio place where:

Open strong 0-15 seconds

Start with something bold both visually and audibly. Make a powerful statement that will ensure your viewers interest is raised form the get go.

Get to the point 15-45 seconds 

Back up your opening statements with further key information that clearly lays out the facts of your message and the impact of your product/service on the viewer.

animated explainer video

More meat on the bone (features/benefits) 45-90 seconds

Now its time to delve a little deeper. Hopefully your introduction has been strong enough to en-suite that your viewer wants to know more so this is where you deliver. Ensure the visual and audible elements of your message are now fully concentrated on adding flesh to your opening statement by illustrating the key features/benefits/points of your product or service here. But don’t dwell on any one point for more than 10-15 seconds.

Once more with feeling (summarise all) 90-105 seconds

Don’t be afraid to repeat the key message here. The wrap up should tie together the opening message and the benefits/features described in a simple and concise way.

Close it out 105 – 120 seconds

Once you’ve wrapped up the message ensure you close just as strongly as you started with a clear CTA and viewer message.

animated explainer video

And that’s really all there is too it…. well..sort of. Ok so different films can vary from this structure and we’ve generalised quite a lot here. But this duration and breakdown of message can be found in many successful Animated Explainer Videos and with good reason. It works.

Fortyfoursixteen films use Phantom High Speed camera to capture “magical experience” for Krispy Kreme

By Uncategorized
Fortyfoursixteen teamed up with renowned camera manufactures Vision Research on a recent project to capture the magical production process behind Krispy Kreme’s famous doughnut range.

The video took an entirely new approach by showing ingredients in a delightfully dramatic form, achieved by visually stopping time and suspending the multicoloured doughnut components in mid air.

It’s a technique that required a camera capable of slowing time down by over 40 times. To capture this required the use of a state of the art Phantom camera, which can only achieve this feat because it was originally designed for scientific high speed photography.

Camera operator Brice Munn enjoyed working with the specialist technology – “It was all about capturing ordinary food ingredients in an extraordinary way, after a lot of research we decided to use this state of the art, brand new camera model.

“These cameras are rare and haven’t been used in this way a great deal before, so we had to do extensive testing and conversion training before taking it on shoot. But equipment isn’t everything, we had to find and train the right talent too. We put together an amazing team of lighting a camera specialists, and the results were stunning.”

Fortyfoursixteen films use miniature cameras to capture the life of a toddler for Mothercare

By Uncategorized
Fortyfoursixteen took a unique approach to show toddlers in their world, by scaling down the cameras and letting the children take over the screen on a recent project for Mothercare.

Mothercare, retail specialists in products for mothers and children, collaborated with fortyfoursixteen and a leading digital agency to create an entirely original concept.

The video was to showcase Mothercare products in their ‘natural habitat’ from the point of view of mothers and toddlers. It meant specialist rigging of miniature cameras.

Neil Waddington, who produced the project, said “You know the old saying about working with children and animals!!! – Well we knew from the start that capturing the footage for this project was always gong to be interesting.

“We ran several test shoots prior to the shooting to check that the angles and mini cameras gave us a realistic look into the world of toddler and mum and that everything worked form a technical point of view. I think the end product has a lovely playful feel to it and answers the brief perfectly.”

Fortyfoursixteen films bring superheroes to life for the Nationwide Building Society

By Uncategorized
This spring, we were proud to be awarded Video Production of the Year for our work on an internal communications video. We were presented the award at AV Technology Europe Awards, a prestigious ceremony celebrating the very best in video marketing and video production.

NewBay, who hosted this year’s ceremony in Amsterdam, provide multichannel marketing solutions to over 4,000 clients across the globe. The ceremony was attended by video specialists from across Europe.

The award categories spanned everything from live event technology to full scale video production, where fortyfoursixteen won Video Production of the Year.

Fortyfoursixteen Director Neil Waddington expressed “We were completely surprised and delighted to get recognised for this piece of video production and this award is something we are very proud of. Especially from an organisation as prestigious as AV Technology Europe.

“This was a very challenging project and the pressure was on us to get it right from the start. The production was a collaborative process and its success hinged on us being able to bring such a wealth of top end video production talent on board.”

The winning video was a true epic of corporate filmmaking. It was to transform five members of staff into all out superheroes, illustrating just how legendary their work is. We could only achieve this by filming in a cinematic way – lighting the scenes and shooting them as if for the big screen.

Quick Video Marketing Tips – How to make your video marketing stand out.

By Video Marketing Tips

Quick Video Marketing Tips – Just because you’re producing your video marketing assets in house, doesn’t mean your corporate video shouldn’t have that high quality, professional feel. If you’re producing video marketing for your own company, this can be quite daunting. Here’s a quick tip to make your shots look more professional.

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