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fortyfoursixteen films

fortyfoursixteen films has over 15 years experience producing high quality video content for leading brands and organisations throughout the UK. Headed up by lead producer Neil Waddington we aim to create innovative, inspiring and engaging video for a wide variety of digital delivery platforms.

Make Great Corporate Videos – How to Write a Promotional Video Script

By Corporate Video Production, Video Production Advice

Making great corporate videos or video marketing assets can be a challenge. But getting your script right before you shoot goes a long way to helping produce the best video for your brand or organisation. Here are a few tips.

If you’re producing a film for your business or organization then developing some sort of script will probably be a key part of the process. You may need a full on shot by shot scripted breakdown of the film, a simple voiceover script or a script for the people appearing in your film. Scripting can be a daunting task and when initially faced with that blank page, so having a basic structure in place for writing your script will give you some useful support in getting the script to first draft stage.

Finding Your Message

Before you start a script for a promotional or corporate video we suggest bullet pointing a few things and asking some important questions. You’ll probably have a list of objectives and messages that you need to convey in the film but it’s quite useful to prioritise these and above all DO NOT TRY TO SAY TOO MUCH!!!

Keeping your message simple will also keep it audible is is key to making great corporate videos. In other words the viewer will absorb more information when you deliver short simple messages than they will when you bombard them with facts.

great corporate videos

Set the Tone

At this stage of the script ask your self this question:

“What’s the first thing I want the viewer to think/say when they’ve watched the video?”

The answer to this question should dictate the direction and feel on the entire script. Next ask yourself the following question:

“How does your company speak to its customers?”

This will help you establish tone and style. Every company has a way a speaking that’s unique and individual to them. They will have a vocabulary that uses words that tell us not just about their product and service but also about their beliefs and values. It’s important that you tap into this vocabulary when developing a script to ensure that the film feels part of the companies overall comms output and reflects their personality. A good idea is to review as much existing output as possible such as website and printed materials, then note down key words/phrases that crop up often within the text.

Once you’ve established the tone and style you’ll need to deal with the elements you want to convey. All great corporate videos will start life as a list of points, facts or messages that are part of the brief. Firstly we’d suggest prioritising these elements and don’t be afraid to discuss dropping a few if you feel at this stage that the final film could be overlong or too dense.

Warm It Up

The nature of briefs also means that at this stage these key points may simple be a bullet point list and not something that instantly jumps into a spoken script. One of the biggest mistakes at this point is to assume that copy developed for a brochure or website will read well when spoken aloud. More often than not if you read aloud the text from any website or brochure it will feel cold and lifeless. What works well in print doesn’t always translate into natural flowing spoken dialogue.

So a good tip here is to bring each point of the brief into the real world and add some warmth and context. For example, if the product you are working on is a car one it’s features could be:

“a Hi Tech comfort designed steering wheel”

But simply stating that will often result in a big fat “so what” from the viewer.

Adding some warmth and context to each point as you go will help you develop a script that works much harder. For example:

“Cornering is effortless and driving comfortable due to the Hi Tech comfort designed steering wheel”.

This is old news to most marketing professionals but its easy to lose sight of these basics when developing scripts so warming up your initial bullet points before you start the draft is very useful.

Once the key points have all been warmed up a little it becomes easy to start to join them up into a draft script. Be careful at this stage not to get too repetitive and constantly read aloud the script to check the work as you go.

great corporate videos

Time Can Tell

Once you feel that you have the bare bones of the first draft we then suggest something quite radical (and this may only be possible if your deadline and schedule allows). So here’s probably the most important tip for any script development.

When you’ve finished the first draft do the following:


Close the document.

Don’t open it again for at least 3 days.

As mentioned this may seem a little odd and will only work if your timescales allow but I guarantee that you will end up with a better script because of it. Putting some distance between you and the first draft is essential. It will allow you to re-read the draft with fresh eyes and there will be a strong chance that when you do, you’ll find something that clearly doesn’t work or sounds wrong. When developing a script it’s easy to become snow blind as there’s usually a lot to consider. Reading over a draft straight after writing makes it hard to be objective about it and spot the weak areas.

At all stages of the script development read it aloud as much as possible (ideally using a stopwatch). As mentioned what’s written doesn’t always flow when spoken so be aware of this throughout the process.

Finally don’t get too attached to each draft. Remember the first draft is exactly that, a first draft. Most first drafts are nowhere near the finished article so don’t expect to ace it off the bat and produce further drafts until you’re happy with the result. When it’s ready to go you’ll know as soon as you read it aloud as hopefully it will flow and feel natural.

Hopefully these tips will help you get your script off the blocks and on its way to help you produce great corporate videos that are engaging and effective.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Video production advice – How To Look Your Best On Camera

By Corporate Video Production

Your guide to appearing on camera.

When producing video marketing or promotional video for your company there will be strong chance that you personally, or one of your colleagues may be stepping in front of the camera for the first time. You may be delivering some lines to camera or demonstrating your product and service, or you may appear as a talking head in an interview format. We understand that you won’t want to appear vain however we also understand that you will want to ook your best as you’ll be representing your company. So here’s some useful video production advice for looking your best in front of the camera.

What to wear?

It’s important that you wear something that makes you feel comfy in front of camera. They’ll be other factors you may find a little daunting about appearing on film so if you can start by being comfortable in your outfit then its one less thing to worry about.

From a technical aspect there are a few things that you’ll also want to consider. Don’t wear anything that’s too busy, striped or patterned. This can cause a technical issue which will result in the footage looking flickery. Also be aware of the background you are being filmed against. For example if you’re being shot against a black backdrop don’t wear a black shirt/dress as you could end up looking like a floating head!

Avoid anything that’s very loose fitting or baggy as it can sometimes make odd and unflattering shapes when on film.

video production advice

Dark clothes on a dark background can look strange, whereas lighter clothes will make you stand out.


Being able to see your face and eyes is important so if you have long hair try to avoid having it falling down over your face. You may want to use some product to keep your hair in place but be careful about using too much as it can pick up a lot of bounce from lights and make your hair look un-naturally greasy.


If you’re doing your own makeup then a golden rule of thumb is to apply a bit more than you usually would. You also want to minimize shadows around the eyes so we suggest a lighter shade of concealer and avoid harsh lines around the eyes. Lips can always benefit from a bit of extra definition to help them pop out so go for a darker shade than you normally would. Finally use translucent powder to help reduce shine.

Camera Angle

Don’t be afraid to ask the camera operator to show you a preview of the shot and if you’re not happy say so. If you are shooting with a professional crew they will understand and expect that you will want to look your best so working with them to perfect the shot is by no means unusual. Check that the camera angle is not too low, shooting most people from an angle below their eyes usually results in a less than flattering shot so if you’re not happy with the preview shot you’ve been shown ask for the camera to be raised slightly.

video production advice

Make up touching up for promotional video shoot


One of the most important pieces of video production advice we can give is to get involved in the lighting. If the preview shot shown to you doesn’t feel right there may be a chance that the lighting is too harsh. This causes faces to become too angular and casts hard shadows. Ideally for most people to look their best on camera a big soft source of lighting will be the best approach. So again, don’t be afraid to ask the crew to soften the lights a little if you feel they are not showing you at your best.

Above all you want to be proud of your video marketing output so taking that little bit of extra time to get the look right will give you a final product that you’ll be eager to show off.


We hope that this video production advice is useful but by all means drop us a line on the link below if yo;d like to know more.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

How can business video marketing drive sales?

By Digital Marketing

Business video marketing is a powerful tool.

When done well it can drive awareness, visibility and have a positive impact on sales. However at the heart of effective video marketing is engagement. It’s purpose is to provoke an emotional connection or response from the viewer (or customer), and provide a persuasive message about your product or service in a credible way.

But it’s useful when producing business video marketing to really understand why (and more importantly how) this works so that we can produce effective material.

I recently read a stat that proclaimed: “1 minute of video is worth 1.8 million words” – Forrester’s Research

Pretty bold stuff eh?

Now whatever you make of that stat it does offer some interesting food for thought about engagement and communication. Whether the stat is bang on, or has an element of exaggeration (not that we’d suggest this for a second) what it is essentially demonstrating is how people absorb messages and information.

When reading copy our brain processes the text our eyes see allowing us to consider its meaning. However, it relies on our imagination to take that message and form something that’s not simply a one dimensional message.

business video marketing

The power of business video marketing

The power of video lies in its ability to present visual and audible information that fuse to create a multi-dimensional sensory experience that can often be overwhelmingly more powerful that mere words alone. Lets take the humble “promotional corporate video” as an example to examine this closer.

Many of the usual elements that you will encounter in a typical promo video are strong tools when used alone (ie, action footage, music, people speaking to us etc). But when combined together they form something that’s much more irresistible. Video marketing combines people, words, thoughts, footage, emotions, stories and music to engage the viewer in a wider sensory experience that involves their eyes, ears, emotions and beliefs. We retain information from good video material because it involves these senses (ie sound and sight) in a way that triggers emotions. These sense driven emotions can be strong enough to override what we already think and it’s this alone that allows video marketing to communicate in an engaging and convincing way.

Ask a random selection of friends for their favourite lines from a film. I’d expect them all to have at least one or maybe dozens of lines that instantly spring to mind.

Now ask the same group of people for their favourite line from a book.

I’m prepared to bet that you will receive significantly fewer answers. Not because books are in any way a lesser art form to film, but because we absorb and retain information delivered through the medium of video quicker and easier.

business video marketing

Real World

Lets take a possible client brief and see how this actually works in the real world. A client has asked us to produce a piece of business video marketing that has a primary message of:

“We are a company who care.”

Now lets first estimate how many words of web copy or print copy we would need to effectively and convincingly convey this message. People are hard to spin these days and we would need to present a pretty convincing case possibly including testimonial text from existing clients, backed up with several paragraphs of copy to re-enforce this message of caring.

Now lets try to convey this same message through business video marketing.

There’s an old saying that “people buy people” and this is still true in today’s digital age. Just a couple of seconds of genuinely convincing footage showing a smart looking company employee warmly engaging with a customer tells us a great deal. We don’t even need to hear what they are saying. The power of sight and our trust of film is such that if the footage looks genuine, then we will accept it as being the truth and the message of “we care” may be instantly conveyed.

But lets not stop there.

Lets also imagine that we hear a voiceover talking to us as we are seeing the footage. If cast correctly the voiceover artist will have that warm, caring, (almost matronly) feel to their voice that we may associate with our parents, a favourite teacher or someone who has shown us real care in our own lives.

Again, we may only need to hear this voiceover deliver one or two words to instantly accept their warmth and sincerity. So we’re only 2 or 3 seconds into the video and already it has engaged us and effectively communicated the key message in 2 powerful sensory ways.

Now lets add in a gentle musical soundtrack to the background, Again, this needs to be selected well and be sector appropriate but music is one of the most important tools in the video marketing arsenal. Get it right and suddenly the visual, spoken and musical elements fuse and are elevated in their power to deliver a persuasive messages that is memorable, genuine, and long lasting.

This is the power of business video marketing, and this is why it can drive sales in such a credible and persuasive manner.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

The most common b2b video marketing mistakes

By Digital Marketing, Video Production Advice

b2b video marketing – the 10 biggest mistakes

Whether you intend to produce your company’s b2b video marketing in house or through an external production agency there are a few common mistakes that can significantly reduce how effective the final film is. We’ve shared a few below to help you side step some of the biggest pitfalls in video marketing.

Shoot by Committee

Although its good to involve lots of ideas in the initial briefing and conception stage of b2b video marketing when you get to shooting you really need someone to steer the ship. Having someone solely directing the shooting provides the best way of capturing the footage needed within the brief. They should have a firm vision of how they want the shoot to run and in what order. Never has the saying “Too many cooks” been more accurate than when producing video.

Lose Sight of Your Customer

It’s easy to get very excited and carried away when producing b2b video marketing but if there’s one thing to always maintain it’s the viewer (and ultimately customer). Delivering a film that will engage the viewer is your ultimate goal and should take precedent over ever other aspect of the project.

Going For the Latest Thing

If you decided to be very current and forward thinking a few years ago and shot your b2b video marketing in 3D you’ll now be struggling to find anyone who can watch it. There’s always something new and shiny in the world of video but content is always king and has remained so over the years. Tell your story effectively and the sort of camera or fancy gadgets you use won’t really matter.

b2b video marketing

Recording Poor Sound

DO NOT cut corners on the way in which you record sound on your shoot. Capturing great moments on film can be challenging and you don’t want to end your shoot thinking you’ve captured some golden moments only to find in the edit that you can’t hear a word anyone is saying. Use good quality mics or if your budget will stretch to it a dedicated sound operator.

Using Animation When it’s Not Appropriate

Animation is cool. There’s no argument there. However it needs to be brief and sector appropriate. Using the right method to convey your message should take precedent over what’s “cool”. If you do use animation make sure it’s right for your audience, there are so many different styles of animation that it’s easy to alienate the viewer if you don’t get it right. While it can be quirky and often cost effective there’s no substitute for reality if you want to deliver a powerful message.

Trying Too Hard

We’ve said this before but “people buy people”. Peer to peer case studies may not be re-inventing the video marketing wheel but they are very, very effective. Seeing and hearing first hand testimony from existing clients may be all that you need to convince new customers of your worth. Sometimes simplicity is the best route.

Doing Everything Yourself

If you are going to produce your b2b video marketing in house be fully aware of the time required to develop, produce and deliver video effectively. The initial appeal of the apparent cost saving this route may offer could be outweighed by the actual total time and resources required realizing your goal. Worse still you run the risk of the project faltering mid way through and having to then incur additional costs of having an external agency rescue the project.

b2b video marketing

Being Led by Your Own Taste

Whatever you own personal taste in film, being objective about your brief is critical. Understanding the viewer, customer, client or organization should be much further up your list of priorities than your own creative whims.

Not Understanding Your Competition

If you’re product or service needs to sit alongside the Audi’s and Apples of this world then your video production levels should reflect this. Viewers will make a snap judgment call on the quality of what you sell based on the quality of your video marketing. Of course if your brand has more of a local or regional position then you have some latitude in how you present yourself. However if you’re going up against the big boys, you need to ensure you can meet them head on in terms of quality.

Forgetting to Provoke the Viewer

Finally (and probably most importantly) don’t forget that at the end of the day you’re aiming to provoke a reaction or emotion from the viewer. Video marketing should not be a completely passive experience and you need to elicit some kind of emotional response from the viewer. Remember that people encounter online video at least once a day and anything less than memorable will simple wash over them.

Many of these common mistakes will seem fairly obvious but it can be easy to lose sight of them once your production is in full flow. However get them all right and you’ll have something that will push your brand to new heights and ensure you rise above your competitors.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

How Poor b2b Marketing Nearly Cost Me My Business

By Digital Marketing

An Honest Look Into Where I Got my b2b Marketing Wrong

For a long, long time I made some very stupid mistakes when it came to the b2b marketing of my business. In fact if I’m honest it’s a miracle that I still have a business at all. I’m not sure what led me to make such a hash of marketing my company’s services for such a long time, maybe I was too young, not smart enough, lazy or even arrogant about this aspect of business.

My Background

To give you a bit more background – I own a video production company who (today) produce for a wide range of clients based in the UK and internationally. I’d grown my business over 9 years by a combination of luck, hard work and traditional b2b marketing approaches such as Yellow pages listings and a badly ineffective and costly Google campaign. However when the economic downturn hit in 2009 we lost 2 of our biggest clients (which we’d admittedly become reliant on) and I was forced to slash the workforce. The phone wasn’t ringing and we had very few new enquiries. These were dark days. I knew we provided a good service and for a long time I couldn’t work out why we weren’t growing.

However slowly but surely it dawned on me that if no-one else knew how good we were, then we weren’t going to survive.

The dogfight that was the economic downturn provoked such a radical change in my b2b marketing approach and activities that I often tell people that I’ve learnt more about running a business in the last 3 years that I did in the previous 9 years of trading.

Today things are very different for my company.

The way in which my business currently markets itself has been nothing less than a revolution and we are looking forward to a bright future. We have new clients, new projects, and daily new enquiries are the norm.

Now I’m conscious that I don’t come across as too smug here as I’m only writing this to share my experience with other business owner.

Corporate Video Production

So here’s what (I think) I got wrong.

My b2b marketing efforts before the downturn were poor, ineffective and a complete waste of money. There was a small part of me that (arrogantly) believed that because the quality of our work was high, customers would naturally find us. This was a HUGE mistake.

It simply does not matter how good we are at what we do if people/customers either
a) don’t know us.
b) can’t find us.

I came to realize that putting my business in the spotlight and making sure we are visible is critical to growing our business. Getting our work, approach and service in front of prospective new customers has been the essence of our recent transformation from “going out of business company” to what we are today.

So being known and being seen has become as important to our business as the actual work we produce. We allocate time (no matter how busy we are) to achieving this goal every month.

The way in which we have achieved this won’t come as much of a surprise to most marketing experts and in some respects can be simply described as a good old fashioned “marketing mix”. However in addition to getting the established marketing elements right we’ve also embraced digital marketing in all its glory which is where a lot of our new business has come from.

Corporate Video Production

A good old fashioned “Marketing Mix”

Simply throwing loads of cash at Google AdWords creates a world where its only a matter of time before your rivals throw even more cash at AdWords and you become embroiled in a marketing war of attrition. However that’s not to say that AdWords don’t play a part in our b2b marketing today. It’s just that they do not represent our entire marketing activity by a long chalk and we’ve spent time working with experts to ensure that every pound we spend with Google is now finding the right customers.

Now although we’ve turned things around I would by no means claim to be a marketing genius. In fact many of the things we learnt have been through seeking the advice (sometimes free, sometimes paid for) of skillful experts. And since I’m sharing most of what I’ve learnt here for free then you’re essentially party to a good deal!

One of the first things we did was to make sure that every element of our website was optimized so that search engines could find us. This was one aspect where we needed an expert but getting this part right was the building block for all our internal activity.

So we engage in lots of different b2b marketing activity over the course of each month. Alongside a modest AdWords campaign here’s what else we do every month to help drive visibility and ultimately sales.

Social Media and b2b Marketing

We have a regular blog where we share as much of our knowledge and expertise as possible(for free!). We offer advice, guides, and info-graphics from our particular field with the aim of positioning us as experts and creating articles of value that people will freely share (effectively spreading our name around the web).

We have an active Twitter output that helps us promote and share our blog articles. We try to update our other social media often, ie pinterest, youtube, vimeo, etc Hootsuite is great for this. We upload as much video content as possible.

Obviously being a video production company we have lots of material but having some video on your site or social media is very useful. And we ensure that we are listed on online business directories and sites.

Corporate Video Production

But it’s not all digital…

We also engage in some good old fashioned cold calling. But not to sell. Instead to simply say hello, and we attend regional business networking events so that we are seen out and about.

Now all of this may sound like quite a lot of work and something that could distract from the main activities of the business. But my business needed new clients to progress and grow (or back in 2009, to stop us going out of business). We found a way to schedule this b2b marketing activity so that it doesn’t impact on other elements of the business and fits nicely into our working week or month.

If I’m honest I can’t point to one single thing and say, “that single activity is where we’re growing our business”, all I can say is that thankfully, this combined approach saved my business.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Video marketing blog – Lighting Advice

By Video Production Advice

Our Guide To Good Looking Lighting

If you’re making a film for your business or organisation there’s a pretty good chance that at some point the viewer is going see and hear someone talking. One of our goals is to share as much of our knowledge as possible in our video marketing blog so below is our guide to lighting for your corporate video or video marketing production.

Interviews, headshots, talking heads and vox-pops form a key ingredient of most corporate videos so making them look fantastic is critical. Below we’ve shared a few tips, techniques and tricks you can use to light and compose your talking head shot in order to get the best results.

Natural Lighting

video marketing blog

Exterior head shot using natural light and reflector

If you’re shooting outside and the general light is good then a simple reflector like we used in this shot gives you a warm light that should give you a very pleasant image. Gold reflectors work really well with human skin colouring and help your subject stand out a bit more. We’ve positioned the subject so that the natural landscape background also enhances the shot.

Simple Interior Shot With One Basic L.E.D Light

video marketing blog

Internal head shot using natural light and small LED light

If you’ve got a good size room with lots of natural light then you can use it to your advantage (The right hand side of the room in this example had floor to ceiling windows). In this shot we positioned the subject on the opposite side of the room to the windows so that the natural light was softer and didn’t appear to harsh. A small basic LED top light was added to the camera to pick out the subjects eyes a little and we positioned the subject to use the colourful (and client branded) materials of a background.

Classic 3 Point Setup

video marketing blog

Interior head shot with 3 light setup and black roll up backdrop

Adding a black backdrop to a shot can help establish the authority of the subject and create a dramatic image. To light this shot we used a very soft light with a reflector to add fill and a back light to give the subject some separation from the black background. Finding a good soft source light is essential to producing interviews shots with higher production values and most lights can be softened using a few tricks. The most common mistake is to place lights too near the subject and not allow the light enough room to disperse and create a softer feel.

Flare and Beauty

video marketing blog

 Studio head shot with black BG and flare

Using a similar approach as the one detailed above (ie black background + 3point lighting) we angle our back light so that it creates a nice flare effect in the camera lens. To do this we simply angled the light in the direction of the lens more directly than we would normally do so. The effect gives us a warm halo flare which adds a nice tough of glamour to your shot.

Domestic Setting

video marketing blog

Interior head shot with 3 light setup

Interviews in homes can be tricky and care is needed not to produce an overly busy shot. In this example we positioned our subject as far from the background as the space would allow and lit him with 2 LED lights on stands. We used the natural light of the window to provide some interest and shape to the background and angled our subject to get the best out of the lights in a small working area.

Internal Shot (Use Your Surroundings)

video marketing blog

Internal head shot using existing location lights for background effect

When shooting in clients location (which we’ve talked about elsewhere good Video Marketing Blog) o look out for anything at the location that may provide interest to the shot. In this location the client had small tea light candles on tables which offered us a great “twinkly” backdrop effect to our interview shot. We used 3 lights to light our subject and you’ll notice a nice lokking halo around her hair which is achieved by a backlight set just behind and to the left of the subject.

Lighting the Background

video marketing blog

Studio based shot with a 3 light setup and additional lights on background

In this studio set up shot we were able to place our subject in front of a set. Once we’d lit the subject we then created some shape and interest to the background. We did this by creating a shaft of light (using the barn doors on our lights head) that cuts across the background and provides a shot with interest and shape.

General Tips

There are some very easy mistakes to make when shooting talking heads so here are our top 3 general tips that should help you shoot great looking interviews and head shots.

1 – Separate subject from Background

Don’t stand your subject too close to anything in the background. Position them well away from room walls or similar to give your shot some depth.

2 – Softly Softly

Mentioned above – we cannot stress the importance of using a lovely soft light when shooting head shots. You’ll make your subject look their best and produce beautiful looking images.

3 – Light the eyes

Whether using natural light or artificial ensure that your subjects eyes aren’t in shadow. If you’re filming outside and the sun is over head think carefully about position and examine your surroundings to see if there’s any shade you can make use of.


Hope fully this additional to our video marketing blog has been useful but do drop us a line if there’s anything else you’d like to know as we’re always willing to share our expertise.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Videography Tips – What makes a better corporate video?

By Corporate Video Production, Video Production Explained

Videography  – A Guide to Grip

Videography for business is huge these days! It seems everyone is producing videos for their business, so it’s important to make sure that your production stands out above the crowd and feels slicker, better and more polished than your competitors. This is essentially all down to “production quality” which we’ve talked about in other blogs. But what videography tricks can you use to lift your film into a higher realm and add polish that will leave your competition drooling! Well one answer is to use grip within the production of your film. But “what the devil is Grip?” I hear you say!

Well, grip is essentially a device that moves the camera whilst shooting. By doing this you are instantly able to produce shots that have a much higher production value and that take on much more of a Hollywood feel!

There are several different types of key grip to choose from out there, these being, Slider’s, Dolly’s and Jib’s.


Sliders are a small-scale grip, which are best used for creating short movement from, left to right and vice versa. They are essentially a bar or track of about 1 to 1.5 meters in length that can be attached to the top of a tripod. The camera is then able to smoothly glide along the track creating a beautiful moving shot that is very useful. They are usually lightweight and cost effective enough to be used on even smaller videography budgets.


Slider capturing some great images


Jibs are counter weighted cranes that the camera can be placed on allowing it to smoothly travel vertically into the air . They are great for achieving truly fantastic sweeping shots from high to low angles. There are 2 main types, the mini jib and the full size or “jimmy” jib.


Mini jibs are ideal for interior shoots.

Mini jib’s are perfect for interior shoots where you may not have a lot of room to operate. These are also good for a small crew (or small budget project) as they are easy to set up and can be operated by one person. Even though they are small they can produce some wonderful sweeping elevated shots and add a great deal to your film.

The full size jib or “Jimmy jib” is basically a much bigger version of the mini jib and can extend the camera upto much greater heights. This can produce spectacular sweeping shots and is perfect for outdoor, landscapes and building footage. However, these take time to set up and usually require several crew members (at least 2) to operate. A full size jib also requires a higher budget but if you’re looking produce footage to delight your audience and to set your piece apart from the others, then you couldn’t find much that will do a better job than a Jib.


A full size jib at work.


Then finally there is the dolly. Dolly’s are a great way to capture smooth, fluid like motion in your footage. They allow the camera to travel along rails or track for greater distances than the “slider” and can produce a wide variety of impressive shots. These, like most grip, have different variants. There are small lightweight Dolly’s such as the Hollywood Dolly, which are fantastic for small interior shoots as they’re portable, easy to set up and very cost effective. However you need a really smooth surface to get the best shots out of them and you’re limited to traveling in a straight line.


Videography Tip – The Hollywood Dolly (left) is ideal for quick paced shoots, whereas the track and buggy dollies (right) are brilliant for studio shoots.

The heavier track and ride on based options offer much more flexibility. These are essentially large scale train tracks that can be laid in straights or curves and come with a small buggy that is placed on the track. This dolly is brilliant for studio shoots but it takes several crew members to set up. It delivers ultra smooth movement and with the curve track it offers great way to produce gliding shots that can circle your subject. Again though this higher end option comes with the budget you’d expect so it can be limited to larger projects.

But producing beautiful moving shots should be within reach of most corporate videography budgets and will positively impact the overall quality of your film.  Be brave and consider adding this into your next project and I’m sure you’ll be delighted with what you can produce.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Media Production Advice – Recording Better Sound

By Video Production Advice

Better audio means better media production

Sound is incredibly important to any video or media production and if it’s done wrong, no amount of post-production will correct it. Getting the sound right on shoot is critical, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your images are, if the sound is not upto scratch it will directly impact the perceived production quality of your film (and therefore your brand) significantly. There are several different types of microphones you can use and knowing which one is correct for the job is important. However in the world or corporate video marketing there are essentially 2 types of mic that are the most frequently used.

Clip-On Microphone (Sometimes Called Lavalier, Tie-Clip or Lapel)

Clip on mics are very common for talking head interviews, and for small crew media production shoots. The benefit of these is that they are small, easy to hide on the subject and do a fantastic job of picking up the audio. They are also easy to carry around and can be set up and used quickly by the camera operator allowing you to use a minimal crew.

The Speaker simply places a radio pack in their pocket or somewhere that can’t be seen and then the microphone is clipped on at around chest height. It’s important to make sure that you hide the cables as these can look rather ugly, so we suggest that you run the cable under the shirt or jacket of your subject. The only downside to this is that they will pick up some fabric rustle if they move too much, so having someone monitor the sound as its recorded is important.

media production

In some cases, a boom microphone may be more appropriate. This is not always the case.

Boom Mic (Also Referred to as a Shotgun Mic)

A boom mic is a microphone usually attached to a long pole and held by a boom operator, or if no movement is required then they can be placed on a stand. These mics are a lot bigger and usually hover somewhere above the speaker out of shot. They are incredibly useful for directional sound, which means that if you point it in one direction it will only pick up the sound that it is aiming at. This is excellent when you have to follow a speaker or film outdoors and helps ensure that all you record is the dialogue and not the sound of whatever else is happening in that area. The only drawback to these is that you need an extra crewmember to operate them, usually a dedicated boom operator who will monitor it at all times.


Location and environment can be an important factor in media production. You’ll ideally want to avoid places that create too much background noise if you need to focus on a speaker. You’ll also want to be aware of wind noise if shooting outside. When filming indoors just remember that the aircon can also be your worst enemy. If possible ask the venue to turn the Aircon off, however if this is not an option do monitor the sound to ensure that you’re not picking up unwanted hum from the location’s Aircon system.

media production

A sound desk for multiple audio sources.

Now the point of this post is not to prove that you need to spend thousands on sound equipment for media production. In fact the audio part of most budget is a very small portion unless you’re recording live music. However don’t dismiss sound within your production as the impact it has on your final video will be important.

In a nutshell the viewer won’t notice “Good” sound recording but you can bet your house that they’ll instantly pick up on bad sound!

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How Important are Location Recces?

By Video Production Advice, Video Production Explained

Our Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Recce

A “recce” (abbreviated from reconnaissance) is essentially visiting a shoot location before filming to assess its suitability for shooting and is vital to ensuring your shoot day goes as well as it can. If you have a video production project on the horizon and you’re wondering what to look out for here’s checklist of what to focus on when doing a “recce” of any location you may want to film at:

Health and Safety

The number 1 reason for doing a recce is to access how safe the location is going to be. The last thing anyone wants on shoot day is equipment (or worse, people) getting injured or damaged. You’ll need to look at access–especially if there’s lots of loading to be done–and the space in general to identify anything that could be a possible hazard.


Something you have to consider is how much space do you actually have to work in? If it’s a small area you may have to restrict yourself to just the bare essential pieces of equipment and plan where they need to be set up. Also you’ll need to know how you’re going to get all the equipment in there. If you’re going to be doing a lot of moving around will it be worthwhile in investing in something to help move the equipment or an extra set of hands?

Corporate Video Production


If you are planning to film outside it’s essential to take into consideration the weather. Check the long range forecasts and consider how the weather may affect your shoot. Can the shooting be done if its raining?, windy?, snowing? Even on really sunny days you may need to plan for such things as too much light and how to compensate for it.



It is important to review how many lights are going to be needed to light your location. If you’re inside consider the windows and that amount of natural light that will be in the room. You may discover that you have a lot of windows that may need diffusing or blocking, so measurements will need be to taken so that you can precut everything that’s needed, saving time on the day.

Corporate Video Production


Sometimes when doing a recce you may find something there that you never considered before, that would look great as a prop in your fillm. Likewise, you may realize extra props or set pieces are needed to further dress the location.


Shoot day efficiency is key and something that your client will appreciate. One of the big benefits of performing a reccc is to figure out where lights, cameras, props will need to be beforehand saving vital time on the shoot day. This ensures that people aren’t waiting around for longer than is necessary and you can get straight to the shooting.


Something that can easily be overlooked is the amount of sockets available for lights and cameras and any other piece of equipment you want to use. Also the type of power available will be an important factor to establish. We’d also suggest establishing the tech specs of the power ring/circuit you will be using to ensure that you don’t overload the system. Always enquire into how the location will charge for the electricity used and at what rate so that you don’t get any nasty shocks on your final invoice.


Corporate Video Production


Don’t overlook the importance of having a good spot to make tea and coffee! Film crews need to be kept hydrated and they can be known to consume record amounts of tea!
If you are catering for a larger film unit consider whether you are able to get food delivered to location or source it locally.

What else happens around your location?

It is very easy to forget that sometimes the outside world can affect your location. For example you may have an interior location booked but didn’t realize that a train line runs directly behind, or that it is under a flight path. Overlooking elements like this could result in unwanted noise levels that can make filming difficult and time consuming. Likewise for exterior locations you will want to find out if anything is happening around on the day or nearby. For example  – On one occasion we turned up for an outside location shoot only to discover that the army were training (blowing things up!!!) very near to us!



Finally check that you have the correct clearance for filming at your location? You should always try to have a location agreement in place before you shoot and have a copy with you on shoot day for good measure.

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How can I get a job in production?

By Video Production Advice

Our Latest Recruits Comments On Getting A Job

Working within the video production sector can be hard work but it’s also very enjoyable and rewarding. You will work on a wide variety of projects and possibly travel to various exciting locations to do so. It’s therefore no surprise that a lot of people would like to work in the industry. We get dozens of letters and application each week from graduates and professionals looking for work. So we’ve asked one of our new recruits Richard Willis to share his thoughts and experiences about how to get into the industry to help anyone looking to make that step. Here’s what he came up with;

“Finding work within the production industry isn’t easy. You have to be tenacious, determined, hard working, enthusiastic and above all, passionate. It is something you really have to stick with, but in time it will pay off. Here’s a few a pointers that I think we will help you along the way.”

Skill Set

“In today’s world it isn’t simply enough to just be a cameraman, or a director, or an editor. You have to have multiple skills under your belt to help you stand out from the crowd. A young cameraman who doesn’t know how to edit may struggle, likewise an editor who can’t produce basic motion graphics, or a director who can’t produce. Clients and employers now expect you to offer a bigger skill package.

“So the key thing is to never become complacent with your skill set, always look on expanding it and developing new skills to help you become invaluable to a production company.”

Build Up Your CV & Showreel

“It is important that you have an impressive CV  or showreel. Production companies get inundated with applications everyday, and there just isn’t enough hours in the day for them to fully view each one. So it is vital to have something at the very beginning of your showreel/CV that will immediately grab their attention and will make them want to keep reading/watching.

“It’s also important to keep building up your experience. So in your spare time volunteer for projects, not only can you add them to your C.V. but there is a good chance that you will make connections that can lead to future work. So be active, make your own projects and impress people.”


entry level video jobs

Our new recruit Richard hard at work.

Put yourself out there

“Determination is key, you shouldn’t be afraid of sending out emails to every company, giving them phone calls and making yourself known. That being said there is a fine line between reminding a company about you and hassling them, you don’t want to be constantly ringing them up every day.

“Create an online presence for yourself, websites such as Linkedin, Facebook, Vimeo, Pinterest and Google+ are all tools at your disposal to help you stand out to find new contacts and work.

“Another essential thing is to network, make friends with like minded people and stay in touch with important contacts that you meet, there’s a saying “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” and this can be very true.”

Make it personal

“When contacting companies make sure you personalize your approach and whatever you do don’t send out a group email, you’ll have only a very slim chance that anyone would ever look at it. Your emails should feel personal, mention their name and something about them if you can. Also make sure that your grammar and sentencing are correct. This is unbelievably important.

“Hopefully some of these tips will help you find your way out there.

“Good luck!”


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