flame engulfed microphone from a brand film

What Makes Good Corporate Video Production?

Manchester Video Production

In Manchester, video production is highly competitive and there is some outstanding video content being created every day. However, often when people think of corporate videos they assume they are boring health and safety videos, training videos or cheap corporate films that the viewer stops watching within 10 seconds. Maybe that is the case in some corporate video productions that lack creativity and invention. It doesn’t have to be this way though. When you’re lucky enough to work for one of the best video production companies Manchester has to offer then you do things differently. We pride ourselves on delivering exactly what our clients are looking for, while always striving to think of a new angle or perspective to ensure the end viewer watches the entire video and even more importantly, remembers it.

Corporate Video Production, that’s not so Corporate

Granted, some subjects are dry in nature and it can be a challenge to add something a bit different. However, it could be something as subtle as getting more interesting takes of the same question in an interview and coaxing a touch of personality out of the contributor. Afterall, sometimes the most confident and gregarious individuals get nervous when a film camera is shoved in their face. On the other end of the spectrum it could be an abstract concept that subliminally resonates with the audience in a highly creative way. There are many ways to create a video idea. You could have the exact same brief and concept, but a totally different creative approach. Sometimes this comes down to budget but more often than not it doesn’t. It’s simply a matter of being brave with the execution. Don’t assume a video has to be a certain way just because that’s how most people would create it or imagine it. There is always an original way. Always a more interesting route. Sometimes you just need to be bold and try something new. At Groundbreak we’re always trying to do things a bit different which is why our portfolio is so diverse.

Business Culture Videos

Below is an example of one of our corporate video productions that is all about the culture of a business and the people that make the company tick. This is a quintessential corporate video that isn’t very corporate at all. I doubt you’ll have watched many corporate videos that feature a burning microphone or a martial arts champion showing off his moves.

Our client was determined to showcase the people behind the scenes. They all have their own personalities which combined is what makes the business a success. They wanted the world to see who they are and what they’re all about. Above all, the owner wanted potential clients to know why they do what they do and why they love what they do. Anyone who commissions them to build a studio knows they are in very safe hands- Not just that they’re experienced which is important, of course- but more than that. Clients can now see how much passion they have for what they do, highlighting that it’s more than just work. It’s a vocation and everyone in the company has a musical background or keen interest in music. That’s why everything works in perfect harmony.

Our client was blown away by this video and said it had gone way beyond their expectations. This was a lovely compliment for the Groundbreak team because we truly care about our video productions. It means the world to us to receive that kind of feedback. It’s also of high importance that the videos we create make a difference for our client. We want them to walk away with a corporate video that they’re proud of. Something they want to show to the world because it delivers the message that they want to share. It shows their potential clients who they are and why they are someone you’d want to do business with. Finally…results. The video needs to reach the exact target audience it is aimed for and open their eyes. Maybe make the viewer feel something that isn’t tangible, but highly positive. What better way to achieve this than to create a video that not only resonates and instigates an emotion, but lingers in the persons mind long after they’ve watched it.

(RED) Weapon of Choice

In order to capture the stunning pictures required we decided the perfect camera for this particular video production was a RED camera. There’s a clue in the header above to the exact camera we used for any DOP’s or camera geeks like us reading this. We needed to shoot in hi speed (slow motion) for numerous shots in order to achieve the effect and style we were aiming for. This camera is an excellent choice when you want to keep resolution but shoot a slow-motion scene.

In my experience corporate video is a loose term. It can mean a range of video content from social videos, brand films, promotional videos, animation explainers, product adverts and everything else in-between. Essentially, it’s a video that is created for a company or brand as some form of promotion, education, information or advertisement. The only thing that really matters is how the corporate video is executed, how engaging it is, and that it nails the brief.

If you’re looking for a corporate video or simply a chat about how you could implement a video content strategy. Please do give us a call and we’d be happy to help contact us.

2d animation production for television

The Groundbreak Autumn Round-up

Celebrating Manchester’s Best Video Production Companies

Here at Groundbreak we can’t believe we’re edging closer to the end of November. What an autumn it’s been already here at Groundbreak HQ. We spent an evening at the MPA inspiration awards last month as one of the best video production companies Manchester has to offer, nominated for best video. We were pipped to the top spot by a BBC collaboration in the end, but still very proud to have one of our commercials up against the biggest players in the industry. It’s two consecutive years now we have been an award nominated finalist at the MPAs for television adverts we’ve produced from concept to final delivery. Video production in Manchester is thriving and here at Groundbreak Productions we are in the thick of it and loving every minute of producing outstanding corporate and commercial videos.

Video Production For Global Brands

Another great achievement this autumn for Groundbreak has been working with a multi-billion-dollar client from over the pond for the first time. Our new client has impeccable standards and expect quality video and perfection with all of their commercials. It involved a large green screen shoot directed by our in-house Director Geoff and produced by our very own Creative Producer Sean along with the rest of the Groundbreak team. We needed a 35-person crew, a RED Helium 8k and two Arri Amira cameras all shooting in synchronicity. Fortunately, the team at Groundbreak like pressure and thrive under that kind of environment. It’s all top secret at the moment but watch this space for the commercial’s release in the new year.

Animated Videos

It’s been a hectic autumn for our post-production team too. We’ve been creating numerous animations both 2d and 3d. We’re putting the finishing touches to a magical 3d animation imagined and realised by our talented Head of Production Matt  for another wonderful client which will be polished and mastered just before winter arrives. Animating this piece was great fun with it being a highly satisfying and captivating style. However, the most fun part was the sound design. We locked ourselves away for a good few days in our post-production studio and created hypnotic sounds that we’re certain will blow the audience away.

One of the many other animations we have recently created is a fun 2d TVC we produced for another client which has just been broadcast. This is a product animation highlighting an exciting range of security products in a fun style that even briefly includes a fire breathing dragon (no, not the John Lewis Advert!). Due to our client’s positivity towards the final video animation we’ve no doubt it will deliver excellent results for them and we look forward to creating the next one.

Winter – A Busy Time For Corporate Videos

We’re always crazy busy at this time of year because many of our clients want to shoot their commercial, corporate or social videos just before their Christmas parties as part of their marketing strategy for the new year.

See you soon and here’s to a fun and productive winter season that’s just around the corner.

Enjoyed this round up? Have a look at our other video production blogs, including behind the scenes stories, equipment reviews and general video production hints and tips !


head shot used for video blog

Memorable TV Commercials

Last week it was my birthday. I won’t specify the exact date as the team at Groundbreak HQ often become quietly frustrated when I am inundated with flowers, chocolates and negligee from well-wishers and fanatics.

Nor will I explicitly state the year that I was born. When I am occasionally pushed for an answer to this question I daintily wither like a debutante southern belle, offer only “the year of the Dragon”, and nod to indicate that that should suffice. 

A further clue would be that I share a birth year with the most consistently ubiquitous voice of Pop since my early teens and po-faced Bajan – Rihanna. Another still is that I am the same age, height and weight as MMA and Dublin’s Conor McGregor, he has ever so slightly better posture than I do which creates the optical illusion that he is in marginally better shape than I am fitness wise. A third clue, a certain giveaway, is that I have the same year of birth as the unrivalled, unparalleled, the absolute definitive ginger wizard of his generation Sir Rupert Grint. 

As true for myself as it is for BadGalRiRi, The Notorious and GinWizWeasley – since we were born, things have changed. When we four were born television advertising in the UK was only 33 years old (I’m quite old, the Berlin wall was still up) and between then and now TV commercials and marketing have changed significantly.

Old TV Advertisements

One thing I remember being confused by as a child were the advertisements that were seemingly for a generic product that was unbranded. Usually for foodstuffs like the famous “go to work on an Egg” ad campaign of the 50s and 60s (long before I was born). Who pays for those ads? Hens? Were they governmental schemes to push egg sales and if so why? Is that what communism is? Where were the adverts for shoes?

“Remember to buy shoes!”

“Shoes! For your feet”

“Slip in to something lacy”

Remember when the League Cup was sponsored by Milk? MILK! Not Alpro, or Dairy Crest or any other brand. Lactose or otherwise this was a huge national football competition that was sponsored Milk. Good old-fashioned Milk direct to you from the Mad Cows of yesteryear. Bizarre.

Here is an ad that was being broadcast during the year that myself, The Fenty founder, The 170 lbs Irish gorilla, and The Venerable Saint Rupert Grint were born. This ad is a TV commercial promoting that most prestigious of products – Pork. The ad encourages families to “lean on Pork”. This pun seems to hint at pork being less fatty than other meats as well as being comparatively economically priced so when the pantry looks bare you can always lean on pork to get you through the week.

Staying with the food theme, although this time overtly branded, this next and equally odd video features current spouse of the fabulously tyrannical Rupert Murdoch and mother to four of Mick Jagger’s children Jerry Hall. She turns to camera as the narrator whose voice sounds like he is newly recovered from inhaling some water asks us “Are you a Bovril Body?”

Jerry with the sensual air of someone who has never been asked a more reasonable and enticing question answers “With 20 calories a cup, naturally”. She then takes a sip from a double handled, fine china and (one would guess) antique, Bovril cup.

There and then as a babe in my mother arms I unlatched from her breast. Screaming, I declared that milk was for sponsoring football tournaments and overweight people – I was to have a Bovril Body! In the (few) decades since, I have drank Bovril and Bovril only. Another striking similarity between myself and the two-weight world champion Conor McGregor as I’m told he does the same when cutting weight before fights. A marketing triumph.

The above ads are examples of commercial productions that were still in their broadcast cycle when I was born. However, the following and final ad actually debuted in the very same Tibetan year of the Female Fire Rabbit as I did. In a harrowing prophecy of my retirement this commercial features an 80-year-old jogger Walt Stack. He is running over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge topless. As he runs he tells us that he runs 17 miles every morning. He then tells us that people ask him how he keeps his teeth from chattering in the winter time. “I leave ‘em in my locker” Walt quips and runs on by, the guy is a maverick. Walt, as astounding and virile an octogenarian as I’m sure he was, is not the star of this ad. The true star is what follows next. A logo and a super.

“Just do it. NIKE”

This was the very first* usage by Nike of “Just do it.” It was pitched to Nike by a marketing executive who reportedly came up with it by repurposing the last words of a murderer who uttered “Just do it” to the firing squad that were braced in anticipation ahead of him in his last moments.

The flippancy, the attitude, the simplicity, the singularity of focus and determination, the inspiration, the hope, the unsympathetic self-belief of the phrase has entranced and resonated with us ever since. From that day to this, from an 80-year-old jogger running 17 miles because he can to NFL and Nike athlete Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for his national anthem to this day in protest of the treatment of minorities in the US, Nike have found moving stories and branded them. How does an 80-year-old man run 17 miles a day? How can an athlete have the courage to lose his job and millions of dollars to stand up for what he believes in? In the first case and the second, which was heavily marketed by Nike to mark the anniversary of the phrase in 2018, the answer is the same – Just do it.

The birth of a truly iconic and globally successful symbol within the world of advertising… as well the birth of Nike’s Just do it. A fine year of the dragon indeed.

*Not the first use of “Just do it” by any brand. Two years before Nike’s campaign Britain’s very own Weetabix had an ad that could not have been more of its time. Featuring animated characters that made up the Weetagang dancing through dark city streets, a bespoke rock ballad extolls the virtues of a filling breakfast and even squeezes in a brief sax solo, the pavement flags light up as the characters step on them, the song and the ad end when the characters jump in to a billboard Weetabix ad and the singer shout-sings “Wake up with Weetabix… and just do it.” We now know what really kept Walt Stack running 17 miles every morning.