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TVC Production Company

As an award-winning Television Commercial (TVC) production company we often get asked, “what kind of TVC would work for our brand? Should we go down the animation/VFX route or live action?” A TVC production company like ours isn’t just about executing an already decided storyboard or script (even though we’re more than happy to do so). We often are involved at the very early development stages of your TVC production. All you need is a brief to get the ball rolling and we do the rest.

TVC Production Company Video Brief

First of all, you might not know if you want your corporate video to be a TVC production. Maybe you just know that you need some form of advertisement for your brand or product. After all there are numerous platforms to showcase your video content. Television is just one of them but a very powerful tool indeed. When you send your initial first draft of your brief to a TVC production company you should expect a myriad of questions in return. This isn’t because your brief isn’t detailed enough. This is because the best TVC production companies want to understand you and your brand in order to think like you and create the most suitable proposal regarding your potential TVC.

TVC or not TVC?

Once you have decided that television is the correct route for you the next thing to consider is the type of production. Is animation suitable for your brand? Maybe live action is preferable due to the tone you are going for. Do you want to relay a simple message, or do you simply want to grab attention and spike curiosity in the end user? These are all the kind of thought processes and decisions that a good TVC production company will discuss with you during the early stages of development.

TVC Pre-Production

Now that you have decided (with expert guidance) which form of TVC is best for you in order to get the right tone and traction, pre-production will commence. This is the initial planning of workflows, logistics, ad clearance, storyboarding, scripting and all-round creativity and organising. Whether it is an animation, VFX or live action planning is crucial in any video production. Once you are happy that everything is covered from risk assessments, contributors and characters to end user experience, production can begin.

TVC Production

Now the really exciting stage commences. Assuming it is going down the live action route. The shoot, cast crew and location will be meticulously researched, sourced, booked in and filmed. This could be a simple talking head in an office environment or maybe a large crew set up on a tropical beach. There are so many types of TVC productions. If it’s an animation the storyboards will be finalised before characters are built and assets created depending on the style of animation chosen. Essentially, it’s the moment when you start seeing things coming to life. Whatever the route chosen, you will be as involved as you like from start to finish of the production phase to ensure you get the exact TVC commercial you want and need.

TVC Post-Production

If you’re TVC production is a live action commercial it now goes into the edit suite to be creatively cut together with all considerations involved with timings and pace to ensure the perfect balance. Once that is completed and signed off the music, VO or sync will be mixed to create beautiful audio. Then finally the TVC will go into Da Vinci Resolve to be colour corrected (to ensure the colours are broadcast safe), colour graded (to match your brand or messaging to evoke the correct feeling and mood) and mastered for final delivery to the chosen broadcaster or broadcasters. If your TVC is an animation it is already in post-production for the entire process of production so it will need sound design, Foley and music all mixed while the final colours are being rendered. Once it’s been perfected it will then be on its way to the broadcasters too.

Many Forms of TVC Productions

These are a few examples of the journey from contacting a TVC production company through to delivery of your television commercial to the broadcaster. Each project is bespoke and would have its own journey, but this is to give a flavour of what to expect.

If you’d like to chat about whether a TVC production would be suitable for your brand and what form would work best then please get in touch and we’d be happy to help.

 

 

 

 

 

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Choosing a Video Agency in Manchester For Best ROI

Our Manchester video agency clients often ask, “What type of commercial or corporate video content do we need to deliver the best return on investment?” This is a common discussion in our video agency’s brainstorm room in Manchester. It is one thing to devise and create the perfect commercial or animation video. However, it’s a totally different thing to launch a video on the correct platform, at the perfect time to ensure the targeted end user watches and engages with it. At Groundbreak we are a video agency that always considers the bigger picture. It’s not only about creating outstanding and engaging corporate videos and animations. It is also about affecting the correct audience at the right time. This could be live action, visual effects or animation. It doesn’t matter what type of video as long as the results are what you hoped for.

What Are The Benefits of Corporate Video?

There are many benefits to having a corporate or commercial video. Be it live action or animation. Our long-term repeat clients can testify this. Year on year we create video content for our clients to reap the rewards of a well thought out video marketing strategy. They also get an awesome video to be proud of! You might want to create a video for the products that you sell. Maybe a video to show who you are as a brand and what your story is. It could be an explainer animation to showcase how a process or product works. Maybe it is simply a high-end commercial that literally wows the viewer, holds their attention and is ingrained in their mind forever.

Manchester Video Agency

Whatever type of video, you’ll need a quality video agency like ours in Manchester. We can help you conceptualise your video content and advise and action a strategy with you.

Use Video To Evoke An Emotional Response

Whatever corporate or commercial video production you are thinking about for your business, it is important to consider how you want the audience to feel.  This applies both when they are watching the video and the feeling they get long after they’ve finished. Is an emotive theme important to emotionally impact the end user or is it all about facts and information? It could be something that is visually stunning which connects with the viewer by saying ‘everything we do is high quality with great attention to detail’. Maybe a combination of all of the above?

Whatever you decide it is always best to try and tell a story if possible. This isn’t always viable, but it is more often than not even in a subtle way. This is a great technique to engage and relate with the viewer in a powerful way. Moreover, it makes the video content more interesting and engaging.

Corporate Video Strategy

Your corporate video strategy is something you should consider before you commission a video. Our video agency in Manchester can help you with this. We understand the importance of how and when you show your video to the world. Often numerous versions are created for slightly different audiences and different online and broadcast channels.

An example of this would be a thirty second TV commercial that is broadcast on a particular channel at a specific time because that is the most likely way of making the right impression on the right person. There may then be cut down versions for social media and different versions in different languages across the world. Maybe an amended version for your website or a more bespoke ad created for Sky adsmart (or similar) to really home in on your preferred audience. There are many routes to your desired target audience, and these are just some examples.

Full Service Video Agency

At Groundbreak we see ourselves as a full-service video agency with roots in Manchester and London. We offer our creative services for development and idea shaping along with strategising the way in which the video will be used and viewed. Once everyone is happy with the concept and overall plan of attack, we then organise logistics and produce the commercial or corporate video. If it is an animation or VFX gig we handle the entire project until delivery. If it’s a live action video, we script, storyboard and shoot the commercial and handle all postproduction. We do the lot.

It is worth mentioning that if you already have a script/storyboard or strategy then we are a video agency that’s more than happy to execute the storyboard and deliver the content in whatever format you require.

Client Collaboration

Another important factor with our video agency in Manchester is the collaboration with our clients. It is crucial to us that anyone we work with on a video production is part of a collaborative process. Essentially our clients can be as involved as they want to be. Whatever best suits you along the video production journey. If you want to simply leave us to it then that’s fine. We are definitely well versed in the video production process. However, if you’d like to be involved at every stage that is great too. After all it is your video and its absolutely fundamental that you are not only happy with the final video but also the whole process along the way.

If you have a brief and want to collaborate with one of the best and fun loving video agencies around then please give us a call or drop us an email and we’d be happy to help.

corporate video company

Running a Corporate Video Production Company

As a corporate video production company director, I feel fortunate that I ended up in the creative industry here in Manchester. In particular the video production and animation work here at Groundbreak. Being surrounded by the creative minds in our Manchester studio truly inspires me. Obviously currently I’m home alone which isn’t particularly inspiring. However, as I look through all of our video projects over the last year it brings a sense of pride and nostalgia. With a quick flick through our video portfolio I can easily relive our exhilarating video production shoots in Manchester and around the world that we’ve been fortunate to be a part of. I also remember some fantastic idea-shaping sessions for large animation and VFX gigs that had the entire team desperate to have their input in the storyboard. Being part of a corporate video production company guarantees unique days, experiences, and in our case, lots of laughs too.

Corporate Video Production

The Corporate side of video production was always something I was interested in. I love a challenge and I believe that corporate video production is exactly that. Trying to bring a business, product or culture to life through a video and ensuring the brief is nailed often has its restrictions and complications. It’s our job is to create original and engaging video content no matter what obstacles are in the way. Ensuring key messaging is subtle yet on brand is an art form. The aim is for for the end user/customer to understand and relate to the brand/contributors. It’s a powerful business tool.

Production Budget

Budget is an interesting one. I would prefer to know the budget from the start so we can push the production values as far as possible. That way I know exactly what is or isn’t realistically achievable and maybe a nudge towards the type of production- whether that be live action or animation. An engaging video can be created whatever the budget, but maybe the route would need to be adjusted. Our job as one of the best corporate video production companies in Manchester means we have to figure out the best way to execute the brief with the available resources.

Corporate Video Production for Online, Social Media, or TV?

As a corporate video production company that also operates as an animation studio, I’m often asked by clients ‘which type of video do we need?’ Will a live action, VFX, animation or maybe a hybrid get the most traction and best results? This is the million-dollar question and there is no definitive answer. First of all, we need to analyse our clients target audience. This is how we understand what makes them tick and how best to engage with them. Once we have an understanding of this, we can consider the best output platforms. Will it be online, social media, or TV? Maybe all three at different times to have the most impact with altered versions and assets.

It’s fundamentally important to not only understand your client but also their customers because that is who you have to build a subliminal rapport with. When creating a corporate video production, you are always aiming to affect a specific audience to inspire them and hope they take a particular positive action. It could be to purchase a product with a product demo video. Maybe it is to help them understand a process with an animated explainer video. It could even be to highlight a working culture in a  recruitment video. There are endless types of corporate videos and they are used in an ever-evolving way.

Video Production Style

Once we’ve figured out what platform the corporate video is going to be aired on, the next task of the production is to determine the most suitable style of video. If the corporate video is an emotive piece about a business’s culture and ethos, then maybe live action is the preferred route. This is because live action more often than not appears to be more genuine and sincere. It’s that human connection and emotion. No fancy visual effects or animation characters to hide behind. A message delivered by people to people. I’m not suggesting it is impossible to create an animation with true sincerity, but I do believe it is a much easier sell if there is that human touch that someone can relate to on screen.

Animation or Live Action?

Maybe your client is looking for something incredibly eye catching and informational at the same time. Something truly creative and absorbing that delivers lots of information quickly. In this instance an animation could be perfect. Or potentially live action laced with motion graphics to get extra messaging across quickly or to hammer home specific information. It’s not unusual to go down the hybrid route. It’s really all about creating the most effective video for the end user irrespective of style.

Collaboration

The most important part of the process of a corporate video production company is collaboration. To ensure everyone is on the same page at all times is critical. This means that your client understands why you are suggesting certain things. And the reason they would work as opposed to others. Moreover, the collaboration is crucial because your client will know their customers better than you will. They will undoubtably have statistics and ideas of their own. So implementing them into your overall video production strategy will ensure the best outcome.

Enjoy What You Do

Finally, it’s got to be enjoyable. Working in one of the best corporate video production companies in Manchester has taught me how important it is to enjoy what you’re doing. A fun working environment is a must. Yes, this is important for your clients so that they get a positive vibe. More importantly though your team of creatives who produce the corporate videos will undoubtably create better videos if they are enjoying what they do. And enjoying life often goes hand in hand with a happy work environment.

If you’re looking for a corporate video production company to collaborate with on your next live action, animation or VFX gig then please do get in touch.

 

animated car

Animation Manchester

Our Manchester based animation studio is a fusion of endless creative opportunities and concepts. It’s the epicentre of our imagination. The fulcrum of our creative gusto. The magical space where the room lights are always dim, and the gaze of our post-peeps (a post-peep is a post-production person) are eternally transfixed to the viewing monitors that have enticed them into a world of originality and inspiration. Animation and Manchester are made for each other. Animation doesn’t care about the weather, if it did it probably wouldn’t like Manchester. 

Working Environment

The atmosphere of an animation studio is of paramount importance. Whether it’s a sole animator or a team of animation wizards. The mood and tone must be right. There must be a positive and efficient vibe, but a creative edge in the atmosphere is needed. An uplifting mood cloaked with a veil of serious serenity. A bit like on a video production set. Mind fulfilling and thought-provoking animations can be created anywhere in the world. Often with weather cloaking blackout blinds in dark rooms (like most post in video production). This ensures not one pixel is missed by the animator as they view their creation coming to life. Being shrouded in darkness helps with perfect screen viewing of your latest animation and also highlights that it’s irrelevant what the weather in Manchester is doing outside. Everything outside the animation suite stops. The world is on pause. 

The Final Sequence

Imagine this. A dark room captivated by an unbridled energy. Gently lit by a rich and colourful vivid set of monitors. One screen is lighting a producers face as she gazes on in absorbed glee. Her face tells a story. A story of near completion. A story that has been all consuming for the last six months as she’s battled with ideas, creatives and budget. She’s witnessing the final sequence coming to life and can’t hide her emotion.

The Animator

The other identical monitors rays of light accentuate the dust particles dancing in the dark and vignette the face of an accomplished animator. Comfortable in his own skin. Comfortable in his own skill. He’s well accustomed to working in the dark and lighting up colleagues faces with awe. He’s been here before. Been through the tricky post-production patches. Always reminding himself and his team of animators that each hurdle is there for a reason and in turn lifting the production values to the next stratosphere. Each challenge, storyboard and script change will be overcome and managed. He can sense the relief and delight by his colleague’s aura. His now content work mate.

Love Child

Sat there in the dimly lit room both animator and producer alike know a spellbinding animation will be broadcast to the world very soon. The world will never know the late nights though. The system crashes. Workflow meltdowns. The blood sweat and tears that went into it. But they will. They know only too well. They know they created this stunning collaboration of engaging animation in this dark room in Manchester. 

They’ll be onto the next animation or video production gig soon, but for now they’ll enjoy this moment and they’ll enjoy it even more when they show it to the world. On this day they’re a happy and content triumvirate. Producer, animator and animation. Three have briefly become one. They’ll be glad to move onto the next all-consuming gig. This has been intense. The best animations often are. They will miss it though. It’s become a part of them. Like two roommates raising a child. They love it but are happy to let it free once it can take care of itself. They could never keep it from the world. It was created solely for mass consumption. It’ll shine bright and touch many people. It’ll be remembered. They’ll remember it most.

Collaboration

When collaborating on an animation as a producer, director or both you often spend a lot of time alone with the lead animator. When I say a lot of time, I mean you practically live together for a few weeks or even months. To the point that you should probably declare your new living arrangement with the local council as it will undoubtably affect your council tax obligations. This isn’t unusual in video production and even more common in post-production. There are a few reasons why you spend so much time together. 

Two Heads Are Better Than One

Firstly, and most importantly like anything that is aiming for excellence and to be the best it can be, collaboration is key. Two skilled operators are always going to create something that little bit more special than with one talented individual. The cliché that two heads are better than one is absolutely true in this instance. You might have all the ideas and technical skills to implement an idea and create an animation. However, because you are so absorbed in the project you might miss a few subtleties. 

Animation – In the Detail

These tiny details could be the difference between a very good animation and an absolute masterpiece. Maybe it is the way in which one of your 3D characters moves in a certain sequence. Or the way in which a sound design tweak emboldens a few seconds of a 2D animation that makes the end user feel a certain way. Maybe it’s a simple suggestion that instigates a slight change in thought process which in turn improves the overall flow of the animation. It could be many things, but a collaboration is definitely better than an individual effort. After all, the aim is always to create the best animation possible. You want your client to be blown away. Team efforts always help you achieve this.

Different Types of Animation

There are many different types of animation and VFX all created and used for different purposes. There is traditional animation which is 2D animation that was often hand drawn. The other type of 2D animation is vector-based animation which is using digital assets. Next there is 3D animation which is CGI animation. Then there is my personal favourite, stop motion (Claymation, cut-outs), think Wallace and Gromit and the like. Finally motion graphics are also part of the world of animation which involves animating typography.

The one thing all of these types of animation have in common is that they can literally be whatever you want them to be. The sky’s the limit. It is always possible to create something original when it comes to animation. This is often more difficult in other forms of video production as there are less possibilities. With animation every creation can be unique. The imagination of the creators and the budget are the only limits. If an idea can be conceptualised and developed into a tangible storyboard, then the only thing that could possibly get in the way at this point is the financial resources available to produce the animation. For a more detailed explanation of the different types of animation check out the animation section of this blog.

If you’re considering an animation, visual effects or any type of video production and looking for a passionate bunch of creatives who love bringing ideas to life then please get in touch.

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2019 Groundbreak Round-Up

Our Year of Video Production

It’s certainly been a chaotic, rewarding, funny, crazy, exhilarating, challenging and memorable year in the world of video production at one of Manchester’s best production agencies. There have been ups and downs highs and lows, but above all we’ve had the opportunity to create some outstanding video content for our wonderful clients. The great thing about our clients is they give us creative freedom more often than not. This means we get to express ourselves in our video productions. Whether it’s a TV Commercial production, corporate video content, animation or visual effects. There’s always an engaging way to create content if you have the freedom to come up with an interesting concept. As a video production company that thrives off a challenging brief, we just want to create bigger and bolder content that inspires and pushes boundaries. We’ve certainly done that in 2019 and it will be more of the same in 2020!

Best Video Production Awards and Nominations

2019 has been a real success for awards. A handful of videos we’ve created this year helped large agency campaigns win prestigious awards. We’ve also had a lot of joy with best video awards directly ourselves. This is always our favourite type of recognition because it’s simply about video production which is what we’re all about. We won ‘Best Video’ award at the esteemed European Office Product Awards for this printer commercial earlier this year which was a great kick start to the calendar. We’ve also attended the Prolific North awards and the MPA inspiration awards as finalists for ‘Best Video’ awards for some of the commercials we produced this year. It’s always a good night out at the ceremonies whether we win or not. We always feel privileged to be there amongst the best video production companies in the UK. Hopefully with a bit of luck, a huge amount of hard work and a touch of creativity we’ll find ourselves at more award ceremonies next year!

Clients old and new

It’s been a great year for partnering with new and exciting clients and agencies from many different sectors, which in turn has helped our video portfolio become even more diverse than last year. That’s saying something as we’re most certainly not a one trick pony here at Groundbreak. Client retention’s been as strong as ever with collaborations with all our key clients at some point in 2019. We’ve even had a few of our older clients who we created video content for many years ago contact us again to work together this year. And as ever, expecting excellence in their new productions. Of course, we happily obliged.

Video Production Needs

Some clients need regular content every month, others need a couple of TV commercials a year. And then there are a few who only want corporate videos every few years because they have a new product or service, they want to show the world. I’ve learned to not take it personally if we don’t hear from a client in a while. They have their own journey to travel just like us. One thing though that always reassures me is that all of our clients come back to us for their video production needs at some point. That’s the great thing about repeat business and it works both ways of course. If we consistently raise the bar in both the video content, we create and the way in which we collaborate with our clients. Ensuring it’s an enjoyable and successful partnership for all then I suppose why wouldn’t they come back? One thing is for sure. We understand that we wouldn’t be here without our clients. They’re the oxygen to our flame. We couldn’t be groundbreaking without them. They give us the briefs and the trust to go out and create something special. So, thanks very much to all of you!

Groundbreak Productions Team and Crew

None of the awards or outstanding video productions and animations would be possible without our fantastic in-house team of original thinkers. I’m incredibly proud of everyone in the Groundbreak team. The hard graft they all put in without even considering what day of the week it is or how long they’ve been creating for. The beautiful end products they create which gives us the strong reputation we have built. Not only are they colleagues but also good friends who are all decent human beings that care passionately about video production, but more importantly the truly important things in life. I couldn’t do it without them, so thank you very much.

Last but not least the freelance crew we collaborate with all year round who devote their time, energy and enthusiasm to help us deliver astounding videos. We create content with many specialists from storyboard artists and sound recordists to 3d animators and sound designers. We always work with the best people and I think it shows in our video content.

It’s been a magical year and I’m excited for what’s around the corner in 2020. We already have some phenomenal video productions in the pipeline that I simply can’t wait to get stuck into. Many concepts signed off and shoot dates booked in and numerous Animations in development. It’s going to get hectic all over again before you know it so enjoy your Christmas holiday while you still can…

If you have any video production needs in the New Year and would like to collaborate with a team of creatives who not only love what they do but are also great fun to work alongside then please get in touch.

Happy New Year!

nativity scene

A Parent’s Guide to Video Production this Christmas

Christmas Videos

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s cold. You’re sick. There is palpable anxiety in the crisp air. Cortisol courses through your veins like the biting wind that knives your cheeks. Weary, worn, weather-beaten you march on. The faceless frenetic crowd, apathetic, brush and bump you. Broken, you look but do not see. Dazzled, dazed, dizzy. Names, numbers, numbness. This is the Boots 3 for 2 Christmas sale. Will my nan actually use a No7 Electric Nights eye palette? Is my niece 4 or 12? Is my brother still with that girl? These are not the only urgent questions that require an answer. Is it possible to shoot a good video of my daughter’s Nativity play without using the best video production company in Manchester?

Capturing a Nativity Video

Social media video has fast become the only widely accepted documentation of verifiably accurate events, so there is growing pressure on parents to capture the hallmark moments of their child’s lives. A school’s annual nativity play, far from being anything that could be misconstrued as enjoyable, is instead a tense test of your video production skills.

Below is a reasonably comprehensive guide to creating the best possible video production to show that you love your child more than other people love theirs.

What Equipment Do I Need For Filming?

Most schools don’t allow cinema grade camera equipment or full-scale video production crews on their premises. I’ve tried but I’ve been turned away and things have gotten physical. Take it from me it’s not going to happen and you’re going to miss two days of your advent calendar locked in a cell. You’re going to have to shoot this thing on your phone.

If you are somebody who shoots video on your phone portrait rather than landscape, then it’s a statistical certainty that you are irreparably mentally ill and you should stop reading this and seek help.

Those of you who are left I recommend setting your camera app to Pro mode so you can familiarise yourself with manually adjusting white balance, ISO and focus. If this sounds dull or alienating fear not. You’ll get good bang for your buck by setting your camera to auto and tapping on the thing you want to be in focus on the screen. Shot composition is more important than your equipment on this production.

Shot List for the Best Christmas Video Production

Framing is key. Instinctively you’re going to crane and contort yourself in an effort to have your child front and centre of your frame while doing as much as you can to not compromise the shots of rest of the crew (other parents). In all likelihood you won’t have arrived early enough to secure spots on the front row. The pushy stage parents camp out the night before, anyway. Your child is already quietly baffled that everyone is now calling the dinner hall Bethlehem and, while children are merrily compliant enough to go along with this conceit so long as they get to put a tea towel on their head, the whole construct may fall down when they see their entire family sat in a row forcibly grinning, menacingly nodding and grotesquely mouthing a song that everyone else is actually singing. So, the front row is not advised. File in somewhere within rows 3-5 and aim for something central. The aisle is good but be mindful that there may be processions down the aisle during the performance. This would leave you with a very sharp pan* to follow the action from behind you, all along the aisle and on to the stage as I found out one disastrous harvest festival.

Being a little set back from the stage and relatively central is going to allow you to concentrate on capturing two key shots. One is the mid-shot. Frame your child up from the waist with a little head room at the top of shot. This squarely places your child as the focus of the shot but leaves plenty of clearance to ensure that you capture any erratic movements or over-zealous gesticulating. If your child is in one of the minor roles which I’ve seen range from the traditional donkey, through to the post-modern badger, you can crop in for a close up. In my experience the children who make up the wider cast of non-human mammals tend to be largely stationary except for the big musical numbers during which they may walk ill-rhythmically in a circle around the presumably terrified baby Jesus.

The second shot for the perfect nativity video production this Christmas is the wide. You should aim to capture the whole stage during the big set pieces that include all of the children. Used sparingly this shot gives a sense of the mise-en-scène as well the scale of the production which when watched back in the following years will be awe-inspiring or humbling for your child depending on the budget of the production.

For the Best Video Only Shoot the Best Bits

With either of the above two key shots there is something, or rather someone, to be aware of. He – it is usually though not always a boy – is pale faced with manic eyes, the teeth of his grin are as spaced out as his demeanour and his hair is brushed forward. You’re going to want to identify this child within the first few seconds of the play. Spot him before you spot your own child. It will pay dividends.

This child is what makes a nativity play. He is a key stage 2 psychopath. He is the wild maverick who, unfettered by the script or innate rationality, will lash out and create the moment that everyone will remember about the production. It is your job to keep him in shot where you can or have one eye on where he is at all times ready to frame him up in a split second. When he becomes restless and irritable is usually a good indicator that he’s about to go nuclear. It’ll start small. He’ll shout to the other children using their real name instead of their character name, he’ll tell the wisemen to “hurry up” when they’re following the star or he’ll loudly repeat that there is “no room at the inn” even though we’re well in to the third act and he’s playing a cow. But it will build.

He’ll start to wander around the stage aimlessly. Seemingly innocently. This is the moment. As he stalks through Bethlehem he will come to a natural pause. His gaze will fix and an eerie calm will swim across his smile. This is the moment. Train your camera on him, check your battery levels and steel yourself because this is it. At a minimum he will bounce a tambourine off a teaching assistant’s head. I’ve seen this shot made at 30 yards. Thrilling.

If you’re lucky he’ll take the baby Jesus and use him as a space hopper, singing his own re-written versions of Christmas songs that tell the story of his stepfather’s infidelity rather than that of the “Virgin” Mary. This is gold you cannot afford to miss. Ideally you will have a second roaming cameraman to focus solely on this boy. If your production crew is skeletal or you don’t have a second camera seriously consider buying the school’s DVD version of the Nativity and using your own resources to exclusively shoot this child. You’ll have the same wide, shakily shot version of the Nativity as all the other parents who didn’t read this, but you’ll have a viral video on your hands. Guaranteed.

Editing a Christmas Nativity

Any video production is made the best it can be in post-production. This is a video for social media. You want the edit to be snappy and eye catching. We may have to consider trimming some of the fat of the narrative.

No room at the inn, gold, frankincense and myrrh and the birth of a deity are the bankers. Those scenes have to be in there. The debt-slavery, the 18-year age gap between the 14-year-old Mary and her betrothed Joseph and the infanticidal scenes can be left out. They’re not Gram-able.

If you’re in town you can head into our Manchester office or contact our team and I’ll personally take a look at your rushes and explain how we can help with your Nativity edit. Unless yours is the pale-faced maniacal child. Then there’s nothing we can do to help.

I’m not actually aloud to share the recent nativity play video I created due to copyright and legal reasons. However, you can check out some of my other creations here.

Merry Christmas.

*A pan is a lateral rotation of the camera from a fixed point but can also be used as a substitute for ANY movement of the camera or re-framing of the shot such as a tilt, roll, zoom, dolly, jib or truck depending on how cool you are.

happy man

How Did I Get Into Video Production?

Do You Want a Career in Video Production?

I most certainly didn’t plan a career in video production. The thought never crossed my mind. The truth is I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. Not a clue. All I was interested in as a teenager was sport and most importantly, creative writing. Whether that was poetry or prose, it didn’t matter. I just enjoyed the process and the escapism. Absolute freedom. Putting a pen to paper and writing whatever the hell I wanted was liberating. My handwriting was and still is the laughing stock it deserves to be. To say it was difficult to read would be an understatement. It needed an interpreter. Who cares though? It was the words that mattered as far as I was concerned. I never professed to be a calligrapher like Maeve, our creative director who annoyingly has incredibly elegant handwriting. Thank goodness for computers and fonts for folk like me. More importantly, thank goodness that bad handwriting didn’t hold me back in my video production quest.

Poetry and Mental Health

Some of my poems, especially when I was younger had a dark and abstract theme. Maybe a little too dark at times. I had quite the fight with mental health when I was a teenager and didn’t understand what was going on in my own head. I now look at it as a beautiful, melancholic moment in life that I overcame. In fact, I’m certain it made me a stronger person. Throughout the tough times my pen and paper were always in my pocket and they rescued me from myself. I’m sure many teenagers have issues as they progress through those heady and often cruel years and I was no different, although at the time I was convinced it was only me. I felt alienated and didn’t realise it was all part of the journey of growing up that would eventually lead to happiness. At that point of my life I certainly didn’t entertain the thought I would spend a sizeable chunk of my working life at a fun loving, award winning video production company here in Manchester. Not in my wildest dreams. Poor mental health has a cruel way of sucking all of the ambition and excitement out of you. It stops you dreaming big. It lowers your expectations. It dampens your soul. You can overcome it though!

Why We’re Passionate About Quality Video Production

By my late teens I had done every type of low paid, run-of-the-mill job imaginable. You name it (within reason, of course) and I’d done it. Some were better than others, but when I look back none of them rewarding or particularly enjoyable. They just put a bit of change in my back pocket and paid the rent. I do remember great anxiety in my teens regarding the age-old question of what am I going to do with my life? What is my ambition, my plan? I always responded in the same way. ‘I want to be happy’ and I meant it. That always raised a slightly irritating eyebrow. As if I was supposed to want more. Teachers often asked this question, never my parents. They let me be, and were calm about the big picture. Or at least that was the persona they exuded, but I don’t remember feeling any kind of pressure from them. I think the true relentless pressure always came from myself. I wasn’t particularly bothered about my teachers. I’m incredibly good at giving myself a hard time and expecting the world. I’ve always strived for perfection in whatever I do. Whatever the job, I’m the kind of person that thinks if you’re going to do something then you might as well do it properly and be proud of it. I think that’s why I’m part of one of the best video production companies in Manchester. Our drive at Groundbreak for quality video production stems from my own passion for excellence. Things just mean a lot to me. If I’m involved in something, then it just needs to be great otherwise I’m not interested. Here’s one of our award-winning TV commercial productions ‘crystals’ commercial. I hope you can see the love and passion we put into this for our client. This is what the Groundbreak team are all about. Putting our heart and soul into our productions.

https://vimeo.com/319013539

I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the long term career sense, so I decided the most sensible course of action would be to study English and Creative writing in university. This was a bit of a cop out because I didn’t think it would lead to much, but at least it would give me some direction. I didn’t even know what type of writing I would like to specialise in. When I was forced to choose, poetry was the front runner. Once I’d declared this, I was warned that I’d likely have to move to the Russian federation if I wanted to make a proper career in poetry. Apparently, they take it much more seriously out there. I still don’t have a clue to this day if that is true or not. Maybe they wanted to get rid of me…

Scriptwriting at University

At Uni I was introduced to film and theatre script writing which changed everything. I found to my surprise that I loved them equally as much as poetry. I decided at that moment I’d be a feature film screen writer or staff writer on an awesome prime time TV production as soon as I left uni. I was wrong of course. I did however manage to get my foot in the door of a major broadcaster soon after I graduated. For the first few months I was a glorified brew maker, which wasn’t ideal for a future Hollywood screen writer. I was super enthusiastic though and just got stuck in and because of this my tea making skills were noticed and I started making my way up the ladder. Along with mastering the art of the perfect brew I learned every aspect of video production and television programming during my time as a runner. Finally, I felt like I had a purpose. I was certain this was the industry for me. I flittered around for many years between different broadcasters and video production companies writing, producing and directing. Most importantly, I was learning off some incredibly talented people along the way, many of whom remain great friends to this day. Around this time I had a lot of success with my first indie documentary and that gave me the confidence to take the plunge and form my own Manchester based video production agency. And as they say, the rest is history.

Why We Love Video Production

Everyone has their own path. We all find our own route one way or another. Fortunately, I stumbled across the world of video production and it gave me the opportunity to express myself. I wake up every morning knowing that creativity is going to be an overriding theme of the day. It means everything to me that I’m plying my trade in a creative industry. Having that freedom to think and create on a daily basis. Surrounded by other creatives who all have their own aspirations and personalities but ultimately love creating video content in a fun environment. There can of course be restrictions on the videos we’re creating. But in order to be the best video production company it’s important to find creative ways of getting around the restrictions and challenges. At Groundbreak we all love what we do and treat our work as a vocation. If you can find that vocational mindset then I think it can help you on your way to finding what it is you’re supposed to do. We love all aspects of the production process. From idea shaping an incredibly exciting concept, scripting our latest corporate video production, storyboarding an immersive 3d animation that we have the pleasure of bringing to life, or online grading using the world renowned ‘Da Vinci Resolve’

We will do everything to get the perfect TV commercial look or simply editing a brand film or social video after a long but rewarding shoot. There are certainly more serious and important jobs out there, that’s for sure. However, as a creative, finding something that you enjoy and has endless opportunities in originality and imagination is utopia as far as I’m concerned.

In a way, video production kind of saved me in my adult life just like script writing saved me in my teens. Fate has a funny way of opening doors at just the right time. That’s why I love video production. If you’d like a creative team of decent human beings to work on your next video content project, please bear us in mind or give us a call.

pop art film camera

Video For Social Media

Social Media – Content Is King

What can social media video do for you? As of this year, the average person spends more time browsing social media than catching up on TV and honestly, I was surprised to find that statistic wasn’t true years ago. It’s now more important than ever to be advertising your brand on social media and here at Groundbreak we’re experts at producing social video content that’s optimised for just that!

What Makes Great Social Media Content?

That’s too much of a broad question to answer easily but there are some basics that all film makers will follow to create the best social media videos.

Social media is a fast moving and exciting place, which means the video content we put out has to reflect that. Shorter, visually stunning video content grabs people’s attention. Nowhere is it more important to keep viewers engaged with interesting and exciting videos than on the many social media platforms. By showcasing your brand or product with the best social videos, you create a credible and trustworthy presence in your market.

A Social Media Video Campaign

We recently teamed up with Colab to create a product video for their social media campaign #MoreThanJustPretty. They came to us looking for a fun advert that would not only reflect the attitudes and values of the brand, but also grab the attention of their followers on social media. Take a look at the commercial below. We received amazing feedback from a very happy client and it was a great project to be part of.

Social Video Production Values

Nowadays it’s not unusual for our clients to want us to create a social media video with the same production values as a prime time TV commercial or high-end corporate video content. Just because the output is on social media rather than television it doesn’t mean the end user doesn’t expect quality. A well crafted, slick social video gives off the feeling that the business in question is taking their content seriously. Highlighting that they care. Of course there can be certain occasions were production values don’t matter for social content. Although this is more for friends sharing funny videos of cats and dogs wearing sun glasses or juggling. Rather than businesses sharing their product videos. I’m certain the level of quality video created for brands on social is increasing all the time. It certainly is in my experience anyway. In the future, end users will likely be put off by social videos shared by businesses if they don’t look the part and have a bit of wow factor. The reason for this is that viewers are already inundated with video content and if it doesn’t float their boat immediately then it’s swiped away. In addition, if we’re already overrun with video content then I can only imagine it’s going to increase. This is why so much thought goes into the first 5 seconds of a social video in order to grab the attention of the viewer and hold it. It’s stiff competition.

How Does Engagement Work on Social Media?

Regardless of how many followers you have, quality content can reach thousands, even millions of potential customers if it gets good enagement. How? Well every like, comment, share, Retweet etc. allows your video content to be seen by not just your usual network, but the extended network of the person who has engaged with your content. Each click is opening the door for a whole new audience. So never underestimate the power of social media. We’ve all heard that at least once before, right? Whether we’re talking about someone being reunited with a long lost relative, or a rescue dog finding his forever home, we’ve all seen examples of how these platforms allow us to reach a much greater audience and social video content for your business is no different! You’re only a like away from your next sale!

If you want social media video content for your brand, contact our team today!

Video Production Manchester 0161 962 5455

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 !