film production Manchester

The Future of Film Production in Manchester

I love being part of the film production scene in Manchester. Of course at the moment the world of video and film production has been severely affected all over the world. It’s impossible to go out and film most corporate and commercial gigs safely. However, there are lots of film production jobs that can continue during lockdown. This virus will pass and film production in Manchester and elsewhere will make a full recovery and thrive once again. There are already glimmers of hope. Shoots are being pencilled for the autumn. Logistics are already being considered. Concepts and ideas are being discussed in order to get film production up and running later in the year. So how has life been for film producers during this time?

VFX Film Production Manchester

Visual Effects (VFX) fortunately is virus proof. VFX can be worked on from home. Our latest commercial shoots were filmed early this year. This means during the pandemic VFX can be applied remotely. Which means our video production process, or more specifically the post-production work can continue.

Animation Production

Animation, like VFX is often done remotely so during this COVID-19 lockdown animated corporate or commercial videos are probably the best form of film production. Every stage of the animation process can be done by individuals safely working alone. More importantly it would not be detrimental to the overall animation. Maybe the postproduction side of film production will have a boom in 2020 for this exact reason.

Finding Film Locations

Big commercials, particularly live-action shoots have been put on ice over the last few months for obvious reasons. Perhaps this is the hardest hit part of film production. Fortunately, this gives location scouts a great deal of time to source potential film production locations using the vast array of film production location websites. These can be local, and there are some great lists covering Greater Manchester, to worldwide lists. This can keep the most relentless location scout, director or location manager busy. Of course, eventually a visit to these locations will be necessary before shooting but this extra preparation could save time in the future.

Scripting and Storyboarding

Another part of film production that is perfect for remote working is the scripting and storyboarding process. All that is required is a skilled script writer and a laptop or a talented storyboard artist with pencil and paper/tablet and the magic can happen. Some aspects of film production are actually better when isolated. The peace and quiet of your own home or garden here in sunny Manchester can be great for creativity. And with the internet it’s easy to share your progress at every stage with producers and client for feedback and development.

Editing

Editing as part of the post-production process is certainly not affected by any kind of lockdown. An editor would often be sat with a producer or director. However, it isn’t uncommon for an editor to sit on their own in the dark for long shifts. Some editors work better when simply left to their own devices. The very best editors I’ve worked with prefer to collaborate with the director by showing them what they’ve been cutting at the end of each day and receiving feedback rather than having them lean over their shoulder during the entire edit and distracting them.

Sound Design

Sound design and sound mixing is another part of the film production process that is perfectly suited to a solitary talented technician immersing themselves in a project. They’ll more often than not be wearing noise reduction headphones which shows that isolation is ideal.

Survival of Film Production

People might think, perhaps understandably so, that if you can’t shoot then film production would grind to a halt and wouldn’t survive. Yes, film production has been slowed down but there are many parts of the film production process that involve individuals working alone as single cogs in a big machine.

Film Production in 2020

There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon that the film production scene in Manchester, London and across the UK is slowly starting to gather momentum as the lock down eases. It’s important to not rush things as lives are more important than creating film. However, with careful and meticulous planning it shouldn’t be too long before big shoots are possible once again. The rules have changed, and the processes will be altered to ensure the safest possible environment for cast, crew and clients are adhered to. However, there is undoubtably a light at the end of the tunnel.

At Groundbreak we’re all really looking forward to a bit of normality. Once it is safe to do so we look forward to collaborating with you on your next film production. If you’d like to start planning now for a film production later in the year it’s never too early to start pre-production. Contact the Groundbreak team to start the process.

 

 

Photo by Debbie Johnson from Pexels

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.

 

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.