Category: Tutorials and Training

Video Production London

10 things they don’t tell you about working in video production

Universities, film schools, specialist courses – all can be a great place to start if you want to equip yourself with useful skills for a job working in video or film production. However, there are some things that just can’t be learned in an educational environment. Only by talking to those already working in the industry and gaining experience yourself will you learn some things that no book or lecture could ever prepare you for. So listen up, we’ve got a few industry insights here. Some are positive and some are not, but if you want to work in this industry you had better listen to the pros first before you dive in at the deep end.

Video Production Company Brighton

Fatboy Slim appreciated the gig!

1. Every new job you land, no matter how big or small, becomes a huge personal victory.

This is especially true to start ups and freelancers. It is much harder to get new clients than it is to get repeat business from an existing one. Even landing little jobs that only last a few hours can give you that warm feeling inside that something is working because people want to hire YOU. This in turn will help you stay driven and motivated. Enjoy it!


2. How tremendously adaptable you sometimes have to be.

To get where you want to be in your career you may find yourself sooner or later doing something that you don’t really want to do (well, that’s life!) but you’ll realise that it’s a necessity to making any sort of progress. Whether it be learning a new skill in an area you’re not confident in or taking on work in a completely different industry just so you can survive until your next video job comes in, if you really want to succeed you’ll do what it takes. You may just find it character building too.

3. Marketing is so incredibly, ridiculously important.

Whether you freelance or run your own business, you simply can’t avoid the subject of marketing or you will fail. Word of mouth is often described as one of the best ways of getting work in an industry as small as this, and this is true, but first impressions count and knowing who it is you are trying to work for and how to target them is key to starting new working relationships. Included in this is the ability to sell yourself, plus with growing demand for online video content the marketeers out there should be your best friends!

4. GAS.

Not the poisonous kind, unless you let it get the better of you. GAS stands for gear acquisition syndrome. It is actually a thing. In the western world we are suckers for consumerism and just love to own stuff but this is especially true in video production for cameras are sexy, lenses are bokehlicious and a DJI octocopter – well, who wouldn’t want one of those?

Video Production Brighton

I’ll take them all please

It’s very tempting to spend lots of money and think your career will instantly bloom but if you’re not careful you could get stuck in a never ending process of continually needing to buy stuff and never make any money as a result. For some of us of course it is important that you buy the right tools for the job but perhaps consider whether you really do need that new flashy gizmo or if hiring would be a more sensible option. And don’t forget, your talent counts for something too.

There’s some brilliant advice on the matter in this filmmaker magazine article by DOP Sean Porter including one bit that really stuck with me:

“We have to be very cognizant about the impact, however minute, we make when we mix our creative responsibilities with enterprise. Your gear is a powerful influence on your work, both good and bad. I think stepping up means knowing which is which, even if it’s not the answer you want to hear.”

Wise words.

5. How to balance multiple jobs.

This for me, and I’m sure many others, is probably one of the hardest things about starting off in this industry that’s on this list. I’m not just talking multiple film or video jobs; I’m referring to balancing the self employed work with the employed. The paid with the unpaid. The desirable with the reliable. The big question that nobody seems to have the answer to is:

How can you get experience without a job when you can’t get the job without experience?

You have to start somewhere. Maybe you’ll be working part time so many days a week so you can focus on the video work on your days off – if you can afford to live off part time wages. But then, what if your perfect job comes up while you’re at work and you could be potentially missing out on your big break? If you keep trying to get time off from your reliable work are you likely to keep that job for long? On the contrary if you always keep your diary open, how do you know that you’re definitely going to land more video work to pay the bills? Juggling the reliable and the desirable work can be an absolute nightmare and it’s one thing that no educational institution can ever prepare you for.

My advice is to keep your options open and explore the different possibilities available to you until you find something that works. Everybody needs to earn somehow but what ends up working for one person may not work for someone else. I recently wrote about how my non video job helped me learn new transferable skills but the most important thing to understand is you have to be prepared to work your socks off, whichever path you decide to tread.

Oh, and one more thing. Dealing with a clash of job offers never gets any easier.

6. When to say no.

I must refer again to the article mentioned earlier by DOP Sean Porter, who deals with this point in great detail. Knowing when to say no can be another one of the hardest things to deal with in this industry. Taking on too much work could leave your clients unsatisfied or affect your personal life and relationships in a negative way. It’s another thing that can only be learned through experience and through applying a good level of judgment every time an opportunity arises. We’ve all accepted those jobs we’d wished we’d declined but it’s all about learning from these mistakes so that our future selves won’t curse our present selves into oblivion!


Budgeting can be hard when your income fluctuates

7. Steady sources of income can disappear suddenly and you may not know why.

A client may go on sick leave or change premises, marketing budgets may be slashed or a competitor may offer your clients better value. In fact, there are a whole host of reasons why you might lose a steady client and it can be very hard and frustrating when this happens, especially if you don’t know why.

The answer? Don’t take it personally, avoid complacency and learn to be like a gecko – adapt! Don’t stress and remember that factors which are beyond your control can be a blessing as well as a curse in your work life. It also pays during busy times to save for a rainy day.

8. How to manage your taxes.

Tax returns, accounting, filing..yawn. It may be boring but unfortunately it’s something that none of us can avoid doing, whether we freelance or run a business. Not to suck the fun completely out of the creative industry at hand but the more you learn about tax returns and the like the earlier on in your career the easier it will be for you to stay on top of your money and make sensible decisions throughout. You wouldn’t want any nasty surprises now!

The first place to look for information on all things tax is the HMRC website.

9. Your competition may also be your friends.

It’s not all doom and gloom. Working in such a small industry means we often bump into familiar faces and that includes the competition. The beauty of this, unlike most industries, is your competition could not only help to keep you on your toes but they could potentially be a reliable stand in for you when you need a helping hand or could loan you equipment and vice versa. There’s also a thing called referral fees for the business minded among us!

Video Production Brighton

Time to take a break?

10. How to switch off and relax.

Last, but certainly not least. You spend so much of your time and energy hacking away at your career that no matter where you are on the ladder, it can be nigh on impossible to switch off from work when you’re worried about things like where your next pay cheque is, if your clients will like your work and what your competitors are up to. Whether running a business or working for yourself and with dangerous cross overs between work and play on your social media accounts, switching off from the world of work can be very difficult indeed. It could be viewed as a good thing as we are just that determined to succeed, but don’t let it consume you. Allow yourself some ‘me time’ and enjoy those rare opportunities to turn off your phone. Your other half will appreciate it!

There is no real single secret to a successful career in any of the creative industries, but hopefully these insights will help you make the right decisions early on. If you make mistakes along the way however, that’s OK, it is part of your professional development no matter what career you decide to embark on (except for the tax issues – we wouldn’t want you getting in trouble!).

Voice over work Video Production London

Who should write my video voice-over script?

If you’re thinking about working with a video production company on a corporate or promotional video, you may be wondering who would be the best person to write the video voice-over script? Should you write it yourself, or should you get the video production company to write it for you?

Do you need a video voice-over script at all?

Before you decide on who’s going to write your video voice-over script though, you might want to consider whether a formal script is the best approach for you. If you’re telling a story then a scripted video works well, but what about a promotional video? Often an overly-scripted video can sound false or forced.

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Using a Video Production Company to Create Screencasts

screen cast video production brightonScreencasts are perfect for businesses in the tech industry or have a product which can be shown on screen.

A screencast is a video that captures what is shown on a computer screen. This works well for creating marketing videos for software and online technology companies to promote how a product works.

For example,

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Advanced Video Marketing Tips

Video Marketing has evolved over the last few years since businesses have begun using it online. Here are a few advanced tactics for video marketing to give your company an advantage:

Have people send in video testimonials

Video testimonials are extremely powerful at convincing people to purchase a product but if they come only from your business than it won’t seem legitimate. A way to get great testimonials is by sending a video production company to visit and talk to you passionate customers and capture their story.

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A Quick Social Media Strategy for Your Corporate Video

Once you have a corporate video, the name of the game is to get as many potential prospects viewing it as possible.

One of the ways you can do this is with social media marketing. Here are our top tips for helping you attract potential customers to your corporate video using social media: 

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US Marketers to Increase Video Marketing by 76%

Website Social Media Examiner recently released a report to state that 76% of US marketers were going to increase video marketing investment by adding videos to their site.

It’s no surprise really considering just some of the advantages of creating a corporate video for your video marketing:

In addition to growing advantages of using video, the cost of video production is falling. 

As a London video production company we’re able to keep costs competitive for our customers on the following products:

With the growth of YouTube, the potential for video-marketing is at an exciting stage.

If you’ve been considering using a video production company for your marketing, contact flycreative today to see how we can help. 

Anamorphic Filters

If you have been to the cinema recently you may have noticed several directors and cinematographers heavily experimenting in lights flairs and filters, a similar look normally achieved in modern music videos, to create more of a raw camera look, losing the clean, colourful 90’s glaze we all got bored with far too quickly.

Well we have! so we’re just going to tell you how these techniques are created and the best way as a film maker to produce similar effects in production and in post production without the Hollywood budgets.


Streak filters;
There seems to be an abundance of films using this effect recently.. Looper, J.J. Abrams – StarTrek (which even Abrams has quoted as calling “ridiculous“) anything by Micheal Bay. Even going back as far as Ridley Scotts dark futuristic classic BladeRunner which was shot in 1982… I KNOW!!!

J.J. Abrams achieved most of his off screen light glares and blooms by having a few selected lighting technicians point 100K lights into the lens from the side of the scene achieving the look of glare from an off frame source.

Star filters:
These were popular back in the day but you still see a lot of feature films using then to emphasise a candle or distant street lights.

Where to buy:
We are big fans of Optefex who sell these filters in most sizes and colour tints. The standard is 4X4 inches if you are using a regular sized Mattebox
They can range from 4X4 can cost £200 – £600 but also a on lens filter 72mm or 77mm if you look around.

Where to hire:
We have hired from ShootBlue for approximately £70 a day before

How to make:
If you have a steady hand with a knife you could produce your own, there are several tutorial online.. You could cut straight lines down a piece of 4X4 plastic and hang them vertically in front of the the camera lens inside a Mattebox filter:

Or put some nylon or fishing wire in front of your lens with an elastic band.

As with most things these days in film, you have the ability to makes something look as good off the camera as you do on by knowing which Plug-ins to use and how.

Red Giant’s Knoll Light Factory and Video Copilot’s Optical Flares are two great examples. They give you full control over the flares and where they will glare in relation to your subject.
It’s always worth remembering that overuse of any effect such as these flairs can also hinder the look of a great shot…


Lynotype the film

Sometimes we forget how much has changed since the generation before us were born.. the industrial revolution changed everything but the digital generation made it easier and lighter.

As a Graphic Designer and a Film maker this is a combination of my two favourite past-times.

“Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centred around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Thomas Edison, it revolutionised printing and society. The film tells the charming and emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world.”

Directed by Doug Wilson who is himself a Graphic Designer who had used to work and teach typography its sure to cover every aspect of the artform.

“We have worked very hard to have the film available in as many international iTunes stores as possible, so hopefully you will be able to download from your localised store on October 16th. We also are replicating both NTSC and PAL DVDs that are region free. This means that you can watch the film no matter where you live in the world.”

Linotype was funded by kickstarter which is a funding platform for creative projects which offers pledgers a chance to get involved in the funding towards various projects.

We will be using kickstarter for a project we start next year so keep your eyes peeled.

UPDATE: Linotype – the film can be purchased here and downloaded or rented on iTunes here

Side by Side (the movie)

This looks great, It’s something every director, DOP and young film maker has been wondering for ages.. “What do talented film makers think of the digital change?”

“SIDE BY SIDE, a new documentary produced by Keanu Reeves, takes an in-depth look at this revolution. Through interviews with directors, cinematographers, film students, producers, technologists, editors, and exhibitors, SIDE BY SIDE examines all aspects of filmmaking — from capture to edit, visual effects to color correction, distribution to archive. At this moment when digital and photochemical filmmaking coexist, SIDE BY SIDE explores what has been gained, what is lost, and what the future might bring.

James Cameron
David Fincher
David Lynch
Robert Rodriguez
Martin Scorsese
Steven Soderbergh

We have spoken to Duke of Yorks picture house (in Brighton) to see if they will play it, but are still waiting for a reply.

This was posted on the ‘Side by Side’ facebook page:

“SIDE BY SIDE premieres in London at BFI Southbank on December 6th at 20:30. Public booking begins November 13th. Please don’t call their box office until then.”

for more information on the ‘side by side’ movie check out their site here

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