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Marketing Communications using Film & Video

The Dos and Don'ts of Voice-Off

A Guide to Narration and Off-Commentary in Film and Video

Narration or off-commentary – the voice off-screen that accompanies the images – comes together to create a unity in film and video. That is why it is an essential aspect of the overall conception in moving image communication and should already be planned and thought out in a project’s scripting stages.

The final version of the off-commentary however only really begins to take shape after filming in the editing suite. One of the basic principles of off-commentary is to make sure the text doesn’t simply describe the image but instead complements or adds to the visual information.

During filming the camera’s main objective is to determine how to convey the message on a purely visual level. For the camera, the filmed subject should be the main source of information. With the off-commentary it’s a different story:

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Picture Perfect

Stars in front of the camera: Rules on how to be photogenic

Not everyone and everything looks as attractive through a camera lens as stars and celebrities do. Those who are fortunate enough to have a camera-friendly appearance are described as photogenic. However: Some of us might be blessed with a natural attractiveness which seems to escape the camera lens, making us look a little less than fetching in photos, on film or video. This article explains why.

As the saying goes, the camera never lies. However, that being said, there is the odd inconspicuous-looking person who really shines through a lens. The camera works its magic on these people,  transforming them into stars and enchantingly charismatic personalities. Cameramen talk about how the camera loves an actor or actress, meaning they have the gift of being photogenic.

In film and video, as well as in photography, there are a series of tried and tested rules and tricks that can have a positive influence on the people or objects a camera is pointed at:

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Strive for Excellence, not Perfection

Production Value in Film and Video Production

The Abby Singer, breakdowns, production values, Martini Shots and Teddy’s A**hole aren’t the first things that spring to mind when you think of film. Every profession and every industry has its own curious jargon used by its integrants on a daily basis. Film is no exception here.

While most of the aforementioned terms (more about their meaning later) may be entertaining for clients, image films, product films and webvideos, they are not essential in film know-how. There is one term however whose correct understanding and usage is essential for every production involving communication through film and video: Production Value.

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Exclusive interview

Adrian Teijido, the man who shot Pablo Escobar (with a camera)

Adrian Teijido (53) is one of the most established Directors of Photography (DoP) in Brazil, working all over the world. Videothink had the opportunity to interview Adrian on location in Colombia, where he is preparing to shoot the third season of Narcos, the Netflix series about the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar that is making headlines all over the world.

Adrian is a proud member of ABC.1 Besides his work for cinema and television he has also filmed hundreds of commercials.2 Even though the interview took place in the early hours of the morning in Bogota ahead of a busy working day, Cinematographer Adrian Teijido was happy to give us an insight into his work and the shooting of Netflix’ Narcos.

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Business as usual

Communications with Film and Video: What a producer won’t tell you

In communications and in any business relationship what is said is important. Often what is written is even more important. But what ends up being really crucial is that which is left unsaid. And it can’t always be read between the lines. This article lists 10 things, a producer will rarely – or at least not willingly – communicate to his client.

Before a surgeon operates on his patient, he’s legally obliged to inform his subject of the potential risks. It’s different when it comes to film producers and video makers. The gap in knowledge here between those who provide and those who contract a service is in fact often times equally as vast as between a doctor and a patient. But when it comes to who says what to whom, when and how in film production, there are no set rules in the realm of the moving image.

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Gorillas and Octopuses

Viewing films and how cinema works in your head

The process of viewing films begins in the director’s mind and ends in the viewer’s head. But what happens before a film reaches its destination in a spectator’s mind is quite amazing. Those of us, who talk about film, commission films or make films for a living, should not only continuously strive to create better films, but of course also contemplate how films are perceived.

This article isn’t about film-set anecdotes or creative processes, storytelling or dramatic narratives. For once two covert protagonists takes centre stage, without which viewing films – and I’m sure no one would contradict me here – would be impossible: the eye and the brain. Even though research and modern technology have now made it possible for us to view a film with our tongue. But before we explain how seeing with tongues works, let’s take a leap back and start from scratch, to where it all begins, at birth.

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Why simple, when you can make it complicated

As a video maker your client needs to make only one decision

Rumour has it that for a video maker, producers solve the problems they bring on themselves. Of course this isn’t true. It can often be the case however that a client talking to a self-proclaimed film expert is left feeling like the task of producing a video is nothing short of rocket science. I say: A client really only has to decide one thing when it comes to making a film or video. No more and no less.

There are three ways in which a film project can be conceptualised: A video can be created in the form of a „filmic register“, it can be „made into film“ or „fictionalised“. The end result differs greatly in each of these processes. That is why, for the client – the decision of which of these three forms applies to the film project they commission – should stand in the forefront. This decision should be a priority, because the success of the video then depends on choosing the relevant agency or production partner.

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“Frechmut” and Films

Jörg Buckmann: «It probably helps to be a bit of an extrovert.»

Jörg Buckmann has not only launched a meteoritic career as an unconventional entrepreneur and in-demand speaker. He is also known for coining the term “Frechmut”, which has worked its way with full force into the German vocabulary. “Frechmut” according to Buckmann is a cocktail of the German words Frechheit (cheekiness), Mut (courage), Leidenschaft (passion), Ego und Tatkraft (drive). Along with its inherent addictive nature, of course.

In real life Jörg Buckmann provides practical support for businesses when it comes to employer branding and HR marketing. Before his switch to freelance he worked for many years as head of human resources. In order to attain his goals, Jörg Buckmann has always relied on videos – which of course tend to include a healthy dose of “Frechmut”. In his interview with Videothink, he explains how the moving image can be a valuable asset to communication.

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