Marketing Communications using Film & Video

Author: Kristian Widmer (Page 1 of 4)

The competence to recognise incompetence in film and video
Know how to spot a lack of Know-How

The competence to recognise incompetence in film and video

There are no less than 1’354’000 businesses floating around the Internet today that profess themselves to be professional film and video production companies – and that’s in Europe alone. So how can you be sure to find the best possible competence partner for your image film or web video? Here’s a few tried and tested tips and tricks, based on the author’s 23 years of experience in communication and film and video.

The first step, when sizing up a production company, is to get a good look at the work they’ve done to date (Showreel), as well as researching their background and reputation in the business. If they pass the first elimination round – once you’ve talked numbers and weighed up cost estimates – and you get to meet the possible candidates in person, that’s when things get a bit more challenging for the client. Not because these introductory meetings could be awkward, but because many producers are extraordinarily nice people, with great communication competence and of course, blinding charisma. This has its reasons. “The ability to sell” is part

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Excuses, excuses, excuses...

Cheap lies in film and video production: Top 10

They’re the ghost drivers on any film production: Cheap lies that inevitably come charging towards you like the multi-axis super trucks tend to do in action-packed blockbusters, at the most foolish of moments.

Born dim-witted and no progress to date? If that is the case and you’re not starring as Jim Carrey in “Dumb and dumber”, it’s probably in your best interest to avoid a career in film business. Stupid mistakes and excuses in film production should ideally be as rare as hen’s teeth. While well-established, mega industries like Hollywood rightly so speak of a film industry, film making on this side of the pond often depends on who you know and is driven by a “learning by doing” approach.

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5 Deadly Sins for Film Producers and Production Managers
Sinners and Saints

5 Deadly Sins for Film Producers and Production Managers

When someone has mastered the skills necessary for excelling at their job, the only factor that then remains to determine their success or failure depends on the amount of personal energy that person is willing and able to invest. Those who have reached this step of their career ladder are well advised to think outside the box from time to time and should aim to set the bar of reference ever higher when it comes to measuring their own performance. The same applies when working in film and video. This article lists the 5 deadly sins every producer or production manager should keep in mind and avoid committing at all costs.

The job of a producer or production manager is a demanding one: One that promises all sorts of adventures and can in general only be achieved in adventurous ways and not without the odd hurdle or detour. Those who have worked their way up to a leading position in a film production and can confidently say that they are cut out for the job, are reminded of the joys of filmmaking on a daily basis.

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

Here are some basics for filmmakes: 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 is not a super-hot topic, but should be a priority, because the success of the video then depends on choosing the relevant agency or production partner.

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Videos convinced him to become a terrorist, then a traitor
A deceiving scenario

Videos convinced him to become a terrorist, then a traitor

For 27-year-old Harry Sarfo from Germany, ISIS propaganda videos were part of what initially attracted him to join the terror group. But as he witnessed one of their propaganda videos being made, he realized it was not the scenario he had imagined and decided to desert.

Since his identity was made public in the New York Times last week, his name is now not only known to the secret services, but to the entire American and German public. An interview conducted with Sarfo in English, inside the high-security prison in Bremen, made it into the international press when his connections with the Islamic State’s Secret Service in Syria came to light.

The organization responsible for attacks and known as Emni in Arabic had planned for the self-proclaimed holy warrior from Bremen to be sent back to his homeland after training, to serve as a sleeper agent. They no longer needed Europeans in Syria, instead future assassins in Germany. Only in passing were the videos mentioned in the media.

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Why subjective perception in film and video really matters
Thrown out with the bathwater

Why subjective perception in film and video really matters

When answering the question of what subjective perception is and could be, one of Switzerland’s most popular daily newspapers had bemoaned the fact that – during the last few years and not least because of YouTube – films and videos were now (quote) “… mercilessly subjective and mercilessly random …” and had lost most of their effect. I beg your pardon? My related comment in this article: this perception is rubbish and an old hat!

Those hammering answers such as these into their computer keyboard not only hinder the knowledgeable person from gaining an insight into the reality of current trends in moving image communication, but also only permit conclusions about their own lack of expertise:

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360° video
(Almost) perfect 360° videos

The truth about 360° video: Trends and examples

360° Video is perfect whenever it is allowed to mirror their strengths and do not have to expose their weaknesses. The first part of this article series discussed the contextual function of 360° videos. The second part emphasised the question as to the significance of 360 videos for the storytelling aspect and where and when a 360° image film or 360° video make sense.

This final, third article presents selected examples and trends. It explains why 360° documentation is particularly suitable for the all-round video genre and a really hot topic. Here come some more basics for makers of 360° films:

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