Martin Scorcese once said that if you’re a filmmaker, your main job should be to get your audience to care about your obsessions. Ever since Film Division started back in 2010, we’ve always made our obsession for crafting high-quality creative video productions known to our audience. It’s our passion for exceeding client expectations – from fleshing out their rough concept to editing their final cut – that has helped us take our company from strength to strength. Well, that and our other obsession…using state-of-the-art equipment to bring our clients’ visions to life in stunning 8K, 4K and even super slow motion.
In this blog, we’ll focus on some of the winning principles that have helped us to expand and refine Film Division over the years- as well as provide services for major brands like MTV & ALDI along local Brummie heroes such as Mutt Motorcycles. Let’s get rolling!
1. Always Put Strategy Before Staging: The Critical Importance of an Overarching Project Vision
At Film Division, we’ve always placed strong emphasis on delivering outstanding video concept development. After all, even if the final product looks and sounds great, it’ll ultimately be useless if it fails to make the right impact with the client’s target audience. Because of this, at the beginning of every project we undertake, we always take time to talk to our clients and get a thorough understanding of the key messages they want to convey. Although the adage ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’ has become a cliche, it’s more relevant today in the filmmaking world than it’s ever been.
When a client has a specific and clearly-outlined idea for how they want their production to look, we’ll naturally go the extra mile to accommodate them. However, it’s often the case that a client has a rough idea that needs fleshing out, or that they are open to new suggestions. This is where one of the key ingredients in our formula for outstanding creative video productions comes to the fore – the critical importance of research. In other words, understanding what your audience wants and needs.
Once we have an idea of the direction for the project, and the audience it will be aimed at, we always do the meticulous research needed to develop an overarching concept that ticks all the boxes. Our research, which we conduct with scientific rigour, often involves analysing concepts similar to those proposed for the project at hand, getting to the core of what made them work, and then discerning the ways these elements can be improved upon. We will then present our assessments to the client to ensure they believe in the vision before proceeding with the other pre-production steps – such as scriptwriting and story-boarding.
By complementing the production preferences expressed by our clients with the findings of our research into their target audience demographics, we’ve consistently been able to create videos that resonate – helping them generate major ROI in the process.
2. Prioritise Quality Over Convenience: Sparing No Effort To Realise the Vision
Whatever the size, budget, and nature of the project, we always ensure it receives 100% of our attention. We never cut corners when it comes to upholding our standards, and we won’t be satisfied with the finished product until our client is. It’s precisely this commitment to quality that has enabled us to achieve stellar results across a broad gamut of genres – from Hollywood-standard cinematic trailers, to attention-grabbing web videos, to atmospheric live-event recordings.
Our commitment to remaining client-centric – that is, ensuring our creative video productions address the provided brief to a T – plays a major role in our success formula. The cost effective video marketing we offer can be readily tailored to accommodate a host of requirements. What’s more, we are constantly searching for ways to augment our services with expert input from a wide variety of industries.
“Whatever the size, budget, and nature of the project, we always ensure it receives 100% of our attention.”
Of course, although we are always eager to exceed expectations, we are also realistic when it comes to the production process. As more and more companies recognise the importance of video marketing, the unfortunate myth that it is something that can be achieved “with only a few hours of filming and editing” has spread. Though we always aim to deliver an exemplary final product in a timely fashion, we’ll never work to a time-frame that risks compromising the quality of our work. At the end of the day, our client is broadcasting their brand to their customers via the video we create. No one benefits from a substandard video, marred for the sake of speed or the cutting of costs.
3. Recognise Your Role: Embracing Complementary Skill Sets for Creative Video Productions
Specialisation has played an integral part in the success we’ve attained at Film Division. Rather than striving to be ‘jacks of all trades’, we focus on attaining mastery in our respective roles. This has empowered us to overcome a wide array of production hurdles, raise the bar when it comes to editing and sound mixing, as well as sharpen our motion graphic animation skills.
“It’s our passion for exceeding client expectations – from fleshing out their rough concept to editing their final cut – that has helped us take our company from strength to strength.”
By focusing on areas of specialisation, our team members complement respective skill sets – as well as avoid stepping on each others’ toes. So while Alex is able to take the lead on production – directing shoots, setting up equipment, etc, – Kevin can give his full attention to getting the content pitch-perfect. Of course, both areas of the creative process naturally coalesce. The production capabilities will naturally inform the way content is envisioned and ultimately edited.
Each project comes with its own unique set of challenges. By embracing specialisation – and leaving our team members to apply the talents they’ve honed working on a broad spectrum of creative video productions – we’ve consistently been able to meet these challenges and expand our capabilities.
4. Know Your Tools: Mastering the Use of State-of-the-Art Production Equipment
One of the things we savour most at Film Division is conveying that ‘wow’ factor. That moment when the client sees the concept for their creative video production up on the big-screen in glorious high-resolution. As such, the importance of investing in top-notch film equipment and editing software is central to our philosophy of delivering consistent high-quality. But we don’t overstretch the production budget for the sake of filming on Hollywood movie cameras and lenses. We ensure we pick the right equipment for the job, whether that be a ‘run n’ gun’ ENG camera for a documentary film, or a high resolution cinema camera with prime lenses for a cinematic trailer.
Just as important as investing in securing the best equipment is investing the time and energy needed to master their various features. Our extensive experience means that we can rapidly set up the cameras, lenses, gimbals, track-and-dollies, microphones, and other equipment needed to get the job done right, fast, and with a minimum of fuss. The fact that we know how to capture the best shots in any given environment also allows us to save a significant amount of time during the editing process.
“One of the things we savour most at Film Division is capturing that ‘wow’ factor. That moment when the client sees the concept for their creative video production up on the big-screen in glorious high-resolution.”
Our drive to capture more ‘wow’ moments led us to invest in perhaps the greatest asset in our film-making arsenal – the Phantom VEO 4K slow motion video camera. This technology helps us create high-impact cinematic trailers, as well as product advertisements, that leave a lasting impression. Although slow-motion video production takes a lot of effort – specifically when it comes to conceptualising and lighting – the fact that we have the right equipment and the knowledge to get the most out of it means we can deliver the service at a reasonable price.
5. Always Pursue Perfection: Meticulous Attention-to-Detail in the Editing Process
During a discussion on modern cinema, Walter Murch – the pioneering editor who worked on quintessential Hollywood masterpieces like ‘The Godfather’, ‘Apocalypse Now’, and ‘The English Patient’ – stated that “film editing is now something almost everyone can do at a simple level and enjoy it, but to take it to a higher level requires the same dedication and persistence that any art form does.” At Film Division, we share this sentiment – recognising that although editing software makes the process of putting together a production relatively simple, a particular finesse is needed to give the final cut a real sheen of professionalism.
When we take our footage to the ‘cutting floor’, we ensure every shot, transition, and animation supports the overarching goals settled on in pre-production. We’re also more than happy to work closely with our clients during the editing process to see that their requirements are met. With our extensive experience working with advanced software like Adobe Premiere Pro – the same platform used to edit Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Deadpool’ and ‘Gone Girl’ – we are able to polish and export productions with great efficiency.
So, keeping the above five principles in mind, our philosophy at Film Division can be boiled down to this – “We create outstanding cinematic videos at affordable prices, with a dedicated crew delivering meticulous and unswerving attention to detail from pre-to-post production.” Whether you want to create an advert, a corporate showcase, a music video, an online tutorial, or almost any other kind of production, we have the tools and know-how to exceed your expectations.
If you have any questions about the services we offer, or you’d like to request a quote, don’t hesitate to contact us today! To see the other creative video productions we’ve created, check out our portfolio page.