Their story and vision is one that is very special, and when they contacted us to produce a short video sharing that vision, we were excited to do it.
Before we get into the elements that go into crafting the story, give the final video a quick watch above.
Story is everything. No amount of amazing visuals, clever editing, or perfect lighting can make a great story out of nothing. This is why pre-production is so important. Whether you are shooting a scripted film or a documentary piece, before you ever pick up a camera and start shooting a production you need to understand the story you are trying to capture and the characters that make it.
Luckily for us, Third Street Academy already had an amazing story, and all we had to do was find the heart of that story and capture it. To do so, we started by sitting down with their headmaster and learning about his vision for the video and the story he wanted to tell. Through discussion, it quickly became clear that the teachers and volunteers that work at the school had a huge passion for the work they do and the best way to tell their overall story would be to talk to each one of them, as well as some of the parents and students. We knew that by capturing their individual stories and understanding what Third Street Academy means to each one of them, we could tell the story of the whole school and show its impact on our community.
2. Shooting Your Story
Once we knew the story we wanted to tell, the next step was capturing all of the necessary footage. It is extremely important on shoot days that you carefully budget your time and schedule your shoot times in order to be the most efficient and be sure that you get the full coverage of the major story elements. With this particular project, our client was in need of a very short turnaround time, we only had ten days to shoot and edit the entire piece. This meant that we were only able to spend 2 days shooting all of our footage. By scheduling out all of our interviews (a total of 7) and making sure we had the necessary time and space to shoot each one, we were able to vastly increase our efficiency and be sure we got the content we were looking for. It is also important that you schedule enough time for each interview. We like to give each person a 30 minute to 1 hour time slot. This insures that we have enough time to get the interviewee comfortable with the format of the interview. When they are comfortable and relaxed, it will help us capture the best quality content. In the times that we were not shooting interviews, we were capturing relevant B-roll to later be cut together.
After two full days of shooting, we knew that we had the shots and interviews we needed to craft our story. With all of that footage captured, we were ready to start the final phase of any film production, editing. Editing is the point in filmmaking at which you finally start getting to see “payoffs”, actually seeing all of this seemingly convoluted footage you’ve captured come together and create a cohesive story.
Editing takes a very special set of skills, an editor has to understand what makes a great story, and how to cut footage in such a way that it tells the story you want. It takes an abstract thought process to bring together shots that seemingly don’t go together at first and find a common thread in them to create a story that both flows and drives home the whole purpose of your project. The editor also has to find and implement proper choices of music and graphics to complete the whole piece. When all of this is completed, the project is ready to be delivered to the client in whatever formats and platforms are needed for their purposes.