Working Fast – Stream Lined Video Production

Danielle Clarke
Head of Production
 

How to Work Fast – Streamlined Video Production

2020 has been a manic year for all. The unforeseeable arrival of COVID-19 and resulting social rules have changed everyday life for all on our planet. Businesses have had to adjust to the change in conditions in order to survive in the current, unpredictable climate. Video production is just one of the countless industries that has been affected by these changes. We have seen production techniques become faster and more remote, as video styles adapt to the times. This is a theme in the world of video production that existed prior to 2020, but is sure to become even more significant as time goes on.

Here at Kartoffel, we have always endeavoured to make our video production process as efficient as possible. With a focus on premium quality content produced within a slim timeframe, we have created ways in which to effectively streamline video production. Thanks to this, our video production has become faster. Much faster. In fact, turnaround times have gone from a 2 to 3 week timeframe to just 1 week.

By working remotely, keeping our clients in the loop and utilising modern technology, we cut out any unnecessary waiting times. No more waiting for days to get that vital response. No more delays on feedback. No more interruptions during shoots. This means that our videos have the same premium production value but take up far less of our clients’ time. What’s not to like?

Here are some of our tips for how to work fast in video production:

Working remotely

Remote filming is fast becoming a regular theme in the world of video production. This is partly thanks to COVID-19 rules restricting how people can travel, conduct meetings or gather in groups. However, the trend began before the virus became a global issue. In fact, its rising popularity in 2020 has led to remote filming being earmarked as one of our anticipated video marketing trends in 2021. It started long before COVID-19 and we don’t see it stalling any time soon.

Here at Kartoffel, we specialise in remote video production. It has been a core feature of how we work for a long time, which in turn has caused the technique to become a speciality of ours. A brilliant means of streamlining the process from start to finish, the client can have the content produced without leaving the comfort their home. Whether a studio shoot or videoing on location, remote video production helps businesses work faster to produce the content that they require. It also has the benefit of allowing you to shoot internationally without the hassle and cost of travel.

We tried to view the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown as a welcome challenge in many ways. It was a means of testing our remote production set up and proved to be a very worthwhile test indeed. We kept pace throughout the worst stages of the pandemic and even managed to onboard new clients.

Some potential clients worry that by choosing to shoot their video content remotely they are somehow relinquishing control. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Thanks to modern technology and programmes like Google Drive and Frame.io, clients have a great deal of control over how the content is produced.

Whilst allowing clients to have a significant say in how their content is produced is important, there is no substitute for experience in the video production industry. Therefore, leaving the lion’s share of the control in the hands of experts helps the process run smoothly. This in turn leads to faster content creation. 

Smaller Crews

Creating quality content is always a team effort. From producers to actors to cameramen, everyone plays their part. However, there is often an effort to cram in as many specialists as possible into a video shoot. And this quite often leads to a case of too many chefs spoiling the broth.

One of the best ways to prevent the shoot becoming overcomplicated is by reducing your team to a smaller, more focussed crew. Obviously, you need the right people on the day. But less unessential people means less complications, which leads to a more valuable use of time. Each job is different, so we modify our crew according to the wants and needs of each particular client. However, our team members are multitalented, with vast experience in the field and a natural eye for all things video. Thanks to this, they ensure that the job is executed effectively without inducing the hassle of a hoard-like crew buzzing around set all day.

Typically, a crew will consist of the following core members:

Director of Photography – Responsible for the photographic heart of production, they work closely with the client and producer to ensure that the look and feel of the final product is correct.

Sound Person – As the name suggests, they are in control of the volume and tone of the audio picked up by the microphone.

Producer – The co-ordinator for many aspects of the process from start to finish. They ensure that the production process runs smoothly.

And a selection of the following, according to the needs of each client:

Assistant Producer – Assistant to the producer, they help manage the heavy workload of the producer and ensure that there are no hiccups throughout the entire process. 

Lighting Technician – Responsible for making sure that the lighting on set (or on site) is suitable for the footage being captured.

Assistant Director – In charge of logistics and tracking progress, so that everything remains orderly on set.

Wardrobe – In charge of the look of those on camera, they oversee everything being on-brand regarding the clothes worn.

24/7 Response Private Messaging

Catering to the needs of our clients around the clock, we have adopted an all-hours response system. Our [personal message system?] is on hand to help everyone that works with us keep up with what is going on. Whether it is a query about our processes, a new suggestion for an adjustment or simply catching up on the progress being made, we aim to respond as soon as we can.

By finetuning the contact point between client and production team we can streamline the video production process. Easier contact leads to smoother cohesion and a faster turnaround.

Our 24/7 response system has the additional benefit of helping our international clients stay in contact, regardless of any time difference confusion. So, our British clients can capture their footage overseas and international clients can make use of London’s countless shooting locations with a clear line of contact throughout. This is a key feature in our remote video shooting system. We always endeavour to keep the client well and truly in the loop. This not only makes the content more likely to fit their desired model but also helps hasten the entire process.

Collaborative working through video chat

Another means of mastering the art of remote video shooting, we utilise video conference platforms like Zoom. These programmes allow us to (virtually) have our clients in the room from start to finish. We always encourage them to follow our process step by step from start to finish.

Other than hosting meetings, brainstorming ideas and providing live updates, we also allow our customers to be on set virtually. We have set up a system whereby you can view sets live as they unfold and even monitor the actual footage itself as it is being recorded. This goes beyond feeding their interest in the production process. It ensures that the final product remains as close to the original vision as possible. It snubs out any chance of a retake being required and therefore prevents any time wastage. If the client is happy then we are happy.

Operating anywhere

Remote video production lets us connect with clients from anywhere across the globe. However, our worldwide reach goes beyond our clients themselves. Our extensive network of contacts means that we can work seamlessly across borders. 9 years of experience in the field of video production has led to a list of over 600 talented freelancers from across the globe.

Thanks to our friends, we not only have a brilliant understanding of far more countries, but also the option of being able to create on-location footage in a wider variety of nations. We have directed shoots everywhere from LA to London (stopping off in South Africa and Cannes en route). And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

There are a number of different ways that this can lead to faster turnaround times on our work. Cutting out unnecessary travel time by using local teams on location. Working with a team that has extensive knowledge of the local area when choosing shooting locations. Utilising instantaneous methods of contact between our office, client and freelance contacts in separate corners of the world. All of this makes for a smooth transition and our clients getting hold of their content quicker.

Efficient remote feedback

The inclusion of our clients in the creation of their brand’s video content doesn’t stop at the shoot itself. Whilst we realise that not everyone has worked with video editing software before, we also acknowledge that companies often like to add a personal touch to their content. With this is mind, we also integrate each and every client into the post-shoot process.

Using programs like Google Docs and Frame.io, we can keep everyone in the loop from start to finish. By doing so, an extra level of efficiency is added to the process. Often delays in communication or lack of accurate information cause a stop-start flow in the remote post-production process. But with these programmes, it doesn’t have to be this way. Rather than a to and fro of messages, Google Docs and Frame.io allow live updates to be suggested and implemented by both sides.

Frame.io in particular is specifically designed to cater to the needs of video production companies. It keeps all the content in one convenient place, makes adjustment suggestions simple and much more. Some may even argue that these programmes give customers a greater sense of control than they ‘d have if on the actual set. Updating as you go helps speed up the process by significantly reducing waiting times.

Online delivery as needed

Being heavily involved in the content strategy of each and every company that we work with, our work doesn’t stop once the editing has finished. We ensure that all of our files are delivered online as needed. This is by far the most efficient means of getting our polished product to our clients. And by doing so we can cut out any potential further delays.

Our experience in video marketing strategy and content delivery also allows us to provide advice on how best to promote the video once all is done and dusted. 

Conclusion

Improving efficiency on set isn’t about cutting corners, but instead finetuning the process that you already have in place. Instantaneous contact methods, smaller crews and the ability to work from anywhere help this happen. Our video production process allows us to be 100% collaborative and fully scalable for our clients. No two companies are the same, so it is a means of finding out which conditions will work best for each individual brand that we work with.

Working remotely cuts down on time spent travelling and helps those in the know take the reins so to speak. This permits the small team of experts to get the most out of the time that they have been given. In turn, this means that our work can meet our usual high standards within a shorter time frame.

Perhaps the most important feature of all is a cohesion between the video production team and the client. Lessening the chance of any potential obstacles when it comes to communication between teams helps cut down on wasted time. 24/7 communication lines, clients’ digital presence on set and programmes like Frame.io help this happen in a hassle-free manner. By keeping our clients in the loop and valuing their input, we act as an extension of their team.

By working fast, we ensure that our clients are getting the most out of their investment. Streamlining video production means that we can react quickly to sudden trend changes in the market and help brands launch campaigns at the drop of a pen.

To learn more about our process and to enquire about working with us, contact us here.