We recently delivered this vision video for Interserve, a Christian charity that serves communities in Asia and the Arab World. Alongside a major rebrand, the organisation approached us to produce an explainer video that demonstrates what they’re about. They wanted to focus on the people they work with, which is where ‘Sarah’ came in.
The challenge from Interserve
Sarah (not her real name) has been supported by Interserve, and with their help she has made it through some extremely tough times. Sensitivities around the place where she lives means that her identity needed to remain secret. The challenge, then, was to tell this one woman’s story in a compelling way, without compromising her security. We couldn’t use her voice or image. We couldn’t even hint at her ethnicity. And yet we needed to make the film personal and engaging.
Generally we shy away from animation. It’s not where our expertise lies, and it’s prohibitively expensive for many clients. In this case, though, we felt like animation could be the perfect solution. We searched high and low for an artist who could sketch natural-looking images in Photoshop. It turned out that artist was hiding in our existing network – the brilliant and multi-talented Charlie Barber. Back when Jamie and I worked at Blue Peter, Charlie was there too as an Assistant Content Producer. We sent him a list of ‘scenes’ for the Interserve film, and a series of reference images to explain the kind of style we were aiming for.
How we did it
Charlie sketched the images in Photoshop while recording his screen, resulting in a dynamic image without the sky-high costs associated with traditional animation. After the animated opening, further context is provided through a filmed interview with Dan Challis, Interserve’s Initiatives Co-ordinator.
A common occurrence for Studio 91 is clients coming to us with a budget and a list of requirements, but uncertainty over how to accomplish what they need. If that sounds like you, don’t panic. We LOVE a creative challenge, and will bend over backwards to find the solution that perfectly fits your needs. Drop us a line and let’s get started.
Bury Council have been really interesting to work with, because we’ve been producing video content for them throughout the pandemic. Think back to April 2020. The early days of the first national lockdown. That’s when my path first crossed with Nicola Appleby from Bury Council’s comms team. She mentioned that she had come across my guest blog for Mike Pye + co about how to film yourself using a phone. She had adapted it to send to councillors. Suddenly these people had a need to film themselves that had never really been part of their jobs before.
By the end of the month, we were editing films for Bury’s social media. The content used footage shot by various staff and volunteers, thanking “#TeamBury” for all the amazing work they were doing.
We’ve produced several films for Bury Council since then, using a mix of user-generated content and professional footage. The latest piece of work involved two videos. The aim was to thank volunteers and carers, and mark a year since the pandemic was declared. I spent three days travelling around Bury with Nicola, gathering footage, and Will spent the weekend editing the footage.
The result is two pieces of content we’re extremely proud of, featuring some truly inspirational people. People like Tina, who is risking her own health to run a food bank, the lovely smiley volunteers at Trust House in Whitefield, and retired nurse Elaine who goes above and beyond to care for her husband.
We love producing video content that tells real stories, with clients who want to make the world better. This project in particular is one that will stay with us for years to come. It marks a period in history when times were hard but when staggering numbers of people stepped up to look out for those around them.
We’re really proud of our work with St Ann’s Hospice, one of our longest-standing Stockport video production clients. It was an honour to produce their annual Light up a Life service. Every December they help people remember and celebrate their loved ones in a really beautiful way.
Normally there would be multiple live events in different parts of Greater Manchester. Given the pandemic, the charity decided early on that a pre-recorded video format would be the best alternative. It meant the service could be available to anyone who wanted to access it, but would hopefully feel as special and important as it would in any other year.
We first got involved with St Ann’s Hospice in 2019 – sometimes filming and editing, sometimes repurposing existing footage. The Light up a Life service was a mix of both approaches. It combined pre-recorded video messages with professional footage shot in the Haven, a multi-faith chapel at the Heald Green hospice. The pre-recorded messages came from various public and religious figures, including Andy Burnham and David Walker, the Bishop of Manchester. There were songs from amateur choirs, and carols sung by a chorister in Manchester Cathedral. In the beautifully decorated Haven, I filmed video messages from the chaplain and hospice staff. As always, I grabbed plenty of ‘b-roll’ shots to help me piece the whole thing together.
“You’ve captured the feel so well”
I’m really pleased with the resulting video, which you can see below. Here’s a lovely bit of feedback I received from the St Ann’s team after they watched my edit:
Thank you SO much for bringing our service to life. Everyone who has watched it has absolutely loved it – there’s been quite a few tears! You’ve captured the feel of our Light up a Life service and the hospice so well, it feels really Christmassy and warm but also poignant and a special time of remembrance, whilst still being hopefully and looking ahead.
Everyone has asked me to pass on their thanks to you, and Pete, Jo and Rachel especially for making the filming so smooth and making them all feel a lot less daunted than they thought.
We often find that charities and non-profit organisations struggle to justify spending time and money on content marketing, video included. After all, you and your supporters rightly want to maximise the amount of resource that’s going to where it’s needed most. They don’t want to see donated money wasted on half-hearted Facebook charity videos. However, when video campaigns have the right planning and creativity behind them, they can work wonders in terms of engagement, awareness and conversion. We asked Will, our Junior Video Producer, to unpick what makes a solid video content strategy for third sector organisations.
Charity video content – why is strategy important?
As charities seek to raise awareness, increase engagement and encourage fundraising, many have caught on to the value of video production as the best way to drive those messages home. However, due to a lack of strategic thinking from charities, the return on investment has become difficult to measure and this is having a discouraging impact on engagement with consumers.
This gap between enthusiasm and strategy is highlighted in Raw London’s annual Benchmark Report on video content in the third sector:
While 94% of charities said they see video content playing more of a role in the next 12 months, only 28% said they had a formal strategy in place.
Perhaps this lack of strategy is contributing to charities finding it difficult to prove and measure ROI. Compared to 74% last year, only 50% were confident video provides a good ROI, while a staggering 41% said they didn’t know.
With this current issue leaving the third sector in limbo, we thought it would provide a great opportunity to devise a video content strategy for charities. Here we will give a step by step guide on how to prepare and produce amazing video content to boost engagement, awareness and conversion for your charity. So let’s look at the game plan!
Step 1: What are the objectives for your charity video campaign?
Okay step 1, let’s gain some perspective. Charity marketing is ever changing and evolving as we have seen with the meteoric rise of video content across social platforms. As a charity you should think about your objectives and ponder the inclusion of video content in certain ways. You might ask, what would video content offer? It’s all about awareness, engagement and conversion.
63% of charities voted ‘Engagement’ as the most important objective for their video content. This is a significant change from last year, where the results were more evenly split between ‘Awareness’ (22%), ‘Engagement’ (35%) and ‘Conversion’ (39%).
As we can see from the quote above, between 2018 and 2019, charities have now stated the impact of engagement has elevated above the other two elements in a drastic manner. For organisations within the third sector, building a relationship, trust and loyalty is crucial for your supporters. Engaging video content will help you achieve this.
89% of video marketers say video, in general, gives them a good return on their investment.
If you don’t stand out from the crowd, your organisation will struggle to survive, let alone attract new supporters. It is estimated there are 166,000 charities in the UK alone. Think about the competition and you will soon realise the importance of awareness. Raising awareness for your charity can be done in numerous ways such as making use of social media platforms, challenging audiences to competitions, fundraising campaigns and sponsoring live events. All of the above examples can work without the use of video, but they’re far more powerful with it. This will also bolster the engagement factor between marketer and consumer as more awareness garners more trust.
90% of consumers claim a video will help them make a purchasing decision.
Video is essential when it comes to getting supporters to go from casual awareness to genuinely buying in to your charity. Engagement and awareness are hugely beneficial on their own, but it’s difficult to justify video projects if there’s no change to the bottom line. Video content has the power to drastically aid a consumer’s decision on whether to buy a product, support a fundraiser or sign up as a regular giver.
Before you kick off any video content strategy, it’s so important to think about what you’re aiming to get out of it. Is it awareness, engagement, conversion, or a combination of the three?
Step 2: Plan, pitch, prepare and produce
Benjamin Franklin allegedly said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” That said, sometimes just grabbing your phone and filming what’s happening in the moment does actually work. You can create great pieces of content in the moment.
However, do not rule out the benefits of pre-production, it can work wonders! This is where charities may actually be struggling in the strategy department, they can’t jump the first hurdle!
Planning is vital in preparing for the best and worst case scenarios during the video making process. Pre-production can be at times a tedious venture. On the other hand, creative ideas are formed here and along with the help of brainstorming, pitches, storyboards, budget management etc, pre-production will only enhance the efficiency of your video content. It will also help you to think on your feet better, in those moments when you do need to create content on the fly.
Check out this video below of how to pitch and pre-pro your idea. Also, listen to old Benjamin.
Step 3: Get to know your audience
As a third sector organisation, you should work out your demographic. Is it primarily targeting old or young, a specific gender or perhaps a minority? A charity should gain perspective just like in the first step, and strategise how would video content appeal to their target audience.
It is also helpful to contemplate how this material would fit in alongside the blogs, articles and other campaigns made by your charity.
An audience likes a progressive flow of work which links together. Adding the medium of video content into their line of work can influence consumers to stay engaged on your website..
Engagement is paramount and content specified to your demographic can really work wonders. An example of this could be a charity who have a young male target audience. An effective way to generate engagement is by creating short form video content as young males want results quickly and generally don’t have much patience. P.S Sorry to young men out there.
Check out this video below as an example of video content being released to a certain type of audience. Dollar Shave Club launched in 2012 with a comedic video, completely different to the way men’s grooming products are usually marketed. The sweary, irreverent style drove 12,000 sales in 48 hours, attracted major press attention, and set the tone for all their content going forward.
Step 4: Use pre-existing charity video content as inspiration
Inspiration goes an incredibly long way.. An intelligent idea for charities to consider is to delve into pre-existing video content created by other organisations in the third sector. It is incredibly helpful to take inspiration from other work when first starting up. We all need a little help at times.
There is an abundance of charity video content out there for you to look at. We’ve posted another blog with some of our favourite examples. It can also be very beneficial to learn from the mistakes other charities make, whether that be the engagement, awareness raised and conversion of sales. So many factors come into play on the success rate of a video produced, so please don’t ignore these and upload a film at 1AM with a poor title and no description…
Looking at the pros and cons of video content production within a non-profit organisation can help you reach your goals. Remember, we all make mistakes. But we must learn from them to grow.
Here is an example of inspiring content during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unicef decided to step up and release a galvanising video to encourage children around the globe that they will not let the pandemic stop their mission.
Step 5: Originality is paramount in charity video content
Take note of the previous step, it is very important… but please don’t just copy. That’s easy, simplistic and boring. Stand out! Taking examples of video content as ideas can help but a charity should always thrive on being original. This is what will draw in more engagement.
If content is king, original content is the Holy Grail. In today’s marketplace, your customers are screaming for exciting, engaging and entertaining original content.
Think about who you are as an organisation, why you exist, what your tone of voice is, who you’re targeting and how could you could draw them in. Every charity can offer something unique, it may just take some time to find out what it is. But don’t worry, you’ve got past the first hurdle!
Let’s have some examples…
Here we have a ‘Chance to Win’ video created by UFC super star Connor McGregor’s alcohol brand, Proper Whiskey. This style of video is a mixture of primarily photographs and actually very little video content. However it’s quick, entertaining and engaging content. The competition also adds excitement and spark to the video. There has been a strategy put in place!
Let’s look at another example, this time within the third sector. This video is designed to create an emotion from the viewer in an abstract way. These sort of films highlight the importance of originality.
Step 6: Keep creating
By using the previous step as a marker, we can now look at the variety of ways we can create content within the third sector.
Introductory videos, case studies, volunteer stories, fundraising campaigns, highlight reels and celebratory videos are some of the best examples of films created by charities. Short and long form video content is also well received in the third sector and opens the door for you to create as many stories as you would like.
But first… it’s very important to think about planning out a roadmap for posting multiple pieces of video content. From logistics to locations, from cast to crews, the roadmap planned ahead gives you a much a clearer view for the journey video content producing can you take your charity on. For example, if you spend all your budget on one really amazing video, it might perform amazingly for one campaign, but then what’s your strategy after that? This can cause problems for future video content projects, as the logistics may not be the same, which may have a negative impact on the consumer in the long run.
What’s the worst that could happen?
The worst case scenario could be, they believe the organisation has lost money since their great video content in the campaigns before. If a consumer has this thought, they will stop their interest in the charity. The key to remember is, balance between quality and consistency. This not only helps keeps logistics at a similar rate, but also benefits the charity’s reputation of development. Consistency of well made videos will enhance the charity’s reputation of growth as the consumer will be left to want to see more video content!
Please check out our latest blog on the best examples of video content created in the third sector to expand your thoughts on this step. This is also an example of putting step 4 into practice. See what I did!
Now you know your audience, purpose of content and variety of ways to make it come to fruition. Working out a budget for this medium will have an impact on the amount you wish to produce.
Video is also very accessible to anyone with internet access, both to watch and to produce. While there is certainly a trend towards higher quality video on a professional level, anyone can hop onto their laptop and create their own video in under an hour.
There are two methods a charity can try, separately or together. First is quick video content, which might involve using your phone to shoot and edit.
This is a relatively quick but incredibly effective method in creating short bursts of video. This can go on continually and there is no budget or planning necessarily required. Charities should take advantage of free and low-cost editing software like iMovie and Adobe Spark. You don’t always have to look externally for help. Many people within a charity can fulfil roles such as scriptwriting, interviewing, editing and camera operating with their phones.
The second option is to go with a professional production company. This may be more expensive, however in many cases it won’t break the bank and won’t involve a van full of equipment and Hollywood production crew.
A good example of a charity that uses both these methods is The Dogs Trust. They combine a mixture of phone recordings with professional production to generate video content. This charity demonstrates to us that both strategies can work together. Here’s a great example of cheap, quick content that does exactly what it needs to do:
Step 7: Where will you publish your charity videos?
A big question, where will you publish your charity video content? The sheer number of different platforms is making this decision a bit of a nightmare for marketers, however this statistic may help:
Facebook remains on top with a staggering 72% voting it the channel that offers the best results for charity videos. This is no surprise – according to the 2018 State of Social Video Report, Facebook was voted the #1 platform where consumers enjoy watching brand videos.
However, this doesn’t automatically mean that you should put all your eggs in Facebook’s basket. Go back to step 3 and research your audience. Which platforms are they drawn to most? These stats give you a good sense of who’s on the various social channels:
62% of YouTube users are males.
62% of internet users aged 65+ are on Facebook, as are 72% of 50- to 64-year-olds.
72% of teens use Instagram.
Roughly 50% of TikTok’s global audience is under the age of 34 with 26% between 18 and 24.
It is also entirely possible to create accounts across all platforms as well as a dedicated website page. This tends to be the approach of larger organisations like Unicef, although their larger comms budgets mean it’s easier for them to maintain so many channels.
I should post my charity video on as many platforms as possible, right?
Wrong. It’s generally not a good idea to post the same video on each channel, as different types of content tend to perform better on different platforms. Think about the sort of video the feels ‘native’ to Instagram, vs what feels native on YouTube. At the very least, you should consider reformatting your video to make it fit better on each channel. Adding a variety of new content to different social channels will maximise your chances of raising awareness, and resonating with potential new supporters.
An effective idea to help the engagement process is by having at least one video on your website that explains what your brand, service or product is about. If you do, the average user will spend 88% more time on your site. Other videos can be spread out across social media platforms and your website blogs or posts to increase SEO.
Facebook and YouTube’s own in-built tools are great for insights like audience retention. This shows whether people are watching to the end, and where they’re dropping out if not. Often this can help you pinpoint a specific moment that people are losing interest.
You’re good to go!
And there you have it! Go out with this game plan and use it to the best of your ability. Take these steps, and use them in conjunction with each other. This will help the process of devising your video content strategy.
Also, please remember to pay attention to your results and learn from them. A strategy doesn’t guarantee short-term success and it’s important to analyse your video content thoroughly. Get this right and you’ll see great benefits in the long term. Revisiting old content and use it as a stepping stone to produce more exciting and engaging content each time.
There are various ways we can help you achieve your goals – whether it’s producing content for you, training your team on self-shooting and editing, or helping you devise a content strategy. If you’re interested in working with us, please fill in the contact form or book a 30-minute meeting with Ben.
Like all good creatives, we’re always learning. For us that includes always being on the lookout for exceptional video production. It inspires us, challenges us, and helps us decide what ideas might work (or not) for our clients. Charities and arts organisations make up the bulk of the video content we produce, so we asked Will Wray-Lang, our Junior Video Producer, to share his top 10 examples of charity video content.
UNICEF are a great example of a charity who hammer out an abundance of powerful, engaging and inspiring video content. This video, which is featured on their YouTube channel, provides an effective overview of what UNICEF as a charity does
The ‘We won’t stop’ video is 60 seconds long, but only needs this allotted time to leave an impression. This is a tremendous illustration of a video showreel and how it can engage with the consumer. The quick and effectual close up cut shots, drone footage, slow motion shots and clips from other video content are assembled together to really pull the viewer in and take them on an unforgettable journey in the world of this charity. The video is designed to have a quick and snappy impact in a short space of time. The consumer should feel excited, moved, saddened and inspired to help the cause that UNICEF is setting in motion. An eye catching and commanding message shown in 60 seconds!
Secondly, we have an appeal video from Shelter, which was released on their Instagram page. This is a much more specific approach to charity video content, giving the viewer a clear and urgent insight into why they need donations, and what they will do with them.
Again, this is a 60 second clip – notice a recurring theme? However, it only needs this amount of time to be impactful. The appeal video is informative, educational and enticing as the narrative also uses case studies of real people to help further the cause. This adds a hard-hitting impression to the consumer to show them this is the reality, people are suffering.
British Heart Foundation
Boy – It starts with your heart by the British Heart Foundation has a positive and relaxing feel but an important undertone. The audience are introduced to a young boy who simply walks down the street and into his house while talking to camera about his own story and the importance of the heart.
The makers of this film have deliberately grounded it in normality. The viewer can feel at ease watching this video as the boy is bright, positive and brings a sense of warmth. However his message is clear, the heart is important.
This video is only made up of three shots, yet still used in a very productive manner. It is clean, clear and crisp. The consumer is informed and made to feel comfortable at the same time, which will encourage them to think about this charity in the future.
This next example is quite different to the rest in its length and storytelling style, but works brilliantly as part of a wider content marketing strategy.
This video is a 19 minute long story about the humble beginnings and development of the charity by the founder Scott Harrison. This short documentary goes into the incredible highs including the rise of the charity to help other countries produce clean water, to the painful lows of the death of 9 year old fundraiser Rachel Beckwith. However, even through death, her legacy continued on, as thousands of people supported her fundraiser she had set up before her tragic passing.
This video is a rollercoaster journey of emotions, with an inspiring story and message to help others in need. Consumers who watch this documentary will feel engaged with the charity on a personal level as the film is an insight to the challenges they have faced during their existence.
Other third sector organisations would benefit greatly from learning about this style of video content, as it gives the consumer a chance to deeply understand the charity and product in a way the other examples can’t.
Here’s an example that uses animation to powerful effect. RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) is a UK charity offering information, support and advice to almost two million people in the UK with sight loss.
This video attached is a 3 minute animation and offers a fresh, unorthodox feel for the consumer. The film is pleasing to the eye, intriguing and different. Originality is crucial if you want to stand out – hence the distinctive style and colours adopted here.
As well as the free flowing visuals, the narrative is educational, informative and moving. In the video we also hear from real people who have benefited from and worked for the charity. It is a well rounded video that offers a flavour of something different. It goes without saying – but charity video content doesn’t have to be sombre and muted.
Prostate Cancer UK
Prostate Cancer UK’s profile is rising and a factor that has played a part is the video content they provide. The charity works closely with high profile organisations such as Sky Sports to help their cause. Athletes and presenters such as the former longest reigning world cruiserweight champion of all time, Johnny Nelson have been a part of the charity’s video content platform.
This video is only 30 seconds long and shows one of the many public figures who discuss their own personal experiences with prostate cancer. However, as the video is short, it is impactful from the outset. The simple method of a one shot set up allows the consumer to focus on what Johnny Nelson has to say.
There are two points to take away here from this style of video content. Firstly, simple can be very effective and strong with the appropriate character with a relevant storyline. Secondly, using public figures can be a good way to promote the charity as they will have large followings. This can bolster the growth of the charity.
This piece of content by Women’s Aid possesses similarities to the Prostate Cancer UK’s style. They both use a poignant, upsetting and powerful film to spread their message.
The narrative of this piece of content is a woman who suffers from domestic abuse. In the scene, Hayley sits down as artists put makeup on her face. They chat as if everything is normal. Then we see the narrative slowly turns out to be something sinister, the audience are not expecting it.
The makeup on her face is designed to make her look as if she has been attacked. Hayley then goes and sits down on another chair and begins to cry, shaking uncontrollably whilst looking directly at the camera. We then learn about the true story of another woman who was abused by her husband.
The video is distressing and may be upsetting for many viewers. On the other hand, it is an effective and straight-to-the-point way of displaying a message. The consumer will be stunned by how the narrative plays out inside the three minutes and should be left feeling moved by what they have just watched.
There are lessons other charities should take from this film. Charities don’t have to create nice, positive content to hit home a message. Showing pain, destruction and discomfort also gets the consumer engaged and can push them towards this charity with more emotion. When you’re formulating a charity video strategy, it’s crucial to consider the emotional takeaway.
Dog’s Trust assembled a film from an interesting mix of creative ideas, to hammer home the significance of their message. This video had 856K views on Facebook and demonstrates why charity marketers love this platform so much.
Facebook remains on top with a staggering 72% voting it the channel that offers the best results for charity videos. Facebook was voted the #1 platform where consumers enjoy watching brand videos.
This is a great piece of storytelling as we learn so much within 60 seconds. The highs and lows of the story are exaggerated by the use of set design and colour. The audience don’t need to hear words, the visuals are enough to feel what we’re meant to be feeling.
In this top tips video, the NSPCC shows parents how to teach their children about social media. It’s a very short teaser video, designed to pique the viewer’s interest and send them to a longer version on YouTube. The use of one contributor speaking to camera forms a relationship between the charity and the viewer. She’s a fellow parent, who shares their problems and offer simple advice without being preachy or patronising.
The use of animated graphics helps grab people’s attention on the news feed and adds a bit of originality and colour. This video is a good example of filming on a low budget; simple can be very effective.
Help For Heroes
Help For Heroes put out a highlights video to celebrate an annual event that couldn’t take place in 2020 due to the pandemic. We see fundraisers from Help For Heroes, cycling through the sites of World War I & II battles while taking the time to reflect.
We get a strong sense of camaraderie, positivity and reflection that feels totally on-brand for this charity. The film remembers the heroes who gave up their lives to preserve the freedom of others, while also showing the importance of individuals coming together in harmony for the sake of a common objective. We see the pride flowing in the final shot, a large group of fundraisers all celebrating as a collective. It gives off the impression of a family within the charity, which will no doubt have an uplifting influence on the viewer.
Here at Studio 91 Media, we hope you found this blog useful. We believe it is self evident from the ten examples above that video content within the third sector should be a thriving enterprise. Third sector video content can be produced in a variety of different ways, short and snappy or long and compelling. It can be fun, bursting with energy and positivity or it can have a deeper and more dramatic tone.
Marketers should use this blog as a blueprint for their next creative projects and look towards professional support in bringing their vision to life. Video content doesn’t have to destroy your budget with high production values. You just need passion, professionalism, creativity and a story. Get in touch with us if you’ve got any questions about what options are available to you.
Throughout my career, I’ve always done a combination of filming my own content and editing what other people have filmed. Right now, the latter is pretty much all I’m doing. The big challenge for me hasn’t been the editing itself, it’s been the lack of creative and technical control that comes with it.
When I worked for the BBC, producing digital video content for brands like Blue Peter, there were often times when I would be sent a video that a presenter had filmed on their phone, or given a piece of GoPro footage from the cutting room floor. My job was to assess whether it was worth using, and if so polish it up with a slick edit, some tasty graphics and a bit of music.
In the world of non-profits and businesses, there are always times when remote editing is the most suitable option. For one thing, it’s generally a great way to save on filming costs if a client already has existing footage, or has had professional photos taken that can be reworked into a video. It might be that a charity wants to promote an annual event, and has mobile footage that was shot by their staff or supporters.
That was the case for St Ann’s Hospice, a hugely important Stockport-based charity and one we’re very proud to produce video content for. Their Manchester Midnight Walk is a massive annual event, attracting thousands of walkers and raising millions for the charity. They approached me early in 2020 to create a suite of six videos for them, each aimed at a different type of supporter. They didn’t have any professionally shot footage of previous events, but they had plenty of material that people had filmed on phones, as well as professional still images. I’m a bit of a control freak, so part of me is always a bit terrified when I have to edit someone else’s footage, rather than shoot it myself or with my team. But still, there’s a lot of fun to be had finding ways of taking whatever I’m given and creating something that feels genuinely polished and professional.
The secret sauce in this particular case is my bespoke motion graphics, based on the event branding created by the charity’s design team. These give all the video content a cohesive style, even though each individual video feels distinct. As well as the one above featuring Mr Motivator, there was a video focusing on the fitness benefits, one focusing on the difference the funds raised would make, and so on. The stills, footage, copy and music were slightly different on each piece of content, to make sure it would resonate with the intended audience.
As the pandemic loomed, the event ended up being postponed til June, so I reversioned the video content with the new date. Within a few short weeks, though, it became clear that the event could not go ahead. Instead, the ‘Manchester Virtual Walk’ was born, with participants walking their own 5K route in their own time during the month of June. I went back to the existing edit and created this, the (hopefully!) final version of the video.
If you’re interested in our remote editing services, please drop us a line. For some tips and tricks for filming yourself with a phone, read this guest blog about self-shooting that I wrote for Mike Pye + Co. And of course, if you’re able to, please do join in with the Manchester Virtual Walk and support the fantastic, essential work of St Ann’s Hospice.
St Ann’s Hospice, one of Manchester’s biggest and best-loved charities, approached me recently with a problem. They had lots of footage shot on phones of their supporters at various fundraising events, but they were worried that the quality wasn’t good enough. There were wobbly shots, lots of background noise and varying degrees of picture quality. They wanted to know if I could stitch them together into one snappy video that would somehow look professional and on-brand.
Naturally, I was happy to help; editing clients’ footage is something I do on a regular basis. I love taking raw materials and crafting something polished. By hand-picking the best soundbites, creating bespoke branded graphics and adding some upbeat music, I was able to create a fun video that encourages people to get involved with the charity.
In fact, the phone videos weren’t just useable, they were better in some ways than professional footage would have been. There’s a level of authenticity from the self-shot style that we might not have got from a more traditional filming approach. It’s also a massively cost effective way of doing things compared with sending a videographer to several different events.
It was such a privilege to provide an event highlights video for this fantastic charity gala ball, supporting the amazing work Broughton House does with veterans. Broughton House is a care home in Salford that looks after military veterans; its mission statement is to care for those who served us.
I’ve worked with them before, when I produced a social media video for the BBC Philharmonic. Players from the BBC Phil paid the residents a visit and performed a concert for them. Off the back of that they were kind enough to invite me to produce a highlights video of their annual gala ball event. Music was a major feature once again, with performances including a jazz set by students from the Royal Northern College of Music, and a bagpiper from the Scots Guards Association. To top it all off, swing singer Paul Pashley performed hit after hit, both old and new.
Hopefully my event highlights video captures the fun of the evening, but also a sense of what Broughton House is all about.
Moorside Primary School in Salford asked us to produce a short video that showcased the school in a creative way. We came up with the idea of two Year Six pupils giving a tour of the site and interviewing other students. The film was shot over two mornings to make sure we captured the breadth of what Moorside has to offer, including their fantastic ‘forest school’ where kids can learn about the joys of the great outdoors. This was loads of fun to shoot and edit, with the two child presenters contributing a huge amount to the script and the overall tone.
This was a lovely project to work on with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. They took a small ensemble to Broughton House, a nursing home in Salford for military veterans, and put on a concert for them. They had also invited the residents to an upcoming concert marking 100 years since the Armistice, but not everyone was well enough to make it.
The band played classical hits, jazzy numbers and war-time favourites, and the audience loved it. My job was to capture highlights and edit them for the orchestra’s Facebook page.
This is also the first outing of a new suite of video templates I built for the orchestra, whose digital and marketing teams create a lot of digital video content themselves. The goal was to create simple animated text graphics that would be easy to use in Premiere Pro, so I used Adobe’s new Motion Graphics Templates tool. The tool is still a work in progress, but it’s a great way of making templated graphics that users can simply drag and drop into their timeline. Let us know if branded graphics like these are something your online platforms could benefit from.