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It’s rare that I can blog about my commercial work. Normally NDA, privacy, and a million other reasons mean that the work I normally talk about is my personal work. Although that’s not always the case. I was able to blog about the Adidas Viral for the Olympics and a few others, but normally it’s not possible. That’s why it’s really kind of Facebook to allow me to do a blog post about the film I made for them. It makes sense, as the film is for the web and it’s about education, so the perfect marriage for a post on my site!! :) Naturally, there are substantial differences between a personal film and a paid gig, but these are mostly down to what the end product is and of course the collaboration with the client.

This post is a breakdown of making (in my opinion) a strong corporate documentary for a well-known brand, from the brief to pre-prod, production, post and delivery. What this covers can be applied to pretty much most shoots.

Facebook approached me with a desire to make a film about their new pilot scheme to use Facebook as an educational platform in schools. The film would be shown at a large educational festival then put online (on Facebook of course!). It needed to be one film that would work across both platforms (although in the end I delivered a tighter cut for the web…more on that later).

Before I agree to any job, naturally I need to know more about what they want. It’s essential to understand the brief before you can figure out the rest. What would be required to make it work, can it be done in the given timeline, what style and look is wanted, how much graphics work is needed (do I need to bring someone in?), and much more. Then there is the more personal stuff. Am I the right person to make this and do I have the time of course? I normally get booked up quite far in advance. Finally, is it something I want to make? This last point is a luxury to be honest. I don’t know anyone who just does jobs that they want to do. I talk about that point in depth in this blog post about succeeding in the business. To do a paid gig that interests, excites and challenges is what I want.

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THE BRIEF AND PRE-PRODUCTION

First off, I have to be honest. My initial reaction was, “Facebook in schools…how on earth could that work?”  So I needed to understand the concept firstly and ask them all the obvious burning questions…here are a handful…”Is this our Facebook or a different version?”, “How are the kids not going to abuse it?”, “How can it enhance education?”…and of course many more.

After having my questions answered, I understood the idea and how it would work. I hadn’t spoken to anyone who was actually using it yet, as in the teachers and students, but I was very interested. If you are going to produce a film for a company, you absolutely must 100% understand the story and their needs Otherwise at best you will have to do lots of edit revisions to make it what the client wants…at worst you won’t have the right interview grabs or shots! Understanding fully is key! When I’m shooting a personal documentary, I tend to learn the story throughout the filming. I love that discovery you get, the unfolding story.

A few back and forths between myself and the agency, Blue Rubicon, plus Facebook of course, gave me a firmer understanding of the type of film they wanted: Something with the feel of a documentary showing Facebook’s education program and how it has performed in its pilot scheme. Naturally, this is a Facebook film so it needs to be a positive film that ticks their boxes. Remember, you are not making a film for yourself. This is for them.

Facebook is the client. They want a corporate film to promote their initiative. Just because it’s in a documentary style it doesn’t mean you can make a film which presents both sides of the argument.

Coud you imagine making a corporate for say BP about their clean up of the Gulf of Mexico and how amazing it was, then also cut in interviews from environmental organisations saying they are not doing enough? Of course that would be highly unlikely to be commissioned!

So remember, even though you are the filmmaker, the client is the “Studio”. They are more important than your own artistic vision. Sure, try and make it how you want it and put your “artistic stamp” on it, but remember the client is paying you to make something. You are hopefully still shaping the film with your vision, so it’s still your film, just without the freedom to go crazy! After all, would you want the builder you hired to make your kitchen to be so artisticly free that he put a water fountain in the middle where your breakfast table was going to be? Of course not! They will make it how YOU want, and if they don’t, they fix it so it is. You are the client/ customer paying the dish! I don’t care how “visionary” he is. It’s my kitchen. If he wants a fountain in do it in his own! :)

When it comes to potentially controversial subjects, I would rather address the elephant in the room than ignore it. Sometimes you have to, but then you have people rant on about said elephant in the comments. If you don’t know that phrase it means, I would rather ask the questions that viewers obviously will have about the subject actually answered in the film than ignore them. Instead of glossing over them, let’s tackle them. This is again of course not always possible. It depends on the client. Facebook are a very progressive company and were very keen on this, which was great!

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The film that I wanted to make is, like my docs, is a journey of understanding. The plan I had formulated was a structure built up with five sections.

1: What is this and why is it being done?

2: How did the schools, teachers and students react to the idea?

3: How is it being used in lessons…why does Facebook help?

4: The reaction after using it from the schools etc

5: What next? What is the next step?

I wanted to tackle the main questions within the film, so for me it’s a complete and well-rounded film…despite being a corporate. I wanted to make a non-corporate corporate if that makes sense? A film that feels like a doc, looks like a doc and if it wasn’t paid for by the main “character” in the film, a doc! This is also my first full gig for Facebook (I contributed to their film about going public with some pretty shots). I of course want the client to be 100% happy for obvious reasons!

For me it was essential that the two schools we were going to film represented Britain as it is, a varied multi-cultural country of various socio-economic situations. That means I needed a cross section, two very different schools that ticked those boxes, and the ones we had definitely did. The London Nautical School and Wellington college.

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We had a very tight turnaround on this. Although the gig was agreed quite a while ago, the actual filming dates were later than planned. Totally my fault. With other work hogging my time, I had to make it fit into my diary, and of course Facebook and the Schools needed to make sure those dates worked for them.

With the shoot being later, we had to deliver the next week. Personally I like deadlines. Way more than no deadlines. You procrastinate. Deadlines make you work harder and faster! Although they are more stressy!

So we had 2 hours or so in the first school, which included 3 teachers and 3 student interview PLUS lots of B-Roll, then the next day 2 Facebook interviews then the final day a similar schedule to the first day. So not a lot of time. The last day of filming was a Friday, the first pretty complete edit was to be delivered asap on Monday. So a tight turnaround.

My pre-production was simply research, back and forth with the agency and the client, plus putting the crew together and figuring out how to make the schedule work.

The C300 was the obvious choice for the main camera. It’s my main camera for work as it produces a terrific image, is easy to use and is HD broadcast approved. The B-Camera was the 1DC. Again an obvious choice for me as I have one. In HD super 35mm mode with the Canon Log setting, it damn well matches the C300 so well…it actually looks better at times! The B-Camera wasn’t going to be used much, but I always take a backup camera these days. This isn’t down to any concern about reliability. I just like to play safe when it comes to big gigs like this.

The crew was small. I was acting as Producer, Director, DP, Cameraman and co-editor. Lots of hats but totally do-able. Why? I had Sarah Estela operating for all the interviews, which meant I could put on my director’s hat for all the important getting-the-info stuff after I had lit it. Sarah was also going to be the assembly editor, so great to have her on the shoot…and she is a great shooter too with a terrific eye and also a great person to bounce ideas off of. That is so valuable. Work as a team, not as a bunch of individuals with their own set roles that don’t deviate.

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In addition I had two excellent interns. Jack Daniel Mills who has helped on my “Bitten by the frost” music video and the soon to be edited F55 short “Venus”. Yannick Hausler from Ravensbourne College came along too. Both were great to have on board!

THE SHOOT

I decided on the shooting style before the shoot, and that is what I stuck to.

All “actuality” would be handheld…it would give it a less formal feel and it give me more of a chance to react to things. I was going to operate this part of the filming as, being the director too, it made things easy for me – rather than watching someone else operate and try and give direction without interrupting the flow. This would be the C300 handheld with the 24-105 F4 IS Canon lens. The IS of the lens makes hand held much better. Although the lens does not act like a true constant aperture as it gets a tiny bit darker at the end of the lens.

I used a Sony UWP wireless on the two teachers with a RODE NTG-3 on the top of the C300. No handheld rig was used, as the C300 is damn ergonomic as it is and with an IS lens. I wanted to use my Deity Mira loupe (seen below), this fits onto the LCD screen and gives you an amazing viewfinder. Annoyingly, I couldn’t find the clip bracket for the screen so I had to go with the built in EVF.

Gutted I couldn't find my bracket for this!

Gutted I couldn’t find my bracket for this!

The Miller Compass 20 was my main tripod. Sarah had the DS20 with the 1DC for the b-roll.  She didn’t do too much shooting with it as I covered most of the shots myself, but most of the b-roll shots on sticks are from Sarah and the 1DC in S35 mode.

The interview lighting was simple. No three point lighting here. Mostly one light, sometimes two.

My main key light was my Litepanel 1X1 bi-colour. My back light was the usual Dedo 150w. I like my lights to look like motivated light sources. To feel like they were coming from a natural light source, the windows.

I used the Rotolight Anova for one of the interviews to try it out. It came out fine. The one I have is designed for more of a flood, so the brightness wasn’t as concentrated as the 1×1 which I needed in the very windowed office of Facebook.

Most of the time these days I shoot my interviews on the 1DC in 4k, giving me the option of changing framing in post. Very useful. If I need to punch in for key moments I can. Almost like having two cameras. For this film, there was no need. The framing was fixed and designed for each of the groups. Facebook interviews would be the widest. Teachers a bit closer and students the tightest. They are the whole point of the scheme, so it made sense.

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Audio for the interviews was mostly the Sanken Cos 11D wired lav mic and for children outside the Rode NTG-3 shotgun held by me with the pistol grip. I was very windy and I had no big fluffy lav mic covers.

The interviews and the set up with Facebook were the longest, as we had the most time. The teachers and children were the shortest naturally due to lack of time. Another reason why simple lighting is essential. In some of the backgrounds I had monitors visible, so I brought down the brightness of them to match my lighting.

The actuality that I captured was essential. A film of just interviews would be flat. Natural shots from real moments bring enormous life to a film, so I had to roll a lot as I never knew when the ideal moment would be. Tiring after a while, as handheld even with a C300 takes its toll. I am a weakling after all! :)

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Because we had a three day break between the two schools (Monday and Friday), we were able to see if there was additional b-roll needed or any issues that needed addressing in our last interviews. Sarah went through the rushes whilst I was on another job, and when I got back we discussed what was needed (actually nothing really, it’s quite a simple tale). The second school is just a repeat of the first one just with different types of students in a very different school. Interestingly in the first school the students had no say on Facebook being used. It was simply part of their normal lessons. In the second school it was an after school lesson for volunteers.

So with the shoot done, did I have any regrets or concerns? I always wish I had done something different. Asked a different question. Perhaps got a tighter answer…maybe got more actuality. I thought I might doubt my decision to not film general b-roll of the schools. But my gut was right…I didn’t need them. I had all I needed to make the film.

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THE EDIT

The biggest chunk of the footage were the interviews. I covered most of the same questions from the three groups (Facbook, Teachers, Studens) so I could, in the edit, get them to fit together to form a flowing narrative where people would almost finish other people’s sentences. Some interview were easier than others of course. The key is to get the story and not to get either waffling or answers which were too short.

I assigned each group different colours. This made it much much easier to see in the timeline who is who, and if you are using a balanced amount from each school. It looks very colourful but I really recommend using the colours in Premiere (we used CC) to keep things nice and organised. An organised collection of bins and sequences makes things a lot easier. Screen Shot 2013-06-26 at 21.09.14

Wellington college had warm palette of oranges and yellows. Nautical naturally had the blues and greens with Facbook getting the two pinks!

Sarah separated all the interviews and selected what she thought were the key bits, although we often went back to the originals to find discarded bits that worked better.

A skeleton structure was built via the interviews of around 15 minutes (the finished film needed to be sub 5 minutes. We then cut people back and shuffled them around so their answers complemented each other and, as mentioned earlier, flowed into each other. Too much repetition was removed and a nice balance between all was needed. Tom, a student from Wellington was incredibly eloquent to the point of not sounding 14 but 40. (keep an eye on him…he is going places!) We needed grabs from both schools equally and to make sure we had enough from the girls, as it’s a very bloke heavy set of characters. (Nautical is a boys’ school)

One key thing we got lucky with was we had b-roll of all the students we interviewed. They were not selected until after the actuality filming. Not ideal. Other way round would have been preferable, but the timing didn’t work. So luckily we had enough…part of the reason for over shooting and making sure I captured everybody.

When I felt we had a pretty solid and tight edit that told our story with a beginning, middle and end, we were almost ready to show the first draft to the client. I prefer to show them a colour corrected and even graded if possible version.

Each shot was matched and colour corrected using RedGiant’s Magic Bullet Colorista (all magic bullet software is 20% with code bloom20 at checkout) I then added 3 adjustment layers in Premiere to give the whole thing a wash for the grade. With all shots colour corrected, this was doable. Don’t cut up adjustment layers – keep them as a whole, that’s the point of them. If you need to make tweaks to a shot, do it to the clip on the timeline itself.

Each adjustment layer had a filter called “Lumetri” put on which is new to CC. I added one of the looks built in then clicked a symbol in the effects tab to let me load one from the finder. Inside the applications folder and inside photoshop I went to presets and 3D Luts. I used one 3D Lut on each layer at different opacity to create this look. It’s a nice feature and a simple way to create a beautiful filmic look. As we shot Canon log, the image was relatively flat. As you can see below, we brought the footage to life with the grading. I wanted a filmic looking grade, not too contrasty…natural really!

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Using the password protected part of Vimeo Pro (or plus), I shared the edit with Facebook who came back with a few minor tweaks. They loved it though, which was fantastic! You never know how it’s going to go. I gave Facebook two revised edits in my quote – after that any more is chargeable. I cannot recommend doing this enough. Get it in writing. It’s better for you and them, as they have to make decisions and there are nice solid decisions made rather than “try this or try that”. Get those revisions in your contract!

I delivered an edit of just over 5 minutes via “wetransfer.com”. A bit longer than I had wanted, but we struggled to shorten it. After all, we had 13 voices in it! That’s a lot of people in such a short film. Although we used our two revision after the education event, I told Facebook I wanted to shave off 45 seconds for the web version at no cost to them. I wasn’t happy and felt it could be better. The version you see below is the final cut.

I felt it achieved what I had set out to do. Tell the story as a whole. What it is, why it’s being used, how it’s being implemented, the reaction both positive and negative, then the change in opinion after seeing how it actually complemented the teaching.

Could I have used more time? Yes on the shoot, to do less running round making sure we got it all…in post? Yes to a degree, but as I said too long is not a good idea often. Getting it cut fast and straight after the shoot makes the edit easier as its fresh in your head, and once it’s done you can move on rather than have it drag out for months!

If I haven’t covered everything here, please ask questions and I will do my best to answer.

The Music Bed once again supplied us with the music which we licensed. Once again a fantastic resource which helped give it that “Facebook” feel that the film has!

A happy client and a happy filmmaker. Nice when you get both! :)

I

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Comments

  1. Great work, Philip!
    Thanks for sharing…

  2. Fader8 says:

    Nice report! The idea, though, is a bit controversy to me, as it combines free-time and school which clearly should be seperated.

    Question: Did you sharpen the footage? It’s so extremly sharp!

    Thanks if you find time for answering.

    Cheers

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      No sharpening…

      What do you mean about the other bit?

  3. Phil,

    You don’t need to post this, but I wanted to let you know you had some dead pixels on the handheld school footage. There is a white and red one, but the red only shows up at around the one minute mark. The white bluish one shows up time to time as well. Top notch production, just wanted you to know.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Cheers Charles. Yeah. High ISO that one. Need to get her looked at

  4. jasonsilzle says:

    Fun stuff Philip thanks for sharing. We are loving shooting with our C100. The C300 is also such a grand piece :D

  5. Really nice read and good film as well.

    Very helpful as I start to move into corporate film and try to convince businesses to go with something a little different than the “Standard corporate film”

    :-D

  6. dotdapple says:

    When is the doc being released?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      It already has otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to post it here (bottom of the post)!

  7. Great article… One of my favorites you’ve written… I do have some questions though… I’ve been shooting for a long time, but am relatively new to running my business. I also have a two revision policy, but until recently I haven’t had a scenario where I needed to enforce it. I’ve been working on a project for a client for a few months now, and it’s only been recently that I’ve decided to start writing more detailed contracts rather than simply give them a quote. This last project went beyond two revisions, but they didn’t sign anything other than the quote, so I can’t really enforce the policy. I’m trying to prepare myself for future projects now… So, how detailed do you get when writing your contracts? And when someone does to over the two revision policy, how do you determine how much additional to charge them?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      That’s a big question Kevin! It’s a case by case basis. Depends on the size of the project. Additional revisions are also dependent on what is needed…costs are negotiated up front. An effects heavy project would obviously cost more than revision for this…

  8. Another great post Phil.
    Thank’s for that!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Thanks my friend!

  9. wesleypd says:

    Thanks for the post! Having you describe your workflow is really helpful for self-taught filmmakers like myself. I’ve been doing video work full time for three years now and still didn’t know the difference between colour correcting, spelled your way ;) and colour grading. You are such a great help. Thanks!

  10. Randy Noland says:

    Nice work Philip and agree on the handheld choice for many of the shots. Thanks for sharing your approach and thought process.

  11. Joshua Brown says:

    Philip, thanks so much for taking the time to make such detailed bts posts. Curious though about release forms for minors. Did you need them since it was a corporate shoot? If not, how did you wrangle the parents (or teachers?) signatures?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Hi Joshua

      That was not handled by us. Facebook dealt with that.

      P

  12. Ron Dawson says:

    Great info as always Mr. Bloom. Thanks for sharing. Just curious though. You said the C300 was your main camera, but you also said you shot in 4K. All the interview photos look like the C300 was indeed the main cam for those. Please elaborate. Did you mean the C500? Can’t wait to watch it.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Hey Ron

      Nice to hear from you…I didn’t say I shot 4K did I? I don’t remember saying that and wouldn’t have said that…all full HD on both the C300 and 1DC :)

      P

      1. Ron Dawson says:

        My bad. You’re right. You just mentioned you LIKE to shoot in 4k. Not that you shot this in 4K. :)

  13. mirkoscape says:

    congrats for the work Philip

  14. Great post, this is really useful as most of the work I do is Corporate films.
    Be interesting to know how you put a work scope document together.
    Also how do you deal with project creep and do you charge by the day or a project fixed rate.

    Thanks for posting this Phillip, great work!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      It does vary…especially on the size/ scale of the project. This was pretty simple, hence the 2 revision contract. Others have more.

  15. hugobordes says:

    Insightful post & great doc!!
    Thank for sharing Philip.

  16. charliebudd says:

    I thought it seemed like a very balanced film – it progressed nicely, the interview shots were really nicely done, beautiful in fact. Reading your blog about how you made it, and then watching it makes me realise even more how skillful you are through the whole process of identifying what the brief means, to how to shoot it, shooting, editing and client relations. Very interesting film, and very interesting insight into how you do things. Thanks for sharing it.

  17. One thing that I looove about this post is that it is such a “normal” corporate type of piece. No frills, just to the point. The type of thing that any filmmaker anywhere can run in to.
    The fact that you stressed setting the parameters and approach early, I can tell, gave you some security to just trust your initial vision and resist the temptation to get obsessive compulsive shooting every nuance you see. I need to do this more! Initial ideas and approaches work so well sometimes because they are gut reactions and not skewed by second guessing on the fly. It was nice to see a piece here where the people, their thoughts, and this new idea told the story while the photography stayed out of the way. This one led to a clear message with a purpose. Very insightful and practical.

  18. Jim Birkett says:

    A really interesting read Philip, Something different, yet a post a lot of people will relate to . It’s the type of work at lot of us are doing, a lot of my work as been in making corporate and promotional documentary. An interesting conversion about reversions and what we implement here at Film Tank. Not only from a business point of view but also from a creative one. If the client get’s all the feedback from everyone in that company/organization and agree on what they like or dislike in one go, it will make a better film for them as they all have their input in the project.

    Do you think there is an ever increasing market for this type of work and is it something you’d like to produce more of?

  19. Owen says:

    Very useful insight and generous of you to share this.
    Do you transcribe interviews when you are editing this kind of piece? If not, what approach do you take to assembling the dialogue?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      No transcribing….I thought I mentioned that Sarah went through all the interviews to clip them up. Then we deleted and shuffled around. Transcribing takes too long on a tight turnaround production like this

      P

  20. gav500 says:

    Hey Phillip

    Great post as always!

    Hoping you can answer a couple of quick questions:

    What is CC you keep referring to and what are adjustment layers

    I colour correct with Colorista but it normally ends there – what am I missing?

    Thanks Phillip

    Gav

  21. Great images but I have to admit – as a teacher I would rather get the hard facts (what the app/platform actually does) right away – rather than see so many testimonials selling the virtues. I skipped back and forth to find out what it’s actually about and never quite got to the heart of the matter.

    What’s the target group for the video?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Hi myles

      Not sure where you got the idea this was for teachers. This is for the public. There is no way you can explain all the ins and out of how to make it work and integrate it into the syllabus in such a short video. I thought I explained this was a video made to promote the pilot scheme and for people to see how it has been accepted.

      You are after something way more detailed. That is the teachers pack given to, Er, teachers! :)

      Cheers

      P

      1. Alan Austin says:

        Hi Philip,

        Once again thanks so much for taking to time to share the details of the shoot. Just got Premiere CC and am anxious
        to try the Lumetri/ adjustment layer combinations. Liked the piece very much too.

      2. Great video Philip!

        Certainly within the time frame as well. Thanks for the great tips of your site!

        I did something similar which was on a 5D, but for a Charity called 10:10. It was great fun filming the kids as well, much more fun than adults!

        https://vimeo.com/36970200

  22. brenton.leblanc says:

    Beautiful work as always Philip. I really liked the background choices in the interviews. A lot of very interesting angles and colors.

  23. mightyfilms says:

    Nice case study Philip. I read it with interest as it’s pretty close to what I do for a living.

    I’ve had a lot of projects drag on and on of late. I totally agree deadlines (real ones, not self-imposed ones that are too easy to ignore), are really helpful.

    How do you find the Litepanel? I have a couple of the cheaper Chinese LED lights (LightPro here in Australia), and, as well as having a slight green tinge, I find the light a little hard-edged when compared to stuff I’ve shot with soft boxes/fluoro banks. Not very flattering.

    I’d also be interested to know how many days you allowed for post on this. Are we talking 3-4?

    Keep up the good work.

    Sean

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      hi sean

      spending more money doesnt always yield better results but the litepanels 1x1s are exceptional.Cheap chinese lEDs? Says it all! :)

      Did i not cover how many days we cut? Worked out in total maybe 3 full days…and a bit with revisions

      1. mightyfilms says:

        Not all that cheap unfortunately – I’ll have to stick with them until they’ve earned their keep.

        Thanks for the reply

        Sean

  24. sportivod says:

    Excellent post and video. Thanks very much for sharing it with us!

    I have noticed a small mistake you may want to adjust though: at 2.30 you have a lower 3rd for Reesie, who it describes as being a Wellington student, but he’s clearly seen as a student at London Nautical in various shots. Not trying to be picky, hopefully just helpful!

    Dominic

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks dominic. it’s a weird thing that popped up on the cutdown. dont know how thankfully it’s not in the full version that the client received!

      1. sportivod says:

        Phew! How I loathe that ghastly feeling when you see an error and have just sent it to the client!
        Strangely I do those revisions for free and VERY fast!!!
        Thanks for all your great, shared work!

  25. Gareth_Risdale says:

    Just curious to know what frame rate you shot/shoot at? ‘Popular’ 24, or do your UK ENG roots default to 25? Also, do you tend to shoot B-roll at higher speed (48/50?) “just-in-case” / “because you can” to keep the option there, or only if you know for sure you’re looking for some slower motion?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      25p..24p is pointless for most of the world unless you are going film out or working for clients like ones in the US. Most of the world’s broadcast in HD is 50i so 25p is the main one for me

  26. Alan Austin says:

    Hi Philip,

    I think I put my first comment in the wrong box at the bottom….just wanted to thank you again, for sharing the details of your shoot. These posts are very helpful and interesting -we all know it takes a lot of time and caring to prepare and post them. You certainly are a great asset to a lot of us. Liked the piece very much too..

  27. QAD says:

    Very informative! Thanks for sharing Philip! Noted re 2 revision thingy in contract. Ta vmuch.
    I’m probably having a blonde moment, but isn’t Reeise titled at the wrong college?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      yeah really annoying. in the original one that facebook have it’s all good but in the cutdown i put up things got screwed up somehow. Very odd!!

  28. bakdai says:

    Hi Philip,

    Great article. One question. You mention this above, “I then added 3 adjustment layers in Premiere to give the whole thing a wash for the grade.”

    Can you elaborate on what that means? Is this just something in Premiere CC for color correction? Thanks.

    Mike

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      There will be a blog post Mike about this soon. Might be worth reading about adjustment layers than me explain it here…lots of tutorials out there

  29. Phunk says:

    Great work, Philip!

    Can I ask what the music that you used in this is? Where do you normally obtain your tracks from?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      hi there

      pretty sure i mention it in the post near the bottom! :)

  30. Philip,

    Great article. Perfect timing as well, as I’m beginning work on a doc-style piece for Chrysler. Special thanks for the mention of chargeable revision edits. I hadn’t even thought of doing that. Super idea!

    Austin

    1. Bernard Lau says:

      You need to do that Austin!
      Or else you’ll get the fussy people that want changes all the time…
      For me, I only allow one complimentary set of changes, then after that, it’s charged by edit.
      The client need to also trust you as an artist, but they also need to know what they want.
      Which makes the initial brief so important.
      If they don’t like the final result and you made it to brief, then it’s their problem and you got to reshoot.

  31. pipjor says:

    Philip,
    This article was really helpfull to me, thank you for posting.

    I’m not in the same league as you but I did a similar kids/school doc earlier this year, I was a 1 man show, Mark III, all natural light.
    https://vimeo.com/63058432

  32. halfloafofkungfu says:

    Great Vid, So did you use any lights for the non-interview portions? Sometimes, or never?…

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      non for this shoot. it’s essentially fly on the wall. only the interviews

  33. Levi says:

    Great work as always. Your work leaves me inspired and motived. Thank you.

  34. Shaun says:

    You know, Philip, you make it very hard to make negative/disparaging comments about you or your work. Well, negative comments about you *personally*, you just have too good a sense of humour about, and you always have a clever rejoinder to counter them, so I guess that’s fine. But every 100 projects or so, you should release something that ISN’T as high calibre. Flub something. Do something that’s amateur-ish or make SOME kind of mistake. It will make you seem more vulnerable, less perfect. I’m sick of putting you on a pedestal. I’m fed up with praising your work, making positive comments about your clever editing, and complimenting your lighting or your innovative shots. It’s tiring.

    I’m going to take a stand for once, and I’m NOT going to gush about you and/or the quality of your work. There. I’m just going to NOT do it. See?

    Luckily for you, Philip, you have very little ego, so you will just smirk and go about your day.

    For a second there you genuinely believed that I thought you have very little ego, didn’t you? Well, I will qualify that your tempered, humorous sense of ego is actually one of your best attributes.

    DAMMIT. I tricked myself into complimenting you. *sigh*

    And don’t point out how I split an infinitive.

  35. marklondon says:

    Great piece. The C300/C100s are just the doco kings.

    Was interested in your comment re the Annova. I found this piece via Vimeo, and that particular interview stood out (in a good way). I then came here to read about how it was lit.
    I get the impression you found it a tad under-powered (I find it a tad over-priced) but as I say, when I watched this piece that interview ‘popped’.

  36. Bernard Lau says:

    Great work Philip and thanks for sharing.
    Interesting that you chose to use the 24-105, I’m looking into getting that with my new C100 (just a week old) to replace my 16-35mm so that I get more freedom for run and gun shooting too.

    Great tip with the different coloured clips on the timeline, so useful when editing timeshifted footage and multiscenes, I wonder if it’s on Premiere 5.5? Or I’ll just upgrade to Premiere Creative Cloud…

    With the video, is this a new platform within Facebook or just that schools make specific pages on Facebook for a particular class and use it as sort of an online forum? If it’s public, I can see this being as big as wikipedia for schools.

    Cheers,
    B.

  37. avj says:

    Hey Philip,

    Lemme get a cheers over here mate.

  38. danielzerkowitz says:

    Hi Philip,

    This is a very valuable article, thank you!

    I’m just a but confused lighting-wise. You use a key and a backlight but no fill at all or…?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Who says you MUST use a fill? :) The joy of the soft light and natural/ available light

  39. SveinOmmundsen says:

    Hi!
    Nice sharp Images Phillip. Lovely composed,nice backgrounds….
    Nice soundbites… Really inspiring.
    Again you are very good at explaining how you work.
    Really detailed and easy to understand.
    Still I am confused about what story you are trying to tell me. I think it`s
    because I don`t see my self how these children work with Facebook as a
    schoolproject. I can`t quite relate to it .. I think there should have been some
    examples..

    Again great pictures … Thanks Phillip for sharing !

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Hi there

      We did have examples. They explained how they used the timeline for history and biology also how they interacted with each other!

  40. Ohgilje says:

    Great article as always!
    Very intereseting to read your different thoughts in the process of making this project.
    One thing though about the film ‘:-) As you said the client is the master here, are they satisfied, you are.
    It might be my english that is to bad (Norwegian as you might have guessed:-) or i might not the main target for this film, but when i see it i tend to search for to long, “how is tis actually working” How do the students to this i practical use….? I understand this is not a user guide of course, but I would have liked to early in the film been show a little example on how the do this….i guess its only me here thinking this way….:-) Thought i just mention it :-)
    Thanks again for sharing with us….
    Next time in Norway….? Any plans? You should visit the Pulpit Rock here nearby Stavanger……just check it up …..

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      hi there

      well the film is an overview. For schools etc who want to get involved they get a big info pack!

  41. marc-birks says:

    another excellent production phillip very well done. however as for the theory behind using facebook in school i think as some have said is a complete contradiction, i myself am IT Technical manger and work in many different schools around the north of england and can say when we have trialled facebook access for pupil use has lead to absolute disaster so far especially in the cyber bullying area…..i think this is all good and well implemented in schools where the pupils wouldnt say boo to goose like in this video, but i can say it hasnt worked for us where the kids are lot more rough and ready.

  42. Mookie says:

    17 days since the last post on this site. Sad. Any plans to review the GH3?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Sorry but it’s just me and it’s tough to try to do everything. No plans sorry. No time…if i can’t even do a post on here how can i make a review video?

  43. Paxalot says:

    I love these in depth articles. Thanks Philip! However, it does make me shudder to think of a company like Facebook getting access to students or their curriculum.

  44. leamans says:

    Thanks Pip!

    I’m currently on a train heading to Folkestone to film at an English language school for the day, so it was a great read to get my brain going! Came to the one-day course in Wimbledon and I remembered this morning that you’d talked about this project, thought it might be relevant, and it was.

    Wish I was taking a C300 with me though, but you can’t have everything.

    All the best.

  45. Great Philip ! I love the texture of the C300, feels really organic. I am looking forward to assist to your seminars. Are you coming to Miami any time soon ? Regards..

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks! maybe early next year…

  46. Ken Jones says:

    Hi Philip. Long time listener, first time caller.

    I really enjoyed this piece and have reviewed it several times. It is the same kind of work that I do 95% of the time. I have used the Litepanel 1X1 a lot over the last year and can never get them to look anywhere nearly as good as what you are able to accomplish. When I use the 1X1 lights, the light makes people look “shiny”. How do you achieve such a soft look?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      hi ken

      do you use an diffuser?

      p

  47. Thanks so much for this, Philip. Great work as always, and it’s nice of you to give some insight into your workflow. Final product turned out fantastic!
    -Jeff

      1. OK, I had to follow up on this one. This is not exactly a corporate piece, but instead an international school here in Saigon, Vietnam. I must have read your FB blog post 7 or 10 times, gleaning every little tip I could, before going into these classrooms:

        https://vimeo.com/75960622

        I still struggled with the flourescent lights/frame rate. But nevertheless I’m very proud of this piece and it’s for a great cause, so I had to share. Thanks so much, Philip for all your help over the years, especially the school video and workflow posted here! Cheers,

        Jeff

  48. Thanks so much for this post Philip. My wife and I work together and are about to embark on a similar project for a local school – your post has really demystified the process of putting together the brief for us, as well as helping to understand how another team works together on a shoot. An immeasurable help. Thanks for your generosity :)

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      welcome! good luck!

  49. Thanks for a another great post, lovely to see how the pros do it! Curious as to why you used a lav vs a shotu gun mic on a boom pole? Time perhaps and also framing of the shot? That’s also a cracking lav you got there $$$!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks.

      i love the sound of the sanken cos 11 mic. Lovely and warm…of course a lav is super close.

  50. mastroiani says:

    Hi Philip, as always thank you for your work and for the informative article.

    I have a quick questions about the contracts. I’ve been burned recently by not having a precise contract as to the number of edits and payment terms and would like to avoid such mishap in the future. Would you kindly know if there is an online resource that could provide a template for such contracts?

    Many thanks