Tag Archives: Hollywood

The Three Cardinal Sins of Corporate Video pt2 – Audience

AudienceTell me the odd one out: Theatre….Film….TV

OK, enough fake suspense – TV is the odd one out, and let me explain why.

Simply put, you ‘go to’ the movies or ‘go to’ the theatre. You arrive at a venue, you pay for your seat and you are entertained (hopefully). But you as a viewer have no control over the entertainment experience you receive. You’re a captive audience sailing along on a narrative over which you have no control.

TV is totally different. The TV is the guest in the corner of your room. The programmes and adverts dance to your tune and if you don’t like the dance…the remote control exacts your channel-changing revenge.

Once you realise this it’s easy to see where online video or programming over internet (YouTube, NetFlix, Vimeo, BBC iPlayer, Roku etc) fits in. [It’s like TV not the cinema]. You’ll probably already see the significance, but indulge me.

As a filmmaker (making a film for the cinema) I can take my time telling you my story. It’s not uncommon for the opening sequences of feature films to be minutes long with little or no dialogue to speak of. TV is much more immediate, more fast paced – and yet it’s a slow cousin to the Internet and online video.

The Second Sin – YouTube will Love Me.

YouTube-Is-Testing-a-New-Video-Player-478321-2I recently attended a meeting with a large company in the City (London), their marketing person was an ex-film school student. As I’d worked in Hollywood for a number of years, she was very keen to get my opinion on the companies latest 4 minute video. But we’ll come back to this in a moment.

It’s estimated that you have between 3 and 8 seconds to engage a viewer on the web. After that…they’re looking for the next item on the playlist. This has a marked effect on the way you create your online videos, the style you adopt and the way you showcase your wares. If you hack together a video then throw it towards YouTube, hoping for it to ‘go viral’ (AKA ‘post and pray’) then chances are, you’ll be diasppointed.

So, unsurprisingly, the aforementioned 4 minute YouTube video, with a 30 second opening sequence featuring empty rooms, wasn’t working (who knew, right?). The ex-film student couldn’t see why, because the video was “so beautifully shot”. Perhaps so, but sadly, the audience wouldn’t hang around for 4 minutes to find out the films’ cinematic denouement. The video was akin to bringing a knife to a gun-fight.

A video for an online audience needs to be designed, constructed and shot differently. The video must look good on all types of mobile devices – tiny images will not show up well on a 4 inch iPhone screen. Please remember, Video is not a bill – it is an investment.  Furthermore, once the video is made you also need to consider the videos’ title carefully, as well as the tags and online description. It’s also worth asking if the static video is better presented as a streamed event or Google Hangouts style webinar. All of these factors will decide if people will spare you the time to watch.

Even after all this work, you’ll probably get it wrong first time. We do and I know the big companies do too. So, if you are using a video company that offers a cast iron guarantee of a ‘viral video’ – then my VW really does do 85 miles per gallon.

Online is a brilliant way to distribute your corporate video and promote your company, but online is now a defined marketplace in itself. It has it’s own ever-shifting rules, styles and trends. That’s why you need a strategy for the videos you create and a clear plan of how you will actively use them.

Join me next time for the last of these three articles, where I’ll be looking at the third cardinal sin ‘Bad Language’.

As always I’m happy to hear from readers, with comments or stories.

Contact me direct on marktodd@guvnormedia.com or @theguvnoruk

Visit our websites at: http://www.guvnormedia.com and http://www.guvnormedia.co.uk

Written by Mark Alexander Todd


Independent film – Spike Breakwell’s article features on Disability Horizons

Guvnor Films’ feature film Bad Reception continues to create a stir. After a successful premier in Dunstable, executive producer Spike Breakwell was asked to write a piece about his work on the film.


A full cast and crew listing is on IMDB

Own a copy of Bad Reception yourself, just click buy below.

Bad Reception DVD

The Future’s not as big as you think!

The World agrees – Size matters. But if bigger is better, why does tech keep getting smaller?

The brand new, shiny Sony Handycam I held in my hand in 2005 is still in mint condition today – but it’s useless in this RAW, 1080p HD world. Not only is it bulky and heavy (just kidding), it shoots on tape (??) at 480i – a mobile phones shoot at a higher resolution nowadays. But these are cameras for mortals, surely the high-end film cameras made for ‘real’ filmmakers are above all this, aren’t they? 35MM will be around forever, right?

Well, no. Since the inception of the RED things have been changing in film circles too. The RED was originally described to me by a film cinematographer as an” Ugly camera…And of course it’s digital, so it doesn’t have the feel of a good film camera.” But RED started a revolution that I believe reaches right from the heights of Hollywood down to the more humble offerings on YouTube. RED allowed everyone, including cinema-goers and (begrudgingly) DP’s, to believe that digital did have something RAW to offer, and in doing so the wheel began to turn.

You see, once you embrace the digital universe you know in your heart it’s only a matter of time before the item you hold in your hand, will be half the size and twice the quality. Combine that with Canon’s idea of ‘Let’s use our still’s camera to shoot HD video, so we can utilize our fantastic lenses...” and you cannot escape a creative revolution. The feature film cameras of tomorrow are here today: the RED Scarlet and Canon 5D already have production credits and I’m sure the new Black Magic 2.5K Cinema Camera, (at the amazing price of $3K) will ruffle a few DSLR feathers.

This is my point: Big WAS better, but not any more. The way people experience the world has changed and ‘small’ allows us to get right in there with the action. 1080p action cams put us in the middle of the action, in the air, underwater, wherever. Big can do that, but it will cost ya!

Heed my words -now is a golden time for film makers. With the ‘quality field’ being leveled. the challenge is to be creative with the small tech we have. Lets face it unless I’m shooting a 3D effects loaded blockbuster, my 1080p pixels can tells as good a story as anyone elses. Chasing big cameras, big studios and big budgets is a waste of your time. All the things you need to shoot, edit and distribute your projects are all available to you now. I’ll talk more about those in future posts.

In Mi Experience creativity always beats budget, so watch out Hollywood. When more people begin creating quality film and TV shows with small tech (at a fraction of the price) bubbles will be burst.

Now you may agree, you may disagree – either is good. Remember this blog is all about me and Mi experiences, so I leave the door open for you to prove me wrong.


Mark A. Todd is a writer/director working under his own companies Guvnor Films and Guvnor Media

Independent Film Bad Reception – The end of the beginning!

This is the movie which started everything. I learned the value of three questions and the reason why you have either made a feature film or you haven’t. In Mi Experience will discuss my experiences and pass on the hard fought lessons along the way.

If you don’t agree with me that’s good, lets swap war stories.

Bad Reception feature film – official trailer.

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