News Archive
Archived news from MWS Media

General

03
October
2014

Picking Your Dream Team


So this blog is going to be another one from me that’s focused on our specialism here at MWS of video production. However, I think that the process of building a strong team is something than can be applied to most other professional sectors.

I’m going to use the analogy of a sports team to represent how we focus our services at MWS. The obvious choice would be football seeing as its the most popular sport in this country however, I personally don’t believe in a sport that involves diving without any water so I’m going to use rugby. Joking aside I think that the roles in rugby are more specialised which does lend itself better to the point I’m going to present.

Don’t worry no revision or research is required as I’ll explain the roles on pitch and their transferable companions in the video world. Observe:

The Forwards 1-8
The Tight 5 - Production Crew 



In rugby the forwards are the big players (see above) and they use their considerable frames and weight to win and control the ball. The tight 5 are 5 very specialised individuals who have key roles each of which contributes to winning the ball at set pieces; jumping in a line out, striking the ball at a scrum. This relates directly to our production team on the ground. We chose them because of how good they are at specific skills; camera operator, sound recordist, lighting technician, grip. They are the crew on the ground in the thick of it, getting their hands dirty and working as a unit (see above). Much like the tight 5 they are closely knit, often dependent on each others skills to be at their most effective. And they always argue amongst each other about things you don’t really understand. “You’re binding in the wrong position and I can’t get a clean strike!!”  Said the director of photography.

Back Row 6-7-8— Specialised Crew/Actors

 


The 3 remaining forwards are called the back row. These players are still up front winning the ball but they are able to operate slightly more independently and may have further specified roles and skills depending on the game/production. So on set we’re talking about actors, makeup artists, prop supervisors, carpenters, set designers. People who contribute to production, often in their own individual way, but also working with the other forwards when they need too. They also tend to be better looking than the tight 5 on account of less broken noses and cauliflower ears caused by clumsy boom operators.

The Backs
Half Backs 9-10 - Director/Producer


So in rugby the scrum half and the fly half, as epitomised by household names Austin Healy and Johnny Wilkinson (see above), are the guys who run the show. They may not be seen getting their hands dirty very often but their job is to orchestrate the rest of the team to get the best results. The scrum half is by association in charge of the forwards so the closest comparison is the director. Their job is to get the most out the forwards and then deliver the ball to the fly half when they think its ready. The fly half is the producer, often the ideas person, key strategist, overseer and often puts a lot trust in the director to get it right for them. As a result these two are closely knit, always communicating and often driving the whole process. They usually have a key working knowledge and a hand in choosing the rest of the crew for each project. They will also be heavily involved in the planning stages of projects, figuring out the best strategies and plans of attack. Due to them not being in the thick of the action these people will almost always have immaculate hair and will often have active endorsements from hair product companies.

Midfield/Centers 12-13 - Production Assistants/Assistant Directors

These guys are there to do some of the legwork alongside the two half backs. They will receive specific direction about what they need to do from the director and producer. Their roles may vary from game to game/project to project but they are the main support team on set. Often competent directors/producers themselves, they usually know where they need to be and what they need to do before they’re told. These people are your assistant directors, production assistants, runners, script supervisors and other such roles.

Wingers/Fullback 11-14-15 - Post production Team

 



Often simply called the back 3 the wingers or fullbacks primary function is to finish the job, score the try and bring it home. You can probably guess were I’m going with this one in terms of the production team. Our editors/animators/audio mixers are the people that take all of the hard work done before them, add some graft of their own and carry the whole thing over the line. Often we specialises further in the field of post production using different skills in areas of design, animation, sound, colour correction or narrative editing. So you always pick the best played for the job. The full back also has another key job in rugby. Their job is to tidy up when things don’t quite go to plan. It’s often not a mistake were talking about, it could be something that’s out of the hands of the production team like weather, traffic or something similar; much like a great piece of skill by an opposition player can cause problems for a defence in rugby. The fullback or editor however has the skills to allow them to fix such problems, hide things away and otherwise help the rest of the team out. It’s worth noting that there might be occasions were the back 3 can’t cover the issues. In this case we go back and start again and it’s normally up to the producer and the director to rally the troops and get the project back on its feet.

To Conclude

So just a bit of fun with two things I share passion for but if you take any key messages from this it’s that we choose people with specialised skills in specialised areas in video production just like they do in Rugby. As a result we have a functioning team of lots of people pulling their weight in different areas to deliver the best possible result.

We’re a multi-skilled unit at MWS and we have worked with plenty of people with skills extra to this. As a result when you come to us with a project we select our strongest team knowing what challenges are presented and how best to overcome them.

 

Nick

Categories: General

27
August
2014

The Ice Bucket Challenge - UGV At Its Best

So you might have noticed a little thing called the ALS ice bucket challenge … ok you probably can’t escape it. Love it or loath it though the ice bucket challenge highlights several important points.

- It further confirms video as the preferred medium, especially on social.
- It proves content doesn’t need to be expensive and complex.
- It shows that user generated content is successful.

Your social feeds are probably full like ours right now with thousands of videos of your friends, family and celebrities dumping ice water on their heads. Most are around 10 seconds long and in Facebook's case auto play when you scroll past. How has that resulted in the ice bucket challenge going viral? Well watching Victoria Beckham, your best mate and your mum chuck water over their heads is entertaining, easy to do and provides a challenge. The desire to get involved, peer pressure of nominations and simplicity of participation has lead to thousands of people completing the ice bucket challenge, hearing about ALS and has raised millions for the cause.

How does this relate to me and business?

Well according to the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of businesses plan to spend more on content marketing this year. As our appetites for content seem to be growing more and more insatiable, user generated content such as user generated video is a viable option to add to your strategy. There are several ways you could use UGV:



- Testimonials

- Product Reviews

- Support and Customer Care

- HR and Recruiting
- Events

- Video Contests

- Ideas and Improvement Suggestions

But most importantly remember when devising your strategies to consider how your campaign is going to make people want to get involved, what they get from doing it and how simple it is to participate. For example running a video contest to create a new advert? Give a long enough entry period for people to produce quality content and offer prizes (which don’t have to be monetary; free stuff, meeting a celebrity, exclusive tickets or that advert going on TV can be even more desirable). Asking for ideas and improvement suggestions? Maybe the winner gets the new product free of charge and before anyone else?



As always comments and questions are welcome!

I’ll leave you with the MWS Media Ice Bucket Challenge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlYUehxcp0Q

Hayley

Categories: General

07
June
2016

Work Experience Video Diary

We know how tough it can be to get started in the film and video production industry, so we try and accommodate interns and work placements as often as we can.  Marc spent a week with us at our studio in Newbury, Berkshire during his half term holidays.  As part of his placement we asked him to put his camera work, audio recording and editing skills to the test by creating a documentary about his time with us, learning about professional video production.  This is what he made - and we think it shows that there's yet another talented young filmmaker coming through the ranks.

Ben

Categories: News, General

08
August
2014

Swapping Shoes



I want to talk about priorities.

Branding guidelines, brand focus and industry jargon are there for a good reason and fulfill a purpose, however, when it comes to video - creativity, innovation and engagement should come first.

Here’s why…

Ok, let me set the scene. You’ve decided to invest some of your budget on video. You’ve run the numbers, cleared it with your management, set your deadline and chosen your production company. Great! Now you just need to make sure it contains the correct brand font, only includes the brand colours, presents the brand message and the logo is nice and big and present at all times; then all the stakeholders will sign it off and I can tick off video content for this quarter.

Sound at all familiar? Unfortunately far too many companies see making a video as the end goal. It’s not a product, it’s a process. Although all your guidelines and branding are important to your company what’s actually important to your customers?

Put yourself in their shoes. What do you take away from your video? Are you left feeling inspired? Amused? Informed? Curious maybe? Or is this another advert you’ll skip through or a YouTube video or website you’ll bounce from? Will you even come across it in the first place?

The kind of questions you should be asking yourself at the beginning of the process are:

- What are we trying to achieve with this video?

- Who is our target audience?

- What kind of content does our audience like?

- Which video platform they use?

- Which social networks?

- Which metrics am I going to track to see if the video is achieving our goals and producing ROI?

Answering these questions and picking the right video production company should come first. Second should come collaboration between the two of you to come up with a creative, innovative and engaging idea for your video.

There’s a reason the original ‘corporate video’ is dying out; it even sounds boring! Trying to create outside the box content that stands out from the crowd might sound risky but your audience will thank you and so will the C suite when that audience becomes your customers!

To prove my point here’s John West putting themselves on the map in one of the best adverts ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9Bc_ZcvLsM

Let us know what you think by commenting below or even send us an email!

Hayley

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Categories: General

28
October
2020

The Pandemic - changing with the times

#pandemicbusinessstories

A quick video to update you with how we've adapted to cope with the changing nature of business during the pandemic. Feel free to get involved at...

#PandemicBusinessStories

 

Ben

 

Categories: General

20
August
2014

The 10 Best Resources To Get You Making Great Video

 


There are lots of statistics, charts and infographics we keep seeing floating around on the web listing insufficient budgets, a lack of in house resources and the struggle to create compelling content as the top barriers to companies making video. Here at MWS Media we find this pretty upsetting as we really do believe in the power of video. I have therefore decided to create my blog post this week with the intention of trying to break some of those barriers down!

When you have bigger marketing videos, advertisements or large campaigns in mind we would recommend that you plan ahead budget-wise to make sure you can afford the kind of quality production you want to create and then use a production company who have all the resources, crew and equipment to help you make that happen, without drawing on your company resources. (And no we're not just saying that for our benefit!).

HOWEVER as much as we do believe in letting production houses work their magic on larger scale projects, there’s nothing stopping any business from making their own in house video. Tutorials, behind the scenes, event videos, staff introductions, micro videos … there are lots of types videos that can be made to help promote your business but don’t take up big ol’ chunks of your budget.

To tool your marketing team up for making your next in house video we’d recommend these 10 resources:

Vimeo Video School
vimeo.com/videoschool/101

Want to learn the basics of choosing a camera, shooting and editing? Then Vimeo Video School is a great place to start. There are lots of other lessons available by the Vimeo staff team and you only have to search what you’re looking for to find tutorials made by the Vimeo community too.

Vidyard Video Hub
vidyard.com

This Video Production 101 series on Vidyards video hub is another great kicking off point. Currently there are 5 episodes in the series covering the video camera, the importance of audio, lighting 101, shot composition and video editing. At around 3 mins each what are you waiting for? Hit the link, have a watch and let your brain suck it all up.

Wistia
wistia.com/learning

The Wista Learning centre is a great little hub for all things video marketing. It’s got videos  covering video production, video strategy and video marketing. There’s also a great guide on audience retention and the blog is a great way to keep up with all things video marketing.

Reel SEO
www.reelseo.com
www.youtube.com/user/reelseo

The online marketing guide and it’s YouTube channel is another great fountain of knowledge for all things video marketing. From video tutorials to industry news, a glossary to ebooks; Reel SEO has it all. We would thoroughly recommend taking a look through the site and signing up to their mailing list. The Video Production Tips playlist on their YouTube channel is again another great place to start picking up production know-how. There are 50 videos right there for you to add to your playlist!

DSLR Shooter
dslrvideoshooter.com

Want to keep up with all things production? Read reviews and find out which is the best gear? Hear from industry professionals and watch comprehensive tutorials? DSLR Shooter is the site to be on. As the name suggests, it is better suited to your team if they are going to be using DSLR’s but it’s still jam packed with great advice and tips to make your videos the best they can be.

No Film School
nofilmschool.com/tutorial

Similar to DSLR Shooter, No Film School contains great tips, tutorials, DIY and budget advice, industry news and inspirational ideas. You can also swap some details for it’s free ebook The DSLR Cinematograpy Guide which I personally swear by! Go download it now!

Brainshark
www.brainshark.com/resource-center/video-marketing

An additional helpful reservoir of information is Brainshark. Brainshark contains video marketing inspiration, content creation and SEO tips, distribution advice, tricks, guidelines and more. It also has other great tools like ebooks and a video marketing university that you can sign up for free with a few details.

Photojojo
photojojo.com/store
photojojo.com/pro-tips-for-shooting-better-instagram-videos
photojojo.com/10-editing-tips-for-making-killer-instagram-videos

The best camera you have is the one you have with you. Ever heard that little gem? Well it’s true and nowadays with the tech packed into your skinny, pocket sized phone you can shoot great video. Photojojo is a great store filled with brilliant kit for helping you to turn your phone into a video making powerhouse and without destroying your marketing budget. Micro Video really is the easiest video you could be making for your business and you make it on your phone! Therefore we’ve also included the links to two of Photojojo’s blog posts on Instagram video. Check them out and have a play!

Mashable
mashable.com/vine-tips
mashable.com/vine-beginners-guide

Mashable is a ridiculous source all of the news, information and resources happening in the world, but we haven’t actually included it for that … We’ve including two of mashables guides on how to make Vines, another type of micro video. The first link is to a video on some creative ideas to get you going and the second is a comprehensive guide on Vine culture and how to make one! Happy Vine making!

MWS Media
www.mwsmedia.co.uk/members-area

Now for our shameless plug! There happens to be a members area on our website where you can sign up for exclusive access to video production guides, templates, tutorials and more… We also post regular tips and advice on our social media channels so you could always follow us on there … In all seriousness though, we really are always here for any questions or queries. Just pick our brains!

In Conclusion

Well I hope that this all helps to give you the know-how to start making great in house video for your business! Even if you just use this knowledge so you feel more confident when approaching video production houses and understand what you want and how that is achieved.

We’d love to hear what you think and how you’ve found the resources. As always ask us any questions or leave us any comments below or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 
Hayley

Categories: General

14
August
2014

What about me? I’m B2B…

So you understand the benefits of using B2B; you’re hearing all about how it can help with SEO, increase click through rates and you can track your return on investment, BUT does anyone actually watch B2B video? I can’t recall many viral videos Hayley…

You raise a good point. Tying into my blog from last week about putting your audience and message before your branding, I want to take a look at how you can use video in your B2B video and achieve.

No, your video is not going to go viral

Unfortunately unless your a B2B business selling cute cats or celebrities… no it’s not going to go viral. However, like I just mentioned about putting your audience and message first, why would you want it to? Yes ok it might get your name ‘out there’ but will it actually be reaching the right people? If you create a video to increase sales in bulk stationary and your video did go viral how many of those ‘views’ do you think equate to people who have a need for bulk stationary? It doesn't matter how many people, it matters how many of the right people! If your video is aimed at a specific buyer persona in your target audience and it gets 100 views rather than 1,000,000, if 5 of those sign huge contracts with you, job done!

Purpose and Audience

With B2B deciding on your purpose is even more important than B2C. What are you trying to achieve? What are you going to measure to see if it is working? Are you trying to make a sale? To generate a lead? Demonstrate a products features? Educate your clients?

Knowing this will then dictate your audience. For example if you’re trying to make a sale, you’re going to want to reach decision makers not entry level employees. If your aim is to educate then you are talking to people outside of your industry.

Tailoring your Content

Once you know your audience and purpose you can then tailor your content to appeal to this audience and achieve its purpose. This is where things like type of video, tone and language come into play.

Animations, talking heads, interviews, testimonials, product demonstrations, how to’s, event coverage… the list of types of video goes on. What’s important is which type of video fits in with your branding as a company but is also most appropriate to the subject matter and appealing to your audience? There isn’t much point creating a video to educate people about your field of expertise if you are going to use a talking head discussing an advanced level subject, sounding patronising and using ‘techie’ terminology. You’re going to want to start with the basics, sound enthusiastic, use layman’s terms and probably use graphics and examples to help explain things.

Storytelling

As I talked about last week, stuffing your video with your branding might be appealing to your boss but it wont be to your audience. Your audience also doesn’t want to be ‘sold to’ or watch a video of you blowing your own trumpet for 3 minutes. Your video needs to tell a story; have a beginning, middle and end. What is it that you or your product does? How does that help your audience? What pain points can you help them to avoid? What do other people think of it? Where can I find out more information?

What do you want your audience to know at the end of the video? More importantly how do you want them to feel?

Using Humour

Humour is a great way to engage your audience and make your content memorable, we would highly recommend using it; but this is business after all, trying too hard to make your content ‘funny’ or creating something cheesy is a great way to strip creditability and professionalism from your video. Again it all depends on your audience. Going for ‘laugh out loud’ content might go down well with entry and middle level employees but might not so much with the c suite …

Length

The general rule of thumb is 1-5 minutes for B2B video. According to a Forbes insight report 36% of c suite executives prefer 1-3 minute videos and 47% prefer 3 - 5 minutes. We’re all very busy and want to the point information in bite size formats!

Again it all comes down to your audience, purpose and the type of video. You’re not going to convince me of your features in 60 seconds but I’m not going to sit through 6 minutes. I might watch your 30 minute keynote from an industry event you’ve talked at discussing something I am interested in; I definitely don't want to watch your 10 minute how to video on how to create a spreadsheet. Think about what your audience is going to feel and understand after your video. You don’t want them to have not taken anything away from the video as it was too short but you equally don’t want them to stop watching the video because they have got lost or bored as its too long…

To Conclude

Yes, video does work for B2B. It’s not just increasing sales, improving SEO and helping with ROI; it’s helping companies get across who they are and what they do, and helping to fulfil their needs by finding the right companies that can help them do that.

Next time your commissioning some B2B video just ask yourself:

Why are you making this video?
Who are you trying to reach and engage?
Whats the best type of video to do this?
What are we going to show them?
How do we want them to feel?
How are we going to make them feel this?
Within what time can we make them feel this?

Still not convinced? Well here are some examples of B2B videos done right (and more importantly proving I’m right!)

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwECPUAUQay-4v39TvXgmDdh9bwxMKOyI

Well I hope this helps! Get in touch to tell us about your experiences with B2B video or your opinions on the subject.

Hayley

Categories: General

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