Meet Mark the video intern. Here is tells us about his time with RMV Productions…
Week 1 – Marriott and NBA
What was supposed to be, in Pete’s mind, a quiet start to my internship as Junior Editor, started off with everyone hitting the ground running, as the shoot with Marriott Rewards and the NBA started a day early, Monday 11th, at basecamp inside River Films’ office in London; all Apple systems a go!
Immediately after our quick introductions, Pete was given the task of creating a 12 second promo for the Global Games NBA Tour, the first of many short viral style videos which would be required in the lead up to the main event – a basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Orlando Magic being hosted at the O2 on the Thursday evening. Our main goal was to get as many people tweeting and talking about ‘Hashtag Around The World’ – Really, you have to say ‘hashtag’ now for people to get it – before game day, with 12, 30 and 60 second videos of celebrities and sports stars being taken out of their comfort zone for a bit of fun and some comedy. The stars included Didier Drogba, NBA legend Rick Fox, Fleur East, Vernon Kay, Paddy McGuinness, Asmir Begavic and Michael B Jordan; not to shabby a bit of star spotting for my first week!
This sudden request for content before our passwords had been typed in really set the working pace for the rest of the week. Before we even hit location numero uno, Pete was already taking changes and notes from the clients expecting the videos up that same day. Up to this point in my 2 years of editing experience post-graduation, I had never seen notes come in so quickly. Having been typically used to long form editing (Short film/music video/feature length), I had been growing accustomed to having weeks to watch over and think about the footage before the client showed up. I knew not every form of editing took that approach, but seeing it took a second to absorb.
My main focus was to DIT the footage and organise it for Pete, Andy and Geoff, two other editors who joined on various days. Pete was incredibly generous about talking through what he was doing as he was doing it, particularly given the time constraints, and always happy yo answer questions. He’s quick and efficient with the tools – we are predominately using Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite (Premiere Pro, After Effect et al) – and that efficiency is an incredibly important string to have on your bow. On a couple of occasions, he had to take clips into After Effects to track out logos we weren’t allowed to show. I realised that, of course, if you’re the solo editor on a project, you’re the one expected to know the solutions and execute them quickly. It’s a confidence with the programs that I’m going to keep building on. I’m starting to nosedive into the rest of the Creative Cloud, with Pete setting up training days, having only flitted around with CC when necessary.
I hugely enjoy editing and everything it involves and so week one was hugely fun for me – it could have been 2 weeks for all I cared. The good company helps when you’re freezing cold, and watching Pete and co in their element, and helping, is enjoyable. I look forward to learning even more as the weeks go on!
And that comment about being cold isn’t a joke. I’ll now always expect it as the default weather condition when onsite editing, even when you’re told you’ll be somewhere warm! Though I await our first call to shoot in Antarctica – I think the O2 was a good practice run.
Week 2 – Bridgestone in Monaco and The Emirates HBT conference
My second week began on Sunday, as Andy, who I met during the Marriott/NBA gig, had spent some time in cloudy Monaco at an event hosted by Bridgestone, and needed an assistant to get the deliverables out by deadline. The Monaco event was set up to demonstrate a new set of tyres which could be driven on whilst deflated, and with representatives from all over the world present, they were set to impress. These representatives made up a portion of the content that needed edited in the form of ‘vox-pops’ (on the street interviews) to be top and tailed with lower thirds, with name and country present, and then sorted into country bins within Premiere Pro.
It wasn’t a complicated start, but it was great for Andy to let me get my hands dirty in Premiere Pro and contribute to a set of videos for a big name client such as Bridgestone. Other videos I got to stick my fingers into included 15 and 30 second social media spots for Instagram and Facebook. These required a sharp eye for spotting good content within the rushes – of which there were a lot – with not much time to do it and make the spot sharp, flashy and interesting whilst summing up the purpose of the event. I said it in the last blog post and Ill say it again – and Pete will laugh again – I’m used to having longer to check the footage and pull out selects or best takes, so getting through 3 cameras worth of footage covering a weekend in only maybe an hour or so, was a different workflow for me. Andy threw on the deadlines and even though this wasn’t high pressure, the more experience I get with those scenarios, the better and quicker I’ll become at sifting out those golden moments.
Thursday saw me at the Emirates Stadium with Geoff, another editor/film maker Pete works with a lot. This time we were covering a teacher conference on Homophobic, Bi-phobic and Transphobic bullying within schools. This shoot forms part of an ongoing project being edited, with footage being collated over several events and conferences. I was there as a Runner this time around, making sure @GeoffCockwill and camera man @JoshuaBamber were able to concentrate on capturing the talks and getting interviews from the speakers and audience members.
It’s always fantastic to be on location to see everything being filmed and understand where the footage is coming from. There are a lot of stages in the production process, and I’ve always believed it’s important to understand something about the stage that comes before and after your own. In this case that would be learning camera formats, codecs and what that means for bringing the clips into the NLE (Non Linear Editor), to the various outputs you may be required to deliver to; from websites to TV and stage screens. It was a brilliant shoot and as a bonus I leant a little bit about a subject that I haven’t given much thought to.
Geoff, Josh & Mark at the Emirates Stadium
Both Andy and Geoff were great at explaining what they were doing and thinking, during my time with them. Both were also great at communicating what they wanted from me, and suggesting better ways of carrying out tasks that I may not have been aware of. To find a group of video makers willing to put in the time and bring me along to their jobs is invaluable, and always the best way to learn and grow…
Week 3 – The X-Factor
X-Factor! A pretty cool way to start off my third blog post, and even cooler that it’s what I get to talk to you about for the next few minutes.
Over the last few years, Pete and Andy have had a regular gig at the touring stage of the X-Factor phenomenon, preparing all of the onstage visual craziness that appears on the huge screens behind the performers and dancers at the shows. Who knew that content for one of the biggest touring shows in the UK was generated right here in little old Horsham, right?
They had both been working on these visuals for the past few weeks – certainly for the time I’ve been with Pete now – and this work load for X Factor was the reason I was assisting Andy with Bridgestone as well. The visuals consisted of animation loops, flashes of colour, a sense of timing and a bit of fun and imagination, all set out to a template showing roughly the layout of the screen; several screens either side and also along the steps. It’s one of those things you see constantly but never really think about the creative process behind getting them onstage. But now I know, I’ll never forget.
My roll was to arrange the pre-show and interval content for viewing. This included X Factor related adverts from Talk Talk and Babyliss along with music videos and album promos from previous winners and runners ups such as Little Mix, Olly Murs and One Direction. This was the content that would play out when the crowd is getting their food and what not, but non the less important – I reassure myself – because if it wasn’t there, people would notice!
It wasn’t the trickiest program of content to arrange once the ordering and formatting had been agreed upon, but the overall programs had to run to certain lengths – 30 minutes for the pre-show and 20 minutes for the interval. It wasn’t until we arrived in Wakefield on the Sunday (February 6th) that a lot of the content actually arrived and I found out that different locations would require different ad content, whilst still hitting those same times. It was equally a task of organisation and content management as it was an editing piece, and I believe I handled it very well and left little room for confusion if another person were to look at the project.
It was incredible being able to travel up to Wakefield and see the rehearsals. In the week prior, Andy and myself filmed a few Text competition adverts in front of a green screen with Seann Miley Moore and the 4th Impact girls. It was great seeing a show of this scale coming together with the enthusiasm everybody had for it. From Beth – the creative director, to seeing the pyrotechnics all blowing up for the first time in the final dress rehearsals, the work put in from everyone front of stage is incredible. Some of the artist’s sets were brilliantly choreographed, particularly winner Louisa Johnson’s. Equally, the work done behind the scenes was just as exciting to be a real part of. Backstage, I met JB who was in charge of coding the show’s content together and making sure the screens worked, and everything appeared as planned. He was Pete’s right hand man….Or, was Pete his right hand man? … Either way we all needed each other to get through 14 hour days with a smile, and with the video director, Ivan, going a thousand words a minute into his headset, the stage crew and costume department running around like mad men by the last couple day (9th-10th), Pete constantly adjusting and re-adjusting the screen visuals as we got to see them, to finding some personal satisfaction in cutting 1:40 out of an Olly Murs song, (other musical opinions are available), everything came together behind the scenes wonderfully, and it was a great project to be involved in. We arrived back in Horsham late Wednesday (10th) and Pete headed straight up to Aberdeen the next morning with JB to monitor the first couple of shows and take care of any teething problems; so far I’ve heard nothing of any issues or malfunctions!
Hopefully in the future this becomes a gig that I can be involved frequently, if not X-Factor then another musical event and get my hands dirty on the screen visuals as, even with Pete and Andy on the job, there looked like a lot to manage.