Since the outbreak of Covid 19 we have had an increase in demand for our video production from international clients. Where once film crews from overseas would travel to UK and the South West, now they’re staying at home and asking us to shoot their video instead. Just this month alone we have had several requests from Europe and The US. During Covid 19 and with travel restrictions, using a local video production company means film work can go ahead while keeping everybody safe.

Shooting Video for International Clients

For example, we recently filmed for German documentary channel Spiegel TV.  It made perfect sense to interview their submarine expert, Plymouth based author Iain Ballantyne, here in the city. This saved him a trip to London. It also made perfect sense to conduct the interview via Microsoft Teams, that way documentary producer Anja-Brenda Kindler could ask the questions, saving her a trip from Hamburg.

Getting the Technical Stuff Right

When you work with international clients, you need to be sure you can meet their technical requirements. Each country has its own specifications for broadcast. We established this well in advance of the shoot, explaining what camera we were using and in what setting.  We also shared our plans on how we could conduct the interview safely, within Covid 19 guidelines.

Once this was in place, the next important thing was to make sure our footage looked right. The documentary will ultimately feature a number of contributors so consistency was key. We used a green screen because it’s possible to superimpose any background. Once the green screen is set up, all of the magic happens in post-production. We also needed to make sure our interviewee was lit and framed correctly,  which was just a question of having photos of previous interviews. All of this was sorted well in advance of   Iain Ballantyne turning up, so that once he did, we were ready to roll.

Keeping it Natural

Most of us have had the pleasure of communicating via digital platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams in the last few months. They have become a normal part of our lives. But even so, we needed to consider how best to conduct a remote interview but get a ‘natural’ outcome. To help with this, Lizzy from Soundview sat opposite Iain ensuring correct eye line etc while the producer asked the questions remotely. A real advantage of  using Microsoft Teams however, meant it was possible to react ‘live’ to the answers: producer Anja could feedback and ask unplanned questions  even though she wasn’t in the studio.

Keeping it Safe

With Gareth doubling up as cameraman and sound engineer, we kept the numbers in the space to a minimum. It was a great  experience and a fascinating insight into the history of submarines. We heard about the early, and brave, pioneers right up to the most recent innovations. It will make for an interesting documentary and after a two hour interview, the Spiegel TV team will certainly have lots to work with.

The final stage was to review the footage, and  within  the hour it was winging its way to Hamburg. We can’t wait to see the final documentary. To find out more about our work visit our video production page.


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