London cameraman editor

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A short film project for the Arts Council

I was recently commissioned by Digital Drama as a London, cameraman editor. In this case study, I explain the background behind the filming and editing of a short promotional video for a ‘Creative People & Places’ project.

‘Creative People & Places’ (CPP) is about helping more people to choose, create and take part in brilliant art experiences in the places close to where they live. There are a number of these CPP projects throughout the UK which are funded by the Arts Council.

Project aims:

The aim of this film was to help to communicate the many benefits of this particular CPP project to the participants in order to assist the arts programme organisers to obtain secure funding for the coming financial year. The film was also required to communicate their 10-year vision to create a ‘confident and creative and colourful borough’ in Hounslow.

Tight budget:

I was booked as a cameraman for two-and-a-half days of filming and, on this occasion, to work with the Digital Drama producers. Usually, for most of my commissions, I work on my own, so it’s always great to be working with experienced producers. With many years of experience, I have gained wide-ranging skills from working as a London cameraman editor.

Scheduling the cameraman:

Once the project was given the go-ahead, we were able to agree on the filming dates. These dates depended on my availability, the contributor’s availability and the dates that the events to be filmed were taking place. During the allocated filming time, I would be able to film some of the scheduled events and also capture a series of interviews.

Filming interviews:

The ‘story’ of the film was to be depicted by using a series of filmed interviews which would ensure that the ‘key’ messages were communicated in the final edit. Filming locations included a teacher in a school room, an artist working in a busy café and a range of outdoor locations for support workers. To help ensure the best quality sound throughout, I always pack a range of microphones so that I can select the best one for each different environment.

Nighttime interview and event filming:

Some of the community events to be filmed were taking place in the early evening after the sun had set. I set out to film these with my camera and digital audio recorder fitted to my Manfrotto fig rig. I was also able to use my LED panel to help light a choir singing and a brass band performing.

Public event filming:

When filming this project, I had to consider that I was going to be at a busy, public outdoor event. Usually, when working at such events on your own or with one other person, you won’t have time to set anything up in advance. You are generally filming ‘on the fly’, responding to changing events as they happen. As a London cameraman editor, I always need to ensure that I work in a safe and secure manner.

Editing the media:

Once the filmed media had been transcoded, I then started to watch and listen to all the interviews first. After a series of edits over time, I ended up with the best succinct sound clips from each interview. I then joined these sound clips together and started changing the clip order so that the interviews flowed smoothly. Once the interviews had been edited down to a rough suitable time frame, I then edited in the extra shots to help illustrate the storyline depicted by the interviews. As the timeline develops, I then edit in the chosen music track and also add any graphics and textual elements as required.

Including extra images and media:

To illustrate this project in even more detail, additional media was sourced from the main client, Waterman’s Arts Centre. This additional media included some extra video footage filmed by the Digital Drama team and a wide range of stills captured over their last summer’s events by photographer Alex Brenner. The client also supplied me with CPP branding graphics and all the logos required for the credits.

London cameraman editor enabling client sign off:

Once I am satisfied with my first edit, I upload a version to my Vimeo channel and send the client a password protected link. They can then share this first edit with their clients and feedback to me any changes they wish to make to it. I generally allow one or two sets of edit changes in any budget quote, which is usually enough for most clients. I pride myself on frequently being able to deliver a signed-off film on either my first edit or a subsequent edit that requires only changes to minor details.

Once this film had been signed off, I delivered a 1920×1080 .mp4 file so that the lead client could show it during a presentation they had planned. I always enjoy working as a London cameraman editor and filmmakerIf you have any questions or would like any help or advice for your forthcoming project, please do get in touch. You can view more examples of my work on my portfolio.