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Web video production case study

BBC trained and now working as a freelancer I am highly skilled in all types of web video production. In this case study, I document the production process to deliver a web video production for Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir.

Website documentary

Firstly, I met with the choir’s founder Miko Giedroyc and the choir’s Director Alison Beck following one of their rehearsals at St. James’ church in Piccadilly. They were keen to meet me and to have a chat about the project to ensure I was the correct person to commit to the production of their choir’s documentary. Following this initial meeting, I received their commission to make the documentary for them. I then set about planning a schedule for the best filming date options with Alison.

Requesting a detailed brief for video production:

Early on in the process, they sent me a very helpful and detailed brief, which included a list of all the points the choir wanted to address within three main criteria. These were:

1)         What is the main aim of making a film – what’s its purpose?

2)         Key messages (i.e. points to get across)

3)         Events to be included in the film. 

(N.B. These three main criteria helpfully summarise what is needed for any type of film, video or documentary-style project)

Submitting a web video production quote:

Working with the choir’s schedule, we then agreed to a series of filming performance dates which enabled me to offer a quote for the documentary production, filming and editing. I submitted a breakdown listing of the amount of filming time which would be required and agreed on a specification for delivery, which included the sign off process for the edited film.

Music copyright issues:

To help with my understanding of any potential copyright issues surrounding the music that may appear in the film, I contacted the Performing Rights Society (PRS) and spoke with their Recorded Media Licensing Team. They were able to give me some great free advice from which I realised that it would be possible to licence or use the music that was being planned to feature in the film.

Permission to film from the BBC:

As part of their upcoming schedule, the choir had been booked to record a performance for the BBC’s Easter programming at their Maida Vale studios, and I was very keen to ensure that this live performance could be filmed. With the permission of the BBC Radio 2 programme producer, I set about obtaining the relevant permissions which I have detailed in this separate blog article.

Lighting dark spaces for filming:

Another venue was the beautiful Farm Street church in Mayfair, where I was to film the choir’s performance during an Easter Mass there. This church is particularly dark inside so, to help light the choir during filming, I needed to set up some additional lighting. To ensure that there was sufficient light, I set up a few large battery-powered LED panel lights beforehand so that the lights could be turned on as and when required during the performance.

Extra filming time:

An additional half day’s filming was added to the original schedule so that I could film a series of well-lit interviews with some members of the choir. These planned interviews had proven to be difficult to capture during the filming, as everyone taking part had been so busy with their rehearsals and performances. I found that having a dedicated well-lit room and allocated time to film a number of interviews helped to ensure that the interviewees had time to focus on the key messages they wished to impart.

Managing the post-production and video editing:

After filming the final interview, I began to edit together the most interesting comments from selected members of the choir. First of all, I edited each of their interviews individually, making copies of each editing timeline so that I could refer back to previous edits as required. I then combined the comments from all of the interviews, changing the order of appearance as required to ensure the best emphasis was given to the project’s main aims. Over a period of time, I then added to the edit the additional shot footage and sound from all the choir’s performances to ensure an integrated flowing story. 

Video editing changes:

Once I had edited my completed film to my satisfaction, I sent the choir a private link to view the film on my own Vimeo channel. Then, following a series of editing changes as required, we finally had a beautiful, signed-off film that everyone was delighted with.

I enjoyed meeting all the participants during the making of this film and experiencing the choir’s beautiful singing in some fantastic locations. The final film has now been embedded in the Soul Sanctuary website.

If you would like any help with your web video production please get in touch.