16 January 2024
11 December 2023
Written by Josh Trett, Managing Director of Trett Films.
5 Years and Counting…
I’ve been running our video production agency, Trett Films, for nearly 5 years now. In that time, the industry and associated technology and associated platforms have continued to change. There are numerous challenges for both the agency and the client side when it comes to video production. It requires so much planning and sometimes, a lot of luck! We can’t control the weather yet. However, many of these obstacles can seem like gatekeepers, making it difficult to even enter the world of video production businesses. However, I believe that within some of these challenges lies opportunities, and in this blog, I’ll break down a little of both.
From Tape to Tech
Most people who know me are aware that I prefer not to get bogged down in the specifics of camera specifications. This is because I firmly believe that the camera can only influence the image to a certain extent. Plus, one of the best aspects of today’s video production is the accessibility of camera technology in recent years. When I started out, producing videos was an expensive and technically demanding hobby/passion/side hustle. I was making do with eBay purchases and used tape-based cameras that were far from meeting professional standards. However, without even delving into the world of 4K cameras now available in our pockets, the world of cinema cameras has transformed dramatically. Today, cameras once considered exclusive tools for Hollywood professionals are now available at a fraction of the cost. As a recent example, Greg Fraser, the cinematographer behind “Dune” and “The Batman,” recently chose to shoot “The Creator” using a Sony FX3, the exact camera we use at Trett Films, retailing for around £4k. While I acknowledge that £4k isn’t insignificant to a bank account, it’s a far more affordable asset purchase than an Alexa or Red camera.
A Double-Edged Sword for Filmmakers?
To address the potentially intimidating word, “AI” (or is it two words?), it’s a technology I’m not entirely convinced won’t replace numerous jobs in the future, potentially leading to a bit of a disaster. However, in the meantime, I’m doing my best to embrace some of the tools available in my workflow. Adobe, in particular, is releasing some pretty impressive tools in this area. They currently have an audio enhancer, which works like magic for poor audio. Time and time again, I’ve found myself in situations with poorly recorded audio, battling background noise and muffled dialogue. This tool works wonders at tidying it up. I’m not even entirely sure how it works. Whether the AI is recreating the audio using the original as source or just cleaning up what is there and filling in the gaps. Also, generative fill is on the horizon for video soon; the still image version in Photoshop is very impressive so I’m quite eager to see what the future holds when it finally gets launched for video.
The Skillset Challenge
One of the main challenges when it comes to video production (and in many other sectors to be honest) is the need for a diverse skill set. This is not something that can be developed overnight. Video and film production involves multiple talented individuals, spanning from creating concepts and pitching to cinematography, lighting, editing, colour grading, sound design, and mixing. While various ways to learn are available and out there, from university courses to endless online tutorials, the best way to learn is to consistently produce video content, learn from your mistakes, experiment, and repeat. The mantra “write, shoot, edit, repeat” will not only help you develop the necessary skills but also enable you to find your creative voice and distinctive vision.
Another challenge in producing online content is the sheer volume of uploads. A quick Google search tells me that around 3.7 million new videos are uploaded to YouTube every day, not to mention other platforms for sharing content. So, merely uploading a video to YouTube, resting on your laurels and hoping it goes viral is rather ambitious to say the least. Instead, it’s worth considering where your video is most suited. Should it be one long upload or multiple short edits? Does it belong on LinkedIn, Instagram, your website, or perhaps a more traditional platform like addressable TV or cinema? Having a strategy for sharing your video, rather than letting it sit collecting dust unnoticed, is key. It’s no longer enough to create compelling content; you must also master the art of strategic promotion. Building a robust online presence, utilising effective SEO tactics, and leveraging social media are essential steps to ensure your work doesn’t get lost in a sea of video noise. Unique storytelling content can further help you stand out.
Having been part of the Creative East Norfolk cohort and as we reach our five-year milestone at Trett Films, we’re keen to start looking at producing original content in the form of feature films. I’m currently writing the script for our first one which we aim to seek investment for very soon. But we’re also still keen to continue to embrace the ever-changing landscape of video production for the corporate world. The challenges we’ve encountered so far have only deepened our determination to carry on.
To join the next Creative East cohort in Peterborough, make sure to submit your Expression Of Interest form and complete your application before 12 January 2024.
Fully funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)
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