We’re open for business…

Open for business

As we all know, with the COVID19 pandemic there’s a lot of uncertainty around the world and this has an effect on all of us, both professionally and personally.

In this post we just wanted to clarify Paradigm Creative’s status during this time and to outline some of the steps and measures we’ve taken to ensure we can continue to offer our services safely and efficiently. We take the safety of our clients and team members very seriously, so we want to take every precaution possible to ensure we don’t put anyone at risk.

We will continue to follow government guidance and will ensure that we are pro-active in following any recommendations.

We’re fully geared to work remotely.

Our producers, writers, editors and designers have full access to our projects and are equipped to continue work of any type with minimal disruption. We’re in regular contact with each other on the phone, via conference calls, and with screen shares to ensure our collaborative work runs as smoothly as it usually does.

We’re thinking of new ways of filming.

We’re constantly reviewing our filming practices and are adapting our techniques to ensure we’re operating safely. We understand there is a need to still communicate, so we are fully up to speed on how to record on a variety of conference call platforms (live and pre-recorded), or working with user generated content. We can then edit, animate and subtitle this afterwards to go out to your teams.

We’re available for remote meetings.

It’s always great to meet face-to-face, but we’re fully equipped with conference call and various options for video conferencing, and whilst people are self-isolating, we can arrange meetings without having to come to you.

Further support?

We are working with a number of organisations to support their communication in these exceptional times and ensure they are not silenced by Coronavirus.

Don’t be silenced by Coronavirus

We’re all feeling the effects of the Coronavirus.

In a climate of uncertainty communication is vital. But how do you continue to tell your story via video when social interaction is restricted…  

Here at Paradigm we’re constantly adapting to the changes the world throws at us and this is no exception. Communication challenges are our jam, and we’re here to help you continue to tell your story and communicate your messages to your people and your customers, no matter what.

Telling your story and sharing your messages via video production is much more than standing in front of a professional film crew (though, we excel at this too!) it’s using creativity and any and all assets to bring your messaging to life.

Here are 4 ways we can solve your communication challenges during this time of unprecedented disruption.

1. Animation/Motion Graphics

We’ve all seen it, we’ve all engaged with it and there is no reason you can’t utilise it for yourself. Here at Paradigm our motion graphic artists and animators can bring your messaging to life utilising a myriad of motion graphics and animations techniques. We can even take a voice recording you send to us and really bring it to life.

2. Self Shot Footage

Everyone has a smart phone in their pocket. This means that everyone has the potential to shoot any content they need. Besides, why should we have all the fun? although the thought of shooting your own content might seem daunting at first we can remotely coach and help you through the process. Furthermore we can edit your footage into a lovely story you’ll be proud to share. 

View our Self Shooting Guide on Youtube for more information on how to get the best out of your phone.

3. Existing Collateral

Here at Paradigm we are more than happy to take any existing materials you have. Self shot footage, images, posters, anything you have and turn it into a cracking piece of communication. This is a very effective way of re-purposing material you likely have lying around to tell your story. 

4. Stock Footage

If none of the above methods are lighting your candle then there are many things we can do simply using stock footage. There are countless stock footage libraries to choose from so we’re certain we’ll be able to source the perfect footage for your message. 

Any and all of the above methods of creating a film to tell your story can be augmented with motion graphic elements to really make your story pop. So let’s band together, collaborate and continue to share wonderful stories with each other.

Get in touch to find out how we can work together…

To see examples of videos that have used some of these techniques click here.

How to get the most from your video content

Get the most from your video

Video is massive. In fact, it’s massively massive. No. It’s massively, massively massive.

It’s biggest platform, YouTube, has over 1.3 billion users, who upload 300 hours of content every minute and watch almost five billion videos every single day. 

Better still, viewers claim they retain 95% of a message delivered by video, and 92% of mobile users report sharing videos with others – so there’s plenty to like. Naturally as film-makers, animators, designers and writers, we like the idea of our work being seen by as many people as possible. So, here are our top tips on how to get the most from your video content.

Make sure longevity is part of your brief

Of course, we can produce anything from a simple piece to camera to Hollywood-esque openers, but where we really support our clients is by stepping back – understanding their comms objectives and seeing the bigger picture.

So when your CEO tells you they need a rallying opening film for your upcoming annual conference, instead of shortcutting to an isolated video, why not use the budget to create something that’ll work for a wider internal audience post-event, or even externally?

Start by asking yourself: how does this activity align with our wider comms strategy? What opportunities to create a dialogue with our different audiences could be created through this video?

Then build those requirements into your brief. Value added, just like that!

Make your videos searchable

The reason why YouTube thrives is because it’s easy to find great videos quickly. More and more companies are adopting a YouTube-like approach to video, introducing libraries that help employees find videos, comment on them, embed them and upload their own.

According to research, businesses are shifting their strategies accordingly with 81% incorporating the tactic into their plans – a 63% increase year-on-year.

As a means of sharing information and knowledge (and getting more bang for your comms budget buck) this is a real no-brainer. And there’s plenty of white-label products you can buy into, rather than spending loads creating your own platform.

Repurpose your existing content

What’s the point of creating a beautiful video and watching your stakeholders beam with pride, only for your prized asset to gather virtual dust in an archive? Unloved like the lonely saffron Schwartz jar at the back of your tin cupboard?

Chances are, there’s huge untapped potential within your organisation to reuse some of the content you’ve had shot and make it into something brand-spanking new (at least to everyone outside the comms team).

From using it to make internal or external social content, an event cascade, digital signage – the possibilities are endless.

This doesn’t just go for the moving pictures either – you could strip out the audio and repurpose it as an internal podcast, or take interview quotes you could use in your annual report.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro like Scorsese or you’re just feeling your way around the prospect of video, we’d love to have a chat to understand your business and your communication challenges.

Afterall, if you’ve invested time and money, why see the fruit of your labours go to waste? Why not kill two, three, four, five birds with one stone?*

*Metaphorical ones, not actual ones


Paradrone!

Paradrone

Flying a drone is remarkably easy. You’ve got two thumb sticks, one camera and a handy little monitor to see where you’re going. 

Flying a drone safely is not so easy. You have to be aware of your aircraft limitations, meteorology, NOTAMS, failsafe procedures and general air law. These are the things that separate the professional drone pilot from the kid who just got a drone for his birthday.

I was the kid who got a drone for his birthday…and now I’m a professional, fully certified drone pilot, having completed my PFcO course. This is the course which trains you to fly commercially, gaining clearance to do so from the Civil Aviation Authority.

So as I sit here writing this now, as a fully certified drone pilot, what is it that I’ve learned? What is it that I know now that I didn’t know as a newbie to the world of drone flight? The answer is everything.

Drone’s have had a pretty bad wrap in the press. Anyone can get their hands on one, not understand the power they have, and ground every commercial airline at Heathrow airport. That’s why the PFcO Course is so important.

As someone who now flies their drone commercially, the main take-away for me is safety and having the correct insurance.

When you’re flying a big heavy drone at 400 ft, there is no room for error. If that thing comes out of the air, it will cause serious harm. And the buck stops with you, the pilot. Privacy is key too, as I can’t forget, I’m not only flying but operating a camera. 

The main way to stop any accidents taking place is to do lengthy risk assessments, something you never think of as an amateur. I’ve got a great template to fill out and use to assess situations. 

It’s not who can go higher, faster or even get better shots. It’s about who can safely conduct themselves while getting the job done. And I’m proud to say that I’m able to do that.

So when you next work with us on a film, remember – the sky’s the limit…(as long as it’s done safely, within the law, with the correct insurance and staying under the 400ft ceiling).

Shooting great video on your smartphone

Shooting video on smartphone

You have a message you need to share – quickly. The answer of how you’re going to do it might already be in your pocket. 

Your smartphone is most likely a pretty powerful thing. And with a little bit of knowledge you can get some amazing results from them. The Paradigm team put together this short video with a few hints and tips to help you get the most from your phone.

And we thought we’d better practice what we preach, so we shot this whole thing on a smartphone.

All the ideas, no gear?

If you need some help with what tripods and microphones to go for, below are our top buys for smartphone video greatness:

Tripods

1) Need a tripod? The small and portable Gorilla Pod we used in the video will hold your phone and the flexible legs mean you can stand it on surfaces or attach it to furniture.

2) If you’ve already got a tripod handy, either for photography or video, then getting a mount to hold your smartphone will be enough. Try this little guy.

3) Want your camera to be set to head height? Choose something like this full-size tripod complete with a phone mount.

Microphones

4) This tie clip microphone is specifically designed to work with smartphones.

5) If you’ve already got a professional microphone with an XLR connection then you can get an interface to be able to use it with your smartphone.

6) If you want to get the reporter look going, then a handheld mic designed for iPhones like this one will certainly do the trick.

Making movies with James Fuller

Shooting films with James Fuller

What’s it like to direct a feature film?

As well as creating top-class video, motion graphics and animation for our lovely clients, James Fuller is also an award-winning film maker. We caught up with him about his time as Director of Photography and Editor on ‘Wandering Rose’, a British horror shot in the Scottish Highlands about a young couple trying to fix their relationship. Following its success in the UK, the movie was released over the pond under the moniker, ‘Demon Baby’.

How did working on Wandering Rose come about?

I’ve known Corrie, the director, for years. He originally approached me with a script and wanted a bit of advice. After talking about the project, he asked me to be the Director of Photography and Editor. We spent two weeks shooting the movie in the highlands of Scotland on a budget of £40k, so we had to choose the locations carefully, take a small amount of kit and do a lot of hiking! Once we’d finished, Corrie did a rough cut and then passed it on to me. I did the final cut, grading, special effects, soundtrack, sound mix. Usually that would be several teams’ work. It got to the point where we left both my and Corrie’s names off the credits for certain roles because it started to look a bit silly.

What’s the secret to being a good Director of Photography?

In my personal opinion, when you’re working to a budget like we were, it’s all about versatility, adaptability and being smart in terms of what you’ve got to use. That goes for kit, resources and natural environment. As you can see in the film, we shot most of the scenes outside to make use of the natural light. It’s about making the most of what you’ve got.

What’s your favourite camera to use on set?

Depends on the project. On Wandering Rose we initially looked at the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, but we also knew that size would be a key factor as we’d have to lug it around. We ended up going with a £600 Lumix GH2, which we hacked to get the most out of it. We liked it because it produced an earthy feel to the footage and it packed into a backpack. There’s no perfect camera out there. Use what your budget allows, but also what will work best for that particular project.

What was the best thing about working on Wandering Rose?

Shooting a movie is something a lot of the crew had always wanted to do, and the level of camaraderie on set made it a really fun experience. We all had multiple roles. I was Director of Photography, Editor and did a bit of directing with Corrie. We lived in a wooden lodge for two weeks near Aviemore. It’s an experience we’ll all remember for a long time.

What’s the feedback been like?

The British Horror Society said some lovely things about it. Corrie took it out to Cannes to speak to a few distributors during the festival. It’s quite a niche market but Corrie’s a horror nerd so he sent it to a lot of blog sites and the reaction has been great. Someone put it in their top ten movies of 2014. It even picked up three awards at Zed Fest in LA. We never thought it would take off so for it to be released in the States is amazing.

Why should people go and watch this movie?

Because it looks nice! Seriously though, a lot of the praise we’ve had is down to the way it looks, the landscapes and the shot choices. Which is good to hear. It definitely looks more expensive than it was.

In terms of cinematography, which film would you have loved to work on?

Wow. There’s a few. The ones that are springing to mind have a common theme, really good art directions. Alien, with the stuff from H.R. Giger. None of it’s CGI. That was a golden era for building stuff on set. John Carpenter’s’ The Thing’ still blows me away. The latest Mad Max movie is great too, some of the stuff they’ve built is amazing. There’s CGI in there, but it’s to compliment the real stuff in the movie.

You can buy Wandering Rose / Demon Baby (US version) here.