When website video goes wrong

Posted 13th July 2016
by BellyFlop

Not every job goes 100% for any business, likewise not every film that we make runs smoothly and there are common problems and misunderstandings we encounter. 

Time Constraints: The biggest one is an underestimation on the amount of time a video takes to edit. This is more common for customers that have never had a film made before and it’s down to us to plan as much as we can on behalf of the customer. We always believe a price for a film should be agreed in advance and it’s not very often a customer pays more for a film than what was agreed. If a film takes much longer to record or in particular edit than we expected, there are no nasty surprises and we will always discuss this with the customer well in advance of that situation occurring.

The customer is the star: The second problem we often encounter is when the person in the film is the person approving it. I worked with a famous ***** ****** called ****** ******** who was the producer and also the presenter of the show- this is an unusual situation in TV producing terms where the presenter was also the person who got final say on the edit- a scary situation as the edit would go round in circles until they were happy with how they came across.

We are our own worst critics and if someone has not seen themselves on video before it can be quite a surprise watching yourself back. I’ve had a few delicate situations to handle whilst filming regarding someone’s appearance (an epic nostril hair comes to mind), but the one advantage with the editing is you can make someone sound a lot clearer in the way they talk. Which brings us onto…

Cutting away from the interview subject: Something we often have to do is edit someone’s dialogue down to remove pauses, ers and erms. As most people just listen to a film and don’t watch it’s paramount the audio is as clear as possible, but as we are cutting the pictures and the sound we need to cut away from the person talking with what we call cutaways, these are used to hide the fact we have cut down someone’s interview. In doing this customers often want the person talking to stay in vision as they sound so clear but they can’t as the picture and the sound actually jumps. We have to explain why we can’t do this fairly regularly.

Poor Planning: Another big problem is simply poor planning. A customer realises what they really want from the film is different once we’ve actually filmed it. To avoid this the best we can we have a filming guide we ask customers to complete and this will give us an indication of what they need precisely from the film. If a customer for whatever reason doesn’t complete the filming guide it’s difficult to progress with the film without knowing what needs to be in it.

Everyone’s a video producer: We all watch TV, we all know what we like, and many of us have an amazing imagination in what we could do. Sadly most budgets don’t stretch to that of a big corporate company video so again in the very early stages of a film we get a grasp of what the customer expects and what they will compare the film to, and what it needs to do once it’s live.

The Customer wants all of the footage: When we finish a film we send a download link of the film for a customer. Sometimes the customer wants all of the original footage as well, which is no problem at all apart from two issues- the file size of the footage is often over 50GB per film so a download link is not an option and we either need to supply an external USB drive to the customer (at a small cost- they are usually about £50 – £100) or the customer needs to call into the office with their own USB drive and we can put the original footage onto their own external drive. There were two issues- the second one is we film a lot of footage in a video file format called MXF which is not something you can just click and watch, it needs importing into edit software to view. 

We have made 1,600 films and come across every situation you could imagine- but I’m sure there will be some new ones just around the corner.