What’s behind the magic of film-making?

Since first experiencing a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the filming of Tots TV on holiday at the age of nine, I’ve always been inspired by the film-making process.

Not surprisingly, then, that one of the first things I do when I buy a film on Blu-ray is go straight to the title page to watch the behind-the-scenes extras. They give a real insight into the art of film-making. Some examples of great behind-the-scenes films include those from The Shining, Avatar, Halloween and Birdman.

Behind the scenes of Birdman

While on a recent video shoot with a new client inexperienced in video production, I was reminded of the movie-making magic! They said, ‘I didn’t realise it took so long to film… I wasn’t aware there’d be multiple shots for one section of the script. I’ve learnt a lot from today.’

It’s only when you see poorly produced films that you can truly see the art of professional film. Since most people can shoot and edit films on their smartphones, it can sometimes feel like the value of the video production service has gradually fallen to the wayside.

Film editing 

All of us are guilty of film escapism without actually focusing on what we see on the screen. Next time you watch a documentary, a drama or a brand film, write down the number of times the shot changes. I think you’d be surprised at the outcome! That’s without going into detail about the complexity and time taken for each shot set-up.

On the flip side, not all films consist of umpteen different shots. You’ll no doubt have seen films famous for their single long shots, such as this scene from Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas.

Each and every shooting style is cleverly crafted for storytelling purposes. Add a sprinkle of je ne sais quoi, and you can truly highlight the genius behind the creativity of film-making.

Technical planning

Honda’s cog advert from 2003 is a real work of video art.

This two-minute advert took six months to plan and almost a week to film. The production needed over 600 takes, 20 sets of alloy wheels, 10 bonnets, 15 pots of paint and two handmade pre-production models of the new Honda Accord. Although it looks like one single take, the sequence is split into two shots and required a major act of technical planning from its producers. Pretty impressive, eh?

One other phrase video producers often hear is: ‘It took an hour to get that shot and we only saw it in the film for three seconds’. This really emphasises what film-making is all about.  The more time we factor into our filming plans, the more likely we are to achieve something magical in video form!

How Outlook can help

Films are created by hardworking talented teams of creative people. It’s what the Outlook team love to do. Get in touch to see how we can help you.