EVCOM Awards 2019: interview with a Video Producer

20 Aug 2019 - Fiona Raleigh

You might have seen our flagship Your Path, Your Way video on our website or YouTube channel over the last year. And you might have wondered what goes into making an amazing video like that!

The video was recently nominated for the ‘Best Film by an Internal Team’ award in the EVCOM Awards 2019. This category means that we are being recognised for producing a high-quality video without help from external agencies.

To celebrate this nomination, we thought we’d sit down with Kaplan’s Video Production Manager Fran, and ask him some questions about how he created our fantastic flagship video.

Where did the idea for this video come from?

We made the video to coincide with the launch of our re-branding campaign: Your Path, Your Way.

We created a lot of new marketing materials, and we envisioned this video being a flagship brand awareness piece that would grab people’s attention, and (hopefully!) evoke an emotional response from the audience.

What was the creative process like?

As with all videos, the most important thing to get right is the pre-production (planning) phase. This is the first of 3 phases that go into making a video. Next is production (the actual filming part), and post-production (the editing part).

EVCOM Awards 2019

After coming up with the initial concept, I brought it to the team for further development. This involved making mood boards and drafting scripts. Once the concept started to take shape, I drew out a storyboard of the visuals, and made a shot-list for all of the filming days.

The only thing left for the pre-production phase was to book locations, students, transport and create an itinerary for the 3-day shoot.

Can you tell us a bit about the techniques you used?

In terms of the camera, we made use of the slider for some shots. This allowed us to get those smooth side-to-side movements you can see in the library section of the video.

In post-production, we matched the opening and closing shots with the beat of the music to ensure both sound and visuals complimented each other.

EVCOM Awards 2019

We also used a masking technique to get the animated ribbon to move across the foreground then switch to the background as it reached the student.

Who are the people in the video?

We feature our our very own students in this video! The students who took part come from a variety of countries, such as Russia, Nigeria and Malaysia, and they studied at some of our UK colleges.

EVCOM Awards 2019

Which cameras did you use to film?

We used the Canon C100 Mark II, which is a highly versatile cinema camera. Along with having some high-quality lenses, we had the luxury of getting the shots we needed in a variety of different situations. Apart from that, we just used a tripod, slider, lights and a Lavalier microphone to record the dialogue separately.

EVCOM Awards 2019

What challenges did you face in making this video?

The main challenge was time. We didn’t have long to set things up, so we had to be very efficient with booking dates, students and locations to make sure everything worked in unison.

Also, as with all filming projects, the shoot day never goes exactly to plan! There were times when we had to think on our feet and change locations at a moment’s notice. We lost a lot of time in the labs because an unexpected fire alarm went off!

How does seeing the finished product make you feel?

That’s a funny one because I must have seen the video over 100 times during the edit. It went through several versions, so I never had that big “It’s finished!” moment when it was signed off. However, I enjoyed showing it to the team before it went live. I got to see their initial reactions and it was interesting to hear their thoughts because they had a completely different perspective.

How do you hope this video makes others feel?

I hope that it inspires students to think more about studying and living abroad because I think it’s one of the best things you could possibly do for yourself (read about my experience here). Most of us here at Kaplan have lived or studied abroad, so we really understand all the challenges and benefits that come with it.

What are your thoughts on having one of your videos shortlisted for an industry award?

It feels pretty surreal! The video has been out for over a year now, so this is quite unexpected. Several members of the team contributed to the video in their own way, and I think we deserve the nomination. There were 100s of entries across many different industries, so just being nominated is a huge achievement for us. Wish us luck!

The results of the EVCOM Awards 2019 will be announced on 21 November 2019. 

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