The words on everyone’s lips, the question that’s keeping us up at night… What makes good media production? Okay, maybe it’s not quite that, but if you create content for a business then it’s never far from the front of your mind.
There are a lot of different elements that can be involved in media production – video, audio, and photography to name just a view. But the one constant through them all is the need for good planning, and the ability to think on your feet when issues arise.
Good planning involves getting a full brief for a project as early as possible. This is not just for practicalities and organisation. A full brief, early, allows any media creator the time to truly understand the context and timeline of a project. This allows them to map out what equipment they need to complete a project, as well as what people they need to work with to get the best results.
Being able to plan and organise what equipment you are going to use is essential. It means that on the day you are creating the content you will have less surprises and more control. On any production set you are still going to get hit with surprises – equipment playing up (no matter how many times you have tested it before), or even something as simple as batteries failing. Most planning is planning for the worst. And whilst time to plan helps avoid a lot of issues, the ability to think on your feet is what really helps when you find yourself in a sticky situation you could not foresee happening.
Thinking on your feet means something different to every profession. For a content creator it means knowing your equipment and the task at hand inside out. Being prepared enough to know what you are working with and the story you are trying to tell is crucial. Because it allows you to immediately think of another, appropriate solution.
One example would be if your lights are just not working, and you have a crucial scene to film. If you panic that could be it. You might settle for something that does not look right. But if you stay calm and know your camera well enough you might be able to tweak the setting in the right way to brighten up the situation. Another might be if you’re filming a scene and the script is not sounding as good when spoken as it did when it was on the page. If you know the story well enough, it means you will have the confidence to change it and change it for the better.
However, the final and most important element for media production is… creativity and passion. Creativity means you will not only get the best result, but you will also find the best solution if a problem should arise. And being passionate about what you do not only gives you pride in your work, making you want to create the best media you can. But it also drives you to make time for that proper preparation that ultimately makes everything easier.
No project goes without a hiccup. Something, somewhere, always goes different to the plan. But Jamie’s mantra of good planning, the ability to think on your feet, creativity and passion, are applicable to all of Alchemist’s work, not just the media we produce. Something we pride ourselves on is our ability to adapt. Be that a client’s change of mind, a piece of technology failing to work, or a crucial actor being ill. We have contingency plans for everything, and anything we don’t have one for, we use all the creativity we have to find a satisfactory solution. Because we’re not just passionate about what we do, we’re certain that if we do it right, our clients will be too.