CIM Marketing Club Webinar

Filmmaking for marketers with the British Film Institute

The webinar started with a background of the British Film Institute given by Amy who is a business campaigns officer at the BFI. The BFI is a cultural charity and a leader in film, television and moving image preservation for future generations to look back on. It holds the largest collection of film and television archives in the UK with media dating back to the 1940’s. Not only this but the BFI, with the help of national lottery funds, awards money toward films made by up and coming directors such as Charlotte Wells and her film ‘Aftersun’. According to Amy the mission of the BFI is to support creativity and to seek out and support the next generations of UK storytellers. 

On YouTube alone globally one billion hours’ worth of social content is watched every day, this highlights the importance of creating engaging and informative content as it is vital to stand out to reach your target customers. Developing film-making skills for marketers can improve content and make it more appealing to viewers. However we no longer need big production budgets to create such things as we can use smartphones. This is what was suggested by the second guest speaker Sara, who is a film educator and media specialist for brands marketers looking to improve their filmmaking skills. Sara also explained the five step framework, developed by the BFI, marketers can follow to create engaging visual content that can compete and standout.

The starting block is the development stage, this is when we think of the initial plans for the content and choose the video content strategy to follow. We begin to collect inspiration, and research about what the target audience will like, whether it's a sleek highly edited short form video or an authentic long form video. The decision needs to be made at the very beginning along with the creation of an outline of what we want to get across and what it will look like. The video then moves to the pre-production stage where we plan in more depth by creating a script, planning the shots we want to take, where we want to film and who will be involved and what they will be wearing. All of this must be decided on before reaching the production stage so that nothing is forgotten and the production can run smoothly.

Once we have planned out how we will create the content we can move to the production stage. This is where we actually film the video. Sara gave many recommendations on how to film using smartphones such as using a tripod to keep the camera steady and turning on the grid lines so that beginners can frame the scene better, along with photography concepts such as rule of thirds helping people to take the best shot. She also suggested paying close attention to the location of the filming, as if the lighting is not good enough or there is background noise it could cause issues at the post-production stage when the video is edited.

Another recommendation from Sarah is that as part of filming the video some B-reel of the surrounding environment or anything which relates to the video topic should be shot as this will make the video more visual and therefore more engaging for the viewer. With this, she also suggested taking the same shot from multiple angles which can be used in the post production stage to create a more dynamic and professional-looking video.

In the post-production phase there are many edits we can make to improve the quality, from sound mixing and colour grading to adding different effects. Depending on the style of video we are intending to make editing can be used to create a streamlined and concise video that gets the points needed across.

The process ends at the distribution phase where we share the video with our audience. With different social media platforms favouring different video lengths, Sara suggested that we adapt the edit of our video to fit the platform as well as the consumers who use each platform. The webinar ended with Sara giving some advice for beginners about what to include into their videos such as closed captions for inclusivity as well as to tell a story throughout to keep the audience hooked. Much research has been conducted on the benefits of using video content for marketing, finding that 90% of polled consumer’s felt videos of products informed their purchasing decision as well as 95% of participants believing they felt more informed from a video over reading text from a screen. Therefore when online video is expected to account for 82.5% of all web traffic in 2023 now is the time to be incorporating it into marketing strategies, especially when it is so accessible through our smartphones.

If you are interested in developing your filmmaking skills the BFI have created two courses with the CIM on the topic which can be found in the webinar via YouTube. Further webinar info can be found on the CIM website and more information about smartphone camera settings can be found in the webinar.

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By Alice Clarke, University of East Anglia Marketing Student