Updated: Oct 2
Along with many others, I have primarily been working in video post-production rather than filming in the field for clients during the lockdown, and subsequent restrictions. Filming projects are on hold or have been pushed forward month by month, even into next year in some cases.
This has meant that companies themselves have had to be creative in how they generate content, and one way has been to use 'self-filmed' footage, filmed on their own cameras, smart phones or video conferencing systems. It's not ideal as the quality of the image and sound isn't guaranteed, but with a little work it can be packaged into something that still looks good and allows member of the organisation to communicate in these strange times.
Working with Ispahani Advisory to create content for social media, and for a series collaborating with an international banking group, and with Pictet Asset Management on self-filmed video content.
It does though bring everything back to content, rather than production value. As ever, if the content is good, audiences forgive the fact that it is not a crafted 4K quality video. Assistance from professionals in filming would of course make a big difference to the look and feel of the final product, but at the moment needs-must.
Video conferencing has been the winner in the current environment, Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams and others. Once the domain of a select few at home, and IT departments at work, it is now used in every walk of life with ease, as manufacturers simplify interfaces and develop bespoke functionality. This process has also got everyone used to setting-up streaming procedures, being filmed, seeing themselves on screen, and audiences used to experiencing 'warts and all' communication. The streaming video world is also making it's way into the hallowed corridors of legal litigation and arbitration. Courts now conduct 'virtual hearings' with either the whole courtroom residing online, or a hybrid of courtroom and online participation.
The majority of businesses are a long way off from engaging a video production company to film content for them. They are waiting for the authorities to give them the Covid all-clear, and then for their insurers to allow them to bring their own people back to work. They stagger between Covid restrictions and no Covid restrictions, all the empty offices in UK cities mean that only a select amount of video productions will take place on any level for the time being. Certainly, a huge slice of what used to be on offer for beleaguered production companies isn't there anymore; one can only hope that this is not part of the 'new normal', and is just a temporary blip.