The creative stage of the video production process is one not to take lightly. The creation of an exciting and original idea is crucial for the success of a video project. That’s why we spoke to our Creative Lead, Ben Davis, for some insight into his work at Stada Media. We ask the question ‘What skills do you need for video production?’, along with many others you’ll be asking.
How long have you worked in video production?
How did you start in video production?
I made some short films and music videos in college before studying film and television production at university. Since I graduated in 2009, I have worked in pretty much every department on every sort of video production there is.
I started by getting whatever job I could in the film industry: runner, camera assistant, production assistant, I did it all. Then, I managed to get my own filming kit and learnt how to edit this meant I could make videos myself for clients.
I got my first full-time job 4 years after graduating, which involved a bit of everything. This job allowed me to be creative and learn lots of new skills, like animation and graphic design. From there I got a job as a videographer, but would often pester to be involved in pitching ideas and writing scripts.
After getting frustrated at the lack of creativity in my role, I finally ended up at Stada.
What is your role in a video project?
My title is Creative Lead. I help come up with concepts for clients and develop how a video will look. I write scripts and help organise the production, sourcing locations and crew. Once on set, I direct or work with the director to ensure we are achieving the client’s vision. Finally, once filming is done, I oversee post-production to make sure that the client will be impressed with the first edit.
What do you like the most about video production?
I like that I work in an industry in which we make ideas become reality, and that I get to work with interesting people.
What do you see in the future of video production?
Better technology will mean that ideas thought out of our reach or way above clients’ budgets will become achievable. This means we will be able to create more content that makes people go “WOW!”
What do you find most challenging in video production?
A big production is like a complex puzzle. You are trying to make an idea come to life for the right budget; make sure everyone has all the right information; ensure the client is happy every step of the way; and that you hit your deadline without compromising quality.
The whole process is a challenge, but it’s usually a fun one.
What is your favourite kind of video production?
I like live-action videos where we get to create cool sets, work with a talented crew, and use new tech that takes our videos to the next level.
What is your favourite part of the production process?
I love the initial creative part, coming up with ideas that are going to excite our client. I also love being on set with the cast and crew.
What skills do you need for video production?
The beauty of video production is that there are many different skills that can help you find work in the industry.
I learnt camera operation, lighting, sound recording, and scriptwriting at university. However, once I left, I then taught myself editing, graphic design, and animation. All of these have helped me further my career.
Mainly, I find good people skills and enthusiasm for the industry are what help people succeed most. You can pick up skills along the way, but if you aren’t nice to work with and lack enthusiasm, people won’t allow you the time to learn.
Do you have a favourite video project that you’ve been involved in?
I love dogs, and for the Wagg project we got to work with loads of them. We travelled up and down the country, making these mad dreams come true for dogs, like a fort made or boxes and a room covered in bubble wrap.
(Read more about the project here.)
The Bodyform project was great because it was an important project about women’s health. That was powerful and looked nice.
(Read more about the project here.)
What do you enjoy the most about the creative stage?
I like taking a client’s brief and working with the team to come up with ideas that will impress them.
What do you find most challenging?
Coming up with original ideas. I know nothing is truly original nowadays, but an idea that the client may never have thought of or seen before is a challenge.
What do you do to spark creativity and inspiration for projects?
When I am listening to a brief, I may start to doodle if I get a flash of inspiration. Then, I like to watch adverts and short films; browse Pinterest, Behance, and Google Images; and talk to the team to bounce ideas off each other.
Where do you find inspiration in everyday life and outside of work?
I watch films and tv shows, read books, and listen to people. People, especially kids, can be very inspiring because they say the most unimaginable things.
Are you an arty person? How does this lend itself to building a creative concept?
I’ve always liked writing and drawing. So, being able to express myself through visuals and text really helps when selling ideas to clients.
Who do you work with most often day-to-day?
I work with our Account and Project Manager, Matt, on a lot on projects, mainly communicating about the progress and clients feedback. I also work with Tony, our Graphic Designer, on storyboards and look and feels. Then, I work with the production team when it comes to filming or animating.
Are there any clients you’d love to work with? Why?
I’m a big fan of craft beer, so if we got to work with an independent brewery on a creative campaign (and hopefully get some free samples!).
And finally, what do you enjoy the most about working at Stada Media?
I enjoy working with a great team!
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