Making a good video is all about the story. However, the story needs to be told visually, and so a video goes from good to great if the pictures are dramatic, exciting and attention-grabbing.
Tallboy is on the road this week, and began with a trip to Newcastle to visit the university. The video we’ve been commissioned to make showcases different aspects of a profession. The challenge we have is, while there are many sides and facets to this job, essentially – and most importantly for video – it’s very cerebral and visually not exciting. So we have to be creative.
Our solution is stairs. We love stairs. There are just so many fabulous staircases. The convention is to view stairs as just a device to get up or down – but we see them as an opportunity for creating something stunning.
Newcastle University has a wonderful open staircase with a glass wall. It’s light, airy, splashed with bright turquoise walls. And to compliment our passion for stairs, we have a special toy in our arsenal of tools – a hand-held darling little camera called a DJI Osmo. It makes running up and down the stairs and creating dramatic shots a piece of cake.
Getting our participants in any video to buy into our fetish for stairs can be a hard-sell, mainly because often the lift is their chosen option for getting from A to B. Indeed, some of our participants are not even sure where the stairs are. So we think of it as an added service on two levels; staircase location in case of evacuation and also a short workout at no extra cost.
In Newcastle, we had a stroke of luck. Our wonderful participant had a friend who, coincidently, had previously appeared in one of our videos – and as luck would have it, the friend had also been subjected to the staircase treatment.
The art of filming on a staircase is to plan. Our Osmo allows us to run beside the participant, move behind, in front and all other directions. It gives a wonderful flow to the pictures and to the finished product.
In our little book of staircase reviews, Newcastle University gets 5 stars. And our participant gets a huge vote of thanks from us for being willing. And his friend, after months of being teased about the way he ran up the stairs in our video, finally gets payback!