Channel 4 has been paying tribute to its senior foreign affairs producer Sarah Corp, who has died at the age of 41. What’s interesting is in the video tribute, the only images of Sarah are stills, showing her very firmly working behind the scenes.
Getting a video in front of an audience, be it news or a corporate piece, is a team effort. Sarah spent her career helping other people do their job to the best of their ability; as a producer she looked after everything from food and drink to location; from transport to satellites. She made sure the presenter was sufficiently cared for so they could perform; she made sure the cameraperson had safe access to the location in order to film. And the viewer at home would only have noticed the job Sarah was doing when the job wasn’t being done.
Video Production Behind the Scenes
The behind the scenes support to produce even the most simple corporate video is enormous. The job of the cameraperson is obvious, you might think; without them there would be no video. But they are supported by the person who set up the shoot, the person who arranged all the participants to be there on a certain day, who took care of parking arrangements and made sure the team had all the equipment it needed.
Once the pictures are filmed, support is needed to physically get the pictures from the camera into the editing system, particularly if the shoot is complicated with different locations and on different days. Someone has to manage the media – think of it as making sure all the ingredients for that fabulous roast dinner are fresh, in the same place and ready for the chef to perform their own particular brand of magic at the time they want.
The job of the editor is also only noticeable when they’re not doing it well. A good editor will remove all the speech inconsistencies, make the colours look true and even – as we can do at Tallboy – change the weather. Often clients interviewed by Tallboy remark how pleased they were with their performance as they didn’t they think they were that good. They weren’t. We fixed it in post.
The editor can’t operate without a good content producer who can hear the stories being told by the participants and weave them together in a coherent, simple and sometimes amusing way, that appeals to the client’s chosen audience. Take away that job, and the video would soon loose its charm.
Millions of people around the world have watched Sarah Corp’s work over the years. Although it may feel like it’s a shame people didn’t realise what she did, perhaps that’s the best tribute to a remarkable lady.