The video production process can be seen as quite mystifying. Today we sit down with Stuart Stanton, Director at Final Focus, to take us through the production stage.
What is the production stage all about?
Production refers to the actual video/film shoot. Once everything is organised during pre-production, we then engage our cast and film crew. This includes camera operators, sound recordists, lighting technicians, hair/makeup artists and more. What needs to be accomplished in the production stage is the entire filming component, capturing all the footage required to edit the production together. Ultimately, this is the responsibility of the project producer and director.
What is the role of the director?
The role of the director is to take full artistic and creative responsibility for the project. It’s up to them to make the decisions that affect how the final project comes together as a complete story. They are in charge of deciding what shots to take, overseeing what the actors will be doing and controlling the storytelling process.
The director is also the leader of the production team and is in charge of making the hard decisions. They must be able to collaborate effectively with cast and crew to get the best from everyone involved. Overall, on set, they are the boss.
What tools do you use during production?
It really depends on the shoot. A simple interview may only require a camera, tripod and a boom mic. However, other much larger projects can include massive lighting setups, huge camera rigs and multiple cameras.
We use a large range of audiovisual equipment at Final Focus. Our decision to use different cameras, audio setups and specialty equipment always comes down to the needs of the job. That said, one of my favourite cameras to use at the moment is the Blackmagic URSA. The URSA produces broadcast-quality images with a cinematic feel. It’s also sturdy and the file types it produces make the post-production workflow a breeze.
In regard to the scope of equipment we use at Final Focus … well, you name it, we’ve got access to it! In addition to our extensive range of in-house equipment, we work closely with Pro Cam Services to source any further equipment required for the production.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I have been interested in film and filmmaking since I was in primary school, so I have watched a lot of movies from different genres and directors over the years. My first job was at the local cinema at the age of 14. It was there I soaked up lots of knowledge and found my inspiration to become a filmmaker.
Currently, I look to my favourite filmmakers for directing inspiration, such as the Coen brothers and David Fincher. In particular, I love analysing how they tell stories from a particular perspective. Exploring the techniques and technologies they use to create their story worlds keeps me constantly learning and evolving. I believe this is such an important priority to maintain when shooting corporate videos and commercials. It is crucial to always come back to the story behind the video. Stories resonate most of all: they are what engage people and make videos memorable.
Do you have any advice for people looking to work in production?
I feel it’s important to jump into the fire with this industry. So get on board with local filmmakers or apply for internships with production companies. Most importantly, find what you love doing and pursue that particular road. There are a range of production niches to choose from, such as directing, cinematography, sound engineering, production design … the list goes on. Research and learn as much as you possibly can. The more you understand about all the different facets of filmmaking, the more valuable you are and the easier you will find it to work in this collaborative environment.
Have any questions about the production process? Post them below.