@larkthanet – Instagram at Lark in the Park

I recently posted a project I’ve just worked on; creating highlight videos for Lark in the Park. I also posted for the social media channels the event has and wanted to share a little about them.

Each day I shot a good deal of photos and videos with the main purpose being to create the daily highlights and to gather material for promoting next year. It seems a long time to wait, though, to see any of the photos and with many of the team in one particular venue all day, it would be helpful to everyone to see just a few photos of what happens around the site.

Instagram is constantly gaining popularity and it’s so easy to share images over their network, as well as video now, with their latest updates. With a little preparation, it was very easy for me to use some of the photos I’d taken and put them in a collage of the day and upload and share it. The same for video – a clip just needed to be processed correctly and after a couple of days, I found a few ways to quite easily create content specifically for Instagram.

With the event over, I’m just getting my head around the possibilities we have for next year. It’s hard to gauge the impact that social networking has but the likes, shares, comments and follows amassed means that the little extra work helps to gain some extra attention for the event and can show people already there what’s happening around them.

Wedding Video

At the end of the summer of 2011, I filmed the wedding of a friend-of-a-friend with Jon & Adrian. We’d been asked to film the entire ceremony and present the video as a continuous shoot of the service, with some video of before and afterwards too. So that’s what we did – 5 cameras capturing the whole service and edited together afterwards.

And what an edit it was. With the wedding on Saturday and a having to leave on Thursday morning, there was 4 pretty intensive days of going through all the video and audio (also recorded on about 4-5 individual channels) and mixing it together. It was the first job I’d ever edited in live multi-angle cutting (the first multi-angle but not live cutting is another story) and so dealing with a lot of things at once made for a very steep learning curve.

Nevertheless we got it done in time and after a quick colour grade and a DVD cover being whipped up, we handed the project over and picked up all the sweet wrappers that had collected on the floor. Personally, when it comes to my wedding (hopefully, one day) I won’t want a video like the one that we produced.

The final video was about an hour long. Now we watch hour-long TV dramas and 2 hour-long films all the time but with a fair chunk of the service being people singing or praying or reading – all perfectly good things but not especially visually exciting – it can probably drag a bit if you’re just watching for the vows, the rings and the confetti throw at the end.

What has become a lot more popular is the half-hour or so video cut from highlights of the whole day. From the bride and groom parties getting ready in the morning all the way through to the first dance in the evening and everything inbetween, there are a whole host of professionals who do a fantastically good job of cutting together all the best bits of your day and creating a solid video of just the bits you want.

Perhaps, had we been given a little more time to prepare and certainly now with hindsight and a good deal more experience, we would work on that now. It’s always worth challenging what a client asks you for; you can deliver a much better product and you’ll probably also save yourself a couple of days of working out why that video codec is making your files 14GB.

The tools and supplies are not enough

A thought occurred to me as I was enduring my cold shower this morning. In a developed country, we expect services to be provided to us; if our water, gas, electricity, internet or mobile supply is disrupted, it’s a big problem and rightly so. We rely on these to function on a day to day basis and they are what enable us to be a community that leads the way in various areas.

The problem I encountered this morning was the connection that brought two of these – gas and water – together. Our oven works and our tap runs freely but the boiler is slowly dying and unable to make enough hot water. We can’t get the gas supplier to fix the gas or the water supplier to mend the water, we need to call Jim, our handyman who comes over, looks at the problem and comes back a week later with the right part.

This is essentially how being a designer works. There are colours, shapes and words, there are also some very expensive pieces of software to put them together, but unless the boiler, sorry designer, is any good it’s going to come out cold. You wouldn’t believe the number of people that get hold of a copy of Photoshop, throw in some colours and proclaim themselves a designer. The same applies for cameras and photographers, musicians and guitars, engineers and hammers – having the tools and supplies doesn’t mean you can do something.

Fortunately there are people that can. I’ve met some fantastically talented and dedicated people who can make something amazing out of the same or less as anyone else. There are people who can write and mix beautiful music, who can shoot and edit stunning photos and hopefully a man who will come round and fix my shower.