- Insights: summary
- Why video sells
- The cost of video
- Controlling first impressions
- Grabbing attention
- Evaluating finished videos
- Golden rules: food + drink
- Golden rules: property videos
- Golden rules: school videos
- Importance of a script
- Importance of light: sunshine
- Importance of light: artificial
- Importance of editing
- Importance of music
- Importance of endlines
- Importance of sound
- Pitching and tenders
- Bye bye ITV
We have worked with some of the best independent schools in the UK to produce their school videos.
Abingdon School demanded one of our best school videos. It is one of the oldest schools with definite records of it dating from AD1256 but it probably was in existence long before that.
Abingdon is one of the finest boy’s schools in Britain. It is quite large with nearly 1,000 pupils on-role but has only a comparatively small number of boarders, mostly from overseas.
We were immediately impressed with the vast range of activities on offer – well beyond the academic and formal curriculum. There are over 130 in all and this is called “The Other Half”. Boys are encouraged to take on as many as they like from when they join the school at age 11, chopping and changing to give them the widest possible range of experiences. These activities include every imaginable sport from archery to croquet but the school excels at rowing on the nearby River Thames (a stunning new oak-framed boathouse has just been built) and rugby. The Abingdon rugby teams have produced a number of England players. Other activities range from codebreaking to Pilates yoga.
The point of this is to allow every boy to develop as an individual and the school prides itself on not producing a typical Old Abingdonian. Indeed, every club and sport has its own school tie so no two boys ever seem to be in the same uniform.
We knew the key to creating a truly distinctive school video production was to focus on The Other Half and the boys’ individuality. We therefore filmed different faces that were treated or masked in completely different ways reflecting their different interests. From dirt to mirrors, geometry to tiny cog wheels, every aspect of The Other Half was visualised in this school promo video.
The school has some of the best facilities we’ve ever seen – in particular their brand new £13m science block with a beautiful sculpture stretching up three floors through the stair well. So we opened our film with a night shoot with some of these facilities, devoid of any living person. We shot this at night so we could emphasise particular aspects of the architecture but more important, to make the point that there is far more to Abingdon School than the facilities there. This is an unusual feature for a video for a school.
One expression of The Other Half was the extraordinary number of school magazines produced, some even weekly. They covered every subject imaginable. We used a very complex montage idea to represent these, combining a number of disparate images to create a surreal architecture all with a “river of knowledge” running through.
Another expression relied on combining activities in a startling way. Rowing on a river in a tropical rainforest was one example. Placing a game of rugby on the roof of a skyscraper above the clouds was another. This required the hire of the highest cherry-picker in the Midlands so we could get the right aerial perspective (a drone wouldn’t be stable enough) and then asking the team’s kicker to try to hit the camera with the ball. He succeeded on several occasions which definitely makes this one of the most interesting school promotional videos.
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