Post production on All We Can’s charity re-brand film
Our latest charity film was produced to support the re-brand of MRDF to become All We Can. Our last blog talked about the background to the project and our filming trips to Burundi and Nepal and in this blog we look at post production from both a director and an intern's perspective.
A director's perspective:
With just over three weeks between my feet hitting the floor and the requirement to deliver two edits, the pressure was on - and particularly as we had to work with translators to tidy up and check the interviews that we were looking to include, as well as complete filming and interviews in the UK. Thankfully - this is where good pre-production comes in, being not only well planned in advance but having a reasonably clear set of objectives for the film that had been discussed with the client.
As with any production, the storyboarded outline changes as things progress - especially when we weren't completely certain as to what stories and interviews we would be able to capture on location, but having a framework to edit to is massively helpful and provides structure and a way of working. Clear deadlines and feedback from the client were also discussed in advance, so that the team could plan around when the edits would be delivered, discuss and feedback to us within a tight timeframe.
Oh - and did I mention we had over 2,000 photos to process, edit and upload for the client?!
Central to the delivery of the film was the need to communicate the message that underpins 'All We Can' - the concept that poverty is personal, so is the solution. Whilst we wanted to include Maurice Adams (All We Can's Chief Executive) talking about the ethos and values of the charity, it was clear that personal stories from their partners and beneficiaries would be central to delivering on this message.
We're pleased to say that we delivered on time, on message and that the films and photographs have been very successfully used in their launch events around the country, culminating with the overall reveal of the new name and brand at a meeting in central London this week (April 2014), which we were very pleased to be invited along to. Now, onto the next edit for their Harvest materials...
An interns perspective:
Working on the All We Can video was my first exposure to working professionally for a client. As I helped put the final touches on the video, I learned that production isn’t just about creating a visually captivating sequence of images, it was about successfully relaying a message. The purpose of MRDF’s rebrand was to show how “All We Can” best represented the charity, their desires and way of working - and we needed to show that in our video.
All We Can really wanted to show how their new name applied to a wider base of what they did and we needed to show examples of that in our video. For example, the old name, Methodist Relief and Development Fund, gave the impression that the charity main focus was to raise money or provide funds. However, in reality, members of the charity are active in working in partnership with underprivileged communities all over the world. We needed to relay this in our video, so we made sure to incorporate interviews with the leading members of the organisation talking about their involvement in All We Can, as well as shots of the charity working in remote places around the world. Instead of using our own words to tell the story, we made sure that the interview clips carried the key messages. It was more powerful to hear about the charity's mission directly from the mouths of its members as opposed to hearing about it through a voice over.
The other key aspect to the rebrand film was to incorporate the new name, All We Can, in as many ways as possible from as many people as possible. One of the most powerful points in our video was the reveal of the new logo but it wouldn’t have been enough to just show the logo and mention the new name once. We had to incorporate the new name throughout the video to a) show why MRDF felt it was necessary to change their name and b) allow the viewers to adjust to the name change throughout the course of the video. Ending the rebrand film with members of the charity, from the CEO to the volunteers to the people they help, saying "Do All You Can" was an effective way to ingrain the new message in the viewer and to show how it was a more suitable name for representing the charity.
For me personally, I didn't come into the All We Can project until the video was in post production, when a lot of the video was already laid out in a sequence and we were in the final editing process. It was interesting to be the first "outsider" to really see the project in it's final stages. Before coming to the UK and interning at Purple Flame, I didn't know much about MRDF and it was great to be an unbiased opinion on seeing how 'All We Can' represented the charity's policies and mission. Watching the video from start to finish, I could see why the name change was necessary and saw examples of how the name applied to the charity's work. Being involved in the editing, I also got to see how reordering clips, sometimes simply using a different quote or a different sequence of interviews, could improve how a message comes across to viewers. For example, when we realised we wanted to end the video with the multiple statements of "Do All We Can," I saw it's lasting effect: it left the viewer thinking about the mission of the charity.
Overall, it was great to be involved in this project and to learn how messaging, which is aided by visuals, is the most important factor in creating a successful video.
You can see the completed film below: