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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Power of online video seminar - example video

1) Flipcam video - Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

This video was made in Times Square when Sadler's Wells co-presented Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake  at New York City Center. The event itself was a PR stunt where the Swans were taken down to Times Square one morning to recreate the classic Swan pose for photographers. There was no permission sought to do the photoshoot so we had to get in and out fast. I was one of three people recording the event for City Center with flipcams. That gave us a lot of video to work with for the edit and most importantly lots of angles to cut between. For example while the event was recorded from the front I was able to go to the rear and shoot the photographers. Additional content from before and after was added to give extra character to the film.

The whole thing was edited together in a couple of hours by someone at City Center and put online. It was cut to some music not connected with the show which was easy to edit to. The key thing was it went online within hours. I think perhaps more could have been done to make it visible within YouTube. The lesson here is that if you use YouTube as a way of putting video up on your own site don't forget the views you could be getting through YouTube; it could be thousands.

2) Bounce Michael Jackson tribute

The streetdance company Bounce created this event as a tribute to Michael Jackson after his death. In the end two clips were put up on YouTube and in total they received around 15 million views. Other people then went on and created their own versions inspired by Bounce. The video came out just before they performed with us and by the time we did the campaign for the show it had over 3 million views giving us something new to say about a show that was returning for a second time.

3) Rosas - Early Works

This video made by Lyndsey Winship and David Kaplowitz and uses existing clips from shows that had previously been filmed for broadcast. To promote a retrospective season at Sadler's Well they were cut together with an interview with choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. De Keersmaeker does not agree to many interviews with the press so there are not many opportunities to hear her discussing her own work. This approach allowed the public to hear about these important works in her own words.

4) Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake

This video uses interviews and rehearsal footage cut with clips of the performance.  The interviews and rehearsals were filmed on the same day. I did the interviews accompanied by just one person (Michael from Flutterby) for camera and sound. Note the board in the background as a reminder of the show and a way of dealing with a dull room. This was the poster artwork blown up and mounted on polyboard. I actually did two different sizes as the filming was done off site and I had no idea where we would be for the interviews. We switched the set-up for the interviews by moving the camera and the board to stop it looking the same each time. In the end we had to use a room with a skylight and did the interviews through the course of the day so lighting was a bit of a problem! Matthew was excellent at providing introductions for the different characters so we could easily edit in the other interviewees. The editor, Chris Clark, at Evolutions did a wonderful job of integrating the rehearsal shots with the performance footage which I think really adds something.

This clip was created to promote the New York shows but a version was also done to promote the shows across the rest of the tour so I ensured the backing board was deliberately generic. This is a long clip I know, but I think it is very watchable. We also divided it up for some websites so they could release it week by week in the build up to the show.

5) The Most Incredible Thing

A video by Lyndsey and David that combines rehearsal footage with interviews. Filming in the auditorium is always a good easy option as it provides a clean controllable environment. If you have to interview two people filming them in the theatre seats also works as they can sit next to each other and still look natural. There were two versions of the film done. One, a shorter promo clip to drive sales and second, a longer clip that formed the first stage of documenting on video the process of creating the show. See the shorter version here. By the end of the run of The Most Incredible Thing this short version had 36,500 views, either directly from our site or through being embedded on other sites. It was actually embedded on 58 other websites. These figures do not include YouTube views. For marketing purposes short clips are definitely best and most of the show excerpts we use on the site are only 1-1.30 minutes in length. In the long term however, I feel there is value in creating more detailed content for archival purposes. Plus in this case the huge popularity of the Pet Shop Boys and the fact that there was also an accompanying album being released ensured there was a strong interest in watching a longer film.


Read the seminar introduction here.

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