Film, What Makes a Great One by Paul Randall
Here at Aztec Films we pride ourselves in the quality of work we create for our clients. And we always endeavour to make a great film for the subject matter we are representing. But what makes a great film?
A Presenter Led Film
Well there are many things that make a great film. Here at Aztec Films we specialise in presenter led films. And our presenter Shaun Esden has amassed a huge amount of experience in TV and video over the years. A talented presenter is a very important part of the whole professional filming process but without a great crew and production team even a talented presenter like Shaun could be portrayed in an unprofessional manner. All it takes is one piece of the puzzle to be badly done and it’s game over. And you’re only as good as the last film you make!
This is where I come in. There are many other aspects or pieces to the puzzle in the creation of a great film. It needs good direction and a decent script. Most of that Shaun does himself unless a client gets involved on the script for example. But to make Shaun shine, pardon the pun, requires interesting camera angles, accurate white balancing, good focus and correct exposure. That’s just for starters.
Editing the Film
Once the rushes are in the proverbial can (on the SD card) the next critical requirement of the project is a quality edit workflow. For this we utilise Final Cut Pro X [10.1]. It’s our editor of choice but obviously you are free to use Avid or Adobe Premiere or any other editing software you prefer.
The editor (me) needs to constantly keep in mind that a film needs to have a duration that is in-keeping with the subject matter.
If for example we are creating an instructional film we need to make sure that it is showing to the right level of detail. It has to get over exactly what the viewer needs to see to learn the subject matter well enough to put the training into practice. If it’s brief is to advertise a static and fairly unexciting product then it needs to have just enough glitz and glamour along with a short duration to not allow the viewer to get bored. And that is where a careful edit comes into play.
The Edit Suite
As I mentioned above. Here at Aztec Films we use Apple Mac Pros exclusively with the Final Cut Pro editing suite hooked up to carefully calibrated displays to make sure that the finished film is rendered to the best quality possible. The various techniques required are constantly changing to suit the needs of each project. The software is regularly updated to fix bugs and add new features that often come in handy in the production process. This all requires me to regularly study and experiment to get the best results.
Over the 22 years that I’ve been working with Apple software and hardware I have developed an enormous arsenal of techniques both in image editing, compositing and over the last few years in video as well and I bring these techniques to the table on each edit.
More to come
Over the next series of posts I will be talking about some of these items mentioned above. I’ll show you what goes into the production process and give you an insight into why we would be the perfect partners to work with to help you achieve a corporate film you will be proud of. Based on a collaboration of yourselves with the vast knowledge of your industry and Aztec Films with our wealth of knowledge and experience in video and films.
Here is a film I directed, shot and edited with a group of very talented young circus people.