How we collaborate with creative agencies.

Luke Munt
Junior Editor & Filmmaker

Have you ever wondered how a video production company or creative agency tackles any given project and manages the entire process from start to finish? Well the first stage of proceedings involves attaining a client and receiving their initial brief. This is where documentation and visualisations are drawn up and discussed which will revolve around all aspects of the proposed production. 

Early Stages & Pre Production

An initial discussion will be held which usually involves bouncing ideas between the client and our team here at Thin Reel, and costs are fixed in place and agreed - of course depending on the size, scale and demands of the project. Once the budgets have been set in place, we then receive a documented brief from the client or agency which will detail the project treatment as well as visualisation ideas and what equipment/props and cast are required. The treatment outlines what the video production entails and will explain any narrative elements or creative requirements. From this, we are able to work out what will be required in terms of the cinematographic approach -  what kit is required, what is the estimated scale of the production, is there any casting required, location recces and we are also able to formulate some initial ideas surrounding the post-production stage and what is to be required.

The planning stage enters full swing from this point onwards, with regular client meetings being held to ensure that any new ideas are considered and to ensure that the shooting and actual production stage can begin in a timely fashion. This pre-production stage is arguably the most crucial in terms of determining whether a production is a success or not - for us, we have to make sure that all bases are covered. We will typically offer our own creative and technical ideas for the project and help manage client expectations and provide any alternate methods into achieving the end goal should any obstacles arise.

In addition to this, a production schedule will be drawn up which will give a clear and concise overview of dates and timings for how the project will run, such as the scheduled shooting days and how much time will be given to post-production and the eventual delivery of the final project output. Once our internal team have had time to digest the project treatment and work out logistics, we will then draw up a shot list and storyboard, these are critical documents which are designed to make the filming process as streamlined and efficient as possible. The shotlist will include a comprehensive breakdown of shot type, angle, movement and kit requirements - whilst the storyboard is designed to provide a more visual representation of how each individual shot will be framed and shot.


Thin Reel on production for Agency, Dojo

Once all stages of pre-production are finalised, it’s time to shoot. Batteries are charged, lenses are cleaned and kit is then packed into the production vehicles before hitting the road. Call times are agreed with the client prior to shooting and we then meet on location ready for an action packed day of filming. Shoots can vary massively, with some being extremely fast-paced and action packed, while others being more technical and dynamic. 

Having an extensive kit room, we will then set up any lighting using our Aperture range, whilst the director of the project will brief the talent and ensure that the camera team are in position and all set to begin rolling as quickly as possible. 

During the shooting process, our on-set DIT (also known as the digital imaging technician) is in charge of receiving any rushes and then immediately creating two local backups of each data card that comes off each camera. This is absolutely vital in ensuring that a project is kept secure and safe with no data threats occurring. It is also important that the client is constantly kept up to date with how the visuals are looking - and we typically do this by using our WiFi connected video village device known as a CineEye. This device allows the client or any other crew members to view live rushes being shot through our wireless viewing monitor or even their own smartphone device. This both keeps the production as streamlined as possible and also ensures peace of mind that the visual side of the treatment is being followed correctly.

(Above: Summer TV Campaign | Agency: Walker | Production: Thin Reel)

Post Production

Editor, Sam Cleverly in the suite at Thin Reel Studios

After a successful shooting window, it is also important to note that we will immediately fully backup all media cards and data to our NAS system before commencing on the edit. Our editing team then receives the rushes and any assets or brand guidelines and begins to construct a concise ‘picture lock’ of the final edit - this is where the narrative is constructed together and sequentially placed in chronological order.

From here, the first draft is effectively completed and we will send an online viewing copy of this to the client for the first round of feedback. Using the online service of proves extremely useful in providing and receiving concise feedback. With client feedback taken on board, we will then sharpen up the edit and make any changes, implementing any motion graphics or illustration animation if required. Once ensuring picture lock, we then take the edit into the colour grading stage - this is where we ensure the visual look of the edit achieves the mood and feel that the client is looking for - manipulating hues and the shadows, midtones and highlights for example.

After another client review, the edit is then signed off and the client is sent a full resolution version of the edit in whatever format they have asked for. This flexibility is crucial in today's content marketing world due to the fact that social first content is often an even bigger demand than traditional widescreen video - so being able to offer traditional 16:9 aspect ratio as well as portrait 9:16 content is super valuable in meeting online marketing demands.

 This is just an overview of the entire production process here at Thin Reel, but we are able to specifically adapt and innovate in order to meet your project requirements. With this in mind, why not check out our LOOP service - could this be the perfect platform for you to launch your brand or business into the next level of proceedings?

Our LOOP service offers social first content on a regular basis, providing sleek and professional video content to help produce successful SEO rankings and online brand and business economic success.

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