Last week the Fili team decided to challenge ourselves with a in-house promotional-video making contest. We divided into two teams. Tim and Amber were one team and Devin and I (Alicia, the summer intern) were the other.
Each team was challenged to make a 30 second product advertisement in one eight-hour work day. We decided to make our videos on Thursday, but not choose our products until 4:00 on Wednesday afternoon, so we wouldn’t have time to overthink.
To those who haven’t experienced video production, eight hours might seem like a ridiculously large amount of time to produce an ad that is only 30 seconds. However, producing a video has many steps that must be executed precisely to yield a good result.
The first step is generating a concept, what you want to say about your product. Devin and I chose to make our ad for sticky notes. The concept we decided to convey was that if you have a lot of information to organize, sticky notes can help you see the big picture.
We chose to convey our concept by showing an author struggling to organize all the information for her book. She used sticky notes to write individual ideas and stuck them on the wall by her desk. By the end of the ad, the sticky notes formed a geometric design, like a mosaic, on the wall, symbolizing that the author could now see the full picture and the pattern in her ideas.
With our plan we had developed Wednesday in place, by Thursday morning Devin and I were almost ready to move on to the execution stage, but first we had a quick meeting to storyboard, or making drawings of the shots we wanted, so we would be sure not to miss anything.
Then, Devin prepared cameras and lighting while I made a diagram (shown below) of the sticky note mosaic, which would be a five foot by five foot square. We shot all the footage we needed with the desk, and then made the mosaic using 400 sticky notes.
After lunch we rearranged our lighting for the mosaic side of the room and took the shot we needed of it. Then it was on to putting the equipment away, finding music, cutting the video together, and creating a graphic for the sticky note company we invented for the sake of our advertisement, Stick E’m Up.
We managed to finish by 4:45, so in the end, our 30 second add took about eight hours to produce from concept to final cut. Tim and Amber experienced a few unavoidable interruptions that cut their day short on Thursday, so they finished their video on Friday morning.
In the end, we both finished our videos within the eight-hour time slot and produced visually interesting commercials. We learned that working within tight time constraints can be stressful, especially if one must break the time into several sections instead of working continuously. However, as we gain experience and are able to set up, tear down, edit and design more quickly, we should easily be able to produce promotional videos like this in a day.