Woodland Trust Award Videos

Filming, Editing, Drone Footage

The Brief

Having produced the 2017 Woodland Trust Volunteer Awards, and also being in the process of creating the 2018 awards, a natural progression from that was to also offer our video production services for the videos that would accompany these awards.

The Woodland Trust wanted to be able to demonstrate to all the people attending the Awards Ceremony the kind of tasks each volunteer had been undertaking in order to get nominated. This is something that hadn’t been done to the same extent in the previous years and would be an enormous task of producing 21 videos that were based all across the United Kingdom over the period of 2 months.

Filming Process

As soon as the Woodland Trust had their meeting to finalise the decisions on who all the nominees and winners were, we went straight into the planning and filming. Throughout the entire month of September there was very little time spent in the office as we headed out all across the country, from Fingle Woods in Devon, to Loch Arkaig in Scotland and many places in between.

For each video we would need to film several interviews, one with the nominee and one or more with the person(s) who nominated them. To accompany these interviews, we would also film the nominee(s) doing their volunteer role. Often these volunteers were based in woodlands, which offered lots of opportunity to film exciting B-Roll. However, some videos were a little more challenging to make interesting as there were several nominees who’s roles were simply based on sitting in front of a computer.

To create high quality and professional interviews, we filmed using a 35mm lens, which created a shallow depth of field in order to make the subject of the frame (the interviewee) stand out from the background. In terms of framing, we would keep the subject off-centre, keeping in mind where the name title would appear in the final video once it had been edited.

For the sound, we used a wireless lavalier microphone. This produced high quality and clear audio and was also effective at not picking up too much background noise, which was ideal as we often were filming outdoors and had factors such as the wind and passing cars to contend with. It was also a very discreet microphone and we were able to position so that it wouldn’t be easily seen by those watching the videos.

Drone footage was a really fantastic addition to these videos, particularly as it was something that hadn’t been used in videos from previous years. Especially considering that there were some really beautiful locations that we were filming in, it was great to get some wide, establishing shots of the areas we were filming in.

Keeping in mind that lots of locations that we would be filming in would require lots of walking, sometimes in quite harsh conditions, we made sure to be quite selective with the kit that we took with us. One key piece of equipment that we made sure to always have with us was a handheld camera/gimbal. This was compact and allowed us to easily produce smooth footage. This was particularly advantageous considering that there was a lot of filming we had to do whilst on the move.

Filming for the Woodland Trust at Fingle Woods
Filming for the Woodland Trust at Skipton Castle Woods
Filming for the Woodland Trust at Smithills
Filming for the Woodland Trust at Fingle Woods
Filming for the Woodland Trust at Fingle Woods

Editing Process

Considering that these videos would all need to be played at the Woodland Trust Awards Ceremony, there was a strict limit on how long the videos could be, which was a maximum of 2 minutes. Because of this we faced the challenge of cutting down interviews that were often 10 minutes long, down to only 1 minute. This meant being very selective and working closely with the client to find out which parts of the interview needed to be in the video the most.

Each video required animated to titles that would open and close the videos and titles to show who was being interviewed and what their role was. These titles had to be similar to those used in the videos from the previous years to create a sense of continuity. We created these animated titles created in After Effects, using masks to give the effect of the text sliding in.

Based on the clients budget, it was decided that we would use the same audio track to accompany all of the videos. We carefully selected a track that was upbeat and instrumental but also wouldn’t distract from the most important part of the video, which was the interviews.

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