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Finding A Record Label

Posted on April 15th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

To properly do their jobs, video production companies must establish strong relationships with video commissioners at the various record labels. They need to know the current trends in the music video scene, and strive to have their directors make videos for the most successful and popular artists. Production companies must reach out to the music industry professionals with the hiring power and then form working relationships with them to forward their directors careers. “It’s imperative that my relationships are flawless and that each label commissioner has a great experience working with me and my roster of directors, says independent rep Tommy LaBuda (Death Cab for Cutie’s ‘Soul Meets Body,’ directed by Jon Watts and Rob Thomas ‘Ever The Same,’ directed by Phil Harder). For me it’s about the big picture and the experience. Obviously, the product needs to be amazing, … Read More »

Takeaway Expo 2013

Posted on April 14th, by Mark in Corporate, Events, Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

Turn up the heat on your business. Put some steam into your marketing. Spice up your margins

The event is designed to give you all the tools you need to grow and to develop your takeaway, whether that is franchising your restaurant, adding an automated online ordering system or re-branding yourself to move to the top of the food chain.

Talk shop with peers and suppliers, hone your business skills and take away a wealth of free expert advice on everything from Murgh Masala to e-marketing.

Takeaway Innovation Expo 2014 is THE essential business ingredient for anyone with a hunger for success in the Takeaway sector! “

William Grant & Sons – Rare Cask Reserves

Posted on April 14th, by Mark in Corporate, Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

William Grant & Sons is proud to release an exciting and exclusive range of rare and limited signature blends from its cherished archives. The William Grant & Sons Rare Cask Reserves have been created using a combination of aged whisky from the Grant family private collections and from some of the most revered ancient malt and grain whiskies from across Scotland.

The William Grant & Sons family had the vision and foresight 40 – 50 years ago to source, lay down and nurture these stocks, in order to someday be the envy of the industry. They are now realising that vision, and in the unique and rare position to hold highly revered aged stocks while others struggle for supply.

Brian Kinsman the 6th generation Master Blender creates their Rare Cask Reserves blends from Single Malts and Grains he believes work best together, … Read More »

An App for Anything

Posted on April 4th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Thee really is an application for anything. For example, the SitOrSquat bathroom finder application for iPhone and other devices indexes, as of this blogging, nearly 100,000 public restrooms, all geolocated and rated for cleanliness. Clean bathrooms receive a Sit rating, dirty ones, a Squat. While the application supports adding locations anywhere in the world, at this point most of the potties are located somewhere in the United States. If you’ve got to pee and you are in New York City, you’re in luck! However, if you’re feeling the urge to tinkle in Helsinki, well, you’ve got to hold it a bit longer, there are only four loos listed in the city.

The SitOrSquat bathroom finder is sponsored by Charmin, America’s most popular toilet paper for more than 25 years. Gotta love that sponsorship! The press release announcing the sponsorship must have … Read More »

Keep Calm and Collaborate

Posted on April 2nd, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The Director must always work closely with the director of photography, or DP, to set up the actual shots as well as direct the artists’ performance. “The most important directing skill to learn, above all else, is sensitivity, the ability to communicate with other humans,” says W.I.Z. (Chemical Brothers’ “Out of Control” and Shakira’s “Te Dejo Madrid”). “When I understand and embraced film as a collaborative medium, I was one step closer to getting what I wanted.”

The creative director will attend the video shoot, offering suggestions about specific shots he or she feels the video requires from the agency and clients standpoint. The director needs to take heed of the commissioner’s recommendations while not compromising his or her vision. The director has to ensure that the client has a clear understanding of what is being committed to film. The producer, … Read More »

Leading With Creative Integrity

Posted on April 1st, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The director often spends time prior to the shoot days with the artist or band, getting to know them, making sure everyone is on the same page, building excitement about the shoot, and rehearsing. On the day of the shoot, the director guides the artist through his or her performance. “I am vocal with my talent and get the most out of the band’s performance to lens,” says Dean Kerr. “Being a musician also, I know what to cover, and I know when the artist is doing a good job or when I need to cattle prod them into giving more.”

“Throughout the shoot day, I keep chumming with the band,”explains Harder. “The bands are always cool. In the past few yeas I haven’t experienced problems from musicians, and most of the time the bands have great ideas and give very … Read More »

Racing Against The Clock

Posted on March 18th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

One of the biggest struggles on set is having enough time to shoot everything necessary to complete the video. A one day shoot can run over eighteen hours, and it still can be a race to get all the footage a director wants to shot. “Because of the nature of the economics of the video production business,” says director Matthew Rolston, “I’ve done twenty-hour days which are now illegal and should be. I would say that the stamina of dealing with that and the pressure of it is the greatest hurdle in making videos.”

However, necessity can breed innovation, and music videos especially often provide the impetus for ingenuity. “When you;re shooting, you have to be creative, because there’s always something that doesn’t happen exactly the way you want it to,” says director Joe Hahn. “You have to use your creativity … Read More »

Create Goodwill with Customers

Posted on March 13th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Videos use emotion to tell stories in ways that most other forms of marketing cannot. That’s a technique that Tim Washer, senior manager of social media at Cisco Systems, uses all the time. The videos Tim creates are used to market to Cisco’s service provider customers – large telecommunications companies like AT&T, Verizon and Telstra. He uses both humour and drama in a series called “The Network Effect: Telecom’s Socioeconomic Impact,” which markets the Cisco business in a subtle way.

“One way to create goodwill with service providers is to help their customers understand what service providers do… to make customers heroes to their customers,” Washer says.

A five minute “mini-documentary” in the video series titles Developing Commerce in Africa: Phone Company In A Box has nearly 150,000 views on YouTube. To look at how telecom infrastructure works elsewhere in the developing world, Washer … Read More »

The Right Marketing in a Wired World

Posted on March 11th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Century 12 Real Estate LLC is the franchisor of the world’s largest residential real estate sales organisation, an industry giant with approximately 8,000 offices in 45 countries.  The company had been spending on television advertising for years but, in a significant strategy change, pulled its national television advertising and invested those resources into online video marketing instead.

Wow! You would have seen Century 21 TV ads for years. We’re talking millions of dollars shifting from TV to the web. This is kinda-like a big deal!

“We are moving our advertising investments to the mediums that have the greatest relevance to our largest buyers and sellers, and to where the return on our investment is most significant,” says Bev Thorne, Chief Marketing Officer at Century 21. “We found that our online investments provided a return that was substantively higher that our more traditional … Read More »

Frixion Pens

Posted on February 17th, by Mark in Animation, Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

Pilot commissioned Phink to produce a 20 second stop frame animation video for the FriXion Clicker to be played through out the London Underground System.

The FriXion erasable pens have been well known for sometime in Asia, but not so much in the UK. We hadn’t even heard about them ourselves until this project landed on our doorstep. FriXion pens are an update to the old Tin-Tins or Tipex we used at school— the ink is not rubbed away — it actually becomes invisible when heated with an erasing motion of the rubber with the little or no residue.

These pens truly are fantastic and we now fight over the remaining few in the office!

How to Capture a Clear Image

Posted on February 14th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Creating an image for your production requires some light on the subject and the right lens to pass the image through to your camera. In the early days of photography and motion pictures, there was only one lens to a camera . If you wanted to switch from a standard field lens to a telephoto lens, you would have to unscrew one lens and replace it with another while the camera was not rolling.

Then a new level of sophistication was reached with the invention of the lens turret, a rotating plate mounted on the front of the camera that held three or four lenses which could be rotated over the sensor as required, again, as the camera was at rest.

Finally, along came the zoom lens. A single lens could now be used to shoot wide-angle, normal view, or telephoto shots … Read More »

Inspirational marketing campaigns for food and drinks

Posted on February 14th, by Alex Buck in Blog. No Comments

The drinks and beverage industry is HUGE!  As consumers in the UK alone we spent £188b on food, drink and catering services.  The food and drink manufacturers sector is valued at £25.7b, and wholesalers of food and drink are valued at £9.6b.  We all have to eat and drink, so its almost dare I say it, recession proof.  To gain a foot hold in this market, especially for new manufacturers, or new products is incredibly hard and needs serious wonga in the way of marketing, not only to be seen, but to keep their position.

Coca-cola spend millions simply to retain their position as No.1 over Pepsi. The result being that  Coca-cola is embedded in American culture.  I’m sure if you asked many non-American nationals what they associate with America, Coca-cola would come up for sure.  Coca-cola have spent millions for … Read More »

Love it or hate it – it worked!

Posted on February 6th, by Alex Buck in Blog. No Comments

Advertising agencies tend to work to some simple, but fundamental principles in the creation of the ads and to judge how they have performed. AIDA being one of them, attention, interest, desire and action.  For many brands who roll out TV ads the required action is mostly to increase sales.  And Unilever managed to do just that with their controversial Marmite ad. Remember it? The one where they urge people to stop neglecting Marmite.  The controversy was centred around the ad supposedly likening Marmite neglect to cruelty to animals, or trivialising .  Over 500 complaints were received, which only fuelled further interest in Marmite, and ultimately sales.

Using controversy in ads is a risky gambit.  There are plenty of ads that have had the plug pulled on them, due to the complaints received.  Although ads that have been pulled off air, … Read More »

Gone in 8 seconds!

Posted on January 31st, by Alex Buck in Blog. No Comments

The average attention span of a human being in 2013 is 8 seconds! Less than a goldfish, which is 9 seconds [Asssociated Press].   20% of viewers click on other videos in 10 seconds or less. By the 30-second mark, you would have lost 1/3 of your viewers and over 60% of the remaining ones before two minutes are up. [Visible Measures] Did that get your attention?

I’m aiming this post at online retailers because there is so much competition in this space, to stand out from the competition you’ve got to find new ways to convert visitors into buyers. It still surprises me when I see websites not adopting video as a method to do that. The facts are there. for example are enjoying anything between 6 and 30% conversion rates on products that have videos, and experience fewer returns. … Read More »

Mass Advertising vs Direct Marketing

Posted on January 30th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Remember the old days when traditional, non-targeted advertising via newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and direct mail was the only way to go? Yeah – that’s not so cool now! That’s because these types of media make it difficult to target specific buyers with individualised messages, services and products. Yes, advertising is still used for unholy megabrands like Starbucks, McDonalds and Nike who have a broad reach and probably still works for some organisations and products (though not as well as before). Guys watching football on TV drink a lot of beer – not Peach Daiquiri! …BEEEEER! So perhaps it makes sense for a mass marketing Brewery like Carlsberg to advertise on Sky Sports (but not for small microbrews that appeal to a small niche customer base). Advertising also works in many trade publications. If your company makes deck sealant (why … Read More »

How to Market Your Video Production for Free

Posted on January 24th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

A great way to generate interest in your products and services is to make select content available for free online. There’s no doubt that free content sells. Ryan Gielen, executive video producer of The Graduates talks about the strategy of making the soundtrack of his film available for free download. If you don’t know The Graduates is an award winning comedy about four friends who head to the beach without a care in the world. Prior to release, the film had been developing a loyal following among the 18-34 year old demographic following a dozen sold-out festivals and sneak preview screening. It had been advertised solely by word-of-mouth and a free soundtrack download.

The film features the music of what some have called incredible indie bands – The New Rags, Plushgun, Sonia Montez, The Mad Tea Party, Our Daughter’s Wedding, and … Read More »

Who knows anything about the Lithuanian film industry?

Posted on January 17th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

We didn’t either. And to be frank, we barely knew anything about Lithuania, apart from it being a part of the U.S.S.R. Do you even know where it is on a map?  Handy map provided below to better acquaint yourself with its location.  Back in the early 1900′s the film industry was quite robust, although they had to be made in association with the Soviet Union, with the films material having a heavy communist focus. After Stalins death in 1953 there followed a lot more creativity and directors had much more artistic control. Once independent status was achieved, it became much harder to find funding for films and directors had to work much harder to get their films onto screen.  It’s no easy task to get any film onto screen, no matter where you’re located. There are so many aspects … Read More »

London Grammar – Music Video Post Production Special EFX

Posted on December 10th, by Mark in Music Video, Portfolio. No Comments

If you haven’t heard London Grammar yet, we suggest you give your ears an early Christmas present and have a listen. Aside from the probability of them becoming the next big band, they make exceptional music IMHO. Phink were commissioned on the post-production edit, which whilst very challenging, was an excellent way to showcase our talent and our work ethic. The Phink office was open 24/7 for a week, with a team of compositors working round the clock for just over a week.  We’re very happy with the end result. What do you phink?

Convince and convert more customers with online video

Posted on December 5th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Phink had a great opportunity to attend The Business Show at Olympia last week. It’s a trade show aimed at start-ups, and small businesses and had a very good selection of exhibitors and speakers running seminars covering all manner of subjects; finance, IT, doing business in Africa, mentoring, franchising, online marketing and much more.  I have always seen trade shows as a great way to gauge trends, and I must say, judging by how busy our stand was, online video is high up on the agenda for many business owners and entrepreneurs.  It was very refreshing to hear how excited they were about the use of the video to help with their marketing efforts.  Another refreshing aspect of conversations we had was that business owners are not just thinking about using video for inbound marketing via Youtube which can sometimes … Read More »

John Lewis Mens Collectors – Online Video promo

Posted on November 11th, by Mark in Online, Promo. No Comments

Phink have been commissioned to produce John Lewis Collectors series of videos capturing everyday people who have a penchant for collecting clothes, quite seriously.

What are the opportunities for fashion brands with video in 2014?

Posted on October 31st, by Alex Buck in Blog. No Comments

The fashion industry is big business and seems to ignore recessions. Its one of those industries that sometimes benefits from recession, as we tend to spend our money differently. The world menswear industry is forecasted as reaching $402 billion and womenswear a staggering $621 billion this year.  Who wants a piece of that action?  Something that has surprised me about some parts of the fashion industry is their slowness in adopting digital marketing and technology.  It took Burberry until 2009 to join Facebook and create a Youtube account.


Most of us wake up in the mornings with a device that connects us immediately to the world at large.  This isn’t going to change. Technology will continue to become more and more a part of our everyday lives. We expect it. And we love it if it makes our lives … Read More »

Garnier Nutrisse Truly Blonde – Online video

Posted on October 21st, by Mark in Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

Garnier Nutrisse Truly Blonde hooked up with Ashley Roberts from Pussycat Dolls to create a series of instructional videos on how women can achieve a certain look. Garnier commissioned Phink  to shoot the whole series of videos ready for online promotion through social media in partnership with The Audio Franchise. This video shows you how to the get grunge look.


Are experiential marketing companies missing a trick?

Posted on October 18th, by Alex Buck in Blog. No Comments

If you look on the majority of experiential marketing company websites you’ll see them swathed in words like ‘human relationships’, ‘consumer behaviour’, ‘disruptive’, ‘brand experience’, ‘memorable moments’, ‘engaging customers’, ‘fresh’, ‘exciting’ and the list goes on. I’m not listing these words to point out their misgivings, as these words describe very accurately what experiential marketing is all about, when executed successfully.  Experiential marketing is aimed at creating impact on consumer behaviour through experience.  Now I don’t know about you, but if I was an experiential marketing company and I wanted to showcase my work in the best possible way, I would choose video.

Having looked at the Top 20 results in a Google search for “experiential marketing agency” I found only six companies making us of video on their home page. I find this astounding, that companies who are all about … Read More »

How to choose a great video production company

Posted on October 16th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The first in a series of #phinktank videos. This short video explores how to go about choosing a great video production company. If you’re a brand, creative agency or online marketing professional in the process of choosing a video production company, you’ll find this useful, we phink.  Just to be clear, the point of this is not to bang on about Phink, we do enough of that already.  We know how hard it can be to select the right production partner, as there are so many video production companies to choose from. So what makes the difference between a great one and a poor one?  In this video we provide some insights.

What can we learn from social media campaigns for movies?

Posted on October 11th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

If you haven’t been living in a cave or on a desert island recently, you should have come across the hottest social media campaign that’s gone viral. I’m of course talking about Carrie, and the wonderful prank pulled off in a New York coffee shop where a waiter spills coffee over a seemingly typical customers laptop. The girl flips out and uses her powers of telekinesis to send the waiter flying up the wall, and then moves all of the surrounding tables.  Unknowing customers were understandably scared, shocked, horrified and hooked right in. It racked up  over 2 million hits within days of its release. It’s easy to see why the video went viral, as it includes fundamental qualities that help a video go viral, but I should add don’t guarantee this outcome. So what are these qualities?


The hilarious/scary factor

Injecting … Read More »

Dressmann – Commercial | 3D animation

Posted on October 8th, by Mark in Broadcast, Portfolio. No Comments

Following on from our previous work for Dressmann  Phink completed a broadcast commercial released throughout the Scandinavia TV networks.

Hate your job? Make a video and quit!

Posted on October 4th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

At Phink we feel very lucky to be involved in the world of video production and video. Sometimes there is a fine line between work and play, I mean who else gets to watch countless hours of online video at work and count that as legitimate research. Inspiration can be drawn from the most unlikely areas, and that also includes in our opinion the very worst videos. The power of video is not lost on us.

Anyway, Friday usually finds us having a gander at the Unruly Viral Video Chart and one video that made the charts caused a fair bit of opinion in the #phinktank – Marina Shilfrin’s, An Interpretative Dance Set To Kanye West’s Gone, where she basically quits her job.


The #phinktank initial opinion

Our opinion of it, on face value, i.e. what you’re seeing, was that it wasn’t that … Read More »

Phink Techniques #1 – Rotoscoping & Animated Music Videos

Posted on October 3rd, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Phink were recently asked to do a job involving a widely used technique in animated videos called rotoscoping. There are varying opinions about the use of rotoscoping and to be fair there are some truly awful examples of its use. It will always comes down to personal preference and who are we to say a preference is wrong.

For those not in the know, rotoscoping is the art of tracing over filmed footage frame by frame, usually of animals and humans and creating a cartoon effect with realistic motion. That was back in the day, as now we have such things called computers and software to make the job a lot easier and less time consuming.

You’ll have seen this method used in films, music videos and adverts the world over. We’ve put together our list of what we phink are the … Read More »

Billboard the Phink Way

Posted on October 2nd, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Hey-Ho. Phink have ventured outside the realms of digital and tried to bring a little lick of sunshine back to Hackney in October. Collaborating with local artist Straulink we put together a unique piece of art incorporating lots of ‘odd-ball’ characters and Hackney faces shamelessly adverting the fact – WE DO VIDEOS! And the music is a perfect fit if we don’t say ourselves.

If you’re around Shoreditch between now and Christmas look UP. If you see our billboard – snap and whack it on Instagram with the hashtag #phinktv….

Phink Billboard from Phink on Vimeo.

Game changing cigarettes

Posted on October 1st, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Phink are happy to strike up a new partnership with one of the top global creative agencies, Ogilvy.  We were immediately given the opportunity to work with them on a campaign for British American Tobacco, and their brand Pall Mall. Ogilvy chose to work with Phink due to our experience at turning projects around under very demanding time pressures without losing our production values.

Magma Manifesto Video from Phink on Vimeo.

The tobacco industry has gone through some turbulent times in the last decade due to heavily regulated advertising to the consumer and the introduction of various laws.  Even so the industry is large and there is healthy competition within it, causing tobacco brands to constantly think of new products to offer and distribute through their networks.  And every now and again a brand will come up with a game changer … Read More »

Nissan Leaf – Experiential marketing video

Posted on September 28th, by Mark in Corporate, Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

Fuel prices are getting ridiculous. But what if you could fill up for under £2? You can with 100% electric driving. It’s six times cheaper than petrol. Introducing The World’s Cheapest Taxi Rank, powered by Nissan LEAF. AKQA hired Phink to produce and shoot a video show case of their experiential marketing campaign for Nissan’s internal use worldwide.

The missing link

Posted on September 26th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Creative teams at ad agencies are always looking for ideas that evoke the most powerful emotions in us humans, and quite often those ideas involve the use of animals. Be they animated, puppets, real ones or humans dressed up as animals, they can have huge pulling power when used correctly.

There are literally thousands of adverts involving animals, some more successfully than others. Stand out campaigns include; Compare the Market’s clever play on words and use of Meerkats, the John West campaign with the fisherman having a fight with a bear, Andrex and Labradors, Birds Eye and the Polar Bear and the list goes on.

A priority for brands thinking about using animals in their marketing campaigns is to make sure there is a link back to their product, and the creative minds behind the latest Mercedes campaign have done just that. … Read More »

Talk To Me – Phink Needs You!

Posted on September 19th, by Mark in Blog. 1 Comment

Phink are looking for enterprising and enthusiastic individuals to come onboard and bring home the bacon!

If you have the gift of the gab or just an everyday Charlie Sheen (winner) then TALK TO US about bringing in more work and making some money.

We have relationships with most (if not all) the creative agencies, labels and marketers in the UK and need people to build on the these and secure more projects!

We offer a simply basic with 50% comms on the first campaign then 20% ongoing should the client repeat – you can work from home, our office, or whatever works best for you?

SO… If your reading this in your boxers or depressed at your 9-5 – grow a pair and get in touch! We treat each individual as exactly that – INDIVIDUAL, and taper what we offer to your style … Read More »

How to Target an Audience Part 4

Posted on September 19th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Other technique advertisers use is the patriotism technique. This is where advertisers suggest that you should buy a product simply because it was manufactured and packaged in the country you live in or are from. An example of this is the Walkers crisp adverts. The adverts insist that the potatoes used to make the crisps are homegrown and everything about the product is British so for this reason, you should buy it, because you’re British or you currently live in Britain. This somewhat installs a subliminal emotion of guilt into viewers minds, so the next time they’re out shopping and are torn between which crisps to buy, they think “Well, the advert says this is made here, whereas this one is made in America, I should be a good citizen and buy the British ones” This marketing technique may well … Read More »

How to Target an Audience Part 3

Posted on September 18th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The 4Cs are the categories advertisers put certain members of their target audience in. This form of categorization helps advertisers get a better idea of lifestyle and habits of the people who could potentially be buying their clients products.

Media consumption is the different types of media a target audience regularly enjoys or consumes on a regular basis. Types of media such as Films, TV programs, newspapers and magazines are often listed on media consumption lists.

Socio-economic are the classes members of a target audience go under. It is in some senses related to the 4Cs, as one cannot be explained without the other and they often come in direct correlation with each other. The classes are listed as A, B, C1, C2 and D, with A being the lowest and least financially stable and D being the highest and most financially … Read More »

How to Target an Audience Part 2

Posted on September 16th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The method of how an advertiser gathers information is just as important as the amount of research they do.

One method of gathering research is a method called prototyping. If a technological firm was developing a new software or gadget, they could build a prototype of their idea and invite subjects to try out or assess the product. From this, subjects can give their opinions and tell the engineers the things they could improve or the things that should be scrapped. This is a very useful method, since the opinions are coming from the advertisers actual target audience, this method will ensure they’re giving their customers exactly what they want and by doing this, will improve overall sales and brand image.

Another method used to gather research is telephone surveys. If an advertiser was developing a product or exploring a business venture, … Read More »

Kanye West – Live music event filming

Posted on September 14th, by Mark in Events, Music Video, Portfolio. No Comments

Kanye West chose the Afro Beat Festival 2012 to introduce Nigerian-born D’Banj (full name Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo) to the world, after signing the reggae singer/songwriter (and harmonicist) to his label GOOD Music. This award-winning performer is set to hit the big time with his album DKM.

Phink was commissioned to film the event, and as a result capturing the magical moment when Kanye welcomed D’Banj to the family with the ultimate induction – the “passing over” of his (rather heavy looking) chain.

How to Target an Audience Part 1

Posted on September 13th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The key to a successful product is the amount of research an advertiser has done in terms of audience and social class. As an advertiser, it is important to research your audience so you know who you’re marketing your product to and what social class they’re from. From this, an advertiser will be able to figure how to market their product and decide what kind of image it’ll have.

Without research, an advertiser would be blindly marketing their product to an anonymous market. By doing this, advertisers and large media conglomerates would be on a destructive path as they may have given their product the completely wrong image and would be at risk of marketing it towards the wrong audience and social class.

One type of research an advertiser could use is quantitative research. If somebody were to use quantitative research to … Read More »

Dressmann – Commercial | Pre-production video editing

Posted on September 13th, by Mark in Broadcast, Portfolio. No Comments

Scandinavian clothing brand Dressmann challenged Phink to produce a new and refreshing commercial for their latest shirt ranges for broadcast in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Germany.

With the aim of moving into a younger market, the company was keen to showcase their clothes in an unusual format. So, instead of a typical advert with men modelling the items, we went for an unidentified model instead, only revealing his face right at the end – kind of Minority Report style. Sort of.

This video actually shows some nice Phink ‘behind the scenes’ bits too and shows off some of our  slick pre-production video editing.

Film Genre Codes and Conventions

Posted on September 12th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Genre is the category a film or piece of media is generally pigeon holed under. These categories help assist viewers to decide whether or not that particular visual or audio experience is what they want to watch while attaching a specific emotion to it without even seeing it. Genre analysis, however, is the studying and deciphering of media.

Whether one notices it or not, codes and conventions are present in every single film that shares a genre. A code is something physical or visible that labels a film and the genre it’s in. For example, a code of an action film could be a gun, or sword, even blood. You know… the types of things one expects to see in that specific genre.

Whereas a convention is something that isn’t physical but included in the script or character profile.. For example, the … Read More »

John Guest – Corporate video | Animation & motion graphics

Posted on September 12th, by Mark in Corporate, Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

Like most customer-facing companies out there, John Guest wanted a new and more engaging way to get across to their potential clients how quick and simple their technical support process is.

With the famous RSA Animate videos as inspiration, we decided to use a mix of stop frame animation and motion graphics, and produced this masterpiece, even if we do say so ourselves. And we’re allowed to say that after 18 an hour day of solid hard work…!

Auto Trader – Online video promo

Posted on September 12th, by Mark in Corporate, Online, Promo. 3 comments

The Mooney Suzuki appropriately soundtrack this online video promo we made for Auto Trader which shows you a day in the life of a tech-savvy couple who want to sell their car.  We demonstrate their multi-platform, user-friendly interfaces that work along with busy professional lives via smartphone, tablet PC, laptop and social media.

Does Consuming Media Drive People’s Opinions & Behaviour?

Posted on September 11th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

People consume media on a daily basis whether they are aware of it or not. The radio, television and even billboard adverts are all forms of media, but does it affect our opinions and behaviour without us even knowing? Numerous studies and theories have proved that media does indeed affect us in one-way or another; we will show you some theories and models that prove that people are affected by media.

The hypodermic syringe model is a theory that the media has an immediate and direct affect on people. It theorises that people unquestionably absorb information from the media and believe whatever it is they are being told. It also theorises that the media has a direct affect on our behaviour, which could result in us emulating whatever we see or hear.

The two-step flow model is the theory of people having … Read More »

Who Let The Fox Out?

Posted on September 10th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

What is the meaning of life?
Are we alone in the universe?
Is there a god???
Pfffh who the heck cares!
If you ever wanted to know the age old question “what sound does a fox make?”. Well suffer no longer as help is upon us in the form of Ylvis – two Norwegian musicians who decided to explore that timeless question in there latest music video…

in other stories an Italian restaurant in Amarillo Texas, have left their former residence with a lovely goodbye message – don’t forget to tip your waitress!!!

The Times 500 Best Apps Event – Live event filming

Posted on September 7th, by Mark in Events, Online, Promo. No Comments

Clearly, the crowds at Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre couldn’t get enough of the delicious treats, exclusive competitions, useful app reviews and recommendations offered by the Sunday Times 2013 App List team. The list takes the stress out of trying to find the perfect app for your tablet PCs and smartphones – who said apps were just a waste of time!?

On the back of our work here The Times commissioned us to capture and film live future events for Times+, their membership club offering exclusive offers on pretty much anything the discerning reader of The Times could ever wish for.

House Pals – Online animated video production

Posted on September 6th, by Mark in Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments is one of the UK’s leading property portals, offering an easy, friendly service to take the stress out of the world of house-sharing. They asked Phink for an appealing, friendly, down-to-earth video to explain their services and functions, and to reflect the experience they can expect from using the site.

As a result, we created some characters that have the potential for future use and may become familiar icons for the brand.

Ray Foxx ft Lovelle “La Musica” – Music video production

Posted on September 6th, by Mark in Music Video, Online, Portfolio. No Comments

‘La Musica (The Trumpeter)’ is a track that oozes class and just screams ‘SUMMER!’ This is the universal reaction from the UK’s most influential radio DJs from Zane Lowe, Pete Tong, DJ Target, Annie Mac and Fearne Cotton. The record that looks sets to make both Foxx and Lovelle household names. Initially ‘The Trumpeter’ started life as a cool underground record which grew exponentially and crossed over to the mainstream. The hooky trumpet top line and unique sexy and sassy Latino style vocal captured the imagination of the nation and has united DJs across genres everywhere.  Defected Records have been defining force in the house music scene for many years and to match their tunes, any music video needs to match their quality stamp of approval.  Phink were chosen based on our ability to produce the some of the best … Read More »

Oxfam – Syria Broadcast Newsreel Awareness Campaign

Posted on September 6th, by Mark in Broadcast. No Comments

Phink aren’t just in this game for the money, we also like to assist in bringing awareness to humanitarian disasters and conflict.  There is no doubt the people of Syria caught in middle of the terrible conflict needed some attention. Oxfam wanted to appeal for donations to help Syrians who had fled the country to neighbouring Jordan where refugee camps had been set up.  Our creative director Ady Le Roux was only to happy to help out.  The footage was shown on BBC, CNN and other major news channels and helped raise thousands of pounds.

Gabicci Vintage Autumn 2011- Online video production

Posted on September 5th, by Mark in Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

Gabicci Vintage expertise in creating classic designs never fails to disappoint season after season. Phink was commissioned to showcase the Autumn 2011 seasons collection, in a stylish, classy, modern online video.

We really got into this project, and even found the inner fashion designers within ourselves – for example successfully combining the Gabicci Vintage Figo Shirt with the Wilkins Harrington Jacket combination. Which we think looks rather nice.

Redirected (2014) – 2nd Unit Production

Posted on September 4th, by Mark in Broadcast, Portfolio. No Comments

Redirected is an action/comedy thriller with a distinct Eastern European ‘flare’. Think The Hangover meets Snatch. This independent film stars Vinnie Jones and tells the story of four first-time robbers, who encounter a series of misadventures, get stranded in Eastern Europe and have to find their way back home. To do so, they’ll have to overcome smugglers, hit men, cheap beer, whores and dirty cops, all while rediscovering each other as friends. And we at Phink are proud to have produced the UK Unit for this gritty, funny and enjoyable Brit flick.

Exponential-E Company Profile – Corporate video production | Motion graphics

Posted on September 4th, by Mark in Corporate, Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

Forward thinking companies always look for the best ways to showcase what they’re about and what they can do for their customers on their websites. And Exponential -E are definitely in that zone, being a niche technology company, in network and cloud infrastructure. They’re constantly innovating and investing in technology, service and operations, to grow on the 1400 companies that already take advantage of their Cloud, IT and network services.

Exponential-E asked Phink to produce a corporate animated video to explain their enterprise-class Cloud and IT services in an easily digestible way. To show their huge advances, we elected to compare huge world events in the corresponding years. The result is a fact-filled, quirky and attention-grabbing video.

John Guest – Corporate video production

Posted on September 3rd, by Mark in Corporate, Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

World leaders in the field of push fit plumbing systems, John Guest wanted to create a corporate video that encapsulated their brand and values, highlighted their world-class engineering standards and, ultimately, reinforced their mantra: “Not just a brand, we are the standard”.

Enter: Phink. Shot on location at their HQ, we worked hard to get to the core of what the organisation was about, discovering what was important to the John Guest team in the process resulting in a video that balances nostalgia and their future.

Syron “Here” – Music video production

Posted on September 2nd, by Mark in Broadcast, Music Video, Portfolio. No Comments

Naturally, the girl named as one of 2012′s Coolest Females (ID Magazine) wanted one of the coolest video production companies to produce her video… Hence choosing Phink, of course.

Syron (full name ‘Daisy Tullulah Syron-Russell’) is the next big thing. Destined to take the UK by storm, this 19 year-old singer/songwriter has already captured the hearts and minds of the music industry. Her debut track Breaking (released by label of the moment Black Butter Records) was playlisted by 1Xtra, and Radio 1′s Zane Lowe gave the track the much-coveted ‘Next Hype’ slot.  Oh, and she’s also recently collaborated with house DJ Tensnake. And Rudimental and MNEK. Pretty impressive considering she’s only just getting started…

Tommys: When I grow up.. – Online video production

Posted on August 8th, by Mark in Blog, Corporate, Online, Portfolio, Promo. No Comments

Can you remember what you wanted to be when you were little?  Phink were asked to create a video for online marketing that captured the spirit of that very question. We feel the video delivers on this.

Green Bottle – Online video production

Posted on August 8th, by Mark in Blog, Corporate, Online, Portfolio. No Comments

In May of 2011 Phink were contracted to shoot and edit a video for potential investors about Green Bottle a “planet friendly packaging” that’s poised to attack the plastic bottle industry.|The outer packaging is made up of a sturdy paper mesh with an inner sack made of film. The amazing thing is the sack is recyclable and the outer shell is 100% biodegradable. We were shocked to find out that every plastic bottle ever manufactured is either still in existence or has been burnt at a cost to the ozone layer! With that in mind we got fully behind this project and want to see Green Bottle do well. Keep a look out in your local supermarkets and buy Green Bottle over plastic every time, its the same price!

Graffiti6 – Behind The Scenes

Posted on August 7th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

A snippet into the colourful, exciting life of a production team – not your regular 9 to 5! This is our shoot for Graffiti6 to promote their new single ‘Stare Into The Sun’. This is what happened when Phink TV got together with the band and the inimitable Jimi Crayon, taking inspiration from their sun-drenched vocals and chilled offbeat sound to make some video magic.

Torqux ft Lady Leshurr “Blazin” – Music video production

Posted on July 9th, by Mark in Broadcast, Music Video, Online, Portfolio. No Comments

Birmingham-born Lady Leshurr was snapped up by MTA Records and it’s easy to see (and hear) why. Her unique style is built from encompassing aspects of many different genres – from house to hip hop, dancehall to pop. And her lyric-writing is second to none too. This girl is fast becoming known as “the one to watch” (Mike Skinner – Guardian Newspaper).

For her latest track Blazin, the feisty MC/singer needed a fast-edited music video with a pacey vibe and spirited choreography, to match her unique style. We think the result is an awesome video. And a cool falcon appears occasionally too.

#RememberToSmile – Phink online video production

Posted on June 5th, by Mark in Online, Portfolio. No Comments

Jan 21st has been dubbed by experts as “Blue Monday”: ‘scientifically’ the saddest day of the year. It’s cold, probably wet, everyone’s broke, there’s not really much going on and we’re even short on daylight hours. So it’s no wonder really.

As we are happy people, who like to spread joy, we took it upon ourselves to turn those frowns upside down, and hit London town with one aim: to remind people to smile. With our happy bunny. We can’t settle on a name for him though… thoughts?

AutoTrader Testimonial – Corporate video production

Posted on June 5th, by Mark in Corporate, Online, Portfolio. No Comments

Not always FUN and GAMES! We like to get serious and gritty too – Client Trader Media needed us to try and inform dealers as to the importance of making the most of Auto Trader whilst telling them how they’ve listened and changed the way they work with our customer promise. In response we often produce testimonials from dealers that champion the newest portals and apps from Auto Trader in an effort to generate more awareness of there benefits.

Goldfrapp Sizzle Reel

Posted on June 5th, by Mark in Broadcast, Portfolio. No Comments

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Green Bottle

Posted on June 5th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

GreenBottle is a major packaging innovation. Poised to attack there plastic and glass bottle industry, the inventers of this genius product came to us for help to reach out to potential investors.

We at Phink like to think we’re green, so we fully got behind this project, producing a great film to tell the story of the GreenBottle. And hopefully to convince more and more people to get behind it.

(P.s. Keep a look out in your local supermarkets and buy Green Bottle over plastic every time – it’s the same price!)

Emphirical “Jealous Me” – Music video production

Posted on April 4th, by Mark in Broadcast, Music Video, Portfolio. No Comments

The dynamic duo of Hady & Nkem, the Gambian & Nigerian beauties make up Emphirical, a group we filmed back in September 2011.
Peep the video for their sweet sounding “Jealous Me” track off their debut album “Stop & Stare“. The video was shot in London by Phink and edited by Nosa for Precise Pictures We love a good riddim and the African theme fusing together cultures of both countries (Nigeria & Gambia)… Yup! Get familiar!

The History of Editing

Posted on April 3rd, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

in the 1800s films were shot as tableaux which were one long, static, locked-down shot. Motion in the shot was all that was needed to entertain an audience, so the first films simply showed activity such as traffic moving on a city street. There was no narrative and no editing e.g. 50 second long footage of a train leaving a station or a couple about to kiss. They weren’t shown in cinemas at the time, instead you had to go to machines called ‘nickelodeons’ that took coins and you would peer through goggles. Each film ran as long as there was film in the camera. It was successful because it was revolutionary at the time, but people soon started to bore of the none narrative static novelty.

Then in 1880 came the invention of narrative in films but there was still … Read More »

Corporate Challenges and Issues

Posted on April 3rd, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The face of business will change. In a global economy there will be an increasing emphasis on quality and value for money, which is going to hit high-inflation China hard. When Steiff, the soft toy manufacturer, took production back to Germany from China, saying that an eye half a millimetre out, turned Teddy’s look of devotion into one of idiocy, it was statement about China’s inability to match German quality standards.

Corporate social responsibility is going to become more important. Diageo run marketing campaigns on the need for responsible drinking, not cynically, but because not to do so is to put their relationship with government and society at risk because, anyway, it needs doing.

Brand partnerships will grow. Expect more and more alliances like Weight Watchers from Heinz. Imagine some others: Nestle and Fitness First, Bose and Fox, Apple and Orange (I … Read More »

Make Music Videos for Fun and Learning

Posted on April 2nd, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Once you acknowledge the career struggles that surround making music videos, making them becomes more purely an exercise in the creative process. The urge to be part of that process is the reason you’ve met everyone mentioned in this blog. Phil Morrison directs huge ad campaigns for Nike trainers and Energizer batteries but still jumps at the chance to direct a video for Yo La Tengo with a budget that wouldn’t be adequate for the craft services table on one of his commercial jobs. Kevin Kerslake, too in the midst of a burgeoning directing career, agrees to do a £15,000 Mazzy Star video. Just like directors who are still struggling, they too are addicted to the rush of making music videos.

What’s the rush feel like? When a performer rocks out in an atmosphere you created, you feel like … Read More »

The Change in Consumers

Posted on March 28th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Understanding what is changing and the obvious gaps in expertise seems a useful point of focus. Like the increasing importance of women as the decision, makers in the home and the key influencers over all purchasing decisions. But you wouldn’t think that when you see an average car dealer at work would you.

Like the increasing importance of those over 55 as purchasers, you know the ones who feel about 40 and act about 30, this is what American trend-watcher Faith Popcorn calls ‘down-ageing.’ When everyone in marketing is getting younger this potentially creates a problem of communication. And a marketing opportunity. And here’s how. Go and talk to a group of older citizens and listen to what they say and what they want. Everything from bigger print to brighter light to less packaging to better manners.

In a lecture he gave … Read More »

Collaborating with the Artist

Posted on March 27th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Collaborations between the director and the artist are quite common. An artist may want to collaborate with a specific director on a treatment and single bid the particular director for ideas. For example, Missy Elliot consistently single bids Dave Meyers, and Outkast consistently single bid Bryan Barber. These artists have solid working rapport with those directors, and enjoy the collaborative process. But collaborative treatments don’t always come through single bids. For example, an artist and video commissioner may have kernel of an idea that they give to several directors along with the music and instructions for creating the video’s treatment. One of the directors may come up with some intriguing ideas based on the idea that piques the interest of the artist. At this point, the artist might want to have a brainstorm session with the director to further collaborate which … Read More »

Get Your Media Right

Posted on March 26th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

First of all, know your audience, describe them in detail. The choice of media today is such that you can be much more rifle shot than grapeshot in your aim. List your different types of audience: what they think, feel, do, aspire to, enjoy as hobbies. Really try to get inside their minds. We are way past defining people with boring old demographic titles (C2 female 35-45) yes but what does she think and where does she live?

To be on line for creating the best media brief you can provide, you have to get a lot of information and have a lot of opinions about who precisely are you trying to reach?

Second, how much do you have to spend? How sensitive is this? Is that the maximum, minimum, anticipated, agreed or whatever budget? Don’t do loads of work until this … Read More »

The Camera Package

Posted on March 25th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Vendors that rent film camera packages to film production companies generally carry both 16mm and 35mm cameras. They also have the capability to adjust their 16mm cameras to accommodate the Super 16mm format. The camera rental houses carry all of the equipment the DP will order, such as lenses, filters, matte boxes, magazines, tripods, and the like, in addition to the basic package. Some companies rent digital cameras with all of their consumables (lenses, filters, etc.) as well, especially bigger, well-known outfits.

For music videos, a crystal sync camera is sometimes used. This is a camera that has a crystal in it that moderates the timing of the frames to synch with the audio playback, the music track for the video that artist lip-syncs to. The speed of the camera is locked to exactly 24fps, the normal frame rate at which … Read More »

How Branded Entertainment Works

Posted on March 22nd, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Branded entertainment is sponsored TV or Film. Soap operas were originally called that because they were sponsored be Proctor and Gamble, makers of the soap. This world is being reinvented with power and focus. Sir Martin Sorrell for one, and his is the loudest voice in marketing services, believes that sponsoring films and TV series is going to be the next big thing.

“The age of using adverts as a megaphone to yell at people and irate them is coming to an end. If you are smart and have a message to get across you have to do it in a way that’s agreeable, sensitive and welcome.”

Ed Warren, a creative executive at Mother Advertise Agency.

A few years ago product placement was much in the news. It began to get particular bad press as it seemed to be overdone in the latest … Read More »

How To Listen To A Song

Posted on March 21st, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

If years of watching television make the average citizen visually literate, constant exposure to radio renders most people musically literate. We’re not talking about being able to read Stravinsky’s score, but about an innate feel for pop songs. Most people know the difference between a chorus and a verse, for example, or at least sense it intuitively in the repetition of the chorus. We believe that pop songs developed from a natural call-and-response sung in heartbeat rhythm: they simple feel right. Your job is to take your natural understanding of how a pop song operates and apply it to a specific goal. Writing a treatment requires directed, purposeful listening: You need to generate images and narrative suggestions that will coalesce into a treatment.

You’ll be mighty familiar with the song by the end of the process. “I listen to the music … Read More »

Holding Areas and Permits

Posted on March 20th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

If the treatment calls for extras, during the scout the producer and AD must decide where to set up the holding area, an area for the talent and extras to stay when they’re not being filmed, and the equipment staging area, a place to house the items taken off the equipment trucks in preparation for their use. They also need to locate an out of the way area to set up the craft service table and, when it’s time, set up catering, tables and chairs for crew meals.

Other considerations include whether the location offers amenities like bathrooms or, for an outdoors location, what to do in case of rain. The tech scout allows the production team to address these logistical details, if there are no easily accessible bathrooms, as in a large park or a forest, the production team hires … Read More »

Never Let Anyone Know How Hard You Work

Posted on March 13th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Look at someone like Richard Branson. He is always seen as playing, flying balloons, living on a converted barge, flying to the States. You never see him sitting at a desk, answering phones, doing paperwork. But at some time during his working day that is exactly what he must do. We just don’t get to see it. Thus we think of him as the business playboy, the happy-go-lucky entrepreneur, the devilish entertainer. It’s a neat image and one that he seems very happy to go along with – and why not?

This is the sort of image you should want to cultivate and portray a suave, easy, languid, in control and very chilled. You never run, never panic, never even seem to hurry. Yes, you may stay up until the early hours of every morning but you will never admit this. … Read More »

Getting the Best Performance from your Artist

Posted on March 11th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Methods of directing the artist differ, stylistically, depending on the specific director, the genre of music, and the artist. For instance, a hip-hop artist approaches making a video differently from a rock band. The most basic difference being that a hip-hop artist rarely, if ever, shows live instruments being played in their video, whereas a rock band generally does. Also, hip-hop artists usually tend to prefer slick, polished visuals with beauty shots and trendy outfits, whereas rock artists tend toward less gloss and more grit, preferring hard-edged performances and storylines.

The director’s goal is to make the artist shine in whatever environment he or she is being portrayed and to bring forth the artist’s personae for the audience. To do this, there are various techniques that directors employ,

which include:

– Focusing on the Artist’s Performance. - Capturing the Artist’s … Read More »

Dont Think Too Much

Posted on March 6th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The templates you find in most marketing textbooks don’t work. They are not bad books but they assume ‘fit for purpose’ is good enough. They make you ordinary and liable to create the cardinal fault of being boring. They are at best prosaic, and at worst career impeding.

What we’ve learnt from the best in this blog, as you may of noticed, borrows from the experience and talent of the best. And the best being the likes of, David Abbott, Tim Bell, John Hegarty, Bill Bernbach, Rachel Bell and Ian George are more recent apogees (The highest point in the development of something; the climax or culmination of something). Most of all this – Marketing has more to do with art than science. More to do with feelings than logic. Which means this is not simply a ‘how to do’ blog … Read More »

Meet The Art Department

Posted on March 5th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

As with the producers we mentioned in previous blogs, music video production creates hybrid art department roles that combine several functions into one all-purpose person. The result looks more like the art department on a photo shoot than a feature film.

On a music-video shoot, you often have someone called an art director who does the job of both production designer and art director. (Sometimes this person is simply called the stylist, in keeping with how the term is used on photo shoots). Generally, a stylist, not a costume designer, is the person who works with the wardrobe: most brands appear in current, hipster clothes, and if there are any special costume needs, they are dealt with by the art director. The art director, and maybe, on a big budget set, a set decorator, each have their own crews. There might … Read More »

Learn From Other Businesses

Posted on March 4th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

This is one of the best ways of growing a business. You watch to see what other people are doing and you set about doing it better than them.

Now, please note that you do not have to copy people in your own business sector. They can be imitated but, in my opinion, if you introduce something new to your business that you have seen in a different sector, it’s likely that you will be the first to do it in your own. You can then more easily steal a march on the opposition than if you start doing something new, that is already being done by a competitor.

Let me give you an example from across the Atlantic that might apply to any sort of business:

There’s a certain video production company we know in New York who, when they go to … Read More »

Its All About The Stylist

Posted on February 28th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The wardrobe stylist researches and designs the clothing and accessories for the artist, similar to what a costume designer does on a feature film. The stylist oversees the acquisition of all wardrobe including clothing and accessory purchases or rentals and/or the purchase of fabric to be made into an outfit for the artist. He or she supervises all wardrobe fittings and, at the end of the shoot, the disposal of all wardrobe items. The wardrobe stylist works directly with the director, video commissioner, and artist to create the desired look and image for the video. Sometimes the stylist purchases all of the clothing, sometimes they are borrowed from a designer, and at times the wardrobe may even be custom made depending on the treatment and budget.

Whatever the video’s budget, the wardrobe stylist must be both creative and well versed in … Read More »

Get Your Message Right

Posted on February 27th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Putting all your eggs in one basket always seems risky, so if you do, watch that basket! We always advise people to use professionals to produce any for of advertising, as with good design it is rare for an amateur to produce anything that has the power and freshness a professional will achieve. However, sometimes you have no choice. Here are a series of things to help if you are doing this yourself.

First of all read your brief. Five times. Your brief is your exam question. Take a big A2 pad and start to generate ideas. Short phrases, anything that catches the eye and is on the brief. After an hour or so hopefully you’ll have a few thoughts that are worth pursing.

If you can, work with someone else something during this process to check what you are doing. This … Read More »

Forms Of The Treatment

Posted on February 25th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Three models of treatment writing seem to have evolved, and two approaches dominate. The first, our favourite, is to write an unfolding description, prose that describes what happens on screen as the imagery video plays in your head. We write this chronologically: A happens, then B happens, then C happens. This works best when the video is like a short dramatic film, when there is some payoff at the end (a surprise or sense of completion in setting, identity, action), because the treatment will truly read like a short story. We’ve found ourselves getting into traps though, when you have to write, “As we go back to the chorus, we see more shots of the band” over and over again.

When you’re writing a narrative video and describing its events, it’s hard to also describe the videos look. If your video … Read More »

The Right Guarantee

Posted on February 22nd, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

The purposes of guarantees is often overlooked or misunderstood.

When, in our video production company, we mentioned to our first customer that if she was not happy with the service we provide she was not under any obligation to pay us a bean, she was amazed. “Wow,” she said, “you must feel really confident about the quality of your service.’

Funnily enough, it was rather us accepting a cold dose of reality. If we had let this lady down and provided her with a truly lousy service (and all of us can find that we screw up from time to time) and she had no intention of paying us, and we ended up in court and lost, we would not get paid.

So the reality is, if we (and I am including YOU in this sentence) produce something for which our customer refuses … Read More »

The REAL Expendables

Posted on February 21st, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

On a film or video set, disposable supplies are called ‘expendables,’ which are items that the crew uses and discards during the course of the shoot. Depending on the project and the gaffer, the production company may purchase some of the following items on an “as used” basis as part of the gaffer’s kit rental fee, or the production company may purchase these products from an expendables supply house:

Tape (masking tape, gaffers tape (cloth), glow tape, board tape, dust tape, paper tape, paper tape, camera tape, etc.)

Gels, or gelatins, which are sheets of dyed plastic for use with the camera of lights. They are the least expensive filters. Gels are made in a dull clear form to soften the look of the light. They can be used behind the camera lens or mounted in front of the lights to add … Read More »

When Others Zig Zag

Posted on February 20th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

You need to be unpredictable. In a competitive world, making it easy for others to anticipate what you are likely to do next really isn’t smart. So here are some pointers on how to Zig Zag.

Take a piece of paper. Draw a line down the centre; in the left-hand column write ‘us’ and in the right-hand column write ‘competition.’ Write down your five-point plan and then what you would do if you were the competition.

Now rewrite your plan making ‘right hand column’s job much harder.

Now write down an action on your part that might really wrong foot your competitor. For example, increasing your quality and reducing you price, or increasing or reducing your marketing except in, say, trade promotions. The art of being counterintuitive can provide dividends. Learn it and be a tricky competitor.

So far so good. But this isn’t … Read More »

Getting Started by Director David Kleiler

Posted on February 19th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

“At various points throughout my childhood, both my parents taught cinema studies courses. Naturally, I always wanted to be a film director. In high school, when I wasn’t playing in rock bands. I was at the movies. After high school, I started working as a production assistant. I went to film school, and though I dropped out and moved back to Boston to be in a rock band, my day job was as a PA. When you PA, you get hungry for more production work, or at least a better job. I moved back to New York to go back to film school, but my experience there was so fragmented that my final film felt inconclusive. I worked at odd jobs until I decided that I was going to direct music videos.

Now, like any good post-punker, music videos represented for … Read More »

Great Distillations of Great Brands

Posted on February 18th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Advertising is great at making less achieve more. It is the art of précis and drama all in one. It has been brilliant at creating simplistic and memorable straplines and advertising lines like these, which evoke affirmation and a smile:

- Paxo: Rooster Booster - The Independent: It is. Are you? - Wonderbra: Hello Boys - Heineken: Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach - Honeywell: Designed well. Built well. Honeywell - Swan Vesta: Britain’s favourite old flame - Levis: When the world zigs, zag - Stella Artois: Reassuringly expensive - Heinz: Beanz Meanz Heinz - Toshiba: Hello Tosh, gotta Toshiba?
- BA: The world’s favourite airline
- The Economist: How to win at board games
- Castrol: Liquid engineering
- Ah Bisto!: Those urchins sniffing the air and getting the whiff of a delicious roast lunch is just so evocative. Like Guinness there’s something iconic going on … Read More »

Who Owns The Video

Posted on February 15th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

A representative of the record company, the production company – usually the executive producer, the director, and sometimes the freelance producer normally sign a contract. The agreement defines the video as a work-for-hire by the director and the production company, which means that the record label owns the video and its copyright. This allows the label to make any changes or edits as they see fit without having an obligation to consult the director or the production company. The work for hire also covers any outtakes, making them the property of the label. Additionally, since the director is a work-for-hire he or she receives a straight salary for his or her work on the video, rather than a percentage of the music or video sales.

“The directors do not own the video. It is a work-for-hire. They [the directors] can … Read More »

Getting by Getting on and Going Places

Posted on February 14th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

This tries to get under the skin of what makes the difference between chalk and cheese, between ordinary and brilliant, between Justin and Bob. Put yourself in a situation like theirs.

Justin was blessed by having the one advantage most of us would have prayed for in the womb had we been smart enough: Wealthy parents.

He led an indulged and comfortable childhood before being despatched to boarding school and the Tonbridge where he excelled at everything, scoring more runs than a young Ian Botham, more tries than Jonny Wilkinson, more A stars than anyone in history at GCSE, more As at A level than Einstein would have got, more curtain calls for his Hamlet than Branagh, more girlfriends than Casanova. He then got a place at Christchurch to read History and eventually, an inevitable, congratulated first.

In … Read More »

The Grip Team

Posted on February 13th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

If you don’t know, the grips work very closely with the electrics assisting them in the task of shifting the lights to new places, setting up scaffolding or rigs for the lights, and helping the art department to erect the set(s). The electric handle all electrical aspects of the lights, while the grips help with positioning. The grips team must be resourceful, because they are often called to fix broken parts or mount equipment in unconventional places.

The number of grips depends on the specific job. Mirroring the structure of the electric department, the second grip, who works directly under the key grip, is called the best boy grip or best boy. After the best boy grip, the grips also have a hierarchy, with the 3rd grip working below the best boy grip, the 4th grip working below the 3rd … Read More »

Daydreaming Vs Reality

Posted on February 12th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

In an ideal world, writing a music video would be a creative process in which a producer and director work out a plan for executing the treatment for the money allocated. In the real world, writing a budget is often a battle. Even if the money seems plentiful, writing a budget marks the first skirmish in the conflict between real and ideal that rages through-out music video productions.

Directors who live in the world of ideals want their daydreams realised, but, when pasted with a price tag, those daydreams get tempered by reality. “You cannot separate the financial from the creative,” says old-school executive producer and rep Jerry Soloman. “They go hand-in-hand. I think a lot of people want to separate the two, but there is no separation. If you want to blow up the city of St. Louis in … Read More »

Building a Good Relationship with the Artist

Posted on February 11th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Established directors may acquire jobs via their reputation, their friendships with the artists, or their track records working with the artists on past occasions. This can lead to a single bid, or to an established director submitting a treatment in a way that wouldn’t happen for a newer director.

For instance, the band U2 chose Joseph Kahn to direct the video for their song “Elevation” as a single bid, due to reputation and pre-existing body of work. Kahn spent a week with the band on tour, watching their concerts from different vantage points to analyse performance angles, which he then discussed with Bono. After establishing a relationship with the band, Kahn was also single bid on U2’s “Stuck in a Moment” video.

Once directors get established, they can focus on getting to know the artists to bring out their … Read More »

Do You Have A Plan?

Posted on February 11th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

It is sad to think so many businesses are started by people who want to earn a crust and not by people who think, “one day I’d like to sell my business so that I can retire the proceeds and do what I want for the rest of my life.” The former attitude results in someone building up a job, not a business.

In my opinion, a business is a place where, if the boss is ill or doesn’t turn up for work one day, the work (earning capacity) of that business still continues in his or her, absence. A place of work where everyone and everything relies on the boss being there is not a business – it is simply a glorified job.

To build a business that has some worth, which might be realised one day, … Read More »

The Casting Process

Posted on February 8th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

If the treatment calls for more performers than just the artist to appear in the video, the producer hires a casting director, and sometimes when the shoot requires a large group of extras, a casting assistant. The casting team oversees the auditioning and hiring of talent and extras. They may also have to gather together the talent and extras on set, acting as their link to the production team and making sure their basic needs are met on the shoot day(s), such as assuring an easily accessible bathroom and craft (food) service. The role of the casting assistant, is to makes sure that the talent and extras do what they were hired to do in a timely manner for the sake of the production schedule.

When the treatment calls for specific casting requirements, the producer gives the casting breakdown … Read More »

Sharing is Power

Posted on February 7th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Digital marketing is anything to do with the web or mobile phones (they are increasingly important.) It allows marketers to reach people on the move; to interact with people. Your phone knows where you are through GPS. So it can suggest the best Indian restaurants within half a mile. Digital involves everything from creation of web sites. The marketing of web sites through search engines, the use of chat rooms and communities like Facebook and LinkedIn. Digital is the prime weapon of choice for anyone under 30.

Websites have become commodised. Learn the ways a dramatic web site like UK based compliance agency VisionLane varies from the standard site for a say, middle-of-the-road brand. Ask yourself how you use web sites and how they work or don’t work.

We live in an open society. Knowledge used to be power. … Read More »

Budgeting is the Producers Conceptual Work

Posted on February 4th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

If treatment writing is a director’s conceptual work, budget writing is a producer’s. Directors must visualise the video before they can write the treatment and producer must visualise how the scenes in that treatment will be shot before they can write a budget. From experience, they know how long a scene will take to shoot, what special crew people need to be hired, what rental equipment to round up, and, most importantly, how much everything costs. Now, obviously, these are all aspects of the production that the director should be familiar with as well, and talented directors come to producers already knowing how much their video will cost and with clear explanations of how they intend to shoot.

John Owen takes a hardheaded but practical approach to budgeting. “The first thought is usually that there’s never enough money to … Read More »

Theres No Rules To This

Posted on January 31st, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

I must credit my father here for always pushing me to try everything AND do it well! ‘Go on until you are stopped” he would say. So often we do things in life because everyone else has done them or it’s a safe option. But you will see that taking that line in life is a cop out; it’s the easy option.

Yet we all do it. Indeed, while our lives are full of wonderful things, we must fully accept that for so much of it, we are guilty of simply doing what other people have suggested, rather than going with our own hunches. It’s those who go with their instincts that make the breakthroughs, those who follow in their footsteps often do not. (Common sense right?)

Some of our heroes at Phink that broke the mould include; … Read More »

The Pleasure and Pain of Editing

Posted on January 30th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Don’t despair. Editing doesn’t come easily, and unless you’ve had video-editing experience and know the equipment inside and out, editing a music video for the first time is going to be a long, slow process, which makes editing a lot like writing. (Remember writing your first treatment? The pacing back and forth? The endless trips to the boom box for one more listen?) When you’re first cutting together shots – as when you first blast out a rough-draft treatment or story – your video looks terrible. It takes time to shape the sound and images into something recognizable, something that moves forward. When it begins to gel, however, nothing is more satisfying.

Old-school editors rhapsodize about the tactile pleasure of cutting on film. By holding the actual pieces of celluloid in their hands – instead of the alienated practice … Read More »

Avoid Fields Jump Fences And Play Golf

Posted on January 23rd, by Mark in Blog. 1 Comment

Every corporation, company, industry or even small office has a culture. Knowing what that culture is gives you the edge, the key to success. Knowledge is power.

The culture is how their people do things. This culture is sometimes company led, but mostly people generated; it grows organically and without plan or strategy. If you don’t know this culture, or fail to make use of it, you can end up looking foolish and are then easy to take advantage of, and not hired.

Bear in mind that around 70 percent of all dismissals are not because someone couldn’t do their job properly, but because they didn’t know the corporate culture – they didn’t fit in.

Consider this advert for a pretty big prestigious design studio – the BMD. When Bruce Mau, the owner of this company, wanted … Read More »

Never Stand Still

Posted on January 22nd, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Most people go into work each day with only one thought – getting through to going home time. During their day they will do whatever they have to, to arrive at the magic time. You won’t. You won’t stand still. Having got the job it seems enough for most people that they will just do it and thus remain static. But doing the job isn’t the end game for you – it is merely a means to the end. And the end for you is promotion, more money, and success, getting on and up, amassing the contacts and experience to set out on your own, whatever it is that is on your wish list. The job, in a way, is an irrelevance.

Yes, you have to do the work. And yes, you have to do it supremely well. But … Read More »

Your Mood Dominates The Set

Posted on January 18th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Here’s one of my favourite video production stories of all time. Peter Clarke, now a prop master on features, started in the business by working on commercials in Boston. The story begins one day on a run-of-the-mill job with youngish director. Shortly after call time, this director gets everyone together around in a circle for a little pep talk. Even at this early point in his career, Pete had mastered the cool disposition of a jaded film technician, and he was wary of any touchy-feely, pep-talk stuff: You’re there to make money, not friends, and all that. The director opens the colloquy with the old wheeze, “I know we’re not making Apocalypse Now, but let’s try to make something good here, people. Let’s not just go through the motions of doing our jobs. Let’s make today special.” Suddenly moved, Pete … Read More »

Make Sure You Have it Covered

Posted on January 17th, by Mark in Blog. No Comments

Music video acting may be mere movement, but all this movement demands the correct coverage. There’s never adequate time to reposition the camera, so you’re not always able to get different angles on the same actions. If you’re prepared for this misfortune ahead of time you realise that there are some directions you can give your subjects that will make life easier for you in the editing room. No matter the action in front of the lens, in my bizarre game of Simon Says I always hear myself saying, “Now, go back and do it the other way.” If they pick up the bottle, make sure they put it down. If they walk down the street left to right, make sure you have them walk down the street right to left.

This isn’t only about repetition. This is also a … Read More »

Insights, tips, techniques and phinking from the Phink Blog

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