Page 1

Making videos for websites ❑ Behind the shoot: Westfield

Westfield: “fancy a spin?”




Photography: Robin Crowshaw Model: Vicky Make-up: Jeanne Frith

Hello! Time is just flying and now we’re into the second edition of16:9 magazine from Aquila Video. Unbelievably it’s also six years since the birth of YouTube - an event which was to change the access and delivery of videos for ever! What an impact that was to ultimately have on our websites and hail the incredible opportunities to inform our audiences more quickly and more directly. Aquila Video makes videos for business and even today the easiest and most inexpensive way to stream your company videos to your website ... is from YouTube! In our ‘behind the shoot’ story we’ll show you a video we made just a few months before YouTube was born and where we went to shoot it. Have a great year!

Aquila Video is a branding style of Aquila Digital Limited Robin Crowshaw Managing Director

For all those aspiring videographers please - use a tripod!

In fact unless you are extremely accomplished in hand held controlled movement style shooting, something which is suitable only in the right style of video - the type you see on TV in news reporting or OB interviews etc., use a tripod (or if you’re lucky a Steadicam) whenever and wherever you can. If you’re trying to do more than quick holiday clips of the kids - here’s a good place to start. ‘Baby’ cameras like the Canon HV series, the kind you can hold in the palm of your hand (cracking cameras - we use them professionally too) become a serious piece of kit when you pop it on a mini tripod. The one we use is the German made Hama. It comes with loads of accessories and extends in all directions. I bought this a couple of years ago while visiting a chum in Cornwall - it cost less than £20! And for us it also doubles as a mic stand! But if you have something like the size of the Canon XH series (a bit

larger than a house brick) you’ll need something a little more serious. We're a small team and therefore have to keep a tight rein on equipment, each purchase has to be assessed in detail and more often than not has to be very versatile. The tripods we use for the larger cameras are no exception - and believe me they take a real battering. In and out of the vehicles, one minute in offices and on factory floors, the next - half way up a mountain jammed precariously in a clump Continued next page of rocks!

fluid heads behind the shoot!

Location, location! Westfield: “fancy a spin?”

Our Manfroto tripods are used for both stills and video - so we change the tripod heads accordingly

Follow this link for a ‘work in progress’ clip of a typical panning sequence using a tripod with a fluid head.

Manfroto 501 ‘floating’ or ‘fluid’ heads - great for our purpose. With practice they enable a really controlled pan and tilt motion with adjustable pressure screws. The screws tighten movement against bearings so that with a finger tip pushing against the handle - in any direction - you meet resistance when pushing harder. Again practice makes perfect because it’s noticeable if you inadvertently start to slow down or relaxing the pressure. Of course, as with all things there will be a price to pay, but if you are looking more seriously at making videos then don’t keep doing it like an amateur. In my introduction I referred to YouTube and the access it’s given all of us - pros and amateurs alike. But it’s amazing how many out there decide to show their products on YouTube in ‘home made’ videos by not preparing enough or taking the trouble to use even the cheapest and most basic of tripods - so for the rest of us (who could even be potential clients) have an experience like looking over someone’s shoulder, trying to read his news paper while riding a horse! And then - someone discovers the zoom button! The answer is - don’t try to be too clever with the camera - fix it in one position and let the subject do the action - then try another angle and so on. Making your video come to life and look more professional will be in the art of editing ... but that’s another story.

Our Choice

LOCATION LOCATION Over the years we've been lucky enough to travel to some wonderful parts of the world for either corporate issues, photographic assignments and now, of course - video. Yet it always plays on my mind that here in the UK we have some of the most breathtaking and photogenic locations you'll find anywhere - and all within a few of hours drive from our studio here in the West Midlands. So - in this ‘behind the shoot’ story we're going to take you to 'the land of song' ......... Wales.

A few years back we were to produce a promotional video on specialist sportscars Westfield. At that time Westfield had a number of short videos of the cars zipping round various race tracks. But we needed something which encompassed what we determined to be a major selling factor and that is the feeling of freedom. Perhaps it's a boy thing, but driving around country lanes up and down dale - with the top off and your bum not much more than 2 inches above the ground, really is good fun - whatever your age. So we thought - let's just go for a drive!

No special effects or ‘bells and whistles’. This is not Mercedes, BMW or Jaguar and our budget would have hardly bought a set of tyres for any of the above! What you see is what you get and what you get is a perfect fit into a niche market. This is a big boy’s toy - and off the race track it is indeed ‘something for the weekend’.

The specific locations we chose for the early autumn shoot were Lake Vyrnwy (B4393), The Dinas Pass to Dolgeleu (A470) and a magical lake behind Harlech and Llanbedr (A496) called Cym Bychan. But why not let the video tell the story. The following images - using Google earth, trace the precise locations to relative sequences.

Meeting Point My colleague Derek and I met driver Steve with the red Westfield at the dam on Lake Vyrnwy. Here we plotted the course of the first day over a welcome morning coffee.

more next page

Cym Bychan

In order of appearance - follow this link to the movie (opening has long ‘fluid’ head pan) Cym Bychan

Lake Vyrnwy

Dinas Pass

Dinas Pass

Cym Bychan

Cameras Video originally shot on Canon XL1s at 4:3 later re-cut to 16:9 ratio. Stills were shot on an Olympus. Tape stock - Sony. Editing programme is FCP and music sound track created in Logic Pro. All software on Apple Macs.


Another visit - for auto shots. Of course the shots were tweaked through Photoshop, but in truth not that much. Wales has a climate which can change within minutes. A bright, fresh morning can quickly change and bring a heavy sky, the terrain can take on a dramatic, almost menacing backdrop - mysterious yet compelling. Cym Bychan was formed through glacial activity and is said to contain some of the oldest rocks on the planet.

Cym Bychan

Camera: Olympus


Of course - we were not the first to discover Cym Bychan as a photographic and video gem. A number of film units have been here including those for an episode of Dr Who! But we just had to use it in the opening and closing sequences of our own main company video presentation for Aquila Digital Limited. Goodbye for now Cym Bychan, but I’m sure we’ll be back!

Our Choice

Aquila Digital Limited

Suite 201, Sunbeam Studios, Sunbeam Street, Wolverhampton WV2 4PF

01902 716433

16:9 Aquila Video Magazine 02  

16:9 is a magazine which features case history stories and notes behind the making of some of our business videos. It will also feature from...