The Ministry of Defence awards employers who actively support the Armed Forces community in their workplace with their highest badge of honour, the Employer Recognition Scheme: Gold Award.
The honour is awarded regionally with a dinner & ceremony loaded with the appropriate amount of military pomp and procedure.
As well as recognising the efforts of the award winners on the night, the ERS Awards ceremony serves as a beacon to be shared across industries. This beacon carries the message of thanks to companies and their employees, sure, but also invites a wider audience to consider how they can support military reservists and cadets as they work.
The EM-RFCA have a need to promote their recognition scheme as a tool to increase awareness in industries that serve communities. The scheme, which culminates annually at the awards evening, is really a vessel to establish and maintain support for employees and their families while they take on additional roles within the MoD.
We were appointed to film the awards event, in order to share this message and showcase the event.
It is firstly worth differentiating how we excel in our filming approach from other styles and functions of video recording such events.
We fully recognise the need for live-streaming either for playback internally at the event itself and/or to be broadcast live outside of the event itself. Our specialty is instead capturing footage in a more ‘offline’ method. This allows us to plan for and construct storytelling ‘after movies’ that can encapsulate the essence of the awards.
This meant that we could offer a two person crew who could travel light and be mobile throughout the evening’s events, rather than being confined to set vantage points for the duration. This approach invites a more ‘lived-in’ style of shooting, mimicking what it was like really being there for the video’s audience.
List of things to work with us on before the event:
• Discuss the details and programme for the event. We can then draw up a plan of how we can best record and show your ceremony. This might include how many crew, number and type of cameras and what sort of access we will need. We can use this information to create a budget to work to.
• Introduce us to the events team, including catering, and the photographer! While we do offer still photography, we often work events by shooting video in tandem with long established stills photographers. A preliminary chat allows us to communicate our needs and work together on to get the best coverage, with no conflicts. Discussing your production with the event or building representatives can give us an insight into the layout of the venue and running order for the day’s festivities. All good information to make sure we are in the right place at the right time.
• Work together to make sure the practical details are set. This includes things like parking arrangements, break out periods, dress codes and event identification are all agreed and in place. This can also include how hands on or hands off you want to be. Sometimes we enjoy the freedom of being left to our own devices, after all the planning is complete. Sometimes an event requires an additional pair of hands, especially when recording interviews or Vox-pops.
Our mirrorless camera bodies with a range of lenses and tripod/gimbal supports mean we can cover a range of focal distances as well as physical distances, all adding value to the finished film. A potential pitfall of only using one camera and lens setup is that the video can look very ‘samey.’
We like to vary the framing to make a cohesive but more engaging story.
We will have discussed the deadline for you to share, release or otherwise have your video to use. Internally, we plan editing schedule’s which allow the review a proof version. From this we make final adjustments and submit the finished version to you.
In the case of the ERS awards evening, there was a demand for a relatively short turnaround. And this is where we answer the question of why after movies for awards ceremonies. The awards themselves are a mark of recognition, as described earlier. The real purpose of a film showcasing such a ceremony is to pique interest; showing grandeur or unique aspects (and therefore attraction) of your event; to spread the message by sharing the video to a wider audience; and always to carry the message of promoting the positive work done by companies and their fantastic individuals.
By engaging early and planning ahead we can streamline both the filming and editing/publishing aspects of the production.
There is often a need to provide ‘evergreen’ content from an event (footage that continues to be relevant, year after year). However, we find that releasing an after movie while the event is still fresh in attendees minds helps its reception. A video released at the right time can tap into the post event buzz and ride the press wave to the intended audience.
“This is excellent, thank you! Exactly what I had envisioned. Many thanks.”
Stewart Thorpe – Communications Manager East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association