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Lockdown Art

In every community there are people doing some amazing work that you probably don’t even know about. People who are going above and beyond every day to make the lives of people in your community a little easier. During lockdown, the work that these people do became a lot harder.

We had the pleasure of creating a film that captured the effects that Valleys Kids Art Club had on its members during lockdown. A club that, prior to lockdown, was run 3 times a week in different locations throughout the Rhondda Valley and is completely free of charge. You have access to various art supplies and are set tasks each week that allow you to explore your creative side. Once lockdown hit, this art club was at risk of not being able to run any longer but Anne, their teacher, was adamant that she would not let that happen. She decided that she would move the art club online and conduct lessons via Zoom. She personally delivered packs of supplies to their members and would hold lessons online, setting a theme and task each week for the members to create a piece of work. She even did doorstep visits to those who didn’t have internet access and would collect their work to show off to the rest of the group on their behalf.

Once lockdown ended, the art club wanted to show off the work that they had done throughout lockdown and decided to host an exhibit that documented all their hard work in its raw form. As you’ll see from the video below, there are hundreds of pieces of art work pinned to the walls of varying themes and methods.

This is where we came in, we wanted to explore what impact having this art club had during lockdown whilst simultaneously showcasing the hard work that had gone into the exhibition. While we were conducting the interviews we found that the art club had been a saving grace for a lot of the members. It had kept their minds busy during a time when there was so much happening around the world. It kept some members from feeling isolated and gave others a bit of much needed ‘me time’. We realised through this film, how much of an impact art in itself can have on an individual and once you combine that with a sense of community and family, you’re on track to help so many people from feeling alone. You could see the joy that the members we interviewed felt as they were talking about the club, even when talking about it during the lockdown stage.

We wanted to create a film that fully encapsulated everything that was discussed during the interviews. It was decided that we didn’t need to have overly complicated B-Roll or interview set ups. We wanted to make sure that the art work that this group had created was the key focal point. The work was all so colourful and expressive that it spoke volumes about the effort that had been put in to creating it.

Groups and projects like this are happening all around us, we often don’t even know they’re there but they are so important to so many people in our communities. Making films like this allows other people to find out about the projects and may encourage some people who are also feeling isolated or are looking for a new hobby or even a way to make friends to join. Some people may just appreciate the project from afar and feel encouraged to offer a similar group in their area.

You can find more information about the Valleys Kids Art Club via their website –

Art Workshops:

Soar, Penygraig – Wednesdays 10am-12pm
Penyrenglyn, Treherbert – Thursdays 10am-12pm
The Factory Porth – Thursdays 1pm-3pm

Managing a multi-video project

For the last 6 years, we’ve had the pleasure of being able to create the videos for the Welsh Government’s Youth Work Excellence Awards ceremony. The awards celebrate multiple projects and individuals within the youth work sector across the whole of Wales, often reaching up to 27 individual nominations.  Each nomination requires a 1 minute video that explains the work that they have been doing either as a group/project or as an individual as well as explore the impact that the work has on the young people who use their services. Each of these videos will then be compiled into their categories to make a full category nomination video that can be shown on the night of the awards ceremony.

Pre Production

Logistically, this project is a difficult one to manage and it requires a lot of pre production and organisational work. There are up to 27 different locations all across Wales that we need to visit in order to film the nominations which in turn means that there are a lot of people and schedules to work around.

During the pre production stage, we collect all the contact information for each of the nominations and will aim to group the nominations together by location. Despite trying to group the nominations by location, there are usually a lot of clashes with date and time availabilities, often we rely on sending groups of 2 to film in the same area at the same time. We also often have to send small teams to different areas of the country at the same time due to there being an unresolvable clash of availability.

Due to the busy schedules that we are sometimes faced with during these filming days, it’s important that we have a rough idea of who and what we are able to film during our visit to their locations. It helps us to speed up our production times and reduces the risk of people having to leave mid filming, especially as we are sometimes having to capture the young people during a small break during their day. This is why having those pre production phone calls with the nominees are crucial.

Post Production

This project requires quite a quick turnaround. We are often working through the edits whilst simultaneously still filming a number of nominees. It’s important that your editors all follow the same workflow structure with a project of this size in order to avoid confusion and to keep your project files clean and legible. We designated one editor to the initial edits this year, this allowed us to have one person working on the edits at all time, ensuring that we hit our quick turn around goals.

Each nomination category video contained up to 3 nominees films that had been compiled separately, a number of animated effects and assets and subtitling. Having one editor compile these initial films allowed them to ensure that each of the films were following their ‘tick list’ that meant each film was reaching the same stage of completion.

We adopted a marker process within our project folders, with different colour indicating the stage that the nomination categories were at. This allowed us to start spreading the work more effectively once the filming had been completed. Our other team members would know which films could be graded and which could be combined into the overall award ceremony film.

The final stage of post production was to check over the final entirely constructed award ceremony film. It was important that we didn’t miss any mistakes such as glitches, missing footage and the dreaded spelling mistakes. The final awards ceremony video must have been checked over a thousand times by the end of our post production process.


Communication is, in our opinion, one of the most important things to keep in mind when dealing with something this big. It’s vital that each member of your team knows what is happening, what’s expected of them and by what date. If nobody is on the same page it runs the risk of the whole project becoming an unorganised shambles. It’s important to delegate and set up a system that is easy to follow by each member of the team. We’ve learnt first hand that projects of this size, especially ones that celebrate things that are as wholesome as the youth work we’ve seen happening in the various corners of Wales, can be really enjoyable if you’re not stressed about the workload.

Valleys Regional Park

Style: Online/ Advert
Sector: Industry
Client: Valleys Regional Park
Title: Valleys Regional Park
Service: Full Production


How to edit with minimal stress

When it comes to the post production stage of making your video, it can become quite stressful. You’re sat in front of a computer screen with hours worth of footage and are expected to not only condense your content into a couple of minutes but to also make it coherent, capturing and creative. Oh and not to forget it has to hit the brief you gave your client perfectly. It’s hard not to get stressed when you consider all of these aspects, essentially the whole video is riding on you, because no matter how cinematically it was shot or how well conducted your interviews were, it all boils down to your construction.

Daunting right? But don’t worry there’s some easy ways to avoid stress when editing! Here are a few of my favourites –

  1. Organising your footage into bins – Having a clean project space to work within makes the world of difference, especially if there are a number of aspects to your video. For example, if you’re editing your typical promotional video, you’d have a bin for your interviews, a bin for your cutaway footage, a bin for any additional audio or add ons like a logo. Basically if you can give it a bin, give it a bin!
  2. Duplicating your sequences – This one is a must do no matter what your project is. It’s a great habit to get into especially when editing interviews, keeping your original interview structure means that our always have easy access to revisit it if needed. (Trust me, it’s always needed!)
  3. Create a to do list – Making a to do list will enable you to work through your project more effectively. Try to break your list up into segments and don’t concentrate on one aspect for too long, mix it up. That way you won’t get hung up on a certain section and you’re less likely to get distracted.
  4. Take a break – Its easy to get sucked into your project and not peel yourself off of your chair until your project is done but it’s important, for a number of reasons, to take a break during the editing process. When I say take a break I mean get up and actually leave your computer for 10 minutes, it’s good for the brain to stop itself from overthinking and stressing about things you wouldn’t normally worry about.
  5. Utilise your editing softwares organisation features – These may vary depending on the software but with Premiere features like markers and labels are a great way to keep your editing stress free. Use the markers to note any key content you may want to go back to later, this is especially useful to know when cutting interviews. The labelling feature is also great if you have a wide range of topics to be covered or a variety of different cutaways that you’d like to group together. By labelling these groups with a colour you’re able to access the stuff you want at a much quicker pace which inevitably stops the stress of sifting through mountains of footage.

Hopefully these steps will help you like they help me during the editing process because editing should be anything but stressful!

Using social media to promote your video

So you’ve gone through the process of getting a video made, all changes have been done, your final video has been delivered and you’re happy. Now the next step – utilizing the video.

We see it happen all too often, a promotional video is made but then never heard of again because the client does not know how to push their video and obtain maximum engagement from their audience. It can be difficult to market a video made to market your business or idea, but there are some basic tips and tricks out there to really help push your video and ultimately, your business.

One of the key ways to promote your video is using the thing we’re all guilty of using most. Social media. These days everybody is on their phone, tablet or laptop for the most part of their day, aimlessly scrolling through a variety of timelines waiting for something to catch their eye. That may sound a little sad to think that people are so engrossed in their technology that they can’t pay attention to anything else, but it’s great exposure for you. Chances are you already have a Facebook or Twitter account, and if you’re really fancy, an Instagram. These are all easy platforms to really push your video to your audience.

Facebook in particular is a great way to promote your video, it really is as simple as uploading a video to your page! If you include a short catchy caption and good video thumbnail, people will inevitably click on it. Don’t forget that if a video is directly uploaded to Facebook you also have the ‘auto-play’ option meaning you wouldn’t even need people to directly choose to watch your video, it would just have to appear on their timeline!

(Another thing to consider when sharing your video online is to use ‘tags’, the more tags you use the more likely you are to appear in search engines such as Google – and therefore are more likely to reach a wider audience)

You may have noticed that Facebook have introduced a ‘Boost Post’ option to your pages’ posts. This means that for a small and variable fee (depending on the amount of exposure you want), Facebook will allow you to choose a variety of options to target a specific audience, and your video will start to appear on their timeline. Just remember, it doesn’t have to go viral to be successful.

Facebook is also a great platform to promote your video on because of it’s accessibility, as I’m sure you know, commenting on, liking and sharing a post on Facebook is done with one click of a button. It’s mobile friendly and on the go and if you’re consistent with your posting and use things like the ‘boost post’ options, your audience engagement will rocket and your overall page will likely do better.

It’s important to remember to share your content across all of your accounts including your website if you have one, even if it’s just a snippet of the video followed by a link to the full content. (As you would have to do with Twitter or Instagram in some cases) Be consistent with your posting, finding ways to incorporate your video into a new post, you could even include things like a blog post or other previous content you may have that’s related to this new video.

Being as active as you can with your online presence, as time consuming as it may seem, does pay off.

Things to remember when preparing for an interview

The most important thing to remember when preparing to be interviewed is to relax. We are here to help you convey your key messages and put across any key information you may want to include in your video. The more relaxed you are, the easier this is. People often remember and convey information more clearly when they aren’t in a panicked frame of mind.

In some instances you will have had the opportunity to see the list of questions we aim to ask, don’t worry if not, we often adapt our questions based on your previous answers. The key thing to remember in this instance is to not over prepare. This may sound silly, as you may ask can you really be over prepared for an interview? But trust us when we say that writing scripted answers for the set of questions we have sent makes for a very awkward and stiff interview.

People don’t convey emotion when reading off of a piece of paper and often become flustered when they trip on their words that they have so carefully prepared. They’ll often lose their camera eye line and to the audience, that can make you seem unconfident and unsure of your own thoughtfully constructed answers. People respond better to a conversational interview, and we as interviewers can recognize areas that could be elaborated on further, rephrased or condensed. Our advice to you would be to read our questions and just note some of the key messages and points you’d like to get across, you can elaborate on these during the conversation and often new things will come to mind when the conversation is flowing with us.

Another important thing to remember is not to worry about being ‘perfect’. You will inevitably stumble on words, overelaborate a point, repeat yourself, mispronounce a simple word, muddle the order of your sentence and be faced with a whole lot of ‘umm’. It doesn’t matter. This is the reason we have the editing process, any little snags can be cut out and your points can be condensed and reconstructed for better structure, anything that wouldn’t be able to be fixed in post we’ll ask you to redo. Don’t be afraid to stop and take a moment, or to restart your sentence when you lose your train of thought, it happens to the best of us! Have patience with yourself and take your time, and if you get stuck our job is to help you.

Overall, the most important thing to remember is to just be natural. When natural, all of the above will just settle in and it’ll make for a great interview. Think of us as friends that you’re explaining the topic that you’re passionate about to, you wouldn’t worry about tripping on your words or losing your train of thought. Having a camera pointed at you shouldn’t change that. You have been chosen to convey the key messages for your video for a reason, you know the topic and the answers! All you need to do is relax.