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Hack This Video

Posted On: March 2, 2014

When I was 11, my friends and I were obsessed with building model cars. Yes, we were total geeks.

There was nothing like saving up to get a cool Mustang model, a box filled with hundreds of plastic parts that you’d paint and glue together. But finishing a project always brought mixed feelings. My finished cars were never as good as my friend G’s. Same thing would happen to Lefty. Then something cool happened.

Hack This Model

Lefty would leave a new model sitting on a shelf for a couple of days, and then take it down and start cutting it apart so that he could build a new car. He’d even incorporate scrap pieces into his creations. The results were weird and amazing. G might have built all of the beautiful models, but Lefty’s were way cooler. Basically his models mirrored the whole Hot Rod movement of the 50s and 60s.  Kind of our version of Hacking 101.

Not sure why, but I had that thought after watching one of our latest videos for Global Child Health, showcasing their work around the world.

A Producer’s Nightmare

Originally our plan was to film in the Caribbean & Africa, but that option was pulled because of scheduling and budgetary considerations.

Everyone would like to start a project fresh, but sometimes that’s simply not possible, so the next option was to incorporate a limited selection of existing interviews and put them together into a compelling video.  Sometimes with this option, you’re left to scramble, trying to pull together a mix of elements and footage shot in different formats from different sources. The challenge is to pull everything together into a coherent whole – which can be a producer’s nightmare.

Enter Graeme and Josh, our creative director and animator, respectively. Their idea for Global Child Health was to create an animated video, communicating key information via text and narration, and then using the existing interviews as support material.

The result is a beautiful and compelling video.

Hack This Video

In any video production, I’m always surprised at the amount of great material that ends up on the cutting room floor. While that material might not work in the video it was originally intended for, it can still be valuable. Log it and store it, because you never know when that material may be useful. While everyone loves to start with a clean slate, it’s actually a fun challenge to start with a mix of elements to produce something spectacular. Along the way you start to find hidden gems that were cut the first time around.

You just have to take a deep breath and tap into your inner hacker.

 

He used to write, direct, shoot, edit … started Q in 2000 and grew the business so successfully that his talented staff took over all of his roles. Now Richard provides his wisdom on his blog Picture This!, plays Angry Birds, and oh yeah -- he juggles about 20 projects at once. Get to know Richard a little better ...

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