For a recent affordable housing conference, I was asked to help shape messaging for a digital services with humanity presentation and workshop. I was initially asked to do a presentation based on something one of the organisers had seen me do at a customer forum, but seeing as everyone would be doing presentations, I thought why not do something a little different?
I suggested to the movers and shakers in the kick-off meeting that the way forward was to create a film which would explore the theme and act as a thought provoking segue into discussions and table exercises. After all, everyone loves a movie.
I promised them voice-over, I promised them drones, I promised them 1930s horror (I don't know where that came from). I promised them pretty much everything that would mean I didn't have to rehash my earlier presentation on stage at York Racecourse, first thing on a Wednesday morning.
With the project receiving the green light there and then (some people nodded approvingly) I set about drafting a script that Johnny Ive would be proud of.
My first draft (which Richard has removed the first paragraph from - he does that) is opposite. It's just ideas and things that sound relatively on-point at this stage, but once each line had been lovingly polished, I needed someone to do the voice-over.
To cut a long story short, I ended up doing it. I didn't want to, there just wasn't enough time to get someone who had talent to do it - so I recorded the whole thing into a handheld Zoom unit. In my car. Turns out you can get brilliantly damped audio sitting outside your house. Who knew? It does look a little odd when you're doing that though, and one take was ruined by a concerned neighbour tapping on my driver side window.
Other things which didn't make the cut were my slightly northern takes which Richard (him again) said made me sound ridiculous*. But you've got to experiment!
Once the audio was compressed, there was just the simple (ahem) task of re-sampling two piano pieces and splicing together over 100 different royalty and copyright free clips to music and to the voice-over, which I did with various tools in Adobe Audition.
Some nice film burn style transitions completed the look and I coloured the whole thing to give it a more uniform feel.
* He didn't say ridiculous, it was much more strongly worded than that.
Feedback from delegates at the conference was extremely positive and the film is due to be rolled out nationally, supporting business transformation and digital inclusion messages.