Nick Francis

Nick Francis
Nick is Chairman of Casual Films. He co-founded the company in 2006 following a stint at the BBC. As a director/producer he won lots of awards for his work internationally, including the prestigious IVCA Best Director Gold. Nick spends his (working) time thinking about how to make Casual the best production company our clients could possibly imagine. He is a keen snowboarder, photographer and cyclist. He lives in California with his family and usually doesn’t talk about himself in the third person. Usually.
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The Five Phases of Video Production

Posted by Nick Francis
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There's so much noise online it takes more than a smartphone and the click of a recording button to produce video content that stands out in congested web traffic. 300 hours of video are uploaded and over 4 million videos are watched every minute on YouTube. That adds up to an unbelievable 6 billion hours of video that are consumed every day on just one major digital platform.

If you are serious about capitalising on video content to boost awareness, engagement, leads and sales; it’s important that you pay careful attention to all five phases of the video production process. Yes, traditionally there have been three phases - preproduction, production, post-production - but when you consider how important strategy development is at the beginning and distribution is at the end; we prefer to look at them as distinct phases.

SO, wHAT ARE THE 5 PHASES OF VIDEO PRODUCTION?

A full video production service take you from conceptualisation to completion in the following five phases:

Phase 1: Strategic development

  • video marketing strategy
  • content goals
  • brand guidelines

Phase 2: Pre-production - planning and coordination

  • content strategy
  • content goals
  • project scope
  • budget
  • timeline
  • story and script creation
  • talent scouting
  • equipment sourcing
  • location scouting

Phase 3: Production - creative execution

  • set up sound and lighting
  • primary photography
  • B-roll capture
  • voiceover recordings

Phase 4: Post-production - video editing to final product

  • sound mixing
  • visual effects
  • video editing
  • final delivery for distribution

Phase 5: Distribution

  • distribution
  • optimisation

Looking for a video production company in London?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


PHASE 1: STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT

Strategic development ensures that the video content communicates the right message to your target audience to maximise reach and impact. It’s important that video content supports your brand’s positioning in the marketplace and resonates with your customers with the end goal being to generate authentic leads, boost sales and get maximum return on your video production investment.


HOW TO DEVELOP A VIDEO MARKETING STRATEGY

A video marketing strategy sets out the plan of action to integrate engaging video content in the overall marketing strategy. Video content is used to build trust and customer rapport, raise awareness, promote a brand, generate leads and boost sales.

There are 8 steps to developing a video marketing strategy for your brand:

Step One: Understand your target audience

The crux here is to understand your video target audience well enough to know what content resonates with them and how they consume video content. In other words, what channels are they more likely to be on and what format do they respond to best.

It’s a good idea to invest in analytics and marketing metrics which measure the effectiveness of video campaigns across various channels, examine what works or doesn’t work, how the digital marketing platforms have evolved and uncover trends and insights that point in a new direction.

Step Two: Establish your video marketing goals

What are you trying to achieve with your video marketing campaign? Is it required to build brand awareness, educate and inform, motivate and inspire, drive traffic to your website or generate authentic sales leads? This determines what you say, how you say it, where you say it and how much money you spend.

A video campaign that is designed with a clear goal in mind will be far more effective than one that isn’t. Video content with a distinctive purpose that’s distributed and optimised effectively will give you a good return on your production investment.

  • What is your emotional goal?

Trust, peace-of-mind and excitement or fear, mistrust and apprehension… this allows you to emotionally engage with your customers. Video content that resonates emotionally with your target audience is the best type of video to produce.

  • What is your physical goal?

What do you want your customer to do? Tell a friend, share the video, open a link to a webpage, register for a webinar, make a call to the company, buy the product… this is known as a “call to action” and is the ultimate goal of any video marketing campaign.

Step Three: Check for brand consistency

It’s very important that your video content compliments your brand strategy. The video message and its creative style, tone and manner needs to be consistent with the brand across all platforms; from print and email to your website and social media channels.

What you say and how you say it in a video must stay true to your brand’s positioning. In other words, the place that the brand occupies in the minds of your customers and how it stands apart from its competitors.

Step Four: Set a realistic video production budget

Don’t overspend or underspend on your video production. What you spend depends on your content goals. Throwing ‘money at it’ won’t necessarily guarantee the video campaign will be a success; at the same time, underwhelming your target audience is a waste of money and a missed opportunity if you don’t get the ‘call to action’ you desire.

Your video budget needs to partner perfectly with your video goals. This goes hand-in-hand with understanding your video consumer; what digital channels you’ll find them on, how they like to be spoken to and how they consume video content. Only then can you decide how much you need to spend to create the type of video you need.

 Step Five: Choose your digital channels

Facebook probably pops up first when you think of video marketing and even though it’s the biggest digital marketing channel in the world, it isn't the only one. You can’t say for sure which digital channel(s) is best for your target audience until you understand them well and how they consume video content.

Choose a digital marketing channel(s) that fits well with your video marketing goals. The four best marketing platforms to consider are:

Your own network

Mining leads from your existing network is a powerful place to start. Send video content to your current database that is relevant and engaging. The ‘call to action’ should get them to click through to your webpage where you can capture their information and your sales team follow up on the lead; or the person makes a phone call to the company, direct to someone waiting to respond to the customer’s enquiry.

Corporate video blogs (vlogs) on websites are highly effective. They allow you to emotionally engage with your viewer and paint a visual picture where written content on webpages can be tedious to consume.

Social media platforms

Top of mind is Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat; whatever suits your content strategy best. Optimise properly to break through the video congestion and grow your video presence organically.

Paid advertising

Paid ads are one way to give your video content a significant boost. This includes Google AdWords and AdSpend. Paid ads is where video distributers pay for their video content to show up on the first page every time a user searches on the relevant keywords.

Content marketing takes time to build and optimise naturally. Paid advertising is the short-cut to super boosting what you hope to achieve in the long run with organic rankings, but it can be expensive in long run.

Step Six: Set up a system to capture leads

Generating leads is the primary goal of content marketing. In this instance, content is broadcast through a video. Consider setting up an email gate because this method of capturing leads follows the content wherever it is shared on various social media platforms.

Basically, gated content means a visitor must provide an email address in order to receive something valuable in exchange. The key is to encourage the viewer to enter an email address as part of the ‘call for action’. Someone who is willing to give you their personal information (name, contact number and/or email) is a genuine lead.

It’s essential to determine the best time and place to use email gates to generate leads. Email gates or any other method of capturing personal information can make viewers suspicious and are sometimes off-putting; chasing your viewers away, rather than engaging with them.

 Step Seven: Distribute and optimise your video content

Videos need to be distributed to the right channels and optimised properly in order to be viewed by the right people and to generate authentic leads. If you understand SEO (search engine optimisation), you know that optimisation is extremely fluid; the search algorithms that Google and YouTube use change constantly. You need to keep up with current optimisation trends to stay ahead of your competitors.

Search optimisation uses tactical methods to drive ‘first page rankings’ on search engines such as Google. Examples include quality content, backlinks, custom thumbnails, captions and popular tags, a compelling ‘call to action’ and relevant keywords in the description and title. The goal is to make your video content search friendly so your target audience can find your brilliantly-made video.

The most important element of video optimisation is understanding the role of titles and meta-descriptions. These incorporate keywords that customers enter into the search bar on Google, Facebook or YouTube to find what they’re looking for. They’re also known as ‘search queries’.

A video transcript is another effective method of boosting your search prospects. It’s where you do the hard work for Google and YouTube by extracting the content which is naturally scattered with keywords that your target market searches on. You stand a better chance of Google and YouTube qualifying and ranking your video content if you alert them to the context of the content.

 Step Eight: Monitor how the marketing strategy performs and adjust as necessary

Keep track on your video’s performance and change any element that is not working as well as it should be. Your video marketing strategy needs to be timely, relevant, memorable and optimised if you want to see a return on your investment in full video production services.

It’s wise to invest time and money in social media analysis, using advanced technology such as Google Analytics and YouTube Analytics. Learn to identify video marketing trends and find out who is watching your video, how they are consuming the content and whether this is translating to lead generation and business profits.

Video-based analytics provide you with valuable information on how long the target audience spends watching your video; in other words, the average viewer’s attention span. Your video may be too short, slow to get to the point or is not engaging. Monitoring your audience’s digital consumption patterns will help you tweak current videos and do a better job at creating new ones through a professional video production agency.


Looking for a video production company in New York?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


PHASE 2: PRE-PRODUCTION

The pre-production phase sets the groundwork for the production phase. This is when the planning, research and problem-solving happens to ensure the filming process runs smoothly and on time.

The production phase typically deals with:

  • video production brief
  • content goals
  • scope of project
  • creative vision
  • final budget
  • project timeline
  • scheduling
  • storyboard creation
  • script writing
  • interview questions
  • talent scouting
  • casting
  • equipment requirements
  • location scouting
  • site visits
  • scheduling
  • graphic concepts
  • wardrobe planning
  • equipment planning

PHASE 3: PRODUCTION

This is the fun part of video production when all the research and planning comes together to create the perfect video for your target audience. A professional video producer will translate your video content goals into a visual masterpiece.

The production phase typically deals with:

  • setting up sound, lighting and video equipment
  • a-roll footage
  • b-roll footage
  • interviews
  • voiceover recordings
  • supporting graphics

The difference between a-roll and b-roll footage?

A-roll footage is the primary raw footage used to create the final video. It’s an old-fashioned term that was more relevant to big screen and television film-making when raw material was captured on celluloid film.

B-roll footage provides supplementary material that is usually gathered by a separate team. It includes footage from stock libraries that provides supporting imagery and cutaway shots to expand upon the video storyline.

B-roll footage is particularly useful for documentary videos. It’s also used to capture behind-the-scenes footage which is used in a preview videos, when required.


PHASE 4: POST-PRODUCTION

The producer and editor work together in the post-production phase to create their magic. The video production team supports them behind-the-scenes.

The post-production phase typically deals with:

  • music selection
  • sound effects
  • visual effects
  • colour correction
  • audio sweetening
  • supporting graphics
  • interview transcripts
  • video editing

The post-production phase takes the raw footage to ‘first edit’ to be provisionally approved and any changes made; to the final approved copy which is ready to be distributed and optimised.


Looking for a video production company in Los Angeles?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


PHASE 5: DISTRIBUTION & OPTIMISATION

Distribution and optimisation is essential to get a return on your investment. The research, planning and beautiful filming doesn’t count for anything if your target audience doesn’t find you in the intense clutter of videos on the web.

Today, video content is created for its marketing purposes but more importantly, for its SEO purposes. SEO means search engine optimisation and is the process a company goes through to ensure its website ranks high on the search engines for relevant search words and phrases. The ultimate goal is ‘first page’ ranking on the three biggest search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo.

Google loves video content. There’s no doubt that videos boost online visibility, drive more traffic to webpages and increase website rankings on search engines. This is why Phase 5 of the video production process is so important.


What is targeted distribution?

Targeted distribution is the task of placing video content where your target audience will find it and consume it. The distribution strategy is a critical element in the video production process and it needs to be strategic and selective.

Thorough research helps you understand what your target audience wants to see, where they want to see it and how they want to see it. Clever distribution puts your video in front of the people who matter.

These are your distribution options:

Your own business resources

Company website

Customer database

Instore/inhouse presentations

Blogs

Corporate marketing material

 

Social media platforms

Facebook

YouTube

Twitter

Instagram

Snapchat

WhatsApp

 

Public relations tactics

Press releases

News sites

Exhibitions

Product launches

WHAT IS OPTIMISATION?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) are the tricks of the trade used to make sure Google notices your online content, approves of it and recommends it to readers. You want your webpage to be on the first page the comes up for a search query and that can only be achieved by producing content that is relevant, engaging and authoritative.

You can pay to rank on the first page (paid adverts using AdWords and AdSense) or you can use professional optimisation techniques to rank organically, in other words by natural progression.

 

HOW TO USE VIDEOS TO BOOST SERP RANKINGS

SERP means Search Engine Results Pages. These are the pages that Google displays in response to a search query. Everyone wants to appear on the first page but it’s not easy. Uploading a video to your webpage does not boost your rankings; you need professional SEO tactics to beat millions of webpages to achieve the hallowed first page ranking.

Videos that achieve high rankings on SERP have the following characteristics:

  • the video content keeps them engaged so they watch the video for longer and don’t ‘bounce’ to the next video
  • the viewer acts on the ‘call to action’ and ‘clicks through’ to the website
  • viewers share it which tells Google it is relevant and useful
  • viewers link it to another webpage which tells Google it is authoritative content

Looking for a video production company in San Francisco?

Discuss your project with a producer at Casual Films


IN SUMMARY

We hope that this guide has shown you that there is a bit more to the video production process than you might have initially thought. That said - it really isn't as complicated as some companies would have you believe - particularly if you have a video production company at your side who knows what they're talking about. The web is heavily congested with video content and it’s only going to get worse, which is why the strategy development phase in the beginning and the distribution and optimisation phase at the end will only continue to grow in importance.

Don't be daunted by the video production process - employ the services of a professional film production company in New York or wherever you are based. Starting off on the right foot and ending at the right place will save you time and money and ensure you get a good return on your investment.

Casual Films is a full-service video production agency that partners with your business to place the best video in front of the people that need to see it.  Whatever you're trying to achieve, we'd like you to think of Casual Films as guardians of your video marketing strategy, making sure that your video project achieves exactly what you need it to. 


Whatever you're trying to achieve take a moment to consult our easy to follow guide to writing briefs which will make your video more engaging, memorable and ultimately effective.

Topics: Production process, Being a better commissioner

The Better Video Podcast: Creating an Employer Brand Content Channel

Posted by Nick Francis
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Denise Feldman, Director, Content Marketing for Employer Brand and Communication at Marriott International joins Nick to discuss: 

  • The first steps to build a content channel
  • How constraints lead to creativity
  • Using iteration to find content that works
  • Measuring success
  • How to make content that really works
  • How different types of content complement each other
  • How do you get work seen by the right people
  • The most important lesson Denise has learnt

And much much else besides...

The Films
In the order they're discussed:


1. Marriott Campaign Overview

 


2. How to Apply for a Job at Marriott

 


3. Living Our Core Values - Sheila



Register to take part in future interviews here.

You can watch the video recording of the conversation.

About Denise
Denise is a marketing and employer brand professional, with more than 25 years' experience developing insight-based marketing and communications to attract, engage, and retain top talent for Fortune 500 companies.

Her career includes a variety of roles developing employer brand strategies and marketing for global hospitality leader Marriott International. Currently, Denise leads Marriott’s employment content development and marketing team, creating content that inspires job seekers and associates to engage with Marriott, and share the company story and people-first culture. She knows Marriott associates are the company’s best brand ambassadors. And they’re eager to share their stories – through video, she gives them the opportunity.

About Casual
Casual Films’ clients choose us because we employ remarkably good staff, who are extremely competent and a pleasure to work with. Our proprietary production method has been honed over nearly 10,000 films for major brands including RedBull, Adobe, IBM, Rolls-Royce, Autodesk, Facebook and Marriott and many others. We handle all aspects of the process from consultancy to filming, animation to distribution. We have studios in London, New York, LA and San Francisco, and a global network of trusted filmmakers ready to go.

Please get in touch - we'd love to talk to you.

The New Fire: Harness the Power of Video for Your Business

Check out Nick's book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1912009048

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Being a better commissioner, How-to, Content Strategy, Brands as broadcasters, Culture & Values, Case Study

Case Study: GoDaddy: Celebrating Entrepreneurs

Posted by Nick Francis
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This year we've traveled across the US profiling entrepreneurs for GoDaddy. Highlighting people who are following their passions and carving their own path, these 2-3 minute mini-documentaries showcase inspiring stories from GoDaddy's customer base. These stories are then pushed out on their YouTube, Instagram, and other social media platforms.

This campaign is cultivating a community of people who are committed to the small-business economy and inspiring others to pursue their own side-hustles and follow their dreams.

COSUBE: The Space Bringing Together Coffee, Surfing and Beer

Alex Morris saw the Portland surfing community start to grow, and with it an opportunity to create a new kind of space. A home base for folks who’re up before the sun to grab their wetsuit and head for the shore. A spot not only for surfers, but anyone who wants to kick back and enjoy a hot cup of coffee or cold beer. Enter COSUBE, a shop that carries everything for the PNW lifestyle, from surfboards and wetsuits to casual tees and hoodies. More than just a retail clothing store, it’s also a full-service surf shop where surfers can buy or rent the stuff they need for a day at the beach. COSUBE’s in-house shaping bay also gives locals the chance to watch the art of board making, or even opt to take lessons and craft their own. As more Portlanders discover a love for the outdoors, COSUBE is ready to welcome them with open arms, tasty drinks and all the surfing gear they need.

Learn more about COSUBE...


Meet the Man Dedicated to Maintaining the Legendary Hattie’s Hat

A frequent visitor to the Ballard neighborhood, Max first got a job at the well-known Hattie’s Hat washing dishes and bartending. He found he loved visiting with the locals, asking folks what they wanted to drink. In 2009, Max got word that the current Hattie’s Hat owners were looking to sell the legendary spot. Eager to save one more old Seattle bar, he insisted they sell to him. Today, Max is on a mission to maintain the space’s vibrant history—from the nicest local saloon for loggers and mill workers in 1904, to a more formal restaurant in the 1950s, to finally transforming into the iconic Hattie’s Hat. As the city continues to change, Max is more determined than ever to keep the legacy of Hattie’s Hat alive and maintain the tradition of old Seattle bars.

Learn more about Max...


 

Gabe Smith’s Inspirational Journey from the Streets to the Stage

Envision. Believe. Obtain. These are the words that carried Gabe through his darkest times. After a hard childhood, Gabe ended up homeless, sleeping in his car and on park benches. By all accounts, Gabe had nothing—but that’s when he discovered he had everything he needed to survive. Every day, despite his grim circumstances, he typed out his thoughts in the Notes app on his iPhone, writing his techniques for overcoming the obstacles life had thrown his way and giving advice to others facing battles of their own. As the words and memos started to string together, Gabe came up with the idea for a self-help book to use his story and experiences to inspire others. He purchased a domain and built his website on his phone at work using GoDaddy’s Website Builder, creating a space to showcase his book to customers, as well as his motivational speaking and one-on-one coaching services. Gabe knows what it means to envision, believe and obtain and is on a mission to show the world they can do it too.

Learn more about Gabe...


GoDaddy: Cubs the Poet is Out to Show the World Poetry Still Matters

Cubs is breathing new life into a classic form of art: poetry. What started as reciting rhymes on the street became a business when he recognized a demand for custom poems. Cubs draws on the vibrant energy of the New Orleans community to craft pieces that allow him to meet people where they are and help them evolve. Written on an old school typewriter, his poems weave together emotions with words to deeply connect with people’s innermost thoughts and feelings. Most recently, Cubs launched his own publishing company to produce a book and help other poets and writers share their work with the world.

Learn more about Cubs...


GoDaddy: Whitney Mitchell is Capturing the Beauty of New Orleans Through the Eyes of it's People

After a career-ending track injury at LSU, Whitney knew she had more to offer the world. She knew she had a story to tell. Picking up her camera, she became dedicated to capturing the beauty of her friends, showcasing the vibrant culture of New Orleans right along with it. This passion led to Twomacks, a brand rooted in music, art, clothes and kicks and a celebration of all her city has to offer. As her business grew, she began connecting with folks deeply rooted in New Orleans culture, tapping into something special to paint a picture of the city’s flamboyant spirit. Through her content, Whitney highlights the characters and views that make this buzzing New Orleans community so unique.

Learn more about Whitney...


 

GoDaddy: Danielle Smith is Designing the Bag that Every Music Producer Needs

After graduating from FIT, Danielle Smith found herself immersed in a community of musicians, singers and artists. Music producer and friend SKI BEATZ asked her to create a bag that could carry his MPC, which became the first SOUNbag prototype. SOUNbag allows creatives to pack up their equipment and carry their studio on the go.

Check out the design studio of SOUNbag founder Danielle Smith and get the scoop on how her company got its start, right here!


Is your company making great stories happen? If you want to share them in the best way possible you should get in touch with one of our team. Our experienced producers who will be happy to bring them to life with you. Make a no obligation enquiry by email or right here.

Topics: Explain or promote products and services, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Production process, Talking head, Case Study

Case Study: RB: Are you Listening?

Posted by Nick Francis
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We get to work on a wide range of work at Casual. It's great when we get to produce a piece of work which stands for something that we believe in. It's even better when we get the opportunity to be really creative in producing it. That is what happened with this film for multinational consumer goods company RB. To give the project a real cherry on top we were over the moon to win a Gold Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Film Awards.

THE BRIEF

Produce a video for social distribution about RB’s 'Reduce, Reuse, Replace and Recycle' commitment to plastics. Through that commitment they aim to remove or reduce plastic packaging wherever possible. They are also investing in research into alternative materials that can replace its use.

So the film should reinforce RB's commitment on plastics, in the framework of their purpose
- Generate interest on their commitment on plastics
- Drive behavioural change
- Create connections with stakeholders and boost conversations

It style is should reflect RB’s identity (confident, direct and simple). Have a human element and be factual, but emotive.

RB is inspired by a vision of the world where people are healthier and live better. RB invests in innovative solutions for healthier lives and happier homes. "Everyone has a role to play. A cleaner world is everyone's responsibility.“

THE SOLUTION

RB: The Planet is Speaking: Are you Listening

A thought-provoking and emotive sound-design led film that compels the viewer to take action.

In this simple yet visually powerful film, we will capture moving tableaux of beautiful landscapes and evocative natural elements, and create matching soundscapes for each tableau, out of non-recycled plastic.

It is not until later in the film that we reveal that these ambient nature sounds have all been made out of plastic products - straws, water bottles, plastic bags - by Foley artists in a studio. The viewer is led by on screen text that sets up the story, challenges them to really listen to the plastics problem and join in the commitment for a cleaner world.

The emotive power of this film starts with the beautiful and evocative natural images we are seeing, and ultimately builds until the final reveal.

It’s time to listen to our Planet.

 

RESULTS

"Sometimes in corporate life you get to work on a project that can really make a difference and means a lot to you personally. Are you listening? The RB film we made with our friends at Casual Films is one of those projects. It outlines how we see the issue of plastics at RB, and encourages others to take action too. And all in 90 seconds! We’re very proud of it - and tonight have another reason to be, as we won a Gold Dolphin at the Cannes Corporate Film Awards. Watch the film, share the film, and most of all - let’s all do our bit to reduce plastics.

- Jo Osborn – VP Internal Communications & Corporate Brand, RB

“It seems I am already late sharing it, but I really want to say how proud I am of this film about plastics and how strongly I believe in it. Since the first meeting about the concept I have had goose bumps about its impact. Today we are celebrating it in Cannes with a Gold Dolphin Cannes Corporate Film Awards. It was a lot of work, but worth all the reviews and discussions!”

- Federica Di Persio – Corporate Brand Manager, RB

 

AWARDS

The Planet is Talking: Are you Listening also won a Gold Dolphin for Environmental Issues and Concerns at the 2019 Cannes Dolphins Corporate Film awards.

Cannes Dolphins RB Are You Listening Award Win


Whatever you're trying to achieve with your video project, the most important step you take is the first one. Get off on the right foot with our no nonsense guide to writing a really effective brief. You can download it here.

If you would like to discuss a project with one of our team of experienced producers - no salespeople - please drop us a line here. We look forward to helping you make your next project the best yet.

 

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Production process, How-to, Case Study

Sustainability at Casual: Securing our Future

Posted by Nick Francis
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We are living at the best time ever to be alive. It can sometimes be hard to remember that though. With the huge technological and industrial advances that humans have made, our impact on our planet has got more and more profound. Concern around this grows by the day and a desire to do something about it is significant for any rational person.

This puts a business with a multinational footprint and global ambitions in a bit of a bind. How do we continue to build a business which delivers for our clients, and provides security and invigoration for our staff, and safeguards our planet for future generations? How do we use the amazing opportunities we've been given to minimise our impact and to return some of our good fortune to wider world?

Morgan Stanley - Kiribati

This film we produced with Wall St Journal for Morgan Stanley highlights the one of the earliest victims of the climate crisis in clear terms.

With this in mind we have set a series of goals to minimise and mitigate our impact. To begin with though we wanted to share where we're at from an environmental and social point of view. This includes an audit of our impact for the financial year 2018/19. These numbers are our best calculations and are meant as a yardstick for us to refer to to judge how we're doing year to year - this is a work in process which we plan to add to and improve over the coming months and years. While this might make for a bit of a dry blog - we wanted to share it all here in the interests of transparency and accountability.

We should add that the impacts detailed below are from our internal operations - not from project work that we have undertaken on the behalf of our clients. We are have made some changes to our creative process to help our clients to understand and minimise the impact of their projects. 

1. Environmental

 

Travel

UK internal

 

No of Journeys

Miles travelled

Car

3

276

Taxi

57

906

Flight

7

19330

Rail

16

2232

Total

83

 

 

US internal

 

No of Journeys

Miles travelled

Car

6

460

Taxi

256

2690

Flight

47

229741

Rail

20

5577

Total

329

 
     

Cycle Hire / Ferry

147

 

 

Flights:

Total output for air travel in financial year 2018-19 – 37.8 tonnes CO2e 

Given a single transatlantic flight (London - New York) melts 3.3sqm/35.5sqft of polar ice (which makes us feel pretty bad), this is an important area for us to focus on. We have already reduced the number of management / board off-sites we have each year from 12 to 4 - this significantly reduces the amount of flying we do as a company.

We have also built a global network of trusted filmmakers so that we can minimise the impact of our work on our clients’ behalves.

Carpooling:

Where possible we use carpooling to help our staff get into and out of the office in LA and cities where cars are essential to get around.

Water bottles / Refuse:

The production industry is well known for its reliance on dreaded single use water bottles. We have purchased metal water canteens for all our staff to use and encourage all crew taking part in our shoots to bring their own water bottles. Where possible water is sourced from safe taps or refilled from large bottles of mineral water. 

Where possible office staff / crew food should be bought with a view to minimising packaging. There may be instances where this is not practical and so a sensible approach should be taken.


2. Energy:

It is our aim to have all energy for our offices sourced from 100% renewable sources. We have already made the switch in our London office (July 2019) and are in the process of moving over suppliers our New York offices. According to WeWork our offices in California will be 100% renewable by 2023 - which is better than nothing.

London - 97,000 KWH*       ~          26.90 tonnes of CO2e

New York - 21,230 KWH      ~         5.89 tonnes of CO2e

California - WeWork

* This figure is high and may be an inflated by a lack of a proper meter reading.

Carbon Offsetting

Our total carbon output as a company is 70.7 tonnes Co2e or 2.07 tonnes CO2e / employee. This gives us a baseline to aim for next year.

We are going to offset all our current output with certified offsetting projects through Carbon Footprint - watch this space for more on this.


3. Social:

Everyone at Casual Films is committed to sharing some of our good fortune with other people around the world. Here are a couple of the ways that we plan to do this...

The Casual Films Academy

Casual Films Academy - Overview

What's the Casual Films Academy about then?

The Academy was founded in 2012 and provides free video production training to young people. It aims to broaden participation in our industry to those from non-traditional backgrounds. During the training, they make a video for a charitable cause who can then use it for their own promotions. Over the years we have trained over 100 young filmmakers in London, New York and Oakland. We plan to continue to hold these in all our home cities in the future.

Fair pay / Living Wage / Slavery policy

Casual Films is a signatory of the London Living Wage and is committed to paying the local living wage in each of the territories that we operate. We are also committed to working with suppliers who can demonstrate that they do not use slaves.


Helping our Clients

Low Carbon / Lowest Impact stickers

Nearly every time we produce a treatment we share three different creative approaches. This gives a range of creative ideas, budgets and timeframes to choose from. From now on we are going to start to use the two following stickers, to help our clients to understand the impact of the projects that they are commissioning.

Enviro Stickers

For internal productions - animations, stock edits, re-edits - where the majority of the energy used is from renewable sources we will be able to identify them as Low Carbon with the fetching sticker on the right.

If there are a series of three external productions we will identify the one with the lowest environmental impact with the 'Lowest Impact' sticker. This is for projects where there is an output but 

Carbon Tracking

For clients of ours that are interested in tracking the carbon output of their production, we are able to offer this service on request.


Senior Management Commitment

Casual's directors' board are committed to fulfilling the points and goals outlined in this document. We will review and report back on it annually in September.


Check out more of our films - including some sexy new ones - by visiting our Vimeo channel. We've got everything from sustainability to skydiving on there so you're bound to find something to help you while away your lunch break...

Watch on Vimeo Banner-1

If you want to discuss any of the information on this blog please feel free to drop Nick an email: nick@casualfilms.com

We look forward to speaking to you soon.

Topics: Casual Academy, About Casual, Culture & Values

Webinar: Bringing your employer brand to life

Posted by Nick Francis
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For the second of our Better Video Power Hour discussions Nick was joined by GE Healthcare's Global Employer Brand Lead, Daniel Perkins to talk employer brand, recruitment marketing, video and more.

Dan has 15+ years experience working in the industry, including leading the global employer brand team at Rolls-Royce. Having started out in account management, he has a keen eye for detail in the creative process and was able to share lots of insights on how to get great work made. 

Rolls Royce - Jimmy C - Stylised

Rolls-Royce: Jimmy C paints Charles and Henry

Dan explained the sign-off process for a campaign based on a graffiti painting of the company founders. By any yardstick, this was a fairly creative way of promoting the 100 year old brand.

Dan had seen Jimmy C's work (most famous for his mural of David Bowie in Brixton, South London) and felt that it would make an eye-catching centrepiece to promote the addition of Art to the traditional STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) framework.

Dan made his own simple promo film (we could have helped you with that, Dan) and took it to the CEO - who he was able to enthuse enough to get it signed off. Sometimes, it helps to take an unconventional approach to get the work you really want to make made.

We also covered:

  • What is an employer brand and why is it important?
  • How to get creative ideas made within a large corporate?
  • Why use video?
  • How to get your videos seen?
  • Why is Inclusion and Diversity so important?
  • the most important lesson Dan has learnt?
  • Who is doing it really well?

If you missed it, don't worry you can watch the recording right here. Keep an eye out for the next webinar on October 19th! Details to follow.

Watch the replay here:

GE Healthcare Employer Brand to Life 3 shotClick on the above image to watch the replay


If you have a project that you would like to discuss, please drop us a note, an email or a call. Our experienced producers are ready help make your next project the best ever.

If you are keen to kick your project off on the right foot the best thing to do is to get your brief exactly right. You can download our guide to doing that right here.

 

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Being a better commissioner, How-to, Purpose driven video, Content Strategy

Promoting diversity and inclusion with video? You should read this...

Posted by Nick Francis
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Homogeneity is never a great thing - unless you’re a pint of milk – in which case you’ve probably got other things to worry about other than this blog post. Diversity brings strength; differing viewpoints, ideas and experiences. Being different but all the same is one of the things that makes the world the place that it is. Variety is the spice of life, as they say.

We get to produce films for all sorts of different reasons at Casual. Some of the ones that we’re most proud of are the ones which help to increase tolerance and understanding, making life tangibly better for those who don't fit the stereotype of normality – whatever that is. Fair enough, some of the greatest crimes against music have been committed in the name of diversity. “Ebony and Ivory”, while noble in aim, is so terrible that Sir Paul deserves to have his plaudits from the Beatles expunged from the ledger. Stevie Wonder frankly should have known better too.

Anyway… we’ve pulled together some of our favourite Diversity and Inclusion projects to inspire you to get started:

Rolls-Royce - live action/animated profiles

Rolls Royce - I&D Kaz (1)

Celebrating our People - Kaz's Story

This series of films celebrate all the different people and backgrounds that comprise the staff at Rolls-Royce. They're relatively simple treatments, with animation and additional footage adding colour and depth, but that doesn't stop them from being really effective. They're a great example of how video can be used to bring intangible concepts like diversity and tolerance to life.

This project was initially kicked off by Global Employer Brand Manager, Dan Perkins. If you want to learn more about diversity, inclusion, internal engagement and employer brand at Rolls-Royce, check out Nick's conversation with him here.

Rolls Royce - I&D Shaid (1)

Celebrating our People - Shaid's Story

 


Action Sustainability - live action humour

Action_Sustainability_Language (1)

Language!

Films with worthy aims don’t have to be worthy in nature. Sometimes a little humour doesn’t go amiss, as with these films, highlighting bullying and wellbeing on construction sites. They were shown at the beginning of a discussion amongst employees. They're a good example of creative designed to engage and educate a very specific audience.

Action Sustainability - Well-Being (1)

Well-Being


Standard Bank - animation

Standard Bank - Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of Interest

OK, so this animation was technically produced to help employees to understand potential Conflicts of Interest at Standard Bank. This one focuses on an important part of inclusivity - namely, treat your colleagues as you would like them to treat you. It shows how damaging simple thoughtlessness can be and encourages viewers to think a little more about how their actions affect others. The animation is kind of great too.


Vodafone - set piece discussion/visual metaphor set-up

Vodafone - LGBT+ Empowered

LGBT+ Empowered

Vodafone has set the goal of being the number one employer for women and LGBTQ+ in the markets in which they operate. Over the years, we have made a number of D&I films with them, most of which we've shared in this blog. For this film we asked Vodafone employees to discuss some of the challenges around being a LGBTQ+ person in the workplace. The production is relatively simple, with a selection of interviewees talking around a table. We pulled out a number of key facts to help underline the points being made.

Vodafone - Equal in Work

Equal in Work

This film is part of the same campaign. The treatment does a good job of making the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace really tangible. There is also the neat visual metaphorical pun of the burden they shoulder.

To learn more about Vodafone, you can listen to Olly and Nick's conversation with Global head of Learning, Catalina Schveninger here.


 

Whatever you're trying to achieve with your video project, the most important step you take is the first one. Get off on the right foot with our no nonsense guide to writing a really effective brief. You can download it here.

If you would like to discuss a project with one of our team of experienced producers - no salespeople - please drop us a line here. We look forward to helping you make your next project the best yet.

 

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Train and develop staff, Increase brand awareness and appeal, Being a better commissioner, Purpose driven video

Five videos to inspire your tech brand / start-up to the next level

Posted by Nick Francis
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So, obviously your company is going to change the world - changing people's lives in every corner of the globe. The problem is that they don’t know that... yet.

Video brings your company and your data alive, helping to share your ideas, attract customers and even secure your next round of finance. Video has an amazing ability to capture the essence of what you are doing and share it in a compelling way that will make people sit up, notice and remember you after you have left the room.

This is one of the reasons we have produced so many videos for tech businesses. You might be thinking that a video could help you and that's great. Here are five examples to get your creative juices flowing. Enjoy...

1. Verve Street Team

Verve - Street Team US

 

We love animation because of its ability to illustrate processes in a clear and engaging manner. They also allow you to bring your brand colour palate to life. This film for influencer platform Verve makes a really great job of this. There are other benefits to animation like this too – once you have the illustrated assets you can use them in other productions, you may also choose to use them in other marketing materials too. Animation also allows you to show functionality which is either in development or is difficult to film.


2. Moveworks

Moveworks - Brand Video

 

We love this brand film we recently completed for Moveworks with our friends at Emotive Brand. It’s got energy and more than a little verve. The animated captions do a great job of illustrating the problem and solution all the while driven by the sound track which conveys the no nonsense approach of the platform.


3. Lattice Semiconductor

Lattice Semiconductors

 

Maybe you don't want an illustrated animation but your product is still difficult to film. That’s cool – that’s where using stock video can really help. This film for Lattice Semiconductor was relatively simple to produce but that doesn't stop it from being extremely effective for explaining exactly what the business does.


4. Glint

Glint - Testimonials 04

 

It can be really useful to enrol the help of an expert to build trust with the audience. Interview led/talking head remain one of the most effective and cost efficient ways to get your message across. Here, the interviewee explains the product in a simple and easy to follow interview. When combined with the overlaid footage of people using it, it makes for a very strong product promo film.


5. Pavegen - Crowd Funding

Pavegen CrowdCube 2019-1

 

Sometimes you might need to wrap it all together in a package to persuade people to invest in your idea. We made just such a film for smart cities firm Pavegen. Their innovative technology captures the energy produced by pedestrian footsteps and turns it into energy - approximately 5 watts per footstep!

This video featured on their CrowdCube funding page and helped them to smash their original target of £950,000 with a total fundraise of over £2.6 million! We wouldn't be so crass as to say that our film was the reason for this success... but it probably didn't hurt. 


So there you go – five examples of ways that you can bring your tech business to life with video. We’d love to talk to you about how video can help you. Drop us a note, or send us an email, and one of our experienced producers will be happy to help you find just the right idea for you and your budget.

Topics: Increase brand awareness and appeal, Boost sales and encourage donations, Being a better commissioner, Content Strategy

Webinar: How to get great videos made with Vodafone

Posted by Nick Francis
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We're extremely grateful to Vodafone's Global Head of Learning, Catalina Schveninger who was kind enough to share her time and ideas with us in the first of our Better Video Power Hour Webinars. We managed to cover a wide range of thoughts and ideas in just 40 short minutes so there's lots in there for commissioners and producers to benefit from. 

Catalina started out in HR in 2002 working for GE. Since then she has worked in a variety of international roles, including T Mobile in the Netherlands. She joined Vodafone in 2014 as their Global Head of Resourcing and Employer Brand. Over the year she has commissioned a wide variety of content projects and so is well placed to share how to get really effective work made. You can watch the recording of the webinar here.

Vodafone - Hero

Vodafone - Youth Hero Film

This is one of the films that we discussed with Catalina - an attraction piece for younger potential employees. She was at pains to say that if your finance department don't like the content you're producing to attract a young audience to find out more, the chances are it's about right. She shared how you can build support to help to get the content that needs to be made made. Given the amount of noise in the online environment, making content which doesn't differentiate is not an option.

Some of the questions we covered include:

  • Why use video?
  • How to get creative ideas made within a large corporate?
  • Who is doing it really well?
  • How to get your videos seen?
  • The importance of purpose in internal engagement?

If you missed it, don't worry you can watch the recording right here. We will also hold another one on the 18th September (exact time TBC) on how to get the most from your existing videos/assets. Special guest to be announced.

Vodafone Attract and Recruit Casual Films 2Click on the image above to watch the recording


If you have a project that you would like to discuss, please drop us a note, an email or a call. Our experienced producers are ready help make your next project the best ever.

If you are keen to kick your project off on the right foot the best thing to do is to get your brief exactly right. You can download our guide to doing that right here.

Topics: Attract and retain the best candidates, Train and develop staff, Production process, Being a better commissioner, How-to

Even films about compliance can be great…

Posted by Nick Francis
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One of the best things about being filmmakers is the breadth of things we get to make films about. There are the dawn shoots in the desert, the police chases through suburbs, even a spot of husky racing through the Arctic tundra. We’ve definitely had our fair share of filmic fun.

Believe it or not though - the job isn’t always passport stamps and wrap martinis in rooftop bars. Every so often we get to scratch our heads a little to convey something a little less energetic. This is where the creativity of the job really comes into its own. Much (if not most) of our work focuses on the types of things which business and financial services companies want to communicate. That includes audit, tax, regulation and compliance.

This is where the true creativity kicks in. One of the great things about making films for companies is the fact that they have to fulfil very specific objectives. This means that we have clear bounds within which to work. It also means that we can choose creative treatments which really clarify what is being shown – which really ‘tell the story’ we are trying to relay. This is where fairly physical ideas can come into play.

PwC - IFRS Rube Goldberg

For this project for a top four professional services firm, we created a technological Rube Goldberg Machine from calculators, computer parts, and robots in order to visualise the digital journey insurers will undertake in preparation for a new piece of accountancy software.

Our brief was to make a film which will convince insurers that IFRS17 will be an asset to their business. We wanted to show them that by embracing technology and digital advances, they won’t only minimise disruption to their business, they will maximise their disruption to the marketplace.

PwC IFRS17 Moodboard

The moodboard helps to show commissioners what the visual style of the film will be

This film is to be used across social media, for events, and in presentations - but we knew that we needed to create something completely different and unexpected in order to resonate with our audience.

As we travel around the circuit, we move from old technology - paperwork representing cumbersome legacy data, to new technology - digital graphics and robots. This journey shows the technological advances made through the years in accountancy.

The visual represents the ease of automation, the smooth journey for insurers, and the build of new processes and systems. This idea allowed us to create a hugely inspiring and impactful film, which is sure to generate high levels of engagement amongst our target audience.

PwC IFRSThe storyboard. This is created in the initial stages of the project to show what will be happening onscreen during the film.

We were really pleased that this film was recognised at the New York Festivals Awards with a Silver Award for production design. Which just goes to show you really don't need to be contained by the subject matter, in fact it just might be the things which inspires you to greater heights. You could end up toasting your film nonetheless.


If you're interested in getting a few more tips on how to make better, more effective videos in less time for less budget download our our TOP TEN tips right here:

Download Top Ten Tips

 

Topics: Explain or promote products and services, Production process

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