With so many hours of content produced over the years and only a very small amount of time in which to present it, we’d be lying if we said the challenge of producing this showreel project was easy.
“But hang on!” I hear you say, “Isn’t producing short form narratives in an online format what you specialise in?”
Absolutely. It’s something that we do day in, day out. However, the difference here is that the films in our portfolio have been made for somebody else, to a very particular brief when, ultimately, what we needed was for the same films to tell our own story.
This was an important consideration because we’d decided very early on that the showreel wasn’t just going to be music and visuals. Authentic, unscripted contributions from real people underpin the majority of the work that we produce, so it was crucial to feature these voices in a way that felt appropriate to our new brand.
Production of any kind of film is about balance. Lots of factors play into it. From the requirements of the brief vs how it’s interpreted, scope of filming vs practicalities, resources and budget, through to post production and the subtleties of the edit. All of this is constantly weighed, at every stage, against the expectations of the people we’re working for. It can seem like a lot and sometimes the focus of a project can become less clear when there’s so much to consider, but if this happens – and it often does – we’ve learned to take a step back and ask ourselves ‘how does this feel?’. We asked ourselves this question a lot during the edit of the new showreel, after all, we’d set the brief for ourselves so the usual parameters and our method of achieving balance was much more subjective.
In considering how something feels, be it the choice of music, the content or tone of an interview excerpt, the timing of an edit or whether to consign your favourite shot to the cutting room floor, what you’re actually doing is tapping into experiences built up over time and trusting in your judgement. Everyone knows how good it feels when you’re told ‘this is great’ but equally the feeling when the feedback isn’t as positive and you realise the need to adapt and improve. It’s all healthy stuff, you learn from it and it becomes a valuable resource you can dip into when doubt creeps in. It’s important to realise too that rarely is objectivity a sole pursuit and that trusting the judgement of those around you will help the decision making become much easier and better informed.
So this is where we found ourselves at the start of the showreel project and tells some of the journey we’ve been through. Having now launched STROMA Films and gone live with the showreel we’re feeling kind of the same as we do when we’ve delivered to a client a film we’re really happy with but have yet to receive feedback. I’m sure you all know that feeling!