It was early 1977, Star Wars had just been released, and I wanted to become the next George Lucas. And, dare I say it, but I became a little obsessed and that drew me into the industry! (You think I’m joking, but I even called my son Luke, just so I could say: ‘Luke, I am your father’!)
There aren’t many things I haven’t done in the media and communications world over the past 42 years. From TV and feature films to corporate video, advertising, theatre and studio recording, I’ve seen and experienced it all.
During the making of Star Wars, George Lucas had to build his own special effects company, Industrial Light and Magic. At the time, no company specialised in that field or could produce the visual and atmospheric effects fans have come to love in more recent times.
Today, CodeSafe Solutions is at the cutting edge of delivering critical information to workers in the field. Yet, like George Lucas, all those years ago, we had to build our own media division to get the job done in a way that suited our audience. Filming in the construction and manufacturing arenas comes with its own unique challenges that are a mystery to most traditional media companies.
From what our clients have told us, engaging traditional media companies to produce their visual content has not always been a positive experience. Delays on worksites and production cost blowouts are common complaints. These are generally a result of media companies not appreciating the unique space they are working in and the complexities and costs that impact these projects. Additionally, traditional filming techniques often don’t work or can’t be applied in the construction or manufacturing environments and the footage often misses the mark or is useless because of some safety hazard in the background that the director didn’t pick up on.
How CodeSafe’s ELP framework can help you!
CodeSafe developed its Experiential Learning Process (ELP) methodology to help organisations overcome these challenges and also empower them to create their own productions. The framework provides an easy and cost-effective way to deliver critical messages in short micro-learning videos so that visual learning can become a sustainable and integral part of their business processes and risk management.
As part of the process, (we call it ‘The 4 C’s – collaborate, coach, create, communicate) CodeSafe teaches you how to write storyboards and film the video from start to finish. We also provide you with a camera kit and conduct an initial training day to explain essential camera use, tripods, lighting, sound, back-up of footage, etc. Next, all the theory is put into practice as we work with you on-site and guide you through capturing the footage for your first production. By the end of it, you’ll feel confident enough to tackle just about any filming project, knowing the basics, having your own refresher training to reference on the QIN app, but most importantly, having a relationship with our team and knowing who to call to chat if you need advice.
What I’ve learned in six years of building CodeSafe Media
- Technology constantly changes
When I edited my first film, I had to cut the film and use tape to stick it together. The first video camera I used had reels of tape; this was pre-VHS for those who remember. It also weighed about 25kg, so it was hardly portable. Fortunately, cameras are now handheld, and you can even film on your phone. Computers are used to edit the video and we don’t need to lug a truckload of gear onto the site when shooting.
- The client is always right!
Becoming a communication and linguistics expert has helped me to understand what the client wants and how to achieve it.
- People can smell the bullshit, so keep it real
If your workers cannot relate to the end product, then you have wasted the company’s time and money creating the video. We’ve had great success filming workers doing what they do well. They are the subject matter experts, so it’s best to include them in the process. Engagement goes through the roof when co-workers are involved.
- Relax and have fun
Filming a production can go two ways, it can be stressful, or it can be fun. I’ll choose fun every time! Having a good laugh when filming actually makes things flow better. Sometimes we manage to capture the bloopers from a day’s filming and package it up for the client to share with their workers or even use on their social media. It’s a great way to improve worker engagement with your video and even allow your customers to see behind the scenes and get a glimpse of your company culture.
- You can teach an old dog new tricks
Yes, it is possible! It’s very easy for people to stick with the way they have always done things. ‘Let’s do it this way because it has worked in the past.’ I’m certainly guilty of that. However, the opportunity to work with a variety of people with different skill sets has made me realise that I can always learn from others.
This isn’t just a job for me, it’s my passion. I enjoy helping companies get their message out to workers in the field, and visual learning is a fantastic medium for this. Compelling, short videos, delivered via a mobile platform like QIN, can help to make sure the message is understood and that the correct and safe procedures to complete a task will be adopted and followed every time.
For more information on how our experienced team can help take the drama out of media production, please get in touch with us here.