How to

Commissioning a work video

commissioning a video

This year, I decided to commission a video to show how I work. Since I started posting short videos of the machine at work on social media and my website this year, I’ve realised how much it helps customers understand what I do. And as video is increasingly important criteria for Google to prioritise websites in searches, I knew that I could kill two birds with one stone.

I had become more confident at filming the machine using my phone, but I knew that making such a video was beyond my abilities as I wanted something sleek and professional.

Finding a supplier

Kirsty Thomas of Tom Pigeon was one of my earliest customers. Her son Jude, who has just started a film studies course, made a video for her about designing and creating her prints. It was just the kind of format I wanted.

Jude agreed to work with me. Then we discussed what I wanted and what might look good. Then he came to the workshop during the summer to film me at work.

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compressed air guage


It took me some time to decide what process to film so we could organise a time for Jude to visit the workshop. In the end, I decided on my own plywood business cards. They’re my design with my logo, they’re quick to make and both cutting and engraving are involved. I wanted to show both processes.

Jude thought that the business cards would work well. He suggested keeping the video 30 seconds long so that viewers wouldn’t lose interest.

Jude was only in the workshop for an hour. He filmed me creating the artwork and colour coding it for cutting and engraving, and setting up the machine. Then he took lots of production shots as I cut a sheet of cards. Thankfully it was a bright day and shots taken inside the machine were well lit. Jude was worried that the window in the machine lid and its interior light might not illuminate the shots well enough. And he loved how the wisps of smoke generated during the process gave ambience to the cutting shots.

Post production

Once Jude thought he had enough footage, he went home to edit and add a soundtrack. He didn’t need to come back and retake any shots. Then he sent me a first version that I wanted some changes made to. Some parts of the process were shown in the wrong order, and we tried three different soundtracks, but it was perfect after two edits.

In the end, the finished film was 48 seconds long. As it showed lots of relevant process steps and was well within one minute, Jude though that it would work at that length.

I’m delighted with the finished piece. It’s on my scrolling website home page and YouTube channel, and I’ve shared it on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. My only regret? That I didn’t do it sooner!