Scenario

The Hong Kong Tourism Board have decided that they need a new marketing strategy. The old campaign, 'Asia's World City' was successful for years but reserch suggests that it is now overly familiar to audiences and it is no longer very effective. As HK opens up again after Covid, the time is right for a fresh new approach.

The working title for the new campaign is 'Live Hong Kong' but they are open to alternative suggestions.

They would like agencies to submit short adverts/ promos (30-60 secs) showing how they would propose to represent Hong Kong. Additionally, there will be a print media campaign so there is an opportunity to produce a range of print posters also.

Research

As with any project, the first step is to learn a little bit about the thing you are planning to make. First, look at an example of Hong Kong's current marketing.

Then, look at these winners from the world's largest travel promo video competition. (Yes, there are such competitions.) 

You should have formed a pretty clear idea about the conventions of travel promos by now. Further research will help; there is plenty more to look at!

Planning

You should produce a mindmap to get your initial ideas down. Maybe have a look at this piece of work by a previous student which is perhaps similar to what we would like to see. Think about locations, people and actions. But ALSO think about shots, movements, blocking and edits. 

Just hold on a minute!

Let's do this properly.

If there is ONE THING your teachers want you to improve at, it is, without a doubt, planning. That involves coming up with an idea which is worth making in the first place and then doing the work to make sure you make it well. So, a few pointers:

  • Your first five ideas are the same as everyone else's.

  • Practically everyone in your class will be making pretty much the same thing.

  • You need a USP - a unique selling point. What makes your idea a little bit different?

  • Mindmap your initial ideas. SPEND TIME ON THIS. Try to come up with 100 different slogans, ideas, shot ideas, locations. STEAL IDEAS FROM PROFESSIONAL EXAMPLES.

  • Have a chat with friends about their ideas. And then make sure yours is a bit different.

Ok, you have generated a bunch of amazing ideas. Go through the mindmap and cross out the boring ones, the impossible ones, or the ones you don't like.

Whatever you're left with, that's what you're doing.

Now you need to do some actual preproduction. There are some templates here, or find/ make your own.

A minimum requirement at this stage would be your mindmap, a storyboard, and a written voiceover.

You could go further with moodboards, location scouting, a production schedule.

Our most ambitious students (or bigger groups) might be using dubcharts and shotlists.

Whatever you do, remember the standard for success; we should be able to give your planning to another group who should then be able to make your exact video with no further input from you.

 

YOUR PRE-PRO IS NOT FOR YOU; IT IS FOR OTHER PEOPLE.

Choose your level!

PASS

You will have produced basic pre-production. Maybe a storyboard which does not really correspond to the shots you capture. There will be lots of centre-framing.  It won't consider things like focus, movement, lighting. Little attention given to framing or composition. As a result, your video will probably consist of still shots, possibly with a handheld camera. There might be issues with sound. Transitions and text will probably be unplanned. Actors will probably be unrehearsed. 

MERIT

You will have produced competent pre-production. Your planned shots will correspond to your actual shots and there will be some variety in your shot choice.  There will evidence of consideration of  focus, movement, lighting. Some attention given to framing or composition, althouigh it might be heavily reliant on rule-of-thirds. Your video will probably consist of a variety of shot distances and angles, captured with a stabilised camera. There might be some movement. Transitions and text will be planned. Actors will be rehearsed. There will be no issues with the quality of your sound. The whole piece might lack some imagination and dynamism; it might be under-edited. You probably should have gone out again to get pick-up shots.

DISTINCTION

You will have produced thorough pre-production. Your planned shots will correspond to your actual shots and there will be ambition in your shot choice.  There will evidence of creative consideration of  focus, movement, lighting, and then you will actually do these things in your production. Much attention given to framing or composition, you may have choreographed movements between actor and camera, or more ambitious blocked scenes or camera movements. Your video will definitely consist of a variety of shot distances and angles, captured with an appropriately stabilised camera. There will be some movement. Transitions and text will be creative and will contribute to the overall effect. Actors will be well rehearsed. There will be ambition in the sound design - perhaps music, foley and a voicover with appropiately balanced and levelled. The whole piece will display imagination and dynamism; it will probably be used as an exemplar of good work.

Production and Post Production

So, hopefully you have realised that you pretty much choose your grade when you are planning your project. If you are interested in aiming for the higher grades, video like these can help you get a little va-va-voom into your thinking and planning. (There are lots of them. FInd your own!)