Have You Committed An Act Of Churnalism Today?


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I love the philosophy of content marketing. It forces marketers to produce work that is actually going to add value to our lives in some way. But, the demands of a good content marketing plan require that we produce new and fresh content on a regular basis and therein lies the challenge: how to keep coming up with original content ideas and not fall into the trap of churnalism in a bid to get some content out quickly?

We’ve all done it, we’ve sat our desks staring at our screens running Google searches, flicking through our Twitter feeds, in a vain search for inspiration for our next content piece. The results of that approach are evidenced all over the web with blogs, slideshares, infographics and videos, all regurgitating the same content. So what can you do to avoid falling into that trap?

Answer: walk away from your desk

Our corporate culture can make it difficult to walk away from our desks – “the boss might think I’m skiving off if I take a walk or head back to the cafe yet again” – it is a deep-seated work ethic that is hard to disobey. Even when I’m working alone from home I feel guilty if I’m not at my desk during normal work hours. But staring at your screen kills creativity and tempts us into repeated acts of churnalism.

When you walk away and let your own thoughts percolate, when you take inspiration from the natural world around you, that’s when the truly original ideas take hold, and when your idea has settled in your mind that’s the moment you should rush back to your desk and start creating your masterpiece.

So next time you find yourself about to commit an act of churnalism send your boss this blog and walk away from your desk.

Social Video Is An Opportunity To Punch Above Your Weight


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There are no quick wins in the business of marketing, but if you can be the first in your sector to do something different you can punch above your weight.

Back in the late nineties having a website gave you an advantage over your competitors, today every business has a website. With Social Video there’s an opportunity still to be the first in your market to do it well, in a few years time everyone will be doing it.

Like any new marketing platform figuring out the best way to approach it requires some experimentation and you have to develop your own best practice, but the rewards for being brave and leading the way can quickly outweigh the pain of the learning curve as it can give you that rare opportunity to really stand out from your competitors even if you have a smaller marketing budget than them.

The Art of Reinvention


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Does creating a constant stream of original video content for your social media accounts seem like a daunting task? If so, it might be time to do a video stock-take. You might be surprised to discover what you’ve already got in stock that you can re-invent as a relevant, fun and engaging piece of social video content.

This “#CarryThemHome” Social Video we created for Homefield came from a longer film we had made for them showcasing the range of sports they offer. We’d shot far more on the rugby pitch than was needed for the final film, so we went back to the original video rushes and were able to produce this short piece to tie in with the Rugby World Cup last year.

Whenever you’re doing any filming, or running an event, it’s very easy just to remain focused on its core purpose, but as marketers we all need to develop a reflex to think about how else we can use the content we are creating and make sure we’re squeezing out the maximum value from it. And nowhere is this truer than on a film shoot where, in the old days, 95% of what was shot was left on the cutting room floor.  Today there’s an opportunity, often missed, to use so much more of what was shot.

We like video snacking


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With Social Video Marketing one of the most important things to remember is to design your films so they’re really easy to snack on. Don’t try and cram lots of messages into one film, break your stories down into small snackable pieces that will capture our attention as we scroll through our feeds. For Social Video Marketing, if you’ve five points you want to make, it will be more effective to make them in five mini-films rather than one longer one.

The Premiere & First Review of Rebel of the Keys


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Rebel Of The Keys

On 30 November 2015, some four years after Lewis Owens first introduced us to friends of André Tchaikowsky with a view to making a documentary about this “wonderful awful person”, we found ourselves at The Warsaw Philharmonic for the premiere of our documentary Rebel of the Keys.

After such a lengthy, often inspiring, certainly fascinating and sometimes arduous journey making the film, it was not until we walked into the main concert hall with the big screen in place and hundreds of chairs waiting to be occupied, that it began to sink in that we were finally at its premiere.

warsaw-philharmonic Warsaw Philharmonic Prior To The Screening of Rebel of the Keys

Before the screening Maciej Gryzbowski played André Tchaikowsky’s Piano Sonata and The Inventions. Then, after a short Q&A on stage to introduce the film, the lights went down and we held our breath in anticipation of the audience reaction. It was only when the first laugh came – André was…

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Creative Video Installations


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Some creative video installations that captured our imagination:

This video goes beyond just a visual experience. Love it!  Apparently it uses an Xbox Kinect sensor to measure the depth and location that people push.  It is a stretched sheet of spandex.

This is simply mesmerising.  Our favourite moment is when dusk comes and you see a small sunset in some of the windows.  We also noted that there aren’t many windows with rain on it … If we had done this in London it would have looked very different!

Skip straight to 00:52 on this clip to see the beginning of this installation across the windows of this restaurant.  This is how we imagined Douglas Adam’s Restaurant at the End of the Universe might have been.

There’s something very sci-fi about this installation.  We love the way the filmaker has been able to turn generated images into something quite organic, as if they are living creatures.

Theo Watson has created a series of interactive video installations over the years.  We would have loved to have rolled around in his daisies.   And “Night Bright” is a truly enchanting experience for children.

The Last Day of Shooting “Rebel of the Keys”


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Shooting of Rebel of the Keys was completed with this final day of pick ups on Sunday.  The shoot took place at the beautiful house of Lady Camilla Panufnik, the very place where Andre Tchaikowsky spent hours talking with his friend Andrzej Panufnik.  Andrew read from Andre’s diaries and Nico de Villiers played Andre’s music on Panufnik’s grand piano.  A truly enchanting day and a fitting place to end the filming of the documentary.

A big thank you to Camilla for letting us film at her home (for the third time!), and to Eve for bringing over Andre’s diaries and sharing them with us