The Week at Cosmic Joke - 22nd April 2024

The Week at Cosmic Joke - 22nd April 2024

We’re back with the weekly blog, recapping all of the filmmaking, video production and post production that we’ve been up to. We’ve had a few weeks away from the weekly blog format, whilst we celebrated the anniversary of the creative direction work we carried out on The Hara’s debut album Survival Mode, so if you haven’t read the two part blog post that details all of that music industry creative work then...where have you been?! Get reading Part 1 here and get straight onto Part 2...

On to more present topics, we’ve had a busy couple of weeks with everything from music video production and live music filming to a corporate video case study and more commercial videography of magic cocktails! Not to mention one of us ran a marathon… 

More than enough to cover here, so we’ll just give a couple of highlights and a rundown of what’s to come next week. 

So without further ado…

Out on the Road with Bob Vylan - Live Music Videography and Quick Turnaround Editing

Last week we had the pleasure of joining Bob Vylan out on the road, as they promoted their new album, Humble As The Sun, with a string of Rough Trade record store shows. It’s been a little while since we’ve been out filming live music and it was great to get back out there. We also got to hit up three different cities, so there was a lot of travel videography opportunities and it’s always a pleasure to work intimately with a band, spending time with them as they soundcheck, and after shows whilst they meet their fans and sign records. 

two members of bob vylan signing vinyl records in a record store
Getting back out on the road with a band as cool as Bob Vylan is such a treat

The set up was pretty simple - the band were out on the road promoting their latest album. They were playing three intimate shows on three consecutive nights in Nottingham, Bristol and London. At each show, there would be a performance, a bit of a conversation with the audience and then a signing with fans. Our job was to follow all of the action each evening, from start to finish, and produce a social media video asset to go out the next morning. 

The quick turnaround was the most challenging aspect of the project, as we needed to cut down, edit, colour grade and add graphics to videos in just a 12 hour window that included travelling to the next’ve got to love the insanity of the music industry! We really do love the chaos though and this kind of quick turnaround, live music videography work is quite literally one of our favourite types of projects. We love all of the travel and excitement and getting to work in and around the touring crew and fans. 

To speed up the edit process, we had a two person team following the band around; that way, whenever possible, someone could be cutting down and syncing footage, whilst we still had hands on deck to continue shooting - you never know when the next great moment might happen and you don’t want to miss it. Never miss a thing - that’s one of the staples of any kind of live videography. We also shot all of the content in a mix of widescreen and vertical. Already having the footage in a vertical format really sped things up when it came to packaging up the edits as vertical reels for social media, and by keeping some of the footage shot in widescreen, it provided longevity for any kind of archiving or other uses of the footage. Whilst vertical video might be very popular at the moment for social media video content, we’re not quite sure it’s the long form death of widescreen video content just yet. 

The week of shooting was a huge success - we managed to get a video asset out on the band’s Instagram each morning after the gig, which really helped to continue fan engagement and promote further dates on the record store tour. We also captured more than a handful of stills which can then be used for future promotions and we may have even snook in a music video production there too…keep your eyes peeled for that one. The album managed to crash into the UK top 40, so the mini intimate tour was definitely a huge success for the band, and we were stoked to be a part of it. 

Here’s a little look back at all the live music videography fun we had…

Spring Cocktails With The Cauldron - Commercial Videography

Whilst some of us were out on tour with Bob Vylan, others were down in London with The Cauldron capturing commercial video content for their spring menu. This meant lots and lots of cocktails needing to be filmed, photographed and, well…drank too! It’s a tough life you know? 

If you’ve been following these weekly blogs this year, then you'll know we’ve been regularly filming commercial video content for The Cauldron to keep their social media channels fresh and engaging. As part of our involvement with all of the social media video content planning, we’ve been back down south again creating a whole suite of videos for spring.

a dark coloured cocktail with a sprig of lavender pegged onto the rim is surrounded by flowers
What says spring more than colourful flowers?!

We’ve hit a rhythm by now with these shoots and have ,developed a framework for the type of content that we know works well and will engage an audience the best. With that in mind, we set about following that framework to create this latest batch of videos. The goal was (and always is) to produce quantity and quality of content. In the social media video space, there is endless competition and constant vying for the attention of peoples' views, likes and time. As a result, the methodology we apply to these commercial video shoots is about capturing content that will provide the following: 

  • A large number of assets to allow for posting every day of the month
  • Content that looks different with each post so that followers will consistently be pulled in by novelty
  • Content that can work across a variety of platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, Instagram stories and X

The practical application of this framework is to capture the above in as time efficient way as possible. It’s the ideal situation for a client if they can create a lot of social media content in a single shoot, or video production, and that’s what we aim to provide. It’s great going into a video shoot knowing how we can move quickly through a large variety of set ups and sequences, whilst still capturing high end video content of the utmost quality. 

On this particular shoot, we captured an entire menu of drinks with a spring aesthetic and as always, the set dressing was provided by the incredible art team at The Cauldron. We captured the full menu of drinks together, and then individually. For each drink, we captured individual close ups of the recipe, method and mixology in action to add more variety when it came to individual videos, as this is a quick way of capturing quality and varied video content. This then meant that for each drink, we could showcase it either in situ with spring decor, or alongside the rest of the menu, or being made. We could also combine those elements in different ways to create further unique video assets. At the core of this method is the idea of visual building blocks - if we capture a variety of relatively simple ‘types’ of content, then we can move them around and interchange them to create a never-ending suite of ‘different’ videos. When it comes to social media, it’s most important that users feel like they’re seeing something new and different that they haven’t already seen before - this method allows us to do this across a month’s worth of social media video content. For even extra added value for our client, on this particular shoot, we also captured some quick training videos whilst we were at it!

a man wearing a blue shirt and glasses is standing in a bar talking to camera giving training
Simple training videos can still be, and should be, engaging if you want to ensure your message is fully taken in and understood

This is all a very long winded way of saying that we’re becoming well versed in the constant demands of content creation in the modern videography market. So if you want loads of quality, commercial video content for your product or brand, then why not check out our commercial videography services in a bit more detail?

Corporate Video Case Study

To really highlight the variety of videography and filmmaking that we offer, whilst all of this was going on, we also had a corporate video production taking place in Manchester. There’s not too much to say about this on a production level - it was a relatively simple, two camera, talking head set up. Filming talking head interviews is at the centre of a lot of corporate videography though, so it’s always good to keep the relevant skills sharp - you should always be able to film an attractive talking head video. 

a smiling lady sat in front of a window with a view of manchester behind her
Achieving a well lit talking head (even in the rain) is a skill we never want to lose

Where we really add value to a simple corporate video shoot though, is as a full service production company and the way in which we can shape corporate video content, whether that be in the pre production video scripting stages or on the shoot day itself, thanks to our understanding of the edit requirements and the needs of the business. At Cosmic Joke, we provide a full video production service from start to finish and we have experts in each of relevant and specific fields of video production and content creation. This means that we can provide unique insight at each stage of the production process. As an independent company, we also have a strong business background, which can bring an extra dimension to all corporate video production, as we endeavour to understand the business needs behind the video content and bring that forward onto the screen. 

a behind the scenes scene of two women discussing a script, whilst man stands nearby and a girl is monitoring the audio levels by the camera in the foreground
A sneak peak behind the scenes of one of our corporate shoots

That’s exactly what we did on the shoot day in Manchester - helped to guide and steer the unscripted, talking head content, as well as making sure that the videography production aspects were taken care of - the lighting, the cinematography and the sound recording. A simple corporate video production is, in reality, anything but simple when you factor in all of the above.

On the socials - Music Industry Creative, Drone Operator in Manchester and The Manchester Marathon!

Over on the socials, we’ve had a lot of music video and live music related content going out to celebrate the aforementioned anniversary of The Hara’s debut album Survival Mode and all of the creative direction work we did on it. In case you need bringing up to speed, we were at the helm of the creative direction for every facet of the album’s release: from music video production to live music filming and album artwork design to merchandising. We were absolutely thrilled this time last year to find out that the album went to #3 in the UK Rock & Metal chart, which was huge achievement for everyone involved and a success that we were all extremely proud to be a part of. We’ve been reliving the experience by taking a deep dive into all of the different areas of the album release strategy and content that we played a part in and you can read more about it in a two part blog series starting here.

an vinyl album cover with the devil's face in the background and lots of lightning strikes and three band member faces in the foregroundg
The Survival Mode album artwork - an exciting achievement for all involved and you can find out how we did it...

We also took to the skies on social media this past week to remind everyone that we offer a drone videography service in the Manchester area and beyond. We’ve been qualified drone pilots for a few years now, but it’s always fun to get the opportunity to bring the drone back out as the weather gets (slightly!) better and there’s more of a call for aerial videography or aerial photography. This week in particular saw us flying through the air above a new landscaping project for a Manchester-based housing organisation, but there are tonnes of applications for drone videography and aerial photography, ranging from elevating a live event video or showcasing an architectural project from a new angle. If you feel like a bit of drone photography or drone videography could elevate your latest project, then get in touch.

Back with two feet firmly on the ground…for 26 was also a chance to celebrate the achievements of our editor, Matt, this week who ran the Manchester Marathon for the first time. It was an incredible achievement and we couldn’t be more proud of him. He got a cracking time for his first ever big run, so we guess that rigorous training regime must have really paid off…

Matt standing outside holding a medal after running the manchester marathon
We couldn't be more proud of him...what an achievement! Now, let's get the beers in!

If you’ve stumbled upon this post by accident, or like what you’ve read and want to know more about us, then we’re Cosmic Joke, a film and video production company based in Manchester. We specialise in music videos, live event filming, commercials and bespoke branded visuals. We create engaging short form and feature length film content that has screened around the world and you can learn more about everything we do here.