The Week at Cosmic Joke - 22nd Jan 2024

The Week at Cosmic Joke - 22nd Jan 2024

It was a busy one at Cosmic Joke this past week. We had a big promo video production up in Edinburgh, which dominated most of the week. On the post-production side of things, we were getting our online presence in order and beginning the marathon process of updating our website and showreels. The focus this week was on our live events filming.

So without further ado…

The magic of cocktail videos and drinks promos

It feels like we’ve barely had a breather from the end of Christmas video production, but here we are, turning our attention to the upcoming ‘holidays’: Valentines, Easter and Spring. That was the theme of this week’s promo video production, anyway, as we headed up to Edinburgh to work with our good friends, The Cauldron, on building all of the social media assets and promo materials for their upcoming spring drinks menus.

This is part of the wider work we do around social media strategy - working with our client base to plan ahead for how to promote new products through a variety of effective social media video content. So the starting point for any job like this is to have a look at what it is that we need to be effectively selling through video promotion.

In the case of The Cauldron (which is a magic-themed cocktail bar chain for those that don’t know), they operate on a ‘term’ based model. They have three terms a year modelled after school terms…but not modelled after a certain magical school that we’re definitely not allowed to discuss! Each term comes with its own new cocktails to either make yourself as a guest, or to be ordered from the bar. In addition to the set of drinks that are unique to each term, there are also smaller ‘events’ that take place, and they come with even more unique, magical cocktails that are even more limited in availability. So in this instance, what we needed to be selling through video content for The Cauldron was their spring term - their new menu, experiences and special events.

We say experiences because what really sets The Cauldron apart as a unique and interesting bar chain is that not only are their drinks delicious, but they’re also ‘alive’ with the wonders of science, mixology and interaction. So we’re not just looking to sell the drinks, we’re looking to sell the fun you can have with the drinks - everything from colour changing potions to brewing your own cocktails in a cauldron. At the Cauldron, you get to make your own drinks as well as having them expertly made by seasoned (magical) bar staff.

An image showing cocktails from a high-end training video for creative social media video marketing for The Cauldron Pub
When planning your social media marketing strategy, make sure that you're getting stills as well as footage to use a varierty of different assets across different platforms

Sounds like a lot of information? It is! That’s why our job is to not only help to sell the products through videography and social media strategy, but also to help explain how everything fits together. If the audience wants something but they don’t know how to get it, then we’ve failed. A good social media video strategy needs to excite and inform.

So, our starting point was to package up everything that needed to be sold and communicated, which we’ve outlined above. Then, attention turns to what is going to work the best when it comes to social media video content - what is going to grab people scrolling through Instagram? What is going to make people stop what they’re doing and think ‘I need to be at The Cauldron’? And, importantly, what’s going to make people truly understand the experience that’s on offer?

An extra consideration with video marketing strategies, especially social media video marketing strategies, is the variety of assets. If you’re to run a successful video campaign on social media, you’re going to need to hit all the platforms and take advantage of the different types of content that each channel can host - vertical videos for TikTok, Instagram story content, the list goes on…

Without giving away too many video production secrets, or revealing the magic of The Cauldron’s spring menu, we decided the assets we needed were a full promo video of the season, individual videos for each drink, individual videos for each ‘experience’ and stills photography to match. All of that content would need to be able to work across all forms of social media and the brand’s website. To make the best use of what became a 13 hour production day, we decided to shoot everything widescreen with screen markers to show the parameters of vertical video - that way we could save video production time by knowing that content would work for both widescreen and vertical versions. We decided we could build the main season promo out of the individual content shoots (drinks and experiences) so that would also save time and allow us to really get the set dressing and production elements right. These are just some of the things to consider when planning an effective video production to maximise your time and the benefits for your client.

All in all, we covered 13 drinks and a handful of unique guest experiences in about 12-13 hours. There’s a lot more we can discuss about the actual video production, set dressing and cinematography, but only when we can reveal the new menu. We’ll cover all this in a detailed blog post in the coming weeks, along with all of the post production and visual effects work that will be going into these edits.

Did we also mention that we got to travel to Edinburgh for this shoot? We braved the ice and snow to drive 200 miles into the wild North. We also had to take the opportunity to sample the best food and drink Edinburgh has to offer, as well as check out the local sites and best places to take photos in Edinburgh. Head to our Instagram for a quick look back at what we got up to.

An image showing two Cosmic Joke crew members exploring Edinburgh whilst on location filming
When you get the chance to travel for work, it's surely obligatory to take a selfie with the key landmarks?!

Live event videography showreel and portfolio

Back in the office, the week was mostly devoted to sprucing up the Cosmic Joke video production website and portfolio. This time with a big focus on live events filming and live events videography.

Firstly, in the spirit of a picture says a thousand words and all that, let’s take a look at our brand new live events showreel that went live this week.

We really love filming live events and we hope that that shows through this little edit of some of our favourite live events videography work.

One of our favourite aspects of live events video work is the variety - all the different types of events, the different places we get to travel to and the different people we get to meet along the way. This can really be seen in all of the live music events we’ve captured and the tons of gig videography that we’ve done over the years. In our showreel, you’re looking at the hundreds and hundreds of miles we’ve travelled with bands, attending some of the best music venues around the world and filming some of the best music festivals in the UK and Europe. It really is such a fun line of work and an area we feel really passionate about, something we hope is captured in our new live events videography showreel.

Another area of live events videography that we love is live sports filming. We had a lot of that going on in the last year and it’s something we hope to see more of in the coming year. So if you’re looking for any videography for your upcoming sports events - anything from boxing to football and everything in between - then let us know. In fact, if you want to know more about our live event videography work in general, or to ask us about filming your live event, then you can find everything you’ll ever need here.

On the socials - Countdown to Prague - Gig videography coming NEXT WEEK!

Sticking with live event videography for a minute, in particular gig filming, we had another flashback on our socials this week to filming with The Hara in Prague. This, of course, is to celebrate the fact that we’re back on the road with them THIS WEEK - heading out to the Czech capital to film their biggest headline European show to date.

An image showing the lead singer of The Hara performing in Prague during our live gig filming
The Hara getting sweaty the last time they performed to a sold out show in Prague in 2023

We took a look back at the last time they played in Prague, as part of their Survival Mode headline tour. This was a special tour for us to be involved with, as not only did we get to flex our gig videography muscles, but we also got to put our creative stamp on many more elements of the live music experience. We created the visuals for on stage, the tour poster and, towards the end of the tour, the merchandise. We’ll be taking a more detailed look at exactly how we can deliver a full creative campaign for bands and tours in the coming weeks, but if you’re looking for music industry creative branding and asset creation, then you’re certainly in the right place. In the meantime why not take a look at our specific music industry gig videography showreel here.

Also, on the socials this week, Oliver James started to share teasers for a recent high end corporate video we made for them at Old Trafford. This was a super creative take on a training video featuring a senior member of the company plotting their journey into and throughout the business, both literally and figuratively. It also meant that we got to film at Old Trafford which is always a big win. You can check out the small snippet here and we’ll be sharing more on this in the future.

An image showing 2 members of Oliver James as part of a high end corporate training video in Old Trafford
To make your training videos look and feel more high-end, location plays a big part in making the viewer engage

Looking ahead…

That just about covers this last week in video production land. Coming up, we’re back out on the road completing some work for the NHS, before the aforementioned flight to Prague where who knows what shenanigans will ensue! In terms of post production work, we’ve got all of The Cauldron campaign to be cracking on with, as well as keeping up with the overhaul of our website and portfolios. Lots to see and do!

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.