Talking Heads Videos

Talking Heads Videos

Client testimonial videos are a tremendous marketing asset

When we say “talking heads videos”, we are taking about corporate PR video, not the excellent band! Our client, Sustainable Homes is very switched on when it comes to putting their best foot forward on-line. They run the SHIFT index which aims to help social landlords and housing associations with their continuous improvement of their housing stock. Originally their managing director, Andrew Eagles, asked us if we could ‘improve' some iPhone videos they had produced themselves but we couldn't get the quality to a point where it would beneficially represent the business.

Stills photographer turns videographer

I've shot a few home movies in my time and even some semi-corporate – a notable day following senior managers from a construction company around the assault courses at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst springs to mind. All my pro-digital stills cameras have the ability to shoot broadcast-quality, so when Sustainable Homes came back to me and asked if I'd shoot a set of short testimonials for them, I was keen to give it a go.

Respect for the cast

The first set we took was at a housing conference at ExCel in docklands. The results were great – good enough for me to be invited back to shoot some more at their next event at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) headquarters on Parliament Square. I have great admiration for anyone who will volunteer to be filmed, I'm sure it's not easy for non-professional broadcasters. Some are naturals and some need a few takes to feel ‘in the zone', but I have one thing to say to London… when the perfect take is ruined by (yet another) police siren… turn the volume down!

Why are London venues so loud?

Because of the size and shape of ExCel, drop a pin on one side of the building and it'll show up on the soundtrack of a video shot 400 yards away on the other side.  It's like a crinkly-tin cathedral. And Parliament Square? Until you are trying to film an interview you don't notice just how much noise there is… the traffic… the sirens… even through double glazing. I have a new-found respect for the TV crews who shoot interviews outside the Houses of Parliament.

The results

Here is a sample, embedded from Sustainable Homes' YouTube channel, and you can see how they use them on their website here (Your Homes Newcastle and Stockport Homes are not by 2 Sided).

Robin Lawler, chief executive, Northwards Housing discusses how SHIFT has helped improve environmental performance.