RevisionBox has just completed filming out first video courses. These courses will form our beta launch offering (more on that in a later post) to be launched early in 2011. You can view pictures from the set here.
All in all it was a very tough and intense (as I’m sure many of partner teachers will agree with) couple of months but extremely productive. We now have top quality content (which is now in editing and post production) that will, I hope, provide a really compelling beta offering. I want to use this post to relay some of the lessons we learned.
There are three things that the success or failure of our filming week depended on, preparation, quality people and contingency planning.
Recording top quality lessons in front of a camera is not easy. A lot of things need to come together to make it work. Firstly extensive preparation needs to have been done on the lessons, so that the teacher is happy with the script and accompanying slides. Secondly all the logistics have to fall into place to allow filming to take place smoothly; sets need to be prepared, equipment rented and crews assembled. Even minor points like keeping people fed and watered while on set require a great deal of preparation. Trust me when I say, you can not prepare too much.
It’s not an exaggeration to say we simply wouldn’t have content now if we hadn’t managed to get such high quality people on board. From our Partner Teachers (who continually exceeded our expectations – thanks guys) to our cameraman Niall (who despite completely unreasonable requests such as working until 2 and 3am never complained) everybody was a star (although only some appeared on camera!). It doesn’t matter how much effort it takes, finding the right people is always worth it.
One of the courses we filmed was ‘Of Mice and Men’, and we had more than our fair of ‘best laid plans’ going awry. We had everything from legal hold ups preventing us getting access to our offices and therefore having to re locate our set, to light bulbs blowing at the worth possible moments. Murphy’s law always seemed to apply – if it could happen, it did. We just about managed with the contingency plans we had, but going forward we will definitely be taking a more ‘plan for the worst to happen’ approach.
Finally, somewhat related to all of these is the importance of hard work. It’s easy to cut corners, not do the final shoot, leave the error on the slide (I’m sure there are still some there) but when you are trying to produce something that’s genuinely top quality, unfortunately there is no substitute for hard work!