Pacific video producer: Samoa’s lost ‘pyramid’ story for BBC Reel

Sometimes as a video producer there are fun jobs…and sometimes there are next level enjoyable productions, like trekking into rainforest in search of archaeological wonder, armed with drone and camera, accompanied by an archaeologist, in search of ‘the lost pyramid of Polynesia’. That type of thing. Pacific video producer Commissioned to travel to Samoa to produce a video for the entrepreneurial event Seedstars, BBC Reel asked if I could produce a piece on the Pulelmelei mound, renowned, yet shrouded in mystery for what it tells us, and what it leaves out, about the history of the Pacific. Speaking with archaeologist Greg Jackmond and colleagues at the Centre For Samoan studies about the practicality of producing such a video, it soon became apparent that the real ‘story’ was the uncovering of various other sites using LiDAR data across the country. Watch the video on the BBC site here. Without the Mavic Pro 2 drone’s range, GPS mapping – and its solid video capabilities too – this would have been a tough one to capture. But I think we got a special video production out of it. The local village is also uncovering one particular site to help get it on the map and onto the tourist trail. Hopefully the video production will go some way to aiding them! In a short visit to this part of the Pacific I was able to cover the original commission at the Seedstars event – video coming soon – as well as produce some enjoyable journalism which adds to the picture on the history of Polynesia (or more accurately shares some of the fantastic research...

Happiness in Vanuatu – BBC Pacific video

WATCH All video producer gigs are not equal –  sometimes those shot on a tropical island discussing happiness tend to be more memorable. C’est la vie. This was an enjoyable piece to shoot as video producer (camera, journalist, editor, travel-booker…) as a I look to become more of a Pacific video producer for hire (editorially and commercially), shot on Vanuatu’s main island of Efate. What makes us happy? Well, access to land and healthy soils, community, knowing where ‘home’ is and being connected to culture, if Vanuatu is anything to go by. Watch the full video here. Pacific video producer I was able to film and interview local artists, writers, chiefs, young people, shop holders – and basically ask everyone I met – what they thought the key’s were to Vanuatu’s consistently high ranking in the happy planet index. Working as a video journalist – a solo video producer with half a mind on editorial matters – can be a hard slog, not to mention in the tropics. But ni-Vanuatu people are amazingly friendly, welcoming, smart and chatty. And yes, I got a couple of Pacific island beach swims in at the end before returning to Sydney to get back to video production work. Over the last year I’ve strived to become recognised as a video producer for hire across the Pacific more generally – PNG, Vanuatu, Samoa and New Zealand have been on the list for both corporate and journalistic assignments. Get in touch if you’re a Pacific company or editor in need of video:...

A new take on conference video production

conference video productionAn exciting few days in Canberra with CEDA was had last month – that’s the Committee for Economic Development – where a colleague and I debuted what we think is a new concept in conference video production; fast filming, extremely fast video editing, and a finished video product available for the audience to view before they even sit down for lunch (or the afternoon sessions, dinner, whatever the case may be). Conference video production with speed and finesse Working with one video producer and one interviewer, a series of videos like the one below were created, each in less than two hours. From shooting the first frame to handing the finished file to AV crew at the back of the room, we pumped them out with accuracy and, we hope, style. We’re keen on developing this fresh new idea in conference video production, so let us know what you think via the contact...

Square video production for social media video

Last month I finished off a number of square video edits I cut for the Public Education Foundation after working as a video producer at the organisation’s Sydney awards nights for a second year running. There’s a simple concept behind square video production; a versatile format which tracks well across different platforms on different devices; not least Facebook and Instagram when video is viewed on mobile phones. Gone are the days of widescreen-only video production. These videos garnered tens of thousands of views on Facebook and Instagram both (the slightly less traffic-erific YouTube version, sitting in a 16:9/widescreen window, appears below as that platform makes embedding easier!). If you’re viewing on a mobile device, check out the square Facebook version here. Drop us a line via the contact tab  – or at bill@billcodemedia.com  – if you’d like some social-ready square video production for your...

Vanuatu’s plastic ban: Video producer with the BBC

Here’s a recent piece I pitched as video producer to BBC Reel, whom I am commissioned by; I work as a video production gun for hire but have a background in video journalism. If you don’t know this arm of the BBC they do some great little stories from around the world, commissioned from the organisation’s New York office. This piece also ran globally on the BBC World News TV channel. Vanuatu has one of the toughest plastic bans in the world and as of December it will be the toughest. I wanted to highlight that; producing environmentally-focused pieces can get overwhelming. There is a lot of bad sh*t happening in the world, but good people are doing good things, too. There has to be hope. And producing videos about them makes sense to me. Speaking of tough, producing journalistic work like this to the visual and technical standard expected for TV is tough going when working alone. I always think the term ‘video journalist’ doesn’t quite capture it, conjuring up stressed and overworked journalists who would rather be focussing on their investigation, not their focus ring. Which, given video journalists are researching, interviewing, wrangling, flying drones, editing, backing up files at night, and driving too, would be understandable. I consider this ‘short documentary’ work! Thankfully on this trip to Vanuatu’s Efate island (in and around the capital, Port Vila) I was able to plan enough, over enough time, to make sure the video production was of the high quality you’d expect on the BBC. No viewer has to know it wasn’t a three-person team 🙂 And it was...