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...

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...

Video Producer: Living Languages exhibition at the SLNSW

  I had the pleasure this weekend of taking my kids to see the work I had carried out as video producer for the State Library of NSW in Sydney, for the landmark Living Language exhibition. Asked to work as video producer shooter/editor on a broad-ranging, fascinating exhibition on Indigenous languages across NSW, it was a project which really got the creative juices flowing. The team covered thousands of kilometres being welcomed onto different countries across the state, from Gomeroi and Gumbaynggirr country north of Sydney to Wiradjuri in the centre and back to Gamay/Botany Bay in Sydney. Seeing the country as a documentary producer is privileged work, and tweaking those skills for a gallery audience was a really enjoyable challenge.  Come see the videos! The basic kit for this work was the Canon C300 and a host of different lenses, and a very strong workout for the Mavic Pro 2 drone over rainforests, beaches, deserts and mountains. Dozens of individual stories, vignettes and portraits (the latter shot in a challenging ‘portrait’, ie non-landscape, mode) needed many weeks of video editing and colour grading and it was great to finally see the pieces in existence with other fascinating historical artefacts, beautiful photography and audio recordings which made up the show. Many thanks to the State Library of NSW for the opportunity to work as video producer (camera / shooter, DOP, video editor and the works!) and all of the communities and language groups which assisted us. If you’re passing through Sydney, go and see the show on Macquarie Street! It’s great, and it’s free! And if you need...