ASK FIVE: Molly Fry, Focus Production Films

What do the BBC, Animal Planet, Caffe Nero and Beds on Board have in common? They are all clients of Molly Fry – story teller and filmmaker who bravely turned from interviewer to interviewee as she answers our questions for ASK FIVE.

Q: With increasingly shorter attention and concentration spans how can we make video content even more engaging?
A: Viral videos, with the right amount of budget put behind it, can be created but what does a viral video give you unless your intention is to reposition the brand? What’s most important is to tell stories that capture the imagination and attention and build brand authenticity. If it’s compelling content then people will watch, listen and share it – what’s most important is that your real target audience are captivated by your story.

Q: How do you get the best from a director

A: You need to know what you want to say and who you want to say it to. If you’re not sure about this, speak to a PR company to establish the right strategy before you start thinking about making videos. The video producer can then come up with good ideas about how to say it in the best way that fits with your brand. Know who you are targeting, what you want to achieve and how much budget you want to spend on video assets. Talk to directors and film makers and ask lots of questions about the process, what services are included and that way you’ll get the specialist advice and skills that you need to get the best video to meet your objectives.

Q: What are the extra things to think about when shooting on location?
A: For smooth running of film shoots on location health and safety is essential so make sure that you liaise with your director about potential risks during filming and make sure any permissions or licenses needed for filming are secured before the shoot. Make sure that all the key people know in advance that filming is taking place so there aren’t any surprises and have an agreed explanation to share with curious members of the public.

Q:What are the trends in video/film production?
A: Brand authenticity is critical and there are more and more brands using video as a tool to do this. A recent favourite of mine is Clarks Shoes with their latest back to school campaign. The focus is not on the rugged shoes but how the company supports children’s potential. There is also a trend for well shot and produced mini commercials that bring the quality of broadcast ads to the internet.

Q:What are your top tips for people being interviewed for pieces to camera?
A: Make sure that you prepare what you want to say and have a clear understanding of what you have been asked to talk about. If you aren’t sure then keep asking until you are! When asked a question, take a moment to formulate your answer, breathe and then start talking. The joy of pre-recorded interviews and the editing process is that you can have more than one go at an answer if you’re not happy with what you’ve said.