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In a nutshell – what a great experience!

November 1, 2013

I’ll start with a WOW – what a great experience!

My first ever experience in a professional recording studio – well I have been in a radio studio in the past but that was very different and another story.

Why was I there? – I had the privilege of being referred to contribute to the In a Nutshell series of business videos.  The brainchild of Alex and Angi Wren of Bitpod UK Limited.  In a nutshell is “UK business experts sharing their knowledge via short ‘In a nutshell’ videos.

All those invited, the experts are asked to present a short (less than three minutes) piece to camera about their specialist topic. Each video is then edited and uploaded to YouTube and then shared by social media.  Alex then asks the experts to recommend their experts. New videos are recorded on different specialist topics and so the project goes on.

Alex told me that “This is a marketing experiment that helps contributors to demonstrate their expertise to a new audience, it provides viewers with high quality content, finally we get to demonstrate the power of video; both as content and as a search destination”

That’s the background!

Facts that I picked up from my day – in no particular order!

  • The green chair was found after day’s of searching online for that perfect seat – close up photo below!
  • An autocue machine can cost thousands – but amazing how an iPad comes into its own
  • Script changing on the hoof is a lot easier with practise
  • What you write often needs to be adapted for voice – hence there being scriptwriters I guess
  • The foam on a microphone is for protection only – protection from bashing ones head! (the big fluffy ones used for O/B’s (now there’s a technical term) do actually prevent wind noise and possibly protect from bashes!
  • Pausing, breathing, foot position are vitally important – even when sat down
  • The ability to smile a key aspect – Alex’s distraction technique is amazing for this
  • Your own personal mannerisms, foibles, ticks, tuts, shrugs, stares, scratches are there to be seen – all part of the out takes!
  • Looking at camera after you’ve finished your piece is very important
  • At no point was make  up involved – no concealer, not even photoshopping!
  • There is a fine line between being warmed up and past your best when being filmed – the art of a great cameraman/editor and team
  • The studio is large enough for interviews but not for an aerobics demo
  • That for 150 seconds of video you need about 300 words, a line break is about 5 seconds and a full stop 2 seconds!
  • A lovely cup of tea
  • Very close to Waitrose – car parking (plus plenty on street spaces)
  • Only 2 hours and 20 mins from Hereford – much closer for others!
  • The Bitpod dog is called Max and he is always pleased to see new experts!

What I can say – and this is now on record

“One day on from having had the privilege of sitting in the Green Chair I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences I have had in my business life. The sheer professionalism of working Alex and the Bitpod team made the whole experience brilliant (I can see a recommendation here!) Having no experience of being filmed, using an autocue, writing a script, performing and all the other aspects that need to be considered for this meant that Alex’s experience, knowledge and humour came it it’s own. A thoroughly enjoyable experience – thank you!”

I think that the words that Bitpod use on their company LinkedIn page explain things far better than me.  And having spent a few hours there I can only say that they truly represent what you experience!

“Bitpod’s own studio in Exeter features state-of-the-art cool lighting for a comfortable working temperature, remote control tele prompter to help with smooth presentation and radio microphones to give the best sound quality. During or after filming, there is a remote viewing option so anyone not present can see the footage online and feed back immediately. This is especially useful where a presenter is involved.

The studio is perfect for presentations and demonstrations to camera. For straightforward and brief projects such as these, Bitpod offers a cost-effective express service. For more complex demonstrations and interviews, Bitpod uses external studios able to accommodate large groups. Alternatively, Bitpod can bring a portable studio to you.”

Well here’s the finished product!!!


Click Image to play

My amateur photos – behind the scenes
IMG_00001187 IMG_00001188 IMG_00001190
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