Here at Hyperfine we specialise in video production for the manufacturing and engineering sectors. Here are some of the challenges we typically face on-site and in the edit – as well as our tried-and-tested solutions.

1) Large scale projects require bespoke thinking

We often find ourselves filming in large warehouses or factory floors. They’re full of activity as people go about their work, but to a casual observer the environment is difficult to interpret. This is where we start employing a few creative techniques like time-lapse or drone footage to capture the scale of the operation, and to give a sense of movement and activity.

2) It pays to be prepared

When on-site we wear all the PPE kit and follow any safety rules which apply. However to keep the shoot as smooth and safe as possible we often like to recce the location beforehand to get a feel for what we will and won’t be able to achieve. Recces are also useful for meeting interviewees, refining the schedule and answering any questions. That means when the day of the shoot arrives, we’ll have the right kit, the right shot list, and the right PPE.

3) Sometimes we can’t film everything

Confidentiality is key in the manufacturing sector. Often equipment and expertise is commercially sensitive, and we need to film around certain areas and machinery. The simplest option is to cut out anything sensitive through careful framing but when that’s not possible we can add masks and blurs in the edit to ensure we’ve protected IP and proprietary information.

4) Automated processes are fast

Mechanised production lines can sometimes work faster than the eye can follow. That’s when it’s time to call in the slow-motion technique. Recording at up to 240 frames per second, slo-mo allows us to show a superhuman view of fast moving machinery, giving a unique perspective on what would otherwise be a blur.

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5) Machines are noisy

That may seem to be stating the obvious. We’re used to manufacturing environments being noisy, we just use ear defenders and the job’s a good’un. It’s different for our mics though. Recording background noise has its own set of challenges, especially when it’s constant sound at high volume. We remedy this by adding sound in post-production or by using different soundtracks such as music or voiceover. Each sound environment has its own challenges which we approach fresh with each production.

6) Let the lens out of the bag

Capturing detailed work is a job for macro lenses. These are designed to capture images in extreme close-up, and the nature of the lens means the whole image is in sharp focus without distortion. This give us great flexibility in post-production and means we can record even the smallest component, or the most detailed craftsmanship.

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7) Some companies prefer a more traditional marketing approach

The manufacturing sector can be quite traditional in its approach to marketing. While we can create a great film to showcase your company, the danger is that not everyone of your customers is going to take the time to click on a video link. Fear not – we can load the videos onto branded USB sticks to be handed out at expos, or ready to be played on a big screen on an exhibition stand. Video books are also an attention grabbing giveaway – these look like simple printed brochures but with an embedded small screen which plays a video message.

Creating video for the manufacturing sector comes with its fair share of challenges – but at the same time offers a wonderful opportunity to speed up, slow down, and get close-up with a range of fascinating subjects. Best of all we get to visit the most challenging and unconventional workplaces in the UK and capture these for a wider audience.

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