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Some thoughts on video

A short Q&A with David Boddington, recently promoted to the position of Head of Video Production – Games at Future.

By David Boddington

Q How well are publishers adapting to the requirements of video production, and what more do they need to do?

Many publishers are taking tentative steps into what for them may seem a daunting new space, but this is an area that Future has been developing for some time. And time is exactly what it takes to make video work. It is through creating solid workflows, and developing both human and technical resources, that Future has been able to produce such a high volume of broadcast-quality output.

Q Should publishers be looking to recruit from broadcast media / TV production companies, or can they develop the staff they already have?

In truth, I believe the best option is a mix. Future already has hugely talented people making great, engaging editorial every day, and it would be a great mistake to overlook such talents. In order to turn their ideas into great video, these people need a highly trained, experienced support network of video experts who can help steer their creative ideas, and help produce and polish a high-quality finished product.

Of course, anyone can pick up an iPhone and start shooting, which has its time and place, but it takes years of training and experience to craft high-quality video.

Q What are your top tips to publishers for running a successful video operation?

Just like running a website or publishing a magazine, there is no magic formula for making video a success. Ultimately, it is something that has to fit in with how your business already works, and must allow you to create output that is engaging to your viewers. So long as you keep the viewers’ needs in mind, you can’t go too far wrong.

Q What are the main pitfalls to avoid?

The greatest pitfalls you need to watch out for are those that may already exist in your business. In the case of Future, we have been developing video for many years, first through our magazine cover discs, then online, and more recently on console, so we have grown up with it as a central part of our business. Some companies may find it very hard to ‘bolt-on’ a video arm to their business model, and if they are coming in completely green, then they should be prepared for some pretty hefty investment in tech and personnel.