By Gavin Knight

Filmmaker Gavin Knight shares his top tips for making a good brand film.

Gavin Knight is on a mission against brand gobbledegook and applies this clarity to every brand film he makes. He started his career at the very bottom as a runner and never stopped running or learning. At first he helped broadcast journalists make documentaries but then switched to advertising & TV commercials. Currently, As a freelance Writer/Director, he’s won over 30 industry awards.  He’s worked in many countries and made films for some of the world’s most well-known brands such as Microsoft, the FT & Yeo Valley.

Check out his work here:

The better the film, the more people will watch it. People who plan their films, tell better stories. Good filmmaking is not a natural gift. You have to learn your craft. Be it documentary, drama or animation, detailed preparation is key. Here are a few tips inspired by the advertising genius David Ogilvy:

  1. Watch ‘Apocalypse Now’ for inspiration*. Watch it three times to work out how they shot it.
  2. Write a script or do a storyboard. If it doesn’t fit on one page start again.
  3. Keep it simple & think like your audience.
  4. Never substitute technology for good ideas.
  5. Use as many professional crew as you can afford.
  6. If you’re not trying to become a cameraperson, use a DOP.
  7. If you’re not trying to be an editor, use an editor etc…
  8. Spend twice as long in the edit as you did planning & shooting the video.
  9. Never underestimate the power of good music & sound.
  10. Show the edit to as many people as possible BEFORE you release it, especially the clients. Listen to their comments & don’t take it personally (they’re usually right).
  11. If distribution is online, have a VERY good reason to make anything longer than 2-3 minutes.

*insert any other iconic movie


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