Video as a recruitment tool

Job advertisements are boring.

Yes, I guess there are some legal points you need to cover. The copy needs to be written so that you attract the right people, and deter the unsuitable. If you’re advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram, having the right tool is crucial to getting the attention you’re looking for.

The best way to invite people to join your team is with a real human sharing their real experience. Here we have Alex, a midwife at Birthing Centre in Tauranga. She has a powerful reason for why she loves her career, and her story is relatable with other potential candidates. This is all Alex’s words, nothing is scripted.

I encourage clients wherever possible to avoid reading from scripts. Sometimes the strategy of the video will dictate when a scripted approach is required - but it’s so easy to lose authenticity. Scripts allow you to nail information but I think the information communicated is secondary to how you want the viewer to feel after watching.

I also ask people not to prepare answers. What you think I want to hear, is almost always not what I want to hear.

So in less than 60 seconds we build connection with another person, relate to her story, and it paints a picture of how people feel when they take a career at Birthing Centre.


To achieve this video we needed two things

  1. An authentic story

  2. Visuals that support that story

It started with a quick chat to determine the key points that we needed to get across. It became immediately apparent that a career with Birthing Centre allows Alex to fulfill the reason she wanted to be a midwife in the first place. After setting up a nice big softlight in a vacant room, we rolled the camera and dove into that, allowing Alex to share her passion for midwifery, as well as a few other areas that can give potential candidates the “I want to work here” feeling.

B-Roll (what we call the action shots alongside the interview) was fly-on-the-wall style filmmaking for about an hour. We filmed this whole video in a way to avoid too much disruption to Alex’s normal work day, and the whole thing took less than half a day.

Birthing Centre now has a great asset to use alongside any future recruitment efforts. And I learned a whole lot about something new, which I think any filmmaker, cameraman, videographer can relate to. Success!

Building Relationships - Youth Filmmaking Workshop

As part of a collaboration between BOP Film, Baycourt, and the International Youth Silent Film Festival, we ran a series of filmmaking workshops in Tauranga and Whakatane. The students spent three days learning about writing, directing, planning, shooting, editing, acting, makeup & SFX, and stunts.

This is Building Relationships, the film we made in July as part of the Tauranga workshop.


Shot in one day, with myself shooting one of the cameras and students on another.

Getting stuck in and just doing it is my favourite way to make films. Focus on having a good time doing it and work with what you have, you’ll learn a ton and have something to look back on.

Don’t worry it was totally safe ;)

Barrow Cam small.jpg

On The Road - New Zealand - Tauranga to Auckland

Warning: This post is me being a film nerd, but I believe in finishing what I start, so this video needed to go somewhere ;)

Here's another compilation from a recent road trip up to visit family. We stopped off in chilly Matamata to see a friend's market stall, then spent an absurd amount of money at Tart Bakery (it's not just any regular kiwi bakery).

I didn't have any real plan for taking this footage so I made a demo of one of my favourite tools, Filmconvert. It gives you a straight up nice looking image with little effort - but still gives a lot of control. You can dial in the colour and the contrast separately, so fine tuning a look is really easy.

And their clever grain generation is... clever. It generates it true to the film stock and is also responsive to the actual footage, as opposed to just an overlay. So the grain will vary dependent on the luminance and colour underneath. Now we don’t need to shoot on expensive 35mm cinema film, just use this!

My process is to put the Filmconvert plugin in an adjustment layer, and then tweak each individual shot BEFORE the plugin. And those tweaks are usually limited to the lift/gamma/gain controls, and occasionally a white balance adjustment when it's really needed. I don't like to fuss around with it too much. Most of the time the imperfection is where the gold is found. Or where the magic lives. I'm not great with metaphors.

One day I'll get a smaller gimbal and shoot something like this again. But regardless I'm a big fan of the handheld look. Check out Y Tu Mamá También where I don't think they used a tripod even once and that's a damn fine piece of cinema.




Armageddon, cosplay, dragons

My plans to spend another Saturday doing client work and tidying up my edit drive were thwarted by a trip to Armageddon with friends (and wanting to spend time with my fabulous girlfriend on our day off). So since I'm not really into the anime/manga/cosplay scene I thought I could make something of it. Actually I do like gaming but I'm patiently waiting for the next Red Dead game.

That morning I woke up to a notification from Peter McKinnon (famous Youtuber, look him up, he's great) and got inspired to create something that kinda-sorta-halfway emulates his as well as other Youtuber's styles.

So I shot what I saw, thought about how I would piece things together, and didn't allow myself any second takes*

*That's a lie, but the intention was there, most of this is all first takes. I pretty much always subscribe to having a second option/take, but it's a good challenge to think ahead and get usable stuff in one attempt.

Then I took it home and challenged myself to smash out an edit on the same day. And to use enough cool transitions to make you dizzy. With my regular video production work there's not often a place for a spin into a whip pan into an RGB split crash zoom, so it's good to get experience timing them well, for when the opportunity shows up.

Plus I remembered this hilarious quote from one my of favourite shows:

“Guy at the station says he’s never seen so many star wipes in a row. It’s never been done.”
-James McGill, Better Call Saul

Shot on my trusty Panasonic GH4 in CineD profile with -5 Sharpness and -5 NR

12-35mm f2.8 lens

Rigged on my hands

Edited and Graded in Adobe Premiere with Lumetri and Filmconvert

Hey look, I even took a screenshot of my settings if you want to have a go: