Inspiration

The Art of Editing in Film

Since developing an interest in filmmaking I’ve always had a great admiration for the art of editing. Being able to take the individual parts of a shot sequence and structuring them in a particular way can provoke a various range of emotions within the viewer and help build a desired narrative and feel. Video editors…

Since developing an interest in filmmaking I’ve always had a great admiration for the art of editing. Being able to take the individual parts of a shot sequence and structuring them in a particular way can provoke a various range of emotions within the viewer and help build a desired narrative and feel.

Video editors are often overlooked as their work isn’t always immediately apparent to audiences. In an interview with Variety, editor Joel Cox (American Sniper) explained that “a great edit is the one you don’t see”, meaning the viewer is left to be fully immersed in the film without distraction. On the other hand, there are times when editing can draw attention to itself to help accentuate emotions and atmosphere. Choosing when and how to use these techniques boils down to the intricate art of visual storytelling.

Here are a few of my favourite examples when it comes to the art of editing in film.

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

The editing in Requiem for a Dream breaks standard rules to help drive a story of addiction and the reckless desperation and delusion that can come as a result. The cutting style depicts an increasing momentum to the point of losing control and as such the viewers are made to go through the same anguish as the characters. Standard 90 minute films can expect around 600-700 cuts however, due to the choppy and erratic pace, Requiem for a Dream leads to an excess of 2000. At the beginning of the film each scene averages 90 seconds to 2 minutes but by the end they become fleeting moments of jumbled imagery that disorientate the viewer. Other great techniques, such as the Hip-hop montages that represent the drug use throughout the film, quickly represents the buzz each of the characters are getting from their high as they slowly fall into their addictions.

Requiem for a Dream – Hip-hop Montage

Another notable scene – As Harry and Marion lie in bed together a split screen effect is used to possibly represent not only intimacy but the fabricated closeness between them. See here.

Whiplash (2014)

The emphasis of perfect timing is echoed constantly throughout Whiplash. Cuts are in time with the music and suspense is built around punctuality. The music instructor and antagonist, Fletcher, controls the timing of his band but seemingly dictates the tempo of the film by the way he manipulates the protagonist Andrew. Perhaps the most memorable scene see’s Fletcher getting increasingly angrier with Andrew for being out of sync with the band and hurling a chair at him. The editing in this scene helps build the perfect tension that leaves the audience feeling suitably uncomfortable by Fletcher’s terrifying teaching methods.

Whiplash – Not Quite My Tempo

The emphasis on time becomes an obsession by the end of the movie, with Andrew breaking up with his girlfriend to dedicate himself wholly to practicing his drumming. The final scene show’s Andrew finally earning Fletcher’s approval when he puts on an exceptional drum solo. Again, the editing helps create the scene as fast cuts replicate the energy of the music as well as the change in relationship between the two main characters.

Whiplash – Final Scene, Drum Solo

City of God (2002)

City of God is a brilliant film in many ways, not least by the way in which it represent favela life in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. A frantic opening scene of daily life helps introduce us to the protagonist as he is caught between a leisurely walk with his friend and a gang chasing a chicken that has escaped being killed for a meal. The storytelling and editing here help establish many of the film’s ideologies and themes – including the hectic lifestyle that can often lead to young people’s lives being cut short and the need for escape whilst constantly being chased by your surroundings. The chicken is very much a metaphor for the main character Rocket.

City of God – The Chicken Chase

There are more than 50 highly visual cuts in the first 30 seconds and these are mostly closeups. This not only adds to the chaotic tone but leaves the viewer with a feeling of claustrophobia, another theme that is synonymous with favela life. Another editing technique, the Kuleshov Effect, is used as the editor cuts back and forth between shots of the chicken and the meal being prepared. This interaction between the two shots helps the audience identify with the chicken and the horror he envisions.

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

There are many reasons why Saving Private Ryan is an extraordinary feat of filmmaking, with many critics claiming it to be the most realistic representation of war on screen. The combination of incredible performances on camera to the teams behind the production gave Steven Spielberg the perfect canvas to express his filmmaking prowess. When paying closer attention to the editing we can see a number of great techniques that support this artistic direction, particularly in the opening Omaha Beach scene.

The storming of Omaha Beach at the beginning of the film has been credited with being one of the most accurate portrayals of a WW2 battle. Much of the camera work was shot with the shutter open at 45 and 90 degree angles thus causing a staccato to actor’s movements and an added realism to explosions. Other techniques that added streaking, shakiness and doubling up the frame rate of 12fps to 24fps helped create an uncomfortable and edgy atmosphere that required editor Michael Kahn to craft a story out of footage that no editor had ever been presented with before.

Saving Private Ryan – Storming Omaha Beach

Pulp Fiction (1994)

When I think of Pulp Fiction I think of endless quotes, unforgettable characters and ultimately one of the coolest films ever made. Tarantino is a master of creating entertaining conversation and editor Sally Menke does a fantastic job of editing scenes that would fall flat without the right pace to build tension. Being able to understand the complex chronology of the film whilst also tying in the numerous subplots happening alongside the main story required and editor that could make sense of it all and understand Tarantino’s creative direction. They worked together on many great films including Inglorious Bastards (2009) and the Kill Bill two-parter (2003-2004) until her untimely death in 2010. Many people point to the famous “what does Marsellus Wallace look like?” scene as their favourite but for me, because of the amazing tension the editing builds, I’d have to say my favourite is the one below.

Pulp Fiction – A Shot of Adrenaline

 

How To

How To Commission Video

After watching an advert or video online, it’s easy to look past all the work and decisions that went into making it. It requires a ton of work from many different people, inputting their ideas at certain points. Here at Manto, we’re passionate about creating videos that engage with audiences, however we understand video can…

After watching an advert or video online, it’s easy to look past all the work and decisions that went into making it. It requires a ton of work from many different people, inputting their ideas at certain points. Here at Manto, we’re passionate about creating videos that engage with audiences, however we understand video can seem daunting and a scary prospect.

Great, you’ve decided that video is the medium that you want to use!

Now what?

Firstly, define your objective. It might be to promote a product, job vacancies, tell a story or entertain your audience. Write down the rough objective in a sentence or two.

Secondly, you might, or might not have an idea of how you want to achieve this objective. We are more than happy to brainstorm and create some concepts, but are equally happy to work to a brief. We’d recommend doing some video research online of competitors and companies out of your sector for inspiration. Video is subjective, and examples can give us a clear idea of what you like and don’t like. We’ll also discuss the best platform to distribute the film, which also helps to target your audience.

Thirdly, get in contact with us! We’d love to hear from you. Even if all you have is your objective, we can help expand this with you.

Next we’ll meet with you, explain further of the process we’re both about to embark on together. We’ll talk you through and help you think about who your audience is, the objective for the video, and most importantly come up with some creative ideas. We’ll have done some research on your company and your competitors online, and tried to gather an overview of the brand.

Once we agree what is required, we’ll send across a quote detailing exactly what we’ll deliver and what’s included in the price. If you’re happy, we can start moving forward with the pre-production phase of the process. During this stage, we’ll be booking shoot dates, looking at locations, casting (if required). Scripting and storyboarding is something additional that we can offer to give yourselves or other decision makers a clear idea of the plan.

On the shoot day, we understand that it can be daunting, but we believe in making the shoot day as fun as possible for all. Ultimately everyone enjoying the shoot will result in a better video! Depending on the shoot, it’s really helpful to have you there to help with any decisions on the day, but sometimes we’re more than comfortable completing the shoot and letting you know our progress.

The post production process is where the video really comes to life. There are many different elements to this stage including voice-over, music, editing style and grading that really gives the project energy.  We’ve implemented a 2 rounds of amends with every project which helps give the video a deadline. There will be many people wanting to input their opinions, and we’d recommend one person taking charge of this feedback.

Once you are happy with the project, we’ll send across a download link for you to upload to YouTube, Facebook, Instagram. We’re more than happy to work with you on this, and guide you through it to all the different platforms with accessibility considered.

Now you know how commissioning a video works, and the processes involved, why not get in contact? We’d love to hear from you and help guide you through the process.

 

How To

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should my video be? We would suggest that video length is dependent on output. For example, a promotional video that will be placed on your social media should be as short as possible, with normally a maximum length of 60 seconds. However, other videos for use within your company, for training or other…

How long should my video be?

We would suggest that video length is dependent on output. For example, a promotional video that will be placed on your social media should be as short as possible, with normally a maximum length of 60 seconds. However, other videos for use within your company, for training or other purposes, could be longer. We would say the main thing is always keeping in mind that the audience needs to be engaged – the length of video plays a major part in this.

Do I need to provide a clear visual idea?

We have worked with a number of clients who did not initially have a clear visual idea. That’s where we come in! As a team, we have a wealth of experience and will work with you to understand your audience and offer creative suggestions and ideas. Equally, we are used to and enjoy working with clients who have very clear visual ideas.

How do I get a quote for a video?

Every video is unique. Therefore, the best thing to do is give us a call or send us an email. We would be really interested in speaking with you to find out a little more about what you are wanting. Once we have agreed on a brief, we can give you a quote with a break down of costs.

Can you use and edit footage shot by ourselves/other companies?

We often find that it is easier for our clients if they come to us for both pre and post production, meaning we do both the filming and editing. However, we understand sometimes this can’t be possible and so we are more than happy to do so.

How will I receive the final video and what format will it be in?

We will send you the final version of the video through a downloadable link on WeTransfer.

The technical specifications will be as follows:

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 FullHD

File Type: Mp4, h264 codec

We can provide alternatives if requested.

How long is the usual production process?

This can vary hugely depending what the project will involve and what your time scale is.

What is the normal process for producing a film?

We will always try to be clear in communicating every step of the production process with you. The normal process looks at working with you in agreeing on a brief and writing a treatment that presents a clear concept and approach to the project, along with writing a script and storyboard, if they are needed. We will then decide on a shoot date with you and following this will try to deliver the first version of the video within 7-12 working days.

Can I give input into how the film is edited?

Each video has two rounds of amends included in the cost. Once we have completed the first draft, we will send it to you via a private link on vimeo. You can feedback any amends by commenting on the video in Vimeo, emailing or giving us a call. This process happens twice, after which we will send you the final version.

There’s a song I really like, can we use it in the video?

In video production, music can play a key role in communicating your message. Therefore, we like to work closely with you in deciding upon a style and making sure the right music is chosen. Sometimes we are able to use a requested song, however often this can be expensive for the client due to license fees! As a result, we often use music tracks from a royalty-free music track website and, if desired, can provide various suggestions of music tracks.

Will it be ready tomorrow?

We always want to make sure we produce the best for our clients. Turnarounds could vary depending on the project but generally is between 7-12 working days after the shoot date. We will always confirm with you what that turnaround will be and if you have a specific deadline, we will try our best to help achieve this.

For the LOLs

Manto’s Mince Pie Chart

It’s the most wonderful time of year again – no not Christmas, Mince Pie season! For us at Manto, this started as soon as they hit the shelves in early November. Since then we’ve been scoffing them on a near daily basis and are proud to bring you our top 11 Mince Pies (we chose an…

It’s the most wonderful time of year again – no not Christmas, Mince Pie season! For us at Manto, this started as soon as they hit the shelves in early November. Since then we’ve been scoffing them on a near daily basis and are proud to bring you our top 11 Mince Pies (we chose an odd number just to annoy Director Paul).

Before we get started it’s worth mentioning the early dilemma we faced. Our very own Lizzy gave a look of disgust when presented with the first mince pie and this threatened to hinder the very important research we were about to undertake. Nevertheless, a few days of force feeding soon changed that and we had a full team of hungry experts keen to seek out the best mince pies our local shops were offering. So, counting down from 11, here’s our top selection for 2017…

1. Co-Op (Fresh Baked) – Based near our office is a Co-Op supermarket and this proved a good start for various pies that appear on our list. However, the Co-Op freshly baked range did not go down well. A mix of dubious crunchy filling and subpar pastry left us struggling to finish this pie and the whole ordeal was quite an upsetting experience. If you want to see a grown man/woman crying whilst eating a mince pie then go for these and look in the mirror.

2. Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference, All Butter Pastry – Let me tell you, from appearances these bad boys look decent. A fancy star pattern on top and the idea of a deep fill buttery crust got us drooling but problems soon start to arise about halfway through the pie. Matt experienced an unusual crunchiness midway through and was left wondering if he’d lost a tooth. Random crunchiness = disappointing pie.

3. Tesco (packeted)  – Mince pies can vary so much depending on occasion and the overall consensus here is that this is a good everyday pie. Nothing to shout about but not much to complain about really. The Ford Escort of pies.

4. Co-Op (packeted) – Where Co-Op lets itself down with fresh pies it makes up in packeted ones. Another good every day pie but with a little extra taste in the filling than Tesco.

5. Aldi Speciality – Amongst the random array of unbranded goods and home appliances you’ll find Aldi’s take on the classic mince pie. Again, another good standard of pie but they also offered some new and exciting flavours such as salted caramel. After trying these we had mixed feelings and decided that they were too different to be considered for our humble chart. Lizzy particularly enjoyed them because they didn’t really taste of mince pie.

6. Mr Kipling – Ah Mr Kipling. The purveyor of sugary treats. These were eaten early on in our research and held a high position for quite some time. Like most of the Mr Kipling range they are delicious and go down nicely with a cup of Yorkshire Tea.

7. Greggs – Greggs offers the best fresh chain shop mince pies you can get and have the added bonus of also offering pasties. A Festive Bake and a sausage roll followed by a mince pie? That’s lunch sorted! (mmm heartburn).

8. Rolfey’s (actually Anna’s) – Matt likes to take credit for puns and jokes he has actually found on Google. The sneaky bugger also takes credit for mince pies that he didn’t actually make! Anna’s (Matt’s wife) mince pies have a crumbly thick layer of pastry and a deliciously subtle taste to the filling. This got top marks from Lizzy as she hates the ‘middle bit’ and we all agreed that these easily trumped many of the supermarket ones.

9. Tesco Finest (with a hint of cognac) – As we reach what we call the ‘Podium of Pies’ we really begin to distinguish the difference between a good pie and a great pie. Tesco Finest Mince Pies have the added bonus of cognac which means if you eat enough you will certainly have a merry Christmas (or be violently ill). These pies got approving noises from all of us whilst we had our mouths full and it was agreed the flavour was top of the line whilst the pastry was light and crumbly. Simply lovely.

10. M&S – Marks and Sparks proving here that you get what you pay for with mince pies. Paying a more premium price (I think they we’re around £1.80 for 6) gets you a truly delicious pie that is tough to rival. If you have guests round this Christmas then these puppies are definitely worth pushing the boat out for. Quality soft pastry with a filling that leaves you craving more.

11. Crust & Crumb – The King of Pies. Now, we are biased here because Crust & Crumb are a short walk from our office in North Leeds and as far as I’m aware this is their only cafe. However, these pies are worth travelling for let me tell you. With great power comes great cost though and these will certainly leave you out of pocket this christmas if you buy too many. At £1.75 a pie these were easily our priciest pie and, to put that in perspective, the cost of 4 pies from here would have gotten us almost 42 Greggs mince pies (mmm 42 mince pies). Everything about these mince pies was just sensational and Crust & Crumb are worthy winners of our coveted Manto Pie Chart. Well done – please can we have freebies for further research?

So there we have it. We hope you enjoyed reading our painstaking research. Eating so many pies has been tough on our waistlines and with Christmas looming there are no signs of it easing up. Let us know if there’s any you think we missed out and if there’s any people we should avoid.

Until next Christmas my fellow mince pie connoisseurs!

Behind the Scenes

Meet The Team: Lizzy, Junior Producer

Introducing the last Q&A in our ‘Meet the Team’ series.  We hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the Manto team. Lizzy is our Junior Producer here at Manto Films. Lizzy is a self taught filmmaker with an intimidating level of raw talent, both behind the camera and in the edit. She is…

Introducing the last Q&A in our ‘Meet the Team’ series.  We hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the Manto team.

Lizzy is our Junior Producer here at Manto Films. Lizzy is a self taught filmmaker with an intimidating level of raw talent, both behind the camera and in the edit. She is a calm and organised presence on set with a particular gift for pulling together big elaborate shoots without breaking a sweat.

When did you first get interested in film?

I remember studying Baz Luhrmann’s ‘William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet’ at school. I absolutely love the opening scene of this film and was fascinated by the way the whole film is shot to make the audience feel like they are watching a play on stage. It was this in particular that set off a real interest in film and how and why things are shot in the way they are. From this, I grabbed a camera, got iMovie and started to point and shoot to see what I could create.

What’s your favourite project you’ve ever worked on?

This is a really hard one. I absolutely loved the Deliverbrew project with the Brownlee Brothers. Myself and Paul were in london filming Alistair Brownlee, while the rest of the team were in Leeds filming Jonny Brownlee. It was a pretty crazy day with a lot of people involved and a pressure to get the shots we needed. It was awesome driving around London, hanging out the back of a Land Rover trying to keep up with Alistair. I got a real buzz from the high pressure and even more because we got some pretty cool shots!

What film have you watched more times than any other?

Love Actually. In fact, I once watched it three times in one day, it’s just that good! It’s got a great soundtrack, awesome cast and never fails to get me in the mood for Christmas.

What do you get inspired by?

There are lots of things that inspire me. Landscapes, films, communities, art, documentaries. The main thing that inspires me are people’s stories. I will often try to think and imagine creative ways that you could capture someone’s story through film.

If you could, which decade would you want to live in forever and why?

Hands down it would be the 90s. Why wouldn’t you want to always live in the hype of Friends, Kenan and Kel, all the Home Alone films, Supermarket Sweep, tamagotchis, Crash Bandicoot and yo-yos?!

Favourite flavour of ice cream?

I absolutely love ice cream, I could actually eat it everyday, in fact on holiday I make sure I do! My favourite would probably be Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough or Caramel Chew Chew.

What is the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?

Snake. I was working in the US and one evening we caught a snake, gutted it and cooked it on an open fire in the woods. It tasted so good.

Behind the Scenes

Meet The Team: Lizzy, Junior Producer

Introducing the last Q&A in our ‘Meet the Team’ series.  We hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the Manto team. Lizzy is our Junior Producer here at Manto Films. Lizzy is a self taught filmmaker with an intimidating level of raw talent, both behind the camera and in the edit. She is…

Introducing the last Q&A in our ‘Meet the Team’ series.  We hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about the Manto team.

Lizzy is our Junior Producer here at Manto Films. Lizzy is a self taught filmmaker with an intimidating level of raw talent, both behind the camera and in the edit. She is a calm and organised presence on set with a particular gift for pulling together big elaborate shoots without breaking a sweat.

When did you first get interested in film?

I remember studying Baz Luhrmann’s ‘William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet’ at school. I absolutely love the opening scene of this film and was fascinated by the way the whole film is shot to make the audience feel like they are watching a play on stage. It was this in particular that set off a real interest in film and how and why things are shot in the way they are. From this, I grabbed a camera, got iMovie and started to point and shoot to see what I could create.

What’s your favourite project you’ve ever worked on?

This is a really hard one. I absolutely loved the Deliverbrew project with the Brownlee Brothers. Myself and Paul were in london filming Alistair Brownlee, while the rest of the team were in Leeds filming Jonny Brownlee. It was a pretty crazy day with a lot of people involved and a pressure to get the shots we needed. It was awesome driving around London, hanging out the back of a Land Rover trying to keep up with Alistair. I got a real buzz from the high pressure and even more because we got some pretty cool shots!

What film have you watched more times than any other?

Love Actually. In fact, I once watched it three times in one day, it’s just that good! It’s got a great soundtrack, awesome cast and never fails to get me in the mood for Christmas.

What do you get inspired by?

There are lots of things that inspire me. Landscapes, films, communities, art, documentaries. The main thing that inspires me are people’s stories. I will often try to think and imagine creative ways that you could capture someone’s story through film.

If you could, which decade would you want to live in forever and why?

Hands down it would be the 90s. Why wouldn’t you want to always live in the hype of Friends, Kenan and Kel, all the Home Alone films, Supermarket Sweep, tamagotchis, Crash Bandicoot and yo-yos?!

Favourite flavour of ice cream?

I absolutely love ice cream, I could actually eat it everyday, in fact on holiday I make sure I do! My favourite would probably be Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough or Caramel Chew Chew.

What is the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?

Snake. I was working in the US and one evening we caught a snake, gutted it and cooked it on an open fire in the woods. It tasted so good.

Behind the Scenes

Meet The Team: Steve, Editor/Camera Operator

Here we have it – introducing a third member of our team. Steve. Steve is an editor and camera operator at Manto. He is incredibly skilled at making the mundane interesting and we can always count on him to bring much hilarity both on a shoot and in the office. Steve is brilliant at coming up with…

Here we have it – introducing a third member of our team.

Steve.

Steve is an editor and camera operator at Manto. He is incredibly skilled at making the mundane interesting and we can always count on him to bring much hilarity both on a shoot and in the office. Steve is brilliant at coming up with ideas and, through his creativity and imagination, has an impressive ability to understand a brief and bring it to life.

When did you first get interested in film?

I think I first started my love for film and the process behind filmmaking when I was a teenager. I had a passionate media studies teacher who enjoyed analysing important scenes from historical films and it was from these lessons that I began to understand the real emotional impact film can have. When given the opportunity to try making our own short films I thoroughly enjoyed the process and have sought to learn more ever since.

What’s your favourite project you’ve ever worked on?

I’ve had the opportunity to work on a bunch of great projects at Manto but the one I am most fond of has to be the recruitment video we made for Leeds based TPP (The Phoenix Partnership). It was the first project I had a major driving seat with producing and I’m chuffed to bits with how it came out. From planning out each scene to filming in various locations and putting it all together in the edit I found the whole process massively rewarding.

What film have you watched more times than any other?

Probably Anchorman or The Big Lebowski. I think they’re both really quotable but that’s just, like, my opinion man.

What do you get inspired by?

I get inspired by others mostly. Seeing a friend or colleague do something cool makes me want to provoke the same reaction. Similarly if I see a film that is really moving I plan out how I can have the same effect on an audience.

Which cartoon character portrays you the best?

Johnny Bravo without the muscle. I think I’m cool and a hit with the ladies. I’m not.

What three things are most important to you?

I’m quite precious about my soup mug at work. I guess my wallet and keys are pretty important too.

What is the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?

I ate deep fried locusts in Vietnam earlier this year. They weren’t very nice and very crunchy!

 

 

Behind the Scenes

Meet The Team: Matt, Editor/Camera Operator

Are you ready to meet another of our team members? This is Matt. Matt is an editor and camera operator at Manto. His technical knowledge, proficiency with After Effects and eagerness to try new techniques makes him an invaluable member of our team. Matt, when did you first get interested in film? Since I was about 10,…

Are you ready to meet another of our team members?

This is Matt.

Matt is an editor and camera operator at Manto. His technical knowledge, proficiency with After Effects and eagerness to try new techniques makes him an invaluable member of our team.

Matt, when did you first get interested in film?

Since I was about 10, I’ve always been interested in making things that look cool. I’m someone who enjoys achieving something technically and working out how it can be done. Film has been a way for me to apply that, as there are always ways to experiment in front of and behind the camera.

What’s your favourite project you’ve ever worked on?

My favourite project that I’ve worked has been the OTE shoot which was shot in the Lake District. The shoot was in some incredible locations, and was more of an adventure over the two days. It combined two of my passions, the outdoors and filmmaking!

What film have you watched more times than any other?

Hot Fuzz. I could almost quote it line by line. It’s stylish, slick and got a great script.

What do you get inspired by?

I get inspired by a number of different things. It may be an advert on TV, or a billboard poster, or a film, that causes me to think differently or explore the technique that they’ve used. I love the idea of taking someone’s idea and expanding it further by applying it to my work.

What is the most unusual thing you’ve eaten?

Crocodile burgers. Weirdly, Iceland sell them!

What three things are most important to you?

Adventure, Friendship, Apple Pie

Ninjas or pirates?

I’m going to say Ninjas, but since the advert with Mr Bean in the Snickers advert, it’s changed my view of Ninjas!

 

 

Behind the Scenes

Meet The Team: Paul, Director

You will have seen over the past few months that members of our Manto team have shared thoughts on lots of different topics. We look forward to posting more blogs about the work we do and the things that inspire, motivate and challenge us. However, first we would like to introduce ourselves more fully and so…

You will have seen over the past few months that members of our Manto team have shared thoughts on lots of different topics. We look forward to posting more blogs about the work we do and the things that inspire, motivate and challenge us.

However, first we would like to introduce ourselves more fully and so over the next few weeks our blogs will shine a spotlight on a different team member. We hope you enjoy getting to know the Manto team as much as we enjoy working together!

First up is Paul.

Paul set up and is the director of Manto Films. He does a fantastic job at heading up the team and through his encouragement and passion to create, has a great ability of getting the best out of each of us.

 

Paul, when did you first get interested in film?

I grew up in a film loving family but I really got interested in it when I was about 16. We had a film club at school and I remember watching ‘La Haine’ and ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ and being really captivated by them both in totally different ways. That set me off on a journey of learning about the process behind them.

 

What’s your favourite project you’ve ever worked on?

I think the Me vs Me project we produced last year. We shot some of the best stuff we’ve ever shot but more importantly I think the idea behind it was really strong and I love how the message comes across.

 

What film have you watched more times than any other?

Die Hard. I tried to work it out once and I reckon it could be about 30 times that I’ve watched it. It’s proper old school popcorn magic, with real wit, real tension and great action. I pretty much know it off by heart. “Hans! Bubby! I’m your white knight.”

 

What do you get inspired by?

Tons of things. Great films/videos, brilliant novels, the incredibly talented people around me at work and at home… I guess my personal one is the sky. I sometimes try to explain that to people and end up sounding pretty stupid. There’s something about the scale of it; the fact that it’s always changing; when that late afternoon light makes it seem to come alive. I’m a big fan.

 

Which cartoon character portrays you the best?

I’m not sure if this counts but I’d go with Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. I definitely value time alone with my imagination and filter reality through layers of make-believe. And I have spiky hair.

 

Favourite flavour of ice cream?

Strawberry Cheesecake Haagen-Dazs. If it’s not also your favourite flavour then, honestly, you’re wrong. It’s life changing.

 

Are you a morning or a night person?

Morning definitely. I love the peace and quiet of an early morning. I’m rubbish at late nights, takes me days to recover.

Films

Fondly remembered films from my childhood

As a man fast approaching thirty, I’ll be honest, I’m no spring chicken (sorry older people, including my boss Paul). But as I sit in my rocking chair, puffing away on a pipe, in my PJs, I sometimes contemplate all the films I’ve seen and which ones I would consider my favourite. All of us…

As a man fast approaching thirty, I’ll be honest, I’m no spring chicken (sorry older people, including my boss Paul). But as I sit in my rocking chair, puffing away on a pipe, in my PJs, I sometimes contemplate all the films I’ve seen and which ones I would consider my favourite. All of us have those select few from childhood that bring on a keen sense of nostalgia and, if you’re still reading, I’d like to tell you about a few of mine.

In no particular order, here we go!

The Land Before Time (1988)

It’s been a VERY long time since I last saw this film so I have a foggy memory as to what exactly happens (with the help of Youtube & Wikipedia). Not a good start for a fondly remembered film but I was very young when I first saw this and it began my love for all things dinosaur. An amazing tale of friendship mixed with some tragedy and horror made this a rollercoaster ride for any youngster new to the idea of feature length animation.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Ah Jurassic Park. A favourite of many and still looks fantastic today – even after 23 years! I remember eagerly waiting for it to start at the cinema as I sat with my family only to be scared silly by the opening raptor cage scene. Seeing the T-Rex terrorise the broken down tour group only added to the horror and I vaguely remember cowering and crying whilst gripping my dad’s arm. Nevertheless, I left the cinema dino-mad and insisted on buying ALL the toys, stickers and posters. So many great scenes and characters make it hard to choose a favourite however Dr Ian Malcolm’s “Life…uh..finds a way” quote is regularly thrown around amongst my friendship group.

Back to the Future (1985)

Doo doodoodoodoo doo doo. What a classic. Marty and Doc are the quintessential on screen duo for me and who can forget the best antagonist of all time, Biff Tannen – “Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly! Think!”

People often talk about Star Wars and Lord of the Rings for best trilogy but for me it is the Back to the Future films. Easily as quotable as Anchorman – “Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Brilliant.

Space Jam (1996)

Everybody get up it’s time to slam now! This is a perfect example of one of those films you remember being better than it actually is. I made the mistake of watching it again recently and only persevered to the end because of nostalgia (and Bill Murray). Still though, as a child I thought this film was fantastic (Bugs Bunny alongside Michael Jordan – what sorcery is this?!) and I even had a Tune Squad basketball kit which I took pride in wearing. I wonder if it still fits?

Mrs Doubtfire (1993)/Hook (1992)/Jumanji (1996)/Aladdin (1992)

I struggled to decide on my fifth film so I’ve just gone with a bunch of the best from Robin Williams. Such a great actor whose untimely death a few years back made me genuinely gutted. Fortunately we were graced with a whole catalogue of brilliant roles of his that appeal to young and old (Good Will Hunting is a favourite of mine now, as well as Good Morning, Vietnam). The Mrs Doubtfire scene where he sticks his face in the cake to prevent being recognised as a man always brings out a chuckle in me and I’ll always have time for his movies when flicking through channels on the TV.

 

How To

Getting stuck: Why creative blocks can be good

If you are producing innovative work regularly, I’m sure you will have experienced what is commonly known as a creative block. Some describe it as a ‘lack of motivation’, some ‘paralysis’ and others ‘creative angst’. Whatever you wish to call it, the experience is often the same; enthusiasm being sucked right from you. At Manto,…

If you are producing innovative work regularly, I’m sure you will have experienced what is commonly known as a creative block. Some describe it as a ‘lack of motivation’, some ‘paralysis’ and others ‘creative angst’.

Whatever you wish to call it, the experience is often the same; enthusiasm being sucked right from you.

At Manto, creative blocks are certainly no alien concept to us, we will experience them to a varying degree almost daily! Sometimes they come as we work on current edits or as we canvas ideas and create concepts for existing or potential clients.

So often, creative blocks are perceived as having a negative and destructive effect on workflow. However, I want to suggest that, whilst they most definitely are frustrating and sometimes soul-destroying, if harnessed correctly they could actually be a positive thing not just for our workflow but also for our own growth as a creator.  Getting stuck could be good!

When we have a creative block we are faced with a choice: to give up or to persevere. Either we accept that we have reached our creative limit or we search for a deeper level of inspiration.

Leonardo Da Vinci once said that, “The painter who draws merely by practice and by eye, without any reason, is like a mirror which copies every thing placed in front of it without being conscious of their existence.”

It is really easy to get stuck in a place where we act like a mirror, recreating the same things and keep going down the same routes that have been fully explored. I wonder whether creative blocks are a way of encouraging us to discover, develop and grow.

One of our core values as a company is to be brave – to have the courage to take a risk and dare to try something new and with that having the freedom to fail. Getting through a creative block requires us to do just that. We need to allow ourselves the opportunity to take these risks, step back, reconsider our ideas, explore new ideas, good and bad, and maybe even take a new approach completely.

Psychologists have evidence to suggest that stepping back from the problem we are stuck on can be massively helpful in solving it. This only needs to be for a short time and could just be moving to a different task, which in the context of Manto will often be watching totally random videos on YouTube, playing office basketball and/or wrestling with the office dog (these tasks are not to be mistaken for procrastination!) During this time our nonconscious is still working on the problem even though we aren’t sat in front of it, often meaning when we come back to it we experience ‘break through’. Distance from the problem can give us greater clarity.

Something we do often at Manto is asking for the team’s opinion. Generally it’s the case that even when we can’t see the solution ourselves, having another input can be helpful in seeing something different, and a creative side step to a solution.

However you choose to approach your creative block, the key is to not let the fear of running out of ideas or running out of time for a looming deadline set in but to give yourself the freedom to acknowledge the creative block and see it as an opportunity to push your own creative bar higher.

Behind the Scenes

Deliverbrew: How we made it happen

On Monday, we were privileged in being asked to film an event called Deliverbrew. For one day only, free deliveries of Yorkshire Tea were offered in both London and Leeds, by one of the Brownlee brothers and other Deliveroo drivers, hence the name Deliverbrew! Using a teabag toss to decide who would stay in Leeds…

On Monday, we were privileged in being asked to film an event called Deliverbrew. For one day only, free deliveries of Yorkshire Tea were offered in both London and Leeds, by one of the Brownlee brothers and other Deliveroo drivers, hence the name Deliverbrew! Using a teabag toss to decide who would stay in Leeds and who would travel to London, Jonny won and picked to stay in Leeds whilst Alistair stepped aboard a train to London.

IMG_1498We had been aware of the brief for a few weeks and were able to begin planning this complex event. We needed to film in Leeds and London following cyclists through the cities, and deliver the video for next working day. This presented us with several challenges.

It’s easy to watch a piece of TV or online video and take it at face value. It is easy enough to press the record button, but how would we be able to get these shots, who would be driving us, would it be safe?

In order for us to safely film cyclists on busy streets we would need two 4x4s with split tailgates; primarily for the safety of camera operators, the talent and the public, but also to provide the space we needed to move around comfortably. We hired a Land Rover in Leeds and a Range Rover in London, with two drivers ready to travel anywhere.

Back of Land RoverAs deliveries would only be known at the time, we could not plan a route and had to be ready for any delivery. We managed to get cycling shots of Jonny and Alistair in both Leeds and London, getting some great shots with the city behind them.

Once the shoot was complete, we still had the logistical challenge of delivering a next day edit. Having looked into various courier options, we decided the easiest option was for myself to select clips and upload exported segments. I began to copy all the footage and select the best parts of the day, and sent these down to Paul in London who was compiling the edit.

Through all the pre-production planning that we completed, chatting with our client, we were able to get into the best positions to get the shots we needed. Even though several things changed throughout the day, our planning had helped prepare us for anything.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

There were a lot of different moving parts, and many of those were out of our control. I think we worked well as a team to adapt to these quickly changing situations, and get what we needed to make a great video for our client. We loved the challenge and thoroughly enjoyed the day filming with the brothers.

I’m extremely proud of the Manto team and how we were able to pull off a challenging shoot, while having fun and producing a great video for our client and promoting the brand.

image1 (1)

×