Learning objective 2,

 

Last week I decided to write up a few criteria’s to asses current websites and how these websites market themselves to the public. This was due to the fact that we wanted to assess the marketplace and how some of the big hitters within the industry. Some of the bigger companies we looked at within this sample size were Soho Squared studios, Codapostproduction and Westdigital. All of which are quite established and constantly work with highly regarded artists and broadcast companies within their portfolios. By reviewing how they market themselves, we gauge a slight idea into how successful companies market themselves. These are the results I discovered upon going through the websites.

 

1. Does this website include social media links?

Looking through the websites, you can immediately get the impression that using social media profiles is a tool used by much younger producers and companies. Overall, out of the 20 companies we looked at. 13 out of the 20 used social media profiles throughout the website. Due to the fact that the vast majority of the companies that come of as modern use social media links as a method of promoting, it’d be quite beneficial for us a new company to do similar.

2. If so, are these links to the social media pages on the homepage?

This question was constructed to determine where we would be placing these social media links. If companies were having links to their socials on the launch page then it would evidently be quite an important to the overall website. Out of the 13 companies that used links to social media page throughout their websites, 7 of them featured links to them pages within the homepage. The 6 that didn’t places the links within pages such as “contact us” and “hire me”. It was also noticeable that the majority of the companies using social media links on their home pages were more active on social media so this is something we will to consider if we are going down the route of heavy promotion within social media platforms.

3. Does the website include a contact email on the homepage?

This question was against used with website format in mind. One prominent aspect I noticed early into tracking these stats was that the email contact was dependent on how companies laid out their websites. Websites that heavily featured prior work on the front page tended to use a contact email within a “contact us” page within the website. Where as companies who took a more minimalist approach when it came to their home pages typically did feature a contact email or an online enquiry form. For the sake of statistics, I lumped in both online enquiry forms and contact emails together. Out of the 20 websites we looked at; 12 of them featured a contact detail within the homepage. I believe that this is a variable that doesn’t matter massively, it’s more so a case of if we have work we want to immediately showcase on the homepage.

4. Does this website include a phone number on the homepage?

Similarly to the prior question, this questions sets out to see what contact details are featured and where about’s they are featured. The rational behind using this question alongside the prior contact email one was also party down to us seeing which the preferred method of contact was. Within the home pages, only 6 of the 20 within the sample had a clear phone number within homepage with the vast majority of them placing it within a “about” or “contract/hire us” section. From this, it could be argued that most companies prefer clients sending emails rather phone calls and placing email address’s on the front page increases the amount of people emailing enquiries as posed to ringing.

5. Do these website use paid for ads on google?

From googling each of these companies individually, only 2 of the 20 placed at the top in ad sections both of which were quite esteemed companies. Due to this factor, we won’t be paying for ad placement as it’s apparent that companies can thrive without it. Also factoring in the lack of a marketing budget.

6. How active are these companies on Twitter/Facebook?

– Est. Multiple posts a day

– Around 1 post a day

– A post every week or so

– A post every month or so

– No social media presence

As stated earlier, 7 of the 20 companies we looked at seemingly had no social media presence that was promoted within the websites. 2 of the 20 companies seemingly didn’t post much at with one of them’s most recent post falling 2 months prior so both of these would fall roughly into the a post every month or so category. A further 2 companies posted roughly every week and another 2 posted roughly once a day. 7 of the companies fell under the posting multiple times a day category. What does this tell us though? It informs us that out of the companies that have a social media presence, the vast majority are incredibly active with various different posts. I also noticed that a lot of the companies retweet pieces done by other companies so it’s evident that a fair amount connections have been made between different companies.

7. Do the companies make reference to current events on social media?

Out of the 13 companies that prominently use social media, only 1 of the companies post about external news stories not revolving around the audio production sphere and that anomaly was an individual who seemed to use his social media’s as more of a personal blog space. Most of the other companies posts fell under 3 categories: write up’s, posts about artists being in and technology. All of which fall under the relevant company subject matter.  Due to this, if we were to make use of social media pages we would stick to exclusively industry based posts.

 

Although the sample sized used was relatively small in the grand scheme of things, i’ve began to notice patterns within the marketplace when it comes to how established companies promote content. The companies that have a more youthful feel to them often use external websites such as Twitter and Facebook as a method of cross platform promotion where as the more traditional companies who are established stick to what they know, this might be due to them having a bigger reputation in the industry. As a company who’s just starting up it’ll be vital for us to use social media and contract information on the landing page as a method of attracting as many clients as possible.

Within February, me and Ed would team up once again on a project, this time providing sound services for a short documentary on a local kick boxer. For this project, we would be required to film sound on location in two locations; a studio and the Fight Factory, a combat sports gym within Lincolnshire. We would also be required to do the sound post production on this piece as well.

 

As this was a project we were informed about quite soon before the recording, we didn’t end up meeting with the team prior and were instead briefed online on what they’d be requiring. As the first few days were spent at the Fight Factory, we decided to just use a Boom and a Zoom to capture impact sounds such as kicks and strikes. We did briefly discussing using a lapel microphone on the kick boxer to capture heavy breathes and such but we decided against this due to the drastic amount of movement that would be happening. We did end up getting a radio microphone out for the talking head interview done on the third day though however as we had more freedom with the subject.

 

For the first day of recording we were alone in the gym with him, for this we would capture key impact based sounds such as kicks to punching bags and workout cutaways such as tire flipping and weights. As we got out the Sennheiser MKE3000 as posed to the RODE NTG2, we were able to avoid picking up the sound of the rain crashing on top of the tin based building, this is due to the fact that the MKE3000 has a much more direct nature. The second day we spent recording the kick boxer leading a session to trainee’s in which he would also be sparing in the boxing ring. For this day we were much more fly-on-the-wall esq. Capturing various sparing sessions and not intervening. This was a day in which we had to constantly be on our feet as the director could tell us to switch on and record at any given time. We also made sure to capture general atmosphere on both given days so we’d have sound to layer over, this proved helpful in the final mix as I would go on to use it as a way of smoothing rough cutaway transactions together.

 

The final day proved to be very short for us. The vast majority of time was spent helping the camera man set up various different shots as we had a decent space to record in and superb lighting. All we would have to do for this was mic up the subject, get a level and record. This was a very short process but we did however need to record at the right level and constantly monitor to ensure no peaks.

 

When it came to the the post production stage, we didn’t have much to do in terms of external recording such as foley and voiceover, this was due to the fact that we were very much fly on the walls and the voiceover would come in the form of the sit-down interview. This overall edit would only take two days with the vast majorly of time spent levelling tracks out. As we had a lot of impact based sounds, we had to level this out so it flowed properly at a consistent level. There was then the issue of adding music, for this we sat down with the director and went through various tracks that he had bought in. We left the decision up to the directors dispersion in the end and he decided against a music track all together as he felt it took away from the impact sounds and often went over dialogue. Another key issue we would have to tackle throughout this process is removing any form of white noise from the sit-down interview. This process was done through using multiple 7 band EQ’s as a method of rolling off specific frequencies. From this point on, it was mainly a case of us consulting with the director on stylistic choices, such as when a certain effect should come in and how quickly should it fade, this was done in the second day after we created a mix.

 

Overall this documentary was a 10 minute piece where the main bulk of work went into ensuring we captured clear impact sounds that we were then able to construct together to create a sort of rhythm and overall pacing. The post production stage was relatively short due to this being a documentary and therefore, having less constructed reality based elements.

- Comparing our primary research with pre-existing marketing texts

– Constructing a marketing strategy

– Creating a logo and a style, idea behind house style and overall branding guidelines (similar to British Airways) rationalising all of our decisions stylistically

– Focus research on two sections from the 12 steps to post production

- Sound recce for a Christmas proposal.

- On location write up

- Post production write up for doc

- Post production write up for a christmas proposal

- Reflective summary

Sound track is part of an online website that looks into the art and techniques of postproduction sound, the post I’m looking at in particular breaking audio post-production into 12 steps; match levels, control dynamics, add audio effects, add music, add sound effects, record voiceover, replace dialog, add ambient sound, apply equalisation, reduce noise, change the pitch of a voice and edit sound with a computer (e.g. tonal changes).

 

Whilst these steps are quite generalised, they helped me seperate the sections up in my head and gave me an idea of where my strengths and weakness’s were. This also means that going forward, I can focus my research on more specific sections in audio post production as posed to looking through texts and websites that broadly viewed audio post production.

Learning outcome 1,

 

Naming a company may seem like something that is merely a detail but it does in fact offer your clients an immediate impression into what your company is, what they offer and how they do it. It’s very important to consider the type of client you are looking at when it comes to this, as a newly formed company we aim to target both demographics as method of increasing our client base, this may change in the future however as we move into a stage where we are able to pick and select who we work with. After long discussions with my other team member, we narrowed the selection down to three names;

 

Orange Crush Productions: This name was very much born with the idea of appealing to the relatively trendy clients who produce projects that aren’t seen as commercial. A huge advantage of this name is it essentially births an identity straight away, with clear idea’s of logo designs and colour schemes. It’s major pitfall however is that it’s almost too abstract and doesn’t immediately inform the clients in what we do.

 

Post-SonicSounds: This was our attempt at coming up with an entirely commercial based name. An immediate issue with this name is that it’s clearly a series of audio based buzz words mushed together, also the fact that “SonicSounds” is purely just two words mashed together for the sake of alliteration. The only good feature of the name is that it makes it clear what we are offering to the clients.

 

SoundInk: This name is a plan on words of the Americanised company names that us Inc which is usually short for incorporated/incorporation. We decided to the change it to Ink as a way of creating a brand that appealed to a relatively hip client base due to connotations of tattoo’s to the word Ink. The name also seems to be not obnoxiously hip to the point of freezing out commercial clients. After a weekly meeting with our tutor, we decided to stick with name due to it’s ability to tell clients what we do whilst also maintaining a relatively trendy nature.