Every few weeks we will be featuring one of our vetted content producers on the blog, Our community comes from far and wide ranging from freelancers to video production agencies (and most roles in-between!)
This week we catch up with Nadia and Matt from Melbourne based video production company, The Story Shed.
Can you tell us a little bit about Story Shed?
Story Shed is a Melbourne based video production company and we make broadcast-quality screen content. We’re a partnership run by shooter Matt Jasper and myself, a multimedia producer. Matt and I have both been working in the international broadcast world for 20 years. We’re a complimentary combination with Matt bringing award-winning camera skills to the business, while I’ve got the editorial and story telling side of things covered with 17 years producing and reporting at the ABC behind me.
Story Shed itself is a relatively new company (formed in November 2015), but Matt and I previously worked together on a number of projects making web content, internal comms videos and TVC’s before formalising the partnership. Right from the beginning we clicked and realised we shared a strong desire to make our own content rather than other peoples.
We also offer great radio and photography at Story Shed.
Story Shed is based in Carlton in Victoria but we travel all over the country for work. I’ve been in production for over 20 years mainly as a cameraman/editor. The good thing about this partnership is that Nadia and I have complimentary skill sets.
Why did you choose dive into the video production industry?
We’re here because we love the challenge of engaging with an audience. I love exploring people and what makes someone tick. I always wanted to work in video but I started my career in radio. I absolutely fell in love with the intimacy of recording and editing voice but there was always a hankering to add pretty pictures to the story too.
I fell into the media industry but I dug my heels in from the get-go. I worked as hard as I could, including going back to Uni and studying Journalism as a mature age student. I can be pretty determined and only ever strive for the best. Matt is exactly the same. Determined and a very hard worker.
I never really wanted to do anything else. During the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria my class made a video on the impact and I was cameraman. I was 10 and from then on in that was it. Over the years I’ve worked on all kinds of productions so I’ve become a good problem solver and enjoy the challenge of coming up with innovative and new ways to approach things.
What’s been your favourite project that you have worked on so far?
What I love about this job is that you learn something completely new every time you take on a new project. We’ve just returned from filming in one of the most remote and sparsely populated places in Australia. It took 6 plane trips to get there, was completely challenging, eye opening and a once in a lifetime experience but was it any more rewarding than using Matt’s good looking but poorly behaved dog on set a couple of weeks ago, or playing with cranes last month? It’s all good.
Every job is different, each with their own challenges and rewards. I love the fact that we get to see so many different parts of the world and meet so many different people. We have shot in crane yards and we have shot in remote Western Australia.
We’ve also had to get my dog to sit still for 30 seconds behind a desk. Every morning when I wake up I am looking forward to getting to work, wherever our office might be that day.
Strangest request a client has asked of you?
See dog answer above. Diesel (my lab/kelpie cross) is better known for his looks than his behaviour.
Where do you see the industry going as a whole? What are the trends that you are seeing?
Over my career, I’ve seen a massive shift in the way audiences are consuming their content and as content producers we not only need to operate in todays space but think about new and innovative viewing opportunities.
Audiences are smart and savvy and have more choices than ever before so treat them with respect or go home. Content producers need to use production budgets wisely and try and stretch dollars through make multi-platform content. We need to keep costs down and production values up.
I’m seeing a massive demand for video production and content but there is also a lot of competition. Make great looking content and don’t compromise on your standards.
I think that video is here to stay, particularly with so many new outlets for the footage. Social media is really becoming a strong final destination for a lot of our projects. People are watching video differently and on different devices, you no longer need to be on the couch at home or in front of your laptop.
People I think also have shorter attention spans so tapping into the market that swipes right or left depending on their mood is important.
Being able to repurpose material to use across different mediums I think is an important skill moving forward.
If you could travel anywhere for work, where would you go?
I’ve worked in the Pacific before and I’d go back in a heartbeat. The colours are magic, the people are straight up and pure, plus there’s wonderfully strong cultural stories to tell.
In my career I’ve worked in over 40 countries so a better question might be – Where wouldn’t you go? – The answer would certainly be shorter. One place I am really keen to get to would be the Antarctic.
If you could witness any event in the past, present or future, what would it be?
Right now Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is so hot. I’m looking forward to Australia going through a similar coming of age and being able to celebrate the marriages of my gay friends and seeing widespread acceptance of refugees. Right here in Australia.
When I think about some of the pivotal moments in history, maybe the moon landing is one thing I would have loved to see. It’s such a good news story. Most of the world events that we remember and hold on to in this day and age are sad events.
What does a perfect day look like to you?
After making content for 20 years you know what works and what doesn’t, who will make good talent and who to avoid, how to use the first 10 seconds and when to use emotion to capture a viewer. It’s a perfect day when all these elements come together.
Also, I like to be totally organised by the time we get around to filming so if everything is in order and the sun is shining I’m happy. If I’m organised I’m ready to troubleshoot and seek out new visual goodness.
As a cameraman I would like to add that a sunny day is great (see above) but I’ll love some fluffy white clouds as well.
What is the ‘special sauce’ that Story Shed brings to video projects?
Professionally Matt and I are like Yin and Yang. Knowing I can trust Matt 100% to deliver great footage to match the visual concept means I can concentrate on the small details during a shoot.
Also, because we’ve both spent the bulk of our careers operating in the same arena (daily deadlines, pressure, high quality production values) there’s a lot that doesn’t need to be said.
Tabasco. We like to shake things up. We like to try new things and we like to listen and learn.
Need a video? Story Shed and the rest of our community are waiting to work with you!