Advertising Film Production

Preparational work for the advertising film production: The scene is properly illuminated, the camera is in position. The make-up artist checks again the actress’ made-up wound, the hair stylist gives the hair an intended messy appearance. The director takes his seat behind the monitor and the camera focuses on the actress – Action! There really seems to be a touch of Hollywood at the film set when shooting an advertising film – of course in our case, the film crew is much smaller but also considerably more flexible.

The one thing which makes an advertising film so special is the fact that film-makers are given free rein to experiment with their creativity: there is a broad gamut of possible activities. Phantasy knows no limits. And that is valid for all different parts of the production, concerning brainstorming, the searching for locations, the development of a great screenplay and the selection of the actors as well as the actual shooting and even the post-production. Using modern technology, we manage to deliver a big show – even as a small team! We will lead you through the different steps of our production by using our newest advertising film as an example.


The Idea for the Advertising Film Unfolds

Let’s go back in time. May 2015. The idea has been established: A special advertising film, which indeed resembles a short film. But not in the typical sense – it is rather supposed to be a thrilling story, which arouses the audience’s curiosity. The denouement should take place at the end of the film. All in all, the film must be decisively different from explanatory videos where the selling of a product to the client lies at the film’s core. Also, for our team, this is undoubtedly going to be an exciting advertising film production! Maybe you search for inspiring ideas and suggestions for your own advertising film too? For this purpose, we invite you to browse a bit through our film productions and let yourself inspire!

Search for Subjects for the Advertising Film Production

For a start, we go out in search of an appropriate location for the shooting. The place must suit the story. In this case, it should convey adventure and danger, it must not be too neat but seem rather large and cold. Usually, we are looking for shooting places ourselves. Through longstanding filming experience at most varied places, we know several possible locations in this region. And we keep our eyes open for new, exciting subjects. Every place worth considering is examined closely: which shots are possible here, which perspectives are promising? And most importantly: do we get a filming permit? From the subjects coming into question, we take pictures of likely settings in advance. This way, the customer can picture what’s achievable.

Concerning this case, we were lucky. Initially, it seemed impossible to get a filming permit for our most favored location. But we could not help ourselves and fell in love with the subject. It was just perfect. Sordid, run-down, the walls dotted with color splashes, the floor full of bird droppings and rusted spikes, everything rotten. In other words: Exactly the place we searched for. We were convinced that we had to give this a shot because where there’s a will there’s a way. And we truly managed it to convince everyone that we just needed to shoot our film at this very place. The result speaks a clear language: Our effort and patience were worth it! It was the perfect filming location for the first part of the advertising film.

Development of the Film’s Concept


When the general idea is clear, the next step is to develop the storyline. In order to produce a convincing advertising film, it is very helpful to write a screenplay – just like you were producing a cinema film. This facilitates the shooting strongly, and it is even indispensable when it comes to working with the actors. On the other hand, it also serves as a structure giving all persons involved a solid guidance during the film production.

Especially when a whole team is participating in the production, this approach is very reasonable. A screenplay also gives an overview of the necessary quantity of settings, the film’s length, the scheduling of the scenes’ different shootings etc. For each project, it is of high importance to outline the preferred result as detailed as possible already before the shootings start. Therefore, we are dedicated to this phase of the production spending our time and using our creativeness – because, in the end, it will contribute to the final product’s quality.

Casting for the Film Production

The film will not be effective if the actors do not fit into the broader concept – whether the shootings were outstanding, and the technique was flawless is irrelevant and cannot outweigh such a defect. Hence, it is utterly relevant to take one’s time in order to select the actors in a thorough and thoughtful process. If you did not already choose any main actors or models for your film, we would be very glad to help you in this matter.

The Perks of a Flexible Crew

Our crew consistently adapts to our client’s special requirements and interests. Considering the specific needs and expense, we build up the right team for the film production.
In the past, I participated in many projects as a single cameraman. I really love this freedom, but nowadays I also appreciate teamwork. The experiences and results which one can achieve as a team are just considerably different.

Notably, when it comes to an advertising film, it makes much sense to engage not only a cameraman. This way, he can fully concentrate on its real tasks. He can take his time for the perfect setting and lighting, while the director cooperates with the actors and arranges the necessary stage directions. Furthermore, the make-up artist and hair stylist are charged with the actors’ look and are responsible to avoid time-consuming post-editing during the post-production. Moreover, they bother to ensure that the actors harmonize with the overall concept – an aspect which is decisive for the advertising film’s final effect (irrelevant of its length).

Advertising Film Production in 4K

As I already mentioned in my last posts, Kreativfilm nowadays considers 4K as its standard concerning the advertising film production. Thereby, we recognize that this is undoubtedly an innovative trend and we embrace our attitude to be a company using state-of-the-art technology. But what does 4K mean? It refers to the resolution of digital cameras which of course also encompasses that of terminals.

A 4K-camera delivers a resolution consisting of up to 4096 pixels (breadth). This corresponds to a resolution four times larger than a full-HD – it does not surprise, thus, that term „Ultra High Definition Television” is used in this context. 4K is already usually used in cinemas and it is true that 4K will mean some extra costs for video production.
Nevertheless, we are strongly convinced that for most productions this little expense will pay off. Why is that? Just consider the fact that 4K is (thanks to modern technology) being used more and more in private households. There are even YouTube-videos in 4K, a considerable number of series are streamed in 4K-quality and hence, more buyers will purchase 4K- televisions or computers. Our goal is that your film delivers the best quality possible to appeal to your clients – therefore we believe in this format already today.

Photography During the Shootings

Although film posters on advertising columns, DVD-cases or even film reviews in the newspapers often feature pictures of certain film scenes, most people never heard anything about set photographers – because no one considers the origin of those pictures.
Many people assume that the images are merely showing a section directly from the film itself: a still image in the literal sense, so to speak. A “frame” which was cut out of the variety of moving pictures.

However, due to the additional expense, this is very uncommon. Therefore, we regularly work with a professional photographer at our set when producing advertising films.
His task is the capturing of certain scenes and actors in order to bring across the film’s atmosphere and essence by using just a few photographies. The advantages are evident: Photos can be used in totally different ways than film material. They are appropriate for press releases or websites. Furthermore, they can immediately be shared on social networks and generate curiosity for the film even before the production ends. Lastly, decent making-of pictures allow providing information of the production itself – leading to an increased level of attention which is exactly what you want to achieve regarding your film.

The Post-Production: Video and Sound Editing

Postproduktion Workflow

Having filmed everything, the post-production begins. Firstly, the production’s complete material must be analyzed and sorted. The cutter looks after these matters, consistently cooperating closely with the director. Furthermore, the client is involved in this process as we provide her/him a pre-cut giving some first impressions of the production.
This way, also the client can contribute to the final product.

After the video editing follows the sound editing. The final film sound is by far not only just a sound recording. This merely should be considered as raw material for the final sound. Nevertheless, this means that the original tone’s recording must be flawless. Of course, the original sound can still be enhanced by mixing, but it cannot be corrected properly.

Did you know that a major part of the advertising film’s effect is based solely on its sound? Our sound engineers take care of outfitting your film material with the best sounds for the editing process. This does not only encompass the actors’ voices but also recorded “Atmos” which refer to the general sound atmosphere of the shooting locations.
These sounds are then prepared and mixed as well as equipped and complemented with music. This is known as sound design. Additionally, certain sounds are of high importance. The sound of a ticking bomb, which could not be heard by listening to the original sound, is added. Or, for instance, the ominous steps of an approaching enemy. And, yes, you guessed it: There indeed is a separate profession for it! Hence, thanks to the so-called Foley artists, there are now excellent databases where one can look for certain sounds if necessary. We suggest watching our films with closed eyes for a few minutes. Then you will realize, how important the sound itself really is.

The Actors for an Advertising Film Production


We produced our current advertising film for a company’s insurance fund. While doing so, we enjoyed a considerable amount of creative freedom thanks to our client. Hence, we could indulge in using our creativity to the fullest. A young woman, a ticking bomb, a giant and abandoned industrial plant. Times is passing quickly. Will she make it? Will we make it?

Again, and again, we reminded ourselves of the adage: no risk, no fun! And it stood the reality check. This is the beauty of a small but flexible team: Sometimes you just manage to make the impossible possible. During the production of this project, we accompanied every single step of it as an agency and we are happy to say that the shootings were so much fun, and that we are indeed proud of our little film! This example clearly shows that our team is specialized in managing your project from the very beginning to the very end.
We provide you with customized for your advertising film. You have some specific questions?

About the Author

Carsten is the CEO of the Kreativfilm GmbH. Since 20 years he is working as a video producer and is giving free hints in his Blog as expert of the video business.

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