A Collaborative Creative Process
Our guest copywriter, Audrey Barnes touched based with us to understand a little bit more about our creative process.
For Alex and Eathan, co-founders of High Tide Media, the life of film and video content creation has opened the door to working on a diverse range of projects. Over time, this adds up to a huge resource of experience, inspiration, and skill. But the process itself often goes unseen, unless you have the chance to join these creatives at work, getting a glimpse behind the scenes. It’s a pleasure then to be able to sit down with this filmmaking duo, to discover a little more about the magic behind their work…
With each new project comes a new creative dynamic, each client bringing unique and individual visions to the work of High Tide Media. As Alex and Eathan point out, you need to get the feel for who your working with, and the main features of the story being told. With the goal of producing authentic and compelling video content, they invest a lot in making sure they get this part of each project right - before filming even begins:
Alex: When creating ideas for a client, I like to build a strong sense of their core vision, image, and tone of voice. You get a lot from a written brief and conversation, but to really understand a client, I like to spend time researching as well, through a combination of reviewing their past content, and getting to know the business’ core vision.
In terms of the vision and values of the company, it’s important we honour this. It can inform our whole process - from the participants we select and locations we capture, down to the kit we choose to use.
It’s also vital that we get to know the target audience, and while we’ve been lucky enough to experience being members of the target audience for a lot of our projects, we like to expand our view as much as possible. We go out to speak with individuals who are representative of those clients wish to engage with the video content, and build detailed viewer personas so that we can keep them in mind throughout the creative process.
Eathan: I find that building up a visual inspiration album or catalogue helps me to illustrate my ideas more effectively in this part of our process. Especially when it comes to more creative projects.
Our angle is so much about the people, and I mould my style to the project, context, and vibe. It also depends on the limitations of the space, time, equipment.
One of the great things about working with the High Tide Media team is their versatility, which allows them to work on such a diverse range of projects. Complemented by a passion and respect for the work and message of others, Alex and Eathan find a wealth of inspiration in clients themselves - from the things they create and offer, to simply being the great people that they are. It’s no surprise then that what results from each project is truly engaging video content, reflecting the heart of each client’s unique mission, and vision:
Alex: I think it’s usually the person that we work with that I find most inspiring. It’s fantastic when you get someone who is super passionate about a cause/project/product. They’re often keen to talk to you about their ideas, not only for a film but also for the future – especially when it’s their baby.
So, we usually look for the “human aspect” that is offered by a certain project or product. If it’s a product that is mainly screen based, we want to focus on the people that use it. Or if it’s a big festival, we want to show the people that founded it, the challenge they overcame, and how (like we hope to do ourselves) they have impacted others through their work. Often it goes beyond the tangible art/product/service itself. I’m a social being myself so want to see other people on screen – just like the majority of audience members for each piece.
Eathan: Depending on the client It can be numerous things. Generally, I find the way a client presents themselves to be what inspires me most, including through their branding. I guess it’s mostly due to me being a very visual person - I need to be visually stimulated, through image and sound, rather than via text. For example, if it’s a musician, it could be the quality of music that they produce, as well as their branding and imagery.
Seeing what reference materials, clients provide usually gives me a good idea about their preferences, and whether the project will be a strong collaboration or not. Sometimes clients bring some great ideas, and limitations, that develop creative thinking, results, and techniques - taking us out of our usual box of thinking. Again, this depends on the client and the type of project it is.
If it is scripted, and very structured, I know in my head what we need to capture, which helps form the shot-list. It makes it easier on set. For more creative projects I like to see how open the client is too new ideas etc. like with more documentary style film projects - you need to be more adaptable, bringing more kit, which is challenging - but it has more creative freedom.
Of course - like all creative professionals and/or artists – this film-making duo has dream clients; folks that they would love to collaborate and work with. Far from limiting their current projects, however, these aspirations provide innovative and creative influence to the full diversity of films that they create:
Alex: Within reach – I think initiatives like Route One are who I would love to work with. I would like to eventually think of ourselves as the video production equivalent. Small enough that you can get to know people, and big enough to have an influence. Also artists and bands like Bonobo, with their unique, authentic, and engaging style.
A24 is another brand we identify with. We want an image which is timeless, which won't be phased out by trends.
Eathan: My dream job would be to go on tour with the likes of Skrillex or Vince Staples and create tour videos etc., capturing their energy and art. As long as I am working with like-minded creatives that I find to be inspiring I would say that would be the ideal job.
We tend to get most of our inspiration from other art-forms and mediums. Like our brand is inspired a lot by musicians, fashion, and icons of pop culture rather than companies. I’ve been inspired a lot by House, Electronic, Trap music visuals lately.
Overall, however, I tend to look at a lot of older films for inspiration, rather than videos from similar events to those where we film - cinema and film gives more range, and timelessness. It's about substance rather than filler shots, and excessive editing or effects. That substance counts in every area of business and creativity - from social media, marketing, interaction, and the final products.
When talking about what influences their own personal creative styles, conversations with Alex and Eathan are alive with enthusiasm - the conversation moves fluidly back and forth, with laughing, nodding, and sharing. For each and every source of inspiration listed, they collaborate in setting the scene, telling the stories of artists, initiatives, and creative movements. It’s clear to see that they are natural film-makers. Even without cameras in hand, their skills in storytelling convey imagery in such a way that anyone listening in would be able to picture every detail, share in their passion, and trust them with their own vision.
Having spent time with these two creatives, seeing their work and speaking to their happy clients, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this young company. To get in on the action, and catch their vibe, give them a follow on social media – join the adventure that’s sure to follow.
To see more of Audrey’s writing visit her blog here.