How I Found Hope In ITV’s Love Island.

It’s not the first time I have faced a creative road block. It’s easy to find excuses as to why the creative juices aren’t flowing, but the truth is, even the most creative people find themselves struggling for ideas at times.

I could have blamed fatigue, moving house, the world cup… literally anything… so you can imagine my surprise when lounging on the couch one evening inspiration struck me in of all things ITV’s Love Island.

We recently finished filming an event summary video for a large client of ours based in Austria. Ordinarily we would send a complete crew comprised of our in-house team but due to the sheer volume of projects in production at the time, we hired a local freelance camera operator with whom we have a long standing relationship.

ISIS Papyrus have been a client of ours since the company started. We had already developed a format for the company’s event videos, however as this film was tied in with a range of content created to celebrate the companies 30th anniversary, it was time to change things up a bit. A fresh start so to speak.

Now, freedom for a creative is both a blessing and a curse. Despite putting our best foot forward, the initial feedback was “let’s try something different”. Obviously we don’t expect our clients to have all the answers; after all they have hired us to be the creative ones which is why it can be disheartening when the first attempts aren’t always to the client’s taste. In truth, I felt like I hadn’t hit quite the right note anyway; I was after all experiencing a creative road block.

I had all the freedom in the world to turn a corporate event video into something different, but I had no inspiration, no image in my head of what I wanted the film to look like. Then came Caroline Flack, Max Morley and the rest of the Love Island cast to the rescue… (I know, I know)

Now as a little aside, I am the world’s biggest football fan, and so these couple of weeks my routine has been to finish work at 6pm, brave the trains back home, pop BBCs radio coverage of the World Cup on the iPhone whilst I power walk home in time for the 2nd half of the evening matches.

My girlfriend told me at the start of the world cup that the conditions for being allowed to watch the footy were that I also had to watch Love Island with her immediately after it had finished. I reluctantly agreed, and this is where I found my main source of inspiration for the event summary video.

If you have ever watched this series of Love Island, you’ll see immediately that it has very high production values. The editing for a start is very good, it’s exciting, it has pace and it has lots and lots of movement (you can see where I’m going here right?). The part specifically that informed how I would start making moves in the corporate edit you can view HERE  at about 1 minute and 8 seconds (HERE is another example although it’s not strictly in the Love Island TV show).

As you can see in the video, the contestants are dancing in slow motion, but the speed is ramped up and then right back down again to make this really dynamic segment absolutely burst with energy. They use this frequently to segway between sections on the show, and it also helps to inject a bit of pace if the scene before has been particularly talky, or to show the passage of time.

So how does this apply to our corporate video? Well, we had a lot of high quality drone footage come back from the shoot – mostly sweeping shots of the new ISIS Papyrus building. This was to be the opening and centrepiece of the video, and luckily it was filmed at 50fps (thats Frames Per Second: a little technical lesson; most of the content you’ll watch in the UK is shot at 25fps, so when something is shot higher than that and interpreted as 25fps, hey presto, we have slow motion!).

Using my new found inspiration (thank you Love Island… or should I say thank you girlfriend), I constructed an opening which included plenty of glitzy exciting speed ramps that allowed me to cover far more ground and therefore show off a lot more of the building than had I simply used the footage without ramps.

I used this same device again later in the video to show crowds entering the building thereby making something usually very slow, much faster. It also worked the other way, slowing the video down during moments where guests smiled or when our client took her son by the hand as they both entered the building for the first time. It was surprisingly emotive.

The point I mentioned way back at the beginning then!

Inspiration can come from many sources for video, and I would urge those of you looking to have video content made to be on the lookout for sources like this. Not necessarily Love Island (although I concede it is brilliant trash TV!), but anything you can use to show us what you want from the start means that you’re not stuck between the extremes of too much freedom or thinking inside the box.

These sources don’t even need to just be TV shows or other Corporates, Nathan Haines, our very own MD recently used a sequence from The Dark Knight to show a client (who wanted a moody mysterious feel to their video) exactly how we could achieve the look through the colours and camera angles. The client absolutely loved it, and for me as an editor, it meant I had a starting point – that little spark of inspiration as the diving off point to then go and create the video they had in their head.

You can view the video we ultimately made on the link below (coming soon), failing that… you can catch the next episode of ITV’s Love Island nightly on ITV 2. If you want to discuss your creative ideas for your next edit then get in touch here.

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Louis Tsamados

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