One of the most commonly asked questions that we face is, “How is life in NOC like?” While most of you have heard what our talents have to say, here’s an insight to how is it like to be working behind the scenes in Night Owl Cinematics, and what is involved in the production of an NOC video.
Weekly Video Schedule
As of June 2018, we currently have two channels, NOC and NOC Plays. On a weekly basis, we release an average of 3 videos on NOC main channel, and 2 videos on NOC Plays, making it a total of 5 videos a week! Our eventual goal is to be able to release a video per day so that we can provide you guys with entertainment every single day. And as you should already know (I hope!), our weekly release schedule are:
Wed: NOC Plays / NOC Tech
Thurs: NOC Plays / NOC Tech
Fri: Food King / Nailed It
Sat: Do It For The Money / Spotlight (alternates every week)
Sun: Comedy Skits / Challenges / Travelogues / Vlogs / Bloopers, etc
On top of that, we also receive job requests to produce videos that are not posted on our YouTube channels, and are posted on our Facebook pages or our Instagram profiles instead.
Now that you have a rough understanding of how many videos NOC releases in a week, let’s go in depth into what goes on during the production of a video! Stay with me, as this will be a long read.
Before we delve into how long does it typically take for NOC to produce a video, let’s look at the steps involved first.
Video production can typically be divided into 3 stages:
In simpler terms, Pre-production is the phase where we come up with the concept, expand the concept into a full script with dialogues, cast talents into the roles, source for filming locations, and to prepare the necessary props and outfits.
Production simply means the actual process of filming itself, which typically takes 1 full day for us. But for projects on a much larger scale, such as the movies and TV series you watch, production can take from weeks to even months.
Post-production is usually where the magic happens, when our editors turn the bits and pieces of raw footage we filmed into a video that we hope that will put a smile on whoever that watches it.
Depending on how complex a video is, the full production of a video (from concept to release) can take from 2-3 days at the minimum up to weeks. Being able to release a video within 2-3 days is most often when we get to retain full creativity control and we have a very tight timeline to work with. Often, in order to deliver a video within 2-3 days, our editors often need to work up to 12 hours a day in order to still keep up the quality that you guys are used to seeing. Being short on time doesn’t mean that we can produce sloppy work!
The average production process of a video typically takes about 1 month, give or take.
Now that you are aware of what goes into the production of a single video, remember that we are constantly repeating the same process over and over again in order to produce 5 videos a week on average. In order to achieve this, we will require the efforts of not just the talents, but the crew members, editors, and producers behind the scene to make it happen.
Now let’s look into the different roles we have in NOC:
Needless to say, a video can’t do without people acting or hosting in front of the camera, and they are typically what we call, “talents”, and they are the “face” of a video. It’s definitely easier to say than the alternative: actors/actresses/hosts. They are known as talents also because of the varied talents that they might have, from acting, hosting or even singing, just to mention a few. And if you’re reading this, I believe that you are more than familiar with NOC’s talents already, so let’s move on.
The director, as the name suggests, directs. He oversees the entire filming process, and gives directions to the crew and talents involved in the shoot in order to capture the essence of the video that he tries to make. He may, or may not, directly operate the camera. The director determines the style and the direction that he wants a video to be shot in, and he has the final say to determine the casting as well. To use an analogy, if a video production is a full human being, the director will be the brain. If you have watched enough movies, you will be able to tell that movies directed by certain directors have a distinct style to it. An easy mention, try watching movies directed by Michael Bay and you will see explosions. A lot of explosions.
In NOC, our directors are namely, Ryan, & Virus, and usually Sylvia as the assistant director.
After the brains, we go to the heart of a production. If you’ve learnt your biology, the heart pumps blood to all parts of the body, allowing the body to function. This is the essence of what a producer does in a production. A producer is involved from the beginning till the end of a video. On a commissioned project for example, the producer is required to liaise with the client to find out about their requirements and to firm up the production timeline. Prior to the shoot, he has to book the necessary talents, filming locations, oversee the prop preparation, brief the talents on what to expect, prepare the call sheet, print out the scripts, etc.
During the shoot, the producer will need to set up the scenes, make sure everything is in order, take note of continuity issues, and make sure that all members of the shoot are fed and hydrated, i.e: prepare drinks and food.
During the post-production process, the producer will work closely with the editor-in-charge to make sure that a client-commissioned video features the necessary elements, and he or she will serve as the liaison between the client and the editor to make sure that any client-related changes are made accordingly.
Notable producers in NOC are, Aiken for Food King, Dee Kosh for Do It For The Money, Rachel for Spotlight, Julian for NOC Plays
Next, we move on to the “mouth” of a production. A script can make or break a video. While it is not 100% necessary for a video production to need a script if you have incredibly creative and talented directors and talents, but a script will make the whole production process so much easier, and it allows all parties of a production to envision the whole video, facilitating the whole production process, from the preparation to the editing. Also, the script, with the right lines and scenes, will allow us collectively to reach out to you, as the viewer watching the video.
In NOC, we do not have a designated scriptwriter. Most scripts are typically prepared by the producers in charge, and typically improved on by Sylvia. Every now and then, Sylvia will write a full script on her own. Most of our more popular videos are actually written by her!
Cinematographers / Videographers / Camera Operators:
These 3 terms actually have different definitions, but they are often used interchangably. They are the “eyes” of a video production, and will determine how a video is going to look like. Given the same script, a video filmed by an experienced cinematographer versus an inexperienced one will definitely result in two very contrasting videos. In a typical shoot, the cinematographer will take direction from the director and executes the necessary camera work, utilising whatever equipment he has at his disposal in order to achieve the director’s vision.
In NOC, our notable cinematographers are Ryan, Virus, Julian, and a few others.
Production Crew / Props Manager / Location Scouts / Production Runners:
They are the “legs” of the production. Their tasks vary dependent on their roles, but one common point is that they tend to involve physical labor. From the carrying and setting up of equipment to preparing and making props, and receeing potential locations for shoots and to setting up the scenes and making sure that the shoot locations are restored back to its original state after the shoot, they are the hardest workers and often understated.
In NOC, on top of being a talent, Sikeen is also in charge of the props as well as scouting for locations.
Something that is always apparent in the videos you’ve watched but easily forgotten, is the sound. Ever wondered how is it that you can hear our talents speak their lines loud and clear despite the fact that we are filming in a hawker centre, for example? In order to achieve that, we use a range of equipment, such as field recorders, wireless microphones, and boom mic, as well as audio editing software to clean up the audio tracks so that each talent’s sound is as clear of any ambience noise as much as possible. And other than preparing the right recording equipment at the right time, the soundman is required to monitor the talents’ audio during the shoot, hence, serving as the “ears” of the production.
Editors / Motion Graphics Designer:
Next, we come to the “hands” of the production. During the shoot, the cinematographer carries out the director’s vision, but after the shoot, the task falls onto the editor. The editor is expected to be proficient with a variety of production software such as Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe AfterEffects, Adobe PhotoShop, just to name a few. How a video looks and feels lies in the hands of the editor as he or she will decide what’s suitable and what’s not, and tries to fulfill the director’s envisioned video to the best he or she can.
In NOC, the production crew also doubles up as editors. Notable editors are: Ryan & Virus, in charge of Sunday and client videos, and Julian, for NOC Plays.
So, what does all this mean?
As you can see, a lot of elements are required to produce a single video, and in order to keep up our quality and frequency of our releases in order to meet your expectations, we will definitely need more manpower!
We are currently having a recruitment drive, and if you have read all of the above, and you are not deterred by the amount of work you have to do, the tight deadlines, the (very) fast-paced work environment, then we definitely welcome you! Well, that is if you fulfill the following requirements.
Check out the requirements here: https://noc.com.sg/internships-full-time-positions/
For interested applicants, you will need to be above 21 years of age, and for males, you will need to have completed your 2 years of National Service.
Watch the video below to find out more!