Video production start-up offers trials to public sector

By Stephen Easton

Tuesday April 5, 2016

Any public sector organisation in Australia can now see what it’s like to have a simple in-house video production capability — free of charge — where staff shoot and appear in the videos but the post-production work is outsourced.

Filmpond, a start-up that aims to create a middle ground between low quality and often time-consuming amateur videos and expensive professional film productions, is trying to expand its reach in the public sector, by offering the free trial all federal, state and territory government agencies.

The company says any public sector organisation in Australia can use its service to create three films, free of charge. It suggests they would be perfect as part of a modern peer-to-peer approach to professional development, in which learning materials are “on tap” for employees to access on their own devices.

The service guides staff with no special video skills to plan and shoot their own video packages using common handheld digital devices, and provides high quality post-production at low cost, by employing film students who are keen to get some experience.

After they upload the footage and instructions to the editor, the first cut comes back within three weeks, with the final cut typically emerging from two rounds of editing. Each film normally costs $595, while it is free to set up an online “pond” that is used to share guidance materials and content for the video, communicate with the editor and publish the results.

The “ponds” can be branded by corporate or government clients and aimed at internal or external audiences. Filmpond says they also include “embedded metadata, deep dive analytics as well as superior curation, search and display”.

The New South Wales Department of Education inked a big deal with the company last year so that teachers and students in public schools all over the state could make good quality videos together at minimal cost. The ClassMovies project powered by Filmpond is still expanding as more schools get involved.

Former NSW Education secretary Michele Bruniges, who is settling into her new role leading the federal Department of Education, said the deal was an important part of teacher quality reforms in NSW. In comments distributed by Filmpond, she said:

“The initiative allowed schools to use video technology to document different approaches to teaching practices and to share these experiences with their peers and their school community.

“Views on our TV channel are growing and viewer engagement is strong, with some school stories receiving more than 1,000 views by teachers.”

CEO Phillip Lewis says there are “absolutely no strings attached” with the free trial deal, but is confident public sector organisations will find the service valuable for professional development:

“We have decided to offer this pilot so organisations can experience the power of film in connecting and engaging with internal audiences. This is the future of learning and these departments have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking this leap.”

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