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The Auteur Videographer

The Auteur Videographer

Written by
Ollie Graham
Director at Thought TV.

In these times of Austerity the Auteur is making a comeback, but how and why?

Thought TV’s ethos, as a start up, is the more foot loose we are, the fewer people involved in delivering your ideas, the cheaper we can be and therefor the more competitive. This now has a very practical benefit in a world where there is less money for video. It is often the retort of the modern day videographer that they are expected to be “lighting camera men these days”. Having combinations of disciplines strips costs out of production.


In this sense the Auteur isn’t the old fashioned director that bossed and micromanaged every aspect of the film, in this sense the Auteur is holding the camera, setting up the lights, editing the video and speaking directly to the client as they do.

With the rapid and wide spread uptake of data card based videography, videographers are now expected to shoot, light and edit content, thus giving them more work from each project and also enabling them to undercut larger production companies. As a start up we are embracing this not only as our standard but also as something we can specialise in. We believe that a camera operator with a laptop should be a one stop shop for video production.

Recently I went on the Future Health Mission to Boston where I was delivering highlight promo videos for every day of the mission, on the same day. This meant not only shooting and editing the interviews and B roll needed to put these videos together, it also meant having a clear understanding of what was happening that day so that I could ask the right questions to the right people to cover the key themes and messages. Obviously this meant keeping my finger on the pulse and being sensitive to the different people and mission objectives.


Although this task was gruelling and meant a lot of late nights, early starts, time lapses shot from my hotel balcony, late night emails and having to generate a good rapport instantly with a lot of the stakeholders, it also positioned me really well to be able to make a lot of decisions without ever needing to go to the client. We had very quickly aligned our objectives so I could confidently publish a stream of promotional video without needing approval or details of interview subjects etc. I was empowered to take what I considered the best approach for journaling the mission.


Now of course there are camera operators, gaffers, editors, colourists, journalists, producers and directors out there scorning at this idea and doubtless convincing themselves that the quality of the final product will have suffered. And doubtless it will. But the point is, if there isn’t the money to journal with video an event, PR stunt, news article or idea then there needs to be a cheaper, more effective solution. There are some shoots that I wouldn’t dream of doing without a DOP and producer on site and I would almost certainly distribute the content to an experienced editor if the budget permitted it, but in actual fact the one man band can be incredibly powerful at creatively and editorially covering a very broad range of very interesting content.


At Thought TV we have a range of these Auteur Videographers on our pay role, in fact we attract them. They are looking for complete projects that they can manage and impress on. So if you have one, drop us an email.
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