We were recently asked by Tetley to film their Tea Masters eLearning series. Video is the perfect medium for employee training. Capture your training once and you can use that material time and time again. Online video provide a simple and free way to deliver that training to employees no matter where they are in the globe. It’s estimated that delivering training online can save companies up to 50% off of normal training costs.
Filming with Tetley was a great experience and we had the pleasure of working with a true professional and expert in his field Tetley’s Master Blender Sebastian Michaelis.
Where Tetley Tea Masters Was Filmed
The Tetley video was filmed at Tetley’s office in their professional tea tasting room. The location presented us with a slight challenge because other people needed to use the room during the day. Sound issues are a common problem when you are shooting at a client’ office. Through careful planning and coordination with Tetley staff we were able to overcome these problems.
The video necessitated a white background but using the existing counter top in the tea tasting room. To facilitate this we brought in our white infinite backdrop. To hang the backdrop we used our backstands. These are two large lighting stands with a bar that fits across the top. From this you can hang whatever type of backdrop you require.
Our second filming location was the staff cafeteria. Again there was a small challenge that the existing lighting was a little too harsh for our purposes. We uses black-wrapping to eliminate the existing lighting. We were then able to light the location for our requirements. The advantage of the cafeteria is that it was booked out for our use, so we didn’t have the same sound issues we encountered in the tea tasting room.
How We Filmed Tea Masters
For both the cafeteria and tea tasting room setup we had multiple angles. Hugo Tickler, our Director of Photography, operated our a-cam which was the Sony FS-7. This was locked off on wide, but because we were shot in 4K, we had the option to slightly adjust or use that same angle but crop in.
Our cameraman Ben was operating our b-cam which was the FS700. This had a longer lens which we used for closeup head and shoulders of the subject. It was also important to be able to capture close-ups so that we would be able to present the finer details of the Sebastian’s training such as the technique for pouring tea.
For instructional videos of this type it can be very useful to get a top down view of the process. This allowed us to clearly show the correct color of the tea for example. To achieve this top-down shot which we use our small A7S2 camera which we rigged on a C stand so that it could be kind of float above the action and out of our main camera shot.
Combining these three camera angles we were able to comprehensively capture the training process.
Presenting The Right Information
It’s important when filming a training video that we capture exactly the right type of information. For filming the Tetley video we used a HDMI switcher which allowed us to feed the HDMI feeds from the picture into the switcher and then output to the monitor. Our director Adam was sitting with the client viewing the training in real time on a monitor. Because we were capturing multiple angles it was important to be able to switch between the angles. This was very useful for confirming that we were capturing the finer details of Sebastian’s training method in our close-ups.
Sometimes we will use an autocue to assist the person who is presenting. For the Tetley Tea Masters video we were lucky to have as our presenter Tetley’s Master Blender Sebastian Michaelis. Sebastian was excellent on camera and able to give a smooth and natural sounding delivery of the content without requiring the autocue.
The final videos will be used for internal training purposes but you can see a compilation of some of the best footage in the video below: