At NEEDaFIXER, we specialise in producing compelling content, and part of our success involves teaming up with top talent from around the world. Recently, we partnered with award-winning director Leonardo Dalessandri, who is renowned for his dynamic film work and signature cinematic style, to produce a brand new destination video for the UAE’s northernmost emirate.

In just a few short months, Ras Al Khaimah: Beyond A Journey has gained over a million views on social media. It was also named as the “Best Online Video in Cinematography” in the 37th Annual Telly Awards, which honours the finest video and film productions worldwide.

So before you dive into your next epic video, check out our 5 favourite tips, tricks and techniques for extraordinary shoots.

  1. Assemble Your A-Team
Assemble Your A-Team

Assemble Your A-Team

Successful filmmaking depends on the skills and talents of many people coming together, and the right or wrong team can make or break a production.  An important lesson we’ve learned is to choose your team wisely and seek their support whenever you need it. Always demand the highest standard and choose only the best crew for the job. For the Beyond A Journey shoot, we partnered with Leonardo Dalessandri, who shares the same creativity, passion, and work ethic as we do. Together, we worked really hard to bring the project to life, and our joint efforts really shine through in the final cut.

  1. Gear Up Wisely

Gear Up Wisely

When it comes to effective filmmaking, you don’t have to break the bank, but you should choose your equipment wisely. For example, when you are on the road shooting a project, it may not be possible to bring loads of equipment, so it’s important to be comfortable with the bare essentials. For Beyond A Journey, we only used what was needed to match the requirements of the shoot. When it comes down to it, if you really love filmmaking then you don’t need the most expensive equipment to tell a compelling story.

  1. Double Down On Footage


Double Down on Footage

Double Down on Footage

There’s no way of knowing exactly how the final cut will end up, so it’s best to get twice or even thrice as much footage as you think you need. You also never know when you might capture that one magical shot, so it’s best to keep the camera rolling as much as possible. During our trip to Ras Al Khaimah, we filled up four 2TB hard drives with footage, but in order to make the video as effective as we intended, every little shot helped.

  1. Master the Post-Production Process
Master the Post Production Process

Master the Post-Production Process

Without a doubt, post-production is one of the most important elements of film making. With the right editing skills, you can transform a rough cut into a polished gem and create visual and emotional connections between a film’s elements and your audience. For example, Leonardo Dalessandri likes viewers to perceive edits as one continuous flow of impressions and movements. To this end, sound design is vital to his editing style as the musical rhythm and ambient sounds help to create an impactful visual story. He also incorporates a lot of retiming, compositing, match edits and secondary colour correction and everything is arranged shot by shot in Final Cut Pro X. It can be a lot of work, but when the viewer perceives everything in the right way, the payoff is worth it.

  1. Express Yourself

Express Yourself

As obvious as it may sound, the best way to ensure an extraordinary shoot is simple: JUST BE YOURSELF! There is nothing wrong with duplicating someone else’s work to be inspired and grow as a filmmaker, but once you have the technical side of things down, find out what you really want to say, develop your own style and then run with it. Once you start shooting for yourself, you’ll be surprised by how much better your films and videos will become.