Back in March when the Coronavirus pandemic first hit, we very quickly had to make a decision about how The Running Channel could continue producing videos twice a week on YouTube, without actually being able to work together. Not an easy process to find solutions for!
We are a small team and are usually based out of an office in central London, but when it became clear that we all needed to work from home, it meant that the team was soon scattered around England.
How to carry on filming our videos was the main hurdle we faced as a team, because on a usual day we’d have 2 or 3 presenters and our videographer Tom on ‘set’.
Not only that, but our content plan for future videos was packed full of fun and exciting videos at races like the Icebug Frozen Lake Marathon that I was going to be tackling in Norway, The adidas 1 Hour Run and The London Marathon, to name a few. We were also about to start filming and producing a whole selection of videos to help all of you who were planning on taking on spring marathons. As soon as we realised that the races wouldn’t be going ahead in the spring we tore up the plan and started again from scratch.
We all put our heads together as a team to come up with video ideas that we knew would be important to you, our audience, during these unprecedented times. One of the first videos we made during lockdown was Andy’s running vlog about how to embrace running on your own – which for some of us was a totally new concept because we’d usually be running in groups, clubs and crews. We also filmed and produced two follow-along home workout videos – something we had never done before, but for all of us wanting to stay on top of our fitness and finding ourselves at home for the foreseeable future, it seemed like the kind of video we could make to help with that.
When we launched them on our YouTube channel on two consecutive Saturdays it was great to go live on Instagram and Facebook to do the routine along with some of you at the same time and feel like we were a community working out together. For me, it plugged a gap where parkrun used to be on a Saturday morning.
So that’s a little look behind the scenes of which videos we made and why. Now for a bit about the how! The Running Channel’s videographer Tom takes care of the filming, sound and editing for all of our videos, but as we’re not allowed within 2 metres of each other due to the pandemic, the filming and audio side of things had to be handed over to the presenter team to self-shoot instead. We had a bit of a crash course with advice from Tom, YouTube tutorial videos and online cribsheet notes for how to get the best out of our cameras and the best way for us to record the highest quality audio we could. We also had the GoPros that we use for filming when running.
When it comes to choosing the type of videos we’ve been making during lockdown, I also now have to consider how we will film them without having Tom around and how to get the best out of the equipment and skills we have. So it’s all a bit of a mix of everything. I’ve still been writing the scripts to include all of the presenters without physically being together, so Andy, Rick and Kate all get their scripts through and record their lines and then send them all over to Tom to sift through and put together into a final video. The bonus to all of this is that Tom has more editing time and can make some super jazzy graphics and animations on the videos – check out the first of our Challenge Accepted series for some of that.
We’ve all really missed being together physically and having the workplace banter that is usually rife in The Running Channel office, but we have daily catch-ups on video calls and there’s still plenty of banter (even if it is dad jokes from Andy), but we really can’t wait to get back to a new ‘normal’ where we can be out at events with you all, filming together as a team and having fun again.