Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Victoria Hutton is a freelance videographer and editor based in London. She specialises in creating beautiful video content and campaigns for brands, business owners and publishers.
How does your creativity present itself? Through projects. I've always had a creative spark when given just a starting point and an end goal, and faced with the challenge of making it happen.
It's been that way since I was a kid; a couplet or a rhyme would pop in to my head (I loved Spike Milligan) and I'd go away and write an entire story around it, or I'd find some cast-off object, get out all the arts and crafts stuff and turn it into something else.
I think it's the same reason I was attracted to journalism - and initially features writing - as a career. Quite often, I'd 'see' the end line, the aha moment, and then reverse engineer the piece to get there in a way that captured the reader's imagination. And certainly, in my video work now, I consider that training in journalism and my love for telling stories as my real USP.
What is creative about your work?
Almost everything! My work is the end-to-end production of video content and campaigns for brands and founders. So right from the word go, you are thinking creatively: how do we best tell this story? What do we need to make it happen? What constraints are we working with?
When you get on set, you have the challenge of bringing to life what you had on paper. The shooting is very visually creative, of course - quite often you are the art director as well as the videographer, so over the years I have really developed an eye for colours, textures and composition - but there are other, subtler elements which are just as important creatively, like sound, pace, personality, movement, and emotion.
Editing, then, is where you are creatively problem solving, because you're packing everything to date into a short timeframe. You can rarely use it all, so you have to be prepared to let some parts go. Sometimes you'll hit a wall, where it just won't come together as you imagine, but if you take a break from it and come back with fresh eyes, if you tweak something tiny here and there, then it'll fall into place.
What is your most used item / software / app in your work? Premiere Pro. This is what I use to professionally edit all of my clients' videos from start to finish. I choose the 'selects' first - the best bits - and they're organised and colour-coordinated based on the type of shot they are and where I expect to use them in the piece. Then I'll cut together the narrative and add in the best of the B-roll as the story takes shape. I'll make professional enhancements to the sound and the visuals (whether it's footage I've shot or footage that my self-shooting clients are supplying me) before adding graphics, subtitles and music to bring everything together. I'll often export different versions for use on different platforms.
What is the biggest challenge you face? This year, shooting was off the cards for most videographers for 5 or 6 months. That has a huge impact on business and on morale, because when you're self-employed in this space, the set is your office and the other people on it are your much-loved colleagues. The rest of the time, you're pretty much operating solo.
How do you deal with that?
Although lockdown was - for everyone - exceptionally difficult, and there remains a lot of uncertainty, a positive outcome was that it forced me to diversify my offer sooner. Now, shooting is just one aspect of my business; I have edit packages for self-shooting clients, and I offer workshops and 1-to-1s, training busy founders and creators on all things social video.
Equally, for the first time ever - because I wasn't working around an inflexible shooting schedule - I was able to commit to producing my own branded video content daily for a month, via the 30 Days of Reels Inspo that I ran throughout September. That whole experience really connected me with "my tribe" on Instagram - an amazing, supportive group of fellow female founders and creatives - which has only made me more determined and excited for the direction I'm taking the business in Q4 and into 2021.
How do you top up your creative cup? By getting offline and resisting my natural urge to always be doing/working on something. I often find that creativity comes in the quiet moments. So I will try to take an afternoon to myself, have a wander around some charity shops (I love all the books and nostalgic treasures you can come across there), or just resist the temptation to get my phone out when I could just sit and have coffee or stare out of the window on a journey - let the mind wander.
What podcast / book / person would you recommend to another creative freelancer? I actually get a lot of inspiration from films and documentaries as well as content from other social video producers - I have Saved folders on Facebook and Instagram for any video which successfully catches and holds my attention. For other creative freelancers, I would really
recommend the series 'Abstract' on Netflix; each episode features a prominent designer, maker or creative thinker across all different industries. It's shot and edited beautifully, and it's inspiring to see how each one has overcome their own challenges and made their mark.