My career journey from live TV director to corporate video producer.

March 8, 2024
My career journey from live TV director to corporate video producer.

A childhood dream.

Rewind 30-ish years and most of my childhood weekends were spent building pretend television cameras from old cardboard boxes.

A bit embarrassing, I know. But as an eager and excitable 7-year-old, I was absolutely captivated by the behind-the-scenes creativity of TV shows like Blue Peter, Live & Kicking, Doctor Who, Noel's House Party and the Generation Game.

Enthralled by the glitz and glamour of the BBC's Television Centre in West London and ITV's studios on the capital's Southbank, I set about forging a career in TV.

My dream was to one day become a live television director.

Michael Wood, a former BBC & ITV Television Director, and Managing Director of Embrace Video Ltd.

Whizz forwards again and after years of hard work, patience and persistent effort, I became one of the BBC's youngest television directors, aged just 22.

After honing my craft at the BBC's studios in Birmingham, I moved up to Leeds where I went on to spend the next 13 years delivering the creative vision behind some of television's most-watched shows.

I've had the pleasure of working on BBC News, Panorama, Children in Need, the Politics Show, Inside Out, ITV News, Late Kick Off and the Super League Show to name just a few.

I've directed jaw-dropping valuations on the Antiques Roadshow as well as live breaking news on the BBC News Channel. I've also vision mixed and directed live news for ITV Central in Birmingham.

It was a huge honour to meet stars like: Ricky Gervais, Mel B, Brian Blessed, Sophie Raworth, Owain Wyn Evans, Michael Vaughan, the Chuckle Brothers, Barry Humphries, Bruce Forsyth, Angellica Bell, magician Dynamo, and boy band McFly.

If they were presenting a show I was directing, my role involved speaking to them via an earpiece from the control room (known as the gallery), directing them to look at different cameras, instructing them to talk to exact timings, and letting them know about any last-minute changes to the live running order.

If they were appearing on a television programme as a guest, I was responsible for looking after them in the studio, making sure they were comfortable and relaxed, and putting them at ease on camera.

You can find more information about me here.

Various actors, celebrities, musicians and presenters I have had the pleasure of working with.

From live television to corporate video production.

In 2020, amid the global Coronavirus pandemic, I decided to leave the BBC and pursue a career in video production.

I'd had an absolutely fantastic experience at the BBC but I was keen to embark on a new challenge and apply my broadcast production skills to a new role.

Video was quite clearly becoming an increasingly popular medium for businesses and organisations to use as part of their marketing strategies. But for many companies, producing video content felt overwhelming and the thought of appearing on camera to promote their business was proving frightening.

"Confusing, time-consuming, expensive, too technical and scary". These were all barriers which were preventing amazing companies from shouting about their fantastic work and growing their businesses through the power of video.

I wanted to support businesses on their journey into the brave new world of video by drawing on my unique combination of broadcast experience and digital production skills.

In 2021 I established Embrace Video. It's mission was simple: To help businesses overcome the overwhelm of video and to tell their stories through the power of film.

Michael Wood, Managing Director of Lichfield-based video production and smartphone video training company Embrace Video Ltd.

Embrace Video is a video production company with a difference.

My experienced video production team and I can either create professional video content for you.

Or we can teach you how to plan, film and edit great-looking videos yourself using just your smartphone.

Video production

This option works well for companies that have a dedicated marketing budget and would like to commission a professional video production company to create video content for them. At Embrace Video, we look after the whole end-to-end process: from storyboarding and scripting, to filming and editing.

I draw on over 13+ years as a former BBC and ITV television director to develop powerful and engaging videos which attract your audience's attention, and compel them to act.

Together with a talented team of freelance video production specialists, I've created promotional videos, case study films, animated explainers, recruitment videos and customer testimonials for companies like: BARD Pharmaceuticals, the YMCA, Vantage 365, TKF Training, Ground Stiffness Surveys, Children with Cancer UK and more. Check out my full portfolio of video production work to find out how I help businesses and organisations to get visible with video.

Our videos help our clients to improve brand awareness, enhance their social media presence, increase website traffic, boost sales of their products and services, and improve the way they engage with their customers and colleagues.

I don't believe that having a video produced should be stressful or daunting. Instead, I'm passionate about drawing on my extensive broadcast experience to make the whole production process a fun and enjoyable experience for everybody involved. I frequently receive very kind feedback from clients, where I'm complimented on my warm, friendly approach and my unique ability to put their staff and clients at ease on camera. All of my jobs follow a clear, simple five-stage video production process.

I'm extremely proud that many of our clients commission Embrace Video for repeat work and frequently recommend us to others. They know that we are experienced, reliable and will always deliver on time and on budget.

Smartphone video training

In an increasingly noisy and competitive world, it's never been harder to make your message heard. It's no surprise then that video has fast-become one of the most effective ways to stand out from the crowd, and to reach your target audience.

But for many companies, the thought of using video is off-putting.

"We want to use more video, our competitors are doing it far better, but we don't know where to start".
"We haven't got the budget to make fancy videos".
"We're technophobes. There's no way we could film our own stuff".
"We don't have any staff who are skilled or experienced enough to produce professional-looking videos in-house".
"We don't have the confidence to go on camera. We're too nervous!".

My response? It's time to stop worrying and start shooting.

The aim of my smartphone video training courses is to help in-house marketing, communications and sales teams to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to create professional-looking video content using just their smartphones.

Topics I cover on the workshop include how to:

  • Develop a successful video strategy
  • Structure, storyboard and script engaging video content
  • Capture high-quality video and audio using just your smartphone
  • Edit powerful video content using simple, inexpensive smartphone apps
  • Talk and present to the camera comfortably and confidently
  • Get the best out of interviewees on camera

I cater for all ability levels - from those who have never picked up a camera before, to people who create videos regularly and would like to learn how to take their content to the next level.

I typically deliver a full day of training (9.30am-4.30pm) to small groups of the organisation's in-house marketing, communications and sales teams, usually at the company's own premises.

I'm very proud to have helped nearly 20 organisations kickstart their video marketing efforts since launching my smartphone video training course in late 2022. I'm delighted to have delivered training to the Atlantic Pacific lifeboat charity, Crowne Plaza Hotels, the YMCA, Birmingham Women's and Children's NHS Foundation Trust and HSBC to name just a few.

Michael Wood, Managing Director of video production and smartphone video training company, Embrace Video Ltd.

Changing career? My advice.

Changing careers can be daunting, especially when moving from a well-established industry like broadcast television to the dynamic world of corporate video production.

But for me, my journey has been nothing short of transformative. It has led me from the busy world of live TV, to the exciting role of the Managing Director of a growing video production and smartphone training company.

Working for the BBC and ITV provided me with invaluable media experience, allowing me to hone my craft while collaborating with a wide range of talented television professionals. I've had the privilege of working on a diverse range of programmes from documentaries to live breaking news, each presenting their own sets of challenges and rewards. It is a pleasure to apply this broadcast expertise to my video production and smartphone video training work at Embrace Video.

At the BBC, I enjoyed filming with hundreds of TV presenters, actors, celebrities and politicians, helping them to look confident and assured on camera. They are unique skills which I love applying to my role at Embrace Video, where I will regularly support nervous chief executives, senior leaders and business people to look comfortable in front of the camera.

I'm extremely passionate about helping businesses and organisations learn how to create their own professional-looking video content too. I believe that with appropriate training, in-house marketing and communications teams can learn how to shoot, edit, and publish high-quality video content using just their mobile phones. I'm delighted that my professional training course has inspired and empowered a variety of businesses, organisations and charities to create affordable, professional-looking videos, quickly and at scale.

I'm also very passionate about supporting future media professionals to develop a successful career inn the media. I often deliver speeches at colleges and universities, support GCSE and A-Level students with their media studies education, and mentor ambitious TV and radio professionals to help them secure employment opportunities.

Directing a film shoot on location for the BBC with TV presenter, Keeley Donovan.
Michael has a creative flair and endless enthusiasm for any task. Nothing is too much trouble and he always goes the extra mile. He as a great sense of humour which means working with him is always fun.
Keeley Donovan, TV presenter.

The future

The rise of social media platforms and the ability to film and edit high quality videos on smartphones has presented a seismic shift in how content is consumed and produced. Recognising the potential for innovation in this space, I made the bold decision to embark on this new chapter in my career.

Managing a video production and smartphone video training company is both challenging and exhilarating. Drawing upon my years of experience in television, I enjoy leveraging my skills and expertise to empower others to harness the power of video. From corporate clients seeking professional video content to companies looking to teach their in-house colleagues smartphone filming capabilities, I'm always pleased to support my clients with tailored solutions that meet their individual needs.

Of course, the most rewarding aspect of establishing Embrace Video has been witnessing the impact of our video work firsthand. Whether it's helping businesses to win more work, supporting organisations to recruit more staff, increasing donations for awesome charities. or empowering individuals to tell their stories on camera with confidence, each success story reinforces my belief in the transformative power of video. Check out my portfolio to see how we've helped our clients to achieve their goals with video.

Looking back on my journey from live TV to corporate video production, I'm hugely grateful for the experiences that have helped shaped my career. I really enjoy helping media professionals of the future to plan their careers, access training, and support them to achieve their career goals. I regularly provide career mentoring for a variety of colleges, universities and businesses across the UK.

As I continue to support businesses and organisations through the ever-changing landscape of video production, I'm really excited about the opportunities and relationships that lie ahead for Embrace Video, and I look forward to helping even more clients to get visible with video.

Get in touch to find out how I could help you with your video production requirements.

It's time to get visible with video.

In 2024, it's never been more important to make video a key part of your marketing strategy.

If you're ready to get visible with video, get in touch to find out how we could help you achieve your goals with film 🎬

07513 821628


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