Monthly Archives: October 2014

Office Space Available

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Video Production OfficeWe have several offices available for sublease here at Serendipitous Films.  One is a large corner office measuring 17ft8in X 17ft9in.  Another is a small office that is 14ft6in X 8ft3in.  We also have a reception area, common areas such as kitchen, etc.

Our offices are located in Haltom City, a suburb of Fort Worth, on the Dallas side.  We are in the Studios121 building on Airport Freeway.  The synergy here is great, with 3 stages and other creative businesses in the building.

At Serendipitous Films, we produce corporate videos and communications, commercials and feature films.  If you think you might be interested, give us a call and let’s chat.

Editing the Corporate Interview Video

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corporate videoCorporate Video Documentary Style

One common style of corporate video is the “documentary-style” approach– the story told through interviews.  This can be in conjunction with a voice over narrator, but more commonly, told entirely through interviews.  It’s called “documentary-style” due to most docs relying heavily on interviews.

Production

The quantity of interviews can vary– a good number is a minimum of three (though there are times the one person video works, especially in a short video, or web video that’s around 60 seconds or so).  We’ve had projects where we’ve shot as many as 30 people for one video.  Because Dallas Fort Worth is home to many large corporations, we see many videos shot in this style in the metroplex.

Post Production

The way we approach the Doc Style video at SFilms is to create one timeline of “selects.”  We go through each interview, pulling good soundbites, and placing them on the timeline.  For large projects, we might create a second sequence where we pare down the selects even more.  For the corporate video which had over 30 interviews, we had three different timelines– the first one was an hour and a half of “selects.”

In many ways, this approach is like sculpting– it’s taking a block of marble and roughing out the statue.  Then roughing out more.  Then fine tune chiseling.  Until the image is perfected.  The same with the story in the documentary-style corporate video.

B-Roll

A very important element for the doc style corporate video is to have strong visuals to accompany what the interview is talking about.  It’s difficult for a viewer to watch a “talking head” for a long amount of time.  It’s human nature for the eye to “look around” even when talking to someone in real life.  So you don’t want to lose your viewer because your image stays the same for more than 20 seconds.

One way to change this is to lay B-Roll down.  These are images supporting what the person is talking about.  Another way is to shoot the interview with two or more cameras and change the angle.  We often use a combination of both.

Talking head videos do not have to be boring and unengaging– often they can be a strong method for getting your story out to your audience.  Done right, it can grab and captivate your viewers.

How Long is a Corporate Video?

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It’s a Matter of Length

One of the most common questions we get asked by our clients is how long their video should be.  In some ways, it’s akin to asking how long is a piece of string.  Well, it all depends.  Let’s look at some of the variables.

Variables for Your Corporate Video

MattFirmStateFairWho is your audience?  Is it an older crowd that grew up on 1960’s and 70’s television and movies?  Or is it a much younger crowd who has grown up on YouTube?  That younger person is not going to easily sit through even a ten minute video, unless you keep a very fast pace in the editing.  Likewise, the older person might be turned off a bit by the “MTV” style editing.  We did a video on a retirement plan– it was a little longer than some of our similar videos for a different audience.

What type of video is it?  If it’s a very technical training video, it might be an hour long.  Or five minutes.  We done both.  One client has over 20 videos, each lasting only 90 seconds to 2 minutes for training.  Another is an hour lecture.  Is it a marketing video, showing off a product or service?  Keep it short.  90 seconds for a web video is a great length.  2 to 3 minutes is okay.  If you’re including soundbite interviews, three people’s bites, it will be hard to do a 90 second video.  A Seminar Recap video?  Your audience usually is the people in the video, it’s okay to be longer.  8 to 10 minutes.  A fundraising video?  Short again.

Scripted?

Narrated?

Interviews?

Subject Matter?

These all go into answering the question of “how long my video should be.”  As a default, it’s always better to simplify your message, saying one thing several times, than several things one time.  One mistake that’s easy to make, is to get into the minutiae of your product or services when your audience just wants the big picture.

Usually, length affects costs.  So the longer your video, usually the longer the editing and shooting.  However, the opposite can be true as well.  For a client we shoot a bunch of interviews, it takes less time to create a 10 minute version than to continue whittling away down to a 4 or 5 minute video.  And a :30 commercial spot, though the shortest of all, can run into six figures in cost.

NTERibbonCutting

SFilms Assists TopPup in Opening of NTE

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After more than three years, and nine months early, the construction has all but come to an end in Northeast Tarrant County, home to Fort Worth and neighbor to Dallas.  NTE, the North Tarrant Express, is a project to widen a heavily congested portion of roads through six municipalities near Fort Worth, connecting to Dallas.  TopPup Media was called on to video document the construction over the past two years, and SFilms partnered with TPM to make that happen.

Construction video is extremely different than the normal corporate video shoots.  First, all crew people out in the construction zone had to be safety trained and wear the proper safety equipment.  Also, the type of shots for showing construction are different– the story is told through aerials and timelapse, with a little standard video shooting.

We have really enjoyed shooting for NTE and we’re fortunate to be able to continue through our work in Dallas with the LBJ Express and the newly christened NTI, I-35 through Fort Worth project.

The Ribbon Cutting for NTE was held on a beautiful October Saturday and had many dignities from the six cities– Fort Worth, Euless, Bedford, Hurst, North Richland Hills, and Haltom City.