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Alicia Pascual

Downtime Conversation on a Corporate Video Shoot

By | Corporate Video Production, Tips/Techniques, Video Production | No Comments

corporate video shootWorking on corporate sets can be long and tiresome, however you can usually expect to experience some downtime. Every once in a while you’ll have some time on set where there’s nothing for you to do. Everything has been set up on your part and maybe you’re waiting for talent or props or, like what we faced the other day, literally watching paint dry. Just like with any other job or career you will want to converse with and get to know the people you are working along side. Now there are some topics that you want to stay away from. Of course, you’ll want to stay away from the usual controversial topics, such as religion and politics, but then which topics are safe?

There are definitely some topics that you and others can comfortably discuss. Many of which are related to your industry and general media trends. Not to mention, most people can and do contribute to conversations about these topics. Here are a few examples to give you an idea for future conversations:

1.) Viral Videos- Viral videos are always a hit. Make sure to have a couple in mind to show to those on set. The more hilarious or cringe worthy a video is the better. Stay away from serious or sad videos as they can disrupt the mood on set.

2.) The Latest Gear- If you recently purchased or you worked with some new gear, talk about it! Usually people are interested in what is “up and coming.” Many people may have only heard about the new tech, but if you’ve had experience with it they will be intrigued. If you happen to have that gear with you, take it out and do a hands-on demonstration. It also helps to stay current on the latest gear. You never know whom you could be working with or whom you can impress.

3.) What’s at the Box Office- Staying up-to-date on new releases coming out in theaters is always good. Did you watch the latest trailers? Enjoy a film over the weekend? Talk about it! Talk to other people and discuss opinions, theories, and thoughts. Share your own opinion, but make sure you stand firm on your opinion. Even though others may not like it or agree with you, this doesn’t mean that your answer is wrong. In addition, hearing other insights will help you expand your knowledge. It may also give you an idea of what to look for the next time you head to the movies.

4.) TV Shows- We all have our week night rituals, though some of you may binge watch on the weekends to catch up on the episodes you’ve missed during the week. One thing that everyone on set has in common is we all have our favorite TV shows. Whether they’re new or old always be prepared with an opinion to talk about what you like and what you don’t. There are hundreds of TV shows and none of us have time to watch them all. So if you have one that you can’t get enough of because of the style, acting, or story bring it up! You may recommend shows to others and vice versa. This can help to deepen relationships, create common interests, or simply open up a channel of inquiry regarding camera techniques, set design, etc.

These are just some of the many topics that you can discuss with your friends and fellow crew on a corporate film set. Many times the client may join in on these discussions, so be sure that whatever you’re discussing is appropriate. Stay away from foul language or anything racy – just to be safe.

Although downtime may not always happen, these topics are great to discuss during lunch breaks as well. Remembering these topics will ensure that even if you’re working with new people you have something to talk about, something in common with them, and you won’t feel like the weirdo who just sits in the corner saying nothing. You don’t have to be completely out of the box or the center of attention, but it definitely makes you feel more included if you’re able to participate in a conversation.

Bonus points if you can make them laugh. This will make you memorable. People always want to work with others that they enjoy being around and can have a decent conversation with.

Corporate Video Shoot VS Movie/TV Shoot

By | Corporate Video Production, Video Production | No Comments

Corporate ShootThere are big differences when it comes to being on a TV or movie set or being on a corporate shoot. Both have their pros and cons. So, lets divvy them up shall we?


Movie/TV Film Set Corporate Video Set
Breakfast is regularly provided and usually consists of hearty breakfasts foods Breakfast may or may not be provided depending on the call time, but if it is it can range from fast-food to coffee and doughnuts
Buffet-style lunch, so you get whatever catering deems edible Usually ordering from a restaurant nearby, so you choose from a menu
12-15 hour days with short turnarounds Normally 8 hours or less
60+ crew members Anywhere from 2-20 people (usually an average of 4-8)
Union and non-union Usually non-union
Designated departments (i.e.- camera, grip, electric, wardrobe, etc.) and you can get in serious trouble for doing another department’s job even if it’s just moving a light stand. Versatility is key. Anyone and everyone can usually do anything and everything. You may be a PA one day and sound or camera the next.
20 days-8 months of shooting, of course if you day-play (industry speak for you cover a position for a limited time) it could be less. 1-5 days of shooting, in some instances you may only work ½ a day depending on the need for the shoot.
Dress for crew is casual Dress for crew can be anything from casual to business casual to collared shirt and nice pants.
Production trailers and trucks haul gear You may have to put all the gear and crew into one vehicle.
Usually work locally but depending on what department your in you could travel. Travel frequently
Sides and call sheets available for crew every morning The director, client and talent have scripts (no sides). If you want a printed call sheet you will need to print it yourself.


As you can see, there are many similarities and differences between Corporate shoots and movie and Television shoots. When on a corporate shoot, you get a lot more freedom and the hours match that of the typical hours of operation of the client. Movie and TV shoots can be exhausting with the long hours. However, we have had experience working on both types of projects and love them both dearly for different reasons.


What makes SFILMS love Corporate shoots? Simple. The people. We have a crew of dedicated and professional people that we enjoy working with every day. Not to mention the terrific companies we become familiar with. Our clients are more like our family. We get to know our clients and their companies. We familiarize ourselves with their business, industries, values, visions, executive leadership and employees. This relationship can last years whereas on film sets everyone goes their separate ways once they are wrapped.


At SFILMS it’s not just about making one good video or commercial, it’s about capturing the essence of a business and translating that to both consumers as well as their associates.


How to be a Spotter for a Drone Operator

By | Corporate Video Production, Tips/Techniques, Video Production | No Comments

Why Use a Spotter in Drone Shooting?

Spotter Drone OperatorAerial footage is something that many clients request for a corporate video shoot or production. Whenever someone shoots with a drone (sometimes called a UAV – unmanned aerial vehicle), the person operating the drone is designated the drone operator. The drone operator is not there only to fly the drone. They are also responsible for the look, movement, and feel of the footage. it is difficult for drone operators to watch their surroundings, since they are also busy concentrating on the flight of the drone. This is where a spotter comes in handy. You may be asked to spot for a drone operator and there are a few things that you’ll need to know.  And for companies that get FAA approval for drone operations (a FAA 333 Exemption), a spotter is mandatory.


  • Where the Drone is Flying- Will you be indoors? Or outdoors? If you’ll be flying outside make sure to bring the proper gear (sunglasses, a hat, sunblock, even an umbrella – in case it rains). Nothing sucks more than spotting for a drone when it flies by the sun and you lose sight of it because you weren’t wearing sunglasses. BE PREPARED! Even if you’re told the drone will be flown inside, they may request outside shots as well.
  • Your Surroundings- Look out for tall buildings, walls, pillars, light poles, telephone poles, trees, automobiles, birds and anything else that the drone can possible fly into. If you’re indoors make sure that you can see clearly. A drone operator I work with a lot was getting a shot of a bridge when he flew his drone past a light pole. I could tell that he was far enough away from the light pole that he wasn’t going to hit it. He was still surprised when a pole suddenly appeared on his monitor. A simple warning of “your clear but will be passing a light pole on your right” would have helped in this situation. As it is, he thought the drone almost crashed before realizing the pole in question was 40 feet away from said drone.
  • Remain close to the Operator- You want to be close enough to the operator that they can hear you. In the event that they’re about to run the drone into something, they’ll need to be able to hear you tell them the information. Your job is not to follow the drone physically. Your job is just to watch the drone with your eyes. Therefore, having a clear line of sight is important at all times. If you ever lose sight of the drone let the operator know.  The FAA requires the drone to remain within eyesight at all times.
  • Don’t Let Anyone Except Yourself Talk to the Operator- As the spotter, you need to make sure that your operator can concentrate fully on the operation of the drone. Drones are very popular now, and everyone wants to talk to the person flying the drone. This is not a good idea! Nothing should distract the operator from doing his or her job. If you see someone approaching the operator or they start to talk to the operator, kindly ask them to direct all questions to you or wait until the drone has landed. This is for their safety, as well as yours and the operator’s.
  • When Close too Close- So when do you talk to an operator? When you see that the drone is flying close to an object let the operator know. Say something simple like “tree on your left approximately 15 feet.” Your goal is to make this warning short and provide all the information needed. Let them know what the obstacle is, how far it is, and which side of the drone it’s on. Usually the operator can see what is in front of them, so it’s rare that you would need to alert them this way. However, they will not be able to see what is to their left, right or behind them. Remember that most drone crashes occur when a drone is flying in reverse.
  • Don’t Freak Out- There are some instances where there may not be an obstacle but an issue with the drone itself. The importance of staying calm in situations where a technical malfunction may have happened is crucial. The operator already knows something is wrong so please keep a clear head. They can’t possible deal with you as well as a drone. Keep eyes on the drone to make sure that if something happens the drone won’t hurt anyone or land where it may be damaged.
  • Watch Where the Operator is Stepping- The other day an operator I work with was bringing his drone in for a landing. He stepped to the side and tripped over a track. When he tripped his hand hit the controller and sent the drone crashing into a wall. Thankfully the crash only broke a blade, but it could have been worse. The drone could have broken, or worse, it could have flown into someone and seriously injured him or her. So, make sure that if the operator is walking their path is free of obstacles.


Flying drones for corporate shoots takes a special skill set and special licensing, so not everyone can do it. However, anyone can be a spotter. Be familiar with the different types of drones and their specs. Check out our blog where we compare the new DJI Phantom 4 to the SOLO 3DR.

corporate video interviews

Top 3 Reasons People Love Their Corporate Video

By | Corporate Video Production, Tips/Techniques, Video Production | No Comments

Passion for the Dallas Corporate Video

Here in Dallas, Texas, we enjoy nothing more than to see the look on a clients face when they see one of our extraordinary videos. Not only do sweat and tears go into every video we do, but our heart and soul as well. We take the client’s expectation and desires and then we try to go above and beyond the call of duty. This not only ensures that the client will be satisfied, but also that they will be calling us the next time they need a video done. We all love return business. So what are the elements that need to be in a corporate video to get a “call-back”? Well, besides being a pleasure to work with, here are the top 3 things that are must-haves in your next corporate video.

  • Production Value – Every piece of media that you do for your company reflects on the company.  If a training video looks like it was shot with an iphone from somebody in accounting, new employees watching that training video will have an unintended impression of what this company is all about.  Sure, there are times conceptually where you might do a cellphone video, but for internal communications, how people feel about the quality of the videos will match underlying feelings about what they believe of the company.People Love Corporate Video
  • Have Lots of Faces– People connect with people. Get crowd shots of people listening and reacting to what is being said. Clapping and laughing shots make your video come alive. Make sure to get shots of people high-fiving, shaking hands, hugging and having a good time. It’s always good to get a lot of this kind of B-roll for recap or promotional videos. Also, set up a spot to interview the client, VIPs, company VP’s and others participating in the event.
  • Make it Entertaining– When you watch a video, you want to be entertained, not fall asleep. Have interesting shots and good music. Choose music that is upbeat and fun to set the mood of the video. Having an upbeat song also helps with the tempo and editing of the footage. Transitioning between shots during downbeats of a song helps give the video a good flow. Think: high energy! Have your video gradually amp up, so that it ends with a bang. Don’t let your audience wonder if the video is over. End it with an exciting group shot or establishing shot. When the video is over you want people to feel energized and motivated. We’ve been known to use a timelapse for our ending.

Our hope is that this will help you create a corporate video that your clients will love and you can be proud of.