November 2011 - S-Films

What Camera Should I Buy?

By | Tips/Techniques | No Comments

I get asked this by friends and family and the answer depends on what they want it for and how manual/automatic they want it.  But I was asked this by someone in the industry.  They are ready to upgrade to new technology and liked the setup I have for corporate video production. Camera for Corporate Video First, more often than not, I use a DSLR for my corporate work.  But occasionally I need something to record long form– like a seminar or meeting.  So what follows is what I recommend for corporate film– like interviews and sales videos, or marketing videos.  If you’re recording a board meeting, the DSLR is not the best choice. Camera–  I have the DSLR Canon 7D.  My DP Ron Gonzalez has a 5D (both shown in the picture on the right).  A Partner of mine has another 7D.  These cameras are great for the corporate film.  The 5D has a full size sensor offering maybe too much depth of field.  The 7D has a robust sensor, but slightly smaller than…

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On the film Rising Stars

Two Camera Shooting in Film and Video Production

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Two Cameras in Feature Films & TV When it comes to the number of cameras on a film set, traditionally, movies are shot with one, while television shows are shot with four or five. Now that doesn’t mean movies aren’t shot with more cameras– I think at one point, Cameron had five or six on Titanic and for special effects and stunts, there might be ten or more.  And more recently, Peter Jackson had something like 37 Red Epics on “Hobbit.”  But he’s also shooting 3D, and for the sake of discussion, I’m not talking about 3D here, because in that case, two cameras really mean four and we’re not going there. Film Style But when someone says “shooting film style” that means that it’s primarily going to be shot with one camera. The difference is a film shoot utilizes 360 degrees. Whereas the normal television show, the cameras mostly make up the fourth wall, with the studio audience sitting behind them. A great example of a television show doing “film style” is the sitcom…

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Slow Motion

Reviewing the Video Film Slider

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Video Production Benefits from Smaller Cameras and Cool Toys With the smaller cameras, come cool toys and tools that can have a great impact on your production value.  As of late, there has been a huge boom in sliders.  I know I’ve been using them the last year or two– to the point where it goes out on every shoot.  Sliders are a simple basic replacement for dollies.  Now film and video productions can get great smooth right and left movement for a fraction of the cost and manpower.  You can even truck in and out with them and in some extreme cases, you can crane up and down. At SFilms, we use a basic Glidetrack.  And recently, we bought a Slyderdolly from Digital Juice that has been pretty impressive.  It’s robust, strong, sturdy and comes with features and accessories that didn’t exist 18 months ago. So here’s a practical show and tell about sliders– the problems, the solutions and how they can help. Feel free to leave comments about your own Slider stories!  (Just…

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Dallas Video Production Drives Corporate Filmmaking

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The Corporate Video Meets the Movie At Serendipitous Films, we have a long track record of award-winning corporate video experience.  But one skillset that is being utilized more and more in corporate video is our experienced in feature films.  It’s not enough to train, motivate and sell through talking heads for some corporations.  So we’re being asked to create exciting canvasses to communicate the client’s content. Case in point– over the years, our most awarded and successful training video was a spoof of Forest Gump.  Today, that continues with a Fortune 500 company calling on us to create little “movies” with their employees to train on program and service features.  Another client is asking for a promotional video in the form of a movie trailer.  This generation is the YouTube Generation.  Videos need to be quick, funny, sincere, sensational.  And this means in the corporate arena as well. Video Services in Dallas and Fort Worth Our Dallas clients look to us for video services from turn key to maybe just providing crew, or even just…

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Tips for Auditions

Acting Tips for the Audition

By | Seminars, Tips/Techniques | No Comments

Hey Actors! December 9 we are shooting actor demos.  These are original scenes, shot on high def and made to look like it’s taken right from an indie film.  For more information, check out the Seminars page. Tips to Actors from a Director As a director of five feature films, I’ve sat through a lot of auditions.  We’ve cast in LA and NYC and of course local.  And what I want to do here is give some advice, some cheat codes that can quickly make an impact for you as an actor going in to an audition. First– if you’re given the sides, have them beyond memorized.  What I mean by this is that if you work until you’ve finally get through it once from memory, that’s not near enough.  The crucible that is the audition room will pressure your brain and you’ll forget.  So run it again and again.  If you’re not given sides, then practice memorizing– it’s a muscle. Quit saying you’re no good at memorizing.  Become good at it.  On Rising Stars,…

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kerry livgren kansas

Kerry Livgren – Musician of Faith

By | Faith Filmmaking | No Comments

During the shooting of “The Imposter,” I had the unique privilege to spend some time with musician Kerry Livgren.  And for those of you who don’t know who this is– Kerry was a key member of the super group Kansas with such hits as Carry On Wayward Son and Dust in the Wind.  During his time with Kansas, he got saved.  The video below is the interview I did with him about his experience. Kerry is the genuine deal.  There’s no game playing.  He truly walks what he says he believes.  Few people do that in the church.  And as an update– some of you have heard Kerry suffered a stroke.  This is true and happened about a year and a half after filming “The Imposter.”  It’s a miracle he’s even alive, but he’s back in his studio, crafting musical delights for fans of his artistry.  I for one am glad that God has seen purpose to leave him here with us a little longer. If you like it, re-tweet it or post to facebook. …

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Shooting actor demos

Demo Shooting

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LATEST NEWS!! Taking registrations for slots on FEB 7  to shoot actor demos.  CLICK HERE to register. When I was casting Rising Stars, I came to realize that local actors have some serious challenges to overcome in landing roles. The biggest is a bias towards LA/NYC actors. Another, is that a lot of local actors just don’t have any good material for demo reels. One problem is that often the micro budget indie that they get to act in– they get promised a DVD but in actuality rarely ever get one.  The filmmaker gets too busy and just can’t or won’t pop out the discs for their actors.  Another problem is that they just don’t have anything that can showcase their skills in front of a camera. I decided to offer a service– I would write an original little scene, that looks and feels like it came from an indie film.  Then I would get my DP and small crew and we’d shoot it.  To pay for crew and equipment, I found that I have…

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Corporate Video & Film

Corporate Video & Film — Viral Videos

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The corporate film and services has been changing as the technology evolves.  Here at Serendipitous Films, we’re seeing a large increase in the short corporate video, mainly for the web.  Viral videos– an unknown term in the 90’s– is fast becoming the highest demand video.  In addition, we’ve seen a  sharp increase in the “home page” video.  Usually a short, two minute or so video about the company and it’s product or services. The Viral Video can be broken down into three types– Humorous, Touching, or Sensationalism.  For the funny video– it needs to be incredibly humorous– the type of thing people instantly click to forward. to their friends.  The Touching video pulls at heartstrings.  The Sensationalism video is some jaw-dropping, I-can’t-believe-that-just happened type video. In Hollywood, the saying goes “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”  And it’s true.  Comedy is a very difficult genre to do right.  And it has a limited audience– usually what one socio group finds humorous, another doesn’t.  But the comedy viral video does not need production value– it can…

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