Dan, Author at S-Films

Going On Camera Corporate Video

By | Corporate Video Production, Important Info for Your Corporate Video, Tips/Techniques | No Comments

Lights, Camera, Relax! So you get that email or phone message.  You’re going On Camera Corporate Video!  You’ve been selected to speak for your company and the video crew is coming.  Maybe you’re the type that instantly faces rising blood pressure.  Nerves start setting in.   Here’s what can really help you.  First of all, relax.  No really, relax.  If you’re not used to being on camera, it literally puts a spotlight right on you.  You’ll be self-conscious. Try not to be.  But How Can I Relax? Go to a mirror and practice answering some questions while you watch yourself.  May sound silly, but it will help.  The more self-conscious you are, the more nervous you’ll be—it’s a vicious cycle.  The camera crew is there to capture you in the best way possible—no need to fear them; they’re hired by the corporation to make a video for you.  This isn’t sixty minutes. What Do I Wear? Secondly, what should you wear?  Avoid bright white and tight patterns.  Solids are great.  Muted colors can be very flattering.  Lots…

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Is Thumbtack Any Good?

By | Reviews, Tips/Techniques, Uncategorized, Video Production | No Comments

The Beginning of Thumbtack SFilms was one of the first companies on Thumbtack.  I remember this new startup listings/lead service app that looked interesting.  I signed us up as a vendor.  But as I looked at it, it seemed more focused on B2C– plumbers, electricians and such.  Even though we had an account, I never really used it. Then one day I was talking to another video professional in a different city and he told me he was getting a lot of leads through thumbtack.  I was puzzled– the only leads I seem to ever see were for people wanting a music video for $250.  He said that while yes, the majority of the bids were micro budget, by getting his foot in the door, he was able to find some good customers.  Okay, I decided, I’ll have to take a closer look. Updating Our Profile So I dived in.  I updated my business profile.  Worked on getting a review from an existing customer.  Set up the different industries and notification levels.  And I started…

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What is the Best Length for Your Marketing Video?

By | Corporate Video Production, Info, Video Production | No Comments

What’s the Best Length for a Web & Social Media Marketing Video? “How long should my marketing video be?” Clients ask this a lot.  Some think their marketing video needs to be in the “ten to fifteen” minute range.  Others say five minutes.  A few think less than sixty seconds.  Typically, companies that are just getting into making marketing videos tend to think too long.  But what is the answer? Less is more? A good, general rule to follow is “the shorter the video, the better.” The quicker you can get to the core message of your video, the easier it is for your audience to digest and understand. For example: two minutes is a great place to start.  But before we enter that two minute dictate into our rulebook, there are variables, rules and types of marketing videos that bring exception to the two minute drill. Types of Marketing Videos The first decision that must be made is what kind of marketing video is needed. Are we talking commercial spots that could play just…

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The Technique for Slating on a Corporate Video Production

By | Corporate Video Production, For the Crew, Tips/Techniques, Video Production | No Comments

Today, our guest instructor is Alicia Pascual who provides tips and techniques for the proper way to slate.  For many that are trying to break in to filmmaking, especially in the camera department, this is must-have information.  Your first job on the set could very well be slating. It’s broken into two parts below.  Enjoy!  For more info from the SFilms165 lessons, click here.

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What to Wear on Camera

By | Corporate Video Production, Important Info for Your Corporate Video, Tips/Techniques | No Comments

What to Wear on Camera for your Corporate Video So you’re going to be on camera for your company’s video.  Most of the time an employee is on camera for their employer, it’s for an interview.  There are some simple guidelines to follow to make sure you know what to wear on camera.  If this is your first time to go on camera, check out this article.  To hear Kara talk about Hair and Makeup, click here. First, here’s what you can expect for the interview– the crew will come in and setup the lighting, camera and sound.  They might put a lavelier microphone on you, which might be as simple as just clipping it on, or it might be hidden under your clothing by a sound professional.  Setup will probably take longer than your actual interview. Clothing Style If you’re going on camera for your company, the style of clothing can be varied.  Most of the time, what you wear to the office is a good starting point.  For many, that’s business or business…

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Using Hedge for File Management

By | Corporate Video Production, For the Crew, Info, Tips/Techniques, Video Production | No Comments

Hedge Software for File Management Hedge is a great tool for video production file management.  The biggest advantage is that the file transfer from your card to the harddrive is faster through Hedge versus file manager.  Because Hedge bypasses the bus on your computer.  It also is able to verify the transfer, whereas File Manager doesn’t do that. This short blog is to show you how to use the software.  For learning about file management, visit our other instructionals: The File Management Intro File Management for Small Crews File Management for Large Crews Step 1 To begin, open Hedge.  You will have the Connected Discs window, which shows you which hard drives you have connected.  Make sure your primary and secondary harddrives are connected and show up in the center.  Then connect the card you want to transfer.  It will show up in this window as well. Step 2 When the card shows up, drag it over to the left, the Sources column.  Then drag your primary harddrive over to the right, the Destinations column. …

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Taking the Video Studio On Location

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

The Portable Video Studio This summer, we were fortunate enough to go shoot a commercial for Mattress Firm in San Diego.  We produced this spot through our partners Encore Live and Top Pup Media.  Stage Works in Fort Worth provided the sets.  We had a crew of about a dozen and used a very talented Mattress Firm employee as our actor.  Often, especially in commercial production, you have call to bring studio-like production value out onto location. The Scope We needed to do a live comparison video, showing a new Mattress Firm offering opposite a leading industry mattress.  The turn around was the extremely difficult factor in this spot.  From the two days we shot this, the first draft needed to be completed by the evening of the second day of shooting and the final had to be sent to the media buyers two days later.  Incredible fast turnaround.  But we love challenges like that! To pull this off, we needed to shoot studio quality out on location.  We rented a five ton grip truck,…

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File Management for Large Video Production Crews

By | Corporate Video Production, For the Crew, Tips/Techniques, Video Production | No Comments

Large Video Production Crew File Management We started this SFilms165 series on File Management for video production crews to do our part to stamp out horror stories of lost/missing footage from the video and film sets.  Yes, it’s happened to us.  In several different ways with different results.  Make sure you watch/read the Intro to File Management before watching this one.  Also, you can read Small Crew File Management here.   The Large Video Production Crews First let’s define large crew: Greater than 4 crew people.  This is a set that has many moving pieces and many crew people doing very specific tasked jobs.  In corporate video, it’s a little more rare to see large crews, but in commercial production, feature film making, and television, you can very easily have large crews.  Commercials can have 30 or more depending on the scope.  Feature films can easily have over a hundred, again depending on the scope.  Even a low budget feature film might have 30 or more crew people. With a crew of 5 or more,…

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Top 5 Things to Look For in Video Studios

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

Top 5 Attributes for Video Studios When you’re looking for a production company with a studio to handle your video production needs, to be able to compare apples to apples, it’s important to know a few things.  And while many companies use studios for many different things, this list is for businesses and corporations looking for video and film help in these areas: Commercials Training Social Media Marketing videos Informational This isn’t really about still photography, though the points do somewhat crossover.  It’s also not really about feature filmmaking where you’re going to build sets and have them for weeks or months at a time.  We have our own studios to use at SFilms, but we’ve also rented studios in many cities across the country.  (For a peek at the studios we have available, click here.)  What’s important to know when renting a studio for a corporate video shoot?  So let’s get to it. Quality of the Studios – Facilities When looking at video studios, take a look at the quality of the stages.  Did…

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Video Studios Dallas Fort Worth

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

Video Studios While a lot of our shooting for corporate video takes place on locations, often clients need video studios.  Serendipitous Films is fortunate to operate from studios offering 43,000 square feet of sound stages.  The studios are located in between Dallas and Fort Worth, 15 minutes from DFW airport.  Boasting three main stages, each one has extensive sound proofing, lighting grids, cycs and sets. The facility offers greenrooms, dressing rooms, makeup room, and offices for clients and producers. Studio A This large studio comes with several standing sets– news oriented programming and a car show backdrop.  These can be removed or covered with other sets.  Politicians and celebrities have used the studios for remotes to MSNBC, CNN and other news outlets.  Studio A is large enough to handle studio audiences and multicam recordings.  A control room is provided for the bigger jobs. While we used the A Stage for feature film shooting (featured in the movie “Rising Stars” with Barry Corbin and Fisher Stevens), it is a great place to shoot corporate interviews, press…

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