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Editing in studio

The Corporate Video Interview – Pt. 3

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I’m editing a series of videos for a Fortune 500 global company.  They had crews from around the world shoot these.  I’ve seen some really good stuff, and some not so good.  So in today’s blog, here’s some problems to avoid. Shooting subject against a window might look good to your eye, but is a very tricky lighting situation.  There can be a difference of 5 or more stops between the ambient light on your subject and what’s outside that window.  So if you expose for the subject, the window is blown out.  If you expose for the window, your subject is dark.  With good lighting, you can get the exposure of your subject even with the outside exposure.  With this big editing job, I had about ten interviews sent in against windows.  One was lit nicely.  Half weren’t lit…

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Corporate Video Interview

The Corporate Video Interview — Pt. 2 SOUND

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Serendipitous Films, in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, produces corporate video, commercials, music videos and feature films. This is the second part of the series on t corporate video interview. Now let’s talk about sound in the interview. At the non-professional level, sound is simply taken from the mic built into the camera. At almost no level is this sound good and acceptable. So you get into a quiet room. You still contend with air conditioning noise, fluorescent lighting hum, and whatever other ambient sound. I don’t know of a single instance where this sounded good. Next up is to put a decent shotgun on the camera. Still not so great. If it’s all you can do, get close to the interviewee. I was recently sent on a shoot where I was told by the client to simply have a…

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Lighting for the corporate interview

The Corporate Video Interview, Pt. 1

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One of the mainstays of corporate video production is the interview.  Also the mainstay for documentaries– they have a reputation for being on the dull side– unexciting… static.  It’s not always this way.  And some of the most engaging videos are full of interviews. Interviews are used to help tell the story.  Sometimes, they can be used as a substitute for a narrative– the pulling out of soundbites, linked together, tells the story without a script or narrator.  Or sometimes, interviews are used to help accentuate the narrative. First, let’s start with the mechanics of the interview shoot.  Most likely you’re interviewing a person who is not a professional actor.  In the corporate world, people will have different levels of experience with being interviewed.  Often, people are nervous.  They want to make sure they say the right thing.  Jobs have…

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Greenscreen in studio

General Rules and Guidelines for Corporate Video Productions

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Caveat– all rules are made to be broken from time to time.  But to break a rule in art, I believe you need to know what the rule is, versus it being an accident.  So here are some random thoughts about corporate video: Easiest way to price a corporate video is by the “finished minute.”  This means that if you want a five minute marketing piece for the web, the simplest way to quote it is $x times 5 minutes.  Standards for simple video might be in the $1K range.  I’ve had some videos in the $7K and $8K range.  Usually the shorter the video is, the higher the price per finished minute will creep up.  For example, if you price a video out at $2K per finished minute for a 5 minute video, and then decide to just cut…

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Importance of Depth of Field

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A quick way to make immediate impact on the quality of your picture taking or video making is to narrow your depth of field.  In this part 1 we talk about what DOF is and why it’s important.  In part two, we’ll discuss how to implement it. Depth of Field is the difference many times between something that looks cinematic and something that looks amateur.  There are times to have a large depth of field, but better production value often means a narrower depth of field.

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Dallas Video Production

Dallas Video Production

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Serendipitous Films is a full service film and video production company, specializing in corporate video, commercials, music videos and other production services like shooting and editing. There was a time when Dallas claimed the moniker of “the third coast.”  Obviously, LA and NYC are first two, and in the 80’s, movies and tv shows were coming to Dallas. The allure is clear– Dallas has a strong national commercial production industry, which provides top quality crew and equipment.  So bringing the entertainment work in is a great compliment to the corporate and commercial video and film work.  Since the 80’s, Dallas has been on a  roller coaster of a ride– seeing the heights of Walker, Texas Ranger shoot week to week providing much in the way of jobs and rentals.  And seeing the lows, like when the SAG Commercial actor strike…

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DP Ron Gonzalez and Director Dan Millican

Cost of Video Productions

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“How long is a piece of string?”  One of the most common question we get from potential clients is “how much would a video cost?”  As you can imagine, there are so many variables that go into this answer.  So what we do is ask a series of questions to figure out the elements, time frame, use, etc., that can help us give an accurate estimate. Here are some factors that greatly impact cost of a corporate/commercial video: Talent — Using a professional spokesperson, or a handful of actors, or even a voice talent can be expensive.  We use both union and non-union talent and have relationships built with the talent agencies. Days of Shooting — A big cost for us is a day of shooting.  So if the video requires two days of shooting, that line in the budget…

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Slow Motion

Slow Motion (Slomo, Slo-mo, overcranked or whatever you call it)

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Most of us know what Slow motion is– it’s the slowing down of the movement in a video or film shot. There’s several ways to accomplish this– by just slowing down the shot in editing, or “over cranking” the shot when you are shooting. Shooting takes place at 24 frames a second, or 30 frames (or 25 for you PAL users) and some other variations as well. We won’t even get into fields. If I take 24 frames that were meant to display all in one second and I tell the clip to display those 24 frames in 2 seconds, what you’ll basically get is slo-mo that doubles up every frame. It will appear jittery or jerky. Not really ideal. I watched a movie recently and this is the slo-mo they had– it meant they didn’t shoot it for slo-mo…

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Basics – Composition

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One of the most frequent questions I get from friends and family not in the film business is “how can I take better pictures and video?” One free thing to instantly have a big impact on the quality of your picture taking and video shooting is to have better composition. In this installment of tips/techniques, we talk about the “rule of thirds.”

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Delivering Your Project

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In the 90’s, when we finished the edit, we would lay off the final to tape and make a VHS client approval dub.  Then when they were happy with it, we would duplicate how many ever VHS copies the client needed. Ten years later, it’s DVD.  In 2005, we purchased a DVD duplicator, that printed right on the face.  Our clients wanted discs, so that’s what we gave them.  Now seven years later, it’s changing again. We almost made a decision even earlier this year to invest in another DVD duplicator.  But out of the last ten projects, the primary means of delivering to the client was not DVD for nine of them.  Clients want files. We learned the best settings for YouTube and Vimeo so that the videos are high def and yet load and play quickly.  We’ve added…

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