Video Production Company Blog -S-Films

File Management for Small Video Production Crew

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

File Management Part 2 This continues our campaign to squash file mis-management once and for all.  In this part 2, we cover file management for the small video production crew.  As long as there’s been digital acquisition on the film and video sets, there’s been the need to ensure that digital content makes it back safe and sound to the edit room.  One time of losing a camera card is one time too many.  For Part 1, click here. Small Video Production Crew Okay, so first let’s define what we mean by a “small crew” for video production.  Sometimes, one person goes out with a camera and shoots all he or she can for the client.  Then maybe a second person is there to help carry the gear.  For interviews, a third person might be added to cover sound.  Or back to one person who does it all.  A small crew is one to three people.  So maybe you’re a one man band, or you’re the grip slash PA, but here’s our system for file…

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File Management for Production Companies

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On Set File Management Production Companies Problems One of the biggest “gotchas” that production companies can encounter is lost or corrupted footage.  It sounds simple: “Copy camera cards over to hard drive.”  But it’s the most critical job on the set.  You mess this up, and you can lose that great performance, that wonderful camera work, those awesome sets.  So to avoid this pitfall, let’s look at the tools you need. File Management Tools First of all you need a computer and hard drives.  Preferably two (or more).  Industry best practice is to take the camera card, copy it over to two different hard drives.  And make sure you copy to each hard drive from the card—don’t copy to a hard drive, eject the card, and copy from the first hard drive over to your back up hard drive.  If you have anything corrupt, you just copied that over.  Always copy from the camera card to your primary hard drive and your backup hard drive. Software and Apps to Use Now when you copy, you…

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History of the Camera Part 2

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History of the Camera Part 2 For part 1, click here.  The importance of this information is in giving you, the new camera production person, background into why things are the way that they are.  We discussed progressive film rate and interlace film rate in part 1. The 1990’s The call was out for quality.  For decades, the television signals and standards stayed exactly the same.  But technology was starting to improve and though the television industry resisted change, eventually it to caved.  Why did they resist?  They have millions of dollars invested in equipment.  You change to HD and all that expensive gear would become garage sale material. But eventually, the call for quality started to overcome the call for everything to stay the same.  Everyone agreed it would be called “High Definition” or HD, compared to Standard Definition or SD.  Again, just like the RCA/Philco battles of the 1930’s, Sony and Panasonic squared off, each pushing their own standard.  Sony wanted to double the NTSC quality– instead of 525 lines, they picked 1080….

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History of the Camera, Part 1

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Intro to the Camera For incoming interns and new students of corporate film and video, we cover the basics of the camera and answer questions such as “what is progressive scanning?” and “what’s the difference between component and composite video?” and more. Brief History of the Camera Cameras were created in the 19th Century by utilizing glass to focus light onto a chemically treated surface.  As technology improved, glass got better and the chemically treated surfaces were improved.  By the early 20th Century, the cameras had become somewhat standardized.    Then motion picture cameras came along.  Same principle- but instead of taking one frame or picture, now a motor was created to speed the chemically treated surface (film) through the housing to enable taking many pictures each second.  This started by hand cranking the film through (resulting in variable speed– notice in those old movies all the action is sped up).  But motors eventually were added which led to a standard of 24 frames per second.  Each image was exposed in it’s entirety, creating a “progressive”…

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Harvey Cleanup Continues in Houston

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Along with clients, we also have friends in Houston who were hit hard by Harvey.  The SFilms crew put away the video cameras and put on boots and gloves and got work for a couple days.  One friend’s mother’s house was a total loss.  The 89 year old woman was safe (rescued by boat), but her belongings were pretty much gone.  Among the antique furniture, we found her photo albums from the forties, fifties and sixties– they had been under the flood water.  We’ve done our best to save them. To read about our arrival, click here.  The work is incredibly difficult.  There’s the physical part– and it’s brutal.  The Houston humidity mixed with the August heat and it zaps you quickly.  One of our team members had some heat exhaustion.  But it’s not the physical that drains you the most, it’s the emotional.  Right now in Houston and Beaumont, there are hundreds of thousands of stories just like this 89-year old woman.  Across the street from her, an older couple was struggling.  The woman…

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Houston Harvey Aftermath

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

Houston Harvey Hurricane With the exception of one fast food worker in Fort Worth, most people have heard about what the hurricane Harvey has done to Houston.  We’re reporting today from Houston where we’ve spent the last few days doing some filming and lending some helping hands. Driving Down The drive from Fort Worth Dallas was pretty much a non-event.  On Thursday morning when we left, there were some gas stations in the DFW area that were closed.  So we drove with the philosophy of refilling when we got down to 3/4’s of a tank.  But we never had any issues.  As we neared Houston, we still couldn’t see any of the devastation we were seeing on the news.  And fuel was fine and actually cheaper than DFW prices. As we headed to our clients headquarters near the NRG Stadium, the only clue was a shut down of the Sam Houston Tollway as it went into Sugarland– we could just make out the water over the highway.  We arrived at our clients building and got…

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Shooting Video at Tradeshows

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Video Tradeshows One of the calls we get a lot, is to see if we can shoot video at tradeshows.  Because companies and corporations drop a serious investment in tradeshows.  The cost of attending, with travel. The exhibitor fees.  And the booth construction.  With all this investment, businesses want to make sure the marketing pays off.  And that’s the bottom line: Sales. So video at the tradeshow extends the reach of that investment.  Whether video is used to grab the attention of potential customers walking by or used as a broadcaster on social media, video at the tradeshow can magnify the marketing and multiply the results. Tradeshow Video’s 4 Components Usually this has four components: Pre-shot and edited content to be displayed at tradeshow Video coverage of the tradeshow, both the booth and the tradeshow itself Interviews and testimonials with clients attending Onsite editing for immediately use for social media or at the event itself Pre-Event Videos You have those huge monitors.  You want people walking by to be drawn in to your booth.  Engaging videos…

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Dallas Area Can Help Houston

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

Here in the DFW area, many of us have friends, family, clients, loved ones in the Houston and South Texas area.  While it’s good to donate to national organizations, I like to see help at the local level… where the rubber meets the road.  If you live here in DFW, one of our partners Encore Live, is actively taking steps to help.   Here’s what they write: Encore Live will be headed to Houston later this week to help with the cleanup from #Harvey – we will be taking donated goods to various Houston based charities seeking help. If you have supplies listed below you would like to donate, please drop them by our office at 1635 Rogers Road Fort Worth, Texas 76107 between now and Wednesday at the close of business. The supplies they list include: • Canned goods • Non-perishable food • Water • All-purpose cleaning supplies • Gloves • Towels • Batteries • Industrial strength trash bags & cans • Diapers & wipes • Baby food & formula • Toiletries • Ziplock bags • Pet…

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The Corporate Video Documentary

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The Corporate Video Documentary There are many different styles to use when crafting a corporate video.  Some might be news-style– a “reporter” or spokesperson talking directly to camera.  Others might be conceptual– recreating scenes out in the sales environment or such.  But out of all the video styles in use in corporate America, the documentary is probably the most common.  The Documentary Style This is the video that is interview driven, what people call talking heads.  Some might view this style as boring or flat.  But it all depends on how you approach it. The talking head, documentary-style video can be highly effective.  There’s a reason it’s the most common style of corporate video out there. The Power of BRoll To make it more engaging, the key is to cover the interviews with footage about what they’re talking about.  This is called “B Roll”—the “A Roll” is their interview talking head.  BRoll goes over that.  It’s an old news term and you’ll hear us use the term.  For example, if I was on screen right…

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Aerial Video- Drones, Helicopters and Airplanes

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We are often asked by our clients for aerial video.  And with the latest technologies for drones, this has made aerial photography much more accessible and led to higher production values.  But what are the different methods for aerial video? Helicopters and Airplanes Today, it’s easy to point at the drone.  But an important tool in the aerial arsenal, is the helicopter or fixed wing platform.  For many years, this was the only way to get the aerial shot.  And when you shoot from a helicopter or airplane, there are several different methods.  At the top of the production value is the remote controlled, enclosed gimbal camera.  This is inside a housing hanging off the helicopter (or airplane).  Some of these camera platforms easily run $200,000 to $400,000.  That’s the camera, gimbal and housing– not the helicopter or airplane. A pilot is needed to fly the helicopter and a camera operate works the camera remotely.  This video was done by us with such a setup: For the budget minded– an operator can shoot out the…

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