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Tips/Techniques

The Hero’s Journey Storytelling Part II

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  Continuing the Story with Part II of the Journey This is part II of the journey, a continuing story that allows us to break down the pieces of a story to craft a message that people will remember for the way it made them feel. The power of a story comes from people being able to relate to it and share it with others for generations to come. 6 Last Steps of the hero’s journey Approach for the Inmost Cave The Hero must make preparations required to Approach the Inmost Cave that leads for the Journey’s heart, or perhaps central Ordeal. Maps may be reviewed, attacks planned, and maybe the Enemy’s enforces whittled down, before the Hero could face his greatest fear or perhaps the high danger lurking within the Special World. The confident Hero could bypass these preparations…

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Better Storytelling Through The Hero’s Journey

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 Using The Hero’s Journey As A Guide This is a 2 part post about using the Hero’s Journey as a guide to become a better storytelling. The Hero’s Journey is a model for creating a stories that is often used to create compelling story lines. It can be a pattern as well as many myths from different cultures throughout history. It isn’t the only method to tell a narrative but, as it has a very ancient lineage; stories based on this model seem to be especially satisfying. Let’s check out the first 6 Steps in the hero’s journey: The Ordinary World Since the target audience usually experiences the Journey over the Hero’s eyes, we have to be able to relate with him. The Ordinary World offers us the chance to identify with the Hero’s urges, drives, as well as problems,…

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Time lapse photography and video techniques using DSLR’s

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As we’ve been brought on to shoot a lot of different construction and industrial projects that are large in scope, we’ve had the opportunity to really dive into shooting time lapse. Timelapse photography is the use of cameras to take a series of “stills” that when played back at 24 frames or 30 frames a second, creates a “fast-forward” video effect.  Because they are only stills, not officially video, just about any camera can be used for timelapse.  And with the quality increase in cameras, the stills are usually a much higher quality than if it was shot at video.  It’s really a matter of math:  A high def video picture size might be 1920 by 1080 pixels or lines.  A still might be 5000 by 3000.  So you can shoot wide and zoom in potentially without any quality loss….

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In the audition room

One Director’s Biggest Advice for Local Actors

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If I could say one thing to local actors to immediately help their performance in film and give them a much better chance for landing that role in auditions, I would say this: Big is Bad. My advice to feature film and television actors is to bring it down.  In some cases… way down.  Now this advice is not without controversy.  I’ve had one agent tell they think I’ve got it wrong… that it’s better to be too big than too small… that a director can bring a performance down to the right level more easily than bringing it up.  Not in this director’s experience. You see, in the audition room, using a 0-9 scale on “bigness”, I have many local actors coming in at 7, 8 or 9.  I’m looking for 1.5.  Now we have to go from an…

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Dan Millican shooting Commercial

Elements for Corporate Video Production

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Corporate Video is an Art Corporate video productions, in spite of all the technology and advancements in computers and cameras, is still first and foremost an artform and demands an artist.  The best artist is the one that can convey a message effectively through a medium, like painting, sculpture, or performance. The corporate video production or media project is the same way– the effective ones send a message through the medium of video delivered on the canvas of a television screen or a computer screen.  So when we look around Dallas Fort Worth to build a team for any given media project or event, we look for the artists and we look for those who leave ego behind and can work as a team. Sure, we use the most cutting edge tools and techniques– it’s what keeps us as artists…

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shooting corporate interviews

Editing the Corporate or Documentary-style Interview

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Telling the Corporate Story Many corporate videos today are built around the interview.  Clients, employees, spokespeople are recorded talking about the product or service.  It’s a quick and effective way to tell your corporate story.  This usually involves the video production of shooting an interview (discussed Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3).  What we’re discussing today is the mechanics behind the editing of the corporate interview. How We Shoot Interviews in Dallas First, we like to shoot interviews with two cameras.  Lately, the majority of these interviews are with DSLR’s– they give a very nice, rich look, shallow depth of field and with the speed of the lenses, we don’t need a lot of light to make it beautiful. So after shooting, I will have two different sets of clips and a totally separated audio file.  I use Final…

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Business Plan

How To Start A Feature Film

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First Steps to Making Your Own Feature Film How do I get started? One of the questions I get asked by new filmmakers is exactly how to get started.  They want to know what their next step is.  Here is an extremely practical, where the rubber meets the road answer to that question. What’s my First Step towards making my feature film? I usually start the answer by asking a couple of clarifying questions.  Do you have a screenplay written?  (If no, then that’s your next step).  It doesn’t have to be polished and locked for production, but needs to be complete.  Do you have any funding?  Usually the answer is no.  Have you set up the entity?  Usually, the answer is a look of confusion. So here goes.  First,you need to have some development money ready and able to…

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Music Video Production

Music Video Production

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I Want a Music Video Shot One of the services we provide is music video production.  Artists will contact us looking for production services.  The problem comes in trying to determine a quick cost estimate, because music videos can cost as little or as much as you want, depending on how much production value you want.  It’s like asking… How long is a piece of string? Well it depends.  For music videos, how many locations?  How many days of shooting will be required?  What about other performers?  Dancers, extras?  If you want it to look like a concert setting for some of it, now we’re talking about staging and lighting and potentially hundreds of extras.  (Like in this music video from “Rising Stars”)   Production Value Matters Or it’s a concept video, with a variety of locations and actors.  So…

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OnSite Editing

On Site Editing

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Old Days of Onsite Video Editing I remember in 1997, we offered our big client the ability to do live onsite editing for playback right then at their closing event in the hotel ballroom.  Sure, we had done some betacam editing, linear style in a few rare instances, but this time, we’d be playing back on our relatively new non-linear editing computer.  We had a crew of 8 or so and felt we could do it.  It was scary– the computer had a propensity to crash or to fail and we would not have time to output to tape.  But it all worked that night. In 2000, it had become even more simple.  I took a laptop to a clients event and ingested the tape footage and played back a video– all as a one man crew. On Site Video…

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