Uncategorized Archives - S-Films

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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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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History of the Camera Part 2

By | For the Crew, Uncategorized | No Comments

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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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

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

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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Hot Corporate Filming

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Corporate filming in the summer!  And down here in Dallas, Texas, that means things are heating up this time of year.  For the corporate film set, this can have some major impact.  So in today’s blog, let’s talk about temperature and it’s effect on shooting industrial and corporate video. Hot Corporate Filming When shooting in a hot environment (July in Texas certainly qualifies), you can expect production to slow down.  If you’re shooting indoors, it’s not as big a deal.  But if you’re shoot is taking place outdoors, this can lead to a huge time delay.  With the heat, the crew starts to move slower.  People need more breaks.  When you schedule the shoot, make sure you allow for these delays. Logistically, try to avoid parking the base camp in unprotected hot areas.  Look for shade and areas that people can take cover from the sun. Outdoor Shoot Equipment Water – You will need plenty of water for crew, talent and client.  Nobody needs to be a hero and try to make it without properly hydrating.  Bad…

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Top 5 Corporate Video Genres

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Here are the top five corporate video genres in use today.  The important word is “today.”  It’s amazing how much the industry has changed in the last couple of decades.  Because new technologies result in new video uses and corporate video genres.  Decades ago, corporate video was fairly exclusive to training and advertising.  Consequently, tomorrow’s list might be different. Top 5 Styles or Genres of Corporate Video Today Internet Marketing – Social media creates a whole new usage for corporate video.  Facebook, twitter and instagram have become important avenues for telling your corporate story.  Or highlighting a product or service, like this. Training/Education – Getting all the employees on the same page requires consistent training and education.  This is a key benefit of utilizing video in your learning department.  A video is going to say the same thing, the same way, every time.  And the words have been carefully chosen.  When a speaker is in front of the room lecturing, who knows what will be said this time over last time. Commercials – The television commercial spot is a…

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Experience in Corporate Video Production Matters

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

Recently we asked some new clients what factors led to their decision to pick us for their corporate video production in Dallas, Texas.  We’re always glad they picked us, and trusted us to handle their video project, but we’re even more happy when the project ends and we’ve beat their expectations. Experience in Video Production Some clients searching for a video production company are concerned that they’re entrusting their story.. their message… their brand, to someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience in the industry.  Many business people understand that to become experts in an area, it takes much repetition and practice.  (Making the library of many corporate execs is Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and this philosophy is a foundation for what he espouses.) So our clients tell us that we were selected because of our experience.  Our Producer/Director Daniel Millican started working in corporate video communications in the 1980’s.  That’s 30 years, hundreds and hundreds of projects, thousands of videos, and a myriad of awards and recognitions.  This comforts that director of marketing…

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