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daniel millican Archives - S-Films

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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File Management for Production Companies

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

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…

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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…

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the keyman adam baldwin acting tips

Top 3 Acting Tips – Movie Director to Actors

By | Faith Filmmaking, Seminars, Tips/Techniques, Video Production | No Comments

Acting Tips from a Movie Director There are many acting tips from actors to actors.  Not much from directors to actors.  I have directed five feature films and have worked with hundreds of actors. (My first film “The Keyman” starring Adam Baldwin is available on iTunes and Amazon Prime).  Some of them famous, many of them local to the locations and cities we shot the film in.  But there are a couple of things I wish every actor knew on the set.  Things that could save me time and money in production.  Time and money allows me to spend more on areas I need it to tell the story. Director’s Job First of all, let me tell you what my job is as film director: Guardian of the Story.  Every decision I make should go through this filer– does it help…

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