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s films 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…

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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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What to Wear on Camera

By | Corporate Video Production, Important Info for Your Corporate Video, Tips/Techniques | No Comments

What to Wear on Camera for your Corporate Video So you’re going to be on camera for your company’s video.  Most of the time an employee is on camera for their employer, it’s for an interview.  There are some simple guidelines to follow to make sure you know what to wear on camera.  If this is your first time to go on camera, check out this article.  To hear Kara talk about Hair and Makeup, click here. First, here’s what you can expect for the interview– the crew will come in and setup the lighting, camera and sound.  They might put a lavelier microphone on you, which might be as simple as just clipping it on, or it might be hidden under your clothing by a sound professional.  Setup will probably take longer than your actual interview. Clothing Style If…

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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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