Archive for the ‘Filmmaking’ Category

Short Film Now Casting

Friday, July 6th, 2012

We are in pre-production on our next short film project and we are looking for actors. The story is a comedic short about a Hollywood production that loses one of its star actors just before shooting commences on the climactic scene. If you are interested in participating in this project, please email a headshot and resume to clint(at)redfoxmediainc.com. Here’s a list of characters:

  • CHUCK (30s-50s) – Military type. Precise. In control. Regimented
  • KRISSY (20s-30s) – Chuck’s assistant. Organized. Dependable. Producer-like.
  • PRODUCER (20s-40s) – Male or Female. Producer for a camera crew. Reporter-like. Business-like. Eager. Professional
  • CAMERAMAN (20s-30s)
  • AUDIO TECH (20s-30s) – Male. Needs to be a little person. Gruff.
  • CLOWN (20s-40s) – Typical clown you might see at a child’s birthday party.
  • PRODUCTION ASSISTANT (teens-20s) – Male or Female
  • THUG (30s-40s) – Muscular. Intimidating.
  • Extras are also needed for a high school football locker room scene, an outdoor basketball scene, and a scene inside a school library.



Currently, our plan is to shoot over the course of two weekends in mid-late September.

Video Production Lighting Adopts LED Technology

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Camera technology is constantly changing in the video production industry. It can be difficult to keep up with new image sensors, codecs, image sizes, frame rates, etc. and you can easily break the bank trying to acquire all of this new gear. Small to medium-sized production companies, as well as independent producers, need to pick their battles when it comes to the purchasing of new gear. However, it IS exciting to witness the continued evolution of this industry and how the tools of motion picture storytelling continue to improve.

One bit of technology that’s impressive is new LED production lighting. Everyone is familiar with LED (Light Emitting Diode) in one way or another. For years it was used for small indicator lights on all kinds of electronics and appliances. Only within the last 5-8 years, however, has LED become a serious alternative to traditional incandescent and tungsten lighting. LED fixtures are now being used in architectural spaces (offices, commercial, etc.), residences, and theatrical applications. And now LED is being used in video and film production lighting.

There are several advantages to LED that should cause any production company to take a serious look at using it for their next project.

Fewer Watts Used – Video and film production crews are accustomed to using fixtures that use high wattages in order to get the proper picture exposure. 650w, 300w, 1000w are common for interior locations. For exteriors one might see 1200w, 2000w, and even 5000w. However, LED production fixtures use much less wattage, but will emit an equal amount of light. So, instead of using 650w, an LED equivalent might use 80w.

Fewer Circuits Needed – One of the considerations that must be made while shooting on location is knowing how to patch in all of your lights to avoid overloading one circuit. This can be especially dicey when working in older buildings. LED production lighting features DMX control, which allows the gaffer to daisy chain several fixtures together, then load all of those fixtures into one outlet.

Daylight and Indoor Color Temperatures – If the video production crew is set up for an exterior location with a light kit consisting mainly of indoor-balanced lamps, the gaffer must compensate for this difference in color temperature by placing gel over all of the indoor-balanced lights. This is quick and easy to do, but you also lose light output in the process. For exterior shoots, this loss of light could be unacceptable for the Director of Photography. You could use a fluorescent light bank with interchangeable daylight and indoor bulbs, but this might not give you the punch you need for exterior applications. LED production lights can come with interchangeable arrays, so you can quickly change from interior to exterior color temperatures without sacrificing light output.

No Heat – Every production light we have ever worked with, even a small 300w fresnel, produces an enormous amount of heat. That’s due to the infrared wave lengths that are emitted when the light is working. Up to ninety percent of a 2000w fresnel output may be heat. Once a shoot wraps, grips must either wear gloves when handling the lights, or wait until they cool down. This is why television studios are kept at a very cool temperature. LEDs, by contrast, produce almost no heat, because they operate with far less wattage than traditional tungsten sources. Think of the energy savings for production and TV studios. Less wattage means a reduction in energy consumption. Less heat from the light fixtures means that a studio doesn’t have to cool the studio as much, resulting in a significant reduction in utility costs.

Retrofit options are also available for studios who have a large inventory of fixtures.

There are several good reasons for using LED in video production. In the coming months and years this technology will continue to have an impact on the lighting industry.

‘A Changed Man’ Teaser Trailer

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

As mentioned in a previous post, our short film, A Changed Man, has been accepted into this year’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival. A Changed Man will screen in the Local Shorts #2 block on Saturday, August 27th at 7:20pm at the Hill Event Center. Many wonderful people donated their time and effort to produce this film, which is a testament to the love the people of Birmingham have toward the film production industry. Enjoy the teaser trailer for our film. We hope to see you at this year’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.


The Method Behind the Madness of Video Production

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Red Fox Media - Video Production - Birmingham, AL - Burdette Video Shoot 004A few months ago I was working on a video shoot for a client. As we moved our equipment inside and started setting up, my client said, “I had no idea this much was involved in producing a video.” This is a remark I often hear when producing videos. People will comment on the amount of gear we have to carry around with us and at the amount of time it takes to set up and shoot each scene. They talk about our attention to detail when it comes to lighting and blocking camera movements. They marvel at how much footage we shoot just for a thirty-second TV commercial or a three-minute corporate video. Producing high-quality videos is something we take great pride in, but it’s also something that demands a lot of our time and resources.

Even before we roll onto the location for the first day of shooting, our work has been going on, behind the scenes, for a few weeks. There is so much that has to be accomplished during pre-production to ensure that the actual shoot runs smoothly and efficiently. For articles on the importance of pre-production, you can browse through these articles, “Preparing for a Video Shoot,” “Scheduling Your Production,” and “If Only the Flux Capacitor Was Working.” Some of the tasks that demand our time and attention during pre-production include:

  • Creative meetings with the client to go over conceptual ideas
  • Writing a script
  • Revising the script
  • Scheduling the shoot
  • Location scouting
  • Securing locations
  • Casting (if necessary)
  • Hiring the crew
  • Prepping and loading the gear



Depending on the size and complexity of the project, our time spent in pre-production may last as little as five hours, all the way up to forty hours. Once the shooting date arrives and we arrive on location, we have to:

  • Unload the gear
  • Conduct one final walk-through
  • Move furniture to make room for the gear
  • Set up and light
  • Set up the camera
  • Block camera movements
  • Tweak background elements that are in each shot
  • Direct the talent
  • Prep the talent for audio
  • Slate, shoot, and log each take



And this process will repeat itself for every location. Again, our time in production will vary depending on the size and scope of each video project. We might spend as little as 1/2 day on location, but we might spend as much as five to seven days to capture all the footage necessary for the final video.

Once the shoot wraps, we take all the assets back to our office to begin editing. This is a process that largely goes unnoticed, but here are some action items that we must accomplish throughout post-production:

  • Transfer all footage from tapes or external hard drive to the editing system
  • Set up the project and import all assets
  • Go through all the raw footage, shot by shot, and make notes on what’s happening in each scene
  • Mark shots as usable or unusable
  • Begin rough assembly of the video to formulate the narrative structure
  • Record a scratch track of the voice-over to be used temporarily throughout this initial phase
  • Listen to any and all on-camera interviews for relevant and usable sound bites; mark these for use later
  • Insert the interview segments and compile them with the b-roll segments
  • Present the rough edit to the client for notes
  • Make revisions; tighten the edit
  • Make music selections
  • Insert the music
  • Direct the voice-over talent during the recording session
  • Insert the voice-over
  • Mix all audio
  • Create and insert all graphics and titles
  • Present to the client for notes
  • Make additional revisions if necessary
  • Color correct every shot to ensure optimum quality and color accuracy
  • Render and export the final video
  • Deliver to the client



Post-production can, by far, be the most time-consuming aspect of the production process. It’s not uncommon to spend as much as 40 hours on a 3-5 minute video for a client. To date, I believe, the most we have spent in post-production on a project has been 80 hours for a 7-minute promotional video.

I believe that video production is an artistic medium, and, as with all art, doing it well requires a certain amount of time and effort. So, the next time you want to work with a professional video production company, just know that the cameras, the lights, and the familiar call of “Action!” is only the tip of the iceberg.

Red Fox Media’s Film “A Changed Man” to Screen at Sidewalk

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Red Fox Media - Video Production - Birmingham, AL - If Only BTS 007I’m pleased to announce that our short film A Changed Man will screen at this year’s Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival in Birmingham, AL. Our film is part of the “Local Shorts #2″ block, which starts at 7:20pm on Saturday, August 27. The film will be shown at the Hill Event Center, located at 1811 3rd Avenue North. A Changed Man tells the story of an emotionally-broken woman trying to put her troubled past behind her and regain a sense of normalcy in her life.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered their time, efforts, and energy to produce this film. I definitely couldn’t have done it alone.

Crew

  • Written & Directed By Clint Till
  • Director of Photography – Michael Praytor
  • Producer – Todd Hornsby
  • Editor – Sam McDavid
  • Audio – Chris Burns & Jeremy Burns
  • Music – Paul Merryman
  • Art Director – Kimberly Johnson
  • Gaffer – Chris Hilleke
  • Hair & Make-up – Tara Merryman
  • Script Supervisor – George Smyly
  • Grip – Troy Wagner
  • Production Assistants – Tyler Dawson & J. Neil Bloomer

Starring

  • Kendra Fuller
  • Kevin Watts
  • Tammy White
  • Nicole Hernandez
  • Jana Harris
  • Gabrielle Metz

The 2011 Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival runs from August 26-28, 2011. Visit the festival website to see the full weekend schedule and learn more about each film.