Posts Tagged ‘DVD’

Color Confidence Instructional Video

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

In April 2010 we were hired by Sensational Color, a business of interior designers and decorators that help their clients through various home improvement projects involving color schemes. They had published a book, entitled Color Confidence, a how-to guide on selecting the right color scheme for your home. They decided to work with us to produce the video supplement that would be packaged with the book. The client had already written and prepared the material, but they needed a production crew to shoot and edit the DVD. The client also decided to host the video themselves. The video was divided into eight segments, corresponding to the various chapters in the book. During each segment, the designers walked the viewer through the process of picking a color scheme and selecting the right paint for every room. What follows is the introductory segment to the instructional DVD.

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Trajan is the Movie Font

Monday, March 8th, 2010

If you happen to be graphic designer, a fan of fonts, or just a fan of movies, you will appreciate the following video. It’s amazing how pervasive one font can actually be and how overused it can become. There’s a lesson for the kids out there. Be willing to do something different to help you or your client stand out.

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Tutorial – Introduction to MPEG Streamclip

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Editors don’t always have the luxury of working with raw files that are entirely the same. Sometimes, footage of varying formats will come in to the studio and editors are required to convert those files into a format suitable for post-production or for sharing via FTP or for upload to a website.

MPEG Streamclip from Squared5 is a video file conversion program available for a free download. In this tutorial we introduce MPEG Streamclip and provide a brief overview on how you can pull footage from a DVD, an existing video file, or even a website, and convert it into a format suitable for your particular project.

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The Numbers Game – Part One

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

budgetI talk with many prospective clients who express interest in producing a video for their business. When all the discussions are over it’s time to sit down, fill out my budget, and submit the proposal to my contact. The cost of a video production is affected by several factors and so the budgeting process must be thought out very carefully. Otherwise, it can be easy to overlook certain items.

I have created a spreadsheet that itemizes just about everything that one could possibly have on a shoot. Those items are divided into categories for easy reference (Creative Fees, Crew, Per Diems, Travel, Editing Fees, etc.) One column lists my estimated costs and another column lists my actual costs. That way, at the end of the shoot I can compare both columns to see how accurate my original estimate was.

The main thing to do when budgeting a video shoot is to prioritize. In part one of this two-part series, I want to cover what I believe are your top priorities when creating a budget. In part two, I will go over those items in the bid that can easily be overlooked. Here are my suggestions:

Estimate Your Time

Start with yourself. Think about the amount of time that you will spend on this video project. Obviously you want to include the amount of time in production , but you never want to neglect the time you invest in the pre-production and post-production stages. Pre-Production includes conceptualization and scripting, scheduling the shoot, meeting with the client, scouting, meeting with the talent, and meeting with your crew. You’ll spend more time in pre-production than you might think, so budget accordingly. Post-production not only includes the time to edit, but it also includes your time to record the voice-over, meet with the client to go over the edit and make necessary changes. I always like to pad my post-production budget to account for revisions the client might ask for.

Estimate For Your Crew

After you ensure that your time is reflected in the budget, you want to allocate monies for your crew. Surround yourself with quality people and the entire project will turn out much better. Think about how many people you will need and how many days you will need them.

  • If you aren’t as confident in your skills behind the camera, consider hiring a DP to handle the technical aspects of lighting, framing, etc.
  • If you aren’t as confident in your abilities to manage the project and handle all the logistics of a production, consider hiring a producer.
  • If you have on-camera talent, you might consider hiring a hair/make-up artist.

Aside from actual shooting days, will you need the crew to come in early for a tech scout? If so, make sure they are paid for their time. And don’t forget your post-production crew.

  • Will you need an assistant editor to help you with the final cut?
  • How about an audio engineer/mixer to record the voice-over?
  • Will you need to hire a graphic designer to create a custom disc label and DVD warp-around?
  • Will you need to hire a composer to write a custom music track?

Estimate Your Equipment

This is where you need to factor in the costs of any equipment rentals your shoot may require. Budgeting for a dolly or a camera jib will really increase the overall production quality of your video. In this category you also want to factor in the cost of your media:

  • tape stock or solid state media cards
  • hard drives
  • blank DVDs (for when you need to send your client copies of the video for review)

Check back in on Monday, August 10 for part two on how to create a video production budget.

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What I’m Watching: Rescue Dawn

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

rescue-dawnFor the record, Rescue Dawnis not a war movie. If you go in expecting heavy action, lots of gunplay, and large-scale battle sequences, you will be horribly disappointed. Rather, the film is about friendship, hope, and survival. It’s a character study. The pacing and method of storytelling is more like The Shawshank Redemption- short episodic sections that, when assembled together, form the overall narrative arc.

Christian Bale plays Dieter Dengler, a Navy pilot stationed on an aircraft carrier just off the coast of Laos in 1965. The story follows Dieter’s first mission, subsequent capture by the Vietnamese, and his life in a makeshift POW camp deep in the jungle. Director Werner Herzog made this film as a follow up to his 1997 documentary Little Dieter Needs to Flyin order to expound on more of the story and complete what Dengler himself saw as “unfinished business.”

The film itself is honest in its approach. It’s incredibly genuine and we feel as though we are watching actual events as they unfold. Bale’s dedication to the role is admirable and the investments he makes in his portrayal pay dividends in the final cut. Bale and the supporting cast of fellow POW’s (including Steve Zahn and Jeremy Davies) succeed in developing a level of realism that fills in the for the lack of action and digital effects.

The biggest problem with Rescue Dawn is the fact that it has no real emotional impact. It fails to create a level of intensity that is to be expected from this type of story. At times the narrative seems content just to flow along slowly, like the lethargy of a meandering river. Therefore, it’s hard to connect with Bale’s character. You want to commit to the story 100%. You want to cheer for Dieter. But in the end you just sit back and say to yourself, “Whatever. If he makes it, he makes it.”

4 1/2 out of 10

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