Posts Tagged ‘sound’

Potential Problems For Your Video

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Red Fox Media - Video Production - Birmingham, AL - Collection BTS 009You’re set. You’ve hired a video production company to come into your place of business to shoot footage that will eventually be used in an online marketing piece. Everything is good to go. You and the Director have hammered out all the details. You have the talent scheduled. You have the script prepared and memorized. The shot list is ready. All that’s left is to shoot the video.

But have you really thought of everything? Could there be something that you overlooked?

If you work in a location with constant activity (i.e. a retail store, restaurant, salon, etc.), there are two main items on your pre-production checklist that need to be handled before the video production company arrives to set up.

  • Audio – If you plan to record live audio while on set, background noise will be a major concern. You need to take proper steps to ensure that you can capture good, clean audio. Ideally, you will want to shoot the video on a day when your business is not open to the public. This will eliminate sounds like customer chatter, footsteps, doors opening/closing, etc. If you are forced to shoot during a normal business day, try to select non-peak hours in which to shoot. This way, customer traffic should be at a minimum. To help reduce the amount of background noise, try hanging sound blankets around your talent. You can also post a public notice to all customers that filming is in progress and that all chatter should be kept to a whisper. Also look for places within your location that may not have quite as much foot traffic.
  • Release Forms – It’s important to lock down the area directly behind your talent, so that no one wanders into the background of your shot. If that isn’t possible, bear in mind that any customer that wanders into frame will need to give you his/her consent to be in the video. You will need to have release forms ready, in case this happens. If your business has a lot of foot traffic, it may not be feasible to stop every single customer and have each one sign a release form. In that case, you will need to place a public notice at the entrances to your business and around the camera crew which indicates that you are in the process of shooting a video. It will also need to clearly state to your customers that by walking throughout the store, their likeness may be captured on video.

Details are so important when it comes to producing a video for your business. Things that you normally take for granted (i.e. door chimes, customer traffic, electric appliances, chatter) can become distractions when trying to shoot. Talk with your video producer/director about your location and any potential logistical/legal problems you may face. Budget in the time for a tech scout with your video production team. The best way to handle these issues is to take care of them before they become bigger problems.

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We Do Radio Too

Thursday, April 28th, 2011
A physician performs a routine checkup on a pa...

Image via Wikipedia

Although we specialize in video production and website design, every so often we have the opportunity to branch out into other media as well. Take, for example, this case study from last year:

Southeast Urgent Care is a small, family medical clinic in Fultondale, AL. They approached us to see if we could work with them to write and produce a thirty-second radio commercial to advertise their grand opening on July 12, 2010. We had less than two weeks to conceptualize, write, produce, and deliver two radio spots to meet their deadline. Southeast Urgent Care prides itself on respecting the time of each patient, so we wrote a script focused on the idea that Dr. Paul Roberts doesn’t want the patient in his waiting room. He wants each patient back in the exam room as quickly as possible. A professional talent introduces the spot, followed by Dr. Roberts who provides information about the grand opening.

Click the link below to listen to the spot.

Waiting Room Expert_Grand Opening

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Keeping Production Costs Low & Production Value High

Friday, April 10th, 2009

There’s a fine balance that has to be made between delivering a high-end product and maintaining a budget that your client finds reasonable.

Let’s say you’re getting started in your video production business and you need to keep your production costs low to attract new clients. However, you also want to create content with high production values to give the appearance that your client spent more than they actually did. You always want to go for the “wow” factor. So, how can you create videos with great production value while working with a modest budget?

  1. Learn everything you can about proper cinematography techniques. One of the easiest ways to make more aesthetically-pleasing videos is to know the basic concepts of cinematography. Video production is a craft. Don’t think that you can pick up a camera and then point and shoot. You have to learn about composition, framing, camera movements, lighting. You have to learn all you can about the camera itself and its functions. Don’t take this first lesson for granted. This is a necessary pre-production task that won’t cost you anything but time, but it’s the foundation for better looking productions.
  2. Capture good audio. Nothing spoils a video faster than bad audio. Make careful considerations regarding your locations. Scout them first. Listen for anything in the vicinity that could cause a problem for your audio track. If you can, hire an experienced audio mixer/boom man for your shoot. Even if the crew consists of just you and the sound guy. Trust me, it will be worth it.
  3. Keep the crew to a minimum. Your production budget can really spin out of control once you start adding on grips, audio technicians, editors, etc. When you’re starting out, you will need to function as producer/writer/director/DP/editor in order to keep your costs down. However, you have to concede the fact that while you’re on location you won’t be able to do everything yourself. Start off by hiring one assistant to help you with gear. A fair rate for this individual is anywhere from $200-$350 per day, depending on his/her experience.* (a day rate is based on a 10-hour day. You can pay your assistant a half-day rate if you are on location no more than 5 hours.)
  4. Develop a shot list. This is a no-cost pre-production task that will save you time while on location. Each shoot needs to run as efficiently as possible. Time is money. So, always write out a shot list before arriving on location.
  5. Rehearse before shooting. The less tape you use, the less money you spend. The less footage you put on your P2 card (or other solid-state media), the less space you take up on your hard drive, meaning less money. So, always rehearse with your talent before shooting. Go over the action and the camera moves. Make sure everyone is clear on what’s to happen when the camera rolls.
  6. Take advantage of DIY techniques. High-end productions utilize dollies and cranes to create smooth camera movements. Those movements look very professional on screen and ramp up the production value of any video. But that equipment costs money – a lot of money. But have no fear. There are a number of wonderful do-it-yourself resources on the web for creating the same professional look at minimal cost. Just look at our previous post about creating a dolly move without the use of a dolly. Also look at tutorials from sources like Triune Films and read DIY stuff from FilmmakerIQ. Here’s a quick tutorial on creating your own camera car mount.
  7. Invest in stock footage. This will be a rather pricy upfront cost, but the resource will quickly pay for itself. Let’s face it – Shooting at the beaches of Mexico would be too expensive. Grabbing that aerial shot over the Colorado Rockies is probably out of reach. But, if you had a library of stock footage, you could quickly plug in that aerial shot when the subject matter calls for it and by doing so you can instantly increase the production value of your video. A good resource for stock footage is over at Digital Juice.

There are a number of ways to keep your costs down while giving your client a video that “wow’s” them. All it takes is a little imagination and resourcefulness. And as your business gains momentum, you can start investing in bigger crews, better cameras, and additional gear.

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