Posts Tagged ‘vision’

Cinemek’s Storyboarding iPhone App

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

While in college, I majored in film/video production and minored in art with a photography concentration. When it comes to sketching/drawing, I am capable, but by no means am I an expert. That’s why, when it comes to storyboarding my projects, I am much more comfortable writing out a shot list with simple diagrams. Drawing storyboards is just too time consuming for me.

Pre-visualization is an excellent tool for any video/film project, including marketing/promotional videos for a client. To have the ability to show a client what your vision is (rather than describe it) is a huge plus. That’s why my eyes almost popped out of my head a few months ago when I ran across a storyboarding app for the iPhone. It’s called Hitchcock and it’s from Cinemek. The app allows you to create professional storyboards by using the phone’s camera. Simply take a photo, add in camera directions, and lay it on your timeline. You can even insert music and other audio if you’d like. Once the storyboard is complete, you can export it as a pdf and email it to your client or others on your crew. Take a look at the demo below.

Hitchcock in action! from cinemek / Hitchcock on Vimeo.

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The Initial Consultation

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Video is an artistic medium, meaning that the final product is always influenced by a certain interpretation and aesthetic approach. Give four directors the same subject and tell them to create a promotional video on that subject, and invariably you will receive four very different videos.

This means that a budget for any one video can run from one extreme to the other. The final cost always depends on several factors. That’s why it’s very difficult to nail down an accurate bid, simply based on the question, “How much do you charge for a commercial?” Video production is something different from an item you find on the grocery store shelf. Every commercial or promotional video can’t always be packaged and priced with a nice, neat little label. Businesses are different. People are different. Therefore, directors that strive to give clients unique content that speaks directly to their audience will want to sit down with you for a creative consultation.

I always try to meet with a potential client face to face to gather information for a particular video project. In that initial consultation, I like to find out the following:

  • Basic information on the company; history, products, services
  • Main selling points that make this company different from their competitors
  • Values the company holds
  • Perceptions about the company (both internally and externally)
  • Marketing goals that the company has for themselves (more specifically, what do they want this video to achieve?)
  • Information on current customers (why do they buy from this company?)
  • Their target market
  • Problems that this marketing effort will help solve
  • The reasons why they contacted me
  • The role they want me to play in this project
  • Ideas they have for a video (both in terms of content and aesthetics)

These items are incredibly important to me as I move into any video production, because it helps in developing a concept and a script that will be most effective to the client. I want the client to know that what interests me most is helping them gain greater public exposure and increased profitability.

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Take It or Leave It

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Part of being a successful freelancer or small business owner is having a specific vision for the type of work you want to go after. Early in your career, however, you might have to take jobs you wouldn’t ordinarily accept. But what happens when you are a few years into your career and a job is offered to you that doesn’t exactly fit with your vision? When should you take it and when should you pass?

  1. Consider the Contact – the job itself might not be attractive, but if the individual offering you the job is someone who can offer bigger and better jobs in the future, it might be wise to take it. Do what you can to establish that relationship. If he or she is pleased with your work on the smaller jobs, they’ll be more inclined to come back to you later.
  2. Consider Your Finances – Keeping an eye on your cash flow is important. If the three-month outlook isn’t where it needs to be, consider taking those smaller jobs to make ends meet.
  3. Consider the Timeframe – How soon does the prospective client need the final product? If you can come through in a pinch with a quality product, your client will see you as a reliable resource and will be eager to hire you again.

Always consider the kind of reputation you are building. Evaluate it and make sure it’s a reputation that fits in with your goals.

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