Video Production Gets Lighter

Video Production Cost/Quality Trade-off Continues to Improve Thanks to Technology.

Yesterday we were back to begin an encore video production on location at Abbey Carpet in San Jose. This video production will be another Abbey video that will be part of their marketing efforts on YouTube and other small business web marketing venues.

As cameras get smaller and lighter we no longer need to rent expensive Steadicam plus operator for long tracking shots. In this shot our cameraman is using a relatively inexpensive Glidecam to move through newly remodeled sections of the store and finish on Steve Delamore, store owner. Steve only had to memorize the first sentence of his welcome, and then we will go to broll footage. He’ll narrate the remainder of the video later. With so little to say to the camera, we avoided the need to use a teleprompter.

Despite the lowering of costs through technology improvements, there are limitations. The HD camera mounted on the Glidecam is a great example of how great things are coming in small packages. Costing just a few thousand dollars, this camera is vastly superior to those we shot wiht in the 80s that cost tens of thousands. BUT the improvement isn’t infinite as you can see from the actual video itself.  It was shot on an iPhone and comes nowhere near the quality of the HD camera on the Glidecam.

We’ve heard many people talk about the excellent video that comes from the iPhone and other mobile devices, but we just don’t see it. For real video production that will present a positive company image, you’ve got to use the real thing. Book a pro with a real camera, audio, editing system and other video production accessories to do your production. Your company image is too important to rely on low quality.



Free Adobe Photoshop Graphics Software

You Can Get the World’s Gold Standard of Graphics Software for Free – Sort of.

free graphics softwareWe use graphics software extensively in all aspects of our business: video production, image correction, web design, etc. Not a day goes by that we don’t use Adobe Photoshop for one or more tasks. Photoshop is the gold standard for graphics software; the one that others try to copy because of its power and flexibility.

This graphics software is so powerful in fact, that we don’t use the vast majority of available functions. There is a great set of tools available and a great help system in the software if we want to do more. It’s truly designed for the graphics professional.

In fact, we used Photoshop to create this image of the software package in less than two minutes, combining the software box with the “free” sticker.

The problem is, while it’s an amazing graphics software package, it’s too darn expensive.

To appeal to the lower end of the market for graphics software, Adobe has been selling Photoshop Elements for quite awhile. It’s often bundled with other software packages and replicates many of the basics of Photoshop. But to get Elements you still have to reach into your pocket.

A great solution to the hand-in-wallet thing for graphics software is available at no charge. Adobe is GIVING AWAY older versions of the full Photoshop package at no charge.

The catch? These versions are several versions old and are no longer supported. And Adobe claims that they may not be compatible with newer operating systems. However, we have not seen this to be a problem.

So to get a full Photoshop version that will have way more horsepower than you ever need, you can go over to the Adobe site and download either the PC or Mac version of CS2  for free.

Web Video Downloader

Web Videos: How to Download and Convert Them for Free

free web video downloadsWeb videos are the fastest growing part of the internet today. A Cisco executive had predicted that 90% of all traffic on the internet would be video by 2013. Seems like he is a bit premature, but that day is fast approaching.

One of the problems with web videos is that they are read-only and non-portable. That is, you can only watch what is up on YouTube and other platforms off the original posting. This requires an internet connection, of course.

But now, things have changed. Downloading a web video from YouTube for later viewing or for use in a presentation is no longer the challenge it used to be.

You’d think that downloading web videos would be easy, but it is not. YouTube doesn’t allow downloading and neither do most other sites. To counteract that, you have to spend lots of time and energy searching for a way to do it. Now we’ve got a way, thanks to the folks at KeepVid. And not only can YouTube videos be downloaded, but they can be converted so that they can be used in other software or on other devices.

The PC and Mac versions are available for free on a trial basis. An upgraded version is necessary to download videos from web video sites after it expires. But it’s sure worth a look.

Detailed instructions are on the site for downloading and converting those YouTube videos.

Keeping Video Production Clients Coming Back

Video Production Client: Back After 20 Years

Wow, we just got a great vote of confidence when we got a call and visit today from one of our long-ago video production clients. He returned to discuss a video of a medical instrument he was developing. The instrument is going through the patent process and we are under a non-disclosure agreement, so we can’t talk much about it.

The point though, was that he returned after last doing video production with us in 1993. He was kind enough to mention that he hadn’t done any video production work since then, but knew where his “video home” was.

Obviously we were delighted.  We’ve gotten great reviews from our customers in the past, and they come back time and time again, but 20 years between video productions is a first for us.

This new video production will include both live action video and animation, and working with him again will be a great pleasure, we’re sure. It’s to be used first to secure financing and later as a marketing and trade show video. We’ll post it here in this video production blog once it’s finished.