Posts

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.

 

 

Video Shooting With Chroma Key

Video Shooting With a Green Screen (or Chroma Key)

Last week I had a new potential client tell me something of interest. Someone from another video production company had told him about doing a chroma key (or green screen) shoot.  He was so impressed that he could be virtually anywhere by using this technology. He wanted to know if I had ever considered doing this. I was somewhat taken aback. That’s because we’ve been doing these chroma key shoots for years, even before we started shooting digitally. 

For someone to ask if this was possible reminded me of something I have to keep learning: just because we do something all the time, it doesn’t mean that our customers know that. We have to keep educating them about what is possible. What we take as “givens” might be brand new and innovative to the client.

We have done this before.

In the picture below are some shots from a training video we shot in 2000. The men were sitting in a boat talking about the topic being covered in the video. (I don’t remember what that was, but not important for this discussion). They were “on a lake.” In post-production we electronically eliminated the green and added footage of a mountain lake and there they were. chroma key

What is fascinating about this is that a well-done chroma key combining actual footage can convince the viewer that the subject is actually in the location we want to portray.

Another chroma key example.

These pictures are from a shoot from last year. We were able to go to the client’s office and take a portable green screen. He was placed over a futuristic TV news set background as he addressed his viewers.

chroma key

We were even using green screens in the last century. In fact, this Adecco new hire video we produced used actors and was shot as a green screen video production about 15 years ago. Then we added music and sound effects and graphics too.

In contrast to the pictures from the “fishing” chroma key above, this contains animation as the background, so we know we’re not fooling anyone about where the subjects are.

Where would you like your next shoot to appear to be?

8 Ways to Doom Your Corporate Video Production – Mistake 8

Mistake 8.  Letting Your In-House “Talent” Just Wing It

Let’s face it, your co-workers are not professional actors, and they need some help to remember all the things they need to say and do on camera.  I discussed this recently with another producer friend of mine, and he commented, “If I had a nickel for every time I shot an exec who said he could just talk off the top of his head…  What disasters!”

I agree.  Use a teleprompter.  This corporate HR manager standing in front of the green screen will be looking up at the camera and delivering his script.

video production prompter

In this shoot with Steve Young, he’ll be addressing the camera using the prompter that our crew member is adjusting.

prompter for Steve Young

As you can see, the prompter mounts in front of the camera.  Your executive or employee can look right at the camera and read the words as if he were looking into the lens.  After a couple of practice runs, amateurs are almost always comfortable enough to blast right through the script.  It’s money well spent as it means faster shooting, less errors, and fewer frayed nerves.

And if your executive looks stiff or really doesn’t like the feel of “reading” the words, we can put up bullet points or PowerPoint slides on the prompter so that he or she can still appear to be looking at the audience.  This avoids the problem of the presenter looking away to notes or cue cards and looking “shifty eyed” as a result.