Surprise Announcement During a Video Shoot

Odd Interruption During Video Production.

This is a first for us. We were shooting the The Doctors Co. at their leadership meeting in San Francisco. All of a sudden the CEO gets up from his seat and announces that the home office received an envelope labeled “anthrax” an hour earlier. It turned out to be a hoax of course, but hard to imagine why someone would send that to an insurance company…

(Sorry, the link has been taken down…)

Leading the Video Production Field

Video Production Leadership is a Biblical Principle.

back of the room video in San Francisco

This last weekend we began video production work at a 3 day leadership conference for a company we’ve served for several years. In addition to producing training videos and communications pieces, we shoot this annual conference that is held at a top-notch hotel in San Francisco.

While “back of the room” video productions are not typically the most exciting projects for us to work on, we look forward to shooting this one every year. The conference is first class, all the way.

This begins with the client, who is a total leader in their field. Since taking over as CEO, the boss has lead the company on an amazing journey to increased revenue and profits. And one can see why — it’s all about the culture. The CEO sets the tone through his articulate style and creating an environment where everyone feels they’re part of a team, and all contribute to the company’s success.

As an aside, I launched our video production company 31+ years ago largely because of my disillusionment with corporate leadership. The examples I saw when I worked in the transportation industry in the 1970s and early 1980s were abysmal. Maybe if I had seen this type of leadership in my early career, I might have stayed in a corporate job!

In his opening remarks the CEO spoke about needing to serve others as a prerequisite to taking a leadership role, whether as a company or an individual.

That certainly resonated for us in our work as a video production company, as all we really provide is a service, and nothing else. If we can’t add value to our clients, we won’t be around. Since we’ve been in the video production business for well over 30 years, I think we’re living that philosophy. Not that the mission is ever over of course.

It also struck me that this is not a new principle. It’s found in many versions in the Synoptic Gospels of the New Testament. Jesus himself taught his disciples that “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26) Enough said…


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.

Silicon Valley Video Production for USA Today

Silicon Valley Video Production for The Big Guys

 I’ve written before and shared videos from the Silicon Valley video production shoot we did for USA Today at Bluecoat Systems. In the shoot, we recorded a fascinating interview where we learned of the incredible security problems we face using the internet every day.

silicon valley video production

In a three-part series with videos, our previous posts focused on our production difficulties as we were stuck in a conference room dominated by windows and whiteboards.

Recently they advised us where this Silicon Valley video production was published on the web. The subject is super interesting and the video and audio just fine, but I thought their editing was a bit funky…lots of jump cuts and the screen gets brighter when the USAToday bug is taken off the picture. You can see it on the USA Today site. It’s titled “Search results may deliver tainted links.”



San Francisco Video Production Ratings

San Francisco Video Production: What’s Good Enough?

Is there an acceptable standard for video production work in the San Francisco area (or any market for that matter?) I’ve encountered many video production companies in the San Francisco area who are much more concerned about “art” than keeping their customers happy. But what about the business side?

I was thinking about this as I heard a radio commercial today. It was for a nationally-known firm that helps businesses and individuals by creating legal forms for their use, thus avoiding a lawyer’s high fees. They claimed that they had survey data that their customers gave them overwhelmingly positive marks for their service. They said that 80 percent (or was it 90 – I’m not sure) of their clients would recommend their service or would use them again themselves if the need arose.

What struck me is that this question was almost exactly the same that an independent service asked of our clients. This service was trying to evaluate whether or not they would give us their “seal of approval” as it were for our video production services in the San Francisco Bay Area. The customer survey was part of the process. Needless to say we passed easily. Now I know that this sounds cocky but in fact our customers, given the same question, gave us a 100% satisfaction rating.

Please feel free to read more about the methodology that rated us 100% for our San Francisco Bay Area video production work.

And thanks to all those clients that keep coming back time after time!

8 Ways to Doom Your Corporate Video Production – Conclusion

Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Video Production – Conclusion

With video production as with all things, the motto is “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well” And this applies to your video productions.  But there are times when a large full scale production is not warranted.  Fortunately, it is no longer a matter of all or nothing when it comes to bringing professional production values to your work. 

You do not have to spend tens of thousands of dollars for a video production.

inexpensive video production

It surprises many people that are considering a video production that there is an efficient middle ground that can be used.  This can be a tremendous cost saver.  This includes hiring one or more professionals to assist.  This could be:

  • ·        a producer/director to oversee your production,
  • ·        a lighting director with equipment,
  • ·        a teleprompter operator with equipment,
  • ·        a make-up artist to make your executive look “just right”
  • ·        an editor to bring together the footage you’ve shot into a crisp, effective program,
  • ·        a graphic artist or animator to punch up your graphics,
  • ·        a duplication facility to make mass quantities of your videotape, DVD or CD

Through the use of experienced professionals in some or all areas of your next production, you can ensure that you create a program that meets your objectives in an efficient and effective way.