Professional Video: Do Not Try this at Home (or Work)

Professional video production doesn’t require lots of great video gear. But it helps.

When a company wants to put forth it’s best image, it’s no secret that a professional video production will help. As we’ve commented before, professional video is becoming a much greater factor in not just communicating your message, but getting your business found in the first place.

Back in 1981, we began our professional video production business and the list of equipment to accumulate was daunting, to say the least. Cameras were extremely heavy and were never built together with a recorder. This trend did not really reverse itself until about 10 years ago. In this picture from 2004, you can see us on a shoot in China using our large broadcast quality camera. The thick (somewhat twisted) cord in the lower left connects the professional video camera to a recorder, which is out of frame. The cameras seemed to weigh a ton too. 🙁

professional video

These days, cameras are becoming smaller, lighter and more compact. The recorder (whether it is in digital format or to tape) is now almost always included in the camcorder unit. And even as these professional video camcorders become tinier, they actually put out quality that is superior to that given by the cameras for which we spent 10 times as much almost 30 years ago. Even an iPhone can produce vastly superior quality to that we got in the 1980s.

Obviously, for truly professional video images it’s not the camera, but the person behind the camera that matters.

small video cameraThe tendency today is to simply whip out the camcorder and shoot, and this is reinforced by:

  • a YouTube culture that values and rewards quantity over quality, and
  • excellent quality video even becoming available on iPhones and Android devices.

But when it comes to your company image, you need real professional video services.

In addition to the knowledge and experience that comes with a professional video production company like ours, we bring a wide variety of equipment and personnel to the shoot to make the video look and sound as good as possible. Because of this additional gear, we don’t travel light, as you can see from this behind the scenes look at a professional Silicon Valley video shoot used for training.

professional video shootWe like to think that our professional videos are like just about any other professional service. You need several components to make your video a success:

  • know-how
  • experience
  • the right equipment

If you’re missing any or all of these, you’re missing your chance to create a favorable impression for your company. Call the pros at Penrose Productions.


Getting a Video White Balance

Getting a Video White Balance

When you’re trying to get a video white balance, this technique applies to shooting whether you are doing video production in San Francisco or elsewhere, indoors or out.  When we were shooting at NDS Surgical Imaging we captured this little nugget to show how to get a video white balance. This is important because for web video production (or any video production for that matter) the colors must be accurate, and light has different “temperatures.”  That is, light is composed of different parts of the light spectrum.  Have you ever noticed how fluorescent lights give a different cast or hue from the light you see in a living room?  Or how outdoor light can vary from one time of day to another in its hue?  Getting a video white balance tells the camera what your current light conditions are like, and the electronics can discern the color components.  White light is made up of all colors (think rainbow or prism) so by telling the camera what white looks like under your lights (or no lights) will tell it how the different colors should look.  Here’s how to get a video white balance to make sure all your colors are true. AFTER you have the final lighting setup, have the subject hold (or place at the focal point of the shot) a white card, and press the camera’s white balance switch or button.


Shooting Video Under Fluorescent Lights

Shooting Video Interview In a Local Carpet Store

When it comes to quality, it’s tough shooting video in a large area with fluorescent lighting. The color temperature of the lights will give a greenish cast to the image. If we’re just shooting the large area (like a warehouse, or in this case a flooring showroom) to capture the contents (and not people) a white balance adjustment is the only practical way to deal with the color temperature.  But even though we can white balance to get rid of some of the problems in an industrial or commercial area for shooting video, the lighting would still be unflattering for our human subjects. So here we are at Abbey Carpet Blossom Valley Interiors in San Jose getting ready to shoot a testimonial interview.