Category Archives: Video Production

Our Most Recent Corporate Video Shoot

Top Corporate Video Production Shoot

Last Friday, SVG was on set to film a corporate video in collaboration with Wells Fargo. SVG was hired to shoot a series of videos for the company’s “Customer Business Stories,” which is meant to advertise the small businesses that Wells Fargo represents. For this particular video, the set was at a Boxborough veterinary clinic, where we interviewed the founder and owner, as well as shot extensive amounts of B-roll to layer over the footage. In order to produce a successful video, SVG brought in the help of a professional Boston video crew.

Professional Video Equipment

There were two Sony FS7 cameras set up, one for a wider shot, and one for a closer shot of the talent. They were the two primary cameras used on set. Then, in order to shoot the B-Roll, the professional videographers on set used shoulder rigs and mobile tripods to get shots of the animals at the clinic, the facilities, external shots of the building, and the doctor performing various actions, such as lecturing, performing checkups, and brushing the pet’s teeth. One of the plans for B-Roll footage was to attach a GoPro to one of the dogs in order to get a POV shot.

The Audio Equipment

For the audio setup during the interview, a shotgun microphone was placed above the talent just outside of the shot, which made sure that her voice was picked up clearly and in a reasonable decibel range. For extra coverage and clarity, a lavaliere microphone was attached to her clothing. An audio booth was set up towards the back of the room so that the crew member, with the use of headphones, was able to gauge the varying levels and clearness of the talent’s voice. Moreover, the audio had to be directed three ways, which is called a video village. The audio had to be sent to the two FS7 cameras, and then to the actual audio recording device.

Lighting for Production Shoots

For this particular interview, there was an extensive lighting setup. Several LED lights –Lite Softboxes — were used to counteract the backlight, which was coming in through the window behind the talent. The key and fill lights were strategically placed so that the interviewee was evenly lit, which gave the video a professional look. Since LED lights are quite harsh, it was important to diffuse some of the light and reflect it elsewhere. For the B-Roll, there was a battery powered mobile LED box, which was used as needed when moving around the hospital.

In order to produce a successful video, every element of the production process has to be harmonious and planned with great detail. While the set had not been seen until the actual day of shooting, and while there was some troubleshooting with regard to positioning certain lights, there was still a cohesive plan that coordinated with the schedule. Every member of the crew was aware of their respective on-set roles, which made for an incredibly adept day of filming.

Skillman Videography Group LLC specializes in Boston video marketing. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.

My Brand Video Shoot at SVG

As a Film and Television major at Boston University, most of my assignments include video planning, production, and editing. However, producing a video for SVG is different because I must always keep in mind that I am speaking on behalf of SVG’s brand, and not my own vision. When I saw the work that previous interns had done, I was struck by how they were able to combine wit, humor, and professionalism. In the weeks leading up to shooting, I was struggling to figure out how I could also incorporate these elements, until I decided to take a more personal route.

The discovery process for this project consisted of a Q&A discussion about SVG’s history and brand identity. While I have been on a few shoots, and have witnessed the discovery process firsthand, doing it myself asserts its importance, and how much efficiently a project can be completed when there is a pre-existing communication between the subject and the producer. The answers from the interview are going to be a voiceover over various shots of the city, in order to emphasize SVG as a company centralized in Boston. On the actual day of shooting, which was last Friday, I gathered about half of the B-Roll that I plan to accumulate, so that it can be playing simultaneously with the voiceover. While the voiceover provides the information, the B-Roll presents nice visuals which make SVG’s message real and tangible. This brand video is a good example of how video is used to tell a story, and how it can convey a message that attracts a wider audience, one that people are able to relate to.

By optimizing the video, I can finally grasp the importance of SEO and social media marketing.  Disseminating the video through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, it has a high chance of reaching our primary audiences, as well as potential clients who are drawn to SVG’s history and overarching message – which is explicitly stated in the video.

 

Skillman Video Group LLC is a Boston video production company. Call us anytime at 800-784-0140.

What Should Be In Every Videographer’s Bag?

Video Production Equipment List

For every professional videographer, there are a few tools that are instrumental to the production of a successful video. Aside from the camera, which is the most important part, there are supplies that stabilize the equipment, adjust the lighting, and make the set a maneuverable, overall safer place for the crew. Regardless if it is a corporate video shoot or a music video, here are the pieces every videographer needs to have in their bag:

Tripod

In addition to making a shot look stabilized and professional, a tripod also makes the camera’s movements smooth and precise. Keep in mind that there are tripods for photography and shooting video. A video tripod has fluid pan and tilt head features that allow the camera to move in various directions, while a photography tripod is stationary.

External Microphones

Most video cameras have internal microphones that picks up sound from all directions, but the best quality will only come from what is placed directly in front of it. The best way to record clear audio is to have it close enough to the subject, which is to record is separately from the camera. There are several options which are specific to the type of audio that is needed. The most common and useful are shotgun microphones and lavaliere microphones – which can be clipped onto the talent to get the cleanest sound possible.

Headphones

For videographers, the best headphones are able to block out external noise. While the talent is being recorded, it is necessary to listen to what is being said in order to determine which take was the most successful.

Lighting Reflectors & Diffusers

LED lights, which are most used on set, are extremely bright, which makes the talent look overexposed and washed out. Bounce cards and sheer cloths can be used to diffuse them, and can even de-intensify any natural light from the sun that might be too harsh. Professional reflectors are flexible, circular, and and have silver or gold sides. They are the most common forms of light reflection, and can be placed on the opposite side of the incoming light to shine it onto the talent.

Gaffer’s Tape

From taping down cables for maintaining the crew’s safety, to hanging a diffusion gel, gaffer’s tape has a variety of uses. The bigger the roll, the longer it lasts. This type of tape is specially formulated to easily unstick if necessary.

Audio

Batteries & Chargers

Most cameras require batteries in order to function. Having more than one battery, as well as their chargers, is a way to ensure that the camera can record for a long period of time.

Power Strips & Extension Cables

Sometimes, depending on where the shoot is taking place, there are not enough power outlets to account for the camera and lighting tools. Power strips contain several outlets which can power up to 4 or 5 pieces of equipment. Extension cables are also necessary in order to power lights from a great distance.

Skillman Video Group LLC specializes in video production Boston. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.

My Pre-Production Process

What is Pre-Production?

For any video, the pre-production process is inherently unique to every individual. As an intern at SVG for the summer, I have been given the opportunity to make a video that depicts SVG’s message in an original fashion. As a Film and Television student at Boston University, I could not be more excited, because this is the first time I will be producing content for a company, rather than for a class or personal project.

Pre-Production Planning

For this particular endeavor, I want to make sure that my style as a content creator is apparent, and the first step is establishing the message that I want to communicate, and then figuring out the most creative or captivating way to achieve that goal. After developing a few ideas, I decided to shift towards a personalized direction, in which SVG’s story is told from an intimate perspective. I believe that every business has a story, and touching upon the moving and engaging aspects that they are built upon brings to light the values, traditions, and hopes that are not always visible to a general audience. The video’s format will be interview-like, and some of the talking points are as follows:

  • SVG is a Boston Video Production Company, why was this business started? Why Boston?
  • What makes video the most important medium of communication? Why is it so impactful?
  • What are the biggest obstacles SVG has faced? How have they contributed to our success?
  • What story do we want to tell as we help others tell their own? What is the most important aspect of running a business?

Why is Pre-Production Important?

video marketing company

Once the idea is developed, the next step is organizing shoot dates, gathering equipment, and recruiting people to help on set. Even though this is a corporate video, the equipment will be relatively simple – a DSLR camera and audio equipment that I will use to record voiceover and any other sound effects I might need. The shoot should take a full day, and will take place in mid to late July, in time for the editing process to be finished by early August. In addition to having a developed idea, maintaining organization both on and off set is essential. For anyone producing a video, an extra measure to take is making a call sheet to give to the talent and crew, which accounts for starting and wrap times, weather, location, and any other important details.

Skillman Video Group LLC specializes in video production Boston. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.

The Importance of Backing Up Footage

For any professional video crew, backing up footage, or, saving it in more than one place, is an important step in the production process. In doing so, it ensures that in the event of an emergency the footage that is irreplaceable can be salvaged by saving it someplace else. There are several things that can go wrong with a computer, including:

  • Hard drive failure
  • Theft
  • Physical damage to the computer
  • Infection from a virus
  • Computer crash

A normal backup is creating a duplicate copy of all the footage, which is especially useful if the original becomes damaged, corrupted, or lost. There are several examples of backup devices, but since video occupies so much data, the best option is to invest in a more extensive option. The price depends on how much space is needed, but even the most expansive options are relatively inexpensive. The three best examples are as follows:

Canon EOS 650D

Canon EOS 650D

  • An SD Card is the first form of protection. When footage is recorded, it automatically saves to the SD Card. For the entirety of the post-production process, it is wise to keep the footage on the SD Card in case something goes wrong. As a last resort, the original footage can be found on the card, and the editors can start from scratch.
  • Flash-Drives often hold megabytes of data, a good choice for sound footage, music, and footage for smaller projects. A flash-drive can be distinguished for each project, or each component of a video, therefore allowing for easy organization. A flash-drive’s contents can also be accessed through most computers, truly a portable and lightweight necessity.
  • For video production, an External Hard-Drive is the most thoughtful option. It has the capacity to hold terabytes of data, a very important feature, due to the aforementioned fact that video takes up a lot of space. An external hard-drive can hold footage for several projects, which is beneficial because they can be accessed in one place, but risky because if the hard-drive is lost, so is all of the data. For this reason, many video makers invest in several hard-drives.

Another option is online backup, a service that is offered through services such as Google Drive, iCloud, Raid, and BullGuard Internet Security. The benefit of utilizing the internet to save data is that it is accessible from any device, and it provides the option of backing up fully or in increments. Saving fully should be done prior to any modification to the footage, as well as after a full day of editing to make sure the latest changes have been saved. Saving incrementally should be done hourly during the editing process. A computer crash can occur at any time, and it pays off to be prepared.

The biggest thing to keep in mind when keeping footage safe is to be organized. Keeping track of data is just as important as backing it up. The more devices that are utilized, the more that maintenance is required, especially for an important project.

Skillman Video Group LLC specializes in video production Boston. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.

Jobs of a Crew Member in Corporate Video Production

One of the most important components of a video production crew is teamwork. In order to achieve a productive workflow on set, and in order to lessen the possibility of a stressful environment, it is important for every member of the production crew to know, understand, and execute their role to the best of their abilities. This is especially important when working with a deadline, or for a client who is expecting their brand to be portrayed in a professional light.boston production company

Regardless of the scale of the production, there are a few key members that are part of every video crew. They include:

The Director is in charge of the video’s creative aspects, and has input on its plot, tone, and the actors’ performances. The director also has a say in the video’s lighting, camera composition, and possible soundtrack, as well as location and maintaining an organized set environment. The director has a direct relationship with the producer, and oftentimes the responsibilities of each overlap, which is why open communication is so important.

The Director of Photography manages the camera crew, lighting equipment, and grips. The director relies heavily on the DP in order to execute the perfect shot, especially because the DP controls and chooses the camera, lenses, filters, shot composition, and light design. All this is done in order to ensure the director’s vision is carried out, and to produce a successful, professional video for the client’s brand.

boston video production

The Sound Engineer records sound on set and mixes the audio footage accordingly in post production. They are responsible for developing a clear, audible video that allows viewers to hear every word. Sound is one of the most important features of a video, as an audience must be able to hear what is taking place in order to understand the overall message.

The Gaffer controls the lighting. It is important for a corporate video crew to have an AC in order to ensure a clear image and a visually successful video. The room’s temperature must be taken into account in order to film in the correct setting, and the aperture, white balance, and level of exposure must also be modified according to the set’s appearance.

The Hair and Makeup Team is responsible for making the video’s subject look appropriate and put together, which establishes professionalism and a businesslike tone. In order for a video to resonate with an audience, the talent must look proficient.

The Production Assistant assists other crew members on set with any additional duties. Usually, they are there to learn about the dynamic of a set and crew relations, and are responsible for making the shoot run smoothly by accommodating any requests that may come about.

The Teleprompter

Every video shoot is different, and depending on its scale, several members may be assigned the same role. A professional crew can be as little as 1 or 2 members, or as big as more than 10. Nevertheless, it is important for every person to know what their job entails in order to produce an outstanding video.

Skillman Video Group LLC specializes in video production Boston. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.

Different Types of Audio Equipment

While every video shoot is different, whether it be an independent project or a shoot that requires a team of videographers, recording sound is still one of the most important aspects to create a successful video. Whether it is a how-to, corporate, or entertainment video, there is an overwhelming amount of technology to choose from. Audio equipment is designed for recording, mixing, and reproducing sound, but the most important device on a video shoot is a microphone, which is solely responsible for picking up sound at an appropriate decibel, so that the footage is able to be heard and edited successfully. The most popular microphones are as follows:

Built-In Microphones

As the name implies, built in microphones are found in the camera. While there is a wide range of cameras to choose from, chances are that this type of microphone will be too far away from your subject, and the sound will not record as well as it could with a separate piece of audio equipment. Instead, this microphone will pick up every sound that occurs between your subject and the camera’s placement, which might be useful for ambience. This is why audio equipment, apart from the camera itself, is so important. In order for the video to resonate with the audience, they need to be able to hear it.

Audio

Lavalier Microphones

Perhaps the most useful for professional corporate videos, and most used by news anchors and interviewees, lavalier mics are small, portable microphones that can be attached to a person’s clothing, allowing them to speak and be heard clearly. When using this type of microphone, it is important to have a windscreen to protect against any frequency. Clothing is the most commonly used protection, but the subject may also use their body to deflect the wind or any background noise.

Audio engineer w/ boom pole

Ken, boom mic operator

Shotgun Microphones

The most common piece of audio equipment, that can be found on almost any set, is the shotgun microphone. It is not attached to the camera or the subject, but operated by a boom operator. Due to its shape, and its directionality, shotgun microphones are able to pick up very specific sounds, ones that happen right in front of the blimp (the cage covered in fur, meant to mask any wind). This type of microphone is most effective on the sets of interviews, but are versatile enough to be used anywhere. The sound has to be constantly monitored in order to keep up with the ranging frequencies.

Handheld Microphones

Handheld microphones, for the most part, are used by news anchors, infomercials, or any talent lecturing or performing on stage. These microphones can also be used to pick up surrounding sounds in order to create ambience. Rarely, during an interview, if a lavaliler mic is not available, a handheld microphone can be placed out of frame. This is an innovative, successful way to pick up sound.

Skillman Video Group LLC specializes in video production Boston. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.

LED Lighting vs. Natural Lighting

For a video production company, there are many factors that contribute to a project’s success. One of the most important being lighting. Video crews spend countless hours making sure a scene is well lit in order to make the viewing experience more enjoyable, and so that audiences are able to see what is taking place. Lighting has a component of cinematography and setting up the shot, one of the most instrumental aspects of the production process since the beginning of video production. Two of the foremost lighting methods are LED lighting and natural lighting. Each has their respective pros and cons, the overarching concerns being time consumption, cost, and that the lighting is appropriate for the setting and tone of the video. While mistakes can be made in the editing process, it is best to address most of the issues during shooting.

Production Shoot Lighting

SVG Lighting for Cable TV Pioneers Banquet

LED lighting is very popular among independent production crews. They are less expensive than tungsten lights, they require less power, they are portable, and they are safer because they take much longer to heat up. LED lights are an efficient way to light any set. Scenes in which they would appropriate include a corporate training video, a formal PSA, or an interview. With them, a videographer can engineer the perfect shot. However, they are still relatively expensive compared to alternative methods, and do not emit a full spectrum of color, which requires more lights to be brought on set. Cumulatively, it would be very expensive, especially if the production is on a smaller scale.

Natural lighting is a favorable choice for those with a budget, or for those who are shooting outside. There is no equipment necessary besides a reflector, which allows for the light to be manipulated. By utilizing the sunlight (or moonlight) already present, it creates a far more natural appearance. The only real difficulty with natural light is how unpredictable it can be, as well as the different colors that are more exaggerated depending on the time of day. If a crew chooses to use natural light, they must plan accordingly, taking into account the weather and scheduling.

Harbor Video ProductionEvery video maker has their own style and preferences, which is what makes video production such a versatile medium. The lighting simply depends on what looks best, and how much authority the crew wants to have over it. For professional videos, however, LED lighting allows for greater control, which demonstrates proficiency and evokes a positive response from both clients and anyone who watches it.

 

 

Skillman Video Group LLC specializes in video production Boston. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.