Tag Archives: boston video production company

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.

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.

boston production company

What Goes on On-Set

Skillman Video Group, a Boston video production company, can provide to a business the finest video production service. While a video production shoot takes a lot of time and care, we always find a way to have fun with crew members and clients throughout the process. Depending on the content your company seeks to share, an interview video can be a great way to add character, personality, and story to your site. When you head into a video production shoot, you see all the behind the scenes work that goes into creating amazing video marketing content. So here’s what to expect on set. This time we will focus on interview style videos.

CEO video

High-end camera on SVG set

First off, by the time you arrive on set the video production crew has probably been working since sunrise. A video production day starts fairly early, as video equipment needs to be set up before hand. A lot may be going on as well once you arrive. If needed, people from hair & makeup, wardrobe, actors, professional videographers, studio manager, and art department are running around getting ready for “ACTION’.

Many considerations go into choosing a location for the shoot, as anything from background noise like steps or talking nearby can be a distraction.  A studio set gives the producers more control over the composure of the shots, they can manipulate the background, lighting and general surroundings of the interview scene. Then the lighting takes place—to get that perfect image lighting is key. The most basic form of lighting set up, the three-light method is often used which separates the subject from the background, and everything does not look too dull. As the interviewee may be at the hair & makeup department preparing for their close up, the grips and gaffers are making sure the lighting equipment are set up safety and in the right position. White balance tests are done, and before the interviewee stands in front of the camera we also have to plan for the best audio, which is a little flexible with interviews. SVG tends to use LAV mics, which are very small, portable, and attachable microphones that are ideal for interviews. The mic usually attached to the flap pocket of the clothing. Once the frame is set to the desire of the professional videographer and the microphone is set up, we are ready for a rehearsal. After the rehearsal it’s time for the first take!

This process of shooting takes place for any scene. The stage process goes like:

  • Block – Determining where the interviewee will be on the set and the first camera position.
  • Light – Time for the Director of Photography to light the set and position the camera for the first take.
  • Rehearse – Camera rehearsal of the first set-up with the interviewee and crew.
  • Tweak – Make lighting and other adjustments.
  • Shoot – Shoot the first take, then repeat the process.

Next time you are on set with Boston video production company Skillman Video Group LLC you will know what do expect! Call us anytime at 800-784-0140.

Boston Videography

Boston videographerWith all the advances being made in mobile technology, it seems like anyone with a phone can become the next Scorsese. While it is true that more and more videos are being shot on phones these days, there are still certain tips and tactics to take advantage of to become a great videographer. Here at Skillman Video Group, a Boston video production company our Boston videographers utilize a variety of methods to ensure the highest quality video.

No Shake in Your Take

Unless you are shooting an earthquake scene, the camera should be held steady. Using a tripod is the most effective way to take the shake out of your scene but is not necessary. Mounting the camera on the wall will also help keep a steady shot. You can obviously hold the camera in your hand as well, but make sure that any body movements or breathing do not cause your Boston video production to suffer.

The More the Merrier

Just like with anything in life, the more options you have, the better. Most first time Boston videographers will set up the camera, take the B-roll they want and call it a day. Do not do this. Get creative. If you are shooting a conversation, try from over the shoulder of each participant. It will give a real feel to the video that you might not achieve with a standard wide shot. Taking many different shots from various angles of the same scene will only serve to help you in the editing room. No one likes to see a two hour movie all shot from the same perspective so keep that in mind as go out on your shoot.

Bright Lights, Big City

Having the proper lighting for your scene is very important. You want your subjects face to be lit, but not too much so position your lights in a way that sheds the right amount of light. Boston videographerSometimes you have to deal with the elements and shoot outdoors. While the sun is an obvious great source of lighting, always know where the sun is. Try to shoot with the sun behind you. If that is too bright for your subject, try using different filters to help shield the sun.  Working in a Boston video production company also means dealing with less than ideal conditions outside. Be sure to have waterproof equipment and all the proper rain gear to keep yourself dry out there!

Zoom Out!

If you’re an amateur Boston videographer, you might think the more the camera moves the better. However, constant zooming and panning can leave the viewers of your video feeling as if they just took a trip down whitewater rapids in a milk crate. Let the action on film dictate where the camera goes. Your pans and zooms should have a purpose and be of benefit to the viewer, not a distraction.

Shooting a high quality video does not need to be tough. Incorporating these tips into your shoot will help you create the video that you want.

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

 

Background To The Front

One of the most underestimated components of a great video production shoot is the background. Sure, we know it’s important to have professional camera gear and state of the art lighting/sound equipment, but the background is equally as important. When you record something on video, everything communicates something. At Skillman Video Group, we make sure your background is best fit for what you’re trying to communicate in your video.

boston video production

Often there is the dilemma of whether to use a natural background, a solidbackdrop, a recreated setting, or a green screen. A natural background is when your background includes natural views or scenery: views from windows, outside locations, city streets, etc. A solid backdrop is when you choose to film directly in front of a wall or sheet that has a solid color(s). Recreated settings help with your video production project if you’re hoping to manipulate a space or location: a room designed to be from another period in time, sets that can explode or catch fire, etc. Lastly, using a green screen is a technique where the subject is videotaped against a green wall/backdrop, and then the green background is changed in post-production to be somewhere else.

boston video productionAs a Boston video production company, SVG has experience with all background options. When preparing for your next video project with us, we help you to brainstorm which backgrounds will work best. If you’re a company creating video content to discuss services offered in the city of Boston, it might be a great idea to shoot in a tall building with natural views overlooking the city; both the height and view of the city communicate a connectedness to Boston, as well as a feeling of power and notoriety. A solid backdrop (perhaps with your logo on it) might create an intimate, focused set that keeps all attention on the words coming out of your mouth. Maybe you use green screens when filming a series of corporate training videos; eliminating the need to shoot for longer periods of time in different locations, and allowing you to shoot in one place with the editing powers to make it appear otherwise. There are benefits to all of these – it’s just important to think carefully about which background will best achieve the overall objective/goals of your video!

Skillman Video Group LLC is a Boston video production company. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.

Monitor

Does the Equipment Make the Videographer?

In the world of video marketing there are endless different brands, styles and classifications of video production equipment including cameras, microphones, lighting and more. For an aspiring videographer all of these options can be quite overwhelming. Video production is a highly competitive field and your competitors are always upgrading equipment and your own equipment can become outdated very quickly. Is a videographer only as good as their equipment? Here at Skillman Video Group, our videographers know that skills and experience are more important and more valuable than owning the latest gear.

What to Expect on Set

Stepping on the set of a video shoot for the first time can be both an exhilarating and terrifying experience. Each experience on set is unique and every shoot is different, so it is difficult to predict what will happen on your first shoot but one thing that should be consistent at every shoot a videographer attends is an early arrival. Experts from elite Boston video production companies all agree that to be on time is to be late, which means that to be fully prepared and ready for any shoot a videographer must arrive at least a half hour early so that he or she can start setting up immediately. Another useful tip from the video production experts is to always ask questions. It is better to be honest and admit where you are inexperienced and confused than to pretend that you know what is going on. It’s ok to show weakness or lack of skill, this is how Boston videographers learn and gain experience is through mistakes and asking questions. Faking knowledge will slow down the entire video production team and potentially sabotage the entire shoot. Skill comes with time, the best in the business have a lot of experience and knowledge that they certainly did not have when they first got started.

Does the Equipment Make the Videographer?

Owning good quality equipment is definitely beneficial in the video production company world, but the equipment is useless if the videographer does not know how to use it. There must be a certain level of competency before a videographer’s skills become evident. These skills are learned through not just filming but mostly from seeing how others work, what they are using and handling a wide range of cameras, both expensive and inexpensive. Before investing a pricey, high-tech camera, a beginner videographer must first completely master the equipment that they already have. This means that they must know the gear inside and out, memorizing every feature and menu option possible. The best way to improve is through experience, so new videographers should always be filming!

Essential Skills

IMG_9052Video production is a highly competitive but extremely rewarding career path. Although most essential skills are learned, there are a few natural abilities and qualities that make a great videographer. For example, a good videographer has a close attention to detail, both visual and auditory detail. They must watch all the meters on the equipment and actually listen in real life to what is happening on a shoot, this is to prevent any unwanted sound or errors when recording video. Boston videographers must be attentive and aware of the small ambient sounds around them because sound is half of the picture. A good videographer also knows the limitations of their equipment, not all equipment is created equally so the users must know what their gear can and can not do well. Along with understand the limitations, successful videographers must be able to work with different types of equipment and be able to work inside the limitations. It is dangerous to depend on the quality of your equipment, and knowing how to use a wide variety is useful because there is such a large array of different types of cameras, audio tools and editing software that could be used for each different video shoot.

In conclusion, the video equipment does not make the videographer. There is a lot more to being a great videographer than having top of the line gear and having the budget to update cameras with each update. Successful members of video production teams value each experience and are able to learn from their mistakes and from their successes. Video production is very fun and can be very lucrative, but keep in mind that it is a competitive businesses. The best videographers agree that video production is worth the struggle because when they step off the set, they know that they are doing what they love.

Skillman Video Group LLC is a Boston video production company. Call us anytime at 1-800-784-0140.

What Makes a Good Videographer?

Online video is one of the most effective and fastest growing trends in the digital marketing world. Nearly all successful and relevant businesses produce or incorporate video content on their website and within their marketing strategy. This means that behind every good business, there is a great videographer.

What does it take to be a videographer? It is more about the equipment or the technical skills? Here at Skillman Video Group, we believe that it is a mixture of both. Like most Boston Videographers, the camera men at SVG are passionate about what they do and how they do it.

boston video production

Tools You Will Need

What is a videographer without his tools? The equipment that a videographer uses on a shoot is almost as important as their skills, some would argue that the equipment is more important. Here is a short list of the general tools that a good video production company must bring to set.

  • A video camera – the type of camera depends on your budget and what you are shooting. Online video is unique because it can be shot on both iPhone cameras and thousand dollar DSLR cameras so remember that there are a wide range of cameras to choose from that will fit your video shoot
  • A tripod – keeps your footage steady and professional, wobbly camerawork will make viewers dizzy!
  • Camera light – this is a small lighting attachment for the camera that is most often used for documentary films
  • Three-point lighting kit – a lighting kit is mostly used when shooting indoors, it is used to position the light and create a well-lit, perfect scene
  • Shotgun Microphone – good audio is an important part of every video, the viewers need to be able to clearly hear the speakers, and this microphone is a simple way to ensure quality audio because it is small and can be placed on top of the camera
  • Boom Microphone – This type of microphone is useful when filming large groups or interviews because it is held above the speakers and out of shot, the microphone should come with a large pole and shockmount. The shotgun microphone can be equipped as a boom with these additions.
  • Audio XLR cables – These connect your camera to the microphones
  • Lenses – Wide angle, fish eye, macro, polarizer, and zoom lenses! There are so many different types of lenses and it is useful to have lens options on set
  • Extra Batteries – Dead batteries are a videographer’s worst nightmare, make sure to always have extra batteries on set!

Good Habits

IMG_9052Every good Boston video production company knows the most important thing to remember on a shoot is to stay organized. They must make sure that they know where everything is and that it is within reach, because you never know what you might need on a shoot and it’s good to stay prepared for any situation. No one wants to watch a boring video, this is why a good videographer must be creative. They must be the kind of person to think outside the box and always be thinking of new ideas and stories for their videos. In addition to being creative, videographers must pay close attention to detail. In both the shooting and editing process attention to detail can make or break the video, so it is important to be aware of everything that is happening on the set and to take time to make sure that everything is correct.

Finally, the most successful videographers never lose sight of the main goal, to create an effective marketing video for the client. This means that they always need to be thinking about the keywords and the story that they are telling because at the end of the day, the videographers main job is to be a storyteller.

Summer Intern Video “Dos Equis”

 

While being the summer intern at SVG, I learned some interesting new skills that improved my overall knowledge about video production. One of the tasks of being an intern at Skillman Video Group is that at the end of your terms, the intern must create a marketing film that will be used to promote the Boston video company. I was tasked with working on one of the videos this summer, which we decided would be a parody to the famous Dos Equis commercials. After planning and writing the script for this future production made by the summer interns, it was time to film.

Video Production services Video production was going to remain generally simple for the actual film. The commercial was going to be a minute long with clean cuts throughout the whole video. This was the key to making such a simple but professional looking film. All the shots needed to be filmed in the best fashion so that the voiceover could accurately represent what was happening on screen. The iconic commercials that I’m sure so many of us are familiar with have been etched in our minds because of the comedic value. This was part of the production process that we focused on intently while representing SVG as a Boston video production company.

When we started on the video production day, the crew that we decided to use looked over the shot list to see the general idea of what we wanted to attain for this video. Once the camera started rolling, it took several try’s to figure out what movements and framing would work best and look the most professional. This took up a lot of time but it was necessary for making sure that the end product would have the clean and polished look that it deserved to exemplify what Skillman Video Group is all about. By working with such a talented video marketing company, my intern experience helped exemplify how a production day should run and how to properly get the shots needed for post- production.

Boston video productionAll in all, the marketing video turned out to be a success. The video shots filmed were exactly what I needed for editing in post-production and it turned out being a fantastically easy process. This was all thanks to the amazing preproduction work done which included all the planning and time management organized prior to filming. SVG provides video production services that can be tailored to any companies needs with such amazing professionalism and creativity.

Intern Video: Post-Production

The Skillman Video Group interns, Jason and Chloe, were entirely responsible for their collaborative video projects from inception to execution, so a large portion of their work was dedicated to post-production efforts. Besides writing the original scripts, post-production actually took up the most time because of the various specialties required. Chloe and Jason split up the work based on their strengths, and the Boston video production work could be divided into three categories:

Editing

Chloe took the initiative by laying out the groundwork for the first few cuts of both videos. Any Boston video production company should expect to have multiple drafts of a video from various editing ideas. This required a lot of organization to match audio files to video files because we used separate equipment to record the two types of files. She also integrated text graphics that added an extra layer of humor not originally anticipated in the first draft. After the first rough cut had been stitched together, she and Jason worked closely to fine tune the edits, constantly working off of feedback from Christina. When working with a client, a Boston video company needs to be responsive to feedback from a client. Entire scenes were left on the cutting floor, dialogue was moved around to where it fit better, and cuts were timed to the most precise frame to keep a comedic rhythm going.

Color Correction

Once the videos started to approach their final versions, Jason took charge for color correction, an area of post-production he has had more experience with via Avid and Premiere. A lot of the raw footage had an ugly green tint or harsh yellow because of the low lighting that was available for some of the shooting angles. Jason was responsible for giving the illusion of a different color temperature for each scene, either being warmer or cooler, depending on the initial problem.

Sound Mixing

This task was evenly split between the interns, as Chloe helped Jason record the voiceover audio for the Dos Equis video and keep the levels consistent. Jason went back into the Office parody video to balance out the sound levels across various scenes, because some of the audio gain was stronger in some scenes over others. In particular, the interview scenes tended to be louder than regular multi-person scenes.

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

Jobs of a Crew Member

The job of all crew member’s on a Boston video marketing company set have a very specific skill set and importance to the video production method. Though it may seem like there are a lot of people walking around and directing just to get 30 seconds of a commercial completed, each person hired for the day of production is needed to ensure a professional and effective film. There are several categories that make a video production shoot run properly and none can be omitted if the project wants to run smoothly.

Starting with the camera department, while working with any video production services there clearly needs to be a camera operator. This person physically works the camera during filming and controls the shots framing and camera movements as instructed by the director of photography. Who is the D.P.? Well the director of photography is in charge of the visual look of the film as seen through the camera’s eyes. This person is not only in charge of what the camera needs to get but also the crew, lighting design, and communicating with the gaffer.

On the production side of the job, there is the director, producer, production assistant, Boston videographer and so on. All of these jobs run very specific departments that control the way the Boston video production will operate and ensure that they finish efficiently. Organizing the entire production, helping out with the script, keeping track of finances and overseeing the final distribution plans for the movie all fall under the job description of the producer. Its not an easy job but will definitely be rewarding.

Sound is a crucial part of any production, including Skillman Video Groups Boston video marketing company, so professionals have to make sure all the audio channels are coming in clearly. Jobs include a boom operator and a sound mixer. Leveling, monitoring, and recording audio during video production are the main reasons that the sound departments are so pivotal in any Boston video production.

Professional video productionSome jobs that people wouldn’t think about but are just as vital on the larger professional video production sets include transportation crews, food department, and the location department. Transportation crews quiet literally do what is in their title. They coordinated with the set and make sure all people are where they need to be at the right time. Going hungry isn’t and option when working with a ton of people, so the food department is the savior of any production day bringing in snacks and meals for all on set. Location scouts help to find the various filming locations that will be suitable for the day of filming which entails lots of traveling to find the perfect spot.

The jobs of each crew member on a video production set, whether it be a small production or a big one have an impact on how the film will turn out. The main goal is to stay on budget and have a fantastic finished product. SVG is a Boston video production company is dedicated to making each project and client a professional product.

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