Tag Archives: Boston videographer

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.

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.

 

Equipment on Set: Acupuncture

This past week, Skillman Video Group filmed on location at a local health club and gym and aromatherapy and acupuncturist office to create video content for our client- Acupuncturist Robert Gracey. The goal of the shoot was to film short videos of Gracey in action and interview him and his patients about the healthcare services that he offers. In order to pull this off our team of Boston videographers had to film a variety of shots including interviews, action shots, and some B-roll of Gracey at work with his patients. Each of these shots required a different set up for the camera and different equipment, but luckily SVG is a top Boston video production company and is always prepared for anything.

Interviews

To get an inside look at the services that Gracey offers our Boston video production Interview with Robert Graceyteam arranged a series of interviews with Gracey himself and a few of his acupuncture patients. This group of people is better than just a single interview with Gracey because it provides multiple perspectives of the services that he offers and potential patients who view this video will be able to learn about the treatments from actual patients.

Equipment Needed

  • Large room with adequate lighting
  • Lighting equipment with extension cords and adjustable stands
  • High power microphone that is easily attached to a shirt
  • High quality video camera and playback screen
  • Tripod for video camera

Our team of Boston videographers were lucky on this shoot because we were able to conduct our interviews in a large exercise studio in Watertown that provided the perfect backdrop for our healthcare professional. Because the lighting equipment and camera were on tripods we could easily maneuver the equipment to create a variety of shots and backgrounds for each of the different people that were interviewed. This technique allows our corporate video production team to make a large space look even larger!

Action Shots

Filming Robert Gracey in ActionAfter the interviews were finished it was time to film Robert Gracey in action. The next step was to get footage of Gracey working out in the gym and doing meditations in the studio. Our Boston video production team also followed him to his personal acupuncture studio to get some shots of him working on a patient. The interviews were just telling the viewer of the video what services he offers, but these action shots are actually showing us what kind of person Gracey is and what the services that he offers actually look like. This can be very reassuring for potential patients who are on the fence about acupuncture. Seeing a video of Gracey working with a client and then hearing the client speak about the treatment is a great way to showcase Gracey’s healthcare methods.

Equipment Needed

  • light-weight and powerful lighting that can be repositioned depending on location
  • Steady-cam rig for the video camera for smooth moving shots

Audio recording and microphones are less important for these clips because they are more focused on looking at Gracey rather than hearing what he has to say. These clips are showing, not telling. Rather than placing the camera on a stationary tripod, our Boston videographer used a steady-cam set up. This is a tool that is attached to the body of the videographer so that the videographer become the tripod. The camera is able to move smoothly without bumps or shaking because of the extensive rig so that the videographer can shoot graceful footage while walking around a subject. This was extremely useful while filming Gracey working out in the gym or chopping vegetables in the kitchen.

Professional video production companies love working with friendly and kind healthcare professionals like Robert. He was engaged, energetic and ready to work as soon as he stepped on set. This video shoot was complex because it involved a variety of gear and each shot was unique, meaning that each shot involved a different combination of gear and positioning. Our team of Boston videographers came to set prepared and was able to get each shot and deliver a final product that accurately portrays this skilled acupuncturist.

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

SVG Intern Video Equipment

This fall, Skillman Video Group production interns Anna and Deane were responsible for creating their own professional corporate video using the skills and techniques that they picked up from their time as production assistants on set. Together, Anna and Deane worked through all of the stages of professional video production without the help of the more experienced team members. This meant that they wrote the script, planned the shoot dates, designed the set and starred in the video while also operating all of the equipment. Unlike a typical SVG shoot, Anna and Deane did not use professional video equipment but instead used their own tools. Despite this challenge, they were still able to produce a high quality viral video.

Camera

SVG typically brings professional Boston videographers on set and they are stacked with the img_2448latest and best camcorders that cost upwards of five hundred dollars. Our intern video shoot was not as high tech as a normal SVG shoot because they recorded their video on an iPhone 7 using the app iMovie. To position and support the camera Deane provided a guerilla tripod that was five inches tall and had bendable legs so that he could twist and form them to fit to any surface. He could attach the camera to a chair, stand it up on a desk, or even hang it from the ceiling for a cool overhead shot.

Audio

To record audio the pair also used iPhone technology rather than professional equipment. Anna used her iPhone 5c’s voice memo feature to record only the audio for each scene. She then sent the audio files to Deane so he could synch them with the video, adding better and clearer audio to each scene. His video editing software on the iPhone allowed the files to synch automatically, so that there was a seamless connection between the audio from Anna and the video from Deane.

Lighting

boston video production servicesFor a majority of their video project, Anna and Deane filmed on location in the SVG office. Because SVG’s office is mostly for communication and planning, the only tools that they had to work with were basic office items including desks, chairs, and a few desk lamps. Anna and Deane are imaginative and inventive, so they modified the lamps to act as lighting for the shots and they rearranged the furniture in the room so that it would accommodate their scenes.

Although the interns were not using the same professional that SVG uses, they were thinking like a true professional video production expert. It isn’t about the equipment, but the skills and critical thinking that they learn on set working with Boston videographers at SVG. Stay tuned to see the final product of Anna and Deane’s intern video project and learn about their creative process.

Skillman Videography Group LLC specializes in video production Boston. 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.

Terms for Every Boston Videographer

“Angle’s” isn’t just a geometry term, and is quite often used in Boston video production terms. Who would have thought we use geometry in video production. Well the truth is we use the term “angle” more than the actual mathematics. Options and angles work incoherently. As a Boston video company it is important to have more than one option of a particular scene, and even so having close-ups, medium shots, and wide angle shots of that scene (just to name a few). What is this point of all of this? Well, it’s simple all of these options are for our editing team in post-production.

As a Boston videographer for Skillman Video Group it isn’t just enough to have the top of the line equipment. Experience and a keen eye on detail makes the difference in an average marketing video and the best Boston marketing video. Although there is a lot of trial and error when first starting out as a professional videographer, knowing the types of shots and equipment needed to get the perfect shot.

Here is an overview of Boston Video Production Terms for Boston videographers just starting out:

  • Extreme Wide Shot (EWS)- Shot taken from far away where the subject isn’t visible.
  • Very Wide Shot (VWS)- The environment around the subject is still prominent and the subject is barely visible.
  • Wide Shot (WS)- The subject takes up the entire camera frame.
  • Medium Shot (MS)- Shows part of subject in more detail.
  • Medium Close-Up (MCU)- Closer than a medium shot but further away than a close-up on the subject.
  • Close-Up (CU)- A feature of the subject taking up the full frame.
  • Extreme Close-Up (ECU)- Shows extreme detail of the subject.
  • Cut-In (CI)- Shows other areas of the subject in extreme detail.
  • Cutaway (CA)- A shot of something that is not the subject.
  • Over-The-Shoulder Shot (OSS)- Focusing on the subject over the shoulder of another person.
  • Point-Of-View Shot (POV)- The view of the subject.

Besides types of Boston video company camera shots, here are some other terms a professional videographer should keep in mind while on set for a corporate video production company.

  • Color-Temperature- The red, blue, and yellow colors given off in the room. The different color temperatures from scene to scene must be consistent.
  • B-roll– Alternate footage to go with interviewees topic of discussion.
  • Depth of Field (DOF)- The distance between the nearest and furthest subjects that the camera must adjust to focus on.
  • Boom Microphone- A microphone attached to the end of the pole. This microphone is used to pick up more audio from the actors without getting into the camera’s frame. Used in conjunction with a lavaliere.
  • Lavaliere- A small microphone hidden under the actors or interviewees clothing.
  • Aspect Ratio-The size in which the film has been shot. 16:9 is most common.
  • Pan-Following the subject either vertically or horizontally
  • White Balance-The color balance on the camera. Before filming either make sure the white balance is on auto or it is adjusted using a blank white piece of paper

Being a Boston video company like SVG means having a production team that has experience and a great deal of knowledge surrounding everything from pre-production, producing, professional videography, and post-production editing. Although this is just a snippet of some of the most common corporate video production words, it will help any Boston videographer get started in the big city.

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.

Slate

Separate Audio and Video

This past week the Skillman Video Group interns, Jason and Chloe, created their own Boston marketing videos from the ground up. This included everything from scripting to shooting, and they used advanced Boston videographer and audio recording equipment. Let’s break down working on a video production set with separate audio and video equipment. This is often the case for high-end Boston video production shoots, and is a vital skill for entering the Boston video company industry. Here are 5 tips for running separate audio and video feeds.

  • Learn to control the boom mic.
    Audio engineer w/ boom pole

    Ken, SVG boom mic operator

    There is a running joke in the film industry about boom mics falling into frame (especially in older films), but this is because boom mic operators fight for every inch of proximity to the source of a sound. The audio operator must constantly coordinate with the director of photography to know the frame boundaries and where to safely place the microphone.

  • Always use a slate or simulated slate for organizational purposes. This will prove vital for post video production services. Essentially, you need to have the number of the scene, shot letter, the number of the take, and a snapping sound. You can also just clap with your hands in front of the camera. Be sure to clearly enunciate a term or word for each shot letter. For example: If the scene is marked as 1AT2, say “one alpha take two” before closing the slate.
  • Map out where the camera operator and audio operator should be at all times. If the camera has to move then the audio operator needs to be ready. This will prevent the boom mic (and operator) from being in the frame, casting a shadow, etc., especially for camera whips and pans.
  • Always keep an eye on wiring throughout the set. The audio equipment will add its own flurry of cables and cords, so keep these into account to ensure safety for everyone involved. A loose cable can lead to a falling injury, a fire, or worse for a video production company.
  • Audio levels must be monitored constantly. The last thing an editing team wants is to start working on footage that is accompanied by sub-par audio. This includes audio that is both too quiet and audio that keeps clipping on loud voices. Check in with the director of photography and the director to ensure satisfaction.

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

SVG NITCO Production Equipment

There were a few very interesting factors that contributed to the video marketing company Skillman Video Group’s most recent Boston video production shoot. The equipment used during the time spent filming at NITCO tailored nicely to the specific type of video production site. Three factors came into play as SVG was shooting that enabled the video production day to run much more efficiently.

Steady Camera Suit

Steady Camera Suit

Steady Camera Suit

Being a production company in Boston, Skillman Video Group can receive a wide range of clients that require certain equipment to be filmed at the optimum value. A steady camera suit was used specifically at this video production site, which permitted a quick and “steady” film process. A back brace and waistbands were used to support the weight of the camera, which allowed for our Boston videographer to move swiftly around the warehouse capturing all the moving parts in the shot. This was a great piece of equipment to have as part of our video production services because the quality of the shots recorded were professional and swift for a one minute and 30 second requested video. Using the steady camera suit gave the videographer just the right amount of mobility while still capturing expert shots.

External Mobil Monitor

External Monitor

External Monitor

On this video production site, SVG decided that it would be a great idea to have an external monitor set up for the producer and the clients benefits. This external monitor was streaming live feed via Bluetooth from the camera being used. The advantages of this during the production were fantastic because it enabled the clients to have a better view of the shots the camera man was getting and allowed the producer to see a better idea of what we would be working with in the editing room. This external monitor was a fantastic addition to the production set and created a cohesive environment between the camera and the audience during this Boston video production.

No Lighting Needed

Steady Camera Suit

NITCO Production

Since the warehouse Skillman Video Group was filming in was nicely lighted, there was no need to have external lighting supporting the shots being filmed. This was an advantage for our Boston videographer and producer because we were able to move quickly around the site and obtain the shots needed for the client. Without this external equipment and an effective mobile camera suit, our video production services were optimized fully. This production was technically very effective with NITCO and worked to SVG’s advantage.

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