Tag Archives: editing

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.

How Much B-Roll is Too Much?

In the production industry, B-Roll can be defined as supplemental footage that drives the story forward. It is correspondent to the A-Roll, which can be identified as the primary storyteller. No matter what you are shooting, the implementation of B-Roll is essential. For example, for documentaries, network news, or corporate videos, the A-Roll is the interviews. The B-Roll, however, would depict the footage that cuts away to shots of the subject, scene, setting, characters, and overall action, which is unique to every film. B-Roll shows viewers the story rather than simply telling it. It is responsible for presenting viewers with visuals to go along with the interviews.

Boston videographer

There is no such thing as too much B-Roll. The key is to film enough of it so that editors are able to insert the footage where it best fits. It is for this reason that there is no such thing as filming too many additional shots. The goal is to keep the story moving, to let it flow seamlessly. It confirms what the A-Roll is describing, making the visual aspect of the video all the more engaging. It would be unfair to categorize A-Roll as the more important, while it serves to establish and describe the film’s subject, B-Roll is what makes the story real, tangible, and comprehensible. Due to the advancement of editing software, the importance of each has become equal, yet the term “A and B editing” has stuck.

Regardless of the type of video, storytelling must be incorporated. They treat each set of footage as a team meant to shape a narrative, working together rather than competing with each other. If your video seems too monotonous, add in some B-Roll footage. Similarly, if the visual component is too distracting from the principal story, scale back. It is all about achieving a balance. Sometimes, there is a misconception that a shot may look better than it actually does, and there are lack of footage in the editing room. If all of the shots are out of focus, set up incorrectly, too light or dark, the video will not be visually successful.

boston video production

SVG, a video production company, partakes in shoots on a regular basis. Therefore, our video crews try to shoot as much B-Roll as possible. Naturally, a filmmaker wants their piece to reflect their best work. To do so, it is imperative to have options. Taking the extra time to film the same shot two or three more times, getting some additional footage of the video’s subject or its surroundings, truly makes all the difference. The more the better. When it comes to shooting, it is important to gather as much as you can so that there is no last minute panic in the editing room. If anything, you want a surplus of imagery to choose from to create a beautiful piece with a central theme and subject.

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

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.

post-production

Intern: Post-Production

Knowledge and experience are the result of adversity and critiques. Practice doesn’t make perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect. Practicing video production is no different, and as Skillman Video Group’s intern, I was able to use my prior experience to produce dozens of articles on video production and video marketing.

Producing a video for Skillman Video Group can be intimidating, especially when working for a company that holds itself to the highest of standards. Although filming the video and interviewing our CEO and Creative Director Christina Skillman seemed like an easy task, the post-production editing proved to me that every little element makes a difference to the larger picture.

Color Correction

color-correction YouTube has proven to be a great video marketing tool, and when it came to learning about an unfamiliar program and color correction, YouTube again showed its worth. There are many different strategies for color correction in Adobe Premiere Pro. After tampering with a few, I found that the best color-correction workflow was to correct using RGB scopes. One problem that gave me the greatest difficulty in post-production was matching the color temperature of the b-roll shots to the interview’s. Again, I found that the RGB scopes gave me the best results and allowed me to better match the color temperature of the separate shots.

Also using the color scale is a handy tool when trying to match color temperatures. This gave me a better look at the RGB color data, so I knew which colors needed to be toned down and which ones needed to be increased. Overall, next time when filming I will make sure to better match the color temperature of the interviews and b-roll shots so it will make for less of a hassle in post-production.

B-roll

There is never too much b-roll. B-roll is an important element to a video especially when having to provide visuals for the interview topic. The audience doesn’t just want to look at the interviewee the whole time, so providing b-roll images that fits in with the dialogue. Going back through the b-roll shots I took, I wish that I had taken more. Having options is the greatest benefit of a video and will ultimately lead to its success. Although I had b-roll clips that worked, it wasn’t up to my standards nor SVG’s. SVG is all about high quality and though I had b-roll shots that would be considered as highly valuable, the rest were average.

B-roll

audio+ music

Deciding on background music can be tricky. I knew I wanted uplifting feel-good music in the background that wasn’t nostalgic or too aggressive. The video is meant to provide information to SVG’s clients on preparing for a video marketing meeting so the music should express the emotion of the video. After exploring different songs, and testing each in the video sequence, I finally found the right song on Premium Beat, which was uplifting and fit in perfectly with the video. When adding music into a sequence, the music audio and dialogue audio needs to be adjusted so that the music doesn’t overshadow the dialogue. Using keyframes allows the editor to adjust the audio in certain areas that are either to high or too low.

Details

After reviewing the video with Christina Skillman, there were areas of the video that I could improve editing wise, but and as a video producer I learned to look at the smaller elements of video production. Even a scrunched up shirt and messy hair can cause a distraction to the audience and can offset the video. Looking at every detail and making adjustments is what separates the high quality videos from the average. Though I am proud of the video I produced I learned that there are always areas to improve whether it be as a video producer or an editor in post-production

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

Video production

On set with SVG

B-rollVideo production is intimidating for any recent college graduate, but with help from experienced professionals any concept can come to life. Through the past two months I have learned a lot working with Skillman Video Group like the importance of storytelling, being organized, and not settling for average. Working as the head student producer for my college was nothing compared to the real world of professional video production.

Skillman Video Group has high standards and I didn’t want my video to be anything less than great. Editing has always been my forte but professional cinematography and lighting was slightly out of my realm of expertise. I was able to borrow some filming equipment from my former professor at university, which would make the filming task easier because I was familiar with the equipment.

Equipment:

  • Sony XD video camera –Filming the interview
  • Nikon DSLR d3300 camera- Filming B-roll
  • Tripod- Camera stability
  • 2 high voltage lighting fixtures- Illuminate room and interviewee
  • Lavaliere- Record interview
  • Headphones-listen to audio

Concept

The concept for this video was to provide helpful insight to SVG’s potential clients regarding what businesses should consider before setting up a meeting to discuss a marketing video. After some discussion we decided interviewing Christina Skillman, SVG CEO and creative director, would be best. Besides, any business wants to be informed directly from a producer.

Set-up

Video Production For the interview setting I wanted the style to be documentary. I had worked with documentary style videos in the past and SVG had recently done a shoot using this technique. Fortunately, Christina Skillman was the only person I had to interview so we wouldn’t have to continuously change up interview spots. The interview would take place in an SVG office located in Faneuil Hall. However, filming in an office can have its difficulties. For one we are constricted on space, and second the sound from the busy Boston streets and conversations from the offices next door. Sound a lack of depth would be an issue to overcome, but the rustic brick walls as the background made up for it. Because it was a sunny day in Boston natural lighting illuminated the room enough that we only needed one lighting fixture. Though we had the brick wall as our background, it’s also important to include props. We angled the chair Christina would be sitting in so the brick wall would be seen as well as the shelf with props. With any interview setting it’s important to have enough room between the seating of the interviewee and the background. Fortunately Jack, SVG’s Marketing Coordinator, was there to help run the camera while I asked Christina the questions.

Lighting

Once settled into the setting we adjusted the lighting. Yes, natural lighting is great but clouds can cause problems. We puts the shades up over the windows which allowed some natural lighting to come through but we used the lighting fixture to provide the most illumination.

Sound

Headphones are the best tool to have on set when listening to audio. If background sound is picked up from the lavaliere we are able to detect it right away and start the interview question over. Though we were concerned with street noise and conversations happening in the offices next door, we only had to stop once to redo a question.

B-roll

Before filming I made a list of the B-roll I needed to capture that would relate to the interview questions and answers:

  • Person writing notes
  • Person walking and pondering (soul searching)
  • Person pretending to work at desk in front of computer
  • Person sitting down with their clients
  • Person looking out the window pondering
  • On the computer plugging in numbers or has a spread sheet open
  • On the computer looking at SVG videos
  • Walking into the SVG building
  • Talking on the phone
  • Christina shaking hands with client (person)
  • Christina talking with the client (person)
  • Person at their place of business

B-rollBefore capturing b-roll with Christina, I decided to take some b-roll of myself pretending to be the client. I was able to film at a family friends office where I gave off the impression that I was working and pondering. Overall the b-roll was average. It’s difficult acting and filming at the same time especially when you can’t see how the image looks. Nevertheless, I was able to capture more b-roll on the day of filming. However, instead of using the Sony XD video camera, I opted to use my Nikon DSLR camera just in case I ran out of card space on the video camera.

After moving desks, chairs, and video equipment around, Christina and Jack pretended to talk while I filmed them seemingly having a discussion about video marketing. I took different angles of the two looking at the computer and going through the SVG homepage, shaking hands, and having a conversation. Once that was finished, Jack took the reigns on filming and shot me pretending to work at my desk and taking phone calls. This b-roll would also be incorporated into the video.

Post-production

post-productionOnce filming was finished we found that we had enough content and subjects to make two videos. Each would be around the two-minute range and would incorporate the first concept of knowing what to have in order before creating a marketing video, and the benefits of a professional video marketing company. Though editing is my favorite part when it comes to production, finding a program that would support the video and allow a wide range of tools was difficult. Moving into the final stages of post-production my goal is to create perfection and export a video that is visually effective and informative for the SVG clients.

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

Video Terms

Video Terms

Video terms can be hard to understand if you aren’t a professional video production company. Skillman Video Group is with our clients every step of the way when it comes to producing a video, so we have put together a list of terms and their definitions to help our clients and potential clients better understand the production process and styles of video.

Video Terms:

Post-production

post-productionPost-production is defined as the work done following a video production shoot. Everything that was filmed and recorded during the shoot will now be cut down and fixed into a final product for the client. The process includes arranging video clips, sound effects and sound design, and adding special effects if needed. This is where the editing process takes place.

Coverage

Coverage is the process of filming and video production. It includes shooting different camera angles and getting enough footage for each scene so that there is usable content for post-production.

Editing

Editing is the work done on a video in post-production. Editing is comprised of cutting and fixing video clips and audio recordings as well as adding special effects.

Producer

ProducerA producer is like the playmaker or coach on a sports team. He or she is in charge of overseeing a video project from start to finish, and this meaning everything from making financial decisions to planning the video shoot and making the final decisions in post-production. The producer is the one who communicates with the client to put together a video that displays their message and story.

Professional Videographer

Professional videographerA professional videographer is the cameraman in simpler terms. He or she is the one capturing the shoot through the video camera and digital recordings. He or she is also in charge of making sure the lighting, camera angles, and audio are perfect to ensure the best environment for shooting.

Legal Videographer

A legal videographer is the term used to describe a type of videographer who is hired to capture legal proceedings. The role is the same as a professional videographer except there is less control over the working environment.

Video Animation

animation Video animation is done in a post-production setting. There is no video shoot, but audio recordings are taken in most circumstances. Instead of filming and using real people or images, people or environments are created on the computer. It is the use of pictures or frames to replace a video production shoot. Cartoons are an example of animation.

Although there are more video terms regarding video production, we hope a few will help our cliental better understand the steps and styles of production.

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

Shooting for Broadcast

IMG_2643

Something to keep in mind when you’re making a video: where is it going? In other words, where will the end result be seen and who will see it? This is especially important to keep in mind if it’s meant for broadcast television. Broadcast is much different than just putting a video up on YouTube. Each and every station has its own unique rules and requirements, and you want to make sure that you follow them correctly.

If you’re ever unsure as to whether you should shoot to edit or shoot for coverage, shooting for broadcast will help sway your decision. Broadcast is all about being short and quick. At the very most, commercials will run one minute and thirty seconds. In broadcast, a quick turnaround is expected with the video. Therefore, there’s no time to waste. You need to shoot practically, leaving you to only get a few takes of each shot, at most. This will make editing a much smoother process. If it turns out that the station wants to edit the footage themselves, it’s even more of a reason to give them the best footage you can so that they don’t have to waste a lot of time on it. Time is literally money for them, and there’s none to be thrown out.

When you shoot for coverage, this gives you the incentive to really have a full plan before going into the shoot. A storyboard always lends a huge advantage. If anything, at the very least, create a shot list. You can then really strive for the best with the shots you chose. This is why visualizing and planning everything out can work wonders in keeping the broadcast station happy and satisfied with the end product.

Another important factor when working for broadcast is the export settings of your video. Depending on length, rendering, and other factors, exporting can take a long time. So you want to make sure that the settings are to the broadcast station’s specifications. One interesting fact is that they usually ask for it in 1080 60p. Each station is different, however, and it’s best to double-check with them first.

Even though it may be difficult to keep in mind at the beginning of a project, keeping an eye on the end results can have a huge impact on how the whole production is planned and executed.

 

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

Post-Production for Medical Training Videos

Post-ProductionFinal Cut takes a lot of time, work, and money. Without careful planning (such as whether you decided to shoot to edit or for coverage), the process will be long and tedious. Luckily, that was not the case with our recent post-production work for Visual Foot Care.

For those shoots, our Director, Christina Skillman, came in with a shoot-to-edit mindset. While she allowed for additional footage to be shot, she mainly stuck with what she originally had in mind for what the video needed in order to succeed. A teleprompter was used at the shoots. This saved a lot of time since there were very few mistakes and allowed us to avoid issues such as the actress forgetting her lines. B-roll was also shot with post-production in mind, only capturing images that were truly pertinent to the message.

As mentioned in previous posts, this collaboration began with Visual Foot Care and an entirely different company. That company chose to shoot in front of a green screen and just use the talking head format to get a point across. Those needed to be considered when making sure that both the old and new videos would be cohesive. With these new videos, however, we were able to show the client the true potential of Medical Training Videos.

Shooting in 4K resolution also made a huge difference. This allowed for having to use just one camera the whole time during the actual shoot. Another main advantage of shooting in 4k is that, in post, you can punch in and out of the video (zooming in for that close-up) without losing any of the original image’s quality. So with that original wide shot, you actually have a wide, medium, regular and extreme close-up all in one. This allows for so much more flexibility and ease in post.

When it was actually time to start post-production, it was easy to draw up a rough cut of the videos. Using one of the two copies of the original media that we saved on hard drives, the footage was brought into Final Cut, and the actual editing process began. Graphics, music, and some bumpers were the last things to be added.

After just a week, rough cuts were ready to go. Now, it’s just time to get some feedback from the clients in order to figure out next steps.

 

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

Representing Our Client and Ourselves

Client Testimonial Video Production from Skillman Video Group on Vimeo.

When a business hires Skillman Video Group, there’s an implicit trust that comes along with the arrangement. The business trusts that we are, first and foremost, capable professionals who are able to bring out the best stories from other people. This trust is especially important when our client is based in St. Louis, and our job is to remotely produce a video for them in Boston.

A few weeks ago, we had the privilege to film a client testimonial for Stackify at the gorgeous, downtown-Boston offices of Carbonite. Since we were hired by Stackify, not Carbonite, we were there as ambassadors of the Stackify brand, and this is a responsibility that we took very seriously.

Carbonite InterviewSo, after we had our equipment rigged, our frame composed, and our white balance… balanced, our CEO, Creative Director, and Producer Christina Skillman sat down with our contact, Carbonite’s Chief Engineer, to get a sense of Stackify’s influence in the work place.

Now, we at Skillman Video Group were not give the chance to check out the Carbonite offices prior to shooting, so, once we got there, we needed to employ a series of smart judgments to get the most out of the space. It takes a certain level of experienced judgment and familiarity with process to come into an unfamiliar area, and still produce something that looks fantastic. We have enough experience to know what to expect, and we always bring the right gear to get the job done.

Our content speaks for itself, and wow did we get a lot of material to work with. See how the embedded video is roughly two minutes long? It’s been cut from roughly thirty minutes of back and forth interview, and we couldn’t help but get tons of B-Roll of Carbonite’s beautiful office. The way we construct narrative, tell stories, and show these stories visually requires the skilled, intuitive understanding of how audiences connect with the people and media they engage with.

In video, the construction of narrative first happens on set. A big challenge with this shoot was producing content that appealed to both highly skilled, technically oriented engineers, and also managers who lack the technical expertise. Simultaneously appealing to both audiences is obviously very difficult, but we were able to get enough personality and raw, technical content out of the interview to construct a powerful narrative.

Boston Video Production Company: Editing for the Web

Putting together an engaging, digestible video for the web starts with great content, but a tight edit is really key in the end product, and without it, the content will have been for nothing.  A tight edit will set your video apart and can truly make or break it.  You can only grab hold of your audience’s attention for so long, and a good edit is a surefire way to maintain focus and online views.

From Concept to Content

First, you had a great idea for an online video, and then you end up with some great content.  You have now reached what may be the most crucial aspect of the production: editing.  Good editing serves two purposes: it pares your footage down to the essentials, and it creates an engaging narrative through images.  Ideally, for a video that will get your point across while also retaining brevity, the length will be no more than 3 minutes.  Any longer and you run the risk of losing your audience’s attention, and the focus of the video is more likely to suffer.

The Final Cut

After you’ve edited down your content and made sure that your narrative is finalized, the last step is the graphics. For this we take the edited video into After Effects, where we can add in your logo and animate it to create a striking title, in addition to other things like names, subtitles, transitions, and whatever else the video needs to stitch everything together. Good, polished graphics really give the final product that professional yet visually stimulating edge you need to ensure that people not only view your content but enjoy it and are motivated to go searching for more information.

Final CutEditing will only optimize your content for the web.  In this day and age, people want their videos short and sweet, razor-sharp and focused.  At Skillman Video Group, LLC, we take the production from concept to content to a final product that is easily digestible and engaging enough for today’s modern audience.  We can take video content and cut it down to its essence, finding your business’s story along the way.

Skillman Video Group, LLC is a Boston video production company. Call us anytime at 617-858-8232.