Tag Archives: video production equipment

My Pre-Production Process

What is Pre-Production?

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

Pre-Production Planning

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

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

Why is Pre-Production Important?

video marketing company

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

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

Boston video production

Intern Video Equipment

Two weeks ago, the summer interns at Skillman Video Group, Jason and Chloe, led the charge for their own Boston video production shoot. It was a tightly packed schedule with timing planned down to the wire, including everything from transitioning time to a lunch break, and they even gathered their own equipment. By the end of the shooting day, the interns had wrapped principal photography for two unique videos. One was a parody of “The Office,” and the other a parody of the popular Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man” commercial series. The shooting experience was essential to preparing them for the Boston video production industry, and their work will surely impress any Boston video company.

Camera/Lens

The camera used for both videos was the Canon C-100. We’ve mentioned this camera model in several recommendation blogs because of its versatility among the Canon brand. It is able to work with camera lenses from multiple generations and models of the Canon line. Three different fixed lenses were used throughout the day: the Canon 25mm, 35mm, and 85mm. Respectively, these lenses served the roles of a wide, normal, and telephoto lens. These three types of lenses are the standard for a Boston video production company.

Audio

The recording device for the day was the 702T compact flash field recorder from Sound Devices. This recorder required XLR cables to be plugged into an external microphone, and allowed the audio operator to monitor sound levels through a separate port for headphones. For scenes shot outside, a wind sock/ fuzzy was used to protect the microphone from windy background noise. Recording audio with the lowest gain possible is usually ideal for video production.

Other

The rest of the video production equipment was tangentially related to the camera (ex: tripod and shoulder rig).  The shoulder rig was the Red Rock F3 model, and the tripod was from Sachtler.

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

Boston video production

What to Keep in Mind During a Shoot

When Boston video production services are mentioned, the type of video production equipment is usually the first thing that comes to mind. While this is certainly important, there are many other aspects of a Boston video production shoot that deserve their fair amount of attention.

Direction of Light

While this is obviously important for outside production shoots, this can also affect a Boston video company that is used to working inside shoots. Window glares and reflections can completely shift throughout the course of a day, so keep this in mind when planning for both an exterior and an interior production. For exterior shoots, this issue will dramatically affect shadows, so adjust accordingly.

Change in Background Noise

If there is a parade off in the distance, keep in mind that the absence of the parade noise will be very noticeable. Either find a way to reduce the noise gradually, or to just take it out all together. Background noise is fine, but it needs to stay consistent. This is why a Boston video production company can shoot by Fenway Park, because the crowd noise of the stadium is continuous and can be tuned out by a viewer.

Talent Comfort

Are the actors tired? Do they keep getting frazzled on the wordplay of a specific line? Maybe it’s time for a break and some fresh air. For exterior and long shoots, provide water and lunch when for both the talent and the crew. Always make sure your actors feel relaxed are able to focus. Also be sure to establish comfort levels from the start, especially for a scene involving extreme violence or nudity.

Change in Weather

Rain is the most troublesome type of weather, but also keep in mind that an area will be very humid after rain pours down. This can affect everything from the comfort of actors to a camera lens. This also includes the direction of wind. If a breeze suddenly starts from the ocean, you may need to adjust the direction your equipment is facing, more so for sound purposes rather than for aesthetics. If you shoot in the direction that the wind is coming from, the wind may end up cancelling out the voices of actors, so avoid this scenario when possible.

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

After the Video Shoot

After being on a few sets with Skillman Video Group, a Boston video marketing company, I have learned as an intern why it is so important to have advanced equipment on each project. There were a couple pieces of production equipment that were very important to the day that SVG used while shooting enabling better film quality. Every film site can require different gear to make the Boston video production that much better and here at SVG, we make sure that our video production services meet any environments needs.

Boston video production

Microphone set up

At one particular Boston video production shoot that SVG was hired to film, our Boston videographer Chuck Green used various forms of microphone equipment to capture excellent sounds quality. Though it may seem normal to have several microphones in play to capture the interview recording, its important equipment like this that makes or breaks specific shoots. One of the microphones used was a mounted boom poll, which was set up right in front of the interviewee but out of the frame. The second one used was a lavaliere microphone that was attached to the collar of the subject being interviewed. These two forms equipment helped amplify the sound recording enabling a better quality to work with in postproduction.

Steady Camera Suit

Steady Camera Suit

Several weeks later I was on set at a Boston video production site that SVG was hired to film. This was a big warehouse full of large equipment making a set up traditional camera very difficult to maneuver. Luckily the camera used that day was mounted on a steady camera suit. This enabled the cameraman to quickly adjust his position while filming but still providing a smooth, steady shot. This suit was like an armor that was strapped on to the cameraman and was pretty heavy after 4 hours of filming. But the major benefit was the mobility that is permitted. The shots for that specific Boston video production were clean and fluid with the movement of the technology being recorded. Our post-production team will have plenty of material to work with when working with specific client all thanks to the handy camera suit.

There is a lot of fancy equipment available this day and age and technology is only getting better. Focusing on the necessities that make a shoot better for the client and our Boston production company are a key factor as to why we at SVG are prepared for all types of productions. When it comes to the day of filming, you can rely on the equipment and the production team to ensure a great final product.

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

Protecting Equipment from The Environment

Before starting your next Boston video production shoot, there are several potential obstacles to keep in mind that are all related to the environment. Be it water, wind, or heat, Skillman Video Group has a few tips for protecting your equipment from environmental hazards.

Wind

You have to be ready for wind any time you record audio outside of a controlled environment.

Professional Video Production Corporation

A controlled environment.

This point isn’t really about potential damage to equipment but more so about the quality of your video production projects. An audience can generally tune out white noise, but all the nuances in wind patterns can be easily noticeable and often times distracting when it takes over an audio recording. As much as possible, do your best to minimize the gain levels of a recording device, especially in a windy area. For these scenarios, it is best to attach a wind sock, fuzzy, etc., to filter out the wind.

Rain/Mist

Rain is always a hazard when carrying electronic equipment, but mist is definitely more applicable when a video production company is working at a harbor or in a beach area. Harbor Video ProductionThe danger of mist is that the water comes horizontally, so it is much harder to prevent mist water from getting into equipment compartments than rainwater. Also note that the caution against water also applies to lights. When it comes to professional-grade lights on a set (tungsten, LED, etc.), water collecting on a bulb can cause it to fizzle out, pop, and possibly spark a fire. In many cases, it will be necessary to find a pocket of cover under a building or an outside tent area if it is completely impossible to avoid the water.

Snow/Ice

For Boston especially, think about snow in the winter and how ice can be dangerous to both the equipment and crew members. During winter, be sure that all crew members are properly equipped with gloves and winter boots with good traction. The last thing you want is a camera operator to slip and tumble with an expensive camera in tow. Keep in mind that snow will melt the second it touches your equipment, so it may be ill-advised to film something during a snow flurry or blizzard.

Heat

When possible, always store video production equipment in covered areas with plenty of shade. If an electronic device is left out in the sun for too long, it may malfunction when you need it most due to overheating. There are increasingly more options available for insulated equipment bags, satchels, etc. If you are doing live event videography and are unable to take breaks in the shade, you can carry around an umbrella or similar cover to block direct sunlight.

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