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Live Event Shoot at M.I.T.

On March 17, Skillman Video Group shot a live event at the M.I.T. campus. It was for the Sloan School of Business Docotral Research Forum. Even though it was a quick and simple shoot, a lot of hard work still went into it.

Set-Up

Arriving at 8:30 a.m. for a 10:00 start time, the crew got to the room and immediately started boston video production companyto set up. Using a total of three cameras, the team from our Boston video production company got them in place. Two of the cameras were to be used to shoot the speakers while the third one was focused on the projector screen as a placeholder. This was going to be helpful in the editing process. We also had to white balance the camera so that the video we captured was the right color. For lighting, we used two open faced lights and one LED fixture. One of the open faced lights was placed in the back of the room, looking down on the subjects. The other two were placed off to the right of the presenters and helped kill any shadows. Another important aspect of the set up was the blocking. We marked an X on the floor with some gaffing tape in the spot we needed the speaker to stand. This also helped with eliminate shadows by blocking out back light. The audio was sourced through the house system but we still had to test the levels to ensure that the quality was top-notch.

Shoot 

The shoot itself took a little under two hours to complete. Each student presented their thesis and then took questions from a panel of three judges. It was integral to the shoot that our camerapeople were able to get the necessary footage while not taking away from the experience itself. That is true for all live event shoots. Soon after the last speaker presented, the shoot was finished.

Breakdown

Whenever you are breaking down a set, you want to make it seem as if you were never there in the first place. If you moved a table or chair, move it back. If you use gaffing tape to hold down cables, make sure it goes in the trash afterwards. After our Boston video production team cleaned up and packed up all the equipment, it was time to go. The project was not finished however, as there is still plenty of work left to be done in the editing room. Syncing the PowerPoint slides on the projector screen with the sound of the speaker is no easy task. No project is ever fully finished until the client is delivered the tape.

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

 

Tips for a Video Marketing Shoot

boston production companyFor a video marketing company, it is important that the videos you shoot are effective at conveying your message. The first step towards having an effective video is having a successful shoot. As a leading Boston production company, Skillman Video Group can provide you with some tips to make the most out of your video shoot.

Plan Ahead

Preparation is key. Knowing what you want to shoot, where you want to shoot, and the style of the video are important aspects to your video shoot. What kind of video do you want? Draft a storyboard so you have an idea of what the video should look like when it is all done.  If you are shooting outdoors, scout the location beforehand. Take note of anything that may hinder your shoot so you aren’t surprised the day of and have to readjust on the fly. Bring backup equipment in the event something breaks. You can never have enough batteries. Having enough equipment on hand provides insurance if something goes wrong. Also, have a clear goal in mind. If your Boston video production is to be successful, you have to know what you want your audience to take away from it.

Stick to Schedule

Time is of the essence so try not to waste any during your shoot. Try to give yourself as much time as possible for the shoot but with the understanding that the unexpected can happen so you may end up being pressed. It is important to have a production schedule available to work off. It will provide you with the “whos, whats, wheres, whens and hows” of the shoot. Staying on schedule will go a long way to ensuring a successful shoot.

Get Good Value

Your video marketing company may have the best plans laid out for the shoot, but if the quality of the video is not any good, it will be hard making the video a success. Be sure to check your cameras white balance so that it captures the true colors of the shot, and is not affected by the light. Use a tripod when possible so that you have a steady shot. Also use any filters necessary for lighting as natural sunlight can cause a negative affect to your footage.

Let it B-Roll

Before going into any shoot, your Boston production company should know what kind of B-video marketing companyroll footage you will need. B-roll is any video that is shown during your production that is not of the primary subject. For example, while your subject talks about their product or services, B-Roll is the footage that is shown of people using the companys’ product or services. It could be used to show your office or town that your company is in. Planning out your B-roll will help prevent you from needing footage you do not have. Also, you can never have enough B-roll so shoot as much as you can.

When it comes time to shoot for a video marketing company, there are many factors that go into making it a success. These tips are just a few that will help you get there.

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

Get the Most of An Interview

Video interviews are everywhere these days, as they tend to be very informative and educational. From the classic customer testimonial to the “About Us,” many companies find Q&A style interviews to be a great source for fast video content. It is a great way to get to the emotional side of an employee or customer. It allows the audience to feel a connection, and it makes for a more trustworthy company. In order for an interview to be full of elaborate and eloquent answers, the person being interviewed usually needs to be relaxed. Unless he/she is a great orator on cue, the interviewee will need to feel very comfortable before they can fully express their thoughts. Boston video production company Skillman Video Group tends to focus on trust between its clients. Trust amongst a video production service company and its business client is great to have in order to make people comfortable and get real answers with emotion.

professional video production

In order to obtain trust, first, work with a production company that you feel will get your message and story out in the most effective way. Interviewees tend to get more comfortable if it’s a conversation that they are having with the interviewer. Allowing yourself to veer off from questions if the interviewee says something interesting or unexpected that you’d like to explore further is great. Sometimes the unplanned spontaneous questions & answers create the best moments. Before or during the video camera rolls, ask easy questions to warm up the interviewee. At Skillman Video Group, our Boston video producers do a great job at getting to know the client and having a regular conversation as setup is taking place. This makes them more comfortable because it is like having a regular conversation with her before hitting the record button. The interviewer can ask easy-going questions, like what they had for breakfast to how their day is going, anything to get them talking and comfortable.
Monitor

These are some of the methods that may be used during the series of interviews to get your interviewee comfortable telling their story. For more tactics, 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.

 

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.

video production interview

Your Video Shoot Checklist

This week, Skillman Video Group showcased their professional video production talents on a video shoot in Beacon Hill to shoot a series of interview style videos. The location of this shoot was indoors, on the fourteenth floor of a large, Boston office building to be exact. Our team was provided with a small office building overlooking the skyline of South Boston. Despite the size of the room, our team was able to organize multiple different angles and backgrounds for each interview, giving the illusion that the room was much larger.

In order to pull off this shoot, our Boston videographers needed a specific amount and variety of video equipment. Luckily, SVG is experienced in on location shoots and we are always prepared for whatever situations arise.

Cameras

For this particular shoot our team decided to use two cameras. One would film the primary Chuck's Sony FS7 Ultra High Definition Camcorderfootage of the interviewee and face them head on (this camera is also filming in higher quality). The other was positioned at an angle to get a side view of the interviewee. Our video production service’s advanced audio visual technology automatically linked the footage together so that during the editing process it the two angles would share a synched audio, allowing for a much simpler editing experience. On this shoot we used a Sony FS7 Ultra High Definition Camcorder and a Sony FS 100 Camcorder. The Sony FS7 was the main camera for the interviews and footage was shot in 4k. The cameras were positioned on two different types of tripods. The FS7 was on a Manfrotto tripod made of carbon fiber and the FS100 on a Miller aluminum that was made in Australia.

Using two cameras of the same brand is recommended by corporate video production companies because the software and equipment is more compatible when it is of the same manufacturer. The picture quality will also match between the main view and the side-shot even though the cameras are filming at varying qualities.

Audio

Chuck checking the shotOn this particular shoot, our Boston professional video production company brought over $24,000 in professional video equipment. Our professional videographer, Chuck brought two different types of microphones. We used a Sennheiser shotgun mic for more straightforward audio recording and a wired Sony lavalier microphone to clip onto the lapel of the interviewees. This provided us with the highest quality sound for our interview videos.

Lighting

Just in case the natural light coming in from the windows in the background of the interviews was too harsh, we brought along Gels. Gels are screens that soften the light and create a neutral density that reduces sunlight for shots against windows. The key is to flood the subject with so much light that it balances out the shot. Gels are attached with a squeegee and sponge.

Accessories

You may think that the only things needed on set for a video shoot are the basic, camera, Chuck holding Sony cameramicrophone and lights, but every professional video production company knows that you need a lot more than that in order to have a successful day on set. One unexpected item that is always needed on set is sandbags! These heavy sacks are used to weight down tripods and stands that hold up important and expensive equipment. If it weren’t for sandbags, a lot of equipment would be knocked over and broken or moved out of place and this would disrupt the entire shoot in a major way. Another important tool to have on set is extension cords! If you are filming on location you never know how many or how far away the outlet will be, so it is very important to bring plenty of extension cords that that electricity is close by and bountiful! When filming interviews, make sure to keep a limited makeup kit near by. This is useful because sometimes the subjects will sweat and their faces will appear shining and glaring on camera. Just a touch of make up on the nose and forehead will completely solve this issue!

Not everything that a successful video marketing team brings with them to set will be needed, but it is important to have everything that you could possibly need because you never know what will happen on set when you’re filming corporate video.

Skillman Video Group, LLC specializes in Boston video production. Please call 1-800-784-0140 to learn more.

Professional Video Tools

Skillman Video Group recently worked with one of our clients “PerkinElmer” at their facilities in Hopkinton, MA to create a new corporate training video. We pride ourselves in having a collaborative creative process with our clients; allowing them to describe the ways they’d like their film to look and feel, as well as content and design. Once a script was created, and a goal was set, it was time for us to bring in our professional video production team. While the creative process is collaborative, we like to make sure that we bring our very best equipment to make you look your very best.

Backdrop

It’s no easy job transforming a conference room into a film set, however SVGboston video production services has all the tools to do so – and quickly! To match the feel of what the client wanted the video to have, we set up our accessories to professionally hang an “infinite white” backdrop; creating an ethereal space that perfectly matched the theme of the corporate training video. A solid, light backdrop also helps the actor in front of it to pop; becoming the center of attention without any distractions or harsh lighting.

 

Lighting

Next, our Boston professional videographer set up his 5 Aputure lights. This ensured that not only was the backdrop perfectly lit, but the actor as well. Each light served its own professional function: two were pointed to illuminate the backdrop, and three were focused on our actor from specifically different angles. Professional lighting (and the positioning thereof) is essential for a successful video, and utilizing LED lighting ensures perfection.

Camera + Teleprompter

One of the best cameras in the industry, Canon DX Mark II yielded beautifulprofessional video production footage on our PerkinElmer shoot. With a wide assortment of different lenses whenever needed, our professional videographer brought his A-game. Using external microphones in tandem with the Canon camera made the actor sound clear and crisp. He did not need to worry about over-projecting or sounding fake; everything he naturally said was perfectly recorded.

On that note, to ensure that everything he said was perfectly recorded, we also used a professional teleprompter on location. The QTV FDP 12 Teleprompter is one of the best in the ‘biz. This high bright model allows an actor to read the lines directly over the camera lens (by manipulating the text with mirrors), and can easily be read indoors or outside, day or night. Our professional teleprompter associate used the “Magic Scroll” software for his text, giving him complete control over the size, speed, and quality of the lines.

While this was just some of the equipment used for this particular shoot, we make sure to provide you with any and all the equipment needed to deliver exactly what you’d like for your next shoot. There is no limit to the resources and equipment our professional video production team can deliver, and we look forward to showing you how great your video will look at your next shoot with us!

Skillman Video Group, LLC specializes in Boston video production. Please call 1-800-784-0140 to learn more.

Slate

Fully Equipped: Spotlight on SVG’s Recent Shoot

 

We’ve seen the movies, we know the phrase – before any director can yell, “Action!”, they first must yell “Lights! Camera!”. At Skillman Video Group, we take pride in our state of the art video production services and equipment; making you look and sound perfect on your next video with us. As one of Boston’s top professional video production companies, we make sure our technology and electronics are top as well.

Slate

At our recent shoot with LEK Consulting in downtown Boston, one of SVG’s videographers Ian Fein was using a Sony’s Fs7 Series camera. Equipped for any and all productions ranging from action movies to documentaries (and everywhere in between), it produces some of the best footage in our video production industry. Critically acclaimed for it’s clean quality and state of the art zooming capabilities, as well as the significant effects of its many lenses, it’s perfect for our line of work. With many video production shoots, we will also combine Sony equipment with additional manufacturers’ equipment such as Canon and Nikon; maximizing production from some of the foremost camera companies in the ‘biz.

For lighting, our video production services offer an assortment of different tools and techniques to deliver both professional quality, as well as assurance that you look your absolute best on camera. Lighting panels and fixtures that are used on your favorite movies and TV shows are also used on our SVG shoots. More recently, we used the “Celeb 201” and “Arri CS60” lights and Sky Panels. Referred to in the industry as “faithful and beautiful lighting…”, these lighting options help to completely transform the video production location – turning a normal room into a bright, powerful set with popping colors and crisp visibility.

We work with only the best equipment, so you can be exactly as you should: looking, sounding, and feeling your best.

Skillman Video Group, LLC specializes in Boston video production. Please call 1-800-784-0140 to learn more.