Tag Archives: live event videography

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.

Audio Pro-Tips for Boston Video Production

Thanks to the new drive of video production companies to acquire premium 4K cameras, it’s easy to focus solely on achieving the best visuals for a client. However, it’s important for both Boston video production and video marketing companies to treat audio as a top-tier priority. Audio can be just as (if not more) important than the video half, so here are 3 pro-tips from our Skillman Video Group specialists to ensure you record the best audio possible.

1) Minimize Gain

Aim for recording the 10-16 decibel range with the audio gain at the lowest level possible. To accomplish this volume range with low gain, the assigned audio person must have the microphone device as close to the subject as possible without entering the frame of the camera.

Audio engineer w/ boom pole

Ken, SVG boom mic operator

This is why old movies sometimes have boom mics fall into frame, because the boom operator is fighting to have the mic as close to the actors as possible. If Hollywood is the golden standard, there is no reason your Boston video production company shouldn’t be following a tried and true practice.

2) Bring the Appropriate Microphone

There is a time and place for various kinds of microphones. If a client shoot entails a controlled environment, hyper-cardioid mics (focused direction) or “shotgun mics” can suffice. If an interview is being taped, LAV mics may be more appropriate. However, when shooting live event videography, the client may want to capture the ambient sounds of an event, in which case an omni-directional microphone (one that captures sound from all directions) would be ideal.

Shotgun microphone

Shotgun mic

3) Plan for Recording Positions

Especially for high-end mics, it is important for the boom operator to remain as stable as possible. Recording devices can easily pick up sudden bounces from a boom pole or whips to a different direction. If the source of the sound (ex: person) has to move while audio is being recorded, consider strapping on a rig device to the boom operator’s waist so that maximum stabilization is ensured.

Regardless of your video production field, audio is a vital compliment to video. Use them both in conjunction, and your videos will be much more effective.

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

Fast Video Editing Turnaround

SVG recently provided live event videography for this year’s Boston Book Festival, which featured a book signing and Q&A with musician and author, Amanda Palmer. Her book, The Art of Asking, was found to be wildly inspirational by the fans we interviewed in line at the festival. The topic of the novel, which embraced the author’s experiences of asking for help to support herself and her art, was echoed in the responses of her readers.

2015 Boston Book Festival-Amanda Palmer from Skillman Video Group on Vimeo.

The Boston-based SVG was contacted by The National Art Club offices in New York, who needed the final cut within five days of the event. We were happy to also offer our professional editing services. While the idea for the video was simple, it was crucial to obtain high-quality footage in an uncontrolled environment. Palmer has made her success via groundbreaking crowdfunding records and her active role on social media, meaning that the quality of the video needed to be of a high caliber and of worth promoting as it would certainly be used online.

SVG always approaches its social media video production with the special requirements they warrant. With two different cameras on location, we were able to collect a large array of clips that captured not only the spirit of the crowd, but also a clean recording of the Q&A and performance by Palmer. While the energy of the author and her husband made for great content, their unexpected moving on stage meant our DP needed to be vigilant as to keep them in frame (and not leave the camera in a stationary position).

The footage was edited in Final Cut Pro and compressed low resolution versions were sent to the client twice for feedback before the final product was ready. Sorting through hours of live event clips can be time consuming, but our professional video production and editing company is always up for the challenge of a tight deadline.

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