Creative Video Production on a Budget

It is easy to think of the web and its videos, traditional cinema, digital films, and videos to entertainment. These mediums are also found in the business world. Some videos are made as marketing pieces, others as internal messaging and training; some are even for internal morale boosting or presentations. Whatever the need, many companies find that it is possible to develop, edit, and achieve all of the needs of creative video production and remain on budget.

Like any other project, creative video production has a budget. After the content has been developed and the understanding of the editing that will most likely be needed, it is often time for the budget to be revised. There are times that the budget may need to be increased if post production needs are greater than anticipated. This may not be the case if the message and content are kept as the focus from the earliest conception. However if the key points and memorable, relevant content are lost, it may be that the editing part of the budget increases and is offset by other budget cuts.

Just as projects have budgets, they also have timelines. Planning the timeline is essential to the budget and the deadline. Working with a trusted post production agency in the field of creative video production can help to maintain timelines and budgets. Often, the shooting of the video is not the biggest aspect of the timeline, but the editing work is. Knowing the content, budget and timeline needs will help the video production team to understand what end work is possible. Allowing extra time for post production work is often a best practice, as there may be unanticipated editing or effects needs that can easily be built in if the project deadline is ahead of the actual due date.

When it comes to video, it is important to not simply speak from a script. Creating engaging and relevant content is key. It is also important stay on budget. Get creative and think of new ways to showcase the message and possibly even local talent. Perhaps a college student with an interest in filmmaking to film or edit or an up and coming graphic designer to help with story boards. The delivery, the background and other visual and sound effects help keep a strong and engaging message. Sometimes thinking outside the box and getting creative is a great ROI not only for engaging content but dollars saved.

Not all companies have a film expert, let alone someone they trust with the directing or producing of a video. When it is a corporate video that will be seen internally or externally, quality is key. Talk with post production agency as to potential directors or producers in house or those they can refer who work for the best rates. Often the creative video production partner will have resources in house that cover all production needs, from directing to content development to editing. Keep the project simple by collaborating with a trusted production partner and most likely that will mean keeping it successful as well

Tips for Aerial Video Production

The Aerial Video shot is a new trend emerging for creating low-altitude imagery through the use of lightweight, remote-controlled helicopter drones. This technology allows for stunning aerial shots that can be used for various kinds of videos including real estate videos, construction videos, action-sports and films. There are many more uses for aerial filming, but these industries are early adopters of this new trend. Transparency Market Research finds that the aerial photography market is expected to reach $1993.3 million by 2019, with most of the income coming from the U.S. market. Most of the demand will arrive from the real estate, construction and the natural resource management sectors. Increased demand is also expected from urban planning and insurance fields.

There are many factors to consider when choosing to perform aerial filming. Here are some tips for successful aerial video production:

Weather

The most important factor is the weather. It is advisable to film on a day when the winds are less than 10 mph and usually the optimum conditions are in the morning. I’ve watched a lot of aerial videos and in almost all of them there are some shaky shots. I think it’s the nature of this type of videography since sometimes the drone can encounter a sudden gust of wind.

Type of Drone to Use

The next most important factor is the type of Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) or drone to use. The least expensive ones are quadcopters which are small and lightweight but suffer from lack of stabilization controls like a gimbal. A gimbal is a support system that can control the camera on the roll and pitch axes. It also compensates for the movement of the drone the better gimbals can also pan and tilt the camera. A properly adjust gimbal can stabilize the camera well enough to yield “movie” quality shots. A hexacopter with a steady gimbal is the best choice for a flawless video shoot and. The extra propeller and weight of the hexacopter provide a much more stable experience than with a quadcopter.

Type of Camera to Use

You should also choose the lightest camera possible for your desired results. Most hexacopters can only fly 8-10 minutes with a DSLR due to the limitations of the batteries. If you fly a Go-Pro then expect 20-25 minutes. Your choice of camera depends on your final use, if you want high quality, beautiful shots then I suggest using a lightweight DSLR like the GH-3, or a Canon 5D series. Go-Pros can look great, but they just don’t have the image quality of a DSLR. It’s advisable to have several extra battery packs on hand, especially if you intend to be filming all day.

Have a Monitor System.

You have to see what the drone is filming in order to get the best shots, so a good wireless monitor system is a requirement. The terminology in the UAS world is FPV which stands for First Person View. Our aerial video system has two monitors, one for each remote control. The ideal filming situation is to have 2 drone operators. One just pilot’s the drone, and the other operator uses the second remote-control to adjust the camera tilt and pan.

Safety

Lastly, you must take safety into consideration. You can’t fly within 5 miles of airports and nor can you fly above a crowded place. Also, you have to stay under 400 feet and within a line of sight to the UAS. Currently, the legislation covering small drones is murky. The are legally classified as “Model Aircraft” and subject to the laws governing model or hobby aircraft. Recently a FAA court case was settled in favor of the defendant when a judge dismissed all charges against a drone pilot who had been aerial filming over a college campus last year. This led drone enthusiasts to celebrate but the FAA quickly appealed the decision. According to Inman news, the FAA is currently drafting a rule for small drones expected to be released in late 2014.

Have Fun!

Flying helicopter drones is a lot of fun and the cinematic beauty of the footage is very rewarding. I’m sure the government will come to their senses and realize this is a profitable and needed resource which needs to be regulated fairly. In the meantime keep getting amazing aerial footage and have fun practicing and experimenting with different maneuvers. Surely engineers will keep inventing smaller and more stable drones and lighter video cameras. I can’t wait to see what new advancements will arrive this year!

About the Author

Horacio Jones has been a Video Producer, Director, Camera Operator and Editor for over 10 years. He has directed several documentaries, short films and numerous corporate and event videos. Currently he is the owner of at http://www.CinemaViva.com where he oversees the day-to-day video production and editing tasks necessary to maintain a successful video production company. He also teaches Filming and Editing techniques to students attending the Film Connection Film Institute.

The Problem With Movies and How to Solve Them

Modern movies are a glorious thing, but they are also rife with problems. Modern movies are falling into a set of weird choices, and odd habits that can make watching movies into a sort of nightmare. Since there are so many problems with movies I decided to tackle two of them here, and we will revisit this issue in another article.

The first problem I have is poor audio mixing. What do I mean by this? Let’s say you open up your mailbox and you have a couple movies from Netflix sitting there (I almost made this example driving to Blockbuster, but then I remembered it was 2016). You pop in the Blu-Ray/ DVD into your player of choice and you sit back and you have to turn the volume down because there a lot of explosions and such. Then people start talking and you have to find the remote because they might as well be whispering! Then another explosion and now you’re deaf because the damn thing was so ear piercingly loud. This can be annoying. Hell it’s one of easiest ways to take me out of a movie, to be honest. So why does this happen? Well when the audio for movies is mixed, they mix it for a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound setup because that is the optimal way to watch a movie. You see, in 5.1 surround sound each speaker has its own job. The center speaker handles dialogue, the 2 side speakers are for explosions and “bwaam” noises in Christopher Nolan movies, the subwoofer is for “dat bass”, and lastly the 2 (or 4 if you have 7.1) satellite speakers are for the surround effects. That’s really cool and all, but I am not in a position to buy a 5.1 surround sound setup. I am a very poor college student who can only afford to eat ramen noodles 4 times a week (The other times I eat the cardboard the ramen came in. I have a sad life). I set up my dad’s stereo from like the 80’s to be my “hi-fi” audio setup which replaces my TV’s stereo sound with a slightly less awful stereo sound. So when the DVD/Blu-Ray player outputs a 5.1 signal, my poor stereo speakers can only replicate the 2 front side speakers. This is why explosions are so loud. The dialogue is going to a non-existent center speaker, which is why it comes out so quiet.

So what’s the solution? Add two dialogue tracks. One mixed in good super old fashioned stereo and the other mixed in the fancy pants 5.1/7.1 goodness. This way I can set the volume to a comfortable volume, and leave it there. This may sound like a super easy solution, but I would hazard a guess that mixing audio is a very difficult task, and not one easily undertaken. However I think that it’s well worth it and shows that movie studios are willing to go the extra mile for those who still want to watch their favorite movies, but maybe aren’t the most well off.

Well, we have done an audio problem, So let’s finish this article with a visual problem. This is probably the two biggest problems I have modern movies today. Shaky Cam and jump cuts. For those unfamiliar with shaky cam as a concept, I am sorry that I have to be the one who has to tell you about it. Basically it’s the worst form of visual storytelling imaginable. That’s not the most telling description, is it? OK, so shaky cam is exactly what it sounds like. It’s basically the director telling the cameraman to shake the camera as hard as they can. This is in order to make the action look frantic. Sounds stupid right, but it’s a real thing. The problem with shaky cam is that it is made worse by terrible, quick, jumpy editing. This is also just what it sounds like. It is the use of a million and a half different cuts in order to convey frantic action. However in reality, it often make it so that the scene is impossible to understand. These are just the tools of the incredibly lazy. The use of these two tools in conjunction makes a movie’s action scenes a chore to watch, and impossible to understand. You have to actively try to piece together when the actors are being hit, because the shot never actually shows it. You hear a flurry of sound effects, and you see a blurry mess of hands and faces, but it’s just audio and visual garbage that the director is trying to pass off as incredible action.

The solution to this problem is actually pretty simple. Hire better directors. Directors that are good at their jobs will make the action look good without the use of cheap tricks and quick editing. There are fantastic directors when it comes to filming action. Take the Wachowski siblings. Sure, they have made a couple stinkers in the last couple years, but the first Matrix movie is incredibly well directed. There are uses of wide shots, so we so exactly what is going on, there’s just the right amount of slow motion so we really feel it when characters get hit. The score is used perfectly, so when the hero gets hit hard, the music slows down and gets quieter. The Subway scene in the matrix encapsulates all of that.

Contrast this from Alex Cross. The camera is literally just shaking. You don’t see the hits connect. You see the main character hit the villain and then after a cut you see the villain react. This is probably to cover up the fact that the actors were not properly choreographed.

If you can get a director who knows how to film an action scenes, as well as who knows what he wants the actors to do, and how to choreograph them to do that, then you don’t need terrible shaky cam to cover up anything. You don’t need jump edits because you’ll want the audience to see your work.

How a Motion Infographics Video Helps in Developing Brand Relationships

Motion Infographic Videos refers to the graphical representation of information in a video format. They are a perfect blend of visual as well as auditory appeal, which makes them an ideal tool for advertisement or for the dissemination of any information to an audience. The graphics may be in 2D or 3D format and generally contains elements like stop-motion animation, digital video, film footage, pictures or different visual forms necessary to tell the story.

Not only do motion infographic videos have a longer lasting impact but also quicker dissemination of the intended information can be done in a more effective manner. A 3 minutes animated video can convey more information than an entire brochure as they are easily comprehensible. Many companies use these videos in their YouTube channels and other media sharing websites to reach out to their customers more effectively.

Here are some ways in which these infographic videos help in developing brand relationships.

Much better publicity
With the advent of video sharing websites, videos have become the most favoured means of publicizing products/brands. Videos being the most shared material online have the potential of becoming a powerful SEO tool. Frequent liking and sharing of these short films are a norm and are bound to make one’s product popular within days. Moreover, any complicated data can be broken down into easily comprehensible formats.

Proximity with the audience
The audience watches films which they feel close to and can relate to the experience being shown in the story. A short infographic video that strikes a chord with the audience is bound to trigger an emotional response and hence, a sense of attachment. A content rich video is easily comprehensible by the majority of the population. People associate more with companies providing their introduction in such a brief and apt manner. For instance, businesses spend hours filtering information about what they actually do, what they can deliver, and their market target. Distilling all that abstract information down to a couple of sentences helps create a ‘unique selling proposition’.

Variety of platforms
Ensuring prolonged exposure to the products is the key to increasing a company’s consumer base. Since these videos can be played on a variety of media platforms, they can reach a larger audience base for the promotion of the product. They can be published on TV or the company’s website, or other media sharing sites such as Facebook, blogs, YouTube, Vimeo and Daily Motion to convey the message to more people. Businesses can also use these videos in trade shows, share them through DVDs and pen drives or utilize them for any marketing and sales strategies.

Builds trust
Using storyboard development and possible voice-over sound allows a company to convey its message in a more clear and interesting manner. User-friendly infographic videos develop a sense of entitlement in the viewers towards the company. The viewer gets to know the business and feels the urge to know as much as possible. Instilling this feeling builds a sense of trust and confidence in the customer about the company. The viewer is more likely to use the services provided by the company and recommend it to others once this sense of trust is instilled in him.

One cannot dispute the impact of motion graphics in visual representation. Infographic videos are becoming the most effective promotion techniques in the digital marketplace. A need to engage the audience at a deeper level has resulted in the adoption of various innovative techniques for conveying the information. Most businesses have opted for hiring professional services to make effective infographic videos. In addition to these customized films being more engaging than regular live shoots, the low-cost aspect is helping firms realize the potential of this medium as a must-use tool for their marketing and sales and for sharing any other information.