Lights? Camera? Software?
With NAB right around the corner, spectators will be inundated with a plethora of new and advanced technology to help enhance your production. But which technology is the best? Which camera should I use? Do I have the best lights? Am I using the best editing software? The answer is, you’re probably not.
With video production technology changing almost weekly, your new cutting edge camera that shoots 4K and 1000fps will probably be obsolete next week. At least this is what they want you to believe. The truth is, what you currently have is probably good enough. As long as you aren’t shooting on VHS or have a microphone duct taped to the end of a hockey stick, you are probably more than capable of your clients production needs.
I have been shooting and editing for about 10 years. In that time, I’ve seen technology change drastically. I remember when going from a DV tape to solid-state storage was a big concern for a lot of filmmakers. Do I trust this? Is it going to keep all my footage safe? Those were the concerns back then. As we see now, solid-state recording has become the norm. A lot of cameras now have the option of shooting straight to a hard drive in order to get the highest bit rate.
I also remember when Final Cut Pro was the answer for low budget filmmaking because of its versatility and affordability. Nowadays it seems everyone is leaning towards the Adobe Creative Cloud. Final Cut Pro is now Final Cut X (FCPX), which is more of a hybrid between Final Cut Pro and iMovie. Though I’m not a fan of FCPX, I know a lot of professionals working with this software.
So while companies keep coming out with the “latest and greatest,” you should be asking yourself, “what is the best I can do, with what I have?”
By Daniel Herzog
THE COST OF MAKING VIDEOS: PART 5
By Michael Goldstein
When it comes to the cost of editing and polishing of video there is a lot that can cause confusion as well as miscommunication of expectations. My goal today is to try to help explain why one production company might quote you much higher or lower on editing hours than another and how to make sure you are only paying for what you need.
Post Production/Finished Product:
The process of taking raw footage and turning it into a finished project can take varying amounts of time. The main factors that go into making editing hours add up are how polished the final product looks and the amount of revisions you have for your video.
When I say “polished” I am referring to just how far you want to take the video from a basic editing of clips together to something that should be up for an award. Some videos only need basic editing, color correcting, and simple graphics; where others might require motion graphics, special effects, green screen keying, etc.
If your finished project was a car, do you need a Chevrolet or a Bentley? It’s important to let your video production company know your expectations before hand so they can best estimate the cost of your project. If this video is for internal training, chances are you won’t need fancy custom motion graphics, so why pay to have them made? If you are looking to impress your customers, however, some entertaining post production effects and graphics might give your video the extra spice it needs.
Finally, revisions… This can be the cause of the largest discrepancy between your initial estimate and final invoice. When your video production company sends you your video for the first time, this is your opportunity to review it and request changes that you would like. Maybe you don’t like a certain take, or perhaps you want it cut down a little shorter. Whatever the changes; here is the key: Do everything in your power to give ALL of your changes to your production company at once (or in as few revisions as possible). The more frequently you go back and forth between reviews and additional changes, the faster the post production editing hours will add up. It’s not always possible to get it just right on the first review, but keep this mindset of giving them as much as you can at one time, and you will save a lot of money in the end.
Heart Marketing Wins!
By Adam Buccafusco
Olivia and I attended the 2nd Triangle AMA’s (American Marketing Association) High Five Event on behalf of Burning Oak Studios. This year’s conference was just as exciting, entertaining, and enlightening as last year! There was so much information to feed our heads in the two-day event that we had to divide and conquer. I’ll head up the creative aspect and Olivia go into the marketing aspect.
The first keynote was the return of Aaron Draplin, the founder of Draplin Design Co. This lovable rock star of design brought a new lecture that once again warmed the cockles of my artistic heart. Draplin discussed his passion for “dead logo” hunting. Aaron would comb through flea markets, swap meets, and estate sales looking for icons of yesteryear. There are beautiful combinations of shapes, colors, and imagery that can be found in vintage branding materials. When you get down in the dumps about being a designer, Aaron Draplin is a reminder that design is suppose to be expressive, open to creativity, and most importantly it’s suppose to be fun! If you’re not having fun designing, maybe a trip to the local rummage sale will inspire and rejuvenate your creative spark.
I sat in on the breakout session titled Data-Driven Design with ReverbNation’s Chris Johnston. ReverbNation is a site that boosts promotion for over 4 million musicians, managers, labels, venues, and events around the globe. Johnston explains how the altering and redesigning your interface can affect your analytic trends positively and negatively. The Sr. Director of Product Management describes a scenario where the simple color change for a navigation bar dramatically impacted how users were flowing through the site. The charts dips badly due to the nothing more than a color change. The designers had no choice but to switched back to the original bold black bar, which cause the charts to level out again. Using data trend to keep your message clear
All things considered, I felt this year was as good as last year. The show was a bit tighter and handled the weather issues well. My suggestion for High Five is add more breakout sessions about executing design and promotional campaigns, and maybe even some tips on dealing with the cost of production. I believe the Triangle AMA’s High Five event is going to get better with every year. Check back in with the burningoakstudios.com and OakNotes to find out what Olivia thought about her experience.