Shooting hand held video

The camera is as heavy as it looks.  When you start to add on batteries, microphones, wireless receivers and other pieces, things quickly start to get heavy.  For this particular project, going handheld was our only option for getting the shot.  One of our biggest tricks in getting smooth, sharp handheld footage is to use a wide angle lens.  The wider the lens, the more stable your shot will appear.  This particular lens is one of Jay Duchin’s favorite.  The lens alone costs over $8,000, which is more than some companies spend on their entire camera. Our investment in technology and...

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Video recording in stores

There are huge advantages to some of our shoots.  Besides working with great people on this training video, we were also able to do a bit of food shopping afterwards.  This particular food store remained open during our time there but we wanted to avoid getting customers in the shots.  One trick is to raise the camera to the maximum height which limits how much is in the background and at the same times makes for some great perspective...

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Traveling with video equipment

Going on remote locations around the world often isn’t a glamorous as many people think.  It takes more time to get through security lines and the really expensive pieces like cameras should all be hand carried.  Sometimes we’re able to take smaller cameras but it’s now always feasible.  On this particular trip, the camera fit in the overhead bin.  One trick we’ve learned over the years is to pack along some inflatable neck pillows.  These can be inflated and used to help protect the camera and other spare parts we bring...

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Video Special Effects on a Budget

Want to add special effects to your videos but don’t want to spend a fortune? You may be surprised to learn that it can be affordable if you’re up for trying some unconventional approaches. Below, we’ve detailed a project where we created an invisible whiteboard. We’re fortunate to work with some really wonderful people. One of our favorites is Dr. Woodie Flowers, emeritus professor of mechanical engineering at MIT. If his name sounds familiar, he was the original host of the PBS series Scientific American Frontiers. We’ve created many videos with the professor and each one has had a unique...

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Video Special Effects using PowerPoint

We frequently encourage clients to use programs like PowerPoint and Keynote to help get their ideas across. One of our longtime friends and clients, Sargent Production Services was tasked to go one step further. He was asked to produce a video but use Keynote slides and animations as a substitute for traditional video animation. The presenter, Dr. Woodie Flowers is an advanced user of Keynote (Apple’s version of PowerPoint) and is the mastermind behind the project. Not many people would attempt something this challenging but in theory, everything was going to work. We recorded Woodie...

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Choosing a background for your next video shoot.

An important thing to consider for any video shoot is the background choice. Not every location has an ideal room for shooting so in many instances, we create a background. Once we learn about a project, we try to determine what the background should be and then see if it exists at the shoot location. Unfortunately, even if the perfect spot is available, it might be near an area that is too noisy or not big enough to fit all the equipment. Not every project has the budget to bring in a set decorator to “prop” a location, so it’s important to be flexible on smaller budget shoots. The photos...

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