You may be a business or an organization that is looking to reach more people emotionally so that they can understand your mission, purpose, or how you originated. Storytelling is a great tool that will work if done properly. Heck, storytelling has been around for ages and it’s a fantastic way to get your vision across and understood. There is more to storytelling than a beginning, middle and end. If you had those components in mind, you’re on the right track. However, if you want your story to have impact it must have a few more components. Storytelling is a craft; an art and I have just listed a few ingredients that can make a story shine.
One component of storytelling that many people tend to forget about and by the way is the hardest is figuring out the conflict/challenge. I do think you can tell a story without conflict; however, the story is much better when conflict is present. Have you ever seen a movie without conflict? Conflict is what makes people care. Conflict is what puts the viewers on the edge of the seat wondering what will happen next. For example, in my story about Mariposa Coffee Company, the owner explains that his furniture business in the Bay Area was very successful until the 1989 earthquake destroyed the building they did business in. He was left with nothing. This is a great hook that should lead the viewer to the conflict. At this point you should be thinking what did he do next? Right? Conflict opens the gate to possibility.
The second component to a great story is the character. A good character is going to help with story engagement. If the viewer can’t relate to the character because the character themselves are boring and doesn’t look like they care you’re going to miss out on your story’s impact. Personally, I do not want anyone in front of my camera who is not passionate. You want the people who view your story to be intriguing, emotional, and passionate. No one is going to care about the story if your character on camera is just there. You do not want the first person who volunteers for your story either. Part of finding the right character that fits your idea and vision or the company’s vision should be a very thoughtful process. Sit down with a few candidates and ask them questions. Understand what makes them unique and decide if they are strong enough to carry the story.
The third component of a great story is the purpose. What is your purpose for telling this story? What do you want people to know or do after watching your story? Will your story have impact?
Companies and organizations who want to incorporate storytelling into their marketing efforts should focus on stories that set them apart from others. Maybe there is a customer who benefits significantly from the business or organization. They could tell the story about that one individual and how they are helping them.
For those who don’t know much about how to tell a story there is good news. You can reach out to video production companies and see if they specialize in storytelling. Some companies will create ideas that you may not have thought of and that work perfectly for your operation and vision. Check the video production company’s work and see if they are a good fit, good storytellers, and if they actually know what they are talking about.
Great storytelling can go a long way. Simon Sinek once said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” If your story is engaging, has impact, and has purpose it will strike the hearts of many who view it.
The following info is just my opinion and I feel that there are many ways you can improve as a videographer these are my tips, I am willing to share that I have learned over my twenty years of being a videographer.
So, you have a camera and you want to up your filmmaking game? There are many things you can do to achieve this. For one you need to get out there and shoot. It doesn’t matter if it is a paid project or not. The main thing is to get behind the camera and shoot. You could be shooting a family event or your wife and daughter cooking, the point is you need a lot of time behind the camera to get great results. In fact, find something you are passionate about and shoot it. I had always wanted to shoot someone who does leather work. So, I found someone local and shot it for free. Why? Because it allowed me to use a new camera for one, and because it allowed me to work in a real life environment. It gave me a chance to figure out the camera. I didn’t get paid, but that was okay I gained a lot of knowledge.
You also will learn more about how your lenses react in different lighting situations, interviews, and broll footage. Learning more about your lenses will help you develop your shooting style. You may think you like to shoot with a 50mm lens but after all, you find out that 35mm is really your sweet spot.
Going out to shoot will also allow you to develop muscle memory. Muscle memory is needed especially if you plan on shooting fast paced activities or events. Videographers call this type of shooting running and gunning. It’s fast paced and you need to know how your camera works in order to deliver stunning images. Nothing is worse then missing a shot because you couldn’t find the correct button or menu that needed to be changed.
You will also gain a vast amount of knowledge regarding lighting and how it effects your shots, the mood of your story and what works and what doesn’t. I have set my kids in front of the camera just so I could play around with my interview lighting set up. I see what works and what doesn’t. There is nothing wrong with doing this, in fact it helps you become more creative since you are doing it in your spare time. You find what works and then you can take those same lights and the same light set up and use them on a paying gig. Practice, practice practice, makes you better and when you become better at your craft people will notice. Lighting to some may seem boring but it’s lighting that separates the amateurs from the pros. Lighting is the icing in the cake that makes great films look the way they do.
Another tip for better video production is to read articles and search out answers that you may have regarding videography. Read the responses in forums and see if there is anything you can gain. There are many knowledgeable filmmakers who respond to post within videographer forums and or Facebook filmmaking groups. Folks, this is free knowledge!
Another great way to learn more about filmmaking and videography work is to buy a class from Master Class. Master Class is an online educational tool that has some courses taught by filmmakers. You must pay, however the knowledge you get out of the online courses are amazing. You get the chance to view it at your own leisure. Never think you know it all, once you start thinking that you stop learning and growing.
Pay attention to sound. Sound is half the picture. Without sound people tune out. Try watching a film without sound and you will be lost. However, turn the volume up on a movie and close your eyes and you know more about the film with just sound than you would if you had no sound. Learn about how you can use different types of music to help create the mood of your video. Music is very strong and evokes emotion that helps drive the story you are trying to tell. You could also learn about sound design and how it helps bring life to a film. The swooshes, sound effects that are layered are in films for a reason. They too help elevate the film and give the viewer a better experience.
Gear is great but you need to learn how to use it and use it in different situations. Case in point, I went to shoot a mini doc on a boxer. I was planning on interviewing them and was going to use my soft box for the interview lighting. Well, I forgot my soft box, but I did have a silk with me. I knew by experimenting that I could still make my light which was a hard light into a soft light by placing the silk in front of the hard light. Sure, enough I stretched the silk and hung it by using two light stands and the result was great. I wouldn’t have known that if I never experimented in my free time with lights and different diffusion material. What makes you a great videographer is being a great problem solver.
This information I am telling you about is great to read but the point is for you to go out and experiment. No one gets better just by reading…. you must put in the work. I have embedded some of my work down below. I wish you the best.
As a storyteller you have a final vision for your film. For example, let’s take a story branded film that focuses on a company and how they originated. You prepare for the interviews, the know what broll you want to capture, and you know how the film should take form. Another great idea to think about the is the mood you are trying to convey within the film. What color is the film? When I say color, I mean mood. Is it a dark and lonely film, is it happy, is it vintage? Depending on what the film is about will dictate the mood and with the mood in mind you should also be thinking about how you should be color grading the film. What colors represent the feeling you get when watching the film? There are several components that set great branded films apart from others; one of them being the overall color tone of the film.
What is your vision for the outcome? There are so many ways you can create moods by color grading your film. The sky is the limit and if you don’t know how to color grade you can always use luts (look up tables) than can assist you in creating a mood. If the story is vibrant and exciting, you wouldn’t want to use dreary colors such as blues and greys. A better choice would be to use bright colors such as reds, yellows, etc. This is where your creativity comes in. It’s up to you and you can choose any colors you wish as long as you have a reason. I wouldn’t recommend you creating a color scheme out of the blue there should be reasons behind your decision.
I have attached a video below that shows several different looks from the same scene. Some you may like and some you may not like. The point is to show you how you can manipulate the same scene by choosing different ways to color grade. By no means is this the best color grade, I just wanted to show that the possibilities are there if you choose to color grade.
So, with the best music selected, the interviews edited, broll that captures what the interviewees are talking about and with a great color grade you are on your way to creating a well thought out film. Much of your success will come from pre-production. It is a wise idea to think about what your film is trying to achieve before you press the record button and understanding the color of your film is part of that pre-production process. I hope this helps individuals who are looking to better their filmmaking craft. Is color grading important in your films?
I recently purchased a Panasonic S1. I am a filmmaker who loves to tell stories but who also loves to use the best tools to capture the story. My previous cameras were the Panasonic GH5 and GH5s. Both cameras were equipped with a 0.71 Metabones Speed booster. While shooting the GH series I liked what I was getting but wanted a creamier look. I was used to that creamy look when I shot with the Canon 6D or the Super 35 C100 Cinema Camera. The images were good, but I knew I was missing something.
Last week I had the opportunity to use the Panasonic S1 in a real life shooting atmosphere. I shot the making and baking of cupcakes. This gave me a chance to shoot action as well as people. I wanted to know how well the camera rendered skin tones. The only lens I used during the shoot was my Sigma Art 40mm 1.4. and the Sigma MC-21 adapter that allows you to adapt your Canon EF or Sigma glass to the camera. Although the camera unlike the GH5s has stabilization, I equipped it with my trusty Manfrotto monopod for stabilization.
While shooing, I relied on the high quality S1 screen to get focus. I usually use a monitor, however I wanted to see how well I could nail focus just by using the camera’s back screen. The screen allowed me to focus well and I was able to punch in and focus too. The camera does not ship with Vlog L, but it does have a picture profile that is looking very promising. That profile is called Flat. I do plan on purchasing the upgrade to Vlog when it is available, but for now I will be using the Flat picture profile. While I was handling the camera I felt at home, the grip was nice and big, and I have large hands, so I felt the sturdiness of the camera. I used my Rode wireless system and the sound that I captured was clean and audible. Remember, this camera is a 4k full frame camera that shoots 8bit 420 color space. It does shoot 10bit 420, but you need to shoot in a picture profile called HLG. The 8bit looked great when I was editing the footage. The Panasonic S1 delivered that creamy look I was missing when I was shooting with the GH5. Don’t get me wrong, the GH5 can give you a creamy look if you shoot wide open. I think I just like the way the S1 renders the picture though.
One thing to note is that while I was shooting, I had the in body stabilization activated and the outcome looked like I was on a tripod. This is a huge plus because I love to shoot with a monopod and now, I can do so knowing that the footage will look stable.
If you are looking to upgrade from your GH series, I highly recommend looking at the Panasonic S1. You get in body stabilization, full frame video and photos, and soon you can purchase the video upgrade to Vlog and 10bit 422 color space. Do I regret selling my GH5, not one bit.
1.Before you press the record button, I want you to visualize what the final story will sound and look like. What do you see at the end of the road? What type of story do you want it to end up looking like? What kind of lighting do you think will work best? What lenses do you think will help capture the moments the best? Do you need a gimbal for movement, or will you only need a tripod for static shots? These are the things you should be thinking about before the shoot. When I say before I mean a week or so not the day of.
2.Recording great sound is imperative. Without great sound people will tune out. Choosing the right microphones, knowing how to mic the individuals and whether you need to sound dampen the room to rid the reverberation that may occur are all key to great sound for your video. Use the nat sound to help drive the video piece, and you may want to include some silence in the story if it calls for it. Silence can drive a story just as much as sound can, but it needs to make sense. Great audio will only help improve your video production. Just remember, if the audio is bad the viewer will be more likely to tune out than if the video work is bad. Audio is king.
3.If the subject is not moving the camera shouldn’t be moving. This is an old saying I learned back in my news days. Keep the camera steady. Place it on a tripod, monopod something that will hold its balance. Knowing this rule will allow you to break the rule though too. If you want to show a character in despair for instance and he/she is pacing the halls of a hospital waiting to hear the outcome of their significant other surgery. You could hand hold the camera and move with the subject down the hall and back. This can give an uneasy feeling (shaky video) which will help the audience become more emotionally attached to the scene and hopefully the story. This is just an example though. But during sit-down interviews it is very wise to place the camera on a tripod, so people don’t get dizzy and want to throw up.
I hope this information is useful and if so, please share this with someone who can benefit.
#videoproduction #videocamera #howtoshootbettervideo
In this blog I will explain how I used one light to help create a dramatic look for my story profile video “Determined.”
My friend has been training his daughter to box since she was three years old. She is now 13-years old and has a very hard punch. I wanted to do a short profile on her and ask her why she trains so hard. I knew I wanted to shoot this profile story with one light. The mood I was trying to create was a dramatic one.
For the interview I chose to light from the side, instead of at the normal 45 degree angle. Lighting this way gave the interviewee a more dramatic look with just part of her face lit. Funny story is I forgot my soft box. However, I was able to find a standing clothes rack that I was able to drape some silk with and shoot through. It created a very soft look but because I positioned the light camera right, it also allowed for drama. I placed an additional silk around the light barn doors to soften it even further. For those who are curious on what type of light I was using it was the Aputure 120 Mark ll.
Once the interview was complete, I took both silks down and added a 30 degree grid to the front of the Aputure light. This gave me more directional light which I was needing. By focusing the light in a narrower pattern, I was able to place light only on the boxer while she was training. The light was up high around 7-8 feet and I used the barn doors to cut the light from bouncing onto the ceiling. By back lighting my subject I was able to get a cool silhouette. The light was able to wrap around the boxer when she moved back and forth and right to left, which allowed me to see her face even thought there was no light hitting her from the front. If I did place the light in front of her it would have given a flatter look and that is not what I wanted at all.
So, in conclusion, depending on what type of story you’re producing will dictate many things; one of them and most importantly is the lighting. I did not need a lot of light to pull this off because before I even showed up, I envisioned what it could look like. I had an idea, the look I wanted and thankfully it came together. It’s also a good idea to know how you can light a subject if you forget your soft box. Learning how to light and the characteristics of it help you out tremendously when you do not have the go-to tools like I did on this shoot. I hope this helps you and if you found this information useful please share it with someone you feel can benefit from it as well.
If you’re a business, or organization you are looking for ways to expand your business and attract more customers. Video marketing is a great way to expand your business in 2019. Videos are being played on Facebook, Instagram, websites you name it they are playing. Creating videos for social media is a great way to get the word out about your business or special offer. However, just like you, many other businesses are creating videos to captivate their audience. With so many videos fighting for attention there is quite a lot of competition and some are creating noise. So how can you create a video or a set of videos that will help you stand out from the crowd in 2019?
The truth is your phone in your pocket is an amazing tool. But if everyone else is using their phone to shoot their own videos how are you going to stand out? I will tell you how you can stand out…hire a professional videographer. Videographers can help create stunning imagery that you just can’t. Whether it be due to the lenses they choose, cameras they use, or the education that backs up their skill, they are professionals in a field that you’re not a part of.
Let me break it down for you so you can understand why hiring a professional is a must for your business to stand out in today’s video market place. I am going to start out with the most basic of reasons. Most professional videographers have gone to school for their craft, or they have been in the business for many years in which they have learned the skill. They understand what lenses to choose to create the imagery, they understand the importance of creating shot lists and scripts so that you can put your best foot forward.
Your phone can’t compete with a broadcast camera such as the GH5s. These cameras do exceptionally well under low light conditions, have better dynamic range, and have bigger sensors for that lovely blurry background called “bokeh,” that everyone desires.
Videographers understand how to light interviews, as well as products. Lighting goes a very long way and if not done correctly, it is one of the first signs of armature videos. Depending on the story being told lighting will dictate the way the videographer will position their lights. When you use the office lights to light yourself you are doing yourself a disservice. Most lights in offices have a very greenish tint and if you’re only using those that are attached to the ceiling you will have dark circles around your eyes in the videos. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to lighting and how best to accomplish the look that fits your video needs.
Next is sound. Have you ever heard the ridiculous sound from a phone? It sounds hallow and it not only picks up your voice, but it picks up everything else that can be heard. The phones use an automatic gain control for volume which means it hunts for any sound to record. Professional sound recorders can record in manual mode which means you dictate what is being picked up by the mic and by how much. What kind of microphone will you be using with your phone? This is another reason to hire a professional to record your marketing videos for social media. All microphones are not the same and they are tools to be used in different circumstances. Is the room you’ll be recording in echoey? If so, you will want to record with a hyper-cardioid or super cardioid microphone. These mics are highly directional and pick up only what is in front of them such as your voice and not the sounds to the side of them. These mics cannot be plugged into your phone because they require phantom power. Phantom power is usually 48 volts and is used to power most cardio microphones.
I can go on and on with reasons why it is not wise to shoot your own videos. If you’re shooting who is working? Search for a videographer who has experience with storytelling, interviewing, and one who has a good reputation. Your video will stand out and will rise above the noise that plagues the internet. I wish you will for 2019 and I hope your business videos are a success for 2019. I would like to know what you think makes a good video and why you think it is important to hire a professional to create your videos for your business.
If you would like to discuss videos for your business feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website to view my work www.cookfilms.co
Many companies' video strategy efforts fail. I produce short films and high-quality video content that successfully communicates their message and allows them to be confident and stand out from the crowd.
When telling stories, you will most likely need to interview someone in order to progress the story and back it up with facts. So, this video I have made addresses some of the best tactics I like to use when interviewing (conversating) with your subject. I know when I interview someone, I want them to be as comfortable as possible. The lights, camera and microphones add some anxiety to some who are not used to being in front of a camera. Taking time to get to know the induvial is key for a great interview. If you cannot meet up beforehand try calling them on the phone and ask questions to get to know the individual. Doing this will build trust and give you an idea of what questions you will want to ask when you conduct your interview. One of the tips I use that I did not mention in the video is to ask open ended questions. Instead of asking “Do you like your job?” which would lead to a yes or no answer, I like to ask, “Give me a few examples of your work that brings you joy.” This allows the interviewee to elaborate.
Hello, today I'd like to talk to you about a few tips on interviewing. Many people feel very nervous in front of a camera with the lights, the camera, the microphones, so it's our job as storytellers to be able to make them feel at home as much as possible. What I like to do is I like to make sure that I talk to them before hand, and get their side of the story before we even meet up in the studio. Whatever the interview is about, I like to ask them about that off camera. This could be at a coffee house, this could be over the phone, but I wanna build that rapport, you wanna build the rapport with the individual that you're gonna be interviewing, so you can build trust, and not only that you get a sense of their story. There's nothing worse than sitting behind the camera, and interviewing someone and trying to get their story while the camera's running. That's not a good use of time. You're wasting their time, and your time, and the wear and tear on your camera. Tip number two is when you're talking to them off camera, and you're trying to figure out what the story is. Think of a beginning, middle, and an end. Every story has a plot, right? So what is their plot? Figure out what their plot is before they even sit down in the interview chair, and that will save you a ton of time when you're editing. The third tip I like to offer is listen. Listen to the interviewee. You might have gone into the situation with several questions that you wanna answer, but listen to some of the answers that you're getting from the interviewee. You might be able to find a question that you did not even think about. You gotta listen, and that might lead you to a better question than the one that you might have already had. Try not to bring notes, I always, always try to just come to the interview, and I don't even mention it's an interview. I mention that there's a conversation. I wanna make them feel as secure in this spot as possible. So when you say interview, it feels like they're doing a performance, and that's not what I want. Especially when you're doing documentary work. You don't want them to be performing. You want the real story. Who is this individual that you're interviewing? You want the real person, you don't want an act. So I say, we're just having a nice conversation, pretend we're having a conversation like we would in a Starbucks or any coffee house. Start off slow, ask them questions that can build up to the major ones at the end. You don't wanna go straight from the very beginning asking them questions, the hard questions. Don't ask them the hard questions right at the beginning. Another tip is, if they didn't answer the question, you think they may have shied away from it, ask 'em again, but don't ask them right after you just asked them. Save it for a little bit later on in the conversation. Little bit later at the end, so that they feel more comfortable, and you never know, you might get a different response. Here's a bonus tip, whenever I'm asking questions during the conversation, I always nod my head, and respond to them after they're done talking. Kinda like we would, in a coffee house. I wanna build that rapport with them, and make them feel that they're not performing. I want to talk to them, just like we would in a coffee house. They're not on stage, they're not performing, and I wanna make sure that they don't feel that they're performing. I hope this helps. My hope is that I am able to share my knowledge, and grow with you guys, and just to be able to make sure that you guys get the knowledge that you need in order to conduct a interview, so I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at cookfilms.co that's www.cookfilms.co and I will see you next time. Thank you.
When you are shooting a video, you want the picture to be as great as it can be. Many photographers underexpose or overexpose their image while filming. There are two tools l would like to inform you about that can help you with nailing exposure every time. The tools are zebras and false color. Zebras can usually be found in the settings of your camera. They are an exposure tool that lets you know what part of the picture has reached a certain IRE level. IRE is measured from 0 (black) to 100 (white). When you set the zebras to a certain IRE level let’s say 95% any thing over 95% IRE will begin to show a zebra pattern in the picture. This is to tell you that certain area of the picture is hitting the 95% IRE level.
Another tool that usually is found in on camera monitors are false color. False color uses IRE values but instead of showing zebra lines in a certain part of the picture it shows blotches of different colors. These colors represent different IRE levels. The monitors have a color scale on the right or at the bottom of the screen that indicates a color scale represent each IRE. I have created a video to better explain these two wonderful tools.
I want you to think about the movies and some of the latest commercials you have watched. Most if not all of them cooperate movement. Weather the camera was following an actor during a scene, or a camera moved closer to a product them movement can be seen. Of course, there are times when you want a static shot, and have the actors do the movement, but for most high-end production videos or films directors of photography use tools to get the movement they want. And in doing so they create a certain mood to their film.
I would like to write about three tools that will help you create movement within your production. The first is a gimbal. You will need to balance your gimbal so that it doesn’t sway left or right. Gimbals are great because you can follow a subject. You’re not restricted, and you can pretty much go anywhere the actor goes. I like to follow my subject from behind and then do a quick round about movement to the right or left of them and start capturing their face. I have to back pedal when doing this, but you can simply look behind you at times and still manage to carry the gimbal and get a great shot. You can even sling the gimbal upside down and capture some vey low angle shots. Some people like to do this in order to get shots of feet moving. This could be your first shot of your actor so that you do not reveal what he looks like for example. He may be mysterious, and you may want to hold back his identity.
Another great tool that can be used to create movement is a camera slider. A slider consists of tracks that are made out of carbon fiber. You attach your camera to a moving sled that glides left to right on the track. You can place the slider on a tripod or two light stands. One of the tricky things about setting up a slider is that you need to make sure it is leveled. Some sliders come with a levelling bubble or you can rely on your tripods level bubble. Sliders can be used to shoot products or food. For example, you could have a hamburger on a table and position the slider so that it moves toward the hamburger. As you move it forward the hamburger gets bigger and may come into focus if you are shooting with a shallow depth of field. There are plenty of great shots you can get with a camera slider you just need two light stands or a tripod or two tripods depending on how long your slider is. One other idea is to set your slider on the ground and get some moving shots from down below. If you place a tripod fluid head on your slider you can maneuver it like you would a tripod but also get the movement the slider allows for.
The third tool I would like to mention is the tripod. Tripods have been around for ages, and they have their place in film. Tripods not only keep your shot rock steady, but they also allow you to pan and tilt. If your tripod has a fluid head your movement can be done with little effort that looks very smooth and professional. Some people like to pan the camera to follow a subject in the frame, or, you could follow birds in the sky. You can also use your tripod to tilt down or up.
Which tool is best for you all depends on what your covering and creating? If I only had the option to choose one of these tools, I would buy the tripod.
My heart goes out to helping nonprofits. Nonprofit organizations help their community by serving those who are in need. People who serve charities do so from the bottom of their heart. At times, nonprofits have a hard time raising money so that they can continue their soul serving work in their own community. If a nonprofit organization does not have the money which feeds its purpose, they really can’t be as effective as they wish they could be.
There is a solution however, for those nonprofits that are looking for strategic ways to receive more donations, it’s called the internet. We live in a social media society. A society that can be reached through the means of social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and so on. Some may say it is easier now than it was 20 years ago to get your message out because of the internet. There is one problem though…there is a lot of people trying to stand out just like you are and with that comes NOISE. Everyone is trying to get others attention, but many are just creating NOISE. How do you stand out?
When people give donations, they usually like to see how their money or gift is being used. What better way to show people where their hard earn money is going than to showcase someone who benefits from the donations through a video highlighting their story? I strongly suggest you get the recipients approval. People relate to people, that is why stories have so much impact on us. Stories draw us in and create an emotional charge. The video production team needs to focus on the right person for the right reason. Build your story around one or two ideas, and make sure those ideas fit the person who benefits from your service. When you use people to tell stories you can build trust and it really takes a hold of peoples’ hearts. People want to help it’s in our nature. So, what better way than to create a story that shows this?
You can use these stories to promote your cause, which will create a buzz and it is these stories that will help separate you from the noise.
Personally, I would want to see and hear from someone who has benefited from donations and how their life has improved versus “Please donate.” So yes, story is one very crucial and very effective way to increase donations and recurring donations from donors. Donors want to see progress.
If your organization is looking to promote a fundraiser or event you can also create a public service announcement. Television stations run a certain amount of public service announcements for free each day. Because they run the psa for free, they need to look and sound professional. Your organization should hire a professional video production company to help create the psa. This will give you a better chance for getting your information out on the air which in return will help with a better turn out for your fundraiser or event. The more people who turn out increases your chances of receiving more donations. You could also use the same psa on your website and social media platforms. Create a video campaign on Facebook to help promote your event.
In 2019 I want to help many nonprofits tell their story as well as those who they help. Remember, stories move people into action. If your nonprofit needs help telling their story or those they help please contact me.
When it comes to setting up a key light for your interview you have many options you can choose from. Choosing the correct lighting goes hand in hand with the subject matter. If the subject is light and airing, you can choose a real flat lighting approach where there is not much contrast. If the subject is harsh in nature you may want to use minimal lighting which will create a more dramatic feel.
After I shot this project I thought I would share my tips on achieving book lighting. Book lighting is a type of soft light that wraps around your subject. I got away with only on key light and back ground light for this shoot. The light wraps around the interviewee's face so nicely and leaves a little shadow on the right side. I used a back light to separate her from the wall which outlines her.
Here's a quick answer of a question that I usually get on lighting. Right now I'm just gonna show you a real quick setup of how to use a particular lighting setup that I've learned from Shane's inner circle. You can tell right now that on the subject, her face is lit by just one light to the left, and we've got a back light as well to enhance the back of her, kind of separate her from the wall. So I wanna show you this real quick setup that I have, it's called a book light. You can use a really inexpensive white piece of cardboard, they call it foam core at Michael's or any of those art stores. And what I've got here is, I've got a nice silk, I picked this up from Amazon for about 10 dollars. I've got the white board right here clamped to a C-stand, and then we've got the light shining at a 45 degree angle bouncing that light into the silk. And what, you know, what this does, is it creates a nice, soft look on your subject. It's not too far from the subject, and you wanna be able to go as close as possible, because remember, the closer you are, the softer the light. And what I like to do is, I like to have the light around, maybe three feet from the subject. So this is what it looks like. I hope that answers your guys' questions.
There are several ways to set up an interview, these are just a few tips I would like to share. Here's another quick answer to a question that I get all the time regarding video interviews, how to set them up. Before you even press record, make sure the eyes are in focus. And then number two, if your interviewee is looking side-left or side-right, make sure that there's enough nose room in this area, because you don't want them looking at a wall. You wanna give them enough room to look. It's more comfortable that way. And also, make sure that there's not too much head room. You don't want a lot of head room. It's gonna make it look like it's uncomfortable. You can obviously break all these rules if you want, but you need to know what the rules are in order to break them. If you are doing an interview on someone who is a specialist in their field, you might want them to look straight into the camera, that way they can talk directly to the audience. I hope that helps. Gimme a thumbs-up, or subscribe to the channel, and feel free to ask me any questions by going to cookfilms.co, and I would love to cover your question.
If you own a business or you’re trying to get the word out about your services or new product advertising the old fashion way might not be your best option. More than likely when a commercial comes on while you are watching television you get up from the couch to do something, or you grab your phone. Why do we do this? Well we are a society that doesn’t want to be sold to any longer. We don’t want to be told what to buy and why this soap is better than that one. It is my belief that people search out services and products on their own time when they are ready to do so. Truth be told, this is a huge reason why I stream all of our family’s entertainment. When you watch Hulu or Netflix your program is not interrupted by some sales pitch.
So, what does this mean if you are a business and you are trying to get more customers? Well, you may want to rethink your sales strategy and adopt content marketing. Content marketing is when you create information about a problem your product or service can solve. This is a new way to advertise your business without throwing it in your customers’ face. Content marketing doesn’t interrupt your potential clients, it adds value and can help educate people when they seek it. Therefore, it is so important to start creating content for the masses. Our cell phones can be great helpers in delivering this content. So what kind of content marketing should you provide?
Content marketing can be created in several creative ways. Some businesses like to write, some like to talk and use a podcast as their vehicle of delivery. Video is becoming huge player for businesses who want to deliver their message and ideas. If you do not mind being on video, you have a leg up on the competition since people can put a face to the company. Some experts suggest getting the most bang for your buck is to write about a topic and embed video within the blog to reinforce the information you are providing the reader with. Experts also say that by the year 2020 video will be the main tool to deliver content marketing.
Let’s take me for instance. I own a video production company and I want to get the word out about what I can offer new and existing clients. I may want to explain why it is important to light an interview a certain way. Depending on the style of interview and if it is dramatic or fun in nature, I would suggest different lighting techniques that suit the video. Here is an example of me talking about different ways to light a subject.
You may own a gardening business. A cool idea would be to offer tips on when the best time of year to plant certain species of plants and flowers. Or talk about when the best time to prune roses, and what will happen to them if you prune them at the wrong time. If you’re an expert in your field, just deliver content that people may already be asking you about. Chances are, people will search on the web and your blog or video might pop up.
We all want more clients and keep the ones we already have. As businesses we must provide them with problem solving content. Content that will be valuable to them when they seek it on the web. The main thing you need to consider is to serve your potential customers with content they can value. When you are a guide helping them solve a problem you will more than likely be the first one, they will want to hire when the time presents itself. The customer might not need or want your service or product right now, however if you provide enough quality content you can bet, they will look at you as a professional and someone they will turn to when the time is right.
Blogs are a great way to deliver your content. Some people can write better than others and blogs would be a great fit for them. There are some people who are great in front of the camera too. Whatever method you do choose, choose to do it in a professional manner. If you decide that video is the way you want to communicate your valuable message than get a decent microphone and tripod. Buy a video light and learn how to position it so that you look as professional as possible. You may wan to hire a videographer too. You could have many pieces of content ready to be filmed and edited. The only thing you need is to supply the content. You could also take the videos and send them into www.rev.com to be transcribed. Take the transcription and use it as a blog. The main thing is to stay fresh with content that can educate people who are looking for your service or product. Once you create enough quality content on the web, you’ll will start to get noticed. You won’t even have to have disrupt people anymore with your sales pitch. I am like you possibly, looking for a better way to help people discover what I can offer them. The old way of advertising is dying, and I do not want to die with it. Content marketing is the future, embrace it and learn by doing it.
Audio is just as important as video
When it comes to video production many feel that video or film is the main objective. The picture is important, but so is audio. Try watching your favorite program with the volume turned down. You could probably get the just of what was going on by the action played out but would miss a lot as well. You’d soon realize how important audio is and how it complements the videos we watch.
So, what could be said about these two microphones? Yes, one is larger than the other, the larger one has many ridges on both sides of the microphone while the shorter of the two only has a few ridges (phase-interference slots). What are these microphones and when should you use them? The longer microphone is a Super-cardioid condenser shotgun microphone. Super-cardioid refers to how the microphone picks up the sound. When a microphone has a super-cardioid pick up pattern it picks up sound mainly in the front of it, and somewhat on the sides of it, however, the sound picked up on the sides will be out of phase thanks to the phase-interference slots. The sound behind the microphone will be rejected do to the super-cardioid pick up pattern. So, for instance, If I were to point the microphone at someone who is mowing their lawn, the mic would pick up the sound of the lawnmower and would reject the sounds behind the microphone (people talking for ex.) Shotgun microphones are best suited for outdoors. Their long interference tubes (ridges on the side of mic) do a great job picking up sounds far from the mic, but when you use the same microphone indoors it can have a reverb effect on dialogue.
If you are interested in capturing audio from an interview indoors, you would then want to use the shorter microphone which is a hyper-cardioid microphone. Due to its size and it being a hyper-cardioid mic, it can reject reverb that is caused by rooms with highly reflective surfaces. It too is a condenser microphone (condenser mics need their own power to operate +48 volts, usually provided by professional cameras). It can capture sound directly in front of it, and on the sides, different mics will have different results. If you plan on capturing an interview, you would want the microphone to be placed on a boom stand. By using a boom pole, you can adjust the length just enough to place the microphone over the talent. You want to direct the head of the mic towards the talent’s chest not their mouth. The further away you place the mic, the more noise you will get. However, if you place the mic too close to the subject you will get a proximity effect where the voice tends to sound too bass like. Usually you get good sound when the microphone is placed between 12-18 inches away from the talent, this is also true for shotgun microphones. Too far away, and the dialogue will sound like it is captured in the distance.
Next time you want to record audio either indoors or outdoors, you’ll know which mic to choose. There are some cases when you can use a shotgun microphone indoors when in a pinch. The thing to remember if you do choose to use a shotgun indoors is to keep the mic close to your talent when they are speaking (12 inches will do) and to make sure the room does not have too many reflective surfaces. If the room is too reflective, (tiled floors, hardwood floors, short ceilings etc.) you will need to treat it with sound absorbing blankets. If money was tight and I only had the opportunity to buy one mic, I would choose a shotgun microphone.
Tips on How to Conduct a Better Video Interview
Speaking in front of a camera can make many people feel very nervous. This blog post will suggest some ideas to achieve better interviews. It is important to screen each person you want interviewed. Screening is a good practice because someone who you thought may give great responses to your questions really didn’t have much to say. Search for those individuals who will help tell your story with passion. Some folks really articulate well and have a special ability to speak on camera…these are the people you need to seek out. How boring would it be if all you got where one word answers?
This brings me to the next tip, ask open ended questions. By asking open ended questions you will get more than a No or Yes answer. An open-ended question could be, “Tell me what you like best about your job and why?” Do not ask, “Do you like your work?” If you do not plan on using your voice to refer to the questions that are being asked, I suggest you have your interviewee answer the question in a complete sentence. By doing this, you allow the viewer to know what the interviewee is answering.
Whenever I plan on interviewing someone, I like to meet them prior to the interview. Many times, this is not possible, and you meet them the day of the interview. If this is the case, let your interviewee know that you are only going to have a conversation. We all converse, right? The only thing different is that the camera will be recording their responses. Many people feel at ease after I explain that we are just two individuals talking. While I get a sound check, I will ask them about their day, or how their summer was, anything to get their mind off what they are about to do. You need to warm them up before you start asking your questions. You never see baseball pitcher go directly into the game without warming up, do you?
I tend to usually have someone next to me ask the questions. This will allow the interviewee to speak directly to them and not the camera. If you cannot find someone to ask the questions you will have to do it. I usually move away from the camera just a tad, so that the interviewee can address me and not the camera. Make sure you keep eye contact, so they feel more comfortable. There is nothing worse than someone behind the camera looking down at their notes. It can feel weird talking to a camera, and I tell all my interviewees that to look at me and not the camera. You only want them to look at the camera if they are addressing the audience.
Have some questions in mind but it’s important to listen what is being said. You may find yourself wanting to ask a question about one of the answers that was given. Having a guide line is good practice, but you can always ask questions that may come up during the interview. Interviews can progress, and when they progress, they lead you to different territories that you may want to know more about. Sometimes you may not get the answer you want, or the interviewee didn’t expand on a topic. When this happens, ask the question again later. It may be that the interviewee wasn’t quite comfortable and now after a few questions they have warmed up to you and feel much better about the interview. Once the questions have been asked, I like to ask if the talent has anything else, they want to say. Sometimes you can get great responses and sometimes they just want to be done with the interview.
1. Screen your potential interviewees
2. Ask open ended questions
3. Keep eye contact while the interviewee gives their response
4. Feel free to ask questions you think of on the fly
5. Ask the question again for a better response if need be
Additional tips for a better video
1.Do not zoom in and out of your shot. Our eyes do not zoom. Move with your feet not with the
2.Keep the shot steady. It can be sickening to watch a shot that is all over the place. Use a tripod
or a sturdy surface such as a table.
3.Get your focus first and then press record.
4.Record things you are passionate about.
5.Use natural light if possible, to light your subjects. If you want to do an interview but do not
have any lights available, have your subject near a window. This will produce the light needed
for the interview.
Please contact me if you have any questions at the following links:
Many of the video cameras now are quite good. They have many professional specs we would have only dreamed of having ten years ago. One thing that is not too flattering is how sharp the videos render. I know it’s funny, we shoot video but don’t want it to look video-like. Rather we want our videos to look filmic. How can we make it filmic? Lighting is one of the main ways to make your stories shot with a video camera to look more like a cinema picture. Choosing the correct framing, colors, editing also all contribute to a better looking and sounding film. However, even when you use these suggestions you will still have that off putting sharp video.
One way to overcome the sharp look of your videos is to shoot wide open. Open your lens to the max. Most lenses are not too sharp when they are used wide open. Another great way to over come the over sharpening of video is by using a black pro mist filter. This one is a Tiffen filter that makes the picture less sharp and smooths out the overall look. When lights are used it really makes them glow in a good way. They also smooth out wrinkles which is great if you are interviewing someone who does have wrinkles. These filters are not too expensive, but the cost does depend on your lens’ thread size. Here is a video that shows with and without a black pro mist filter. The camera and lens combo was a Gh5s and a Sigma Art 50-100 mm 1.8.
There are several things to consider when creating a film. There is lighting, color, angles, pacing of edits, audio, music and more. I base my films with one very strong character. Someone who has desire, uniqueness, and complexity. During my interview process I listen and ask questions regarding the person’s life, job, and desires. This helps me understand them better and gives me an avenue to take the story. Sometimes the people just don’t have the desire in them. I have said it before and I will say it again, the audience is only going to be interested in the film if they main character gives them a reason to be.
Deciding on the main character is one thing, another aspect is creating the mood. We can create mood with color, how the film is edited, but for me one of the most important and I think overlooked areas is music selection. If you do not have the correct music playing under your film at the appropriate times, your film is done, wasted.
Don’t go as far as getting a great subject and then waste the whole film due to lack of music planning or bad selection of music. I know many try to go the least expensive route and buy cheap music. With cheap music you are may not be able to find that right sound for your film. Music selection should be dependent on what is happening in the scene or what is being said. You wouldn’t want to place a happy cheerful song under a person who is talking about a depressing topic. It is so important to decide the mood of your film before you select your music. The direction of the film should dictate the selection of music.
Music enhances the storytelling as well as creating emotion. You want your audience to be engaged and music can help with that. Here is an example. I chose three songs for my latest film Georgio’s Bottega. Listen how the music drives the story.
One of the last aspects people appreciate in film is lighting. Lighting is one of the first things that make or break a film though. If you show someone a scene that is not lit well and ask them what they think of the scene, they will more than likely say it doesn’t look professional. When asked why they usually say, “I don’t know it just doesn’t”. This has a lot to do with how well or not the scene was lit.
I have come across a new lighting technique that works very well for lighting people for videos. The lighting setup is called book lighting. It works well for interview setups, can be used for full body shots too. To create a book light, you shine an open faced light into a reflector/bounce board and then that light is cut down further by a silk or some type of diffusion placed in front. The further away the diffusion is from the light the softer the light will become. However, the farther it is from the light will also create more spill, which means that the light is less directed and more spread out. To keep that from happening you can do one of two things. You can bring the light closer to the bounce board and the silk closer to the light. Or, you could use flags in your scene to minimize the spill and block the light where you do not want it to be.
Why should you use book lighting for your video production or film? Well for one it gives off a very soft look. It would be a great solution for those of us who have wrinkles. It softens the wrinkles while hard direct light enhances them. If you only had one light and you did not have a fill you may want to use book lighting. Book lighting wraps the light around your subject’s face so well that you may not need a second light opposite of the book light.
If you do not have a silk or any type of diffusion who could use the bounce approach. Bouncing light is still a great option it just doesn’t soften light book light does. Or you could use a soft box which will keep the light more directional without it spilling.
I have tried all three approaches and really like how the book light works. I will be incorporating it in my documentary films as well as the public service announcements that I shoot. Sounds expensive you may say, well it doesn’t have to be. I bought a 30x40 foam core board for around $6 dollars. The silk I placed in front of the light was around $8 dollars. The light itself was the most expensive item. You just need to position your light 45 degrees from the foam core and place the silk in front of the light. When you setup correctly it forms a triangle leaving the light in between the board and the silk. Therefore, it is called book lighting. Here are a few videos that show bounced lighting vs soft box lighting and book lighting.
I am very honored and blessed to have won a second Telly Award for 2018 for my mini documentary Faith | Christ Saves. This short article is more about listening to God and his purpose than it is about me winning. I am going to keep this brief, so you can read it.
Last year I saw an employee at one of the fitness gyms in Fresno wearing a hat that said FAITH. I asked him where he bought it and he explained to me that the hat was made locally by a man named Tony. God whispered in my ear and had me give the employee my contact info since he said he knew Tony and he would see him in a day or so.
At this point I wanted to learn more about the man who created this hat that read FAITH. Tony called me the next day and we chatted for a good half hour. We set up a time to meet in person so that I could talk to him about my intensions on creating a mini doc on him.
I was blown away after I met with Tony. While talking with him, I discovered that he didn’t only make hats, but he changed his whole life around because of God. I have placed the video link down below for you to watch it.
This is a story that God set up for me to do. Everything fell into place. The filming was on point, the editing was a breeze. It was as if God had laid out the red carpet for his message. The video was uploaded right around Thanksgiving....the time to give thanks. It’s a testimonial that will make you believe. It all started with an employee wearing Tony's hat. It was God who had me speak up and ask for about Tony, because I myself wouldn't think about doing it. Being a believer you need to listen when God speaks, even if you feel uncomfortable. His will must be done, not yours. Stories are all around us, we just need to recognize them and follow up. Thank you, Tony, for sharing your life story with me and allowing me to document it. I share this win with you my brother.
Our first meeting.
You can recognize the basic services a business offers simply by reading the name of the business. Not all but many have the service in their name. So, instead of using video to explain your services, think outside the box and develop a story, an original one that pertains to you about your business. Your business story is going to be different from your neighbors because as individuals we have different lives and have different experiences. How can you stand out from the crowd If you sell the same type of service or item as your neighbor? You sell you, and your story that is how.
Video is being used to launch brands every day. Social media campaigns showcase brands on the daily, and if you are not part of the growing number of businesses utilizing video to sell your brand you might just become extinct. No one cares to receive promotional fliers in the mail anymore. You are wasting your money if you think mailers bring new customers. Video stories are great tools to promote one’s business and to bring new customers.
Number one reason you should invest in a video branded story is to explain why you do what you do. Why do you think your business is important, how does it differ from others, and what got you to where you are now. You could talk about your desire and how your brand impacts others.
The second reason you should invest in video is to explain your brand and its values. Are you a company that believes in using 100% recyclables? Are you a business that values honesty and integrity? Or are you an organization that values adaptability? Whatever your values are you should highlight them in the video.
The third reason a company should create a video branded story is to showcase their vision. A business can talk about their vision and where they hope to be. To fulfil this, the company should highlight the positive improvements they have had since they started.
Brands are more than a logo. Brands are a culture, brands are values, brands make you unique. People buy why you do what you do more than they do the item or service. Next time you grab for your favorite beverage ask yourself this one question, “Why am I choosing this beverage over the other?” Whether you believe it or not, you choose services or items based on what they represent and how they are branded.