There are many reasons why I continue to appreciate video production. One of the main reasons is that I love what I do. The passion I have for video production is at an all-time high, and I have been doing this for over fifteen years. Each time I get behind the camera it allows me to learn and grow as a videographer. You would think that the love affair would be over by now. I continue to learn new ways to do things such as lighting interviews more creatively, using artistic sound to tell stories, the list goes on and on. The thing is…I continue to learn, and when you continue to learn you continue to grow in your craft.
Secondly, I love to tell people stories. If done correctly, stories about people can be very impactful. The viewer can relate to an individual’s story. When I was a photojournalist for the news stations I always wanted to dive deeper into the stories that we were covering. I wanted to explore more ideas, and get to the bottom of the story. Well, in the news business the clock is always ticking away and you must be fast. There is not enough time to dive deep into stories because of the many time constraints. You are told your story for the day and you have just a few hours to shoot, interview and edit before the story goes on the air.
I now get the time to immerse myself into the stories that I cover. Time is still an issue but not like it was before. There have been days where I do several interviews and get broll footage the following day. This allows me to get the sound I need to tell the story, and it gives me the chance to interview an array of people who are involved. When you get a chance to explore a story more in depth, you can tell the person or organization’s story the way it deserves to be told.
Stories that have meaning motivate me. I have covered stories about sex-trafficking, cancer issues, community involvement and others. I feel privileged and honored to help tell these stories. I say help to the stories because without you, there wouldn’t be a story. My job is to tell your story by using my video production background in a way that impacts the lives of others in a positive way. Check our work out at www.jeffreycookvideography.com
I believe you can only get better at your craft if you practice at it. Throughout the years I have made mistakes, but I try to learn from them so that I do not repeat them. A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about using hot lights for interviews, and over the weekend I testing them once again. It is better to be prepared for a video production shoot than not at all. This is why I continue to test these light out.
Tungsten lights can be seen as the lighting of the past, their hot, inefficient, and just old. Well I like these lights; I like them a lot for several reasons. Tungsten lights have a CRI reading of 100. This means that they represent the full color spectrum. Unlike LED lights, tungsten lights allow for full color. LED lights are coming close to meeting the 100 CRI benchmark but they have a ways to go. Sure you can buy a LED light kit that resembles a tungsten light kit for about $2,500, but many of us who are dealing with video do not have that much money for lights.
The reason why I like the tungsten Lowel lights is that the light can manipulated in many ways. They can be controlled by barn doors, diffusion paper, umbrellas, black foil ect. They do get hot, but you can buy gloves to protect your hands. I bought a full Lowel light kit for close to $300. This kit also came with one hard case and one soft case. I did have to buy some heavy duty extension cords and a few dimmers.
The test I conducted over the weekend was with my son. I tested out 1 Omni light that had a 300 w bulb and scrim, one pro light for the background light, and one pro light that had a 125 w bulb. I tried two different umbrellas on the key light. I first tested a white umbrella and a full scrim on the Omni key light. This setup did not produce enough light, so I replaced the white umbrella with a silver one, and took off the scrim. This setup produced a lot more light which I feel looked good on my son’s face. I then turned on a pro light with 125 w bulb with a white umbrella as my fill. Now in both instances where I used umbrellas, I used them as a bounce not a shoot thru. The fill light produced enough light to take away some of the shadow on my son’s left side. As for my background light, I tested both a 125 w pro light, and a 300 w Omni light. Both lights were shooting through black foil that I made holes in.
I was happy with the test results and will be using this setup next time I shoot an interview. Setups like these take a little bit of time but it is well worth it. I can now setup my next interview with confidence and know what the end result will look like. I highly recommend videographers take the time to test their equipment out at home so that they can feel better prepared for when they get the call to record.
During the past few years while shooting weddings, I have had brides ask about several different packages. I believe you should listen to your clientele and adjust when appropriate. My highest package starts at $3800. This package includes a love story (how you and your fiancé met) eight-hour coverage of the wedding, full edit of ceremony and reception and a wedding trailer. My best value package includes all the above minus the love story for $2300. For those who do not wish to have a wedding trailer and only need four hours of coverage I have that covered for you too at $1400. Now, many brides have asked for just a wedding trailer. Some do not care to watch a full documentation of their wedding. So I know offer eight hours of coverage which I will take the best highlights of the wedding and create a 3-5-minute wedding trailer for only $1100. You can share and post this wedding trailer to friends and family who could not make the wedding.
I was contacted by FCCA (First Church Christian Academy) a few weeks ago to update their promotional video they have on their website. In 2014, I shot a three-minute promotional video for the Christian school. I contacted Monique Ouwinga, the new principal of FCCA and we setup a time to go over ideas for the new video. The promotional video I shot and edited a couple years ago was informative, but I wanted to do something different. Peoples’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, so I knew I needed to convey their message within a very short time period. I mean, what is the point of a promotional video if it is too long and nobody watches?
There were a few ideas that I thought may work. One of which was to interview FCCA teachers, parents, and students; Monique really thought that would be a great idea. I thought it would be important to get their view on the school. This information would help those who may be interested in the school. It would give them a better perspective and understanding about what they should expect from the school, and how the parents really feel about the school and its teachers. I would cut the best talking parts of the interviews and create a 60 second promo.
The second idea I had was to create a voice over script for a thirty second promo. I searched their website for key points that reflected the school’s beliefs. FCCA had plenty of good information on their home page so I created the script from there. Monique was gracious enough to record the VO for the promo the night we conducted the on camera interviews. Mrs. Ouwinga and her staff created some cute pros for their students to hold up for the video, which really came in handy. In addition to the props, I shot some footage while they were holding chapel and in their classroom settings.
At the end of the day the school received two promos. One showcasing FCCA teachers, parents and students and the other showcasing what they believe in. There was great communication between parties, which makes things so much easier.
Both of these promos were shot and edited within a 24-hour period.
I have a strong passion for videography. After being in the business for over 16 years, I still have a burning desire to create great stories.
We deliver high quality at an affordable rate. I am able to pass along the savings to you since I do all the work myself.
Did you need a promotional video in a timely manner? Quick turnarounds are one of my strengths. I can shoot, edit and deliver within a 24 to 48-hour period.
By meeting face to face, I am able to understand the clients’ needs and vision. I can explain my ideas and help the client understand my video production process. It’s all about relationships and being personable.
Your story/promotional video deserves to be told by an award-winning professional.
Here are what our clients are saying about Jeffrey Cook Videography:
"Not only was Jeffrey easy to work with, but his news background and knowledge are an amazing asset. He knew what we wanted, and was able to run with it with little supervision, and in a short time frame. We’re very happy with the project and hope to do more videos in the future."
-Mo Montgomery, Communications and Marketing Manager at Porterville College
"Jeff Cook's work is excellent! His imagination, experience and quick turnaround with projects provide our company with valuable material that stands out in our agriculture industry. No job is ever too big for him to take on for us."
-Ralph Rendon, Director of Marketing at Gar Tootelian, Inc.
"I have worked with Jeff on several occasions. He is professional, friendly and creative. I recently hired him to create a promo video for my photography business, and I am very pleased with the results."
-Crystal Kelley, Capture Life Events
"Jeffrey made me some awesome videos for my business Fresno Fit and they look awesome. Very easy to work with, professional and VERY fast turnaround on my videos. I had them the very same day."
-Nestor Flores, Fresno Fit
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller.