A Fun Look at a Couple Video Production Crew Positions, #cameraassistant, #videoediting

Sometimes it's enjoyable to take a look at a few of the positions in the production world and poke fun at what they have to go through.  Every position has its challenges and Camera Assistant is one in particular that has so many responsibilities they are bound to get frustrated at least once per shoot.  Over at theblackandblue, a great resource for camera assists, they put out a list of gifs that sums up some of these instances.  Take a look, we found them to be amusing.

And then there are the jobs that everybody assumes they understand and therefore can comment about and make judgements about quality of work.  Video editor sounds quite self explanatory but its tough to put into words what exactly these unsung heroes do for video production.  Insidetheedit made a great video that elegantly describes what an editor does and shows how they have more power over the final product than what people may believe. Check it out.

We here at FiveSix Productions appreciate all the crew positions and know a production doesn't go smoothly if the tools are in place for everyone.  Be in corporate videos, training videos, commercials, or green screen production, there is a lot that goes on with every job to make a video come out great.


Las Vegas Video Production

Modular Videos Cut Future Costs, #videoproduction, #corporatevideos

So, how do you make a video last, make it stand the test of time and show an incredible ROI.  You make it so that if one part of the video happens to become obsolete for any number of reasons, let's say due to upgraded product, new location, new spokesperson, a closure, a renovation or anything else, that portion can be simply removed and the gap closed or that section replaced.  What am I talking about?  Modular videos.

A video that covers more than one product, service, location, idea, training technique or whatever, often times are built so that it is very difficult to replace something if it changes.  Do we need to get the host again to say something, do we need to hire talent to repeat a new process, do we need to go in and maneuver shots around all over the timeline to cover up something that is no longer there.  All of these issues are time consuming in post production and thus are expensive changes to make.  Often times the expenses don't justify the small change and the video ends up being left as is without the poor visuals or information still reaching the consumer of the video.  There's a simple solution, these longer videos should be set up and shot as modular pieces.  In this fashion, when something isn't right, it's a simply lift and splice together and the web video is back up on-line without the poor information.  Then, with the video up and running, there is time to decide how to best replace the module that was taken out or if it even needs to be replaced.

FiveSix has been tasked to do a few of these and it's a great way to run a video that is supposed to stay relevant for long periods of time.  The video is treated like a dozen small videos strung together and the replacement is so simple that it barely takes any editing and thus any resources.  So don't let anyone talk you into a lengthy video without discussing the ability of making it modular, they're just trying to pad the change requests when they come in down the line.

Las Vegas Video Production

Web Videos, Quality Matters, #webvideos, #videoproduction

"Oh it's just going to the web."

"This is only going to live on the internet."

"It's just for our website."

"We'll probably put it up on youtube or something."

These comments are a bit dismissive of the power of web video and we hear it a lot. Video put up on the internet is available to be seen every day by every demographic, every potential new partner, every competitor, every client, customer and team member.  Perhaps the reach and impact of web video is a bit undervalued by most businesses.

It can be difficult to try and think what industry or business wouldn't benefit from some type of video living on their site.  There are so many different ways to show off who you are, what you do, what is your potential, or simply to say hello.  A video can hit personally better than just about any other form of medium.  We've discussed some examples previously such as convention videos, real estate videos, social media videos, non-profit videos, and training videos.  But there are many more and each of those can be tweaked creatively to whatever would work best for a specific business.

Since these videos can be used to display any part of a business, they need to look authentic and professional.  So don't dismiss the quality by saying, "it's only for the web."  Quality matters, if this video is the only touchpoint that a consumer has of a particular brand or product, then it should represent the best of that brand.

More and more, videos are being created specifically for web display.  Production companies like FiveSix use all the same gear on web videos as we do on the other videos we shoot.  We understand that quality matters.  This is a transition that's been happening for ten years, and it is opening avenues for all businesses of all sizes to use video effectively.

Las Vegas Video Production

Shelf Life of Video Footage, #videoproduction, #corporatevideo

This industry isn't cheap.  It's not cheap to have a video made, it's not cheap to run a video business.  That is, of course if quality is a concern.  As a result, video content is often recycled, re-cut, re-used and re-purposed over and over and over.  This can be a very good thing or it can be detrimental.  There is a fine line on when to stop using the same footage.

Video shot in SD(standard definition), unless it has historical quality, should probably be put to the side as of today.  Using footage with this type of look for marketing or social media will only make you look out of touch or dated.  I'm not saying it wasn't great footage when it was shot, just that it's time has come.  Archive it and let it go, it's time to update your footage.

Video captured by phone should be used only once.  This shaky, low res footage can be useful when something happens currently and only if it's relevant.  After the initial push or use, this should be archived or lost.  And no vertical video, unless it has the potential to go viral...in a good way.

Poorly shot video, even if it is in HD, should not be used.  Just because video has great color or is shot at 1920 x 1080, doesn't means it's good.  If it's too shaky, isn't framed correctly, blown out or too dark, it's not worthy risking a reputation to keep using it.  Just because it was shot and paid for doesn't mean it is worth using on a continual basis.

With that said, if video has been captured in the last few years with a professional camera and crew, it should be good for awhile.  But the shelf life isn't indefinite on anything.  Fashion changes, hairstyles change, places change.  Even if these things aren't the focus in video footage, they are there and they are recognized, even if only by the subliminal.  They have an effect, they tell your viewers that you are no longer on the cutting edge.

When planning a video shoot, one thing to keep in mind is where else can this footage be used and how long should we use it for.  There should be a life given to each project and to the video before it is archived.  Keeping footage relevant and up to date is important and should be given thought before each production but just as important is re-use.  The further you can make your footage go in a positive way, the more cost effective it becomes.  Then when you look at everything you used the media for, you may realize it wasn't so expensive after all.



Las Vegas Video Production

Streaming Video Live, #corporatevideo, #streaminglive, @ustream

This is going to be such a great presentation, but the venue only holds 700 people and we have 10,000 that should see it.  I hear this phrase or a derivative of it muttered quite often.  The solution is to capture it on video, upload the video to a site and send out the link so that those people you want to see it can see it.  But what's even better is if they can see it at the same time, from wherever they are and be able to comment and engage immediately.  Streaming video has come a long ways in the past few years but it everyone only thinks of watching Neflix, HBO, or Hollywood movies.  Streaming video can be used effectively for corporate messages as well, in real time.  If the CEO is giving a speech somewhere, why not broadcast that out.  There's a new product that's being demonstrated, why not broadcast that out.  Get people talking immediately about what is happening with the company.  There are a number of on-line services that can be used and the setup isn't too involved.  We like ustream, just to let you know.  You can make it public or private and protected by password.   You just need a fast internet connection, a computer and guy that knows how to work it. Connect the video and audio to the computer and you're good to go, now everybody can participate as the event is going on.

What does this do?  Streaming content live is powerful.  Nobody likes to feel they are getting second hand, late information.  They talk about what's new, they talk about what's been said recently.  The more they share and the more current information they have, the more powerful your messages become.  If you're going to video record anyway, add this on and you won't be disappointed in the results.


Las Vegas Video Production

Behind the Scenes Videos, #behindthescenes, #videoproduction

You know what's almost as cool as making a fun, edgy, stylized video....making a fun, edgy, stylized behind the scenes video of a fun, edgy and stylized video.  The behind the scenes video is nothing new, it's a tool that has been around for a long time and a way to add value to a production.  The behind the scenes shoot incorporates interviews of key people that would otherwise never be seen of heard from, it includes the crew, the gear used and what happens on the set, which in many cases is just as interesting as the finished product.  A well done behind the scenes video not only enhances the product but it shows the people involved and people, we all know, are the ones that make the real stories.

Now, why am I rehashing the behind the scenes video.  It's because I have noticed a influx of such productions.  In many cases, when there is even a mediocre sized budget for production, we've been asked to provide a crew to capture behind the scenes.  As I said above, these videos show the people of a company, they show them having fun, doing great work, and being real.  If there was ever an opportunity to market yourself via social media, this is it.  Customers not only buy your brand, they buy your people.  If they can identify with even one of them or think it would be fun to hang out with one of them, you've scored a point.  You've made a customer not through the finished video but something more candid and real.   I'm not saying every production should have a behind the scenes, but anything that has a decent sized budget can add one crew to just be there and, (if things go well), that footage can be used to market just as effectively as what you  set out to create.

So, if for some strange reason you don't pick us to shoot your video, we're still here to help out with the behind the scenes and we'll have a great time doing it.  .

Las Vegas Video Production

Video Contests Serve a Real Purpose, #videoproduction, @videocontests

Who doesn't love a good contest?  I see this more and more where corporations and companies are deciding to turn to the public for advertising ideas by holding video contests, with cash prizes.  What they are hoping for is hundreds of good ideas that promote their product or service while using the contest as a marketing tool to help get those messages out.  It's actually a great way if they don't have the budget to head to an ad agency or production company to come up with creative ideas and execute on them.  We haven't entered any of these contest but I think it might be a fun way to entertain new production techniques and ideas in real situations.  When we have the time, it could be a good exercise, especially for those in training or looking to gain some experience.  There are a few good websites to check out that put together lists of all the contests.  Try http://www.onlinevideocontests.com/.  Good luck!

Las Vegas Video Production

CinemaCon has taken all the Vegas freelancers! #CinemaCon, #freelancelife

I think CinemaCon, along with a few other projects in the Vegas area this week has exhausted the supply of freelance ENG camera operators and audio techs.  I only remember a few times in the last five years where every single freelancer I call is booked up.  This is really good because it means the Vegas production community is working and that's always a great thing.  This is bad because at this moment I needed some good freelance operators and I couldn't find any.  So a big thank you to CinemaCon for keeping us busy and it looks like we'll have to expand the freelance list a little bit in the near future.

Las Vegas Video Production

Training Videos & Visual Learning, #trainingvideos, #learning, #videoproduction

Did you know up to 70% of the population are visual learners.  They learn better by watching, by seeing things done rather than learning through reading or being told.  Even with all of the technology available to companies and businesses, most training is still done by a handbook, by written material in hard copy or taught verbally by an instructor or teacher.  This means that most training is being done inadequately and inefficiently.

What does this mean?  It means money is being wasted.  That is something that haunts all businesses.

Video training can not only describe how to do something, it can show it as well, making the connection for trainees that much better.  Better yet, have the video available to them on-line and they can return or re-watch sections in order to make sure to get it done right.  The cost is up front in the production and that's what managers and owners tend to see.  But what is the cost of retraining someone or the cost of  man hours needed to correct a mistakes or potentially losing a customer because it wasn't done right the first time due to ineffective training procedures.  Ouch.

Everyone should take a look into video training to see if it's a fit for their business.  Chances are, not only will it help the bottom line in the long run but  new employees will hit the ground running instead of tripping over themselves.

By the way, we do great training videos and somehow make them all a whole lot of fun.

Las Vegas Video Production

How to Use Video at a Convention #corporatevideo #videomarketing #videoproduction

Convention Videos, we know these well.  Las Vegas is the king of conventions and it's an ideal atmosphere in which to capture video.  There are dozens of reasons we're called upon and I'll just descirbe a few.

Capture a keynote speaker or a CEO presentation - how often can these corporate videos be used internally to help companies understand what they are all about and where they are going.  Many times these videos are archived but they can be very effective if used in the appropriate situations.

Capture Product Demonstrations - many conventions have exhibitors who are doing none other than exhibiting products.  Usually the best people, who know the product inside and out, are on hand to help describe and convey what the product is capable of doing.  Is there a better time to capture a product demonstration video?  You have the product, the people and the customers.

Capture Customer Testimonials - Many conventions are put on for partners and/or customers of corporations.  This is the one place where you will have a good selection of customers in one area, at one time and at your disposal.  Get a room, set up a camera and fill up time slots.  The customer testimonial video is a great marketing tool.

Show off - conventions take resources, they take a lot of money and a lot of time.  There is no reason why they shouldn't be documented and captured on video and then shown off through social media and internal channels.  Everyone should see what's going.  Highlight convention videos will be popular with everyone, attendees as well as those that didn't get to go.

Learning - conventions usually have breakout sessions where learning takes place in a field of expertise.  The class is going on and only the few who are there can attend.  Why not capture it on video and re-use it for everyone, the content doesn't change once it's on a video so this is a no-brainer.  Breakout session videos can be captured in bulk and are very helpful later on.

These are just a few ways videos can be used in convention settings.  We do these all the time in Las Vegas and just thought you might like some ideas on what you can do to help capture the moments that should be shared and not forgotten.