sema-show-2017

The Three Best Cameras for Convention Coverage

Whether you find yourself in one of the expansive convention centers in Long Beach, Los Angeles, or Anaheim, or in one of the gargantuan convention spaces in Las Vegas, the right gear is crucial to getting the best end product. You'll most likely find yourself focusing on a few staples of convention/trade shows, depending on the client. So what are the three best cameras we would recommend for filming conventions?

If you're shooting with an exhibitor/vendor who has a booth and reps there, you'll most likely be filming their booth, showing off how amazing and unique it is, spotlighting any new products and cool demonstrations they have, filming any special guests, and helping to create online marketing content. You'll no doubt be interviewing sales associates, managers, and various other company employees; you'll also be trying to get man-on-the-street style interviews and soundbites with attendees. With this kind of shoot, you're more likely to be able to have a "base of operations", so you don't have to be so run-and-gun with your gear. Here, I'd recommend the Canon C300 Mark II, you have the ability to shoot all the way up to true-4K, for a really beautiful, functional image. While carrying multiple lenses can be cumbersome, the quality of glass, functionality, and variety will really expand your creativity and range. This is an exceptional camera that provides versatility, functionality, and world-class imagery.

Let's say you find yourself shooting for a client that may be exhibiting, or maybe they're from a trade publication of sorts, and your mission is to get general coverage of the show, and to interview and showcase other companies that may be friends and associates. The name of the game at that point is: RUN AND GUN! You need to be mobile, light weight, and all encompassing. If you've ever been to Times Square, Disneyland in the summer, or any Starbucks when I'm running late to work, you'll have an idea of what it's like at shows such as CES, SEMA, and NAB. Despite science, you have less space to exist in than the area your mass occupies. So, add a camera and hopefully tripod to that, and... well... godspeed. Here, I'd recommend the trusty Sony PMW300. As long as you don't need to shoot 4K, you'll get a great 1920x1080 image that'll look great online, and is easy to work with in post. The camera isn't heavy, it's menu is easy to navigate, and the best part, you have a zoom lens and servo. This camera does have a small plate that extends to give you a bit of a shoulder mount, but it's recommended to have a compact tripod or proper hand held rig.

Lastly: maybe you're a lone-wolf. Let's say you have a blog about something great, and Trade-Show X comes into town, and you just have to go check it out, and get some great video coverage. You don't want to lug around a big camera, you don't want to spend all your beer money on gear, and you really only need some highlights. Here, I have three, low-cost, light weight, compact options that'll do the trick. The Canon 5D Mark II or Sony a7S with a good zoom lens would do great for video and photos! You can also opt for the DJI Osmo which will give you a great, HD image, smooth moves, and won't get you chased out by grumpy exhibitors, because you'll look like every other attendee.

There you have it, the best of the best. If you have an upcoming shoot, reach out to the fellas over at f11 Rentals, and they'll get you set up with the perfect gear for your upcoming shoot. Or, if you'd prefer to have us take care of your Las Vegas video production or Long Beach video production, we're glad to help too!


Video Crew Positions

A guide to video crew positions.

We here at FiveSix Productions greatly value all the hard work and expertise that so many of our crew members bring to set everyday; from pre-production through the post process, our crews are the best. One of the character/work traits that we value the most is the ability for our team members to excel beyond the traditional, basic job requirements, and give more on set. For instance, our P.A.'s (Production Assistant in the U.S., Runner in the U.K.) may be asked to have basic knowledge in camera, audio, or footage management; while we don't typically ask our P.A.'s to do file transferring, some crews expect it. We have a great network of cinematographers, Directors of Photography, and camera operators, but some of our very skilled camera operators wouldn't go out as a D.P.; some crews/clients require that their "A Cam" or "Camera 1" operator is in fact, a D.P. Audio mixers and audio technicians are also two different things. An audio mixer may be expected to have a more thorough knowledge of audio, mixing, and maybe even the post process, where an audio tech may or may not have an advanced knowledge beyond the convention floor or basic interview audio. Also to consider, our grips, gaffers, and electricians occasionally find themselves on a set with a client from Philadelphia or London, where the gear may have different names. What we out west call our light dimmers, a gaffer from the U.K. most likely will call it a squeezer, so having a broad, extensive knowledge of your position will make the production run smoother.

From director of photography, to gaffer, audio tech, P.A., grip, producer, makeup, and the many other positions, we push ourselves to have the broadest and most extensive knowledge in our field. We at FiveSix Productions expect the best, and thus, we provide the best video production crews in Southern California and Nevada.


Cannon C300 MGM

It's so hot, we're on fire.

If you haven't noticed, it's been a little hot and flame-y out west lately. Our Long Beach office is bathing in a nice, thick cloud of smoke from all the fires in and around L.A.; and out in Vegas, well, there's a nice smokey haze blowing in from the coast, and it's probably 157° right now. That however, doesn't stop us from getting all dressed up, grabbing a C300, and walking up and down Las Vegas Blvd. for hour after hour of mid-day excitement. Now, one might think, "Why on Earth would you do that!?"; the answer: we love what we do, and we don't care about a little bit of heat stroke. We are expecting a little bit of a cool in Vegas, and are hoping our Southern California peeps get a little break from the fires soon; but, either way, we'll be cranking away at bringing you the best Las Vegas video production and best Long Beach video production we can.


Hot Enough to Destroy Cameras

"Yay", saith the Lord, "Ye shall be struck down by the fires of the sun and the molten liquid of all the volcanoes of Earth, and I shall smite ye at the Linq in Las Vegas." This is a snapshot of one of our recent shoots here in Sin City. FiveSix Productions had the dubious pleasure of losing a whole lot of water weight, and some brain cells while shooting some exciting events at the Linq promenade and the backlot at Hard Rock Hotel. Even though there was little to no shade, we pushed our gear, and ourselves to the limit. There's a reason for internal fans in C300 Mark IIs, and a reason for bottle-after-bottle of refreshing H2O- it's so we can power through and deliver the best product we can. We were treated to some pretty cool art by renowned graffiti artist Guy Ellis (aka Dcypher) a dance tutorial by social media influencer Corey Scherer, and a concert by Flo Rida. There of course was more action, but I'm still tending to my sun burn, so, I'll leave it there, and go get some more aloe. If you find yourselves in need of the best Las Vegas video production company, and feel like making sure I'm tan till I'm 80, give FiveSix Productions a ring, and we'll grab our shades and sombreros.


Like Looking Into the Heavens

Recently, we got to be a part of a very fun shoot here in Las Vegas. Why so fun? It's because we got to break out our awesome RED Epic Dragon and Schneider Cine-Primes and have them all making silky smooth moves on our Dana Dolly- we even invited our Sound Devices 633 to join in on the fun. Now, I can't even begin to tell you how sweet that 6K looked through those lenses, the bokeh was superb, the shot was crips and focused, and I could have sworn we were on silk, because the movement on the Dana Dolly was smoooooth! It helped having the one and only CMDP manning the lens, but, with a lineup like the one we had- even I could have made a little bit of magic. So, for your next Las Vegas video production, I would highly recommend adding the RED and the Schneiders to your order, you can always knock that 6K down to SD in post. Oh... the 633 was fine for audio, or whatever.


Just... No.

Always remember to secure your tripod if your camera is in a... precarious position. (Some identities have been masked for protection.)


FiveSix Productions Needs A Doctor!

Call the cardiologist, our collective hearts just skipped a beat! Well, I can't speak for the others, but I know I'm getting that special feeling deep down in my chest. It may be indigestion from the Chipotle last night, but I really think it's these six amazing Schneider-KREUZNACH Cine-Xenar III lenses! I'm talking 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm *catching breath*, 75mm, and 95mm. And there's more: they're all the same size, no need to readjust that follow focus or those rails with these puppies. Further more, there must have been a hurricane this morning, because I was blown away when I heard about the "Iris with up to 18 blades for an exceptional bokeh effect"- and believe you, me, I took these beauties for a test drive, and... that's some mighty fine bokeh, buddy. These lenses, coupled with our Canon C300 Mark II's, and/or RED Epic Dragon, will give your production a truly first-class look, and make your competition look like a bunch of amateurs. Next time you're in the need for the best Las Vegas video production company, look no further than FiveSix Productions, because, we're not just your fwiends, we're also your buddies, guy.


NEW CAMERAS!

We heard some really exciting news over the past week, the unveiling of some brand new cameras! We here at FiveSix Productions thought we were pretty good about staying up on all the haps with new and, may I say, unique cameras, but we are wrong. Apparently, appliance companies are riding an interesting wave of innovation and brand-development, and creating cameras that are not only discrete, but also, multifunctional. Samsung, GE, Oster, Whirlpool, Black+Decker, Kenmore, and Kitchen Aid are all developing and bringing cameras to market; cameras that can also, heat food and beverages! They've utilized the classic and functional "microwave oven" design to create hearty, robust cameras that can really enable your production to reach new levels. One of the best functions for our non-professionals and "weekend-warriors", is to utilize the food heating function primarily, while using the image capturing capabilities for home surveillance.... it doesn't even need to be your home, you can give it as a "gift", and spy on whoever you want. With prices that will no-doubt trump the competition, the future is nearly ready- depending on what Wattage the camera/microwave is.


Time For a Time Lapse

FiveSix Productions has been exploring the world of time lapse photography to add some extra pizzazz to some of our recent projects.

With the help of some add-ons to our Edelkrone Slider Plus, we've been putting our Canon 5D Mark II to good use. We've added the Edelkrone Action Module and Target Module to our Slider Plus to create precise, calculated, and oh-so-smooth moves. Both devices have been created to make time lapse photography both easy and worry free; the math is done by the modules, so all you have to do is tell it what you want, and away it goes. This all equates to less time doing terrifying mathematics, and more time on our favorite subject: photos of baby animals on Instagram! We were recently at ConExpo-Con/AGG, and are excited to get our gear out to some more exciting Las Vegas video production gigs.

motion control timelapse

time lapse setup


FiveSix Productions Tangos with Cinebags

FiveSix Productions has a soft spot for the folks over at Cinebags; their line of production bags not only protects and serves our precious gear, it also looks great while doing it!

Recently, FiveSix Productions had the opportunity to work with Cinebags on a new set of videos to showcase their awesome line of products, and we had a blast doing it. It was great to break out the Dana Dolly, and some of our specialty lenses, and really get our creative minds working. Coupled with some dope beats and fat tracks, and there's no way these videos will be anything less than spectacular. For your next Las Vegas video production, or anywhere you want to take our gear, you'll be shooting with the finest, and carrying it in style- Cinebags' motto is "Life on Location", and we here at FiveSix Productions want to help you get there.