Category Archives: Advice

Location: Why “Where” Matters

Choosing a location is a huge part of any project.  As stated back in our previous post, How Much Does A Video Cost?:

Location planning is critical to cost.  How many locations are needed? Is travel required?  Is a location fee required?  Is special licensing required?  Are accommodations needed for cast and crew?  What transportation requirements are there at each location?

Location is often one of the first corners to get cut when trimming a budget.  Why spend the cash on a studio space rental when you can just bring the camera into your personal office, or shoot an on-the-street style video just outside your office building?

Floyd Video Stills
Left: Game of CAD (see below) / Right: Floyd Prepares for Dallas 

The simple answer is “Because production is only one part of the project.”  More often than not, location is one of the biggest factors that affects post-production time and budget.  Factors such as sound, lighting, exposure, crowds, and passersby all directly influence your video simply because of where you put the camera.

Continue reading Location: Why “Where” Matters

The Biggest Advantages of Event Videos

As we said a while back in What Kind of Videos Do You Do?one of the services we offer is Event Videos.  Not to be confused with an extensive, multi-camera setup to record your event live, but rather produce a video prior to your function and screen it during your event.  This can be applied to any type of gathering; board meetings and conferences, galas, award ceremonies, fundraising events, and so on.  You may ask why this is worth considering; from our experience, here are some of the top reasons:

  1. Captive Audience.

    Any event presents you with an audience, yet a video can come as an unexpected and welcome surprise.  If your audience is one of, say, prospective investors and donors, a video can help encourage them to break out their checkbooks.  If former investors are present, a video can show them how their contribution was utilized and why.


  2. Length.Event videos can be longer than ones specifically made for your website or Vimeo/YouTube channel.  A well-shot, well-edited video may utilize music and photos or footage that would be otherwise difficult to present during a live speech – or at least not as seamlessly.  The words spoken to the crowd are tailored; you no longer run the risk of the speakers being struck with stage fright and captions can easily be added if necessary.  What this ultimately means is that whatever message or information you are trying to convey, it can be done in a more streamlined and engaging fashion, in a way that everyone can understand.

  3. Change of Pace.When it comes to your seminars, board meetings and the like, a video can be a welcome change to the otherwise familiar and monotonous pacing.  This works better than a digital presentation because the message is entirely self-contained.

  4. Self-Contained Message.Your audience no longer has to shift their focus back and forth between you, the speaker, and the visuals you’re showing.

  5. Music.In any type of venue, using music is especially advantageous because it allows you to set and thus control the emotional tone of the room.  Do you want to to tug the heartstrings of your investors?  Do you want your employees to feel enthusiastic and driven?  Or do you want to shake up an otherwise serious event with a bit of laughter and comedy?  Music enhances any such desired mood in a way that little else can, and even though you can play music live, you run the risk of levels being imbalanced, overpowering the speaker, or distracting the audience entirely (especially if it’s a recognizable tune).

  6. Audience Reaction.A video allows you to see their reaction, rather than posting the video elsewhere and receiving an email a few days later, if at all.  Additionally, while the video actually plays, you, as the speaker, can observe the audience.  Are they captivated?  Is the message being conveyed enough?  You can use the video’s running time to review the audience and adjust your wrap-up if necessary, or know that your original address will be as fitting as you expected and can step forward to deliver that wrap-up more confidently.  

 

If this sounds like a service you’d like to apply to your next function, we would be happy to work with you to produce an event video that suits your needs.  Contact us via email, sales@duomediaproductions.com, or give us a call at 301 – 221 – 7874.

We look forward to hearing from you!

How Much Does A Video Cost? (pt.2)

Written by Jim Pennington.

So, your video is “in the can” and all that remains is post-production. Not much to consider in terms of cost as it is all the same from video to video, right?  Wrong!  Let’s look at some typical cost considerations for post-production that can vary significantly from project to project (check our services page for a description of these activities).

Length.  How long is the video?  Will it be a one-minute “talking head” video or a feature film? Were the best takes logged so the producer and editor don’t need to review all of the bad footage to get to the good?

Number of cameras and complexity of the shots.  How many cameras were used during the shoot? Was there just one camera that captured the whole piece in a few shots?  Was there just one camera, but many shots were taken from different angles that need to be integrated? Were multiple cameras used and footage from each needs to be integrated?

Voiceover.  Will a voiceover or narration be required? What level of talent is needed?  How long is the VO/narration?

ADR.  Additional Dialog Recording (also referred to as Automated Dialog Replacement) is required when the originally captured dialog is in some way unusable. Perhaps there was construction noise in the background or some pesky summer insects were chirping loudly.

Continue reading How Much Does A Video Cost? (pt.2)

How Much Does A Video Cost? (pt.1)

written by Jim Pennington

“How much does a video cost?”

This is the proverbial question asked of me by virtually every potential client.  My typical retort is, “How much does it cost to build a home?”  The comment is usually something like, “Well, I need to know how many rooms, how many floors, what type of construction….”

Precisely!  I can’t say how much a video will cost unless the parameters that go into producing a video are fully described.  This is rarely something that can be done “on the fly” unless I am using a similar project as a comparison.

So what are the factors that go into the cost of a video?  I begin here a two-part blog as we look at the three phases of producing a video: pre-production; production; and post-production.  Let’s examine some typical cost considerations for pre-production and production.

Concept.  Are we producing a simple testimonial, a training video, or a dramatic video? How long is the video?  What is the subject of the video?  Are there complex scenes?  Are there car chases?

Treatment and script. As we prepare the treatment and subsequent script, it’s once again important to know the complexity and length of the video.  More complex and longer videos mean higher writing costs.  Is significant creative writing needed or will we be working from existing marketing materials?  How many review/revision cycles will there be?

Location. Location planning is critical to cost.  How many locations are needed? Is travel required? Is a location fee required?  Is special licensing required?  Are accommodations needed for cast and crew?  What transportation requirements are there at each location?

Continue reading How Much Does A Video Cost? (pt.1)

DSLR vs. Mirrorless Cameras

In the ever-changing world of cameras and media production, how do you know what cameras to use?  There is still a general buzz around DSLRs and why they are effective, many of those reasons still being valid.  However, the mirrorless camera models are actually turning the tide and in many areas its still not clear as to why.  There are many similarities between the two, but the differences make quite an impact.  In this recent article, writer Caleb Ward breaks down why DSLRs are not the best way to go for your next video project.  His reasons include:

Overpriced.

DSLRs used to be the top of the line and their prices are expensive, but those prices made sense.  Now, they’ve become “incredibly overpriced.”  In fact, mirrorless cameras are about half the cost, according to Ward.  The reason for this can be explained by nothing more than brand name recognition; Canon and Nikon bring significantly more impressive face value than the mirrorless cameras, which are being manufactured by companies like Panasonic and Sony, which are “not quite as accepted in the pro photography community.”  The advantages of the Canon cameras and hacks, however, short-change production, but lead to a great deal more work in post, which creates a much longer delay in getting the final product finished and available to clients.

DSLRs are bulky.

The camera size doesn’t typically matter, but a highly portable camera, especially at weddings and other live events, can make a BIG difference.  One of the biggest selling points of DSLRs in their initial release was their compact size; but why?  What were some of those original selling points?

  • Allows for more coverage; to move more quickly between cuts.
  • Less attention is drawn to the camera operator, which is especially advantageous for guerrilla style narrative filmmaking, documentary shooting and, most of all, commercial video.
  • Comfort.  As Ward points out, “if you’re going to be shooting all day on a shoulder rig, Glidecam, or Steadicam, you probably don’t want to be using a gigantic camera like the URSA mini or even a larger DSLR.”  Comfort, too, is not strictly a matter of personal endurance.  If the camera operator does not tire as fast, he or she will be able to keep the camera rolling longer and capture more footage under less strain and, as a result, the footage itself will maintain the same level of quality from the start of the day.

So what separates the Mirrorless cameras from the DSLRs?  They’re not THAT different in size are they?  Actually, yes: because mirrorless cameras don’t have a mirror-box mechanism, they’re smaller and lighter than their DSLR counterparts.  This, again, brings us back to comfort, which, in turn, means overall quality of the work.

Mirrorless Cameras Are More Revolutionary.

There was a time when DSLR cameras were at the cutting edge of camera technology — but that’s no longer the case. Mirrorless camera manufacturers are capable of updating their cameras much quicker than DSLR camera manufacturers.  Just look at the Sony a7S series of cameras. In a little over a year, Sony was able to create the a7S, a truly revolutionary low-light camera, and create a second version that added 4k recording and increased frame rates. Canon and Nikon, on the other hand, have been very slow to update their cameras. For example, the Canon 5D Mark III hasn’t been updated in over four years.

Mirrorless Cameras Are Faster.

The interface and start up, especially.  Mostly comes into play for guerrilla style shooting; the difference between getting that perfect shot or missing it completely.  Lenses are a big part of the shot as well, and usually the lenses you’d prefer for DSLRs can be used for the Mirrorless cameras too.

Continue reading DSLR vs. Mirrorless Cameras