Category Archives: Business

Seasons Greetings from DUO!

As 2016 draws to a close, we’re taking a moment to review the past few months and that we’ve been working on.  So, what have we been up to?

Attending the 2016 TIVA-DC Peer Awards for one!  It’s one of the big highlights, both recently, and over the course of the year and it was another resounding success for us; we took home another set of awards, including:

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L-R: Jim Pennington, Robin C. Farrell, Brian Pennington, DL Moody, Dave Garner

A Special Recognition was also awarded to Jim Pennington: the Distinguished Service Award!

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Congratulations, Jim!

Our appreciation goes out to TIVA-DC for another year of recognition.  We’re already looking forward to next year!

We also went back into the studio for our client SOLIDWORKS for a number of videos; some featuring their product, Draftsight, which was the first of many shoots at DC Visionaries in Rockville, MD.  

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For others, we got to work with Kevin Brennan again to announce the approaching event, SOLIDWORKS World 2017…

Continue reading Seasons Greetings from DUO!

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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

A Winning Team

Vision, execution and reception are all on equal footing here at DUO.  It’s about the journey and the outcome.  As stated on our website:

Our video production services span all phases of a project; from concept development through distribution, and any part thereof…we look for ways to make your project unique, and speak specifically to your needs…We provide high quality results at highly competitive rates.

As a result of our blend of creativity and professionalism, we have accumulated a collection of awards, a large portion of which comes from the Television, Internet and Video Association (TIVA) of DC.  TIVA is a non-profit association of media professionals (companies and individuals) in the National Capital region. The mission of TIVA-DC is to connect the media production community to jobs, resources and educational opportunities. The Peer Awards, sponsored by TIVA, is the largest film/video competition in the Mid-Atlantic region and culminates in a gala at the National Press Club and other prestigious venues with an average of 300 attendees.  As DUO and our independent film channel Star Wipe Films, we have acquired the following awards since as early as 2009:

  • 9 Gold Peer Awards
  • 11 Silver Peer Awards
  • 3 Bronze Peer Awards

Among the winning projects that earned these awards include our 48Hour Film, Welcome to the Neighborhood (which also won us a few awards at Filmapalooza 2013 and a Selection in the Short Film Corner for Festival de Cannes 2013) and our own short film, Apocalypse Rock, which TIVA-DC awarded us specifically for Program/Series Promo Under $10k for the film trailer, Independent Short, Acting, Editing: Fiction, Production Design, and Sound Design.

We’ve also received awards almost every year that we have participated in the 48 Hour Film Project and 29 Days Later competitions.

***Update: as of November 2016, Game of CAD and Once Upon A Bedroom have also earned Peer Awards; Gold and Silver, respectively.

Continue reading A Winning Team

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!

Client Spotlight: SOLIDWORKS

It all started in 2009 with a sequence of four whimsical videos for SOLIDWORKS’ Now That’s Premium! campaign.  Through humor, these videos tout the benefits of upgrading to a premium product (coffee, gasoline, car service and wash), encouraging users to upgrade to SOLIDWORKS’ Premium design product.

Not only did each of these videos rack up a Telly Award (plus a Peer Award for “Cup o’ Mojo”), but it was the beginning of a working relationship that continues, brilliantly, to this day.

In 2011, we introduced a little guy named Seymour in a flash-animation video for Enterprise Data Management, which became the first in a series of over a dozen videos featuring Seymour as the star.  Seymour has since inspired even some of our most recent projects.

Since the SOLIDWORKS Premium project, DUO Media has produced over forty videos SOLIDWORKS, including marketing and promotion, Training Videos, eLearning Modules and Recruiting Videos, ranging in topic, length and style.  SOLIDWORKS has given us creative freedom from the start, but over the years, that trust in our vision and ability has expanded and allowed us to explore and grow ourselves in our stylistic approach. Some of the most elaborate videos of our portfolio have been for SOLIDWORKS, especially when it comes to promotions for SOLIDWORKS World, the company’s annual convention.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 5.17.56 PM Continue reading Client Spotlight: SOLIDWORKS

Into The Nexus!

From elaborate, sophisticated studio production and hurdling across the full breadth of downtown Frederick, to fundraisers and Blu-Ray menus, June 2016 was one of our busiest – and most productive! – yet.

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As we mentioned last month, the “Floyd Series” has become one of our biggest and most expansive projects.  Our client, SOLIDWORKS, has continued to give us a great deal of creative freedom to explore unconventional approaches to their video marketing.  The Floyd Series started at the end of 2015 with It’s No Secret, in which Floyd (played by Kevin Brennan) is introduced.  Since then, he has appeared in A Game of CAD: A Song of Design and EngineeringFloyd Prepares for Dallas and SOLIDWORKS World Wrap-Up video (coming soon).  We’ve been developing a series of additional videos, which were far more ambitious than any that have come before; but we like a creative challenge!  We brought Jason Krznarich onto the team to lend his expertise to creating the vastly complex system needed to pull off our vision. We rented the space at BlueRock Productions & Studio (Baltimore, Maryland) to shoot two of the three videos.

Later that same week, we went on location to downtown Frederick, Maryland, starting and ending in Baker Park, but traipsing just about everywhere in between.  This video was shot entirely on a GoPro, with additional help from Jason and Brian himself.

Though difficult, all these shoots were big successes and we’ve been in post production since, delighted to see how the efforts are paying off.  We can’t wait to share the finished product.

SOLIDWORKS was not the only project we were working on this month.  The Foundation to Fight H-ABC hosted a fundraising event this month, for which the Manor Country Club hosted rounds of tennis and golf, a silent auction, great food and live music.  The proceeds are all going to research for a cure to H-ABC and the benefit of other rare diseases as well.  Check out the video below:

 

Lastly, DUO is now on Instagram:  @duomediaproductions.
Check us out and give us a follow!

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)