For the past few weeks, our interns have been working hard on their final professional video production. They planned weeks ahead, storyboarding and developing scripts for their video in preproduction. Establishing objectives and goals for the video were helpful to designing not only the layout and structure of their video, but the overall feel of it as well. By the end of the preproduction process, there was only one thing left to do: begin filming.
Creating a Theme
The main theme of the video is: “The need to work with Boston professional video companies instead of trying to create something homemade and less professional”. Keeping this in mind, our interns decided to shoot with a regular iPhone instead of using a professional videographer or professional video production equipment. Most people shoot footage on their mobile devices, and don’t realize that the quality of film with professional equipment is vastly better and more visually pleasing than something shot with a phone. Granted, phones today are technologically advanced with great camera capacities, but nothing will ever be better than superior professional quality that only video production companies can provide (such as SVG). A video shot with a phone is a great reminder of this, and so the interns chose this filming option to line up with this theme.
Oh! The Places You Can/Can’t Go!
One obstacle our interns faced was the issue of location. When people think about creating a video, their minds naturally begin to think of cool places to film: a balcony overlooking the city skyline, a little table inside of a local coffee shop, on the steps of the state capital. However, what most people don’t realize is every one of those locations listed (and endless more) all require permits to shoot. If you want to take your video equipment to any of these places without authorized permission and consent (which usually entails a hefty fee, and a waiting process), you will get in oodles of trouble! On the other hand, if you work with a professional video production company, they are well connected with people around town; knowing which areas are more/less affordable, which locations are available, etc. Even if you weren’t able to find the right location, professional video production companies have access to state of the art equipment (backdrops, green screens, lighting/camera manipulations) that will allow you to still achieve your location goals. For our interns, however, they took on the task of having to find their own free places (again, with the theme of “hiring video professionals versus doing it yourself). With most locations outdoors, many natural obstacles arose: Where in the sky will the sun be at this time? What will the sound quality be like? How will the weather be that day? Will people constantly be coming in and out of shots? Reminding the interns, of course, of how stress free things can be when you’ve put your ideas in the hands of professionals.
All Hands on Deck
People often underestimate the amount of people needed on set for a successful, smooth shoot. When you have many components that need to work simultaneously together (camera, lighting, and sound), it’s important that you have professionals at hand to know what they’re doing. This is where we see the need for balance between creativity and technicality: it’s one thing to develop a great story, it’s another thing to have the right people provide you with the tools and skills to tell that story. For this shoot, our interns challenged themselves to work alone (as most people who try to put things on video do), it became clear how tricky it could be. What do you do if both people need to be in the shot – who will run the camera? Sound? Does the lighting in this shot match with the lighting in the corresponding take? Again, because the theme of the the movie is to show the product of people not using professional video production assistance, the interns weren’t too concerned about having it be perfect – it was somewhat of a self fulfilling prophecy: because we’re doing this ourselves, the finished product will not be as good as it could have been had a professional video production company been used.
Icing On the Cinematic Cake
Obviously, some expected obstacles came along the way. However, what people are always reminded of once the process starts is just how much fun filming can be! Despite the long hours of planning and the extra work that comes with shooting it yourself, it’s a wonderful feeling to start to watch your ideas transpire in front of you. The creative process is a stimulating one, and its sensational to be in the room watching scenes play out in front of you. Offering direction to one another and giving feedback, the story began to evolve right before our intern’s eyes. Ideas were springing out left and right from every angle, and new discoveries were being made along the way. Our intern Deane has more background in film production, while our other intern Anna has more of a writing background. Regardless of either, both interns enjoyed both the script writing and film production process. New things were constantly being learned, and all of a sudden this idea of “needing to create an idea/story for professional video content” was no longer intimidating. The hardest step is the first one.
We still have a few more shots to take; a couple holes left to fill in our cinematic storyline. But as those final days approach (with more post-production editing work yet to come), we look back at all of the hard work that has gone into our video thus far. It would’ve been easier to make this video by hiring a professional video production company? Absolutely. But have we also realized how easy it is to create an idea for video content if you put your mind to it and establish the goals of your video? Yes. Oh, yes.