Spotlight on Center Stage – Part 1

SVG Crew prepping for the shoot at NEFA

In 2009 the United States Department of State and the New England Foundation of the Arts(NEFA) partnered to create a bold new approach to cultural diplomacy that cultivated into the “Center Stage” program.  Whereas historically the State Department would export American artists over seas….for the 1st time they began importing foreign artists to small town USA.  Over a 6-month period in 2012, over 10 ensembles from Pakistan, Indonesia and Haiti toured over 27 states, meeting countless “Main Street” Americans along the way.

NEFA is currently prepping for the 2nd round of performing artists, and  understanding the power of  video, hired Skillman Video Group (SVG) to produce a promotional video to raise public awareness of the program and help attract private investors. Given the size and scope of the project, SVG has very carefully crafted a game plan for the production.  For starters, SVG professional held a two hour “discovery” meeting with the NEFA team to discuss the logistics  of the video,  as well as to learn the ins and outs of the program (how it came to be and why it is in existence) as well as to review the hundreds of hours of  performance footage shot during the various tours.  After the discovery meeting, SVG wrote an outline and script based off of the detailed notes, and forwarded it to NEFA for approval.

Since NEFA and SVG had decided to go for a more “documentary style” interview approach vs a scripted teleprompter approach, SVG principal, Christina Skillman, gave media training to the two NEFA principals appearing in the video (the Executive Director and the Center Stage Program Director).   Two hours were spent on site coaching and directing the talent to help them think through their answers and look and sound their best.  For those unaccustomed to speaking on camera (and it is an art) media training can be an invaluable tool in easing nerves and  it can  help the talent express themselves with clarity and confidence.

The next step in the production process was to book the shoot date.  On January 7th 4 crew members arrived to set up lights, gel the windows and record the interviews.  “B-roll” footage was also shot of the office and environs, mock meetings, etc. that will later be edited into the final video.  Currently the video has enetered the post-production phase where SVG will edit all of the footage, including that of the 2012 performing artists where appropriate.  Even after all these other steps – SVG’s work is just getting started!

A professionally produced video will be available to NEFA to present their story and visually explain to the public how powerfully the performing arts can bridge the gap between people and cultures. Check back soon for more details of the NEFA project on our blog!  Skillman Video Group is a Boston Video Production Company. Call us anytime at 800-784-0140.

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