This past weekend Boston faced some seriously sour weather, getting hammered with more than 2 feet of snow in less than 24 hours. While the city locked down it’s streets and businesses impeded sales due to the emergency, nothing stopped Skillman Video Group (SVG) from doing what they do best: providing their clients with creative professionalism and paving their way to more structures and styles of commercial video. This time, it’s animated videos!
On Tuesday, February 12, SVG collaborated on a series of online marketing videos with John & Dan Gollinger, two real estate guru’s, as they launched the “next generation of real estate marketing.” While the shoot was limited to a talking head and voice-over production between both parties, SVG has a lot more in store for this project than a simple multi-cam structure. With professionals working in Adobe’s After Effects, Motion, and Illustrator, SVG is launching a new approach to marketing using animated video(s), full of intricate designs and enlightening graphics to better communicate the logistics of the Gollinger clan’s new business strategies.
That’s not to say that the setting for the commercial was anything that needed some animation! The Gollinger high rise had a magnificent view of the South End, a neighborhood of downtown Boston, and made for quite the scenic environment to get inspired. With animated videos dominating majority of the commercial and viral industry, it’s only necessary that an entity like Skillman Video Group is making strides to further their commercial and clients’ interests with motion graphics and computer animated additives.
As we mentioned in our last post, Skillman Video Group was recently hired to produce a marketing video for the Boston area non-profit, Teacher’s21. After what we call “the discovery process” which involves hours of on-site interviews and studying the client’s printed material (if pertinent) or other information, the producers at SVG will start the “pre-production” phase of developing the script. This phase is crucial for the success of the video project and will set the entire process on a good foundation that will ensure excellence in the finished product. It is during this phase of production where we take the massive block of information obtained at the discovery meeting and slowly but surely chisel it down as the video starts to take shape.
Next SVG successfully spent two days on location, 1st interviewing the “Aspiring Principals” (or participants in the program) at Teacher21′s offices in Wellesly MA, and the 2nd day visiting 2 schools in the Boston area where the Aspiring Principals are being apprenticed. To help tell the story visually, SVG wanted to capture the program in action so the viewers would have a sense for how it operates. In addition to shooting the Aspiring Principals in their day to day activities, we had the opportunity to interview the Schools’ current Head Principals on how the program has benefitted them personally, which we thought was a key perspective in the video’s message.
Currently the project is in post-production where SVG’s editors are working collaboratively with Teacher21′s staff to produce a video that will tell their story effectively and powerfully…in as little time as possible (a key to successful video marketing). It is a time consuming process to edit down hours of footage and can be difficult to choose which sound bites are the best of the best. However, this editing process is ultimately where the story – once and for all – comes together. Have a story worth telling? Call SVG today to see how our video marketing services can be of use to your company or organization!
In December 2012 Skillman Video Group was hired to produce a marketing video for Teachers 21′s “Leadership Academy” aiming to train and mentor Public School Principals to enter turn-around schools in some of the State’s toughest school districts. The Leadership Academy is an extensive year long program with lots of theoretical and practical study, workshops, and weekly on-site mentoring. The Academy only selects the best of the best in its aspiring principals and wanted to highlight the success and strength of the program to school Superintendents around the state of Massachusetts. Understanding the power of video, the MA Department of Education encouraged Teachers21 to produce a video marketing the program, and not knowing where to turn or begin on their own – Teachers21 came to SVG!
SVG’s 1st job was to interview all the key players within the program including staff AND the program’s participants. While in just a few minutes of meeting with the “aspiring principals” it became obvious to us that they key strength to the program is in fact the people in the program. Simple but true! So the direction we took for their video was relying on the strength of the participant’s stories vs relying on scripted voice overs with charts & graphs explaining the strength of the program. That story telling aspect of video production is what SVG really excells at and ultimately is a far more compelling marketing and sales tool for any company or non-profit organization. Don’t just tell them what you do. Tell them who you are! The producers at SVG can help you refine your message and help tell your story. Call today to learn more and check back soon for more details on the Teacher’s21 video project!
As mentioned in the prior blog, the United States State Department has partnered with the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) to bring performing artists from around the globe to perform throughout the US. It is called the Center Stage Program, and is now beginning its second 2-year cycle .
SVG was hired to produce a promotional video on the program, and to do it at NEFA’s office, which is in downtown Boston across from the State House. The choice of venue was a professional decision on the part of both NEFA’s executive staff and SVG professionals, who decided to maximize the visual impact of an organization located right in the center of everything. That is a message in itself.
The choice presented some professional difficulties, however, as it is very complicated to get good shots from inside a building taken shooting out through windows open to a brilliant, bright sky. To make this shot happen, SVG used two Kino lights that were powerful enough and flexible enough to provide two different light temperatures as needed (blue – outdoor or yellow-indoor). In addition SVG’s lighting crew (called “Gaffers”) used a special “ND Gel” to cover the windows to cut down much of the glare from the sun. Using neutral density (ND) gels applied to the windows made it possible to take great shots of the people inside, with the golden dome of the State House in the background. Going further our Director of Photography then carefully adjusted the camera’s exposure and selected the perfect lenses to get the exact shot wanted.
Whatever your video ideas, whatever or however you want to draw attention to your business or service, the professionals at SVG will take your ideas and make it a reality. We have the training, experience, equipment, and skills to put a spotlight on your story. Give us a call or email today.
Repetition can be boring, but not this kind. Every time we serve a client for a second, third or fourth time, we receive a deeper insight into what they are trying to say through video, and then we put to work all of our professional skills and training to say it for them. It just gets better and better…..If your business or non-profit sponsors an event or special promotion important to you, why not call SVG today and see if we can’t help you tell –or rather show–the world about it?
Everything Is Illuminated… (How Lighting is the most important thing.)
Most videographers are taught the most basic form of lighting set up. The three-light method. We’re taught that this ideal lighting method separates the subject from the background, and everything does not look too dull. This is absolutely the most important first step in lighting, but it’s only the beginning. With such powerful cameras for cheaper and cheaper these days, we’re introduced to a world where we can give a beautiful contrast to a lighted image in even the most budget-restricting of company videos.
Light intensity, an often-overlooked part of lighting, is the second most important aspect that we must control. For instance, the ever-growing popularity of DSLRs has actually given us control of so many new aspects of video reserved only to film in the past! Without exaggeration, your company video has the capability of looking like a short scene of a film!
At SVG, we believe your audience’s retention is judged in how good something “Looks” before we get to the message. How the lighting is pre-planned, handled on-the-day of the shoot, and controlled in post-production is something we certainly do not overlook, and it pays off!
This is yet another aspect that Skillman Video Group takes control of. These details catch people’s attention, and help deliver your message clearer. Ultimately, these details bring your company to where it wants to go.
Let’s face it – 3D isn’t new technology. It’s been around for a long while (think back to those cheesy looking red and blue paper glasses) and for a good period of time, it seemed like 3D was just a quirky little addition to old school B-Movies. Of course, as of about a decade ago various studios began releasing movies in a “new” version of 3D. The key difference: depth perception. The film was shot and edited carefully to tweak the presentation of objects on screen to the viewer by tricking the eye into believing objects were either closer or farther away (very different from the original version of 3D, which only allowed images to “pop out” of the screen). This iteration of 3D gives a much more dynamic presentation, and when used correctly, can add an extra bit of flair to a new movie (ie. Avatar, Hugo, Spider-Man, Brave, etc.).
But are we ready for that? Does 3D actually add anything really substantial to the film? I’ve personally had this argument with numerous groups of people and it usually gets divided into two categories: 3D is amazing and more movies should be like this, and 3D is campy having little to no effect on the overall impact of a piece.
Okay, sure: these are personal opinions, but when you think about it…what does 3D actually add to a production? It definitely adds a bit of a “wow” factor – which is great for kids movies and maybe dynamic action flicks. But does it impact the story? Is there anything concrete about 3D that simply makes it the new “must have” technology for films? Here at SVG, we utilize the best technology to deliver expert results. With this trend in 3D films, and the rise of cameras soon able to shoot “3D like cinema quality,” it’s entirely possible that in the future, more projects will become 3D. Till then, this local Boston based production company will continue to deliver the best possible quality for every production we work on.
Is 3D the next big thing, or do you think it’s just a trend? Leave a comment and tell us what you think!
For the past week or so we’ve been discussing the importance of strong post-production (audio and video editing) skills here at Skillman Video Group. While skills in the editing room are definitely an asset, technology plays a big part in the equation for a solid video. In a field where the technology is constantly growing, let’s take a look at newer form of video editing – with the use of a tablet/iPad.
The biggest push for the use of tablet based editing has been with the introduction to mobile versions of Apple’s core programs: iMovie, Garageband, and iPhoto. Granted these are entry-level programs for basic edits, these programs still have a great deal of potential. In fact, all projects from these applications can later be migrated to their professional level counterparts (Final Cut X, Logic, Aperture). It’s becoming progressively more common to see simple edits made on site with iPads, then later shifted over to Final Cut for more expertly achieved editing. In terms of quick assembly, the product is phenomenal. Practical application is limited as of now, but with the introduction of Chromebooks and the Windows Surface, of which developers argue rival the power and functionality of the iPad, could spell the introduction of tablets being implemented in multiple phases of productions. Programs like Avid, Premiere, and Photoshop (which already has a powerful mobile application for iPads) could become more common on set.
Ultimately, a good editor can utilize the application he/she is most familiar with to produce a professional result…but who’s to say the medium they achieve said result on couldn’t be a tablet? Just think: only a few years back the idea of editing an entire feature film on a laptop was ludicrous, but today many indie filmmakers produce multiple projects from just a MacBook Pro. Perhaps a few more years down the road, it’ll be commonplace for editors to work on set, with nothing but a tablet in their hands. Regardless of the situation or time, Skillman Video Group will continue to use the best level of technology suited for our productions.
What do you think about the growth of Tablets & Editing? Leave any comments or questions below!
“And that’s a wrap, folks!” – Skillman Video Group recently finished the production phase of our internal marketing video! Despite minor setbacks with recent weather (ie. Hurricane Sandy) and other small factors, Skillman Video Group can now move into the next phase of creation for our production: The post-production phase.
As mentioned in previous posts, this is particular phase of production is where all the wrinkles get ironed out. We carefully and meticulously take all of the raw footage and audio, synch up all the appropriate portions, examine and adjust color, and add effects and titles as needed. In a more traditional sense (if this video were for a client rather than for ourselves) we can then move onto create various versions of the marketing video using just the footage we have provided. These samples or “rough-cuts” are then presented to clients to give a general idea of how the editing is going. It also gives the director, producer, and client the opportunity to discuss potential changes and the overall direction of the production. After a few more series of edits and re-edits, the video will be complete! Stay tuned for more updates from Skillman Video Group!
A marathoner running a 26-mile race is constantly pacing for the finish line. All of the hard work is eventually culminated in that final moment where one crosses the finish. Similarly, video production follows the same method. A video production team has to envision and plan around the product. The misconception that a video is made as one goes along, although alluring and ‘magical’, is simply incorrect. Instead, in order to reduce the risk of creating a badly executed video, there must be consistent and constant ‘looking ahead’ at a finished product.
Post-production is the phase of a production that connects all loose ends, and converts raw footage into a series of patterns recognizable to others. However, there is so much room for mistake at this stage that it is frightening to gamble the success of a product on how well an editor can tie things together. A good poker player would prefer not to wait for the ‘river card’ to finally get a two-of-a-kind.
At Skillman Video Group, by the time we reach post-production on a project, we have already envisioned a clear message and a series of events along with our clients from day one! The mentality is this: an hour of effort in the beginning, is a week of work in the end. Our clients are placed in the front seat of every production. SVG assists in every aspect necessary during the production so that the post-production is as simple and as accurately planned as possible.
Yes, videography is an art, but it is also a science.
The recipe we offer our clients is always the same: success through clear communication of each process with a clear understanding of the ultimate outcome; a proper video and marketing product aimed precisely by the clients and for their target audience.