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Corporate Video Protocol


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#1 David Calson

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 12:52 PM

Hi, I am interested in shooting corporate videos but not sure what the protocol is to start. What equipment should I bring, how many people will I need, how to make the final product look very good, etc. Thanks in advance.
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#2 Stephen Williams

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 05:16 PM

Hi, I am interested in shooting corporate videos but not sure what the protocol is to start. What equipment should I bring, how many people will I need, how to make the final product look very good, etc. Thanks in advance.


Hi,

The Budget will dictate crew, equipment & post workflow. You can choose any 2 Good, Quick, Cheap.
Many corporate producers will choose cheap twice!

Stephen
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#3 Bob Hayes

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 05:48 PM

Hi, I am interested in shooting corporate videos but not sure what the protocol is to start. What equipment should I bring, how many people will I need, how to make the final product look very good, etc. Thanks in advance.


This is a pretty broad question. There are many levels of corporate work range from low budget to the highest level of production done. Since I don?t know your needs and it sounds like you don?t either there are some questions you must ask.

What is the final use of your product?
Is it a sales presentation which is often slicker and higher end? Some corporate films are as slick as television commercials. Is it for training purposes or documentation which tends to more technical? It is for in house use like presentations to employees which tend to have lower production needs?

How will the product be shown?
Will it be projected at a huge screen at a dinner, will it be burned to DVD, and will it be shown on the internet.

What is the work flow of the product?
What media is the client used to working in or his work flow designed to work in. Is it HD, Beta Cam, DVCam, or Mini DV for example? Will all the cutting and post production be done on a computer or will there be a final tape to tape color correction in a professional post house.

What quality is the client expecting?
Is it top of the line no expense spared or is money a real issue and a less sophisticated product will work just fine?

What does the client need?
This comes from years of experience. Making your client happy is the most important part of the equation. But often you are hired to advise the client on how to satisfy their corporate requirements. They may want to shoot in 35mm and it may excite you. But the project and client may be better served by shooting in Mini DV.
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#4 Brian Wells

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 06:05 PM

Hi, I am interested in shooting corporate videos but not sure what the protocol is to start. What equipment should I bring, how many people will I need, how to make the final product look very good, etc. Thanks in advance.

It's important to remember that marketing a production companies services is very different from actual video production. Only those with great business skills will succeed. If your passion is copywriting, then find a job at an agency. If your passion is working hands on with video equipment, then buy some equipment. If your passion is selling, then don't buy any equipment. Find someone who has equipment and call yourself an Account Executive and start marketing their services to the industry. These are three very different skillsets. If you continue on your path to becoming a "one man shop" you may soon discover that you actually don't have all the skills it takes to succeed. All of this ignores the fact that corporate video is pretty much dead. Sure, there are companies that still do training and promotional videos, but they're usually part of a much broader product offering (for example, a corporate theater and events staging company might offer video production for projection at the main event). A company which focuses solely on the production of low-end corporate promo's is a company not likely to find much work! Which leads me to say this: If your goal is to make a living, then learn web site development and search engine optimization! There's quite a bit of demand for those services.
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 10:15 PM

Hi, I am interested in shooting corporate videos but not sure what the protocol is to start. What equipment should I bring, how many people will I need, how to make the final product look very good, etc. Thanks in advance.


I've shot a fair amount of corporate and corporate-type material over the years. The basic crew is the Videographer, the Sound Mixer, and a Producer. What type of camera you need depends upon the clients you have. A lot of that type of production is still shot with BetaCam SP. Some in Digibeta. The higher end stuff will be in HD...either 1080I or 720P again depending upon your client. So you'll need a Sony F900 or a Varicam.

You'll also need a small basic light kit. Nothing fancy. The standard Arri kit with 2 650s and 2 300s is great along with some support gear like AC cords, a couple of C-stands, a monitor, tripod, a couple of sandbags...the basics. You need to be able to get all of your stuff on one cart or magliner so that it will easily fit inside your truck. No time for repeat trips to the truck. You'll push it all from the parking garage, into the elevator, and up into an office space which was never meant for video production. You'll likely shoot some executive in his office which has windows across one wall. If the windows have blinds, great. If not, you go to 5600 and light accordingly. No time, crew, nor equipment to hang blacks or anything fancy.

More often than not, the Producer will have called the secretary and merely asked her to arrange the largest room they have so you can do interviews. 9 times out of 10 you'll be led into the conference room...while indeed a large space, it also has a massive and immovable table sitting right in the middle of everything. You may need to raid the other offices to find interesting things to put in the background. You put up a key (with chimera), hang a backlight off a C-stand, and use the other lights to do something nice with the background.

Oh, when you first arrive, crank up the AC so that the room gets colder than normal. It will heat up again as you shoot. Corporate producers rarely hire Makeup artists so you don't want your talent to sit there sweating during the interview. You'll have to kill the AC for sound.

You don't get a huge choice in where you shoot so it comes down to your individual skill to make any situation look as great as possible given the parameters. Some guys suck at it and others have a knack for it. Some complain and play the "if we only had" game while the successful ones take every "problem" as a challenge to figure out.

When you're done, you reload your magliner, get it back down the elevator, through the lobby, into the garage and back into your truck.

Repeat as necessary.


Oh, and corporate video is definitely not dead. It is alive and kicking and most likely will be for some time to come.


Brian
www.whatireallywanttodo.com
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#6 Bob Hayes

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 10:36 PM

That was a great description Brian. I was having flashbacks!
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#7 David Calson

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 10:36 PM

thanks brian, that's exactly what I was look for + more.
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#8 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 17 July 2006 - 11:58 PM

thanks brian, that's exactly what I was look for + more.



You're welcome! I'm nearly finished compiling a book about the film industry which goes into even greater detail about every job on a movie set. I hope you check it out! Go to my website (on my signature) for more information.
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#9 Michael Nash

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 12:02 AM

That was a great description Brian. I was having flashbacks!


Ditto. I spent 10 years doing corporate (among other things) and the description is 100% accurate.
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#10 Christopher Rippel

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 01:57 AM

I was wondering how everyone markets themselves???
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#11 Chris Pritzlaff

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 04:12 AM

I've worked on corporate videos that have ranged from ultra low-budget with just a consumer mini DV camera on a tripod as someone talks to it, up to a $50,000 project shot on a CineAlta 900 on large sets built on a soundstage. The work varies so you need to look carefully at what you are getting into.
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#12 Patrick Neary

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Posted 18 July 2006 - 10:03 AM

It seems from my perspective that corporate work has gone down the tubes. When I started corporate shooting (about 15 years ago) it was always a beta-SP shoot with a small crew, as Brian describes. Then I started shooting for a certain software giant up in redmond, where we always shot digibeta with at least a grip, sound mixer, producer and director, often in one of the company's (really nice) soundstages. Then at some point, maybe three or four years ago, all of the shoots became mini-dv with just me and the director/producer, and now all of the shoots are just the producer shooting mini-dv as a one-man band operation, producing, shooting editing, often times on very short notice and VERY short deadlines. So in other words, corporate shooting isn't a big contributor to my IRA any more.

I'm curious if that's a regional thing (up here in the Pacific NW) or if that has happened everywhere.

I think if you wanted to go the one-man-band route, and could find the clients (or one really good client!) you could make a good living, and the work can be kind of fun at times- But that's the big trick, finding and selling yourself to, and keeping those clients.
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Wooden Camera

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Rig Wheels Passport

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Technodolly