Hiring the right production company can be a crucial decision; it all depends of the type of film or video that you need producing.
For example, you could be looking to hire someone to capture your wedding day. On top of the hundred other things you need to arrange, making sure you pick a company that can capture your moment perfectly and within your budget can start to feel like a monumental task. Alternatively, you could be looking to hire a company to promote your business or real estate property.
As you can see there are a number of different products that you could need a production company for. To help you narrow down your search, I’ve compiled a list of different things you’ll need to consider.
A portfolio is a company’s body of work; they may showcase their work in individual pieces or through a 2-3 minute show-reel. Although many companies can produce a variety of work most specialize in a specific craft. If you’re looking for product videography then hiring a company that showcases a large variety of product photography would be a step in the right direction. Furthermore, if you’re looking to create a timelapse video then searching for a company with an impressive timelapse video show-reel is a good start. You can also learn more about a company through client testimonial videos, here is an example of a testimonial video put together by a local company:
Hiring a company that is close to where you want your shoot is the most cost effective way to hire a company. If you hire a company from outside of your city or state, you’ll run into a number of extra travel expenses in your quote. Not only does the company have to pay for personnel to travel but they’ll also have to hire gear when they arrive. If you can’t find a video production business in city then start by looking at the next closest city and work outwards. For example, a simple search for video production San francisco will show many different companies located around the San Francisco Bay. Searches for video production LA or San Diego will also provided location relevant companies.
Where to find production companies
Everyone and their neighbor seems to know someone who can film your wedding or make your a promo video for you business, but the chances that this is some kid with an iPhone are pretty high. Finding a good production company in San Francisco, LA and New York is the same as finding one in Australia and South Africa; it all takes a bit of patience. Here are a few places you can look to find a production company:
How To Save Money?
Like I mentioned above, hiring a local company will save you a lot of money. You can also save money by knowing exactly where your film or video is going to be showcased. If you’re planning to make a feature film that will be showcased in theaters across America, then you can expect high costs because that quality will need to be of the highest standards. However, if your video is going to be shown on youtube and to mobile devices, you may not necessarily need the latest and greatest technology to produce your film. You may be able to opt-out of filming in 4K and settle for HD. Saving money on camera hire costs and even the cost of extra crew to operate the camera. This saved money may let you put more money into hiring actors or even a more experienced production company.
Understanding which camera is the right one for the job can be a tricky process. Because I’m currently in the process of shooting some drone stock footage of my home town for MarketME video Production San Francisco (See their previous films below), I thought I’d talk about the different cameras on the market and what function they serve best.
I wish I could say that I own each camera but many times I need to rent a piece of equipment to accomplish a certain style or type of footage.
GoPro Hero 4: I do own this sturdy beast; it’s cheap, small and water proof. I’ve started to see lot’s of stock footage being shot with these things. The quality is fantastic, but what’s great is that you can basically stick it anywhere. This is the camera that I’ll be using for my drone footage for MarketME.
Canon Cinema EOS C500: I think we may have passed the phase of Digital SLR cameras shooting video. This was a great way for companies like Nikon and Canon to test the video and film waters. We’re now seeing video cameras with full features and the ability to produce impressive professional quality video.
Red One: This camera is by far the best when it comes to producing stunning 4K imagery. Of course this will be the go-to camera for almost any production. The only downside is the price-tag of $30,000. Renting these things don’t come easy either. This is definitely a production camera and not one that will help you with your indie-gorilla style shooting.
Blackmagic Production Camera: This is a great choice in camera for anyone looking for a photography/video hybrid model. Again, shoots fantastic 4k footage with a Super 35 sensor.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4: As far as entry level cameras go, this one is pretty damn impressive. I understand that shelling out 10k-30k on a camera may be unreasonable for any one starting out. So I’ve added this to the list because I believe that this little DSLR will seriously impress some people. This is a great camera if you want to hit the road, travel light and still capture good footage.
Hopefully this list helps narrow down some of the fantastic options we have available on the market today.
When I was having trouble motivating myself I found that have a person to train was extremely helpful. However, sometimes you can’t always get out there, in fact, with busy schedules, you could miss a whole weeks worth of exercise. One of the key members of our group had to move overseas, so down a key player of our fitness team we decided to make a series of video for her so she could exercise and still feel like she was part of the group.
I had made a few videos in the past for friends so I had a basic knowledge down. I also got a few tips from a friend who makes wedding films. These films were instructional videos that would give our wayward friend a few ideas and exercises that she could do at home after a day of work.
What do you need?
Camera (or laptop with webcam), lights (or stand next to a big bright window), a computer to edit for video and some fun music.
We kept our videos extremely short, under two minutes. First we would start by explaining the exercise, then I would demonstrate. Finally we were ready to begin the exercise. I would film this a few different times, the reason for this is because I could place my camera and a different angle, so my friend would have different views of the exercise. That’s it!
I’ll admit, computers aren’t my strong suit, so I did get a bit of help with these. My friend let me use his computer to put together the videos. He showed me a few tricks to make the videos fun and interesting to watch, they’re nothing special but they do get the point across.
A few things that I found made the videos really exciting were music and filters. We used some really cool songs we found for free at freemusicarchive.org. I was advised that it’s best to use free music, as it’s a healthy practice, don’t forget to give credit to the artist.
I added a few titles at the beginning and end so my friend would know exactly which exercise we would be doing.
We also added a few really neat light leaks onto the edits. This gave the film a bit more of a professional look at feel.
This may not be everyone’s thing, however, if you have access to some of the equipment needed to make a training video you might as well give it a try! Who knows, maybe you’ll be a youtube sensation, hopefully for all the right reasons.
Here is a list of my must have shots when filming a wedding. Almost all of these moments happen separately so I don’t really need to stress about missing something special. I rarely shoot with more than two cameras.
Depending on the style, you may want to shoot these on a dolly track or as hand-held shots using depth of field.
Bride with the bridesmaids – Putting on the wedding dress, getting the makeup and hair done.
Groom and groomsmen getting ready – Fixing the hair, putting on the suit and the final touches.
Location Shots – Exterior Shots, Gardens, Surrounding areas
Wedding setup, preparing the venue for the ceremony
Wedding program – Capturing the names of the couple and the date.
Guests arriving and signing the guest book
Bride and Groom waiting for the ceremony to commence
Here is a must have shot list of the actual wedding ceremony. Remember to get enough footage to people watching the ceremony, it doesn’t have to be the exact moment but a reaction of some sort every now and again will hep the edit flow better.
Groom seating mothers
Brides maids and groomsmen entrance
Bride entrance, coming down the isle way including the father of bride handing the bride to groom.
Bride and groom saying I DO to the wedding ceremony
Exchange of vows and rings and the first kiss
Man and Wife stepping off the ceremony platform and down the isle way
Brides maids and groomsmen exiting
Cut away shots of people watching the ceremony – I use these as transition shots.
I generally end up shooting a lot more footage than I need here. It’s always good to keep filming as you may get some really good moments (especially once the drinks start flowing)
Arrival of the Bride and groom
Toast and speeches – try get a feed from the mixer board.
Dinner being served – don’t film people eating, it’s not flattering.
Bride and Groom sitting down at the table for their first married dinner
First dance, Father Daughter dance, Mother Son dance, bridal party dance
Musicians and singers
People dancing, having a good time, drinking the alcohol.
Depending on the couple and the style of the piece, I like to get a few interviews with different guests. I’ll cut these interviews into film using the overlay of the voice to drive the piece.
Here is one of our favourite wedding videos. It has a very laid back, low budget feel but you definitely get the sense that you know exactly what the couple is like.
Choosing a song for a wedding video can be tough. There a many questions you may have to ask yourself when deciding on a song. Does the song fit the style of your video? Does the song fit the couple in the video? How long is the song? Do the lyrics fit the mood of your piece. The list can go on.
We’ve put together a list of a few songs that we think work great in wedding videos.
The Middle East – Blood
This song by the Australian band The Middle East (bit confusing) is a great example of a song that really builds. The slow start lets you focus on the details and romantic couple shots. By the end of the song the choir really kicks it into gear. Great for those final shots of the wedding festivities!
Daughter – Youth
This British trio really know how to make a moody song. The drums build nicely in this song, but her soft voice and guitar really make this a fantastic piece to add to the start of a video.
Ben Howard – Old Pine
I guess we have a particular style, here’s another English musician. Ben Howard’s song feels like a few different songs in one. A song about the memories shared with loved ones songs like a perfect wedding video song!
Hopefully these tracks will get you on the right track for picking a great wedding video song.
Traditionally, the word Light Leaks was considered a pain to photographers and filmmakers. Due to a manufacturing problem or general wear-and-tear, light would spill through a hole or gap in the body of a camera and “leak” into a sealed chamber. This would cause the film to be exposed with unaccounted for light. What was previously considered a problem soon became a stylistic technique called the lomography movement, giving photos character and life.
Videographers have adopted this movement by using the movement of light leaks to give their wedding videos and corporate videos a new flare, pardon the pun.
There are a few ways one can use light leaks in own projects. Using light leaks over top of edits points is a great way to mask a cut point. Typically the brightest part of the light leak should be placed above the edit point. This will allow for a smooth and seamless transition between shots. However, light leaks do not always need to cover an edit. A nice edge burn in the middle of a shot can really spice up any piece of footage.
Particular events also benefit from the use of light leaks. For example, a nice autumn wedding will benefit from slow warmer glows and tones to match the romantic mood of the piece. In addition, a action packed surf video would be great fit for fast light leaks that wash over the scene and add to the pace of the footage. Furthermore, blue, green and purple overlays really lend themselves to concert footage and music video. This is because of the presence of these multi-colored lights that are already present in the scene.
When it comes to shooting weddings you need to make sure you have all your bases covered. This means having the right tools for the job. Being a wedding videographer can be difficult as each location is different and comes with it’s own unique set of challenges. Whether it’s too dark or too cramped, a perfectly suited kit of lenses can become your savour.
Having a wide lens will ensure you capture every moment that happens throughout the day. One of the best uses for a wide lens is when you’re using a steady-cam. A wide lens on a steady-cam creates a natural looking movement and one that is without unnecessary rolls and camera shakes. It lets you capture the days events easily without having to fiddle around with changing your lenses. Another reason to carry a good wide angle lens is when you’re in a tight situation, literally. Some venues are small and moving further away to capture a moment isn’t an option; without a wide angle lens you may completely miss the emotion in a particular moment.
So which wide angle zoom lenses are the best?
We like the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom, it covers all our bases and still gives us the option to zoom when need. Alternatively, we also like the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Standard Zoom Lens. Although this isn’t as wide, it offers a bit longer lens and may be a better option should you only have the budget for one lens. Both lens are 2.8 so shooting in lower light situations becomes a lot easier and you don’t have to rely so heavily on your ISO.
So which wide angle prime lenses are the best?
If we had to pick one wide angle prime lens we go for the Canon EF 28mm f/2.8 Lens. This lens gets you great quality at a decent price.