HELP - Anyone do corporate video work? at

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Old August 21st, 2007, 05:26 PM   #1
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HELP - Anyone do corporate video work?

A family member of mine is the CEO of a fairly large business. She just contacted me to have a video developed that interviews key people within her company and explains their rich history and standing in their industry. I've only been doing weddings (and videography for that matter) for a year and I've never done any corporate work. I don't even know where to begin with how to do this. I think this video will have two potential functions: 1) marketing to potential clients 2) internal tool for human resources.

If I'm doing interviews, I'll need a light kit, right? Any recs for that?

Then I suppose I'll be overdubbing b-roll footage with interview audio. Any suggestions to make this interesting and not boring.

Do any of you have any additional tips for me or even samples of something similar that I could watch? I am a little nervous since this is such a big job, it's for family and I don't have a lot of experience. Thanks in advance!!
Andrea Lair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2007, 05:46 PM   #2
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hey andrea,
firstly be happy you've got a nice brief to work with
and use this as a learning tool.
what Id recommend, although a lot of this is subjective,
is to go to a photography website like dpreview and have
a look in the lighting techniques areas of the site.
believe me lighting is everything in this (as well as a nice backdrop).
Start there but remember that the lads over there are talking
about stills and therefore flash.
you want to take what they say in relation to key fill and backlight etc.,
and transform that info into a useable base for what you want to achieve-
a well lit, well composed and nicely shot frame.
theres plenty of people here to help you on every factor too. just ask.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:20 PM   #3
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As for lighting kits, I purchased a Britek kit a while back and it's been good and affordable.
Black Label Films
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Old August 21st, 2007, 06:57 PM   #4
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Dropping by your local A/V rental outfit and talking to one of the staff there is also helpful.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 07:09 PM   #5
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I highly recommend the dvd from, 'How to set up, light and shoot great looking interviews - (using a light kit that costs under $1500)', Excellent.

I have setup for filming at home and have found this dvd brilliant. I have books on lighting so knew quite a bit about it already, but the dvd made it all come together for me. While I haven't purchased all the gear they recommend - which is not much, I have invested in some of it, or cheaper equivilents. I've actually done it for quite a bit cheaper than $1500 but that is because I'm a builder and can make my own stuff or modify alternatives.

Two other things I have set up for interview/talking head type situations are a teleprompter (I have the plans and photos if anyone is interested) and a green screen. The latter means I can set up tasteful, appropriate backdrops without having to find a nice location, and without bothering the person being filmed. I just film them in my 'studio' and then chose and film the appropriate backdrop - or simply take a well composed/crafted and focused still of it, and put it behind the person through chroma keying.

I'm improving all the the time, but the results to date I am very very happy with. I'm just in the process of finishing a dvd with a political theme, which I filmed this way, which we hope to market. I haven't done anything for pay yet, but I'm at the point I could begin to.

I held a video camera for the first time only a year and a half ago.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 07:09 PM   #6
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I'd recommend sub-contracting the job out to a very capable video guy out of Houma, La. Yep, that's what I'd do.

-Ethan Cooper
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Old August 21st, 2007, 07:13 PM   #7
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Just a few pointers about lighting this kind of thing:

No Sun Gun or any kind of on-camera light. Depending upon the location, you may be able to get away with using a soft fill all by itself. Or bounce something small off a reflector

Some other points:

Lavaliers for the audio and be fastidious about hiding the mic cable. Use your head phones and listen for clothing rustle if the men are wearing suit jackets.

I would lock off your cam for interview shots but don't go in too tight; a nice medium close up will suffice. Look out for plants growing out of their heads. Try to create depth in the background. If on location, angle them in front of a bookcase instead of having it flat behind them.

If you want to use a photographer's backdrop, drop a small fill light down between background and subject to create some back.

Give your interview subject some kind of brief; if you have questions, give them out ahead of time so they can prepare some responses. I always have them phrase a resonse with the question in it; if the question is, how many employees do you have, they should say "We have 500 employees" .. not "500"

When you have your interviews done, write a script from it ... a script that you will use to shoot your B-roll, to make your shoots efficiant. That way, if they talk about specific equipment, processes, etc. you will know to go shoot that. Bear in mind, you will never seem to have enought B-roll.

To make things interesting, you can do a short (like 10 to 20 seconds) musical montage to open the video; if it is industrial, lots of tight shots of gear cut to music. If the company is more employee oriented, lots of close ups of happy faces cut to music.

Keep your graphics nice and clean. Lower third name keys with name and the person's positon separated by a colored bar. Encorporating the company logo in the name keys is a nice touch.

Also, keep in mind what the end product will be: Will it be burned on CD/DVD to be played on workstations? Will it be on the web? Will it be shown on large LCDs?

Also bear in mind, that every corporate client wants their video to do EVERYTHING .. and that ain't go happen. Keep them on task; target market and message. That's the ball game
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Old August 21st, 2007, 07:14 PM   #8
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All joking aside, hiring a lighting guy who would also be willing to hold a boom for audio would be a wise idea.

Remember, you are not lighting the scene, you are placing the shadows where you want them.

There are pros out there that might be happy with a day's pay on a weekday. And they probably would be not much more expensive than renting lights. And cheaper than buying them if this is a one time deal.
Steven Gotz
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:13 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the great responses! I have to call tomorrow to get more details and this helps out alot to get me thinking on what I'll need to do.

This will be in an office setting with employees as more their product than actual goods since they basically offer a service to clients. I'll start reading up on lighting kits and techniques. I'll also look into both renting equipment and hiring someone. Since this is only a one-time gig, buying equipment doesn't make sense. Depending on their budget for the project, I'll see whether I can afford to hire someone to help me out. I really have no idea what number they are looking at. Which I guess would be my next question? What is reasonable to charge for something like this? Again, I'll have more details later, but I imagine I'll interview 3-4 people. Then take some b-roll footage of employees at work with some other stuff thrown in. So probably one day of shooting. As far as length, not sure. I can't imagine they would want something too long.

Thanks again for the great tips! This really does help me out alot. You have a lot of good points for me to start from and go from there.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 08:18 PM   #10
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Find a lighting guy who also does audio and price that in to the deal. Otherwise, both you and the client might be less than satisfied.
Steven Gotz
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