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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old November 8th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #1
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corporate training videos

I was approached by client that asked if I did corporate training videos and I told her that I was interested in getting into that part of the business. Now from you all I need some tips on how you go about putting one together.

Do you use any special lighting when filming?
Do you use a certain type of mic, currently have a shotgun ordered?
Do you have a contract, if so would you be willing to email me a copy so I can use as an example?
What do you charge? Do you charge per hour or per job?

If you do these types of jobs would you mind posting some of the steps you take?

I haven't done a search on these forums cause I don't have much time. Will do a search tomorrow. Thanks for your input.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:04 PM   #2
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80% of a corporate training video is understanding training objectives, translating that into a script, all in the context of good pedagogical practice, the rest 20% is video 101.

It's a complex subject to get into here in a forum discussion, but I have some suggestions for you

1. watch some good and bad ones. I always ask the client, "do you have any examples of training videos you're particularly impressed with?" Often clients have something they've seen and they like. This is a starting point.

2. Here are three books worth taking a look at if you like to read:

Scriptwriting for High-Impact Videos: Imaginative Approaches to Delivering Factual Information by John Morley

Preparing Instructional Objectives: A Critical Tool in the Development of Effective Instruction by Robert F. Mager

Designing and Producing Media-Based Training by Steve Cartwright and Phillip Cartwright

3. The best way to learn this craft, of course (no pun intended) is lend a hand on some corporate training videos and learn from others who are already doing the work. It takes some time to master and do well, and a little study will make you more competitive in the marketplace. As someone who has designed curriculum and demo videos (a cousin of training videos) I'll tell you, writing good instructional objectives is a key issue.

Good Luck!
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:25 PM   #3
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Lots of questions that you could find answers to with a search, but I'll chime in a little bit. A lot of this depends on what the shoot is, so take anything with a grain of salt.

Lighting: you should definitely be lighting any shots for the video. It's not a wedding reception where an on camera light will get you by. Bring at least a basic lighting kit and set up the shots properly. Note that lighting will increase your time on set a lot, so take that into consideration for your planning and pricing. You should budget for at least one other person to help you with set up and lighting on set.

Microphone: good sound is essential. If it's in the budget, hire a sound person who knows what he's doing and can save you the stress of managing picture and sound at the same time. Also saves you trying to get the equipment together on your own. A soundman will arrive with mic, boom, recorder, wireless system, etc., and know when to use what.

Contract: yes, you should have one. With no contract, you are opening yourselp up to all kinds of problems, not the least of which is the client demanding more than you had agreed on. Your contract should detail when each step in the process will be completed. For example, on such and such as date, you will deliver a rought cut for approval. By another date, the client must have provided all graphics needed, etc. I don't have a suitable one to email you, but perhaps someone else will.

Charge by the job, not by the hour, but estimate your hours to help you prepare your quote. Add up all your expenses (such as the soundman, music rights fees, tapes) to add to the total estimate. Add another 10-20% for wiggle room. For a corporate video, you could easily bill $75-100/hour. Maybe it seems like a lot, but you are paying a camerama (you), a soundman, renting/buying equipment, paying your rent, buying your car, etc, etc. These are all a part of doing business and need to be covered. Get it out of your head that this is a $1000 job. This a corporation that expects to pay to get quality. My last quote on a small video was $5000 for a 2 1/2 minute video, and that was cheap.

Ask if they need an animated opening for the video. If yes, you can job it out to an After Effects person, and take a cut of that, too. Do they need a professional storyboard? Same concept.

Steps to take? Depends on the client and the video. You need to meet with them to get a very good idea of what they want so you can prepare a good quote. Then perhaps you will storyboard. On and on...

Good luck.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:33 PM   #4
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Well to answer your questions
1) it depends

2) it depends

3) everytime

4) it varies

Not to be a smart aleck but those questions are somewhat general in nature and difficult to answer because every situation is different. I just did a 3 day gig where basically all I did was sit on my butt and tape (actually went back straight to DVD) a bunch of speakers at a seminar. 1 camera 1 operator patched into the sound board and had to keep slapping myself to stay awake.

I've done stuff thats is completely scripted out, I've done stuff that is completely unscripted, I've done corporate work that is run and gun news style interviews for their website. You know, "who are you? What do you do and what have you gotten from the (insert name here) seminar?"

As for a mic, sometimes I go into the sound board, sometimes I use a wireless lav or handheld, sometimes a boom mic but I never rely soley on the shtogun mic on any of my cameras.

As for a contract or service agreement, I can't really send one as each one is made specific to that cleient and the job but cover yourself, just like a wedding. Cover everthing (be specific) as to what you're going shot, when, where, who's involved, what equipment you are to supply for the shot, what pre and/or post production work you are to do for that shoot, what materials or personnel the client is to supply and don't forget the mony, I like to be very soecific when talking about that. How much for shooting, how much for editing, how much for voiceovers if needed, etc. Of course all of this is worked out in advance but be ready to be flexible, it changes quickly sometimes so adds on the agreement need to be taken care of. There is so much more that needs to be looked at, what I am able to charge here in my area is probably different than your situation.
As David said it can be a complex bit of work (even a 'simple' 3 day seminar when they just want you to point and shoot) his suggestions of reading and watching is a great way to get started.

Don
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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:38 PM   #5
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David and Don know much more than I about corporate video, so I would definitely pay attention to their comments. They sound right on the button...
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Old November 8th, 2006, 08:00 PM   #6
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Corporate video is just like any other video that you are producing, in that: it has to be visible, it has to be audible, it has to work within a budget, it has a deadline, and it needs to do it's job- and those are just the price of admission in my book. If you can set yourself apart with quality or style that is a bonus; but at the very least just deliver what you promise to, as you would on any other professional gig.

Your question isn't about corporate video so much as just the basics of working in video production; if you start with sites like www.dvinfo.net there are many free resources to help you get started.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #7
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lighting is paramount to any decent video, but wth corps, its imperitive you bring you own lighting..

why?

60mhz hum...

you mic WILL pick up this infernal humming.. even here in aus our hum is slightly less notcable, (50mhz) but its still there.
Lapel mics are essential as these help isolate the audio being captured.

i wont repeat what anyone else has said here, its all good advice..
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Old November 8th, 2006, 11:19 PM   #8
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Oh yes, the dreaded hum...even on lapel mics...I've re-arranged cables, bought better ones, turned lights off & on, switched to battery-power, etc. Good pair of headphones can save you.
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Old November 8th, 2006, 11:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson
60mhz hum...

you mic WILL pick up this infernal humming.. even here in aus our hum is slightly less notcable, (50mhz) but its still there.
If you can hear 60mhz hum, your hearing is much better than mine! (big grin)

Ok Pete, just had to bust your chops a little. I know you meant hertz, not megahertz.

It's all good...

-gb-
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Old November 9th, 2006, 01:25 AM   #10
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This is what I do for a living....an involved topic.
What type of training video is it? Is the goial to capture the tacit knowledge of a subject matter expert? A simple process overview?

I have found that generally the subjects in such training videos can be intensley camera shy. Some will think that you are there to make a training tape so the subject's job can be outsourced. Be sensitive to this.

So I recommend using a smaller, less intimidating cam whenever possible. Something like a Sony PD100A, HVR-A1u, or even a Panny GS400 are good choices. I have used a PD170, but some have even shied away from that.

Are you in a shop? if so, a lot of mics may even pick up buzzing noise from flourescent lights or ventillation system. That is why I use a wireless lav setup like Samson Airline Micro or Sennheiser EW112G2, whenever possible.

Keep your setup simple. Try and see the site where you will be shooting in advance to gage lighting requirements. Again, to avoid possibly makingg the subject feel too self-conscious or otherwise uncomfortable, keep lighting gear to a minimum if at all possible.

It is good to know the following:
1. What process or group of processes does the project focus on?
a. What process steps do you need to capture?
b. What footage already exists?
c. What is the budget in hours?
d. What special skills for the process are required?

2. Who is involved?
a. Who do I make contact with, an engineer, who?
b. Who must I show doing something?

3. Where is this happening?

4. When is this happening?

5. Why is documenting this important? Knowing why you are doing it helps
in communicating with the subject sometimes.

6. How does this process worK/
a. How can it best be shown?

There is a ton more, but start with this, you will do OK.

Best of luck--
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Old November 9th, 2006, 08:47 AM   #11
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Maybe this is more than i want to chew on. I had thought about it some but never realized just how much you guys/gals put into it. David, thanks for the book suggestions. I'll go by the book store this evening and hunt them down. Guess I was just a bit naive about what it takes. I'll make sure to study up on this some more before I commit to any job. Last thing I want is to give myself a bad rep. for not being prepared. Thanks to all for your input. I will read your postings several times so it can all soak in.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 02:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalo Alvidrez
[..] David, thanks for the book suggestions. I'll go by the book store this evening and hunt them down. [...]
They are all available via amazon.com (not an endorsement or recommendation) by the way.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 10:44 AM   #13
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I'd like to reiterate what David said in the first response to this post. I'm only reminding you so it doesn't get lost in the other posts that dealt with production...

In my opinion (I'm a professor so I guess I am biased:), intructional design is very important in creating any training video (or any training/teaching). I agree with David that 80% is in the design/scripting and the rest is in production. When doing tarining videos keep in mind that now you are not only a video producer/director/shooter, but now you are also a teacher. Regardless of how good the lighting/shooting/editing is, it's possible to all turn bad if you didn't start with a script that considers instructional design and peoples' learning styles. Just my .02.

-Don B.
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