Starting to film instructional videos for company

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    • #39398
      Avatarnationalboiler
      Participant

      Well by the title you can guess I am fishing for info. I have been nominated by my company to start filming our safety orientation videos in house. Having no previous experience in the amateur filming field I was open to input. First I am tech savvy and can hold my own and learn ultra quick, that’s why I was chosen for this, the hardware I have found that many people recommend is the Sony HDR-SR1, however I am looking for opinions. I also understand I need a tri-pod for stability, lighting, and a mic. I am considering getting either a mac mini, or buying Adobe Premiere for my Windows PC for editing. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

      Thanks,

      Shawn

    • #170336
      Avatarkfox
      Participant

      I have to agree with Comp on this one! NOT because I am production director for a company that shoots these type of videos, NOT because we don’t make any money when companies do this themselves, and NOT because we have large egos and think no one can do what we do….but for the reasons Comp suggested, adding:

      Almost all professionals are more than happy to provide advice on a project. It’s not only courtesy, but it’s good business. We know that you will recommend us and come to us when you want to do a job that’s more than you can handle. Liken your situation to the company motor pool. Your company can buy you the tools and a good manual, but I think you’d be better off not cancelling the contract with the local garage!

      With your aptatude for learning and "technical savvy" you will make an excellent project coordinator to not only get the most from an outside source, but to communicate your needs with a good deal of understanding on both sides of the project.

      Best for the new year!

      Kfox

    • #170337
      AvatarTomScratch
      Participant

      Hi,

      Being tech savvy has relevance if the subject of the video is in your area of tech expertise; or if you ever got to the editing stage you would be able to deal with crashes!

      Not clear if your company has 3 employees or 3000; I would guess in the 3 to 300 range. Whatever, you still have room to exercise initiative and make you and your company look good. Use technology to track down companies that might have similar safety orientation issues or sites that directly address these issues, to be the subject of the video. Find out how training has been done on the subject by others. A video may be a great idea; or it may have been an arbitrary call that falls short of other approaches. There may be videos out there that that can be used commercial off the shelf AKA COTS or that can be adapted. Perhaps the producers of a similar video can be contracted to do your companys video. Many years ago, I was out of the blue directed in front of the top Commanders of a major Army installation to develop a comic book to illustrate answers to workers comp problems. In private the Big Boss later concurred with me that it was a dumb idea and it was dropped. Whether its a video solution, new or borrowed, or another approach, do a good job of supporting your recommendation on the media to be used AND the execution.

      Footnote. About 30 years ago I ended up being assigned and credited as Coordinator of a Performance Appraisal training video for HUD. It certainly wasnt because of training or video expertise at the time. The hardest part, taking by far the most time, was getting the script ready. (The equivalent of a large committee ended up picking at the script.) The actual shooting took 2 days in the HUD cafeteria and offices. A young Ron Canada played one of the supervisors in this low budget US Govt training video shot in Washingon DC. Canada has gone on to play perhaps more Chief of Policy characters in TV shows over the next 3 decades than any one in history. He was the bar owner/Generals son in one of my favorite films, John Sayles’ Lonestar. In any event, he was strong actor who got the attention of employees while on screen during the training video.

      Wishing you great success.

      REGARDS TOM 8)

    • #170338
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      I may get trounced for suggesting this but I would say go for it – whole hog!

      I am a programmer by trade (OK – a bit more than that – been doing it professionally for 30 years) but have always loved photography and videography (had a video camera for home stuff in the early 80’s, had super 8 movie cameras since the late 60’s and have been a serious semi-pro photographer since age 6).

      I re-entered the world of video about three years ago and got serious about it about two years ago. Since then I have been reading, going to shows & user groups, viewing training materials, shooting, editing and generally playing around with this as much as possible – and at this point I am ready to propose a digital media center to my company (over 3000 employees in over 20 countries). I got to this point by doing small video presentations – they started more as slideshows with narration and music and have progressed through several compnaywide pieces and now to the point where I was asked to interview the president and CEO and create a video for our Diversity Steering Committee (on which I also sit). I was told the other day by my CTO that "my videos have enormous credibility with upper management" (kinda makes you feel good).

      I have very little training in this – I did a six month photography tutelage over 30 years ago with Ludolph Burkhardt (the same guy who taught Frank Lee) – but other than that just reading, practice and determination have been my schoolmasters. I have become the unofficial "go to" guy for all things photographic and media in my company. I figure that if I can do this (with my small modicum of talent) then anyone can – All it takes is time, learning, practice and the determination that this is what you’d like to happen.

      Just a final note, your company should be made aware of the costs of creating such a position – I have done some research and figure you can do a small, start-up department for around $50,000 (yes, that’s fifty thousand), which would include a decent camera, a backup camera, tripod & head, basic lighting and sound, two decent computers (not stellar-just ok) and a reasonable software setup (NLE, audio tools, video tools, RF music package, RF video and still collateral). Considering my company paid a "professional" production company more than that for a horrible five minute video they had me redo for a senior management meeting (so bad I couldn’t even salvage 30 seconds of it) they will be getting a bargain.

      I wish you all the luck I can – Lemme know how things progress.

    • #170339
      Avatarnationalboiler
      Participant

      I am truly thankful for all of your responses, they are very informational and detailed.

      To give a little more detail, our last video was made in ’92, was 15-20 min. and cost us $30,000. It was made by the local TV station, which to me is why it cost so much (actor, site shooting, editing and all). We are a small company (40-50 employees full time) that is trying to expand at a rapid rate. I cannot convince them otherwise to outsource this, they feel it would be a hassle, because of the video footage we will be shooting, per se at the last minute they may ask me to travel 300 miles to capture certain footage at a particular job site, or fly somewhere last minute. That just isn’t something you can ask of a professional at the last minute, which is how these things are sometimes. I understand this may blow up in our face because of the inexperience we have at doing this, but I am confident in our abilities and they are stuck like glue to me doing this. So I was wondering if you all could recommend a good camcorder to start this project out with. And to responses:

      kfox: I totally agree with what your saying, I will start looking around for someone as a contingency plan (who should I be looking for wedding videographer or what title?)

      birdcat: I’m in a similar situation you were in except, it’s not really create a department thing, it’s add to whatever your currently doing (website, form design, tech specialist, phone administrator, graphic designer, assitant network admin, etc. etc.)

      Thank you all again for your help and advice.

    • #170340
      Avatarpaulears
      Participant

      Experience and kit quality make for better proramming. The other thing they may well have forgotten is how long it actually takes to produce stuff like this – a 30 minute programme may well take 3 weeks to shoot and edit to get reasonable production quality values – if it is just you, you will go mad. you needs somebody to look after sound, lighting, video, and direct – A director is critical. this can be you, but how many hats can you wear at once. Budget needs looking at properly. Duplication equipment and other items will be required, storage, studio and editing space.

      Doing it on the cheap ALWAYS produces poor programming. Let’s say you go Adobe – premiere, after effects, photoshop, illustrator etc don’t come cheap. They need to be aware what can and cannot be done on a bodge job.

    • #170341
      Avatarbirdcat
      Participant

      nationalboiler Wrote:

      birdcat: I’m in a similar situation you were in except, it’s not really create a department thing, it’s add to whatever your currently doing (website, form design, tech specialist, phone administrator, graphic designer, assitant network admin, etc. etc.)

      Please don’t get me wrong – My other duties (analysis, programming & design; server setup, troubleshooting & maint; screen design; assorted committees, etc…) have not gone away – I just used to do this stuff from my home setup wih my own tools & materials. I’m more & more convincing them to let me do it here on their time & nickel!

      It’s gonna be a long year…..

    • #170342
      Avatarnationalboiler
      Participant

      paulears Wrote:

      Experience and kit quality make for better proramming. The other thing they may well have forgotten is how long it actually takes to produce stuff like this – a 30 minute programme may well take 3 weeks to shoot and edit to get reasonable production quality values – if it is just you, you will go mad. you needs somebody to look after sound, lighting, video, and direct – A director is critical. this can be you, but how many hats can you wear at once. Budget needs looking at properly. Duplication equipment and other items will be required, storage, studio and editing space.

      Doing it on the cheap ALWAYS produces poor programming. Let’s say you go Adobe – premiere, after effects, photoshop, illustrator etc don’t come cheap. They need to be aware what can and cannot be done on a bodge job.

      Well the equipment purchase and tools necessary to be purchased are not what they are worried about (they have already bought me Adobe CS2 Premium, for graphics and brochure design projects.) They just need a list of what I need for this, and that is what I am compiling at the moment.

    • #170343
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Back to your original post… is this an ongoing project, or is it something that could be shot every few years? Just curious.

    • #170344
      Avatarnationalboiler
      Participant

      MullinsMedia Wrote:

      Back to your original post… is this an ongoing project, or is it something that could be shot every few years? Just curious.

      Safety: Shot every few years, but we may get into other things (promotional videos for marketing, human resources, etc.) since we are purchasing this equipment.

    • #170345
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      That’s cool. I’m not sure what the other posters think, and it may be too late now, but I would think a safety video could be shot and produced for around $3000 in less than a week. If you’re planning on doing these more often and in other locations, than it would be worth it to buy the equipment and get the necessary training. One company I do alot of work for love outsourcing to me because it’s way more cost effective.

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