Suggested setup for corporate style videos

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    • #61015

      We would like to do a series of short (2-4 minute) video segments of various corporate personalities in our industry.  We have zero video expertise, but would like to create something simple but high quality.  Love to get any recommendations on a setup that would render decent quality but be relatively simple to use.  We are generally a tech-savvy group, but recognize video requires expertise we don't have.  Thanks in advance for any suggestions. 

    • #207418

      Camcorder mounted on tripod, 3 point light setup, uncluttered background, wireless microphone…

    • #207422

      All you need to start an airline is a plane, right?  The process is far more involved than buying widgets.  The time needed to learn to use the gear in a professional manner is conciderable and buying everything you really need to get the job done can be a huge sticker shock.  

      Let's assume –

      A low end, video capable DSLR with a lens, cards, batteries, and a cheap K-Mart tripod – $1500

      A good wireless -$650

      Asst cables – $75

      Software – $100 up depending on what you buy.  

      Assuming you already have a computer and storage suitable for editing.  If not, add thousands.
      Lighting – Yesterday I shot an interview for an Emmy winning series of documentaries with two kinoflos but I stack of stands and flags.  What am I saying?  Modern cameras really don't need too much light so the idea is about control and quality over lumens.  In this case, we augmented what was there and spent our energies on balancing and shaping the light.  Someone who knows what they are doing can create a scene with no professional gear, someone who doesn't know what they are doing can have all the tools in the world and end up with a mess.  Light will make or break your job.  For that reason, I'd say to hire a local gaffer with a small package.  – $450-$650/day depending on market.


      But that's the cheap part of the process.  Now let's look at the time to learn to edit your footage, use your gear, etc.  Moving employees from normal tasks to let them learn new skills is very expensive in terms of time and lost billing since they won't be performing their normal tasks.  Let's assume that Bill and Tom are mid level employess making $50K.  They will spend the equivelant of 2 days each looking for the equipment to buy.  A two-three days  becoming nominally familiar with how to use the new camera. A day installing and setting up sofware on an existing workstation.  A week on tutorials to learn FCP basics.  A few days together editing your video clips, searching online forums to find out how to make a moving graphic and color correct footage. 

      In the end, you will have spent several thousand on gear and software and maybe $5000 in salaries. Not including benefits, office space, lost revenue when Bill and Tom are are distracted from normal duties, you end up with an $8000 video done by people who have never made a professional video before.  OUCH!  

      Now, let's look at what it would cost to have a professional crew come in.  I live in Birmingham, Al which is a mid level market.  Larger markets can be more expensive but often times the price can actually go down due to increased competition. 
      Two man crew with HD broadcast camera package and support, 10-hr day $1500
      Lighting and grip package – $200
      Meals, expendibles, and misc – $200

      Two days edting $3000
      Library music – 200
      Deliverables – $250

      Total Cost – $5350

      These are ballparks that can vary widely depending on your content but hopefully it shows that rolling your own isn't the best approach if you only plan to do a few videos each year.  Call some local production companies and approach it in this direction :
      We want to produce X 2-4 minute bio clips.
      Our budget is X.
      What can you provide at that price point?

      Each production company will give you a slightly different approach based on their capabilities and experience.  Ultimately, folks who succeed in production do so by being good at maximizing resources and stretching every nickel.  Benefit from their years of experience rather than trying to learn it all yourself.  You may stumble onto a great partner who will give you far more than you budget reflects because they need the work, want to build their reel with a cool project or see the value in fostering a relationship with your company.  

      Like I said at the begining, running an airline is far more involved than buying a plane.  Same with video.  Your group may be the rare exception that can buy the tools, hit the ground running and produce something good.  I'll bet you $5 you can do far better by outsourcing to pros who will make your company look far better for less money once you look at the true costs of doing it yourself.





    • #207424

      To determine whether you are willing to invest in equipment or outsourcing, perhaps you'd be willing to perform an experiment?



      I would, at the very least, purchase the Videomaker Book of Forms:  (You can just get the download version). 



      This will give you an idea of some of what's involved in the process and also give you some structure, if you decide to proceed.



      Once you have the forms, fill out (at the minimum) the A/V Information Sheet (pages 7, 8 & 9), perhaps a script and a Storyboard (page 41).  After you've filled out the forms, you should have an idea of what you desire and what you're willing to commit to.



      If you're still eager – Try a shoot with whatever equipment you have already:  a couple of cellphones w/video capability for multiple angles, maybe a work light or two.



      Here's a potential benefit:  Videographers/editors/directors often try to achieve a "look" and/or "sound".  If you're VERY lucky, the cellphones/work lights will suffice.



      If you've gotten this far, I'd say you're probably good candidates for self-promotion.  Read some equipment reviews and have at it πŸ˜‰



      If not, maybe you should outsource…


    • #207440

      I was in the same situation when I started doing some video, I got a consumer camcorder with manual focus (I needed to do fine close up work on small equipment) and some basic editing gear. If you will the Adobe elements suite (premiere and photoshop elements) I bought by mistake because they where on sale. A subscription to to learn how to edit and I was off. Now all said and done my profession is not video but I like it as a hobby. If you count the amount of time it taks me to edit a meeting or learn a new program (creative suite) my employer would be broke. But I enjoy it and love the challenge of putting out high quality work. If you need high quality and cost containment a video crew might be the cheapest. If this is something that you want to do consider this.     Higher end consumer camcorder such as sony 580 series, there are many great cameras in this price range.   Premiere Elements (Apple is also good I just don't have a Mac) with photoshop (so you can make titles, lower thirds, and bugs) $124. Lastly if the budget allows a good wireless lav mic is essential especially for meetings I use a shure PG system about $250. I have mic'd an entire room with this. Although their are many good mics out their I have never bought a shure that disappointed me. Hope this helps.

    • #207660
      AvatarPine Fresh Media

      As Brian and Ed point out, there are a number of different approaches possible, with different price tags attached. I'm assuming because you want to do it yourself then the price tag Brian is alluding too is probably far out of your range.


      I think one of the major questions is what is the audience for the video series? Is it external or internal? Are you looking for it to represent your brand publicly? If the later is the case, then you need to way up between the quality of the the production with the communication that is contained in the video and wether you're winning or losing in this equation.


      With all this in mind, an acceptable video can be made with an iPhone and some make shift lighting setup. Although if you have any budget for hiring equipment, (assuming you have a iPhone or DSLR) I would suggest hiring a lapel mic as your first point of call. Audio is one of the biggest quality degraders in these situations.


      Keep it simple. One setup, plently of light. Camera fixed. Audio.


      Hope that helps.


    • #213496

      To add more valuable information, here are some tips mate:

      1. Pick a good story and focus on it, highlight the story that you want to stand out and have a purpose so that it will be very convincing.
      2. Of course you need to plan on it, brainstorm some ideas and make a good plan.
      3. Its a must that you know the target audience very well and then put some entertainment and connection so that the will be recognized.
      4. Production value matters!

      I hope this will help.

      Maryann Farrugia
      Crunchbase Profile:

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