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Thread: how to start a one-man-video production house

  1. #1

    Default how to start a one-man-video production house

    I manage a corporate video production house in Singapore. (Bamboo Pictures Tel:96961157) My clients include Fortune 500 multi-nationals like Hewlett Packard, AC Nielsen, Cisco Systems, Visa. etc. But I also serve a large base of local Small and Medium-sized Enterprises or SME in Singapore.

    Through the years, I've worked on projects of all sizes with budgets ranging from pro-bono $0 to $40,000. Many companies think that producing a video is a costly affair. Well, they are both right and wrong.

    In Singapore, the cost of producing a 5 minute corporate video can range between $3,000 & $30,000. That explains why video is seldom used in the marketing mix of companies here.

    But times; they are a changin' and marketing executives will be surprised to learn that they may already have a undiscovered video production unit in their company. Here's how to get it into operation.

    Finding Mr Producer
    The most basic production house will need a producer, a scriptwriter , a director, a cameraperson, a sound engineer, and a video editor. So the one-man in-house video production unit needs to be a jack-of-all-trades. He/She should enjoy watching movies and understand how shots go together to make a coherent narrative. A film school graduate would be perfect but anybody with a love for making beautiful things is a good place to start. He/She should also be a brave experimentor who's not afraid to install and tinker with new cameras, mics and software.

    Finding a Camera
    Many of today's consumer devices are capable of capturing video. These include digital still cameras, webcams, and lately cellphones. Depending on the company's budget you would do well to select the most efficient video camera you can lay your hands on.

    By efficiency, I mean the time it takes to shoot footage that both looks & sounds good; plus getting that footage into a computer for editing.
    If your management is supportive of your little experiment, do recommend Direct-to-Edit solutions for your own sanity. (Unless you enjoy working overtime with pay)

    "Direct-to-edit" means recording video onto a harddisk instead of tape. You plug in the harddisk into your PC and start editing. Ideally, you should get a 3CCD miniDV video camera like the Sony VX2100/Sony PD170; with a FS-4 Firestore harddisk. The Sonys give professional results in available light conditions. An extra table lamp is all you need for a real glamour shot.

    If you only have a sub SGD2,000 budget, go with the http://Sony-DCR-SR100 which records in MPEG2 mode. The concession is: (A) you would have to invest in better lighting equipment; and (B) you can't do fanciful video compositing in post-production.

    Tripod
    A tripod is a must for any camera. If you've purchase the heavier VX2100 / PD170, the lightest tripod I recommend is the Libec TH-650. But if you are using the DCR-SR100, then any fluid-head tripod will suffice. Take care to use a LANC remote controller to eliminate shakes if you're using a lightweight cameras like the DCR-SR100.

    Microphone
    Never use the on-board mic of your camera unless you are recording only the cameraman's commentary. Since you are a one-man production house, you will need the talent to be her own sound recordist. The best way to do that is to make your talent wear the Sennheiser's G2 lapel microphone. These are wireless, lightweight, virtually interference-free and last 9 hours on 2 AA batteries. Yes, they are expensive (SGD750) but I would NOT recommend ANYTHING else!!!!! In fact, you should have two of these so you can shoot conversations and set-ups with two or more talents. (use a minijack splitter and you can share the G2's transmitter between two mics)

    The other microphone you MUST have is the Coles commentator 4104lip mic. This is for recording voiceovers (hire radio voice talents if you can afford to )Hold it to your lips and it won't pick up any unwanted office noise (telephone, typing, air-con etc) It needs to be powered by a mixer or a pre-amp though. So Behringer's UB502 is the cheapest and smallest solution.

    Non-Linear Editing
    Again, you should choose the most efficient software that your computer can run. The feature you should be looking for is realtime preview of effects and transitions. Sony's Vegas+DVDis an example of a NLE (non-linear editor) that has this function.

    But if your boss gives you carte blanche to buy any new computer/software combination that suits your new responsibilities, then buy the new MacPros by Apple. They run Final Cut Studio and any Windows software!

    Of course, if budget is an issue, you can always download Avid's free DV editor. Take note Free DV works only with DV, so if you are shooting on the DCR-100E's MPEG-2, then you'll have to buy Vegas+DVD or Adobe Premiere Elements.

    Now that you have some idea on how to assemble a video production unit. I will tell you in my next post the kinds of videos you can produce in your own office.

    Bamboo Pictures
    10 Anson Road
    #23-11
    Singapore 079903
    Tel: (65)96961157 / (65)64463788
    rodney@bamboopictures.com
    Last edited by bamboopictures.com; 11-07-2006 at 11:01 AM. Reason: typos

  2. #2
    www.visualise.tv Guest

    Default

    Hi Rodney

    Interesting article.

    We do have a lot of similarities in the sense that I'm creating corporate video productions, most of the time on my own.

    I shoot, edit, write scripts, and deal with all kinds of corporate clients.

    Perhaps someday we'll get a chance to synergise and work together.

    You can contact me via my details below. All the best!

  3. #3

    Default Video Production in Singapore

    Ready to set up your own video production outfit? Video production in Singapore is a vibrant and exciting industry. Bamboo Pictures specialises in the shooting and editing videos for corporate, events, training, marketing and publicity use.

    Corporate videos is a genre that borrows from other kinds of familiar presentations that audiences are used to seeing on television, DVD or the cinema. If you are planning to make a corporate video, pick a format that best suit your the amount and type of information you need to convey. Here are some common presentation formats:

    The TV commercial
    This is genre that is as diverse as they come. You can make them in 15 seconds, 30 secs or 60 seconds spot. Think Superbowl and you get an idea of the kinds of high impact video. The TV commercial genre is perfect for branding your company, product, or services. There's not much time for detailed information so the images, music and storyline is important to convey a positive feeling about your subject.

    The info-mercial

    This is a long-form TV commercial that focuses on product benefits, testimonials, demonstrations and street interviews. It usually requires a polished presenter but a good voiceover would also work fine.
    Applied to your corporate presentation, and you would have a hard-selling piece that covers alot of topics.

    The News Package

    This is perhaps the most commonly used format for corporate videos. Usually, a voiceover narrates key messages about your product or company. The accompanying visuals may include video footage, animation, charts and graphs, maps, photos. There are usually camera interviews of personnels, customers interspersing the voiceover segments. But unlike real hard-news styled presentation, corporate videos using this format invariably has a music bed running through it.
    This format is perfect for a 2 to 10 minute presentation.

    The Interview

    This is a common genre seen on TV shows like 60 minutes. It is rather inexpensive and easy to pull off for budding inhouse producers. The interviewee can be internal staff or satisfied customers. A few interviews can be stringed together for longer presentations. Talking heads can be boring to watch after a few minutes, so it important to shoot the talk as well as the talker. That means, illustrating what the interviewee says with the appropriate footage. For example, when the interviewee mentions a particular event, audience would expect to see footages or photos from that event as they listen to his/her commentary. Background music added in post-production can jazz up the mood of the interview.

    The Sponsored Documentary

    If there are complex issues or processes to explain to a captive audience, the documentary can be engaging and persuasive. Documentaries runs much longer than News Packages and so requires signpost or chapter markers to break up and organise the content. Pacing is important to keep the audience interested. this can be done with the judicious use of music and cutaways. Like the News Package, documentaries can include voiceovers, footage, interviews, photos, illustration, charts, graphs, music

    The Guided Tour

    A colorful personality in the office can add a fun element to an otherwise staid topic. The Lonely Planet treatment can be applied to company profiles, events, venues, products etc. The presentation can be scripted or ad-libed and shots should include lots of handheld and walk-and-talk sequences.

    The Movie Trailer

    A movie trailer runs for about 2-3 minutes and relies heavily on impactful music, soundbites and a tightly edited script. Movie trailers are great for problem-solution type presentations as there is an inherent drama within such situations. They are also great for stories about trials and tribulations, new inventions, build-up to big events etc.

    The sponsored movie

    More than mere reenactments, sponsored movie can deliver massive amounts of data over an entertaining hour long presentation. Key information about the company and its products or services can be worked into a fictitional script. Humor is easily acheived by spoofing famous movies and scenes. Make sure there is a pay-off for the audience by writing in good cliffhanger scenes and a rousing finale.

    Reality TV

    reality TV is perfect for real people, stories, and products. The format usually requires a quest of some sought and an element of competition. Slice of life shows like American Chopper also lends themselves well to explaining a company's operation and market.

    Music Video

    MTVs are entertaining and runs for the duration of one song (4-6minutes). If the lyrics of a particular song fits the message you want to convey, shoot footage with the lyrics in mind. Corporate videos applying this format can also rely on superimposed text to convey additional information. An animated photo slideshow set to music is one way to put together a quick MTV. Muvee and Memories on TV are excellent softwares that can automatically produce MTVs within a few minutes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,612

    Default

    bamboopictures.com

    You do realize that your posts contain some ammount of publicity for your company. But I'm not gonna edit them out because your guide is informative so I'm doing you a favor too. Just don't cross the line, please. If, at some point, you want to advertise, please use the section called "Pimp the link".

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bamboopictures.com View Post
    I manage a corporate video production house in Singapore. (Bamboo Pictures Tel:96961157) My clients include Fortune 500 multi-nationals like Hewlett Packard, AC Nielsen, Cisco Systems, Visa. etc. But I also serve a large base of local Small and Medium-sized Enterprises or SME in Singapore.

    Through the years, I've worked on projects of all sizes with budgets ranging from pro-bono $0 to $40,000. Many companies think that producing a video is a costly affair. Well, they are both right and wrong.

    In Singapore, the cost of producing a 5 minute corporate video can range between $3,000 & $30,000. That explains why video is seldom used in the marketing mix of companies here.

    But times; they are a changin' and marketing executives will be surprised to learn that they may already have a undiscovered video production unit in their company. Here's how to get it into operation.

    Finding Mr Producer
    The most basic production house will need a producer, a scriptwriter , a director, a cameraperson, a sound engineer, and a video editor. So the one-man in-house video production unit needs to be a jack-of-all-trades. He/She should enjoy watching movies and understand how shots go together to make a coherent narrative. A film school graduate would be perfect but anybody with a love for making beautiful things is a good place to start. He/She should also be a brave experimentor who's not afraid to install and tinker with new cameras, mics and software.

    Finding a Camera
    Many of today's consumer devices are capable of capturing video. These include digital still cameras, webcams, and lately cellphones. Depending on the company's budget you would do well to select the most efficient video camera you can lay your hands on.

    By efficiency, I mean the time it takes to shoot footage that both looks & sounds good; plus getting that footage into a computer for editing.
    If your management is supportive of your little experiment, do recommend Direct-to-Edit solutions for your own sanity. (Unless you enjoy working overtime with pay)

    "Direct-to-edit" means recording video onto a harddisk instead of tape. You plug in the harddisk into your PC and start editing. Ideally, you should get a 3CCD miniDV video camera like the Sony VX2100/Sony PD170; with a FS-4 Firestore harddisk. The Sonys give professional results in available light conditions. An extra table lamp is all you need for a real glamour shot.

    If you only have a sub SGD2,000 budget, go with the http://Sony-DCR-SR100 which records in MPEG2 mode. The concession is: (A) you would have to invest in better lighting equipment; and (B) you can't do fanciful video compositing in post-production.

    Tripod
    A tripod is a must for any camera. If you've purchase the heavier VX2100 / PD170, the lightest tripod I recommend is the Libec TH-650. But if you are using the DCR-SR100, then any fluid-head tripod will suffice. Take care to use a LANC remote controller to eliminate shakes if you're using a lightweight cameras like the DCR-SR100.

    Microphone
    Never use the on-board mic of your camera unless you are recording only the cameraman's commentary. Since you are a one-man production house, you will need the talent to be her own sound recordist. The best way to do that is to make your talent wear the Sennheiser's G2 lapel microphone. These are wireless, lightweight, virtually interference-free and last 9 hours on 2 AA batteries. Yes, they are expensive (SGD750) but I would NOT recommend ANYTHING else!!!!! In fact, you should have two of these so you can shoot conversations and set-ups with two or more talents. (use a minijack splitter and you can share the G2's transmitter between two mics)

    The other microphone you MUST have is the Coles commentator 4104lip mic. This is for recording voiceovers (hire radio voice talents if you can afford to )Hold it to your lips and it won't pick up any unwanted office noise (telephone, typing, air-con etc) It needs to be powered by a mixer or a pre-amp though. So Behringer's UB502 is the cheapest and smallest solution.

    Non-Linear Editing
    Again, you should choose the most efficient software that your computer can run. The feature you should be looking for is realtime preview of effects and transitions. Sony's Vegas+DVDis an example of a NLE (non-linear editor) that has this function.

    But if your boss gives you carte blanche to buy any new computer/software combination that suits your new responsibilities, then buy the new MacPros by Apple. They run Final Cut Studio and any Windows software!

    Of course, if budget is an issue, you can always download Avid's free DV editor. Take note Free DV works only with DV, so if you are shooting on the DCR-100E's MPEG-2, then you'll have to buy Vegas+DVD or Adobe Premiere Elements.

    Now that you have some idea on how to assemble a video production unit. I will tell you in my next post the kinds of videos you can produce in your own office.

    Bamboo Pictures
    10 Anson Road
    #23-11
    Singapore 079903
    Tel: (65)96961157 / (65)64463788
    rodney@bamboopictures.com
    Professional DVD authoring software lets you create Hollywood-style menus, with DVD's using your own videos, music, and photos. DVD's are quickly replacing videotapes as the video publishing media of choice for video professionals and video enthusiasts. DVD burners are now widely available at prices well within the reach of average consumers.

    The finish DVD authoring is comprised of video information in the form of MPEG-2 video streams. A menu system can be included within a title set, allowing the viewer to select between the different subtitle and audio tracks. DVD's delivers the ultimate media communications experience. Cleaner pictures, clearer sound, and most importantly, easy to navigate.

    The best program I used to author DVDís is DVD Studio Pro from apple.
    This is a Mac platform program that comes bundle with video editing software, motion graphics software, and text titling software, professional music editing software, and video & audio compressing software that cost $1,299.00. There is no limit to your imagination with this package.

    About The Author: Roger King has been using DVD studio pro for DVD authoring and get the best results ever. Itís professional software, with all the Hollywood bells and whistles. If you would like to learn more about DVD authoring, check out my website to learn more.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    London
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    Exclamation

    Ok boys and girls - anymore blatant plugging of your own site will result in that post being deleted and this thread being locked - come on now, dont take the piss with the bending the rules.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    London
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    Default

    thread closeddue to excesive spam

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