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Indermaur Media - Visual Narrative Blog by Scott Indermaur

Informational blog about techniques, ideas,industry trends, clients and projects of Indermaur Media. Written by Scott Indermaur, professional corporate photographer.

Posts in multimedia
6 Tips for Creating a Successful Corporate MultiMedia Production
corporate multimedia digital production tips for success

An effective production process for digital media production is essential in making any assignment a success, beginning with a solid foundation during pre-production. This allows the content production phase to run smoothly, focused on developing compelling multimedia stories.

Commercial Multimedia Production - Boston MA
While producing a commercial multi-media campaign, using photography and video for a midwest financial company, we conducted a nationwide search for locations that needed a unique vision and style. We decided on Boston, Massachusetts.

This project was a rather large with a multimedia crew of 24 people that included Boston based actors, makeup artists, a wardrobe stylist, producers, assistants, art directors, client and of course the media crew to capture lifestyle still photography and video. With lots of moving parts, it was critical to have a production team we could rely upon. Primarily, a Producer that is organized will understand all the details. The producer’s role entails getting permits and finding talent, arranging many people on location in Boston, and holding a large multimedia video production crew to a schedule that constantly moves to different sets around the city.

A few tips we learned from this project:

  1. Focus mostly on today. During the pre-production phase, there are tons of moving parts and loose ends. Pleasant surprises appear and there may even be a shift with the art direction. For me, as the Director, I needed to look at the production’s overarching big picture with deadlines and tasks. Though the majority of my time spent is focused mainly on today’s tasks. Sometimes looking at the big picture, with the hundreds of tasks to complete, can be overwhelming but concentrating on the immediate production tasks makes for a less stressful and productive day.

  2. Have a fantastic crew. In this case, we created a team that was mostly Boston and Rhode Island-based. New England is my “backyard” so this wasn’t overly stressful; but on other assignments there will times when a local producer, scout or contact is worth their weight in gold. It is common, especially on larger projects, to hire local connections to ease local logistics. From a permit that needs a local to push it through, to knowing certain areas that may not be the ideal place for a visual production.

  3. Create a detailed schedule. Have an agenda that is minute-by-minute and also lists all the crew members and their contact information, location scouting photographs and talent headshots. This agenda keeps everyone accountable, and allows them to see the big picture and understand what the photography and video production entails.

  4. Be prepared for surprises. There was one location we thought we had a permit for and we unknowingly crossed the line into another town by about 50 feet. The crew was in a park that extended into two different cities. We didn’t realize that until a police officer asked us about our permits. We had the correct permit for one side of the park, and we needed a different permit for the part we were shooting on at that time. Kindness and understanding goes a long way, and the officer allowed us to finish our work on both sides of the town line.

  5. Weather. This 3-day production was blessed with perfect weather. Though we were watching weather patterns weeks beforehand. A while back, we had a similar project where we needed to postpone a Georgia media project for a week because of weather. We made the right decision because it turned out an extremely turbulent wind storm went through some of the locations we had planned. We would not have had the opportunity to capture what we needed, or do a retake. Always watch the weather, and have a backup plan if the weather isn’t right and the outdoor production needs to be postponed or caught inside. This is a detail no one can control!

  6. Be prepared for a shift in art direction. After researching locations, scouting, discussing and finalizing plans, there are still times when we show up to a site and decide to shift course with the visuals we want to capture. This shift could be due to lighting, weather, a perspective we overlooked or even art direction. It is always a good idea when hiring a strong and supportive crew that each person is able to shift with ease and maintain positivity.

With large or small productions, this overview of a Boston multi-media project will make it easier to understand a multi-locational multi-media project. We do the same type of planning for projects with a crew of 2 or 24. Everyone likes a good solid schedule that keeps everything flowing with ease, and ultimately creates a successful commercial photography and lifestyle videos.

Steps to Create a Successful Corporate Video Production
 
Video Production Crew in Nebraska
 

Indermaur media has done many corporate video productions ranging from simple videos to more sophisticated in planning and creation. In some cases, it is unscripted with subjects speaking from their heart. In other cases, it is imperative for the words to be exact and in that case we use a TelePrompter. No matter how sophisticated a corporate video project may be, creating a video has three necessary steps to create a successful corporate video production. Pre-production, Production, and Post-production.


Video Pre-production

This is the stage that is critical to successful video production. In this stage, we create the story and messaging for the target audience. There may be a simple conversation with the client regarding vision and goals or much more time spent on discussions, scheduling, putting together the perfect production crew, shopping for props, casting talent, hiring the actors, and pre-interviewing subjects. One example of where pre-production for video production is essential:

Boston Multi Media Video Production:

We created a two day Boston multimedia project for a financial retirement product. The experienced crew and actors of 30 people included me as the photographer, a videographer to create b-roll for their website, wardrobe stylist, makeup artist, producer, art director, assistants, grips and the client. The pre-production included scouting locations throughout Boston to convey the lifestyle photography and video we needed, applying and receiving proper permits, casting and hiring the actors, creating a style of wardrobe for the talent to wear, purchasing props for the video scenes and creating a detailed schedule. A few logistics we included where people needed to park, how to get the crew fed, dealing with police officers when they question what we were doing and needed to see our permits, among other things.

Social Media Marketing Campaign In RI:

A Rhode Island healthcare social media marketing campaign included commercial photography and testimonial video. This project included me as the photographer and videographer, a multimedia assistant, an art director, two client representatives, makeup artist, and a producer. The critical part was working with the client to locate the potential Rhode Island Business owners and subjects that are in line with their marketing campaign. After identifying the subjects, scouting was necessary for some subjects to find the ideal location to capture them in, we applied for permits, and we created a detailed schedule.

Video Production Projects - Boston MA & Nebraska

This stage is where everyone is involved. It is magic to see entire crews work as one and create a video from the client's concept and vision. It can be as simple as myself as the cameraman with a video grip for assistance, and we work as a team to create video, capture sound and have conversations with subjects in a video interview style. At times it is more focused on me as the director and video crew that handles the multimedia logistics. Two examples of where video production is essential:

  1. A Boston compliance training video production included a multimedia production crew of eight, producer, make-up artist, three client art directors, and 10 actors. We used the portion of the client's office space that was empty at the time. One of our tasks was to purchase office props to make the office look as if it was active. Day 1 included spending time setting up the video equipment and propping the offices with items like computers, flowers, pens to make it look dynamic.

  2. A Nebraska community bank video story that was unscripted with subjects speaking from the heart. It took a crew of 4, the client and dozens of subjects for heartfelt video interviews. We spent weeks developing the story and pre-qualifying the subjects to create a video story about the vibrant community and its connection to a community bank. The critical part of the production was to be on schedule and open to shifting the schedule and direction of the story if a new detail comes up in our conversations with the individual in the community. This style is more in line with a journalistic style and being in tune with the message, goals and agile enough to shift direction if needed.

Video Post production

post production is gathering all the video clips, sound and putting together to create a meaningful video story. In some cases, it is as simple as working with a script and going back to our video production notes on what video clips we’re best. With other times, it is listening to all the clips and putting the story together from the original pre-production goals and vision in mind. After that, we share the video online for client feedback, and we typically go into post-production a few rounds to refine the corporate video. One example of corporate assignment post-production:

  1. Connecticut non-profit video marketing campaign that shared their mission. In this case, the crew was a video assistant and me. We had two clients representative that handles the interview questioning and oversaw art direction. All the subjects spoke unscripted and from their heart. We created several videos with different topics for a capital campaign for their non-profit. Each had a different matter, and we listened to all the clips to refine the non-profit's messaging and create a strong fund drive campaign.


High quality corporate video content is successful when you can engage the viewer. To create a seamless and robust commercial video or corporate video, you must pay attention to all stages of video production. Creating a detailed schedule and paying attention to the details is essential to create a successful corporate video production.

Boston Biotech Photography and Video Project for Marketing
Boston Biotech photography and video in a Lab with life sciences technicians

As I mentioned in the past blog, Rhode Island Commercial Photographer For A Restaurant, I thoroughly enjoy multimedia projects of all magnitude from 100% photography or video to a mix of video and photography elements. These assignments may be smaller visual projects with only a crew consisting of myself to the large multimedia projects that include extensive travel and a team of a dozen people to accomplish successful photography and video project.

In a recent multimedia assignment, a Boston Biotech video production also included Biotech photography with a style of corporate photography. This company is actually not based in San Francisco, it is located in Watertown, MA (a suburb of Boston) in which there are several exciting biotechs, and Life Sciences are established. The visuals were to be used for their website, social media, blogs and public releases for articles. This project was spread over two days in which we captured b-roll video footage of their busy biotech lab, biotech lab photography, and more of a corporate photography style of their associates working throughout the offices. Also, the majority of this Watertown, MA biotech photography was of active employees to share the culture of their growing company.

We also photographed headshots and portraits of their primary team for the website's team bio page. The studio setup was created to be simple and easily duplicated as the organization grows. That way portraits will always have a consistent style and look as if they were taken on the same day. One of their conference rooms was used to create a studio for these portraits. We have since visited their location two more times to create additional biotech team portraits that are added to the website with the same consistency and style as the previous executive portraits. These portraits are also used for corporate headshots for public relations uses and on their social media Linkedin Company page.

The crew consisted of myself and my assistant to allow us to be nimble and at times work as if we are a fly on the wall. We captured Biotech lab video and photography for their marketing uses. Working with their creative director, we developed a list of office and lab locations to be photographed and placed in the video. This included making sure I shot specific team meetings. At times we set up individual scenes to look candid, and other times I would walk around and document what was actually happening.

The photography was edited down to a presentable number of images and shared with the client with an online photography gallery. Also, the video clips were packaged into one video and shared online for their review and to make comments for future video edits. Making comments directly on the video at specific time codes makes this process of editing video seamless and efficient.

I visit Massachusetts often, and as a Boston corporate photographer, I enjoy all the vibrant businesses in that area. I find my career beginning as a photojournalist working at newspapers and being efficient and creative has been very critical to my style and how I approach photography projects and New England video productions. My commercial photography experience has allowed me to understand light in the studio and as an on-location photographer, I have extensive experience in setting up studios in a corporate setting. It is always fun to travel nationally for visual projects, and that increases my experience with approaching local New England multimedia projects and making them success as I did for this Biotech photography and video project.

Rhode Island Commercial Photographer for a Restaurant
Rhode Island Commercial  Photographer for a Restaurant with a video timelapse in RI

There are many types of commercial photography and advertising campaigns. A number of my advertising photography projects and corporate video assignments are for small and medium-sized businesses that I thoroughly enjoy. Having lots of experience with more significant projects allows me to create an even stronger plan for smaller marketing campaigns.

Typically a smaller project involves myself and an assistant with different levels of collaboration and expectations with the client. In most cases the client wants me to create a majority of the art direction and production of images. We have conversations on their vision, goals, brand and the narrative they want to share. Also, I will research their presence and competitors in what they are sharing visually, creatively and with the written story. In other cases, I work closely with the client in creating visuals with their vision.

The smaller multimedia projects are wonderful because such a significant portion of the creative collaboration process is baked in without managing a large logistics crew to make it happen.

Successful Restaurant Photography Project - Cafe And Bakery

I recently completed a Rhode Island restaurant photography assignment and their 2nd location for the pantry. The client hired me to photograph their restaurant and bakery to capture the fresh, high quality food they prepare along with the fun personality of their staff. I also created their new websites for both the cafe and bakery; which allowed me to be a partner in their creative process from conception to publication.

We visited their Rhode Island locations a few times to capture candid style photography that portrays this vision for use on their new website and for their social media. At times I photographed people in action and other times asked the barista to hold up a delicious pastry towards the camera to create a social media style photograph.

The production crew was just myself as the Rhode Island commercial photographer and the owner, collaborating to create their impactful marketing photography visuals that tell their narrative and make a strong marketing presence. During the photography sessions, the restaurant owner was with me to point out potential strong visuals, and I shared my ideas with her. We made a terrific visual team as her small business narrative unfolded.

I kept the actual production simple with using ambient lighting and an occasional 1-2 Profoto A1 small battery flash units. This allowed me to work without an assistant and be nimble in a small, busy bakery and restaurant. Most restaurants have limited space so it’s easier when I am solo vs. working with an assistant. It brings me back to my newspaper photojournalist days of working creatively, but nimble and fast. This technique allowed me to stay out of the way during active business hours when they are serving their customers.

Also, I suggested we create a video for their home page of their website. I then created 2 videos from time-lapse photography to capture the busyness of their locations with a social media style video. This added action, movement and energy to their website’s opening page. It’s become a much watched, very popular video!

I enjoy working at all levels of production, as I move a project from pre to post production workflow. As a commercial photographer, every advertising or marketing photography project is a unique experience. From the planning of the types of a commercial advertising campaign, envisioning the visual narrative, to the coloration of the actual photography and video productions in my home state is very rewarding. Being creative with images or adding a social media video clip as a new style and asset for the client makes projects more exciting; but more importantly, it delivers what type of narrative the client wants, which can be challenging and very rewarding. While I travel nationally for video and commercial photography projects, I do enjoy the journey as a Rhode Island commercial photographer - Rhode island has so much to offer!

Bostitch Office National Multimedia Campaign

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My client, Bostitch Office, wanted to develop a multimedia campaign to showcase their new product, creating videos for use in social media ads, point-of-purchase displays, and installation instructional videos, and photography for packaging and advertising, as well as for trade show collateral.

We began with meetings to outline concepts for their multiple visual needs. Shooting the video and photography during a three-day multimedia assignment allowed us consistency with the actors, location, and style. It streamlined the visual process to save on the client’s budget because we would be able to run photography and video concurrently. During this phase, we created a video storyboard, a photography shot list and produced a detailed schedule to capture the ideas for their photography and video needs efficiently.

In phase two, scouting for locations, we visited locations throughout Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. We found a perfect site in Boston for our video production and as a Boston advertising photographer. I also added it to our location library for future projects. The Boston location is a very modern looking office with lots of glass doors and large windows with new furniture, and we were able to have full access to it for our three-day multimedia assignment.

Timelapse of a messy desk to organized by Bostitch Office Konnect Workspace + Cable Management System.

The new product is a modern workspace and cable organization system. It includes spaces to organize and store desktop clutter, management of cables, among other ways to keep the desk area efficient and free from clutter.

Now that my team had the assignment tactics approved, and secured the office space, we contacted a few talent agencies for the casting of our three actors.

The client wanted people that would be comfortable in front of the camera, but we also included an employee who knew the product well and could easily set it up for the instructional video.

Moreover, before we began the assignment, the entire office needed to be propped with office supplies and accessories that made the office look as active and productive as a typical busy office. We wanted to be sure to use as many as the client’s office products as possible. A product manager focused explicitly on the setup on their new workspace system, which was still a prototype at the time.

Our Multimedia Production Crew
The Indermaur Media Boston multimedia production crew consisted of myself, as production director and photographer; a New England videographer, two multimedia assistants to set up and attend to anything that keeps the set running smoothly, a wardrobe stylist, a makeup artist, and a producer/prop stylist.

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Day one, of production, was primarily focused on product setup and photography. No models were needed. It also gave us the opportunity to watch the limited daylight time and adjust our video schedule for this winter assignment.

The remaining days were a mix of environmental photography and video. We’d set up a scene and video record it, then photograph product close-ups and office overviews for web, packaging and other print use. Then we’d setup and move on to the next scene.

Also on set were four people from the client’s marketing and product development team to manage art direction and set up of the product. They also acted as extras during the video scenes. We typically had 2-3 setups at any given time in different stages of setup to keep the photography and video production flowing.

As always, I want to create a fun, high energy environment as the team comes together for a multi-day assignment. We focus on what’s needed and get straight to work. On video recording days we work non-stop to meet the client’s vision, and having a fully engaged, professional team is the key to our success.

Please take a look at the video and photography outcomes from this exciting assignment, and let me know what you think!

Also, visit our new venture for your company’s social media marketing - Visual Thrive.

The Day I Realized I Was a Multi-Media Producer

Creating stories with vision….

Multimedia Producer.jpg

It finally hit me. 

About three years ago, I changed the name of my company to Indermaur Media. I had a thriving corporate photography business based in RI (with clients nationwide), that included commercial and editorial photography, but began branching out into other forms of media. By changing the name I wanted to set the course, and the intention, to operate in the fields of photography, video and full production to create even stronger visual narratives for my clients.

Recently, I sat back to take stock. I had created video productions for new clients, my photography work continued, and I had maintained my corporate work; but something was different. I was trying to find the best description of what I do now. New projects were incorporating photos and video, social media projects, and creating original content to deliver the best story possible. I found myself in a position of Directing and Producing more than before, and not even operating a camera.

Indermaur Media is now a Multimedia Production Company

So, I reached out to my daughter, Caitlin Indermaur, who is a Video Producer on the west coast. She has been a muse of mine, and in addition, my assistant before she even graduated from high school. We've collaborated on many projects through her college years and before she moved out west. For all those years, she always has excellent feedback and thoughtful insight. She immediately said, "Dad, You're a Multimedia Producer." 

For me, a Multimedia Producer is responsible for telling stories using video and still photography. I often manage the entire production process: generating and executing ideas, meeting budgets and deadlines, and expanding the team when necessary to accommodate a client's vision. On some projects, I am primarily a still photographer, on others a video camera operator. Then there are times I am simply the lead Producer, managing and directing the team to create a story. So, I had to agree - I am now a Multimedia Producer. 

For myself, and Indermaur Media, new modern "photography" delivers a much richer story when a tool box of skills and an excellent team can come together to execute and deliver the finest visual project possible. I continue to share the nuts and bolts of this transitional process in my Visual Creative Coach business. 

Creating a Foundation's Fund Drive Video

Multimedia assignments include capturing both video and photography in an effort to expose a customer’s story. I truly enjoy these projects because they are deeper versions of my roots in photojournalism. As a photojournalist, I learned to move quickly on my feet. Today my team continues to have that creative photojournalism spirit, capturing the client’s visual needs with photography and video to expose their vision for a multitude of uses.

Non- Profit Video Production
Recently, we had a 2-day video and photography assignment in Connecticut to create videos that tell the story of Actuarial Foundation’s Math Motivators program and drive their 2018 capital campaign. Working with a Chicago ad agency, our team of five included an Art Director, our client, Assistant, Makeup Artist, me as the Multimedia Producer.

The mission of the Math Motivators program is to help close the achievement gap by establishing a volunteer-driven math tutoring program that pairs low-income high school students with professional actuaries and college students majoring in actuarial science, mathematics, or math education.

We arrived at University of Connecticut and setup our video studio in a classroom. We prepared to interview program directors, students, volunteer tutors and the Founder of Math Motivators as they expressed their passion for this program. Each person began their interview with the same questions and it expanded based upon their responses. Those interactions allowed us to create an in-depth video that explains the impact that Math Motivators and Actuaries have on the students.

On the second day we setup our make-shift video production studio in a high school teacher’s lounge. We were able to video and take photographs of students in a Math Motivators tutoring class. I wanted to capture students being tutored and also the concentration and learning they experienced. These photographs and video will be used on their website, in brochures, and as part of their capital campaign.

non-profit video production

In post production, each individual interview was compiled into a video rough cut. The Art Director then selected what clips to use in the final video. The interviews were intertwined to create videos on specific subjects. We added b-roll video of the tutoring sessions to create action in the video and allow us to cut out the "ahs“ and "ums."

We then created the final 8 videos and delivered them.

A few things we learned, and will consider next time: 

1) One unexpected surprise was the our teacher lounge “studio” had a basketball court directly above. There were short periods of time when students were running and doing drills right above us. We did find enough periods of silence to record the interviews, but this was a reminder of the surprises that can come up when creating video on location.  - - There is always some unavoidable and unexpected twist in the road, that will challenge an onsite live production, but it’s one of the reasons why I have always loved on-location video and photography.

2) You may not always have enough b-roll. While we set time aside for photography and b-roll during the tutoring sessions, an additional 30+ minutes would have helped a lot! 

3) By having the Art Director ask the interview questions while my assistant and I handled the cameras and sound, it allowed him to remain focused on the answer, creating a more in-depth discussion, while the crew remained focused on the technical side.

4) A Makeup Artist will always help the subjects relax before being interviewed. They focus on make-up and hair so that the subject looks and feels special - prepared to shine for a great video presentation.

6 Essential Things for a Strong Photography and Video Project
photographer-videographer for commercial multimedia projects in Boston MA

Back in the "day" photographers were hired for photography and videographers for videos. Today you can find photographers that also create video and videographers that take photographs. The range of experience, style, and abilities are diverse.

Hiring an individual that has the experience as both a photographer and videographer is one way to create heartfelt and connected real life stories with video and photography. They can be used for a company's advertising campaign, in-house corporate uses, social media and online content.

In recent years I have enjoyed commercial multimedia assignments in Boston, RI and New England like this because they include "from the hip" style photography, and storytelling through video; while others are more sophisticated in creation. For example, I may take the portraits of an executive team and then engaged them in a conversation/interview on video for a simple, but more in-depth assignment.

Here are a few tips on what to look for when choosing your multimedia partner.

1. Find a photographer or videographer experienced with both photography and video. Shooting still photography and video are two different mind and skill sets. Approaching a subject for photography is different than with a video interview.

2. Find a multimedia (photographer-videographer) crew who can work quick on their feet and are creative in their approach to a setup.

3. A producer is an excellent asset for successful multimedia project management. They help with permits, finding professional actors or "real" people, scheduling, putting together a crew, making last minute requests happen, among other things. An individual within your company or the photographer-videographer may be able to produce as well.

4. Allow simple setups so photography and video can easily be captured. This keeps the team moving to get lots of good visuals in a day's work, and can be used for the long-term.

5. Have the day planned out - This sounds like a no-brainer, though it is critical and is sometimes overlooked. Keep the schedule tight, organized and if the crew is running ahead or behind schedule, let them know. I always like to pad some extra time for those setups that have unexpected delays. Remember to allow enough time for video and photography to be created.

6. Have a vision - you may only need one setup. Focus on making an excellent portrait and interview instead of creating multiple setups. This significantly streamlines the editing process. Keep it simple and narrow down your wants and needs before the shoot.