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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 tagged commercial video
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.

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.