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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 video
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.

Creating Strategic Marketing For a New Startup

So, what is it in Kansas that will change the world? Indermaur Media has an exciting and unique opportunity to join a brilliant team about to change the AG industry. Our client has gathered top minds in the fields of technology, engineering, chemistry, agriculture, and environmental sciences too (as they have said) change the way the world farms, and eventually save our Earth. That's a big vision, but one we believe is possible.

I have known and worked with Rob Herrington over many years, often on the next successful start-up adventure. The latest startup, PrairieFood, has been in our discussions (and in the making) for years. It's been exciting to learn about and watch the new company move from an idea into the actual production of its product.

Marketing Strategy & Communications Plan
Indermaur Media is documenting all components of PrairieFood's narrative with photography and video for historical purposes, as well as produce their digital media, and written content. I decided to bring in Indermaur Media's Producer and Visual Thrive partner, Lori Giuttari, to manage the written content and strategic communication plans for Prairie Food. The entire team works closely with their strategy and communications, from developing their website, maintaining consistent branding within all the messaging, to their upcoming social media feed.

strategic marketing - communications - video and photography - social media project

This past November, we were excited to travel to Kansas and meet our team, and to photograph and video PrairieFood's first milestone: Completion of their commercial scale continuous flow reactor, fired up for the first time, was captured within meaningful video conversations and hundreds of photos that tell the story of PrairieFood.

Think cow manure. Ahhh! That fresh farm smell! What do we do with the extraordinary amount of manure we have on this Earth, as we continue to deplete our natural resources to produce more food? Well, the PrairieFood team is tackling this issue from every angle in one fell swoop.

Like any waste, it's essential that we, as humans, learn how to recycle and reuse as much as possible. In manure's case, it's even more critical. This nutrient-rich bio-waste is regulated by the US EPA and must be safely disposed of or it can cause lots of environmental problems. Manure continually emits methane gas and leaches nitrates and phosphorus into our water supplies - both a leading contributor to climate change and pollution. Mother Nature can only take so much, and I'm sure she expects us to know better and do better.

PrairieFood's award-winning, proprietary process takes the carbon-rich manure and deconstructs it using heat and water. This novel process swiftly recycles and binds the organic nutrients in manure to the carbon, kills bacteria and weed seeds, and deconstructs any antibiotics within it in less than 1 second! The outcome: PrairieFood - an organic, carbon-rich, nutrient dense material immediately available for organically farming safe food.

Because of decades of conventional farming, our land craves carbon, nutrients and the organic microbes PrairieFood delivers. This intensified process takes what Mother Nature gives us and returns it to the Earth to enrich our soil, and produce nourishing, safe, better food within the first crop cycle.

Organic farmers prefer to feed their soil just like this but to do it right; it's a five-to-six year process that still needs to address dangerous bacteria like e-Coli and listeria, and disrupting weed seeds within the manure itself. The PrairieFood team believes their innovative process will change the way our world farms. As a very health-conscious society, PrairieFood delivers precisely what we need - safe, organic, nutritious food without further harm to our planet.

I captured the photography and video to share their story as the company grows. Their website -PrairieFood.com - is up and running as was also developed by Indermaur Media! And we will continue to share the development each step of the way. You can follow these updates on PrairieFood's LinkedIn Page too!

This adventure is just beginning, but how cool would it be if:

  • Organic farmers are immediately able to produce higher yields?

  • Conventional farmers could replace synthetic fertilizers and enhance their land?

  • Manure won't sit around emitting methane gases?

  • In three years all farms could become organic farms without loss of yields?

  • All our food was organic, safe, and nutrient-dense?

To be a part of PrairieFood’s team is exciting - they are a brilliant group - and to be able to manage and create consistent, reliable communication through photography, video, website design, written content, social media management, and strategic marketing is a fascinating opportunity employing all that Indermaur Media offers.

The story has just begun. Follow it unfold on PrairieFood LinkedIn page.  

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.

Using a Video Teleprompter to Deliver Your Message

Coming from a photojournalistic background I always enjoy creating heartfelt videos and photography with people speaking from the heart to develop humanistic stories.

I enjoy the approach of having a “conversation” with the subject vs. a formal “interview”. While the subject and I may share questions beforehand, we keep the questions and answers short and spoken in the moment. Typically the individual does not respond looking directly into the camera. I prefer this technique as speaking from the heart humanizes the subject vs written message they are reading. 

Recently I began working with the Executive Career Coach Lori Giuttari, to produce a video course for her clients. She needs to speak directly to her clients and be on topic for videos that last about 5-15 minutes. 

This is when a teleprompter comes in very handy. The teleprompter I use displays the written script from an iPad and reflects it onto a piece of glass. The camera is directly behind the glass. Therefore she is reading the text while looking into the camera in order to be connected with the viewer.

She was able to write out her lesson beforehand, and practice while recording herself with a voice recorder, in order to evaluate her messaging and timing. This allowed her to fine-tune her modules for the video course. 

Being able to use a teleprompter, speaking directly to clients, allowed me to focus on connecting with them, as opposed to worrying about every single point I touched upon.
— Lori Giuttari
Life Coach-Teleprompter

When we created the video she felt comfortable with her tightly prepared message and by seeing her text through the teleprompter, it allowed her to be sure she covered all essential parts or her lesson.

Both techniques of using or not using a teleprompter have their purpose in delivering your message and story. It’s important to decide what type of message you want to provide and who your audience will be. 

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.

Multimedia Video for A Small Business in Rhode Island
Commercial multimedia videographer for small business in RI

I thoroughly enjoy projects where we mix still photography and video to create a multimedia video and imagery for a multitude of marketing pieces.  This approach allows us to fulfill the client's video and still photography needs for their website, social media and printed marketing pieces during one assignment. Depending on the vision and budget, I approach these projects with a single crew of 2 up to a team with dozens of people.
 
The Savory Grape is located in East Greenwich, Rhode Island where they have carved out a very successful local business based on their friendliness, knowledge and customer service. Most importantly, by creating a pleasurable shopping experience for their customers in their store, that also supports other local businesses.
 
I am a big fan of small businesses, and I was super excited when The Savory Grape approached me to create a video to showcase their local RI business. During the creative processes, we decided to create a video as a narrative story told by their customers, employees, another business owner, and The Savory Grape's Founder on why it is an experience and not just a store.
 
This multimedia approach project worked best with a crew of 2 to keep costs down and a “from the hip” type of approach to matching a more "real life" and “heartfelt” style of storytelling. We completed the shooting in one day with a mix of conversations from customers and employees at the store, another business, and in a home wine cellar.
 
I chose not to use scripts because I wanted all the people featured in this video to speak from the heart. We had a theme and questions to ask, and I approached it with me having a conversation with the subjects. As a commercial videographer, I find this approach makes it more natural and human to speak from the heart versus a formal interview.
 
The still images are in the video, published on their website and printed in their marketing materials. We used some photographs from their past winery travels to help tell the video story. Also, we created three shorter video stories for Instagram, Facebook, and other social media outlets.
 
This video project was a fantastic way to celebrate The Savory Grape's 10-year anniversary. This project is also an example of how Indermaur Media focuses on creating a team to work with budgets and visions to create a product to be used in a multitude of different marketing outlets.

Shorter Videos created for Social Media outlets

A Diverse Onsite Video Production Crew
Video production project manager Boston

The crews I create for business photography, and video assignments are always cross trained in more than one specialty. The projects I manage are typically more fluid in nature, and I need a crew that is willing to take on unexpected tasks. For example, if an extra person is required to hold a reflector, my makeup artist may take up that task. If the crew needs help setting up some lights, I will jump in and assist. Moreover, when it is time to strike our set, we all jump in to pack it up with a smile.

Recently we had a Boston video assignment with the following production team:

On site video production crew Boston MA
  • Director of Photography - Scott

  • Camera Operator - Mike

  • Sound Engineer - Nonni

  • Grip - Isaac

  • Makeup Artist - MaryElle

  • One client and 8 actors

 

That is the traditional lineup. With a flexible crew our Camera Operator Mike was a big part of the creative discussions with myself and our client. Also, our Sound Engineer Nonni and Grip Isaac switch roles at times since they are both experienced with sound and being a grip.

During our second scene, we decided to add a 3rd camera, and Grip Isaac became the 3rd Camera Operator. Setting up a 3rd camera was a decision made at that time and gave us more diversity with what we wanted to accomplish. Having a crew that is flexible allowed us to shift his focus to being a camera operator.

This flexibility makes it possible to shift gears within an assignment if needed and to make it happen rather quickly. When you are creating your next business video project, keep in mind that a larger team may not always be necessary to create your corporate video. A smaller crew that is diverse in their experience and enjoys working as a team can create a successful video assignment.

Here is an interesting article, Tutorial Videos: Top 21 Tips to Create Better Video (in 2018), by instrktiv.com.