10 Tips to Getting Great Corporate Video Interviews

videographer's video assist feedOver the years our seasoned directors, producers and videographers have directed hundreds of interviews with top corporate leadership in Miami and South Florida. But a recent  trend is for internal communications departments to take on a larger role in corporate video productions by producing their own video content.

These departments hire us for the videographer, camera crew, grip, lighting and/or makeup, but utilize internal staff to produce the interview. With that said, if you’ve been asked to step up into the director role and interview your company’s CFO or CEO on camera, here are some interview tips that can help you successfully navigate the experience.

1. Write questions ahead of time

Construct your questions ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to consider the interview flow when constructing your questions. Avoid close-ended questions that elicit yes or no answers. Instead, create questions that start with: who, what, when, where, why and how. These are open-ended questions that can create answers with more depth and a lengthier response.  Examples:

-Do you like ice cream? [close ended]

-What kind of ice cream do you like and why? [open ended]

2. Create a warm atmosphere

As the videographer, grip and lighting and soundman prepare for the interview, sit down with your guest and chit-chat for a few minutes. Let them know how you’re going to conduct the interview. Many corporate leaders are experienced in video interviews, but a surprising number of less camera savvy employees are not comfortable being interviewed and would appreciate some coaching. Remind them that their answers will be edited and that their “umms” and “aaahhhs” will be taken out. Also, do-overs are OK! With non-linear editing, a lot can be achieved in post. And finally, remind your guest to smile and enjoy the process.

3. Share tips on repeating your question in the answer

Make sure your guest knows to incorporate your question into their answer. Without the framework of your question an editor will have difficulty constructing a great edit without using a voiceover to state the context. Give your guest a simple example of what you are looking for such as,

Question: “What kind of Ice Cream do you like?”

Answer: “I like various kinds of Ice Cream. But my favorite is chocolate.”

Question: “Why do you like chocolate ice cream?”

Answer: “I like chocolate ice cream because it is creamy and sweet and so delicious.”

4. Position your guest’s eye-line

Position yourself near to or next to the videographer so that your interviewee looks at you and not directly at the camera. This slightly off camera look will create a visually elegant interview. An interview directed at camera can be appropriate but stylistically the end result will be different. Make sure you’ve made the eye-line decision prior to the shoot as it will affect the videographer’s set up. Also, at times an inexperienced interview guest will look at you, then at the camera, then off camera, then back at you. If this happens, pause the shoot and remind your guest to look at you at all times. They probably did not realize that they were looking sideways.

5. Allow the conversation to flow

Really listen to your guest’s responses and ask new questions that arise from their answers. You can get some real gems when you allow the interview to turn into a conversation that you lead. When the conversation has run its course and you are ready to move off in another direction, circle back to your original line of questioning.

6. Enlist your guest to make the interview even better

Toward the interview’s end, ask your guest if there’s anything you missed.   This tactic works particularly well with seasoned professionals. They know what points they wanted to express they will provide these extra answers if your questions didn’t cover them.

7. To elicit a soundbite don’t be afraid to repeat the question

Sound bites are great but achieving them can be challenging. Allow your guest to give their full answer and then coach them into repeating their answer again with fewer words. This works particularly well with seasoned leaders and may be appreciated by employees with less on camera experience.

8. Don’t give out specific questions in advance

You’re going for a personality filled interview and unless you want a stilted robotic interview that sounds rehearsed, don’t let your guest get a hold of the actual questions ahead of time. If they insist, give them the general line of questioning, for example: last quarter’s financial results or product plans for the next quarter.

9. Interviewer alert! Don’t make audible noises in reponse to the guest

The last thing you’ll want to hear in the completed video is an off camera, “hmmmm” and “oh yes” that came from you. Remember, depending on how your guest is mic’d up, the camera will pick up all sounds on the set. Keep up eye contact and engagement – wave your hands if you need to — but remember to keep quiet.

10. Work closely with the videographer

When you’re in the producer’s seat its challenging to keep the conversation on track and also monitor your guest’s performance. Elicit the videographer and makeup to tell you if the interviewee is slouching or if their hair is askew. Also, ask the soundman to let you know if the interviewee is speaking too fast and needs to slow down.

At the end of the day, good content creation builds your brand and communicates your company’s direction. These tips can help you immensely in achieving a great interview that your team will be grateful for.

 

Artists and Derelicts Video Production R. City feat Adam Levine

On Toe Jam Backlot Miami production of "Locked Away"
On  set at Toe Jam Backlot for production of “Locked Away” with R.City feat Adam Levine.

Moving Picture Crew recently crewed Artists and Derelicts production “Locked Away” with R. City featuring Adam Levine. This story driven music video directed by Gil Green was filmed in and around Miami and at the Toe Jam Backlot. Moving Picture Crew provided VTR playback and Sound.

Here’s the  video:

 

 

 

Spotify & Dunkin’ Donuts Summer Concerts with Lost and Found Films

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Ben Wu films the Spotify and Dunkin’ Donuts Miami concert summer 2015 featuring The Mowgli’s

This summer Spotify and Dunkin sponsored a series of pop-up live concerts across the US with emerging artists. Ben Wu, Director at Lost and Found Films, was hired to film the Miami pop-up concert featuring The Mowgli’s on South Beach for use on various media platforms. Moving Picture Rental supplied multiple C300 Camera packages with a variety of Canon EF lenses.

Camera Crew Miami
Lost and Found Films captures the crowd.

Moving Picture Crew provided an Audio Person, Sound Devices 744T 4 channel audio recorder and Sennheiser shotgun microphones as part of the audio package. We also provided a Grip with a 1×1 Lite Panel Astra bi-color LEDS powered via an on board Anton Bauer battery as well as an assortment of run and gun grip support. Ben Wu flattered us by calling 3 weeks later to crew another job. Thanks Ben Wu! Good luck on your up and coming documentary!

Lost and Found Films are documentary filmmakers who also shoot branded content. Their latest documentary, In Transit was an Official Selection at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. Check out their work: www.lostfoundfilms.com

 

Industry Trends – Streaming Media Providers Aim to Take Over Broadcast TV Industry

According to a recent report from eMarketer, “the average time spent with digital media per day will surpass TV viewing for the first time this year.” Streaming media providers, Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu are casting aside established business models in favor of bold new plans for redesigning consumer content delivery methods.

Netflix Logo
Netflix is clearly the ultimate success story of this trio of content providers. Nearly 1/3 of all the entire internet bandwidth utilized during the peak hours of 6pm to midnight is consumed by Netflix users streaming video. If you add all bandwidth used by people viewing web pages, plus all the bandwidth used by YouTube and Hulu combined…you will only then equal what Netflix streams every day.

Chart Courtesy of Business Insider

Netflix has made a major push towards providing original and exclusive content in 2013 with four times the amount of original content than 2012. Netflix also signed a multi-year deal this month with Weinstein Co. to provide movies before they hit pay TV channels…which puts them in competition with channels like HBO and Showtime. Bob and Harvey Weinstein are the original 1979 founders of Miramax Films.

YouTube Logo
If there ever was a website that represented the infinite diversity of the internet it’s YouTube. Google-owned YouTube has been a household name for some time now and even non-computer users know what it is. But YouTube isn’t just talking animals and Epic Fail videos anymore. In 2011 they implemented a long-term plan to reshape their original content market share. And with 1 billion unique visitors every month, they have an excellent viewer base to work with if they can find a formula that works.

YouTube has been funding original content channels in $1 – $5 million range. An example of some of the outstanding content you can find, gaming channel MachinimaPrimereleased an extremely well produced feature, “Forward Unto Dawn” that was based on the characters from the popular Xbox 360 game, “Halo 4”. They provided weekly 20-min webisode releases for 5 weeks…that kept you coming back for more. A year later, you can now view the entire feature on Netflix. This is not a guy with a camcorder shooting home movies. These are full-blown, multi-million dollar productions with proper post-production budgets. There is a YouTube Original Channel for all types of viewers, whether your interest is automotive, cooking, music, or news, there’s the content diversity you could expect to find when you hit the GUIDE button on your TV remote.

Hulu Logo
Hulu is the perfect example of a great idea implemented poorly. The business has been plagued by poor leadership and unfavorable licensing conditions for its content providers. But setting that aside, Hulu is noteworthy because it’s the streaming media service that most resembles normal TV. Their “day after” model allows you to watch a major network episodic show on Hulu the day after it’s shown on cable TV. Netflix viewers usually have to wait a year until the whole season of the show is sold to them.

Hulu has 1/10 of the subscribers as Netflix (3 million), but they still continue to show steady growth. Despite shaky profitability ground, owners 21st Century Fox, Disney, and NBCUniversal infused $750 million into the floundering service. Hopefully, they will solidify the service to make it more appealing for both viewers and content providers.

Wrapping It Up…

Our industry is presently in a transformational stage as media distribution undergoes a fundamental technological shift. The DVD format is dying along with Blu-ray because of their “hardcopy” nature, movie theater ticket sales are in a steady state of decline, and home media viewers are increasingly opting to forgo traditional cable and satellite services in favor of a “streaming only” solution. Yet, Americans as a whole are spending more time viewing media than ever before.

Content creators also have to consider how a video is shot and edited to optimize video for smaller mobile devices. When the HD revolution took hold with larger more beautiful screens, the trend shifted towards wide beautiful panoramic shots to maximize the capabilities of the modern TV. Now with an increasing number of people utilizing laptops, tablets, and phones to watch content, faster cuts are needed to keep a viewer’s attention on a distraction prone mobile device, and more close up shots are recommended to properly utilize the screen real estate of small devices.

While advertisers are having a field day with the numerous mediums to push their content, content creators are struggling during this transitional phase to find a way to make money while the industry shifts its viewing and content delivery trends. No matter how you slice it, online streaming media is here to stay and only gaining in mainstream popularity.

Moving Picture Provides Crew, Alexa & SuperTechno Crane 30 for Sun Hydraulics Corporate Video

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Moving Picture was recently hired by Sun Hydraulics Corporation to shoot a corporate video on location at their Sarasota factory. Due to the high fluid shots, Moving Picture suggested a Panavision SuperTechno Crane to achieve the shots as story boarded. Director of Photography Henry Lynk shot the project. David Wells from Moving Picture hand-picked an A-List crew of 25 from Orlando, Tampa and South Florida. Moving Picture provided a set of Cooke S4 primes, Angenieux 24-290 Zoom, 45-120 Zoom, 28-76 Zoom, as well as an ARRI Alexa camera. Moving Picture also provided a grip truck.

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NAB 2015: David Wells on ARRI’s Skypanel System with ProductionHub.com

Dave Wells was interviewed by ProductionHUB.com at NAB 2015 for his opinion on the ARRI SkyPanel LED Soft Light.  He felt this was one of the coolest lights at NAB.  With its  very large aperture, these robust lights  [aluminum bodies and simple controls] produce great results when lighting actors as the light wraps beautifully.  You have the ability to adjust the color temperature anywhere between 2800K and 10,000K. You can add many types of diffusion with the front diffusion frame.  The light draws 400 watts and output exceeds a 2K soft light — they are very bright. You can also power the light with batteries.  The SkyPanel promises to be relevant for a  long time.  For more information or to rent the SkyPanel Soft Light visit us at MovingPicture.com

Moving Picture Crew provides a Phantom Flex camera crew and Sound Mixer for Mizuno Golf

Moving Picture Crew was recently hired to provide a camera crew with a Phantom Flex 2K camera package and an ENG Sound Mixer for a commercial and instructional web video series for Mizuno Golf. A production team from Oida Studios traveled from Japan to shoot with PGA Tour golf pro Luke Donald at The Dye Preserve Golf Club in Jupiter, FL. Phantom Tech, Steve Ciffone graced us all with this presence for the camera checkout of the Phantom Flex 2K high-speed camera and Canon 30-300 lens at Moving Picture’s grip, lighting, and camera checkout facility. Moving Picture Crew’s Sound Mixer and B Camera Operator shadowed Luke Donald playing a few holes at the Dye Preserve while providing valuable golfing tips aimed at serious golfers trying to improve their game.

Phantom Tech, Steve Ciffone during the camera checkout at Moving Picture.
Phantom Tech, Steve Ciffone during the camera checkout at Moving Picture.

Moving Picture Crew provides production crew services in South Florida and New York for small corporate shoots all the way up to large commercial productions. Call Moving Picture for your next shoot and experience the difference a local “production partner” can make!

How Lighting Can Affect Your Perception of Colors #TheDress

As we have recently seen with the explosion of #TheDress, lighting is more than a minuscule detail. The wrong lighting can cause viewers to see different colors such as a blue dress with black lace or a white dress with gold lace.

Light enters your eye through a lens and hits the retina at the back of the eye. Different wavelengths correspond to different colors and fire connections to the visual cortex which tells the brain that you are looking at an image. The rods and cones in our eyes all affect how we see perceive items and colors.

Lighting Affects the Dress
Social Media is buzzing with comments about this optical phenomena. #TheDress.

With the effect of #TheDress situation, this is why choosing a high quality light system to rent for your upcoming production is a must.

Moving Picture offers a variety of digital cinema light rental packages, including ARRI HMI Light kit rentals and Kino Flo lighting rentals. These durable, high-quality lighting kits can help bring studio lighting to on-location productions.

ARRI Light Kit rentals come in versatile combinations with a range of accessories and light rental add-ons – including LED light panel rentals, hybrid / US version light kits, tungsten lighting, daylight HMI kits and more.

If you are interested in renting ARRI light systems for your portable production in Miami, Moving Picture can help. As a leader in the digital cinema production rental industry, we have all of the necessary grip and lighting equipment for a high quality video. Call Moving Picture today at 954-522-1361 to learn more about our ARRI and Kino Flo light rentals.

Permits for Filming in Miami

Producers are familiar with the permits required when shooting outside of the studio. Like most cities, Miami-Dade requires film permits for commercial film, video, or photo shoots to be conducted on public property such as roads, sidewalks, parks, beaches, and/or public buildings. Most Dade County permits cost $100 per 28 days of production, many Broward County permits are free of charge, and there is no permit fee for shooting inside of the City of Miami.  Most permits have a 24-hour minimum approval process.

Permits for Filming in Miami
South Florida Film permit applications can be found at the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Office or Film, Music, and Entertainment Website or at the FilMiami website, a cooperative website servicing both the Miami-Dade Office of Film & Entertainment and the City of Miami Beach Office of Film & Event Production Management. If you are only filming within the Miami city limits, you may apply for a free permit at the Miami Film Office.

Miami-Dade County requires that all camera crews in Miami fax or email a certificate of insurance, for a one million dollar General Liability Insurance policy naming the Miami-Dade jurisdiction as an additional insurer.

Each city within Miami-Dade County requires an insurance certificate, with them as additional certificate holders. If you are planning on filming in any sub-city of Miami, please send insurance certificates directly to the city.

If you are considering filming in Miami Beach, there are additional addendum’s that must be completed and submitted prior to permit applications and fees may apply for utilizing county and city services such as police, fire, and parking.

Miami is home to many production services companies such as Moving Picture. Moving Picture offers film equipment rentals, Miami camera crews, grip truck rentals and production concierge services. To learn more about all of the services that Moving Picture can offer for your upcoming Miami production, call 305-522-1361.

Tips for Shooting a Video in Miami

South Florida offers a diverse backdrop for shooting a production; including: South Beach, Star Island, Key Biscayne, and other historic sites throughout the tri-county area. If you are a video producer looking to film in South Florida, here are some tips from our Miami camera crews, about location destinations.

Traveling. Miami is very spread out, unless you are staying on South Beach and shooting on South Beach, a car rental is necessary. Unlike metropolitans like New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago where you can use other forms of transit, a car is necessary for a Miami production.

Sea Bound. One of the beauties of South Florida is the ocean. Get your camera crew in Miami on a boat to shoot the ultimate, unique scene on the water. After all, you can shoot a city scene anywhere, get a real feel for Miami from the view of the sea.

Hit the Landmarks. Like most cities, Miami is known for its signature staples that are unique to the city. Some of these famous Miami landmarks are locations like South Beach in front of the Colony Hotel, the Hispanic flavor of Hialeah, and the beauty of Downtown Miami / Bayfront Park.

Filming a Movie in Miami
Telecom Italia Mobile (TIM) came all the way from Italy to shoot a series of 14 commercials featuring the Miami sights and sun and starring July 2009 Playboy cover girl Bélan Rodriguez and Italian comedic actor Christian De Sica. Moving Picture was right there with them providing Video Assist and Location Sound Recording services.

If you are interested in shooting a video in Miami, our Miami Camera Crews can help. In addition to providing camera crew rentals, we offer production concierge services for finding film locations, booking production friendly hotels, grip truck rentals, and more. Contact Moving Picture Crew today at 305-522-1361 to learn more about our services.