Category Archives: Production Tips

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.


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.

iPhone App Review: Artemis Director’s Viewfinder


Artemis Icon
The Artemis Director’s Viewfinder is a great tool to have in any filmmaker’s toolbox.  Camera Crews Miami wants film directors to know that if utilized to its full potential, Artemis can potentially eliminate the need for a scouting camera package. Artemis comes preloaded with nearly all of the popular camera systems in use today, this includes all the ARRI Alexa versions, all of the RED cameras, Canon DSLR, Broadcast Cameras, pro-sumer camcorders, and of course film cameras from 8mm to 65mm. As for lens selection, Artemis provides a vast selection from Canon, Cooke, Leica, Panavision, RED, and Zeiss.

Artemis main interface with multiple frame lines representing the lenses in your package.

After you have selected your desired camera and lens package (shown at top-left and top-right of your Artemis screen), a shot-framing window is displayed with multiple frame lines. Use the “plus” and “minus” buttons to change the lens selection, click the “full screen” button and Artemis will push in showing you only the framing with the chosen lens.

Artemis, shown “punched in” with your selected framing.

If you’re happy with this framing, tap the camera icon. An image will be saved to the Artemis Image Bank containing the camera and lens selection, lat/long, tilt angle, and sunrise/sunset time for that location. When you finish your scout, go into your Image Bank and select the images you want to export, then save those images to your Camera Roll or email yourself a PDF file with the imagery and META data.

Sample Artemis Camera Roll output with META Data

Just like the bow-wielding Artemis of Greek lore, you’ll be sniping your tech scout photos on your iPhone or iPad with efficiency and accuracy.

Artemis is authored by Chemical Wedding from Los Angeles, CA. Chemical Wedding has also released other apps for the film industry, the Helios Sun Position Calculator and Toland – ASC Cinematography Calculator.

App Store Page: Artemis Director’s Viewfinder
Cost: $29.99


Keep your Crew Productive with “Producteev” Task Management System – For Free!

Lets face it. Producers have a hard job! Managing the details, responsibilities, pickups, and drop-offs for a shoot can get overwhelming at times. Throw a half dozen PAs into the mix, each with different job assignments and expectations, and there are bound to be some mistakes made along the way. At this level, mistakes cost time, money, or both. Every Producer has their own method of managing pre-production and wrap duty madness — some methods are more successful than others. At Camera Crew Miami, we’ve found a great collaborative tool to help organize and distribute information and tasks to team members in the form of Producteev, the social task management solution for teams.

There are many task management solutions on the market, with varying degrees of functionality and complexity. What makes Producteev so attractive is it’s cross platform support, ease of use, and it’s free! The Producteev system can be accessed via a standard web browser, a Mac desktop application, or an iPhone or Android mobile app. All three interfaces are intuitive, easy to use, and informative.


Today’s recent grads have grown up using collaborative tools in their classrooms, something older generations did not have the benefit of experiencing. These tools have developed new ways of organizing information and most have nothing to do with making “hardcopies”. We’ve found that using ‘old school’ methods like relying on printed documents do very little to organize our younger subordinates.

Let’s give you an example of Producteev in action. Assume that another stop for your delivery PA comes up suddenly. In seconds you can enter a new task from your laptop at the Production Office and a real-time notification will pop up on the PA’s iPhone/Android while they’re making stops around town. You could attach a JPG of a map or even a list of the equipment they are supposed to pick up. Upon completion, the PA would simply check off that stop as ‘complete’ on their phone app and the task will show up as complete on your laptop. Confirmation emails can also be sent to all involved parties for each task, stating the task issue time, completion time, and any notes about that task that were entered during the process. This is all great documentation that could be incorporated into a job’s wrap book for future accountability.