Category: Business Thoughts
Call to action videos

A “Typical” Video Shoot

What does it take to create a “typical” video shoot? No project is really “typical” but there is some consistency in how we approach our projects at Emotivo Productions. I was recently hired by a producer in California by the name of Harley Rinzler to do four promotional videos for a yoga teacher with over 30 years of experience in Troy, NY. Her name is Lauren Toolin and she’s very well known in the health and wellness circles in New York’s Capital Region. While every shoot is unique in some ways, I wanted to share with you what it takes to do a series of structured videos from beginning to end.

Location Scouting

Since the producer was not on the east coast, he asked if I could help him find a few options for a location that would match the yogi feel he was looking to convey. I dove into my local resources and was able to get a hold of two feasible options that might work for this project. I think I may have spent about an hour talking to my two possibilities, coordinating pictures and videos and sending all this information back to California. In the end, the producer decided that we should use Lauren’s home as our location of choice.

I spent about another hour at Lauren Toolin’s home taking a look at where to place the camera, the conditions of the light, how noisy or quiet the place was and rearranging furniture to find the best angle possible. We eventually found a section of her home we all liked.

Hiring a Crew

I was given a budget and found the necessary crew to make this video a success. The producer and I decided that this would be a two camera shoot and we would also hire a hair and makeup professional. I went with one of my trusted camera operators in the area, Ken Kozak of Kendo Media, and with Antoinette DiMascio for Hair and Makeup. Since I have worked many times with Ken and I knew Antoinette from before, this only took about 30 minutes. It pays to already have contacts in the area!

Preparing Equipment

I’ve been through the process of prepping my equipment for a shoot hundreds and hundreds of times, so I’ve got it down to an efficient routine. I took about an hour to check everything off the list. Camera, lenses and tripods have to be checked. Batteries have to be charged. Light sources, cables, ballasts, microphones, stands, sandbags and extra grip equipment have to be selected and loaded into my vehicle. I must have all the equipment I think I might use plus account for any unpredictable occurrences, so I usually bring a little extra of everything. These are some of the more not so glamorous things needed for a shoot to go as planned, but they have to be done and are essential.

Shooting

We arrived 15 minutes before the start of the shoot and proceeded to load all the equipment into Lauren’s apartment on a second floor. While Ken and I load in and begin our camera setups, Antoinette begins to do Lauren’s hair and makeup. Setup took about an hour and 45 minutes to complete. Once Lauren was ready to go, we had her stand in for final light and sound checks. We linked Harley in to direct the shoot via an iPad and we were ready to go.

Lauren was a true professional! She memorized all her lines. I assumed she was going to have a general idea of what she was going to talk about and then speak from the wealth of knowledge she possesses, but I was mistaken. She spent countless hours in the days leading up to the shoot learning four scripts by heart. I think very few people realize how hard it is to deliver a cohesive and engaging message to a camera all the while keeping a pleasant and inviting attitude. It’s tough work, and Lauren delivered. She did great!

All in all, it took about two hours to film four short scripts. Both Harley and Lauren were very happy with what they both were able to give to the camera and Ken and I were very proud of how everything looked and sounded. We wrapped our shoot, took down the equipment, and we were out of Lauren’s home in about 30 minutes.

Editing

This is where the magic happens and my favorite part of the process! Lauren, understandably, did a few takes for each video. She delivered great performances but every take was a bit different and there were some minor mistakes here and there. It was my job to go through all the footage (about 90 minutes worth) and wheedle it down to what became our final product. I spent close to six hours over a couple of days on the edit. After Harley was satisfied with the pace and flow of each of the four videos, I proceeded to do color correction and sound mix on each. Harley approved all four videos and I sent him the final versions. Our project was complete.

Call to action videos

The Take Away

From beginning to end, this project took close to 14 hours of my time. Fourteen hours and the work of five separate individuals to produce 4 videos with a total run time of nine minutes!

It’s so cool and humbling to realize all the work, time, energy and resources it takes to produce something that looks so “simple”. Well produced and well shot, yes, but relatively simple. And by simple, I mean it in the most positive definition of the word possible – clean, smooth, uncomplicated and not needlessly elaborate-looking.

A good promotional video of this kind should be simple. You shouldn’t be distracted from the message. Your attention should be focused on the presenter and the information she/he is conveying. If while watching a video of this type (an introductory, call-to-action type of video)  the viewer is thinking about the color of the wall or the way the light is framing her face, we didn’t do our jobs well. Good filmmaking should be invisible. Good filmmaking allows the viewer to get lost in the story or message that’s being shared. It’s hard to accomplish that successfully and a lot of work goes into making any type of well-produced video.

I hope this article helps you admire and appreciate a tiny bit more any type of media you consume, but especially a piece of art that speaks to you. It took its creator/creators dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of hours to distill it to the final form you are consuming. It’s a magnificent achievement and we are all better for it.

If you want to hire Emotivo Production to produce your next project, you can reach us at [email protected]

Drones Capital Region New York

The Value of Drone Videography

I remember the first time I flew a drone for Emotivo Productions. Last summer, I first used it to deliver aerial shots of the Capital Region for New Abode LLC, a real estate services company that services Albany, Saratoga and Schenectady counties in New York State (here’s their website).

Drone services near me

The first thing I felt when I turned on the drone and it lifted off the ground was fear. “Oh my god, what if this thing falls from the sky and hurts someone?” I thought. “What if lose it? What if I get sued?” I came up with lots of doomsday scenarios to prevent me from learning this new skill. Eventually, through lots of practice, that feeling of dread got replaced by a feeling of thrill and exhilaration.

As a filmmaker, I was used to the camera capturing stories, feelings and moods on two planes: horizontal and vertical. You can pan a camera, you can tilt it, you can raise it or lower it on a gimbal, jib or a crane or you can push it in or out via a dolly. My stories would always be confined to a two dimensional plane of creativity. That is, until the miracle of flight and drones shattered all my preconceptions of what filmmaking could be!

With drones, you don’t have to confine your artistry to just left, right, up and down; you can now capture images in a three dimensional space. My drone gave me access to new ways of seeing the world, to new ways of coming up with shots and stories. It opened up a new channel of creativity inside of me that I didn’t know existed and it was a truly eye-opening realization. The value that these little flying machines can add to a filmmaker’s arsenal is quite high and all my clients are very happy with the aerial videography I have created for them.

Here are the five places where drone videography shines best:

  1. Real Estate:

Whether you want to add astonishing exterior shots to videos of your commercial or residential listings, or whether you want to use a drone to survey hard to reach areas of a home, drones are an essential tool in a filmmaker’s kit for real estate videography. Drones provide the client a fuller, more complete picture of the property they are viewing. If you are a realtor or home inspector and you aren’t using a drone to showcase your listings, you are doing your business a huge disservice.

  1. Wedding Industry:

There’s nothing like those jaw dropping establishing shots of a gorgeous venue, or a totally new perspective of your wedding that you could never envision. Drones allow a wedding videographer to add luxury and beauty to an already gorgeous event, take viewers’ breath away and focus an audience into the story being told. In short, they elevate the storytelling of any wedding video.

  1. Music Videos:

What’s better than a cool, complex and mystifying shot to add pizzaz to your music video?  Dronescan also be used as a substitute to a gimbal in these shoots. The staggering visuals that can be achieved with drone videography can give a music video that edge to help it stand out from the thousands of other music videos out there.

  1. Filmmaking industry:

This one is pretty obvious. What used to take a robust crew and a helicopter to film a hair-raising stunt sequence or establishing shot has now been replaced by safe, stable and easy to operate drones. I remember watching a behind the scenes special on the making of the 2020 Oscar winning war drama “1917”. I remember my head was spinning from trying to figure out how they created some of those seemingly impossible shots. Let me cue you in on a little secret: they used drones. Drones have forever changed how movies are made and I can’t wait to see how these tools continue to be used in the coming years!

  1. Surveillance, investigation and research.

While I will not get into the ethical debates about using drones for surveillance, it is undeniable how much drones have changed this industry due to the unique vantage point they provide, as well as their reach and speed. They have similarly affected research and investigation fields of endeavor, such as with the study of plants and animals in remote parts of the The ability to maneuver small flying units within feet of your subjects or to take breath-taking shots from really high up or reach previously inaccessible places can shine a light on an animal behavior that had been shrouded in mystery. Drones are so cool!

All of us in the human race benefit from these new glimpses into how our world works and should be thankful to all the people that have put their life energy into creating these revolutionary devices.

I am extremely grateful to now be able to offer drone videography services for all promotional documentaries, weddings and special events we create, as well as real estate videography and more (latest project here). If you are interested in hiring us to capture your event from a unique perspective, please reach out to us at [email protected].

 

Drones Capital Region New York

Legacy videos near me

Legacy Videos

What do San José, Costa Rica; Albany, New York; and Mérida, Mexico all have in common? I know, that’s a very cryptic rhetoric question so I will tell you the answer: those locations were the last three places where Emotivo Productions created our most recent legacy videos. What is a legacy video you ask?

A legacy video is a short documentary (usually under 20 minutes) primarily starring seniors or people with potentially terminal diseases that want to leave their story behind for their family and friends. A legacy video is a showcase of that person’s journey on Earth, chronicling all different stages of their life, including their childhood, teenage years, adulthood and milestones of all shapes and sizes. Along with these key points, a legacy video also explores deeper questions of humanity as expressed by a wise and experienced person, all conveyed with empathy and insight by one of our skilled storytellers.

Legacy videos Saratoga Springs New York

Legacy videos are of particular interest to me because I love people and love to understand my fellow humans better. Learning from their perspective and entering their unique world is such a tremendous and enriching gift to me. I have learned so much from my grandparents and senior friends and family members. Our older loved ones have so much to offer all of us and, unfortunately, their words are sometimes taken for granted (think, “here’s grandma telling us that story for the millionth time”). Worse still is if we think we will always have another opportunity to interact and be with them. Until that opportunity is taken away from us by the unpredictable nature of life and death.

During the process of filming a legacy video, I am exposed to the daily lives and routines of senior citizens or terminally ill patients. This can be a vulnerable process for people and I am grateful to earn the trust of my subjects. I remember a time filming a gentleman I was doing a video for a few years ago where it was just he and I in his room. He had just finished showering and I was just there, camera in hand, filming him doing what many would consider “menial” tasks. Things as simple as shaving, applying aftershave, combing his hair, putting on his shirt, taking his daily pills, spraying a dash of cologne and finally, slowly, walking out of his room towards the kitchen. I remember feeling embarrassed to be a fly on the wall in those moments, thinking, “Why am I capturing these intimate, quiet moments? How did I earn this when many people in his own family have probably never seen him do these things?”

Those feelings were immediately juxtaposed with excitement and exhilaration and I remember thinking, “Most people have never been able to get a glimpse of this man’s life in this way. Most people haven’t seen how his frail arms struggle to put on his shirt. Most people haven’t seen the difficulty he experiences while attempting to shave. Many have never seen how he looks at his reflection in the bathroom mirror and catch a small glimpse into his inner world”. I was beside myself with the honor of producing such a film and hooked forevermore to produce as many of these videos as I could.

Legacy videos near me

Legacy videos are a very sobering and cathartic experience for my clients, especially after their loved ones have passed away. After my 96 year old grandmother passed last year, I edited a 20 minute video for her with footage I had previously taken. I premiered the video over Zoom for all my family. What followed were tears, laughter, anecdotes, connection and a deep sense of joy. We recognized how lucky we were to had been a part of her life’s journey. I felt awe and gratitude. I want to facilitate that for all the people that hire Emotivo Productions to create a legacy video for their loved one.

We take on these projects with deep respect and appreciation, and know they will leave in you and in your family an indelible impression of love, gratitude and acceptance.

If you are interested in seeing a few of our legacy videos, please click here. If you are interested in hiring us to create a legacy video for your loved one, please contact us at [email protected].

Wedding video Saratoga Springs New York

A Different Kind of Wedding Video

As I’ve written about previously, our bread and butter here at Emotivo Productions are our promotional documentaries or “about us” videos. But you might not know Emotivo Productions also makes wedding videos – with the option for a truly unique type of wedding video.

Wedding video Saratoga Springs New York

Weddings are such a significant and meaningful day for every couple and I really enjoy being allowed to capture and express what it was like to be there that day and all the emotions that were felt. I love to commemorate such special occasions with the permanency that only video can provide.

Of course, we like to do things different at Emotivo Productions and while we provide wedding videography and editing with up to two professional videographers for up to 10 hrs and additions such as drone videography, I firmly believe we have a unique product that sets us apart from other wedding videographers out there: our “couple’s trailer”.

A “couple’s trailer” is a component of one of our wedding videography packages that also include  a roughly 20-minute video of the event. The couple’s trailer is a unqiue video that honors our couple’s love story. It’s a short (usually under five minute) video featuring separate interviews of each partner, which we film a few weeks before the wedding, that showcases their love story.

The interviews reveal how they met, their first date, the significant moments of their relationship, their values and what led to them making the decision to spend the rest of their lives together. We then take their interviews, plus pictures of their relationship, their favorite music, etc., and cut together a mini-documentary that celebrates their love journey up to before their wedding day. It’s truly fantastic to see what brings people together, what holds them together and what inspires them to make such an important commitment to each other.

What the couple ends up with is a beautiful film embodying their love, which they can share with family and friends, and watch on anniversaries or other special occasions. I’ve even had clients tell me they have re-watched their couple’s trailer after a fight to help remind them of how much love they share and, the best part, it has helped them make up!

I am married and after close to five years of spending every day sharing life with my wife, I have come to think of marriage as a “beautiful struggle”. Re-watching your own “couple’s trailer” can help re-center and re-focus you on what is truly important: your love for each other and your commitment to be partners and walk hand in hand towards your dreams.

It is an honor to film our clients’ weddings. If you are interested in having Emotivo Productions commemorate your upcoming nuptials, please reach out to us at [email protected]. To see some samples of our latest wedding videos, please click here.

Wishing all couples patience, resilience, communication, compassion and fun in their lives together. We only have one go at this mysterious phenomenon called “life”. If you choose to spend your time with someone, make sure it is someone you love, cherish, respect and who feels the same way. You handled picking out your perfect partner. Let us handle making the perfect wedding video for you.

 

Wedding Video Albany New York

Promotional videos Albany, Clifton Park and Saratoga Springs, NY

About Us

Author Barbara Loynet of Wooshii Video Agency lists three reasons why a brand should have an “about us” video and three recommendations into how to create a great “about us” video in an article published on November 25th, 2016 (original article here).

I took inspiration from this article to share with you the reasons why I believe, in 2021, that your company, organization or enterprise needs an “about us” video.

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Albany New York Videography

How to Hire a Video Producer

Hiring the right video producer for your business video can be stressful. Still, it’s one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to getting a quality visual project that accurately represents you and your business.

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