« Back to news

Video Production Tools & Techniques

March 11, 2016

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes with video production? Video is probably the most compelling and effective way to get your message across. As we begin to dive into the process of telling your story there are many things to prepare for in making your video come to life - script, storyboard, shot plan, location, design style, animation, motion graphics, music, voice over. The list goes on for sure.

When it comes to video production here in the Chicago area or anywhere else in the world, filming your story involves many tools and techniques that make all the elements come to life. Usually you can rely upon the director or cinematographer to come up with these solutions, yet it helps to know what techniques and tools are possible in order to make your video stand out.

Let's start with lenses. We utilize the right lenses for the task at hand. Whether it's capturing a wide shot of your facility or a macro shot of a tiny product. Generally, the type of lens on the camera we use is a zoom lens that works for wide to tight shots and can cover most if not everything needed on a whole shoot day. However changing lenses can help direct the viewers attention by allowing the camera to focus on what is important in the frame and blurring out unimportant things. Prime lenses or non-zooming lenses in particular can be good low light situations and generally create some more flattering images for interview subjects. We typically like to use more than one lens to give a variety of shots, but ultimately it depends on the subject of the video.

Next up lighting. Lighting can be the most important thing for video production. For a majority of our clients we like to make things look as natural as possible. For the most part we utilize a mix of available ambient lighting and supplement where needed. Most recently we have purchased battery powered color temperature adjustable LED lights that give us incredible flexibility to supplement light in any situation inside and out. We also have a variety of other lighting and light modification tools that allow us to stylize lighting in studio and on location. Lighting can even be as simple as a white card to bounce light from other sources in a room or outside.

Lastly, dynamic moving shots can be used to show how something works in a single camera move, it can show scope and size and generally it helps to create energy on otherwise motionless products or scenes. Some of the tools we use during production to create movement are a slider, a jib, a tripod, a camera gimbal and a drone.

A slider and tripod are generally used for subtle moving shots. A jib is essentially a camera crane. It can be used for subtle shots as well, but depending on the length of the jib it can capture large sweeping shots. A camera gimbal is generally used for steady following shots or long shots in which you have fairly large distances to cover from one point to another and you don't want any camera shake.

Finally, drones gives us the capability to capture aerial shots we could not otherwise before because of the cost. With a drone we can follow a car down the road or give you a bird's eye view of your facility. We can even fly indoors if ceiling heights permit.

At the end of the day, we ensure your video looks amazing by using these techniques, but it is most important to start with a good story. So when you begin to think about making a video, we get to know your business inside and out. This guides us in creating your story and tell it in a clear, compelling way.