I captured the above image in the direct sun of the afternoon by raising the f-stop up along with the shutter speed to cut the glare and sharpen the contrast. It reminds me of my youth when I would spend countless hours in the water idly passing the dog days of summer by with nary a care in the world. My how things change!
If you have ever traveled between Charleston, South Carolina and Pawley’s Island then you know there are many historic and beautiful places to visit. One more recent addition is the Center for Birds of Prey. More than a zoo, the Center provides educational opportunities through interactive presentations and informative conversations with professional biologists and ornithologists. It is best to time your visit during one of the presentations at the outdoor amphitheater. There you will see owls, kites, hawks and falcons demonstrating their innate capabilities, and sometimes even flying directly over your head.
One of the aspects of my job that I enjoy the most is seeing what makes companies tick. Getting behind the scenes and meeting the entrepreneurs that drive the Georgia economy. The vast array of industry sectors provide so many different strategies and business processes, and telling a part of their story via video is always an interesting experience.
A few tips when planning for a video shoot:
- If you can, scout before you bring a video crew along. A host of surprises can jump up unexpectedly, and you want to be prepared with a back up plan. It will also give you ideas, shot angles, interviewees, and potential props to make it even better. For example, I’ve used lift cranes, fork lifts, bicycles, planes, conveyor belts and a host of other items to get a shot.
- Really investigate the DNA of the brand you are featuring. The more you can carry that spirit forward the better.
- Set up two different camera angles to make the interviews more interesting and flexible when it comes to post edit time.
- Too much background noise is distracting, but just enough makes for a more interesting video as it allows the viewer to feel the scene.
- Avoid amping up the music too much. One should hardly notice it unless it increases at moments to convey something important or create energy – but use sparingly. Certainly avoid free stock music at all costs.
- Interview questions can often end up very generic, and that won’t help you get the interesting talking points you need. Mix it up and throw in some questions that are personal. Relax your subject and don’t be afraid to have them repeat their point several times to get it right. They will appreciate it later. Certainly have them repeat the last part of your question before they go into the answer.
- Keep it short. Like under 3:00 minutes.
- If you plan on buying media to promote your video then think about and budget accordingly for both a 30 second spot and a longer version.
- Transcribe the video. If you don’t like the way the script is shaping up then you can always go back to find the right talking points you want.
- Consider animation and careful use of text and infographics to bolster a particular point.
Here are some recent videos I have produced:
King’s Hawaiian (3:00)
Small Business (2:46)
Film Industry (4:55)
If you would like to see more videos from me visit http://blog.robertpayne.net/category/professional/
My approach to videos has generally been – don’t listen to us, listen to them. And I still believe in that strategy. There is much power in hearing (and seeing) a credible and experienced individual explain how they were positively impacted by a solution of some kind. This type of visual storytelling can of course be supported by animation and infographics if needed.
However, in the case of this small business video I felt that a different approach was needed. Why? Because there are more than 700,000 incorporated businesses in Georgia and 99% of those are considered to be “small businesses.” It could be an aerospace company that makes drones for NASA or a microbrewery. The sheer breadth of industry sectors is staggering.
A pure animation approach with a narrator works in this case because it allows the viewer to get drawn in by the story and whimsy while still conveying some very specific information. What types of businesses they actually run becomes less important.
Others must agree because it recently received a few accolades.
- 2014 MarCom Awards: Gold Award in the Government Subcategory of Film & Video
- 2015 AVA Awards – Video for the Web/Government (Gold)
- 2014 Summit Emerging Media Awards: Leader Award (Bronze)
It has been quite a week with a tour of Lockheed Martin’s facility, an interview with the CEO of Mercedes, and a video shoot at King’s Hawaiian.
Above is a video interview with John Linehan, EVP of King’s Hawaiian – great guy and very knowledgable about food processing and business strategy. Note the two camera angles. Generally I like to have someone else ask my questions, so that I can listen carefully and correct or redo as needed. Should wrap up the finished product in a couple of weeks.
Growing the life science industry in Georgia has been one of the economic development endeavors I have been working on in recent time. After extensive research and planning, a multi-channel marketing campaign was launched that targets very specific sectors within the life science industry:
- Cold Chain
- Fill Finish
- Hematology and Immunology
- Medical Devices
The usual suspects of digital marketing, print advertising, events and tradeshows and public relations were employed to generate new leads.
I also utilized social media in the form of a Health IQ quiz that was designed to be fun, informative and interactive. It generated some great results and figured it was worth submitting for the International Economic Development Awards. I am pleased to say that the campaign was awarded Gold in the category of New Media in a population greater than 500,000.
You can learn more about the life science campaign by visiting Georgia.org/LifeSciences.
Fall light in the woods
Leaves crackle in anticipation
Rain on the coast
Wetsuit feels like armor
Grey waves carry ageless friends to shore
Wood smoke on my sweater
Oyster shells lay empty on the table
Blue crabs whistle in the boil
Food and family laugh in story
Thankful to be together
Charleston stretches out the front door
Despite being a father and a working professional, I still enjoy playing around with photography when I can.
I took a recent course at Piedmont Park focused on lighting. Plenty of factors to consider, much of it requiring more gear than I care to sport around. But if you want to expand your knowledge and live in and around Atlanta, check out Mike Moreland. He brings the models and the gear, and you’ll certainly learn a few tricks. The true art though – in my humble opinion – is directing the model in the context of the scene.
Yes, I got these:
But I actually like this one – no light and off the cuff.
I can’t pretend to know for sure, but for me it encapsulates what I think many black men, especially in Ferguson, feel about the world around them. Want to get a greater appreciation? Hit the new Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta. We’ve come a long way, but there is still work to be done.