All posts in Film Production

A still from our Travelfox shoot.

Camera Angles and Framing

When thinking about your storyboard or shot list for either a corporate, commercial or feature project you need to remember that every single shot should support the tone and mood of your piece.  There are many different ways you can use your camera to help tell your story whether it’s through distance, angle, movements or frame composition.

Getting your intended message across depends on every detail of your project. Each creative choice you make should be motivated by your intended message.

Outside of these tools there are also basic rules every filmmaker should follow while creating a shot list or story board. One of the most important rules being the 180 degree rule which definitely deserves it’s own post. For now, we’ll touch on just a few basic camera choices you can use to enhance mood and emotion. Your will be beautiful while also supporting the overall objective of the project at a higher level.

Angle

It’s important to not only vary your shot size i.e CU, M, MCU etc. but to also think about the effects of using different angles. Try moving away from eye-level to create different moods, you should choose each angle for a reason because in film the choice is always deliberate.

If you want to give your subject or product some importance you can try shooting from below with the camera facing upwards. This makes your subject appear bigger and gives the subtle feeling of courage or strength.  Crouch down below the subject, hold the camera above your head, climb stairs or use a tall tripod or ladder.  Also, low angles can give your subjects a sinister look if exaggerated a bit, this works well to designate her/him as an antagonist or villain.

On the other hand, you can step up on a chair or ladder for a high angle shot.  This can lend totally different character traits and make the subject seem vulnerable or weak.

Movement

If movement makes sense, you may need a Steadicam or a slider to limit the inherent shakiness, unless you’re working on a project in which the unsettling feeling that handheld movement gives makes sense, like The Blair Witch Project for example. If you’re interested in this handheld approach and you’d like to learn more about it I’d suggest looking into the filmmaking movement Dogme 95 in which the style is completely hand held and without tools or special effects.

Here we’ll talk about more traditional camera movements. Sometimes, a bit of a slow camera movement can add more to a locked scene. The best way to get this effect is to use a slider while following the action or movement.

If you have the ability to move in and drop down on a subject with a crane shot, for example, the viewer will feel like they’re entering the character’s space or mind frame. If you start close and then pull away, the viewer will get a feeling of how vulnerable the character is or how large the obstacle he/she is facing is. This is also a great way to reveal an unexpected surrounding.

A quick push-in will have a shocking effect, whereas a slow dolly-in creates tension and brings the viewer in closer to the character’s inner state. You can also dolly or tilt to reveal a change of facial expression mid-shot or to introduce a product.

Distance

You can also convey mood and emotion to the audience through the distance you place between the subject and the camera. Close-ups (CUs) are mainly used to show a character express emotion or communicate because they allow viewers to form a close attachment to the subject.  You can also use wide shots to establish space. A wide shot is commonly used in the beginning of a scene or video to establish location.

You can also use changes in distance, mid-shot, to tell the audience something about your characters and/or their relationships. A long shot can establish a context or sense of place in the same way a wide shot can. Repeated use of long shots in a scene tends to stress setting over character.

The most commonly used is the medium shot (MS). It creates a balance between character and setting and usually emphasizes a character’s upper-body, arms, and head. The medium shot is a general, all-purpose shot.

Frame Composition and Background

We run into background choices a lot in corporate video production and sometimes this choice can make or break your production. Most filmmakers choose to go with a subtly colored background to reduce distractions, in this case, and while that approach has some merit, with some thought and effort, your backgrounds can be used as a tool.

Your background should give the viewer information about your subject or product.

Even the tiniest of clues, which may not say much to the viewer at first, can help to beef up your characters and the viewers’ understanding of them as you continue to tell your story.

You can also use symmetry in your framing, or the lack thereof, to clue the viewer in on the mood or context of the scene. Many filmmakers adhere to the basic rule of thirds, which suggests splitting the frame into three vertical and three horizontal sections and then placing subjects or other important elements at the intersections.

The bottom line is, you need to make informed decisions when it comes to the camerawork on your film or video projects and, in order to do that, you need to have a firm understanding of the effects that different compositions, distances, angles, movements, etc., will have on your audience.

These details can be overlooked and effect the quality of your project and if used incorrectly, they can detract from the message you’re trying to convey.

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Taking the time to hire a professional, high-quality voice over actor bumps your video’s production value up a few notches while also keeping the integrity of your script. The VO artist carries the tone and brings emotion to your story.

Here is a step by step guideline on how to search for your voice over artist.

What you’ll need to know before you start your search:

1. Lock in your script.

2. Do a word count of your script.

3. Pick a short paragraph for the prospective artists to read.

4. Figure out where will your video air.

5. Set your rate.

6.  What kind of audio file will you need?

 

It’s important to know all of the answers to these questions before you reach out to any voice over artist.  These are all questions he or she will ask and if you’re prepared the artist will trust you know what you’re doing and be happy to work with you.

Then, access www.voices.com. Once you are signed up for voices.com:

1. Use the advanced search option to search a specific tone and category.

2. Reach out to 2-4 artists that match your criteria, you can Google search their name and reach them directly or you can rely on the voices.com team to take care of it for you. 

3. Set your rate, deadline and number of reads you expect for that rate. 

4. Schedule a phone call with the artist to do their first recording with you on the phone. This way you can give any direction necessary. 

 

Once you’re signed up for voices.com you can choose to use their integrated payment system or you can reach out to the artist directly.  Whichever you decide to do is up to you, but the latter provides you with direct communication which can be very helpful if you have a tight deadline.

If you have a budget you need to work within, then directly reaching out to the artist is the best way to make sure you are within your range. If you create a job posting within voices.com you will be given each artist’s bid without any negotiations. Choosing 2-4 artists that match your criteria is the best way to get what you need. Availability can be an issue as well as a budget constraint.

Once you’ve locked in your artist you are ready to get recording. If the script is relatively long, be sure to break the read up into scenes so you have more control over the tone and speed of the read. If you know what you want your VO to sound like, the rest should be a piece of cake.

Standard Non-Union Industry Rates:

NON BROADCAST PRODUCTIONS

Business and Corporate

00 to 05 minutes – $100-250

06 to 15 minutes – $250-500

16 to 30 minutes- $500-750

31 to 45 minutes- $750-1000

45 to 60 min. – $1000-1250

60 to 75 min. – $1250-1500

75 to 90 min. – $1500-1750

90 to 120 min. – $1750-2000

120+ min. – Request A Quote

 

Telephone System Recordings

00 to 05 minutes – $100-250

06 to 15 minutes – $250-500

16 to 30 minutes – $500-750

31 to 45 minutes – $750-1000

45 to 60 min. – $1000-1250

60 to 75 min. – $1250-1500

75 to 90 min. – $1500-1750

90 to 120 min. – $1750-2000

120+ min. – Request A Quote

 

Internet Audio

00 to 05 minutes – $100-250

06 to 15 minutes – $250-500

16 to 30 minutes – $500-750

31 to 45 minutes – $750-1000

45 to 60 min. – $1000-1250

60 to 75 min. – $1250-1500

75 to 90 min. – $1500-1750

90 to 120 min. – $1750-2000

120+ min. – Request A Quote

BROADCAST PRODUCTIONS

 Radio Commercials

Radio Commercial : Local:15, :30 or :60 – $200

Radio Commercial : Regional:15, :30 or :60 – $300

Radio Commercial : National Network:15, :30 or :60 -$1000

Radio Station Promotion / Station Imaging / Tags:05, :15 or :30 – $200

Public Service Announcement on Radio:15, :30 or :60 -$200

Television Commercials

Television Commercial : Local:15, :30 or :60 – $300

Television Commercial : Regional:15, :30 or :60 – $500

Television Commercial : National Network:15, :30 or :60 – $2000

Television Station Promotion / Station Imaging / Tags

LONG FORM NARRATION

Audiobooks

Fiction and Non-Fiction Audiobook Recordings

Price per finished hour: $250-$500

Have more than 1 book?Request Quote

Educational Videos and Training Videos

Non-Broadcast Educational Recordings

1 Hour recording session – 250-500

Each additional hour – 100

60 + minutes (finished audio)Request Quote

 Narration for Documentaries

00 to 05 minutes – $100-250

06 to 15 minutes – $250-500

16 to 30 minutes – $500-750

31 to 45 minutes – $750-1000

45 to 60 min. – $1000-1250

60 to 75 min. – $1250-1500

75 to 90 min. – $1500-1750

90 to 120 min. – $1750-2000

120+ min. – Request A Quote

Video Games

Console Games, iPhone Games, iPad Games, Android Games

00 to 05 minutes – $100-250

06 to 15 minutes – $250-500

16 to 30 minutes – $500-750

31 to 45 minutes – $750-1000

45 to 60 min. – $1000-1250

60 to 75 min. – $1250-1500

75 to 90 min. – $1500-1750

90 to 120 min. – $1750-2000

120+ min. – Request A Quote

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Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.11.46 PM

This web video was produced by Evolve Media as a New York & San Francisco Video Production for Lyft and we’re excited to share it with you. If you are interested in using the car service as a rider, download the Lyft App. If you’re low on cash you could join your community and apply to be a Lyft driver. If you didn’t already know, the Stache is used to set Lyft drivers apart from other cars, every Lyft driver adorns the grill of his/her car with the iconic Stache.  If you are interested in reading more about the qualifications for being a Lyft driver, head over to their site and apply.

Carstache 2.0

In the automotive facial hair industry, there are those who simply do, and those who dare to challenge the status quo. After tireless research and testing Lyft is proud to introduce the new standard for car mustaches: Carstache 2.0.
This Carstache features:
● A all new, revolutionary attachment system, which utilizes state­of­the­art quick­release
● Superfur, the most functional and durable fur ever invented
Meet Ethan, Lyft’s Senior Carstache Designer, and hear about Carstache 2.0, coming soon to the Lyft community.

If you were impressed with this New York & San Francisco Video Production and are looking for your own production, feel free to contact us here. You can also check out more of our work and see who else we’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Behind The Scenes with Lyft

With the growing success of Lyft, new experiences for the Stache are better when cherished and recorded for the years to come. We are proud to be their production company of choice. We like to make sure the client gets to be as hands on as possible. During our day on set, the team had a chance to create some of their own content and put together this beautiful BHS video, check it out. 

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Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.23.46 PM

Whole Foods Market Web Video Production

It’s lunchtime! You’re at your desk, you pick up the phone to order chinese food and then immediately feel guilty. It’s your fourth time this week eating out. Or maybe you don’t even eat at all, full steam ahead with minimal energy. Check out this web video production we did to find out what you’re eating for lunch.

Web video production san francisco for whole foods

This Whole Foods Market Web Video  was produced by Evolve Media for the Whole Foods employee healthy eating program called Full SpoonFull Spoon supports health and wellness in the workplace while encouraging employees to shop and eat healthier. Companies of any size can take part in the program and have a customized package put together for their staff. The program is based around four essential elements: education, incentive, interaction and metrics.  Full Spoon even has a mobile kitchen for employees to take part in interactive kitchen cooking classes, all you need is an open parking lot. This Whole Foods program helps to build practical and sustainable habits with hands-on and digital tools. Check out the Full Spoon Fed Blog for more info and tasty recipes. Hope you enjoyed our Whole Foods Market Web Video.

The Autographer for Behind The Scenes Footage

Curious as to what happens on a set like this one? We do a ton of web video commercials and have got the process down to a T. Check out our Whole Foods Market Web Video Production and Autographer Footage for BHS. How many people are involved? What kind of lights we use? What goes into a producing a web video production? We used the Autographer behind the scenes to show you what a day on set looks like. Literally hang out in Evolve’s pocket while we spend the day on set shooting for this piece

Autographer for Behind The Scenes for web video production

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seafood watch animated video

 

Animated Video for Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

Our oceans are in trouble because of unsustainable fishing practices. Close to 85% of the world’s fisheries are being over fished. For almost 15 years, Seafood Watch has helped to sustain wild, diverse and healthy ocean ecosystems.  Seafood Watch has made it easier for us to make better choices while shopping for fish. It’s as easy as downloading an app. Watch this animated video we produced in San Francisco to get a better idea of how you can help maintain an abundance of ocean critters.

Animated Video

Animated Video

Video Marketing Stats

Video marketing stats are continuing to see explosive growth in 2014. Part of Google’s algorithm for search rankings is assessed by the amount of time a visitor spends on your page, which is why a video is key to your marketing success.

If you were interested enough to click and watch our video for Seafood Watch, you retained roughly 50% of the information Seafood Watch wanted you to have.  If you had skimmed through the text, you would have retained 10%. We’ve taken the guess work out of explaining their concept and have given you the basic understanding through our animated video.
                         

10 Must Know Stats for Video Marketing

1. 89 million people in the US are going to watch 1.2 billion online videos today.

2. Online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016.

3. Online video now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic and up to 69% of traffic on certain networks.

4. Globally, online video traffic will be 55% of all consumer Internet traffic in 2016.

5. 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions.

6. Mobile and tablet shoppers are 3x as likely to view a video as computer users.

7. Mobile video ads that include social media buttons drive 36% higher engagement.

8. 76% of marketers plan to add video to their sites, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter and blog integration.

9. 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. 

10. More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, spending more than 4 billion hours watching videos.

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If you sit in marketing meetings at Any Company, USA these days, chances are you have heard the term “viral videos” being batted around by erstwhile colleagues as if it is the new “synergize”.  But if you have spent any time watching the most popular viral videos on the interwebs, you might also be wondering what relevance “Gangnam Style” or a talking cat could possibly have in your company’s marketing strategy. Don’t write them off too soon. Successful web–video advertising, blending both the elements of viral video and your marketing message, can be an excellent way to attract people to your product.
e
But first, what exactly is a viral video?

We’re so glad you asked. The viral phenomenon – the concept of something other than a biological virus being viral – came into vogue just after the internet became widely popular in the mid-to-late 1990s, and this has become a common way to describe how thoughts, information and trends move into and through a human population. The short answer to your question is: a video that becomes popular through the process of internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email. (Thank you, Wikipedia – read more here).

Many viral videos were not created specifically to entertain millions of people, but because of their peculiar blend of comedy (intentional or otherwise), topical or popular subject matter and sheer luck, they became part of the social lexicon. For example, it is easy to assume that the Numa Numa guy had no idea his webcam would lead him to global fame. But plenty of videos are created by amateurs and specialists alike with the clear intention of becoming viral. Want some examples? You have probably not only seen this poor guy on YouTube, but seen him starring in an eSurance commercial. The writer and filmmaker might be an amateur, but he produced an engaging and hilarious video that has garnered tens of millions of views and thousands of imitators. And if you have not watched the viral video Corning Glass released recently, you should – everyone else has!

Those are great. But what are the key elements of a successful viral video?

Anything that strikes a chord with enough people willing to pass it along to others has the potential to go viral – that’s the easy answer. Can it be distilled into a 100% successful formula? Yes, and no. The most popular viral videos have common characteristics that are hard to ignore…

  • ONE – An easy emotional connection. Provoking a common emotional response plays a central role in any successful mass media product. Hit songs, popular films, memorable commercials, great books: they all provoke an emotional reaction and tie to the consumer. Viral videos are no different. Whether you are shocked, tickled, amazed , touched or frightened, if it gets your heart racing you are more likely to share it with your friends. The most common play for emotion in popular viral videos is by using humor. We recommend that above all else.
  • TWO – A pop culture connection. Ask yourself, what’s big with the kids these days? Maybe it is as esoteric as a My Little Pony revival or as common as a certain Barbadian singer – if you’re not sure, there is always Star Wars.
  • THREE – Piggybacking on an already-established cultural phenomenon is a tried and true way to connect with an audience in everything from stand-up comedy to political speeches and certainly advertising is no exception. Involving real star power, social memes, popular music, current jokes or skewering any of the above with a well-placed parody are great ways to contribute to making your video a viral hit.
  • FOUR – Repeatable stunts. Harlem Shake, anyone? Mentos and Diet Coke? Give viewers something funny or interesting they want to try and film themselves doing, and you have a hit on your hands.
  • FIVE – Simplicity. Keep your ideas succinct and simple so everyone gets it quickly and everyone can understand it. One of the the most popular videos of all time is only six seconds long!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1Y73sPHKx

  • SIX – Plagiarism. Copying, one-upping or perfecting established popular videos is an easy way to capitalize on current memes if you prefer not to go out on a limb with your own stunt. This can also be achieved with “response” videos: taping a reaction or criticism of popular videos and linking it to them can get you on the bandwagon. It’s one way to go, although at Evolve Media, we prefer creativity.
  • Great Music!

  • TEN …and Justin Bieber, for some reason. (Evolve Media does not recommend this approach)

How can I make a viral video for my product?

Great question. Anyone in marketing knows that communicating a message that accurately and succinctly describes your business to viewers that are at most only casually interested can be tough.  Companies that sell complex services or complicated products have a greater challenge utilizing a 30-second TV spot – it is easier to express the advantages of soap, for example, than an enterprise software for hotels.  Moreover, it may be effective marketing to have a talking plush toy molest your date on the couch if you are a dating website; but less so to have the same toy attack a group of concerned IT folk over their failing software integration project. A true corporate-sponsored viral video does not necessarily seek to express the company brand, but rather ties the brand to something people actually want to watch. Here are some tips for producing successfully viral product videos:

  1. Go nuts! A viral video can be anything you want it to be. Anything. So don’t waste your time and money filming a live action version of your sales collateral. With rare exceptions (see Corning Glass again), this will result in an uninteresting video. To truly embrace the viral video culture, you need to loosen that tie. Embed your product or message in an unrelated and self-referential world that is designed purely for entertainment.
  2. Amplify accessibility. Uploading your video to every video site under the sun, sharing it with all possible friends and constituents on every social media platform, making it easy to download and view with all players, making it mobile-friendly and emailing it to your Mom are all important. For corporate videos and sponsorships, these are table stakes. If you are investing money in your video and want it to be a hit, it pays to promote it. Don’t just make it easy to find, make it hard to avoid and people will see your message.
  3. Hire an expert. At Evolve Media, we specialize in highly creative videos. We thrive on comedy. We love great music. We are immersed in the world of filmmaking, art, culture and entertainment. This is what we do. Bring us your ideas and let’s have some fun. We can make it happen. Want proof? We were approached by the creator of Comedy Central’s “Workaholics” (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1610527)  and a producer at Goodby Silverstein & Partners.  They wanted Evolve Media to help concept, write, and produce a viral video series for a new App they developed called Ozgood.  These were designed to be viral, entertaining videos that targeted college age male students.  Shortly after releasing them, they were picked up by Will Farrell’s company “Funny or Die” as well as “Ebaums World”.  Due to the success of the videos, there has been movement to develop the concept into a feature film.

 

 

Further articles on this subject we recommend:

AdWeek’s 10 Most Watched ads in April 2013

Fairwaytech.com – Corporate Videos, Boon or Epic Fail?

Rewatchable.com – Viral Corporate Video Done Right

Women In Business – How to Go Viral

Videomaker.com – How To Make A Viral Video

Desktop Video – Making Viral Videos

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We are producing a new short film and need your help.  Whatever you can contribute will help $1 or $20 or even more.  Please go to our Kickstarter page and check out the project.  We will be releasing the first scene in a week and would love to have you on board.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12806/the-spirit-machine-a-little-film-with-big-fx

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Evolve Media just finished filming in Brooklyn, NY and San Francisco, CA for the newly released PayPal Here product. We also edited together their Global video by adding footage filmed in Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong.

The New York and San Francisco videos were filmed on the new RED Scarlet cameras.

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We just got back from a whirlwind trip to NYC.  We can’t tell you what we were filming for yet, but here is a sneak peek photo from us on the streets of Brooklyn NY.  We were filming on the new RED Scarlet cameras.Image

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This is our most recent TV spot. It was shot on a green screen out doors. It contains some pretty heavy visual effects. You can see the behind the scenes photos on our Flickr page as well.

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