Guest Blog

The future of corporate communications: Keeping up with video production

The future of corporate communications: Keeping up with video production

The future of corporate communications: Keeping up with video production 6048 4032 Heidi McLean

By Trishna Mitra, Digital Marketing Specialist at Abernethy Media Professionals

 

What if I told you that by 2019, 80 percent of internet traffic will be video traffic? And no, I don’t mean just cat videos or viral memes, like Chewbaca mom. I’m talking about corporate communications. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a trend in content consumption that is increasingly favoring video over other types of mediums. You’ve probably already noticed the changes and seen the facts, so I’m not here to convince you of that. Rather, I want to share how to overcome the daunting prospect of moving toward a primarily video communication strategy for your company.

Abernethy Media Professionals (also known as AMP) has been in the video production business for the past fifteen years. Our work includes project management, production, post, or any combination of the three. That’s why we don’t believe in the “standard job” when it comes to planning a good video. Over the last decade and a half, we’ve learned that when it comes to creating video, flexibility and adaptability are the name of the game. As things change for our clients, we must pivot quickly and meet them where they are. As a result, we’ve created agile processes to help our clients plan ahead and keep up with the growing, constantly changing demands of video production. Today, we’re sharing those not-so-top-secret processes with you!

 

Plan ahead to: Create footage with longevity

Make the most of production day. This is the most important thing you can do to prepare for video communications. Especially when it comes to online content, it can feel like things become irrelevant pretty quickly. So, create content that is evergreen, shoot multiple versions of your video that you can steadily release over time, and get visual assets (like stills and b-roll) that can be reused in newsletters, across the website, and in other videos. All it takes is a little forethought during pre-production to plan how you want to make the most out of your video and content.

 

Plan ahead to: Use your budget wisely

Or, as we like to call it, “managing expectations.” You want the look of a professional video, but you don’t have the budget for it. Or perhaps you’ve come up with the creative and now need a crew to execute it, just to find that you don’t have the budget to get everything PLUS the lighting you need to get the look you want.

Quality video production comes at a cost, so it is tempting to turn to the film school student looking to add to his resume. However, when you go with an experienced crew, you’re getting quality, reliability, and professionalism. And that can save you hours on set and the costs of reshoots if things go awry.

 

Plan ahead to: Allow for logistical constraints

It’s time for a CEO address. Top leadership will all be around to shoot an internal company video for employees across the country. Flights are booked, the crew is assembled, and you’re ready to go. And then at the last minute, the CEO cancels because something’s come up. Now what? Coordinating schedules can be difficult at best, which is why we recommend incorporating some flexibility into your planning process. Think about possible alternative solutions during pre-production so you’re prepared for whatever might come down the pipeline. AMP’s team of experienced professionals can provide the gear, the crew, and the support to help you as your needs change.

 

About Abernethy Media Professionals

The future of corporate communications: Keeping up with video production

Abernethy Media Professionals is a full service video production company. AMP’s Camera Crew division offers production support across the Southwest and Pacific Northwest areas. We provide the right crews, equipment, and expertise for your shoot. Our Creative Services team provides script to screen production support, and our experienced producers partner with agencies and in-house corporate communications representatives on digital media projects across the country.

 

5 things you need to look for if you're considering a crewing service

5 things you need to look for if you’re considering a crewing service

5 things you need to look for if you’re considering a crewing service 4193 2785 Heidi McLean

When you’re managing a media department, you’re expected to be everywhere at once. It’s not enough to keep up with the newest gear; you have to make important decisions in the marketing, finance, and crewing departments, too. You know you’ve found a good online crewing service when it gives you back time in your day by providing several workflow management solutions all in one.

Here’s what to look for in an online crewing service:

 

1. Time savings

How much time would you free up if you could skip fruitless Google searches and find both domestic and international video service providers in just a few clicks? Time is money and a good online crewing service saves you both.

 

2. A rigorous vetting process

Your shoots represent your brand; so you don’t want just any crew on the job. You want the best crew on the job. A good vetting process ensures you’re not just searching a slightly-filtered version of Google. Make sure your crewing service’s database is made up of high-quality crews personally approved by an in-house team of experienced media experts.

 

3. Usability

Most of us have abandoned a tool that would have eventually made our lives easier because it had too much of a learning curve. An intuitive interface eliminates frustration and saves you time now—not in six months, once you’ve mastered a complex system of workarounds. A simple interface that allows you to search by services, gear, and location makes the process feel as easy as ordering a pizza.

 

4. Detail management

Rates, dates, gear, travel, and more. The details surrounding video productions are endless and can make even the most organized person feel like throwing computers and phones out the window. The best online crewing services provide a simple place to manage all of the details, including rate negotiations, messages, and invoices.

 

5. Human touch

Online services take crewing to a whole new level, but in some cases, there’s no replacement for the human touch. It’s nice to be able to pick up the phone if you hit a roadblock or just want to skip the screen for once. The combination of stellar online usability and real-life human backup is hard to beat.
Who couldn’t use a little more time and a little less hassle? A good online crewing service is a way to simplify your workflow and make 2017 smoother and more profitable.

You’ll feel like you’ve just hired the uber-organized assistant you’ve always wanted.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection logo

Crew Connection puts a world of video service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Visit CrewConnection.com, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at info@crewconnection.com.

 

This article was originally posted to productionhub.com. Read the original article here.

How to manage analog expectations in a digital world

How to manage analog expectations in a digital world

How to manage analog expectations in a digital world 2308 2083 Crew Connection

Frances Peterson, Production Coordinator at Abernethy Media Professionals, connects clients with just the right crews to create a final product that’s the perfect mix of what they want and need. In this blog Frances shares how she’s learned to manage client expectations in the ever-changing video production industry.

 

I’ve been the production coordinator for camera crews at AMP for over 10 years. I’ve seen our business evolve through Betacam to Red Dragon, through SD to HD to 4K, and from handing over a videotape at the end of a shoot to uploading editable files via FTP. With every advance comes the inevitable managing of a client’s expectations for their next project.

When I work with clients, a fair bit of my conversation is about managing expectations. While it’s always a good idea to go into a conversation knowing what you want and need as far as your crew, equipment, shoot, etc.; it’s my job to make sure your wants and needs will get you the right end result. Oftentimes that means moving away from a client’s tried-and-true methods, or perhaps working with a bigger crew or different equipment. It all boils down to having an honest conversation to manage expectations and deliver on the promise of the right crew and gear for your production.

 

But we’ve always done it like this!

The more things change, the tighter some hold on to the same way of doing things. The switch from SD to HD was brutal! I had to convince one client that no, I really couldn’t get that particular type of video tape any more and to please just try this new fangled solid state media. But little by little, the most stubborn hold out could see the difference in quality and appreciate the improved ease of moving footage into an edit system. That was my most convincing argument for digital cameras—while you may pay a little more on the front end for a higher quality camera, you save when the project goes to post. It’s the same conversation when I put together something that somehow doesn’t exactly meet the client’s norm. My job is to help them out and show them exactly why the status quo may not be the best for the outcome of their shoot!

 

Curse of the camera du jour

When the DSLRs with their 35mm imager came on the scene, everyone wanted the Canon 5D for that sharp foreground, out-of-focus background in HD. While the 5D was a great camera, the early models could only record for 12 minutes at a time and audio had to be recorded outside the camera a la film. Picture and sound had to be married in post and not everyone was set up to do that. That led to big surprises for many clients and lots and lots of managing expectations for me. Luckily today many cameras can create that look more efficiently and are available in a wider price range. Now I spend more time talking someone down off a RED for a corporate green screen interview. Even with different gear, it’s the same conversation. The most expensive equipment might not be the smart choice for your shoot, and it’s my job to know when that’s the case and to let you know what to use instead.

 

Building the right crew for a successful shoot

Speaking of the RED camera, some cameras simply necessitate more gear and more professionals to run that gear. External digital recorders for video and audio don’t monitor themselves! You will never regret adding more crew members to a shoot.

A one-man band can shoot b-roll all day long and transfer media at the end of the day. However, he can’t take the place of two other crew members. It’s just not feasible to expect a single cameraman to set up for a day of back-to-back interviews, be able to guarantee the quality of an audio feed run straight to camera, and have time to stop to transfer files to clear cards without ever holding the roll.

No one notices the audio unless it’s bad. If good audio is a vital component of your project, book an audio op with a field mixer and mics and the know-how to use them. On shoots with day-long rolls or two or more cameras running, it’s important to have a digital media manager transferring footage carefully from cards that will be wiped to use again. Because when the cards are wiped, the files are GONE. The digital recording world makes the protection of your footage and audio imperative. Always have two copies; always hold an archive. What might look like a bigger front end cost actually is a risk mitigator that ultimately leads to shelling out less money if something goes awry.

Managing your expectations doesn’t mean lowering expectations. It means offering my expertise on using a client’s resources wisely and appropriately to make sure the product delivered is the product requested. Because really—aren’t we’re all only as good as our last shoot?

Book the best people for your project with these 6 questions

Book the best people for your project with these 6 questions

Book the best people for your project with these 6 questions 1000 628 Heidi McLean

Frances Peterson, Production Coordinator at Abernethy Media Professionals for over a decade, connects clients with just the right crews and gear to ensure their shoots go down picture perfect. Here, Frances shares the six-part litmus test that she uses to make sure crew and client are a fit.

 

Putting a shoot together is like putting on a show: Everyone has to play their part, know their lines, pick up their cues, and work together with the end in mind—all while paying attention to the details at hand. So it’s important when I’m booking a crew that they have the right mix of experience, ability, and creativity. From a quick talking head with an EX3 for internal communications to a RED Weapon Dragon Forged shoot for a broadcast commercial, I make sure to book the locals with the specialized experience and gear to bring the project to life.

Here are the six questions that tell me if I’m hiring the best people for the project…

 

The AMP Camera Crews Litmus Test 

 

Can this person do the superlative job they told me they could do?

 

Are they a problem solver?

 

Do they know when to ask for help?

 

Do they have good client relation skills?

 

Do they add to the crew’s sense of congruity?

 

Could you go grab a bite and a drink with them after 10 hours together on set?

 

The answer to all of these questions needs to be YES.

An AMP camera crew is made up of  multi-talented, experienced, flexible problem solvers who are well acquainted with the camera and lighting packages, audio and grip gear, backdrops, teleprompters, media transfer processes, and upload parameters we have in-house. We are fortunate to have a local pool of production talent both deep and wide at AMP.

While some of our folks have been in the business for over 25 years and some are young turks, they all have one thing in common—they are here to give you the look and feel that you are striving for on your project. Your satisfaction at the end of the shoot is what it’s all about.