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3 tips to slay your first EPK shoot

3 tips to slay your first EPK shoot 6371 4247 Dani Lyman

Over the years Crew Connection has provided talented crews for countless EPK shoots for movies and TV shows produced by major names. When done correctly, these gigs provide ongoing jobs, a very nice payday and great opportunity to shine. When done incorrectly… well, it can lead to a scarlet letter in the EPK game.

Here are a few tips to make your Electronic Press Kit shoot a massive success!

Professional Behavior is Everything

I know it should go without saying, but it really does need to be said: be professional. We work in an odd industry where off-color jokes and throwing temper tantrums after long hard days are the norm. However, if you want to take your business to the next level you need to walk and talk the part.

Have your crew dress in their best attire, say some “yes, sirs” and “yes, ma’ams,” leave the bickering and complaining behind the scenes and most importantly, I cannot stress this enough, it is so important, do not let anyone on your crew post pictures to social media of the talent, the set or anything revealing about the project!

Again, this really should go without saying, but, unfortunately, it really does need to be said.

Don’t act like star-struck fans, even though you are geeking out inside.

Lighting is Also Everything

There are a few key rules to lighting an EPK:

Don’t get too creative

Make the actors look good

Light for different platforms

EPK footage is intended for use by multiple media outlets. This isn’t a project you want to put your stylized stamp on. Instead, you want to deliver interview footage that can be used anywhere from website clips to E! News, without drawing attention to itself.  So, don’t bust your Tony Scott jagged camera motions out for this event. Instead, keep it fresh and consistent, make the actors look even more beautiful than their natural selves and turn over raw footage that will have the production company and future clients calling you back for more.

Make it Fun

Sometimes, this needs to be said as well. If you’re moving on to the EPK world for the first time, it can be overwhelming to be surrounded by the power players and celebrities. But, if you and your crew are laid back, relaxed, and professional, then the talent is more relaxed and that comes across on camera in a really noticeable way.

If it’s your place on set, give some advice for interesting questions that haven’t been asked yet, or tell a light joke to loosen up a tense actor. You and your crew can really help alleviate stress and create a better piece by controlling the atmosphere in the room.

Remember, you will be judged for the final project. Be professional, light to impress, and have fun! You’ll be sure to have clients knocking on your door.

 

About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

Most Anticipated Shows of the Summer

Most Anticipated Shows of the Summer 4871 3026 Dani Lyman

Summer! It’s a time for slowing down long enough to sip lemonade on the front porch or get lost in a book oceanside. And of course, long, scorching days and short evenings filled with thunderstorms mean we have also officially entered the season of hunkering down indoors to binge-watch our favorite TV shows.

Here are four sizzling summer hits

 

Stranger Things 3

America’s freedom isn’t the only thing to celebrate this Independence Day. July 4th, Netflix releases the third season of the fan favorite show, Stranger Things. Rumor has it that season three brings even more special effects as well as twists and turns. Always staying on brand to remind us of all the magic and fear of childhood, this season will take place during the summer with the tagline promise that “One summer can change everything.” Eight episodes will be released at once so prepare to binge.

Big Little Lies

The Monterey Five are back and trying to cope with life after covering up a murder. Their lies, trauma, and conscience catch up to them in this sizzling summer hit. Hollywood legend Meryl Streep joins the cast as Nicole Kidman’s mother-in-law who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth behind her son’s death. There has never before been a show filled with such a strong female cast. The performances are riveting, often painful and always truthful. If you missed them, you can catch up on the first two episodes now on HBO GO and OnDemand.

Snowfall

The return of Snowfall has everyone talking this summer after co-creator John Singleton’s unexpected death in April. Singleton left his mark on Hollywood creating powerful films as both producer and director. His success led to the hit drama that tells the story of the crack cocaine epidemic that emerged in the 1980s. Singleton leaves behind a legacy of controversial films which force viewers to contemplate tough issues like racism, prejudice, and the culture and hardships of underprivileged black youths in America. Snowfall piggybacks off these themes while resonating with a modern America. The third season premiers on FX July 10th and will stay true to the voice and tone Singleton helped to define in this breakout series.

Surprise Sleeper Hit?

Danny McBride returns to HBO with a new comedy that is sure to strike a chord with American viewers. Always one to push the envelope, this one will likely incite some backlash, but the trailer alone is enough to conjure up some laughs. We don’t recommend this show for everyone, but if it sparks your curiosity you can catch the not-so-family-friendly trailer here.

 

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again 150 150 Dani Lyman

This summer movie theaters are sure to be packed with a new generation of viewers who will be introduced to some of our favorite childhood characters. However, kids’ movies aren’t just made for kids these days. Those of us who grew up with beloved characters such as Aladdin, Simba, and Agent Jay will also flock to theaters in droves to revisit our childhood.

I was one of the millions of viewers who rushed to the theater over Memorial Day weekend to witness Guy Ritchie’s fantastical live-action version of Aladdin. Sitting in my reclining leather chair, reminiscing on how different things were when I was a kid, I couldn’t help but wonder why the remakes, reboots, and sequels appeal to us older folk as much as they do to the children.

The performances are charismatic, the humor delightful, the choreographed action sequences captivating and the brilliant colors are mesmerizing. So, no doubt, viewers of varying ages will be entertained. But, at the core, this was a story about true love in the form of friendship, romance, and family. A kind of love that is truthful, accepting, forgiving and willing to put others ahead of our own agenda. It was touching and challenged the viewer to reflect on their own self-worth and motives.

Perhaps as adults, we get so caught up in the rat race of life that we forget the simple principles we learned as children. These nostalgic reboots serve as a reminder of the innocence of childhood. They are also pure entertainment.

Here are 3 movies hitting theaters this summers that are sure to make you feel like a kid again!

The Lion King

Simba comes of age as you’ve never seen him before on July 19th. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa with a voice full of wisdom that will certainly spark childhood memories.

Toy Story 4

On June 20th, your favorite toys come to life on the big screen (and not in the murderous Child’s Play way, that’s a different movie that also releases that weekend)! Tom Hanks and Tim Allen bring life to Woody and Buzz alongside a cast of great voice actors, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele and many more.

Men in Black: International

A new generation of alien-capturing agents hit theaters this Friday! Not only is Chris Hemsworth sure to draw a crowd (both young and more mature), but Tessa Thompson will introduce a new female hero as the first woman MIB agent.

Here’s to the magic of childhood, summer, and the big screen.

video production

Why you should hire a child wrangler for your next shoot

Why you should hire a child wrangler for your next shoot 1440 1440 Dani Lyman

Kids are the best! They are adorable, sweet, funny and can really elevate a video project. But they are also unpredictable, illogical and unreliable. That’s where the Child Wrangler comes in! It is one of the most challenging yet important jobs in video production.

Here are 4 reasons you need to hire an expert Child Wrangler if your next shoot calls for a tiny human actor!

They are good with kids

This may sound like a no brainer, but some people have this gift with children that many of the rest of us (including myself) just do not have. They understand them and can talk to them in that special way that keeps them engaged without being condescending. I have looked on flabbergasted at the way one person can, almost magically, guide a child into an action or mood. A Child Wrangler is that gifted kind of human being. They’re the kind of person you would want working with your own child.

They understand video production

In addition to being great with children, a Child Wrangler also understands the ins and outs of video production. Kids may not have a concept of the monetary value of time on a set, but a Child Wrangler does. They’ll have their actors ready for their scene on time. They also respect the AD and the Director and help children to do the same. They help the production flow smoothly and efficiently. Someone who thinks like a producer and is also good with kids is a rare gem in the video world!

They know how to talk to parents

Have you ever tried to tell a parent what to do with their child? I wouldn’t recommend it. Directors, producers and ADs are often so focused on the outcome of the project that they may overlook the necessary empathetic small talk a video pro needs to engage in with parents. An expert Child Wrangler knows how to make parents feel like a valued part of the production while also making them feel confident that they can hand their child over to the process.

They advocate for children on set

An experienced Child Wrangler will be able to recognize and properly communicate with the production team if a child needs a break, is too sick to work, or isn’t on their game and needs more rehearsal time. They can be the voice for children who are incapable of speaking up for themselves. We’ve heard horror stories of child actors being taken advantage of and dealing with lifelong trauma from working in the production world. An expert Child Wrangler will fight for the child actor’s rights in a professional manner. By adding a Child Wrangler to your video production team, you are helping to ensure the safety of the child you’re working with. Isn’t that what’s most important?

Working with children is no doubt a difficult experience in any field! By adding the right expert to your team you can eliminate some of the hassle and make for a fun, safe and successful environment for child actors on your next shoot.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post-production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

How to Tell a Story With Camera Angles

How to Tell a Story With Camera Angles 6000 4000 Dani Lyman

The camera is a powerful tool that can influence people’s emotions, desires and perspectives. Using subtle techniques, like camera angles, you can reveal power, weakness and character traits all without saying a word.

In this post we’ll explore 3 classic films that used simple camera angles to create a few of Hollywood’s most iconic scenes. 

Low Angle Shot

Shooting from a low angle where the camera is lower than the subject can give the character a greater sense of importance and power on screen. We often see this technique used to demonstrate a hero conquering a villain or displaying a villain’s power and oppression over a victim. For a more humorous example, the Coen Brothers used the low angle shot to give a rule-abiding parking lot attendant power in Fargo. In contrast, you can clearly see Carl as powerless and weak in comparison. Due to extreme foul language we are too classy to share the video, but you can check it out here.

High Angle Shot

When a high angle shot is used it makes the subjects smaller, more vulnerable and insignificant, emphasizing the character’s weakness in the scene. In a more subtle example of  power vs. weakness is the death of Jesse James in the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. In the scene below, although the action would suggest the man who has the importance and power in this scene is the man with the gun, the camera angle instead reveals Robert Ford as a weak person. The high angle shot reflected in the painting implies to the viewer that he is weak, unimportant and, in fact, a coward.

Bird’s Eye View

The Bird’s Eye View shot is consistently used to convey the most action to the viewer, give him a broad scope of the scene and reveal the characters in their weakest form. In this iconic scene Ethan Hunt’s cover is nearly blown when he plummets to the ground and dangles inches above the floor sensors. While the eye level shots increase our feelings of anxiety as if we are dangling with him, the famous Bird’s Eye View shot reveals Hunt in his most vulnerable state, at the mercy of his partner and a rope. This shot reveals the danger and magnitude of the situation while looking incredibly badass.

Whether you are demonstrating an inferior character, emphasizing a moment of danger, or revealing the complexities of human nature, you can use very simple camera techniques to educate and persuade your article. These famous scenes are just the beginning when it comes to telling your unique story through camera angles.

Is Game of Thrones the end of TV as we know it?

Is Game of Thrones the end of TV as we know it? 3456 2304 Dani Lyman

There is a little restaurant in Denver called Stoney’s where local patrons fill the bar on Sunday nights for a Game of Thrones watch party packed with themed competitions and GoT themed foods and drinks. While many viewers choose to watch the show in the dark and silence of their living rooms, uninterrupted, viewing parties like these are popping up across the country. Similar to what we see with sports fanantics, people want to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and root for their favorite player (in this case, character).

While we gather to see who is going to rule the Iron Throne, a larger question emerges. Will TV continue to be a social experience after GoT ends? What will we be watching next and how will we be watching it?

TV and the way we consume programming has changed drastically since Game of Thrones’ first episode aired in 2011. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime dominate with their original and award-winning content. TiVo is nearly a thing of the past now that we can stream from our cell phones whenever we want. The term “binge watching” is so popular it now has a place in the dictionary.

However, there is a social aspect to watching TV that gets lost when viewers binge-watch a series or stream on their own time. We bite back our enthusiasm about the latest episode because a co-worker isn’t “caught up” yet. We avoid social media to ensure spoilers aren’t revealed. We even stop talking to each other altogether when we realize we’re on different seasons.

What was once a social practice, an avenue to bringing friends and family together for a half an hour or an hour, is becoming an isolating experience. Game of Thrones is one show that still brings people out of their dark living rooms and gets them excited to share with others. Will there be shows in the future capable of doing the same?

More niche content is being created today. With more and more series being delivered through various platforms, the mainstream appeal of programs is diminishing. People are loading up on content they enjoy, but not something they can necessarily banter about with their friends.

And let’s not overlook how we are consuming content. We no longer just sit in front of our TV’s. We stream from our phones on the train to work. We watch from our laptops on our lunch break. We sit in a room full of people and stare at our iPads. Chief Marketing Officer of Factual, Brian Czarny, contributed an excellent article on fragmented viewership and what it means for the future of content. He writes, “Rest assured that, for the next hit show, the live viewing numbers will be smaller because consumer behavior is swiftly trending toward…mobile.”

As we move into in the final season of GoT, a series that has greatly influenced pop culture and has risen to become one of the most talked about shows in history, we have to wonder if this is the end of an era. Will there be another show that can bring us together the way Game of Thrones has? Or will we become a nation of binge-watchers, turning TV viewing into a solo sport?

Prep Your Video Business for the New Year

Prep Your Video Business for the New Year 3000 2000 Dani Lyman

Success in any field or endeavor in life usually starts in the same place; establishing goals. As your business heads into 2019,  it’s important to consider what your goals are and how you plan to achieve them. You may want to recruit new clients, branch out from corporate videos to commercials or increase your revenue. Wherever you’re looking to take to your business this new year, here are a few solid tips to help you get there.

Attend Conferences

If you want to be the top crew in your city, you’re going to need to spend time with experts. Video production conferences are an excellent way to receive one-on-one guidance, learn about new equipment, explore trends and mingle with other professionals. An invaluable experience (and often quite the party), here are a few top conferences to consider attending in 2019.

I highly recommend attending marketing conferences as well. There you can learn the ins and outs of marketing trends and how your company can be an asset to corporate and commercial video marketing in the coming year.  Also, be sure to attend hometown events and conferences for excellent networking opportunities.

Trends

For your company to be successful, you want to stay relevant. Maybe you’ve been doing the same type of work for 15 years and it’s been going well for you, but now a millennial-owned tech company wants to hire you to do some VR work for his new video game goggles and you barely even know what he’s talking about let alone how to execute his vision. Falling behind on trends is a quick way to fall behind in business.

Here are a few video production trends you are going want to stay on top of in 2019:

    • Virtual Reality
    • Aerial Video & Drones
    • 360-Degree Videos (Immersive video)
    • 4K Cameras
    • Cinemagraphs (a.k.a gifs).
    • Hyperlapse (Check out this badass video from Rob Whitworth that took hundred of hours to execute so perfectly)

 

Barcelona GO! from Rob Whitworth on Vimeo.

Live Streaming

Nothing has been blowing up in video production the way Live Streaming has the last few years. Everything from City Council meetings to pro sports games stream daily on a variety of platforms.  Understanding the technology behind live streaming is an excellent way to attract new clients in 2019. I highly recommend researching how to use three of the most popular live streaming platforms to bring your business to the next level:

  • Facebook Live Broadcasts
  • Twitter 
  • YouTube 
Social Media

While it’s important to understand social media trends for your clients, it is equally important to have a social media presence of your own.  A website is great, but these days clients also want to check out your BTS & time-lapse videos on Instagram, they want to read your reviews on Facebook and watch your videos on Vimeo and YouTube. The more outlets you are on, the more ways you can reach new clients. Also, social media is an excellent way to remind people that you’re out there producing stellar work on a daily basis. 

Establishing Goals

Goals are just daydreams unless we take action to achieve them. When you think about your vision for the New Year, take some time to write down what you plan to accomplish and challenge yourself to write a step by step process to follow through. It’s pretty simple: determine what you want, why you want it & how you’re going to get it. Don’t forget to:

  • Be Specific
  • Be Realistic
  • Be Proactive

 

 

Here’s to making dreams a reality in the New Year!