Cameraman Story: University of Sydney

Back on the road and this time shooting at The University of Sydney. Our assignment was capturing a series of interviews and some b-roll to showcase a new coding collaboration platform that has been introduced at the university. As we learned, coding has become a huge part of university research and learning. Having a state of the art system that allows it to be stored and shared is crucial for the university.

This video had a few requirements that were fairly unique to the project. Firstly, our producer and art director was in the US and wouldn’t be joining us on this shoot. To keep her involved, our Sydney cameraman was in constant contact with her, sending though stills from the monitor for approval. This meant that each shot could be approved and tweaked to ensure they were right for the project.

The other aspect to this video that we needed to keep in mind was that it would need to be shot in a way that allowed the images to be converted to black and white and still look great. Because the footage would potentially be used for different purposes, shooting it straight to black and white wasn’t an option. There isn’t a whole lot of difference between shooting for colour or monotone. The standard rules of videography are still the same. But to get the best looking footage you need to look for opportunities in creating contrast. Playing with silhouettes, gradients and negative space are great ways to make black and white footage look great.


With 5 interviews to capture in the one room, a lot of our time was spent re-shuffling our setup to create a shot that would look completely different. We were given a large room with huge windows and plenty of natural light. This can be a blessing and a curse. Melbourne weather seemed to have followed us because the sun was constantly ducking in and out of the clouds and a shot that looked great one minute would need adjusting when the sun came out.

This time of year was also exam time for many of the students. With people sitting their end of year tests all around us, it was important to be respectful of the environment and avoid distracting the students. With our small Sony PXW-FS5 we were able to keep a low profile and move around fast. This camera also allowed us to shoot some footage at high frame rates for some dynamic and creative footage. 

At the end of the shoot and safely back in Melbourne we created backup versions of the footage before sending it off to San-Diego for editing. Our high speed internet connection allows us to send through files the same day rather than worrying about a slow courier to the US. As usual, our Sydney cameraman also kept an offsite version for added redundancy. 

Melbourne Cameraman: Deakin Waurn Ponds

Our latest assignment was for Washington based media company Websedge. We’ve done a few jobs for Websedge before and as usual, we were to be conducting interviews and shooting b-roll. This piece would eventually end up as an international conference video.

For this assignment we were being sent to Deakin University out at Wuarn Ponds.  A mere 1 and a half hour drive from Melbourne. Our subject was the Institute for Frontier Materials. Their research is based around creating new materials that will support the worlds rapidly advancing technology. Batteries that are lighter and faster, efficient carbon fibre and even silkworm silk that will repair a human ear – it’s all part of the Institute for Frontier Materials at Deakin.

Shooting Interviews

The main part of our assignment was capturing a range of interviews in different environments. They needed to look good, sound good and we needed to work quickly. The right tool for the job was our brand new Sony FS5. This little camera has everything we need for quick interview setups that look great. We can plug a microphone straight into it and it performs well without needing a lot of light.


When shooting for another client, you ideally want to be handing over all of your footage from the same camera. This just makes life easier for the editor because they don’t need to worry about trying to match different footage. This isn’t always possible as the same camera that is perfect for interviews might be too big for fast paced b-roll.

Our Fs5 solves this problem because it does everything we need to shoot an interview but is also perfect for running around chasing scientists.


Like most of our clients, Websedge wanted the footage fast so that they could get to work cutting. In the past we would express ship a hard drive overseas but with cable internet we can beat the courier. With the country time difference working in our favour it meant by the time uploading had completed on our end, the editors were just waking up on the other side of the world.

Melbourne Cameraman – Social Media Video for Jenny Macklin

In September 2017 we headed to The Centre in Ivanhoe, Melbourne to film a community forum hosted by Jenny Macklin. The forum was an information session on Alzheimer’s.

The video we were making was being used for social media. Therefore it needed to get it’s message across quickly and it needed to look good. This is because people are in a browsing mindset when they’re using social media – they won’t invest much time in a video. They also have high expectations, especially coming from bigger brands or public figures. So videos that look good are more likely to get an audience.

The video was a way to leverage content from the event itself and promote the work Jenny is doing in the community. So showing Jenny interacting with the community and participating in the forum would be a big part of what we needed to capture.

Social Media Video

The Gear

The success of any video production comes down to planning and preparation. This job was no different. We packed the bags with the following challenges in mind:

  • The town hall would be dark and there would be no light on any of the attendees
  • We needed to be mobile, the event would only go for a few hours but we needed a lot of variety in the shots
  • We needed a backup camera that would always be filming the stage so we could roam with the second camera
  • Two interviews were required at the end of the event

We decided that the best camera for this job would be the Sony A7s. It’s strengths are that it’s tiny and it can record a very clean image in low light. This meant the cameraman could get around fast without worrying about how dark it would be during the presentation. It also has a nifty feature that lets you switch the sensor from full frame to APSC. This meant that our 70-200mm lens would become more like a 300mm lens. So we could zoom in really close to the speakers from all the way at the back of the room.

We also packed a Sony FS100 as our backup camera. This is a larger camera but a reliable workhorse. We knew we could set it up at the back of the room and let it record for a few hours without worrying about batteries or overheating. It also has XLR inputs that meant we could record sound straight from the audio desk behind the stage.

Knowing that we needed to do some quick vox pop style interviews just meant bringing a battery powered LED light. Lighting your subjects is always crucial to make sure they look their best and stand out on camera. We packed the Westcott Ice Light 2 because it gives out a soft flattering light and has a professional colour output (it won’t make skin look green or purple).

The Shoot

The shoot itself went without a hitch. Having packed our bag carefully we had every tool for the job and it was just a case of getting all the coverage we needed. Before the shoot started we made sure to introduce ourselves to the building manager and build a rapport. This came in handy because she agreed to unlock the balcony area just for us. This allowed us to get some shots from high up. Our small mobile setup also allowed us to be discreet and unobtrusive.

The Result

The final video turned out really well and captured the feeling of the day. It was used on Jenny Macklin’s Facebook page and quickly gained over 2000 views.





Drones For Corporate Video

Drones have opened up a whole new dimension in the video production industry. Whereas previously you would have had to fork out big money for a helicopter ride, now with a bit of training you can get dramatic aerial footage with two feet planted firmly on the ground. Drones, also known as quadcopters, can be a hugely valuable tool in your video production arsenal, from corporate work to documentary and narrative. They add a really dramatic and unique element to videos and they are the best tool to use to show scope and scale from above.

Establish Yourself

Most corporate videos will contain an establishing shot to give the viewer a sense of place and time. This could be a sweeping shot into your corporate headquarters, a convention centre, over an outdoor event, there are dozens of possibilities. Establishing shots are crucial for setting the tone and atmosphere of the video, and with a drone you can show an impressive aerial view of the space with very minimal set-up time required.

Make Everything Cinematic


The use of drones extends far further than just establishing shots. Drones have the remarkable ability to add a cinematic, epic, high-production value look to any video (if done properly). Drones work especially well when filming events or videos with a lot of movement lot of movement, and some higher-end drones will allow you to track a subject with a GPS, which can be brilliant for sports and outdoor events, and they are commonly used by extreme sportspeople to capture their movements. Drones can also create many opportunities for memorable “wow” moments in videos. Slowly lowering down from the sky to reveal your new headquarters, or soaring up to show a beautiful cityscape can really add a unique perspective to your video.

Drone On and On


The best part about including drones in your video is that drones are a new tool that has a huge amount of potential for creative uses. Many video production tools are quite fixed in what they are capable of, but drones can open up approaches and angles that would have been completely unattainable before. Want to follow someone through a crowd from above for an event video? You can do that. Want to show off the size of an event? You can do that. You can even set drones up to become something like a floating tripod, so they  hover for a shot, then you can zoom away and quickly set up another shot.

Stand Out From The Crowd

Drones can really set your corporate video apart from the pack, and that is their relative rarity in the corporate video space. Although they are rapidly becoming an essential part of any good video producer’s toolkit, they are still quite rare to find in many production companies, or they are only hired when requested on rare occasions. By using professionally shot drone footage in your video you can stand out from the pack a bit, and add a lot of production value.

If you are looking to add some high production value to your corporate video with drones, get in touch with us.

How to Make Your Corporate Video More Exciting

Hearing “corporate video” may not be the most exciting thing you hear all day, but there are many ways to inject excitement and some fun into your corporate videos.

Question Yourself

Before any shooting takes place, sit down and ask yourself what you want to get out of this video. Ask yourself who is watching, and why are they watching? What do they want, and what is the easiest way to provide that?

Once you have answered these questions you can put pen to paper and start writing your corporate video.

Start With A Structure

Structure isn’t just something used in feature films, it can be used to great effect in corporate videos as well. Narrative gives the audience a sense of flow to the video and gives some clarity as you move between your points.

It also can make it easier for you to write your video, as you can give a brief introduction that covers the main points of your video, go into further detail, summarise and give the viewer a call to action, like a link to your website’s product or contact page.

Who will be the star?

Casting the right talent in your videos can go a long way to making your video and engaging and professional looking. Consider casting a professional presenter if possible, or otherwise use your most charismatic employees or people that are comfortable in front of a camera. Presenting is a lot more difficult than the professionals make it look, so make sure you allocate extra time if working with non-professionals.

And here is the result. This is straight from in-camera – no grading whatsoever.

Corporate Doesn’t Mean Dull

Sometimes a sitting, “talking heads” interview is your best bet when covering serious topics that you also want your audience to take seriously. But if you’re doing a less serious video, have some fun with it! Move the camera, with a slider, a stabiliser like the DJI Ronin or even handheld (make sure it’s an appropriate video for handheld, this technique can look amateurish if not done well). You can also add a little spice to an otherwise plain interview by shooting with 2 cameras, this allows you to edit out sections with greater ease, improving your video’s pacing.


Spice it Up

Once your video is shot, you can add some polish to the finished product by adding titles, graphics and lower thirds (Names and job titles beneath the video subjects). Titles and graphics in your company’s colours and style can really take your video up a notch in production values. You can also weave in some graphics to introduce different sections of the video which can also add structure to the video.

Edit, Edit, Edit

The hardest and most time consuming part of the film-making process is editing. It can be very difficult to “kill your darlings” and cut something you love. But if it slows the video down or doesn’t serve a purpose, it needs to go. Keeping your video short and fast paced goes a long way to keeping your corporate video exciting and entertaining.

How to shoot great looking green screen video

Shooting with a green screen is a great way to make videos. If you pull it off, then you can create fantastic looking content thats flexible and takes minimal effort to put together. But if you make mistakes then it can look cheap, it’ll take a long time to edit and your audience may not take you seriously.

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Event Cameraman: Melbourne International Coffee Expo

In 2014, Dalla Corte Espresso Machines hired an event cameraman to film the World Latte Art Championships at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo. Here’s what we delivered.

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Melbourne Cameraman: Monash University

In 2014, US-based WebsEdge Media needed to hire a Melbourne cameraman to shoot high-definition footage at Monash University’s Department of Materials and Engineering – which is the right place to be if you want to see amazing technology and research in action!

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How to shoot great looking interviews

After many years of shooting interview videos we’ve tested and refined our approach to creating great looking interviews. Here we break down those different elements and take an in-depth look at creating interviews that represent your subject and tell a story.

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Melbourne Event Cameraman: Covering the Rolls Royce Wraith

Events can take weeks to organise. There’s a lot of pressure to make sure every detail is perfect so the show goes on without a hitch.  That’s why you need to know that your professional cameraman puts in every bit as much effort and care as you have.

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