How to Improve Your Corporate Videos


The experienced team at Dream Engine have put together some corporate video tips for those looking to delve into the world of corporate video.

Concept Creation

By refining your ideas early in the process, you can avoid a lot of headaches later on. One key tip that we have learnt through experience is that by focusing your video on one main goal. The goal is up to you, but the lesson here is to not scatter your focus trying to make an “all-purpose” video.

Location, Location, Location

A good location can be a huge help to the success of your video. An appropriate, visually pleasing location for interviews and B-roll (additional footage that can be spliced in during interviews or demonstrations) can set your clip apart.

If conducting interviews, an ideal location will be one that is not going to be interrupted, is quiet and is related to the topic of your video. For instance, a scientific based interview may take place in a lab, and academic based video may take place in a library etc.

corporate video tips

Corporate Interview Tips

One thing that is difficult to control on shooting day is the performance of your interviewees, but there are several things you can do to make things run smoothly on the day.

We make an effort to be respectful and professional by always being on time, dressed appropriately for the environment and by being polite and friendly with everyone involved. (This sounds obvious but it’s worth remembering.) Building a strong rapport with the subject is important to make sure they are relaxed. Nervousness can show on camera so consider asking a few “warm-up” questions to get them used to the environment.  It’s also advisable to have a quick chat with your interviewee if you haven’t had the chance to prior to the interview. This will help the process become less intimidating, as being interviewed on camera can be daunting and some familiarity with the faces around can make things easier. 

Shoot Some B-Roll

Having quality B-roll is hugely helpful in making your video look visually exciting, and can be extremely helpful in the editing process. As most videos require cutting the best soundbites from interviews, B-roll can disguise the edits and provide some interesting visuals to accompany what is being said. Even if the video is simple, having access to film people at work, equipment or other appropriate footage is golden when it comes to creating an interesting video.

Conclusion

By following these simple suggestions, a potentially uninspiring video can become something much more visually exciting and engaging to your audience. By being involved throughout the process, we can help you create an exciting corporate video that showcases all you have to offer.

Choosing the right size camera crew


There is a lot of planning and preparation involved when it comes to creating a video. When you are planning, you must consider what size crew you will need to get the best results possible for your project. This post will walk you through the process that goes into choosing what size production crew you will need.

Single Camera Operator

For the vast majority of our video work, a two-person crew is the bare minimum. There is just too much work involved to ensure that both sound and vision come out perfectly. However, there are a few instances where you can get away with just a single camera operator who will also operate the sound equipment.

If absolutely required, for example if there is an interview to be filmed, one person can operate the camera and monitor sound, but be wary of getting an operator to do too much, this can mean trying to focus on too many things at once, meaning the quality won’t be as high.

Or, perhaps you are filming an interview and the budget is tight, most camera operators can also direct a simple shoot and ask questions to the interviewee. At the same time they need to make sure the subject is in focus and the audio levels are correct.

 

2 Person Crew

A two person crew (director/camera operator and camera operator) is a great place to start for an average project based on interviews and most corporate interview work.  It’s perfect for talking head style interviews, as two cameras can be operated, giving you options to cut between angles and give you much more room to edit.

The director can set up the shot, guide the interviewees or actors into place, and make sure everything is running to schedule, while the camera operator can set up cameras, lights and microphones and make sure everything is ready to roll.

3 Person Camera Crew

crew

We firmly believe that every crew should have a director on set,  someone to keep everything on track and someone to defer to with tricky decisions. But it’s a great idea to have at least three crew members on set to make sure no aspect of the production is left unattended. Two focused camera operators give the editor more cutaway options and footage to work as well as less pressure for someone to monitor the shots on two cameras. If you’re looking to shoot an interview but need to ensure the shoot runs smoothly with the best possible footage, we suggest a three person camera crew. The additional member can do the odd jobs that pop up on a crew; charging batteries, moving lights, and applying make-up.

This simple setup, when polished and edited in post production will have a refined, elegant style.

The Rest of the Crew

Green Screen TVC setup

For simple things like an interview or a bit of B-roll, a larger crew than 3 will be overkill. However, the more people on camera at once, the more camera operators you will need. For a TV interview chat with say, 4 participants, you will need at least three camera operators and a director, and the scale just gets larger as the production gets bigger. For example, a sound recordist is required if your video will feature more than 2 speakers. A gaffer (electrician and lighting expert) may be required if the filming needs a specialist shot, like large outdoor scenes or shots on a moving car. Production assistants, runners, camera assistants will all get involved as the project gets bigger and more complex.

Hopefully this post gave you a brief guide as to what size camera crew you will need for your upcoming project. For more information, get in touch with us today.

Camera Review: Sony PMW-FS5


With 4K internal recording, up to 240fps at 2K resolution and a brilliant electronic ND filter, the Sony FS5 fits a lot of high-end features into a very small camera. We recently got our hands on a Sony FS5, a camera that is fast becoming a standard for video production.

Mobile Production

One of the first things you will notice about the FS5 is its size. Gone are the days of bulky production cameras and back spasms, at less than 1kg, it has been designed with mobility in mind. So if you are a run and gun style documentarian, a wedding shooter, or are just sick of weighty cameras, the FS5 will suit you well. The lightweight body means that it works on our camera stabiliser the DJI Ronin, mounted on sliders, jibs, you name it. When paired with a light zoom lens, you can have a completely mobile, extremely versatile camera.

Shoot in 4K

One of the biggest trends in video production over the past few years has been the introduction of 4K sensors. 4K has been a staple for a few years now, even most new smartphones can record 4K, but why is 4K so special? Well for one it gives you a an added dimension of creativity by letting you reframe shots in the editing suite. In some instances it can even act as a second shot, by zooming in you can have a wide and a close up shot with just the one camera. Secondly, with many new TVs now 4K capable, the standard will move from 1080p to 4K.

Slow Mo a Go-Go

Another huge advantage the FS5 has over cameras in a similar price range is its ability to shoot in multiple high frame rates. Capable of recording 2K video at 240fps (with an external recorder) you can capture fine details in movement, or give a simple shot a more dreamy, impactful feeling.

fs5

As the FPS gets higher and higher, shutter speeds need to be faster and faster to capture sharp frames so at some point there is a point where you will need to crank up the ISO especially if light is inadequate.

By using slow motion wisely, you can add some serious creativity to your arsenal.

Electronic ND

The FS5 features an ingenious electronic, variable ND system that allows you to dial in anywhere from 1/4 to 1/128th ND filtration in the camera body, allowing you to forgo your old glass ND filters. This is a feature that is fairly unique to the FS5, although when the industry catches on to how helpful it is, I guarantee you will see more of the The electronic ND really shines when you are shooting outdoors on location. Instead of ramping up the shutter speed or getting out an optical filter, you can now just spin the handy dial and lower the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor, allowing you to choose your desired aperture and achieve a shallow depth of field, even in bright sunlight.

FS5 RAW Output

fs5

When combined with an external recorder, (Such as our Atomos Shogun, or others like the Gemini) you can unlock further advantages from the FS5. By bypassing the limitations of the internal storage, you can really tap into the strengths of the camera. With a firmware upgrade, you can record 12-bit RAW files in 4K to your recorder. For most purposes like web videos, this won’t really offer a huge benefit as the size of the RAW files can be huge, but for the best image the FS5 can produce, this is what it is capable of. So if you’re shooting something for visual effects work or a TVC, you should be working with an external recorder and shooting to RAW.

Conclusion

The Sony FS5 is a well-designed, lightweight camera that has been created with videographers and documentarians in mind. It packs in a huge amount of features for the price, as well is an industry leading electronic ND filter. When paired with an external recorder, the FS5 is a formidable camera with huge creative potential. Get in touch with us to learn more about your next video production.

Tips for Shooting Slow Motion


The technology in professional video cameras have come a long way since the days of the days of tape . Our trusty Sony PMW-FS5 is capable of shooting 240 frames per second at 2K resolution when paired with an external recorder, something that 10 years ago would be unimaginable in anything but the most high-end cinema cameras. It can open up a whole range of possibilities when it comes to shooting stunning product shots, or capturing the smallest details in dramatic slow motion. We’ve compiled a few tips for shooting beautiful slow motion.

Light it Up

The slower you want your slow motion to be, the more light you will need. Let’s say your standard is the 24 frames per second used by film cameras. At 240 frames per second, of which the FS5 is capable, you will need 10 times as much light to get the same exposure as real time. So if you plan on shooting indoors, you will need a controlled environment with plenty of lights just to get a correct exposure. You may also experience some pulsing effects if you are using fluorescent lights as a source as the refresh rate of fluorescents is 50hz, invisible to the human eye but will be picked up by a high frame rate. Shooting outdoors in sunlight should give you enough light to shoot 120fps at least, but be wary of changes in light conditions and clouds darkening the image.

Pick a Fast Lens

slow motion

Another tip that will make it easier to get enough light onto your sensor is by using a fast prime lens. Our .95 50mm lens is perfect for low light applications as it is a versatile focal length as well as being extremely fast. It does come with some drawbacks as shooting with such a wide aperture will mean that is can be very difficult to keep things in focus, so if you’re shooting something like sports, the best option is to sacrifice some light and shoot at f4, and up the ISO to compensate. This will result in some more visible grain, so if possible run some tests before the shoot to get your settings right for the conditions.

Steady and Stable

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Because every moment will be stretched out by up to 10 times, movement in real time can might not be obvious when the shot is slowed down. For shorter shots it’s not always necessary to use a tripod, but for longer slow motion shots we recommend it for the best final product. If you are shooting at says, 60fps, or 100fps, shooting handheld can provide a dreamy, natural feel, especially when paired with some movement and tracking the subject. Using a stabiliser like the DJI-Ronin can also create a beautiful floating look that is ideal for dramatic tracking shots.

Choose Your Frame Rate to Match the Motion

How slow should we go? If you’re looking to capture something like a starters pistol going off, the slower the better. Capturing things that are moving fast already will benefit from the slower movement. However, you should take into consideration the end result of the shot. Is it just a small part of a finished product? If so then you don’t want to shoot 240fps for some B-roll of someone walking. You will fill up your storage media quickly and the extra slow speed won’t add anything apart from time. Many shots will benefit from just a slight change to 50 or 60fps as it can provide good B-roll and a can really emphasise the importance of a shot.

If you’re looking to shoot beautiful looking shots for your project, get in touch with us here.

Four Kinds of Video Your Business Needs


There are many different types of video you can create for your business. You can solve problems, introduce your new products or show off the culture you have developed in your business. In this article we will be looking at the broad types of video that nearly every business can use to improve their online marketing. Explainer videos are perfect for building content on your blog or website, or even acting as a brief tutorial if your product is simple enough. If you find that your customers have a recurring question about your business or products, why not make an explainer video to save you the hassle? You’ll know that an explainer video is successful when your support staff are less stressed from not answering the same questions again and again.

Product videos

Do you provide a service or sell a product that is difficult to explain in a succinct manner? Or maybe you’ve had some success with putting product videos on your website to entice visitors to learn more, hook them in and convert that into a sale.

Product videos show the benefits and special features of your product and they will often show a quick example of how it works, all while engaging the audience and keeping them on your site. Product videos are beneficial for customers who are perhaps considering buying from you, but they need to feel confident they’re choosing the right product.

Internal training videos

Every business has a training process, and of course every business has a unique way of doing things that can be a big adjustment for new staff. Even staff that have been with the company a long time can often need a refresher or a reminder about best practice. This is where the magic of training videos come in to play.  Here’s where video’s special powers come into play.

By creating an internal training video, you can lead your employees through a step by step process in the company’s operations, you can save time and make sure that it’s 100% best practise and all your employees are on the same page. Training videos also have the advantage of being more memorable than a pamphlet or slideshow, and diagrams simply can’t compete with a video of the real thing.

Testimonials

corporate

Positive word of mouth is one of the key aspects to building your business. Positive encounters with your customers will lead to satisfied customers, which may lead to them giving you a recommendation. Facebook reviews, Google reviews, they all contribute to your company’s image. By creating a testimonial with real, satisfied customers or clients can give you an advantage over your competitors. Hearing about a real experience from a client or customer is much more valuable than a simple online review. If a customer is willing to put their name and face to your product to vouch for it, you have a powerful tool for your marketing.

Business Explainer Videos

explainer

Explainer videos are videos that show your viewers how to solve a problem. It could be a problem that your product solves or it could be a video about the service your company provides.

That problem could be something your product solves, or it could be a service you provide that saves time and money. Whatever it is, by the end of the video, your audience should fully understand your product or service and be able to take action based on what they’ve seen. When an audience understands you well, you build a rapport with them and they are more likely to enlist you to solve their problems.

 

If you’re looking to create a corporate video for your business, get in touch with us today. 

Corporate Video for Social Media


If you aren’t using social media video to promote your brand, you are missing out on one of the biggest marketing opportunities at your disposal. It’s an invaluable resource that’s easy to get started with, and most importantly, it can expose your brand to an enormous worldwide audience. When it comes to using video in social media, it’s smart to uniquely tailor your videos to make the most of the strengths and weaknesses of each medium, Here are a few things you should know before you dive in.

Facebook

Facebook had humble beginnings as simple site for Harvard students to a global media superpower. Facebook has slowly introduced more video into news feeds, but the nature of the newsfeed means that you have about 5 seconds to reel in a viewer before they scroll down to something else. Videos will now autoplay with the sound off, so you need a striking opening image or descriptive title that gets across what the video is about. Remember, you have only a couple of seconds to grab someone as its all too easy to keep on scrolling if the video hasn’t grabbed the viewer’s attention.

First you must consider that Facebook videos, by default play on mute, the user has to actively unmute it. So videos that have bold titles, subtitles will perform better on Facebook. As with YouTube, you need to select an appropriate custom thumbnail that will give the viewer a fair idea of why the video is about.

So the key adjustments to make to your video for the Facebook audience is to make sure you can still get your point across without sound, use large, easily readable captions (or at least make captions available) and most importantly keep it brief!

YouTube

         social media

YouTube is the biggest video sharing site in the internet, with an estimated 300 hours of video content being uploaded every minute. Every minute! There are “channels” on YouTube with over 50 million subscribers, and regular viewing audiences that would be the envy of many major TV networks.

To take full advantage of this massive viewer base, you need to know the best ways to maximise your reach. The first thing to understand is that if a viewer isn’t interested in the first few seconds of a video, they won’t bother watching the rest. So you need to start off with the hook of your video right away. YouTube should be where you house the most comprehensive version of your video, as that’s what people are there for, after all it’s solely for sharing videos.

This doesn’t just mean the first few seconds of your video however, this extends to everything from thumbnails, the description beneath the video, metadata and playlists all have to be managed and tailored to fit your business. If the viewer likes the first video they see from you, and you haven’t set up a playlist to AutoPlay another video from you, you have just lost a viewer. So make the most of Youtube’s features to make sure your video is getting the views it deserves. And YouTube comes with a handy closed captioning feature that you can input your script or transcript into and it will produce a .srt file that can be used elsewhere. It even has an auto-transcribe feature that uses intelligent tools to make a subtitle track automatically. But be sure to read through it first, it isn’t quite perfect just yet.

Instagram

Instagram began its life as a pure photo sharing app with vintage filters for smartphones but has now become a social media platform in and of itself. A few years ago, Instaram expanded into short videos. As with its parent company Facebook, Instagram videos will Autoplay as the user scrolls down, giving you just brief second to capture their attention. Instagram originally had a 15 second limit to it’s video length, but this was recently extended to 60 seconds. However, we would recommend staying closer to the original 15 second limit as shorter is usually better at keeping eyeballs on your video, especially as Instagram is very visually focused. Instagram is a smartphone app, so when cutting an Instagram version of your video, make sure that text is large enough to read on a small screen and close-ups will work better if you are filming a presenter. You should also lead with the most striking images first to grab attention.

Twitter

social media

Twitter can itself play videos natively, but often it relies on links to YouTube or other more full-time video hosting services. As with Facebook and Instagram, Twitter will also autoplay videos but remember they will be muted by default. Large, easily readable text is again a key to getting attention, as is having an option to have a video in a vertical orientation, as the majority of twitter users will be on a smartphone. Twitter videos can be up to 140 seconds long, although as is the case with all social media videos, the more concise the better.

Social Media Customisation

When planning a social media campaign with video, it is really worth making several versions uniquely tailored to each social media platform’s strengths and weaknesses, and being aware of the limitations. You’ll need to take this into account when you’re planning the video so you have the right content to edit unique versions of the one video. Each have their own demographics as well, so the content might be tweaked slightly for each different video.

If you are looking to improve your video skills for social media, get in touch with us today.