What to Tell Your Subject Before they get to the Testimonial Shoot

The experience your subjects have with previous video production will vary tremendously. Some executives and marketing professionals are used to being in front of a camera regularly and will be old hands but more junior, or more technical members of staff, may not have much experience and will need some coaching. There are pros and cons to each extreme of on-camera experience. Old-hands are more comfortable in front of the camera but they can fall back on a learned ‘script’ which can come across as disingenuous. Video virgins can be nervous on-camera and can take more care and time to get to say what you want clearly but they may come across as more genuine and relatable. If possible we always try to have a pre-interview call with the subject which helps us judge the subject’s experience and personality. The pre-interview meeting also helps to relax the subject so we can put their fears to rest, answer any logistical questions and demonstrate our professionalism. Click for more

Top 5 Free NLEs for the Guerrilla Filmmaker

Like a lot of people these days, I have drunk the Adobe CC kool-aid. I love the way Premiere, just works. As far as workflow, the dynamic link library is a godsend: the way you can embed After Effects clips, and jump out to Audition, Speedgrade and Prelude just makes my professional life that much simpler and well worth the price of admission. I do understand that $60 a month is a bit rich for some and there are now some great options if you don’t want to spend a dime/penny.

When I was starting out your choices were pretty limited (I struggled with Microsoft Movie Maker for more time than I care to remember) but now there are some great, fully-featured options. Some are free versions (cut down versions) of NLEs you can buy (the freemium model); some are standard freeware offerings. All of the following will get you up and editing your footage for no money. These are my top 5 recommendations: Click for more

You Can’t Do It All By Yourself


Although it goes against everything we guerrilla, one-man-band video-makers hold true, there will come a time when you can’t do it all by yourself. I have done enough shoots where I’ve flown into town with a modest suitcase and carry-on, turned up to the location an hour or two early, scouted, set-up three cameras, separate audio, lighting, run the whole thing myself and caught the red-eye home wrangling data cards in a cramped coach seat. Yes it’s possible and, if you can do this, and especially if you have done this before, you will constantly be expected to work this way because it doesn’t get much more frugal than a one-man-crew. Click for more

Inspired: IBM Watson

At their best explainer videos make abstract, complex concepts clear. That’s exactly what IBM’s Watson explainer video achieves. Even though 8 minutes seems dauntingly long for an explainer video these days, they pull it off. The visuals actually expand on the considered script so that, even my Mom could follow and understand which is precisely the point of a good explainer video.

Surface Pro 3 as Creative Tool (part 1): Introduction

I was at Adobe Max this year when  Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella came on stage to talk about the Surface Pro 3 and their deepening collaboration with Adobe. His speech featured this video:

Although a lot of the applications and features showcased in the video were prototypes I, like many others in the room, was just starting to think that maybe I should look into a Surface device when Nadella announced that everyone in the room was getting a Surface Pro 3 to take home. It took a couple of seconds to sink in and then the room went nuts. It was like a geeky version of Oprah’s car give away: “You’re getting a Surface, and you’re getting a surface. We’re all getting a Surface!”

This wasn’t the first time this year that Microsoft has given away thousands of these machines to get them in the hands of influencers and out on the street: they’ve given them to journalists, analysts and techies but this was the first time they’d targeted creatives. It’s a pretty bold move on their part because the creative field has long been dominated by Apple. I’d guess that 9 out of 10 laptops I saw at Adobe Max were MacBooks and, at work, where I prefer to use a windows desktop, I am the anomaly. Microsoft want this to be a machine that’s all things to all men. They want it to be accepted in the corporate world as well as on university campuses, worldwide, coffee shops and in creatives’s designer messenger bags. They also want it to replace both your iPad and your MacBook Air and their TV ads are challenging the Macbook Air’s dominance in the ultrabook category. Click for more

Linktresting: Content Worth Your Time

chainMore good stuff:

Inspired: James Victore

It’s a bit of a different inspired this time, and not one directly to do with video. Instead it’s a designer who speaks directly to the ideas of working your creativity and finding your own voice; James Victore.

I’m not a designer. I don’t know if James Victore is a great designer but I do like his work. I discovered him because I stumbled into his session at AdobeMAX this year entitled How to Tap into Your Creative Voice and Make Work That Matters. What creative wouldn’t want to go to a presentation with that title?

The lecture was well worth attending and is worth your time too but it lead my to James’s video series, Burning Questions. In each five minute video he address a viewers question and, although these are designer-centric questions, the issues are those all creatives face: inspiration, doubt, motivation, etc. These short, informal videos are like having a personal mentor on tap. He’s talking directly to you about questions you probably have. I’ve been working my way through them and I’m finding them incredibly inspiring. I hope you will too. Click for more