In April we produced a video for the Breathe LA organization of Los Angeles. Shot with two Panasonic Varicams and edited back at Sloan Productions in San Diego on our high definition non-linear edit system by Bob Sloan. Photographers were Jeff Landie and Jim O’donnell. See the video below.
Director of Photography, Bob Sloan shoots while Lauren Salituro of Intersport conducts an interview with Danielle Paskowitz of Surfers Healing, A Foundation for Autism. Lauren’s feature will air in the CBS Program “Courage in Sports”. Intersport is a long time client of Sloan Productions, relying on us for their many varied projects from commercials and promos to programming for their network shows.
On any given day Sloan Productions provides professional video production crew services to independent producers, corporations and networks such as ESPN. This is a typical setup for what we call “on-camera interviews”. For this production, we are preparing former NFL star Michael Strahan to be interviewed via speakerphone by ESPN producer Korey Kozak.
Photo Credit: Bob Sloan
Sloan Productions provides live television production off the Pacific Ocean. A technician aims a microwave transmitter antenna towards Scripps Institution of Oceanography as Sloan Productions produces the educational series, “Undersea Classroom“, a live event where elementary school children interact with divers undersea in the California kelp forest.
The ability to get the camera and operator into elevated perspectives adds a tremendous amount of production value and can be achieved in many simple ways, from simply bringing a ladder on location to renting construction equipment as in this case. For this production of “The Harvest“, produced by Bob Cording of San Diego, cameraman Michael Griffith gets a birds eye view of the subject and the surroundings.
Productions large and small all have commensurate amounts of necessary administration that require skill and organization. Turning a garage into her office, associate producer Janie Brown keeps track of scripts, budgets, schedules, locations, props, cast, and crew for a series of industrial films and DVD’s.
Chris La Palm directs while Bob Sloan shoots with the Canon 5D Mark II. One of the Canon 5D‘s advantage for a DP is that it has a full frame sensor which allows for very shallow depth of field to help isolate your subject from the background. You also have the entire line of Canon lenses to choose from, from 14mm to 600mm.
Many times we have incorporated our client’s PowerPoint slides into their video and DVD productions. Because computer displays and television displays are different, keeping a few things in mind will be of help to both of us.
PowerPoint presentations are optimized for computers. DVDs are optimized for television. There are a number of differences between high-resolution output for computers and low-resolution output for television. Basically, computer resolution is far greater than television’s resolution of 720 x 486 pixels (NTSC). Also, normal televisions at a minimum crop as much as 10% from around the edge (5% from each edge), resulting in a number of consequences when incorporating PowerPoint images into your video production and then to DVD. Keeping the following guidelines in mind when designing your PowerPoint presentation will help insure a good DVD experience as well.
These are as follows:
• Try to use 30 pt fonts or higher as small text may get lost on video.
• Use sans serif (e.g. Arial, Helvetica) bold fonts.
• Use no more than 4 or 5 lines of text per slide.
• Avoid the color red, use darker colors and greens and blues.
• Keep your graphics simple.
• Provide at least a 15% border around the edge.
We realize that these recommendations may seem limiting to you for your live presentation but it helps to be aware of this. In addition, audiences basically prefer simpler graphics. Too much information can cause them to disassociate altogether with the slide.
It looks like $225 is the price point for the holiday season and several manufacturers are committed to that entry-level price making them very attractive. However, I really recommend spending a few dollars more to get a player that is firmware upgradeable so you will continue to get all of the cool new features being added to this technology. (Tip: Look first for a player with an Ethernet or USB port and then double check the specs). By doing this you will avoid purchasing another player next year to replace this one. Another strategy; Hey it’s Christmas! Get this one now and put it somewhere else in the house next Christmas when you upgrade to the latest and greatest one. As we have seen all along, more and more features will be available soon. (The manufacturers know that too…).