View Full Version : Widescreen for corporate/doc work?

06-25-2005, 01:30 PM
Just curious -- how often do you guys shoot widescreen for corporate or documentary work? Is it generally acceptable, or considered too avante garde or artsy for this type of production?

I'm shooting a corporate video of sorts and trying to decide what format to go with. It is going to be a recruiting video for the medical school and medical residency programs at a large teaching hospital. The video will be 5 to 10 minutes long and will highlight the hospital and the city in general. Lots of short interview snippets interspersed with clips of skyline, university campus, city sites, the hospital, etc.

Target audience is primarily applicants (young people in their mid twenties), but it may find some other uses eventually (e.g. PR for donors to the school, etc.). In targeting the applicants, I want a certain "down-to-earth" and "cool" feel to the thing -- I'd rather it be a little hip than traditional and stiff.

Screening/distribution will be in three different formats: projection onto a conference room screen during applicant interview days, DVD for home viewing, and streaming media over the web.

All things considered, I was planning to shoot 24pa squeeze, thinking that I could then create a widescreen DVD and a 16x9 web-streaming clip. Right now the displays will almost certainly be 4x3, but this thing will probably be used for a long time to come, and there might be a time someday when the school has invested in a plasma display, etc.

Any thoughts / advice / things I should consider? This is my first real project ever, so any advice would be helpful (before I go and shoot 50 hours of footage that can't be changed) :)

06-25-2005, 04:57 PM
When in doubt, shoot 4x3 and letterbox later. Still looks good and you haven't taken it in wrong direction. I would say corporate is still heavy into 4x3, but the doc side of things is fair game. If you are giving it a doc feel, then 16x9 would work. Make sure the clients have an idea of where you are going with it...or suffer for it later.

If this is something you have complete control over and you want to establish a style for your work (and future work), then shooting style will be more impacting than letterbox. Meaning, you want it to be film/doc style, that starts from preproduction through shooting and editing. Someone will watch it with letterbox and it will feel right, not like the standard corporate piece w/letterbox added for "style."

Hope this makes sense...