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View Full Version : Help on my First Job...PLEASE



Punjabi
02-03-2006, 07:28 PM
Italked myself into a bind on this one...

I've purchased the camera, accessories, computer, software, etc. etc. and I was brainstorming with a friend of mine on how to turn a stagnant asset into revenue while I'm waiting to be famous...he came up with a great idea: corporate films...training films, films explaining the benefits programs, introductory films, informative films, etc etc. All of which he says they have and all of which usually stink. Furthermore he tells me that I can start with shooting the training film for his firm which already has videos that he's embarrassed to show...problem,

I've gone on and on about the quality I can produce with this kind of equipment...all of it true but I've never done anything like THIS. I've done shorts, dramas, student films, etc. I wouldn't know where to start on a corporate gig, don't know what they want it to look like, where I should improve and where it should keep the "manufactured" look. I'm stuck. I want to do it because it would be a good "in" but I am at a total loss as to how to go about it. I know this is a very broad question but any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks much.

Barry_Green
02-03-2006, 07:33 PM
Watch what he's got that he doesn't like. Then do better than that.

Good training films aren't about the look anyway; you have to make 'em look good enough so that it doesn't distract from the message but it's all about the message.

The first thing you need to do is establish a baseline. Get what he's got and watch it. If you can't do better than that, then pull the plug right now. If you can do better than that, then do so, and shop it around to other corps to show them what you can do.

MrBirdBoy
02-03-2006, 07:48 PM
find a partner with experience...

Big talker ....

im.thatoneguy
02-04-2006, 01:20 AM
"I've never done anything like THIS"

This is the perfect situation to be in for corporate videos. If you've ever watched any of them and actually stayed awake you have a stronger will than I. You've made shorts, dramas and student films. Narrative is exactly what most corporate videos lack. Tell a story. Make it interesting, but run your concept by your employer. Create something extraordinary from the ordinary.

jpbankesmercer
02-04-2006, 04:55 AM
What Barry said and....

Corporate for me covers a wide area...Ive done training to events...
Try and add your unique eye to every project...just remember it's what they want...try and read your client and deliver something close.
Also by nature (unless your in Saudi filiming banks) corporates can be errr....boring?....
but they pay great!!!!
J

limo991
02-04-2006, 03:21 PM
There is an old book by Joseph Mascelli, the 5 C's Of Cinematography. It has all the basics on shooting and cutting old fashioned corporate style, training films etc.

Hans Moleman
02-04-2006, 03:32 PM
the 5 c's is a good investment anyway

Steward
02-07-2006, 07:03 AM
I don't think that anyone has suggested just sitting down with this guy and talking about his visions. You have stated that he's got issues with previous efforts, so try to get from him exactly what he wants, before you do your treatment. Have your plan locked down before you start production.

just my dollar two- ninety-eight

Digitally Pleasing
02-07-2006, 10:02 AM
Are you writing the script? That's the biggest factor of all. If you are keep it succinct and to the point.

I just finished an 18 minute instructional video on the proper way to dispose of broken flourescent light bulbs for the United States Postal Service (they contain mercury). Needless to say, the there is only so much you can do when you are given a boring ass script about the dangers of mercury. The clients really wanted to stress certain points over and over. I thought it was overkill.... they didn't. Safety was the #1 issue for them, not production value. The step-bystep instrucntional part isn't hard, becasue it is clear what shots you need. It's the background, intro, and conclusion that you nedd to be sure you have a lot of footage for and really plan in your mind hows it going to look.

Once you have your script, come up with a shot list. When you are shooting, get the shots you planned, and then some. Treat it like a doc. or news story, get as much B roll as you can. You be happy when you're editing.

Oh, get a good voice over guy. It will add a lot to the final product. Depending on the budget, get actors. I used real USPS employees... eeekk, lets just say they were a little stiff.

~ Jim

SilverWolf
02-07-2006, 11:29 AM
If they tell you exactly how they want it it makes it a lot easier

JoeNash
02-07-2006, 11:36 AM
i agree. I woudln't sweat over it.

My first freelancing gig was working for corporate, shooting editing, authoring, the whole bit, and my experience before that was ONLY editing. Don't worry too much, and just go out and do what you do best.

Luis Caffesse
02-07-2006, 11:43 AM
If they tell you exactly how they want it it makes it a lot easier

That sounds like heaven.
:engel017:

Unfortunately clients seem to rarely be able to verbalize exactly what they want.
And in my experience, when they do - they are usually wrong (meaning you shoot/edit exactly what they want, and they are left unsatisfied)

A friend once told me that the best way to deal with clients is to
"Sell them what they want, but give them what they need"

A little zen for corporate video, I know, but it's been true in my experience.
Dealing with clients is often a bit of an excercise in mind reading.

SilverWolf
02-07-2006, 11:55 AM
That sounds like heaven.
:engel017:

Unfortunately clients seem to rarely be able to verbalize exactly what they want.
And in my experience, when they do - they are usually wrong (meaning you shoot/edit exactly what they want, and they are left unsatisfied)

A friend once told me that the best way to deal with clients is to
"Sell them what they want, but give them what they need"

A little zen for corporate video, I know, but it's been true in my experience.
Dealing with clients is often a bit of an excercise in mind reading.

I agree with that statement totally. I was just saying that if a client know at least what they want that will help a lot in regards to how you structure the video. They don't even have to know exactly how it should look but more what they want it to say.:thumbsup:

Punjabi
02-10-2006, 01:08 PM
Thanks for the help all,

I picked up the 5 C's...embarrassed to say I haven't read past the first few pages.

Already did a few establishing shots he was very pleased with. I talked to him about his "vision" where he wants to go etc. and it's all pretty vague. He knows he doesn't like the original stuff footage wise, we're actually using the same script but it can be very versatile so I have room to play. Lighting and sound are problems because the area of the bank I'll be shooting in has these massive ceilings and stone floors that would echo a pin drop and he wants me to limit the equipment I bring so I don't interrupt regular business so I can't use tungsten, I have to rely on their fluorescents...I've talked to him about it and he's okay with it. I got a friend of a friend from clear channel to do the voiceovers, he's not charging me yet, he says if I can limit his in studio time to a few hours he'll do it comp. which is cool, he does professional radio ads on a weekly basis.

Other than that I'm just going to wing it (for lack of a better word) and try to be as clean and generic as I see fit. I'll try to keep it interesting but after listening to you all and talking to him I think going out on a limb is too big a risk. Thanks again for your help; I'll be back with more questions sooner or later

MsManhattan
02-10-2006, 08:16 PM
When the client can;t describe what they want -- which is usually the case -- then assess what they are trying to accomplish. Who is going to see this video? What is the aim of the video -- to sell employees on a new company process? To instruct consumers? To promote the company's brand, etc.? Why do they want the video? And where is the video to be presented? At a corporate meeting? In the boardroom? At a trade show? Distributed to customers on a DVD? Posted on the Web site? Understanding the who, what, when, where and why behind the assignment will help frame all of your production decisions.