Pro-Video Blogger

Video Production. Learn how to use video to tell your story. Whether it's a home movie of the kids or a corporate documentary.

Wearing more than one hat

Martin Johnson - Wednesday, June 11, 2014
If you're a freelance videographer, then it's odds on that you do more than just light and operate the camera. In my own business I often wear multiple hats; producer, director, camera operator, lighting and audio director, editor and post-production sound mixer. Running your own business means you can't just focus on your camera work. Here's an example ... Not-for-profit client I have done a number of videos for a local counselling service. Whilst they offer fee-for-service counsell .. click to read full post.
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Packing your gear right

Martin Johnson - Monday, June 09, 2014
If you're a freelance video producer then you'll need to travel with your camera gear. Working out the best way to carry your gear, is key to making sure it arrives at the other end in one piece and ready to go. Pelican cases Pelican (http://www.pelican.com/)cases have become the industry standard for film makers and frankly, you'd be hard pushed to buy anything better to carry camera, lights and sound gear. Here's how I travel: Lighting: My two 900 LED light panels are packed in  .. click to read full post.
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Shooting interviewees with 2 cameras

Martin Johnson - Sunday, June 08, 2014
If you watch some corporate on-line videos, you'll often see a technique where the interviewee or on-camera presenter is shot from two angles. One is generally the traditional front on shot, with the eye line slightly off to one side of the camera with the second angle close to profile and generally quite tight. Often this second angle shot is treated in post so it looks quite different from the main shot. Things to watch out for .. It's important to get the eye lines right if you're .. click to read full post.
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Is Vertical video part of the future?

Martin Johnson - Thursday, May 22, 2014
Hand held video cameras or 'handycams' revolutionised home video. Now that handycams have made the jump into the digital world, everyone it seems has the capacity, although not always the ability, to shoot video. Wherever people gather, on public transport, at the park or the school playground, people watch and share the latest video - either one they've shot themselves or one they've received from a friend. Generally, none of these are meant to be seen outside a group of friends - but w .. click to read full post.
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Why poor video is worse than none at all

Martin Johnson - Saturday, April 26, 2014
I first wrote a post along these lines in July, 2013. Sadly, it seems it's time to repeat what I said then. The world-wide viewing stats of on-line video continue to go through the roof. Up from 1 billion per annum in April 2011 to 2 billion in April, 2012 and climbing. (Ref: Soul Arch Media. (http://soularchmedia.com/why-use-online-video-for-marketing-2013-online-video-statistics/)) More people are watching more videos for longer on the web. As someone in the business of making v .. click to read full post.
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Training videos

Martin Johnson - Thursday, April 17, 2014
Over the past few months I've been working with a church based organisation to produce training material for volunteer teachers who teach what we call 'Special Religious Education' (SRE) in our state school system. For those reading this outside Australia, this will sound highly unusual, but under our system of government, churches are allowed to deliver SRE to primary and secondary school students in our public school system. The organisation who commissioned me to produce the training .. click to read full post.
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Marketing your services

Martin Johnson - Saturday, April 05, 2014
Ever since this blog started, all my posts have been about the 'how' of shooting video. From lighting, framing, camera movement through to editing, music selection and post-production audio, it's all been about how to do it. This post is different in that I want to look at something every freelance video maker needs to do - market their services. Maybe you're lucky and have regular work from one or more clients so you never have any downtime. In my experience, that's pretty rare and all  .. click to read full post.
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Andrew Stoik commented on 12-Apr-2014 03:26 AM
Good tips! I am just getting into video production. I've got a few projects under my belt, but now I'm feeling a bit stuck on how to get clients. So, these ideas give me something to focus on. I think you make a good point about social media too. It's not the marketing channel I was hoping it would be. I'm going to start looking at my Facebook as a way for my current contacts to stay in touch, rather than a marketing tool per se.
Andrea George commented on 15-Apr-2014 05:54 AM
Becoming a member of your local Chamber of Commerce is another idea to help market your services. Mine does a lot to expose businesses within our community: newsletters, website, e-mail campaigns, events. I have found it to be a really effective way to market, network, and make contact with potential clients in need of web video services.

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Managing your digital data

Martin Johnson - Monday, March 31, 2014
I was asked by a friend yesterday how to tackle the editing of over 3TB of video data? That's a lot of footage and if it's all high definition, then that's about 750 hours of footage or over four weeks of continuous viewing. The simple answer is that you tackle this the same way you'd tackle any big task - one small piece at a time, but first you need to: Get organised No matter what editing program you end up using or what the finished project will look like, you need to g .. click to read full post.
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Andrew Stoik commented on 12-Apr-2014 12:34 PM
Yes! The key is organization and pre-planning. As you said, breaking the files down into segments makes really good sense. It may even be helpful to think ahead about what those segments will be, so you can create a strategy for the data to come.

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Why 'Noah' doesn't work

Martin Johnson - Sunday, March 30, 2014
This post is slightly off topic, but it is about video. Sort of! (Caution - spoiler alert) When I went to see Noah I did so after having read some of the press from US Churches that it was 'unBiblical' and therefore should be boycotted. I also read an article and saw a Phil Cooke (http://philcooke.com/christians-should-see-noah/) produced video (https://vimeo.com/89714097)which put the case that Christians and churches needed to engage with the film - an approach I agree with.  .. click to read full post.
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Annie Marie Peters commented on 31-Mar-2014 08:48 AM
Interesting! I haven't seen Noah, but I have to admit: I was skeptical right away when I saw the trailer. I actually feel more interested to see it now, after reading your review. I'll try to go into it with an open mind and let you know what I thought!

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Data storage

Martin Johnson - Friday, March 28, 2014
I've recently been reviewing how I store my data. In the world of digital video, data storage is everything and you need to have a system that works. When it does fail, and fail at sometime it will, you also need a good recovery plan. I can't say my system is perfect, I have had two hard drives crash to date, but so far no real disasters have affected me. Why store data? Unlike the early days of digital or non-linear editing, when you captured your data from camera tapes which we .. click to read full post.
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Annie Marie Peters commented on 29-Mar-2014 07:48 AM
Oh yes! Backing up your files is an essential part of video production. I back up my memory cards to my computer. Then, I back up my computer to an external hard drive. Martin, what do you think about cloud storage? I have always preferred to have a physical copy of my files, but last Fall, an F5 tornado ripped through the town 5 miles from my house. If it had destroyed my home, having an online backup would have been a virtual lifesaver...
Andrew Stoik commented on 12-Apr-2014 12:40 PM
I use 2 Toshiba 1TB external data drives for my video files. I'm going to make a note of the Virtual Labs recovery software you mentioned. I'm bound to need it soon. I also use Crashplan to back up a few of my key files online.

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