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Corp/Industrial Video Opinion on what to charge & lighting

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You Can Call Me AlCorp/Industrial Video Opinion on what to charge & lighting
by on Dec 20, 2006 at 11:21:11 pm

Hello all,
first corp. video or at least first one like this...
Small company wants me to film a machine with someone's hands using it, with a voice over (their employee), incorporate an animation of what the machine does (must capture their animation from their computer) and burn a looped DVD that they can use at say a tradeshow. Finished video should be less than 10 mins.

Not sure how to price it.... my temptation is to make my proposal open ended like "$50.00/ hr to shoot video with a one hour estimate." It could take 10 minutes not sure... so not sure how to word it.

Secondly any tips on how to light the machine? I have access to 3 Photogenic Softbox Modeling lights but I am used to people not things.

For capturing the animation I have thought of using screen cap software on their PC and then burning to QT so I can use on my mac in finished product. Or hooking up S video to their laptop depending on what they have.
Any suggestions?

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Mark SuszkoRe: Corp/Industrial Video Opinion on what to charge & lighting
by on Dec 23, 2006 at 6:01:58 am

Al, as far as billing, know your day rate and hourly rate before you commit to a figure. Just because this may *seem* easy, don't commit to a flat fee. Set an hourly rate with say a 2-hour minimum.

For your lighting question, softboxes should work fine unless the item being hand held creates a glare problem. Even then, adjusting angles should get you out of trouble.

There are numerous ways to get the animation into your edit system.

For speed, I use an external scan converter and thus I get it as useable video right away. To an extent, you get what you pay (or rent) for with scan converters. The really expensive ones do make prettier output, but if you are talking something of powerpoint quality for graphics, you can often make do with a hundred-dollar model. I use both a 6-thousand dollar Scan-Do Ultra as well as a 99 dollar cheapie, depends on the situation and the need. other means include screen recorder programs like you mentioned, however, some times the nature of what you're doing on the computer can be disrupted by the additional processing and storage overhead of the screen grabber program, and I hear many laments about the size of the files thus created.

Don't forget to plan for good sound. Sometimes for a demo like this the best thing is to pre-record the audio and then mime the action to a playback of it, since all you are seeing are the hands. Other times we had a person read the script out loud alongside the action, then re-recorded better audio in post to match. What you do may depend on how well parts have to synch up or match a set timing. Just dont ignore the audio, as it is one of the features that make pro work stand out from wannabees.

When you shoot, use your compopsition skills and shoot with the edit in mind. That means multiple takes at different angles and camera distances, and plenty of establishing shots that keep the viewer well-oriented. Build in cutaways and other classy touches to distinguish your work.

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You Can Call Me AlRe: Corp/Industrial Video Opinion on what to charge & lighting
by on Dec 24, 2006 at 3:22:54 am

Hey Mark,
thanks for the excellent advice. Especially on the voice over - had not thought of that.

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You Can Call Me AlRe: Corp/Industrial Video Opinion on what to charge & lighting
by on Jan 8, 2007 at 8:00:15 pm

Looks like this is going to happen.
Can you recommend a screen cap for their Windows PC? It has to be captured to their PC first - animation won't run on my comp.

I am on a mac and after capture will have to get it over to my laptop.


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