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White backdrop video - I need input before I move on

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Igor VukojevicWhite backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 2:41:52 pm

Hello,

I am changing the formats and overall look of our videos, also shooting at a new location so I wanted some input before I move on with this project. I am not an editor so I usually get the tone of the video and overall look put together and then turn it over to my editor. This is the very first draft that I put together last night.

I am looking to turn our boring corporate video commercials with "uplifting" corporate music into more exiting content-based videos. One thing that I didn't like in the room we were using is that it wasn't padded so there was a lot of reverb present, but I think I got some of it out. Their electrical outlets were also tied into the lights above, so we ended up with a hum on the low end of the frequency spectrum because we had to keep their lights on.

Anyways, I'd like to get a few ideas from someone else, before we decide how to proceed with the 8 videos that we're working on.

Thanks.



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Mark SuszkoRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:08:19 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:11:18 pm

The audio is not just reverberant: it is also very hollow, how did you mic this?

The headroom is a little tight for my taste, and there's a hot spot on the forehead.

The key's not bad, but maybe it would "pop" better if you added a shadow to create a sense of dimension.

Whatever animated graphic action is going on in that animated background, it's too subtle to "read" well, IMO. I found my attention drawn away from the presenter while trying to discern what the little moving lines were doing or forming.

The thing that I think would immediately help, though, is more re-framing the presenter shots, and changing-up more between tighter close-ups and medium and wide shots. The eye is wired to excite the brain's attention each time a radical change happens in the visual field, so each cut to a different focal length forces a "re-set" of attention. Combine this change with some (tasteful) kinetic type titles to reinforce the spoken points visually, and you have a more effective presentation.

And personally, I don't like the disheveled-hair look, it seems sloppy. Though I don't have much of my own to complain about.:-)


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Igor VukojevicRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:22:40 pm
Last Edited By Igor Vukojevic on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:25:22 pm

Thanks Mark, I had a tascam recorder above his head pointed at him at a 45 degree angle, with a line directly to my camera. Canon t4i's are not known for great sound, and I usually do much better when I record straight to my Tascam, but it's easier for me to edit if I send the sound signal to the camera. I was told afterwards that this cable would make a difference because the regular headphone cable sends a signal that is 10 db higher and can be distorted (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/750963-REG/Sescom_LN2MIC_ZMH4_MON_3_5mm_Line_to_Mic.html). Also, the sound may be hollow because I had to EQ some of that hum (electric buzz) that I mentioned and that affected his voice too.

The overhead light is something that I should've moved up a little, definitely.

I hated the standard "white" backdrop and wanted to add something subtle but "techie". The opacity of the background animation is at around 30 or 40, because I am thinking that the regular visitor will not be trying to analyze the background too much, especially if it's subtle, and they don't have an eye that you have as a producer. Maybe I'm wrong.

I have these Owens Corning sound traps that I used in my music studio and I am seriously thinking about bringing them to the studio that we rent to shoot videos, but it's too much work. I'm not sure if there is another way to improve the sound.



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Greg BallRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:48:39 pm

I would think about putting a lav microphone on his lapel. Also consider using some sound absorbing blankets under his feet and perhaps hanging from c-stands.

I agree with Mark on the framing of the shot and subtlety of the background. You need more head room and also your focal lengths should vary more between shots.

You should think about adding in some color graphics or images to the video. Perhaps your logo can be larger.

Also something on the lower third with colors and your contact info may help.



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Igor VukojevicRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 3:58:09 pm

Yeah my editor will add the lower thirds and the animation, he's better at it than I am.

I will try the blankets I suppose, but I wish there was something more professional looking for when I have a client come in. What do they sell that absorbs the sound that you can step on?

BACKGROUND - we are using the white background and I placed the animation around the edges. If I turn the opacity up too much it doesn't really blend in as much. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. I have never used the animation around the actor with the white background.


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Greg BallRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 4:14:29 pm

Igor,

Most studios do not look beautiful when shooting a video. There are stands on the floor, additional lighting instruments, flags for the lighting, sound blankets, lots of cables, etc.

Usually a client is amazed when they take a look at the monitor to see what you're creating amid that chaos. I'd be less concerned about the aesthetics and more concerned about the sound quality.


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Mark SuszkoRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 4:35:55 pm

I second the suggestion of using a lav mic, which you can leave exposed or hide under the shirt or collar. Laves are almost always omni-directional, with somewhat less pickup directly behind where the wire comes out, of course. BBC style is to attach them with the mic head pointing downwards, which prevents breath sounds from the mouth and nose from hitting the mic and making plosive sounds, but pointing the mic at the floor means you should probably also throw down carpet or blankets there to kill reflections. Workable but cheap blankets can be had from local U-haul movers a well as Harbor Freight stores, Menards, etc. Scrap carpet remnants from a flooring store are also inexpensive.

You can either us adaptors to connect the hardwired lav mic to the camera, directly, or run the lav into your tascam, and synch up the tracks in post. be sure the tascam is recording at the same sample rate as your video.

The studio appearance means nothing: what counts is what the monitor SHOWS. Tell the client that they are paying only for what appears on the screen, not in the studio itself.

Also, are you telling me you are shooting against a white wall and then soft-wiping-in the tech background around that? I wouldn't do it that way, if I could help it. i HAVE done that, and matching in post was a lot of work. I'd rather do a regular chromakey.


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Igor VukojevicRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 4:58:11 pm
Last Edited By Igor Vukojevic on Apr 8, 2014 at 5:39:31 pm

"Also, are you telling me you are shooting against a white wall and then soft-wiping-in the tech background around that?"

Yes. The decision was made after we shot the videos so i'm stuck with the white background. The decision is not final, but I personally liked it. It's supposed to be subtle.


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Mark SuszkoRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 5:27:58 pm

You *could* try using a luma key or difference key, or multipoint masking, to get a tighter cut-out around the speaker, revealing more background. Going forward, I'd suggest shooting with a green screen for the future productions.


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 4:26:20 pm

As far a sound deadening goes, it partly depends on the problem - you could certainly purchase some professional looking acoustic foam from a place like the Foam Factory:

http://www.foambymail.com/acoustical-foam-products.html

You can also get some really good looking, very cheap foam on *mazon:

http://www.amazon.com/2x12x12-CHARCOAL-Acoustic-Soundproofing-Studio/dp/B00...

You can also get egg crate type foam cheap on *Bay. But it helps to know what sound reflections are causing the problem. Depending on the size and shape of your studio, baffles might be a solution. Here's a pretty good education on acoustic treatment:

http://www.auralexuniversity.com/acoustics101v3_0.pdf

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Igor VukojevicRe: White backdrop video - I need input before I move on
by on Apr 8, 2014 at 7:47:47 pm

Wow that Amazon package is really cheap, I wonder if it's any good. I'll give it a shot probably.


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