by Shruti Patrachari
Monday morning I walked into the office, however that day was different. I went immediately to the studio and began preparing the studio for the day’s production. Everyone had their hands on something. In one corner one person was preparing the camera, in another, one was assembling the sound absorbers, and then there was me. I was helping assemble the lights.
This was a good change from the normal day-to-day. I have learned a lot about film-production and getting this hands-on experience is very valuable. Personally, when I touch something and see how it works, it’s easier to grasp the purpose and use of each item.
But what exactly were we setting up?
We were producing a Kickstarter video for a client in order to fund the manufacturing of the Squat Master. Involved in the filming was the client Bernie, models demonstrating the Squat Master, as well as the Squat Master machine. In order to receive a professional aesthetic, we filmed in Pixel Productions’ white room studio.
Through the preparations and production process I was able to learn more more about the technical aspects of the film, including lighting. In this case, we had to make sure that the entire white background was lit. Any shadow behind the machine, models, or Bernie, would obstruct the subject from showing up in the camera. By production time, the lights were all arranged, avoiding any harsh shadows or dark spots.
During the film production itself I was in charge of slating. This involves using the clapperboard that you so often see in movies. The slate is more important than most people perceive. It’s used to help synchronize the sound and visuals for each scene, because in post-production the slate is clear both visually and audibly. Simply line up the sound and visuals, and you can ensure synchronicity.
During filming the cameramen worked with various angles and frames. Watching this reminded me how much freedom there is when filming. The right director and cameraman can create the perfect shot.
One of the biggest things that needs to be explained to an outsider is that filming requires a lot of patience. The video shoot ran for the entire day: capturing the models, the machine, the testimonials, and Bernie Miller. During a shoot, one scene may take up to hours to complete. It may be the result of script changes or add-ons. These happen frequently, as it did on Monday. Sometimes everything written down doesn’t translate on screen, so the solution is to accommodate the changes and continue filming. Easy as pie!
To help the production run faster, the team developed the script ahead of time. It saved time, and allowed the production to begin filming right away, rather than spending more time to write and perfect the script.
Although video production can be a lot to take on, with the right preparations and collaborations it will run smoothly. Collaboration is very important; each person in the Pixel Productions studio gives input on the script, the camera, angles, and actions in order to produce the best footage. This collaboration makes productions run with ease and also makes the talent feel more comfortable.
There is a lot to be learned as an observer during the video production process. It is important to trust the experts and work as a team to produce the best video possible. The crazy part is, now that we’re done with production, we move to post-production. And that’s a process in itself.