Dungarvan, Ireland - Day 1

It's late Sunday night in Dungarvan, Ireland, where we're just completed our first day of filming with GAA Films at Harty Oysters, a pioneer of Irish Oysters in County Waterford. 

Our day on the farm began before dawn, when we loaded onto trailers and waded through the tide with the crew for the morning's harvest.  Alex ran the RED on a MoVI, Ken ran the FS7 handheld, I switched between the Sony a6500 and the GoPro Hero 5, and Becky ran the Zoom H5.  Throughout the morning we fought mist and drizzle, but it was worth it.

GAA Films Behind-the-Scenes in Mexico

We are planning three new films with the Global Aquaculture Alliance for 2017, with shoots scheduled in Acadia, Maine; Dungarvan, Ireland; and Provo, Turks & Caicos.  We will film with the same team as our Mexico production, with a focus on bringing out the rich stories in each location.  

In the meantime, here's a behind-the-scenes look at the production of THE FARMER: Citlali Gomez.

Filmed in Mexico, "THE FARMER: Citlali Gomez"

Last December our team traveled with the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) to the mountains and forests of Zitácuaro, Mexico.  Our mission was to film a case study of a family-run rainbow trout farm, and show how the farm integrated with its surrounding environment and impacted the local economy. 

The rainbow trout farm’s beauty exceeded all expectations.  Built on a hill just above a roaring waterfall, and tucked under a leafy canopy, the farm was practically a park.  It was also a model of sustainability and local productivity.  We were able to see first-hand how the farm provided a high-quality, healthy food source in “las truchas”, and gainful employment for local workers, all while leaving the smallest of ecological footprints.  Equally impressive was the warm, welcoming family who ran the farm.  We had the opportunity to follow them in their daily lives, and for a few days see the world through their eyes.

We travelled with a three-person video production team, and several colleagues from GAA who led our expedition.  We were fortunate to have a skilled guide who was fluent in Spanish and familiar with the landscape and local customs. 

Our team on the Shave Media side was Ken Marcou (DP), Alex Pickering (MoVI and Drone Operator), and David Jackel (Field Producer).  We travelled as lightly as possible, while still bringing along a substantial arsenal of filming equipment.  We shot with Canon and Sony cinema cameras, several DSLRs, and even a point-and-shoot camera packed in water-tight casing for underwater shots with the fish.  To bring dynamic movement to our shots, we used a triple-axis gimbal, a remote motorized panning device, and a drone.  We captured most of our audio with wireless lavaliere mics, but also used a field recorder at times to pick up environmental sounds. 

Packing lights is always a challenge when working with limited space, which is why we used battery powered LED light sticks.  They were durable, practically weightless, and packed up tightly.  These lights allowed us to discretely light backgrounds as well as our subjects, and were easy to move and adjust.

In additional to filming the farm and the family home, we also shot b roll footage around the city of Zitácuaro, and took an expedition into the remote mountain sanctuary of the monarch butterflies, an ecological wonder and source of local pride.  And of course we got to sample Mexican cuisine, including plenty of rainbow trout.  We left Zitácuaro with a new appreciation for aquaculture and Mexico’s natural beauty and vibrant culture.

GAA has just released the film, “THE FARMER: Citlali Gomez.”  This film will be the first installment in their upcoming series of short films highlighting the people and practices behind sustainable aquaculture production. 

We greatly enjoyed working with GAA on this project and look forward to future endeavors together!

How To Look And Sound Your Best On Camera

So you're getting ready to do a video interview. You know your subject matter inside and out. You've read through the interview questions well in advance and you have prepared some insightful responses. All you need to do now is decide what to wear.

This is an essential part of planning for a video interview. Your clothing and apparel choices will affect not only how you look on camera, but also the overall quality of the image, and perhaps most importantly, the sound - which is essential to achieving high production value in a video.

 

What to Wear
 

Solid Colors
Blues, greens, greys, earth tones and pastels work well with most subjects. Simpler is usually better.

Form-Fitting, Well-Shaped Clothing
Blazers, jackets, and shirts with collars are generally flattering and give you a “sculpted” appearance.

A Microphone-Friendly Top
The video team needs to attach your lapel microphone close to the sound source without distorting the natural shape of your clothing. Buttoned shirts and V neck shirts work well. Blazers and jackets are terrific for this. Here are examples of outfits that work well on camera:

 

What Not to Wear
 

Solid Black, White, And Red

There are always exceptions (see the first example above, where the jacket is close to red), but in general these are not ideal for professional video interviews. A black or white shirt inside a blazer or jacket is fine, so is a red tie.

Tops With Colors Close To Your Skin Tone
You want to avoid tops that, under certain lighting conditions, might look like an extension of your skin.

High Contrast
Video cameras have a hard time with high-contrast. Camera operators set their exposures to match the subject’s skin tone, so avoid clothing that contrasts heavily with your complexion.

Shapeless Clothing
Loose, shapeless clothing tends to be unflattering on camera, and droops down when you are seated. It’s also generally not great for attaching a microphone.

Branded Clothing
The viewer’s focus should be on you and your words – and branding is a distraction. It generally looks unprofessional, and in some situations it can cause legal complications.

Clothing That Matches The Background
If the background is light grey, for example, a light grey blazer is a mistake. Here is a more extreme example:


Stripes And Small Patterns
Stripes and small patterns can lead to the wavy moiré effect:

Picture6.jpg

 

Noisy Clothing Or Accessories
Anything that rattles or scratches will be picked up by the microphone. Simpler is better when it comes to accessories.

Hats And Glasses
Hats cast a shadow over your face, and glasses can reflect the lighting. If you need glasses to do your interview, or feel more comfortable wearing them, by all means do so – but it is better to skip the glasses if you don’t need them.
 

Hair and Make Up
 

For most video interviews, it’s best to have neat and tidy hair, no stray hairs, and preferably long hair is tied back or in an updo. Bring along some hair spray just in case you have an uncooperative strand of hair. For those who shave, do it just before the interview (when possible) so that you don’t have visible stubble. And even if you are going for a more alternative look, you don’t want your hair to distract the viewer from your message.

Make up should be subtle – it’s easier to add than to subtract. A little powder is enough to counter the shine of the lights. If you generally wear make up, bring it with you to the shoot for touch ups. Avoid glossy make up! On camera it just looks like sweat, and you don't want that!

 

 

 

Videos for CoreNet Global | New England Chapter

CoreNet Global New England Chapter recently engaged our team to produce a suite of videos for their awards ceremony on November 1, 2016 at the InterContinental Boston.  Among the videos we produced was this piece on CoreNet's Young Leaders program, which we filmed onsite at Iron Mountain, Thermo Fisher, and Shave Media's studio in Allston.  We were excited to watch this video play on the big screens last Tuesday as we filmed coverage of CoreNet's Red Carpet, which our team is editing now.  Our colleagues at CoreNet were terrific partners throughout the entire project, and did a fantastic job organizing the production.

Celebrating Hill House's 50th Anniversary

For fifty years, Boston's Hill House has provided "your backyard in the city" for generations of residents in the historic Beacon Hill neighborhood, offering a diverse selection of programs for children of all ages and their families.

To mark this special anniversary, Hill House engaged our team to create a video that would tell their story to online viewers and the audience at their 50th Anniversary Gala.  Over the course of a day we filmed interviews with Hill House members and supporters, as well as day-in-the-life footage of Hill House families participating in a wide range of activities, from outdoor athletics to indoor arts and crafts.

For interviews, we used two Canon C100s, one locked down, and the other on a Kessler Slider with the Parallax System.  We shot action footage with a combination of those cameras and a Sony FS5 on a MoVi rig.

We enjoyed working with Hill House on their video, and wish them the best as they continue to enrich family life in the Boston community.

New video for HubSpot for Startups

New video for HubSpot for Startups

This summer we worked with HubSpot, the innovators behind Inbound Marketing, to create a quick video that introduces their new program HubSpot for Startups.  Over the course of a day we filmed the HubSpot for Startups team at work, along with a variety of scenes throughout HubSpot's headquarters in Cambridge, MA.  We also stopped over at Drift, another innovative software development company based in Cambridge, for some additional filming.

Debut Video for 15-40 Connection

We have just finished our first in a series of video for 15-40 Connection, a cancer self-awareness nonprofit organization.  15-40 Connection's mission is to empower people by showing them how to spot the first warning signs of cancer, and dramatically increase their chances of survival.

We shot the interview footage several months ago at an event held by 15-40 Connection at the offices of Applied Interactive in Worcester, MA, using a two-person crew with two Canon C100s, a slate-colored heavy cloth backdrop, and 3-point lighting.  For the hair light, we mounted an LED panel on a stand placed behind and above the backdrop.  We also used a roaming camera on a slider for b roll of the event, for use in later videos.

Over the course of the event, we filmed interviews conducted by the 15-40 Connection team with a diverse group of cancer survivors, all of whom are now thankfully in good health.  The speakers told us about their lives before cancer, the nature of their symptoms, how they were diagnosed and treated, and what they would tell their younger selves knowing what they know now.

We strongly encourage anyone in the 15-40 age range to visit 15-40.org and take a moment to read through the potentially-lifesaving information on the website.