Common Mistakes made on a Shoot for Talking Head Videos with B-roll

Adam Marx, ( of reality shows on most of the major networks and owner of MK3 Creative finds directors make a lot of mistakes directing talking head videos. Having directed work for countless Fortune 100 companies, Adam has a few tips to share in creating a talking head video that tells a story successfully.

 Mistake #1: Over shooting interviews

Think about your interview length and video length, what’s the ratio? Many people conduct interviews that are much longer than they need to be for the length of the final video. For a 2 minute video, I recommend the interviews be under 20 minutes each. The key to a successful, and precise interview, is a call or meeting with the subject before s/he is on camera where you can do the content fishing. This way, you and your interviewee will go into shoot day feeling prepared.


Mistake #2: Not having enough b-roll to match the story

Often we get to post-production wishing they had more shots of  the interview subject doing what they are talking about. This is where b-roll, or footage that supports what is being said, is crucial.It could be as simple as the person smiling or a shot of someone working at their desk. I recommend writing notes on what b-roll footage you might need right after the interview so you can match it to the story in the best way possible.


Mistake #3: Soundbites don’t tell the story fluently

Sometimes we find the subject doesn’t state the challenge or conflict concisely. It’s very important to make sure you have clear, concise soundbites that help propel that part of the story. I like to break the questions of the conflict into parts. I tend to get better soundbites that way.


Mistake #4: Letting Interviewee Get Nervous

Sometimes the interviewee can get tongue-tied or nervous which is will certainly come across on-screen and prevent them from sharing the most intriguing parts of their story. The best way to put them at ease is to talk to them a day or two before they are scheduled to be on camera to create a bond and find common interests. Also, as soon as they walk through the door to the interview room, warm them up. Have fun, joke around, talk about the things you have in common and get them to tell you stories before rolling.







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Rocket Software Shoot

Some of the MK3 team was in Waltham, MA last week helping shoot a new customer welcome video for Rocket Software.

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Providing Heartfelt Support with Video Storytelling: MK3’s Partnership with Family Reach

For years, MK3 has teamed up with Family Reach, a non-profit organization focused on bringing attention to the devastating effects of cancer. Our partnership works to spread and increase awareness by telling the stories of families affected by cancer, focusing on the struggles and triumphs Family Reach experiences alongside them.

A recent video we created, featured above, tells the story of Camille and her family. The video was written, produced and directed in-house by MK3 to be played at “Cooking Live,” a charity event in Boston, where $270,000 was raised to support this great cause.

Family Reach continues to provide local answers to a growing national issue by providing financial relief, access to care and heartfelt support.  They are a lifeline for families fighting cancer, and MK3 continues to help support their mission.

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The Value of Video

In today’s world, video is no longer a “nice to have,” it’s a “need to have.” Just take a look at some of these compelling statistics

  • 80% of Internet users recall watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days and 46% took action after viewing the ad. (Online Publishers Association)
  • 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week. (Forbes)
  • Video results appeared in almost 70% of the top 100 search listings on Google in 2012. (Marketing Week)

Video isn’t going anywhere. Luckily it isn’t hard to harness its power. Whether you’re selling a product, planning a big event or offering a more personal view of your company, video can be used to effectively engage your audience. Take a look at the video above which shows how video can be a valuable tool for any company.

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Our Insourcing Model
say “no” to outsourcing

MK3 Creative is a high end marketing agency in Boston with all the capabilities of a production company right in-house. We’re efficient and achieve higher production values because we have Emmy Award winning writing, major broadcast network direction, and high-end motion design under one roof. That’s our Insourcing Model. This means that the ideas we come up with get designed and crafted with the attention they deserve, but without any extra layers. Call me, Tim, at 617-242-3300, ext. 444 to learn how it can work for you.

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MK3 Adds to Sales Force by Welcoming Ted Wayman

MK3 is pleased to announce that we have expanded our sales team by bringing on Ted Wayman as VP, Sales and Business Development. MK3

Ted brings over 25 years of experience in digital and broadcast media.  Most recently, Ted worked as Director of Business Development at Videolink, where he sold video technology to financial and healthcare verticals.

Prior to Videolink, Ted led the business development and sales efforts at digital startup, where he created partnerships with the Boston Celtics, Boston Magazine, and the Boston Business Journal.  You may recognize Ted’s name and face as he was also an Emmy Award winning Anchor/Reporter for WBZ-TV.


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How Messaging Drives Digital Design

When you’re competing for students with numerous respected local colleges and universities, your website is critical. It has to impress and engage prospective students and their guardians, while serving current students, faculty, administration, alumni, and the local community.

Fitchburg State University has been steadily raising its game over the last decade, with innovative programs, high-quality students and faculty, and dramatic improvements to its campus. They had a comprehensive website featuring video on their homepage, but it was densely informational and visually conservative. Further, their key messages lacked emotional impact and clear calls to action. They came to MK3 for help.

We tackled the challenge by focusing first on better messaging. We created a two-pronged messaging platform: 1) communicating the school’s practical benefits (left brain), and 2) sharing strong community stories (right brain). The practical benefits included quality, affordability, and career development, while the stories conveyed the sense of opportunity, student support, and committed community that define Fitchburg State.

Leading with stories, showcasing the campus, and energizing interaction became the cornerstones of our website redesign. As part of the redesign we:

  • simplified the information architecture by adding prominent medallions and menu bars to quickly guide different visitor types to their foremost interests.
  • incorporated large, friendly call-to-action buttons throughout the site.
  • updated the imagery, style, and feel of the site to reflect the beauty of the campus and the energy of the community, allowing prospective students to imagine their lives at Fitchburg.

Take a look at the “before” and “after” screenshots of the website, and then head on over to the new Fitchburg website to explore more. (It just went live this month!)



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MK3 Creative Offers the KONY2012 Success Formula
Tim Fleming, our newest Account Executive, comes to MK3 Creative after working for nearly two years on the viral social movement and marketing campaign, KONY2012. He says the formula for KONY2012′s success was threefold: choosing to be bold, engaging the audience, and telling a great story.

Tim is ready to meet new clients and hungry to help them apply this formula to their businesses. Watch him explain how MK3 will be bold, engage your audience, and tell your story in a way that increases your brand’s awareness and impacts your bottom line.


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MK3 welcomes Artem Kurenkov!

The pursuit of excellence never ends at MK3. We’ve searched far and wide to add to our award-winning team and we are excited to introduce you to our newest Senior Motion Designer, Artem Kurenkov, all the way from Moscow, Russia!

Artem is an internationally acclaimed motion graphic designer and art director whose expertise has earned widespread recognition and acclaim in the industry.  He has made significant original contributions to the arts through his creative design work in multimedia, video, advertising and commercial projects, and his work has featured in prominent publications, trade journals, and international television and web advertising campaigns.

In addition to working on projects for important brands such as FOX, the United Nations, and Russia Today TV, Artem has also presented lectures, seminars and master classes for organizations like Moscow State University and Microsoft Windows Design Camp. In 2010, the leading design institution in Russia, British Higher School of Art and Design, commissioned him to develop a two-year motion design continuing education course for its subsidiary Screamschool. He conceptualized, developed and executed the first and only motion graphics design continuing education program in Russia. Artem has even been invited by PromaxBDA, the internationally renowned association of professionals in marketing of television and video content, to serve as a judge in the annual broadcast design competitions.  The PromaxBDA Award is the most prestigious award in the international broadcast design industry.

 But wait, there’s more…!

Artem has also received numerous prestigious professional awards and recognitions, including:

  • 2008 Promax/BDA World Gold, Gold Award for Art Direction and Design, Interstitial: 7TV On-Air Clock;
  • 2008 Promax/BDA World Gold, Finalist for Self Promotion/Show Reel/Company Image: 7TV Showreel;
  • TEFI 2008 (Russian Television Academy Awards), Finalist for the Best Overall Channel Design (Branding): 7TV Channel;
  • 2011 Omni Intermedia Award
    BRONZE ID’s RTD Channel
  • 2009 Promax/BDA World Gold
    BRONZE Typography for print: MUZ-TV Thematic Calendar

We could go on, but we’d rather have you check out his reel and see for yourself why we’re so excited!

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Behind the scenes: Creating a city loft without the city

The script called for the look of a city loft: High ceilings, city view and open space. Sounds fairly easy, right? Well, not quite…

Imagine a cast and crew of 24 maneuvering around limited parking, a tough load-in and tight spaces to shoot inside a 2-bedroom loft in the city. Needless to say, this can become rather difficult. So we opted for an entirely different approach – shooting in a large, easy-to-access contemporary house out in the suburbs.


Shooting in a suburban house provided us with the space and flexibility that we wouldn’t have had otherwise but also meant that we would need to edit in post to make the look believable. Our first step in transforming the house was to track a photo of a city building in the window frames of the house. To further sell the look, we shot the scene at night so that the windows were black and reflective. We also kept the woman’s reflection and many of the interior reflective lights from the actual shot in the window to preserve the perspective and distance. This was key to making it look real. We didn’t have to chroma-key the windows but did some simple rotoscoping as the woman crossed the windows. After a few finishing touches, you’d be hard pressed to say that she wasn’t in a city loft.

Take a look at these before and after shots and tell us if you’re convinced!



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