Creativity in Video Production: Working with What You Have

These days, social and professional distancing are in and traveling around the world to shoot live video is, sort of…out. But that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to create new content. Sometimes you gotta work with what you have and that’s exactly what we did with long-time client SHI!

After many years of producing SHI’s live events, they asked MK3 to collaborate on a new video campaign, starting with a branding video. One of the main goals of the video was to highlight their “ridiculously helpful” employees, who are spread out in offices across the globe. And there was the problem: the current environment did not allow for live video shoots. And while using stock footage has been a solution for many productions, it was not an option for SHI because they wanted the authenticity of their own people in the video.

The solution came in stages. First, SHI suggested we use video from a large library of footage they had shot on location in their New Jersey, Texas and UK offices. Problem solved…with a slight concern that while the footage did capture SHI and their people “in action,” it wasn’t “custom” shot with this video and messaging in mind, so there may be a bit of a disconnect.

MK3 then created the second “solution” – we designed and animated a two dimensional “environment” for the footage to live in – framing each shot and showcasing text on-screen call-outs that reinforced the voiceover. This branded “framing device” became as prominent an on-screen element as the footage itself, acting as a singular consistent visual thread that pulled all the footage together.

 

 

Resourcefulness and creativity were, and are, the keys to our collaboration with SHI. Given the conditions we were working under and what we could create, we were able to produce a story that communicated who the company was and the people behind the brand. Check it out above!

If you find yourself with a legacy library of video footage, there are always ways to refocus, repurpose and repackage it so that it can deliver new ideas and new messaging! It’s all about making everything old feel new again!

For more info or help with your next production, reach out to info@mk3creative.com.

MK3 Tips: Video Conferencing

No matter how long social and professional norms remain in flux, there are a few new conventions we may continue to enjoy long after distancing becomes a distant memory. Video conferencing has proven itself a great way to work virtually and keep people connected. But just because you’re on video doesn’t mean you shouldn’t remain “on guard,” in both how you conduct and present yourself. So here are a few tips to help maintain your professionalism in our new video conferencing world.

Dress Inside the Box

If you’re working from home, it’s okay to be a bit more casual than usual, but looking professional still matters, even if it’s just within your small video frame! You’re usually just a head and shoulders in a box, so dress for success above the belt – and whatever you wear beyond that is up to you!

Location, Location, Location

Before hopping on your call, consider your background. A bookshelf or neat office/living area behind you creates a more professional look. A “lived in” bedroom or kitchen, not so much! Use as much depth behind you as possible so you’re not flattening yourself up against a wall. Make sure your area is well lit, and try to avoid glares on your face. Though natural light is best, never position yourself with windows behind you because you’ll end up backlit and in the dark. Let that sunlight shine on your face instead!

The Eyes Have It

Video conferencing focuses on your face more than any other in-person interaction, so body language, eye contact and facial expressions are everything. There are often more distractions at home than in the office, making overall attentiveness crucial. Avoid eating, playing with your hair or face, looking away or moving around too much, as this can be distracting and indicate that you’re not paying attention.

Things Are Looking Up

Focus on your posture and eye line. After looking down at your computer all day, it’s easy to find yourself slouching…so when it comes time for an important video conference, look up! Position your computer as best you can at eye level – find a box, a stack of books or something stable to raise it up. This gives you a more “eye to eye”  appearance on camera and reinforces better posture and overall positioning. Maintaining a strong posture creates a more professional look and is scientifically proven to give you a confidence boost!

Check your Tech

Video conferencing requires you to be a little more tech savvy…so check your tech in advance! Avoid last minute scrambles by familiarizing yourself with the video platform – ensure it is up to date, take a test drive, and check your connection to make sure it’s strong. Even with strong wifi, the video can still lag, so make sure you speak slowly and enunciate. Speaking too fast or slurring your words can cause people to miss what you’re saying. Take a breath, take it slow, and take on the world!

While these tips are geared towards your company’s internal and external video conferences, they’re also applicable for remote video shoots and virtual event participation! For more info on this, or anything video or virtual, reach out to info@mk3creative.com!

A Conversation with Bryan Fusco

We’re all acting and reacting to our changing landscape on a daily basis, but MK3 made a big change that pre-dates the pandemic. Meet Bryan Fusco, a production jack-of-all-trades dedicated to the details! He’s worked on feature films, including “Knives Out” and “Little Women,” so that makes him “kind of a big deal.” Check out this conversation with MK3’s new video editor and cinematographer and learn more about what makes him tick!

How has the shift to work-from-home impacted you?

B: It was definitely an odd time to start at MK3. I joined about a week and a half before the pandemic hit, so I was really just getting to know everyone and getting to know the space. I went from having a nice week and a great editing suite at MK3, to working in my bedroom at home!

What were you doing before MK3?

B: Before I joined MK3, I was working on union films, shooting in the Greater Boston area. I worked on “Knives Out,” “Little Women” and a film called “Coda.” The most important thing I learned working on larger film sets was not only how to do things efficiently and correctly, but how to do things safely. And that’s definitely something I’m looking forward to bringing to the table here at MK3 once we start shooting on location again.

What are you looking forward to at MK3?

B: The thing I’m looking forward to the most is working on the wide variety of projects that MK3 is known for and that we know we have coming up again. I know I’ll continue to learn something new and add something to my skill set with each new project I work on. I was really looking to join a close knit team of creatives, and I think I found that with MK3.

We’re looking forward to seeing more of what Bryan can do and sharing it with our clients! For more info about what the MK3 team can do for you, reach out to info@mk3creative.com.

MK3 Tips: Remote Directing

Now that distance is de rigueur, many people are generating their own video content from the safety of their own homes or offices. Adding a professional remote director to the mix is a great way to ensure a DIY production turns out A-OK!  But remote directors don’t have to reinvent the wheel; it involves the same skills as traditional video directing, with just a few extra steps. Here are some tips from the pros that will help make your remote-directed video production a success.

Pre-production is Key

The most important part of any successful video shoot is the pre-production process. For traditional in-person interview shoots, directors work with the client in advance to help shape the story, survey the site, and craft interview questions and answers. Remote directing requires the same approach but adds an extra layer: pre-rehearsal. It’s important to schedule a video call to walk the talent through the technology that will be used, and while you’re at it, you can direct a remote site survey to find the best recording location in the space available. Plan for success and success will follow!

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

When remote directing, whether using a webcam or “video-in-a-box” equipment, rehearsals are more important than ever. On the day of the shoot, help your talent set up the shot, paying careful attention to background, lighting and framing. Once you have the shot, direct their performance as they practice delivering the content to-camera. Even with screen sharing technology, it’s hard to tell what your video will look and sound like in full resolution, so have your talent send you a test recording to make sure your video will be high quality.

Reset Your Mindset

Once everything has been set up and is ready to record – stop, and take a 10-15 minute break! When directing remotely, so much of the emphasis is on logistics and technology that you don’t want to lose sight of the aesthetics. Find a balance by resetting your mindset before beginning the shoot, so you and your talent can focus on the content and its delivery rather than worrying about the technology. It’s amazing the difference a mental break can make.

Overall, communication is key, and the fastest route to a successful production is communicating with your team and talent. And remember…just because you’re directing remotely doesn’t mean abandoning your in-person techniques!

Want more info or help directing your next production? Reach out to info@mk3creative.com to learn more about what MK3 can do for you!