The Process of Audio Post Production for Film

May 3rd, 2017

When making a movie, whether it’s a big budget picture or a small independent film, audio production is to a film like ambience is to a room. A sound track is one of the most important aspects to making a great movie. The post production phase is often thought of in terms of video editing and computer graphics alone.  Shaping the audio to match what is happening on the screen is critical to making the full experience work. Post production of audio (or audio post as it is referred to in the film industry) includes ADR (automatic dialogue replacement) or “dubbing”, sound effects, mixing and mastering, and music. The film’s sound track must be genuine and carefully crafted to support the film and to enhance the overall experience.

Automatic dialogue replacement (ADR) is the process of replacing dialogue that was recorded while filming each scene. During the filming, it is often difficult to get clean, balanced dialogue recorded due to movement and background noises. Recording new dialogue in a studio gives the sound engineers higher quality audio and more control on how the dialogue will sound in the final product. Studios will have a special vocal recording room set up with both a screen to play back scenes from the movie, headphones for the actor or actress to hear what dialogue was recorded, and a high-quality microphone to record the new and better quality dialogue.

The actor or actress will typically watch and listen to the scene a few times to get a sense of pacing and tone for the dialogue. They will then recite the dialogue with the scene as it visually plays back, trying to closely match their original performance. Multiple takes are often done so the sound engineer has more to pick from in the final stages. Studios also often have plugins that can warp the audio to more closely match the original so that the new dialogue matches what we see on screen. In many movies, almost all the dialogue is replaced during the post production phase to make sure that every line is clean and clear. Though it takes time, it ensures that the final audio is free of any extraneous noise and other sound issues.

Sound effects, also referred to as ‘Foley’, are added to match events and actions on screen as well as enhance the overall experience. Explosions, lasers, gun shots, and cars are often the first things we think about when it comes to sound effects because they are loud and present in the movie. But a good sound engineer also pays attention to the subtle sounds too. Because ADR is often implemented, the original audio from the filming set with all the background sound is scrapped. Sounds like doors shutting, keys jingling, and even footsteps must be added during the post production phase to make a scene more genuine and authentic. While these seem like small details that go unnoticed, they can be glaringly apparent when missing from a movie.

The process of adding these sounds can often be one of the most creative parts of audio post-production. Some sounds are recorded out in the field and then shaped in the studio to match the scene. Others are done in the studio in a process similar to recording ADR. The in-studio recording is done in a room where the engineers can watch the scenes of the movie that need Foley (sound effects) added. The engineers will have various objects in the room to make the sounds and will ‘play’ the objects along with the scene. Some sounds can be made by recreating the same action, while some creative methods can be used to create others.

One famous sound often thought of when discussing Foley is the Star Wars blaster, which was created by striking a high-tension wire with a hammer. Many of the sounds created in audio post production then go through a lot of effects processing so they more closely match the action on screen.

Once all the necessary dialogue and Foley has been recorded, the sound engineers must mix everything together so it sounds balanced and crisp. Dialogue is often compressed and equalized so it sounds natural and consistent. Reverb will often be added so that the voice matches the location in the movie. Though these may seem like subtle changes, they can drastically affect the viewing experience. If the setting and sound do not match, viewers can immediately tell that something is off. If the scene takes place in a small room, but we hear reverb consistent with a large cathedral hall, the sound will feel disconnected from the picture. Foley is often mixed at lower volume levels than the dialogue so it sounds organic and doesn’t overpower the rest of the sound.

The audio must also match current standards set in the film industry. 5.1 surround sound mixes are done differently than stereo, with the dialogue typically being the only sound on the center channel. Both mixes are often prepared for large releases. Standards for the level of film sound have also been set by various organizations, with the International Telecommunications Union having one of the more global standards set. Loudness meters have to be employed during the final mixing phase to make sure the movie meets these standards.

Primeau Productions has experience with audio post production in the film and television commercial arena. We understand that sound effects may need to be created and are experienced with the process.

Budgets for audio post production should be set in advance and strictly followed because too much time can be spent on this aspect of the post production process. Give our studios a call to discuss how we can help you design an award winning audio track.

How to Generate Leads by Creating Video Content for YouTube

April 24th, 2017

 

This post is about the content creation process for producing effective video content for YouTube. The result of which is more visibility and eventually more customers.

Regardless of your business model, there is always room for more customers. Marketing is one way to earn the attention of potential customers. Marketing is not a part time activity and needs to remain constant for any business. Creating professional, informative and entertaining video content is a very effective marketing technique. You have probably heard the saying ‘content is king’?

After producing thousands of video productions, Primeau Productions knows firsthand how to successfully create content for YouTube. YouTube video content is necessary to compete in today’s marketplace because your prospects and customers turn to YouTube for solutions. After all, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world!

One of the activities at Primeau Productions is that we help our customers design, identify, develop and execute a video production strategy that will earn them more prospects and eventually customers. We are a one stop shop for businesses that want help harnessing the power of video on YouTube.

To further exemplify the power of video on YouTube, we have a firsthand success story. A friend and client of Primeau Productions, Chip Eichelberger, recorded 30 two to three minute videos at Primeau Productions studios in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He used previously written blog posts as the starting point for the video scripts. We helped him re-work the scripts into short powerful messages for video.

We loaded the scripts into our teleprompter and completed the video recording process in a day and a half. We used two cameras to record, which helped streamline the editing process. Plus, that second camera gave us another shot to help the video’s energy. Statistics from Tubemogul reveal ‘your video may be 2 minutes in length, but made up of 8 different shots averaging 15 seconds each. I would recommend experimenting with different shot lengths to help keep your audience interested’.

We helped direct Chip’s delivery style by coaching him during the video recording process. We told him when to stop and when to try another take. Having a director and producer present during the video recording process is very important. We make sure you look good, tell you if you flubbed a word or made a mistake and help you with pacing and articulation.

Once we identify the keeper takes, we load all digital video recordings into the editing computer. We perform any color correction or visual treatments as necessary. Primeau Productions licenses images, designs and executes motion graphics, adds music (music is like ambience). Those components, as well as Chip on camera, are design components. These components keep the video moving and the viewer engaged more effectively as opposed to having Chip on camera the whole time. This production value makes the videos more captivating. When your videos are captivating viewers will share them on social media more often. This is how you build your audience.

Here are three of our favorite YouTube marketing videos Primeau Productions produced for Chip Eichelberger. The video titled ‘How to Travel Smart: Healthy Travel Tips’ earned Chip a direct booking (sale) within 6 months after posting it.

  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4KSKtymZWM&t=14s
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGpm_Ib1eX0
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-MoWz8sEQM

The real interesting thing is that these three videos are not directly related to Chip’s speaking topics. However, since his brand is ‘Get Switched On’ these videos fit well under that umbrella. When viewing these videos, you will see the motion graphics and images we added, as well as music that elevates the overall look and feel of the videos.

We post produced one video each month instead of post producing all 30 at once. These videos were then uploaded to YouTube and optimized with the proper title and description, as well as key words.  Chip embedded each video into his email newsletter (outbound email marketing). He also enjoyed the benefits of inbound marketing from YouTube from people looking for solutions.

One speaking engagement more than paid for the cost of everything; video recording and post production included.

We have scientific data from YouTube analytics that show good numbers on impressions, views and comments posted. Can you do this?

Here are some of the reasons these videos did well and generated leads.

  1. The content was good and had eye appeal. Creating a video of you in your office on your tablet or laptop is mediocre and lacks sizzle. Create your message using content of interest and be creative.
  2. The videos were professionally produced. I know you probably have a desk top video publishing system but professionals have experience with creativity and success. In Chip’s case, adding the stinger up front, along with music and stock images, raised the bar and communicated perceived value.
  3. They were titled according to research performed. The descriptions were used to develop credibility with the search engines.
  4. The videos were properly posted and shared. Once the content is created, your team and followers need to be notified. If you share and nobody else shares, then the content is not as good as you think it is.

Think of ways that you can use previously published content of interest in professionally produced videos positioned on YouTube. All businesses have the ability to use content and expertise in a way that gets audiences’ attention and motivates them to view and share. If you believe you have content that can be presented or positioned in a YouTube video campaign, give us a call to discuss the process from concept to completion, as well as help you identify your content worthy of transforming into video.

Where is the Audience?

July 8th, 2016

One of the biggest problems professional speakers face when being video recorded is capturing the reaction of the audience. Audience reaction, like laughter and applause, is important to video footage that will be used in a demo video because it helps the viewer gauge the success of the presentation. When a prospect meeting planner hears the laughter and applause in a demo video, it adds energy and is much more convincing than a video with a low volume reaction.

Being able to hear the audience reaction is very important for marketing purposes, as many clients who allow filming keynote presentations insist on keeping the audience faces out of the video. Some companies have a policy in place to avoid potential grievances. There is a solution!

In recent months, the pricing of digital audio recorders has gone down and the quality has gone up. This observation gave me an idea. Use a portable digital audio recorder to capture the sound of the audience. This Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder sells for about $80.00 and records in stereo.

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Below, this Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder is also a great recorder and sells for about $100.00.

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My recommendation is to place this recorder on the front of the stage or in the audience and record your keynote presentation. Because the recorder is very close to the audience, it will predominately pick up the sounds of the audience reaction. It will also record your keynote presentation from the PA speakers allowing us to sync both recordings and mix the audience audio. The goal is to layer this recording onto your video recording to have an enhanced audio track. The volume can be adjusted according to your preferences.

Plus, once you own the recorder, you can use it to create audio product as both of these recorders have external microphone jacks. Purchase an additional lavalier microphone and place the recorder in your pocket when you speak to record your presentation.

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Competition is heating up in the speaking industry and prospects have expectations of quality when deciding on the professional speaker for their next event. Production companies do not always place audience microphones when recording video. Using a digital audio recorder as a backup will assure that you get a good recording of the audience reaction to help raise the overall quality of your video recording.

 

Seven Ways to Know if Video is Right for your Business

May 5th, 2016

handycam-1540095 (1)At Primeau Productions, we often see businesses that operate conservatively and survive. Then there are the businesses that take a chance. They believe in what they do and make the financial effort to market themselves. These companies succeed far greater than those that are afraid to break out of their safe routines.

Investing in professional video produced by a company that has decades of experience is key when embarking on a new avenue to put your company ‘out there’ in the world. When you evaluate the cost of creating a welcome video, explainer video or sizzle reel for your business website, consider this: How much business do you need to generate in order to gain a return on that investment?

We speak to prospects for professional video regularly. Some say that professional video is too expensive. Others shop around for less than professional production which is lower in cost but also low quality.

So, how do you know if a professionally produced video is right for your business? If you answer yes to any of the following questions then you should call us to discuss producing professional video content for your website:

  1. Do any of your competitors have video on their website?
  2. Are you losing business to your competition?
  3. Could you use more business in general?
  4. Would you like your company to speak to prospects 24|7?
  5. Would video help explain the benefits of doing business with you?
  6. If you sell services, could the benefits of using your business be clearer to your prospects with a professionally produced video?
  7. If your video sells products, would video demonstrate your products better than pictures?

Businesses whose websites have professionally produced video enjoy an increase in traffic, inbound calls and higher conversion rates than websites without video. Video shows up in search results and is clicked on more often than just standard search results. Weigh the advantages of having professionally produced video on your website and determine if video is the right investment for your business.

Here are samples of three videos that were created and produced by Primeau Productions. Call 800-647-4281 to speak with a live person who will help answer your questions. Or email us at Primeau@PrimeauProductions.com.

Three Lessons Primeau Productions Learned from Professional Speaker Jolene Brown

March 11th, 2016

Jolene BrownJolene Brown is a professional speaker with a passion for the agriculture industry and family-owned business. With her sense of humor and big heart she leaves her audiences wanting more.

In December of 2015, Primeau Productions had the pleasure of filming professional speaker Jolene Brown in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Our goal was to record footage over a three day period for her new professional speaker demo video we are producing.

She delivered the opening keynote speech, award banquet speech and a three hour seminar, all customized for her audience, over a three day period.

During our time together Jolene taught us three unforgettable lessons. If you are looking to improve as a professional speaker and grow your business in 2016, read on.

Lesson One

Chose a niche and market sector and go deep with your marketing! Some professional speakers try to be everything to everyone which does not work. When you sharpen your pencil and laser focus on a market sector or industry, you become the celebrity. Being a celebrity to your market sector will get you not only word of mouth referrals, but also a consulting business and product sales in addition to your speaking fee. Think about how additional income through consulting and product sales will increase your bottom line and be a foundation for your exit strategy.

Lesson Two

Be darn good on the platform; educate as well as entertain. There are lessons all audiences need to hear. Delivering serious information from the platform must be broken up and seasoned with entertainment like humor and stories. Jolene has mastered this formula. What can you do in your presentations to add entertainment value?

Lesson Three

Walk the exhibit floor and thank the sponsors. Chances are that their collective monies are why the association or organization had the budget to bring you in to speak. Plus, it is great karma to meet these folks and thank them for their support. They are rarely appreciated by anyone, let alone a celebrity.

In order to be on the top of the charts for your market sector, it is important to think about new ways you can add value to your presentations. Then, make sure that value comes across in all of your marketing efforts.

The Importance of Audio for Video Production

September 1st, 2015

audio-mixer-console-1315787We’ve discussed how important professional video quality can be when creating a video that represents your company. It often determines a possible client’s first impression of your business. When you’re watching another company’s video, or even your own video, what are you paying attention to most? Probably the quality of the picture, how professional the talent looks and how the overall production is. People are much more visually inclined; it’s the sense we rely on the most. That being said, there are some other parts of professional videos we often take for granted.

The most overlooked? Good sound. When sound is good, it usually goes unnoticed because it matches what we expect to hear. But when the sound quality is bad, it is obvious. Not only is it distracting, but it cheapens the quality of what could have been a great promotional video. Also think about how you get your message across. You may look great on the screen, but you still need your words to get across what your company is about and why clients should hire you.

We’ve worked with some clients who knew their fair share about making videos, but didn’t think about recording really high quality audio. When they came to us with what they had shot, you could barely understand what they were saying! Even if the video quality looks pristine, people can’t get the full message without you explaining it. People often go by the old “fix it in post” standard. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that it only works if the original recording was done well enough in the first place.

The best way to get clear and high quality audio is by using a standalone microphone instead of the camera’s built in mic. The quality is almost guaranteed to be better, and you can move the mic around to find the best spot to pick up sound. Microphones are a lot more sensitive than a lot of people think. Even aiming some microphones in different directions can drastically change the amount of sound you are picking up. Usually having a microphone, like a lavalier mic, right on your person will pick up the most direct and clear sound.

Even with a good microphone, great sound isn’t guaranteed. As I mentioned above, microphones can be extremely sensitive to small level changes. While we might not think much of someone getting really loud and then really quiet while talking, that can usually be too much for a microphone to handle. Sudden loud sounds might cause distortion, while some very quiet sounds might not even be picked up. Speaking at a balanced and uniform level can be difficult, but the end result always sounds better.

Our sound perception also often makes us unaware of background noise. Imagine sitting in a room with an air conditioner on. After a little while, you don’t even notice it anymore. All of a sudden it turns off, and now the room seems extra quiet! This is because our brain and hearing adjust to our environment pretty quickly, but they do notice sudden changes. Unfortunately, microphones don’t act the same way. A microphone will pick up all that extra noise the whole time, and when you listen back it will be very obvious. It can be easy to overlook background noises because of our perception, which is why it is always important to check your audio before shooting a whole day’s worth of footage.

To sum it all up, audio is a crucial part of making a professional video. It can be tricky, but with the right equipment and the right knowledge, it can be done. At Primeau Productions, we always make our videos with a designated ‘sound guy’ to make sure that every time we get great video, we get great audio. If you need help getting your company’s videos to the next level, give us a call. We would be happy to help!

The Future of the Video Experience: Part IV – Holograms

April 22nd, 2015

11201436955_fa3cfbdcbb_bWe all remember that incredible night at Coachella 2012, when a holographic version of the late Tupac Shakur came on stage with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg like Princess Leia out of R2-D2. This technology is a staple in science fiction and future technological projections. However, we’re closer than we might think to holographic technology. Though this seems novel from the perspective of a movie buff, the technology could change the way we interact and communicate forever.

What is it?

Most of us know the mechanics of hologram technology from the movies and TV shows we see. The purpose of this technology is to 3D-project the figure of a person with accurate shape, size, and form in real-time. Think of R2-D2’s message from Leia in A New Hope. A transmission is sent from one location to another containing a message, or in some cases, broadcast in real time. Though this sounds like a load of science fiction, researchers are coming close to making this a reality.

What does it do?

The name of the game when it comes to hologram technology is “tele-immersion.” To put it simply, tele-immersion is a combination of the use of video and telephonic technology to create a full, real-time 3D transmission of a person’s figure and speech.

If you’ve ever used a service like Skype or FaceTime to communicate via video, you already know that there are delay issues, glitch outs, and restricted visibility overall. The goal of tele-immersion is to combine that technology with the real time factor of a telephone, along with real-time motion sensing, so that someone on a video call is never out of view, and the angle you stand at effects what you see on the other side.

As opposed to having a confined view from one angle dependent on the web-cam position, video calling would be more like looking through a physical window. When you look at someone through a window, as you move left and right and change your angle of perspective, you’re able to see other things in the room more clearly that would be out of sight if you were standing directly in front of it.

What could it do?

The biggest focus when it comes to holographic technology is it’s potential in video conferencing and video based communication. However, this isn’t just in the corporate world.

Here’s an example: let’s say you have a family member who lives far away or out of state, and though they want to come home for Thanksgiving to see their family, work restrictions around that date make it impossible for them to fly home. Instead of giving them a FaceTime call or phone call to greet them for the holiday, holographic technology would allow that family member (or, a 3D real-time representation of that family member) to sit at the table with you, communicate in real time, and interact with everyone with full immersion.

In the corporate world, this would excuse travelling expenses for employees. Once holographic technology is in the hands of the average consumer, an employee here in Rochester Hills, Michigan could interact with employees of that same corporation in a completely different continent. This could absolutely change the way we handle international business.

Where is it at in development?

As of now, there is a group of researchers known as the National Tele-Immersion Initiative, which works to bring this technology to its full potential. However, universities such as the University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Carolina are actively finding results in the world of tele-immersion. Though not enough progress has been made to make this a consumer-based product, research is being done on the topic of tele-immersion every day, so we might see our own holodecks sooner than we think.

Here’s one example of interactive hologram technology, courtesy of LM3Labs’ “AirStrike”.

photo credit: Eric Prydz @ Aragon, Chicago 11/29/2013 via photopin (license)

The Future of The Video Experience – Part III: 4k

April 15th, 2015

screenMany people strive for the best quality in their media. We see this in how people consume media today. Think back: When was the last time you paused or refreshed a video on YouTube because it wouldn’t stream at full 1080p? What about the last time you chose to buy a ticket to the IMAX showing of a movie instead of a regular theater because you “just had to see it in IMAX?” We like our video to be high quality, and as long as that’s the case,
we’ll always strive to increase the quality of our media.

With that said, there are people pushing the boundaries of how high they can truly go in regards to quality. This is where 4k technology comes into play. Though we’ve reached this next step in video quality, how long will this technology be relevant? What could it do to change the industry?

First, let’s get down to the basics about 4k.

What is it?

To put it simply, 4k is a higher video quality than that of 1080p. The entire purpose of 4k is to utilize more pixels to create a higher quality image. Higher pixel count means more detail, which, in turn, creates a more vivid and clear image for the viewer.

What does it do?

In a nutshell, 4k is just defined as more pixels. To understand this, you need a relative understanding of how modern televisions work.

A pixel, as we’ve covered in recent blog posts, is a square image of light and color that works with others to create a full picture. In the past, we have described a pixel as one of the small photos that make up a collage. All of the smaller pictures work together to forge a bigger image. Television works the same way, at a much higher and faster rate.

 

A 1080p display means that there it is 1080 rows of pixels tall, and 1920 columns of pixels wide. With 4k, you’re talking 4,000 pixels wide, and 2160 tall. Let’s go back to the collage analogy. The more pictures you use to create the bigger image, the higher quality the bigger image will turn out. The same applies to television. As opposed to 3,000 miniature pictures, you now have 6,160 images making up the bigger picture. That’s over double the pixels!

What could it do?

To say the least, 4k is around to stay.

If this technology sticks around, we can expect a major change in the way cinematography is approached in the future. Filmmakers are already shooting films in 4k. Many models of GoPros even have 4k capabilities. Even some cell phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, are able to achieve 4k quality!

4k and higher technologies could change the way we approach cinematography. As more pixels result in a more lush and detailed image, and with our obsession with high quality media, it’s safe to say that 4k could easily become the new standard.

Where is it at in development?

4k is already commercially available. You can purchase a 4k TV at almost any electronics store or even online these days. You can even purchase cinema cameras now that go up to 5k and 6k, such as the Sony RED, but they come with a hefty price tag. Video quality technology will always be changing and developing, so who knows how high developers will go before we reach a new standard.

Example:

Below, you’ll find a comparison between footage taken in 4k compared to footage taken in full HD (or 1080p). Can you tell the difference?

Stay tuned for more from “The Future of the Video Experience,” right here at PrimeauProductions.com

The Future of the Video Experience – Part II – Virtual Reality

April 8th, 2015

3638850861_601332544eIn our second installment of “The Future of the Video Experience,” we’re taking on a piece of immersive media that, until recently, seemed revolutionarily strictly in the field of gaming. However, as this media has advanced, we’re learning how powerful this technology could really be for the world of video. That’s right; we’re talking about Virtual Reality.

Virtual Reality has been around for quite some time now, but its biggest advancements are just now coming to surface. From video games to communication to film, these headsets are slowly changing the way we consume multimedia.

What is it? What does it do?
Virtual Reality is by no means a new concept. Those of us who grew up in the early 90’s remember how badly we wanted Mr. Macintosh’s awesome Virtual Reality room from Disney’s “Blank Check.” However, back then, due to the infancy of the technology, you’d need that $1 million check (and a really ignorant banker) to secure a headset for yourself.

Virtual Reality headsets, such as the Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift, allow the real-time movements of the user to be interpreted by their headset and create a virtual world for users to explore. This is a gaming medium that needs no controllers, no console, and no spot on the couch.

We’ve seen plenty of examples of this technology throughout the past decade or two. However, the potential of what it could do in coming years is revolutionary.

What could it do?
Many applications have been tested and executed with Virtual Reality, from gaming, to training aids, and now, even to news. In fact, Nonny de la Peña, also known as the “Godmother of Virtual Reality,” has been working and overseeing the construction of what she calls “Immersive Journalism.” The idea is that, when you consume news from conventional television news outlets, watching the events as they play out through the screen allows you to look at stories from a secondary perspective, which sometimes can make the important humanitarian issues miss with viewers. The purpose of Immersive Journalism is to allow viewers to experience a simulated version of what these stories mean for those they affect.

For example, Peña’s latest project, “Project Syria,” is an exposition of the ongoing disputes over in Syria. The project was unveiled at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, where viewers could put on the Virtual Reality headset and were able to see, hear, and experience these disputes first hand, from a simulated environment replicating the streets of Syria. It was critically well received, and the project really looks to create an experiential impact on viewers.

However, news stations aren’t the only ones who benefit from immersive experiences. Even companies like Disney are looking into the possibility of Virtual Reality. Disney is allegedly looking to create virtual reality simulations of their parks, allowing users to put on their Oculus Rift and experience Epcot, Space Mountain, and all of their other favorites, without having to find plane tickets to Florida to do so.

Where is it at in development?
As described before, Virtual Reality has come a long way. However, these headsets are still a fairly new technology as far as commercial development is concerned, so there’s no telling when we will see a public release of the consumer equivalent. However, as it’s already done, the Virtual Reality headset is a game-changer for interactive media content and immersive media experiences.

You can learn more about Project Syria and Immersive Journalism here:

Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for Part III of our “Future of the Video Experience” series, right here at PrimeauProductions.com.

photo credit: 3D via photopin (license)

The Future of the Video Experience – Part I: Drones

March 18th, 2015

14012085485_239fe5c66aIn 2014, Primeau Productions published “The Video Experience,” a blog series about how video creates an ‘experience’ for viewers with their content. However, with the technological renaissance of the last decade, we have been asked the question, “What does the future have in store for video and the video experience?” In this series of blog posts, we’ll be discussing newer technologies, their functionality, and what these advancements will do to harness the way we experience video.

In this first installment, we’ll be covering a technology that is growing in popularity every day: Drones.

What are they? What do they do?

Otherwise known as “Quadra-copters,” drones are similar to that of a remote controlled (RC) Helicopter. A drone has propellers, a remote control, and is operated just like other RC Helicopters. The biggest difference lies in its capabilities.

Essentially, drones have successfully taken the concept of an RC Helicopter and applied it to filmmaking and cinematography. Some drones have built in high quality cameras, and the ones that don’t have the ability to incorporate Go-Pros, mobile video devices, and, in some cases, even HDSLR cameras. Some drones can even be controlled from a smartphone!

Drone technology has been growing exponentially over the past few years. Now that Quadra-copters and the like are commercially available, filmmakers are finding new ways to utilize the technology every day.

The first time we were introduced to drone technology at Primeau Productions was when CNN paid us a visit during the 50th Anniversary of The Assassination of John F Kennedy. The camera operator, Mark Biello, a veteran camera operator from CNN, whose resume spans from Hurricane Katrina to the Middle East, showed us some footage of the new Quadra-copter drones they’d just received. The test footage showed the drone starting in a field in Washington, D.C. and propelling itself so high that you could see the top of the Washington Monument (that’s 555’!). 5 years ago, you’d need a helicopter to capture a shot like that. However, this technology is changing what is possible every day very affordably so more users can incorporate this high value experience into their video productions.

What could it do?

Drones are changing video technology in many ways. Not only is this due to a drone’s capability in height, but also their capabilities in stability. Drone technology is also allowing users to create cool ‘indoor moving shots’ that, before, could only be accomplished with a crane. This, alone, allows users to capture shots that a slider or steady-cam just can’t replicate. More importantly, drones are expanding the video experience for the better.

There are some models of Quadra-copters that are capable of holding HDSLR cameras, and even Sony RED cameras. These little copters are changing the horizon of video production, making high value video shots easier and more affordable.

 Where are they in development?

These bad boys are already commercially available. However, there has been some recent controversy over regulating these machines. As of now, it’s illegal to fly over 400 feet, along with flying over major highways, understandably. Due to the fact that drone technology is still so new, this is only the beginning of regulations regarding their use.

However, while the drone is consistently facing new regulations, the film community is heavily embracing it. Earlier this month, NYC had its first “Drone Film Festival,” a festival based solely on drone technology. Drone operators from all over the world had the opportunity to share their work from experimenting with drones. This included Taylor Chien, the drone operator responsible for the famous “Superman with a Go-Pro” video, which you can view below.

Though we can’t confirm what the future holds regarding regulations on these devices, we can assume that filmmakers will continue to find new, inventive ways to operate and utilize this sophisticated piece of equipment. The sky is (literally) the limit!

Check out what drone technology is capable of in the short film, “Superman with a Go-Pro,” embedded below. Also keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of our “Future of The Video Experience” series right here at PrimeauProductions.com.

 

photo credit: Farming via photopin (license)

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