Basic info

What is 4K video to the client and do you need it?

This is a common question these days, well actually not so common in 2016! Basically, its is needed and not for the fact that consumers do not have exposure to $k content but more for the "content producers. The benefits of 4K are certainly on the positive side but there is a down side and mainly, cost, cameras and more importantly, drive space, as HD video is around 50mb and in the upper levels of 4K, 6K and so on, those figures dramatically rise, in fact, 4K starts from around 400mb, so when you do the maths and there are many equations and formulas, codecs etc to choose from, the hard drive space and computer power needed to push these moving images, well, you can see now why production costs go up and up..!Not to mention the fact and very important fact, once a 4K project is placed into a HD timeline in the edit suite, it can give you up to a 4 x crop  on the image and still look super sharp, big sports networks in the USA now employ "croppers" to find footage on the field and have the ability to zoom in with out picture quality loss!  

Does YouTube & Vimeo have the ability play 4K content?

The short answer is yes! both of those platforms allow for 4k playback but the down side of that is the network speed to play it, how fast is the speed you need...? how long is a piece of string, the fact of the matter is that regardless of the number of pixels, in this case, 4K ( or ultra HD) it is still somewhat compressed but the quality is very noticeable and you have to see it for yourself to see how impressive it is. Going on current internet in Australia, you should have at least 15 - 20 mbps ( 20 mega bits per second) to enable you smooth playback and having said that, most cable or if your lucky enough to have NBN Fibre optic, you can expect 5 to 7 times that speed. The beauty of shooting in 4K as such, is that you are future proofing yourself and also if the original is extremely high in resolution, then when it is scaled down to HD, it will look amazing and if nothing else, finally with all the consumer 4K TV's being sold in this country and with only Netflix, whom have 4K content, again, only if interest speeds and suffice, the next big thing will be the introduction of Ultra HD DVD's, yes, thats right, 4K blu-ray, finally, full surround sound in superb picture quality...stay tuned for that one :)

Prepare yourselves, HDR is about to launch...?

As 4K continues to increase in popularity, 2016 is sure to be the year when the next big thing in display tech, HDR, takes off. But what is HDR and why should you care about it? Here’s everything you need to know. As companies make more affordable 4K TVs and Ultra HD continues to rise in popularity, the next stage in high-resolution viewing is truly here. But, as with all technology, the next big thing is never far away, and if there’s one TV feature that’s going to define 2016 it’s HDR. HDR, or High Dynamic range, was the talk of CES 2016, with every major TV manufacturer unveiling new HDR-compatible TVs. But what exactly is HDR? Some may be familiar with the term in relation to photography, but how does it pertain to TV screens? Allow us to explain as we take a closer look at the big TV tech of 2016.
  WHAT IS HDR? In a nutshell, it’s the ability to display a wider and richer range of colours, much brighter whites, and much deeper, darker blacks. This gives the TV picture a more ‘dynamic’ look, which is where the name comes from. HDR content preserves details in the darkest and brightest areas of a picture that are lost using current standards. It also allows for more natural, true-to-life colours that are closer to how we see them in real life. Contrast and colour are therefore the two main things to keep in mind when thinking about HDR. We’ll take a closer look at both, but first it would pay to go over the newly announced Ultra HD Premium label.     SO SHOULD I BUY AN HDR TV OR NOT? Now that there’s an official HDR standard, in the form of Ultra HD Premium, the danger of buying a rubbish TV claiming to be HDR compatible has been minimised. If you buy a Ultra HD Premium TV you’ll know you’re getting a TV capable of meeting the HDR standards set by the UHD Alliance. It’s still worth doing some research on the product before you buy, just to ensure you’re getting the specs you need for a true HDR experience. That said, now is a better time to invest in HDR than ever. Although 4K has been the big thing thus far, the combination of the relative ease with which HDR content can be produced (versus data-heavy 4K) and (because it’s less data intensive) distributed to consumers really seem to be exciting content producers in a way 4K struggled to do. Put simply, content creators have more reasons to produce HDR content than 4K, so buying an HDR TV this year is a smart move. Read more at http://www.trustedreviews.com/opinions/hdr-tv-high-dynamic-television-explained#xZplSOtf2qGPz2Gs.99    

Green Screen - Why, what and how!

Green with envy - Green Screen facts

Well, we’re here to tell you the secret. And the secret is: there are really superheroes and you just have to catch them in action! OK, not really, but the special effects professionals who work on movies are like superheroes, because they have invented some incredible ways to create special effects shots that will knock your socks off! You don’t have to watch a superhero movie to see special effects in action, though. All you need to do is turn on the news and watch the local weather forecast. Have you ever noticed how the meteorologist sometimes stands in front of a map with moving graphics? Those scenes are created in much the same way that those cool movie special effects are created.   The special effects created during weather forecasts and many, many television shows and movies utilize a special tool called a green screen. Why is it called a green screen? Mainly because it consists of a large screen that is green! The green screen is an integral part of the special effects process known formally as chromakey. Chromakey allows television producers and movie makers to use advanced technology to superimpose their subjects onto an unlimited number of different virtual backgrounds. Chromakeying, sometimes known as color keying, is the process of singling out a particular color in an electronic image and then using computer software to make that color transparent. This allows another image, which can be just about anything you can imagine, to show through. For example, when a meteorologist stands in front of a green screen, television producers use the chromakey special effects technique to isolate the particular shade of green used on the green screen. Computers with special advanced editing software then make that shade of green effectively disappear, allowing another image — such as the animated weather map — to show through instead! When a superhero movie is filmed, the actor portraying the superhero might be filmed in front of a green screen lying on his stomach with a huge fan blowing his hair and cape back behind him. Chromakeying can then replace that green background with a moving image of the night skyline behind the actor, making it appear as if he is flying through the sky. Some of you may be WONDERing if screens have to be green for chromakeying to work. The answer is no! Any color can be isolated and removed via chromakeying. In fact, many movie makers use blue screens. You could even use chromakey to remove red, purple, orange, yellow, or pink! So why is green such a popular color for screens? The answer to that question lies in the concept of contrast. The screen being used must be different from — contrast with — the actors being filmed. The shade of bright green often used for green screens happens to be a color that very few actors are likely to wear, so it’s easier to isolate and make transparent. If an actor happened to appear in similar green clothing against a green screen, chromakeying would make any such clothing disappear, too, leaving you with just a talking head! Of course, that might make a cool special effect of its own!

What to wear when shooting on a Green Screen set

How to dress for green screen shooting (Chroma-keying) and regular video When you film someone in front of a green screen, you can use chroma key to replace that shade of green with another image. You can then replace their background with whatever you like. It is best to avoid very dark or very light colors or multicolored clothing. Complicated patterns are not a good idea for any video, as they can create shimmering or flickering in the video. Neutral shades are good, as are pastel colors (as long as they are not variants of green!). One other problem is people wearing very powerful spectacles- they refract enough that you see the screen behind as they bow in the perspective of the head. It doesn’t present a problem for very high budget green screen processing, but on the lower budget shoots that don’t have access to high end keying software it can be difficult. Stripes are an absolute no-no, as they introduce a waving pattern/shimmer on the video. Shiny materials are not a good idea either. With HD video it is a little more flexible because of the higher resolution, but be careful because suits with fine zig-zag patterns, whilst OK when shown in HD, when scaled down to normal Standard Resolution, you will see a weaving shimmer. Because the screen is green and will be effectively removed from behind you in the video, if you wear green yourself, whatever part is green will also disappear! Therefore green is not allowed.� However this can be great for special effects such as missing limbs etc! All the normal video rules apply here too – no stripes, patterns etc. If you are any doubt it’s best to bring a spare outfit; something you really want to wear, and a plain fail-safe outfit. AVOID WEARING: Green if you are in front of a “green screen.” Your body will be invisible. The color of your backdrop.For example, if you are going to be a guest on Charlie Rose, don’t wear black. The black background will make you look like a floating head. Sometimes red. A red that is too bright may look over saturated and smudged on video. Bright white shirts (unless you are wearing it under a jacket). It’s too risky. The white might glow, making you look like you descended from heaven. Unless that’s the look you’re going for. Some patterns: You may need to reconsider a checked, thinly striped, or herring-boned top or tie. Sometimes video can’t accurately ”read” a pattern. Your clothes may look like they are vibrating, giving your audience a headache. If you want to come across as dynamic, look dynamic. Wear clothes that fit you well and add a bit of color so you pop off the screen! Jewelry: Who doesn’t love bling? Too much however causes a couple of issues. First being the audio, many of us have the tendency to move our bodies and hands when we talk. The dangling hoop bracelets, big earrings, chains anything loose and with a bit of weight can and will usually get picked up on the mics. When it comes to the bling, less is truly more, go with the basics, nice watch (not too shiny) wedding band, and if you are wearing a diamond that could finance a small townhouse, odds are you’re gonna have to remove it. Makeup: I don’t know how many times a female executive has said “can you come and do my makeup like this every morning for me?” to several of our makeup artists. It really is a treat ladies. So if you are ok to drive to the shoot sans makeup, then let the professionals take care of all the ‘imperfections’ that worry so many people. The key is to de-shine and enhance facial features while minimizing certain distracting ones. Let’s face it we all have our issues. For men, it’s usually the forehead and nose and if you have a bald spot or thinning hair a good makeup artist will take care of that for you. A good video production company will always have a touch-up kit on hand for those times when a makeup artist was not available or not in the budget. Hair: Speaking of hair, the idea is to tame that beast and keep it under control. Try to keep it flat as possible and avoid teasing or puffy styling. Besides, the 80’s are long gone, so keep it trimmed, neat and well groomed guys. That goes for beards and the mustaches too. You can confirm whether the makeup artist on set will be prepared for hair prior too, and a good video production team always has a little gel and hairspray, bobby pins and more to keep things under control on the day of. Rest: We cannot emphasize this enough. The day will be stressful as it is, so be ready to deal with it. Avoid the caffeine overdose and just be yourself, however if you are firing on 3 cylinders because of an all-night presentation you are going to pay and it will come across on camera. We have seen it several times where the person can’t focus on the hitting the lines correctly (even with a teleprompter) and that frustration builds. We usually stop the shoot let the person have a little ‘time-out’ and then try to resume things. Sleep is definitely your best friend the night before.If you are traveling, please plan to rest a few days in advance to adjust, especially IF YOU ARE THE MAIN REASON FOR THE VIDEO. What to expect from Video Production Crew: We respect your time and commitment to your video project. If there are too many people in the room who may not need to be there, we may ask you to leave the area for the "talent" who is or are the people on camera. Please do not be offended. While it may be fun to watch a video for your project, this is our work and we take what we do seriously.

Teleprompter's and the benefits

Teleprompter info and why they are used

A teleprompter is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Using a teleprompter is similar to using cue cards. The screen is in front of, and usually below, the lens of a professional video camera, and the words on the screen are reflected to the eyes of the presenter using a sheet of clear glass or a specially prepared beam splitter. Light from the performer passes through the front side of the glass into the lens, while a shroud surrounding the lens and the back side of the glass prevents unwanted light from entering the lens.
Because the speaker does not need to look down to consult written notes, he appears to have memorized the speech or to be speaking spontaneously, looking directly into the camera lens. Cue cards, on the other hand, are always placed away from the lens axis, making the speaker look at a point beside the camera, which leaves an impression of distraction.   360px-Teleprompter_schematic.svg  

Tricks to good "teleprompting"

So how do you use a teleprompter effectively when you’re giving a speech? Well, before I even give you tips, I want you to ask yourself a few questions. Why are you using a teleprompter? A lot of people use it for the wrong reasons. They think, ‘Hey, this will be easy. I don’t have to rehearse. I don’t have to remember what I’m going to say. I won’t have to worry about forgetting stuff.’ That’s not the reason to use a teleprompter. If you use a teleprompter effectively, it’ll actually take you more time to prepare than simply working from notes. So don’t let anyone talk you into using a teleprompter because it’s more controllable or it will save you time. That’s not the case. Here’s the big problem with the way most people use a teleprompter. Their following the teleprompter. They act like the teleprompter is in charge and that they aren’t in charge. So what happens? All of a sudden people start to sound the same. They talk at the same speed, the same volume, the same tone, and they don’t put pauses in. Can you see how you are about to fall asleep? Now I wasn’t reading from a teleprompter there but that’s how people sound. If you’re going to use a teleprompter, here are the big tips you have to keep in mind. Occasionally you speak louder. Occasionally softer. Sometimes you go a little faster, sometimes you go a little slower. And sometimes you need to pause. Doing those steps will make you sound conversational. You’ve got to do that and then you will be following, not the teleprompter, but the teleprompter will be following you. That’s what you want. That’s what you want. Finally, it’s not going to be easy to do unless you’re a newscaster and you do it for six hours a day. So if you want to use a teleprompter you need to rehearse on video again, and again, and again, to get used to it and build that comfort level with the script. Because it is kind of a strange alien thing, seeing this text through glass and a camera behind it. Now we all read from left to right. So if you’re going to use a teleprompter you are going to have to have eye movement. They key is you’ve got to keep moving your head. You’ve got to keep moving your face, moving your hands. The problem a lot of people have is all of a sudden, ‘Oh, I don’t want to miss a word.’ So they freeze their bodies so that the only thing moving are their eyeballs. If the rest of your body is moving, then your eye movements will not be as noticeable. It’s also why you need to be really familiar with the words in the script. That way, occasionally, you can look down and your eyes are not just riveted in the one spot. Make sure there’s a real reason for it. If you’re president of a country, a prime minister, a major finance minister, any words you say wrong could cause an international incident or destroy markets. But for most of us, if you’re a CEO, almost anyone else, our real challenge in life is not that one wrong word in a speech is going to cause a crisis. The biggest challenge for us is making sure that people can remember anything we say. So keep that in mind before you use the teleprompter.    

Questions for clients to think about!

Some questions l would ask a client!

Here are some initial questions that I’ll typically walk our clients through: Tell us about the video you want to create (briefly). Why do you want a video? Who is the audience? What is the intended action you want people to take? What is your budget for the project? What filming style are you looking for (animation, live action, 
interviews, etc.)? How long will each video be? What does success for this project look like? When do you want the video to be released? Where will the video initially be published? What is the marketing and distribution plan?

More questions and answers to understand from a clients P.O.V.. (Point of view)!

Q: What is pre-production? A: Pre-production is a term used to describe the time spent of preparing the production of a video before the shooting or editing days. Pre-production costs really depend on the amount of planning that is required for each video and can include booking venues and extra crew, arranging travel and accommodation or applying of permits and setting up an account. The production manager and producer carry out pre-production. Q: What is a production manager? A: A Production Manager (PM) is not only responsible for the smooth operation of every video we make and to ensure that the project doesn’t run over budget. There are many facets to consider when making a video; insurances, parking, permits, crew meals, overtime payments, post production scheduling…just to name a few. Without a PM on the job, the production can become chaotic and delays can occur. The PM coordinates directly with the producer. Q: What does a producer do? A: This is the age-old question in production; what does a producer do? A producer is part creative manager, part project manager. The creative component is to translate the client’s ideas into video content by coming up with visual ideas. These ideas can be different ways to convey key messaging, such as graphics and text. The producer also manages the continuity of the entire project and oversees that the entire project is on deadline from start to finish. Q: There are a few items on the quote like a sound recordist and camera assistant. Why do we need these? A: Yes. Sound is a vital component of video production.  The Camera assistants are also vital as they bring more hands to the production. For a shoot to go as quickly as smoothly possible it requires a team that can assist each other. Reducing the numbers tends to delay shoots which end up costing more. Q: I have gone out to market and sourced 3 quotes for video production, why are the prices so different? A: There are many production companies in Melbourne that can deliver the same quality video product. We can’t speak for our competition and why their prices so high, but we do know that they do charge clients for unnecessary items, hours and staff. Some charge for foley (a man in a room banging pots for sound effects). Some charge per location rather than per days shooting and some bring a cast of thousands when only a few are required. Some even charge for liaising with the client! At POV Media we can keep our prices low as we use professional contractors rather than a large amount of full time staff. This means we can expand and contract our team depending on the budget. We also like to use multi-skilled workers to keep our pricing down and pass on the savings to you. Q: Why do you need to have sign-off stages and why do you charge if changes are made after delivery? A: POV Media quotes the delivery of content in 3 stages: 1st, 2nd and final drafts. The 1st draft is a rough cut which is an outline of the narrative order of the video as well as music and some basic graphics. Think of this as the ‘order’ video. The client is encouraged to make as many changes to the 1st draft as they like. Once these changes are made, we edit the 2nd draft; the client is encouraged to approve the instructions from the changes they have made and can make more changes if required. Think of the 2nd draft as the ‘base’. Once these are approved, we go into final draft. This stage takes the longest period of time to produce as we master the content for final broadcast. Mastering includes sound and video mastering as well as graphics and titles. The final is just that; the final. We can accommodate minor changes, but any major revisions are required to go back to 2nd draft stage and repeat the process.

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