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After We Shoot … We KEEP Editing

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

After We Shoot … We KEEP Editing

Hello everyone … John Secondi here with a continuation of an earlier “Groovy Blog”.

Video production is comprised of many different steps including one of the most important, video editing.

Here are a few more of the most popular types of edits you should consider using:

Cross Cuts

This technique, also known as parallel editing, features cuts between two different scenes happening concurrently in two different spaces. This allows you to tell two simultaneous stories at the same time keeping the attention of the audience throughout.

Montages

This is a somewhat older and slightly outdated technique. By using rapid cuts you can convey the passing which aids in the narrative. Think about the standoff with Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly often parodied on television. This type of cutting adds some dramatic tension to the production.

Match Cuts

This technique is used to match the movement of two opposite scene environments. To move the narrative along, you try to connect these scenes together in a seamless fashion like was done in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The “Dawn of Man scene” was cut together with the “Space Station scene” very quickly and with continuity. This type of editing involves significant preplanning in the storyboard phase of the video production.

When you need a helping hand with your video production and editing here in Toronto, give Groovy Concepts a call. We have the experience to do it right.

We. Are. Video Production. Toronto.

#groovyconcepts #videoproductiontoronto

Bigger is Not Always Better

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

Bigger is Not Always Better

Happy Thursday everyone … John Secondi here with another Groovy Post.

When it comes to best possible quality with your video production, bigger is not always better. But, what does this actually mean?

Most video cameras are now using digital video with compression to capture the “images” you are videotaping, however the term “videotaping” is now a little out of date. Back in the early days of video production, analog video tapes were the way to go but these days most all the work is done using digital formats with CCD capture devices inside the video cameras.

Similar to how a motion picture or cinema film camera work to capture 24 frames per second ( using sprockets and gears with a timed shutter ), digital video works in a similar way however the images are captured approximately 30 times per second and compressed as digitized ones and zeroes on your video capture cards inside the camera.

There are many different types of video compression available to support a wide array of needs from lower end amateur recording through to professional video production requirements. Video compression was initially designed to allow these large digital files to be transferred more easily over the internet. With the increased bandwidth and internet speeds of the modern world, worrying about using the proper digital compression is fast becoming obsolete.

What are some of the most common compression formats and why would you use them?

Motion JPEG

Motion JPEG or M-JPEG is a digital video sequence that is made up of a series of individual JPEG images. Using “persistence of vision” theory, when 16+ images per second are shown, the viewer will perceive it as motion. Full motion video requires 30 (NTSC) or 25 (PAL) frames per second. Motion JPEG is the unlicensed standard having the broadest compatibility.

MPEG-4

MPEG-4 supports low-bandwidth applications, high-quality images, no limitations in frame rate and greater bandwidth.

H.264

H.264 is the latest MPEG standard for video encoding. Using H.264 encoding can reduce the size of a digital video file by more than 80 percent. H.264 is expected to be more widely adopted than previous standards due to using 30/25 frames per second, reduced bandwidths delivering the most cost effective solutions possible.

When you need a helping hand with your video production and editing here in Toronto, give Groovy Concepts a call. We have the experience to do it right.

We. Are. Video Production. Toronto.

#groovyconcepts #videoproductiontoronto

After We Shoot … We Edit

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

After We Shoot … We Edit.

Hello everyone … John Secondi here with another “Groovy Blog”.

Video production is comprised of many different steps including one of the most important, video editing. With some minimal experience and training with video editing software, you can make your video come to life in the editing stage. But, what are some of the key techniques you may want to use with your video production projects?

Here are a few of the most popular types of edits you should consider using:

Standard Hard Cuts

This is the basic type of cut in editing. You would use this when cutting between clips without any transitions. This type of editing gives the least amount of visual impact or flow but can be used for “rapid cutting” to give a sense of “action” or “dramatic effect”.

Jump Cuts

This technique is similar in “style” to a standard hard cut however the edit usually jumps the scene “forward in time” to indicate or infer the passage of time.

L Cuts and J Cuts

The L Cut is often used by documentary filmmakers and commercial videographers. You hear the audio from the previous shot whilst the next shot starts to play. This technique helps to keep your video flowing in a more natural way. A J Cut is is basically the reverse of the L Cut technique as the audio from the next clip starts playing before the video from the previous clip fades out.

Cutting on the Action

When you use this type of editing, you generally cut the scenes from one moving sequence to another. When you keep the direction of movement consistent (i.e. left to right) you suggest continuity of the story and doing the opposite can add some very creative juxtaposition or drama whilst editing (i.e. – left to right followed immediately by right to left).

Cutaways

Using Cutaways takes the audience’s attention away from the action and are used to provide a view of what is happening outside of the main scene. You can emphasize the details in the scene giving added meaning to them. This is a great way to add some drama to your videos.

There are many additional editing techniques to consider … more on that next time!

When you need a helping hand with your video production and editing here in Toronto, give Groovy Concepts a call. We have the experience to do it right.

We. Are. Video Production. Toronto.

#groovyconcepts #videoproductiontoronto

What Are Camera Gimbals and How Do They Work?

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

What Are Camera Gimbals and How Do They Work?

Hello everyone … John Secondi here with another “Groovy Blog”.

Most of the video production work we do at Groovy Concepts involves static setups using traditional tripods, however there are times when using a camera stabilizing gimbal makes sense.

What is a camera gimbal and how does it work with video production?

  • is an external device mounted to the camera to keep it level using pivoting action
  • brushless gimbals use electronic motors to stabilize the camera in 3 different axis to counteract and cancel out any movements detected
  • there are completely manual gimbals that do not use any electronics ( usually 3-axis for pitch, roll and yaw movements )
  • gimbals allow you to keep your camera very stable whilst moving in any direction removing most bumps and jolts from the scene
  • gimbals are great for tracking the action, doing creative shots such as sliding pans and much more

What are some of the challenges with camera gimbals?

  • a really good rig can be quite expensive
  • some of the more complicated gimbals may take lots of practice to master ( and, we all know that time is money )
  • when turning corners, manual gimbals can tend to “dip” throwing off a properly levelled background horizon
  • brushless or electronic gimbals, while expensive, can keep everything in balance but you do need to keep them properly powered
  • shooting with a gimbal can become very tiring for the operator

What makes for a good gimbal?

  • extendable handlebars ( that extend out to the sides of the rig ) will help you get everthing properly balanced
  • a lightweight rig is important as the combined weight of the camera and rig will tire out even the most experienced operators
  • look for a gimbal that features a top handle so you can shoot lower to the ground with it
  • gimbals that feature handlebars that can be inverted will make it easier to do eye level video production

So, should you use a gimbal for your next shoot? Consider what the final intent is for your video production, who is your audience and what message are you trying to convey? While gimbals are excellent trade tools, they may not be required for your specific shooting requirements. You can always rent a gimbal rig to experiment before investing in your own gear.

Get out there and shoot some shots. When you need a helping hand, Groovy Concepts is here to support you with many years of professional experience.

We. Are. Video Production. Toronto.

#groovyconcepts #videoproductiontoronto

What’s the Deal With Green Screens?

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

What’s the Deal With Green Screens?

Hey there, it’s John, your friendly neighbourhood video professional here … let’s talk about green screens.

What are they, how do they work and when would you want to use them?

Green screens are usually smooth green coloured fabric that you can hang from your background stands to give a homogenous green background to your video production. When you use the green screen, the neutral balance of this particular colour can be “knocked out” in post production and replaced with a variety of static or moving background elements. Most major video editing software support green screen raw capture. You can also use firm green screen background boards however transporting these comes with it’s own set of challenges.

If your client wishes to add their branding in the background of their videos, using green screens is a great way to achieve this effect. Whenever using green screens, you should always try to remove as many folds or dirt spots in the fabric … we have used bungee cords to help fully stretch the fabric helping to keep the background as smooth as possible; any inconsistencies can cause weird shadows to be cast on the background making it harder to remove completely in post production.

It is important to plan ahead using storyboards if you plan to use green screens to add customized backgrounds during final video production and editing. You should review the layout of the backgrounds you will be adding in relation to the placement of your talent during raw capture.

That’s all for today folks. When considering who to hire for your next video production project, look no further than Groovy Concepts.

We. Are. Video Production. Toronto.

#groovyconcepts #videoproductiontoronto

Should You Use Tungsten or LED Lights to Shoot Videos?

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

Should You Use Tungsten or LED Lights to Shoot Videos?

Hello everyone, John at Groovy again. Today’s blog is all about Tungsten versus LED lighting.

When it comes to video production, proper lighting creates the mood that effects your viewers. Many video production companies have used tungsten lighting over the years however the newer LED lights are becoming more popular for a variety of reasons.

LED lights often have “variable colour temperature” adjustments. This allows the production crew to adjust the exposure on the fly if they have to head from inside to out during a shoot. This setting can also help to speed up the white balance setting on the video camera when doing quick setups.

LED lights are very light compared to their tungsten counterparts. It can be much easier on a one man crew to light any given scene quickly and efficiently.

LED lights run cool compared to tungsten lights that throw off some serious heat. When working in confined spaces like kitchens or corporate offices, LED lighting is a better overall choice.

LED lights have a much longer bulb life than tungsten lights do … for those who are budget conscious, this can be a very important factor. Also, LED lights run on battery power ( not AC ) so the camera operator has much more mobility which can speed up the shooting process dramatically.

Another benefit of LED lights is that they use less power than tungsten lights. Sometimes, when using multiple tungsten lights on a shoot, you have to concern yourself with tripping circuits and how to safely lay down the power cables. With LED lights, most of this may not even come into play in the first place which is always a bonus for any video production.

One of the main drawbacks of LED lights and lighting rigs is the initial purchase cost. LED lights are generally more expensive ( sometimes by almost double ) than their tungsten counterparts. The overall savings in production time and life of the bulbs will certainly pay for itself over the long run.

I would encourage you to drop by your local video supplier or rental place to discover what is currently on offer. When you are looking for a professional video production however, look no further than the Team at Groovy Concepts. We. Are. Video Production. Toronto.

#groovyconcepts #videoproductiontoronto

Should You Use a Camcorder or DSLR to Shoot Videos?

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

Should You Use a Camcorder or DSLR to Shoot Videos?

Hello everyone, John at Groovy again. Today’s blog is all about Camcorders versus DSLR cameras.

Many of you may already own a digital SLR camera ( DSLR ) like a Nikon or Canon with interchangeable lenses. A question we sometimes get from our clients is, “Why are you shooting my video production using a film camera?”

Modern DSLR cameras are designed specifically to support both regular photography and video capture. We recommend you consider using a full frame digital SLR or one of the newer 4K capture cameras to provide the highest possible resolution for your HD videos.

Generally speaking, DSLR cameras, including several “mirrorless options”, are great for capturing the look of traditional film. Side note: many TV sitcoms are actually shot using FILM versus digital video to give that extra bit of quality. Traditional camcorders are easier to use and can be better for shooting news events and sports however they are bulkier and much heavier in most instances.

Let’s talk about some specific differences.

Camcorders

A camcorder is designed specifically for shooting video. Featuring built-in zoom lenses and tilt-and-swivel screens, most expensive pro camcorders have good built-in microphones and professional audio inputs ( XLR inputs ). Of course, these types of cameras would never be a good choice for doing any still photography. You can get a variety of lenses for the higher quality camcorders on the market however most of the most popular choices feature variable zoom lenses with high speed apertures for shooting in low light situations. Both Camcorders and DSLR cameras offer you many menu options to control white balance, colour temperature and heaps more.

DSLR Cameras

A DSLR (digital SLR) is usually your best choice for doing still photography however many professional videographers use them for a variety of video production challenges. It takes interchangeable lenses. By flipping up the mirror and “locking it into position, the videographer can see the live capture on the digital screen which is perfect to keep everything inside the frame. One of the challenges doing it this way however is that you need to focus the shot first, lock down the focus ( we sometimes will use tap on our lens barrels ) and then flip up the mirror. This is a very important consideration to ensure you keep everything if perfect focus.

Mirrorless Cameras

A mirrorless camera is similar to a SLR because you can swap lenses and view the composition on the live view screen. Generally speaking, focusing would be done using the live view screen or sometimes using the eye level view finder. Once again, it is important to check your focus carefully before shooting to ensure best possible results.

Size Matters

Whenever you are considering adding a DSLR to your kit bag, we would recommend you go with full frame capture with the largest sensor you can afford. You will end up getting results that look more “cinematic” rather than video. On most DSLR cameras, you can “pull focus” which changes the focus from foreground to background on the fly, a very popular shooting technique for big budget video production.

What, I Can’t Hear You?

One of the biggest drawbacks of using a DSLRs is the lack of audio capture ports and the possibility that “camera buzz” may be picked up in the background. Before you buy, make sure you test out all of the audio features very thoroughly. You may need to consider the purchase of a standalone audio recording device.

Some Final Thoughts

Trying to hold focus whilst capturing moving subjects can prove challenging.
DSLR cameras can be awkward to hold steady and to pan smoothly when following the action.
Sometimes, SLR video isn’t recorded from the entire capture sensor at one time causing “rolling shutter” distortion.
DSLR units vary in price however a good starting rig will set you back around $10,000 including half decent lenses.

I would encourage you to get out there and experiment. When you are looking for a professional video production however, look no further than the Team at Groovy Concepts.

We. Are. Video Production. Toronto.

#groovyconcepts #videoproductiontoronto

Adventures in Video Production, Equipment Safety

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

Adventures in Video Production, Equipment Safety

Hello everyone, John at Groovy again.

Today I thought I would talk a little bit about equipment safety on the set of a video production, or even at the airport. Your camera is your highest priority. It’s the most expensive piece of equipment and the most important.

One incident occurred when we were filming at Pearson Airport. A porter offered to help us load one of our cameras on a dolly. We thanked him and said sure . . . what can go wrong? Well Murphy’s Law always applies and sure enough the porter proceeded to drop the one camera from about five feet off the ground. Apologies followed, but we now had valuable equipment needed for an immediate video production that was put out of commission.

A hard lesson learned. If assistance is offered on lifting garment bags and luggage then go ahead and accept the help but not when it comes to any and all filming equipment. All it takes is one person to get distracted and the results can be disastrous. Only team members should be permitted to handle the tools of our trade. We treat the tools of our trade just like any mechanic, carpenter or any other tradesman would – when it comes to lending or handling our tools it’s thanks but no thanks.

Another incident occurred while filming in Newfoundland years ago when we were first starting out. Our video production was set up in a factory with cement floors. We had just finished successfully interviewing and filming three people and were prepping the fourth candidate. He said that he had done many interviews in the past and being familiar with the microphone, he offered to “mic” himself. Because we always go out of our way to make our interviewees feel comfortable, we said sure go ahead. Yes you guessed it. He fumbled and dropped the mic along with the battery pack, both smashing upon hitting the cement floor. Once again, apologies followed but we were now left scrambling. Our Plan B did work successfully, saving the integrity of the project. However another lesson learned. “If you didn’t bring it, don’t touch it”.

These are but a couple of the many life lessons that we have learned as we travel the wonderful world of video production in Toronto and across Canada.

That’s it for now. I look forward to touching base with you again down the line. Happy filming!

#videoproduction #groovyconcepts

Adventures in Video Production

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

Adventures in Video Production

Canadian Travelog!

Hello everyone, John here @ Groovy Concepts – the video production house servicing Toronto and the greater Toronto area.

Today I thought I would discuss one of the added bonuses, for the Groovy team, of being involved in video production in Toronto and elsewhere. Beyond the pleasures of meeting and filming interesting people week after week in the GTA, we also get to experience something amazing. And that is that we get to see some parts of the country that we would not normally ever get to visit. We have had the pleasure of spending time in some of the most interesting and beautiful towns in this great country of ours because of our line of work.

Here are some of the locations, from east to west that we have had the good fortune of shooting a video production: Paradise, and St. John’s Newfoundland. In Nova Scotia – the beautiful city of Halifax. We have filmed in Fredericton and Moncton New Brunswick. In Quebec – Quebec City, Montreal and Saint Hyacinthe. Here in Ontario we’ve worked in Ottawa, Morrisburg, Toronto, Oakville, Niagara Falls, New Dundee, Cambridge, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie. Heading further west, in Saskatchewan – Regina, and in Alberta – Calgary and Edmonton. Later this year we look forward to shooting in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia.

One thing we always try to do, as well, whenever we find ourselves galloping across this great country of ours is to find a bit of time away from lights, cameras and video production to “stop and smell the roses”. And that means trying to add some time to our schedule on our way from or on our way back to the airport so that we can take in some of the flavour of the region – even if it means seeing the highlights through the windows of a taxi.

That’s pretty much it for today’s travelog. Hope you enjoyed it. Looking forward to sharing some more thoughts and adventures in video production with you down the line.

So long for now!

#videoproductiontoronto #groovyconcepts

Video Translation – Reach Your International Audiences

Video Production Toronto – The Captain’s Blog

Video Translation; Reach Your International Audiences

Hello everyone, John from Groovy Concepts here again.

We all know the importance of video production when it comes to delivering one’s important message on all the various platforms i.e. YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, websites, etc. According to Cisco, by 2019 a whopping 80% of the world’s internet traffic will be generated by video content. However because many online visitors speak a language other than English, proper video translation becomes a critical component of the video production process.

Here at Groovy Concepts we have been commissioned over the last several years to produce corporate videos in many languages other than in English. We’ve produced videos in Parisian French, Quebec French, Mandarin, Korean, Spanish, and even in Punjabi – all to great acclaim.

We have a large roster of translators both here in Ontario as well as in Quebec and it’s a simple matter of developing a script which Groovy will send for translation. Once approved by the client, the script is sent to our professional voiceover artists.

Our multi-language video productions can be in Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and even Swahili if need be. So if you’d like to discover more about our translation services or if you need a video production in any other language not mentioned above just give us a call and the Groovy team will take care of all details.

In the world of video marketing, having multilingual translations of your videos means you can take your content globally – ensuring worldwide coverage of your business, better SEO and more importantly, allowing you to connect with markets you may not have known were interested in your product. Now that’s a language all business owners will understand.

That’s it for now. I look forward to touching base with you again down the line.

Happy filming!

#videoproductiontoronto #groovyconcepts