When it rains, it pours- especially in San Marcos, Texas. We recently produced two awesome video projects back to back in that city. They were both fun to do, but they required very different skill sets.
The first company was a locally-owned distributor, with three big warehouses on the edge of San Marcos. They needed demonstrations of specific products for their big industry trade show. Our scout trip helped to clarify the options we had for shooting their scripted scenes. A back portion of their third warehouse was perfect for setting up a large green screen- plenty of room for lights and cameras and minimal activity.
The products were sports-related, so it worked well to key-in a football field stock art image. We even added a special effect with stock footage water coming out of a spigot. Yes, it was magic. A star was born, too, with one of their workers showing excellent demonstration skills on-camera. We started calling him "One Take Omar."
We shot scenes in the morning, took a lunch break down the highway at an authentic Mexican-food place, then finished up in the afternoon. One of their sales guys with a great voice did the narration. Then we headed back to Austin.
Our clients took the video to the big industry trade show and got great comments from their booth visitors. Now the demos are on the company web site as stand-alone web videos next to the products.
Our second recent foray into San Marcos was at a large, well known manufacturing facility. That's where the similarities stopped. A local group within the large corporate structure had won an international excellence award for their competition presentation. It was a "Law & Order" spoof that showcased a continuous improvement project and featured company personnel playing their parts as if in a courtroom. They had a great PowerPoint presentation as part of the "evidence." And the "actors" were really good, and they had obviously performed the award winning presentation many times.
But where to shoot it? Our scouting trip made it clear that their large product "presentation room" was perfect for a courtroom scenario. It had plenty of space and it had a screen for the PowerPoint. But the room was dark. We had to blast the area with three large soft box lights. The judge required a special spotlight, since he was slightly removed from most of the action. Our shooting style was a throw-back to the early days of TV, when "I Love Lucy" employed three cameras to capture catch every aside and reaction from Lucy and Desi (and Fred and Ethyl). Three takes and some film-style editing got the best performances woven together into a cohesive program. A manager's meeting was commandeered to provide the "jury," complete with a standing ovation at the verdict. The message inherent in the skit was supplemented with interviews and B-Roll around the plant, featuring managers and workers.
It was a full day on-location, but it was a blast to shoot and edit. It all worked. The excellent creativity supplied by the award-winning employees added some nice buzz to the overall message of the program. It's now proudly featured on the corporation's San Marcos web site.
Shooting and editing these programs was a challenge, but that's how we grow and improve as video producers. We're ready for the next challenge- in San Marcos and beyond....
Have an upcoming video production? We'd be happy to work with you! We serve markets throughout Texas and nationwide with award-winning video production services. Contact us for a quick video production quote. Or give us a call: 512-388-9404.