The Soundtrack to your Message

We all have one; a song that serves as a time machine. Every time we hear that song we’re transported back to a very specific moment in our lives. Never underestimate the power of music in your video production. Regardless of whether your audience is internal or external, if you harness the power of a soundtrack, the results can be truly remarkable. 

A great example lies in the story of the founder of iconic American music provider, Muzak. During World War I Major General George O. Squier became the Army’s first Chief Signal Officer. Almost by mistake he legendarily discovered that by providing the Army typing pool with fast-paced music they collectively became more productive. Still think music is just for background ambiance? Then, when radio was still in its infancy, he perfected a method for transmitting music across electrical wires – thus giving birth to the company, Muzak. This advancement allowed music to be sent to businesses and residences. Fast forward to when the first skyscrapers created the need for elevators. As you can imagine, workers in these innovative buildings weren’t totally sold on this idea of getting into a tiny metal box and being pulled up a very tall shaft at high speeds. By piping music into the elevators, building owners calmed the nerves of their tenants. 

The Full Scale team knows how valuable music and sound is to your production, and how to integrate this craftwork into the video workflow. We continually integrate the musical abilities and audio expertise of Joe Miller, through Sounds Like Joe LLC and Tune Dogs LLC, to our client’s benefit. This partnership is proven. What benefits can an expert in music and sound bring your production? What qualifications do you want to see from your vendor? 

Our partnership brings years of professional work history; performing in front of thousands and to global audiences, producing original music for national television advertising for major brands, scoring award winning feature films, mixing cable television shows, and negotiating complex licensing agreements. When we needed to assist John Legend for a performance in NC, we brought Joe onto the production. When it’s time to score a feature documentary, we have the ability to scale up to meet that need. We leverage a complete professional studio ready to handle any project; from music production to voice-over and ADR to Foley and complex synthesis. 

When you need to take your audience to the next level of immersive experience through video, remember the impact of music and sound. 

Tell me your favorite time machine tune and where it transports you. Mine is nearly any song from the “Classic Rock” era. Play some Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young or Santana or Allman Brothers or Bowie to the Beatles to B.B. King, but being a Jersey guy, you can spin a little Bruce and I’m all in … and immediately brought back to my high school years.

Let me know if you have any specific issues that you’d like me to address. In the mean time, I’ll be back next Friday with more sound advice.

Makeup and Wardrobe in an HD World

It’s probably a safe bet to assume your leadership team is not thinking about wardrobe or makeup when you book them to be part of your next video production. Someone needs to impress upon them the impact of both. A good video production partner will do just that.

To put anyone, regardless of gender, in front of an HD camera without at least basic foundation and powder is doing them a disservice. Our team prides itself on making our clients feel comfortable behind the scenes and in front of a camera. When it comes to first-timers behind a puff we often equate the use of makeup to that of sunscreen. We ask them, “You’d never spend a day on the beach or on the course without sunscreen – right?” Foundation and powder are serving a similar purpose – protection from HD cameras. Nobody, not a single skin tone, looks alive in HD without the help of makeup. We want the audience for your messages to be focused on exactly that – the messages, not wondering why the person on camera looks anemic, or sweaty or blotchy or you take your pick. Studio or field lights can be hot, people sweat and when that camera light goes on, people sweat. It’s natural; makeup allows this to happen without affecting the impact of the video.

After makeup, wardrobe is deceivingly simple. At least it can be if you follow a few basic rules. Small patterns, herringbone, tiny checks, thin lines buzz the screen, and create what’s called a moiré effect, which you want to avoid at all costs. A buzzed viewer is not an engaged viewer. We counsel your on-camera team to stick to high contrast bold colors, and if patterns are involved in a blouse, dress, or tie, we make sure they are large scale. We also encourage them to “dress the part.” Attire sends a subliminal message, so be conscious of ensuring that what you wear is in sync with the message you are conveying.

Well-applied makeup, the right wardrobe, and the proper lighting can also reduce the “camera adds 10 pounds” effect. Strong, flat light directed straight at a person is a sure-fire way to add this digital poundage. We take great care in the blocking of every shot to avoid this phenomenon.

Does this blog make me look fat? Let me know what you think. Do you have any specific issues that you’d like me to address? In the mean time, talk to you next Friday.

Great Expectations Require Good Planning

Expecting the unexpected is a given in any video production process. What separates the great production teams from the ... well ... others is the ability to maintain an open dialogue with their clients so that when the unexpected does, inevitably, occur, they can react quickly, offer a solution and keep the production on track. The foundation necessary to anticipate unforeseen issues is, quite simply, good planning.

The next time you choose a production partner be sure to get a sense of what formalized systems they have in place to track a project from pre-production to the final cut. Those who lack a formal method of blocking out milestones and tracking a process are a potential liability to your ability to meet a deadline and stay on budget. Our team lays out contingency plans as part of every project we take on. Rain can shut down a day of external shooting. An executive’s schedule is fluid. A new product can be delayed in transport from the manufacturing facility to the shoot location. All these scenarios have the potential to delay a production and delays usually equate to missed final delivery deadlines and cost over-runs.

However, good planners build-in contingencies to make sure that when those unexpected events occur, the other tasks necessary to meet the original deadline can quickly be inserted into the newly opened time slot. Graphics can be sent for approval. Music tracks can be sampled. Interior shots can stand in for a shoot day that was meant to be spent outside.

Of the many unpredictable variables involved in a video production, one thing remains certain, if you expect the unexpected you can plan on your project remaining on track, on time and on budget.

Let me know your expectations of this blog. Do you have any specific issues that you’d like me to address? In the mean time, talk to you next Friday.