We met Evan back in 2016 on a local job. He was working as a jib operator on a gig we were directing. Although Evan had mad jib skills, as we got to know him, we fell in love with his passion for editing.
We quickly realized that this guy could sculpt a massive pile of footage into a compelling and emotional story. Evan began moonlighting for us on a regular basis. Finally, we decided enough was enough and thought of the famous words of Beyoncé,”If you liked it then you should’ve put a ring on it.” So that’s what we did. We asked Evan to join the Real Video Production family as a full time, in-house editor.
Now that Evan has been here a few weeks and gotten settled, we sat down with him to get to know him a little better.
Interview with Evan:
RVP: First off, welcome aboard, and thanks for taking the time to tell people about yourself. So starting off— what are 3 things I should know about you in order to understand you better?
1: I’m a total nerd. I love all things Star Wars, Lego, and Video games. I’m also a total film nut.
2: I enjoy collaborating with other creative people and learning and creating cool things.
3: I love to travel with my significant other and experience a lot of new things.
RVP: We’re a bunch of nerds ourselves, so you’re in good company. So what’s inspiring you right now?
EF: The world around me, the people I get the privilege to create with, and the hope for awesome success with those people.
RVP: Great answer! And what excites you most about being an editor?
EF: Being able to work on great content, and then seeing that content have a huge impact on the person or business we made it for.
RVP: There is definitely something satisfying about seeing your work out in the wild, isn’t there? What are you most excited about joining the Real Video team?
EF: The people and work environment are out of this world. It’s a privilege to be able to collaborate with such a friendly, creative, and dedicated team on a daily basis. Not to mention the content stands out as the best in Indiana, if not the best in the Chicagoland area.
RVP: Well we’re very happy to finally have you on board. Now, last question— what is some free advice you have to give?
“When you create something, you’re putting part of yourself out into the world”
EF: Just keep going. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
When you create something, no matter what it is, you’re putting part of yourself out into the world for others to critique. This can be either positive or negative. For the longest time I was afraid that work I released to the public would be badly criticized. Oftentimes this fear would put me in a state where I didn’t want to create anything at all. Eventually I did get over this fear. It was solved by just taking a deep breath, and casting the line out to sea.
RVP: There’s something to be said about making work that is a little controversial— work that does provoke criticism. If you’re pleasing everyone, you’re pleasing no one, you know?
RVP: Well thank you again Evan, for taking the time to sit down with us and introduce yourself to the world. This has been a real treat, and we are very excited to have you part of the team.
“I’m excited and ready to get to work.”
EF: No, thank you guys. I’m excited and ready to get to work.
The format for this particular blog is a little different and because of that I feel it lends itself to an introduction.
Real Video Production Co. will sporadically open up the studio for “happy hour.” It’s usually a late Friday afternoon and is a time where anyone can stop by and mingle.
I noticed a young guy come in by himself and looked as if he was waiting for someone. I walked over and introduced myself. His name was Louie and he had a passion for photography. He told me he was interested in learning more about video production and his buddy suggested he meet him at our event. His buddy never showed up, but Louie and I swapped social media and contact info.
Later that night I jumped on his Instagram and was pretty impressed. We stayed in touch and even grabbed coffee a couple of times. Right before the last time we sat down at Café Fresco, Real Video was blessed with a new job that required producing a couple broadcast commercials for a past client.
When Louie and I were discussing the project, he had a lot of questions and was really interested in the process. He asked if he could join us on production day and shoot some behind-the-scenes photos & video. I thought back on how my passion grew for this line of work and really it was just getting my hands dirty and jumping into it, so we added him to the call sheet as a production assistant.
It was a busy, fast-paced day, but Louie came along for the ride and rolled with the punches. He ended up being very helpful, as well as created some great BTS content for us.
After the shoot, we all hung out around our table in the studio and we asked Louie what his thoughts were about being on set— I felt like his fresh perspective was interesting and I asked him if we could do an interview for the blog and showcase the video and photos he took that day.
That’s the backstory behind this post. Enjoy.
Interview with Louie Pastore:
What are 3 things I need to know about you to understand who you are better?
- I am an 18 year old Eagle Scout, currently in my senior year of high school and am homeschooled.
2. I’ve been doing photography for the last 5 to 6 years, shooting everything from product photography in my home studio (my garage) to Photojournalism in the mountains of New Mexico.
3. Along with photography and filmmaking, I also spend time playing jazz drums, learning new skills and running my own small landscaping business.
"I wanted to be a part of a team that created professional level cinematic results"
What was your reason for wanting to join Real Video on a production?
I needed a place where I could work alongside industry professionals and like-minded creatives, in the hope of further developing my skill set, but at the same time contribute to a team.
After coming across their website and browsing through their work, the level of cinematic quality and attention to detail were my main reasons for wanting to be a part of Real Video’s creative process. I wanted to be a part of a team that created professional level cinematic results, and it didn’t take long for me to realize that this was it.
"Watching the high level of efficiency was incredible"
What were 3 things you learned about video production while observing a broadcast commercial being shot?
- Lighting & Setups
I had a basic understanding of how a production would operate, although one of the first things that caught me off guard was the amount of time spent setting up the scene and each individual shot.
The lighting and setup for this commercial was especially intricate, and was a huge contrast to the kind of run-and-gun photography/filmmaking that I’m used to. I’ll definitely never look at a commercial the same way again, knowing how long each shot most likely took to set up and how many takes were needed to get it right.
Next, was the amount of organization that goes into a production. As an Eagle Scout and someone who has managed small landscaping projects, it’s safe to say that I had a pretty good idea of how organization and proper planning works.
However, seeing it put into action in this setting gets wildly more complex. Coordinating talent, scene setups, lens changes, and making every asset play into the finished product was a solid learning point for me to hopefully be running my own creative projects in the future.
Finally, I was able to learn how a professional production crew operates. When everyone knows their role and what they need to do to contribute to the finished project, watching the high-level of efficiency was incredible. Nailing shot after shot, perfectly on schedule and seeing how little time is wasted shows how just with anything, a solid, like-minded team with the proper tools can achieve just about anything.
"I was amazed at how similar the rendered product was to the original vision"
After watching a production in process, is there a specific area that peaked your interest that you would like to learn more about?
There are 2 areas that really peaked my interest.
First, is the post production. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in post production. After becoming obsessed with VFX breakdown videos on YouTube at a young age, I began to dive deeper into editing, sound design, and color grading.
Throughout the entire shoot, I couldn’t help but imagine how the piece would be edited together, and will be excited to learn more about the decision making process when editing at the professional level.
Second, was the creative side of the planning process. Looking over the script/shot list and hearing descriptions of how the piece was planned to turn out, I was amazed at how similar the rendered product was to the original vision.
This is something that I hope to pick up on, and gain more insight towards the creative planning side of things.
So why don’t you share with us how you get started in marketing in general?
Yeah, sure. I got started in the nonprofit world and did full campaigns for a good 15 years. Then branched out and started working at an advertising agency in Chicago. Then in 2020, me and a couple of other guys decided to start Real Video Production Co. and that’s what I’m currently doing.
Well, timing is everything. I’m sure that your start was not as smooth as you wanted if you started in 2020. How much of a challenge did you have with COVID to start a video production company?
“Being a COVID startup was probably the dumbest/best thing that we ever did.”
Yeah, being a COVID startup was probably the dumbest/best thing that we ever did. Thankfully, we have a product, video, that has been used quite a bit since COVID. So that was a saving grace. But yeah, things have been great actually. Surprisingly, very, very busy.
We always love hearing great success stories from any of our guests. So when you’re onboarding someone, what is the conversation? What is it that they’re looking to get out of video and what is it that you’re trying to share with them that you can really develop their story through video?
When we’re onboarding a client, a lot of times they’re coming to us with a problem that they need to solve. Whether it’s something very basic, like they just need people to know who they are. Sometimes they need to hire more people or to sell more of a product or something like that. So really getting down to what the problem is that they’re trying to solve, and first and foremost, is video the solution to that problem?
Video gets used a lot of different ways, whether it’s on someone’s website, an ad, or it’s us on social media, where is it that you see video going as marketing moves over the next couple of years? And are there specific platforms you see really playing a strong role and getting a message out there?
“I think one of the things that we’re going to start seeing is an uptick in quality to cut through that noise a little bit.”
I think big business has known that video was a major player in marketing for a while and now you’re seeing it trickle down into medium and smaller businesses. Video is becoming a very noisy landscape, just due to the nature of it. I think moving forward we’re going to see a lot more videos especially with social media and everything else. I think one of the things that we’re going to start seeing is an uptick in quality to cut through that noise a little bit. I think too, with medium and small businesses, they’re starting to grasp the idea of putting ad dollars behind the videos that they’re producing and pushing them out on social media. So we’ll see a lot more of that.
Well, it’s important that you have the right video messages getting out there and the right people who are directing you in the right way because you have a lot of companies that will just grab their phone and put anything up there. And it’s really not just about anything, it’s about the right thing. What tells your story? What really creates the right visual for you? So we really thank you for joining us today to share what you’re doing, how you’re doing it and all the great things you’re doing for your clients.
Thank you so much for having me.
The Manifest Names Real Video Production Co. as Chicago’s Most Recommended Video Production Company for 2022
For over 20 years, Real Video Production has been providing world-class filming and storytelling services to brands from all walks of life. Whether it’s web commercials, testimonial videos, brand identity videos, or even corporate photography, our team is ready to go the extra mile for you.
To start off this exciting new year, the entire Real Video Production Co. team is excited to announce wonderful news to you. Just recently, The Manifest named our team as one of the most recommended and reviewed video production companies this 2022!
Since our inception, we’ve always made it our mission to build long-lasting relationships with our clients. We want to empower them through our simple, transparent, and collaborative services. Led by our three passionate founders, Kevin Bruinsma, Josh Roeda, and Ryan Roeda, our team strives to deliver excellence and efficiency.
Throughout the years, we’ve had the massive honor of working with amazing clients like Fellowes, Homewood Disposal, Ozinga, The Village of South Holland, and more. Our generous clients helped us earn this recognition from The Manifest reviewing our notable projects.
Life has an ebb and flow to it. Proverbial doors open and proverbial doors close. At Real Video when a door of opportunity opens, we like to take one step towards it to see if it remains open or if it slams in our face. It’s a simple concept but that is how this opportunity to open a second location in Chicago happened and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
Real Video Production Co. opened its doors in Crown Point, IN in June of 2020. We love Crown Point. It’s a great town with a lot going for it. Our 2,000 square foot studio is awesome for us and how we work. However, it does have a downside. Crown Point lives in the shadow of one of the greatest cities on earth, Chicago.
Half of our clientele is based in Chicago
After reviewing a few stats since we opened our doors, we have observed that about half of our clientele is based in Chicago. So we started to toy around with the idea of opening a second location in order to better serve our clients in Illinois.
So we reached out to a few friends in Chicago and started to share our idea of a second location. One of those friends is Sergio Gomez who has an art gallery in the Zhou B Art Center in the Bridgeport neighborhood. He had mentioned that a few spaces would be opening up in the Zhou B building. A few phone calls later and we were able to get a tour of the spaces that would be available. One in particular seemed to check all the boxes we were looking for.
The next thing we know we signed the lease and started making the space our own. We are excited for this new adventure and feel incredibly blessed to be in this position. Already we have felt welcomed by the creative community at Zhou B and have been inspired by all the talented artists that surround our new studio.
This show was a highlight of the art we created after hours under our alias names. As I reflect back, this was actually a really important benchmark in my life as a creative professional. It was the first time I showed artwork that I created for myself and opened it up to the public for review. At the gallery we had a ledger that guests could leave feedback. Some positive, others ripped particular pieces to shreds.
As a young creative professional, I knew it was important to start building a thick skin around the work I was pouring myself into.
As I have matured in my career, one important skill I’ve picked up is to be able to separate yourself from your work. As the creator, it’s easy to fall in love with every painting, sculpture, design or video— but tossing it out into the world where people will freely judge can be a very humbling experience. But at the end of the day, that feedback (both positive and negative) is important for us to hear because it refines you and your creative process.
That’s why every year at Real Video Production Co. we submit some of our top work in various industry award platforms, where a board of industry professionals judge the work, rank it accordingly, and in some cases provide feedback.
“Winning a Telly Award is great, but seeing your work play during every Sox game on WGN might be the greater reward.”
“It’s not necessarily for the quality of work we produced, but our reputation among our clients.”
This past year, we were also recognized by online creative service directory, Clutch.co with an award as one of their Top B2B Companies. This one is a little different because it’s not necessarily for the quality of work we produced, but our reputation among our clients.
As we’ve built relationships and grown, our clients have graciously been leaving reviews on our company; covering the gamut of how easy we were to work with, an evaluation of the video(s) we produced for them, and an overview of their experience.
Other businesses looking for a similar service use those reviews to see if you would be a good fit for their project. This has been a great way to track our growth, and use their unfiltered feedback as a way to better serve them and prospective clients in the future.
“Real Video Production Co. is ranked the #1 video production company in Indiana”
Winning a Top B2B Award from Clutch.co might be of more value to me than a Telly. Why? Because doing great work is an assumed “pay-to-play” in this arena of being a video production company. Having your clients take the time to do an extensive, honest review of your company is really where we can chart our growth and correct course when we need to.
"One of the top 10 Illinois Video Production Companies"
We are fortunate to say thus far, we’ve garnered sweeping 5-star reviews and Real Video Production Co. is now ranked the #1 video production company in Indiana.
To hear our clients speaking highly of the quality of our work, how easy we are to work with, our meticulous care in planning and executing the creative, and praise for our overall work ethic feels pretty good.
While holding true to one of our top values at Real Video: Authenticity, I have to say that I’m proud of most of the work we have done this past year. Sure, not everything makes the highlight reel but I can honestly say that we created the best video projects we could within the limitations of every project that was given to us.
I’m even more proud of our small, but mighty team. They are ridiculously talented. But more so, they are genuinely good people— people who care for each other, create with excellence, and want to see the work we do make our clients more successful.
“WE’RE READY. BRING IT ON.”
As we step into this year, I already know we will be rewarded with some amazing opportunities as well as tossed some unpredictable zingers, but as we’ve taken stock of how much we’ve grown this past year, I can confidently say we’re ready. Bring it on.
We’ve been shooting video professionally since 2001. In 2008 Canon released the 5D Mark II, the first digital cinema camera. An absolute game changer that led to a career of video production. It’s amazing to see all the tech advancements since our passion for video was ignited. In doing video professionally for 20 years, we’ve learned a lot mostly by trial and error. In this blog I want to present our five stages of a video production and pull out a lesson learned from each stage. Here we go…
Almost every project starts with a discovery meeting. This is a time when the potential client tells us what they are looking to accomplish. In this stage of the process, listening is key. But an important thing to remember is that roughly 80% of communication is nonverbal. Pay attention to things like facial expressions, posture, gestures, eye contact, personal space, or tone of voice. You’ll be surprised at how paying attention to these things can reaffirm your feeling of entering into a beautiful working relationship or toss up red flags to what could be a nightmare client.
This stage of the process has a lot to do with gathering and organizing all the pieces to make sure the production day runs smoothly. It’s often under appreciated and minimized by clients. Over the years we have found that we have a tendency to take on these tasks at a lower rate or even for free just to land the chance to do the production. These things might include getting actors, sourcing props, building sets or nailing down locations. It’s not until we’re using personal time, material, money and personal relationships so that the client can save a couple bucks that we start kicking ourselves. Now if a client wants to save money on a production, we’ll task them to carry the load of pre production. Some clients will, others will see the time it takes and up the budget to get it professionally taken care of. This will always make the production smoother and more professional.
This is the time when everything comes together and the cameras roll. Being efficient with everyone’s time is key on production days. A hard lesson we’ve come to realize is that every minute that camera is rolling is another minute that has to be gone through in post production. If you keep your shots organized, your interviews focused, and your audio clean, post production will go much smoother, ultimately saving time and money.
I find myself constantly reminding clients that just because the video has been shot, the project is far from over. The editing of a project is usually the most time consuming. One thing we have found helpful is limiting the amount of revisions a client can request and putting a deadline on when revision requests are due. We also found that having one point person on the client side as a point of contact/revisions is very helpful. This eliminates having conflicting requests that need to be sorted out with you or the editor’s involvement. If your client can filter out any discrepancies before it hits your desk, you’ll save yourself a potential time suck.
You and your team just poured their heart and soul into this project and now you’re about to hand it off to the client. Do you know how the final product is going to be shown? This is a great discussion to have in the discovery meeting. Is there anything you can do to make sure that the video is delivered to the audience in a professional manner? Here a few real scenarios where we shed a tear:
• You create a video for a live production and it glitches because the person running the software or the equipment is inadequate.
• The client’s “marketing” person puts the video five pages deep on their website and they end up getting on you about ROI.
• The “call to action” in the video drives people to the clients website. But the website is hot garbage.
• You create a video for social media but the client didn’t allocate funds for a digital ad buy and then wonder why only their mom liked it on Facebook.
Whether you’re a current client, industry professional or potential client that’s checking us out, we hope the wisdom we have gained over our 20 years can assist you in the process of creating authentic and compelling video content.
I was scrolling through my social media feed and this Chris guy came up as a “suggested friend” once again. I had heard his name around town because he had opened his digital marketing office around the corner from Real Video. I figured it was a sign so I requested his virtual friendship.
Once we connected, he mentioned that he had a client who had a video concept that was above and beyond his capabilities and was researching production companies in the area that could handle it. He found the Real Video Production Co. website and was actually going to reach out to me later that week.
Isn’t that weird how things like that happen?
So I invited him over to the studio to discuss the project and how he thought we could help. Basically, he was developing an online platform that would network private practice dentists and assist them with their marketing needs. One major goal for the organization was to recruit a certain number of dentists onto the online platform so that they could pool together and release a Super Bowl commercial that would be followed up by a series of mailings for each participant’s specific zip code. But first things first— he needed a recruitment video that coincided with the launch of the website…which was happening in 3 weeks!
His client had an idea that involved a huge cast and some big location needs. We crunched a few numbers and quickly realized that to pull off that idea was going to be way above the proposed budget and next to impossible to pull off within a three week timeframe. So essentially, we had to go back to the drawing board.
As the creative director, I walked out of that meeting and into a quiet room with only my thoughts, a sketchbook and a pencil. I started the painful journey of creative development (I’ll write a separate blog on this in the near future). I ended up walking out of that room with 5 pretty solid concepts. Then I took those concepts to the team to see what it will technically and financially take to pull off these ideas and can they be pulled off in 3 weeks. To my surprise all five ideas passed the gauntlet.
I called Chris back into the studio the next day and pitched the 5 ideas back-to-back. A couple of concepts rose to the top but ultimately it was the client’s final decision. After some short deliberation, the concept was chosen, and we were off to the races.
One thing to note at this point of the story is that the concept that was chosen involved some pretty advanced green screen work. This was something that we had only dabbled in and didn’t have much experience with. So the next day we did a basic version of the concept in our studio and did a test shoot. We reworked the idea as a social media piece for us introducing our new post production manager, Dan. Needless to say, poor Dan hit the ground running when he agreed to join the Real crew. LOL. (view the post here)
The next seven days we were frantically on the phone building the cast, crew, securing equipment rentals, locking in a location and picking up props.
Production day went off without a hitch. Our cast and crew were amazing! The entire production took just under 10 hours. It moved like clockwork.
The next day Dan was head down in the edit bay putting the pieces together. He knocked out a client-facing rough cut in three days. To our surprise, the client had zero revisions. They loved it! Dan dove in, took a day, and did the final color correction and audio pass.
The video was delivered to a happy client on time and on budget. What more could you ask for?
Check out the final video here.
I’ve walked past this building a million times over the years and I have always admired it. It was originally a machine shop built in the 1940’s. There is nothing fancy about it. It’s just a big open box with big windows on either side. It sits just off Crown Point’s historic downtown square. It has been transformed into a few different businesses over the years like a pool hall and hair salon, but back in June of 2020 this beautiful rental space miraculously became available. The timing was perfect because we had just started Real. A few phone calls later and it was ours! The day we got the keys we met over there, pulled out some old chairs from the basement, cracked a few beers and started to dream about how we could build out the space to best fit our needs of a video production studio.
The space is essentially a 2,000 square foot box. One thing we knew we wanted to do was break the space up in half. The front of the space would be for production and the back of the space would be for office space and post production.
Another issue we knew we were going to deal with was storage space for our equipment. So one thing we did was take inventory of our gear. We noticed that a lot of production equipment is long and skinny. We’ve got tripods, light stands, speed rail, paper rolls, flags, bounce cards… the list goes on.
Well, the solution to our problem was inspired by an art show I had attended in Chicago. It was in a big, beautiful gallery that was broken up by false walls. It wasn’t until another guest dropped her glass of wine on the floor that I discovered these false walls had another purpose other than displaying the art. Someone walked over to one of the false walls, opened up the side of it, and pulled out a broom to sweep up the glass. I glanced inside the wall and noticed that inside it was storing a bunch of canvases and other cleaning supplies. It was genius!
So we decided to take that same concept to not only break up our space, but to store some of our awkwardly shaped equipment.
After taking measurements of our space and of the gear we needed to store, Josh decided to build a 3D rendering in Sketchup. He accounted for each piece of gear and created a custom space for it within the wall. He even took into account what type of wood would be needed for each space depending on what would be holding. For instance, a cubby for a metal tripod could be built with OSB while a cubby that holds a nylon flag needed to be made with smooth plywood so it wouldn’t snag the fabric.
We also really enjoyed the industrial look and durability of the plywood so we decided to do the outside of the wall in plywood tiles instead of drywall. To class it up we made 56 2’ X 2’ tiles, routed the edges, and stained each one with a white stain. We hung the tiles on the wall switching the direction of the wood grain with every other one.
We knew we wanted this wall to be versatile and hold many different items other than production and lighting grip. We found while in the design phase that we could fit two hidden drawers in the center of the wall under the 60” 4k Conference Display. They are hidden because the face of them matches the 2’ plywood panels that make up the pattern of the entire wall. Both drawers are soft close. We also integrated 120v outlets and usb charging ports into both drawers. These drawers would be perfect for charging appletv remotes, camera batteries and powering a raspberry pi with emulation station to unwind by playing a quick game of Super Mario Brothers!
Above the drawers, but behind the 2’ panels, we built in some space for a sound bar, below the drawers hidden inside the wall we added the sub.
This wall is now the centerpiece of our studio and is a great example of form and function.
Video content is an integral part of new media. It has become one of the most successful channels in engaging and converting leads for your business or organization. As more and more people are glued to their phones and social networks, they’re more likely to be receptive to your company’s content.
Here at Real Video Production Co., we don’t just shoot and edit videos, we tell the story of your brand. We make it a point to get to know the people behind the company to build relationships and truly understand what they exemplify.
We believe that your story is the most powerful marketing tool because it’s unique and unrepeatable. With our help, we can amplify your brand message to create a lasting impression.
We’ve been in the storytelling business for over 15 years and we owe it all to our clients who’ve recently bolstered our credibility by leaving positive reviews on our Clutch profile.
Clutch is the leading ratings and reviews platform for IT, marketing, and business service providers. Each month, over half a million buyers and sellers of services use the Clutch platform, and the user base is growing over 50% a year. Clutch has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the 500 fastest growing companies in the U.S. and has been listed as a top 50 startup by LinkedIn.
In one of our recent partnerships, we developed and produced an informational video for a waste disposal company. With our experience, we are able to help them inform their clients of their various services and extend their reach to new and potential customers.
The video was well received by the clients and has given them an opportunity to strategize on their marketing efforts to build their digital presence.
They noted our hands-on approach and transparent project management:
“They responded quickly when we had questions whether we called or emailed. They also made sure to schedule photo shoots and video filming around our busy schedule in consideration of our hours of business.”
We’ve also been featured as part of the top video production companies in Chicago in Clutch’s sister site, The Manifest. It’s a B2B platform where they showcase various companies with notable awards and projects to better direct clients for the service they may need.
We like to thank our clients for making our 15 year journey an amazing experience. We couldn’t have made it this far without your appreciation and support.
If you want to put your ideas on film, drop us a line today! We’re looking forward to working with you.