One of the agencies we work with out of Chicago came to us with an international client who had been going through a major acquisition period and needed a messaging campaign that helped welcome and unite the core values with all of their offices around the world.
We were tasked with producing a series of testimonial videos that highlighted various employees speaking on a specific core value of the company. Each month, they would release several of them speaking to that month’s specific value.
After producing the first batch for the Chicago headquarters, we then built a best practices document that could be shared with the various video teams gathering materials from every major international office.
Meanwhile, our production team was flown out to LA and Tijuana to capture additional sets of videos, as well as some supplemental material for videos to be produced later this year.
While every production presents a set of challenges and problems to overcome, our LA jaunt provided a particularly interesting problem for post production to tackle.
We sat down with our post production manager, Daniel Skubal, for a quick interview about some of the details of this project…
RVP: Dan, what challenges arose while working on this edit?
Dan: The greatest challenge we faced was the turnaround time for the next set of videos. The client needed final master files in-hand at least a day before the end of the month, and with the Real production team being gone an entire week on this shoot, we would only have a few days with the footage before final files were due.
Depending on the scope of the job, we typically allocate one to two rounds of revisions before final delivery into our schedule, which meant an edit would have to be turned around within 24 hours of the hard drive hitting our desk to keep the projects on track.
The team went back and forth on ways to tackle the project and deliver everything on time. We discussed everything from overnighting a hard drive, to renting some additional hardware and working with Camera to Cloud (C2C) dailies, to pre-building the project on-site with all the assistant editor work virtually completed by the time it was backed up to our server.
The solution we landed on involved a remote proxy workflow utilizing Frame.io. While we hadn’t ever worked this way before, but after some internal testing, we felt confident that we could pull this off.
Frame.io really integrates perfectly with our workflow, and our clients love it.
RVP: What is Frame.io?
Dan: Frame.io is a media review platform with an intuitive timecode-based commenting system. Frame.io really integrates perfectly with our workflow, and our clients love it. We have been using the platform since it was in beta testing, and is our preferred way of sharing edits with clients to get comments and criticism as we are shaping the final product.
RVP: How were you able to use Frame.io to help solve the challenges you faced during this edit?
Dan: There were three things we aimed to accomplished:
1. We knew we wanted to generate proxies (compressed, easy-to-play files that can be re-synced with the full raw footage later on).
2. Because time was precious, and the production team needed to stay focused on the shoot, we wanted the actual process of creating those proxies to be automated and easy as possible without having to babysit each file conversion.
3. We needed a way to automatically upload those proxy files to a designated project on Frame.io the same day the interviews were conducted so the edit team could pull the files immediately and begin building the spine of the story for each of these video pieces.
We had hit a bit of a dead end, and while we began looking at other options, I dug a little deeper with Frame.io
Dan: We knew any one of these 3 objectives could be accomplished with an on-set DIT, offloading and managing the media, but given the parameters of the project, we needed a solution that could be done by our immediate team in as few clicks as possible in-between interview setups.
After doing some research, it didn’t appear that the standalone Frame.io app, nor the integration plugin for Premiere would let us export individual clips directly to the platform— only a single timeline file at a time. We had hit a bit of a dead end, and while we began looking at other options, I dug a little deeper with Frame.io.
6-7 years ago, when I was beta testing Frame.io, we were constantly in communication with the support team, putting in feature requests— and nearly every suggestion would quickly be rolled into the next release of the platform, so I knew reaching out to them about this specific need would be examined by their team and taken seriously.
I quickly heard back from their team, and received confirmation that our proposed workflow wasn’t possible yet with their platform but would be shared with their development team for a future release— and a possible solution would be setting up a dynamic “Watch Folder” in the standalone Frame.io desktop app, and running the batch process through Adobe Media Encoder, pointing all files to the designated watch folder.
With only a few hours before the team had to pack up and leave, we ran a quick test of this workflow and it worked flawlessly. Within a few seconds of a clip transcoding in Media Encoder, the media would appear in the Frame.io portal, and be able to easily scrub and play the clip instantly.
While this wasn’t quite a one-click solution, it removed several steps to the process and could be performed relatively quickly and painlessly to get us the interviews quickly without much interruption of the actual production.
Real Video just delivered the final edits on-time and without any issues.
RVP: So did you make the deadline?
Dan: I’m happy to say, we pulled it off. This all went on behind the scenes, and the client had no idea we went to these lengths to ensure delivery of the videos. For them to receive the first cut so quickly was a big feat for us, but for the client, it just happened with no worries on their end— Real Video just delivered the final edits on-time and without any issues. That was our goal from the start.
RVP: How will Frame.io help REAL in the future?
Dan: Man, I think Frame.io is only headed upward. They’re rockstars at what they do, and now that Adobe has acquired the platform, they are already rolling out some amazing integrations into the Adobe suite.
I’m particularly excited about C2C aka “Camera to Cloud”— their new turnkey solution for remote video production, which allows you to privately stream a production to team members anywhere in the world using only a couple pieces of hardware, or to instantly generate proxies directly from the camera to pull down and begin editing while the production is taking place.
Everyone wins with a solution like that. There is more global collaboration with team members who can help solve problems while they are happening on set, and post production can begin immediately, which could definitely help in instances like ours with tight turnaround times.
For Real Video to be able to offer a painless workflow like that to our national or international clients, particularly in the agency space, is an exciting prospect and could be a really valuable tool to our clients.
We are definitely ready to use C2C as a regular practice within our productions.
RVP: Awesome! Thanks for taking the time to chat with us about this project.
Dan: Of course, it’s always exciting when we can find solutions like this that make everyones’ life easier.
On August 25, 2022 Real Video hosted a networking event for videographers and photographers. This event had a little bit of a twist to it because we decided to include a guided discussion throughout the evening. The overarching topic for this event was VALUE.
The first thing we want to say about the first Room Tone event was that we were blown away by the talent in the room. People whose work we admire kept flooding through the door. I was also impressed with how many brave, new people came out ready to network and engage in the conversation with complete strangers. It was our hope that this event would be applicable for videographers and photographers, no matter how far along they are in their professional journey. There is just some sort of magic that happens when passionate, talented, creative people get in a room together.
We felt it.
We also felt overwhelmed with gratitude. All the guests jumped right into it with positive energy. We feared it would be “clicky” and introverts would hide in the shadows. But when the discussions started, it was like a rocket went off. Everyone seemed really engaged and excited to be there. Even our sponsors, Kessler and Rusthead, were genuinely glad to be asked to participate and walked away excited by the connections they made throughout the evening.
We know people’s time is valuable and we are thankful for everyone who came out to this event and spent their time sharing their experiences, being open and building into this community.
If you were unable to attend the event, or need a reminder, here is a little recap of what was talked about:
How do you value yourself?
We thought of this in terms of creating an hourly rate for your services. To do so, we took four factors into consideration.
- Experience. How long have you been doing what you do professionally?
- Education. Have you invested in further education that applies to your field?
- Location. Where do you do a majority of your work?
- Specialty skills. What can you offer that makes you unique in the industry?
After we pondered these four questions we broke off into small groups. Each person told the others where they were at with these four areas. With that information, the others in the group said what they thought that person’s hourly rate should be.
We asked the room if they felt suggested rates were high, low or on point. A majority of the room responded that they were on point.
It was also stated that a quick, generic Google search was done on what the average yearly salary for a videographer in the USA. ZipRecruiter said $44k, Payscale was $47k and Glassdoor was $48k. There are many sites where you can dial in your details to get a more accurate estimate but thought this was a good baseline to compare where individuals may fall on the scale.
We also discussed the importance of doing a post mortem project review to see how you actually did on a job. Remembering that minimum wage in Indiana is $7.25. If you’re walking away from a project close to that, you may have an issue.
The next segment that was up for discussion was how to value a project. Here are six things that you should consider when working up an estimate for a project:
- Your hourly rate
- Translate this into a day rate. (8-10hr day)
- Estimated time to do the project
- The more projects you have under your belt, the easier it gets to do this
- The gear it takes to pull the project off
- Take into account ALL the gear needed (camera, lights, grip…)
- Any additional outgoing costs
- Meetings, Pre-production, Location, Crew, Wardrobe, Food, Travel Expenses, Talent, Music licenses, Stock footage / graphics, Props, Vehicle rentals, Lodging…
- Your overhead
- Rent, Vehicle, Internet, Software, Hardware, Licenses (drone), Loans, Marketing Efforts, Website, Phone, Staff (payroll), Taxes, Insurance…
We asked where a majority of people felt like they were losing money. Travel and pre-production meeting time rose to the top.
Once our brains were spinning with everything it actually takes to make an amazing video, we broke out into new small groups and talked about where we thought we lost out on the most money when pricing a job and what steps we should take to make up for it.
Once we came back together as a large group, we asked where a majority of people felt like they were losing money. Travel and pre-production meeting time rose to the top.
After that, as a large group, we started talking about the third section on the topic of value. How can you educate your client on the value of what you are offering? Here were six points to consider:
- Don’t be afraid to talk about the budget in the first meeting.
- If the client doesn’t have a budget for the project, ask if $X amount scares them. (Make sure $X is a little higher than what you think you need for the project because it’s easier to go down then up.) Your client’s reaction to this question will give you a lot of information on where you need to be.
- Think about the clients R.O.I.
- We used an example of a hotel that charges $500 dollars a night having an issue with paying $1,500 for a video. Putting that into perspective by saying the video pays for itself if 3 people make a decision to stay at the hotel because of the video.
- Be honest with your estimates and be able to defend every line item.
- Clients may not know the cost of things that are out of your control like music licensing, actors, hair & makeup…seeing it as a line item and the cost that goes with those services can be enlightening.
- Have the client put skin in the game.
- If they cut something out of the proposal to save money. Make that their responsibility to cover. Your job should not be harder because they want to save them money.
- Hold them accountable.
- Again, if your client is taking on responsibility to cut costs, they need to meet expected deadlines. Their lack of organization should not be your problem.
- Don’t be soft.
- Remember, they asked you into the room because you have something they want.
When we got back together as a large group we asked what are the dream clients? The room responded with: Clients that are trustworthy, that show up on time and that pay.
After this large group discussion we broke off into new small groups one last time. In those we described our dream client and what steps could be taken to work with them.
When we got back together as a large group we asked what are the dream clients? The room responded with: Clients that are trustworthy, that show up on time and that pay.
In closing, it is our hope that this community continues to grow and the idea that everyone in this tribe makes a point to make the people around them successful.
“A rising tide lifts all boats” – John F. Kennedy
Back in 2016 we were working on a little comedy short. (I’ll never forget this shoot because one of our Arri 1K lights exploded during production!) We invited a few kids on set who had expressed some interest in video production. One of those kids was 15 year old Ben Wiersema.
Ben had been acting in school plays and was curious about the video production process. As sparks flew from our lighting rig, I guess a spark ignited in Ben as well. Ben continued acting and went on to Columbia College to study screenwriting and video production.
Fast forward to 2021. Real Video was putting together a commercial and was looking for some actors. Ben came to mind and we cast him for one of the roles. While sipping LaCroix and snacking on Welch’s fruit snacks in between takes, Ben mentioned he was looking for an internship as he entered his senior year at Columbia.
We brought Ben on as an intern and he crushed it! The whole team at Real was blown away by his creativity, organization and his hunger to continually learn and grow. We decided to offer Ben a part-time position as our Associate Producer before his internship was over.
We couldn’t be more excited to have Ben on staff at Real while he finishes his degree and we look forward to what the future holds.
As with all new employees, we sat down with Ben for an interview…
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?
- It’s hard for me to put into words how much I love movies. Making movies. Watching movies. All of it. At 10 years old, I would bike around my neighborhood with an iPod 5 and a broken tripod to make random short “films.” Most, if not all, of those masterpieces will never see the light of the day. I’ll make sure of that.
- I’m always looking to improve myself.
- I have a sticker of the Queen of England on the back window of my Toyota RAV-4. If you ever spot one of us, feel free to ask how she got there.
RVP: So what’s inspiring you right now?
BW: This has been a pretty dope movie year in my opinion.
Films like Everything Everywhere All at Once, Top Gun: Maverick, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, and Mad God have all blown me away.
It’s hard for me to turn off my critic brain sometimes, but never have I ever seen so many movies in a year that I can’t help but just ogle at.
I’m extremely grateful. It’s all new and exciting to me, and I hope that feeling sticks with me for a long time.
RVP: What excites you most about being an associate producer?
BW: I’m only 21 years old, so being able to help write scripts, prep shoots, work on sets, and give feedback on edits for a production company is something I’m still wrapping my head around.
I’m extremely grateful. It’s all new and exciting to me, and I hope that feeling sticks with me for a long time.
RVP: What excites you most about joining the Real Video team?
BW: The endless supply of LaCroix in the fridge…
Oh, and working with some amazingly creative peeps; a few that I’ve known for a long time and others that I met only a few months ago.
There’s plenty of opportunity for me to grow creatively and professionally here at Real, and the community here makes it a blast. I dig it.
RVP: What is some free advice you have to give?
BW: We create because there is Someone who created us. The gifts and talents you have are completely intentional.
The entire front of our studio is glass. For some projects, the natural light that pours into our space is a blessing. However, for other projects we find it’s best to control our own light. As requests for product videography grew alongside the increase of clients using the studio for interviews we started to look into a better way to black out our glass storefront.
“We’re a group of problem solvers”
After measuring the space, we started submitting quotes for a track and curtain system. Prices started to come back between $12,000 and $14,000. Well, it’s a good thing we’re a group of problem solvers, because spending that kind of money on curtains just isn’t in our blood.
“The last thing we want to do is burn our studio to the ground”
We called around to some fabric stores and started explaining our needs. First, we needed to blackout out as much light as possible. Second, the fabric pieces needed to be large. The largest piece had to be 9×30’ preferably without any seams. Third, we wanted our fabric to have a bit of a knap. This means it has a fuzzy or velvety feel to it. This is helpful for absorbing sound. Last of all, it needed to be flame retardant. This fabric was going to be around a lot of hot lights, and the last thing we want to do is burn our studio to the ground.
After doing some research and calling around, we found a fabric warehouse in the heart of Chicago who had exactly what we were looking for. They offered reams of Commando Cloth/Duvetyne that could be cut to our desired length. So we hopped in the van and took a trip into the city to pick it up.
When we got it, the fabric was exactly what we were looking for, however, it looked like they cut it with a potato. The edges were crooked and fraying like crazy. Lucky for us, one of our wives owns a little sewing studio around the block from our studio. She graciously walked over, sewing machine in-hand and hemmed roughly 140’ of fabric for us. She even made color-coded tags on each curtain with size on it.
Next, we had to figure out how to hang this much fabric from our drop ceiling. The solution we came up with was relatively simple. We created something we call “Mag Clips”— we found tarp clips, and coupled them with small carabiners, and powerful neodymium magnets with a metal eyelet to allow some articulation and flex to each clip. The tarp clips use either a notched collar, or a tightening lever to clamp down on the fabric and can be hung to any metal surface.
When clipped onto the fabric (roughly every two feet), the clips are strong enough to hold the weight to the grid of the drop ceiling. Now, we are able to create a 20×30’ black box to shoot in, and it only cost us around $800.
Additionally, we are able to hang other materials such as muslin, or diffusion material like Grid Cloth or silk to bounce or shoot lights through, all without using any additional c-stands or rigging. No matter the material, it can all easily be taken down and transported and we have this flexibility no matter where we are shooting.
“Mag Clips… have quickly become one of those must-have items in our kit”
Mag Clips were built out of necessity to solve a small problem, but they have quickly become one of those must-have items in our kit that travel with us on location for every shoot. Heading blindly into a corporate shoot, having these clips and some rags on hand provide a quick way to throw up some negative fill or bounce light in confined spaces, maintaining a small footprint when you can’t necessarily afford wheeling in combo stands, t-bars, or speedrail to rig your light modifiers.
If you’re interested in creating your own ceiling clips, the material list can be found here:
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.
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.
My oldest daughter begged me to enroll her in an art club.
A few weeks in she was telling me about the class and she mentioned these two girls who were best friends (both named Grace) and how they were being a little rude. Dumb stuff, like not sharing crayons and being exclusive.
So I simply coached her on how to handle the situation and nothing more was brought up about it.
A few weeks went by and I picked Natalie up from art club. I noticed she had some sort of project in a plastic bag as she climbed into the back seat.
“I see you brought home one on your art projects, I’m excited to see it”. I said.
Gazing out the window, I see her shrug in the rearview mirror.
“I thought it was cool but the Graces said it was stupid and that I did it wrong”. She said.
I felt my blood pressure rise.
“Can I see it”? I asked.
She pulled out a messy little flower pot collaged in layers upon layers of tiny squares of cut paper. It was every color imaginable. Once I saw it I understood what the project was and understood why the Graces mentioned that she didn’t follow the rules on how it was supposed to be done.
“How did you make this?” I asked.
“I dumped a bunch of squares of paper on the table, covered my flower pot in glue and then rolled it through the pile of squares.” she said.
I replied “Let me guess, the Graces took their squares and meticulously glued each one on the pot with a little space inbetween am I right”?
“Well, no one will ever notice the Graces flower pots because they are boring and unoriginal. You were given the same materials and the same time frame but you thought out of the box and created something different, wild and beautiful. I hope you never lose that way of thinking”.
I parked the car in the driveway, took that little flower pot and transplanted a little cactus into it and placed it on the windowsill in the kitchen.
Now, it’s a daily reminder to not act like the Graces.
As a father, I live for teachable moments like this. This one in particular resonated with me when it comes to video production.
Access to great equipment is so easy now. There is always a new, better, cheaper camera coming out. Editing software is getting quicker and less complicated to use. Piles of footage can be scrubbed through faster than ever. Pre-assembled soundtracks and visual effects can be added at a click of a button.
So if all these amazing resources and equipment is available to everyone, what’s going to set you apart?
Real Video Production Company prides itself on being able to tell amazing stories for our clients. Because authentic and compelling stories build trust and trust builds loyalty.
A customer is a customer but a LOYAL customer becomes a brand ambassador.
Leaving the comfort of our steady 9-5 jobs to fulfill a life-long dream of owning our own video production company is scary as hell. And just to make it more exciting, we did it during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
This may be the best and/or stupidest thing we’ve ever done.
It’s stressful. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. But our team believes that the cost of regret is far greater than the cost of failure. So we’re going for it and this little bird is our mascot.
Why? Because it’s a symbol of provision.
Matthew 6:25-34: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
So, with that, I invite you on this journey with us.
Let’s create beautiful things, share inspiring stories, make mistakes, make friends, be vulnerable, unique, authentic and genuine.