Yesterday I did a web video shoot for Sandcastle Interactive . They do custom web design and e-commerce applications. One of their biggest clients is Sodastream – that handy gizmo that turns water into soda. Their website is gorgeous and since everyone I know has one, I’m betting they handle a lot of e-commerce transactions. I shot the video on my 7D and had my 85mm lens and 17-55mm lens with me. I find that combination can tackle almost any challenge in a small office setting. The 17-55mm makes cubicle spaces look downright spacious, whereas the 85mm macro works great for close-up product shots with lots of depth, and close-up shots of my interview subjects. I also brought both my rig and a tripod. The clients said they wanted an “MTV”-style look, so I got the non-traditional dutch angles and jib-like shots with the rig, but then still have the tripod for the interviews. One extra I would like to get is an LED light that mounts on your rig – sometimes thee are products or shots that are a little hidden in shelves, at low angles, etc. that an LED light would really help brighten up. Here are a few I perused at B&H photo - they’re actually so affordable (around $110) you can’t afford NOT to get one (my justification for most extraneous retail items on sale;) . Overall it was a great shoot. Any opportunity I have to get out into the field, play with my gear, meet great people and tell an engaging story is a successful day to me.
Monthly Archives: April 2012
I got an email from a video colleague a couple of weeks ago with an invitation to visit the Adobe offices here in Seattle. Seems they were eager to sit down with some producers and test drive the new yet-to-be released After Effects , which will be bundled with the new yet-to-be released Adobe CS6. This was like an invitation to Disney Land for me. I was excited, yet doubtful about what little insight I could offer. I’ve used After Effects for almost ten years, and yet my breadth of knowledge barely skims the surface of what many regular motion graphics artists can accomplish with this bad boy of a program. My co-producer at the PBS station I worked for in Kansas was an After-Effects affectionado, and would spend the better part of a week learning how to create “steam” rising out of of coffee cup, whereas I focused on honing the content of the program we were editing and marveled at his patience and detailed skills. I could barely layer pictures and zoom text around. Since then I have made great strides in motion graphics and have developed a good core foundation in After Effects. But still…doubt lingered. What could I offer these designer demi-gods?
Once I arrived at Adobe however, I felt a little more at ease. Troy Church; After Effects User Experience Designer, and David Simmons; the principle scientist at Adobe and one of the original After Effects team members, were unbelievably gracious and friendly. We toured the facility on Lake Union’s waterfront, ate lunch in their “cafeteria” (the food is better than some three star restaurants I’ve been to), then convened in their boardroom and got down to business. I signed a non-disclosure agreement upon check-in, so I can’t dish on details. I will say that the new After Effects’s performance and capabilities will be mind blowing. Two of the biggest requests about After Effects has always been improved performance, and incorporate 3-D editing – and the new AE will not disappoint.
It turns out Adobe wants to hear from all walks of producers and editors, from film to large production companies, to freelancers like me who use it once in a while, but also wish there were more plug-ins, more access to training materials, and cheaper classes.
Thanks to the web there are now a good pond of online resources to fish from. Here are a few I liked:
- Creative Cow (online tutorials for a ton of adobe and apple software programs - they tend to be geared towards creating specific looks or effects but a great place to start for overview tutorials as well).
-Adobe TV (Adobe’s online video resource - I like that they have a page dedicated to After Affects with video tutorials in somewhat chronological order of skill level - http://tv.adobe.com/product/after-effects/)
Pro Video Coalition - This is more a compilation of blogs and recent news about all things video, but the second blog posted as of today offers a peek at the new after effects!
Adobe CS6 is slated to be released before the summer. I was thrilled to play a fractional role in its development and am now inspired to roll up my sleeves and delve deeper into the world of motion graphics. When I bid on jobs, After Effects experience is one of the first things potential clients ask about and for good reason, the program has a solid reputation and has a wide user base like no other. Being seriously proficient in After Effects takes a lot of time, commitment, and attention to detail – and I’m up to the challenge!