By 2012, 90% of Internet content transmitted will be motion video. —ASMP
By now, people in the industry have moved beyond whether photographers need to add video/film to their skill set—the consensus seems to be yes, and the sooner the better—and the conversation has turned to how one should go about it. “Secrets of Video Production for Photographers,” an APA/NY seminar led by Lee White last night in Brooklyn, was standing room only. And the ASMP has just posted a massive video “tutorial,” the culmination of its survey of 14 of its members who are now shooting motion as well as stills.
The interviews in the ASMP’s survey were conducted by Gail Mooney, the chair of the trade group’s Motion/Video Committee, and the responses are organized into six categories: General Observations, Getting Started, Roles, Rights & Licensing, and Technical. There’s a wealth of material there, a tiny sampling of which I’ve posted below.
Is there a steep learning curve?
• New skill set needed for thinking, shooting and telling “the story” with motion and sound.
• Learning how to capture good audio—audio is everything in video
• Huge time investment in learning editing software
• Some skills are transferred over from stills such as lighting and composition
“Whether it’s obvious or not, the paradigm is different — it’s like speaking a slightly different language, even though many of the words sound the same.” —Walt Jones
When producing video, who is involved and what are their roles? [Please note that I've excerpted only two of the 15 roles listed.]
Director of photography: This is the person who’s going to be responsible for translating the concept into raw footage, taking care of lighting design, camera equipment selection and pretty much anything else involved with getting usable images captured. They may serve as their own camera operator, or they may simply direct other camera operators to get the style and look they’re after.
Director: The person who will oversee all creative decisions on the project. Ultimately this is someone who will direct the DP, editor and other members of the team as to their vision. The director, when separate from the producer, is generally not responsible for any financial or schedule-related decisions.
Do you market yourself as one “production company” or separately as a still photographer and media producer/videographer?
“I market myself as one company. If you deliver quality photography, then clients will expect quality video from you even though most have no idea how complex it is.” —John Trotto
Where do you think the opportunities for video are?
“I think video has immense potential as the prime building block of visual story-telling, going forward. Most companies are recognizing the value of story-telling as a means of engaging an audience and building a brand reputation. They want the ability to use visuals and audio as a means of connecting their stories with the audience. They found that story development means supplying information, and data, inside a contextual package that is expressed with emotion. The finished product must support a brand promise and connect with the audience’s intellect and emotions. Audiences are demanding stories that help them understand the world and make wise choices on issues that are fundamental in their life.” —Tom Kennedy