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Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Lesson 16 of 39

The Corporate Profile

Victor Ha

Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

16. The Corporate Profile

Lesson Info

The Corporate Profile

I've got 30 minute to give you what I think is the most important thing for us as photographers. If you can be good at doing a corporate profile, if you can do a corporate profile well, you're gonna be so good. And it's gonna be an added element to your business. And it's gonna be something that you're gonna find will open up a lot of doors for you. Okay now, what is a corporate profile? It's usually comprised completely of motion, sometimes still. But mostly motion. It's gonna require sometimes at least two production days. You can do it in one, but it's gonna require two. You're gonna need to capture sound. It's gonna be about one to three minutes in length. And most of the time, you're gonna need lighting gear. Okay, so you're gonna need to know something about lighting. The corporate profile how to. Do a pre-interview. If I'm gonna call somebody, and do a profile for them, or they're gonna want me to do a profile for them, I need to know what I'm getting myself into. Are they a bus...

iness? Are they an individual? What makes them special? You'll want to focus, on the why and the how. Why are they in business? And how do they do it? I don't care about where they are, or what they do, even who they are. Maybe a little bit who they are. But I need to know why they're in business and how they do it. That's important to me. If it's important to me, it's most likely to be important to anyone watching that film. Okay, cause that's what's gonna set them apart. Next thing is, listen to the answers during the interview. Because the answers during the interview will clue you in. Will give you an idea of what B-roll you're gonna need to capture. And in your pre-interview, if they're a process oriented business, if they're a bakery and they hand make all of their frosting, what do you think that video's gonna be about? How they hand make all their frosting. Because that's what sets them apart. The why and the how, okay? There's a book on my reading list. Okay, it's a book by Simon Sinek. It's called Start with Why. It's a marketing book. And he goes through and he explains, he talks about how successful companies are always about the why. What's your why? If you're gonna do a corporate profile, you need to answer that question. What's their why? Because if you don't answer that question, you're just like every other company. So if you think about it, a company like Apple. Steve Jobs got up there and said, well we noticed that people are answering emails on a computer, they're talking on a cell phone. You know, they're playing on a mobile device some video games, why don't we just put it all into one device? That's their why, that's their why. Is why don't we do, put everything that people are using, into one device? And at the time, people thought he was crazy. And now, iPhones are everywhere, right? Make it about the why, okay? I'm gonna read that book. And it's an awesome book from what my friends have told me. And I really encourage you to do it. Because if you can find like other sources of material and help infer, it will help, you can glean some stuff from it and help kind of expand your understanding of other businesses. And when you're doing a corporate profile, if you can understand what some of these innate things are, it's gonna make you more successful at it. Okay, so here's a example of one very basic corporate profile. Okay, it's one location. Doesn't require a lot of B-roll, shot in one day, edited in one day, delivered two days later. Okay. Walk out of here looking and feeling magnificent. That they own their curves. There's no reason why they cannot look and feel as wonderful as any movie star you see on the red carpet. And they should be able to look like that everyday if they want to. The dresses here will make you look and feel like a million bucks. Hands down. So we found vintage inspired fashion that is cut and molded to own your curves. And you can feel confident and be ready to go off on that red carpet event. Or go grocery shopping as far as I'm concerned. Put on one of these dresses and it's instant boost of self esteem, you feel wonderful. It hugs you in all the right places, you can literally throw on a dress and you would look glamorous. It means a lot to us to be able to provide an outfit for somebody that for a day that's very important to them. And in a lot of ways I feel like we're with them. You know, like we've got your back. You know? The clothing fits into a lot of our customers' lifestyle. Most of them live this style and they live in that era. Almost like they walked right out of a Vanity Fair magazine from the 40s or 50s or even early 60s. On top of that, our customers have a very unique style. Has a little more sophistication and edge for modern day people and their style. When they come in, they can tie in accents to their current look, or they can change their look all together. If you're more conservative and you just want to add accents to help compliment your style, to give it a little more personality, this is the place you want to come. And everything in here reflects personality and has fun. I mean, fashion should be fun. It shouldn't be boring. It shouldn't put you to sleep. You shouldn't look in your closet and go, Oh God, what am I gonna wear today? The dresses here give your wardrobe personality. It gives you personality. It's not about what everyone else is wearing. It's what looks good on you. (light music) That last corporate profile, what their why? They do vintage inspired fashions for people who don't want to look like everyone else. They want just to feel beautiful when they wear something. That's their why. That's what separates them from every other clothing shop in that community, right? So that's what we say about humanizing a brand. So we're gonna watch another one right now. We're gonna steamroll through these 'cause I wanna make sure you guys watch a lot of these. So next one is about a printing lab that does specific black and white prints in New England. This is very narrow business, guys. They do black and white printing from a digital file in New England. So here's an example of another corporate profile. And you're gonna see this one's process oriented. We are about helping people appreciate their work and see it in ways that they hadn't before. And it is true that we really do work with people on a variety of levels, whatever their project, whatever their passion, to help them achieve that. And that's why we do what we do. We want to have people have the experience of seeing their work again on the wall, hanging, shared with friends in a way that isn't just in front of a computer screen, or an iPhone or an iPad. I founded Digital Silver Imaging in at a time when I felt that black and white photography needed a source for really good quality printing. So for me to be able to do this, it is a great joy. I live a little vicariously through all of our clients. Whether they're a successful fine art photographer, commercial photographer, or just a person who has a passion for photography. I think digital made people accept what was possible and not realize the potential of their work. And I think that that's kind of what, that's what we're about. Anybody comes in DSI, gets the experience of being able to walk back and see our process. There's no secret. We show people our machine. We show them the chemicals, we show them the print washers. And I think that there's a sense of amazement to them. You know, that they get to see the process. And when they understand the process, they even appreciate it even more. So you know, whether somebody is working with us from California, or whether they're working us right here in Massachusetts. I want people to know what we do. I want people to understand what we do, so they can appreciate the quality and the attention to detail that we put into every print that we do. That's why we do what we do. It's really about providing a service and getting people to get their files and their images out of their cameras and back onto papers again. Because that's what art really is about. It's meant to be seen and viewed and held in a way that people can respect it and enjoy it and appreciate it together. It becomes a dialog for people. We want to be with you in a part of that process and complete that project. And work with you to ensure that it reflects what your vision was. We are a player in that role. Our role is to enable people to produce their work in a partnership that reflects their vision, and our capability. (light music) Alright guys, so that's a different one, right? It's not about the business and how they're different, it's about their process. What's their why there? Their why is they care about your file so much that they're gonna hand print it, and hand tone it, and hand squeegee it, and hand dry it. That's what they focus on. That's their why. They care so much about your work, that they're willing to do all of that. Right? So when you think about a corporate profile, so whereas weddings require a different level, a skill set, I think corporate profiles for photographers, that's a skill set that we all have. We can talk to people really well, we take great portraits of them. We just need to be able to have a conversation about their business, and capture it. Okay, so let's take a look at the setup real quick. I've got a two-point counter light set up, I'll show you guys in a second, that's a shock and mic on a boom. That's my second camera and that's our audio setup there that we used. So here's a closer look at the audio. We're gonna talk about this in a bit. But that's a recorder, that's a two-channel field mixer, my setup's changed a little bit. It's simplified a little bit 'cause advances in technology. For a little bit of a cue tip here, like a little tip, is if you're using a 5D Mark II, okay, a 5D Mark II, a lot of the times, these little black bars up top, people don't realize that those are crop lines. So if you have some gaff tape, you wanna mask it off, that way you actually get the right frame. 'Cause what ends up happening is if you have a second camera operator who's not familiar with that, they will frame them for the whole back of the LCD and you'll lose half of their head. Okay, so that's just a visual 'cause I had my friend help me out here and I just wanted to make sure I gaffed it out we we got the right framing. Okay, the newer cameras don't do that. But if people are still using 5D Mark IIs and so that's a good point. So that's just a shot of us leveling, you know. Here's the setup. Okay, we used two lights. A key light, rim light, microphone, second camera, first camera. The first camera was a dummy camera. He was so nervous that we actually just scrapped that first shot and used the second camera shot. That's me setting up the boom, and that's another look at the setup. So here's a look at a slider on top of a head. Moving it back and forth. And we're gonna cue into the next video. Before we move on, do we have any questions? I have a question. I noticed on the corporate profiles it was always just one individual being interviewed. I've seen where they'll do one person, different people, you know, one person at a time. Is there a rule for doing two, three, four people and is there a special setup with how to do that? There isn't a rule. If you're gonna do more than one person, you gotta make sure that the lighting's consistent. Which is why you use a light meter. My rule, my hard fast rule is corporate profiles should be short. They need to be short. If a company asks you for a five minute edit, they don't oftentimes understand what a five minute edit feels like. It's your job to show them what a two minute edit looks like, okay? And it's your job a lot of the times, what you'll do is you'll give them a five minute edit, and then have the two minute edit ready. Because they'll go like, oh the five minute edit's too long. Give them the two minute edit and you're done. So, that's what I care about is the length. You can interview and put as many people as you want into the thing. As within reason that would make sense. But corporate profiles as I've found, is typically if you focus on one person, and you make a video from their perspective, it's more narrowly focused. If you put multiple people in, tends to be like customer stuff or like end user reactions, and that's really really good, but when you mix different perspectives, it gets, sometimes it dilutes the overall purpose of the video. So I like to keep it narrowly focused. You're gonna see different versions of this idea of a corporate profile and they probably all work. This one is just the one that for photographers, it keeps them very focused. Keeps you focused on one person, one topic, one thing. And maybe as you get better at it, you can focus on multiple topics. What's your question? This is the question, when you do a company do you need a release from each employee or does the company release all the employees. Either or. So you should get a release from, you want a CYA. So you wanna get a release from each person. And then get a release from the company. Typically if they work for a larger company, they're gonna sign a release anyway when they get employed. Especially like if they're like a profiled company. But you should get a release from everybody just a CYA. Makes sense, okay thanks. To piggyback off of what Zac said, so let's say there's like sisters who own the company. Would you interview them side by side together? Absolutely. Yeah. Absolutely, I'd put them together because the reason they got into the business together, because they love each other, right? Because they're together, yeah. They're together so you gotta put 'em together and you gotta get that interaction. Okay. What I would probably do is pull them aside and do like little snippet interviews with them, so I would have them singled out frame, because what if like the sister, one sister's like the financier, and the other one's like the talent, you know, they're gonna have different perspectives. So you want, if you're gonna talk about their jobs separately, that's what you would do. But if they're gonna be talking about like, how they got into business and why they got into business, you'll want them together, okay? Alright, so I've got 10 minutes left to close this thing out. I'm gonna show you one more video. This one's from my friends over at Shade Tree Films, I love this one. I love this one. It's a corporate film, it's a corporate profile, but it's done in such a wonderfully beautiful way, okay? (airplane whirring) (light music) Do you ever just get stuck? The essence of feeling stuck is that you can no longer see options. The past starts to define your future. What's always been will always be and you fall into cynicism. (clacking) Tired of being lonely. Tired of being isolated. Feel like no one will understand you. The circumstances of life start to steal your energy, your joy, your thunder. You start to complaining and everyone else starts to become your enemies. Dad, come play with me. It's all just a story to ensure your own survival. Dad, why won't you play with me? Hold on a sec, he's gotta do some work. Go get the ball. (light music) Sometimes we just feel so overwhelmed. Burn enough hours of the day. You're too busy and you're too afraid that success will only mean more of what's currently happening. And if the future is more of what you have right now, you're not that interested. You think that's what you deserve. (birds chirping) We all need a break. A break from the monotony of life. The day in, day out, the chasing every item on that to-do list, trying to keep other people happy. Sometimes we just lose ourselves in the process. And your soul knows it was made for more than just survival. So what do you want? I mean, what do you really want? If you weren't scared, what would you claim? What would you want for your future? What's your future worth having? That's where my work begins. I stand behind you, I help you stay clear about what you want. Help you find commitment, help you find yourself in there. Pretty soon you're gonna realize that fighting for all these old stories about your past that got you to where you are, are not worth it. And I'm gonna be fighting for a whole new chapter. And you're gonna want me to win. It's time to take your life back. Cool, huh. Those are the opportunities for you. We went through some very basic ones that required very little in the way of production. Something you can piggyback along into a shoot. And then we took a look at the end, things that were purely based in motion production. Purely based in capturing sound, capturing motion, editing and doing it in a stylistic and meaningful way. Those are the opportunities. That's what you guys are capable of. That's what we do, that's what we can do when we actually look at the fundamentals, and you looked at that last film. We watched that last film guys. These guys are awesome. But how much of that stuff was rooted in the fundamentals of what we talked about yesterday? 100% of it. Nothing they did was outside of the realm of your possibility and scope. If you just practice and use the fundamentals that we talked about. So, how we doing? A couple people including Little Red Dot Productions and Caesar's, wanted to know about writing the scripts for these people. Specifically the two that you had shown before. Are they writing their own scripts? Are you helping them with those? And tell us that process. So, that's completely free form. I don't write scripts. Because when you're writing a script for a client on a corporate profile, it's not their words. You've gotta give them the questions prior to though. You've gotta softball them some questions. I'm gonna talk to you, Hey Johnny, during the interview I'm gonna ask you about what your process is, why you got into business, and you know, what sets you apart. Okay, so I have a friend who did documentary. And one of the greatest tips that I got from her, was when you're doing an interview with somebody, and you're going to ask them questions about what they do, there's always invariably a moment where you're gonna ask a question, they're gonna answer something, and they're gonna stop talking. And it's your job to be listening to them to know when to not ask another question. So much power, it comes in the form of silence when you're in an interview. And at that critical moment, if you know when to not ask a question, typically the other person will fill that silence up with something very meaningful. Okay, very meaningful. Especially to their business and especially about what they do. So it's really important to listen. I think a lot of times, when doing interviews, we zone out. You have to be an active listener. You have to be an active listener, okay? And it has to be, you have to understand that that's where you're pulling your content from, is what they're saying. Another tip is, Zac, ask me what my name is. What's your name? Victor Ha, is the incorrect way to answer that question. Ask me again. Tell me what your name is. Hi, my name is Victor Ha. I answered there in a complete sentence, didn't I. You want to make sure that your talent always answers in complete sentences. So ask me where you're from. Where are you from? I am from Brooklyn, New York. And I was born on April 28, 1981. My favorite things are, okay, so it helps them kind of steamroll. And it helps you in the editing room get stand alone statements without never needing the audio from the interviewer. You need stand along statements. That's funny 'cause our promo videos in our trailers for our courses, we always like to use the students and the instructor and that's one of the things our VTS guys have to do, is prompt people to speak in those complete sentences. And answer as though they are starting and saying their own sentence, rather than-- You need imperative statements. It's really cool. So Word Critter and others are wondering how many hours of B-rolling do you shoot to end up with a five minute edit. I mean, especially when you are just asking questions you don't know exactly what they're gonna say and so you're just exploring as you go. How long, how much footage do you end up with for that five minutes? So I'm gonna give you a ratio. It's gonna be a three to one ratio. B-roll to A-roll. You need to shoot three times as much B-roll as you do primary footage. And interview footage kind of doesn't count as primary, guys. So you think of simple actions. There's one, like you're establishing, someone's opening a can of worms, right? So they're gonna open a can of worms. Your first frame, the established shot, that's your A cam. Everything else, you need three more shots to support that. Four more shots or five more shots to support that. Because you can, did you notice the pace of the editing? Very fast. Even though the last one was such an emotional piece, the editing pace was very fast. So they need a lot of A-roll. Okay. Would you then do the interview first, so you might know what to, Yes. Okay. So you lead in with the interview, this is why corporate profiles sometimes take two days. So you spend the entire first day doing interview and the second day, capturing the B-roll after you've listened to the interview. Another question from Word Critter, and who said, obviously that clip was meant to draw people to the guy's website, but it didn't tell me anything about what he did. What is the purpose of that video? So I think the purpose of that video is to drive you to the website obviously, but also I, listening to it a couple times, I think he's a life coach. He's a life coach. Because it leads off all these people who are alone, don't have a direction. And it's so powerful. In all three corporate videos, the subject is looking in a different direction. Except in the last on, he's looking right at the camera. When someone is looking right at the camera, they're like staring into your soul. So I'm gonna look at this camera right here and be like, hey guys. Hi, I'm Victor. And I'm so glad you're here today. It's really intense and it's really scary. (laughs) Okay, so it's oftentimes you can use that to very firm affect. And at that last video, it was very powerful. 'Cause he's looking at you dead in the eyes. And he's saying to you, I can help you.

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

If you own a DSLR camera, you already own a powerful filmmaking tool. Ready to learn how to use it? Join CreativeLive and Victor Ha for a course that will cover the core principles of capturing video with your DSLR.

Through hands-on demos - including how to create compelling video interviews - Victor will guide you through the core techniques of DSLR filmmaking. You’ll learn how to apply the compositional skills of still photography to taking video. You’ll also learn about how to navigate the video-capturing features of your DSLR, choose the right gear for your filmmaking needs, and incorporate audio into your shoots. From framing shots to producing simple projects to spatial relationships, the skills you gain in this course will leave you ready and inspired to create high-quality, engaging film projects.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Victors White Board Notes - High Resolution

Pre-Production Planner


Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Victor van Dijk

This course was quite a treat! I had been learning piecemeal about DSLR Filmmaking but never had the opportunity to follow a course that ties it all together. And my namesake Victor is ex-cel-lent!!! Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking is a very very clear (I would almost say, lucid!), carefully, comprehensively tied together course teaching all you need and wanted to know about DSLR Filmmaking. Massive PLUS is that the course is first and before all NOT about the nitty-gritty technical details and numbers, but all about the basics of what filmmaking REALLY is all about. And yes, technique and gear are part of that but not for their own sake. And Victor shares that it's all about fun, and telling your story your way in the way that you like. I truly admire Victor's carefully planned and laid out path, in my opinion he planned the course exactly and meticulously like he would a full-blown movie production. And he is very open and honest and not belittling at all. He is really passionate, compassionate and 'infectious' with his happy happy mood :-)! I HIGHLY recommend this course for anyone wanting to properly and thoroughly learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, with a strong focus on using a DSLR.

Penny Foster

This is a very well constructed course by Victor Ha, who is very easy to watch, and very knowledgeable about using the DSLR for more than just taking pictures. For a Wedding Photographer like me, who wants to add some moving images into a slideshow for my client, this course was perfect. Victor shows us that, with the equipment you already own as a working professional photographer, you can get started into video RIGHT NOW, with baby steps. This is not a course on video editing, so if you need that tuition look elsewhere, BUT, Victor shows us how to set our cameras up for success right from the start, so that when we are at the editing stage, the footage is in the perfect state possible to produce excellently exposed, perfectly colour balanced material. He goes over the use of a light meter for capturing video, and how essential it is to get the exposure right 'in camera', so this is certainly a Fundamental DSLR Filmmaking course, for anyone who is already using their DSLR for stills, but who is interested in adding something else to their skill set. Victor is so enthusiastic in his teaching style, and this is a course I will keep coming back to time after time.

Sara safajar

Excellent overview on how to think as a storyteller with DSLR video. Great breakdown and really accessible examples- fun video on the making of a peanut butter sandwich- which inspire and make it feel like the video beast can be conquered. This course is packed with great ideas on not only figuring out to how to make the switch from still to motion, but also creative inspiration on how to begin thinking cinematically. Well worth the price. Great course!