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Client Profiles

Lesson 3 from: Creating a Video From Start to Finish

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

3. Client Profiles

Video projects come in many different forms, from cinemagraphs and short films to commercials and features. A client profile is a type of video telling a story about a person or business. Learn what's involved in this simple video type as an easy format to get started with.

Lesson Info

Client Profiles

What are some examples of some video, filmmaking projects? You know, 'cause projects encompass a lot, so we've got cinemagraphs, I think someone in the audience said they love doing cinemagraphs, you know, that's a perfect way to kind of just think about projects, because they're really photograph based, right? They're still frames that kind of have motion, you capture motion, you kinda mask out some stuff, and it's kinda really cool. You see 'em a lot in marketing right now, it's kind of cool to see that like, something that a photographer can do, have such reach in the way of marketing, you see that online, it's amazing. Short films, obviously. Subject profiles of client profiles, is what I call them a lot too. Commercials and features, okay? So there's a lot you can talk about. But for the purposes of today's class, we really just wanted to make sure that that we focus in on one thing that was tangible. Especially for photographers, because I think, me being a photographer and me tr...

aveling kind of that roadway into capturing motion, I really latched onto this idea of client profile, because I'm a people person, it allowed me to work with clients, it allowed me to kind of interact and lean on the strength that I had as a photographer. So you know, we're gonna be really talking about client profiles today. You know, and as we go through this class, what's gonna be exciting is hopefully, you're gonna see elements of photographic style and how you interact with the client and how you capture a client and how you actually make them comfortable. Okay, so what we're gonna do, is I'm gonna show you one of my first client profiles. It's with a lab called Digital Silver Imaging, they're over on the east coast in Massachusetts, kinda in the Boston area. They create black and white wet room, like wet, dark room prints, from digital files, you know? So they actually have a process where they take a digital image and then create and expose photographic paper on black and white images, you know, and black and white paper. So yeah, it's a great little company, they're up in the north east if you guys wanna take a look at 'em, okay? We are about helping people appreciate their work and see it in ways that they haven'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 2008 at a time when I felt that black and white photographer 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 had 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 who comes in DCI gets the experience in 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, that you know, they get to see the process. And when they understand the process, they even appreciate it even more. So, you know, whether, you know, somebody is working with us from California or whether they're working with 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. That's really about providing a service and getting people to get their files and their images out of their cameras and back on to papers again. 'Cause that's really what art 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 dialogue for people, we wanna be with you in part of that process to 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. (inspirational music) So, what did you guys think of that? Kind of just a really simple piece, right? Just very simple, told a story. It basically gave you an understanding of what made him so passionate about printing black and white imagery. You know, that's essentially the point, right? It's a lab that prints black and white, but now you know the story behind it, now you know the attachment to it, now you know why he's doing it, and if you can latch onto that, it's different than going to Costco for a print, right? Or it's different than going to your local, you know, one hour print shop that's mass producing these black and white prints on color paper, okay? So, there's a little bit of a organic-ness, and authenticity to the process. And I think that that's really a lot when you go to a client profile, what you're trying to draw out, you know? Okay, so, yeah! Victor, G C Campo said, can you please ask Victor to say the name of that company again, 'cause they are curious about learning more about the printing company, the black and white company. Oh! Okay, cool, the name of the company is, Digital Silver Imaging. They're in Massachusetts and the owners name is Eric Luden. Okay, so it's Digital Silver Imaging, and I've known him, I've known him for a little over 10 years. And him and his wife, it's a family operated business that comes out of the east coast, and he's been in love with printing for, literally his entire life. When I first met him he was just getting started up and he was looking for like black and white conversion software and I had been working with a company that had just come out with a software, you know, so we got to be really good friends, and I see him, you know, every six months or so, you know, out in the world. But yeah, he's awesome, they're a really, really great company. Okay, client profiles. So let's like drill it down, okay? Client profiles usually about one person, a natural story, involves an interview, okay? That's gonna be the trigger point for all of us. It's easy to capture footage, and then like, do voice over, that's like your first step, okay? Shoot some footage, do a voiceover, all photographers can do that, just think about how simple that is, right? There's no, no audio involved, outside of getting someone into a room, mic-ing them up, checking the level, and having them voiceover something, okay? So, before you do this, try a voiceover video, it's really really easy, okay? A good tip is if you got children, here's where you really really indentured servitude with children is amazing, okay? You get them, you tell them to do something, you film it from different angles, and then you yourself can narrate over it as practice. Right, making a paper airplane is a good one. First you fold the paper in half, then turn it horizontally and take the corner up, you know? Basically imagine that you're creating a YouTube video for yourself, to learn how to do something. Pick a process that you intimately know, that way you can voiceover, that way you understand as you're doing that voiceover, what shots you missed, okay? That's how you practice, that's how you learn. I remember when I first started capturing images using light, I sat, it was like I was like 22, in my college apartment, with my college best friend in the back, and I had this light that I just kept turning and moving around this like can, of like soda. And it was just hours of just trying to learn about what light does to an image. And so that's the kind of passion that you gotta bring to this, because if you do that, it will show, it will become so evident in the work you create, okay? So start with that little practice, do a voiceover video. Okay so here, the thing I wanna hammer in here, it's two to three minutes. It's got to be short. I'm gonna show you a video later on, that the rough cut of the video that's three and a half minutes, and I'm gonna make you listen to it entirely, without any video. And you're gonna see how painful it is. (laughing) Okay, no matter how good it is, if it's three and a half minutes of just straight talking, someone talking at you, it's brutal. So you gotta remember, it has to be under three minutes, otherwise, practically speaking, it's gonna take too long to load online, people aren't gonna watch it, attention span isn't there, all of it. Okay, so you got to, got to, got to, keep it below three minutes, alright? So what's the formula? Our interview creates a narrative. That's the most important thing, you gotta ask the right questions, so that interview creates your narrative. You have nothing else, but that interview to lean on. So if he or she doesn't say it, you can't show it. Right? Our job is to show, but if they don't say it, we can't show it. So we have to get them to say things. And that's where your interview skills as a photographer. How many times, the photographer, have you sat in front of a client who's just clammed up? 'Cause they don't like getting their picture taken? I hate getting my picture taken! I hate it, right? And so Casey yesterday, awesome. He was like, hey Victor, come on over here, I want you to get your picture taken, I was like, oh great, I'm thinking in my head, I'm thinking in my head, I never look good in pictures, I hate getting my picture taken, this is why I like being behind the camera, and what happened was Casey made me comfortable, and took legitimately, the best picture of me I have ever seen. Because he was passionate, he was just like, oh hey, so I have this idea, and it's kinda crazy, but can I just use you, I want you to be my model, and do this thing, and it was clear to me that he had a creative vision, and it was clear to me that he had something tangible he wanted to make me a part of. So that put me at ease. If you can show your client that you're confident, that you have a creative vision, that you're gonna put them in a place where you're never gonna make them look horrible, they will trust you, and you're gonna get the best outta them. That's the most important thing here, you get them comfortable, you're gonna get so much out of it and because you're photographers, you already know how to do that. 'Cause how many times have we had to photograph a teenager that's not confident, that is not sure of themselves, that doesn't know who they are, right? We've all been there, we've all done that. So lean on that. Now the last thing is, the footage will support your narrative and then the edit makes that narrative a real story. Can you see how I'm layering things in here. You start with the interview, the footage supports the interview, and then the edit allows you to tell that story that you heard in the interview. Nowhere did I say, in this entire process, that you shoot a video, boom, and out comes an edit. Right? Nowhere. All of the thought goes in prior to. All of the passion goes in prior to. And once you eject out, that piece, it's a bi-product of what you know to be true of that person. So my question kinda revolves around deciding what shot, so if, did you show up with some questions that was gonna lead them to the answers you wanted, and then did that also translate in you already knew what shots you were probably going to take? So that's a great question, I think that, you're gonna get that answer much more as we progress throughout this class, but to start off, when you do your client research, what did I say earlier? You find their why, that's what you do. You find their why. Because if you stop for a second, and can just do some research online about who the client is, 'cause I'm sure, most clients have businesses, most clients have reviews, most clients have this, X, Y, or Z. If you find out their why, you're going to be much more comfortable going in, then you are not knowing anything. Okay, so that's the first thing. So what someone does and how they do it, is absolutely boring, okay? Get that through, understand that. I don't want you to make movies and films about what and how people do something, that's boring, okay? And I don't wanna be mean, and I'm not trying to be rude, but we're not in the business of making boring content. (laughing) Okay? We're in the business of trying to push our creativity further, why? Because we wanna be creative, and because we wanna say something. Have what you do, say something, okay? Whether it be visually, or through the audio, or through the edit, have it say something. And you're gonna ask me, well how do I have it say something when I'm doing a client profile? It's about the client! The way you say something in the profile piece like that is the way that you convey them and message what they say to you, okay? They are using you as a mouthpiece. So that's a huge responsibility. That's a huge responsibility. So, there is the tie in, don't do something you're not passionate about. Don't do something you're not interested in, don't do something that you can't get your head into. Because if you don't do that, you're doing a disservice to the person that's using you as the mouthpiece, okay? That's our responsibility. And if we just phone it in, if we just do it 'cause we just wanna, you know, make a quick buck or do something, you're gonna get burned out. And you're gonna stop doing it. And that's not why we're here, okay? So make your film show why. And the more time you spend doing it, I guarantee it, I guarantee you, 10 times over, times 1,000, it will make your film better, okay? So, rule two, gear doesn't matter. How many of you guys have an iPhone? Mobile smart phone? How many of you guys here have a phone that can capture video? Yeah, I do too. I've got two great friends, okay? They're awesome, I wish I could do half the things they do. Jaron Schneider, Toby Harriman. These two guys I met, oh a couple of years ago. Just random happen circumstance, I think I reached out to Toby on Instagram, or something like that, you know? And these are the connections you can make when you're passionate about someones work, right? And when you're passionate about what they do. So they created a film, they created a film with an iPhone six, and it's called, Flying Into Dusk. It's awesome, it's absolutely awesome. If you Google, Flying Into Dusk, shot on iPhone six, Toby Harriman or Jareo Schneider, you're gonna get the video, and there's a huge article on it, and there's some behind the scenes on it, all of it, there's even a behind the scenes video. I encourage you to watch it, only because, they prove my point here, gear doesn't matter, it's the film that matters, okay? So let's take a look at it. (inspirational music) Alright, I know what you're thinkin', Victor the gear doesn't matter, unless you have a helicopter. (laughing) Alright, so that's a challenge. No, actually the cool thing about the helicopter stuff, right, so if you are interested in doing aerial type stuff like that, I'm guaranteeing you, if you look hard enough, you can find a service, that is, you can actually gang up with like five or six people into a helicopter, pay a small amount per person, to be able to get yourself up in the air, okay? They didn't, they don't own a helicopter, they don't, you know, ride share with just the both of them on helicopters and stuff like that, but, it's a proof positive, right, that they can overcome a challenge. So their challenge was, hey, we wanna make an aerial film, so what did they do? They devoted a ton of resources and time into answering the challenge of, how do we get ourselves in the air? We don't need the gear, the gear doesn't matter, the challenging of getting ourselves in the air matters. So as you think about challenges, that's it. Like, think about your film and think about what some of your challenges are. And as you think about that, you know, there's different ways to answer those challenges. So what do you think, Kenna? Are there people asking about like, challenges or how they can get through things? Well first of all, yes, absolutely. But one question I do have to you, was how they, do you know how they shot this, using the iPhones? Yes. Were they using the Native app? Were they using something else? There's a great app out there called Filmic Pro. Okay, Filmic Pro. It's a really, really good app, and it allows you to kind of lean on the internal technology of the phone, but use it really, really well, okay? So Filmic Pro is the app. Cool, and that's F-I-L-M-I-C-- Yes. Filmic Pro. Yes. Do you know if they were using a gimbal to stabilize the footage or if they did that in post-processing? So, the question about gimbal, so for those of you that don't know what a gimbal is, it's a handheld stabilization device, it's a three access machine basically, that holds the phone in place, regardless of the motion happening around it, okay? So it stabilizes the phone. And they're available, you know, from as expensive as, you know, a few thousand dollars, to as inexpensive as a few hundred dollars. I believe that the one that they were using was from ICAN. But they did use a gimbal, and it was something that was very key in them capturing the footage, obviously because, okay? It was movin' around and stuff. Well anyway, back to the point of like, the gear doesn't matter, you already have a phone, and I think Kenna wants to ask a question. Well no, I wanted to give the shout outs about what people are seeing with the challenges and what they are-- Sure. You know, wanting to learn out of here, and Damien Binds has said, I want to hone my conversation skills so that I can draw out good emotion and content from people, and we're gonna see you in action doing that, absolutely. Another user says I want to make a small documentary about my grandfather, and wants to show two side of the same person, which is really interesting. Somebody else wants to be able to create a narrative without having to rely on sound. Which is interesting. And we also had in the chat rooms, Tonia, shout out to Tonia from the UK, who says, I'm excited about the process to get to the end rather than the technical skills themselves and that's really, is what we're talking about in this course, so much more that you're gonna be able to learn and cover, so thank you. Well, actually, let's actually talk about some of those things, I think those are great conversation points, and what can you do to get better at talking to people? It's gonna make you really uncomfortable, but spend like five or 10 minutes a day looking at someone straight in the eye and talking to them and saying something meaningful. It's the most uncomfortable thing you're gonna ever, ever have to do, and it really, really, really, is difficult for me sometimes. I've got a friend, his name's Emmanuel, he's got a stare that could pierce through your head. (laughing) Okay, but he's so thoughtful, so thoughtful, so deliberate in the way he does things. And because of his deliberateness, and because of his ability just to look at someone in the eye and say, hey how you doin'? Hey, how's it going, how's your day going? You know? Oh, traffic was really, really awful today. But I'm here, you know, it's really nice to see you. That simple thing really just helps you learn to disarm people because we don't, we're not taught anymore to look at people in the eye. I have another friend, kinda my mentor, over the past 10 years or so, his name's Richard Parker, Rich Parker, he's another guy, Texan, stare you in the face, never look away, shake your hand, give you a hug, tell ya, you know, how his day's going for real, and that really taught me a lot about how to talk to people. You don't need to go to class, you don't need to go to, you know, read a book or anything, it's just learning to stare people in the eye, and say hey, how are you doin', I really mean it. And if you wanna take a step further, give 'em a real hug, you know? Give them a hug when you meet them, give 'em a hug when you see them. Get that genuineness and authenticity in there. Yeah, so that one resinates with me, and then if you get that down, then everything else will fall into place. Everything else will fall into place, okay? So, last rule, the film matters, so do the most, the most important thing, is do what is gonna be best for the film. If that means no audio, fine, no audio. If that means one camera, fine, one camera. If that means no gear, one camera, just you, fine, do what's best for the film. Because if you do what's best for the film, it's gonna be best for the client. 'Cause we're at the end of the day delivering something to a client.

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Ratings and Reviews

Cheryl Winkles

You're awesome, I learnt a lot from you, this is like a must-have first course for anyone who wants to step into video or filmmaking world. Highly recommended and thank you a million Victor Ha.

a Creativelive Student

Fantastic course, Victor is one of the finest instructors I have encountered. Great stuff, I would highly recommend this for anyone who wants to work in video

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