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Moving Your Business from Stills to Motion

Lesson 3 of 6

The Process

 

Moving Your Business from Stills to Motion

Lesson 3 of 6

The Process

 

Lesson Info

The Process

So what's the process of getting these commercials going? Obviously, there's an initial outreach generally from the agency or the client towards you. They say, Hey, we have this job. Hopefully they give you a board and they say we'd like you to bid for it. Okay, You're gonna ask some initial questions, keep it short and sweet initially, but key questions. I see everything here are seen on the water. She wants to go underwater, and I want to go on the water. She wants to shoot this in a studio in a green screen. You get the idea. The basic questions allow you to start formulating your ideas and how you're going to execute it. Okay, You're gonna work on either being given storyboards or creating your own and concepts concepts with it. One of the recommit recommendations I have for you guys asked for their budget range. What's your budget? It's not intrusive because guess what. If it's $ versus $50,000 versus $500,000 how you approach it is gonna be entirely different. And if you bid of $...

500,000 job as if there were 5000 they're gonna laugh at you and vice versa. And it's not that inappropriate. A question, because you could explain them. I could do this 10 different ways. I could do it with a string or a techno crane. Straying a look is good, but if I have enough time, you've heard of good, fast, cheap picked to You don't have much money. Give me 20 tries with string. I might get one night stable shot or with a wheelchair. I'm not kidding. There's a wheelchair. It's a nice dolly. It's available. You can go. I did a job in China. We found a wheelchair and they were, which we'll sharing me through a big mall. And because I was in a wheelchair. No one question that would never permit. And they just thought I was really weird looking guy with a camera, and no one said anything. Had I brought a Steadicam in, there would have been stopped within 10 seconds. So ask those basic questions. Doesn't include post within that number that could kill you. Post meaning editing, computer graphics, color grading sound, mixing all the things you may not be thinking about. Make sure that's generally speaking. Their problem. Don't include that in your budget because you can go so over post without it being your fault, cause a client keeps changing their mind doesn't include talent fees. Am I expected to pay the talent and take on the respect, responsibility of payroll and insurance and all that fun stuff? Or is the client ideally, if the client let it be their problem And, of course, the any special product that we have to make or get and when will it be available? You'd be amazed how many commercials I get, where they're like, you're gonna shoot this new thing. I'm like, Well, he's applying a new thing like we might be able to get it in time. And I'm like, OK, you know, it actually happens. Storyboards simple. You don't have to do, um, your own drawing, but if you do stick figures is better than that. I just wouldn't show up to the client, and you're gonna hire storyboard artists very easily around the nation. Great artist, Relatively inexpensive. They charge you by the page or by the image you work with them. It's obviously much more professional if you show a story ward of your concept as opposed to stick figures. Okay, This is a story where you can also do, which is using stock photography to try to explain your approach. Makes sense. Okay. Very big thing to think about his big versus small budgets. There's pros and cons to each first of all. You gotta be flexible if they've got a lot of money. It's a lot more problems, more things to deal with. A lot greater expectations. A lot more pressure. Okay, You have to have their spending $500,000 on a commercial. 100,000. You gotta have a seat with a video monitor from the city into the tent. You can have him standing there in the cold. You treat them in a certain level. Whereas if they got $5000 this guys, it's like guys is gonna be Subway 12 past fan, and we're gonna have fun. And it's gonna be running gun, but work within your budget. It sounds so silly, but you never have enough money. Even Frank Darabont Which Shawshank Redemption. If you look at the behind the scenes director's commentaries like, Oh, we had no money when we have $20 million to shoot that you never have enough money, even on Nike. I didn't have enough money on all my big jobs, their money or the small ones. You have to learn to work within what you're given. That's the key. Um, so there'll never be enough. Bid your camera, Pax and crew around that budget. Do you really need five people? Every person you add is more per diems, bigger trucks to travel with more equipment. You get the idea. Just tailor it to what you're doing. You're not always going to get a techno crane lowered by the biggest crane. This is the Nike commercial in California to shoot Richard Sherman running up and down the stairs. Maybe it's better to do it on sticks $100 tripod, because that's what you can afford or handheld, tailor your approach to your budget. This is the biggest lesson you have to do understand Here. Uh, when you're doing all this work, all the stuff we're talking about, you haven't gotten a job yet. When you're bidding and doing all this stuff, it's actually the rial stuff because you're committing to it prior to ever getting the job, and it's a lot of work to be putting in terms of getting a job. So you've got a manager time and you've got to plan for location. Do you want to shoot? In January in Hawaii? Anybody? No beautiful place. Rains constantly. I did my first commercial job in Hawaii in January. I nearly killed myself. They would rain for 14 hours straight, and you get 15 minutes of sunlight, but wonderfully over most beautiful 15 minutes I've ever seen with rainbows everywhere. Don't do that for a commercial. You'll be dead. So maybe that's why they shoot so much stuff in L. A. Whether it's arid and doesn't reign that off. Guess what? In January, there's El Nino. It still does ring. But maybe it's why Arizona and all these places in the South are better than, let's say, Canada for shooting commercials. It's pretty obvious. Or the Amazon, uh, make sure you know your costs as best you can look at your airfare, lodging and crew size basic stuff you're planning for all the logistics of the job, the equipment support and lighting can you afford lighting? It's not just a matter of renting the lights. You've gotta have stands for the lights. You've gotta have electricians and a gaffer and cables all starts to add up. And you gotta explain that your client, many clients will say we don't need a delight. It I'm like, hold on a second. So your product is gonna look like whatever the natural light is like that day. Yeah. So you're telling me, of course, if it's bright and sunny, Air one's happy. Sure. What if it's down pouring? Oh, we can't do that. I'm like, I know you can't do that and I can't predict the weather. So we might need to have some lighting on standby, even if we never use it, so that when does downpour? We have a chance of matching the earlier part of the day with a second part. No one wants to spend money on lighting. Is there cheap? But you have to explain to them, no lighting means you're completely at the mercy of the environment in what's going on. So very good example there, so that you have lighting like this is a Nike commercial. We had a big soft box with a skirt that would go up and down so you can control the spill onto the seats on. We put a lot of atmosphere and haze in there, and there's one little one k light in every one of the vomit Terrians that when you move the camera, you can see her moving. Otherwise you're living in black. It's hard to tell that you're moving the camera. All. You've done all this work now and now you submit your bid in your treatment. What's the treatment? I didn't know treatment. One that I was something you would have doctor for. It's probably the single most important thing that you have to do is a director. Here is an example of one of my treatments, Um, for this tread light commercial for Ug. Is it well designed? I'd say so in my designer. No. Again. I hired a designer to help me find the artwork and put it together because guess what? When you turn that stuff in, it looks much better. What's the point of a treatment? Your pitching yourself as a director? What are your thoughts on the commercial? Your ideas? What's your style? How are you going to execute it? And what's your vision? Why hire me versus a two other people? I'm competing against this is your pitch is the first time that the agency is going to read what you're gonna dio and eventually your first introduction to the client. The most critical parts of the step your line producer would be dealing with all the money side. Remember that line? Producer person, This is your job. Okay? You tell me your wish list of what you want to do. And based on your your pitch document or your treatment, they'll figure out what you need to do it. So overview. Thank people about the spot. I talk about my approach, my visual style, the methodology. Our production approach will be equally important as well. I want to maximize our resource is and keep. Production is contained and minimal as possible. This way we can focus on the cinematic beauty and the spirit of the shoes. Featherlite Flight, I propose shooting one day of city exteriors with smaller skeleton crew. This day we will do most of the RC or aerial drone aerial filming as well as the other sweeping aerial views and interaction. You get the idea I'm walking them through high would execute this talk about casting and I put photos in there, what the person should look like. This is my vision based on my research of their brand. Everyone, every brand hire a certain type of looking people. Make sure you look at what their previous commercials are and find out from agency if they're breaking from that and want a different look or show them story. Uh, this was my concept for the entire story. You see also how clear and concise it is. It's pretty compact. They don't have time to read. There just is busy. Is us a 20 page dissertation. Keep it short. Keep it clear. This talks to how I would shoot at the camera, slowly rotates counterclockwise to reverse shot, revealing the window where we began. The shoes begin to slowly cascade towards the ground and elegant, buoyant dance like a fall leaf. It's slightly poetic, but it tries to walk you through how the commercial might look with words and with reference images. You get the idea it goes on and on. This is all about giving him a visual idea what it might look like. Talks about the cinematography, which is very important, approached any commercial, So you're trying to find images that are referenced again. I'm working with someone who's pulling lots of stock images showing them to me and saying yes. Yes. No, no, no, no, no. And so forth. This entire treatment gets done. I write it in two or three hours, maybe a full day. And then they put this document together in a day or two. Max, very quick. Not to mention you might be working on a different commercial. So you don't have time design the stuff in closing. This is one of the spots and only looks stunning on a visual level, but also has such the defy a ble unique sense of spirit. I love to talk with you further about bringing this to life because I haven't gotten a job yet again. I've done all this work before they ever say you're it on. And here's the resulting commercial way I got about this commercial from people like you that with shoes, I'm like there were no shoes because they're all CG. I I'm glad that you figure that out, but great. I guess I worked right. All right. After you submit the treatment, you have your first conference call. Sometimes you have before. This is the first major one. What They see the client and what you're trying to basically do is listen, talk less. Let the client or the agency tell everything that they think is important them. Take notes. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. Listen to them. Let them talk. Ask relevant questions because you're gonna come back with more question the second conference call. Okay, um, the second conference call is now your time toe actually pitch what you just wrote and what you're effectively going to do is gonna walk them for the treatment again. In your own voice. Don't be nervous gonna be freaking out, But try not to be nervous and understand that you're setting a tone for your entire production. From that moment on, the way you describe your approach, the ability to communicate clearly and concisely and slowly and make sure everyone understands it's going to set the tone for your entire production. And they're gonna want to work with you from that point on or not. Based on how you deal with thumb on the phone, how you listen to them, how you react to them, how they give you their concerns and you react to those versus thing. I don't care or don't understand. That makes sense. It's a job interview. This is what's going to say to them. This is the person you want to put forward to our client because he's able to speak to us in a way that's intelligible, let alone hopefully intelligent. They're gonna put their necks on the line and pitch you to their clients.

Class Description

When you're a photographer, making the move to video can be overwhelming and confusing. Vincent Laforet, a Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer and international award winning director, is considered a pioneer in the field of HD capable DSLR cameras. In this class, Vincent will walk through the challenges and unknowns of entering the commercial video industry. He will share information and tips on how to handle contracts, budgets, castings, crew acquisitions and clients. He’ll also cover the similarities and differences to the photography industry and how your skills can translate to video production.  

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It was super interesting! Vincent you are a kind of a big deal! )) Thanks!