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Published in May 6, 2022
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Congrats, you run the company’s in-house video department; Now what?

Published in January 12, 2022
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We know - because many of our clients run in-house video departments within corporations –that the job is something of a high-wire balancing act. On the one hand, you have a department full of creative producers and editors who want to explore and push boundaries with their work and make full use of their skill sets. On the other, you have internal clients who are often not well-versed in film l

Get Back to Setting: The Beatles on Location

Published in December 13, 2021
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George Martin: “Location isn’t really a main problem at the moment” Paul McCartney: “Breathing is, actually.” Sure, Get Back is amazing on many levels but, setting-wise, you’re stuck in one big and then one small plain room for most of the 8 hours of the hit new doc series - (Peter Jackson’s [Lord of the Rings] re-cutting of the Beatles footage that was shot for Let It Be [1970

Corporate Film School:  Managing Creatives.

Published in November 22, 2021
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How do you find, hire and develop creative talent for an in-house corporate video department?  How do you appeal to really smart, creative people when the job is within a corporate environment (not typically assumed to be creatively stimulating)?  And how do you keep them motivated and sharp? As sophisticated and creative video production increasingly becomes a capability that more companies

Corporate Film School #8: Editing, a corporate video how to series.

Published in June 30, 2021
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https://player.vimeo.com/video/563771121 If just capturing scenes in the camera was all it took to make a great video, we’d all have a shot at being Fellini or Zhao.  Editing, and its’ fascinating psychological effects, is what makes film narratives sing.  But, maybe you don’t want to be Zhao or Fellini (why, are you busy?), you just want to make a video that is engaging and crisp.  Understandi

Corporate Film School #7: AUTHENTICITY

Published in May 13, 2021
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If producers spent nearly as much time actually trying to cultivate it as they do faking it, we might see a lot more of it in corporate videos but authenticity is one of those qualities, like charisma, that is devilishly difficult to define, much less achieve.  Yet, it’s considered to be among the most important characteristics of a successful appearance in a video.  Almost everyone I talked to w

What I Learned From that Octopus

Published in December 4, 2020
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On the surface (ha), My Octopus Teacher is your typical man meets mollusk love story. But, in terms of film language (below the surface, as it were), there are some very interesting things going on: for starters, it’s almost 95% b-roll with voice-over.  The story is told - and we’ll get into the filmmaking aspects of that later - by Craig Foster, a filmmaker*, whose year

Pickerel Pie’s Corporate Film School Episode #6: Voice Over: Who Does Your Company Sound Like?

Published in December 1, 2020
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https://vimeo.com/486119015 As corporate communications diversifies, what should the “Voice of God” sound like?   And do we really believe that someone (anyone) can tell us the way the world works?   In this episode of Corporate Film School, we address some of the issues confronting the use of voice-over - the (typically) unseen narration heard over images - that sets the tone an

10 (surprising) Lessons Learned Producing a Large-Scale Virtual Event

Published in November 19, 2020
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My home control room! After decades of doing it live in hotel ballrooms all over the world, our client’s global meeting was now going to include 2 global live streams, 14 high-profile webcasts with VIP guest speakers hundreds of Zoom breakouts over 4 days in two time zones … what could possibly go wrong??? Spoiler Alert!  PLENTY.  And, despite – perhaps even, because of - that, it was a

Corporate Film School: Episode #5: B-Roll: the Mysterious Dark Matter of the Video Universe

Published in November 13, 2020
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In this fifth episode of Corporate Film School we look at an essential element of film language, particularly in documentary, that, despite its snappy name, gets very little attention:  B-Roll.  We propose that, in fact, B-Roll is so elemental to filmmaking and yet so invisible in the discourse around it, that it is the Dark Matter of the film universe, holding everything together and determining the shape