Category: Corporate

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

Pickerel Pie’s Corporate Film School Episode #4: Eyelines: You Lookin’ At Me?

Published in July 2, 2020
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Yes, I’m upset about how cavalierly many productions now treat this vital signifier - where is the person on camera looking - but, I’m not nearly as angry as Travis Bickle is about this issue so, count yourself lucky.  In this episode of Corporate Film School, we pin down the meaning and importance of eyelines. The thing is that eyelines are one of the MOST powerful aspects of a filmed pres

Corporate Film School: Episode #3: Setting or How to Escape the Realm of the Un-dead

Published in June 10, 2020
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It turns out that where we can shoot video is the aspect of production perhaps most disrupted by the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 Pandemic quarantine. And, with most communication - both business and personal - happening through video - almost exclusively shot at home - the focus on setting has been, well, kind of hilarious. The fact is that, while there may not be a Twitter account dedicated to it (

Corporate Film School Episode 2: The Seductive Trap of Production Values

Published in May 13, 2020
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IMHO we spend too much time and resources on making images look good and not enough on what we’re trying to communicate. In other words, on style versus content. That’s not to say that style and image quality aren’t important. In fact, image quality or, more broadly - to include lighting, sound and setting - production values, make the first impression on the audience and set expectations for the conte

Corporate Film School Episode 1: Film Language

Published in April 28, 2020
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When the pandemic suddenly stopped business as usual, we took a new look at our almost twenty years of making films and videos under the Pickerel Pie banner.  One thing we became aware of, over that time, working with dozens of clients on hundreds of projects, is that our clients would benefit from a better understanding of the language and grammar of film.  First, because the language of visual co

The Art of Asking Questions

Published in September 28, 2016
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The Interview is one of the fundamental modes of storytelling (what can you tell me about…?) and, yet, one of the most under-rated and, thus, under-examined skills to be mastered by creative producers and directors. Charming/cajoling/extracting information or stories from someone on camera is an art - with as many possible approaches as practitioners - but there a few basic guidelines to keep in mind – p

How To Make Your Videos Evergreen Or, How Did Neil Young Survive Punk Rock?

Published in August 25, 2015
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Our best clients spend substantially on video production and, with all but the most ephemeral projects, there is always the hope, if not the goal, of producing something that will deliver value for a long time. That kind of staying power is rare and worth examining. I was doing the dishes and, as is my wont, listening to the kind of mix that only Shuffle can DJ (Curated Randomness will be addressed in another