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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

Considerations for Virtual Town Hall Meetings

Published in March 13, 2020
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Paradigm shift:  Recent advances in streaming technology, software and the capabilities of personal digital devices have set the stage for a paradigmatic shift in our perception of, and approach to, virtual, streaming large multi-location meetings  - what we call Virtual Town Halls (VTH). Also, there are some other powerful drivers - including concern about the cost, logistics, time (away fr

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

Becoming an ACS Juvenile Counselor (Trailer)

Published in July 19, 2016
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Very few projects have been as eye-opening and surprising as this video we produced for the Workforce Initiative of the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) about what it’s like to be a Juvenile Counselor in one of the City’s two juvenile detention facilities. As a kid in New York, you definitely want to avoid “juvie” but the staff we met were really inspiring; truly focused on giving kids

Busby Burlington!

Published in November 9, 2015
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With LA design firm SLAQR we produced this spot for Burlington and WEtv that helps young people make responsible choices about fall outerware. Added to Children and Animals as things to beware of on a shoot, we would add Trampolines, especially in combination with fashion footwear.

The Royal Treatment vs. Revolution

Published in October 30, 2015
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Today, even low-budget filmmakers have access to extraordinarily high production values. In addition to crazy levels of high resolution image capture, previously exorbitant devices like Steadicams (copies), jib-arms and sliders have been made relatively affordable, portable and are now standard equipment in many shooters’ arsenals. LED technology has transformed lighting; now a handful of small, lightwe

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