Music is the under pinning for any video production, whether it be promo, music video (obviously), training video or feature film. It's inportance for setting the mood for the visuals cannot be understated and provides the tempo for the whole production.
Copyright for music is a complicated business. During the course of our work producing video, we would normally recommend to client's using one of the terrific sound libruaries like Audio Network to provide broadcast qualify generic music. For custom music, there are PLENTY of eager musicians/composers eager to produce interesting work for the video producer.
Unless you have bags of money and time, one way NOT to do it is to rip a track from your CD collection, unless you retain a copyright lawyer who will contact the publishing company with what might be a very expensive and long, drawn out negotiating process. There are at least three different copyrights you will have to gain rights to for any piece of commercial music: composers’ rights, performer’s rights and synchronisation rights.
Generally, if the composer has been dead for more 50 years, the music enters the public domain (no more composer’s copyright.) Because Vivaldi has been dead more than 50 years, you may use his music without paying for the composer’s rights. However, if the performance you have chosen of his music was played by say, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, then you will still have to pay the publisher performance rights so that the musicians get their fair share.
Here's an example of a video we produced for Remeha which features Spring from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
If you just must use a specific piece of music, you will have to jump through these hoops and pay the price. Do not try to get away without paying copyright charges. The legal ramifications are serious! Even if your program is a “not for profit” film festival entry, you must investigate the copyright. Sometimes a publisher will grant you the rights for free (or very little cost) for festival films, but not always.
The idiom "you get what you pay for" is truer in video production than in many industries. We have quoted companies big and small, and it is interesting how many marketing directors decide it's better to do a DIY film to get the point across than to employ professionals to actually made a proper video for you.
This of course can lead to some pretty scary results which really don't do anybody any favours. The reality is that it is infrequent that a member of staff has the ability to concept, shoot, edit and post a corporate video to anything like the standard of a half decent video production company.
One potential hurdle is time taken out of the normal working day. How much is a member of your staff costing you on an hourly basis? Times that by the number of staff who are given carte blache to mess around for a day or so to produce something which will probably look sub-peep show material - and not in an ironic way.
Of more concern is the result, of course. Would you as a company owner allow a couple of people from accounts to put together and launch the firm's new website? how about print advertising campaign? For most, the idea of even hiring any one of the number of under par video production companies would be considered silly, but to have a totally untrained member of staff make a video which could be seen by potential clients seems very silly indeed.
For the third year in a row, we were delighted to be asked to shoot more videos for one of our best clients SanDisk. These video productions were shot at Camberwell Studios in South London, graphics by young Steven Probets.
People watching The Voice on BBC1 this weekend will have seen Butchers Hook's old pal Elesha Paul Moses performing and being picked by Will.i.am for his team. Elesha is significant with us as Evan and I joined forces for the first time to produce a video for her song "I'll be waiting" back in 2009. It was filmed against a green screen in Brighton club venue Oceana and post production was supplied by top London CG generalist Michael Bonnington. Best of luck to Elesha for the series upcoming!
Last week we were handed our keys for the new office - a lovely former fisherman's cottage right in the heart of Brighton, one street from the seafront. It is one of the oldest Streets in Brighton (part of the original village of Brighthelmstone) and has a Thai restuarant and pub next door (!!) Feel free to drop by to chat about future video production projects or have a cup of tea!
Steven, our editor thinks it looks like Harry Potter's Diagon Alley
Our Creative Director Evan Pugh has been playing around with the picture profile settings on our video production workhorse - the Sony FS-100. Evan was keen to adjust the settings like he was using an old school SLR.
Evan has been getting a lot of feedback on the photos he took for this article on Twitter, so for you camera junkies - here they are
Black level -13
Black Gamma range middle level +7
knee manual point 102.5% slope -1
colour mode type cinematone1 level 8
colour level -8
colour phase 0
detail level +7
manual set on, V/H balance 0 Type 3 Limit 7 crispening 2 hi-light detail 4
Last Friday we went with our pals at Bozboz to shoot a corporate video based around their client Quiet Mark's house at the Ideal Home Show. You'll be seeing a lot more of the Quiet Mark, a mark which certain brands will be able to carry if they can show their products fit the criteria of being almost silent and not interrupting the home environment. Quiet Mark have teamed up with brands like Lexus, Dyson and 20th Century Fox to ensure the house of the future has a lot less ambient noise than at present.
Bozboz are a leading Brighton based digital agency, we'll have the finished video up for you soon!
The Quiet Mark house - smack bang in the centre of the Ideal Home Show
Poppy Elliot - Quiet Mark's Marketing Director
The launch event was complemented by this lovely John Barry-esque sounding band.
Gloria Elliott, Chief Executive of the Noise Abatement Society and Chief Executive of Quiet Mark
How commerce effects art and re-exploring the analogue world as a positive influence upon the digital
I'm a self-labelled 'creative' who earns a living predominantly in the corporate and TV worlds. Has it ever occurred to me that I've 'sold out' or that my artistic vision is compromised? No, to be honest or I wouldn't have put myself into the position I'm in as Director of TV Commercials and corporate video company. There are easier ways to earn from our commercial system. Recently, however, I've been examining how I approach work both creatively and more relevantly technically.
My good friend and photographer Toby Deveson (http://www.tobydeveson.com/) recently pointed out this article about 'staying on the bus',(http://t.co/ZMjcP25nVX) keeping in the same direction if you want to get there. This led me to re-examine media I was working in when I first started out, to see how far I'd come, or deviated.
These days, laptop editing systems, FCP, Premier pro etc, are relatively easy for the novice to come by. When I was starting out I couldn't afford a steenbeck (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steenbeck for those who don't know), and so would practice editing by pausing and restarting two VHS players. Although never the most accurate process technically, it led me to really focus on what shots were required in the first place as well as producing some interesting edit points by 'mistake' which I could then learn from.
I also used to take a lot of 'print' photography on an old 35mm SLR. Not being able to see the results until they were printed, often weeks later, was not only exciting, it taught how you had to get the technical stuff right at the time of shooting. You couldn't just check back what you'd shot, re-adjust for exposure for example and take a hundred more pictures to be safe. That's the other thing, 35mm was either in rolls of 24 or 36 exposures. I also loved the surprises you might get when printing as well. The contrast was often extreme, especially in natural light, when these days I'm often shooting video for a 'flat look', but more of that later.
Thinking about this led me to dig out my old SLR. It's not pretty, an old Pentax thing, that needed an hour of cleaning after not having been used for over 8 years or so. But it did get me excited about shooting some film this weekend. I even managed to buy some good stock and posting the above led to a fair few comments and likes on Facebook, definitely sparking interest. I'll post the results, once developing and printing process has gone through.
Photography, though, has always been a hobby for me. I am first and foremost a video/moving image/film/tv director/shooter/artist – call it what you will. And I started to think about what the images my SLR might produce and looking at Toby's lovely photographs began wondering if I could use my Sony FS-100 video camera in the same way as an old school SLR.
I'd played around with picture profile settings a far bit before, following the likes of Philip Bloom in hunting for good settings for different lighting set-ups, or for getting the most out of the camera once the footage was imported into the post production work flow. Now, however I had a particular artistic image that I wanted to create. And not only image, I'm thinking of raising the shutter speed to make the video stutter more and give a whole 'photographic feel'. I used online crop factor conversion tables to work out I needed to set my lens at around 33mm if I wanted to give a look of a SLR 50mm lens. I played and played with the Picture Profile settings until I had something that looked right. Then I shot some test footage.
Then I imported it into FCP, played with the 3-way colour corrector and produced this image
Then I compared it to the original straight out of the camera shot that I had spent the time creating. I realised I liked the out of the camera look better and that what I had been doing was falling back on my corporate habits of trying to 'flatten' the image which was what this whole process was about avoiding. Let me know which you prefer.
I like the picture I've got now, but will continue to experiment. As the 'stay on the bus' article mentions it's important to find your own voice. However, doing corporate work isn't 'selling out' its using our skills to manipulate moving image to achieve what we want. Or what someone else wants. We use technical processes to provide that voice, whether it is our own or not. Creating a 'flat look' for the talking head of a company MD is voicing someone else's message but its an understanding of the variations within the creative process that enable us to be able to do it. We just shouldn't forget the old school artistic moments of expression that this medium opens us up to.
SanDisk return to Butchers Hook for a series of 'How to' videos which will feature on their branded pages on Amazon.com.