The first thing I want to know on a video set is where my shot is. Once I know my shot and shot location I’m able to light it, dress it and figure out the motion. It’s TV folks. It’s magic, or at least it looks like it. Our job as Wheelhouse Creative’s video production team is to find that shot, make it look like magic and then do that over and over again. If it sounds like fun, it is. We love what we do.
Video production is not easy. There’s a lot you need to know, and much of that can’t be taught. Experience is a powerful friend. It guides you when times are tough. It lets you know without thinking about it what areas are good for a scene and what areas are not. It allows you to move quickly and with confidence. And all of this means a better value and a better experience for the client.
Clients want to know that you understand their wants and needs. They want to rest assured that you know what you are doing, that you are taking good care of them. And they want to know that they made the right choice in hiring you. That’s why finding the shot is so important on a set. Nothing can happen until you know your shot. Then the magic begins. That’s when you start giving your client the benefit of your experience. That’s when they start seeing added value.
On a video set there are many things that gain you added value. There’s the shot angle and move. Is there foreground, or is there a great void between the camera and the subject? There’s lighting. Lighting is the mood of the whole picture. Cinematic lighting provides the drama, the mystery and the excitement in video. Some would say that the soundtrack brings the excitement, and it does, but so too does the light. Sound and music are equal to lighting. It all goes together to make for a better picture show.
A better picture show, a better experience for a client, that’s what we at Wheelhouse strive to produce every day. Early on in my career I had a client hire me to shoot a check presentation for the newspaper. Paid seventy-five bucks if I remember correctly. It was at the race track, a shot of the Governor of West Virginia handing a check over to the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. I got there thirty minutes early. So too did the Governor. We were in and out in under fifteen minutes, and still had fifteen minutes before our scheduled start time. Easy money.
I went back to my studio, developed the film and printed the black and white images. I delivered the photos the same day. Not great shots I’ll admit, but that shoot got me the client, and I worked for them for twenty years. I remember this guy looking at the photos I had just delivered, and saying that he had seen better photographers, but that I had something most photographers didn’t. I had a watch, and I knew how to use it. I asked his meaning, and he said that had I come late, or meanly on time we would have missed the shot. That I knew to come early was worth something to him.
This all may sound silly to you, and that’s OK. I’m talking to those others. I’m talking to those who are eager to please, eager to succeed. When a client gives you a suggestion, it’s not really a suggestion. They are telling you they want you to do it. And when they ask that you do something when you get a chance, they mean now, or sooner. They want you to find the shot and provide them with value. My friend Joe Jacobs, graphic designer at Wheelhouse says his heart soars when he hears his customer’s cash registers ring. That is what we do. That is our job. We find the shot, and we make your cash register ring.
Let us help you. I promise we will show you only in the best light, and in the best shot. As one famous ad goes, “if you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”