We were recently hired to work with Borrego Solar and the Town of Easton, MA to create a video showcasing the outstanding efforts of their Green Initiatives program. Being the first town in their County to go green, it was a complete privilege to meet first hand the people and projects that keep pushing forward the renewable energy efforts, creating jobs, saving money, and counteracting climate change for future generations.
As we couldn't be more excited to have been awarded this video project, we've decided to create a production/post-production diary showcasing how we approach the project, sharing some of the challenges we face, and eventually the final video product.
Thank you for your interest in reading this, and please don't hesitate to ask us any questions. Storytelling is always at the center of every project we do, no matter what the scope of the work is.
We've submitted our first rough cut of the video, at 2m:30s duration, and we couldn't be more excited about it. This is part of our editing process, where we get notes from our clients at Borrego Solar about what we can improve in certain elements.
Being a rough cut, things like sound and grading are still not final, amongst other things, but the main structure and flow of the story is there, and that's the most important thing.
The video feels good, looks great, and we can't wait to be able to share more details about this soon. Stay tuned...
Our main shoot day. This was to be a long day. With guests starting to arrive around 10:30am for the ribbon cutting ceremony in Easton, we had to film the live event non-stop, and film three interviews with main Town of Easton representatives in the afternoon.
We were really lucky. At this point, it hadn't stopped raining in the Boston area, so we were afraid the shoot wouldn't go as well. Fortunately, and weirdly enough, the rain stopped for the two hour window we needed to cover the event, including setup time for all the cameras and gear.
We had three cameras filming the event, one FS700 with a 70-200mm lens, a 5Dm2 and a 5Dm3. That way we had at all times three cameras shooting the event, and we could seamlessly cut between different perspectives in post.
We also set up a boom mic above the podium with a wind filter, to make sure we'd capture the best sound possible without interference from audience sounds, generators, or environment noises. It worked out perfectly.
As we keep charging batteries and making sure everything is set up properly, it is time to pick up our assistant videographer and regular collaborator from Logan Airport. Levi Pike is a great and talented videographer, with a keen eye for detail and composition, and we couldn't be more excited to work with him on this.
Make sure you check out his website at RedBone Media.
With Levi in the car, it's time to head out to Easton for the first time, meet some of the people in the Town Offices, and start shooting some b-roll. We have our drone with us, the incredible Phantom 2 Vision+ that just came out a month ago at NAB.
Our first stop is at one of the solar arrays that Borrego installed for Easton. We use the drone to capture some fly overs, and we were fortunate the stormy weather held off a while longer.
Since we were shooting a live event the next day, we headed onto the main site to get a feel of the land layout, pre-plan where to put our gear, cameras, and see how the event would be organized.
And of course we used the quadcopter to take some more aerial footage of the main installation. We were amazed by the scope of the solar array, and to learn more about the project. This new solar array by Borrego Solar will generate enough electricity to power more than 230 homes.
Working with the Phantom quadcopter is nothing short of amazing. We can get really outstanding HD quality footage, and even 14 MP of raw photographs. Despite of heavy wind, we could still control the drone in a really stable way. For more information about the Vision+ check out DJI's website.
We just arrived in Boston, MA. Due to simple work logistics between the offices of Borrego Solar in the East Coast, and the Town of Easton, we are actually staying in Lowell, MA to make it easy to pick up gear, have our pre-production meetings, and travel back and forth to the location of the actual shoot in Easton, MA.
We arrive early in the morning after the usually uncomfortable red-eye flight. Virgin America never ceases to amaze us though, with their ongoing efforts to make the standard economy class feel a bit more fun at least than every other airline we've flown.
As we arrive in Lowell, MA we start immediately planning our shoot for the remained of the week. The main schedule will involve three days of work. First day, mostly B-roll shooting, second day, covering the main event and filming interviews, and finally third day dealing mostly with logistics from backing up footage, transferring everything accordingly, and returning rented gear.
Speaking of rentals, we typically use BorrowLenses.com for a lot of our shoots. They provide an outstanding service at all times, and for bigger rentals they even put you directly in their VIP support system, with priority everything. Make sure you check them out next time you need to rent lenses, cameras, lights, or whatever else you can imagine. The prices are fair and the quality of the equipment is just perfect.
And on a side note, if you use them through this link, you are actually helping us without even having to pay extra for it!
As soon as we pick up the rented gear, we're happy that we got a big car. We typically choose our lights based on each project needs, scope, and budget. For this case, we got a couple of LitePanels and ARRI lights, some of our current favorites for indoor interview usage.
It's a long day, but a very necessary one. Better to prep all the gear as early as possible, test the lights, test the batteries, microphones, set up the cameras with the right color profiles, and plan the shoot as much as possible.