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COW Blogs : VideoBusiness
Site Surveys Tutorial: The Reason We Do Site Surveys
By: Richard Harrington on Mar 21, 2013 at 6:09:00 am

Watch more at . Learn the benefits of doing a site survey before a photo or video shoot. This tutorial is a single movie from the Effective Site Surveys for Video and Photo Projects course presented by author Rich Harrington. Introduction 1. The Importance of the Site Survey 2. The Purpose of a Site Survey 3. What to Plan for, Creatively 4. Location Scouting 5. Who Should Go on the Site Survey or Scout? 6. Gear to Bring on a Site Survey 7. What to Accomplish on a Site Survey Conclusion Follow Me on Twitter or Facebook...


RED Cameras @ NAB 2012
By: Richard Harrington on May 12, 2012 at 10:09:00 pm

ProVideo Coalition - RED Cameras - NAB 2012 from RHED Pixel on Vimeo . Richard Harrington interviews Ted Schilowitz about the future of RED cameras at NAB 2012....


Video-project budgeting: How to determine rates
By: Richard Harrington on May 11, 2012 at 8:03:00 pm

A tutorial describing how to determine your rates for the services you are providing during a video project. See the whole course on If you aren't a member, sign up for a free 7 day trial and watch the whole thing.


Create a video project's scope and workflow
By: Richard Harrington on May 5, 2012 at 8:03:00 pm

A tutorial describing how to clearly define and present a video project's potential scope and workflow to a client. See the whole course on If you aren't a member, sign up for a free 7 day trial and watch the whole thing.


Duplication vs. Replication for DVD and BD
By: Richard Harrington on Mar 12, 2012 at 5:21:00 pm

Image by iStockphoto When creating DVDs or BDs, you have two choices to manufacturer the optical discs. If you re dealing with small quantities, you can use the optical burner or disc drive with your computer. These discs are easy to make, but may not be as compatible in all players. If you need to produce discs in larger quantities, the use of replication is preferred. In this case a master disc image is created (often called the glass master). Discs can then be created using specialized hardware that can create the discs much faster and with greater accuracy to...


Name That Stage – Identifying the Progress of Your Edit
By: Richard Harrington on Mar 7, 2012 at 3:22:00 pm

In a photography workflow, you may be used to selecting shots, then color correcting and post processing before layout occurs. With video editing, the process involves continuous improvement. It is standard to quickly assemble an initial edit, then get feedback from the team and client. Along the way, improvements are made as the video moves closer and close to a finished state. The following stages are common for most video editing projects. Depending on budget, some projects may have additional stages added or deleted. For example a feature film goes through many more rounds of editing than a broadcast news...


I've Never Met a Video That Couldn't Be Shorter
By: Richard Harrington on Oct 11, 2011 at 12:09:00 pm

iStockphoto/adventtr I have never met a video that wouldn t benefit from some editing. The whole purpose of video is to compress time and distill a message to its essence. It is important that you refine a project by continuing to strip away its unneeded parts. Never have I heard an audience complain that a video was too short. There is a reason to edit and it becomes increasingly clear when you actually watch people as they watch your project. Do your best to strip a project down to its essence and only add what is needed. You can download...


The Director Needs to be Confident
By: Richard Harrington on Oct 2, 2011 at 12:09:00 pm

iStockphoto/selimaksan Clients look for a confident vendor who can get the job done. Crews look for a leader to provide the artistic vision. While you may be inside your head mulling the creative vision or finding the shot that won t work in many video situations. You need to be assertive and confident otherwise your shoot will spin away from you quickly. Video may be a team sport, but the team needs a captain. I can t tell you how many times I am faced with new challenges. Nearly every project brings up new technical and creative challenges that I...


It’s All About Project Management
By: Richard Harrington on Sep 28, 2011 at 12:09:00 pm

iStockphoto/kemalbas Video is a multi-headed beast that s constantly screaming to be fed and nourished. You ve got people in front of the lens, people behind the cameras, and even more behind the scenes. Video projects are complex with multiple stages of approval along the way. You need to control things and have a plan (and even another plan for when that one fails). Project Management is not unique to video, but it is a critical skill due to the complex interconnected nature of video projects. Chances are that you may have some project management skills but I want you...


Finding and Hiring Contractors
By: Richard Harrington on Sep 10, 2011 at 6:00:00 pm

iStockphoto/belterzview Find other professionals to work with can seem quite daunting at first. This is especially true if you are changing markets or professional focus. It s important to realize that the film and video community is well established with its own professional groups and even unions. Finding qualified video crew is not difficult (if you know where to look). Craigslist is Not Your Friend Before we tackle where to look, lets get where not to look out of the way. I find that Craigslist (and others like it) are filled with ads looking for crews. Nearly all offer no...


Camera Requirements for Multi-camera Shoots
By: Richard Harrington on Jul 2, 2011 at 11:12:00 am

When planning a multi-camera video shoot, several factors can impact the quality of the final production. Choosing the right equipment (along with the crew to run it) will have the greatest influence on the quality of the final production. Here are some details to look for when selecting cameras: Matched codec/format. Ideally, all your footage will have the same codec (compressor/decompressor). If you've mixed formats (like DVCPRO HD and AVCHD), you may need to convert the footage to match for some edit systems. You'll also want to be able to match frame rates so footage stays in sync. Lens length....


The Video Industry is Usually Work for Hire
By: Richard Harrington on Mar 31, 2011 at 6:35:38 am

In the video industry, it is very rare for a video professional to retain rights to the footage. Video productions are usually a complex and collaborative process that involves more parties and financial involvement than a typical photo. As such, the videographer of director of photography is rarely the copyright holder. Here are a few points to consider. Cash is power Whoever pays for a production is typically the copyright holder. This can be a client, television studio, or independent producer. The standard in the world of video is work for hire. Unused footage Most funders will expect that all...


Writing a Video Treatment
By: Richard Harrington on Mar 6, 2011 at 5:31:00 pm

The treatment is considered a standard part of the development cycle for most film and television productions. The truth is that all kinds of video producers can benefit from creating a treatment. The goal is to write a single document that defines the video s concept and summarizes the creating approach to be taken. The best part of making a treatment is that is formalizes the creative process for the producer. The major benefit here is that the document can then be shared with others as you work with other creative professionals, get approval from a client, or even seek...


Effective Business – Budgeting by Averages
By: Richard Harrington on Sep 9, 2010 at 10:07:00 am

There is an easy formula used by many experienced project managers to estimate the amount of time to be spent on each budget item task. The formula looks like this: (1O + 4M +1P) 6 It means one optimistic + four most likely + one pessimistic divided by six. What does that mean? It s pretty simple: You create a time estimate based on averaging the information you gather. For example, you can approach a graphic designer and ask, "How long would this take? The answer is not the most likely number. It s the optimistic number, because if you...


Free Music for Video Projects
By: Richard Harrington on Aug 17, 2010 at 5:30:00 pm

A nice source to find royalty free or public domain licensed music you might want to check out "The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads. The Free Music Archive is directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet. Every mp3 you discover on The Free Music Archive is pre-cleared for certain types of uses that would otherwise be prohibited by copyright laws...


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