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COW Blogs : video production
The Millennial Video Producer: 6 Things To Know About My Generation
By: Kylee Peña on Oct 12, 2014 at 1:23:47 pm

This week, I've seen maybe a dozen articles about "Millennials". What do they want? Why aren't they buying houses? What brands do they like? Why don't they vote? What's their favorite color? They're mostly all written by people from the Baby Boomer generation, and they're mostly filled with generalizations and assumptions like "all Millennials care about is texting each other." Seriously, that was a comment. Not even a clever burn. Like offensively non-clever . ...

video production

How Are You Doing? Let's Talk: Mental Illness & Creativity in the Film & Video Industry
By: Kylee Peña on Feb 2, 2014 at 8:41:38 pm

Let's talk. No tech questions, no debates, no critique. Let's talk about you . How are you? No really, how are you? ...

video production

The Truth About Unpaid Internships
By: Kylee Peña on Jul 1, 2013 at 7:07:56 pm

At the end of my college career, I took on my third and last internship. It was a loosely structured gig for a local alternative magazine that included such tasks as shooting video at events, interviewing attendees, editing highlights videos, and driving a rainbow colored jeep through a minefield of drunk people in a park downtown.  ...


Cautionary Tale in Data Management
By: Kylee Peña on Jun 8, 2013 at 2:39:40 pm

I have 50 gigabytes of x-rated material on my external drive, including photos of a girl wearing my prom dress. ...

data management

A Stream of Consciousness Recap of B&H in NYC
By: Kylee Peña on Mar 22, 2013 at 9:16:30 am

Disclaimer: This has almost nothing to do with anything. It's a stream of consciousness of my brief pilgrimage to B&H in New York City. I'm not really sure because I wrote this sentence before I wrote the thing, but it could very possibly become over the top. ...


Setting Goals for the New Year
By: Kylee Peña on Dec 17, 2012 at 10:02:10 am

I hate New Year's resolutions. They're the worst . I think the year flipping from 2012 to 2013 is entirely arbitrary and should have no bearing on what I do with myself, mostly because nearly all resolutions are forgotten by Valentine's Day anyway. However , it seems as good a time as any to set overall year-long goals and check in on how you're doing, right? But not resolutions. If you call 'em that, you're going to bail and you know it. Plus, you can always add to them throughout the year if you feel the need. ...

video production

Using the iPad as a Teleprompter - [Review]
By: Kylee Peña on Aug 31, 2012 at 9:52:59 am

We may not have flying cars or a Mars colony, but dammit, we live in the future and we have iPads. And all of us in media production have used iPads in our workflow at this point, whether it's previewing something or used as a slate, or just a game device during renders. How about a teleprompter? It's actually pretty nifty. ...

ipad teleprompter

A Dream Job in Video Production - literally
By: Kylee Peña on Aug 15, 2012 at 9:52:46 am

In light of the Mars Curiosity landing successfully on the planet after an incredibly ingenious deployment technique, I've been thinking about my dream job. When asked, I know a lot of us editors probably have similar answers to the dream job question: to edit a TV show, to edit features, edit documentaries, edit a meaningful piece about humanity, edit national advertisements. But what's my dream job? ...

video production

Wedding Video: Thoughts, Advice, and Crowd Sourcing a Wedding Day
By: Kylee Peña on Aug 10, 2012 at 10:09:03 am

This past weekend, I was in the wedding of one of my favorite couples. We met in college when we all worked at the Zoo together (they actually started dating there) and stayed friends beyond into the real world. During my bridesmaid stint, I was thinking a lot about wedding videography. As a video producer/editor, I'm always (painfully) aware of the video being produced during a wedding, especially if I'm attending a wedding for someone I really care about. I want their videos to look amazing, almost at times jumping up and grabbing a camera or source material to edit...

wedding video

11 Facets of a Great Video Production Intern
By: Kylee Peña on Jul 9, 2012 at 5:47:18 pm

If you want to be in video production, chances are pretty good that you're going to need to complete at least one internship before you find a job. The best part is that almost all video production internships are unpaid. In return for your free labor, a company agrees to help you along, teaching you and giving you valuable work experience. It should be a pretty fair trade on both sides, but it can start to slip occasionally. As an intern, it's important that you stay on top of your work, while holding the company accountable for their end of...

video production

Effective dolly...easy on the budget!
By: Jim McNally on Mar 25, 2010 at 5:46:56 pm

Working in our small market, many commercials and marketing videos end up with the same results when everything is shot from a static tripod. A dolly would seem like a great way to add a dynamic look to the production. In the thirty years that I've been in the business our dollies were always built from plywood with pvc pipe for the rails. The problems were the same in any variation we made; heavy, awkward for one person; too big to move easily either in a vehicle or on set. This year while looking at alternatives I came across an interesting...


Film and Digital as Unique Instruments of Artistic Expression
By: Dan Parsons on Oct 22, 2009 at 6:50:44 am

I have often wondered what motion picture audiences would think of film-acquired images if digital imaging had come first. Would the grain structure, the motion blur, the organic judder, and the characteristic soft shoulder inherent in the celluloid medium be lauded, or would these characteristics be labeled simply as artifacts? Would, for instance, the limited dynamic range and sharpness of the digital format be viewed as necessary characteristics to be duplicated or mimicked in film, or would they have been seen, from the beginning, as an artifact to be eliminated by means of research and development. Would film have even...


One Head Many Hats
By: Ken Harper on Sep 29, 2009 at 8:38:14 am

Recently, I attended an excellent HD Workshop & Mini-Expo presented by Digital CONNtent Creators at Tripeg Studios in Hamden, CT. This event was very informative and I am still amazed by how rapidly the technology in our industry evolves and grows. There is no question that in order to survive these changes you must understand and embrace them, so thanks to Keith Larsen and the rest of the crew that put this show together. This November marks my 25th anniversary in this industry and throughout my career I’ve witnessed the many changes in the tools we use to do...

video production

Elements of Good Media
By: Ken Harper on May 5, 2009 at 8:31:13 am

There are three elements to a good media project. 1. A Good Story 2. Good Images 3. The Right Music A good story should tell itself. Don't allow yourself to force parts together that don't fit if the dialog isn't there. Use narration to bridge caps and make connections between thoughts, but only if needed. Good images are well lit and composed. They tell a story all their own. The right music is probably the most important of the 3. You can set moods and generate emotions with the right music. You can set the pace of the story with...


By: Ken Harper on Apr 19, 2009 at 4:39:43 pm

A long time collegue, Tom Clifford, , taught me years ago the power of the transcript. It is the single most important step in producing an unscripted, interview based video. Anyone who has had to shutlle back and forth through hours of raw footage, trying to cobble together some kind of a message, will certainly appreciate the advantage of a timecoded transcript. The most obvious benefit is having the client highlight the important points and strike the irrelavent and erroneous ones. Now you have a timecoded list of all the pertinent statements to digitize and work with, saving you...


It's About the Story
By: Ken Harper on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:30:08 am

What we need to remember is that at the end of the day what we do as editors is tell stories. It is our responsibility to connect the client and the target viewer with a clear and focused message, because every story has the power to bring about change. Change to the audience and the world around us. We need to make sure that our clients message is understood, and that the viewer is moved to action....

video production

Fertile Ground for Advertiising
By: Ken Harper on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:22:56 am

There is little doubt that the internet is fertile ground for advertising. It is hard to find a link or page that doesn't have an ad or pop-up. Videos are the next big trend but targeting them to your market can be hit or miss. Research is indicating a way to maximize your reach through the blogger community. Here is a link that explains this well. blog-referrals/ What do you think?...

video production

Redefining Broadcasting
By: Ken Harper on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:22:11 am

During the last 3 decades there have been 3 major innovations that have reshaped and expanded the reach of broadcasting. The first was a Community antenna that would redirect transmitted signals to areas with poor reception bringing television to remote areas. This simple concept led to the second advance by opening a door for future "broadcasters" like ESPN to enter millions of homes without the huge cost of a transmitter and antenna. The third is broadband internet. Websites like YouTube and Google video are giving people the ability to communicate ideas and messages to millions of views around the world....

video production

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