Church Production

Raising One Bar at a Time

By Michael Parks
July 1, 2011 3:09 pm EST

Topics: Close-up on One

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In the BackTalk for the March issue of CPM, I took a quick look at how I have applied the work principles I picked up while at Pixar to video ministry, and followed it up in a recent blog. Another principle worth expanding is the one on raising the bar.

No single Pixar project attempted to reinvent all aspects of animation. For example, Finding Nemo took on the technological challenges of recreating realistic water while the humans pretty much stayed at the level of the previous film, Monsters Inc. The shorts would often take on selective advancements, like feathers in For the Birds.

Similarly, we shouldn't get overly ambitious with each new project, but instead select areas to improve. If you are making a new promo spot, take a look at your last one and see if there is one aspect of it that can be done better or from a fresh angle. I find that when I don't do this I get into a rut and every promo looks the same. For example, I recently did a successful promo featuring clips from interviews. Did it again in another promo, though with a bit more humor. I must admit that I was ready to use this approach for another promo, but was fortunately exposed to a fresh approach. Instead of keeping the interviewer off camera, how about making him or her a reoccurring spokesperson for the church who appears in a series of promos? We're trying it tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile, here are some other areas to consider for improvement:

AudioUsing the best mic for the job? Would an audio cleanup pass help?

GraphicsUsing the same motion graphics or transitions? I know I do. Couldn't help but notice how clean a recent promo looked when I just used straight cuts throughout.

Individual ShotsHow is the composition? Is it easy to zero in on the subject of the shot? Have you experimented with color correction to lighten up dark shots and fix the color?

Running Time and PacingCan the video be shorter? Trying to say too much? Or maybe not showing enough?

But remember: Just choose one!


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All entries for this blog:

  Raising One Bar at a Time

  No More Horror Stories

  Anything Worth Doing…

  Tabletop Jerusalem

  A Tour de’ Force of Cheesy Visual Effects

  Let the Kids do the Talking

  Ready Camera Two and… Cue the Bride!

  Stock Footage:  A Shameless Plug

  Music For Sale

  Improvising a Promo

  Much ado About Interviews

  The Year in Five Minutes

  Get on the Bus (please)

  Audio Needs Love, Too

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