January 8, 2013 \ Geoff Birmingham
What kind of video look do you want?

January 8, 2013

We recently had a meeting with a school that intends to produce video for a fundraising campaign. The conversation hit a bit of a snag when they didn’t share with us exactly what they were seeking. The work that we showed them did not match their vision, and, as a result, we won’t be working together.

This certainly isn’t the end of the world – some things are not meant to be!! – but what’s unfortunate is that if we had known exactly what their vision was, we probably could have easily assured them that we were up to the task. The only difference between what we showed them and what they wanted had to do with tool selection. In other words, using one kind of camera rather than another.

In the last couple of years, DSLR cameras have become very popular. They are essentially traditional still photography cameras that have video capabilities. ¬†Nearly all of them have a very shallow depth of field, which means just about everything is out of focus except the subject of your shot. It gives a nice, soft look. Check out the shot below from a video that Gordon College did. Notice that even the young fella’s ears and shoulders are out of focus!

Below him is an image from a video we did for MIT. The buildings are way off in the background, but you can see that the fuzzy factor about equals the young guy’s ears. So we have two different looks. The main point, here, is that the different looks don’t have anything to do with capabilities. It’s all just about which tool/camera is being used. If the school folks had told us “We like soft and fuzzy,” we would have replied: “No problem. We’ll have our camera guy use his DSLR.”

The moral: ask and you shall receive!

Gordon College video

Massachusetts Institute of Technology admissions video