Steadicam Incredible!

Below is an incredible steadicam shot from Larry McConkey on the production of Hugo. It’s great to see a behind the scenes like this, especially if you can recall what the final shot looked like. Listen to him exhale when the shot is finished, and Martin Scorsese joke about additional takes. We love using the camera as a tool here at TAR Productions and this is one of the most incredible uses of camera movement we’ve ever seen. In modern times, the Steadicam has been replaced by the more versatile gimbals, such as the Movi or Ronin.

Everything is a Remix Pt. 4

Kirby Ferguson is at it again with his Everything is a Remix series. He’s just released part 4 and completed the series in a fantastic fashion. In what I’d say is the most entertaining and informative of the series, part 4 focuses on law. More specifically copyright, trademark and intellectual property. It’s pretty fascinating to see both points of views – for and against protection – from some major players, such as Disney and Steve Jobs, at different points in their career.
What’s also interesting is the summary of why these laws were originally written and how they’ve been interpreted over a couple hundred years. Hope you enjoy.

Afternoon Delight

One of the most interesting facets about production right now is the feasibility and accessibility of quality production equipment. One of our recent videos was partially shot on an iPhone 4S – and matched up pretty well, too, with a range of 3-chip cameras and DSLRs. The availability is only going to increase production value, whether is be to add a second (or third or forth) camera angle, the intimacy provided without holding a large camera setup, or the sheer number of people who can call themselves digital filmmakers. GoPro has been pushing the boundaries since their inception, along with a slew of others, such as camera phone makers Nokia (N8) and Apple (iPhone), Contour HD and various lipstick cameras.

Cody Caldwell has taken his GoPro and combined his cinema and surfing talents together around his home break and has recently caught the attention of some big outlets (both Vimeo and GoPro themselves). If GoPro’s reel, and Vimeo’s prestigious HD channel is anything to go off of, this is no small feat.

The other empowering facet is leveraging the marketing potential. While Cody and several others are simply recording their everyday life magic moments are being captured and potentially used in new marketing techniques that are in their infancy or have yet to be discovered. Somewhere, sometime, the right person will see a shot and contact the artist/owner directly to assist in the marketing creation. If the infamous Car Ollie and subsequent copycat campaigns provides any insight, then my guess is that it’s going to happen sooner rather than later, and at an increasing frequency.

Here’s Cody Caldwell’s Afternoon Delight.

Website Face Lift

Hello, and welcome to our new site! While it’s not a complete redesign, we rebuilt it from the ground up, keeping the same basic layout and style, but updating the design. The site now runs much faster, is sleeker, and more intuitive. We’ve simplified the overall feel, with less clutter, putting an emphasis on the projects themselves. (Which is why we call it a website face lift). Speaking of which, we’ve added a completely new player. The new player works across all browsers and mobile, too. It will run HTML5 if your browser supports it, with a built in Flash player as a backup. We’ve optimized our compression specs to bring you great quality videos in true High Definition. There are several other little things we spend days on to make your overall experience better on our site, like the new Contact Us form and slideshow on the About Us page.

Happy 2012, we hope this is the best year yet for you! Welcome to the new TAR PRODUCTIONS.

Fundamentals of Design & Branding

The fundamentals of design and branding are of the upmost importance for a company. It is invaluable to your consumers to be able to recognize your brand – and the look, feel & mood that goes along with it. Look, Feel & Mood are three of the most important elements that we discuss with clients during pre-productions, and one of the top focuses during the shooting and editing phases. For a production company, it is a great pleasure to work with a client who understands this and is willing to contribute in the process along the way. When it’s all added up, it makes for the best possible project given the scope of work. Erica Gorochow is out with a new explanation on the Fundamentals of Design, which is a quick and fantastic insight to your brand’s image. We thought we’d write down a few thoughts on branding, being one of our focuses, to further help our clients and prospective clients understand the production process.

Keep your brand image consistent. Make sure that it ties into your campaign. If your company has a internal Art Director or Creative Director, make sure that this person has a couple of one-on-one conversations to get a clear message of the goal at hand to the Creative Director and/or Producer on your shoot. Often times we’ll use the exact same files that are used in print collateral for motion media, or a song that is featured on your website will be used, in various lengths for the edits of your project. All too often we see campaigns that are related, but too far apart, leaving the consumer adrift in the brand & message.

Detail Your Needs & Goals
What is the message you’re trying to portray? It is the client’s responsibility to deliver this message to the Creative Director on the production team. Ask this person what he/she needs to know to understand the project at hand. The first time you work with someone you’ll need to be the most thorough. As times goes on, and more projects have been completed, this process will begin to streamline itself. If you can, develop a synergy with the production company you’re working with, create a workflow that is always helping to streamline the process. When in doubt, refer to the above paragraph.

Media Variety
Where is your media going to be seen? I’m not talking about TV, Internet… etc. but what type of environment. Will you have a captive audience? Or will they be passing by and only have them for a brief moment? Spread your deliverables out to cover what you’ll need. Do you need a shorter edit geared towards someone on his or her mobile phone? Or will you have them captivated for 10+ minutes. You can tell a story in :30 seconds, or in 10 minutes, but it’s how you tell it and what you choose to include.

The Fundamental Elements of Design

Everything is a Remix Pt. 3

Everything is a Remix

A very intriguing video series that sheds light on details commonly unknown or often overlooked. Kirby Ferguson does a great job telling a story, informing the audience of the facts and does so in a smooth fashion. This video is part 3 of 4 in a series that has been critically and audience acclaimed. The final episode of the Everything is a Remix series is due out this fall. Hope you enjoy.

“I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Had I worked fifty or even five years before, I would have failed. So it is with every new thing. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable. To teach that a comparatively few men are responsible for the greatest forward steps of mankind is the worst sort of nonsense.” – Henry Ford

Mike Monteiro on Clients

A few weeks back I came across a very interesting video by Mike Monteiro and his lawyer Gabe. The two gave a 20-minute talk at Creative Mornings in San Francisco on the ins & outs of the business side of creative work and contracts. The video has since gone viral and blogged about many times and I knew I’d be writing my own blog post about it….just didn’t know when. The reason being is I knew I’d watch the video two or three times over again (and I since have done so) and would take away new understandings each time and use the video as a point of reference while doing my SOW and proposals. The talk brings up several important points for creatives AND clients. Although the talk is given from the point of view of the creative it is straightforward and will shed light onto both parties on what to expect when hiring a creative agency for your company or being hired by a company if you’re a creative.