CTM Blog

The magic of post-production – Making a Promo Video – Part 4 of 4

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We are so happy you made it!  Welcome to the post-production stage of our Making a Promo series and the final blog post.

There are a lot of elements within post-production.  In this blog post we will touch on the editing, reviews, color correction, special effects, music and sound design for “the Mortgage Apocalypse” promo video.

Editing

We might sound like a broken recored but the best edits all come back to planning. If you have a clear plan and a clear vision you can execute one heck of an edit. The best editors understand that it’s all in the details. Every slight adjustment and every frame cut or added can make a huge difference in how the audience feels watching your film. We wanted the energy to be fast and chaotic, like the zombies, while leaving the audience feeling completely immersed in the scene.

The plan early on was to shoot the film in a way that would allow for one long shot to make the viewer feel like they were the ones being chased by the zombies. The problem we ran into is that this would make our 2 minute video more like 5 or 6 minutes. We had a lot of zombie action to fit into the 2 minute film and we felt the use of speed ramping and slow motion would allow us to do this. The speed ramping allowed us to move quickly from one moment to the next while still making the viewer feel uneasy. The slow motion allowed us to slow down a moment and bring the viewer in close for some of those vicious zombie attacks. In the editing room it was a matter of getting the right balance between these two techniques while maintaining the viewers interest. When editing we always share the film internally numerous times until everyone evokes the emotions we want.

Color Correction 

Once we have a locked edit we are ready for some colour correction.  For the video nerds like us or those wondering, we filmed on the Sony FS7 in Cine EI mode.  Colour correction can be a lot of fun and you can change so much of what you record while filming.  Just see the difference from the raw image to the final coloured image below:

Special Effects

The really fun part of the post-production process is playing with special effects.  For this promo video we wanted to create an atmosphere that is somewhat dream-like and dark.  We used a few main effects that would help bring these aspects to life such as particles, smoke and camera shake.  You can see how the particles and smoke really alter the environment our characters live in.  We also incorporated a subtle camera shake on each turn of the camera giving the viewer a ‘jolt’ as we transition to a different background in the scene.  See the sequence below to show you how these special effects add to the world our characters live in:

Music

We had David Lugo, musician and Community Tree Music collaborator, create a custom score for this promo video.  Below he talks a bit about the process behind creating the music:

Whenever I begin the process of composing a new piece for visual media, there are typically elements which I will decide before any music has been written. For this particular promo video, I knew that I wanted the instrumentation to include electric guitars with orchestral string sections for added tension. 

After watching the video a few times, I took note of the flow and special events in the video for which I wanted the music to be composed around. These events include mostly the slowing down and speeding up of the action, which are pivotal to the overall feel of helplessness and I wanted to accentuate with the rising and slowing in the tempo of the music. Lastly, there is a lot of ‘otherworldly’ ambient sounds which help tie the whole piece up and suggest a post apocalyptic setting.

Sound Design

Having a talented sound designer really helps bring the video to life and takes the viewer from a 2D experience and immerses them into a 3D world.  Sound design is just as important as the picture and it is imperative to have a talented sound designer to hit the right points so we can encapsulate the viewer in the world we have created.  For a lot of our projects we rely on the talented Soren Begin from Ryken Sound.  Below is 30 seconds from the promo video which has no music and just sound effects:

Here is what Soren had to say about his process in sound design for this promo video:

Typically when designing for sound it’s important to create an audio environment consistent with what the viewer expects to hear relevant to what’s on screen. While every project has elements of this zombies are a concept so distant from reality that I was able to approach the Mortgage Apocalypse project in a more creative way. Instead of asking myself ‘what would the viewer expect to hear for what they see?” I was able to ask ‘what do I want the viewer to hear and how do I want them to feel?’. With this in mind I’d like to give you a few examples of my process when approaching the Mortgage Apocalypse.

In the opening sequence it felt clear to me that while the Mortgage Apocalypse has a horror basis there should be playful aspects as well. To compliment this I added screams coming from inside the bank; the kind of screams you would hear in a haunted house theme park attraction; they’re fun and nostalgic, and they set a tone that says ‘this is horror but it’s also lighthearted’. For the zombies I used some standard zombie groaning sounds but I also layered different animal roar and snarl sounds throughout the video, particularly in the aggressive shots. I felt like this added some flare to our zombies and set them apart from the kind we’ve all seen on television shows over the last decade. In the scene where the woman is being chased in slow motion it was important to create a sense of panic. Heartbeats and heavy breathing naturally induce this in most people. For emphasis I transitioned these SFX from a background noise to being the only audio to which the viewer is paying attention. I accomplished this by increasing the volume of both the heartbeat and breathing as the zombie in pursuit catches up. I also added reverb so it feels as though these sounds are literally washing over you.

These are just three examples on a video for which I had creative options throughout. What you hear is also a product of multiple drafts; the feel of a project can change between iterations and I’ll never know if what I’ve got is the best take unless I’ve tried other options.

So thats it!  Our idea has been brought to life and we are so excited to share with you the Mortgage Apocalypse.  We hope you have enjoyed reading this 4 part blog series on our video production techniques for the Mortgage Apocalypse and have gained some insight into the awesome world of Capture the Moment Media.

The Mortgage Apocalypse crew! - Photo by Will Pursell

Credits

Category / Behind the Scenes
Tags / CME - colour correction - Mortgage Apocalypse - post-production vancouver - Promo Video Vancouver - Vancouver Video Production - video editing - Zombie -

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The Film Crew – Making a Promo Video – Part 3 of 4

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For this promo video we were lucky enough to have one heck of a crew and it made all the difference. You don’t need to be an expert in each position but having an understanding of them all is key.  You need to know what the right questions are to ask, not only when your shooting but when your picking your team as well. It’s important to find people that are hard working, creative and most importantly passionate about what they do. Let’s talk about a few of the roles and what was involved to make this promo video everything it needed to be and more!

Producer

When you have a wacky idea like this you really need to have a producer that believes in you. Making a film that is a little out there can be a risk as it’s not your run of the mill corporate film. Having a Producer like Mike Lloyd, a guy that is so passionate about film and so eager to do something different, really made everyone involved feel supported and valued. Having a producer who not only provides you with the necessary budget but trusts you and believes in you to create the vision they want is crucial. We can not thank Mike enough for believing in us and helping us bring this film to life.

Director

It is the directors job to create the overall vision for the project.  Finding inspiration through various tools such as films, music or photos can really help to define the vision. Once a solid vision is in place it is time to select your A-team and make sure everyone understands how to create the vision through their specific roles. It is important for the director to be one hundred percent confident in the vision and how to execute it. As long as the director has this confidence in the vision he will infect the crew with that same confidence and allow for a successful shoot, one that is fun and inspiring for everyone involved. There needs to be that electric energy on set that pumps people up and pushes them to do their best work.

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Mathew, the Director for the Mortgage Apocalypse, giving some feedback to the actors on set – Photo by Will Pursell

Assistant Director

The Assistant Director (AD) is the person in charge during pre-production and on set. He or She works with the Director to help carry out their vision in an organized fashion. On a shoot like this there is so much planning to be done to make sure the vision comes to life, if one department falls behind it could set the whole shoot off course. The AD works with each department to make sure everyone is on task and on schedule so that when it comes time to film everyone is ready to go. On filming day, the AD ensure the smooth and timely flow of events, making sure we get all of the shots required. Without the AD there would be no order on set and nothing would get done. By having this person it allows the Director to focus on the story and perfectly execute their craft.

Director of Photography

The Director of Photography (DP) is in charge of the overall aesthetics of the film. They work closely with the director to make sure that what we are seeing on screen is fitting the vision that the Director has. It’s important to have a clear vision unified with your DP that includes all the specifics such as; lighting, shot list and production tools. It was important to us to have this film in one long shot in order to keep the energy and really pull the viewer into the scene. Discussing these creative choices with your DP in pre-production is one of the most thrilling parts about film making. It gets the heart pumping with excitement and then to see it all come together is very rewarding.

John, the Director of Photography, filming during the zombie chase. - Photo by Will Pursell

Director of Photography, John Hilhorst, filming during the zombie chase. – Photo by Will Pursell

Production Assistant

The Production Assistant (PA) is the unsung hero of every shoot. When you have a large production so many things can pop up and you need a person that is ready to slap on their Superman vest and save the day. That could be anything from helping people find parking, to re directing traffic, to crowd control. They need to be a jack of all trades and not be afraid to approach anyone with questions or demands. A great PA saves the crew so much time and money while maintaining a positive and cheerful vibe that keeps everyone going on a long day.

Special Effects Make-up

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We knew early on that we would need a very talented and unique Special Effects Make-up team. We were lucky enough to work with Vanessa and the crew from Nadia Albano Style Inc.  We asked Vanessa if she would offer some insight into her process and she was kind enough to write a little something…

When Capture the moment media came to me with the concept for a Zombie Apocalypse I immediately loved it and knew I had to be a part of it! I brainstormed some ideas of how I wanted my zombies to look and what products I wanted to use.

I knew that I wanted the zombies to look fresh as opposed to old and decaying. My boyfriend was my guinea pig and is always up for testing out gory special fx makeup! I practiced different techniques on him and was able to master the looks.

I wanted the skin to look tired and dull but not ghostly white, I mixed slight grayish brown tones into the foundation. For the under eye area I wanted it to look infected and irritated. I applied burnt red and purple shades giving a feverish look. 

I practiced different wounds using a combination of latex with tissue paper and 3rd degree silicone gel. Latex is great for creating texture and open wounds on the skin, once it dries it can be pulled or cut open and then covered with  paint and blood.The 3rd degree is perfect for creating the illusion of thick, ripped and textured skin, it can be molded into any shape and dries quickly.

Once I knew how many main zombies there were I came up with 3 different looks for them. The main male zombie would have one eye missing with multiple face wounds. I created a latex piece for him ahead of time which had the shape of a empty eye socket. The main female zombie would have ripped skin on face and mouth and a large wound on her decollete and the third who was an extra, would have her teeth exposed on one side.

For the main zombies, I applied a generous amount of deep coloured and brighter coloured blood all over the face and neck. I also used edible blood inside their mouth and around their teeth in between scenes, as they just devoured some tasty humans! 

For the extra zombie, I created the effect of exposed teeth by using fake acrylic nails in smaller sizes and glued to the side of the face. I  then added tissue paper and latex around the teeth to mimic the exposed gums.

Every shoot requires something different  which is why our job is so fun! As long as you have a solid plan and really think about what you need from your crew before you arrive on set you will be successful and make a film everyone can be proud to say they were a part of.

The Mortgage Apocalypse crew! - Photo by Will Pursell

The Mortgage Apocalypse crew! – Photo by Will Pursell

Credits

Category / Behind the Scenes
Tags / Capture the Moment Media - CME - Film crew vancouver - Mortgage Apocalypse - Promo Video Vancouver - video production vancouver - Zombie -

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Finding the right location – Making a Promo Video – Part 2 of 4

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So we have our idea.  Now what?

Being a video production company in Vancouver is really amazing.  We are surrounded by inspiration through all the different types of landscapes and environments.  From farms, beaches and skyscrapers to beautiful mountains and trails, Vancouver has it all, but finding the right location isn’t always easy.

Finding the right location is so important because it sets your background which represents the story you are trying to tell. Having the perfect background can make your story much more powerful.  Whether we are filming a simple interview, a product or a bunch of zombies, we make sure our location adds to the tone and overall feel that we want our viewers to embrace.

So how and why, out of all the locations in Vancouver, did we choose this particular one for this particular promo video?

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We first had to identify all of our must haves or requirements:

  • We needed two main buildings, one that would be the bank and one that would be the CME office.
  • We required a road or large open space between the two main buildings as we wanted to use one long continuous shot and avoid cuts so we could really immerse the viewer into the scene.
  • We needed to end the video with a zombie slamming into a door that would reveal the CME logo.

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With every location that requires a large crew comes some basic human essentials that are needed. By having multiple makeup artists, actors, extras, photographers, and the production crew on set all day there were a few things we needed to keep in mind:

  • Are their washrooms nearby?
  • Is parking available?
  • Will there be any pedestrians around?
  • Is there power available?

With our checklist of requirements and essentials in hand we were ready to start location scouting. A great place to start searching is online to see what kind of options are available. Google maps can be an amazing tool to preview a location before going in person which is a huge time saver. We typically spend a day or two searching online before going to do our site visits in person.

After countless cups of coffee and a few YouTube breaks we finally stumbled upon a very promising location known as Jamestown in Langley, BC.  Our next step was to go do a site visit to make sure it had all of the essentials we needed. It’s helpful to do a site visit at the same time of day that you want to begin shooting at so you can properly assess the lighting. When we arrived we were ecstatic at how perfectly the location fit into the story that we wanted to create. You know when you smell that coffee brewing in the morning and then have your first sip and the butterflies of excitement begin fluttering? It was sort of like that. The location met all of our requirements and then some, there was even unicorns! Ok, maybe they were horses and we got a little carried away in all the excitement. We found the perfect location!

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So with our idea in place and our location secured we were ready to start production.  Stay tuned for our next post in which we talk about what it is like to work on set with a bunch of zombies.

Credits

Category / Behind the Scenes
Tags / CME - corporate video vancouver - Location scouting - Making a promo video - vancouver commercial production - Vancouver Video Production - Zombie -

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Coming up with an Idea – Making a Promo Video – Part 1 of 4

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The challenge:  Come up with a unique idea for a promo video that shows how a mortgage broker is different from a banker.

When clients ask us to come up with a creative concept from scratch we don’t shy away, in fact; we love it. The great thing about being a video production company is that we can turn any abstract idea into something beautiful and concrete, ultimately having the opportunity to create our own world.  Whether that be with real people, actors or animated video, there is no limit to our imagination. An added bonus to being a video production company in Vancouver BC is that there are so many dream like locations to choose from.

So where do we begin?

  • Meeting with the Client:  Mike, team leader and owner of Canadian Mortgage Experts, sat across the table from us explaining exactly what they do and why the Canadian Mortgage Experts (CME) are different from bankers.  He explained that Banks are like “Zombies” in that they only sell their products whereas at CME they review what is available on the market and help their clients find the best mortgage product to suit their individual needs.  As soon as we heard the word “Zombie” our eyes opened right up and the ideas started to flow which got Mike pretty excited for the project.
  • Coming up with some Concepts: The next thing we like to do is get together as a team and throw some ideas off each other.  You might find us out at the park throwing a football or frisbee around so we can get our blood flowing which in turn kick starts the brain storming process. Any excuse for some extra physical activity always gets the team motivated.  We might also hit the white board and draw out some ideas to see if something sticks.
  • Finding Inspiration: Once we have a couple of ideas in mind we try to find some inspiration online that can be used to help convey our ideas or showcase an element we want to incorporate.  We typically do this by browsing the many videos on Vimeo or Youtube and share them with our team.  To save us some time in the future, we also add our favourite videos to our “likes” page so we can reference videos we come across that might not be the right fit for the project at hand but might be useful for something else.  For this particular concept we stumbled upon the opening credits from the movie Zombie Land.  It really hit the mark and was a good video to showcase the style, energy and comedic approach we wanted to take.
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  • The Creative Brief: Once we believe we have a solid idea in place we put pen to paper or I guess you could say, fingers to keys, and start creating a concise concept for our client.  Here is the creative brief outline we proposed to Mike:

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We don’t create storyboards for every proposal we produce but in this case we really wanted to give Mike a clear idea as to what we were envisioning for this promo video.  Storyboards help everyone involved to get on the same page so we all know what to expect as we move into production.  This can also be achieved with a shot list but with such a unique idea, we really wanted to make sure the concept was easy to understand and visually appealing.

Here are the storyboard panels we created for this promo video created by the talented Kevin Hartwig.

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So we sent off our proposal and immediately got the green light from Mike.  Our idea was officially going to come to life; cue the office happy dance!

If you are interested in watching the final video and learning how the video was created, subscribe to our newsletter and stay tuned for our next blog post where we will talk about the importance of location and pre-production location scouting.

Credits

Location / Vancouver
Category / Behind the Scenes
Tags / Canadian Mortgage Experts - corporate video vancouver - creative video idea - dominion lending - finding a unique idea - how to make a promo video - vancouver commercial production - vancouver video idea - Vancouver Video Production - Vancouver Videographer -

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The Little Red Cabin by the Sea /// A Bowen Island Wedding Video

Inspiration is what drives our wedding videos.  It can come in many forms, more often than not we are inspired by people, places and things.  It’s how they all work together and relate to one another that keeps us coming back for more. This Bowen Island wedding video is a story about Shannon, Ross and a little red Cabin by the sea.

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People – When we first met Shannon and Ross to talk about their Bowen Island wedding, we had an instant connection.  They were easy going, fun loving and everything just seemed easy when you were in their presence. It was like we were old buddies from high school catching up on lost time. We learned a lot about them both, what inspires them as a couple and as individuals. They where thoughtful about how they felt about each other in a way that made you not only appreciate them as people, but as partners. These are the kind of characters we love to create wedding videos for, where do we sign!

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Place – They told us the wedding was taking place at Shannon’s summer home on Bowen Island. Shannon grew up there, running in the forest with her twin sister, exploring and becoming the person she is today. When you think of a little girl playing in the woods thinking about the boy she would marry one day, how cool is it that she found Ross and they deiced to share their vows in that very forest!  Touching stuff!  Throw in the some trees, ocean waves, a fun group of people and well, you got one heck of a place to set your story and a really unique wedding video.
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Things – This brings us to things.  Now don’t get me wrong, the wedding decor was incredible, the dress, the jewelry you name it, it was all perfection.  But what got us really excited was this little red cabin tucked away on Bowen Island. This was the back drop for the event and all of Shannon and Ross’s closest family and friends would gather around this little red cabin.  This was the same cabin Shannon would play in as a girl, the same cabin she dreamed of finding that special fellow and everyone would celebrate the joining of these two special people, in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Bowen Island, British Columbia. Talk about a dream project. This little red cabin meant so much to our story and it was exactly what we needed to tell the story of Shannon and Ross.
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Vendor List:

Location – Bowen Island, British Columbia

Wedding Planner – Epic Events

Reception Food and Drinks – Savoury City

DJ – DJ Emilita

Donuts – Cartems Donuterie

Photographer – Ainsley Rose

Hair and Makeup – Faye Smith Makeup

Floral Design – Our Little Flower Company

Rental and Decor – Bespoke Decor Rental

Wedding Videographer – Capture the Moment Media

Music – Licensed through the Music Bed

 

Credits

Location / Bowen Island
Client / Ross + Shannon
Category / Wedding
Tags / Ainsley Rose - Bowen Island Wedding Video - Capture the Moment Media - Destination Wedding - Epic Events - island wedding - Photographer - Ross - Shannon - Vancouver Wedding Video - video production vancouver -

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On the subject of love… a six year journey to now making wedding videos

Here I am, again, working late into the night on the same thing I have been working on for the last six years when I should probably be sleeping.

Weddings have been a huge part of my life for over six years. Telling wedding stories has had such a huge impact on me personally, as a person and as a storyteller.  The funny thing is, the fact that it’s a wedding has had nothing to do with it at all.

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Sure we make wedding videos but the fact that they are weddings never really meant that much to us. We are telling stories about people who just happen to be getting married that day. When I think back on every single wedding we have ever filmed, what do I remember? It’s a good question, the answer is really quite simple.

It has always been and will always be about the people.

People are what we are interested in and it is those special connections between friends, family, and lovers that shape the stories we tell. We often get asked, why do you keep coming back for more?  What drives you to continue to tell wedding stories?  To us, a wedding is a great opportunity to tell a story about people going through all sorts of emotions.  There are few opportunities like being at a wedding were you get so much story right there in front of you and the best part is, it’ s all real, honest and pure. That sounds like a great way to spend a Saturday to me!

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In the movies a Director is always trying to recreate reality to tell their story, there is a craft there and it’s truly a special accomplishment. However what we do with wedding videos is really no different. Right from the early years we realized the kind of stories we wanted to make. We wanted our films to feel like exactly that, films. We wanted interesting characters, conflicts, hero’s, villains a climax maybe throw in an Indian princess and an evil mother in law, just kidding, but again I think you get my point. While at the same time we understood that we wanted to create the most realistic and honest film possible, just like a hollywood movie director. Now, a movie Director has actors, at a wedding we don’t have that, they are just, well, them, and that’s awesome! What an advantage that gives us. Think about it,

we don’t have to re-create reality, it’s happening right in front of us, our job is to figure how to “capture the moment”. 

I apologize for that last line, I couldn’t help myself.

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Over the years we have worked our butts off in pre-production. Learning who our characters are before we even pulled out our cameras. Things like how they related to one another, what their stories are, how will they react to different moments. By planning ahead we were able to shoot these people as they were and we did not need to make them into something else. This allowed for the most natural stories possible and it made each wedding video totally unique and different from the last. We always say we don’t make wedding videos for the couples, we make them for us, we make videos we want to watch over and over again, videos that remind us of these incredible people we were lucky enough to spend time with and just what made them so freaking cool!

This brings us to the big L, Love! What does love even mean?

Over the years we have seen so many different forms of love. It’s about challenging ourselves with each story to figure out what it is about these two people that makes it work. We love that challenge with each and every wedding video we take on. We often read it in their vows, or in their speech, but some times it’s not written in ink, sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and see how they interact on social media or what their friends say about them. When I think of that I think of what love is really all about, it’s not about the wedding, it’s not about standing up and telling everyone how much you love this person. It’s those kind of moments, the day to day moments that are shared by two best friends. So when we set out to tell your story on your wedding day we are always thinking of things like that, trying to move past the obvious and really make these stories unique.

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Stories are why we do what we do and the privilege we have been given by our couples to tell their stories the way we want has been truly inspiring. That kind of creative freedom is hard to come by and it is something we are truly grateful for. Starting out making wedding videos has allowed us to grow as filmmakers.  Being prepared, present and taking risks has really helped us grow as storytellers.

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Looking back on these films really puts things into a perspective and gets us even more motivated for the new stories and adventures to come.

Mat

Credits

Location / Vancouver
Category / Videography
Tags / Capture the Moment Media - Love - Victoria Wedding Video - Video Production - wedding stories - wedding video vancouver -

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Music on film /// a one on one chat with musician ursidae

For as long as we can remember we have always loved music videos, the emotion and feelings created by the song combined with compelling visuals has always been inspiring for us as filmmakers. Also, the freedom you have as a storyteller to not have to directly express the narrative of the story, rather solely focus on how the visuals can create an emotion. Music videos are all about how you feel while watching it and because of this you have a license to be very creative. 

We like to think of ourselves as a creative minded team. So when we have an opportunity to work with someone that understands the creative process and can relate to what we go through as creative people it makes for an exciting collaboration. Who better to make our first music video with then the brilliant ursidae. Working with this incredibly talented artist was inspiring and rewarding to say the least. Since collaboration was so key for us to pull this music video off, we thought it made sense to ask ursidae a few question, to get her point of view on the process and experience filming with us.

Enjoy

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ctm media : When did you first start writing music and why?

ursidae : It just kind of happened. My father and my brother picked up the guitar around the same time and I would sneak into their rooms to play it. My playing wasn’t purposely secretive but I played alone in my room for many years without anyone really noticing. The guitar was always to accompany my voice but I hadn’t sung in front of anyone since I had formal training as a kid. Everything just flowed after that, I started experimenting with finger patterns and some basic chords and that was that.

ctm media : What inspires you to create your music?

ursidae : I am inspired to write dark, sad feelings that take over sometimes. Sadness is hard because it’s not seen as a desirable emotion to be feeling yet everyone has experience with it. Much of what I write is about unrequited love, but others were written from an outside perspective looking at me. The nice thing about writing about sadness is that it has a therapeutic quality to it: the more I play a song, the more the feeling becomes detached from the music. I think many songwriters can agree with that. Otherwise it would be so very difficult to perform.

ctm media : What is the song “Rust” ultimately about?

ursidae : The end of a relationship where there is a mutual understanding that it’s over – or needs to be – but an unwillingness to let go. There’s a positive ending though, I think.

ctm media : How do you want people to feel when they hear this song?

ursidae : I think this is something a lot of people can relate to. I don’t necessarily want people to cry, but I’ve been told it does make people cry sometimes. Any song that you really connect with in that moment can bring out the same, raw emotion that I put into it and given the universality of the content, I guess that makes sense.

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ctm media : What kind of music videos inspire you?

ursidae : I love simplicity, nature-scenes and slow-motion dancing. Like, that video of Thom Yorke dancing in ‘Lotus Flower’ and even Chersea’s ‘Grey Matter’ video. And soft lighting or pretty lights or horizons. It’s all about the atmo(sphere). Ultimate music video: two people waltzing in the forest. In the rain.

ctm media: What was it about our work that made you think we would be a good fit for this project?

ursidae : I love the way they (Capture the Moment Media) capture emotion on film. The subtleties of it. And the nature shots!

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ctm media : How did the idea for the music video come to be?

ursidae : I had a dream about journeying up a mountain, alone and ending in a clearing. Looking out on a body of water at the edge of the clearing, I released something red into the wind and it was carried away. Although not unusual for some, the only dreams I seem to remember are nightmares. So the memory of the dream in and of itself was significant. I brought the idea to my dear, creative friend, Heather (the Essence Oracle), who then saw the connection between the Eastern idea of destined lovers being connected by a red thread. So we began planning but realized that we didn’t have enough background in undertaking a project like this alone. I (ursidae) am a part of the Community Tree Music catalogue, who are connected to Capture the Moment Media. I knew that’ be a good place to start asking about the details of what it take to turn Heather and my concept into reality. They loved it and so we went from there.

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ctm media : From your point of view what was the experience of making a music video like?

ursidae : The respect I have for those who work in creative industries has always been high. I have very little experience with photography (Heather’s background) or film so I went into it blind. But after seeing how much work film is, my respect for those in this field is that much higher. It’s more work than people think! Even I found it taxing and all I did was stand there, really. And ran a few times. Everyone who helped with this was so passionate about making it so it was a really enjoyable experience for me.

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ctm media : When you watch the finished film how does it make you feel?

ursidae : It’s pretty wild seeing my face on screen. Much like hearing my own voice on recording, it’s a bit uncomfortable at the start. But it’s so beautiful so I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! I am really grateful to everyone who helped out with the various aspects of what it takes to make a music video, big and small: styling, make-up, hair, yarn rolling, behind the scenes-camering, equipment moving, light-making, directing, holding heavy cameras… everything!

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ctm media : What was the best part of the filming experience?

ursidae : I loved being outside. The last location, Lighthouse Park, was gorgeous. We spent quite a while on the cliff edge… I’m glad none of us are afraid of heights. Standing in the sun, looking out at the water, trying not to fall to my death was easily the more exhilarating part.

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ctm media : What’s next for ursidae?

ursidae : Lots! I’m heading over the pond in February and March to visit friends, one of them being Laura Reznek. She’s established herself on the London circuit and I’m hoping to shoot an a capella version of one of my new songs with her and some of her new musical friends. And maybe a gig or two in France because I don’t need a visa. However, I plan on spending most of my time in solitude, writing new music and tuning up some other songs in hopes of getting back in the studio with Cody Taylor (Fiend Recordings) once I get home. And hopefully some festivals in the summer. Just seeing where things take ‘urssy’, I guess.

Buy ursidae’s latest EP “One Year Long” on bandcamp or license her music for your films on Community Tree Music

Visit ursidaemusic.com for more information

Behind the scenes photos by The Essence Oracle

Makeup / Hair – Jacqueline – Beauty Reawakened

Credits

Location / Vancouver, BC
Client / ursidae
Category / Commercial
Tags / beauty reawakened - canadian music - red string - rust - the essence oracle - ursidae - vancouver music video - Vancouver Video Production - Music / ursidae - Rust

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A Spiritual Journey in Filmmaking

You Can talk the talk but can you walk the walk?” We have all heard this at least 100 times but have you ever really sat down and thought about it? Like really thought about it. Our latest film explores this very notion of walking the walk both figuratively and well… literally. This is the story of Jessie and Preeti, but we feel like we can all relate to the journey they take in this sikh wedding video.

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We believe the best characters are the ones people can relate to, maybe that’s why Batman is so popular, we can relate to him, he does not have super powers like all those other DC Comic hero’s, he’s just a person, like us, he has flaws. With every film we set out to make we always do our homework, with one key thought in mind, how can we relate to this story and these characters.

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Over the years we have filmed a lot of South Asian Wedding Videos, it’s funny looking back on it now, I remember the very first Mayian Ceremony we filmed and how we were not really sure what this was about, even our very first Henna night, why are they drawing on each other, seems a bit odd? This was not a culture I had a lot of exposure to as a young person, so to us, at this stage in our journey as filmmakers, we were just excited to film something different, something filled with colour and movement. It wasn’t until we started putting the film together that we started to realize what these ceremonies meant and how they made us feel. That was actually a major turning point in how we planned our films moving forward. Since then we have really tried to understand further what all of these ceremonies truly represent and how they relate to our characters, from the Mehndi to the Milini to the Pani varna they all mean something. So not only do these moments stand out visually but they represent this incredible journey that the bride, the groom and their families are taking. This has given us an incredible back drop to tell stories and has also provided a very strong narrative. So I guess you could say we love shooting South Asian Wedding Videos!

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Up until this point however we have never really told a story for a couple that was as spiritual and as educated in the Sikh religion as Jessie and Preeti. When we first met them we noticed that they were fun, goofy, silly and most importantly very passionate! We just loved our first meeting with them. They told us a lot about what was going to be important to them during their wedding week. The one thing that came up over and over again was how important the ceremony was, in particular, the four laava. This is the moment when bride and groom join in spirit and become one. Now we have filmed this before and we understood what each laava symbolized but when they explained it to us it felt different, it felt important, something that they held close to their heart. They told us how the four laava represented a life long journey, one that we all must take. Powerful stuff right, this conversation would be the spring board to an epic summer adventure that would take place across the stunning Alberta landscape. Over this week we would experience and reflect on our own journey as we filmed these incredible moments.

The First Laava – Practice

As we mentioned this wedding film would take us to Alberta – Edmonton, Calgary and Banff to be specific. John spent a few days in Calgary with Jessie and I stayed in Edmonton to shoot some of Preeti’s events. Now whenever we arrive on a destination wedding the first thing we do is location scout, we get a sense of the space and make sure we will be prepared to film in that location. This is very similar to the the First laava, the first laava is all about practice. Before you can truly experience life you need discipline and you need to educate yourself. This is something we have learned over the years, something that is so important to our process. The more prepared we are the more we can enjoy the shoot and the better our story telling will be. Already after only touching down in Alberta for a few short hours we were already beginning our journey and we could relate to the first laava.

Jessie and Preeti were also beginning their journey. Preeti’s Henna ceremony and Jessie’s Mayian Ceremony are all about family, celebration and preparation. Filming these moments to us represented practise in their story, the first laava, seeing all the faces of all the close family and friends that have thought Jessie and Preeti so many lessons in their lives represented so much to this part of the story. They can now walk the first circle together and fully understand it.

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The Second Laava – Experience 

When can you truly appreciate something? It’s a good question, for us the first time we truly felt satisfied filming was not the first time we picked up a camera, it was much later in our careers, it came after years of practice and years of learning. We all want instant gratification, but it’s only through knowledge that we can truly understand and appreciate an experience. We can remember being so pumped when we bought our first DSLR, I think we might have thought that just turning it on and looking through the lens would give us an incredible image, we quickly learned that it’s not that simple. Filming some of the incredible moments from this week felt very retrospective. Being able to take our skills we have gained over the years and apply them to so many beautiful moments is really something special.

During the entire week Jessie and Preeti were experiencing moments, moments that they could now fully appreciate after all the practise and all the knowledge they have gained. Dancing at a Sikh Wedding is something so special, there is a reason it jumps out at you in our films, it’s because it means more then just having a good time, it’s about letting go and just being, it’s about freedom. The joy that they take from it is directly related to understanding why it is important. So now when Jessie and Preeti walk the circle for a second time they can properly experience it. Do you see how everything is starting to come together?  Cool right.

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The Third Laava – Knowledge

During the wedding week the most powerful and emotional moment is almost always during the Doli Ceremony. Why is this? Well, this moment represents when the bride leaves home and becomes a woman, it’s not about leaving her family it’s about becoming her own person and joining another family. It is a beautiful moment, filled with tears and powerful emotion. It’s hard to take that step and move forward into a new journey. Whether it’s when you graduate and move to the big city, when you get married, or maybe when you have a child, life is filled with these moments. These are the moments that define you and it can be hard to take that step, but once you have done it you can feel connected to something bigger then yourself. Preeti’s Doli Ceremony was one of the most incredible moments we have had the honour to film. It makes for an incredible climax and fits with the third laava perfectly.

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The Fourth Laava – Union

We all have a moment when we step outside ourselves and realize just how precious life can be. On the last day of filming in Banff, John and I were in the forest trying to film some scenic landscapes, we thought that would fit really well with Jessie and Preeti’s story. We wanted to capture purity and where better to do that then in the mountains of Banff, Alberta. While we were shooting John spotted a single Elk roaming the forest, he was followed by an entire herd. It was an incredible moment, it was just us and this herd of wild Elk, it felt so peaceful and so pure. It was the kind of moment as a film maker you dream about and it fit our story so perfectly. The Elk allowed us to film for several minutes while they grazed in the fields. It was something we will never forget. To have a moment like this in our film, a moment that to us was the perfect place to start this journey in our film and to have it happen at the end of our filming journey just brought everything full circle.

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In closing, Jessie and Preeti’s wedding video was a very special film for us on so many levels, we pushed ourselves to make the best film we know how and when you do that it makes all your future films that much better. Most importantly it gave us perspective on our journey as film makers and as people. We feel this is a film that we can all relate to, a film that can spark an emotion in all of us and those are the best stories worth telling.

Mat

 

CREDITS:

Music licensed through the Music Bed

Locations:

Wedding Ceremony: Maharaja Banquet Hall Edmonton, AB

Preeti’s Henna and Mayian Ceremony: Edmonton Alberta Canada

Jessie’s Henna and Mayian Ceremony: Calgary Alberta Canada

Reception Venue: Fensland Banff Recreation Centre, Banff AB Canada

Photography: Buffy Goodman Photography

Credits

Location / Banff, Alberta
Client / Jessie and Preeti
Category / Highlight Videos
Tags / alberta - Banff - Calgary - edmonton - Epic - Indian - Jessie - Preeti - Sikh Wedding - Wedding Video - Music / Davis Harwell - It's Not the Tragedy that Defines Us

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(1 Comment)
  1. […] we watched the video and read through the post we had goose bumps, and we suggest you read word by word of this tremendous post here. So we […]

  2. Colleen says:

    Thank you for sharing this video. It made me think of the significance of marriage. I would like to inquire who the designer of the bride’s outfit for the ceremony was? It is so beautiful and modest.

Filming for Crowdfunders /// Kickstarter Reincorporates as a Benefit Corporation

Filming for Crowdfunders /// Kickstarter Reincorporates as a Benefit Corporation

Kickstarter announced this week they have reincorporated as benefit corporation. In a letter issued by their Founders and CEO, Kickstarter explains their process for committing to this transition. This change could influence the way large corporations like Kickstarter do business. Because we work with a lot of businesses that launch  campaigns on  crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo, this is exciting news for our clients.

Filming for Crowdfunders /// Kickstarter Reincorporates as a Benefit Corporation

BRIDGING THE GAP

Until now, there wasn’t much in the middle of non-profit organization and for-profit company. Benefit corporations comply to the same taxation standards as for-profit corporations in the US but are also obligated to consider the cultural and environmental impact of their executive decisions. With Kickstarter Inc. now Kickstarter PBC, this transition balances Kickstarter’s community goals with their financial goals, making the two equally important.

Both corporations and benefit corporations share attributes. Both entities are taxed the same, but benefit corporations take on additional obligations involving further transparency, accountability, and public purpose. Companies like Kickstarter, Patagonia, and Etsy are starting a trend that could push other big corporations to think beyond delivering financial value to their shareholders. They are also obligated to create a positive influence to society and the environment.

Filming for Crowdfunders /// Kickstarter Reincorporates as a Benefit Corporation

KICKSTARTER’S COMMITMENTS

Kickstarter’s commitments are clearly outlined in the Kickstarter Charter, which includes a emphasis on arts and music education, creating more opportunities for people of colour, women, and LGBTQ individuals, support for non-commercial artists, and the environment. Kickstarter is a high profile company with the ability to influence others on a large scale. They are demonstrating to other companies what they can do for their community. We’re looking forward to seeing others follow suit and the positive impact this could have on the arts.

Filming for Crowdfunders /// Kickstarter Reincorporates as a Benefit Corporation

As we continue to make crowdfunding videos, want to see our clients be successful in their fundraising goals as much as we want to make a great video for them. Crowdfunding is now commonplace among start-ups, artists, musicians, and the tech community. Many of us have contributed to crowdfunding campaigns at some point over the last decade. Publically committing to social and environmental good could bring about a surge of interest to back more Kickstarter projects and feel like they are a part of a greater initiative.

Credits

Category / Commercial
Tags / benefit corperations - commercial videos - commercials - crowdfunding - crowdfunding videos - filmmaking - fundraising - Kickstarter -

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How to Create a Plan for Crowdfunding Success

Creating a Plan for Crowdfunding Success

Crowdfunding is not free money. You can’t just create a Kickstarter or Indiegogo project page and watch the numbers roll in – although we all wish it were so! Anyone who has launched a crowdfunding campaign understands just how much research, planning, strategy, and time goes into creating a great crowdfunding campaign. They also know it’s A TON OF WORK.

As a video production studio, we’ve loved working on crowdfunding campaigns. A great video for your Kickstarter project however, is only one piece to the crowdfunding maze. We want to be a part of successful projects just as much as you want your project to succeed. Here’s an overview of the different aspects of your campaign you will need to consider before you dive in.

THE IDEA

A great crowdfunding campaign is about the product AND the purpose. Nobody cares about what you are making if you don’t show them you care more than anyone! You are rallying people together who believe in you. Your fans want to be a part of your vision. They want to be a part of something that is bigger than themselves, and you’re the one making it happen.

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STRATEGY AND PLANNING

Welcome to your new full-time job. Once you launch, it’s going to get crazy so give yourself the materials and resources you need to finish the marathon.  Plan ahead and give it everything you’ve got. Start with researching your options. There are a lot of different crowdfunding platforms out there today and finding the right one for your project is the first step. Read more about it in our previous post, “How to Find the Best Crowdfunding Platform for You.”

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SET YOUR FUNDING GOAL

How many people do you know that are likely invest in your idea AND who do those people know who might be able to help? Investigate which crowdfunding projects in your industry have been successful. Different industries have different funding averages. Take a hard look at your minimum costs and be honest with yourself. Make sure you also allow yourself a cushion that allows for your platform’s cut and project’s shipping costs, which add up quickly. Support your funding goal with real math and real people.

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THE WRITTEN PITCH

Your goal in this section is to build trust with your audience. Start by creating a crowdfunding narrative for your project. This is the story about why you are raising money and the experiences that helped you get started. Construct a realistic and detailed budget. Graphs, and infographics transform a run-of-the-mill campaign into a serious force to be reckoned with. Elaborate on your value proposition telling people why they will love your product and the positive impact it will have on their life. Proofread. Break up long blocks of copy with proper headings and professional photos. Think about quality over quantity and watch out for filler words. Edit to keep it direct and succinct. Grab people’s attention and make them eager to know more.

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THE CROWDFUNDING VIDEO

This is our favourite part. Your crowdfunding video should be between 2-3 minutes. It needs to tell people WHAT you do and WHY you’re doing it. You have a very small window to get your point across and make people believe in you, and that’s why video is so powerful. You can say a lot in a short period of time with video. We will do an entirely separate post on crowdfunding videos next. For now, here’s an example of a successful campaign we worked on with iHeart Physiological Age system that ran earlier last year on Indiegogo.

 

Creating a Plan for Crowdfunding Success

PROJECT IMAGERY

Make sure you hit this one on the target. You’ll want professional photos that show your brand, your product, and your rewards to your potential funders. Look for images that create a good thumbnail and make you want to click on it. Your photos should always be polished and shareable.

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UPDATES

Funders don’t just want to hand over their money and support to your campaign and never hear from you again. They are giving money to your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign because they want to be part of the process with you. Everyone wants to be a part of something meaningful, growing, and successful. Plan out a sequence of updates in advance. Let people know how the project is advancing and how grateful you are that they’ve chosen to be a part of it. It’s a great way to build enthusiasm and keep people talking, which could also mean more funders for you. Give people an opportunity to ask questions and share your updates.

Creating a Plan for Crowdfunding Success

THE REWARDS

Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo are rewards based crowdfunding platforms. Pick rewards that make sense for your campaign. Make sure that you can afford to give away and ship what you are offering. Choose rewards that also benefit you. This is a great opportunity to create products that help further your brand and get creative. Narrow down who your ideal customer is and what kinds of rewards they would most value. Ask yourself, “Who would buy this?”

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LAUNCHING & MARKETING

Prepare yourself with the right tools and give yourself enough time to build a following. Make sure you’ve connected with those people on a personal level before you try to shake them down for money. Don’t just shout to the masses and hope people take notice. A personal approach to your fundraising makes all the difference. Tell your friends and family directly what you are working on. Build your email list with the right people who care about your idea. Draft your press release for media outreach. Ask each person specifically to support you. Let them know how grateful you are and how much their participation in your crowdfunding campaign matters to you. The more you draft ahead of time, the more you’ll be able to manage in the thick of it. If this isn’t your jam, hire someone.

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HAVE A BACKUP PLAN 

The final hours can be a crazy stressful and difficult. Watching projects crawl to a halt at the final buzzer is heartbreaking. Can you push your project over the finish line? Have you reached out to other investors who care about your idea? Crowdfunding is a tremendous opportunity for a lot of business, but don’t let it be your only option. Get creative and think like an entrepreneur. There is always a way.

Got a project the world needs to see? Tell us all about your idea, and we’ll let you know how we can help share your story through video.

 

Mailing List Awesomeness


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Credits

Category / Commercial
Tags / commercial video - crowdfunding - crowdfunding video - filmmaking - Indiegogo - Kickstarter - Vancouver - vancouver filmmakers - video production vancouver -

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