Home Office Video Studio Lighting Stands

Home office video studios are almost always short on floor space. They are often set up in a spare bedroom that is 10 feet wide and 12 to 15 feet deep. That is about one third of the size of a professional video studio. The legs of a typical light stand open up to about three feet wide. Put two or three lights and a camera tripod in your tiny studio and it can get pretty challenging just to walk around. Maximizing your space means finding creative ways to support your lights without resorting to bulky studio lighting stands.

Rethink Your Lights

Large soft lights are generally the best option for studio lighting. They produce flattering light and soften the look of shadows. Many home office video producers turn to inexpensive CFL-based softbox lights, but these lights can be bulky and require those floor space devouring light stands to hold them up. You can get a beautiful soft light from other sources like rice paper lanterns hung from ceiling hooks or large floor lamps with rice paper shades. Use bright CFL bulbs in the lamps and lanterns to light up your studio without the light stands.

If your video productions mostly involve shooting with a webcam at your desk, try some table top lamps with rice paper shades. They come in a variety of sizes and funky styles. If you are creative, you can even make your own lamps.

Keep the Studio Lights and Ditch the Stands

Grips are the people on a movie set who are responsible for setting up the supports that hold the lights. Over decades they have invented many clever little bits of equipment for mounting lights without using stands. For us, the two most useful inventions they have come up with are scissor mounts and mounting plates. A scissor mount is basically a standard light mounting stud with a little x-shaped bracket at the end. This bracket can be clamped onto the support frame for a drop ceiling and lets you hang a small light overhead. The mounting plate is small metal plate with a light mounting stud attached to the center. The plate can be attached to walls, ceilings, or other sturdy objects using simple screws. Then, lights can be attached to the stud.

Scissor clamps and mounting plates are not very expensive and will let you securely mount the lights in your home office studio without using studio lighting stands.

The Devil is in the Details

Removing the studio lighting stands from your home office setup is not hard. But, the keys to getting great lighting for the videos you shoot are not so obvious. You have to pick the right kind of lights (or your colors can look washed out or pick up weird color casts, ) and you have to put the lights right lights in the right place.

Read my free guide and become an Instant Expert. You will learn how to pick the right lights for your studio and where to place them to get professional video results every time.

The Do’s Of Planning And Creating Videos

YouTube started the revolution of video uploads online. People has gone crazy over this social media site and almost everyone has been uploading their own videos since. Today, it is one of the most prominent and most used by search engines. Its continuously growing influence in the purchase decisions of consumers is just one example of how video has become a more powerful tool for businesses now more than ever. However, merely creating and distributing a video about your business is simply not enough. Aside from other online and offline marketing strategies you can come up with, social media is still a powerful tool and capitalizing on video creation is one of the best tactics. If you’re looking to invest in corporate video production, then you have to make sure that it will be useful to audiences and meet your organizational objectives. The following are some mistakes to avoid to ensure a successful business video production:

1. Target Specific Audience. An effective video is not one that aims to get everyone’s attention, but rather one that zooms in to a specific, clearly defined audience. This way, you can create targeted content that is relevant to your intended viewers. The video will be able to deliver a message that will most likely get the response you want from them.

2. Spotlight On Customer’s Concern. Businesses that have enjoyed ROI from video production always make sure that they are providing value to their audience through their content. Instead of shining the spotlight on your product or business, focus on your customers first. Create a video that provides solutions related to your expertise and appeal to their interests.

3. Budget. In the past, only big companies can afford videos because of the costs involved in producing one. But the technology has changed and making videos has become easier and more affordable. And since you’re working within defined targets, the costs can become more manageable as well.

4. Work With Professionals. Audiences today are exposed to so much video content on a daily basis, so companies should work doubly hard to make their videos stand out in a content-heavy landscape. Working with professional media production companies will allow you to create the right video for your needs. Your video team will bring together good visuals, crisp sound, polished editing and an effective story line that captures viewers’ attention and create connections between your business and the people you want to reach.

The Common Hurdles In Taking Aerial Shots

TV and film industries often require having aerial shots in their projects because this contributes a lot in the impressive cinematography. The view from top can really present an impressive picture in the eyes of the viewers. Companies that offer aerial film and photo services that being in this field require a lot of skills and creative perspective. Plus, the vertical movement of filming allows them to get really creative with the depth of field and focus when capturing scenes and to provide a clearer emotional language.

However, getting aerial shots does not always entail better results. Some challenges arise and these obstacles affect both the process and “product” of aerial shots. The main obstacle to this kind of photography or filming is the weather. As we all know, it is very unpredictable and even if you got the weather forecast for the day of filming, you cannot be too sure that the weather conditions for filming will remain the same. Aerial filming is best carried out on clear and cloudy days with very little wind, but because the weather can become quite fickle, the ideal conditions can quickly transform into a potentially dangerous situation.

According to seasoned aerial videographers, damp and cold weather are the worst things that could happen in a shoot. Rain, mist and fog prevent clear shots from being taken. Another issue to deal with during such conditions is how the low temperature paired with high altitude can freeze props. Strong winds also prevent the shoot from being carried out properly. They mess with the stability of the aircraft and camera equipment. But more than that, it’s simply very dangerous to be up in the air when there are powerful winds. Drones can take over when air conditions are dangerous for flight, but it will be difficult to control or stabilise them since they’re more lightweight; they need to be repositioned often.

The other obstacle is air traffic congestion in certain locations. If filming is done anywhere near an airport or a place that’s being monitored by aerial robots, it’s going to be challenging to find that right and clear spot in the air for the perfect shot. Also, when there’s air traffic, filming schedules automatically get compromised.

Aerial filming has definitely upgraded TV and film cinematography, which is amazing. However, carrying it out surely comes with its own challenges. That is why it’s imperative to work with highly experienced service providers that have finely honed techniques and systems. Partnering with them can ensure a quick and effective process that delivers the best results.

An Introduction to Satyajit Ray, The Celebrated Movie Director With Synopses of His Masterpieces

I had already read something about movies of Satyajit Ray, doyen of Indian movies. The first film I saw was Pratitwandi (The adversary) in 1971. I was employed in an all India job and had the opportunity to work in all the metro cities of India. Wherever I went, I never missed to see Ray movies. It was a pleasant experience of life to watch his movies.

This article contains the impressions which the films created in me and I hope that readers will agree with my observation that he is a poet, artist and a sculpture among the film producers/directors. Also a synopsis of each film has also been given so that readers may have an understanding of the theme of the film under discussion.

However, a word of caution is that it requires a sense of appreciation of fine arts to enjoy movies of Ray. One should necessarily be a connoisseur to appreciate his movies. There are adverse critics also for some of his movies that he portrayed the poverty of India abroad. The fact is that he was bold enough to highlight which other producers were afraid to touch.

Synopses of some of his best movies in the chronological order of my viewing them are as follows:

1. Pratitwandi- The adversary:

Pratitwandi which means Adversary remains to be the first movie of Ray seen by me. It was a pleasant Sunday morning; the hall which screened the movie was most modern with high class equipment. The film Pratitwandi was a new release and the print of the film was very good. The moment the tiles started running on the screen, I was engrossed in the movie.

The story was about an educated, unemployed lad, whose mind was tilted to the path of violence gradually. The year 1971 witnessed a great exodus of refugees from Bangladesh (Erstwhile East Pakistan) to Calcutta. From South (Andhra Pradesh) a new violent movement called Naxalbari movement founded by Charu Majumdar started spreading and its loyalists were known as Naxalites.

Famous writer Sunil Gangobadhyaya wrote the story and Mr Ray portrayed it in an exemplary manner.

The hero’s name was Siddhartha. He was a calm and quiet lad whereas his younger brother chose the path of a naxalite, wedded to bomb culture.

The essential part of the film was to explain how Siddhartha’s mind was also tilted towards violence because of unemployment. He started brooding violence in his mind gradually and finally when a mob was seen mercilessly beating a cab driver responsible for an accident, he joined them in beating the driver even without knowing the reason.

“Individual Bengali is a poet, but a Bengali crowd is a violent mob”, this is a famous proverb and it was proved well by this scene.

The last scene was about an interview. Dozens of youth were called to attend. But there was no seating arrangement, no drinking water and only suffocation was there. One by one, the candidates started swooning for want of water and air and the hero entered the cabin with a bang. In a spate of anger he threw all the papers on the faces of interview board members and got out of the chamber. Naxalite thoughts were running over his mind along with portraits of Naxalite leaders..

‘That is how a naxalite is created’. This was the message of the film…

But the picture ended with positive note. He did not turn into a naxalite. He got a small assignment of a medical representative and he had a sweetheart who influenced him to be a normal youth, shunning the way of violence. There was place for love also in his life..

The Impressions: The directorial touches were excellent in various scenes. One important scene was about the naxalite turned brother. When he was an urchin he was unable to tolerate a chicken being killed by butcher, but later he used to kill mercilessly by throwing bombs. What a dramatic irony!

I could never forget the facial expression of the school child sitting inside the car, watching the violence with bewildered eyes, when the car driver was beaten to death by the mob.

After coming out of the hall, I was unable to go to my residence. The whole day, I was wandering around the city, the contents of the film lingering upon my mind.

No doubt, it is one the best pictures of Indian Cinema.

2. Teen Kanya- Stories of Three girls.

The next film I saw was Teen Kanya, a story of three girls. Three independent stories of three girls were clubbed into a single movie and perhaps might be the first such attempt in India. The names of the three stories are, ‘Post Master, Monihar and Samapti’ respectively. The story was by the great Poet Rabindra Nath Tagore. Though the film was produced in 1961, I saw it only in 1972. It was an old print and images were not clear. Yet I was able to appreciate the movie because of its rich contents.

First story: ‘Post Master’ was about a young person posted as the post master in a hamlet. The only fellow who was to help him was a young orphan girl child. Gradually good friendship blossomed between them He took personal interest to teach her to read and write. Alas, when she started learning something, he got a transfer and had to leave.

Impressions: Words could not explain the despair in the girl’s eyes, when the post Master left the hamlet.

Two scenes are worth mentioning. The post master got severe fever. When he was hesitant to swallow the tablet, the urchin grabbed the tablet and started chewing on his behalf to demonstrate how easy to swallow a tablet. In another scene, he had an encounter with horrible mad fellow. The whole night he was sitting before him sleepless out of fear. But, the next morning, when the girl visited him she just shouted ‘go, go’ and the ‘horrible’ lunatic ran away.

The second story was about a beautiful, rich and married lady who had an un-natural death and haunted a villa. Unfortunately, this portion was not available to view.

The third story was about an un-willing young bridegroom wedded to an immature girl who was not aware of marital relationships. How she came in term with her husband and started loving him was told in a jovial manner. This episode was later produced as a full length Hindi movie.

3. Pather Panchali- The Roadside Song:

Pather Panchali was the first film produced by Ray (in 1955) with the financial support of Government of West Bengal. But it took five years for me to view that film after I saw first a Ray film. I could vouchsafe that it was an experience of life. The recognition and awards given to the film were too little compared to the greatness of the movie.

The original story was written by Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, a famous Bengali author and the screenplay was by Ray himself. The music was scored by Pandit Ravisankar, a famous sitar player.

The story revolved around a poor family of five from a village viz: The family head

Harihar, his widowed sister, wife, daughter Durga and son Apu. The film was about their poverty and yet they used to find pleasure in enjoying the small pleasures Nature provided them with. The children walked kilometres from the village to watch a moving train. The scene could easily be compared to the train scene of Dr Zhivago.

Mother had the weakness of stealing coconuts from the neighbour’s garden. One day the neighbourhood lady lost her bead necklace and the blame fell on the daughter. But she firmly refuted the charge. The father left the village and went to an unknown town for betterment of his livelihood. The family entered into utter poverty. The girl Durga fully drenched in rain water was severely attacked with viral fever and without getting any medical relief she was dead. The house is in utter ruins.

After some years, the father chose to return to the village. He was shocked to see the ruins of the house. However, he started showing the valuables, he brought from town. When he was in search of Durga his wife fell to his feet and started crying. He also started crying after realising that his daughter was no more alive.

They decide to leave the village for good and started moving in a bullock cart.

The film ended with a totally touching scene. When clearing the old vessels. Apu found the neighbour’s once lost necklace from a mud pot. For one second he was perplexed, but the next moment, he threw it into the pond and joined the bullock cart.

No doubt, the film richly deserves the ‘Best Human document’ award in the Cannes film festival of 1956 and it remains to be one of the best films of the world. This is first of the three films known as Apu Trilogy.

4. Charulata, The lonely wife:

This is the story of a young married girl. The lonely wife was disillusioned with her husband who was a workaholic, always busy with his publishing works, not finding time to take care of her. The bewildered wife got solace in the company of brother of her husband and fell in love with him. Because of the extreme love and affection, the brother had for his elder brother, he gently rejected her love and nothing untoward happened. However, when the husband knew about the intention of his wife, the couple were psychologically separated.

Impressions: The woman watching the innocent brother in law from a swing was a very popular scene known as ‘the swing scene’ and the change in her mind from affection to love was very powerfully depicted. In India, a sister in law (brother’s wife) is considered equivalent to mother. It is very difficult to portray a woman otherwise which Ray did powerfully.

The story was by Rabindranath Tagore and reported to be a reflection of some incidents in his life.

5. Ghare Baire, Home and the world:

It is an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s story with the same title which means Home and the world. It powerfully exposes the pseudo patriots (swadeshis), who cheat local Indians saying that they are fighting imperialism and promote local economy.

The story was about a broad minded vicar who gave total freedom to his wife. He invited his friend, supposed to be a ‘Swadeshi’ (Patriotic Indian leader) but really not so. The leader, by his cunning ways won the heart of vicar’s wife who wished to take part in the freedom struggle. When a communal fight with huge violence (involving local Hindu-Muslim population) occurred in the village, the leader fails to face the situation, whereas, the vicar, supposed to be a selfish rich man, went and met the violent crowd. There was a sound of distant gunshot indicating that he sacrificed his life. His wife got disillusioned and it was too late. The screenplay was in a flashback narrated from her angle.

Impressions: It requires lot of boldness to write and to portray such an off-beat story exposing pseudo leaders. This film received sharp criticism from local leaders (Naturally).

6. Devi:

The story: A father in law got a peculiar dream that his daughter in law was none other than Devi (Durga, The Goddess) and started worshiping her. Soon people in and around the neighbouring villages started pouring in to worship her. When her husband returned from studies, she never allowed him to touch her since she was afraid of offending the Divine power. However, finally he was able to convince her that she was only a human and they were able to escape the village to go to a faraway place and live a normal life.

Impressions: The scenes, when people were converting her as God incarnate and she herself believing it are worth remembering.

7. Ashani shankat (Distant Thunder)

Ashani Shankat is another movie depicting the 1942 famine in Bengal taken in the style of Pather Panchali. This is a 1973 movie, in colour. It is a powerful depiction of human psychology subjected to poverty and hunger.

8. Seemapadha (company Limited).

This film, though only in black and white, is one of the most modern themes of Ray. It portrayed how an executive did all the cunning tricks in getting a coveted promotion. He engineered even an internal strike by creating artificial fight. He was ruthless, made one of his poor staff getting physically hurt to get a strike proposal materialise. Finally he got the promotion by hook and crook.

But in this process, he lost the great respect and appreciation his young and beautiful sister in law had for him who was disillusioned with her brother in law that he would stoop down to any level to get his promotion. A realistic approach indeed!

9. Jalsa Ghar (merriment room)

The story: Jalsa Ghar means a house or a hall reserved for merriment. The story revolves around a Zamindar (landlord, vicar) who lost all his wealth in independent India to be taken over by the Government. Unfortunately he lost his only son also in a ship wreck. What he retained was only his palatial building and a faithful servant and lived only in the past spending most of the time in the empty Jalsa Ghar in the palace which was a permanent reminder of his hay days.

But, a friend of him, who was a mediocre, became a millionaire by political influence and getting huge contracts. He invited the vicar also to join him in the business to mint money but he firmly refused considering his past prestige. The respect shown by the friend reduced day by day and finally he refused even to recognise his presence.

Enraged by this, the land lord ordered his servant to sell his personal belongings, renovate the Jalsa Ghar and ordered to have a merriment day at least once to celebrate the past memoirs. On that day, fully drunk, he drove the horse to beach side, lost control and fell down to death.

The servant took a drop of his blood from his forehead and cries “Khoon” meaning that ‘finally the blood is same red for all’.

Impressions: The picture very powerfully portrayed the feelings and emotions of a king who lost his power and lived in past glory, ingratitude of the Government, the cunning ways of politicians, and finally the tragic end of a ruler who wished to have his past glory at least for a single day and to have his Swan song. To some extent it portrayed the situation prevailing in post Independent India wherein ex-rulers were thrown into mud and Neo-politicians took their position by crooked means.

The story was by Sri Tarashankar Bandopadhyay and the lead role was powerfully played by Chabhi Biswas.

I was able to recognise the feelings of the ruler and emotions and my heartfelt sympathies went with him.

This film remains to be my most liked movie of Ray.:

I have recorded my impressions of 9 movies produced and directed by Mr Ray. There are some more films which impressed me very much. Some of them are:

Shatranj Ke kiladi (Chess players) the only Hindi movie,

Nayak (The Hero),

Aranyer Din Rat (Day and night in a forest) with typical Ray touch.

Kanchan Junga (A Himalayan Peak)

Since they have themes of fantasy, they were not recorded here.

Now I will record the tribute I paid him. I have never attended the funeral of any political leader nor film personality though there were several deaths in places where I lived. But I broke the rule and in 1992, when Ray breathed his last, in Calcutta I went to the place where his body was kept, waited in the queue for hours and paid my last respects.

This is the greatest tribute a common man like me would be able to pay to an artist whom he admired most.

Shooting Tips and Editing Techniques on Making a Good Home Video

Making a video has become a common want of documenting family events these days. With the ease of usage of most camcorders, all you have to do is just point and shoot. But making a good video is another thing. It requires careful planning and in some case scriptwriting most especially when you’re producing a drama or documentary for school requirement or for your family.

Here are 5 basic shooting tips for making a good video.

  1. Check the battery.

Before you start the shoot, be sure to check that the battery of your camcorder is fully charged. Bring extra batteries and extra tapes particularly when you’re shooting outdoors.

  1. Test footage before actual shooting.

Before actual shooting, record and play back some test footage so you can immediately spot problems and correct them.

  1. Maintain smooth and slow camera motions.

To do this, it is highly recommended to use a tripod or anything that helps you hold your camera level and keep it steady.Limit the use of zooming in and zooming out. Use only when necessary. Overusing your zoom will definitely distract your viewers.

  1. Plan and vary your shots.

Prior to the actual shooting, you must have planned the shots that you will need.Shoot your subject from different angles to make your video much more interesting particularly when taping a long interview. Get some shots that will make your viewers interested the whole time. If you’re taping your son’s soccer game, also get some shots of onlookers and not just the players.

  1. Make sure there is proper lighting. Avoid strong backlight.

In making a good video, lighting is everything. You should avoid shooting with a strong light behind your subject. Otherwise your subject will appear in silhouette.If you want to make your video fun and interesting to watch, you must plan and execute carefully. Do necessary editing to achieve great results.

  1. Select your best shots and remove all the others that did not turn out so well or those that do not fit in.
  2. Keep the scenes short. Avoid lingering too long in any single shot.
  3. Arrange the shots in a way that they tell a story. This is where your varied shots become very useful. Mixing close ups, mid-range and long shots will help keep your viewers’ interest.
  4. Make sure to include suitable transitions between the shots. Most editing programs today have this feature.
  5. Add simple but interesting titles. Add graphics if you want.
  6. Choose the most suitable music for your video and add sound effects.

For more tips, visit this page.

There are certainly many techniques you can do to produce an interesting video. Video production in Dubai offers advanced techniques you can use.

How To Get Filming Permits In Dubai

The Basics
If you plan to do a shoot in Dubai, you are required to get a shooting permit from the Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC). The DFTC is a single point of contact and is responsible for contacting other government bodies including Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, the Roads and Transport Authority and location owners to secure all approvals before issuing a permit.

Government regulations require any party wanting to shoot in Dubai to get a shooting permit. This applies to shoots on public, government-operated and private property. Not anyone can apply for shooting permits – only companies licensed in the United Arab Emirates to obtain them. This means if you don’t fall into this category, you have to hire a UAE-licensed company to apply for the permit on your behalf.

Something to be aware of – some companies will not apply for permission for shoots unless one of their staff is on the job. The reason for this is the company applying for and securing the shooting permit will be held responsible if any regulatory or related issue arises during the shoot. Having someone on location reduces the chances of any problems

The DFTC aims to grant shooting permits within five working days of the application being submitted. For most shoots, the application is made on line. If a permit is going to take more than five working days to process, the DFTC will generally let the applying company know. Be aware of public holidays – these will add to the application processing time if they fall in the course of the five working days.

The five working days applies to non-scripted shoots. If you are shooting a film or TV series that has a script, you will need to get script approval and that can take up to 25 working days.

Fees
The cost of a filming permit depends on the type, location and duration of the shoot. All permission applications start with an application fee paid to the DFTC of 500 dirhams (about US $137). If the application is successful, the fees below apply for public locations. For private locations, the fee will range from no charge to a maximum charge of 25,000 dirhams (about US $6,850) per day.

Some examples of how private location charges vary: if you are shooting an interview and b-roll in your client’s Dubai office there will clearly be no location charge. If you want to shoot somewhere such as the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) or in one of Dubai’s malls, a location charge will generally be made and it will vary depending on what’s required. Private locations that charge permission fees may also make additional charges for security or cleaning or other services.

The company applying for and securing the permit may also charge a fee for handling the application. That charge will vary from company to company.

Standard Fees – Public Locations

Type of Shoot Fee Duration
Reality and magazine shows,
Lifestyle shows, formats 2,500 dhs (US $685) Up to 30 days

News, Current Affairs 2,500 dhs Up to 14 days

TV and online ads 2,500 dhs Up to 3 days

Corporate Videos 2,500 dhs Up to 7 days

Aerial shoots No fee Up to 7 days

What’s Required For The Application
The company you engage to handle your application will need the following details from you:

• Your company details: Company name, address, website address, phone number
• List of people who will be on the shoot and scans of their passports
• Details of the shoot: Who it’s for, the purpose of the shoot, the content of what will be shot

You will also need to provide a “No Objection Certificate” – a letter on your company letterhead confirming you would like the UAE-licensed company to apply for your permit and that your company does not object to the UAE-licensed company carrying out the shoot.

Once you provide the information above and the No Objection certificate, the UAE-licensed company will submit the application. Generally the permit will be delivered within five working days in line with DFTC’s policy.

The full terms and conditions that apply to Dubai filming permits are on the following website. It is best to read them (they’re not that long) before your shoot.