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How We Filmed A Corporate Video (For Amazon)

By July 14, 2017Blog

Many things happen on July 11th also known as 7/11. ChickFilA gives away free food for anyone that dresses up like a cow, 7-Eleven gives away a free slurpee, and then there’s Amazon.

Amazon created Prime Day three years ago as their big one day sale.

We’ve been very fortunate that our team gets to film corporate videos for large companies such as Uber and Netflix. However, Amazon was a completely different style of filming for us.

Our day started off at the Amazon DC office where we interviewed the Amazon Vice President of Public Policy, Brian Huseman.

Brian was fantastic on camera, well-spoken and answered all of our interview questions in one take. He clearly had done this many times before. We set up a typical three-point lighting interview kit for this interview in one of their conference rooms. We were careful to block out sunlight to avoid any large flares on the background. We’re pretty happy with how this turned out.

It’s important on a corporate video shoot to ensure that the image quality is pristine. You may notice in the screenshot above that the lines from the wall pattern are guiding your eyes to our main subject. This is a simple videography trick that convinces the viewer to continue watching the person speaking without having their eyes wander.

We then ventured to Union Station in the heart of Washington DC to continue our video shoot. Just outside the exit Amazon had set up a banana stand. Why bananas you ask? Well they’ve had an initiative to go out into the community since 2015 where “banistas” give out free bananas – learn more here. They told me on the day of filming that they have handed out over 2 Million bananas.

The challenge in filming the banana stand is it’s very fast paced. In fact, they were moving so quick that they ran out of bananas before we got to the stand so we had to wait before we could begin filming. Once replenished, our goal was to get an interview with an Amazon volunteer as well as capture the audio to hear the workers giving out bananas and any small words of thanks coming from the participants.

Many people were getting off the train and heading into work so we were unable to grab someone for an interview about Amazon. We made up for it by having two videographers covering the event so one could focus on the interview while the other captured footage.

Later, we walked to the Senate building for briefings on technology, entertainment and the future of Amazon. They mentioned their aspirations for drone package delivery, expanding video streaming and more. One thing to note is finding an audio/visual technician in the senate buildings is near impossible. We were hoping to capture a clean feed of audio from the room but had to settle for running two separate audio recorders to ensure we could capture sound as best we could. In the end, it worked out well for our purposes, but certainly proved challenging.

The day was wrapped up with an evening party where our videographers faced their arch-nemesis… low light filming. We can always find a way to make it work but low-light presents a few issues. For starters, filming inside a room with little light means we have to increase the sensitivity of our cameras. This in turn adds a grainy or fuzzy look to video.

To the average viewer or consumer, they won’t notice the grain and noise that comes from low light filming. This is great news for us because we can get away with it. But we do hold ourselves to a certain standard and in an ideal world, we could have lit the entire room or at the very least kept the room lights on.

All in all, the video shoot was fun, fast-paced, and a complete success. We passed a copy of the footage off to the client as well as to our friends over at Focal Point Productions who completed the editing process for this project. A huge shout out goes to Marty Jenoff of Focal Point for editing the final project. We’d also like to thank Kglobal who works with Amazon on their PR and the Amazon employees we worked with.

A wonderful corporate video shoot in the books – now it’s your turn. Are you a CEO or executive who is seeking videography services? Perhaps you have an upcoming event or conference you’d like to have coverage of. Feel free to contact us today!

 

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