Choosing the Right Projects
Every year I try to put together a new demo reel for SMG. 2013 was a year of signifigant growth for our company and we took on a wide variety of projects. This was the first demo reel that I’ve created where I chose not to include some really great videos because of length. You can only fit so many clips in two to three minutes of video. I want to grab your attention not put you to sleep. Anything cut to music can get boring after a while (Disney’s Fantasia) it doesn’t matter how innovative it is. I’m just kidding… Fantasia is cool. I did fall asleep the first time I watched it, though. Then again I was seven years old and fell asleep a lot during movies back then.
Back on track, Austin. I enjoyed going back through every project we’ve produced over the last three years. Deciding which videos are best for Video Production Demo Reel was not so enjoyable.
Mizuno’s commercial brief asked for films that highlight the celebration dog pile. That one victorious moment that every team works for. We were asked (along with hundreds of other filmmakers) to capture all of the hard work, practice and discipline it takes as a team to win the big game. In essence, the power of the team.
Our concept focused on a little league team called The Mammoths that we essentially created for the commercial. We hired nine child actors and had uniforms created for the production. The biggest problem we ran into was deciding what age group to feature in the commercial. Acting in the commercial (if it won) would void a high school athlete of an NCAA scholarship. So we decided to go younger. The average age of our players was eleven. As the brand later revealed, this benefitted us in the end. Our commercial was one of the very few that featured players that young and Mizuno loved it.
Every video shoot is different. Some are stressful. Some are hard. Some are very rushed. What I liked about the Mizuno shoot was the efficiency of our production team. We decided to run the shoot like an actual baseball practice. I played the coach in the ad so we acted like the cameras weren’t even there. I put players in different scenarios and we ran different drills. All things I had been a part of so many times in my baseball years. It actually made me think I would like coaching a team some day. That is if my life ever slows down a little.
With every contest you never know what the outcome is going to be. Of course we had hoped for 1st place but when competing with thousands of film makers from all over the world, placing at all is a huge accomplishment. Our commercial won 4th place and will be used for Mizuno’s web marketing.
The grant for this production allowed us to buy one of favorite toys to date… the Glidecam. Jon Doss has spent a lot of time practicing with this little bad boy and it’s a total game changer. Not only that, but it’s very affordable. I would recommend it to any video producer looking for a reasonable steady cam for DSLRs. Our wedding films have never looked better.
I’ve worked with a lot of child actors over the years and this was an awesome group. One thing I like about working with kids is how well they take direction. It must be due to them being in school and having every move they make dictated by a teacher. Regardless, an actor that can take direction well always makes my life easier.
We only had one significant problem on this shoot. The pants we ordered (in child sizes) were shipped to us in adult sizes. I double checked my order and the company we went through had made a mistake. Luckily I have a good friend that is a manager at Hibbets Sports and he hooked us up with pants last minute. It’s always good to have connections.