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In sports, you may hear of an athlete and his or her ceiling. This is a common reference often used regarding young athletes and their perceived potential. If we were to use this description in the professional world, where would your ceiling be? If you are well into your career, you may be worried that you have plateaued. So, how do we raise the roof and keep our potential limitless? Here are a few ideas…
1. First, never stop learning. At Fireside Production we are always looking for new ways to develop our video production skills. This includes critiquing our own work and studying others. After a shoot or edit, it’s important to get honest feedback from the team to see what we did right and what could be better the next time out. We also find new things to learn, then devote time to mastering them.
2. Corral your ego. It’s okay to have an confidence but don’t let it keep you from getting better in your craft. If your ego tells you that you know it all and you’re already perfect, get out and do something else. Your possibility of getting better is all but lost.
3. Work for it! The best athletes in the world don’t just posses the natural talent, they also out-work everyone else. Practice makes perfect and as long as you put in the time, your ceiling will continue to grow.
Have you reached your ceiling or is the sky the limit? I would love to hear your thoughts or tips for growing in your craft.
If you’ve been working in the same professional field for years, almost two decades in my case, there come points at which you wonder if you’re still growing? Am I doing the same thing over and over, or am I finding new ways to challenge myself?
At Fireside, we try to challenge ourselves and each other to develop in the creative and technical aspects of our work. I’ve recently embarked on learning (and hopefully, becoming proficient) at an effect called 2.5D. It’s a process by which I use photo-editing software to separate still pictures into layers and then, move those layers into another program and inject depth and movement. The result is a still photo that appears to have an almost three-dimensional appearance. I was able to find a bevy of “how-to” videos on the internet to help me understand this new (to me) technique.
Setting simple, attainable goals is an easy way to keep your work fresh, your mind engaged and your enthusiasm a part of your day… all of which will show in your work. What professional goals are you setting and how are you achieving them?
One of our Core Values at Fireside Production is to Create Experiences. When it comes to delivering effective Fundraising Videos, creating an experience – is vital. By allowing viewers to really connect with your mission or to be moved by the story of someone touched by your organization, you can greatly improve your fundraising results.
“Fireside Production has dramatically increased awareness of our nonprofit through the video they produced, helping us aid even more homeless families!” – John Chambers, Family Promise of Greater Denver
Many non-profits use fundraising videos to promote the mission of their organizations, to inspire support and raise critical dollars to carry out their work. At Fireside, our process is designed to make producing a video for a fundraising event – easy and enjoyable. We work closely with each Client to determine how to best bring that Client’s vision for a successful video – to life.
Fireside can offer recommendations on what length of video is best suited to the platform in which it will be viewed. Fundraising videos that play before an “ask” at an event can be a little longer than a piece that will be shared online. Think too about maximizing your video investment by using it after the event… post it to your organization’s website to inspire supporters, show it during outreach opportunities to increase your volunteer-base and internally, use your video to motivate your team.
“We’ve shown the “Bonfils Touches Us All” video at our Give LIVE benefit concert for the past two years to great response. We’ve received so much positive feedback from the public that we’ve begun using it for more community-based events and internal message training. During recent market research Bonfils conducted, the video was shown and it received 100% positive feedback with individuals indicating they would be more inclined to support Bonfils after viewing it.” – Taylor Robertson, Bonfils Blood Center
Our team partners with our non-profit Clients to capture the most compelling story to deliver the mission and message of that organization in a way people remember… and we do it with the special budget considerations of our charitable organizations in mind. Next time your organization needs fundraising video, we hope you’ll consider Fireside Production and be sure to ask about our non-profit discount as well!
An on-camera appearance is a great opportunity to share your story or thoughts on an issue close to your heart. I don’t know about you, but most people get a little nervous when they think about being in front of the camera. The first thing to do – in the words of my favorite Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers – R-E-L-A-X! Many of you also ask… what should I wear for my interview? Here are some tips to help answer that question and to help you look your best.
First, what NOT to wear!
Pure white or black: The extremes of these colors can make it a bit more difficult for the camera to balance exposures.
Competing Colors: Colors that may compete with your complexion or the color of the backdrop. For instance, you don’t want to wear green if your interview is in front of a green screen. You don’t want to wear red if you’ll be in front of a red backdrop.
Flashy accessories: For women, elaborate jewelry can distract the viewers from what you’re talking about. In this case, less is more!
Shiny lip gloss: Along with the lights, it may cause some reflection. Just use a light hand with lip gloss.
Heavy Make-Up: You want to be comfortable and look natural. Our crew always has
powder on-hand to help with any shine created by the lights, so no need to over-powder ahead of time.
Busy Patterns or Stripes: These tend to dance on-screen.
Now, suggestions on what TO wear!
Solid Colors: Jewel or earthy tones and blues look beautiful on-camera.
Contrasting Colors: A blue dress shirt with a gray jacket. The contrast can add a little pop!
Tone-appropriate clothing: This largely depends on the message of your video and how you’d like to appear. If it’s a business piece, a suit jacket might be the best look. If it’s about a volunteer event, you may want to wear something more casual. Dress to what you’re talking about.
For more tips on what to expect from your next video interview opportunity, check out our blog, Successful Q&A, Interviewing Advice.
At Fireside Production, delivering videos that captivate and inspire is something we take great pride in. However, there are other ingredients to a successful project that we also strive to meet with each and every video.
The first is low impact. One of our early Clients marveled that we showed up to our first shoot with a small crew and a reasonable amount of gear. The Client’s previous experience involved a large crew, lots of gear and a great disruption to the work that was taking place. We try to keep things tight and do our best to never be disruptive.
The second and most important ingredient to a great shoot is safety. A safe set is paramount for obvious reasons. First, we don’t ever want anyone getting hurt. Second, at many of our Clients’ locations, a fallen piece of equipment such as a light, can mean a shutdown of their entire operation. It’s critical that we take care to avoid creating trip hazards by taping down cords in high-traffic areas or being careless with our gear.
So in every Fireside Production video, you’ll see passion and hard work but also, a lot of care that went into creating a safe and tidy shoot space behind the scenes.
How do you know if you’re financially healthy? As with physical health, there are certain indicators you can use. Knowing your savings account balances, retirement plan status, debt load, interest rates, and credit score can give you a picture of your current position. If you don’t like what you see, here are some tips to help you get your money in shape:
– Just like you plan your meals and prepare them ahead of time to make sure you eat well, you can plan and automate your savings. Create an automatic deposit at the beginning of the month into an account named after your goal.
– Debt is a heavy load. Consider using a debt management plan to consolidate your payments, lower your interest rates, and pay off your credit cards.
– Focus on what you want. As with physical fitness, it’s easier to reach your goals if you focus on the healthy foods you can have instead of what you can’t. Focus on what you truly want to spend money on and what your values are, instead of what you can’t afford.
– Tell someone about it. We’re more successful in reaching our goals when we write them down or share them. Let a friend or partner support your savings or debt reduction goals.
– Reward yourself. Pick an activity that you enjoy and that fits within your budget (taking a walk, drawing, watching your favorite show). When you reach your goal, you can do the thing you love.
– Break it down. In trying to be physically healthy, it helps to look at a daily or weekly goal instead of your overall, long-term goal. When it comes to your money, break your financial goal into small steps, and focus on completing each step, not the whole journey.
– Use a coach. It’s hard to hold yourself accountable, or see what systems are getting in your way. Use a coach to help you get where you want to go.
mpowered is a Colorado-based nonprofit resource for individuals and families in Colorado who want to learn about money management and participate in coaching to achieve an individual definition of financial success. Since 2002, mpowered has provided affordable programs to help more than 40,000 people make informed financial choices. With offices throughout metro Denver, mpowered is a leader in financial education and champions financial stability as one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle.
Regardless of profession, it’s always fun to get new “toys” to improve your workflow and quality. That’s certainly true in the world of video production. It’s always tempting to over-integrate that new technology when you first open the box. I remember finding any excuse to use the GoPro after I first got one for Christmas.
As exciting as that honeymoon period can be, you have to ultimately understand that you get the most out of your new asset by knowing the right time to employ its uses. So how do you figure out that balance?
Think of what you do every day… maybe like decorating a wedding cake. You have to remember your fundamentals, so you can bake a great cake. If you don’t do that, all of your fancy frosting and decorations are just covering up a cake that doesn’t taste very good.
Then, nail those fundamentals. In video production terms, shoot sequences, capture natural sound, quality audio and clear video. Bake a great cake then, break out your new toys and add the frosting. Having a solid foundation allows you to incorporate your new techniques while ensuring your final product has both style and substance.