Choosing The Right Type of Microphone For Your Promotional Video

Posted by on Mar 29th, 2017 in Advertisement, Blog, Business, Cinematic, Corporate, Filmmaking, Promotion, Retail, Short Film | Comments Off on Choosing The Right Type of Microphone For Your Promotional Video

Choosing The Right Type of Microphone For Your Promotional Video

Good audio is a critical element for any promotional or commercial video to be taken seriously.

Having too much background noise or lacking of voice clarity from your speakers will end up with disappointed viewers who won’t even sit through your whole video. While background noise may sometimes be hard to avoid, capturing crisp, quality audio begins with the selection of an appropriate microphone suitable towards your production goals.

Different scenes call for different mics which is why it is really important to know the situation or environment you’ll be shooting in before you choose your microphone.

Here are our top 2 options when it comes to mic selection (including how they are best used):

Lavalier Mics

Also called a lapel mic, this one is a small microphone that can be clipped onto shirts. Lavs are a great option if your actors are expected to be moving around or if you would like to capture a crisp sounding interview.

Often the best option for a small video production, this type of mic has wired and non-wired version available and requires minimal prior setup, providing you have time to spend with the subject on camera.

The only downside to these would be that capturing good audio on these mics greatly depend on getting the perfect placement. Ideally, you should be aiming to place the lav approximately five to six inches below the talent’s chin, making sure that the mic has a clear path to the mouth.

Shotgun Mics

Shotgun mics are good for several things on a production set. When aiming the tip of a microphone directly at a sound source, it will pick up that sound, and capture any other surrounding sound which is why they are quite often used for capturing foley sounds and ambient room tone.

Unfortunately, shotgun mics alone won’t be able to capture the quality audio you want on its own. One of the other things you may need to consider having to be paired along with this would be a good quality boom pole.

There are heaps more options out there for filmmakers to choose from. Have a look at the directional recording patterns of some other microphones that are available to decide what you need for your project.

Check out our best movie trailer selections to date

Posted by on Mar 9th, 2017 in Blog, Cinematic, Filmmaking, Slow Motion | Comments Off on Check out our best movie trailer selections to date

Check out our best movie trailer selections to date

Unlike full-length movies, trailers are intended to immerse audiences in an entirely different reality for only a minute or two.

Let’s dive in together to Focus Video’s best movie trailer selections to date.


1) Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Starting off with a climactic musical crescendo which is seeming to be a growing trend in the world of movie trailers, we see Superman standing in the middle of a courtroom, being held responsible for the devastation left behind by the Kryptonians. We are also shown a shot of Bruce Wayne (Affleck) in the middle of the rubble, comforting a child, which sets the tone at the upcoming superhero showdown.


2) 10 Cloverfield Lane

The opening stretch of this trailer is a well-thought montage meant to deceive its audience with it’s sitcom-like look and feel, showing the main actors playing board games, making sandwiches, with everything feeling so cozy and domestic – right up to the point where the camera rises to reveal the ceiling of the bunker as the song slows to an ominous warp. The trailer left many of us with loads of questions, eager to know what this mysterious film was really all about.


3) Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The 2nd official trailer for Star Wars Episode 7 created a buzz for the film unlike anything we’ve seen in years. The trailer felt very authentic, unlike the prequels with their overly CG’d appearances. It tempted and teased us with Luke Skywalker’s voice-over and with new characters in a familiar world among many things which left millions of fans so eager for the coming movie installment.


4) Suicide Squad


The Suicide Squad trailer featuring Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” just couldn’t get any better; so good that it basically changed the film itself. The sizzle reel shown at Comic-Con in 2015 was a more accurate representation of what director David Ayer was going for at the time, but when this trailer version came out, people just went berserk over it. Warner Bros. was left with no other choice than to push for the final film to have a stronger resemblance to the tone of this trailer.


5) Guardians of the Galaxy

Faced with the challenge of selling audiences a team of second-string superheroes they’ve probably never heard of, the Marvel team rose to the occasion by treating the characters like instant stars. The enormous success of the trailer – and, subsequently, the film, which remains 2014’s highest grosser – can probably be attributed to four little words: “Hooked On A Feeling.” Just try to think of Guardians Of The Galaxy without hearing the joyful chorus of that Blue Swede song. Impossible!


6) The Revenant

The Revenant is, undoubtedly, the single strongest contender on this list. It isn’t presentational in its story, characters, or setting – it is experiential, opting to simply immerse audiences into its reality whether they know it or not, whether they want to or not. There is a majesty in its visuals and a subtlety in its sound design (which has music and, more especially, dialogue drowned out by the sound of heavy breathing for a good portion of its duration). Even the splash of mud on the camera lens, added to the gritty realism of the trailer.


7) Furious 7


With muscle cars parachuting out of a cargo plane, the return of the Fast and the Furious gang didn’t fail to excite fans all over the world! Beyond being an action-packed teaser, the trailer also served as a tribute to the late Paul Walker, who died during production. His remaining scenes were rewritten and completed via special effects and with his brothers serving as body doubles.


8) Godzilla

This clip doubles as the best single sequence of Godzilla itself: an artful, eerie, gorgeous moment of skydivers, free-falling into the middle of Godzilla-ravaged San Francisco, trailing red streaks of smoke flares behind them. The clip cuts between POV shots of the skydivers and extra-wide shots with the red streaks descending from the clouds. It’s utterly gorgeous and sells Godzilla as a cut above your normal brainless blockbuster, though the patented Godzilla shriek promised exciting thrills as well.

4 Deadly Mistakes Startup Filmmakers Make

Posted by on Feb 27th, 2017 in Blog, Business, Filmmaking | Comments Off on 4 Deadly Mistakes Startup Filmmakers Make

4 Deadly Mistakes Startup Filmmakers Make

So you want to be a filmmaker, huh?

A very thin line lies in between an aspiring and an amateur filmmaker which everyone wishes to cross.

Mistakes should never be thought as an end to your filmmaking career, rather as something that’ll help you grow into a better one. Making mistakes is part of the creative learning process, but what will really set you apart from others is in how you learn from your mistakes.

Here are the most common mistakes that filmmakers make in their career:

Not Knowing Why You Want To Make Movies

Filmmakers have many different reasons as to why they make the films they make. Decide on what your ambitions and drivers are before you even head off at an attempt in a career in filmmaking. Your innermost passion for making films will determine much of what you work towards to achieve.

Quitting Your Day Job Too Soon

The business of filmmaking is a risky one which is why anyone who intends to go down this road should have a plan B, or at least a secondary source of income. Doing otherwise will not only lead to your own financial demise, but can also lead you up to start overcharging your clients very early in the game.

Being Too Self-Absorbed / Lacking Self-Awareness

Many filmmakers are afraid of admitting their fears and where they fall short; however falling into this ditch leads them into not being open to criticism, and as a filmmaker, you should thrive on criticism to improve upon your work. Having this kind of behaviour can make it very difficult for you to develop a team – word spreads and you’ll eventually find that fewer and fewer people are willing to collaborate with you.

Successful filmmakers are the ones who are not afraid to be brutally honest about themselves and their work. Get much needed feedback from a trusted colleague or friend as much as you can.

Staying In Your Comfort Zone

Most filmmakers work with the same team members over and over again. There is nothing wrong with this – except – who is challenging and testing you and your ideas?

It’s an easy trap to surround yourself with those who know nothing other than to say yes to your ideas. Working with people who challenge you may be uncomfortable, but it’s a whole lot easier than dealing with a disastrous film screening or client presentation just because no one around you had the courage to raise their hand and make a different suggestion.


7 Movies To Binge On This Valentines Day

Posted by on Feb 14th, 2017 in Blog, Cinematic, Filmmaking | Comments Off on 7 Movies To Binge On This Valentines Day

7 Movies To Binge On This Valentines Day

Valentine’s Day is a great day to cuddle up and binge watch on movies about love. With so many romantic-themed movies out there, it can be hard to decide. Here is a list (in no particular order) of 7 great romantic movies for this Valentine’s Day. Whether or not you’re sitting next to someone, these movies are sure to please (time to get your tissues out!). Enjoy!

1. Pretty Woman

Pretty Woman
A disarming modern-day fairy tale, Pretty Woman was the picture that made Julia Roberts a superstar, opposite Richard Gere. Pretty Woman began its life as a much darker story of prostitutes and homicidal drug dealers, but more box-office-savvy heads ultimately prevailed.

2. The Notebook

A poor country boy and a rich city girl share an extraordinary love that spans the decades, enduring separation, war and disease. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. The Notebook proved to be a commercial success. Sparks would go on to write a dozen more novels. Seven, including The Notebook, have been adapted to film.

3. Hitch

In this sophisticated rom-com, Will Smith stars as Alex “Hitch” Hitchens, a legendary New York City “date doctor” who, for a fee has helped hundreds of men woo the women of their dreams. The ultimate professional bachelor, Hitch discovers that all of his tried and true tricks of the trade are no match for Sara (Eva Mendes), the one woman he truly loves.

4. The Longest Ride

A film about a star-crossed love affair between a former champion bull rider looking to make a comeback, and a college student who is about to embark upon her dream job in New York City’s art world. As conflicting paths and ideals test their relationship, they both make an unexpected and fateful connection with an old man they rescued from a car crash, whose memories of his own decades-long romance with his beloved wife deeply inspire the young couple.

5. Serendipity

Two people meet and have the best time of their lives for one night, but then separate for several years. But on the eve of their weddings, they both realize that there is someone else out their waiting for them, and the search begins

6. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

A story of a young New York socialite who becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building.

7. 50 First Dates

Fifty First Dates finds Adam Sandler, playing veterinarian Henry Roth. More than content with a life of one-night-stands, Henry decides to give up his bachelor lifestyle upon meeting and falling in love with Lucy (Barrymore). However, when he discovers that Lucy suffers from short term memory loss, Henry finds himself having to win her heart again with every new day.

Stunt Fight Scene Shoot With Action Movie Makers

Posted by on Feb 7th, 2017 in Advertisement, Blog, Cinematic, Filmmaking, Promotion, Short Film | Comments Off on Stunt Fight Scene Shoot With Action Movie Makers

Stunt Fight Scene Shoot With Action Movie Makers

Focus Video is off to a good start this 2017.

We spent some time this January with Action Movie Maker’s Philippe Deseck, who’s better known for his work on San Andreas and Iron Sky, filming out on Tambourine Mountains together with some really talented people.

It is certainly a great pleasure and honour to be working alongside these cool cats.

Here’s a peek at the fight scene we filmed last week:

Credits to:
Philippe Deseck, Action Movie Makers
Jason O’Halloran
KenJi Keizer
Kyle Watson
Grant Bell

5 Tips For Providing Feedback On Video Projects

Posted by on Jan 30th, 2017 in Advertisement, Blog, Business, Cinematic, Corporate, Filmmaking, Promotion, Retail, Short Film, Wedding | Comments Off on 5 Tips For Providing Feedback On Video Projects

5 Tips For Providing Feedback On Video Projects

Whether you’re a client, producer, or editor, video production requires collaboration where providing feedback is part of the game. Knowing how to give clear, effective feedback will not only improve the overall communication within the project, but will keep your team motivated, keep your project on schedule, and will help you greatly in coming up with a great final video.


Start with a brief with clear cut objectives and expectations

Having a clear and well-thought out brief will lay the groundwork for a successful review process later on in your project, which is why it is ultimately crucial to invest time and focus towards this part of the process. Having this all properly laid out in the beginning will also help you avoid costly surprises later on.


Relate feedback to the set objectives of the project

So you’ve prepared well… Don’t forget the vision you have set out for right at the beginning. As you provide feedback, make sure that you tie it all back to these objectives; doing this also helps in keeping personal preferences out of the way which often times can lead to costly and unnecessary revisions.


Aim to get the feelings right, rather than the style

It’s better for you to explain to your video production team how you want your audience to feel, rather than exactly how you want it done. Giving your video production team a clear understanding of how you want your viewers to feel will serve as a guide for them to make the right adjustments to your video. While it may be tempting to dictate to them exactly how to change the video, doing so will lead you to miss out on opportunities to come up with a more effective solution, all the while undermining your creative team’s expertise.


Value your creative team’s time

Keep in mind that any delay on your part as the reviewer will put unfair pressure on the creative team to hit the deadline that has been agreed on. Take responsibility towards your role as a reviewer to set your creative team up for success.


Good things take time

While the things that video editors can do may seem like magic, this magic may take some time to create. Working on a video isn’t as simple as making changes in a Word document – what you think may be a relatively simple revision could require hours of having to jump between different editing tools. Remember what they used to say about patience being a virtue? 🙂


Implementing these tips on your video project will keep you on schedule and leave you with a team of creatives excited and motivated to work with you in creating a superb end product.


Some Helpful Tips on Speed Ramping

Posted by on Jan 25th, 2017 in Blog, Business, Cinematic, Filmmaking, Short Film, Slow Motion | Comments Off on Some Helpful Tips on Speed Ramping

Some Helpful Tips on Speed Ramping

Speed ramping has become ever-present in modern filmmaking, yet this doesn’t mean it should be used on every occasion just as any other filmmaking technique. While it may undoubtedly look sick in action or sports videos, if it’s not relevant to your story at all, it doesn’t make sense to make use of it.

Not only is this technique great for creating smooth transitions in and out of slow motion, it also has the ability to transport viewers through story lines in different spaces or times. To achieve best results, use a camera that can shoot much higher frame rates than your usual 24p. Remember: higher frame rates = more dramatic effects.

As for us, we’ve had the Sony FS5 for a while now, and so far it has been doing a pretty decent job when it comes to delivering great image quality and dynamic range.

Check out our post: Just got our very own Sony PXW-FS5!

One other thing that you need to consider when shooting slow-mo is the shutter speed of your camera. As a general principle, you need to double your shutter speed depending on the frame rate you decide to shoot at. However, this will affect the amount of light that reaches your sensor which is also something you need to consider throughout the whole process.

Additionally, before you even start going crazy with those speed ramps, you may want to ask yourself these questions first:

  1. Will it truly help your story?
  2. Are you focusing on the most important moment in your shot?
  3. Are you doing it too often?
  4. Is your shot going on for too long?

These are just some questions to get you started – guides if you will – to help ensure maximum impact. 

Still feel a speed ramp is in order? If this is still how you feel, then it’s time to get to work at it! 🙂

Vimeo Launches Efficient Video Review Tools To Aid Filmmakers

Posted by on Jan 19th, 2017 in Blog, Business, Corporate, Filmmaking | Comments Off on Vimeo Launches Efficient Video Review Tools To Aid Filmmakers

Vimeo Launches Efficient Video Review Tools To Aid Filmmakers

A new video review feature has just been launched today by video hosting giant, Vimeo. It aims to simplify workflows and keep film creatives focused on addressing specific feedback from clients.

Available to paid Vimeo subscribers (Pro and Business), this new tool allows users to privately share videos with any number of reviewers, who then can leave feedback on specific times in the video. According to Vimeo, this is just the beginning of a push where we’ll start seeing them evolving more into a workflow solution, rather than just a distribution platform.
Review pages can be shared from the edit window of any video, where reviewers having the ability to click on each single frame to leave feedback as needed. Alternatively, reviewers can also type in their feedback and add a specific time code to indicate which part of the video they were referring to. What’s more is that real-time chats can take place by the side of a video at any given time.


Founded in 2004, Vimeo offers Pro memberships at $204 / year for 3 users – that includes the new video review tools, advanced player customisation options, as well as analytics; while a Vimeo Business plan comes at $600 / year for 10 users.

6 Tips To Help You Become An Effective Networker

Posted by on Jan 18th, 2017 in Advertisement, Blog, Business, Corporate, Filmmaking, Promotion | Comments Off on 6 Tips To Help You Become An Effective Networker

6 Tips To Help You Become An Effective Networker

Networking with business owners and even those within the filmmaking industry will serve you well as a filmmaker in terms of growing your contact base and having access to potential collaborators who can help with future work.

Here are some tips we’ve put together to help you make the most out of networking to make long lasting connections:

  1. Get some professional looking business cards ready
  2. While this may seem obvious, it may surprise you how this can be so easily forgotten by some. Make sure that you bring tons of cards whenever you’re out networking and rubbing shoulders.

    Remember that your business card should be simple yet catchy… and don’t forget to include important details such as your name, phone number, email, website URL, and social media links.

  3. Have a presentable website
  4. If you want to grow your business, you need to be on the web. With heaps of easy-to-use and affordable options, such as WordPress, Wix, and Weebly, not having a website for your filmmaking business has become inexcusable. Remember that people (your potential clients in particular) uses the web to find out more about you and the work that you do – so you want to make sure you are where your audience will be.

  5. Keep your information up to date
  6. Since you’ll be handing out lots and lots of business cards, you want to make sure that the information on there – like your website or your Facebook profile – are all current.

    It’s easy to forget to post your new showreel or upload your latest project, but keep in mind that if you make a connection, they will probably look you up on the internet so better make sure your links work and that you’re always refreshing your web presence. You want people to find accurate information – and an accurate representation of you and the work you love doing.

  7. Get a professional email address
  8. While there’s no denying that Gmail is great, having an or email address doesn’t look so great on you on a professional level and would rather make you appear amateurish. Make sure to have an email address that matches your business name – this shows potential leads or clients that you mean business and that you aren’t just doing this as a hobby.

  9. Have a system for capturing leads
  10. What if you met 10 people who could potentially be clients at last night’s networking event? Good on you! But how do you stay in touch with all of them? Whether you prefer writing little notes on your journal throughout the course of the event or scanning collected business cards onto your mobile phone, what’s important is that you keep track of all those leads so that you can make the most of them.

  11. Don’t skip on your follow up’s
  12. Having acquired those leads doesn’t mean you stop there – it’s crucial that you follow up with each one of them. Following up doesn’t necessarily mean pushing what you offer down their throats, rather it’s about making a real connection. Catch up with them over coffee and learn more about their needs and what they want to achieve for their business.

Do you have any other useful tips for effective networking? Feel free to share them with us!

How To Create a Showreel That Stands Out

Posted by on Jan 5th, 2017 in Advertisement, Blog, Business, Cinematic, Corporate, Filmmaking, Promotion, Short Film | Comments Off on How To Create a Showreel That Stands Out

How To Create a Showreel That Stands Out

With thousands of creatives putting together and promoting their showreels, you might be wondering – “How do I create a reel that stands out?”

Happy you asked! In here, we’ve put together some tips to help you plan out a killer showreel that you can be proud of.

Look at future as you would the past

While a showreel should comprise of your best work, what’s more important is to only highlight the kind of work that you want to keep on doing. If a particular piece is something that’s no longer relevant to what you’re keen on creating, then ditch it. Aim not only to impress your viewers but also to satisfy your passion towards the kind of work you love and enjoy doing. Do this, and you’ll end up working on more projects involving that kind of style.

Beef up your front load

Since a showreel is majorly about showing off what brands you’ve worked with and trying to impress your clients, make sure you place the best shots and brands up front – as much as we would love to think that viewers will stick to viewing your reel up to the end, chances are that some won’t.

Be honest

Only show shots or projects which you actually worked on. It is vital to be honest about how far your involvement has been on certain projects. It’s evident when something doesn’t match your experience nor expertise, and doing as such can hurt your showreel more than it helps.

Select your music carefully

Having a track which varies in pace can help keep your showreel edit interesting, yet don’t fall into the trap of selecting music you like – think about your viewers instead.

Have a look at ours here:

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