Archive for : September, 2014

Creating Interactive Content for ePublishing: Principal Videography

In this series of blog posts, we share insights into how we produce interactive fresh content for ePublishing. It is a dynamic process requiring creativity, technical competency and adequate resources. The series will discuss step-by-step each phase in the process.

Creating Interactive Content with Video for ePublishing

- Outline
- Budget
- Scripting
- Storyboards
- Principal Videography/Photography
- Graphics/Animation
- Editing/Post Production
- PDF Design/Layout and Production
- Review/Revisions
- Publishing


 

Here is step three – principal videography.

Interactive PDFs contain links where viewers can access videos through their Internet connection.

Shooting video involves having the right equipment along with a creative and competent videographer. The process of capturing the video starts with the set up. In many locations, it is necessary to get permission to shoot with a camera crew and talent. Quality of the footage that is shot depends on several key factors including camera(s), camera lenses, framing, use of a steadycam, sequencing, backgrounds, lighting, audio and off-camera direction.

Exceptional results are insured by well-captured HD video and studio quality sound. Use of a green screen is common and helpful because it gives producers a lot of flexibility in terms of backgrounds. Use of multiple cameras is helpful as editors are then able to intercut from several angles, which improves the program’s pace.

Creating Interactive Content for ePublishing: Scripting

In this series of blog posts, we share insights into how we produce interactive fresh content for ePublishing. It is a dynamic process requiring creativity, technical competency and adequate resources. The series will discuss step-by-step each phase in the process.

Creating Interactive Content with Video for ePublishing

- Outline
- Budget
- Scripting
- Storyboards
- Principal Videography/Photography
- Graphics/Animation
- Editing/Post Production
- PDF Design/Layout and Production
- Review/Revisions
- Publishing


 

Here is step three – scripting.

An audience needs to be able to comprehend a complex subject and how that subject is structured plays a large role in how easy it is to understand. Writing a compelling script involves implementing classic and proven story structuring techniques. It is accomplished by following a detailed outline that encompasses the key subject matter in a clear and comprehensive fashion.

A script must go through numerous revisions before it is ready to be implemented. Writers utilize a variety of sources, including focus groups, to gain insight into how the story is being perceived.

A script often follows the classic three-act structure. In the first act, your story is introduced and there is typically a catalyst to get it started. In the second act, there is an unfolding set of facts and circumstances involving your characters. This includes build-ups, turning points and climaxes. In the third act, the story comes to a successful conclusion. The script must grab the viewer’s attention. It must hold their interest. And it must tap into the viewers’ emotions.

Several off-the-shelf packages exist to help a writer follow the correct formatting for a script. A well-written script gives the reader a clear idea of what will be seen and heard. The script stimulates your imagination and motivates you to discover how the content will be brought to life on the screen.

 

Storyboards

Storyboards are an important part of the development of content. They sketch out visually the contents in order to establish the story’s progression while also exposing the story’s weaknesses. They are snapshots that lay out the detail of how each frame will be built. They show how the frames will be made into sequences, which will be paced appropriately as they are woven into the story.

Creating Interactive Content for ePublishing: Budgets

In this series of blog posts, we share insights into how we produce interactive fresh content for ePublishing. It is a dynamic process requiring creativity, technical competency and adequate resources. The series will discuss step-by-step each phase in the process.

Creating Interactive Content with Video for ePublishing

- Outline
- Budget
- Scripting/Copyrighting
- Storyboards
- Principal Videography/Photography
- Graphics/Animation
- Editing/Post Production
- PDF Design/Layout and Production
- Review/Revisions
- Publishing


 

Here is step two – budgeting.

 

Many factors impact the cost of producing interactive content with video programming:

Concept/Scripting
The first stage in creating content involves the conceptualization and scripting of the narrative that the content will follow. Depending on the scope of the project, a script can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Locations
Shooting on location requires many factors, all of which are necessary to successfully create video content. The most important are securing a site and hiring a production crew with equipment. On-camera talent such as actors and actresses should also be factored in. Typically, a budget also provides for transportation, lodging and meal expenses. All told, location production costs generally from $1250/day to $3500/day.

Graphics/Animation
While all video content contains images and sound, well-produced video often also contains graphics and/or animations. The costs associated with graphics production vary according to the length and complexity of the material. Standard, off-the-shelf stock graphics cost between $20-$600 for a one-time use license. Custom 3D animations typically cost around $1000 per finished second of animation.

Stock Art
Stock libraries contain hundreds of thousands of images, illustrations and videos. Using appropriate stock art can dramatically reduce the costs associated with producing content. A one-time use license for a stock image ranges from $10-$100. Stock images are also available from public domain sources, such as government archives.

Music
Music provides the emotional backdrop for an effective video. Like stock art, music is available from music libraries for a fee. The cost of licensing a piece of music for one-time use is between $10-$200.

Talent Fees
Use of on-camera talent or a professional narrator incurs talent fees. Most major cities have talent agencies that specialize in connecting producers and talent. Websites also exist which list thousands of available narrators to provide voice-overs for video. Fees typically range from $300-$500. Famous or well-known voices can cost thousands, however.

Editing/Post-Production
The editing and post-production of video content is where the raw materials are blended into a finished program. This requires a skilled editor to work in combination with the director and/or producer. The amount of time and resources spent is a factor of the length and complexity of the content being edited. Studios can be rented by the hour, day or longer. The costs average from $1750 to $3500 per day.

ePublishing Content Design
A designer must be engaged to design the PDF layout. The designer takes the text and blends it with the other elements to create the finished brochure. This can include repurposing the graphics and/or animations that were produced for the video. This typically costs from $1500 to $10,000, depending on the type and length of the content.

Distribution
Content can be distributed either privately or broadcast to anywhere in the world. The costs associated with distribution can vary widely, depending on the medium through which the content will be disseminated. Printing costs can often be high. However, distribution through the Internet provides almost limitless opportunities.

Promotion/Advertising
Budgets for advertising or promotion range from pennies to hundreds of thousands of dollars. A more specific analysis of the goals of the client can inform an effective budget for advertising.

Creating Interactive Content for ePublishing: Outlines

In this series of blog posts, we share insights into how we produce interactive fresh content for ePublishing. It is a dynamic process requiring creativity, technical competency and adequate resources. The series will discuss step-by-step each phase in the process.

Creating Interactive Content with Video for ePublishing

- Outline
- Budget
- Scripting/Copyrighting
- Storyboards
- Principal Videography/Photography
- Graphics/Animation
- Editing/Post Production
- PDF Design/Layout and Production
- Review/Revisions
- Publishing


 

The first post in this series covers outlining.

 

What is an outline? An outline is the big sweep across the landscape of your message, covering point-by-point how the story develops. It should answer questions like: what is the subject? What are the key themes? Who are the people involved? What happened and what is the conclusion?

Before we begin our outline, we create a title and/or subtitle that describes the piece.

The first step in the outlining process is the writing of a logline. This is a short, three-sentence description that should grab the attention of potential viewers. Following this, each scene is described in detail. This will indicate what needs to be developed both before and after the production process. Taken together, the scenes form the basic structure. The outline provides the roadmap for successfully creating the content that you desire.

 

Honor Flight Houston Case Study: Outlines

In a recent eight minute film short we produced for Honor Flight Houston, we entitled the program, “A Dream of Lifetime”. Our logline read:
“A group of World War II veterans experience a transformative journey of a lifetime. These true American heroes from the ‘Greatest Generation’ visit the memorial built in their honor in Washington D.C. The elderly vets are overwhelmed by the warm and enthusiastic reception of a grateful nation.”

Open
The program opens with archival WWII footage and audio from a speech by President Roosevelt. The narrative begins with sound bites from vet interviews about their war experiences. Transition to Honor Flight arrival at Washington airport with narrative describing this trip of a lifetime, leading into the title graphic.

Houston Airport Departure
On location scenes include the send off ceremony at the Houston airport and reactions from the crowds and individuals who were there. Capture “ready to go?” actualities from vets and the loading of the plane, including the welcome by the airline personnel. On the airport tarmac, a second camera crew records the water cannon salute by the fire department and the aircraft taking off into the sky.

Reagan National Airport Arrival
Capture vets exiting off the aircraft and their reactions to the jubilant crowd that awaits them. Record actualities from vets talking about what just happened and their feelings about the reception. Shoot bus loading and bus interiors as vets depart airport for the hotel.

Memorial Visits
Capture early morning scenes as vets and their guardians prepare to depart the hotel on the bus. Shoot the vets visiting the memorials including Arlington National Cemetery, World War II Memorial, Korean Memorial and Vietnam Memorial. At each location, film a complete series of the memorial’s environs for use in music sequences (wide shots, medium shots and tight shots). During each visit, record the welcoming, the vets interaction with the public, and their personal comments.

“Mail Call”
On the return plane trip home, capture vets receiving and reading mail from loved ones and others. Gather actualities of vets reading from the letters and solicit their reaction to what was being said to them.

Arrival Home
Record scenes of the arrival at the Houston airport where a boisterous crowd greets the tired vets. Capture welcome home ceremony and vets comments about the journey.

 

With this outline, we created a blueprint of the elements that we desired for the programming. It describes how the story would flow and be paced. Going into this project, we knew that we were going to produce a collection of programs, including a 30-second public service announcement, an eight minute overview and 53 minute documentary.

ePublishing: “e meaning everywhere”

IntPDFIconToday we have a broad array of technologies at our disposal in order to reach our desired viewers. Our audience has the unprecedented power to interact with the content and to rapidly share it. But this same power gives people the ability to move on quickly if the content is boring or repetitive. Therefore we must be concise in tuning and directing our messages. The audience must be entertained while also being educated about the message.

Our ePublishing products are designed and manufactured with this in mind. We provide fresh content that is easily shareable through the Internet and provides a high degree of interactivity to build and maintain interest. We pack PDFs with text, graphics, photos and links to videos. The PDF is viewable using freely-available PDF reader software, like Adobe Reader™, and the videos can be hosted wherever is most convenient.

We have three products within the ePublishing sphere: eBooks, ePholios and eCards.

eBooks
Our eBooks are packed with content: text, photos, illustrations, graphics and links to videos. We pay special attention to take lengthy content and package it into easier-to-digest pieces. An eBook often follows the format of a normal book, with illustrations woven in with the text. This provides a comprehensive medium to spread your message.

ePholios
ePholios are like eBooks but with a more visually-appealing magazine or brochure layout. They heavily feature photos and illustrations to maximize the visual aspects of the message.

eCards
Our eCards are a simple and inexpensive way to dress up the delivery of a small amount of content. Professionally designed cards improve the visibility of your message.

Our ePublishing products are always designed to be able to be printed. We provide the ability for you to package your message in an easily-distributable, multimedia format that is designed to get the attention of your desired audience.