Creating A Trade Show Video For A Local Bozeman Business

In early November, Bonafide Film House a Bozeman Video Production Company was contacted by the head of marketing for the Belgrade location of Service Partners Supply. They were interested in having a Bozeman video production company produce them a 3-5 minute long video showcasing the complete construction of one of their spray foam insulation trucks. This location specializes in the manufacturing of highly specialized commercial spray foam insulation trucks. Operating now for close to ten years and producing at least one truck a week, their products are some of the best in the country and in extremely high demand. Located near the Yellowstone International Airport in Belgrade Montana with a gorgeous view of the Bridger Mountains, the Bonafide Film House crew knew they were in for a fun project.

AS A SMALL BUSINESS VIDEO PRODUCTION COMPANY WE KNEW THAT WE NEEDED A LITTLE MORE INFORMATION

During our initial consultation with them, Justin Kietzman and Anthony Cohen spoke with the owner and head of marketing for a couple of hours, getting a very solid handle on what the companies vision was for their video. It was to be playing on a very large television mounted to the side of one of their demo trailers at the Palm Springs SPFA (Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance) yearly trade show. They had a laundry list of what they knew what they wanted included in the trade show video, but as a small business video production company, we knew that we needed a little more information; Information that can be a bit harder to put into words if you are not in the creative video production industry. After a bit more discussion, watching some examples on the iPad and discussing some previous work we had done for some other Bozeman small businesses, we knew exactly what kind of trade show video we would create for them. Shooting was planned to begin the following Monday.

 

 

The next step for Bonafide Film House was simple: Pre Visualization.

If there is one constant in this universe, it is that planning is everything. A lot of people have the misconception that in order to do business video production you just show up with a camera and record everything you see, but unfortunately this is not the case. Even the most natural feeling videos you see are planned ahead of time. Nothing ever happens how you want it to, this is true in every day life and it’s extra true in video production. The only way to combat the entropy of the universe in film and video production is simple: Pre Visualization. Justin Kietzman and Anthony Cohen sat down with notebooks and inspiration material; the Pre-Vis began. Discussing exactly what they wanted to shoot, the main shots were written down. Once the list of all of the important shots were collected, a general storyboard was developed. We started to develop a general order for how we wanted the video to flow. We made sure that our storyboard included all of the main processes involved in making a truck and also showed off all of the very very cool stuff involved in building a custom rig. At this point, we had a pretty good idea for the direction of this Montana corporate video. Experience as a Bozeman video production company told us that just having a storyboard wasn’t enough to create a corporate video of this size.

A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE THE MISCONCEPTION THAT IN ORDER TO DO BUSINESS VIDEO PRODUCTION YOU JUST SHOW UP WITH A CAMERA AND RECORD EVERYTHING YOU SEE, BUT UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS NOT THE CASE

Next we created a script. We knew what story Service Partners Supply was trying to tell with this business video, so we created a multi page set of questions we would use, to have the head manager answer during a sit down style interview. In essence we created an anti-script. We formed the questions so his answers would seem like statements, making the video flow very naturally and make the viewer easily understand the message of this corporate business video. Even the most competent business owner, that knows everything about his field, can have a hard time sitting down in front of a camera and quoting lines, so making your making your script in the form of questions can save everyone a lot of time and create a much more competent business video.  Once we had all of this prepared, we sent the questions to the business owner so he could become more comfortable with the questions and prepare his answers. At this point we were ready to begin filming on Monday.

 

Anthony Cohen setting up a Camera on a Dolly

 
Early Monday morning rolled around and the Bonafide Film House crew was ready to rock and roll. Upon arrival the first thing we did was check the two GoPro time-lapse cameras we had set up early the night before to capture the removal and installation of the framing and interior insulation. They were still running on track for their five day long time-lapse of the build of the entire truck. At this point, we pulled the production van up to the warehouse and began to unload all of our equipment.
Lighting is the most important aspect of filmmaking, commercial or not. So one of the first things Justin Kietzman does when he shows up on a new location is he gets out his Sekonic Lightmeter in order to figure out the lighting conditions and decide what lights the crew will decide to use for each individual room. Interviews typically call for soft boxes on multi-bulb interview lights, very close to the subject. Slow motion shots calls for extremely bright single point spot lights on a single static subject, in order to provide enough light for the extremely high shutter speed. All of this comes into play on a professional commercial film set and it arguable the most important aspect of any filmmaking project.
Justin decided for this particular project we would need our 2000 watt interview light set which we commonly used for Bozeman Video Production projects and Commercial video production jobs and our ten 200 watt LED can lights. All of these lights were originally various color temperatures, so Justin Kietzman gelled them all to 4000 Kelvin, the same temperature as the overhead lights inside of the building. Making sure none of the lit subjects looked blue or yellow, a very common in lower budget video production products.

Over the next couple of days, filming moved forward at a steady pace. Justin Kietzman and Anthony Cohen would show up at set times for a few hours each day, covering major points of the build  and ensuring that the three time lapse cameras were running and not missing a moment. This arrangement saved the client quite a bit of money in the end, everything was still covered fulling but with many less hours of filming involved.
The final day of this Bozeman Video Production project was the longest. Justin Kietzman and Anthony Cohen showed up at 6am as the shop opened and stayed until 8pm that evening. Filming the pre planned interview with the manager of Service Partners Supply as well as filming the walk and talk portions with him as well. For these shots we used a very simple dolly, that was perfectly capable for a smooth concrete floor like in the warehouse of this Montana Video Production shoot. This same day all of the slow motion was also filmed, these were highly staged shots with almost all of the lights being used, ensuring we had enough exposure, keeping the image free of noise. These sorts of shots are where the production value really shows up, making any commercial video production look like a extremely high budget commercial production.

After 8 days, the shooting was finished. The footage was taken back to Bonafide Film House headquarter and edited into the final product and delivered less than two weeks later, you can view it here:
If you are interested in having Justin Kietzman and Anthony Cohen at Bonafide Film House a Bozeman Video Production company create you a cinematic professional commercial video for your Montana business, please get in touch with us.

By Justin Kietzman

justincircleheadshot

Director and Editor at Bonafide Film House

 

Can a documentary be surrealistic?

Can a documentary be surrealistic?

I was recently asked this question by a student in film school. I thought it was a interesting concept so I figured I would share what I sent him.

Lets discuss what a documentary is first. Here is the definition via wikipedia from a solid source (oed.com) “A documentary film is a nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record.”

So on it’s face a documentary is supposed to be completely non-fiction and it’s main intent is supposed to be to inform it’s viewership of some aspect of real life. Most documentaries journey into a subject in a very flat manor and flush out the subject matter in a way that the director decides.

These films truly began to challenge the subject matter

Over the years this has mostly been true, but around the mid 1970s this was beginning to be challenged for the first time. A young filmmaker hailing from Germany named Werner Herzog (Director: Cave of Forgotten Dreams [2010], Grizzly Man [2005], The White Diamond [2004], Wheel of Time [2003]) started producing documentaries. These films truly began to challenge the subject matter and the subjects that were being interviewed in a way that had never been done before. Often operating the camera himself to attempt to reveal the true nature of the subject matter being revealed, be it holding the camera on the subject long after a statement has been made to show how uncomfortable they are on the subject or literally pushing up the camera into their face to intimidate the subject and causing them to break and reveal their true nature. It was a new style of documentary filmmaking that had never been done before.

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I personally believe that he was largely influenced by Orson Welles’ F for Fake (1974) a film that largely brought to the idea that documentaries and films should be questioned and challenged, it was a deep dive into the concepts of authorship and authenticity. This film was largely disliked, but if their was one concept that Herzog took from this film, it was that the only way to prove something is true, is by revealing the human nature that reveals the speaker is being truthful.

truly looking for something interesting, the directors reveal a much more grandiose story

Starting in the 2000’s this more modern kind of documentary started to become very popular. Playing off of the human element, and truly looking for something interesting, the directors reveal a much more grandiose story. A few examples of these are Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010), My Kid Could Paint That (2007) and Matthew Heinemans recent documentary Cartel Land (2015).

On their faces, these films do tell a simple story that is easy to follow. But all of them clearly aim to reveal a larger concept about society, or a distinct flaw in humanity. Be it the vain of Mr. Brainwash revealing how easy it is to “fake” your way into the street art world and how hungry modern society is to eat it up; Be it the greed of Marla’s parents and the idea that the patrons purchasing her art cared nothing about the art itself, but solely the story behind and the notoriety it was producing; or that the war on drugs in Mexico is not something that be solved, because it is a war based on cultural idealisms and power, not the product they are selling and trading.

exitthrough

So a documentary can be more than just a “nonfictional motion picture intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a historical record.” it can be a look directly into humanity and the concepts that surrounds us. It can show us exactly what makes us human, by connecting dots that a person can’t conceptualize, or simply choose not to.

It can show us exactly what makes us human

Surrealism in the art world aims to allow the unconscious to express itself. It often has surprising juxtaposition with an aim at explaining the philosophical.
If you view art in it’s simplest form, a method of expression. Then all of the documentaries I discussed are Surrealistic.

Use of juxtaposition, non sequiturs, and the element of surprise to help us understand a philosophical concepts are the core tools used by modern documentaries to help us understand what and why it is happening on screen. They are how we break down our concrete views on concepts and allow building of new ideas.

If art and film have one thing in common, it’s that they give their audiences the ability to challenge everything and that is quite powerful. That’s a good thing.

By Justin Kietzman

justincircleheadshot

Director and Editor at Bonafide Film House