These days it is getting harder and harder to stand out in the crowded field of video production. Thankfully there are some new technologies emerging that pump new life into the field. If you are an early adopter you may have found that they have enabled you to get the gigs that you otherwise would not have.
The most dramatic change has been the rapid rise of drone footage. From movies to real estate to news reportage, drones have quickly become indispensable to many for their ability to get the shots that used to take a massive amount of money and equipment. Helicopters, airplanes, cranes or jibs used to be necessary to get those high-in-the-sky angles that help bring your audience stunning images. Large crowds, sprawling events,
novel viewpoints – all can be captured easily and affordably by drones. Once available only to those with big budgets and deep pockets, drone footage is now available to the masses and it is revolutionizing production. Popular models from Yuneec and DJI abound and there are even ultra- affordable “toy” models that can capture decent HD footage. Wedding photographers are now using drones to get unique birds-eye shots that wow their clients. And they aren’t just for the high in the sky angles – they can be quite useful for eye-level dolly-type moves too!
The second major innovation is the emergence of mature 360°/VR technologies. Immersive VR photos have been around for a long time but they are static and not all of that compelling. Now there is 360°/VR surround VIDEO, a true moving image that you can pan around in to choose YOUR favored vantage point. The truly useful applications are somewhat limited but for certain situations, it is a godsend. Sports is one of them – for too long we have been at the mercy of the camera’s choice of subject, now we can choose to look elsewhere if we want to. Maybe the camera is focused on the quarterback as he surveys the field, but you wish to concentrate on the star receiver as he sheds defenders to get open. VR Video lets you do just that.
Another disrupter has been the proliferation of small “action” cams such as GoPros. Few independent video production houses can afford to deploy more than 3 or 4 traditional full-size HD cameras at an event. But with the low cost and high quality available from GoPros and their clones, it is now economically feasible to utilize LOTS of cameras to capture an event from a multitude of angles. Concerts especially benefit from tons of different viewpoints. You can put a couple of tiny cameras around the drummer, the keyboardist, the front of the stage etc to allow switching rapidly among a number of interesting viewpoints. Mix those in with your 2 or 3 cameraman-operated feeds and suddenly your production will look VERY expensive and professional. And of course for sporting events, particularly extreme sports such as snowboarding, X games, mountain biking etc. the small and durable action cams offer compelling images that put the viewer right in the driver’s seat.
DSLR cameras are another option to enhance your productions. The ability to use wide-aperture, high-quality, telephoto and wide- angle lenses allow videographers to create cinema-like images with beautiful shallow depth-of-field and/or image compression. The downside to using DSLRs is their limited record time (typically 12 minutes at a time due to sensor heating), making them useful only for situations where you plan to assemble your video from lots of short clips (advertisements, movies, corporate promos etc.) and not so much for longer events such as plays, concerts, sporting events etc. The relatively low cost of some entry-level DSLRs makes them great choices for environments where you would rather not risk your high-end equipment (like attached to the side of a moving vehicle!), and the wide variety of lenses and filters available make them extremely versatile for creating a wide variety of looks.
Finally, the proliferation of live-streaming platforms opens up yet another avenue for income. With more and more people preferring to watch video content on mobile devices and computers, live-streaming has revolutionized content delivery. Sporting events, concerts, Worship services and educational institutions are all utilizing streaming to widen their audience and increase monetization. If you can provide live streaming as an option for event productions you will often rise above your peers and win the job.