20Jun

How to Spend Money on Gear Wisely in 2017 (Skip the Camera!)

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This one’s for my fellow video production nerds.

Smart people realize that cameras have been solved. This might be why RED’s new product is a phone. Not a camera. Cameras are done. They’re great. Today. And semi-affordable. The huge gap between “great” and what the average DP can afford is pretty much gone, and if you’re still selling yourself based on your camera instead of your work, you are way behind the times.

Put simply, the most important thing is your talent in using the gear. The gear alone doesn’t differentiate you, anymore. Pros can Read More »

20Apr

On the Importance of Personal Projects for Creatives

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I keep relearning the lesson of how important it is for us creatives to always be working on personal projects. First, they’re fun to do! Second, they let you hone new skills. And third, sometimes they show clients a side of you that they didn’t know about. This can pay huge dividends.

For instance, about a year and a half ago I was in New York more than I wasn’t. I live and work in both LA and New York, and I’m not sure why LA wasn’t clicking for me at that time, but I was grateful that New York was. New York was keeping Read More »

13Feb

Working with Startups on Videos

I’ve worked with a bunch of startups. There’s a certain energy and excitement whenever we get to create a video for a startup. Often they’re even more open to creative ideas than a more established company or brand, too. Some of our startup clients have gone on to win awards at events like TechCrunch, been sold to larger companies, or were able to raise additional funding, in part thanks to the creative work we’ve done together. Savvy startups understand the power of video, and the need for high-quality video marketing content.

Yet, working with startups does have downsides. For one thing, unless the startup is Read More »

6Feb

What Camera Do You Use?

Q: What camera do you use?

A: All of them.

Let me explain. How professionals work is, we choose the right camera for the job. Each camera is  different, and they all bring their own strengths and weaknesses to the party. Anyone who says “Oh, we only shoot on XXX camera” is someone trying to sell what they have to you. Not someone looking out for your interests and choosing the right camera for your project.

 

19Jan

2016 in Review: Thank You!

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2017 has begun with a bang for us. I’m thrilled and grateful for that. But this post, even though it’s the middle of January already, is for last year. 2016, I thank you for everything you gave to us. The many excellent projects, the happy clients, and even the occasional stumbling blocks- thank you. It’s all a learning experience, and I am grateful to everyone who was a part of our year.

In 2016 we laid the groundwork for some Read More »

5Jan

Another Video Production Testimonial

We recently had some fun working with Austin, Texas advertising and creative agency The Butler Bros., when they came to us looking for a way to create a corporate video for one of their high-profile New York-based clients. The project was centered around an event in Anaheim, California (just outside of Los Angeles, home of Disneyland and I think The Mighty Ducks). It involved interviews and a bunch of b-roll over a number of days with a variety of teaching professionals, and the deliverable included 6 short corporate documentary-style films.

Originally, the agency had been given the go-ahead to film these interviews in a room away from the action of the event. But when we did our location scout, we saw how sad the little room was. So, we suggested filming these interviews smack in the middle of the event instead, for a much more energetic and cinematic look. The agency wholeheartedly agreed, and we set out to make it happen. The results were excellent, and the client was very happy with all of us for going the extra mile.

We shot in 4K, at times with two cameras, and post-production did involve a fair amount of audio fixes due to the loud nature of the event. But it was so very worth it to capture the energy and dynamic nature of the environment, and filming this way energized our interviewees, giving us much better performances overall.

Here’s what one of our new friends in Austin had to say:

Our client needed to shoot interviews at an event that was out of town for both our agency and for them. Patrick was a huge help on the ground, scoping out the site and making recommendations about how to best capture the footage and ensure the best, most strategic results. Patrick took extra time and care to deliver a finished product that was well-loved by our client, hanging with us through feedback from multiple parties that extended out over time. His work is of the highest quality, the experience seamless, and I would recommend Patrick to other creative agencies looking for a director/production partner.

-Christine Lopez, Client Services Director
The Butler Bros.

That’s pretty cool. We love working with smart, fun agencies like The Butler Bros., and helping them wow their clients.

30Dec

New York Client Testimonial- Waitex Corporate Film

We are often called when a company wants a corporate video that’s really special. Something that stands out, production and story-wise, from the typical corporate video.

So, I was very happy to have been asked to create the 35th Anniversary corporate video for New York’s Waitex Group this fall. We worked with a creative, smart team of people at Waitex, and together we were able to take this mega-successful company’s story and tell it in a way that engaged and excited its audience.

This project spanned two countries: we filmed much of it in New York City and New Jersey, while working with a great team of filmmakers in China for shots of Waitex’s extensive and impressive China projects.

Here’s what Ken Li, President of Waitex Group, had to say about the process of working with us:

“Patrick Ortman and his team is an extremely professional video company. From the script, to the shoot, to the editing, they adhere closely to all our needed deadlines and could grasp quickly the idea of what we wanted and created a wonderfully shot and coherent video that told a story. It incorporated all the many diverse materials that we sent to him and he was always extremely quick to respond and accomodating to all our different request and offices (from all over the world). Patrick has a great personality and was an overall delight to work with, you will always be greeted with transparency and a quick turnaround. We highly recommend Patrick for any corporate video needs.”

As 2017 draws to a close, I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this project happen. Thank you to Waitex, our awesome New York City and New Jersey crew, and our new China friends for everything. I hope 2017 is a great one for us all.

 

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