In video production, the substance of reality instructs the concepts and scripts. It inspires what we ask of our actors and subjects, and directs every shot and edit.
We find beauty and truth in the recorded image. This requires the expert use of today’s sophisticated camera systems while utilizing a cohesive and multifaceted team. We find the real places, the real moments, and communicate with beauty and clarity because of it.
In short, RPD’s philosophy is to capture pure reality in the world we live in and to uncover reality in the worlds we create.
RPD researches and develops communication strategies to help provide context for the creative concepting and execution. By defining a role for the brand, service, or product within the greater culture, RPD can better create targeted and maximally effective content for the client’s video communication needs.
Once the broad ideas of role and culture contexts are in place, RPD runs the material through its “creative engine.” The various talents at RPD find distilled creative forms leading to unique and powerful concepts and concrete representations of the concepts. This can look like an abstraction of a familiar form or perhaps a defining metaphor for an idea that is otherwise hard to grasp.
Creative is like good lighting. At times it is difficult to articulate what it is, but one knows it looks better, feels better and makes everything it touches better. Utility light serves a purpose even if it is harsh and unflattering. When utility meets beauty, the light makes everything feel different, inviting, bright or stylish. A video is the electronic translation of reflected light. When something is shot well, with care and attention to detail, the displayed image goes beyond the utilitarian to emotionally satisfying. One goes beyond taking in the basic facts of the subject and are coaxed into looking closer and deeper. One tends to engage in the subject rather than dismiss it after first glance. A camera is simply a surrogate for the viewer’s own eye, had they been present to witness the event the camera captured.
Scriptwriting is the first creative manifestation of the project. Through the screenwriting and script approval process we fine tune the concepts and ideas developed. Structure is given to thought and a story and throughline is created to accomplish the goals of the project. When the creative calls for something other than a full script a detailed treatment may be provided instead. This illustrates the form of the story/execution and connects the audio/visual experience to the goals of the project. Either document serves the purpose of being the “blueprint” of the finished video and the guide for the production process. Our clients have an opportunity to engage in the early formative process of their project and help ensure that their investment will be targeted and effective.
Once a script is approved a meaningful budget can be created. The budgeting process is where scheduling and resource and asset management converge to describe what your valuable investment entails and how money and resources are used to “build the house from the blueprint.”
RPD works with their clients to maximize the value of their investment into the video project and can readdress the creative if budget constraints do not allow for the material as scripted. The end result is a creative execution that addresses its inherent need while being cognizant of fiscal realities.
Story boards are the first visual manifestation of the script or treatment. They not only help convey the look and feel of the video/film but it also help communicate the intentions of individual set-ups for the cast and crew while on set.
RPD’s clients are invited to work with the creative team to make sure that the storyboards are properly communicating the story yours and our team have been developing. Visual style, production design, and lighting technique are all discussed at this point until artistic renderings of the finished production are agreed upon and approved by our client.
If the script/treatment call for it, actors are described and auditions are called. Often video submissions are used for early rounds of casting while live auditions are facilitated for the final decisions. Any final casting decisions are sent to our clients to approve.
In documentary style executions, the casting process is redefined to mean identifying and scheduling subjects or interviews.
Finding the right locations is almost as important as the casting in visual mediums. A good location helps tell the story provides the necessary backdrop for our cast of characters to interact in a way that not only makes sense but also in keeping with the overall goals of the production. This can sometimes be a arduous process and when locations are found that meet all the creative and pragmatic goals of the production are found photographic stills are taken and presented to our client for approval.
In essence, production is simply the execution of the carefully laid out plan we have all been preparing. The various departments converge on location to create a world in which to tell our story and our cameras are used to capture it. Camera and audio techniques are employed by skilled craftspeople to record the products of other skilled artists and craftspeople to tell your story in a vivid and engaging way. The director will ensure the artistic integrity of the shoot as our producers will ensure the end goal of the production is always the top priority.
In the end, what we have is a carefully shot and organized array of video and audio clips for our editors to piece together during the final phase of our project.
Editing is where the art of authoring the story truly begins. In essence the production phase can be thought of as the first step in editing. With the purposeful acquisition of visual and audio assets we gather the plans and notes from the projects origins and bind the shots we captured into meaningful sequences and combine those sequences into act and so on. It is not unlike authoring a story with pen and paper; words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, etc. As the rough edit forms the first glance at what we have created becomes apparent. But there is still much polishing to do.
Of equal importance to the project as the visuals is the audio. Beyond the simple understanding of what we hear is the meaning behind inflections and the feel of ambiance. Post audio editing is as much an art as video editing. Our artists understand that a project lives or dies with good, purposeful, and subtly layered audio. Combine this with the power of wonderfully composed or selected music and your project has just realized the ability to move your audience.
Color grading or color correction is the final polish on the raw video images. It is very much akin to photoshopping a still image except thousands of times over! Teasing out small details in the image and making the color accent the image to better tell the story is only the beginning. As incredible and exotic as camera technology continues to become it is still no match for the human eye. As your eye makes adjustments automatically for the perfect exposure, contrast, and color levels, the video camera is not as of yet capable of such on the fly adjustments. It is the job of the colorist to do these adjustments so that the collection of images that create a scene all feel like the same continuous visual. The end result is a pleasing and natural or stylistically coherent visual for your story.
Motion Graphics are a major part of any video production or in some cases the entirety of it. Visual designers are tasked with either integrating graphic elements with a film or video production or taking the entire process from pre-production through to delivery if an animation piece. In either case, the same principles of storytelling and attention to detail apply.
Once all the hard work of planning, shooting, editing and polishing your project is complete the next step is preparing the video file to be displayed on anyone of an ever growing list of devices. We have the capability to customize video project files for every kind of export from Youtube optimized to DCP format used with the biggest and best movie theater projection systems in the world.