Making Do with What You’ve Got


We’ve all been there. You’re on a shoot, or doing something in post, and you don’t have a piece of equipment you need. Well it happened to me a few days ago. I was cutting some voice-over when I realized that I didn’t have a mic stand. So I did what everyone in video production does in this situation – I improvised. I looked around the office and turned a lonely looking 3 hole punch into a stand with a little help from Gaffer’s Tape.

Mic Stand and 3 Hole Punch

Mic St and/3 Hole Punch

We’ve all done it. Gorilla video production. Production by the seat of your pants. Whatever you want to call it, it’s making do with what you’ve got. Maybe you’re missing a light stand…maybe you’re missing lights. A quick trip to a big box hardware store and you can get what you need for a stand or a light…or both!

Most seasoned video production folks have at least one story about how they made something work in a pinch. So let’s share some old “war” stories. What have YOU made do with? What did you have to make out of spare parts to get the shot and save the day? I’d love to see a picture too! This is your chance to show us just how ingenious you are!

Why Video?


The written word can change the course of history. The spoken word cab move mountains. A picture is worth a thousand words. Video trumps them all. Video allows you too see, hear and immersed into a world that you normally couldn’t, or wouldn’t, be part of.

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that video has exploded on the internet. No matter how small the world has gotten, we’re still separated by miles and time. Video bridges that gap. Suddenly you’re exactly where you wanted to be. With cameras and software becoming affordable to the average person more people than ever are becoming producers, directors and editors.

Camera Sony HDR-FX1 HDV Handycam Camcorder

Video equipment is becoming more affordable

Right now you’re sitting there thinking video is a great way to keep in touch with family, and to record special events of the kids or grand kids. But, you’ve probably got serious doubts that it can help you with what you do. I’m willing to bet you’re wrong about that.

Whether you building a widget, selling a widget, or creating a course on the history of widgets, you can use video. If you’re building the widget you can use video to document your process. If you’re selling widgets, videos are a great way to show why your product is superior to the competition – saving you time and money by showing your client what you have to offer the way no cold call can. Maybe you can’t take each and every potential client through your workspace, but you can give them a video tour that supports what you’ve told them.

In my mind, educational settings are some of the best places to use video. Whether in a classroom or on-line, video allows learners to see things that they just can’t in a classroom. Video makes an impact, and sometimes that’s the goal (who doesn’t have something seared into their brains from a health or drivers ed class courtesy of a video or film?).

The question for most people in business today shouldn’t be whether or not to do video, but the best way to use video to improve your business. How can you best use video to do what you aren’t doing today?

My suggestion – consult a professional. I’m not talking about cousin-in-law “Bob” who makes “movies” in his basement. I’m talking about someone with references and experience in corporate video production. I’ll discuss corporate video more in-depth in a up-coming post, in the meantime look for someone who works with business and understands your needs. Interview people and ask for quotes. The right production team will involve you, value your input, not push you to do things you don’t want and do everything in their power to keep you from going down the wrong path.

Don’t be afraid of the cost – you may just find out you save money in the end. Don’t be afraid of the time – you may be surprised how much time you save. A well produced, high quality video, will impact your work in ways you can’t imagine.

Use video because it can do, be and say the things you can’t.

The OTHER Side of Me


I realized that I’ve neglected a very important part of what I do and who I am. It’s time to rectify that.

I’ve gone by a lot of different titles….video specialist, videographer, multimedia specialist, media specialist, editor, director…the list goes on. In a nutshell, I’m good at video production. It’s my sweet spot. I’ve done marketing and communications work but I always find myself back in some aspect of video production.

I consider myself a generalist. There are those who focus on editing, or lighting, or sound. I’ve never been that lucky. Most of my work has been on small teams or small projects where you have to wear many hats. I’ve worked in small market television and corporate video. I’ve even shot weddings as side gigs on the weekends. And I can honestly tell you that a bad day editing is in many ways better than a good day doing almost anything else.

So why do I bring this up? Because I intend for this blog to cover my video life as well. I’m hoping you’ll find that there is a bridge between what most people think of as video and the world of marketing, messaging and outreach.

And now and then I may throw in an amusing story about some of the crazy things I’ve seen, done, and experienced during my video adventures. You’ll have to stay tuned for that.