Video – Ferriter Group

A video created for the Ferriter Group, a non-profit organization started by retired Lieutenant General Michael Ferriter which helps veterans and their families.

Project Summary

Lead Generation: Word of Mouth
My Function(s):
– Camera Operator
– Interviewer
– Graphics Editor
– All Post Production (video and sound editing)
– Camera Crew Lead (coordinator)
Additional Personnel:
– 2 x Camera Operators

Project Summary

Lead Generation: Word of Mouth
My Function(s):
– Camera Operator
– Interviewer
– Graphics Editor
– All Post Production (video and sound editing)
– Camera Crew Lead (coordinator)
Additional Personnel:
– 2 x Camera Operators

Hands-on Inspired Leadership

EVENT SUMMARY: Hands-on Inspired Leadership is training provided by the Ferriter Group using the fundamentals of jiu-jitsu to help people to overcome the challenges they face in their everyday lives. The concept of “when you get knocked down, you need to get back up and face the challenge.”

I was asked to create a video that would showcase the event and give potential future clients of the Ferriter Group something tangible to use to determine if this training is something that would help their groups and organizations.

This was a great project to be involved with, as everyone there was incredibly nice, and the training itself had a profoundly positive impact on all the veterans and wounded warriors who took part in the event.

It was also great to have the chance to work with both Lieutenant General (ret) Michael Ferriter, and Rener Gracie (of the famous Gracie family known for their development of Brazilian jiu-jitsu), both of whom are rock stars in their respective tribes – LTG (ret) Ferriter for helping the lives of countless veterans and wounded warriors, and Rener Gracie for developing and teaching Brazilian jiu-jitsu around the world.

VIDEOGRAPHY: There were a total of three camera operators at the event itself. In addition to myself, a videography professional from a Fortune-100 company volunteered his services to support the Ferriter Group’s outreach efforts. This videographer also had an assistant who operated a camera throughout the event.

I roamed with a DSLR on a monopod, a second videographer roamed with a DSLR on a shoulder-mounted rig, and a third videographer with a tripod-mounted video camera was in a fixed position atop a scissor-lift platform. The primary event itself lasted about two hours, which allowed the third videographer to stay atop the scissor-lift for the entire event.

A GoPro was also mounted to a ceiling rafter (using the scissor-lift) prior to the start of the event. This GoPro was then controlled with the mobile phone app in order to obtain the time-lapse footage used in the final product.

AUDIO:

During the Event

The two DSLRs had shotgun mics mounted to them. A TASCAM DR-40 was mounted on a tripod near the side of the wrestling mats and left running throughout the duration of the event in order to capture ambient noise. Two wireless lapel mics were linked to a field audio recorder, and the wireless mics were clipped to the instructors during instructional/teaching portions of the event. The wireless lav mics were used during the interviews/testimonials.

Before/After the Event

Audio capture of LTG (ret) Michael Ferriter in his studio before/after the event was accomplished with a RØDE NTG1 mic was mounted on a boom pole. The NTG1 was fed into the TASCAM DR-40 and audio was synched with the video during post-production.

 

PROJECT REFLECTION:

Positives/Sustains

  • Pre-coordination and site scouting prior to the event allowed for the best possible planning of locations for un-manned fixed cameras and camera operators.
  • Coordination was conducted with event planners ahead of time to get a full understanding of what events would take place, and when (a timeline). This minimized surprises and let all camera operators know what the key shots would be during the event.
  • The testimonials were genuine. The event had a truly positive effect on participants. This made it easy to get some great testimonials from participants that were not coached and were truly authentic. Testimonials are what really allow a video like this to have an impact.

 

Lessons for the Future

  • The video concept for the main event was thoroughly planned. The blocks of video prior to the event and after the event were added more ad-hoc, and were shot/implemented in a style more typically associated with run-and-gun videography. This created inconsistency in lighting and camera formats between the sections of the video. Lesson: clarify your video concept (with both the client and other videographers) prior to the shoot, and stick with it.
  • A trick learned from one of the camera operators – for interviews, once the camera has started rolling, in addition to having the interviewee state their name, have the interviewee spell their name on-camera. Having this right in the video footage saves time during editing, as you don’t have to track down the signed release form to ensure that you are spelling their name correctly.
  • Multiple memory card formats (CompactFlash, SDHC, etc.) were used due to the multitude of camera and audio equipment from different operators. Each operator had to take their respective formats home, transfer to a common medium (USB thumb drive), and then we had to meet in order to hand-off the thumb drive (the video/audio files were far too large to upload all the raw footage to Dropbox). Lesson: have the adapters and capabilities to download all raw footage to one device at the shooting location.

SUMMARY: A great opportunity to work with a variety of professionals – a videographer from a Fortune 100 company, a retired 3-star Army General, and one of the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu/mixed martial artists in the world. The event itself was for a good cause, and also gave me the opportunity to gain some experience in event coordination, team coordination, videography, and video editing. I’ll definitely jump at future opportunities to work with the “best in their business” from any industry; it allows one to make connections, hone their craft, and improve their creative skills.

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