Sunday, April 10, 2016

Video for off-campus fire safety

I'm really getting more into using video for fire safety communications (or even all communications!).  Here's the latest video I just produced for the See It Before You Sign It campaign I'm doing with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the National Fire Protection Association and the United States Fire Administration.


This was really interesting to put together, and the hardest part of all, for all of my videos, is keeping them short. This one came in at 30 seconds, and even something that short does have three acts to it:
  • Act I - What the problem is (most kids die in off-campus fires)
  • Act II - What parents can do to help protect their kids (check for smoke alarms and two ways out)
  • Act III - Call for Action - See It Before You Sign It (the lease)
No matter what you are producing, having three acts seems to be the way to go, it is a tried-and-true methodology.


Each time I do a shoot, I learn so much more. This one...
  • I should have watched the lighting more and tried to get consistent lighting between the different shots.
  • What was really interesting on the first shot with Chief Nelson is that you'll notice there is a strong light coming in from screen left. While this was shot in the early morning, with the sun low, it turned out the reflection was coming off of the windshield on my car, which I could have easily fixed by just moving the car!
  • I didn't frame all of the people consistently in each shot. Not too bad, but I could have done a better job of framing them so it would flow easier between the six shots.
  • With Chief Partridge, we were filming on a partly-cloudy day, so the sun was going in and out which created two different lighting situations. I was able to balance it out in post-production a bit, but something to watch for in the future.
  • I got lucky while doing the voice over in the beginning. I was actually videotaping myself in front of an off-campus house when a fire engine went by with its siren on, which made for a great sound effect. I decided to not use the video portion, just the audio, with the photos I have taken of real fatal fires instead.
More to come!

Ed