Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Shotgun Mic VS Stereo Mic: What Is The Difference?

August 29, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Equipment, Video Production

Stereo mics are often confused with shotgun mics but they are not the same thing. Both are external microphones for your camcorder and although they look similar, they function differently.

While I was at the NAB Show this past year, I took time out to shoot this short video on what each of these microphones will do for you and what the difference is between the two.

(If you can’t view this video on this page, you can watch it here on YouTube.)

Choosing one or the other will depend on your shooting situation. Both are good investments for getting professional sounding audio. Companies like Sennheiser, Shure, and Audio-Technica offer good quality mics that will definitely meet your needs and last you for years.


What is Disruptive Media and How Does It Affect The Special Interest Video Producer?

Camera BagFirst off, what the heck is “disruptive media?” This phrase was talked about a lot at NAB this year. For the last 3 years, the “Disruptive Media Conference” has been held during NAB. At this conference, “disruptive” refers to the “opportunistic challenges that arise from new technologies and how they can be harnessed to promote the enterprise goals of those being faced by their inevitable implementation.” (Jay Ankeney, reporting in the NAB Show Daily News conference newspaper for NAB attendees) That’s a fancy way of saying the traditional ways media is being consumed (i.e., watched or listened to) and the way money has been made to fund programming (through airing commercials, for example) is changing due to all the changes in media and communication technology, these traditional business concepts need to evolve to adapt.

“For example,” according to conference chair Ned Sherman, CEO and publisher at Digital Media Wire, Inc., “we have moved from a sit back and watch television-watching environment to a very interactive, multi-platform, consumer-driven, media-consumption paradigm. On the one hand, this generates concern on the part of business leaders about how they can monetize their content. But on the other hand, the new possibilities open creative options for each platform to fulfill its own section of the media-consuming audience.”

For the consumer, this seems great. Gone are the days where you can only watch your favorite show on your television at the specific time it is aired. You don’t even have to watch one annoying commercial if you don’t want to. However the quality of these shows will decrease if broadcasters can’t get a handle on getting paid for delivering programming.

While broadcasters are dealing with this, this environment is leveling the playing field and this is exciting news for smaller producers, like you and me. As one panelist on a discussion we sat in on (more about that later) stated, “in the future your favorite show will be made by you or someone you know.”

Today’s technology, social media and access to the Internet through mobile devices is redefining what it means to be a “broadcaster.” This trend is pushing content creators of all kinds to think differently about how to develop, produce and distribute online video content. The television industry is dealing with how consumers now have unmatched access to niche programming (more choices!) and the way these viewers even influence the outcome of television shows, for SIV producers like us, I see it as great way to learn what to provide to people and build loyal audiences.

Along with coming across a few startup companies that were showcasing some of these technologies, we attended the very interesting panel discussion on the future of online content “Broadcast Minds – Internet Content Creators Talk What’s Next Online. (You can view it too here!)  The panel, moderated by Jim Louderback (CEO of Revision3, a division of Discover), was comprised of Shira Lazar (Host and Executive Producer of the live interactive daily web show and 24/7 newshub, “What’s Trending), Tom Green (Actor/Comedian and creator of the wildly popular internet talk show, “Tom Green’s House Tonight.”, Bruce Gersh (President and CEO FishBowl Worldwide Media – behind the very successful America’s Funniest Videos program), and Penn Jillette (Illusionist, Comedian, and half of the world-famous Emmy Award­ winning magic duo and Las Vegas headliners Penn & Teller.) It’s definitely worth a watch…we walked away with some great ideas to implement in our business.

A few take aways from this discussion and how disruptive media will affect smaller producers –

1) Even though it won’t matter the device and how your viewer will interact with your content, the story and information you deliver will still be important.

2) Niche shows are the future and searchability to find these shows will be important.

3) Education is huge online and is being monetized in a subscription based platform.

So what do you think? Is what is happening in broadcasting today filled with potential or spells doom for the special interest video industry? Share with us in the comment section below.

Your Video Tripod: What You NEED to Have

August 22, 2013 by  
Filed under All Posts, Equipment, Video Production

A tripod is another one of those essential items that you need in order to shoot great video. Not all tripods are equal though. This is one area, in my opinion, where spending more is a good investment.

But what should you look for in a good quality video tripod?

First off, a tripod for your video camera is DIFFERENT than a tripod for your still camera. In this short video I shot while I was at the Sachtler booth at NAB, I show you what you need to have in your video tripod.

You’ll see:

  • Why a tripod designed for your still camera won’t work well for video;
  • Why the size of your camera is an important consideration in your tripod choice;
  • What makes a video tripod more stable;
  • What type of tripod head you want;
  • And why I prefer one type of leg adjustment to another.

(If you can’t view this video on this page, you can watch it here on YouTube.)

A good, quality tripod, like your microphones and lighting equipment, will last you for years and in my opinion is totally worth the money spent. Sachtler offers top notch tripods with prices starting around $500, other brands I’ve used and like include Manfrotto (affordable), Cartoni (expensive), Libec, Miller and OConnor (very expensive). If you are just starting out and have a limited budget, Manfrotto may be your best compromise between cost and quality.

Right now our favorite camera store, B&H Audio Video is offering a great price on the Sachtler Ace M Fluid Head with 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod & Mid-Level Spreader. Normally priced at $557, it’s now on sale for $489.

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