Cargill Solutions – Display Videos

Cargill shoot set

Cargill Solutions - Display Videos

One of our recent video shoots took us to Hazleton, PA to work with Cargill Solutions. They were looking for a series of different display videos to run in-house for the employees. We met with them and figured out the best game plan for shooting and got ready.

The goal was to create three sets of display videos. First being overall welcome to the Hazleton facility. They had a visit from corporate coming up and wanted all levels of the staff involved in welcoming them.

The second was a series of correct/incorrect videos on differing things around the facility to reinforce procedures and rules. These were fairly simple and straight forward. 

Lastly were a set of safety welcome videos. These are a way to welcome employees in each day and stress certain areas of safety (chemical, electrical, forklifts, etc).

Display Videos

Overall the shoot was fairly simple and everyone was great. The edit took some finessing as each video needed subtitles as the facility has a high rate of Spanish speaking employees. So making sure the translations were correct and the right spots took a few revisions. The last hurdle was the monitors themselves. Keeping the quality high enough for broadcast, but within the limits of the individual monitors took some trial and error, but we got it right in the end!

Contact us for your corporate video solutions!

Hub City Stompers with Echo Creek

Hub City Stompers wide shot

Recently at a networking mixer held by Wilkes-Barre POWER, I ran into an old friend from when I first moved to PA, Rob Alapick. Rob does a lot of show promotion for Ska, Punk, and other bands and we got to talking about collaborating for a show this fall. Turns out, he had an upcoming show locally as one of his bands, the Hub City Stompers, had a venue back out last minute. Rather than make the drive from Ohio to New Jersey in one shot, they wanted a place to play and crash to break to the trip. As I’ve said before, I got my start in photography and have always loved shooting bands.

One thing I’ll give the Wilkes-Barre music scene is that it’s a vibrant one. Most weekends, you’ll find 5-6 shows playing at various venues. The one downfall is that many of these venues are small converted spaces. Bars, pubs, and corner spots that having live music was an afterthought. That, or places designed for live music, but not for the recording of it. What I’m saying is lighting often sucks. Shooting at a concert with a big stage show has the luxury of bright lights and makes shooting a bit easier. Smaller, more intimate venues, while great for a crowd, often are a pain to shoot in.

Raw unedited photo

The lights were set to a purplish red and didn’t change throughout the evening, making it hard to shoot.  as you have to either have to decide to shoot to counter the lighting or capture it with the lighting as is and deal with it in post-production. If some white lights had been included, you could work around it easier, but in this case, they weren’t. So the option was to make them black and white and adjust for contrast.  You can see the end result below and the links will take you to full res galleries.

Hub City Stompers – Full High Res Gallery

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Echo Creek – Full High Res Gallery

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Roller Radicals

Last month we had the pleasure of working on a short video for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Roller Radicals. They were looking for something to run on Facebook to announce their upcoming tryouts for the 2017 season. They didn’t have anything particular in mind and said they’d be happy with whatever we came up with. We, at Park, have a few clients we take on that are non-profits and help out from time to time, and this was one of those projects.  Because they were up for anything, we wanted to have a little fun with the video and came up with the idea of “Beth”. “Beth was someone looking to become more confident, have some fun and make some new friends. These are all things the Roller Radicals can do for those looking for something different.

The girls are a fun bunch and we had a blast spending our Sunday morning hanging out. To add some more motion and action to the video, we reached out to our friends at Trifocal Productions to shoot on their gimbal. The end product came out great and the Roller Radicals loved it.

On Location: Kurlancheek Home Furnishings

They say it’s not what you know, but who you know.

I never really liked that phrase. It implies that being skilled is less important than just running into the right people. What happens when the right people realize you’re the wrong person for the job? Or if who you know, knows you know nothing… ya know?

Yeah… no one wins.

I like to think of it more as what you know AND who you know leads to opportunities. If you’re really good at what you do and people know this about you, you’ll find opportunities for success. Of course, that also means letting the people you know, know what you know. (ok, I promise I’m done…but it was fun)

That’s how Kurlancheek Home Furnishings became a client. I was out one night shooting a concert and ran into a friend who was looking for someone to produce a few new commercials for Kurlancheek. We talked for a bit and about a month later (thanks to the first snowfall of the season) we were shooting.

They had recently bought air time with Comcast and the first production company they spoke with wanted to do the typical ‘local small business’ commercial. A couple of pans of the inside of the store, show one or two products, fade to a white screen with the address and phone number and call it a day. Kurlancheek wanted something a little more interesting and less generic. This is one of the biggest issues with local commercials, they are usually generic and follow the same template.

They wanted to highlight a few key points – big city items at a reasonable price, unique reclaimed pieces and that they could custom design pieces. After a short meeting, we had an outline for what the final commercial campaign would look like. The idea was we’d do 3 commercials that start and end the same. The ‘nosey neighbor’ peeping out to see furniture being delivered across the street. She’d head out to ask about how expensive it was and what fancy place it came from, only to find out they came from Kurlancheek Home Furnishings and were quite affordable.

This style allowed us to highlight a few pieces, their delivery service, and interior design. Across the three versions, get all the key points across. While it took a little longer than the cookie cutter ‘local commercial’, the result was something they were much happier with. Which is the way it should be.  If you’re going to pay to have production work done, it should be done right.

Shuters Notes: National Anxiety and Heart out at Bart & Urby’s

 Before I turned to the “dark side”.

and became a videographer, I was a budding amateur photographer. Even though I failed my first official photography class (still upsets me) I knew that visual storytelling was my passion. At the same time, I transitioned from being a DJ to a radio Disc Jockey.

It was a rough transition at first. I’m just old enough that when I used to say I was a DJ, people assumed I worked with turntables and vinyl. I worked with a few companies, mainly doing weddings and parties. Nothing B-Boy style, but it was fun working in front of a crowd as opposed to a being in a sound proof booth. But music was music, so I made it work.

It may sound weird, but all of my injuries lead me working into media. When I was finally sidelined I began broadcasting games. If I wasn’t calling a game I was shooting it. Eventually, I switched from sports coverage to focusing on music and that was it. I still dabbled (and still do) in working live sports, but music and music photography had taken hold. A few years later an internship had me standing behind a studio camera at a local PBS station. The dark side had won.

While I lamented being in TV and was still convinced I’d end up as an audio engineer, I did secretly enjoy shooting moving images. It was more forgiving than photography (which was still film) and allowed you to correct yourself. To this day I can still remember the exact moment I knew shooting video was my destiny.  Our studio show included live musical performances. There was a little old woman playing the piano. She was at least 65 and it was a slow piece of music. The director was calling for shots and wanted something creative. I noticed I was at an angle in which I could frame the woman playing the piano with the reflection of her hands on the underside of the grand piano’s lid. I framed it up and heard over the headset “Camera 3 (me) that shot is amazing…unfortunately, it’s a bit much for this piece.” I zoomed in so you could just see the reflection and began a slow zoom out that ended with her, the piano and her reflected hands. “Stand by to take Camera 3, take Camera 3! 3, are you sure video isn’t your things. That was pretty damn good”

That was it. I officially became a videographer that day. I’ve since gone on to shoot photo and video in various forms, but music has always been where it started.

One of my big goals for 2016 was to get back to my roots. Music, storytelling and just plain shooting. A good friend of mine is the bassist for National Anxiety, a local Wilkes-Barre band, and wanted some photos at a punk show he was playing. I figured, why not…got to start somewhere. It was an amazing time. While a little rust at first, I found my groove and had a great time. Having only moments to get a shot and tell the story of the band and their music is an amazing rush. It was truly the push I needed to kick off 2016. I ended up shooting two bands that evening and decided to revamp my band photography to try to get more gigs booked. It’s working pretty well so far!

Moral of the story, if you’ve been at this for a while and find yourself in a rut…get back to your original passion. Think back to when this was fun and go do that again. Even if you don’t make a dime on it, do it anyway. Sometimes we need to remember why the hell we got into this crazy business. If you’re new at it, find a passion. Find something that you love to shoot and shoot the hell out of it. And never forget what it is and how it makes you feel. As you grow and get better…every now and then, come back to that passion. It’s a great way to keep you motivated and get you out of a rut.

You can check out the rest of the photos on my flickr and if you like good Punk Music, check out National Anxiety and Heart Out.