Opening His Backpack I’m Treated to A Visual Spectacle-Gerry’s St. Maarten Video Shoot-Part 5


St. Maarten with Shari, Joseph & Mia & Gerry’s ever-present camera

Johnny B. Goode, Special Reporter to the Lawyers Video Studio- Part 5

Gerry’s has picked the conference center area to shoot video. It’s quiet. It’s serene. It’s colorful. There is ambient noise, but not so much that it drastically interferes with the audio. He’s going to test it a few times before doing a full shoot.

He brought his portable tripod with him. It’s aluminum and light weight. It fits neatly in his suitcase. When extended full height, it can reach almost six feet tall.

He whips open his zipped backpack and I’m treated to a visual spectacle of every video and audio goodie you can imagine. Multiple lenses. Multiple microphones. Wireless lavalier microphones- 2 sets in case one doesn’t work or has radio interference.

He has a portable LED light in case he needs some illumination for a close-up. He’s also got a gorilla pod. That’s a neat little mini-tripod that you can wrap around any object and get good still shots.

He also has another camera besides his Digital SLR. He’s got a professional Sony Camcorder that looks like it’s something from the future. Really cool looking with a massive zoom lens on that. He says it’s a totally manual camera that takes amazing video footage.

First things first. The tripod comes out and opens up to five feet. He takes his DSLR and mounts it on the tripod. Off comes the lens cap and turns the camera on. He switches the setting to video.

Gerry grabs the wireless microphone receiver and mounts it on top of the Canon 60D DSLR he’s using today. He then carefully pries open the side cover and plugs the audio receiver into the DSLR input. This way all audio transmissions get delivered right into the camera.

“Why can’t you just use the built-in microphone?” I ask.

“The built-in mic picks up all ambient sound as well as the lens motor that focuses on you. The audio quality stinks with any built in microphone,” Gerry answers calmly as he continues setting up.

He then grabs the audio transmitter pack, turns the unit on and grabs the lapel microphone and attaches the plug into the transmitter pack. He then turns the receiver on top of the camera on. “Testing, one, two, three. Great, audio is synced and working,” he says to me.

“Where are you going to set up the camera and tripod?” I want to know.

He starts to scout around again. He tells me he’s looking for the right look and the right shot. He decides to set up looking down the long hallway. He grabs a nearby chair and has me sit in it. He then lowers the tripod to where the camera is at eye level and then proceeds to play with the camera settings and move the tripod every few minutes.

I ask if I can see what he’s doing behind the camera. “Sure. Come over,” he says.

I ask him what he’s doing.

“I’m setting up the shot. I have to decide where the camera angles are. I need to know which lens to use. I need to decide how far away I want to be when I start shooting. I don’t want to be too close and be a floating talking head. Nor do I want to be too far away where my viewer can’t really see me,” Gerry says.

Join me in the next post when Gerry explains the all-important settings he uses just to set up the shot before even doing his first test shot of the day.

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I have been answering the same questions over and over for 18 years and I wanted the opportunity to get those answers into video and onto my website. When I did my research, I looked on the Web, I talked to other attorneys, there was one man who I thought could do the job and that was Gerry Oginski. If you’re considering improving your business, and want to use the tool of video, this is a great place to start.

Jack Carney-DeBord
Jack's Law Office