The Ambient Sound May Destroy His Video; Gerry’s St. Maarten Video Shoot-Part 4

St. Maarten, Phillipsburg

Johnny B. Goode, Special Reporter to the Lawyers Video Studio- Part 4

I can see Gerry’s concerned. The conference center is empty and there’s very little foot traffic in the hallway leading to and from where we are. It’s a very wide and large hallway with massive vaulted ceilings.

Listening to the ambient sound I get the sense this may not be the ideal place for Gerry to shoot his video.

“What will happen if you shoot here with the echo and people walking by?”

“The audio equipment will pick up that echo. It’s all a matter of how distracting it will be. We can always test it and play it back to get a sense of what we’re hearing,” Gerry answers. “But first, before we test, I want to see if this is visually appealing.”

“How do you know if it is or isn’t?” I ask.

In typical Gerry fashion he answers that with another question. He wants me to come to the conclusion on my own instead of feeding me an answer he can clearly give to me. A sharp way to get someone to self-realize an answer I soon learn.

“If you’re shooting video and the background is visually distracting, what does the viewer focus on? You or the background? If your background has no contrast, what will your viewer focus on. If you stand against a wall, what is interesting about that shot? If you have a special lens called a prime lens that allows you to get a shallow depth of field where you’re in perfect focus and your background is out of focus, why would you ever stand in front of a wall or object?”

I understood the first part of what he just said, but not the last part. I asked him to explain.

“Ok…when shooting video, move away from the wall. The wall is not your friend. It inhibits your viewer. It makes you look two-dimensional. The wall is flat and even on an angle it diminishes the three-dimensions you take up in space.”

“Ok…I get that. But what’s this thing with the prime lens?”

“Since I use a digital SLR to shoot my videos I have the ability to use different lenses to achieve different effects and looks. This isn’t a point and shoot camera. This isn’t a video camcorder with a single lens. I don’t use massive zoom lenses to shoot my video. It’s not the right lens for the type of educational video I create for my consumers and new potential clients.

However, when I take photos of my kids at the beach, I will often use my long zoom lens to take great action shots of them at a distance.

When shooting video, I like to be different and do things that other lawyers and other video companies simply don’t do.

When using a prime lens, that is a fixed focal length, like a 50mm lens. It’s doesn’t zoom in or out. Or maybe I’ll use an 85mm fixed lens. It’ depends on where I’m shooting and the location. Do I have enough space? Is there enough of an interesting background? Is it colorful?”

Join me next as I learn how Gerry sets up his equipment.

Tweet about this on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


I looked up what kind of production companies are out there producing the kind of videos that I was interested in. And really, I was dissatisfied with the vast majority of the videos that were out there. They were not what I was looking for – except for Gerry Oginski. We were looking for someone who understood our needs and yet had the expertise to be able to pull all of the necessary components of producing a video and getting it uploaded. Gerry was the one who stood completely head and shoulders above anybody else’s out there.

Jeff Helsdon
Oldfield & Helsdon, PLLC