The technical specifications were very exacting. Houzz requested the A camera shoot 4K to allow their in-house editors to re-frame in post. We chose a Canon C300 MK II. Since only 1080p was required for the B camera, we used a Canon C100 recording Apple ProRes. The background was to be 100% white to match the look Houzz has chosen for all their interviews with “Houzz Pros” around the world.
To add a little more production value, while still keeping costs low, we employed a green screen technique that would allow us to film the presentation in our studio, and then make it appear that the VP was speaking in an actual corporate office setting. Pretty simple stuff actually, but that extra bit of green screen compositing added a lot of perceived production value for very little additional cost.
We filmed using our Canon Cinema EOS C100 recording to an external Blackmagic Video Assist recorder. The resulting ProRes 422 video keyed perfectly. This is one of our favorite camera solutions for great looking video on a limited budget.
On-camera talent portions were filmed on green-screen with store backgrounds added in post. When combined with in-store footage and graphics, the resulting video provided RainSoft with a highly effective, yet economical training solution.
On the first day, they toured Chicago neighborhoods on the verge of gentrification. We got some great footage of them cautiously poking their way through dilapidated buildings destined to soon be rehabbed into $300,000 condominium units.
Days two and three were devoted to speaker presentations at the J.W. Marriott. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/chijw-jw-marriott-chicago/
Normally for us this would have been a “no brainer”. Put a camera in the back of the room and try to stay awake for two days. But this one turned out to be a little more of a challenge.
Because the attendance was much larger than expected, the sessions were moved from a well-lit, video-friendly meeting room to a huge 6,000 square foot ballroom illuminated only by dim chandeliers hung from the 20 ft. high ceiling. There was no time or budget to bring in a lighting grid. We had to find a way to make it work.
Canon claims their C100 cinema cameras will make a perfectly acceptable picture at ISO 8000. http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/cinema_eos_cameras/eos_c100#Features
Actually they claim even more, but ISO 8000 would be enough to allow us to pull this off, and worked!!
The footage, shot from the back of the ballroom with a Canon 100-400 L zoom looked amazing. We were able to keep our promise of “providing solutions”, not just crew and gear.