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Video-Conferencing Video Shoots

By Pat Brothwell - May 13, 2020

Our Career Central “day in the life” videos are the backbone of VirtualJobShadow.com. Our video production crew has historically done whatever it takes to get the shots that will both accurately represent a day in the life of whatever professional they’re shadowing to get you, our customers, excited about the world of work. They’ve snowshoed to reach a State Forester in the Rockies, froze themselves while filming at a trout farm in the dead of winter, and crossed the border into Ensenada to film a surfboard manufacturer whose byproduct might someday save our oceans. In the past year they’ve traveled to Virginia, Minnesota, Georgia, California, and flew across the Pacific Northwest wilderness on a Washington State Patrol airplane.

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Like everyone else, we had to abruptly shift gears mid-March when the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic became apparent and social distancing became the norm. The shoots we had planned have been put on hold, and we’ve also had to start adapting to working primarily in the virtual realm. What we realized though, was that now that they we're also doing more educating online, our customers needed new content now more than ever. Our video team knew they didn’t want to compromise on quality—high quality, engaging videos are our hallmark, but that they wanted to tackle issues that reflect our current climate. Needless to say, there was a lot of brainstorming to see what we could do to get content in a safe, socially-responsible way. 

It was our CEO Kim’s idea (Editor’s note: there’s a reason she’s steering the ship) to create a video utilizing video conferencing since that’s the way many Americans are working these days. It was producer Jason Perry's synchronicity of hard work, creativity, and talent that helped this become a reality. 

Jason reached out to Austin Page, a personal trainer we’d already profiled in Career Central. Since it’s almost impossible in this climate to shadow someone throughout the day, he thought it best to focus on expanding our Life Skills Videos library. The Life Skills Videos are a new initiative here at VirtualJobShadow.com. They're short advice videos covering an array of topics that will help students and job seekers prepare for the world of work. Topics are wide-ranging and include categories such as Financial Literacy and Social Emotional Learning.  “The Importance of Empathy,” “How to Manage Your Time When Working from Home,” and "A Positive Attitude Helps You Manage Stress" are just a few of the titles. Jason contacted Austin to do a series of videos tackling health and well-being during quarantine. They discussed working out without equipment, easy healthy meals to keep you strong, and committing to a healthy lifestyle. 

Since Austin is a video podcaster, and comfortable talking to a virtual audience, he had the right attitude and equipment to test our virtual recording.  The first step of the process required a video conference call with Jason and Austin. As he’d do with a traditional video shoot, Jason discussed his vision and goals with Austin. They covered staging the shoot and sent test shots back and forth to capture the right background. Jason adheres to the rule of thirds, so wanted Austin slightly left of his center and a strategic eyeline. Typically, video subjects are positioned to look just off camera at a producer during an interview, but in this case, Austin would be talking to an empty room. They discussed precisely where to look so that his eyeline went directly across the frame. 

The two men conducted a couple of practice rounds. While Jason coached Austin via video conference call, Austin also recorded himself via his phone. He’d then text video clips to Jason so that he could view the shots, and together, make any needed adjustments. It took some patience and multiple takes before they were ready to roll.

Jason coached Austin via video conferencing, asking questions to get the responses we need to create an engaging video. Austin recorded his video using his smart phone, while simultaneously capturing microphone audio separately. Austin sent Jason the audio and video files, who married them in preparation to edit normally for a high-quality end result.  

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Whether you’re a student, gainfully employed, or job hunting, it’s imperative to stay flexible. The way we’ve been doing things isn’t the way things are working today, and there’s a likelihood that things won’t go exactly back to how they were after we've weathered this storm.  We know it sounds like we’re just tooting our own horns here, but it’s really more of being proud of the ingenuity of our own team members during challenging times. 

We’ll be checking back with Jason soon. He’s promised to give you a few tips for creating professional looking and sounding video conferencing. 

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