I am associated with a martial arts school that is interested in producing instructional videos. We have previously produced videos of varying quality. I have sort of taken a leadership role in getting these produced, not because I have any expertise (either in martial arts or video making) but because someone needed to plant his size 12s up some backsides to get this much needed project rolling. So I am appealing to you from a position of abject ignorance.
We have 3 different projects planned. The first, with a deadline of the end of this summer, will be to produce a series of 3 tapes, each about 60 min long. Our plan for this series is to produce the best product we can in house. Thereafter, we intend to produce a series of 3 tapes on a different subject, using professional production values. Then, we will produce in-house videos on a somewhat regular schedule, supporting these 2 series.
So I have all kinds of questions about what we can do to improve the quality of our product.
What can we do ourselves, and what do we need professionals for? We have far greater access to manpower and time, than we do to $.
What are reasonable rates for camera operators or editors?
How long should I expect it to take to film 3 1-hour tapes?
What factors and costs need I consider concerning the actual production and duplication of tapes?
What kind of equipment do we need? We have access to at least 2 Sony super 8 cameras, a tripod, and at least some editing equipment. With adequate preparation and organization, could we film an acceptable product ourselves? Realize that martial arts instructional films run the gamut, from very high quality to crap. And the quality of content is not necessarily indicative of production values. One thing we DO have control of, is the subject matter, which we are very confident of. Do we need special lighting? Microphone? Digital camera and computer editing? It is possible some of our students have such equipment or have access to it. But I need to know what questions to ask first.
How many people (other than performers) should we have on hand during the actual taping? To perform what specific functions?
Can we film in certain ways to minimize the amount of editing needed? How good of a product could we make with a single tripod mounted camera? One tripod and one roaming? Other configurations?
Can you direct me to any resources, or give me any tips, to enhance the quality of our amateur filming? Can you point me towards any books, websites, etc.? I hoped we could identify a cameraman soon, and have him work on his technique over the next few months. Is it unreasonable for me to think that if the content is organized and rehearsed, a decent product can be made with minimal editing?
Are we foolish to be trying to do this in-house? Should we just spend a certain amount for professional filming?
Basically, as should be apparent by now, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. I don’t even know what questions to ask. But I really want to help my instructor and academy out. I would really appreciate any assistance you could provide.