[Noisebridge-discuss] Videographer help!

Anders Nelson anders.k.nelson at gmail.com
Wed Aug 21 22:03:17 UTC 2013

Hey everyone,

Remember way back in April when I asked for videographer help? I got like
20 awesome responses and I promised to share my experience once it was
done. One good turn deserves another;

I contacted a few videographers directly by phone and/or in-person, and
most had long experience in the field. I looked at demo reels and most were
of very high quality. One consistent thing I found is most demo reels
involving products, startup videos, etc. were very corporate-feeling. I
liken them to welcome videos for new employees. The lighting, clarity and
sound was top-notch but there was little emotion. The project estimates I
got across my research ranged from $400 to $2500 and most were in the $1500

I looked at SmartShoot (www.smartshoot.com), but didn't move forward
through that service. I wanted to use it as a protective mechanism in case
I got shafted somehow - they have insurance and there is a path for
recourse. But they require you to pay the bid up-front and as videography
goes, time spent and the resultant cost can vary wildly.

The videographer I ultimately chose was Harry Yuan (
http://about.me/harryhyuan), co-author to the Organic Hobo series of videos
(http://organichobo.com/). He is based in San Francisco but has done work
around the world, also doing work for small companies like mine (1 person)
and enormous companies like Whole Foods. His work caught my eye in the
human-centric energy it delivered. All of his work was vibrant and
interesting, and this being a very subjective kind of thing was what I was
looking for. The image quality, color rendition, perspective and
depth-of-field work was excellent, and helped make a moving story out of
engineering-heavy content. His bid was at the high end of the spectrum and
I feel the value was worth it.

Another huge benefit I got working with Harry was significant help in
editing the voiceover script. My script was about twice as long as what we
pared it down to. The big idea with voiceovers is that the video content is
telling most of the story, so any additional information that is not
absolutely necessary or obvious will weigh down the viewer. Record yourself
saying stuff and time it. With Kickstarter videos being in the 120 - 180
second range you really don't have much time to speak what seems like a few
paragraphs anyway.

Harry enlisted the services of Blake Brown for production assistance. Blake
added heavily to my understanding of the subjective parts of the video
making process and the two of them were fantastic to work with, even when
we had to do another shoot because I forgot an important scene. And when my
software kept crashing. And when my batteries died. =P To my knowledge
Blake also has significant videography/photography experience so I
recommend him as well.

If you're a videographer yourself, I would highly recommend doing a lively
Kickstarter-style video for your demo reel. Even if it's for a fake product
concept that's what sold me when choosing a service provider. It just feels

Hope this helps someone!

Anders Nelson

+1 (517) 775-6129


On Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:57 AM, Anders Nelson
<anders.k.nelson at gmail.com>wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I'm looking for a videographer with a penchant for high production-value
> and artistic direction, to create a 60-second Kickstarter video. Here's
> what we have already: vimeo.com/erogear/promo. It's a good video but it's
> far too long for the Kickstarter audience. Also I had to write/direct it
> which is terrifically un-ideal. In the right videographer's hands I think
> we really can reach our goal.
> Have you worked with anyone who does this, or are you a videographer
> yourself? I'd love to get in touch with any leads you can suggest. In the
> spirit of full disclosure, development of this technology has been insanely
> expensive (and 100% bootstrapped) so I don't have much money left. Any
> barter content in a contract would be welcome.
> Any nuggets of wisdom are appreciated!
> --
> Anders Nelson
> +1 (517) 775-6129
> www.erogear.com
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