We are excited to open the curtains and give you a chance to get to know our Head of Production, Ben Muehleisen. Our full-service, in-house video production service can support clients from concepting and scripting to post-production and delivery. We use the latest technology and tools to produce video content from coast to coast.
Explain to us a situation where there was a crisis situation on set, and you had to pivot or problem-solve on a moment’s notice.
I was on a shoot in Omaha, Nebraska with a candidate. We needed a shot of him in a manufacturing facility, taking a tour and talking with the owner. Our original location had some kind of issue and had to back out that day. Left with a hole in our schedule and a shot we couldn’t get, we started making calls. We were able to find a location that was willing, available, and exactly what we needed. And it was on the way! We were able to get some great shots the client was very happy with.
Describe for us your typical day.
My days vary greatly. Most days I am in the office. I usually have several editing projects going on at any given time, so most of my day is spent in the editing process. I typically get 4-7 requests per week that are rather simple tasks (post a video online, share some footage, edit another version of a video) that I can add to my list with the longer term projects. This allows me to keep the ball rolling, but also give our clients timely service.
If it happens to be the day before a shoot, I also add camera and gear prep to my list. That includes making sure all the gear is in good working order and organized for the shoot, making sure all the batteries are charged and ready, and getting everything loaded up. I also print copies of the scripts, release forms, and any other necessary paperwork along with loading our teleprompter with the appropriate scripts. If it is a shoot day, it is a happy day! Those typically start early as I like to be the first person on location to meet my client and crew. We always have a game plan for the day, so once we make sure everyone is there and on the same page, we get to work making our content!
What is your favorite part of the video process?
It is really hard to pick just one part, but I think doing motion graphics and animation is my favorite. This tends to be towards the end of the video creation process and is really about adding some sparkle and shine to our products. There is so much freedom and creativity to add graphics and motion to the video, text, and logo of our client. I have a few tricks that I like to use in new ways, and I’m always learning new tools to add to my arsenal.
Describe your role on set for a shoot.
I wear lots of hats on a shoot. Most of the time I am the director and videographer, but both of those roles have me interacting directly with the client as well. I have also usually done some pre-production with the client and their staff to prepare for the shoot. On larger shoots, we will bring on a Director of Photography, who is in charge of how everything looks on camera. In that scenario, I am still directing the client and working with them to make great video with a larger focus on the content. Frequently we work with the client and consultants to tailor our script on set to say just what they need in the best way possible.
What project are you most proud of? And why?
Any projects that involve complicated shots are a lot of fun. We have done shoots on 4-wheelers with a drone, on moving boats with multiple cameras, and even making someone look good while having a conversation walking down the street by adding some simple motion or racking focus. We aim to capture life as it is in a visually interesting way, which presents a challenge that I love to meet. Here are a few samples:
- Diane Franklin – One. Tough. Grandma. – https://youtu.be/w45MjtH6E6o
- Scott Fitzpatrick – Big Fish – https://youtu.be/4pnO8Silkn0
A few projects that centered on industrial facilities that I am proud of and were a lot of fun to work on:
- Advanced Superabrasives – https://youtu.be/B-7mQi2nTm0
- Kem Krest – Onbarding – https://youtu.be/Ap7LDbBVi2E
What drives you?
Making a video that makes an impact by telling our client’s story. So, storytelling is a big part of that. The story has to be captivating and clear. Sometimes that means using as few words as possible to get your message out, but sometimes that means going really in depth to give people the entire picture. Knowing which parts to keep in a video, and which order to put them in really moves me to make great content. Of course, since video is my medium, it has to look good. It doesn’t really matter how well I can tell a story with words, if people are distracted by poor video, they won’t pay any attention to the message. Bundling all that together to achieve my client’s goals is my mission.
What trends are you seeing in video production? Where is video heading over the next 5 years?
I see a huge trend to shorter, quicker content. Everyone is waiting for that “skip ad” button, so I really want to capture someone’s attention right out of the gate. People are very willing to watch longer content, but with so much content readily available, it is vitally important to catch their attention quickly, but it is equally important to keep them interested throughout the video.