Featured Crew: Video Dimensions Inc.

Our crews are in a class of their own. To become our crews at all, they go through a strict vetting process. Once they’re a part of our online database of international crews and post production teams, clients can be assured they’re dealing with true professionals. And according to our clients, they’re also just plain delightful to work with. We interviewed Kelly O’Neill, production manager for one of our true standoutsVideo Dimensionsto learn more about this month’s featured crew.  

Just like our clients, we love working with Video Dimensions. Having a dedicated staff member available for clients means Video Dimensions is able to provide a high level of service from the initial contact through the shoot itself. O’Neill is always on the ball and able to respond to client needs almost immediately—a huge plus in the fast-paced video world.


Crew Connection: What’s your company’s story?

Kelly O’Neill: After being a stringer for news and working in a few other avenues, Steve Liebowitz started Video Dimensions in 2005.  When I started in 2008, we shared an office and had all the equipment in one room. We’ve grown steadily since then and now have two studios, plus a room for gear, a makeup room, and more. And everyone has their own offices!

E! News has been our biggest client since the company’s early days—we cover their movie premieres and celebrity interviews. They’re still our bread and butter, but now we also shoot a lot of corporate interviews, multi-camera shoots, live events and more.


CC: What sets you apart among the competitive New York set?

KO: We have the biggest staff. In addition to having a dedicated staff member for client needs, we also have two people dedicated to taking care of gear, a full-time editor, and three vehicles available to send out crews. This sets us apart from owner-operated situations. Our infrastructure and staff allow us to get things done quickly and smoothly.


CC: What are some interesting shoots you’ve done recently?

KO: We recently did a very complicated Facebook Live shoot with Pampers. It was a live, 4-hour webcast moving between both studios with the singer Ne-Yo and other prominent bloggers. It required a massive coordinated effort and just speaks to our level of organization.

We also got to visit the granddaughter of the artist who created Wonder Woman. We got to tour her house, which is now a Wonder Woman museum. It was just so unique and exciting.

CC: What gear do you use most often?

KO: It’s really important for us to upgrade our lighting, audio mixers, and other gear often. We just added a third Sony FS7 because that camera is going out so much. We also have some new Prime Lenses, a C300 Mark 2s, and a Panasonic VariCam 35 (which is the kind of camera Orange is the New Black is shot on). Basically, we’re always upgrading to new equipment.

We use our one-by-one bi-color LED lights a lot because they make setting up for interviews simpler, especially when we’re on a short timeline or don’t have a lot of space.  


The bottom line

O’Neill says Video Dimensions is a “soup-to-nuts company.” They have producers, editors, writers, videographers…everything…and can put a whole production together within reasonable budgets.


About Video Dimensions, Midtown West:

Video Dimensions Inc. is a full service production and post-production company. Boasting the ability to shoot on location or in our studios, VDI can equip your single or multi-camera productions with either union or non-union crews. We can see your project through from start to finish with producers, makeup artists, grips, gaffers, teleprompting and editing in addition to our first-rate video and audio crews.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a world of video and post production service providers at your fingertips. In just a few clicks you can search, chat with, and book vetted crews local to your shoot—all on your own schedule. Rely on Crew Connection’s team of media experts to organize the crews and gear you need for multi-day and multi-location video projects anywhere in the world. Our professional crew coordinators are on call around the clock if you ever need live assistance. Sign up on CrewConnection.com, call us at 303-526-4900, or shoot us an email at info@crewconnection.com.


How to make it in the entertainment capitol of the world

What better place to go for advice on how to build a successful production house than where competition is stiffest? Mike Levy started Levy Production Group in 1987 and succeeded where many others failed—Las Vegas. We figure if you can make it in the entertainment capitol of the world, you can probably make it anywhere. Here are our top four takeaways from Mike on building a successful studio:


1. Get experience

The best thing young, aspiring editors, camera people, and future business owners can do is get experience. If you want to become the go-to person in your field, take online courses, college courses, and even unpaid gigs as opportunities to learn the ins and outs of video production. Learn the industry overall, not just your position. Understanding everything from production through post makes you a well-rounded teammate or team lead. Not all jobs offer glamour, but all jobs offer experience.  


2. Be nice

Being talented isn’t enough. Don’t just learn to be good at what you do, but also at how you do it. This is not your typical desk job. Our industry is famous for long hours, late nights, and many consecutive days on set. Tough conditions can bring out the worst in people. Those who can communicate clearly, listen well, and stay level-headed are invaluable. You’ll be remembered as much for the way you conduct yourself as for the work you produce.

Be humble. Look to learn from people rather than to be right.


3. A warehouse is just a warehouse

You can’t just call a large, open building a studio. Having enough room to shoot properly is just the beginning. If you really want to do it right, you have to be ready to invest in heating and cooling, overhead and floor lighting, and soundproofing, for starters. If clients have to redo a take because they hear an ambulance in the background, they’ll be taking their business elsewhere next time. You also need creature comforts so you can accommodate not just the shoots, but the people, too. Clients want to go to a facility that feels good—with nice dressing rooms, kitchen areas, restrooms, etc. Fresh-baked cookies (a Levy Production Group signature), goodie baskets, meals, snacks, candies, sodas, and gourmet coffees and teas go a long way toward making people comfortable and earning repeat business.


4) Find your niche and do it well

It seems simple, but most of the important things are. When you have the best resources and do the best work, you’ll get return clients. Word of mouth and reputation are irreplaceable.

After starting as an ad agency and outsourcing to local TV stations, Mike Levy decided to invest in a small stage to facilitate smaller projects like ChromaKey insert shoots and single-car shoots. Realizing that they were good at something and that they could get paid for, Levy Production Group bought their first camera and editing package and have grown along with Vegas ever since. In their current 14,000 square-foot facility, they do everything from everyday interviews to shoots with big-name celebrities, athletes, and musicians.

Building any business can feel like a gamble, but with these key practices it’s a sure bet.

About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

This article was originally posted to productionhub.com. Read the original article here.