QAD’s Alex Kemp on working with Bill Rolland

February 1, 2017

I sat down with Alex Kemp, Senior Manager at Santa Barbara-based QAD, and asked him about the experience of working with me on domestic and international locations. Total duration of the video is about a minute, so check it out. Also, kudos to QAD’s Director of Photography Jim Bob Barnett for the exceptional video and audio capture.

Shooting in green-screen

November 17, 2016
I was on a job last week where we were tasked with setting up a green-screen configuration to capture multiple “Video Data Sheet” – incidentally, a great way to generate lots of video assets at a low per-unit cost.
What I want you to see is how much space is required for the set up, and how much gear is involved – be sure to allow plenty of time for setup and take-down (this needed three hours to set up, two to “strike” and load out).
Shooting in green-screen is not hugely complex or difficult, but it does have to be done precisely right – if not, plan on hour after hour of extra editing trying to fix a poor quality chroma key (the “key” is the critical zone where the speaker is composited onto the background). And, in the end, likely failing anyway.
But done carefully, the result can be an almost seamless composite of speaker and background. Here’s a sample of the final product where the “key” is so clean and crisp the individual hairs on the top of the speaker’s head stand out:

Consider Video When Planning Your Live Event

September 6, 2016

Just returned from the Bay Area where I captured a live “Town Hall” presentation by a client’s top management.

The meeting took place in a huge, concrete-floored building with a giant white screen at the front, and minimal artificial lighting – probably the worst conditions imaginable for videotaping speakers. Fortunately, the client had the foresight to request that I bring a battery of powerful lights with me, which helped enormously.

What should that mean to you?

If you have a live presentation coming up soon that includes videotaping the speakers (a great idea, as there may be many times the number of viewers who watch online than are present in person), plan for the lighting requirements of video. Regardless of the size or configuration of the room, you should have a couple of lamps, more or less balanced to the lighting already in the room (artificial or daylight), each placed at about a 45 degree angle to the speaker. At the very least, your speaker should be brighter than the background.

town-hall-p66PROTIP: lots of speakers pace as they speak, so make sure your lights are placed where he or she will always be in the spotlight.

Greg Smith on the “Swiss Army Knife”

August 18, 2016

Senior Marketing Manager Greg Smith describes how he depends on Bill Rolland to deliver quality video regardless of the venue: live events, on-location customer testimonials, demos, and more. This flexibility is a key attribute that more videographers – and marketing professionals – must continue to develop to address companies’ needs for speed, quality, and extreme adaptability. (video 0:47)

DoT and FAA has issued relaxed rules for commercial drone

June 28, 2016

Really excited to read last week that the DoT and FAA has issued relaxed rules for commercial drone use ( By no means have all the problems – and potential problems – been sorted out. But greater clarity helps those of us who use drones get closer to solving those issues. Some top provisions:

• Operator must be 16 years and older with a remote pilot certificate (with a small UAS rating, testing available at an FAA Knowledge Testing Center – we have one right here in Auburn, CA)

• Operate no higher than 400 feet

• Daylight hours only, must always be in sight of the operator

Something interesting for privacy advocates: flights are prohibited over unprotected persons who are not a part of your drone activities – to a large degree, operators will still have to use equal parts common sense and human decency 😉

Mark R. Hughes, VP of Business Development and Strategic Initiatives at VERSA Engineering and Technology, on working with Bill Rolland

June 8, 2016

Mark R. Hughes, VP of Business Development and Strategic Initiatives at VERSA Engineering and Technology, on working with Bill Rolland to create impactful imagery.

Choosing a Location For Your Video Interview

May 31, 2016

If you watch no other video this year, this is the one to watch. Plus you need to get out more. (Duration 2:56)

Paul Koblik, principal at SL\CE Editorial, on working with Bill Rolland

May 24, 2016

Paul Koblik, principal at SL\CE Editorial, recalls sharing the creative process with Bill Rolland

Meet “Adam Sandbag”

May 16, 2016

The boringest video you’ll ever see about the boringest topic ever delivered by the boringest host imaginable. OTOH, it’s short!

Petra Neiger, Red Pantz Founder, on working with Bill Rolland

May 10, 2016

Petra Neiger, founder of Red Pantz, talks about the experience of working with Bill Rolland

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