Utilizing One of the Most Cinematic Tools In Film and Video Production

Of all the tools used in filmmaking to give a production a cinematic look there is one that stands head and shoulders above all the others, literally. That cinematic tool is the camera crane. When you think of epic sweeping motion, or rising reveals there is nothing that comes close to that majestic look, or the amazing floating feeling of the crane shot. There is a reason this tool is used so often in filmmaking – it creates emotion. Which is why you see this technique used over and over in hit movie after hit movie.

But you do not need to be making a feature film to utilize this great tool. At CinematixHD we’ve been using the camera crane to make our clients’ videos more cinematic for years. The sweeping and graceful motion of the crane shot instantly raises the production quality of your video.

You might think that crane shots are limited to real estate, but that’s not the case. Nor are crane shots utilized just for outdoors. Crane shots work well for all types of productions. As these examples will illustrate.

With the increased popularity of the drone, many people will tell you that the camera crane is no longer needed. But that too is not the case. The camera crane can be controlled more precisely than a drone. There is no noise, so you can record audio when using a crane. A crane won’t spook animals and people like a drone will with its loud buzz. Cranes don’t crash, and cranes don’t make people cringe fearing they are going to get hit. Also, flying a drone over people is dangerous and is actually against the law.

Unlike a drone, a crane shot can be repeated exactly the same over and over with ease. It can be used indoors or out. It won’t run out of batteries. And the biggest advantage to a camera crane is that you can film with high quality cameras like the Red Epic, the Arri Alexa and other cinema cameras. Drones typically use lower quality cameras.

The drone has its uses, and we utilize one ourselves. But for the epic look of the crane shot, you still need a camera crane and a skilled and experienced crew to operate it.

If you’d like to take your production to the next level with the look that only a camera crane can deliver, give Cinematix HD a call.

(770) 938-7077

Can You Help Your Clients Make the Move Into Video?

Your Advertising clients want to make the move into video. Cinematix HD can help you serve your clients by partnering with you to create professional video content.

In Their Own Words

A short collection of testimonials from several clients talking about why they recommend Cinematographer and HD Pro Jim Ross of CinematixHD.

Your Prospects Want to Watch Videos About Your Products, Not Read About Them

Here is an amazing statistic for you: according to Google nearly 2/3rds of Internet surfers search for product and service videos online. Imagine! Nearly two out of three people are looking for videos about what they want to buy before they make a purchase. For Millennials that number is even higher.

As I stated in a previous video blog “Why You Absolutely Must Be On Youtube” – Google found that 80% of users would rather watch a video about a product or service than read about it. People don’t want to read. They want to watch.

So let me ask you something: Can your prospects find informative and professional video about your products and services online? If two out of three people are searching for what you offer, are they going to find you?

Prospects want to see your product in action, not just photos. A video shows so much more than a static image, and this is why people prefer video over static web pages. So there has never been such a demand for you to deliver information to your prospects via video as there is today. This DEMAND for video – and it is a demand, not a request – is going to increase.

So what makes a good product video?

  • Demonstrate the product in action. Show it “doing” what it does, with someone that the viewer can identify with. Having the viewer easily see themselves doing the same thing goes a long way toward a buying decision.
  • Show its simplicity and ease of use, its durability, efficiency, attractiveness, utility, etc. As many sales professionals state- “sell the benefits, not the product”.
  • The video must be entertaining. Nobody is going to watch your product demonstration if they have to suffer through it because it is boring. Or the presenter is boring. It doesn’t need to be a step by step clinical demonstration, although in some instances that may be perfect. Often it can just show the product in action. So make sure the visuals are sharp and engaging. Which leads us to our next point –
  • Make sure the video is professional. Your product video needs to reflect the same professionalism as your product and your company. An amateur video makes you look amateur. It needs to be filmed professionally with quality cameras and audio equipment. It needs to look (and sound) polished and not like you did it yourself (i.e. shot with your iPhone). It should be edited professionally and in every way be an excellent reflection of your product and your company. Anything else is a negative reflection on you.

An experienced ad agency or video production company (like CinematixHD!) can work with you and your team to develop product and service videos that will engage, educate and entertain your prospects leading them to choose your products and services. And given the current state of the Internet this is not only a desirable undertaking, but a necessary one to remain competitive in an ever growing media centric world.

Jim Ross, Cinematographer and Producer

(770) 938-7077

Marketing Golf Clubs No Longer Taboo – It’s About Survival

It’s not breaking news that Golf as an industry has been struggling with declining memberships, course closures, aging players leaving the game and younger generations passing on the game all together. Many clubs are struggling to maintain their membership base, and the majority of clubs are facing some serious challenges.

For many clubs, marketing a golf course is considered taboo. Marketing activities indicate it is in trouble, and is frowned upon. Or there is that mindset by older board members that it’s “just not the way things are done!” because for many decades this has been the norm.

However, faced with financial realities, clubs need to take steps to build their member base, or else. Times have changed, and clubs need to change with the times. It’s become a matter of survival. Market, or close up.

Some clubs have found a way to reach the younger generation of golfers and boost their membership. How? By creating engaging online video about the club and the events that go on at that establishment. A video that piques their interest, and fills them with a desire to visit, take a tour, and ultimately join.

It is the Internet age, and on the Internet now, video rules. Study after study shows that people prefer video. And not just kids. Forbes discovered that even executives in the c-suite prefer video. People prefer video so much that google reports that a video on a home page boosts retention 400%, and keeps people on your website 800% longer. Video increases conversion by 35% meaning that 35% more people are more likely to call you to set up an appointment to tour the club.

Why? Because people simply prefer video. The moving image (as in video or film), engages people more emotionally than text or pictures. This explains our love of films and television. And if you are in sales, I’m sure you remember from sales 101 that “People don’t buy for logical reasons, they buy for emotional reasons.” And video, done right, gets those emotions going so they are more likely to take action. Put simply, if a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a 3 minute engaging and professionally produced video worth?

Statistics aside, just consider it on a gut level – compare a static web page with pictures, to a professional video of the same subject. This is especially true with such experience based offerings like a country club – which do you think is more engaging and more likely to get someone to take a club tour? A few pictures? Or a wonderfully cinematic video showing the experience, and putting the viewer into the experience?

And video supports all other marketing- website, print, social media, direct mail.

So what’s it going to be? Stick to the old ways? Or embrace the new and create a marketing video that will illustrate the joys and benefits of club membership that will have people coming by for a tour?

Jim Ross, Cinematographer and Producer at CinematixHD


Been to McDonald’s lately? No, of course you haven’t. But let’s say you have . . . heh heh. You would have noticed that the menu boards are gone. In their place are giant flat screen TVs with ever changing menu options, enticing photos and . . . VIDEO!

Video with sizzling burgers, cracking eggs, frothy smoothies and french fries sparkling with salt waiting for a dip into some ketchup. Because those marketing people at McDonald’s KNOW that video engages the viewer. Even when they already have you in the store, they know that watching those images are enticing and making you think “SUPERSIZE ME!”

And Mickey D’s isn’t the only one. Most of the big food boxes are doing this now. So take a lesson from these people who spend an amount equal to the GDP of small nations on advertising – video works. Maybe you don’t need or want giant screens in your restaurant. Perhaps you don’t HAVE a restaurant and you are strictly in retail, grocery stores, or online selling. Still, if you are not using video for your website, for your Facebook page, and all your social media, you are not reaching your prospects in the medium in which they want to be reached.

Google reports that 80% of people online would rather watch a video about your product or service than read about it. Facebook says videos get a gazillion more views and shares than a photo. Or was it half a gazillion? I don’t remember. But I digress.

And besides, which do YOU think is more enticing – a photo? Or a video of a steaming plate of fresh food, or cold mist running down a frosty glass? You get the idea!

But don’t simply jump up and grab your iPhone and start recording. You need video done RIGHT. And just as in anything that is instrumental to your business like sales, accounting, IT, and management – video done right takes skill, talent, equipment, and experience. So look for someone who has done this kind of work before. Check out their work. Talk to them about what you can do to put your food and beverage offering out in the public eye that will have people lining up.

In the Internet Age video is King. Make certain you are not overlooking this fantastic and necessary medium for reaching your prospects.

Jim Ross, Cinematographer

ABOUT US: CinematixHD has a reputation for filming action and adrenaline. But we also specialize in filming things cinematically. Let CinematixHD present your food and beverage products and services in a professional video that will have your prospects’ mouths watering. Jim Ross (770) 938-7077 www.CinematixHD.com

EC3 – Electric Camera Crane Car

Click the image to watch: EC3 Electric Camera Crane Car

We’d like to introduce you to our latest piece of video and filmmaking equipment – the EC3 – Electric Camera Crane Car. A camera platform designed specifically for filming action scenes such as sports and action sequences.

The EC3 was designed to be adaptable to the filming conditions needed. With multiple mounts for speed rail it can be configured for many purposes. The EC3 can travel 15 mph and carry over 1,500 pounds. It has golf cart tires so it will not harm grass or artificial turf, and works well on sand and gravel. When utilized with our other accessories such as our camera crane, and Ronin camera stabilizer, and high speed cameras such as the Red Epic Weapon, and the Panasonic DVX200, it makes possible amazingly smooth shots even on rough surfaces.

In order to showcase the EC3’s capabilities we filmed an action packed marketing video to demonstrate its value on set. Immediately after you will see the behind the scenes footage of how we created the shots. 

Thank you for watching this introduction to the EC3. We will continue to modify and adapt this vehicle as we find new and creative ways to utilize it for film and video acquisition. For more information about working with CinematixHD and the EC3 please contact Jim Ross.

Do You REALLY Need a Make-up Artist on Your Video Production?

Click to watch “Why You Should Always Use a Make-up Artist & Stylist for Your Production” 


Hi I’m Jim Ross Cinematographer at CinematixHD with another episode of Hdpros.. There is an important person that will greatly improve the quality of a video production, however this person is often overlooked when creating a video for business. That person is a talented make up artist, like my friend Marnie here. Thank you. So in today’s episode I’m going to talk to you about why you should always consider using a make-up artist in your video production.

Many people equate using a make-artist and stylist as something you only use for film, or TV shows. That’s a mistake. Because anytime you are filming someone in front of the camera, it’s best if they look their best. And make up is not just for the women. Now, you may not think you need make-up, especially guys, but when you put someone under some bright lights for a testimonial, or for studio work like here on the sound stage, people are shiny and every imperfection shows. For example, here is how I look under these lights prior to sitting in Marnie’s make-up chair.

As a client having a video made for your company, the last thing you want is to see yourself after filming and think that you don’t look your best. As a production professional, the last thing you want is your client telling you that they think they look awful on camera.

A talented and experienced make-up artist (note I said talented and experienced) will know how to make people look their best, and do it without looking like they are wearing make-up at all. A very important consideration, because few men want to look like they are wearing makeup in a video.

Another benefit to having a makeup artist, is that it instills confidence in your speakers. This is especially important if they are not professional actors. In the majority of my work, I am filming people who are either clients of the company we are filming for, or they are members of that company’s team. Injecting a big dose of confidence in that person because they look in the mirror and see they look fantastic, goes a long way towards getting a better performance out of these non-actors.

Now a talented and experienced make-up artist is an expense, and many times people want to shrug it off to save money. But if you are investing significant money into your video production to raise sales and revenues, trying to trim back on this important asset is foolish. To me it’s like not wanting to wash and wax your car before you try and sell it. I mean, you want it to look its best to impress. Do the same for yourself and the people in your video production.

That’s it for today’s episode. I’m Jim Ross, HD Pro with CinematixHD. Thanks for watching.

How much does video production cost?

Click to watch “How Much Does a Video Cost” 

[Text Transcript]

Hello, I’m Jim Ross with CinematixHD. If you are looking into getting into online video, you are certainly curious as to what this endeavor is going to set you back. So today on HDPros I’m going to answer a question I hear a lot “How much does a video cost?”

“How much does a video cost?” is an open ended question. Kind of like “How much does a house cost?” Well, what kind of house? A split level ranch? A condo in midtown? A mansion with two pools and a fountain? See where I’m going here?

Video production is the same. Take feature films. Most are about two hours long. But one can cost a couple million, or, like the movie Avatar, one can cost several hundred million. Why is one film 100 times more expensive? It is all about what it took to create that two or so hours of film.

There are many things that affect the budget for your video project. However, THE most important factors that will determine cost are the time it will take and the resources needed. Another way to put it, is how complex will it be to create your vision?

What makes things complex? Things like shooting on multiple locations. Or using complex equipment like film dollies, a crane, Steadicam, or even a helicopter. Post production can be complex if your video is heavy with special effects, 3D models, or animation.

Complex setups most often include things you don’t see on camera, just like in Hollywood movies. But all this effort, lighting and camera equipment will make the images in your video more like a movie, or as we say “cinematic”. This increase the emotional impact your video has on the viewer. Also just like in Hollywood movies.

Before you dismiss making your video cinematic to lower your cost, keep in mind that we utilize these Hollywood techniques to make you video more engaging to the viewer. Engaged viewers write checks. Bored viewers click the back button and go to watch a video that gets them engaged and wanting to buy.

Given the unknowns of your project, unless you are dealing with a production company that has a cookie cutter approach and films all of their projects the same, most professional companies, like mine, don’t know what your video will cost until they sit down with you and discuss your needs. Much like an architect would do if you were designing a house. Then after helping you figure out what you require they will be able to determine what it will cost based upon the time to film and edit, and also the resources that will be required to film and edit.

Another factor to keep in mind is who you hire. A fellow with a camera and a tripod working out of his Prius is going to cost significantly less than a professional company with cinematic equipment. But the final product will look nothing alike. For the most part you do get what you pay for in this business.

So I’m sorry if you thought if you thought I was going to be able to give you the Holy Grail answer to how much a video will cost, because the answer is: It depends. So call me, or another video professional and discuss your needs. If you don’t know how to choose one, we have a video for that too! Thanks for watching, for HDPros.net, I’m Jim Ross.

Cinematix is Now a 4K Production House


This May Cinematix moved fully into the 4K video production field. We currently are filming projects with two cameras capable of filming in 4K resolution, also known as Ultra High Definition. By teaming up a Panasonic DVX200 and the Red Epic “Weapon” we are fully equipped to handle your production needs.

The DVX200 is our choice for run-n-gun action. Panasonic has one of the best Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) systems on the market allowing us to capture sports and action on the run while still garnering smooth shots. This is our fourth Panasonic camera, our first was the HVX200 which revolutionized the industry when released several years ago. It’s little brother the HPX170 was added to our arsenal shortly after. We moved to an AF100 and it’s interchangeable lenses in 2014, and now with the release of the DVX200 we’ve moved into 4K acquisition. The DVX200 also will shoot in 60p allowing us to capture 2.5 times slow motion, which is awesome for sports and action filming.

For the most demanding of shoots we call on the Red Epic Weapon. This is the camera that you will find on the set of major motion pictures. This camera is actually capable of filming in 6K! One of the greatest benefits of the Red Epic Dragon is its ability to shoot high frame rates. This camera will shoot 120 frames per second, allowing you to slow down the action for cinema-like action shots at 1/5th the speed of regular video.

So why shoot in 4K? Most people don’t have 4K televisions, so why bother? I’ll tell you. Back in 2008 I made the move into HD acquisition with the HVX200. Most people I knew in video production rolled their eyes saying I was wasting my money since most people could not watch content in HD. But if you recall, the switch to HD came fast and furious. Pretty soon Youtube was delivering in HD and those same naysayers were wishing they had made the move when I did. Since I had shot in HD I was able to re-release my clients content in HD. Their projects were “future proofed” by my deciding to shoot in HD ahead of its time.

4K will come sooner than you think. Most TV manufacturers have announced they are no longer going to make 1080 TVs. Many have already re-tooled their plants. Any TVs you buy now are past inventory. This Christmas 2016 will probably be the last time you will be able to buy them. So you will have no choice but to buy 4K TVs in the future. So its really not far off. You should be getting any project created now in 4K to future proof your investment.

There are other reasons as well. Foremost, even if you deliver in regular HD, compressing a 4K image down to 1080 results in a much clearer and detailed picture. It’s absolutely amazing. You also are able to resize and crop without losing resolution, allowing you to film a wide shot and a closeup at the same time. And you can use special effects like image stabilization with better results.

I am proud to have made the leap to 4K ahead of the crowd. Just as myself and my team have been staying ahead of the crowd for 16 years in this business.

Stay focused!

Jim Ross

Should I Use Actors for My Business Video?

Click to watch “Should You Use Actors for Your Marketing Video?” 

My good friend, producer, writer, director, and actor Sloane Warren, who is also my creative partner on the web series “Bless Yer Heart” steps in front of my camera to talk about a topic I get asked about quite often: Should I use actors for my marketing video?



How to Choose the Right Video Production Company

Click to watch “How to Choose the Right Video Production Company” 

Choosing a video production company is a big decision. It should not be done in haste, and you should do your homework. A quality video is a big investment, whether you are spending $5,000 or $500,000. Since I am often the second or third production person people have come to,  I’ve heard a lot of horror stories from my clients about previous experiences with other video companies. So here are some of the things you should be looking for when choosing a video company to do your project.long-tall-pic---jim-on-Dakota

Watch examples of their work. This sounds like a no-brainer but I am always surprised that people don’t see the quality of work a company has done before hiring them! Watching examples of a company’s work is the best way to see, quite frankly, if they have any talent. You’ll be surprised at what is being put together out there. Ask yourself “Would this be a good representation of my company?”

Beware of Demo Reels. Never-ever base your decision on the “demo reel” alone. A demo reel is basically a highlight video of a company’s work. It is snippets of projects put together that is supposed to a “demonstration” of their work. I have one. The problem with demo reels is that, unlike ours, they can be just a hodgepodge of great shots that were never actual video projects. They are just cool shots they have collected. The images might not even be their work! Often times that is exactly the case, especially with the proliferation of inexpensive high quality video b-roll that can be purchased online.

After watching a demo reel be sure to ask to see many of the projects in their entirety that compiled the reel. If you get excuses, or you don’t even see the other works on their website? You know to go somewhere else. If you spend anytime at all watching the many videos I have online you will see that my demo reel is made up of images and b-roll shot for actual projects.

Check References. Another no-brainer, but people just don’t do it. You should call a video productions company’s clients and say “Hi, I am thinking of having a video created and I was wondering what your experience was like working with XYZ Video? Would you do it all over again? Did they deliver what they promised?” Questions like that. You’d be surprised at the answers. I have my clients’ names and phone numbers posted because I know what they will tell you when you call them. This is also a great way to make sure that the work they claim is theirs is actually their work!

Make sure the company has insurance. If the video guy you hire doesn’t have General Liability insurance and his assistant whacks your secretary on the head with a crane jib guess who pays for her ambulance ride and her hospital stay? You do. Don’t waste your time planning, meeting to discuss the project, and getting a quote just to find out the day of the shoot they have no insurance. Ask in the beginning.

Meet the video professional. You are going to be working with this person on the project. If you’ve called references you already know this person is a professional. But personalities matter. Meet and make sure it is someone that you feel comfortable working with. This is also where you begin budget discussions. Unless the project is incredibly simple such a blue screen bio video I always have a creative meeting with a client. It is the only way to figure out what they are looking to create and what their budget will be.

Get a written proposal. The biggest complaint we hear about other experiences is that a project cost much more than was quoted. While projects do grow sometimes beyond what was originally planned, this should never be a “surprise” to you. So get a written proposal that spells out what you want and what the video production company will do to produce what you want and how much it will cost.

Do you get a second bid? I am often asked that question. While I always invite clients to get a second bid, I also warn that that they are rarely going to be comparing apples to apples. Only get second bids from companies that are doing comparative quality of work. You get what you pay for in this business. You wouldn’t visit the Mercedes or BMW dealer and then walk over to the “Buy Here-Pay Here!” auction lot and exclaim “Oh my, these are so much cheaper and I bet they are just as good!” now would you? Yes the guy who shoots weddings is going to beat my price. However do you really want your professional video project filmed by a wedding videographer? NO YOU DON’T!

Get started! Stop waiting. Adding a video to your marketing arsenal will pay for itself. So just jump in and do it! Video is what is driving the Internet now. The longer you wait, the more you are losing market share to competitors.

That’s a wrap for this issue. As always, any questions feel free to call me at 770-938-7077.