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Video production tips for newbies

Hey, everyone, a happy new year to you all! The holidays have been a big blast and I’m yet to get down to the work that I had left behind, before the holidays began. The video production job I had taken on needed plenty of work done on it that I couldn’t find the time to focus on.

Now with the holiday break behind me, I feel excited and eager to take on the work and finish it.  The work does not seem to be as daunting as it did before the vacation. That’s what a cool holiday break does to you. While professional videos demand more attention to detail, home videos are an entirely different matter.

In the You Tube age we live in now, home videos are as common as photos. Videos reasonably good ones can be created just with your digital camera or even the camera in your phone. However, for a professional looking video, a camcorder is the ideal choice. Regardless of the type of camera you are using, here are some tips to kick-start your video creation, so you end up with professional looking videos.


Planning is important, regardless of what event you are videotaping. For instance, if it is a wedding anniversary celebration, your list should include the guests arriving, welcoming the guests, presentation of bouquets and gifts, cutting of the cake, gifts being opened, entertainment, dancing, food, and the guests leaving the venue.

If the event has an agenda, it can be used to prepare the videotaping list. When you know about what is going to happen during an event, it will be easier to prepare the shots and make a good production. During one of my video shoots outdoors for a birthday party, I found the view being blocked by low-lying branches. Fortunately, the host had a nice pole saw he had purchased at, which I used to clear the block and have a good angle of the cake cutting ceremony.


Whether it is still photography or videos, a tripod is a vital gear to have, even if it is a great hassle setting it up. If you are staying put in the same place while taking the video, a tripod is best to get clean and steady shots. For smooth recordings, tripod is important.

Close up

It is important to shoot close as in photography. This is to reduce the distractions in your shots and make them more appealing. Wide, close-up, medium, and extreme close shots are the four main shots used in videography. To begin with, you have to first establish the shot. This involves taking a video shot of the event or place where you are creating the video, such as an outdoor area or a party set indoors.

Wide and close

You should be able to shoot medium range to close up shots. For instance, in a birthday party you take a medium range shot of the guests greeting the birthday girl and then zoom in to the girl opening the present to give the shots a dramatic effect.

You need to familiarize with shooting different positions and angles to give the video a more lively and vibrant quality. If you are not planning to do any editing afterwards, make sure you time the shots to get a clear and crisp recording.

Versatile uses of a Basement

Versatile uses of a BasementIf you are living in a prime locality, you will probably understand how premium space can be. Using every inch of your home is an efficient way to see to the space requirements of your family. Recently my friend had opened a studio in his basement. He lives in a posh locality, where renting out a studio is very expensive. He was using his basement to dump all the unwanted and useless knick-knacks earlier.

When he started scouting for a good studio in town, he was shocked at the prices quoted. I told him about how his basement could be made use of for his studio. He was immediately taken with the idea and was sorry he had not thought of it himself.

And in a few weeks’ time he had cleared out his basement and converted it into a beautiful basement studio. Since he did not have to pay rent, the money saved helped him to use more on the equipment he needed for the studio. He’s a happy man now!

Basements can be used in different ways and turned to almost any space you want for your office or personal use. Once you take care of having sufficient headroom, the rest of the set up is a breeze. Here are some of different uses you can put your basement to instead of just dumping things in there.


Although basements are inevitably used as storage space, when you do it in an organized fashion the entire space could be used very prudently. Instead of throwing whatever is not in use into the basement, you can put up a row of shelves or cupboards and store things neatly, so you can use them when needed. Proper lighting helps in making the space more welcome. And make sure you keep the basement free from moisture. If you live in a flood prone area, having an efficient SUMP PUMP helps a lot.


If you are into hobbies in a small scale such as clay modelling and others, the basement space can be easily converted to a workshop. For larger hobbies like furniture making or reconstructing bikes, you need proper access to your basement. If the basement is not entirely submerged, you can enlarge an existing skylight or coal hatch to give better access.

Office space

Based on the work you want to do, a basement can be turned into an efficient office space. While natural light may not be easily available, you can make it up with proper lighting and ventilation. A basement affords better privacy with very little distractions, as it is not directly connected to other parts of your home like a study.

If you are not keen on using the basement for office work, you could use the space as a spare bedroom provided you have a window for the basement. Even if a window is not present, you can use proper lightings and air conditioning to make the room more inhabitable. Gym, home theater, and laundry room are other uses that find many takers.

How To Prepare For A Convention

How To Prepare For A ConventionHi guys! Hope you’re doing okay! I just finished unpacking from my latest IT convention, when it suddenly hit me! I should write an entry about the process of preparing for a convention. Although it might sound like a no-brainer, it’s actually not! There are so many things you need to think about and plan in advance, that for some people it’s just a bit too much. I know how my first convention looked like, and I can tell you – it wasn’t pretty! I mean, don’t get me wrong! I had loads of fun, but just didn’t pack anything useful and ended up eating chips most of the time. So, to help you guys prepare in a more suitable manner, I’ve decided to make a list of the most important things you have to do before any of your future conventions!

Register for the convention!

It’s the first and the most important thing you’ll need to do. And yes, I know what you’re thinking – if you’re going to a convention, the last thing you’ll do is forget to register for participating, right? You might be surprised by the number of times I’ve seen it happen! I think it’s probably because you usually have to register months in advance, especially if it’s a more popular convention.

Prepare and seal your food in advance!

You’re probably wondering why you would want or need to do something like that. First of all, the food there won’t be that good, and you’ll have to eat it at least twice a day for at least three days. Second, more often than not it’s also expensive. I myself prefer the way my old buddy does it, and so a couple of months ago I visited the and bought one of their useful little machines. I prepared plenty of good food, divided it into separate meals and sealed each of them into a small plastic bag. You might not believe me before you have your first convention experience, but it made a world of difference to me!

Book a room!

How To Prepare For A ConventionAfter you finish the registration process, make sure to check whether you have some kind of free or organized accommodation going for you. If yes, hooray for you! If not, book a room right away! I’m serious. If you don’t do it right away, you’ll probably forget all about it, and believe me when I say that you don’t want to be staying in any of the rooms that will still be available a day or two before the convention starts.

Pack light, but smart!

I can’t give you any real advice here, because what you’ll need while at a convention greatly depends on both the type of convention and your personal needs and preferences. I can tell you, however, that (as they say) more is not always better, and that sometimes the thing you thought you’ll need the least will turn out to be the most important of them all. So my advice to you would be: think hard about what you (don’t) need!

Childproofing Your Home

Childproofing Your HomeHey, everyone! It’s nice to be back. I had a great time last week at my cousin’s home. He had invited me over to his house warming party. He had recently moved into a new sprawling home with a big pool in the backyard.  Looking at the décor and design, I knew he had spent a lot on the place.

When I mentioned it to him, he said that he had to take extra care in the design to make his home child safe. He has a very active toddler who I can see could create real havoc, if left to his own devices even for a few minutes. While home is where you can let your hair down, enjoy, and play and have a great time with family, you also need to keep it safe for your family, especially when you have active kids.

Accidents are inevitable when you have kids around. While minor bruises and scrapes are normal part of growth in kids, as they discover new and exciting things to do around the house, it is necessary to keep them protected from serious injuries.

Safety measures

Parents often worry endlessly regarding keeping their children safe from burns, fire, choking, drowning, falls and poisoning.  These are more often likely causes to be concerned about, when compared to them being susceptible to crimes such as abduction or violence.  In fact, according to my friend, over 2 million children are injured accidentally and over 2,500 killed because of not having the proper safety measures at home. Childproofing is hence a vital part of every home.

Safety checklist

Childproofing Your HomeHere is a list of things to check whether your home is completely childproof or not

  • Thoroughly check the entire home from your baby’s point of view that is crawling down on the floor to know what lies in your child’s line of vision. Make sure the drawers, cupboards and spaces, which your child can get into easily, are properly locked. And don’t leave any small objects lying around which your child can choke on.
  • If you own guns, keep them unloaded and locked in a good safe. My friend had bought a perfect one from Since he has quite a large assortment of guns, he had a large safe installed.
  • Keep all poisonous or hazardous stuff including knives, vitamins, and medicines and cleaning agents out of reach of the kids.
  • Protect all electric outlets with suitable covers that have a safety latch, so the cover doesn’t end up in the child’s hands or mouth. In case you are using extension cords, make sure you cover the outlets with electrical tape.
  • Television sets, furniture, appliances and bookcases tipping over children have been found to be a major cause for accidents and injuries to children.  It is therefore necessary to keep furniture secured to the floor solidly. Keeping them bottom heavy, instead of top heavy also prevents from them tipping inadvertently. Sharp corners in furniture should be covered with bumpers to prevent injury in case the child falls against them.
  • Safety gates are very important childproofing additions. They help to keep kids indoors, within the space they are allotted, and the gates prevent access to forbidden rooms and dangerous staircases.

Combat Dummy Promotion

Combat Dummy Promotion-I never really know what kind of order I’m going to get when it comes to video creation and editing. Usually it’s someone who wants to sell something though, so I’ve gotten pretty good at painting people, places and things in a positive light. Sometimes it’s not really necessary to stress how nice or useful or good something is – the benefits are immediately apparent, or the item in question is one a lot of people already have experience with, so they know how useful it can be. For instance, grappling dummies aren’t hard to sell. They have one real use and for that purpose, they’re most excellent.

Recently I had a client ask me to make a video about such dummies, something that would help them to sell said dummies through an online website. So I started with the basics – that’s getting a good view on the subject, from many different angles, so people know exactly what it is they’re dealing with. This is easy enough to accomplish too, since all I really need to do is walk around the subject, a grappling dummy in this case, and take several different pictures while doing so. When I’m done with that, I’m ready to move onto more active shots.

Well, not shots exactly. Next I need to record people interacting with the grappling dummies in question. Unpacking them, setting them up, punching and kicking them are all good things to record like this. The process gives me materials to use for the video later, but more than that, it also gives me a degree of familiarity with the subject. I don’t know about other people who make and edit videos, but having a better understanding of just what it is I’m working with has always made it easier for me to produce higher quality work. Therefore, it’s something I’ve been doing regularly for a long time now.

Basically, what I’m doing is creating a kind of commercial for the product so people will know what it is they’re buying and want to buy it on top of that. Now, for other products, there’s a lot of glamour involved, so selling them is easier. Grappling dummies are big, ugly lumps of resilient material that are literally meant to be beaten upon, so there’s nothing too pretty or handsome about them. I figure I’m going to struggle with this aspect of the video, but there are usually small challenges and obstacles which come up with the jobs I take.

Thankfully, these dummies came in different colors and, on some, with special areas highlighted and colored differently than the rest of the body. They aren’t just those simple, orange torsos that look strangely like circus peanuts (and have a similar texture as well, you know the ones if you work with these dummies). I’ll be sure to let you all know how this project works out in the end, but until then, stay strong and keep busy; idle hands and all of that jazz.