Tag Archives: non-profit video production

Fireside Production is now offering a green screen for video shoots, which gives our Clients a new array of backdrops to choose from for their interviews and hosted messages.

Creating an Opportunity for Growth

It also means as videographers, we’ve been compelled to learn new lighting and shooting techniques specific to the green screen.  We diligently researched and explored different set ups before we rolled it out for our Clients.  So why go to the trouble?  Why not stick with tried and true methods?

Lighting the Green Screen Interview

Eric at the Green Screen

We always want to challenge ourselves, to offer our Clients more diverse options and (perhaps, most of all) to evolve our individual skill set and grow as professionals.  The benefits of this type of professional development are many.  For me, the intellectual stimulation of learning something new keeps work exciting and fun and having more “tools in the toolbox” means the services we provide are more valuable to our potential and existing Clients.

Want to learn more about green screen video at Fireside Production?  Contact us today.

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While Fireside Production does offer a small studio space, the majority of our video production shoots take place on-location.  Capturing interviews and footage in the environment they typically happen in, allows viewers to really experience the important work of our Clients.

Working on-location is usually more convenient for our Clients and those they tap to take part in the video; however, it also means hauling gear and crew into busy work spaces and homes.  For Fireside, there’s more to a successful shoot than capturing clear, compelling sound and great visuals.  It’s extremely important that we limit the disruption to work taking place at our Clients’ locations and that essentially, we leave a small footprint.  Here are a few ways we accomplish this…

Pack light and take an extra trip if necessary

Pack light and make an extra trip if necessary.

  • Pack light.  We pack exactly what we need and move most of our gear on a small cart.
  • Keep it tidy. Once we’re set up, we neatly stack our bags and extra gear in one area to reduce clutter in the shoot environment.
  • Safety first. We take care to tape down cords and keep walking spaces free of trip hazards.  We don’t want any accidents during a Fireside shoot.
  • Leave no trace. Our team will often make a few changes to enhance the background.  We may move a plant to add color behind an interview or straighten up a work space to make it look its best.  We make a concerted effort though to move things back before we leave.

The bottom line is that we are guests in the shoot space and usually, the location is a busy place with important things happening.  Our goal is to not only capture the magic of the organization but to minimize the disruption to the space we are welcomed into.

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Our specialty at Fireside Production has always been capturing interviews and footage on-location, allowing viewers of those videos to experience the sights and sounds of our Clients’ unique and varied locations.  That’s really our zone!  Sometimes, though, creating the background in post-production can offer a fresh look or better emphasize a Client’s brand throughout the piece.

That’s why Fireside Production is now offering green screen.  This production tool is portable, allowing our team to set-up green screen at your office – or ours – for interviews and hosted video messages.  This portable option is well-suited for framing up a single-person shot.  It’s not large enough for a full-body shot.  During the edit, we can key in video footage, photos or graphics.  We can add a logo behind the subject – or even a simple crisp, white background.

To give you a feel for some of the capabilities green screen offers, be sure to check out our Fireside Green Screen Beatbox video.  We had a little fun with this one!

We are happy to answer questions or provide more information on what green screen can do for your next video shoot.

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Tammie picIt is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye… and on to new adventures!  In my five amazing years here at Fireside Production, I can’t express how incredible this journey has been and what I will take with me as I move on.  Tom and Naomi hired me as their first employee and believed in me to jumpstart my career again after being a stay-at-home mom for twelve years.  Looking back at my time here, I reflect on the many milestones from where we started to where we are now… home-based to office space, countless video production awards, winning the Denver Business Journal’s 2012 Partners in Philanthropy award, and Naomi taking home The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Rocky Mountain Chapter 2014 Woman of the Year award – with me by her side as her campaign manager – what a ride that was!

A milestone that has also touched my heart is our Day of Service, created four years ago.  Giving to our community, as a company, is special and I will remember each and every volunteer opportunity we have taken part in!

I am honored to be a part of this growing company, but it is my time is to move on to my next venture in education as well as helping my family with their businesses.

I thank each and every person on the Fireside team for the time of laughs, giving to the community and each of us inspiring each other to bring spirit… to be the best we can be, not only in the workplace, but at home and in our personal lives.

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There’s always a great deal of excitement when you’re getting ready for a video shoot.  A successful shoot starts before you leave the door – with solid preparation.  There is always some luck involved with a great shoot – the elements falling perfectly into place – but having a few tools in place is helpful as well.  Here are a few of mine:

Shovel + Snow = Natural Sound

Shovel + Snow = Natural Sound


  1. Plan for your opening shot.  This isn’t necessarily the first shot you roll on but keep your eye out for that great opening.  It could be a real attention grabber or just an establishing shot but put some thought into how you want the video to begin.
  2. Find characters.  Yes, you need great characters to tell the story.  If you’re not using actors, find people who have some flair and want to be in front of the camera.
  3. Capture natural moments.  Moments are the unscripted gems that turn a good video into a great video.  When the big ones happen, don’t get caught up in them, press record!
  4. Get natural sound.  You cannot smell video, but you sure can hear it.  Get your microphone in close to the sounds – whether it’s a babbling brook or the propeller of a vintage airplane.  Sound can bring your viewer into the experience.
  5. Plan for a closing shot.  Just as important as your opening shot, think about how you will end your video.  Often, negative action like your hero riding off into the sunset is a good one. Just plan it and be creative!

Of course, there are many other tools you can add to your videographer toolbox but these are a good start.  It is always good to have a blue print going in.  The direction may change, but it’s easier to regroup with a plan in place.  Happy shooting!

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The older I get, the more chaotic this time of the year seems to be.  Summer is hectic and school is looming around the corner for students.  It seems like my “to do” list is overflowing to the point that I don’t know where to start.  There are more ways to fail than succeed when there’s so much on the table.

It may help to reevaluate how we define success.  Most of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get things done, and I tend to beat myself up when I fall short of those expectations at work, at home or in my personal life.  Part of the problem can be the standards I set for myself.  I think it’s valid to reexamine what I consider to be a successful day, week, etc.

This video by The School of Life takes a clever look at success.

There are many ways to achieve a worthy outcome to a given day.  There are numerous ways to succeed without knocking out 20 items on a list. Finding a happy medium between practical achievement and satisfying accomplishments is a journey worth making.

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mobile video

According to the Google Q2 2015 results,     total watch time on YouTube is up more than 60% since the same quarter a year ago.  And YouTube’s mobile watch time is up more than 100% in the same period.

And… it also shows more people now watch YouTube on mobile devices than watch video on any U.S. cable network.

Recent research from eMarketer also highlights that more than 105 million smartphone owners in the U.S. will view at least one video a month on their mobile devices this year.

So, what does all of this mean?  Here are few thoughts to keep in mind:

  • First, make sure you have a YouTube page!  Be sure it’s well titled, tagged and optimized to make it easy to find.
  • Second, your video must be present on your website.  Videos have up to 800% better conversion rates compared to the same website without a video.  It’s very important to make sure your website is mobile friendly!
  • Lastly, if your target is millennials, 48% of this group only watch videos on their mobile device.

Video is now consumed on all kinds of devices, so screen size seems to not matter like it once did.  I still think YouTube is still the best place to search for video content.   Posting a video on YouTube dramatically improves Google search rankings.  That’s a huge benefit.  I would love to hear from you… what are your thoughts on video consumption on mobile devices?

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denver water blogBy: Dana Strongin 

Denver Water customers have embraced the culture of water conservation, and we want to make it easy for them to apply that culture – along with water-efficient practices – on their own landscapes.

Bring in our Water Savers, the crew we dispatch each year to cruise neighborhoods and promote efficient outdoor water use. Although they are schooled in our summer watering rules, Water Savers aren’t out to put the heat on summer fun. They aim to explain the rules, along with other ways to sprinkle efficiency in your watering routine. Last summer’s crew made nearly 3,500 stops to share tips and tools without issuing a single fine.

Water Savers are armed with the knowledge and field technology to look up customers’ water consumption history and review irrigation controller settings on the spot. And since they represent just one of the many resources we offer to help customers conserve, Water Savers can suggest other useful programs such as rebates.

So don’t hesitate to ask the Water Savers for advice. You can also visit our website to learn about other conservation programs and sign up for monthly tips emails to help you use only what you need.

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FSP DOE Small BizFireside Production was named the Energy Department’s 2014 Protégé of the Year at the 14th Annual Small Business Forum & Expo in Phoenix. This national award recognizes the accomplishments and growth of the Protégé organization during the course of a Mentor-Protégé program.

Fireside Production was awarded a Mentor-Protégé agreement with the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as a woman-owned, small business. Through the agreement, the protégé organization has an opportunity to improve its capabilities and skills to successfully compete for federal contracts. It also builds relationships, further develops best practices and in this case, resulted in a subcontract for video production services with the federal laboratory.

During the Mentor-Protégé, Fireside worked with the laboratory to advance its video communications and produce content to reach viewers throughout the United States and around the globe. Fireside helped NREL make it easier for news outlets to access media-friendly footage of renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.

“Fireside Production’s performance under NREL’s Mentor-Protégé program was exemplary,” said Rexann Dunn, Small Business Program Lead for NREL. “As a mentor, you are always looking for the right fit when it comes to the mentor-protégé relationship. It’s a two-way street; you want to be able to provide a valuable learning experience to the protégé while receiving valuable feedback. I feel that this mentor-protégé relationship has been very successful, which is why NREL nominated Fireside Production for the Energy Department’s 2014 Protégé of the Year.”

Fireside Production is so grateful to NREL for the valuable mentoring over the past several years, the opportunities to work with the laboratory and of course, for the incredible recognition as Protégé of the Year.

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CREATEEXPERIENCES-02 (1)One of our core values at Fireside Production is to Create Experiences.  Our goal is to produce videos for our Clients that engage viewers and allow them to experience the message.  We also strive to provide an experience for our Clients throughout the project – one that makes the process enjoyable!  As Fireside’s Production Assistant, I’ve had a front-row seat to see and experience Colorado in a whole new light.

I have been in Denver for almost six years and I feel as though I have learned more about my community in the past six months as a part of the Fireside Production team than I have during all off my previous years here.  The best part is I feel I’ve been able to experience the heart and soul of this beautiful city through the lens of our Clients.  I have been able to hear historical stories – straight from the people who experienced them firsthand.

Colorado RiverI drive by the “Dancers” sculptures at the Denver Center for Performing Arts every day and now, I know how they came to be.  I have been fortunate enough to interview our Governor and have had the pleasure of rafting down the Colorado River as I learned how that water touches so many aspects of our lives.  Most importantly, I have been given the opportunity to give back to our community by participating in our Fireside Day of Service events.

I am forever grateful for these experiences and hope to continue to offer our Clients a memorable experience as well.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

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