The Motion Source Video Production Blog

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”

- Benjamin Franklin

April 05, 2019

Client Profile + BTS: Les Turner ALS Foundation

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

Our latest project with long-standing client, the Les Turner ALS Foundation, wrapped up about a month ago, and it took us on an emotional journey like no other. This marked our fourth “Hope Through Caring” project together, and we wanted to create something different with just as much impact. One of the Gala’s honorees, Mindy Evans-Williams, was to be featured in the video. Her incredible, unique story and the theme of “paying it forward” inspired an approach we had not taken on past projects.

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March 22, 2019

How To Be Creative Pt. 2

By Craig Bass • Creative Director

While this blog entry bears the title “How To Be Creative,” I am fairly certain that I made my opinions regarding personal creativity abundantly clear in the previous installment. Suffice to say, everyone is creative. Therefore, the idea of being “more creative,” is really a question of how to enhance the inherent creativity that you already possess. The first part of this series discussed the strategy of exercising your ideas: to attain a higher level of creative fluency, you need to spend time doing creative things. This seems like a painfully obvious admonishment, but very few seem to follow it. More frequent engagement with creative activities is where you begin this quest; the next steps are detailed below.

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March 08, 2019

How To Be Creative Pt. 1

By Craig Bass • Creative Director

I’ve always been a bit ambivalent about my professional title: Creative Director. It serves its purpose in roughly describing my job--overseeing the conceptual development of our projects--but it also seems to suggest that I am the holder of this elusive, arcane source of pure inspiration. And, while I consider it an honor to be labeled a creative person, the idea of creativity being the province of an elite enclave embedded within the larger mundanity of society is diametrically opposed to my personal belief. I have engaged in countless arguments with “artists” and “layman” alike, who both maintain that creativity is a talent assigned to a special few. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

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February 22, 2019

Client Profile + BTS: Midtown Athletic Club

By Steve Brown • Associate Producer

Midtown Athletic Club recently renovated and reopened their signature club in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. With this new renovation came the need to hire a slew of new energetic associates to staff the sports resort. To that end, Motion Source was hired to help achieve this goal through video.

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February 08, 2019

The Ins and Outs of Brand Videos

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

Brand videos are among the most popular types of videos out there these days. Differing from standard commercial or corporate videos, brand videos (also referred to as brand films or brand stories) focus on connecting with the audience, typically through emotion. It becomes less about the “who” and the “what” and more about the “why” and the “how”. Let’s take a look at some key features to a successful brand video.

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January 25, 2019

We Read Too!

By Craig Bass • Creative Director

While my list of books to read is nearly bottomless, I am always seeking for additional titles to tack on. This has led me into many discussions with friends and associates regarding what they consider to be some of the finest reading material they’ve ever engaged with. Which, leads me to where we are right now: a blog post about book recommendations. I must also admit that a portion of the motivation for this post comes from the fact that all to often people assume we are film nerds and nothing else! Without further ado, we are about to prove that wrong…

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December 14, 2018

Motion Source Holiday Traditions

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And with that, comes fun, festive activities and spending time with loved ones. The holiday season is the perfect time to create new memories and reminisce on the old. From special foods and desserts to family and cultural customs, here are just a few of our favorite holiday traditions!

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November 30, 2018

A Motion Source Movember Recap

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

It is November 30th and we are closing out 30 days of mustaches in the name of men's health! You may have seen our posts throughout the month as our team has participated in our second Movember. Now, as wrap up the month, each team member shared their motivation for participating and thoughts on the experience.

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November 16, 2018

The Making of a Short Film: “The Ballad of Bloodfist”

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

Most weekends are for sleeping in, relaxing, and catching up on the latest Netflix shows. This past weekend, however, some of the Motion Source team joined forces with friends and creative collaborators to compete in the Four Points Film Project, a worldwide film competition, challenging teams to complete a short film in just 77 hours. That’s correct: write, shoot, edit, and submit a short film in a little over 3 days. There was little sleep and relaxing, but we did it. Here is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “The Ballad of Bloodfist”.

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November 02, 2018

Motion Source Takes on Movember Again!

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

It’s that time of year again...Movember! That very hairy, but important time when men’s health issues are brought to the forefront through the power of the ‘stache. Motion Source has formed a team for the second year to raise awareness and funds through the Movember Foundation. Once again, we will join the movement by putting down the razors and standing up for men’s health.

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October 19, 2018

Motion Source’s 2018 Holiday Gift

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

We announced on Tuesday our plans for this year’s Motion Source Holiday Video. Instead of sending out our usual seasons greetings video, we are reallocating that time and those resources into producing a video for a Chicagoland nonprofit. What better way to celebrate the holidays and honor the spirit of the season!

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October 05, 2018

The 411 on 4K Footage

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

You may have heard the term “4K” when doing some research on video production, but do you actually understand what it means? While it is not necessary for your video, it does offer benefits as well as a few drawbacks that are worth considering.

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September 21, 2018

End-of-the-year Video Project Ideas

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

“End of the year? But it’s ONLY September!” The calendar year clock is ticking down, and soon we will be entering Q4. This IS the time to think about end-of-the-year videos, and we have a few ideas to help you get started!

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September 07, 2018

Passion Project Spotlight: “One Thousand Mornings”

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

Creating art isn’t just part of our job; it is something that we are passionate about and continue long after the 9am-5pm and far beyond the walls of the office. At our core, we are a team of artists and storytellers, and while video is our go-to medium, it also transcends motion picture. A few Motion Source team members created a webcomic “One Thousand Mornings” that debuted earlier this week. Here’s a “passion project spotlight” on their work!

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August 24, 2018

Industry Insights: Scriptwriting with Lindsay Siegel

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

Welcome back to our blog series “Industry Insights”, where we interview members of the production world that we have had the opportunity to collaborate with! This week, we are featuring a talented scriptwriter, who we have worked with on several recent projects. Meet Lindsay Siegel!

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August 10, 2018

Camera Comfort: How To Ensure It (To The Best Of Your Ability)

By Craig Bass • Creative Director

In my last blog article I addressed how to prepare yourself for being on camera; or, at the very least to ensure that you don’t entirely freak out. However, a successful on-camera experience, like most ventures in life, is a collaborative effort. It isn’t enough for the person in front of the lens to be as prepared as possible--the people behind the lens need to be equally in-tune with what is going on. This is precisely why I have always considered personality to be 50% of the hiring decision when considering new crew members. It isn’t enough to be talented if you want to be successful within the video production industry; equally important is compassion and strong social skills. You can set up the most exceptionally gorgeous shot in the world, but if you are incapable of making the subject of that shot shine, you are left with a bunch of fashion and no function.

This article is going to focus on how a competent crew can help ensure that their subjects are as comfortable as possible, and by extension, performing at top capacity, when in front of the lens. And, perhaps even more importantly, how that same crew can assuage the subject’s nerves if they are kinda-sorta freaking out.

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July 27, 2018

Camera Comfort: How to Not Freak Out When You’re In Front of the Lens

By Craig Bass • Creative Director

So, the day has finally come. After all of the planning and preparation, the lights have been switched on, you have a microphone looming before you, and the camera is staring you down. Your mind has conveniently gone blank, and you begin to feel your palms go sweaty. You hate public speaking, but you thought being on camera would carry less tension. You were wrong. More than anything, you just want to raise the white flag of surrender and retreat to your office. Why did you even agree to do this?

Hold on there. Slow down. Let’s rewind. As with most things in life, being on camera isn’t nearly as bad as anticipated: doubly so if you practice a few simple tips to help secure success. So, I won’t waste any more time cueing it up. Here are the not-so-secret secrets to being comfortable on camera, or, how not to freak out when you’re in front of the lens.

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July 13, 2018

10 Need-to-Know Production Terms

By Michelle Maslanka • Producer

Have you ever been on set and listened to the crew talk? With lingo like “Grab the sticks” and “Can I get a stinger?” it sounds like they are far from making a video! Filmmakers have a language of their own, so you may be left feeling confused if unfamiliar with their strange expressions. Here are ten production terms that will have you talking the talk in no time.

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