Review: Reaching the Next Level—Marketing & Artistry and Sound Design (Vantage Point Productions)
As a former WEVA CEAs judge, I can tell you that the difference between winning and not winning sometimes all comes down to audio—one of the most overlooked and neglected aspects of video productions. The power of audio is what separates us from photography. In Reaching the Next Level—Sound Design, a new instructional DVD from two-time EventDV 25 honoree and multiple CEA and 4EVER Group AAA winners Vantage Point Productions, Steve and Laura Moses show you multiple ways to take advantage of the power of audio in wedding productions in this must-see DVD.
Reaching the Next Level—Sound Design is beautifully narrated by Laura Moses. The Moseses share some of their award-winning video clips with "before" and "after" enhanced elements of sound design. The enhancements are subtle, yet they make a huge difference in the finished production. This DVD includes recent footage from their 2007 CEA gold short-form production winner.
This DVD has 11 chapters on audio enhancements, with a chapter on sound bites being only one of them. Not only do they show you how to achieve each of these enhancements, but they explain why they’re important. Laura makes a point of saying that these audio enhancements do take extra time and that she and Steve use them only in Vantage Point’s premium packages.
The DVD even includes an audio-enhanced video clip from Steve’s 50th birthday concept video (a takeoff on the movie Cast Away). It’s hilarious, and I hope they will include the complete video as a bonus feature in the next edition. Until then, you can view it here.
In Reaching the Next Level—Marketing and Artistry, another recent instructional DVD from this prolific couple, the Moseses don’t just show you their videos, they tell you how they made them. Never before have I seen award-winning videographers share so much about how they create their videos. Again, Laura does a beautiful job with the narration. If their video business ever slows down, she could have a second career as voice talent.
The DVD features several stylized segments including Introduction/Collage, Opening, Trailer, Pre-ceremony, Ceremony, Filters, and The Boys (a special segment dedicated to the groom). For each segment they tell how they structure their shots; then they show you how each dramatic shot can flow seamlessly into another sequence.
They tell you what music they used and what filters they used, and explain the thought process behind their choices. Their videos are stunning; they have a knack for storytelling and capturing emotions as few videographers can. In all of the clips included on the disc, the Moseses did a great job of capturing the couple’s personalities. Where do they find so many happy, fun-loving couples?
Having just watched Vantage Point’s Sound Design DVD prior to this one, I was able to pick up on the audio nuances in these clips as well. These two DVDs go hand-in-hand (you can buy them separately for $89 each or as part of a 3-disc set—along with a third Reaching the Next Level title, Stylized Productions, for $200) and I’d recommend watching Sound Design first. It’s great how they share their marketing tips right alongside their artistry techniques. It makes perfect sense, since it doesn’t matter how good you are if you can’t sell your videos—and they’re as qualified as anyone to teach that lesson. The Moseses have run a thriving business for more than 20 years in the very competitive Southern California area. They remind you that if you do a great job by turning out a high-quality product and market it properly, then you don’t have to worry about competition. You just have to worry about self-improvement, which is something these discs offer in abundance.
Kris Malandruccolo (kris at elegantvideosbykris.com), an EventDV 25 honoree and 2007 WEVA Hall of Fame inductee, is the owner of Chicago-based Elegant Videos by Kris and Elegant Storybooks by Kris. She is a certified Master Wedding Vendor through the Association of Bridal Consultants, WEVA Public Relations Chair, an international speaker, and past-president of the Illinois Videographers Association.