The Secrets to Producing Successful Media Projects Overseas


Shooting internationally can be an incredible experience. Over the years, our team at Cooke Pictures has produced programming in more than 60 countries around the world, and we’ve only experienced a handful of bad incidents. That’s not to say things haven’t been difficult – like when we did an interview with a Brazilian drug dealer while his gang held a gun on our cameraman, or when my crew was arrested at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria, or when we got caught up in a military coup. There’s been more, but you get the picture. During it all, we’ve learned a few things about how to keep those incidents to a minimum, so the next time you produce an overseas project, maybe this list will help:

The 10 Keys To Shooting A Great Video Interview

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Some marketing experts are calling this year “The Year of Online Video.” It’s becoming one of the most popular and effective ways to tell the story of products, organizations, and ideas. 2-4 minute videos can be powerfully compelling ways to tell a story, but in many cases, when they involve interviewing people, they fall flat. Interviews with fascinating people can be the key to many successful video presentations, but most video interviews are boring, without emotion, and pointless. Here’s 10 keys to shooting more effective interviews – the kind of interviews that get a response from viewers:

Ten Things To Remember Your First Day on a Film Shoot


After decades working in the industry, I’m still amazed at the clueless production assistants that manage to get hired on video and film productions. No matter how low you are on the food chain, you’re there for a reason, and people are watching.  So to make sure your first day isn’t your last day, and with a hat-tip to DP and Director Brad Knull, here’s 10 things you should never forget:

Why 2015 Will Be The Year of Online Video


A great number of media organizations are touting 2015 as the “Year of Digital Video.” Most of these predictions refer to the broad range of videos, movies, advertising, and other online content that is exploding on multiple platforms. But there’s plenty of reasons that 2015 will be the year of online video for churches, ministries, and nonprofits as well:

When (If Ever) Is It OK To Criticize Other Christians?


I’m not sure if this puts my salvation in doubt, but here’s a link that’s absolutely must see.  It’s a compilation someone posted on the “5 Worst Christian Videos on the Internet.”  Now these are truly award worthy. I’ve seen some terrible things – and you could probably add a few more – but these are really bad. So while we hate to criticize other believers, the question becomes –

5 Ways To Improve Your Church YouTube Channel


There’s no question that a great number of churches and ministry organizations should be addressing today’s “Digital Mission Field.”  And one of the key platforms is YouTube.  Most churches just think YouTube is for randomly posting short video clips of the pastor’s message.  So I asked my friend Sean Cannell, to give us some examples of how churches and ministry groups can use YouTube more effectively.  Here’s what he said: 

Five Big Ideas For Shooting a Video About Someone’s Life Change


No matter what video projects you produce, sooner or later you’ll shoot someone’s testimony about how their life was changed. It might be due to God, an experience at church, being the recipient of a nonprofit’s work, or even a consumer product – but whatever it is, it can be a powerful moment on camera. If you’re shooting videos like this for a church, nonprofit, or business, here’s the most important keys to making it work:

The Big Secret to a Successful Freelance Career


The freelance life is a challenge. At some point, every employee in America has thought about leaving their job and working for themselves. But the realization that freelance professionals wake up every morning unemployed usually jolts them back to reality. Managing projects, inspiring confidence, being professional, dealing with risk, and more all add up to a successful freelance career, but one thing stands above all others. If you can’t do this, then don’t become a freelancer. The single most important aspect of a successful freelance career is:

Directors: Five Critical Things You Need to Do on the Set


In the old days, directors were contract players, so they were directing nearly every day of their career. But in today’s freelance film and video world, most directors aren’t shooting more than once every two or three months. As a result, many directors don’t understand how to act on a set or how to lead.  Here’s five things that have made an important difference for me on a film set or in a TV studio: