Andrew Wild of Wild Touch Productions
Editor’s note: Wild Touch Productions, a Los Angeles–based video production company headed by pro audio industry veteran Andrew Wild (pictured) that helps companies and studios to promote their products and services, recently wrote to Mix magazine to share how it conceived and created a video for Neyrinck promoting Neyrinck’s new V-Control iPad app.
Getting the word out about a new product or facility in the music and post business has many challenges: fewer people attend shows while the potential audience for the product is now global. Video is a great way to present to the world what makes your product or facility so special.
Paul Neyrinck and Andrew Wild have worked together before, so Wild was delighted when Neyrinck was looking at video as a way to promote his new iPad app. “I have a great deal of respect for Paul's software products related to Pro Tools and DAWs,” Wild says, “so when he approached me to put a video together for his new V-Control iPad application, I saw this as an exciting challenge. The end result is one of my favorite videos for many reasons. Just like a good movie, a good product video succeeds because each one of the many elements that go into its creation have to excel.”
It starts with the script. In this case Neyrinck wrote the script, with Wild's input and additions. “Paul is very passionate about his work, and this comes out not only in the script but in the performance and the way he shows you all the main features,” Wild says. ‘The fact that it is a very cool and beautifully designed app helps, so when you look at how it delivers, the screenshots are very impressive; it makes you want to try it out. It’s also something new—the ability to mix your song from your iPad using Pro Tools is stunning.”
Wild was impressed with Neyrinck's performance on the set. “Paul is a natural in front of the camera, he actually studied drama which helped a lot, and he is very photogenic. I find that most people can perform with conviction when they are talking about a subject they understand and feel passionate about, but Paul takes this to the next level. We were originally going to shoot this in a studio setting but we agreed that a clean white backdrop showing the bare essentials of the product would have more impact. It lets you focus on Paul and product, which is what really matters.”
Lighting a set like this is challenging, as both screens and the main stage have to have matching colors. Wild also thinks that choosing the right location set for a shoot is very important, because it’s not just about how the set looks but also how it sounds. In this case the set looked good but there were issues with background fan noise that Wild had to deal with by gating the audio in Pro Tools. "Very few environments are perfect from an audio point of view, so part of the planning process always involves trying to find a good location that satisfies the visual and aural contributions to the finished video.”
In some segments shots of the iPad had to be synched with the Pro Tools screens so special software was used on the main iMac to capture the Pro Tools screen during certain takes. Wild always uses Pro Tools to do an audio mix on the Final Cut Pro tracks.
Paul Neyrinck states that he is very happy with the result. “My apps are sold online, so [they’re] a natural for video promotion,” Neyrinck says. “I think this is definitely the way to go for me as it effectively puts me in front of a global audience and allows me to present what I do directly to the people who are interested in buying the apps. It also personalizes my company and we pride ourselves on being able to connect with our customers."
Wild shoots all of his projects in 1,080-pixel high definition to be able to deliver the files in HD, which means that the video can be selected to play in 1,080p from YouTube, a new feature of the YouTube site. This resolution is a must for playing back on a computer monitor and can be rendered down to any format from iPhone all the way to full-broadcast 1,080p quality.
Wild emphasizes that each project’s schedule is different depending the complexity of the final video and how many video clips will be delivered to the client. “A video like this takes a couple of days to get the script right,” he says. “We set up the shoot the day prior to the shoot and spend a day on the set. Ingesting the files, editing, and rendering all the different versions, takes about a week. There are always several revisions to the edit, so overall the project takes about six weeks from start to completion."
Wild has been shooting product and facility videos for several years, initially for Euphonix and then for Avid, and for the last 16 months has run his own company, Wild Touch Productions, serving a clientele that includes AMS Neve, Avid, Blue Sky Speakers, Neyrinck, Solid State Logic, Stagetec, and Studer.