BTS: Smith & Weston Jewelers | Local Business Spotlight

Photo: Allyson Wegner

This week has been overloaded with shooting and editing videos for the City of Lancaster and its local government channel, LTV. Specifically for the show, Local Business Spotlight; which promotes the City’s numerous small businesses both on and off of Lancaster BLVD. The City of Lancaster prides itself on being a hub for small business. It was named “most business-friendly city” in 2007 and 2013 by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

The LTV Team recently visited local jewelry store, Smith & Weston, and spoke to co-owner Weston about what makes them stand out from Los Angeles jewelry stores.

LTV hosts an array of shows. And it’s important that each show tells the story a little differently. Local Business Spotlight (typically) utilizes a single camera on the interviewee. Zooming in and out, changing composition depending on significance or importance of the answer provided by the interviewee. The interview is followed by a tour of the store with the interviewer in frame. Of course, emphasis is strongly placed on the subject matter. This case being the jewelry sold at the store and the store’s unique selling proposition, 3D printing.

Ungraded Medium shot of Weston; co-owner of Smith & Weston

Ungraded Medium/Close-up shot of Weston; co-owner of Smith & Weston

It wasn’t hard to make jewelry look good. Because it already looks good on its own. Add a shallow depth of field and you have a “golden shot” (pun intended). That being said, properly exposing your image to preserve all of the details is still paramount. No point in hitting record if the diamonds are literally white blobs of light.

But Smith & Weston’s selling point is its 3D printing capabilities. Giving their customers an option to customize their ring, and printing a mold they can try on. A service that no local jewelry store offers.

The editing process

I created a specific video editing workflow that organizes and streamlines the process of manufacturing the end product. It’s a workflow that I implement with every project and Local Business Spotlight is no different.

The interview footage or “A-Roll” is the first to be identified and reviewed for specific sound-bytes. Once the A-Roll is cut and laid on its own sequence or timeline, next is locating the essential cut away footage or “B-Roll” to stack on top of the A-Roll. Essential being that the footage relates to what is mentioned in the interview. Generic B-Roll shots can work as well if there is a lack of B-Roll. But it’s always preferred to see what the interviewee is talking about. Lastly, I mix audio and incorporate necessary graphics and visual branding elements to finalize the video.

I will continue to write more updates on my future projects here. But if you want daily updates, be sure to check out my Instagram Stories! I post regularly on all of the productions I’m currently on!

Video Production gear used:

  • Panasonic EVA-1
  • Canon 18-80mm Cine Servo-Zoom Lens
  • Sennheiser G3 Wireless Lavalier Microphones

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- Juan Abad

THE PRESENT: Inner Peace for just $39.95 (a short film by Richard Rogers)

Happiness can be bought, and it comes in the form of a semi-working VHS tape. Today is the release of, THE PRESENT. A short film by Richard Rogers.

A little backstory on how I encountered this project…

For the longest, I wanted to help fund a short film that would pique my interest in terms of story and visual imagery. A few years back while browsing Kickstarter’s Film and Video section. I came across this intriguing project titled THE PRESENT” - a short brought to you by SkyCorp.

“What’s a SkyCorp?” I thought to myself.

Looking further into it, I found that SkyCorp is a pseudo video production company that is “dedicated to bringing you high-quality home video entertainment!” The image reminded me of those cheesy yet iconic openers you’d see on a 80’s home video cassette. The teaser for the short film is even more interesting…

SkyCorp Video Home Logo

I’m already into it.

The project was spearheaded by the charismatic oddball, Richard Rogers. Who is, I’m assuming, running from the FBI for some reason. Not sure why. I mean, look at the face. 

Richard Rogers of SkyCorp Home Video

The project description reads:

“The Present is a psycho-comedy written and directed by Richard Rogers. It’s a surreal adventure into the subconscious of the main character where he must overcome his personal demons to clear his mind of the past and get back in touch with the present moment. It satirizes the advertisement industry, corporate culture, and self-deprecating patterns of thinking.”

This project sounded very interesting and fun to me. I didn’t hesitate to smash that “back this project” button like a crazed fan of a mediocre Youtuber. Who needs food anyway?

The film recently finished post-production and I just received my copy of it. I’m really happy with how it came out! It’s really cool helping other artists create their message and vision. Even if it’s just me throwing money at them. I definitely look forward to seeing what the almighty SkyCorp will have in store for us next time.

Here’s a picture of Richard and I. He drove from Los Angeles to personally deliver a film poster he made. What an idiot. I still appreciate it though.

Check out some shorter content SkyCorp has created on their Instagram page!

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- Juan Abad

Focus on your craft, not on awards.

I’m a firm believer of working to the best of your ability. And if your contributions, big or small, are recognized, it’s only appropriate to celebrate them. Winning an award can be beneficial towards your career path, but it shouldn’t be what drives your motivation to work hard. Personally, awards are just small milestones. Honing your craft, that is what I believe is important here. 

I’m sure there are people who think that is an odd thing to say. Who does like winning? Coming from a filmmaking background, the image of “The Oscar” comes to mind. Clearly, a prestigious award every filmmaker would like to see glisten in their hands. And the fame that comes with it. But at the end of the day, it’s just shiny material. Most people don’t remember the award, they remember the very thing that got them there. 

The skill and hours/weeks/months of exhaustive efforts is something of true value. The output produced from that effort is of equal value. It’s something you and many others can look at and appreciate. A film/painting/novel, something that has been contributed to society and created some sort of impact. 

…I’m not sure if this is considered a rant or me typing BS at 2:35am. But that is my stance on the subject. 


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