Second Takes: The Ledgerwood Law Video

What we learned from re-doing a video and why script writing is so important


There are not many times in one’s work where you have the opportunity to re-do a video entirely, but sometimes those rare instances break the law.

Today we will discuss a video we got to reshoot and improve on. We will discuss how we originally made the video and the struggles we faced. Then we will discuss the second go around and what improvement we made. Think of this as a fun case study to learn from and not make the same mistakes we did because second chances hardly come by!

Nedda Ledgerwood is a Silicon Valley Family Law attorney with years of experience. We met her through a family friend. In 2015 we had the opportunity to create a promo video for her website.

We shot this using a Canon C100 and a 7D on a slider as a b-camera. In our setup the 7D was unfortunately too low and the angle was too wide and it made everything look off. Our main camera, which saved the day, was a C100. We used 750w Spot Lights that we bounced off the walls since the room was very dark.

We made questions for her which she answered and we used them to create an outline of what we wanted her to say. And that, believe it or not, was the extent of our pre-production preparation.  Rookies am I right?

Needless to say, this led to a disastrous shooting. We did a bunch of takes and guided her through the questions but we had difficulties finding the right way to say things that made her come across as authentic and eloquent. It took hours and the client grew frustrated and angry. No bueno!

Post-production was no different. Editing took longer, the lighting was terrible and we had to use a plug-in to smooth out the image, Magic Bullet Cosmo. The amount of takes we did only added to the difficulties by having to go through the mass amount of footage and trying to figure out what should be the sequence of takes.

So what did we learn from the remake?

We did a few things wrong but the biggest lesson…..SCRIPT WRITING!!!!

We were contacted by Nedda in the summer of 2018 to re-do the video. She has recently moved offices and had added child representation to her practice. We were so excited to have a second shot to remake her video!

We began our process like we had the previous time, asking her questions about what she wanted out of this video and what she wanted to concentrate on. But this time we took what she had said previously and the questions we asked her and we wrote a script for her. We then shared the script with her and she changed a few things until she was happy. We also used a new teleprompter app called Promptsmart on our ipad with a Glide Gear TMP100 teleprompter, which allowed her to read off the script we had written. This app is really neat because it auto-scrolls based on speech recognition and we recommend it! We had her practice on it before shooting day so she felt comfortable.  We had her use a teleprompter because we wanted her to stare directly into the camera because it created a better connection with the audience rather than documentary style looking to the side.

And guess how long the shooting took this time? An hour! And no objections from our law friend, she loved using it!

We also used a better lighting kit and the office had much more natural light. She also had her hair and makeup done so no plug in needed! We exclusively used the C100. We also used DaVinci Resolve to edit this video which allows for better color correction and grading functions.

So that ladies and gentlemen is what we learned from this second take. Hope you have learned to avoid our mistakes and the importance of script writing. Check out the old video below and let us know your thoughts.