I rarely use video on this blog, which remains text-oriented even after six years online. In this Interactive Age, however, video attracts more traffic and “viewers” remain longer than “readers.” Anyone can upload a video from their mobile device, but serious sites (like mine!) should post videos produced with great equipment and directed by experienced professionals.
Northwest Glendale resident / film industry veteran Albert Ruis recently launched Whisper Films Digital, a video and audio production business in Burbank just a few miles from his home. He makes audition tapes for actors, consults on custom demo reels, and produces web series and podcasts. I recently had the opportunity to visit his studio and learn about his work.
Ruis typically shoots 2-5 takes and spends over an hour with a client for an audition tape, coaching them on movement, focus and angle. He also works with clients who want custom demo reels and he consults on scene sequences.
He’s worked in front of and behind the camera, and spent several years as a production accountant for Warner Bros. During that stint, he made it a point to be on the set instead of behind his desk, available for crew members’ questions. “Instead of it taking a week for a question to go up the chain and then back down, issues could be resolved on the spot!”
During my visit, Ruis demonstrated what goes into creating an impressive audition tape, and what’s required on the technical side to create the videos. A side benefit of the visit: the discovery that Ruis, like myself, is a Star Trek TOS fan. We spent some time discussing the new web series Star Trek Continues, a prime example of what can be done by an independent troupe in studios like Whisper Films Digital.
I saw some great videos Whisper Films Digital has produced for clients. Ruis says on his website, “I’ve worked both in front of and behind the camera, so I understand what it takes to capture your best performance on film. My studio has ample parking, a quiet set, green screen, and separate podcast studio. Don’t hesitate to call if you have last-minute projects or weekend auditions. I look forward to working with you.”
Whisper Films Digital is easy to get to from Glendale, and has a conversation-starting set still standing. Ruis is easy to talk to and great to work with. My thanks to him for supplying the subject + theme of my first post of 2015: a local business owner working in video + an ascendent component of online publishing media.