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  • Not everyone is your client

    As humans, we say yes, all the time without thinking about it. When you start, you say yes all the time. We get emails all the time asking for video and animation requests. Everyone has an idea. Ideas are just thoughts. Thoughts need to be made in an actionable task. So when we work with a client. We break things down. What is the purpose of all this? Why do you want to make this? Who is this for? Social media feels like a run-on sentence. When most agencies work with companies. They just think of the one time purchase. It's like having a conversation with someone. If someone came up to you and just said one sentence and walked away. How would you connect them? Social media, content creation and anything related to media is about creating a report with your audience. You want to have a conversation with them rather than a performance. It takes time to understand each other. Look back at your childhood. Going to school. To get to know people, you have to spend time with them. At least 200 hours. We take a different approach to what we do and get to know you and what makes you tick. We want to build with you, we want to create with you and this is the key to stand out. We want to help smuggle your message to the masses.

  • How we Work at Visual Smugglers

    How We Work at Visual Smugglers We all have to find what works for us. This is the process that works with us. 1. Sprinting - Focused attention to work 2.Perspective - Keeping an open mind 3. Critical Thinking - Ideas backed with facts SPRINTING We plan our tasks out before we start the day. It's similar to what an assistant chef does with the ingredients. You have everything ready and prepped. Then you then get to work. We also sprint together As if you are an ant colony and all working together in perfect harmony completing a task together. PERSPECTIVE The difference between a videographer and an agency. Is the difference between a lone wolf and a pack of wolves. We keep our wolf pack diverse. Everyone has a different background. Everyone has their own worldview. This gives us a fresh PERSPECTIVE. We encourage this, we want to hear different opinions. To get a refined vision. You have to get rid of the things that don’t make sense. You have to step back to get a FRESH PERSPECTIVE We can also change our perspective by taking a step back. We like to cram our brains with data. Understand what we are undertaking. We communicate with our team and clients. We listen to everyone. We then take all that information and we go for a walk. We take a breather and we come back fresh, with NEW PERSPECTIVE. CRITICAL THINKING We question everything. Critical thinking, allows you to break down a problem and find a creative solution. By looking at the problem from different perspectives. You can find new solutions. Visual Smugglers like to keep a routine and a process. We believe in structure and parameters. They ironically allow you to be more creative. Creativity lives when you have fewer options. Critical thinking allows you to limit down the options. To get there, you have to do your research, see the problem from different perspectives. We like to keep things all in one place. We create Production Manual to each project. This is where we lay out the data, the logic behind our choices and our solutions. CONCLUSION We utilized many methods to get the job done. We think deeply about what we do. We spend time about finding patterns. You have to to see the bigger picture. You have to limit your choices so you can focus on the core message. Visual Smugglers is a animation and video production company. You can find out more information at


    Visual Smugglers are the rebels, the outlaws. The one's society tries to keep quiet. This guy is They were He Was They Were And them


    Visual Smugglers 7 Core Values 1. 🌱 GROWTH 2. 🧠 CRITICAL THINKING 3. 📲COMMUNICATION 4. 🕸INTENTION 5. 💪DISCIPLINE 6. ⚖️ACCOUNTABILITY 7. ⛏AUTHENTICITY 1. 🌱 GROWTH We believe in 🧠 Learning and 🌱 Growing We put it into the work. We spend TIME learning about our craft. So that you can focus on your business. We're always learning and growing as a result of this. “You know, you don't see with your eyes You see with your brain And the more words your brain has The more things you can see” -KRS ONE 🧠 📈WE HAVE A GROWTH MINDSET 2.🧠 CRITICAL THINKING We are CRITICAL THINKERS A creative person is a problem solver. It’s about applying LOGIC and REASONING to solve the problem. Critical Thinking Formula Thoughts + Feeling + Logic + Reasoning = Critical thinking CRITICAL THINKING TO US IS ABOUT FINDING THE TRUTH, THE WHY. Critical thinking in images These images resemble different forms of critical thinking. the 1st image is of my Dad. The 2nd image is of a small school in a village in India. Education helps us progress in life. When we learn how to read, we are opening a world of possibility. Education helps us rise up. The last image is of a man reading a religious book. Taken in London, England. Hyde Park (Speakers Corner.) It’s amazing how a book 3.📲COMMUNICATION Things are moving fast BUT one thing remains the same the power of STORY and TELLING YOUR STORY. Content built around you. We believe it’s better to focus on what you're trying to COMMUNICATE and using storytelling to help achieve this. “This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium - that is, of any extension of ourselves - result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.” - Marshall McLuhan LESS TALK, MORE VISUALS. Communication In images These images resemble different forms of communication. 1st image the love and joy of having friends giving a positive aura around are important for friendships. 2nd image construction workers working together but if one guy messes up the guy behind can be in huge trouble, so that communication between the front guy and back guy must be kept copacetic at all times. Last image, a couple in love kissing even in a random location their love flows without any words needed. 4. 🕸INTENTION We start with the purpose of what we are doing. We create with intention and add the to the creative brief. Video is a collaborative medium. When we are on the same page. When multiple hands and eyes are working on something. Things get done faster and your content is in sync with your brand vision. We get to know who you are, what makes you tick, what your goal is and then create content with INTENTION. “A storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself.” ― Daniel Wallace Intention in images These images resemble the intricate detail of planning and organizing on the outcome whether it's carving feeding others, or defeating an obstacle the end desire is greater and the process is what keeps them focused 5. 💪DISCIPLINE We set a plan and we stick to it. We don’t move the goal post while we're playing. We don’t miss deadlines and we keep everyone on the same page. “..Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to do an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you're sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that's almost never the case.” ― Chuck Close Athletes practice days, hours and weeks on end for a 45 min game. When not shooting, we are refining our craft. When we're on set, we keep things like clockwork. When we are working on a project, we are only focused on what we are doing. DISCIPLINE IS AN IMPORTANT CORE VALUE TO US. TO BE GREAT, YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK AND HAVE THE DISCIPLINE. Discipline in images These images show three different lifestyles, In the 1st image, the wrestler is seen sitting while others fight he may be going through multiple scenarios on if he should keep fighting or rest today. In the 2nd image, the crops won’t grow unless it rains but he doesn't know that, so he stays disciplined even when it's extremely sunny outside his belief of it will rain and his hard work will pay off is what keeps him moving. The last image breaking countless coconuts can be mind-numbing, but his discipline pushes through boredom, pain and exhaustion. 6. ⚖️ACCOUNTABILITY No excuses ever for anything. If you didn’t do something, you didn't do it. If someone asks you if you can do something. It’s yes or no. We stand by our word and we make sure before every shoot there is a contract involved. That includes responsibility, expectations and terms and conditions. This states accountability, deadlines, fees and terms and conditions. We make sure everyone on our team is accountable. We like to work as a factor. Each person filling a role to get the job completed. Accountability in Images All three images have one thing in common strong women working every day without taking a day off. They can’t take a day off until their job is done no matter if it’s working, cooking, or learning at school. It’s up to them if they want to stay accountable for their actions at the end of the day 7. ⛏AUTHENTICITY Being authentic is being yourself even though your voice may tremble. It’s about doing the self-work and asking the right question. It's getting to the "WHY" and taking a hard look at yourself, so you can find the solution. ⛏💎 It's chipping away at this diamond block every day. To make a vision in your head manifest. Every day you just got to chip away at it. You can only be your authentic self if you shed yourself from your limitations and low opinions of yourself. "We live in a world where authenticity is being tested. We tend to lean towards what is TRENDY and tremble when we hear the world be ourselves. We lean towards telling your story and creating a brand around your CORE values. It’s about finding the truth, you get to ask yourself “...Cause I, at the end of the day we gonna find out it's not about the white-hot space, but it's about finding the truth. That white-hot space — people think it's the biggest thing, but it's really small. It's almost like a trend. Would you rather be a trend, or you rather be Ralph Lauren? You know what I mean; like, you rather be a trend, or you rather be forever? I’m the person that looked at the Mona Lisa and be like, Man, that’s gonna be cool in 40 years. I play forever. And so my whole thing is to identify with the truth. Not to be the youngest, hottest, new, trendy thing.” - JAY Z Authenticity in images These images stand out because the humans in them bring this unique presence of being themselves without hiding anything. The older they get the wiser and open they are to being themselves without caring about what the world says. Visual Smugglers is an Animation & Video production company. We specialize in short-form promotional content to help promote your brand, business, music and Youtube channel. Find out more information at


    WHEN BRANDS CONNECT WITH ARTIST The digital landscape is a battlefield. Kanye West has been battling for attention, from the beginning Artists, need to be seen, they need to be heard. He was part of the celebrity pop culture. The Gate Keepers back then. They told us what was cool. Still from They Live Movie Back then, with his famous episode at the MTV awards. Caught him a lot of attention. Things have changed. The game has changed. When you drop an album. It's no big deal. FADE IN: Kanye WEST So Kanye evolved. He evolved to create his own buzz. He entered the stage with his iconic red jacket. These parties created anticipation. In a world where when you drop an album and get lost in the 🌊 sea of music. There is an actual BUZZ and DESIRE. Also, think about his social media content. What brand does he use to show his text message? What's app? Facebook Messenger? Nope. Apple native He is controlling the narrative. This is all part of the show. It's a new way of marketing. It's about telling YOUR STORY. He has told his story over and again. As Tech advances. The story gets better. It gets more realistic. We can bring what we see in our minds to life. You have to create content that is visually engaging and TELLS A STORY. HE IS A STORYTELLER NOT JUST LIMITED TO ONE MEDIUM. He streamed his life. As if he was on a Reality TV Show. He streamed all this REALITY TV LIVE. WITHOUT AUDIO, REALITY WEST. THE MEDIA has been telling the same story in different ways. We have to create the story in our minds. It's not easy and it's a lot of work. An Artist is a storyteller. Big brands want to appear cool. They fund the work. Kanye also is interacting with his fans differently. Hip hop right now is really using an artist cool appeal. Artists make cool things, people follow them. Brands see value in their audience and endorse them. His Stem Device where you can customize his music. Could a device like learn our taste in music? Or Did Rick and Morty do it better? As big media grows, so do smaller brands and content creators are starting to go onto the other side. They are getting offered TV shows. media is changing artists are telling us to pay ATTENTION. Listen to Kanye West - Donda 🔗

  • Process for coming up with the logo

    LESS TALK, MORE VISUALS. How it started How it ended


    Step 1: Client onboarding 📝 After we have agreed to move forward on a animation project we send the client a client intake form, this is a questionnaire that quickly gathers information that is relevant to the project but that the client might not think of (what platforms this project will be shared on, how long it will be, what the ideal deadline is). After the client has filled out the intake form we will review the form internally with all relevant parties on the creative team. We then have a 1 hour video chat to review the client intake form. In this meeting we will present all of the references and have a quick summary conversation about the project that we have agreed to collaborate on. The main objective of this meeting is to make sure that everyone involved is on the same page and we are able to move forward with intention and clear communication in order to respect everyone’s time and execute the vision . Step 2: Ideation 💡 After the one hour meeting we will make a creative brief that clearly outlines the project as well as a story/ mood board that will serve as a reference for the animators to work with but also give the client a clear idea of what the final video will look like. Once approved we begin the client intake process. The story board is created by an illustrator, it is a simplified outline of the final video. The animator will listen through the received audio files and make a basic outline of what each scene or new frame will look like. He will then make a list of all assets that will be needed. Step 3: Intake 🛬 From there we receive all relevant files from the client via Drive or an email. We will then send a folder and an email with a list of all relevant assets needed for the client (this will usually be the audio recording that the story will be built around or any pre-made assets such as logos or even a select music track, brand kit, video files or lyrics). From there the lead animator will store all files on the cloud and on their personal drive. Each asset will be organized into our company project file structure. For each project the relevant assets should be stored in the exact same folder structure in order to maintain organization across the company. An asset list will include each character that will appear in the project and the level of animation needed on each. Each background needed Each asset needed (typography for words, bird flying through the air, explosion, etc.) Step 4: Illustration and animation ✍️ The animation process will now begin. Procreate is a big part of our animation process and a large number of assets will be made in this app. But depending on the project and animator we may also use programs such as Photoshop or Toon Boom Harmony. Despite the program this part of the process is where illustrations are made. Anything that needs to be drawn will be done in this step and we will simultaneously be creating some animated assets as well. Sometimes a project will only need a character to be represented by one or two transitioning frames, sometimes, we will need to make frame-by-frame animation. That would also happen in this stage, each exact process depends heavily on the style of the final product. Most backgrounds will be made in procreate, with correctly separated layers that make it possible for complex manipulation in the compositing phase. If a character is being animated in Character Animator it will need to have a puppet rigged for it. A puppet is a PNG or PSD single frame illustration that can be brought into Adobe Character Animator and manipulated in real time using the webcam as a reference. Once rigged the puppet will follow your movements and speech pattern in real time. This puppet file can be done in procreate, illustrator, photoshop or any other program that can export a PNG and then sent to our character rigger (Andrea). She will then rig the characters in Character Animator and send them back to the illustrator where they can be animated (also in Adobe Character Animator). This animation process will take place in the next step. Simultaneously the illustrator creates all characters, assets and backgrounds and then exports them as PNG or MOV files. Depending on the project details multiple animators/illustrators will be used. Right now I use my friend Andrea to rig puppets for use in Character Animator. She can also be used for BGs and other assets depending on the job. The files from the rigger would be put into a file to be downloaded by the animator and stored on the hard drive. Step 5: Recording and Compositing 🔴▶️ Assets are then sent to After Effects for animation and composition. If we are using puppets this would be where the performances would be recorded live. The animator would take the rigged puppet and import it into Adobe Character animator. They would then take the relevant character audio file and import it into Adobe Character Animator as well. He will then record a clean take and make all relevant character changes. Adjusting mouth keyframes and re-recording certain movements. After the recording is complete the animator will then export a transparent video file that can be brought into after effects during the composition process. The composition stage is where all relevant assets are brought together and assembled using an editing program, usually Adobe After Effects and sometimes in combination with Premiere. The transparent Character Animator export will be combined with the backgrounds and other supporting assets as well as any music files and vocal tracks. This is a critical stage in the process and will need a skilled animator to work in tandem with a knowledgeable creative director. Anything can be changed but it should be stressed that last minute changes are not ideal, especially given the complex nature of animation. All relevant details should be hashed out in the ideation phase. Having to change a character's shirt color or make a font switch might seem like an easy task but once the animation and composition process has begun it becomes increasingly difficult to do retroactively. The storyboard will become an integral guide for this stage of the process. Step 6: Review ✅ This step will likely be revisited multiple times along with the animation and composition stages in order to make hopefully small changes to the final product. A first draft is shown to the client and the review process begins. This is the step that causes the biggest bottleneck as we’re waiting on the client to get back to us before we can proceed. It would be ideal if the client could either have a short video chat or review the video on a video review site such as This will allow for the most efficiency in combining the client's thoughts with the animator's work. We should have an agreed upon number of changes and an efficient stream of communication in order to ensure that nothing gets lost in translation and wastes unnecessary time. Step 7: Export and delivery📦 After approval the final video is exported in all relevant aspect ratios. The animator will refer to the client intake form so they can resize and export all deliverables and upload them to the Drive for the client. Visual Smugglers is an animation and video agency. Less talk, more visuals. Find out more information about us at

  • Music Branded Doc

    Profile of video of Jeremy Rodney Hall (Photographer, filmmaker and musician) We live in a world where we want to fit in. Interesting work, doesn't happen like that. If you latch onto trends you end up being washed to sea like the end of a wave. It's better to do your own thing. Live in your own world. Find what you find interesting. In this project called Words of Wisdom, we did that. This was one of Visual Smugglers first projects. We headed out with two cameras and a tripod and slider. This was a project where you learned to be your authentic self. That's the self, that happens when you ignore all the cameras. Where you zone out and put yourself into the work. The moment you're vulnerable. Watch, words of wisdom by Jeremy Rodney Hall Visual Smugglers is an animation and video agency. Less talk, more visuals. Find out more information about us at

  • The Code - Our Core Values

    This is the code we live be at Visual Smugglers. These are our Core Values explained. There is a CODE we live by. It goes far beyond the production of animation. We are a collective of content creators, designers, illustrations, cinematographers and branding managers. INTENTION: Rules everything around us. We do things with the intention of them. We put great deals of effort into the planning and organization of each project. We make sure from the font, brand colours and the style of animation all lead to telling your story. DISCIPLINE: We set a plan and we stick to it. We don’t move the goal post while we're playing. We don’t miss deadlines and we keep everyone on the same page. COMMUNICATION: we make sure we are always on the same page. Not everything is in black and white. So we put great effort into making sure that we have a clear understanding of each other. ACCOUNTABILITY: Taking responsibility for all actions. Operating as a team and we expect this from all our team members. AUTHENTICITY: Being authentic is being yourself even though you may tremble. It’s about doing the self-work and asking the question to get to the root of the problem. You can only be your authentic self if you shed yourself from your own limitations Visual Smugglers is an animation and video agency. Less talk, more visuals. Find out more information about us at

  • Video Production Process Explained

    ⚙️ The Process Visualized Step 1: Client onboarding 🛬 After we have agreed to move forward on a video project we send the client a client intake form, this is a questionnaire that quickly gathers information that is relevant to the project but that the client might not think of (what platforms this project will be shared on, how long it will be, what the ideal deadline is). After the client has filled out the intake form we will review the form internally with all relevant parties on the creative team. We then have a 1-hour video chat to review the client intake form. In this meeting, we will present all of the references and have a quick summary conversation about the project that we have agreed to collaborate on. The main objective of this meeting is to make sure that everyone involved is on the same page and we are able to move forward with intention and clear communication in order to respect everyone’s time and execute the vision . 👟 Steps 1. Client fill in, new client form via google form Link or go through client from with client (get to know the budget, as we are an agency and have to figure out what the crew size is. We need to know what we are budgeting for, we need to know the deadline, simplify the shoot, lessen the premium pieces, lessen the revisions. 2. Have a meeting with a client, find out what they need. It’s important to have a budget to determine the scope and you can limit the amount of revision, the deadline, 3. Ask for assets, logo, fonts and branch colours and any preference of music. 4. Get a 1st deposit, and start work. Step 2: 📝 Pre-Production (The Plan) After the one hour meeting, we will make a creative brief that clearly outlines objectives and how to execute it. In our Creative Briefs, we include the idea and all the information needed to execute the project. This includes a mood board, shot list, script and any information related to the project. This is a production manual. This serves as a reference for us. So we are on the same page. This work is called the Pre-Production stage. Once approved we begin the client intake process. In the Pre-Production stage, we also like to go to location scouting, which is figuring out the logistics of filming at the location. We can fit our equipment and crew on location. OPERATION MANUAL SAMPLE Operation Manual Final Video Pre-Production Binder SECTION 1. PRODUCTION OVERVIEW Production Binder Cover Page Table of Contents Project Overview Top Sheet (WRAP) Profit Overview Top Sheet (WRAP) SECTION 2. CREATIVE Treatment Storyboards Mood Boards Shot List and/or Script SECTION 3. PRE_PRODUCTION Calendar Production Calendar Template Call Sheet All Call sheets Schedule Shooting Schedule Pick-Up Schedule Camera Sections Camera Notes Crew/Cast/Client Lists Cast List Crew Contact list Agency Questionnaire Gear/Rentals/Vendors Gear Rental List Vendor List Arts/Props Art Dept List Locations Location Scout List SECTION 4. CREW START PAPERWORK Crew Deal Memo Kit Rental Agreement Mileage Log & Reimbursement NDA Liability Waiver SECTION 6. ACCOUNTING Purchase Order Log Purchase Order Form Reimburse Expense Report Payment/Check Register Overage Report SECTION 10. BUDGET Final Budget Step 3: 🎥 Production Stage (The GIG) Once this document is approved. We start to go into Production. The production stage is where we have an intention of what we are doing. This is the stage where we start shooting. We always make sure we are using professional equipment and it’s been checked before filming. This is why we have pre-production. We need a production manual to know what we are shooting, when and what tools we need to complete it. We believe in BIPOC crews and make sure their sets are diverse and only work with the best creatives. We have full crews on deck. From Cinematographers, Directors and Sound Recordists. 👞 Steps We give you a job number i.e Apple002349 this is the referencence to the whole process. Pick crew, find contact information (email + number), set up a what apps group, explain rate and expectations. Get everyone to put BTS in the WhatsApp group. Crew Signs NDA which includes a condition excluding any BTS content being post duringing shooting. Send crew a production team a questionnaire, sample Asking covid questions, dietary, name, email, phone, emergency contact, role, link to Crew Agreement form and any other requirements i.e) also make sure they select an option for NO BTS on set, depending on the nature of the shoot. Set a protocol so that they can post when the project goes live. (All depends on the client) Send a crew shot list and all information for shoot (operation manual) and make sure everyone is on the same page. Location Scouting and production meetings and getting ready for production (gear check, logistics for shoot, shot list, scheduling Send call sheet Archive footage on hard drive after shoot Step 4: ✂️ Pre-Production Stage (The Drop) This is the stage where we edit the project. The editing is where the magic happens. Through the editing process we have an assistant editor, editor and colourist involved. We value your input throughout each of the stages, making sure that you get what you envisioned and more. We start first with a rough cut, this is where we assemble the skeleton of the project. We then go on to refine this edit to further revisions. We like to edit in stages and integrate your feedback to the edits. When we get closer to end of the editing process, we work on the motion graphics, sound and finally colouring of the video. Colour and sound are extra layers that help involve the viewer into the video. Film is all about stages and going through the process. We involve you in the editing process and adjust the edit to your liking once you feel happy with the results. We export the final videos to the format of your desire. From the big screen to the big screen. 1. Send client first revision, (get second deposit) 2. Integrate new feedback in the second version. (3rd second deposit) 3. We send in the final video, we call this The DROP. We can offer $150 to put the files and project files on a hard drive. Shipping excluding. Summary 1. PRE-PRODUCTION (Vision of the film) So we make sure that we are all on the same page. We call this stage the Pre-Production stage or we like to call it, “The Gig” . We draft up how we are going to complete the job and the crew involved. 2. Production (Filming) Once we have the crew, we are ready for the gig (Production) and the creation of the project. We send our G’s (The ARTIST) out to do the job. When they are working on a project this is called the Production stage. 3. The Pre-Production (Editing) Once they have done their fine work, we put it all together in the cutting room. This is the editing process. We keep you in the loop and make sure we are all on the same page. Once the edit has been approved, we give you an offer you can’t refuse. The final delivered file. We like to call the Drop. (Delivery of content) We just made something together, now your family. Visual Smugglers creates animation and video content for Brands and Business. You can view our reel at

  • The Latest Camera*

    This is a topic that excites a lot of people. Cameras, well we don't blame them. The cameras are cool. There more brands than 10 years ago. We are pushing things to the limit. We have many tools to pick from. But we must remember these are just tools. They make images but not a story or communicate a feeling. My Story My first cameras a Canon 10D, which was back in 2003. It was 6 million pixels. When the iPhone came out, my thought was. This is garbage. My phone can take better pictures. So my phone was my main medium. The way technology evolves is by getting smaller, cheaper and more practical. Look at the evolution of the phone. Using a heavy camera all the time can be annoying. Having full manual controls sometimes takes you from actually creating. Having a phone, you can take shots anywhere. Makes life easier and the experience more pleasurable. Switch years ahead and now iPhones have the ability to capture high res images that rival the SLR. Yet, I still use my video camera. It's amazing how tech has changed our lives. We used to the arcade, go to restaurants and carry music on a separate device. Now the restaurants come to you, games can be played anywhere. We hold all this power in our pocket. We have ultimate power. We must not forget that, at the end of the day. These are tools, they will get smaller and affordable. They are tools that we have to work with. Tools that we learn the quirks off. Before you start talking about cameras, you need to remember, the story first. Throughout history, we keep forgetting there are so many other things that go into making a movie. Conclusion We can have all the fancy graphics at the end of the day. Yet I still play NHL 95 and listen to cassettes. We can own a vast amount of digital content, but we usually go for what we liked from the past. Never forget story first, tools later. These are just tools, you would think the industry would learn. We can access 1,000s and millions of songs on the internet. It's somehow not fascinating. Just having everything in your pocket doesn't mean it's going to make your life better. It doesn't mean it's better. Fun has to be taken into the equation. We have sharper lenses, yet people want the old fashioned look. Don't buy the narrative the latest is the best, find what works with you and what you need to do. Not everyone is shooting 4k. Nor do you need it. They are just tools. You have to remind yourself. Story rules everything around me. Visual Smugglers is a Toronto based Video agency that creates social media content for Brands and Business. You can view our reel at

  • The Process of making Youtube Content

    We see the end result and think that it just happened. Well working with (Artist) Adom On Acid We did the Cinematography. The Beginning When you start a project, you got to think about where it's going to end up. At first, we thought about creating a Youtube video formated for 16:9 We thought the audience would view this on their TV and laptops. So this motivates how you frame your subject. 16:9 Format for Youtube Video We love this softbox, it's small but packs a bite. Also easy to set up. The power was at 40%. Shot on a small square desk from Ikea. We also kept these videos for over 1 minute. We also shot this as RAW, 4K. The Middle We kept trying, limited by space, the problem was how do you get different looks with limited space. First lesson, when you're doing a daily vlog. Don't shoot 4k. We also wanted to test. Youtube Shorts. Ended up shooting 1080p, ProRes, LT. So here we got a little more ambitious. We had one Gel with a Magenta Gel. The process is always evolving. The overhead shot was too flat for me. So at the end. You learn to control this, you use neg fill and your light ratios. Light spreads everywhere. It interferes with other light. So you have to control where it hits. Snoots, neg fill and spot lights are great attachments to do this. The End We moved to a loft, so now space wasn't the issue. We had a great wooden table so started to use that as a prop. While shooting through the day in a studio. You don't want to wait for mother nature to till you when it's AM or PM. So we blocked off all the daylight. Neon image brake down So here, you start to sculpt in your image. Using a negative fill. You are blocking the light hitting frame left. There was too much spill, the light I'm using is super powerful and had it at 4% and it still overpowered all my other lights. When you get into lighting. It's all about ratios. To keep ratios and contrast, you need to add a negative fill. Light spills everywhere, so you have to contain it. Using an MC, point right at the subject, you also are creating contrast. Colours also add depth to your Image. An Aputure Spotlight with a 19 Degree Beam angle. Allows you to get very specific with your light. It focuses the light and then you have built-in cutters to help shape the light. We just wanted to light the top of the frame. It's like having a built-in negative fill. You can really shape your light and have it hit a specific point. For many years, snoots were my best friends. Conclusion Through the whole process, you learn, which is the best format. Most things get better over time, the more you shoot something, the more you hone into your vision. Limit yourself to one location, one prop, one desk, one set. Then keep adding layers to it. It takes time to find the look of something. Challenge yourself also to find multiple looks in the same room. Overhead are great to practice your creativity. Normally you use see flat lighting, but try lighting object on the desk. Add props that add to the story. Visual Smugglers is a Toronto based Video Production Company. We create video content and animation for Brands, Influencers and Business. To view our portfolio and get in touch

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