We had a client review a first draft of a video we were producing for them. “We were all in tears by the end of the video,” she told us. “How do you do that in only four minutes?”
Now we’re not in the business of intentionally making people cry. But we are in the business of moving viewers emotionally. We do that by mastering and utilizing the oldest video production technology there is—storytelling. No amount of high-tech camera, lighting, or sound equipment can make up for a poorly told story.
Stories are what grab viewers, keep them engaged, and move them to act, whether that’s contributing to your nonprofit or buying your product or service.
We come from documentary film backgrounds, where success and failure rest on the ability to tell a compelling story. Our track record speaks for itself—Emmy Award, film festival awards, audience choice awards, and distribution on Netflix, DirecTV, Amazon, and iTunes. You don’t earn those kinds of honors unless viewers are highly engaged with your stories.
“You’re only as good as the tools you use” goes the adage. This couldn’t be more true for video production. Using the right tools for the job is crucial for producing quality imagery. That goes for sound equipment, lights, and, of course, cameras.
Today, there are countless options for cheap tools. But we take our craft seriously and that means we don’t compromise on the quality of the equipment we choose to work with for the videos we produce for our clients. The primary cameras we use are broadcast quality cinema cameras, which we’ve used for everything from broadcast commercials to documentary feature films to National Geographic programs. This helps us deliver high-quality videos that bring prestige and credibility to our clients.
The film and video industry is an apprentice-based business and those who have spent time learning from masters of the craft most often are the ones who go on to produce some of the highest-quality work in the business.
Z-Channel Films is guided by founder and creative director Doug Gritzmacher, who spent several years apprenticing with highly talented film and video production professionals. His training began while in college when he completed four internships, including one where he produced an episode for a weekly PBS show. Following those experiences he earned a masters of fine art degree in film.
While studying for that degree, he worked at National Geographic Television & Film where he had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the best filmmakers in the world.
He went on to freelance full-time, starting off as an assistant to some of the top commercial and documentary cinematographers in the country. Since then he has started this company and produced films that have received numerous films festival awards, been acquired by Netflix, and commissioned by DirecTV.
All of that training is reflected in the work we produce today for our clients and what you can expect to see in any work we produce for you.
A lot of components go into crafting a high quality video—composition, focal length, color, camera movement, and, most importantly, light.
Video is a two-dimensional medium, specifcally the height and width of whichever screen you are viewing it on. For filmmakers, the challenge is making what’s inside those two dimensions appear three dimensional. That is accomplished primarily with light.
The ability to light well is a skill that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but it has enormous consequences on the quality of your video.
Take a look at this still image grabbed from a video produced by a Denver-area video production company.
Now take a look at a still image from a video produced by us.
The difference in lighting (as well as composition) between the two speaks volumes about the quality of each video. It doesn’t take any bigger budget to have professional lighting for your video, just a skillset that the filmmakers you have hired may or may not have.
For us, lighting is an art form we have been honing and refining for 20 years.
PUTTING YOU FIRST
Ours is a creative industry where our clients expect us to help with a creative vision. But we think it’s a mistake when our fellow filmmakers lose sight of the most important part of a client-vendor relationship, which is that we are producing a product not for ourselves, but for our clients.
We’re making a video for you, not us.”
We recognize that at the end of the day whatever we produce for you needs to meet your goals. You know your business or organization best. That’s why the first thing we do at the kickoff of any project is ask a lot of questions and then spend time listening.
Only after we have a clear grasp of your goals do we start offering our suggestions on a creative direction. And if you find we are off course during a revision round, we’ll listen to you and find ways to get back on course.
Thanks for taking the time to get to know a little about us. If our video production company sounds like it might be a fit for you, please contact us so we can get to know you and the goals you have in mind for your video project.