Funny story about troubleshooting – it’s the simple things 🙂

The Spectrum Fusion Media Team has recently acquired new equipment to increase the quality of our productions! Currently, we are working on video storytelling, a documentary, and our introductory videos for Showcase Platforms where we showcase the talents of our participants.

Soft box lights, LED lights, backdrops, boom mic, and an audio mixer are a few of the upgrades that we purchased to bring our media team to the next level of video production! After receiving constructive feedback that our video quality would need to improve if we
wanted to be ’in-the-game’ we made the decision to purchase quality production equipment to provide every opportunity for our team to increase their skills in the media field. Now, thanks to a number of generous donations, Spectrum Fusion has been able to purchase new equipment for their filmmaking. Philip Thomas said, “Let’s just say that I feel relieved that we can utilize the new equipment to better our skills.”

Light and audio are essential components of a quality production and the first thing that the media team needed was to improve lighting and audio. Before acquiring our new equipment, the media team filmed all of our videos with 35-watt bulbs and reflection umbrellas for lighting and used lavaliere microphones to capture audio. While the old bulbs certainly produced light, they weren’t bright enough to fully illuminate a room for a video camera, especially a Canon 80D. Furthermore, the umbrellas didn’t allow all of the light to shine on the video subjects. To remedy this problem the team purchased an HPUSN soft box lighting kit, which came with 85-watt bulbs. The soft boxes allow all of the light from the bulbs to shine onto a subject, and reflective sheets can be placed over the boxes to help spread the light. The boxes also came with their own tripods, allowing them to be raised higher or lower, depending on the needs of the shot. 

An LED light was also purchased for backlighting. While smaller than the soft boxes, the LED light has an adjustable brightness control and 5 differently colored filters that allow for different mood lighting. Despite its small size, the LED is also nice and bright.

The audio quality was another important concern. After some research, the media team discovered that what they needed was something called a shotgun microphone. The team purchased the Rode NTG2, a microphone popular among professional filmmakers. Something also had to be used to hold the microphone close to the audio source, as merely attaching the microphone to the camera would not catch the best audio quality. Thus, a RODE boom pole was purchased as well. Unlike boom stands, which are normally used by musicians, the boom pole allowed for the microphone to be raised as high as is necessary to capture the best audio, and allowed the operators to work at multiple different angles.

In order to connect the microphone to the camera, the microphone also needed two more pieces of equipment: an XLR cable and an audio mixer. For the audio mixer, the team settled on a Comica CVM-AX3. This mixer is small and compact enough to fit on top of the camera or between the camera and the tripod. It can also hook up to one or two different microphones. This allows the team to use both their new microphone and the old lavalier microphones in tandem. With a connector cable hooking the shotgun microphone to the audio mixer, and the mixer connecting to the camera, the team discovered that they were receiving higher quality audio than they ever had before. 

Finally, we purchased 3 different backdrops. Before the backdrops were purchased, we had to meticulously control the filming environment in order to make sure the shot was clean. Even so, many of the shots still looked unprofessional. The new backdrops will allow
our team to film videos in any room easily, without worrying about having clutter in the background. 

Rhys Griffin shared his thoughts: “With the new lighting, audio equipment and backdrops, Spectrum Fusion Media is ready for just about anything their future video projects may throw their way!” Philip Thomas also added, “Our showcase platform videos are the key to helping adults on the autism spectrum so their skills and talents that will be recognized by the whole world.”

The media team is optimistic about their future!

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