Symphony of the Hills | Non-Profit Promotional Video

by Aaron Yates

The Symphony of the Hills is a pretty unique group. They are a 70+ piece orchestra based right here in Kerrville, Texas. There aren’t many communities the size of Kerrville that can field a professional orchestra like this one! The Symphony approached me in the spring of 2016 and wanted to create a new promotional video that they could use to inform potential donors, grant committees, and fans about the organization and what makes it special.

Every non-profit has a very tight budget, and that’s typically by design. They’d rather spend their money on programming rather than administrative costs, marketing, or other overhead. And we judge non-profits on their ability to spend a certain percentage of their revenues on programming rather than administration. So all of our non-profit clients come to us with a budget in mind, yet of course, like all of our clients (non-profits and private groups), they want exceptional quality and focused messaging. We were able to work with the Symphony board to come up with a budget and scope of work that would accomplish all of their goals and stay within their budget.

The video below was created by using only one videographer (Aaron Yates) filming just one concert on one night. The interview/monologue was filmed separately at a later date, but was also done with only one videographer. The reason this bears mentioning is to demonstrate that high production values can be achieved without a huge production or a huge staff. Yes, if we were to film that concert for a commemorative BluRay or something like that, we’d need a lot more staff. But to film for “clips” we can get by with just a skeleton crew and still achieve fantastic results.

After filming the concert and the monologue, I edited the video to give a comprehensive (but not too long) look at what the symphony does and how it does it.

If your organization or group is interested in using video to promote itself or its mission, please contact me to discuss how we can help you. We have services available to fit almost any budget, and the services and products you receive can be used in a multitude of different ways to really leverage the value you receive.

Technical Information

As mentioned above, all of the footage used in this video was captured by a single videographer — Aaron Yates — along with some courtesy footage and courtesy photos provided by the Symphony and its supporters. Filming a concert like this one with a single videographer means that we really can’t capture a film that can be played in its duration from start to finish, but that wasn’t the goal to begin with. When filming for clips like we did here, the videographer moves around the concert to gather footage from a variety of different vantage points. This is done to give us a variety of clips and to reduce the monotony or repetitiveness of showing the same angle over and over throughout this type of video.

For the majority of the concert footage, we used the Canon C100 with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. For the interview/monologue footage, we used that same C100 with a 50mm f/1.4 lens, along with a second camera — the Canon 5D Mark IV with the 24-70mm f/2.8 lens — mounted on a Kessler Second Shooter automated slider setup. Audio was captured using Sennheiser wireless lapel microphones. To keep our “talent” from having to memorize the script, we used an off-camera teleprompter setup on an iPad.

Some of the still images used here were “courtesy photos” from the Symphony, but others were captured by our staff photographer Maikenzy Dezarn using the Canon 5D Mark III and a variety of lenses.

All of the editing was done with Adobe products including After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Audition.