Tis the season for taking holiday videos of family and friends, so I sat down with Video Production Director Steve Gonski. With Stokes for 8 years now, Steve is the well-rounded and talented creative professional who oversees the video production department. Enjoy this chat about all things video and Happy Holidays!

Nicole: Let’s start by talking about the popularity of video and how cell phones have made it a part of everyday life. How has this affected the video production industry?

Steve: Digital video has come a long way in the past several years, from affordable DSLRs to camera phones that everyone carries around in their pocket. The cost of production has really come down and allowed more people to produce quality content. Of course, it also allows more people to produce poor content – skill and knowledge still play a huge role when it comes to delivering something watchable.

Nicole: What’s one thing that most people don’t know about taking videos on their phones or with digital cameras?

Steve: I would say most people don’t know how much effort actually goes into taking good videos – or photos for that matter. People assume it’s point and shoot which is definitely not the case. There is a world of difference between an okay shot and a great shot. You need to practice good composition, have good lighting and actually invest some time into learning the intricacies of the equipment you’re using. There is also a time and a place when all that matters, though. If you’re filming the kids during the holidays for a home video, just have fun and don’t worry about the cinematography. But If you’re filming for a major client’s promotional video, nothing less than the great shots will do.

Nicole: In terms of capturing holiday memories on video, what should people be sure to get on video and what are some tips for making it better?

Steve: Here’s a hot tip for you – if you’re shooting video on your phone remember that you can turn it sideways! Vertical videos are the bane of all videographers and if you shoot like this you should stop and take moment to reflect on how you’re hurting those around you. Really, just stop doing this.

Nicole: Any advice for what to do with all of these videos?

Steve: A lot of videos these days are being shared via social media and YouTube. There are good platforms out there for delivering your content, you just need to do some research and figure out what best suits your video and who your audience is.

Nicole: Lastly, what will you be capturing video of this holiday season? Do your kids enjoy taking or making videos of their own?

Steve: I will be spending the holidays with my family and of course the camera phone will make an appearance and we’ll make some fun videos of them opening gifts and enjoying themselves. As for my own kids’ interest in videography, my oldest (age 8) wants to come to work with me and fly our new drone. I had to let her down gently and tell her she’ll need to wait until she’s at least ten years old before flying our expensive equipment as an uninsured and unlicensed pilot.