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Paranormal-CSI & How Vertex Helped

Hello My name is Barry Elliot and I am a student at UCI, when I first undertook the challenge of shooting the documentary for my paranormal team, I thought I had all the bases covered. I had taken classes at the local public access TV station and I had access to all of their equipment. Little did I know that my project would soon turn into a nightmare. I needed help. I needed a professional to come in so I called Vertex Media.

Let me backtrack for a moment. Like many team leaders I feel like I can take on the world and so I do. Having studied photography, recording studio engineering and stage lighting in college, I thought that I could handle any situation. 

Sony TRV740When we went out on location to the allegedly haunted building, I had my trusty Sony TRV740 in hand which shoots in true infrared and I also had lapel mics, wireless mics, a mic boom system and a shotgun mic on hand for audio use. Having to be mobile, I had decided to use a monopod instead of a standard tripod. 

OK so I was ready to go…everything was going fine and dandy until I realized that the building had a lot of echo to it. I tried every mic that I had to no avail. In fact, my very expensive shotgun mic was the worst of the lot. But like any trooper, I kept shooting. I found myself shooting in dark rooms, huge hallways with very dim lighting and I also found mys elf having to shoot at odd angles.

The main problem I was having was that the IR light on my video camera that doubled as a regular light, shot a very narrow beam so I could only shoot one person at a time. I was not able to get the whole room in the light of the camera.

The other issue I was dealing with was time constraints. We had only a few hours to investigate and shoot and then we had to leave. So essentially, all my shots had to be perfect.

So there I was shooting away. At the end of the night I had shot no less than four 90 minute Hi8 tapes. I was exhausted and headed for home so that I could start my video editing.

When I finally sat down at my editing computer, I nearly had a heart attack. The majority of my footage was shaky, there were no cues between scenes and the audio from the shotgun mic was all on one channel. Add to that the audio sounded tinny because of the echo. No what? Here I thought I was using the best camera I could afford for videography and it had turned into a mess.

I finally broke down and hired Vertex Media to help. It was worth every penny. They were very patient with me and didn’t laugh when I told them about my attempt at being a Paranormal Investigator / videographer.

114Vertex Media Located at 2121 S Yale St, Santa Ana, CA 92704, their studio is state-of-the-art and very impressive. They had the equipment that I didn’t. From the proper lighting to professional video cameras, it was a world of difference when compared to the way I was filming. Add to that, even before we went on scene for the investigation, they sat down with my crew and I and explained every step of the process including what they expected of us and then listened to the ideas that we had.

Once we got on location, the camermen were really easy to work with and I think they enjoyed the challenge of shooting in the dark. Unlike the equipment that I used, their cameras are state-of-the art and they had several ways of carrying them and getting that steady shot. They even use a dolly or two. It was the same way with the audio. In fact, I was kind of embarrassed to show them what equipment I was using. And after looking at their footage I think they use the best camera for videography.

Nonetheless, the shoot was done very professionally and although we worked hard at producing a good product, at the end of the day we were proud of what we had done.

Also their editing was far superior to my poor Mac. They have four areas where they edit video and the system they use is very high speed.

I can honestly say, if it hadn’t been for Vertex, my project would have been a disaster.

October 20, 2015