COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT | HDPROGUIDE Global Network | Q&A with Mark Schulze and Patty Mooney of Crystal Pyramid Productions

HDPROGUIDE: Tell us about your current projects.

Crystal Pyramid Productions is San Diego’s longest-standing video production house, established by CEO Mark Schulze in 1981.

Our “bread-and-butter” projects are to produce, shoot and edit for corporate and broadcast clients who need elite video production services in San Diego for their projects.

In the television broadcast realm, we shoot for Inside Edition, Crime Watch Daily, Entertainment Tonight, PBS Newshour and others.

Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, we were pioneers in the Special-Interest, Educational video genres, producing such classics as “Massage for Relaxation,” “The Great Mountain Biking Video,” “Anti-Terrorism: Weapons & Tactics,” and several other titles that were the first of their kind.

These titles were produced and distributed under our company, New & Unique Videos. Recently, N&UV has begun pre-production on a documentary tentatively entitled, “Cannabis Tales” which is due for release in 2018.

We are also digitizing our New & Unique Videos library of stock footage from the 1950’s through the 2000’s shot on film, Betacam SP, DV, HDV and 4K.

HDPROGUIDE: Can you share with us one of your projects, or an achievement, that you feel has impacted your work and career in a significant way?

We recently finished a satellite uplink project from our studio here in San Diego to Johannesburg, Africa.

The live satellite feed at 6 AM was sent from San Diego to Atlanta; from Atlanta to the Congo; and from the Congo to Johannesburg for their afternoon session.

The speaker was Salim Ismael, a celebrated futurist and CEO of the Singularity Institute, who spoke to the audience for 30 minutes with an additional 15-minute Q&A.

This project was a milestone for us and the San Diego video production community, illustrating the leaps and bounds of video communication – we’ve gone from the days of mailing videotapes, to today when communication with people on the other side of the planet occurs nearly instantaneously.

HDPROGUIDE: Can you share with us a filmmaking, production or post production “Challenge and Solution”?
One of our most valued new equipment acquisitions is Convergent Design’s Odyssey 7Q+ monitor with the Apollo and Titan options. It’s just as the marketing materials describe it, “a production studio in the palm of your hand.” When we used it during a cooking show ( at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, it made our editor’s job more of a breeze since she was able to use footage from three Sony Cine Alta cameras plus the  live-switched footage.  What a far cry from using one Betacam SP camera and having the talent repeat the same segment three or four different times.

HDPROGUIDE: If you could share your Top 3 Tips related to working in film/tv/broadcast what would they be?

(1) If you do what you love and love what you do, then you will never work a day in your life; it’s really true. In the video production industry, a positive attitude goes a long way.

(2) Wear as many hats as you possibly can. That means you can cast a wider net for any potential work.  If you are an editor who also operates a camera, you will know not to overshoot. If you are a sound mixer who also operates a teleprompter, you can offer this tandem service to clients, thus saving them some money.  Many shoots these days call for the “one-man band” who can light an interview, lav the talent and roll the camera. The more you can do, the more work will come your way.

(3) Be proactive on the set.



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