When Lou Douros takes on a project, it's because he believes there's a story worth telling. He finds the subtle nuances that make an idea special.
Sometimes that happens in an interview, on camera. Other times it's in the middle of the night on a computer screen.
The sweet spot of story-making is in the telling.
Lou is currently accepting projects with 30-day deadlines.
"Some people tell stories, I make them watchable.
I take concepts through completion, from paper, to lens, to upload."
I live in Grass Valley, CA. I'm an independent producer, creative, writer/photographer/editor who collaborates with numerous other professionals and clients to make watchable stories out of people and their ideas.
I'm also Artist - In - Residence for video production at the Entrepreneurs Campus, a business accelerator in Folsom, CA. I work out of the 800sq.ft. studio I created at the Campus with support of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, and the Campus itself.
Friendship; that's what seems to happen when I start working with clients. It's because of trust and mutual respect. I try to select clients who I think will bring projects on which we are both suited to collaborate. My phone's contact list is packed with other creative professionals with whom I have the privilege of working.
After 30+ years of working in this business, I know where my strengths lie and when a project will benefit from the efforts of other producers, visual artists and creative engineers.
The process for a new project is simple. 10 steps to complete your video.
1. Tell me what you want to accomplish.
2. I'll evaluate the options for creative, and your existing digital assets.
3. I provide a scope of work with budget estimates that meet your creative vision.
4. Once you agree to proceed, you'll provide a 50% deposit via simple agreement that spells out the deliverables and our mutual responsibilities.
5. Preproduction. We collaborate on a script/concept. Meanwhile, I begin planning production.
6. Production. Equipment, crews, and locations converge to capture the creative.
7. Rough Cut. Content is prepped for edit and I make a rough cut for your review.
8. Review. You'll receive a single, secure Vimeo URL from rough cut to delivery.
9. Final Cut. I'll grade color, finalize all animation/graphics and sweeten audio.
10. Delivery. I supply digital masters, you provide the last 50% payment and, if you choose, a hard-drive for all digital assets to be copied and sent to you.
The process starts with a creative input brief. Lou discovers the objectives and goals of his client's message and delivery. This component guides the rest of the process. Then through pre-production, Lou plans and designs both creative and the technical aspects of shoot and edit. During production, because the project has been carefully planned, crew and equipment come together to make magic. And finally, Lou edits to schedule and budget and uploads review copies to his Vimeo page. Clients review each current revision at any time of day or night from one single URL.
When the project requires high-end gear, Lou rents from quality providers. Budgets these days don't always allow for large crews and camera packages. The North Yuke guerilla documentary film package is Lou's small-footprint HD DSLR solution to agile productions.
"North Yuke" is the documentary film company Lou developed to produce his own work. It's his way of seeing the world as defined by the stories in it. He has traveled extensively to film the people and places that create lasting meaning. "We are made more of stories than we are of flesh and blood," he is fond of saying.
Most often, his client-based and North Yuke itineraries have included developing countries.. "The most amazing stories are found where people are eager to share them. Sadly, that all too often is when people have struggled for their lives," says Lou. He's unafraid of rugged travel and knows how to capture the visual nouns, verbs and adverbs of any location shoot. His own brush with death has given him a boldness with peoples in crisis.
Lou has directed shoots in the safety of an urban office building as well as the remote challenges of commercial halibut boats and the Alaskan outback, 100mi north of the Arctic Circle.
If you get a message when you call that says he's out, just leave a voicemail, or text, and he'll reply as soon as he turns his phone back on.
Recently, Lou was called upon to partner with the Entrepreneurs Campus in Folsom, CA. He's now an Artist-In-Residence for video production at what is being called "Startup Studios".
The studio has no full-time staff. It is an 800sqft sound stage, including lights, backdrops and full blackout capabilities. Lou, with the financial support of the Campus and the Folsom Chamber of Commerce, just completed the retrofit of the Granite School that was made availble to startups by the City of Folsom. The facility is located at 909 Mormon Street, Folsom, CA 95630.
When he's not on location or at Startup Studios in Folsom, Lou is usually working out of his home office in Grass Valley, CA. It's not very flashy, really, just a converted garage that is often visited by one or more of his daughter's chickens. He's been known to apologize for the sound of a crowing rooster during a conference call. Oh, sure it was charming... once.
Lou handles all postproduction on Adobe Creative Cloud. That means his 10TB RAID array and Mac-based edit system is semi-portable and moves, as needed, between the home office and Startup Studios.
Storymaking involves people, collaboration, the right tools and passion.
Lou assembled this snapshot of his skills because his parents keep asking, "what do you do again?"
Lou is artist-in-residence at the Startup Studios, at the Entrepreneurs Campus in Folsom. The 800sq.ft space is perfect for capturing quick shots, talking heads, and small sets.
Lou is travel-ready and has produced in more than 20 countries. At the end of the day, here or abroad, it's the commitment to story makes or breaks a project.
No amount of awesome gear and talented actors can overcome lousy creative. Lou Douros drives your story from inception all the way to delivery of final upload for your distribution.
As much of the story plays out in the lens as it does in concept. Lou has been shooting on all formats for three decades.
Lou integrates video with web, print and live media. Though video is an important part of your online presence, it has to connect to work.
This part is really hard to describe. But there's just something that happens when clients click with a film-maker. The magic is in the relationships.
Lou edits in Adobe Creative Suite these days. He uses the video timeline like a writer uses a word-processor. Editing is a language and Lou is fluent.
After-Effects is the tool of choice for Lou's 2.5-D effects work. He applies the best-in-class design work to each project.
It ain't over until the video plays to your audience. Lou will guide you through the best compressions and mastering for your needs.
"I work with a number of other producers, DP's, audio, light / grip services, and other crew.
The following is a selection of some of my recent work." To see more work visit: www.vimeo.com/douros
When I have time, I try to write in here. Please scroll down for prior postings.
Please feel free to write or call.
I am currently accepting new clients and projects with 30-day deadlines.