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Behind the Scenes on an amaZEN U Shoot

Have you used our videos in your classroom and wondered what it’s like behind the scenes of a typical 5 – 10 minute amaZEN U video? Sonya Patel, co-founder of amaZEN U takes us behind the scenes of a video shoot this week!

How many people does it take to create and film a video?

There is amaZEN U co-founder Joie, myself, Chris Langer, our videographer, our instructors who narrate and lots and lots of students!? We have literally turned a regular classroom into a movie set!

How do you choose the poses to spotlight in each amaZEN U video?

We used multiple data points to see what poses are likely to be beneficial and popular in the classroom. We look at trends about exercises the teachers are currently using, the feedback they give us from surveys about videos they like and don’t like. We also use our own experiences from yoga classes and classes with our sister company, ZENworks Yoga.

How do you find the models for each video?

We sent emails out to the schools we work with through ZENworks Yoga and recruit regular students who may be interested in being in the videos that are local to the area. Some of the students are also our own children and grandchildren!

How you teach the models each pose?

My co-founder Joie works with the students to teach them the poses the day of the shoot. We meet the students and see what poses they are comfortable modeling. She rehearses with the students several times before the shoot so they feel comfortable but we don’t aim for perfection — that wouldn’t be realistic! In some cases, Joie may stand behind the camera to help guide the students if the sequence is really long.

Who narrates the videos?

Our narrators are Gary Dacanay, Lauren Fraley, Kate Schnabel and Dana Chaisson. Gary, Lauren, and Kate (she’s moved out of Cleveland since the first shoot) are all part of the ZENworks Yoga instruction team and Dana is a 500 hr yoga teacher in Cleveland.

Where are the videos filmed?

The first set of videos were filmed at a school in Cleveland called Citizens’ Academy East; the second round was filmed at All Around Children Strongsville. It was important to film in a school setting to show just how easy it is to integrate yoga and mindfulness in a classroom setting using desks and chairs – no special equipment needed!

How long do the videos take to shoot?

We shot the first set of videos in December 2016 over three days – more than 80 videos! It was a very long three days but we are very proud of the outcome. Our second set of videos released on the new website this summer and were shot in only one day! We also recently added some new mindfulness videos that are listening only and are done in a recording studio. Although the shoots themselves only take a few days, we start planning months ahead by confirming and scouting the location, writing scripts, recruiting students and instructors as well as other logistics.

Check out all of our yoga and mindfulness videos for school and home at Subscriptions start at just $9 per month


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