Extending event reach and value. Live event recording and publishing.

Multicamera Live edit desk

Live editing and recording of presentation for playback later

Clients can save a significant cost and extend the value of events & conferences by utilising the power of a live multi-feed mixer and editing desk to capture everything that happens and removing the need for lengthy editing after the event.

At conferences, presentations and even small in-house meetings there is a significant amount of valuable information being shared but not everyone can attend these events so how do you extend the value of the information and knowledge being delivered?

We can provide you with the crew and equipment to capture everything that happens and either stream it out to remote audiences, live or we can publish it online for viewing post event.

audience_watching_audience_watching_presentation

Audience watching recording of earlier presentation

We can bring in all the media sources such as video camera feeds, presentation decks, live chat forums, social media etc etc and edit it live at the event. This live edit can then be recorded for later publishing as well as being streamed live to external audiences if required.

You can now broaden your audience to people who can not attend the live event and in doing so you extend the commercial value of the event too.

No longer do you have to try and get everyone to attend internal events which might incur significant travel and location costs. You can keep your events local and know that you still share the content with everyone as and when you want.

Events being run on a commercial basis do not have to rely only on attendees to the event. By publishing a live recording of the event you can achieve additional revenues through pay per view services.

Contact us here for your next event.

Backdrops for video in the office

A common problem for companies filming interviews in their office is finding a suitable location that offers a good backdrop. Filming against a grey wall is a tad uninspiring but a good back drop can make a big difference so I thought I would offer some quick and inexpensive tips to creating a suitable backdrop for your next video.

The first thing to do is see if you can find a quiet and bright meeting room / space where you can position your subject with as much space as possible behind them. If the backdrop is a wall you could perhaps paint it a brand colour so you know you always have a suitable filming location. However, as a suitable meeting room is not always going to be possible I have provided some alternative ideas below.

Before we get in to alternative backdrops, I would encourage the filming be done with a camera such as a Digital SLR like the Canon 7D or a Video camera like the Canon C100 or C300 which enable you to more easily soften (put out of focus) the background so you can’t really see any of the details behind the person speaking. Example video of interview in this style. This out of focus idea can be difficult to visualise as you walk around your office but the right camera will see it very differently to your eye so I have used various pictures in this article to demonstrate what I mean.

Video backdropA backdrop I really like is an open office falling away behind the subject. It often adds colour and interest as well as a bit movement without being too distracting.If you have an office with a glass wall overlooking the open plan office this will provide the added benefit of some sound proofing too.
Video backdrop - branded wallIf you are limited to space and you are forced to use a corridor as your set then rather than work flat on to the wall, try to position the subject so the wall behind can run off at an angle to provide perspective.If it is likely to be used often then how about painting the wall in a brand colour and even putting up your company logo?
Video backdrop - FurnitureIt might sound messy but given enough space in the background, some simple but effective options might be to include some brand colour chairs, green plants and maybe a bright abstract picture on the wall can work too. As long as it is clean and tidy it can provide a pleasing informal look.
Video backdropIf you don’t want to go to the expense of painting a wall then an option is to use natural outdoor light to place some colour on to the wall. In this case we achieved a nice cool blue tone provided from natural light on to a boardroom partition wall to balance the the warm skin tones of the subject.
Video backdropNatural light is not always easy to find or control so you might be better to invest in a bright table lamp or spotlight that can throw some light at an angle on to one of the rear walls to add some interest too.
Video Backdrop - Window viewEven views through windows can offer an interesting backdrop but be aware that if the sun is out the background of a window will often be too bright and leave your subject in silhouette. Unless you have some great lighting this might not work for you.
Video backdrop - Window viewWindows dont have to be looking outside either. A view over a central atrium can work well too. In this case the backdrop was bright with a cool blue light bouncing off shiny surfaces and glass.The escalator offered some movement and interest in the background without being too distracting.
White Screen VideoLastly, if you know what you are doing you can always go minimal and film against a white wall or screen. This enables you to film pretty much anywhere that you can put up a screen but be warned, if you don’t have the right lighting this can be tricky to do. Read our post on white screen video here.Good luck with finding your best spot but contact us if you have any questions.

 

How long should my corporate video be?

On the one hand we are told videos are getting shorter. Viewers want us to get to the point. On the other hand people want to be entertained and informed.

So it’s no surprise companies are confused about what is right. How long should your next video be?

Yep, you guessed it. It depends.

We are told they have to be shorter because attention spans are shrinking. That sounds a tad nebulous to me and I don’t think this should define a video duration.

Very Short form video is gaining prominence because companies are starting to understand what does and doesn’t work and are learning how to deliver key information succinctly but short form videos are not a suitable solution for every business objective. Sure, if you want to grab interest then something short and punchy will work just like a tv advert will but when you want to explain something in more detail it just won’t work.

I hear too many companies trying to shoe horn videos in to a 60 or 90 second time frame as that is what they hear is the perfect duration and invariably it doesn’t work. My personal view is that video should be kept as short as it can be but that doesn’t have to be limited to 90 seconds. It should be as long as it takes to deliver your message to your intended audience. There is no ‘right’ answer because it depends on the context of the video but here are a few thoughts to consider.

Be succinct

What viewers don’t like is waffle. Don’t try to embellish your message. One of the best ways to do this is to employ the help of a script writer as they know how to create a story without fluffing it up.

Keep the video quality high

I remain confident that a large percentage of viewer drop out is down to the quality and content of the video not being good enough in the 1st place. Make sure you can see and more importantly hear what is being said. If you cant see the detail of the product or a persons face it is very distracting. If you cant easily hear what is being said then your not going to engage anyone.

Play to your audience

People will watch your video to the end if the content is relevant. I recently watched a 5 min tutorial video on YouTube and I didn’t turn off after 60 to 90 seconds. I watched it through to the end because it contained information I found informative.

I have also seen other videos on the same topic which were shorter but were badly filmed and full of waffle and I turned off. (See above two tips)

It’s not about you!

A lot of corporate videos created today are basically companies talking about themselves. That’s where your problems can start because nobody is really interested enough about your company specifically to sit through a video for very long if it is just about you, your products and services.

Be audience centric

Your audiences care mostly about their own problems and who can solve them. They want you to provide valuable information that will address their problem. Dont worry this still gets you business. By being the solution you gain credibility and trust which is an excellent starting point in establishing trust in your brand. An example of a twist on the popular testimonial format would be to base the video around your client not your own company. Let the client talk about the problem they experienced and how the solution (that you provided) has made life so much better for them. It doesn’t have to be a long video but if the content is compelling enough to the right audience then they wont be rushing to hit the stop button.

Offer some value

How-to’s, tips and tricks, industry updates, research… anything that provides value and helps the viewer in some way is what works but it might sometimes require a longer duration video content.

Make it modular

One way in which companies are addressing the attention span issue is to develop the content to fit a modular format and break down what would have been a 5 min or longer video in to a number of 1 min modules that your audience can dip in and out of at their availability allows. This is particularly helpful when you have a 60 min presentation. On seeing the duration of that long for a video, audiences will either not even try to watch or will certainly skip through. Break it down in to a number of shorter modules will get you much better viewing results.

Encourage subscribers

If you are producing content that your audience have specifically signed up to view then given that they already trust you then you will have more time for whatever it is you have to say.

Be inspiring

It’s not easy for some companies to make their products interesting. Some companies, Harley Davidson for example kind of have it easy (by the way, they have made some fantastic videos) because their brand is so strong but if you don’t have that product pull then you might consider developing content that leans more towards compelling, or inspiring, or thought provoking. Maybe talk about your support in the community, involvement in charity activity or investment in innovative technology. If you can achieve that then I think people will watch it, regardless of its length.

My tips:

  1. No video that is poor quality is going to get great viewing. Poor sound quality is the worst.
  2. Make as short as you can but dont shoe horn content in to a predefined time frame.
  3. Engaging a script writer might help avoid waffle.
  4. Be clear about the video you want to make – What, why and who for etc.
  5. Consider talking about solutions to problems rather than about your company specifically.
  6. If videos need to be long how about re-structuring in to a number of short modules?
  7. Help content like “How to” videos can usually get away with being a little longer (subject to waffle).
  8. Do you have a compelling, inspiring or thought provoking story to tell?

If you would like some help with making your next video production then please contact us for more information

Filming on to white screen backgrounds

Some of our clients have offices that offer up very nice backdrops for videos but not every company has this luxury. Limited either to space or location the backdrop is not always as appropriate as would be liked.

Interview on to white background wallFear not though. A simple and inexpensive option is available that can also offer some advantages. Using a white wall or white screen as a backdrop to someone talking on camera can work well if done properly.

A white backdrop offers a bright, crisp and more importantly, a blank canvass. First of all it provides a consistent look if you are producing multiple videos. Secondly, the white space offers you a clean space to place logos, images, graphics and text allowing you to reinforce messages.

White screen video is relatively simple. Simple if you know what you are doing but it can be done badly! A portable (pop up) white screen or any flat white surface such as a wall will be fine.

Filming against a white background

Simply filming against a white background doesn’t give a great result but throwing light on to the wall behind your subject and then separately on to the subject, while being careful not to create any shadows on to the backdrop makes everything bright, crisp and clean giving you a blank canvass to work on.

If you would like to know more about having a video done against a white backdrop then please get in touch

To view behind the scenes images just click on the heading below. Then click on an image to enlarge and scroll through the pics.

Behind The Scenes – White Screen Video Shoot

View more photos →

Using Videos to Help Your Graduate Recruitment

Graduate Recruitment VideoWhat makes your business different from others? How do you attract the best people to come and work for you? Have you thought about creating a Graduate Recruitment video?

We’ve created a number of these videos for our clients. They are all looking to recruit graduates and know that they need to do something a bit different, to make their businesses stand out. They are both competing with many other companies, for the pick of the crop of graduates.

Our clients have decided to use videos to entice graduates to apply for jobs with them. They use videos to show the sort of company they could join. The client companies are very different, so we have created very different videos, based on who they are and who they are looking to attract.

One of our clients sends graduates around the world on four different placements. We’ve created a series of informal films, where we speak to employees on the graduate program about what they get from it. We’ve also created a lively video to promote the graduate program and the key benefits of joining it.

Another client is a global finance company. They were looking to fill IT and analyst jobs. To give potential applicants an idea of the business, we filmed current employees at work and interviewed them on camera, so they could talk about what they do. It gives potential graduates a real feel for what it will be like to work there.

Click here to see examples of the graduate recruitment videos we’ve created.

How will you make your business stand out and attract the best talent? Talk to us today to help you produce a video for recruiting the best graduates to your business.

How Do You Create An Online Presence With Videos?

Do you have an online presence? Can your clients and prospects find your business when they’re looking for a solution to their problems? These days, it’s vital for all businesses to have a presence online, no matter what business you’re in. One of the simplest ways to create this presence is through videos. Here are some of the issues you need to consider.

Provide answers. Many people search the internet for answers to their questions or solutions to their problems. Providing the answers they’re looking for can help build your reputation. ‘How to’ and training videos show up well in Google searches, so think about how you can use them for your business. What tips or advice can you give to viewers?

Where do you put your video? Your videos need to appear on your website and there are hosting sites you can use for storing them. YouTube and Vimeo are the two main sites I recommend for hosting (others are available!) The one you use depends on what you need, the number of videos you want to host, how long they are and a number of other criteria. Even if you self-host your videos, you should also consider using a site such as YouTube or Vimeo, to make it easier for more people to find your videos and help build up your online presence. Click here to read more about the benefits of both YouTube and Vimeo.

Help people find you. Make sure you optimise your videos so that they can be easily found by the search engines. Include keywords (phrases that people search for, which are based on their problem) in the title of the video, the description and tags. If your videos are training tips on how to use your products, and your customers know where to find them, then you don’t need to worry about this too much. However, optimisation is vital if you’re using your videos for sales or to drive traffic and visitors to your website. Click here to read my blog post about optimising your videos.

How will you use videos to create an online presence for your business?


 

 

What Return on Investment (ROI) Will a Video Bring You?

A properly, professionally created video may seem like an expensive way of promoting your business. But used properly, it can be a very effective marketing tool. If you’re worried about the cost, and need to know more about the return on investment (ROI) you might receive, here are some numbers for you to consider:

  • Adding a video to your website makes it six times more likely to convert a visitor who is ‘just browsing’ into a paying customer
  • Only 20% of web visitors will read the majority of the text on a website, while 80% will watch the same content when it’s presented in the form of a video
  • Your company website is 50 times more likely to be ranked on the front page of Google if it contains video

  • Retail site visitors who watch a video stay two minutes longer on a site on average and are 64% more likely to buy than other visitors.*

So how can you see what effect a video has on your website and your business?

You can see how visitors behave on your website with tracking programs like Google Analytics. It tells you which pages are visited the most, how long a visitor stays on a particular page and how often (or how much of) your video is viewed. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo also give you quick ways to see how many people access your video over a period of time, so you can measure your ROI. By understanding how your prospective customers react to your video and then behave on other pages on your website, you can continue to develop your marketing and make it more effective.

Are you using videos on your website yet? How do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing?

*Source: http://www.buzzom.com/2011/07/why-use-video-marketing/

Create Your Video Plan for 2014

Successful marketing needs to be carried out on a regular basis. It also needs to be integrated, with all the different marketing you do pulling in the same direction. If you use videos as part of your marketing mix, you need to plan how best to use it, to get the best effect. Now is a great time to plan your marketing for 2014 and in particular, how you’re going to use videos as part of the mix.

Here are some tips to help you create your plan.

  • Key dates. What special events will take place this year? Will your business have a birthday or anniversary to celebrate? If so, put the dates into your diary now and think about how you can use videos to promote the events in advance. Also think about how you can use a camera on the day – why not ask some of your clients for testimonials as they enjoy a glass of bubbly to celebrate your success?
  • Top tips. What advise can you give away to clients and prospects? By thinking about what people need to know about what you do, you can plan to film a ‘tip’ each month. It could coincide with publishing your newsletter or blog. Should I be filming myself telling you this, instead of asking you to read it?!
  • Industry news.  Certain businesses need to carry particular tasks at certain times of the year. If you recruit graduates, you might need a really good recruitment video to attract the cream of the crop. Think about when you’ll need to do this during the year, so you can plan it into your schedule and get it done in plenty of time.
  • Client testimonials. Think about specific products or services you want to promote. Then ask a client to give you a testimonial for each one, saying why they work with you and what benefits they receive.

How will you use videos to promote and grow your business this year?

How much will a video cost?

We are often asked for quotes on a video but given very little information to base the costs on.

The cost of a video, like so many other things is dependent on what the video is about, what you put in it, how complex it is and how long it takes to film and edit. Defining a videos length is not enough to define how much it will cost.

It’s a bit like the cost of a new car. It depends on the size of the engine, the feature list, choice of wheels and gearbox. Even the colour of the car can make a difference. You have to define the spec of the car you want before anyone will give you a price. It’s exactly the same with a video production.

A production company need to work out what crew to use, what equipment we will need and how long it will take to film and edit everything. There is no single way of doing things.

To get the most accurate costs you are best to put together a brief which the production company can work to. Not sure what you want in your video?

The following list is some of the elements that might impact on the cost of a video if they were to be included.

  1. What are the main elements (people, offices, machinery, vehicles etc) to be filmed?
  2. Will you need Graphic animations (maybe to show an internal mechanism)?
  3. Is there to be a voice over used to narrate the main story of the video?
  4. Can all the video be shot in one location on same day?
  5. Is there one or multiple things to be filmed at the same time?
  6. Will you want music added to the video. At the beginning and end or all the way through?
  7. Do you need text to be placed on-screen to explain or annotate things in the video?
  8. How long is the video likely to last?
  9. If the content is interviews, how many interviews will there be. Can you get everyone in the same place on the same day?
  10. Is the filming to be done indoors or outdoors?
  11. Will the environment need lighting – i.e. is it a dark environment?

Hopefully by now you are starting to get a feel for what is involved. Just as placing air conditioning on the spec of your car will add to the quality of your journey’s, adding a Jib to your production will add to the quality of the final production. They will both add to the cost. Whether they make it in to the final product probably comes down to available budget and how important they are to you.

If you are considering a video production and require more information then please Contact us

Three key stages to a video production

There are no hard and fast rules and the size of the production will often dictate the various stages involved but as a rough guide the average business looking for a fairly straightforward video to be made, there tends to be three key stages you will hear being talked about.

  1. Pre-productionPre Production Storyboard

ProductionVideo Production

Post-productionPost Production Editing Desk

Pre – Production is all about the preparation for the making of the video. Typically the activity that takes place before the crew arrives on your site to start filming. The more planning you do the greater the chance of the resulting video being what you want. The sorts of activities involved are:
briefing sessions to outline what is required of the video

Scripting (where necessary) of the specific things to be said. The script might be delivered by a voiceover artist for instance.

Storyboard is laying out the flow of the video. The storyboard will help define the structure of the video, what shots need to be captured by the cameramen and when will there be voice, music video etc. Its kind of the video in paper format. Storyboards come in lots of forms. Some much more detailed than others. It all depends on the complexity and budget of the video.

In some cases there might be a shoot list although less common in small projects. They are the storyboard re-ordered to list all the shots to be captured in the order that they will be filmed. A video is not shot in the way it is shown. Shoot lists might often only be seen by the crew.

Auditions – If your video will include actors or voiceover artists then this would obviously all be done in advance of turning up with crew and equipment. This might involve watch some showreel or require actors to come to a studio for an audition. Voiceovers are mostly done by listening to an audio file which can be emailed or hosted online.

Production is principally concerned with the shooting of the video. The crew and equipment will arrive on location at the agreed date and time and will work their way through the shoot according to the brief, story board and shoot list if appropriate.

Post – Production is all about turning all of the video captured on the production day in to a watchable video in accordance with the brief and storyboard. The editor will import the video content and using editing software, they will piece together all the elements (voiceover, music or sound effects, graphics, titles, animations etc) to create the video.

There are likely to be several stages to the editing such as draft revisions of the video for client to review and provide feedback. Once all the video editing has been completed the video can be published in the appropriate format for the clients needs such as AVI, mov, mpg4 or Flash.

As I said at the start these stages are a rough guide as the actual stages will depend on the complexity of the project but you are almost certainly going to hear these three stages being included talked about.