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Video Production Advice

Sliders vs Dollies – Tips from leading video marketing production company?

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Comparing Sliders and Dollies – Video marketing production advice

Here’s a secret that every video marketing production company uses to make powerful and engaging videos? It’s called ‘grip’, an umbrella term that covers all kinds of fancy mounts that move the camera smoothly. These moving shots can transform subjects and create a more dynamic shot, giving your production that stand-out high-end feel. The two most popular types of grip used in video marketing production are sliders and dollies, so which one is right for your job?

What are they?

video marketing production company
Slider

A slider fits between the tripod and the camera. It’s a rail (usually metal or carbon fibre) upon which sits a base plate which is free to slide from one end of the rail to the other. The camera is mounted on this plate, so that it can smoothly travel from one end of the rail to the other.

video marketing production company
Dolly

A dolly (or ‘dolly and track’) consists of a cart and rail. When assembled, the rail resembles a train track. The camera cart rolls back and forth on the rail with the tripod mounted atop. It can curve and travel further than a slider, but is a far bulkier piece of kit.

Tracking Shots

video marketing production
Slider

A ‘Tracking’ show refers to a linear moment parallel to the action. They’re great for revealing spaces and adding subtle movement to boost your video marketing production, and sliders work great for them. Placing objects close to the camera amplifies the effect, just bear in mind that sliders tend to only be about a metre long, so the duration of your shot can be quite short, but a slow sliding movement will work well.

video marketing production company
Dolly

Firstly, dollies often have a segmented track, so you can make the camera travel as far as you want. It opens up the possibility for a longer shot duration and a faster movement, but there is another benefit to the dolly and track – a curved path. This makes it possible to arc around a subject, changing the perspective and adding a high-end dynamic effect.

Creep In Shots

video marketing production company
Slider

‘Creep-in’ describes the movement of the camera directly towards the subject. This type of shot is perfect to draw the viewer into the action, and perfect for showing off your product or service. Because a slider is close to the camera lens, the slider rail becomes visible when the camera is pointed along it, so creep-in shots are not possible.

video marketing production
Dolly

Unlike a slider, the rail of a dolly is on the floor and out of sight, even with the camera is pointing in its direction. A long length of rail isn’t necessary for a creep; even at a gentle rate of travel a creep-in shot is very powerful. Using them draws the viewers into the centre of frame, positioned well they will help them connect with your message.

Versatility

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Slider

The majority of sliders are small and light, which makes them perfect for small crews that need to move quickly. Because they are raised from the floor, sliders are able to achieve smooth movement in environments where there is no even ground. Sliders perform best with lightweight cameras like many businesses and organisation already use for in-house video marketing production.

video marketing production company
Dolly

Dolly and tracks are generally larger and require more assembly time and possible more crew than sliders. What’s more, the ground surface needs to be levelled before laying any track, and the wheels of the dolly must be kept clean for everything the run smoothly. All this takes time which–as you know–can be an expensive commodity.

Cost

video marketing production company
Slider

On the whole, sliders are more affordable than dollies. Because they tend to require less crew and less time, shoot days can run faster when a slider is in use. They can be hired for a small daily fee from many video equipment rental houses to be used with a camera you already own. Just remember- sliders limit the size and weight of the camera that can be used. If you’re looking to hire one, ask if it’ll carry your camera.

video marketing production company
Dolly

Most large dolly systems are expensive to operate, because of the crew numbers and time required. However, small dollies can be just as quick to rig as sliders, and only need one or two crew members to operate. You’ll be surprised how inexpensive they can be to hire, but most of the more affordable options will be limited in length in the same way a slider is, so shot duration and speed of movement will suffer.

What’s the long and short of it all? Don’t underestimate the power that adding a little movement can have. By engaging your viewer with moving shots, your locking in a connection that could drive sales. Both sliders and dollies are capable of delivering shots that bring a high-end feel to your footage, but every job is different, so consider the location you’re filming in, the amount of time you have, and how heavy the camera is. Producing work on par with a leading video marketing production company is achievable using sliders for dollies. There’re affordable options for both, so adding that dynamic look and engaging your viewers has never been easier.

Digital video production explained: Things That Will Surprise You

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Everything you need to know about corporate high end video production

High end video production can be a daunting task. But with a strong producer and the right crew, shoot days should be enjoyable, the edit will run smoothly, and you can expect a high end product. Here’s what you need to know before you start your project.

1: Don’t Expect Enormous Crews

High end video production

2 or 3 crew members is often all that’s needed for most corporate video production. These shoots only require lightweight kit that’s portable enough for a small crew to run. But be wary if just one person turns up intending to direct, shoot, and record sound. Expect a minimum of two crew members to ensure quality control, unless your budget can only stretch to a one man band.

2: Expect long shoot days

High end video production

10 hours is widely accepted as a standard day for most corporate video production crew. It’s the basis for most quotes. But be prepared, because 12-hour days are not unusual and 14 or 16-hour days can be common.

3: Filming is not the start

High end video production

The right producer will have started preparing long before the shoot day. They will have been busy researching the subject and exploring every variable aspect that could have an affect on filming. Read more about this in our guide to pre production.

4: The producer’s knowledge is extensive

High end video production

If you’ve found the right production, you’ll quickly realise that they have expertise in target viewing habits, sector idiosyncrasies and sector history. In pre-production, they’ll have done their homework on your brief and, based upon their research, will be more the capable of offering crucial information on how the video can engage and connect the target audience.

5: Camera spec goes beyond HD

High end video production

HD is not just HD. Once, HD was either 1280×720 or 1920×1080 pixels. Today, the cameras we use can shoot up to six times that. At the moment, the majority of online video marketing deliveries are made at 1280X720, but this will not be the case as 4K or ‘UHD’ becomes the domestic standard. So incase your corporate video needs future proofing by shooting at 4k or higher, consider the longevity you need early on.

6: Directors calling ‘Action’ really happens

High end video production

Sounds like a cliché, but the call for ‘Action’ and ‘Cut’ can be expected from the director. It has a very practical application for the artists and crew because everyone on set knows when the action should be started and when it can be stopped.  You’ll also here the ‘Turn over’ and ‘Sound speed’ calls from the director, which actually start the cameras and microphones recording.

7: Small tweaks during the shoot can take time

High end video production

Despite the right producer anticipating any variables before they become issues, some unexpected all hands on deck moments are inevitable. Minor adjustments, from camera angle to lighting, can have knock on effects so never expect changes to occur quickly on set.

8: Tweaks in the edit can take days

High end video production

Modern editing systems are fast and powerful, but don’t expect the same speedy processes you would from other applications you may know. Take changing a logo for example, which in photoshop may take minutes, but in a video means rendering, exporting, compressing and likely uploading files for you to be able to see the revision.

9: Emailing the final film isn’t possible

High end video production

In the corporate video production industry, being able to attached a HD video file to an email would be fantastic. Unfortunately, it’s not possible. Despite today’s powerful compression tools, digital video files and often far too large to send attached to emails. Expect your final video to be delivered as a links to an online platform, such as Vimeo or SendSpace.

Make better corporate video – Easy (but useful) filming techniques

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Video Filming Advice: Great Looking Shots

Make your videos stand out with these six simple pieces of video filming advice.

1: A different angle

video filming

There’s a ton of videos on sites like Vimeo and YouTube, so make yours memorable by picking an angle people haven’t seen before. In this example, the camera’s high up and captures the tennis ball as it flies past, putting the viewer right at the centre of the action. So when it comes to angle, think outside the box.

2: Rule of thirds

video filming

A sure fire way of making an aesthetically pleasing shot nigh on every time. As you set up your frame, imagine lines diving the image three ways, both horizontally and vertically. Place your action on one of the intersections and your shot will look great.

3: Looking Space

video filming

If there’s a person looking off to one side of your shot, simply give that side of your frame more space. It gives a sense of space without distracting the viewer, no matter what size room you’re filming in. Similarly, if something is moving through the shot (like in the rule of thirds example), give the frame more room in the direction it’s moving.

4: Depth

video filming

That’s not the only way you can give your audience a sense of space. Putting your camera at an angle to your subject– a person or a production–will give a 3D feel to the space you’re in. It makes your subject stand out and makes for a more engaging video.

5: Head Space

video filming

Continuing our space based video production advice, give a moment to consider the room between the top of your subject’s head and the top of your frame. For a high end look, this needs to be limited to roughly 5% of your image. Too small and your subject’s head could be cropped, too big and it’ll distract your viewers.

6: Foreground

video filming

One way to add a deeper 3D feel is to include blurred objects in the foreground (between your subject and the camera). It works especially well if the camera moves, like in this example where the camera is panning with out of focus grass overlapping the subjects.

Corporate video production – A guide to getting it right!

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How to manage your corporate video production

We all know that when doing project-based work, effective time management is important. However in the world of creative video productions time managements becomes crucial in avoiding spiralling costs and lengthy delays. Now video doesn’t always have to be an expensive item, but get your time management wrong when producing it and your initial costs are going to rapidly climb. So here’s a few tips from our series of “how to make a promotional video” blogs on time management.

Have an Incredibly Clear Yet Simple Brief

Effective and creative video productions require a good solid foundation, yet some of the least effective video briefs that we’ve ever seen are always the one pagers. Providing your production team with the bare minimum at brief stage will prove counter productive in the long run so don’t rush this stage. If anything, this should be the one part of the process where time management should not be at the forefront of your mind, so don’t rush it.

If you’re stuck for the correct structure of a video production brief then don’t waste time trying to invent it. You can find countless guides online to help get this part of the process moving.

So keep your brief simple, concise and accurate. By investing time into this initial starting point of your production you will save countless hours of back and forth communication.

 

Corporate Video Production

Do a Location Recce

Before you shoot your video, have the director and/or camera operator visit the location that the filming will take place at for a ‘location recce’. Now this may initially seem like overkill and in fact a waste of time but you’d be wrong.

Getting to your shoot day with all the crew and talent on the clock only to find that the power supply is insufficient or that the background noise makes it impossible to shoot is far more expensive than allow a small amount of budget for a location recce. If a key member of the crew has performed a location recce then any and all technical issues can be flagged and averted and set up/get out times will also be reduced as the logistics will have been pre-planned.

Allowing the director and/or camera operator an opportunity to see the location prior to shooting can save time, stress and money when it comes to the actual shoot day and we would wholeheartedly recommend it.

Trust Your Editor

Once the filming is done don’t think that you need to sit through every single frame of footage with your editor to make an edit selection. If you’ve briefed your Editor well enough they should be able to take the project right through to “edit version one”. This version one edit should be pretty much the finished article in terms of content and presentation yet allow you the opportunity to ask for any and all tweaks you desire. If the editors done their job properly these tweaks will be quick and enable you to review an “Edit version 2” very quickly. So fully briefing and trusting your Editor can save you countless hours of doing watch throughs.

 

Corporate Video Production

Collate Feedback

Within creative video productions there are 3 key people. These are the Producer, the Director and the Editor.  If you have (and most corporate video projects do) multiple stakeholders in the project then always collate all comms and feedback that needs to be relayed to these key crew members. Providing them with clear and consistent communications throughout the process is critical to avoiding multiple repeated back and forth emails.

Delegate the Key Stuff

Video production has many elements within that require a high degree of skill and experience. Camera Operators and Directors etc are obvious examples but don’t be afraid to also commission script writers and video production managers if your budget allows. The video production industry has probably one of the richest pools of freelance experts of any industry and by bringing in the right talent you’ll save lots of time. As mentioned this is not for all budgets but if your production allows then we always recommend getting the best people in place.

Corporate Video Production

Allow for Upload and Share

Finally (and something that often catches people out) you’ll need to allow time to upload your content to YouTube, Vimeo or Facebook.

Make sure you allow time within your plan to do this as its surprisingly time consuming and if rushed can undo all your hard work. To save time if you’re uploading multiple videos then you can bulk or group upload on most platforms. Once they’re uploading you can get on with other work, so factor this in when you’re thinking about the time needed. However once they are uploaded then do allow time to properly tag, arrange and share them.

After all, this is how you’ll get the most bang for your production buck and hopefully it will reduce the dramas that creative video productions sometimes provide! But most importantly it will allow you to generate maximum impact from your new video marketing asset.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Video Marketing Advice – The Three Steps To Successful Corporate and Promotional Videos 

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The Key Questions You Must Ask

Engaging corporate and promotional videos for businesses can be very powerful. This is something that we all generally accept. But getting your video right and harnessing that power isn’t always plain sailing. When producing video for your brand or organisation there may be numerous stakeholders in the project, all with their own opinions and ideas. Maintaining a clear structure to your production is essential as this is going to help you achieve everything that you set out to achieve (which in most cases is to drive sales). So to keep the project and everyone involved with it on track we suggest using our 3 step approach to video production. It’s simple, effective and it’s a great way to prevent projects from entering what’s known in Hollywood as “production hell”. This is where multiple stakeholder input results in greater and greater reductions in the final film’s effectiveness and power.

Our 3 step approach is essentially 3 questions, the answers to which will provide a clear blueprint throughout the production. Ask yourself (and other stakeholders in the video project) these questions at regular stages in the production to help unify the production teams vision and ultimately deliver the best possible video marketing asset you can.

So here are the questions in our 3 step approach to the production of corporate and promotional videos.

1 – What is your message?
2 – Who is your viewer?
3 – What outcome do you want?

Simple questions. And yes, there are many other factors within most video marketing projects, however all of those other elements and the answers or direction that the require will be clearly visible once the 3 key questions are answered.

corporate and promotional videos

Forming concise and honest answers to the 3 step questions will give you pretty much everything you need to anchor the production of your video marketing in such a way that it’s goals are a lot easier to reach. Once the answers are established and agreed, they should provide clear signposts to many other elements within the production. The answers will inform and dictate aspects of the production such as tone, style, approach, duration, and content.

The answers to the questions should be one or two lines, or one sentence. You may be tempted to write paragraphs to answer each question, but this is not a test. It’s a tool. If the answers to these 3 questions are more than a single line, then there’s a danger that the final film will reflect this and have a mixed up and overly complex feel.

Answer the questions in a clear and simple way and your final film should do exactly the same for your viewer.

So remember, 3 questions that form 3 steps to successful video marketing production.

Number 1 – What is your message?

Keep it clear and simple. And don’t be tempted to try and shoehorn 20 different messages. If you do you’ll lose the viewer quickly.  Remember that video marketing is essentially an elevator pitch.

Number 2 – Who is your viewer?

Knowing who you are talking to will identify the correct way to talk to them. By considering the answer to questions 1 and 2 you should be able to quickly find the right tone, style and pace for your video. For example we’d use a different approach if we were delivering a message about life insurance to someone in their 40s than we would if we were delivering a message about soft drinks to a teenager. So by answering the 3 step questions, answers to other questions become much clearer.

Number 3 – What outcome do you want?

As with questions 1 and 2, clearly identifying a desired outcome provides clarity on how many aspects your corporate and promotional videos should be produced. Of course 90% of video marketing is aimed at driving sales, but in order for the video to be effective, it’s important to know how this increase is going to be achieved. For example, do you want to entice customers into local branches? Or do you want them to visit a web page? Of course you may simply want the outcome of the video to be increased awareness and visibility of your brand or service. So in order to clearly and simply identify the outcome that you require, ask yourself this supplementary question – what’s the first thing that you want the viewer to do when they’ve watched your video marketing?

Now it may seem that we’re over-simplifying or dumbing down the production of video marketing here but that’s really not the case. Successful corporate and promotional videos will have these questions at their core, whether they’re consciously identified or not.

Re-visiting the questions throughout the production process helps ensure that nothing is lost in the complexities of the production and will ultimately allow you to produce video marketing that hits the spot every time.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

The Challenges of Shooting Corporate Videos in London (or any other large city)

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Considerations to make when filming in a city

OK, so producing any video which requires shooting on location can be challenging. However if that location shooting needs to happen in London (or any other major city) then the challenges can be multiplied.

Yes, some large cities will be used to seeing film crews both large and small on their streets every day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your filming is going to be easy.

So here’s a few tips and pointers based on our experiences of producing corporate video in London that may be applicable in whichever large city you happen to be shooting.

Permit Based Shoot or Guerrilla Style

Strictly speaking, for any external video shoot that you need to do in London you should apply to the Mayor’s office for a permit. There’s probably never a day that goes by when there isn’t a shoot happening somewhere in London, so the process of applying for a filming permit is fairly smooth and the Mayor’s office are very much geared up for this. You’ll need to pay a fee and be able to provide details of public liability insurance cover but obtaining a permit in this way does make life on the shoot a lot easier.

However, for every shoot that happens each day in London with a secured filming permit there will probably be several more happening guerrilla style – that is to say, without any official permit. It’s a fact that within the corporate video industry budgets and time scales may sometimes make it tricky to obtain a filming permit. If your crew is small (e.g. 2-3 people and you’re not shooting a large scale project then you may be tempted to go down the “guerrilla route”.) If you are questioned by the authorities they have the right to move you on and most likely will, so be prepared to leave your locations quickly. You may want to scout some backup options in advance.

Over the years we’ve produced projects using both of these approaches so we know the merits and drawbacks of each.

filming-in-city-1

Loading/Unloading

Whatever the size of your shoot you’ll need some kit. It may be only a camera and mic or you may need multiple cameras, lights, sound and grip – whatever your needs are, you need to plan for the challenges video production in London presents for a simple task… like unloading everything! Many people don’t consider this but you can’t just stop an equipment van in most central areas (these are red routes) and car parking for vans and other vehicles can really take a chunk out of your budget. Our usual approach is to do our unloading at the first light of day so that we can quickly park/unload without any trouble, and then find a budget-friendly parking location away from the centre of town. Alternatively using couriers for your kit is useful as they can quickly pull up while your crew can just grab and go with any and all equipment.

Travel

In addition to the logistics of getting kit to your location you also need to consider how your crew are going to get there. As mentioned, parking in central London is either extortionate or seriously limited so most crew for London video shoots tend to arrive by tube or other public transport. So factor this into your call sheets: tubes and buses can run late, so asking the crew to arrive earlier than required buys you some wiggle room if one or more of them are delayed.

corporate videos london

Light

A challenge of producing corporate video in London that can sometimes be surprising is light! London is a pretty built-up place, and if you’re shooting in an area that comprises of mostly high-rise buildings then lack of light where you are can be an issue. Many streets in London will only get direct sunlight at certain points of the day (and this will change over the year) due to the skyscraper style buildings blocking the light, sometimes on all sides! So a good recce done at the intended shooting time of day is really useful. You may need to pack in some extra reflectors to help counteract the lack of light by boosting what you already have.

Noise

Finally, noise. Yes, London is a very noisy place, and when you are shooting slick corporate video this can be a real pain. Even if you are in the confines of an office you’ll be amazed at the general hum and buzz that the city creates. Its something that we don’t really notice as it’s part of the day-to-day city environment, but when you come to the edit this background buzz really jumps out and can be distracting. So again, a good recce can go a long way here: check to see if there is any building work planned on your shoot day – barely a day goes by in large cities without some kind of construction work – and if your location is underneath Heathrow’s main flight path you’re going to have to time your sound recording carefully!

So there you have it, just a few tips and tricks to help you produce hassle-free video in London or any other large city.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

Event videography tips for location shooting

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10 Considerations to make when filming on location

Event Videography and location shooting comes with a particular set of challenges that can, if not managed correctly become a nightmare and unravel your shoot. Here are a few thoughts on key factors you need to consider when filming on location, and how to deal with them.

Power

Whether you are in a field, in an office or in a studio,  for event videography you need to know what power options are available. If you want to run lights and charge batteries, knowing the availability and type of power supply that you can tap into is key.

Weather

If your location is outside then obviously weather is going to be a factor. Too much rain and you simply can’t shoot, too windy and you’ll struggle with sound, too sunny and you could get more light than you want or presenters who squint! Always check the weather 48 hours in advance and always have a back up plan!

event videography

Transport/Parking

If your location is in the middle of nowhere you need to factor in the logistics of physically getting your crew and equipment there. Likewise if you’re in the middle of a major city then parking, congestion and road works are something you’ll need to have thought about.

Also make sure you can actually get your kit to where you want to film. If you’re in a business location check to see what floor you are on. If you’re high up make sure there is a service lift to get all the shoot kit in. If you are outside check the ground condition (especially if some of your kit is on wheels).

People

One thing’s for sure, people can be the chaos theory element of location shooting and event videography– especially if you’re outdoors in an area that has public access. We once spent hours setting up a shot of a fitness model running through a beautiful field only to have a family decide to have their picnic right in the background of our shot! You can’t control people who are not part of the shoot and they can cause physical and audible issues with your filming.

Permissions

You’ll need some sort of permission wherever or whatever you are filming. Make sure you’ve cleared all land and buildings that will be appearing in your shots.

event videography

Noise

If you are outside then noise problems can come from anywhere, but don’t think its always plain sailing if you are shooting inside. Here’s a short list of noise problems that have impacted our event videography in the past:

Building work (even though we were inside)

Filming under a flight path!

Very loud air conditioning units!

Playtime! (when shooting in schools, this is very noisy!)

Marches and parades!

Do as many checks as you can to ensure you’ve checked for every possible noise issue.

Sun Position

If you are shooting outside check the position the sun will be around the scheduled shoot time (you can actually get an app for this that makes it easier). Low sun can give you hard, flat light, and the noon sun wont do any presenter or interview subjects any favours due to the ugly downward shadows it produces.

First Aid

Accidents do happen so if you are planning to shoot somewhere remote than ensure you have a good first aid kit with you and a trained first aider. Taking the “it’ll never happen to us” approach WILL catch you out one day so make sure you’re prepared.

Facilities/Toilets/Food

Finally, crew need to eat and go to the loo now and then so factor this into your event videography planning. Again if you are remote consider whether you need to bring in toilet facilities and make sure you keep your crew well fed! Hungry crews get tired and tired crews make mistakes!

So there you go. 10 simple things that can leave your shoot in ruins if not considered and factored into your production.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

How to cast a voiceover for your company website video

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Website video advice – The Key to Casting the Perfect Artist

Finding the right voice for your business’ corporate video or website video is essential. All the creative effort you’ve gone to in producing great footage and images can be wasted if the voiceover or narration doesn’t connect with your viewer.

Tone & Style

So, taking the time to identify the right candidate and voice will prove beneficial and create a website video that suits your tone and style and also allows the viewer to identify with your brand.

The first step should be to establish how the voiceover should be delivered, i.e. should it have some pace to it, should it be dramatic, gentle, reassuring etc. This will provide not only a good casting guide but also direction notes for the voiceover artist when they are recording the vocal.

Secondly, an additional set of notes should be devised to summarise the nature of the brand or product featured. These notes are the starting points for establishing what character the voiceover should have, i.e. young, old, male, female, age etc.

website video

Target Audience

Finally, some notes on the target audience for your website video should be added. These should reflect the target demographic and the most suitable tone to communicate with them.

By now you should have a very clear picture of the sort of voiceover artist you need and how their voice should sound and feel.

So how do you go about casting them?

Voiceover Agency

Well, there are two distinctly different options when selecting a voiceover artist. The first route is to approach a respected voiceover agency, a wide selection of which can be found easily online. The key advantage of using an agency is that they will be able to instantly send you a range of casting options (in the form of MP3 showreels or samples) that suit you brief. You can then select your artist from the casting shortlist and the agency will then arrange the recording studio and sound engineer to record the script.

Your director can attend the recording to provide direction or sometimes you can listen into the recording by Skype or other means. The recording quality of the script will be top notch and the file delivered back to you for editing the same day. Here’s the drawback: this kind of service doesn’t come without a cost and although the agency route provides ease, choice and quality, it’s not the most cost effective option.

website video

Freelance Voiceover Artist

The second route you can go down when casting a voiceover for your website video is to use an independent or freelance voiceover artist. They usually have their own recording facility, which although not as high-end as the ones used by the agencies, still gives you high enough quality sound for online material.

There are lots of them across the country and you should be able to find the exact voice you’re looking for at a much lower cost than an agency artist.

The great thing about freelancers is that they will often record you a few lines of your script so you can see exactly how they will sound when representing your brand (you wont get this nice little bonus free of charge from an agency).

However the main drawback is obviously time. You need to spend a fair bit of it finding and getting hold of multiple independent artists if you need a good range to choose from, which means contacting them all individually.

In practice we use both routes depending on our needs and clients budgets. We’ve found that after a while, our contact list of independents offers a wide enough range for some of our clients and the obvious cost benefits they provide are always welcome.

To find out more about us and our services, please click here.

How Long Should My Video Be?

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A Guide to Viewer Retention

Getting the length (or duration) of your promotional video or video marketing content right is essential to ensuring your target audience actually watch your video in its entirety. Pretty much every time we click play on online video we cast a quick glance to the bottom right of the video window to see what the duration of the video is.

The Importance of the Start

If we’re not fully engaged right from the start and the duration is above 2 minutes there’s a strong chance we will click away before watching just over half of the video. Depending on your product and target demographic this critical window of initial engagement time can get shorter – If you’re targeting under 25’s you’d better get the first 10 seconds of your video marketing bang on or your dead in the water.

Before we look at the figures its worth mentioning that there are several problems caused by viewers not watching a promotional video right to the end.

Firstly we don’t want them to miss any of our key product or service selling points. If a viewer stops half way through they may be missing the piece of information that’s critical to their own purchase decision making process.

Secondly, we don’t want the viewer to miss seeing the CTA- which many videos have as their closing message.

Finally, google ranks sites with videos that have high levels of “completed plays” higher than those with high video click away rates. So if everyone only watched less than half of our video Google will rank it lower in relevant search listings.

The Statistics

viewer-rention-stats

So lets look at the stats to see how the length of your promotional video impacts on the average amount of your video that actually gets viewed.

It’s not going to be a massive revelation to most people that shorter videos achieve many more “completed plays” than longer ones. We all lead busy lives and if you’re selling B2B then time is always critical so mainlining your message quickly is the most effective way of ensuring that your entire message is received. If your promotional video is under 2 minutes then nearly 55% of every person who hits play will watch the entire video (this sounds low but its actually a good benchmark to aim for).

If you’re video runs a little longer there is a drop off in these completion stats but its interesting to note that there is not much variation in completed plays whether your video is 3 minutes or 10 minutes in length. Videos with durations between 3 and 10 mins achieve an average of 37% completed plays. So if you’re video is going to be over 2 minutes, don’t worry if it ends up being 4 or 5 mins as the stats over the 2 min mark are similar.

However if you need to present a much longer video of over 10 minutes then the drop off rate is steep with an average of just 27% of viewers reaching the final frame of your video.

Obviously some video productions require a longer duration due to the nature of the content and the messaging required. If this is the case then load the key information in the early part of your video to ensure you deliver your key messages before the viewer can click away. A good idea is to have a CTA that appears either throughout the video (in the form of voiceover or text) or to keep repeating the CTA at intervals throughout the video.

Structure

Think about your video in the way a newsreader would present the news. Start with the main headlines in brief. This ensures you deliver a quick overview of your key values and selling points from the outset.

You can elaborate on the detail of these key points in the remainder of your video knowing that you’ve delivered punch and impact at the start. This will not only help encourage viewer completed plays but will ensure that you have delivered the guts of your message to any viewers who do click away.

So what can we takeaway from these stats. Well obviously the main point is to be brief. Shorter promotional videos engage viewers and keep them watching. If you’re video marketing content is under 1 minute then it will achieve more than 200% the amount of completed plays than a 10 minute+ version would. Impact is key so strong messages clearly and quickly delivered will produce a powerful video marketing asset and help drive those sales.

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Colour Grading advice from experienced video editing company

By | Video Production Advice | No Comments

An Overview of Colour Correction and Grading

As a busy video editing company we know that adding an extra touch of production quality and polish to your promotional video can make all the difference and any advantage you can gain over your competitors should be considered when producing video marketing. By tweaking the colours of the footage shot for your final video you can produce images and footage that are much more visually appealing and that have an enhanced cinematic look to instantly grab the viewers’ attention.

Why Use Colour Grading?

But “why bother?” you may ask, “if my video works then why should I spend any more time and budget messing around with the colours?”. Well, as previously mentioned in other articles, viewers make a snap judgement call on your brand, product or service within the first few seconds of any promotional video. So presenting something that borrows a few tricks from the big screen communicates a message of high quality and professionalism right from the get go.

In the movie world this process is known as grading or colour correction. But at its most basic form, it’s simply adjusting the colours of the footage to produce the most beautiful image we can.

Now I should add here that this is not an expert in-depth tutorial for editors and movie makers but simply a quick look into grading and what it can add to a corporate video production.

We usually find that we end up doing a little colour correction for one of the following 2 reasons.

Firstly, as mentioned above, to enhance the production feel of the overall film.

And secondly, to correct any ugly or unpleasant colours or lighting that certain shooting conditions create.

Depending on the camera you are using you’ll have a different look and feel to the footage you shot. This look and feel will dictate what is required in post to produce a better looking final image.

Another factor will be whether you are shooting “on the fly”, which can be something that is required at live events. When shooting on the fly you have less control of existing lighting conditions, subject and composition so the grading part of the post production tends to involve fixing the image rather than enhancing it.

However if you’re in a studio or location where you have full control over lighting and subject then you should be able to generate good looking footage that can then be enhanced further in post.

Focus on Skin Tones

Every video editing company will tell you that as a rule, one of the key things to achieve when grading is to create realistic and beautiful skin tones. We like to add some other tweaks to footage to enhance the high end feel but aiming at getting the skin tone right is a good starting point.

From there we may want to enhance the contrast, adjust the blacks in the image, add balance or push complimentary colours into the light and dark areas of the images.

Here’s a couple of examples of what can be achieved:

video editing company

Firstly we have some footage shot “on the fly” at one of our clients’ event launches. We had no control over lighting and the product on show was LED screen based so this in itself created quite an unpleasant blue light cast. The footage that we shot felt too cold (due to the products LED pixels which tend to emit a blue-ish hue). It also felt very heavy in the dark areas and generally didn’t fill us with warmth about the brand or product portrayed.

We were able to correct the footage using simple controls found in even basic editing software. The alterations we made were as follows:

Reduced the white areas strength to subdue the unpleasant light created by the product (LED screen)

Slightly lifted the dark areas of the image to stop it feeling too heavy acheter viagra naturel.

We added a little saturation to the colours.

Then we pushed yellow/red into the light and mid tone areas of the image, and pushed blue into the darer areas of the image.

A good tip is that if you push one colour into the light areas then you achieve a pleasant result by pushing the colour at the opposite end of the colour wheel into the corresponding dark areas (or visa versa). This doesn’t always work but in general these opposites in the light/dark areas compliment each other and produce a nice looking image.

The final result was that we had warmed up the image a great deal and created a balance to the image overall.

video editing company

In this image we were shooting on a high end camera which allows us to control the colour grading in the final image very tightly. The footage itself is shot using a log format which although when initially viewed looks flat and not very appealing, contains all the colour information we need to grade the shot in a variety of ways. This gives us much more control on colours and the final look of the image and allows us to present more dramatic and cinematic looks to the final film.

Now all this may seem very superficial if your producing corporate video or video marketing and we agree that no video should place style over substance. However, our 15 years experience as a video editing company has taught us that customers opinions are impacted upon by the initial visual judgements they make when encountering your brand. So by adding a little grading or colour correction to your video marketing ensures that you present a film that maximises its potential to achieve a positive instant reaction from new customers.

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