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Now before you start reaching for the “Off” or other brand of insect repellent, I’m talking about the little logo at the bottom of your video. MTV was arguably the first media outlet to use branded video content, way back in the dark ages of the 1980s, and over the decades, it has now become unusual to not find the little logo (sometimes called a “bug” or a “snipe”) in one of the lower corners of your screen. Next time you’re watching TV, take note of the logo and how/where it’s placed!
Branding is an important component in your marketing and it is fairly simple to apply your logo to your videos. Here are 3 still image examples from videos with “bugs” on them…check out the lower right-hand corner:
Call me for more information on how to brand YOUR next video, and enhance the continuity of your brand. And remember, I won’t break the bank shooting it for you!
2014 was a great year for First Impressions Video and I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to the clients that are also my friends. I value you and welcome the opportunity to serve in 2015.
Got video? Need video?
When you run a small business, you wear a LOT of hats! One of the things that must be done in contemporary business is to ensure that your business can be found when people are searching online for the product or service you offer. So imagine my elation to discover this today, when doing a search for “video production”
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ongoing activity and many business owners use outside agencies to help get these kinds of results. I am fortunate to have spent the last decade in digital marketing before launching First Impressions Video. SEO is also very fluid and tomorrow my rankings can change–good or bad. But after working at this for quite a while, it’s nice to see Google “smiling at my website” today! Full disclosure: there were three listings that preceded First Impressions Video in the search results, but one was a generic Yelp listing with no specific company cited; the second was for Costa Mesa Television, which is not a video production business and the third was a directory page of the “top 15 video production services in Costa Mesa.” None of those was a stand-alone business.
As a videographer, I have watched changes in equipment happening at a dizzyingly rapid rate over the years. SD to HD to 3D to 4K…DSLRs, GoPros, drones and other pieces of equipment and these transitions have taken place just in the last few years!! What’s a person to do?!? One thing’s for sure: You could go (and stay) broke trying to keep up! Besides, you might have the latest and greatest “gizmatchit” but in the end, it still comes down to the creative skill you possess when you look through the viewfinder. And regardless of the gear I use (I do confess to having all HD equipment nowadays!) my clients hire me because I am able to interpret their requests and deliver a finished product that we are both happy with.
One of the things that has occurred in all this change is the type of delivery medium being used. For years—if not decades, the delivery medium of choice has been the ubiquitous DVD. Now even that little plastic platter is facing potential extinction as consumers are asking for their deliverables in formats other than DVD. Even Adobe with their incredible “Creative Cloud” series of applications is unbundling and discontinuing Encore—their DVD authoring program—from their editing app, Premiere Pro.
The fact is that there are a number of options available and since it is my job to deliver in a manner and medium desired by the client, I am very open to these alternatives. As the cost of storage media continues to drop and with the advent of “cloud-based” storage, I can get your finished product to you pretty much any way you want. Here are just a few examples, keeping in mind that you still must have an application that will play the video file (with the exception of sharing or streaming services that have playing capability built-in):
- DVD (let’s start with the obvious)
- CD (yes, you can use a CD, so long as the file is small and will fit the 700MB limitation!)
- USB flash drive
- SD or CF cards (or their variations)
- Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box, Copy and others
- Sharing services like YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram and others
- Live Streaming
According to industry website Doddle, wedding and event videographers, and even attorneys (for depositions and other types of legal videography) still desire—and sometimes require—DVDs. That said, I have used every one of the alternatives listed in the bullet points, except live streaming. As the price of that technology continues to come down, I can see adding it to my repertoire.
So here’s the question: How would you like your video delivered? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org,
When I look back over the first year of First Impressions Video’s “official” existence, perhaps the one area that has surprised me most is memorial videography. Nearly half of all the projects I shot last year were memorials. And for some reason, this seems like an area that should not be tampered with out of respect for the deceased. Yet, it is because of respect for the deceased and concern for the living that video is becoming an increasingly important part of the grieving process. There are two reasons for this.
First of all, there has been significant change taking place in the funeral industry overall. Mostly due to the rise of the Baby Boomer generation, contemporary thinking is to now personalize the funeral or memorial service. Add to that the rise in cremation, which allows for great latitude on the part of those planning services. No longer are you limited to a funeral home or a house of worship. Once cremation has taken place, the cremated remains can be released to the family, and they can do whatever they want without the involvement of a funeral director. Think of scattering ashes in the ocean, for example.
The second factor is technical advances in the video industry. With the marriage of video and the computer, it has become possible to offer high-quality video in a relatively short time and at a reasonable cost. I’m sure this contributed to my sudden surge in memorial videos last year. I could shoot and turn them around relatively quickly, and the families have been profoundly appreciative of the service I provided.
There are two distinct ways video can be used for memorial/funeral services: One way is the memorial tribute video. This is a video usually made up of about 30 to 50 photos—and can include short video clips—and lasts around five minutes. The key elements necessary for a compelling memorial tribute video are time, quality, and movement. Fast turnaround times are crucial; most of the tributes I do have to be completed within 24 to 48 hours. To control my schedule, I like to pick up the photos at the funeral home shortly after the family brings them in. If the funeral home is too far away, I ask the funeral director to scan the photos and send them to me using Google Drive, Dropbox or some other file sharing service. Once I have the photos I may do some modest retouching in my computer. My editing includes use of a “pan and scan” effect (sometimes called the “Ken Burns” effect) to put movement in the photos. This will provide a nice distinction from a more traditional slide show.
The second way video is being used is in the recording of the service itself. With the personalization of services and the stories that are often told about the deceased, it becomes a wonderful way to capture memories of an individual that will be treasured by those left behind. What’s more, with families being scattered, it is often hard to get everyone together for a service. A funeral or memorial service captured on video can easily be shared with loved ones anywhere in the world, which I recently did for a client who had family in Norway! For 2014, I am exploring streaming as yet another way to deliver the service to people at remote locations. Right now, the cost may make streaming prohibitive, but as pricing comes down (and it always does, where technology is involved), I will update this blog accordingly.
This kind of videography requires great sensitivity as I am entering a space typically packed with emotion. Whereas weddings are by nature joyful events, memorials involve grieving family members and friends. I must be able to conduct myself unobtrusively so as not to intrude when people are often at their most vulnerable. I am honored to say that I have this gift, and if I can ever offer such a service to you, a friend or family member, I will take great care to show respect and dignity to the task to which you have entrusted me.