Need video? Freelance camera operator, DP or TD? Call me! 714-608-4495.
Need video? Freelance camera operator, DP or TD? Call me! 714-608-4495.
Need video? Freelance camera operator, DP or TD? Call me! 714-608-4495.
First of all, if you need to enlist outside help to produce video content for your business, you need to be sure to find the right fit for your company, because their efficiency will largely dictate how much time and money you save. As a Single Person Crew (“SPC”) I make it a point to make your project economically feasible, but even for more complex projects, I know how to bring them in on time and at or under budget!
I’ve been doing video production in Southern California for a while now, so take it from me, by following a few tips, you can save precious resources in the planning and execution of your next video project.
Don’t ignore or overlook the essentials.
There are many reasons to make a corporate video and there are many different ways to save time and money depending on the reason. Are you creating a customer testimonial to showcase your customer service and products’ effectiveness or are you attempting to recruit new employees?
Perhaps you’re creating a how-to video to showcase your expertise. The point is, you need to decide, first and foremost, if you’re selling, promoting, or raising brand awareness, among other things.
But no matter what kind of video you’re creating, if you neglect the basics, which include having a firm understanding of your audience and their interests, preferences, questions, concerns, etc., it can turn into a waste of time (read: $$$).
You will want to decide, early on, where you intend to post your videos to connect with that audience. Will it be on your website or on social media? Both? It does make a difference, both in terms of compatibility and tone.
Give yourself a thought starter or two…watch other corporate videos to see if there are any particular elements you like or dislike and then share that information so I’ll have a few visual references. It’ll speed up the process and the same goes for any brand assets like logos, fonts, and specific colors that you may want woven into the video. But here’s a hint: Don’t try to create a $5,000 video with a $1,000 budget. Be honest with your video production company, and yourself, and you’ll be able to create something you’ll both be proud of.
Corporate video shoots often entail shooting at the workplace or using employees as subjects, which makes scheduling a critical component. If shooting testimonials or interviews of your customers or outside personnel in general, taking their logistics into consideration makes this point even more compelling!
Getting everyone in the right place at the right time can be like herding cats, so the best bet is to schedule the production as far in advance as possible.
Trust me as a longtime video production expert, if you can start scheduling the shoot before the script is even finished, do it. The sooner, the better.
Appearing on camera can be difficult for some people and some simply won’t be comfortable with it, so you need to make sure to lock down the key members of your company that need to be a part of the video as quickly as you can to avoid unexpected issues slowing things down later on in the process.
Carefully consider sight and sound.
As mentioned earlier, corporate video production often requires the use of the actual workplace, especially if part of it involves showcasing your company culture or giving viewers a look “behind-the-scenes.”
Nothing is more awkward than showing up for the project, only to discover that the space you’ve chosen to shoot in won’t work. Size will matter! You’ll need space to accommodate equipment, the crew, etc., and an attractive background, of course.
You also must think about the sound environment of the space. You’ll need peace and quiet to shoot because the last thing you want is to capture some incredible shots only to find out later on in the editing room that the sound quality is terrible. Pay particular attention to flooring as wood and/or tile surfaces can be particularly meddlesome, and windows are not necessarily effective sound buffers!
Talk to your space’s maintenance department to ensure they’re aware of the situation, just in case they need turn off the air conditioning or something of that nature. Make sure no major construction is going on in the area. And if the filming location is near an airport, you may find yourself juggling the shoot between aircraft coming and going! John Wayne Airport is near lots of places where I shoot, so I am keenly aware of this one!
Having said that, if the shoot is taking place in an industrial environment, some of that sound is relevant to the workplace involved and should, thoughtfully, be included.
The point is, you don’t want to waste time (remember…$$$) trying to find a new space on the first day of shooting, nor waste post-production time by making your editors have to cut out unwanted noise later. The best way to avoid most—if not all—of these challenges is to schedule a “location audit” so a full evaluation can be done.
Keep communication channels open.
Needless to say, it’s important to share any and all information that could help me better understand how you envision the project beforehand. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say anything once production gets rolling. I encourage asking questions, voicing concerns, and making suggestions.
Here is where I want to advise caution. Nothing will spin a budget out of control faster than making large scale changes once I arrive to shoot. Remember, you enlisted help for a reason and it’s important to allow for creative freedom, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to catch a problem before it leads to tons of wasted time during production or afterwards.
Don’t spend time and money on anything that’s not absolutely necessary.
There are plenty of other ways to conserve time and money spent during a corporate video production. You just need to think carefully about what your production truly requires. Ask yourself how many actors and locations you really need, and how much equipment?
The bottom line is, every little thing adds up, so be sure to invest all resources on elements that will help give your video the greatest possible impact!
Action in 5…4…3…2…1!
As of this writing, it has been sixty days since the Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic. Needless to say, commerce, as we know it, came to a near-screeching halt! And now, here we are two months later, just barely starting to kick-start the economy. Despite our best desires, we can’t just flip a switch and be back to full stride; this is going to take some time.
Hopefully, your business hasn’t taken too much of a beating and if you’re in a category deemed “essential,” you may be doing OK. That being said, no matter your current status, you will want to communicate an effective message to your customers and video can help!
For example, one of my clients provides carpet, upholstery, and tile cleaning services. We’ve shot several videos together and a couple of weeks ago, I created a “COVID-19 tag” for one of them that alerts his customers that the business is an essential service, delivering their services consistent with CDC and EPA guidelines. Their customers can feel confident that when the need arises, this company is on top of the situation.
Another client has two fitness equipment outlets: one a large warehouse and the second more of a retail-type location. His business has literally exploded when the pandemic hit, and folks couldn’t go to their local gym or fitness center. Suddenly his business was flourishing, in part because we had recently placed 32 equipment demonstration videos on his YouTube channel!
The pandemic has had another impact. People are dealing with a lot of anxiety these days and seeking support through traditional channels (therapy, counseling, etc.) can be prohibitively expensive – especially right now! This client took a unique approach by providing online training sessions that offer specific tools to help deal with the debilitating effects of anxiety. We produced 72 sessions together and we wrapped them and placed them online, just as the Coronavirus was grabbing hold of the US population. This was a very timely endeavor! The name of the course? “Overcoming Anxiety!”
The point is that you could produce a comprehensive series of videos, or just shoot one that talks about how you are prepared to help your customers while in the midst of the pandemic, while doing so in a safe manner. Or, you could have me create either a graphic that informs, or use a voice-over to do it, or both! However it’s accomplished, make sure your audience knows what you’re doing and how you can help them…now and going forward!
When people know what you do and why you do it, they’ll understand and trust your brand more. Video reinforces your brand identity and values by showing people your mission, not just explaining what you sell.
Training is expensive and it never stops. Whether it’s new hires or keeping your team up to date on the latest advances in your field, video is a cost-effective way to better manage training costs down and keep teams happier.
Recruit Ideal Candidates
You can’t build a great team unless you have qualified candidates to choose from. Video can increase the number of applications you receive from new recruits and give you more qualified applicants to choose from.
Stand Out At Events
Ever been to a noisy event filled with competing companies vying for prospects using any means necessary? Of course you have! Video cuts through the noise and helps you stand out. Make it a key part of your next event to see the difference it can make with gathering new leads.
Educate Your Customers
When you want to educate consumers, there’s no other form of communication that conveys as much as video. Try it, and you’ll move customers through the funnel in record time.
Boost SEO Performance
More than 76% of marketers say that video has helped them increase traffic to their site. Video is great for increasing dwell time and bounce rate while improving time on site. All important SEO factors.
– So says Wyzowl! (source: wyzowl.com)
Takeaway? Call First Impressions Video for your next corporate video! 714-979-3850, or request a quote here.
I am a professional videographer. I am also a consumer. And when I contemplate making a purchase – especially a big one – I often browse reviews to get a good sense of what is thought about the company (companies) that offer that product or service I intend to buy. And rather than trudge through a lot of printed content, I find video testimonials to be more compelling. Let’s unpack the reasons why.
First, while it would be relatively easy to put your CEO or other key exec in front of a camera (which I do regularly, by the way) this kind of video – while valuable – can sometimes come across as biased. However, by augmenting the business “talking head” videos with customer testimonials, viewers will have a chance to see two perspectives. This goes a long way in helping consumers make informed decisions.
So how do you develop the testimonial video? There is little doubt that if you run a credible company, you likely already have them in writing. So, let’s make contact with a few of these folks and ask if they’d be willing to share their thoughts in front of a camera. “Whoa now…you want me to talk on camera?!?” That will be the response you’ll get quite often, but you will find some willing to do it. I know from experience that being in front of a camera is not natural, but one of my gifts is getting interview subjects comfortable to the point that they actually liked the experience – at least once it was over!
Now that you’ve found a few folks willing to do it, you will want to ascertain in advance what they will say. You will want subjects that convey an easy-going manner that will help make what they say sincere and credible. And while coaching is OK, we don’t want to put words in the subject’s mouth. The last thing you want to do is have the testimonial come off as contrived. You will lose viewers quick, and you only have 4 to 6 seconds to grab their attention in the first place, so don’t screw this up! And…NO TELEPROMPTERS!!!
Why am I watching your video? It’s a good, fair question. Remember what I said about the 4 to 6 seconds. In short order, you need to provide the answer to the “why.”
Asking your interviewee the right questions will help elicit the right responses. These questions might include:
Stay away from questions that allow “yes” or “no” answers in order for the responses to be useful, detailed and allow the freedom for your interviewee to talk specifics on how your product/service met or exceeded their expectations. If a potential customer watching the testimonial can feel how overwhelmed or frustrated your subject was before they discovered your product or service, seeing how your business has helped them to reach their ideal resolution can be extremely persuasive.
Be sure to use “cutaways,” where “b-roll” of your organization can be integrated into the testimonial. This does two things: It creates natural breaks in the interview where your subject can pause and easily move into another line of thought. And it also allows for a more engaging video by having more than just the subject to watch. Remember our short attention spans!
Finally, these days, it can be very tempting to just whip out a smartphone and start shooting. However, working with an experienced video production company will help you to produce a well-crafted final product that will appeal to your ideal audience and deliver a solid ROI.
First Impressions Video has the creativity, experience and tools to ensure that your testimonial grabs attention for all the right reasons. We use a variety of techniques to do this, including implementing a comfortable shooting environment, selecting an ideal soundtrack, and seamlessly integrating relevant cutaway footage to enhance the overall production quality of your video.
We know how to get the most out of your featured clients or customers, who might not have spoken in front of a camera before. The result is therefore much more likely to appear authentic and believable, which is ultimately the goal of every successful video testimonial.
Competition could never be more fierce! But having a well-designed testimonial video can help punch through the clutter and deliver excellent return for dollar invested…and set you apart from your competitors!
Let us help you with your next testimonial video! Click here and go to “Request A Quote.” Complete the form and we’ll get right back to you…promptly! And remember, great video does NOT have to break the bank!
So the last few months have been a blur, but I’ve been crazy busy. And that’s a good thing! Questions that do continually come up have to do with how to go about hiring a video production company (now we’re being called “content creators”!). So I am sending this out again as it’s never a bad idea to have these questions answered. And if these comments are of any help, please give me a call. Remember: Great video doesn’t have to break the bank!
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So you wanna make a video… but where do you start? Well, one of the first things you’ll likely do is hire a video production company or videographer, and that can be a mind-bending task. How do you know who to hire? What can you expect to pay? To get you started, here are a few things to consider.
The sky is the limit when it comes to producing a video. There are so many variables that the possibilities are endless. Understanding your vision and what you’re trying to achieve will be critical in requesting a quote. Provide as much detail as you can about the services you need. Some of those questions would include:
Answering these questions will help me to fully understand what you want and can, therefore, provide a more accurate quote. When possible, it’s a good idea to provide a few reference videos that illustrate the type of video you’re looking for. This is an easy way to set expectations and provide a target result. Explain what you like about them and why.
A person’s portfolio and work samples will give you the best indication of what your video will look like. If you want something you don’t see, refer to point #1 and be specific what you want. First Impressions Video has shot a wide array of projects, so there should be no problem meeting and exceeding your objectives.
As you start to get quotes back for your project, you may be tempted to go with the cheapest option. After all, everybody likes to save money, right? My advice is to take an honest assessment of the project and ask yourself what is the result you want for your video. If you’re happy with the look and feel of the cheapest option, great! But what you’ll generally see, is that the more money you’re willing to spend, the better the end result. Pick an option that satisfies both your budget constraints and your expectation for quality. The last thing you want, is to pay for the cheapest option, then not be satisfied with the result and have to do the whole thing over again with someone who can produce at a higher level.
Unfortunately, too many times—especially with first-timers, I’ve observed something like this:
What the client has in mind…
but what the budget says is this…
As I have shared, there is a lot more that goes in to making a quality video than meets the eye. What First Impressions Video will do is offer options so that you can determine which are best for you, given your budget and time constraints.
Whether it’s your first venture into video or you’ve done a few, the process of finding and hiring the right video pro can be a bit tricky. The goal of this essay is to provide solid insights, so that businesses small and big can feel like video is for everyone—not just those with big budgets and lots of experience! And if you have a question, First Impressions Video is but a phone call or email away!
714-979-3850 – Office
714-608-4495 – Mobile
On many of my earlier blog posts, I’ve talked about the importance of video for any business, service or non-profit. Video continues to grow in importance and as represented by the second frame of the following infographic, by next year, EIGHTY PERCENT of online content will be video! If you’re not doing video, you are missing opportunities on an unimaginable level, if you’re doing videos and want to tap into a professional with decades in the genre, give me a call.
With thanks to WebpageFX for the creation of a terrific infographic!
This has been a crazy summer…crazy busy, that is. And that’s a good thing! That said, Vidyard produced an excellent article and companion clip about the value of video in a product launch, and I wanted to share it with my audience. If you’d like a quote for your next product launch, one that respects your budget, go to my “Request A Quote” page and fill in the form. I’ll contact you back promptly!
Sincere thanks, with full content acknowledgment to Vidyard, and to Jesse Ariss, the presenter in the video.
If you’ve read my blog, you know how important I believe video is as part of any business’ marketing mix. Video continues to command greater percentages of marketers’ collective attention and this trend will not slow down for the foreseeable future, as noted below. Sources for each—when provided—are captioned in parentheses.
Moral of the story
The biggest roadblock for marketers to add video marketing is getting started. This is particularly relevant for small business owners. Granted, many have made the move, but just as many have not. It doesn’t take thousands of dollars to produce a video anymore—even when using a professional, so don’t be dissuaded into reaching for a smartphone, with all its inherent shortcomings. Are there times when this might be a good option? Most certainly! If it’s a once-in-a-lifetime live event, go for it! But with that said, if you’re telling the story of your business, you will be much better served with pro level cameras, microphones and lighting.
So, if you want to get started, why not give me a call? Consultations are free and even if you don’t select First Impressions Video to do the work, you’ll have a much better understanding of the task, coupled with expectations that will match the finished product.
I’ve been pretty busy the last month or so with projects, so I haven’t had much chance to author an original post. That being said, Mary Lister wrote a killer article that speaks to the compelling reasons why if you aren’t doing video, you should be!
Enjoy reading http://bit.ly/2n1Tz24