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!
Well, just when we thought we’d escape 2020 with a better 2021, we got CLOBBERED by MORE coronavirus, runaway inflation (paying around $4.50 a gallon for gas as of this writing!), and countless other kinds of pain! Here’s hoping that 2022 will settle down from so much chaos so we can get back to work and do what we do best, regardless of business or industry.
To that end, I want to thank all my clients and friends for entrusting your video/freelance projects to First Impressions Video. I promise that in the coming year, I will continue to exceed your expectations and will strive for excellence in any project to which I am assigned.
I didn’t post much last year…actually, by my check, I didn’t post at all last year. I promise to do better in 2022!
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!
2019 was a great ride, and now it’s time to “drive” right into 2020! Need a Videographer, Director of Photography, Director/TD, Cinematographer, or just a good ol’ Camera Operator? Give me a call!
To all of my clients, freelance colleagues and friends, my sincere thanks and a tip of the hat you you all!
Back in the “old days” which, for today’s post I’m defining as pre-2004, people seldom worried about using music in conjunction with videos which they knew would receive limited viewing. Whether a wedding video distributed among family members or one produced for a company that would only be viewed internally, little thought was given to the consequence of using music without paying royalties to the artists or producers of that music. That has all changed. With the popularity of social networking, the emergence of YouTube, Vimeo and other media hosting/sharing sites, Instagram and other web portals created to present videos, everyone should be aware of the potential consequences arising from the use of copyrighted music without permission from the artist(s).
Music labels and producers (and the lawyers that represent them) are no longer taking this lightly and are suing the pants off folks who use their intellectual property without proper attribution AND royalties paid. Aside from the expense of a lawsuit—which could easily put a videographer out of business (epic fail!), finding the right person to pay the royalties to can be quite the hassle, in and of itself! YouTube and Vimeo are blocking the audio from any posted videos with suspect music playing in the background, and they have comprehensive recognition algorithms to detect the misuse of music on their sites.
Rather than engage in a time consuming and expensive battle with artists, producers and attorneys, I have chosen to use legally licensed music. And although I don’t have that latest tune, I can get very close to most contemporary songs and still have a clear conscience.
Ron Dawson is a friend and an incredible filmmaker who has been doing this for two decades. Ron knows many of the top indy content creators across the country and he recently shared a story about another filmmaker, Joe Simon, in his blog post, “The Music Licensing Chickens Have Come Home to Roost in Wedding and Event Videography.” Ron gave me permission to link to his story; I encourage you to take a peek as it unpacks this subject in far greater detail. Joe’s story was published in 2011, but it’s just as relevant today — if not more so — than when it was released.
First Impressions Video has a library of royalty-free or royalty-paid music that we use which—we believe—fits our clients’ tastes, their story and the emotion of the event, and it often can mimic current music. Notwithstanding music considered to be in the public domain or picked up in the course of recording a reception or other activity, we will endeavor to use only music and recorded special effects for which proper licensing has been obtained. It is our desire and intent to stay on the right side of this legal issue; we trust you’ll respect this decision.
I hear that question a lot. Unfortunately, there are a number of elements that affect the price of a video. No, that’s not a dodge, it’s the truth. What would you say if someone asked you this question:
How much does an airplane cost?
In thinking about the variables in play to answer this question, you begin to get the idea there are a lot of things to consider! I know my way around aircraft and there are easily thousands of questions, like, “are we talking about fixed wing or rotary wing (helicopter)?” So let’s dump the airplane metaphor and get back to video. Let’s start by posing a few questions that should be addressed before we answer “that other question.”
So there you have just a few of the key elements of a video. Truthfully, anyone who would just throw out a “ballpark” quote without reasonable consideration of the variables I’ve shared here is asking for trouble. I would much rather take a modest amount of time to talk about those elements so I could provide a quote that would be meaningful for all parties involved. I may miss out on a few jobs taking this approach but I’m as professional in my business methodology as I presume you are in yours. Consultations are free, and the result will be a production that achieves its desired results at a rate everyone finds acceptable.
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!