2017 was the celebration of the 5th anniversary of First Impressions Video, as a full-time venture. Each year was more gratifying than the one it followed and 2018 is already looking to be the best yet! There are many to thank for this prosperity as it is my wonderful clients that made it happen! And in no particular order, shout-outs and sincere thanks to the following:
- Media Distribution Solutions
- Fox Sports/Rush Media
- ESI Video
- Mariners Church
- STAUBER Products
- Yardi Systems, Inc.
- M-Cross Intl, Inc.
- The Jemelian Family
- John Stevenson Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning
- Wright-On Communications
- Optical Display Engineering
- Profitable Roofer
- The White Family
- Peacock Hill Equestrian Center
And as we begin 2018, there are several trends worth noting, for those thinking about video in your business plans.
- Video is becoming a must for any content strategy. This goes without saying and if you don’t have video on your website, do it. This year! All by itself, Facebook generates about 8 billion (with a “B”) views on a daily basis (with a “D”)! That should tell you all you need to know.
- Video is successful. A dentist I’ve done work for continues to sing my praise for convincing him to do his first video. He has now done several and tells me repeatedly how many calls he gets from people who did so because they saw his video!
- Video is versatile. So we spend a day shooting several “episodes” for you. That’s great, but aside from the initial deployment, these videos can be repurposed for other locations. What a great way to maximize the investment!
- Video marketing will become a must-have job skill! What if you don’t have that talent in-house? Hire me to do it for you! Aside from my years producing video, I spent the preceding ten years in digital marketing. It is far less cost to bring me alongside as a consultant than to hire a dedicated employee, so give that idea serious consideration! You need a competitive edge? Let me help give it to you!
There are so many trends to address that it would take three times the size of this blog to share them all, but it’s December 22nd and I’ve got things to do before Christmas! Plus, I’ll be in my normal place behind Camera 1 at Mariners Church for the Christmas services! Perhaps I’ll see you there, but in the event I don’t, please allow me to wish you and yours the most wonderful Christmas and Holiday season, and a very prosperous 2018!
In my May 21st blog, last year (“Can you give me a ‘ballpark’ quote?”), I broke down the elements of a video production to illustrate what goes into a bid for a project. In that article, I mentioned that post-production is a subject that should have its own story, so here it comes today!
To review, the components that play into how a job is priced includes:
So let’s unpack that last one: Post production. A simplistic definition would describe it as everything that happens after production wraps, leading up to the delivery of the finished video product. It’s only when we drill down further that we find out what that really means…
- Editing. The art of taking the raw footage—with its audio—and turning it into something useful. I believe too many on the “client side” have limited understanding of what goes into good editing, especially the time it takes to do it right. And there is NO correlation between the aggregate time of the source footage and a finished sequence. Even if the desired time for a video is one minute, it could take hours (or even days) to whittle a lot of raw footage into that really special promo/talking head/commercial piece! A good shooter will capture footage with editing in mind (especially if it’s the same person doing both tasks), but editing is still the process that can take the most time*.
- Audio. This subject actually has two definitions. The first pertains to adjustments that are often necessary to “sweeten” the audio captured with the source footage. Depending on the quality of that sound, it may not require much work—but it can! A good editor typically has an audio application just as robust as the editing program and I’m pleased to have the Adobe suite that includes Audition, in my workflow arsenal. Nothing can undermine a video like bad audio, so major attention needs to be paid to this crucial element. The second context pertains to the music bed that sometimes rides under the video. This sound track should complement the tone of the visuals and NEVER compete with it. We’ve all seen videos with the audio track WAY TOO LOUD (yes, I’m yelling!), and even with volume controls, an audio track should never overwhelm any spoken word in the video.
- Titles, Graphics & Effects. Call this the “glue” that brings everything together, “TG&E” make for a nice opening and closing to your video. Effects should never be so dramatic that they become a distraction; they should be an enhancement to your presentation.
I hope this addresses the point that creating a video is comprised of many moving parts. Make sure your video production company understands them all and can pull the “pieces of the puzzle” together into a cohesive, compelling video!
Happy New Year!
* I am often asked how long it takes to edit a project. And while there is no specific answer (no dodge here!), reputable sources (plural) say that it can take from 1 to 5 hours to produce 1 minute of finished video. The range represents the complexity of the edit; the more elements (footage, graphics, titles, music, effects, rendering, color correction and others) the longer it will take. In the context of the “ballpark quote” article, post production can easily be equal to—or even higher than—the cost of production itself.
First, my sincere thanks to all my clients who entrusted their video work to First Impressions Video! Whether a direct production or as a freelance contributor, 2016 was a very special year, and I am truly grateful! And as we head into 2017, just remember this important axiom: Rule #1…don’t sweat the small stuff. Rule #2…it’s ALL small stuff!
May we all be wildly successful in our respective endeavors in the coming year!
With so much going on in digital marketing these days, it might be easy to forget about organic search, or just dismiss it as being too difficult to execute–especially with so many updates to Google’s search algorithm. I should know. As many who read my blog are aware, I spent over a decade in digital marketing of all sorts and types, before starting the video business. So here’s my take or organic search: it still works!!
Yesterday, I shot a funeral for a family. It was a very moving ceremony and was held at Forest Home Memorial Park in Glendale. I received a call about a week before the service from a photographer friend of the family asking if I was available. He was a pleasant gentleman and I could tell that we both had the right kind of sensitivity in our approach to this unique assignment, so I agreed. Through several calls and emails, I forgot to ask him how he found me, since we didn’t know each other, but I was able to ask after the service and he said, “I Googled you!” Understanding search queries, I asked further, what search terms (keywords) he used? His reply, “I Googled ‘funeral videography orange county.’ ”
I was very pleased at this revelation as it proves positively the value and importance of good search engine optimization (SEO). I ran the same query this morning and found this search result:
First Impressions Video appeared–after the ads, that I don’t buy–in the first four positions of the search engine results page (SERP), and the map! I think it’s safe to say that I would likely NOT have received the call that turned into a nice piece of business had I not invested the necessary time to optimize my website.
No matter what your business is, taking the time to build robust SEO for your website can be…no, should be…a critical component of your overall digital marketing strategy. Do not overlook organic search…it is a cornerstone to effective online visibility!
I am extremely gratified to be acknowledged as one of Thumbtack’s “Best of 2015” award recipients in my category! Thanks to my loyal customers for your continued support. #TTBestOf2015
Got Video? Give me a call or drop me a line…great video doesn’t have to break the bank!
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 email@example.com,