If you’re a business, or organization you are looking for ways to expand your business and attract more customers. Video marketing is a great way to expand your business in 2019. Videos are being played on Facebook, Instagram, websites you name it they are playing. Creating videos for social media is a great way to get the word out about your business or special offer. However, just like you, many other businesses are creating videos to captivate their audience. With so many videos fighting for attention there is quite a lot of competition and some are creating noise. So how can you create a video or a set of videos that will help you stand out from the crowd in 2019?
The truth is your phone in your pocket is an amazing tool. But if everyone else is using their phone to shoot their own videos how are you going to stand out? I will tell you how you can stand out…hire a professional videographer. Videographers can help create stunning imagery that you just can’t. Whether it be due to the lenses they choose, cameras they use, or the education that backs up their skill, they are professionals in a field that you’re not a part of.
Let me break it down for you so you can understand why hiring a professional is a must for your business to stand out in today’s video market place. I am going to start out with the most basic of reasons. Most professional videographers have gone to school for their craft, or they have been in the business for many years in which they have learned the skill. They understand what lenses to choose to create the imagery, they understand the importance of creating shot lists and scripts so that you can put your best foot forward.
Your phone can’t compete with a broadcast camera such as the GH5s. These cameras do exceptionally well under low light conditions, have better dynamic range, and have bigger sensors for that lovely blurry background called “bokeh,” that everyone desires.
Videographers understand how to light interviews, as well as products. Lighting goes a very long way and if not done correctly, it is one of the first signs of armature videos. Depending on the story being told lighting will dictate the way the videographer will position their lights. When you use the office lights to light yourself you are doing yourself a disservice. Most lights in offices have a very greenish tint and if you’re only using those that are attached to the ceiling you will have dark circles around your eyes in the videos. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to lighting and how best to accomplish the look that fits your video needs.
Next is sound. Have you ever heard the ridiculous sound from a phone? It sounds hallow and it not only picks up your voice, but it picks up everything else that can be heard. The phones use an automatic gain control for volume which means it hunts for any sound to record. Professional sound recorders can record in manual mode which means you dictate what is being picked up by the mic and by how much. What kind of microphone will you be using with your phone? This is another reason to hire a professional to record your marketing videos for social media. All microphones are not the same and they are tools to be used in different circumstances. Is the room you’ll be recording in echoey? If so, you will want to record with a hyper-cardioid or super cardioid microphone. These mics are highly directional and pick up only what is in front of them such as your voice and not the sounds to the side of them. These mics cannot be plugged into your phone because they require phantom power. Phantom power is usually 48 volts and is used to power most cardio microphones.
I can go on and on with reasons why it is not wise to shoot your own videos. If you’re shooting who is working? Search for a videographer who has experience with storytelling, interviewing, and one who has a good reputation. Your video will stand out and will rise above the noise that plagues the internet. I wish you will for 2019 and I hope your business videos are a success for 2019. I would like to know what you think makes a good video and why you think it is important to hire a professional to create your videos for your business.
If you would like to discuss videos for your business feel free to email me at: email@example.com or visit my website to view my work www.cookfilms.co
Many companies' video strategy efforts fail. I produce short films and high-quality video content that successfully communicates their message and allows them to be confident and stand out from the crowd.
When telling stories, you will most likely need to interview someone in order to progress the story and back it up with facts. So, this video I have made addresses some of the best tactics I like to use when interviewing (conversating) with your subject. I know when I interview someone, I want them to be as comfortable as possible. The lights, camera and microphones add some anxiety to some who are not used to being in front of a camera. Taking time to get to know the induvial is key for a great interview. If you cannot meet up beforehand try calling them on the phone and ask questions to get to know the individual. Doing this will build trust and give you an idea of what questions you will want to ask when you conduct your interview. One of the tips I use that I did not mention in the video is to ask open ended questions. Instead of asking “Do you like your job?” which would lead to a yes or no answer, I like to ask, “Give me a few examples of your work that brings you joy.” This allows the interviewee to elaborate.
Hello, today I'd like to talk to you about a few tips on interviewing. Many people feel very nervous in front of a camera with the lights, the camera, the microphones, so it's our job as storytellers to be able to make them feel at home as much as possible. What I like to do is I like to make sure that I talk to them before hand, and get their side of the story before we even meet up in the studio. Whatever the interview is about, I like to ask them about that off camera. This could be at a coffee house, this could be over the phone, but I wanna build that rapport, you wanna build the rapport with the individual that you're gonna be interviewing, so you can build trust, and not only that you get a sense of their story. There's nothing worse than sitting behind the camera, and interviewing someone and trying to get their story while the camera's running. That's not a good use of time. You're wasting their time, and your time, and the wear and tear on your camera. Tip number two is when you're talking to them off camera, and you're trying to figure out what the story is. Think of a beginning, middle, and an end. Every story has a plot, right? So what is their plot? Figure out what their plot is before they even sit down in the interview chair, and that will save you a ton of time when you're editing. The third tip I like to offer is listen. Listen to the interviewee. You might have gone into the situation with several questions that you wanna answer, but listen to some of the answers that you're getting from the interviewee. You might be able to find a question that you did not even think about. You gotta listen, and that might lead you to a better question than the one that you might have already had. Try not to bring notes, I always, always try to just come to the interview, and I don't even mention it's an interview. I mention that there's a conversation. I wanna make them feel as secure in this spot as possible. So when you say interview, it feels like they're doing a performance, and that's not what I want. Especially when you're doing documentary work. You don't want them to be performing. You want the real story. Who is this individual that you're interviewing? You want the real person, you don't want an act. So I say, we're just having a nice conversation, pretend we're having a conversation like we would in a Starbucks or any coffee house. Start off slow, ask them questions that can build up to the major ones at the end. You don't wanna go straight from the very beginning asking them questions, the hard questions. Don't ask them the hard questions right at the beginning. Another tip is, if they didn't answer the question, you think they may have shied away from it, ask 'em again, but don't ask them right after you just asked them. Save it for a little bit later on in the conversation. Little bit later at the end, so that they feel more comfortable, and you never know, you might get a different response. Here's a bonus tip, whenever I'm asking questions during the conversation, I always nod my head, and respond to them after they're done talking. Kinda like we would, in a coffee house. I wanna build that rapport with them, and make them feel that they're not performing. I want to talk to them, just like we would in a coffee house. They're not on stage, they're not performing, and I wanna make sure that they don't feel that they're performing. I hope this helps. My hope is that I am able to share my knowledge, and grow with you guys, and just to be able to make sure that you guys get the knowledge that you need in order to conduct a interview, so I hope this helps. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at cookfilms.co that's www.cookfilms.co and I will see you next time. Thank you.
When you are shooting a video, you want the picture to be as great as it can be. Many photographers underexpose or overexpose their image while filming. There are two tools l would like to inform you about that can help you with nailing exposure every time. The tools are zebras and false color. Zebras can usually be found in the settings of your camera. They are an exposure tool that lets you know what part of the picture has reached a certain IRE level. IRE is measured from 0 (black) to 100 (white). When you set the zebras to a certain IRE level let’s say 95% any thing over 95% IRE will begin to show a zebra pattern in the picture. This is to tell you that certain area of the picture is hitting the 95% IRE level.
Another tool that usually is found in on camera monitors are false color. False color uses IRE values but instead of showing zebra lines in a certain part of the picture it shows blotches of different colors. These colors represent different IRE levels. The monitors have a color scale on the right or at the bottom of the screen that indicates a color scale represent each IRE. I have created a video to better explain these two wonderful tools.
I want you to think about the movies and some of the latest commercials you have watched. Most if not all of them cooperate movement. Weather the camera was following an actor during a scene, or a camera moved closer to a product them movement can be seen. Of course, there are times when you want a static shot, and have the actors do the movement, but for most high-end production videos or films directors of photography use tools to get the movement they want. And in doing so they create a certain mood to their film.
I would like to write about three tools that will help you create movement within your production. The first is a gimbal. You will need to balance your gimbal so that it doesn’t sway left or right. Gimbals are great because you can follow a subject. You’re not restricted, and you can pretty much go anywhere the actor goes. I like to follow my subject from behind and then do a quick round about movement to the right or left of them and start capturing their face. I have to back pedal when doing this, but you can simply look behind you at times and still manage to carry the gimbal and get a great shot. You can even sling the gimbal upside down and capture some vey low angle shots. Some people like to do this in order to get shots of feet moving. This could be your first shot of your actor so that you do not reveal what he looks like for example. He may be mysterious, and you may want to hold back his identity.
Another great tool that can be used to create movement is a camera slider. A slider consists of tracks that are made out of carbon fiber. You attach your camera to a moving sled that glides left to right on the track. You can place the slider on a tripod or two light stands. One of the tricky things about setting up a slider is that you need to make sure it is leveled. Some sliders come with a levelling bubble or you can rely on your tripods level bubble. Sliders can be used to shoot products or food. For example, you could have a hamburger on a table and position the slider so that it moves toward the hamburger. As you move it forward the hamburger gets bigger and may come into focus if you are shooting with a shallow depth of field. There are plenty of great shots you can get with a camera slider you just need two light stands or a tripod or two tripods depending on how long your slider is. One other idea is to set your slider on the ground and get some moving shots from down below. If you place a tripod fluid head on your slider you can maneuver it like you would a tripod but also get the movement the slider allows for.
The third tool I would like to mention is the tripod. Tripods have been around for ages, and they have their place in film. Tripods not only keep your shot rock steady, but they also allow you to pan and tilt. If your tripod has a fluid head your movement can be done with little effort that looks very smooth and professional. Some people like to pan the camera to follow a subject in the frame, or, you could follow birds in the sky. You can also use your tripod to tilt down or up.
Which tool is best for you all depends on what your covering and creating? If I only had the option to choose one of these tools, I would buy the tripod.
My heart goes out to helping nonprofits. Nonprofit organizations help their community by serving those who are in need. People who serve charities do so from the bottom of their heart. At times, nonprofits have a hard time raising money so that they can continue their soul serving work in their own community. If a nonprofit organization does not have the money which feeds its purpose, they really can’t be as effective as they wish they could be.
There is a solution however, for those nonprofits that are looking for strategic ways to receive more donations, it’s called the internet. We live in a social media society. A society that can be reached through the means of social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, and so on. Some may say it is easier now than it was 20 years ago to get your message out because of the internet. There is one problem though…there is a lot of people trying to stand out just like you are and with that comes NOISE. Everyone is trying to get others attention, but many are just creating NOISE. How do you stand out?
When people give donations, they usually like to see how their money or gift is being used. What better way to show people where their hard earn money is going than to showcase someone who benefits from the donations through a video highlighting their story? I strongly suggest you get the recipients approval. People relate to people, that is why stories have so much impact on us. Stories draw us in and create an emotional charge. The video production team needs to focus on the right person for the right reason. Build your story around one or two ideas, and make sure those ideas fit the person who benefits from your service. When you use people to tell stories you can build trust and it really takes a hold of peoples’ hearts. People want to help it’s in our nature. So, what better way than to create a story that shows this?
You can use these stories to promote your cause, which will create a buzz and it is these stories that will help separate you from the noise.
Personally, I would want to see and hear from someone who has benefited from donations and how their life has improved versus “Please donate.” So yes, story is one very crucial and very effective way to increase donations and recurring donations from donors. Donors want to see progress.
If your organization is looking to promote a fundraiser or event you can also create a public service announcement. Television stations run a certain amount of public service announcements for free each day. Because they run the psa for free, they need to look and sound professional. Your organization should hire a professional video production company to help create the psa. This will give you a better chance for getting your information out on the air which in return will help with a better turn out for your fundraiser or event. The more people who turn out increases your chances of receiving more donations. You could also use the same psa on your website and social media platforms. Create a video campaign on Facebook to help promote your event.
In 2019 I want to help many nonprofits tell their story as well as those who they help. Remember, stories move people into action. If your nonprofit needs help telling their story or those they help please contact me.
When it comes to setting up a key light for your interview you have many options you can choose from. Choosing the correct lighting goes hand in hand with the subject matter. If the subject is light and airing, you can choose a real flat lighting approach where there is not much contrast. If the subject is harsh in nature you may want to use minimal lighting which will create a more dramatic feel.
After I shot this project I thought I would share my tips on achieving book lighting. Book lighting is a type of soft light that wraps around your subject. I got away with only on key light and back ground light for this shoot. The light wraps around the interviewee's face so nicely and leaves a little shadow on the right side. I used a back light to separate her from the wall which outlines her.
Here's a quick answer of a question that I usually get on lighting. Right now I'm just gonna show you a real quick setup of how to use a particular lighting setup that I've learned from Shane's inner circle. You can tell right now that on the subject, her face is lit by just one light to the left, and we've got a back light as well to enhance the back of her, kind of separate her from the wall. So I wanna show you this real quick setup that I have, it's called a book light. You can use a really inexpensive white piece of cardboard, they call it foam core at Michael's or any of those art stores. And what I've got here is, I've got a nice silk, I picked this up from Amazon for about 10 dollars. I've got the white board right here clamped to a C-stand, and then we've got the light shining at a 45 degree angle bouncing that light into the silk. And what, you know, what this does, is it creates a nice, soft look on your subject. It's not too far from the subject, and you wanna be able to go as close as possible, because remember, the closer you are, the softer the light. And what I like to do is, I like to have the light around, maybe three feet from the subject. So this is what it looks like. I hope that answers your guys' questions.
There are several ways to set up an interview, these are just a few tips I would like to share. Here's another quick answer to a question that I get all the time regarding video interviews, how to set them up. Before you even press record, make sure the eyes are in focus. And then number two, if your interviewee is looking side-left or side-right, make sure that there's enough nose room in this area, because you don't want them looking at a wall. You wanna give them enough room to look. It's more comfortable that way. And also, make sure that there's not too much head room. You don't want a lot of head room. It's gonna make it look like it's uncomfortable. You can obviously break all these rules if you want, but you need to know what the rules are in order to break them. If you are doing an interview on someone who is a specialist in their field, you might want them to look straight into the camera, that way they can talk directly to the audience. I hope that helps. Gimme a thumbs-up, or subscribe to the channel, and feel free to ask me any questions by going to cookfilms.co, and I would love to cover your question.
If you own a business or you’re trying to get the word out about your services or new product advertising the old fashion way might not be your best option. More than likely when a commercial comes on while you are watching television you get up from the couch to do something, or you grab your phone. Why do we do this? Well we are a society that doesn’t want to be sold to any longer. We don’t want to be told what to buy and why this soap is better than that one. It is my belief that people search out services and products on their own time when they are ready to do so. Truth be told, this is a huge reason why I stream all of our family’s entertainment. When you watch Hulu or Netflix your program is not interrupted by some sales pitch.
So, what does this mean if you are a business and you are trying to get more customers? Well, you may want to rethink your sales strategy and adopt content marketing. Content marketing is when you create information about a problem your product or service can solve. This is a new way to advertise your business without throwing it in your customers’ face. Content marketing doesn’t interrupt your potential clients, it adds value and can help educate people when they seek it. Therefore, it is so important to start creating content for the masses. Our cell phones can be great helpers in delivering this content. So what kind of content marketing should you provide?
Content marketing can be created in several creative ways. Some businesses like to write, some like to talk and use a podcast as their vehicle of delivery. Video is becoming huge player for businesses who want to deliver their message and ideas. If you do not mind being on video, you have a leg up on the competition since people can put a face to the company. Some experts suggest getting the most bang for your buck is to write about a topic and embed video within the blog to reinforce the information you are providing the reader with. Experts also say that by the year 2020 video will be the main tool to deliver content marketing.
Let’s take me for instance. I own a video production company and I want to get the word out about what I can offer new and existing clients. I may want to explain why it is important to light an interview a certain way. Depending on the style of interview and if it is dramatic or fun in nature, I would suggest different lighting techniques that suit the video. Here is an example of me talking about different ways to light a subject.
You may own a gardening business. A cool idea would be to offer tips on when the best time of year to plant certain species of plants and flowers. Or talk about when the best time to prune roses, and what will happen to them if you prune them at the wrong time. If you’re an expert in your field, just deliver content that people may already be asking you about. Chances are, people will search on the web and your blog or video might pop up.
We all want more clients and keep the ones we already have. As businesses we must provide them with problem solving content. Content that will be valuable to them when they seek it on the web. The main thing you need to consider is to serve your potential customers with content they can value. When you are a guide helping them solve a problem you will more than likely be the first one, they will want to hire when the time presents itself. The customer might not need or want your service or product right now, however if you provide enough quality content you can bet, they will look at you as a professional and someone they will turn to when the time is right.
Blogs are a great way to deliver your content. Some people can write better than others and blogs would be a great fit for them. There are some people who are great in front of the camera too. Whatever method you do choose, choose to do it in a professional manner. If you decide that video is the way you want to communicate your valuable message than get a decent microphone and tripod. Buy a video light and learn how to position it so that you look as professional as possible. You may wan to hire a videographer too. You could have many pieces of content ready to be filmed and edited. The only thing you need is to supply the content. You could also take the videos and send them into www.rev.com to be transcribed. Take the transcription and use it as a blog. The main thing is to stay fresh with content that can educate people who are looking for your service or product. Once you create enough quality content on the web, you’ll will start to get noticed. You won’t even have to have disrupt people anymore with your sales pitch. I am like you possibly, looking for a better way to help people discover what I can offer them. The old way of advertising is dying, and I do not want to die with it. Content marketing is the future, embrace it and learn by doing it.
Audio is just as important as video
When it comes to video production many feel that video or film is the main objective. The picture is
important, but so is audio. Try watching your favorite program with the volume turned down. You could probably get the just of what was going on by the action played out but would miss a lot as well. You’d soon realize how important audio is and how it complements the videos we watch.
So, what could be said about these two microphones? Yes, one is larger than the other, the larger one has many ridges on both sides of the microphone while the shorter of the two only has a few ridges (phase-interference slots). What are these microphones and when should you use them? The longer microphone is a Super-cardioid condenser shotgun microphone. Super-cardioid refers to how the microphone picks up the sound. When a microphone has a super-cardioid pick up pattern it picks up sound mainly in the front of it, and somewhat on the sides of it, however, the sound picked up on the sides will be out of phase thanks to the phase-interference slots. The sound behind the microphone will be rejected do to the super-cardioid pick up pattern. So, for instance, If I were to point the microphone at someone who is mowing their lawn, the mic would pick up the sound of the lawnmower and would reject the sounds behind the microphone (people talking for ex.)
Shotgun microphones are best suited for outdoors. Their long interference tubes (ridges on the side of mic) do a great job picking up sounds far from the mic, but when you use the same microphone indoors it can have a reverb effect on dialogue.
If you are interested in capturing audio from an interview indoors, you would then want to use the
shorter microphone which is a hyper-cardioid microphone. Due to its size and it being a hyper-cardioid mic, it can reject reverb that is caused by rooms with highly reflective surfaces. It too is a condenser microphone (condenser mics need their own power to operate +48 volts, usually provided by professional cameras). It can capture sound directly in front of it, and on the sides, different mics will have different results. If you plan on capturing an interview, you would want the microphone to be placed on a boom stand. By using a boom pole, you can adjust the length just enough to place the microphone over the talent. You want to direct the head of the mic towards the talent’s chest not their mouth. The further away you place the mic, the more noise you will get. However, if you place the mic too close to the subject you will get a proximity effect where the voice tends to sound too bass like. Usually you get good sound when the microphone is placed between 12-18 inches away from the talent, this is also true for shotgun microphones. Too far away, and the dialogue will sound like it is captured in the distance.
Next time you want to record audio either indoors or outdoors, you’ll know which mic to choose. There are some cases when you can use a shotgun microphone indoors when in a pinch. The thing to remember if you do choose to use a shotgun indoors is to keep the mic close to your talent when they are speaking (12 inches will do) and to make sure the room does not have too many reflective surfaces. If the room is too reflective, (tiled floors, hardwood floors, short ceilings etc.) you will need to treat it with sound absorbing blankets. If money was tight and I only had the opportunity to buy one mic, I would choose a shotgun microphone.
Tips on How to Conduct a Better Video Interview
Speaking in front of a camera can make many people feel very nervous. This blog post will suggest some ideas to achieve better interviews. It is important to screen each person you want interviewed. Screening is a good practice because someone who you thought may give great responses to your questions really didn’t have much to say. Search for those individuals who will help tell your story with passion. Some folks really articulate well and have a special ability to speak on camera…these are the people you need to seek out. How boring would it be if all you got where one word answers?
This brings me to the next tip, ask open ended questions. By asking open ended questions you will get more than a No or Yes answer. An open-ended question could be, “Tell me what you like best about your job and why?” Do not ask, “Do you like your work?” If you do not plan on using your voice to refer to the questions that are being asked, I suggest you have your interviewee answer the question in a complete sentence. By doing this, you allow the viewer to know what the interviewee is answering.
Whenever I plan on interviewing someone, I like to meet them prior to the interview. Many times, this is not possible, and you meet them the day of the interview. If this is the case, let your interviewee know that you are only going to have a conversation. We all converse, right? The only thing different is that the camera will be recording their responses. Many people feel at ease after I explain that we are just two individuals talking. While I get a sound check, I will ask them about their day, or how their summer was, anything to get their mind off what they are about to do. You need to warm them up before you start asking your questions. You never see baseball pitcher go directly into the game without warming up, do you?
I tend to usually have someone next to me ask the questions. This will allow the interviewee to speak directly to them and not the camera. If you cannot find someone to ask the questions you will have to do it. I usually move away from the camera just a tad, so that the interviewee can address me and not the camera. Make sure you keep eye contact, so they feel more comfortable. There is nothing worse than someone behind the camera looking down at their notes. It can feel weird talking to a camera, and I tell all my interviewees that to look at me and not the camera. You only want them to look at the camera if they are addressing the audience.
Have some questions in mind but it’s important to listen what is being said. You may find yourself
wanting to ask a question about one of the answers that was given. Having a guide line is good practice, but you can always ask questions that may come up during the interview. Interviews can progress, and when they progress, they lead you to different territories that you may want to know more about. Sometimes you may not get the answer you want, or the interviewee didn’t expand on a topic. When this happens, ask the question again later. It may be that the interviewee wasn’t quite comfortable and now after a few questions they have warmed up to you and feel much better about the interview. Once the questions have been asked, I like to ask if the talent has anything else, they want to say. Sometimes you can get great responses and sometimes they just want to be done with the interview.
1. Screen your potential interviewees
2. Ask open ended questions
3. Keep eye contact while the interviewee gives their response
4. Feel free to ask questions you think of on the fly
5. Ask the question again for a better response if need be
Additional tips for a better video
1.Do not zoom in and out of your shot. Our eyes do not zoom. Move with your feet not with the
2.Keep the shot steady. It can be sickening to watch a shot that is all over the place. Use a tripod
or a sturdy surface such as a table.
3.Get your focus first and then press record.
4.Record things you are passionate about.
5.Use natural light if possible, to light your subjects. If you want to do an interview but do not
have any lights available, have your subject near a window. This will produce the light needed
for the interview.
Please contact me if you have any questions at the following links:
Many of the video cameras now are quite good. They have many professional specs we would have only dreamed of having ten years ago. One thing that is not too flattering is how sharp the videos render. I know it’s funny, we shoot video but don’t want it to look video-like. Rather we want our videos to look filmic. How can we make it filmic? Lighting is one of the main ways to make your stories shot with a video camera to look more like a cinema picture. Choosing the correct framing, colors, editing also all contribute to a better looking and sounding film. However, even when you use these suggestions you will still have that off putting sharp video.
One way to overcome the sharp look of your videos is to shoot wide open. Open your lens to the max. Most lenses are not too sharp when they are used wide open. Another great way to over come the over sharpening of video is by using a black pro mist filter. This one is a Tiffen filter that makes the picture less sharp and smooths out the overall look. When lights are used it really makes them glow in a good way. They also smooth out wrinkles which is great if you are interviewing someone who does have wrinkles. These filters are not too expensive, but the cost does depend on your lens’ thread size. Here is a video that shows with and without a black pro mist filter. The camera and lens combo was a Gh5s and a Sigma Art 50-100 mm 1.8.
There are several things to consider when creating a film. There is lighting, color, angles, pacing of edits, audio, music and more. I base my films with one very strong character. Someone who has desire, uniqueness, and complexity. During my interview process I listen and ask questions regarding the person’s life, job, and desires. This helps me understand them better and gives me an avenue to take the story. Sometimes the people just don’t have the desire in them. I have said it before and I will say it again, the audience is only going to be interested in the film if they main character gives them a reason to be.
Deciding on the main character is one thing, another aspect is creating the mood. We can create mood with color, how the film is edited, but for me one of the most important and I think overlooked areas is music selection. If you do not have the correct music playing under your film at the appropriate times, your film is done, wasted.
Don’t go as far as getting a great subject and then waste the whole film due to lack of music planning or bad selection of music. I know many try to go the least expensive route and buy cheap music. With cheap music you are may not be able to find that right sound for your film. Music selection should be dependent on what is happening in the scene or what is being said. You wouldn’t want to place a happy cheerful song under a person who is talking about a depressing topic. It is so important to decide the mood of your film before you select your music. The direction of the film should dictate the selection of music.
Music enhances the storytelling as well as creating emotion. You want your audience to be engaged and music can help with that. Here is an example. I chose three songs for my latest film Georgio’s Bottega. Listen how the music drives the story.
I have recently been experimenting with a new way to light interviews. The method was coined by Shane Hurlbut. Shane named the lighting technique “the book light.” You place your light at a 45 degree angle so that it reflects off a service, (foam core, bead board white sheet) and that surface then reflects the light through a diffused material (silk, white sheet, frost). The outcome is a great soft light source.
When should you use this type of soft light? Someone could use this light if the subject being interviewed has wrinkles because it softens the face versus a hard light that shows more definition. This technique is good to use when you want a gradual fall off the talent’s face. The light is so soft you can place it to the side of your subject and the light will wrap around their face. And because the light is not directly in front of the talent, you won’t necessarily get the light reflections off people’s glasses, which is a big plus.
The light that comes from bouncing the light into a diffused material gives the quality such a soft light and makes your video production look so much more professional. True you could use a soft box, but when you use a soft box you only diffuse the light once. When you use book lighting you are diffusing the light two times and that is what makes it softer.
There are a few drawbacks when setting up this lighting. One is it takes a bit longer to set up. You must position your light and set up a bounce board, and then set up a piece of diffusion. This definitely takes longer to do then just propping up a light on a stand. The other draw back to this technique is you need to flag your light. The spill of the light goes all over and you need to block it with negative fill. However, the benefits of using this light outweighs the negatives. I have created a behind the scenes video, so you can briefly see my set up. I also have included a few pictures as well.
One of the last aspects people appreciate in film is lighting. Lighting is one of the first things that make or break a film though. If you show someone a scene that is not lit well and ask them what they think of the scene, they will more than likely say it doesn’t look professional. When asked why they usually say, “I don’t know it just doesn’t”. This has a lot to do with how well or not the scene was lit.
I have come across a new lighting technique that works very well for lighting people for videos. The lighting setup is called book lighting. It works well for interview setups, can be used for full body shots too. To create a book light, you shine an open faced light into a reflector/bounce board and then that light is cut down further by a silk or some type of diffusion placed in front. The further away the diffusion is from the light the softer the light will become. However, the farther it is from the light will also create more spill, which means that the light is less directed and more spread out. To keep that from happening you can do one of two things. You can bring the light closer to the bounce board and the silk closer to the light. Or, you could use flags in your scene to minimize the spill and block the light where you do not want it to be.
Why should you use book lighting for your video production or film? Well for one it gives off a very soft look. It would be a great solution for those of us who have wrinkles. It softens the wrinkles while hard direct light enhances them. If you only had one light and you did not have a fill you may want to use book lighting. Book lighting wraps the light around your subject’s face so well that you may not need a second light opposite of the book light.
If you do not have a silk or any type of diffusion who could use the bounce approach. Bouncing light is still a great option it just doesn’t soften light book light does. Or you could use a soft box which will keep the light more directional without it spilling.
I have tried all three approaches and really like how the book light works. I will be incorporating it in my documentary films as well as the public service announcements that I shoot. Sounds expensive you may say, well it doesn’t have to be. I bought a 30x40 foam core board for around $6 dollars. The silk I placed in front of the light was around $8 dollars. The light itself was the most expensive item. You just need to position your light 45 degrees from the foam core and place the silk in front of the light. When you setup correctly it forms a triangle leaving the light in between the board and the silk. Therefore, it is called book lighting. Here are a few videos that show bounced lighting vs soft box lighting and book lighting.
I am very honored and blessed to have won a second Telly Award for 2018 for my mini documentary Faith | Christ Saves. This short article is more about listening to God and his purpose than it is about me winning. I am going to keep this brief, so you can read it.
Last year I saw an employee at one of the fitness gyms in Fresno wearing a hat that said FAITH. I asked him where he bought it and he explained to me that the hat was made locally by a man named Tony. God whispered in my ear and had me give the employee my contact info since he said he knew Tony and he would see him in a day or so.
At this point I wanted to learn more about the man who created this hat that read FAITH. Tony called me the next day and we chatted for a good half hour. We set up a time to meet in person so that I could talk to him about my intensions on creating a mini doc on him.
I was blown away after I met with Tony. While talking with him, I discovered that he didn’t only make hats, but he changed his whole life around because of God. I have placed the video link down below for you to watch it.
This is a story that God set up for me to do. Everything fell into place. The filming was on point, the editing was a breeze. It was as if God had laid out the red carpet for his message. The video was uploaded right around Thanksgiving....the time to give thanks. It’s a testimonial that will make you believe. It all started with an employee wearing Tony's hat. It was God who had me speak up and ask for about Tony, because I myself wouldn't think about doing it. Being a believer you need to listen when God speaks, even if you feel uncomfortable. His will must be done, not yours. Stories are all around us, we just need to recognize them and follow up. Thank you, Tony, for sharing your life story with me and allowing me to document it. I share this win with you my brother.
Our first meeting.
You can recognize the basic services a business offers simply by reading the name of the business. Not all but many have the service in their name. So, instead of using video to explain your services, think outside the box and develop a story, an original one that pertains to you about your business. Your business story is going to be different from your neighbors because as individuals we have different lives and have different experiences. How can you stand out from the crowd If you sell the same type of service or item as your neighbor? You sell you, and your story that is how.
Video is being used to launch brands every day. Social media campaigns showcase brands on the daily, and if you are not part of the growing number of businesses utilizing video to sell your brand you might just become extinct. No one cares to receive promotional fliers in the mail anymore. You are wasting your money if you think mailers bring new customers. Video stories are great tools to promote one’s business and to bring new customers.
Number one reason you should invest in a video branded story is to explain why you do what you do. Why do you think your business is important, how does it differ from others, and what got you to where you are now. You could talk about your desire and how your brand impacts others.
The second reason you should invest in video is to explain your brand and its values. Are you a company that believes in using 100% recyclables? Are you a business that values honesty and integrity? Or are you an organization that values adaptability? Whatever your values are you should highlight them in the video.
The third reason a company should create a video branded story is to showcase their vision. A business can talk about their vision and where they hope to be. To fulfil this, the company should highlight the positive improvements they have had since they started.
Brands are more than a logo. Brands are a culture, brands are values, brands make you unique. People buy why you do what you do more than they do the item or service. Next time you grab for your favorite beverage ask yourself this one question, “Why am I choosing this beverage over the other?” Whether you believe it or not, you choose services or items based on what they represent and how they are branded.
Hear from a man who sufferred a stroke, couldn't talk, couldn't put his thoughts together. And get this, his job was public speaking. After several months he has become better. I sat down with him and his wife and they explained a therapy that gave him his life back.
This past year I partnered up with a wonderful non-profit called Bud's Odyssey Foundation which provides grants to cover neurofeedback services for our military veterans and our first responders. And today we'll hear from one of those veterans and his wife about how BrainPaint neurofeedback here at Elevate Brain Training gave him his life back as well as hers. I believe I needed BrainPaint. Came to Linda first as she discovered BrainPaint and started explaining it to me because I was struggling. I had, uh, had a stroke almost over a year ago and um, I was dealing with some side effects from that. I was in a fog. I was having trouble putting my thoughts together, trying to figure out what to do and how to do anything. Because he speaks for a living, it was really hard because he would begin to address the congregation and then he just didn't have the words. And he would see the words but they wouldn't come out. And so I would go up to him and I would tell him it's okay, you don't have to do this. And then he just couldn't speak. I knew that life was out there and there was a better life than what I was dealing with at the time. And I just didn't know what to do. I called Linda at Elevate Brain Training and I was interested in what they were doing and so I talked to my husband about it and he was a little skeptical. And when he met with her, he was like, "Wow, I actually feel hope." When we drove away he said, "I actually feel hope now." And he hadn't felt that in such a long time. When I was going through BrainPaint after a few sessions, not many had taken place actually, I think maybe four, I started to feel a physical change there that was going on within me. I had more clarity of mind, awareness. And I began doing things slowly. My wife, Linda, she would see me and sometimes it was like, "Are you okay? "Can you do this, can you do?" Yes, I'm fine. I'd have to reassure her, trust me I can do this. I counted every day 'cause it was like a gift, every day was a gift and we're so excited. And then I was like I'm gonna be so excited when I don't have to count days anymore. And so I don't have to count days anymore. So it was like a miracle. I help out more around the house. I'm sure Linda appreciates that. I think she missed it there for a time being. I was, it's one of those, it just seemed that I was in the background. But when I wasn't able to, she saw that, hey, this guy really did a lot. We wanna go forward and kind of have a new season. We feel like we've kinda got a new lease on life now. Linda and I were looking forward to retiring one day together, probably we moving out of the state. Like to do a little bit of traveling. But in the meantime while we're still here, I'm gonna continue doing the work that I'm doing in the church. And we enjoy hiking and I wanna keep that up and actually expand that. Wanna get back into our workout schedule together. And it just feels so good to see him so positive and to see him to be able to be functional and to be able to do what he wants to do. Well, I highly would recommend BrainPaint for anybody who would be struggling with issues such I was struggling or even something else. I can't even imagine where I'd be at right now had I not been introduced to BrainPaint. I was really on a downward spiral. And it's given me hope and we gotta have that hope.
Are you a business or nonprofit that wants to create a video? You may have an idea on what you want to convey but are a bit lost when it comes to structure and focus. Stories can be told by almost anyone, but memorable stories are told with purpose. Have you ever known someone who rambles on and on and you do not know what the point of their story is? You do not want to be that guy, especially when you are creating a brand story for your business. It’s important to get your point across in an efficient manner without adding confusion. I will outline two story structures that can benefit your business or nonprofit. I have learned the following information from Muse Storytelling.
An origin story – An origin story focuses on a brand, business or idea that came about. Thereare six steps to this process.You need to choose a character that was involved in creating the brand or business. Choose wisely, and pick someone who has heart and passion, this will go a long way on camera.
Find an early conflict that occurred during the building process of your brand or business. What kept you from your desire? Without conflict you really do not have a strong story, so find the conflict and how you overcame the conflict. When you choose your conflict be specific. Details will help you personalize the conflict within the story. What was the first hurdle that allowed you to overcome the conflict? Next, try to remember a few major events that occurred on the way to overcoming the conflict. Last, focus on the takeaway. What do you want people to do or remember from the story? Think of this as the conclusion and make it strong.
An Impact story – These stories are best for nonprofits.Base your story around you client or customer. Instead of a CEO telling the story, use someone who has benefited from the service of the nonprofit. People will identify with someone who has benefited more than they will a CEO. Once you find your character you want to use for your story have them talk about the problem they faced before they received the nonprofit’s help. Then have the character talk about why they needed help. The character can then talk about the steps they took in finding a solution, this is the journey they went through. Next would be the character’s experience with the nonprofit. They can talk about the service they received and how it made a difference in their life. The last step of the video would be the call to action. What do you want the audience to do? Do you want them to donate money? Share the video?
There are several other story structures you can use, but I feel these are a great start. If you have any questions or need help with telling your story feel free to email me or call me.
You hired a video production company to create a stunning video that represents your company brand, but do not know what to do with it once you receive it. The first thing you need to consider is what target audience was the video was made for. Once you figure out the target audience, you can market the online video on several social media platforms (if it fits your target audience). If anyone is confused about the term marketing, it is best described as getting your potential clients’ attention by offering them a service or product or in this case a story about your brand. Some of the best social platforms to market video are YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook and Instagram.
YouTube is a great social platform because people use it almost as frequently as Google. Google owns YouTube and Google owns close to 86% of the global search market. If you have a video on YouTube, you will benefit from Google’s search engine. Whenever someone is curious about a product or service they turn to Google and YouTube. So, YouTube is a great social platform to place your branded video.
If you are shooting behind the scenes footage your best bet is to place it on Instagram. Instagram seems to have a more of a personal feel to their platform. If you want to get to know a brand search Instagram and you will see up close and personal behind the scene video and pictures. Instagram has just launched IGTV which people can upload up to an hour long video.
Vimeo is a great platform known for their less compressed video algorithms. This means when you upload your video to Vimeo the video will not lose its quality as much as it does when you upload it to other platforms. One of the cool video benefits of Vimeo is that it allows companies to combine their videos into an album. So, let’s say you have a video marketing campaign that involves three videos. You can create an album that will have all three videos inside it. The link from that album can be shared and once shared the recipient will receive all three videos. It’s a great way to package your campaign. Vimeo even has some great background skins that you can create to give your album a polished look.
Facebook is another awesome platform that allows people to share video content. You can load your video and use hashtags to promote your video organically or you can set up a Facebook ad campaign. Setting up a campaign on Facebook is easy and the pricing is reasonable. You can target your audience. Facebook allows you to chose what area the video will be played. So, you could set the campaign to run your video only in your city or nationwide. You can set the audiences’’ age, demographics, and likes. Facebook ads gives you great flexibility and it has proven to work.
Ideally, you would want to create this online video strategy during the pre-production phase of the video. You do not want to place the video somewhere that your audience isn’t. Some video production companies can help you out with an online strategy, so it might be worth asking them where you think the video should live online. I offer this service and I offer ways to help create the video message if needed.
You defiantly want to place the video on your website. Write about it and use keywords to describe the video. Google’s keyword planner is a wonderful tool that shows you data for words you may or may not want to use. The keyword planner tells you how frequent a word is searched for, and it’s free to use as long as you are just searching for keywords and you do not create a campaign.
Now days there are many social media options for companies to market their video. The only question is where?
I write about storytelling and how it can help businesses sell in the marketplace. It is only logical to back up the information I have shared with you. Like many who strive to learn more about their craft I immerse myself in learning more and more which helps me become that much more knowledgeable in my video production field. One of the tools I use are podcasts. I listen to video storytelling professionals and specialist on podcast that have significant value. I came across Clare Edwards, a neuron scientist who explains what happens to our brains when we hear or watch stories.
We have been using stories to communicate ever since the beginning of time. Stories were used to communicate way before language was used. Story is a part of us, it is built into our making. One of the most important things I took away from the podcast is that when we are presented with facts and figures during a presentation such as on a power point, our brain goes into overload mode. But once we tell the same information by engaging into story, our brains tend to relax and become more receptive to what it is learning. We tend to remember more when we hear a story because we rely on our own past stories to help connect with the one being told.
Stories become even more powerful when you add emotion. Applying emotion to a story makes our brain go into its rolodex and it pulls out memories so that it can connect emotionally. Adding plot points to a story really makes the story powerful. We as humans are curious by nature, and when you add curiosity to a story (plot points) a beginning, middle and end, that entices the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior. This is what causes us to want to know more. Aspiring to know more about the story keeps us on our feet.
Lastly, we use our sight and hearing when we use video to tell a story. Our brain is in full mode when it uses both hearing and sight. We all learn by using our five senses, all are very important; sight though, is number one. Edwards says that when the brain combines sight and sound it releases neurons called mirror neurons which allow us to feel what we are viewing. Whenever I watch America’s Funniest Videos, I cringe when I see someone flip and fall. I feel their pain and almost move about like I just hurt myself. This is what the mirror neurons are doing. They give us an experience that we can identify with and almost feel.
If you take all the info I shared with you and use it to create a story for your brand you will get more clients willing to engage. Data seems to confuse the customer and really doesn’t resonate with them. Video storytelling is a great strategy for online video.
There are many ways businesses and or organizations can create an online video. My approach is to create a stunning short film using brand storytelling techniques. You may be wondering what constitutes a branded story. A branded story is a visual story about your company minus all the facts and figures. This type of visual storytelling is about emotion and focuses more on why the brand does what it does. What the brand stands for? Why the brand is important, and what the brand is communicating to their audience. The main idea behind brand marketing is different than the old show and tell technique, but rather it strives to create an emotion through strategic storytelling. Your audience will relate to emotion more than they will a show and tell video.
The first question I ask any company that wants to hire me is to ask them why they want a video? What is their goal for creating a story? And what does the company or organization hope they will accomplish with a branded story? Once we figure this step out the next one is who they hope to target? I have learned a storytelling process taught by Muse Storytelling that includes four pillars that relate to making a strong story. Here are the pillars: People, who are the best people to tell the story and who has the most passion to tell the story on camera? Purpose, what do you want the audience to do or what is the takeaway? Plot is the third pillar which is one of the hardest. Plot focuses on the different events that help shape the story. Lastly, Places is the last pillar. This is where the story takes place. This is a great time to show your plot rather than tell it.
The next step is to figure out keywords. This is a step I use to help guide clients to help them achieve their goal. It is a story strategy that enables the vision of the video to come to life. If the client already has a vision and would like my input, I can accommodate them in that way too. I find meeting my clients halfway is refreshing. If they already have a concept I can better understand what they want and how to get to that point. Also, I can share my experience and suggest better ways to get the same result. Working together with a client has great benefits.
The next step is to figure out who is going to drive the message? Will it be a CEO who is uncomfortable on camera? Or will it be someone who has benefited from the product or service? If it were up to me I would choose the client who has benefited from the service. For one, will come across as being uncomfortable on camera. You don’t want anyone on camera that doesn’t show charisma, shy or doesn’t really care. The audience cares for the character, and if you do not have a character that shows passion and that is charismatic the audience will tune you out. People will be more likely to listen to a past client’s story. I would rather buy a story from someone who benefited from a service rather than someone who says try us we are good. What I have just described is part of pre-production. To tell your story, you need a strong foundation and if you spend more time in pre-production it can only help with solidifying that foundation. These are just a few ideas to start you off in pre-production. There are many more to consider, but if you follow this list of ideas you will be on the right track in telling a beautiful story that you can share online. Down below is a video that won a Silver Telly Award for its storytelling. I spent many hours in pre-production to create this short-branded film.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller.