Why use a slate?

A slate (AKA a clapboard, clapper, sticks, sound marker, and probably a dozen other names) is the tool that most people think of the most when you mention film production. But what is it for?

A clapboard is a tool that has two uses. The first use is to provide scene information. There are spots on the front to mark the day, location, scene, take and several other bits of information. In postproduction, the editor can group them according to these elements and keep their workflow organized.

The second use is to assist in syncing sound. On professional sets, the sound is recorded separately, and is matched up later. When the person in charge of the slate claps it, there is a peak that shows up on the audio track. The editor will be able to line up this peak with the closed clapboard so sync sound more effectively.

Do you need to clap it when you’re not recording independent sound? No, but it’s fun and you’re probably going to do it anyway.

Business Video Ideas #7: Culture Video

If you’re a well-established company in your field, you want to show the world why you are better, cooler, and more interesting than your competitors. You can do this by creating a corporate culture video.

A culture video takes the best pieces of your company and puts them on display. Not things like sales statistics or customer counts, but things like your company’s mantra and what principles your company was founded on. It should tell future employees and customers that you are about more than the bottom line.

A great way to do this is to have your employees, managers, and even yourself talk about the company openly. Have them talk about why they like working there, and what attracted them to your company. This is also an opportunity to have some of your best customers talk about you as well. Also, include images of people in and around the workplace having fun and enjoying their job. And if you have a special meeting offsite or at a conference, include some of the camaraderie that happens there.

Do all this, and you have a recipe for an amazing Corporate culture video.

Need someone to help you create a culture video? I can help.

Questions to ask when hiring a videographer

So, you’ve done it. You finally took the plunge, and called a videographer, and want to create a video. But what things should you ask them to ensure you are getting a great videographer that will help you out in the best way possible?

  1. What have you created before? This is a chance for them to talk about their previous work. They may tell you about fun jobs that involved extravagant productions, and jobs that have been enjoyable. Hopefully, they will tell you about something that will be close to your vision for the project. I would caution you against a videographer that speaks badly about a past client; that is just bad business.
  2. What do you charge? Some videographers have a flat hourly fee. Some have a package price. Some can be flexible. All are good. You just want to have someone that is credible, and knows the value of their work.
  3. What is your vision of the project? After discussing your video needs, your videographer will start coming up with ideas to create your project in a way to make it enjoyable and effective. Have them tell you some of these creative ideas, and see how well that lines up with your vision.
  4. How long will this take? Once you have an idea, find a good timetable for completion. Remember that more ambitious ideas take a longer time to complete. Few videos can be created in less than a week. Ensure that you are talking with your videographer well in advance of when you need your video project completed.

Now, you’re prepared with the knowledge of what a good videographer does when beginning a video project. Remember to have fun with your creative project!

Are you looking for a videographer with all these skills? I can help.

What is 1080p?

This is a question I get pretty often.  When I tell someone how good of a camera I have, I usually say that it shoots 1080p HD video. This is usually something that you’ll also see on display when you’re buying a new TV. But what does it mean?

The 1080 is the size of the video that I am shooting. I’m capturing an image that is 1,980 pixels wide, and 1,080 pixels tall. This is a pretty large sensor, but it is pretty standard for most TVs and monitors to display.

The thing is, this number is just the size of the image. There are many devices that can capture this, from cellphones to webcams, to DSLR cameras. The resolution of the image is something a bit more complicated, and tends to get better with camera price. But for most consumer-level, broadcast quality videos, 1080p is perfect.

In case you are wondering about other smaller sizes, and where we came from, here is an image that shows them all to scale. The red and yellow box shows the CRT TV that you probably grew up with. 800px-Common_Video_Resolutions_2.svg_

 

 

Want to see more video in action? See my youtube here.

Business Video Ideas #6: Holiday Videos!

It’s getting to be that time of year again. It’s my favorite, with the pumpkin-spiced everything, to the lights, to the general feeling of joy that seems to spring up around this time of year. I’m not limiting this to just Christmas, but Thanksgiving, Halloween, and all the other holidays you may celebrate in the last three months of the year.

During this last part of the year, it’s customary to send out a holiday greeting to your customers and others on your email list. Well, why not create something fun to send to your customers? A holiday video can be fun, heartfelt, or even just something goofy that shows you don’t take yourself too seriously. I particularly like how the video below did theirs:

Notice how it was short and sweet? Notice how the people in the video were having fun and letting loose? This is a great example of how to create something fun for the holidays. I’m sure both you and your employees will have a blast making one.

Need someone to create a holiday video for you? I can help.

Business Video Idea #5: Talk about news

One of the best things that you can do to enhance your reputation in your field is to talk about things happening in your field. It’s a great way to show your customers that you are knowledgeable, and that you are keeping up with current events. I’ve done this by blogging about things in the film industry, and how it relates to other people. There’s more posts like that coming.

What else can you do? Create a video about it. Take yourself, and speak to the camera about what’s happened in your field in the past week, month, or quarter. Maybe there’s been some new legislation that complicates a topic, and your customers are searching for assistance that you can provide. Maybe something in your industry has been in the news lately that you need to address. Maybe you’ve been in the news and need to brag about it.

Either way, if there’s relevant news about you, your company, or your industry, make sure you tell everyone about it in a video.

Need someone to create an awesome video for you: Look no further.

Business Video Ideas #4: Product Video

The idea behind a product video is pretty simple. You have a product you want to sell, and you show somebody how it works. If you’ve ever seen an infomercial, you’ve seen one of these videos.

If you’re selling one particular product, you should show your audience all the parts involved with it, all the multiple applications, how easy it is to clean and store, and how superior it is to other equivalent products. You may consider doing a side by side comparison with one of your competitor’s products.

Now, if you are a retailer with tons of products, you may want to consider doing a product of the week. Or if you have a troublesome product that people keep asking how it works, you can show them on your website how easy it is to operate.

Need to demo your product? Talk to me, I can help.

Business Video Ideas #3: Testimonials

Once again, I’m drawing from this week’s experience for blog material.

If you are a business like several other brick-and-mortar establishments, you are probably on Yelp, Google Maps, Facebook, and other places where your customers can find you, and more importantly, rate your services. These ratings can be a great opportunity for your customers to tell everyone how great the service is. Several businesses take these positive reviews and put them on their website. It’s a great practice.

What if you could take it a step further?

This is where Video Testimonials come in. A testimonial is great, but if an actual customer is willing to take the time to say to the world why you’re awesome, people will pay more attention to it than any negative review. Another good thing is that the quality of a testimonial video is forgivable: the production quality does not necessarily need to be high, and will appear to be more personal. This also allows you to record one on a whim with a cellphone, Getting a spur-of -the-moment review.

So, next time a customer says that they’re in love with your services, capture that, and show it to other potential customers.

Business Video Ideas #2: Conference Video

I’ve been a bit busy this week, but I still wanted to contribute to the blog today.

This week I’m recording video at a conference, and this is one of the type of videos you can create. If you’re investing a great deal of time and money to have a conference, it would be very smart to capture video of the speakers that are presenting to the company. This way, if anyone is unable to attend, they can watch it at a later time. You can also use this captured video in your marketing to show off your corporate culture, and how your company operates. You can also use this video for evaluating your event, to see what you can improve for next time.

Do you know anyone that creates Conference Videos? Now you do.

Business Video Ideas #1: Product Demonstration

I decided to start a new blog series about types of videos that you can create to increase your brand, viewers, and ultimately, your business. This week’s topic is a Product Demonstration.

A Product Demonstration is simply put, a video that shows what your product does. This type of video is most effective on those selling a particular item, rather than a service. It is the most effective way of showing your customers exactly what your product does, how it works, and how much it can benefit them. When creating a product demonstration,

So, what’s the best way to create a product demo video? Follow these steps:

  • Keep it short and simple. 1-2 minutes is optimal.
  • Explain your product. Make a very short FAQ.
  • Amaze your customers with your product by showing its uniqe features and why it is necessary.

And of course, once you create your video, make sure you share it with everyone! Now go out and make something awesome.

 

And of course, if you need a professional’s help, feel free to ask.