All posts by Kevin

About Kevin

The geeza behind Video Artisan

Advertising Videos

Advertising Videos for all

Creating Advertising Videos

Make no mistake, we create advertising videos. Despite all the clever and creative ways we like to describe what we do, 99% of the time we’re creating advertising videos.  They’re videos, and they’re advertising something.

Some like to talk up our craft (and there’s nothing wrong in that) and call these “advertising films”. However, in almost every instance the intended outlet for the content we create for our clients is being distributed online.  That’s usually through YouTube of other social media platforms – and these are video channels.  So yes, we create advertising videos! Sometimes, however, we’re doing a whole lot more than that.

CAT Publications Advertising Videos

We’ve created many advertising videos for CAT Publications over the years.  These are mainly in the form of event documentaries covering either their M&IT Awards or their M&IT Agency Challenge events.  Whilst these videos are supposed to inform and entertain, their true purpose is to act as advertising videos for future events.  In fact, we’ve just completed the 2017 M&IT Agency Challenge video which is already being pumped out to encourage participation at next year’s event.

Where this assignment differs from others is that Video Artisan are not just there to make an event documentary.  We are very much part of the team building experience and provide delegates with a video challenge of their own.  Each team at the M&IT Agency Challenge has to shoot a short film within an hour (edited by us) – the judging of which goes towards points and prizes at a gala dinner.

Many forms of advertising videos

There are of course many forms of advertising videos.  Some are just straight promotional films that directly sell the product or service.  Others get the advertising message across in the form of educational content – or maybe purely entertainment content.  Whichever platform you choose, you should never lose sight of the aim to advertise.  Google Dictionary describes this as, “to describe or draw attention to (a product, service, or event) in a public medium in order to promote sales”.

This is why we generally describe Video Artisan as a, ‘Promotional video production company’.

Planning your advertising videos?

If you’re starting to think about how you can introduce advertising videos into your marketing mix, give us a call.  We like to think we can help any organisation to achieve their video goals – regardless of budgets and the complexity of the task.  The key to making this successful is to start to talk to your video production company at an early stage so they can advise on the most efficient and cost effective approach. If you’re at that stage now – call Kevin Cook on 020 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com.

Advertising Videos Interivews
Shooting interviews for Advertising Videos
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Video Training

Bespoke Video Training

The continued rise in demand for online video has seen us providing bespoke media and video training packages to all manner of clientele. In the past month, this has included basic one-to-one coaching to local businesses though to specialist aviation industry training as far away as Brunei!

Though online video has been with us for some years, organisations are now really starting to understand how video can drive their business forward. And, for many, buying in video training and doing it themselves is the most logical way to achieve this.

CAT Video Training

A great example of how a Video Artisan bespoke video training package can help a business grow is our relationship with CAT Publications (Conference And Travel Publications). CAT have been creating print, online, educational and research content for the international events industry since 1987. Their editorial expertise and industry knowledge has helped them maintain their position as the most trusted resource for anything “events industry” related.

CAT are not shy about harnessing the power of video though. We have produced many films for them in the past five years – with numerous event documentaries on their M&IT Awards, Agency Challenge and Masterclasses. However, the next logical step for them was to start repackaging their extensive editorial output into a video format. The long-term aim is to create a vibrant online video channel of up to the minute news content and comment on the events industry across several their publications.

Video Training at CAT
Everyone enjoying the video training at CAT

Having already experimented outsourcing the the video element of this with their Intellectual Capitals product, they soon realised the most cost-effective and time-efficient approach would be to invest in the skills of their existing editorial team. They obviously didn’t need any guidance in journalism – but a well-structured video training and support package would enable them shoot, edit and produce compelling content, in-house. This would mean they could get their video content out faster and build even greater engagement with their audience.

More than just Video Training

Apart from the video training element of this service, Video Artisan also helped CAT with their investment in the kit needed for their in-house productions. This included specifying a lightweight camera system suitable for roving reporters, video editing software and all the video accessories needed to create professional looking videos (see notes below on the kit).

The initial training was spread over two days – starting with the principles of creating video interviews, developing a house-style and basic camera craft and sound recording techniques. Practical filming assignments were then followed with guidance on how to package up footage and other media assets using Edius editing software. The final steps included outputting settings and how to share content on social media platforms and achieve the best possible search engine visibility.

This is very much an ongoing relationship with CAT. The initial support package means we are going to be very instrumental in helping them to create their first two or three real pieces of video content. By then they should be well on their way to achieving their goals. However, as their video channel develops, there will be further involvement from Video Artisan that will see CAT evolve into the leading resource of video news and feature content for the events industry.

Your video training needs

Our main strength at Video Artisan is our ability to shape and develop video training services for any application or size of organisation. Through our extensive industry contacts and partners we can offer complete media training solutions – covering technical, creative and on-screen performance coaching to broadcast standards. If you’re thinking of creating your video content in-house, please get in touch for more details on our bespoke video training services. Email kevin@video-artisan.com or call 020 3602 3356.

NOTES: Video Artisan specified the JVC GY-HM170 compact 4K camera, E-Image EG03A2 tripod and accessories – sold as a bundle through ProAV . Additional filming kit included RODE NTG1 shotgun and Filmmaker Kit radio mic system. This configuration was chosen because its ability to easily shoot in either automatic, semi and manual modes – enabling their journalists to concentrate on the story but giving them the ability to develop their manual camera control skills over time.

Edius Pro 8 editing software was chosen for its ease of use and ability to incorporate source material in a range of formats. This is also the main editing system used by Video Artisan and therefore enabled easy remote support to CAT on future projects.

Video training with Edius
Video training with Edius
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Awards Event Documentary production

M&IT Awards 2017

Yet another Awards Event Documentary

This is the third time we’ve been commissioned to create an awards event documentary for CAT Publications.  It was very special this time though as it was their 30th Annual Awards.  That’s some achievement.  It was also another great reason to create an awards event documentary to remember it by.

This is an amazing event, attended by more than 1,300 key people from the top organisations in the meetings and events industry.  Its purpose is to celebrate and reward the very best across a wide range of categories.  This includes hotels and conference venues, agencies, airlines and banqueting providers.  Like all the best awards nights, the winners are not revealed until the awards night itself to an ever-so excited audience.

Awards Event Documentary A&O

The purpose of this Awards Event Documentary isn’t purely for prosperity though.  CAT use these films as a part of their marketing activities for the following year’s event.  In fact, the film is one of their most powerful tools in sharing the atmosphere and scale of the event.  For anyone who has not attended the awards before, this short awards event documentary will give them a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Furthermore, the film plays an important role in attracting entries in future awards.  As the only awards scheme in the events industry which is voted on by the end user, they are extremely highly valued.  The film therefore had to show the impact that winning an award has on the recipient’s business.  Likewise, the film had to impress the value of brand association for future sponsors.

Production process

The narrative for this awards event documentary was pretty much set in stone.  Shooting was therefore straight forward, with three camera crews recording the general atmosphere shots.  We also had two fixed cameras covering the main presentations.  The main host was TV’s Eamonn Holmes – and along with various guest speakers, provided the main structure to the edit.  In addition, winners were pulled backstage after their presentation to be interviewed by another camera team to captures their elation.  Whilst this was an extremely quick turn round it also gave us the opportunity to ask them their views on the event in general.

The backstage interviews, along with the winner’s stage presentation, were also cut into individual short clips.  These were then sold to the winners post-event for them to use within their own marketing to promote their success.  This enabled CAT to recoup some of their investment in the creating the documentary. (see example here)

Editing the main Awards Event Documentary was made easier by the excellent neon drumming performance by Spark!  They were spectacular on the night and provided us with a dramatic up-beat soundtrack to cut to.

Video Artisan and CAT Publications

This is just one event we work on for CAT Publications each year.  Other events include their series of masterclasses for the events industry – and also the ever-popular Agency Challenge events at which we provide video team-building challenges for the delegates.  There’s another one of these coming up in July.

More information

If you are organising an awards event, or any other corporate event that really would benefit from being made into a short documentary, then give us a call.  You might be surprised at how a little investment in a video film could take your event to the next level.  Call Kevin on 020 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com

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Facebook Live for business

Facebook Live

Facebook Live – the benefits of broadcasting your business

The most recent development on Facebook, ‘Facebook Live’, is opening a whole new world of opportunities for businesses to engage with their followers. If you’ve got no idea what Facebook Live is think of it as a live video broadcast. These videos are posted directly to your Facebook page in real-time (almost) – be that your private page or your business page. Like any other Facebook posting, these can be liked and shared by your page followers – and as the administrator you can add tags and adjust privacies to help you get your broadcast to those you want it seen by.

Live, and not so Live

Obviously, your followers aren’t all just sitting on your Facebook page waiting for stuff to be posted – as nice at that would be! To cater for these absentees, once your live event has ended the video is then shown along with your other postings for people to view as and when. Over time your viewing number will rise as more people watch it, like it, comment and share it on their own Facebook wall.

Hopefully you can start to see how this kind of marketing tool could benefit your business and help you to generate social media followers. But what kind of things to people want to see? The answer seems to be pretty much anything! The most viewed Facebook Live is currently “Chewbacca Mom”. (CLICK HERE – and try not to laugh) To date, this has had 166 million views since it first appeared as a Facebook Live. At the time of going live it maybe had only one or two (or none more likely) viewers – but the Facebook Live experience is about sharing things as they happen.

This is obviously not an example of a business using Facebook Live. But what this example should do for you is to demonstrate the potential of Facebook Live. I’m sure you can also imagine the effect this had on the sales of Chewbacca-type masks!

Think business!

Shrewd businesses are now tapping into this by using Facebook Live to share all kinds of real-time events. The obvious ones are things such as product launches, conferences, exhibition stand tours, product training sessions… or any other event where you would naturally have a live audience. Facebook Live will enable more people to experience these and, more importantly, share their experience with others who might find your content of interest.

Whilst spontaneity is at the heart and soul of this technology, pre-publicising your event will enable you to increase real-time viewers who can engage with you at the time of broadcast. You can actively encourage questions from your viewers at the time and gain valuable feedback – as well as spreading the word about your broadcast and generally scattering your brand amongst their friends and followers too. The only real limitation is that your event can’t be more than 4-hrs long as a single stream.

How to Facebook Live – The basics

In its simplest form, a Facebook Live event can be created using just your mobile phone and the Facebook App. The only other requisite is an uninterrupted and reasonably broad-bandwidth mobile or Wifi connection.

If you want to post something to your private page, simply click the Live button and add the event details as requested. Within a few moments your phone will start sharing its Facebook Live buttonpictures and sound to your Facebook wall. (as demonstrated by Chewbacca). It’s a little less obvious on a business page, but still possible. In this instance, go to your business page, click the ‘Post’ button, and then select the ‘Live’ option.

The drawbacks of using your phone for a Facebook Live event are mainly down to the limitations your phone’s camera. Whilst the picture quality on most modern phones is perfectly adequate, the sound from the internal microphone is generally poor. This can be easily overcome with the addition of an external microphone.  But you’ll still be limited to the basic camera controls offered on your phone. This might be fine for a talking-head type situation, but if your ambitions are greater then you’re going to have to look at more advanced options.

As a business you might want to broadcast something a little more akin to a real TV broadcast.  This could include nice lighting, proper audio, autocue and possibly multi-camera coverage of your event. This is where you’ll need the services of a company such as Video Artisan.  You’ll also need some additional hardware to connect the output from a video camera or mixer and spit this out to Facebook.

How to Facebook Live – Advanced

For a single-camera broadcast our JVC cameras have the ability to send their output to the Internet through a WIFI, 3/4G or LAN dongle. They also enable us to assign the required values that will let Facebook see the camera’s output and broadcast it.

These settings are accessed within your Facebook business page. Within ‘Publishing Tools’ you’ll find ‘Video Library’ and the facility to set up a ‘Live’ event. This is where you give Facebook your camera’s location details as well as setting up other parameters to help you reach your audience. Our initial testing here at Video Artisan resulted in this little masterpiece – click here.

Another box of tricks is needed for multi-camera events.  This mixes the camera feeds and then encodes the signal into something Facebook-friendly. Using this configuration, the only limits to your Facebook Live event are your imagination and your budget!

Let’s go live!

If you’d like to talk about your Facebook broadcasting ambitions, please give us a call now. Before you know it, you could be the very next Facebook Live sensation! Call Kevin Cook on +44 (0) 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com

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referral marketing film by Video Artisan

Referral Marketing Film case study

Referral marketing film case study – Cimar

Commissioning a referral marketing film is a no-brainer – period!  When looking to buy a new product nothing is more persuasive than a recommendation from a trusted source. Personal endorsements give us confidence – which is why referral marketing film production is on a meteoric rise.

We have recently completed a referral marketing film for Cimar, a very clever and efficient cloud-based medical image exchange system.  The client subject for this film is Chartwell Private Hospital of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex – a specialist facility which provides various medical scanning services to hospitals, GPs and physicians.  Chartwell is prefect subject material for Cimar to use on a referral marketing film as their system has made a very positive change to their working practice and efficiency.  They are exactly the type of new business Cimar are trying to attract.

Tell a story with your Referral Marketing Film

The first tip in creating a referral marketing film is not to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of the product, but rather the customer experience and how it benefits their lives.  Most of all, it must tell a story. It’s an often-overused phrase but with referral marketing it really is about selling the sizzle, not the sausage!  The technical stuff is obviously important but at this stage your goal is to connect with, inspire and motivate your prospect to find out more. In fact, you need to leave them wanting more.

The second tip is to pick the right people – and to keep things as natural and conversational as possible.   A good referral marketing film is just a conversation with a client during which you capture their story and true feelings about your product or service.  If they come across as trying to perform for the camera, or trying to deliver someone else’s words or experiences – it will not be believable.  If this happens your referral marketing film will have the opposite effect.  Your audience will not expect to see a polished performance.  The occasional stutter, um or err is natural.  We do this in everyday conversation – which is what you are trying to capture.

Saying it as it is

It is important that your interviewee/s use their own language and terminology. This will almost certainly be the same language and terminology used by your potential customers. You might well call your widget or feature ‘XYZ’, but if your customers refer to it as ‘ABC’ then that is what other customers will understand.

In addition you should allow plenty of time to record your interviews. Make sure your interviewees do not feel rushed nor pressured.  Allow enough time to take two or three versions of the same statement or answer. Even if you think you’ve got the perfect take, first time. Try phrasing the same question differently.  This will often result in the interviewee giving a slightly different emphasis in their answer.

Icing on your referral marketing film cake

Make sure you film plenty of what are referred to as b-roll or cutaway shots.  These could be general shots of your customer’s premises, the products/services they provide, and shots of them going about their normal activities.  These images are used to cover edits within their replies and to help you tell the story.

To ensure you are covering the key points in the shortest time possible, it is good practice to transcribe the interviews and create a ‘paper edit’.  This should result in your client saying exactly what you want them to say in – in a logical and natural order.  However, this might mean quite drastic cutting and re-ordering of the original interview footage.  This is where that all-important b-roll or cutaway footage is used to cover up jump cuts in the visuals. (watch the Cimar film again and see if you can spot where this has been done)

Your next referral marketing film

Producing a referral marketing film should result in you having an extremely powerful marketing tool for your business.  It’s like having your favourite happy customer with you at every sales meeting extolling your virtues.  Hosting this video on your website will mean they’ll be doing it 24/7, 354-days a year.  A great referral marketing film will take the selling out of sales, completely.

Ready to start planning your referral marketing film?  Please give Video Artisan a call today on 020 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com.

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