Category Archives: Video Artisan

Welcome

Video Artisan pride themselves on producing cost-effective video communication tools for business clients.  They understand their clients’ needs – and how to achieve their video production goals. This is why more and more businesses are using them for their video production needs.

These articles will keep you up to date with what’s been happening at Video Artisan.  Short stories, news updates and comments are published by the company’s founder, Kevin Cook.  Kevin has been in the professional video industry since 1985 and always aims to provide his clients with exceptional levels of customer satisfaction.  The company motto is, “Under promise and over deliver”.   At Video Artisan they always go that extra mile to provide an excellent product at a competitive price.

For further details

In conclusion, the areas of expertise include corporate video, company films and all professional video services.  Please contact Kevin Cook for further advice on this website – kevin@video-artisan.com or call 020 83602 3356

 

New website promo film for HRS

I’ve just completed a website promo film for another BBC Apprentice winner, Ricky Martin, for his specialist recruitment company HRS (Hyper Recruitment Solutions) based in Loughton, Essex.

Ricky Martin runs HRS in partnership with Lord Alan Sugar.  The company has a wealth of recruitment expertise in placing jobs within the science and technology sectors.  The website promo film was produced for the HRS website front page and also the HRS YouTube channel in order to give visitors an introduction to the range of expertise and unique recruitment services they offer.

Not only do HRS recognise the huge importance of commissioning a website promo film as part of their general marketing activities but also the major role that video plays in efficient SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).  In a nutshell, if all else is equal a website that includes video it will rank higher in Google searches than one that doesn’t.  Google’s ownership of YouTube has an influence on this but any properly site-mapped video content will help your website climb the rankings.

Not only that but a well produced and properly indexed website promo film will drive more relevant visitors to your website – and keep them there longer.

Short lead-time website promo film

This video is a good example of what can be achieved in a very short space of time.  From the initial approach by Ricky this website promo film was screening on the HRS YouTube channel within a week.  And within a week of going live it had already attracted over 2,500 views – and the audience figures are still growing.

The video was shot in the Video Artisan edit suite against a chroma key background and superimposed Ricky over a stock office shot from iStock.  We then added the HRS logo to one of the office walls in order to personalise the scene. XY zoom was applied to this background image to match the cuts from the medium to close shots.

HRS website promo film
Background image for the HRS website promo film

The instant success of this website promo film has inspired HRS to commission more video content for their website going forward.  More details will follow soon but we hope to be creating some content that will help those looking for jobs within the science and technology sectors to be more successful in gaining employment.

Also keep an eye on my blog for news on more work we’ve produced for BBC Apprentice winner, Tom Pellereau and his amazing Stylfile collection.

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Eiger Safety promotional video wins video of the month

I was really pleased to hear that one of my promotional videos for Eiger Safety has won the IOV’s ‘Video of the Month’ (VOTM) competition in May 2013.

The full story behind this film, and other promotional videos, was the subject of a previous blog. Since then I’ve also been shooting a longer form documentary about the company which will be launched later this year alongside a new website which Eiger Safety are producing.

The quality and range of entries for the IOV’s VOTM has been quite extensive since it was first launched back in January this year.  As there are no rules as to content my Eiger Safety film would have been up against all manner of entries from within the IOV’s membership.  And this would not have been restricted to just promotional videos – but also wedding films, documentaries, event coverage and just about every other avenue of work that the IOV membership is involved in.

I think VOTM is a great idea (well done John De Rienzo for getting it off the ground). It gives producers of promotional videos like myself (and other types of producers) a regular means to promote and measure their work.  There’s also a nice little cash prize in it which helps cover those small kit impulse purchases that I seem to be making quite frequently these days.

Not just promotional videos

There’s more to come from Eiger Safety as MD, Paul Jaffe, is planning a charity fund raising attempt at climbing the north face of the Eiger in 2014 and has asked me to make a film about it.  I must quickly add that this will not involve me making the climb myself but rather Paul’s preparations and training.  We are also talking about me filming the start of the climb and his final approach to the summit – so it will involve some altitude work and no doubt some spectacular scenery.

Eiger Safety on the chains at Clifton Suspension Bridge
You have to be comfortable at height to do this – believe me!

When you produce a promotional videos for companies you never know where things might lead to.  However, I never expected to be strapped in harnesses, abseiling or thinking about filming someone climbing the north face of the Eiger.

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Promo Film for #Stylfile

I hinted at having a very important meeting about a promo film commission on my Facebook page a couple of weeks ago.  Sorry for the tease but I couldn’t say too much until the video was complete and out in the open.

The meeting was with none other than Tom Pellereau, winner of the 2011 series of the BBC’s Apprentice, inventor and joint owner of Stylfile with Lord Sugar.  Tom’s offices (and that of the Amshold) are just a few hundred yards from my studio in Loughton, Essex and he was just as chuffed as I was at finding each other when he needed a video production company to help with his latest promo film.

Styfile
Working for Tom Pellereau on the Stylfile promo film

When I say “promo film”, it actually ended up being utilised as one main promo film and then chopped up into several micro promo films covering each of the products in the Stylfile collection.  This includes the S-File, S-Buffer, S-Clipper, Emergency File and the S-Ped – plus the Nailcare Collection.  The above links will take you to the individual product pages and each promo film.

Stylfile Collection
The Stylfile collection of nailcare products

The entire piece also includes an introduction by Tom covering his Apprentice story and the inspiration behind these revolutionary nailcare products…

The promo film shoot

I think this is a pretty good example of what can be achieved in a couple of days (one day shoot and another to edit).  Of course this can only happen when a client has done all the preparation, worked out the story and structure – and is a darn good presenter in front of camera.  Tom did most of the takes first time – which was a real benefit in the edit.  He had also pre-produced the title sequence and selected the royalty-free music score – both of which would have added another 1/2 day or so to the edit.

The shoot was carried out in a local studio but pretty much all the lighting (apart from a back light) was supplied by Video Artisan. To keep things cool I used my Lishuai LED Lighing Kit which was greatly appreciated by Tom.  I’ve written a review on this lighting kit for DVUser magazine and will be posting it here next week.  This promo film does give you a reasonable idea of what the kit is capable though.

This isn’t the end of this story.  In a couple of weeks I’m going to be shooting another promo film for Stylfile on another brilliant new product they are adding to the collection.  Sorry – that’s still hush hush at the moment so you’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for details.

In the meantime I guess I better get myself a Stylfile collection having raved about it to everyone.  Tom really has created something quite amazing and I’m sure the promo film will help spread the word even further.

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Robertson and Co. Promotional and Training Films

It’s obviously getting busier here at Video Artisan as I’ve not found time to tell you about the completion of the promotional and training films I produced for Robertson and Co – the UK’s leading investigation and surveillance specialists.

This was one of those video production commissions with a long lead time.  My first meeting with them was early 2012 where we talked about the benefits and likely costs of producing both promotional and training films.  There were various internal reasons why it took nearly a year to get started but they kept me informed all along and were obviously keen to get the project under way.  Once we got the green light script writing commenced and both corporate and training films were completed in little over a month.

Shooting training films on location
Shooting training films on location

The need for both Promotional and Training Films

Robertson and Co provides a wide range of award-winning investigation, surveillance, claim validation, intelligence and fraud investigation services to a large number corporate clients, insurance companies and public sector bodies. Originally they wanted one film that would showcase their services and corporate values to potential clients – as well as demonstrating the level of expertise and commitment required by those wanting to be employed as Robertson and Co. agents.

The goal for the corporate audience was relatively straight forward – to set out the range of services offered by the company and to inspire new customers to use Robertson and Co. The training film’s goal was a little more subtle, in that it had to help reduce the costs of engaging agents by deterring those who would not be able to deliver the standards of service the company demands. Prior to the video, every year around 1,000 people enquired about becoming one of their agents – from which only around 10 ended up being employed by them for a period of 6-months or more.  Whilst most of these applicants failed to proceed to supplying CVs or progressed to an interview stage, this initial filtering was obviously costing the company a lot of time and resources.

Following our consultation they agreed that trying to produce one film to fit both purposes might have been possible but wouldn’t be as effective as producing two separate films. We were able to keep costs to an absolute minimum by using the same b-roll footage on both films – as well as gearing the interviews with key personnel in such a way that sections of them could be used in both versions.  This has resulted in the two films being not that dissimilar at first glance – but the emphasis on the narration is quite different.  Having said that, knowing that Robertson and Co.’s agents operate to a strict code of ethics and role specific training manuals will be something that potential clients want to hear.  Conversely, applicants watching the promotional film will understand the very important role they will play in delivering customer satisfaction.  This resulted in quite a few passages within each script having very similar wording but with a slightly different emphasis.

The Promotional Film

The promotional film is already being put to use – and will feature heavily on the company’s new website which is presently being developed.  The video is also being used as part of their general search engine optimisation efforts and is already creeping up the search results within Google and YouTube searches for their key words.

The Training Film

The training film is being presented to all of their current agents and will be shared with those enquiring after employment.  Whilst the initial thinking is to keep this for agent enquiries only and not to include it on their new website, this might change once it has been in restricted circulation for a period of time.

Thanks

A really big thanks goes out to my old school chums (Karen Clitheroe, Debbie Snook & Richard Haynes) and not forgetting my good wife (Tiffany) for playing the role of investigation and surveillance operatives/targets.

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Filming at High Street TV in Harrogate

Another filming job for BT was signed off in the past week.  This time it was a short film about High Street TV incorporating the Avaya IP Office solution into their Harrogate offices.

Filming in the call centre at High Street TV
Filming in the call centre at High Street TV

High Street TV is a multi-channel retailer selling a very broad range of products through mainstream broadcast TV Infomercials, websites, high street retailers and also through its own Sky channel (648). BT supplied them with a one-stop-shop telecommunications solution – at the heart of which was their Avaya IP Office solution.

This short film reveals the benefits that BT has brought to High Street TV by way of increased productivity, greater reliability and flexibility through using their Avaya IP Office solution and other telecoms services.

This was another great filming commission for BT.  All the staff and management at High Street TV made our job seem easy on the day.  Nothing was too much trouble and they were all well prepared for the upheaval that filming can often create.  This was especially challenging in such a busy environment – and High Street TV are a very busy company.

During this one-day shoot we had to carry out filming in various departments throughout the building – including a few shots within their own TV studio area (which didn’t make the final edit unfortunately).   Our two main interviewees were Sharon Green and Malissa Wong who were both instrumental in specifying and overseeing the installation of the BT Avaya IP system.  Whilst this was their first ever experience of being filmed I think they did extremely well.

The end result…  Everyone was absolutely chuffed with the final film – including me. : )

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