Tag Archives: Loughton

Loughton area coverage – and beyond

Video Artisan’s studios are based in Clays Lane, Loughton, Essex. Therefore our location is perfect for servicing South Eastern England with London Underground connections and the M25. Furthermore, Stansted Airport is within 30-minutes drive from our studio edit facilities.

Our studio-based services range from full-broadcast specification edit facilities – to carrying out format and video transfers for members of the public. We also have a small filming studio ideal for talking-head greenscreen filming.

In addition, we cover corporate filming assignments throughout the world. This includes offering freelance camera operator and video editing services to client producers, agencies and other video production companies. With various cameras, lenses, camera mount systems, rails, sliders, lighting and sound kit we can cater for most video assignments.

Find your way from Loughton

To book an appointment at our studios please contact our office on 020 3602 3356 and download our location map here.

Please contact Kevin Cook for further advice on our various video production and conversions services. kevin@video-artisan.com or call 020 83602 3356

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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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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Video to MP4 in Loughton Essex

Video to MP4

Video to MP4

Video to MP4 is on the up!  Just a few years ago we were almost exclusively converting VHS, VHS-C, 8mm and DV tapes to DVD. That’s still a significant part of what we do, and DVDs are going to be with us for many years to come, but our customers are starting to appreciate the convenience and benefits of having their videotape collection converted to MP4 files and supplied on USB stick.

So what is driving the change of video to MP4?

USBs are the "now" format!
USBs are the “now” format!

Our Video to MP4 conversion has many benefits over and above conversion to DVD. Without getting too geeky, MP4 (which is a digital video file format) has the potential of displaying much higher resolution images. However, this aspect is really only important if you have high definition videotapes that need converting. As with most things in life, you get out what you put in – so your never going to get high definition video from a VHS tape original. Sorry, but that’s a fact.

Where MP4 is extremely clever is that it compresses video more intelligently than the compression format used on a standard DVD (which, for the geeks among you, is MPEG2). Without any appreciable loss of quality you’ll only get around 2-hrs of standard definition video on a single-sided DVD (which has around 4.7GB of storage capacity). In MP4 format you can compress the video much more efficiently enabling you to get many more minutes into less storage space at a similar quality.

However, as clever as this all sounds the main benefits which our clients really like about our video to MP4 conversion service are:

1 – Easy to view

Most modern TV’s have the ability to playback MP4 files directly from a USB stick. Yes it’s true.. look on the back of your TV set and you’ll see a socket/s which you’ve probably not used before. Pop the USB stick in and select it from the source on your remote and, hey presto, the MP4 video files will play back just the same as they would if played from a DVD. MP4 files will also play back on BluRay players, mobile phones, tablets, media servers and more!  Go on, dare you! See if you’ve got a USB socket on your TV set.

video to MP4 - USB socket
2 – Easy to copy

Whilst it’s easy for us geeky people to copy DVDs, not every customer wants to download ripping programs from dubious sources and fill up their computers with rarely used programs. Just pop the USB stick in your computer and it will appear like any other drive. Drag and drop the MP4 files on to your hard drive and it’s all backed up safely.

3 – Easy to share

Not only can you easily make additional copies on USB sticks (or we can do it for you), but you can also upload your MP4 files to the likes of YouTube and share them with the rest of the world (or at least family and friends). Simply open a YouTube account and start uploading! If you don’t want to share them with any Tom, Dick or Harry use YouTube’s privacy settings to restrict viewing to the audience you want.

4 – Easy to edit

MP4 files are also a doddle to edit. Most computers come with basic video editing software – and for those that don’t there are some neat and very cost effective programs that will allow you to chop out the bad bits, add titles, music and effects that will make your home movies much more enjoyable. Full resolution files can also be supplied (call 020 3602 3356 for details).

5 – Easy to store

Finally, USB sticks take up much less space in our ever-more cluttered lives. They’re certainly much more compact than the videotapes we’ve converted for you.

Costs of converting video to MP4

What our clients like most about our video to MP4 service is that it costs about the same as converting to DVD. For details on our pricing structure please visit our website section here – www.video-artisan.com/video-to-dvd/

 

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Making your videotape to DVD conversions last forever

Videotape to DVD forever
How to make your memories last a lifetime or more!

A client asked me a great videotape to DVD question today…

“Which is the best way to ensure that my videotapes and cine films you’ve converted to DVD last as long as possible? They’re very precious family memories and I don’t just want these to last for a few years – but basically forever!”

First of all, I’m not talking here about how to create the best quality conversion from one media to another but rather advising a client on the best solution for ensuring longevity once analogue videotape to DVD (VHS, 8mm, VHS-C…) has been carried out.

If they wanted to know how to squeeze every last drop of quality out of their original material and digitize it into the best possible file type for storage or playback, that would be a whole different series of blogs!

Making your videotape to DVD conversions last forever

Once digitised on to DVD you can copy the disks as many times as you like, without further loss of quality. It’s quite a simple process on a PC and once copied there you can back-up the files to DVD or USB stick. I would personally do both.

Recordable DVDs are based on an organic material within a layer in the DVD being burnt with a laser; and through poor handling, storage, excessive light exposure, repeated playback and faulty playback machines, this layer can become corrupt over time. The solid state memory on a USB stick is more robust (albeit that you still have to care for it), but not currently so accommodating for playing back the media files they contain.

To further secure the data you could also back these USB sticks up to an online cloud storage facility. However, each DVD will contain up to 4.7GB of data, so this might take considerable time to upload.

What Video Artisan offer as a solution

In these situations we first suggest an additional DVD copy of each videotape transferred (see pricing here) and suggest these are stored away in a sealed box, in a dry and reasonably stable temperature environment (not the loft). Whilst the longevity of recordable DVDs is not actually known, stored in these conditions they should definitely last a lifetime.

Once converted to DVD (see prices here) we can then show clients how to copy the files to a USB stick, or offer to provide the whole service (supply of an 8GB USB stick and copying the video files to them) at an additional cost of £10 per converted tape.

USB and DVD
USB and DVD – belt and braces

Making these digital files last forever is then just a matter of the client (and everyone who comes after them) keeping on backing up or copying the digital files to whatever technology happens to evolve. That’s the hard part!

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