Tag Archives: Promo Film

Promo Film

Are you looking for Promo Film services in Essex? Look no further than Video Artisan. We are a specialist provider of business video services throughout Essex and East London region. Promo Film is what we are all about!

Furthermore, are looking to harness the power of YouTube or website video to improve your search engine optimisation? Maybe you want to develop a series of public information films – or create a one-off company film? Therefore Video Artisan has the skills, resources and creative talents to deliver an imaginative and cost-effective solution for your next company video.

Promo Film Location

Our location is perfect for servicing London, Essex, Harlow and South Eastern England with London Underground connections, the M25 and Stansted Airport very close to our studio edit facilities on the edge of Epping Forest.

In addition, we offer 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, dollies, lighting and sound kit we can cater for most video assignments.

Copyright-Free Music Review – AK164 & AK165

AK164 and AK165
Two new copyright-free albums from AKM Music

AKM Music – New Releases

AK164 – Media Toolkit & AK165 – Smile Be Happy

AKM Music has recently released two new albums that caught my eye as a business film producer – AK164 Media Toolkit and AK165 Smile Be Happy. I’m always interested in extending my copyright-free music archive as you can’t have too much of it when trying to find the right music score for your films. These two albums fall into two very different camps.

Before I move on to talk about these albums, I need to quickly mention a special ‘End of Tax Year’ offer from AKM Music which runs out on 4th April. If you buy 3 or more CDs or CD downloads you can get an amazing 35% off! All you have to do is use this promo code at the checkout CDOFF14.

Get a great deal on AKM Music - offer ends VERY SOON!
Get a great deal on AKM Music – offer ends VERY SOON!

To give you inspiration you might want to check out some of my other reviews of their music – Here, herehere and here!

AKM 164 – Media Toolkit

This album is a collection of sound effects to help you emphasise movement, edits and graphical on-screen action within your films. But their use goes beyond this and can help tell your story and create tension or generally add depth to your soundtrack. It’s important for me to say that this is not a collection of Foley effects (sound effects which are used to synchronise on screen action – such as doors closing or windows breaking) but rather evocative synthesised effects. There’s a great Wiki page on the full scope and use of Sound Effects, but needless to say this album is still a worthy addition to your collection.

AK164 Media Toolkit
AK164 Media Toolkit

The album is grouped into nine types of effects ranging from Hits, Whooshes, Stabs and Explosions to Transitions, Underscores and Soundbeds. The Underscores and Soundbeds sections seem a little out of place to me as they’re basically musical arrangements for use as underscores for live action sound or voiceovers. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still useful and produced to the same high standard that we are used to from AKM Music – but they’re not, in my mind, true sound effects.

In the past I’ve had to mess about creating these kind of synthetic sound effects from scratch and, whilst very satisfying, can take an incredible amount of time which you rarely get paid for and more often than not go unnoticed (if they are done right!). It’s also worth saying that I don’t get the opportunity (or desire) to use sound effects on every film I produce – but when you do need them they’re very useful indeed.

I can see AKM 164 being my go-to album whenever this need arises. It’s going to be particularly useful on opening/closing title sequences and graphics where I want to emphasise an animation. There are also some very handy transitional sounds that will help link scenes together.

AK165 – Smile Be Happy

This one was quite a surprise to me – and a pleasant one at that. I was expecting to hear the usual collection of bright, upbeat and jovial scores to help you add a sense of fun or even comedy to a film. What you actually get is a collection of music that’s got a very wide programme-type appeal – and will no doubt suit as the main theme on wedding films and documentaries as well as corporate films that need a gentle sense of fun about them.

AK165 Smile Be Happy
AK165 Smile Be Happy

Each track has a full version plus at least two shorter versions (60-second and 30-second). Some of the tracks also come with alternative edits too. I really appreciate having these shorter and alternate edits to hand and will often mix between them in post when I’m cutting a track to a specific length.

Apart from one track (‘Summer in New York’ – which doesn’t quite fit in for me), they all follow a similar theme which conjures up visions of New England or Shaker-style buildings on warm summer days. Quite a few contain voice or whistle effects, so give a very happy, carefree feeling. I’ve seen quite a few really great wedding films lately and they’ve all used similar music to this. The title track, ‘Smile Be Happy’ is probably the best example of this.

The tracks are all mid-tempo with either ukulele/banjo, acoustic guitar or piano as lead instrument. The music is simple, without masses of instruments mixed together but rather something that two or three people could perform live. The ones containing voice effects are very non-descriptive and contain the occasional, “whoo hoo”, “dum dum” or “la la la” type voice sounds – so are completely language-agnostic.

As I said earlier, this album is going to appeal to a very wide range of programme types. In fact I can’t say for sure that I’ve not already heard it being used on a wedding film – or maybe even a TV commercial or two (the latest Lloyds Bank animated one uses something very similar). I have a project in mind for it right now. For the past couple of years I’ve been thinking of making a documentary about beekeepers (being one myself) and one of the tracks on this album would be perfect for it – giving the film a happy, gentle, earth-friendly feel about it.

Conclusion

Whilst you’d probably not find these two albums appearing on the same film, they are both worthy of shelf space in your copyright-free music archive. ‘AK165 – The Media Tool Kit’ might be a something that you buy and only very occasionally need – but when you do need it there’s nothing else that’s going to hit the spot.

‘AK165 – Smile Be Happy’ on the other hand is going to appeal to a much wider audience and, I dare say, will be one of AKM best sellers over time.

Kevin Cook F.Inst.V. (Hon.)

Additional Info – AKM Music at BVE

I recently caught up with Anthony McTiffen, the man behind AKM Music at the BVE exhibition at Excel. I was there to interview those exhibitors who had products and services aimed specifically at the professional videographer and it gave me the opportunity to quiz Anthony about the benefits of using copyright-free / royalty-free music within your productions. Click here to see the full collection of short interviews filmed at BVE.

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Filming a Corporate Away Day

I had a really busy June this year including filming a corporate away day at Highgate House, Creaton, Northants for CAT Publications Ltd – the publishers of M&IT magazine (Meetings and Incentive Travel).

The event was sponsored by the Norway Convention Bureau and Visit Norway and attended by event organisers from various companies across the UK. The purpose of the event was to introduce delegates to the various regions and conference/event facilities in Norway so that they might point their clients towards holding events there.

The underlying theme to the day was the work of the famous Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch and his iconic painting, ‘The Scream’. Apart from formal classroom-type presentations on the various Norwegian venues and regions, delegates were divided into teams to take part in fun and challenging activities including painting their own version of The Scream, making a short film based on the painting and taking part in an extreme crossing activity.

Painting like Munch
Painting like Munch

Video Artisan was brought in for two reasons. Firstly, CAT Publications wanted to produce a short overview of the event to help them promote future events and give an insight into their unique approach to managing corporate away days. The second part of the brief was to supply camera kits for the teams to produce their Scream films and to provide them with technical support. In addition, each team’s film had to be edited by the end of the day for a screening and judging session.

Filming a Corporate Away Day
Delegates shooting their Munch Film

Filming a Corporate Away Day

Having had previous experience in filming a corporate away day the short promo film wasn’t going to be too challenging on its own, but the addition of supporting the delegate teams in making their own films and then editing them together meant bringing in two additional crew members (Dilip Patel & Martin Baker). This left me to concentrate on managing the delegate teams and trying to get them to keep their ideas simple and easy to churn out on the edit suite within the given time. Earlier on in the day they had all watched a fantastic film that was commissioned by Visit Norway based on the same theme – so they were already building up some ambitious ideas for their own creations

In the quieter periods (there weren’t that many) I was also able to shoot interviews with the organisers, sponsors and delegates to help me tell the story for the promo film. I also used these moments to pick up on some establishing shots of the venue as well as more abstract coverage of the activities.

the Interviews
Filming a Corporate Away Day – the Interviews

Apart from the usual mass of filming equipment I take on these assignments I also had to rig up my old Edius 4.5 edit suite in a separate room away from the main conference area. This had to be able to output to DVD for the screening session and possibly a number of other digital formats just to be sure that the delegate’s films could be seen and judged when they needed to be.

The camera kits (two Canon XF105s) were supplied by Hireacamera and were been delivered on the previous day. I chose these cameras as I’d used them on similar events last year and they’d been incredibly easy to use in their ‘Auto-everything’ mode. The MXF file format that they record to is also ideal as my Edius system (as old as it is) can use these files on the timeline in their native form. I used Hireacamera because they are both dependable and really understand my needs – and they didn’t disappoint on this occasion either.

Another satisfied customer

After a couple of minor tweaks the promo film was signed off last week and I’m sure it will not be long before CAT Publications are pumping it out there to promote their next event. Following the event I’d also encoded the delegate team films to MP4 so they could be screened on their YouTube channel (Green Team, Blue Team, Yellow Team and Red Team)

The client certainly seem to be very pleased with the end result and have said there’s more work in the pipeline that they want to get me involved in. That’s exactly the response I aim for on every project and I hope to be filming a corporate away day for them again very soon.

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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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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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corporate video production

Corporate Video production for All

Get your next corporate video on-line, on-cue and on-budget!

Thank you for your interest in our corporate video and business-based media production services.  We specialise in the creation and delivery of effective company video communications to businesses and organisations of all sizes.  Our aim is to help our clients to benefit from incorporating video content into their day-to-day business communications. Video Artisan has a wealth of experience and the creative talents to match any business film requirement.

Why commission a corporate video?

A well produced video is the best way to engage with your audience.  It delivers a consistent message in an easy to consume and adaptable format.  You only have to look at the rising prevalence of YouTube and Vimeo to see just how important online video has become in SEO.  Today, a website without a properly indexed and relevant video will rank lower than one that does – full stop!

There are probably many more reasons to commission a video but the most common goals are that you want to:

  • create wealth for your business
  • offer a more cost effective means of achieving a goal
  • and/or augment your brand and raise its profile.

Why Video Artisan?

Above everything else, we understand that your video is a business tool that has one of the above objectives to meet.

With our in-depth understanding of the technology, coupled with our creative approach to developing innovative ways of engaging your audience, Video Artisan can offer a complete script-to-screen service at very competitive prices.

Want to know how much a corporate video production will cost? Click here to read our useful article.

Are you ready to find out more?

For a no-obligation consultation please feel free to contact us today.  We would be more than happy to discuss your ideas and requirements and come up with a proposal which fits your needs, desires and budget.

Please call 020 3602 3356 or 0777 153 5692  – or Email: kevin@video-artisan.com

A bit more about Kevin Cook and Video Artisan

Kevin Cook first started in corporate video in 1985 and has helped many companies and organisations develop their video content for training, promotional, online and branding purposes. Kevin has also written many articles and papers on the subject, as well as giving presentations throughout the UK and Ireland on corporate video.

With contacts throughout the film, tv and creative-freelance community, Kevin is able to pool together and manage large creative teams on more demanding projects.

One of the few cameramen with NATO Secret Clearance.

Corporate video montage copy
Choose the right partner to produce your next corporate video

Services include
Concept Development, Script Writing and Storyboard Design
Freelance Producer/Director, Videographer, Editor
Web encoding and video SEO
File format conversions and duplication

Client & Production Credit List include
Air Products, Cimar, CAT Publications, Robertson & Co., JVC Professional, AKM Music, Crown Media, The MOD, NATO, Galliard Homes, Stylfile, Hyper Recruitment Solutions, Supadance International, Beaver84Eiger Safety, Sony Broadcast & Professional, N2 Visual Communications, Robert Dyas, Hanover Foundation, Picco Dolly, Hills Pet Foods, Maspalomas Princes Hotel, Marley, LaRoche, Olympus HiSpeed Tests, Distillers MG, Fernaux Avionics, Tolmink, Waltham Forest Social Services, SelClene, Europa Logistics, Ultimate Animates