Tag Archives: Video Production

Creative Video Production for business

Video Artisan has been providing video production services since 1985.  We provide a vast array of business-video services throughout the UK and overseas. Creating great Video Production content is at our heart!

Furthermore, we aim to create video content which really works for our clients.  Regardless of whether you are looking to generate sales or promote your brand – we can help you do it with video!  Please have a look through our showreel section to see examples and case studies for previous clients.

Video Production Base

Video Artisan is located in Loughton, Essex – right on the edge of Epping Forest.  This is perfect for servicing London and its surrounding counties.  We are also on the tube – with Loughton’s Central Line station – and the M25 hooks us up with the motorway network. Stansted Airport is just 30-minutes away.

In addition to full production services, we provide a range of freelance services.  We often work with client producers, agencies and other media production companies. Our range of video kit is broad and inclusive in our rate card.

A guide to Filming Masterclasses

Filming Masterclasses for M&IT…
Over the next couple of months we’re filming masterclasses for CAT Publications at The Mermaid on the banks of the Thames at London Blackfriars. These M&IT (Meetings & Incentive Travel) Masterclasses cover various subjects aimed at the event industry as part of their continual professional development – and our video production services are now helping to bring them to a much wider audience.

Filming Masterclass - a guide

Filming masterclasses… what’s the point?

Due to their popularity and high level of interaction, spaces on the M&IT Masterclasses are limited to ensure that each delegate comes away better informed and more capable in their role. Filming masterclasses not only provides CAT Publications with a permanent record of these events but, more importantly, also enables them to distribute the segmented films throughout the year on a pay-per-view basis for those unable to attend in person.

Of the many other benefits to filming masterclasses, the two which are most highly valued by Video Artisan’s clients are video’s consistency and ease of use. Once recorded and edited, a video will deliver exactly the same content, and impart the same knowledge, every time it is watched – regardless of the performance of the trainers. This leaves little room for misinterpretation and ensures viewers are only receiving correct and valuable information.

The wide acceptance of video as a communication medium, and the variety of platforms on which it can be delivered, also make it ideal for any business or organisation to incorporate video into their training material output. This includes CAT Publication’s pay-per-view model – but is equally suitable for delivery over private intranets, open platforms such as YouTube (paid or free) or by direct release on physical media such as DVD or USB drives.

Filming Masterclasses – DIY or Hire-in?

Creating a video recording of your training event can be very straightforward and virtually cost-free if you choose to go down the DIY route. However, producing highly-valued content which is easy for your audience to watch and hear is a lot more challenging – and if it fails in these respects then it’s effectiveness as a training tool is very much depleted.

At the very least your presenters will need to be properly mic’d up – with additional microphones used to capture audience interaction and feedback. Whilst one main camera is fine for single-presenter seminars, using additional cameras will help to show audience reaction, achieve continuity when editing and ultimately make your content a more professional and easy to watch.

Filming Masterclasses - a safe wide
Two cameras are better than on when filming masterclasses

Your audience will also expect to see any slides, charts, illustrations or PowerPoint presentations full-screen, so any DIY effort will have to include the ability to insert these into the live video content, add captions and finally output the programme to a format which can easily be delivered to your audience.

The challenges of filming masterclasses are various but by using an experienced video production company you can create compelling learning material with the minimal amount of investment and virtually no special adaptations to your training materials. In this instance, Video Artisan have been able to offer a very competitive solution using a ‘two-camera single-operator’ set-up coupled with a fast post production turnaround – enabling CAT Publications to release their films to market in the most profitable and efficient way.

Could you benefit from filming masterclasses?

Filming masterclasses can be highly profitable for their producers. If you think your masterclasses, seminars or workshops would benefit from being filmed and released on video, please contact us today on 020 3602 3356 or by emial to kevin@video-artisan.com 

A bit more about M&IT Masterclasses

CAT Publications are renowned for putting on highly-focussed seminars and workshops aimed at Corporate, Association, Agency Event Organisers and Event Suppliers and on key subjects including Data Protection, Health & Safety, Venue Contracts and Social Media. The M&IT Masterclasses are delivered by a team of specialist presenters who share their knowledge of relevant legislation and best-practices within the event industry.  See a list of their upcoming events here.

Video Artisan work with CAT Publications on a number of events throughout the year including producing the highlights films for the M&IT Awards and the M&IT Agency Challenge.

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Premium Video Content Guide

Premium Video Content
Looking to make money from your videos?

If you are looking at making capital from your premium video content? This detailed blog should cover all the basic information you will need.

What is Premium Video Content?

Every now and then a client asks us how they can monetise their video content. This is generally because they believe they’ve got an idea for a film which they think there’s a paying audience for. This is a perfectly understandable desire as video is a great way to share valuable information – but ‘Premium Video Content’ has to have certain aspects about it before it can generate income and profit.

Content is King

It’s an old saying but vitally important – “Content is King” when it comes to creating truly profitable premium video content. An audience is only going to pay to watch or own a film which has value to them. Two great examples include:

  • Professional Development – content that will enable a professional or craftsman to do their work better, quicker and/or more economically. The viewer must believe that by watching your premium video content they will be more successful professionally.
  • Personal Development – content that will enable a hobbyist, artisan, sports person or novice to carry out their activities to a higher level of achievement and/or enjoyment. Your premium video content must be inspirational and empowering.

Do you have a Viable Market?

You might have the best possible premium video content idea, and the expertise to deliver a valuable video, but it is equally important to know who and what your target audience size is. These are not things you can guess at – they must be researched!

Profiting from Premium Video Content - MoneyYou must know how many potential viewers there are and how much they would pay to watch, or own, your video. You must also have routes to this market to enable you to communicate and market your premium video content to them. It is only when you know the cost of producing, distributing and marketing your premium video content that you will understand its viability.

If your content is of general interest and purely for personal development then it is unlikely going to attract a substantial amount of revenue per customer. You’ll therefore need a substantial audience – maybe in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Conversely, a premium video content video that contains top-tips and industry secrets aimed at a highly-paid profession might well attract substantial revenue per customer. To make these profitable might only require a handful of customers.

Controlling Distribution

You have basically two ways in which to distribute your premium video content to your audience – either on physical media (i.e. DVD or USB stick) or online (i.e. YouTube, Vimeo or your own servers). Each has its strong points – and each can be offered in combination with the other – which will be expanded upon later.

One of the greatest risks to your profitability, whether releasing on physical media or online, is copy protection. It is a major concern for all creators of premium video content and you should adopt every practical measure to ensure your content is only consumed by paying customers. Even the biggest media corporations struggle to achieve this, so the very least you can do is follow their example and account for this shrinkage within your pricing structure.

All digital content is relatively easy to copy – even for the novice. Whilst there are copy-protection technologies and systems out there an experienced media-copying specialist (a Pirate), with a modicum of investment in technology, will be able to defeat them. Piracy is still theft though, so you need to make it as difficult as possible to guard your premium video content – or at the very least make it unattractive for the pirate to steal by pricing it attractively so they do not bother to try an undercut you.

Let’s look at the benefits, drawbacks and features of the two main distribution methods.

Physical Distribution
Whilst there is a move away from disc-based media (DVDs and Blu-Ray), the saturation of disc players (set-top boxes, computers, games consoles…) means that it will be with us for quite some time and provide you with a widely acceptable means of distributing your premium video content.

DVD players are far more widely available, but limited to standard definition content. Blu-Ray discs are capable of delivering high definition content, but players are far, far less prevalent. Though you should always consider quality when selling premium video content, the fact that it is not high definition might not matter to your customers – as long as you’ve remembered that ‘Content is King’.

If you believe your customers will want high definition (or beyond!) the alternative would be to supply your premium video content on USB sticks. File-based delivery is growing very fast and most modern TV sets will play video straight from a USB stick – as will nearly every computer. The other added benefit of USB sticks is that you can easily include other digital files and assets on them. For instance, an instructional video might also benefit from having some additional printed notes or diagrams to aid the customer.

Profiting from Premium Video Content - Disks and Sticks
Something to put in your customer’s hands

Whilst it is still easy to copy a disc, and somewhat easier to copy a USB stick, the main benefit of supplying your content on physical media is that it gives a greater sense of value and ownership to your customer. It also gives you additional means of branding your product within packaging. Furthermore, customers who have purchased your premium video content are less likely to copy and share it.

Though a physical product will attract a higher price, there’s also additional costs and time involved in production and distribution. The cost of blank media is generally going down (a recordable DVD is pennies rather than pounds), but you also have to consider cases, postage and the manpower involved in processing orders and maintaining stock levels. That being said, the payment mechanism is reasonably straight forward… They pay you – you send them the product!

Online Distribution
The biggest advantage of distributing your premium video content online is virtually zero costs in distribution per unit. Once you have created your video and uploaded it to a server each viewing or download will be almost cost free – depending on the payment mechanism or platform you’ve chosen to host it on.

The biggest drawback is that once your content is ‘online’ it is extremely easy to copy and share. DVDs and USB could also easily be uploaded and exploited the same way, but with online content you are only a couple of clicks away from your content being copied, shared and duplicated everywhere. Projecting margins and profits therefore must take into consideration a much higher level of shrinkage. Maybe only 1/1000 people who get to watch your content might have actually paid to do so – but on high-volume, mass-market premium video content this might still be enough to generate profit.

There are a number of online facilities which will enable you to host your premium video content, take payments for plays and downloads, create audiences and enable you to communicate with them. The two most notable are YouTube’s ‘Paid Channels’ and Vimeo’s ‘Pro’ accounts. Each has its own payment and charging model and restrictions but either could suit both mass-market and specialist market premium video content.

Profiting from Premium Video Content - YouTube Channel
Setting up your own paid-for YouTube channel

You could of course use your own website to distribute your content – with your media located in password protected areas which paying customers can only access. The videos themselves could be hosted on Vimeo Pro and Plus accounts which can restrict the video from being embedded on anything other than your designated URL. You can also elect to enable or disable downloads – or even add password protection so that your premium video content can only be played by those in possession of a password.

The best of all worlds

There’s one thing that every customer appreciates today, regardless of the product or service, and that’s ‘choice’. Once you have gone to the time, effort and investment of creating your premium video content then you should release it using all distribution methods available to you. Give your customers choice – and fewer reasons not to buy!

Giving away ‘teaser’ content online is also a great way to drive sales of complete programmes. Short extracts can be edited to freely distribute online which give viewers an insight into the value of information your films contain. If you make this free content available by request (maybe by subscribing to your website) you will gradually build up a database of potential customers for you to market. This is even more important for those who believe they have material for an ongoing series of premium video content. Customers who buy part I in a series are much more likely to buy series II, III, IV & V!

The cost of producing premium video content

So… you’ve got the idea, know your market and understand about distribution – now all that’s left is to work out how much it is going to cost to get your premium video content created! This is where Video Artisan comes in.

The tricky bit is that there is no such thing as an off-the-shelf cost for video production – no matter who tells you otherwise. There are standard packages broken down into number of days to film and edit – but the all-in costs can range dramatically depending on what you are trying to create and how much work and involvement you are looking for from your video production company.

We have produced another guide which should, hopefully, give you a better idea of how video production costs can vary (see here) but your next step is to contact us for a no-obligation consultation to see how Video Artisan can help you to start profiting from your premium video content.

Call 020 3602 3356 today – or email kevin@video-artisan.com

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Team Building with Video

Team building with video
Discover the benefits of using video for team building

Video Team Building for M&IT

We’ve just completed another M&IT Agency Challenge event, this time held at The Lensbury in Teddington. This is the fourth Agency Challenge event we have covered for M&IT (Meetings and Incentive Travel) but our remit goes way beyond just producing a short documentary on the event. M&IT are well and truly sold on the value of using video as a team building activity for their delegates and it is often quoted by them as the most memorable and fun part of the event.

Team building events and activities come in all shapes and sizes. Some are purely a means of getting people within an organisation together in one place to network, share ideas or simply get to know each other better. However, the more effective ones are those that get groups of people thinking and working towards a common goal or achievement – and often taking part in a challenge which is way outside their usual area of work and expertise. A good team building activity will also challenge their creativity, develop leadership and demonstrate the true benefits of collaborative effort.

Why Video Team Building works

Using video for team building, where teams are assigned a task to create a short film or sequence as their exercise, has many benefits. First of all it can be a whole load of fun. We find that many delegates relish the opportunity to get in front of, and behind of, the camera and “make movies”. The filmmaking process is, after all, a very collaborative process which involves technical and creative skills in bringing a story together on the screen. It has the potential to serve all types of characters – from those who have a longing to perform and act, to those who enjoy hands-on activities (camerawork, sound recording or lighting) through to those who want to lead the creative process through script writing and directing. We also provide delegates with coaching on the filmmaking process too, so they’ll also come away a little better informed about framing, composition, sound recording and how to tell a story using video.

Teams on team building
Having fun – building teams

M&IT use video team building very effectively with teams assigned to make a short commercial about one of the presentations made to them during the main body of the event. It is the team’s choice, but it has to be based on one of those subjects. In M&IT’s case these presentations are made by suppliers to the meetings and incentives industry (airlines, hotel groups, national tourist boards etc.) and the delegates are made up of representatives from agencies who are likely to book their services. This results in the delegates paying particular attention to their presentations as they might have to make a short film about them when the video team building part of the day starts. They also combine this with ongoing quizzes throughout the day, again based on the content of the presentations, so by the time the event finishes they are extremely well informed about various suppliers, locations and facilities available to them.

Team Building for any occassion

This formula can be easily adapted to any business event or conference where you want delegates to come away better informed; for example, when running a sales event at which you are introducing new products or services to your sales force. Pre-warning your delegates of the forthcoming video challenge will guarantee they listen during briefing sessions where the new products and services are introduced. The other benefit of using video for team building is that it can also give a focus to the end of an event, using it to screen the edited films and announce the winning entry. This is generally very entertaining but, more importantly, gives yet another opportunity to share the message.

There are also further benefits to using Video Artisan to provide this activity for you. At little additional cost we can also produce a short film about the event. In the case of M&IT the following short documentary is used to promote future events to delegate attendees and sponsoring companies wishing to put on presentations.

If you think your next team building event could benefit from incorporating a video production exercise then please get in touch. Whilst this can be extremely beneficial, and lots of fun too, it does require a fair amount of planning and experience in order to get the most out of it. Please call 020 3602 3356 to talk though the possibilities – and see how you can use video to bring your teams together.

See the 2016 Agency Challenge here.

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AKM Music – Video Tutorial #02

Video tutorial number 2
Guidance on producing a video tutorial series

I completed the second video tutorial for AKM Music last week – this time on how to find the right piece of royalty free music for your films from their extensive library.

Producing a video tutorial

Commissioning a video tutorial is a great way to spread the word about your products and services – as well as supporting your existing client base. They don’t have to be complex or lengthy. In fact, the shorter the better as the YouTube generation’s attention span is becoming shorter and shorter!

Whilst the temptation is to produce an in-depth and lengthy video tutorial covering advanced techniques and processes, you should always start by covering the basics. Beginners video tutorials are far more valuable in getting your customers hooked into your brand and products from an early stage. Breaking your process down to small junks not only makes it easier to produce, but it also makes it easier for your audience to follow. Advanced users will also have a need for a video tutorial, but they are more likely to already be established customers.

Serialising your video tutorials will also help build an audience – and will give you a regular excuse for reaching out to customers with some good news. Trickle feeding a video tutorial series will also help with your search engine optimisation efforts as each video released will be indexed on search engines separately. There’s nothing search engines like more than indexing regular and relevant content – and feeding that out to a video-hungry audience.

Should I produce a DIY or a Commissioned Video Tutorial?

Whether you produce a video tutorial series in-house or commission a professional video production company to produce them for you will generally depend on three things.

Firstly, does it matter if the end result looks home-spun or polished? The answer to this will greatly depend on your brand identity and the market you are serving. If you are a premium brand, offering a premium product, then a cheap looking tutorial video is not going to give the right impression.

The second thing to consider is your return on investment. If produced correctly, how much additional revenue could a video tutorial series generate for you? This isn’t the easiest of questions to answer, but if your product or service has a substantial retail value and profit margin then it might not take many additional sales in order to pay for the production of each video tutorial. Likewise if your product or service is high volume.

The final consideration is how much value you place on your own time, or those within your organisation who would be assigned the responsibility to produce your video tutorial? Whilst the process of creating a video tutorial can be fun and creatively rewarding, the main benefit of using a professional video production company is that they should be able to do it quickly and with less drain on your resources. This is not to mention negating the need to invest in the filming and editing equipment needed to turn out a professional looking video tutorial.

If you’ve not joined the many organisations sold on the value or commissioning a video tutorial series then now’s the time. Please contact us today for a no-obligation consultation on 020 3602 3356.

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Employee Video Profiles

Employee Video Profiles Title
Have you started thinking about using Employee Video Profiles?

What are Employee Video Profiles?

For many years now businesses and public sector organisations have understood the value of profiling their employees on their website. Giving customers the opportunity of “Meeting the team” has long been recognised as both a valuable marketing asset and a means of attracting new employees of the right calibre. In the main, these pen pictures have been just that – a brief written outline of the person, often written by someone else within the company, and sometimes accompanied by a photo. This is all well and good but these are not exactly engaging pieces of website content. This is why more and more organisations are turning to Employee Video Profiles – and for many good reasons.

Who benefits from Employee Video Profiles?

Employee Video Profiles deliver so much more than text versions – benefiting the organisation, their clients and their employees – both present and potential. They are relatively easy and cost effective pieces of video to create – albeit daunting and alien to those appearing on screen. However, the rewards for all those concerns far outweigh any challenges they present. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of Employee Video Profiles to each stakeholder, starting with the most important group – the Website Visitors.

Website visitors are far more receptive to messages and information shared through video these days rather than having to read through reams of text-heavy web pages. It would be easy to say that website visitors have become lazy, but the truth is that there’s so much content online these days that everyone is looking for the quickest and easiest way to gather information and form an opinion – and nothing comes close to video in achieving this.

The target audience for Employee Video Profiles is going to be wide and varied. There will be those who are simply trying to find the right person to speak to within the organisation – be they customers, suppliers, investors or those looking for employment. Whilst all website sections offer relevant information to various visitor types, a section marked up as “Meet the team” or “Our people” has relevance to everyone visiting the site. Even though we often transact in a faceless world these days, people do still buy from people – so any chance a visitor has of making a personal connection with those within the organisation is often grasped at. No matter what their enquiry is about, having a named person – with a real face and personality – makes the process that much easier.

The flip side of this is one of the benefits to the organisation. Employee Video Profiles should help them ease navigation for website visitors so they get to the right person first time and thereby reduce the strain on other resources in the business in dealing with misguided enquiries. Employee Video Profiles, if planned and executed correctly, should also give the organisation an opportunity to promote their business or objectives and company ethos through their employees. Bright, happy and welcoming employees will give the impression of a bright and welcoming organisation. In other words, nice people to do business with – nice people to work for – nice people to know!

For the employees themselves, gaining experience in front of camera is increasingly important and valuable. Whilst this might come easy to some people, if you’re working with an experienced video production company on your Employee Video Profiles this should also come with a certain level of media training. You should be given guidance on scripting, body language, backdrop design and performance. This training will not only help junior members of staff, but should also be valuable to everyone up to director level in helping them with their on-screen performance.

Employee Video Profiles Set
Greenscreen sets are compact and make your Employee Video Profiles look like they were shot… well, anywhere!

And of course, let’s not forget those who are looking for employment. Their objective is to assess whether your business or organisation is one that they should be working for. Nothing can compete with hearing from other happy, contented and personable people who already work for you. Well produced and delivered Employee Video Profiles are as good as personal recommendations from someone you know and are far more likely to appeal to precisely the type of person you are trying to attract to your organisation.

Distributing your Employee Video Profiles

Whilst the distribution platform of your Employee Video Profiles will primarily be your website, they also provide the opportunity to expand your social media content. Hosting your own YouTube channel is the obvious place to start. As part of the Google platform, YouTube content features highly on search returns and will augment your general Search Engine Optimisation efforts. But don’t stop there. Separately uploading your Employee Video Profiles to your company Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Vimeo accounts will also help the videos gain traction – as well as sharing them on Twitter and alike. You should also encourage participants to share their performances on their own social media accounts – again adding to the potential audience and helping to raise awareness of your brand and business.

The cost of producing Employee Video Profiles

As I mentioned towards the beginning of this article, Employee Video Profiles are relatively cheap and cost-effective to produce – if scripted and planned for properly. With the use of greenscreen backdrops, professional cameras, lighting and audio recording technology, these can easily be filmed at your premises with little interference to your operation. If the participants are well prepared and rehearsed, it could be possible to film more than ten profiles in a day with a single-man video crew. Post production should take a couple of days to make them perfect, giving you a unit cost of around £150 per employee at this volume level – and possibly less if you want to create more.

If you are thinking about producing Employee Video Profiles, please give us a call today 020 3602 3356.

Case Study – Video Artisan has recently produced six employee video profiles for Galliard Homes.  Watch their profiles below…

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