High-level video communications

Dorchester Abseil

Taking video communications to a new level

Filming internal video communications can often be dull and uninteresting – especially when you are not directly involved in the activity. However, every now and then a video communications job comes in which is rewarding, challenging, exciting and pushes us beyond our usual comfort zone. This job was an excellent example and not only put my filming skills and kit to the test but also tested my nerves and ability to rise (or should I say “descent”) to the challenge.

When Video Communications becomes great PR!

As part of their corporate social responsibility programme, on 20th August The Dorchester Hotel organised a sponsored abseil down the front of their iconic building in London’s Mayfair in aid of Cancer Research. With over 60 members of staff taking part, and under the guidance of abseiling specialists, Eiger Safety, the event was filmed by Video Artisan as a memento for those involved and to provide the hotel with some excellent PR opportunities.

It is not uncommon for an event such as this to pass by unnoticed, but by commissioning a video communications film you get two stabs at gaining as much publicity as possible. This was not only important for the hotel but also for Cancer Research and those members of staff who showed great spirit in making the descent, many of which were taking part in their own time. However, there wasn’t much chance of this event going unnoticed as the abseil was set up on the front of The Dorchester in full view of passers by, guests coming and going from the hotel as well as members of the press who had gathered below.

The right kit for the job

Unlike other video communications jobs this one required some specialist kit to give the viewer a much better view of the action and a sense drama. Apart from the obligatory safety kit (climbing hats, harnesses and other abseiling paraphernalia), Video Artisan had the opportunity to put their latest acquisition to good use – namely a JVC Adixxion Action Camera (GC-XA2BE) which was attached to the climbing hat of the main abseil instructor who was accompanying the volunteers as they descended down the building. The main action filming was carried out using our JVC GY-HM650.

JVC Adixxion

Setting up the JVC Adixxion to film

Having looked at the features and benefits of all the alternative action cameras, Video Artisan chose the JVC Action Camera for a number of reasons. We regularly use the GY-HM650 camera on video communications projects and were looking to add a small POV camera to capture shots that are otherwise impossible. The Dorchester Hotel abseil gave us an excellent opportunity to put the camera to the test and provided us with an abseiler’s view of the activity. Apart from matching nicely with our GY-HM650, one of the main reasons for buying the Adixxion was its robustness. There were lots of opportunities for the camera to get knocked whist the abseilers made the descent down the hotel facia – and the last thing you need to worry about is the camera being damaged or, worst still, being knocked off its mounting and causing a hazard to the crowd below.

We’ve also used the Adixxion on another corporate shoot for a golf tutoring product which required a shot from the golf ball’s perspective (blog coming soon) and it would have been impossible to use anything other than a small POV to achieve this. In the next couple of weeks we’ll also be using the camera’s 5m depth waterproof feature (without the need for any additional housing) on a shoot in the Dominican Republic. With a whole host of mounting options and accessories I can see the Adixxion being used time and time again. The other features that really sold it to me are that it uses a full-sized SD card, has a preview screen built in, can shoot up to 50/60fps in 1920×1080 resolution and has both side and bottom mounting positions.

Keeping video communications safe

There were of course many safety issues to keep in mind throughout the day. The real action was at the top of the climb as the abseilers were prepared to go over the edge, so not only did we have to make sure that I was properly secured but also the main camera and anything attached to it. Filming the climbers’ reactions as they went over was very important, meaning that for much of the time we had to lean right over the edge to catch the action as they made their initial descent.

Keeping it safe

Keeping it safe

 

We also had to film some of the action as they reached the ground (which had its own risks) and meant that we were constantly having to rig and de-rig as we made our way from ground to roof and back again. In these situations it would be very easy to lose sight of your own safety and that of those around you but thankfully the guys at Eiger Safety were keeping a constant eye on all activities whilst making sure it was a great experience for those taking part whilst ensuring that we always had the best shots.

The final challenge

Having witnessed close-up the buzz and excitement throughout the day I simply couldn’t refuse the offer of having a go down the ropes myself. I have worked with Eiger Safety on their promotional video and have filmed in some amazing situations as they carried out their various height-safety services but never actually managed to do any abseiling myself. I can’t honestly say I’m fearful of heights but don’t mind admitting this was outside of my comfort zone. But, having watched so many people who were truly nervous going down for the benefit of others, I couldn’t resist their offer.

Your next video communications project

I like to think I have proved my dedication to helping organisations create excellent video communications – so next time you are doing something which is worth telling others about then I am your man. Any challenge accepted – as long as it is safe!

Videotape to DVD for converting VHS, VHS-C, DV, Video8 and many other videotape formats

Videotape to DVD conversions Title

Videotape to DVD conversions by Video Artisan

Videotape to DVD – and every other combination

Video Artisan has been converting videotape to DVD for many years now and specialise in providing our clients with a fast, efficient and discreet service. Primarily aimed at customers who are looking for a local company to carry out their videotape to DVD conversions who prefer not to trust their precious memories to a postal service, we take great pride in helping our clients preserve and archive them on a more convenient and up-to-date format.

With day and evening time drop-off facilities in Loughton, Essex – we regularly carry out videotape to DVD conversion services to clients throughout Essex, London, Hertfordshire and beyond.

What is the benefit of videotape to DVD conversion?

The most common reason for our customers wanting to convert their videotape to DVD is that they no longer have a working machine to play them back on. However, there are a number of other benefits to having your videotape converted to DVD.

  • Whilst there are no advantages in terms of picture and sound quality (the quality of the original recording governs this), some modern DVD playback machines will up-scale the image when played back on a high definition screen giving the impression of a better quality image.
  • DVDs offer a much more sophisticated and quicker playback function – allowing you to quickly search through the content of the DVD. If you opt for our premium videotape to DVD service we can also add chapter points throughout the DVD enabling you to skip to designated parts of the recording.
  • DVDs also require much less storage or shelf space and, depending on the videotapes being converted, can hold the contents of a number of tapes on a single disk. (See sections below on tape capacities)
  • DVDs, if converted properly, can be played back on a variety of machines. These include standard DVD players, Sony PlayStation, Blu-ray players, Computers with DVD drives and portable all-in-one DVD player/screens. Whilst no format is guaranteed to last forever, DVDs are still widely manufactured and supported in new optical disk technologies.
  • Once converted to DVD it is very easy to make further copies – without losing any further quality in the recording. Video Artisan can provide these additional copies for a few pounds at the time of converting the videotape to DVD and recommend this for archiving purposes. Whilst the lifespan of a DVD, if stored correctly, will last for many years the memories they hold are very precious so it is always advisable to back them up.
  • Converting videotape to DVD involves digitising the pictures and sound and storing them in a digital format on the disk. Our standard service results in a disk which can be played back in a range of devices (see above) – but these files can also be imported into a video editing program for further copying and editing on a computer. Exploring the disk on a computer will reveal folders that contain files with a ‘.VOB’ suffice. By copying these to your computer and renaming them with a ‘.MPG’ suffice you can carry out more refinement yourself – although it might result in degradation if further compression is added. Alternatively, Video Artisan can convert the videotape into a range of edit-ready file formats for you to use directly that will help you retain as much quality as possible (available by separate quotation).

What is the most popular videotape to DVD conversion service?

Without doubt, the most regular videotape to DVD services we carry out is good old VHS to DVD. With literally millions of feet of VHS tape still in existence, holding many thousands of hours of family memories, these represent over 70% of the conversions carried out here at Video Artisan. Whilst there are a few VHS players available to buy new, the format is obsolete and the vast majority of machines are either defunct or coming to the end of their useful lives. Whilst it is a robust format, playing back your VHS tapes, or any other videotape format come to that, has the potential of damaging the tape beyond repair – especially when the machine has been poorly maintained, stored in damp or dirty conditions or simply not regularly powered up and used.

VHS to DVD

VHS to DVD – our most popular videotape to DVD service

VHS to DVD durations

VHS tapes come in a variety of lengths, ranging from a few minutes to up 4-hours. In addition, many recorders and camcorders offered the ability to record in long-play mode, which doubled the recording length available (at the cost of a lower quality recording). Converting VHS to DVD can therefore result in one tape needing to be spread over a number of DVDs. The capacity of a DVD is also governed by the amount of compression used when carrying out the conversion – but in a similar long-play mode will hold up to 4-hours on a standard single-sided DVD. The amount on compression that is used in the videotape to DVD process will depend on the quality of the original recording and we generally recommend a standard level of compression that will allow for up to 2-hours per DVD.

VHS-C

Videotape to DVD - VHS-C

VHS-C to DVD

To help reduce the size of the camcorder many manufacturers adopted a smaller variant of VHS – called VHS-C (the ‘C’ standing for ‘Compact’). These cassettes are slightly bigger than a cigarette packet in size. The most common running time for these cassettes is just 30-minutes but there were also 45-minute variants and, as with VHS, the machines offered a Long-play mode which doubled the recording time.

As VHS-C tapes recorded in exactly the same format as a normal VHS tape they can be played back in a normal VHS player with the use of an adapter which the tapes slotted into. These are the second most common tapes Video Artisan receives for videotape to DVD conversion.

S-VHS, S-VHSC and Digital S

JVC and other manufacturers further developed the VHS format to increase the picture quality and the most common of these was S-VHS (Super VHS). Identical in appearance and offering the same recording times, these cameras and VCRs were only popular for a short period in time. The Digital S format is comparatively rare and was normally only found on professional equipment.

Video8 or 8mm, Hi8 and Digital 8

Video8 or 8mm to DVD

Video8 or 8mm to DVD

Sony also developed a compact videotape format based on 8mm tape – which are roughly the size of a pack of playing cards and could contain up to 135-minutes of video in standard mode. Further developments in 8mm tape included Hi8 and Digital 8 (90-mins recording) formats – which offered higher quality recordings.

MiniDV, Standard DV, DVCAM and HDV

Further miniaturisation of camcorder cassettes saw the introduction of various DV tape formats based on a tape width of 6.5mm. The most common of these is Mini DV, which uses cassettes roughly the size of a Swan Vesta box of matches – but a little shorter. The most common recording time of these cassettes is 60-minutes.

DV to DVD

DV to DVD

Though less common, and usually only found in high-end or professional cameras and VCRs, Standard DV tapes are larger in size and almost identical to 8mm cassettes mentioned above. Further variations of 6.5mm tapes include DVCAM, DVCPRO and, in it’s high-definition variations, HDV, DVCPRO HD.

Mini DVD camcorders

In more recent years manufacturers developed cameras which recorded to a mini-DVD disk. The disks are 8cm in diameter and offered the benefit of being playable in a normal DVD player once they were ‘Finalised’. Basically, the process of finalisation was carried out once you filled the disks up or did not want to add any more video to them. Without finalisation the disks could not be played in anything other than the camcorder itself – so it is quite common for clients to have these disks in un-finalised state and unable to play them back if they no longer have the camcorder. However, Video Artisan have specialist software applications which enable us to extract the un-finalised files and convert them to DVD. Please note, this isn’t always possible and can result in part of the recordings being unrecoverable.

HDD (Hard Disk Drive) Camcorders

Camcorder HDD to DVD

Camcorder HDD to DVD

Further miniaturisation was achieved by the introduction of camcorders with internal HDD recorders negating the need for tapes. The main drawback of these camcorders was that once the HHD were full you had to transfer the video off to another device or media. Whilst it is rare for Video Artisan to provide a conversion service for these cameras we can do as long as your camcorder is still working.

Solid State or Memory Card Cameras

The most common current camcorder recording system uses solid state technology which records to a memory card. These are usually SD cards but can include CF Cards (Compact Flash), MicroSD, MiniSD, SDHC, XD, MS Duo, MMCmicro and MMCPlus. These can all be easily converted to DVD for easy playback.

Other video formats

Whilst Video Artisan can provide all of the above videotape to DVD services in-house, we can also arrange conversion of pretty much any one of the more specialist or rare video tape and digital formats – including Micro MV, Betamax, Betamax ED, Video 2000, U-Matic, 1”, 2”, Digi-Beta, M2 and more. These conversions are carried out by separate quotation and usually take longer to complete.

Not just videotape to DVD

Audio Cassette to Audio CD

Audio Cassette to Audio CD

Whilst DVD is by far the most common format we convert to, we are also able to deliver the conversion on a number of different storage media. This includes Blu-ray, Memory Cards, USB sticks, portable HDD and data DVDs. We can also convert Cine Film to DVD too – in various gauges (8mm, Super8, 16mm and 35mm).

We can also convert audio cassettes to Audio CD. Please ask for details.

Cost of converting to DVD

The vast majority of our videotape to DVD conversions come under our standard rates as detailed here.  However, we also offer discounts on orders involving 10 or more tapes (of varying formats) – and can provide various bespoke packages including editing, captioning, duplication and specialist disk packaging. Please call for more details or visit our studio in Loughton, Essex to discuss the options.

Call: 020 3602 3356
Mobile: 0777 153 5692

Video Production in Essex

Video Production for Business

Video production in Essex definitely seems to be on the up, with a surge in activity amongst on-line marketeers, businesses and government institutions looking to exploit the power of video on their website, within their social networking platforms and in direct video marketing activities.

Video is no longer just for larger corporations and businesses, but has fast become the marketing tool for organisations of all sizes.  It’s not just about driving direct sales either, but is fast becoming the preferred method of delivering all kinds of information – be that news bulletins, instruction manuals, internal communications and any story which can be shared through this very engaging and highly effective medium.

What’s all the interest in video production in Essex?

Video production in Essex is proving so popular for a number of reasons.  Firstly, Essex is booming – especially in areas surrounding Video Artisan’s studios in Loughton, Essex.  Situated just inside the M25, we’re well within the London catchment area and are well positioned to serve businesses and organisations in Central London and beyond.  With the UK’s motorway network on our doorstep we can be anywhere in the UK with ease whilst at the same time connected to Central London via Loughton Station which is on the London Underground Central Line.

Video production is, and always has been, a very competitive service industry.  Modern high definition cameras and technology are becoming ever more affordable – making it more and more accessible to everyone with a story to tell.  Stepping just outside of the Central London video production industry our clients can save many thousands of pounds in production costs without losing any of the benefits of having a highly targeted and professionally produced film. At Video Artisan you get London agency productions at out-of-town rates.

Video production in Essex is therefore not about making compromises – but rather about making huge savings and yet still being able to tap into all the advantages that commissioning a video production can offer.

We’re not just local though – and regularly travel throughout the UK and beyond to help our clients create video content which helps them achieve their goals.

Look no further for video production in Essex

To find out how Video Artisan can help you to harness the power of video, and for a no-obligation appraisal and quotation, please contact us today.

Copyright-free music review – AK166 & AK167

Copyright-free music review title

AK166 Electric Guitar Pop & AK167 Weird & Wonderful Vol 2

Copyright-free music review intro

In the past week Anthony McTiffen at AKM Music has kindly sent me their latest two albums for review.  Whilst both are worthy additions to any video producer’s library of copyright-free music, they are both quite different in style and appeal.  The first, ‘AK166 Electric Guitar Pop’, is pretty much what it says on the tin – driving American soft-rock which lends itself to corporate films which need a music underscore to push them along.  The second, ‘AK167 Weird & Wonderful Vol 2’, is an eclectic mix of tracks which are calling out for all manner of images to be cut to them.

To put it another way, AK166 is a follower and AK167 is a leader.

AK166 Copyright-free music review

AK166 Copyright-free music review

AK166 Electric Guitar Pop

This is not going to be a detailed review of each track on this album as they are all very similar.  They are of course different, and their subtle variations are enough to warrant their place on the album, but they all follow a very similar theme and style.  If I had to put a sound-alike label on the music it would range from Bruce Springsteen, to Asia, to soft-Stones to High-School Reunion – and pretty much every one of them could work as a theme tune on an American sitcom.

I can’t say that I’ll be copying this album to my phone and listening to it in the car, but it’s certainly got its uses.  I particularly like the fact that all 10 tracks come in full-length, loop and short versions – which is especially helpful on music which I believe will mainly be used under the images to give them a lift.  Combining all versions you can pretty much extend the music to any length which is always helpful.

AK167 Weird & Wonderful Vol 2

This is what I’d call an inspirational album.  The music ranges from harmonic voice-effect tracks to classical piano pieces – mixed up with Latin, Jazz, Funk, Surfin Dog and others (Surfin Dog will be explained).  There is a pattern or style which links all the tracks but often on a “weird and wonderful” level.  You’d certainly not expect to find tracks ‘10 Bachman’ and ‘23 Junkbot’ on the same shelf as each other let alone the same album – but somehow it all works.

AK167 Copyright-free music review

AK167 Copyright-free music review

AKM Music describe this album as, “A real mix of moods, quirky, curious, light, bright and playful Pizzicato strings, classical string quartets groovy surf guitar, elements of madness and good humour. Fresh and fun. For something different add a little weird and wonderful.”

I’ll definitely be using one or more of these tracks at some time in the near future, but I also think it might help with the auditioning process by giving me a wide selection of musical styles to explore and trial on an edit.  I find that a complete shift away in musical style from my initial ideas often brings out a completely different and more meaningful edit so this album should really help and inspire – and if there’s nothing on it that matches perfectly it will at least give me clues as to where I should be looking.

I hope that I do get to use some of the tracks on this album as there’s not only some very listenable music on it but also quite a few tracks which are crying out to be visualised.  Here’s a few of my favourites…

2 – Klak KloK [1:00]
This conjures visions of a ‘Mission Impossible’ with its piano driven and high-hat tapping rhythm.  It’s jazzy and it’s, “in pursuit of suspect on foot” ducking in and out of doorways, through crowds, down stairs…. It’s tension – in a ‘Man from Uncle’ kind of way.

4 – Meadow [0:59]
I imagined seeing this on a trailer for a new and youthful day-time TV magazine programme for the under 80s presented by the Chuckle Brothers. You know it’s going to be light and possibly funny.  In truth it’s hard to imagine where this will end up being used but its got character and its plucky strings, strumming bass and piano signatures leave you feeling very positive.

5 – Der [2:19]
Expect to hear the word “Der” a lot on this one as it’s a harmonised voice-effect track with calypso bongo breaks.  You also get the occasional “Wooo” too but the lyrics are still easy to remember. It builds in complexity towards the end – right down to the last, extended and harmonised “der”.  I like this kind of track because it’s hard to imagine where you might use it, but if you ever do it’s so perfect you’d think it was written specially.

8 – Spring Onions [2:41]
If I ever had to do a spoof Blues Brothers film this track would help me pull it off.  It could match perfectly to lines such as, “There’s 106 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark out, and we’re wearing sunglasses.”  Again I don’t know if I’ll ever actually get to use it but I hope I do.

12 – LED [1:20]
A medium-paced rhythmic electronic score which I could imagine being used on a car commercial.  Not just any car though, the Coolthrash 8000 with super-booster charged engine and hand-crafted mermaid skin trim, walnut dash and more computing power than Belgium.  Luxury, style, dosh!

14 – Rainbow Drops [1:17]
I’m a massive Elbow fan and it would be an amazing compliment if I ever compared a piece of copyright-free music to theirs.  However, with the wizard that he is, I bet if Elbow’s lead singer and lyricist, Guy Garvey, was let loose on penning words to this it would hold up pretty well.  The pictures would therefore need to be something equally deep and meaningful – but that’s really handy if you need to create any motivational content.  The ending is a bit of a non-event though.

15 – Latino Disco [3:20]
Purely selfish I know, but as I produce quite a bit of ballroom dance related content this track is going to be really handy.  At over 3-mins long the track develops through different stages – some less complex and reflective, others more full on, but all following a disco-fied Cha Cha rhythm (I know because I’ve tried doing a Cha Cha to it).

18 – Surfin Dog [1:25]
This is on my favourites list just because it is so well titled.  I can actually imagine a dog surfing to it – so much so that I’m seriously thinking of getting a dog and training it to surf just so I can use this track. It’s also another score I could use in my Blues Brother spoof.

19 – Terraformer [4:16]
A great track for producing a documentary or serious package on a hi-tech company/product.  Slow in pace, with whirly orchestral whooshes and whale-like sound FX – driven on by piano and drums interspersed with less complex passages.  Would suit anything pharmaceuticals, time-lapse construction, architectural and futuristic subject.

20 – Thinking of You [3:52]
Picture the scene… a sparsely populated Las Vegas hotel bar in the early hours.  It’s jazz time and I think I could write the words to this one! Piano, drums and bass – and Steve Martin singing…  “I think I love your smile, the diamond twinkle in your eyes, your blush that colours all my dreams – and then.  I always want it to be, you and me in eternity, but more than that I want to know – if so.  That when I’m thinking of you, for perhaps a moment or two, that you’re also thinking of me – and then….” (© Kevin Cook).  Listen to it, sing my words, it works (if only in my head).

22 – Edge of Beyond [5:44]
We’re at the end of a Quentin Tarantino film where the hero is looking at the death and destruction surrounding him and thinking, “WTF was that all about?”.  They walk off into the sunset and the end credits start (and the music plays on through them).  Very spaghetti, very steel guitar – very hard to find the right bit of film to use it on but perfect when you do.

24 – Shotgun Runway [2:04]
I can’t get a fashion show catwalk out of my mind on this one, after which we all popped of to the nearest rave.  It’s not fast paced by any means, but it’s got an incredibly strong beat to it and lends itself to hard cutting, artistic picture grading and perfect for music-driven caption/graphic animations.

The Rest
Whilst the above are my favourites I think all 25-tracks are worthy of space on this album – and when any of these are used on a project the music is going to play a major role in telling the story.  When I’d finished listening to it I had to go the AKM Music website to preview Vol 1 (AK090 – The Weird and Wonderful) as I’d not heard it before. It was good, but I think Vol 2 is way better on would certainly sit somewhere in my top-5 list of AKM Music albums.  Buy it – if only to try out my lyrics for track 20!

Kevin Cook F.Inst.V. (Hon)

Note: Get 20% off either the CD or CD DOWNLOAD with this promo code ‘HDSLR1’.  Click the links in the album titles above to audition.

Creating a custom Vine video

Vine Video

Creating a custom vine video for business

What’s this Vine Video all about?

It’s time to admit it… I was one of those who thought Vine video was just another gimmicky social media platform that was going disappear quicker than it appeared. It hadn’t even shown up on my radar until Twitter bought Vine Video out at the end of 2012 for a reported $30 million (source Vine Video Wiki) – but even then I couldn’t quite see what all the fuss was about. Isn’t it funny, this all changed the moment I had a call from one of my regular clients asking if I could produce a Vine video series for them. Of course I could – and I’m now well and truly hooked!

Vine video website

Vine video website

Vine video was originally an iOS app that enabled you to create short, looping videos with your mobile device and then upload and share them. By the beginning of 2013 it was available on Android too – but it really started coming alive when the web version was released in May this year. The maximum clip length is 6-seconds (just over apparently) and the simple Vine video app enables you to compile your video (with sound) in bursts or as stop-frame animation. Once completed you can then add descriptions and tags and share your Vine video through Facebook and Twitter (and others) – or embed it on your website.

You might be reading this and thinking that Vine is nothing new as you can do pretty much everything here with YouTube. However, the main way that Vine video differs is by it 6-second time limit and looping playback which lends itself to different content to YouTube. The content on Vine video also differs as it has to be created via the Vine app (well not really but I’ll come to that) and the camera within the device. You can of course make things easier for yourself (and make better Vines) by using accessories on your phone such as external microphones, lens adapters, tripods… but you’ll see that much of the content on Vine is basic, low production value content shot by normal people using their basic device and nothing else – other than a creative mind!

You’ll also see some pretty spectacular 6-second films which will have you wondering how they shot them using just a phone or tablet. You’ll also come across more and more Vines which were obviously not shot on a phone. These are what are commonly referred to as ‘Custom Vines’, and are generally pretty highly polished films that have been shot and edited professionally and the user has been able to circumvent Vine’s normal upload process.

Creating a Custom Vine video

Vine’s current inability to upload externally produced videos has been a major frustration for users and had resulted in a few third-party solutions that enable you to fool Vine into thinking the content you’re posting was created within the app. I’ve not used this, but one of the first of these was a free iOS app called ‘Uploader for Vine’. There were also other ways you could manually kid Vine by replacing the temporary video files created prior to publishing with pre-created content. But now there’s a really simple Google Chrome extension that does the job really neatly – namely Vine Client. Using Chrome, simply go to the website and activate the extension, open a free account and link it to your Vine account and you’re off.

Vine Client

Using Vine Client to upload your custom Vine videos

The technical spec for Custom Vine video file is reasonably straight forward and achievable with any half respectable editing system – but must be adhered to for a trouble-free upload. The file needs to be less than 5Mb and between 3 and 6.8 seconds in length. They recommend using MP4 using the H.264 codec (but there are other file formats they’ll accept) – with a square format pixel dimension of 480px by 480px at a maximum bitrate of 1,200Kbps. The audio should be 64 Kpbs bitrate, 44.1 Khz, 2 channels, AAC. An audio stream needs to be present, even if silent.

Once you have your formatted files it’s then simply a case of logging on to Vine Client and uploading it – job done! I suspect that Vine will eventually cave in to users’ demands and build-in the ability to upload Custom Vines directly (or more likely monetize that process) – but until they do this process seems to work quite well.

Start having some fun with Vine Video

Like other users my first attempts were video doodles created within the app itself. I’m a big fan of Instagram for photos and occasionally use its video tools too (apparently there are tools/processes to enable you to create Custom Instagrams as well – see useful reference site here about difference), but I think Vine’s simplicity is what has won favour amongst its rapidly expanding user base. Creating Custom Vines though opens up a whole new world of video fun.

Nipper Clipper Vines

Getting back to where this all started, my client Stylfile (one of Lord Sugar’s enterprises headed up by Apprentice winner and inventor, Tom Pellereau) wanted to create a collection of Vine videos to celebrate the first anniversary of their Nipper Clipper baby and toddler nail clipping product (see blog here). Having produced a number of films for them about Nipper Clipper and other products in the Stylfile range, the thought was to produce a series of Vines based on existing footage which had the potential to generate viral interest.

The first Nipper Clipper Vine appeared on 17th June to coincide with the product’s launch in 2013. Happy Birthday Nipper Clipper! More will follow in the series – so keep an eye on Vine.