Eiger Safety promotional DVD nears completion

With Oyster Card in hand and lightweight shooting kit on my back I was off to film one of the final locations of the Eiger Safety promotional DVD today.  This time I was heading towards the Hilton London Metropolitan in Edgeware Road.  Being up at the crack of dawn for a 6:45 rendezvous at Marble Arch was no fun – but at least I wasn’t suffering on my own.  Everyone on the tube at this time of the morning (and more so at this time of year) rarely look like they want to be there – so I snapped it on Instagram.

Apart from signalling the nearing of the end of this year-long promotional DVD filming schedule, the subject of the day’s shoot was vital in telling the story of Eiger Safety as we were capturing their guys performing two of their most frequently performed tasks – namely eye-bolt installation and testing.

Eye-bolts going in at the Hilton
Eye-bolts going in at the Hilton

Health & Safety regulations touch us all these days and one of the major areas is height safety systems and procedures.  Eiger Safety cover pretty much everything within this sphere.  These eye-bolts provide a safe tethering point for those working near to height hazards.  Whilst they are installed in many different locations and for different height risks, the ones I filmed today were being installed in hotel rooms to enable the staff and contractors to safely clean, inspect and maintain windows and openings.

Apart from installing thousands of these anchor points each year they all have an annual re-testing requirement too.  It was therefore important to get a fair bit of the guys doing the final test on the newly installed eye-bolts.  It might not have been as exciting as some of the other locations and activities I’ve filmed for them (Clifton Suspension Bridge was my favourite) – but nonetheless the film would be incomplete and almost pointless promotional DVD without it.

Eye bolt test
The all-important testing stage for the promotional DVD

The next location shoot will be the last (mind you – they’ve said that before) and will cover the installation of handrail systems – another huge part of Eiger Safety’s work.  These are pretty much all outside locations so I’m praying for the weather to warm up for that day.  After that it’ll be some studio work in filming an interview with the MD to use as a narrative for a longer form version I’m producing for them. This is in addition to the original brief of creating a short 3-min piece set to music that will form the opening part of a PowerPoint sales presentation.  I love it when jobs expand! : )

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New Year – New Edit Suite

After a year producing some amazing films for some amazing clients, I thought it was about time to give Video Artisan a little New Year treat in the form of a nice shiny new edit suite from those ever so knowledgeable chaps at DVC.  Even though my current 4.6 based Edius edit suite has turned out the work without a hitch the workload that looks like it’s going to be landing on my desk this year calls for something that packs a little more punch.  That said, the old edit suite is not being put out to grass quite yet as it’s going to be doing some of the lighter work that seems to pile up at the busier times.

Our Edius Broadcast video production facilities in Loughton
Our Edius Broadcast video production facilities in Loughton

Why chose an Edius edit suite?

I am a Grass Valley Edius man through and through these days – albeit that I’ve had varying levels of experience with just about every editing system out there.  My first entry into non-linear editing was way back with a Fast AV Master capture card running alongside a very early version of Adobe Premier (I think it was 1.2).  However, before that I honed my editing skills on a three machine UMatic edit suite with a load of other electronic gizmos that were needed to perform basic shot transitions and effects.  Oh how times have changed!  So too have the costs as that UMatic edit suite set us back about £20k which was an awful lot of money back in 1986!

UMatic Edit Suite
UMatic Edit Suite in full swing – driven by the delectable Tiffany

Though I could have coped with staying with the old edit suite for a few more months I really longed for a few of the benefits of the latest version of Edius software and a beefier computer to house it in.  For instance, the old system was a little lumpy (understatement) when dealing with the Full HD MOV files created by the Canon 5DMkII.  To overcome this I would convert all camera files to the Canopus HQ for editing.  Whilst these files were easy to handle the process of having to codec convert the files did slow down the editing process somewhat.  It also resulted in using up much more HD space than was needed. The new system will be able to cope with four or five layers of Full HD – in real time.  Yum yum!  It should also speed up the online delivery encoding process which is another thing that seems to have taken up quite a bit of my 2012.

There are plenty of new tools that I’m going to enjoy playing with too in Edius 6.5 – and probably the most notable over my old software is the new layout tool. But there’s a whole host of improvements that will make the editing process quicker and easier…

  • Colour correction tool supports 10-bit colour depth
  • Export sequence with alpha channel
  • Native RED (.R3D) support*
  • Improved XDCAM/ P2 data transfer
  • 3D (stereoscopic) editing
  • AVCHD 2.0 support
  • AVCHD 3D export support
  • EOS movie support (ALL-I (I-only), IPB)
  • Camera RAW format support
  • Filmstrip view in Timeline
  • Built-in loudness meter
  • Built-in shake stabilizer
  • 720p Blu-ray authoring support
  • Flash F4V export
  • QuickTime HQ/HQX codec (Windows/Mac)

The PC system is based on an Intel® Core™ i7-3770K Processor 3.5GHz with Hyperthreading (8M Cache, up to 3.90 GHz) running the Windows 7 Pro 64 bit operating system.  With 8GB of RAM, 8TB of SATA HD storage and a 128GB SSD system drive – the beast should fly and chew it’s way through the kind of video production work I’m attracting.

Edius 6.5
The new edit suite based on Edius 6.5

Why choose DVC for building my new edit suite?

I did weigh up the options and various sources for getting the new edit suite built – and even considered building the thing myself.  To be honest, the latter choice went in and out of my mind quicker than lightening.  Whilst I’m pretty sure I could put something together after watching a few YouTube videos and reading up on the subject – I’m a great believer in leaving things to those who really know what they are doing.  I also value the benefit of having someone to go back to if the thing didn’t work (a distinct possibility with home-build systems). I also really value the kind of support that an experienced NLE system builder can provide ‘post sale’ – and there are very few that have as much experience as the folk at DVC.  They also happen to produce some pretty comprehensive user guides with their systems which will no doubt be handy in the first few months of use.

The new system is now in the process of being built and it should be with me within the next 10-days.  I’ll be giving you updates on this and a little more background on my choice of system as soon as I’ve got it installed in the edit suite.  In the meantime, I’m gagging to get my hands on it and start using it on my next corporate film.

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Christmas cheer from Video Artisan

This is just a final Christmas message and thank you to all my fantastic clients who have made my first year back behind camera so amazing.  If I had a crystal ball back in February when I launched Video Artisan – and could see where I am today – I’d be astonished at how well I’ve done.

I’m particularly grateful to Supadance for being my first corporate video customer (and having commissioned me to produce 4 more films since).  Another person to show faith in me was my good friend Paul Jaffe at Eiger Safety whose rope access film (nay Epic) is still in production. He just keeps on winning new and exciting projects which just simply have to be filmed – but we really are going to push towards completing this in the New Year (aren’t we Paul? : ))

There’s been many more clients since then – some of which you’ll be hearing about in the New Year.

Needless to say that winning the Open Category at the IOV Awards was a very special achievement for me this year and gave me the kind of boost that’s hard to quantify.  Getting a 2nd place in the Documentary Category was just icing on the cake.

Like I said, an amazing year that has completely blown away my expectations. And if the bookings and enquiries for early 2013 are anything to go by then this is just the start of something really special.

Last but not least – and maaaaaaaaaaaassive thanks to my wife, Tiff, for never doubting that I was doing the right thing.  You are always right dear! ; )

So have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year everyone. I’m off to crack open the sherry!

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DVD on sale – Supadance National League

Following its online release on the Supadance website, I have been approached several times from competitors about purchasing a copy on DVD. Whilst this wasn’t in our original plan, we like to do what we can to keep the customer satisfied and are pleased to announce this short film’s DVD release.

Supadance National League DVD on sale
Buy your DVD copy now!

Is this DVD any different from the online version?

No, its exactly the same but many dancers seem to want a more permanent and easy to watch reminder of the Supadance National League finals held at the beginning of the month.

Are there any discounts for bulk purchases?

We understand some competitors will want more than one copy to give out to family and friends so we have put together four different packages – with multi-buy discounts.

Postage & Packaging

All prices include postage and packaging – so what you see is what you pay. DVD’s will be dispatch by 2nd-Class Royal Mail post.

Order your DVD Now…

2012 Supadance National League DVD x 1 copy
£12.50




2012 Supadance National League DVD x 2 copies
£22.50




2012 Supadance National League DVD x 5 copies
£55.00




2012 Supadance National League DVD x 10 copies
£100.00




I don’t have a PayPal Account or Credit/Debit cards!

PayPal will allow you to pay by Credit or Debit card too – even without a PayPal account.  However, if you prefer you can pay by cheque.  Please send to: ‘Video Artisan, 174 Roding Road, Loughton, Essex IG10 3BS‘.  Please make the cheques payable to ‘Kevin Cook‘ and include your name, address, telephone and email address (if available).

We can also accept payment by BACS transfer.  Please email me (kevin@video-artisan.com) with all your contact details and we will supply our bank details and a payment reference for you to use.

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Video converted to DVD

Like a lot of people offering this service we’ve been inundated with video converted to DVD requests in the past couple of weeks – all leading up to Christmas family gatherings and the reliving of old memories.

VHS video converted to DVD
Read on for details on our video converted to DVD services

Whilst there’s been a fair spread of different formats to convert to DVD, the conversion service that dwarfs all others at the moment is VHS to DVD. There’s literally thousands of miles of VHS tape out there and no one wants to buy a player once their old deck starts to play up. It seems to me that customers are becoming more and more concerned about their precious tapes being chewed up and lost forever if played in an old un-serviced VHS player.

Therefore finding a reliable, fast and efficient company to get your video converted to DVD is very important  – and if you are in the Essex, East London or Hertfordshire area you’d be hard pressed to find a company better than Video Artisan.

Act now to get your video converted to DVD

As video to DVD conversions have to be done in real-time (a 2-hour videotape takes 2-hours to ingest – after which it needs to be authored to DVD) there isn’t much time left in order to get your video to DVD completed before the family arrives. If you are needing your videotapes converted (or cine films, slides to video, camcorder hard drives etc)  please note that our last orders will be taken in the middle of next week (19th December) to ensure we can deliver for Christmas. For details on pricing please see our dedicated page here.

Video to DVD (or other services) in an emergency!

Except for real emergency works, our studio will be closed from midday on Friday 21st December and will open again on 2nd January. Calls to our land line (020 3602 3356) will be directed to our mobile (0777 153 5692) over this period – and we will be monitoring emails (kevin@video-artisan.com) too if you have any questions.

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