Category Archives: Video Artisan

Welcome

Video Artisan pride themselves on producing cost-effective video communication tools for business clients.  They understand their clients’ needs – and how to achieve their video production goals. This is why more and more businesses are using them for their video production needs.

These articles will keep you up to date with what’s been happening at Video Artisan.  Short stories, news updates and comments are published by the company’s founder, Kevin Cook.  Kevin has been in the professional video industry since 1985 and always aims to provide his clients with exceptional levels of customer satisfaction.  The company motto is, “Under promise and over deliver”.   At Video Artisan they always go that extra mile to provide an excellent product at a competitive price.

For further details

In conclusion, the areas of expertise include corporate video, company films and all professional video services.  Please contact Kevin Cook for further advice on this website – kevin@video-artisan.com or call 020 83602 3356

 

Filming customer referrals title

Filming Customer Referrals

Winning new business by Filming Customer Referrals

Filming customer referrals creates powerful marketing tools for your business or organisation.  No, it’s not a fad – it’s a fact!  We all buy from people – so there’s nothing better than hearing other people share their stories about their experience with your organisation.  All successful organisations now concentrate on perfecting their customer experience.  By filming customer referrals you can share the experience repeatedly with new and potential customers.

Tips and Tricks of filming customer referrals

Like all marketing activities, you must know the “who, what, where, when and why” answers.  Who are your customers?  What do they want or need? Where are they?  When are they looking to purchase your products/services?  Why should they choose you?

These Five W’s questions form the basic approach to journalistic storytelling.  They also constitute a formula for capturing the complete story on your customer’s experience.  Armed with these questions you have a ready-made script to start filming customer referrals.

Choosing your customers

You will already have a good collection of satisfied customers.  Some will be particularly special and exactly what you want to attract more of.  These existing customers are your best advocates in attracting new “ideal” customers.  Whilst each will have their own customer experience story, a powerful connection to new customers will be found within their answers to the Five W’s questions.

You are not looking for the best on-screen performers or most photogenic people when filming customer referrals.  What you are looking for are real people who can tell their story in a believable, natural, and engaging way.  The secret here is to get them relaxed and comfortable in front on camera.  This is one of the things we pride ourselves on here at Video Artisan.  We make the experience fun, interesting and educational for all involved.

The important extras when filming customer referrals

The interview itself obviously forms the main narrative when filming customer referrals but additional footage is needed to tell the complete story.  Referred to as ‘B-Roll’ or ‘Cutaways’, these shots are used to illustrate the customer’s story.  They help the film flow and to enable editors to cut the customers answers to deliver the most concise marketing message.

-Roll when filming customer referrals
The role of B-Roll when filming customer referrals

Quite often the interviews will have many edits within each answer.  Without B-Roll to cover these joins you would end up with jump cuts and loss of continuity.  Done correctly, the end result will be a fluid and logical.  And, most importantly, they help deliver a compelling case for new customers to engage with your business.

Case Study -Kainos Evolve

We have recently been filming customer referrals for Kainos – focussed on the successful implementation of their paperless healthcare system, Evolve.  The customer in this instance was Ashford & St Peters Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  The customer story is all about how the Evolve system, combined with Apple hardware, helps this NHS Trust to save millions of pounds and to deliver a safer and more efficient health service to their local community.

Your next step

If you are thinking about how you could start filming customer referrals, please get in touch with us today for a free consultation.  Call Video Artisan on 020 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com now.  See our Freelance page for details on filming and editing rates.

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Advertising Videos

Advertising Videos for all

Creating Advertising Videos

Make no mistake, we create advertising videos. Despite all the clever and creative ways we like to describe what we do, 99% of the time we’re creating advertising videos.  They’re videos, and they’re advertising something.

Some like to talk up our craft (and there’s nothing wrong in that) and call these “advertising films”. However, in almost every instance the intended outlet for the content we create for our clients is being distributed online.  That’s usually through YouTube of other social media platforms – and these are video channels.  So yes, we create advertising videos! Sometimes, however, we’re doing a whole lot more than that.

CAT Publications Advertising Videos

We’ve created many advertising videos for CAT Publications over the years.  These are mainly in the form of event documentaries covering either their M&IT Awards or their M&IT Agency Challenge events.  Whilst these videos are supposed to inform and entertain, their true purpose is to act as advertising videos for future events.  In fact, we’ve just completed the 2017 M&IT Agency Challenge video which is already being pumped out to encourage participation at next year’s event.

Where this assignment differs from others is that Video Artisan are not just there to make an event documentary.  We are very much part of the team building experience and provide delegates with a video challenge of their own.  Each team at the M&IT Agency Challenge has to shoot a short film within an hour (edited by us) – the judging of which goes towards points and prizes at a gala dinner.

Many forms of advertising videos

There are of course many forms of advertising videos.  Some are just straight promotional films that directly sell the product or service.  Others get the advertising message across in the form of educational content – or maybe purely entertainment content.  Whichever platform you choose, you should never lose sight of the aim to advertise.  Google Dictionary describes this as, “to describe or draw attention to (a product, service, or event) in a public medium in order to promote sales”.

This is why we generally describe Video Artisan as a, ‘Promotional video production company’.

Planning your advertising videos?

If you’re starting to think about how you can introduce advertising videos into your marketing mix, give us a call.  We like to think we can help any organisation to achieve their video goals – regardless of budgets and the complexity of the task.  The key to making this successful is to start to talk to your video production company at an early stage so they can advise on the most efficient and cost effective approach. If you’re at that stage now – call Kevin Cook on 020 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com.

Advertising Videos Interivews
Shooting interviews for Advertising Videos
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Video Training

Bespoke Video Training

The continued rise in demand for online video has seen us providing bespoke media and video training packages to all manner of clientele. In the past month, this has included basic one-to-one coaching to local businesses though to specialist aviation industry training as far away as Brunei!

Though online video has been with us for some years, organisations are now really starting to understand how video can drive their business forward. And, for many, buying in video training and doing it themselves is the most logical way to achieve this.

CAT Video Training

A great example of how a Video Artisan bespoke video training package can help a business grow is our relationship with CAT Publications (Conference And Travel Publications). CAT have been creating print, online, educational and research content for the international events industry since 1987. Their editorial expertise and industry knowledge has helped them maintain their position as the most trusted resource for anything “events industry” related.

CAT are not shy about harnessing the power of video though. We have produced many films for them in the past five years – with numerous event documentaries on their M&IT Awards, Agency Challenge and Masterclasses. However, the next logical step for them was to start repackaging their extensive editorial output into a video format. The long-term aim is to create a vibrant online video channel of up to the minute news content and comment on the events industry across several their publications.

Video Training at CAT
Everyone enjoying the video training at CAT

Having already experimented outsourcing the the video element of this with their Intellectual Capitals product, they soon realised the most cost-effective and time-efficient approach would be to invest in the skills of their existing editorial team. They obviously didn’t need any guidance in journalism – but a well-structured video training and support package would enable them shoot, edit and produce compelling content, in-house. This would mean they could get their video content out faster and build even greater engagement with their audience.

More than just Video Training

Apart from the video training element of this service, Video Artisan also helped CAT with their investment in the kit needed for their in-house productions. This included specifying a lightweight camera system suitable for roving reporters, video editing software and all the video accessories needed to create professional looking videos (see notes below on the kit).

The initial training was spread over two days – starting with the principles of creating video interviews, developing a house-style and basic camera craft and sound recording techniques. Practical filming assignments were then followed with guidance on how to package up footage and other media assets using Edius editing software. The final steps included outputting settings and how to share content on social media platforms and achieve the best possible search engine visibility.

This is very much an ongoing relationship with CAT. The initial support package means we are going to be very instrumental in helping them to create their first two or three real pieces of video content. By then they should be well on their way to achieving their goals. However, as their video channel develops, there will be further involvement from Video Artisan that will see CAT evolve into the leading resource of video news and feature content for the events industry.

Your video training needs

Our main strength at Video Artisan is our ability to shape and develop video training services for any application or size of organisation. Through our extensive industry contacts and partners we can offer complete media training solutions – covering technical, creative and on-screen performance coaching to broadcast standards. If you’re thinking of creating your video content in-house, please get in touch for more details on our bespoke video training services. Email kevin@video-artisan.com or call 020 3602 3356.

NOTES: Video Artisan specified the JVC GY-HM170 compact 4K camera, E-Image EG03A2 tripod and accessories – sold as a bundle through ProAV . Additional filming kit included RODE NTG1 shotgun and Filmmaker Kit radio mic system. This configuration was chosen because its ability to easily shoot in either automatic, semi and manual modes – enabling their journalists to concentrate on the story but giving them the ability to develop their manual camera control skills over time.

Edius Pro 8 editing software was chosen for its ease of use and ability to incorporate source material in a range of formats. This is also the main editing system used by Video Artisan and therefore enabled easy remote support to CAT on future projects.

Video training with Edius
Video training with Edius
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Awards Event Documentary production

M&IT Awards 2017

Yet another Awards Event Documentary

This is the third time we’ve been commissioned to create an awards event documentary for CAT Publications.  It was very special this time though as it was their 30th Annual Awards.  That’s some achievement.  It was also another great reason to create an awards event documentary to remember it by.

This is an amazing event, attended by more than 1,300 key people from the top organisations in the meetings and events industry.  Its purpose is to celebrate and reward the very best across a wide range of categories.  This includes hotels and conference venues, agencies, airlines and banqueting providers.  Like all the best awards nights, the winners are not revealed until the awards night itself to an ever-so excited audience.

Awards Event Documentary A&O

The purpose of this Awards Event Documentary isn’t purely for prosperity though.  CAT use these films as a part of their marketing activities for the following year’s event.  In fact, the film is one of their most powerful tools in sharing the atmosphere and scale of the event.  For anyone who has not attended the awards before, this short awards event documentary will give them a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Furthermore, the film plays an important role in attracting entries in future awards.  As the only awards scheme in the events industry which is voted on by the end user, they are extremely highly valued.  The film therefore had to show the impact that winning an award has on the recipient’s business.  Likewise, the film had to impress the value of brand association for future sponsors.

Production process

The narrative for this awards event documentary was pretty much set in stone.  Shooting was therefore straight forward, with three camera crews recording the general atmosphere shots.  We also had two fixed cameras covering the main presentations.  The main host was TV’s Eamonn Holmes – and along with various guest speakers, provided the main structure to the edit.  In addition, winners were pulled backstage after their presentation to be interviewed by another camera team to captures their elation.  Whilst this was an extremely quick turn round it also gave us the opportunity to ask them their views on the event in general.

The backstage interviews, along with the winner’s stage presentation, were also cut into individual short clips.  These were then sold to the winners post-event for them to use within their own marketing to promote their success.  This enabled CAT to recoup some of their investment in the creating the documentary. (see example here)

Editing the main Awards Event Documentary was made easier by the excellent neon drumming performance by Spark!  They were spectacular on the night and provided us with a dramatic up-beat soundtrack to cut to.

Video Artisan and CAT Publications

This is just one event we work on for CAT Publications each year.  Other events include their series of masterclasses for the events industry – and also the ever-popular Agency Challenge events at which we provide video team-building challenges for the delegates.  There’s another one of these coming up in July.

More information

If you are organising an awards event, or any other corporate event that really would benefit from being made into a short documentary, then give us a call.  You might be surprised at how a little investment in a video film could take your event to the next level.  Call Kevin on 020 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com

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Facebook Live for business

Facebook Live

Facebook Live – the benefits of broadcasting your business

The most recent development on Facebook, ‘Facebook Live’, is opening a whole new world of opportunities for businesses to engage with their followers. If you’ve got no idea what Facebook Live is think of it as a live video broadcast. These videos are posted directly to your Facebook page in real-time (almost) – be that your private page or your business page. Like any other Facebook posting, these can be liked and shared by your page followers – and as the administrator you can add tags and adjust privacies to help you get your broadcast to those you want it seen by.

Live, and not so Live

Obviously, your followers aren’t all just sitting on your Facebook page waiting for stuff to be posted – as nice at that would be! To cater for these absentees, once your live event has ended the video is then shown along with your other postings for people to view as and when. Over time your viewing number will rise as more people watch it, like it, comment and share it on their own Facebook wall.

Hopefully you can start to see how this kind of marketing tool could benefit your business and help you to generate social media followers. But what kind of things to people want to see? The answer seems to be pretty much anything! The most viewed Facebook Live is currently “Chewbacca Mom”. (CLICK HERE – and try not to laugh) To date, this has had 166 million views since it first appeared as a Facebook Live. At the time of going live it maybe had only one or two (or none more likely) viewers – but the Facebook Live experience is about sharing things as they happen.

This is obviously not an example of a business using Facebook Live. But what this example should do for you is to demonstrate the potential of Facebook Live. I’m sure you can also imagine the effect this had on the sales of Chewbacca-type masks!

Think business!

Shrewd businesses are now tapping into this by using Facebook Live to share all kinds of real-time events. The obvious ones are things such as product launches, conferences, exhibition stand tours, product training sessions… or any other event where you would naturally have a live audience. Facebook Live will enable more people to experience these and, more importantly, share their experience with others who might find your content of interest.

Whilst spontaneity is at the heart and soul of this technology, pre-publicising your event will enable you to increase real-time viewers who can engage with you at the time of broadcast. You can actively encourage questions from your viewers at the time and gain valuable feedback – as well as spreading the word about your broadcast and generally scattering your brand amongst their friends and followers too. The only real limitation is that your event can’t be more than 4-hrs long as a single stream.

How to Facebook Live – The basics

In its simplest form, a Facebook Live event can be created using just your mobile phone and the Facebook App. The only other requisite is an uninterrupted and reasonably broad-bandwidth mobile or Wifi connection.

If you want to post something to your private page, simply click the Live button and add the event details as requested. Within a few moments your phone will start sharing its Facebook Live buttonpictures and sound to your Facebook wall. (as demonstrated by Chewbacca). It’s a little less obvious on a business page, but still possible. In this instance, go to your business page, click the ‘Post’ button, and then select the ‘Live’ option.

The drawbacks of using your phone for a Facebook Live event are mainly down to the limitations your phone’s camera. Whilst the picture quality on most modern phones is perfectly adequate, the sound from the internal microphone is generally poor. This can be easily overcome with the addition of an external microphone.  But you’ll still be limited to the basic camera controls offered on your phone. This might be fine for a talking-head type situation, but if your ambitions are greater then you’re going to have to look at more advanced options.

As a business you might want to broadcast something a little more akin to a real TV broadcast.  This could include nice lighting, proper audio, autocue and possibly multi-camera coverage of your event. This is where you’ll need the services of a company such as Video Artisan.  You’ll also need some additional hardware to connect the output from a video camera or mixer and spit this out to Facebook.

How to Facebook Live – Advanced

For a single-camera broadcast our JVC cameras have the ability to send their output to the Internet through a WIFI, 3/4G or LAN dongle. They also enable us to assign the required values that will let Facebook see the camera’s output and broadcast it.

These settings are accessed within your Facebook business page. Within ‘Publishing Tools’ you’ll find ‘Video Library’ and the facility to set up a ‘Live’ event. This is where you give Facebook your camera’s location details as well as setting up other parameters to help you reach your audience. Our initial testing here at Video Artisan resulted in this little masterpiece – click here.

Another box of tricks is needed for multi-camera events.  This mixes the camera feeds and then encodes the signal into something Facebook-friendly. Using this configuration, the only limits to your Facebook Live event are your imagination and your budget!

Let’s go live!

If you’d like to talk about your Facebook broadcasting ambitions, please give us a call now. Before you know it, you could be the very next Facebook Live sensation! Call Kevin Cook on +44 (0) 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com

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