Category Archives: Video Artisan


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.

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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 – or call 020 83602 3356


More medical conference filming

I was conference filming for Dilip Patel of Double-Barrelled again at the weekend.  It’s always a pleasure working with Dilip – but I found myself sucked in by the subject matter more than ever this time.

The event was being run by the Merseyside Family Doctors Association at the Lace Conference Centre in Liverpool.  We wasn’t covering the whole event but rather concentrating on capturing a keynote presentation by Prof. George Freeman and Dr. Alison Hill entitled ‘Continuity of Care’.  We were also to film a short interview with them both following their presentation in one of the breakout rooms at the venue – with questions being put to them by the lovely Bryony Wolfendale.  Dilip was also filming other pieces to camera with Bryony to introduce the event and top-n-tail the video.

Conference filming in Liverpool
Working with Dilip and Bryony was a pleasure

As I was only providing a Canon 5D Mkii and tripod (as an emergency back up and to catch some cutaways) it seemed wasteful for me to drive all the way of from Loughton, Essex to Liverpool – so I found myself once again catching an early train from Euston.  I was at Lime Street station by 9:20 and at the venue about 15-mins later.  If it hadn’t been for a little London Underground “experience” first thing it would have been a completely stress-free conference filming experience.  But hey ho – by the time I arrived I was suitably snoozed and ready to capture some great footage.

The main presentation was filmed using two Canon XF105s which were on hire from the ever-so reliable Hireacamera.  Dilip and I had used these super-simple cameras on the Cardiff job earlier this year and their performance then suggested they’d be perfect for this job. This time it was an even simpler set up with each camera recording in isolation and Dilip cutting the footage in post.  There were also two additional cameras recording the action in the main hall – both 5D Mkii’s (mine and Dilip’s).  One was capturing a very wide shot from the back and the other was capturing a shot from behind the speaker looking out to the audience.

Conference Filming at the Family Doctors Association
Conference filming a reverse shot to give Dilip something to help him “cross the line”

The subject matter of the presentation by Prof. George Freeman and Dr. Alison Hill was really about explaining the benefits of, and encouraging GPs to provide, continuity of care to patients.  They also revealed how they are trying to educate government on the benefits of this approach and getting it adopted on a much wider basis.  Whilst continuity of care is achieved through many different techniques and approaches, the issues that I could relate to were that patients like to see the same GP (or at least someone from a small team of GPs) who appears familiar with them and their medical history.  The session outline some simple ways to make patients feel like they are more than just a medical record on a computer – and went on to explain how this approach can benefit patient health, the workload of the GP and the healthcare in general.  It was extremely encouraging to listen in on.

Whilst my mind was firmly on my conference filming brief, it was great to be involved in something that was relatively easy to understand.  More often than not these medical conferences are very specialised and therefore hard to follow.  Sometimes it’s as if they are being delivered in a foreign language!

With the interviews complete, and Bryony’s reverse questions, glances and noddies all in the can, I was back at Lime Street station to catch the 15:48 back down to London Euston.  I was back in Loughton by 18:45 so not much different from a normal day at the office.

Looking forward to the next one Dilip! : )


IOV Award winning film – or is that “films”?

I’m so chuffed at being able to call myself the producer of an award winning film! In fact, I picked up two awards this week and Twitter went #IOVAward mad for a moment!

IOV Award Winning Film - Kev in the studio
Trying not to look too excited about my award winning film news!!!

On the evening of Tuesday 13th November the IOV announced all the winners and runners up in the various categories included in this industry’s leading video production awards programme. A bit like a mini Oscars, the IOV Awards was brought about to showcase and reward the industry’s leading talents. Each year it attracts entrants from all the main production types – including corporate films, documentaries, music videos, short films and wedding day films – plus a whole variety of other entries within the Open Category.

As you’ll see from my previous blog I was pleased enough to have been shortlisted in both the Best Open and Best Documentary categories. To me that was my ‘award winning film’ moment. I’d seen the exceptionally high standard of entries I was up against so getting shortlisted was compliment enough for me. Discovering on the night that ‘Supadance – Shoes for Dance’ had been picked as the winner of the Open Category – and then find that ‘Bees & Wasps’ had achieved 2nd place in the Best Documentary – you can imagine I was stunned, ecstatic and bursting with pride. Yes – Video Artisan is now an award winning film company!!!

Supadance – Shoes for Dance

Winner of the ‘Best Open’ Category – Please click the title above to watch the film
I’m so grateful to Supadance for commissioning me to make this ‘award winning film’ (and the other three films I produced for them since). Without clients like them it would be impossible for filmmakers to practice their craft. There were some exceptional films entered in this category so I am more than proud that this was recognised as being the best.

IOV Award Winning Film - Best Open 2012
Left – IOV Awards Presenter, Philip Hilton – Right – IOV Executive Member, John De Rienzo

Bees & Wasps 

2nd Place in ‘Best Documentary’  – Please click the title above to watch the film
As a hobby beekeeper I’ve been longing to make some short documentaries about honeybees and beekeeping. This was one of the first ones I’ve attempted and to gain second place is just amazing – maybe not actually an award winning film, but one that I’m particularly proud of anyhow. Hat’s off to category winner Anna McPherson. I’m looking forward to watching her entry so I can beat her next time. : )

IOV Award Winning Film - Best Documentary
Left – IOV Awards Presenter, Philip Hilton – Right – IOV Executive Member, Steven Abrams

The making of an award winning film – tech notes

Both of these films were shot on my Canon 550D running Magic Lantern (loving it – though also loving my 5DMkii even more). Lenses – Canon EF 24-105mm f4, Canon Nifty-50mm cheapo f1.8 and Tokina 11-16mm F2.8. Edited on Edius 4.6.  Music by AKM Music


Google AdWords for Video by Video Artisan

They do say that you should put your money where your mouth is – so this week I’ve been doing just that and created a couple of Video Artisan video commercials to use on our Google AdWords for Video campaign.

The original Google Ads took off like a rocket when they were first launched and still attract an enormous amount of revenue for Google.  Why??? – Because they work – simples!  Google is mankind’s chosen way to search the Internet so what better place to invest a sizeable chunk of your marketing spend?  People don’t say, “Look for it on the Internet with a Search Engine”  They simply say, “Google it!”

Well… Google advertising is now so much more appealing with the introduction of Google AdWords for video.  Video is much, much more engaging than standard text ads, static banners or even animated banners.  With a video ad you can make them laugh, cry, inform and educate them and more effectively motivate your audience in the direction your want them to go.  Combine this with the ability to target and serve your video content to specific socio-economic, geographic, gender, age and interest groups and this is surely the best marketing tool to be introduced since the Internet itself.

You can define budgets with click-rates and daily-spend levels, easily pause and schedule campaigns, embed and edit directed links – and combined with Google Analytics and you’ve got something which is totally traceable and accountable – which will keep those bean-counters happy too! : )

Google AdWords for video
See what Google AdWords for video is all about (image copyright of Google)

Video Artisan and Google AdWords for video

Google AdWords for video is also pretty good news for us here at Video Artisan.  We are helping our clients to create compelling, well-crafted video commercials and content that will help them profit from this marketing activity.  We also help with working through the often confusing set-up on YouTube and Google to ensure their video content is linked up properly and working in conjunction with their social networking efforts.

Whilst we have purely selfish reasons for creating our own video commercials and set up a Google AdWords for Video campaign – the other reason for doing so is to allow us to demonstrate just how simple these video commercials can be.

Here’s a little background on the two video commercials we created this week…

Video Artisan Promo Video

With an ever-widening body of work under our belt since our launch in February this year I thought it was time to showcase the range of productions we’ve produced and worked on.  It doesn’t include everything we’ve done but it does hopefully, in a little over 60-seconds, give the viewer an understanding of what Video Artisan can deliver.

Video to DVD Commercial

We seem to be doing more and more videotape and digital video conversions and copying here these days – much of which is made up of VHS to DVD conversions.  We don’t profess to be the cheapest but we do offer businesses and members of the public a quality service topped off with a bit of traditional customer care.  We aim to be a company that customers enjoy doing business with.  This 21-second teaser is meant to represent the state of mind of most of our customers who find themselves with VHS tapes everywhere and nothing to play them back on. (Contact us to find our just how cost-effective this type of video commercial would be to produce!!!)

Get moving with your Google AdWords for video campaign

Video content is and always will be king – and it’s the first thing that you are going to need in place to start tapping into this fantastic marketing resource.  You may already have suitable video content so it could be just a case of getting it properly and smartly converted for YouTube delivery – which is something we are happy to do for you at our Loughton studios (just on the edge of Essex and East London).

We can also take your existing content and edit it into perfect shape for Google AdWords for Video.  Or better still let us create some completely new, original and engaging video content for you. Our script-to-screen service is not going to cost as much as you might think!

Contact us today for more information on how we can help you to start capitalising from Google AdWords for Video.


Event Videography at the Same Sex Open

There’s one thing for sure, when you provide event videography and other video production services no two days are ever the same!  One minute I’m hanging off the Clifton Suspension Bridge – the next I’m freelance filming at medical conventions or nosing around a visual communications company.  Variety is truly the spice of life!

Having produced three films for Supadance already (and about to film another at the beginning of December) the call from their Chairman, Barry Free, about filming the Same Sex Open at the Spanish Hall in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool on 27th October was completely out of the blue.  The call was totally unexpected but very welcome – and it turned out to be an amazing event, organised and attended by some wonderful people – and some quite brilliant dancing.

Event Videography at the Same Sex Open
Top notch dancing at the Same Sex Open in Blackpool

This was the first ever same sex open ballroom and latin dance competition in the UK.  It was presented by Richardz Dance Promotions in association with Sören and Bradley Stauffer-Kruse (AKA ‘The Sugar Dandies’ – famous for their appearance on Britain’s Got Talent), and with the support of Marketing Blackpool.

As a United Kingdom Same Sex Dance Council (UKSSDC) sanctioned event, the Same Sex Open in Blackpool followed the UKSSDC Competition Rules.  Whilst some might assume that “same sex” means gay and lesbian (I too thought that before my enlightenment), it is actually open to dance couple regardless of their sexual orientation.  Whilst originating from within the gay and lesbian community, it’s aim is to provide an open dance competition of the highest standard that is totally inclusive.

Event videography in the Spanish Hall at Winter Gardens
The fabulous Spanish Hall at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool

With such a short lead time there wasn’t a great deal of discussion about brief for the film, which I guess is a compliment as Supadance obviously trust me to come up with something that’s going to promote their interests.  Basically I was left to organise the shoot with Sören and Bradley who were fantastic to work with and obviously brilliant event organisers.  And as you’ll remember from Britain’s Got Talent – they’re exceptional dancers too!

Sugar Dandies with Barry Free of Supadance
Barry Free and the Sugar Dandies

Event Videography – the 2012 Same Sex Open

This short film will give you an insight into the event and includes an interview with Supadance Chairman, Barry Free about his company’s support of this new sphere of competitive dance.  For the techies out there it was shot on a Canon 5DMkii using Canon EF 24-105mm 1:4 USM lens and edited on Edius 4.6. It was shot in a day and edited in two. Enjoy!

My thanks go to everyone involved in the event and Supadance for funding the production of the film.  I’d also like to thank Martin Baker who acted as my assistant on the day.


Freelance writing…. me?

Ever since moving on from my role as editor of the IOV’s Focus magazine I’ve continued to make a fair proportion of my living from freelance writing services. Only this week I’ve had an article published in the new RedShark online magazine on the rising opportunities in video production.

Freelance writer for RedShark online magazine
Sweet Spot – a short article on the opportunities within video production

I’m in no way holding myself up as some kind of modern day Shakespeare – or indeed someone who knows all the finite rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling – but I do like to think I can communicate on subjects that I have some knowledge of or an opinion about.  I also think I can ingest new information and spit it back out on the page in an understandable format which the layman can understand.

I’ll not share the silly sod’s name, but my old English teacher would be dumbfounded to discover that one of his most disappointing pupils makes even part of his living through the written word.  He got so despondent with me in the end that his advice was that it wasn’t worth me taking my GSCE English exam. Oh well – you can’t be right all of the time sir!

35-years on and the freelance writing opportunities still keep coming in.  Today I’ve submitted a short piece for DVuser magazine who have asked me to be the guest editor on their next edition.  I’ve also been submitting content and photography for Focus magazine since my departure which has found favour with its new editor – albeit that this was on an old-times-sake voluntary basis.

Freelance writing for Focus magazine
Reviews and Articles for the IOV’s Focus Magazine

My penning talents are not just limited to reviews and articles though.  Where I think I shine best is on freelance writing commissions for video scripts, website copy, brochure content and other promotional literature.  It doesn’t have to be connected to video either as in recent months I’ve found myself writing on a hugely diverse range of subjects – including abseiling, ballroom dancing and beekeeping.

Go on – try me out on your next freelance writing challenge and see if I can give you some words of wisdom.