Tag Archives: Essex

Essex gets a bad wrap in my mind. Even though I’m originally from Walthamstow in East London – today I consider myself to be a good and proper Essex’er at heart.  Furthermore I even married one – and she is as far from the archetypal Essex girls we see in the media. You’ll not spot any white stilettos in our house!

Our county is located north-east of London in the south-east of England, and borders several counties. These include Suffolf, Cambridgeshire, Herfordshire – and Kent if you cross the River Thames. We only have one city in Essex – namely Chelmsford.

From our secluded studios just off Clays Lane in Loughton, we offer a boutique video production service to businesses of all sizes.  We have a local tube station, the M25 motorway and Stansted Airport on our doorstep. Therefore our location is perfect for servicing all locations in the UK and overseas.

In addition, we cover corporate event videography, freelance camera operator and video editing services to client producers.  We regularly work with agencies and other video production companies. With various cameras, lenses, camera support systems, lighting and sound recording kit we can cater for most video assignments.

Find your way from within Essex

Please contact us for further advice on our video production and conversions services. kevin@video-artisan.com or call 020 83602 3356

referral marketing film by Video Artisan

Referral Marketing Film case study

Referral marketing film case study – Cimar

Commissioning a referral marketing film is a no-brainer – period!  When looking to buy a new product nothing is more persuasive than a recommendation from a trusted source. Personal endorsements give us confidence – which is why referral marketing film production is on a meteoric rise.

We have recently completed a referral marketing film for Cimar, a very clever and efficient cloud-based medical image exchange system.  The client subject for this film is Chartwell Private Hospital of Leigh-on-Sea, Essex – a specialist facility which provides various medical scanning services to hospitals, GPs and physicians.  Chartwell is prefect subject material for Cimar to use on a referral marketing film as their system has made a very positive change to their working practice and efficiency.  They are exactly the type of new business Cimar are trying to attract.

Tell a story with your Referral Marketing Film

The first tip in creating a referral marketing film is not to concentrate on the nuts and bolts of the product, but rather the customer experience and how it benefits their lives.  Most of all, it must tell a story. It’s an often-overused phrase but with referral marketing it really is about selling the sizzle, not the sausage!  The technical stuff is obviously important but at this stage your goal is to connect with, inspire and motivate your prospect to find out more. In fact, you need to leave them wanting more.

The second tip is to pick the right people – and to keep things as natural and conversational as possible.   A good referral marketing film is just a conversation with a client during which you capture their story and true feelings about your product or service.  If they come across as trying to perform for the camera, or trying to deliver someone else’s words or experiences – it will not be believable.  If this happens your referral marketing film will have the opposite effect.  Your audience will not expect to see a polished performance.  The occasional stutter, um or err is natural.  We do this in everyday conversation – which is what you are trying to capture.

Saying it as it is

It is important that your interviewee/s use their own language and terminology. This will almost certainly be the same language and terminology used by your potential customers. You might well call your widget or feature ‘XYZ’, but if your customers refer to it as ‘ABC’ then that is what other customers will understand.

In addition you should allow plenty of time to record your interviews. Make sure your interviewees do not feel rushed nor pressured.  Allow enough time to take two or three versions of the same statement or answer. Even if you think you’ve got the perfect take, first time. Try phrasing the same question differently.  This will often result in the interviewee giving a slightly different emphasis in their answer.

Icing on your referral marketing film cake

Make sure you film plenty of what are referred to as b-roll or cutaway shots.  These could be general shots of your customer’s premises, the products/services they provide, and shots of them going about their normal activities.  These images are used to cover edits within their replies and to help you tell the story.

To ensure you are covering the key points in the shortest time possible, it is good practice to transcribe the interviews and create a ‘paper edit’.  This should result in your client saying exactly what you want them to say in – in a logical and natural order.  However, this might mean quite drastic cutting and re-ordering of the original interview footage.  This is where that all-important b-roll or cutaway footage is used to cover up jump cuts in the visuals. (watch the Cimar film again and see if you can spot where this has been done)

Your next referral marketing film

Producing a referral marketing film should result in you having an extremely powerful marketing tool for your business.  It’s like having your favourite happy customer with you at every sales meeting extolling your virtues.  Hosting this video on your website will mean they’ll be doing it 24/7, 354-days a year.  A great referral marketing film will take the selling out of sales, completely.

Ready to start planning your referral marketing film?  Please give Video Artisan a call today on 020 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com.

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How to create great video marketing content

Great Video Marketing

Once upon a time with Video Marketing

The rapid rise of Video Marketing has been good for Video Artisan – but this also presents its challenges. To create content for a truly-effective video marketing campaign it’s no longer sufficient just to create any old video. The novelty of video has, almost, worn off; the stakes have increased.

You’ve now got to be able to tell an amazing story in order to make your video marketing shine through. Thankfully, there’s an amazing story within any business or marketing task. Video Artisan’s role is to help you find it, wrap it in video and tell it.

A video marketing story worth telling

Quite often, finding the story is the biggest part of our challenge. But every now and then a commission comes through where there’s a really good story to tell and a client who knows that a video marketing film is the best way to tell it. The Chris Fletcher ‘Stretcher’ commission was an excellent example.

The purpose of this marketing video is to tell the story of former Royal Marine, Chris Fletcher – and how this Afghan/Iraq conflict veteran came about inventing an in-uniform stretcher system to help speed up casualty extraction and save lives. Its potential audience is wide and varied – and hopefully the film carries enough interest to captivate anyone. This includes those who are never likely to need to be extracted from a battle zone. Whilst the roots of the system are in the military field, it could be just as beneficial to those involved in any kind of rescue or emergency service.

But more importantly this marketing video’s role is to help Chris, and his investor, Jon Hunter, to tell a consistent and compelling story when presenting the system to those who are likely to adopt it.  This could be during a formal presentation or simply shared online.

A timely story

One of the challenges, especially for online video, is to compact your video marketing story into the shortest possible time. But sometimes you need to break through that magic 120-second time limit (the maximum duration Google advise for video marketing). At 5 ½ minutes the film is probably too long to be called an ‘Elevator Pitch’.  It’s actually better described as a ‘Pilot’. It sets the scene and tells their story so far, but there’s much more to come from Chris and Jon and they plan to use video marketing to tell the ongoing story too. Keep an eye on it!

The cover price of Video Marketing

Video marketing needn’t be an expensive option. This film took just four days to produce – including setting up a very basic website for the video to sit on. You’ll be able to workout the rough costs for this kind of commission by looking at our Rate Card.

If you’re ready to tell your video marketing story now – please get it touch for a no-obligation consultation and discover how little you might need to invest. Call +44 (0) 20 3602 3356 or email kevin@video-artisan.com

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Video Production Services Showreel

Video Production Services Showreel Title
Watch our latest Video Production Services Showreel

And, relax!  Having just got to the end of a very busy run I’ve finally had time to put together a short video production services showreel – and to write another blog! To be honest, I even surprised myself with the range of video production works we’ve completed in recent years.

It is very rare that we get two jobs exactly the same – so when a client says, “Could you show me something similar you’ve done to what we are looking for?”, it can be quite a challenge to demonstrate this in a video production services showreel.  However, we feel that it is much more important to be able to demonstrate that we understand what our clients are trying to achieve – and to be able to offer creative solutions that enable us to exceed their expectations.

Video Artisan – a ‘can-do’ company

So far we’ve never had to say no when a client has asked, “Can you do XYZ?”.  Apart from our own in-house resources and expertise we have an extensive range of industry contacts and specialists who we can call upon to deliver any video-related product or service for our clients.  This also means we can cope with multiple assignments at the same time – yet still manage the process and output to ensure every client receives the level of service they’ve come to expect from Video Artisan.  No project is too big – and nothing is considered too small.

We’re about to head into another busy spell – with the production of training films for a major US-based manufacturer starting in a couple of weeks.  Filming will be carried out in Essex for this, but we’ll also be heading overseas shortly after for assignments in Canada, France and Italy.  I’ll keep you posted on these.

How to feature on our next Video Production Services Showreel

I hope you enjoy our video production services showreel.  If you are looking for a different kind of video production service that’s not featured – please ask as we’d love to be able to add it to our next video production services showreel.

For more information on our corporate video services click here – or call us on +44 (0)20 3602 3356.

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Video to MP4 in Loughton Essex

Video to MP4

Video to MP4

Video to MP4 is on the up!  Just a few years ago we were almost exclusively converting VHS, VHS-C, 8mm and DV tapes to DVD. That’s still a significant part of what we do, and DVDs are going to be with us for many years to come, but our customers are starting to appreciate the convenience and benefits of having their videotape collection converted to MP4 files and supplied on USB stick.

So what is driving the change of video to MP4?

USBs are the "now" format!
USBs are the “now” format!

Our Video to MP4 conversion has many benefits over and above conversion to DVD. Without getting too geeky, MP4 (which is a digital video file format) has the potential of displaying much higher resolution images. However, this aspect is really only important if you have high definition videotapes that need converting. As with most things in life, you get out what you put in – so your never going to get high definition video from a VHS tape original. Sorry, but that’s a fact.

Where MP4 is extremely clever is that it compresses video more intelligently than the compression format used on a standard DVD (which, for the geeks among you, is MPEG2). Without any appreciable loss of quality you’ll only get around 2-hrs of standard definition video on a single-sided DVD (which has around 4.7GB of storage capacity). In MP4 format you can compress the video much more efficiently enabling you to get many more minutes into less storage space at a similar quality.

However, as clever as this all sounds the main benefits which our clients really like about our video to MP4 conversion service are:

1 – Easy to view

Most modern TV’s have the ability to playback MP4 files directly from a USB stick. Yes it’s true.. look on the back of your TV set and you’ll see a socket/s which you’ve probably not used before. Pop the USB stick in and select it from the source on your remote and, hey presto, the MP4 video files will play back just the same as they would if played from a DVD. MP4 files will also play back on BluRay players, mobile phones, tablets, media servers and more!  Go on, dare you! See if you’ve got a USB socket on your TV set.

video to MP4 - USB socket
2 – Easy to copy

Whilst it’s easy for us geeky people to copy DVDs, not every customer wants to download ripping programs from dubious sources and fill up their computers with rarely used programs. Just pop the USB stick in your computer and it will appear like any other drive. Drag and drop the MP4 files on to your hard drive and it’s all backed up safely.

3 – Easy to share

Not only can you easily make additional copies on USB sticks (or we can do it for you), but you can also upload your MP4 files to the likes of YouTube and share them with the rest of the world (or at least family and friends). Simply open a YouTube account and start uploading! If you don’t want to share them with any Tom, Dick or Harry use YouTube’s privacy settings to restrict viewing to the audience you want.

4 – Easy to edit

MP4 files are also a doddle to edit. Most computers come with basic video editing software – and for those that don’t there are some neat and very cost effective programs that will allow you to chop out the bad bits, add titles, music and effects that will make your home movies much more enjoyable. Full resolution files can also be supplied (call 020 3602 3356 for details).

5 – Easy to store

Finally, USB sticks take up much less space in our ever-more cluttered lives. They’re certainly much more compact than the videotapes we’ve converted for you.

Costs of converting video to MP4

What our clients like most about our video to MP4 service is that it costs about the same as converting to DVD. For details on our pricing structure please visit our website section here – www.video-artisan.com/video-to-dvd/

 

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Confidential Video Production Service

Confidential Video Production Service
Video Artisan – for a truly confidential video production service

No, it’s not what you’re thinking! As someone who loves to blog about their latest video production exploits it’s not always possible for me to share with the world what I’ve been up to. The last few months are typical of this. Whilst this can be frustrating at times, it does go to show the expanding areas where video production is finding its perfect application. Let me tell you a little about our confidential video production service.

Really Secret Video Production Work

Top Secret
Security cleared video production specialists

The work I carry out for Crown Media is a more obvious example of a confidential video production service. The privilege of working with the British Armed Forces and NATO on their training exercises obviously comes with obligations of confidentiality. You simply can’t get involved in this level of work unless you are signed up to the Official Secrets Act and have obtained NATO Secret Clearance. It’s not exactly James Bond stuff but needless to say that what goes on on a Crown Media assignment, stays on a Crown Media assignment.  But providing a confidential video production service is not all cloak and dagger stuff.

Not for Public Consumption

Client confidentiality and restricted distribution of my video production works creeps in to many other areas business-to-business communications these days. For instance, I’ve been involved in many team building events in the past year and the vast majority of these never get publicly aired – and for good reason. These events are sometimes all about employees letting their hair down and revealing their inner-self to their colleagues; a very important process of team building which fosters trust and helps people work as a team towards a common goal. Breaking down barriers and connecting division within a business helps everyone understand and appreciate each other, and the video production process is an excellent example where different roles, skills and talents come together to form the final product. It’s also normally a whole lot of fun too!

Other confidential video production assignments which are never destined for public screening include internal communications material. Whilst these can sometimes creep out of their intended audience circle (not by me I hasten to add), they are generally produced just for the eyes of those who need to know. This includes staff training films, financial reporting, top-down management policy messaging or motivational content on general or specific initiatives. Whilst these might not be truly confidential video production assignments, there will be occasions where they contain information or techniques which my clients do not want to share with their competitors.

confidential video production service
Keeping it under our hat!

Commercially Sensitive Video Production

There are also video production projects which are confidential for a given time. When launching new products or services businesses will normally want to have a full arsenal of marketing assets available to them on launch. With video content playing such an important role in marketing these days businesses need to work with a video production company who appreciates this and is will to sign (and act according to) NDAs (Non Disclosure Agreements). Providing a video production service in these situations will mean being privy to all sorts of information which the client does not want released until the right moment in time – and sometimes information which they never want released at all!

Uncredited Video Production

My freelance work for other video production companies often ends up being uncredited too. This might not be a truly confidential video production service but it does have elements of confidentiality. Unlike some others I have no problem with this as long as I’m duly rewarded in financial terms. I’m sure I would be a bit miffed if someone was claiming my work to be theirs but, thankfully, that’s not happened to me. Being part of a team will often result in no individual recognition or bragging rights, but the fun and rewards of working on a collaborative effort far outweigh this.

Trust us with your confidential video production needs

So, mum’s the word. If it’s to be kept under wraps then we are the people to trust with your next confidential video production project – and we’re ready to work under any reasonable and achievable conditions you want to impose on us. Based in Loughton, Essex – we are within easy travelling distance of Central London and regularly travel throughout the UK, Europe and happy to take on assignments worldwide. Call 020 3602 3356.

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