We took a quick trip to Maine last week to escape the Florida heat for a few days. It was the Last of the 50 United States for me to visit. I’ve been to all of them now even though a few states were just drive throughs, but that counts doesn’t it?
Here is a 4-minute video production of our trip shot entirely with my iPhone and a GoPro.
I seem to always shoot video now instead of still photos. In my opinion still photographs need to be captured in high quality and viewed on large screens or in prints. That way the viewer can study and fully appreciate the slice of time that the photographer has chosen to capture. Crafting still photos is a similar yet different skill than filming and editing a video. Video can be watched quickly and enjoyed on phones and pads, providing the video tells a story and the individual scenes have interesting content. Home videos of long unedited scenes can be painful to endure… we all have been subjected to these home movies and wedding videos that drag on and on and on… I know this 4-minute travel video is just my own “home movie” but curiously it contains some of the same production elements that I use when making videos for my clients.
At 2 Minute Films we tell our client’s stories with audio dialog and well-crafted visual scenes. Usually we film an interview with the president of the company or a spokesperson. Then we film scenes that are directly associated with the story being told or other general visuals called “B-Roll”. The ratio of story information to visuals can vary wildly from 90% story – 10% visuals or 10% story – 90% visuals. In the case of my home video it’s 95% B-Roll and only 5% story. The only story being presented is a few words on screen; 4 Day Getaway, Maine, Portland, Rockland, Pie for breakfast, Vinalhaven, and a handful of audio words; “ice cream, nice to be cold, eat/shop”. The rest of the video is scenes that I grabbed when it was convenient (remember I was on vacation).
The video clips in this home movie also contain tiny bits of information; one windshield wiper swipe indicates rain even though the scene is too short to see rain, mussed hair while sipping coffee indicates morning, Sherri making a face at me in the car tells you I made another stupid husband comment, etc.
I intentionally edited this home move to be about 3-4 minute long. I chose the music first and then marked the timeline to the beat of the music and cut the scenes to blend with the music. Music is the lubrication of many films and videos. A film or commercial without music can be rather dry to watch. Trivia note: The TV series “The Wire” used music only when it emanated within the scene like a jukebox or car radio. This places an emphasis on the dialog.
Many of the 30 second commercials we see on tv are finely crafted short films that tell elaborate stories and show exquisite emotional moments even though each scene may only last a fraction of a second. Generally, at 2 Minute Films, we pace our client videos to show each scene an average of 3 seconds. This pacing varies of course due to the type of business we are working for and the target audience. My home video is a bit quicker and I used a bunch of time lapses to further compress time and make it fun. Time lapses are fun… I don’t know why, they just are! Thanks, Bill
Stop Making These Three Excuses for Not Creating Videos
You’ve heard all the stats.
Over 88 million people watch an online video on a given day.
Online video is currently 40% of consumer Internet traffic.
YouTube remains the world’s second-largest search engine.
So, are you putting video marketing to work for your organization?
I suspect people avoid creating videos because of one of three reasons:
You hate being on camera.
You don’t have the budget to shoot high-end video.
You can’t imagine what you know or do that would make an interesting video.
None of those excuses is acceptable. Let’s dig into them and find solutions that will get your first video uploaded in no time.
I Hate Being on Camera
It’s a rare person that likes the way he or she looks in photos or on video. So, people avoid it like the plague.
The good news about our Sarasota video production is that we have plenty of options in terms of style and content delivery that can bypass putting you on camera.
Remember: The purpose of an online video is to share your knowledge, expertise, or product’s usefulness. Videos should be less than 2 minutes long, actually the shorter the better.
The even better news is that no matter how beautiful you are, the talking head style of video is typically pretty flat. Using other visuals will enhance the viewer’s experience and increase the likelihood of your video being shared with others.
I Don’t Have the Budget to Shoot High-End Video
Our video production company uses a small crew approach. Corporate video production isn’t about the cameras, it’s about you and your story. For example, the video that is on your home page and introduces your concept, product, or service to your web visitors deserves to be professionally produced for maximum impact. But that doesn’t mean it will cost a fortune. It’s about content as well as presentation. In fact, if it’s a little raw, it feels more authentic and personal.
I Don’t Have Anything of Interest or Value to Put on Video
In many cases, good online video is a snack-sized sample of what you do every day. Odds are you have plenty of content already created that could be converted into some valuable videos. Think of the top five questions you get asked by clients. Each one of them (with your corresponding answer) could be a :30-:45 second video.
Have you put together a presentation lately? Break it down into 3 or 4 bullet points that could be combined into a video. Or make those points stand alone in several 15-30 second Facebook shorts.
How about case studies? Those make excellent videos. Or interview your best clients on how you helped their business. Or do a product demo or some customer testimonials (remember, there are ways to shoot those so they don’t have to be on camera either!)
Bottom line. You don’t have any excuse to avoid creating videos. With video being such a prevailing and influential tool on the web, you can’t really afford not to be out there. It’s time to give us a call!
We are a business partner member of the Realtors Association of Sarasota and Manatee counties in Florida. Last Wednesday they held their annual Spring Fling parking lot picnic. As usual I found myself more comfortable behind the cameras than grilling burgers or dishing out baked beans. So I threw together this 90 seconds of smiles and giggles. In addition to our normal video production in Sarasota & Manatee counties we have occasionally done corporate videos of events like this. It’s perfect for a Christmas party or a golf outing. Our fees are based on the time it take to shoot and edit it together. I try to get everybody in attendance included in a scene sometime during the event. Of course as the burgers disappear and the beer keg gets lighter the smiles get bigger and my job task of capturing everyone having fun gets easier. Give me a call if you want to talk about having me produce a corporate event video.
Check out this recent “Video Business Card” we did for Peter Salefsky. He is a Realtor with Michael Saunders & Company in Sarasota, Florida. We featured his recent award from the Realtor’s Association of Sarasota and Manatee Counties. And also his years of experience in the Gulf Coast Florida marketplace, which may have hidden concerns for first time buyers of tropical properties. Peter is always entertaining to be around and he was a joy to work with on this short project.
We recently enjoyed working with Valven Painting, a family run company in Sarasota. Starting with an interview of Victor & Katie we mixed in a little b-roll plus some illustrations to produce a 30 second business introduction and a couple of quick “How To” videos about choosing a painter and picking colors for your own home painting project.
Our vacations in recent years have been just a few days added to an out of town assignment. But our daughter Ashley moved to Maui and this was our first visit to see her there. 12 glorious days in Hawaii. Of course I had to make a home movie of our trip. Most of it was shot with my iPhone and a GoPro but I did take a D800 for the whales, Jaws and some time lapses. So take a coffee break and check it out. Here are the chapter markers if you need to skip ahead;
0:00 We arrive in Kahului and spend our first day in Paia.
1:38 Us trying to surf.
3:20 Pros surfing at JAWS.
5:20 Us snorkeling.
6:52 Sunrise at the summit of Haleakala volcano.
8:54 The road to Hana, Google it.
10:02 Hiking in Hana.
12:31 More scenery in Hana.
14:15 Whale watching on the Teralani 2.
17:03 Bits and Pieces.
Mahalo for watching our vacation film.
We were given the task of producing the introduction video for a new type of medical IV stand. The IVEA made by Firefly Medical is a mobile support system with provisions for attaching bedside devices allowing nurses to effectively ambulate patients immediately after surgery. We provided script writing, casting, practical filming and editing.
Have you noticed how video is popping up everywhere? Even your Facebook newsfeed. You don’t need to click on it, it just starts playing. It’s a product of our ever increasingly connected technology. As the years march by accept these improvements as normal. One day in the not too distant future, still photography on websites will be completely replaced by streaming video.
We have made a recent addition to our menu of services; Video Business Cards. A thumbnail photo on your website or email signature can be linked to a short video introducing you. See the samples posted here;
We shoot these 30 second videos in less than an hour on location and can have them ready for use in 3 days. Prices at $350.00 it’s a great way to get started adding video to your marketing efforts.
The data about online video use is staggering. YouTube reaches 84% of the 85 million daily online video viewers. (comScore) Online video ad revenue will reach nearly $5 billion in 2016, up from $2.8 billion in 2013 (Business Insider). In Q3 2014, smartphone and tablet views made up 30% of all video plays in the quarter, a 20% increase from Q2 (Ooyala). Tablet viewers spend 68% of their time watching videos, exceeding 10 minutes (Ooyala). Half of 18-34 year olds stream Netflix from a smartphone or tablet (comScore).
How do you perceive YouTube? Do you see it as a social network? Maybe a search engine? In case you didn’t know, the #2 search engine in the world is not Bing and it’s not Yahoo. It’s YouTube.
Part of what you do for your business marketing online is trying to increase your digital footprint. You want people to find you. You need to be discovered before people can fall in love with you or your brand.
Still YouTube seems to be underestimated by many both as a search engine and as a social network.
I’m currently involved in a creative graphics project and it’s admittedly a little over my head. As you’d expect when dealing with a new computer program, you need to rely on some type of training/documentation. I’m stuck between a product website which completely fails on educating the user on it’s own program, and another which provides very heavy documentation that is really hard to understand.
Remember that scene from The Matrix when Neo and Trinity are on the roof with a helicopter as their only viable escape. Trinity calls up and says, “Operator, I need a pilot program for a B212 helicopter.” The information is immediately uploaded to her and away they go. It’s kind of like that. (I actually found that quote on YouTube.)
So, I head to YouTube to see if I can find something there and, to my surprise, there are tons of tutorials on how to install, configure and integrate this graphics program. Here are my findings:
Most of these tutorials are from people that had no relationship with the companies other than having used them
I found a guy I can hire to do the work for me, again, no official association
For one of the services, I found a way to avoid all this work by installing a simple third-party plugin
For the other, I found a competitor that might even be a better solution
To be honest, I’d rather get this information directly from the company I’m dealing with, but it’s simply not available. And YouTube helped me find the solutions I needed.
The problem, for these companies anyway… is that they’re failing to leverage YouTube to be discovered and possibly generate new business. Of course the fact that they’re failing to educate their existing clientele is an epic mistake, but that’s material for a whole different post.
For others, this is a great opportunity, they get discovered by solving the problem and answering the questions these companies are not. My YouTube search resulted in a guy from outside the company that’s about to get hired and a competitor that I wasn’t even aware of and just became an option.
So here are 11 quick reasons why you need to consider adding video to your online marketing strategy:
Again, YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world. Why aren’t you there?
Not everybody reads blogs, on YouTube you’re tapping into a possible new audience
YouTube videos are shown on Google results
Video is the best next thing to actual face-to-face interaction and it’s much better to humanize your business than written content
People search YouTube to learn about products and services more than any other social network
Video is easier to communicate and educate your prospects and existing clients around your products
Video is easier to consume than written content
Many of your competitors have no presence on YouTube, but they do on Facebook and Twitter
The opportunities to produce great video quality are reachable to any size budget (even your iPhone can be enough)
Videos, specially YouTube, are widely viewed on all kinds of screens (PC, mobile, tablet)
YouTube videos are super easy to distribute to other social networks and to embed on websites and blogs
Thanks to our friends at ShortyMedia for this information.
2 Minute Films is committed to bring the best possible level of production to business videos and work with our clients to maximize the results within their budgets. When it comes to creating videos and films, the sky is the limit. You want a Hollywood star talking about the virtues of your company while an internationally known rock band belts out an original song with your company name in the title? We do too. That would be a really great day of filming. But we are also a small company with budgets, so we understand when to pull back on the dreams and start looking for more reasonable solutions.
Our primary service is creating films in the two minute range, just like our company name. For many reasons, including the attention span of the common audience, we feel that videos in between 90 seconds and 2 minutes work the best in introducing your business or products to a new audience. Our writing team will work with you to get all of the details right and to create a clear method to deliver your story, so when the day arrives and the cameras start rolling, our director and crew work through the process as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. And when we arrive at the post-production stage, our editors find the best piece of music to go along with the message, rights cleared and without any possible legal hassle later on. As filmmaking is a collaborative process, we encourage our partners in the process to offer feedback along the way to create the best video for your company.
Do we make longer videos with an even higher production value? Our “higher” services provide a wide range of additional production items and talents. Sometimes, a longer video is needed. We’ve done facility tours, multi-part interviews, promotional pitches and narrative stories that just simply take longer than two minutes to cover all of the bases. When you need a professional delivery to tell your story, we can bring in the right actor or spokesperson from our network of local talent. Need “extras” to fill your store, we can do that too. Want rain in a scene, or transform an empty house into a showcase or that fancy helicopter shot you saw at the movies? We like to dream big too. We can help bring these production items (and many more) to the project with an honest & professional process, so we can make informed choices and make sure the budget doesn’t grow beyond your limits.
But wait! What happens if you are working on a limited budget and don’t need more than a short video, but still want a professional looking project for your website or Facebook page? 2 Minute Films also offers an economy service that doesn’t exceed your budget and offers an even fast turn-around time. Using the same professional staff that works on larger projects, we can use your photography & videos to put together a short video under 45 seconds that still gets your story out to a potential audience. We can even schedule a videographer to come out to your location to shoot a short interview and a few scenes around your store or office. The economy service offers a great professional-looking entry point into a video presentation on the internet.
Three levels of service…. Primary, Higher & Economy. From letting your imagination run wild to making a budget-wise investment into business videos, 2 Minute Films is your choice in Florida video production companies.