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Archive for November, 2011

Professional Speaker Demo Videos Tips

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

11077487943_fe5a3851df_nWhen you’re a professional speaker, your demo video is one of the most important marketing tools—second only to your website. Any successful professional speaker today on the speaking circuit has a well produced, effective speaker demo video. But, what makes a great speaker demo video?

Grab the viewer’s attention quickly by keeping in mind who will be viewing your demo video. Corporate decision makers move through demo videos quickly and want to be drawn into your video immediately or they move on to the next candidate. Your demo video could qualify or disqualify, so make it like a movie—tell a story and engage the viewer immediately.

Your video has to describe your expertise, credentials and experience using voice over to explain why you are the right candidate for your topic message.

The following professional speaker demo video tips will help save you money and understand the video production process.

Be careful not to over state in a voice over your message. It is more appropriate to show instead of tell when it comes to your message. Whenever possible, include video clips of your message and include stories. There are always exceptions however: try to keep your clips to 3-4 minutes each so the viewer can feel as though they were in the room.

If you interact with the audience, show it in the demo. If you bring the audience on the stage, show it in your demo. If you are funny, add humor clips; if you are not funny, don’t try to be funny.

Try to use more than one digital video keynote presentation. If you only have one that looks and sounds good, than use one. In the past I told professional speakers to use as many stages as possible, but the market has changed and almost all viewers look for quality. Make sure you qualify the video recording company before you hire then to record your presentation.

When deciding to video record your keynote presentation, choose events that have nicely lit and decorated stages whenever possible. Of course, high quality footage with a basic stage is better than low quality or no video at all.

If you can afford it, use two or even three camera angles. The third camera could be locked down and have no camera operator. In the edit suite, we can edit the third camera to add movement to the demo video clips more so than with one or two cameras. We live in the MTV generation where viewers are used to seeing multiple camera angles. Plus, this switching of cameras in your demo video clips adds energy.

Use the built in camera microphones from camera two and three to capture the audience reaction and mix audio accordingly in the edit. It’s great when the viewer has the full sound perspective as if they are right in the same room

The speaking industry is experiencing a major transformation. It is more important than ever to make sure your demo video is the best it can be so you get more bookings. Your financial investment in your demo video is more important today than ever!

photo credit: Chrystia Freeland and Linda McQuaig Toronto Centre Byelection Debates via photopin (license)

New Elvis Presley Song “Living to Love You” Follow up: Just the Facts

Monday, November 28th, 2011

file0001254508928Three weeks ago WWMT TV Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek called to ask if they could hire me as an audio forensic expert and conduct a voice identification on a song thought to be recorded by Elvis Presley. The following day they were at our studio with three versions of the song “Living to Love You”. I did complete voice identification and concluded that it was Elvis Aaron Presley singing the vocals.

Although the song was an odd song for Elvis to sing, RCA records has finally confirmed this week that the song was recorded in the RCA studios in Nashville Tennessee. The story on WWMT TV was correct at the moment. The interview I did on WXYZ TV had some false information because they did not do their homework as well as WWMT did. I take partial responsibility.

Monday of last week I was on the Mitch Albom Show WJR 760 am here in Detroit. I called Violet Hinton, the attorney handling the sale of the song for the family, and got the new facts.

Here is my interview with Mitch Albom:

 

Here are the recently released facts:
• The song is called ‘Living to Love You.’
• It was written by Jimmy Crane in 1965. Crane also wrote other songs for Elvis.
(The song was written for the film ‘Harum Scarum,’ however, it did not fit in with other tracks for the movie, so the song was dropped. Also written for the film was ‘Harem Holiday,’ which Jimmy Crane collaborated on with Peter Andreoli and Vince Poncia, Jr.)
• The song was recorded in the RCA Studio of Nashville, Tennessee in February of 1965.
• The pianist playing on the song was either Tiny Brooks or Floyd Cramer.
• Years later, in 1976, Jimmy Crane was conversing with Albert Lee regarding to the song. They agreed upon releasing the song, and Crane went to pursue getting the copyright back from RCA. This proved to be difficult, due to RCA not having a record of the song as it was omitted from the Harum Scarum soundtrack. However, Crane did succeed in acquiring the copyright in the end. However, the song was not released at that time.
• The contract regarding the song was signed that year, in 1976, by Albert Lee, his wife Delores Lee, and Jimmy Crane. The second contract was signed in 2009 and it extended the agreement between the three parties.
• Jimmy Lee became ill and passed away. Albert Lee, the producer of the song, decided that he wanted the song to get out, however, his studio was broken into and a lot of equipment was stolen. As a result, his wife moved what remained to their attic. Here the ‘Living to Love You’ track would remain for several years. Albert Lee passed away at age 93.
• The items pertaining to the song: the actual tape (which was created in 1968) and the signed contracts will all be auctioned off at Christie’s.
• The lawyer handling the sale is Violet Hinton (269-986-2368).

Subscribe to this blog because we hope to post a portion of the song “Living to Love You” in a few days.

New Elvis Song Discovered

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

SAMSON TXM20 1000w POWERED MIXER-SLIDERSNearly thirty four years after The King’s death, a new song has been discovered and confirmed forensically to be the king himself, Elvis Presley. Ed Primeau was contacted by Mike Chesney of WWMT TV 3 the CBS affiliate in Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids Michigan to use his voice identification expertise to confirm the song is genuine.

Ed Primeau is president of Primeau Productions, LLC based out of Rochester Hills, Michigan, as well as a well-respected audio and video forensic expert.

The TV crew arrived about 10 am last Tuesday and gave Ed the three versions of the song “Living to Love You” which was written by a deceased Grand Rapids resident and performed by Elvis Presley.  The crew filmed Ed’s forensic investigation and then interviewed him about his conclusion.

Ed’s theory is that while in the Detroit area in 1976, Elvis had an interest in this song whose lyrics made their way to the King prior to his visit.  According to Primeau, “Elvis liked the song and recorded a demo, which is what we have in these recordings.”

The three versions are vocals and piano only and do not sound like an Elvis song, which may be a huge reason why the song was not recorded and released.  Primeau referred the film crew to Gary Graff, an icon rock journalist and Billbord magazine columnist who is a friend of Primeau’s and local Metro Detroit Area resident.  He also confirmed the song to be Elvis himself.  Graff also commented on Primea’s forensic credentials and conclusion in the video interview.

There are three criteria for conducting voice identification, critical listening skills, electronic measurement and visual inspection of the sound wave.  “Living to Love You” was compared to two other Elvis songs recorded around the same time that served as an exemplar of Elvis Presley’s voice.  The vocal tone, vibrato and style of singing is an identical match to Elvis Presley.

Traditionally, a voice identification test includes the forensic expert making an exemplar of the person in questions voice to compare with the recording in question. Since Elvis is dead, Primeau used the two songs the TV crew provided and he agreed on them as exemplars.

Primeau noted the vibrato resonance and style matched Elvis Presley’s.  Primeau went further and downloaded a sample of an Elvis impersonator from the Internet and compared that voice to the recordings in question.  Using digital spectrograph technology, Primeau compared the two known Elvis songs, the three takes of “Living to Love You”, the impersonator and a Neil Diamond song.  The spectrographic readings confirmed Primeau’s opinion and displayed the obvious results for the TV crew.

The significance of this new song by Elvis Presley is that it will stimulate fan interest in existing Elvis material and fetch a generous amount of money at auction, should that ever happen. It has been a long time since the king released any material and his estate Graceland is yet to comment on the discovery.

WXYZ Channel 7 in Detroit also picked up the story about the new Elvis song and interviewed Ed.

How to Record Great Video Footage Every Time

Friday, November 4th, 2011

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In this article, I would like to communicate some tips and techniques to help you get great live speaking footage every time.

Introduction to the producer or director

The first thing you must do is meet your producer or director.  Who is in charge of the video portion of your event? One way to meet this person is to ask your meeting planner for an introduction. Another is to call the facility where you will be speaking and ask them to introduce you.  Either way, meeting the producer or director of your event is the first step in getting great footage.

You want to begin by thanking them for meeting with you.  Tell them you are glad to have their professionalism for your video recording.  Tell them your main purpose speaking to this group is to give their audience the best information and value about your expertise.

Tell them that you understand it is crucial that your wish for a perfect video recording does not interfere with the live audience.

Live Video recording

Assure them that you are comfortable if they have to stop you for an unexpected reason if something should go wrong with the sound or video.  Let them know how important it for you to have footage of this speaking engagement.  Ask them for their suggestions, but remember, they are busy like everyone else.  Don’t talk their ear off.  Rather, earn their respect.  They are like the chief in the kitchen preparing your food.

Keep in mind as professionals, they charge for their services accordingly.  Ask them in advance about any fees associated with you getting a clone of the digital video footage they will be recording.  Ask that they do everything possible to make the footage they record first class.

The Rehearsal

If at all possible, rehearse before you go on either the day of or the night before.  This includes checking the lighting for even, consistent lighting; wireless audio microphone radio frequency drop outs; or interference and equipment functionality.

Test record a 2 or 3 minute section of your presentation and play it back. Listen to the audio through headphones and view from your confidence monitor or viewfinder.  Listen carefully for hums or buzzes.  Absolutely no hums or buzzes should be acceptable.

You will hear room noise and HVAC (heating and cooling) systems.  There is not much you can do about that since it is a hotel or meeting facility and not a sound stage!

About Digital Video Equipment

Most Digital cameras are tapeless.  Format transfer is one of the hardest parts of using your live digital video footage.  Try to get your footage in full quality Quicktime format (.MOV file format).  If there is a charge for that, it’s probably worth it.  Here’s why;

Various manufactures of digital video cameras use their own proprietary encoding.

Production companies like Primeau Productions who will be creating your speaker demo video will need to convert that proprietary footage to use for editing in Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro or Avid.  More than likely, it will be more cost effective for you to have the live production company do the format conversion.

If Primeau Productions does the conversion, we will have to search the Internet, locate the proper converting software and reformat that live digital video in our studio before beginning your demo video editing.  More than likely, it would be better to have the live production company do the conversion since they have done it before and have the process down.  After all, it’s their equipment.

What other Equipment Should You Expect?

(2) 400-600 watt lights minimum. More than likely, you will be on a general session stage with plenty of lighting.  FYI- white light is best for video.  Suggest they not use any color fills unless those colors compliment your skin color.  Sometimes blue or red fill lighting will make you look better on camera.

Is it possible for them to have a back up wireless microphone to use in case your main microphone should fail? Microphone failure is probably the number one reason your video could not turn out.

Audience reaction microphones

 

Our client Steve Rizzo always speaks to the production team before he delivers his presentation to request that audience microphones be strategically placed around the general session room to pick up the audience reaction.

This signal from these microphones should be sent to an isolated channel on the video recording; separate from your main speaking microphone.  That way the post production company or editing team can mix the sound during the editing session.

You can also use the camera microphone to capture audience reaction/applause and assign to the isolated track or use the B camera to record audience reaction (if you have the luxury of a 2 camera recording).

The Room Set Up

Do what you can to make sure the room and stage look good on video.  Sometimes the littlest things will make your video look sloppy. Are there tables that can be moved off the stage to give you more room? Anything you can do or say to keep wait staff and other persons from walking around during your presentation?

If you Hired the Crew to Video Record Your Presentation

 

Recommend a stage direction if you have a choice.  Position it away from kitchen doors and exit signs.  Windows and mirrors could also similarly ruin your shot.   If possible, recommend that they build the room set up from the rear forward. Give as much distance from the wall behind the stage if possible.  It will then be out of focus.  If there is a drape, please make sure your outfit does not blend in with the drape color.

In the back of the room, set up two risers for the main camera;  One riser is for the camera and one for the camera operator.  (Avoid footage that is shaky.) Double this for two cameras.

What does the shot look like in your viewfinder or monitor?

As a video producer, it is my preference to NOT have a center aisle if at all possible.  It adds energy and value to your video footage to see the audience in the shot, even if it is the backs of their heads.  If this is not possible, place the camera to one side or the other in the rear of the room instead of shooting straight up the middle, center aisle.

People are becoming more sensitive to having their group’s faces on camera for your video.  Be considerate and make sure what your clients protocol is not violated.

Take into consideration what the camera shot will look like from each back corner location.  If you choose the back right corner because there is electrical outlets readily available, turn the camera on using your battery to take a quick look at the shot before setting up to stay at that location.  What do you see in the viewfinder?  If there are undesirable exit signs, thermostats or kitchen doors in the shot, move the camera so they are NOT in the shot.  Pipe and drape may be worth the investment if you are not happy with the back ground look.  Beware, black drape sucks out light but looks better than royal blue and maroon.

Types of Camera Shots

Try to arrange your camera “A” shot to have audience presence.  If the stage is too high then have your “A” camera capture you on stage.  Get a variety of slow push in and pull out shots so your entire recorded speech does not look the same. .

Ask your camera operator to shoot as if their camera were live all the time.  You do not have to constantly move in and out…just occasionally.  Medium body shot (waist up) a majority of the time.

It is important that you have movement in the video. If you move around a lot on stage, let the camera operator know.  It’s best to stay with a medium to wide shot if you move around a lot while speaking.  Do not be as concerned with zooming in and out. If you move around a lot on stage, then the camera operator does not have to do a lot of zooming in and out.  Ask them to use their professional judgment.  The fact that you spoke to the camera operator and told them what you are looking for will increase your odds in getting great footage.

Hopefully the room is large enough so the video does not look too compressed and busy.  We know this may be out of your control. However, when you arrive and realize the room is too small, ask if your program can be moved to a larger room.  One out of ten times one is available and we move.  The more room, the better the footage!

If we are shooting more than one camera, we get a variety of interesting shots with camera two.  Some would include larger audience shots; others would be four, three, and two person audience shots.  Make sure nobody in your shots is sleeping, looking bored or picking their nose.  Find the audience members enjoying themselves and get it on tape. When recording audience shots, stay on the shot for a minimum of 15 seconds—stay longer if you anticipate a punch line.  Get as many audience members as possible so all your audience footage does not look the same.

If you are comfortable, get some other shots of you walking on stage, taken on stage from behind you with the audience in front; side angle shots; quick pans to the audience and back; and shots we could use for a montage or transition or edit.  Wide shots from the rear of the room showing the IMAG (image magnification screens) are also desirable.

If your client is video recording one camera and you would like to add another, ask for permission to bring in another camera operator that will record all “B” roll shots as outlined above.

When you hire a second camera operator, ask them to keep their camera in manual iris and focus.  Set the iris once for the stage area and adjust only if necessary.  We do not want video footage that comes in and out of focus constantly throughout the presentation which is what auto focus will do because you are moving around.

Lighting

Although lighting is not as crucial as back in the Beta camera days, but it is still important.

If you are bringing in your own crew, lighting should be done from far room left and right as close to the stage as possible.  Back of the room lighting will cause shadows behind you.  Place your lights extremely wide so that the shadows are out of the shot.

By placing your lights close to the front of the room and wide, the shadows will be far left and right behind the performer.  When you are shooting, these shadows will be out of your shot because you are not shooting extremely wide shots.  Try not to have any shadows in the shot.  If necessary, use back lighting to help accent the performer and remove any shadows.

Place the (2) lights against the walls stage left and right and use sandbags or grip tape so if they are bumped they will not fall over.

Use back light a bit for depth near the back extreme side points of the stage so the lights do not get in the shot.

Amnesty

Please give your live producer or director complete amnesty.  Ask them to help you look your best.  Make sure you don’t have any stray or fly away hair strands before performing.  Women, this is especially important for you. How does your lipstick look?

Men, is your tie straight?

I know this may be uncomfortable but I promise you we will not mind the feedback.  Take one final look in the video monitor before you begin your presentation to make sure you look great.

NO EMPTY SEATS IN THE SHOT!

You are using this footage to produce a promotional or demo video that will get you business.  It is crucial that the footage look exciting and interesting.  PLEASE do all you can to avoid empty seats in any of your video shots.

If we are using two cameras, make sure the second camera (if shooting audience faces) does NOT show empty seats.

Hide all lavaliere wireless microphone wires; make sure to always use fresh batteries.  Please ask the production crew to let you know if something on your person is not right.

If you use a lavaliere microphone, make sure the microphone capsule does not rub against your jacket, tie or scarf.

Photographer Notification

If the group has hired a photographer, please meet with the photographer, introduce yourself, and ask they not get in any of your shots.  Of course you can’t help the flash going off.  In fact, that looks kind of cool in the video.  However, it has to be understood that they stay out of the video by not walking through your shots.

This entire process should not take you more than one hour including a rehearsal. Primeau Productions believes this is time well spent to do everything you can to make sure an excellent opportunity to get great video footage is not missed. All great speaker demo videos begin with great footage.

One final thought; if you hate being photographed, try to convince yourself you like to be photographed.  Based on our professional experience, we have found that if people hate being photographed or video recorded, their footage will probably look bad.  If you embrace the video recording process, smile and love the camera, the audience will love you in the room and at home.

Tips to a Successful Internet Marketing Campaign: How to Produce, Publish and Promote for more Prospects and Profit using Internet and Social Media

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

2987264781_c464fc622a_nAs you begin building your Internet Strategy, it is important to understand some terms that are associated with Internet marketing. First is Internet Marketing—the activity and strategy an organization develops utilizing teaser content on all available networks to help drive traffic to the organization’s purchasable website content.

The second term is Social Media—the online connectivity of friends, fans and followers in numerous online communities engaged in a meaningful exchange of information, thoughts and comments. When it is time for people who have engaged in communicating with you to need your service, they know where to go.

The real purpose of an Internet marketing campaign is to position yourself and your company as thought leaders in your area of expertise or industry. Thought Leadership is the perceived value created by disseminating subject matter expertise across the Internet to position yourself as an expert in your industry. Post industry-specific information and expertise that readers find useful, valuable and beneficial. As a result, these communities will follow you and consider you a “Thought Leader” in your area of expertise.

The basic web components necessary to begin an internet marketing campaign are:

1. Google Gmail or another dedicated email account so your main email account does not get bogged down. By having an email account specifically dedicated to your Internet marketing campaign, you can manage your time and activity better. When you want to work, use your main email account. When you want to market, use this dedicated email account.

2. Facebook, which is competing for the position of being the most used website on the planet. Open a Facebook page for your personal use and a Facebook Fan page for your business activity. Get as many friends, family and followers to like your Facebook fan page as you can. Post updates about your company as they become available.

3. Linked In, the number one business website. Use Linked In groups to network with other business professionals and build relationships.

4. Twitter, which is a great tool to find prospects by creating groups. Market your teaser content to these prospect groups and continue to build thought leadership by sharing teaser content. Drive traffic to your purchasable content. Don’t be self-serving; be a fun tweeter and people will follow your activity.

5. YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world. Upload video content to YouTube and share that content in your blogs and with other YouTube members. Embed video on your website.

6. Thumbtack, a fun website that allows you to earn points by being active. You will gain followers and receive inquiries from prospects looking for what you have to offer.

7. A blog. Blogging is an activity that should be done as often as possible because it also allows you to share your thought leadership content with the world. Plus, blog content shows the search engines that your website is a source for content on your thought leadership activity. Content is king for Internet marketing. Blogs are a great way to share thought leadership content.

8. Article based websites. Disseminate content on Article based websites like Go Articles and Article Base to help grow your brand and Internet presence.

Materials and Information required to begin your Internet marketing campaign:

1. Social media accounts as outlined above. Remember to add your website address in your profiles.

2. Company mission statement, logo, and general information to maintain focus on predetermined strategies and thought leadership. Having this information handy will help you move through building your profiles.

3. A list of all upcoming and past projects and events, which will give you something to talk about when you begin your marketing campaign. Your goal is to share useful information without appearing to be “selly”.

4. A password sheet created in Word or Excel for easily access so you remember how to log into all these accounts.

5. A list of potential cross promotional bloggers. Identify guest bloggers in your communities who can create content for cross promotion purposes. You can be a guest blogger and you can recruit guest bloggers. Reciprocate links to each other’s websites to help build traffic. The more traffic you have, the better your Internet rankings with search engines.

6. Any other information regarding your company’s web presence, expertise and benefits that your friends, fans and followers will be interested to know about your organization.

7. Any information on affiliated businesses/clients (associations) that may be used for cross promotion.

8. Other creative content such as blog articles, videos, pictures, and past newsletters. Remember to subtitle your pictures and video for better search engine results.

The bottom line: if you do not have time to conduct this activity, you have two other options for beginning your Internet marketing campaign. One, you can hire a student to help you with this activity. You are the leader of your campaign so make sure to keep an eye on your campaign as well as continuously create content.

Your other option is to hire a professional company to handle your campaign. Professionals know a lot about other Internet marketing tools such as share buttons and earning your links from other websites. Pros also know how to earn your links from .EDU and .GOV websites which help more with search engines than just .COM links.

If you are overwhelmed, just get started. Like any new business activity, the more you do the better you’ll get at it. Feel free to contact Primeau Productions, LLC with any questions.

photo credit: pervin’ out via photopin (license)

How to LEGALLY Survive in a Down Economy: Personal Economic Restructuring

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

file5801241837386I was listening to AM talk radio while driving to a client the other morning. The news was about nothing but crimes committed out of desperation. For example, a car drove into an ATM at a gas station and shot the operator in the arm at 4am. I started to think about what I would do if I lost my job, my home and my dignity and was motivated to write about my thoughts.

I know this might make some people angry, but if it even helps one person, I am glad. I want to inspire you to begin your own economic restructuring instead of being immobilized by anxiety.

Economic restructuring is happening all over America. Corporate America has succeeded and failed with restructuring. I believe personal economic restructuring is a must for any person or household in order to survive in these very turbulent times.

To make money, we each need to have a job. The higher our education and motivation, the more pay we can earn. If you have lost your job to forces beyond your control, getting mad or committing crimes is not the answer. The real answer is to be optimistic and find another job. Anything is better than nothing at first, even working at Walmart or McDonalds. Why? Because it gets you out of the house and gets you interacting with people.

Temporary jobs also help you combat depression. Human interaction is vital when you get depressed.

My first thought is do not borrow money. Borrowing money only sets you back further because even when you get back on track financially you have the debt to pay back. Plus, borrowing money is only a temporary solution; it will not solve the real problem of finding a job.

Everyone does something better than anyone else, so consider starting a business. I have been self employed since 1984 and cannot imagine any other way to make money. What do you do better than anyone else? Ideas include babysitting and selling art or crafts. (I have seen some amazing artwork from street vendors in New York and even purchased some.)

Join a multi-level marketing (MLM) company to start your own business. Home based businesses are on the rise. Not only do they put money in your pocket, they also help you socialize with your friends and family. Hint: don’t sell stuff you do not like. Three MLM’s I buy from include Sensi, Partilite and Shaklee. Somebody is earning commissions from my purchases.

One new MLM I believe is going to be huge is Thirty One. They sell purses. Not only do they have ladies’ purses and bags, they also have a men’s line.

Another way to make money is to have a garage or estate sale and sell some of you items. Don’t stop there—what items do your friends and neighbors have that you can sell at your sale to earn a commission from? Post your sale on Craig’s List for a stronger turnout.

You could also have a bottle and can drive and collect returnables. In Michigan, we get ten cents for a can or bottle. One hundred cans earn you ten bucks, enough to buy a pack of cigarettes or lunch for three at a fast food restaurant. Collect as many cans and bottles as you can. If you are comfortable, go door to door and announce that you are raising money by conducting a can and bottle drive asking if they would like to contribute.

When times get really hard, get dressed up so you look presentable and visit a local hotel that has room service. Walk the halls and look for room service trays that are in the hall on the floor. I would not stop and eat right there. Bring a bag and put the leftover food in the bag and take home for later consumption. In a city like Las Vegas, there is much food wasted on a daily basis that never finds its way to hungry Americans.

I hope one thing in this unusual blog post sparked an idea or some motivation in you to try something to move you out of worry or depression. The likelihood that somebody is going to call you to offer to help is not so good. You have to do your economic restructuring on your own.

Mark Thompson with Steve Jobs

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

“What I learned from Steve Jobs” by Mark Thompson.
http://bit.ly/rA9wYv

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photo credit: _DSC2263 via photopin (license)

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