The Video Experience: Part Two – Three Phases of Video Production

September 30th, 2014

lightbulbWhere do you start when creating a video? First and foremost, you’ll need something to talk about in your video.  In the last post, part one of this blog series, it was discussed that in order for your content to really stand out amongst the competition you’ll need to share something your business does better than anyone else. We believe every company does something better than their competitors. You have to identify what that is with your company. This will help your professional video production company create a successful video for you.

Write down all your ideas on a sheet of paper. There is something about the power of pen and paper that really helps the creative process.

Next, is there anyone on your team who has some acting background and would make a great spokesperson? We know from experience that people buy people. That is why you see companies like American Express with Tommy Lee Jones acting in their television commercials. If you decide to create what is called a ‘talking head’ video, you will need an on-camera spokesperson.

Years ago we consulted with a local Metro Detroit area window replacement company and advised retaining a local celebrity as its spokesperson. That person is still the face of that company and all their marketing and advertising video, which is growing every year.

Three Phases of Video Production

Pre-Production is the process of planning every step of your video production and beginning to think about your video marketing campaign. With the assistance of your professional video production company, begin by collaborating on a concept or creative design for your video and a strategy for the video marketing campaign.

The beginning portion of this blog post touched on some pre-production steps and activity to take when beginning your video production process. Conception and creativity are the focus of the pre-production phase of ‘The Video Experience’.

A script and/or storyboard will help you develop your creative design for your video or series of videos.

This aspect of pre-production seems to intimidate some. Time and time again, I have heard people approach storyboarding and scriptwriting with one of the following mindsets:

A. “I’m not a writer! I can’t write a script! Screenwriting takes years of experience I don’t have!”

OR

B. “I can’t draw! I’d never be able to create an accurate storyboard.”

It’s okay! This process is all about throwing creative ideas out on the table. Just because you’re not an experienced writer or an excellent artist doesn’t mean you can’t have creative ideas! A script/storyboard is as simple or as difficult as you perceive it. Try drafting out bullet points for messages you want to convey in your script. Utilize stick figures or basic shapes to convey your message on a storyboard. You don’t have to be an expert writer or visually artistic to accomplish this, you just have to be creative.

The key is to start with a creative core, and expand that idea as far as you can go. If you still don’t feel confident in your abilities, an established production company such as Primeau Productions can assist with making your creative ideas come to life. If you come up with some ideas, a creative team will be able to collaborate with you and get to the message that you’re trying to convey with your campaign.

The production phase is when you record video content for use in your video production. This involves video recording at your location, in studio, or at another location. This is also when you design the look and feel of your images and other graphics. By now you probably know what tools you need for successful video production.

Post-Production: This phase is all about editing, motion graphics, recording any narration or voice overs and mixing music into your video and audio post production. This is the phase where your creativity, content and conception all come together.

So, now that you have an understanding about the three phases of video production, start to think about how these phases apply to your business. Continue to develop your creative muscles and write down all your creative ideas. Give us a call if you have any questions about any aspect of production.

The Video Experience: Part One – Three Ingredients of a Successful Video

September 29th, 2014

The Video ExperienceSo what is ‘The Video Experience’?  It is a passive 24|7 vehicle for your prospects and customers to experience the essence of your business. Video is a tool to help your prospects and customers ‘feel’ your business. I believe feeling helps motivate people more than logic. When businesses can provide a feeling or experience for their prospects and customers, they increase their chances of earning their business. 

Video is one of the most valuable tools for Internet marketing. Thousands of businesses all over the world create video content to represent their company, and with the viral nature of today’s cyberculture, video is the most effective way to generate prospects.

We have noticed over the last 30 years in the video production business that the main reason companies do not create video or implement a video marketing campaign is that they simply don’t know where to begin. They either don’t understand the process or they don’t have a relationship with a professional video production company. They may also lack the creative vision necessary to design a video campaign to position their business online through video.

At Primeau Productions, we take our clients’ video marketing campaigns seriously. We know what it takes to promote your brand through video. We want to share some of that knowledge, because we truly believe in the power of creativity. Learning how to creatively convey your message is the single most important ingredient in a successful video. That is the purpose of this five part blog series: to help you understand where to begin with a video marketing campaign.

From time to time, with the help of my team, I create video of me speaking about some aspect of audio and video production.  I am about to record the second iteration of videos that reinforce our brand we like to call ‘The Three Ps of video marketing,’ Produce, Publish, and Promote. The Three Ps help our clients begin to visualize the video marketing process. At Primeau Productions, we live by these three steps and guide our clients through each one, taking their businesses to heights that basic Internet marketing cannot accomplish.

Where to Begin?

It is a proven fact that video is the most powerful marketing tool available for businesses today. Video is the best method of sharing information about your company.  But how do you get started creating video content and creating a video marketing campaign?

Have you looked around on the Internet to learn what your competitors are doing with video? This can always be a helpful step. We advise our clients to review if or how their competitors are utilizing video before the creative process begins.

We suggest you think about creating video that helps your viewers solve a problem. Try to stay away from video that is self-serving and over the top, bragging about the success of your company. Rather, share useful information that will position your company as an expert in your field.

Three Ingredients in Successful Video

Professional video production companies who possess the three ingredients are worth their weight in gold. They charge accordingly for their services based on three components: creativity, equipment, and talent. The first and most important ingredient is creativity. Creativity is the invaluable ingredient responsible for the success of any video.

I polled my team regarding where they felt creativity came from. Some said that they have to be in a creative ‘mood.’ When you work with a professional production company like Primeau Productions, plan on 30 to 60 days production time to complete your video and marketing strategy. Creativity cannot be rushed.

My creative team also said that location can impact a creative flow. For example, some said that they get ideas in the shower. I suspect many of you reading this can relate. Personally, I believe that one of the controllable ingredients in creativity is to quiet your mind in order to let creative thoughts in.

My team will also use different websites to aid them in their creative process. Stumble Upon or Pinterest are great sites to generate ideas from.

Another comment was that creativity cannot be quantified. Simply put, creativity cannot be measured.

I feel that the following video makes a statement about creativity. It is very motivating and a great example of how creativity ‘works.’ This man started a business and is very creative in his designs and this video.

Ugmonk by Jeff Sheldon from Ugmonk on Vimeo.

The second ingredient of a successful video is modern equipment. Professional video production companies keep their equipment well maintained and up to date. It’s nearly impossible for amateur video content creators to keep up with the trends in video technology, nor for them to have the capital to invest in the equipment necessary to produce professional video.

There are cameras, lighting instruments, green screens, microphones, monitors, headphones, speakers and software programs that must be state-of-the-art in order to produce professional video.

For those that create video with their smart phone – there is no comparison between such a video and a professionally produced video.

Do not use your smart phone to create company video content. It will not help your company at all! What you could use your smart phone for would be client testimonials or brief video clips to use in conjunction with professionally recorded video content.

If you were to buy all the equipment you need to create professional video, then you have to learn how to operate it. Ask yourself this question, “Do we want to make money doing what we do best or do we want to get into the video production business?”

Let’s say you decide to get into the video production business and buy all the right gear to get started. You take the time to learn how to use that gear. What guarantee will you have that you will create a video that builds your fans and followers and eventually prospects? We have learned through 30 years of experience that it’s a good idea to bring in an outside company to help develop your video marketing content rather than do it yourself. An outside professional can identify strengths and benefits about your company that you may overlook.

As for the equipment that you decide to purchase, make sure that it is from a reputable company and that it has features that will benefit your business. Primeau Productions uses Canon DSLR cameras.

DSLR HD video cameras are sleek and portable, making them easy to transport for remote location video recording, as well as quick to set up for in-studio video recording.

Also, the relatively small size of the DSLR camera is much less intimidating to clients who may be a little camera shy. We find that many people confronted with a big camera feel uncomfortable and nervous. The DSLR’s diminutive design can really put your on-camera talent at ease.

However, the camera alone cannot make a shot look great during production. Each shot must be expertly lit using professional lighting instruments. You’ll never know what a modern DSLR camera can really do until you see it used with professional lighting. And lighting means more than illumination; surrounding the subject with bright lights is just as bad as no lighting at all. Key lights, fill lights, soft lights, back lights and spot lights are used to create a mood with light that complements your message and brings out the best features of the subject or products on camera.

An established video production company like Primeau Productions not only has all the equipment necessary to create professional quality video, we will also collaborate with you on a creative design for your video, as well as take you through the three phases of production that we have outlined as Produce, Publish and Promote.

The third ingredient in successful video is talent. Professional video production companies have people on their teams who are very talented. Talent is both learned and developed. Talented people have a passion for their work, and they work hard to build their creative muscles. Talented teams create amazing videos that generate interest and are viewed by a lot of people. Talent is not learned by gaining proficiency with video editing programs. Talent is developed after software programs are mastered. Talent comes from experience.

So where do you begin your video marketing campaign? Begin with a great video production strategy. Think about the ways you can flex your creativity muscles. Also, think about the one thing that differentiates your company from all the other companies considered to be your competitors.

Write down some ideas and then join us for part two of this five part blog series, ‘The Video Experience.’

What Potato Salad Can Teach Us About Viral Marketing

July 15th, 2014

potato-salad-newBy: Brad Finegan

Kickstarter is a great way for startups to raise some quick cash and generate interest in their ideas. It’s a community of believers, where no new idea is too far out. And with the power of that community, any dream can be realized. But, as of last week, it’s been undeniably proven that literally anything can be accomplished with the right community.

Even making potato salad.

Don’t worry – your eyes are fine. You read right: a man put up a Kickstarter page in hopes of raising money to make, (wait for it), potato salad. The Kickstarter page, posted by Denison University grad Zack Brown, had a pledged goal of $10, just enough to buy all of the ingredients to make a good potato salad. Not surprisingly, he accomplished his goal. Surprisingly, the Kickstarter campaign still has 22 days left, and as of right now, he’s made over $44,000.

That’s right, $44,000. Enough to make over 4000 potato salads. Hell, you could probably buy a modest Idaho potato farm with $44,000! Either way, this kid made a lot of money trying to raise funds for something as basic and uninteresting as potato salad.

When I brought the idea of the blog post you’re now reading to Primeau Productions founder Ed Primeau (AKA, my boss), we were baffled. We both knew that there was some sort of lesson here; that this guy had to have some sort of golden key to viral marketing. After a short and mutually confusing discussion about this, Ed told me, “I like it. Go ahead and write it.”

So here I am, writing this blog post, and even now, as I’m sitting comfortably at my desk on this gorgeous day in July, brainstorming about what it is that this miraculous endeavor is trying to teach us, frankly, I’m finding myself at a loss. Maybe it’s a lesson in simplicity in marketing? Maybe the power of dry humor in advertising? Maybe the ability to tap into a clandestine network of … potato salad enthusiasts?

Whatever the lesson, the fact still remains: a guy got over 5,000 people to back his cause to create Potato Salad (something Brown admits he’s never even made before). What’s the secret? At the end of the day, I don’t think he had a secret. There was no extensive marketing scheme, there was no hilarious video to entertain you enough to donate a few bucks, and there was no true initiative at all for anyone to contribute to this, let alone contribute to its own viral tornado.

I think what content creators should really take away from this is: the Internet is a bottomless chasm of mystery and unpredictability. The combined power of the Internet community has done things that the general population wouldn’t have ever imagined, even if that’s contributing almost $50,000 to a hungry college grad trying to make some potato salad.

Companies can use as much data, statistics, and planning as they want to, but the truth of the situation is that viral marketing does not work in a straight line. No one can ever truly predict what will and will not go viral, and we should all just learn to accept that. Once we accept that the Internet is a living, breathing organism with a mind of it’s own, we can understand that anything (even something as simple as potato salad) can become a hit amongst thousands and change the history of the Internet forever.

Some might see the absurdity of this story as discouraging, but I personally find it inspiring. I think something this unanticipated, this inexplicable, proves that any of us have the opportunity to launch a successful viral marketing campaign. But that is not for us to decide. It’s up to the community.

The War Between Your Content and Your Consumers

June 9th, 2014

TV Remote Isolated on White.As a Video Content Creator What Do You Need To Know About Your Consumer’s Viewing Habits?

Until 2007, cable was king. No one was providing entertainment quite like cable did. But something happened that changed all of that and this something has an impact on your company marketing.

The Impact of Netflix on Internet Video Viewing

Netflix changed the way viewers interact with their content.  This didn’t only change how we digest television content, but how we digest any Internet video content. Successful companies know that as video content marketers, they should become aware of these new consumption habits, and learn how to apply them to our own Internet video marketing strategy.

Take for example, the successful network FX. FX has created some very successful shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, American Horror Story, Wilfred and Louie. The programming of that station was a hit, and considering that every program they aired generally went to Netflix and other On Demand services, the network exponentially gained popularity over the past 5 years.

Now, FX is a station that generally comes with your standard cable package. Due to its accessibility and the resulting popularity, FX became one of the only stations left where viewers actually tuned into their shows at the time during which they aired.

Last year, FX announced that some of their programming would migrate to a new station, FXX. Part of the reason for this decision was that their more vulgar programming could be aired with less censoring, but that privilege came with a price. FXX does not come with your basic cable programming. It is extra.

Similar to HBO, consumers would have to pay extra to access this content. Since some of it was too raunchy to be aired on basic cable, they figured that having another network with less censoring would provide FX more opportunities for publicity and programming.

Unfortunately, our digital generation did not like the idea of paying more. Hell, we don’t even want to pay for cable anymore. Since then, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s ratings have dropped substantially. Prior to this change, It’s Always Sunny was one of the highest rated comedies in history, and going in to its 10th season with two more seasons confirmed, the show is on its way to being the longest running comedy in history. So why did the ratings drop so drastically?

Because no one was watching.

No one wants to pay for FXX. As a consumer, this programming is inaccessible because we don’t want to front the extra cash for programming. Though FXX had a great idea, its execution is flawed for this generation. Had FX done this back when HBO went premiere, they may have made millions. The fact of the matter is we don’t want to pay for more TV. We don’t even want to pay for the TV we have.

We’re becoming a part of a culture where we like to binge our media. We don’t want commercials; we don’t want to sit on a cliffhanger until next week. We want to sit and watch a show as if it were a movie; uninterrupted.

This, obviously, can be attributed to all the streaming technology available today. We have the ability to binge watch shows without ads for $7 a month and we want to do that more than anything.

Companies have many lessons to learn from this business model. As content marketers, you have valuable information to share that will help ease your prospect’s pain. Your prospective viewers want to binge consume your valuable information therefore you should make sure your potential viewers are able to do this.

Content is Still King

Companies possess a body of work; information that can be shared through Internet video programming for prospective viewers. Produce multiple videos for content on your company’s YouTube or Vimeo Channels. Create playlists so viewers can easily view the videos in their necessary progression. Keeping a consistent flow of video content will keep prospective viewers watching more frequently.

Along those same lines, content marketers should remember why so many viewers turned to Netflix: it’s cheap. Unless the consumer has some serious incentive to purchase something, they won’t. With Netflix, the incentive is endless streaming media.

For your online content, generally, free is your best price. Allow your prospect viewers to check out your content whenever they want with no restrictions.

Companies need to become content marketers and create video content on a regular basis. As video is becoming the most valuable source of content, companies who market it should always remain aware of their audience’s relationship with your information.  Content is king but consumption is important to opening the door on the sale.

The Video Experience: Body of Work

May 13th, 2014

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been discussing a concept we have coined; ‘The Video Experience.’ Video allows the web visitor an experiential opportunity to get to know you better than just plain text and pictures. Video has emotion and can set a mood that will help your web visitor pick you over your competition.

Video content not only provides a pleasant user experience, it also plays a huge role in defining your organization and the benefits you provide that your competition does not.

The concept of The Video Experience isn’t only expressed by the quality of your content; it is also expressed by the experiential value of the content itself. This applies to all businesses, entertainers, and just about every business you can think of.

So what does your video look like in your mind’s eye? Consider that even though you may not realize it or see it, every business has a talent that makes them unique or different. We call that talent a body of work.

We all have collective experiences from our own lives that are valuable. We all have something to offer and video is the best medium to share that body of work.

For some, it may be methods for plumbing. For others, it may be entertainment or it may be parenting. Everyone has something that makes them shine, and the collective experiences from your body of work have value to others. These experiences can help others save time and accomplish their goals quicker than if they did not have your perspective.

This collective knowledge and experience is known as your “Body of Work.”

Let’s take Primeau Productions client/Keynote Speaker Steve Rizzo for example. Steve was an up-and-coming comedian from Brooklyn for the first part of his career, opening for acts such as Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, and many, many more. As explained in this video, Rizzo decided that after years of bringing humor to peoples’ lives, he wanted to use his skills, talents, and experiences to help people throughout their lives. This is how Steve Rizzo became “A Seriously Funny Guy.” He applied those experiences working in stand-up comedy to help people live healthy, happy, and humorous lives.

Now, Steve Rizzo is presenting to crowds of thousands, aspiring to inspire their lives for the better utilizing his comedy and skills in public speaking from doing comedy.

In the case of Steve Rizzo, he took his knowledge and found a relative medium to help people and created content that others will benefit from in their daily lives.

This is an example of ‘A body of work.’

Everyone’s life path is different, and the experiences you have will always differ from everyone around you. Always play to those strengths. The things that make you shine naturally will resonate the most with people, and the experiences taken from them can provide audiences with a new perspective. If you shine in something that doesn’t directly pertain to your profession, relate it. When thinking about your content, always remember that everything is relative, and everyone can offer a fresh perspective.

The Video Experience: Experiential Product Marketing

May 9th, 2014

vinyl recordsWe’ve been discussing “The Video Experience,” whereas every piece of video content that you market online should create an experience for the viewer and the audience that you’re aiming for. This lesson not only applies to video, but can be applied to product marketing as well.

On Saturday, April 19th, an event was held that has become a holiday for music enthusiasts everywhere: Record Store Day.

Record Store Day is an event that takes place every spring at record shops across the globe. It’s purpose is to celebrate music culture, support local record shops, and, arguably most importantly, the importance of the physical music medium, especially vinyl records.

You might be thinking “Who still buys vinyl records?” The answer might surprise you. Sales on vinyl records are tallied every year during record store day weekend, and vinyl record sales in 2012 were higher than they’ve been in over 20 years. Even in the world of digital music we live in, vinyl records and their collectors have created a culture all their own over the past decade, not only due to collectors’ enthusiasm, but also due to the ever-expanding sampling culture of modern hip-hop and electronic beat music.

The resurgence of vinyl records is confusing to some, but if you take the time to really analyze why vinyl records have become so popular amongst music advocates, you’ll learn that a big portion has to do with experiential marketing.

I’ve been collecting vinyl for about 5 years now, and many ask me why. For me, and potentially many other collectors, purchasing records creates an experience for us.

I’ll set the scene: It’s Tuesday (the industry standard release day for music and other media). The latest record from one of my favorite artists has just been released, and I’m ecstatic to hear the new dynamics that the artist has explored in their most recent work. You’d think that my first action would be to find a digital version, either through iTunes, Amazon, or other digital music manufacturers, since this is the most efficient medium of hearing what I want to hear. For me, I’m thinking about when I can make it to my local record shop and pick up a copy.

Many would argue that this is wasted gas, wasted money on a dead medium, and overall, just worthless. Why would you want a vinyl copy when you can get the files at the click of a mouse? This is where the experiential side of things comes into play.

For me, buying a new record the day it is released is truly an experience.

You drive to your favorite local record shop (for me, UHF Records in Royal Oak!). You dig through the bins to find the new record, and once you find it, there’s a feeling of satisfaction no digital file can ever replicate.

You finish your transaction and anxiously await your return home to experience this new album. You get home, open the packaging, study the artwork and the design, and read through the production credits, lyric books, and any other included paperwork that may be included in the record. Then, you put the record on to hear for the first time.

There’s a special feeling you get when you listen to a brand new record. The full, warm quality of the analog transcription slowly grazed by a fresh needle. It’s a really special experience for music enthusiasts.

This is why vinyl records are still so special to so many people. Having a tangible, full canvas of a favorite record provides a sense of pride and joy that a digital file just can’t provide. This is why, I believe, vinyl records will stand the test of time.

Sure, you can get any album you want by means of digital download. Aside from nit-picky quality differences, the product of the album remains the same. It’s the experience of going to the record store, opening a new record, discovering it’s design and artwork, etc. that leads music enthusiasts to purchasing a physical copy of an album they love, as opposed to just having the files stored away on your computer.

This is a very clear example of experiential marketing. If vinyl records didn’t create the experience they do, everyone would be buying digital music. But the vinyl record industry is continuing to expand and evolve, and that shows how meaningful this medium of marketing a product can be, and how important experience truly is to the world of product marketing.

Explainer Videos: A Fresh Approach to Promoting Your Business

April 25th, 2014

An explainer video is a 2 – 4 minute video that appears on your website. Its purpose is to motivate the viewer to take action, to take the action step of contacting your company for more information. Explainer videos have grown to become extremely popular on the Internet, and industry watchers predict that within a few years more than 50% of all web sites will have one.

The most successful method of motivating a viewer to take action is showing how your company and its offerings are different and better than the competition’s. Your explainer video should set you apart from the competition. After watching it, the viewer will come away with a distinct understanding of your product or service and a feeling about your company. Our job at Primeau Productions is to ensure that both the viewer’s intellectual and emotional responses to your video are overwhelmingly positive. After 30+ years of producing award winning demo, sales, and promotional videos, we can create a professional explainer video for you that works.

While many web designers recommend animated cartoon explainer videos, we don’t. With the tools and skills to produce professional, live action video, we recommend explainer videos that feature real people and real products and services. Cartoon characters may be amusing, but featuring you and your colleagues on camera is more convincing. People are relatable, believable, and persuasive. We make it easy for even the most camera shy to come across well on video, and we strongly encourage the use of customer/client testimonials.

In addition to inviting the participation of our clients in the video making process, we rely on them to help us write the most effective script possible. You know your customers better than anyone. We need your expert advice to help make your video successful. We will work closely with you and your team as we develop the script and story boards for your custom explainer video.

Why make an explainer video at all? The essential information about your product or service can be presented on your website through text and graphics. But for potential clients or customers visiting your site for the first time, explainer videos have been found to work significantly better than even the most imaginative text and graphics. There are three main reasons for this research finding. First, video can compress more information into a shorter period of time than any other medium. Second, video is inherently entertaining; for most people, consuming information through video is an easier and more pleasant experience than through text. Third, those who watch short videos have almost double the long-term information retention rate as those who are exposed to the same message in text form.

Check out one of our latest explainer videos for Filsorb! If you’re considering an explainer video for your business, give us a call for a free consultation. (800) 647-4281

(FINAL) Filsorb XP20, Oil Extraction Press and Oberlin Videos from Primeau Productions on Vimeo.

 

DSLR is Ready for its Close-Up – Overcoming the Intimidation Factor of Large Production Cameras

April 17th, 2014

DSLR interviewBy Lauren Primeau

If you’ve ever been interviewed on camera, it can be a bit nerve wracking to have a large production camera pointed in your face while someone is firing questions at you. Often, interviewees spend more time worrying about how they look or how they are perceived on camera instead of focusing on how to best answer an interviewer’s questions. Regardless of how many times you try to focus on your deep breathing or try to forget about the camera, there is still something intimidating about those bulky production cameras that make it seem like either Big Brother is watching you, or you’re a deer in headlights. If you’ve ever been on camera for one reason or another, maybe you can relate to these scenarios.

We have discovered a solution to help make any individual in front of the camera feel less uneasy and a little bit more comfortable; DSLR cameras.

Any professional in the video production arena knows that DSLRs are the new underdog in the video camera scene. Not only are they more cost effective to purchase, allowing for quicker equipment ROI than most video cameras on the market, but they produce a very soft, cinematic look accompanied by a shallow depth of field that many professional videographers love.

That is not to say that DSLRs are the ‘end all be all’ of video production cameras. After 30 years in the video production business, we know there is new technology right around the corner. DSLR cameras overcome the intimidation factor that often accompanies other video production cameras.

Granted DSLRs are not perfect, as there are drawbacks to the usage of this camera in comparison to your average ‘run and gun’ video production cameras. One enormous bonus to using DSLR over other video production cameras is its relatively compact size which in turn allows interviewees to feel more at ease.

Yes, Primeau Productions uses many different digital video High Definition cameras for our in studio and in field video recordings. We know firsthand what tools to use on each production to achieve the best video production result possible.

The Video Experience: How (and Why) We’ll Remember How I Met Your Mother

April 9th, 2014

How I Met Your MotherAn important factor that many video producers and marketers don’t take into account is the The Video Experience. What do I mean when I say that?

It’s actually quite simple. Think about a piece of video content, whether it’s a film, a television show, or a viral video. What do they all have in common?

They all made you feel something.

For example, think of the recent finale of the hit CBS show, How I Met Your Mother. This past week, after 9 years on the air, creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas finally finished the story of Ted Mosby and his journey to find love in New York City.

Regardless of how you felt about the finale (I’m part of the minority of people who genuinely enjoyed it), the show’s success over the past 9 years is undeniable. Such a long run puts How I Met Your Mother at the top of the rankings, along with such shows such as All In The Family, Seinfeld and Friends, making it one of the most successful television shows of all time.

Now, this show didn’t last 9 years for no reason. There’s a reason that the big finale had an incredible 12.9 million viewers, and there’s a reason it’s still a trending topic of discussion on the Internet over a week later. The reason is this: the show made viewers feel like they were a part of a family. It made viewers feel like they were right there in McClaren’s Pub with their friends every Monday night.

Let’s think about this critically. What was it about this show that made viewers come back every Monday for 9 seasons? What makes any piece of video content this memorable?

First and foremost, the content needs to look professional. Your viewers will notice if something doesn’t feel right about the video, whether it’s poor lighting, soft focus or bad audio. People will notice this right off the bat, and your content will suffer. If you really want your video content to stand out, make sure it looks professional and natural. Make sure you’re utilizing the proper equipment and techniques so you can create a professional product that viewers will enjoy watching.

But all the professional equipment in the world is no substitute for the ingredient that’s most responsible for evoking emotion within the viewer:

Creativity.

Without a strong foundation of creativity, your video content will never be memorable. No viewer is going to be moved by content that is not fresh and innovative.

Creativity is essential to producing successful video content.

Not the creative type? That’s okay, not everyone is, but that doesn’t discount the importance of creativity. Find a creative partner, whether that be a professional creative at a production company, a friend or a family member – as long as you have a creative mind that is willing to work with you, you’ll be able to create video content that’s innovative, unique, and memorable.

These factors are what made How I Met Your Mother such a success over the years. The show runners, along with the phenomenal cast, created a welcoming environment that made us feel like we were part of the fun, while simultaneously presenting unique stories that made viewers laugh, cry, and remember all of the great moments in Ted Mosby’s legend (wait for it…) dary story of how he met the mother of his future children. After it’s all said and done, we’ll always remember How I Met Your Mother for it’s production value, it’s creative storytelling and most importantly, the experience the show took us through.

Whatever your video content happens to be, remember the idea of having an experience through video. Viewers won’t remember your content unless they feel something, and can ultimately take something away from it. This is what The Video Experience is all about.

MORE on The Video Experience coming soon.

3 Tips for Professional Speakers

April 7th, 2014

If you’re a professional speaker, I’ll bet that you’ve had a microphone malfunction while onstage. After 30 years in the audio/video business, I have seen and heard it all when it comes to mic problems. No matter the reason for bad sound, once it happens, your presentation has suffered irreparable damage.

Tip #1–Invest in Your Own Wireless Microphone

If you earn more than $20,000 per year as a speaker, I strongly recommend that you invest $750 – $1,500 on a professional wireless microphone. To my mind, if you’re a professional golfer, you bring your own set of clubs; and if you’re a professional speaker, you bring your own wireless mic. Probably the most popular systems today are those from the German manufacturer Sennheiser.

A wireless microphone system consists of three components, which can be purchased as a package or separately: a wireless transmitter, a wireless receiver, and a microphone that plugs in to the transmitter. At Primeau Productions, we prefer the systems available from Sennheiser and Audio Technica. Shure, Lectrosonics and Sony are other well-known brands. Any professional wireless mic system should include a receiver that features diversity reception. These units incorporate two separate receiving antennas and two independent receiving circuits tuned to the same channel. Signal strength from each antenna/receiver combination is continuously compared, and the strongest is used to feed the public address system.

In choosing a mic, there are a wide variety of models that can be connected to the small, battery-powered, wireless transmitter that is usually worn under a jacket. There are three basic types of microphones used in wireless mic systems: the lavalier (a lapel or clip-on miniature mic), the headset (a miniature mic on an extensible arm, worn on the head or around the ear), and the handheld (a wireless version of the full-size microphones used by TV news reporters in the field). Use the type of microphone that is most comfortable for you. In my personal opinion, handheld mics withstand handling and traveling best, and they offer the highest quality sound.

Tip #2–Get a Professionally Produced Promotional Video

In addition to a wireless mic, all professional speakers must have a professionally produced promotional video. Your video serves as a brief introduction to you, your presentation style and the topics on which you speak. A dynamic, informative and entertaining video is essential for booking high-paying speaking engagements with corporations and groups. In most cases, we can produce your promotional DVD using existing footage, saving you the expense of shooting new video. With professional voice-over artists, production music and motion graphics, Primeau Video Productions will help you making a lasting, positive first impression on event planners and bookers.

Tip #3–Build Your Business

Finally, how do you thank past clients and ask them for referrals? Many of the professional speakers we work with use SendOutCards, a convenient, online greeting card service. Also, ask past clients for feedback and get their opinions with questions such as, “What did you like most about my presentation, and what did you like least?” and “What did you take away from my presentation?” Questions like these will help you fine-tune your presentations, improve audience response, and ultimately, ensure increased bookings.

Similarly, reach out to fellow speakers and solicit their advice. They are usually happy to provide other professionals with honest, constructive criticism, and they are a great source of referrals. In building your business, each of these steps enhances your referability. This is no time to be complacent – satisfied with the same number of engagements as last year. Now is the time to create your future: be different, be the best you can, and most importantly, be professional.

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