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Archive for the ‘Video Production’ Category

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

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

By Lauren Primeau

16115289068_df97930443If 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.

photo credit: Nikon 50mm f1.8 D on Canon 5D – Heresy via photopin (license)

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

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

5719455449_870698fec4An 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.

photo credit: When did I Change via photopin (license)

Do It Yourself Video Production

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

6047261859_5d1f6cefd3I’m happy to report that the era of do-it-yourself video production seems to be drawing to a close. I’m not talking about teenagers making experimental films with their friends. Rather, I’m talking about businesses, organizations, and individuals trying to save time and money by choosing the DIY option over professional video production.

Beginning around 2005 we began seeing conditions that led to a DIY video “perfect storm.” First, affordable hardware and software, capable of high quality editing, appeared in the marketplace. Second, millions of people became accustomed to the convenience of shooting video on their cell phones. Third, the economic downturn of 2008 brought drastic budget cuts, particularly in such “discretionary” areas as advertising, training, publicity, and promotion. And fourth, there grew a cultish faith within the business community that the clever application of technology was the solution to most every problem.

Clearly, many of these factors remain extant. What then was ultimately responsible for the failure of DIY video? Anecdotal evidence suggests that many of these videos failed to effectively communicate their intended messages, and in some cases, they were actually counterproductive.

You cannot give a highly creative individual the right tools, a little training, and a hearty slap of encouragement and expect them to make a successful video. It’s here that I’d like to draw a distinction between the “creative individual” and the “creative professional.” Creativity, in itself, is never enough to craft a video that communicates effectively. That takes years of study, practice, and critical thinking. Every creative professional started out as a creative individual, and then made the conscious choice to study the language of film & video, master its techniques, and commit to a lifetime of learning.

I love this quote from the great theoretical physicist Niels Bohr, “An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made, in a narrow field.” A broad grin spreads over my face when I think back over the many mistakes I’ve made during my long career. Fortunately, most of my really disastrous errors occurred while I was in school and during my apprenticeship thereafter. Needless to say, most DIYers fall short because they are simply not prepared.

There’s another reason that DIY videos are unsuccessful. Whether it’s fair or unfair, the standard against which all videos are measured is the one we’ve all grown up on: the production standards of Hollywood films, television programs, and TV commercials. Average viewers may not be able to explain the reason they find a particular DIY video so unconvincing. All they know is that something feels “wrong.” Usually what they’re responding to is the combined effect of many small weaknesses: the music is a bit too loud; the voiceover is somewhat stiff; the graphics are difficult to read; the narrative lacks a beginning, middle, and end; the lighting is bright and unflattering; the onscreen talent appears a bit unsure and uncomfortable; the pacing seems slow, and on and on.

It’s attention to all the tiny details that can make or break your video. Even the most meticulous DIYers are likely to fail, simply because they don’t have the critical skills to find the small weaknesses, and they may not have the necessary knowledge to fix those weaknesses once found (not to mention those problems that are impossible to fix).

Industry professionals have noted that the rise and fall of DIY desktop video is much like the rise and fall of DIY desktop publishing before it. Software like QuarkXPress cut into the business of many professional typesetters and layout designers until DIYers realized that the precipitous drop in quality that resulted was hurting business.

The fact is, my client’s video will likely create a distinct impression on those who view it. Video is the most powerful communications medium ever created, and it is up to you whether you make the most of the few minutes you have the viewer’s attention. Generally, you get only one shot. After watching your video, people come away with a lasting positive or negative impression of you, your organization, and your product or service. And that’s the reason that a truly creative, professional video from Primeau Productions is such a wise investment, paying dividends long into the future.

photo credit: Queen-watching via photopin (license)

10 Easy Steps for VHS to DVD Restoration

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Ten Steps for VHS to Digital Video Restoration:6498632455_4e2668bfb3_n


Step One:  The VHS tape is played in a professional VHS deck and captured  into a computer in real time using an analogue to digital capture card.

Step Two: The Digitized video video is then properly formatted for full 16 X 9 formatting (the most common Aspect Ratio today).

6498642005_68820d18a0_nStep Three: Enhancement filters are applied to restore and optimize the analogue video signal

Step Four: Faded colors in VHS video are corrected using Color Correction Software (Example: Magic Bullet)

Step Five: Many VHS tapes that include old family gatherings may also include television shows. These extraneous movies and TV shows will be removed

Step Six: Forensic sharpening filters are added as part of the VHS video restoration and enhancement process

Step Seven: Forensic brightness and contrast filtering and settings are adjusted as necessary

Step Eight: Deinterlacing filtering and techniques are applied if playback wear is poor or distorted

Step Nine: Exported from video restoration program into professional DVD authoring software program

Step Ten: Chapter marks added for easy viewing and playback

One DVD master is included in the $45-$75 per hour pricing, $3 per extra DVD copy
Optional DVD menu available. Menu design starts at $25

*Film to DVD transfer also available

photo credit: 1/2″ D-3 format tape via photopin (license)

photo credit: 16mm blank film via photopin (license)

10 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

I have always been resistant to change. As a business owner, there are always employee wish lists or new equipment that is needed which can eat away at company profit. However, to keep current and do the best work possible, change is extremely important in the video production business.

In this case, new product Adobe Creative Cloud is an excellent change agent. It saves a video production company time and money! Here are our 10 reasons why you should upgrade to Adobe Creative Cloud based on our experience.

  1. Increased ProductivityIf your hardware fails as electronic equipment can on occasion, your project is safe in the Cloud! Adobe Creative Cloud gives you the option to automatically save your work in the Cloud, saving editors from potential power outages/surges and hardware failure like hard drives crashing. However, if you don’t trust Cloud storage, don’t worry, you’re not required to save to the Cloud. Adobe still allows you to save to hard storage with the Creative Cloud suite. Plus, working in Creative Cloud 3046502602_cde9741239is more fun than working in CS6. You have to experience it because words cannot describe how easy and fun Creative Cloud is to use. For some reason, our editor employees work faster and focus more on their productions when they are having fun.
  2. Cloud Storage
    Cloud storage is a great feature for a company like Primeau Productions because you can never have too much storage space for HD video. We spend a lot of money on hard drive storage. Our team of editors can easily share HD media in the Cloud so having unlimited storage space accessible to every editing station is a huge advantage! Of course you have to pay for extra Cloud storage space, but it’s worth every penny because that replaces the time to order equipment, shipping and the actual cost of purchasing physical hard drives.
  3. Accessible from Multiple MachinesCreative Cloud software is accessible on any machine, as long as you have the login information for your subscription.  This is very convenient for an office setting and especially when traveling. Editors gain access to Adobe Creative Cloud from their own editing stations or anywhere in the world! This beats manually installing individual programs to every work station and carrying computers on airplanes for remote editing jobs.
  4. Consistent UpdatesAdobe is capable of updating their software quickly. With Creative Cloud, the software is constantly checking for updates. When you purchase Creative Cloud, no longer will you have to worry about buying new Adobe software, the program will update to the latest version for you.
  5. Consistent Bug Fixes!It’s understandable that Adobe has had some bugs in the past. Before Creative Cloud, users were required to wait for the next version of CS to come out for those bugs to be fixed. With CC, users get consistent updates when bugs are found within the software. Consistent updates also means that bugs are worked out more efficiently and any new tools and features are easily added with very little effort.
  6. Automatic Access to Every ApplicationMax Spiker, founder of DMAD put it best; “[Adobe Creative Cloud] is like walking into Adobe’s toy store and being able to play with ALL of the toys.” (http://dmad.com/adobe-creative-cloud-review) When you download Creative Cloud, you get access to every Adobe software product, including Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects, Dreamweaver, etc. With Creative Cloud, you have the ability to pick and choose which programs you’ll need in your workflow, although not every program has to be implemented.
  7. Pay Per Application SubscriptionSoftware options are great! If you’re only planning on using one software application, you’re not required to buy the entire Creative Cloud suite; you can subscribe to only those software programs you need for a lower monthly rate.
  8. Easy InstallationThe installation of Creative Cloud is quick and easy. When you download Creative Cloud, you’re given the Adobe Application Manager. This manager helps you download virtually every piece of software Adobe offers.  This interface makes installation quick and easy.
  9. Faster InterfaceEvery new Creative Suite has been substantially faster than the rest (taking software bugs out of the picture). Creative Cloud is no different in this regard. Creative Cloud processes all activity faster because of the constant updating of the software and systems.
  10. Cost SavingsAdobe’s Creative Suite is not cheap.  Individually, the software can range between $500 and $1500. With Creative Cloud, you get all of these programs for only $50 a month.  Plus, major discounts are offered for users who are students, along with businesses who need these programs on multiple machines at once.

photo credit: Adobe Logo via photopin (license)

The Future of Professional Speaking

Monday, October 7th, 2013

11077426116_7fe8e5b65fOver the last ten years, the professional speaking industry has evolved into a forward thinking technological evolution of information and confusion. During this time, most professional speakers have seen a decrease in bookings and fees. Competition has been the main contributor to this perplexity and a lot of poor decisions are being made. In the following post, I will provide my perspective and experience earned while working with dozens of professional speakers in various markets and fee ranges around the world.

Historical perspective

To put this post into perspective, I have to share a story. Back in 1978, I met Floyd Wickman. He was the first professional speaker I worked with while I was employed as an audio engineer. I was the low man at the studio and nobody else wanted to work with him. He wanted to record a 2 pack cassette product. It was hard for him to be energetic and motivational in the studio while talking to a microphone. He said he was at his best in front of a live audience. I remembered the Dezi Arnez story about how ‘I Love Lucy’ was the first television show to be recorded in front of a live audience. This gave me an idea. Why not audio record his presentations where he could feed off the audience energy, at a live seminar? He gladly accepted my offer and my boss had no problem since this was not a conflict of interest. I rented two 80 pound reel-to-reel recorders and one of the first wireless microphones and headed to the Hyatt Regency in Dearborn, Michigan. The difference in the outcome of the product was amazing! Thus, Primeau Productions was born.

A lot has happened since then. Cassettes have turned into CD’s and downloadable Internet audio files. Speaker demo videos became affordable and a necessary tool to get more bookings; first on VHS tape and then DVD, and now the Internet on over 30 International websites. These days, a meeting planner can find almost everything they need in regards to booking a professional speaker on the Internet; including credentials, a speaker’s demo video and video clips.

Today

The speaking industry took a hit after 9-11, and many professional speakers had speaking engagements cancelled. Attendance of meetings also dropped and as a result, the number of meetings decreased. Professional speakers at the top of their game reinvented their marketing and did the best they could. Those who have not reinvented themselves still blame 9-11 for their decrease in bookings.

Here is what you need to do to play in today’s competitive professional speaking Industry:

1. Have an easy to use world class website. A lot of speakers spent a lot of money on Flash based websites and planned on using them for a long time. The problem with Flash is that Apple products do not support it. The cool effects on websites, like walking on the computer screen and moving headers are also not viewable on Apple products. We cannot ignore this rapidly growing market sector, so the solution is to stick with HTML 5. Use Youtube and Vimeo to embed your video content into your WordPress website and keep the website simple and clean. Most of all, make your products and expertise easy to find.

2. Have a professionally produced speaker demo video. When you consider that one or two paid speaking engagements will return your production investment back to you, why would you consider producing your demo with a non experienced production company, or yourself? Not to mention, your competition is more than likely using professionally produced video. There are plenty of professional video production companies, including Primeau Productions, who know the speaking and meetings industry, and will get your demo produced professionally so you get more prospects and bookings. A pro that has experience with speaker demo videos will help make your demo better than if you go it alone. Look at samples and choose wisely.

3. Add value and make it obvious. Many professional speakers say they customize, and many others value added propositions, but keep them a secret. Get creative and make this added value obvious in your demo and on your website. Post blog articles that address the needs of the speaking industry and meeting planner.

The Future

I believe the future of professional speaking depends on the willingness of professional speakers to reinvent their business model, speaking messages, Internet presence and brand positioning for their expertise. You have to be a thought leader in your area of expertise and prove it. Use video to show the depth and extent of your subject matter expertise. Interview past clients and kick your social media for business into overdrive.

Don’t brag about your experience, rather display experience in everything you do. I find many professional speakers are full of themselves because their last presentation earned them a standing ovation. It’s time to learn humility and be humble in everything you do.

Follow your heart, not your wallet. Instead of focusing on the money, focus on your passion. You may have earned a great income from last year’s speech, but what does the world need today and in the future? Concentrate and meditate on your passion and promote those keynote topics instead of the ones that use to sell. There is nothing wrong with reinvention, except it takes valor.

Be courageous and project that courage in your messages. When you do your homework and discover the clients’ pain, address that pain on the platform and provide solutions. You can no longer be a bubble gum speaker, you have to provide value as well as solutions.

Marketing

Use the marketing tools available to you today to get the word out. More and more speaking leads come from people you don’t know, instead of those you do know that are part of your database. Inbound marketing has become at least 20 % of all professional speakers’ business. Get with the program and leverage your social media networks. As the second largest search engine and third most visited website (after Facebook and Google), YouTube has taken over as a promotion tool for professional speakers.

It’s not enough to post video clips and speaker demos on YouTube, you have to be active and engaged frequently to get the biggest bang out of YouTube for marketing. Friend, subscribe, like, share and post comments often for the videos you watch on YouTube, and use this strategy if you are involved with a mastermind group or NSA chapter to help each other out. YouTube videos also end up in search results and include thumbnail images, so make sure to optimize your videos with great titles, descriptions and tags that include your predetermined key words and phrasing as search criteria.

Talent and Growth 

To compete in today’s meetings industry, you have to be r-e-a-l-l-y g-o-o-d; if you are just ok, then it’s time to learn how to get better. Get a coach, or hire a speech writer to help you boost your content, delivery and entertainment quotient. If you attend educational events like The National Speakers Association then write down action steps after you leave. Hold yourself accountable or ask someone else to be your CAO (chief accountability officer).

If you use stories in your presentation, what other stories do you have that can be told on stage that you are not using? Many years ago I had the pleasure of working with Og Mandino in Las Vegas.

During our back stage conversation, he explained to me that he kept a story log. Before each speaking engagement he would look through his story log and pick the stories that suited each audience. Nothing about Og was off the shelf. Today we have the opportunity to log dozens of stories every week if we just pay attention to the lessons we learn.

This is part of the customization process. If you don’t customize, it’s time to start, and stories are where it’s at. Show customization in your demo video when possible and definitely in standalone video clips. Embed those clips into blogs written about that customized subject material.

Don’t let others influence your creativity. Stop asking for feedback from friends, family and other speakers. One of the worse activities you can become involved with is to ask others for their opinion when you are creating. Remember, opinions are like noses, everyone has one. The Beatles worked behind closed doors when they created their music. Opinions can cause your true creativity to become scarred. Work and create from your heart and instincts and leave the feedback for after you’re done creating.

Increase your Opportunities and Negotiate

As much as we hate to admit it, we all negotiate our fees. One thing that is a big time benefit for the future of professional speaking is to offer value to your prospects to close more bookings. Speakers who do not add value and negotiate speaking engagements will have fewer speaking engagements.

 

Speakers who offer to include breakouts, master of ceremonies and other multiple presentations to close their offerings during the negotiation process close more deals.

We know this to be true because many of our speaker clients have success stories of negotiations resulting in multiple bookings from their client.

The future of speaking successfully and being booked as much as you like depends on your willingness to be the best bargain in your fee range.

If the prospect is willing to pay you $5,000, and your fee is $7500, you have to do some searching and negotiating if you want the gig on the flip side, once you lower your fee, word travels fast.

To Sum it up:

• Add value, because the rules have changed

• Be visible everywhere you can on the Internet and position yourself as a thought leader

• Update your professional speaker demo video at least every other year

• Continuously learn and grow to perfect your mes- sage; get a coach or speech writer to help

• Be ready to negotiate your fee

I would love to hear from you after these thoughts and ideas have settled in. This is my promise to you; if you take my advice and break away from the same old- same old, your business as a professional speaker will flourish. It takes courage to be different and break free from the herd. It also takes creativity to compete in today’s professional speaking and meetings industry.

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

Primeau Productions begins restoring Napoleon Hill Film Episodes

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Primeau Productions has begun the transfer and restoration of three Napoleon Hill 16MM film episodes from the Master Key to Success video series. What does it take to restore historical film? What are the best tools to use to restore the films to high definition quality? I will explain our process and the care involved with these processes in the following blog post.

Over the last 30 years Primeau Productions has built their reputation on integrity and expertise. Our integrity shows when our clients work with our excellent team of producers, directors and editors. Our expertise comes across in our finished product, ask our clients like the Napoleon Hill Foundation who has trusted Primeau Productions with these rare historical film transfers and restoration.6784917118_ace10d38a1

Below is an image of the metal container that has helped preserve the film for over 50 years!

Film Reel Napoleon Hill 1

The first step in restoration is to inspect the film and determine the type of matter that has accumulated over the years and then clean the film accordingly. The second step is to look at the sprocket wear. Once the transfer process begins, the sprocket wear causes the film to play back with a shaky picture. We use Adobe After Effects to stabilize the image as part of the restoration process.

This particular series of films were recorded with an optic sound track. In other words, the audio portion of this film is not on a magnetic strip, it is a visually displayed sound configuration that is reproduced or played by using an optic sound reading projector.

16MM film projectors that have optic audio track capability have a single sprocket on the right side of the film and the optic audio track on the left side of the film as seen in the photograph below.

The audio portion is stored on the film as seen in the photograph below.

Napoleon hill film roll

The optic audio reader uses light to project the audio track to the optic reader built into the 16MM film projector.

Optical Sound ReaderWe use a Cannon XF 300 High Definition digital video camera to record the film and convert into digital form. The recording is then loaded into our computer for color correction, image restoration and HD formatting so it looks its best when played back. We use the Adobe CS6 suite of software for film restoration because of the quality of the tools in After Effects, Premiere Pro and Photoshop.

Extensive care is extremely important throughout this process because the film is fragile and easily scratched.

Once the film has been restored, a full quality Quicktime file is created, as well as subsequent digital video files for DVD authoring and other ‘to-be-determined’ Internet use.

Primeau Productions believes that the Napoleon Hill video collection will serve a huge purpose for future generations because the lessons taught by Dr. Hill are timeless. Plus, it is wonderful to see Napoleon Hill speaking in person about his studies and lessons learned.

photo credit: I shoot film! via photopin (license)

How to Gain the Most From Your Next Video Marketing Campaign

Monday, August 5th, 2013

by: Donna Essex

5202413219_43279a9656Boost Business with Video

The world of corporate videos has evolved considerably since the days of simply sending out DVDs and VHS tapes to hopefully interested parties, and today the videos that you produce to boost your profile can be uploaded to a global audience within seconds. People are spending more and more of their online time watching video, which means that it’s not enough to simply rely on text and photos. However, if you don’t have the time, resources or know-how to produce a
corporate video in-house, it’s a good idea to enlist the services of a corporate video production company.

The Power of Corporate Video Production 

The more engaging, entertaining and informative a corporate video is, the better. The more watchable it is, the greater the chances are of it being shared on social networking sites and linked to on reputable external websites, sending your brand soaring up the search engine rankings in the process. Websites that have video featured on them tend to be looked upon extremely favourably by the search engine giants, and by getting help from an outside source with corporate video production, you can ensure that your videos become as entertaining and useful as possible due to their experience in the trade.

Working with You

A video production company will generally work closely alongside you in detail to discuss your brand identity and values. This ensures that the resulting video is a close portrayal of the image that you wish to portray and that it speaks with your target audience in mind. Web users don’t need to be in front of their laptops anymore to enjoy your video content, and can easily engage with your clips whilst they are out and about, making it easier to engage with them no matter where they are in the world. Involving your staff in corporate video production can also help with employee engagement, allowing them to feel part of something useful, prosperous and exciting – and if they feature in it, this can help you to show off the ‘human’ side of your brand to potential customers and clients.

Find a Video Production Company

Mobile video has reshaped the way that we use the internet, and faster mobile download speeds are starting to make it possible for us to enjoy moving pictures without the stress of dealing with buffering and other technical problems. YouTube is the world’s second leading search engine after Google, so it makes sense to note just how effective video marketing can be. Any company that is failing to make use of video marketing may be risking being left behind by its competitors, so if your company is yet to take advantage of this exceptional marketing tool, it might be a wise idea to invest in video today. Video is also searchable, and is starting to appear more and more prominently in organic search results. A unique and memorable video can be worth its weight in gold when it comes to generating conversions and strengthening engagement.

photo credit: IMG_8072 via photopin (license)

How to Become a Million Dollar Round Table Speaker

Monday, July 29th, 2013

4561176486_9ba23b6cc9If you are reading this blog post, you are probably an expert that speaks professionally and is interested in speaking to the Million Dollar Round Table. You probably know that the Million Dollar Round Table is an organization whose members come to learn from experts like yourself as well as some of the most experienced sales experts who are authors and professional speakers, as well as professional agents.

Top Producers from over 78 nations and territories and about 430 insurance and financial planning companies come to this annual meeting for continuing their education and mass mentoring. MDRT, as it is know in short, has members whose ages range from their early 20s to 90+.

Why should you speak for free on the MDRT stage? It provides you the opportunity to be visible to several insurance companies at the same time. These companies all have annual meetings and hire professional speakers. Please note that MDRT does compensate some of the main stage presenters.

How can you be one of the selected speakers for MDRT?

1.  You have to be really, really good at what you do.

2.  You need to connect with the members of the Main Platform selection committee and show them how good you are.

3.  It doesn’t hurt to have some respected MDRT producers/officers recommend you.

It also doesn’t hurt to have a great video of EXACTLY what you would be presenting. About 15 to 20 minutes since that is the length of an MDRT presentation. They review 2,500 videos and select 14.

What do you do if you are invited to speak? The first thing to do is have a professional video production company like Primeau Productions create an unedited 20 minute section from a recent speaking engagement. Once authored to DVD, you would send the video to the MDRT platform selection committee.

How do you know if you are good enough?  Compare yourself to your peers who have stood on the MDRT stage. Do you believe in your message and feel confident with your platform mechanics? It is also a good idea to also ask your peers to tell you about their experience and spin off speaking engagements received as you plan your strategy.

MDRT is one of the most prestigious speaking platforms in the world. Having spoken for MDRT is a huge credential and can be used in your future marketing efforts.

photo credit: Election 2010 Day 23 – Nick Clegg at Oxford Brookes University via photopin (license)

How to Find an Audio/Video Professional

Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

Relationships: Creating a successful product is rarely a solo act.

14561581102_472fb7425cWhen producing a multimedia product, the single most important thing you can do to ensure your success is to establish a relationship with an audio/video professional. He or she will be your partner from the beginning to end of this project, and perhaps, become a lifelong partner for all of your multimedia endeavors. This person might be a producer, a director, a writer, an audio engineer or a video editor. Finding this one person is probably the most challenging and time-consuming parts of the production process.

Why? Because as you sift through the Yellow Pages or Internet directory, or read brochures and resumes, you have to invest a great deal of time in finding the right person: the one you will connect with on a creative and personal level. This is a relationship in every sense of the word. You either hit it off, or you don’t.

 

Look For a High “Get it” Factor
It takes time to find a like-minded professional who “gets you” and what you want to do. They must be able to realize the unique value of your message or music to do it justice. And you don’t want to settle for less. You don’t want to work with someone who doesn’t appreciate your expertise or talent. You want to work with someone who you like, admire and respect, and who feels the same way about you. When you start meeting with people, pay attention to vocal tone and body language. You’re looking for someone with a positive, enthusiastic attitude who is excited about what you do.

Ask the Right Questions
When you’re selecting a recording studio or production facility, be sure the people who are assigned to your project understand your industry. Do they have the experience to understand what you are trying to accomplish? Can they bring something of value to the table? If you are making a hit record (old term, I know) has this engineer or producer ever recorded or produced a hit record? What credentials do they have? Are they interested in what you are producing?

When you find someone that has interest in your work, they will contribute more to your production. Now you’re getting added value! Watch out for hard sells. Multimedia professionals know how costly the production business is, and the respectable ones won’t rush you into creating a product before you’re ready. If you meet anyone who launches into a hard-sales, reduced-to-the-ridiculous-estimate closing technique, run for the door.

Match Their Strengths with Your Needs
When it feels right, you’ll know it. It’s tremendously rewarding when you finally meet someone you feel you can trust. Beyond his or her expertise, this person will show you the support and encouragement you need as well as provide you with honest feedback and criticism that can save you time and money, not to mention, the embarrassment of putting out an inferior product.

For example, I worked with professional speaker Floyd Wickman to create an audio training program. The relationship that grew as a result of this project shows you what to look for. Floyd came to the music-recording studio where I was employed at the time. This was a big mistake because a music studio cost him a great deal more than a conventional voice over studio. I was assigned as his account person and engineer, which proved to be fortuitous, turning a potentially bad decision into something good for both of us. Not only did this experience shape the course of my career, but it also gave him an excellent product. The most important factor in our success is that we truly enjoyed working with each other.

Keep in mind that each person you interview for a possible relationship is an expert at something, regardless of where they are in their career. They have their niche. As you evaluate the candidates, look for strengths that match your needs. If you are producing a narrative CD, don’t hire somebody who has never produced a narrative recording.

Interested in learning more about professional audio/video services? Contact me at 800-647-4281.

This information is taken from my book The Art of Production, which you can purchase from Amazon here!

photo credit: handshake via photopin (license)

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