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Archive for the ‘Video Recording’ Category

Seven Ways to Know if Video is Right for your Business

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

handycam-1540095 (1)At Primeau Productions, we create professionally produced video content for businesses, individuals and the government, so far. We often see businesses that operate conservatively and survive without using professionally produced video. By produced we refer to the model from concept to completion.

Then there are the businesses that take risk. They believe in their business and know what they want. They just don’t know how to get it or market their business. It is not easy to see yourself as others outside your organization see you. These ‘risk takers’ succeed far greater than those that are afraid to break out of their safe sustainable routines and don’t know what they want to be when they grow up.

Investing in professional professionally produced video by a professional video production company that has decades of experience is key. When you evaluate the cost of creating a welcome video, explainer video or sizzle reel for your business website, consider this: How much business do you need to generate in order to gain a return on that investment?

We speak to prospects for professional video marketing and production regularly. Some say that professional video is too expensive. Others shop around for less than professional production which is lower in cost but also low quality.

So, how do you know if a professionally produced video is right for your business?

If you answer yes to any of the following questions then you should call us to discuss producing professional video content for your website.

  1. Do any of your competitors have video on their website?

Since video adds a high perceived value to your overall marketing efforts, businesses that have video in their marketing mix usually are giants in                     their industry and market niche.

  • Are you losing business to your competition?

If your competition is using video in their marketing mix and you do not, chances are you are losing customers.

  • Could you use more business in general?

    If your business has decreased over the last few years, it is probably because of the technological changes in marketing on the Internet

  • Would you like your company to communicate to prospects 24|7?

Video does exactly that, it acts as a 24/7 automated sales machine.

  • Would video help explain the benefits of doing business with you?

Think of the ways you could use video to promote your business. Search engines like content that helps educate their users.

  • If you sell services, could the benefits of using your business be clearer to your prospects with a professionally produced video?

    This may come in the form of an explainer video.

  • If your video sells products, would video demonstrate your products better than pictures?

    If a picture is worth a thousand words than video is worth millions.

Businesses whose websites have professionally produced video enjoy an increase in traffic, inbound calls and higher conversion rates than websites without video. Video shows up in search results and is clicked on more often than just standard search results. Weigh the advantages of having professionally produced video on your website and determine if video is the right investment for your business.

Here are samples of three videos that were created and produced by Primeau Productions. Call 800-647-4281 to speak with a live person who will help answer your questions. Or email us at Primeau@PrimeauProductions.com.

The Importance of Audio for Video Production

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

audio-mixer-console-1315787We’ve discussed how important professional video quality can be when creating a video that represents your company. It often determines a possible client’s first impression of your business. When you’re watching another company’s video, or even your own video, what are you paying attention to most? Probably the quality of the picture, how professional the talent looks and how the overall production is. People are much more visually inclined; it’s the sense we rely on the most. That being said, there are some other parts of professional videos we often take for granted. Like the importance of audio for video production. 

The most overlooked? Good sound. When sound is good, it usually goes unnoticed because it matches what we expect to hear. But when the sound quality is bad, it is obvious. Not only is it distracting, but it cheapens the quality of what could have been a great promotional video. Also think about how you get your message across. You may look great on the screen, but you still need your words to get across what your company is about and why clients should hire you.

We’ve worked with some clients who knew their fair share about making videos, but didn’t think about recording really high quality audio. When they came to us with what they had shot, you could barely understand what they were saying! Even if the video quality looks pristine, people can’t get the full message without you explaining it. People often go by the old “fix it in post” standard. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that it only works if the original recording was done well enough in the first place.

The best way to get clear and high quality audio is by using a standalone microphone instead of the camera’s built in mic. The quality is almost guaranteed to be better, and you can move the mic around to find the best spot to pick up sound. Microphones are a lot more sensitive than a lot of people think. Even aiming some microphones in different directions can drastically change the amount of sound you are picking up. Usually having a microphone, like a lavalier mic, right on your person will pick up the most direct and clear sound.

Even with a good microphone, great sound isn’t guaranteed. As I mentioned above, microphones can be extremely sensitive to small level changes. While we might not think much of someone getting really loud and then really quiet while talking, that can usually be too much for a microphone to handle. Sudden loud sounds might cause distortion, while some very quiet sounds might not even be picked up. Speaking at a balanced and uniform level can be difficult, but the end result always sounds better.

Our sound perception also often makes us unaware of background noise. Imagine sitting in a room with an air conditioner on. After a little while, you don’t even notice it anymore. All of a sudden it turns off, and now the room seems extra quiet! This is because our brain and hearing adjust to our environment pretty quickly, but they do notice sudden changes. Unfortunately, microphones don’t act the same way. A microphone will pick up all that extra noise the whole time, and when you listen back it will be very obvious. It can be easy to overlook background noises because of our perception, which is why it is always important to check your audio before shooting a whole day’s worth of footage.

To sum it all up, audio is a crucial part of making a professional video. It can be tricky, but with the right equipment and the right knowledge, it can be done. At Primeau Productions, we always make our videos with a designated ‘sound guy’ to make sure that every time we get great video, we get great audio. If you need help getting your company’s videos to the next level, give us a call. We would be happy to help!

The Future of The Video Experience – Part III: 4k

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

screenMany people strive for the best quality in their media. We see this in how people consume media today with 4k video. Think back: When was the last time you paused or refreshed a video on YouTube because it wouldn’t stream at full 1080p? What about the last time you chose to buy a ticket to the IMAX showing of a movie instead of a regular theater because you “just had to see it in IMAX?” We like our video to be high quality, and as long as that’s the case,
we’ll always strive to increase the quality of our media.

With that said, there are people pushing the boundaries of how high they can truly go in regards to quality. This is where 4k technology comes into play. Though we’ve reached this next step in video quality, how long will this technology be relevant? What could it do to change the industry?

First, let’s get down to the basics about 4k.

What is 4K?

To put it simply, 4k is a higher video quality than that of 1080p. The entire purpose of 4k is to utilize more pixels to create a higher quality image. Higher pixel count means more detail, which, in turn, creates a more vivid and clear image for the viewer. Netflix has a line of movies and other films now available and index-able by 4k.

What does it do?

In a nutshell, 4k is just defined as more pixels. To understand this, you need a relative understanding of how modern televisions work.

A pixel, as we’ve covered in recent blog posts, is a square image of light and color that works with others to create a full picture. In the past, we have described a pixel as one of the small photos that make up a collage. All of the smaller pictures work together to forge a bigger image. Television works the same way, at a much higher and faster rate.

A 1080p display means that there it is 1080 rows of pixels tall, and 1920 columns of pixels wide. With 4k, you’re talking 4,000 pixels wide, and 2160 tall. Let’s go back to the collage analogy. The more pictures you use to create the bigger image, the higher quality the bigger image will turn out. The same applies to broadcast and cable television. As opposed to 3,000 miniature pictures, you now have 6,160 images making up the bigger picture. That’s over double the pixels! You do not have to be a genius to notice the difference. If you do not notice the difference, just wait for 6k.

What could it do?

To say the least, 4k is around to stay, to be followed shortly by 6k.

This technology will be around for a long time. We can expect a major change in the way cinematography is approached in the future. Filmmakers are already shooting films in 4k. Many models of GoPros even have 4k capabilities. Even some cell phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, are able to achieve 4k quality!

4k and higher technologies could change the way we approach cinematography. As more pixels result in a more lush and detailed image, and with our obsession with high quality media, it’s safe to say that 4k could easily become the new standard.

Where is it at in development?

4k is already commercially available. You can purchase a 4k TV at almost any electronics store or even online these days. You can even purchase cinema cameras now that go up to 5k and 6k, such as the Sony RED, but they come with a hefty price tag. Video quality technology will always be changing and developing, so who knows how high developers will go before we reach a new standard.

Example:

Below, you’ll find a comparison between footage taken in 4k compared to footage taken in full HD (or 1080p). Can you tell the difference?

Stay tuned for more from “The Future of the Video Experience,” right here at PrimeauProductions.com

The Future of the Video Experience – Part I: Drones

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

14012085485_239fe5c66aIn 2014, Primeau Productions began a blog series about how video creates an ‘experience’ for viewers. It is cleverly titled “The Video Experience”.  We have an update for that series, “What does the future have in store for video and the video experience with regard to Drone Video?” In this next series of blog posts, we’ll be discussing technologies, their functionality, and what these advancements will do to the way we ‘experience’ video.

In this first installment, we’ll be covering a technology that is growing in popularity every day:  Drones that record video. 

What are Drones?

Otherwise known as “Quadra-copters,” drones are similar to that of a remote controlled (RC) Helicopter. A drone has propellers, a remote control, and is operated just like other RC Helicopters. The biggest difference lies in its capabilities.

Essentially, drones have successfully taken the concept of an RC Helicopter and applied it to film making and cinematography. They now record video, some as high as 4k quality. Some drones have built in high quality cameras, and the ones that don’t have the ability to incorporate Go-Pros, mobile video devices, and, in some cases, even HDSLR cameras. Some drones can even be controlled from a smartphone!

Drone technology has been growing exponentially over the past few years. Now that Quadra-copters and the like are commercially available, filmmakers are finding new ways to utilize the technology every day.

The first time we were introduced to drone technology at Primeau Productions was when CNN paid us a visit during the 50th Anniversary of The Assassination of John F Kennedy. The camera operator, Mark Biello, a veteran camera operator from CNN, whose resume spans from Hurricane Katrina to the Middle East, showed us some footage of the new Quadra-copter drones they’d just received. The test footage showed the drone starting in a field in Washington, D.C. and propelling itself so high that you could see the top of the Washington Monument (that’s 555’!). 5 years ago, you’d need a helicopter to capture a shot like that. However, this technology is changing what is possible every day very affordably so more users can incorporate this high value experience into their video productions.

How could I use Drone Video? 

Drones are changing video technology in many ways. First, as it grows it will become more affordable. Imagine an over head or aerial video recording of your business. How much perceived value will that have on your companies reputation? Drones are putting out shots that use to cost in excess of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Drones are creating $100.000.00 film shots for budgets in the thousands. Not only is this due to a drone’s capability in height, but also their capabilities in stability. Drone technology is also allowing users to create ‘indoor moving shots’ that, before, could only be accomplished with a crane. This allows users to record ‘high perceived’ 4k video that a slider or steady-cam just can’t replicate. Drones are raising the bar and lowering the prices for your business use.

There are some models of Quadra-copters that are capable of holding HDSLR cameras, and even Sony RED cameras. These little copters are changing the horizon of video production, making high value video shots easier and more affordable.

Drone updates

These bad boys are already commercially available. We have seen them for sale at Costco! However, there has been some recent controversy over regulating these machines. As of now, it’s illegal to fly over 400 feet, along with flying over major highways, understandably. Due to the fact that drone technology is still so new, this is only the beginning of regulations regarding their use.

However, while the drone is consistently facing new regulations, the film community is heavily embracing it. Earlier this month, NYC had its first “Drone Film Festival,” a festival based solely on drone technology. Drone operators from all over the world had the opportunity to share their work from experimenting with drones. This included Taylor Chien, the drone operator responsible for the famous “Superman with a Go-Pro” video, which you can view below.

Though we can’t confirm what the future holds regarding regulations on these devices, we can assume that filmmakers will continue to find new, inventive ways to operate and utilize this sophisticated piece of equipment. The sky is (literally) the limit!

Check out what drone technology is capable of in the short film, “Superman with a Go-Pro,” embedded below. Also keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of our “Future of The Video Experience” series right here at PrimeauProductions.com.

 

photo credit: Farming via photopin (license)

Primeau Productions begins restoring Napoleon Hill Film Episodes

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Why would the Napoleon Hill Foundation use Primeau Productions to enhance and restore 16 mm film recordings of Napoleon Hill?  Don Green, executive director, chose Primeau Productions to digitize several 16 mm films of Napoleon Hill mostly because of their owners forensic expertise. The same expertise that has driven the growth of sister company Primeau Forensics. Primeau Productions has the ability to forensically and scientifically enhance film and video recordings using forensic technology. They may be the only video production company owned by video forensic experts.

What does it take to restore historical film?

It take several components to restore 50 year old film. The most important is the talent and experience handling film. Next, the hardware and software used to digitize these films is the same that is used in video forensic cases. This process allows Primeau Productions to have the ability and technology to restore these rare films to high definition quality. Primeau Productions began the transfer and restoration of several Napoleon Hill 16MM film episodes back in 2011 from the Master Key to Success video series.

We have built our reputation on creativity and strengthened it with perfection. Over the last 34 years Primeau Productions continues to develop their reputation with integrity and expertise. Our integrity shows by our client list and our expertise comes across in our finished product.

 

 

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

Metal containers were used to store film as well as fiber containers. Both were designed to keep the film cool and dry. Acme Film Laboratories used metal containers to store the Master Key to Success films that we transferred and restored. These films were produced by Dick Brown Productions out of Hollywood California. The films were in excellent shape when we received them and had been stored well.

 

 

Film Reel Napoleon Hill 1

Restoration Step One

The first step in restoration is to inspect the film. This is a process that helps determine the type of residue, dirt or lint dust that has accumulated on the surface of the film over the years. Once the nature of the dirt was determined, we used the appropriate cleaning methods to remove this coating that caused the film to look a little out of focus. Once the films were clean, they were clear and like new.

Any type of restoration, film or video, must be cleaned before it can be digitized.

Restoration Step Two

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 left side of 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 Reader

 

We used a 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.

Click here for more information on video enhancement and VHS restoration.

photo credit: I shoot film! 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)

Death of a Video Format

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

By Ed Primeau and Brandon Keilman

5455622177_71917bf3a7I was standing in line at the Secretary of State last week to renew a license plate and saw a video playing on a flat screen in the lobby. The quality was brilliant; very high quality, rich and robust in every area of sight and sound. The source was produced using high definition video tape and digitally edited and formatted onto Blu-Ray DVD.

For a few years now, I have been preaching about the importance of Internet marketing with digital video distribution (which is still very important) while discounting DVD as a worth while marketing tool. The Internet aspect to video still holds true, except we now have to re-look at DVD from a fresh perspective.

There is an ongoing debate over DVD format that is worth understanding so you can apply this medium to your business.

In a knock-out, fall-out battle, Blu-Ray DVD is the official champion and High Definition DVD has gone by the wayside, in a similar fashion to consumer grade laser disk and beta. In this article, we hope to clear some of the confusion and explain the impact to you personally as well as on your business.

Let us clarify an important point before we move on. High Definition digital video is a format video cameras record and High Definition DVD is a format of delivery or medium to deliver the video on. High Definition video recording is still the best way to video record. It is High Definition DVD that no longer exists and what this article is about.

Here is how the war was lost:

The Toshiba Company was the main developer and backer (with the support of Microsoft) of what could have been the next ”big thing” in video delivery, High Definition DVD. While Microsoft favored the ”High Definition DVD” format, Sony favored the Blu-Ray DVD format.

Blu-Ray was and is supported by many different companies including Sony as the next ”big thing” in video formatting. High Definition was the choice of Microsoft and Toshiba until recently.

So, now that the war is over, I guess the demise of the HD DVD video format should not come as a surprise when the two formats are compared and closely examined. First, the quality of both in terms of picture and sound are a huge step up from a regular DVD in resolution. However, when further investigating Blu-Ray, the storage capacity is four times greater than that of High Definition DVD. In our opinion, this is perhaps the largest deal breaker for High Definition DVD.

The Blu-ray storage advantage means less need for multiple DVD disk box sets. Companies such as Fox who are always looking for a way to minimize cost and increase profit love the storage advantage Blu-Ray offers.

To the consumer it means we can go out and buy a Season of our favorite show in a much smaller package, instead of a big clunky box full of DVDs. As for the sound and picture quality, there is a noticeable difference between Blu-Ray and High Definition DVD. Even on the best of televisions the HD DVD still remains a bit grainy where as the Blu-ray has very crisp rich looking images.

Another influence in the decision to kill HD DVD was the backing of the Sony Corporation. Sony is the leading edge developer and implementer of Blu-Ray players into devices their consumers use on a daily basis. Their PlayStation 3 models are considered one of the best Blu-Ray players on the market. Price-wise, not only do you get a Blu-Ray player; you get a video game console and audiovisual storage unit all rolled into one.

Microsoft put their money behind the HD DVD format by offering an external player for their Xbox line of products. However, upon hearing the news that Toshiba was canceling its HD DVD line, Microsoft discontinued their HD DVD external player; they’ve yet to release an external Blu-Ray player. Maybe this will be a perk of the highly anticipated Xbox One.

Unfortunately, the adult film industry also had a great influence over these decisions. Whether we chose to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist, the adult film industry still has a large influence over the Blu-Ray decision. Even with its apparent loss of revenue to online video, the industry still has some sway in regards to the format its line of adult videos will be on.

Since 2007, and early 2008, the adult film industry put its backing behind the Blu-Ray DVD format. This, combined with the other reasons mentioned above, seems to be the straw that broke the camels back for HD DVD.

What does this mean for you and your business of DVD products? We are entering a time that future video products should be recorded on High Definition video tape and released on Blu-Ray DVD.

So, now that you know Blu-ray DVD is the future of DVD video delivery, what type of product can you develop on Blu-ray DVD? Consider that Blu-Ray will deliver graphics and still images that look more brilliant and video images of much higher quality because they are recorded on High Definition video. In addition, the length of programming time is greater on Blu-Ray than standard DVD.

We highly recommend Duplicating your Blu-Ray inventory in low quantities as just-in-time delivery:because it will not be long before the next ”greatest advancement” in digital video comes out to further confuse us and, once again, change everybody’s thinking, including ours.

photo credit: Day 48: Recursive Technology via photopin (license)

How to Dress and Act for High Definition Video

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

9944082524_4456f8628cNot only have I experienced being recorded on high def video, I have consoled many clients who were shocked after the experience. They were shocked because they did not realize how BIG and magnified high definition video is until they saw a playback of their performance.

Everything is Magnified

Not only will your beautiful blue (or brown or green… or bloodshot!!) eyes be large and magnified on the high definition video, so will your imperfections. Rather than list them all, I’ll be polite and let you use your imagination. Think of wrinkles in your clothes, as well as on your face.

Consider having a wardrobe rehearsal and hiring a professional makeup artist and wardrobe consultant (often the same person) who specializes in preparing clients to be recorded in high definition. Yes, there is a process to high def makeup, and yes, it has become a specialty.

Men, if your shirt collar is a bit tight and you run the risk of the top button taking out an audience member’s eye, better get a larger shirt. That stretched collar will look ten times worse in high definition video than it does in person. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if not me, who will tell you? Nobody. You will see for yourself after it’s too late.

Ladies, carefully check your hair before going on stage. A few ‘flyaway’ strands that are barely noticeable in the mirror will look like tree branches on high def video.

I always encourage our clients to have a rehearsal before going on stage. Record some video of your rehearsal and watch it before your formal performance. As painful as this sounds, it’s less painful than missing a perfectly good opportunity to get new demo video footage.

During your rehearsal get used to the stage and how you move about during your presentation. Spy where the cameras are located and remember to periodically make eye contact with the cameras. Remember, these cameras represent the viewers at home.

The bottom line is high definition video is here to stay. This process is like any other process. You either adapt and embrace it or you will miss out and regret your mistakes. Evolve your performance into the new era of high definition video and business growth will follow.

photo credit: Dança via photopin (license)

Are You Losing Business Because of Your Demo Video?

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

6355318323_4c41d3ef76It’s no secret – professional speaker demo videos that are not updated and competitive based on current market conditions will help eliminate you as a candidate for a speaking engagement almost as often – if not more often – than your demo video will qualify you for a speaking engagement.

When a meeting planner watches your demo video they have three choices. They can continue to watch it; they can stop it and move on; or they can use it to qualify you. If they stop it and move on you have been eliminated from consideration for that speaking engagement. And you have to ask yourself, why did they watch it in the first place? Not always do we know that we’ve been eliminated from a speaking engagement, but let’s assume, in this case, we do.

Why did they watch it in the first place? Well, probably because you were referred to them, or something in their search criteria brought your website up on the Internet. But when they watched your demo video it turned them off, or it was old footage or the editing appeared out of date. In this highly competitive professional speaking industry it’s crucial to update your demo video on an annual basis.

When you think about it, the cost of a demo video is, more often than not, less than you will earn on one speaking engagement. Why would you not invest money in the number one marketing tool that you have on an annual basis, in order to keep your content fresh, keep the look of your production current and keep you in the running more often to be considered for keynote speeches?

The process of updating and revising your demo video is very simple. First, you get good footage. More meetings, conferences and conventions are recording their keynote speakers today than ever. And that footage that is being recorded is most often high definition digital footage. It’s recorded onto a digital video recorder, right there on the spot at the conference. When the production company brings that digital video recorder back to their studio it’s very easy for your production company to ship an external hard drive to the conference or convention production company to get a copy of that original full quality digital video recording. This has become one of our main practices at Primeau Productions – to ship these hard drives to production companies in order to retrieve the highest quality digital video recording for our clients so that we can use that footage to update their demo videos.

I have seen firsthand how the number of speaking engagements goes up for our clients when their demo video has been revised. And a revised demo video is useless if it isn’t distributed properly. That’s the publishing part of the produce, publish and promote that Primeau Productions follows for our clients. You get the new footage – high def, high quality – revise the demo video. That’s the ‘produce’.

When you complete the editing and revision of the demo video you distribute the demo video to the appropriate places, such as:  your website; your YouTube channel (which is the second largest search engine in the world, and where a lot of meeting planners look for professional speakers for their events); your Vimeo channel, which we encourage our clients to use for embedding their demo video on their website, because many organizations are blocking social media networks, so if a meeting planner works for an organization and they want to hire you and they go to your website and your video is embedded from YouTube there’s a couple of problems. Number one, they may not be able to watch it because it’s been blocked from their server. Number two, there are going to be competitor ads or other videos that come up at the end of your video that could take them away from you as a consideration, to somebody else that has a catchier title or a more interesting thumbnail. So we recommend to our clients to use Vimeo as another publishing opportunity for you.

Other publishing opportunities that are available for you are to distribute your revised demo video to the speaker’s bureaus and ask them to update your demo video that they have on their website or Internet channel with the current revised one. Then, once that video has been revised, it’s necessary to do some promotion.

Promotions could be in the form of social media; newsletters sent out to your database; notifying speaker’s bureaus and past clients that you’ve updated your demo video. You could even explain to them that you have created a follow-up program to the one that you previously delivered to clients that will help their people take your message to the next level.

All of this marketing and promotion can be built up around this revised demo. So not only have you made your demo video more current and improved because of the fact that your message and your performance has gotten better since the last time you created a demo video, you also now have a reason to contact people – past clients, meeting planners, speaker’s bureaus – to let them know that you have a new video that demonstrates your more in-depth message, the follow-up portion to your message, or any other elements that you’d like to use from that new demo as a reason for contacting them.

Professional speakers who don’t update their demo video start to see their number of speaking engagements decline. I see it happen all the time. Speakers that revise their demo video on a regular basis have an increasing number of keynote speaking engagements because of the activity that’s involved in the produce, publish, promote process of revising that demo video.

But it’s very important to wait until you have good footage, that was recorded in a good environment in front of an audience, that has fed energy to you, and that you are at the top of your game delivering that message.

photo credit: Dollars via photopin (license)

Why Do Some People Look Better On Camera Than Others

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

5465484586_8705733289Have you ever noticed that some people are very photogenic? No matter what they do they look great on camera. This includes photography as well as video cameras. I think there are several reasons why some people look better than others on camera.

Watching a recent news show where a group of people were entering the studio, a video camera was at the entrance recording them as they came into the studio. Some people looked into the camera and waved, and other people looked away from the camera and looked apprehensive.

I believe that when people embrace having their photograph taken, or being in a video, and smile, and have a positive attitude and they let their pleasing personality show they have a successful recording. When people are nervous and they don’t want to be photographed or video recorded that comes across.

It’s like anything else that you put your mind to. When you believe you’re going to do a good job, you do a good job. When you’re nervous about not doing a good job and that’s what you think about more, then, more likely than not, you’re not going to do a good job.

The same holds true when being video recorded or photographed. Some things I recommend that you can do in order to have a better result with being photographed or video recorded are, first, think positively about the experience and do the best that you can to look good on camera. Wear something that compliments you. Your dress is just as important as the ‘psychological’ state that you’re in when being photographed or video recorded.

Second, before the experience of being photographed or video recorded look into the mirror and determine if you feel confident in your appearance that day. This includes the way that your hair is done, the outfit that you’re wearing. And practice your smile – practice looking right into the mirror as if it were the camera lens. And get comfortable with a pose. As odd as that sounds people who don’t prepare their poses have a lower chance of being successfully recorded than those that do prepare.

There’s a room backstage in almost all performance arenas – this includes television studios, concert halls, theaters – it’s called the ‘green room’, and in the green room you’ll find several things, one is a mirror. That’s so the actors and professional talent can look at themselves before they go on stage or in front of the camera.

Getting comfortable with the way that you look is half the battle with successfully being video recorded or photographed.

It’s not considered vanity to practice how you’re going to look on camera. Rather, it’s important. And I believe that people who are comfortable with their appearance, know how to dress professionally and practice being photographed and video recorded have far greater chance at success in life than those that don’t.

One of the first steps I recommend taking is to change your attitude about being photographed and video recorded. Look at some people on line – Facebook is a great place to look at photographs – and see the people who are photogenic. What makes them photogenic? Is it the fact that they believe they look good? That’s not considered arrogance … that’s just confidence. Practice becoming more confident and you’ll have a better chance of having a good photograph taken, or video recorded, and those photographs and video recordings will contribute to your success far more effectively than bad photographs or non-confident video recordings.

photo credit: 27 via photopin (license)

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