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Posts Tagged ‘Video Production’

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.

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 Story Line vs. Video Production

Friday, December 19th, 2014

6819858446_f69c2caa52In previous blog posts we wrote about the video experience, the value of video and video production in general. Primeau Productions has always been open with sharing our successes and experiences with video. We always get great feedback from our readers and our clients rave about our work.

In this post I want to share a concept about the ‘story’, which in our opinion is more important to the success of the video than the production.

Every business thinking about producing video content to support their Internet marketing efforts has a story to tell. However, many businesses insist on producing resume style video content instead of telling their story. At the root of people’s motivation to view video is their desire to hear a story. Paul Harvey, legendary radio announcer told stories in his broadcasts. Then at the end of his story, he would deliver his legendary line ‘and now the rest of the story’.

Think about documentaries that tell stories, like the award winning documentary of 2013 Searching for Sugar Man. Even though the video production value is not great, it still won awards for best documentary because of the story! People love to watch video production about stories. Even professional speakers use stories to communicate their message. From the beginning of recorded time orators used storytelling to captivate their audiences.

Dave Grohl, drummer, singer and songwriter extraordinaire from the Foo Fighters and Nirvana created a HBO series, Sonic Highways, which has excellent stories about how music changed the landscape of America. He also used high end video production but kept it simple during the story telling portions of the show.

What can you communicate to your audience about your story? Think about how you can use stories about the history of your industry or family to make your video compelling. We believe that if you have a great story to tell and it is produced using professional video production, then video will help you gain attention from interested viewers on the Internet.

Even businesses like pawn shops have used storytelling to build their audiences. If you are having trouble determining your story to tell, give Primeau Productions a call and we will be glad to help you share your story with the world.

 

photo credit: Once upon a time … via photopin (license)

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

Monday, September 29th, 2014

2381055837_f8b9ef79baSo 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 cyber culture, 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 Please 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.’

photo credit: _GGB2017 via photopin (license)

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