Video Marketing

Making working for free valuable

Working for freeIn this industry, people are often working for free. As a filmmaker there are times this is acceptable, such as if the work is for a charity or nonprofit organization that has no budget. However, if the nonprofit organization is run by high-paid executives, they should be able to pay for their video.

It can also be acceptable to work for free for indie productions with low to no budget. After all, this is often how people gain valuable experience. But are there other valuable ways to compensate volunteers besides money?

You bet there are. As the filmmaker, you can make the project a strong learning experience for volunteers. Sure this will slow down your production a little, but often all it takes to improve the learning experience is more thinking out loud. Talk about why you’re setting up the lights in the way you are. What motivates the choices of camera angles? If you explore all of this, you will provide value to your volunteers and it may just make you a better filmmaker. If you’re asking yourself why throughout the shoot, your project can only improve. One of the best ways to learn is to teach.

Set aside some question and answer time. You’re busy and have a lot on your mind, but you’ve just asked a group of people to give up their time. So, give up a little of yours. If you can, set up mentorship teams. For example, team a new grip with an experienced grip.

Make sure you have a good photographer on the set. Photograph everyone who volunteered and offer them images. There are lots of photographers that love to work on sets because they need portfolio work.

Feed your crew! This is one thing you must include in your budget: water for all and something to eat. People have already spent money to support your shoot by showing up. Don’t expect them to go hungry.

Put everyone’s name in the credits; that’s a no brainer. Let your people say, Look grandma there’s my name at the end of the slasher zombie movie. We all want our ego stroked to some degree and this form of recognition costs you almost nothing. You might also think about sending a personalized email to each volunteer. Make it something they can use as a reference.

So think about the people that are giving you their time. Make it a rewarding experience for them. Give up some of your time to make sure they feel valued.

Oh and if you are producing a commercial shoot and you think you can ask for volunteers, think again. The client should be billed for the work done by everyone on the set. Your client is in business to make money and you are too.

Video Marketing

15 seconds – That’s all folks

Did you watch my 15-second video? Did it catch your interest? Rumour has it Facebook will soon be posting video ads in timelines. And the ads will be this short.

So what can you communicate in 15 seconds? That is a very short story to tell. Can you capture the attention of the scrolling public in 15 seconds? What is more important: the visual or the audio?

If Facebook accurately filters for the correct buyer, a very brief video might be more effective than a longer one–at least when it comes to sparking the customer’s interest. For example, if Facebook identified that the person is looking for fine furniture, the video shown in this posting would foster deeper interest in Gelinas Carr Furniture. After seeing the 15-second video, the customer would be much more likely to explore the company’s website.

As for whether audio or video is most important, consider this. The 15-second video has to first catch the customer’s eye, so the visual must be engaging. But as soon as the customer is interested, they will turn on the audio. At that point, the audio becomes just as important as the visual.

Video production teams must plan for 15-second and 30-second spots. This may sound easy, but it takes careful planning to make sure the message remains clear. With a carefully focused script and well planned visuals, 15-second videos can be effective.

So up your game by giving value added content to your customers. Pick items you can explain in 15 seconds. If they are good, your 15-second videos will be shared beyond the circle of Facebook’s targeted audience. Most people watch videos for one of two reasons: to be entertained or to learn. People share what they like. Soon potential customers that never knew you existed will know who you are. Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Take advantage of it. If you don’t, your competition will.

Timelapse Video Production Visual Storytelling

Timelapse vs Hyperlapse

This is just my opinion. Please feel free to form your own. But I think it’s important to keep terms clear and to be as precise as possible. How else can we understand one another?

I think hyperlapse is a term that is frequently misunderstood. The above timelapse was  shot while driving, but I don’t consider it a hyperlapse even though the camera was moved a great distance over the timespan in which the film was shot. To me, this projects is just motion timelapse because I shot many objects over a period of time.

In contrast, hyperlapse requires that one object be the sole subject of the film. As the camera moves, this object remains the important feature of the film. So tracking of this object must be maintained. Here is an example of what I would call hyperlapse created by Novalapse:

So this is what I will be practising over the next while as I learn to take good hyperlapses. I hope the results will please everyone. Come back later to see what I create.

Video Production

How much do videos cost?

If you’ve ever wondered how much videos cost, check out this article:  How Much Does Video Production Cost?

Video Production

What is my niche?

I came across a very interesting posting from Preston Kanak entitled How to Find Your Niche. So I sat down and answered his set of questions. This is what I discovered about my niche:

  1. What is it that drives you? – Technology. I love to learn how things work and then try to apply that knowledge.

  2. If you could do anything in the world, what would it be? – I would go out and explore how things work and then share the knowledge I gained.

  3. If you were dying, what knowledge do you have that you would like to share? – That you can do anything if you are willing to try. Sure it isn’t always what you first expected, but it will be satisfying. Even knowing that you tried is often enough.

  4. Ask someone, what would you buy from me if I was smart enough to sell it to you? – I’ll let you answer this one, so post your answers in the comments.

  5. What are you good at? – Figuring out how things work and seeing other applications for it.

  6. What do you enjoy doing? – Playing with ideas.

  7. What do you do in your free time? – Inventing, photography, exploring the outdoors, researching and driving my wife a little nuts.

  8. Who do you want to work with? – One of the teams from the Discovery channel or How It’s Made.

My conclusion is that my niche is documenting technology and how it’s used. I’ve been looking at my past projects. The wetland restoration project documented people using technology to restore what was once there. With Gelinas Carr Furniture, I loved the woodworking technology/knowledge.

So if you have anything technical to be documented or showcased, wouldn’t you want someone who loves technology to do that for you?