Categories
Marketing Video Marketing Video Production Visual Storytelling

Value-Added Video

Value-Added Video

Business is about building trust. Whether you sell shoes or mortgages, if you can show potential customers that you’re an expert, you’ll win their confidence. The internet is full of videos that describe what a company sells. Why not offer something more?

A promotional video that teaches people something they want to know fosters goodwill. Who doesn’t appreciate helpful advice from an expert? Plus, a value-added video demonstrates your expertise and it may just give you a following. Answer a useful question well, and people will not only appreciate your efforts, they’ll look to you the next time they have a question.

As a business owner, you’re passionate about what your company has to offer. A value-added video gives you the opportunity to share that passion with the world. It could be how to fold a fitted bedsheet or why you need different types of wine glasses. Teach, empower and engage your customers.

Would you rather buy a barbeque from the store that shows you rows of product, or from the store that taught you how to prepare meat for smoking? What about the landscaping service that gives you a video on how to plant spring bulbs? Or, the tool rental place that shows you how to power wash?

See how this video describes a service, while teaching the importance of a good bike fit.

Now that you know the importance of a proper fit, where will you go to have it done? That’s the power of a value-added video. Show and sell your expertise. We all have special knowledge and skills that make us valuable to our customers. What can you teach yours?

You have an expertise to share. We have the expertise to capture it in an engaging video. Let’s get together and talk about how to showcase your business.

Categories
Marketing Video Marketing Video Production Visual Storytelling

Testimonials – Getting the Word Out

Your customers know what makes your business special. Let them tell the story for you. We all see written testimonials and recommendations posted on the web and they’re great. But when you use the power of video to share testimonials, the message is even more engaging. What could be more powerful than actual people telling the world what they think of your business? Putting a face on the message raises the credibility and the impact.

Testimonial videos are also great for social media. These days almost everyone spends time on social media. By having a video presence, you keep the attention of your customers longer and you give them something interesting to share with their friends. Just imagine what a television commercial would cost you. In today’s world, you can take that same content and share it on social media for a fraction of the cost. Depending on how it is shared, a social media post could stick around for a lot longer. After all, it is viewable on demand. Check out this video we created for Cycle Therapy Bikes.

As Brenda Burch, social media expert and owner of Social Media is Simple, says about the video we did for Cycle Therapy: “Video is the BIG THING and this video is beautifully done, authentic as heck, talks about the bikes, but also talks about the experience and the PEOPLE. We love this!”

Story in Focus is proud of the business we’ve created and our customers know the value of our services. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of marketing. With video, you can capture what your customers have to say about your business and share it with the world. We work hard to make your customers comfortable in front of the camera and we engage them in a relaxed conversation. When this happens, powerful phrases just naturally pour from their mouths and we collect those bits of gold in a concise video. Is it time to let others blow your horn? Why not use a testimonial video to bolster word-of-mouth marketing for your business? Give us a call and we’ll work with you to share what makes your business special on the web.

Categories
Aerial Services

3D mapping from above

Although 3D mapping has been done for years using various methods, UAVs now offer a new economical alternative to conventional methods. This first image is a mosaic created from a fly-over with a UAV operated by Story In Focus.

Aerial 3D Mapping

 

It is constructed of 28 images shot from 162 feet above the take-off point. While the autopilot triggers the camera, it also records the GPS position of the UAV. All the position information and photos are imported into the photo analysis software. Through the miracle of mathematics and image recognition, the software creates a point cloud in 3D space that represents the terrain.

Point Cloud

 

This point cloud contains all the information needed to create a 3D surface model of the area. The texture mapping is completed next, giving the surface a realistic appearance.

Measure Volume

 

There are many benefits to having a 3D surface model with texture mapping and software capable of analyzing the information. Do you see the light colored gravel pile in the foreground? That gravel pile contains 596 cubic meters of material. How do we know that? Well, we used the aerial survey gathered with our UAV and Agisoft software (www.agisoft.com) to calculate that information. This complete aerial survey and results were obtained within four hours from the take-off of the UAV. Models created by the software can also be imported into other mapping and design software for use by engineers, architects, aggregate companies, landscapers, and others.

Not only do UAVs produce wonderful aerial images and videos, they also can provide valuable information at a lower cost than conventional methods. This example is just one of the possibilities. Together let’s find ways for your company to reduce costs through the use of our services.

Categories
Aerial Services Video Marketing Video Production

My aerial videography and photography journey

Aerial Video flight
Greg arming the UAV for an aerial video mission.

Unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones, are a big trend these days. For once, I’m actually part of a trend. Without knowing it,  I’ve been moving towards aerial videography since I was a child. It allows me to combine the two defining passions of my life.

My father was a forest ranger in northern Alberta, so I grew up on the end of a runway. I have many fond memories of being allowed to go up in Bell 47s and the forestry’s Helio Courier.

I started flying radio-controlled aircraft in high school and still remember the simple six-channel radios used at that time. My best friend Gord and I would load up a couple of gliders and search for a slope from which to soar.

After high school, I studied aircraft maintenance at SAIT. Soon, I was working on light aircraft doing everything from regular maintenance to complete rebuilds. I was one of the few from my class that actually used the lessons learned about fabric covering.

In the 1980s Alberta’s economy took a downturn, and jobs in aircraft maintenance dwindled. For a while, I pursued my other love—capturing images. I started off selling cameras, but soon I was assisting a very talented commercial photographer who taught me many things about photography and advanced darkroom techniques. Later, I did audio visual shows with large banks of synchronized slide projectors. I loved the technical aspect and started a business creating slides for business presentations.

When that market was eliminated by computer programs like PowerPoint, I returned to aviation. I became an air traffic controller. I loved working in the Lethbridge tower. Every day I went to work and watched the planes. It was perfect. But then they moved me to the Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) stream. There were no planes in sight and I was not happy.

In high school, I spent many hours in the machine shop making things. I decided to pursue a career as a machinist. Quickly, I became very good at what I did because I enjoy solving problems. I never took a production job because I knew that would kill me. Instead, I became a research and development machinist specializing in prototype work. I loved being inventive and designing things. I even made things for myself, such as a computer controlled camera mount for making virtual reality photographs, and a computer-controlled foam-cutting machine for production of radio-controlled aircraft wings. The computer-controlled foam-cutting machine was eventually purchased by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for use in their low-speed aerodynamics lab.

I was still playing with photography, and when digital video became affordable, I was in like a dirty shirt. Due to family reasons, a few years ago we started planning to move to the coast. My wife Debbie and I knew it was best to bring jobs with us, so I started making videos on the side. When we arrived on the coast, we launched Story in Focus video production.

It’s been a great journey so far and we’ve decided to take it one step further. Before moving to the coast, I started building unmanned aerial vehicles. I now have two that are ready to fly. We obtained our first Special Flight Operations Certificates a few weeks ago and have several others planned for the near future.

I have found a way to combine my love of flying radio control, knowledge of how things work, aviation safety knowledge, and film skills in one package. I am doing what I was made to do and I am loving it.

Categories
Aerial Services

“Drone” safety considerations

Drone-UAS over Birds Eye Cove Farm
A drone flight over Birds Eye Cove Farm.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), better known as drones, require special safety considerations. Recently, The Province published a great article: The buzz on drones: Operators need to know how to fly them safely.

Story in Focus recently went through the process of obtaining a Special Flight Operation Certificate (SFOC) from Transport Canada. It isn’t easy. Transport Canada requires manuals that detail safety, roles, operation and maintenance of each UAS the company intends to use. But it is more than a paperwork exercise. By carefully documenting our procedures, we were able to ensure that safety will be maintained throughout our operation. My background in air traffic control and aircraft maintenance came in useful when preparing the manuals, so did my partner’s technical writing skills.

In addition to manuals, Transport Canada also requires operators to carry liability insurance. Story in Focus carries $2M. We will continue to do our best to ensure that nothing goes wrong, but if it does we have coverage.

Companies wanting to employ the services of a UAS operator should ensure their contractor is properly certified and insured. It is not legal for a company to sell UAS services without a SFOC from Transport Canada. Fines from Transport Canada range from $10,000.00 to $25,000.00. The UAS operator must also be properly insured; otherwise, if an incident happens, your company may be at risk.

The UAS industry is in its infancy and every day there are new uses for this technology. It’s not just for aerial photography. Farmers can use near infrared images to evaluate the health of their crops. Inspections of mining, construction and lumbering sites can be completed at a lower cost and more safely. In an afternoon, a UAS can gather all the information required to calculate the volume of mining stockpiles.

Infrared cameras can show heat loss from roofs or find a lost child in the woods. Images taken by using a UAS can be used to generate 3D models. This enables architects to design buildings in harmony with their surroundings while saving excavation expenses and minimizing environmental impact. These are just a few examples of what can be done. I’m sure you can think of others.

Using a UAS can save money, as long as it is used in a safe manner. That is the purpose of the SFOC process. Obtaining a SFOC helps ensure safety is in the forefront. If you ever want to explore the ways in which a UAS operator could help your company, please give me a call.

The video posted with this blog was a test of a new camera mount.

Greg Nuspel (250-510-7971)