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Which Type of Video Works for Your Business or Project?

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Video is an important part of advertising, and can be instrumental in informing your customers about many aspects of your business, from your product line to your company culture to education. With so many different types of video, it’s important to assess your goals and decide which type will best help you reach them. Whether it’s a company overview or a series of interviews to demonstrate your expertise, do some serious planning before you commit to production to get the best value.

Some types of video to consider:

  • Company overview – this video is usually a documentary-style video that can include b-roll of your business in action, short interview clips with your employees and/or customers, shots of your company culture, and usually has a music track playing in the background to help evoke an overall feel. Sometimes these can be quite moving, depending on the business. For example, we are working on a video for Shorecrest Preparatory School, and it’s quite beautiful, with a lot of emotive shots of the students and teachers in a passionate learning environment. The video truly evokes the culture of Shorecrest, and you are lucky if you finish watching it without shedding a tear. We also just finished a company culture video for Big Frog Custom T-Shirts – it really demonstrates what the Big Frog Franchise Group is all about and they are excited to use it to capture the hearts of new potential franchisees.
  • Interviews – interview videos can serve several purposes, and are usually less time consuming than a full company overview and can be repurposed and used in other videos like the company overview, case studies, etc. Depending on your goal, interview videos may involve one of your staff answering questions about their expertise, process, or the company culture. You may invite clients to do an interview video for a case study about your company, or do an entire video with client testimonials.
  • Case Studies – case study videos can focus on a particular project that you’ve worked on and may include many elements, from client testimonials to shots of your employees in action. These videos are a great way to demonstrate just how great your business is and how passionate you are about your work. This is an added bonus for your clients – when you post the video you should always tag your client to drive traffic to their site. Case study videos are a great marketing tool on multiple levels for that reason – you are promoting your work and your clients’ work, plus you are giving clients an incentive to hire you – you feature them in your beautiful videos!
  • Video blogs – this is a blanket term that can include some of the other types of videos, especially interview videos, but these can also be somewhat more casual and some companies do these in-house with camera phones or personal video cameras. Video blogs can be anything from weekly or daily updates about new products, company news, or commentary on what’s happening in the industry. The sky is the limit with video blogs, in a way, because they are very specific to the atmosphere of your blog and your industry.
  • Educational videos – educational videos can be created for your staff or your clients. These may be product demos, or instructional videos for training purposes. You may even create several of this type of video to use for your inbound marketing efforts. For example, a videographer may post a short video on how to create simple video blogs outlining the equipment needed, easy-to-use editing programs, and places to find stock music for background and inexpensive stock b-roll if needed. This is a great resource for potential clients, and if they need a more professional video produced in the future, you will probably come to mind.

Videos are great marketing tools – just make sure that if you make the investment, you plan properly and have clear goals in mind. Contact Pinstripe Marketing if you’d like to discuss your video project – we can help you plan and execute the perfect video for your company’s needs.

Video Production: Tips for Staying Organized

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We have been doing a lot of video production lately, so our minds have been on video production and best practices for smooth sailing. Specifically, we want to discuss how important it is to stay organized.

It is important to be specific, concise, and to think about every angle in video production from the very first brainstorming session. Below is a list to help you stay more organized in your production, or at least to understand the process a little better when you hire a company.

  • Brainstorming – This is the foundation of your video. During your first brainstorming session, look at samples of work you love, choose elements of those videos that you love and take note of those so that you can incorporate them into your final video. Start thinking of the individual shots that you will need and keep a list.
  • Storyboarding – This is where you start to get more specific. With the initial shot list and favorite samples in mind, you will start to visualize the video and how that final product will look. This is a very detailed process in which you imagine what each frame will contain and, if you can sketch, you sketch it out. If not, a paragraph or notes will suffice. From this you can begin building a more detailed shot list as well.

video storyboard

  • Equipment list – Now that you have a shot list, you’ll want to make sure you have the equipment you need to execute the shots you want. Again, be very specific and make sure to cover every single base. There’s nothing worse than realizing that you don’t have a key piece of equipment when you need it on the day of the shoot!
  • Scheduling – Once you have your storyboard and detailed shot list complete, you can start scheduling your shooting days. The shot list will inform this scheduling. This is another place where being very organized and specific will help cut down on resources like time and travel. Make sure to leave time for retakes, breaks, and travel between locations.
  • Organizing Files – Sometimes, you’ll be downloading files on location, so you’ll want to think about your folder structure before the shooting day. This will help you to be more agile when it’s time to download the files on the fly, but also, this will make post-production run more smoothly. You cannot be over-prepared for a video shoot.
  • Editing – Another time where it is important to think the process through very carefully so that you can organize your files in a way that makes sense. You will refer back to your storyboard during editing to use that as a guide for your decisions about composition, sound, color correction, etc.

Video production is a creative endeavor, but it also requires a technical, organized mindset in order to execute it efficiently. Pinstripe Marketing offers full video production and animation, as well as consulting services to help your team create videos in house.

 

Do-It-Yourself Video: Stephen Spielberg or Ed Wood Jr.?

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There are many reasons you might want to create a corporate video for your business—video blogging, demonstrating a new product, offering a tour of your premises. The good news is that this form of communication has never been more accessible and easy to use than it is today. Many modern smartphones deliver higher quality video than some professional cameras of just 25 years ago. Additionally, there are inexpensive video-editing programs that will let you trim footage, add special effects, lay sound tracks and include graphics that can be mastered in just a few hours.

On the other hand, it’s still very easy to produce a very bad video, and all of today’s technology and editing capabilities sometimes give amateur film-makers a false sense of security. If you’re going to produce a video for your company, here are 10 steps for improving the process.

  • Have a clear purpose for your video. Before you dedicate a single pixel to your production, know what message you’re trying to convey and focus your energy on presenting that communication as concisely and effectively as possible.
  • Write a script. This will get you thinking about location, the people (“talent”) you will need, necessary props, and any graphics you may wish to create. If this is going to be a short production, you may not need an official script to share with others, but it’s important to have an outline so everything will proceed smoothly. Chances are, you’ll be taking people away from their regular duties so don’t waste anyone’s time by having to figure things out while on the set.
  • Make sure you’ll have adequate lighting.  When people think of poor-quality video, bad lighting is one thing that comes immediately to mind. You’ll need to take pains to overcome the shadows, sickly hues or graininess that often comes from inadequate indoor lighting. If at all practical, the best option may be stay near windows or to go outside in the sunlight. Not only will the lighting be great, it will add a certain freshness to your work.
  • Focus on sound quality. First try to shoot in isolation from background noise. If indoors, disconnect phones, intercom systems, computer alerts, etc. Let others know that you’re filming and to be quiet if they’re nearby. Next, have microphones for people who will be speaking on camera; external mics simply don’t sound very good. Also, as you film, stop to do a sound check. No one wants to sit down to edit video and discover there’s no audio.
  • Avoid extended shots of ‘talking heads.’ Having a single person talking on screen for a long time (20 seconds or more) gets monotonous. Consider using B-roll (secondary footage to appear on screen in accompaniment of narration) as a good way to change things up. If nothing else, at least change the camera angle.
  • Be careful with ‘jump cuts.’ It used to be a no-no to have someone talking on screen with an obvious edit taking place right in the middle of their speaking, but some film-makers like the effect. A good guide as to what’s acceptable might be that the break appears to be an artistic choice, rather than something you’re hoping to get away with.
  • Let the talent ‘act natural.’ If you want someone to be terrible on camera, just tell them to “act natural,” so don’t ever say those words … and yet … The best approach is to tell the person being filmed to just “talk to you.” Then turn the camera on and let them go. If they mess up, you can always fix it in editing (and maybe with some B-roll). And don’t be too critical. Nobody’s a professional here.
  • Change up the angle of action scenes. Just as is the case with the talking heads, you don’t want to linger too long on any single shot, even if the subjects are engaged in an on-screen activity. Change the angle of the shot, or consider a semi close-up of a participant’s face.
  • Make sure your anchorperson or narrator speaks clearly. You want inflection in your speaker’s voice but don’t overdo it. (This is an amateur corporate video, not Shakespeare’s King Lear.) He or she should speak at a good pace but fully enunciate each word. It’s also usually best to avoid thick accents.
  • Don’t worry about “it.” When you finish work on your video, there will inevitably be something that bothers you … something that you would like to have done differently or that didn’t come out the way you imagined. Remember, when people view your film, they’ll only see what you show them on screen. They’ll never know all the “shoulda, woulda, couldas” that are floating around in your own hyper-critical head. Simply learn from your experience … you’ll get better with time.
  • Hire a consultant. If you’re producing weekly or monthly blogs and want to be able to do your video in house, but also want to do a great job, consider hiring a video consultant like Pinstripe Marketing, who will give you advice on location, lighting, equipment, audio, and editing programs to suit your purpose. They can even point you in the direction of stock footage and music to spice up your videos. Spending a little money up front on a pro consultant can help your videos stand out and make sure you are not wasting money on costly errors.

Want some help producing a corporate video? We’re ready!

Marketing as a New Year’s Resolution

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Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to grow your business? To do more marketing? To be more strategic? To work smarter, not harder? You’re not alone! Each year, our phones start ringing on January 2nd with clients ready to start off strong.

If you need support to refresh your brand, launch that new web site, generate new content, shoot new videos, design new marketing collateral, build relationships with the media, or just to keep you on track – we’re here for you. Let’s set up a meeting and discuss your resolutions!

Be More Awesome in 2016!

Nikki Devereux Joins Pinstripe Marketing

Nikki Devereux

We are thrilled to welcome Nikki Devereux to the Pinstripe family! She is one of those “more talent in her pinky finger” kind of people that will make a big impact for her clients. As a project manager, she helps develop competitive marketing strategies and creative communications that get results. We’ll also be taking advantage of her skills as a professional photographer and videographer. New portraits for everybody!

Nikki comes to us with both agency and in-house marketing experience, including her role as an instructional designer for Pinstripe client, Suncoast Hospice Institute, where she designed online education tools for hospice staff throughout the U.S.

Please join us in welcoming Nikki and give her a call if you’re ready to get started!

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