Monday, July 29, 2013

Smartphone Obsession

Would you leave your house without your smartphone? If your answer is never in a MILLION years, don’t worry you’re not alone, or remotely crazy, but maybe a little bit obsessed. 80% of people that own a smartphone are exactly like you. And a reported 72% keep their smartphones within a distance of 5 feet, the majority of the time.  I’ve even heard cases of people holding onto their phone while they sleep. And then there are the one in four people who say that can’t live without it.

Why? What is with this smartphone obsession? You might think that since you already have a computer at home, is it necessary to have a mobile one? Smartphones offer a wide range of functions, including allowing you connect with people in a variety of ways (e.g email, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp), helping you catch up on the daily news, listen to music, check your banking information, use GPS, and of course, watch online videos… all on the go. But people aren’t just using their smartphones whilst on the train or bus; there are reports that people are using their smartphones in the most unusual places, such as in the shower, movie theatres, as well as on dates.

According to another survey, 40% of people would rather give up video games, 28% would give up alcohol, 23% would rather give up coffee, and 35% would rather give up television, than part with their beloved smartphone. And those percentages are rapidly increasing.

About 77 percent said they had searched for a product or business on their phone.

So, what exactly does this mean for corporate videos and businesses?

This means that there is a huge population of people constantly and consistently connected to the internet at all times. Thus, all businesses (big or small) should take advantage of our current smartphone obsession through the use of online corporate videos. According to Google Canada’s head of mobile advertising, Eric Morris, about 75% of people had streamed video on their small screen and almost one in five said they did it daily. People are watching videos on the biggest screen they have readily available to them, which happens to be their phones nowadays.

It was just only years ago that a small percentage made a purchase with their phone, and now it’s skyrocketed to a staggering 50%.

According to Insights West President Steve Mossop, this smartphone addiction is “the holy grail for marketers and businesses.”

Video consumption on mobile phones has grown faster than PC video or tablet video in the last year, with 41 MILLION people in the U.S. alone already having watched a video on their phones. That contradicts the views of doubters who thought phone screens were just too small for video, or that wireless networks would never support it.

So, if you are a small business or even a large corporation this is the time to have an online presence. And the best way to do so is create an online corporate video.

Here at Keywest we are professionals when it comes to producing online corporate videos.

Smartphone Obsession

Friday, July 26, 2013

KEY Points on 3 Point Lighting

You’ve bought the expensive video camera; you have your interview subject, now what comes next? The location appears to have good lighting, so does that mean you don’t need any extra lighting?

Lighting brings productions to a more professional looking level, so it’s definitely necessary if you are shooting an interview. Without using artificial lighting, your interview could look very poorly done (even though it was shot on an expensive video camera). So why waste hours of shooting time when you can hardly make out the outline of your subject’s face?

When it comes to lighting, Three Point Lighting is one of the basics. It’s the easiest to set up, and doesn’t take that much time and sweat.

As you might have guessed, there are three lights being used. Now the lights can be the same wattage and bulb size, what actually makes them differ is the position you place them in during the interview. Don’t try turning all three lights on at the same moment. You should turn them on one by one, starting with the Key Light.

  • The Key light is the dominant light source, as it illuminates the subject. It should be placed at about a 45-degree angle above and to either the right or left of the subject’s face. You will soon notice that shadows appear on your subject’s nose and neck giving them a three-dimensional look. Don’t worry this is actually a good thing, this means you have set up the Key light properly. Now it’s the job of the second light to fix that problem.

  • The Fill Lights’ job is to fill in the shadows created by the Key Light. The Fill Light is placed on the opposite side of the Key Light. The Fill Light should be on a similar level to the subject/camera. You may have to play a little with the fill light as in where it should be positioned exactly, as it is the direct reaction to the key light. The fill light should be about two or three stops dimmer than the key. You can achieve this by either moving back the light or by using a diffuser.

  • Last but definitely not least is the Backlight. And as its name suggests, it is positioned in the background –aimed towards the back of the subject (head and shoulders). It’s the final light that completes the whole set up. Its main job is to separate the subject from the background. It produces a sense of distance between the subject and the background, giving it a sort of third dimensional look on screen. And if you have a nice background to work with, you can also aim the back light at that. The back light should be at least as bright as the Key Light and in some situations often brighter.

When all three lights are properly put together, you will have a very natural three dimensional looking shot. And if used properly you could look like you have shot like a pro (even if you aren’t one yet).

Here at Keywest we are professionals when it comes to Lighting.


KEY Points on 3 Point Lighting

Monday, July 22, 2013

Why Your Corporate Video Failed: 5 Common Mistakes

You’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars and invested all of your time and energy into this Video thinking thousands will watch it. The internet is so accessible that you assumed everyone would come across it. Makes sense right? However, after all this, you don’t notice any change in your business. Why is no one watching this video you put all your sweat into? Why did it fail? Here is a list of 5 common mistakes you may have made that contributed to the failure of your video:

  1. No clear message. Sometimes too much information is really too much information. What did you want your audience to do after watching that video? If you don’t know, they probably don’t know either.  There should be one clear straightforward message – any more than that would be too confusing.  A good video can be summed up in one sentence.  Therefore, sometimes a written script is essential (even when there is no voiceover) to map out the framing and delivery of your main idea. 

  2. The video didn’t touch your audience. It simply failed to tell a story; your video didn’t make the audience feel something and keep them engaged. Clearly you want to promote your product/business and the most obvious way would be through facts and more facts. But if done the wrong way facts can be dull, boring, and lose the attention of your audience on the spot. Therefore, you need to know your audience andwhat they want so that you can better understand them and reach out to them on a more personal level. Remember: your audience comes first

  3. All About you. “Our company has this, or does this well  …etc” = dull. Don’t make it all about you. This doesn’t connect with your audience at all. You need to try and introduce something of value to your viewer. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPod, he could have said, “Apple made a thing that holds 5 gigs and is amazing and lightweight and just the zippiest thing ever!” Do you know what he said instead? “You can put a thousand songs in your pocket.”

  4. Budget isn’t big enough. Video production can be very costly. If you want an amazing video, you are going to have to fork over the dough.  Sometimes, people think that they can just hire someone who has all the equipment to make a video, and this person will provide them with the same quality of video as that of an actual professional production company. There is a difference, a vast one, and your audience will know. Remember that your video reflects directly on your company, and elements like bad lighting, bad actors, and bad photography, etc. reflect badly on your image

  5. Video is too long. Keep your video short.  Due to the ever-shortening attention span of the web audience (after less than 30 seconds, if not interested they can simply move on to another video without fully grasping yours), videos need to be as short as possible. The audience can only really be engaged for a short period of time, and then they start to lose their focus. But what if your video requires more time? If this happens to be the case, produce a primary video and support it with supplementary videos to get your message across.

Here at Keywest, we have been producing corporate videos for more than 20 years. We are aware of the above mentioned mistakes and more; therefore, we are committed to ensuring your corporate video doesn’t fail. 

Why Your Corporate Video Failed: 5 Common Mistakes

Thursday, July 18, 2013

5 Things to Look for in Choosing a Corporate Video Company

Corporate Video Companies… they all make videos. So, does it really matter WHICH Video Company you choose to go with? Without any guarantee of how it will really end, you will be parting with a large sum of money.

So, you should consider being a little finicky when it comes time to choose one.  Or you could end up with an amateur video, with wasted money and time, which can ultimately reflect badly on your corporate image. Once you have found your company –after much patience, you wont need to repeat the process for your next project. Here are 5 tips and guidelines to look out for when choosing a Corporate Video Company.

1. Make sure this Video Company is actually Professional. Do your research. How long has this company been in business? What make’s a professional is their training, skills and their countless years of experience on the job. These days many people are calling themselves  ‘professional’. Just because you might own a camera and a laptop with editing platforms doesn’t make you a pro. If you want a good video, you will also need a company that has high-end equipment – green screen-teleprompter’s etc. Although, even though the company may have the most high-end equipment, that’s not all that matters. What really matters is the ‘professionals’ running it

2. Reputation.  Does the company have an online reputation? Are they found on any social media sites? If so, pay close attention to what people are saying about them. A great Corporate Video Company should have testimonials and reviews from previous clients posted on their website. Check that out. Also look out for repeat clients. If clients keep coming back, it can only mean one thing: they were clearly more than satisfied with their work.

3. Quality of Work. Have you seen any of their work? They should offer recent samples of their work pertaining to the style of video you are interested in. A clear sign the company isn’t legit is when they have no samples to offer you, or offers you dated material. Looking at their previous works will also give you some sort of idea as to if they have fresh and creative ideas. If you see the same boring style of videos, that’s a sign that your video most likely wont be any better than that.

4. Customer Service? Do they even seem like they care about your vision? At first you may think there doesn’t have to be that’ chemistry’ when we first meet; business is business. Think again. You will be working with these people for weeks. There will be those long days of countless hours of shooting and editing- and it wouldn’t be half bad if you were hanging out with people you actually enjoyed working with.

5. Budget. Avoid companies that don’t provide you with a clear and comprehensive quote after your meeting.  Some production companies offer packages of their services in addition to being able to add on even more services.  You will most likely find quotes all over the map, but make sure to take careful note of the breakdown of the prices in the quote. Don’t make price the one and all deciding factor in choosing a company. Some companies guarantee a ridiculously lower price compared to others, but then slowly adds hidden costs during the later stages, which in the end can end up costing you more.

Here at Keywest we embody all of the above mentioned and more. We have been producing corporate videos for over 20 years. We are experts in corporate videography and post-production.We offer countless samples of corporate videos from clients whom we have yet to disappoint. Check us out on our website for more information or for a quote on your next video.

5 Things to Look for in Choosing a Corporate Video Company

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Rise in Video and What it Can Mean for Your Business.

 It’s a digital world out there, and it’s on the rise. There are already more than a billion people on Facebook, surfing the net and on smart phones. And according to nearly 200 million people by 2015 will be viewing a video online. This growing use of digital technology can mean anyone can potentially reach out to a massive market with very little effort. It’s literally changed the way we communicate and do business. Some say a picture is worth more than a 1000 words, now imagine a video. According to one doctor less than a minute of video equals 1.8 MILLION words.

People are more engaged now with both audio and visual communication compared to the previous visual advertisements.  So for advertising and marketing why wouldn’t you go digital to enhance your business? Research has even proven that an online video is 50 times more likely to show up on Google compared to a text web page.

Video hasn’t completely replaced radio or the written word, but it’s definitely an increasingly popular form of communication and is not just limited to the T.V or the net anymore. It’s travelled as far out to mobile devices—even Instagram has video now.

This makes corporate video one of the hottest advertising tools on the market today. Videos simply allow you to illustrate your stuff, in a social interactive way.  Research reveals that people spend on average 48 seconds on a specific website. Now if that website features a video, that time soars to 5 minutes and 50 seconds.

80% That’s the percent of internet users according to Online Publishers Association who recall watching a video ad on a website in the past 30 days. 46% of users took some action after watching the video.

What does that mean? Corporate videos just make sense for promoting businesses.

If you’re not using video marketing in this day and age, you’re missing out on a huge market opportunity.

Here at Keywest, we are experts in corporate video production. For more than 20 years, we have worked with companies and organizations both big and small focusing on promoting your company’s success.

The Rise in Video and What it Can Mean for Your Business.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

5 Tips for Shooting Green Screen

1. Lighting

  • Try to light the green screen as evenly as possible, and avoid dark shadows whenever you can.

  • Light the backdrop and subject separately. When lighting the backdrop, it is common to use diffused softbox lights. And when lighting the subject, it is recommended that you use a three-point lighting system – a key light, fill light, and a back light – along with the necessary reflectors.

Take a look at this 5 Point Lighting Set up from “GreenMan Blogs!

The most basic way is to keep the key, fill, and backlight in relatively the same position as you would have them in a 3 point lighting set up. With the key being the brightest light, position it at about a 45 degree angle from the camera, facing the subject. The fill should be on the opposite side, at a lower intensity, and still at that 45 degree angle from the camera. The backlight can be positioned behind and slightly to one side of the subject, so it frames the subject and is out of the camera’s view. The other two lights you can use to light the backdrop. Place one on either side, but let the beams cross each other so that the light seems to just flood the background.

2. Maintain correct distance between backdrop and subject

  • There are different opinions on what the correct distance between the backdrop and subject should be. According to several sources, the ideal distance between the green screen backdrop and subject is 10 feet.

  • B&H Photo Video suggests: “While there’s general agreement about at least 4-6ft background to subject distance, the reality is, further is better to control the spill of chroma light bounced onto the subject which would result in a dark matte-line around them once it’s keyed.”

3. Keep it blurry in camera

  • Turn off in-camera sharpening as it makes it difficult to get a clean edge between your foreground and your green screen.

  • Although it improves the image quality, in-camera sharpening can also bring out noise and imperfections in the green screen, making it even more difficult to obtain a clean edge.

  • Turning of in-camera sharpening may be unsettling for your Director of Photography as it will definitely make it harder for him/her to focus. However, in terms of the chroma keying process, it’s best to shoot without sharpening and add it in post-production.

4. Resolution and Framing

  • You’ll want to shoot your green screen production in the highest resolution that you can possibly afford. This is because the more detail you are able to capture, cleaner your footage will look after keying.

  • It’s best to get the tightest shot possible. Since you’ll be dealing with the footage in post-production, you don’t need to concern yourself with the typical “safe areas” that are normally cut off by monitors and televisions.

  • To maximize resolution, a good trick is to tilt the camera 90 degrees when shooting standing people.

5. Blue or Green?

  • Although we generally use green screen, some are faced with the challenge of deciding between a blue and a green background.

  • Green screens are more popular because green provides a brighter channel and tends to have less noise than its blue counterpart. However, green screen can pose a challenge when shooting a subject with blonde hair as the hair reflects the green and can be a nightmare in post-production.

  • Blue screen can be used in a small space where the subject has to be very close to the background and you can’t avoid a lot of spill. This is because we tend to find that casting a blue hue isn’t as unsettling as a green one, especially when shooting for outdoors.

At Keywest, we know green screen. Our in-house green screen studio is built for clean and effective chroma keying. We can also pack it up and set up wherever you are. You can also use our high-definition post suite to key footage or create stunning graphics to deliver the final product.

5 Tips for Shooting Green Screen