Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Case Study: aluCine Highlight Reel

aluCine 14th annual Latin Film + Media Arts Festival was back in April and Keywest was happy to create a highlight reel to showcase some of the event’s greatest moments and those involved!

Keywest created a video that showcased the festival’s events, participants, volunteers, and organizers. Our videographers captured footage of every major event and testimonials from the key players within the aluCine community. The festival featured #ShortFilms, media-arts exhibitions, performances, artist talks, industry panel discussions, and much more. This year’s focus shone a spotlight on Mexico’s vibrant culture showcasing Mexican best of #ContemporaryCinema and media. The Keywest team combined dynamic footage with interesting interviews and testimonials to create an intriguing #HighlightVideo that is sure you make you attend next year’s festival!

Keywest was proud to be one of the major sponsors for this year’s #aluCine festival – the event displayed excellence and innovation in contemporary Latin American film and new media works. The annual festival functions as a vital Canadian outlet for emerging and established Latin filmmakers living in Canada, Latin America and the diaspora, while the year-round screenings, symposiums and workshops promote the development of #LatinFilm and culture in #Toronto.

aluCine aluCine

For the last twenty years, aluCine has presented a panorama of challenging and unique #LatinAmericanFilms by #LatinoArtists living in Canada and abroad. As a Latin American media festival in Canada, aluCine facilitates a convergence of Northern and Southern aesthetic and cultural sensibilities, broadening common understandings of what it means to be Latino, both in Canada and internationally. aluCine seeks to keep the culture surrounding Latin short film alive and well, be it fiction, documentary, animation or experimental. aluCine is committed to functioning as an outlet for the Latino community as a whole while embracing our community’s extraordinary diversity.

Did you attend #aluCine2014? Let us know your thoughts!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Free-Them PSA Launch

Free-Them is an initiative that is dedicated to raising awareness and funds to abolish global human trafficking the modern slave trade.

A large part of their message is emphasizing that slavery is a contemporary issue. Not only does slavery still exist, but there are more people in slavery than ever before in history.

Free-Them is holding their 5th Annual Freedom Walk in downtown Toronto on September 27th.

Keywest Video has partnered with Free-Them to produce a PSA for the walk event. Free-Them founder, Shae Invidiata collaborated with our camera team to design a haunting visual that echoed one of Free-Them’s previous viral graphic campaigns.

This shoot involved a single camera setup and rotating actors. This presented a unique challenge when it came to editing the piece. Similar shots, or shots from the same angle, are often jarring when cut together. This challenge was addressed at every step of the production, to ensure that the transitions were smooth. A panning key light over the actors face, helped “bookend” each shot, preparing it for a transition. That, combined with practical fog on set, and some additional fog effects added in the editing process really helped free the shot from any visual “anchors” in the background, easing the progression from one shot to the next.

Another important aspect of this PSA is its unique colour correction. In corporate video production, colour correction is often used to help “normalize” a shot’s hues, white balance and saturation. In this case, it was used to accentuate the mood of the piece.

Free-Them colour correction Free-Them colour correction

As you can see in this side-by-side comparison, we wanted to make the image seem colder and darker. The blue hues are intended to give the audience a feeling that the character might be outside in the moonlight and the de-saturating the image helped to pull back the warm colours in the skin tones, giving it a more uniform tone. You can read more about dramatic colour theory for cinematographers at

You can find more information, or register for the walk in the event section of the #FreeThem website. The 5th Annual Freedom Walk (#FreedomWalk2014) is presented by the Fairmont Royal York and the walk itself starts at the Fairmont Royal York Toronto on September 27th.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Interactive Handheld Projectors

Handheld projectors are not a new invention by any means; however thanks to TouchPico, interactive handheld projectors are.

TouchPico Interactive Handheld Projectors TouchPico Interactive Handheld Projectors

TouchPico from TouchJet offers a new handheld projector that boasts the ability to turn any flat surface into an interactive screen.

The small, white hand-sized device comes with a pen-like stylus and takes a regular 854 x 480 pico-projector – capable of projecting up to an 80-inch image at 150 lumens – and loads Android 4.2 on it. One end of the pen-like stylus, which is not attached to the projector, has an infrared switcher. The projector includes an infrared camera, which means it can track the movement of the pen in front of TouchPico’s screen. This allows you to interact with any on-screen objects with taps and gestures. TouchPico also includes HDMI and audio out ports; its built-in Wi-Fi can be used with Android’s Screencast technology. The projector runs off standard AC power.

In addition, there’s an auto-calibration system which, after initial setup, can keep the touch and projection layers synchronized even if you move the projector closer or further away from the wall. It’ll even keep working if the projection is at an angle.

Touchscreen handheld projectors like TouchPico can have a multitude of uses, especially for the travelling businessperson. Many of us store a great deal of content on our smartphones and a portable interactive projection screen could save plenty of time when it comes to presentation preparation and setup.

In our experience, there have been several instances in which presentations have not quite gone smoothly due to technical glitches or device incompatibility. Devices such as the TouchPico can remedy such issues, as it is automatically compatible with your device and ready to go when you are.

Take a look at this TouchPico review:

Tell us what you think of interactive handheld projectors. Will they benefit you and your business?

Friday, July 25, 2014

Why Choose Stock Footage?

Stock footage is essentially video that can be used in more than one production. It is beneficial to filmmakers because it can occasionally save them from having to shoot new or challenging material.

Currently there are several popular websites that provide licensing services for stock images, video and music. There’s a wealth of digital media available which can be licensed for all kinds of commercial use; iStock and Pond5 are among the most popular.

This week, one of our videographers took some time to shoot a variety of stock footage in public locations around the Toronto area. This served two purposes: it provided us with a few obscure shots that we needed for a current project, and we could also make these clips available for purchase online. You can buy some of the shots seen in this video, and many more on Keywest Video’s Pond5 account.

When shooting stock footage it’s important to consider the fact that you don’t know where the clip will end up. Since you don’t know what shot will be cut beside it, static frames and close-ups help separate the subject from its environment. This makes it easier for a potential editor to blend a stock image into their other material as seamlessly as possible.

That being said, static doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting. Use of dynamic photographic techniques such as time-lapse and extreme shutter speeds can make seemingly mundane objects look far more interesting. For example, in our vlog post this week you’ll see a waterfall fade from a slow shutter speed into an extremely fast shutter speed, virtually eliminating the motion blur. You can learn more about shutter speed techniques for digital video on

Stock Footage - Waterfall Shutter Speed Stock Footage – Shutter Speed

If you are putting together any type of video production, don’t forget about #StockFootage resources. Stock footage can add that finishing touch to your project and it can be extremely economical. After all, why should you go shoot two polar bears wrestling in slow motion yourself when there is a perfectly good piece of footage for sale already?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How To Be A Good Boss

Being the boss of a company has great rewards, but also can be very difficult. How to be a good boss is about being a team player and being human.

How To Be A Good Boss - Corporate Video Production Toronto How to be a good boss? Let your employees do what you hired them for.

You might be the owner of a company and are asking yourself how to be a good boss.  In the last couple of years Keywest has gone through many great changes.  We are busier and bigger than ever, and we keep striving to reach new heights.  A lot of the things we have been able to achieve is because of the great team we have.  Each member of the Keywest team have their specific role and skill set, and are always trying to find ways to improve and do more to make what we do the best it can be.

How I run my business

I tend to run Keywest in a way where I have certain criteria to be followed, and lists upon lists of things to do that I give to each member of the team to implement.  Once a given task is in their court, I expect my team to be able to do their job and they usually have free reign.  I trust them, and that is what is key to getting an employee to enjoy their job, and to want to do their best.  Knowing they are free to make decisions based on their skill set and experience without someone always hounding them allows for them to feel sure about themselves and the work they do.  How to be a good boss isn’t about actually bossing someone around.  It’s about letting your team roll with what you give them and creating something great.

Open Dialogue and Performance Reviews

I speak open and honestly with my employees.  I find it’s a very important ability to have when wanting to know how to be a good boss.  If an employee is outstanding, they know how I feel.  They know that I think they’re great.  If there are issues with an employee; whether big or small, I have semi-regular performance reviews to bring up those issues, and to discuss why these issues are happening, or to try to figure out ways to curb these issues.  I’m all about making Keywest run smoothly and efficiently, and anything we can improve for each employee goes a long way. My team knows that they can speak to me about anything whatsoever regarding their job or their personal life, and that I will always listen to them, and take their needs into account as best I can.

My Performance

The performance reviews I hold for my team, are not one sided.  I ask each employee to measure my performance as well.  I want to know if they think I’m doing a good job running the company, handling certain situations, and talking to them about any issues that come up.  I want to know if they think what I discuss with them is crazy and that I’m out of my mind, or if they agree with me, and we see eye to eye.  They know that they can speak freely, and that I listen.  I want to know if I’m the only one who thinks something, or if there is consensus.  I want this feedback because certain decisions that need to be made can’t just be made with only my opinion.  I need to know what various members of my team are thinking. Even if I think my way is the right way, I want them to have the ability to convince me it’s not, and sometimes they do convince me.  I am always learning how to be a good boss, it’s not something that you are; it’s an evolving process.  Just like the company I need to grow and adapt in the way I do things as well.

The Burden

I love my job and my business.  I love working with my team to try to make something great, and I love brainstorming to keep making things better.  The one thing I’ve learned about myself and the duties that come with owning your own business is that there are two aspects of my job I don’t enjoy.

The first aspect: The hardest realization for me when I became owner of Keywest is that if things get tough and I’ve exhausted every avenue to cut costs and save money, that I know it has to come down to possibly letting someone go.  There are always ups and downs, and I don’t like or want this aspect of my job.  I have no joy in having a hand in someones life to this degree.  I love being able to hire someone and to be able to give someone money, but taking it away from someone and knowing that I’ve just made someones life more difficult is a burden that haunts me.  I try to avoid this aspect of my job as best I can.  I work very hard to make sure my team is working very hard, and that they become indispensable to me so that I need them no matter the cost, and I will move mountains to make things work; whether they know it or not.

The second aspect:  each of my employees is different.  I handle each differently.  They all have their personal lives that dictate their needs and wants, and that can affect their work, or vice versa.  I believe my team knows that no matter what happens day to day at work, that they can count on my personally to be there for them as a friend.  I’m not insensitive to the needs of a member of my team needing a raise to support a family.  I might not be able to do what they want, but they know that I will try to get there for them.

I know an owner of another company that had their number one employee come down with medical issues, and instead of treating this employee with respect and showing that he valued them, he instead tried to find ways not to pay this employee.  This employee is someone who put many many hours into their job because they wanted it to succeed.  But the new owner has no clue what he’s doing, and he lost this employee because of the sneaky deeds he tried to do.

In my case, I have an employee with medical issues, and we have worked together in finding the best solutions to accommodate her needs, and that of Keywest’s.  Not once have I ever tried to figure out a way not to pay her.  Instead I gave her a raise because when she does the work required of her, it’s done right and it also helps her to be able to pay for her medication.  I’m not trying to toot my own horn and say how great I am by stating this, I’m just wanting to point out the difference between a good boss, and a bad boss.  If you show your team you care, and are willing to do what it takes for them, then they will do what it takes for you.

The Reward

We all work very hard at Keywest.  We don’t stop.  I try to make our work environment a fun place to be.  Sometimes things get very serious, but most of the time everyone enjoys coming into work every day and doing what we do.  I want all of us to succeed because I want to be able to take care of my team as best I can.  I don’t look at everyone just as my employees or even friends, I look at them as if they are my own children, and I want the best for them, and I want them to achieve great things.  Even if they decide to up and flee the coop and try their hand at something else, I want them to succeed wherever it is they end up, and most of my employees know that just because they leave for whatever reason, they know there is always a job waiting for them if they wish to return.

The Future

I hope I’ve been able to give some sort of useful information in how to be a good boss.  I tend to ramble when I’ve got things on my mind, and that tends to happen when things are really busy.  Keywest is really busy.  Busy is good.  With new adventures happening soon, and for those surprises that have yet to arrive, I will continue to be the best boss I can be by listening to my team, and by being there for them.  The company is prosperous when everyone knows their voice is heard, they are trusted and taken care of. This is how to be a good boss.

I feel like I’m back in school and just wrote an essay.  This is why I get my team to usually write the blog posts. I feel like I need a nap now.  If you want to learn more about me, and would like to contact me with any questions, please feel free to add me on LinkedIn.  If you have any tips or questions on how to be a good boss I’d love to hear from you.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Netflix Tests Privacy Mode

Netflix is testing a new privacy mode to help save you from your embarrassing viewing habits, and keep your guilty viewing pleasures a secret.

Netflix Tests out Privacy Mode Netflix Tests out Privacy Mode

The streaming television giant Netflix knows that sometimes you cave and make some horrible late night movie watching decisions… and they’re trying to save you from living with your bad choices for weeks on end.

Netflix is finally testing a privacy mode that will let you keep your guilty viewing pleasures forever a secret. The feature allows you to hide your viewing history from whomever you share your account with and saving you from those embarrassing “suggested titles” that constantly remind you of your horrible viewing habits.

The privacy feature allows users to hide a movie or TV show from their viewing history, recommendations, and social media.

A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the news in a statement, saying, “At Netfilx we continuously test new things. In this case, we are testing a new feature in which a user watching a TV show can choose to view in ‘Privacy Mode’. Choosing that option means the [programme] will not appear in your viewing activity log, nor will it be used to determine recommendations about what you should watch in the future.”

Netflix has yet to say whether the private mode will become a permanent feature, with the firm telling Gigaom, “We may not ever offer it generally.” However, Netflix has said that it will test it in different territories across the globe.

The feature is being tested across all of Netflix’s markets, and tests could go on for a few months, but not every user will have access to it. Cliff Edwards, the company’s new director of corporate communications and technology, said that a general roll-out will very much depend on how the feature performs in these tests. “We may not ever offer it generally,” he cautioned.

What do you think of #Netflix launching its new #PrivacyMode? Will you finally be able to watch those horrible b-movies guilt-free?

Monday, July 21, 2014

Weird Al Yankovic’s “Mandatory Fun”

Weird Al Yankovic released his latest album, entitled “Mandatory Fun”, on July 15. As promotion for the album, he has released eight music videos over eight days. Take a look!

Weird Al Yankovic Weird Al Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun

Three decades after his song-parody debut, Weird Al Yankovic is on track to have his first-ever No. 1 album. The final sales numbers won’t be released until later this week, but Billboard magazine has him neck-and-neck with Jason Mraz for the top spot.

Mandatory Fun is a witty and hilarious album that parodies some of today’s biggest hits. In typical Weird Al style, the videos are eclectic and entertaining (and some are also packed to the brim with some pretty hilarious comedians you might recognize).

Titles include “Word Crimes” (Robin’s Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”), “Tacky” (Pharrell’s “Happy”), “Foil” (Lorde’s “Royals”), and “Handy” (Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”)… just to name a few. Yankovic has released one video per day since dropping the album on July 15th.

Never heard of Weird Al Yankovic? Yankovic released his first album in 1983, just two years after the dawn of MTV. Like so many new artists back then, he used the new medium to his advantage. “MTV was a big part in how I would advertise my albums,” he says. Teenagers watched MTV religiously, so in addition to song parodies, Yankovic made shot-for-shot video spoofs to play off that obsessive familiarity.

Weird Al Yankovic Weird Al Yankovic

Our favourite #WeirdAlYankovic video from #MandatoryFun is “Word Crimes” which parodies Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.”

Tell us what you think of Weird Al Yankovic’s latest album and #8Days8Videos :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

How To Make a Corporate Video

Thinking about getting a corporate video produced for your company? In this weeks animated video blog we dive into the key items you should consider before getting started.

So you’re thinking about making a corporate video? Well, there are a few things you should consider before you begin. Your video needs direction. Make sure you know the message you are trying to convey, the style you are trying to achieve, and the audience you are trying to reach. The best videos are quick, concise, and tailor made to highlight your goals.  You may think all you need is a camera, but great video production encompasses many skills that work with the camera to produce the best possible results. Lighting, location, lenses, audio, and makeup are all equally important. And of course, you need a talented editor to put it all together. Overall, make sure you keep your video simple, short, and meaningful… and if you ever need help, don’t hesitate to call Keywest Video.

Here are some links to other blogs we have written that may be helpful in your search for more information on getting your next video produced:

Outsourcing: 5 Q’s to Ask Yourself

5 Tips for Choosing a Corporate Video Company

Employees vs. Actors for Your Corporate Video

Testimonial Videos and Business

Internal Videos: Top 5 Benefits

Campaign Goals for Your Video

Promotion Techniques for Your Corporate Video

Corporate Video Production Toronto Corporate Video Production Toronto

Interested in watching more of our video blogs?  Please subscribe to our site, or follow us on social media.  Keywest releases a new #vlog every week with helpful information and tips.

Are you a business interested in producing your own #CorporateVideo?  Check out our website, and speak to one of our producers today.  We’ll be happy to hear from you!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Motion Capture - The New Face In Film

The Rise and Dawn of Motion Capture

Motion capture, also known as “mo-cap,” has been around for the past few decades. The #technology came into light in 2002, when the second “Lord of the Rings” film debuted. The character of “Gollum” portrayed by Andy Serkis was the first mo-cap character to truly come alive on screen.

lotr On the set of Lord of the Rings, Andy Serkis portraying the character “Gollum”









In order to get “Gollum” to physically react similar to Andy Serkis on screen, Andy must wear Lycra bodysuits and face-mounted cameras to capture the emotions and body language for “Gollum”.

In order to bring “Gollum” to life, Andy had portray dramatically by his facial characteristics to his actions on set. Andy’s face was studied for two and a half years, and the animators had created a whole range of “Gollum’s” expression as templates for Andy to use. Below is a link to how Andy’s physical movements on set creates Gollum’s movements on the computer.

The recent #movie, #DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes also used #MotionCapture using the same technology, which also stars actor #AndySerkis.

35d00d27ab50f8b366e862c8bd5b5cf0c8a26049 Behind the scenes of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes



andy-serkis-mo-cap Actor Andy Serkis on the set of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes












hqdefault Matching the actor’s and the character’s facial expressions















Once the facial expressions and action shots are complete, it is time to make the magic happen using #ComputerVisualization.

riseoftheplanetoftheapesmotioncaptureandyserkis-620x350 The process of computer visualization










From the physical actors, to the many different stages of computer generation, the end result of the characters in the movie is strikingly realistic.

Here is a link to how the new #DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes movie is made, and how motion capture is used in the making of the movie:

Lord of the Rings and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes aren’t the only two movies that used motion capture, there are many other movies that used “mo-cap” technology. Remember the film “Avatar” by James Cameron? The movie blew audiences away with its motion capture technology and it created a whole different spectrum of advanced technology in the film industry that we didn’t know existed.

motion-capture-avatar-11559236-1000-1236 Behind the scenes of “Avatar” using motion capture.




avatar_sagar Motion capture “Avatar”

















Not every motion capture character is beloved by everybody, for example, Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars was definitely not loved. Here is a link to Jar Jar Binks worst moments:


Overall, the film experience has changed so much, and it will keep changing for the better. What we see on screen is what we experience; whether it may be through emotions, visuals, inspiration, relation to characters, and so forth. I personally have a feeling that the experience is getting more and more realistic, like living in a whole different world for two hours.

Television and movies are known to be an escape from reality, we all enjoy the action and the drama which is known to be highly unrealistic, but astonishing to see on screen. Especially when it comes to characters that are so detailed and relatable through their actions and expressions which we couldn’t even imagine a century ago, and that my friends, is the power of motion capture.

If you want to know more about the history of “mo-cap,” you can check out the article “A Brief History of Motion-Capture, from Gollum to Caesar” written by Oliver Lyttelton.

Not every motion capture character is beloved by everybody, for example, Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars was definitely not loved. Here is a link to the characters funny moments


Fun Fact: Motion capture isn’t just used for films, it is also used for many different purposes, such as; the military, entertainment, sports, medical applications, validation for computer vision, and robotics. You can check out more information on Wikipedia about the different uses of motion capture.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Online Video Stats That Will Impress

Video is important. But just how important and influential? Take a look at the list of online video stats below to gauge the impact online video is having on our world, and subsequently, on the advertising industry.

online video statsWhen #consumers latch onto something #advertisers take notice. The power and persuasion of #OnlineVideo is insurmountable and nonnegotiable. There is no other medium out there that has as great of an impact on viewers. Therefore, Reel SEO compiled this impressive list of the top 15 online video stats that #brands should know.

With global ad spending set to double in 2014 (ViralBlog), big business will continue to spend their money on the best methods to get their message out to the public. And although most companies utilize online video in some capacity, brands need to continue to find better and more efficient ways to harness this great tool. Check out these online video stats below to find out why.

15 Online Video Stats To Take Notice Of:

89 million people in the United States are going to watch 1.2 billion online videos today. (ComScore)

Online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016. (Cisco)

Only about 24 percent of national brands are using online video to market to consumers. (Kantar Media)

Online video now accounts for 50 percent of all mobile traffic and up to 69 percent of traffic on certain networks. (Bytemobile Mobile Analytics Report)

Consumers give up on an online video if it doesn’t load in two seconds. (University of Massachusetts Amherst and Akamai Technologies)

Users sharing video on retail and brand sites chose Facebook 46 percent of the time, with email accounting for 40 percent and Twitter capturing 14 percent of shares. (Invodo)

Globally, online video traffic will be 55 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2016. (Cisco)

52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Invodo)

Mobile and tablet shoppers are three times as likely to view a video as laptop or desktop users. (NPD)

Mobile video ads that include social media buttons drive 36 percent higher engagement. (Rhythm NewMedia).

Online video production will account for more than one-third of all online advertising spending within the next five years. (Borrell Associates)

76 percent of marketers plan to add video to their sites, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter and blog integration. (Social Media Examiner)

92 percent of mobile video viewers share videos with others. (Invodo)

More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, spending more than 4 billion hours watching videos (YouTube).

2 billion video views per week are monetized on YouTube, and every auto-shared tweet results in six new YouTube browsing sessions (ReelSEO).

These online video stats are quite impressive! What do you think?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

YouTube Stats: It"s Presence & Impact

Before YouTube life was just an emotionless rut, right? Well maybe not quite so dramatic. But it has dramatically altered our existence and has shaped the way numerous industries do business. Read these mind numbing YouTube Stats to put things into perspective!

YouTube Stats

This infographic above gives a nice illustration of the way the world has been shaped by the #internet over the past several decades. Today it seems we think of #YouTube much in the same way we think of running water… it has always been there. For younger generations this may be true, but for the large majority of earths inhabitants it has only been around for a fraction of their lives. Yet it feels so substantial and omnipotent. The YouTube Stats below will give you something to wrap your head around, and show just how present it really is in our lives.

YouTube stats directly from their website:

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month

  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth

  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

  • 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US

  • YouTube is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages

  • According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network

  • Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year

The following was found at

  • More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years

  • 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US

  • In 2011, YouTube already had more than 1 trillion views

  • And in 2011 there were almost 140 views for every person on Earth

That’s a lot to wrap your head around! It’s no wonder why we feel like nothing existed before YouTube. It engulfs many of our lives because video is a powerful medium. It has the ability to teach us, shock us, and make us laugh.

What do you think you would do without YouTube (or a similar site)? Would your life go on without it or would you feel a void? Let us know your thoughts!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Team Members: What We Look For

Key West Video Inc. is a well established, and growing, source for corporate video production. We are always looking for new talented and creative minds to add to our team.

teamOur #team has been growing steadily over the past several years, and we are thrilled to have brought aboard several fantastic new employees. From videographers, to photographers, editors to motion graphics experts, producers and script writers, we strive to work with the best of the best.

When it comes to new team members, be it full time employees, contract work, or #freelancers, there are several key factors that we look for when deciding on who to represent our company. The Key West brand is one that we have fostered over the years, and take pride in providing our clients with an exceptional service. That is why we only wish to work with individuals who are able to deliver our clients the service they have come to know and expect from us.

1) Customer Service

Above all else, we at Key West Video believe in exceptional customer service. Although most wouldn’t think of video production when they think of great service, we think that they should. A well run, and well organized company, no matter what the industry, should focus on customer service at their core. We understand that “your customers are what will keep you in business. If they’re not happy they’ll leave and go to your competition.” Course Park Therefore it is important to us that someone who is going to join our team understand and appreciates that customer service is and will always be a focus of the Key West team.

2) Creative Thinker

Having #creative team members goes beyond just the traditional uses in our industry, and we know and harness this information. Of course, when we hire a #videographer or motion graphics #editor, we want them to be creative. We want them to be able to think outside of the box when it comes to getting the best shot, or deciding on how to visually show a simply process. Beyond that though, we believe creative individuals work better. Joshua Turner reiterates this on his blog by stating, “Creative people think from different perspectives and ask questions that can be quite pertinent from a customer’s point of view.” That’s just some of the reasons why we look for creative thinkers for our team.

3) Personality

When it comes to finding quality team members that work well with the rest of our crew, personality makes all the difference. we can teach you new techniques, we can show you how we like things done, but we cannot however alter someones personality. That is why our interviews consist of a back and forth dynamic that allows us to see how individuals respond to our atmosphere here. We would never hire a team member or even freelancer without vetting them through this process.

It is integral to us that the Key West Video brand remains the strong name that many of our clients have come to know and love. That is why we pay special attention when looking for our new team members.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Outsourcing: 5 Q"s to Ask Yourself

When deciding if outsourcing your video production is right for you, think about these 5 questions.

outsourcing Outsourcing video production to professionals is always the preferred method. But if you’re looking to record a simple training session, talking head video, or weekly video blog, then you could realistically shoot your own videos and save money in the process.

As project visions get grander in scale, and budgets get tighter though — at some point, the time you invest in-house can begin to outweigh the money you saved by using the DIY approach. Saving money is great, but you wear a lot of hats already, and at some point you have to get back to actually doing your job, and not sweating the small stuff.

1. Will the video be longer than 60 seconds?

All videos under 60 seconds in length retain at least 60% of viewers by video’s end, according to Wistia. Shorter, tighter, and more direct videos are getting greater attention online. No longer is the day when videos need to tell the entire story. They simply need to capture the interest of the video, and pull them in to want to find out more. In addition to that production costs have decreased substantially in the past decade making it more affordable to hire professionals for a reasonable cost.

2. Is there a lot of editing involved?

When it comes to editing some people believe all you need is a software and youtube ‘how to’ videos. And while this may be useful for the production of straightforward edits, a polished and professional video requires so much more. The expertise and experience of a professional editor will bring to the table a wealth of knowledge, and numerous techniques which will bump of the production value of your video.

3. Is this a weekly project?

If for example you are shooting a weekly, simple video which will be distributed internally, then maybe doing it yourself is an option. That is if you have the time. But when it comes to a one off project, or something that needs to be put forward in he right way, then outsourcing the video is a must. Outsourcing the project means you don’t have to worry. You can leave it to the experts and know it will get done.

4. Are my video goals being reached?

You may have the skills to shoot, edit, and upload your video to the appropriate channels, but are your overall goals being reached? Are you converting viewers into purchasers? Is the video allowing consumers to get a sense of your company? Is the training video showing the best possible way to do something? If the answer is even a slight no, then you really need to consider outsourcing your production needs.

5. Do I need fresh ideas?

Lastly, when it comes to video production ideas can become stale fast. You can go from having great ideas to none in no time. Alternatively what you think may be a great idea may turn out to bite you in the end if it doesn’t help you meet your goals. Taking the time to search out different production companies and find the right one for your needs is a good idea. Outsourcing can be a great benefit, and once you find the right partners you will never know how you did it without them!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Campaign Goals for Your Video

Creating an awesome video for your customers is not enough. You need to think about the campaign as a whole from the start. This means taking the time to step back and plan your campaign strategy before you get started with the video itself.

CampaignOut of the Box, a video production company in Perth, Australia state in their blog, “Only after you clearly define all of  your objectives can you tailor a perfect strategy to achieve them.” Here at Key West Video we completely agree with this.

Our clients often ask us what makes a great video. There are so many different elements that come together to create an amazing story, great production value and a solid concept. But the fact of the matter is if you want your video to be distributed optimally, you need to think about your video as part of a larger campaign.

Target Your Audience

Plan your video with your target market in mind. Everything from how long the video should be, to the gender of the voice-over artist you choose, should be tailored to your audience. When it comes to the campaign, and distributing your content, make sure to decide on the best avenues to reach your audience.

Create a Specific Message

What message do you want to send with your video? Buy our product so we can get rich is not a good strategy. Step into your audiences shoes and determine what they would want to know, what they would like to see, and the best way to get that message across. Your message should not only be an integral part of your video, but a part of the larger campaign as well. Other aspects of your marketing strategy should be co-branded with the video. For example, change up your Facebook display picture to coincide with the new video, create a whitepaper with the same characters from your video, use photos or screen captures from the video to put on branded material.

Measure Your Success

The point of a campaign is to get your brand noticed. Without setting specific goals and finding out if you met those goals, then you will never truly know the success of your campaign. Check out this great article on Innovid to learn more about how to measure the success of your video marketing campaign.

Remember, video is a fabulous marketing tool that can serve a wide variety of purposes. However, videos by themselves need to be part of a larger story. Focusing on the audience, the message, and how you will track it all, will aid you when putting together your next video marketing campaign.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shots, Shots, Shots: The Shot List

Without a shot list filming can be all over the map, and the editing process a disaster. So here is the how and why to creating an excellent shot list which will keep your shots organized, focused, and propel your production to the next level.

shotsA #ShotList is a way to plan out your production before you ever press the record button. On Tovia Balo’s blog he writes that, “the shot list is important as it helps the director and camera operators keep track of all the shots needed, and makes sure that they have enough filmed and enough shots to create a specific mood and feel.” 

Shot lists will vary depending on the #production type, style and budget. The general format however includes the timing, description of action, camera directions, list of location and talent needed in each shot, references to audio (whether scripting, sound effects, interview questions etc.), and space for any additional notes.

When it comes to what shots to include and how to go about following a shot list on the day, remember these two things; prioritize, and be flexible. They will save you trouble and allow you to get the best shots possible. Here’s why.


Know that not all shots are created equal. If you have a long day and a limited time to get what you need, then make sure you structure your shot list so that the most important shots are filmed long before the ‘extras’. For example, an establishing shot is not something you want to leave until the last minute. It is the shot that will set the stage for all other shots and needs to be stellar. Douglas Horn says, “Often I’ll list shots that I’d like to have, time-permitting, but can live without if the going gets rough. Knowing the difference is another important function of prepping your shoot.”

Be Flexible

With all the planning in place, make sure you don’t get bogged down by structure. Be open to new and exciting shots that you hadn’t necessarily thought of or planned for. If the opportunity arises and there is potential for a great shot then take it. Of course, don’t go out on a limb for a shot that may not be used and risk missing a shot that you know you require. But if time allows for it step outside of the box. You might end up capturing a moment which you could have never imagined and it may make your production spectacular.

Shot lists are an excellent tool in the production world and are something that #producers, #directors and #DOPs could not live without. Taking the time and investing in the organization and planning of your shots will make all the difference when #filming.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

How To Improve Your Vlog

Vlog Tips

Vlogs are a great way to stand out and connect with your audience on a more personal level. We’re going to give you a few pointers on how you can improve your #vlog.

Content. Make sure that you’re providing your dedicated vlog viewers with something good to watch. Viewers don’t generally appreciate watching someone ramble on and on without any sort of direction.

Lighting. Let’s face it: we like to watch videos that look good. Try your best to make sure that your vlog is lit properly. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to go out and buy all kinds of fancy equipment, but try to record your vlog in a well-lit setting so that you as well as your location look bright and engaging.

Sound. As much as we like things that look good, we also like things that sound good. There’s nothing more frustrating than poorly executed audio. If possible, try to invest in a microphone so that your voice is heard loud and clear, without any strange echoes, buzzing, humming, or anything like that – the last thing you want is a distracted audience.

And finally, keep your vlog short. Viewers prefer to digest little tidbits of information, rather than watch everlasting seminars. The key to keep your viewers coming back is to make sure they’re entertained with short and sweet #videos that are easily shareable.

Interested in watching more of our video blogs?  Please subscribe to our site, or follow us on social media.  Keywest releases a new #vlog every week with helpful information and tips.

Are you a business interested in producing your own #vlog?  Check out our website, and speak to one of our producers today.  We’ll be happy to hear from you!

How To Improve Your Vlog - Corporate Video Production Toronto Corporate Video Production Toronto

Monday, July 7, 2014

#LikeAGirl : Viral Video of the Week

With over 20 million views in one week, Always #LikeAGirl campaign is challenging what the ‘like a girl’ phrase means, and how young girls see themselves.


A powerful video, an intriguing concept, and an embarrassing realization for many. Feminine care brand Always is changing the way we use the phrase #LikeAGirl. The video showcases several young women, from pre-teens to young adults, in studio, in front of a panel of producers, and being asked to act out various actions – run, fight and throw – #LikeAGirl.

Inevitably, and unfortunately as you see from the video, the young adults play out the actions with over-exaggerated movements, pouty faces, and a lot of arm flailing. While the pre-teens perform just as they would out on the field, in the gym, or playing with their friends. They run across the set, and don’t ever second guess the assumption that performing an action #LikeAGirl has any meaning beyond doing it exactly as you normally would.

The video is quite inspiring, and as Skeleton Productions puts it in their posts about the Always #LikeAGirl campaign, in their Videos Worth Sharing list, “It’s an inspiring piece that really asks the question – when did ‘like a girl’ become a bad thing?”

Skeleton Productions also references the fact that this video and subsequent #LikeAGirl campaign is based on “a recent study that found more than half of the girls surveyed claimed to experience a drop in confidence at puberty.” So the message is clear. There seems to be this underlying message in society, even today in the 21st century, that girls are fundamentally different than boys. And while our genders do have their uniqueness, so do humans in general. Being of a certain gender does not define us. Nor does it dictate what we can or cannot do, or even how we do certain things.

This video and overall campaign is meant to empower young women. And get them thinking about the ways we might limit ourselves based on these views in society, that after we take a second to think about they do seem quite silly. Always #LikeAGirl video is a great piece of branded marketing, but above that it is a great video with a solid concept and a clear message. Their competitors better watch out!

If you haven’t already seen it take a look at the video below.

And here is just a bit about how the campaign is kicking off:

Using #LikeAGirl as an insult is a hard knock against any adolescent girl. And since the rest of puberty’s really no picnic either, it’s easy to see what a huge impact it can have on a girl’s self-confidence.

We’re kicking off an epic battle to make sure that girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond, and making a start by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.