Companies, large and small, often want to produce their own videos but don’t know where or how to begin. Some productions need the guidance and expertise of a professional video production company, but other simple, more straight forward, projects may be done internally with the right equipment and training.
In order to help companies navigate the complicated and fast changing waters of professional video production, Skillman Video Group (SVG) has developed a new service to assist qualifying companies and organizations produce their own videos, while benefiting from our professional expertise and knowledge.
Companies are offered a variety of services, which they can utilize according to their needs:
• The Equipment Package
SVG will first carefully take inventory of your available equipment (camera, light, sound, editing computers etc) and research the latest video production equipment available on the market. Next our producers will craft a budget/proposal based on what is best suited to your production goals and submit for your approval. Video equipment can be very complicated and expensive so it is very helpful to have professionals (who do this all day every day) take a look at what you have, what you want, and what you really need.
• Media Training
Ever get nervous when speaking on camera? We can help you with scripting your videos (planning out what to say) and train you how to speak before a camera – looking like the knowledgeable, competent professional you really are!
• Video Production Training
Once the equipment has been purchased, SVG staff will train you on your new equipment (i.e. not our own) and help you coordinate your sound, lighting and editing equipment to make sure it is all working seamlessly as it should. Lastly SVG will train you to shoot your own videos in a variety of “real world” settings, staging various scenarios that production teams face on a shoot every day. We can teach complicated professional techniques, from the visualization to the completion of videos, and make them simple and easy for you to apply. From shooting to editing we will work with you step by step through the entire production process.
Contact SVG now for more information, and to see how media training can work for you.
As mentioned in the prior blog, the United States State Department has partnered with the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) to bring performing artists from around the globe to perform throughout the US. It is called the Center Stage Program, and is now beginning its second 2-year cycle .
SVG was hired to produce a promotional video on the program, and to do it at NEFA’s office, which is in downtown Boston across from the State House. The choice of venue was a professional decision on the part of both NEFA’s executive staff and SVG professionals, who decided to maximize the visual impact of an organization located right in the center of everything. That is a message in itself.
The choice presented some professional difficulties, however, as it is very complicated to get good shots from inside a building taken shooting out through windows open to a brilliant, bright sky. To make this shot happen, SVG used two Kino lights that were powerful enough and flexible enough to provide two different light temperatures as needed (blue – outdoor or yellow-indoor). In addition SVG’s lighting crew (called “Gaffers”) used a special “ND Gel” to cover the windows to cut down much of the glare from the sun. Using neutral density (ND) gels applied to the windows made it possible to take great shots of the people inside, with the golden dome of the State House in the background. Going further our Director of Photography then carefully adjusted the camera’s exposure and selected the perfect lenses to get the exact shot wanted.
Whatever your video ideas, whatever or however you want to draw attention to your business or service, the professionals at SVG will take your ideas and make it a reality. We have the training, experience, equipment, and skills to put a spotlight on your story. Give us a call or email today.
Whatever the medium of expression, words need to be strung together so that their reader can clearly understand and interpret what is being said. Today’s video and electronic technologies rely on the power of good writing every bit as much as hard copy publishers of the past. Here’s how:
Video scripting – every image and word spoken in a video has to be carefully chosen. The purpose of the video may be to visually explain, present, instruct, or simply show something—but the best videos always come from the best scripts. Without an effective and well written script, your video may ramble on or go off message.
On-Line Newsletters – The whole idea of a newsletter is to inform existing and previous clients of new products or services being offered. Content for content sake is a wasted exercise from a business perspective. A good writer can weed out effectively the most essential messages and communicate them in such a way that the reader will find it thought provoking and (the goal being) take action on it.
Blogs – Blogs have become important, because they deliver interesting, concise information to busy no-nonsense readers. Blogs are essential in today’s business environment as they can provide essential information to perspective clients quickly (in the click of a button), and efficiently (with no cost to print). A well written blog can not only help bring traffic to your site, but convert that traffic into viable business prospects (when combined with video and SEO) as they see your expertise and experience first- hand.
Social Media – Keeping up with the Jones’s has never been easier than with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and’so on. And while pictures can do the Show-part, well thought out words do the Tell-part best. AND the words are what will draw in the Google searches!
Skillman Video Group’s service “Social Video Marketing” is a holistic approach to internet marketing where SEO, blogging, e-newsletters, web design/branding and video marketing combine into a powerful tool for online marketing. At the heart of this service is providing clear, effective, potent content that will draw visitors/viewers/readers in and convince them to pick up the phone and call. And at the heart of that content, is the ability to tell a story – you’re story. Call today.
No matter how compelling the script, how magnificent the footage, how dynamic the message—professional editing is what transforms videos from well done productions into exceptional media. There are many companies, like Savant Systems of Hyannis, Mass, who shoot their own corporate videos, and then contract SVG to edit and finish their work. They have found outsourcing their video editing to be cost effective, because editing equipment is expensive and the process very time consuming. And, they acknowledge, when SVG’s editors add graphics, music, and voiceovers, they can produce professional grade pieces in a short turnaround.
SVG prides itself in our customer service process from start to finish. From our first conceptual meeting we consider it our job to understand what the client is trying to produce and then use our skills to bring it into reality. We are flexible on every level or production. If a client only wants help with scripting, that is what we will do. If editing is what is needed, we offer the power of our professional skills and equipment. All of the production processes can be compartmentalized and offered as a service, whatever our customers’ needs.
And one final thing to remember….. Even though we are a Boston-based video production company, we stand ready and able to serve clients around the world. Today’s technology makes it possible for us to receive and send large video files electronically. A simple conference call can discuss corrections or edits, and your piece can be ready for prime time on the web in a relatively short period of time.
If you need help fine-tuning or finishing your video projects, please contact us today!
A marathoner running a 26-mile race is constantly pacing for the finish line. All of the hard work is eventually culminated in that final moment where one crosses the finish. Similarly, video production follows the same method. A video production team has to envision and plan around the product. The misconception that a video is made as one goes along, although alluring and ‘magical’, is simply incorrect. Instead, in order to reduce the risk of creating a badly executed video, there must be consistent and constant ‘looking ahead’ at a finished product.
Post-production is the phase of a production that connects all loose ends, and converts raw footage into a series of patterns recognizable to others. However, there is so much room for mistake at this stage that it is frightening to gamble the success of a product on how well an editor can tie things together. A good poker player would prefer not to wait for the ‘river card’ to finally get a two-of-a-kind.
At Skillman Video Group, by the time we reach post-production on a project, we have already envisioned a clear message and a series of events along with our clients from day one! The mentality is this: an hour of effort in the beginning, is a week of work in the end. Our clients are placed in the front seat of every production. SVG assists in every aspect necessary during the production so that the post-production is as simple and as accurately planned as possible.
Yes, videography is an art, but it is also a science.
The recipe we offer our clients is always the same: success through clear communication of each process with a clear understanding of the ultimate outcome; a proper video and marketing product aimed precisely by the clients and for their target audience.
This past Friday, October 19th, Skillman Video Group shot an Educational Multi-camera Shoot for Hebrew At The Center. The shoot took place at “The Castle” of The Cabot Estate in Jamaica Plain, Boston, and covered a variety of different topics. What sets this production aside is how the entire lecture series is spoken completely in Hebrew. For this particular shoot, three cameras were utilized to focus on each speaker individually. In addition to the multiple cameras, five microphones were run through an audio mixer, allowing for crystal clear audio from each of the speakers. Normally, when using only one or two microphones, a feed directly into the camera will work just fine. However, when the content of a lecture is based almost completely on the dialog, utilizing an external audio mixer is essential.
When using multiple microphones and cameras, the chance for interference (static, buzzing, hiss) is very high. One major benefit to having the mixer is the opportunity to isolate and finely tune each microphone on our subjects, thus reducing the likelihood of audio errors. The mixer itself has a built in audio equalizer for each channel (microphone) of audio coming into it. After the audio is adjusted accordingly, it is sent through to one of our cameras, usually the camera with a wide shot (a visual of every speaker). This allows us to synchronize audio later on during post-production.
Multiple camera shoots with upwards of five speaking subjects can be difficult for some. With Skillman Video Group and our production prowess, perfect audio is always our goal.
It’s no surprise that creative and effectively produced videos are effective marketing tools for small businesses. But creating the right video takes time, planning, and patience. This can be broken down into three main phases of production: Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production. Today we’ll take a quick look at how pre-production works.
Pre-Production is all about the planning. This is the phase in which all preparations for the shoot are being made in advance. The concept is being established between a producer, director, and client. Many different drafts are reviewed in an effort to establish not only the best possible message, but also the best delivery of the message. Once the core concept has been established, a final script is printed and organization around it really takes flight. Locations are locked in, actors (talent) are casted, equipment is rented or set aside, and storyboards are made. Good pre-production helps prepare a shoot for optimum success, essentially planning for every possible need of the shoot. It also helps to prevent any potential problems down the road (ie. A shoot calls for a coffee shop, but we are shooting in a bakery). Once everything is locked down, a schedule is finalized and the next phase of production can begin.
One of the many benefits of working with Skillman Video Group is knowing that every detail of a production is planned ahead of time, setting the shoot up for success. Contact SVG today for your next video project!
Videography has reached incredible heights in portraying messages. We can control absolutely every aspect of what we see in a video, but one thing might be overlooked due to budget, or simply because it is not readily accessible: Perception. At Skillman Video Group, we focus on big & small details to suit all of your needs; even those that you may not yet be aware of.
Say, a client wants to express their Architecture business through video. For a successful marketing video, the “Look” is one of the most important aspects to get the message across. It is important to make sure that the perception of a product does not get distorted in any negative way. However, at SVG we take this a step further:
The type of lenses in a video causes the image to be displayed in a very specific way. For example, architects showcasing their work would want to stay away from Wide-Angle lenses that are too “short.” This is because the shorter the lens, the more of a “fish-eye” distortion it may create. Everyone’s heard of the “Fish-Eye lens.” It is just a VERY wide mm (< than 10mm) lens that makes everything look as if it’s viewed from a fish’s perspective, hence the name.
What occurs with short lenses is that straight lines may become distorted, and that the beautiful building you are trying to get in the shot will look like the tower of Pisa were to be bending in the middle.
Sure, some may like this look for artistic reasons, or because it makes everything look BIGGER, but for pragmatic situations such as showcasing the straight lines of a work as being properly straight on camera, this is just another aspect that has to be considered. With a photograph, there are many ways around image distortion. But with video, it can get much more challenging. It is better to take care of the distortion challenges before shooting, than later on in post.
At SVG, clients can be assured that we cover all the angles and take every step during pre-production; meanwhile, the client can focus on the message they want to express, and confidently leave the technical aspect to SVG.
As my time as an intern at Skillman Video comes to an end, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all that I’ve learned over the past few months. Some things came as a benefit of working with the wonderful clients on shoots; I learned about Tai Chi, the proper safety procedures when installing gas mains, and how easy it is to install wallpaper.
But what will really stick with me is what I learned about online marketing. When I started, my experience with online marketing went about as far as the number of Facebook friends I had. Now, I know about SEO, social video marketing, and what a goldmine sites like Twitter and Google+ can be for businesses. Here’s what I think are the most important elements, and what your company should consider when thinking about online marketing:
1. Social Media: It’s not just for teens to keep in touch anymore. The world of social media has come leaps and bounds in the past few years, and is used by the politicians, corporations, and even major religious institutions. More and more, people are turning to these sites to find new companies to work with, or learn more about businesses they already do work with. Social media should be a cornerstone in your efforts in online marketing.
2.The Importance of SEO: When searching online, people want their information quickly, and are unlikely to search for a long time to find what they need. As a company, you want to make sure that you are easy to find online, and the key to that is Search Engine Optimization. Without it, you can get lost among the thousands of other web pages, and if people can’t find you, they won’t see what great products or services you have to offer.
3.Keep People Engaged: Online marketing is more than information, it’s an experience. The design of your website can have more of an effect on visitors than the facts and figures on it. Reaching people through multiple channels is crucial to online marketing success; think video, social media, or a blog. Allow your customers to learn information in a variety of platforms, and they will remain interested and want to learn more.
My time with SVG has been one that I’ll never forget. To all the people I met, thank you for a wonderful experience.
Recently, the website marketingprofs.com posted an article about the five trends in B2B marketing that will be essential to success in the upcoming fiscal year. B2B, or business-to-business marketing is an essential component for many companies, and although Marketing Profs stresses this element, many of the strategies included can be applied to your online business marketing even if you deal directly with consumers.
The article includes some interesting statistics on what types of information business are looking for online. For example, 85% of engineers go online when searching for components or suppliers, but what’s interesting is that 78% also go online when looking for instructional manuals. Even if your business is not in the industrial sector, this statistic shows how people are using the internet to gather information, and just how beneficial a how to video can be to your company. As we’ve mentioned before, a how to video can be a great way to introduce potential customers to your products or services, and with these new statistics, the time has never been better.
After reading the Marketing Profs article, I think the most useful tips are the emphasis on content and the use of social media. Here on the blog, I talk a lot about how social media is a fantastic way to engage potential clients and customers. However, with the amount of social media sites online, trying to optimize for all of them is a waste of valuable resources. Marketing Profs’ article emphasizes finding the best channels for your business, and not using social media as the be-all and end-all in your b2b marketing.
The article also stresses the importance of content, and making sure that what you post is “the information your customers and prospects need to make informed buying decisions is available to them”. It’s a simple strategy, but incredibly effective.
Read the rest of the article here to learn more about B2B online marketing solutions.