In December 2012 Skillman Video Group was hired to produce a marketing video for Teachers 21′s “Leadership Academy” aiming to train and mentor Public School Principals to enter turn-around schools in some of the State’s toughest school districts. The Leadership Academy is an extensive year long program with lots of theoretical and practical study, workshops, and weekly on-site mentoring. The Academy only selects the best of the best in its aspiring principals and wanted to highlight the success and strength of the program to school Superintendents around the state of Massachusetts. Understanding the power of video, the MA Department of Education encouraged Teachers21 to produce a video marketing the program, and not knowing where to turn or begin on their own – Teachers21 came to SVG!
SVG’s 1st job was to interview all the key players within the program including staff AND the program’s participants. While in just a few minutes of meeting with the “aspiring principals” it became obvious to us that they key strength to the program is in fact the people in the program. Simple but true! So the direction we took for their video was relying on the strength of the participant’s stories vs relying on scripted voice overs with charts & graphs explaining the strength of the program. That story telling aspect of video production is what SVG really excells at and ultimately is a far more compelling marketing and sales tool for any company or non-profit organization. Don’t just tell them what you do. Tell them who you are! The producers at SVG can help you refine your message and help tell your story. Call today to learn more and check back soon for more details on the Teacher’s21 video project!
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.
In 2009 the United States Department of State and the New England Foundation of the Arts(NEFA) partnered to create a bold new approach to cultural diplomacy that cultivated into the “Center Stage” program. Whereas historically the State Department would export American artists over seas….for the 1st time they began importing foreign artists to small town USA. Over a 6-month period in 2012, over 10 ensembles from Pakistan, Indonesia and Haiti toured over 27 states, meeting countless “Main Street” Americans along the way.
NEFA is currently prepping for the 2nd round of performing artists, and understanding the power of video, hired Skillman Video Group (SVG) to produce a promotional video to raise public awareness of the program and help attract private investors. Given the size and scope of the project, SVG has very carefully crafted a game plan for the production. For starters, SVG professional held a two hour “discovery” meeting with the NEFA team to discuss the logistics of the video, as well as to learn the ins and outs of the program (how it came to be and why it is in existence) as well as to review the hundreds of hours of performance footage shot during the various tours. After the discovery meeting, SVG wrote an outline and script based off of the detailed notes, and forwarded it to NEFA for approval.
Since NEFA and SVG had decided to go for a more “documentary style” interview approach vs a scripted teleprompter approach, SVG principal, Christina Skillman, gave media training to the two NEFA principals appearing in the video (the Executive Director and the Center Stage Program Director). Two hours were spent on site coaching and directing the talent to help them think through their answers and look and sound their best. For those unaccustomed to speaking on camera (and it is an art) media training can be an invaluable tool in easing nerves and it can help the talent express themselves with clarity and confidence.
The next step in the production process was to book the shoot date. On January 7th 4 crew members arrived to set up lights, gel the windows and record the interviews. “B-roll” footage was also shot of the office and environs, mock meetings, etc. that will later be edited into the final video. Currently the video has enetered the post-production phase where SVG will edit all of the footage, including that of the 2012 performing artists where appropriate. Even after all these other steps – SVG’s work is just getting started!
A professionally produced video will be available to NEFA to present their story and visually explain to the public how powerfully the performing arts can bridge the gap between people and cultures. Check back soon for more details of the NEFA project on our blog!
Repetition can be boring, but not this kind. Every time we serve a client for a second, third or fourth time, we receive a deeper insight into what they are trying to say through video, and then we put to work all of our professional skills and training to say it for them. It just gets better and better…..If your business or non-profit sponsors an event or special promotion important to you, why not call SVG today and see if we can’t help you tell –or rather show–the world about it?
Back up. Back up. Back up. Yes, it says back up three times … You’re probably wondering why. Three times is the minimum anything should be backed up to different locations. At Skillman Video Group, we understand that (stuff) happens, and safety, not only in our productions, but also in the protection of our work together is always THE #1 priority.
That’s why dual camera shoots are the norm for us, it is why immediately after a shoot we back up to an external hard drive, and then to another! It’s why we archive footage in-camera until after the product has been handed over! We also provide raw footage data if you’d like to be even more careful. There’s no such thing as “That won’t happen to me”. No matter what Murphy’s Law has in store for you, Skillman Video Group has you covered.
Today we came across a very sobering prediction on several news sites: social media interaction is expected to become the second most basic form of communication, directly after face-to-face interaction, within five years. To many this already sounds inevitable. It is intriguing to see the prediction reach the mainstream media at such an alarming rate. Is your company taking the steps they need for social media integration?
At Skillman Video Group, we believe that the social media integration and SEO optimization that we embed into our Video Production can help your company stay up-to-date, and mindful of this major change that is coming our way.
In recent posts, we discussed the powerful increase of video in social media. Its importance is only skyrocketing every day. The good news? SVG can help! Exposure of your videos is just as important as the video itself. The SEO model we use with our clients is both efficient and cost-effective. It’s so powerful that we even use it ourselves!
In short, SVG can help your company reach further than ever. We bring the best of both video production and exposure through SEO optimization, so you can focus on running your business and keep in the now!
Last week we explored a few of the ways a company can use internalized videos to communicate with employees and current or prospective partners. This week we focus on a different, but immensely important aspect of the company video: the face-of-your-company teaser trailer!
Unlike internal videos, these teaser videos are used to showcase your product and philosophy to everyone who comes across. These videos are “the new business cards” if you will. They are often overlooked, due to cost or effectiveness of the message portrayed, BUT it is imperative that they are updated as often as possible.
The reason for this, we found, is that technology and social media means are changing so rapidly. A particular video can literally become obsolete within months! In fact, we’ve found that something as ubiquitous as HD 1080p is to become obsolete within two years! The next “it” thing will be 2K or 4K portable cameras, many predict. But I digress.
Skillman Video Group offers remarkable costs on videos such as these. Meanwhile, our SEO optimization ensures the exposure of your videos to all of the current and upcoming Internet media available! It’s the best of all worlds. Your company’s message will spread farther and quicker than Rome ever could!
SVG can help keep your company on track, expanding, and as current as ever. Call us or click us today!
To get the kind of quality videos that Skillman Video Group provides its clients, using high end equipment is a must and using it effectively is essential. For most videos, SVG shoots with two high definition cameras, the Canon 7D and the Sony NXCAM. The combination of shooting with two cameras gives a dynamic and creative aesthetic to the videos. The 7D’s “film” look provides rich colors and complements the Sony’s beautiful picture quality when cutting between both formats. Last week’s shoot for our recurring client, Hebrew at the Center, was one of these instances where both cameras were used. Using the 7D for the close up shot softened the focus, creating a visually appealing and flattering look for this online lecture series.
The look and feel of the videos can vary with their content and style. Based on the type of video marketing the client needs, the creative team at SVG will determine how the video should look and what the viewing audience can take away from it. Whether it’s a videomercial, a marketing video, a product video, or anything in between, Skillman Video Group will successfully mesh all of the attributes necessary to create the perfect video to suit your needs.
This week, Skillman Video Group shot two online promotional videos for for Arch Painting, a Boston area company providing quality painting and wallcovering throughout New England. Wednesday’s shoot showcased Arch Painting’s superior craftsmanship in residential home painting, and on Thursday the shoot was based around the company’s quality work for commercial clients. Skillman Video used a combination of client testimonials, footage of the professional painting crew in action, and a voiceover outlining Arch Painting’s capacities as a company.
Making two videos was essential to the success of Arch Painting’s marketing campaign. Commercial and residential clients are looking for very different capabilities from a painting company. A residential home may be concerned about the painters’ cleanliness and friendly attitude, where a business may need the painting to be done quickly and for the paint crew to work seamlessly within the space while business continues as usual. Combining these specific needs into one video would force the company to leave out important information that could, in turn, lead to missing out on important clients.
If your company’s client base is broad, sometimes one video for your website or social media pages isn’t enough. If you try to reach every group of customers in one clip, trying to include all the necessary information will lead to the video being too long. Online customers are not the most patient people, and probably won’t wait through a 15-minute video to learn what they need to know about your company. On the other hand, if you cut out too much information to shorten the video, you risk viewers not learning enough about how wonderful your company is. By breaking the information down into several shorter videos aimed at specific clients, the information they need is presented in a simplified way, making it more likely they will learn about all the advantages of your business.
If your business has a broad client base, talk to Skillman Video Group, and we’ll work to find the best way for you to reach each and every one of them.
A couple weeks ago, Skillman Video Group shot an instructional video on wallpaper installation for Brewster Home Fashions, a Boston-based manufacturer and distributor of fine wall coverings and home décor. This video will be posted to Brewster’s website to enhance their online visibility and web-based marketing. As mentioned previously, on Wednesday we built the set for this video, using drywall flats, paint, and a little elbow grease to give it the appearance of a real room in a home. It was the first time SVG had built a set for a shoot, working with the client to ensure that the space was optimal. By Wednesday night, the set was ready to go, with white walls just begging for a fun, new wall treatment.
The stylistic choice for this instructional video was shots of our talent, Lauren, putting up the wallpaper in her
“room”, and a narration recorded separately to be added in later. The video covered the most common issues a homeowner might have when installing wallpaper, such as insuring the first sheet is straight, successfully navigating around a corner, and working around outlets, light switches, and doorways. A scripted narration is a great option for a how-to video; it ensures that the instructions are succinct and easy to follow, and takes the pressure off the on-camera talent to get the information out and allows him or her to focus on doing the job right.
Once again, a video like this can be a great way to introduce potential customers to your company. The use of a real customer like Lauren with the straightforward instructional narration gives the client a look at the beautiful wallpapers Brewster Home Fashions has, and the simple, stress-free application of the product.
This two-day shoot was a success, and the “room” looked fabulous after it got a makeover with a fantastic Brewster Home Fashions wallpaper. We were able to shoot some more footage for our “behind the scenes” video, which will give people a glimpse at the process from start to finish. Check in soon to see the final product!