Conference Call in Real Life - A very fun and orginal video, @trippandtyler, #corporate, @leadercast

Conference calls - we've all been on them, we've all had our issues with them but they are a necessity when putting things together.  Usually they go fine but sometimes when you get too many people involved it becomes a circus.  I was recently shown a video that I'd like to pass along about such circus events.  My guess is if you haven't already seen it, some of the personalities are going to hit home.  From Tripp and Tyler sponsored by Leadercast, check it out.

Las Vegas Video Production

Non-Profit Video Production #videoproduction #storytelling

There are a great number of charitable and non-profit organizations that rely heavily on donations in order to exist.  These organizations are budget conscious on everything they do, this includes costs on sending out their messages and costs on achieving the missions.  With these limitations, I see them come up with some truly unique and inventive ways of spreading the word on what they do and what they would like to achieve.  Normally, these solutions don't involve too much video, the perception is that it is too expensive.

But that's a perception.  What I believe non-profits are missing out on are storytelling social media videos.  The public loves non-profit organizations but much of the time they don't really know what they do.  They can read about the missions and values and some achievements but what's left out is the story on whom they've touched, to whom they have made a difference.  These storytelling pieces that don't have to be more than a couple minutes long can be shot in a day, and edited in a day and give a tangible story for people to relate to and hopefully reach out to help with time or donations.

Video can achieve these connections better than any other media.  These stories will increase donations as people connect with the non-profit business and want to be a part of what they are doing.  Production companies like us here at FiveSix Productions also help out with special pricing or bulk pricing on videos for non-profits since we know there are limiting constraints and we want to be a part of their missions.  We hope all production companies do this as well so that these businesses can thrive and make our communities a better place.




non profits - they have a message to give - they are some of the nicest people - theyhave a bunch of audiences,theyareasking for donations  - need facetime for that - we have specail pricing -

High End Real Estate Videos #realestate #videoproduction #realtor

We've all heard of the virtual tour, we've all seen and probably taken dozens of them.  They are wide, boring and show off a place that may or may not be picked up, cleaned, or shot in the best light.  Yet, they are standard practice now for realtors in order to try and sell a home.  So, the virtual tour used to set you apart, now if you don't have one, it sets you back.  But every time something becomes common place, as with virtual tours, how do you distance yourself from the crowd, how do you get noticed and gain that edge once again?

The high end of real estate has found an answer and it is something that is starting to catch on.  High end real estate videos spare no expense when shooting luxury homes.  They use the best cameras, like the Canon C500, RED Epic or ARRI Alexa.  They use the right tools like a dolly, slider, jib and even drones are now getting in on the action to show an aerial view of the property or even the neighborhood.  They use professional lighting and crews and take the time to do it right.

What this does is it makes the video an experience, it makes the viewer have to go see this home.  The high end real estate video isn't meant to just show you a property, it's meant to make you feel a property.  They give the video great music,  a color treatment and emotionally try and connect the viewer to the space.  This eventually equals more visits to the home and more potential buyers.

This high end treatment isn't for every home, though we wish it could be.  The home has to be luxurious and have a high price point or it wouldn't make sense to produce a costly high end video.  Even with that said, it wouldn't hurt to have a professional crew shoot any home for sale instead of having a guy with tablet shoot some video and post it.  The look and feel will translate to more buyers.

We'd like to see more of the real estate industry take advantage of what production company's can offer.  If they have a bunch of homes to shoot, I'm sure there's deal that could be struck that benefits everyone.

Making a Viral Video - On Demand #viral #viralvideo #videoproduction

I got an idea, let's make a viral video.  We hear this a bunch.  It's a noble endeavor, I too want to make a video that is so compelling it gets shared and viewed millions upon millions of times garnering publicity and spreading an effective message while all the while providing entertainment.  Much more difficult to do than to say.  Very few viral videos start out with the idea, let's make a viral video, don't get me wrong it happens but more often than not, the phrase let's make a viral video shouldn't be the starting point.

The starting point should be, let's make a video that serves a purpose to us.  Do we want to spread a message to our customers?  Do we want to spread awareness around an issue that isn't being served?  Do we want to just be funny and show all our friends how clever we are?  To start out saying let's make a viral video is akin to writing a book specifically to make money.  If that's your ultimate goal, it's probably not going to go very well and perhaps you shouldn't be writing a book.

Make a video to serve a purpose.  If it's done well, it will be shared within the circle you meant it for and I would consider that a viral success.  Now, one thing that blew my mind is when I heard that there were a couple instances where some video production companies charged viral rates.  Huh?  How does that even work?

Our viral video prices start at the same place as our regular prices, we use the same cameras in our viral videos as our normal videos, such as the C300, PMW 300 and HPX 500 oh and the most versatile viral camera, the Go Pro Hero.  Our viral editing rate is the same as our regular editing rate and we edit on the same AVID system.  Nobody can deliver a viral video on demand....yet.  We're working on that.

When  thinking about a video, please be sure the purpose isn't to go viral.  In the case that it does, it should be a very pleasant side effect.

Green Screen - Perfect for Corporate Video Production #greenscreen #videoproduction

St Patrick's Day, almost over, but I thought it might be a good time to talk about green screen.  The video equivalent of a blank slate oozing with imaginative possibilities.  Appropriate?  When most people think of green screens, they think of big budget movies where the actors are flying around, destroying things or doing unbelievable super acts in fantasy worlds.  They're used for that but they are used far more often in corporate video production and corporate storytelling than most people realize.  We do a good amount of corporate video production and there aren't too many weeks that go by where we aren't either shooting with a green screen or sending out an estimate for green screen production.

In Las Vegas, there are so many conventions coming through town and it's a great place for corporations to either show off products, grab customer testimonials or gather together executives to speak on camera.  Instead of using a boring convention room with blah coloring and no dimension, a green screen offers so many more options, it's tough to pass up.  We key out the green and boom, you're creativity runs wild but mostly simple wild, nothing crazy.  We have a few on hand from a simple pop out 6x6 to a paper roll 10 foot wide to a full on 10x20 wraparound fabric.  These can all be taken on location and built to whatever specs the client is looking for.  It's an effective and creative solution.

Green screen is not out of anyone's budget.  That's another misnomer that people tend to have.  It's an additional cost for sure but the quality and flexibility of post production because of it is far more valuable than saving a few dollars.  If for your next production you haven't thought about it, ask us about green screen and you'll be glad you have fun options to play with down the line.  If all else fails, you can always put the CEO talking about EBITDA in the middle of a corn field.

Now, in honor of St. Patrick's Day I leave you with one of my favorite themed commercials, even though it's a couple years old.

Saying Goodbye to the HDX 900 & HVX 200 #panasonic #cameras

We're saying good bye over here to a couple of our old workhorses.  Just sold a Panasonic  HDX 900 and a Panasonic HVX 200 and we'll be sending them off this week.  It's tough to see those two cameras go, we haven't had much call for them recently but they both made some incredible pictures and captured hours of great video.

The HDX 900 is still in use in many television productions as some old companies still prefer tape based archiving.  It's much more difficult to erase a tape they say.....I agree if you have no idea how to use a computer.  But that's for another conversation.  I understand it's a great camera but I think the time to upgrade to some of the more technologically superior formats.  We held onto it as long as we were getting calls but that time seems to be over.

The HVX 200 was a game changer when it came out.  It held up all these years and is still in use for indie productions all over the world.  We haven't had the calls for it due to upgrading our camera gear to the Panasonic HPX 500, Sony PMW 300 and Canon C300.  However, it was a valuable piece of equipment and no doubt has been for countless other individuals and companies.

So, thank you to Panasonic for these two great cameras and we're looking forward to more in the future.  They are going to good homes too!


Local Car Commercials - Time to Change it Up #changethegame #creative

Is there a shadow agency on-line somewhere that has a monopoly on the creative for local car dealership TV commercials?  Ever since I have been viewing television, there has been little deviation from certain themes.

The owner must be on screen at some point if not the whole time.  Whomever is talking must speak louder than the surrounding commercials.  The word 'big' is either said multiple times in a row or is flashed as a title at least once.  They must be shot with Beta SP or an HVX 200.  They must have a deal going at the time (I guess they can't believe you would come in for any other reason).  They have no individuality that separates them from their competitors other than a name at the end.

If anyone has seen a truly unique, dare I say fun or cool, local car commercial anywhere in the country, I'd love to see it.  I'd also like to see these business owners put a little more effort into their TV commercials than the regular circus act.  I think they would be surprised if they moved away from what worked in 1987.

We've got some ideas over here....

FiveSix Video Production

Nursing Social Media Videos - A Missed Opportunity #nursing #socialmediamarketing #hospital

I was talking with a camera operator the other day on a corporate video gig and he mentioned recently that he had a great experience with a local hospital here in Vegas.  I was a little shocked because most experiences related to the health care industry don't ever have a use for the word great.  Being curious I asked why?  Not to go into too much detail, his wife was admitted and had to stay for two days.  The simple reason for the positivity was the nursing staff.  They were pleasant, attentive and compassionate.  Think about what those words mean.  Isn't that exactly what hospitals want their image to be?  Isn't that what they spend oodles of cash trying to do?  Here it is, in a simple story that will be told to a handful of people, and there it ends.

Missed opportunity.

This story and untold others are social media gems.  Nurses can be hospitals best PR representatives but what they do often goes untold and under appreciated.  For hospitals to keep their public relations in good form, I think they should tell stories about their employees that touch the patients far more than anyone else.  This would best be done with video.  Doctors on camera are great, they can talk about procedures, technology and advances.  Executives on camera are great, they can talk about direction, goals and culture.  But nurses on camera can tell the stories that connect and reach people, they have the ability to hit on emotion and change attitudes.  For some reason, I never see videos featuring nurses.  It's disappointing.  There should be more resources put to finding these stories and telling them.  The image improvement alone is worth the cost.

One day of pre-production to develop the story, one day of video production to capture it and a couple days of video editing would be all that is needed.  They could churn out a few stories a month and who knows what could come from the publicity.  If nothing else, nurses might get treated better by the public, and I think we all know that is a worthy cause.

As a video professional, I don't know why these types of videos are so rare to find.   I'm waiting for someone in charge of marketing to take a chance and hit a home run.  Social Media videos can make a difference, but they need an honest effort put behind them.

FiveSix Video Production

Book Trailers, Don't Do It Yourself Please #booktrailers #authors

Book trailers aren't a new phenomenon, they've been around awhile and have taken on a few forms.  One trend I see recently is the do-it-yourself book trailers or the independent author book trailer.  It's believed that any video about an author's new book is another way to market and obviously a good thing.  I don't think this is the case.  A poor video, or low quality book trailer is more detrimental to sales than having no book trailer at all.   It cheapens your product.  It'd be better to use the time promoting a book through more familiar channels.

This use of poor video applies to businesses across the board.  If I'm looking for a lawyer, a plumber, a business to handle my PR, or anything really, and I come across a poorly lit, hard to hear, cheap looking video with strange font for graphics and a person who obviously has never been in front of a camera, I simply won't trust my business or my time to them.  It's simple.  If they don't care enough to present themselves in the right way, they probably won't value value me and my time.  This may be unfair to say as they may not have the resources but then they shouldn't go the video route.

Now, if book trailers are done properly, they can be an incredible boon to the author.  There is very little that can compete with a well done video to wet the appetite of potential readers.  It gives them the visuals, the mood, the information all in that special way that only video can achieve.  Book trailers have been responsible for doubling and tripling sales and bringing a new author into the spotlight.  Book trailers are done by most of the popular authors who have the resources to spend on marketing.  Obviously, the most successful people see a benefit.  It is proven to be a great marketing tool and will only continue to evolve.

So where does this put the small author, the new author and the independent author without publisher backing.  Truthfully, it puts them in a tough spot.  Video production is expensive, if it's to be done right.  Done right means a production company must:

1. Take the time to learn about the author.

2. Take the time to learn about the book be it non-fiction or fiction.

3. Pre-plan the best strategy/route to take when teasing the book.

4. Deciding on style such as a graphics only video, should it be interview based with the author, perhaps a dramatic scene as though it were a film.

5. Create the spot and review it to be sure all parties expectations have been met.

6. Keep it all within a reasonable budget.

The above is not easy to do but possible.  We like to think a good book trailer can be done for a fair price and would love to talk to some authors willing to take a chance.  The exciting thing about book trailers is the creative forum it allows everyone to play within.  Authors are creative people, video companies like us here at FiveSix are full of creative people and coming together can make for a fun shoot.

FiveSix Video Production

Ping Pong Master vs Kuka Robot - Video Production Steals the Show

Just cause you can do it, doesn't mean you should.

The premise of matching a man vs machine is a compelling storyline, in just about any competition.  In the case of table tennis, this advertisement made the rounds seemingly to tease a future video of the game. We never got that, unfortunately.  Technically the video was sound.  The lighting was dramatic and interesting, the camera movement was smooth, the angles and framing were dynamic.  But even though they pulled everything off, it felt like a video production case of we got it so let's use it.

We have high speed frame rates, let's use it to show a dive from a low angle with sweat flying through the air.   (seen it before)

We have 4K, let's pan and scan a couple hits across the table.  (jarring, kind of annoying, rather see a wide shot)

We have a jib/crane, let's do a high angle really wide while he's running around.

It just felt like they were throwing video production elements in because they could, not because it helped the spot.  I think it could have turned out better without all the jazz.  The use of the rapid cutting and having every shot trying to speak to the dramatics of the situation, pulled us to focus more on the video production rather than the robot.  This is an ad after all and it felt like it.  After seeing the close up of Kuka on the ball twice for no particular reason and never seeing a 'real' point played, I think the ad made me feel like I was watching an ad, a quarter way through.  If I wasn't into the production side of things, I would have closed out.  If the ad did it's job, I should be talking how cool robotics is going to be for videographers as prices come down and we can get robots like that to create precision moves on our shoots that call for it.  Instead I'm saying, how cool for the production team that got to play with all their gear on a shoot that didn't call for it.  But I wrote about it so maybe it did it's job after all.

Basic point is, we're all guilty of this from time to time and it's always good to check yourself and make sure you're not using a piece of gear just because it's available or it's cool and you want to use it.  Gear is used to enhance the shot/piece, not create it.

Here's the Kuka robot video if you haven't seen it.