This video combines three of my favorite things: photography, video, and post-apocalyptic alien robots in the desert! Watch the video for some stunning visuals and shiny objects.
Of the many services we offer at Filmosity, one of the most fun and useful is event coverage. Whether you’re holding an expo, a panel discussion, or a business meeting, we have different solutions for audio and video recording.
Next month, Filmosity will be working with MaineHR.com and JobsInME.com to produce “In an HR Minute,” a series of sit-down interviews with keynote and session speakers from the Maine Human Resources Expo 2011, May 10-13. A simple 1 camera/2-person setup will include recording to hard drive and quick editing turn around. The final videos will be uploaded to YouTube for public viewing, as well as shown on large projectors and big-screen TVs throughout the venue.
Maine HR asked me to do this because they understand the value of having these speakers shown on video. The expo is still rather young, and using a rich medium like video, along with various social media tools, will not only bring in new attendees, but also give great summaries to current attendees in case they missed something. Repeat business is key for the health and vitality of expos, and event video coverage is one of the tools Maine HR is using in retaining their attendees.
As we get closer to the dates, I’ll have updates on what’s happening with production.
I’m going to be starting a new feature on the Filmosity blog. It’s no surprise that I love good video, and with all the amazing new tools available to us, there’s a lot of great stuff being produced.
The Hub will be a collection of the finest pieces of visual artwork that I find in my travels on the web. From the best in nighttime timelapse to amazing slow motion, from hip-hop dancing to fly fishing, I’ll try to find some of the best cinematography, audio, and photography available. I hope to make Filmosity The Hub of all things amazing.
The Hub – Experience Human Flight
This isn’t really a “case study”, but a good example of a company that really enjoys using video to talk about their love for what they do. Ignore, for a moment, what they do as a company (some people don’t like beer…go figure) and concentrate on what they say about who they are and what they sell.
Stone Brewing Company is a California based craft beer company that specializes in strong, unique ales. Their owner, Greg Koch, is quite a personality in himself, as are most brewery owners. Greg believes passionately in his company and in the beer industry as a whole, and he is constantly trying to push the boundaries of both beer making and the perception by the general public of the craft beer world. It’s not just a bunch of stuck up beer snobs. It’s not the stereotypical can crushing redneck. The craft beer world is full of wonderful characters who care so deeply about their craft that they’ll travel around the world to find the newest and best ingredients that raise the bar on beer. Yes, it really is all that.
But writing about this isn’t what gets people riled up and excited. It isn’t what shows the true personality of the people behind the beer. It isn’t what makes me want run to the liquor store as fast as I can and search the beer cave for an Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale. No, what gets me going, and what ultimately made me aware of and then a fan of Stone Brewing was the video blog. The engagement by Greg Koch, his personality shining through, his likability (with just a hint of arroga…..I mean, confidence) are what made me want to buy his beer.
See for yourself. The first videos I watched from Stone Brewing (shown in the embedded player above) were about a trip they took across the Atlantic to Norway and Scotland for a special limited edition collaboration beer with Nøgne-Ø. Produced by RedTail Media, these fantastic videos show not only the unique partnerships found only in the craft beer world, but also the passion and fun that these guys have when they’re making the beer.
Stone splits their videos (and duplicates many) between YouTube and Vimeo, likely due to the advantages of both services. Interviews, behind the scenes, Q&As, and even an apology make up the Stone Blog/Vlog portfolio.
What does this prove? I don’t know what kind of ROI Stone gets from the videos. I do know that they are one of the most popular breweries in the U.S. I do know that they keep pumping out videos of varying production value over, and over, and over. I do know they dropped some coin to produce a couple of their vidoes, including the one above. And I do know that I would likely never have tried any of their beer had I not gotten so invested in them because of those videos. Not only am I a fan of the beer, I’m a fan of the company too.
What’s that kind of loyalty worth to you?
Today my friend C.C. Chapman posted a link to some video and a blog post he created about video’s rise in the business world. At the South By Southwest conference this year, C.C. interviewed key influencers in the web content world (as a reporter for his client, OverlayTV), asking them what they thought the state of video in today’s business is. There are some good takeaways in the post, but to me, the answers are unsurprising: as the barriers to entry fall (e.g., smaller devices, lower cost of production) and the influence of video in SEO rises (i.e., Google owns Youtube), having video for your business has now become a key element to your marketing, public relations, and customer service plans.
But don’t take my word for it. Others are saying the same:
The question I get asked most often when people learn what I do for a living is, “What camera should I buy?” That’s a pretty loaded question to ask right off the bat, but more importantly, it’s the wrong question.
Asking me “What camera should I buy?” is like going to the gym and asking the trainers “What fitness machine should I use?” You’ll probably get a funny look from the trainer as they try to figure out what you mean by that. Do you want to burn fat? Do you want to gain muscle? Are you training for a 10k road race? Will you be riding your bike across country? Once the trainer shakes off that dumbfounded look, he’s going to ask you a question—the very same one I’d ask you about the camera.
What are your goals?
Do you want a small, lightweight, and portable camera that you can take with you to trade shows and use with minimal effort? There’s a camera for that. Are you planning a huge marketing push that includes video for multiple distribution points, including broadcast TV? There’s a camera for that too. One will cost you around a hundred dollars. The other…well, let’s just say you’re better off hiring someone else to use that one.
Narrow down the choices.
There are literally hundreds of cameras on the market today, aimed at users of all skill and budget levels. Begin narrowing down your choices by asking yourself these questions:
- Where will I use the camera?
- What is the final output going to be?
- How will I distribute the video or photos?
- Do I realize that there is more to buying a camera than just the camera?
- How much will I spend on a camera and all the accessories needed to make it work?
- How much time and effort am I able to put into producing video or photos?
When you’ve written down your answers, click on the Contact link and we can talk about which camera is right for you.
When it comes to social media, I like to think I’m pretty adept at using the tools that are out there. I was an early adopter of Twitter, and I’ve been podcasting since 2005. But when social media started to become a tool for business, I had to admit to myself that I didn’t know as much as I thought. This came into stark relief when I started attending Social Media Breakfast Maine.
The Social Media Breakfast was originally started by Bryan Person, an early adopter like myself with whom I’ve had varied interesting conversations over the years. Back in late 2007, Bryan decided that he wanted to get a few of his social media pals together to talk shop over breakfast. And so it began. Only a few months later, Social Media Breakfasts (or SMBs) were popping up all over the world. Today there are over 40 SMBs that gather regularly to talk about the latest and greatest in social media over bacon and eggs. Bacon especially.
According to their website, Social Media Breakfasts serve two main purposes:
- Face-to-face networking: Bring together marketers, PR pros, students, entrepreneurs, and social media practitioners and enthusiasts of all stripes over breakfast.
- Education: Through panel discussions, presentations, case studies, debates, and breakout sessions … teach, share, and learn social media best practices for business.
At the Social Media Breakfast, we “feed your belly and your brain.” ™
Maine is one of the proud participants in SMB, and holds their monthly meeting organized by Hall Web Services and sponsored by a variety of local businesses, including Filmosity. Each month, Filmosity packs up the mobile kit and heads to the SMB, usually held in the Portland area, and streams the presentations live to the web via Livestream. The event usually sells out, so this is an opportunity for people who can’t attend (either because the didn’t buy a ticket in time or because they’re tethered to their office chair) to benefit from the wealth of information that comes from SMBME. Of course, web viewers don’t get to participate in the face-to-face networking or the door prizes. One of the benefits of the stream, however, is an archive of past presentations available online anytime. So, while you maximize the benefit by actually attending one of the amazingly inexpensive SMBMEs, you can still get something by watching the livestream.
I often hear people talk about breaking all the rules to stand out among the competition. It’s tough in the business world and only getting tougher as technology makes jobs that were once occupied by only the most skilled and talented workers available to just about anyone. The democratization of what was once elite is not a bad thing, but it does lead to a lot of junk out there in the marketplace. How then, exactly, do you stand out among this glut of new competition? You have to be different. You have to break the rules.
You may be interested in breaking all the rules, going rogue, breaking the mold, stepping across boundaries, climbing the fences, whatever. But bear this in mind: there are rules, and they are there for a reason.
Rules must be thought of as techniques and skills that have been tested, honed, and refined over many years by many people better than you or me. Not using the rules of your industry, (hobby, toaster oven, mother-in-law) leads to a hot, steaming, jumbled mess that no one wants to look at. Rules are the guidebook you use on your journey through the business world. Rules are good.
Mastering the Rules
It’s not enough to simply know the rules of your industry. You must master them. As a cameraman, it’s not enough for me to know how to turn on the camera and hit record. I must hone my skills in lighting, aperture, shutter speed, lens selection, composition, and a hundred other skills. For years, I’ve spent countless hours reading books, experimenting with camera and editing techniques, making mistakes and correcting them, and learning how to do things the right way. And yes, there is a right way.
Breaking the Rules
Today, I have just about mastered The Rules of video making. Despite the fact that I am never truly done learning, I’ve sharpened my skills to the point that all the fundamentals are second nature to me. I don’t have to think about which button on my camera turns on the color bars, I just hit it. I don’t have to remember to take the lens cap off, it’s already off when I turn on the camera.
Your industry has a set of The Rules too. Do you know them inside and out? Have you honed your skills so that any question that’s asked of you can be answered as though it’s second nature? If not, you have some studying to do. But if you have mastered The Rules, you’re ready for the next step.
“Breaking the rules,” is just a euphemism for innovation and experimentation. Breaking the rules is simply a more fun, rock star way to say “learning from my mistakes.” Once you come to this realization, you will be free to find new ways of doing the things you’ve been doing for years.
So, you want to overexpose that shot of the model in a field with the sun right behind her? Go right ahead. Just bear in mind The Rules, and you’ll get a shot that you can be proud of.
I knew I’d get you with that headline.
So, you want to make a viral video, huh? With all those great videos on the web that have gone viral in the past, it can’t be all that difficult. I mean, heck, that Pants on the Ground guy’s video went viral, and all he did was sing…badly! And if your video goes viral, well then, your business will surely be the success story of the century. So, go get that video camera and be ready to do something amazing, because your video is about to take over the web. Read more…
I recently had the privilege of shooting a Video Business Profile of Beth Fitzgerald at Blush Imagery in Portland, Maine. Blush is a wedding photography company that uses a fun, intimate style to create unique wedding photography packages with input from the bride and groom without being intrusive. The shoot was fast and furious, but Beth was a trooper and really had a ball once the camera started rolling.