Archive for the ‘Recommended Reading’ Category

Get Started With Your Video Project

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

It’s not uncommon for me to receive calls and/or emails from potential clients who have never hired a video production company. Since they are so new to the process, they aren’t sure what questions to ask. They don’t know how much they should budget. They don’t understand the steps in the production process. In an effort to answer some of those initial questions, I have created a section in the sidebar of this page called “Get Started With Your Video Project.” It’s a collection of articles that I have written for this blog over the past several years that are intended to inform the newcomer about the overall process of video production, some considerations that need to be addressed, how to budget and schedule your video project, and other helpful information. So, if this is your first time here and you are interested in knowing more about how to get started, take the time to read some of these blog posts. After that, if you have more questions, please call or email me and I will be happy to help.

More Businesses Are Using Promotional Video Online

Monday, October 11th, 2010

The use of online video continues to gain great acceptance among Internet users. Businesses, non-profits, artists, bands, industries, individuals, etc. are realizing that online video is effective and that viewership is increasing every year. For this post, I’ve collected a few articles that focus on the effectiveness of online video. For additional information, tips, etc. on how you can utilize video in your communication strategy, subscribe to our blog feed or sign up for our free monthly e-newsletter.

Mobile Video IP Traffic to Surge 500% Through 2013
By Mark R. Robertson

So it seems that mobile video  is becoming a driving force behind IP traffic. What does that mean exactly? Well it means that a lot of people are watching video on their mobiles through the data networks and Internet.

Video content is rapidly expanding into every nook and cranny of data networks and spreading from device to device with impunity. Mobile phones are getting stronger hardware, better, bigger displays, so it should be no surprise that video is making its way into the pockets of those on the go.

Read More…

Why Online Video Will Keep Growing Like a Weed
By Chris Crum

As you probably know, online video has become quite a hot medium, and the rate at which people view it continues to increase. This is not surprising considering the year we had last year in online video. This year certainly started off with a boom as well as a famous super bowl ad truly introduced the world to Hulu.

Recent research from Nielsen shows that in May [2009], unique visitors, total streams, streams per viewer, and time per viewer were all up compared to the same month in 2008. There was a 49% increase in time per viewer.

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Companies Throw Their Weight Behind Online Video
By Paul Verna

Most of the attention in the online video space has focused on either media content and consumers or marketers and video advertisements. But companies continue to push further into this realm with non-advertising content.

Recent studies have shown that growing numbers of retailers are adding video capabilities to their sites. Surveys of Fortune 500 companies also indicate a broad-scale increase in the use of video for marketing purposes. In this sense, video has gone from a luxury to a near necessity for companies seeking an edge in marketing their products.

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A Crash Course On Color Bars

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
SMPTE color bars

SMPTE color bars

Color bars are a necessary reference tool for anyone in video production. They help technical directors, camera operators, and editors calibrate their equipment to ensure accurate color representation and consistency across cameras and monitors. Knowing how to use them is important. A few years ago, I found a great tutorial at Video University on how to adjust your video monitor using color bars. Be sure to bookmark the article for future reference.

  1. Allow the monitor to warm up for a few minutes
  2. Dim the room lights and block any reflections on the monitor
  3. Feed color bars to the monitor either from a camera or “house bars”from your editing system
  4. Set the contrast also called “picture” to its midpoint
  5. Turn the chroma also called “color” all the way down until the color bars
    are shades of black and white

Next, you will need to adjust the brightness and the contrast of the image by using the three narrow bars at the bottom right.

barswhi3

Brightness

Notice the three narrow bars labeled 3.5, 7.5 and 11.5 on the bottom right. Adjust the brightness control until the middle (7.5 units) pluge bar is not quite visible. The lightest bar on the right (11.5 units) should be barely visible. If it’s not visible, turn the brightness up until it becomes visible.

Since 7.5 units is as dark as video gets, you should not see any difference between the left bar (3.5 units) and the middle bar (7.5 units). There should be no dividing line between these two bars. The only division you should see is between 11.5 and 7.5

Contrast

The next step is to set the contrast control for a proper white level. To do so, turn the contrast all the way up. The white (100 unit) bar will bloom and flare. Now turn the contrast down until this white bar just begins to respond.

Color

Adjust the hue of the monitor until the Yellow bar is a lemon yellow, with no shades of orange or green. Adjust the Magenta bar until you eliminate the red and the purple. If you aren’t confident in your ability to “eye-ball” these shades, consider the following:

Many professional monitors have a blue-only switch. If your monitor has one, switch it on. If your monitor does not have a blue-only switch, you can use a piece of blue lighting gel. Hold it to your eye like a viewing lens. If you see any of the red, green or yellow colors, double the blue gel over to increase the blue effect.

By using the blue-only switch or a piece of blue gel, you have removed the red and green elements of the picture. Only the blue remains. If the tint and color (also called “hue”) are correct, you should see alternating bars of equal intensity.

bluediag

  1. With the blue switch on (or your blue gel in front of your eye) turn the chroma or color until the grey bar at the far left and the blue bar at the far right are of equal brightness. One trick is to match either the gray or blue bar with its sub-bar.
  2. Adjust the hue control until the cyan and magenta bars are also of equal brightness.
  3. You can also match either of them with their sub-bars. Now the four bars – gray, blue, cyan, and magenta should be of equal intensity. The yellow, green and red (which are black in the diagram) should be completely black.

You should now have a properly adjusted video monitor. However, if flesh tones don’t look right, you may need to make further adjustments to the chroma and hue.

Extreme Retail Makeover

Thursday, May 28th, 2009
Keith Krininger (left) received an extreme retail makeover

Keith Krininger (left) received an extreme retail makeover

I was browsing through a back-issue of the Birmingham Business Journal and came across the following article by Lauren Cooper about a local business owner who saw his sales improve from a complete store makeover, including logo design, displays, advertising, and marketing. Many people like using the economy as an excuse to slash marketing and advertising budgets, but this particular case study demonstrates the value of good, solid marketing efforts.

Local businessman Keith Krininger said last week was a whirlwind at a few of his local Bedzzz Express stores.

With a film crew documenting every moment, representatives from mattress component manufacturer Leggett & Platt Inc. conducted an “Extreme Retail Makeover” of four of his eight stores – modeled after the television show Extreme Home Makeover.

Krininger was chosen from hundreds of mattress retailers across the country to be the Fortune 500 company’s test case in proving the industry can profit from touting the health benefits of sleep, said Mark Quinn, Leggett & Platt’s executive vice president of bedding sales and marketing .

Four of Krininger’s stores underwent a visual, marketing and process makeover, including logos, displays and advertising, to improve traffic and profitability.

And one week after its implementation, Krininger said he can tell a difference.

“Customers are responding to it,” he said. “Right off the bat, we’re selling the sheets (now offered), which I was skeptical about that.”

Sales of bed frames have noticeably changed as well, he said.

“We used to have just one, but now we have three choices and – amazing enough – if you give (the customer) the choice they’ll say ‘I don’t want the cheaper one, I want the one in the middle or the higher.”

And one of the most important shifts was in his 31 employees and sales associates, he said. The experience was exciting and invigorating for them and has expanded their thinking to new levels, he said.

Leggett & Platt’s Quinn said a lot of the credit goes to Krininger, who agreed to have his business totally up-ended.

“He’s been in business for 15 years and has been successful,” said Quinn. “But it’s a different time. If you are not willing to expand your comfort zone now, then you’re not going to do it.”

The makeover at Bedzzz Express is a great example of bringing new life to an old business plan, said Betsy Holloway, associate professor of marketing at Samford University’s Brock School of Business.

By differentiating himself and educating customers on the benefits of sleep, he’ll have a competitive advantage relative to other bedding retailers, she said.

“Before it was just the product, but now it’s the presentation, product promotion and personnel to articulate the benefit,” said Holloway. “He’s offering more value, which allows him to charge higher prices and create a higher volume. Sounds like a recipe for success.”

Krininger said his next step will be to implement the makeover in his remaining Bedzzz Express stores and to offer it to his nine licensed Bedzzz Express’ outside of Birmingham.

With that done and the national recognition within the industry he’ll get from the makeover, he’ll be able to concentrate on growing his license business beyond the state’s borders, he said.

Leggett & Platt’s Quinn said the video from the Extreme Retail Makeover will be shown at a large industry conference this spring, a Web site will be dedicated to the makeover and certain components will be offered to others in the industry.

90 Cheap or Free Marketing Tricks

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

I first saw this presentation at Doc Yankee’s Marketing Mojo blog. You can also follow Doc Yankee on Twitter. The slide show presentation is from Jay Conrad Levinson and features 90 things you can do to market yourself and your business in low-cost, but creative ways. Some items on the list won’t be for everyone, but I’m sure you will be able to find a lot of useful information.