Your OWN video and audio podcasts

4.2 million people listen to Podcasts every week. By putting your own podcast on iTunes means that customers can subscribe and receive your messages directly to their iPods, computers and phones. Even better, they don’t have to remember to return your website each time you release a new issue. Podcasts are a powerful way of developing a community of interest around your brand: presenting a human face for your clients and increasing their involvement.

Podcasts can also be used as a great internal communication tool to keep your staff informed and motivated about developments within the firm. Your audio or video podcast can deliver corporate or industry news, training and advice, inspirational feedback, personnel profiles or a digest of community events and news. Your internal podcast can increase the sense of community and improve communication within your firm.

Using the latest HD video and professional audio digital techniques can create surprisingly cost-effective and professional podcasts that are a great way of improving the buzz around your brand image.

Meconopsis Films can provide you with all the professional and creative skills you need to set up your monthly client or in-house video or audio podcasts. We will handle the set up issues on your behalf for the iTunes store or work with your web providers as required.

We offer you a no-obligation start-up consultation at your office. Get in touch now to explore this powerful tool for your business.

Have a look at this use of video podcasts: car reviews.

Advertisements

Presentation video

VIDEO FOR PRESENTATIONS

You might want a presentational video to loop at your exhibition or your website, to insert into a powerpoint, to send by email… You might want it to demonstrate a product or service, or communicate a specific message – the audience, purpose and method of delivery are immense.

And, of course, the style needs to suit your company’s ethos, the purpose and audience, the message you want to convey. You can explain all of that in a brief and let us get on with it, or you can get involved in more detail. First there’s a couple of examples of recent presentation videos, after that there’s more detail about how you can start choosing an approach yourself.

BCB International Ltd asked for a full video with interviews, but also a presentational video to use at exhibitions across the globe:

STOP PRESS – BCB International Ltd liked their video so much, they asked Meconopsis Films Ltd to create four new videos to form the basis for their new season’s exhibition display. We were able to create four relevant films to suit the range of their products that will shortly be launched at the world’s largest survival equipment exhibition in London.

MAP Environmental wanted a presentation video for their Excel exhibition, which we put together for promotional-videos.co.uk with a mix of stills and footage, but where the client had a clear idea of what they wanted to achieve.

The BCB presentation was made of elements we filmed and designed ourselves, while MAP Environmental supplied all the stills and footage and wrote the script for their presentation. We added the flair, and created their vision! If you look closely, you can see that the footage on the roof is amateur footage filmed on handy-cam, so we decided that it would be best presented in the way we did.

So – what routes are there for us to create your presentation video?

MOTION GRAPHICS BESPOKE DESIGN

Your might have high quality in mind or a very specific outcome, in which case you need bespoke motion graphics design, which comes at a cost, but might be more affordable than you think. There are so many options to decide – does it need to be 3D, or are ‘postcards in space’ required? Would there be modelling involved? What kind of texture-rendering is required? Any character development? What duration? Any integration into live action or other existing material? We need to explore exactly what you have in mind, and then we can provide you with a clear quotation. Get in touch to discuss your needs.

CLOUD-DESIGNED TEMPLATES

We can adapt and develop existing or sourced fully designed templates for your needs. This combines the benefits of ‘cloud sourcing’ with our skills at After Effects and other applications to provide a solution that’s completely in tune with your needs. You can contact us to explain your precise requirements and leave it to us. Or, altnatively, browse through a set of designs that we have already chosen to narrow it down to what you are looking for. Simply the process of doing so might help you decide what it is that you are looking for. This route provides high-quality design at lower costs.

The options are as varied as the needs you bring. Get in touch to discuss further.

Video business cards for web or email use:

business card

demo reel open close

online business card

Video or photo presentations with titles and bullet points:

video world (discount available!)

web tech

pick and click

company catalogue commercial

a classic presentation

stylish business presentation

Video disco

Monochrome bullet presentation

Video wall commercial

Text-mainly presentation designs:

Business promo

Light table touch

Metropolis

elegant dispalys (sic) presentation

Impactful / stylish concepts:

Corporate spot with 3D cube (discount available!)

modern green boxes

corporate

elegant corporate presentation

corporate stairs presentation

Montage

Sketch presentation

Green screen:

Place your presentation IN your video! The Stage 3D

Video podcast car reviews

You’ve all heard of the ‘book price’ for cars, right? Names like Parker or Glass? Well, the newest, bestest kid on the block is Used Car Express, run by the irrepressible Matt Tunbridge – so go there if you need advice, reviews, prices, services… the whole shebang for buying a newish used car. Highly recommended: honest, trustworthy, thorough… you know, all the things you don’t immediately associate with the motor trade.

Matt has a very clear vision – new cars are sold on the dream, used cars on hard-headed practical reality. He and his journalists review cars by living with them for a week, and then, and only then, writing up what they are like to live with and all the practical stuff like 3-point turns, and stop-start traffic, and getting your shopping in the boot.

His vision for video was very much in that spirit – let’s get as far away from Top Gear as possible, let’s give the viewer as direct as possible an experience of driving the car under normal situations, guided by the car journalist who has experience and can compare the driving experience to other cars in that class and who knows what to look out for.

He was also clear that we were not making a car review programme as such. His reviews are always illustrated with still pictures, the video should work very much in the same way. So, have a look at the Suxuki SX4 review – four pieces of video, inserted at relevant points so that they work with the text. Or click on the complete video, to get a feel for what we achieved through working with him – a very direct, unfussy, experience of driving the car, with his thoughts as relevant, and sometimes not even that. No music to mask the sound. No ‘hard sell’.

See also the Peugeot 407 Coupe and Land Rover Freelander 2 car reviews. And for something different, have a look behind the scenes at a Honda main dealer in ChiswickVauxhall Network Q (City) and  the Honda’s refurbishment factory and only one used a professional voice over (see if you can spot which one).

Authentic, believable, direct, effective… what video podcasting is all about.

Making resolutions about resolution

It’s the time of year when everybody starts giving up the resolutions they made a few days ago. It’s some kind of routine we humans seem to need to go through at the coldest time of year.

But I want to talk about a resolution you need to keep – a resolution about resolution. “Full resolution” to be precise. And, it’s a subject that is crucial year-round, so don’t switch off if you are reading this at another time of year (any more than you should ignore those good new year’s resolutions just because it’s summer!)

for all times of year

Make the 'resolution' resolution stick

You need video and design assets at “full resolution” – you need to ask for that, build it into your negotiations with your producers and designers, and keep the assets safe and backed up in your own archive.

So why?

Well, let’s start by asking you a question. A video producer has made you a video. So what, exactly, do you expect to get from them? A designer has designed you a logo. What do you expect from them?

And I mean the actual physical thing – what is it you want or expect to get? Will it be a tape, a data file to download, an external drive a shiny metal disk? Does it matter which it is to you? Will you just accept whatever file they send you?

Say you commissioned a firm to create a video to go on your website. It’s a Flash file, probably, could be others, but probably a Flash file. You get a copy of the Flash file by data disk, download or memory stick. Are you happy? Is that the end of your dealing with that firm until next time?

Perhaps you don’t get anything. Someone uploads it to YouTube or one of the other services for you – it gets embedded into your site. It looks shiny and new. Everybody’s pleased. Great stuff.

You are happy with the video, but sometime later something crucial needs changing – perhaps you realise there are things that need tweeking or improving? Maybe crucial information has changed – legal stuff or contact details? Maybe you just want to add some more?

So you turn to your Flash copy of the video. Is that going to be useful to you? Are you going to send that to a video editor? How well will they receive that?

You have a logo that you can put on your website and send via email. Then your video producer asks you for the ‘full resolution’ version. You scratch your head for a while. Send them the version by email. Yep, that happen to us video producers a lot. Designers seem wary of releasing full resolution copies of anything, or maybe clients are just very good at losing the full resolution copies they get sent. I don’t know which. So, yes, we can make do – but even for video use, let alone print use, the low resolution version that works for the web is not a good starting point to re-use or re-edit.

The point is that the Flash copy, or even the DVD copy is a good asset for the purpose it was designed for – for viewing on a webpage or in a DVD player. They are not robust, full resolution versions that can easily be re-edited. They are highly compressed. The ‘real’ or ‘full’ frames occur only so often. The screen size is often much smaller. There are problems with the visual and audio synch with Flash files. They are not an editing format. Sure, they can be re-encoded back and re-edited, but you are going to be disappointed with the results and wonder why there’s a quality loss.

You need to keep a full resolution version of your film. You might like to consider the raw footage as well.

And this bit is where I make myself unpopular with my colleagues and with designers. There’s a very good reason why they are wary of giving you the full resolution version of the end result. Don’t worry, we’ll keep an archive for you. If you want changes, just come back to us. The whole point is that it locks you into a relationship with them. If you want changes you will need to return to the same provider.

Of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with developing a good relationship with a provider. Hopefully you’ll like their work, their price point, you will develop a relationship with them and return for further work. But you shouldn’t be tied into that relationship.

Just like photographers do, designers and video producers keep ‘copyright’ on their work, and give you the ‘right’ to use a particular edit or asset for a certain amount of time in a certain context. That is fine. As long as you are clear that’s the arrangement, and there ought to be a cost-saving. I have no problem with an arrangement like that – as long as you are clear what the arrangement is.

But you should not be tied into a relationship without realising that is what you are doing. Personally, I want to build a relationship with my clients based on the quality of my work and on how we work together. I actively want you to keep full resolution copies of the end results. I will keep an archive of the work and the footage as well. That way, we can almost guarantee that the material will be available a month, year or decade later.

So – make getting and keeping a full resolution copy of any video or design work that you commission part of the initial discussion you have with your provider. Then keep it safe.

Keep a copy on at least two separate devices and be able to find them again when you need them. Losing data isn’t an accident, it’s an intentional but subconscious intention to shoot yourself in the foot. 😉 Yes, we’ve all done it. But to do it twice is a bit criminal in these days of cheap hard drives. Remember also that replicated DVDs have a shelf life of ten years. Duplicated disks (the ones you get when you burn them yourself or commission short runs of below 100o copies) have an even shorter shelf life. Never keep anything on one disk only. All data can be copied. No medium is ultimately safe. Always have more than one copy of everything.

Here endeth the resolution about resolutions. Make it one to keep!

Have a look at the case studies

We will be adding a number of case studies about our work. It might be that it describes similar work to yours, and we try to add what we have learned from the process of each video project. Obviously each project is unique – which is one of the things that is exciting about working in video – but there might be experiences and ideas there that will help you make decisions about your project.

project management

We provide a secure area of our site to communicate, share video drafts, graphics or whatever else arises. It is helpful to have easy access to documents, graphics, video, messages in one place. We can set milestones – for example dates for filming, draft deadlines, final deadlines – share video or other documents, and so on.

We will send you an invitation email which has your first login – after that you can just read notification emails or visit the private site as you wish.

Where do you want to start?

We work with you to project manage from start to finish, and all clients will be assigned a secure private section of our site so that any documents, video drafts, graphics, messages, contact details etc, can all be kept in one easy to use minisite. You will be sent a login name and password, then all messages can be read either there or sent to your email account.

As you know the process of filming breaks down into

  • pre-production (getting everything in place, script approval, production plan, h&s assessment)
  • filming (on-site, studio, location, one-cam up to fully crewed, yourselves, actors, presenters)
  • post-production (editing, draft approval and discussion, preparing final encodes, DVDs, clips, data, printed material, duplication

which is still a helpful way to look at how good video is produced. In the private section we provide as much information on each of those stages as is relevant to the project and are happy to discuss them further if you want.

We are also happy to discuss legal, contractual, copyright and permission issues in advance or as part of project managing. In many cases there’s a straightforward answer to these issues, but getting to that answer sometimes needs a bit of expertise, which we include as a matter of course. The professional trade association we belong to provides our clients with an arbitration service should things go wrong, and professional advice and backup. Their aim is our aim – to promote professionalism and high standards in videography. A useful starting point might be their advice to a corporate client about finding good video services.