This is a collection of frequently asked questions that I have developed from my years of experience creating videos. If you don’t find the answer to your question here, please call me at 604-807-2150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on a question to reveal the answer.
- Is there research to support the idea that using video is an effective marketing strategy?
Yes, the marketing research has been convincing. Using video will improve your marketing results. I have posted some articles and videos for you to look at in the Help section, or you could read this article to get a quick idea of what the trends are: http://smallbiztrends.com/2011/07/video-marketing-small-businesses.html
- How is video better than still pictures?
Think about it – what would be more compelling: viewing a set of still pictures of a high jumper at a track meet, or watching a video clip of the same high jumper clearing the bar? Video has the ability to engage your viewers and customers in a way that print descriptions and photographs just can’t match. Many marketing studies have found that website visitors will be more engaged with your site if you use video. Visitors will stay longer and pay more attention to your message. Your professional photographs can also be used in your production.
- You shoot in HD - what's the advantage?
Simply put, HD looks great! It is a high-resolution widescreen format that gives the best images possible. If you’re going to invest in a video, make it HD. All the video websites such as YouTube and Vimeo are now fully ready for HD, and will make your completed project look terrific.
- How much will it cost?
A little, or a lot! This is the number one question people ask. It depends on many things, so let’s go over some main points. I like to tell people that I can create a great looking video for them no matter the budget. I produced a trade show video for a client who makes farm equipment. All he had was some home video and a few cell phone photos. With careful editing and the addition of graphics and music, I was able to create an effective video for him at a very reasonable cost. He used it at a trade show and was pleased with the results.
I’m like you – when I need a service, I feel more comfortable knowing what the final price will be before work begins. I look forward to getting your project details so that I can provide an accurate quote. My general price list is here, but each project is unique and you will be provided a quote.
- Isn't making a video really complicated?
It doesn’t have to be. A video can be very simple and yet very effective. It really depends on the type of project and the audience you’re going after. I work closely with you to plan the project so you are delivering your message in the most effective way.
- What will you do to make my video look professional?
My goal is to make your video look seamless and polished. I start with shooting in HD using a professional camera. I pay close attention to lighting, and record audio using professional microphones including wireless systems. At the editing stage I bring together video, photographs, graphics, music, and narration, to create a polished and impactful finished video. I have included some sample video clips throughout this website, and welcome you to take a look!
- What is your business all about?
I’m a full-time videographer, editor, and video producer. I work closely with my clients and together we create videos that look great and get attention. I help businesses market their products and services, I help organizations and institutions reach their audience using video, and I record special events. I shoot in HD using broadcast quality equipment, I bring creative ideas to the edit process, and I help my clients get their videos seen. I have more than 15 years of experience in TV and video production.
- What's a voice-over?
A voice-over is audio of a narrator speaking lines. He or she does not appear on camera. A good voice-over artist can add a tremendous amount of professionalism and polish to your video. You can go to a voice-over casting agency website and pick the person you’d like to work with. Here’s a demo reel of a female performer: http://www.voxtalent.com/mp3/ymclean.mp3 (MP3 audio clip will open in new window). I can also provide voice-overs for some projects.
- I've got a project that needs video but I need it done this week - can you help me?
If you’re in a big hurry and it’s a straightforward project, I can shoot your video and have it edited the next day — if my schedule permits. I have experience as a reporter and editor and I’m used to same-day deadlines. It’s all about knowing what to shoot and having a plan. For most videos, you can expect your project to be completed in a few days to a few weeks.
- Do I have to memorize lines?
Not unless you’re a professional actor or presenter! I don’t recommend trying to memorize lines as it will usually appear awkward. It’s best to go with a natural and conversational speaking style.
- I am nervous about appearing on camera? Do I really need to appear in my video?
I think it’s worth a try. Your appearance in the video will create familiarity and a sense of reassurance and comfort for your prospective customers. I have the experience to bring out the best in you on-camera, and the patience and understanding to know that appearing in a video may be a new experience. I find that if people are speaking about a subject they are familiar with, they will be just fine. Remember that we will have the ability to record multiple takes. I will work with you until we get it just right. I will also coach you on how to present your material in a natural and convincing manner on camera. It’s not necessary to be 100% perfect in your presentation. Some minor mistakes can be fixed in editing. The important thing is to be sincere, conversational, and engaged.
- Should I wear glasses?
If you regularly wear glasses and that’s how most people know you, then you’re probably going to feel more comfortable with them on. The lighting can be adjusted in an interview setting so that reflections are minimized. If you’re going to be appearing on camera often, then you could consider getting lenses with anti-glare treatment.
- What should I wear?
It’s more about what NOT to wear. Try to avoid exaggerated colours, bright fabrics, or clothing with fine details and patterns. Generally you want to have a fairly neutral tone so that your skin colour is not washed out by your clothing. For men, I do not recommend that you wear a pure white dress shirt. Try a shade of blue or grey or something that won’t stand out as much. The same advice goes for women, and I would add that you shouldn’t wear excessively shiny or detailed fabrics. Also watch out for noisy jewellry, or anything that will reflect brightly on camera. We want the focus to be on you.
- Do I get to see the video before it's finished?
Yes. This is a team effort, so I ask for your input during the editing process. Generally what I will do is create a rough-cut of the video and post it online to Vimeo as a password-protected video. Then you can review it and make suggestions. I will make the changes and create a finished version. I’ll post it online again and you’ll take another look. After one final review, final changes will be made.
- I just have some pictures. Can you still make a video?
Yes. Having video footage is not always necessary. I can start with your photos, add video graphics, music, and narration, and deliver an effective video.
- We had a video made a few years ago for our company. We've got the DVD but we would like to put it online. Can you help?
Yes. I can convert the DVD into a digital video format that works on the web. While we’re at it, the video could also be edited and brought up to date.
- What kind of music can be used?
You must have the rights to any music you use. Video hosting services such as YouTube often remove videos that contain commercial or popular music. I can provide you with copyright cleared music.
- Where can I publish my video for optimal exposure?
If you would like to place your video online, you can host it on your own website, or upload it to a video site such as YouTube. There are advantages to both, and the decision depends on your budget and what the purpose of the video is. There is also a third option, which is signing up with a paid hosting service such as Vimeo Pro or Brightcove. These services will allow you to upload your video and then embed the video into your website. The advantage is that you get total control over how the video player will look and there are no ads. It does come with a higher cost.
- How long can my YouTube video be?
If you’re a new YouTube user, the maximum length is 15 minutes. Once you have had a YouTube account for a while and you’ve steered clear of copyright violations, they may offer you the ability to upload longer videos. I recently successfully uploaded a 45 minute video to YouTube. For Vimeo, there is no maximum length stated on their website, but be aware that Vimeo does not allow any sort of commercial content with their basic account. They do have a Pro account that allows you to post business videos.
- How do I put my video on YouTube?
It used to be tricky to get your video online. You had to encode your video in a very specific way for YouTube, and it presented a small video player with fairly low quality. That has all changed as YouTube now offers full HD video. Amazing! To answer the question, try uploading to YouTube as an MP4 format video. Get the free Handbrake encoding program to convert your video into something YouTube accepts. Any questions? I’d be happy to help.
- What if I have a really long video? Is there a time limit on YouTube?
As I mentioned in the previous question, the time limit for new YouTube users is 15 minutes per video. As a trusted YouTube account holder, I have the ability to post videos beyond the 15 minute limit. If you are interested in having a long presentation posted online, I may be able to place it on my YouTube channel. Please contact me for details.
- What is embedding?
Embedding allows the playing of an externally hosted video in a website, without having to leave the site. If there is a YouTube video you would like your website visitors to see, you could simply place a link to it on a webpage. Your visitors can click on the link and go to YouTube to view it. The trouble with this method is that your visitors leave your site, and they may never come back! Embedding allows you to display a video from a hosting service (such as YouTube or Vimeo) without causing your visitors to leave your site. Take a look at this page of my completed video projects to see an example.
Not all videos can be embedded — it depends on the video owner’s settings. If embedding is allowed you can grab the code from YouTube or Vimeo and place the code in your blog or webpage. Sometimes you will be able to use a very simple shortcode to embed the video on your WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal website.
- How do you charge for your shooting time?
A full-day shoot includes 10 hours of production time. The production time begins when we arrive at your location for the shoot. Travel time is not charged, except for a charge of $0.45 per kilometer, each way.
For example, if you have a seminar or event that is 3 hours long, then we would need to arrive well in advance — at least one hour and sometimes more, depending on the site requirements. Before the event starts we will also need to check the audio, talk to the presenters, and go over the schedule with you. After the event is over, it also takes time to take the gear apart and pack it away – usually about half an hour.
PLANNING YOUR VIDEO
SHOOTING YOUR VIDEO
EDITING YOUR VIDEO
UPLOADING YOUR VIDEO
POLICIES & PROCEDURES