video production

The New Tabrizi Productions

Alright, this is going to get a little

personal, but it’s my birthday so I

can cry if I want to… right?

But don’t worry, there’s a happy

ending so read on...

I want to tell you all a little story about the last 9 months, and NO the big reveal is not that I’m about to have a baby. Although much of this started when I first got pregnant with Axl in 2017. For the past few years, I had been solely running my business, Tabrizi Productions, and it was a struggle. I didn’t fully know what I was doing. Yes, I had the skills to make videos and connect with my clients, but as far as growing a viable business... I was pretty clueless.  Things were more or less moving in the right direction, but at a slow pace that wasn’t sustainable for my Bay Area lifestyle. I got into debt. A LOT OF IT. Things were looking pretty bleak. I even considered throwing in the cards and settling for another job where I could, at the very least, make debt payments and have a steady paycheck again. Where life would be, well, more predictable. But was that enough for me???

In September 2017 (almost exactly 2 years ago to this date) I got pregnant. Business had been moving along, debt was disappearing at a sloth-like pace, but now I had the biggest responsibility of all looming ahead of me. I was about to be a mother!! A parent!! Another human being was about to start relying on me. Something had to change. Something about having this tiny human growing inside me triggered me to become more disciplined and focused with my work. And that was the first year I really started to see the benefits. Business started rolling in on the regular. I was able to invest in some marketing. Things were starting to really pay off. And by pay off, I mean pay off my debt. I wasn’t fully able to enjoy the fruits of my labor just yet. I wasn’t able to save money or re-invest in my business. I was still living paycheck to paycheck, more or less. Thank goodness for my husband Ashton’s emotional and financial support or I would have never been able to pull any of this off as quickly as I did. 

And with business finally feeling legitimate, our son, Axl, arrived. There was a huge adjustment period of finding a work-life-mother balance while also trying to maintain who I AM as a person—and at first, I wasn’t all that successful. I gained a lot of extra weight and felt unmotivated to fix that. Business was moving along, but my portfolio of clients was limited. I was in constant fear that with one client pulling out would mean the end for Tabrizi Productions. Something had to change, and it needed to be bigger than a workout, a cold-call or a new diet. That change was in mindset. And this is where I want to get into the last 9 months.

Earlier this year, I got to know Lia Pinelli. She’s a weight loss and life coach, but more importantly she's grown her business successfully while simultaneously balancing  motherhood and a job in education (like a badass)...I was skeptical of the term “coach,” but she inspired me to give it a go. 

If you’ve seen me lately, you probably noticed I’ve shed some weight (25 pounds to be exact) and, WHOA, I’ve been through a total mind-fuck, but in a GOOD way. You see, working with Lia didn’t only teach me tricks on food and intermittent fasting, but she opened me up to transform into the person I WANT TO BE. What’s more, she showed me I have total control over achieving that. Lia also introduced me to a fantastic podcast called “Being Boss.”  Listening to that first episode on a long drive home from visiting family, my brain felt like it had been cracked open to a whole world I hadn’t previously realized existed. In this world, creative entrepreneurs (just like me!) were going through the same struggles. Needless to say, I was hooked. I still am. I started listening to at least one of their episodes a day, and still do!

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I met with the fabulous ladies behind Being Boss and a dozen more badass women on a trip to Guatemala. I started buying business books, and scheduling accountability calls with my real estate girlfriend Jennifer Dean to discuss new ideas and insights. Most importantly, I started Doing The Work. Where was all of this 5 years ago, when I first branched out to do my own thing??  In fact, it had been there all along—only I hadn’t been open to it yet. 

So where am I today?  I may be 25 pounds lighter physically, but I’m 50 pounds heavier in knowledge, curiosity and so much expectation for the future. I’m waking up early every morning to read and taking an hour in the middle of my day to go workout. I’ve never felt more focused on the business I’m building for my family’s future.  And most importantly, I really like who I’m becoming. 

And that leads me to my big reveal. A part of this process was realizing that my business was my brand. And when you choose Tabrizi Productions, you’re choosing to work with Farran Tabrizi. Before, that wasn’t the focus of my brand. So after much debate and a not so successful DIY attempt, I enlisted top-notch branding team Curious & Co. to help me revamp my brand. I am now revealing the new brand for Tabrizi Productions. I’m still producing awesome video content—but I want to help fellow baddasses who are ready to grow their business by taking that next step of investing in themselves by telling their stories through video (#videostorytellers). This new brand is much more than just a sexy website with a kick-ass logo (though those are delightful bonuses). This new brand reflects my personal growth over the last 35 years and embraces my story.

So without further ado, allow me to share with you one exciting byproduct of my inner transformation...


www.tabriziproductions.com

Share Your Knowledge And Build An Audience With Tutorial Videos

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Imagine your dishwasher springs a leak. Or maybe one of your cars headlights has gone out. Or maybe you ripped your favorite sweater! Do you pay a premium to have a stranger come into your home and charge you an arm and a leg for their industrial knowledge and $30 worth of parts, or find someone who does alterations and can piece your wardrobe back together? Or is your first instinct is to pull up YouTube and sift through tutorial videos to see just how hard it would be to make the repairs yourself?

If you answered the former, you certainly wouldn’t be alone – YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world, and over half of adult users say it’s the first place they head when trying to attempt something they’ve never done before.

On the other hand, over 50 percent of all  adult users on YouTube is an enormous audience actively looking for tutorial videos. From mechanical repairs to crafts for children and getting creative in the kitchen – if you can do it, there’s an audience for it. All you need to be able to do is capture it on video.

If you answered the former, you certainly wouldn’t be alone – YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world, and over half of adult users say it’s the first place they head when trying to attempt something they’ve never done before.

On the other hand, over 50 percent of all  adult users on YouTube is an enormous audience actively looking for tutorial videos. From mechanical repairs to crafts for children and getting creative in the kitchen – if you can do it, there’s an audience for it. All you need to be able to do is capture it on video.

How To Create Tutorial Videos From Scratch

How Do You Want Your Tutorial Videos To Look And Feel?

Deciding the overall purpose and tone of your channel is an important first step. Take some time to explore other channels and see what works, and doesn’t, for them. Consider whether or not you want to standardize your videos with the same introduction or title sequence, or if you just want to dive right in to the content. Different video structures work better for different projects and channels.

What Does The Ideal Basic Setup For Shooting Tutorial Videos Look Like?

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Let’s take a look. To shoot your first video you’ll need:

  • A video camera (the one on your phone will do fine to start)

  • A tripod

  • A mannequin or large stuffed animal (if you’re framing shots yourself, you need a stand-in – if you have someone shooting video for you, skip this step)

  • A lapel mic

  • A computer with video editing software

  • Extra lighting (especially if you’ll be working with small pieces or in tight spaces, you want to be sure your viewer has a clear look at what you’re doing on camera)

Should You Write A Script For Your Tutorial Videos?

If your video requires narration, you’ll absolutely want to record it separately from the on-screen demonstration. This allows you to focus on the demonstration itself without having to talk the viewer through it at the same time. It reduces distractions and the number of final cuts you’ll need to make when editing the video. Can you imagine having to demonstrate a single step over and over because you stumbled over a word?

Writing your script after shooting the video also allows you to maximize your word economy. You can focus on conveying direct instructions and clear language – and not worry about rambling or getting off topic.

If you’ll be speaking on camera, make sure you use the lapel mic instead of the camera’s default microphone. You’ll cut down on ambient noise (is that the neighbor mowing his lawn in the background?) and prevent your audio from becoming muddled or fuzzy.

The Best Camera Angle For Tutorial Videos

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To provide the best look at what you’re doing, set your tripod in a way that angles the camera as directly down over your shoulder as possible. This bird’s eye view will allow viewers the perfect vantage point to watch you work. With the right lighting, it also minimizes shadows and allows you to rearrange items or point things out with ease and clarity. Make sure you’re working on a neutral and uncluttered surface to avoid anything distracting from the tutorial.

If you need to address the camera, use the mannequin or large stuffed animal as your stand-in. Set it up and center and focus your shot on it before taking its place. Shoot a few seconds of test footage and take care of any final adjustments to camera angle, lighting or focus before you begin.

As you film, don’t be afraid to stop and start as needed. If you make a mistake, simply back up a step and do it again. You can seamlessly edit everything together in the final version. If your tutorial videos have a completed product at the end, make sure to take beauty shots from several angles to show it off at the end.

Editing Your Tutorial Videos Together

Paid video editors like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro have so many great features. However, for beginners, a free program like Windows Movie Maker will do everything you need.

First import all of your video clips and any necessary audio files. Sort through everything and dispose of shots that you won’t use in the final tutorial. Decide what you want to cut, what you want to speed up or slow down, and what you want to leave as-is.

Lay everything out on the timeline in the order you want it. If you have a custom intro or outro, now is the time to decide where to put it. This is also when you should be adding captions or any other graphics you find necessary.

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Once the video is done to your satisfaction, write out and record your script to match it. Use the lapel mic (or other microphone) to record the voiceover track and lay it on the timeline. Finally, if you want it, add a music track. Avoid anything with a copyright. YouTube has a library of free music that you can use, or you can purchase tracks from stock websites like 123RF and Shutterstock.

Happy with your final product? Export the entire project as a high-quality video file (MOV, MP4 and AVI are all commonly accepted) and upload it to YouTube.

Consider Keywords When Publishing Your Tutorial

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YouTube has over 1.9 billion monthly users (just counting the ones who are logged in) with 400 hours of new video uploaded every minute. So how can you make sure your drop in the bucket makes a splash?

The most important step is to make sure you include the right words in your title, tags and description. YouTube’s search engine will match what users type into the search bar with what it can find in these text fields. By identifying popular keywords and using them in your descriptions, you help YouTube guide users to your video.

You want to make sure that your keywords are common searched for phrases, but not so generic that your tutorial videos will be lost in an ocean of similar content. For example, “how to make brownies” will return tens of thousands of results on YouTube – but “dark chocolate brownies recipe” significantly narrows the field.

Make sure to include what your video is about, and what viewers will learn by watching it.

What Makes Good (And Bad) Tutorial Videos

Even if you’ve barely scratched the surface of YouTube tutorial videos, it’s clear that there are some poorly-made ones floating around. Here are some things to consider that will help you avoid common mistakes.

Is Your Topic Appropriate For A Video Tutorial?

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It can be tempting to think that any “how to” topic is a great choice for a video tutorial, but that isn’t so. For instance, topics that don’t have a strong visual component (think: How to Hire an Accountant or similar) could make a great blog article, but may not be well suited as video content.

Topics that are suitable have strong, compelling visuals to show off. Software and hardware how-to’s are great candidates, as well as cooking, home repairs and physical activities. If it requires you to show, rather than tell, you have a winner.

Keep Your Video Tutorial Short And Focused

Detailed explanations are fine, but shorter is definitely better with tutorial videos. Try to keep your video under five minutes. If you need more time, consider how you might break the project up into a video series instead.

This is especially important if you’re just starting out and trying to build an audience from scratch. Channels with an established audience have a little more leeway since viewers trust their content and know what to expect, but brand new channels will be better off delivering high value content quickly in order to keep attention from drifting.

Write Short Sentences With Simple Words

One of the best things you can do for your video is to make sure the language is clear, concise and impossible to misinterpret. In a video format especially, you can simplify your descriptions precisely because the primary focus is on showing – not telling.

If you will be putting a voiceover on your video (recording the audio track separately from the video), long sentences and complex words are harder to read out loud and will require multiple takes to say smoothly and clearly. A simple script also makes it easier to upload subtitles for your video which makes is popular on other platforms and necessary for hearing-impaired viewers.

Make Sure Your Picture And Audio Quality Are Good

Even more important than what you’re saying (and how you’re saying it) is the quality of how it looks and sounds. If the picture quality is blurry and the sound is either distorted or staticky, even the best content will be overlooked.

You can do without professional video equipment that costs thousands of dollars, but one small item that makes a huge difference is a decent microphone. Even an inexpensive one can improve your production values immediately. If you plan on making this an ongoing series a quality piece of equipment will be money well spent.

Let Tabrizi Help With Your Tutorial Videos

Tabrizi Productions excels and helping you get even the most complicated ideas across clearly. You can check out our portfolio of product explanation videos by clicking here and then contact me to talk about the vision you have for your next project.




Video Production Mistakes You Can Avoid Before They Happen Part 1

Whether you’ve been producing videos for years, or you’re just learning the video production ropes, there seems to be a series of common mistakes made over and over again. Not all of them are necessarily big or will significantly impact your video, but they can be easily avoided if you know what to look for.

Here is part one of our series on ten of the most common video production errors, and their solutions, from the online video hosting service Vidyard.

Top 5 Common Video Production Mistakes

1. Your Script Is Too Technical

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Video production starts with the creation of a solid script. But for videos that explain a technical product or procedure, the writing process can be difficult. You need to find a balance of words that don’t confuse your viewer, but also don’t come across as condescending. If your script dives too deeply into technical jargon, you risk overwhelming your viewer and causing them to click away.

The Solution: Simplicity is key. Have individuals who don’t have a strong background in your video topic read your script and give you their feedback. You want to make sure they can understand the concept and tone, but don’t feel talked down to.

2. You Have Too Many Topics In One Video

It can be tempting to stuff all kinds of information into a single video, but don’t do it! Not only can this confuse and overwhelm your viewers, but it can ruin the overall flow. Just because your product has three different functionalities doesn’t mean you have to explain them all in one video.

The Solution: Instead of one overwhelming video production, create a video series. Multiple short, easily digestible videos are much more viewer friendly, and give you additional opportunities to build an audience as well as boost your overall marketing strategy. Check out my blog post on creating a video series by clicking here!

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3. Your Audio Is Low

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This mistake frequently occurs when music and audio combine. Your music sets the emotion or mood of your entire video production, and the audio explains the content. Each one has a role to play, so don’t let one overpower the other.

The Solution: Keep your music levels lower than you think they need to be and gently increase the volume during gaps in the voiceover.

4. Your Audio Is Out Of Sync

Even a few seconds of out-of-sync audio is enough to distract and annoy your viewer. If the audio is far enough behind the animation, your video production begins to look sloppy.

The Solution: Depending on the error and length, you may need to stretch or compact the frames to get the audio back in sync with graphics.

5. Your Graphics Are Too Flashy

Having a CGI-heavy video may look cool, but it usually doesn’t add to the story and can overwhelm and put off the viewer.

The Solution: Simple design and animation get the job done. Keep your video production entertaining and use the graphics to help support your message.

Stay Tuned For More Video Production Mistakes

These are five of the most common video production mistakes that we see across all genres. We’ll cover five more, including what can happen when your subject is too complex, in part two next week.

In the meantime, do you have an upcoming project that needs a professional touch? Contact Tabrizi Productions for a free consultation on how we can make sure your final product looks as professional and sleek as your business plan.

Stay Competitive With A Recruitment Video Strategy

Recruitment videos are part of a landscape that is constantly shifting as new technologies appear and disappear. HR and recruiters are using more and more often along with nontraditional methods like social networking, mobile apps and artificial intelligence for help attracting and enlisting their ideal candidates.

With more than one third of time online spent watching video, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the format is increasingly being woven into the recruiting, interviewing and hiring process. Companies are creating and posting videos to both their own website and platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Instagram where they showcase themselves to their target audience.

Why Are Recruitment Videos Important For Your Company?

Especially when recruiting a younger workforce, a short video can do what more traditional recruitment methods cannot – capture the look, feel and authenticity of a company in a way that intrigues potential candidates. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, imagine how much a recruitment video can say to viewers. Here are six reasons from enterprise intranet company Interact that explain why you should integrate them into your video strategy.

1. A Recruitment Video Will Reach and Keep the Attention of a Larger Audience

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As many companies have already begun to realize, the traditional approaches to recruitment are no longer enough to maintain a competitive advantage. The rise of popularity of multimedia practices cannot be ignored.

According to MPW Digital Media, 59 percent of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video. Whether it has to do with the importance of mobile technology in the modern world or the notion that the average person’s attention span is always decreasing, the benefit of adding recruitment videos to your video strategy is clear.

Individuals can easily access recruitment videos on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, which also allows viewers to like and share them – increasing the number of people who will learn about the position you’re hiring for.

2. You’ll Stay Competitive

Because video is becoming such a popular recruiting method, those businesses who don’t incorporate it into their video strategy risk falling behind the organizations that do. Being overshadowed by a competitor can lead to a decrease in your popularity, damage your brand and ultimately increase the risk of losing qualified candidates.

A study by CareerBuilder found that job postings accompanied by a video received 12 percent more views than postings without. Employers also reported a 34 percent increase in candidate applications when they added video to their job postings.

Engaging a candidate with recruitment videos before they decide to apply or accept a position helps ensure that they are invested in their role and also in the company vision.

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As many companies have already begun to realize, the traditional approaches to recruitment are no longer enough to maintain a competitive advantage. The rise of popularity of multimedia practices cannot be ignored.

According to MPW Digital Media, 59 percent of executives agree that if both text and video are available on the same topic, they are more likely to choose video. Whether it has to do with the importance of mobile technology in the modern world or the notion that the average person’s attention span is always decreasing, the benefit of adding recruitment videos to your video strategy is clear.

Individuals can easily access recruitment videos on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, which also allows viewers to like and share them – increasing the number of people who will learn about the position you’re hiring for.

3. You’ll Appeal to Newer Generations of Talent

The future of the job market is already here. If recruiting the freshest candidates straight out of the talent pool isn’t part of your recruiting strategy, you’re already behind the companies that are.

Embracing the benefits of recruitment videos is a vital part of the process. Millennials age 25-34 spend the most time watching online videos, and men spend 40 percent more time watching videos on the internet than women. This tech-savvy and visionary workforce will expand your growth and drive innovation – if you can capture their attention.

Research on millennials shows that 54 percent of millennials in the United States visit YouTube daily. Combine that with the fact that 100 million hours of video content are watched on Facebook daily, and that Instagram has more users than Twitter among 16 to 44-year-olds, and companies can’t deny that social media and recruitment videos are some of the best way to attract them.

In just a few years, millennials will make up nearly half of the workforce. By 2030, 75 percent. Getting the best of these generations will require meeting them on their ground.

4. You’ll Save Money

In the past, the recruitment and hiring process has been time consuming and expensive. Traditional hiring methods take an average of 45 days for a new position, and cost $1,500 to $5,000 per hire. And if it turns out you’ve hired the wrong person, replacing an employee can cost up to four times their annual salary, with bad recruiting costing companies over $50,000 on average.

Thankfully selection and recruitment processes are changing for the better, and recruitment videos don’t require big budgets and Hollywood production values. You can do it yourself (although we strongly recommend hiring a production company), but the savings don’t stop there. With social media so incorporated into our everyday lives, the distribution of these videos has also become more affordable.

Social video generates 1200 percent more shares than text and images combined. And if you optimize your video for multiple platforms, employees and prospective recruits can view and share it with ease – making for a cost-effective promotion of your company brand.

5. You’ll Find Your Culture Fit

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A Harvard study found that 80 percent of employee turnover can be linked to faults in the hiring process. A majority of these mistakes occur during the interview process. While the majority of interview questions tend to focus on soft and hard skills, the area that covers culture fit is sorely lacking.

Hiring employees that fit well with your company’s culture can produce a higher rate of job satisfaction, more effective job performance and improve the employee experience.  The goal of a strong recruitment video is to show potential candidates what life would be like if they worked for your company. This is a key part of recruitment, and one that is ranging from difficult to impossible to convey over a phone or in-person interview.

Use a recruitment video to capture an authentic display of daily life in your company. Showcase the true feel of the office and turn the location, aesthetics and personalities that make up your organization into selling points. You can include details about the commute, include shots of a typical desk setup and office atmosphere (Is it open plan? Do coworkers gather in areas away from their desks?) and interview potential colleagues and managers for the position in question.

The easier it is for candidates to picture themselves as a part of your company, the more likely you are to attract an applicant that matches your vision and culture.

6. You’ll Increase Your Employer Brand

Your employer brand is, “The way your organization’s prospective applicants, candidates and employees perceive you as an employer.” Recruitment videos are the perfect tool to establish and strengthen yours.

While word of mouth holds a significant amount of power, many people still prefer to see something before they believe it. To show off your positive brand image, use video to showcase your company culture, products and services.

Avoid using overly scripted or staged scenarios in favor of a more authentic result. Highlight the unique aspects of your company using live clips from company meetings, day to day activities and even personal testimonials – anything that takes your company’s personality and makes it look “real.”

Recruitment Video and Your HR Strategy

The long-term success of any organization depends on its ability to find and recruit the best new talent. Recruitment videos have proven to be an effective method of doing just that. As shown above, recruitment videos can capture your company from angles that words simply cannot – showing off culture, employees, authenticity and more.

Video may soon make up 80 percent of all Internet traffic, which means there’s no time like the present to make video a cornerstone of your recruitment strategy.

Hiring A Production Company for Your Recruitment Videos

Ready to take the plunge? Here’s a quick look at some of the important questions you should ask when picking a production company.

  • Can the video production company handle the project load?

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If you have a series of videos that you want to create for your brand, it’s important that you ask if they have the capacity to take them all on. You don’t want to need to find a new partner for every video in your campaign – it’s a hassle and can take up valuable time.

  • Is the production company limited to a specific location?

If you have multiple locations that span a wide area, you need to find a company that can accommodate that request.

  • What type of videos do they specialize in?

Videos for enterprise level companies and brands that are more informal will need to be handled differently to fit their specific audiences. You need to find a company that is knowledgeable about the type of video you want for your particular company.

  • Do they guarantee their work?

If a company you’re considering does not offer a guarantee, make sure you check out previous projects that are similar in size and scope to what you’re looking for. If they cannot provide that for you, proceed with caution or seek out other video producers who can or will guarantee their work.

  • Do they provide video optimization?

A lot of marketing involves trial and error to find what works the best for the specific audience you are trying to reach. Ask if they are willing to work with your guidelines, tweaking your videos to maximize the results you’re after.

  • What costs are involved and what’s included?

When considering a boutique video production company, like Tabrizi Productions, the costs and what your money goes to may be different than if you were to hire a freelance producer or commercial company. Make sure you understand how funds will be allocated.

  • How far out are they booking clients?

When hunting for your perfect video partner, be sure to ask them how far in advance are they booking.  Too often, brands take a passive approach to creating videos, searching for help only when an idea strikes instead of actively planning a campaign. 

  • What is the turnaround time for videos?

The answer to this question will depend on the company, they type of video you want and how many other projects the videographer is working on at the same time they will be working on yours.

  • Do they help with scripting or storyboarding?

This question is especially important if you have a general idea of what you want your video to be but have not outlined the specific details. Some video production companies offer these services to help see your ideas from conception to final product, while others do not.

Let Tabrizi Help Plan Your Recruitment Video Strategy

Whether it’s company culture, employer brand or another story you want to share with prospective employees, Tabrizi Productions can help you build a library of recruitment videos from scratch. Contact me today for a free, no-obligation consultation and let’s get started!

Produce A Video Series To Boost Engagement And Build Community

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In our lifetime, video and film have undergone a dramatic evolution. From the early television broadcasts - which only provided three or four channel options and turned themselves off at the end of the day - to literally millions of options, on-demand, carried in our pockets and viewable from anywhere, anytime on earth.

Viewers can now control when they watch, where they watch it, what device they’re watching on and, most importantly, what they want to watch. In fact, one-third of the average user’s online activity is spent watching video. Children, in addition to the traditional answers of “firefighter” and “police officer,” are beginning to reply with “YouTube personality” when asked what they want to be when they grow up.

Five Steps to Building A Video Series

Video is already one of the most powerful tools in your marketing toolbox. Combine that with the strong and growing desire to consume information in this manner and you have a recipe for success.

From tutorials to product reviews, your business has unique insights and knowledge that will translate well to video – you just have to find them. Here are three steps recommended by Social Media Examiner.

Step 1 – Research and Identify Potential Topics For Your Video Series

The video planning process starts with a brainstorm, and narrowing those ideas down into viable topics that will attract your desired audience and community.

If you have videos uploaded on a platform like YouTube already, take a close look at the analytics to see what viewers are searching that leads them to your existing content. You can also ask your audience for their insights. Use an email survey or Instagram story poll to find out what they’re interested in. By asking for their input, you’re including them in your planning process, and at the same time learning about what they’re struggling with.

Step 2 - Develop a List of Keywords and Phrases to

Optimize Your Video Series for Search

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After you have a list of potential topics, do some keyword research to identify words and phrases that users are commonly searching for and can be seamlessly integrated into your content.

Take a look at the analytics for your blog or website and make a list of topics related to your most popular pages and posts. You can also use services (both paid and free) like Kparser, Hypersuggest and Wordtracker to find both short and long key phrases, or keywords, related to your topics.

Your keywords should cast a wide net, but not so wide that it doesn’t narrow down the competition some. For example, “how to edit videos” will pit you against a greater number of competing videos and channels compared to “how to edit videos on a smartphone.”

After you’ve identified your keywords, work them into the video’s title, description and tags. You need to tell your video platform what each element of your video series is about so that it is easily discovered when someone comes searching, or so it can be listed as recommended content.

Step 3 – Break a Topic Down Into A Multi-part Video Series

Instead of using a single video to cover one topic, try breaking it down into smaller pieces. Shorter is always better when it comes to online video, and five one to two-minute videos in a series is much more palatable than three five-minute videos, and certainly one video at fifteen minutes.

From a viewer retention standpoint, setting up a video series like this works well for encouraging viewers to view your next (or previous) video for more information. It also gives you multiple opportunities to encourage viewers to like, follow or subscribe to your channel for future content, or even direct them off of one platform and to your blog, website or shop.

Here’s a quick summary of the best video length by platform:

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  • Instagram - 30 seconds

  • Instagram videos that received the most comments averaged just 26 seconds. Our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, so users scroll faster on Instagram than any other app.

  • Twitter – 45 seconds

    • Twitter’s video of the day averages just 43 seconds. Users are accustomed to short tweets, so make sure the brevity also applies to videos.

  • Facebook – 1 minute

    • Facebook audiences like to engage most with videos that are just one minute long. Users like snappy videos that they can quickly like or share before moving on.

  • YouTube – 2 minutes

    • The videos that receive the most engagement on YouTube are about two minutes. Users like spending time on this platform because they can easily find specific videos and watch their favorite creator’s content. Creating slightly longer, more in-depth, content is perfect for this platform.

Pick a Format for Your Video Series

Despite its popularity, a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute found that videos ranked only third in most commonly used content types for marketing, behind case studies at number two, and social media posts at the top.

It might seem less intimidating to find a different topic to write about each week than to turn into the next installment of your video series, but if YouTube celebrities can do it than so can you! To help get you started, here are 12 of the most popular types of video content in 2019.

1. Vlog

Vlogs, or video blogs, are cheap to produce, personality-driven and quite possibly the best value when you compare the potential returns to the energy invested in production. You can sit in front of your camera with a one-page outline of talking points and have a new and engaging addition to your video series five minutes later.

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2. Culture

Culture videos can include slice-of-life employee interviews, game days in the office, pranks, birthday parties and everything in between. The goal is to show that your brand isn’t just clockwork, but a human fabric with a lot of personality. These types of video series also go hand in hand with HR, and can be used to attract the best and brightest job candidates.

3. Interview

A good interview should follow a set of guidelines like a vlog, but feel unscripted. As an interviewer, your job is to make your subject do the talking, not the other way around. 

Interviews can be an easy way to produce a multi-part video series in a short period of time. You can interview a single person about multiple topics, or line up multiple interviews over the same afternoon.

By being associated with outside experts, you’ll grow positive brand associations and credibility with your audience. If you’re interviewing experts from within your company, the final video series can double-dip into the culture category and be used for HR and recruitment purposes.

4. Webinar

Webinars are high-value, low-cost endeavors that require no scripts or actors. You can host Q&A sessions with clients, demo products or have a live interview with industry leaders.

Webinars can also be a great piece of content to promote through paid traffic. For example, you could have a Facebook ad campaign that drives people to a webinar and then to your own content.

5. Event

Event videos bring the party to viewers who couldn’t make it and extend the reach of any single event exponentially. Think of the Macy’s Day Parade in NYC. How many people do you know who have been to that parade, ever? Now compare that to how many of us know about it, and have seen it year after year, because it was covered on television.

With the rising popularity of Instagram stories and Snapchat, many companies are beginning to cover their events in 15-second video series montages.

6. Presentation

TED Talks are easily the best example of a presentation video. A presentation takes the excitement of an event and combines it with the usefulness of a webinar to create a compelling and shareable narrative. Use this format to your advantage by turning targeted presentations at company events or small-scale networking events into a video series.

7. Tutorial

Have you ever looked up a video to learn something new, or refresh your memory on something old? From cooking to car maintenance, YouTube has become a visual Wikipedia of sorts for the DIYer.

Helpful content has to be more than just promotional tie-ins and soft selling though, because consumers are always smart enough to know when they’re being sold – and they never like it!

8. Product Review

If you have an audience that trusts you, you’re doing them a favor by reviewing products that they might find useful. They can just rely on your recommendation instead of having to figure things out for themselves.

Don’t review your competitor’s products (you don’t want to lose customers, or risk coming across as petty) but a video series reviewing products not in your line, but complimentary to your brand, can still be useful to your customers.

9. Testimonial

The last time you were looking for a service or specific product, chances are you asked your friends and family for a recommendation. There’s nothing better for business than an endorsement from a real person.

If you want to start building a video series of testimonials, try throwing an event to attract existing customers who you can then record live. Or create a contest for customer review videos that you couldn’t possibly have written yourself.

Here are a few questions you can ask to help craft a powerful testimonial video:

  • What was the obstacle that would have prevented you from buying this product?

  • What did you find as a result of buying this product?

  • What specific feature did you like most about this product?

  • What are three other benefits of this product?

  • Would you recommend this product? If so, why?

  • Is there anything you’d like to add?

10. Animation

Technically, animation is more a style of video than a type of video, but what a powerful style it is! Animated video series are perfect for companies that have complex products and services that can be difficult to explain. 

11. Behind The Scenes

People love businesses that seem like they’re human and not soulless corporations. Video is the perfect medium for engaging one-on-one. It puts a personality behind the brand and it makes us feel closer to them.

Platforms like Instagram and Pinterest make this really easy, since they allow you to ask questions and take polls, and then answer them on video – all from your mobile device.

12. Live Streaming

Live videos satisfy our need for instant gratification. We’re able to interact with a community in real time, and potentially get noticed by the broadcaster. Live streams can make us feel like we’re at an actual, live event. They work well for new product launches, Q&A, behind the scenes and more.

Plan Your Video Series With Tabrizi Productions

Have you checked out my wide range of services? Whatever idea for a video series your marketing department has cooked up, Tabrizi Productions can make it happen! Contact me today for a free consultation.

Client Spotlight: Nonprofit Organization Able Advocates

Who Is Able Advocates?

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The Able Advocates nonprofit began as a group of mothers meeting up for the occasional lunch. At first, the only thing they had in common were their children – all of them with special needs. They shared their triumphs and their struggles with each other, especially when fighting with their insurance companies over the highly specialized equipment needed to give their children the quality of life they deserved.

Together, their lunch group transformed into an organization dedicated to helping other families who were in need. Just like children’s clothing, specialized wheelchairs and walkers are often outgrown and stuffed into closets when they become too small, even though they’re still in usable condition.

Able Advocates’ mission is to collect those pieces of specialized equipment and work with experts to update and refurbish them. Everything from specialized chairs, desks, walkers and standers are distributed to children as young as six months old. Families who benefit from Able Advocates’ equipment collection might otherwise go without these vital tools.

The nonprofit also connects families with local support groups, resources and services specific to each individual family’s needs. They offer assistance with navigating insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, equipment companies, schools and even the general public.

Over the last several years, Able Advocates has collected in excess of $400,000 in equipment and redistributed it to more than 2,000 families to help them meet their needs. In 2016, Able Advocates donated a wheelchair accessible swing to Inspiration Park, an 8-acre park filled with accessible structures and playground equipment. At the time the swing was the only one in all of Fresno, CA.

Tabrizi Productions Helps Share Nonprofit Able Advocates’ Story on Video

Tabrizi Productions sat down with the president of Able Advocates, Katrina Oh, to capture her story on video. Over the course of an afternoon we talked about the extremely challenging journey she has traveled with her son – his diagnosis, the never-ending battle with insurance, and the support she found with other mothers of special needs children that ultimately led to the creation of the nonprofit Able Advocates.

Combined with interviews from other special needs families and supporters of Able Advocates, Tabrizi Productions shot and produced a seven-minute feature video about the organization’s history and mission that was ideal for education, fundraising and soliciting donations of equipment.

Tabrizi Productions also produced a shorter video production featuring Oh and other parents, condemning a ten percent cut to California’s Medicare program, Medi-Cal and calling for it to be reversed. The cut threatened to eliminate the vendor that provides specialized walkers and wheelchairs, forcing parents to pay for them entirely out of pocket.

Fortunately the cut was reversed when AB 1805 was approved in 2014, and immediately put into effect.

What Can Tabrizi Productions Do For Your Nonprofit?

Let Tabrizi Productions help you tell your story, whether you’re a nonprofit or not. Whether you’re just getting started, celebrating a milestone, or gearing up for a capital campaign, Tabrizi Productions will work with you from start to finish to capture your passion.


Why Hosting Good Auditions Strengthens Your Final Production

We’ve covered a lot of angles on the video production process from deciding what kind of video you want, to creating the story, to the equipment you’ll need. Now, we’re going to move from behind the camera to in front of it and look at auditions and the casting process.

How To Hold Auditions

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For performers, the audition process quickly becomes a well-known routine of nerves and anticipation. But for the people sitting on the other side of the table – directors, producers, choreographers, stage managers – the motions of finding the right person (or people) to bring their vision to life can be just as nerve wracking.

A great audition process is one that is not only professional, pleasant, well-organized and quick, but one that’s also set up to attract a healthy turnout and wide variety of casting choices for a successful final production.

Here are 14 steps to holding successful auditions from entertainment writer and Broadway critic Angela Mitchell.

1.       Secure a space for auditions that fits your needs.

If you’re casting the next big thing, you may need to accommodate hundreds of hopefuls at your auditions. But depending on the size of your project, you’ll likely only be dealing with a few dozen people. A local music room or practice space will be perfect, set up with a separate area for performers who are waiting apart from the active auditioners. You may want an additional private area with tables and chairs where you and your partners can discuss the actor’s performances as well.

2.      Make a list of the most important roles you are holding auditions for.

List the characters along with their age ranges, genders and other potentially helpful information, but don’t let yourself get locked in by these parameters. Get rid of your preset ideas about what your character looks like (or even their gender) and see what happens during the audition process. You may find the perfect surprise.

Once you’ve listed all your roles, rank them according to importance and expected difficulty to cast. Make supplemental lists of supporting characters who can be easily cast from those who do not make the cut for lead roles.

3.      Write a dynamic casting call.

A strong casting call is important because it is the fist point of contact between you and your potential actors. It will determine the way your project is perceived and actors will be quick to judge your project based on the professionalism – a careless casting call could be seen as a precursor to a careless production.

To attract a higher turnout, make sure your call for auditions includes as much information as possible like:

  • Name of your organization or group

  • Name of the show to be cast

  • Brief description or show tagline

  • Names and descriptions of characters to be cast

  • Whether this is a union or non-union production

  • Other casting opportunities (supporting characters)

  • Date, time and place of auditions

  • Expected dates of production, rehearsals, etc.

  • Contact information (name, e-mail address, phone number)

Be clear about what you are looking for, and keep your character descriptions concise. Remember to stick to the spirit of the character and avoid preconceptions.

If you did not write the script, make sure you read it before holding auditions. If you’re inviting actors to come in and perform a scene, you need to be an expert on the story – understand their character, the emotion of the scene and the context of the scene you’re giving them. Actors may have questions, and it’s important that you be able to answer them.

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4. Be clear about what

to prepare and bring to

auditions.

Traditionally this includes a prepared monologue and/or song, a resume of credits and experience, and a recent head shot. Also be clear about attire. If there is going to be any kind of special movement involved like dancing, let the performers know so they can dress accordingly.

5. Promote auditions

early and often.

Try to give at least three weeks notice before auditions are held so that attendees can work it into their schedule. Popular promotional ideas include:

  • Announcements on your website, newsletter and in an official press release from your organization (if applicable)

  • A press release to local newspapers and performing arts press, both online and off

  • Posting your audition date, time and other information on Twitter

  • Sharing details of the auditions on your Facebook page and groups

You may also want to go old school and design flyers to be posted at local hot spots for performers like:

  • Music and drama schools (professional, college and high schools)

  • Local community colleges

  • Karaoke or piano bars

  • Popular coffee shops or bars

  • Local open mic locations

6. Create and print an information sheet for all

auditions.

Bring a stack of copies to your auditions and make sure you have enough for everyone. This is where participants should list their preferred roles, availability, special talents, credits and more.

7. Arrive early to your own auditions.

On audition day, show up with your associates at least 30 minutes early to set up your table or area and prepare. Make sure any signs or flyers are posted to help guide the way to your location, in big clear lettering.

If necessary for your production, make sure you have a piano and accompanist present for the entire audition period. If you are having your participants read a scene from your script, make sure you have a reader to perform the alternate lines. Consider stocking a cooler with bottled water or sports drinks inside for anyone who may get overly nervous or stressed.

If you feel an actor is overly tense or nervous, allow them at least one “risk free” take where they know they can do whatever they want with the space and their interpretation of the lines.

Bring extra pens and pencils for participants and have them fill out the information sheet, then return it to you with their resume and head shot.

8. Be respectful during the auditions.

Quietly conferring with your partners for a moment or two is natural, but respect the participant’s performance while speaking or singing and hold any longer conversations for when they’re finished.

Those who have been on the other side of the table have many stories about how frustrating it can be to audition for someone who is distracted, dismissive or uninterested. Make sure you give all auditions your polite and professional attention, and thank each person when they’re through.

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9. Keep the auditions

moving.

Save your lengthy discussions for callbacks, and try to hold each participant to the same amount of time. If necessary, ask for alternate monologue or song choices from any performers you want to see more range from, but stay focused and keep as close as possible to your time limit in order for the auditions to flow smoothly.

If you can, try to see each participant for 15-30 minutes. This gives you enough time to talk about the production, make the actor feel relaxed, run through the lines a couple times, or even ask them to try the role of another character.

Take clear written notes and record the audition process if you can to dedicate more time to reviewing the performances later. As much as you like to think you’ll remember your favorites, it can be difficult after watching dozens of auditions in a row.

10. Prepare for callback auditions.

After auditions, organize the forms of your most promising performers by potential part for callbacks. If you are positive that you found what you were looking for during the initial audition process, a callback isn’t necessary. However, if you find yourself doubting, or waffling between multiple performers for crucial roles, don’t hesitate to ask them back to showcase additional work.

11. Contact the performers you want to attend callback

auditions.

Make sure you reach out directly with information on where and when they should show up. Be pleasant, brief and professional – don’t overpromise or discuss the performer’s previous audition or chances at a role in your production.

12. Conduct callback auditions with the same

organization and focus.

For callback auditions, try not to focus too much on cold readings. Instead, pay attention on the actor’s choices in their performance like physical movements or tone of voice. Ask your performer to perform the same piece several different ways to judge how well they can take direction, and the range of their abilities.

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13.  Make your final

decisions.

Meet with your partners, if you have any, for a last look at your casting decisions, and make sure that whomever you’re casting will meet the necessary criteria. Can they meet the physical requirements of the character like dancing, tumbling or lifting other actors?

14.  Contact those who

auditioned with the results.

For those who didn’t make the cut, give the bad news first and then the good. For example, let them know that while you decided to go in a different direction for the role, perhaps they would be interested in an alternative role?

For those who didn’t make the cut at all, be pleasant, regretful, kind and – most importantly – brief. Thank them for auditioning and let them know that you hope to see them again for future productions.

Ready to start filming? Let Tabrizi help!

Do you have your script and cast set, or are you still in the middle of creating a project from scratch?  No matter where you are in the process Tabrizi Productions can lend professional assistance and years of experience to your production. Contact us today to go over your project and learn what we can do for you!

A Homepage Video: How To Make An Unforgettable First Impression

For the vast majority of visitors to your site, your homepage video is the first experience they will have with your business and your brand. That’s why it’s so important to make a positive first impression that sticks in their mind – before they click away and get distracted by e-mail, social media or, worst of all, your competitors.

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There are a million different ways to craft a delightful introduction while also driving conversions, but there are also some painful mistakes that will drive potential people away. So, without further ado, here are some valuable do’s and don’ts for your homepage video from the video software and hosting company Wistia.

Do Make Your Value Clear In Your Homepage Video

Make sure you quickly answer the question that everyone wants to know: What does your business actually do? Few things are more frustrating than visiting a website, clicking through their content, and still having no idea what exactly their business is all about.

Use your homepage video to highlight your key points in a casual but informative way. What problem do you solve? How will your product or service change things? Speak in a way that will resonate with your target audience, be clear and conversational, and get to the point.

Do Know The Audience You Are Targeting With Your Homepage Video

For first-time visitors, your homepage video is your chance to nail first impressions. Incorporate key elements of your brand and try to create a consistent theme that’s reflected in the rest of the content throughout your site.

By knowing your audience well, you should be able to pick out some of the elements of your brand that will resonate with them. Your homepage video is a unique opportunity to engage with your viewers, showcase your brand and leave a lasting impression. Consider featuring some of the people who work at your business to give viewers a better understanding of who makes up your business, and help them focus on emotion instead of numbers.

Do Test Out Autoplaying Homepage Video

The expert debate on whether or not to autoplay video is a heated one. Some marketers support it for its immediacy and effectiveness, while others hate that it takes the choice away from the viewer, slows down the website’s load time and can be generally annoying. The reality is there’s no right answer. The best way to find out what works for your website is to test it both ways and see what the analytics say gets the best response.

If you decide in favor of autoplaying your homepage video, here are some tips to minimize the annoyance risk factor:

·         Keep the video short and sweet

·         Don’t show too much motion

·         Keep everything else on your page static

·         Make your video silent or sound optional

Do Put Your Homepage Video Front And Center

If you’re going to put video on your website’s homepage, don’t make your visitors scroll to find it! Since web video is such a strong driver of conversions, your video should be featured front and center.

You should also look at the rest of the content on your page, to make sure your video doesn’t have to compete with other design elements.

Here’s an example of a home page video created by Tabrizi Productions for RF and microwave technology company Marki Microwave.

Don’t Set Broad Goals For Your Homepage Video

Your goals can change, but they should always be targeted! If you need some help getting on track, give the SMART formula a try. Your goals should be:

·         Specific - Ask yourself what exactly you hope to get out of your content marketing technique.

·         Measurable - In order for your goals to be successful, you need to be able to measure them against some benchmark.

·         Attainable - Make sure your goal is reasonable and don’t set the bar too high.

·         Relevant - How will the content marketing technique help your customers and your company?

·         Time-bound - Make sure you do set a time limit to reach these goals. Not setting a deadline for success will make it hard to measure your results.

Keep in mind also that your video doesn’t need to do all the work. It may be what gives visitors their first impression, but all other content on your site should also be a part of that SMART formula.

Don’t Get Too Detailed In Your Homepage Video

It might be tempting to try and squeeze in every last detail about your business into your homepage video, but please don’t! For almost every homepage video, a length of two minutes or less is ideal. This type of content should be more like an appetizer for your business – not the whole meal. If your viewers want more information after watching your it, there are other places on your website where they can get it.

Research shows that the best videos are between 15 seconds and two minutes in length depending on its purpose. According to Wistia’s Ezra Fishman, “Two minutes is the sweet spot. After that, the drop-off in engagement is significant.” Ezra goes on to say, “Short and sweet is a safe strategy. Assume that your viewers are busy. But don't sweat over a few seconds here and there if you're still going to come in under the two-minute mark.”

Avoid using a strong call to action in the homepage video, too. How would you feel if someone said hello and then immediately asked you to buy something or make a donation? At most, you want to pique viewer’s interest, develop brand interest and provide the must-know details.

Here’s a refresher from the Tabrizi blog on how to you get your message across in two minutes or less.

  • Know The Purpose of Your Video. In order to clearly communicate with viewers, you need to know the purpose behind your message. What is it that you want them to take away from your video?

  • Write Out A Script. A script will help you keep focused on the purpose of your video and the main message you want your audience to know. As you write your script, try to include as many of the five W’s as possible - Who, What, When, Where and Why, as well as the How if it makes sense.

  • Practice, Practice, Practice! The more you practice your script, the easier it will be to get your message across confidently and within two minutes when it’s time to record. I recommend practicing in front of a mirror and for family or friends a couple of times before you record.

Don’t Sacrifice Good Copy Because Of Your Homepage Video

Even if your homepage video knocks it out of the park, there’s no reason to leave the rest of your homepage text free. For SEO purposes, if nothing else, text is necessary. If your video doesn’t autoplay, you’ll want copy that persuades visitors to watch it. If they don’t watch the video, your copy needs to do the job of grabbing attention and getting your message across.

Action-oriented words like click, start, download, register, sign up or try are also effective at driving a specific action, so be sure to incorporate those on your homepage in addition to your video.

Don’t Let Your Homepage Video Get In The Way

Ultimately your homepage is just a gateway to the rest of the site, designed to encourage further interaction. A homepage video should assist with that – not deter it. If you worry that an autoplaying video will turn visitors away, consider making it silent or using music with text titles instead of a voiceover.

A Positive Customer Experience Comes First

If you’re ever struggling with what to do, just consider the viewer’s experience above all else and let that guide you. Video is just one of the elements that makes up a successful homepage, but it may be the reason yours stands out from the rest. First impressions are crucial and video makes an instant, memorable impact.

Do you want help creating a homepage video that will make an unforgettable first impression? Contact Tabrizi Productions today for a consultation.

Get Professional Video Visuals With Ease And Affordability (Part 2)

In Part 1 we covered how to choose your location and frame the best shots. Now we wrap it up with lighting and wardrobe!

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Make Your Video Visuals Pop With Good Lighting

The right lighting helps to set the mood and ensure your viewers can actually see what you want them to. There’s a lot you can do with a budget camera or even your phone, but if you’re trying to shoot a video in the dark it just isn’t going to happen.

So how do you decide what kind of lighting kit you’ll need? There are a lot of options and plenty of confusing terminology, but for most scenarios one of these setups suggested by Biteable is all you need.

Two Or Three-Point Lighting

A three-point lighting setup is the standard for most basic filming. As the name suggests, it’s accomplished using three lights:

Key light: The key light is the strongest, providing most of the light in the shot. It’s generally placed in front of your subject, around 45-degrees above and 45-degrees to the right or left.

Fill light: This is a softer light, used to fill in shadows on the subject’s face. It should be positioned to the side, opposite the key light. The intensity of the fill light is usually around half that of the key light.

Back light: The back light creates depth and provides a soft glow in the background. It’s placed above and behind the subject, and out of the shot.

If you’re just getting started with lighting or have a limited budget, you can get by with a two-point setup that uses just the key and fill lights. While the back light adds a nice depth to your background, it’s not necessarily essential.

Natural Outdoor Lighting

If you’re shooting outdoors or in a space with very large windows, you can use the sun’s natural light to illuminate your scene. Photographers and filmmakers love the “golden hour” in early morning and late evening for its soft and flattering golden light.

There are drawbacks to relying on natural light however. The sun can be too intense, casting harsh shadows on your subject. It also moves and changes in intensity as the weather shifts and clouds pass overhead. All of these can affect the light and color quality and make it difficult to achieve consistency in your shots, but with careful planning and adjustments you can certainly pull it off.

Many video makers who use natural light like to use a variation on the three-point lighting setup described above. You can place your subject so the sun provides your key light, with reflectors to provide fill and back lights.

During the golden hour, when light is softer, the subject can also be positioned in front of the sun, using it as a back light, with reflectors providing the key and fill lights. You’ve just got to be quick before the light changes too much.

Wardrobe Is The Cherry On Top Of Video Visuals

You’ve picked your location, set up the lighting and framed the shot – all that’s missing is your subject. Make sure that they always look their best and that their clothes don’t distract from the rest of the scene with these tips from personal stylist and branding consultant Nicole Otchy.

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Wear Jewel Tones Near

Your Face

The colors near your face will either drain you of life or highlight your best features. There’s a palette of colors that look best on each of us and especially great on video. Ruby red, emerald green, and sapphire blue are highly saturated colors, so they don’t appear too bright or too muted against most backgrounds, and they look great with all different skin tones.

Be Careful With Black

When it comes to wearing black on camera, avoid it altogether unless you plan on having your makeup done by a professional who can color correct for shadows on the face. Wearing black on camera can make dark circles appear more pronounced, giving you a more tired look. If you really want to wear a dark color on camera, navy is generally a safer choice.

Choose Simple Fabrics

Looking like a disco ball on camera is not always the best style to shoot for. Shiny fabrics, especially under bright lights, are usually less than flattering. Thick cottons and matte fabrics, on the other hand, dampen shadows and can create a smoother body profile line.

Keep It Modern

Another advantage of wearing solids is that your videos won’t look dated as quickly. That vintage pant suit you thrifted last week? Keep it in your closet. Rich, saturated colors never go out of style, so it’s best to keep it simple.

Use Patterns Sparingly

Patterns that look great in person don’t always translate well on camera and can be distracting. Avoid small, busy prints (think paisley or small polka dots), which can look blurry on video. Other patterns like pinstripes, chevron, plaid and houndstooth are also difficult to see on video and can make your viewers dizzy.

Choose Your Backdrop Wisely

The color you shoot your video against will impact how a color that you’re wearing translates on camera. Colors set against a white background will appear brighter, while colors set against a dark background will lose some of their intensity.

Let Tabrizi Help!

Strong visuals are a vital part of polishing even the most straightforward of videos. Even something as basic as instructions or corporate onboarding can be improved with these techniques.

Tabrizi has the tools and the knowledge to make sure your videos show off your project in the best light. Contact us for a free consultation and let’s start planning! 

Get Professional Video Visuals With Ease And Affordability (Part 1)

Want to create a polished, professional video that makes your audience believe it came from a professional studio? It’s easier than you think. Instead of dropping thousands on top-of-the-line equipment, try these easy and affordable (free is definitely affordable) techniques to take your video visuals to the next level.

Choose A Location That Matches Your Desired Video Visuals

The location of your video will help set the mood and tone and everything that follows, so you want to make sure you have the right one. Are you talking about extreme sports? Stay out of the board room! Is this a corporate onboarding video for new employees? The middle of your nearest park probably isn’t the best choice.

 Videomaker Magazine has some great tips on how to scout the best spots, and what to look for before making a decision. Here are a few of the most useful:

1.      Know Your Script

Choose a site that matches the tone of your video. As you set out to look at locations, you have potentially endless possibilities. Remember that above all you have a story to tell, and choose a location that lends itself to that. Don’t let your location limit your story, instead.

2.     Scout At The Right Time

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Be aware that locations can change. It's wise to check your spot on the day of the week and the time of day that you'll be taping: these factors can produce surprisingly large changes on the suitability of a location.

Automobile traffic and noise, visitors to recreation and entertainment spots, and tourists at scenic or historic areas (to name just a few examples) all come in waves that vary dramatically based on the time of day, the day of the week and the season.

3.     Look At The Light

Churches, ballrooms, restaurants, auditoriums and homes generally feature low amounts of available lighting. Check light levels by shooting a few seconds of test footage with your camcorder.

Solutions for poor lighting might be as simple as scouting out window blinds and curtains that can be opened to add daylight. In some cases you may wish to bring in lights or ask permission to replace the bulbs in accessible light fixtures with brighter-burning units.

4.    Follow The Sun

Outdoor lighting conditions can be as challenging as those indoors; exterior illumination changes all day long. As you're scouting locations, pay attention to whether a given spot is in full sun, partial sun or full shade. Bright sun can be harsh on people's faces, and light-colored surfaces can blow out in full sunlight, causing automatic camcorder lenses to underexpose shots. Partial sun can be tricky, as well; today's camcorders, though sophisticated, can have trouble handling the high contrast in this situation. Ultimately, you may find that fully shaded locations or overcast days produce the most consistent results.

5.     Listen

Clean, high-quality sound is critical in making a video that rises above the ordinary, and it’s silence that ensures you get the location sound that you came for.

The whooshing of traffic, the white noise of moving water, and the echoes of voices and movements can all get in the way of high-quality audio. As you scout a location, check for any of these conditions by listening to your camcorder's microphone pickup through headphones. Test your wireless mike at the site as well, listening closely for any type of interference.

6.    Check For Power Supplies

Many outdoor locations are far from power sources and even some indoor locations can pose AC challenges, so multiple camera batteries are always a good idea. But you'll still need to evaluate your power options at any location.

How will you power your lights? What if you do end up draining all your batteries? Is there anywhere to plug in the charger? Is the spot remote enough to make a car-lighter AC adapter a good idea? In a location that does have power, you may be able to plug in, but you'll still need to think about the system's pre-existing load and whether or not you can get to the fuse (breaker) box in case something blows.

Set Each Shot With Video Visuals In Mind

Even if you’re not setting out to make a contender for next year’s Academy Award for Best Cinematography, how you construct your individual shots can go a long ways towards raising the quality of your video.

Framing

Premium Beat, a great resource for royalty-free music, also has some great resources on their blog for video production.

1.      Use The Rule Of Thirds

The rule of thirds simply states that you want to think of your shot in three main parts: left, center and right. You can take this one step further by composing your shot vertically as well, breaking it into top, middle and bottom for a total of nine individual segments.

Placing your main object in one of the main thirds will go a long way towards framing a technically sound shot. There may be times when you want to go against the rule of thirds, but it should always be a calculated choice and never because of lazy technique.

2.     Create Symmetry (Or Asymmetry)

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Creating symmetry is one of the most effective ways to frame a shot that will feel well composed on a screen. Symmetry provides the viewer with a sense of balance that subconsciously allows them to become immersed in what they are watching – drawing them further into the characters, setting, or scene by the leading lines in the frame.

On the other hand, images that are intentionally off balanced will create a sense of disconnection and instability for the viewer, which can work well for horror, thriller, or high action.

3.     Avoid Eye Level Shooting

Placing the camera at eye level with your subject can leave the scene feeling sterile and unemotional. It can work well for videos that are intentionally benign, or for a documentary-style shoot, but in most instances your best bet is to place the camera slightly above or below eye level.

That slight angle can help you either diminish or empower the character on screen, and guide the emotional experience of your viewer.

4.    Have A Theme

It’s important that you have a theme or guideline for yourself when setting out to shoot any project. An example of a visual theme or motif that you might choose to explore would be empty space.

Let’s say you are shooting a film that deals with very lonely characters that feel isolated from each other. It would be a great visual choice to shoot them with lots of open, empty space on either side of them so that their loneliness and isolation is conveyed to the viewer effectively. You also might choose to frame the characters in single shots, as opposed to two shots, since that will also make them feel more disconnected from each other.

This clearly is just one example, but the point is you want to pick a theme and run with it – whatever it may be, to ensure that you are creating a distinct visual style that is unique to your film.

5.     Shoot With Intention

Think about every single one of your shots and consider how you want it to add to the story you’re trying to tell. If you’re going to break the “rules,” make it intentional. By understanding the purpose behind the rules you are breaking, you will understand the effect your approach will have on the audience and the meaning behind your intentions will be felt.

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Background

It only takes a second, but if you don’t catch a mistake in the background while you’re shooting it could haunt you every time the video is watched. Don’t believe me? Check out this list from Cracked that points out glaring mistakes in some pretty big movies.

Take a close look at the shot through your camera and make sure there is nothing awkward in the background that gives your actors antenna, or makes it look like buildings and trees are sprouting from their head.

Part 2 Is Coming

There’s so much great information to go over still, make sure you stay tuned for part two!

Your Road Map To The Video Production Process

Creating a video from scratch can seem a monumental task, especially if its not something you’ve done before. It can be easy to get overwhelmed, and tempting to push the project off in hopes of simply later pressing the “record” button and hoping for the best.

Fortunately, video production is easy to break down into individual tasks – and taking the time to do so will elevate your final project above and beyond most expectations.

Start With A Video Production Brief

A video production brief serves as a rundown of everything your video needs to achieve. Tackling this outline first will help guide your creative journey and keep the project on track. Start by writing a few sentences each on each of these questions:

  • What are the objectives of this video?

  • Who is the target audience, and what do we know about them?

  • What do we want the audience to think and feel as a result?

  • What is the core message behind this video?

  • What is our budget and deadline?

This brief should be as detailed as it needs to be, without being overly long.

Develop The Creative Approach

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Is your video going to be exciting? Feel-good? Self-deprecating? Inspirational? Straight-forward informational? The aim is to use the insights you have on your target audience to build an interesting or engaging way to present your message and achieve your objectives.

Have a good, old-fashioned brainstorming session where every idea is considered before being shaved down into a select few. Nothing should be considered too out there, and you may even surprise yourself with what half-baked ideas turn into strong contenders that:

  • Take inspiration from other videos

  • Use a unique approach to stand out from other videos

  • Reflect true insights into its target audience

  • Are not afraid to be different or strange (if appropriate to the brief)

Write The Script

The script of your video should match, or be heavily influenced by the creative approach your video production team has picked. It will act as the blueprint for your video, and nearly everything that makes it into the final script will also make it into the final video.

A great script should meet the following criteria:

  • Be human and natural

  • Be engaging, interesting and emotive to your target audience

  • Be simple and easy to understand and follow

  • Be short and to the point

  • Sound good when read aloud

  • Convey all the necessary information

  • Communicate your core message

The script notes are also where you should include details like specific locations, actors, props and actions if needed.

Build A Storyboard

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This part is optional, but can be helpful if you have specific visuals in mind for your video production. A storyboard or scamp can provide clear, visual portrayals or the lighting, coloring, framing, transitions and other aspects of the final video. This can be hand drawn, us by putting together a collection of stock photos and video which match the style and tone you are aiming for.

A storyboard lays out every shot of the video in detail, and is followed closely during the video production. A scamp, on the other hand, acts as more of a rough outline to provide visual inspiration on the look and feel of the final product.

Most of the time, a storyboard or scamp is only necessary for highly-detailed videos or created out of personal preference. Many videos can be shot exclusively using a detailed script as listed above.

Plan And Schedule A Time To Film

This is the last big hurdle before filming can actually begin. During the planning phase of video production, everything related to the shoot is organized and scheduled including:

  • Scouting and securing a location (indoors or outdoors)

  • Getting a crew together: directors, camera operators, lighting and sound technicians, runners

  • Casting actors or presenters (either professionals or people on your team)

  • Organizing all equipment

  • Ensuring makeup and costume is present if needed

  • Acquiring all necessary licenses and permissions

  • Putting in place contingency plans if anything goes wrong

  • Writing the call sheet, or timed plan of filming

If you’re working with a video agency to produce your video, this is the step you will need to have the least involvement with.

Shoot The Footage

If you’ve built a strong script and a detailed storyboard, shooting the footage shouldn’t be hard! Check out our previous blog series on how to Get Professional Video Visuals With Ease And Affordability for a more in-depth explanation, but here are the highlights:

Framing:

  • Use the rule of thirds

  • Create symmetry

  • Avoid shooting at eye level

  • Have a theme

  • Shoot with intention

Lighting:

  • Two or three point lighting setup

  • Natural outdoor lighting

Wardrobe:

  • Jewel tones

  • Avoid black

  • Simple fabrics instead of complex patterns

  • Keep it timeless

Extra Footage:

  • B-roll or wallpaper footage

Edit Your Video Content

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Once the filming is complete, it’s time to sort through the (potentially) hours of video you captured. Pick the best shots that accurately reflect your storyboard or scamp and cut them together so that your core message shines through. Make sure that your choices are also:

  • As short as possible while including all relevant information

  • Make the video easy to understand and follow

  • Are visually interesting

  • Get across the core message of your video brief

If you need to purchase a video editing software to get started, here is a list from Tom’s Guide on The Best Video Editing Software Under $100. Have the software but need to brush up on your techniques or learn some new ones? Feedspot has put together the top 10 creators of video production tutorials on YouTube.

Add Graphics and Special Effects

Not every video production requires them, but sometimes you may want to include generated graphics and other special effects that help add another level of depth to your video. Anything from a background imposed over green screen, to animated characters, to graphs displaying facts and figures should be added at this stage.

Just like editing the footage, all additions should follow the script and storyboard closely to ensure they match everything else seamlessly.

Mix Music And Soundtrack

As important as the visuals are for a good video, audio can not be discounted for its role. A good soundtrack must help achieve the desired impact on the target audience, and match the tone of the rest of the video. Sound effects and other noises can also be added in to create a more realistic and engaging scene.

Not every video needs a famous music track, but subtle background music can help brighten up almost any video and gloss over any awkward pauses or edits.

Any music added during video production should:

  • Complement the mood and tone of the video

  • Help to get across your core message

  • Be appropriate for your target audience

  • Match the pace of the edit

Generally you will have to buy a license, sign up for a subscription package or pay fees for the music you want in your video. You can browse through thousands of tracks before making a final decision at sites like PremiumBeat, Epidemic Sound and Envato.

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Record The Voiceover

A voiceover isn’t necessary for every video, but you may choose to have one for part or all of yours – depending on the topic. If you choose to narrate parts of your video, make sure your speaker(s):

  • Appeal to your target audience

  • Can read the script in a way that reinforces your core message

  • Has a pleasant sounding voice that conveys emotions well

When the voiceover is being recorded, make sure you have a recording space that is quiet with minimal echo to avoid background noise or fuzzy audio. If you can’t find anything suitable, a quick solution is to throw a heavy blanket over yourself and your equipment to deaden as much outside noise as possible.

Read the script several different ways to provide as much variation as possible when the editor needs to match the audio track with the video.

Time For Revisions

If your video production process is being held to expectations other than your own, feedback will be a critical part of your task. After showing the video, ask your reviewers for feedback that is precise and meaningful.

Bad Example: Can you make it more exciting?

Good Example: Can you choose a more upbeat piece of music and shorten some of the shots to make the action more exciting?

You may also want to limit the number of rounds of edits you are willing to make in order to prevent the reviewers from getting stuck in the minutia.

Choose Your Distribution Method

Your video production process is complete! The video has been filmed, edited and uploaded to the platform of your choice – now it’s time to distribute and promote it.

As always, keep your core message and target audience in mind when you determine where your audience will see it and how (if applicable) it ties in with your overall marketing strategy.

Some of the most common and effective ways to distribute include:

  • Social media seeding on sites where your target audience spend time

  • Using SEO to optimize your video for relevant search keywords

  • Reaching out to your audience's key influencers to help spread the video

  • Engaging in PR to promote your video content

  • Paying for ad spend to show the video on television or in cinemas

  • Incorporating the video into your email marketing

And that’s it! Make sure you keep an eye on the analytics to see how your video is spreading and determine the overall success of your video production campaign.

Let Tabrizi Help

Still not sure where to start or need some help with your video production process? Let Tabrizi Productions help! Our professional film staff can meet all your needs from original brief to final revisions. Contact us today to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.

Start The New Year Strong With The Latest Video Marketing Trends

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Whether this is a new venture for you or you’ve been using video for ages, you need a road map outlining what it’s for, where you’re going, how you plan to get there, and what success looks like. It doesn’t need to be incredibly detailed, but you should have concrete details on how you’ll match your content with the vision and goals of your company. This plan could be the difference between achieving return on investment (ROI) or throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks.

What Are Your Video Marketing Goals?

To help you build your map, try answering these seven questions from the Content Marketing Institute:

1.       Has your organization used video? Why or why not? Results?

2.      What’s the purpose of the video strategy? Brand engagement, direct response? Something else? Multiple purposes?

3.      How can video help explain and assist with audience pain points?

4.      What is the short-term goal(s) of your video or video series?

5.      What is the long-term goal(s) of your video marketing strategy?

6.      How will you ensure message consistency within all videos, other marketing collateral, and your overall brand voice?

7.      What mediums do you want to optimize for?

For quick reference, you can also build a one-line video marketing mission statement that encompasses the basics. Try filling in the blanks on this template from VidYard:

“At (company name) we make (adjective) video content for (specify target audience) so that they (exactly what you want them to do.)”

What are The Video Topics And Types You Want To Make?

Before the start of the year, take a look at your previous strategy (if applicable) and see what worked well for you and what didn’t. Don’t fall victim to the “sunk cost” fallacy and feel that you should stick with something that isn’t working just because you’ve spent x amount of time or resources on it.

It’s also important to take a look at whether your videos will be used internally, externally or both. For example, you may want to break your video content down by function like product, human resources, internal communications, sales, etc.

Once you have that list, brainstorm the types of videos that will work well to tell those stories. Options include:

  • Recorded webinars

  • Helpful how-to videos

  • Thought leadership interviews

  • Product explainers and detailed demos

  • Support-topic walkthroughs

  • Company culture videos

  • Customer testimonials

  • Documentary-like case studies, and more

If you want to try working backwards, you can also start by looking at the questions your target audience is asking, and determine how best to answer them.

Who Is Responsible For Keeping Your Video Marketing On Theme?

Depending on the production quality and budget you’re planning for, you might be able to afford hiring an in-house videographer. For most small businesses, however, it will make sense to partner with an outside agency or studio.

Either way, take some time and sit down to determine the following:

  • Who is responsible for creative concepts?

  • Who will write the scripts?

  • Who organizes the logistics of a video shoot?

  • Who is responsible for distributing the videos once they are complete.

  • How are final approvals made?

You may also want to establish an editorial review process of stakeholders who are consulted for video feedback. You definitely don’t want to air a video unreviewed, but also keep in mind that involving too many people can lead to endless revisions and delays.

How Will You Measure The Success Of Your Video Marketing?

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So you’ve identified the kinds of videos you want to make, and who’s making them, but how do you know if they’re successful or not? Now is where you look back at that road map you built and measure what you wanted to achieve against what’s actually happening using the following metrics.

Awareness

  • Reach

  • Impressions

  • View Time

  • Video Completion Rate

Engagement

  • View Time

  • Video Completion Rate

  • Cost Per Completed View

  • User Interactions With Video (Likes, Shares, Etc.)

  • Click-Through Rate

Conversions

  • Cost Per Click

  • Cost Per Action

Are the numbers you’re getting in line with your budgetary and audience goals, or are they underperforming? For larger businesses it may be easier to recognize the ups and downs compared to past video series. Smaller businesses who are just introducing video marketing to their toolbox shouldn’t be discouraged if their key performance indicators (KPIs) aren’t where they hoped to be. Give your audience anywhere from six months to a year to provide a baseline of feedback before making any big changes.

What Your Video Marketing Plan Should Keep In Mind For 2019

Video consumption is rising at exponential rates, with mobile leading the way. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 76 percent of marketers reported in 2018 that video helped increase their company sales, and exciting new ways to watch it are being introduced all the time.

Here are some of the upcoming trends that your business should keep in mind when building your strategy for next year.

It’s Hip To Be Square

Until recently, widescreen video was where it was at. Most people today have widescreen televisions to get that full cinema experience at home. But if viewer habits continue evolving on their current path, those TVs may soon be another relic of the past.

According to a study by media agency Zenith, the average person spends 45 minutes a day watching mobile videos online. That number is predicted to climb in 2019 until it’s on par with television in terms of hours watched.

Because of the rise of mobile, video and images are transitioning from the wide, horizontal format we’re familiar with to vertical.

Thankfully this marketing trend is easy to keep up with by creating videos in a square format. Instagram has been on top of this trend from the beginning. When it comes to Facebook, square videos occupy 78% more space on its News section and receives a higher percentage of engagement.

Quick, It’s Behind You!

360 degree videos are on the rise, alongside virtual reality.

By providing users with a more immersive experience through video, they can really feel like they’re part of the experience from the comfort of their own pajamas.

These types of videos are particularly useful tools for the travel and tourism industry which allows businesses to give potential visitors a more in-depth look at their attractions and accommodations.

Several Broadway shows have also taken advantage of this new technology by allowing a viewer to feel as if they are on stage during intricate song and dance sequences.

Bring The Classroom To Your Corporation

Corporate training days can be a nightmare for employees. Having to take a day out of their busy schedule to sit in a stuffy room and listen to a lecture on the importance of x, y, and z isn’t something anyone looks forward to.

Video is a great substitution, particularly for complex subjects. Viewers can re-watch any segments they wish to review, and the videos can use elements like animation that don’t have the same impact when sketched out on a white board.

Also by using video employees can receive training at their own convenience and even from the comfort of their own home if they choose.

We’ll Do It Live!

Broadcasting live may seem intimidating, but it’s something you may want to consider as a growing trend.

Facebook Live broadcasts have doubled each year since they debuted in 2016, and Instagram launched the feature at the beginning of 2018.  In fact, 13 percent of web traffic comes from live videos. Here are just a few of the perks:

  • Economical – Broadcasting live eliminates any time and financial investment that may have been put toward production and editing. The video then remains on the platform and can be shared immediately.

  • Authentic – Audiences viewing live streams know that the video hasn’t been doctored.

  • Compelling – The time sensitive nature of live video attracts a curious audience. The spontaneity and perceived jeopardy involved in a live broadcast is hugely compelling. In fact, users spend three times longer watching live videos online compared to pre-recorded.

Have Your Own Star Search

Digital influencers aren’t the only route when it comes to finding the right personality to market your content. Internal talent, or finding someone from within your organization, can create added value by partnering their industry knowledge with the sincere, personal quality of their content.

It also gives businesses the opportunity to tailor their branded content and create a cohesive tone and voice to their video marketing that they simply can’t control with outsourced influencer content

A great example is to look at the rise of the Bon Appetit’s test-kitchen crew. The chef’s-turned-on-screen-personalities have become beloved faces on Bon Appetit’s Facebook and YouTube channel’s. In fact, Claire Saffitz and Brad Leone have both become influencers in their own right with their respective video series Gourmet Makes and It’s Alive receiving millions of views per episode.

When One Screen Just Isn’t Enough

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As people start spending more time on their smartphones, a new “second screen” phenomenon is beginning to make its way into the video marketing and advertising dialogue. Here’s what Shutterstock has to say about it:

“This second screen phenomenon describes when audiences are consuming content on a first screen, typically through broadcast television or streaming, and also browsing or viewing content on a second screen, typically a phone or tablet. While the two types of content are often unrelated – like a user watching a show on their television while online shopping on their phone – marketers see an opportunity for a more integrated second screen experience.”

In 2017 it was estimated that 75 percent of adult audiences were participating in this second screen phenomenon and that it could increase to 80 percent by 2019. While it would be easy to label this as evidence that viewers are paying less attention to what is on their first screen, marketers are identifying it as greater opportunity for greater brand engagement and awareness.

The Wrap-Up

Video marketing is a vital piece of your promotions toolkit. It’s not too late to get started, and there are countless low-budget options are your disposal, but having a clear plan and objectives is important to make sure your story is getting out.

Tabrizi Productions would love to help you build your video marketing strategy for 2019. Contact us for a free consultation.

Spit It Out! Why Shorter Is Better With Online Video

Which Came First: The Video Platform Or Viewer’s Attention Span?

All you have to do is look at the top social media platforms today to see the trend in current online video: shorter is better. The average YouTube video length is four minutes. Instagram limits their videos to 60 seconds in the main feed, and 15 in Stories. Snapchat recently upped their maximum limit to 60 seconds from the original 10, and Vine, no longer an active platform, limited their videos to a blazing fast 7 seconds.

Regardless of whether video lengths influenced the viewer’s attention span, or vice versa, the evidence remains that if you don’t hook your viewer by the end of your opening lines, they start tuning out fast. Even with videos one minute or shorter, only 60 percent of viewers will reliably make it to the end, and twenty percent of them will have given it a pass in the first 30 seconds.

The name for the number of seconds viewers tune in for is called “watch time.” Knowing what yours is, and how you can work with it, can change your video strategy entirely.

How To Find Your Video Watch Time

Depending on where you upload the majority of your videos, you may have to look in different places for your watch time analytics. Platforms like Vimeo and YouTube have their own analytics built right in that you can access from your account. If you are uploading videos directly to your website, you will likely have to find a third-party platform like Google Analytics, SE Ranking, Woopra, or many others

Any of these will be able to give you a look at your views per video, the average watch time of each of them, the time of day most of your viewers are online, and other numbers to help you zero in on best practices.

Script Your Video With Watch Time In Mind

According to a survey done by production company Vidyard this year, the average company published 33 videos each month – an increase of 83 percent over the same period of time in 2017. Of those, 75 percent of the videos were under two minutes.

So how can your video make the most out of an inattentive audience? Try these tips from marketing company MiniMatters:

  • Shorter is better. If you can make the same points in less time, do it!

  • Start off energized and get the important stuff in at the beginning of your video before your audience starts to disappear.

  • Don’t hold your call to action for the end, especially for longer videos. Consider a clickable pop-up that appears in the first few seconds and throughout the video.

  • Think about breaking a longer video into a series of shorter, easily digestible, clips.

Make Sure Your Video Matches Your Platform

Just like there is no one way to view a video, it would also be foolish to assume the same video will work on all platforms. Here are the best lengths for each of today’s popular video platforms (via Hubspot):

  • Instagram - 30 seconds

    • Instagram videos that received the most comments averaged just 26 seconds. Our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, so users scroll faster on Instagram than any other app.

  • Twitter – 45 seconds

    • Twitter’s video of the day averages just 43 seconds. Users are accustomed to short tweets, so make sure the brevity also applies to videos.

  • Facebook – 1 minute

    • Facebook audiences like to engage most with videos that are just one minute long. Users like snappy videos that they can quickly like or share before moving on.

  • YouTube – 2 minutes

    • The videos that receive the most engagement on YouTube are about two minutes. Users like spending time on this platform because they can easily find specific videos and watch their favorite creator’s content. Creating longer, more in-depth, content is perfect for this platform.

The Takeaways

Keep your video short, sweet and front loaded with information! That way whether they stick around for the entire thing or not, you’re guaranteed to get the most information in front of your viewer as possible.

If you want some help putting together a video or video series for your business, contact Tabrizi Productions today! We can help you with scripting, shooting and editing to make sure your videos make the best impression possible.

How To Use Color To Your Advantage In A Marketing Video

How To Use Color To Your Advantage In A Marketing Video

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Color can make or break a video. When it’s done perfectly it adds a new depth to the story while remaining perfectly innocuous. Get it wrong and it can pull the viewer entirely out of your story. While the exact science behind the psychology of color seems to be a popular topic of debate across the internet, anecdotal evidence abounds. Let’s start with a quick breakdown from The Los Angeles Film School.

Considering The Psychology of Colors for Your Video

Red

Red represents intense feelings, including aggression, happiness, love and passion. Red also brings to mind ideas of action, adventure, danger, power and strength. 

The color red is popular with food companies as well, possibly due to a controversial study that found the color accelerated heart rate and breathing, resulting in a stimulated appetite. Take a look at companies like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Red Robin, Arby’s and more to see just a few of the thousands of examples.

Orange

Orange is a combination of red and yellow, and the emotional and mental responses it creates tend to be a combination of the two. In a video orange can represent joy, creativity and stimulation, which makes it a popular color in marketing targeted at children. However it can also represent attraction, success, passion and aggression.

Yellow

Yellow is known for competence, concentration and curiosity. It’s also viewed as cheerful, playful and positive – as long as you view it in small doses. If the color is overwhelming a scene in your video, it can encourage feelings of stress and frustration. In fact according to research, when placed in a yellow room babies cry more and people are more likely to lose their tempers.

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Green

Possibly because of its prevalence in nature, green is commonly associated with nature, healing, renewal, growth and calmness. However it’s inseparable link to the color of US currency also lends its use to images of greed, luxury, good taste and envy.

Blue

A study from a University of Washington student found that blue is the favorite color of the majority of adults, even across gender lines. Blue can be used to instill feelings of calmness and peace, and can spark creativity. Blue is often used on video to represent competence, loyalty, productivity and high quality. It is also representative of the traditional idea of masculinity.

Purple

You’re likely familiar with the idea that purple represents royalty. In that vein, it’s often used on video to evoke ideas of wealth, luxury, sophistication, power, sincerity and authority. Purple is also seen as a “rare” and “artificial” color because it is not often seen in nature.

Pink

Just as blue is linked with masculinity, pink is often related to the feminine. It evokes ideas of romance and love, and brings to mind the themes of gentleness, gratitude, innocence, playfulness, happiness, tranquility and youth.

Black

Using black on video can have many associations with both positive and negative feelings. It signifies grief, fear, mystery and evil, but also simplicity tradition and sophistication. Black features heavily in religious settings as well, indicating feelings of humility and submission.

White

White is most often used to represent innocence, purity, sincerity and happiness. However it can also instill feelings of emptiness, or encourage associations with sterility and clinical settings.

How Colors Have Been Used In Film and Video

Color Helps Viewers Follow The Story

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We think of early films as black and white, but color has been around since the beginning. It may not be the bright technicolor vision that you think of whenever someone mentions The Wizard of Oz, but there were numerous complex techniques dating back to the 1800s for including tints and pigments to film.

This still is from the first horror movie ever made, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, which was released nearly 100 years ago. Instead of a stark black and white however, the film has a decidedly brown tint and, if you look closely, red shadows.

This is not a unique occurrence. While adding color to film was still a laborious process requiring many hours and hazardous chemicals, it was a reliable way to help viewers follow along with a story that may jump rapidly between characters, locations and storylines. In fact, it was the introduction of sound to movies that made the process too difficult and low-quality to continue, and severely limited its use until Technicolor’s rise to prominence in the 1930s.

Color Emphasizes Emotions in the Video

Danielle Feinberg, the director of photography for Pixar, refers to herself as color obsessed in her TED Talk, saying, “Lighting and color are the backbone of emotion.” For each film Feinberg says they lay out a color script that maps out all the hues for each scene so they fit within the larger story arc. Here is what she said in reference to the opening of Pixar’s 2008 film WALL-E:

Photo Courtesy of Oleg Mikhaylov

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We had to do massive visual storytelling because there’s no dialogue — only robot boops and beeps. Yet, we needed the audience to understand that we’re on Earth, that it’s polluted, and that WALL-E’s the last one left. So we limited the palette to tans and oranges. Our production designer was adamant that there be no green anywhere, because he wanted a visual punch when WALL-E finds a plant for the first time. Your eyes have been washed in a limited palette and suddenly there’s intense green. It cerebrally makes a difference.

Color Conveys Different Ideas

Filmmaker Lewis Bond features on a YouTube channel about the craft of filmmaking, and has an easy to understand explainer on color in film. Bond delves briefly into how colors can reveal a film’s meaning, and encourages viewers to keep an eye out for repeated color patterns. “When a color repeats, it’s associated with an idea. When the color changes, it shows you the concept has changed.”

How Can You Use All This In Your Video?

Now that we’ve covered the impact of colors themselves, how can you apply this information in your marketing video?

Product Display

If you have physical goods you are selling, think about how they will be displayed and what you can control. Will your item be sitting on a table? Consider dressing the surface with a tablecloth, or building a small scene for it featuring items of various complementary and contrasting colors. Think about who your target audience is and how you want your product to be viewed, then dress the scene accordingly.

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Dress The Part In Your

Video

Will you or another individual be speaking to the camera? It’s important that the focus is on your words and not on your outfit. Nicole Otchy, a personal stylist and branding consultant from Boston gave these six tips on dressing for the camera to production company Wistia.

  • ·         Wear Jewel Tones Near Your Face. The colors near your face will either drain you of life or highlight your best features. There’s a palette of colors that look best on each of us and especially great on video. Ruby red, emerald green, and sapphire blue are highly saturated colors, so they don’t appear too bright or too muted against most backgrounds, and they look great with all different skin tones.

  • ·         Be Careful With Black. When it comes to wearing black on camera, avoid it altogether unless you plan on having your makeup done by a professional who can color correct for shadows on the face. Wearing black on camera can make dark circles appear more pronounced, giving you a more tired look. If you really want to wear a dark color on camera, navy is generally a safer choice.

  • ·         Choose Simple Fabrics. Looking like a disco ball on camera is not always the best style to shoot for. Shiny fabrics, especially under bright lights, are usually less than flattering. Thick cottons and matte fabrics, on the other hand, dampen shadows and can create a smoother body profile line.

  • ·         Keep It Modern. Another advantage of wearing solids is that your videos won’t look dated as quickly. That vintage pant suit you thrifted last week? Keep it in your closet. Rich, saturated colors never go out of style, so it’s best to keep it simple.

  • ·         Use Patterns Sparingly. Patterns that look great in person don’t always translate well on camera and can be distracting. Avoid small, busy prints (think paisley or small polka dots), which can look blurry on video. Other patterns like pinstripes, chevron, plaid and houndstooth are also difficult to see on video and can make your viewers dizzy.

  • ·         Choose Your Backdrop Wisely. The color you shoot your video against will impact how a color that you’re wearing translates on camera. Colors set against a white background will appear brighter, while colors set against a dark background will lose some of their intensity.

Whether you plan on making a cinematic piece, or simply a short instructional video, color is one of the most important tools in your toolbox. And no matter how fluid the science behind color psychology, there’s always one consistent: if you’ve done it right, no one will be able to tell you’ve done anything at all.

Are you considering introducing video to your marketing plan, or expanding your current video collection? Tabrizi Productions can help you achieve your vision from the first script to the final, appropriately colored, video. Contact us today to get started.

Why Video Is Vital For Business In The Digital Age

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For as long as we’ve had the means to watch TV, video has been an important part of business marketing. Today it’s one of the most important pieces in your marketing toolbox. Video is quickly becoming the preferred way to consume content online and can provide you with analytical insights almost unparalleled to other forms of advertising.

Where are people watching video?

According to the web analytics company Alexa YouTube is the second-most popular website both in the United States and globally, with more than 500 million hours of video consumed daily. Those numbers are continually climbing and within a year a predicted 1 million minutes of video will be shared by viewers with their friends every second.

Facebook isn’t far behind with users of the third-most popular website in the world consuming a total of 8 billion videos daily. In fact, CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to turn Facebook into a video-first platform by 2020.

Why are people watching video?

Mobile technology has exploded by leaps and bounds since cell phones first became commonplace in the mid 90’s. Today’s user frequently has multiple screens available to them at once, and all of them have been optimized for video.

What does this mean when it comes to using video for your business? Video’s primary appeal is that that it’s effortless for the consumer. Why ask your audience to spend time flipping through product catalogues or reading extensive copy when you can deliver the content directly to them in an actively engaging manner? Consumers can then engage, embed, share and comment on video content at the touch of a button.

How video can work for your business.

A survey by Digital Content Next found that 80 percent of respondents had watched a video ad in the past month, with 46% taking one or more of these follow-up actions:

·         44% of buyers viewed an online video while searching for local products or services

·         53% of viewers contacted the business after viewing a video

·         51% visited the business website

·         33% visited the store

 When comparing products, 96 percent of consumers find video helpful in making their final decision and four times as many consumers would rather watch that video than read written information and customer reviews.

To successfully engage your brand’s audience, always include a call to action in your video. Do you want your viewer to visit your website, follow you on social media or share the video with friends? All you have to do is ask. Trust is key in building strong and long-lasting relationships with consumers, and videos that have been shared by your consumers will be watched by new eyes with the idea in mind that someone they trust has found the video worthy of their time.

Insights, insights, insights.

When you build traditional text-based content, do you know how many people read it? Did they read the entire thing? Did one paragraph get more attention than another? In-depth metrics like these are difficult to generate.

With video you can track exactly when a consumer stopped watching, how many full and partial views a video has, and how often a video actually generated business for your company. Compared to text, the ability to track individualized video results is unparalleled. Add on software designed for tracking the consumer journey (Google Analytics, Smaply and Gliffy, just to name a few) and the possibilities are endless.

What to get in touch with Tabrizi Productions to learn more about what we can do for your business? Contact us for a free video consultation!

3 Elements You Need In a Lead Generation Video

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Did you know you can use videos as a lead generation tool? Business videos are constantly proving to be valuable for many reasons, but the type of video you create changes based on the goal. A video with the intent of gathering potential customer information, for example, is a little different than a general video introducing the business.

There are few specific criteria that a basic lead generation video needs to include; keep reading to learn what they are.

3 Elements You Need In a Lead Generation Video

  1. Call to Action. Every video you create for your customers (or potential customers) needs to have a call to action, but this is especially true for a lead generation video. The goal is to gather information from your audience, such as their name and email address, so you can reach out to them in the near future. Your call to action should give them incentive and clearly direct them regarding how to provide these details.

  2. Include a Form. After you ask your viewers for their information, you need to provide a way for them to follow through and give them to you. A form at the end of your video is a convenient way for potential customers to leave their contact details and for you to upload it into your system.

  3. Provide a Benefit. What do your viewers get after filling out the form? Will they see something special like a sneak peek of a new product or service? Will they receive a special discount for providing their details? It’s not enough to ask them to fill out a form, they need to know that they will get something useful or exciting out for the deal.

While these are specific elements you need to include in your lead generation video, you don’t want to forget to arm your sales staff with the details of the video and any benefits they are able to share with their potential customers. Your video may gather the leads, but it’s up to your sales staff to close on them. Making sure they have everything they need to be successful is just as important as the video itself.

Do you want help putting together a one-of-a-kind lead generation video for your business? Contact me today to learn how Tabrizi Productions can make your video vision a reality!

Why You Need to Use High Quality Videos for Your Business

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We’ve been spending a lot of time recently discussing how to hire a video production company and how they can help your company, but we haven’t really talked about the importance of creating high quality videos. So in this post, we’re going to take the focus off the video production company, instead we're taking a look at the heart of the topic – the reason why high quality videos are important.

Why High Quality Videos are Important

Consumers are spending more and more time watching videos; they are easier to process, more engaging and can leave a stronger impression on the audience. Whether you are creating them for social media or your website, they are a smart choice to add to your business strategy to communicate your messages; however, shaky filming and background noise are distractions in communicating those messages. More than that, they can make people view your company as unprofessional and cheap.

Any video used for your business is a reflection of your brand. Once you upload a video to your website, on social media or anywhere else on the web, it is there forever - a permanent part of the internet. The last thing you want is to have a low-quality video be a permanent reflection on your business – especially if it happens to go viral and is seen by millions of people.

As BusinessTown states, “We all want the services we choose to look put together because it makes us sure that the company we ultimately choose to do business with truly does care about us as clients.”

While I am in full support of a company taking on the challenge of creating their own video content, it’s important you make sure you’re creating quality pieces that are a positive reflection of your business. Having the proper tools, some knowledge and a little guidance will go a long way in helping you do just that. Need help with your next video? Contact me today!

3 Types of Video Production Companies for Different Needs

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When it comes to choosing a video production company to work with, not all are created equal. While doing your research, you’ll find there are three distinct types of businesses in the industry – Freelancers, Boutique Firms and Commercial Companies. Depending on your specific needs and budget, one may be a better fit over another. What’s the difference between them? Keep reading to find out!

3 Types of Video Production Businesses

Freelancer

If you have a small budget or project that needs to be done, a freelancer may be an option to consider. Since they typically work for themselves, they have little to no overhead to worry about. What this means is that they are able to pass those savings onto their clients. On the flipside, a freelancer doesn’t have a hired team to help them with projects so they are only able to take on what they have time for.

Another consideration with a freelancer is their experience and skills. This can range greatly from someone who has all the skills and knowledge from years of being in the business, to someone who is just starting out and trying to build their portfolio. When it comes to skills and experience, you’ll also want to make sure that they have the ability to produce a video for business purposes, not personal enjoyment.

Lastly, they may not have access to the equipment needed to meet your needs, especially if they are just getting started. 

Projects that would work well for a freelancer: Social media videos, short informative interviews and demonstration videos.

Boutique Firms 

This is where Tabrizi Productions stands in the mix. Boutique firms are a great option for businesses who are budget conscious and have a wide range of video needs. With this type of video production company you still get personalized one-on-one interaction like you would with a freelancer, but they have a team to back them up and help you reach your business video goals.

Boutique firms also usually have access to better equipment and have the skills to use it. Most have years in the field or corporate setting (like me!) so they are able to anticipate needs and determine the best solutions to make your video dream a reality. It is also easier to find a company in this level who are able to produce a wide range of projects for business - from training to videos welcoming guests to your website.

Because they have the equipment, skills and a team to work with, they have higher overheard costs compared to freelancers. This translates into a higher cost, but it also means that the final product is also likely to be better than someone who is doing all on their own with less equipment.

Projects that would work well for a boutique firm: Same as a freelancer, plus training and onboarding videos, website videos, other web-based videos.

Commercial companies 

Many commercial video production companies have been around for 20-30 years and were started when it was more expensive and difficult to produce videos. Typically, they work on a larger scale with much larger brands than a freelancer or boutique firm, producing commercials and high visibility pieces.

With their expansive teams, equipment and types of video they produce, these companies are much more expensive than the other two options, frequently working on a retainer basis.

While you probably won’t need to vet the skills of a company of this size, you will still want to check to see if they have experience in your industry and if they can answer your other questions to see if they are the right fit for your business and the money you will be spending.

Projects that work well for commercial companies: Television commercials as well as internal and external business videos.

Considering your needs and how much you are able to spend will help you in the decision making process. But don’t forget to do your homework with any potential video producers you’re thinking about hiring. Want to know if Tabrizi Productions can meet your needs and budget? Contact me today to find out!

Questions You Need to Ask When Hiring a Video Production Company

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Have you recently decided to add video to your business strategy but don’t know what to do or where to even start? Or have you tried creating your own business videos but didn’t find it as successful as you’d hoped? Hiring a professional video production company is the answer you’re looking for. You may be tempted to sign on the dotted line with the first business you come across that offers this service, however, that’s a risk that can lead to a less than stellar experience. Don’t be afraid to shop around and ask any potential companies that you would like to work with specific questions.

Not sure what to ask, or if hiring out is the right choice for your business? This article is exactly what you need! Continue reading to learn why hiring out for the task is a good idea and what questions you need to ask when hunting for a video production company.

Why You Should Hire A Video Production Company

As we recently discussed, creating your own business video is possible but the decision to do so should be considered carefully. A well-crafted video helps you reach business goals, engages with your audience and can be more difficult to create than it appears. There is often a noticeable difference between a video done by a professional, versus one created by someone with less experience. Here are four reasons why hiring a video production company for your business is the smart choice.

1.       Experience. One of the most obvious reasons to hire a video production company is because they have the experience to back them up. With experience comes knowledge you cannot learn through reading articles alone. Professional videographers have the ability to read a situation and tell you if an idea will work; they can also make the necessary adjustments to fit your needs. From lighting conditions and sound quality to the editing process, pros know how to combine key elements and avoid any possible mistakes to achieve the best video possible for your business.

An experienced video producer can also take your idea to the next level. Using their knowledge from previous projects, they can work with you to develop a more intriguing and engaging storyline that will draw in your intended audience.

2.      Equipment. The second most obvious reason why you should hire a video production company is because of their equipment. Sure, you can shoot a decent quality video with the latest iPhone, but it will never compare to the quality that comes with professional cameras, lighting, sound and editing equipment. A video producer works with this equipment every day and has an intimate understanding of how each piece works, separately and together, to form the final product.

3.      Time. Creating a well-developed video for your business takes time.  Someone who is not as familiar with the equipment and software necessary to produce a top-quality video can end up using a large chunk of time learning; time that can be used more effectively elsewhere in your organization. Hiring a video production company frees you from the time required, from start to finish, to put a video together. Pros are able to give your project the time and attention it deserves.

4.      Cost. All of these reasons lead to this final point - the time, equipment and experience (training) to put together your own company video can be expensive! A video production company already has the experience and equipment needed, so they can work efficiently. While it will still require you to invest monetarily in the project, the costs of hiring a professional will be lower in the long run than if you were to go about trying to create a company video yourself.

As you can see, there are many benefits of bringing on board a professional producer to help with your video. If you’re sold on hiring help, don’t go running to the first business you find; keep reading to learn what you should look for in a potential video production partner.

Questions You Need To Ask Before Hiring a Video Production Company

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Hiring a professional video production company is not something to be taken lightly. There are numerous factors you should consider and questions you need to ask when on the hunt for someone who can bring your brand to life through video. With the help of this article from VidYard, and my own insight as a professional video producer, here is a list of nine important questions you should have answered before hiring a video production company.

Can the video production company handle the project

load?

If you have a series of videos that you want to create for your brand, it’s important that you ask if they have the capacity to take them all on. You don’t want to go through the hassle of finding a new partner for every video in your campaign – it’s a hassle and can take up valuable time. Another reason why you should hire one company to handle all the videos is for brand consistency and planning. By having the same video producer handle all your videos, they will be able to match the tone and message easier across all the pieces.  

Is the production company limited to a specific location?

If you have multiple locations that span a wide area, you need to find a company that can accommodate that request. Like needing to know if they can handle the project load, finding someone who is able to travel and serve multiple locations will help with your budget, brand consistency and free your time to focus on other aspects in your business.

What type of videos do they specialize in?

There are numerous types of videos that you can create for your business, from quick social media videos to internal employee training videos. While the basics of creating a video, no matter the type, is the same, there are distinct differences in how they are approached and produced. In the same sense, videos for enterprise level companies and brands that are more informal will need to be handled differently to fit their specific audiences. You need to find a company that is knowledgeable about the type of video you want for your particular company.

Do they guarantee their work?

As VidYard states:

Not all video providers offer satisfaction guarantees; in many crowd-sourced marketplaces, it’s difficult to control the quality of freelance videographers. If there is a guarantee, read the fine print to see what it includes. It may cover the entire cost of the video or only the referral fee.

If a company you’re considering does not offer a guarantee, make sure you check out previous projects that are similar in size and scope to what you’re looking for. If they cannot provide that for you, proceed with caution or seek out other video producers who can or will guarantee their work.

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Do they provide video

optimization?

One of the most common uses for video is for marketing purposes. A lot of marketing involves trial and error to find what works the best for the specific audience you are trying to reach. This understanding transfers to video as well. Ask if they are willing to work with, tweaking your videos to maximize the results you’re after.

What costs are involved and what’s included?

When considering a boutique video production company, like Tabrizi Productions, the costs and what your money goes to may be different than if you were to hire a freelance producer or commercial company. It’s important you ask and understand what you will be getting and how much it will cost you.

How far out are they booking clients?

When hunting for your perfect video partner, be sure to ask them how far in advance are they booking.  Too often, brands take a passive approach to creating videos, searching for help only when an idea strikes instead of actively planning a campaign. Unfortunately, that can mean they miss out on top quality producers who are booked well into the future. When it comes to including video as part of your business plan, the earlier you hire a videographer the better, not only for availability but for planning purposes, too!

What is the turnaround time for videos?

The answer to this question will depend on the company, they type of video you are wanting and how many other projects the videographer is working on at the same time they will be working on yours. Like booking time, knowing how long it will take to get your final video once the project has started will help determine if the company will fit your plan and timeline.

Do they help with scripting or storyboarding?

This question is especially important if you have a general idea of what you want your video to be but have not outlined the specific details. Some video production companies offer these services to help see your ideas from conception to final product, while others do not.

As you interview potential video production partners, arming yourself with these questions will help you establish clear expectations from the beginning. Beyond knowing what to anticipate from the video producer you hire, making a well-informed decision can lead to a long-term relationship with the top-quality results you’re looking for.

Are you ready to find your video production company match? Contact me today so I can answer all these questions and more!


5 Expert Video Editing Tips You Need to Know

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No matter the software you use to put together your business video, there are some tried and true video editing tips you need to know if you want yours to stand out. It’s pretty apparent, rather quickly I might add, when time has not been spent editing a video to make it shine. Keep reading to learn where you should start when editing your business video.

5 Video Editing Tips

1. Film multiple takes. This first tip should actually happen before you start editing, but it’s important to the video editing process. Filming multiple takes of your video and in clips will give you options to piece together the perfect video with the right tone, voice and lines you want to use.

2. Go through each clip. Once you have uploaded all of your files, you need to go through each one and decide which clips fit your message and video tone the best. Then you can input them into your video timeline.

3. Keep your story in mind. No matter the type of video you’re creating, it’s supposed to convey a message to your viewers. As Caleb Ward says in this Premium Beat article: 

Editing is so much more than simply cutting footage. It’s an opportunity to take your audience on a journey. Whether you’re editing a complex narrative film or simply putting together a corporate video, there is a deeper story being told.

One of the most important video editing tips, keep your story in mind.

4. Know your Cuts. There are many different ways you can put together a video. Understanding the feeling, action or motivation you’re hoping to convey will help you determine which cut is right for your video. This article from Pond5 has a fantastic break down of the different types of cuts and how they can be used to achieve your goals.

5. Add Music. Like cuts, music is a powerful tool to provoke emotion and certain reactions from your audience; it is a must if you want to keep your audience entertained.

With these video editing tips you’re sure to create a video for your business that captures the attention of your audience and gets your message across clearly. Need help making a video? Let Tabrizi Productions do it all for you! Contact me today to learn more.