It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye… and on to new adventures! In my five amazing years here at Fireside Production, I can’t express how incredible this journey has been and what I will take with me as I move on. Tom and Naomi hired me as their first employee and believed in me to jumpstart my career again after being a stay-at-home mom for twelve years. Looking back at my time here, I reflect on the many milestones from where we started to where we are now… home-based to office space, countless video production awards, winning the Denver Business Journal’s 2012 Partners in Philanthropy award, and Naomi taking home The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Rocky Mountain Chapter 2014 Woman of the Year award – with me by her side as her campaign manager – what a ride that was!
A milestone that has also touched my heart is our Day of Service, created four years ago. Giving to our community, as a company, is special and I will remember each and every volunteer opportunity we have taken part in!
I am honored to be a part of this growing company, but it is my time is to move on to my next venture in education as well as helping my family with their businesses.
I thank each and every person on the Fireside team for the time of laughs, giving to the community and each of us inspiring each other to bring spirit… to be the best we can be, not only in the workplace, but at home and in our personal lives.
There’s always a great deal of excitement when you’re getting ready for a video shoot. A successful shoot starts before you leave the door – with solid preparation. There is always some luck involved with a great shoot – the elements falling perfectly into place – but having a few tools in place is helpful as well. Here are a few of mine:
Shovel + Snow = Natural Sound
Plan for your opening shot. This isn’t necessarily the first shot you roll on but keep your eye out for that great opening. It could be a real attention grabber or just an establishing shot but put some thought into how you want the video to begin.
Find characters. Yes, you need great characters to tell the story. If you’re not using actors, find people who have some flair and want to be in front of the camera.
Capture natural moments. Moments are the unscripted gems that turn a good video into a great video. When the big ones happen, don’t get caught up in them, press record!
Get natural sound. You cannot smell video, but you sure can hear it. Get your microphone in close to the sounds – whether it’s a babbling brook or the propeller of a vintage airplane. Sound can bring your viewer into the experience.
Plan for a closing shot. Just as important as your opening shot, think about how you will end your video. Often, negative action like your hero riding off into the sunset is a good one. Just plan it and be creative!
Of course, there are many other tools you can add to your videographer toolbox but these are a good start. It is always good to have a blue print going in. The direction may change, but it’s easier to regroup with a plan in place. Happy shooting!
The older I get, the more chaotic this time of the year seems to be. Summer is hectic and school is looming around the corner for students. It seems like my “to do” list is overflowing to the point that I don’t know where to start. There are more ways to fail than succeed when there’s so much on the table.
It may help to reevaluate how we define success. Most of us put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get things done, and I tend to beat myself up when I fall short of those expectations at work, at home or in my personal life. Part of the problem can be the standards I set for myself. I think it’s valid to reexamine what I consider to be a successful day, week, etc.
This video by The School of Life takes a clever look at success.
There are many ways to achieve a worthy outcome to a given day. There are numerous ways to succeed without knocking out 20 items on a list. Finding a happy medium between practical achievement and satisfying accomplishments is a journey worth making.
According to the Google Q2 2015 results, total watch time on YouTube is up more than 60% since the same quarter a year ago. And YouTube’s mobile watch time is up more than 100% in the same period.
And… it also shows more people now watch YouTube on mobile devices than watch video on any U.S. cable network.
Recent research from eMarketer also highlights that more than 105 million smartphone owners in the U.S. will view at least one video a month on their mobile devices this year.
So, what does all of this mean? Here are few thoughts to keep in mind:
First, make sure you have a YouTube page! Be sure it’s well titled, tagged and optimized to make it easy to find.
Second, your video must be present on your website. Videos have up to 800% better conversion rates compared to the same website without a video. It’s very important to make sure your website is mobile friendly!
Lastly, if your target is millennials, 48% of this group only watch videos on their mobile device.
Video is now consumed on all kinds of devices, so screen size seems to not matter like it once did. I still think YouTube is still the best place to search for video content. Posting a video on YouTube dramatically improves Google search rankings. That’s a huge benefit. I would love to hear from you… what are your thoughts on video consumption on mobile devices?
Denver Water customers have embraced the culture of water conservation, and we want to make it easy for them to apply that culture – along with water-efficient practices – on their own landscapes.
Bring in our Water Savers, the crew we dispatch each year to cruise neighborhoods and promote efficient outdoor water use. Although they are schooled in our summer watering rules, Water Savers aren’t out to put the heat on summer fun. They aim to explain the rules, along with other ways to sprinkle efficiency in your watering routine. Last summer’s crew made nearly 3,500 stops to share tips and tools without issuing a single fine.
Water Savers are armed with the knowledge and field technology to look up customers’ water consumption history and review irrigation controller settings on the spot. And since they represent just one of the many resources we offer to help customers conserve, Water Savers can suggest other useful programs such as rebates.
So don’t hesitate to ask the Water Savers for advice. You can also visit our website to learn about other conservation programs and sign up for monthly tips emails to help you use only what you need.
Fireside Production was named the Energy Department’s 2014 Protégé of the Year at the 14th Annual Small Business Forum & Expo in Phoenix. This national award recognizes the accomplishments and growth of the Protégé organization during the course of a Mentor-Protégé program.
Fireside Production was awarded a Mentor-Protégé agreement with the Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) as a woman-owned, small business. Through the agreement, the protégé organization has an opportunity to improve its capabilities and skills to successfully compete for federal contracts. It also builds relationships, further develops best practices and in this case, resulted in a subcontract for video production services with the federal laboratory.
During the Mentor-Protégé, Fireside worked with the laboratory to advance its video communications and produce content to reach viewers throughout the United States and around the globe. Fireside helped NREL make it easier for news outlets to access media-friendly footage of renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.
“Fireside Production’s performance under NREL’s Mentor-Protégé program was exemplary,” said Rexann Dunn, Small Business Program Lead for NREL. “As a mentor, you are always looking for the right fit when it comes to the mentor-protégé relationship. It’s a two-way street; you want to be able to provide a valuable learning experience to the protégé while receiving valuable feedback. I feel that this mentor-protégé relationship has been very successful, which is why NREL nominated Fireside Production for the Energy Department’s 2014 Protégé of the Year.”
Fireside Production is so grateful to NREL for the valuable mentoring over the past several years, the opportunities to work with the laboratory and of course, for the incredible recognition as Protégé of the Year.
One of our core values at Fireside Production is to Create Experiences. Our goal is to produce videos for our Clients that engage viewers and allow them to experience the message. We also strive to provide an experience for our Clients throughout the project – one that makes the process enjoyable! As Fireside’s Production Assistant, I’ve had a front-row seat to see and experience Colorado in a whole new light.
I have been in Denver for almost six years and I feel as though I have learned more about my community in the past six months as a part of the Fireside Production team than I have during all off my previous years here. The best part is I feel I’ve been able to experience the heart and soul of this beautiful city through the lens of our Clients. I have been able to hear historical stories – straight from the people who experienced them firsthand.
I drive by the “Dancers” sculptures at the Denver Center for Performing Arts every day and now, I know how they came to be. I have been fortunate enough to interview our Governor and have had the pleasure of rafting down the Colorado River as I learned how that water touches so many aspects of our lives. Most importantly, I have been given the opportunity to give back to our community by participating in our Fireside Day of Service events.
I am forever grateful for these experiences and hope to continue to offer our Clients a memorable experience as well. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
We’ve been working as a team for a couple of years now to create our Fireside Production Vision Statement. It was important for us to brainstorm, whittle down and finally, craft our vision in its entirety – as a team. I don’t think you can pull together in the same direction if you’re not all 100% committed to the goal. I couldn’t be more proud of the Fireside crew for this beautiful vision we’ve together created!
To inspire action through the power of video. This is where stories are told.
Video is such a powerful medium to inspire others. The footage we see, the spoken words and natural sounds we hear – when done well – come together to create an experience. Combine a thoughtfully-produced video with a strong message and you’ve got magic! It’s the ideal way to inspire others to act… to join a team, to support a cause, to gain and share knowledge. Our hope with each video we are entrusted to produce is that we can inspire action in those you want to reach through the power of video storytelling.
When the artwork with our new vision arrived, our daughter read it and asked what a vision was. Tom and I explained that a vision statement is your dream for the future, something you aspire to achieve. Well, as a 10-year-old artist, the concept moved her! She began right then and there to develop her personal vision statement. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we each identified our personal – and collective – vision statements to move us powerfully into the future with purpose each day? I love the idea!
Inspire us with your personal and professional vision statements. We’d love for you to share them with us!
In sports, you may hear of an athlete and his or her ceiling. This is a common reference often used regarding young athletes and their perceived potential. If we were to use this description in the professional world, where would your ceiling be? If you are well into your career, you may be worried that you have plateaued. So, how do we raise the roof and keep our potential limitless? Here are a few ideas…
1. First, never stop learning. At Fireside Production we are always looking for new ways to develop our video production skills. This includes critiquing our own work and studying others. After a shoot or edit, it’s important to get honest feedback from the team to see what we did right and what could be better the next time out. We also find new things to learn, then devote time to mastering them.
2. Corral your ego. It’s okay to have an confidence but don’t let it keep you from getting better in your craft. If your ego tells you that you know it all and you’re already perfect, get out and do something else. Your possibility of getting better is all but lost.
3. Work for it! The best athletes in the world don’t just posses the natural talent, they also out-work everyone else. Practice makes perfect and as long as you put in the time, your ceiling will continue to grow.
Have you reached your ceiling or is the sky the limit? I would love to hear your thoughts or tips for growing in your craft.
Photo in Motion 5 platform separated into layer using Photoshop.
If you’ve been working in the same professional field for years, almost two decades in my case, there come points at which you wonder if you’re still growing? Am I doing the same thing over and over, or am I finding new ways to challenge myself?
At Fireside, we try to challenge ourselves and each other to develop in the creative and technical aspects of our work. I’ve recently embarked on learning (and hopefully, becoming proficient) at an effect called 2.5D. It’s a process by which I use photo-editing software to separate still pictures into layers and then, move those layers into another program and inject depth and movement. The result is a still photo that appears to have an almost three-dimensional appearance. I was able to find a bevy of “how-to” videos on the internet to help me understand this new (to me) technique.
Setting simple, attainable goals is an easy way to keep your work fresh, your mind engaged and your enthusiasm a part of your day… all of which will show in your work. What professional goals are you setting and how are you achieving them?