It is really hard to surf through social media these days without coming across video. In fact, some sites like Facebook automatically play videos when your cursor makes contact. Is this a good thing? Yes, it is! Video is awesome and if you ask most experts, video is vital in making the SEO world spin. That’s Search Engine Optimization, and it helps people find your website. With that said, not all videos are created equal. When I scroll down my Facebook page and a video begins to play, it better grab my attention quickly or I am on to the next.
What Kinds of Video in Social Media Work Best?
I like blooper videos and silly pet tricks, but that’s not really useful content for business. There are some great, effective ways to get your message across. Here at Fireside Production, we constantly explore opportunities to deliver a message in a condensed and entertaining format. Here are a few examples…
The first is what we call a Video & Graphics-Driven piece. This has been a popular option for many Fireside Clients. It combines moving text on the screen with video footage and/or photos. For social media purposes, we simply shorten the length so viewers like myself will take the time to watch.
The next example is an Event Highlights video. We capture highlights complete with interview sound and great natural sound and edit a well-paced video to engage viewers on a variety of social media platforms. This example below was created for distribution on Instagram. What a fantastic idea!
Lastly, one of our most popular offerings is the Social Media Video. We have been doing these for years, and they have been a huge hit. This is a longer video, around two minutes in length, but a quick and cost-effective way to tell the story of your event on social media.
In short, the platforms are there and if your video is good, the viewers are watching. Let Fireside Production help deliver your message on social media… give us a holler and let’s have some fun!
Mental health. It touches each and every one of us and yet, it’s a topic that we seldom talk about. In today’s age of constant communication and increasing demands, it can be more challenging than ever to devote distraction-free time to nurturing our mental well-being.
Fireside Production has been honored over the years to serve the video needs of several Clients that advocate for mental health. They’re increasing awareness and reducing stigma.
One resource is Aurora Mental Health Center. We hope you’ll watch our Fireside Day of Service video to discover a very special place AUMHC is using to nurture both physical and mental health. Each quarter, the Fireside team dedicates a half-day to volunteer for a non-profit Client. It’s a great way to not only make a difference but to give members of our team time to take a breath, focus on the community and connect with one another.
The fall edition of our newsletter, The Creative Kindling is devoted to mental health. It’s packed with well-being tips, an insightful Guest Blog on helping students manage stress and more. I hope you’ll check it out!
We’d love to hear your approach to maintaining your mental health. Share your thoughts – and resources – on our Fireside Facebook page. This autumn, make time for yourself, do the things that improve your well-being and most importantly, make mental health a part of your conversations.
Fall is upon us and students are officially back in school! The start of a school year brings the excitement of new classes, new friends and new opportunities; yet all too often this goes hand in hand with piles of homework and busy schedules filled with countless extra-curricular activities. According to a 2014 survey from the American Psychological Association, 83% of teens reported that school was their number one source of stress.
Smart-Girl is a program ofArapahoe/Douglas Mental Health Network, and its mission is to empower young people with the skills and tools they need to become confident, capable and self-reliant young adults. One of those skills is managing stress – something that is extremely important when it comes to dealing with the many challenges that present themselves throughout the school year.
In a group setting led by high school or college students, middle schoolers in the Smart-Girl program tackle a number of activities that foster communication skills (using “I feel…” statements), problem solving (using their “wizard brain” and thinking through situations instead of using their “lizard” brain which is their automatic emotional response) and identifying what they have control over in their lives, and what they don’t.
Not only does developing skills in these arenas help them survive middle school, it also helps them thrive throughout their lives. For more information about the program and to learn about summer camp programming, please visitwww.smart-girl.org.
Fireside Production is now offering a green screen for video shoots, which gives our Clients a new array of backdrops to choose from for their interviews and hosted messages.
Creating an Opportunity for Growth
It also means as videographers, we’ve been compelled to learn new lighting and shooting techniques specific to the green screen. We diligently researched and explored different set ups before we rolled it out for our Clients. So why go to the trouble? Why not stick with tried and true methods?
Eric at the Green Screen
We always want to challenge ourselves, to offer our Clients more diverse options and (perhaps, most of all) to evolve our individual skill set and grow as professionals. The benefits of this type of professional development are many. For me, the intellectual stimulation of learning something new keeps work exciting and fun and having more “tools in the toolbox” means the services we provide are more valuable to our potential and existing Clients.
Want to learn more about green screen video at Fireside Production? Contact us today.
While Fireside Production does offer a small studio space, the majority of our video production shoots take place on-location. Capturing interviews and footage in the environment they typically happen in, allows viewers to really experience the important work of our Clients.
Working on-location is usually more convenient for our Clients and those they tap to take part in the video; however, it also means hauling gear and crew into busy work spaces and homes. For Fireside, there’s more to a successful shoot than capturing clear, compelling sound and great visuals. It’s extremely important that we limit the disruption to work taking place at our Clients’ locations and that essentially, we leave a small footprint. Here are a few ways we accomplish this…
Pack light and make an extra trip if necessary.
Pack light.We pack exactly what we need and move most of our gear on a small cart.
Keep it tidy. Once we’re set up, we neatly stack our bags and extra gear in one area to reduce clutter in the shoot environment.
Safety first. We take care to tape down cords and keep walking spaces free of trip hazards. We don’t want any accidents during a Fireside shoot.
Leave no trace. Our team will often make a few changes to enhance the background. We may move a plant to add color behind an interview or straighten up a work space to make it look its best. We make a concerted effort though to move things back before we leave.
The bottom line is that we are guests in the shoot space and usually, the location is a busy place with important things happening. Our goal is to not only capture the magic of the organization but to minimize the disruption to the space we are welcomed into.
Our specialty at Fireside Production has always been capturing interviews and footage on-location, allowing viewers of those videos to experience the sights and sounds of our Clients’ unique and varied locations. That’s really our zone! Sometimes, though, creating the background in post-production can offer a fresh look or better emphasize a Client’s brand throughout the piece.
That’s why Fireside Production is now offering green screen. This production tool is portable, allowing our team to set-up green screen at your office – or ours – for interviews and hosted video messages. This portable option is well-suited for framing up a single-person shot. It’s not large enough for a full-body shot. During the edit, we can key in video footage, photos or graphics. We can add a logo behind the subject – or even a simple crisp, white background.
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?