The Power of Explainer Videos

  Our team at work shooting product demonstration in 4K to future proof the content for our client

Our team at work shooting product demonstration in 4K to future proof the content for our client

How many times have you or someone you know jumped on youtube or facebook to watch a demonstration of how to do something like making a new recipe, big screen TV features or how to correctly clean a garbage disposal?

The How-to video, aka the Explainer Video, come in all kinds of styles. They can be graphically animated, or shot in real places with real people, and also photographed on a white seemless studio backdrop with text and narration call outs.

Regardless of their style, the key to good ones are their ability to convey as much visual and narrative information as possible in as little time as practical. Pacing, music, sound effects and solid coverage from tight shots to wide shots to moving camera, all help to make the product larger-than-life.

For social media, e-blasts and website support, grab your audience early and keep them engaged until you hit them with the payoff. A product or service they just can't stop from sharing, ordering or hitting the like button. 

Drones over South Florida

  DJI Phantom scene over Boca Raton Inlet for recent docu-series

DJI Phantom scene over Boca Raton Inlet for recent docu-series

To drone or not to drone?

That answer is is a resounding yes when it comes to the vision of our clients over the last few years.

Capturing aerials is not for the faint hearted though. Many a shoot has been pushed off its schedule because of drone issues. So plan accordingly and add extra time to your production schedule. Also keep in mind that taking off and landing this mini marvels is always an issue, you need to plan ahead and pick your spots, check with local law enforcement as to rules and regulations, and use an operator that has a calm, cool personality. Because things get hairy, almost every time. :)

We offer a few different options, depending on your budget, required flight time, and locations to be captured. Drones kick butt, just craft your vision wisely.

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

  Aerials and broll for Nilfisk in St. Lucie, FL with Kerhsane and Juan, two talented videographers

Aerials and broll for Nilfisk in St. Lucie, FL with Kerhsane and Juan, two talented videographers

Enjoying what you do career-wise is probably one of the best gifts you can receive. Sometimes the road less traveled is filled with pitfalls, emotional lows and the equivalent highs, but it's a road that truly is unique to the traveler taking the steps.

I feel this way about my own video & TV career, the more I do, the longer I've been at it, the better things seem to get. And that truly is a gift. But the gift comes with a price. It's how you share the cost, and how you pass on the dividends that really matters.

One of the primary reasons the gift of an enjoyable career has blossomed for me is that I get to share what I've learned with the next wave of guys and girls coming up in the world of the visual and communication arts. And by helping them through many of the challenges they face, giving them a nudge in this or that direction, pays off in many ways. For us as a company it pays off by developing young professionals who bring new vision, passion and style to each assignment. For them, they learn techniques and processes that have stood the test of time, and in many cases fall through the cracks at colleges or trade schools they've come up through. 

My crew gets younger as I get older, and it's funny how that works to the benefit of clients. My company has been producing visual media for companies like yours for a long time. And although the technology changes, the styles change, the distribution platforms evolve..., there is one set of things that stay the same.

Relationships and trust is key, listening is an art, and grinding out the work is not always fun, but it's a requirement that the time and effort put into the story will make the difference between good and great. Media is made up of many components, audio files, video files, graphic files, text files.., it's how they are shaped that make the story connect.

We hope to connect with you on a future endeavor, but until then, enjoy your own journey, and if you're not... veer off that path a little bit, you never know what that new path is going to unveil... maybe a gift or two.

 

Oh Man! Omeals carves out niche.

  Camera Operator and Editor Kershane on set with Nani the host for "Omeals Hacks" video shoot

Camera Operator and Editor Kershane on set with Nani the host for "Omeals Hacks" video shoot

NEX-XOS Corp. specializes in creating shelf stable meals for many uses, including government agencies, private and non-profit relief organizations, the military and also consumer use. Omeals is the consumer brand used by outdoor enthusiasts across all types of outdoor lifestyle activities where a high quality, ready to heat, pre-cooked meal is desired over the freeze dried alternatives or where making a fire or using gas burners is not desired. Our recent shoot helped show various "hacks" to make meals even more fun and tasty.

Palm Beach Winter Games

  The joy on this little tennis student-mentee's face says it all.

The joy on this little tennis student-mentee's face says it all.

Uplifteam.com in association with First Serve PAL presented their first Palm Beach Winter Games to benefit children from underserved areas of West Palm Beach County. The weekend mission was to capture 4 days of fun along with some serious fundraising, tennis, fashion and food.

The Breakers Palm Beach hosted most of the action, while City Soccer became an indoor Olympic style venue for the coolest fundraising party we’ve been to. Forget the black-tie gala, this event was cocktail chique and sneakers, so attendees could compete in games of skill like pop-a-shot, volleyball, pickle ball, paper airplane tossing, fast pitch softball hitting, golf putting and bocce.

 

For more visit - PalmBeachWinterGames.com

NEX-XOS Project (-)

  The central character of this docu-series Saul runs among the Oak trees in an early morning shoot

The central character of this docu-series Saul runs among the Oak trees in an early morning shoot

You know that little dash that you see when someone dies?

The one between their born date and their died date, that dash actually represents their journey through life.

The latest web docu-series we are producing follows the trials, challenges and life of a great guy, a father of six, and a true American Immigrant success story. “NEX-XOS Project (-)” came to be when our client decided to tackle a new challenge in his life, running a 50 mile Ultra-Marathon down in the Florida Keys.  He also wants to share his life lessons and philosophy on life with his children and anyone else who wants to listen. Stay tuned for episodes on a social media channel near you.

For more visit - https://www.facebook.com/NEXXOSW/

Sun Powered Print | Astro Dynamic - Power 1

  Printing presses run from solar power and a dedication to clean energy help this printer stand out

Printing presses run from solar power and a dedication to clean energy help this printer stand out

It's quite difficult to separate yourself from the pack when you are in a business that can be looked at by customers as a commodity. Printing is one of those cases. The evolution of on-line printers, the digitization of the printing process and the costs associated with running a large print facility all come to bear.

Our clients at Astro Dynamic & Power One Marketing decided to focus on aspects of their business such as software that helps customers track their job and their dedication to solar energy as key differentiators in how they do business.  We spent a few days on location in Pennsylvania working with their staff to document the process they use, their development of software based solutions for job tracking, and why they plan on running a clean, energy efficient facility using the power of the sun to win over customer's long term loyalty

 

 

Making the Brand | Rock N Roll Tequila

 Agency art director and cameras roll behind the scene while prepping for the next shot

Agency art director and cameras roll behind the scene while prepping for the next shot

The "Behind the scenes" role can sometimes be as important as what's happening in front of the primary camera's lens. It's especially true when a company is unveiling a brand for the first time.

Making the brand involves telling your story in as many places as possible. So when your trying to build a little "buzz" you can get the word out through social media a little sooner than your primary advertising and marketing programs kick in.

Rock N Roll gave us the assignment to capture their agency creatives working with them on set as they positioned this new spirit coming to a store, club and restaurant near you.  Aside from the cool bottle that the various blends come in, the story behind the brand will be one that people will be intrigued to hear.

Five Guys Social Media | Keeping everyone hungry for more

 A Five Guys favorite the Bacon Cheeseburger All the Way

A Five Guys favorite the Bacon Cheeseburger All the Way

When you are a growing burger and fries franchise, and just unseated the best burger in the land by a recent Harris Poll, what do you do?

At Five Guys in St. Lucie, Martin & Palm Beach Counties, FL you step up your social media game.

We’ve been assisting them on many fronts, posts every day include; special offers, employee profiles, fundraising, outbound marketing, customer loyalty and brand- messaging  reinforcement.

The key for us is to be flexible, clients can give you lots of creative rope, you just need to remember that your goal is to assemble a team approach that keeps your client in the loop and knowing they can trust you with their brand, its culture and their key messaging initiatives.  Social media does have rules, but not nearly as strict as broadcast TV & Radio, so riding the line of good taste and a level of authenticity should help you achieve the storytelling goals you seek to share with their customers.

Facebook Live | Now a staple at corporate events

 Streaming live from the show floor in Hollywood, Florida

Streaming live from the show floor in Hollywood, Florida

If your company has a large national or global footprint, there are just so many attendees that can realistically afford the time and expense to get to your event. There are now realistic alternatives to build that attendee roster and it won’t bust your budget. Think virtually.

Facebook has made the endeavor pretty easy, especially when you have a visual media partner like us to smooth the way

Now you can tap into the personal and professional social networks of your attendee prospects to build an appointment viewing experience that can be affordably pre-promoted.  It’s also a more convenient way to virtually attend your conference and consume that great informative your guests would otherwise miss.

The look and feel of your content, and how reliable a viewing experience it will be, boils down to the pros that you surround yourself with.  Remember, if content is king, and the nature of the content you are going to share is invaluable as a trust build exercise with your audience, then you need to make sure you deliver a quality viewing experience.

That’s where we can come in.

Social Media Content Is King

 General Manager of Five Guys in Jupiter Florida, Madison Miller, shares her story

General Manager of Five Guys in Jupiter Florida, Madison Miller, shares her story

One of our clients is a franchisee of Five Guys, the burgers and fries sensation sweeping the globe. The corporate company has franchisees in 23 countries and has more than 1400 stores in their world-wide system. Our client has stores in 3 counties here in South Florida and asked us to help them keep their “prepared fresh daily” theme and their company culture that includes a commitment to quality service and the highest standards for menu items top-of-mind for their customers.

For them, it’s a 7 day a week, 15 to 20 hour a day passion, for us it’s about capturing a bit of everything they do to engage customers, whether a fundraiser, a staff profile or special promotions; it’s all part of the mix. We love that they give us the freedom to explore the creative possibilities and love seeing the reactions we get on line to fresh content that we produce daily.

Heat Media Day 2017

 A peek behind the scenes with the Miami Heat players and coaches   

A peek behind the scenes with the Miami Heat players and coaches

 

We've been covering the Miami Heat for NBA Entertainment for over 15 years. Every year, the anticipation and excitement at the American Airlines Arena is always cool to be a part of. This year's team was one of the most engaged and charismatic when it comes to on-camera work with us.  Props go out to Tim Donovan and his staff at the Heat for prepping the players and working with them in their on camera media training. Rookie Bam Adebayo stands out as a star in the making. Hopefully his play will live up to his abilities on camera. Udonis Haslem has always been a pleasure to work with and can't wait to see how he transitions from playing to business entrepreneur in the years to come. He is a terrific leader and representative of the Heat culture.    

Magnum by Nilfisk

 The Magnum Diesel Hot Water Pressure Washer by Nilfisk in the field cleaning heavy equipment

The Magnum Diesel Hot Water Pressure Washer by Nilfisk in the field cleaning heavy equipment

What’s not to love about meeting new people and learning about new industries?

Before our latest assignment, we had never looked at pressure washers (aka power washers) with any real appreciation or understanding of what made them tick, and more importantly, what made a good one from a great one.

Thanks to Nilfisk, we now know. This European company recently entered the U.S. marketplace by purchasing California and Ft. Pierce FL manufacturers of pressure washers, mostly for industrial applications.

Our challenge was to help them unveil this premium line of machines in a dynamic, informative way. Basically the features and benefits with lots of sizzle.

Our point of contact here in Florida hadn’t done a lot of video work, so we’ve also provided some tutoring about the process of just how we do what we do.  It was really fun getting out there with these impressive pieces of technology and putting them through their paces. Our clients went above and beyond by securing locations, hauling very heavy equipment all around an industrial site, and keeping us on schedule over the 2 day shoot.  Together, we are learning how to enhance this brand and look forward to the official launch and more productions to come.

NBA Entertainment's Alonzo Mourning Hall of Fame Interview for Tracy McGrady

 Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning sharing his thoughts on newcomer to the Hall Tracy McGrady

Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning sharing his thoughts on newcomer to the Hall Tracy McGrady

Basketball has always been a favorite sport of ours.  And the Miami Heat have become a large part of our professional lives covering the NBA for the last 15 years.

One of the all-time Heat greats, Alonzo Mourning, has always been gracious with his time. So we had the rare opportunity to catch up with him to discuss another Hall of Famer to be, Tracy McGrady, who is going into “the Hall” very soon.  Shooting with the Sony F5, provided by Andy Kay, is always great, and working in the owners suite gave us some cool opportunities to convey "Miami style" in the background. Alonzo was thoughtful and an easy interview this time. In the past, not so much, guess he's mellowed with age ;)

Ted-X Teen 2 Way to London

 Control room at FSS our studio partners using the tricaster for green screen and encoding

Control room at FSS our studio partners using the tricaster for green screen and encoding

Live TV & Streaming Video is always a heart-pounder. This occasion was no different. Our mission, tobroadcast a guest live to a packed auditorium in London England . The client’s need was to provide the sage advice of former Holocaust war crimes litigator Ben Ferencz, who at 98 years old, is the last living person on the team tasked with bringing Nazi war criminals to justice. 

Our studio was in Ft. Lauderdale at FSS studios, and our guest, Mr. Ferencz lives in Delray.  The only variable, would the car service get him to our studio on time for hair and makeup? Thankfully that worked great.  The live stream provided by Scott Wolfson and his team at FSS was pristine and so on thisSaturday morning, in Mid July, the whole appearance went off without a hitch. Ben was amazing, the audience of teen activists in London loved him, and our clients from NYC were thrilled. All in a days work.  

Going 4K & Beyond

 Martina Hingis brought great energy to a recent interview for World Team Tennis at the Miami Open

Martina Hingis brought great energy to a recent interview for World Team Tennis at the Miami Open

We’ve been getting more and more requests to work in 4K, and many times clients feel that they will save money because it’s one less camera for a typical interview shoot. The answer is yes, it’s one less camera, but no, the cost may be a wash over a two-camera setup.

What you gain on set becomes more steps and longer renders in editing. We’ve shot projects recently with Sony F5 & F55’s, Red Epic at 2K, 4k & 6k while also going lower budget with Sony A7 at 4K. In the end, they are all tools in the arsenal, but you have to be meticulous with generating proxies, allocating media drives, sizing clips appropriately on you project timeline and, leaving extra time for color correction and renders that will exceed what you are used to in 1920 x 1080 world.

You are hedging your investment in the future of your content by up-rezing your approach along with many other benefits, but there are also lots of areas to be cautious.  So client beware or “bring it on” if the strategy for going 4K or above fits with your future content needs.

The Value Multi-Cam Approach Brings to Client Relationships

 Source bins and project timeline for multi-cam production using Adobe Premiere CC 2017 editing workflow.

Source bins and project timeline for multi-cam production using Adobe Premiere CC 2017 editing workflow.

Every client is looking for value, and by adding additional camera angles, and initially including it as a special introductory offer could help to establish new business relationships.

You can be smart though; you don’t have to give away the store and incur more expense than you feel comfortable with.  Those cameras can be unmanned as long as you plan well. And the added coverage will take your interviewee or presenters’ stand ups to another level in post-production.

Remember, to save yourself time when you get to editing, make sure you do a sync clap, slate or lock timecode on set, at minimum, have all camera mics on in addition to your your lavalier mic or mixer feeds.

In the edit, creating multi-cam sequences is as easy as logging all your clips from all camera angles, audio sources like a zoom recorder and, then taking a methodical approach to scenes, subclips and segments.  Adobe Premiere does a great job of creating a fully synced sequence, which you can then open up in your timeline to do a live on-the-fly multi-cam edit, while also flexible in tools and techniques to adjust all facets of the video and audio tracks.

As content creators, adding value while working smarter, not harder should be your goal.  Offering clients solutions that meet their needs and, being willing to grow with them as their projects increase in complexity, concepts and budgets is all you can ask for.

Going Deep

 Submarine simulator training at Triton Submarines in Vero Beach, FL.

Submarine simulator training at Triton Submarines in Vero Beach, FL.

No one understands the expression, “the deep ocean is no place for compromise,” like the executives at Triton Submarines in Vero Beach, Fl. Their top-of-the-line submersibles—used for research, exploration, and leisure--are designed, built, and tested to meet the most rigorous safety standards in the world.

Triton called on us to demonstrate the features, functions, and benefits of their products, and to reveal the simulation training facility they use to train new owners. Their visual media goals were to demonstrate the various uses of their submersibles (from being dropped off the back of a super yacht for fun, to measuring scientific data, capturing rare video footage, and assisting in archaeological explorations.

While our shoot was land-based, the footage and interviews we produced will be utilized by Triton for many years to come.

Thinking On Your Feet

 The interview set when we arrived on the left. After on the right.

The interview set when we arrived on the left. After on the right.

When looking for the right production company, you, of course, want to hire people with relevant experience and a track record of success…and you also want to hire people who can roll with the punches and think on their feet.

Such was the case, when we were recently hired to shoot what we were told was “just an hour or so…” of video interviews for an international law firm. This was in preparation for their annual summit, near our offices in Palm Beach. Although we participated in numerous calls in preparation for the shoot, our point person, an associate who was out of state, knew just a bit about the vision of her internal client. We arrived on location with our standard field package, including two cameras, lighting and sound gear.

When we walked our assigned conference room, we were shown all the props and set pieces (contained in the photo on the left…1 chair), but were quickly told that the real vision had not been properly relayed.

“Can we shoot interviews with a moderator and a guest, and if possible to make it look like a network news ‘talk show’?” the client asked.

Our team exchanged looks, smiled, and got to work.

The in-house catering manager and “destination management pro” on site kindly dropped everything to help us. Within ten next minutes, we pulled together potted plants, vases, and candles, reconfigured the set to make use of a corner, and found some framing elements, such as a portable wall. Within thirty minutes, we had our base-lighting scheme, props, and talent in place. Then it was just a matter of directing the talent through their interviews.

The take-away? Thinking on one’s feet is part of every producer’s job. Preparation is key, but we must always also be prepared for the unexpected, and, when it does, find creative solutions that work.

Keeping a Relaxed & Productive Set

 Green screen interview shot at 4K with Red Epic Helium for future-proofing the content

Green screen interview shot at 4K with Red Epic Helium for future-proofing the content

 

We often hear—from both our clients and freelance vendors--that our sets are relaxed; that our process is a pleasure. We really appreciate that feedback because we believe that being comfortable and feeling safe are key when it comes to developing long-lasting relationships and creating successful products that yield results.

So how do we do it? It’s more than meets the eye. Here are some of our pre-shoot and shooting-day checklist items:

Be prepared and make sure everyone else is, too. This means getting everyone the information they’ll need as early as possible. Information and preparation are key.

• Go the extra mile and contact everyone that will be on set, personally, ahead of time. This can take the form of an email—or, better still—a phone call. Make sure questions are answered and that needs are or will be fulfilled. Make talent, clients, and vendors know they are both welcomed and appreciated. If they don’t already know it, give all freelance vendors a synopsis of the project, and describe what they can anticipate during your time together.

• Make sure everyone has been issued a Call Sheet. This has both detailed and general information it, such as load-in and parking notes. This helps ensure that everyone gets to your location on time and hassle-free.

• As your cast and crew arrives, welcome them and be sure to introduce them to each another. It’s not only common courtesy; it also makes everyone feel like a valuable part of a team.

• Have snacks, drinks, and meals available at all times. An army marches on its stomach, and we’ve learned (first-hand and observationally) that nothing breeds frustration faster than a “hangry” team.

Listen. Yes, as producers, we may be the final decision makers, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t open to feedback. We encourage our team members to pull us aside and give us tips throughout the day.

Maintain a realistic schedule. Of course, sometimes shoots go off the rails, but taking snack breaks or playing content back helps people reset mentally. Our goal is to maintain focus.

Lead by example. We strive to keep cool heads, be encouraging, and maintain open communication and a vital sense of humor. All our players know that they are valued for their insights and contributions.

Say” thank you.” It may sound like a no brainer, but we’ve done many “behind the scenes” shoots for other entities and have been shocked by how often people walk away without being thanked. Gratitude goes a long way.

South Florida Media Group looks forward to working with you!