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Ensure Compelling Awards Presentations With Honoree Videos
Does this sound familiar? You’re excited that the gala you’ve been working on for months is finally here, but you’re a little worried about the speeches that your honorees are going to make. Sure, they assured you they wouldn’t go over three minutes, but there’s that one person who has a tendency to lose track of time. And the others? Just looking at them, you sense their sweaty palms, racing hearts, stomachs in knots. So cut the stress! Preparing videos in advance of the event can not only put them (and you) at ease, but also help ensure that the event goes off smoothly.

At Denver Film & Digital, we help businesses, nonprofits, foundations and other organizations by creating tribute videos for their galas and award ceremonies. It’s both a practical solution for gala logistics and a way to make the all-important emotional connection with the audience.

Share Only the Best Information
You’ve probably listened to an award speech that was way too long or unfocused, or where time was wasted as honorees prepared to speak. Producing a video in advance by interviewing the honoree means that we can keep the remarks to an optimal time and make sure that only the most compelling and relevant comments are heard, and any awkward pauses or tangents are eliminated.

An example is this video of Cal Beyer of Lakeside Industries, who was named The Carson J Spencer Foundation’s (http://www.carsonjspencer.org) Shining Lights of Hope Volunteer of the Year. In just two minutes, we learn about Beyer’s initial involvement with the cause of suicide prevention, his accomplishments surrounding that, what drives him, and how the issue has personally impacted him. There are enough details for the audience to connect with him to learn why the cause is so important to Beyer and understand why he earned the Volunteer of the Year distinction, yet there is nothing extraneous.

Shooting the video also allows the honoree to be more at ease than they’d typically be speaking live in front of an audience. This means that the audience gets to see them speaking more naturally and comfortably. It also gives the speaker the opportunity to focus comments, stories and answers to our questions calmly and fully, saying exactly what they want to say.

Simply put, video helps award recipients and nominees present their best selves.

Keep the Event Moving
Many events, like the Shining Lights of Hope Gala, feature multiple honorees. Producing a brief video for each person helps each honoree’s remarks have a cohesive feel. As an added bonus, shooting video for each person also means that even honorees who may be out of town can get the same presence as those who are local.

Particularly when there are multiple honorees, videos are helpful in running the event efficiently, because they reduce time spent on people getting to the stage and other aspects of transitioning between speakers that can make the program feel drawn out. To ensure that everything has a cohesive feel, we can write the spoken intros for the emcee so that the following video is properly teed up.

All of these factors combine to help the award program be impressive while staying on a pace that means it doesn’t overstay its welcome and gets people back to mingling and enjoying the other aspects of your event in a timely manner.

To learn more about how Denver Film & Digital can help you make the most of your award presentation, email ssealy@denverfilmdigital or call 303-274-9319.

You are probably familiar with the feeling of visiting an e-commerce site that is all about the products but leaves you wondering who’s behind them and if the company really is reputable.

One way to combat the perception of an e-commerce company being run by robots or people with suspicious motives is through a video on your website and social media that shows the real people behind the organization. As with this video we produced for Keystone Water, you can put a face (or a few) to your e-commerce business, helping instill trust with current and prospective customers.

The Keystone video doubles as a testimonial for the company’s top-notch customer service and seeing a person behind the business. We meet Director of Operations Michelle Brozovich and she walks us through several of the company’s products and the benefits of using Keystone over competitors. She then addresses the paramount topic of customer service, explaining that it’s what sets Keystone apart from other providers of water dispensers and accessories. Finally, we see real customers providing testimonials about how Keystone Water excels at customer service.

So not only does this video show us a real person behind Keystone, but it shows the social proof of satisfied customers, taking away any potential mystery about what this company is about and who runs it.

According to one study, 65 percent of 1,000 people surveyed said they’ve “cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience,” and you probably don’t have to think too hard to come up with a company that makes you relate to this stat.

With a video like Keystone’s, you can show what your company is all about and connect with potential customers while showing that you do care about customers and how they perceive your company – you want them to know you and feel comfortable buying from you. If you can also show that you provide stellar customer service, that’s a big bonus.

If you want to learn how Denver Film and Digital can help your e-commerce business put its best face forward to get more sales, contact us at ssealy@denverfilmdigital.com or call 303-274-9319.

Although we create compelling, impactful and entertaining videos with fresh footage, the inclusion of archival assets can be an affordable way to make a video dynamic and bring it to life in a way that new footage alone might not.

Not only does the new complete video become more vibrant, but old photos and videos can get a whole new life and a chance to make an impact in a way that they hadn’t when being looked at as a single still or video, or sitting in a filing cabinet or collecting dust in a basement. Thanks to the latest video and editing technology, they get to be viewed as a piece of a bigger story.

A recent video we produced for The Listen Foundation (http://www.listenfoundation.org) is a great example of how to combine elements from a variety of sources with our new, professional video footage, for a single video that tells an emotional story spanning decades.

For portions of the video, Listen Foundation parents sent us videos of them explaining their stories of how the organization impacted their hearing impaired children and their families. Viewers see the parents talk about the early days with The Listen Foundation, and along with those videos, we wove in still photos of the children through the years along with videos of their early therapy sessions from more than 15 years ago. The children — now ranging from young adults preparing to go out into the world to having children of their own — also sent us video testimonials recorded on smartphones, in which they provided a powerful, firsthand look into how the therapy helped them find success as they grew up.

The ability to electronically transfer a smartphone video to be part of a professional video is particularly useful when scheduling and locations are issues for those involved or if there are budgetary constraints. Giving people the option to provide their own video for parts of the main video is a way to keep production costs down, while ultimately producing a professional piece. While the format may be different than how we would shoot, we can smoothly transition between the various videos and photos, making them all support the overall video.

For the professionally shot piece, we talked to Listen Foundation therapist Nancy Caleffe-Schenck who worked with the children in the video, beginning at when they were as young as a year old. She gets emotional as she thinks about these clients and all of the hard work the children and families put in, and viewers get a sense for how committed Listen Foundation therapists are to their clients’ growth and success.

With all of these elements combined — old video on VHS tapes, family photos, smartphone video, and new, professional video footage — we created a powerful video that tells the emotional story of how the Listen Foundation’s work affects families in a way that viewers who aren’t necessarily familiar with the organization can feel and understand. Watch the video for yourself to see what we mean!

If your business or nonprofit has a story to tell and old photos or videos to help tell it, give Denver Film & Digital a call today at 303.274.9319 or email us at ssealy@denverfilmdigital.com.

If you’ve ever tried to search for a band for a wedding or other event, you know it can be a daunting task. There are just so many performers out there — good ones, too! So if you’re perusing the web to find that perfect band, what sets one apart from another other than obvious style or talent? Their performances! While a video uploaded from a smartphone to YouTube can certainly show you what a person’s talents are like, it probably doesn’t show you some of the most important things you need to know for your event.

How do they make you feel? Maybe more importantly, how would they make the audience at your event feel? How do they interact with an audience? What kind of tone do they set for the event? In general, what is a real, full performance of theirs like?

That’s where — you guessed it — Denver Film and Digital comes in. We work with musicians of all kinds, from folk to rock, to help them show an audience through a screen what a real, live performance is like.

An example of this is the video above that we produced for Denver-based Bettman & Halpin’s “Christmas is a Funny Thing” show. The Americana/folk group takes its show on the road and wanted a video to showcase what its holiday performances are like so that it could shop the video around to venues across the country.

For this video, in the middle of what was actually a sweltering hot summer day, we staged what a Christmas show with Bettman & Halpin (http://www.stephaniebettman.com) is like, right down to audience applause and interaction. This five-and-a-half minute promo video presents a compilation of snippets from Christmas songs, both original and traditional, that the group performs. This gives the viewer a good sense of what the band sounds like, how the musicians interact with each other and the audience, and what variety of music they’ll play. We even included a few brief quotes from written reviews that the band has received right on screen as a little extra selling point. Overall, this provides a solid sense of what a Bettman & Haplin show is like, giving the viewer/event planner/venue booker a way to feel confident in knowing exactly what they’ll get if they work with this group.

As important as promotional videos are, musicians and singers don’t generally have the giant production budgets of Taylor Swift/any other world-famous singer, but it’s OK — they don’t have to! At Denver Film and Digital, we can work with budgets that are less than what Beyoncé makes in an hour — we swear! (http://www.forbes.com/sites/zackomalleygreenburg/2016/07/11/beyonce-and-jay-z-are-the-worlds-highest-paid-celebrity-couple-of-2016/#621d6f767ae8)

We work efficiently as a two-person team using the latest technology to produce high quality, professional music videos that performers can share across all social media platforms and upload to YouTube, Vimeo or their website so that anyone who they want to access it can easily do so.

To find out more about how Denver Film and Digital can help you share your music with the world, contact us today at ssealy@denverfilmdigital.com or 303-274-9319.

Even those of us who consider ourselves an open book still find that we may struggle to discuss particular issues or talk about something difficult with certain people. It might be because we’re dealing with a painful topic or because there’s some kind of stigma around talking about whatever the issue is. Video can be extremely helpful in breaking the ice when it comes to opening up about these tough issues in a group setting.

A powerful example of using video for this purpose is the 10-minute video Denver Film & Digital produced for the Carson J. Spencer Foundation < http://www.carsonjspencer.org>. The video was used to supplement training Denver Fire Department’s 1,100 employees on the topics of mental health awareness and suicide prevention. It was used as a conversation starter on the difficult subject.

Utilizing video for this purpose is ideal because it provides consistent messaging every time. This video was used in dozens of training workshops and helped ensure continuity across each one.

As we see in the video, firefighters and commanders talk about how they are trained to help others, and to analyze and put out fires. Traditionally, they aren’t trained to care for themselves and their own well-being. Instead, they learn to not show emotion or let things get to them so that they can go on from one site to the next, doing their job.

However, we’ve learned that this kind of mentality is detrimental not only to the firefighter, but to the company and his or her family.

The CJSF works to change that.

In the video, we see multiple firefighters discuss challenges of the job and how beneficial it is to have peer and professional support to help overcome challenges, both personal and professional. But while they stress the importance of a support system for mental health, they express the difficulties of talking about their mental state. Firefighters, like police and other first responders, are taught be the strong ones, after all.

“I do feel like showing too much emotion may hinder the way people look at you professionally,” said firefighter Juan Vigil, expressing his struggle over how much to discuss the hardship of losing a friend and colleague to suicide. He added that he was even uneasy about doing the interview for the video. But, he said, “It’s important to hear these stories, because we need to tell them. We need to get them off our chest. Keeping them in isn’t the way to heal.”

It was clearly difficult for Juan and his fellow firefighters and commanders to talk about mental health, but they did it. And they exemplified behavior that trainers wanted others to emulate.

Doing the in-depth interviews in a safe, quiet environment made it more likely that the officers would speak their minds openly. It almost certainly produced a more powerful result than having the officers speak in front of a room of their peers where they would feel compelled to put on a brave front.

When the video was used in training, their candid reflections gave permission to other firefighters to admit their struggles, and even consider asking for help.

This type of video can be useful to any nonprofit or other organization dealing in difficult topics including loss, mental health, addiction, abuse or lack of economic stability. To learn more about how a video can help your organization start conversations about tough topics, contact Denver Film & Digital at ssealy@denverfilmdigital.com or 303-274-9319.

We have stressed so many times how powerful the “show” aspect of video is as compared to simply “telling” alone. The numbers that show the ever-increasing popularity of video help back us up in these sentiments.

One of our favorite ways to help clients show instead of only tell is by producing videos that help them introduce a service. These videos combine several of the most impactful aspects of video marketing to create a helpful tool that quickly, clearly and easily lets potential customers and clients know what you have to offer.

Take this video we produced for Jennifer Whitton-Trujillo of Energine Marketing. In this video, Jen introduces her Lift Off! Club where small business owners learn how to best market their businesses. In just three and a half minutes, viewers gain a solid understanding of what the Lift Off! Club offers, how it works and what actual clients’ takeaways are.

There are distinct aspects to the video that make it effective.

First, there is the telling. Viewers are introduced to Jen, and she shows that she is an expert by talking about the pain points her clients have. We see that she understands them, and that sets her up as being someone who can help.

Then, we cut to an actual meeting of a Lift Off! Club —the showing — where we see Jen in action with clients. No one is explaining or telling us what the Lift Off! Club is all about. Instead, we see and feel it for ourselves. We get a feel for the setting, setup and what one might expect going to a Lift Off! Club meeting.

That showing is followed by a client testimonial. In this case, a client compares the services that Jen offers with what other companies do. This is powerful, because this isn’t Jen, the business owner, telling why her company is different, but it is instead a client of hers doing that. This is a kind of social proof, and social proof/testimonials cannot be underestimated.

Seeing the client explain why the Lift Off! Club stands out among marketing services dovetails nicely into Jen explaining in more detail what the service is all about. There isn’t time to show a whole meeting, so instead, we have Jen explain how the Lift Off! Club works and show that in a different way than before — with bullet points. As you probably know, bullet points are effective in helping people understand and retain the basic points that need to be made.

Once we have seen and heard in various ways how the Lift Off! Club works, we see more testimonials — more social proof — from the people who have experienced and benefitted from the service. We get to hear about their experiences and get their takeaways to gain an even better understanding of what we can expect after going through Jen’s program.

Finally, all of the information is wrapped up with a call to action from Jen, and we see the information on the screen for how to find out more or join the Lift Off! Club. The video does not just have an open ending after explaining what the program is about. Instead, it very specifically says what the viewer should do and how to do it.

In less than four minutes, the viewer has a good sense of what the Lift Off! Club is all about and is likely to believe in its effectiveness after hearing from multiple people who experienced its benefits.

The techniques we used here for the Lift Off! Club are transferrable to any service you want to introduce. It’s just a matter of including the effective elements of having the expert tell about the service, seeing that person in action and hearing from customers or clients who can vouch for the service in a way that will interest potential clients to give it a try.

If you’ve got a service or program that you’re ready to market in an effective way through video, give us a call at 303-274-9319 or send us an email at ssealy@denverfilmdigital.com, and we’ll talk about how we can help you get there!

If you’ve checked out our previous posts, you know that we’ve discussed several ways to use video for marketing, including for testimonials, showing that you’re a trusted expert, getting buy-in and raising money via crowdfunding. And as the stats pile up showing how much more effective marketing videos are than text and photos, it’s become clear that video is also a powerful way to display products.

You can show different facets of a product, or video it in action, if that’s an option, given the type of product. Or, if you have something that changes, but is more, umm, stationary — like a tree is — you can do what Pine Lane Nursery in Parker, Colorado, did, and produce videos for products, showing them off through video and slideshows of still photos.

The videos we produced for Pine Lane Nursery pack a big punch in less than a minute each. In each video, we see Tree Guru Bob Hardie standing near a specific type of tree while he shares information about it, including what to expect for each season in terms of care and the tree’s appearance. In addition to seeing a portion of the trees available at the nursery in the video with Bob, we see still photos that show the type of tree in different seasons or stages of life.

These videos pay for themselves over and over for a few reasons. For one, they are evergreen (no pun intended!) meaning that they are useful to viewers beyond any foreseeable timeline. The team at Pine Lane can use their video of the Canada Red Chokecherry tree for marketing purposes as many times as they want to. As long as there are Canada Red Chokecherries, there will be people wanting to learn about them. Product videos are great to put on your company’s website and also to share on social media or in email newsletters.

In addition, the video provides multiple benefits. It shows the products offered at Pine Lane, shows what the nursery’s location looks like, shares valuable information for anyone interested in this type of tree, and positions Bob and his team as trusted experts not just in their field, but in the specific area of North-Central Colorado tree care. Not only will these factors make the video helpful to Pine Lane’s local current and potential customers, but they’ll education people anywhere in the world who finds their videos and has an interest in these trees. Again, we see Pine Lane’s products and see its team as experts.

If you want to learn how product videos can benefit your business, contact Denver Film and Digital today. You can reach us at 303-274-9319 or ssealy@denverfilmdigital.com.

Most of us have seen ourselves or someone else in a professional video and thought something like, “Who told them that outfit was a good idea?” Well, we like to help our clients avoid people thinking something like that about them or stressing over their appearance once it’s too late and the video is in post-production, and after decades in the film and video industry, we’ve certainly learned more than a few helpful tips for what to wear — and what not to wear — for a video shoot. And we just can’t keep these secrets to ourselves, because we want to help you look your best on camera too! So here are some of the tips we find most important to repeat to all of our clients for what to wear for a video shoot.

— Wear plain, solid, dark colors.
— Avoid stripes, small, busy prints (the camera lens doesn’t like small checks and plaids) and avoid big splashy prints (you won’t look how large they make YOU look).
— If wearing a white shirt, pair it with a coat, vest, or sweater. The plain white look is seldom flattering and isn’t great for lighting.
— Wear makeup. (Yes, you too, guys.) A little powder and concealer can go a long way in making sure you don’t have a shiny forehead or dark circles under your eyes. Lip balm also helps you look your best on camera.

Women (mostly):
— Wear simple jewelry. Dangles distract.
— Bring hairspray, a mirror and a brush to the shoot. Wild and crazy errant hairs can be distracting. You don’t want us to do the mom-spit-on-your-hair thing to press it down…
— Wear a top that won’t stress you out. Avoid shirts that have you always checking to make sure it’s not too low or that your bra strap isn’t showing.

Got that? Now that you know how to look your best in a video, give us a call and we’ll make sure you get a video worthy of your smart fashion choices! Want more tips? We can help with that too. Contact Denver Film & Digital at 303.274.9319 or ssealy@denverfilmdigital.com.

You’ve got a great producer and director. You’ve got a great writer and cast. You’ve got great lighting. You’ve got a great video! Well, maybe. Probably! But what can take that video — whether a short video for your business or nonprofit, or a feature length film — from great to outstanding is a little secret weapon we call audio. And more important than plain ’ol audio is quality audio.

An article in The Sun Chronicle made an interesting statement that, “When making videos, sound is more important than picture.” Quite controversial, right?! Maybe so, but the reasoning makes sense. The article states that studies show that people will tolerate poor quality video but not poor quality audio. The article goes on to say, “Look at this this way: nearly all of us have enjoyed television without actively watching the pictures (while cooking, for example); but no one can tolerate even a minute of TV viewing with the sound muted.” It’s hard to argue with that point!

Whether we’re talking about more simple sound for a persuasive business video or heart-wrenching nonprofit video, or complex sound mixing for a film, audio plays an integral role. Audio subliminally cues the audience, telling them whether they should feel excited, anxious, or sad, or frightened, or just about any other emotion.

In the above video, Steef uses a feature film he directed, “Mr. Mental” to walk us through an example of why audio is important and the four key elements of sound.

Natural sounds: This is dialogue, voiceovers and room sounds like the TV or traffic outside. These sounds ground us in the reality of a scene. These sounds are often subtle and can be easily lost if the sound mix isn’t done well.

Drums and percussion: These are used to create anticipation and build energy. They take us from light to compelling moments.

Minor tones in music: Darker, minor tones in the music help build a sense of tension, uncertainty and danger. They are also great for instilling a feeling of hope.

Major tones in music: Higher, major tones are beneficial when you want to create a feeling of magic and wonder.

Watch the video to see — ahem, hear — examples of these elements and what a difference they make to a film like “Mr. Mental.”

If you’re intrigued enough and want good sound mixing for “Mr. Mental” as much as we do, please consider helping fund that professional sound mixing through our Kickstarter campaign!

In today’s highly competitive world where everyone seems to give themselves the titles of “thought leader” and “expert,” it’s more important than ever to stand out and show that you really are those things. To do so, you have to go above and beyond simply sticking those titles on your social media bios.

So how do you prove that you are the expert? Do more than just say it; show it. With video, you can not only show who you are, but also offer bits of your knowledge and expertise freely to entice people to want to learn more from you. This shows that you know what you’re talking about and are also so confident that people will find value in it, that they’ll come back to you for more. These are things that show that you really are an expert.

In fact, a Likehack article < http://www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/how-to-be-an-expert-and-find-one-if-youre-not.html> that discusses the topic of being an expert says that one of the key ways to identify an expert is by their openness. As the article explains, “Trade secrets are for people who aren’t confident in their abilities that fear you won’t need them if you know what they’re doing. If someone is unwilling to explain to you what they’re doing, move onto the next expert.”

At Denver Film & Digital, we love to help professionals who want to show what experts they are through a series of videos that display their knowledge. Take Ed Atkinson of Liberty Home Loans < http://www.libertyhomeloans.com> for example. We do a short trusted expert piece with Ed each quarter in which he addresses topics that homebuyers might be interested in, such as credit scores and first-time homebuyer assistance. He is able to show that he has a deep understanding and vast experience within the mortgage industry.

“Video is an excellent tool for me to be able to connect with my customers deeper and in a more personal way,” Ed tells us. “They can see me, hear me, and they are able to get a very good impression of the type of person I am from the video. They can see that I am genuine, experienced, and honest. Video helps me to relay that I am an expert in what I do.”

If you want help showing potential clients and that you are the expert they should trust, contact Denver Film & Digital and we’ll make it happen!