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Oftentimes, it’s more effective to show instead of tell. You’ve heard us say this before in expressing the value of video. But that sentiment also applies to what you show on video.

We’ve already discussed why you should use training videos. Now it’s time to talk about a creative, effective format that we love to use for training videos: vignettes.

Think of a vignette like a sketch. It’s a short video in which people act out a scenario. We are big fans of using vignettes for training videos for a few reasons.

First, trainees can get a feel for an actual scenario they may be presented with. Instead of being told what that might look like, they actually see it and get a sense for the situation, right down to body language, tone, emotion and settings. For example, we did a series of 11 videos like this for a Veterans Administration office in Denver. The goal was to teach clinicians to use language that is more precise and consistent to improve communication between themselves and with researchers. In each video, a vignette was followed by a debriefing video to help clinicians learn a new nomenclature for describing violent self-directed behavior. In the vignettes, they were able to see how those terms sound and apply in real life situations.

Secondly, vignettes can help trainees to clearly see the right and wrong way of doing something and have examples to follow. This can apply to just about anything on the job such as customer service training. A vignette could show an angry customer and have one scenario that shows how you don’t want employees to handle that situation, and another that shows the right way to handle it. This is a good way for trainees to see your company’s policies and procedures in action.

Finally, because they are scripted sketches instead of straight explainers, there is room in vignettes for more entertainment and humor. Done right, your trainees will be engaged in the situation unfolding in front of them and you can get your point across in an entertaining and memorable way.

Once you know vignettes will be your preferred training video style, it’s important to get the right people in place. It’s not enough to ask your neighbor who was in a high school play 20 years ago to help out. To get the professional, impactful video that you need, hire professional actors. We aren’t saying you need to get an A-Lister on board (Although, how cool would that be?!) but a video production company should have resources like talent agencies that they can hire from.

Hiring a pro is so worth it because they will help you get the high quality video you need. They know how to learn lines. They know how to deliver the right emotions and emphases, and they know how to do it consistently and repeatedly so that it can be successfully edited. The actors may need to do several takes, so they need to know how to do them all similarly enough that the editor can cut from close up to medium shot to a two-shot and have it look like it was all one take. Yes, the magic happens in editing, but even editing has its limits.

If you want to learn more about how vignette training videos can work for your organization — and want a video production company with the right connections for top-notch actors — contact Denver Film & Digital today at ssealy@denverfilmdigital or 303-274-9319.

 




As a business leader, it’s likely that you’ve heard of the need for perfecting your 30-second elevator speech. And while there are scenarios where that’s all you need — dinner parties, networking events, when you’re literally riding in an elevator with someone chatty — you know there’s so much more to your organization than what you cover in those 30 seconds.

It’s the same when creating marketing videos for your business, nonprofit or foundation. At Denver Film & Digital, we will happily produce a one- or two-minute centerpiece video giving your audience the basics on your organization. But what’s even more powerful is when we can take the time to produce multiple videos that cover each aspect of your organization and what it does, helping you to connect with your audience stronger and more clearly.

Not only does this allow you to get into the details with viewers without forcing them to “sit through a long film” about your organization while you hope they care enough to make it to the end, but it gives you control to share details about specific facets of your business on your terms.

When you break down the various parts of your organization across multiple videos, you:

have flexibility in what you want to share on social media, allowing you to pair a video with a written post covering something specific instead of a general message about your organization.

  • can have multiple videos on your website, using each video to supplement relevant copy on a particular page.
  • may have ready-made videos for when you want to create online video ads
  • have videos prepared when you want to share a specific topic with a prospective client, donor or investor.
  • can cover more virtual space online with multiple videos while increasing the chance that you’ll pique someone’s interest. After all — while one specific part of your business may interest someone, it might not be prominent in your centerpiece video and they might pass you by. That’s not good!

When our clients opt for multiple videos to show different parts of their business, some opt to use testimonial snippets while others have their experts explain specific topics.

For The Paisley Project, a Denver-based nonprofit that supports widows, we did one centerpiece video that explained why the organization was created. From the initial half-day shoot, we had enough material to go into more depth about individual programs and specific topics including coaching, a book club and retreats. Each of these videos shares more about The Paisley Project, and helps viewers and potential clients connect to the organization and the women it helps. One video even addresses the reluctance a widow may have for joining Paisley, and we hear from women who overcame their reluctance and how they benefitted from doing so.

Whether your organization’s services or products are simple or complex, there are always benefits to going into more depth with multiple videos.

To discuss your organization’s options for marketing videos, contact Denver Film & Digital today at 303-274-9319 or ssealy@denverfilmdigital.com.




It’s an exciting time for DFD and our clients. Not only do we have a spiffy new full-length green screen (link to green screen post) that can take our video subjects anywhere, but we also have a newly minted, cutting edge 4K camera, a Canon XC15.

Known as Ultra High Definition, the 4K camera has a significantly higher resolution (Filmora.wondershare.com) than the standard 1080p, or High Definition, cameras, and that means greater detail and efficiency in video production.

The nitty gritty is that it’s a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels compared to 1920 x 1080 pixels, meaning the 4K contains almost four times as many pixels at a 16:9 aspect ratio as a 1080p does. If you’re asking what a pixel is or what it means for your screen, TechRadar breaks it down:

Think of your TV like a grid, with rows and columns. A full HD 1080p image is 1080 rows high and 1920 columns wide. A 4K image approximately doubles the numbers in both directions, yielding approximately four times as many pixels total. To put it another way, you could fit every pixel from your 1080p set onto one quarter of a 4K screen.

So what does this mean for you with Denver Film & Digital? Great things for quality and efficiency!

Because there is so much detail packed in to each 4K shot, it means we can zoom in on a shot and retain fantastic detail that we couldn’t with a 1080p camera. This is especially valuable in video shoots that use a teleprompter.

Before, to get both medium and close-up shots, we’d need to shoot the script twice, because the teleprompter is right in front of the camera lens, but you can’t look at two cameras at once. The super-high resolution of the 4K camera allows us to shoot a medium shot and zoom in during the edit process to get the close-up shot, without sacrificing detail.

Because it’s all done in one continuous shot instead of two, there’s no concern for interruption in the inflections of you’re speaking, so everything looks and sounds natural. All signs point to 4K being here to stay too, so producing footage in 4K is a smart move to future-proof your videos.

For video production with the newest cutting edge technology and tools, contact Denver Film & Digital at ssealy@denverfimdigital.com or 303-274-9319.

 




You’re familiar with green screen, right? The now-ubiquitous technology that lets the person on camera appear to be anywhere in the world (or beyond)? What you’ve probably also come to expect as the norm — outside of action movies, at least — is the video being shot from the waist up with the subject sitting stationary. But that’s just the beginning of what green screen technology is capable of. That’s why, at Denver Film & Digital, we are thrilled to tell you that we’ve got the newest technology that lets us film green screen video showing — you guessed it — legs!

We’re totally geeking out over our new green screen that allows the virtual location of a video to go beyond the shoulders to include the ground. But it’s about more than Steef just loving any new video tech that he can get his hands on; it’s about giving you endless options for an economical yet professional video where there is no limit to the locations you choose.

The new green screen means that you don’t need to build a set or be anywhere particularly compelling to look like you are right where you want to be. You can look like you are sitting or standing in literally any setting you want to be in for your marketing or music videos. Take our friend Ed Atkinson of Liberty Home Loans. In his marketing, he describes himself as his clients’ “mortgage Sherpa,” so we had some fun putting him in a fitting setting to create unexpected videos that are sure to make him stand out above other mortgage brokers.

The green screen is especially valuable if you want to produce marketing videos for your business or nonprofit, but have a small or less-than-interesting workspace. With our special technology and know-how, we can put you in the midst of an entire set of your choosing, whether that be outer space or another office space.

If you want to keep it simple, your video can have a clean and sleek white background, which is great for a modern website style and lets the edges of the video blend in with your site’s page for a seamless look. The options really are endless.

While green screen lets you look like you’re on location, shooting video with this technology is convenient because you don’t have to scout for locations or travel to them, and you can have endless options for where it looks like you are, yet the cost is no more than if the video were actually shot on location.

To learn more about our fancy new green screen and what it can mean for you and your organization, contact us today at ssealy@denverfimdigital.com or 303-274-9319.

 




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!