Less is more

We love learning from others.

Square has been innovating for the last few years and really disrupting the point of sale market.

So many of our clients are incredibly focused on saying everything they can in a video…

This is a great example of saying very little and letting the product speak for itself, by inference.

Whilst it’s beautifully shot, it’s the thinking behind it, which is the reason it works so well.

A new partnership

Life is all about working and interacting with great people, whether it’s friends, family or colleagues. In business, there is nothing more important than surrounding yourself with talented people who complement your own skill set. If you can find people who you also enjoy working with and who also share your values, then you’re set for life!

That’s exactly what we’ve managed to do.

Today, the 8:45TV team has formed a brand new partnership with HN Marketing, an agency focused on producing excellent written content from case studies to white papers.

With clients demanding content in different formats, the synergies are obvious. With a couple of successful collaborative projects already under our belt, it made complete sense to formalise how we work together. What’s also great is that we are based within a mile of each other too.

As Carey Hedges, Managing Director at HN puts it:

“Our two businesses have a shared passion for storytelling, so bringing the two together – combining our expertise in words and pictures – has to be a winner for everyone, the team and clients alike. This truly is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts and you can probably tell we are more than a little excited about it. Everyone is so enthusiastic about the opportunity and we are having a lot of fun delivering some fantastic work.”

We spoke to Mark Copeman, founder 8:45TV to get his thoughts on the new partnership:

Watch this video go viral

Three days ago (at the time of writing) one of the best marketing campaigns you’ll see this year was uploaded to YouTube and yes, it’s only February. Today, it’s generated 35,500 views. It’ll hit the millions before long.

Why?

It’s clever in its concept, would have taken weeks of planning to get it right and will generate 1000’s of column inches equivalent in goodwill and PR.

The true genius behind it is the fact they are making their competitors look foolish, but not in a nasty way.

There’s no special effects, Hollywood movie stars or celebrity voiceover. They have relied on total simplicity (thanks to a touch of genius) to deliver a message.

The other thing that is so clever, and we try so hard to get our clients to do, is that the message couldn’t be simpler. It’s just THREE WORDS!

DHL IS FASTER.

What can we learn from this?

We often get asked whether we can make a ‘viral video’. No one can.

Instead, we should all be focusing on agreeing one, simple message… something you want to be remembered for and focusing all energies on that one message. Stop with the detail. There are other mechanisms for detail. Video should be helping to start conversations… giving people enough to be interested, to find out more, to drive web traffic. That’s the time to unleash the detail.

What’s really strange, is that as of this date, this genius video isn’t on the DHL site. I wonder whether that’s deliberate.

Anyhow, enjoy…

Telling customer stories for Colt

Whilst we spend a lot of time working to our programme formats – white screen / virtual studio etc – sometimes it’s nice to give the team something different to get their teeth into.

As we say so often, starting with a clean sheet of paper when it comes to video, is one of the hardest things you can do. I was reluctant to take this on at first (as our lovely client will tell you!) however she persuaded me it was doable.

After a LOT of research, a lot of ‘cutting room floor activity’ and a lot of opinion from both our side and the client’s, we delivered what I now consider to be a very stylish piece, telling a customer story in a very different way. Personally, I do feel it’s 30 seconds too long and I would have shortened the script, given the choice,  however agency life is about compromise!

I’d like to congratulate our client for getting this pushed through the business and I’d like to thank my team for doing such a great job and being so patient.

See what you think…

Time for a change

When I started the business 4 years ago, it was me and a camera or two (hence using my personal email address). Today, things have changed a LOT! We now have an incredibly talented team in place and are taking on projects which are more and more ambitious. It’s therefore time for me to change my role slightly… Whilst this won’t happen overnight – the plan is that I spend more time developing briefs and ideas with clients, and let the team focus more on the actual delivery… rather than me attempting to manage the whole process. There’s too much going on now. We’re growing quickly and so it’s time to focus where I’m best.

Once a month or so I’m going to keep you uptodate with what we’re up to – share ideas / inspiration and hopefully spark some ideas. If you’d rather not read my wafflings – feel free to unsubscribe below.

New team members

I’m delighted to welcome Adrian Pike to the team who will be taking a big weight from my shoulders, managing projects both pre and post production. He brings with him a wealth of experience and having been client side for many years, totally gets what clients need. He is already stuck into his first couple of projects and I hope you get to meet the handsome devil very soon.

In addition, Mick Sylvester joins the team as an ex-BBC and ex-Sky cameraman and video producer and director. He is also stuck in to his first project already and will no doubt become a tremendous asset for the team.

A change of role

Many of you know and have worked with Richard Spindler over the last few months. Richard will continue to be involved in our filming projects, however he has also been working hard behind the scenes on managing projects with clients. I wanted to publicly thank him for his efforts and let everyone know he will be continuing with bigger projects over the coming months. It’s become a real passion of his and frankly he’s rather good at it.

Research and development

I’m also excited to announce that one of the members of the team, the ridiculously creative Oliver Truswell is taking a couple of months out to do some research and development. We know how many of you love the virtual studio work we do… We’re aiming to push the boundaries even further later in the year, with more virtual camera movement and more efficient builds to make it look even more like a BBC production. (Think Match of the Day). We’ll be sharing experiments on the 845TV blog over the next few weeks. I’m really looking forward to see what comes from this.

New partnerships and partnerships

We’re delighted to have signed a new partnership agreement with a new IT business in one of my favourite places in the world, Dubai… Cognatio Systems will be selling our video production services around the Middle East – focusing on training in the IT space – I’m really looking forward to seeing things progress… We’ve almost finished our first big project in the region for a large fashion retail chain… 4 hours of customer service retail training will be delivered using video only from March – saving trainers from flying around the region to talk to small groups. Now, their virtual academy will do the delivering for them – wherever and whenever it’s needed. We hope to release highlights soon.

Talking of training – we’re really focused on IP phones at the moment – with two different projects underway… getting users up to speed with complex devices is what we do best… Again, we look forward to sharing when we can.

And finally

I’m really looking forward to getting out and about more, meeting more clients and prospects and doing what I enjoy most – developing ideas. If you want to discuss ideas, need help developing a concept do drop me a line.

Learning and Technologies conference speech

It was a real privilege today to be able to speak to 150 conference attendees at Europe’s largest Learning Technologies conference on the subject of Video in Learning.

It was a very quick overview on some of the practical aspects of producing video for learning.

There is a link to the presentation I gave here and some of the resources I talk about below…

At some point, I hope to be able to stream the actual presentation video itself.

#1 Keep up or be left behind

iPad bed stand http://amzn.to/1i81DUQ

#2 Start small and have a vision

#3 Get it right on paper

Click to download a storyboard – one example module from a 20 module retail customer service course.

#4 Essential hardware

Example softbox lights: http://ebay.eu/1gnlHFh

Mark’s recommended webcam: http://amzn.to/owLB0W

Mark’s recommended camcorder (for interviews etc)  http://amzn.to/1i85nFK

#5 Essential software

Video editing http://www.avs4you.com/

VLC media player http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

Audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net

Photoshop alternative http://www.getpaint.net/

#6 It’s all about the audio

AudioJungle http://bit.ly/1gnlPEI

Mark’s recommended USB mic: http://amzn.to/vOT7vS

Mic stand arm http://amzn.to/1aFmP4Q

Pop shield http://amzn.to/19Zp8z4

 

 #7 Start with an interview

Various styles and examples here

#8 Screencams are effective

iCloud video referenced on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1a-KHQG0n4

Screenr: www.screenr.com

Jing: www.techsmith.com/jing/

Camtasia Studio: http://amzn.to/1f9iB2m  (slightly cheaper on Amazon than their own product site!)

#9 Broadcasting to the masses

www.jwplayer.com

http://wordpress.org/plugins/fv-wordpress-flowplayer/

http://vimeo.com/plus

Amazon S3 – http://aws.amazon.com/s3/

 #10 Getting noticed

https://placeit.net

Link to product screen mockup templates http://bit.ly/1b1yjx8

#11 Just start!

File conversion site: www.zamzar.com

A brand new animation style

Delighted today to release a brand new animation we’ve just developed for the amazing Customer Satisfaction survey service, Customer Thermometer.

As ever, it was scripted and storyboarded carefully and then we produced a set of visuals. When the client was happy with the look and feel, we then went ahead and recorded the voiceover and finished the post-production.

We’re being asked more and more to produce animated pieces – this showcases our capabilities – we hope you agree it’s a great piece of work!