Wednesday, March 4, 2015

National Geographic's "Wild to Inspire" competition ignores its own contest rules

Just a note to other filmmakers about National Geographic... National Geographic published an extension to their "Wild to Inspire 2" video competition. The rules, as published on their site and clarified on, stated that entries needed to be posted by Feb 9 at 12pm. This was clearly written on the vimeo site where entries were added. My own entry was posted at 11:40 am on February 9th. Two of the finalists chosen not only were entered well after 12:00pm on February 9th anywhere in the continental US - and in fact, would have been posted on Feb 10. Its nice to see that National Geographic, a supposedly highbrow operation that caters to the elite of environmental media, has revealed itself to be little more than a joke when it comes to running a respectable and rule-based competition. Visiting their vimeo page now shows that all of those rules about entry times have since been eliminated... obviously so that they could select two of the late entries. Way to go Nat Geo.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

Burn - a new music video from director John Eccher

Dimestore Studio Productions is putting the finishing touches on a music video for director John Eccher. The alchemy of dramatic black and white imagery, mixed with creative editorial provided by DSP, creates an evocative storybook of places both near and distant to accompany the compelling lyrics and bluesy rock. Watch out for BURN, from artist Drew Dicamillo, coming soon...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New Sponsors announced

Dimestore Studio is pleased to announce the addition of two new sponsors for this final leg of production for "Putting the Pieces Together" in Australia.

First, Bigblue lighting has been kind enough to provide a multitude of first-rate LED lighting for underwater use. Whether its their 15,000 lumen or 200 lumen video light, the beams are even, color accurate, and have a punchiness that is truly amazing for underwater use.

Second, Kodak/JK Imaging have provided a number of their new Propix SP 360 action cams for use in the film. The SP360 is a game-changer, allowing a full 360 degree panoramic video in a package small enough to mound anywhere. For the first time, detailed video from inside the reef can be achieved - no small feat. And this camera does it beautifully.

Check out the "Putting the Pieces Together" production blog to learn more about the SP360, and Bigblue lighting.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What makes for a successful Web Video campaign?

Most business owners have learned the importance of the web in commerce. First, there is the obligatory website that has to be your best foot forward. Then there are the social media nodes for promotion, as well as a host of practical applications that companies regularly use. Google docs and Adobe's cloud services are increasingly integrated into business workflows. Most web pages themselves are made up from information taken from a multitude of other sources, such databases and photo galleries. That's the secret of the web, whether you are speaking of it a global sense or even in the workings of a single dynamic page  - its layers of tightly integrated information.

That's the same thought that should be used when seeking a turnkey marketing campaign for the web - tight integration. At the top level, you have your videos; you may consider them to be little more than a way to showcase your products and services, but to have a truly meaningful customer interaction, they need to integrate with your products, your services, your mission, your brand message, and your customer's interests - with a script, video shots and editing. Simply showcasing your offering isn't enough; you need to effectively demonstrate the value of your business from every angle in comparison to your competition.

The correct deployment of the web videos also requires a high level of integration. The web is an amazing tool if used correctly, but is almost worthless unless attention is paid to its inter-related nature. The video serves to move your message independently on the hosting site - such as YouTube - as well as on your website, so it really serves a purpose on two sites, and needs to be treated accordingly. Both sites let you place keywords and phrases in the "metadata" - or hidden information - that help your video and your website show up separately in a web searches related to your business. Videos can also be embedded into social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, adding yet another way to extend the reach of your brand.

All these linkages - from content to webpage, from webpage to social media - are like the strands of a spiderweb, and one of the reasons the internet is seen as a "web."  Your content needs to be accessible so potential clients can find your product or service through a number of online routes. Think of them as a the proverbial trail of breadcrumbs, leading customers to your website and your door. The second is that the use of these active links helps to increase visibility in search engine results, effectively melding content and brand management into a single requirement.

Search engines have been the key that made the internet a true marketplace. After only ten years of general accepted use, when customers are looking for something very specific, the first place they turn for research is the internet search engines. This translates into having an already captive audience being shown the path to your door. Search engines are still a more powerful marketing tool than social media; more than 80% of computer users in a recent survey say they used search engines to research or make on a purchase, while less than 10% used social media for the same.

Advertising money for social networks is much better spent on solid content creation that can engage those customers as they do their research, shared across platforms (such as mobile), and leveraged for additional non-web uses (kiosk or window displays, trade shows, b2b networks, DVD giveaways, etc). You can always embed promotional videos on Facebook or Twitter, leveraging the power of what social media does best to expand your brand presence online and help retain clients - but don't confuse it with worthwhile advertising. Its just one of many roads that should lead those surfing purchasing research to your website.

One of the best ways to boost performance of an e-commerce site (whether just for promotion or actual sales) is to add unique content that is linked to a number of other sites. Video is the single best method to achieve that level of success. First, its placement and embedding in multiple locations means you have established links that becoming "meaningful" to search engines whenever they are used.

Second, the most practical way to successfully outwit negative reviews and posts is by flooding the web with content related to your business, utilizing as many active links as possible. Over time, the aggregation of your own positive content will drown out the loud, negative reviews that sites like Yelp love to publish as a way to encourage their ransom-like service fee. These debilitating reviews are often caused by a single, disgruntled customer with a grudge. Why allow them the power to ruin your otherwise respected business, or feel forced to pay off a review company, when you can instead keep them at bay with an investment in positive, rich, brand-enhancing content that achieves the same effect while continuing to promote your brand?

Third, the longer someone stays on your businesses' site, the better your chances at converting them to a paying customer. The more engaging, interesting, and sensory fulfilling your offering, the longer they loiter. Professionally produced videos invite strangers in and make them comfortable, receptive to your message and curious to learn more. They encourage interest and hold your audience - which translates to more customers! Cut-rate or DIY videos often have the opposite effect, no matter the best intentions. The distractions of poor quality, bad audio, overused effects, or simply uninteresting presentation undermine your message with a negative user experience.

Good internet asset management is a major key to internet success, and Dimestore Studio Productions will help achieve the maximum results for your internet video campaign. Whether its maintaining brand consistency across video platforms for maximum exposure, generating effective keyword collections, or weaving a tightly integrated web campaign that leaves no stone unturned, our deep understanding of media, message, and content delivery will help your brand achieve exceptional results with promotional videos.

Making broadcast quality videos for your campaign is only part of the equation; helping you to maximize your message really brings the butter to the bread. That's what Dimestore does.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Now that I can make HD movies on my phone, should I make my own videos for my company webpage?

High-resolution video cameras are becoming ubiquitous on everyday portable electronics - even eyeglasses and watches. The latest tablets have sensors that surpass resolutions that were considered cutting edge only four years ago. Its never been easier to make decent-quality HD video anywhere your phone travels. Add inexpensive or (as in the case of iMovie) free editing software, and home movies become small cinematic presentations.

With all these tools accessible to the small- or medium-sized business owner in pocket-size convenience, does it makes sense to start making "selfie" marketing videos for internet distribution and website promotions?

The short answer is no. Your professional image is too critical to the success of your business, no matter the venue.

Would you try to build your own neon sign, tailor your own business suit, or repair your smile when you chip a tooth? Unless you actually work in these professions, probably not. That's because its vital to portray your brand with the highest attention paid to professional detail, whether it's your shingle, your suit, or your smile. Unless, of course, you don't want to harness the most powerful small-business tool for captivating potential clients.

The power of the world wide web as a marketing tool is a subject for another day. Suffice it to say that when potential customers are using search engines to find the goods you sell or services you provide, they are already a highly targeted audience ready to buy - its just a matter of convincing them your brand is superior.  That is an impossible task to do with distracting, meandering, sub-par homemade videos.

Its shocking how many business owners fail to recognize the importance web videos play in attracting new customers. This is especially true in the service industry, where people use the internet to research each competitor before making their choice. For that comparison, its imperative you have the right video tools to separate and elevate your brand against all comers.

A static website can explain your services, give pricing, show photos of your practice, facilities, bios and certifications - all of which are important to convey. But it's passive. Video is not only engaging, but it has three lives - it can be incorporated into a website, sits in YouTube's domain, and has an organic life in search engines. Its like getting a three-for-one bonus for every video you include that is compelling enough to get viewers. But that little edge in content aggregation and search indexing can be lost if your videos aren't engaging enough for people to watch.

These videos also wind up serving as a more powerful calling card than the webpage that hosts it. A client-in-waiting will remember your brand from a video with more emotional content and connection than with the slickest-looking website. Customers don't digest information through "cool"; it's conveyed best through accessible, easily understood, professional looking videos that make sure nothing distracts from your message.

The best way to unleash this potential is by using a professional company to handle your video needs as turnkey production. Do-it-yourself is fine for doing decks or installing a new toilet, but iPad video production can't replace the years of experience and know-how that producers and technicians can lend to your brand. What technology has done is make high-end production more accessible for the small business owner. Gone are the expenses of film production, with smaller, more agile crews and less expensive professional HD systems opening the door for affordable, end-to-end broadcast-quality  video production.

Dimestore Studio Productions is about to launch special web promotional packages that lets small businesses cash in on web-video marketing by providing multiple, targeted methods of using media to positively impact your brand while attracting a larger audience to your business. For a reasonable entry-level cost, with a la carte options and more extensive package options available, Dimestore Studio will develop a campaign for you, including end-to-end production that covers development, scripting, production, editing, custom graphics, animation, and royalty-free music, all in full HD (so it may be leveraged for use in conferences/sales meetings or even cable TV commercials) and delivered via YouTube for embedding and furthering your brand among indexed searches.

Next up: Elements of a solid web campaign