When you use video on your website, you have a powerful tool that can increase the popularity of your web pages. Whether you want to earn money, share your knowledge or increase page views, you can use video to create a dynamic web site the attracts and keeps visitors.
1. Use Video to Enhance Your Website
Use video to turn a static website into a dynamic, interactive destination. There are many types of videos you can use to enhance your website, including:
A website tour that tells visitors what they cdan find on the website, and where it is
A virtual tour that lets web visitors see what your physical location is like
2. Use Video to Demonstrate a Product or Activity
How-to videos are some of the most popular videos on the web, and businesses can use them to educate customers. There are many ways to use video to educate customers on how to use your product, and also save time and money on customer service.
Use video to demonstrate how to install or set up your product
Use video to show your product in action
Use video to train clients and staff remotely
3. Use Video to Share Your Expertise
Many businesses have created a marketing niche for themselves by using video to establish their expertise on a particular topic.
Create educational videos that provide visitors with in-depth information related to your industry
Produce a video newscast updating viewers on the latest headlines in your field of work
Aggregate and publish other expert videos related to your topic
4. Use Video to Drive Traffic to Your Website
Search engines love video, and with proper video SEO, you can use video to drive lots of traffic to your website.
Use targeted keywords when titling and tagging your videos
Create a variety of videos, each focusing on a different search term
Use multiple video sharing sites to increase links back to your main website
5. Use Video to Earn Money
If you have the right content and access to the right audience, you can use video to earn substantial money from your website. Some ways to use video to earn money include:
Charge visitors to download informational or entertainment videos
Place advertising on video pages
Sell sponsorship for a popular video podcast
6. Use Video to Promote a Sale or Special Event
Just as many companies create a special ad to let customers know about an upcoming sale, you can use video to advertise specials on your website:
Use video to show off new products you’re selling
Include promo codes within videos to reward viewers
Use video to notify customers of upcoming specials
7. Use Video to Give Your Business a Personal Face
It’s easy to use video give a human face to your corporate website. Some ways to use video to communicate with web viewers include:
A short video welcoming visitors to your website
Profile videos that introduce your executives and employees
Customer testimonial videos that communicate your company’s value
8. Use Video to Engage Customers With Your Brand
You can use video as an interactive medium to get consumers engaged with and excited about your brand. After all, you don’t have to be the one producing the videos, many customers will be happy to do it for you!
Start a video contest to promote your brand
Ask users to upload videos of themselves using your product
Invite users to embed your videos on their own web pages
9. Use Video to Encourage Regular Visits to Your Website
You can use video to get people to come back to your website over and over again. By providing regular, quality content, visitors will come back again and again to see what new videos you’re offering.
Produce daily (or weekly) video podcasts with timely information
Use videos to promote events and recent activities at your business
10. Use Video to Stand Out From the Competition
Web video is becoming more and more widespread, but there are still many industries that don’t use video as a common practice. If your competitors don’t yet use video, you’ll be able to set yourself apart by using video on your website.
Add a video to your business listing in online directories
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Is Sony taking lessons from the newer cinema companies in their marketing strategy? It started as a tweet, then an announcement webpage went up to announce the announcement, then a store offered a preorder page for what they are assuming is a camera. Within 24 hours it has turned into a circus of cryptic details about the “new f” mixed with speculation and rumors.
Before I get into the announcement rumor mill, let me tangent on Sony’s marketing strategy. As I just pointed out, seems they are doing a little of what RED and Canon did to muster hype about their newest offerings…but alas because of the following statement on their announcement of the announcement page…I’m thinking that’s not the case. Here’s what they said:
"...we don’t believe in simply shouting to everyone and anyone.
We want to tell those who want to hear."
Why in the name of all things would they not want to shout it on a mountaintop? This is the exact problem of the F3 in that clients and producers haven’t ever heard of it…but drop buzzwords like 5d, RED, and C300 and they start watering at the mouth. That’s because RED and Canon BELIEVED in simply SHOUTING TO EVERYONE AND ANYONE…that’s why they are enormously popular! I don’t get it. Okay…end of rant.
So what will this new offering be? We will find out in 14 days. But man it’s fund to speculate.
Here’s what we know about this new camera:
1) It will be somewhere in the vast expanse between the F3 and F65.
2) It addresses many of the feature requests Sony entertained from F3 users.
3) It is a camera.
This is what else we know about Sony:
1) Sony is not above placing existing advanced sensors in cheaper bodies. (F3 sensor in FS100)
2) 4k is a very real competitive market right now.
3) The F3 is due for a replacement according to the historic release dates.
4) the F3 is at its limit for any profound firmware updates.
5) there is a huge gap in the Sony 4k offerings between the fs700 and the F65, and the price point is near F3 territory.
6) They have entertained suggestions on F3 improvements, which include (and seem to be the most popular requests) 50mbps internal codec, RAW output, faster framerates, viewfinder, ergonomics, menu structure, and build quality.
1) They will be announcing a camera near the F3 original price point with the F65 sensor, i bet it will be called the F4k…or they may stick to skipping over the Japanese bad-luck number and make it the F5.
2) With a compressed codec at 50mbps 1080p 4:2:2 to internal cards, more or less the same s-log and 1.5g and 3G dual link outputs, ability to send out 4k RAW to their simoultaneously announced 4k raw recorder (that can be used on the F4k and the fs700).
3) The 1080p shooting would have more advanced fs700 framerates without buffer restrictions, but the 4k option framerates will fall short at no more than 60i.
4) Better menu structure.
5) The camera will be ergonomical, better mounting options, and look more like a modular “cinema camera” with a viewfinder congruent to that ideology.
So there you have it. I for one am glad I don’t have to wait very long to see this announcement, even though we have no idea when the camera itself will be released. I just hope Sony would see the success RED and Canon had with their announcements and would follow suit. I believe Sony to be at the top of digital cinema, but unfortunately that isn’t the only factor when you are trying to get hired by people who never hear about their products. Of course I could be completely wrong on my prediction…but it sure is fun to speculate! I’ll come back and post a followup with the actual specs after the announcement.
We are starting to see some footage and hands-on reviews popping up as the Blackmagic Cinema Camera enters the market. One of the best overviews I’ve seen is this one: http://www.moviemachine.tv/video/shooting-with-the-blackmagic-cinema-camera/48431007/. I recommend giving it a watch if you’re interested in this camera.
So far what I’ve seen is impressive. Impressive in its simplicity and price, along with the images and the fact it shoots raw. Seems like the ideal camera.
But Blackmagic decided that they would use a smaller-than-4/3 sensor for several technical reasons and the fact that it would make the camera more expensive. They have hinted that this camera is only the first and that there will be more.
If you are stuck on the fact that the sensor is much smaller than the industry popular APS-C sensor…which will telephoto-ize most of your existing lenses and reduce depth of field effects, then perhaps you should hold onto your money. Or maybe get the camera and shell out more money on wider lenses and sell your 400mm Canon.
So how much of a difference really does shooting on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera make in your lenses’ field of view? I pulled out my iPhone and loaded the Artemis Directors Viewfinder (recently updated to include the BMCC) to do a few comparisons against an APS-C sensor camera (in this case the Sony F3).
So are the differences extreme enough to make you pass on this camera? Would love to hear some thoughts.
New “LOG” type flat gamma profile perfects for grading, with in-camera look-up-table.
After rigorous testing, the battle-hardened “CPF-LOG Picture Profile for the Sony NEX-FS100″ is ready for the public. We have done quite a bit of research on what exactly each menu item in the picture profile settings do and what how we can manipulate them, to achieve the best desired looks after minimal and/or extensive color grading.
8-BIT AVCHD COMPRESSION
The Sony NEX-FS100 is an 8-bit camera that is compressed quite heavily. Though a robust and very efficient codec, AVCHD video clips are not meant to be pushed very far in the grade. The result could mean enhanced aliasing, moiré, “mosquito noise,” and other undesirable issues. We found out early on that a dramatically flat picture profile is NOT the way to go. But there IS a safe medium, and we believe we found it.
DESIGNED FOR COLOR GRADING
The CPF-LOG profile is designed to maintain highlight and shadow detail and also a pleasing color gamut that grades very nicely whether you do alot of grading or a quick fast-color correction. This profile is created as a part of a workflow that is setup for color grading in post. IF YOU DO NOT INTEND ON COLOR GRADING IN POST, THIS PROFILE IS NOT FOR YOU. In the very least, it is recommended that you correct the black and white levels, pull the middle grey down to around 35-40%, and adjust saturation to taste.
One of the biggest and most unique features of the CPF-LOG Profile we wanted to include is a LUT (Look-Up-Table) that can be used in tandem with each other on the set. A LUT is designed to give the camera operator or any other viewer on set the ability to see a preview image of the video with a filmlike gamma curve and color setting applied. A LUT is NOT intended for actual grading. Even if you wanted to, applying a LUT to footage as a final grade defeats the whole purpose of shooting a LOG image and color grading in the first place. A LUT can also be use to apply to dailies and other temporary files. We do not currently have a LUT to apply to clips outside the camera, but hope to have something you could apply on the fly for dailies or editing proxies. <UPDATE: LUT FOR PREMIERE/PC USERS, (Lut Buddy not needed)>
First, you want switch the camera profile to the CPF-LOG IN-CAM LUT. This is what you use to light your scene, expose your shot, set your ISO, set your color temperature, and any other settings. It’s important NOT to adjust any of the profile settings, as they BOTH designed to match perfectly. An adjustment to the LUT and not the LOG profile will result in improper exposures and/or color. You should also switch to the LUT when showing clients and other crew members (like makeup) so they can see a more accurate color/contrast rendition of the scene. It’s also a good idea to switch back and forth to the LOG profile because it will show any possible details you may have missed…but you DO NOT want to use the log profile to adjust exposures/lighting, etc. It is also recommended you set your ZEBRAS to 100% and if you see them show up on highlights, stop down/adjust ISO or shutter until they are almost about to disappear. When you switch to the LOG profile the highlights will be exposed properly and have enough information for grading. You will also notice the shadows get brighter when you switch to the LOG profile. Resist the temptation to stop down! If the shadows look good with the LUT, then trust that the colorist will have the necessary information to play with them. If you stop down or otherwise adjust exposure when looking at the LOG profile…you WILL end up under exposing the shot. Trust in the LUT. Expose to the LUT. Record to LOG. These are the rules to live by when using these profiles.
After you have set your exposures, run rehearsals, and other adjustments switch over to the CPF-LOG Profile before rolling the camera. Don’t forget to switch over! Tell your support crew to remind you to switch over just in case. Also don’t send us angry emails because you got in trouble by recording takes using the LUT. Believe us, we wish there was a way to force-record to a dedicated profile. After awhile you’ll probably find yourself switching over to the LUT periodically to check exposure and lighting, then switching right back to the CPF-LOG just to be safe. That’s what we do and it works fine.
WHY YOU DON’T WANT TO SHOOT SUPER-DUPER FLAT IN 8-BIT AND GRADE IN POST: vimeo.com/23067790
CPF-LOG*After setting exposure and lighting, switch to this profile and record...
Black Level: +8
Color Level: 0
Color Phase: -5
Filter Type: LB-CC
LB [ColorTemp]: -3
R Gain: -1
B Gain: +1
Detail (No Manual): -7
CPF-LOG (In-Cam LUT)*Use this profile while setting exposure and lighting. Not intended to be recorded, just a preview..
Black Leve: -8
Color Level: +4
Color Phase: -4
Filter Type: LB-CC
LB [ColorTemp]: -3
R Gain: -1
B Gain: +1
Detail (No Manual): 0
It’s been awhile since I made a reel, so I figured what better time than at the start of the new year?
I’ve seen what feels like thousands of demo reels. There’s a lot of differing opinions on what should be in a reel or how inclusive of different titles/jobs it should entail. I guess I could make a separate DP reel, editing reel, directing reel, and corporate reel, and any other reel that would fit particular titles. But in my experience, most of my clients…whether they be companies, agencies, directors, or Mr. Joe-Blow-Make-Me-A-Film… just want to see how my abilities to create compelling visuals stacks up to others.
And that leads me to our underlying ideology at Crooked Path Films: We strive for cinematic storytelling whether shooting internal corporate films, tv spots, motion pictures, or anything else for that matter. The videos I selected are ones we created that I believe have strongest emotional visuals to convey that ideology. Whether I’m looking to take on another corporate client, get hired as a director by an agency, or a DP by another production company…this reel is what I believe they need to see.
Selected works include:
“The Key,” Director: Jim Blumetti, DP/Editor: Richard Allen Crook
“Transforming Mobile Devices,” Director: Richard Allen Crook, DP James Burgess, Client: Texas Instruments
“Dealy,” Director/DP/Editor: Richard Allen Crook
“Harley Davidson TV Spot,” Director: B. Haymer Coleman, DP/Editor: Richard Allen Crook
“Courage,” Director: William Booth, DP/Editor: Richard Allen Crook
Music is “Another Day On The Terrace” by Sunlounger.
I had the chance to try out the Atomos Ninja with the Sony NEX FS-100. It seems the jury is out as to whether adding the near $1000 device to the camera kit is worth the purchase or not. There are three areas I wanted to test with the FS100:
Is recording to the less-compressed Prores 4:2:2 look better or worse than the AVCHD in terms of overall picture quality, judging:
Is recording to the less-compressed Prores 4:2:2 improve results when post color grading,
Is recording to the less-compressed Prores 4:2:2 improve the ability to chroma-key in post.
Working with the touchscreen
OBSTACLES OF THE NINJA/FS100 PAIRING:
I wanted to run down some of the obstacles when using the Ninja with the FS100. The Ninja only records 1080i 50fps or 60fps. The interlaced and high framerate does not remove any information when shooting in 23.98 or 29.97, but rather sort-of duplicates the information to fill up the other frames. This requires you to remove pulldown in post. Also the LANC control doesn’t work with the FS100 nor can it read the camera’s timecode.
OVERALL PICTURE QUALITY. It seems there is no difference in compression artifacting, INCLUDING when there is high movement or quick pans…which is where you usually see this phenomena. Obviously you can’t see the result of movement in the photos below but believe me, I whipped the camera around all over and it’s amazing how well the AVCHD held up. I couldn’t see any difference at all whatsoever. Now there is a noticeable difference in the noise level, but surprisingly not in Prores’ favor. The noise amount appears to be the same, but the noise structure in the Prores version seem larger and more like video noise than the AVCHD which is smaller and more grain-like. At first I interpreted the footage incorrectly in Premiere and it appeared that the Ninja Prores had severe aliasing…but it turns out that was my own mistake and I see that there is no difference in the “stair-stepping” between the two codecs.
I dropped equal “fast color corrector” settings on each clip, mainly pushing the contrast way past acceptable levels to really see what happens to each image. This SHOULD bring out the worst in any 8bit codec an this should be no different. As seen below in the images, there is no banding in the gradients on the walls nor sky (sorry my sensor was very dirty…I cleaned it right after this test!). If this was DLSR footage there would be horrible banding occuring so this is a great testament to the AVCHD coded and Prores alike…but unfortunately there is no additional benefit to Prores in this test as they both equally handle contrast equally.
I did a simple chroma key on a greenscreen using something I think would pose issues…a poinsetta with red and green leaves. Even the foil wrap is green. I pulled it into Premiere and applied the EXACT same settings using ultrakey and both keyed perfectly fine with no difference at all. Even as I blow it up 500% and look at the edges and detail, I can see where the foil got keyed out in the shiny parts in the Prores file but it’s very very minuscule and could be easily adjusted using the settings in the ultrakeyer but I wanted to keep the setting exactly the same to show how close the two clips are as far as how easy it is to key.
I really really really REALLY wanted the Ninja, and more importantly the Prores less-uncompressed codec, to hold up better in terms of the criteria I outlined above. But in every way, the AVCHD held up much better if not the same. I will say, however, that the Prores seems to play nicer with Premiere, but that’s another topic for another time! All in all, I will probably be returning The Ninja. It may very well be great for other cameras or applications, but I don’t feel in my opinion that it improves footage from the FS100…in fact I believe it does the opposite.
CLICK HERE for the screengrab .tif files so you can see a non-compressed image. Warning: these files are very big. Each files is marked as “Shot A, B, C” and the codec is marked “AVCHD or PRORES.” There are also the two chromakeyed screengrabs comparing the two codecs.
Oh my. Canon announced that it will be announcing something historic on November 3rd. What could it be? The announcement is in Hollywood, so no doubt it’ll be a new camera. Perhaps the 5dMkIII? Wide open camera is betting it will be a 4k 35mm CMOS camera around $15k. Any thoughts as to what it is? Regardless…we are in exciting times!
We filmmakers sometimes get caught up in what cameras were used to shoot various things. What it was edited on. What was used to color it. There are several high-exposure people/companies with well-done camera comparisons on the internet…some of the asking us to guess which camera was used to shoot the material. I make comparisons and try to decipher which camera is used all the time!
Besides it’s fun to compare…it’s in our nature to do so! 5D vs RED. ARRI vs. GENESIS. MAC vs. PC. FREDDY vs. JASON.
But sometimes I need to get back to the foundation of what I do and what inspires me.
Here are three short films every filmmaker should watch. You can do so while having your morning cup of joe, or right before tackling a project for some inspiration. Three short films that puts it into perspective, at least for me.
3 guys, 44 days, 11 countries, 18 flights, 38 thousand miles, an exploding volcano, 2 cameras and almost a terabyte of footage… all to turn 3 ambitious linear concepts based on movement, learning and food ….into 3 beautiful and hopefully compelling short films…..
So what camera were these shot on? A 5d? A RED? 35? iPhone? Its capturing the enjoyment of life. It’s all about what plucks the right nerve, and evokes emotion in the audience. The recipe of so many things to make one perfect dish.
6 months ago I was turned onto Leica lenses and decided to give them a try. Bump forward 1 month, and I had sold all my Canon and Zeiss glass for a full set of Leicas. I use them on Canon DSLRs and our new Sony NEX-FS100, and they can also be used on other CMOS cameras like the Sony F3, Panasonic AF100, and even the RED camera.
So what was so great about Leica R series lenses that made me make such a drastic move? I’m glad you asked!
CONTRAST: Leica R series lenses tend to be less contrasty than, say, Zeiss lenses…but they hold sharpness just as good. One could argue that the contrast in Zeiss glass is what makes them appear so sharp. By having an image that is less contrasty is great for someone who grades their footage in post like me, because there is more information to work with, and when contrast is added in post, that sharpness is enhanced beautifully.
WARM AND CREAMY: There’s a reason why Shane Hurlbut, ASC loves Leicas and sys they hold up on the big screen better than most other lenses. The sharp, low contrast is a big help but these lenses have a creamy look to them that just look filmic. They tend to push about 200 degrees to the warm side too. Besides, Panavision lenses are essentially Leica lenses wrapped in a cinema body.
BARREL DISTORTION: Anyone who’s shot down a hallway or through a door frame with some popular lenses have more than likely experienced barrel distortion. This happens when the optics in the lens tends to round the edges of the frame. The wider the lens, the more round the edges get. Leica’s do have distortion on the 16mm (extreme) but the other lenses seem to not have any issue.
BOKEH: Bokeh is the characteristics of the image that is out of focus. The Leica lenses all have stop-sign shaped bokeh due to the 6-blade iris.
BUILD: These lenses are typically older and made of metal, and built like tanks. They do not have modern coating in them so they tend to flare very easily…which I like since it’s a nice option for effect and I can always flag the lens to reduce this. They all come with a metal telescoping hood that helps too.
BREATHING: Many lenses “breathe” when you focus them, which is a term used to describe the slight zoom in/out that occurs. Leica lenses don’t do that as much…but it varies.
FOCUS THROW: On my Canon lenses, the focus throw is about 180 degrees around the lens, and the focus ring keeps spinning, not stopping when the focus hits infinity or macro. The focus throw on Leica lenses go about 340 degrees around the lens, have hard stops on them, and have a tight, fluid motion ideal for a follow focus.
MACRO FOCUS: Leicas are not good for macro focusing under approximately 10-12 inches from the lens.
TURNING LEICAS INTO CINEMA LENSES
FOCUS GEARS: Because of the long focus throw, I use “zip tie” focus gears that wrap tightly around the focus ring and are secured by two little zip-ties. You can purchase yours here. I don’t recommend using the plastic lens rings again because of the long throw.
DECLICK THE IRIS: This is something die-hard people do for their lenses, but it’s only useful of you plan to change iris settings WHILE shooting. Check out Duclose where you can send your Leicas and them converted. I don’t recommend trying this yourself!
ADAPTERS: There are many adapters out there. I have one of Leitax adapters on each of my Leica-r lenses and they’ve been great.
CANON DSLR COMPATIBILITY: The back element of Leica R lenses sit closer to the sensor than Canon glass, therefore you need to refer to this chart before purchasing to ensure the mirror will clear.
SHANE HURLBUT’S LEICA LIST: Read all the comments below this article…some great insight into the performance of Leica lenses from the POV of a Hollywood ASC!
Here’s a trailer for a western short film I shot with Leica-r lenses on a Canon 5dMkII: