Vietnamese TV show Trailer and Program Identity

 

Back in November I was contracted to develop the creative idea, direct, shoot and edit a Trailer and a Program Identity for a Vietnamese TV show about the everyday little things we can do to make life, the environment, pollution ect better.

It took me 1 day for shooting and 1 day of editing after I had an idea on what I wanted to do. Nothing fancy, clean, simple and to the point.

I headed out to get daily life scenes of Hanoi which was done with a mix of timelapse and regular footage. I wanted to show that even though we are all busy and hustling around the city it only takes one moment to make where we live that much better, which is basically what the TV program is about.

Everyone was happy with the results and the Trailer and Program Identity started playing on National TV back in December.

Trailer

Program Identity


 

3 – 5 min max!!

Tube Mogul Research

Tube Mogul Research

These days I do my fair share of videography / multimedia / photo film or whatever you want to call it. Probably more than the average photographer and I love all the creative options it offers in being able to tell a story .

That being said, if you do start to get into this type of work you will probably run into lots more paperwork, budgets, scripts, 20 page proposals and complicated production schedules than your average photography job. Another thing I also find, is that most of my clients think they get more value for their money if they have a longer film. i.e. 10 min or 30 min.

The problem with that idea is that most of my clients don’t show their video in a movie theater or on TV, it is shown via the web with all the distractions of email, Twitter and Facebook to steal their audience away from their video. Clients love the web because it is an extremely cost effective way to publish their video to the public and it has added benefits that TV can never have like viral dissemination to help spread their message to more people than they could reach by themselves.

Most clients think that everyone will of course want to watch their video because they are amazing and if they don’t, it’s because you didn’t do a good job.

Well …… sort of.

Most of us that are hired for this type of work know how to make something that isn’t total crap, which is why they hired us to start. Where you failed in doing your job was not in the content that you created but that you didn’t convince the client to change the length of the video to something more watchable online. So as you can see this is pretty dam important. If you don’t convince your client to change their epic film ideas to something more realistic and effective they might think you did a crap job even though you didn’t.

So how do you convince your client to change their 15 min epic corporate video to a 3-5 min video?

  1. Ask them when they last watched a video in full online? What kind of video was it? How long was it? If it was a corporate film or NGO film that is more than 5 min put it on in the office and wait to see how long it takes for someone to start talking. Most of the time I find people start talking in 2-3 min. AMAZING!! You prove your point right there.
  2. Next show them some independent marketing research to back up your professional opinion. This helps out a lot with skeptical clients.

Ok the first part is easy and may be enough to convince your client, but sometimes …. I know wait for it…. Clients are difficult. Shocker I know!!!

So now armed with some independent marketing research on online video length you can change their mind and earn some professional respect to boot. But wait! Where is this marketing research your telling me about??? Well it is below so stay with me.

Back in old 2008 a great photography professor at the University of San Francisco, Ken Kobre, found some companies that published their research about the length of time people will watch online videos. Now you won’t find this awesome research on his new site but thank god he didn’t delete his old blog and you can still see his informative blog post here: http://kobrechannel.blogspot.com/2009/01/whats-perfect-online-video-length.html

Now I wouldn’t tell a client that “Ken Kobre says this and that,” even though he is my hero for publishing this great post. I would point them or give them a link to Tube Mogul. Tube Mogul is the company that did the research and they would be the authority http://www.tubemogul.com/research/report/18

I also like the other research that Kobre found from another source but strangely enough their website doesn’t work anymore.

Finally, I have found some other peoples thoughts about this topic that is more current than 2008. Here are the quotes:

Jeff MisentiVP of Fox News Digital – “the drop-off (watching vid online) after 90 sec is pretty severe.”

Joel Schwartzberg, – A director at PBS digital – “[he] cites attention span of 3 minutes for video.”

Anyways, I hope this helps you out on your next web video project. If you have any comments, strategies or other research you use to convince your clients to change the length of their video, please share them below in the comments.

 

 

 

5D Mark II & Bhaya Cruises TVC

In September, the agency that represents me, Noi Pictures, contacted me about a new contract they got from Bhaya Cruise. The contract was to produce a TVC type film in 5 languages to promote their cruises.

When i first thought about this project I instantly thought that i should use my 5D Mark II to make it. I had used the camera to make a short video for Blue Dragon and i really liked the results and image quality. Now, keep in mind, there are many issues with using this camera, but i found (after a lot of research) a lot if not all the solutions to fixing these. With those issues in mind, me and Francois (my super agent) set out to shoot the most beautiful TVC we could do in 3 days.

I did have some great talent, Ruth and Issak who made my life so easy as i didn’t have to direct them too much. Surprisingly enough they had read the script (like actors are supposed to do) and knew what i was looking for. Thank god for them and for them being professional at their job.

A lot of people have asked me what equipment did i use to shoot this? Well i did not use much. I used my dolly and boom that i bought as well as a trusty tripod. Besides that, i used the motion of the boat to my advantage to get some nice shots and stuck to my storyboard.

Also, if you look carefully the sunset it is a time-lapse i shot with the camera. These are all still photos connected together to create a time-lapse shot. I think there were 1000 something photos to make this. I don’t recommend this to everyone as it reduces the life of your shutter, but for me it is worth it.

If anyone has any other questions about this shoot i am happy to answer them.

-Ehrin