My first Short Doc Attempt from 2015

2015 was my first time visiting the Collingwood Elvis Festival. As an aspiring documentary filmmaker, I wanted to go out and film the madness and just see what came out of it.

At the time I was shooting on a Nikon DSLR without any stabilization or ND filters which are really good at cutting down the amount of light so really bright things like the sky don’t get completely washed out. I had borrowed a really cheap shoulder rig from a friend and it really didn’t seem to help much. I did have a decent microphone but it is meant to pick up pretty much everything and it certainly did.

The result was a 5min short that I cut together shortly after but never posted or showed to anyone. I wasn’t thrilled with the shaky footage, the blown out exposure, nor the audio challenges that I had faced as well.

In the 2 years since filming this I’ve learned a whole lot more, and spent a lot of money on equipment that could do a much better job today.

However, the most important thing I’ve learned is this: If you can’t tell a good story with cheap equipment, all the money in the world cannot fix your film. And that is something I really believe. Clean beautiful shots are important, don’t get me wrong, but the absolute best quality footage will only take you so far. What will keep viewers engaged is the story that you tell.

I’ve seen a lot of great documentary films and every now and again I see that shot that’s just out of focus, or a little shaky or hard to hear and it solidifies my belief. Knowing that this film maker chose to use a bad shot because it was integral to the story they were trying to tell, is something I find very honest and comforting.

So watching my first attempt at a short doc again as the 2017 Elvis Festival kicks off, I figured what the hell, it was fun to make and the story is not half bad, but I will let you be the judge.

Free Headshot Friday

Is your professional headshot over 2 years old? Maybe it was shot on a mobile phone, or perhaps still from the 90’s and you’re just waiting for that fashion trend to come back?  I hate to break it to you but Hypercolor shirts are not making a comeback… and more importantly, those old or unprofessional headshots don’t make you or your business look good. That’s where BFresh.Media comes in.

One day only, this special event will be at the studio with a few limitations. So here are the details, please read carefully:

Day:  Friday August 4th, 2017

Time: 11am-4pm

Location:  Bfresh.Studio @ 1 First St. suite 206-B Collingwood

This professional headshot package includes a 15min studio shoot with a white or flat grey backdrop. Following the shoot we will send you 2-3 of the best pics.

Note that touchups are not included but available for a small fee. Everything from digital makeup, to teeth whitening can be done in photoshop. It will look so good you won’t want to update it for years… but you still should.

check out some samples below… and we’ll see you at the studio!

Open Casting Call – No Acting Required

So here’s the deal: I’m working on a new passion project, a pilot for a television series. I don’t want to give away too much other than it is a documentary style show which does not require acting. So real people, real experiences. We are looking for 2 people to host the show and interested more in personality than anything. Oh ya, and it’s sort of important that you like to travel… and beer. Actually it’s really important that you like beer.

As a passion project, I need to be up front and say there is no budget currently BUT it will only require 2 days to shoot, and I promise it will be a blast. For the shoot, you need to be in Collingwood Ontario for pickup as we will be traveling around the Simcoe, Bruce, and Grey county area. Meals,  refreshments, and travel during production, will be provided on both days. The shoot is scheduled to take place August 8th and 13th from 10am to approximately 8pm. Long I know, but I promise it will be almost 12 hrs of nothing but pure fun.

I will also add that the idea of a pilot is to sell to networks in the hopes that the show will get picked up and then there will be a budget to create something much larger and ongoing. So this bus is leaving the station… are you getting on?

Here’s how to audition:

  1. Shoot a video of yourself 1 min long or less. We want to see personality! Tell us why you should get to host your own show. It might also be good to mention how much you like beer… responsibly (We don’t want to see anyone doing a keg stand).
  2. Upload said video to Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #beerfreshmedia so that we can find it.
  3. Feel good knowing you could be a part of something awesome. 🙂

A decision will be made by Wednesday August 2nd, 2017 so get your audition up before then, otherwise you will miss the bus. And don’t worry, if we pick you, you will get all the details about what the show is about (nothing weird or overly physical, I promise).

It should go without saying but you must be 19 years or older to audition.

Lip Dub project with NDDLH in Collingwood

I get asked a lot, “what makes a video go viral?” Well the answer is “a lot of things” but often it just takes a creative idea and little hard work to put it together.

Now granted, this particular video didn’t go viral globally but given the size of the school and surrounding community (school of 100 students in a town of 22k) it certainly did better than most other video advertisements shared by local busineses. And don’t be mistaken, this is 100% an advertisement for Notre Dame de la Huronie.

This video advertisement was created to show off the brand new school and help grow enrollment for the fully French school. Yes we could have done a real estate style tour, but where’s the fun in that? The “fun” part is why it was shared over 60 times. Plus the blooper reel at the end made it extra special. See for yourself, the end result that took a lot of creative planning, coordination, and practice.

So how did we do it? Well a huge credit goes to the Art teacher Mme Nalisa (my amazing wife) who planned the entire video with her grade 5/6 students. Together they mapped out where the camera was going plus the where and when all the students and faculty were to be. They even choreographed that dance and taught it to the whole school. How amazing is that?

We chose the lip dub style because it would be easier for me on the back end. This approach is done in one single take from start to finish so the editing process is very simple. I just dropped in the song and did a little bit of colour correction.

As you can see from the blooper reel however, there were several rehearsals before the final shoot. Because of the large colourful banner that gets destroyed and the silly string mess at the end, we had one chance to get it right and I think they did a pretty amazing job.

For businesses thinking that they want to create a viral video this is just a sample of what that takes. It may require you to step outside of your comfort zone for the sake of creativity and do something that viewers would not expect. Yes, it is more expensive than your traditional advertisement as we would take care of all that extra planning and coordination but that’s the price of creating buzz. That’s what it takes to get people talking about you and sharing your video. There is risk involved absolutely, but it is often very calculated and the payoff can be much better than any traditional advertising approach.

So when someone says to me “I want to make a viral video” my response is: “great, but do you have what it takes?”

 

Why I’m Installing Theater Seats In The Studio

I’ve always been service oriented. To me it is important to make sure clients and customers are comfortable and well looked after. I feel like there are very few jobs and professions where this should not or does not apply. Maybe that’s my nature but I believe that this approach has helped me succeed not only as an employee but even more so as an entrepreneur.

In my agency days, the client was king. We would wine and dine clients like it was their birthday. We would jump through hoops to make them feel special and want to work with us. Now for the record, I’m not a fan of trying to make people like me by throwing money at them. That’s not the point. I actually did forge some great relationships because we just had a lot of fun together.

Now I’m at a point in my life where wining and dining and especially late night partying on a Wednesday is not really my thing. But there are still ways to go above and beyond to make clients feel extra special and welcome.

Here’s where the Theater Seats come in. When I was originally planning my studio, the concept was just a couch and and a TV. Somewhere to comfortably screen client videos that was not on my tablet or computer screen.

Well my Wife went searching and found these theater seats which seemed too perfect. And just like that, the simple and modest client screening area snowballed into a mini theater with authentic seating and a projector screen.

Currently I have most of the platform built. It is also on wheels so that I can move it around by myself and turn it to face whatever wall necessary. I have a few more boards to cut and lay down for the flooring and then I need to permanently bolt the seats to the boards. Like some of my projects in the studio, it is still a work in progress but I wanted to show it off and see what people think. is it too much? A little over the top? you be the judge.

Stay tuned for more progress as I finish it off and install the the projector in the next few weeks.

Elevator Pitch Video Promotion 2017

Last year we launched a very special promotion and are excited to once again offer this amazing discount for a professional 1 minute video, regularly valued at $2000-$3500.

The idea is simple, by establishing a few creative parameters, and by shooting in one location on one day only, bfresh.media is able to provide your business with a 1 min video at this great price. The video package includes a logo animation and custom graphics and text, plus more.

Here is a full list of what you get:

  • 1 Minute Video featuring you and your business
  • Scripting consultation
  • Your logo animated
  • Ability to add other photos or videos.
  • 3 music options
  • Custom Colours and Fonts
  • Video optimization for website or social media
  • Closed Caption file (essential for facebook)

You get all that for only $599 per business for the entire production. Additionally, as with all our productions, it is our goal to make sure you are happy with the end product so there is the opportunity for you to provide feedback and changes to the video as well.

However, if you are looking for more customization, a rate card is also available for further changes in case you want to add things like motion graphics, extra video footage, or additional people.

Here are two great examples from last year’s promotion:

An information session will be held on the evening of March 15th at The Clever Office to finalize scripts, provide wardrobe pointers, and general question answer. All bookings must be finalized by 8pm on 15th.

The Clever office is located at 1 First St. Collingwood ON, Suite 220. Learn more about this coworking space here:

Spaces are limited so call 416-912-1513 or email Ben b@bfresh.media to sign up today!

The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising

I was recently asked by a new client, What is the difference between Marketing and Advertising?

Well this may seem like a simple question to some, it’s actually a fairly common one. To me, there are no simple questions I always take pride in trying to educate (even potential) clients, to help them up their marketing game.

Marketing vs. Advertising, bfresh media production

So for anyone who has wondered but never asked, here is your Marketing 101 for the day, The difference between marketing and advertising:

Advertising is merely a component of marketing because marketing is defined as the planning, execution, control, and analysis of various business activities that are meant to bring together buyers and sellers. These business activities include advertising as well as many other components like branding, direct sales, market research, public relations, and community involvement. There are many other components of marketing but these are ones that are most relevant to my clients.

To further wrap your head around this, here is a definition of each of those marketing components:

Advertising: A sponsored message from producers to consumers in order to persuade buying activity. Advertising is communicated across media such as TV, radio, newspaper, magazine, outdoor, direct mail, online, or on a mobile device.

Brand: is the identity of a specific company or product. A “Brand Identity” refers directly to the symbols, colors, sounds, imagery, and even thoughts and feelings that are associated with a particular brand. You as an artist can think of your brand identity as your style, subject choice, medium, and even your signature. Later on I am going to talk about how to build your brand in more depth.

Direct Sales: Any form of face-to-face solicitation. Example: Public art exhibit; you’re not just talking to people, you are selling yourself. Later on I will talk more about the dos and don’ts of direct sales.

Market Research: is an objective collection and analysis of data about a particular target market, competition, and/or environment. The purpose of any market research project is to achieve an increased understanding of the subject matter. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, simple forms of market research can be conducted through surveys or by simply speaking to the public or customers about your product.

Public Relations: refers to the actions of a corporation, government, individual, etc., in promoting goodwill between itself and the public, the community, employees, customers, etc. Artists are often contributing to charitable causes or community organizations through participation and donation and these are forms of public relations. Basically any new person you meet is an act of Public Relations, so don’t forget to give them a business card.

Community Involvement: is similar to public relations, however, the key difference is leadership. By actively engaging members of your community and leading the charge to promote a local event, charity, organization or an exhibit, you are taking pr one step further to community involvement.

So, as I’ve said before, one of our goals is to change the marketing landscape with small businesses and that begins with education. So if your business doesn’t have one, consider writing a marketing plan. You need to think of every decision that you make, from where you show your ads to the look of your website and business cards and your participation in community events as part of your overall marketing plan instead of just buying a single print ad. You might already be doing these things with your business but it’s good to be able to apply these terms to your actions in order to understand the value of your marketing. And with a little creativity, who knows where that will take you.

Video production in collingwood

bfresh.media was launched in November of 2015. Since then, I have been working hard to integrate the company with the local business community, here in Collingwood and the south Georgian Bay area. I’m happy to travel anywhere my clients need to shoot video, and come to think of it, this winter I’m feeling pretty nostalgic for my agency days when we were shooting Direct Response TV commercials for Scotiabank all over the Caribbean. I wouldn’t mind a client like that again.

But seriously, I really do enjoy living in the Blue Mountains and meeting and working with new people. What I have found is that Grey, Bruce, and Simcoe Counties all have a very entrepreneurial spirit, deeply ingrained and that many of those entrepreneurs are eager to advertise with video.

With more advertising clutter, and competition in these areas, it becomes harder and harder to stand out and get noticed. One thing I really do love seeing is a video from a local business that found me either through social media advertising or youtube preroll. Even if we didn’t produce the video, it is still very exciting to see those local advertisers doing something innovative, or dare we say… fresh.

Part of why it is exciting though is because I don’t see it as often as I would like. With so much opportunity to target specific demographics and locations, I feel like I should only be seeing local advertising sponsored on facebook, instagram or especially on youtube.

My mission with bfresh.media is to help businesses get the most out of their marketing dollar with video advertising. That means not only producing quality content but getting audiences to actually see it. So it is a daunting task to change the marketing landscape but we will continue to give it everything we’ve got, and make savvy marketers out of them all, one client at a time.

3 ways video will boost your marketing exposure

Ok so my last blog post Ben’s #1 Reason to Advertise with Online Video, I talked about exposure and how Video advertising leads to way more of that good stuff. But how do you quantify exposure? Why is it so important?

Well first let me clarify that exposure should not be your only concern when marketing your business. But think of it as the mouth of a funnel. The wider that mouth is, the more leads you will generate and therefore more possible new customers coming through the end of the funnel.

marketing advertising sales funnel video production collingwood

So it is my #1 reason to advertise with video but this is a more in-depth look at why exposure is so important. Here are 3 ways video will boost your marketing exposure:

1. Engagement

Engagement is about capturing the attention of your audience and hopefully motivating them to respond to your call to action. Marketing professionals agree, in a recent survey, 70% reported that online video converts better than any other medium (MarketingProfs). This is compared to facebook, twitter, and traditional television advertising. Even if you don’t have a direct call to action but want to grow brand awareness by explaining what your business does, video can help with that too. On average, internet users will spend 88% more time on a website with video. That equates to approximately 2 more minutes spent on your website. Not to mention an increased engagement in social media posts and that brings us to the second reason:

2. Reach

Kind of like Exposure but multiplied. Think about the last thing you shared on facebook? was it a video? well you’re not alone, especially if you were on your mobile device at the time because 92% of mobile video viewers share videos with others. (Invodo) and that video viewing makes up 50% of all mobile traffic. But now we’re getting into a whole other area but the fact is that if you’re marketing your business with social media, posting video is much more likely to be seen and shared than text and even photos.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

You’ve probably been told you need SEO for your website. Well you can drastically increase your search ranking by adding photos and, you guessed it, video. Simply put, Google prioritizes video content because it wants to ensure that the users find the answer they are looking for. That’s probably because Search results with video have a “41% higher click-through rate than plain text.aimClear

There are so many ways you can incorporate video into your marketing strategy and each approach has their own set of benefits. It is important to remember however that not just any video will do. The key elements you always need are creative approach, engaging content, and a clear call to action. Lucky for you, we’re pretty good at those. 😉

Your Best Elevator Pitch Ever – Video Production

ElevatorPitch-1

This is an amazing promotion for business owners to kick off their marking in 2016 with affordable video advertising and update your profile with a fresh new pic.

This is a very special promotion that we’ve put together in cooperation with The Clever Office in Collingwood. The idea is simple, by establishing a few creative parameters, and by shooting in one location on one day only, bfresh.media is able to provide businesses with a 1 min video, which includes a logo animation and custom graphics and text, along with a complimentary head shot photography, plus more, for a seriously low price.

Here is a full list of what you get:

  • 1 Minute Video featuring you and your business
  • Your logo animated
  • 3 music options
  • Video optimization for website or social media
  • Scripting consultation
  • Custom Colours and Fonts
  • Professional hair & makeup
  • Complimentary headshot

 

And it’s only $500 per person for the entire production. A rate card is also available for further customization but you can see the quality of the video you get here:

[video_lightbox_youtube video_id=”jMoWI1e_xDQ” width=”500″ height=”281″ anchor=”http://bfresh.media/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/posterframe2.png”]

The only difference being yours will be shot on a white background.

ElevatorPitch-500dollars

An information session will be held on the evening of January 25th at The Clever Office for finalizing scripts, wardrobe pointers, and general question answer. All bookings must be finalized by 8pm on January 25th.

The Clever office is located at 1 First St. Collingwood ON, Suite 220. Learn more about this coworking space here: www.thecleveroffice.ca

Spaces are limited so call 416-912-1513 or email Ben b@bfresh.media to sign up today!