Top Questions For Video Production Studio

Here are some of the top questions we get at the video studio about video production, editing, web optimization, and photography. If your question isn't answered here, please contact us and we will answer it!

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  • What would you say the #1 benefit of shooting a green screen video is?

    You're really asking a lot here. It's like being made to pick your favorite child!

    But, if I must, I'd say the #1 benefit of green screen video is the controlled shooting environment. We know what the lighting will be like. There is no need to worry about weather or permits or stray dogs or photobombers. Everything is ready and waiting, and there are few, if any, disruptions the day of the shoot. While we love doing on-location video shoots in DC and across Virginia, we recognize that clients don't love encountering surprises on the day of their shoot. This is why I really like green screen shoots; they eliminate many of the variables and allow the client to focus on their performance.  

    But Then Again...

    I also really love that we can go back and easily make changes to videos that have been shot with a green screen. The best example of this is when a logo changes. If you made a traditional, on-location video, you may need to reshoot the entire video. However, with green screen, it's easy to alter the images that have been added to your video. Perfect!

    And then there's the money- and time-saving aspect. To shoot an on-location video with four different backgrounds would take days. But, with a green screen, we are able to shoot multiple videos within the space of a few hours. Since the lighting, camera, and sound equipment are already set-up, hours are taken off the production schedule, which is an important time and money saver.  

    To find out more about why shooting your web videos in our DC metro green screen studio is a fantastic idea, call 703.962.1270.

  • What is Video Production?

    According to Wikipedia, video production is, "The process of creating video by capturing moving images, and creating combinations of parts of this video in live production and post-production (video-editing)."

    And, while this definition is accurate, it still doesn't capture the essence of what video production is all about.

    Video Production From Concept to Completion

    Video production starts with coming up with a solid concept and creating a plan to get the concept across to the audience. With a good concept in mind, the team moves on to writing a script, scouting the shoot location, and performing the many tasks needed to ensure that the shoot will go as planned.

    When it's time for the shoot, the production team should have all the camera, lighting, and sound equipment ready. Then it's time to shoot. This is where the magic happens, but only if the production team has done their homework and are ready to take on any and all challenges the shoot may have. Of all the aspects of video production, this is arguably the most important. Without good video, there is no reason to code, optimize, edit, or promote the material, which are the final four jobs of a full-service video production team.

    Want More Information about Video Production?

    For more information about the ins and outs of video production, request our free book, Nine Nifty Tips for Effective Video Clips. It's filled with information that can help you better understand how powerful web video is and how to do it just right.

    If you'd like, you can also call 703.962.1270 to speak with a member of our DC metro video production team. We would love to show you how our production team can make your videos the unbeatable conversion tool you need to beat out your competition.

  • What do I need to do before shooting on-location video?

    A lot.

    Shooting an on-location video isn't as easy as busting out your iPhone and hitting record on a random street corner. Successful on-location video takes a lot of planning. From permits to batteries, you better be prepared.

    Our Top Prepping Tips

    Before you show up on location, do your homework. Our DC web video production team suggests following our prep tips to avoid common mistakes and create a successful on-location video:

    • Get Permits. In order to shoot video in DC or anywhere, you must get permission to shoot in public places or when your shoot will impact those around you or the environment. Check with city or county officials to get the permits you need, or call and ask us. We've shot video all over Virginia and D.C. and can steer you in the right direction.
    • Chat with the Owner. If you are shooting in or around a business, be sure to speak to the owner or manager. Be polite, and let them know what you will be doing and for how long. Also be sure to ask them for information about any problems you might run into, including noise, traffic, lighting, etc.
    • Shoot More Than You Need. Shooting extra video, be it scenes filmed from a different angle or alternate openings or closings, will give you options when you edit your video. Also, get a lot of "B-roll" footage. Casual shots of the location, the subject, and the product can help bulk out your video.
    • Prepare for the Worst. Be ready for equipment failure, dead batteries, a sudden storm, or unexpected foot traffic. Roll with the punches, and stay loose. After all, you never know when one of the problems you encounter can be used to your advantage.

    For more DC on-location video shoot advice, or to hire our professional video production crew, call 703.962.1270. We want to do all we can to make your videos—and your web video marketing campaign—a success.

  • Will you rent your studio for small projects?

    Of course!

    As a small business, we understand that your marketing dollar has to go a long way. Because of this, we have rental packages that fit a wide range of project sizes and budgets.

    The Basic

    We rent our large, four-sided green screen studio by the hour. So, if you just have a few video clips to shoot, this is an excellent option for you. Included in the price of the rental is:

    • 60 feet of lighting that fully lights the green screen
    • A 20' x 20' green screen studio
    • Full access to a dressing room and conference room
    • Use of our kitchen
    • Free parking
    • Wireless internet

    If this sounds perfect for you, please call 703.962.1270 to schedule a tour or book time in our D.C.-area green screen video studio. Think you might want a little more? Then read on.

    The Works

    For those who want more, we offer rentals that include:

    • Video and audio equipment
    • A videographer
    • Script-writing services
    • Coding, editing, and loading
    • Web video promotional services

    As you can see, our DC web video studio has you covered,  from concept to shooting to promotion. We don't mind if you pick and choose the options you need to create a custom package. In fact, we encourage it!

    Web video has become the key to internet marketing success. Call 703.962.1270 to speak with a member of our team and choose a web video package that works for you. We want to see your small business succeed. Call today!

  • What kind of role should social media play in my YouTube video marketing plan?

    Social media should be a major part of your YouTube video marketing plan. The “why” should be obvious—the major players in social media (Google+, Twitter, and Facebook) attract billions of people. Talk about exposure potential! Also, it's easier than ever to share videos with social media.

    The "Share" tab under every YouTube video features all the big dogs, including Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. All you have to do is click on the site you want to share the video to—that’s it!

    Unfortunately, it's not enough to share one video on your social media accounts and pat yourself on the back. What you need to do is continue to make video and continue to share it. Your fans, followers, and customers need to know that they can come to your Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ page and find quality, informative, and entertaining videos. When used correctly, your social media accounts are the perfect complement to your YouTube Channel and drive quality viewers to your videos.

    Don't Forget That YouTube is a Social Media Site

    While most people think of YouTube simply as a video hosting site, there is a social media aspect that you can't afford to ignore. As you know, YouTube allows comments on videos. Because of this, it's imperative that you respond when someone comments on your video. Interacting with your audience can foster a sense of trust between you and your potential customers. It shows that you care and take the time to address their concerns and help them when they need it.

    Another effective way to use YouTube as a social media site is to follow the channels of others in your industry, particularly those with clout. This can give you an idea of what's happening in your niche and is an excellent way to network. Virtual networking can also be done by commenting on videos within your industry. Leaving comments that are well thought out and interesting will help you be seen as an expert in your field.

    For more tips on how to make the most of your social medial accounts, call 703.962.1270 and speak with a member of our Virginia YouTube marketing team.

  • I'm so nervous to get in front of the camera. Do you have any tips to help me deliver a natural performance?

    Tips? We've got them in spades!

    If there is one thing our DC web video producers have learned over the years, it's that nerves have a serious impact on performance. Because of this, we have a tried-and-true list of ways to help our clients get over their nerves and deliver a smooth, natural performance. Our top five tips are:

    1. Prepare. Before you come to the studio, make sure that you have your outfit, script, and any props dialed in. Feeling unprepared will send your anxiety level skyrocketing, so get ready well before your shoot.
    2. Practice. To get the hang of being in front of the camera, video yourself at home or in your office. Practicing your lines will give you a chance to work out any problems in your script. And, though it's hard to do, be sure to watch the video, looking for any unnatural hand movements or facial expressions. Also, do a few dry runs the day of your shoot. Get in front of the camera before it starts recording, and go through your lines. This will help you get the feel of the studio beforehand.
    3. Breathe. When you get in front of the camera, breathe deeply and as you exhale and smile gently. We're talking a soft smile, not a Jokeresque grin. As you do so, also lower your shoulders, as nerves can cause you to pull them toward your ears. As you speak, don't rush your lines, and take the time to breathe during natural pauses. 
    4. Imagine. One effective tool is your imagination. Imagine that the person—or pet—you are most comfortable talking to is in the camera.  Pretending to talk to them will put you at ease and help you relax enough to give a natural performance. Some people even bring a picture of a friend, spouse, or dog and tape it to the camera! 
    5. Have fun. I know you're so nervous you can't imagine having fun shooting your video. But the sooner you get comfortable in front of the camera—laughing at your mistakes is a great start—the sooner you'll be able to shoot a video you can be proud of.

    For more tips on being your best in front of the camera, or to schedule your session at our DC green screen video studio, call 703.962.1270. We can help make your shoot not only pain free, but fun!

  • How many videos should be on my YouTube channel?

    There is no perfect number of videos for your YouTube Channel. A lot depends on your goals for your channel and your specific marketing needs. However, we can give you some guidelines to help you decide when and what to add to your channel:

    • Add on a regular basis. For you, this may mean once a week, once a month, or somewhere in between. But, no matter what timeframe works best for you, be sure to upload videos regularly. There are many types of videos you can add to your channel, and you have a better chance of keeping the attention of your audience if your loading schedule is consistent. You want to be a channel that subscribers can count on.
    • Add with care. Just because we've suggested that you add video on a regular basis, please don't rush out and add video just for the sake of adding video. Any videos you add should be in line with your brand image and be of high quality. Videos that are performing poorly will have a negative effect on your channel, making it harder for your videos to be found—even those that are performing well.  
    • Respond to comments. Let's say you've been good about consistently loading quality videos. Great! But it's not enough to load and walk away. Be sure to respond to all comments your video receives. Comments are an excellent opportunity to show that you care about your audience and your customers or clients. Also, the number of comments a video has factors into how well it ranks in search results.

    For more YouTube video marketing advice, or to book time at our Virginia video studio, call 703.962.1270. Our team of professionals can help you every step of the way—from video concept to a web marketing plan, we've got you covered.  

  • What’s the difference between a green screen and a blue screen?

    When it comes to green screens and blue screens, both backgrounds are used for the same purpose: to use Chroma Key technology in order to place subjects in front of a projected background. During this process, editors are able to film people and objects in front of a static background, remove the color of the background from the images, and replace it with a new background. Generally, the only difference between using a green screen as a background and using a blue screen as a background is the color itself—but more filmmakers are moving from blue to green for other specific reasons:

    • The use of digital cameras. When using a digital camera instead of film, you obtain better results from a green screen shoot because of the cleanness and luminescence of green over blue.
    • Color spill. While the green or blue screens will be removed during editing, some color will “spill” onto the subjects, especially around the edges. This can create a thin line around the person, or make areas like their hairline look odd. Depending on your shoot, color spill can be better or worse depending on the color of your screen.
    • The prevalence of blue. Subjects and objects are more likely to be blue than green. For example, people are more likely to be wearing blue clothing than green clothing. You get better results when the background color is not heavily present in the subject you are filming (which is why red screens and yellow screens don’t exist).

    Do you need a green screen studio for your next video production in the Virginia or Washington DC area? Call Gearshift today to learn more about our services: 703-962-1270. 

  • How do I know if my YouTube channel is successful? Is the goal to get the most views possible?

    Views are good, but what you really need to pay attention to is the engagement of your audience. In the world of web video, engagement refers to how long a viewer watches your video.

    Gauging Audience Engagement

    YouTube Analytics is an excellent tool for determining the engagement level for your YouTube videos. YouTube's audience retention report allows you to see:

    • The average view duration for all videos on your channel
    • The top 10 videos ranked according to longest viewing time
    • Audience retention information for each of your videos

    When you look at your individual videos, pay close attention to the absolute audience retention. This shows the views for every second of your video as a percentage. At the beginning of your video, the percentage will be 100, as this represents every person who clicked on your video.

    Statistically, the first 15 seconds of any video have the highest drop-off rate. The high rate at this benchmark is common and can, in part, be chalked up to people clicking on the wrong video. However, if the drop-off rate is very high at any point in the video, even in the first 15 seconds, it's time to take a closer look at your video. People most often exit a video before it's over when:

    • The description of the video doesn't match the video itself.
    • The video is of poor quality—hard to hear or see.
    • The video starts out with a sales pitch.
    • There appears to be no entertainment value or information given in the video.

    Fix Your Videos

    Now that you know which videos are working and which aren't, it's time to address the issues causing low retention rates. Call 703.962.1270, and our Virginia web video production team can help you fix your company's YouTube Channel and realize success in your video marketing campaign.

  • When is it best to choose an on-location video shoot over a studio shoot?

    On-location shoots are best when the setting is the key to the success of your video. For example, if you are an attorney who wants to make a set of informative videos, shooting in our green screen studio is best because the focus of the video is you and the important legal information you are giving.

    However, there are many times when it makes more sense to shoot on location. Examples include:

    • Tours. If you want to give potential clients, customers, or investors an inside look into your business, the best way is through a video tour. They will get to "meet" employees and get to know you and your company before they set foot in your door.
    • Product demonstrations. It's pretty much impossible to show off the benefits of your new line of performance swimwear without a pool. If your product would be better shown off in the great outdoors, an on-location shoot is a must.
    • Scouting Videos. If you are a high school athlete looking to pique the interest of college recruiters, a well-made scouting video should show you in action. Because of this, an on-location shoot is crucial to the success of your scouting video.

    A Word of Warning

    On-location video shoots in D.C. have many benefits. However, even the best location won't mask a bad concept, poor lighting, or terrible video and sound quality. For the best results, your video has to be well thought out and executed. Otherwise, your promotional videos will do nothing but waste your time and money.

    For the best advice on shooting video footage in D.C., call 703.962.1270. Our D.C. video production team is ready and able to help you shoot videos that get you the attention you deserve.      

  • What are the most common green screen mistakes, and how can I avoid them?

    The most common green screen mistakes our Northern Virginia web video team has seen include:

    • Choosing the wrong clothing. When the background is added to a video shot on a green screen, anything that is a similar shade of green will become part of the background. So, if your shirt is green, it will take on the selected background, giving the subject the appearance of a floating head. The fix here is simple: nothing shot in front of the screen should be green.
    • Poor lighting. Shadows—created by a subject or a wrinkled or folded green screen—will affect the quality of the video. Any dark or light portions of the screen will translate to the final video and ruin the effect. To fix this, be sure you have even, diffused lighting and that there are no wrinkles or folds in the screen.
    • Distracting background choices. With limitless choices for backgrounds, it's easy to get carried away and choose an outrageous background. If this fits your business, go for it. But, if you'd like to focus on your message or the subject of your video, keep the background clean and simple. 

    Once you have the technical aspects of green screen video dialed in, it's time to focus on your concept, message, and script. For help ensuring that your videos are professional and effective, call 703.962.1270. Our Northern Virginia video production team can help you every step of the way. From developing your brand to coding your videos, Gearshift TV has you covered.

  • Where can I rent video studio space on weekends in the metro D.C. or Northern Virginia area?

    Gearshift in Fairfax, Virginia, has weekend rental of video studio space. Our weekend rentals include everything that our weekday rentals include. For example, there will always be someone from Gearshift TV onsite to help you over the weekend, just as we help our clients during the week.

     

    We understand that you are busy and that it can be difficult for you and the people who you want to be involved in making the video to get away during the normal weekday business hours. Accordingly, we are pleased to accommodate other businesses with our weekend hours.

     

    In the end, your viewers and new customers, patients, or clients do not care when you make your video. They do not even care how you make your video. Instead, they are focused on the content of your video, and they are going to decide whether or not to call your business, firm, or practice based on the video content.

     

    For more information about how to create great video content at a time that is convenient for you, please contact our experienced online video producers at 703-962-1270. You can also learn more about our green screen studio, video production services, and web videos in general by browsing the FREE resources on our website and watching our FREE video Brian Mitchell Says "It's Time for You to Go On the Offensive (with an Extra $500 In Your Pocket)!".

  • How many people access the internet on smartphones as opposed to personal computers?

    There is a huge revolution going on in the internet world, which any smart business owner ignores at his or her own peril. According to recent studies, more than 20 percent of people in the U.S. (some estimates put this figure as high as 25 percent) access the internet exclusively on their smartphones rather than tablets or home computers. What this means is that up to one-quarter of all the “hits” on the Web are generated by people who are on the go, consulting their smartphones for directions, recommendations, or even brief snippets of entertainment while they're stopped at a traffic light.

     

    What does this mean for your internet marketing efforts? Well, for one thing, it's a much different experience to watch a YouTube video on a smartphone than on a 19-inch LCD display. Details have to be clearer, sound quality has to be better, and the video has to make its point much more quickly. (As a general rule, mobile users won't watch anything that's more than one or two minutes long). If a person has just been in a car accident and needs to find a lawyer on his smartphone, he will choose the attorney whose video gets right to the point, with a minimum of fuss, special effects, and extraneous footage.

     

    As more and more people trade up their cellphones for smartphones, there will be a corresponding change in YouTube “best practices.” Want to be ahead of the curve? Call the YouTube marketing experts at Gearshift (703-962-1270) to learn what we can do for you!

  • I want to use green screen technology for my TV commercial, but my narrator is worried that he'll be hooked up to wires and suspended in mid-air. What should I tell him?

    Well, unless your narrator happens to be Toby Maguire, you can set his mind at ease by telling him that green screen technology doesn't necessarily entail multi-million-dollar stunts and “emoting” in front of special-effects monsters. When this technology first became widely available, about 10 years ago, many commercial producers and directors associated it with big-budget Hollywood special-effects extravaganzas. Today, it's almost as ordinary as deep-focus lenses and artsy transitional shots.

     

    A narrator or an actor doesn't necessarily have to be hooked up to wires or suspended from a crane in order to work with a green screen. For most TV commercials, all that's involved is a person delivering his spiel in front of the camera, while standing in front of the green screen. The director will prep him beforehand about what will eventually be projected on that screen and will make sure that the narration matches up with what's transpiring in the background. The process isn't at all complicated, and the shoot doesn't take any more time than a “live” shoot where the actor or narrator interacts with other real-life individuals.

     

    Today, green-screen technology is so common that many of the TV commercials you see, which you may have assumed were shot live on location, were actually accomplished using this technology. Questions? Call the green screen professionals at Gearshift (703-962-1270) to learn how we can make this technology work for you!

  • I'd like to put a candid, humorous shot of myself on my company's website. Is that okay?

    Well, to a certain extent, that depends on what you're trying to market with your site. If you're a DC-area tattoo parlor, your customers may relate to a photograph of you trying to balance on a Harley-Davidson while holding an empty beer keg. But, if you're the senior partner of a law firm or a plumber trying to attract new clients, the message you're sending won't be "ordinary guy;" it'll be "guy who doesn't have the judgment to know what kind of photographs to post on his website."


    A few years ago, this wouldn't even have been an issue. A professional website would be expected to only have tasteful, professional photos. You can blame this new trend on Facebook, where people are so used to sharing candid, embarrassing photographs with one another that they don't realize when they're crossing a line and revealing their immaturity for all the world to see. Just think of all those would-be future CEOs who uploaded compromising photos while they were in college; they may later have had the good judgment to take them down, but, if anyone copied them in the meantime, they can potentially pop up years down the road.


    At Gearshift, we know that it helps to show your personality and goofy sense of humor on your company's website, but there's a line you should never cross for fear of repelling rather than attracting potential customers. Questions? Call our photography professionals at 877-477-7883 to learn more today!

  • Our law firm's video looks great, but the sound seems to be slightly off. Our senior partner says it's good enough to post to YouTube. Is this a good idea?

    That depends on what you mean by "off." If you can hear a stray honking car horn in the background as one of your attorneys addresses the camera from behind his desk, that's an intrusion most viewers can deal with. If, however, the sound volume of the entire video is set either too high or too low, that's a major problem, as is ongoing hiss or static that makes what your partners say completely unintelligible.

     

     

    Five or six years ago, "good enough" might have been good enough for YouTube, but those days are long gone. Every hour, thousands of videos are uploaded to YouTube, and the competition is so fierce that viewers can easily go on to another video in their queue if they're disappointed with the one they're watching. If your video has a quality that makes it instantly unpalatable, such as extremely "off" sound, a potential client is likely to close it out as soon as he or she starts viewing it. Not only is this a lost opportunity, but, if multiple viewers watch only the first five or ten seconds of your video, this can potentially send a negative signal to the Google and YouTube search engines and put you lower down in the results for the search term you're trying to target.

     

     

    At Gearshift, we know that it can be a bothersome process to get every aspect of a law firm video right before it makes its YouTube debut. We also know that all the effort you put into your video will be wasted if it actively repels, rather than attracts, potential clients. Questions? Call our video editing professionals today at 877-477-7883 to learn what we can do for you!

  • I have a limited marketing budget for my Washington D.C. business. Should I consider video or photography?

    Most businesses have limited marketing budgets, and they want those budgets to yield the greatest possible results. That is understandable and does not have to be a hindrance if you plan a coordinated marketing effort. One of the ways to keep your marketing costs under control and still get the video and photographs that you need for all of your online and offline marketing materials is to hire a company that specializes in both video and photography. 

     

    Gearshift is experienced in producing dynamic online video and great photographs for our clients. Together with our clients, we can help you identify your priorities and implement a well-designed plan to help you meet your most important business marketing goals. 

     

    You may not have to pick between online video and still photography. Instead, you can have both and realize the benefits of photography. Photography can, for example, help draw readers to your written content and other important information. Photography can catch a reader’s eye and show important parts of your business in a professional and effective way. 

     

    For more information about photography and about making marketing decisions for your business, please call Gearshift to speak with an experienced photographer. You can reach us via our website or at 877-477-7883. Please also read our FREE book, Everything You Need to Know About the Nikon D7000, to learn more about using this type of camera for your marketing needs.

  • Our junior partner wrote a script for our law firm's video shoot, complete with dialogue and instructions for the cameraman. Should we use it?

    Well, it's possible that your associate is one of those screenwriting "naturals" who has a gift for evoking normal human speech and a cinematographer's knack for the proper camera angles. More likely, though, he just got a bit carried away with his assignment and hasn't quite grasped what's involved in shooting a law firm video.

     

     

    All you're really trying to do, in the course of your shoot, is to capture your lawyers, staff, and possibly clients talking about your areas of expertise and the services your firm offers. What you'll wind up with on the front end may seem like a confusing jumble of commentary and camera angles; but, on the back end, after the footage has been edited, you'll have a coherent, engaging, two-minute-long video that you can upload to YouTube.

     

     

    The reason a script is a bad idea is that it inhibits spontaneity during the shoot: if everyone only says what they're supposed to say, and even the cameraman feels constrained to execute artsy pans with vaselined lenses, you'll wind up with something very tense, very unnatural, and very short. Once your editor gets to work trying to salvage the footage and extract usable bits to incorporate into the finished video, you may find that you've only captured about 20 seconds of viewable video, and it's back to square one - this time without a script.

     

     

    At Gearshift, we know that scripts are vastly overrated when its comes to YouTube videos - usually the best, most engaging, and easiest-to-watch videos are those that are shot without a working script because lawyers feel free to be sincere and say what they want to say. Questions? Call our YouTube marketing experts today at 877-477-7883 to set up a free consultation!

     

     

  • Can I afford a professional video editor?

    When you are deciding whether you are going to hire a professional video editor, it is important to consider three things. Specifically, you want to consider:

     

    • Your budget for the project
    • What editing your video yourself will cost you
    • Your likely return on your investment

     

    Let’s consider each of these things separately. First, you will need to come up with your budget for the project. Most video editors will be upfront about their fees and you can determine whether a video editor is in your budget. However, that is not enough information upon which to make a good business decision. 

     

    You also need to consider what it will cost you to do the video editing yourself if you do not hire a video editor. When calculating the cost, it is important to consider the cost of any software or programs you need to purchase and the value of the time that you will spend on this project. 

     

    Finally, you need to consider your potential return on investment. Is your video designed to bring in new customers or clients that could not only cover the cost of the video but bring in a lot of profit? Is a professionally edited video a good investment in your business? 

     

    For more information about cost and benefits, please call an experienced video editor in Northern Virginia today at 877-477-7883. We also invite you to download a FREE copy of our book, Nine Nifty Tips for Effective Video Clips by Jim Folliard, to learn more about creating great videos.

  • What do YouTube video view counts mean for me?

    YouTube allows you and others to see how many times a particular video is viewed by another party. YouTube has the ability to identify irregular playbacks or spam and delete these views from your total view count. Thus, you can be reasonably assured that the number of views shown on your screen is more or less accurate.

     

    While it is would be nice if one of your videos went viral or obtained a really high number of views, it is important to remember that your goal as a local business advertising on YouTube is not to be seen by people all over the world or simply rack up the view counts. Instead, your goal is more targeted. You want the business video that you put on YouTube to attract local customers for your business or clients for your firm.

     

    In addition to views, you want to know where your new customers are coming from. You want to ask how they found out about you. You want to know if the money that you invested in creating a great online video was worth it and is actually translating into paying customers or clients for your business.

     

    For more information about the importance of view counts and how to tell if your YouTube video is working, or for information about how to create an online video, please contact our Northern Virginia online video specialists at 877-477-7883. Please also read our FREE book Are You a Small Business Trying to Get Found on YouTube?

  • I hired a photographer for my event, and the pictures and videos he took were completely unusable. What can I do to rectify the situation?

    Unless you happen to own a working time machine, not much. If you've received an award, say, from your local civic association, it's not as if you can ask them to restage the entire ceremony because the photographer you hired failed to deliver on the goods. Sure, you can scrounge the guest list to see if anyone else happened to take semi-decent photographs or snippets of video, but there's a lot of legwork involved—and you'll look foolish for having to resort to this when you should have hired a dependable photographer in the first place.

     

    You're a lawyer, so you probably know what is and is not possible in terms of making yourself whole. If your photographer genuinely messed up and failed to deliver any usable pictures or videos, then you may not be able to recover your down payment. But you would certainly be justified in withholding the money he was due on delivery. On the other hand, if the photographer actively misrepresented his qualifications, and you can prove that he did so, you can probably sue him for the entire fee, though whether this is worth the time and aggravation is entirely up to you.

     

    It may not be what you want to hear, but the best thing you can do is chalk the whole disaster up to experience and, next time, hire a photographer that you know for a fact is talented, professional, and dependable. If you're in the D.C. area, a good start would be to contact the photography professionals at Gearshift, who have years of experience documenting awards ceremonies, public relations events, and other events frequented by lawyers. Call us today at 877-477-7883 to set up a free consultation!

  • How many people watch video on their cell phones? Is encoding something I really need to be concerned about when I am editing my video?

    Encoding for cell phones and other mobile devices is something that you need to think about when editing your video. As of October 2010, approximately 200 million videos were watched every day on mobile devices. According to YouTube, the number of YouTube videos watched on mobile devices tripled in 2011. More than 20% of YouTube views came from mobile devices last year, a statistic that is anticipated to increase in 2012 and in the years to come.

    Currently, YouTube videos are available on 350 million devices. If your video is inaccessible to the people who want to view it on their cell phones, then you could lose business. The people who are interested in watching your video may not wait until they get to another device to view your video. Instead, they will get the information that they seek from another source, and you will likely lose a potential customer or client.

    Do not let this happen to you. Your video should be accessible from any device. Our experienced Fairfax video editors and encoders are committed not only to getting the best video possible uploaded to the internet but to making sure that anyone who wants to view your video can see it.

    For more information, please call our experienced video editors in Fairfax today at 877-477-7883. We also encourage you to learn more about effective YouTube marketing in our FREE book, Are You a Small Business Trying to Get Found on YouTube.
     

  • How long should my online video be?

    There is no magic number of seconds or minutes that you should be trying to reach. You are not creating a commercial that has to fit into a certain amount of airtime. Instead, you are trying to get your message across in a concise and effective manner that will hold the interest of your viewers and encourage them to contact you when they are done watching the video. That means that you want to avoid a long and rambling video and instead create a shorter and more interesting video.

     

    The exact time of your video will depend on the message that you are trying to convey. For example, you may be able to talk about why your viewers should execute a will in less time than it takes you to educate them about the steps they should take after a car accident.

     

    While the exact time of an online video is not very important, our Fairfax video editors believe that there are important things to consider that will help you create a video that is the right length. Specifically, you want to consider whether you are:

     

    • Holding your viewer’s interest
    • Staying on point
    • Easy to follow
    • Adding valuable information to your video with your words

     

    For more information about how to edit an online video to the right length for your topic, please call one of our experienced Fairfax online video editors today at 877-477-7883. We also encourage you to learn more about why your law firm should be on YouTube in our FREE book Are You a Small Business Trying to Get Found on YouTube.

  • Do all website video editors include encoding in their editing services, or is that something that I need to ask about before hiring an editor?

    Our Fairfax video editors can’t speak to what all video editors in Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas do, but we can encourage you to ask questions. It is important not only to ask if editing services including encoding services but also to ask specific questions about encoding.

     

    Even if you don’t know much about the technical encoding process, there are questions that you can ask. Specifically, you can inquire about things such as the editor’s success rate with encoding and whether proper encoding for a large variety of devices is an editing priority.

     

    You can have the best online video out there. Yours can be clearly superior to the millions of others available on the internet. However, if your video cannot easily be seen without frustration by anyone who wants to view it, regardless of the device they are using to watch it, then your video is not going to achieve your marketing goals.

     

    Thus, it is important to make sure that your Fairfax online video editor is ready to encode and edit your video so that your message is heard by everyone who wants to listen.

     

    For more information about website video editing and encoding, please contact our experienced video editors at Gearshift. We can be reached via this website or at 877-477-7883. We also encourage you to learn more about how to get your online video seen in our FREE book Are You a Small Business Trying to Get Found on YouTube.

  • Why should I hire an online video editor if I can just edit my own video?

    In addition to video editing software, your computer likely has word processing editing software. Little red, green, or blue lines may appear when something is not grammatically correct or when a word is misspelled, for example. Yet, you would not want to rely solely on this software to edit your book.

    If you would only publish a book with an experienced editor, then you should also consider only posting an online video with a professional editor. An editor can go beyond identifying where the sound quality isn’t great or adjusting the lighting. An experienced editor will make sure that your video has the professional appearance that it needs to compete in today’s online video market and will save you the time, energy, and frustration of trying to learn how to do all of that yourself.

    Our Fairfax video editors will work on short or long videos to create the final product that you want. We are experienced with all the nuances of Adobe Production Premium CS5 Editing Suite. We know how to encode your video to make sure that it is easily seen on all devices, and we work hard to provide you with the final product that you want.

    If you are ready to learn more about online video editing, please call a D.C. video editor at 877-477-7883. We also invite you to learn more about promoting your business online in our FREE book Are You a Small Business Trying to Get Found on YouTube?

  • Given all the ad-zapping technology out there, is it still worth investing in TV commercials?

    When it comes to enticing viewers to sit through lengthy, intrusive commercials, TV networks are fighting a losing battle. Not only can consumers now record shows and skip the ads; they can also (in an increasing number of cases) watch shows on their computers or portable tablets and avoid most, if not all, of the commercials. Even a person sitting in an armchair watching traditional TV is much more likely to wander to the refrigerator for a snack or press the “mute” button during a three- or four-minute commercial break than to watch the ads intently.

     

    Of course, the big four networks aren't going to go down without a fight; ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox – not to mention hundreds of local affiliates nationwide – need to retain their primary source of revenue, and they will continue to take the manufacturers of “ad-zapping” technologies to court. But, if you're a lawyer seeking to advertise your services, you can do so much more cheaply and effectively by producing videos and uploading them to YouTube. There, they can be found by motivated consumers in active need of a lawyer (and not just eating chips while waiting for Judge Judy to come back on). Don't know how to get started? Call the professionals at Gearshift for a free consultation!

  • How long will video editing and encoding take for my business or professional video?

    That depends on whether you will be doing the video editing and encoding yourself or whether you will be hiring a professional video editor to take care of the editing and encoding of your business video. Of course, if you hire someone, then you will not have to spend any of your valuable time trying to learn and apply editing techniques and encoding to your own video.

     

    Our Fairfax video producers and editors are professionals. We are experienced in this line of work, and we can tell you that video post-production editing and encoding is the lengthiest and most time consuming part of making a video. On average, it takes us about six hours to edit every one hour of video that we shoot. And that is six hours with the latest software, state-of-the-art equipment, and the experience necessary to produce a great video. We expect that it would take an amateur videographer a lot more time to produce results of a similar quality.

     

    While time is important, it is not the only concern. Someone could work on editing a video for days and it would be meaningless if the quality of video wasn’t professional and if the content was not presented in a compelling form.

     

    You have invested too much in your business to waste your time creating a mediocre video. Instead, learn how a professional DC video production specialist can help you create a great video by calling Gearshift at 877-477-7883. We also invite you to download a FREE copy of our report Nine Nifty Tips for Effective Video Clips by Jim Folliard to learn more.

  • Why can’t I just upload pictures from my cellphone to my business website like I do for my personal Facebook page? Do I really need a Washington, DC, professional photographer to add photos to my website?

    If you are asking the first question about whether it is okay to use your cellphone to upload photos to your professional website, then the answer to your next question about whether you really need a DC photographer for business photos is likely yes.

     

    The quality of a cellphone picture is usually not good enough to put on your website. There may be some uses for cellphone photography, such as adding a quick picture to your business Facebook page or even a quick blog entry. However, you want your main website and most (if not all) supporting pages to look professional. Thus, you might benefit from a good quality camera, state-of-the-art editing resources, and a professional photographer.

     

    Website photos can set you apart as a highly polished professional who is to be trusted before a visitor to your website even reads a word on his or her screen. Alternatively, poor quality website photos can brand you as a professional who does not put 100% into what he or she is doing, which is clearly not the message you want to send.

     

    For more information about why you shouldn’t use cellphone photography for business purposes, please contact Gearshift at 877-477-7883. We also invite you to read our FREE book Everything You Need To Know About the Nikon D7000 if you are in the market for a new camera.