Brand Improv Inspires

I'm not a massive Russell Brand fan but I found this clip when I was looking around You Tube for some info on public speaking and improvisation.

I found this very funny but also inspiring. He's obviously puts a lot of time and effort into developing his craft and expanding his improv skills to the point where impressing Alfred Molina comes naturally. And even if you don't like Russell, any thing that impresses Alfred Molina is worth taking a closer look at.

Shoot Content Once Then Use It Every Where.

One of the best things about shooting loads of content in one day is that you can re-edit and re-purpose it many times for many target audiences and delivery platforms!  Websites, Youtube, Show Room Display, and now, Video Podcast.

Alistair Marshall, a business consultant I worked with last year, asked me to film a series of videos where he sets out his "12 Immediate Actions to Generate Sales and Cash."  He has successfully used them on his website, along with a home page and landing page video, to help grow his contact list and get more clients.

Recently we talked about republishing the content as the first twelve episodes of a video podcast.  Now that all episodes are live and on iTunes, I suggest you go watch them.  I definitely learnt a lot from them and his advice has directly led to making Nathan Rae Production a lot more profitable.

Alistair Marshall Consulting Podcast on iTunesSo head over to iTunes and subscribe or add the following feed to your non-Apple podcasting softwear of choice:

If you need some help to publish an audio or video podcast, or want talk about any other up coming project, email me or dm me on twitter.


Get More from iMovie on your iPod and iPhone (Tutorial)

A couple of months back I got a 4th Gen iPod Touch and quickly installed the iMovie app so I could shoot, edit and upload videos all on the same device.  iOS iMovie is also compatible with the iPhone 4.

Very soon I discovered a the following problems: There's no way to add titles to photos, there's no way to flip footage the right way up and there's no way to fade to black or fade from black.

Fortunately I've found a way around these problems (though I'm still working on a couple of other's I'll talk about in a future post).  Anyway, here's the tutorial:


This is the video I was making in the tutorial above.  It's called Solo Shed Flip because I used my Mazda Bongo to pull a metal shed upright after it blew away...


I also made this very cute (but slightly wrong) video on my iPod Touch with music from Josh Woodward -

Snow Man



Live Streaming with Dawkins, Fry and Friends at TAM London

This weekend I'm heading to London for "The Amazing Meeting" with Richard Dawkins, Steven Fry, Tim Minchin and many others.  The event is a "fundraising celebration of science, critical thinking and entertainment!" 

I mention this as I will be Live Streaming some of the talks including Cory Doctorow's, panel discussions as well as interviews with interesting and entertaining people.  You can see the Live Stream and find more information about the event over here:

Follow me on twitter for announcements and schedule info as it becomes available.

Or watch it right here:


If you have any projects or events coming up which you would like to live stream, I offer a full Professional Production Service but also provide training and advice so you can put together your own equipment and run the Live Stream yourself.  Email with any comments or quires.

"Lessons from Reshoots" or "Aaaarrrgh!"

Over the last few weeks I've been busy shooting, editing, reshooting and reediting a couple of projects.

Re shooting you say?  I thought you were a professional?

Well yes.  But we all make mistakes and some of us even try to learn from them.

The first reshoot was a series of video testimonials I made for Mark at Simply Networking

Last December I shot six or seven videos at the Golftorium event but made the mistake of setting up in a area which was empty and quiet, only to find it full and very noisy by the time I started to film.  After missing months of Simply Networking (doing filmmaking classes instead) I returned to reshoot the testimonials at the Concord Conference Venue.

Lesson to learn?  Always scout a location at the time and day of planned filming to see what the real shooting conditions will be.  And if I can't do this, just use some common sense.

Again, the sound isn't  great as the acoustics of the venue are not optimal (it's a canvas covered structure), planes were taking off within spitting distance and the thunder and rain were even louder.  On the other hand, Concord sets a striking scene. 


The second reshoot was for Go Gel Nails

I spent a day with Heather, a nail technician and a model filming an instructional DVD showing how to use the Go Gel range correctly.  Unfortunately the nail technician had a chipped nail all day.  It was very small and underneath the end of the nail, but as the shot was so tight, it stood out like a saw thumb once I was editing.  I should have noticed at the time but I was concentrating on the sound and lighting, etc. and didn't realise how bad it was.  The nail tech should have noticed but she was too nervous about being on camera.  Heather would have noticed but she was dealing with other issues that day.

Lesson to learn?  Always ask the expert on the subject being filmed to check each element of the production to make sure it is in line with the branding of the product.

If you are interested, here's a video showing how to prep a nail ready to apply a extension:

3 Tips for Effective Video Testimonials

Yesterday I spent the day with Ed Rivis (from sorting out his office studio, teaching him green screen techniques and discussing the future of web video in relation to SMEs.

At the end of the day I shot this quick testimonial video with him and today made it much more effective.
Take a look:
The more memorable the customer testimonial video is the more effective it will be.  With this in mind…
Tip 1.  Keep it Interesting!
All videos should be more interesting or entertaining above and beyond what the person is actually saying.  Show someone something new and they'll remember it.  For example, tomorrow I'm going to be filming some testimonials underneath a Concord at a networking event.
Obviously you may not have the skills for video effects or have an iconic plane to hand but think about what is going on in the background.  Can you ask your client to stand in front of your production line?  Or is there a local landmark that you want to associate your business with?  Get creative!
Tip 2.  Keep it Short!
You only need your client to get across one or two points about your product or service.  60 to 90 seconds should be enough time and never go over two minutes.  If the video ends with the viewer feeling bored they'll come to associate that feeling with your product.
Tip 3.  Keep it Real!
Don't give your client a script to read from.  Don't even ask them to write one for themselves.  Viewers will be skeptical about whose words they are saying and you may lose their trust.  
In the video above Ed stumbles for a second or two as he casts around for the right words to say.  I could have asked for a retake but this makes his words more genuine to you.  Then when he gets to the part where he recommends me, you think that is more genuine as well.  (BTW he was being genuine, I'm just looking at the phycology of the process.)
So remember with all web video and testimonials in particular:
"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

I recommend you check out where you'll find loads of advice about web marketing.  The great thing about Ed's advice it that it is all backed up by evidence, not just anecdotes.


Engaging Brand Podcast featuring YT!

I would have announced this earlier if I was able to but TalkTalk hasn't done a great job of reconnecting me to the internet since Saturday!  Their excuse?  "The support ticket wasn't passed onto the engineering team so that is why they haven't contacted you." Gggggrrrrr!

One of the best business podcasts I listen is The Engaging Brand to recently published an episoed featuring yours truly talking about using online video to help build your brand.  I was very nervous but the hoast, Anna Farmery, was very good as usual and I soon got into the swing of it.

You can listen to the episode here.

Like I said above, this podcast is very good and I always learn a lot from it.  If you are self employed, into any type of marketing or branding, or just want to hear some inspriring and creative people talk about interesting things, I would suggest you subscribe using iTunes (or whatever software you use).


Basic Filmmaking Techniques 101 - Camera Position and Framing

The first in a series of videos covering basic film making techniques to help you improve the quality of you online video content.


In this video I cover camera positioning and framing advice.  This advice is relevent for most types of video where you are filming yourself or another person, eg. Interviews, documentaries, youtube videos, etc.

In the next video I'll be looking at sound recording, how to improve the quality and some simple mistakes to avoid.

Subscribe to this blog, follow me on twitter or subscribe to my youtube channel to recieve more Basic Filmmaking Technique Videos.