Whether it is in advertising, blog posts, or the news, video is increasingly present on the internet. While improvements in technology partially explain this increase, that is far from the whole story. One of the main reasons that videos are increasingly present in the digital world is because they are scientifically more effective than other mediums at expressing a message.

The Science of Vision

Human beings may have five senses, but that doesn’t mean that all of those senses are used equally. Studies show that 83% of our sensory input comes from vision and hearing makes up another 11% of our sensory input. We are literally biologically programmed to see more than we hear, smell, taste, and touch combined.

And when it comes to that visual sense, it is particularly effective when movement is involved. Even the tiniest amount of movement engages the eye, causing it to track that movement. That tracking instinct means that humans focus better on videos than they do on static text. This also means that scrolling text in video, like at the opening of Star Wars, is easier to focus on than static text like subtitles.

Whether or not movement is involved, visual imagery is transmitted to the brain faster than text is converted into a mental image. Humans can recognize the primary conceptual idea of a visual image in about 1/10th of a second. A description of that image takes significantly longer to read and then still requires extra time to fully process.

Visual Memory is Better

Not only do we identify and process moving images better than we do text or audio recordings, we also remember them better. One study shows that 80% of the subjects were able to recall the details of an advertisement they had watched up to one month after watching it. That rate is considerably lower for an advertisement that has been read.

Emotional Response to Video

Finally, while emotional responses are difficult to quantify, we can quantify the presence of emotional responses. Video is much more likely than other forms of media to cause neurons to fire that correlate with emotional responses. This matters greatly in the marketing world where emotional responses, even ones that are not fully positive, correlate with higher conversion rates.

More Than Just an Art

Creating the perfect video is mostly art, but choosing to use video in the first place is scientifically sound. Our knowledge of biology and psychology both prove that video is a more effective means of engaging an audience than any other form of media.

Posted in: Camera and Editing Services, Interactive Videos, Online Videos, Video Marketing, Video Production

When it comes to creating an interactive video or promotional video for your company, focus on the light. Your message cannot get through to the person watching your video if you fail to create a beautiful, easy to see video. What’s worse than having too little light is having light that’s simply not at the right level as this can create the wrong focal point for your video. With a few helpful tips and tricks, though, you can create videos that are perfectly suited to your audiences needs, especially in an online format.

Know the Rules of Lighting

The first thing to focus on are some basic rules. When creating videos, always remember these specific rules.

  • You want the people or products in the shot to look good.
  • Focus on removing the shadows that occur on a person’s face or on the focal point.
  • Don’t make lighting so obnoxious that it becomes a distraction to the viewer or the person in the piece.
  • You don’t have to spend a great deal of money on lighting. Use what’s available and natural.

Now that you know these rules, you can make better decisions about the lighting you use. But, there are a few more things to keep in mind.

Focus on Ambient Light

One of the best options is ambient light. The best source of light is what’s natural for that space. For example, if you position a light over the top of the person in a video, this is going to create shadows. It is also going to distort the colors in your photo. Next, realize that natural light is a good thing and a bad thing. When you want a natural setting, natural light works well. However, when you want ample control over your lighting, its best to block out all natural light possible and create your own!

Light Placement

Where should you position lights to create the right look? Every shoot will be different to some level here. Here are some rules to consider:

  • The light source should be in front of the lens in most shots.
  • Place light at a level that is just above the subject’s eyeline.
  • Create contrasting shadows for depth by placing a light at the subject but at waist level.
  • Point the camera slightly down at the subject and place the lights in front of it, out of the lens, of course.

It is also important to consider the light source. The larger the light source is, the softer the light will be. Soft light doesn’t create shadows and offers more depth, and therefore is often best for most business videos. It’s also a good idea to use fluorescent bulbs over the stark light of LED.

When considering all of these components, the goal is simple. Create a video that is easy to see, but one that is visually interesting. Light takes practice, unless you allow a professional to help you to do the work for you. Create a few videos with light at different locations to see the differences for yourself.

Posted in: Camera and Editing Services, Video Production Tips

Advancement in technology has made it possible for video effects to be used to superimpose objects onto virtual backgrounds. Using these green screens, you can simulate different backgrounds to create different scenarios using the same image. Pulling your subject out of the real world and placing them into a digital domain is referred to as chromakey. Using chroma key efficiently will enable you to represent easily different sceneries some imaginative using a real image from the physical world.

If you are using the green screen, you require isolating every single color of brightness value in electronic images. The process is known as keying, and it uses unique software to make the value of light transparent. Color keying is what is referred to as chromakeying. A green color is used because of contrast. To isolate one part from the rest, the background color must be distinctly different. The object needs to be of a different color from the background for efficient keying out.

To set up an effective green screen, you will need the following items: a source of bright light, a green background, even lighting, and a tripod to lock the camcorder in place. Buy or build a background. Anything that is bright green is valid and sufficient for green screening. If you decide to use a wall, make sure that it is smooth since a textured surface will cause shadows making your images to be of lower clarity quality.

The lighting of your green screening wall should be done evenly using a soft light. Any cases of variation are registered as gradient coloring thus they will result in complicating your key in the post. Hard lights are undesirable because they cast narrow and vivid beams that create centrally placed circular hot spots. Therefore, make sure that the light you use is soft and consistent to bring out exemplary green screen effects.

Additionally, you should light your subject independently of your set. Shadows and reflections are the determinants of this kind of lighting. The wall is kept smooth and evenly lit to keep the subject’s shadow from falling across it. Thus, make sure that the talent is kept at a distance of some few feet from the screen. Then, proceed to light the subject using three point lighting.

Always position your key and make sure that the lights are filled slightly to the sides as opposed to being filled straight on. Using this side filling will rid the visible frame of shadows making them fall out of it. Furthermore, moving the subject away from the wall will reduce the amount of reflected green spill light on your talent. Whenever there is an occurrence of reflected spill light, your subjected can be rimmed in a tinted halo that is difficult to discern with the naked eye.

Frame and focus are essential for your green screen. It is advisable not to zoom in and out when you are recording. You should zoom and focus your subject and then leave the controls as the recording continues. After you have successfully shot your subject actually, pull the key to revealing the digital backdrops or virtual backgrounds.

Posted in: Camera and Editing Services, Getting Ideas, Video Production Tips

Everybody enjoys watching a well edited and produced video. But have you ever wondered what goes into making a near-perfect video that stays on people’s lips and memory for days to come? Well, such a video has to have gone through several stages of productions. Video editing is the final stage that entails taking raw footage and then polishing it to make it appealing and ready for broadcasting. In other words, video editing refers to rearranging and manipulating video shots to create something new. This means that the person editing must choose the best shots, arrange them in order, add graphics, sound and special effects.

Nowadays, you can use the various computer software and digital technology available to edit pictures and sound. Some of this software include Final Cut Pro or avid and Adobe Premier Pro. Final cut is quite complex and it requires a lot of training to familiarize yourself with the many tools and options it avails to editors but Adobe Premier is a bit easier to maneuver. Editing with software is also referred to as non-linear editing system. You only need to install the software on your computer and import the raw footage that you want to edit, and then start editing to your desired quality.

However, this was not usually the case in the past because editors had to literary cut the reels of film using scissors. Other types of editing include linear video editing, offline editing, online editing, and vision mixing. Some of the projects that you may work on include commercials, TV programs, feature films and corporate videos.

Digital editing is the most popular tool of editing especially for commercial purposes. A video editor has to work under the guidance of a director so that they can actualize what the director had envisioned. However, things are much easier if the director or photographer doubled up as the video editor because they will know exactly what to shoot and how to edit. This is mostly the case when someone is making a personal video that they intend to upload on, Vimeo, YouTube, or any other similar site where people can upload videos.

In a nut shell, the work of a video editor involves the following activities:

  • Receiving instructions or discussing about the project with a client or director;
  • Transferring video footage/film to computer;
  • Assessing the footage and making the decision on which shots to cut and which ones to keep;
  • Cutting and combining shots using editing software;
  • Ensuring that the shots combine together to form clear storyline even if the shots do not follow the right sequence;
  • Making an assembly edit or a ‘rough cut’ out of the selected material;
  • Using digital technology to enhance picture quality;
  • Adding graphics, titles, sound and visual effects;
  • Creating a polished version.

Nowadays, video editing skills are used widely in the corporate world because companies need to create videos and advertise online. Most companies have resorted to hiring professional video editors who can attend to video related tasks. Others prefer outsourcing the work to freelance video editors or small editing companies. This way, they stay ahead of the competition by ensuring that they have a steady flow of quality promotional videos.

Ideally, video editing is not a difficult task and it requires both skills and creativity to execute well edited and produced videos. Any business doing online marketing can benefit massively from impeccable video editing.

Posted in: After Your Video is Created, Camera and Editing Services

Framing photos is done to draw attention to the most favorite photos. Framing places the subject of the photo strategically in relation to other objects of the shot taken. There are various kinds of framing available. The most effective framing technique should draw attention to the subject of the image. Additionally, the technique should block other parts of the image that are not pivotal using something else in the scene. There are many benefits associated with framing the images.

The main benefits of framing include:

Frames give the photo on which they are used a context. For instance, when an archway scene is framed it tells the general setting of the surroundings. Some plants in the foreground will convey the information that the shot was taken somewhere out in nature. Therefore, framing should be done carefully to make sure that the photo does not lose its main context.

Framing is also important in giving images a sense of depth and layers. Framing is useful in bringing objects to the foreground. Also framing arranges the objects into three categories: foreground, middle ground and background. This arrangement gives an extra to the shot taken.

Framing the shot is also important because it leads the eye of the viewer to the main focal point of the image taken. There are many different kinds and shapes of frames. Some of these shapes have the capability to draw the attention of the viewer into the picture. Also, it has been proven that some of the shapes not only draw the eye to the image but they keep it there for a while longer. The frames are thus functional in acting as barriers between the main subject of the shot and the exterior world.

Frames also bring out an intriguing aspect of the image to the viewer. Many times, what viewers cannot see in a shot but perceive that it is there tends to attract them to the image. Clever framing can make the viewers to wonder a little or imagine what is concealed behind the frame. Thus, as they try to decipher the available objects in view, they are able to fully analyze the shot effectively.

Framing of shots taken come in various shapes and sizes. Each shot should be effectively scrutinized to make sure that the correct and most effective framing design is chosen. The frames do not need to go around the edges of the image completely. They may cover just one or two of the edges. Before framing an image, one should first ask themselves whether the frame will add or take away some value from the image.
In some cases where the wrong frame is chosen, it may clutter or make the original shot take look crowded. However, in some cases, a well selected frame can convert an ordinary shot into a stunning and magnificent shot. Also, when choosing a frame, one needs to consider whether they want their frame to be in focus or not. In some instances, a blurred frame adds a sense of depth and mood to the shot. In other cases a focused frame adds context to the shot.

Posted in: Camera and Editing Services

Need just a HD shooter or editor? Our field production team shoots for broadcasters and filmmakers all over North America and around the globe. Our editors can breathe life into your video content. We can help anyone who wants to get a message out professionally, but lacks the necessary video skills.


Promoting Publications

A few publishers have begun to promote their books by means of interviews with the authors. The intention is to promote sales. However, authors are often not the best salespeople for their own work. Even when they are as articulate and engaging in person as they are on the written page, the resulting videos may not do the publication credit. Publishers and authors should consider using camera and editing professionals from Kicker to achieve the marketing goals.

Let’s take the example of the peer-reviewed press. Reading a scholarly book represents a commitment in time, money, and energy. Whether the potential reader is another academic or a layperson, they want to choose the book that addresses their interests and concerns. Videos are a great way for scholars to appeal to their potential readers. What is the subject matter? What is the thesis? How will reading the book inform and enrich the reader. Skillful editors can help to present the material that a professional camera operator has filmed in an engaging way. The right images, drawn from the book material, can whet the appetite of the potential readers. Many publishers are just discovering the potential. And, the same logic works for all literary forms. Kicker can help add the professional touch that the publication merits.


Special Events

When you want to remember a special event, you should consider hiring our field production team to film and our editors to put your video together professionally. The same is true at an institutional level. Perhaps you want to record a lecture, a presentation, a performance, or a sporting event. For a small investment, your sporting club or educational institution can consider capturing the event for posterity. Let’s consider just one practical case.


Remembering a Most Special Day

Weddings are notoriously complex to plan. Wedding photographers play an important role in documenting the day. Good ones have the skills to communicate not only images, but the feeling of the ceremony. Of course, much is crammed into a wedding day: not only the activities, but the emotions.  By trusting our professional camera operators, unobtrusive but omnipresent, to capture the day, you will have quality footage to work with. Our editors have the skills to create a story line from the footage that will engage people for decades to come. Wedding videos are a favourite on the video sharing sites and frequently go viral. Whether or not that appeals to you, you can be sure that the video will look as good as you do on the special day.


You want to record a special day or event? You want to market your product or service? However, your skills lay in fields other than camera and editing work? Call Kicker to discuss how we can offer a professional touch to your project at very affordable prices.

Posted in: Camera and Editing Services, Working with a Video Production Company