Is animation right for my business?

The video production Raleigh (and marketing as a whole) uses is shifting towards more animation. Your business is going to be on the cutting edge by embracing this growing trend. However, you’ve got to do it with intention or you’ll get just as much payoff by literally burning your marketing budget. Don’t torch your revenue! Our team at Blueforest Studios makes some of the best-animated videos in Raleigh, and we’re here to help you dominate.

A heavy boost in the conversion of your audience may just be right around the corner. At the very least, you might see a nice jump in engagement. We’ll start with the benefits business may gain from this film style.

The complex becomes simple

An animated film is particularly useful for painting big ideas in a simple picture. If your brand needs to boil elaborate messages down to their basics, you’ll find much more freedom with animation over live action footage. After all, artificial characters can do things and be things that are impossible in real life. A smiling cloud can be the main hero of your water conservation brand. A scrappy computer chip can take front and center for your computer hardware store ads. Try illustrating data transfer or the water cycle in 60 seconds with live film. Good luck!

Isolated audiences become united

You may find your brand has services or products that are useful to many, but your audiences don’t identify with you. Maybe your brand is a financial education service, but the primary perspective is from a man. You want to give women the full value of your service. However, there are differences in experience that make it difficult to connect with them. Open up your brand’s message by animating it. Diverse characters, and even personified objects can be useful for breaking down barriers of age, gender, race, and more.

Make your message highly shareable

If you’re wanting to make your videos more likely to be shared, an animation is worth a shot. To piggyback on the last point, animated footage helps you find more audiences by taking advantage of universal humor and lightheartedness. You don’t have to make your films funny, but it is much easier when your characters and settings are a bit removed from reality. Think about it like this: few adult cartoons would work as primetime sitcoms (see: The Simpsons). By making your audience laugh, you’re tapping into the top element of shareable content. Make people smile, and they just might make your brand go viral.

Take a chance to give your brand new life (beyond reality).

Animate your brand to open new doors for audience engagement and conversion. You’ve learned plenty about the potential of this medium just by reading this post. You now know this production method can simplify your ideas, united segmented audiences, and boost your audience engagement. You’ll find strong benefits all over this video style, but it’s up to you to implement them well. If you ever have questions– or want outsource for professional video production– we at Blueforest Studios are here to chat!

Love at first sight: How dating tips can help you create the BEST recruitment video

Your brand’s recruitment strategy means building a team that succeeds (or fails). You want to avoid chronic turnover and employee burnout. So, future hires should see how your brand fosters an incredible work life. Share your brand story with an awesome recruitment video for your website, but do it right. Don’t be the employer that makes a lame, robotic rehash hiring “pick-up lines.” As the pros in video production Raleigh trusts, we’re excited to get hires falling in love with your brand. Jump in and we’ll guide you with this edition of Blueforest video production tips and tricks.

Give job seekers your (real) story

Business relationships are a lot like dating: if your partner isn’t happy then you won’t be. Since recruitment isn’t only about you, you need to show the potential hires what they’ll get out of the deal.

You should approach your video like a first date with your brand. Your “date” is coming to your house for dinner and you’ve got to make a good impression. Good impressions start with being honest. You should let your employees tell their stories. If they’re excited about being with you, they’ll have no problems talking about your brand in a positive light. A job seeker loves a brand that’s approachable and transparent.

You shouldn’t write out a script for your employees to recite like a speech. Avoid spouting company values like they’re attractive to your potential hires. You won’t get a happy long term relationship with your “date” by using pick-up lines you’ve rehearsed to death. Let your dialogue come naturally.

Show job seekers what you’re really like

The first date isn’t only about what you say to your date, but how you act in your daily life. Your “date” is trying to gauge who you are, based on your actions and general vibe.

Make a strong impression on future hires by showing your employees’ work routines. People can get a real feel for you as your team greets people with smiling faces. They can see into your operations as your team works on daily tasks. They also get a feel for what your environment is like, focus on prioritize, and if their values align with yours.

Yes, your prospective employees catch all this through subtle cues in your recruitment video! If you present as clean and tidy then start becoming a slob again three months later, your partner sees the lie and suddenly you’re single again. Show your reality and your employees will know exactly what they’re hiring into.

Additionally, make sure to feature a few of your company’s benefits and perks. It’s really nice when you make yourself stand out with a bit of what makes you unique. You can cover the traditional pieces like healthcare and professional development, but show off a bit of your company culture too. Workplace features that bring a sense of community to your team are great shots for a solid recruitment video. They’re really attractive to future hires and just might get you off the “dating scene.”

Get to work on filming!

We’re going to break away from the dating metaphor for this one.

Lastly, you’ll just want to capture all these natural interactions and features with a decent camera. Depending on your needs, a modern phone camera might even be good enough. For audio, you can always use a phone’s voice recorder and set it up in proximity to your scenes. Fill out the audio mix with a bit of stock music from royalty-free music sites. Do a bit of editing to structure your narrative and you could be all set!

But if you need more tips (or a world-class video production team), feel free to set up a chat with us at Blueforest Studios. We’d love to get you on track with great video to make every “first date” bloom into a long-lasting relationship for your brand.

 

Want to edit video? Our 4 best beginner video editing software picks

Modern marketing has shifted towards video in an intense way. Media platforms like YouTube dominate the internet, and social media generally is pushing harder every day for video content. Now is a wildly opportune time to jump into video production, and today’s tech makes it effortless to jump into. For beginners, it’s wise to start small and only use what you need. We’ve chosen a handful of software for our “Blueforest tools for video production” stamp of approval. Check out our picks for the 4 best beginner video editing software suites and get started today! We’ve got mostly free options (with a few exceptions), but we’ll start with the ones lightest on your wallet.

Apple iMovie

Apple’s share of the computer market is rising, which means more of you are making the switch to Macs. Good news: you’ve already got one of the most popular video production software packages around! Coming pre-packaged with every Mac, iMovie gives you an unencumbered feature set so you can get off the ground quickly. It isn’t always the easiest software to use, it’s a great starting point to gain your bearings (and see what features you’ll actually need) before diving deeper into the complex paid software.

Price: Free with every Mac.

Hitfilm Express 2017

Yet another free software, Hitfilm Express 2017 is available to both Windows and Mac users. The base package is impressively feature packed for a starter setup. That said, you’ll find it really easy to add in things like 3D model importing and “Chroma Key”– the green screen feature– with simple itemized purchases. This way, you get only the features you need when you need them. Hitfilm takes a bit of time to learn, but it’s more professional than most free offering available.

Price: Free, with add-on features available for individual purchase.

VideoPad

At the low, low price of free, VideoPad has the same pay-as-you-need-it approach to features as Hitfilm. This software has the added bonus of being simpler to handle for beginners. Not to mention it’s also available on both Mac and Windows. However, more advanced users might actually options like Hitfilm if you want to get intricate with things like multi-cam editing. As a beginner, you’ll enjoy how easy it is to get going with your video creations. This is especially useful for those making less complicated productions like YouTube vlogs and such.

Price: Free for non-commercial users, starting at $60 commercially. (Currently, it’s discounted to $39.95 until the end of May 2018!)

Corel VideoStudio Ultimate 2018

Arriving at our first purchase-only option, Corel VideoStudio Ultimate 2018 has got a killer suite perfect for the beginner video producer. Window users will love how in-depth the toolset is, and will be even happier to know it’s easy to approach. In fact, the only drawback is that sometimes the features run a little too deep. If you’re up for a challenge, it can’t hurt to at least have access to these features while you’re exploring what you need. Additionally, if you want to go cheaper, most of the tools are contained in the Pro edition.

Price: $59.99 for Pro version, $89.99 for the Ultimate version

Choose what you need, get the rest later.

I’m sure you’re eager to get started editing your vacation films, creating video game playthroughs on YouTube, or finally getting your brand into video marketing. As some of the best video editors around for beginners, you’ll find most of what you need here. We at Blueforest Studios recommend you identify what tools you need and focus on creating great content. Remember, software can’t enhance a lackluster video. Do a bit of research before you begin video editing, and if you ever have any questions, we’ve got your back.

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Creating the perfect explainer video

Before making your explainer video, ask yourself: does your brand have a strong elevator pitch? If you aren’t ready to quickly explain your brand at any time, it’s time to get your story together.With these Blueforest video production quick tips, we’ll share answers to the following:• How do you talk about your brand in under 90 seconds?• What elements should be the primary focus of your video?• Is your tone too stuffy?At Blueforest Studios, our goal is for you to serve your audience’s needs before all else. Once they understand why you’re in business, they’ll be more ready to do business. Let’s find the “why” behind your explainer video with these tips.

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Give your script the KISS

The old ideas are sometimes the best. So, “keep it simple, stupid.” The “KISS” method is a blunt way to neatly compress your brand message. The problem, solution, your brand, and a call-to-action should be clocked at well under 90 seconds.For starters, jot down your audience’s unique problem. Write exactly why your audience would get excited when you solve their needs. This is your benefit. Did you notice I didn’t say, “talk about your features?” Talk more about them and less about you.

From here, your CTA is easy. Just stick a little urgency onto your benefits and you’ve got it. Keep it simple.

Voice drives the story

Storytelling is key to any great video. Your story should be driven by the voice. Visuals, music and all else should simply enhance your voice’s story.As a result, you’ll need very professional audio quality. Crackling or muffled voice paints an image of a shady brand with something to hide. They might think you pinch pennies when it comes to your services as well. Use studio-quality microphones and audio editing to avoid a bad impression.If you’ve got a strong script, you should be all set. But don’t forget to relate to your audience. You’ll want a story that allows them to see themselves in situations they would experience. Finally, we should note that you’ll want to include captions. Social media video auto-plays without audio, so be ready.

Setting the mood

The tone of your video is going to drive your message home in a less direct way. Have you seen those Dollar Shave Club advertisements? Humor stands out in a sea of sleek, trendy tech promos.Use your goofy office humor to your advantage. Your team’s got quirks, and if that tone goes against the grain of your industry, that is your ticket to success. Even if you’re not using humor, your goal is to shake the audience out of their expectations.Music and visual styling can be subtle pushes towards your target mood. If you’re using animation, pay attention to the art style. Note the film filters and camera angles you’re using. These all drive the tone if used effectively.

Explain your brand the right way.

Creating an explainer video can be a slippery slope into making a boring video. You’re taking actions to make it awesome, so you’re on the right track! Let’s take a moment to recap what you’ve learned:1. “Keep it simple, stupid” with a strong elevator pitch wrapped in a relatable story.

3. Voice needs to be clear audio, and it should drive the story.

4. Stand out in your industry by using tone to shake your audience out of their expectations.

Feeling better about your elevator pitch now? Good. Here at Blueforest, we want you confident in your incredible services. You’re one step closer to video production that matches the power of your brand. Excellent work, friend.

 

What does it take to be a Voice Artist? Is that like a hand model?

Becoming a professional voice-over artist is no picnic in the park. Some of us remember the Seinfeld episode where George is a hand model. Let’s just be clear that being a voice artist is both a gift – like George’s hands – and a cultivated skill. Plenty of people sound great, but there are many steps one has to take to sound sufficiently sharp.

On this week’s Kimberly’s Corner, voice-over extraordinaire Donna offers tips on how you can sound like a professional voice-over artist. It involves reading well, placing emphasis on the right spot and practicing.

When it comes to voice-overs, the popular phrase “practice makes perfect” definitely comes into effect.

To help take your voice to the next level, check out Donna’s helpful tips.

Blueforest Inside Look Part 3

We’re at our final stop of the Blueforest Studios tour. This is the stop where the eyes and ears masterminds come together to create a knockout masterpiece for our clients. Prepare to meet some more of our video and audio team members!

Sean Riddle

Sean

The Fit Project Manager

Sean ensures all Blueforest projects remain on point and on schedule. He works with the sales team, video team, and clients to take a video from start to finish. You can find him in creative meetings, on the set, or busily sending emails from behind his computer.

According to Sean, the magnificent part of working at Blueforest Studios is never knowing what each day will bring. He likes the fact that no two days are alike.

Bryan Reklis & Vann Dwiggins

BryVann Black LThirds Collage

The Friendly Video Producer & The On-The-Go Video Producer

Bryan and Vann are video making machines who diligently create top notch content for clients. The process of video production includes three parts: pre-production, production, and post-production.

During pre-production, Bryan and Vann brainstorm ideas, write scripts, and meet with clients to conceptualize and plan. For production, the two complete varying tasks from directing shoots or being a grip (which involves carrying, setting up and moving equipment around).

Post-production is when the pair fulfills duties such as capturing footage, managing data, editing footage,animating graphics, and playing the content with audio and music.

Bryan thoroughly enjoys editing video at Blueforest Studios.

“I especially love working with a good interview. I get engrossed in taking an hour long interview and turning it into a compelling 5-minute story,” he reflected, “I love to pour over the footage, listening to bits and pieces over and over until the story begins to emerge in my mind. After that, things start falling into place.”

Vann’s favorite part about working at Blueforest Studios?

“I like being out shooting in the field,” he said.

Dustin Painter & Donald Best

DustDon Blk LThirds Collage

The Avid Coffee Drinkin’ Audio Engineer & The Fashionable Audio Engineer

Dustin and Donald are the In-House Recording Engineers. The audio duo track voice-overs, hold client meetings, and occasionally go on set to record audio for projects.

Dustin says the finest part of working at Blueforest Studios is “there’s a lot of very talented, creative people and everybody gets along well.”

Similarly, Donald added, “I love everyone that works here. Everyone’s very awesome, really cool and super nice.”

Both Dustin and Donald enjoy the ability to be open and creative at Blueforest Studios as well.

Blueforest Inside Look Part 2

As promised, our tour of Blueforest Studios continues. This stop will focus on some of our graphics and video team members as well as some of our current interns whose creative geniuses help spark Blueforest Studios.

Meet Emily Kohler

Emily Collage

The Laid-Back Illustrator+Animator

Emily provides animation and design components for clients’ projects at Blueforest Studios. This can include storyboarding, typography, motion graphics, character design, and 2-D animation. Every client has unique needs so Emily works diligently to create a different illustration or animation style to fit the needs of the video.

Regarding the best part of working at Blueforest Studios, Emily stated, “It’s rewarding to have to constantly keep on my toes with new styles and techniques to complete each new project as it comes in.”

Alana Selby
 
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The Crafty Tall Illustrator+ Marketing Assistant
 

Alana uses her nifty illustration skills to create material for content and images for Blueforest Studios’ social media pages using Adobe Suite products such as Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. She also lends a helping hand to the Marketing department.

Her favorite part about working at Blueforest Studios?

“I get to be super creative and I get to do my own thing and they (Blueforest Studios executives) trust me to make what I think is best and that’s really awesome.” she said.

 

Bennett Northcutt
Bennett Collage
The Go-To Junior Intern
 

Bennett originally started out as a Finance intern in June 2015 and was slated to work for 135 hours. At the end of his term, Senior Vice President Kathy Langfield offered Bennett the opportunity to continue helping around the studio including with the sales team which he creates presentations and research leads for. Recently, Bennett has worked alongside Kathy to orient and welcome selected high school interns to Blueforest Studios. He refers to himself as the “go-to guy” for general tasks such as creating Google forms, working on a project agreement, or even occasionally fixing the printer.

For Bennett, the most terrific part about Blueforest Studios is the atmosphere and the people he gets to work with. “I feel as if I am part of the team and that my age is not a factor in how I’m treated,” he remarked.

“I like that my duties are constantly changing and that I get to do things like figuring out why a printer isn’t working,” Bennett continued, “I enjoy being able to contribute ideas in creative meetings and never feel afraid or discouraged from sharing my opinion or suggestion with Kathy or members of the team. In my opinion, you can’t find that in most places.”

He said among many other factors, the willingness of the Blueforest staff to accept teenage interns makes coming into Blueforest Studios daily something to look forward to.

Bennett recently graduated high school and will be moving on to attend UNC at Chapel Hill in August.

Kendra Jones
Kendra Collage
The Bubbly, Question Asking, Marketing Intern
 

Kendra was hired as a Marketing Intern in March 2016. Her daily tasks include writing blogs and press releases, researching various topics, looking up information about different companies to compile lists of potential contacts, posting content to social media, and researching and monitoring the brand’s online presence.

She has an open mind and is willing to learn any and everything about anything because she believes being multi-skilled is vital to succeeding in the workforce, regardless of what field one pursues.

Kendra loves the atmosphere, people, and the creative freedom Blueforest Studios allows. She also finds researching topics intriguing since she learns something new each time.

“I am able to write multiple materials with minor changes. The work I provide still has my voice and that’s very important to me. If I write something, I would prefer it to sound like I did.” she said, “I absorb and enjoy receiving feedback for completed tasks because it will help me grow as an individual.”

“I also like the fact that Blueforest Studios has a Planet Fitness aura,” Kendra added, “It’s a judgment free zone, just like the gym.”

Kendra’s internship will be coming to an end sometime in August. 

 

The Key To Creating A Memorable Story

Brendan_sm_blogby Brendan Bello

 

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The best way to convey a message is through memorable storytelling.

At the Nonprofit Storytelling Seminar in June, Blueforest’s very own Ammon Ehrisman taught the essentials of every memorable story.

After welcoming many people of various nonprofit organizations, Kimberly Corrigan opened the seminar by introducing herself and Blueforest Studios. Ammon followed suit and had everyone introduce themselves, briefly explain what they do, and what kind of message they wanted to convey using the tools the seminar would give them. To get into the creative mindset, everyone read a paragraph from a legal document and then watched a few short video clips including the story of The Good Samaritan as told by children and a commercial by Southwest Airlines.

Storytelling Seminar

While the attendees were preoccupied watching the videos, Ammon drew a picture of the brain to show what parts were used in reacting to the document and the videos and committing them to memory. He illustrated how only a few select portions of the brain lit up when reading the legal document compared to when watching the video clips. Ammon explained that audiences are able to form a memory when more parts of the brain are activated, in this case, during the videos which conveyed a clear message and story, but not the legal document because it lacked a story and contained perplexing vocabulary.

The objective of the seminar became to find the essential elements of a memorable story. After a round of excellent answers, everyone narrowed the key essentials down to the character(s), their values, and a threat to those values. In the story of The Good Samaritan, the main character is ambushed and beaten by bandits while traveling. Travelers of his own religion pass by him and do not help him, but the Samaritan, someone from another religion helps him and takes care of him. Despite the threat to his own values, the Samaritan helped the beaten man.

To practice, Ammon lets everyone choose one of their own messages which they could apply the storytelling elements. One woman, from White Memorial church, wanted to convey a message for her stewardship campaign, called “A Time to Discern.” Another person told their story of how they were inspired to donate to their church because one of their friends is wealthy yet is always the first to volunteer, host fundraisers in their own home, and serve their church. The woman from White Memorial Church thought it was a great example and said she would try to find a similar instance in her own church.

Ammon concluded the seminar by sharing his own personal story of how he became a director even though he was discouraged to go into the field as a young man. Walking away from the seminar, everyone gained a valuable understanding of crafting an engaging and memorable story.

 

Summer 2016 Interns: Moving On

The week for Triangle AdFed’s What We Do You Can Too internship program is over. Daniel Engman and Mason Carrara have both had a splendid time learning different areas of advertising at Blueforest Studios. The crammed week included learning how to edit videos in Adobe Premiere Pro, learning how to edit pictures in Photoshop, and producing a radio spot. Engman and Carrara tell us about their experience and what’s next in their lives.

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Q: How would you describe your experience at Blueforest Studios?

Daniel:

My experience here at Blueforest Studios has been one to remember. I learned so many new things and I improved on the skills I already had. For starters myself, along with the other two interns, created a radio spot start to finish. I also learned how to set up a professional photo shoot, and so much more! I would love to come back and work for Blueforest any chance I got. This experience was invaluable and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Mason:

My experience here at Blueforest Studios was an extraordinary opportunity for me to understand what an advertisement business is like. I learned what programs would help them achieve their goals in their work. In this business, I have learned how they plan out their next strategy and how prepared they have to be for making these productions. I went on a shoot with a few of the members, Vann, Emily, and Bryan in Wake Forest. I learned a new passion that I could potentially pursue which is videography. I was able to participate in their shots for the project they are working on which I noticed the whole idea of shading, lighting, and etc. It was just like my teacher said that computers are just like cameras.

Another area that I learned was audio, with Donald, and I thought that this was a great place to learn audio from him. I was able to do the radio spot with Daniel and Brendan and I was able to learn the whole editing process of our radio spot. Listening to all sounds to see how good or bad they were. Also, we used a voice actor to say our script. All in all, I was enjoying the experience and I hope to hone this experience so I can have the same idea of what job I will go into. I really enjoyed the experience here more than what I first had in mind.  

Q: What’s next for you? What are your plans for the summer?

Daniel:

Over the summer, I have football workouts every day from 7-12 and our 3-day camp at Campbell University in late July. Other than football every day I am going to Louisville, Kentucky June 20-25 to compete in the SkillsUSA national competition. My team is competing in Interactive Application and Game Design, which is a competition where the competitors are tasked with creating a video game prototype from scratch (that includes all graphics, audio, and actually making the game run).

I am also going to be in NYC for the week of July 4th and I’m really looking forward to it because I’ve never been to NYC before. I am always asked what I want to do with my life in the future and I think that I am finally figuring it out. I hope to go to NC State and major in marketing with a minor in psychology, or if NC State rejects me the backup plans are going to UNC-Charlotte and getting my MBA or going to Western Carolina and getting a degree in sports management

Mason: 

My plan for summer is really just focusing on creating my professional website so I can put my name out there with the work I have. Another step for me that I’m taking is learning new programs like Adobe Premiere and Pro Tools. Since coming here I have learned that these programs are pretty essential to the business. These seemed important since I’ve been with Blueforest Studios for four days and I have seen nothing on a computer but Adobe Premiere and Pro Tools for video and audio. Of course, there was photography which I enjoyed very much. I went with Vann, Emily, and Bryan and I decided to go along and help with their shoot of Wake Forest.

I enjoyed the sites that we traveled to and I also enjoyed being their actor for the shoot. I really appreciate the time they spent and the hard work they put into their work. It really opened my eyes to the possibilities of videography and I might put that into my listing also for the summer. I wish to keep doing internships for the summer but I only have a week so I might try to find another internship if I can after my week is up.      

 

Summer 2016 High School Interns

This is our fourth year participating in Triangle AdFed’s What We Do You Can Too internship program, or WWDU2, where high school students receive the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the advertising industry for one week. This year we have three interns:  Brendan Bello, Daniel Engman, and Mason Carrara.

Brendan Bello

Brendan Bello

I am a high school student in the Academy of Finance program at Sanderson High School. Throughout the summer between junior and senior year, Academy students are required to complete a 135-hour internship at a local business. I chose Blueforest Studios because I am interested in pursuing a career in the film industry. My plan for this summer and goal as an intern is to learn about video production. Blueforest Studios being a group of people passionate about their craft, they can help me accomplish that goal. With my experience at Blueforest Studios, I, like them, will hopefully be able to make audiences feel something and inspire them to take action.

(Brendan will remain an intern for the duration of the summer.)

 

Daniel Engman

Daniel Engman

Let’s start with who am I. I am a dual-sport athlete, playing both football and lacrosse for Middle Creek High School. I have one little brother, two crazy dogs, and I am very fortunate to have two loving parents as well. I am very influenced by sports in my life and they have molded me into a driven and very competitive person.

My competitiveness and my will to win have not only helped my football and lacrosse careers in high school (I’ve only lost 2 football games in my high school career), but it has driven me to go and get any and every opportunity I can get, such as this internship at Blueforest Studios. During my time at Blueforest, I hope to learn the amount of time and hard work it takes to create a successful marketing campaign and to recognize all the pieces that play into making the best possible product. I also hope to further my skills in video production, as well as graphic design and audio production.

 

Mason C

Mason Carrara

I am sort of a computer geek and I love to create things from scratch in Photoshop. I love creating objects,environments, and characters. The love to learn new skills is always open to me. I want to be able to do work that others would recognize, from the company and from me. I personally love working with others and hearing their opinions on given subjects so I can improve on my thinking.

I just started getting into animation and I was able to create a .GIF with the Photoshop Timeline window by creating individual frames for each movement. I enjoyed this, and I decided to go a little more in-depth with animation. I still only know the basics but I bought the book called “Animator’s Survival Kit” to enhance my skills. I plan to also learn more about animation at Blueforest Studios. 

My goal for this internship is going to understand how computer businesses work. I want to see what we do for planning, what we do for executing, and etc. I want to learn programs for the work of animation, editing, and teamwork. Getting to know these programs and critical thinking skills will help me understand the thinking of a business products. Being in a business is personally a good spot for me to understand what a business will be about.