Take a Tour! 2016 HGTV Smart Home is open to the public in Oct.

Smart Homes. Yeah, you know the ones – the amazingly crafted Smart Homes shown on HGTV. Your eyes widen. Your mouth slackens. Cue the never-ending sighs of wonder.

Well, what if you were able to step INSIDE the most beautiful and luxurious houses in the Triangle, and actually gawk at them in person? GUESS WHAT! You’re totally invited! Let’s try not to drool, am I right?

In this stylish episode of Kimberly’s Corner, Kimberly sits down with Homes by Dickerson’s Diandra Buckheit, the super Sales Agent for Haywood. Kim gets the scoop on how Homes by Dickerson was chosen to create the 2016 HGTV Smart Home. (How could they not be chosen with an award-winning video like this? *winks*)

Diandra personally invites you to tour the Smart Home during the Triangle Parade of Homes, during which the home is open to the public for the first three weekends in October (Oct. 1-2, 7-9, and 14-16) from 12 pm – 5 pm. Click here for more information! And don’t forget your drool bucket.

YNPN #NonprofitSTRONG summit

What can I say about YNPN’s NonprofitSTRONG summit?

To put it simply, it was inspiring. The summit was full of passionate people and powerful missions. But what stuck with me the most were the remarkable stories of these nonprofit groups. Here at Blueforest Studios, we are very aware that every nonprofit has a story, and we strive to tell these stories in a way that inspires action. And I gotta tell you guys, the exhibitors and nonprofits at the summit had AMAZING stories. Even though “storytelling” wasn’t exactly the theme of the day, you couldn’t escape it even if you tried! I can’t tell you how many great stories we heard from people just stopping by our table to take a selfie! (Yes, we had a selfie station. And yes, it was awesome.)

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Atrayus Goode from Movement of Youth was the keynote speaker of the day, and boy was he good. He had all eyes and ears on him from the moment he held the microphone. He told a gripping story of his childhood, in which he was a witness to his mother’s drug abuse among other traumatic circumstances. You could hear a pin drop, the room was so still. That’s the sound of good storytelling – held breath.

After he built up this story and had everyone invested, he came in with his mission: to start an open conversation about race, and to ignite change within the dynamic of this country’s leadership representation.

As storytellers, we here at Blueforest want to say BRAVO! to Atrayus Goode, for not only speaking out about something so important, but for also telling it so beautifully. Same goes out to all of the organizations there that day. It was an honor to be among such strong and passionate individuals, and to be able to hear all of your inspiring stories.

Hope to see you at next year’s summit!

Blueforest Gives Back 2016 Judges Meeting

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Having a strong team of judges is essential when discussing all applicants for this year’s Blueforest Gives Back Giveaway. With a blend of returning and new judges, and yummy food from Moe’s, it was time to get the ball rolling by scoping out 7 lucky finalists who met our criteria. We were very excited to see nonprofits we know and love and also organizations new to us. We did a thorough analysis of every applicant’s strengths and weaknesses. Because we looked at each applicant individually, this was a challenging process!

34 organizations sent in applications this year, which beat out our initial 25 total for last year. We fully examined each organization based on a careful list of criteria such as community presence, social engagement, and impact of the organization’s message. Some organizations are doing well on their own while others could use a helping hand. We gathered useful information about each nonprofit and their local impact.

Despite a long conversation and tough decisions, we were all on the same page about which applicants are the finalists Blueforest Studios will be working with. We’ll be scheduling meetings with the finalists over the next 4 weeks.

Meet the Judges Panel for Blueforest Gives Back 2016!


Now that our Second Annual Video Giveaway Blueforest Gives Back has officially stopped accepting applications, we are excited to announce the judges panel. These judges will be responsible for reviewing and voting on which local nonprofit will be the winner of our giveaway!




Michele Reynolds

Michele Reynolds is an expert in social work and is currently working at Springmoor Life Care Retirement Community, a nonprofit organization that provides retirement services to older adults. She has extensive volunteer experience and she enjoys working with Meals on Wheels and Race for the Cure.





Missy Hatley

MissyMissy Hatley is the Director of Resource Development for CASA, a nonprofit that develops and manages affordable rental housing to end homelessness. She has worked with donors and volunteers who support affordable housing for 12 years.  Missy can attest to the power of a beautifully crafted and presented video message to connect nonprofits with passionate people in the community who want to help.



Molly Winstead 



Molly was born and raised in Louisiana. She has a BA and an MS from LSU. She has worked in municipal government and for nonprofits including the Nature Conservancy and Democracy North Carolina. She is married and lives in Rocky Mount.





Kathy Langfield


Kathy Langfield is the VP Operations of the Blueforest Team and keeps us all on track. She is a professional MBA with a background in business, nonprofit and environmental fields. She has worked for Blueforest Studios since its inception as Atlantic Creative and oversees finance, operations, and marketing. She is on the Meredith College Alumni Board, Triangle AdFed Board, and is a longtime Special Olympics of NC volunteer.



Marguerite LeBlanc

MargueriteMarguerite LeBlanc is the bookkeeping part of the Blueforest Team since 2012. She has worked for nonprofit and for-profit organizations ranging in size from two to several thousand employees including local and national nonprofits and several publishing companies. Her experience includes fundraising, sales, marketing, event planning, and office administration.


Mary Beth Rehm

Mary Beth Rehm received her M.S.W. from UNC-CH then worked for many years with individuals with autism and their families through the TEACCH program in Chapel Hill.  After marrying and moving to Charleston, SC she started a gardening business and volunteered with the Preservation Society of Charleston.  Since returning to Raleigh, she has volunteered with the Deconstruction Program at Habitat for Humanity, in the kindergarten program at Stough Elementary, and at the NCSU Arboretum.



Video Team


Sean Riddle – Project Manager


Sean Riddle grew up in Orange County, California. He always had a passion for film and moved to Los Angeles and started as a production assistant at Warner Bros. Due to his hard work he was offered different positions on several TV shows, including “The West Wing”. Sean recently moved to Raleigh with his wife, daughter, and two pugs – Matty & Dwight. Sean absolutely loves Raleigh and all it has to offer and is looking forward to continuing his career at Blueforest Studios.


Emily Kohler – Illustrator + Animator


Emily Kohler is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where she majored in illustration. When Emily is not drawing, she spends much of her time thinking about what to draw next. She’s an avid urban sketcher and enjoys fresh air. Her hobbies include collecting mechanical pencils, misplacing her keys, and reading predictable mystery novels.



Bryan Reklis – Video Producer


Bryan Reklis graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009 where he studied media production. Bryan’s interest in media production began in high school, but in college, production became a passion. After graduation, Bryan started an internship with Blueforest Studios before joining the team full-time.



Van Dwiggins

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Vann Dwiggins worked in print publishing, wildlife conservation, and social work before finally finding his true passion in videography. A Raleigh native and a graduate of North Carolina State University, Vann is also an aspiring documentary filmmaker.  Vann enjoys camping, etymology, wildlife photography, and making videos for local nonprofits.



We sincerely appreciate each and every nonprofit’s dedication to bettering the community and willingness to enter our giveaway. Our judges will be reviewing and choosing the top 10 finalists within the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Blueforest Storytelling Seminar

We have raving fans for our Storytelling Seminar – so you’ll definitely want to check it out. Our next seminar is February 24, 2016 at 10:30am.  Lunch will be provided to those who’d like to stay after. One past commenter wrote: -Great storytelling seminar!. Gave me new perspective on using good  to make memorable…ppl remember great stories

See why else you might want to attend on this video:

Click here to register!  Seats are limited so sign up today!



Just How Effective is Multiscreen Marketing?

If you were to check any literary resource 40 years ago for the term “multiscreening,” a definition would not exist. However, our society has…evolved into a network of humans exceedingly less physically connected and more digitally connected through social media and television. Therefore, as we spend our time in a new way, traditional marketing concepts must evolve to accommodate for changes in our behavior. This change has ushered in the era of “multiscreen” marketing. An article recently posted to Adweek.com explains how Facebook IQ, Facebook’s analytics division, commissioned Neuro-Insight to conduct a case study to answer FaceboScreen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.47.01 PMok’s simple question: “How do consumers respond to television ads that they have already seen, either on Facebook or on TV?”


Neuro-Insight divided a group of participants into two pools. Half of the participants were exposed to a TV ad, while the remaining portion were exposed to the same advertisement. However, the advertisement the remaining portion viewed was a Facebook advertisement optimized for the site. A day later, both subject groups were exposed to the same advertisement on television. With the help of the participants, Neuro-Insight made an interesting discovery. Neuro-Insight discovered viewers engagement as well as detail oriented memory encoding increased by nearly 10% when exposed to a Facebook optimized advertisement as opposed to a repurposed television ad. Everyone involved in marketing needs to realize that as enticing as it can be to repurpose an advertisement for a different platform, thus saving time and money, advertisementScreen Shot 2016-01-04 at 3.31.33 PMs truly need to be optimized for their platform. By optimizing advertisements you are ensuring viewers will receive the message you intend to broadcast and will be affected by the content of the advertisements. As exceedingly more data is harvested from consumers online actions, we foresee multiscreen marketing ushering in an era of inescapable exposure to marketing as more and more screens appear and as businesses seek new ways to captivate buyers.

We aren’t that competitive…well maybe we are! – Studio Tour ’15 recap

We had so much fun hanging out with everyone who stopped by to Squirrel Around the Blueforest with us! And we’re psyched that we won Outstanding Theme for the AIGA Raleigh Studio Tour! We had a great turn out and everyone enjoyed animation fun, audio adventures, selfies with portrait drawings, pool and corn hole games, and not to mention the delicious food and beer! We’ll let what we do best– our different media and our winning outstanding theme–do the talking!

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Check out these hilarious adlib audio adventures we loved doing with you guys!

Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Choosing a DIY Video or Hiring a Video Professional

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Choosing between a DIY video or hiring a professional to make your video? There are different factors that you might not be aware of that are essential to consider. Both options have pros and cons, depending on the video content and why the video is being made. Anyone can pick up a camera and make a video, but that video’s content will determine whether it’s a good video or not.


One factor that you need to consider is TIME. You know that making a video is time consuming, but you may not realize exactly how much time is required. With a decent DIY video, especially when learning all the different aspects, creating the story, making the content, adding and editing audio, etc., expect at least 80 hours minimum. I’m not exaggerating. Professionals take care of all the technical aspects and work hard on helping create the right story and message. “Leaving it to the professionals” allows you and your team time to work on your main work and daily duties. While of course your team collaborates with the professional video makers, it’s significantly a less amount of time than doing the video yourself. Another time element is how fast you need the video. You can complete your own video if you need it quickly, where as professionals work from a timeline. A well produced video can’t be made within a few days, so that’s another thing to consider. Even if you need a quick video, quality is above all else.


A low quality video, in terms of how it looks but also the content, can hurt your business rather than help. If the video is not professional looking and is also filled with boring irrelevant content, consumers will not be interested in your video or your business. Another important factor is QUALITY when considering DIY video or a professional video. Videos can be shot on an iPhone or a consumer camera, but with that arises concerns of how professional the video will look. There’s the right lighting, setting, camera angles, etc. When hiring a professional you’re guaranteed your video will look professional with the highest quality equipment used with the experienced eye producing your video.


When hiring professional video producers, the factor that is always most prominent is COST. Many people don’t realize how time consuming and expensive making a video is. The planning, writing, shooting and editing that goes into making a video really adds up. Sometimes people are just driven away by the cost of a professionally made video, until they try to do it themselves and realize how much work goes into making a video. DIY videos will save you some money if you and your team are willing to put in the time and effort. But another cost that isn’t always considered is the cost of all the video making tools. Whether it’s new equipment or video tools to create videos in-house, the cost of getting these tools can add up. Professionally made video will guarantee a great quality video with all the aspects of video production covered.

Software:  $665
80 hours * $100 or normal billable = $8,000
Total:  $8665
Price at a professional company:  $7,000

There are many factors to consider when choosing between a DIY video and hiring a video professional. There are pros and cons for both options so it’s up to you and your business to determine the right option for you. One of the most important elements to consider when hiring a video professional is determining if they are the best fit for you and your business. Always make sure that the video professional cares about understanding you and your business, and that they can tell your story through video.

Stop by Blueforest Studios!! – AIGA Studio Tour ’15 November 5th

Blueforest Studios is a stop on the AIGA Studio Tour ’15. What does that mean?

AIGA Raleigh holds a studio tour where everyone is invited to travel to different creative studios on the list. Every studio will have various activities for the attendees. So why come to Blueforest Studios?

Open and free to everyone, we’re going to have lots of fun “Squirellin’ around at Blueforest Studios!” Autotune adlibs, animation fun, FREE FOOD AND BEER, and much more!

Mark your calendars for November 5th. We will be open from 5:30pm-9pm, so stop by whenever you can!

Sign up for the Studio Tour here. 

You don’t have to sign up for the Studio Tour to come hang with us! Sign up with Blueforest Studios here. 

We can’t wait to see you!!

What’s so special about Millennials?

There has been endless discussion about millennials – what to do with them, how to reach them, how to get them to stay interested in you and your product, etc. Why?

If you haven’t heard the term millennial thrown around, where have you been?! They are the age group born between 1980 and 2000 and they outnumber baby boomers. Millennials have been stereotyped as “lazy and entitled” but companies that believe this stereotype will ultimately lose business.

They’re the largest demographic in the marketplace, so you need to pay attention to them. Especially if you’re a marketer. Ignore them and you’re in big trouble.


Millennials crave information and want access right now. Company websites need to include all the right information with easy accessibility. With so much information on the web available, they can thoroughly research products and companies before buying, so it’s essential to take advantage of this and properly market your company and product. This goes for any potential customers. If they can’t find you, they won’t know about you. Simple, right?

71% of online shoppers claim that the most important thing a brand can do is value the customer’s time (according to Salesforce). You might have heard “millennials want it now”. They want quick responses or they can move on to the next guy, because that guy/company does respond, showing millennials their business is valued.

You need to create a personal connection between millennials and your product. Without taking the time to learn about their wants and needs, it takes away your ability to serve that customer base. Millennials change their wants and needs constantly to suit new technology and products being created each day. Businesses need to keep on their feet and adapt to ever changing customer demands and new technologies as they appear.