Posts Tagged ‘voices and visions’

Video for Private Equity Annual Investor Meetings

May 28, 2013

This is the time of year when many PE companies and PE divisions of larger companies are designing the content and activities of year-end annual investor meetings. Significantly, few industries are as friendly to the fashionable storytelling tool of video as private equity. Each portfolio company brings an engaging narrative of its roots that flourished over time and are expanding as a result of the vision, strategies and assistance brought by its private equity partner. Producing high-end and fast-paced yet short and comprehensive videos to showcase examples of companies in a portfolio that are encountering success is a great way to convey the information, break up the pace of the meeting in a popular and pleasing way, and encourage participation in future funds the PE firm will roll out.

The themes of the videos will depend upon the emphases of the companies or divisions. There is no one formula; decisions are tailored to the firms and their investor audiences. Here are some examples of videos created for The Riverside Company, the largest global firm investing in the middle market, for their 2012 Annual Investor Conference. The goal of these videos was to highlight the different funds:

North American Fund Portfolio Company: Baby Jogger

European Fund Portfolio Company: Reima 

Asia-Pac Fund Portfolio Company: Learning Seat 

North American Microcap Fund Portfolio Company: Yourmembership.com  

V&V has been working in PE and related industries for over a decade with clients such as The Riverside Company, the former AIG Investments, Private Equity Investor, and Duane Morris LLP. We also count as our clients pension funds investing in PE such as the Texas Teachers Retirement System.

Please contact us to brainstorm ideas about ways in which video can provide added value to your annual investor meeting.

YouTube, SEO & Other Video Data

May 15, 2013

My email and LinkedIn group inboxes are constantly flooded with the latest information concerning every aspect of video. While often the information falls into the common sense category, sometimes I see data that piques my interest. Two such summaries came across my screen this week, one focused on YouTube’s algorithm for ranking video and the other containing an infographic with more off-beat statistics concerning the use of video by marketers and advertisers.

Several months ago the Official Youtube Content Partners and Creators blog announced that it would rank videos based on the extent to which viewers actually watch them rather than simply the number of clicks any given video receives. The blog noted that the company wants to “reward engaging videos that keep viewers watching.” This approach is consistent with the SEO focus of Google (which owns Youtube) on substantive content on websites.

This information interlaces with the infographic, posted by Larry Thomas on the Latergy Social Video Channel. According to a recent study by videoexplainers published by visual.ly, videos that are over one minute in length produce more click-through rates than shorter videos, except for videos that are 15 seconds or less. Videos that fall into the category of 16 to 60 seconds in length are 41% less effective than videos that are over a minute.

So putting these pieces of information together: Though it is commonplace today to lament the lack of attention span across wide swathes of the population, it seems that many folks out there are actually interested in more substantive content and are watching it in video form — and Google/Youtube is rewarding those producers.

My advice: Short sound bite videos (particularly those under 15 seconds) containing clear, articulated information are impactful (153% more effective in terms of click-through rates than videos between 16-60 seconds, according to the infographic) and should be included – in multiples – as part of an online video strategy. But they should be anchored to longer, content-filled videos. Of course, “longer” is a relative word, and it does not have the same meaning as “long.” An examination last year of Youtube codes seeking the length of the top 950 viewed videos on Youtube determined that the ideal length in terms of audience engagement (other than for music videos) is 2.5 minutes. That sounds about right to me. If the content is interesting, I think it is okay to stretch the timeline a bit. If there is more to say after that, it is, in my opinion, time for another video.

Two other interesting statistics that came out of the infographic:

  1. 4 in 10 social videos are humorous and viewers of those videos are more than three times as likely to click to a brand’s Facebook page than viewers of non-humorous videos.
  2. Celebrity videos drive 12% fewer visits to brands’ Facebook pages than non-celebrity videos.

My takeaways? Comedy over celebrities, and make sure your video budgets reflect the outcomes you are seeking.

Spreading Peace in your Starbucks Backyard

November 20, 2012

This month the Delicious Peace photography exhibit of Voices & Visions’ DP Curt Fissel is on display at Starbucks in Glen Ridge, New Jersey because barista Derek Teixeira, a photographer himself, likes to transform the walls of his store into a place artists can show their work. It was his hope that the Glen Ridge Starbucks Community Art Wall would also convey a deeper meaning. “We saw the wall as a way in which to promote the benefits of art. Especially in contemporary times, it really brings together a community,” said Teixeira.

His commitment to promoting community is reflected in the artists it features on the Wall. Last month the students of East Orange Youth Cultural Complex had their art on display. Says Teixeira, “These children worked along side their teacher (and world traveled artist) Miah Leslie in creating collages that both were in homage to Romare Bearden and simultaneously offered its viewers a peek into the mind of a child in 2012 urban America.”

curt fissel, starbucks, voices and visions, corporate video, documentary production

From the “Delicious Peace” show.

This month’s show, Delicious Peace, is a collection of photos taken during the filming of Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean, which is a story about interfaith Ugandan coffee farmers building community and economic development in the face of great adversity. Teixeira draws a parallel between the missions of Starbucks and Delicious Peace, stating, “Its ability to bring people from various religious faiths – Jewish, Muslim and Christian — is in line with what Starbucks aims to do over coffee.”

I always find the greater Montclair region of New Jersey to be a vortex of creative energy. It’s a place where people respect and celebrate each other’s cultures.  At its heart Delicious Peace is about embracing differences and building community. We are thrilled to have found an exhibition space with a mission as similarly positioned. Says Teixeira: “Stop into the Glen Ridge Starbucks on any day, and you’ll see that our store brings together people off all colors, religions, ages and backgrounds! This month’s work couldn’t be any more fitting to help embody that.”

Starbucks

710 Bloomfield Ave.

Glen Ridge, NJ 07028
(973) 743-1752

Starbucks Photo Exhibit

November 16, 2012

Whether the medium is video or stills, talented photographers see space in ways others do not. Curt Fissel, our DP at Voices & Visions Productions and JEMGLO Productions, carries this third eye around with him wherever our jobs take us. Sometimes our destination is a corporate video shoot when his task is to transform a boring boardroom into a compelling interview space. Other times it’s in the field shooting footage for an upcoming documentary. Some of the places our projects have taken us are beautiful landscapes, others war-torn, but few places stand out like the Mbale region of Uganda, where we shot Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean.

curt fissel, starbucks, voices and visions, corporate video, documentary productionIn addition to capturing hundreds of hours of footage in this beautiful Eden, Curt also documented the essence of Ugandan life through his first love: the still photo. Living in the artsy epicenter of Montclair, NJ, he has had the opportunity to show his “Delicious Peace” photo exhibit at several locations, including the Montclair Public Library during African American History Month and Parlor Hair Studio’s wall gallery. This month the show is at a Starbucks in the next door township of Glen Ridge.

The documentary tells the story of the Mirembe Kawomera coffee cooperative in Uganda, which is comprised  of Jewish, Muslim and Christian famers. Once at odds with each other over religious differences, these men and women have united by forming the co-op together, focused on  building prosperity for their families and fostering peace in their community. Their story is one of triumph; their initiative is a model for the world.

curt fissel, starbucks, voices and visions, corporate video, documentary production

The nature of Starbucks’ business and its corporate philosopahy make it, an appropriate location for this photo exhibition. Curt is very excited about the exhibition being held throughout the month of November, and we hope everyone in the area is able to stop by to see it! The farmers’ story is a message of peace. Our goal is to spread the framework of peace they have created through art, coffee and film.

Photo of the Week

August 27, 2012

 

Last year we went to Uganda with our nonprofit, Jem/Glo, to screen Delicious Peace for the Mirembe Kawomera coffee farmers, an interfaith cooperative that formed to build peace and economic development in the area. Afterward, we led a group of fellow travelers on a gorilla trek, where Curt snapped this photo of a silverback gorilla:

Gorilla, Curt Fissel, Voices and Visions, Jem/Glo, Uganda, Video production

 

It was also recently featured in an article by Wells Fargo. Has anyone else ever been on a gorilla trek?

See last week’s Photo of the Week.

 

Business Travel Tip

August 13, 2012
Ellen Friedland, Voices and Visions, Business Travel, Video Production, Los Angeles Video Production, New Jersey video production, New York video production, corporate video productionWe travel all year round to videotape for our corporate video production clients, but this month marks the beginning of our busiest travel season, something Voices and Visions‘ senior producer, Ellen Friedland, has learned to manage with ease. Here are a few tips from her on business travel:
If you’re traveling for business, you need to plan to get there with enough time to make the meeting or, in our case, to ensure we arrive in time for the pre-arranged interview, even if that means a day early. If you’re traveling on a plane with equipment, make sure you bring essential items as carry-ons.
See last week’s tip on Video Editing.

Video Editing Tip

August 7, 2012
curt fissel, voices and visions, new jersey video production, video production, new york video production, voices and visions, video editing, video marketing, social video
This week’s tip is for keeping video files organized during the editing process and it comes from Voices and Visions senior editor, Curt:
I use a program called Name Changer. It’s a free download that allows you to title your files sequentially and quickly. Keeping everything organized as it’s captured cuts your work in half. I also developed a label system to help me separate a-roll from b-roll.. I’m working with an intern right now and my producer needs to be able to understand what the intern is doing — and the next intern needs to understand what has previously been done; this is why we need a uniform system.
See last week’s tip on Video SEO.

Neelam’s Kitchen: Cooking California-Indian Style

July 27, 2012
When you have a professional video production business, love Indian food, crave fresh California produce, and meet a top chef who specializes in the latter two and is beautiful and humble in front of the camera, you have no choice: You must spec on a cooking show.

neelam batra, indian cooking, cooking show, voices and visions, video production

Neelam shopping at the Santa Monica Farmers Market

Meet Neelam Batra, the author of the popular Indian cookbook 1000 Indian Recipes — the 2003 Cookbook Award winner in the International category of the International Association of Cookbook Professionals. Neelam also wrote The Indian Vegetarian and Chilis to Chutneys: American Home Cooking with the Flavors of India (all are available on Amazon). As these things happen, Neelam and I “enjoy our coffee” together in Santa Monica (see the Enjoy Your Coffee group on Facebook). A few conversations about new directions led to a joint decision to embark on a venture together to produce a pilot cooking show featuring Neelam and her healthy California-style approach to Indian cuisine.

Born in New Delhi but living in Santa Monica for most of her life, Neelam’s style weaves the two traditions in ways that emphasize food that is both delicious and healthy. She stocks her pantry with grains and flour, her freezer with basics she pre-prepares, and a kitchen drawer with spices – many of which she grows in her yard, dries out, and pulverizes into powder. These staples are mixed with whatever produce inspires her each week at the local Farmer’s Market; in southern California, there are no end to the possibilities. 

To produce the pilot, V&V filmed Neelam two days ago walking around the market as she examined and chose the produce that enticed her palate this week. Yesterday we videotaped her cooking the dishes that she envisioned as she worked with the ingredients. She shared some of her philosophies and recipes in interviews, and two cameras captured her beautiful works of art at their various stages of unfolding.

neelam batra, voices and visions, indian cooking, cooking show, video production, santa monica

Curt videotaping as Neelam cooks, explains and inspires.

When the cameras shut down, our mouths opened up to a scrumptious delight: parantha bread with rosemary and cheese, charred purple cauliflower and sushito peppers with cha’at masala, stove-roasted heirloom tomatoes, and baby potatoes covered in an array of delicious spices. There are many reasons we hope the pilot that now goes into post-production editing will be successful, not the least of which is the anticipation of the next set of  Neelam’s California Indian delights!

Tip of the Week

July 19, 2012
This week’s tip comes from our writer and producer, Ellen:
ellen friedland, voices and visions, new jersey video production, new york video production
When traveling to other cultures, learn about the culture to which you’re traveling:
Back in 1995, when we were doing a lot of work in Poland, I went to the store and bought a Polish language audio cassette. I decided if I was going to be in Poland, I needed to know certain words and expressions: Thank you, please, where is the bathroom, right, left, straight. After many rewinds, I learned some of the basics, which made it so much easier to get around. People also responded more helpfully and enthusiastically because they realized I was trying to take part in their culture.

Tip of the Week

July 11, 2012
This week’s tip comes from our Director of Operations, Krystal:
voices and visions, director of operations, krystal sancho
Encourage a policy of openness in the office

From the get-go, make communication a big part of your culture. If an employee has an issue, he or she needs to feel like you are open to listening. Be understanding about important events in employees’ lives that occur outside of the workplace. When people feel valued they work harder and are more willing to help out in the event of a crisis or setback.