5 Marketing Goals to Achieve Before the End of the Year

2018 has been a whirlwind of a year. From Italy and Mexico to Rhode Island and California, we’ve covered all four corners of the globe filming for our clients’ projects. As we look forward to the new year, we wanted to share some ideas and tips for making the most of the final four weeks of the year. Invest in making these five marketing goals happen in December and get ready to reap the benefits!

Invest in a holiday video.

As much as certain Scrooges grumble about the holidays, there’s a reason brands and business thrive during the gift-giving season. If you have yet to develop a concept for a 2018 holiday video, there’s no time to wait. These five easy ideas from Safe Music List will help you brainstorm quick video ideas that can be produced in just a few days. The holiday season brings lifted spirits and increased downtime from work, making it the perfect time for your audience to be able to appreciate your holiday video content.

Revisit old content.

One easy way to curate content that will last you through the end of the year? Revisit your most successful posts from 2018. Whether it’s through Instagram’s Year in Review tool or by analyzing your posts that received the most engagement and buzz, remembering your best posts can re-engage your audience and remind them of everything your team has accomplished since January.

Strategize your Adwords goals for 2019.

How often do you log on to Google AdWords to revise your campaigns? If you can count the amount of times over the past months on one hand, your AdWords dollars are being wasted. One of the most important things you can do for your AdWords strategy is to commit time and manpower to manually checking and editing these campaigns as often as possible. Another rule to remember if you want success on Google AdWords is to be as specific as possible. When it comes to marketing small-to-medium businesses, it’s incredibly difficult to find success trying to rank for keywords like “real estate” or “plumbing”. Implement more specific keyword phrases that incorporate business location and other business features to help reach more targeted audiences. This article from Inc.com highlights some of the most important strategies you can implement in your 2019 AdWords strategy. Take a look to get some ideas before you jump into developing your new goals.

Determine your annual budget.

What made your marketing efforts successful during 2018? What are some areas that you would like to improve? As the end of the year approaches, now is the time to revisit your marketing budget and take a long look at areas that underperformed or those that are in need of some more budget love. Does your affiliate marketing show promise? Were you hoping for better results from your PPC campaigns? Knowing where your business thrives and struggles in digital marketing can help you develop a comprehensive and lucrative budget plan for the new year.

Update your social media knowledge.

If there’s one thing that stands true about digital marketing, it’s that a brand’s social media strategies should always be changing. On certain platforms like Twitter and Instagram, trends can come and go within a few days time, leaving you very little leeway to be slow to grasp these trends. If social media isn’t your strength, invest in a social media intern or assistant to help you grow your platforms and stay up-to-date on the latest internet trends, jokes, and advancements that come and go so quickly. If you can’t add a new member to your team, check out this article from Talkwalker for a glimpse at social media trends to expect from 2019.

Need more last-minute video or marketing ideas? Browse through our past blog posts for ideas to make this holiday season the most wonderful time of year for your marketing goals. Still stuck? Let our team help you envision the perfect holiday video for your brand, industry, and budget. Give us a call today!

The Importance of Film Festivals

Tribeca, Sundance, Cannes. Film festivals like these capture the attention of movie buffs and studio heads worldwide, but what importance do they have for audiences? For filmmakers themselves? How do film festivals affect the success of a film throughout its lifespan and what can they offer the cast and crew members who have a hand in creating the final product?

Film festivals are important for three major reasons:

 

  • To provide an outlet for up-and-coming filmmakers to promote their work.

 

Without film festivals, notable directors like Quentin Tarantino, Darren Aronofsky, and Catherine Hardwicke may have never gotten the start in the industry that they did. For independent filmmakers, the true purpose of submitting work to film festivals is to get noticed by distribution companies and studio heads in the hopes of having their films released to a larger audience–– i.e., in theaters or on digital platforms.

  1. To draw in new audiences.

If there is one thing that is true about independent films, it’s that they often have very niche audiences. Moviegoers tend to gravitate toward widely-released Hollywood blockbusters, but film festivals make it possible for viewers, who might otherwise not be inclined to watch independent films, to see new and unique projects. Many festivals also allow viewers the opportunity to speak with filmmakers, producers, and distributors through panels.

Even more so than the mainstream film industry, the relationship between independent filmmakers and their audience is an important one. Filmmakers need an audience to continue sharing their stories, and audiences need filmmakers to continue creating stories that touch upon the human experience in an impactful way.

  1. To assist local economies by increasing tourism.

As the audiences increase, so do the local economies. With the exception of festivals like the Toronto International Film Festival and LA Film Festival, festivals often bring international audiences to lesser-known cities and town around the world. By bringing these special events, local tourism increases exponentially. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, Sundance has brought in over $400 million in profits for the local economy over the last 5 years.

Often, filmmakers are faced with the difficult task of deciding which festivals to submit their projects to. According to StevenFollows.com, there are over 3,000 active film festivals around the globe. Note: active means they have taken place consistently over the past two years. Throughout the last 15 years, there have been nearly 10,000 festivals. And seeing as how these festivals can bring in hundreds of thousands in profit annually, we expect the number of active film festivals around the world to continue to grow, offering more opportunities for filmmakers to promote their work and film lovers to experience new, story-driven films.

This year, we had the chance to work on Unorganized Crime, a full-length film that follows the fictional character of Gino Corso as he tries to prove himself worthy of New York’s fifth largest crime syndicate. As associate producers, we watched this film come to life from the beginnings of pre-production, and now we get the opportunity to watch as it succeeds at dozens of film festivals, both nationally and globally.

While October is the busiest month of the year for festivals around the world, we’re excited to see how Unorganized Crime performs at upcoming festivals in the next 5+ months. With 18 awards won at top festivals so far, we’re crossing our fingers for the same fortune for the 40+ festivals that are coming up, including Tribeca, SXSW, Slamdance, and the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. For updates on Unorganized Crime, check out our Instagram to follow the film’s festival journey!

Halloween Video Ideas for Your Spooky Sales Team

As we head into Halloween, do you have any plans for connecting your business with consumers in ‘chilling and thrilling’ ways? If not, it’s easier to implement than you may think. Below are four unique ways to incorporate the spooky season into your sales team’s marketing strategy this October!

Follow-Up Emails

Instead of opting for a regular, run-of-the-mill follow-up video email, let your sales team get in the spirit of the season when reaching out to prospects. Even small changes like an added witches’ hat or a pair of cat ears can bring the spookiness to your sales videos. Your sales team can bring even more fun to the video by joking that they’ll “hunt the prospect down” until they get a response. Of course, this should be kept light and fun, but by making Halloween-inspired jokes, your team can appear more approachable and personable to prospects. Halloween is the perfect excuse for your team to have a bit more fun with their outreach than usual, so encourage them to get creative and take their efforts to the next level.

Personalized Video

Sending mass emails to prospective or current clients can certainly save time, but personalized videos are truly what gets noticed. By throwing in small details like the client’s name, business name, or even personal details about their work or family will go much further than a carbon-copy video sent to your entire email list. Keeping with the Halloween theme, your team can sign off with a cute Halloween phrase like, “A candy a day keeps the monsters away!”. Considering consumers are constantly bombarded with businesses vying for their attention, being creative and personal can help your team stand apart from the competition.

Interactive Video

Have you ventured into the exciting world of interactive video yet? If you’re like most small-to-medium businesses, probably not. While definitely more complex to create, interactive videos can be one of the most effective ways to capture a customer’s attention. More and more brands are committing to the art of interactive video, which often entails an “adventure” story that the audience can follow and choose clickable options along the way. To get your whole team involved, create a horror movie-esque video where the viewer has to save a member of your team from a Halloween haunt. It will add personality to your brand and bring a much-needed break in the middle of the customer’s busy day.

Brand-Awareness Video

By incorporating some of these unique, holiday-themed video ideas, you can take the opportunity to introduce a new product or even just humanize your business in the eyes of your current and future customers. It’s natural for consumers to be initially wary of businesses and their motives, so by emphasizing your team’s fun-loving nature and commitment to your customers, you can make a significant impact on your brand’s reputation.

What are your thoughts on some of these fun, Halloween-themed video marketing ideas? Is your sales team already implementing some of these strategies? Let us know how your team has been incorporating video into your sales strategy in the comments below. And for any inquiries into hiring a video team to create spooky sales videos like the ones mentioned above, contact our team!  

IGTV: What the Platform is and How You Can Take Advantage of It

IGTV: What is it?

Have you seen the bright orange button at the top right corner of your Instagram app recently? This is the Instagram TV button, a new development from the social media app that allows businesses and brands to post videos to share with their followers and other users. You may be wondering: how does it differ from posting videos on the general Instagram timeline? Instead of making the cut-off video length 60 seconds, the new platform allows users to post videos up to an hour long.

Instagram previously created a separate IGTV app for users to share and view videos, but recently (as of June 2018) the platform combined the two to make viewing these long-form videos more convenient for all users. The app has several similarities to popular video-sharing site Youtube, including the ability for creators to post videos to their own individual channels.

While we doubt this new development will take over the popularity of sharing videos directly to the Instagram feed, it will likely help businesses increase engagement on their video content. Once a video is published to IGTV, viewers can comment on or like videos, as well as share videos with their friends, family, and Instagram followers. With this platform, the techniques of creating engaging video content still stands, but it gives brands a new way to reach current and potential consumers.

How can IGTV benefit a business or brand?

As a video production company, our team truly understands the struggle of only being able to post 60-second long videos to share with our Instagram followers. With IGTV, we can now share our full-length videos with our followers and anyone else searching for videos within the same topic as our content. Similarly, our real estate clients can now send the full-length listing videos we create for them to their followers, and the non-profits we work with can share their organization’s mission via video for thousands of viewers to see.

As a business owner and/or marketer, how well can it help you market a service or product your business offers? In addition to posting long-form video, creators can add a “Swipe Up” option and attach a link, allowing viewers to visit a web page of the creator’s choosing. This option is particularly useful for brands that sell physical products or those wanting to promote a new service or discount.

For now, no paid advertising opportunities are available on IGTV for brands, but Instagram has stated that they plan to offer this possibility within the following months. While IGTV is a new platform, considering the growing popularity of sharing video content on social media platforms, we can expect this development to take off in upcoming months. Want to get started on creating video content to share with viewers through IGTV? Check out some of our previous projects to see how we can help your business deliver important information through video!

Video Marketing Ideas to Help Boost your Business this Fall

Football season is underway, the kids are heading back to school, and the world is gearing up for yet another crazy holiday shopping season. This fall, take advantage of one of our country’s busiest seasons by strategizing your content around popular events and utilizing video to catapult your brand.

 

  • Create excitement for your big announcement.

 

Have a big business change coming up? Want to get the word out about your new product? Why not spread the word using online video! Depending on how relevant your announcement is to consumers, your video could go viral if done in an engaging way. Incorporating trending topics, styles, or yes, even memes, can help you relate your business to potential customers and boost buzz about your business.

 

  • Share your expertise.

 

More and more, brands like Tedx and Blinkist are capitalizing on industry experts and self-help seminars, and it’s working. Consumers are becoming more DIY-driven by seeking out experts’ advice and a multitude of topics. You can join the trend by featuring guests in a video interview. Do you run a non-profit for struggling families? Bring in a licensed Marriage and Family Counselor. Consumers will be interested in the advice you bring them, and your commitment to consistently learning and sharing information about your product or service will impress them.

 

  • Host a Q&A session.

 

Take your FAQ page to the next level. Instead of relying on a dozen written FAQ answers to educate potential consumers, commit to a Q&A video that answers their questions and curiosity. This content will also be much more marketable than a webpage and can help spread the word about your business’ products and/or services. Pinning the Q&A video to your social media profiles, as well as the homepage of your website, will provide easy and convenient answers that consumers are sure to appreciate.

 

  • Celebrate the season.

 

While the holidays are obviously a great time to advertise, the fall season brings more marketing opportunities than just Thanksgiving and Labor Day. Does your service or product somehow relate to kids heading back to school? Or can you use the wildly popular football season to promote your products? Whichever fall event you choose, use video media to relate your business’ mission to the event’s theme. You’ll create a greater connection with your consumers and establish your brand as current and essential. Don’t forget to stay in the moment and incorporate trending hashtags as best you can.

 

  • Send an RSVP.

 

Planning your own fall event? Worried that people won’t bother to open up your invite? Skip the paper and e-vites and opt for a video RSVP instead. The unique medium will catch the consumer’s eye and garner higher levels of engagement — effectively spreading the word about your event even farther. Once your invitees have accepted, continue to utilize video by sharing teaser reels to amp up excitement.

There’s no doubt that video marketing is the way of now, with brands getting more creative every day about how to use this medium to connect and communicate with consumers. When establishing your brand’s video marketing strategy, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Feeling stuck on your strategy? Reach out to our team at Windward Productions and we’ll be happy to put together ideas that blend storytelling and consumer-driven data to create the plan for your business.

How to Show off Your Brand’s 4th of July Spirit on Social Media

School’s out for the summer, businesses are closed for the holiday, and consumers are catching up on their social media profiles. Each year, 4th of July proves to be a profitable day for brands who choose to put effort into their holiday-themed marketing campaigns. This Independence Day, join other successful businesses and take your brand’s marketing strategy to the next level by incorporating these five 4th of July marketing tips.

  • Research Popular Keywords from Last Year

A great way to know what topics and keywords will perform well this year is to not only research current trends, but also which topics and keywords performed well last year. Twitter’s Advanced Search tool, Unmetric’s Inspire, and Google Adwords are all effective tools that can help you determine which topics to focus on during this year’s Independence Day. While it’s easy to resort to popular keywords used by thousands of other brands, make an effort to get creative and think about how to incorporate your brand’s primary service or message into your holiday-themed keyword(s).

  • Themed Content = Higher Engagement

Taking the last 5-10 years into account, 4th of July-themed posts that receive the highest engagement from users have one thing in common: they creatively play off of their brand’s major service and/or product. By posting a picture of the Statue of Liberty holding an electric guitar, Fender garnered tens of thousands of engagements on a single Facebook post. In a tweet that was liked and retweeted over a quarter of a million times, Bud Light took their brand’s signature product – beer – and created a picture of the American flag using nothing but emojis of beer, fireworks, and American Flag. In a video ad pushed out across all major social media platforms, Dixie’s hilarious video “We, the Salad Men” played off of the beginning of the Constitution’s Preamble and created an engaging, 4th of July video ad that went viral. No matter the size of your brand’s social media following, taking a creative look at how your brand’s service relates to 4th of July can provide increased engagement on all social media platforms.

  • Take Time Constraints into Consideration

Getting a late start on your 4th of July marketing strategy? If you’re planning your strategy a few days out from the holiday, you likely don’t have time to pull together a full-fledged marketing campaign or video series. If you do find yourself short on time, consider thinking smaller with animated gifs and/or specially-designed images. For brands who do allow themselves enough time to plan, however, videos can be the key to building an engaged audience in just a few weeks. The more time you allow yourself to plan your 4th of July marketing strategy, the bigger the goals you can achieve.

  • Free for ‘the Free’

Consumers love receiving deals, discounts, and/or free stuff, especially during national holidays. If your business model allows it, consider promoting special deals or giveaways on your brand’s social media accounts to entice viewers and get them engaged with your business. The giveaway doesn’t have to be big, but showing that you care enough about your customers to make their Independence Day special will speak volumes.

  • Hashtags Still Help

While a seemingly small effort, incorporating holiday-themed hashtags in your brand’s social media posts will increase traffic on your profiles and help your brand rank higher in social media searches. You can determine the effectiveness of certain hashtags by using the keywords you found previously, as well as monitoring other brand’s actions on social media throughout the weeks leading up to July 4th.

Taking these five tips into account can help your brand profit off of this year’s Independence Day celebrations. By using social listening techniques to monitor popular topics on social media, incorporating your brand’s identity by tying it into the holiday, and getting a head start on planning your marketing strategy can help your business fully take advantage of social media activity on Independence Day. For more information on effectively marketing your business throughout the year, take a look at our blog for more tips and tricks. And for questions about using video marketing to propel your business and bring in profits, give us a call today!

Make a Splash this Summer with these 4 Documentary Storytelling Tips

Documentary films can help propel a cause, business, or nonprofit organization, and their success is proven by the genre’s growing online popularity. Thanks to streaming services like Netflix, movie watchers are becoming more intrigued with this type of filmmaking and spend increasing hours online watching films that follow this style. With video content becoming the primary medium from which consumers gain information, consider these 5 documentary storytelling ideas and tips to help you launch your organization’s story.

  1. Pick the right story and stick with it.

 

Where documentary films often struggle the most is with the overall story idea. Too often, documentary films try to communicate too much information about an organization or cause, instead of focusing on a single story that captures the unique nature of the brand. If you want your film to successfully communicate your brand’s purpose or function, find the story that both interests the target audience and captures your brand’s identity.

One mistake filmmakers often make is choosing to portray the “Day in the Life” of a person, group, or organization, without finding an actual story to tell along the way. “Day in the Life” style films can give a good insight into the heart of an organization, but if the film doesn’t tell a story or portray that day in an interesting way, viewers will quickly become uninterested.

  1. Once you have the idea, define it.

A story is only effective if it’s well organized and defined. Once you find the story you believe is worth telling about your organization, sit down with your team and/or the filmmakers and hammer out the details. What is the story’s log line? This short description of your story should outline the who, what, and why of your story: who is doing the action, what are they doing, and why are they doing it? Once you clearly define these pieces of information, you’ll be one step closer to shooting a documentary video that clearly tells an important story of your organization.

  1. Use the camera to help tell the story.

Once you and your team decide the details of the story, it’s time to choose how you want it to be told. Whether it’s through interviews, sequences, visuals, graphics, narration, music, or a combination, choosing the right elements can help correctly convey your story to your audience. We recommend sitting down with the filmmakers and working together to decide which elements fit best at certain points of the story. Maybe

  1. Do your research.

Before filming begins, make sure everyone in the cast, crew, and anyone behind the scenes is on the same page. Make sure you have guaranteed permits to film in your chosen locations and that all of your cast and crew members are updated on the shooting schedule. Once you have everything in place, you can begin doing research for the film by pre-interviewing your sources, capturing B-roll footage in relevant locations, and gathering information about your story from sources like news articles, TV reports, and photographs, to name a few. This extra information will help you shape your story and give it life.

These four tips should help you and your team prepare for your upcoming documentary film shoot. At Windward Productions, we’re dedicated to telling organization’s stories in unique and compelling ways, and we want to help you do the same. For more information on our documentary filmmaking services, click here. And to contact us for pricing, filmmaking details, or more information, give us a call today!

 

How Non-Profits Can Produce Marketing Videos on a Shoestring Budget

Producing quality videos is rarely cheap, but certain measures can be taken to ensure your non-profit organization spends little but still receives high volumes of online traffic and impressions. If your organization is in need of marketing videos to help propel your cause and inspire potential donors, take a look at these tips for creating non-profit marketing videos with little to no budget.

Keep it Short and Sweet

An effective video doesn’t need to be longer than 5 minutes or more. In a world where attention spans are decreasing, keeping your online video content to a minimum length will help keep donors engaged while still getting your point across. If possible, try to keep your video between 2-3 minutes. If you absolutely need to go over, that’s fine, but keeping your content concise will make your production costs go down while maintaining the attention spans of consumers.

Channel Your Comedic Side

In the case of online video content, comedy rules. A good video channels either the head, the heart, or the funny bone, and in this case, the latter usually wins. While many non-profits stick to the routine of creating moving, emotional films to inspire their viewers, a comedic film from a non-profit will certainly stand out. While this tactic may not work for all nonprofit organizations, specifically those dedicated to helping a very serious cause, you might be surprised how effective it can be for yours.

Spend Time Developing the Story

Every non-profit has a beautiful story to share, so make sure that comes across in your video. Even if your video is low-budget and bare-boned, a solid storyline will ensure your message gets across. Whether you’re telling the story of how your organization came to be or you’re sharing important stories you’ve experienced through your work in the last few weeks, spend the time needed with your team to hammer out the important details and determine the most effective way to tell your story. According to statisticbrain.com, over 300 hours of video is uploaded to Youtube every second. To stand out from the clutter and make your organization shine, tell the story that no one else is telling, the story that is unique to your organization.

Capture the Candid

While planned videos can be very effective, some of the best non-profit videos are coincidental. Much of this involves being at the right place at the right time, but if you make sure a production team is present at one of your non-profits’ events or at your location during the work day, they’ll be able to capture these candid moments that can make marketing videos so special. Even if you are unable to hire a film team to be present, being ready with an iPhone or video camera will help you capture unscripted moments that portray the heart of your organization. Make sure the members of your organization know to keep an eye on these special moments too so they can be ready to help you film.

Learn to Love Live Video

Another way to capture candid content? Utilizing live video services on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. If a solid amount of your donor base follows you on social media, keep them updated by regularly posting stories on your non-profits’ social media profiles or starting live videos. Even if it’s for just a few minutes a day or week, continuously uploading content will show potential and current donors how your organization is encouraging good in the world. Live video and social media stories are two of the cheapest ways to create marketing videos that communicate your non-profits’ story with your audience.

Hiring a production team to create marketing videos for your non-profit organization isn’t always the cheapest, but sometimes, it’s the most effective. For more information about working with a video production team, check out our page to learn how we help local non-profits communicate their individual stories! If you know it isn’t in your budget to hire a crew, however, consider using some of these tips to produce marketing videos on your own and communicate your organization’s mission to potential and current customers. For any questions regarding video marketing in 2018, visit our blog or give us a call today!

Launch Your Spring Transactions With These Real Estate Video Tips

As luxury real estate agents and brokers, one of the most important things you can do for your future listings is invest in the power of real estate video. Statistic after statistic proves the effectiveness of real estate videos in a buyer’s home search. From getting the video produced to sharing the final product with potential buyers, take a look at these 7 tips to help you launch your spring transactions by using real estate videos.

Tip #1: A picture slideshow and a real estate video are not one and the same.

A “moving slideshow” of pictures truly does not have the same effect as a complex video, filled with moving shots and compelling imagery. A picture slideshow can’t portray the interior of a home properly, but an effective real estate video will show the exact layout of a room, it’s true size, and how it connects to the other rooms of the house. If you want potential buyers to grasp what it would be like to live in the home, invest in a proper real estate video and give up those picture slideshows for good.

Tip #2: Focus on the features

Does the house you’re selling have newly upgraded, stainless-steel appliances? Or maybe a stunning, freestanding tub in the master bathroom? Instead of telling the viewer what makes this house unique, show them. Make sure you and the videography team are on the same page about which features you’d like to emphasize. The videographers will then make it a priority to capture stunning shots of those features and work them into the final film. Focusing on certain features gives your video a leg-up to competitors who may share the same generic shots of each house they’re listing.

Tip #3: Spring cleaning counts for vacant homes, too

Nothing looks worse on camera than a messy, cluttered home. This should go without saying, but before filming the video, make sure the home looks as good as it would for an open house (maybe even better). This means no stray belongings, minimal decorations, and absolutely no photos of the current or past homeowners. The furniture should be dusted, the beds made, toilet seats down, and the backyard should be well taken care of. Taking the time to make these changes could drastically impact the number of potential buyers you receive on a listing.

Tip #4: Emphasize both the inside AND the outside

With luxury real estate, odds are, the home is just as incredible on the inside as it is on the outside. While listings videos for median-priced homes often focus on the inside, so much of what makes a home luxurious is the surrounding community. The video should spend almost equal amounts of time showing off the interior of the house, as well as the neighborhood. Never forget that location is key when it comes to marketing luxury real estate properties!

Tip #5: Once the video is ready, share, share, share!

Putting it on your website is not enough to get it out to the world. Share the real estate video on your personal and business Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn pages. You paid to have the video created, and it can’t hurt to share it as much as you can. If your agency has company profiles, make sure the video gets shared with them as well. This will also help your social media profiles look more professional and credible. It’s a win/win!

Tip #6: Spend money & promote the video

Sharing the video with your followers is good, but you’ll miss out on thousands of potential home buyers if you don’t spend a little extra cash. Utilize Facebook and Instagram’s advertising tools to promote the real estate video directly to these consumers. These ad platforms offer the option to promote the posts to users based on location, desired price range, amenities, and more. If your home is located nearby a school and is listed at a moderate price range, you can use these factors to target young families or first time home buyers nearby. Don’t let the high-quality real estate video go to waste – make sure it gets the views it deserves!

Tip #7: Timing is essential

Sharing on your social media platforms is important, but the times you share the videos is equally so. Make sure to promote the listing video the day and night before an open house, as well as the morning of. You’re likely to catch the attention of some last-minute shoppers who decide to add the open house to their schedule. Keep in mind that for these posts, you’ll want to be sharing a quick highlight video made by your videographer so you can entice the viewer and leave them wanting more, ultimately convincing them to visit the open house.

 
Not only can real estate listing videos create buzz about an open listing, it can exponentially increase the interest in the listing and make you and your team appear more credible. From properly preparing the home beforehand to sending the listing out on social media, these real estate video tips will help grow your business and add credibility to your team’s online presence. Don’t want your listing video to look amateurish? Check out our previous listing videos here and contact us for more information!

The Best Scenes from this Year’s Top Oscar Contenders

Will you be tuning in to the Academy Awards broadcast this Sunday? With the awards show coming up, we wanted to take a closer look at some of the most critically-acclaimed and highly-nominated films from 2017. From an independent foreign film to a sociopolitical horror mystery, we analyzed the top films from this past year and discussed what we think were the best scenes in each film.

SPOILER ALERT: The following reviews contain some spoilers for the films: The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Lady Bird, Get Out, Darkest Hour, and Call Me By Your Name.

The Shape of Water

As one of the most distinctive films of the year, Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy drama film “The Shape of Water”, plays on the filmmaker’s fantastical filmmaking style. The film highlights the love story between a lonely, mute janitor and an amphibious creature that is being held captive in a secret, 1960s research facility.

This film’s top scene occurs as the heroine of the film, Elisa, dreams up a dance sequence between her and the creature. Toro uses this scene to pay homage to the “Old Hollywood” style of elaborate dance numbers, and this becomes apparent through the black-and-white style and Busby Berkeley-esque musical number. In her dreams, Elisa is finally provided with a robust singing voice and Toro paints the metaphor that movies give her the ability to express what she otherwise cannot. While certainly different than the other Oscar contenders, “The Shape of Water” is the newest del Toro fantasy to grace the big screen.

Dunkirk

Set in WWII, “Dunkirk” brings together young soldiers from Belgium, Great Britain, and France as they must fight for their lives and escape the opposing German army. Directed by Christopher Nolan, this film is nominated for an incredible 8 Academy Awards, including Best Feature, Best Achievement in Directing, and Best Achievement in Cinematography.

While it’s difficult to pick a singular ‘scene’ from Nolan’s “Dunkirk” that stood out among the rest of the powerful moments and skillfully-captured shots, there is one scene that occurs within the last 15 minutes of the movie that we wanted to highlight. After Tom Hardy’s character, Farrier, spends half an hour flying through the air on the lookout for German planes, his own plane runs out of gas and he drifts over the beaches of Dunkirk. Farrier looks down at the horrors of war, and for one silent moment, he takes in the scene that brings a new understanding to the chaos of war. This peaceful moment allows both the audience and the character to break from the non-stop action of the film and it’s one of Nolan’s most striking moments in this critically-acclaimed biopic.

Lady Bird

Nominated for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and 3 other top honors, “Lady Bird” is one of this year’s most talked about films. Add that to the fact that “Lady Bird” is director Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, and it becomes infinitely more impressive. The film is packed with universal themes that almost all can relate to — the themes of first love, heartbreak, and the innate complexities of mother-daughter relationships. The latter is one of the most important aspects of the film, as proven by the beginning and ending scenes. In the opening scene, Lady Bird bickers with her mother, Marianne, about the possibility of her attending an out-of-state school. While the scene ends in a hilarious, gasp-inducing way, the scene we want to highlight for this film occurs in the middle of the film.

Lady Bird and Marianne shop for a nice Thanksgiving Dinner dress at their local thrift shop, and from the start, they’re bickering incessantly. Marianne stops to say hi to a friend, and her cold demeanor quickly transitions into one that is overly warm and inviting, only to become immediately cold again once she turns back to talk to Lady Bird. Gerwig perfectly encapsulates a typical mother-daughter relationship with Lady Bird and Marianne arguing one minute to fawning over the perfect dress the next. We love this scene for its honest depiction of familial relationships, and while there are countless great scenes in the film, this is one of our favorites.

Get Out

Even though it was released almost a year ago, “Get Out” is nominated for four Academy Awards, making it one of the most successful films of 2017 in the box office and in the awards show circuit. The film is not only a commentary on the racial climate in the U.S. but on the representation of African Americans in Hollywood, specifically within the horror genre. Artfully shot and beautifully written, director Jordan Peele used one of the film’s scenes, The Sunken Place, to create a striking metaphor for the minimization African Americans encounter daily in society.

We chose to highlight The Sunken Place as the film’s best scene for its gradual increase in tension and noteworthy storytelling. The scene begins with a wide shot of Daniel Kaluuya’s character Chris and his girlfriend’s mother, Missy, and as the tension heightens, the shots become tighter and tighter on the characters until only their faces remain in frame. A large part of what makes this scene so striking is Daniel Kaluuya’s ability to act almost solely with his eyes. His character says very little, but his eyes speak volumes as he struggles to fight against the hypnotic effect of Missy.

Darkest Hour

Directed by Joe Wright, “Darkest Hour” is a unique biopic that portrays Winston Churchill during the first month of his reign as Great Britain’s Prime Minister, as he tackles the decision between making a peace deal with Nazi Germany or fighting for the liberty of his country. While the focus of the film is on the outside events taking place at the beginning of WWII, Wright intertwines the external conflicts with the internal conflict Churchill faces daily.

This is especially portrayed in the scene which Churchill faces Great Britain and delivers his first of many propaganda speeches. The speech is meant to inspire hope in the people of Great Britain, but even Churchill knows that what he says is a lie, and he walks home alone that night, dispirited and ashamed. Wright distinctly dichotomizes the man Churchill portrays to the world and the one he becomes when he’s alone and humiliated, and this dichotomy makes for one of the most powerful scenes in the film.

Call Me By Your Name

As the only foreign film to have earned the top honor as a “Best Picture” nominee this year, “Call Me By Your Name” is not only a beautiful story about two LGBTQ men, it stands as one of this year’s best love stories. While the scene between the main character, Elio, and his father comes in as a close second for the best scene in the movie, we wanted to highlight the final scene in the film for Timothee Chalamet’s incredibly raw performance and Luca Guadagnino’s bold decision to end the film this way.

Guadagnino sets up the final scene with Elio receiving a long-awaited phone call from Oliver, who breaks the heart-wrenching news that he is engaged. The pain is immediately noticeable in Elio’s eyes, and Guadagnino follows Elio through the house as he processes this information. As Elio finally settles down in front of the fire, his emotions become too overwhelming to avoid, and the tears silently stream down his face, the fire as the only light illuminating his tear-stricken face. As the credits start to roll, Guadagnino does not shy away from the painful look in Elio’s eye, and this scene is undoubtedly both one of the most beautiful in the entire movie and one of the most difficult to watch.

While there are many other deserving nominees, these six films are among the top contenders for multiple Academy Awards. We know we’ll be tuning in Sunday to see who takes home the most Oscars, but until then, comment below which movie you think will take home the coveted “Best Motion Picture” award! And visit our blog to stay up-to-date with other filmmaking and business video tips and news!