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!

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!

Best Of: Olympics Commercials

As the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics rev up, so are the sponsored advertisements. Because of the unique nature of the Olympics, advertisers who utilize this global event will likely see as much, if not more, success as they would advertising during the SuperBowl. In this age of digital advertising and savvy consumers, more and more brands are turning to brand videos instead of conversion videos. Here are just a few of the characteristics that make a great brand video:

  • Drives brand awareness without selling a product too hard
  • Convenient, online consumer accessibility
  • Tells a great story
  • Makes a bold statement

Through the past few decades, the Olympics have become one of the prime events for brands to tell their story and broadcast it to the world. So in honor of the upcoming Winter Olympic Games, we thought we would take a look back at some of the most successful brand videos that have been broadcast during past games.

 

  • P&G – ‘Thank you, Mom’

 

You’ve likely seen this commercial a handful of times since it was first broadcast during the 2012 Summer Games in London. While P&G has aired dozens of variations of this campaign, the same spirit of the ad rings true throughout them all — Olympic athletes would be nowhere without the love and support of their mothers. This highly successful ad campaign draws on universal themes like the lifelong strive for greatness, as well as the unconditional love we feel for our families. With these commercials, P&G emphasizes their family-first values and succeeds in associating their brand with family, positivity, and acceptance. Here are two examples of this exponentially successful campaign. We dare you not to shed a tear.

2) Hershey’s – ‘Hello from Home’

Hershey’s “Hello from Home” spot is the perfect example of producing a relatively low-cost spot that still associates their brand with an inspiring tale of triumphing against all odds. Featuring the Paralympic swimmer Mallory Weggerman, this spot tells the incredible story of how she turned to swimming after losing the ability to walk, while her family supported alongside every step of the way. While the spot highlights Hershey’s products for a brief moment, the attention is quickly turned back to Weggerman’s story and her family’s undying support.

3) Coca-Cola – “Taste the Feeling”

Does this title ring a bell? If so, it’s probably because you tuned in to the Rio 2016 games and witnessed Coke’s new spots featuring a contagious jingle of the same name. Coca-Cola spent over $100m to be considered a “Worldwide Olympic Partner”, meaning they were direct advertisers with the Olympics. This doesn’t include the actual cost to produce and air the ad on prime time television. While not many companies can afford this exorbitant advertising cost, we can give it up to Coca-Cola for creating a successful ad that left a happy, carefree jingle stuck in the minds of millions of viewers. Note the use of golden hues and smile-inducing visuals featured along with the iconic soundtrack. Once again, Coca-Cola makes it difficult not to grin while watching one of their videos.

4) Apple – “The Human Spirit”

We dare you to find one Apple commercial that doesn’t draw you in, whether it’s visually or emotionally. Apple’s ‘The Human Spirit’ ad made waves during the Rio 2016 Olympics for its striking visuals, all shot on an iPhone, against the compelling narration of Maya Angelou’s famous poem. This ad is a beautiful example that less can often be more when it comes to striking ad campaigns. What is even more intriguing is that an actual iPhone is not shown even once throughout the entire video. With “The Human Spirit”, Apple perfectly nailed the characteristics of a great brand video: bold and brand-focused while telling an incredible story.

5) United Airlines – “One Journey Two Teams”

This ad is one of our favorites. Even though this spot is much more technically sophisticated than the others, it tells a similar story of the USA athletes’ journeys to Rio in a more eye-catching way. While not quite as subtle with their use of product placement, this ad from United still puts the focus on the journey of the USA Olympic team. There’s no doubt that this bold, exciting ad drew the attention of millions of viewers during the Rio 2016 Olympics. While being a successful brand video, this ad is also just fun to watch.

Commercials aired during the Olympic games are some of our favorites, and it’s not hard to see why so many consumers respond positively. It has been said that the perfect TV commercial touches the head, the heart, and the funny bone.  These brand videos certainly connect at least one, if not all,  of these emotions.  If you’re hoping to reach similar levels of success, gathering inspiration from these Olympic brand videos is the perfect place to start. For more information about creating iconic and compelling brand videos, view some of our past corporate videos here and give us a call today!

4 Drone Shots to Include in Your Next Business Video

There’s no doubt that drones are changing the way we communicate through video. Aerial photography not only adds another dimension to your video, it also adds to a business’ video credibility.  The rising use of drones is making it more affordable and convenient to buy a drone, rent one, or hire an experienced drone cinematographer. While drones can be used in innumerable ways to capture personalized shots of your company, location, or project, these 4 drone shots are essential for any business looking to utilize drone technology. If you are not sure how your company can benefit from a business video that incorporates drone footage, continue reading to learn about 4 drone shots that will improve your business videos!

  1. Group shot

Rather than trying to herd dozens of employees into a group photo, make the photo fit the size of your company! Using a drone to get a group shot of your entire team of employees will not only make for a memorable video clip, but it will provide a different perspective of your company and allow all employees to be seen. Even though drones have become more frequently used, drone shots are still regarded as an impressive filmmaking technique. Utilizing this technique in multiple ways throughout your next video will help impress your potential clients and future job recruits.

  1. “The reveal”

While you may not know it by name, you have undoubtedly seen this shot used in a variety of corporate videos. The drone starts in close on a subject, and quickly zooms out to reveal the nearby surroundings. While zooming out for the reveal is a unique shot to capture, it works in reverse, too! By starting out in a wide shot, you can keep your audience’s attention by not revealing what you’re trying to zoom into until it has already been revealed.

The reveal shot is one of the most popular and widely used drone shots, for good reason, and it is an essential addition to your next business video. It can even be combined with the group shot, either by zooming in to your group of employees or zooming out to reveal your business building/surrounding area. “The reveal” is an effective drone video tactic that will hold your audience’s attention and add even more credibility to your corporate video.

  1. Neighborhood shot

Most popular with real estate companies and companies located nearby famous landmarks and/or beautiful scenery, the neighborhood view is an essential shot to capture to portray the area surrounding your company and show how your business exists within the local community.

The neighborhood shot works well for short social media video clips or as the intro to a longer business video. This type of shot is effective in increasing excitement within a viewer as well as providing insight into your company and the world around it. When capturing this footage, keep power lines and tall buildings in mind as you fly the drone around your neighborhood. With an increase in the public’s use of drones comes an increase in the laws surrounding this technological advancement, so research the local drone laws (or make sure your videographer does) before proceeding with your video.

  1. Handheld footage

As one of the newer advances in drone technology, handheld stabilizers allow cameramen to capture smooth, fluid camera movements while on the ground. Flying drone shots can be essential for wide shots of a group or area, but handheld footage allows for close up shots of your workplace, employees on the job, or cool aspects of your company’s location.

When shooting handheld, remove the drone’s propellers for an easier time maneuvering the device. You’ll still have to focus on making smooth movements, but the stabilizer will allow you to control exactly what the drone captures as you move it around your office space.

These 4 types of shots would have been impossible to capture 5 years ago, so as drone technology evolves, so will the filmmaking techniques surrounding this invention. Yes, techniques will change, however, these 4 essential shots will remain as timeless video clips that allow a viewer to peek inside the world of your company. For more information on how drones are changing our world, read one of our past blog posts here. And for more information on our work as a team of experienced drone videographers, contact us today!

5 Videos a Corporate Brand Needs to Stand Out Amongst the Competition

While video content is becoming a marketing standard, so far, over one third of businesses have yet to grasp onto the trend. Now is the perfect time for your business to hop on the video bandwagon and put out video content for potential customers and clients to see. No matter the industry, your business can benefit (and yes, profit) from having several types of videos used as marketing content. Discover the 5 types of video your business needs to stand out amongst the competition and thrive in the industry.

 

  • CORPORATE DOCUMENTARY

 

This type of corporate video is the perfect introduction into the digital world. This is a chance for your company to become more than a name and a logo. Video shows off the personality of your company and tells its story. A corporate documentary explains your company’s mission and vision, while including personal testimonials from your clients, employees, and industry contacts. This is your chance to show off your brand  to the world and prove what makes your company different.

Remember, when when making your corporate documentary, always display to your company’s strengths – highlighting your positive attributes that truly make you different from the competition.

 

  • HOW-TO VIDEOS

 

This self-explanatory type of video works best when your audience knows of and is interested in using your product. While some will read a 1,000 word blog post explaining the how-to’s of a product, a 2-3 minute video showing a hands-on example of a product is likely going to get you more attention.  A how-to (instructional) video that is creatively filmed and composed will earn your business even more online traffic that will ultimately convert into more customers.

Remember, when creating your promotional (how-to) videos, focus on the actual use of your product. While added features are a bonus, emphasize how the viewer can use the product in his/her everyday life. More importantly, show them why they need your product.

 

  • PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS

 

Promotional videos allow you to highlight lesser seen aspects of your company. From special events to press releases, promotional videos offer a shortened explanation of information usually found in writing. They also generate interest in the company’s upcoming announces and product launches.

Remember, promotional videos should add a level of excitement about your brand, product, event, etc.  Of course, promotional videos need to be done tastefully. To keep your audience interested, ensure these videos are brief, compelling, and well-produced. Investing in having a well-done promotional video will allow you to reap the rewards down the line.

 

  • EXPERT VIDEOS

 

With a constant stream of information and advertisements being distributed on the Internet, it is essential for your brand to have an accurate, informational voice behind the content you are producing. When customers are still researching a product, they are more likely to listen to the facts, figures, and features of a product. Use this form of corporate video to answer potential customers’ questions and give details about your product.

Remember, avoid making this form of video an advertisement. To avoid this, make helpful and detailed information your focus in the video. Customers want to know the ins and outs of what they’re buying, and if you can show off your product with complete transparency, you will be more likely to earn their trust.

 

  • DEMO VIDEO

 

After producing content that offers insight into your brand and highlights the products you offer, it may be time to share a demo video. A demo video combines the demonstration offered in the hands-on video, while including the in-depth explanation of the product features shown in the expert video.

Remember, a demo video sells the entire experience of your product/service. Bring your demo video idea to a professional videographer to create a beautifully shot video while guiding you along the fine line between a commercial and a strictly information piece.

These 5 types of corporate videos will allow your company to flourish and jump ahead of the competition. In a world where technology is constantly evolving and social media use is only growing, staying on top of marketing trends will help keep your company fresh and relevant. A video is considered to be as effective as 1.5 million words! So use this effective medium to your advantage — call Windward Productions today to discuss creating your own corporate videos!

Image courtesy of www.hosting24-coupons.com

Terra Mia

Today we were reflecting on why we got into this film business and how much we wanted our very first promotional film to capture the spirit of Terra Mia’s brand in a stylistic and cinematic way. We wanted everything perfect and we wanted our client to love what we did as much as we loved what we were doing. It was important that we were creating a video that would tell their story and captivate their audience and compel them to take action with a phone call or email.

 

The results were better than we could have imagined. Within a few months, the venue was sold out for the entire year! Soon after, the venue was sold out for the following year before the new year even began. Our client gained thousands of viewers watching their video. Many of Terra Mia’s clients commented that it was the video that excited them about finding the perfect venue. Watching the video provoked an emotion of excitement in visualizing their dream wedding being held at that venue. No other form of media can do that!

 

On the day of filming, owners, Rich and Tracy, were rushing around trying to tie up loose ends. Millions of things were running through their minds as we were setting up lighting, cameras and sound equipment. We had a small window of opportunity to sit them down and record their story and vision for Terra Mia. It was a spontaneous interview and so they were unfamiliar with the questions we had prepared. As filmmakers/story tellers, you never know how an interview will go or how well the person being interviewed will sound. But the true hearts of Rich and Tracy shined during the interview. Their desire for their guests to experience Paso Robles like no other and have an unforgettable event at Terra Mia was very evident. They truly wanted to make it a special and memorable place for guests.

 

Terra Mia is a stunning venue in Paso Robles that provided really gorgeous footage. Some of its special features are not only the lake with waterfalls, but also the large golden stones throughout. This property is surrounded by gorgeous rolling hills of vineyards that frame the venue with rustic wood buildings. As the sun sets over the vineyards, the artistic lighting illuminates and reflects off of the vast water features making it a magical place. We love filming events there!

 

Below is our Kudo quote from Terra Mia owners:

“Amazing work!  Amazing service!  Amazing people!  Jim and Kim from Windward Productions are not only the most professional folks with state of the art equipment,  they are great to work with and the end product goes beyond expectations.  They have worked a couple times so far at our events and while being almost stealth while filming, they capture the event and all the special moments so completely. I hope to have them working with us many, many more times!”

 

https://www.yelp.com/biz/windward-productions-huntington-beach

Advantages of Our Film Equipment

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Just as the painter with his brushes or a sculptor with their carving knives, so does the filmmaker with their cameras, lighting and support equipment. Every artist requires their specialized tools to make the perfect execution of their creative vision.
Only through years of experiences, research and testing have we come to understand the tools we use to create our films. Each tool we employ has very specific uses that come
with both advantages and limitations. It is the advantages that determine the use of one tool over another. We use cameras, lenses, lighting, and support equipment together to achieve the look and feel desired for a Windward Productions film.
When we choose a particular camera on a project, it is based on requirements for the project–the look and feel we are after and what limitations we are up against. In some cases, like an interview, we have the flexibility and time to light a scene, while in others instances, such as a documentary, we have to work with existing lighting and choose a camera that works well in low light.Another factor when choosing a camera is the type of content are we capturing and how will we use the camera for best affect. Will the camera be handheld? On a tripod? On a motion stabilized gimbalboomdolly, or slider? Or maybe simply use a drone?
Another import choice in determining the look and feel for a project is the lenses we use. Different focal lengths affect the perception of the subject. A wide-angle lens distorts, while taking in more of a scene. A telephoto lens compresses space and brings you in closer to a subject making the camera less obtrusive. Settings on the lens, such as aperture, is used to keep some things out of focus and directs attention. Different brands of lenses also have particular looks to them. The sharpness, the color, and other characteristics of lenses can be used to add nuances to a film.
Lastly, lighting has a huge effect on how a piece looks and the underlying at
mosphere it creates. Digital cameras tend to look digital, with harsh edges and overly saturated colors. Film has softer edges and more muted tones. Yet, by effectively using lighting, both artificial and natural light, a filmic look can be achieved on a digital camera. The tools we use as filmmakers and the techniques we use in our productions, allow us to achieve the look we are after.
Remember, there’s plenty of cameras, lighting, and support equipment out there to help
achieve your specific look and style. The best way to know what works for you is to try it out and it doesn’t require a huge hit to your budget! There are many online and store front companies that rent equipment. It’s a huge cost savings over making a purchase and allows you to test out the equipment before making a commitment. Happy Testing and Filming!