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An important project

Late last year, my good friend Finn Dorney asked me if I could help out with filming a recording session in Melbourne, at the renowned Sing Sing Studios in Cremorne.

I didn’t hesitate to say yes, it’s important as a small business owner to be able to do pro-bono work and help out charity and not-for-profit organisation, and this project had a story that needed to be told.

I’d met Nick Balcombe a hand full of times, and what always struck me was his interest in making his friends happy.  Nick was a passionate Tasmanian living his dream. While he was a very successful web designer and a much valued employee of the water industry, his passion was his music and loved ones. Following his tragic death due to stroke, his vast network of friends and fans have been keen to do something that celebrates his life and achievements, and create a legacy that Nick would be proud of.

Part of that legacy was finishing the second album that Nick had started to record before his death. It was truly a special chance to be involved in capturing part of the album process. Everyone was determined to complete Nick’s vision, and you could see his influence on all of them as musicians and their need to honour his memory.

For more on the great work that the Nick Balcombe foundation do, make sure you go to: http://nickbalcombefoundation.com.au/

Creating the right video for your business

Video is rapidly becoming the communications avenue of choice. In fact Cisco are projecting that by 2019 80% of internet traffic will be video, which will make it an outlet that no business can ignore.

So why should you choose to produce a video for your business? Well the simple fact is, branded video content is almost as powerful a tool to acquire and interact with clients as your company’s website, and may even surpass it, with the rise of video integration across so many web platforms, from Instagram to Facebook and beyond, making it a much easier way to reach clients than potentially optimising your webpage’s SEO.

According to a survey conducted by research firm Demand Metric, nearly three-quarters of B2B participating marketers reported that video gave them better conversion rates than any other type of content. On Facebook, Socialbakers found that posting a video can give you, on average, 135 percent more organic reach than a photo.

And with the availability to specifically target your clients as they browse their favourite websites via your video conveniently popping up, this is something you certainly can’t do with your website. Here are 4 points you should consider:

Don’t Cut Corners

Quality is nonnegotiable. Your video is a direct reflection of your brand. Don’t try to skimp on production costs. According to a survey conducted by Accenture Interactive, many people still find video ads intrusive, and low-quality videos — with ads, or not — are pretty much unacceptable to consumers.

Never fear though, you can make a high-quality video that’s two to three minutes long, for less than $5,000. Still, try to be flexible with your video budget if you can. A number of factors, including costs associated with equipment, location, licensing and other elements of the production life cycle, could affect the amount you ultimately pay for the finished product.

Authenticity shines

Authenticity is attractive. In video advertising, genuine communication — not talent — is what gets people to pay attention.

Take for example Chevrolet’s #DayItForward campaign, which it launched as a video series on Leap Day to promote a positive brand image. The video was a hit, but not for the reasons you might imagine. Yes, it featured a number of actors and celebrities, but it also took them out of the spotlight and leaned on real storytelling rather than acting prowess.

If your video includes interviews with company founders or other members of the team, those need to be natural, sincere conversations. So, avoid writing a rigid script and rehearsing lines over and over. If you do, subjects could end up looking and sounding like robots on camera, or come off as phony. Instead, have the production team conduct a casual interview with you. When your personality naturally shines through, your audience will relate to you more.

Think inside the box

Don’t spend loads of time and money trying to be the next Dollar Shave Club. Viral videos can certainly lead to sales, but so can videos that achieve a much smaller reach.

The key is to think about your target audience and communicate in a way that they appreciate. “The Glam,” a standard, 30-second spot for L’Oréal Paris La Palette Nude, relied on a traditional story line and TV-grade production quality to introduce audiences to a cosmetic product. The spot resonated among older test audiences especially, who are more used to this type of ad.

Show it off

Once your video is finished, share it through a variety of channels. Including a video in an email can double or triple click-through rates, and creating space for it on your homepage can increase conversions significantly. Consider all potential avenues, even some “paid for” options like Facebook’s sponsorship options.

Social media platforms make it easier than ever to create an effective video ad campaign. Not sure you can do it? Consider this: In 2014, videos on Facebook were viewed 1 billion times a day. A little more than two years later, that number has grown to 8 billion — every day.

Given the ever-increasing importance of video in today’s business landscape, quality video ads are as essential as a website for effectively defining your brand’s values, purpose and product. Using these tips and tools, you’ll not only be able to reach your target audiences quickly and easily, but you could also attract customers you didn’t know you were looking for.

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The chance to travel

Something we can loose sight of when running a small business is allowing yourself to have a break, some time off, purely the chance to disconnect from something that can at times, be all consuming.

For me that moment recently popped up. My first trip away for an extended period of time in over 18 months.

And where did I head to? Japan!

One of my favourite places to travel. The countryside is beautiful, the people are friendly, and you’re away from your desk!

Now, luckily for my mates hat I traveled with, I documented most of what I could and popped it in this short little clip.

So I leave you with this. Always take the moments you can, as they truly show you what all the hard work is for…chances like this!

 

 

 

The art of story telling

The art of telling a story can be a tricky situation. But some times all it can take is a little imagination to unlock a world of magic and adventure as you tell that story and the characters it involves.

I’ve only just discovered this great course from pixarinabox.org via Khan Academy. The awesome team at Pixar, who are arguably some of the best story tellers in the business give their insights into what it takes to engage and create stories that transport you in to another time/life/world

 

https://www.khanacademy.org/partner-content/pixar/storytelling/we-are-all-storytellers/v/storytelling-introb

 

What a busy 12 months providing you our best work!

We’d just like to take a moment to say what a great 12 months we’ve just had! The BL Media Solutions 2017 sizzle reel has just been finished and there was so many great projects that we have worked on in the last 12 months, we couldn’t fit every thing in!

 

We always pride ourselves, on firstly meeting then exceeding our clients expectations, and looking back at the diversity of projects over the last year our clients are happy with all our work, across almost every production platform you can think of. From budgets small and big, to projects that are a quick turn around, to TV series that are months in the planning, BL Media Solutions have thrived on every challenge that has been presented…

And here’s hoping that the next 12 months are just as much fun!

An action packed week!

Recently we were asked by Bell Group Productions to work on location for the Global Launch of Suzuki Motorcycle’s GSX-R 1000R at Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit in Victoria

A truly action packed week, we produced well over 45 video items for motorcycle journalists from France, Italy, Japan, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Austria, New Zealand and Australia.

On location on Phillip Island for Suzuki's GSX-R 1000R Global Launch Week

On location on Phillip Island for Suzuki’s GSX-R 1000R Global Launch Week

We met some great people, and it was an awesome chance to see the Suzuki Japan mechanics at work, making sure that ever ride was perfect!

Here’s a peep at us filming Bruce Wilson from Fast Bikes Magazine as he returned from a session on track

https://www.facebook.com/FastBikesMagazine/videos/1359015757454485/

 

Dreams do come true!

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Late last year the crew at Capture Point Media asked us to join them in capturing a special day at the Adairs Headquarters in Scorsby, Victoria.

This great day saw 3 young people from the Make-A-Wish foundation join the Adairs creative team to help create some limited edition bed linen that will then be sold across Adairs outlets to help raise money for Make-A-Wish. This will enable Make-A-Wish to help make the dreams come true for even more special children around Australia.

It was a fun filled day, full of creativity, drawing, painting… and maybe a few donuts 😉

It was great to be there as the designs took shape over the day, and too see how proud these kids were to take part in such a cool project!

Check out the awesome finished designs here: https://www.adairs.com.au/stylist-picks/Make-A-Wish/

 

 

 

 

The chance to give back

Waaaaaaaaaay back when I made the decision to move to Melbourne and give the big city a shot, I had to crash course myself in learning some new software.

This was intense to say the least, and where was I going to find access to what I needed in Hobart?! I needed to learn the basics of Final Cut Pro as quickly as I could. So I went and saw the fabulous team at Wide Angle Tasmania, a body that’s charged with providing Tasmanian Filmmakers with access to gear and resources that they normally may not be able to afford. So the fact that I was able to hire a laptop for a weekend, crash course myself, and now 8 years later have a video production business that’s doing well, all goes back to that moment. The chance to access something I didn’t have, and that something would turn out to be life changing.

So last year Wide Angle called out for donations to help a film creation fund, to see two local films made. I didn’t hesitate to make a donation, as this may be the chance for someone else, to have a chance at their breakout moment. Because you should never underestimate the power of the chance to give back, no matter how big or small.

 

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The Art of Collaboration

It’s always great to collaborate with other creative houses to come up with a great piece of work for a client.

Recently Capture Point Media asked us to edit and grade a piece they shot for Hallmark on renowned illustrator Megan Hess. It was to mark the release of a new range of cards created by Hess for the well known  greeting card brand.

Megan Hess is an international fashion illustrator who works with some of the most prestigious fashion designers and luxury brands around the world, such as: Prada, Dior,  Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Yves Saint Laurent, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Fendi, Ladurée, Givenchy, Wedgwood, Salvatore Ferragamo, Michelle Obama, Cartier, Laduree, Montblanc, Balenciaga, Guerlain, Paspaley, Tag Heuer, and Disney.

Her original pieces of art have varied in scale from the size of a postage stamp to the expanse of an entire building. Her work has appeared on the bottom of luxury swimming pools in Dubai and on the walls of some of the most coveted fashion houses around the world.

She illustrates all of her work with a bespoke Montblanc pen, who she affectionately calls Monty.
https://vimeo.com/180698424

 

Never underestimate the power of a connection!

So this week marks the 5th anniversary of this great little venture being born. It was purely a force of circumstance. I had just found myself unemployed through no fault of my own, in Melbourne, and had worked so hard for 3 years I had never had the chance to network with others in the media industry in my home town.
What was I to do? I felt a little lost to say the least. Then the simple act of passing on my resume via a great friend to her brother (who happened to work for one of Australia’s largest TV networks) who then passed it on to someone hiring in Melbourne.

This is Renee, the person who with passing on my resume, none of this may never have happened. She also is a great camera assistant at times!

This is Renee, the person who without passing on my resume, none of this may never have happened. She also is a great camera assistant at times!

So in the sudden short space of 4 weeks, BL Media Solutions started to take shape! My first freelance contract was with the awesome team at Sportsbrand Media (now Aurora Media based in London) And it’s here that I truly found my feet and could see this working. Working with such a positive team, in a busy production space, gave me the chance to connect with people who I not only got along with, but they would go on to be future clients as they moved on to other ventures.
Then word started to spread, now that I was out on my own, I was able to offer clients the focus and attention that their projects needed, and this then becomes the best form of marketing. The Connection.

In this industry, it’s not just the quality of the product you deliver, but the service and attention that can make or brake you. to this point I’ve been lucky, through delivering work that meets then exceeds client expectations, new clients have contacted me, mentioning that they have loved the work they have seen via previous clients. They become your best form of advertising.

Since the beginning, sponsoring the Pier to Pub was an important marketing tool.

Since the beginning, sponsoring the Pier to Pub was an important marketing tool.

5 years down the track, it’s all starting to bare fruit, client recommendations continue to bring new clients in, event sponsorship has payed off, and the same attitude applies, deliver the same standard of service on every project, and that connection will remain strong and be come your best advocate.
And ultimately, a big thanks to the main connection. Josie Molloy.