Photo Montages that Push The Limits

I didn’t let on to my client that this was going to be a huge challenge.

Debbie has me make a photo montage for each of her kids as they turn 50, and they all have a curve ball thrown into the mix that really pushes the limits of my creativity. “Here’s a photo of a redwood tree trunk,” she said. “I want it to illustrate my daughter climbing the corporate ladder. I want branches to appear to grow from the trunk as my daughter climbs  up the tree until she gets to the top. The name of every company she’s worked for has to appear in the foliage of each branch.”

“Not so bad”, I thought. As a wedding videographer I’ve done many photo montages for my clients over the years, and while this one had a little twist to it, it was definitely do-able. But would it be good enough to please Debbie? Hmmm.

Now, Debbie’s an interior designer of very discriminating taste with very high expectations. The montage was going to be shown at Kathy’s birthday party out of state and the whole family was going to be there to watch it so it had to be good. Here’s how it turned out. Following the tree segment provided here for you to watch is the email I received after everyone watched the montage.

“Our video was a huge success! There was laughter, a few tears and genuine disappointment when it came to a close because they all wanted more. Kathy could not have been more pleased. She loved it all, but especially the “Lone Ranger”, her boys and the Logo Tree. Thanks so much for all you did. You made it a very special Thanksgiving for all 20 of us.”  Debbie

24KT Sound & Video: Southern California wedding and special event videography. “You have a very special video awaiting you.”

Contact me for help with your own project. All challenges happily accepted! 310 547-4702; marc@24ktsound.com

 

 

 




Los Angeles Videographer Pays Back Favors In Big Way

videographer Marc Gold with camera

Marc Gold, 24KT Sound & Video

Sometimes saying thanks is just not enough.

As a small business owner, when someone goes the extra mile to help me with my video production company, as in giving me a high value referral that results in a booking, I see it as a golden opportunity to reciprocate and strengthen a relationship. In my case, as a professional videographer who values referrals, I’m in the perfect position to make them a video that they can use for their own marketing. The only criterion is working the same event together so I have a chance to record what they’re doing. With the popularity of videos on websites and in the social media, and the exposure they can create, a marketing video is something that can be used to generate income. It may be as simple as shooting and editing a little extra footage of their work on display at the event that they referred me to. Here are a few of the thank you videos I’ve made for people who have helped me.

Shooting a little extra footage of Redondo Beach caterers, Critics Choice, while setting up for a gala 75th birthday reception at the Norris Pavilion in Palos Verdes is is what I’m talking about.

In addition to appearing in this blog, it’s also seen in the wedding and special events video gallery on my website, on youtube.com, and vimeo.com, where it’s fully optimized for maximum exposure and happily ‘going social’.

My DJ friend, John “Jazzy” Jackson has sent me many video clients over the years. Here’s a great demo of  DJ Jazzy performing at Noah’s extraordinary bar mitzvah reception in Orange County, happily given to Jazzy for all his help and steadfast friendship.

Ron and Anouka of West Coast Catering in Torrance, CA. have sent me several beautiful weddings at both their Torrance Woman’s Club facility as well as their San Pedro Harbor Lodge. I made this “thank you” video for them which they use very successfully as a corporate marketing video. That beautiful wedding gazebo, by the way, is by my friend Demetra Cunningham of SBD Events.

My dear friend, Addie, at the Cheesecake Factory in Redondo Beach recently sent us this event, a celebration of life for a local family who lost a loved one, although this highlight doesn’t focus on that aspect of the event, but rather on the services of the CK Factory.

 

With our Southern California studio in the city of San Pedro, our video productions bring us frequently to the surrounding South Bay Cities for corporate and special event videography:

Carson, CA corporate video for The Letterhead Factory

Torrance, CA instructional video for the Phenomenex Corporation and a corporate identity video for Southbay LeTip networking association

Redondo Beach, CA theater production video for Encore Entertainers, “Shrek the Musical”, “Oliver”, and “Hairspray”

Palos Verdes, CA Wayfarers Chapel wedding and baptism videography

Palos Verdes, CA dance production video for Peninsula School of Performing Arts, ballet and dance recitals

Harbor City, Harbor Gateway, CA Chamber of Commerce corporate event, Spring Mixer

Marina del Rey, CA for Lisa’s 40th birthday bash on board the Fantasea II yacht

 

Watch these videos and more in our corporate video gallery and our wedding and special event video gallery

 

 

 

 




Mom Gets Ill at Wedding – Day Saved by Alert Wedding Videographer

videographer Marc Gold with camera

Marc Gold, 24KT Sound & Video

Veteran Los Angeles Wedding Videographer Recounts Wedding Day Nightmares.

Months before her wedding, when bride, Lisa, decided that she didn’t want an established, professional videographer to record the event, her mother, Alexandra, had a feeling that she was making a mistake and begged her daughter to hire one. Cut to the wedding day…At the wedding reception, mom, sick with a cold and three days into her antibiotics and cough medicine, disappeared without telling anyone and missed the bouquet and garter tosses as well as the cake cutting.  She was understandably distraught over having missed so much of her daughter’s reception, that is, right up until the minute she was able to watch everything on the wedding video made by the professional videographer her daughter thought she didn’t need. Fortunately for mom, her daughter had taken her advice before the wedding.

The subject of wedding videography came up during my physical therapy session this week and my therapist told me that at her own wedding a cousin with little or no videography experience volunteered to record the event for her. At the precise moment the bride’s two cute little nieces were walking down the aisle, the amateur videographer was mesmerized by the guitar player’s fingers strumming the guitar, and that was the shot he recorded. I think you can guess the rest of the story. Too bad. He lost one of the most video-worthy moments of the day!

Close up of bride and groom on wedding day

Jaime and Darrin. Image from video.

I think the saddest story I’ve heard in 35 years as a full time wedding videographer is from another bride and groom who decided not to have anyone record their wedding. (A money issue, most likely). A short time after the wedding the bride’s brother was killed in an car accident. There was no video of him at the wedding for the bride to remember him by. Her loss (and regrets) were profound. Too late. There are no re-do’s, and unless you’re able to see into the future, you just won’t know what’s going to happen. A wise decision needs to be made from the start. The hard, cold fact is that you can’t go back in time to do it again once the wedding is over.

Amateur mistake causes irreplaceable memorial footage to be lost: A friend of mine told me that he had recently attended the memorial service of a close relative which was video taped as a favor by another family member who had come from out of town for the service. The amateur videographer diligently recorded all the testimonials and the prayers, as well as the guests reunited to witness the final farewell. The video, intended to be a lifelong rememberance, was accidently left in the relative’s rental car along with the camera and never recovered. End of story…and of the video.

To avoid being added to my list of wedding nightmares, here are a couple of insightful suggestions from my website article, “Finding The Right Videographer…Busting The Myths:”

Annette and Patrick. Image from video.

Annette and Patrick. Image from video.

“What you deny yourself today you won’t have when you want it tomorrow.” The people who don’t have a video made of a once-in-a-lifetime event, are the same ones who most regret not having the foresight to make one. You only have one opportunity to record your wedding day. Don’t be “Penny Wise and Pound Foolish”. Remember: “No Re-Do’s”

A Thought to Ponder: Get out of the moment and think ahead. There are few things more enjoyable than to look back 10 or 20 years to see how everyone looked back then. Remember, your video is not only for you and it’s not only for now. Consider it your magical connection to the past…forever.”

Need Assistance? Access our contact form or call (310) 547-4702 for more information, or watch a video right now in our Wedding Video Gallery.

Check out this short wedding ceremony highlight to see a sample of our work:

 

 

 




Amateur Wedding Videographer Misses Shot, Ruins Wedding

videographer Marc Gold with camera Wayfarers Chapel

Marc Gold, 24KT Sound & Video

Selecting A Wedding Videographer – The Power of Experience

It seems to have become more and more an economic necessity for some brides and grooms to recruit a friend or family member to record their wedding ceremony and reception.

There’s an old British expression that says: “Penny Wise and Pound Foolish”. It’s used to describe situations like the one above, involving people who are very careful about unimportant matters and careless about important ones. (referring originally to British currency, pence and pounds). That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try to cut costs and save money. Just be smart about it and think of the future consequences, which, when it comes to wedding videography, can mean the difference between enjoying the results for a lifetime…or not.

A Personal Story: Restricted by a very small budget when I got married, I had a friend record my own wedding (before I was in the business) and there were no shots of the cake cutting or garter toss. I did the same thing with the photographer, also to save some money, and there were no photos of my sister.

Couple about to kiss at Wayfarers Chapel wedding

Image from video

Sad but True Story: An amateur wedding videographer (the bride’s cousin) who was so transfixed by the guitar players fingers strumming his guitar that he missed the shot of the bride’s two nieces (the flower girls) walking down the aisle, making for a very disappointed bride.

Bride kissing groom during their wedding, scene from video

Image from video

The Gift That Doesn’t Keep on Giving: Unless they’re a wedding video professional, accept a friend or relative’s well-meaning ‘gift’ of a video with caution knowing that it will likely have flaws and omissions that a professional video won’t have. A pro has a keen sense of his (or her) surroundings and what’s coming next purely from the experience of having recorded countless events before yours. He or she is disciplined to look everywhere, see everything, and has the crucial skill and foresight to be in the right place at the right time. He can anticipate and address issues before they become problems that attract guests’ attention.

Advice from a Veteran Los Angeles Wedding Videographer: While applying the ‘shop for the lowest price’ strategy may be fine for buying a car, it can be a path to disappointment when looking for a videographer. A car is a product, videography is a service provided by an individual with a background that presumably will serve you well. Not all videographers are alike. They vary in experience, technique, people skills, attitude, style and customer service (in the event there’s ever an issue). Then again, even the same model car at different dealerships may offer different features, some of which may make that particular car more to your liking in the long run. (Read the entire article“How to Find a Good Videographer)

joyful bride and groom at their wedding reception

Image from video

Approach extremely low prices with a lot of caution.There’s a reason (that you may not be aware of) that a videographer isn’t charging what others are.

Keep in mind that a good image with bad sound doesn’t make for a very enjoyable video. This is another instance where experience really matters.

Recommendation: Shop value, not price. Price is what something costs. Value is how much it’s worth to you. Something of value, like a good video, will increase in value over time not only because of the importance of the occasion, but because your video allows you to recollect the loved-ones who were there to celebrate with you who may not be with you forever. 

Please feel welcome to contact me directly for more information: marc@24ktsound.com or contact form. Watch a video right now in our wedding & special events video gallery.

Click to watch a cute video about hiring a wedding videographer.

 




Los Angeles Wedding Videographer Re-discovers Long Lost Clients – Hits the Lottery!

scene from Shrek The Musical with Shrek and Donkey

Shrek & Donkey from “Shrek the Musical

We All Suddenly Realized That I Was Their Wedding Videographer 15 Years Ago!  Of the many different kinds of events that I enjoy recording, live theater, dance and ballet are high on my list simply for the technical challenge they present. Fortunately, there are a lot of opportunities in Los Angeles for a videographer like myself to record those kinds of productions that pop up in local theatres in L.A. and the South Bay throughout the year. My unexpected re-acquaintance with former wedding clients, Summer Cacciagioni, artistic director of Encore Entertainers in Redondo Beach, CA, and her husband, Marcello, resulted in a summer-full of marvelous experiences recording six of their shows at the Warner Grand in San Pedro and Redondo Union High School auditorium. An enjoyable excerpt from “Shrek The Musical” follows below:

Three Fionas from Shrek The Musical

The three Fiona’s from “Shrek The Musical”

I can say for a fact that reconnecting with Summer and Marcello definitely qualifies as a genuine OMG moment. When I responded to their search for a local videographer to record their upcoming shows in Redondo Beach, San Pedro and Palos Verdes, and met with them at their office in Torrance to discuss the job, it wasn’t long before we all realized that I was their wedding videographer 15 years ago!

The dragon scene from Shrek the Musical

The dragon from “Shrek The Musical”

They agreed to have me record performances of “Shrek The Musical”, “Oliver,” and “Hairspray”, most of which were three camera productions. I brought in colleagues Lon Andre from West Los Angeles, and Chris Babbit from Laguna Niguel to help with the camera work. The finished productions were fabulous and turned around in record time much to Summer’s satisfaction after having been made to wait up to 18 months by their former video production company. Happy client + happy videographer = more shows coming in January and February. Check out more video demos on my website at www.24ktsound.com in the wedding and special event video gallery or the corporate video gallery.




Los Angeles Videographer gets Heroic Customer Service

I knew I needed it, but there was slim to no chance of getting quick customer service when I walked in without an appointment to Sony’s professional video camera service center, camera in hand. Typical wait time is 2 weeks. Minimum fee just to take a look at a camera, several hundred dollars. I needed to walk out of that place with my camera fixed that same day. I had several special events to record in the not-too-distant future. This was going to be a challenge!

Luis was the man at the counter, the “gate-keeper”, with the power to route the incoming video equipment to the short list or the wait forever list. I needed a strategy. Instead of becoming the angry, ugly, disgruntled customer, I acknowledged Luis’ authority to help me with my dilemma: “You’re in an enviable position, Luis, to help people like me resolve their problems.” I made sure to let him know that I was a dedicated Sony customer, and a very busy Los Angeles videographer with an emergency that only he could help me with. At that moment Luis was my ‘doctor’ and I needed him to feel my pain.

Long story short, Luis called the lead technician who patiently listened to my story and took the camera to the diagnostic area. So far, so good. He would need about an hour, so I went to lunch wondering what the result was going to be.

On returning, I was given my camera. I was told that it had been adjusted and I thanked everyone sincerely. No Charge! One hour turnaround! My lucky day!

The camera has performed flawlessly ever since. I was a very happy videographer. (I never asked, but I believe there is a chance that they did a courtesy lens replacement while I was out to lunch).

Moral of the story: “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar”. No truer words were ever spoken!

Check out some of those videos I mentioned on my website at www.24ktsound.com.

 

 

 




Ray “The Cabbie” Austin, Videotaped Interview with a Los Angeles Icon

The Trick is to Make The Video While They’re Still Alive. 

videographer Marc Gold with camera

Marc Gold, 24KT Sound & Video

My video interview with “Ray ‘The Cabbie” Austin as he talked about a robbery at gunpoint and his encounters with Actors Greer Garson, Paul Newman,  J. Carrol Nash and Bob Hope is a piece of invaluable American folklore about a local legend who drove the streets of L.A. in the 1950’s. As it turns out Ray was more than just a cabbie. His resume is beyond anything you could imagine. That interview turned out to be one of the most fascinating of my career as a professional L.A. Videographer, and the fact that it even exists makes a great argument for more people to record the life histories of their beloved elders. Ray’s video will be released once permissions are granted.

Revealing the wealth of incredible stories tucked away in the minds of our elders is the sweet essence of biographical videography, but one has to have the foresight to do it while the opportunity still exists. I hope you’ll find the motivation one day to record the life history of a beloved elder, because the day may come when you have occasion to contemplate the loss of a loved one…a whole magnificent life lived…and then gone. That’s the moment you’ll be humbled by the amazing significance of your accomplishment.

Manny and Sylvia photo from their life history video

Manny & Sylvia Gold

When I interviewed my parents, Manny and Sylvia Gold, now both deceased, I learned about my grandfather’s erratic driving that landed him in the middle of a military convoy in downtown New York City, his loss of practically everything he had during the stock market crash in the 1920’s, my father’s military service and heroism while fighting in the European theater with General Patton’s army at the Battle of the Bulge during World War Two, the armed robbery of worshipers at a Jewish temple by sing- sing escapees and my father’s own narrow escape. Watch an excerpt from Manny & Sylvia’s video.

Capturing stories like these is the focus and the reward for this very fortunate Los Angeles videographer.

More videos are available to watch at www.24ktsound.com in the video galleries. 




What You Must Know Before Referring a Videographer

Whether you’re a professional in the special event industry or simply a friend referring a videographer to another friend,  your vendor referrals carry a lot of weight. They also reflect back on you as the source of the referral. You want to be sure they’re solid and for the right reasons. If you’ve been involved with events at all, whether you work onsite or behind the scenes during the event you know the demands of overseeing its minute-to-minute success, and you may also know the distraction of having to babysit a vendor who isn’t able to keep up with the program. Here are a few tips to smooth out any possible bumps in the road.

Marc Gold with video cameraYour class “A” referral is a resourceful problem solver. He’s brings with him the experience of having been through and resolved all the challenges already. Experience counts! No one wants to or has the time to be burdened by a vendor who needs to be constantly supervised.  In the case of the videographer, a few simple steps taken to create a cooperative working relationship with the other onsite professionals can ensure a gratifying experience not only for the clients and guests, but especially for the coordinator who has many other responsibilities to balance.

From the videographer’s perspective, it’s as simple as taking the initiative to build a bit of rapport with the DJ and the photographer early in the event at a time when successful working relationships can be built, quickly, discretely and behind the scenes.

The insightful videographer knows from experience that he is going to have to focus on the DJ’s announcements to keep on track with the program without having to be reminded. He will have sought out the photographer to work out a choreography with him that allows both to complete their work in sync, working side by side. Positioning for the toast and cake-cutting are two good cases in point that bring both professionals in very close proximity. Smoothing out the path ahead is part of the experience and personality of the seasoned videographer that makes him/her a valuable asset on your preferred vendor list. It’s all about knowing which steps to take ahead of time to ensure that issues that could create friction are foreseen and addressed before they can become visible problems. It’s a level well above “just getting the job done.” It’s about ensuring that it gets done well.

Everyone needs to work cooperatively to accomplish their respective jobs with minimum supervision, and without interrupting the event flow.

Make certain you choose a videographer with the experience and professional approach that helps you succeed. The rewards are great in terms of a client’s gratitude, return business, social media sharing and shining reviews.

Click Here To Learn More

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Amateur Videos Can Work Against You

 

There’s a time and a place for amateur video, and it’s never the right time to put one on your business website.

My actor/friend, Kevin, with whom I’ve collaborated many times as the on-camera host of several corporate video productions, went to work for a software company whose website offered some video of their product. Unfortunately the site had a very high bounce rate driving nearly everyone away from the site without doing business with the company leaving Kevin and the rest of the sales force without many prospects.

It was no mystery.  Just about everything that could be technically wrong with their promotional videos was wrong:  Poor audio, participants recorded in front of a very bright open window with blinds drawn halfway down and hanging crooked, poorly prepared and not very well dressed employees fumbling to speak on camera. This was the video the company put in front of their prospective customers that was supposed to capture their interest and persuade them to purchase the software. There was an obvious disconnect here:  A high-end software product marketed to a technically astute audience promoted with a homemade video.

Kevin, distraught,  implored me to write a proposal for a new promotional video for his company which I willingly did. The company never responded and is still floundering to this day.

What it boils down to is this:  Resist the temptation to pick up your mobile device to record your latest news flash. It’s all about “image” and the impression you want to associate with your “brand”, which, in the broad sense of the word,  is much more than just your logo. It’s the whole user experience associated with your business, including, and especially, your website video. Websites are compromised, reputations tarnished and customers discouraged by amateur videos on the site. The bar is high today for website video with the expectation that it should be picture and audio perfect. Vis a vis professional video, homemade video just looks very amateurish, and on an otherwise carefully developed website is enough to damage your credibility sending the whole purchasing process into a fatal tailspin. It certainly doesn’t add to a website the level of credibility that’s needed to build consumer trust.

With a credible video, one that shows professionalism in the making, you have the potential to build a strong connection with visitors that helps them feel comfortable doing business with you. Amateur videos can definitely undo that critical process.

Please check out our video series, “Why Businesses Need Video” and the article: “How Good is Video on My Website.”

Click Here To Learn More

Related Articles
Top Tips For Website Video Production
Why Businesses Need Video 
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“Is Your Website Content Connecting With Your Audience–Take This Self Assessment for Effective Web Content”

Is Your Website Content Connecting With Your Audience–Take This Self Assessment for Effective Web Content”

You’ve worked hard on the content of your business website and hope that it’s going to attract people to your site, help them find whatever they’re looking for and ultimately encourage them to become happy customers. All the appropriate motivators are in place: “learn more” “click here” “contact us” “buy now” to keep visitors on track. You’ve even done some search engine optimization, and still the results aren’t what you hoped for. Your bounce rate is high and visitors are leaving before they’ve finished reading what you’ve written. You soon realize that just because your site exists and is being seen by lots of people, there’s a disconnect with your visitors. It could be the nature of your website content.

Content needs to speak to your visitor’s “purchasing comfort zone”, that hard-to-define emotional state of mind where a visitor feels comfortable in doing business with you. It’s about creating content that’s able to build rapport and overcome the anxiety and skepticism that visitors often bring with them when they come to a website they’re not familiar with. Unless yours is already a trusted name brand, your visitors may not know you well enough to want to invest any time or money with you. You have to help them over that psychological hurdle by creating an emotional connection with them, exactly as you would if they entered your place of business in person, and all the text in the world isn’t likely to do that. It’s too emotionally neutral relative to other types of content such as video.

To see how well your website is reaching your visitors’ purchasing comfort zone, take this self assessment:

Website Content Self-Assesment:

1)  Does your website give visitors a chance to visualize themselves using and benefitting from what you offer?

2)  Have you addressed the customer’s inherent skepticism and anxiety about buying something they may not have prior experience with from a company they’ve never done business with?

3)  What do you have on your website to build credibility and trust?

4)  How have you personalized your site with a face and a voice that people can relate to?

5)  Are you requiring people to read too much text to find what they’re looking for?

6)  Are you doing everything possible to engage and keep visitors’ attention to prevent them from leaving your site and moving on to one of your competitors?

Despite the fact that ours is a generation that is very comfortable watching a video to get information, there are many websites that still rely on text alone, or text and a few photos, hoping (and possibly failing) to get their messages across even as the evidence points to the fact that many people don’t read a lot of written content. Look into the practicality of a video about your business for your website and move ahead in strengthening your visitors’ experience and your own profitability.

Find out how we can help with video production services in the Los Angeles area for your website, contact Marc at 24KT Sound and Video at 310-547-4702 and visit www.24ktsound.com for additional articles, videos and information.