Editing Your First Branded Video 

Videos are the centerpiece of most marketing strategies these days. After all, Companies using video get 41% more web traffic than non-users. And it’s easy to understand why. We’re so bogged down with images coming at us from billboards or online ads. Seeing a video is more engaging and exciting. A study even found that 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands they support. 

So let’s say you want to start making videos for your brand or business but you don’t know how or where to start. It may seem daunting but if your concept is simple enough you shouldn’t have that much of a problem creating your first branded video. Here are a few tips that will make tapping into the realm of video marketing easier than you think. 

Shooting

First, you have to find your camera. This sounds obvious but it’s important to know your strengths and what you’ll be able to operate before shooting. A DSLR or camcorder are my recommendations for first-timers. And if you want something even more foolproof there are smartphones that have a high enough camera quality to get the job done. 

You’ll also need some support for your recording device. I suggest getting a good basic tripod to start, just make sure you have a mount that can fit whatever camera or phone you decide to use. This will make your footage steady, giving your video a professional look. You can experiment with moving the camera later but remember, no one likes shaky video. Unless that’s on-brand with what your creating, like a travel vlog or a home video.

File Management

Remember: the more artistic and obscure your recording device is, the more difficult it is to handle the files. It might seem like a good idea to use your dad’s old Super 8 but getting that film developed and transferred to a digital file might be more expensive and time-consuming than you think.

If you’re just starting out any digital recording device is a safe bet. You can easily transfer files with your smartphone through airdrop or by plugging your device into your computer. 

Music

If you think back to your all-time favorite commercials they probably use popular and memorable music. So naturally, your first instinct is to use tracks from your favorite artist too. But if you’re posting your video on social media it’s not that simple. Most music is protected under copyright laws. You need to buy the rights to use the songs you want and the more popular the track the more expensive. If you use a song you didn’t buy the rights to, your video will be flagged and taken down. 

You could try finding DJ mixes of those same songs but there’s still a chance those mixes could be flagged. To be safe check out sites like Audiojungle and Musicbed. It might not have the exact vibe you had in mind but you can find professional-quality songs from $15 up to $250 for something more unique.

Editing

After you’ve shot the footage you’ll have to figure out how to edit it all. Luckily most laptops and desktops come with some sort of video editor. For Mac users, the simple and effective iMovie is where you want to begin. If you plan on editing long term I suggest investing in something like Adobe Premiere Pro CC, or Final Cut Pro. I like Adobe Creative Suite because all of those programs come with the subscription. 

But something to be aware of when your editing, especially if you have little editing experience, is to not go overboard with editing effects. Often big transitions between cuts can be distracting in a video and make it look unprofessional. If possible try not to use any transitions but if it’s really necessary cross dissolves are easy on the eyes. 



Exporting

When you’re done editing your video you’ll have to export it before you’re able to post it anywhere. Before you export the video you have to choose how you want your final product to look. The size of the file depends on how much quality you need (is your audience viewing it on a phone or a laptop?) and the quality of the video will largely depend on how many frames per second you choose to export the file. 

Try to find an option to export at 24 frames per second, a speed that most accurately imitates how the human eye actually sees the world. This is a great way to add a cinematic quality to your work. At 30 frames per second your video will look hyper-real like you’re watching footage from a home video or a news station. 

Also, your file sizing could be a problem when you post something online or try to share it with others. When posting to Instagram or other social media you need to find the file limitations. Usually, you’ll be okay with a file size under 100 MB. These days platforms are getting better at accommodating larger length videos. 

With more accessible digital editing programs and cheaper recording devices, it’s easier to create a video for your brand or business these days. But these are just the basics. Depending on the vision and scale of your future video project there could still be more to consider. Not everyone has the time to commit to assembling a production. Businesses like us at Mxxdprints take care of all the hassle and plus we know what we’re doing. However, if you do want to give it a shot start brainstorming some concepts. Something close to your vision and start working towards making video content that will catch your customer's eye. Let’s be real you’re competition might be one step ahead of you. 

Peace





Taroko

I woke up a little restless around 730am. Then 745, and finally 8. It's funny how bad habits carry into vacation sometimes. The bus arrived promptly 20 minutes after 8 and we were off to pick up the other tourists just after. We switched buses and besides the Spaniards that boarded with me from the same hostel I'm not sure if anyone else carried over. Maybe because we needed an English speaking guide?

I quickly started to brush off my lame excuse for Spanish (everything being in the present tense. Very basic stuff) and became friends quite easily. They were a group of 5. Two of them a couple, the other three young women. All of them recently attended a wedding and took their own honeymoon to see more of the island. The rest of the bus was either Chinese tourists or Taiwanese from another region.

The whole tour situation was a little strange for me. I'd always been the type to avoid buses or overpay for a guide. Seeing as I was in a country where I knew two words of the language, and even less symbols. That aside, a 25 dollar tour would be straight given I only had 12 hours left in the town that day.

The first stop we made was a crowd favorite. Cliffs that stretched along side a rocky beach. The ridge lines were massive. We all got off, set up out digital devices and found a spot to cop some snaps. 20 minutes and we had to jet. Time was ticking.

The roads within the Gorge was some impressive engineering. For real. We followed a constructed road that laced itself inside of the valleys and all the way through to the other side of Taiwan. Of course it would be hours if we went through the entire path so we didn't venture too far in. But still a 48 seater was able to navigate through that? Salute.

Our second stop was an outlook that included the High mountains of the Gorge and a multi-colored temple that was nested into the mountainside. The turquoise water flowed endlessly from the top of the mountain into the light gray sediment and sand colored boulders.

Afterwards we hit another outlook. It was cool but I mean we didn't get to hear the history or significance of the spot. None of the English speakers picked up anything the guide was telling us. I was a little annoyed. And it was no doubt that we were the butt of the joke, lol. The man spoke Shakespearean verses to the Chinese, spreading the word of Taroko but left us with two words "follow me" . No big deal though, I should know some Mandarin. I'm in they're country after all.

At one point in the excursion we had to wear hardhats. We all looked pretty ridiculous but followed orders just in case a rock skipped down and struck us. There was a long roped bridge that we saw along the way. It was up maybe 200 feet above the ground. The Spaniards and I joked that even if we fell we would be safe because of the hats.

Lunch was pretty sweet. But not food, really. We were of course given the option of eating at the only option for food. Ahhh they got us. It was definitely a tourist trap. We saw the prices and we're instantly repulsed at paying NT 220 (roughly $7 USD). We could have scored some cheaper eats elsewhere in Taiwan for sure (the day before I ate a bowl of pho for around 2 bucks). The cool part was hanging out with the Spaniards and the lady we met from Holland. We were all English speakers so it only made sense that we should hangout. We began to share our stories with each other. Two ladies were sisters, one working as a physical therapist in Paris and the other a video producer working at a news station in London. The other a Brazilian born Spaniard working in various arts including various types of Spanish dancing and is currently working on being an actress. We then talked about where we've been so far on our journey and what was next. The woman from Holland (I hope she forgives me for forgetting her name!) had pretty much lived everywhere lol. She quit her occupation as an editor after being a bit fed up a bit (we all know that feeling) and decided to travel to Australia, Tonga, and then winding up here in Taiwan. She was quite friendly and offered her opinion on why she loved Taiwan so much but had no interest in visiting the mainland. We finished up our less-than-desirable lunch and transitioned back to the bus.

There's nothing like meeting people abroad. People that I vibe with. You find this happiness, an empathetic joy for the person that they are becoming because of the journey. Yeah, in some way I may be out there taking pictures for a portfolio and seeing the sights. But then I come across these wonderful people that had the same idea as me. Like, I'm gonna go to Taiwan, I don't know but two words of the language and I'm gonna travel to their National Park and see some dope shit maybe learn something about the place, witness the beauty of the country. I was talking with some people at my hostel. A chick from Sweden, a dude from Georgia(USA) a dude from Austria, and another young woman from Holland, all of them hitchhiked around the town. Hitchhiked. You know how many damn horror flicks there are in that genre alone. To myself I though there is no way I'm doing that. But I mean that's cool that they did and I respect that they trust humans enough. In that way. That's what you leave with. Meeting weird fools like yourself when you travel abroad. People willing to take some chances. There's nothing in the world like it.

We took a hike up through one of the trails and experienced some great views. We got pretty high up but a few of us wished we would have done more. Our surroundings were so ripe and the foliage was dense.

Our last stop was a beach. It was simple and it smelled of old fish. Just after I realized the smell there was a major catch down towards the surf. Two big Pokémon looking fish were being hauled in by some locals. Everyone crowded around snapping pics frantically as if the Messiah himself washed onto shore and needed the flash from their smartphone to gain the energy to walk. Besides that short spectacle the beach was a little dim. A sobering end to an eventful day.

Once we arrived back at the train station it was a bitter good bye. We exchanged information and promised that if we were ever in each other's neighborhood that we would say hi. I really enjoyed the company. Besides having to work on my Spanish the group was very warm and that's something I needed after spending a few days feelinga bit lonesome. Hasta luego Helena, Kris, and Caro!

Let's Catch Up Pt. 2

 There was a bit of anxiousness in the air. What if we don't see da Spinnas? Or Turtles? Maybe not even fish? Soon were put at ease by the friendly and entertaining staff.

Our guides were all pretty young. I'd say 18 to about 35-ish. And our pack of people were from all over, a couple of Americans, some Australians, but mostly Japanese.It took about an hour to get to the spot where the dolphins chill and gossip (that's what they sound like underwater). 

 Once we slowed down we were alerted of a few Dolphins down below. Everyone replied with a face full of "For reals??" and sprang to check it out.

One by one we hopped in the ocean like tourist navy seals. And there it was. The dolphin sonar sound. For some reason it was an instantly recognizable.

Before you know it there they were visible. Gliding through the ocean in their muscular banana shape. If their tail gave one kick they would be gone if you blinked. 

For the most part there was one or two at a time but later on the whole credit showed up like squaaaaad bish. We in this thang.

They were immaculate, man. Check out the video below for exclusive footage 😝

 

After about thirty minutes in the spot we climbed back into the boat to go to the reef. There we saw some bright colored fish (no nemos, unfortunately) and some big ass turtles. The uncles of the ocean. They were a little more gracious then the dolphins. All of their movements seemed to be shot in 120 frames per second and slowed down enough to make Zach Snyder proud. 

After the reef the crew fed us lunch and we chilled and took pics on our way back to the dock. By this time everyone was talking to each other. It's like that phenomenon at during a college final where everyone is all of a sudden friend because the "we made it" feeling starts to set in. There was also a cool moment with some of the Japanese. One of the dudes wanted a picture for some reason or another. I'd like to think it was because I was an ambiguous American but it might have been aittle deeper then that lol. Nonetheless we teamed up and did a little heart sign with each of our hands. Again, it could of been for several reasons in his end but it was cool hang out with them for a second. Unfortunately they new little English and the same for my Japanese so we sort of just parted ways after. 

Immediately after we jetted to get Charli to the Aulani, she was a bridesmaid and apparently should've been there early in the morning but they were gonna be fine. 

The wedding was such an experience. Outside of waiting a few ours for the reception to go down it was really interesting to see and the mix of cultures: mostly Samoan and Mexican. Thisbmught give you a little idea: There was a Mariachi band  made up of a Caucasian dude, a Mexicano, and a Filipino. And they were pretty good!

Anyway, as many other young weddings this one ended a bit early. There was a money dance, the traditional garter/bouquet that turned into a proposal (that was cool), and a little dance/band. Honestly it was pretty cool to check out how a mixed race local family throws down. Best wishes to Estee and Aaron!

 

Let's Catch Up Pt. 1

I've just boarded my flight to Taipei from Hong Kong. The last leg on a stretch that took me from the beautiful beaches of Oahu. It's cool though. Here soon I'll be linking up with my good homie Riley and before you can say it we'll be in Seoul. 

My time in Oahu was mesmerizing but also quick and familiar. I spent the first day meeting my partner in crime, Charli, and following her to her old high school in Kapolei. I watched her get some nails done for a wedding she would be a bridesmaid in. As we were wandering around the school I got to get a glimpse of the adolescence of Hawaii. Pretty standard: puppy love, stuco stressing on prom details, trash being cleaned up by the wayward janitors, the same old. Kapolei, one of the middle of the pack schools had some different definitions ways of using classrooms. There were a few classes that would be going on in the center of a large room. I'm talking back-to-back projectors with no curtains. Like, whaaat? It was cool to see it wasn't as standard as my mainland magnet school.   

Of course, a spectrum of brown complexion was around. Big imposing dudes, little ladies, big ladies (tall and lean, of course) Samoans, Filipinos, Micronesian, a sprinkle of Latino, Chinese, and like two anglos (more teachers than students I'm sure). The brown-ness was real. 

Damn, I just realized that I've got a lot to tell you and I started off by explaining high school differences lol. Lets get to the cool stuff. 

I was lucky enough to experience some Disney magic straight from the Aulani Resort. (Disclaimer: not the biggest fan of big business but I currently work for like the most gargantuan business in the world so I ain't got much room to talk. And plus, I'm on vacation!) It was pretty awesome.

A (probably controversial) man-made resort had anything and everything you needed, plus Disney. We chilled that night on the cove and watched the LEGENDARY performance by Kobe Bean Bryant as he waved farewell to the NBA with 60 points and a W that was probably the more impressive feat. I damn near shed a tear watching the irony of him throwing the last possession down to Jordan Clarkson -- a young stud on the roster -- for a slam. This is me being a optimist as a Laker fan. We still have like 5 years until we win a conference title or even compete for one. 

The next morning I convinced Charli to workout on the beach. We avoided the boot camp program and found ourselves in the Total Body Circuit. I would say it was a good workout. She would roll her eyes :) 

We ate an overpriced breakfast for the convenience and picture with Goofy but it was worth it because the food was 👌

Next: a break. I had a few videos to finish editing (Check out mxxdprints on YouTube to find my mxxdtapes work wit the Arkansas Wings 14U team!) and Charli needed to pass out from the eggs benedict-induced coma. 

That night we chilled with Charli's cousin (shout out to Sara and her friend Tiana) to get some sushi and do a little sight seeing. We started at Doraku where they like to make their menus confusing as hell.

I ordered a soy paper wrapped roll with tuna and some other stuff that I forgot. It was one of the few things that were glutenless that I could order. It was delicious. Im pretty sure our waiter was high after a few confusions with the order and some conversation between our party about restaurant management in Hawaii. Can you blame them though? Your telling them to work.. in paradise? They need something to get through the worst part of their day lol. 

The POW! WOW! Hawaii murals were whats up though. After circling the block for good minute we jumped out of the car and walked around to see the work (shout out to Sara again for the tour guide knowledge!) the murals were of various contemporary styles. They were executed well and had a nice flow together. There were dozens of them some small and large. Check out the pics. 

We ended the night looking out on Waikiki from a top of the winding roads to tantalus lookout point. A beaded skyline outlined dark silhouetted hotels with yellow and white lights. I love the daylight here but this view made night time look majestic. This where I would stop myself from saying 'I could get used to this'. I could, but my bank account couldn't. 

 

 

I'm in the airport about to go on the longest trip of my life

The first stop is Hawaii for a few days. Ahh we meet again. I can't wait to get reacquainted with the cerulean waters.

Anyway, swang by here to keep up with the things I get into while I make my way to Taiwan, maybe South Korea, and Abu Dhabi.

See ya in a bit, 

Gabe