Production Blog

Green Screen Improves Video SEO and Cuts Cost

Using Green Screen Improves Video SEO & Cuts Production Cost

In this video I’d like to explain how using a green screen improves Video SEO and cuts video production cost by as much as 50%.

Green Screen Eliminates Unnecessary Billable Time

Business videos are too often filmed on location at the customer’s place of business, simply because no alternative is considered. Yet, One sure way to lower cost on any video production is to eliminate unnecessary billable time.

Filming on location is more expensive than filming in the studio, because location filming requires the film crew to transport equipment from their studio to your location, set-up and adjust that equipment at your location, and test the final set-up before any filming can begin.

Set-up Time is Billable Time

Set-up time is billable time and eliminating set-up time from any location shoot will substantially reduce your overall cost per video.

By working on set at a local video production studio, you can eliminate hours of set-up time and reduce the number of crew members required for each video shoot.

Shooting Video In the Studio Saves Clients Money

In the studio, lights are in place, audio is on stand-by, and all conditions are optimized for filming before any billable time begins.

When making a video for your business that features one or two people speaking into the camera, as I am right now, shooting video in a local video production studio using green screen to insert a background is a great option.

It helps improve Video SEO, costs less, adds more options for changing backgrounds, and produces higher quality results.

Shooting on Location Adds Cost

Shooting on location adds complexity and cost, but is the most obvious solution – and at first thought, seems to offer the best opportunity for quality and background selection.

Green Screen Saves Time and Money

Green screen reduces cost, offers excellent quality and as many background options – as there are images and video files available to digitally place behind, around,
and in front of – any person filmed on a green screen set.

Would you like the spokes person placed in an office?

Or a news room? A biotech Lab? A law library? A medical environment? A courtroom? Outdoors?

Wherever your topic takes you, green screen will save you the cost of bringing a crew to that location. How about Grand Central Station? Can you imagine the complexity of bringing a film crew to that location?

Using green screen technology you can replicate shooting almost anywhere imaginable.Green screen productions can save you time and money, while eliminating the disruption of having a film crew set-up in the workplace.

Video Content Drives Video SEO

Video content drives Video SEO and In today’s highly competitive, on-line, social media based, SEO driven world of relevant content – producing videos is no longer an option. It’s an absolute requirement for meeting expectations,
educating customers, and answering questions. But for Video SEO to work well, and bring all of the value possible, the video production company you hire needs to understand Video SEO and all it entails.

Green screen production cuts cost, and therefore opens the door for producing more videos for any given budget.

Adding videos delivers visual interest to any site and engages the viewer longer.

Longer Video Engagement, Drives Video SEO

Holding the viewer’s attention, allows time to deliver a stronger message that will be heard clearly and easily remembered as better content. Well executed green screen video makes better content, creates a connection
with your customers, identifies you as a stronger resource, and adds credibility.

Better content plus added credibility leads to your videos being shared.

Shared videos create backlinks. Backlinks influence Video SEO in a very powerful way.

And that is a home run.

Contact me personally for more information. (203) 208-2838 and thanks for watching.

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Video Production Uses Both Sides of the Brain

~ Frank Blackwell
I was recently offered the role of Director of Photography on a 20-minute horror short film. It took me exactly 2 seconds to accept that offer, and I am now the DP on Hide/Seek, a new film that was written, and will be directed by, Matt Newton. Matt is the founder of MN Acting Studio in NYC, NY and Greenwich, CT. The film will be shot and produced in Guilford, CT. Filming will take place in April 2016.

Matt recently coached Aziz Ansari on the hit Netflix show “Masters of None,” and has been the on-set coach for the hit CBS show “Blue Bloods” for the last 3 seasons.   He is also the on-set coach for the hit film “# Horror,” starring Chloe Sevigny and Timothy Hutton.

Matt’s own acting credits include “Strangers with Candy” (1999), “Dahmer” (2002), “Poster Boy” (2004) as well as guest appearances on more than a dozen television shows and tv commercials.

So why does being a DP require that both sides of the brain function equally well?

Let me begin by showing some footage I took during a drone test on March 1, 2016. You can see some actual footage from the drone below in a second video too. The Drone operator is John Drakos.

Being a DP draws equally from all aspects of creativity and technical control. Visual thinking, …mixed with technical expertise, …blended with an ability to change direction as swiftly as the weather changes in Connecticut; these are all hallmarks of being a successful Director of Photography on any film.

From frame rate, to shutter speed, from waveform to histogram, from close-up to wide shot and to establishing a scene – a DP needs to blend technical expertise with the emotion and feel of every clip.

One side of the human brain sees color, tone, depth of field, point of focus, and camera movement. Simultaneously, the other side of the brain decides exactly how all that comes together from a technical and functional point of view for the sole purpose of advancing the story line.

This blog will be about the steps in that process and as time allows along the way, I will post those steps as they happen, trying to include you in my thought process as we proceed.

In this first post, as I gather my thoughts, assemble my equipment lists, read and re-read the script, and study the camera shot list schedule, it’s worth mentioning a conversation I had a while back when John Drakos stopped by my studio to introduce himself and speak with me about video classes.

John wanted to know how our classes might benefit his interest in starting a drone-based filming business. John is a licensed aircraft pilot and drone operator. I was impressed with his credentials and level of expertise. As I began considering how I would film Hide/Seek, I remembered that conversation with John and invited him to work with me to do some test shots with his drone to see how well drone footage might work to tell our story.

As a DP on any film, there are always choices to be made about equipment. Those choices bring benefits and consequences that must be weighted and evaluated against cost, time, quality, visual tone, and outcome.

Using a drone is something I might not have considered a year ago but for this film, this location and the type of feel Matt Newton has written into the script, there is almost certainly a cost-effective benefit tied to adding in some aerial footage. Here is some footage from yesterday. This footage is straight from the drone. It has no audio and very little color correction. It is a good example of what I usually use as test footage. Using straight untreated footage saves time while still giving a good indication of what I can expect from finished footage. In this video I am simply looking for control of the aircraft camera and a means for developing ideas for interesting ways to capture a scene. In the right light, with a slow enough approach from the air, the drone promises to add an element of suspense and voyeurism to the movie.

As I work to prepare for filming; as we discuss technical aspects of production such as frame rate, lens selection, audio gear, lighting, scripting, and all other aspects – both technical and aesthetic, I will try to include much of what takes place from the perspective of my role as Director of Photography here within this blog. I will share what I think to be of interest to aspiring and established photographers, film makers, directors and producers.

Please leave your e-mail address in the “subscribe to blog” form to the right of this post to receive a notice each time I post.

Thanks for following my blog.

~ Frank Blackwell


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Transform Any Lab Protocol into a How-to Video

How To Transform A Written Biotech Lab Protocol Into a How-to Video

I’d like to share the Biotechnology Video workflow process I developed.  It transforms any biotech laboratory bench top protocol into a step-by-step Biotechnology Video tutorial.  A Biotechnology Video will train users, reduce the number of calls to your support desk and help your customers succeed with even the most complex protocol.

A Biotechnology Video can contain on-screen notes, photographs, illustrations, charts and tables along with step-by-step captioning that can be stopped, rewound and played back.

The Biotechnology Videos can be uploaded to a YouTube or Vimeo channel, and can be hosted on any webpage. They can be made public or private granting access to the world, to any group, or any individual.

Biotechnology Video Production Begins With The Protocol Development Team

The protocol development team typically consists of the scientists who developed the protocol and the lab technicians working to perfect the steps of that protocol on the bench top within the lab.

Begin the Biotechnology Video development process by meeting with as many of those team members as possible to ask the following questions.

– What are the most critical steps for success?

– How prone to failure are those steps?

– And what are the most common factors that might lead to an unsuccessful run?

By asking those questions, we start to formulate a checklist of benefits that a detailed training video will bring when it supports best practices and prevents possible pitfalls.

What are the most critical points of the process and what aspects of the protocol would offer the strongest benefit if captured visually?

Are there steps that rely on achieving a certain level of translucency, opacity or viscosity?

Is there a color transformation to distinguish that can be accurately and visually rendered on video?

Is there a specific technique that delivers better chance of success and could be learned readily from observation within a video?

Is there a global audience of world-wide users who might gain insight from video when English is their second language?

These are a just few areas of consideration when planning a video tutorial but by referring to this short list of elements to consider, perhaps you will think of similar aspects of your own workflow that can benefit from being clearly presented within a well produced video tutorial.

Request a walk-through of the protocol with the people who will perform the steps during filming. This is an opportunity to gain added insight into the overall workflow of the protocol and to look at the individual steps to determine exactly how to use video to capture those steps. It is also an opportunity to see the actual lab space where the filming will be done, and to make notes about placement of lights, the need for detailed photos, and to capture back ground footage that might be required, and to note ambient room noise to be considered during filming.

In the dry run ask again what critical factors determine success and which protocol steps might present the highest possibility of a failed run.

Those are the steps that require detailed, close-up filming with maximum attention to every aspect of technique, process, and procedure.

Are there cautions to offer? … Are there steps for best practice to add?

A Biotechnology Video will Increase Success In The Field

Keep in mind that for a new protocol, successful execution by a development team may not translate immediately into as high a success rate in the field.

Ask questions about the learning curve to determine the level of overall difficulty of successfully executing the protocol.

Give thought to how visual and narrative based video training will best guide your customers along that learning curve.

To assure accurate correlation between the written protocol and the training video, ask that each written step be spoken and that the step number within the written protocol be mentioned as the protocol progresses through the video clips.

That spoken step number will be cut during edit but serves to identify the steps along the way for correlation within the script. This is essential to assure accuracy when adding text annotation to the video during post-production edits.

The person performing the protocol steps speaks the steps of the protocol, along with any cautions, warnings, or suggestions for improved results.

Point the camera at the benchtop capturing only hands, lab instruments, tubes, reagent kits and any other visual aspect of the step-by-step process needed to guide the viewer of the finished video through the protocol.

Proceed through the protocol from start to finish, recording each step along the way with an audio track of the technician’s voice guiding you as you go.

Biotechnology Video Production Is Our Specialty

Although a protocol may take hours or even days to record in real time, the final edited video is typically broken into one or more 3 to 7 minute finished videos for publication to a corporate website or any social media channel. This is accomplished by using the audio tracks of the clips that contain the voice of the technician speaking through the process, which will be paraphrased into a voice-over script for insertion during post-production.

Carefully correlate the video cuts and edits with the protocol steps as described by the technician and read back the voiceover script during post-production keeping in mind that the protocol is your guiding light.


While protocol workflow tutorial videos require special consideration, accuracy and technique, when well executed, they are an extremely powerful tool that enables your customers, field service support team members, and help desk personnel to experience the steps of a protocol first hand, without any costly consequences before undertaking the live protocol.

Your customers and teams members will thank you for that.

We Offer Biotechnology Video Production Services Worldwide

What we covered in this video is a fairly high level view of the video protocol production work flow but should help you see the strength of a well produced step-by-step, protocol workflow video.

Please contact us for details or with any questions at all. We have worked in many countries and we love to travel to client sites.

Thanks for watching.

~ Frank

I'd love more clients. Please share. But remember, I own all copyrights to the work on this site.
A Video Strategy for Biotech Companies

A Video Strategy for Biotech Companies

Why Every Biotech Company Needs a Video Strategy

Your Video Strategy Starts Here!

The best science of this century will succeed only to the extent that its method, process, and value are clearly communicated to those who would use it.

Every biotech company needs a well thought video strategy. We live in a world of visual learners who expect a video play button on every website they visit. All biotech companies have complex concepts to communicate but doing so can be a daunting and convoluted task.
Product overviews, customer interviews, protocol workflows, and topic expert presentations are equally important components of the overall message. Video production offers a cost-effective, easily distributed, and universally accepted means by which every size company can present these components with a compelling voice.
Video production levels the playing field, but only for those who participate.
Building a video production strategy
Developing a solid strategy for video, should begin with a list of objectives:

  • Lab Workflow How-to videos
  • Customer Interviews and testimonials
  • Workshops, Conferences, and Seminars
  • Software, engineering, and maintenance tutorials
  • Corporate Documentaries

The value of early collaboration with a production company
Collaborating with a video production company early in the planning process is essential. An experienced film producer can comment in detail on what it takes to transform your list of objectives into finished videos. Including producers at an early stage allows them more time for familiarization with your product and technology while adding little or no cost to the project. Those early conversations with the producer will allow you to evaluate his or her ability to work with your product and technology. It will also allow the producer to present informed ideas and to offer direction that may help define the overall scope.  Early collaboration defines a project in ways that cut cost, save time, and avoid missteps. Find a video producer who has experience in your field, an interest in your technology, and ideas that you like.
If you are not currently implementing video as a strategic part of your corporate communication plan, the time to start is now. Using video positions your company to deliver its message clearly and to a wide audience of receptive viewers. Like every other communication wrapper before it however, video is only as good as its content. What sets video apart is this; if the content is strong, and the video is well produced, your message will go farther than by any other means.  Video can pull a viewer in, engage that viewer to a specific message, and present information in a way that can be remembered. If not remembered, information is fleeting, and outcomes are unchanged. Find a producer you can work with and trust to carry your message to your audience in a way that informs, entertains and educates.

If you have any questions on this subject, give us a call, write an e-mail or comment here.

I'd love more clients. Please share. But remember, I own all copyrights to the work on this site.