Behind the lens at Kingdom

July 2017

Ideal length for a Social Media Film

Britain’s biggest motoring festival took place in June and Kingdom Creative were delighted to be there again for the 10th consecutive year.   Tens of thousands of spectators packed into Lord March’s estate to experience the thrills and spills of the epic hill climb as well as well as being the first to get a glimpse of the unveiling of some brand new cars.

Kingdom were lucky enough to be involved in the filming of the World Premiere of the GT2 RS in order to produce a film for Social Media.

So how long should your social media film be?

I believe this is dictated by two factors. Firstly, how interesting is the subject matter and secondly what social media channel the film will be viewed on.

If the subject matter is interesting then why not let it run a little longer?  Sometimes certain subjects can simply not be covered in two minutes. Trying to compress a story too much can mean that the story is too short to really make sense, or contain enough information to make an impact on the viewer.  On the other hand if the subject matter is simple and straight forward then don’t drag the film out, keep it short and to the point, the viewer will appreciate this.

In terms of the social channel, we treat Twitter and Facebook differently from YouTube.  The difference being that videos are searched for on YouTube and when you find what you want to view then you generally are more than happy to watch a longer film.  Twitter and Facebook send video content your way via a scrollable timeline, you were not necessarily after the particular video content that you have found.  As such we find it is more of a challenge to keep the viewer engaged meaning that the film needs to be more impactful, especially at the very beginning. There is no time to waste.

We often recommend a suite of videos, each edited slightly differently to suit the different channels. For instance:

30 second teaser video

This is designed for Twitter and Instagram, the teaser will link to the full length film on YouTube.

60 to 90 second video

This will be for Facebook and will have an impactful opening around 10 seconds in length.  This opening will give a taste of what is to come and may well contain footage used through the film.

So in answer to the question: How long should a film for Social media be? It really depends on your audience and where you are posting it.

July 2017

Ronin 2

DJI Announces Ronin 2

Kingdom Creative attended an event hosted by CVP to try out the Ronin 2. We were skeptical at first, after seeing impressive footage from DJI - could the Ronin 2 really live up to the expectations?

The short answer is yes.

Kingdom Creative’s work in the automotive industry means we have some tough requirements for our camera rigs. We often work at high speed, on rough terrain, or in the tight turns of a racetrack. With our Ronin’s, we’re somewhat limited in regards to speed, camera weight, and stability - we currently run a fixed lens setup on our rigs as weight imbalances can upset the motors.

The Ronin 2 can solve all of this. Supporting almost double the weight, it offers car-to-car tracking at up to 75mph with stronger stabilisers and built-in GPS to maintain straight horizons giving incredibly smooth shots. Historically this would be achieved with expensive equipment such as a Russian Arm, but with the Ronin 2 we’ll be able to use our Red Epic-W with long zoom lens to achieve breathtaking shots.

In addition to this, the Ronin 2 is powered by two batteries taken from the Inspire 2 which can be hot-swapped; this means we wouldn’t need to power down the Ronin 2 between shots saving precious minutes on set. Without slowing down to change lenses and batteries, we’ll be able to deliver the same incredible results in a much shorter time period.

For us, the Ronin 2 does not completely replace the original. With the intended payload, the Ronin 2 is too heavy to be used as a handheld without a Ready Rig or Easy Rig (believe me, we tried), and doesn’t offer the same lightweight versatility. In many ways, the Ronin 2 shouldn’t be considered as a replacement for the Ronin 1, but as something entirely separate. Both rigs solve different problems and perform well in different settings.

At just over £7,000, the Ronin 2 may seem expensive for those familiar with DJI’s competitive pricing. However the ability to achieve incredibly smooth shots at 75mph on a 120mm lens makes the Ronin 2 worth every penny. We can’t wait to get our hands on the Ronin 2 and really put it through its paces on the track.

Watch this space for more on the Ronin 2 from Kingdom Creative.

Aran Lamond
Senior Camera Operator and Editor

August 2017

YouTube vs Vimeo

YouTube vs Vimeo

When it comes to online video platforms, two of the biggest players who’s names always come up are YouTube and Vimeo. The two are comparable in many ways; they are video hosting platforms that can support the same high-quality videos, they’re both reliable and well known. So how can you decide what the best choice is for you?

YouTube is, without question, the most well known video hosting site in the world. It’s the place that most people go to first to find a video, but this can also be a disadvantage.

Bigger audience
YouTube receives over 1 Billion unique visitors every month. If you’re hoping for the general public to discover your video, you will greatly increase your chances if it’s hosted on YouTube. The site is created to enable users to go from video to video, spending a long time watching.

Google search
As YouTube is owned by Google, videos hosted on YouTube will rank higher on Google searches than other hosting sites. Your SEO is built into the video, and your video is far more likely to be found organically.

With YouTube, you have unlimited hosting and bandwidth as standard, without needing to pay extra. For those hoping to keep to a budget, having the ability to host as many high quality videos as you like is very valuable.

The reason that YouTube is free for everybody is because they make their money from advertising. Most YouTube videos have some form of advertising before the content begins, which is not only irritating for the viewer, but out of your control.

Alongside the billions of users is the hundreds of millions of videos. There’s no quality control on YouTube, and the most popular videos aren’t generally the ones that are well made. Your hard work could get lost in the crowd. Equally, YouTube offers suggestions for more videos for viewers in order to keep users online. These videos could distract your viewers away from your video, and could even be your competitors.

The Comments Section
The YouTube comments section is well known for being unmoderated, unstructured, and sometimes unkind. You can’t please everybody, but the millions of people on YouTube leaves your video open to comments that aren’t often constructive.

Vimeo isn’t as well known as YouTube, but it certainly holds its own against a big competitor. The site is making a name for itself as the home of higher quality videos, with Staff Picks that are the most well made and interesting videos on the site.

Though YouTube does allow a video to remain ‘unlisted’ - viewable only to those with a direct link - password protection is great for businesses who want to keep their video secure until it’s the right time to release it. With the higher-priced memberships, you can get even more stringent security on content that you’re hoping to keep hidden.

No Adverts
Vimeo’s money is made through their paid accounts, so you can be sure that there won’t be any adverts before your video that might put off a potential viewer. When sharing a video for business purposes, it’s far more professional to have a smooth, advert-free experience.

The Vimeo community is very different from the YouTube community. It’s made up of videographers, creatives and artists who want to share their work, so not only is the calibre often much higher, but the comments are generally more constructive.

Less traffic
Vimeo isn’t as well known as YouTube, and doesn’t have the power of Google behind it. Therefore, your video is less likely to be found by people who don’t know what to look for. When promoting, you may have to consider the added work involved in marketing and sharing your content.

The site doesn’t allow businesses to use its services for free. Plans start at £5 per month but for companies using the site on a regular basis, the price could go up even more. Even with the paid subscriptions, there are limits to the amount of storage available to users.

When considering who to choose, it’s important to consider the goal of your content. Although YouTube does reach a larger amount of people, Vimeo provides a more professional experience in which the focus is on quality instead of quantity.