Discover the top smart home security systems of 2017

first_imgWhat is the best home security for 2017? It has never been simpler than it is in the age of the Internet of Things, where sometimes all it takes to lock down your home, condo or apartment is a few sticky sensors and access to a smartphone. While companies like Piper and Scout make systems that are low-tech but highly effective, others like LiveWatch and Frontpoint are looking to blur the line where old technologies end and new ones begin.See also: How to use your light sockets for your home security systemThese systems all work by combining smart home strategies and hardware integration into their own network of sensors, using the power of our connections and the internet to give you all new levels of control over your smart home like never before. The Internet of Things is creating an all new paradigm shift where your phone isn’t just your phone, and your home isn’t just your home, but both act together in some intertwined blend of the two.So, which is the best home security system in they age of Internet Connected Device?#1 Best Comprehensive Home Security – FrontPoint Home Security SystemFor your money and ours, the FrontPoint home security system is the best of both the old world of security and the new. FrontPoint really puts the “DIY” in “do-it-yourself”, breaking the whole process down into simple bits with a mobile setup process that doesn’t even make you download an app.If you’re not technically savvy but still want a full-fledged, customized home security system that will keep your family and your home safe from intruders, FrontPoint has got it covered. FrontPoint is also the only option on this list to feature an optional 24/7 monitoring service, so if having direct access to the police or fire department from your panel is important, this is the way to go.#1 Best Smartphone Home Security System  – Scout Alarm Home Security SystemLooking for something even simpler to setup? A Scout Alarm Home Security system might be the better choice.Unlike FrontPoint which uses both cell signal from a central base station and WiFi to protect your home, Scout Alarm is a 100% online-only operation with no monthly fees, no contracts, and no hidden costs other than the price to set it up.We like the Scout because it incorporates many of the same motion sensors and door sensors into its network as FrontPoint, all without the need to pay a monthly stipend to keep them activated. If you want a basic but effective home security system that you can set up yourself without any extra help, the Scout Alarm can do no wrong.#1 Best All-in-One Home Security –  Piper NV Home Security SystemLast up we have an all-in-one option that does a whole lot more than just keep your home safe. The Piper nv Home Security camera features a number of extra sensors on its 3.4-megapixel night vision-enabled camera, including motion, noise, temperature, humidity, and light sensors that all tell you the current status of your home.The Piper will even warn you if serious weather events are on the horizon, in case you’re not close to home and a flood or ice storm threatens to damage the property while you’re away. If you live in a smaller apartment or can afford to have at least two of these all-seeing, all-knowing cameras in your home, this is a simple way to get full protection without a hefty fee tacked on to your bill every month.Although it doesn’t have any IFTTT integration options, the Piper NV is still a solid device that will protect small apartments or homes from intruders in the most crucial areas like back and front doors, while keeping you aware of severe weather alerts in case burglars aren’t the only threat on the horizon that you have to worry about.And in conclusion…No matter what your budget is or your level of technical expertise, there’s a DIY home security solution out there for you.If you’re concerned about having 24/7 monitoring that automatically connects to the authorities when an alarm is triggered, you’ll definitely want to keep FrontPoint at the top of your list. That said, if you think your wireless network and a solid smartphone could get the job done all the same at a mere fraction of the cost, a Scout Alarm or sensor-heavy Piper nv system will fit the bill just fine too.Now that our smartphones can not only connect us with our devices at home, but also our neighbors, friends, and family in an instant, it’s never been easier to protect your home with the help of all the latest technology. Tags:#Comcast#Frontpoint#home security#ifttt#Internet of Things#IoT#Piper#scout Related Posts Follow the Puck Christen Costacenter_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You…last_img read more

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Which Type of Chatbot will have a Positive Impact on Your Business?

first_imgTags:#Artifical intelligence#chat-bot AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Reasons to Outsource General Counsel Services f… Related Posts Zubair Hassan is a digital marketing expert . He loves to work for companies who need his skills in the marketing domain to market their product and make a mark for itself. He can offer you tools and strategies so that you can get in touch with your customers and able to communicate with them through all the popular social media platforms of your choice. Please contact him for further details as how he can assist you in your digital aspirations… Zubair Hassan Zubair Hassan Follow the Puck Chatbots are all the rage in the realm of consumer-facing technology. Advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have birthed a new generation of chatbots that are increasing across all corporate organizations, marketplaces, and sectors. But, different chatbots have a positive impact on various businesses. You have to know which type of chatbot to use in what kind of business.Not only are these chatbots a sci-fi-dream-come-true, but they are also like real beings — communicating better with customers as compared to live personnel.What clients and customers love the best about bots is precisely what we see in the business. There is an observable, measurable capacity in chatbots to boost customer engagement, increase sales, and convert visitor traffic while alleviating business overheads.Facebook’s most recent bot count was counted at over 33,000 — and Gartner predicted that 85 percent of customer engagement would be fielded without human intervention in the near futureRegardless of the industry, chatbots not only help to resolve problems expediently, but they also offer a personal touch to every customer and save costs. From scheduling meetings to resolving IT issues, tailoring conversations between the brand and their customer, ordering food, to making lifestyle choices, chatbot will impact our lives more than ever in 2019.For instance, in the hospitality industry that caters to a clientele that is always on-the-go, a “virtual concierge” is nothing short of a blessing. These chatbot angels can handle endless questions about amenities round-the-clock — without any delays in service.This personal care form the bots free up their human counterparts to focus on more specialized requests. Similarly, in the retail business, AI engine powering a chatbot can dramatically optimize the customer experience by analyzing the visitor’s purchase history and past behavior to predict their current needs. Clients, customers and friends depend on a highly-personalized and highly interactive shopping experience, provided by the hyper-vigilant AI-powered “sales assistant.”80 percent of businesses aspire to integrate chatbots in their business model by 2020, making us wonder which industries and companies can reap the most significant benefits by implementing consumer-facing chatbots?Different Types of ChatbotsGenerally, chatbots are of two types:1. One which is rule-oriented.2. Other which is AI-Powered.1. Rule-Oriented ChatbotsIt is the type of chatbot that works on the basis of a specific set of rules. Such chatbots can only respond when they are triggered using particular commands. In case a user doesn’t know the command and types something else in the chat screen — it will automatically notify the user that it does not understand. You can easily find these commands by typing in the help command within the interface.2. AI-Powered ChatbotsThese chatbots work on the basis of artificial intelligence and machine learning. AI-Powered chatbots are more efficient than their counterpart, the “rule-oriented chatbots.” The AI bots not only understand the command language but also work on the element of human interaction. They cheerfully predict customer needs and respond accordingly based on the stored information from past interactions.Maybe you are under the impression that chatbots are merely associated with enterprise firms and global digital platforms — but that’s certainly not the case. Recent research conducted by Think Relay on the data assembled by NerdyData discovered that companies having fewer than 250 employees. Generally, using a chatbot with that number of regular employees can account for an almost 40 percent of all the businesses in the world.Some Interesting Chatbots and Their Impact on BusinessesHere are some exciting chatbots which can help you get the inspiration you need to get a chatbot for your business.1. Hipmunk’s Hello ChatbotIf you are the kind of business that is associated with the travel business, Hipmunk’s Hello chatbot is an algorithm that can work wonders for your travel agency. From booking flights to hotel rooms, you can offer a whole lot more to your customers through your travel agency website. With Hipmunk’s Hello chatbot, you can make your online presence more agile and proficient for customers. Moreover, travel chatbot can easiy be integrated with Slack, Facebook, and Skype.2. InstabotIf you want quick qualifying leads coming to your website, you need to integrate your website with Instabot. A recent study has revealed that customers who integrated Instabots in their websites observed almost a 33% increase in their sales in comparison to the traditional web contact forms. The best thing about having an Instabot is that it automatically segments the prospects and then sends them towards personalized mailing or pre-setted drip campaigns.3. JarvisIf you are reminiscing the Jarvis you watched in Iron-Man movies, know that it is not. This Jarvis is entirely different, but if there is one thing that is similar to the prototype shown in the film, Jarvis is highly efficient and can offer quick assistance to businesses. Jarvis is a messenger bot that sends you notifications on essential business tasks and deadlines. It not only helps you with running the business with greater efficiency, but it also assists you in streamlining your processes.4. RightClick.io Ask a website design agency in London, and they will tell you how time-consuming website development can be for someone who lacks the appropriate expertise. Many small businesses don’t have enough time to start their own online businesses, and this is where the RightClick.io comes in extremely handy. Powered by AIWA, this chatbot leverages Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing algorithms to make the chat experience much more interesting and engaging for customers. To create a website, all you have to do is chat with the bot and let it find the most interactive solutions for you.5. Nat Geo Genius Messenger BotDo you wish to have that nostalgic feel of having a vis-a-vis with the most mind-numbing geniuses that history spew out? NatGeo Genius Messenger Bot is a bot replete with entertainment, and it is specifically designed just for you. NatGeo Genius allows you to conduct conversations with geniuses such as Einstein and Picasso before the show gets aired. Geniuses often crack jokes with you, carry out personal conversations and answer professional queries quite proficiently.6. GeekBotsOne of the most troublesome challenges faced by teams while working coherently is how effectively they can communicate among themselves. When members are located across different parts of the world, they often find themselves struggling to stay on the same page with their teammates. Geekbot is a chatbot that helps organizations overcome this hurdle by establishing asynchronous team meetings in Slack. Now, whether you wish to chat with them or not, Geek-bot can enable you to communicate effectively.7. PullString ChatbotIf you are under the impression that you require sound technical knowledge and par excellent algorithm coding to launch a successful chatbot, then my friend, you are quite mistaken. The pull string chatbot is a platform that allows you to build the perfect chatbot of your dreams. It enables you to create the perfect conversation enabled applications without getting into the hassles of tiresome coding. The apps you design are highly-efficient and are the best fit for any kind of industry. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

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3 AI Trends Every Real Estate Broker Should Know

first_imgChina and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Nick Jiang Nick is the Cofounder & CEO @ Birdnest, a curated, visual place for startups to find their dream office. Prior to Birdnest, Nick had grown venture-funded startup Shots to over 10M active users. Duke MBA, Princeton Engineering. AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Tags:#AI#real estate AI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them Artificial intelligence (AI), simulation of human intelligence by machines, has become part of our daily lives. We are conversing with Alexa, getting rides from self-driving smart cars, receiving recommendations on music and movies, and playing games against computers. But what about applying AI in buying homes or renting offices?Real estate seems to be a few steps behind when it comes to technology adoption, even though it is the largest asset class in the world, contributing $3.5T to the US GDP. But there are early signs that AI is already part of our home buying and office renting experience.At Birdnest, we are seeing a growing demand from our customers for a better and faster experience. On the other side, we are seeing a growing number of brokers who want to start adopting technologies to provide a better experience. Here are three AI trends that every real estate broker should know.Alexa, Answer the CallA new study reveals that 48% of buyer inquiries never received a response and that the average response time from a broker was 917 minutes. In another study, 93% of buyers rated responsiveness as a very important quality. Brokers know this, which is why they usually team up on a deal so that when they’re busy, their colleague can respond to the inquiry. But what if no one is available? Enter the “Siri’s for real estate,” who are always available, 24/7.OJO Labs, an Austin based startup who has raised $71M, is developing a real estate chatbot that answers potential clients’ questions about listing information via text message.Like most people, I had a mixed chatbot experience. When I asked about HOA cost, it gave an accurate answer within 2 minutes. But when I asked a more open-ended question, “Is the neighborhood safe?” it didn’t understand.Given that almost half the buyer inquiries never received a reply, this will certainly help brokers capture some of those leads. And with their recent acquisition of WolfNet, they have access to millions of additional data points to improve their algorithm. Their main competitors include Structurely and Keller Williams’ Kelle.The Crystal BallWouldn’t it be great if you can predict who will list a home or who will buy a home soon? When every broker is looking for that extra edge to win a deal, nothing is more important than having that crystal ball!Rex, a Los Angeles based startup with over $70M in funding, is using AI to predict buyers who are most likely to buy a specific home. It sends out targeted ads based on who it thinks the likeliest buyers are. Then based on who clicks on the ad, it targets similar customer segments in future ads. In addition, the computer uses data from retailers and businesses to further improve its accuracy.First, a North Carolina based startup with over $7M in funding, analyzes a broker’s contacts to “identify how much more likely than average your contacts are to sell in the next year.” During the pilot period with @properties, First predicted over 1,800 homes that listed during that period.Reevaluate, another startup that predicts who is most likely to move within the next 3-6 months, claimed they have a 36.4% accuracy rate by analyzing over 200 data points, from spending habits to social news and more.Goodbye PaperworkAs Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is money.” This couldn’t be more true for real estate brokers, and one of the tasks that suck their time is paperwork.Imagine how much time is spent entering information about a space, like its lighting, room types, kitchens to name a few. Thanks to Restb.ai, AI can automatically populate this information by analyzing a property’s photos. Its technology can classify images into 30+ homes scenes, recognize 16 architectural styles, and instantly tag 30+ valuable home features. Recently, MRED has partnered with Restb.ai “because it will save time and reduce hassle,” according to MRED CTO Chris Haran.Leverton, a Berlin-based startup with $17M in funding, reads and extracts key information from corporate documents, leases, and contracts. All the broker has to do is to upload his documents, then AI starts to extract key information like “rent charges” and allow brokers to quickly search this information. For brokers, this means more insights in less time, a key reason JLL signed a partnership with them.AI is here to assist brokers, not to replace them. AI technology is here to help a broker be more responsive. To save them time from paperwork so they can spend more time finding the right space for their clients. They are here to empower brokers to provide the ultimate experience for their clients and bring meaning to the statement that “real estate is a relationship business.” Related Posts last_img read more

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Campaign to build awareness of Community Capacity Training Modules

first_imgCampaign Plan Steps:1.) Conduct a targeted outreach event for the Fort Drum community to educate stakeholders about the Military Families Learning Network. CCE collaborated with the Family Advocacy Program at Army Community Services (ACS) to host this event. This will allow advertisement through all the on-post human service Facebook pages and other communication networks to include child care, ACS, TAP (Transition Assistance Program) and MEDDAC.This outreach event introduced an audience of professionals (primarily Military Family Life Consultants) working with Fort Drum Families to the MFLN, provided a brief history and purpose of MFLN, reviewed the primary concentration areas, with focus on Community Capacity Building including local programs that exemplify CCB at Fort Drum. There was also a review of the resources available and educational opportunities (webinars, trainings, etc.,). Participants were invited to contribute to conversation and networking.2. Prepare a press release for the region – This included Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence County newspapers and detailed the resources available. A modified version of the press release was also distributed to the North Country Council of Social Agencies and linked to their Website and Facebook.3.) Distribute Infographic – Investigate options with Fort Drum Public Affairs to advertise through Fort Drum venues.Distribute Infographic at local events, such as:Fort Drum Career FairYouth Services NetworkYouth, Family and Community Development Program AdvisoryAG ExtravaganzaEnvironmental Awareness Day 4. Distribute at Cornell Cooperative Extension Staff meeting to be passed along to a wider network (schools, community centers, businesses) – approximately 40 staff in attendance received the infographic for distribution.5. Appear on local news channel to share information about MFLN resources: featured on Chanel 7 News on December 9th, 2016.Video Playerhttps://militaryfamilieslearningnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Military-Family-Learning-Network-Is-Good-Community-Resource-2.mp400:0000:0002:27Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. An after action report was generated upon conclusion of this campaign, here were some suggestions and insights as to how this campaign could be improved:Keep presentations about MFLN resources short and to the point. Don’t spend a lot of time clicking around to show an overwhelming amount of resources. Let the audience practice navigating the website by making directional choices within each content area.Emphasize that this is an online learning community. Reviewing resources such as the webinars tends to be most helpful and is the primary interest of military family service professionals.Attend other group meetings and make presentations to multiple groups. Suggestions included superintendents of schools, community organizations and volunteer groups, and agency staff meetings on local installations.center_img This week’s Friday Field Notes feature a campaign plan to promote the Community Capacity Training Modules on the Fort Drum installation in Jefferson County, New York. The goal of the campaign is to better connect the military service professionals on the installation to the resources offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension Association of Jefferson County (CCE). It is our aim that this campaign serve as a model to be used by installations across the country. last_img read more

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5 Easy Ways To Make Your Clients Love You

first_imgEvery creative professional should follow these 5 tips for client success.  More client love equals more business – and more money in your pocket!For creative professionals, the focus should not only be on finding new clients but retaining the ones you have!  In this post, we suggest 5 ways to keep your clients happy and coming to you for future business.  Applicable for any creative professional – photographer, designer, video editor – follow these tips to forge a positive and happy client relationship.1. Offer Free Phone SupportThis is probably the most time consuming of these tips, but instantly makes you seem invaluable to your clients. Typically they’ll call you wanting to know how to do something which is actually incredibly simple…but makes you look like a hero. Letting your clients know they can call you whenever they need builds the relationship.  More importantly however, it means they’ll start to think of you as their go-to-guy/gal not only for technical help but also for more work. People hire people they trust.And how do you stop them ruining your life, calling 24 hours a day?  Save their numbers to your phone and just let it go to voicemail if you’re in the middle of something. Most of the time a two minute phone calls sorts it out. If you really want to go above and beyond, offer to Skype screen share with them and walk them through step-by-step.  Photo by Dave Catchpole 2. Offer Extra Deliverables For FreeOften a client will forget that in the future they might want to upload their finished film to the Internet, send it on an email or generally do more with it than they were planning to. By offering them some extra deliverables for free you can give them something more valuable, but that only involves a little extra effort on your part. As a film editor I have several Compressor presets that I’ve created because I use them all the time. The three I use most often are a compressor setting for Vimeo, emailing and client viewings. Its about 3 seconds more work from me to add these in and a little bit extra rendering time, but it makes for happy clients everytime.3. Share a Google CalendarThis is really a no-brainer as it will definitely help you get more work if you are a freelancer. Set up a free Google calendar and then keep it up to date with your available work dates. If you don’t want to reveal who you are working for you can just apply a simple ‘Busy’ filler on the dates you’re working. After every successful job, email  your client a subscription link so they can easily see when you’re free. A great way to keep yourself more organized and your clients more informed.4. Recommend a friendHopefully you’re so busy that you occasionally have to pass on work because you’re already booked.  In these cases it pays to actually pass it on to a trusted, professional, freelancer friend. Knowing others who do exactly what you do, and do it well, is a simple way to add value for your clients.  They’ll know that whether you complete the work, or you provide a good recommendation, they can always come to you to get their job done. I’ve gotten a lot of work from other film and video editors I know who recommend me when they’re busy and vise-versa. They’re not the competition, they’re your community.  Photo by Newtown Graffiti5. Listen to their ideasIf you can do this, and do this all the time, then your clients will certainly love you. Even though your client has hired you for your creative expertise, they will very likely have some ideas of their own. Even if you think their idea will sadly never work, let them express it fully and if its appropriate give it a try. That way everyone can see what is working and what isn’t.  In this way, every idea that ‘might work’ gets a fair shot and the client feels valued and involved. This might seem like an obvious tip, but just think back to the last time a client told you their idea and half way through you interrupted to tell them ”that will never work and here’s why…” You might well have been correct, but it pays to listen anyway.Got tips for working with clients in a creative environment?We want to hear your thoughts and advice in the comments below!last_img read more

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New Cloud Features in Adobe Premiere Pro CC

first_imgSync Settings have been added to Preferences, and here you can choose what and how you want to sync.You can also access the “Sync Settings” from the File Menu which offers additional settings: Selecting “Sync Settings Now” opens a dialog where you can choose to upload/download settings and have Premiere remember the settings. I like how the “Sync Settings” feel integrated into the app and doesn’t feel like an afterthought.Adobe ExchangeThe Adobe Exchange Panel is an extension marketplace. It provides a new way to search, discover, and install plug-ins, extensions, and other content (free and paid).You access the panel from Windows > Extensions > Adobe Exchange.In the panel you have the options of what you want to see (all, paid, free, my stuff) and have sort options. This has the potential to be a big feature if third party companies get behind this.Adobe StoryPremiere Pro CC adds a panel for Adobe Story Plus (part of Creative Cloud). Story is a screenwriting and production scheduling tool.  If you’re interested in seeing how to integrate story with Premiere’s speech analysis see our previous blog post here.With the Adobe Story panel, you can access your projects from inside Premiere Pro CC and import scripts and metadata.Like many editors, I’m excited about Premiere Pro CC and will be sharing my take on other new features in future posts.Will you be subscribing to Creative Cloud?What are the pluses/minuses you see with this kind of app model?Share your thoughts in the comments below! Premiere Pro CC adds the ability to sync settings and connect with Adobe Exchange and Adobe Story – quickly giving you access to your editing tools and setup wherever you are.Premiere Pro CC will be available as part of Adobe’s new Creative Cloud membership model.  That said. Premiere Pro CC will only be available as part of Creative Cloud.Previously you could upload/download and share files with Creative Cloud, but Premiere Pro CC adds features inside of the app that let you connect with the cloud. This is a big step forward in my opinion and definitely offers advantages over the previous Creative Suite.In this post we’ll take a look at the new  Premiere Pro CC, and how they can enhance your video editing workflow.Sync Premiere Settings in the CloudWhen you launch Premiere Pro CC, you now have “Sync Settings” in the Welcome Screen. You can sync to the currently connected account or sign-in to another account.Sync custom settings (preferences, keyboard shortcuts, effect presets, and custom workspaces) and access them by logging in. Personally I see myself using this feature often, as I work as a freelancer. This means I can login to my Creative Cloud and access my settings from an edit suite or any laptop.last_img read more

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10 Essential After Effects Shortcuts

first_imgWork smarter! In this post we share the essential shortcuts for Adobe After Effects.If you are new to After Effects or just want to tighten up your post production skills, here are 10 shortcuts that will save you time and have you working more efficiently. This is a follow up to my previous 5 After Effects Tips & Tricks for Video Editors post.One quick note: as you’ll see below there is a difference in Mac vs PC keys. For Windows users the Command key is Control and Option is Alt.1. Add Footage to After Effects CompMac: Command + /        PC: Control +/Using this shortcut is much quicker than dragging layers (footage, images, etc) into your AE composition. Simply select the footage in the project, hit the shortcut and it will automatically be added to the AE comp.2. Move a Layer Up/DownMac: Command + [ or ]        PC: Control + [ or ]Select a layer in your comp and use the shortcut to move it up or down the layers. Add shift to the shortcut to instantly move the chosen layer to the top or bottom of the stack. This is much quicker and more accurate than dragging a layer up and down with the mouse.3. Select a Layer in your AE CompSelect a number on the number keypad (both Mac & PC)This is a super simple shortcut that let’s you pick a number on a numeric keypad (if you’re using one). Whatever number you select will select that layer in your AE composition.Press the number on the keypad for the layer you want to select in the Composition.4.  Toggle Between Selection Tool & Other ToolsTemporarily switch to another tool by holding it down. Then, let go to get back to the selection tool. Simple, but actually a significant timesaver.5. Creating New Layers in AECreate a new solid on Mac: Command + YCreate a new solid on PC: Control + YNew adjustment layer on Mac: Option + Command + YNew adjustment layer on PC: Alt + Control + YDepending on your workflow, these are two good shortcuts to commit to memory. You can use solids as vignettes or use them to apply an effect onto (then use Screen Mode to remove black and see just the effect). Adjustment layers are transparent layers that you can mask and add effects to, while affecting all the layers beneath them.6.Deselect a LayerMac & PC: F2Using F2 is a quick way to make sure nothing is selected in your project. This avoid having the wrong layers selected by accident have having to use a ton of undos to get back on track.7. Fit to Comp WidthMac: Option + Shift + Command + H      PC: Alt + Shift + Control + HThis handy shortcut will quickly scale a layer in your composition to fit the entire composition’s width – super useful when working with shapes or adjustment layers.8. Zoom to 100%Mac & PC: /Use this hotkey want to see your work at 100% magnification.  Adding Shift (so, Shift + /) will make it fit the entire composition window.9. Create New AE CompositionMac: Command + N       PC: Control + NAny complex AE project requires tons of individuals compositions, so it’s worth committing this shortcut to memory. Once a new comp is created you can change the preset, pixel aspect ratio, frame rate and duration. The shortcut for “Composition Settings” is Command/Control + K.10. Ram PreviewMac & PC: 0 on the number padUsing the shortcut for RAM Preview is much quicker than clicking the “Ram Preview” button in the Info panel.  To make speed up your work even faster, for every other frame ram preview just add Shift + O.For a full list of Adobe After Effects shortcuts, visit the official reference guide here. Also, it’s worth noting that you can change of any of these shortcuts to fit your own workflow and needs.  To do so, use the KeyEd UP script that you can download from Adobe here.Do you have any favorite AE shortcuts? Share them in the comments below!last_img read more

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After Effects Tip: Simultaneously View Multiple Compositions

first_imgSpeed up your workflow in After Effects by simultaneously viewing two different compositions.Nesting is a great way to stay organized in After Effects, but it can be frustrating jumping back and forth between comps and nested comps.In the following quick tip tutorial we’ll show you how to view multiple compositions simultaneously in After Effects. This technique is great if you need to make quick adjustments between a comp and a nested comp, showing you changes in real time.1. Logically name your compositions.When working with multiple compositions it is really important to stay organized. Give your compositions a more logical name than simply “Comp 1” or “Pre-Comp”.2. Create a new comp viewer.Click “New Comp Viewer” in the drop down menu in the top of the composition viewer. A new composition panel will now pop up.3. Select the composition you wish to view.From the composition drop down menu you can now select the composition you wish to see.4. Lock the comp screen.Lock the compositions by clicking the lock icon near the menu bar.5. Changes in the pre-comp will be reflected in the master comp.Because After Effects doesn’t organize comps by folders, viewing multiple compositions at the same time is a great way to perfect your designs without having to jump back and forth between compositions. This same technique can be applied to other panels in After Effects, like the effects panel and the layer panel.last_img read more

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How to Create and Share Title Templates in Premiere Pro

first_imgGive your videos consistent design with title templates, a helpful tool in Premiere Pro.One little-known feature in Premiere Pro is the title template tool. This feature is not to be confused with Live Text templates in Premiere Pro, which can be used to import and manipulate After Effects sequences in Premiere. For more on Live Text templates, check out our corresponding blog post here on PremiumBeat.Instead, a title template allows you to quickly recall a title design in Premiere Pro for use on multiple projects. This can be a handy way to create design consistency on projects with multiple collaborators or projects with multiple episodes. Here’s how to create title templates in Premiere Pro.Create Title Templates in Premiere ProBefore we jump into how to create title templates, it must be noted that titles in Premiere are created for specific aspect ratios. If you open an HD title template in a 4K project, it will have severe cropping. So, if you’re going to be working on a project with varying aspect ratios, it’s best to create multiple versions — or, at the very least, create a high-res version you can scale down with the Scale to Frame size feature found under Clip > Video Options > Scale to Frame Size.Step 1: Design the TitleFirst things first, you need to design your titles. To do this, create a new title by hitting Command+T on a Mac or Control+T on a PC (or simply navigate to File > New > Title). You’ll be prompted to name your title. For the sake of this demonstration, the title name isn’t important. Just give your title an arbitrary name and click OK.Once your title editing box pops up, create a title template in whatever way you see fit for the template you are trying to create. Just keep in mind that you want your titles to tell a consistent story. Don’t go overboard. A well-designed minimal title is far more useful than an ultra-specific title that can only be used for a single project.You can use any combination of shapes and text when creating titles — as long as the person using your titles has the font installed on their computers.Step 2: Save the TemplateAfter you’ve created your title, it’s time to save the template for future use. This is really what makes this method superior to the ‘New Title Based on Current Title’ technique. Navigate to the Templates button right next to the font selection box at the top of the title editing window (or simply hit Command+J on a Mac or Control+J on a PC).If this is your first time working with title templates in Premiere Pro, the screen that pops up should be blank. Don’t worry… simply navigate to the small menu button near the top right of the pop-up and select Import Current Title as Template. You will be prompted to name your new template. Name your title template and click OK.Step 3: Create a New Title in Your Desired ProjectNow it’s time to create a new title using the title template. One of the perks of using a title template is that you don’t have to create a new template for each project as long as you’re working on the same workstation. With your desired project open, create a new title, name it, and click OK.Note: The cool thing about title templates is they transcend projects and don’t have to be copied to another collaborator’s workstation if you share the project files. For example, if you used a template to create your titles using a title template on Computer A, you can share the project on Computer B without worrying about the titles getting messed up. Step 4: Select the TemplateIn the title editor, navigate to the Templates button next to the font menu near the top of the window (or hit Command+J on a Mac or Control+J on a PC). You should now see your title template. Select the template and edit your text as you would with any other project.Using this method, you can create an unlimited number of visually consistent titles.Share Premiere Pro Text TemplatesPremiere Pro title templates save in a .prtl file format. Thankfully, Premiere Pro title templates can be easily imported into Premiere Pro applications on other computers. Here’s how it’s done.Step 1: Save Your TemplateSaving a text template is simple. After you’ve designed your text template in the title editor, select the Templates button located near the top of the window next to the font selection menu. A small window will pop up. Select Import Current Title as Template. You’ll be prompted to give your template a name. Use whatever name you find appropriate.Step 2: Find the File on Your ComputerWhen you save a template using the method listed above, it saves the template into the following structure by default:Documents > Adobe > Premiere Pro > Version # > Profile > TemplatesFind the .prtl file by navigating the file structure above (or simply search for the file name on your computer). After you find the template file, you can copy it like you would any other document to share with another computer. I typically like uploading files like this via Google Drive, but a flash drive may do the trick if you work in the same building.Step 3: Copy the TemplateUsing the same file structure listed above, place the template file into the templates folder on the computer. While you don’t necessarily have to place the file into the templates folder, it’s a best practice for staying organized.Step 4: Import the TemplateTo import the text template, go to the title editor by creating a new title (File > New > Title) or hit Command+T or Control+T on a PC. In the text editor, navigate to the Templates button located to the left of the font menu near the top of the window (or hit Command+J or Control+J). From the small pop-up window, select the menu button on the top right and select Import File as Template. The new template has now been added to your template library.How do you use text templates in your Premiere Pro workflow? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

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12 Video Editing Tips for Cutting a Documentary

first_imgFrom file management to lower thirds, these twelve video editing tips will help you shape your documentary film.Top Image: Ken Burns editing The Civil War, Cori Wells Braun via We Wild BeastsPerhaps the most difficult aspect of editing a documentary is the amount of unscripted responses during interviews. As an editor, you’ll find yourself sitting through hours of content looking for that one little snippet you need. After hours spent preparing to edit, then your work truly begins.1. Organize Folders and Label BinsA feature length documentary will have so much content, it’s crucial that you have you footage and assets as organized as possible. I highly recommend using PostHaste from Digital Rebellion, a free program that instantly creates folder structures based on the type of project. There are settings for video editing, motion graphics, photography, visual effects, and web design. The program works for both Mac and PC.Then you will need to dump your footage and audio into the various folders. Yes, this will be time consuming, but you’ll thank yourself later if you ever have to make adjustments or migrate to another machine. In your NLE of choice, recreate the same folder structure and import your files. If you are using the Adobe Creative Cloud, PostHaste already has templates for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator.2. Create Sequences for Individual InterviewsThis tip is one that I personally use, and every editor will offer their own opinions. I like to create individual timelines for each interview. This timeline will now have all the camera angles and audio synced. Then I start adding cuts in between all of the answers. You could also use markers, I just find it faster to scrub through splices. When you’re done, each splice now represents an answer. As you are going through the interview, you’ll want to transcribe everything.3. Transcribe FootageImage via ShutterstockI’m not going to sugarcoat it. This step is a real pain, but on feature documentaries — it is a must! You, or an assistant — like you have one of those — will need to sit and watch every interview. As you watch, you will need to transcribe what is said and timestamp as you go along. You can use any program like Word or a Google Doc. Type out every word that is said. After each sentence (or during a good pause) be sure to note the time in the clip.This will take forever, but when you’re editing and you need a clip of the subject saying that one line you need, you can easily search the document and find the exact line you are looking for next to a timestamp. It may take hours to get this done, but it’s better spent in the beginning than searching for hours on a tight deadline.4. Backup EverythingWe’re three tips in, and you’re already several hours into setting up this project. Make sure you have already backed up your project. I suggest copying your folder structure onto an external hard drive. If you can, I’d keep that hard drive off site. Just in case there is a fire or theft, those files still exist somewhere else.5. Edit for a Story ArcWhether it’s a documentary or work of fiction, every film needs to tell a story. In doing so, you want to make sure you have a beginning, middle, and end. In that series of events, you want to take your audience on an emotional rollercoaster — or story arc. It doesn’t matter if your documentary is two minutes long or two hours, if the story doesn’t progress — don’t expect anyone to watch.6. Use Close-Ups and Medium Shots Over Wide ShotsImage: Cartel Land via The OrchardWide shots are great for establishing a scene or as an introduction to a new speaker, but they aren’t enough to maintain your audience’s attention. Their eyes begin to wander around the set if the shot is too long. But cutting to medium shots and close-ups, you are making the speaker more relatable. The medium shot is most often used for conversational pieces, as the audience feels the subject is right there talking to them. However, documentary films frequently use close-ups of only a speaker’s head. This is common due to the varying sets and backgrounds that can be jarring when cutting between speakers.7. Cut on ActionIf a shot is getting too static, go for an edit on physical action. Is the speaker using their hands a lot? Perhaps they turn their head to the side. These actions make perfect cutting points that seem natural.8. Cut to DialogueLike cutting on action, cut to words with strong pronunciation.  You can also cut at the beginning of a new sentence.9. Avoid Jump Cuts With Multiple Camera Angles or B-RollWhen interviewed, many subjects will stumble on their words. Be prepared to cut out a lot of umms, uhhhs, and hmmms. You can hide these cuts by switching between angles. If the speaker is a chronic mumbler, then you may be cutting back and forth too much. You can cover these edits up with b-roll. Check out this posts on hiding jump cuts.10. Use Photos When You Don’t Have FootageImage: The Roosevelts – An Intimate History via PBSKen Burns gets all the credit for this technique, but using still photos can help you hide edits or break away from static shots. Burns is notorious for adding subtle movement to his photos, keeping viewers engaged. If you didn’t have any photo files from the production crew, you can always turn to stock photo sites like Shutterstock.11. Keep Graphics and Lower Thirds Easy to ReadImage: The Battered Bastards of Baseball via NetflixIt’s bad enough that this needs to be a rule, but some documentary films have interviews with — well, I don’t know who, because I couldn’t read the lower thirds. Less is more when it comes to lower thirds in documentary films. You don’t need a ton of moving parts or motion graphics. In fact, text with shadow is the most common lower third for a reason. It’s simple and legible. Be sure to also use a font that is easy to read, as well as a nice font color. Don’t go crazy. For some great pointers, check out this post on designing professional lower thirds.12. Have an Archive of AssetsThese are things you can use in multiple projects. Royalty free sound effects (which you can get here), overlays, elements, instrumental tracks and graphic packages will always come in handy. One of my favorite resources for lower thirds and graphics packages is RocketStock. From there I can just snag an After Effects template and customize it to any project. They even have a section dedicated to free AE templates which has come in handy several times.Got any additional documentary editing tips? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

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Gear and Accessories You Need for Travel Video and Photography

first_imgWondering what video gear you need to pack for a destination or travel shoot? Here are all the tools you will need while you’re away.Top image via Shutterstock.The following is an excerpt from Shutterstock’s The Explorer’s Guide to Travel Photography and Destination Video.The free e-book also covers the following topics:Travel Tips and Regulations.Cameras for Travel Photography and Destination Video.Lenses for Travel Photography and Destination Video.Gear and Accessories for Travel Photography and Destination Video.Shooting on Location.Go grab a free copy of the e-book as a downloadable PDF on the Shutterstock blog.Gear and Accessories for Travel Photography and Destination VideoShutterstock image by rdonar.Shooting abroad poses one of the biggest challenges for photographers and videographers. How much gear is the right amount? From extra baggage fees to misplaced luggage, there are plenty of valid concerns.Your best resource is your own research of the locations. You may find that some places, like major cities, have plenty of rental houses for you to rent additional gear — like specialty lenses or big gear like tripods. Renting can save you the hassle of packing all your gear.If you don’t have the luxury of renting, choosing the right gear should be a priority.Batteries and PowerShutterstock image by EKKAPHAN CHIMPALEE.To operate your camera, you’re going to need power. Depending on your location, you may not have access to electricity while shooting. Be sure you have enough batteries to keep you out in the field long enough to capture what you need.The camera isn’t the only thing that needs batteries. Don’t forget AA, AAA, 9V, or any other type of battery you may need to operate equipment like lights. It’s also recommended to carry a battery pack so you can recharge your phone while on location.In addition to batteries, it’s always good to have some surge protectors and an extension cord to add a few outlets to your hotel room. Don’t forget power adapters for the various types of outlets around the world. Make sure you have one that works in the country or countries you are headed to. If you will spend significant time in a car, pack a car charger as well.Memory CardsNow that you have a camera, lens, and batteries, you’re certainly going to need plenty of memory.If you plan to shoot a ton of material, your first thought may be to purchase one very large SD or CF card. While that may seem like an easy solution, it’s actually best to have multiple smaller cards. That way if something happens on location — like dropping your camera into the water — then you will still have all the photos and footage you shot on the other memory cards.Make sure you purchase the appropriate card speed for your camera, as that will help you capture the best quality images as quickly as possible. Don’t forget to pack any cables you may need to dump and back up your photos and video.Tripods, Monopods, and StabilizationShutterstock image by eldar nurkovic.Stable images and footage are crucial for a successful travel shoot. You will want to find gear that is as light as possible. Carrying heavy sticks over a long period of time will really wear you down and hurt your back. Compact gear should be a priority.Monopods are the easiest form of stabilization to travel with. They are incredibly compact, and even some of the more rugged ones are still rather lightweight. A carbon fiber monopod may cost more upfront, but it is well worth the price.Tripods are the standard form of stabilization for photographers and videographers. There are a ton of different options, and there is a whole market for traveling shooters. You can find compact tripods that collapse to an incredibly small size. There are a variety of heads, from traditional mounts to pistol grip pivot heads. Tripods with pivoting heads tend to be the best for travel since they can offer level images no matter how rugged the terrain. There are also travel tripods that have additional features like built in flashlights.Shutterstock image by djgis.When it comes to choosing the right tripod, your main concerns should be the weight, size when collapsed, tallest height when extended, and weight tolerance.Videographers may want more options when it comes to stabilization. There are travel shoulder-rigs built for a variety of cameras, as well as traditional stabilizers like a Steadicam. When traveling, weight should be a primary concern, as well as the size of the rig when collapsed. The smaller the better, but remember that a variety of small parts greater potential for losing pieces in the shuffle. You may also need a set of tools to put the rig together, depending on the type of stabilizer you choose.Lights, Flashes, and ReflectorsPhotographers will be quick to find that traveling with a video light is usually much more practical than carrying a camera flash. That’s not to say camera flashes can’t be the go-to for lighting your travel photos, but the video light also doubles as a flashlight and you can use it in combination with reflectors to help capture stunning images.Video lights are compact, and you can easily find them at a very low cost. This is great for travel, so if something does happen to your light, it’s easy to replace. Many video lights can use rechargeable batteries, or even AA batteries.Shutterstock image by EKKAPHAN CHIMPALEE.High-end video lights and light wands offer changeable color temperature. This is great for all sorts of shoots. You can use these lights on subjects or adjust the colors and use them as backdrop lights.A collapsible reflector is really the best lighting tool for traveling photographers and videographers. Most travel shoots will use a ton of natural lighting, and a reflector helps you harness sunlight. Collapsible reflectors can fit into small pouches, and many come with a variety of color options. The closer the reflector is to your subject, the more powerful the light.Additionally, a traditional flashlight or headlamp can always help light up a subject. Many flashlights have a very harsh light, so make sure you test the look of the flashlight ahead of time. These tools are also helpful when digging through your gear bag in the dark.ND FiltersShutterstock image by tigristiara.No matter if you are shooting stills or footage, you will want to make sure you have some neutral-density filters. Shooting outdoors in the middle of the day can be a nightmare for anyone, but an ND filter can help you capture excellent images in bright conditions.With an ND filter and the correct combination of aperture and exposure settings, your camera can grab stills and video that would otherwise be overexposed.Graduating ND filters, or split ND filters, can balance the light, especially at sunrise and sunset. They can darken a bright sky, while leaving the landscape naturally lit.Variable ND filters offer multiple stops of light control, all in one filter. You can easily adjust the ND filter to whatever you need for the shot. If you invest in a nice variable ND filter, you may want to add a step-up ring. That will allow you to use the filter on all of your lenses, no matter the lens diameter size.Microphones and Audio RecordersVideographers will need to remember microphones or audio recorders to capture audio on location. From the ambient sounds of an oasis to capturing interviews, quality audio is crucial to every video.For travelers, the best option is a handheld audio recorder and a lavalier mic. Both are small and easy to transport. You can use the hand recorder to capture ambient sounds and then plug the lavalier mic directly in for interviews. It’s the simplest and most travel-friendly setup.Depending on the type of lavalier mic you own, don’t forget audio cables and adapters if necessary. Wireless lavs can be a hassle on remote locations, so consider going hardwired into the recorder.Cleaning Kit and ToolsShutterstock image by inewsfoto.From microfiber wipes to a dust blower, investing in a portable cleaning kit can save your shoot. Dust, dirt, and all the natural elements will wreak havoc on your gear. Make sure you can easily clean your lenses while on the go.Be sure to pack the necessary tools to take your gear apart if you have to do heavy cleaning or assemble any camera rigs. Invest in a quality multitool. A steel multitool with built-in screwdrivers, pliers, and knives is often the best.Don’t forget any Allen wrenches or specialty tools you may need for specific gear. Zip ties are also great to have. Keep all your tools in an easy-to-grab pouch, so you know where everything is. Don’t forget that tools may need to go in your checked luggage.Laptops and External Hard DrivesShutterstock image by RossHelen.Working on location is usually much more than just shooting. To dump and check your photos and footage, don’t forget to bring your laptop. It’s also recommended to store your files on external hard drives as additional backups.Create a solid folder structure for your project so files are easy to find when it comes time to edit. You can break your travel photos and video into individual folders based on the day you shoot or on specific locations.Backing up your folders on an external hard drive is highly recommended. Opt for a Solid State Drive (SSD) to store your images and footage. They have faster read/write speeds and are more durable.Upon your return, don’t forget that Shutterstock would love to see contributor submissions.Backpacks, Cases, and Carry-OnsNow that you have a rough idea of all the camera gear you need to travel with, it’s time to find the right bags for your shoot. The perfect bag is the one that is perfect for you.Rolling bags will only be your friend in the airport. Oversize rolling bags and hard-shell cases will keep you gear safe in transport, but when it comes to working on location, portable camera bags are far more practical. Heavy cases will get your gear to another country, but they’re not always necessary when getting to a specific location.Sling bags and messenger-style camera bags are great for those with a small amount of lightweight gear. If you will be wearing them for a long period of time, they can start to wear out your shoulders. For the best experience, consider an ergonomic backpack-style camera bag.Shutterstock image by Maria Savenko.Camera backpacks are perfect for travelers, and they come in a variety of sizes. There are small bags for those with just a camera and a couple lenses, and there are heavy-duty backpacks that can carry several camera bodies, lenses, and gear. You can even clip on additional gear outside of large bags, like your tripod. These backpacks help keep you moving, so look for a bag that distributes weight evenly with nice, sturdy straps. Most backpacks will also meet the carry-on requirements for your flights.For safety and security, inconspicuous bags are better, as thieves can easily spot tourists with expensive camera gear. Low-profile bags are the best for getting around unnoticed. Also consider removing any camera straps with brand names and placing gaff tape over the brand name on the camera body. There’s No need to draw extra attention to yourself.For more tips and tricks on destination video, check out the The Explorer’s Guide to Travel Photography and Destination Video on Shutterstock.I’d also recommend these articles on traveling with photo and video gear:A Travel Guide to Taking a Drone on a PlaneThe Traveling Videographer’s Guide to the Monopod5 International Travel Tips for Filmmakers and VideographersThe Video Gear I Can’t Travel WithoutTunes for Travelers: Royalty Free Music for Travel Videos and Vlogslast_img read more

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On-Set Essentials: Production Gear You Need to Know About

first_imgNew to film and video production sets? Here are three pieces of essential equipment you should know about before you get started.Working on a set for your first time can be an intimidating experience. There are people running around you giving commands you don’t understand, like “Take this stinger to the best boy” or “Flag that diffusion above the ARRI.” If you aren’t familiar with these terms, you might think you’ve chosen the wrong profession. Don’t worry, though — with enough practice, you’ll be the one running around yelling nonsense.To get you started, here are three pieces of gear you should get to know before stepping on set.C-StandsOne of the first things you have to acquaint yourself with on set is the C-Stand. They are everywhere. You can use them to rig lights, hold up diffusers, or even support a boom pole.As film and video equipment goes, these things are pretty simple: metal rods and arms that use a series of fasteners to secure whatever you’re working with. What’s important is how you set them up. First, make sure that you place the longest leg of the C-stand underneath the weight load of your setup. This will keep your stand from toppling over. If you have sandbags, use them for extra security.When balancing a load on your C-stand, make gravity work for the C-stand, not against it. You can do this by loading the weight onto the right side of the grip handle. This will make the weight of the object tighten the grip instead of loosening it.Always place your hands on the outside of the C-stand between the base and the arms when carrying it. You can avoid a lot of pinched fingers this way.Gaff TapeAhh, gaff tape. The gaffer’s best friend. This stuff comes in extremely handy on set, and filmmakers all over the world rely on it for its versatility and heat resistance.You might think that duct tape would be the industry preference, but duct tape actually has a plastic backing that melts really easily. I’ve seen duct tape catch fire before on set because it was too close to a light. Not fun. Gaff tape actually has a heat-resistant cotton backing, which prevents the tape from melting and ruining everything in its path.You can use it to rig just about anything that might break on set — or even to prevent tripping hazards by taping down cables.When you’re on set, someone is bound to have a roll of this stuff handy. If they don’t, go out and buy a roll yourself. You’ll be a hero when things go south.Lav MicsIf you’re assisting with audio on set, you might have someone tell you you need to “lav this person up” and hand you a wireless microphone. It comes with a clip, so you can just clip it to their shirt, right? Wrong. A visible lav is distracting on camera, and it can make your production look amateur. If you want to impress, know the four ways to lav a subject:Collarbone lav: this is the most common setup. Have your talent feed the mic through their shirt, and tape it to the inside of their collar next to their collarbone.Collar lav: if someone is wearing a suit or a collared shirt, setting up a collar lav is usually the best approach. Situate the lav in the fold of their collar, and tape it up. It will be in the perfect position to capture their audio.Chest lav: if you have ever worked a sting operation, you’ve probably used this setup before. This is where you tape the lav directly to the subject’s chest under their shirt. (You will capture more bass notes with this approach compared to the others if you’re looking for a fuller vocal effect.)Ear lav: one of the more unconventional setups, the ear lav is perfect when you don’t have many other options. Tape the lav to the back of the talent’s ear and hide the wire on the back of their neck. It may look silly in person, but with some camera magic, you can conceal it entirely. Looking for more tips for working on set? Check out these links:Minimize Your Lighting Setups For Narrative Shoots What Does Everyone Do On Set?5 Must-Know Tips for Working on SetVideo Tutorial: How to Use a Vehicle as a Dolly SystemVideo Tutorial: The Secrets Behind Lighting a Shot with Firelast_img read more

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7 Things to Check Before You Begin Recording Yourself

first_imgBefore you hit record on the next film or video project featuring yourself, be sure to work through the items on this checklist.In today’s age of social media, YouTube vlogs, and DIY filmmaking, the concept of solo filmmaking has become less of a gimmick and more of revolution. Still, while technology has become more accessible and automated, this type of filmmaking is no easy feat.Solo recording and filmmaking are tricky endeavors. A lot can go wrong after you hit record and jump into the frame. It requires patience, lots of takes, and attention to detail. However, it is possible — especially if you check these 7 essential things every time.1. Frame Your ShotImage by Dmitri Ma.First off, you’ll want to frame your shot. If you have a friend handy, you could ask him or her to serve as a stand-in while you put on your director of photography hat. If no one is available, you can use a mannequin or a hat on a light stand as a stand-in. Try to choose a place with good lighting and an interesting background. Mind your edges and look out for odd lines or colors.2. Set Your FocusImage by Chailalla.One of the biggest mistakes of solo shooting is dealing with focus. Without a person behind the camera, you won’t be able to adjust focus in real time. To compensate, you have two options: one — if your camera has auto-follow focus technology, this is exactly what it’s meant for. Make sure it’s turned on, and adjust its settings; and two . . .3. Make Your MarksImage by fizkes.. . . If you’re forced to used manual focus, you’ll need to compensate for your natural on-camera movements. Jump in front of the camera and go through a rehearsal of all your movements. Mark your spots at the ends of your range of movement, both forward and backward (again with a stand or stick). Go back behind the camera and make sure you’re getting a depth of field that will keep both spots in focus.4. Test Your Audio LevelsImage by lapandr.Similarly, with audio, you also have two options. You can use either auto audio-leveling technology in your camera or your audio recording device. Or you can set your range manually by testing both your loudest and softest speaking voices.5. Mind the LightingImage by lapandr.Lighting is another concern. For those just starting off, remember that light is your friend. The more light, the better the quality of your footage. Try shooting near a window or bright light source set behind the camera and shining directly onto you and your face. However, if you are using natural lighting, be wary of changes in intensity due to clouds or the movement of the sun — and how that may affect continuity and changes in color tone.If you’re looking for a more professional setup, consider using a standard three-point lighting setup. You’ll need your stand-in person or object again to make sure you have a good balance.6. Take Test Video (or Photos)Image by KAMONRAT.The best way to check your shot before you record for good is to simply take a test video or photos. For photos, your camera should most likely have a timed photo option, which you can set and get in place. You can also just always hit record then hurry to get into place, then head back and review your footage. This can take up lots of card space, however, if you do it too many times, so be sure to delete your test footage right away.7. Check Battery and Card SpaceImage by RMIKKA.Finally, before you hit record for your take, double-check both your camera’s battery and its available card space. You won’t be able to monitor it in real time, so your camera may fill up or turn off before you finish your take. Most cameras will give you a minutes and seconds remaining readout for both battery and recording if you check through the options.Cover image by fizkes.For more tips on solo shooting and DIY filmmaking, check out some of these articles.The Shreditor’s Guide to Shooting Videos and Commercials By Yourself5 DIY Tips for Your Next ShootThe Solo Operator’s Guide for Getting Perfect Wedding ShotsDIY Filmmaking: How to Build Your Own Dolly for $50The Perfect Gear for One-Man Corporate Video Shootslast_img read more

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So, Here’s My Post

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Right now, we are in the middle of an epidemic. I believe I am the first to report this epidemic in a public forum, and I hope by doing so I can spare you from being ravaged by this new disease.The epidemic is the filler word “so.”By the time I noticed this epidemic, I was already infected. I noticed it when I started to begin sentences with the word “So,” for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I never use filler words. As a public speaker, filler words are the devil, and here I was starting sentences with a ridiculous filler word.Then I noticed the word “so” being used to begin sentences everywhere, including a sales conference at which I was speaking. Almost every speaker, mostly executives from the within the company, was already infected.I started counting the times I heard a sentence begin with this new filler word in regular conversations. Two or three out of five sentences started with “so.” I could almost see the infection spread as one person used “so” and the person they were speaking with immediately matched them by beginning their next sentence that way.It’s crazy. I know, right? Just sayin’ (I’m kidding. I’m not “just saying.”)last_img read more

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Lies Sales Leaders Tell Themselves

first_imgHere are four lies sales leaders sometimes tell themselves.We have enough opportunities in our pipeline: No you don’t. All you need to do is test those opportunities to discover that many of them are really just leads. If you take out any opportunity that is over the average time in stage for a won deal, your pipeline will likely be dramatically smaller. When you ask for the names of all of the stakeholders on the buying committee, you will likely need to have some one hit you with the paddles to have your heart forcibly convinced to restart.My people don’t need help with the fundamentals. It will insult them: Wrong. They need help. They need more help prospecting and opening opportunities. They need more help asking for and obtaining commitments. They need more help strategizing on the obstacles that prevent their deals from moving forward. They aren’t going to be insulted when you provide this help; they’re going to be grateful.We have a sales process: Having a sales process and not using it is the same as not having a sales process. Do a little looking around. Ask questions. Use the process to guide your pipeline reviews and opportunity reviews. You’ll quickly learn that many of the challenges you have making your number are the result of your sales force not following a process, a process that helps them create value and gain commitments at every stage.Our sales force knows how to differentiate our offering. They know how to sell value: Ask your salespeople how you are different from your competitors. Go ask them. You are going to be shocked, surprised, and disappointed all at once. And if they can’t clearly define what makes you different and how it makes a difference for your clients, then how are your clients supposed to be able to see and understand the differences?Which of these beliefs are you carrying now?QuestionsHow do you know you have enough coverage in the pipeline?How versed is your team in the fundamentals? What do you believe they need to improve?Is your sales process being followed?How does your team differentiate your offering? How do they sell value? Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

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The New Discovery

first_imgGlobalization, disintermediation, commoditization, among other forces of The Disruptive Age, have all combined to change how we sell. One of the things that has changed is our approach to discovery.Traditional: What’s Keeping You Up at Night?I know that this approach is supposed to have fallen out of favor. In sales, however, there are no rules and you have to know them all. There are only possibilities and choices, and there isn’t a single way to obtain any outcome.You still have prospects that want to share their concerns with you, their problems, and their challenges. Asking them to share these things with you isn’t a bad place to start a conversation, it just assumes they already have a compelling reason to change, and that they are aware of it. That’s often enough to create an opportunity.If what you know enough about your prospective client to know they are already motivated to change, there is nothing wrong with starting by asking about what your dream client wants or needs to change.Now: This Is Keeping You Up at NightAnother way to start a conversation is to begin by sharing your view of what your dream client should be concerned about, or the problems they may not be aware they have—or soon will have.This approach works well right now for a couple of reasons. First, sharing ideas around the biggest and most important trends impacting your dream client’s business is a heck of a good value proposition for a first meeting. You get to explain the dissonance that they’re experiencing. Your prospect gets value from the meeting without having to buy anything from you. Second, and equally as important, it says you have a strong opinion, the business acumen, and the situational knowledge to potentially provide good counsel.This approach is especially effective now, because it helps you to help your client discover things about their company, their challenges, and their problems, and potentially, their opportunities.Choose the right approach for your discovery meeting, and remember  that you and your prospective client are both doing discovery work together. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

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Chasing Your Dream Client Across Time and Space

first_imgWhen you leave a client interaction without scheduling the next commitment, without agreeing on the process, you end up chasing your them. Because you didn’t agree upon what the next step of the process would be, your client can appear to go dark. This creates an imbalance, one in which you want a conversation now and your prospective client doesn’t necessarily want or need that same conversation on your timeline.You end up chasing your dream client across time and space. It feels bad, and it’s weird to have to give chase after you’ve been deep into building some sort of change. To your client, it feels like you are self-oriented, and sometimes it reeks of desperation.The voicemails you leave are ignored because your client doesn’t find any value in replying, and by telling them you want to “check in” or “touch base,” you’ve confirmed their belief that there is no more value you can create for them during this process. This doesn’t mean they aren’t having internal conversations or that they aren’t meeting with your competitors. But it doesn’t mean that they are; your clients are busy running a business.The emails you send to follow up are also easily ignored, much easier to dismiss than your voicemails. Click, deleted. More emails aren’t better. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t follow up every call and voicemail with an email, but rather that you are going to need a really good reason to get on the phone or face-to-face, having failed to define next steps.While you give chase, you lose time. And so does your dream client. Neither of you are producing the results you hoped for.All of this to say that if you don’t want to chase your client across time and space, then have the courage to ask for the commitment you need before the end of your sales call. The agreement as to the process is as important a commitment as any you gain throughout the process, as it is the one all the others are built upon.last_img read more

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Online course in child protection launched

first_imgAn online course in child protection aimed at capacity enhancement of stakeholders and widening of horizons of those working in the field, with the help of information technology, was launched in Jodhpur. The course module was evolved with the help of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).The Centre for Child Protection in Sardar Patel University of Police, Security and Criminal Justice has launched the course in collaboration with the UNICEF. Inaugurating the course, University Vice-Chancellor Bhupendra Singh said it would be offered free of cost to everyone interested in promotion of child rights.Also helpful for copsDr. Singh said the trainees, living anywhere in the world, would be able to interact with the teachers as well as other students on different aspects of child protection on a discussion board uploaded at the web portal of the course.“The course will be especially helpful for the police officers who are unable to attend regular classes due to paucity of time and work pressure,” said Dr. Singh. It would be available on all electronic gadgets such as mobile phones, laptop computers and tabs.The Vice-Chancellor said children up to the age of 18 years comprised 43.6 per cent of the population in Rajasthan. Since India was a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the course would strengthen the country’s commitment to children’s welfare and protection of their rights, he added.last_img read more

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Only Modi can resolve Kashmir issue, says Mehbooba

first_imgJammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday said only Prime Minister Narendra Modi can resolve the Kashmir problem as he has a strong mandate and appealed to him to pull the valley out of morass.Ms. Mufti, whose government is battling spiralling protests in the valley, said the situation is the result of pent up anger due to failure of the UPA government to continue with the policy started by the previous NDA government in Jammu and Kashmir during her father Mufti Mohmmad Sayeed’s rule. “I say today with authority and I will be criticised for it also. If anyone can find a solution to Jammu and Kashmir problem, it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi.“He (PM) has a strong mandate. Whatever decision he takes, the country will support him,” said Mufti, whose party is running a government in coalition with the BJP.“If anyone can take us out of the sticky spot, it is Prime Minister Modi. The nation will support whatever he decides…it is may earnest appeal…,” she said.The Chief Minister was addressing a gathering after inaugurating a flyover in Jammu.Hailing the Prime Minister’s decision to visit Lahore on December 25, 2015, she said that it was a sign of strength not weakness.“He has the mandate of the people. This is his biggest power. He went to Lahore and met the PM of that country. This is not a sign of weakness but an indication of strength and power,” she said.She took a dig at former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying he did not have the courage to visit Pakistan.“Before him (Modi), a Prime Minister had also desired to go to Pakistan for over ten years. He wanted to see his home there,” she said, with naming Singh.“He also would have tried to end the confrontation between the two countries, and bring J&K out of this unfortunate situation, but he had no courage to do that.” She gave credit to former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former chief minister Mufti Sayeed for starting the “chapter of peace” in Jammu and Kashmir in 2002.“They tried their best to bring out Kashmir out of this unfortunate situation. He was successful to a large extent in shortest of period,” Ms. Mufti said. “There was ceasefire (along Indo-Pak border) during Vajpayee’s rule. There were talks with L K Advani (in Kashmir). There was beginning of the process of opening (cross-LoC) roads.” The chief minister said militancy declined during that period and there was peace on the borders.“These were not small developments. But unfortunately Mufti was out of the government and Vajpayee ji left, and the process came to grinding halt,” the PDP leader lamented.She alleged that the UPA regime at the centre and the state government did not carry forward the process thinking “everything is peaceful and there is no need to do anything further”.“There was pent-up lava. It started to come out when the youths were out on the streets in 2008 and then 2009 and 2010.This lava has now spread to the streets and we are forced to face this situation,” she said. The Chief Minister said while her government is trying to improve the situation in Kashmir, there are some forces which do not want it.“Mufti sahib, who had seen a dream, shook hands with the Prime Minister of our country Narendra Modi, who has got the mandate of the people,” she said.As the chief minister was speaking, former Minister and senior Congress leader Gulchain Singh Charak interrupted her speech and demanded setting up of two civil secretariat in Jammu and Srinagar capital cities.Charak, who later walked out of the hall in protest, was heckled by some workers after conclusion of the function.last_img read more

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Insult to Ganga is treason: Adityanath

first_imgUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said the Ganga, which is a symbol of ‘Sanatan Sanskriti’, is everyone’s mother and insult to it is equal to rashtra droh (treason).He claimed that the pollution level in the Ganga was the highest after the Ganga Action Plan was launched in the 1980s due to non-cooperation of States through which the river passes.Addressing a gathering of heads of villages on the banks of river Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Adityanath said the Narendra Modi government at the Centre was making efforts to clean and rejuvenate the river through its Namami Gange programme.Universal mother“The holy river belongs to everyone and is a symbol of ’Sanatan Sanskriti’. It is everyone’s mother and people need to save it. Any insult to the river can never be tolerated and it is equal to rashtra droh,” he said.If the the Yamuna and the Ganga dries up, Uttar Pradesh will turn into desert, Mr. Adityanath said and appealed to people not to throw coins, clothes, flowers and other items into the rivers to save them from getting polluted further.last_img read more

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