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In the world of social media and technology do we still find time to read a book?

A fly on the wall overheard our discussion in the office today about how we hardly ever pick up a physical book these days and lose ourselves in that wonderful place, where dusty pages and penetrating words paint a world of personal images.

Here is a selection of our favourite books and why:

 

   Ros chose The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

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Since my daughter Shayla was born the only books I’ve had time to read are ten pages long…

Shayla and I love this book – it follows the journey of a caterpillar who hatches from an egg and goes about finding food to make himself strong enough to build a cocoon.

At the end he emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

It’s gorgeously illustrated too.

 

         Yvonne chose The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

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This book has always haunted me…

A beautiful bleak story set on the coast of Newfoundland where the main character Quoyle confronts his demons and the unpredictable forces of nature and society. As the story slowly unfolds he begins to see the possibility of love without pain or misery.

The book is hypnotic with each chapter opening with an image and description of a fisherman’s knot. This beautiful introduction to each section acts as a metaphor for the upcoming text. Magical!

                                                    Marcel chose English is Easy, Casaba is Dead by Peter Doktorov

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I guess being brought up in Slovakia, I have an affinity to this book…

The story outlines how the mafia worked in Slovakia and is written almost like a play with an undertone of dark humor.

                                                     Richard chose Down Lambeth Way by Mary Staples

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I love this book because it depicts family life, history and relationships…

It is the first edition to a series of books set in the Lambeth area during the First World War.  There are about ten books in the series and it spans from 1914 up until the Second World War mainly focusing on the Adams Family.

The Adams family of Walworth were poor, cheerful, and above all respectable – even though they sometimes had to seek a little help from the pawnbroker. It was 1914, everyone was going to be affected, things were going to change. But whatever happened, the Adams family – gutsy, tough and cheeky – would come through.

                                              Fatmata chose Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Robert Southey

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I don’t really have a favourite book, but my five year-old daughter absolutely loves this story…

One of the most popular fairy tales in the English language it was first published anonymously in 1837.

The original tale tells of an ugly, old woman who enters the forest home of three bachelor bears whilst they are away.

What was originally a fearsome oral tale became a cosy family story with Goldilocks replacing the old woman and the three bachelor bears transformed into Papa, Mama, and Baby Bear. This later version now only has a hint of menace!

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SocialMedia

 

Over the past few years, our commitment and dependency on social media has grown tremendously as the world becomes more and more hooked to being online. When you go online today, the options are endless. You can post a tweet to Twitter, share a status on Facebook, post a blog on LinkedIn, upload a photo to Instagram, or get lost discovering the hundreds of other social media sites that have been created for our use.

Looking at all of the options and learning about each of the new sites can be overwhelming at times, it can even make you want to not join at all, but there is a reason all of these types of sites are so popular. Businesses can reach audiences that they never would have before. Someone can share their thoughts and ideas to thousands of people at a time. And maybe most importantly, people can start and grow connections with other people that are in their community or thousands of miles away.

We can often get so consumed by how many likes or retweets our posts get, that sometimes our message that we want to send out can be overlooked. It doesn’t matter how many followers your page has if you have nothing to share or nothing to say. That’s why here at London Video Productions, my co-workers and I are trying to grow our presence on social media by sharing the things we have learned in and outside of the industry, as well as sharing day to day things that we experience together.

Though there are a lot of social media platforms that we have yet to join, we are working on establishing relationships with people on the ones that we are already a part of. We are starting and joining a two-way conversation, as well as growing our company along the way. By sharing our skills and knowledge, we hope to help our community as well as learn from other leaders and members when they share their ideas.

This topic has been discussed time and time again, so much so that it seems to be an obvious fact now that people don’t focus on. But we have to be conscious of social media and the impact it has on our lives. Social media will always be growing and evolving, but the core idea will always be the same. So, be considerate. Share your ideas. Grow relationships. And remember the message.

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The idea of sitting down at a desk, hunching forward in front of a computer for eight or nine hours doesn’t sound appealing – so why do we do it?
There have been many studies in the previous years about the negative mental and physical affects sitting down can have on someone working at a desk all day. The website for Get Britain Standing (http://www.getbritainstanding.org/) explains it further by saying it can lead to increased blood pressure levels, backache, depression, and various other health risks.
According to the research, standing while working can help employees become more focused, more productive, and less stressed.
So what do we recommend?
With our typical work day, it might be difficult to stand while completing everything that we need to get done. That’s why we have tried to do something active at least every hour. Even something as simple as standing up and stretching – or even having a meeting or taking a call while standing up – can make all the difference. Just getting up out of the chair and onto your feet can help you feel more awake and ready to tackle your next task.

 

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Above is what we have tried at London Video Productions, what would it look like in your office?
Maybe if you’re an editor you can take the advice we heard from famous editor and sound designer, Walter Murch, at a Jam Session with Cinema Jam a couple weeks ago. Through his many years of experience and research, he’s found that he gets the best results and feels the best when he edits while standing.
No matter what type of work you’re doing, how will you find a way to get out of your chair and onto your feet?

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Here are a few useful tips for shooting better video. Hopefully this will be helpful for any beginners/hobbyists.

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Helpful Tips for Shooting Great Video:

• Auto settings can be useful but if you want to be creative set your camcorder to manual & read up about the manual settings in advance of your shoot
• Video cameras need to be told what the colour white is! They are then able to set other colours in relation to this. So set the white balance at every location. Carrying out manual white balance is always better than pre-sets
• When shooting outdoors always consider the position of the sun – the perfect key light!
• Always plan your shoot – It’s more cost-effective to make your initial shooting decisions in advance rather than make those decisions on location while the cast and crew wait for you to make up your mind – try to do a location recce whenever possible – it will save time and money!
• Keep audio in mind when carrying out the location recce – are you on a flight path? Will that construction crew be drilling adjacent to where you are filming that crucial interview with the CEO?
• Use a tripod or other image stabilising device or use the IS function – Image stabilizing – if handheld.
• Shoot to edit bearing in mind that your average shot length will be between 4 and 10 seconds but try to give yourself at least 5 seconds run up before a shot becomes useable and 5 seconds after it has reached its ideal end so you have flexibility in the edit suite.
• Be as inconspicuous as possible to capture realistic behaviour
• Don’t allow your subject to sink to the bottom of the video frame by positioning their eyes at the top 1/3 of the screen
• Always keep looking at foreground and background as you shoot to make sure nothing distracting enters the shot.
• Only pan occasionally and don’t overuse on-screen zoom – looks amateurish and you don’t want to give your audience motion sickness!
• Always look for interesting angles rather than keeping in one spot and placing every subject in the centre of your frame.
• Don’t shoot everything from standing eye-level
• In general make sure your subject is well lit rather than too much light falling on the background, unless going for a specific ‘look’.
• Have fun!

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We originally shot this video – https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=DHWyN1wk5oM
for Lewisham Hospital Choir in December 2013 and the song got to number 14 in the Indie charts.

Now, with a heavier campaign behind it, the track has been re-released and is tipped to be No1 this Christmas!!

Support our great NHS system by sharing, liking and spreading the word!!

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Our very own Director/Writer Ros Gihan-Wiliams met with actors Julia Florimo and Mark Hayden at the British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) for the screening of Leap.

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BUFF was established in 2005 and initially was formed to showcase urban independent cinema activity in the UK. Over the years the festival has gained momentum and is now supported by a board of actors, journalists, film critics and filmmakers.

BUFF Founder and Director, Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe, describes the festival as “A great shop window for filmmakers to showcase their talent and their personalities as producers and directors. It’s a great opening also for actors, actresses, cinematographers, writers, musicians and other key crew to showcase their talents and personalities to an appreciative audience”.

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BUFF 2015 was supported by Channel 4 and London Live. The 6 day event featured 27 screenings and 4 UK Premieres.

We were proud to be part of it!!!

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boom

With the never-ending launch of high-end handsets the video boom is well underway.

By 2018, apparently up to 80 – 90% of global consumer Internet traffic will be through video. On Facebook alone video has become the leader of content and has left the good old-fashioned photograph behind.

Marketing professionals’ state that video content generates the best ROI with 93% of them currently using video for online marketing, sales and communication. Businesses are being encouraged to use video to help deliver a two-way interaction, making their brand more personable.

But what about quality I hear you say?
If there’s a good story to tell, it doesn’t necessarily have to be super quality. However, a badly produced video can actually damage a business/brand. A good video should be well shot and edited with clear sound and well thought out messages. High quality does make an impact. The last thing you want is your viewers’ struggling to hear what is being said or remembering the badly lit room/set!

revolution

Video isn’t thought of as a time consuming activity, can simplify and transfer complex information and is far less strenuous than reading. In this age of the short attention span, a dynamic and exciting video will fully engage with viewers converting them neatly into potential clients.

The revolution will be televised…online. Can you afford not to be a part of it?

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Today, Tuesday 30 June, a leap second will pause clocks at midnight as the entire planet gains a second.

This leap second is designed to allow the Earth’s rotation (which is gradually slowing) to catch up with atomic clocks. The Earth’s rotation fluctuates daily and is slowing down due to a phenomenon known as “moon drag”. Without correction, civil time would slowly drift and in approximately 800 years from now the sun would be at it’s highest point at 1pm rather than midday.

To acknowledge this fascinating event we have put together 24 frames of working at London Video Productions. Each time you view Our Leap Second at LVP a different image will leap out.