When it comes to making bespoke videos, editing is quite rightly an essential factor. Post production editing sets the scene and allows the clips to come together to make an interesting story. In many cases a script is given to one of our editors on how the client would like the video to be produced, and it is then in the editors hands to create a video that sets the scene and flows, whilst taking into account the requirements of the project.
We do lots of editing work here at Cypher. Sometimes it is footage we’ve recorded such as conferences, interviews and scripted training videos, etc. We also deal with footage filmed by our clients from around the world, and cut it all together here in the UK. We tend to make a first cut and add a timestamp to the video as reference point before uploading it to our secure file sharing service. The link is then sent to the client and we can work remotely via email or phone call they are happy with the outcome.
As of now we’re finishing off over 30 interviews filmed recently in Paris and a creating a a teaser video for one of our clients to introduce an event in Tokyo, Japan.
Here at Cypher HQ we’re preparing for this year’s PAT test. A PAT test is short for Portable Appliance Test, which means all of our equipment will be reviewed to ensure it is safe enough to work with. It gives us a good opportunity to check all of our gear and go over what we have.
A PAT test is carried out by a specialist performing tests on a variety of appliances using PAT testers which determine if the piece of equipment has passed or failed. Many factors alter the final decision including earth continuity, lead polarity and insulation resistance.
By doing regular PAT tests it helps ensure all portable appliances at Cypher HQ are within the safety guidelines, while avoiding safety violations. Some clients also require proof and confirmation of our PAT pass records in order to work on a job.
Obviously, lighting is such an integral part of filming interviews and it is one of the unsung aspects of video production, but why is it so important?
Lighting is so important because it determines the quality of your video from the get-go; when we’re filming interviews we make sure the lighting is done to the best of our ability as bad lighting can make a video production go from top quality to cheap video in an instant. Also, if your lighting isn’t up to standards, it’ll delay the editing process as lots of time will be wasted on fixing the poor lighting to make the video look fresher and of a higher quality.
In this industry everything is changing, LEDs are becoming the new go-to form of lighting as they provide a strong yet soft light, they’re easy to move around and they stay at a cool temperature. LEDs are also cheaper, lighter and they last longer than the standard tungsten light bulbs.
Much of our work here at Cypher is dealing with clients needs when it comes to filming personal interviews. We aim to please, and we do this by keeping on top of the latest equipment changes in our industry to provide the best quality of video production we can.
We've got a lot going on at Cypher HQ currently!
As of now, we're editing the videos from the HR Leaders Conference in Paris, the Essentra Conference in London, and the FS Tax Leaders Conference in Rome. On top of that, we're also working on a project with one of our clients that cannot be named as of yet. The final project will be a specialist Health Policy Forum used to dedicate the development and continuing support of policy initiatives to improve global public health, whenever an unmet medical need exists.
This Health Policy Forum will give the specialists the ability to share and track medical conference materials online with a simple and compliance-friendly digital platform.
The Cypher Media website will also be updated soon. We'll be changing the slideshow pictures on the home screen to more recently-taken snaps.
You may have seen the uproar in the news regarding Net Neutrality in the USA. Ajit Pai, an American attorney and chairman of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), proposed that Net Neutrality should be scrapped due to bigger websites taking up more bandwidth than they should have. Netflix uses 1/3 of America's bandwidth, this is why Ajit Pai is pushing to get rid of Net Neutrality.
Net Neutrality is the concept that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. Currently, the concept of Net Neutrality is protected under the Title 2 Designation meaning it is classed as a utility, much like water and electricity. This basically means service providers can only charge you for what you’ve used; they cannot add premium charges, on top of subscription fees, for using things like Spotify, Netflix, Amazon and Facebook for example.
If the law passes to get rid of Net Neutrality, cable companies would have the power to slow sites down and ‘bully’ them into paying millions of dollars to escape the ‘slow lane’ to make their website viable and usable again, they could also charge you more for using the sites you enjoy using.
July 12th, 2017 was the day hundreds of online companies came together to tackle the ISP giants’ bid to get rid of Net Neutrality. As of now, in the UK we have nothing to worry about with regards to Net Neutrality as “The US is currently engaged in an important debate around Net Neutrality, one that is much more intense than over here in the UK.” However, if this issue does make its way to the UK it will be interesting to see how we would deal with it as a nation; many of the giant internet corporations such as Reddit, Google and Netflix were promoting a way to 'save the internet' by visiting "https://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home" putting your personal details in and explaining why Net Neutrality is important to you with hopes of it reaching the FCC and potentially getting them to rethink abolishing Net Neutrality.
We have recently returned from a 6-day-long Financial Services Tax Leaders conference in Rome. The event was held at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria which has the largest and most modern meeting facilities of any luxury 5* hotel in Europe.
Over 170 delegates were in attendance with 22 of our technical crew on site to rig, build and provide support for the duration of the event. We sent one 45ft artic lorry full of technical equipment and one 26 tonne lorry containing the set and stage from the UK.
The main set was 25m wide by 5.5m tall. We front-projected on to 3 screens – the middle screen being a blended super-wide, using two projectors, that measured 8.5m wide.
As we often do for this kind of event, we produced an onsite edited video that closes the conference with highlights from the duration of the event. Due to the formatting of the screens, we actually ended up producing the closing video in two different aspect ratios – for the centre and outer screens – and synchronised them using the AV playback equipment.
We’re proud to announce that Jake, Cypher Media’s apprentice, has been awarded with ‘Apprentice of the Month’ for June by 3aaa Worcester, with whom he has been undertaking his training courses.
We have been very busy during the past few months, heading to and from Paris twice, to London, Lyon and then to Rome.
Jake was praised by clients and described as “personable, looked smart, acted sensibly/mature for a 17-year-old.” Our client also went on to state that Jake “did his job well considering it was a large venue with lots going on everywhere.”
Jake was also given the green light to go along to future internal and client facing jobs, which is always a good sign!
It’s been a busy month so far with lots more to come!
We kicked the month off with a conference at Le Meridien, Paris. The conference spanned over 6 days, we provided AV equipment and support, onsite editing and laptops along with other peripherals for delegates.
After returning home for a day, we travelled to London for a conference at Sopwell House. Adrian and Chris are currently there providing the AV equipment whilst also providing assistance.
After another short break, Chris and Jake are jetting off to Lyon to film a short 1-day-long conference session, and then returning the following day.
Finally the crew are flying to Rome for 6 days, staying at The Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri Hotel, for a Tax Leaders conference. The meeting space at the Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri is the largest and most modern congress centre facility of any 5-star luxury hotel in Europe, it also has 28 meeting rooms and breakout areas.
Earlier today our kit was collected in preparation for this year’s people & organisation conference at Le Meridian, Paris.
We will be providing and supplying general AV support, AV equipment, signage, laptops and much more! The Cypher team will be working alongside 21 other experienced crew members throughout the week; we plan on having technicians scattered around the venue to assure everything runs as smoothly and as efficiently as possible.
This will be the first event where we will be using an LED wall in the main room. The wall will be 8m x 2.5m. It will be used to display bold, dramatic video images; it also helps due to the very low ceiling and difficulty when projecting so close to people’s heads. We cannot rear project as there wouldn’t be enough space for delegates. So LED means we can put the screen very close to the back wall of the room.
Our next event is at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria. This will be taking place towards the end of June.
We’ve been busy creating some new websites for our clients.
The most popular being registration websites. Registration websites help to avoid confusion and save lots of time managing delegates conference requirements. We’re currently working on a registration site for a large London-based event spread over 5 days with several hundred delegates. The registration form is quite complex to set up because it has many conditional elements – if a delegate selects something in one field then it affects the rest of the form. Even though this takes a little time to set up, it will really streamline the administration of the event.
A really exciting project we have been working on with one of our clients is called HealthScience Live. This allows our client to “Share and track medical conference materials online with a simple and compliance-friendly digital platform”. This was actually a major redevelopment from a system we had built several years ago which had over 1000 conference materials added to it. The new system is much more functional and feature-rich. We’ve been working on it for several months and now it is live our client has already used this for multiple conferences in the last month or so.
We also recently worked on the new Actors in Industry website that you can find here http://www.actorsinindustry.com/ ; it was brought up to date with a fresh responsive design. We also added many new features, including a twitter feed which was embedded onto the home page, client testimonials and a simplified navigation.
Cypher Media have an in-house website development team, we offer content management systems built on popular platforms such as Joomla and WordPress as well as custom built systems to fit any requirement. All our solutions are fully managed and hosted within the UK for optimum reliability and support.
In March of 2017 the United Kingdom followed in the footsteps of the United States with an aeroplane technology ban. The ban was implemented for long haul flights from 6 different Middle Eastern countries to the U.K. and U.S. The 6 countries impacted are Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia. The ban was a restriction on the size of handheld devices that you were able to take on board on your flight back from these few countries. Passengers boarding in the 6 Middle Eastern countries are not allowed any devices bigger than 16cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm in their handheld luggage.
The truth of the matter is that currently the electronics ban will not affect Cypher Media. We do not have any clients located in the countries hit by this ban as of yet however with our global network of higher partners, should we need to travel somewhere we can’t take our equipment, we would know well in advance and new kit would be hired upon our arrival. We tackle and find solutions to all problems thrown our way.
A new printer has been added to our equipment list for our clients to use onsite at conferences and events.
We've decided to upgrade our client admin offices to Samsung Multifunction Printers to fulfil all of the event or conference printing, scanning or copying needs.
The new printers can be used via WiFi, meaning that multiple computers can be connected at once, without the need to share a USB connection, saving precious time during those busy days. Another great function is being able to scan a document and send it directly to an email address - a request we often get from our clients.
We upgrade our equipment frequently to keep our clients up to date with new advancements in technology - and of course, we like to have a play around with them ourselves.
Adrian, Chris and Jake have recently returned from a week-long conference at Marriott Rive Gauche Hotel & Conference Centre in Paris after the second International Tax Academy of the year.
The Tax Academy event catered for over 840 delegates from 53 countries. Across the week 19 courses were run, we had technicians on hand to help delegates find their meeting rooms and also to assure the event ran at maximum efficiency.
It was a busy week working alongside 26 other crew, no time for sightseeing! We provided AV equipment and support, and also built the massive set that could be easily converted from one large room to three smaller rooms.
For the three main rooms, we had 3 14ft 16:9 ratio back projection central screens with 10m x 2m x 400mm stages below them.
Adrian was the event director while Chris was the assistant director. Jake was working as a Junior PA by doing signage and carrying out general tasks as well as crew welfare.
The next event is in June in Paris.
ProCutX is an iPad app that we have recently discovered that is compatible with Final Cut Pro. It's free on the App Store and we're currently learning how we can implement it as a regular piece of software whilst editing.
The app communicates over WiFi with our iMac/MacBook Pro and has multiple hotkeys which make editing a smoother, quicker process, improving the quality and speed of our edits. Being the tech nerds 8-) that we are, we are always on the lookout for bits of software we can implement in to our workflow.
This will also greatly benefit us onsite at events and conferences. The MacBook screens, being much smaller than iMac screens, are sometimes difficult to access all of the hotkey functions, but now we will have a dedicated second screen for quick access to these functions.