Teleprompters: How To

Teleprompters Can Be a Great Asset, But Only When Used Correctly!


Key West Video crew on-set setting up our teleprompter system

When one of our clients needs to deliver an #AddressToCamera, whether an internal address by a #CEO, or a scripted #scenario with #actors, a #teleprompter is an excellent resource. It allows an individual to appear as though they are looking straight into the #camera and at their #audience, while in reality there is a screen with scrolling text directly in front of the camera lens.

There are many different types of Teleprompters, which are useful for a variety of different purposes. However, we will not be going into detail on the myriad of systems you can obtain in this post. What we are looking to aid you with currently, is to help you understand the basics behind how to use a #teleprompter.

Whether you have clients who you need to coach, or you yourself are going to be using a teleprompter, this post will provide you with a great basis for how to hone in on the necessary skills for utilizing a teleprompter for your next project.


Write in Plain Speech

First and foremost, you need to write your #script to be read out loud. While this may sound like the most commonsensical thing you have heard all day, don’t be fooled. Once you have written your script do everyone a favor and read it out loud. Does it sound like a conversation? Or more like a stiff on-way rant? Hal Landen in his post Teleprompter Tips agrees, stating, “Some things which read just fine on paper, needed to be rewritten so they sounded right”. Test out this theory and see how many ways you can simplify your speech.


Format Your Script

Secondly, when it comes to your script, the formatting you write in might not be the best format to read it within a teleprompter in. For example, having long stretching paragraphs only works when you have someone who is able to read quite quickly. Also, when you bring the text from your word document into a teleprompting software, they may read the bulleted list differently. So be sure to thoroughly check your script once it is in the software and ensure it is formatted in an optimal way for reading aloud.


Leave Time for Testing

Especially if the person on-camera has never worked with a teleprompter before, but even if they have, leave a significant amount of time open for rehearsal. Just because someone is a good speaker, or comfortable on-camera, does not mean they will be a natural when it comes to working with a teleprompter.


Use Your Body Language

We all know how influential our body language can be, so why not use it more often? When it comes to an address to camera, really the only thing the audience is focused on is the person on screen. Therefore that person not only needs to deliver a solid performance in regards to the content, but also when it comes to being visually engaging as well. On the training portion of PromptDog’s website they reiterate this by stating, “there’s nothing more distracting to an audience than a ‘rabbit caught in the headlights’ – the person who is frozen except for their moving lips delivering a speech”.


Keep a Steady Pace

One of the most important things to remember when using a teleprompter is that there is a remote to control the text speed. We recommend that a secondary person is responsible for controlling this speed, but in certain instances the person on-camera will take this on as well. In either case, DO NOT change your reading speed to match the speed of the teleprompter. It should always be the other way around. The person controlling the speed should actually be continually monitoring the pace, along with the upcoming text to know how to adjust. Sentences with longer words will be spoken much faster than sentences with many short words and/or numbers in them.

When it comes to using a teleprompter for your next video project we hope these tips are useful for you. Stay tuned for our video blog regarding the different ways to use a teleprompter!

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Green Screen Production Services

Green screen shoots don’t have to look cheesy.

Keywest Video now offers in house green screen production services. We often encounter clients that require video for commercial or online use, but they don’t have a facility capable of accommodating a large scale production.

Green screen shoots are a great solution to this problem, especially when the desired product is an interview or address to camera. As you can see in our vlog post this week, the replacement backgrounds don’t have to be silly or distracting.

Green screen techniques are also used by professional photographers, usually when faced with insurmountable weather challenges. You can read more about that in this great blog post on

There is a preconceived notion about green screen shoots, that the backgrounds are often odd or unsettling to the viewer. Our perspective on this is to keep the backgrounds simple and un-polarizing.

The goal of a replacement background should be to provide some clean lines and texture to complement the interview footage, that’s all. The best way of doing this is to emulate a real environment by using real photos or video, as opposed to a digitally created imagery.

Green Screen

Here is a digital background (top image) compared to a photo shot for green screen use (bottom image).

As you can see in the image above, synthetic backgrounds tend to look more “cheesy”. Ideally, the composition of the background shouldn’t even cross the viewers mind. If it does, they have lost track of your intended message. Using clean and simple photos of corporate locations lend the subtle thought that you have a beautiful facility, without distracting the audience.

That being said, not all synthetic background images are created equal. There are many sites that license animated and static background images for this purpose. If you’d like to browse some potential replacement backgrounds for your next project, check out the files available here on

Follow us on instagram for sneak peaks at some of our recent in-studio productions. If you’re considering a green screen studio shoot for your next corporate video project, contact us at Keywest Video and request a quote today!

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Directing: Getting What You Want

Directing can be Fun & Rewarding as long as the Right Steps are Taken

#Directing can seem like an easy or daunting task, depending on how you look at it. In actuality, it is neither. Directing is complicated because you will want something different out of virtually every #performance. And yet, if you have the right attitude, and know what you are doing, directing can become a very fun and rewarding task.


The coveted Directors chair

While some may think directing #talent is only needed in #scripted scenarios, this is far from accurate. Our corporate clients need and want our direction at almost every #shoot we do. Whether a professional address to camera by a CEO, or an emotional #testimonial for an informational piece, every individual we put in front of our camera requires direction.

That is why we have a talented roster of #producers and #videographers who work together to create a dynamic, informed, and professional directing team. There are steps that you can take to ensure you are providing your talent with the appropriate amount and style of direction for your project at hand. But first and foremost you need to do your homework and have enough information to fully understand these three points listed below.

Understand the Background

The first thing that you should know before you step on-set, is who the company is that you are filming for. Figure out that company’s style and personality. Are they a more formal company? Do they like to put off a more fun and relaxed image? This will guide you in knowing (generally) what type of style they will lean towards, and will help you in knowing how to go about directing the talent.

Understand the Content

If you show up on-set to direct an interview and know you are filming for a young and lively company, yet the content happens to be about employees telling personal stories, some which may be more emotional, then you need to be aware of this. While the company’s style may be one thing, the content at hand could potentially be very different. Therefore, you need to have a solid concept of not only who the company is, but also what the content is about, and how your client wants this video to be perceived by audiences.

Understand the Talent

We have worked with, and directed many people over the 25 years Key West has been in business. Not every CEO reacts the same to an interview. While some may be more formal and pressed for time, others want endless amounts of feedback and critique. You need to take things on a case-by-case basis in understanding who you are working with, and what they want out of you as a director.

Now that you have a clear understanding of the style of the company, the direction of the content, and who the key players are, you can focus on the direction itself. Here are a few things we have learned over the years, and active steps we take depending on the circumstance.

*Make your talent feel as comfortable as possible with you. We suggest striking up a conversation unrelated to the video before you start filming so you start building a relationship with them right off the bat.

*Maintain eye contact at all times during an interview. It is my biggest pet peeve when interviewers don’t do this. If you need to take notes then do so once the interviewee is finished speaking. You need to make sure they feel like you are interested in what they are saying, and eye contact is a quick and effective way to do this.

*In combination with my point above, when conducting interviews also make sure to show interest through facial expressions as well. You don’t even realize how important what you do personally affects the talent. Simple things like nodding your head, smiling, or expressing concern when appropriate. These small acts can go a long way.

*The above points also resonates with Joe Lamachia, who on his article 20 Tips for Directing Talent, stresses how important attentiveness is to directing. He says, “Listen to the concerns of your on-camera subjects and be sympathetic. You may need to assure one subject that he looks good, and another that her response doesn’t sound silly. If someone isn’t saying what you want or need, you may have to help him find his words”.

*When it comes to interviews I also prefer not to give the subject the questions in advance. You can tell them the general gist of what the video is trying to achieve (ex. Recruiting video to bring in new talent). But providing the subject with the questions in advance can make them pre-plan their answers, which often ends with them sounded very scripted. I would prefer them to take a moment to answer the question on the spot, or do a second take to clean up their answer. This way at least the response is authentic and more natural sounding.

*Just like with scripted content, with interviews you may want a different vibe out of the performance. If your subject is coming across a bit shy and calm, when you know the company wants to put out a fun and exciting message, then you need to let the subject know that.

*If you find the talent is not giving you what you need, then you need to go about a different way of directing them. For example, instead of just explaining what you want the outcome to be, try re-wording the question, or provide an example of what you would say in their position. I have found in the past that what might work for one person doesn’t for another, so you need to be flexible in discovering what works best for the talent at hand.

*Most of all have fun with your talent and be complementary. If you tell people they will do amazing and not to be worried, you may help calm their nerves. Of course this doesn’t always work, but it is worth the effort.

Directing corporate videos goes far beyond just telling people what you want out of them. Often you need to extract a good performance due to the fact that the talent we often work with is untrained and maybe hasn’t even ever been in front of a camera. Stick with the basic rules outlined above and you are guaranteed to receive a stellar outcome.

Any questions or things you want to add? Give us a shout!

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Human Resource Professionals

Human Resource Professional Take Notice: Video is Your Friend!

human resource

Corporate videos are an integral asset for #HumanResource professionals. Whether your department is looking to hire, inform, or train new and existing #talent, #videos can play a big role in the successful deployment of the initiative. Here are a few examples of videos Key West has produced for our clients in the human resources field.

Recruitment videos

Finding and retaining good #HumanCapital is a key aspect of any human resource professionals job. Having a video to promote your company’s best selling features can be a great way to attract high quality talent. As Danielle Setola Antes puts it in her post The 15 Best Recruitment Videos and Why We Love Them, it’s a way to ‘get applicants involved in your organization before they even apply’. Through the use of #testimonials you can share current #employees experiences, and the reasons behind their desire to #work within your #organization.

In the video we produced for Century 21, footage representing an average ‘day in the life’ of an Aberwin Realty agent was utilized along with voice-over expressing why representing their team is a great #career growth opportunity.

Century 21 Aberwin Realty: Why Become A Realty Professional?

Orientation videos

Videos used for #orientation can have a variety of purposes. The need to express information to internal #employees, #contractors, #vendors and #visitors is at the root of this type of video. Human resource professionals are the information hub when it comes to an organization. They not only supply individuals with information to understand and perform their #job properly, but most importantly, they inform about safe work practices within the #workplace. Chris Joseph, in his post Why is Orientation Important to the Employee, he says orientation videos are a way to “acclimate the employee and speed up the time it takes for her to become a productive member of the organization”.

In 2000, the small town of Walkerton had a health scare when their water supply became infected with E coli. In turn the Walkerton Clean Water Center was built in 2004. The video we produced for them was a ‘virtual tour’ of the facility, and now serves not only as an introduction to the facility on their website, but it is displayed on TV screens when you enter their location as well.

Walkerton Clean Water Center: Virtual Tour


#Training videos have been utilized by human resource departments since the inception of #CorporateVideo. This is because the need for affordable, straight to the point, and effective training is huge in any corporation. Instead of holding live, in-person events with #TrainingProfessionals, video can be a excellent resource. With video you can document various scenarios, showcase the right and wrong ways of performing a task, and highlight best practices.

The video Key West produced for Burlington Transportation to help educate crossing guards was a simple, quick, and effective solution to their human resource capital training need. Graphic text was used throughout the video to bring attention to the key aspects of the job. While voice-over along with visual reference got across the main content.

Burlington Transportation: Crossing Guard Training

Dramatic Training

There are many different styles of training videos, but one that deserves its own category is dramatic training videos. #DramaticTrainingVideos stand out from the pack, as they put the viewer in the position of observing real life scenarios that they could get themselves into. Instead of being told what may occur on the job through voice-over and visual cues, you are transported into that scenario and get to witness how such an event might play out.

In the video we produced for the Internally Trained Lawyers Program, we took a dramatic approach in order to get across the complicated and somewhat ambiguous social dynamic between international lawyers and the Canadian workplace. The video was a huge success in its ability to express situations which may arise, and in turn how to handle those events.

Internationally Trained Lawyers Program (ITLP): Dramatic Training

Contact Key West Video Inc. if you are interested in learning more about any style of video for your human resource needs!

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International Video Production

Although Keywest is based right here in Toronto, we’re accustomed to working all over North America. Now that we’ve worked all over Canada and the US, we can safely say that we provide top-quality international video production.

International Video Production

Are you interested in international video production?

Many companies can say that they provide international video production, but how can you know for sure? Just because the crew can get on a plane, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re capable of shooting your video in a foreign place. There are several factors you need to consider when seeking out an international video production company. The three most important things to note are: experience, knowledge, and resources.

International video production can be a little daunting to a first-timer, so you’re going to want to ensure that your crew has done it before. Having an experienced team will put your mind at ease and help guarantee that your production will be done correctly and efficiently. Not only will the production team be able to plan out your production with all aspects in mind, chances are, they’ll also be able to troubleshoot more effectively.

When embarking on an international video production project, it’s helpful to have a team with knowledge of the area you’re visiting. This means that they will be able to interact with the locals safely and efficiently, saving you time and money in the long run.

When in a foreign place, it’s useful to ensure that your production team will have no issue maximizing their resources. You’ll want a producer that knows exactly what they’re doing, where to go, who to talk to, and how to get the job done… regardless of how far away from home they are. International video production can be a little tedious at times, especially with all of the forms and permissions you’ll have to acquire when working in a foreign country. Be sure to have a team that knows what to do, and how to do it properly.

Are you looking for an #InternationalVideoProduction partner?
Keywest has embarked on quite a few non-local productions recently. We’ve travelled all over #Canada, mainly in the provinces of #Ontario, #Quebec, #BritishColumbia, #NovaScotia and #Alberta, visiting cities like #Toronto, #Brockville, #Hamilton, #Vancouver, #Kelowna, #Calgary, #Edmonton, #FortMcMurray, #Ottawa, #Montreal, #TroisRivieres, #Becancour, and many more. We’ve even been all over the #USA in states like #NewYork, #RhodeIsland, #Massachusetts, #Maine,  #NewHampshire, #Vermont … the list goes on! We’re experienced, knowledgeable, and resourceful. Visit our main website, or Call us today!

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Scriptwriting for Corporate Video

Many times, we find that our corporate video clients prefer to do their own scriptwriting. This is merely because they know their product and service better than anyone else (also, it can lower the overall video cost if done in-house). However, once we receive our clients’ scripts, we tend to make a few changes and make them more “video-friendly”.

Corporate video scriptwriting can be a little tricky at times because many of us are accustomed to writing for readers. Once you add in a visual element, you’ve got much more room to play with and in some cases, writers aren’t aware of exactly how to maximize this and capitalize on the added visuals.

When scriptwriting for your next corporate video, keep these factors in mind: know your audience, visualize, and keep it short.

Know Your Audience
This step involves a bit of research, but if you’re already well versed in the workings of your company, it shouldn’t take too much effort. Before you begin scriptwriting for your corporate video, you need to know whom you’re writing for. Identify your target market and audience and find out how it is they absorb their information. You’re going to want to communicate them on a level that they’re accustomed to.

When scriptwriting for your video, it is incredibly helpful to keep your visuals in mind as you write. You’re going to want to make sure that the visual elements you want to include are doable, in budget, appealing, and understandable for your audience. It is much easier to write with the visuals in mind, rather than spending time trying to conjure up images once the script is already written.

Keep it Short
Your audience’s attention span is constantly dwindling, so you’re wasting time (and money) if your corporate video is too long. Keeping your video under 90 seconds is advisable.

Corporate video scriptwriting can be a challenge, but it’s advisable to research your target market, write with visuals in mind, and keep it short. If you follow these simple guidelines, you’ll be scriptwriting in no time.

If you’re interested in #CorporateVideo #Scriptwriting, contact Keywest today!

Scriptwriting for Corporate Video


Check out these links for more information:

How to write a video script

ABC Copywriting (I am highly entertained by their slider)

Scriptwriting Infographic

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Corporate Video For Your Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy may not be capitalizing on the benefits of corporate video like it should be.

Corporate Video for Your Marketing Strategy

Corporate Video for Your Marketing Strategy

Although many marketing campaigns include video, perhaps in the form of television commercial campaigns, they don’t always capitalize on the online benefits of corporate video. There are three main ways in which corporate video can improve your marketing strategy – it’s shareable, versatile, and SEO-friendly.


Having a marketing strategy comprised of elements that are easy to share is key in a world where social media rules. Although many people may come across your television commercial and it may indeed garner millions of views, there is no shareable element involved. However, with websites like Vimeo, YouTube, Vine, and Instagram, you can make and share your videos easily. Using these platforms to share your corporate video will dramatically increase your followers and exposure, garnering the attention of your target market at no additional charge (besides the actual production cost, of course). Making your marketing strategy shareable allows you to reach a much wider audience.


The beauty of incorporating video into your marketing strategy is that it can be re-purposed. Any video can be used for multiple different projects over a reasonable period of time (you don’t want to showcase an old video). Even if your video was intended to be produced with a single use, the raw footage can always be re-edited and turned into something new. Try to obtain the raw footage for all of your projects so that you can keep a library that’s always ready for the next big video project.


SEO, SEO, SEO – it’s all you seem to hear about these days. And once again, your marketing strategy is nothing without good #SEO. #Google’s algorithms favour video content and it can be a great asset when it comes to boosting your #OrganicSearch ranking.

“Climbing the search rank ladder with your corporate video is no different than running a text based ad campaign. It all comes down to using the right key words in the title of your video, and making sure your keyword choices are in harmony with the rest of your website.” –

If you’re considering #CorporateVideo for your next #MarketingStrategy or campaign, contact Keywest today!

Interested in more video marketing? Check out these articles:

How To Plan Your Video Marketing Strategy
3 Reasons Why You Need a Corporate Video Production Strategy
7 Corporate Video Marketing Examples

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Google Street View: Camel Edition

Google never ceases to amaze. This time, they’ve gone ahead and hired a camel as part of their popular Street View feature.

The 10-year-old camel, reportedly named Raffia, walked through the desert around Liwa Oasis led by her Indian guide and equipped with a Street View camera mounted on top of her hump to create panoramic views for internet users around the world.

Google Street View with Raffia the Camel

Google Street View with Raffia the Camel

The Liwa Oasis is a 100 kilometer-wide scenic desert, southeast of the city of Abu Dhabi that includes some of the world’s biggest sand dunes. Users are now able to experience a virtual tour, exploring everything from its date farms, to 40-metre-high dunes, to the largest oasis in the Arabian Peninsula. Google’s low-tech solution involves Raffia carrying the “Trekker”, a camera that stands more than a meter high and can easily fit into a backpack. The Trekker is typically carried in a backpack by humans to capture 360-degree views of off street images in places that are inaccessible by its Street View cars, such as everything from narrow alleyways to the Grand Canyon.

Google spokeswoman Monica Baz says the camel, reportedly named Raffia, was an apt way of documenting the beautiful shifting sands of Abu Dhabi’s Liwa Oasis.

“With every environment and every location, we try to customize the capture and how we do it for that part of the environment.”

“In the case of Liwa we fashioned it in a way so that it goes on a camel so that it can capture imagery in the best, most authentic and least damaging way,” Baz said. — CNN

Go on, explore the Liwa Desert.

Google hopes that such Street View features will help boost tourism to certain areas as viewers can “go before they go”. Baz stated, “Twenty to 30 per cent of the views come from outside the country…we think this really helps people check these locations out before they come to visit.”

Find out more about how Google Street View works.

#GoogleStreetView #VirtualTour #LiwaDesert #VirtualTourism #RemoteTourism #TGIF

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Case Study: NABS Kili Climb 2014

NABS and Keywest have joined forces on a variety of projects over the past several years. This year, we have provided NABS with a powerful testimonial video aimed at fundraising for their Kilimanjaro climb.

NABS Kili Climb 2014

NABS Kili Climb 2014

NABS (The National Advertising Benevolent Society) is a charitable organization set up exclusively to provide assistance to people in the marketing and communications industries who may need help due to illness, injury, unemployment or financial difficulties.

This year, NABS plans to raise $ 250,000 in support of our colleagues in need, while giving 30 industry members a life-changing opportunity to challenge themselves physically and mentally. The industry charity is calling for its members to foster mental toughness and community-building, through an adventuresome trek up a legendary mountain. Tanzania’s 19,300 foot-high Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing peak in the world. The NABS Climb will be via the Lemosho route, a slow and steady trek that has a 98% summit rate.

NABS continues to support over 1100 families/year from every region in Canada, 50% of whom are challenged due to financial difficulty, illness and the fallout of dramatic industry job losses and shifts. For hundreds of people, the end of the month is their biggest mountain to climb. The 2015 Kilimanjaro project will not only raise money to help fund 130 cases now, it will set clinical programs in motion to assist professionals with career and lifelong stress management, the fastest-growing hurdle in the industry. — NABS

Keywest lent a helping hand this year by producing a powerful video for Asaph Benun, one of this year’s climbers, and also an industry member whose baby boy Gabriel has been battling cancer. This video is aimed at creating awareness, explaining what NABS does, and also acts a fundraiser for the climb.

Keywest values and appreciates the work that NABS has been able to do since their inception. That is why we have chosen to partner with them to help support their efforts through the power of video.

For further information on the 2015 Kilimanjaro Climb, go to:
Twitter: #KiliClimbForNABS
Facebook: NABS Canada

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Small Business Forum: 5 W’s

The Who, What, Where, When & Why of the Toronto Small Business Forum

WHO: 2000+ #entrepreneurs all under one roof, for a common cause – learning how to grow their small business.

WHAT: Hosted by #EnterpriseToronto, the #SmallBusinessForum is an exceptional and FREE event dedicated to helping aid the small business community. A variety of features were included, ranging from keynote speeches from over 40 business experts, to one-on-one assistance with small business challenges, and great #networking opportunities with a slew of different vendors all aiming to provide solutions to small businesses.

WHERE: The event was held at the Metro Toronto Convention Center #MTCC

Small Bsuiness Forum

Metro Toronto Convention Center: Where the Small Business Forum was held in 2014

WHEN: This yearly, full day event was held on Thursday, October 23rd of this year

WHY: With so many talented entrepreneurs, from ones just beginning their business, to the business guru’s with much success, there were so many opportunities to take in information and learn from this event. Networking is a huge part of a #SmallBusiness, and what better place to start then somewhere with thousands of willing bodies all under one roof! If you are a small to medium sized business we highly recommend checking out this event in 2015.

Small business forum

Producers Shivani (left) & Stuart (right) talking with interested parties at the Small Business Forum

Keywest had an amazing time participating as a vendor at this years Small Business Forum. We made numerous promising connections and look forward to following-up with those individuals and hopefully forging long-lasting relationships moving forward. We have actually already produced several videos with contacts made from this event. We will certainly be coming back to the #SmallBusinessForum in 2015!

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