Corporate Video: Actors vs. Employees

When you’re looking to create a #CorporateVideo for your business, a big question you’ll want to ask yourself is whether you want to utilize employees or hire #ProfessionalActors.

We all know someone who is not comfortable in front of the camera. Whether they run away, hide their face, or try to smile but produce a grimace instead, they are usually captured in an unflattering fashion. Of course not everyone has such an extreme reaction to the camera but along with your budget, whom you feature in your corporate video is of the utmost importance. So, how do you determine what is best for your needs? You will want to consider a few things to make the best decision for the video and your company.


Using company personnel for your next video might be your first instinct to cut costs of the project during the production stage as it’s less expensive to take advantage of the people who are readily available and already know details of your business. However, this inclination could work for or against you depending on different elements. Non-professionals usually need multiple takes to deliver dialogue with an authentic feel. This can throw a wrench in your timeline, resulting in delays and additional costs.

Professional Actors vs. Employees - Budget

Professional Actors vs. Employees – Budget

Project Timeline

Something to consider in your timeline is that if employees are participating in your video, they are being taken away from their current tasks to do this. This may not be cost-effective as it could slow down production or workflow of the business. Also, the selected personnel may only be available for a limited amount of time, causing you to rush the process and leaving you unhappy with the result or without what you need.

Professional Actors vs. Employees - Timeline

Professional Actors vs. Employees – Timeline

Brand Identity

Consideration of your target audience is important when deciding who you want to represent your brand. Are you looking for “real people” to create a casual feel for your video or you are looking for a more polished corporate tone? Putting your “best foot forward” is integral to how your company is represented and perceived, which in turn can affect your reputation.

Professional Actors vs. Employees - Brand Identity

Professional Actors vs. Employees – Brand Identity


It’s not only the message of your video that is being delivered but also how it comes across. You may think that involving employees in your corporate video would automatically provide a natural feel, but this is often not the case. Employees can potentially be uncomfortable on camera and therefore can become quite rigid and unable to take direction. They may know your business better but actions, speech patterns and body language might not be in sync with the tone you want for your video. Professional actors are more comfortable on camera and therefore come across more naturally in their speech and actions. They can re-create the same feel of the same script with minimal adjustments or provide different variations depending on direction given during production.

Professional Actors vs. Employees - Delivery

Professional Actors vs. Employees – Delivery

Working with a professional #VideoProductionCompany can help you achieve your goals regardless of whom you choose to feature in your video. While hiring professional actors can increase production value and save you money in the end, if you have a budget that’s on the smaller side, employing personnel from within the business is possible as long as you plan ahead and take steps to increase the quality of your video. When it makes sense to utilize company personnel, the video production company can advise you on the best approach to meet your goals.

At Key West Video, we cast professional actors regularly for our clients’ needs, ranging from dramatic training videos to product and service videos, and everything in between, but we also provide advice and assistance for clients who wish to feature employees. We can advise you whether it’s better to include footage of your personnel with minimal dialogue, showcased in b-roll footage combined with professional voiceover talent, or help you take the necessary steps required for them to play a bigger role. Most importantly, we will help you ensure that the feel or tone you want to represent your company is maintained throughout the corporate video you envisioned.

Check out this #Corporate #RecruitmentVideo Keywest produced using real employees of Home Depot:

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Real Estate Video Production

Real Estate videos are an important facet of marketing a home. We can help create an immersive video which takes the viewer on a tour of your property.

Being a real estate agent means that many consumers are forced to trust you with a large chunk of their hard earned wealth… this means that you have to be trustworthy. Studies have shown that people are more likely to like and trust people they have seen in person than people they have only spoken to on the phone or through email. Video can help you convey your personality and presence as a reliable and trustworthy real estate agent, thereby helping consumers get to know you before you’ve even met them.

We live in an age where everything is about speed, and the real estate industry is no exception to this. It’s faster to convey a message through video than it is through text… therefore people are more like to watch your real estate video than look through your real estate website or brochure. As consumers’ attention spans get smaller, it is crucial to grab (and hold) their attention immediately – video can help you do that.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial to every business’ website, including those in the real estate industry. Video is 57% more likely to make it on the first page of Google than text alone. Video can be an excellent tool to get your real estate agents/listings/brokerages to the first page of Google and make sure that you’re seen before your competitors.

Real Estate Video

In Home Video Production

Take a look at a Real Estate video that we’ve done in the past. Below is a consumer-targeted website video for a Century21 brokerage, modeled after the company’s existing “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” campaign.

In essence, if used correctly by those in the real estate industry, video can be an excellent tool to get your message across faster and more convincingly than any other medium. Real estate videos can be an worthy investment for those in the industry and the cost can easily be justified by the benefits and opportunities for new business.
Need a real estate video for your agency, listing, or brokerage?

Contact Key West Video today!

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Robbie Rist: Star Spotlight

 The year was 1974 and #TheBradyBunch was in its 5th and finale season……all because of one pint-sized shaggy-haired little boy. Or so the argument goes. This week we bring you the star spotlight of Robbie Rist

Robbie Rist

Robbie Rist – Innocent or Evil?

Robert Anthony, “Robbie” Rist, was born in Los Angeles, California in 1964. He began his acting career as #CousinOliver in “The Brady Bunch”, a beloved television classic. Brought in to #Boost #Ratings and add to the #CutenessFactor of the show, his character only remained in what would be the final 6 episodes of the series.

One wonders, was it really not all his fault?

Viewers quickly learned that Robbie Rist’s character was a #jinx and, as he put it, “wherever I go, terrible things happen.”

Many blame Robbie Rist for the cancellation of The Brady Bunch, but regardless of numerous reports denying his guilt, he is forever remembered of the #CursedBrady. He became part of a growing trend in the 70s and 80’s, adding a cute character in an effort to boost a shows ratings, known as #CousinOliverSyndrome or #AddAKid.

Although he went on to pursue a semi-successful career as a #VoiceActor and #Musician, many cant get his devilish Dutch boy hairstyle #ScreenPersona out of their minds. He was never invited back to any of the #BradyBunchReunions.

Robbie Rist charmed our television screens for all of the 6 episodes he was on, before we realized he came with an adorable curse. The tale of Robbie Rist is not unique to television. Beware, for when your #Sitcom brings in an adorable, delectable, innocent young addition to your #Cast, it simply may be the #Sequel to the #CurseOfCousinOliver.

Check out what this pint sized actor looks like now. Who would have guessed that the blonde cutie who brought down one of the most family friendly shows on television would turn into this:

Robbie Rist


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Using Video in Social Media

Social media marketing is largely dependent upon visual content. By incorporating a visual, be it an image or video, you are more likely to increase exposure, thereby resulting in a click, and hopefully a conversion.

Incorporate video into your social media marketing campaign to increase exposure.

Incorporate video into your social media marketing campaign to increase exposure.

By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic. Video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled. Since online video is naturally and rapidly becoming a first choice for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs, it can be an essential tool for your business’ internet marketing strategy.

“It is naturally engaging and, in an age of information overload, it’s vital for small businesses to offer content that is easy to digest; if not, consumers will simply move on. Video does this very well. If a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million, so say Forrester’s researchers.”
The Guardian

Being that video production is an investment, you’ll want to maximize your return on your investment (as you would any other). The best way to increase your return on investment in this instance is to promote your video using social media and gain as much exposure (and conversions) as possible. By utilizing the plethora of social media platforms out there, it is easier than ever to reach your target audience and give them the information they’re looking for – all with a few clicks.

As a business owner, it is important to find out which social media platforms your target audience frequents the most. If your target market is spending most of their time on platforms such as Vine or Instagram for example, you’ll want to create much shorter videos – between 6 and 15 seconds – to accommodate the restraints of these platforms. If your target audience is more likely to be seen sharing posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter, you could consider creating a slightly longer video that people are likely to share with their friends/followers.

Are you interested in creating video for your social media marketing needs? Contact Keywest today!

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Company Profile Video Production

A company profile video is an excellent way to showcase your business, facilities, and employees. It can be used as an effective tool for everything from promotion and marketing to human resources.

Instead of pushing your potential clients and employees to peruse your website’s text and photos for information about your company, why not show them what you’re all about by producing an upbeat, engaging, and informative company profile video?

The video montage above features some of our recent company profile videos. If you’d like to see more, you can always check out our YouTube channel. There you can find several examples of completed projects and much more.

A company profile video way can be an effective means of conveying your workplace atmosphere by showcasing employee and client interactions. You can display anything from customer satisfaction to workplace amenities, or any other aspects you’re interested in illustrating – the possibilities are endless.

Include interviews within your company profile videos to generate a personal connection.

Include interviews within your company profile videos to generate a personal connection.

Company profile videos that include interviews are beneficial since they provide the viewer with insight into the employees and their views. Consider snippets from different employees with varying responsibilities within your company – this can achieve produce a well-rounded image of your business and what exactly your staff have to offer.

Put your best foot forward! Got a fun workplace? Why not show it off?

Put your best foot forward! Got a fun workplace? Why not show it off?

Including “fun” shots, such as employees joking or having fun, as just as important to your company profile video when portraying a welcoming and light workplace environment. Consider including some candid interaction or footage of your employees during downtime.

Finding it difficult to succinctly explain exactly what it is you do and what your business has to offer? Consider an exciting and upbeat company profile video that not only conveys all of the necessary information, but also informs the viewer. Contact us here at Keywest for your future video production needs!

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Politicians Aspire Viral Video Fame

Our world is changing. Why shouldn’t our politicians change with it?


Politicians have the taxing duty of not only coming off as professional and well educated, but we now expect them to be personable and relevant as well. While there is no direct correlation between politicians going viral and getting elected, we all know it doesn’t hurt, right?

It was said that Obama won the 2008 presidential election due to his connection with the people, and his ability to make himself relatable, thus bringing in the younger audience vote.

Between Two Ferns, a web video series on Funny or Die, pokes fun at low budget interview style shows, by emphasizing their lack of set dressing, lack of research or knowledge about the guest, and the host’s, Zach Galifianakis, overall lack of enthusiasm or interest for being there. And yet somehow, they were able to hook up with the President of the United States to be a guest on their show. The result was viral video gold. Currently the video sits at just over 8.8 million views on youtbube alone. Check out the link below if you haven’t seen it yet.

Obama is his charming self, taking the punches from Zach with grace, and not holding back with his own. He also takes the opportunity to plug his own interests, obviously. Here is what others have to say about this performance.

“In a bid to encourage young people to sign up for health insurance, President Barack Obama stopped by Zach Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns comedy show”. - Time

“Works pretty well not only as a pitch for, which gets an extensive plug, but also as an episode of Between Two Ferns.” -

While Obama was not up for re-election during the time this video was taped (March 2014), through the use of this viral video he was however able to plug a matter which he greatly cares about. He essentially was able to make an uninteresting topic, and a project of his which received a lot of flack due to its early mishaps (read more about it here), and turn it into something lighthearted, while gracefully accepting the challenges he faced with the program he was pushing. Bottom line, many more people are now aware of just what is.

There are however, many politicians who try to be as sleek and cool as Obama always is with his viral videos, but unfortunately didn’t hit the mark.

We’ve all seen the infamous Old Spice ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like‘ commercial which went completely viral with almost 50 million views currently. Well there were a few politicians who decided to jump on the bandwagon and parody the commercial for their own gain. Unfortunately for them, and our hearing and eyesight, their efforts weren’t very successful. Check out a few of them below.

Want to know the best part? Each and every one of the politicians who posted these above videos lost to their opponents during their campaign.

Take Home Lesson: If you aren’t as cool as Obama, don’t try to be.

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Neorealism: Exemplified by The Bicycle Thief

Neorealism was a stark contrast from the style of film-making viewers were used to during this era. It created a sense of honesty and conveyed emotions, which audiences had never experienced before.

neorealismSeveral different movements and genres have emerged within film theory, and re-emerged over the years in turn influencing one another. One important theory being Italian neorealism, which emerged in post-World War Two Italy. According to Pam Cook and Mieke Bernink, editors of “The Cinema Book: The 2nd Edition” (1999), “Aesthetically the ‘realism’ of the neorealism movement consisted principally of a commitment to the representation of human reality.” (Cook and Bernink, P.g. 77).

Italian neorealism emerged during the late 1940’s, after Italy had been liberated from the reign of the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. During the war, Mussolini put a complete halt on all imports of films produced by “the enemy”, specifically Hollywood. Even the exporting of Italian films ceased. The positive impact of this was that the break from Hollywood films gave Italian cinema a chance to expand and flourish in Italy.

Once Italy was liberated from the influx of Hollywood films, Italian filmmakers began looking for a new style of film-making to call their own. Neorealism was therefore a result of the longing to break away from the formulaic style of Hollywood film-making, as well as the restricted nationalistic films produced by the fascist regime. In contrast, neorealist films focused on the harsh truth and daily turmoil many in the country faced. A popular theme was poverty, sadly a real commonality amongst most of the Italian working class at the time.

A perfect example of the neorealist style is depicted through Vittorio De Sica’s “The Bicycle Thief” (1948). Set in post WW2 Italy, it tells the story of the Ricci family, who were deeply affected by the war, not only physically and financially, but spiritually and emotionally as well. Antonio Ricci (Lamberto Maggiorani), the films main character, finally finds work posting movie posters, but to do this job he must have a bicycle. He and his wife Maria (Lianella Carell) then pawn their bed sheets to get enough money to buy his bicycle back from the pawn shop. Ricci begins work only to have his bicycle stolen on the first day. Ricci and his son Bruno (Enzo Staiola), without much luck, then go on what seems to be a never-ending search for the perpetrator and the bicycle.

neorealism De Sica said, “We strove to look ourselves in the eyes and tell ourselves the truth, to discover who we really were and to seek salvation.” Instead of focusing on unrealistic adventurous tales and romantic fairy tales, neorealistic films focused on more common events, like a bicycle being stolen from a helpless man. To add to the films realistic approach, De Sica even cast the entire film with ordinary people who had never acted a day in their lives (you would never guess that, guaranteed!)

Neorealist films were shot on location, in spaces which were not glamorized for the camera. This gave viewers all over the world a chance to see how Italy, once known for its beauty and landscape, was affected by the war with their own eyes. In regards to “The Bicycle Thief”, the opening scenes reveal, not a country full of excitement or happiness, but a country filled with anger, loneliness and longing. The viewer sees windows missing glass in their frames, dirty old buildings, streets empty of cars and businesses, but filled with people on-foot wandering aimlessly until an opportunity for work or money arises.

Neorealistic films often share a common ending, and “The Bicycle Thief” truly exemplifies this theme.

****SPOILER ALERT!!!:****

Antonio Ricci never gets his bike back. The film simply ends. The viewer is left shrugging their shoulder and wondering, what will happen to the Ricci family?!?

That’s the point, because that’s the truth. Not everything gets resolved in life. There may not have been a happy ending and even if there was, the story still continues for the rest of the characters lives.


Neorealistic films, like “The Bicycle Thief”, dealt with the accurate social, political and economic situation Italians were facing at the time, as well as the realistic treatment of their citizens. De Sica hoped to expose the physical hunger and spiritual despair that was felt, as it was a common feeling among people all over the world. By naming the brand name of the films bicycle “Fides”, which in Italian means faith, and having it stolen, he is explaining that the faith of the Italian people in themselves, and each other, was not just lost, but cruelly taken away. He wanted the viewers to understand this feeling, feel it themselves and sympathize with the population.

It would be foolish to not mention that this film is frequently on critics’ and directors’ lists of the best films ever made. It was given an Academy Honorary Award in 1950, and, just four years after its release, was deemed the greatest film of all time by the magazine Sight & Sound’s poll of filmmakers and critics in 1952. The film placed sixth as the greatest ever made in the latest directors poll, conducted in 2002. ( I first viewed it in a film history course and loved it so much that I chose to start off a 12 hour journey via plane with it, and proceeded to watch it 3 times… so you know its worth the watch! HAPPY VIEWING!


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We’ve Moved But Haven’t Gone Far!

The Key West Video Team has packed up and moved out. But don’t worry we didn’t go far!

movedIn October of last year we moved from our previous location to a shiny new one uptown. While things have been busy, lots of unpacking and getting acquainted with our new digs, we are still the same team we have always been (if not better)!

What Has Changed?

Our Address For One – As many of you already know, we no longer are located at 321 Davenport road. We have moved to 5050 Dufferin Street on the second floor. In terms of scheduling meetings or shoots our new location won’t make for much difference. If you decide to come to us we would love to see you! But most often we come to you, and our move will not hinder that in any way.

movedBigger and Better – Our company is growing and moving forward, which is why we made the decision and moved our offices as well. Our new space has more room for us, so we can hire on new staff and continue to provide the excellent services we do for our expanding clientele. One of the most exciting aspects of this bigger and better space is the fact that we have built a beautiful and fully functional studio space.

Studio Space – Our #studio space is large enough to accommodate a wide variety of shoots, including those where full body shots are needed. We have a variety of lighting and backdrop options, including white, black and green screen. This additional aspect of our space will not only help us to create dynamic and professional video blogs, but it will of course be of great assistance to our clients. We can now provide you a cost effective solution to any of your studio needs.


What Has Stayed the Same?

Our Commitment to Our Clients – Even though we have moved, our commitment has stayed the same. Our clients continue to remain at the forefront of our thoughts in everything we do. We hope that our new space will create new opportunities and help germinate new ideas, and we are all excited for our clients to benefit from this exciting new time for us.

A Fantastic Team – Although the Key West Team has moved and is ever expanding, our unit continues to remains strong. We instill a sense of team work and collaboration in all of our new hires. Whether it is a full time employee or a freelancer, all of the individuals we work with become part of our family. Most importantly, we continue to work together to create amazing videos.

movedQuality Productions – Whether we are located downtown, uptown, west or east of the city, our goals and triumphs remain the same. We continue to pursue our goals of making the most dynamic and engaging videos for our clients. And our triumphs will always remain our clients’ satisfaction.

movedWe look forward to seeing you soon! Stop by our new location if you get the chance :)

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Frank Bank: Star Spotlight

 Frank Bank, not just #funny, but a financial wizard too!

Frank Bank

Frank Bank

Although out of the spotlight for many decades Frank Bank, born April 12, 1942 in Los Angeles, California, played one of the most memorable characters on the television classic Leave It To Beaver. The clumsy, bafoon-life chum of Wally, and bully to Beaver, “Clarence ‘Lumpy’ Rutherford” was Frank’s biggest role.

Like many #childstars before and since, Frank Banks career, following the success of #LeaveItToBeaver, succumbed to #typecasting. Like co-star #KenOsmond, who played #EddieHaskill on the series, Frank Bank was unable to find work following the shows final in 1963 (which he joined a year in, in 1958). However, according to cast members he spent a lot of his free time on set reading about stocks and bonds. By 1972 he had quit the acting profession for good and became a very successful stock broker, making $300,000 a year at an L.A.-based company, within his first 3 years getting started.

In his 1997 autobiography Call Me Lumpy, he claimed that, during the Beaver years, he slept with over 1,000 women. One of the more interesting facts about him was that he was born in a hospital hallway during an air raid drill (

#FrankBank died, one day after his 71st birthday, quietly and out of the spotlight on April 13, 2013. Bank was married twice and left behind his second wife Rebecca, and 2 daughters (from his first wife and high school sweetheart).

Although he left the entrainment world early on, we are fortunate enough to still have his #comedicgenius, in the character #LumpyRutherford, captured on film! Many stars find it hard to shed their most popular image, especially those who found stardom at a young age. Their cute, lovable, or sometimes downright evil portrayals may stay with them and force them out of the business entirely. It’s a shame as one would wonder what Frank Bank and others like him could have done for #television #sitcoms in the years to come.

Outside Additional Sources
People Magazine – Leave It to Beaver‘s Lumpy, Frank Bank, Dies

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Training Video Production

Provide excellent instruction with training video production

Gone are the days when you schedule a training session for your employees, they half pay attention to the PowerPoint slides at the front of the room and struggle to find the will to participate in the planned group activities. We’ve shed those days for a more direct, concise, and long term solution. Factor in the cost effectiveness of a video versus live training, and you have found yourself an excellent training solution.

The video montage above features some of our recent training video production work. If you’d like to see more, you can always check out our YouTube channel. There you can find several examples of completed projects and much more.

Don’t get me wrong, training videos can fall into the category of being so boring that you would rather watch a monkey dance around for an hour. However, those are not the type of training videos that we produce here at Key West Video Inc.

We help you get to the route of your training needs. What is it that you need to express to your employees? What would be the best way to attract their attention? What would they want to know? These are the types of questions we ask to get to the heart of the problem, and to find a solution through the use of video.

Our training videos often take a new-age approach. Need to grab attention? Why not turn your training video into an interactive game where participants win prizes for participating? Why not show your employees how to do something both through live action footage, as well as precise animation highlighted specific facets of the job. Graphic text and voice-over are also common elements to our productions which help guide the viewer, and aid them in retaining the information.

Training Video Production

Reward based training module

Training Video Production Toronto

Graphics and animation help get across complicated subject matter

Training video production is an excellent tool to provide for your workforce. It not only is able to be viewed by employees again and again until they are comfortable with the material, but it can also be used for years to come. Contact us for your future Toronto training videos.


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