Blood on film – You Are What You Bleed

Disgusting, despicable, deplorable – dissecting the development of blood in film!

bloody good cherry pie!

bloody good cherry pie!

Ever wonder how “blood” is made for film? Or, what blood is made of? Well, lets start off with the important fact that its not actual #blood, though it may look as if it is. That is all due to the magic of movies and a remarkable team of  #MakeupArtists, #SpecialEffects artists and #Craftsmen. Blood has been apart of cinema since #Horror films began. It came in the form of paint, powders and pastes and plenty of other sticky, gooey substances. As film became more of an art form and more sophisticated, so did the technique & care of blood-making.

In present day, HD quality film and television demands that filmmakers present the most realistic version of blood out there….often more “realistic” than actual blood itself.
Blood is not for the squeamish and faint of heart. It exists in every human and animal, in our memories, our imaginations and our nightmares. It is the job of a good filmmaker to show us what that could look like…and the job of a great filmmaker to make us believe it.

Take, for example, Alfred Hitchcock’s #Psycho (1960), released through #ParamountPictures starring #AnthonyPerkins, #VeraMiles and #JanetLeigh.
For Hitchcock, he did not have the added pressure of developing “blood” with the perfect shade of red as the film was shot in black and white, however, that meant that the consistency of the liquid had to be just right….the density was all he had to go on, the only convincing element to his concoction. After several tests and experiments, he found his blood of choice….chocolate syrup! You will never look at your ice cream sundae the same again……

The evolution of movie blood can not be discussed without bringing the great #DickSmith into the mix (pardon the pun).  Nicknamed the “Godfather of Makeup”, Smith was responsible for the nauseating effects of some of the most gruesome scenes in film history. Having titles like #TheGodfather, #TaxiDriver and #TheExorcist helped earn him an honorary Academy Award for his greater body of work in 2012. (Wikipedia, September 9, 2014).
His legacy, aside from having a hand in the making of some of Hollywood’s greatest masterpieces, the perfect recipe for fake blood:

• 1 quart white corn syrup
• 1 level teaspoon methyl paraben
• 2 ounces Ehlers red food coloring
• 5 teaspoons Ehlers yellow food coloring
• 2 ounces Kodak Photo-Flo (Poisonous)

This recipe added more realism than the studios thought the public could handle and with the help of lighting and shading, the blood was given a tone more like “sepia”, which kept the film’s rating at “R”, rather than “X”. (Wickman, Forest. “A Brief History of Fake Blood.” Slate, Oct. 22 2013. web. Sept. 9, 2014.)

Here’s where things get “sticky”, so to speak:

Of course, some representations of the substance have been a #failure beyond failures, such as the b-film horrors of the 60′s & 70′s – #Blacula,  which has more of a shiny orange marmalade resemblance than one of blood, if it shows any blood at all.

But that’s what you get with a shoe-string budget and a ticking clock!

We have come along way since the days of Hitchcock’s chocolate syrup. As filmmaking has changed, so has the techniques of makeup application and special effects, however, one thing remains the same, if you can eat it, you can certainly bleed it…


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Star Spotlight: Dom DeLuise

Actor, all around funny guy, Dom DeLuise

Actor, all around funny guy, Dom DeLuise

“I’m actually a thin serious person but I play fat and fUnNy,
but only for the movies!” – Dom DeLuise

Born on August 1, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, to Italian American parents, Dominick “Dom” DeLuise developed an interest in acting at the age of 8, after playing Peter Rabbit in a grade school play. A graduate of Manhattan’s High School of Performing Arts, #DomDeLuise initially enrolled at #TuftsUniversity in Medford, Massachusetts, to study biology, with the aim of becoming a teacher. However, the acting bug caught him and was found to be incurable.

DeLuise began landing roles on TV shows such as The Entertainers and The Shari Lewis Show, when he caught the attention of actor #GarryMoore. Moore hired DeLuise to appear on The Garry Moore Show.
This is where he debut his character #DominicktheGreat, in which he pretends to be an unsuccessful magician. Following this he began appearing in variety shows and comedy specials of his own, including The Dom DeLuise Show in 1968.

Dom DeLuise is probably best known for his roles with actor Burt Reynolds and director #MelBrooks which includes The Twelve Chairs (1970), Blazing Saddles (1974), Silent Movie (1976), History of the World: Part I (1981), and the voice for the character of #PizzatheHutt in the cult comedy hit, Spaceballs (1987).

With #BurtReynolds, DeLuise appeared in films such as The Cannonball Run (1981) and Cannonball Run II (1984) as well as Smokey and the Bandit II (1980), and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982).

An avid cook & #foodie, before the term existed, Dom DeLuise authored several instructional books on cooking, including Eat This, It’ll Make You Feel Better (1991), and Eat This Too: It’ll Make You Feel Better (1998). He also authored children books, such as Charlie the Caterpillar (1993) and a retelling of the traditional tale Goldilocks (1997).

On May 4, 2009, Dom DeLuise died in his sleep after suffering from kidney failure. He was survived by his wife, actress #CarolArthur, and three actor sons, #PeterDeLuise, #DavidDeLuise and #MichaelDeLuise

Brilliant comedic timing, sensitivity, a friendly face, variety of talents and skills, and made up of heart and hearty foods Dom DeLuise will forever be loved by young and old film and television viewers for all of time!

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Video Editing – A Forever Job

Video Editing: the art of assembling the thoughts and shots of many!

Video editing requires several gallons of coffee

Video editing requires several gallons of coffee

Like the minister who pronounces young lovers husband and wife, like the baker who mixes all the farmers ingredients together to form a cake, the #VideoEditor is the one who takes pieces of a project and assembles them into a video masterpiece!

A  lot of hands, hearts and minds go into video production.

The #Client
The #Writer
The #Director
The #Actors
The #CameraCrew

All these people have a stake in the production of the company’s dream video. They all have ideas of how they want it to look, sound and feel. The client comes to us looking for professional assistance in producing their corporate video. They meet with us and we “flesh out” ideas. The writer develops those into a script. We consider their thoughts and ideas and how they wish to portray their company when writing the drafts of their scripts, but also keeping in mind what we know works best and looks best in video production. After a final draft is written we gear-up for shoot day. The director, actors and camera crew are then added to the mix. The director directs the actual film making process on shoot day. That means everything from instructing an experienced camera crew on what and how to capture the footage as well as guiding the actors/performers and making sure to get that shot!

The Editor is apart of the post-production team and often overlooked or forgotten.
The Director calls “cut”, “print”, followed by “thats a wrap” and we think, Success! Its over and ready to go! Not quite….

The Director, writer, actor and camera crew can all go home and put this project to rest, but now it is the Editors chance to step in and work his/her magic.
Video editing is a very tedious and complicated job, but a rewarding one as well.
An editor takes a bunch of raw footage, cuts, takes, images, audio, graphics, etc and assembles it. It is like putting together a puzzle of 1000+ pieces. Video editing requires concentration, attention to even the smallest details, organization, strategy and patients (and coffee)
An editor takes all the hopes and dreams of all those that participated in the production prior and makes them all work together, like a machine, and creates the final product for all to see.

Take a look at one of @keywest_video  past productions, a promotional video for #RenaldoGairy #Way2FitTraining

Think of the video editor as a mechanic. He/she takes working parts and makes them all work together! So next time you get your dream video produced, don’t forget to thank the one behind the computer screen!

Here are more examples of the powers an editor possesses!

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Writers Block – The Long and Winding Road

One day you decide your business company needs a great video so you come to a great video production company like #KeyWestVideo (#selfplugging), but you don’t have the slightest idea where to begin.
That is what we professionals call #writersblock.

Writers Block is a lonely street

Writers Block is a lonely street

For questions like, What do I want my video to look like? What should the main focus be? What do I want to say?, you may not have an answer for. But that’s okay! These speed bumps on Writers Block are completely normal.

Its always best to get back to basics. Think about what the original goal or intent was for your company/product. Think about what you have to offer to a viewer or potential client. Simple is often most clear and easily digestible when it comes to #corporatevideoproduction.

Next, jot down anything and everything you can that relates to your company. Both terms and full sentences. Chances are most of it will not be usable, but once its on paper its out of your head and clears space for more ideas that will work! If even 1 of your ideas or concept is usable you are off of writers block and on easy street.

If you are still suffering from writers block……take a break! Sounds crazy, but sometimes stepping away from the notepad or computer screen or team pow-wow is all you need to get those juices in your brain flowing again. Take a walk, have a snack or just do something else.

If all else fails, just come on in to Key West Video and let us assist you. Our team of professionals are always available to support you and your video production needs. So whether you have a rough sketch of what you want or no clue what you want, but just than you want something, we can help!  So give us a call, shoot us an e-mail or visit us at the offices, conveniently NOT located anywhere near writers block!

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Star Spotlight: Don Knotts

Don Knotts wearing his famous dead-pan look

Don Knotts wearing his famous dead-pan look

Ladies and gentlemen, the incomparable
Mr. Don Knotts.

Whether enforcing law and order as Deputy on the streets of #Mayberry, collecting rent from the young tenants of his California apartment complex or swimming the deep blue sea, one can certainly agree that Don Knotts never ceases to amaze.

Born Jesse Donald Knotts on July 21, 1924, in Morgantown, West Virginia, Knotts began performing during his teenage years, as a comedian and ventriloquist, in local churches and school functions. Following his university freshman year Don Knotts joined the U.S. Army. His background and love for performing is what  drove him to tour the Pacific Islands during World War II as a comedian in a G.I. variety show called Stars and Gripes.

After the war Don Knotts relocated to New York City where he began landing regular acting gigs on television and radio and on #Broadway. His stage debut came in 1955 with the hit comedy #NoTimeForSargeants, which began the famous pairing of Don Knotts and #AndyGriffith.
In 1960, after 4 years of a regular roll with #TheSteveAllenShow, Knotts relocated to Hollywood along with the show itself, which is where he began production on a brand new comedy #TheAndyGriffithShow, with long time colleague and friend, Andy Griffith.
A #Desilu production, The Andy Griffith Show stars Griffith and Knotts as the Sheriff and Deputy of the town of  Mayberry and follows their attempts at maintaining law and order amongst the comedic members of this small, friendly, southern town. Thus began the roll he would long be remembered and loved for!
During his run on the series as a “Barney Fife” for 5 seasons he earned three #EmmyAwards for outstanding performance in a supporting role in a series. He left to pursue a film career and even when returning as a guest star earned an additional 2 Emmys.

His film career was often steady and his work praised by audiences. His comedic timing, charm and lovability set him up for success with a string of family films, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966), The Reluctant Astronaut (1967), The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968), and his first starring role and my favorite of his film endevours, The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964).

In 1979 he returned to prime time television in the hit comedy series Three’s Company as Ralph Furley, the landlord of John Ritter’s character “Jack Tripper” until the show’s final season in 1984.
He went on to guest star in several television shows and also held a small, but memorable role in Pleasantville (1998). In 1999, Knotts published his autobiography, Barney Fife and Other Characters I Have Known.

Don Knotts succumbed to lung cancer on February 24, 2006, at the age of 81, in Los Angeles, California. He was survived by two children, Karen and Thomas, from his first marriage to Kathryn Metz.

A long, hysterical career that many would have been honored to have played lead to this second banana!
Let us leave you now with one of the best #BarneyFife scenes of The Andy Griffith Show. Not often was he given the opportunity to showcase his full acting range, but when he did he stole more than the scene, he stole our hearts too!

Thank you Mr. Knotts. You may step down.

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Please, turn off all recording devices!

Recording in public spaces, private homes, concerts, street performers, everyday people… should anyone recording anyone be monitored?

During its final week I, like thousands of Canadians, every August, rushed to get in my last “fix” of the Canadian National Exhibition, something I look forward too every summer. I impatiently wait for the list of performers set to hit #TheBandshell. I always, instinctively, go for the classics, because hey, its free with the price of admission, which is $6.00 after 5PM (up until last year it was $5.00 after 5, kinder to both the ear and wallet, but, it’s a recession people) and you can stand right in front of your favourite performers if you are there early enough, or push hard enough through the crowds. IT’S A STEAL!

I’ve seen so many greats there…

#TheBeachBoys, #GlenCampbell,
#PeterNoone (front man of #HermansHermitts)

and the hysterical musical stylings of Paul Revere and The Raiders. This year, I was adding Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of fame-ers #AprilWine to my ever growing list! I get there, and, like everyone else awkwardly waiting for the show to begin, I pull out my handy portable recording device, my BlackBerry (I know, I’m behind on the upgrades), to begin my concert enjoying process.

A process I know you are all too familiar with.

1. Take selfie in front of bare stage
2. Update Facebook status, complete with picture and “feeling”
3. (Repeat for Twitter and Instagram)
4. Continue taking selfies of self “just hanging” as if no one is watching (do this 23 times until I get the picture I desire)
5. Take photos of crew/crowd
6. Decide I do not like where I am standing and think I can find a better spot so I move
7. New selfie to show better spot found!
8. Band is about to come out, update all digital accounts! (because, of course, everyone really cares what I am up to on a Wednesday evening)
9. Selfie in front of band, which is the same as “with” the band :p
10. Proceed, throughout the concert, to record and capture multiple photos/videos of band (love “Just between You And Me”)
11. Selfie of “happy” self at concerts end
12. Update status
13. Go home, feeling lucky to have experienced what I just did

It’s a process. One that involves a fully charged phone with a decent battery. So, back to the story, I had just completed step #8, looking forward to #9, when the announcer comes out and announces to what was a completely shocked, confused and stunned audience, myself included, “The band has asked that you do not record tonight’s performance on your personal recording devices. Thank you. Enjoy the show!” Silence. Everyone was looking around, as if to see if we all actually heard the same thing. I think one person laughed and screamed, “Woo!” Perhaps it was to break the tension, or they, like the rest of us, felt a little awkward and lost. The idea that I would simply watch and enjoy a concert without my recording device was inconceivable! Some proceeded to put away their phones. Would security confiscate them? Would anyone even be watching? I myself looked around for “big brother”!

I paid my ticket. I paid the $6.00 entry fee, so I paid my dues and should be able to do as I please… shouldn’t I? What if they asked us nicely? I am in a public space… If I decide to take a random selfie or video of myself having a great time at the #CNE and April Wine just happens to “bomb” my recording, HOW IS THAT MY FAULT? SHOULD I HAVE TO DELETE IT?

Though, what if it is how they make their living? They are called starving artists for a reason. The aging, plump, April Wine certainly isn’t starving. So that begs the question… should those rules only be in place for the poor, bean-pole, artist?
This is a loaded debate, like a fully loaded baked potato, with all the fixins. I asked a few of my fellow rocker enthusiasts amongst the crowd. As viewers they thought it was ridiculous. Now a days everyone records everything they said, so it’s inevitable and stupid to even suggest such an idea! As not just a consumer, but an artist, that depends on making a living through her craft, I played devil’s advocate and brought in the side of the artist, April Wine’s side. They understood and were sympathetic, but ultimately said to give up the fight.

All I can say is 2 minutes into the concert, 30% of the audience pulled their recording devices back out of their pockets, but every so often attempted to conceal them if the thought creeped into their minds. By sundown, just about everyone, myself included, had pulled out their cell phones, camera big and small, iPads, and whatever else they had on them and proceeded to record and capture their favorite songs.

We can debate this till the cows come home, but I milked them this morning, so I am over that. I do not have an answer. Do you? How would YOU feel if you were performing? If this was how you made your money? Or is art, like love, meant to be free? Great… now I have morphed from a rocker to a hippie…

At any rate, here are my undesirable photos and a video from the concert, on a hill and far away:

Randomly recording my presence... Selfie #1

Randomly recording my presence… Selfie #1

Randomly recording my presence... Selfie #2

Randomly recording my presence… Selfie #2


I should note that I own this post and would NOT like it shared or re-posted. Forget you ever saw it. Thanks for understanding. :p

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Audio Dysfunction: Keywest Vlog

Do you or someone you know suffer from audio dysfunction?

With all the aspects that go into producing a great looking corporate video, its easy to overlook all the potential problems associated with audio production. No matter how much time and effort goes into creating a beautiful looking image, poor sound quality can permanently damage a videos presentation.


For out video blog this week, we thought we’d highlight some of the many pitfalls associated with audio production in a humorous way.

Its possible that the widespread access to HD video cameras as made some individuals complacent when it comes to the audio quality of their productions. In some cases such as daily vloggers on YouTube for example, it may be less relevant, but when you are representing your business, that extra attention to detail can really leave a lasting impression. Check out this article about the importance of getting good audio on

Its true that you can always re-record a new voice track and dub it over the original damaged audio, but the reality is that it rarely looks perfect, and it can be cost prohibitive. Check out this article about ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) on

Having professionals record high quality audio on the day of a video production can save you endless headaches and money. You will see a lot more production value for your investment if its used initually to produce a quality video, as opposed to afterward to patch preventable damage. Next time you need to produce a corporate video, call Keywest Video and have your audio recorded right the first time.

If you or someone you know is suffering the effects of poor audio production, support groups can be found on many online forums such as




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Heineken Social Experiment

Heineken’s latest advertising campaign involves an interesting social experiment that uses a payphone and comedian Fred Armisen as a form of interactive marketing.

#Heineken, the famous Dutch brewery, joined forces with Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen to create a #SocialExperiment that challenges people to interrupt their daily routines. Part of the brand’s global “Cities of the World” campaign, this interesting social experiment, appropriately titled “Routine Interruptions”, yielded some entertaining results. Take a look below!

Renowned comedian Fred Armisen anonymously calls a New York City public pay phone in hopes that an innocent citizen walking by will pick it up. He keeps his identity shielded, while asking people to “come across the street.” If the person answering the phone agrees to do what Fred says they get to experience a once in a lifetime night on stage with Fred. Those who were brave enough to answer the call and walk into the unknown were rewarded with a unique experience.

Those who obliged and accepted a stranger’s invitation to “come across the street” — and only a handful of people did out of thousands that passed by the phone, according to Heineken — were invited on stage with Mr. Armisen at the Comedy Cellar comedy club on MacDougal Street.

Ad Age states:

As part of the campaign, Heineken will encourage people to enter their phone numbers at The brand promises to call “thousands” of entrants, asking people to partake in an unknown activity. The events are described as “cultural activities that inspire them to try something new.” Examples of rewards could include a private concert in a living room.

The beer giant’s aim is to use these unique social experiments to pull the constantly busy and the on-the-go city dwellers out of their demanding daily routines. Social experiments such as these generate a great deal of conversation and are an excellent #InteractiveMarketing tool.

Heineken Social Experiment - Would you answer the call?

Heineken Social Experiment – Would you answer the call?

Would you have answered the #RingingPayphone? If yes, would you have gone across the street?

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Ice Bucket Challenge

Have you heard of the Ice Bucket Challenge? The Ice Bucket Challenge is the latest phenomenon that’s spreading ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or “Lou Gehrig’s disease”) Awareness.

Ice Bucket Challenge

The Ice Bucket Challenge began as a competitive pursuit among professional golfers to draw awareness to ALS. Now the phenomenon has swept North American social media and is translating into millions of dollars in new donations to battle the disease.

The ALS Association said it has received $15.6 million in donations since July 29, an eight-fold spike over the $1.8 million donated during the same period last year. The association said this summer’s donations have come from existing donors as well as more than 300,000 new donors.

How does it work? Participants videotape themselves dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads, post the video online and challenge three others to do the same within 24 hours, or they are encouraged to make a $100 US donation to ALS.

How did it all start?

Chris Kennedy, a golfer in Sarasota, Fla., was nominated by a friend to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge, which at the time, had nothing to do with ALS. The campaign was not tied to any specific charity, and participants would select a charity of their choice for donations. Kennedy’s friend had selected a charity that benefits a young child with cancer in the area. Kennedy, passing the challenge along, then selected ALS because a relative is suffering from the disease. Kennedy nominated his wife’s cousin Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband Anthony is the one suffering from ALS. Kennedy posted this video on July 15—what appears to be the first instance in which the Ice Bucket Challenge and ALS were linked.

How do you feel about the #IceBucketChallenge? Have you participated? Do you know anyone who has? Take a look at these celebrity ice bucket challenges :)

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Kickstarter Do’s & Don’ts

We’ve had the pleasure to work on a Kickstarter campaign in recent months, and wanted to share the top Do’s and Don’ts we have discovered for creating an attention grabbing video

kickstarterKickstarter is an awesome way to make a great idea come to fruition. There have been numerous products which have gone from small start up companies to having millions of dollars in backing money donated from individuals across the globe. However, Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler reported that 56 percent of the site’s projects fail to meet their funding goals. Why is this we wondered?

When taking on the challenge of producing a Kickstarter video for one of our amazing clients, we looked into what others had to say about what to do, and what to avoid when putting together a great Kickstarter video, and overall campaign.


Have Confidence

In an article on Jennifer Elias quotes a source which emphasizes the need to be confident about what you are saying in your video. Even the minute wording differences can have an impact on how viewers perceive you and your product.

“Mitra says confidence is key. Researchers found that even the slightest hint of desperation is backer repellent. Don’t use these three words: “even a dollar.” Researchers found that phrases “even a dollar short” and “even a dollar can” resulted in a failed project. They team said it reads as “groveling” for money, which is a big turnoff.”

Look Professional

Todd Anderson on explains why a professional looking video is so important for your Kickstarter campaign.

“If you look at the videos that do well on Kickstarter, almost all are professional, or near-professional, quality. This is no time to give a speech to your webcam. Designer Frank Chimero, stresses the importance creating a “stand-alone” video, that’s fun to watch outside of its connection to the project. Whatever your approach, don’t overlook the importance of showing yourself as someone others can relate to and support.”

Keep it Personal

The whole point of Kickstarter is individuals deciding to invest in a person. Not a flashy brand, or a world renowned company. Just you, and your great idea. So give them what they want. Be genuine, be personable, and show them the face behind the genius that is the next big product to hit shelves. Kickstarter itself lets us know on their blog,

“And don’t be afraid to put your face in front of the camera and let people see who they’re giving money to. We’ve watched thousands of these things, and you’d be surprised what a difference this makes.”


Forget About the Basics

You don’t want to spend all your time creating a fancy looking video and forget that you need to tell your viewers about what really matters. The video should be a way to highlight and showcase you and your product, not just your production skills or budget. On Kickstarters own blog they too reinforce this point by listing off the basic things you can’t forget to mention in your video:

No matter how bare-bones or creative you want to get, don’t forget to:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Tell your story
  • Ask for people’s support and explain why you need it
  • Tell people what they’ll get for their money (i.e., your rewards)
  • Say thank you!

Good luck! And don’t forget to contact Keywest Video if you are interested in learning how we can help bring your Kickstarter video to the next level.

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