Archival Materials in Corporate Video

Archival materials

Archives are used to preserve history. They act as collective memories enshrining events, people and places for future generations. Archival footage is frequently used in corporate video to draw a line from the past to the present and on into the future.

Video Only?

Archival Materials in Corporate Video
Photos are great for archival use in video

Although video is an excellent source of archival material, it’s not the only source. Anything that can be shot or scanned for inclusion in a video is fair game. Photos are a treasure trove of archive material and can really enhance a production. Whether it’s a childhood shot of a CEO on the phone or a business when it was founded in 1976, photos can lend an air of gravity to a project.

Is it Free?

Let’s address this question by first talking about two types of archival footage: royalty-free and payable stock footage. Royalty-free footage means you won’t need to pay a fee every time the footage is shown. Either this footage was always intended to be royalty-free, or perhaps it’s considered public domain.

Purchased stock footage is referred to as payable.  When we buy stock footage for a Key West Video production, it means we own it for the life and use of that video. Films and television productions also buy and use this kind of footage.

Another thing to consider when it comes to archival footage is rights and clearances. The materials may be restricted by use—is it for commercial or non-commercial purposes? You may also be limited by time constraints or internet conditions.


Some archival footage is publicly available and easy to source. The Government of Canada has archived materials for public use.  The National Film Board also has searchable archives.  NASA provides a wealth of stellar images, animation and video that can be downloaded and used by anyone.

Archival Materials in Corporate Video
International Space Station astronaut image from NASA’s Image of the Day archives

Clients are a rich source of archival material. At Key West Video, we often use old photos, video and anything else a client can provide. If we’re creating a branding piece, this is a great resource. Same goes for a retirement video or an anniversary.

Archival Materials in Corporate Video
Most television stations have archived news stories you can purchase for use

Television stations are the place to go for news footage. They’re not the only source, but most will have a vast collection of archives sold for use in videos. The advantage here is the in-house librarians who can search for what you need.

There are a number of stock footage options when it comes to video assets. Most have an associated price, but are still a cost-effective way to procure visuals. Finding the shot or shots you need is as easy as going online and conducting a search. It’s kind of amazing the range of visuals you can find using stock footage.

Does my Video Need Archival Footage?

If you’re looking to create a branding piece that talks about the history of your company or you’re referencing a historical event, archival footage is a good choice. At Key West Video, we know when to use archival footage and where to source it. Call us today for a free quote.

The Sweet Sound of Audio


Many people don’t consider the audio aspect of corporate video. I mean, corporate video is just a talking head, right? Wrong. It can be whatever works best to communicate the goals of your business, and audio is an important element.

Mic Drop

Depending on the kind of scene being shot, the microphones used will vary. A stick, or hand-held, mic is probably the most familiar. It’s what you see reporters holding and it could be used if a CEO wanted to interview workers at a company picnic. A shotgun mic is another model you’ve probably seen, although it’s usually covered in a furry slip to cut down on wind noise. This is the kind of mic used to capture dialogue during a scene. But the kind of mic we use most often is the lavalier. Also known as a lapel mic, this is a tiny microphone that can be hidden behind ties and other clothes and tucked out of the way. It disappears from a shot while still providing good sound.

The Sweet Sound of Audio
A shotgun mic without its furry hat

When considering what kind of mic to use, we factor in a number of variables. For a mic that’s mobile and invisible, we use a lavalier. If we want a mic that’s also a prop, we use a stick mic. To capture directional sound from more than one person in a scene, we use a shotgun mic attached to a boom to keep it out of the shot.


The Sweet Sound of Audio
Use music for tone, as a segue or to pace editing

Music can do so many things for a video. It can evoke emotion, set the pace for editing or act as a transition. We mainly use stock music in our corporate videos. Stock music is created for commercial use and can be purchased at a reasonable price. Most stock houses have large collections of diverse music categorized by traits like speed, instrument or length.

There are a few other options when it comes to music used in video. Sometimes a client will give us a song they’ve composed themselves, which means we don’t have to pay a fee to use it. Other times, music can be a custom-made piece created by a composer. Finally, a video can use what’s known in the business as needle drop. This is the kind of popular music you hear on the radio and it can cost a lot of money to license.


You’ve probably heard the term Foley in relation to movies. It’s the sound added in post-production that mimics what you would hear if you were there on shoot day. Well, what you would hear enhanced is maybe a better description. For example, if a fistfight is taking place on a moving bus, you’d hear the bus’s engine and the smack of the punch. During shooting, the sound recordist only wants the dialogue, so everything else is kept quiet. Then when the scene is composed in editing, the engine noise and the resounding punch are added.

The Sweet Sound of Audio
The sound of a punch is added using Foley

Other Foley examples include the sound of footsteps on a hard surface, birds in a natural setting and the blinker on a turning car. Without these sounds, video would be hollow and feel unrealistic. Adding even the smallest bit of noise can really make a difference.

Foley used to be done by artists, including the eponymous Jack Foley. Using an array of props, these artists would re-create sound while watching the visuals as a guide. Today, most sound effects are added electronically and matched to the video.

The Sound of Silence

Even a lack of sound is part of the video soundscape. Ambient noise is what you hear when nobody is talking. If you’re shooting a scene outside, it’s the chirping birds and the babbling brook and the buzzing bees. On a subway, it’s the murmur of passengers, the train’s rattle and the shifting of packages.

Room tone is what makes the sound recordist call out TONE! and hushes everyone on set. In editing, you sometimes need this tone to fill in quiet gaps to make the sound seamless. For example, an editor that cuts out some words in an interview can cover up that cut with room tone so nobody can hear an edit has been made. And believe us, rooms sound different! Sometimes there’s a far-off hum in even the quietest room and you want to capture that for later use.

Now Hear This

Key West Video may be the name on our door, but we also do audio. So call us today for a free quote on the complete package.

Projection Mapping for the Wow Factor

Projection mapping

You know when something is larger than life? That expression is perfectly suited to projection mapping, also known as video mapping or spatial augmented reality. It’s like 3D without the annoying glasses. This technology can transform any surface into a moving, changing, entrancing scene.

What is Projection Mapping?

Projection Mapping for the Wow Factor
Any surface can be used for projection mapping

A projector is used to project an image onto a flat and usually white surface. Projection mapping can mold to the surface upon which it’s being projected. Images are fitted onto a 3D graphic model of the surface, let’s say a building. This wraps the image over the building’s surfaces, making the images look as if they’re part of the structure.

When projection mapping first appeared almost fifteen years ago, it was mostly seen in visual arts and live music. It’s now being used for all sorts of marketing stunts. From show premieres to award introductions to product promotions, projection mapping is an attention-grabbing choice.

Why Use Projection Mapping?

  • VERSATILITY. You don’t need a flat surface for the projection. In fact, you can dress up the facade of a building to match your event.
  • NOVELTY. Projecting 3D images and videos play with the minds and eyes of your audience. A presentation is engaging and interactive.
  • PORTABILITY. Indoor or outdoor use of small, portable projectors make presentations anywhere, anytime possible. Content can be changed and installed on the same projectors, too.
  • WOW FACTOR. Projection mapping really creates an impact! It’s like witnessing an optical illusion and being immersed in the visuals.
Projection Mapping for the Wow Factor
Projection mapping has that WOW factor

Examples of Note

Projection mapping has become more affordable over the years. However, it’s still not cheap and the amount of time it takes to plan and execute a project can be significant. For that reason, the stunts tend to be big. Here are a couple of stunning examples.

Sydney Opera House façade projection


Target Halloween Projection Mapping

Video by Any Other Name…

Projection mapping is cool, to be sure. But it’s only one of the many ways a video can enhance your presentation. If you’re looking to put a wow factor on your business, call Key West Video today for a free quote.

Drones for High-Flying Video


Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs), better known as drones, have become a familiar subject and sight over the past few years. They’re used for everything from deliveries to medical assistance to firefighting. Drones are truly incredible and versatile, but we’ll be sticking to their use in corporate video for this blog. Which leaves us plenty of ground—and air—to cover.

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s so Much More!

Drones for High-Flying Video
Drones can be used for more than just aerial shots

Let’s start with the obvious: drones produce great aerial footage. You can use one to get a group shot at a party or show off all the space in your warehouse. A long pull out, or a long zoom in, can be used for a reveal. Drone shots are great for perspective because they put whatever you’re shooting in context. But did you know that drones can be used for hand-held footage? Yep. Those fancy stabilizers that keep a flying shot steady can also work like a steadicam. You may think it looks a little ridiculous, but the proof is in the pudding.

Drone Shot Breakdown

The uses for drones are limited only by the DOP’s imagination. Well, also by area restrictions, but more on that below. However, there are some typical drone shots that show up repeatedly because they work.

  • Fly-by. Drone flies past something in the foreground or through something.
  • Follow. Drone follows a car, person or another object.
  • Gentle rise. Drone flies straight up to reveal a location or give context to the size of something, big or small.
  • Lateral. Drone keeps a steady pace, moving across a shot at a level range.
  • Look down. Drone shot locks the frame and flies, with the camera pointing straight down. This move is good for establishing shots.
  •  Neverending crane. Drone crane shot that just keeps going up, up and away!
  • Super High. Self-explanatory. Great perspective.


Drones for High-Flying Video
You can’t fly a drone everywhere

Keep in mind that drones are a little like a flying lawnmower or blender. That means you need to stay away from crowds and make sure everyone in the area is aware of the drone. Also respect privacy (no spying on the local celeb), stay away from airfields and fly only in the height range allowed for your drone type and application. We could go on, but it’s best to just look here for all the rules of flying a drone responsibly.

We Like to Fly

Key West Video has shot plenty of drone footage. If you’re looking for a video that helps your business soar, give us a call today.

Shoppable Video—Buy Now!

Shoppable Video

Online shopping is nothing new, but the format is evolving. Retailers want to make money and consumers want to spend. Shoppable video is closing the gap between the two, making it easier than ever to buy what you see.

What is Shoppable Video?

Shoppable videos allow you to directly engage with the video you’re watching. This interactive element adds hotspots to video, which means you can click on what you see. Doing so will give you more information on the product, including how to purchase the item that caught your attention.

Shoppable Video—Buy Now!
Shoppable video creates a direct link between consumer and retailer

Shoppable video is a mix of storytelling and marketing, each contributing to overall branding. Instead of just seeing a jacket, you see someone wearing the jacket in a scene. Some marketers feel this type of video humanizes brands. Basically, it’s more relatable than seeing clothes on a mannequin or simply on a white background.

Who’s Using It?

Shoppable Video—Buy Now!
Levi’s used shoppable video to promote holiday wear in 2017

Everyone! From clothing retailers to cities. And it’s showing up on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and company websites. This kind of video enables a direct link from retailers to consumers who are ready to buy.

Retailers using shoppable video are talking directly to their target market. By shrinking the gap between conversion and purchase, the consumer has a better experience and so does the retailer. The viewer sees a hat they like and clicks to purchase. The retailer takes advantage of that impulse moment and offers up their wares. It’s a simple and winning formula.



Covergirl featuring Zendaya


Shoppable Portland

Consumer Connection

Shoppable video isn’t for everyone. But if you’re looking for a direct connection with consumers, we can certainly help.  Call Key West Video today for a free quote.