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Powerscourt Centre, Showcase, trakax for Business

The Powerscourt Centre Customer Evening & Simon Community House of Lights 2014

December 16, 2014

Last week a friend of the trakax team asked us if we could create a short video for the Powerscourt TownHouse Centre. The aim of the video was to capture their Customer Evening and the turning on of the “House Of Lights” for the Dublin Simon Community. The Powerscourt Centre is a shopping centre in the heart of Dublin City. Every year they support the Dublin Simon Community by hosting the Simon House of Lights show. The Simon Community works to prevent and address homelessness in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow. The Powerscourt Centre looked magical and Santa flew in on his sleigh lighting up South William street. On the evening, there was singing by the Simon Community Choir and performances from the cast of the Wizard of Oz and Brian Kennedy. Here is the video Colm created:

Video Breakdown.

To be honest, this was a bit of a last minute job and there wasn’t too much details on what type of footage was required. The shoot took place last Thursday and I only got the call on Wednesday. I knew there was going to be the light ceremony, as well as performances inside the centre, but I was unsure how things were going to pan out. The video would have to be ready for Friday, so I knew had to plan the video and edit it quickly.


As this was a large event, with different challenges, I took to YouTube and Vimeo for inspiration. I began looking up “Turning On Christmas Lights” and “Christmas Light Shows” for ideas. I had a notebook and as I watched the videos, I wrote down any shots that I thought looked interesting. In some of the videos, there was nice time-lapse footage. With this in mind, I captured some time-lapse videos myself using my Galaxy S5 and Framelapse Pro app, however, I ended up not using any of the footage. Despite this, I thought I would share below one of the time-lapse videos I captured.

Another element of a video production that can be quite time consuming is selecting the right soundtrack. Before I began the editing process, I wanted to have the audio file selected. I used a website called and simply entered “Christmas” into the search bar. You can also refine your search to specific genres. I selected “Holiday” and “Folk” as this was the type of sound I was going for. If you use a song from a site like this, make sure you use the correct attribution (credits in layman terms). I found this useful link on best practices for attribution which will help you if you are unsure on how to correctly credit a song.

The Shoot.

One aspect of filming I don’t think I have mentioned before is having confidence in yourself. This was going to be a busy shoot with a lot people coming and going, traffic on the street, as well as people watching the light show. I did not want to miss any opportunity to capture important footage. I did not want to regret not having the confidence to ask somebody to move position or not be willing to get into the right position myself. I think this is something that comes with experience but it also helps to be polite and charming from the get go. If you ask somebody a question respectfully, usually it will be received well and you can get the shot that you are after.

The Big Secret.

In truth, it’s not a secret at all. It is, though, a technique that will improve any video when combined correctly. Known as “WALLDO”, this technique stands for Wide, Angled, Low, Linking, Depth, and Opposite. These camera shots allow you to be creative and will keep the video interesting, as well as the attention of the viewer. Understanding this concept and having it in your locker will give you the confidence to take on any shoot.

Wide – This first shot is pretty simple. It is a wide shot which can take in a lot of information. This shot can set a scene or show scale. I used many wide shots in the video to highlight different scenarios. For example, capturing the performer (Brian Kennedy) in front of the Powerscourt building.


Angled – Having shots at different angles is the simplest way to keep the video interesting and adds a different perspective for the viewer.


Low – Having a camera in a low position can offer great variation. Having a person walking into the frame over the camera can create an interesting viewpoint. It also allows you to get down to the same level as children and see the world from their perspective.


Linking – Using a linking shot can help the viewer understand the context between the object and action. For example, I showed the outside of Santa’s Workshop before moving inside to Santa which helped link to the two scenes.


Depth – This shot distinguishes the foreground from the background and adds depth and character to your shot. You can use framing, depth of field, angles, lines and elements to separate your subject from the background.


Opposite – As it sounds, this is capturing a shot from an opposite direction. Try shooting off of a mirror or filming a subject from behind instead of in front it.


To learn more about creating and producing business and marketing videos, please visit our Video School.

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Why not try out trakAxPC today. It can be used for all your video editing needs. Take advantage of our special price – buy trakAxPC today.

Analysis of the CarCosmestix Video, Showcase, Tips & Tricks, trakax for Business

Analysis of the ‘Car Cosmestix’ Video

July 10, 2014
Videos for Car Mechanics

Creating a business video like the Car Cosmestix may seem like a complicated process but it really isn’t. We believe the key to creating a great professional looking video is to plan, plan and plan some more. With proper preparation you will find the creation and editing process will become super easy. Here we provide some in-depth tips on how Johnny Quinn, from Car Cosmestix, and I created this video.

CarCosmetix from trakax on Vimeo.

The first thing one should think about is what message you want the video to convey.

  • Are you a new or existing business looking to promote your company and services?
  • Are you releasing a new product or highlighting a new promotion?
  • What story is your brand trying to tell and what language and tone will you use – funny, relaxed or serious and up-tight?

Once you understand the message you would like to convey to potential clients, you can begin writing and developing a script and topics to be covered. In our Car Cosmestix case study, Johnny wanted to promote his business as well as letting clients know exactly what type of services he provides.

So how did we convey this message?

About a week before the shoot, I sent Johnny an email with some topics and questions we wanted to cover for the video. We recorded the interview at the start of the day before any work had taken place. We simply had four topics to cover and Johnny could discuss these at his leisure. I simply pressed the record button, asked him about each topic, and then reviewed it (was the tone right, was he relaxed and smiling, etc.) and took a break before the next one. The questions/topics we wanted to cover were:

  1. Introduction – i.e. Your name, and name of company?
  2. Services - What type of services / repairs do you provide? (Repair scratches, leather repairs, bumps & dents, paint repair, etc.)
  3. What’s involved & Cost – How does it work? (You call out to the car? / take a car into a Garage?) People can send images of the damage and receive an instant quote. What would be a ballpark/average (€) figure for a service? (Repairing scratches / Leather seat repair / Knocking out bumps / Paint job, etc.)
  4. Finally, what equipment do you use and how can people get in touch with you? The work experience in the workshop and any customer feedback?

Johnny had pre-prepared some his responses and I think he expressed himself clearly, confidently and covered all the essential information. All told this recording process took about 20-30 mins (take as long as you need to get this part right as it is the most important. Also make sure you test your microphone and sound controls at the start). These questions and topics could be used as a template for any person with a trade and is a great way to introduce yourself and let people visually see the skills and expertise you can provide.

What footage did we take and how much?

Again this is an area which you can pre-plan. We had arranged to record Johnny working in the garage repairing a variety of cars so we knew we could take lots of footage of different jobs. We also had to record Johnny’s interview which was the first process we did.

(A great tip before you shoot can be to practise a few different type of shots a couple of days beforehand. This is just to get comfortable and get a feel for things and see how certain pans would work).

I believe one of the most important part in the recording process is what we call “Fill Shots”. “Fill Shots” are shots which can lead from one scene into another or can be faded in over a narration. I have found you can never really have enough “fill shots”. In our Car Cosmestix example, some of these “Filler Shots” can be seen at the very start of the video .i.e. the opening scenes with Johnny working on the car. Another “fill Shot” example is highlighting some of the equipment, paint room, tyres, etc.

A few extra tips that work well are to try and add some depth to the picture, as well as shoot footage from different heights and angles. Depending on the type of camera you have, using the zoom feature as well as placing an object close in the foreground helps to add depth to the whole picture. Also shooting footage from different angles or a low, medium and high position helps to keep the video shot interesting to the viewer. We have done a blog post on the different types of shots and camera techniques you can implement which will instantly improve any video – check it out here.

Editing and Production

Before we started editing, we knew we wanted to keep the video relatively short, between 1 – 3 minutes. We knew we would have to keep it compact with quick edits, as statistics prove short videos under 2 minutes have a much higher percentage of being watched all the way through.

Tip Before you start editing, try and choose a royalty-free song that you believe will work well with your video. As this was going to be a short video with quick edits and involved him in physical labour, we thought we would keep it fast paced with an edgy rock song. If you were for example a garden designer, you could perhaps use a more ambient / laid back type of track to give your video a specific mood. You should also set the target frame size to YouTube HD or 1920×1080.

There is no great secret to how we edited this video. If you watch the video from the start, you will see the first few clips are our “Fill Shots”, followed by a J Cut which introduces Johnny. Half way through this segment, we simply split the video segment and introduced some new fill shots.

Colour adjustment

In this video we used some of the new features in trakaxPC such as Ken Burns and the colour adjustment tool. The Ken Burns effect (pan and zoom) is brilliant for adding movement to the video and can really give it that professional look. The colour adjustment tool is excellent for rectifying any lighting issues you may have had when shooting the original footage or for cleaning up any shots you may not be happy with. With this tool, you can sharpen images, add brightness, staturation, hue, implement gamma correction and much more.


Finally, we exported the video to .MP4 (H.264 Level 5) and included metadata and uploaded the video to YouTube and Vimeo.

We hope you found this analysis useful and informative and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate in contacting us.

Remember trakAxPC can be used for all your video editing needs. Start promoting your Business online today – buy trakAxPC for just $39.95.

ArtNouv, Showcase, trakax for Business

ArtNouv – A Video Production Case Study (using trakaxPC 5)

June 10, 2014
Videos for Artists

Recently I had an opportunity to work with the director and owner of ArtNouv, Kritika Ashok, and create a short promotional video for her business. ArtNouv is an online company that specializes in creating custom oil portraits with all paintings being handmade by specially-commissioned artists. Our goal was to create a promotional video for ArtNouv that was informative, had a short time-length and was interesting for the viewer. It also gave us an opportunity to test out some of the exciting features built into the new version of our editing software, trakaxPC 5.

Before we started capturing any footage, we began to plan the shots we wanted to take and the message we wanted to get across. We wrote down a few simple questions for Kritika to address which we believed would help explain what Artnouv did and what processes are involved when commissioning a painting. We also checked out some similar style videos to get some inspiration for the type of shots we could achieve. We have written a few blog posts (here and here) on the best practices when starting out on a video project, so they are certainly worth checking out again.

One of the aims of the video was to capture Kritika talking about the business while shooting her from some different angles. This was simply to provide a few alternative shots of the interview and keep the overall video interesting for the viewer. On the day we only had one camera, so we got Kritika to repeat the same interview questions a couple of times while we set the camera in the different positions.

Another important aspect of any video is the soundtrack. I truly believe the soundtrack is a vital component and can really make or break any video. I recently found a new site called “Free Music Archive” which has tons of great free tracks perfect for most videos. It took me a while to find the right track but I think it works well for this style of video. All the songs are free to download on the site, however make sure to check out the license for each song to see what permissions you have when using it in your video. They have a good FAQ section which outlines most of the common questions regarding usage and how to provide the appropriate credits.

Some New Features in trakaxPC 5

The team have been working extremely hard on getting the new version of trakaxPC 5 ready for Beta release. With this video, it gave me the opportunity to try out some the new features such as colour adjustments, Ken Burns effect and pan and zoom. All I can say is the colour adjustment is amazing and works well if any of your videos need a little modification regarding brightness, colour or sharpness. With the “Sharpen” tool, you have the ability to fine-tune any image which is very helpful if the focus of the camera was slightly off or blurred at the time of recording.


The Ken Burns and Pan and Zoom effect are also excellent tools for adding movement to a static image. I used these two effects a number of times and can be seen in the video when zooming in on the example pictures at 0.23s and 1.25s. As mentioned earlier, the team are working around the clock to get the Beta version ready and we are excited about releasing the update with loads of great new features including Green Screen, cropping and video effects just to name a few.

From start to finish, capturing the video footage took about 2 hours and the editing process took roughly 8 hours. The longest process is going through and analyzing all the footage to make sure you are using the best shots. I find it easier to edit a video when I have a soundtrack in mind. At the start, it doesn’t have to be the exact soundtrack as I changed the original soundtrack later on in the editing process but it gives you something to work with. Finally, I can’t emphasis enough how important it is to take as much B-Roll (fill shots) as possible. Personally on this shoot, I don’t think I took enough fill shots, even though I had a lot of footage. One key point I will take away from this shoot is to take a lot more quick 5-15 seconds shots from different angles and on different objects, so if I have any issue with particular footage I have plenty more videos as back-up.

Shelbourne Dental Clinic, trakax for Business

Shelbourne Dental Clinic Video

March 19, 2014
shelbourne Dental Clinic

We are delighted to have had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Dr. Mark Kelly from the ‘Shelbourne Dental Clinic‘. Mark recently sent us a small business video which he created with his colleague using trakaxPC and we were blown away by the quality and execution of the video production. As this was his first time creating a video like this, we thought we would pick his brains and see what were the main challenges he faced, as well as any tips or advice he could offer for other users looking to create SMB videos.

Hi Mark, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us at trakaxBusiness. Firstly, tell us a little bit about your Dental company and why did you choose to create a video for your website?

Hi Colm. Our company is called ‘Shelbourne Dental Clinic’ and is owned by myself and Karl. We are located in the Docklands area of central Dublin. We opened our doors back in March 2006. There are currently three dentists and four nurses working here at the clinic.

We’ve had a website since the very beginning but I guess with the arrival of broadband and faster internet speeds, we were keen to explore the possibility of producing short video segments to help promote our business and the services we offer. We had seen many dental clinics in the US successfully market their services using video so we were keen to give it a try.

The video you created is excellent. When you were creating your video, what do you think were the biggest challenges when shooting the scenes and editing the footage?

Thanks! I should start by saying that both myself and Karl were complete novices when it comes to this sort of thing. Neither of us had shot or edited video before although I myself have a keen interest in photography.

I guess the biggest challenge for us was to understand in our own minds the ‘basic principles’ of video production and to then try and apply those to our own video. This was where the trakaxBusiness website really helped us. It explained everything in simple English and I especially loved the video tutorials which covered things like lighting principles, composing shots, even things like what equipment we would need. The ‘Bridal Lounge’ video beautifully illustrated the things talked about in the trakax tutorials and we were then able to apply these to our own video.

Shooting the video was pretty straight forward although we did have to do a few ‘Takes’ to get some scenes right! One thing we never realised before starting into this is that you only actually use a small portion of the footage in the final video. We shot a lot more video than we actually ended up including in the finished product.

Editing the footage on the PC was much easier than we had envisaged. It takes a little time to become familiar with the various screens within trakaxPC but once you grasp the basic concept of how it works, it simply is a case of ‘Drag and Drop’ and ‘move things around’ until they’re in the right place.

In the video, all the staff appear very natural on film. Dr. Karl Cassidy’s introduction speech and the voice-over are executed very well, did you prepare a script beforehand and did you need to practice many of the scenes before filming?

Yes. I think the secret to producing a good video is to be well prepared before hitting the record button. We jotted down on paper the scenes we wanted to capture and what we wanted to say in each scene. I think this is called ‘Story boarding’?? All of the voice-overs were scripted and took a couple of practice recordings to get right!

The lighting in the video is superb. Did you use any external lighting or did you just use whatever lights were available in the clinic?

We are lucky in that most of our clinic has huge glass windows so we had plenty of natural light for our movie. For one or two scenes though, we also used a small video light which I picked up on Amazon for about €30. This was a brilliant piece of kit and made things easier for us. Having good light is really important to get a nice result.

In regards to your marketing efforts, how successful do you think creating a video is compared to an email campaign, creating a brochure, etc.? Did you share the video on any social media networks and was there much user/customer engagement?

We are absolutely delighted with how our video has turned out. Uploading it to YouTube and Facebook was simple and we also have it displaying on our website. We also use it as a tool in the clinic to show our patients what we can do – many patients have chosen to go ahead with treatment purely on the basis of seeing the video! In my opinion it is far better than any brochure or literature we have invested in in the past. Videos are the way to go! We are currently working on our next video project and can’t wait to get it uploaded!

Finally, what advice or tips would you give to a person who wants to create a video for their small business or is just starting out on the video creation process?

A couple of tips based on our own experiences:

  • Planning is everything. Have a good plan on paper before you pick up the camera.
  • Keep your videos short – too long and people will tune out!
  • Audio is really important. Invest in a good microphone and make sure the audio quality matches up to the video.
  • Take more footage than you think you need. Better to be able to choose from a few clips than “make do” with the one shot you have.
  • Have fun! Making short videos like this should be fun and interesting. We really enjoyed making our video and look forward to the next one ;)

Thanks to all the team at trakaxBusiness for their wonderful product and stellar support. Looking forward to using trakax for our future videos to drive our business forward!

Thanks Mark for sharing your thoughts, they were certainly insightful and informative. We wish you all the best with your Dental Clinic and look forward to seeing more videos!

Why not try out trakAxPC today. It can be used for all your video editing needs. Take advantage of our special price of $39.95 – buy trakAxPC today.

Inspiration, Showcase, Tech / Mobile / software, trakax for Business, trakAx MovieExpress, trakax Video Case Study

A guide to our “trakax” Promotional Video.

August 7, 2013

Update: trakax is now available on the Play Store

We recently created a promotional video for our new video editing application for Android called “trakax” which is due out soon on the Google Play store. We had a very short period of time to produce this video, so planning the video shoot was the most important aspect to getting it right. Once we had an overall idea and plan of how we wanted to structure the shoot, everything else fell into place.

Some video projects may feel intimidating at first but once you sit down, brainstorm and discuss the project and how you want it to look and feel, then a lot of pressure can be taken off of your shoulders. As the saying goes “Proper planning and preparation prevents poor performance”. Also revisiting some of the helpful tips and techniques highlighted in the “Tips & Tricks” section came in very handy and helped reduce some of the editing time, as we knew what shots to take.

The concept of the video was to highlight how the app could be used to capture and share different scenarios and events in real life. With this mind, we narrowed it down to how Catriona (of the trakAx team) could use the app in her life. The key feature was highlighting how the app could be used to edit and create videos capturing true to life events in a family situation, a social environment and in the workplace.

While watching the video, you will see we used some of the rules and techniques mentioned on this site such as the “The Rule of Thirds” and “Lighting Basics“, as well as understanding nose room and Fill shots. Once you have a grasp of these basic techniques the video production and editing becomes a lot easier.

We believe a key part of any good video is the soundtrack, as it can control the tempo and mood of the entire video. Before you begin the video editing process, we would advise selecting your track beforehand as this way you can edit your video along with the soundtrack and get a good feeling of how it is working with the footage. Also you will be able to align any edits with the beat or tempo changes in the audio. We would also advise purchasing a royalty-free track for your video, so this way the video will not be removed from any video sharing sites due to copyright infringement.

Finally, with regards to the voice-over, we had a basic idea of the script so we knew what type of shots we wanted to take. We recorded the audio after the footage was captured but before it was edited. Once we began the editing process, we were able to edit and align the footage with the voice-over recordings. We simply used the free recording software Audacity to record in the voice-over and simply edited and aligned the audio with our video footage in trakAxPC.

You will be able to find trakax on the play store soon, so watch this space.

Showcase, The Bridal Lounge, trakax for Business

The Bridal Lounge Video

May 5, 2012

In our Showcase section, we want to provide users with practical real-life examples of trakAxPC being used by businesses to help promote and advertise their company as well as their products and services. We hope these videos will provide you with ideas and inspiration when creating your own video. We recommend visiting our “Video School“, which covers all the topics used to create this video, from lighting and camera techniques used to the editing and production process, as well as implementing VideoSEO to help get the highest search ranking possible for our video.

For this video, we teamed up with our good friends, Deirdre Hynes and Aoife Callaghan, the amazingly talented wedding consultants from The Bridal Lounge located just up the road from us in Dublin. Our aim was to convey their services and explain their wedding inspiration consultations in a short video, which was both engaging and fun.

Here is the final version which was posted on their business website:

Our limited Budget was spent like this:

We used the lamps that the girls had in their studio, as well as the natural light from windows. We filmed the interview segment of the video in the morning and then accompanied them to a photo shoot that afternoon, so all told there was around 6 hours max of filming done, so less than 1 business day.

If you have any questions or queries about the video or how it was made, please leave a comment below and we will get back to you asap.

Remember trakAxPC can be used for all your video editing needs. Start promoting your Business online today – buy trakAxPC for just $39.95.