Author Archives: Trevor Eisenman

Enter to Win a Canon Boot Camp!

Enter to Win a Canon Boot Camp!

Winning a free Canon Boot Camp is as easy as going to our Facebook Page and clicking on the “Win a Canon Boot Camp” tab.

Although, technically, you also have to sign up for our newsletter. If you win we have to have a way to tell you!

TEnter to win a Canon Boot Camp tickethe rules are simple. The number of chances to win are equal to the number of Boot Camp Events we have listed on the right side of this blog. Look over the dates, figure out which date you’d like to attend the Boot Camp.

Go to the Facebook Tab mentioned above, and follow the instructions. You’ll enter your data and automatically be entered into the contest. On the 15th of each month, we’ll pick the winner for that month, and announce it on our Filmmaker’s Notebook email newsletter. You may sign up once for each month, but not multiple times for ONE month.

The prize is attending one Canon Boot Camp event at no charge. It does not include airfare, hotel or any other expenses associated with attending our Canon Boot Camp. There’s no charge to enter, and as we continue to add event dates to the schedule, you may continue to enter until you win.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at an upcoming Canon Boot Camp!

How to Make a Video Viral

Pretty much anyone involved in custom video production is going to tell you video is an important part of any effective marketing plan. And we’ve all seen those videos with millions of views that make it to the top of the list. With that kind of example, the idea of having a viral video can get tweaked in the wrong direction.

First off, a viral video doesn’t mean that it has to have millions of views. That’s good for small business owners. If you own a small coffee house with a local clientele, is it really going to help you if millions of people see your viral video?


Here’s another problem. What determines when a video will be viral? Many of the viral videos went viral due to their entertainment value. Funny, amazing, interesting or whatever it was that clicked and it just got shared by a LOT of people all at once. Some of those moments just happened to have been captured on camera and weren’t rehearsed.

And how many funny commercials have you seen that everyone can talk about, but they don’t remember what company or product was being represented. They remember the video, but couldn’t tell you the product.

What’s the point of all the promotion if it doesn’t lead to sales? NOTHING!

I offer you this advice. Get busy creating content on a blog, including video content. Make sure you include written descriptions on YouTube or wherever you’re hosting your content since search engines can’t “read” video, which hinders indexing (for search results). Anna Easteden, Actor

Here’s the hot tip. If you share all of that content on social networks like Facebook people have the chance to share the content. If you write and video about OTHER people and share it with them, they sometimes share it with their friends who share it with their friends.

Even if you don’t get millions of hits, you can get twenty, thirty or more hits you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Free exposure. Who’s to say what might happen if you do it consistently? And if it’s being shared, even by just a view, it still is viral. It might not be famous, but it’s viral.

On of the most popular blog posts we had was written about an actor we’ve used in our Canon Boot Camp several times. I interviewed her, wrote a blog post promoting her work with us, and the other projects she was doing, and shared it with her on Facebook after I posted it on our blog. She went on to share it with her network, and before long, we’d had nearly 100 hits on the article.

So just consistently create and share content and you’ll win out over about 80% of your online competition.

And while you’re here, if this article helped you in any way, please share it on Facebook or Linkedin!

How to Leverage a Facebook Presence for your Business


How to Leveage a Facebook Presence for your Business

It’s not a secret that Facebook is a huge part of the Internet. Or that it’s easy to waste a boatload of time browsing through everything shiny, funny or bizarre people post in Facebook. So how does Facebook affect you, the filmmaker, actor, business owner, etc. when it comes to establishing an effective marketing plan? How do you use it to help you get found online?

Leveraging something like Facebook isn’t as hard as it might seem. You don’t actually have to be an expert in anything but your own company. You do, however, have to know WHERE to put your content INSIDE Facebook.

Actually, I’ve found that the hardest part of showing up online to relevant audiences is creating the content. But that’s a whole other story. Back to Facebook. You probably already know all about your company already, right? You’re all set. Here’s your best option:

Facebook Page IconCreate a Facebook Page that talk about your business. Fill it out completely. Then talk about stuff on the Page that your audience would be interested in, using the words they would use to search for the stuff you talk about. Keep talking about it, at least once a week. Include something visual, like a photo or video. That’s about as simple as I can make it.

Why a Facebook Page (Likes) as opposed to a personal profile (friends)? One really good reason. The personal profiles aren’t public, so Google can’t index them. So they don’t show up in search results (beyond your name and anything you’ve made public).  Pages, on the other hand, are completely open to Google by default because Facebook Pages were built that way. To show up. Yeah, Pages come under the category of “Marketing.”

Categorize your personal profile into the same area you’d put your email. Classified, high security, approved-access only. Does Google index your email? Nope. Same thing for your personal Facebook Profile.

So if you want to leverage Facebook for visibility, create a Page and fill it out completely,  Let Google do it’s magic by indexing it. Meanwhile, develop your content strategy (because Google can’t write content for you…).

You’ll need some other tools. An email newsletter to gather contacts in a central place and stay in touch with customers/interested prospects. A blog to help feature your content and provide a hub for your search strategy. A team of people to write content (time consuming – you’ll need help). Video.

But start with Facebook and you’ll soon be found. Well, as long as you keep creating content. Like I said, that’s probably going to be your biggest barrier. For help creating content for your enterprise social media strategy, contact me and I’ll introduce you to the tools I use. If I haven’t written about it by the time you read this blog post, anyway!

Create a Branded Video Resume

There’s a lot of competition in the film and video industry no matter what specific role you might play.  Actors, filmmakers, editors, voiceover actors – pretty much everyone has a ton of other people just as good as them or better vying for a spot on an upcoming production. So how can anyone create a presence that really stands out with it’s own brand?

One tool that I have come across recently is a branded video show. Simply called “My Video Web Show.” this tool allows anyone to create a customized online video resume without having any programming experience. It’s been available for about 9 years, but only recently arrived in the United States once the streaming video infrastructure was advanced enough to support the MyVideoWebShow technology. Here’s an example of a branded video resume we created for Carlos Reig-Plaza, “Actor Without Borders” featuring some of his movie roles.

Example of an Online Video Resume for an Actor

The MyVideoWebShow tool allows Carlos to upload all his video clips and demo reels and host them in the cloud without having to download any software. The site may be easily customized with a branded banner and preferred colors. Viewers may leave comments, share the site on a variety of social networks, as shown below:

This video platform allows the user to create multiple shows and cross promote them in one place. For Carlos, we created separate shows for movies, TV shows, and voiceover. Each show features content that relates to its specific category. But no matter which show you’re viewing at the moment, the other shows are listed as well for quick access and viewing.

Featured Videos Screenshot of MyVideoWebShow




















The videos play on iPhone, Android and other mobile devices as well. Not only does MyVideoWebShow act as a branded Youtube or Vimeo site, users can host a live webshow at anytime. This is a great feature for anyone with upcoming events, such as a movie or show release, grand opening etc. Got a new movie coming out? Host regular shows to brief fans on the latest movie developments, record each show and host it on your MyVideoWebShow site for 24/7 access. Each WebShow may be optimized for search engines using tags, just like YouTube and Vimeo sites – but automatically without all the ads. The WebShows even integrate with Google AdSense.

While most will prefer to allow full public access to each video clip on their MyVideoWebShow site, it is also easy to password protect each video for the purposes of privacy, limited access or in order to monetize the videos. So there is a whole host of options available. This is just one of the video options available as part of the MyVideoWebShow package. It also includes several other useful features for promoting. Here’s the short list of main feaures you have access to at no extra charge:

1. Branded Video Email marketing tools (MyVideoDesigner)
2. Live Video Web Broadcasking (MyVideoBroadcaster)
3. Branded HD Video Channels with no advertising (MyVideoChannel)
4. 24/7 Video Web Show (MyVideoWebShow)
5. 16 Person Video & Web Conferencing solution (MyVideoBoardroom)

Cost varies depending on how many videos need to be uploaded into the system (they have an easy to use encoder for translating any format, built right into the platform), but it’s very affordable. It ranges from $299 to $429 setup fee and $50 a month for the WebShow package. Branded Video Emails are available for as low as $15 per month, also a great promotional tool.

Interested in a demo? Email Trevor to schedule a demo and go over possible application for your business, movie or video production capabilities.




DSLR Video Workshops: Shoot Like A Pro

Canon DSLR Video Workshops

Canon HDSLR video technology is moving fast. Are you on the Canon Cutting Edge?

Nearly every day here at The Association we get requests and resumes from DPs, Directors, actors and various other industry pros that would like to work with our company in various areas. While it would be wonderful to give everyone employment, it’s just not feasible for a variety of reasons. The primary one being that we can’t hire everyone, obviously. But what if there was a way to get work into the hands of many of these pros even if we aren’t the ones hiring them directly?

And so the Canon Boot Camp was born. As a result of taking the class, many of our graduates have been able to book jobs using their new DSLR skills.

Fletch Murray, the chief instructor for the class, started the Canon Boot Camp to bring this cutting edge technology to anyone who wants to grasp it and run with it. I know, I know. You’ve probably been to a “workshop” to learn the video capabilities of the Canon DSLR 5D or a similar camera, paid $30 or so and sat through a class that didn’t really make you more capable. This isn’t the kind of training we deliver.

Our attitude is more like this: we assume you’ve lied your way onto a video job and you need to know how the camera works. How it REALLY works. Not just the theory behind it. The actual settings, how to set up the lighting, and even the post production work flow.

To accomplish this, we’ve created two levels of classes: Pro Level I and Pro Level II.

Pro Level I: The Basics to Shoot Like a Pro

Pro Level I is geared for anyone. We have had industry pros, still photographers and even a few people who had just purchased a Canon DSLR 5D and weren’t sure yet how to turn it on. To prepare people for the class, Fletch has prepared a Reference Manual with the terms and concepts each person needs to know before they come to the class. This class is a level playing field for anyone that wants to learn Canon HDSLR Video basics, and comes with Canon Certification.

Pro Level II: Advanced Training: Shoot With the Pros

The Advanced level of our Canon camera classes, this is where we put into action what was covered in Pro Level I. Complete with script, actor(s), cameras, lighting and all the trimmings, the participants shoot a sequence of scenes designed specifically to impart specific skills. Here’s a few videos that were shot by Pro Level II participants:

The Association’s Canon Boot Camp Pro Level II class is in production on a soon-to-be released short film titled “…kindle” starring Anna Easteden and Rachid Makhlouf.

This excerpt shows the results of our scenes lit by candlelight shot at ISO 1250-2500, using Canon lenses on a 5D and 7D.


Our Pro Level II Boot Camp grads try out their new found skills with the Canon 5D Mark II camera in this exciting vampire short, “The Nun Who Lied”.

We chose a Film Noir, black and white camera setting to show off the exceptionally thick, rich (no grain) blacks the Canon 5D can produce.

Our Canon Pro Level II class uses a dolly, jib arm and car mounts to follow our nun’s escape from a dangerous, blood-sucking casting call. Thanks to our Boot Camp Alumni, who helped with the jib arms and car mounts.

Be scared. Be very, very scared.

(Special thanks to EVS for the use of their stage and generous support, to all of our talented cast and crew, and to Vara Reese for her editing.)

Curious about what’s covered in the classes? Email me and get a copy of the Reference Manual for Pro Level I and look it over. Then you’ll know.

A Digital SLR Guide For Canon Shooters

The Canon Boot Camp in Action

The Association’s now famous Canon Boot Camp has taught hundreds of Canon shooters the basics and advanced techniques of using the Canon DSLR 5D and other Canon digital cameras over the past few years. Over time we’ve worked out hands-on drills, in sequence, to teach our students what they need to know to get DSLR work of their own. We assume that each student has “lied” their way onto a production job the following Monday, and they need to know the camera fast.

We’ve been to the other available Canon classes. Tired of listening to someone drone on and on about the shots they took? Maybe you could look at the camera but couldn’t touch it? That’s not an active learning process that results in being able to take action with the camera. In contrast, Fletch Murray, the Chief Instructor and President of The Association, even created a Reference Manual for the Canon HDSLR to accompany the Boot Camp materials and prep the student in advance of taking the class. Just to make sure they can get the Canon HDLSR 5D Mark IIImaximum benefit during the actual Boot Camp!

In the next few months we’ll be expanding our Canon camera classes to include the new Canon C300 and the even newer Canon 5D Mark III to help our students stay on the cutting edge of EOS technology. As I write this, Fletch has his hands on the new Mark III courtesy of Canon Europe, a sponsor of the Prague Canon Boot Camp being hosted by Creovision. So even though the Mark III isn’t generally available yet here in the US, Fletch will be one of the few who have checked out this camera’s capabilities and will be sharing his knowledge at the upcoming April Boot Camp.

For those who’d like a first-hand peek at the Reference Manual for the Canon DSLR that Fletch created, it’s available for limited time to those who inquire to me directly via email, even if you aren’t planning on attending an upcoming Boot Camp any time soon. You’ll be added automatically to our email newsletter for Boot Camp updates, and I’ll send the Reference Manual via email.


Social Media Users: Talk to Them or Give Them a Deal

Social Media Users: Talk to Them or Give Them a Deal

Do you use the web as a research and shopping tool? Join the club.

In working with various business owners and individuals on enterprise social media campaigns, it has become increasingly clear that there are 2 activities nearly every modern human is familiar with, regardless of age. 1) Email, and 2) Online search.

Both email and searching online have been around for awhile, so nothing special there, beyond being super useful.  They just had more time to get embedded into everyday “normal” use. Business owners, especially small to medium sized businesses, can take advantage of this by promoting discussions and deals on social networks like Facebook and Yelp. For example, Facebook has profiles specifically tailored to business. These profiles are called “Pages” and are similar to personal profiles. However, a very important difference is Pages are fully indexed by search engines like Google. Personal profiles on Facebook are private by natures, and are only minimally indexed.

Due the enormous size of Facebook, carving out a little bit of real estate on this network can provide a budding business with both online visibility and the ability to offer deals while maintaining discussions with customers/potential prospects. I’d go so far as to say that a new business should establish a presence with a Facebook Page first, then get their website going as a more long-term effort to “show up” online. It’s just going to happen sooner on a social network like Facebook, which has tremendous momentum with search engines. The lag time to show up in search results for specific terms relating to your business could be as little as 3-4 months on Facebook, compared to a new website, which might take 6-12 months (if you work it and do it right).

If you’re not familiar with long tail keyword research, now would be about the time to find out about it. Making your social network presence more “findable” through search can be accomplished by locating and using long tail keywords in your marketing copy. Really, part of any effective marketing plan today requires an online presence with long tail keywords. Or you can spend a ton of money on advertising with Google Adwords, which is another common option.

But considering the high amount of usage social networks get for deals, coupons and discussions relating to products and services, it’s important to represent your own business on sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List. Just because a business owner ignores these review sites doesn’t mean their customers won’t create an online profile on their behalf. Many restaurants and other brick and mortar shops are discovering they already have profiles, and both happy and unhappy customers have been talking about them for months. So get online, get involved. The conversation’s already been started, all you have to do is join it.

What does “Like” Mean to a Consumer on Facebook?

What Does "Like" Mean to a Consumer on Facebook?

Owners of Ecommerce sites are probably going to be more interested in this statistical set of information. For those not familiar with Facebook Business Pages (like a personal profile on Facebook, only it’s for a business), Pages allow businesses to create a version of their website on Facebook. Pages are completely indexed by search engines (unlike personal profile pages), and it’s an excellent opportunity to improve your search rankings online. For a full explanation of the “Like” feature in Facebook, read Exact Target’s excellent report (mentioned in the graphic above) HERE.

The search optimization part aside, if you’re going to have a Page for customers, best to offer something! There are a variety of applications and tools you can use to provide an offer. We used Constant Contact’s new Social Promotions tool to create a simple custom welcome page on our Facebook Page. It allowed me to quickly and easily offer a free downloadable article in exchange for “Liking” the page.

Email Marketing by Constant Contact also allows you to do the following:

  • Choose from more than 400 easily customized email templates—or create your own from scratch.
  • Create highly visual, professional-looking email newsletters and promotions in just minutes.
  • Drive more traffic to your website with focused, targeted email communications.
  • Build and manage your email list: import existing customer lists, add names individually, or capture contact information from website visitors.
  • Measure your email campaign results instantly-check click-through rates, review new subscribers, and see who opened and clicked on each link so you can tailor your follow-up communications.
  • Send automated communications to new sign-ups via our Autoresponder tool.
  • Communicate with your audience with confidence, knowing that Constant Contact will take care of getting your email delivered and keep you CAN-SPAM compliant.

Click on the link below to start a free 60 day trial.

Constact Contact Free Trial

For most business, there will be something they can offer that would give a new visitor enough of a reason to click “Like” and connect to the page. Test out different downloads, discounts or other offers and see what gets the most action.


The Fabulous Anna Easteden Visits The Canon Boot Camp

Anna Easteden

As The Association enters it’s 3rd year of Canon camera classes, we’d like to take a moment to visit with the fab Anna Easteden. Anna in an International model, actor, director and producer, as well as an important part of several Canon boot camps for The Association. We wanted to catch up with her other adventures, so during the January Boot Camp I sat down with Anna to get the latest skinny.

What projects is the talented Anna Easteden working on right now?

Well, right now I’m shooting a few things! I’m playing a cop in an Indie film called Avenging Daughters. Originally I auditioned for the part of a lawyer in the same movie, and while I was at the audition they asked if I would audition for the prostitute. So I figured it was "another one of those…" Then the Director called me and told me I got the part. I asked if it was the lawyer or the prostitute, and he said neither, it’s the cop! And it’s a bigger and better role, so I’m excited about that.

The film is about 3 daughters whose father has land that’s being taken away from him by some bad people. It’s a drama set in current times, out in the desert. The father is played by John McCook [known for his role as Eric Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful], and the director’s name is Raffaele Marraffa.

I’m also shooting a series of 10 short films in Palm Springs where I play 10 different characters. So for I’ve played a Russian women and a French girl with different wigs and outfits, it’s a lot of fun.

I was also recently in the Chinese New Year’s parade, in a white brand new Bentley waving at the crowds as a VIP guest. It was a fun celebrity momeAnna Easteden Wants You - At the Canon Boot Camp!nt! As a surprise I got one of those declarations officially recognizing me for my contribution from the city of Los Angeles. 

You’ve been a great help by being an "official" Canon Boot Camp actor. What do you like about the Boot Camp?

I love helping the Canon Boot Camp because in addition to being an actor, I’ve directed and produced my own shorts, so I love there’s an easier way to shoot films using something like the Canon DSLR 5D.

What shorts did you produce?

I actually directed and produced 9 shorts last summer, and those premiered at the FinnFest in San Diego in August. I’ll be doing more of those this year! Directing and producing was a blast. These shorts are in English, but they all have to do with Finnish subjects. Two of them are comedic, playing on the words "Finnish" and "finished."

Aside from Fletcher Murray, who’s your favorite Director?

Clint Eastwood! I’d love to shoot a film with him.

What role do you aspire to play?

I’d love to be a Bond Girl! In the meanwhile I’m auditioning for lots of projects! 

We highly recommend Anna! Contact her by clicking HERE.

Hubspot’s Marketing Experts on State of Inbound Marketing: Part 13

Hubspot, a leader in Inbound Marketing, recently surveyed 644 companies to ascertain the state of both Traditional Media (print ads, telemarketing, tradeshows, etc.) & Inbound Marketing. As Hubspot defines it: “Inbound Marketing is a set of marketing strategies and techniques focused on pulling relevant prospects and customers towards a business and it’s products.”

This is part 13 of a 13 part series of blog posts that share bite-size portions of Hubspot’s overall report “The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing.” If you’d like a full copy of the report, feel free to contact me by clicking here or search for the report by name on Google.



I’ve already covered the importance of a company blog several times in this series, so I won’t go over that again. Besides, it’s pretty self evident from the graph above. However, I would like to point out that video has had a pretty big increase since 2009. Are you using custom video production as part of an effective marketing campaign?

One thing to watch for with video is that they don’t just optimize for search the same way long tail keywords research helps written content. Since the search engines can’t “read” video or pictures, you have to make sure to add that content in the right places, wherever the video content is being posted.

If your budget allows it, direct response TV ads  can be an excellent and cost effective way to drive awareness and traffic to your website. Since the cost of retaining a direct response advertising agency like The Association is higher than using a free blog, it’s a good idea to get primary and secondary research done on your target market. That kind of consumer analysis can go along way, if properly done, in weeding out uninterested people from calling in after viewing a direct response TV ad.

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Interested in learning more about how The Association can help you implement enterprise social media and Inbound Marketing? Visit my resources blog for helpful videos  or fill out a request form here.