Making a Documentary? Four Tips to Help Ensure Its Success

As an artist and a muse, there are very few things as inspiring and exhilarating as having an incredible idea for a documentary. Seeing your ideas come to life and knowing that your viewers will hold the same wonderment as you had when you crafted it is an experience that is unique and magical in itself. However, before you start drafting an outline or making phone calls to industry experts, it’s essential to take measures to help ensure that your documentary is a resounding success. If you’re looking to produce a documentary, here are four key tips that can help make sure that you create an intelligent, thoughtful video production.

Do Your Research

Before you start the interviews or even start composing the first draft of a script, you’ll want to conduct thorough research on the subject meticulously. With so many eyes potentially viewing your documentary, you want to be absolutely confident that there are no glaring factual issues or inconsistencies. By being fastidious, you can avoid embarrassing discrepancies or errors later on.

Outline the Plot

When it comes to telling a story or bringing a vision to life, it’s essential to have a fairly concrete plan. While there is certainly a bit of wiggle room during production, especially if there’s a creative element to your documentary, you still want to make sure you adhere to a semblance of a plot or storyline. This can help prevent unnecessary revisions and cuts when it comes time to edit.

Round-Up Your Gear

Once you have completed your research and written your storyboard, your next step is to gather up your crew and collect your gear. While you may decide to use your equipment, or even hire your crew, we strongly encourage you to make sure that you have a dependable and reputable crew to film your documentary. The award-winning team here at CinemaViva has the necessary skill and expertise to help make your project visually stunning and cohesive.

Edit Carefully

One of the more nerve-wracking parts of a documentary project is choosing what stays and what gets cut out. If you’re too conservative with your edits, you may wind up with a bloated and excessively lengthy documentary film. Conversely, if you edit out too much, you may find yourself with gaping holes in the plot or not enough material to captivate your viewers. It’s a delicate balance, and one you should approach cautiously.

Whether you’re a veteran documentary writer, or this is your first feature-length project, we here at CinemaViva would love to be part of it. To learn more about our services, or to reach out to us to get started on your next project, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!


It’s Time to Hit the Record Button – Planning A Corporate Video Production Strategy

Corporate Video Production

It’s really no secret that video is used more and more for marketing strategies. It’s fast, it’s visually appealing, and studies prove that people gravitate more towards watching video than any other content platform.

Regardless of positive research results, it’s not uncommon for business owners to be on the fence about creating a corporate video. Most companies feel that their story isn’t compelling enough or that they’re simply not big enough to invest money into corporate video production. We hate to the be the bearer of bad news, but you’re wrong. If conducted correctly, your corporate video production strategy can easily increase your visibility and, ultimately, your revenues.

Why is Video so Important?

Video is extremely accessible, and as a direct result of the internet, people have been conditioned to want information immediately. Furthermore, YouTube, Facebook Live, and Snapchat have programmed people to want their information visually, fast-paced, and in bite-sized chunks. As a result, the fast-paced capacity of video content to be digested will only continue to garner more attention in the future.

Simply put, video appeals to everyone. It doesn’t matter the industry, the company size, the job title, the experience, or the location; video is used to target everyone and anyone who’s willing to watch.

Benefits of Corporate Video

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the impact a video can have. Video is proven to be more engaging, more memorable, and, most of all, more effective. As popular as video content is, many businesses are still in the dark about how to use corporate videos to promote their products and services, and some have no idea where or how to get started.

Your business can benefit in multiple ways from corporate videos. A video gives your customers a behind the scenes view of your product, company, and ownership. When using corporate video, you can not only get better visibility, but you can better relate to your customers through personal experiences. From digital effects to animation to practical effects, at CinemaViva, we have the skills to bring the client’s vision to life and leave a lasting impression.

Corporate Video Production Strategy

Whether you’re new to the idea or have been producing corporate videos for a few years, there is still an opportunity to improve your video strategy. A production company can help give you pointers for a campaign strategy, all the way to planning and implementing your entire video production. A strategy is essential because it enables you to identify the goals for your videos. It directs where you want to promote your videos and how to evaluate the success of your campaign.

Here are some quick tips for planning your corporate video.

Know Your Budget: Before planning an in-depth corporate video, it’s best to have a budget in mind. However, you still want to leave a little room and see where your plans lead you.

Have Set Goals: When producing a corporate video, it’s best to know your specific goals and objectives. For example, you need to identify who your audience to understand the specific content they will respond to and create a call-to-action they can’t resist. Your goals are critical to boost SEO and build site traffic. Additionally, you also want to increase awareness of your brand.

Create content for key events: What times of year are most important to your business? Do they relate to the goals you have in mind? For instance, one of your goals might include enhancing your brand image. Therefore, you want to consider using corporate video production for significant milestones and awards ceremonies. Additionally, you have a goal to increase your website traffic. In this case, your video content could look ahead to exciting sales events later in the year.

Properly share your video content: Along with identifying your goals and audience, you’ll also want to consider how each piece of video content will reach your intended audience. The ability to multi-purpose your video content is one of the most significant benefits it offers. As a result, it allows you to target your audience through landing pages, emails, YouTube, Facebook, or even a television broadcast.

Corporate videos are an excellent way to connect with your audience and take your business to the next level. Whether you’re considering your first corporate video or deciding to revamp your current production strategy, CinemaViva can help. If you need expert advice, contact us today online.


Every Business Needs to Embrace Video Marketing

Effective marketing and promotion of a business or event, especially in today’s technology-driven marketplace, is paramount in its ultimate success.  It is no longer effective to depend entirely on print media for reaching the desired customer sector, as people turn their attention more to their electronic devices as their information sources. 

Static pictures on social marketing platforms and websites make clicking past the page easy, people need to have their attention grabbed quickly to linger on any given site or channel long enough to receive its intended messaging. This is the age of video marketing, where the consumer is reached through the imaging and messaging designed specifically for capturing their attention and inspiring their action.

Video marketing has made its way to the mainstream advertising and promotion platforms of today’s consumer-driven marketplace.  An overwhelming majority of businesses report that they currently use digital video and other video marketing tools in their advertising portfolio. 

The established popularity of video marketing consists of an incredible number of options and tools to navigate the rapidly changing shifts in viewer preferences, advertising options, and platforms.  Today, marketers can decide how and where consumers view their media and tailor their styles and messages in a strategic manner.

Social networks and internet video platforms open up a spectrum of avenues to reach the masses, through the use of video in specific messaging to followers and to capture the attention of a broader base in online viewing.  Just as social networks integrate video into their streams, search engines are becoming filled with video messaging.

Over the years, video clips have found their way to the top of organic search results on both desktop and mobile search engines.  Video is becoming more accessible with the use of smartphones, that it is among the preferred way in which people are now communicating.

With this explosion of video opportunities online, it can present a challenge for marketers and businesses to figure out the most effective way to distribute their brand.  In order to succeed with video marketing, brands need to optimize the platforms and the delivery formats of their marketing strategies.

Professional video production companies should be utilized in order to produce an effective and successful video media campaign.  Companies such as CinemaViva, in San Diego, provide an array of professional services that can be tailored to meet the needs of any business, no matter how small or how big the project.   Utilizing professional teams who specialize in the filming and production of marketing videos can greatly increase the success of any marketing campaign.  Today’s consumer market is driven by images, making capturing the brand of a business in an innovative and professional video marketing campaign essential to its success.


Four Ways Companies Use Our Key Corporate Video Services

At CinemaViva, we offer all sorts of cutting-edge corporate video services to enterprise clients who want to make the best impressions on particular customer audiences as well as stakeholders. We offer aerial videos, internal branding videos, audience-specific narrative videos and much more. Here are four ways that companies use our innovative video resources to thrive.

The On-Boarding Experience

Training has become an integral part of talent acquisition.

Companies need to find the best people and attract them to the firm. Then, when they are at the door, they need to be able to on-board them efficiently and make them feel at home in their new roles.

Part of that has to do with effective training. Inferior training produces confusion and lowers initial productivity, while discouraging top people from tackling the learning curve that’s inherent in any job. Our video services can cut through the confusion and introduce clear, no-nonsense training setups that help make people more confident on day one, not to mention on day two and beyond.

Video and Branding

Brand visibility is the holy grail of marketing operatives. We combine various aspects of corporate video to hit audiences with powerful branding visuals that are ‘sticky’ – that stick in people’s minds and create an excellent first impression. Branding videos rely on specific design – we also help to consult on what will look best on the screen. Attention to the conceptual side of branding videos along with good lighting, gear and prep will produce effective results. 

Audience Attraction

We also offer strategic video production capabilities. Companies want to attract particular audiences – whether that means geo-targeting, audience segmentation, market research or anything else. We take those metrics and help our clients to build effective on-ramps to customer outreach with high-quality direct participation videos.

Informative Outreach

Then there are those times when a company has to really effectively tell a story to an audience.

Perhaps a new product has come out and there are questions about its design. Maybe some unfortunate liability has hit the company, and the company feels led to respond quickly and effectively. On a more positive note, maybe the company opened a new plant or has some neat press release to tell people about.

Explainer videos and related video concepts help to bring these messages to life. We utilize the right setup and gear to produce the high-quality video needed for this type of vibrant interaction with audiences. Get more detail at our website, and let us know how we can help you innovate your business in the twenty-first century. Our top-tier video services make our clients look amazing – and provide ROI for success.


5 Ways to get the most out of your Video Production

Making videos can be costly and time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort.  Here are 5 quick tips you can do to get the most out of your video production experience.

Plan to make multiple videos from your production.  You can turn your 2-3 business overview video into multiple short, focused 30 second videos.

Rehearse – Find the time before your video session to ingrain your script and thoughts in your mind.  You will have more fun and be at ease during your recording.

Plan and Stage – If a videographer is coming to your place of business, it’s vital that you know in advance where they will film and that all filming locations are camera ready.  

Use Actors – Hiring qualified actors can add a lot of production value to your video.  They know how to smile and be on camera without looking awkward.

Extract Photos – Did you know that you can pull 8 mega-pixel still from 4K footage? That’s right. It’s easy to take stills from 4K footage and re-purpose them for you social media campaigns.

Hope these tips help! Call us at 1-800-680-4613 to find out more about Video Production and Editing. You can also drop us a line here.


5 Tips for Effective Live Video Streaming

Live video streaming is rapidly growing in popularity as an effective way to connect with audiences, clients and employees.  Before you start, there are a number of factors to consider that could make or break your live video streaming event.  Be sure to find a knowledgeable and tech-savvy company that can help guide you through this complicated process with ease.

1. Test and Prepare

It is best to test the stream and all the content the day before.  If possible set up the day before and run through as much of the production as possible including any movies, or presentations.  Be sure any graphics or lower thirds are also ready the day before the event.  The last thing you need during your live event is to be waiting on a logo and inserting into the system during the stream.  You should definitely have a colleague test all the possibilities that the end user may utilize to view the stream such as cell phone, tablet and computer.  Even if that all works out in pre-game, it’s important to test the network the day of the event and have a backup plan in case something goes awry.

2.  Use the right gear for the job  

Every live stream event is different and each client has unique needs and expectations.  There are a number of ways to live stream from just using a cell phone to wireless live video streaming to broadcast quality live streaming with dedicated hardware encoders.  It’s a good idea to perform a site inspection at the event location weeks or months prior to the event.  This time can be used to test the internet speed, determine camera placement, load-in logistics and how long the cable runs will be.  The client also needs to think about how interactive the stream is going to be.  Do you need live chat? Perhaps you need to see and hear people asking questions at the other end or in multiple locations?

3.  Set it up

The background and ambience of the room are also factors to take into consideration for your live stream.  Is the environment noisy? Is the background pleasant to look at or is it distracting?  If your background choices are limited, you can rent a background or even a green screen which can be set up at your office or place of business.   If you decide to use a green screen, it is possible to remove the green color in real time and replace it with a nice background of your choice.  You can also add some color and depth to your set with props like company banners, a nice HDTV with your company logo, or even just some nice plants.  Be sure extraneous noise is minimized during your stream.  Turn off or mute cell phones, unplug land lines and print out and place “Quiet Please – Recording” signs at the doors to the venue.

4. Plan it out

When you are live, it can be difficult to manage everything that’s happening.  This is where a plan helps out a lot.  Take some time and figure out what is going to happen and when.  You can easily notate the events in a time line by using word or google docs.  Start with the intro graphic, then the host welcomes the audience, time to playback movie 1, next is a powerpoint presentation with picture in picture, finally it’s time to take questions from the audience.  Oh and don’t forget to ask everyone to like and share the video at the end of your transmission.  Perhaps you might even need a call to action at the end with a phone number or website link.  Taking the time to plan out your event will make the host or subject matter experts feel at ease during the live streaming event.  You may even wish to have a stage manager calling the shots with a communication system in the ears of the talent and crew.

5. Lights, camera, action

Don’t forget lighting.  One thing that can easily kill audience engagement is poor lighting.  It’s almost as bad as poor sound.  The talent should be evenly lit, without nose or chin shadows.  For this type of filming it is best to use big, bright soft light sources that eliminate harsh shadows.  Back lights are important as well to separate the talent from the background and appear more life-like on the monitors.  Without proper lighting, your video will look flat and uninteresting.

As you can tell, there is a lot more to live video streaming than just plugging some cameras into a computer.  CinemaViva is well versed in all facets of live video streaming.  We hope this article has been helpful and feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about planning your next live video stream.


CinemaViva completes short film “We All Need Someone.” – View the trailer!

CinemaViva has just wrapped up their new short film “We All Need Someone.”  It’s a dark, yet romantic comedy that explores why we stay in toxic relationships.  The film also focuses on how each person in a relationship can have conflicting perceptions of reality as well as differing perspectives about love and life.

Logline: Pedro and Lacey love each other, but he has been acting strangely. His new imaginary friend isn’t helping their relationship either. After Lacey breaks up with him, Pedro is determined to get her back. How far will he go for love?

We All Need Someone Trailer

An all local cast and crew was used to shoot the film in the San Diego neighborhoods of Talmadge, Banker’s Hill and Balboa Park.  The film was blessed with excellent performances from the whole cast.  Veteran actor Joe Paulson was the perfect choice for the part of “Larry” while Rhianna Basore gave a spirited performance as “Lacey.”  Actress and filmmaker Marci Krown did a superb job as “Sheila,” Lacey’s nosey co-worker.  The film is rounded out with an original score by Elias Symons.

Currently, Executive Producer and lead actor, Horacio Jones is in the process of submitting the film to festivals.  He also wrote the film which is based on a true story in San Diego.  You can hear Horacio discuss his inspiration for the film by watching his interview on Confessions of Impact Entrepreneurs by Molly Lavik at 12 minutes and 30 seconds into the show.

For more information and updates, visit the Facebook page for We All Need Someone or the IMDB page.

Below is the full cast and crew list:


Executive Producer

Director of Photography


Written by


Rhianna Basore as Lacey
Horacio Jones as Pedro
Joe Paulson as Larry
Marci Krown as Sheila
Isaac Arreguin as The Stranger
Presley Roy as The Angel



Camera Assistant

2nd Camera

Production Assistants


Additional Colorist

Post Production Facility

Craft Services

Artwork provided by


Margarita Jones
Darin Anderson
Greg Maestro
The City of San Diego
Footage Firm, Inc.


Streaming Sundays #3 with Filmmaker Alain Legend Raymond

Southern California filmmaker Alain Legend Raymond joined Streaming Sunday’s host Horacio Jones to talk about his latest film.  “In Search of an Author” is a unique film in which the characters are trying to find their author.  Watch the full interview below to see the first section of his project.

After the film they talked shop and discussed editing and cameras.  Alain also gave some good advice to aspiring filmmakers towards the end of the episode.

Having worked for Universal/Nickelodeon Studios, MGM Studios, Scrim Gem in various capacities, Mr. Raymond business savoir-faire places him in a unique and advantageous position. After two combat tours in Iraq, and eight years in the US Navy, Mr. Raymond possesses the kind of leadership necessary to drive this company forward. His Medical training at Stanford University School of Medicine to be come a Physician Assistant has prepared him for life as a heart transplant PA-C at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles; the world’s largest heart transplant center. Now at the helm of his own company, he is driven to make MAP Entertainment a respected leader in the entertainment industry.


Streaming Sundays is a weekly streaming show designed as a simple platform for emerging artists, filmmakers, musicians and entrepreneurs to discuss and promote their products and art.  Horacio Jones is a local filmmaker and the the owner of San Diego Video Production company CinemaViva.  For over 20 years he has filmed and edited corporate videos, films and documentaries in California and Texas.  Mr. Jones is also an experienced classical guitarist and has recently started acting.  You can learn more about his work at

Streaming Sundays with Horacio Jones

Streaming Sundays – Confessions of Impact Entrepreneurs #2 with Molly Lavik and Scott Bobrow

Confessions of Impact Entreprenuers Episode 2 from CinemaViva on Vimeo.

In the second installment of Confessions of Impact Entrepreneurs, Molly Lavik interviews Scott Bobrow.  Scott is a partner in Solaris Entertainment, Space Odyssey and VR CON.  They discuss his involvement in a new video game called Space Odyssey which features world renowned astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.  Scott also reveals his insight on how to create successful crowdfunding campaigns.

Molly and Scott also discussed their involvement in VR CON which will be held during Comic-Con 2017 in San Diego.  This year VR CON will feature over 6,000 square feet of interactive, immersive experiences that all ages can enjoy.  You can find more information about it here:

About: Confession of Impact Entrepreneurs is part of Streaming Sundays, a weekly streaming show designed as a simple platform for emerging artists and entrepreneurs to discuss and promote their products and art.  Molly Lavik remotes in from Redondo Beach every Sunday at 2pm for her show featuring entrepreneurs that are making a difference in the world. She is also the founder of Mentor InSight which is a consulting and media company that is dedicated to empowering access to success by providing the knowledge you need to super achieve via forums, panels and events.

Confessions of Impact Entrepreneurs

Bacon & Eggs Slow Motion with Panasonic GH5


Here is a tasty test we did of the 180FPS slow motion function in the new Panasonic GH5.  It is the newest 4K DSLR that Panasonic just released on March 30, 2017.  This camera can film slow motion at 180 frames per second in HD and at 60 fps in 8bit 4K. I think the camera performs really well in HD and looks a lot better than the GH4 does in HD.

For this shoot we used the Sigma 18-35mm with the Metabones XL Speedbooster and a Manfrotto Monopod.  ISO was set to 200.  We used 2 Aputure Amaran lights for lighting.  There is still a lot to explore with this camera and we will continue to post cool footage as we keep experimenting with different settings.


The recipe is fairly simple:

  • Fry the bacon
  • Drain the grease or keep the grease in the pan for the eggs
  • Crack an egg or two and slip into pan over medium heat
  • When the whites are set, you can flip the egg(s) and cook to desired doneness
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve with bacon, coffee, and fried tortillas (or toast) if desired
  • ENJOY!


Horacio Jones – Director