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Paul Del VecchioOpinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 10, 2008 at 10:33:11 pm

I just wanted to get people's opinion on my landing page for my video production company, as well as for my site as a whole. The main site is my film production company and the link below is for my Video Production division.

How's the loading? Do you have problems playing the videos, would you do business with us, etc.

Here's the link:

http://www.triple-e-productions.net/services.html

Thanks!

Paul Del Vecchio - Director
http://www.triple-e-productions.net


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David Roth WeissRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 10, 2008 at 11:24:23 pm

Paul,

I don't want to offend you or sound unsupportive, because that's not what we're here for, but unfortunately, I'm not full of good news for you about that website. Trust me, websites are difficult, if you look at mine its just one page now, because I've been revising the rest for over a year now and I still hate it.

Meanwhile, all of that black on white text on the front page with the serif font is just deadly. And, a lot of the video you've chosen for the demo is very difficult for the viewer. Breast implants and gunshot effects to the head just don't combine well in a reel, and certainly don't put the viewer at ease with you, the filmmaker. Plus, the music is too dramatic and self important for what you have to show.

My advice to you is simplify things. Copy better styles from magazines and other websites. If the video you're showing now is all you've got, either minimize it, don't show it all, or go out and shoot some more and show that.

I hope this helps. Good luck...

David

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Paul Del VecchioRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 10, 2008 at 11:32:34 pm

I'm not offended at all. You're absolutely right. The content is a bit harsh on the viewer. I didn't realize that.

I'm thinking of removing the demo and leaving the rest of the videos for the moment. The demo is probably too annoying anyways, as it's a large file that automatically plays, increasing the load time of the site.

What do you suggest for the font problem? I'm a little confused as to how to clear that up.

Thanks!

Paul Del Vecchio - Director
http://www.triple-e-productions.net


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David Roth WeissRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 10, 2008 at 11:42:32 pm

Find a nice san serif font, even Helvetica will do... and use a color like navy blue instead of black. More importantly, get rid of a lot of that text. Bullet lists and visuals work better. For example, you can write a sentence about making DVDs or you can show a picture of one or more you designed under the banner "DVD Design and Creation."

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing, and Indie Film & Documentary forums.


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Ron LindeboomRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 12:08:31 am

Hi Paul,

David has already given you some of the bad news and so I will point out what first hit me: If you are using your site as a way to grab business, the client wants to know what is in it for them. They do not care what tools you use, if it meant anything to them, they'd be using them and wouldn't be looking for you.

Make your site about what you do for your clients. Give them examples of finished products that they can relate to. Show them examples. Do not ask them to read all that text and try to figure it out themselves from what you are describing. You are the "communicator" after all, so communicate what you do in the fewest number of words.

Use pictures. Use as little quantity of text as you can get away with.

Your bullet-pointed start page that you have now would work well as a worksheet schematic for you to work from.

Some people argue that templated websites that you can buy online will ill-serve you. I disagree when it comes to getting something out the door quickly, especially for someone who knows little about building websites.

As David alluded to, the goal here is to give your prospects something they are comfortable with. That is why I would recommend a templated design to start with as most of them are based on known and trusted web standards.

Please don't take this as a slap, it is meant really to help shorten your developmental cycle as much as possible.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
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Paul Del VecchioRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 12:16:06 am

So basically, too much text. I have samples in that bar on the right side... is that too hidden that you think people aren't recognizing that it's there and therefor, it is going unnoticed?

As far as templates, where can I find some decent ones? I honestly know nothing about web design, that's why I posted this. =)

Thanks!

Paul Del Vecchio - Director
http://www.triple-e-productions.net


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walter biscardiRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 12:31:21 am

Folks have already commented on some of the things they didn't like. I definitely agree on too much text and that's actually something we're working on right now with my site re-design.

What I find is that you're a creative company, but the site comes across as very corporate, bland and un-creative. If the site is supposed to sell you as a creative company, the site should at least look creative.

Lose all scrolling, everything should be on one page.

Grey on white in all squares is definitely a corporate look. You look more like a bank than a creative company.

The Demo Reel is kind of weird too. You have independent films and Special FX following a medical video demonstration. If I'm looking to post a film, I would probably think twice after seeing a medical demonstration video.

One thing I don't have on my site is a demo reel anymore. I have specific videos which the potential client can look through.

Websites are not the easiest thing to create, especially when you're running the business too. Also, by hiring someone who only does only websites, I was given a lot of advice by her as to what to do and not do on the site. We're going to spend about 6 months total completely re-designing my site.

Definitely streamline the site, lose the scrolling, lose a lot of text and think about working with that demo a bit.







Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

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Paul Del VecchioRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 2:45:48 am

Yeah I tried to pack the demo full of EVERYTHING that we offer and obviously, it doesn't work. The idea behind it was to offer a general overview of everything we offer, then have individual samples. Maybe instead of the demo, I'll just offer individual samples or even split the demo into 2 different demos - one for video production and one for filmmaking.

I really want to hire someone else to do the site, as I'm sure it's not nearly as optimized for search engines and load times as it should be.

I used to use the main homepage (http://www.triple-e-productions.net) as the landing page for video production and the video production page looked similar to that, but someone told me it doesn't look professional.

However, the site design on the main page might be questionable as well...

Any opinions on the main page (should I have stuck with that look)?

http://www.triple-e-productions.net

Paul Del Vecchio - Director
http://www.triple-e-productions.net


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Ron LindeboomRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 4:28:53 pm

[Paul Del Vecchio] "However, the site design on the main page might be questionable as well... Any opinions on the main page (should I have stuck with that look)?"

No. Spend the $50 or $60 to get a decent looking template to start from and don't clutter it up. Try to work within the constraints of the design and keep it as clean as possible.

Here are a bunch of website templates that you can see at...

http://www.templatemonster.com/website-templates.php

While they are far from a perfect solution, as I said in another post: they are cheap, they can be deployed in far less time than doing everything from scratch and in doing so you can think about what you like and how you want to change things later in an original design.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

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Ron LindeboomRe: Website design templates
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 1:15:43 am

There are some good web site design templates that can be found at...

http://www.templatemonster.com

Some will indeed disagree with me on using templates but when you are busy, have no spare time, can't spend a ton of money and want to get something that looks good, templates are a useful tool.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

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Rennie KlymykRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 1:47:15 am

I'll start by saying "you're away ahead of me" but I thought I'd still take the liberty to add something I think is valuable.

I agree with everyones thoughts so far.
My 1st impression is it has a dark feel to it (like Black Sabbath" dark).
There's too much homework - I mean all that reading is overwhelming and reminds me of walking home from school burdened with an armload of homework and in the back of my mind I'm thinking of all the fun stuff I won't be doing after supper.

What I want to add is an experience I had when I showed my graphic artist friend my 1st homemade business card many years ago. He tactfully tore it apart (literally) without making me feel to bad in the process. 1st. thing he did was edit. He kept the Video Production title and contact info. All the services I had listed were edited to basically one word each which he kept in it's own bordered area.

When he threw the 5 minute sketch back in front of me I totally understood everything he had said. He then explained that viewer's eyes need a place to go and relax - you have to have pure wide open space with nothing in it which is just clean background. The information is grouped in clumps with lots of space around. The beauty of web sites is all the pages you can add. You don't need to pile on a ton of info on every page or it becomes homework we have to wade through. Visitors will love to seek out more info if you keep them hungry for more by keeping pages simple with a clean look.

The people at slice edit have kept their main page for a long time now although I think it used to be bigger at first without all the black background. It continues to be one of my favorites, Take a look:


http://www.sliceedit.com/home.htm


"everything is broken" ......Bob Dylan


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Mike CohenRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 11, 2008 at 2:01:22 am

my opinion is - if one of the services you offer is web page design, hire someone to at least design your website and show you how to make updates which do not affect the design. Keeping design and content separate is a tenet of website administration.
Keep things simple, and make sure every page has a uniform appearance - that is, the pages should not look like you have jumped to some other website - that can be very disconcerting.

Mike Cohen


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Ryan HamiltonRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 12, 2008 at 2:39:07 am

G'day Paul,

Like some of the other responses, you really need to trim down the content. Shorten it to what you think and then half that again. People scan webpages and want info quick, and then if they like want they see want contact info quick and easy too. In lots of areas it's obvious you are trying to over embellish things way to much. Don't have a staff page with nothing on it. I know you have something there literally, but basically unless your gonna show an image of Jimmy the grip, joe the sound, mike the camera man, jill the AD1, jane the this and back them all up with real credentials don't have anything at all. To me it looks empty and unprofessional. You talk about experience and professionals but it doesn't reflect in the work, sorry to say dude. Mixed up design pages look vary amateur too. I'm on a mac and 90% of your quicktimes didn't work for me. I like many wont go get a plug-in to view your work. Not sure how you compressed your video and at what format. Your intro reel I could tell was a straight out of the box mimick of Andrew Kramer's teasers. Looks like you got the Designer Snd FX and his animated ornaments a copied his teaser style outright. It totally doesn't fit what you need to accomplish here. Your reel seems like some second rate attempt at being some blockbuster fantasy adventure trailer. Had you had the low voice over explaining your stuff I would have fell out my chair pissing my self. Shorter reels with A+ only top notch bits of your work are stronger than longer ones. somethings may be good, but as soon as I see something half ass I think you're skill level is not as good anymore. Potential clients will see this as well. Some serious criticism here, and with the other posts as well, that you need to suck up and accept. Hire a designer for your website are my final thoughts.



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Paul Del VecchioRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 12, 2008 at 7:45:38 am

Okay. I have a better idea of what I have to do.

Ryan, you said you couldn't view the Quicktime files. Not sure why this is... They're all encoded in h264.

I'm going to have to look into it.

I guess that's what happens when you make the site yourself.... I'll get rid of this crap and hire someone as soon as I get the money.

Thanks guys!

Paul Del Vecchio - Director
http://www.triple-e-productions.net


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Randy WheelerRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 12, 2008 at 4:46:10 pm

Looks like you made some major(?) changes already since your initial post or I'm getting more delusional with age. Here is a site to learn from that I like:

http://www.whiteiron.tv/demo/

Randy


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Paul Del VecchioRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 12, 2008 at 6:00:07 pm

Yeah I made some MAJOR changes. Scrapped the old "BANK" website and made this one last night. I couldn't sleep after I read Ryan's comments so I did a huge overhaul.

I'm not done but I hope this is at least better. I still need to change a few things.


The demo on that site isn't playing for me... Not sure why. I'll try a different browser.

Paul Del Vecchio - Director
http://www.triple-e-productions.net


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Scott WhitneyRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 12, 2008 at 8:34:59 pm

Paul,

I just felt the need to say that you are one tough hombre that I have a great deal of respect for. A number of people had a lot of feedback for you (some harsher than what was needed) and you just rolled with it, and accepted it all. Best of luck in your redesign.
_______________________________________

Scott Whitney
Bright Circle, Inc.
"We put the Idea in Media"
http://www.brightcircleinc.com


View Scott Whitney's profile on LinkedIn


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Timothy J. AllenRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 12, 2008 at 8:59:01 pm

Paul,
Please don't let the comments get you down or keep you awake at night. Being brave enough to float the site by so many of your peers shows that you are the kind of person that learns more every day.

I think you have the main idea from us - Keep to your core message and strip away everything that doesn't support that core message.

Most visitors will decide whether they are interested in your website within the first ten seconds of when they get there. Keep that in mind when designing your page. You want to clearly lead them to the most important things first.

(Hint: The "most important thing" is not your reel. The only reason a demo reel should be there is to demonstrate that you have the capability to complete projects at a certain level of quality and that other clients have trusted you to do so for them.)

You can lead people to "the most important things" through tried and true design principles, but make sure the website is about how your company can solve the client's problems, and not so much just about your company.

When sketching out your site, ask yourself "So what?". If the client sees anything on your site, why should they care about it? This goes for videos, testimonials, even fonts and text colors.

Anything on your site that doesn't support the main point of your site is just vanity.

Here's another link to an article about web design principles that you may find useful: http://www.garrreynolds.com/Design/basics.html

Use that knowledge combined with the head start that a well designed template can give you and I believe that you will come up with a custom site that leads customers to contact you .






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Ryan HamiltonRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 12, 2008 at 10:48:19 pm

Hey Paul,
Some folks around here think I was disrespecting you. On the contrary. I could tell that you have a strong desire and passion for your work and gave you, in my opinion, what was honest feedback. I'm sure you have high sights to be one of the best of the best and doing that has lots of hurdles and rough patches. I myself am going through it as well. We got our friends and family to sugar coat our work and say " Fantastic, looks great ". But when it doesn't, I want someone telling me so. Next time I improve it to the best of my ability, learn and move on. At some point we make it to the level where others look to our work and sites and pass them around as examples. As for the demo reel comment, tell me you didn't use Designer snd FX and the evolution animated ornaments ( or something of the sort ) and I will appologize for those remarks. Otherwise be weary of using template and stock assets because it cuts back on the creative difference you have against others. Think of it like this. Whats better, tattoo # 47 off the wall or the custom tattoo drawn just for you.



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Ron LindeboomRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 12, 2008 at 11:55:41 pm

[Ryan Hamilton] "Otherwise be weary of using template and stock assets because it cuts back on the creative difference you have against others. Think of it like this. Whats better, tattoo # 47 off the wall or the custom tattoo drawn just for you."

Ryan,

In all the years that I have worked with corporate clients, I have YET to find one who knows as much about the design process as I do. Or where assets come from. They do not know if it took me hours or if I spent a few hours designing something from stock assets. One of the highest paying gigs I ever had involved creating a soundtrack for a videowall presentation for a museum. Did I score it from scratch? No. I used stock library cut based on the emotion of the imagery. I got paid really well. Was I the composer? No, I was the guy with the check. ;o)

Think what you want, there are reasons that the term "starving artist" exists. Me, I am a designer. I will leave the art to Van Gogh, Rembrandt and DaVinci. What we make is art for the moment, hardly worthy of taking oneself so seriously as to think it will be art for the ages.

Besides, I never liked tattoos -- and I never liked using stock without playing with it, usually a lot (which still doesn't take me long). And not one of my clients has ever asked if it's all my original work. They want results not an original Rembrandt.

But MOST importantly, I never use stock assets that are the Flavor of the Week. (Which is always dangerous and so easy to spot.)

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

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Paul Del VecchioRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 13, 2008 at 12:04:09 am

Scott,

Thanks for the kind words and support! I definitely haven't taken offense to anything anyone has said. Thanks for the support though! Your website is awesome! I wish I had a website like that! hahaha

Timothy,

Thanks for that page. I'll definitely apply what I learned there and I'll also try to apply what you said in your post as well! Great information there.

Ryan,

No offense taken at all! In fact, you're comments got me moving and I redesigned the site. It's not great, but it's better than it was before. The reason I stayed up was because I thought to myself, "Geez, if he feels that way, I'm sure other people feel that way too. I don't want to embarrass myself. I better get on this quick!"

And so I did... And yes, you are correct about the Video Copilot products. I cut that promo right after I bought Evolution and I just kept it. The only downside is that I don't really see how anyone can use Evolution without being called out on using a VCP product... so I'm going to stay away from Evolution...

Most of the stuff on the site is old and I've grown and improved since then. I didn't make wise decisions about what to use and how to implement it well in reels, etc. but I know better now. I just got lazy and left it up on my site.

But especially from the comments I got on here, they've caused me to actually MOVE and DO something about it.

So Ryan, no offense taken. I know you were just trying to be REAL with me, and not sugarcoat things. I worked with a director who's friends and family told him his stuff was great when in reality, he was a hack that thought he was brilliant (probably because he was high and drunk 24/7 - even when we were shooting!).

Honestly, everyone's comments have caused me to DO SOMETHING about the "crap" I had before, so it's only going to benefit me when you look at the big picture.

And how could I be angry at that? =)



Paul Del Vecchio - Director
http://www.triple-e-productions.net


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Paul Del VecchioRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 13, 2008 at 12:12:14 am

Oh... another problem I have is that I tend to mix up and bring in my MOVIE WORK (I'm a director before anything) with my VIDEO WORK.

While I am pleased with this short film I did, I hardly think this

http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=29312335

will impress a client who wants me to shoot a video about credit reformation.

And I don't think a company that wants to shoot promotional material about lights would find it interesting that I directed this:








I always tend to mix the two fields together... Gotta break that habit.

Paul Del Vecchio - Director
http://www.triple-e-productions.net


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Ryan HamiltonRe: Opinion on my landing page...
by on Mar 13, 2008 at 1:06:09 am

Good to hear Paul. As I said though, be weary, not ignore entirely. Ready made stuff like that is great and a huge time saver, but they can still allow for personal input to make them unique in the way you decide to use them. Change sizes in them to make some contrast, add some effects that you recipe up which may be different then current trends, use them as track matt's and maskes, then fly through to a solid bg and animate in your text then use one again perhaps to reveal an other cliip and zoom into that. All I meant was it looked like you got the set, picked a couple and added them straight to your comp. Of course most clients would be oblivious to that, but when so many people use the same things it saturates the market. I'm looking at your bigger picture here. You want to be directing spots for Bang & Olufson, Sony, etc. Not Ron's Tires in your local town or city.When doing jobs on a super pro level scale I totally think stuff should be 100% original. When you think about it, you know how easy those ornaments are to make. Come up with a design in Illustrator, then copy paste it in AE into a comp, paint an animated mask over it, and there you go. You have your own original motion ornament. It will be similar perhaps, but still different then the guy down the road who has the stock stuff in his reel, advertising to the same clients. What would make someone work with you over the other guy? Cost perhaps? Experience? Word of mouth? Style or Quality? Things like this again might not matter much for your current market but I can tell you for sure in the high end stuff agencies and studios will higher you to produce work based on uniqueness and originality. I hope you blow right past the video work of seminars, local events, local business etc. Automotive, Beer, Pop-Media & Trendy Fashion are some of the genres of work I'd want to strive for if I was into video. Directing music videos as well. Hell I don't even know if thats your goal, maybe you just want to produce indy films until you get something big movie wise and take anything from weddings to business lectures just to fund you through your next endeavor. Some of the best advice I got from one of my instructors was to not make a habit of taking work if it wasn't going in the direction I wanted my career to go. To easy it is to get sucked in and keep doing jobs for a paycheck in the area you don't want to be in. Obviously if your gonna starve or loose your house do a job, but make the next one something in your ideal area. Whats gonna happen is you'll end up with a reel showing work you've done, but it will be getting clients that you don't want cause they are seeing the work in your reel and wanting that. At some point you have to break loose and go the path you want to film most, so it might as well be from the start. As you can see I have lots of free time to be offering my views. Accept or discard them, when it come down to it, whom am I really? Just a nobody who has friend and family that say my stuff is great. Good job on the instant revamp of the site btw.



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