Wednesday 23 December 2015


Pancake World – one of the world’s leading crepe and equipment wholesalers – has come up with a unique way to celebrate this Christmas season by spreading a bit of holiday cheer, and Candy Jar Films was there to help make it happen.

Embracing social media across various platforms including Vine, Twitter and Facebook, this South Wales firm has created a hilarious take on the Twelve Days of Christmas featuring pancakes and waffles.

Here's the first day:

Watch more here: 12 Days of (pancake) Christmas playlist

Company owner, Loic Moinion, who operates from Llantwit Major in South Wales, has swapped spatulas and chocolate spread for tinsel and garish jumpers to get into the festive spirit. Originally from Breton in Northern France, the home of crepes, Loic settled in South Wales several years ago after falling in love with the scenery, friendly locals, and Welsh appreciation of good food.

He said: "I know pancakes aren't necessarily the thing one associates with Christmas, but I think there's room for some festive versions of crepes and waffles for that matter. It's definitely the time when we can indulge ourselves a little, and enjoy the kinds of foods we wouldn't eat so much of the rest of the year."

Pancake World has grown steadily over the last few years thanks to the proliferation of cafes and ice cream parlours that have responded to the demand for good coffee and indulgent treats. Crepes and Waffles are more popular than ever in Wales and Loic has been working flat out to serve the needs of his customers. 

In the New Year Pancake World is setting up the first Creperie Training Kitchen in the UK, with the hope of assisting new or existing owners to either or perfect their crepe making or barista skills. Loic continued: “We’ve been inundated with requests from people to improve their skills. We had no idea that this was not being offered and decided to step up to the mike, and invite them to our new training studio in Llantwit Major. If this works we hope to roll it out across the country.”

While Loic isn't expecting to reach the coveted No 1 Christmas slot with this video, he hopes people will enjoy his interpretation of a festive musical staple. "It's just a bit of fun, and if my customers or anyone else enjoys it, I'll be a happy Frenchman!"

Follow Pancake World here:

Candy Jar Films is a video production company based in Cardiff. Check out our website here:

Friday 24 July 2015


In this day and age, it is virtually impossible to run a business without a website. It's a vital communication tool which enables your customers and clients to engage with your products or services – a shop window that's available 24/7, world-wide.

So what do you put on your website? Some text, a few photos maybe ... but is that enough?

It used to be, but not anymore. Video has now become an essential component of any self-respecting website. Here's the top five reasons why you need to make use of video – now!

1. Video makes your website 'sticky'
People are more likely to stick around if they see a video on your site. They'll watch the video and be more inclined to browse a bit longer.

2. Video encourages customers to buy your product or service
Because visitors are more likely to stick around, they're more likely to buy from you. If you have an online shop, video will help drive them to it and spend some money!

3. Video helps your Google rating
If you upload your video to YouTube, you'll benefit from the fact that YouTube is owned by Google. Google wields great power when it comes to search engine rankings and having video content from YouTube will do wonders for your site's Search Engine Optimisation.

4. Video improves your reputation
A well-produced video will show that you're serious about what you do. Making use of real people (ie you!), will demonstrate to customers that you actually are a real person – and people much prefer to buy from human beings.

5. Video transcends international borders

The beauty of video is that the visuals can be enough to communicate a message. You don't need to pay for expensive translations, just let the video do the talking.
Candy Jar Films is part of the Candy Jar Group:


Friday 23 January 2015


Image by 'Saine' AKA Michelle Dennis via
Clearly, video is an important marketing tool for any business and there are lots of options. If you are new to video it can often be a confusing and bewildering subject. What is the best approach? How do you get the most out of it?

Well, Candy Jar Films is here to help with an insider guide to making video work for you.

First of all, you need to consider what kind of video you want to make. There are many kinds of videos you might want to consider making to help promote your business. Here are five to start you off:

1. Animation
People love short animations that give a punchy message backed by some funky music. This can be done with simple use of dynamic text or you can become more sophisticated by employing such techniques as stop-motion or timelapse. Depending on what you want will affect the cost significantly as animation is quite time consuming and potentially expensive. The upshot is that animation is a popular type of video and can make a big impact on the audience, especially if the idea is quirky, original and fun.

Pros: Eye-catching animations are great marketing tools
Cons: Can be costly, but not if you keep things short and simple

2. Corporate Promo
Don't be put off by the title. Many businesses get great attention from these kinds of videos. Typically centred around a story or theme, various employees and/or customers are interviewed, accompanied by shots relevant to the business. A fast-paced approach to the edit, including upbeat music and perhaps some graphics, helps to keep the potential customer interested. You can do a lot in terms of communicating what kind of business you are in two or three minutes. One key lesson from marketing is that 'people buy from people' and if you come across as friendly, approachable and trustworthy then you've already gone a long way toward convincing someone to spend their hard-earned cash with you.

Pros: Communicates your business well with a broad brushstroke
Cons: Might seem a bit familiar, so you need to be creative!

3. Drama 
This might sound a bit off-the-wall, but a short drama can create a real emotional connection that other types of video may struggle to do. It requires a lot of thought and planning, but the payoff is great. Bear in mind that a lot of TV adverts use actors to tell a story about the product all the time. Take the famous Sainsbury's 2014 Christmas Advert featuring soldiers from the First World War. It was a two-minute movie with cinematic shots, detailed sets and period costume. You don't, however, need a Hollywood budget these days to create something just as powerful.

Pros: Eye-catching and memorable, making you stand out from the crowd
Cons: Can be expensive, but as with most things a bit of planning and creativity can keep budgets low

4. 'How to' Presentation
You may have seen these on YouTube: people demonstrating how to do something in a simple step-by-step guide. For example, if you're a gardener, you could shoot a video that explains how to prepare plants for the winter. If you're a mechanic, you could show how to change the fan belt in a car. Such videos help to show your customers that you have good subject knowledge and help to give a little glimpse into your personality as well.

Pros: Cheap, quick and easy to make
Cons: You might enjoy doing them so much you end up doing loads of them!

5. Talking Heads / Green screen
Similar to the Corporate Promo video, this is a simpler version with key people talking on camera about the business – either the business owner or customers or both. If you shoot in front of a 'green screen' you have the ability (with the right software) to choose whatever background you want and, most importantly, change your mind at the last minute! Also, in the edit, you might cut away to photos of your business or product.

Pros: Cheap, quick and easy to make

Cons: Can be a bit unexciting, but there are ways to liven things up

People these days are known for having short attention spans. A 2013 study declared the average person's attention span to be about eight seconds long! With this in mind, it's worth considering keeping your video short and snappy. There's not a huge amount you can fit into eight seconds, so chances are your video will be anything from one to three minutes - but as the saying goes 'less is more'.

Getting it made
Put simply, you have two options: make it yourself or get the professionals in.

If you choose to make it yourself, make sure you know what you're doing. 'Amateur' videos can do more harm than good to your business reputation. Shaky camera angles, poor sound quality and unnecessary edits will give the wrong impression and could easily cost you sales. You don't have to spend a fortune on kit (most smartphones these days can shoot pretty decent video footage), but you will need access to editing software and a way of getting your video out to your customers via sites like YouTube and Facebook. There are plenty of tutorials online that show you the basics – learn as much as you can first and when you're ready, get out there and start filming!

The only downside with making a video yourself is that it can be time consuming and, if you're new to filmmaking, bewildering too! Hiring in the expertise of a video production company can save you a lot of headaches in that area, and ensure the final piece is of a professional quality. It's worth bearing in mind, however, that as with most things, you get what you pay for.

Make sure you're hiring an individual company who has a track record of making the kind of videos you want to make. It may even be worth getting recommendations or testimonials from previous clients before committing to the work.

Like any project, you want to make sure you have thought it through and planned everything meticulously. All sorts of unforeseen happenings can delay things and add to the cost. Obviously you can't anticipate every eventuality, but planning effectively will minimise the impact of these unfortunate happenings!

With a good production company on your side, you'll be guided through the process from scripting/planning to the shoot right through to the edit, and at the end have a funky new video to share with the world!

Channels – where to show your video
So now you've got your shiny new video, where do you show it? At the very least you must have it on your website. You can host the video yourself or embed from other sites (see below), but whatever you do make sure it's visible on your site (preferably your homepage) and that people can easily watch it.

Most businesses can't afford TV adverts, even though the cost of production has reduced significantly over the years. If you have the budget though, you might want to consider buying some airtime. Major channels such as ITV or Channel 4 can be very pricey for most businesses, but some smaller satellite channels will be more affordable – just remember that the viewing figures will be considerably lower.

If TV ads are beyond your reach, the most obvious avenue is to upload the video to YouTube. In fact, you HAVE to upload your video to YouTube. Seeing as it's the number one video-sharing website on the entire planet, you can't afford not to! As YouTube is not the only site of its kind on the web, you might also want to consider using some of the other video-sharing sites such as Vimeo, Dailymotion or Vine. If you don't already have a Facebook Page, Twitter account or Blog you need to set these up ASAP. You can then link to your video on all of these social media sites, helping to make your video visible to as wide an audience as possible.
Online video may be all that marketeers talk about these days, but don't forget the value of the 'physical' world. There's also potential for using your video in other settings:

- Trade shows: If you've hired a stand, make sure you bring a big screen to play your video on a loop. People will be more likely to stop and look than if all you've got is a poster or stack of leaflets.
- Presentations: Had an invite to speak at a business breakfast or seminar? Show a video as part of your talk and people will be more likely to remember what you said.
- Business Premises: If you have a physical business location for trading e.g. a shop, install a TV screen in your window and play the video. It's free advertising that can potentially work for you 24/7.

What next?
With your video taking prominence on your website, YouTube channel and Facebook page, potential customers will now be able to quickly see what your business is about. If you want to see the video getting lots of 'hits' you will need to put in a bit of work to get it out there amongst all the noise of the internet. You may get lucky and find the video goes viral – in which case, you can sit back and watch the hit counter sky-rocket – but that is dependant on large numbers of people sharing a link to it. Once won't be enough though, and you'll need to keep sharing over a period of time (but don't go overboard – people hate spammers!) over as many different channels as possible.

Now that everything is done, it may be that you are happy with the video – it's on your website and it does the job. It's out there for people to see it if they want, and that's good enough. There is a case to argue, however, that one video isn't enough and that to really make good use of the medium you need to engage with it on a regular basis.

YouTube channels only thrive if they continue to be updated, whether it's monthly, weekly or daily. It might be impossible to upload videos this often but keeping your video channel fresh (just like your website) is an important part of any online SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy.

Ideally, you want to build up a following of YouTube subscribers keen to watch the next video instalment. That can be a boon for any business that relies on having a decent online presence.

In Summary
Whatever way you decide to approach video, it's important to recognise its value and how getting it right is key. As with most things, budgets can dictate what we plan to do, but with the right amount of thought and planning you will be surprised at what can be achieved.

Key things to consider:
- Decide what kind of video you want
- Do it right, either by yourself or getting professionals to help
- Plan things thoroughly!
- Get the video out on the web in as many places as possible
- Think about following up with more videos

About Candy Jar
Candy Jar Films is a video production company based in Cardiff, South Wales. We are able to produce videos for a range of clients and budgets – big or small – anywhere in the UK. Need some help or advice? Contact us to get talking!

Monday 15 September 2014


This will enable every video frame that is recorded to be numbered which will represent hours, minutes, seconds and frame. This will allow precise identification of each frame when editing and the operator is usually the one to arrange the method of frame numbering that is going to be used.

Record run time code is a setting which allows you the choice between numbering each frame with a consecutive number each time the camera records. You can adjust the internal clock to suit the real time and day and when a recording will take place, the time at that particular point will re-code against the frame; this s either called free run recording or time of day recording.

There are typically two methods of recording:
  1. Longitudinal time code – This is recorded with a fixed head on a track reserved for time code. It can be decoded at normal playback speed and at fast forward or rewind but it can’t be read unless the tape is moving as there is no replayed signal to be recoded.
  2. Vertical interval time code – This is time-compressed to fit the duration of one TV line and recorded as a pseudo video signal on one of the unused lines between frames. This record as a variation in signal amplitude once per frame as binary digits; i.e. 0 = black and 1 = peak white. This is also recorded in pseudo TV signal and can be read in still mode which an editor may need.
This allows time code to be stored as digital data in the sub code format of DVCPro and Digital-S. Since this is written in data, it can also be read in still mode even while editing. The sub code area of DVCPro track is used to record time code and user bit data.

Control track is a linear track recorded on the edge of the tape at frame frequency as a reference pulse for running speed of the replay VTR. This provides data for a frame counter which the camera’s LCD can display. It is helpful for editors to have the recorded cassette have a continuous control track and to reset to zero at the start of each tape.

When you select CTL, the time codes are a translation of the reference pulse into a convenient method of displaying tape elapsed. A main purpose of striping a tape for editing is to record a continuous control track. However, if a CTL is selected, in mid-cassette and the Reset button is depressed, the control track will reset to zero and will no longer indicate tape elapsed time.

The cause of headaches among editors used to be where a single tape had a break in the timecode resulting in multiple '0000000' points, which would confuse the editing system during logging. Nowadays, with most modern non-linear editing applications, timecode has become less of an issue and simply useful in locating a particular clip.

Monday 1 September 2014


A frame in the PAL television signal is made of two interlaced fields with a repeated rate of 50 fields per second. The charged couple device (CCD) will scan an image 50 times every second which is the average shutter speed of a PAL video camera. You can adjust it to reduce the time it takes to collect the light from a field; you can also reduce the length of the read-out pulse which is equivalent to the increase of the shutter speed. The shutter will increase the time by switched steps, improving the reproduction of motion but also reducing sensitivity.

There are different steps that a shutter speed can be altered, such as;
  • 1/60 of a second
  • 1/125 of a second
  • 1/500 of a second
  • 1/1000 of a second
  • 1/2000 of a second
Some cameras will be continuously varied in 0.5 Hz steps. With older CRT computer displays, black or white horizontal bands will often appear across the screen because the scan frequency of most computer display will differ from the television system of PAL (50Hz). However, altering the shutter speed will allow the camera exposure interval to match the computer refresh scanning frequency which will reduce or eliminate the horizontal streaking. Flatscreen LCD monitors do not have this problem and as CRTs have become more or less obsolete this issue does not generally affect today's filmmaker.

The PAL shutter speed is usually set to 1/50 of a second. This speed will make a fast moving subject that is in front of the camera appear blurred. The image definition of a moving object can be improved by reducing the time interval of the exposure if there is an increase in the electronic shutter speed; this is useful when slow motion replay is required. However, reducing the time interval will reduce the amount of light that will be captured by CCD scans and therefore increased shutter speed will require the aperture to be opened.

Short pulses of light at a frequency that is depended on the mains supply can include: fluorescent tubes, HMI discharge lamps and neon signs. If the correct settings are not used, the screen will produce severe flicker.

A high shutter speed can be used with a HMI/MSR light source but it may not coincide with the shutter open and colour drift; usually a cycle of blue and yellow but can be eliminated by switching the shutter off but not with FT sensors as they have a mechanical shutter and cannot be switched off.

This is when the camera will be programmed to make brief exposures at specific intervals. The time interval, movement of the shot and time of the recording is dependent on the captured shot. Time lapse is an animation technique where objects are repositioned between each brief recording. It is needed to estimate how long the sequence will run in normal speed, the real time event completion and the duration of each shot. Some shots will require more complicated time lapse sequences than others.

Monday 11 August 2014


It is very easy to believe that the two dimensional images when you watch a television programme or film are believable reproduction of the original scene. There are many manipulated productions on television that have the audience believing that they are watching an honest representation of what was filmed at the time.

It is an important technique to manipulate exposure to control the look of a shot. Video cameras are not as adaptable as human perception; subtle tonal differences can be easily detected by the eye, the brain automatically adjusting and interpreting the information without us having to consciously think about it.

The signal on the television is designed to handle no more than approximately 40:1. However, there is another difference between viewing a television image and observing a subject; a television image is attempting to tell a story and also creating an atmosphere or emotion designed to manipulate the response of the viewer(s). On the other hand, human perception is conditioned by psychological factors which sometimes delude us into often seeing what we expect to see as opposed to what we really are seeing. For this process, exposure plays a crucial part of camerawork. A lot of thought needs to go into what is required including; tones recoded, use of lighting, staging, stop number etc. all to affect the observer and how he relates to the image(s) shown, this is important and a key production tool. Factors which can affect decisions on exposure are:
1. Contrast range of the recording medium and viewing conditions.
2. Choice of peak white and the details in the shadows is to be preserved.
3. Subject priority – the principal subject in the frame.
4. The electronic methods of controlling contrast range and which one are used.
5. The lighting techniques applied in controlling the contrast.
6. The staging directions – where someone is placed affects the contrast range.

- An overall system gamma of around 1.08 is required for an accurate conversion of a range of tonal contrast going from light into an electrical signal and back again.
- The use of additional lamps or graduated filters or compression of highlights will be required when necessary when the scene contrast range can’t be accommodated by the five-stop handling ability of the camera.
- The camera man will decide the choice of compressed tones by altering the iris by either the use of highlight control or the transfer of the camera’s characteristics.
- Automatic exposure cannot judge what may be the important subject in the frame. It gives exposure for the average light levels and some the weighting to centre frame and continuously adjusts to any change in the light level in the frame.
- It achieves exposure by a combination of F number, shutter speed and gain setting. The noise will increase with the increasing gain and the shutter speed will be dependent on the subject content. The F numbers control the depth of field and are based on shot content.

When a lens aperture is chosen to shoot in daylight, it will be dependent on the choice of the required exposure. The depth of field is proportional to the F number. Other factors may affect exposure if the in focus zone is a significant consideration in the shot composition. Several things may need to be adjusted such as:

1. Neutral density filters.
2. Altering gain which includes the use of negative gain.
3. Altering the shutter speed.
4. Adding or removing light sources.

More often than not, there are opportunities to achieve required aperture when shooting interior shots by the choice of lighting treatment, however, daylight is at many times more powerful than portable lighting kits. Some of the time, the depth of field on shots that are similar in size will need to be intercut in order to be matched. The higher lens specification that is required for digital cameras usually ensures that the slight loss of resolution is not noticeable even when you are working wide open, however the lens sharpness may decrease while the lens opens up. Definition problems may occur with the auto-focus and anti-shake devices, even more when you are attempting to extend the zoom range electronic magnification.

Monday 4 August 2014


The sensitivity of the camera will usually be reference to 4 interlinking element by camera manufacturers.
1.A subject with peak white reflectivity.
2. Scene illumination.
3. F number.
4. Signal-to-noise ratio for a stated signal.

For example: A peak white subject that has 89.9% reflectance lit by 2000 lux quoting the signal or noise ratio will be expressed as the resulting F number when it is exposed. From that example: most of the current digital cameras will be F8 or a better with a signal or noise ratio of 60dB. This does not indicate how much light the camera should use but instead, it allows different camera sensitivity.

Greater amplification of weak signals could increase the sensitivity of the camera but it may degrade the picture by adding noise which would be generated by the camera circuits. Contour or gamma correction will not necessarily be needed when measuring the signal or noise ratio. Manufacturers may vary in the way that they will state camera sensitivity, and because of this, comparing the differences between the models will require a conversion of the specification figures. If the camera has the same F number, then the higher the signal or noise ration and the lower the scene illuminance or lux, the more sensitive the camera will be.

If there is insufficient light that exposes the picture, then the gain of the head amplifiers may need to be increased and any additional gain will be calibrated in dBs. An example of this would be adding +6dBs which would double the amount of light that is available to the sensors. The amount of switch gain that is available would usually depend on the camera. Some cameras however, will automatically increase gain if the light were to decrease when a specific F number is selected. This could increase noise to an unacceptable level without the cameraman being aware. Cameras may also have a negative gain setting which would reduce noise and control depth of field without the use of filters.

+3dB will be equivalent to opening up 0.5 stop
+6dB will be equivalent to opening up 1 stop
+9dB will be equivalent to opening up 1.5 stops
+12dB will be equivalent to opening up 2 stops
+18dB will be equivalent to opening up 3 stops
+24dB will be equivalent to opening up 4 stops

Any extra gain in the amplification is a corresponding decrease in the signal to noise ratio and will result in an increase in noise in the picture.

A video broadcast camera will have a reliable light meter if it has a good auto-exposure system. Most cameras will use a combination of three different exposures: 1. Manual exposure 2. Instant auto-exposure 3. Zebra exposure Some cameramen with a film background sometimes feel more comfortable when a using light meter to check exposure level; they would be able to do this by an equivalent ASA rating which would be logarithmic. There are several methods to determine the rating:
- The sensitivity of the video camera uses a stated light level, signal to noise level, a surface, with a known reflectance value and with the shutter set at 1/50.
- Japanese camera manufacturers use a standard reflectance of 89.9% as peak white while UK television practice is to use a 60% reflectance value as peak white therefore an illuminance level of 3000 lux must be used when transposing a rating of 2000 lux with 89.9% reflectance to 60% peak white working.

Camera sensitivity has increased over the years and in the last few, cameras have begun to include a negative gain setting.

IMAGE INTENSIFIERS To boost sensitivity, image intensifiers are fitted between camera and lens while shooting is occurring in low light levels. The end picture may lack contrast and colour but it will produce recognizable images.