R.G.Stafford

Features writer, researcher, photographer, video-maker, online content producer, trainer

 
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I'm based in the UK at the northern end of England, a few miles from Scotland. But I work for customers around the world.

 

Services: Editing to Enhance a Zoom Interview

The video conferencing software Zoom has become incredibly popular this year. In part through necessity, due to Covid-19. But also because Zoom is easy to use and works well. It allows the recording of video calls too and many people have used this feature to produce video interviews for websites and YouTube.

And while the result is fine, with a little bit of editing it can be much better and become more like a fully-fledged TV programme. That's exactly what I've been doing for customers since March.

Individual cameras can be picked out and made full screen so we can cut between them for more impact: action and reaction. Photographs, videos, titles, graphics and backgrounds can be added and cameras positioned within those.

Editing for Zoom videos

Often neglected, audio is an important part of videos. Zoom allows the audio of each person to be recorded separately. These files can be used to correct any volume imbalance between the participants and in other creative ways during editing. Subtle improvements that make the finished product more enjoyable to watch.

You get easy upload and download from my fileserver, quick turnaround when required and MP4 files that are ready for YouTube or your website. By working together, with ideas for setup and edit-friendly techniques if required, the final result can be highly engaging for the viewer.

Some extracts showing sequences using graphics, photographs and backgrounds. In every instance the starting point was a zoom video.

The cost depends on how much work. Prices start at around $100 for a basic edit of up to 45 minutes final duration.

If you would like to to discuss this for your projects, get in touch.

 

Layout for print and eBooks

Covers and page layout for a regular customer. Get in touch for copywriting, editing and basic layouts for books (including the ebook formats epub, mobi & PDF), newsletters and leaflets.

Layout for print and eBook

 

Archive Collection

I'm excited to launch a new section on my website about the Royalty Cinema. The Archive Collection features a high quality version of the documentary and more than two hours of additional video and film — unused footage, out-takes and other video of Gosforth from the same period.

Archive Collection

I shot the documentary "Last Reel at the Royalty" in 1981 when I was still a teenager. It runs for 27 minutes and is about the closure of the cinema.

Last Reel At the Royalty It's great that 39 years later it continues to be viewed on a daily basis.

Most of the extras are available for the first time in nearly 40 years. To prepare them for the website I went back to the master videotapes and made new uncompressed digital transfers to work from. Thanks to advances in storage over the last decade, these huge digital files (27Gb per hour) can be stored for the future now.

There's a small one-time charge for access to the Collection for 30 days, but it's only £2.49.

One of my goals is to provide websites that are fast, easy and pleasant to use. I tend to code them from scratch. The Archive Collection integrates with payment by PayPal in a simple way.

Charging a small amount covers the website costs. Hosting video can be costly and there is no longer any online ad revenue. It allows me to deliver hours of content and a good experience. I believe this is the way forward.

 

Video: animated title sequence

An animated title sequence for an interview programme. Using timelapse library footage that I shot in 2013.

 
Press release to news article

Press release becomes a news article

A 300-word press release that I wrote for a local shop ended up being printed word-for-word in the main local newspaper for the town (I didn't write the corny headline!).

The piece appeared on two-thirds of page four and was trailed in the "sweet spot" near the top right of the front page.

Two of the exclusive photographs that I shot were included in the article. Together with four library pictures that we picked, cleared and sent. A nice ready-made package for the editorial team.

Press release to news article

The article was syndicated to at least one other newspaper in the publishing group and has been picked up by websites and search engines.

The result: lots of interest generated for the business, with customers calling in to talk about the appearance and the products featured.

To discuss promotional content for your business or cause get in touch here.

 
portrait of trans woman Julia Grant

Photography: Julia Grant

A portrait of transgender pioneer and businesswoman Julia Grant who has died at age 64.

I photographed Julia on 21 August 2013. We had been to a discussion at Manchester Town Hall nearby. This shot was taken in a cafe bar on John Dalton Street.

If you would like to publish this image get in touch here quoting reference m111715.

ITV Granada Reports and BBC Northwest Tonight chose this photograph for their tributes to Julia Grant on 3 January 2019. I am touched that Julia's family chose it to be on the printed programme for her funeral.

 

Home video, camcorders & film, digital & teaching

From 1986 until the early 2000s I produced illustrated feature articles and booklets for national film, video-making and digital photography magazines. I was one of the best-known contributors in the UK. Read more and see some tearsheets...

 

Tearsheets

Using a monopod

Page images from the 1980s and 1990s. A small selection of my published photographs and written features.

 

Some articles

On location with a BBC make-up designer in 1989.

Recording On the Waterfront at the BBC

I talk with amateur videomakers who sell footage to television and the broadcasters who buy it in The Hard Sell [PDF] (May 1996).

 

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