So, what do you think of this latest live streaming #content stunt? You’re aware that Shia LaBeouf is watching all of his movies nonstop in a NYC movie theatre for several days, right? He’s watching his movies in reverse chronological order, so as he grows more and more exhausted he’s getting younger and younger on screen. Occasionally he dozes off for a moment or two. Yes, we’ve seen Shia’s glassy eyed mug in other “real life” situations. There is something mesmerizing about peeking into someone’s day, even in this non-reality, reality, as it is. I guess there are worse things out there! It would have been really interesting to have Donald Trump join him and tell him about low energy people and the other streams of consciousness the flow from his mouth.
I do have a few questions, and he should be tweeting–if for no other reason than to stay alert:
Is it totally freezing in this movie theater? His layers are accumulating.
Who is the guy on his right who keeps photo bombing the frame? Nobody stretches that much, pal!
Is it theater or theatre? (Said with dramatic flair!)
Just two days before the 2014 start of Race Across America, I am excited to announce that several of Pawpro Media’s photos from the 2012 race are included in the self-published book, What Spins The Wheel: Lessons In Leadership from Our Race for Hope” authored by Len Forkas, who successfully completed, won his age group, and finished tenth overall two years ago.
I was a member of his 13 person crew and proud to have donated 15+ days (500+ hours) of my time, gear and professional video skills to cover the team and rookie racer riding to raise money for the charity he founded, Hopecam.org, which connects seriously ill children, who are homebound, with their schoolmates by way of online video chat.
During the race I produced 33 videos, that helped promote Hopecam and Forkas and helped raise over $300,000, which in turn led to the latest fundraising endeavor of his book recounting the 2012 race. It was a grueling schedule as a singlehanded videographer, editor and voice of the reports filed, which demanded I stay awake for 48 hours at a time fueled only by Skittles and Mounds for sections of the race.
In this year’s running of RAAM, Hopecam is supporting Team Joe Barr, a cyclist our 2012 Hopecam team became acquainted with before his unfortunate withdrawal from the competition in that year because of a serious bout with altitude sickness as he encountered the Rocky Mountains. Barr will ride this year to benefit Hopecam. Donations are welcome at Hopecam.org.
I wish Joe Barr and his team good health, good weather, good results on all accounts this year. Some consider this to be the toughest bike race in the world as it is a running clock, 3000 miles in 12 days, while the Tour de France is 2,200 miles in 23 days with stops and days off. Follow Team Joe Barr’s progress during the race at https://www.facebook.com/TeamJoeBarr.
Pawpro maintains a catalogue of video footage and stills from this 2012 event.
What few people looking for video production services know is that it’s easy to get oversold, and pay for crews and equipment that are beyond what is needed for the average online video content project. There once was a clear distinction between consumer grade cameras and those used by professionals. The advent of the DSLR video camera really hammered home the blur between equipment deemed professional and amateur. In the online video world, what’s best isn’t always visible to the naked eye, and streaming video is different that television broadcasting. In the last ten years a near cataclysmic shift in the professional video production world occurred–not just in Washington DC but everywhere. The average business consumer probably didn’t realize the impact of the change because they were too busy enjoying YouTube video content on their smart phones. YouTube, editing software changes and other technological advances have made high quality video not only attainable but easily distributable on a mass scale for the mainstream. Whether you are a video production wannabe or a business looking for video content for marketing, a new world opened up. Long time video professionals who spent tens of thousands of dollars on camera gear were suddenly getting real competition from smaller businesses with the newer, cheaper equipment with a faster digital workflow. As with any business, lower overhead usually leads to lower rates, and that was and is certainly the case with video production. As you can imagine, long time video professionals, deeply invested in the more expensive gear, weren’t so thrilled by this shift In the end, there’s no gain in paying for that better equipment and more expensive crew if the difference isn’t seen in the end product. The newer DSLR gear is more than adequate for online use. If you don’t intend for a video to be broadcast on television, there’s no need to pay for broadcast level equipment and the crew that goes with it.
Let us know what you’ve experienced by completing the poll below. I’ll share the results in an upcoming entry.
The latest video produced by Pawpro Media is a good example of a business’ use of video, as well as a good example of why there’s a separate time and place for professionally produced video in contrast with do-it-yourself (DIY) content. The video link below for a top-tier commercial real estate firm, Griffith Properties, LLC, would be hard pressed to produce a video of this quality, which includes animated graphics, as well as professionally mastered music and voice-over. The attention to the quality of the video sends as big a message to viewers, as well. Businesses should care about maintaining a standard.
A self-produced video runs the risk of diminishing the reputation of a professional entity because of poor production quality. Viewers fail hear the intended message and only notice that the company wasn’t willing spend the time or money to produce a professional looking piece.
As a myriad of industries slowly warm to the idea of providing video content on their websites and social media outlets, some get cold feet when presented with the price tag for a professionally produced segment. To make matters worse, they fail to contemplate or recognize the cost of repairing their reputation from cheaper, poorly produced and planned media efforts.
So, who can use DIY video, and why? The successful applications of homespun video have generally come from small entities, non-profits or individuals where the expectations and criteria for judgement is far different from the professional world’s. And even then, there are plenty of examples of non-profits turning to video professionals and graphic artists to produce videos that look good, sound good, or if nothing else, leave you with a good feeling or call to action with homemade color and composition. In some cases a video professional might be willing to produce at a lower cost for a good cause.
I have over twenty years of experience in video. I’ve seen the industry adapt and change with technology. When I started in the business one inch tape was still the preferred master format and professional editing could only be accomplished in a large editing suite that cost tens of thousands of dollars, which was way beyond the means of small business. Today, most online media projects don’t require top-level production, but they do benefit from professional eyes and ears and knowledge of the technology.
If you have a video project and need advice about where to turn to get it started, give me a call. You tell me what you want to do and I’ll tell you how to get it done–with Pawpro Media, another video professional, or on your own.
As the leaves begin to fall here in Washington, D.C., Pawpro is working on several projects.
Three weeks left in the campaign and I’m putting the final touches on a Presidential Election video. This pro-Obama video is to be released on YouTube within the next 5 days.
In November, I will resume night owl duty and a video presence for the second running of the Anything Is Possible 5K race, which is a national running event. It’s held in cities all over the U.S. on the night the clocks turn back.
This year that night is November 4 at 1:50 AM. New to this year’s race, participants will receive a pair of PJ pants from Old Navy–while supplies last. Each participating city provides its own unique after party.
Today I am opening a gallery of photos taken while I followed Len Forkas in the 2012 Race Across America–a 3,000 mile, 12 day bike race. The social media coverage provided by Pawpro was a substantial part of why Forkas and his non-profit, Hopecam.org was able to raise more than $300,000.
These are purely photos which is a distinction from the miles of video I compiled. In almost two weeks on the road, I only dedicated myself to shooting stills for a few hours total because of the priority to get video coverage and the limits on awake time, available wireless signals, editing time, and time being in proximity to Forkas to shoot footage. The collection will grow as I begin to review the video footage and create stills from certain moments of it.
When solo shooting a live event such as this the photographer/videographer must commit to one medium or the other for fear of capturing nothing if caught transitioning. The photographic moments either occur at a painstakingly slow or frustratingly unexpected pace. In sports gab, that means you must be on your toes at all times. If I had it to do again there would be things done differently, and other things that would be impossible to do differently under the same conditions. As an example, as much as I wanted to stay awake for 48 straight hours, sleep a few hours, rinse and repeat, no amount of Red Bull was going to keep me awake beyond a certain point. It was an experience that I will never forget. It took several weeks for my hand to recuperate from constantly holding the camera.
I was going to start this post by drawing the parallels between what was accomplished by Len Forkas and his Race Across America for Hopecam and Diana Nyad’s latest attempt to swim from Cuba to Florida. I was rooting for her, and remember how captured I was by her initial attempt back in the late ’70’s. It was that spirit for adventure that inspired me to join in the excitement of Race Across America. Then word came she had been pulled from the water–beaten by jellyfish, weather and sharks. My initial thought was, “I’m so relieved that there were no jellyfish or sharks to worry about in RAAM!” I don’t think the Hopecam crew would have survived as long as Nyad in such elements. As it happened, we didn’t have a drop of rain in our 11 day crossing of the U.S.
Thankfully, Len Forkas met with success in his endeavor. However, falling short at any extreme adventure comes with a fair amount of pride in having planned and made the attempt, at all. I am of the belief that so few can even claim to have conceived and committed to such outrageous challenges, that to have tried and stopped is no failure in the world of extreme sports. Although, I know that the individuals who commit to these challenges are rarely satisfied just by the attempt.
In the process of producing videos, I have often been in the company of accomplished and extraordinary people. Most of them adults. Most of them professionals. In the latest Pawpro Media video release we are highlighting the children of Hopecam who are, or have been, homebound and isolated by treatment for life threatening illnesses. It’s hard to not be impressed by their composure and strength.
For ten years Hopecam.org has supplied computers, cameras, hardware and any technical support necessary to connect these children with their school friends. Founder, Len Forkas, took on the mission to address this often overlooked, yet critical, aspect of long-term medical treatment for children after watching his son suffer with leukemia, and the painful emotional separation from his classmates at the age of nine. Often these children are separated from their friends for a year or more while being treated, which can have a significant effect on their psychological and physical well-being. The risk of a complicating infection is just too great.
To hear former Hopecam user, Daniel, now 13 years old, recall his initial thoughts of being diagnosed with cancer, wondering how long he has to live, wondering whether he will ever see his friends again isn’t a topic of which we expect a child to be conversent. And his mother, Donna, recalling how she worried about how to “. . . keep him whole” in the process. But these children and families are forever changed by this event.
With Len’s participation this coming June in the famed cross-country cycling event, Race Across America, Hopecam hopes to reach more children and make more people aware of childhood cancer, Hopecam and the need for this connection in the lives of the children and families isolated by intensive medical treatment. Please help Hopecam raise $150,000 in 2012 to carry out this mission. Visit Hopecam.org to donate today.
Perhaps it’s just the Valentine’s Day spirit, but I’ve got to say I just love the shots that come out of the GoPro Hero. The first Pawpro project to include GoPro footage is for Hopecam.org where we’ll focus on the founder’s upcoming cross-country bicycle trek in the famed Race Across America. Of course the Bicycle lends itself to some interesting angles, and the wide array of GoPro mounts oblige almost any angle.
This is just a sample of the possible shots. I’m sure there will be many other applications of its footage down the road. Just another tool that Pawpro can utilize to tell whatever story you need to tell.
If your vision is a little blurry on how video and multimedia applies to your business or Web site and social media strategy, let me bring things into focus. First and foremost, research now consistently shows that over 50% of consumers begin their search for products or services online. In this new consumer world any individual business is just a few clicks away from a new client, or nothing at all. The first few seconds and the first impressions of a browsing consumer will either engage and provide the needed information, or it will send him away frustrated and looking for the answers elsewhere.
Company Web sites have also become a convenient and economical way for companies to engage and inform their own employees. It’s an easy oversight, but don’t forget, employees are no different from clients in that they all appreciate convenience.
Videotaping business conferences and presentations is nothing new. However, making these recordings accessible on company Web sites or other public video sharing sites such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Go Daddy is now less of a trend, and more a necessity. Plus, these days it’s easy to manage who can and can’t see this content.
Information sharing and the growing demand for accessible, intra-company content of all kinds has become an expectation rather than a high-end luxury. As employees and companies, small and large, manage the 24/7 world, online video content feeds the need for employers and employees alike. It’s also a cost-effective option as it reduces or removes the need to hold the same meeting in multiple locations or regions. Hold the meeting once, share the information and its content as many times as necessary.
Video also allows the message to be crafted and controlled so it’s uniformly sent and received, which is equally important whether the target is an employee or a client. It’s never been easier to incorporate PowerPoint presentations, Web site and computer screen navigation into a clean video format as the market of creative applications allowing their inclusion grows.
Here are two examples of the application of video in business.
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