Being On Camera

22 Feb

Everyone involved behind the camera should try their hand at it, if only to fully understand the anxiety of what the talent goes through. There’s the anxiety that you’ll come across as stupid, ugly or untalented, but also the stress of just trying to make everyone behind the camera happy while being completely ignorant of your job performance. While you may have a firm grasp of what you look and sound like, you really don’t know how you actually come across until you’ve had your self-perceptions challenged by a director’s version of the reality. And when a good director understands these issues first-hand, they learn to better incorporate their talent in on their ideas to get the very best performances.

Here I am as Mr. Anxiety, a character created for BuzzFeed Video:

Video produced by the amazing Bobby Miller.

Ironic Deaths: 1st BuzzFeed Video

21 Nov

At the beginning of October this year, I began a contract working for BuzzFeed, on their video team.

My first BuzzFeed video, The 5 Most Ironic Deaths in History, also marks my first attempt at animation. With over 800,000 views, it’s the most Liked, and within the Top 10 most watched BuzzFeed videos of the week.

Enjoy!

Trolling Thumbnails

2 Sep

Don’t like your mandatory Google+ profile? Do you hate having your Gmail and YouTube accounts merged? Are you tired of being coerced into having every online interaction made completely public? Sick of choosing profile pictures?

Me, too.

Google Image Thumbnail BTSSo get creative.

Google Image Thumbnail Finger GunAnd stand out from crowd.

Created with Adobe CS6.

2001: A Space Comedy

24 Aug

If you’ve never seen the Stanley Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey you’re missing out on both a cinematic masterpiece, and the movie that has undoubtedly had the greatest influence on the science fiction genre. And if you have seen 2001, then you’ll probably enjoy this parody more than those who haven’t seen it.

A Wes Anderson-inspired recut trailer for 2001. Join Dave, Frank and the lovably goofy super-computer, HAL 9000 on a hilarious, runaway journey through the cosmos!

Video made with Adobe Premiere Pro, Soundbooth and After Effects.

 

The Star Wars Mashup Video

1 May

My newest project in video and online media: a Star Wars parody!  For the past few weeks, I spent some free time dubbing the voice of 9 year-old Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) of The Phantom Menace onto footage of Darth Vader (David Prowse) from Star Wars.

Little Anakin as Darth Vader: Star Wars Parody

While the video was originally meant to be less than a minute, I had too much fun with it and took it to the extreme. When re-editing the entire Death Star battle into a 3+ minute action sequence, my inner-child love of blowing things up à la video game style was released. From there, it became obsessive.

My main goal here, mind having fun editing something, is using the video as a new experiment in VSEO. While incorporating my old practice of keyword density, I’m slowly pushing out the video through social media, and seeing how it progresses organically. Because of such high competition of the relative keywords and extensive video length, it will be quite a challenge.

Another thought was how YouTube would respond to my fair use of copyrighted footage. Within seconds of uploading as an unlisted video, it was immediately blocked by 20th Century Fox through some auto-recognize video tool. I disputed the charge, as it was a transformative work, and Fox kindly released their claim 7 days later. That’s it, really. Very cut and dry, though I know of others who did not see as kind of a result.

Video made with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5, Soundbooth and After Effects CS5.

 

Corporate Bloopers

15 Jan

Creating corporate videos can be tough work, especially when time and resources are limited, which can make the process seem even more tedious and exhausting. The key to overcoming this is keeping the mood relaxed and fun, which can sometimes result in incidental hilarity caught on camera.

To pay the on-camera spokespersons back for enduring the frustrations of production, I compiled assorted funny errors and follies for the entire company to glimpse into their hard work. Presenting this blooper video at the annual sales dinner proved to the rest of the company that being on-camera wasn’t so easy, as well as proving to the on-camera spokespersons that they weren’t alone in their mistakes.

The people in these corporate videos are the real people that work at this company, from sales, customer service to the machinists (watch the finished videos here). None of them had on-camera experience, or the luxury of a teleprompter, and the skill of memorizing lines as an actor would had never been developed. For the first few videos, we tried letting them improvise the lines, however this proved to be nearly impossible to edit because each statement might lead-in to the next, repetition was constant, and some nouns were replaced from one take to the next. [Continue Reading...]

Bad Copywriting is Bad

4 Oct

The other day, I found some astonishingly bad product copy on the back of a mortar and pestle box. Not just the fussy mistake of opening a sentence with “and,” but completely careless duplicates of previous sentences. It’s hard to imagine that someone was paid to write this, and nobody down the chain ever caught the mistakes before it was printed, much less shelved in a store.

After taking a photo, I couldn’t resist posting it for the world to see.

 

 

Made with Adobe Photoshop CS5.

Know of any more bad copywriting? Share it here!

Sci-Fi Ads

2 Sep

I had a fun idea of combining satire with still images from old, cautionary sci-fi movies, to advert against the same disaster it was trying to warn us about. Next, I think I’ll do Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Made with Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator CS5.

Buying YouTube Views and Why Not to Do It

28 Aug

It should come as to no surprise that you can purchase YouTube views, likes, comments and subscribers in order for the video, or brand, to appear more popular than it actually is. Popularly is a powerful tool to have, but it’s completely hollow if not genuinely deserved.

In fact, it works against most companies because if defies exactly why you would implement a video campaign in the first place: to build trust and relationship. Now, you’ve not only broken ethics, but you left evidence connecting yourself to it.

How it Works and Why it Doesn’t

If you search for “buy youtube views” on Google, you’ll find a list of websites offering the service, many with similar rates and different packages, some as low as $10 for 5,000 views. They claim to offer views, likes, and comments from “genuine” users. What does that mean? The accounts are genuine (meaning, they all have different names, ages, etc), sure, but not the actual users. Logically speaking, that would mean 5,000 people on payroll for a client’s $10 investment. It’s financially impossible. It’s just a bunch of servers logged in to different account names, and auto-viewing the video from different countries, most of them coming from the Middle East. The comments are auto-generated as well, and are typically a jumble of the same phrases over and over.

Mr. Khan, while endorsing Fat Blast Lifestyle across the web, claims his buddy, father and brother have all benefited.

Ms. Hasan only knows four adjectives: mesmerizing, well furnished, well made, and bewitching.

The auto-generated comments create several problems here. [Continue Reading...]

H.264 and the Ongoing Video War

26 Aug

If you are familiar with digital video production, you’ve come across H.264 when trying to select an export format, also know as AVC and MPEG-4 Part 10. This is the most widely used codec for HD video, whether it be used for online streaming, broadcast and Blu-Ray, and is the single greatest contribution to online video. H.264 compresses the very large raw HD video files into much smaller, yet still very detailed, HD video files for fast streaming across the web. Without H.264, you wouldn’t be able to view beautiful HD videos without a super-fast internet connection. Without H.264, HD mobile video would nearly be impossible. However, it may very well destroy the legacy it created in a brutal patent war.

How It Works

Spatial Compression: Instead of storing every single pixel of a video frame into the file, it groups similar colors together into chunks of data. For example, any solid-color backgrounds are entirely smoothed out and made into one block of code. This is exactly how a JPEG compresses a photo, and helps keep the smoothness of true HD.

Temporal Compression: This is compressing any non-moving objects within the frame by splitting up the frame into parts. This means that any area of the frame that doesn’t change for a long period of time is compressed into one small block of code (such as the background, or area surrounding an actor’s body). The code translates the non-moving areas into a high-resolution image and tells the video player to run that image for the next minute or so. This is also why you may see temporal glitches when your computer processor can’t keep up: when the non-moving objects seem to be look fine, but any movement causes pixel stains that continue to build up as the video progresses.

The only areas that cannot be compressed are either extremely varying in color between adjacent pixels, or moving. However, you’ll notice that what is compressed is a significant amount of pixels that would have been wastefully converted into hard data. Viewing streaming H.264 video requires less internet speed, less download, but more strain on your processor to read the compression. The reduced amount of file size also saves on the amount of expensive bandwidth required to stream videos, thus allowing videos to be populated all over the web in HTML5.

The H.264 Patent War

Unfortunately, H.264 isn’t free. [Continue Reading...]

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