Snow White and the Huntsman Spoof

What happens when you give a creative agency power to create? A full on themed play of a Snow White and the Huntsman spoof to be debuted at our Holiday Party, of course. Check out the invite we sent out to the company, showcasing the parts that people were selected for; buzz marketing is even possible within your own company! This was a video I edited – try to forgive the others on their focusing ability. 

 

Just another reason to love working with a San Diego creative communications agency 🙂

A Week Without a Phone!

Working in the multimedia industry requires a connected lifestyle – having a smartphone is a must, not having one isn’t even an option. Being connected through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, WordPress, email and every other form of communication you can think of, needs be at your fingertips. Unfortunately, I also have another addiction; gadgetry.

With the release of the iPhone 5 a couple weeks ago, I decided to sell my iPhone 4S to Gazelle.com – I hate the hassle of selling it on my own via Craigslist or eBay. Being that I upgraded last year, I am only available for the partial upgrade on October 8; the biggest downside is I have to send in my iPhone 4S by October 1, leaving me phoneless for an entire week. This presents a problem not just from an online connected stance, but also from a phone call and text messaging side as well.

Personally, I think it will be interesting to see if I can go a week living a non-connected lifestyle; will I spend more time outside? Without having a phone camera, will I shoot more with the DSLR? Will I be glued to my laptop or iPad more? It will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

I will report back in two weeks on how my week of an unconnected lifestyle unfolds.

Using a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 on a Canon

I absolutely love the Nikkor 50mm f/1.8; it is probably one of the best sub-$300 lens I have ever used. When I made the jump to Canon, I was sad that I couldn’t use it anymore, until I found an adapter to use it on the new camera.

I just wanted to play around a bit with it today, so I made this quick video. I think it looks great!

My Jump From Nikon to Canon

Holy crap have I been living in the stone age! I recently bought a Canon 60D and what a difference it is! The cameras that I have are a Nikon D70, Nikon D80, and now the Canon 60D; given that my Nikon’s don’t shoot video, I will be talking about still photography.

I have always been an advocate for learning on worse things, that way when you get the good stuff you are 100 times better. For instance, I play guitar and started learning on a $10 acoustic instead of an easier, more expensive electric; this proved to pay off because I learned very fast, and had much stronger hands. I kept this mantra even with my cameras; while my friends were purchasing $4,000 Canon 5D Mark III’s, I was still chugging away on my 12 year old Nikon.

Yesterday, I went out for a night shoot, and my first shot I was completely blown away! I couldn’t believe how clear the pictures were, the sensor in the 60D absolutely blows away my Nikon! Taking pictures at night with the Nikon would mean that I would spend hours in post color correcting, fixing saturation, dodging and burning like crazy. The pictures that I took with the Canon last night I did zero post on, it looked perfect straight off the camera.

Here are a few sample pictures. These are taken with the Nikon D70, with about an hour in photoshop:

San Diego Downtown – Nikon D70

San Diego Birdrock – Nikon D70

The next two where what I took last night with the Canon 60D – look at the colors on the pictures, these were both taken with the crappy lens that comes with the camera (I haven’t purchased any new ones yet), and zero photoshop.

San Diego Bob Hope Memorial – Canon 60D

San Diego Seaport Village – Canon 60D

Granted, I like the composition of the Nikon pictures better because I was actually out on a shoot that day, but you cannot beat the look of the Canon!

Here’s to many more pictures and fun events – let’s go take some pictures!

DIY Glide Track

I am a big advocate of doing things myself; when it get a chance to make things, I jump all over it. Today, I saw a YouTube video on how to make a DIY glide track for under $10 and immediately ran out the door to Home Depot.

Let me start this off by saying this is absolutely no Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly, and as soon as you think it is you will be sorely disappointed – this is a cheap alternative for shooting video at home, I would never use this on a professional shoot. That being said, photographers use whatever works at the time, but I would never lug this to a shoot with me.

Here it is in the beginning phase (keep in mind, I still had to add all the screws and paint it):

I got so excited to test it out, here is what I came up with:

Now go out there and do some DIY projects!

Apple’s New Ads

I am finally back after a month of rolling around in the woods, and have returned with some new toys; in trying to purchase an auxiliary cable, I also ended picking up a Canon 60D and Retina MacBook Pro. I have to say that I am very pleased with both of them; owning an Apple computer makes me wonder how Microsoft is still in business. Once you start using it, you realize how in-house software + hardware simply makes all the difference. Speaking of Apple and technology, the release of the new iPhone is less than six weeks away; there is a lot of discussion about this phone, even down to what the name is going to be. As always, my advertising nerd side will come out with the new set of ads coming out.

Has anyone else noticed the batch of horrible commercials they have released lately? When I noticed on their website they had four new ads, I was excited to see what they had released, but was sorely disappointed. These ads are no where close to being on par to Apple’s normal ads, they look more like a horribly made Four Hour Energy commercial. Being a new CEO, Tim Cook needs to be careful about the steps that he’s taking, not only in terms of his products, but in their ads as well. Apple has branded itself as a corporation that prides itself in everything that it does, going above and beyond regular advertising; this mixture of celebrity based ads, plus these Apple Genius commercials, are the complete opposite of that. They seem to be moving in a different direction than they were heading, and it doesn’t seem to be working correctly. I am a huge John Malkovich fan, but his commercial is not entertaining and makes Apple look as if they are trying to jump on the celebrity bandwagon. Apple itself IS a celebrity and doesn’t need other famous people to help promote their brand; it makes them look as if they are knocking themselves down to a lower brand that needs a celebrity endorsement. Let us not forget that at one time Apple had more money in the bank than the U.S. Government.

No one ever gets anywhere without taking risks, but Apple needs to look back at their history with advertisements, and make their new ones keep continuity with their corporate image; celebrities don’t promote for other celebrities, and Apple shouldn’t either.

Cameras to Prosumers: How We Influence Professionals

A couple days ago, my school hosted an event with producer and University of San Diego alum, Tim Lynch. He talked about his journey from being a USD student and not knowing what to do after graduation, to now being the founder of Woodshed Films. I always find it extremely fascinating to hear about peoples success stories and how they found their way into their current industry. Wanting to get into the video side of advertising myself, it was motivating to hear about his successes and failures about getting into the industry.

One thing I found interesting about his keynote how he said that the individual with a camera, not another agency, is one of his biggest competitors. When shooting commercials for Ford, the client is constantly comparing his work to works on Vimeo or YouTube. He said that on multiple occasions, clients will call or send video, telling him to “make your commercial look like this.” This shows the power of the prosumer, that we have influence on the mainstream and can create grassroots level creativity.

Another thing I found interesting that Tim mentioned was his love for 16mm film. I have only worked on a 16mm shoot once, and while it was a fun experience, it is obviously much easier to shoot digital for multiple reasons. The part that I find interesting though is how, while digital quality gets better and better, people still hold to the old methods. Take for instance, Instagram; we take beautiful pictures with our 8MP iPhone camera, then crop them down and add 1969 Kodak filters to it. Same with Hypstamatic, using filters that degrade the quality of our photos. While I am all about original content, I find it interesting that our technology is getting so good, that we tone it down to create more unique looking photos.