Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Adobe Creative Cloud – A new way for creative industries to work (and pay!)

Creative-Cloud-Adobe1No matter what your job, if you are in the creative industry, you’ll almost certainly have used one piece of Adobe’s powerful Creative Suite.  For us in the production industry, Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator, Photoshop and Encore have been invaluable tools.  They are the amazing products that help turn our wildest ideas into reality, and help us craft awesome videos for our clients.

It used to be that we would invest heavily in the software up front, purchasing each new version as they came out and then receiving the big box containing all of the different discs to install the software on our systems.

However, in May 2012, Adobe announced a new way of using and paying for their software called Creative Cloud.  It has moved from an outright software purchase model to a subscription based model, where consumers can pay a monthly subscription fee to access Adobe’s entire suite of apps.

adobe-creative-cloudIn many parts of the creative sector there has been an outcry at this new service.  Over 5,000 of Adobe’s customers signed a petition at change.org calling on the company to carry on selling the packaged software.

We are finding it gives us greater flexibility when bringing on new members of staff or working collaborating with other editors and creatives.  As part of the package you have access to 20GB of creative cloud space to store your files, and where we only used to have our core suite of apps for video, we can now use any Adobe app of our choosing.  It is actually improving our workflow and we are always up to date with the very latest versions of the software.  We can’t wait until they release Adobe Anywhere, which will allow us to work directly with creatives all over the world on shared projects, in the same edit suite.

Adobe is obviously keen on the subscription model as it will provide regular recurring revenue instead of more infrequent sales when customers upgrade their software.  It is also seen as part of a broader trend towards cloud-based subscription software.  Microsoft have started the shift to cloud based software too, with the release of Office 365.

In the meantime, we’re keen to see where this new era of creative tools takes us, and more than ever, it means we can continually stay ahead of the competition with the latest and greatest tools to put together the most memorable online video content.

Curly Productions are a Video Production company based in Liverpool, specialising in online and corporate video production.

The Power of YouTube

Youtube logoThe world of television and online video is blurring at an ever-increasing pace.  Five years ago, these two distinct areas of screen entertainment were separated into;

a) Traditional television channels, broadcasting expensive-to-make TV shows according to highly competitive schedules.  These were shown only on your television.

b) The digital world of online video which meant booting up your laptop or desktop PC/Mac and sitting in front of your computer monitor to watch UGC (user-generated content) – back then mostly videos of cats falling off curtain rails.

These two worlds have now combined and the TV landscape has changed forever.

Software

Iplayer image

BBC iPlayer was launched on 25th December 2007 and brought catch-up TV to the masses.  In its first three weeks, there were 3.5 million programme streams and downloads.  By 2012, 40% of online adults were using iPlayer.  Other broadcasters obviously followed suit later, and now according to a YouView survey, catch-up TV services account for a fifth of all TV viewing in the UK.

Netflix is another success story, with U.S. subscribers of its video streaming service hitting 30 million and shares up 170% from last year.

TV Hardware

The best software in the world would be useless however without the hardware infrastructure to support it.  The fast moving technology market has focused its attention on your living room, with big players such as Apple, Google and Roku all releasing set top boxes that allow you to watch channels like YouTube on your big screen TV from the comfort of your sofa.  Smart TVs with access to apps such as iPlayer and YouTube make it simple for people to pick and choose their content.

Apple TV

Mobile

We are increasingly watching YouTube, catch up TV and movies on mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads.  Mobile now makes up more than 25% of YouTube’s global watch time with people also using iPads as a second screen whilst watching TV.  TV viewing is becoming more social through this second screen technology with social network interaction, commenting and feedback throughout programmes.

 ipad

YouTube

In the last 5 years, YouTube has made the huge transition from being a UGC provider to being a rock solid platform for small-medium production companies making professional entertainment for a global audience.  YouTube is the largest and most varied TV channel in the world.  YouTube has more than 1 billion unique users each month and according to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18 – 34 than any cable network.

Audiences are clearly shifting from a passive viewing model dominated by television to a user-guided on demand model dominated by smaller, more nimble production companies that can produce great quality entertainment for much smaller budgets.

It’s a world that we know very well.  For the last three years, our MD Christian has created several side projects that target the vast global YouTube audience.  In 2010, Christian started making video blogs about becoming a Dad for the first time.  Entitled “How To Be A Dad”, the videos have, to date, had 850,000 views.

Toddler Fun Learning

A second project called Toddler Fun Learning came about when Christian was searching for fun, educational content to watch on the iPad with his 2 year old.  “Most of the videos on YouTube were filled with hyperactive American CGI, done really poorly, with little or no educational value,” says Christian.  Three months later, and Toddler Fun Learning has 11 videos, 2500 subscribers and 1 million views.

Signing up as a YouTube partner is free and opens up a plethora of benefits.  The most obvious benefit being that you can start to monetize your content.  If you can draw a large audience to your content then you can easily start reaping the economic rewards.  The monetization process works on a pay-per click basis, with YouTube paying you every time somebody clicks on an advert before, during, or after your video.

Christian comments, “whilst we’ve already seen tremendous changes in this entertainment landscape, I do believe this is just the beginning of a major power shift from the large, established broadcasters, to hundreds of smaller production companies that are producing amazing content for a fraction of the cost.  As experts in both online video production and in video marketing, social media and YouTube partner programs, we are best placed to capitalise on this new chapter in the history of screen entertainment.”

So, what does this change mean for brands?

Quite simply, brands are now able to connect with a huge online audience using broadcast quality video, for a fraction of the cost of a traditional TV commercial.  More importantly, they are able to connect with their audiences in a more useful and social way.  Where traditional TV adverts were purely passive, YouTube videos allow you share the video with your friends, interact with the video right then and there, and buy the product right there from within the video.  In May, Google introduced a new gadget that is available as a premium offering for Google’s consumer goods clients, that allows “shoppers to seamlessly move from browsing videos and featured products to finding which retailers carry them, check availability, compare prices, and make a purchase.”

lillets

YouTube annotations are also a new and powerful way to allow viewers to interact further with your videos.  Jamie Oliver’s FoodTube channel does this to great effect. Check out this video from Jamie’s Food Tube featuring an interactive Mashed Potato recipe.  The user is able to create their own story, and navigate to different sections of the video, and even select specific products to learn about.

We have worked with many of the UK’s most well-known companies to create online video campaigns that attract their target audience and build brand loyalty.  We worked with Lil-lets on their successful Becoming a Teen campaign, creating a series of videos featuring 2 teenage girls interviewing female celebrities about growing up and becoming a teenager.  The videos reached over 80,000 views in the first 2 weeks.

Work with us, and we can help you harness this power and connect with millions of people all over the world.

Click here to make an enquiry.

Curly Productions are a Video Production company based in Liverpool, specialising in online and corporate video production.

Is your brand ready for its close up?

Who wants to read what you’ve been doing everyday? We want to see it. Scroll down for Curly’s tips on how to use new social network Vine.

The growth of multi-platform surfing and browsing has seen a proliferation of video sites. YouTube, Vimeo and Pixorial; they’re all about video-sharing and showcasing your work in image rather than text.

Now the latest platform has launched and it looks set to be a game changer. Owned by Twitter, Vine allows you to create six second videos as an embedded clip within tweets. The video loops endlessly and you’re able to include audio. You don’t need to include one steady shot: Instead you can shoot a microfilm from a variety of different angles using the nifty editing button.

View our first attempts at a Vine video here:

Darth Vadar Attacks!

Baltic Creative in 6 Seconds

Short, snappy videos sharing a moment online are nothing new, Gifs have been doing them for years. What Vine does though is use quality shots and relies on creativity. As Twitter relies on brevity and clarity to make a point in 140 characters, so Vine means you have to make the most out of your shots to clearly illustrate what you’re doing.

Making brands think visually, rather than just through text, is an important part of video production. It’s about keeping the viewer engaged and enthused (although if your attention wavers in under six seconds perhaps your worries are bigger than whether you need a video for your brand or not). Vine will raise the profile of video and encourage companies to think about how they could showcase their work in moving image, rather than just stills. The timeframe is so tight you’ll have to get to the point quickly and effectively.

Inevitably the debate will hint that a social network like Vine will make video producers redundant. Yes, because Twitter has made copywriters obsolete. There will be some who think they can do it themselves. There will be others who will see the potential of the video and decide they want a piece of the action (no pun intended).

So here’s Curly’s guide if you want to try out Vine and explore making your own short film;

*Like all social networks have a browse and watch other people’s micro videos before you film your own, that way you’ll have a better idea of how you can use Vine to promote yourself and what’s proving popular.

*Know what you want to record. Short, sharp and clear messages are really important with a six second film. Pick an element of your business or part of your day to day routine.

*Use the editing tool to record from different angles but make sure it has a coherent structure and makes sense to the viewer watching it.

*Be creative. Exploring the editing tool means you can try stop-motion animation or play with audio and music. Be careful of background noise though if you’re editing shots. Early users say jump shots with music or clattering in the background can be jarring on playback.

*Cross-promote. You can share your Vine video on Tumblr and Twitter. But there are glitches with it’s relationship with Facebook. The app is only on iOS at the moment but anyone with a Twitter account will be able to watch your videos.

Happy Vining!!