Posts Tagged ‘technology’

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

June 28, 2019

If you’re creating web content that’ll be viewed in the European Union, particularly if your content is being used to gather data – any data – on viewers, you need to be aware of the new GDPR for regulating data protection and privacy for citizens of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). Data collection can range from email subscription signups to tracking browser histories via cookies, to interactions with your brand, advertising, and associated digital media. A good rundown is here. But, super high level, the GDPR is designed to limit the kind of data “Hoovering” in which so many companies engage so the activity is lawful, accurate, and transparent; has limited purposes and a specific lifetime; and completely accountable.

You can find more information here.

ACTION ITEM: If any of your EU video productions are being used with the express purpose of gathering user data, be sure to review these new privacy regulations.

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Make Mine Scrambled

June 26, 2019

I’ve enjoyed Tokyo a number times, so I was especially intrigued to stumble onto this live stream from Hachikō Square, just outside Tokyo’s Shibuya Station. It shows what is reputed to be the world’s most heavily used pedestrian scramble, an intriguing  concept in pedestrian and traffic management. Neat to watch.

ACTION ITEM: Look at it. Look. At. It.

Watch It, Buster

June 17, 2019

I rarely get to see videos I’ve helped to create displayed in the their actual, for-realsies environment. But last month I got to watch 5 videos that I co-produced for client QAD displayed on a huge LED screen onstage at QAD’s premier customer event, “Explore” in New Orleans, LA. These Customer Showcase Videos were beautifully shot and edited by James Barnett and are always well-received by attendees. But what did the in-person experience teach me that I could apply to future productions? On the plus side, they’re well-received and appreciated (I’m trying to be objective here, but the entire audience seemed pretty engaged and attentive) so that’s helpful to know. But I did notice that for anyone in the audience behind the first row or two, anything on the screen under the lower quarter of the frame is pretty much lost, blocked by audience members’ heads and shoulders.

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ACTION ITEM: For the benefit of the entire live audience, keep important images and graphics above the bottom third of the screen.

Casting Call

June 14, 2019

I do like to try out different facets of the production process so I have a well-rounded appreciation for all of its constituent parts (I think it makes me a better producer/director to have experienced, first-hand, how nerve-wracking it can be to be on camera). This week I did something way out of my comfort zone – appeared at a casting call as part of a “Through The Lens” production here in Nevada County. The part is a small one, but I had to study a bit, read lines aloud, and even read with the lead actor to see how we worked together. The most suprrising part was, though I was doing this purely as an academic exercise, I discovered I really wanted the part. I mean it suddenly became important to me that I be selected. (I did, in the end, get the role. But in the spirit of full disclosure I was the only guy who auditioned for it 😉 I’ll let you know how the process proceeds right up to the day of filming (sometime in July).

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ACTION ITEM: If there isn’t some part of every job that scares you, you’re probably not taking enough risks. Is there a part of your job – corporate communications, for example – that you’ve never done personally but that you could experience, however frightening, to gain a better perspective on the overall function of your job?

I’ve Got A Splitting Head…Phone Jack

May 3, 2019

I sometimes will do rough edits on my laptop, with my client joining me in making the decisions about what to keep and what to discard. If we’re working in a space occupied by other life forms, like a bar or lounge, we’ll both use headphones connected using a splitter like this one – works well, very inexpensive, and should be a part of your traveling Producer’s kit

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ACTION ITEM: Take a headphone splitter with you

Get Some Long Straws

April 5, 2019

This came up on a shoot recently in the SF Bay Area: everyone on your shoot has some basic physical needs that you need to prepare for in your planning, scheduling, and execution. I know this sounds silly, but I can’t tell you how many times a day has been planned with no time for breaks to use the bathroom; no periods, however short, to catch a breath between set or location changes; or to spend 30 minutes contemplating a tuna sandwich and an apple. These are not nice-to-haves – they’re critical for the effective functioning of your crew (I had the DP mention to me, specifically, as we rounded 4:00 pm with no lunch break, that he was getting concerned about making errors). Plan for having humans on your shoot and accommodating their very-human needs.

Protip: have extra-long straws available for your female speakers to use (I snatch one or two from Starbucks when I grab that morning’s cappuccino) when drinking from a water bottle – they’ll appreciate that their lip gloss doesn’t smear while they sip.

ACTION ITEM: Be sure to incorporate the physical requirements of talent and crew in your production schedule

Your Giggle Reel ≠ Your Whole Life

April 4, 2019

Despite my contributions to this blog (and other social media platforms), I’m not generally a big fan of social media for reasons best described a couple of weeks ago by a SF Bay Area-based producer friend. She’s used the example of making corporate videos: our real lives are like the entirety of a videotaped interview with all the glitches and outtakes, hemming and hawing, and derailed trains of thought. Whereas the bits our friends and associates post are their best clips, free of hesitancy, awkwardness, and doubt. I think the real injury is, sometimes, comparing our raw footage with others’ “best-of” clips when the two are not really comparable at all.

ACTION ITEM: Keep your perspective

Just Say Yes

April 4, 2019

When I started in this business like eleventy billion years ago, I worked on a design project where the graphic designer acted tired and super annoyed at any and every suggestion. He just seemed unmotivated and predisposed to negativity, and I vowed to Not Be That Guy; rather, to approach every job with enthusiasm and a you-betcha attitude and, when practical, never say No. Now I often find myself challenged by clients who sometimes ask for work that’s not likely to happen due, usually, to time or budgetary constraints (BTW, you should know that enough time and enough budget can make the impossible possible ;-), and I hate – HATE – having to say no. To Be That Guy. Generally, my strategy is to say “no, but…” so I can at least provide more practical options. But I’m eager to know: how do you handle a client who – almost always coming from a position of inexperience – asks for something that can’t or shouldn’t be done within the constraints they’ve set? Any thoughts? When has your approach been the most creative or helpful?

ACTION ITEM: Try to find creative ways to say “yes” when a customer asks for something

Bill Comes Home (captured in December in Sydney, Australia)

March 9, 2019

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Yes. Yes, he does.

ACTION ITEM: Come home.

This Sounds New: Sennheiser® MKH 416

December 1, 2017

Picked this up a few months ago, and despite the cost (name brands like Sennheiser generally command a premium, but are even sometimes worth it. In the trade, we call it the “Sony Tax”), have loved working with it.

ACTION ITEM: Pay for the best equipment you can afford and you’ll only have to buy it once


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