One of the greatest leaps we have witnessed so far in the realm of 4k TV comes not from a tech production company, but from Netflix, the long-popular DVD rental and movie streaming service. Netflix recently announced that it will shoot and edit the new season of House of Cards, its wildly popular original series starring Kevin Spacey, to optimize it for 4k streaming. This development will make House of Cards the first full television season available in 4k. Similarly, Amazon Studios announced that it will be shooting all of its original productions for 4k throughout 2014. However, the question remains: when will 4k technology be readily available for the average consumer?
Numerous technology giants continue to develop and produce televisions and other devices with 4k capabilities, with a number of brand new models featured at the 2014 CES in Las Vegas. Though most currently available 4k televisions have price tags of $3,000 and above, developers predict that prices will gradually decline, just as they did following the advent of HDTVs. Vizio even announced a 50-inch 4k model to be sold for only $999.
In conjunction with the new developments in filming technology, many companies are turning toward SmartTVs, which include a number of pre-installed apps such as Netflix and Hulu Plus for video streaming. Roku, creator of one of the most popular and affordable streaming boxes, has announced that they will be teaming up with six different manufacturers to produce SmartTVs that include the functionality of the Roku as a standard feature.
This announcement has caused a very noticeable push toward the “cable cutting” trend, in which a number of loyal cable users have foregone the expensive channel packages with hundreds of unwanted stations and replaced them with user-friendly streaming. Not only is streaming less expensive and easier to tailor to personal viewing preferences, now it is also making the movement toward much higher picture quality than what cable can offer. This power play puts the ball into big cable companies’ courts, and may “signify a shift in 4k adoption,” according to NBC News.
As for video production companies, 4k technology broadens horizons in the way of image quality and high-definition shots. Effectively, videographers are now able to get four camera positions in one single shot. As the availability of this technology increases, we are sure to see a plethora of streaming companies and tech developers alike making 4k available--and affordable--for all.
Skystorm Productions has made ProductionHub's National Pro100 2014 List: the 100 most popular profiles on ProductionHub! Along with being a popular profile, criteria for being selected included having awesome reels, stellar portfolios and generally inspiring work. To view our ProductionHub profile, click here. Be sure to recommend us while you are there!
Gone are the days when video advertising was restricted to the 5-minute segments that interrupt your favorite TV show. Today, the web video is king. There are many social channels available in the marketing world that provide exposure for your web video. But why should you focus your attention on video marketing on the Internet? Why is it so important?
According to the Nielsen group, YouTube reaches more adults in the United States between the ages of 18 and 34 than any cable network. Take into account that the United States alone had more than 2.75 million cable viewers between the ages of 18-46 in 2013 and you may realize just how astounding this figure is.
View the full graphic with more info here.
Furthermore, these numbers only apply to American viewership: worldwide, YouTube brings in more than 1 billion unique viewers every month. That’s more than three times the population of the US—and it doesn’t even include statistics for viewers on Vimeo, Facebook, and other venues. In this manner, YouTube and other social media and Internet video platforms immediately give your video a much more widespread audience than traditional television advertisements.
Not only does Internet video marketing have a broader viewer base, it also allows you to better address your selected demographics. The first, and most important step to take when planning any advertising campaign is to determine your target audience by such factors as geographic location, age, gender, interests, and more. Of course, you can select an appropriate broadcasting company and time to air your commercial on TV, but through Internet video marketing, your audience can be much more specific and thus much more tuned in to your message. With the help of social media channels, you can target unique groups of people with a customized set of parameters, making your information relevant far beyond the means of traditional outlets.
As social media marketing comes to the forefront of the marketing world, videos are excellent tools to create brand awareness and recognition as they are shareable across a wide variety of platforms, including mobile devices. This means that your message can reach viewers from any location, at any time. Additionally, videos give companies the means to hit that “sweet spot” in their advertisements, combining entertainment with education and a call to action. Thus, videos are a powerful tool for your company’s marketing campaign, and as an estimated 50% of all web traffic will come from videos in 2014, online platforms are the best place to host them.
When producing any video marketing series, it is important that your equipment is top of the line and your crew is knowledgeable. Silver screen production value is paramount, whether you host your video on YouTube or broadcast it on a major cable station. Give your online viewers an engaging, high-quality experience through your video advertisement, and you have the potential to earn global esteem.
Video compression codecs are a critical puzzle piece in the overall scheme of video production and H.264 has been the standard codec for quite some time. While it’s done a good job with delivering videos ranging from broadcast quality to streaming 1080p to a computer, H.264 has its limitations. Video sizes are growing ever larger and with 4K resolution on the horizon, a better compression codec is needed to deliver the desired quality while somehow cutting back on the bandwidth used.
That’s where H.265 steps in.
This latest compression codec is like the proverbial new kid in town with the special athletic moves that upset the already-established gym class hierarchy. H.265 promises to deliver the ability to stream high quality video to not just laptops at home, but mobile devices on the go – all at half the bandwidth used with H.264. In other words, a video paying in 720p that normally required 1,000 KBps now only uses 500 KBps. No drop in quality, but half the bandwidth. Check out this demonstration video from Cisco Systems.
NOTE: Although both screens share the same quality, the example is suffering from a poor adjustment in color temperature.
What this means for video production houses like Skystorm Productions is this new form of video encoding enables us to shoot super high quality video - 4K resolution for instance – and deliver that same resolution to the consumer while preserving bandwidth and keeping loading and streaming times similar to what consumers are used to. What’s more, Skystorm’s clients can expect the absolute best quality final product that end users will enjoy, remember, and act upon; whether it be a commercial, inter-business training film, or music video.
“We’re excited to adopt H.265 as it rolls out into mainstream use,” says Jason Chamberlain, Skystorm’s Senior Post Production Editor. “It opens the door to ultra-high quality video at streaming speeds we’re used to and that benefits everybody down to the end user. Skystorm is always working on the cutting edge, so H.265 is exciting news about where our industry is headed in the not so distant future.”
VUCA Health, one of Skystorm’s multiplatform retainer clients, has made the headlines again!
View the news segment here: FOX 35 News Orlando
This video was created by Skystorm to promote VUCA.
MedsOnCue is a video library and mobile app, created by VUCA Health (www.vucahealth.com) that has over 2,200 unique videos providing medication briefings in English and Spanish, all fully produced by Skystorm. Patients receiving medications from Liberty Software pharmacies will access specific information by scanning a QR code on the prescription label. In addition to medication briefings, patients will also have access to medication administration videos, a medication reminderservice, and other patient safety information.
Read the full article here: Yahoo News
Recent technological advances have made it possible for average photographers and videographers to take high-quality pictures and videos. Often, these amateur productions are difficult to distinguish from professional work. In particular, GoPro cameras have revolutionized the way average users capture imagery.
GoPro cameras are innovative new devices that have revolutionized the way users take videos and pictures, especially in the world of extreme sports. With extremely high resolution, extra-wide angle lenses, automatic lighting adjustment, professional-grade audio equipment, and Protune mode for stunning quality, users’ videos are crisp, clear, and engaging. With a number of affordable accessories, including chest harnesses and helmet attachments, surfers, skaters, athletes, and skydivers alike can take high-quality video in a number of conditions that other cameras would not be able to withstand.
This video, which documents the 2012 vertical skydiving record, was recorded entirely on a GoPro HD Hero Camera.
Furthermore, every GoPro camera is equipped with a waterproof casing that makes it perfect for water sports, snow sports, or anything in rainy, humid conditions. These cameras were designed to withstand the extremes, such as in this GoPro surf video:
When GoPro users have finished shooting and are ready to publish and share their videos, GoPro offers a free, comprehensive editing software specifically designed to enhance footage to its highest potential and to give users complete control of how their shots are presented. It includes the abilities to adjust playback speeds, add music, mix clips, and even adjust fisheye control. Sporting enthusiasts no longer have to go through jumpy, unclear footage to relive their favorite moments -- the GoPro transforms their videos into complete, engaging experiences.
What does this mean for both amateur and professional videographers alike? The GoPro makes it easy and affordable to create and produce magnificent videos, and eases the process from start to finish. According to James Trew in his review of the latest GoPro camera, “Every iteration of the camera has promised to bring your chosen activity to life in more detail and clarity.” Whether you’re documenting your newest skate tricks or simply capturing your latest experience on a nature trail, the GoPro helps you generate videos that can--and should--be watched and shared for years to come.
Learn about all the great features of the GoPro’s latest release, the Hero3+ Black, here.
Skystorm Productions is excited to announce our involvement in the production of AriZona Tea’s SodaShaq Basketball, an interactive, augmented reality, mobile video game experience that puts smartphone-using, cream soda drinkers on the basketball court with Shaquille O'Neal‘s 3D likeness.
Emulat3D brought their 360-degree camera rig into our Orlando, Florida-based studios for the shoot. Each of the 30 cameras on the rig took 30 images and specialized 3D imaging software stitched the 900 images together creating a full 3D bust of the subject – in this case Shaq. Those high-resolution, 8K images were then scaled back into a smaller format for mobile technology use. Also heavily involved in the project were NuMedia Innovations, Product Broadcasting, MPire Creative, and of course AriZona Tea.
Shaq’s bust is a prominent feature in the augmented reality game. Action is triggered by scanning his face imprinted on a can of his new SodaShaq cream soda while running AriZona Tea’s SodaShaq Basketball smartphone application. The app then uses live video from your smartphone’s camera to overlay a basketball court and hoop hanging from your can of SodaShaq, all viewable on the phone’s screen. The objective is to flick basketballs with your finger into the hoop for the win. All the while, Shaq is giving either encouragement or taunts, depending on your performance.
The game brings an exciting level of user involvement into the soda industry and encourages patrons to repurchase the product time and again. With the help of some amazing companies, AriZona Tea and Shaq have created a winning combination of a tasty cream soda and mobile interactive video game. Check out the behind-the-scenes video above!
While planning for your video marketing campaign, you may have picked up on the term "viral video." In fact, many clients have contacted Skystorm with the intention of creating a viral video, for widespread brand awareness and a staggering increase in sales. But do you know exactly what a viral video is, and how it is made?
According to Mashable, "a viral video is a video that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media, and email." Videos of this nature are often humorous, but can also include eyewitness events, serious pieces, and even commercials. Take, for example, Kmart's 2013 advertising campaign. Not just one, but three of Kmart's 2013 commercials went viral, with the most popular of them (the "Ship My Pants" commercial-as seen here) gaining over 20 million views on YouTube by the close of the year. Together, the other two commercials also netted over 20 million views, bringing the company widespread recognition and, logically, an increase in revenue-right?
Not so, according to Kmart's retail performance measures for the year. In fact, both the second and third quarters saw a 2.1% decrease in same-store sales company-wide. Similarly, Geico's "Hump Day" advertisements haven't made a huge impact on their ROI. According to Gary Getto, president of the Advertising Benchmark Index, "Very often you hear people say, 'I love that ad with the camel,' and they can't tell you it's Geico." The content in both of these cases is interesting and funny, but does not do enough for brand awareness to make a lasting impression on the audience.
On the other hand, there have been great successes through viral videos. Take Blendtec's "Will It Blend" series:
This wildly successful series features Tom Dickson, the founder of the company, blending everything from iPhones and cameras to pool cues and plungers in a Blendtec blender. Since the beginning of the series, the company has seen an astonishing 600% increase in sales.
What do these case studies tell us about viral videos? In order for the production to be successful, they must reach that "sweet spot" between selling, entertaining, and promoting brand awareness. Even if your video does manage to reach those criteria, you may not see an increase in sales. Ultimately, there is no way to ensure that your video will go viral. If you produce well-made commercials with strong storylines, you will not have to rely on the fickle nature of virality.
Does your employee training video still look like this?
Many companies still use outdated training videos from the 80s and 90s to inform and educate employees, leaving their recent hires feeling alienated. Though these videos, full of feathered hairstyles and awkward raps (as in the Wendy's drink preparation videos), can give us a chuckle, they do not provide an effective solution for informing and educating employees. How can you make your training video modern, relevant, and effective in relaying important business procedures and updates?
Your highest priority, as with any other video production, is to determine your purpose for creating the video. Will you be introducing new employees to the basics of their daily responsibilities, or keeping team members updated on policy changes? When you know your focus and intended message, then you can begin planning your training video.
One thing to keep in mind as you shoot your training video is the reason why video training is so effective-a phenomenon known as the Picture Superiority Effect. According to this blog from Technet, when you combine visuals with spoken word, people will remember 65% of what you have told them after three days-compare this with remembering 10% of what you say without the aid of visuals, and you can already see the difference. As with advertisements and marketing campaigns, entertainment is important within training videos, producing positive responses among employees and making them more willing to absorb shared information. Keep your message concise and engaging to optimize its efficiency.
Another thing to consider during shooting is the fact that we have access to much more advanced video production technology than we did ten years ago. When seeking a video production company to assist you with your training video, ensure that they are well equipped with top of the line cameras, lenses, editing software, and so on. Quality imagery instantly modernizes your production, bolstering the impact of the Picture Superiority Effect.
Your employee training video should be handled with as much care and value as any other video production. Captivate your audience with a concise message and interesting visuals. When properly planned, filmed, and produced, your video can help you turn your business into a well-oiled machine.
Skystorm Productions recently partnered with HelloCoach, an on-demand life coaching company, to produce TV and Web commercials for the company’s inaugural marketing campaign. Skystorm worked with the marketing team at HelloCoach to develop a creative approach that would best fit their target markets.
Skystorm utilized skilled location scouts to find the ideal residential shooting location for this production in Orlando. The home the team found was the perfect setting and provided the perfect backdrop for our various testimonials.
The commercial represents the first advertising campaign from HelloCoach as the young company pioneers the on-demand life-coaching marketplace. “The best thing about working with start-ups is the energy that entrepreneurs bring to the work,” says Alex Sivers, Executive Producer at Skystorm Productions. “You have no brand-identity or market norms yet, so the possibilities are endless—everything is outside of the box.”
Producing and airing one commercial is only the start of a larger project for HelloCoach. Creating a positive public image and brand recognition is key for any business, and requires a great deal of planning and testing. “Once you have a finished product like a commercial, that is where the fun really begins,” Alex continues. “We love what HelloCoach has created, and we look forward to working alongside our client and nurturing its growth together.”
Take a look at the finished product in the video above.