Author Archive for ted Chandler


Twitter as Poetry [Conan Video]

On Monday, Conan O’Brien, the new and better host of The Tonight Show, made a social media hit when he invited William Shatner (aka Captain Kirk) onto his show to recite, in the form of poetry – in a delivery that only Shatner can give – the farewell speech given by Alaska Governor Sarah Palin before she left office. Shatner’s version, akin to his now famous version of Rocketman, generated huge buzz on Twitter.

The response to Shatner’s version of Palin’s words was so huge, that the comedic genius that is Conan O’Brien brought the former Star Trek star back on The Tonight Show to recite more of Sarah Palin’s words. But instead of a speech, William Shatner recited different tweets from Sarah Palin’s Twitter account. The result is, well, you decide:

I love Shatner! And not just because I am a Star Trek fan. He knows his speech patterns are unique and has the humility to make fun of himself as well as the subject matter. I guess this has almost nothing to do with video production or online video, it’s more about social media (twitter) than anything, and how it can sometimes shape video production. But I thought it was hilarious and wanted to share. What do you think?


Online Video – Size Does Matter

I ran across an interesting article about the myth that online video has to be short and attention spans on the web are shorter than Paris Hilton’s skirts. All the videos we make for aggregation on the web follow this principle of “shorter is better” – somewhere Ryan Seacrest has a small smirk on his face. Anyway, the below New York Times article says that the trends as of late are for longer longer online videos. What do you think? What’s your attention span online?

NY Times article


Super Bowl Not So “Super” for Fed-Ex

Arguably, Fed-Ex is one of the most recognizable brands out there. Their name is synonymous with overnight delivery – most people say “I’ll fed-ex that to ya,” they don’t say “I’ll UPS that to ya.”. And now, with what seems as the same sudden and quick pace in which they treat their deliveries, they have made some changes in how they are treating their television advertising dollars. Every year for the last twenty years, Fed-Ex has advertised on television during the biggest game of the professional football season – the super bowl. You could almost set your watch to it. Matter of fact, they have even had their tv spots rated “most memorable” and won several awards during that time. Well, not this year, my friend. Fed-Ex has decided that the Super Bowl isn’t so Super – at least for the money versus exposure….especially when they think they can get the same exposure through online video. Next Monday, Fed-Ex will introduce to the internet world the first online video in its new advertising campaign. They will have five three-minute short films featuring Fred Willard. Yes, the funny man that you recognize, but not from anything you can remember. Obviously, they hope to hit the elusive viral video gold mine.

The videos will appear on a dedicated YouTube channel, and on FedEx’s own Web site. Steve Pacheco, director of advertising at FedEx, said, “we’re still very involved in television…but digital advertising and communication is taking a bigger role in the overall plan, because we try to scale our media plan to be where our customers are.” (Source: N Y Times) But will that involvement include a future spot at the Super Bowl, doubtful considering the $3M price tag for a 30-second, one-time airing. The amount of advertising they can do online for that same amount is probably astronomical in relation. With a big brand like FedEx dipping it’s toes into the shallow end of the online video pool, does this mean other’s will follow? Overnight delivery is their bread and butter, but the results of their foray into online video advertising surely will not be determined as quickly.


Optimus Prime or Ed Asner?

I had been anticipating seeing the Tranformers sequel like a teenage boy anticipating his first car, minus the acne. So this past weekend, I grabbed my five year old son and headed to the cineplex. He too, had been anxiously awaiting the fist-pumping, shape-shifting, metal-on-metal, explosion-filled spectacle. Truth be told, I was really there for Megan Fox.

 The movie was good, not life altering, but as advertised. After we finished watching Transformers, we snuck into “Up,” the latest Pixar creation, to attempt to bring the testosterone levels back down to an acceptable level to drive home. “Up” was a good movie as well. All in all, nice day at the movie theater, two movies – neither of which were the normal dismal experience.

So, later that night I asked my five year old son which movie he liked better and to my surprise – he went with “Up.” I asked him why and he said it had a better ‘series.’ So, I had to clarify what ‘series’ meant and after a little sleuthing on my end, what he meant was the ‘story.’

There’s a lesson here, folks. If a five-year old boy, who lives for the wham-boom-pow in everything, sees more value in a good story than the glitz; what does that mean for you? Well, I’ll tell you, wrap your product, brand or service around a story and you’ll win every time. Tell a story – a good one – engage your audience and watch the results. Hopefully, you’ll be as surprised as I was to my son’s choice in film. Even Megan Fox couldn’t sway him.


Baby deer filmed on St. Johns river

So, today while filing some footage for our tv show, how to do Florida, I almost stepped on a baby deer. Chad quickly gave me the the camera and we started making some good, impromptu television. I am actually still out on the river right now writing this post on my iPhone. I will share more including pics and video of Chad holding the fawn in his arms when I get back. Pretty cool stuff!


Producing “How To Do Florida” television show

One of the great things I love about working for my production company is – they get it! I’ve been a freelance producer/director for pretty much my entire career and loved it. I had personal freedom. Creative license. The ability to choose projects that interest me.

Why would I want to work for the man? For another production company? With rules. Unruly clients. Meetings. Punching a timeclock (I hadn’t punched a timeclock since college). And most importantly – no clear vision of creating good, entertaining content. I would never do it. It’s artistic suicide!

Well, I was wrong. I good friend of mine, Chad Crawford, asked me to join him last year, and naturally I resisted.  Until he laid out a plan that, quite honestly, shocked me. A plan of creating original content that we could own, market, and distribute. Here’s a guy that gets it (now if I only could get him to blog) and has the same goals as me. So, I joined him and his production company and am happy to tell you that our first original television show will begin airing in May, locally on My65 in Orlando and statewide on the SunSports Network. It’s a fantastic show that entertains, teaches and encourages Floridians to actively engage their state. For example in the first episode, we show viewers “how” to go surfing – where to go, how to pick the right surfboard, how to stand up on the board, etc. We also cover how to go shrimping, how to cook the shrimp you catch, how to relax on a sunset river cruise, and how to go kayaking. The exciting thing is this show is only our first endeavor into creating original content, we already have more television content, webisodes, and even documentaries on tap for future productions. Check out the intro. Let me know what you think. Enjoy.


Joaquin Phoenix off his rocker

So, I saw Joaquin Phoenix on Letterman last night. Laughed through the whole thing. I had read in MovieMaker Magazine he was retiring from acting and starting a career as a hip-hop artist. I had actually seen him rapping (or barking by the sounds of it) on YouTube. Strange days indeed for Mr. Phoenix. As I watched him on Letterman, I couldn’t help think that maybe this was all a big joke, some kind of publicity stunt, but I can’t for the life of me think of what he is publicizing. Regardless, funny stuff. What do you think? Check it out:


Viral Potential of Newest TV Spot – Easel Guy

Today we had a little creative round-table about a new campaign for one of our clients. The client expressed interest in creating a series of television spots that would engage the audience and create an anticipation for the next tv commercials in the campaign. Earlier in the year, we produced a spot for them in which a young man goes around town, showing up in everyday locations, and convinces people to go back to school – but with a full-blown, high energy pitch, his trusted easel in tow. Check out the behind the scenes shoot here:

The client loved the spots and they performed well, but wanted to build on it to include a reason for the audience to anticipate the next spot as well as motivate them to go to the website for more info, and, hopefully create a viral effect down the road. Their idea was to kill off the ‘easel guy’ at the end of every spot, a la Kenny from South Park. I personally love the idea, but don’t think it would work because it would hurt ‘easel guy’s” credibility. Springboarding off of that idea, I think we have come up with a great alternative to achieve this. Now, I don’t believe you can “plan” a viral campaign necessarily. However, you can include a lot of the things that you think might make it viral, and I think our spots will have that. But videos go viral for a ton of different reasons, and the most important is the community – your audience – whether or not they think the content is funny enough, shocking enough, relevant enough, or just plain stupid enough to send it to their friends. We will go for a little of it all – humor, shock and stupidity. Stay tuned.


Filming RED ONE, Motion Control TV Spot

Recently, the Crawford Group filmed a 30 second tv spot using the RED ONE camera and a motion control rig. We used this setup to create a special fx shot that achieves a unique look and feel. The skinny of it is this – certain characters in the spot are moving in slow motion while others are sped up. Differing the speed of movement of the actors and the pacing of the camera moves (up front) really sets the spot apart from others and draws the viewer in. Stacked in a block of high-paced commercials, it should perform well. Check it out.

Everyone did a great job to make the project a success – the client, agency, motion control rig, special fx supervisor, and the crew – they all really collaborated, worked hard, and successfully pulled off my vision for the spot.

Big props to the post-production department for pulling this off under crazy, crazy deadlines. You guys rock!

Leave comments, let me know what you think.


Advertise on TV, Google-style!

Google does it again. If you like Google AdWords, and who doesn’t? They are now applying that same technology to traditional television advertising. Google is now offering an easy way for companies big and small to advertise on National TV. In simple terms, you can now use the basic functions that make AdWords so attractive to marketers – bidding on ad space, keyword driven, CPMs, data analytics – but for television and online video distribution. Now there is a low cost entry into advertising on television AND you get to almost instantly now how effective it is. Now, all you need is a tv spot and I know exactly where you can get one of those! Is this something you think you could use?

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Subscribe in a reader or email __________________________________________ Welcome to my thoughts. Tread lightly. Enjoy. And leave comments. I am a film/video producer and director working for a great video production company called The Crawford Group in Orlando, FL. Along with client productions, we also create on original webisode for the internet called ‘'the group.' I also have started a feature film at , one of the first movies to be made completely via the internet. Subscribe to this blog if you want to continue to see the world of online filmmaking, social media, and the future of video production through my eyes.
August 2020