Archive for the 'crawford group' Category

23
Jul
09

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.

08
Apr
09

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!

04
Mar
09

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.

29
Jan
09

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.

20
Jan
09

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.

08
Jan
09

Golden Era of Online Video

I believe we are on the verge of a golden era in online video -original content and advertising, much like the golden era of cinema and television that has long since past. I liken the current state of online video (and video for mobile devices) to the pre-golden era of cinema and television for several reasons.

Think about it.

We are in an experimental period much like these two well established mediums were in their infancy.

– Format?
Is 3 minutes too long for online viewing? Can I develop characters in two minutes or less? How often between releases of webisodes? In cinema, The first film shown publicly was of women exiting a factory – one shot. Not exactly worth repeat viewing. It took years to develop the concept of two hour, long-form narrative through editing. In the early years of television, most shows were variety shows, which were simply the visualizing of radio shows and vaudeville acts of the time. It took Lucille Ball to come along and develop a three-camera setup to shoot a story – creating sitcoms. Think about it, before the 1950’s, sitcoms didn’t exist. Now it’s a staple of television programming. The same will happen with online video, and has already begun – short, comedic webisodes and informative how-to videos seem to be prevailing.

– Monetizing online video?
Pre-rolls, Post-rolls, overlays, banner ads? In the early days of television, marketers would sponsor tv shows and Milton Berle would hold up an Alpo can and speak directly into the camera plugging the product. Dog food sold to the masses, but too obtrusive. Then someone decided to make 30 second breaks and develop a creative around a product to help build brand. They called it a commercial. Think about it. The 30 second tv commercial format hasn’t been around that long. It was developed during the golden age of television. That will happen with online video as well. But it will be much more targeted, trackable, and transparent.

Give your audience good content. Be transparent. Your audience will appreciate it, come back for more, grow, and in the end, buy what you are selling. The golden age of online video is right around the corner, are you ready?

06
Jan
09

More HD production – Behind The Scenes – Day 2

Shooting Day 2 for Security First. We got to flood a room to recreate a water damaged home. Ah, the fun things you can do producing television. Reminded me of the time when I was 6 and left the bath running. Sorry Mom!




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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 MakeMyMovieOnline.com , 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.
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