Category Archives: Featured
52114819This virtual tour of a home for sale in Erwinna, Pa. (part of the Philadelphia Real Estate market), was produced for Zillow, the online Real Estate service for high-end properties established by the founders of Expedia.com. You can see that all angles are covered with a wealth of interior and exterior shots, many given compelling dynamic energy through the use of a dolly. That, plus the on-screen commentary by agent Mary Lou Erk, spotlight what makes this property unique and special.
“Time is Money” has to be the most-often-repeated cliché in the film and video world. Since the hitch for the last post embedded in my mind was a film cliché, I thought it might be fun to break the time-honored rule about avoiding them and dive headlong into a few of them. Disclaimer: most of these cliches are general ones, so forgive me if I’ve stretched WAY too far in trying to apply them to the work we do. It just seemed like a fun thing to do.
Make Hay When the Sun Shines. This isn’t technically a cliché– most people don’t know what it means, which I suppose makes it more of an aphorism, but it came to mind. It means that one should always take opportunities when offered to them, which is true of both business and art at all times.
Actions Speak Louder than Words. This is one of those cliches that an ex girlfriend of mine loved to shoot at me whenever I said I was sorry after missing a date because I was busy working on a project, probably for something like this blog.
We’re Back to the Drawing Board. This is one of those times when the entire plan for the day is shot, which happens at least one out of five times a plan is made, regardless of how thorough that plan is. For instance:
It’s Time to Pound the Pavement. Don’t be fooled: event the most successful of us have months where we spend more time looking for work than we are actually working.
Bored to Tears: I’ve never actually seen anyone cry from boredom, but I guarantee that if anything we produce elicits yawns, we’ll be crying as we won’t be working with that client anymore. We strongly prefer laughter.
Buy it for a song. We don’t really want people to pay us by singing. After all, there are a blessed few who can actually carry tunes, let along be able to trade the value of cash for their serenades. On the other hand, our rates are low enough that we might be persuaded to sing for you on set, but we’d prefer that you asked us to do that after the job was done.
That’s only the first set of cliches that have crept to mind. There will be more. If you’re reading this and have some to add, feel free to do so in the comment thread. If you’d like to stretch the ones placed here, feel free to do that as well.
Not everyone wants to be famous, but almost everyone, even when they’re too self-effacing to admit it publicly, likes to be admired. For the most part this isn’t ultimately too difficult to achieve: ever see The Five Heartbeats or That Thing You Do? They’re both movies about music groups in the ’60′s, and they both feature a similar scene: the first time either of the groups’ songs comes out on the radio, the characters are invariably home doing something mundane and a friend from down the street barges into their bedroom and says “You’re on the radio! You’re famous!” Exuberant pandemonium ensues, there’s a montage of phone calls and high fives, then another montage where the groups are doing concert after concert to hordes of adoring fans.
Ah, the beauties of yesteryear! The radio doesn’t have the sort of influence it used to. Except for us NPR-addicted neanderthals, most people only listen to the radio in their cars, and even then we’re usually listening for ten seconds at a time, surfing through channels till we find the radio station that we can comfortably ignore till we get to where we’re going. More and more people are getting their entertainment online, and more and more advertisers have adjusted their models to people’s viewing habits.
The contemporary audience is just as likely to watch entire series on NBC’s website than they are to watch a single episode when it airs, and given that not a single one of the major networks will ever give up their advertising revenues, they’re putting more and more of these ads in between segments of those shows. Up till now, the localization of advertising hasn’t really caught fire yet; but the growth of services like Yellow Pages (ahem, YP.com) and the now-decade-long dominance of craigslist has proven that local focus can work. Now that the economy is starting to free up for a lot of the country and everyone who has a Google account is automatically tracked by the largest advertising market in the world, the chance that a neighbor could stumble across your online ad in between episodes of Glee are that much more likely.
The internet isn’t new anymore; it’s no longer a fad or an anomaly; it’s an integral part of our culture, just like the local newspaper was for people in our great-grandparents’ day and the radio and television was for our parents and grandparents. How would you feel if you made a video, posted it on Youtube, and it went viral? How would you feel if your neighbor from across the street ran across to you while you were washing your car and said “Hey, so I was watching a rerun of Sister Wives when I saw an ad for your hobby shop. You’re on the Internet! You’re famous!”?
Whenever a person types the word “preditor” into Google, the first thing she’ll find will be a suggestion to re-spell the word to “predator.” She’ll scroll down the screen a few clicks and see a series of thumbnail images of dread-locked aliens, and maybe a picture or two of Arnold Schwarzenegger covered in mud. A Youtube search of the word will also reveal a series of miss-spelled, badly tagged videos of mash-ups of silly fights and chintzy animations at first, but a few more scrolls downward will reveal what this new word– preditor– actually means.
Traditionally the producer secures the locations, hires a director, camera, lighting, and sound crews, arranges for talent auditions (if necessary,) and oversees the day-to-day operations of the shoot dates themselves. After the rough footage was completed, an editor is enlisted to sit in a room with complicated equipment and pour over however many hours of footage shot during the production and cut that video and sound footage into a final product. This three-step process– pre-production and production (the producer’s realm) and post-production (the editor’s realm)– can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, costing a vast a mount of resources that most businesses can ill afford to spend.
The world created after the development of reality TV and the development of software platforms like Adobe’s Creative Suite and Apple’s Final Cut Pro line have made it possible for production companies and professional services alike to merge the skill sets of two heretofore unrelated fields into a one-stop-shop for the entire production process. This is the Preditor’s primary function. The preditor’s job is twofold. Before the development of the two industries and tools listed above, pre- and post-production for short video work was covered by two completely different wings of the industry. In an era where a glut of technologies have made production on both ends of this spectrum so accessible to more and more people, however, the two jobs can easily be merged to one, making the investment level of a potential client that much lower. Given that artistic education has now finally caught up with the rigorous demands and technologies introduced in the Web 2.0 world, the secondary fear– that merging the two jobs of producer and editor will compromise quality of the final product– has been almost completely eliminated.
A good preditor will be responsible for all general executable tasks on a specific video project– from concept and script development to the final touches of the post-production process– at a fraction of the manpower costs to a commercial or industrial client. No only are costs brought down through the decision to use a preditor team rather than more traditional production and editing teams, but those preditors can be held more directly accountable for the final product. Since a preditor is involved from the beginning to the end of the filming and post-production process (as opposed to the traditional model,) the client can send requests directly to that specific preditor rather than having to go through three to five different communication channels in order to make their requests addressed.
In just seven years, Reel Stuff Entertainment has produced more than 600 videos for the web, on-demand, mobile, and broadcast TV, in the process becoming one of the top web video producers in Philadelphia. This video provides just a taste of the quality and versatility of content we can provide at affordable prices that are nothing short of game-changing. Check it out.