MassHire Brand Rollout Video

The approach for this video is to use the language and concepts expressed in the brand charter and core story as animated text with motion-graphics visual support to reveal the new brand and logo. The animations cut to an upbeat music track. In this treatment, There is no voice-over narration. The animated text approach makes it much stronger for social media posts, any situation where audio may be difficult (i.e. a noisy trade show or conference) and use as a lead off or capstone in a live briefing.

The video is set in the first-person voice of the new MassHire brand and speaks directly to the audience. It is an invitation and excitation more than a functional explanation. The purpose of the video is to alert the viewer that there is a new brand, pique their interest, and encourage them to look deeper. It is meant to convey the message that this is a fresh, different, unified and productive approach.

How to Ensure Your VR Experience is a Success

FUTURE FLIGHT MISSION TO MARS: 360 VR DROP TOWER

(VIEW THE 360 VR GRAPHICS)

We’ve been talking with a lot of people about 360 VR recently since the success of Future Flight at the Houston Super Bowl’s fan experience at Discovery Green back in February. That was where we took visitors on a 2-minute ride to Mars while they ascended a 90-ft drop tower. The event lasted just 10 days but we sent 27,000 people on an imaginative journey to Mars with the help of NASA with zero down time and no incidents of rider discomfort or injury.

Since then, lots of opportunities to use VR have come our way. Yet we often find ourselves having to spend more time on sharing what we learned in created Future Flight with prospective clients than on how we might achieve what they have in mind. This is due to many people not fully understanding what it takes to produce a successful VR experience.

So, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

PROVIDE PROPER CONTEXT
While the thrill of the drop tower plummet was always in the back of their minds, Future Flight riders knew they were going on a virtual journey to Mars. This gave them a context for what to expect, truly appreciate the experience, and still have room to be surprised when the seating ring actually dropped. If you keep too much of the VR experience a secret, your visitors/guests/riders/viewers will be distracted in having to ascertain their whereabout and presence within the story you are trying to tell instead of allowing themselves to become fully immersed within it and develop the all-important sense of presence needed to enable the VR content to trick the brain into making it a plausible reality.

AVOID SENSORY CONFLICT
We had to maintain a strict rule of sensory dominance so that riders never had their own sensory inputs trigger conflicting stimuli to the brain. For the initial ascent up the tower, visual stimulation was dominant so while riders felt a slight sense of movement as the seating ring rose up the tower, they were primarily fixated on the VR presentation’s visual stimulus of traveling to Mars. Once the seating ring reached the top of the tower, we held it there for 10-seconds to allow riders complete presence while on Mars without and mechanical movement to disturb the awe-inspiring visual panorama of being on the red planet’s surface. Only then when the the seating ring released and the riders dropped for 5-seconds did we allow the vestibular system to become dominant by motion blurring the visuals as a warp speed race back to Earth. This allowed the brain to downplay visual stimulation while the vestibular system was communicating the sudden sense of plummeting. Throughout the entire ride experience, soundscaped audio content maintained a consistent storyline and sense of place for riders so that no matter where they were on the journey, they felt safe, captivated, and completely immersed in the experience.

EXECUTE WITH CONFIDENCE
We needed to overcome some significant challenges; syncing the VR content playback to the drop tower ride mechanism, remotely triggering 12 wireless VR headsets at the same time, continually recharging a stockpile of 100 VR headsets over the course of 8-12 hour days, and doing so with Houston Super Bowl volunteers many of whom would have to be trained minutes before going on duty. By the way, this all had to happen with less than 72-hours to set up and 10 days later needed to disappear within 48-hours to return a beloved City Park back to its previous lush condition. We knew we could create a visually stunning experience. We had the full support of the Johnson Space Center and NASA’s incredible content assets. We partnered with G.E.S as our symbiotic creative collaborator and full-service live event production team. We had A.R.M. Rides as our ride technology vendor who was excited to push their proven portable drop tower to the limit while maintaining operational excellence and safety guidelines at all times. We had a host committee/home town base of volunteers ready to go into action. And we had a HD Interactive as our systems integration programming partner who had helped us solve many other technical challenges in the past. While we all had the same resolve to “be the first to do this” we also shared multiple concerns about “could this really be done?” But by assembling a team with proven capabilities in their own areas of expertise, we were able to create something unique that none of us could do on our own while staying out of each other’s wheel-well in order to expedite production and maintain an awesome communications flow.

So before you even begin to think about what you may want to do with your great VR idea, take a moment to make sure that you are giving your audience the proper context to maximize their VR experience, not introducing any conflicting sensory stimulation, and have assembled a robust team with proven chops to bring your VR experience to reality.

How to Hype an Event: Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl

This time-lapse shows the changeover from the Russell Athletic Bowl to the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, January 1, 2017. We had 38 hours to shoot, process, edit and upload the final video to social media complete with branded motion graphics and music.

The previous year our client, Momentum Worldwide, had positioned a single GoPro to time-lapse record the same event. The edited time-lapse was pushed out to social media and played in-store with the intent of hyping the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl. The time-lapse received 8K views. This year Momentum Worldwide was looking to increase the number of views by increasing the production value.

We were referred to Momentum Worldwide through Florida Citrus Sports at Camping World Stadium. We then conducted a preliminary photo scouting of potential shooting location along with focal length suggestions. Three locations were selected for motion controlled DSLRs to shoot time-lapse sequences. A fourth camera, a GoPro type camera (Sony FDR-X1000) was positioned up in a light tower.

The clock was ticking and nobody slept. The amount of imagery was ridiculous. The Sony FDR-X1000 alone produced 9,626 images at 10 GB. The DSLRs added a staggering 48,110 images weighing in at 630 GB. Some of the individual RAW images were 43 MB per image. The only way to process all of the time-lapse sequences into video, in time for editing, was to start processing them as soon as they came out of the camera. We set up a laptop, on location, for that purpose.

One of the advantages of editing with 48 mb images is that they have a pixel size resolution of 7952 × 5304. When you are editing in 1920 × 1080 frame you have tremendous flexibility to zoom, pan and isolate areas within that frame. This allows for a style of storytelling that is very focused and intimate.

As everyone knows, there is producing a project as designed and producing a project with client review. We were not immune to client review and because we designed the motion graphics those were also subject to review. Our deadline was to upload before 8:00 pm the day after we began shooting. Our final revised version finished uploading at 7:59 pm.

The desired outcome of increasing views was realized with over 100K views leading up to the kickoff of the Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl.

Using time lapse photography for video storytelling offers many creative opportunities. The nature of time lapse photography allows us to compress time and see the world in a fascinating way. The ability to compress time lines (a day in the life) allows us to tell stories in a visually engaging way and editing with large format images offers extensive flexibility.

How to showcase a your location and engage your audiance.

SIEMENS VIP CENTER at EPCOT

Project: Explorer’s Lounge, three screen, video wall. A sunrise to sunset time-lapse to showcase the Siemens VIP Center located inside Space Ship Earth.

Shooting a sunrise to sunset time-lapse video of Space Ship Earth from inside EPCOT can come with some unique challenges. If you’re Siemens, USA you’ll move heaven and “Space Ship Earth” and find a way.

The Challenges:

The first challenge was finding a suitable time-lapse location. The decision required input from and visual inspection by 9 Disney employees. The team spent an afternoon scouting for possible locations. The right location needed to be away from guests, provide weather protection, meet all safety requirements, have AC power nearby, be accessible from start time to end time and most importantly be a good location for time-lapse.

The next challenge was the technology required to shoot a continuous time-lapse for 16 hours: camera and lens, battery life, digital storage media, shot interval, changing exposure values, rain, heat and humidity. It was August in Orlando.

The Solutions:

Shoot from above Japan. The location was a covered walkway overlooking the main courtyard at the Japan Pavilion.

Camera: Sony A7r (36.4 MP full frame sensor)

Image size: 7360 x 4912 pixels

Dynamic Perception NMX controller

Shot interval: 10 seconds between shots

Number of shots: 5,760

A time-lapse is interesting when it shows a progression of time. Clouds, shadows, the movement of people and changing light are all great time-lapse subjects. Then there’s layering. A static foreground element helps anchor moving subjects in the mid or background. This particular setup had the static foreground of the Japan Pavilion along with 4 more layers of movement: the courtyard, the Lagoon, Spaceship Earth and the sky.

The original time-lapse images are 7360 x 4912 pixels. The final delivery was a three screen video wall with an image resolution of 5760 x 1080 pixels. The original images were cut up, panned and scaled, inside the delivery frame, always coming back to Space Ship Earth. The story ends with Illuminations which is sponsored Siemens.

(The version seen here is not the 3 screen version. It is a single monitor version also requested by Siemens.)

The final delivery size is 5760 x 1080 pixels. With the single screen 1920 x 1080 (you see here) it allows even more flexibility.

Using time-lapse photography for storytelling offers many creative opportunities. The engaging nature of time-lapse photography allows us to compress time and see the world in a fascinating way. Finding a suitable location to shot an interesting time-lapse is the key. Taking advantage of large format images and editing them into smaller frames allows us to tell stories by focusing attention.

Create dynamic storytelling by manipulating time.

High Roller Las Vegas: A Time Lapse Tour of the World’s Largest Observation Wheel

In the world of video storytelling, less is always more. How do we engaged our viewers and communicate everything we need to in as few seconds as possible? By manipulating time we can create drama by speeding it up or slowing it down. Using time lapse photography we can compress an entire day into 3 minutes or less. Think, “A Day In The Life,” or in this case, a day, a sunset and a night compressed into 2 minutes, 26 seconds.

The High Roller Las Vegas is the world’s tallest observation wheel. Our story is about how the High Roller dominates the Las Vegas skyline and the breathtaking views of that skyline from the High Roller. The High Roller ride takes about 30 minutes. When you are actually riding inside the High Roller the experience is amazing. The challenge was to make a video about that amazing daytime, sunset and nighttime experiences without putting the viewer to sleep. The answer was time lapse photography.

It was the July 4th weekend and Las Vegas was starting to fill up. Caesars Entertainment granted us all access to their properties and a private cabin on the High Roller for as long as needed. During the daytime the air conditioned cabins of the High Roller were a welcome relief to the 112 degree oven known as Las Vegas in July. It was so hot I had to stand over my camera gear to create shade and keep the camera from melting. Even at 10:00 o’clock at night it was still 100 degrees, but there was a nice breeze that cooled things down to a comfortable 99 degrees.

Production stats: 11 rides, 2 days, 1 person crew, 28 time lapse sequences, over 11,000 individual RAW images, 112 degrees during the day, 100 degrees at night. The RAW photo sequences are processed through LRTimelapse, Adobe Lightroom and converted to 4K video in Adobe After Effects. Editing for 1920 x 1080 delivery with 4k content offer additional creative opportunities.

Unique production note: Shooting inside a glass bubble during the day can present some challenges because of reflections. Gear and people need to be strategically placed so as not to end up in the shot. Shooting at night inside a glass bubble is even crazier. The High Roller is lit up at night by about a gazillion LED lights and I think they all reflect inside the bubble. In hindsight and with a larger crew I would have draped the inside of the cabin.

Using time lapse photography for video storytelling offers many creative opportunities. The nature of time lapse photography allows us to compress time and see the world in a fascinating way. The ability to compress time lines (a day in the life) allows us to tell stories in a visually engaging way and editing in 4K RAW offers extensive flexibility.