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Working On Sensitive Topics

Posted on : 05-04-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Video Producer Chronicles, Video Technology

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If you’re a large American company with a serious and important message, where do you go to deliver your story? The answer used to be television, radio or the newspapers, but since the advent of web videos, the scale has shifted in favor of the internet.

While working full time as a video producer at Google, I had the opportunity to produce many cool videos about Google’s newest products and features which were all uploaded and shared on YouTube. Often, the more challenging ones were those that appeared simple enough to produce.

I worked with the Google Books team on a serious and straightforward video about a settlement agreement reached between Google and a broad class of authors and publishers who filed a lawsuit against them.  The video was uploaded and shared on YouTube, which gave people a chance to share the video with others through social networking sites, and provide feedback through comments, like buttons and video responses. I made an effort to keep the delivery simple, honest and straight to the point. No music, fancy shots and crazy editing. I thought the video was done tastefully and did a good job like a good press statement should. What do you think?

“Look, Ma! No Hands” at Botsquare

Posted on : 02-04-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Video Producer Chronicles, Video Technology

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One of the perks of producing videos for tech start-ups is the excitement of trying out the latest technology before it hits the market. We had great fun working with Botsquare, a new vision technology start-up based in Menlo Park, California. We absolutely loved using neat hand gestures to play, pause, rewind and forward our favorite Hulu movies and iTunes music. We are so excited about the possibilities of this new technology and are psyched about the opportunity to work on a cool promotional video with Botsquare. Our lean and mean Layaco Media team: Carol Gancia – Producer/Director/Editor, Daniel Ogawa – Writer, Andrew Bender – Cinematographer, Anders Osterballe – Gaffer, Bradley Johnson – Gaming Engineer by day/Actor by night, Navneet Dalal & Priyanka Rana – our fab clients and fabulous provider of all the props used during the shoot.

Finally. No more popcorn debris and greasy fingerprints on my keyboard whenever I watch my favorite movie online! Let us know what you think.

4 Million People Laughing

Posted on : 02-04-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Funny Videos, Video Technology

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Have you seen Google’s April Fool’s Day joke about Gmail Motion and the humorous, absurd mime action of a mailman character demonstrating vision technology? In 3 days, it got over 4 million Youtube hits. Not bad for an April Fool’s Day joke. I can bet Google is working on this technology for real as we speak. In the meantime, enjoy our favorite search engine’s sense of humor.


Where Video Producers Go In April

Posted on : 27-03-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Video Producer Chronicles, Video Technology

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I like filling up on the latest TV and video technology and exploring how I can offer it to my favorite tech clients. I also always try to pick up a few tips here and there for an efficient production work flow. The smoother the work flow, the better experience my clients and production team will have.

I first heard about the National Association of Broadcasters or N.A.B. Convention in 1995.

Photo by Bryan Wilson

“You have to go at least once,” this is what senior media colleagues used to tell me back when I was 23 with only 2 years of media experience. I was excited about learning more and meeting other people like me from all over. It would have been a great way to network and educate myself about the latest technology advances in my industry. Somehow, it took 14 media-filled years before I finally came to visit, and when I did, my whole idea of media globalization changed. It was April, 2009. Everyone was there, from your media executive in rural mid-America to your news anchor in far-flung Asian and African cities, listening to talks, participating in workshops and sharing their own experiences about working in their part of the world.  After that trip, I endearingly decided to call it the international video producer’s journey of a lifetime.

N.A.B. is the premiere trade association of broadcasters all over the world. It started in 1922 and represents more than 900 television stations and almost 5,000 radio stations. It also speaks in conjunction with, and on behalf of major broadcasting networks in the United States, and represents the interests, both domestic and international, of 7,500 members from the radio and television industry. Headquartered in Washington DC, they are very influential in shaping the American and International media landscape.

This April, video professionals from all over the world will pack their bags, fly, drive and walk once again to the biggest television, video and radio convention in the world. Hotels, restaurants and pedestrian bridges in Las Vegas will be jammed with camera people, editors, filmmakers, TV and radio journalists, TV engineers, media marketing professionals and media corporation executives all excited about the latest tech buzz in the TV, radio and video world. I’m excited to be one of them.

Check out our post about the 2011 NAB conference event soon.

The Making of “Dot”

Posted on : 12-03-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Featured, Video Technology

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Aardman, a 4-time Oscar winning animation studio in the UK, assembled a small team of talented story-tellers, animators and engineers to celebrate an exciting new technology intended to help diagnose diseases like malaria, from blood samples in remote villages all over the world. The Nokia N8 mobile phone and a CellScope attachment was used to shoot a charming, teeny-tiny film called “Dot.”

Meet Tiny Dot, the 9-millimeter character who goes on a magical adventure in the film. Because the creators could not manipulate the character’s body parts due to its miniscule size, they had to create 17 molds of the same character in different positions. A lot of high detail work and long hours were spent creating this film. They averaged 4 seconds of completed animation work per day. The storyline is simple but compelling. The result: a film with over 2 million views on YouTube after only six months.

As they say in the film, oftentimes, it’s not the technology. It’s what you do with it. Watch as the Aardman team shares the story behind the making of “Dot.”

‘Haven’t seen the film yet? Check out this story.

World’s Smallest Stop Motion Animation Character

Posted on : 11-03-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Featured, Inspiring Videos, Video Technology

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Imagine this. A 9-millimeter character 1/5 the size of your pinky being filmed in an animation studio in Bristol, UK. Pretty amazing, right? But wait. There’s more to the story than just its cool factor.

In 2010, Nokia teamed up with Professor Fletcher who built CellScope, a microscopic attachment to the Nokia NS 12-megapixel smart phone. The idea behind combining these two technologies is to capture images of blood samples in far-flung places that cannot easily be reached by laboratory technicians. They had a noble mission and wanted to celebrate the possibilities of this new technology. They decided to pose a challenge to a well-known animation studio in England.

The goal: To produce the world’s smallest film. The challengers: Aardman film and television animation studios in Bristol, UK.
The result: Tiny Dot and her magical world unfolding before your eyes through this charming, teeny-tiny film called “Dot.”  Watch and enjoy!

Ever wondered how this small wonder of a film was made? Check out this article.

Choose Your Own Promo Video Adventure

Posted on : 16-02-2011 | By : Carol Gancia | In : Video Technology

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Imagine creating a promotional video that allows the viewer to choose how it will end. I grew up reading the then popular “Choose Your Own Adventure” books over and over, exhausting every possibility from the multitude of choices given at every other page turn. When I saw this popular YouTube video by Tipp-Ex– a brand of correction fluid popular throughout Europe, watching it brought back a lot of fond childhood memories. Tipp-Ex’s video producer used a special video algorithm that allows readers to type a verb to complete a sentence located on top of the video screen. This action generates an appropriate and endearing video response from the video actors. I don’t want to spoil the fun and give too much away, so check out the different endings when you get the chance. It’s a hoot!