We successfully put on our 2nd WooConf earlier this year in Austin, TX. It was such a huge success and major improvement from our first WooConf. Not that the first was bad in any way, it was just astounding to me the leap that Maria and team made from WooConf 2014 to WooConf 2016! They deserve some major kudos for making WooConf 2016 such a great event. 🙂
Before I get too distracted though, the point of this post is to show how I shot the WooConf Golden Ticket Competition with my lousy iPhone 6. It’s no iPhone 6s/6s + with 4K video and optical stabilization, etc…, but I asked myself if we made a compelling set of videos did it matter?
A few years ago our good friends asked us if we could take their Christmas card photo for them. We said, “Sure, of course, as long as you know we don’t have an actual stills camera.” They said yeah and agreed to the idea of taking their photo with a Blackmagic Cinema Camera. If you didn’t know this camera only shoots video, but it does it very well.
If you work creating videos for business, let me start with saying you MUST attend WistiaFest as soon as you can. If you want to stop reading here, then you’ve already got the point of my post. Start preparing your things for WistiaFest 2016. If you did want to know why I have such a strong opinion, then you can read on below.
Early this year my job role at WooThemes evolved into working on videos full time. My goal, and what I’ve been doing so far, is to be our in house video guy for all of our needs. I’ve been able to break down our video needs into two categories, those being Educational and Promotional. Educational videos falling more on the support side of our resources, while Promotional fits into our marketing team’s agenda. Surely some videos can fall into both but usually they have one goal in mind when planning for them.
Over at Two Are Better, the videography business Mindy and I started, we’ve finally ordered some custom flash drives. While these are more expensive at the moment, they will soon become cheaper and the future of how we deliver our finished video projects. In my mind physical delivery of video will soon die out, but for many of our couples and clients having a Blu-Ray or even a DVD gasp is still the most convenient way for them to consume media. It still baffles me, to some degree, that we have beautiful HD and 4K to capture video in only for it to ultimately be delivered and consumed at far less than HD quality! I do understand that it makes a little more sense when it’s a couple’s Grandparents who don’t see the need to buy a new HD TV and Blu-Ray player. Still this is our art we’re talking about. It’s meant to be seen in it’s full glorius quality! 😛
Nonetheless, I’m sure we will be delivering discs (Blu-Ray & DVD) alongside flash drives for a few years to come. In my perfect world, there would be a really awesome digital delivery service made for this. Something like iTunes where people can watch their videos on any device and anywhere they want.
The whole point of this post then is how do we deliver a similar experience across discs and flash drives, and is this something clients will even appreciate or use? Well, we’re going to find out! I came across this Reddit thread where someone was asking a similar question. The idea then sparked in my head that this would be pretty easy to build with simple HTML & CSS. Essentially using simple markup to create a header, content area, and footer. Embed their videos using the new HTML5 standard <video></video>. Then make it all look pretty with CSS and a few SVG icons we use on our site and disc menus anyway.
Here then is the finished product, an experience using flash drives that matches our disc menus pretty closely. You can navigate to the appropriate videos, scrub through them, full screen them, etc… So with the basic structure up and working I thought it’s time to put this out in the wild. To use this you obviously need a little bit of knowledge editing HTML or CSS files. But think of this as a skeleton for your own flash drives. Things like our font files and SVG icons you probably don’t want to copy, but take the skeleton and make it better. I’ve put this up on BitBucket to start with, so if you are savvy fork the repo and submit pull requests with your improvements.
Some initial problems exist though! Some things that could be solved in the future are how would we ensure this would work with TVs? If a couple plugged their flash drive into their TV would they be able to play their videos? Also, it’s not obvious to everyone that they need to open the index.html file for anything to even work. Is there a way to autoplay this so anyone can access the menu? If there is an obvious way that works across platforms (Mac & Windows) and also then plays the videos on all TVs let me know!
I’ve open sourced the Wedding Flash Drive repo & work thus far, if you think this is worthwhile and cool let me know. Feel free to fork and make better too. Otherwise, it still seems easiest to just stick the video files on the flash drives with no menu system. But hopefully someday there is a way to digital recreate menus. 🙂
I had posted a little photo way back when of my routine of making coffee in the morning, which now this post and video is just the continuation of. Mindy and I had the idea for a little while to create a mini doc tentatively titled “Weekend-ing”, which is where this short video came from. We had started fleshing out ideas and plans for this video, and even shot a lot of clips last weekend, but I don’t think we felt good enough with the idea in it’s current state. Nonetheless, it was nice to dust off the cobwebs and shoot a little bit.
I couldn’t let all our clips go to waste though. I scanned over all of them and thought I can pull a little bit out of these clips of us making breakfast. And this is what you get, a sequel to the Early Morning coffee post! This time in video form.
Like I said it was nice to shoot a little again. I updated our picture profiles on our cameras as well as the Magic Lantern software, used a new tool to convert those pesky files to ProRes instead of letting FCP X do it, tried out some different grading tools, etc… I had fun getting to edit a little, hope you enjoy!
Alright, the iPhone 4 has been in the wild for a couple of months and I haven’t got around to shooting video with it yet. My bad…I’ll admit, but I made everything right this weekend while I was on my way to visit Mindy. I’ve been wanting to shoot for a while with my iPhone. It has nice 720HD capabilities which makes the video actually look alright! I was very surprised that the video worked well after giving it a little color treatment. It did help to have lots of natural light available… 🙂 It’s awesome to know I’m carrying around a pretty capable video camera at all times. Nothing beats the 7D though, at least until I can get a 5D. Just day dreaming… So here is the video, let me know what you think. Shot with an iPhone 4, edited in Final Cut, treated with Color.