Creative Storytelling in web, iOS, and Film

Posts by David Barrett

When Is 4K Video Essential?

By on Feb 24, 2015 in Blog, Film Studio |

As the world of 4K video production has evolved during the past two years, interest in the format has grown substantially – and we’re often asked, when is 4K video essential? Producing 4K video in 2015 isn’t as a challenging proposition. At the same time, there is a reasonable argument that in many cases, there is no benefit or reason to move to 4K. We’re going to discuss this from the viewpoint of a producer – because that’s what we do. We create content. Without question, our productions are viewed by our clients as “quality” pieces. Our work continues to win awards. And, we have yet to release a product that was shot and edited in 4K. Why Consider 4K at All? There are many possible answers to this question and a core response would be that 4K will future-proof your productions. In 2013, 4K was a novelty, and during the past year, some good content has started to appear. Today, you can purchase a 4K TV for under $800, so the price is now reasonable as well. 4K cameras can be purchased for less than $500, so equipment is coming widely available as well.  So, even though HD is gorgeous, if you want to consider longevity of products and equipment, 4K is becoming the standard for “new” equipment purchases. A number of people will want to stay at the leading edge of the technology curve. This isn’t ego-driven, either. If you’ve worked with HD for awhile – and more importantly if you worked in SD format and upgraded to HD, you already know how important a shift like this is. Getting in early and adjusting to the new workflow, rather than putting it off and falling behind is often the preferred route, especially considering there isn’t an huge price barrier involved. Besides, with 4K equipment, you can capture your footage in ultra-high resolution, and deliver in HD. You gain the ability to produce in multiple formats, and you don’t give up any functionality in the process. Creative Benefits There are also creative benefits involved with shooting in 4K for projects that you plan to deliver only in HD. A 4K image is four times larger than a 1080p image. This gives you the option...

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Are You Ready for a CRM?

By on Jan 13, 2015 in Blog, Consulting, Web Studio |

Are you ready for a CRM? As more Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions emerge for business management, one of the fastest growing segments involves Customer Relationship Management, or CRM. We have worked with multiple clients engaging them with a CRM solution, and there is a substantial difference between the theory proposed by the solution providers, and the real world experience of companies using (or attempting to use) the software. What is it? As a starting point, a CRM is designed around its title: customer relationships. The idea is that a provider of a product or service will engage their customers with a new ongoing exchange of information, data gathering, and promotional or incentive-based marketing activities. One of the key challenges for anyone wishing to deploy a CRM is that not every client thinks they need this solution – and in fact many would rather not be so engaged. There are many types of CRM systems in the marketplace. We provide two types of solution support related to CRM use: we’ll create a custom in-house CRM for you, or alternatively we’ll consult on implementation of a third party solution. Either way, talking about how and why you might want to use a CRM is essential – many are so feature driven it will take you literally weeks of training to learn how to properly implement some of them. Everyone Must Be On Board There is no point in implementing a CRM solution if everyone doesn’t use it. If some do and some don’t, the data you acquire will be incomplete, leading to the potential for “false math” or incorrect assumptions. The bottom line is that the most sophisticated tools are useless if your team either a) Won’t use them; or b) Spends too much time feeding the system that it takes away from their customer-facing efforts. Selling or Data Entry One of the key problems with a CRM solution is that the role of the account executive is modified – often taking them out of their comfort zone. In many examples, when implementing a CRM, all of the various departments (marketing, sales, etc.) chime in with the customer data they feel the CRM should track. The marketing organization often wants to track lead sources, organizational...

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Which One? New iPhone 6 Plus or iPad?

By on Sep 15, 2014 in Blog, Consulting, iOS Studio |

The question of the month is – Does the new iPhone 6 Plus dilute the market for the iPad? According to IDC, purchases of tablet devices have slowed quite a bit during the past year. Even the iPad, which continues to be the market leader is not experiencing the type of growth that smart phones are. Now, with the Apple 6 Plus, some people are wondering if the tablet has a future at all. Use the Right Device For the Job In our office, we use both the iPhone and the iPad. We produce more software for the iPad, but now new discussions have taken place — “could we adapt this iPad app to run on the iPhone Six Plus,” has come up more than once. For me, it was pretty straight forward: I think an iPhone 6 Plus is too big to carry around in my pocket or on my belt. So, I’m using the phone for communication, and the iPad for work. For others in the office, a bit more of a debate has ensued. My question to the team has been: “what is the right device for the job or function at hand?” First, the iPhone 6 Plus does offer behavior more like that of a micro-iPad than an iPhone. That’s a result of the third party developer ecosystem. Clearly, some apps will now run on an iPhone 6 Plus that wouldn’t be “phone capable” in the past. Still, it’s a small screen when compared to any iPad. If you need to question this, visit an Apple store and put the 6 Plus and an iPad Mini side by side. While the size difference between an iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6 (or iPhone 5/5s) is small, the difference between it and iPad mini is substantial. Which one? If you think you need an iPad, you probably do. When evaluating the screen of the iPhone 6 Plus, it’s pretty clear that some tasks common on iPad weren’t going to be particularly suited to it. For moderate to extensive image editing and or anything more than light editing of Office documents, particularly large spreadsheets, the iPad is still the way to go. Even reading an entire ebook on it...

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Building 3D Models Changes How We Share Via The Web

By on Aug 22, 2014 in Blog, Consulting, Content Management, Custom Software, Internet, iOS Studio |

So, what about 3D? We’ve seen it in motion pictures for years now. Back in the 1990s, I was CEO of a software development firm called Aegis Development. We created a 3D modeling and animation system called VideoScape 3D. It was used for pre-production and production in TV and motion pictures. It evolved into Lightwave 3D and has had a tremendous success rate ever since. Today, 3D is being used in lots of new and different ways. Have you visited the Apple.com website recently? Most of the devices you see in the website (photographs excluded) are actually 3D models. As such, the marketing people have far more control over the presentation of data and information. We use 3D models ourselves, and quite successfully. One example is our client website PureCommand. The iPad devices in the site are all 3D models developed by our team. The benefits of 3D in today’s world include: A 3D model is a real, life sized entity built inside of the computer. A 3D model is more realistic than 2D drawings. 3D design gives you a competitive edge – one your competition may already be enjoying. 3D models are great for design reviews with other members of a design team. All construction and shop fabrication drawings are created from the 3D model insuring accuracy in the final product. 3D models are a tremendous marketing tool and can create additional revenue. Good 3D design is not easily achieved. It is the product of talent, knowledge, and skill. Its value is immense. 3D Opens up a world of design that is otherwise inaccessible. The more we use 3D, the more we’re sold on it. Look for an array of new 3D modeled images and content in our client...

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Why iOS 8 is Useful to Our Clients

By on Jun 25, 2014 in Blog, Consulting, Content Management, Custom Software, iOS Studio |

As our team develops iOS apps, some of our clients are always interested in what makes advances in the OS useful to their business or services. Apple’s introduction of iOS 8 provides some important and useful enhancements that anyone using an iPad or iPhone should be interested in. Interactive Notifications —  Interactive notifications is a terrific new element within iOS 8. Now, you may respond to texts, email, calendar invitations, reminders and messages within other apps such as Facebook or Instagram from the notification banners that pops up at the top of the screen. Keyboards — For the first time, you’re no longer restricted to the keyboard Apple gives you and can pick better options from third-party developers, like Swype ($0.99). So, if you type in a particular way, now you can do it your way. Timer for Photographs — Apple added a timer to its Camera app, allowing you either 3 or 10 seconds to position the camera and then jump into the shot with your friends. You don’t need to touch the camera, either. Selfies galore. Battery Monitoring — This is one of the most useful new elements of iOS 8. Check your apps and see how much impact each one has on your battery. To identify which apps you should close when not in use, visit General > Usage > Battery Usage. This small step could add a few hours of extra battery life to your day. Homescreen in Landscape Mode — While iOS 7 users could read content in landscape mode, the home screen never changed. Now, iPhone 6 Plus owners will be able to turn their device 90 degrees and see apps displayed on the home screen in either format. Key People Shortcuts — If you press the Home button twice, you’ll not only see the webpages you have open but the faces of people you’ve recently talked to. This makes it easy to call or text your favorite contacts right away. Note that ALL contacts will be highlighted, even those you might not want others to see. To remove this feature, visit Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Show in App Switcher and switch it of Off. Shared Locations — Now, iOS 8 lets you set up a window...

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