Spalding Smart Ball Commercial

I had the pleasure of creating a commercial for Spalding featuring their amazing 94Fifty smart ball. The ball has built-in sensors that provide real-time data to your smart phone. You may have noticed it on the shelves of your local Apple store. The video features YouTube sensation Jashaun Agosto and several other talented future D1 athletes:

I originally shot a longer version that had a complete storyline, which I hope will be released some day. This basketball commercial was a fun change up from the stop motion videos I’ve been creating for LEGO and it was my first chance to shoot on my Canon C100.

Jashaun Agosto
Jashaun Agosto of Garfield High School in Seattle.

Special thanks to Jashaun’s dad Julio, for helping to round up some players for the shoot and Excel Sports Academy for use of their court. No player, parent or coach were compensated in any way for their participation in this video. It was important to myself and Spalding that they all retain full NCAA eligibility.

My Foray Into Stop Motion Animation

I’ve always been one to figure things out. It’s part of the reason I became a filmmaker even though web consulting is my primary profession. In fact, it is what got me into web consulting in the first place. One thing that always fascinated me was stop motion animation. As I kid, I tried to do it using a video camera, but back then the tape would randomly rewind a few seconds before filming, which made it nearly impossible to get the timing down (I’d usually record over the previous frame)

Now, with the advent of digital photography & software that allows you to control your camera, stop motion animation is much more accessible. After some experimentation, I landed a gig shooting a stop motion animated video for LEGO. Here is one of my first stop motion animation pieces:

Then I shot another stop motion, this time for the Duck Tape brand for their decorated shipping tape:

LEGO hired me back to shoot a video for their LEGO City line, which resulted in this video which has over a half a million views on various websites:

Then I was selected to create a pilot episode for Cleatus, the Fox Sports NFL mascot. Unfortunately, the pilot didn’t go past the pilot stage, but here’s a screenshot:

CLEATUS Stop Motion

Hopefully I’ll be able to share it some day (the problem w/ making videos for others is that you don’t always get to share your work).

For nearly all of my stop motion videos, my 8-year old son helps out. He always wanted to shoot a LEGO Star Wars stop motion, so I helped him plan out his story, shots, and with the camera setup. Here’s the fun video we created:

During this past year I also started teaching a stop motion animation class at an elementary school and even hosted a workshop at a conference. My latest gig was for LEGO’s new Castle line, where I shot part 5 of a 6-part series & was tasked with creating a toy-story like experience (hence the dog). Again, only can share a screenshot at this point, I assume it will be released in September:

LEGO Castle Stop Motion

Though stop motion is simply a series of pictures, there’s something fascinating about making inanimate objects come to life. For those who would like to try it out for themselves, I plan on creating some how-to videos as well as share my camera, lighting, software setup tips with you in a follow-up blog post. Below is some of the gear I used to make these videos:

SEO For Independent Filmmakers

IndieGoGoI wrote a guest post over and IndieGoGo, a cool fund raising and awareness tool for filmmakers, on the topic of using SEO (and SEM) to attract an audience for your film.

Here’s a teaser:

Making a film is a big enough challenge in itself, but if you are like most low-budget independent filmmakers, you’ll quickly discover that finding an audience for your film can be even more challenging.

Outside of widely known marketing methods like submitting to festivals, inviting people to special screenings, and attempting to make friends on social networks, most filmmakers fail in allowing their audience find them on their own.

Read the rest of the post: Build Your Film’s Audience Using Search Engines

Celebrity Vote Meme

This well-done video featuring the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Courteney Cox, Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Jonah Hill, Dustin Hoffman, Ashton Kutcher, Eva Longoria, Tobey Maguire, Demi Moore, Natalie Portman, Forest Whitaker and other celebs, is sure to be one of the most rapidly deployed viral videos. The non-partison video is aimed at getting more people to vote using the invite 5 friends meme strategy.

At the time of this posting, the video has less than 100k views. I expect it will surge to a million views in short time.

I’m registered to vote, so I’ll pass this along to 5 more who run websites or blogs in the search community: