Film — The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Mostly the ugly in this case. Tarantino’s roadshow production of the Hateful Eight sounded like a great idea to me. Present the film in 70mm projected glory, complete with an intermission and — best of all — no pre-show commercials. Many film insiders snapped up the tickets for this very limited run.

As it turned out though, there were problems. Some were purely artistic, as some complained that 70mm was wasted on the story, which takes place largely on one indoor set. Many other problems were technical though. This blog details many tweets complaining of projection problems, including focus, broken film, and in one extreme case, a theatre substituting the digital version when the film did not work out.

Could this be the last stand for film? That seems unlikely. Another blockbuster — numbered seven rather than a Hateful Eight — also was shot on film recently, and it is doing pretty well.

Visual Storytelling with Video

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The video below, produced by Sweden’s Syndicate, is a great example of visual storytelling. It uses advanced video production methods to achieve a simple story that can be understood by anyone — and with no dialogue.

As always in video production, having a great story is paramount. The technology exists only to convey that story to the viewer. Here at L7 Original, we review concepts, storyboards, and scripts with our customers before a frame is shot — all to the benefit of the final story. It’s your story, and it’s our job to help viewers enjoy it.

A Photo Odyssey

By | Behind The Scenes, Creative, Video Marketing | No Comments

While we are on the topic of Stanley Kubrick, this photo album offers some excellent behind-the-scenes photos from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Behind-the-scenes (BTS) photos are a great way to study a filmmaker’s production process. Here at L7 Original we often feature BTS photos on our site to show how we capture the images that are so crucial to a successful brand story. Sometimes the process of video production is more complex than it first seems.

Kubrick’s Light Touch on Illumination

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Stanley Kubrick had a number of filmmaking techniques that were unusual or innovative. One of these involved his use of lighting, and his preference for practical lighting. Practical lighting here refers to lights that look like they are part of a scene, such as a streetlamp or a candle, or even Christmas lights. The sun and the moon can also be considered practical lights, either for outdoor scenes or when streaming through a window. This article, originally published in the American Society of Cinematographers magazine, has some fascinating insider details about Kubrick’s approach. It’s tempting to read it and embrace the less-is-more strategy, but a careful read shows that Kubrick employed many complex (read as “high cost”) methods to make this lighting approach work. Video productions centered on story must use the best features of practical lighting to take the viewer into our created worlds.

Father's Day Branding

Celebrate Father’s Day with these Popular Brands

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From Dove to Dockers, brands everywhere are celebrating dads. In honor of Father’s Day weekend, here are the top Father’s Day advertisements for 2015. Whether Father’s Day advertisements seek out to make you laugh or cry, these brands all have the same goal: to show appreciation for dads everywhere. Watch the top campaign videos below and let us know which ad is your favorite!

  • Dove celebrates dads-to-be with the ‘Care Makes a Man Stronger Campaign.’
  • Dockers and Taye Diggs want fathers to rock their dad style and get down with their ‘Dad Self.’
  • Toyota shows how fathers and daughters see each other to promote the Toyota’s Safety Sense feature.
  • Angel Soft wants to wish all the single mothers that acted as fathers a ‘Happy Father’s Day, Mom.’

If you are a new, experienced, or expecting father, Happy Father’s Day from L7 Creative.

Video Marketing

4 Tips to Create an Effective Video Marketing Strategy

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Video marketing has come a long way in recent years and is continuing to grow in popularity among consumers. Video content is a highly effective form of marketing, and is essential for building brand awareness. Videos create relationships with consumers while providing them with the information they need.

Here are a few tips to take into account when developing a successful video marketing campaign:

1. Build Your Videos As A Series: Establish a regular posting schedule. Tell an organized engaging story over a series of videos… stories sell. Do not try to fit a lot of content into one long video, make a short series of videos leading up to one big event. Learn more about video storytelling here.

2. Social Media Loves Short Videos: Make the videos short to keep your audience interested.

3. Tell Them How It Is Done: Share tutorials and tips in order to build a relationship with your audience.

4. Make It A Contest: Create a contest and offer prizes for the most creative customer submitted video. This will increase your customer base and boost brand awareness.

Bottom Line: videos sell.

Read more about video marketing strategy here.

Video Marketing

Storytelling: Adapted Art of Video Marketing

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Storytelling is not a lost art, but it has certainly adapted. People thrive on stories! Paired with video content, stories have proven to be effective in attracting and engaging audiences to brands.

Providing customers with facts and information about your products and services is all good and well. However, offering your customers a story they can relate to and experience, takes them one step further to brand identification.

Here are some noteworthy brand advertisements that utilize the art of video storytelling:

Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut’s New ‘BlockBuster Box’ Creates a Buzz

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Pizza Hut has revolutionized the concept of a ‘night in’ by combining two classic favorites: dinner and a movie. By joining forces with Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong, the pizza giant has created a pizza box that doubles as a movie projector.

Included in the box is a “pizza saver” disc located in the center of the pie, which can be removed and placed on the side of the box. Once the lens is in place, short films can be projected through the user’s smartphone by using an app.

In conjunction with the goals of the client, chief creative officer of Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong, Reed Collins, aimed to grab consumers attention and get them talking about the product. This creative and dual-purpose contraption sparked buzz from techies everywhere, and marketers and pizza connoisseurs are reacting positively.

To appeal to a wide audience, illustrators created artwork on the boxes including sci-fi, action, and even romance scenes to set the movie mood. One of the most memorable pieces from this buzz-worthy box is it’s ability to be re-used as a projector for other content from their phones such as YouTube videos, personal video clips, or photo slideshows. Watch the video tutorial here.

Not only has Pizza Hut gained the PR it wanted, but it has branded itself apart from it’s competitors as a trailblazer in the digital world. People will not necessarily be running to their cabinets to retrieve their month old, grease stained pizza box projector next friday night. However, this box has successfully increased Pizza Hut’s brand equity by merging a product with an experience!



Allstate Created ‘Mayhem’ With Its Advertising Campaign

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Allstate’s long running campaign “In Good Hands”, was not standing out alongside Progressive’s Flo and Geico’s gecko. Allstate decided to wreck havoc in the insurance advertising world and introduce Mayhem.

According to Lisa Cochrane, the SVP of Marketing for Allstate Insurance, Mayhem disrupted the insurance conversation due to these three key factors:

  1. Start with a relevant insight.
    Consumers need an ad that speaks to them. Accidents happen to everyone. Whether it’s putting your electric sandblaster through your window or having a deer jump in front of your car, people can relate to unplanned mayhem.
  2. Include physical and visual humor.
    The character Mayhem, Dean Winters, throws himself off roofs, out cars, and down stairs to make viewers laugh. Additionally, he dresses up as a teenage girl and a toddler to prove that mayhem comes in all shapes and sizes.
  3. Have a repeatable line.
    The first two key factors manage to get viewers talking about the ad campaign, which is the biggest hurdle, but the tagline is what boosts customer recall and ultimately makes any campaign successful.

Dive more into the ad campaign breakdown here:

TV Commercials

Short Films: The Future of Commercials

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Today, people either fast-forward past recorded TV commercials, watch for 5 seconds then skip them online, or bypass advertisements altogether by utilizing paid streaming services. This has spurred a new movement in marketing that will make TV commercials obsolete, one short film at a time.

Marketers becoming producers

Whether you’re watching Chipotle’s Farmed and Dangerous or Marriott’s new content studios, there is plenty of evidence that big marketers are checking out of Madison Avenue and into Hollywood to produce branded entertainment based on what people are choosing to watch.

“You almost need to put parenthesis around ‘branded’ and just call it ‘entertainment’, because if it doesn’t compete with the other content that’s already out there, it simply doesn’t matter.” – Frank Cooper III, CMO of PepsiCo.

Look no further than The Lego Movie for a prime example of how marketers are putting this into practice, giving consumers content that first adds value to their lives, and in turn, adds value to the brand.

Brands leading the way

One of the brands spearheading this movement is GE, who has recently signed off on a new six episode series highlighting scientific innovation to be produced by movie veterans Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. The new series Breakthrough aims at creating branded content with a focus on narrative instead of products.

“Sometimes ‘branded entertainment’ feels advertorial – it’s secondary to really good content”, says Linda Boff, Executive Director of Global Brand Marketing.

Bridging the gap

For young film directors, branded shorts offer a welcome opportunity to fund their passion projects and tell great stories without having to compromise on integrity.

“Having the chance to make a short film featuring Uma Thurman, would have been entirely impossible had it not been for Jameson First Shot” explains Director Jessica Valentine. “Being able to focus on story and entertainment allows for a specific type of artistic freedom and results in a much better experience for both the director and the audience.”

So, while most marketers are still focused on keeping things “short and sweet,” a change is on the horizon. The key is not the specific length of the video, but the story behind it.