What do you do in Lincoln, Nebraska after you give a presentation at the library’s staff day? You have dinner with Michael Sauers and family! Thanks, Michael, Mary, kids, cats, and dogs for a fun time!
Last session – let’s see if I can make it! And a funny aside – I was talking to two people before this session about sound boards of all things – one attendee and one SXSW volunteer. Turns out the volunteer is a librrarian who took a year off to write a novel (good for her), and the attendee – not sure who she is – actually attended another presentation and asked me what FRBR was, of all things! Wow.
If you flake, you’re out. Don’t leave the project before it’s done. Also share turntables – mix things up that don’t actually go together.
Try awkward things.
Learn how to deal with difficult people. (he worked with Michael Medved)
Henry Winkler says “say thank you” (panelist worked with him).
Ed Spielman says “Start with the poster…” Make believe the movie’s done. He’d get people to give him money … then they’d go write the script.
Megatron says “Geeks have a long, long memory.”
He transitioned into video games in the 90s.
Tim Curry says “say dirty words in funny voices.” Hmm …
What stuck with him in his transition was storytelling. Games are stories. In a gaming pitch he attended … the designers were focusing on the story.
To film makers – you should be able to transfer your writing ability to the gaming industry.
With film, you have a budget, can maybe just do 3 takes. With games, you can do whatever you want to do.
Talked about his transfer from film to gaming…
Ouch – he always loved film, made a documentary about a teacher affair with a student, got in trouble for that!
Loved PCs in college… After college, realized he didn’t want to program … so went to grad film school (I think).
Landed a game design job – they put in long 60-70 hour work weeks…
Film helped him develop game pacing, how to make them more immersive.
He was a senior producer for Ultima – a virtual world game from the late 1990s.
With “suits” – in presentations, they mainly notice what you’re showing them – not what you’re actually telling them. So his background with storyboarding and quickly getting to the point helped – if you have this skill, you will get the gig.
They went through 1000 writers before they picked the 12-14 they kept. Wow. The writers take a writer’s test.
Speaker – Eric Feng, Hulu
I arrived late at this one, but still took a boatload of notes. Online video is amazing, and Hulu is right there in the thick of it! Here’s what I heard:
continual growth of broadband:
- median US broadband speed in 2008 was 2.3 Mb/s – still lots of room to grow. Some can get 10 Mb/s
- In Japan, the median broadband speed is 63 Mb/s !!!
Video technology innovatin is continuing
- better hardware – more powerful PC CPUs and GPUs
- better video codecs – H264 as great open source example thats used in many places (ie., YouTube and DVD, for example)
- Better video platforms – multi-bitrate streaming, intelligent buffering
- iPhone has the processing speed of a PC around 1998-1999
Marketplace for premium content is there
- video content has changed
- now full TV shows are online
- there are fully-produced, professional-quality web-only shows
Online video ads expected to grow 45% to $850 million in 2009
- people/companies can monetize content
- 150% growth in 2007 for online tv
- 200% growth in 2008
Stuff about Hulu:
The Underwater pyramid – great example of a pyramid with the tip sticking out of the water – the tip is what you see, a small company. The stuff under the water is all the mega technology required to make that company run. It’s a huge technology base.
“Worthy or remark” – Hulu’s rallying cry. They want their stuff to be this, and want people to say this about Hulu when Hulu’s “not in the room”
Great content deserves great quality – 90% of videos available in high resolution 480p – that’s standard def TV/DVD quality video. Wow.
Closed captions to enhance video viewing:
- thousands of videos have this on Hulu
- it’s incredibly hard to do
- they have to sync timecode
- the V companies store the closed caption content in a variety of ways, including in SMIL and XML, and they have to figure out how to parse it into the videos
Obsess over every pixel
- review process for every thumbnail on the site
- they actually look at every one
- 16X9 thumbnails, optimized for different sizes
- working on the experience – they’re obsessed over the details
- they actually used technology to automatically crop shows/thumbnails that were sized 4X3 to 16X9
- They made it a game in their company, complete with prizes – they had 20,000 thumbnails to do
Innovations you use, but don’t notice
- query-aware thumbnails
- same video has different thumbnails depending on your search query
Aside – Eric played their newest Hulu TV ad today – it’s not out on TV yet…
Q – when will Hulu be on my TV/Set top box?
A – still focused on the PC and browser. He said in regards to the TV/Video content world, “they’re the tallest midget in the room”
Q – Canadians can’t get Hulu – when will you be in other countries? I guess Hulu is only available in the US right now.
A – it’s because of rights – they have to sometimes negotiate those rights show-by-show, region-by-region. Wow. They are committed to worldwide. And Eric said “Canada first. Promise.”
Q/A – about Ad revenue – Hulu actually makes more money on with ads online for, example, the show 3rd Rock than the traditional broadcast companies make with traditional commericals. That’s amazing! And they share their ad revenue with the owners of the content.
Gary Vaynerchuk (Wine Library TV), someone else who is interviewing him – can’t read the name…
Gary turned 30, realized there was alot more that he wanted to do. He watched ZeFrank’s videos and some others, and thought “I can do that.”
Claims it’s hard being an extreme extrovert. But you have to be who you are.
Gary has a new book coming outÂ it’s about “business.”
You can be an expert in social media marketing. But if your product’s terrible, it won’t help.
If you’re a jerk, your intern is flip-camming you
Don’t email Gary about camera or lighting. The content is king – not the tools.
When Gary started, he went to every single wine blog and left comments with links back to his blog.
You have to find your audience – not by pitching them, but by sharing & joining in the community
How funny – Gary grew up around wine tasting and wondered why people weren’t saying “this wine tastes like Big League Chew?” So he started doing that with his blog.
You can only live your life once. Gary wants to do it 100% happy. No reason not to make yourself as happy as possible.
None of this works if you live for weekends and vacations. He didn’t touch on this much, but – this is a HUGE point. Thanks for saying this!
(fyi – this is a Q&A session now). How do you deal with being “known?” Ask yourself “who am I” – if you don’t want people to know that, then you need to stop.
When did you start making money with video? He makes money becuase people know him. He got his book gig because people know him … etc.
Wow. he reads over 1000 emails a day! It’s his job.
Too many people don’t make decisions to survive – you have to decide to run your business like a business.
People who are unfocused – stay unfocused, but do that stuff really well.
Never wait for something to happen – go get it instead
Being successful – part of it is just keeping on doing it – outlast the competition
Delegate everything except what you love
Gary’s goal – owning the Jets.
Q – how do you “get in the zone?” Gary – “I’m there when I wake up every day.”
(aside – you REALLY have to be here – Gary is hilarious!)
Numbers/followers don’t mean anything. What matters are the people who CARE.
Puting out your content is only the FIRST thing to do – you have to do lots of work after that, too
And a couple other quotes/questions that I didn’t get…
Speaker – David Dunkley Gyimah
Starts in 1994 … and it relates to video journalism today
– read a definition of video journalism from 1994
– They were called VJs
gave an example of how he does different cuts for a video interview – he does it quickly
Shoot with the edit in mind – so your goal is to shoot the final product
If he shot this session, he’d take 4-5 shots of the room, no more than 30 seconds wort, then do a quick interview with the speaker later
2005 – the bottleneck – new theories are appearing.
– how does this inform what we do?
– called 2005 the “what if” year
– there’s now more of an integrated design aesthetic – you do the interview, the video, the web page, the promo, the design that stretches across all of those things (hence the title of this presentation)
Played a clip of Tom Kennedy, former head of video at the washington post – basically said video journalism is simply allowing other people to tell their stories.
Q&A – what can we do with iMovie and a cheap camera? Answer – it’s not the gear, but about what you do with it