Monthly Archives: August 2010

Kick the “Recession” to the Curb

Despite the fact that the media is trying to whip us all into a frenzy about the economy, we don’t see a lot of people freaking out. Most of the people we know are just going about their lives and working hard.

Whole Foods happy customersHere at The Association we took a deep breath and stepped back a little bit to get the lay of the land. It seems like there is a lot of bad economic “news” out there, but looking at our immediate surroundings things seemed pretty much the same! The local Mall is packed on the weekends, traffic hasn’t eased noticeably and it’s still hard to find a parking spot at Whole Foods Market. What’s up with all that?

Maybe we are just lucky, but almost all of our good clients are remaining just that: good clients. Of course we value them even more now when it seems like the business world is ready to fall off a cliff at any moment. Yet, they still keep hiring us and we still keep producing effective marketing plans and custom video productions for them.

So we’ve decided it doesn’t really matter what’s going on with the “economy”.

People still have to do business. They still have to market and advertise and promote and we still can help them. Maybe we have to be even more cost-conscious on some jobs, or find some creative way to utilize what resources are available, but we’ve been doing that for 23 years now.

So our advice is:

1) Value your clients like the lifeblood they are
2) Promote more now than you ever have before
3) Be smart about how you spend your money
4) Work hard

Do this and it won’t matter what’s going on with “the economy”.

We are still here cranking out creative, award-winning, effective media. Everything from TV commercials to website construction. If you’re freaking out, give us a call. We’ll talk you down.

Forget Kermit – It’s Easier Being Green

At the risk of being chased by Ms. Piggy for such a title, it’s true.  Kermit the Frog sang, “It’s Not Easy Being Green” before organic search results were important.

Kermit the Frog

Ok, cheeky semantics aside, life as a business owner IS a lot easier if leads are banging down your door, especially in today’s economy, right? If you had a choice between less leads or more leads, assuming the cost is the same either way, which one are you going to choose?

What do more leads and green have in common?  Organic Google search results. If you aren’t sure what organic search results are, it’s pretty simple.  It’s the user-generated content vs. the sponsored advertisements.  You know, the ads on the right side and the top of a Google Search Engine Results Page (also known as a SERP) that most people generally ignore.

Heat Map of Google Organic Search Results and Clicks

The picture above shows where the eyeballs mostly go.  The more “intense” the stare, the redder (hotter) the color. The sponsored ads area on the right is pretty cold. The 1st three search results on the left side get most of the attention.

See that red line across the bottom half?  That’s called the “Fold Line”, and it shows where the computer screen ends.  This picture shows that the person has paid relatively little attention to the results below the line. So the best bet is to show up in the top 5 results of a Google Search.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with a Pay Per Click Campaign. I’m just pointing out it might be easier to get leads if you are in a room with more people in it. And companies who have their websites showing up in the organic research results are in a really big party. The Pay Per Click party is still going on, but it’s an exlusive, expensive party with a lot less people in it.

Considering that as much as 80% of all online activity starts with online search, there’s a whole lot of searching going on. Think about it. The last time you were trying to figure out the solution for a problem, how did you find the answer? The encyclopedia? I bet it was the online version.

There’s a variety of organic content to create. To be really effective, work out a market development strategy that includes market research data collection and relevant visual content, such as custom video production. Without the market research data collection, you risk creating content that might eventually turn off your potential leads. Take the time and invest in good research, it will pay off tenfold in the long run.  Short-term thinking can turn into long-term disaster.

In short, if you want more leads, go green and be organic.

NAB 2010 Report – Part 2: DSLR

So I’ve been able to get around and check a few things out and so far I’ve found some pretty cool things in terms of DSLR production.

Probably one of the coolest things is a 3D rig made with Canon DSLRs (seen below). The problem is that, so far, no one has been able to sync images from the DSLRs, a process which is mandatory in 3D production. However, manufacturers of 3D rigs are expecting someone to figure out how to to use a camera such as the Canon DSLR 5D for 3D production.

3D Rig with Canon DSLR

Another cool thing that I came across was an electronic viewfinder (pictured below) that is able to tap into the DSLR camera’s HDMI output. This allows the camera to be easily focused. The demo was, in fact, extremely informational.

Electronic viewfinder tapping into a Canon DSLR 5D HDMI output.

Another amazing thing I came across was Marshall’s new portable, 5 inch HDMI monitor (as pictured below) for mounting on a Canon DSLR 5D or 7D camera. And it’s powered by AA batteries. Not only that but it was incredibly light weight. I can’t wait to put it into action at my Canon DSLR 5D and 7D Boot Camp.

Marshall's new portable, 5 inch HDMI monitor.

The final thing that I came across that was extremely interesting was the WristShot from Hoodman. I tried it out and it really impressed me and I could feel the relief in both my wrists and hands while shooting. We are going to have Hoodman accessories, such as the WristShot and RAW CF cards at our Canon certification Boot Camps.

WristShot from Hoodman


NAB 2010 Report- Part 1: DSLR

The 2010 NAB show in Vegas was quite an event this year. Essentially it is the biggest gathering and event for “toys” for the film and television industry. This past year the focus was primarily on 3D, however, the other big topic was simplifying and cutting costs of work-flow in film, television and commercial productions. That is why the Canon DSLR 5D and 7D technologies were discussed at great length by almost everyone.

At the convention, the Canon booth played a show-reel of various projects. One of the videos that was part of their reel was one of my projects, “Indian Gangster.” My little film was made with the Canon DSLR 5D and was a part of the reel, so I had to stop by so I could check it out. It was really cool to view my little film cut together with a few of some awesome projects from around the globe that were made by various talented professionals.

Rodney Charters even spoke about “Indian Gangster” and showed the trailer at the Canon booth as you can see below.


If you are interested in learning more about how to use the DSLR and are possibly interested in taking Canon camera classes, check out the The Association’s Canon Boot Camp below.

Canon DSLR 5D & 7D Boot Camp at ProHDRentals Stage

The Association’s Canon Boot Camp certification continues to be a success and teach new people how to use and manage Canon’s DSLR 5D & 7D cameras. The classes take place every few weeks and teach people both the basics in the Level I workshop, and more advanced hands-on use in the Level II workshop. If you’re interested in the workshop you can check out the video below and then sign up for it at The Association’s Boot Camp site:


Redrock Canon DSLR 5D 2.0 Hybrid Support Accessories

When I spoke with Brian from RedRock Micro, he told me that there will soon be quite a bit of new rigs from NAB coming out! We’ve already been using a cool rig of theirs at our Canon Camera Classes but check out some of their new upcoming rigs and stuff below. I’ll get a better look at these when I meet up with him, but I’m already excited about the various possibilities that they offer. I can’t wait to incorporate some of them into our Training 5D Boot Camp.

To the 3-Dimensional Future!

It seems that every day we hear or see something new about how 3D is the future in both television and film. Video production crews are having to adjust to these changes while learning other revolutions in production as well, such as using the Canon DSLR 5D for video shoots. All of this is extremely exciting, however it can be a little overwhelming because of all the new technology that must be learned.

Obviously, one of the most exciting new technologies is the new directions that the 3D production process is taking. Not only are they being used in television and film but people are creating new applications and interactive objects such as this one:

Canon DSLR 5D Music Video Shoot

Earlier this week I met up with Samrat Chakrabarti and Peter Holland to shoot a music video. For the shoot, Peter used the Canon DSLR 5D. Because it was Peter’s first use of the Canon 5D for a video shoot, he had to get used to it. Initially he would have preferred to have had some of the more common features that are associated with traditional cameras. However, he did appreciate the shallow depth of field and sensitivity of the sensor. With the Canon DSLR 5D, we were able to shoot at night with what light we had, and get some really beautiful images.

I loved making this video and it’s been an interesting experience for me. The process for making this video has been a “create as we go” experience. Samrat and I have written a storyline and constantly tweaked and changed it until we finally gave it the meaning we were searching for. From this point we utilized whatever resources we had to help shoot scenes to match our ideas. With help from Shikha Jain, who at the last minute agreed to be cast, we were able to give our project a story line with depth and a well rounded look.

Canon 5D Bootcamp Has 50+ Graduates…and Counting

The Association
has recently graduated and given out Canon Certifications to over fifty participants from our Canon 5D/7D Boot Camps!

The Boot Camps have been a huge success, with several of Hollywood’s top DPs and ACs completing the course of instruction I put together based on my experience. We constantly have have more Boot Camps coming up, so make sure you get trained on this amazing camera system in our Canon Camera Classes. It is my intention to demystify and educate the camera community about the value of the industry’s newest favored son, the Canon DSLR 5D. The classes offer a wide array of training and practice with the DSLR, and you will feel comfortable and confident when using the cameras by the end of our classes.

Click here to sign up for the next Canon DSLR 5D Boot Camp!

Excerpt from a recent press release by Boot Camp partner ProHDRentals:

“There is a paradigm shift taking place in the world of filmmaking,” explains Fletcher Murray, co-founder of The Association which co-sponsors the events. “Take a look at the show “House,” the season finale was shot entirely on 5Ds.”

Matching DSLR with 35mm Film

How do I most effectively match 35mm film with foreground images with DSLR back plates while working with a green screen?

When trying to match 35mm film with foreground images with DSLR back plates while working with a green screen, the 7D is the best option to use. That’s because the image sensor size used for video on the camera is about the same size as a 35mm motion picture film frame.  So if you put a 50mm lens on a 35mm film camera, it should have the same approximate frame as a Canon 7D with a 50mm lens.  Pretty cool huh?  Got the answer straight from Canon engineers.

If you’d like to learn more about the Canon DSLR 5D and 7D, The Association has both a basic and advanced Canon Camera Classes that will teach individuals how to use the the DSLR. At the end of the workshop, you will even receive a Canon Certification. To learn more, click the link below.