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Kmotion Media Wins Gold American Design Award

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The kmotionmedia.com website has been selected by the American Design Awards (ADA) for the month of September (just announced last week) for excellence in website and interactive design.

The American Design Awards (ADA) is among the top internationally recognized design awards organizations, and perhaps the most popular independent awards organization globally with more than 35,000 submissions annually.

The award is given monthly to a small percentage of entries.  Kmotion Media received the September 2009 award for excellence in design, which is scored according to creativity, effectiveness and practicality. 720 entries worldwide were entered and out of those only 40 were selected. Kmotion Media’s entry ranked fourth, earning a Gold Award and placing above such prestigious websites as Converse.com and Weber.com. We are (needless to say) extremely honored to be chosen for this prominent award and are very humbled to be recognized alongside some of the industry’s largest and most-prestigious digital advertising agencies. The site is a full-screen video website experience. Part art installation, part visual experiment and part creative showcase, the site takes advantage of the latest in web technology, digital video compression and design to offer an ever-changing full-screen video experience.  The site currently features more than 15 random video backgrounds unique to the site – including a spoof of a 1950’s Martian movie which depicts a flying saucer over Green Bay’s classic Sky-Lit motel, a favorite video of site visitors. See if you can find the flying saucer (hint: hitting the “reload” button on your browser resets the background movie selection): www.kmotionmedia.com

New HD Camera Prompts Romp in Field

We were so excited about purchasing our new Panasonic HD video camera and the gorgeous film-like results we’re achieving with it, that we’ve taken to bringing it with us everywhere. That includes the farm where we get our raw organic milk. While driving out to the farm, we saw a little gravel road off the highway where we filmed this scene. It was absolutely FREEZING out, so we shot for all of 4 minutes…seriously. Greg dashed out of the car, set up the tripod and established his master shot and THEN I got out of the car for my stunning no-makeup-no-hair-no-stylist-what-was-I-thinking moment. (Anyone who knows me, knows I’d rather be behind the camera! Please see the follow-up to this post, “Campaign to Save Susan from being on Camera”.) As for the footage, we cut it together, played around with some editing techniques, added a few post effects and motion graphic elements (just a sampling from our bag of tricks).

 

Turning Negatives into Positives (On-Location Interviews Part 2)

Our last post showed examples of two On-Location ”Studio” Looks. In this post, we’re sharing a clip that utilizes available background.

In this case, we shot an interview in a room that had a bank of windows as part of the background. Instead of blocking out the light we decided to use the windows to our advantage.

By shooting with an 85mm lens, we were able to blur out the background – turning the “negative” obstacle of the harsh winter light coming in from the outside, into a “positive” interesting-looking background image.

Here’s the result:

On-Location “Studio” Look

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We do a lot of on-location interviews.  In the last year, we’ve done almost 100 interviews.  All were shot on-location. More than ever, clients want to shoot where they are.  People, at all levels within any company, just don’t have time to travel to a studio. That does not mean, however, that clients want to sacrifice quality.

Below are just two examples of what is possible on-location.  Each interview has its own distinct look and feel, but were both shot in the same size room. When shooting on location, the physical space limitation is the main obstacle.  Unfortunately, the reality is that the largest room most companies can offer is a conference room. Below you will see the results of shooting in a very small room, while still achieving a studio look. Both interviews were achieved using our standard camera package, lights and lenses – no special rental camera, light truck, gear or lens rentals were employed. For the two interviews below, we took advantage of our 85mm lens.  The lens imparts a cinematic effect, beautiful skin tone, and a shallow depth of field, which provides an infinite studio look. We have determined that we can achieve a studio look in a room as small as 16’ wide, 20’ long, with 9’ ceilings for standing subjects, 7 ½’ ceilings for seated subjects.  Anything larger is a bonus.

White Background approach:

Black Background approach:

Although shot in the same size room, the production and post-production approaches vary considerably, resulting in two very different interviews, each with their own distinct look and feel. What’s most exciting is that these are only two possibilities – there are infinite approaches.

Chroma Key Footage with Interactive Graphics

Green Screen Thumbnails

Here’s more on-location footage shot in a small room. This time, we shot chroma key footage on a portable green screen. Here are the before and after images:

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Since the movement was fast and youthful, we shot footage of lots of flailing arms and flipping hair (not the best source material for footage that we would later need to key).

We keyed the footage and then added graphics that appear to interact with the talent – moving around them, casting shadows on them and appearing to grow from their actions. The 3D motion graphic elements were rendered out in a manner which allowed us to move the graphic elements in front of and behind the actors seamlessly. We also motion tracked some of the shots allowing us to match the movement of the graphics to the actors movements.

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