Archive for March, 2012

ARF Re:think 2012 Conference

Snippies had a great time at this year’s Re:think ― the ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) Annual Convention held at the Marriott Marquis in New York City.  At the Snippies booth we had the opportunity to engage and chat with several great people representing all facets of research and insights.  It was a pleasure meeting all of you!

 

Apart from the new friends we made, the highlight of the convention was the presentation we participated in: Connecting with Your Consumer Through Stats, Emotion, and Reality.  Presenters included Managing Partner and Co-Owner of Snippies Tom DiCerbo, Kirk Baetens, Vice-President of Retail at Morpace, and Tanya Franklin, Consumer Marketing Manager, Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

 

Tom, Kirk and Tanya discussed how important it is for retailers research to be presented in a way that delivers a genuine emotional connection to the data.  As part of their presentation, they showed a video that Snippies created for Lowe’s on behalf of Morpace.  This video explored the thoughts of the average consumer on the American Dream.  We’d very much like to thank the producer of the video, Libby, for all of her hard work and project management.

 

We’ll be following up soon with a highlight video of the Connecting with Your Consumer presentation.  Until then, be sure to watch and enjoy the conference sizzle reel we produced.

 

See you at Re:think next year!

Thunderbolt: An insider’s perspective

It’s been a little over a year since Apple introduced Thunderbolt―a powerful new interface technology developed by Intel.  It promises increased flexibility with various different kinds of peripherals using the same port, and unprecedented speed “up to 12 times faster than FireWire 800 and up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0.”

 

Apple was the first to implement Thunderbolt as part of their MacBook Pro laptop computers in February 2011.  Since then, the interface has also been incorporated into updated iMac and Mac Mini desktop computers.

 

 

Thunderbolt is still far from being widespread, but that doesn’t mean its existence hasn’t already had a substantial effect on the world of video production.  For instance, here at Snippies we adopted Thunderbolt technology in the summer of 2011 by purchasing a Thunderbolt-enabled Mac Mini and a Thunderbolt RAID array for use in archiving.  Given the benefit of roughly eight months for assessment, here are some thoughts about how Thunderbolt is changing our business.

 

Firstly, by adopting Thunderbolt, Apple has essentially moved expansion and storage away from the traditional tower-style desktop computer.  No official announcements have been made, but it does seem that the days of the Mac Pro are numbered.  It’s very telling to note that the Mac Pro is still the only Mac not equipped with Thunderbolt.   There hasn’t been any adverse effect on what we do, though, because it’s now possible to edit high-end video using an iMac or MacBook coupled with a storage device.  Looking ahead, this means a greater reliance on the iMac as the model of choice for our office operations and greater flexibility for editing large projects on-site.

 

We’re also pleased to report that Thunderbolt really does live up to its promise of speed.  File transfers that previously needed to be conducted overnight are now finished within a matter of a few hours.  We are now able to consolidate video from a number of different hard drives into one place in a fraction of the time it used to take.  This has been a hugely positive development for our Post-Production department

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Thunderbolt may never become as ubiquitous as USB, but, to a certain extent, it doesn’t matter because the professional implications are so important.  In a business as technology-reliant as digital video production, speed is really the priority and Thunderbolt certainly does deliver.

 

You say you want a resolution

We are barely into March, but we’ve already witnessed two highly significant developments in the world of digital video this month; significant both in terms of how the video is acquired and also how it’s viewed.

 

The biggest story this week is the announcement of the third generation iPad.  As described by Apple CEO Tim Cook at the March 7 unveiling, this new model includes such updates as a faster processor, streamlined software, and a built-in 5 megapixel camera for still photos, video, and Facetime conversations.  However, a quick visit to the Apple website reveals what is arguably the single biggest selling point of the new iPad:  the screen.  Apple describes it as – “Resolutionary.”  At 2048 x 1536 pixels, this display will not only be more powerful than the previous iPad, it will also have more pixels than an HD television! It has a faster and better resolution than any other gaming console on the market.

 

Meanwhile, the Snippies production team was particularly excited by the announcement of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III on March 2―the latest iteration of the highly potent DSLR widely used both for capturing still images and HD video.  The improvements to this latest model are too numerous to mention, but they include a 22.3 Megapixel sensor and a revised image processor.  As more cameras incorporate improvements like this, people will have the increased capability to record images that are crisper, more vibrant, and more beautiful than ever.

 

These recent announcements mean that video has the potential to look better than ever.  On the other hand, it means that badly shoot video will look worse than ever. Despite these steady advances, we’re still a long way from the sort of self-contained, self-controlled flying cameras frequently depicted in science fiction. Until that time, in order to realize the visual potential of a device like the new iPad, you’re either going to have to spend several years learning how to use a camera like the 5D… or rely on professionals!