Creating Your Digital Strategy: Key Points

It’s no secret that the digital age has radically transformed the film and television industry. With box office sales declining, and people cutting their cable in favour of online streaming, producers are scrambling for ways to monetize their content.

Pull Focus recently had the pleasure of hosting Matt Toner, a digital media producer, entrepreneur and president of social media company Zeroes to Heroes. Matt gave key insights about the new direction of multi-platform content, and the changing landscape of film and television distribution.

Here are a few of his key points for filmmakers and content producers.

1. Your digital strategy may be engaging and interactive. But it still needs to increase your bottom line.

A few years back, the idea of using multiple platforms to tell a story or promote content seemed like a marketer’s dream. Digital media strategists came up with elaborate tie-ins to films and tv shows that included video games, apps, and fan fiction contests. The problem was, these add-ons did nothing to increase the production’s revenue.

Online platforms that help you reach and engage with your audience, and build buzz around your project are still great tools to use. But don’t blow your budget on an elaborate digital strategy that won’t boost your ROI.

2. Our viewing habits are changing. Seize the opportunity.

Yes, we’re accessing content online and through VOD more than ever before and traditional models of distribution are, as a result, effectively breaking down. While it’s easy to merely bemoan this change, the smarter move is to seize the opportunity. As a filmmaker or content producer, you have far more distribution options than ever before.

imgres-2Matt’s own company Zeroes to Heroes is about to release Wannawatch.It, a web app that aggregates consumer demand to see movies. Filmmakers can directly upload their content to the site, effectively eliminating the middleman. Once there is enough demand to see a particular film, it will be screened in a theatre.

3. Welcome to the Information Age.

Digital, New Media or Information Age – whatever you want to call it, one thing is certain: we have more access to data about people’s viewing habits and interests than we’ve ever had before.

How can this benefit filmmakers and content producers? It can help you find out who your audience is, and where they are. Google Analytics provides a wealth of information about users that visit your website. This info can be used to target specific demographics on social media sites and around the net.

Build your audience and ultimately, a community of supporters for your film, and you’ll be one step ahead of the game. You’ll also have the numbers to back you up when it comes to funding, or distributing your content.

For more exciting speakers, and cutting edge views on the future of filmmaking, stay tuned to this space.

 

Must See Film: “Boyhood”

Boyhood is a film like no other in the history of cinema. Filmed over
a twelve year period, director Richard Linklater has created one of
the finest family dramas in recent memory. Although it is called
Boyhood, it’s actually a lengthy divorce story that engulfs four
marriages, while two siblings manage to stay normal during ongoing
family upheaval.Film Review Boyhood

Ethan Hawke shines as the loveable not-so-deadbeat-dad as does Patricia Arquette, as the imperfect family matriarch who has a penchant for alcoholic husbands. Bad parental choices often destroy kids, but not in this thought provoking film.

The dialogue is clever, devoid of melodrama, yet the message is profound
in it’s simplicity. “Sometimes we don’t seize the moment, the moment
seizes us.” The line arrives at the end of a film stated by a secondary
character and the film concludes without the obligatory climax.
Linklater is good at breaking conventional narrative structural
format. And yet, it is a perfect movie from the opening frame until
the credits roll.

A Look At The World Of 4K Recording

Since introducing the GH4, Panasonic has become the newest competitor in the Ultra HD scene. With AV enthusiasts increasingly turning towards 4K, we’re taking a look at some of the current players in 4K recording.

Red Epic Dragon

RED-Dragon-with-New-Top-PlateRED is one of the best known brands in the Ultra HD world, and has a reputation as a leading innovator in cinema technology. The newest member of their line up is Red Epic Dragon. Their latest sensor boasts 16.5 stops of dynamic range in addition to its size and resolution. The amount of noise, which has been the chief complaint about the RED line of cameras by cinematographers in the past, has been vastly improved even at 6K RAW. Epic Dragon, of course, comes with all the advantages of other RED cameras such as RED workflow, RED codec, and compatibility with both EF and PL mount lenses, which gives you maximum lens choices.

Quick Spec Overview:

  • Sensor/Effective Resolution: 19 Megapixel DragonTM(35mm)/6144 x 3160
  • Dynamic Rage: 16.5+
  • Recording Modes: 6K RAW (2:1, 2.4:1) 5K RAW (Full Frame, 2:1, 2.4:1 and Anamorphic 2:1) 4.5K RAW (2.4:1) 4K RAW (16:9, HD, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1) 3K RAW (16:9, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1) 2K RAW (16:9, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1) 1080p RGB (16:9) 720p RGB (16:9)
  • Lens Mount: PL and EF

Delivery Formats:

  • 4K : DPX, TIFF, OpenEXR (RED RAY via optional encoder)
  • 2K : DPX, TIFF, OpenEXR (RED RAY via optional encoder)
  • 1080p RGB or 4:2:2, 720p 4:2:2 : Quicktime, JPEG Avid AAF, MXF.
  • 1080p 4.2.0, 720p 4:2:0 : H.264, .MP4

Frame Rates: 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 47.96, 48, 50, 59.94 fps, all resolutions

Dimensions/Weight: 5lb

Sony CineAlta F65

Ever since its entrance into the Ultra HD world with PMW­F55, Sony has quickly become RED’s major competitor in the field. The latest in their CineAlta line up is F65 which offers recording up to 8K resolution. Like the RED camera, Sony users can take advantage of Sony’s own 4K workflow. It uses CMOS sensor and has a rotary shutter option to overcome the defects of rolling shutter. The sensor also employs an S­Gamut system which provides wider colour space than a print film to achieve the most natural colour.

Quick Spec Overview:

  • Sensor: Total 20 Megapixels, 28mm (d)/ 8192 x 2160
  • Dynamic Rage: 14 Stops
  • Recording Modes: F65 RAW­SQ 16 bit Linear 2.0 Gbps, F65 RAW­HFR 16 bit Linear 2.0 Gbps, F65 RAW­Lite 16 bit Linear 1.20 Gbps, SR­HQ HD 12 bit­10 bit 4:4:4 880 Mbps, SR­SQ HD 10 bit 4:2:2 440 Mbps, SR­Lite 10 bit 4:2:2 220Mbps
  • Lens Mount: PL Mount

Delivery Formats:

  • MPEG­2 Long GOP
  • HD 422 mode: CBR
  • 50 Mbps max
  • MPEG­2 422P@HL

Frame Rates: 23.98p/24p, 25p, 29.97p, 59.94p/60p in most recording mode, 119p/120p in HFR

Dimensions/Weight:12 x 9­1/8 x 7­3/4 inches (305 x 227 x 195 mm)/11lb (5Kg)

GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition

GoPro has also dipped into the UltraHD pool with their latest camera Hero3+ Black Edition. Like the rest of GoPro’s products, Hero3+ is more suited to specialized purposes than straight up filmmaking. Hero3+ Black retains all the advantages of GoPro in addition to 4K resolution. It is incredibly light at 74g (20% lighter than its predecessor), comes with waterproof housing, time lapse and burst photo mode, WiFi remote and adhesive mounts to capture your next adventure in Ultra HD.

Quick Spec Overview:

  • Sensor: 12 Megapixel/4000×3000
  • Recording Modes: 4K, 4K 17:9, 2.7K, 2.7K 17:9, 1440P, 1080P, 1080P Superview, 960P, 720P, 720P Superview, WVGA
  • Lens Mount: N/A
  • Delivery Formats: H.264, mp4

Dynamic Range: Couldn’t find exact number of stops. But Hero3+ series is said to have a vast improvement in dynamic range compared to the previous series, allowing much more information to be retrieved from the highlight or black area.

Frame Rates: Ranging from 12FPS to 240FPS, availability depends on the resolution. (Only 12FPS available at 4K)

Dimensions/Weight: 74g

Blackmagic Production Camera 4K

Blackmagic is another new force in camera technology innovation. It has produced a line of high end, cinema quality pocket cameras that have revolutionized the filmmaking process. Blackmagic cameras are extremely versatile; the global shutter eliminates the challenges of rolling shutter, and touchscreen allows for fast metadata inputting. You can also choose between CinemaDNGR RAW and Apple ProRes for delivery to suit the needs of your post-­production. The fact that it has a very compact body, yet large high resolution sensor means it can be used for everything including feature film, documentary, indie film and live events.

Quick Spec Overview:

  • Sensor/Effective Resolution: 21.12mm x 11.88mm (Super 35)/3840 x 2160
  • Dynamic Range: 12 Stops
  • Recording Modes: 3840 x 2160 or 1920×1080
  • Lens Mount: EF or ZE

Delivery Formats: CinemaDNG RAW and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)TM

Frame Rates: 3840 x 2160p23.98, 3840 x 2160p24, 3840 x 2160p25, 3840 x 2160p29.97, 3840 x 2160p30, 1920 x 1080p23.98, 1920 x 1080p24, 1920 x 1080p25, 1920 x 1080p29.97, 1920 x 1080p30, 1920 x 1080i50, 1920 x 1080i59.94

Dimensions/Weight: 6.54×5.24×4.96 (Inch)/3.75lb

Panasonic Lumix GH4

Mirrorless camera has been gaining more and more attention as the (often times better) alternative to the DSLR amongst digital photography enthusiasts in the recent years. Panasonic is still holding out on the exact release information, but it is expected to come out this winter. It would be interesting to see if DSLR filmmakers are making the switch to mirrorless with the introduction of 4K video recording which can be a real game changer. Mirrorless cameras are very similar to DSLR in terms of their operation, but without the annoyance of a mirror mechanism. It also may attract a lot of young filmmakers who are less bound by the lens choice and looking to purchase their first professional camera.

Quick Spec Overview:

  • Sensor/Effective Resolution: 17.3 x 13.0 mm(17.20 megapixels)/16.05 megapixels
  • Dynamic Range: 1⁄3 stop at ISO 200, no number of stops given
  • Recording Modes: 4K at 100Mbps, 1080P at 200Mbps
  • Lens Mount: Micro four third

Delivery Formats: MOV (Audio format LPCM), MP4 (Audio format LPCM /AAC 2ch), AVCHD (Audio format: Dolby Digital 2ch)

Frame Rates: 30/25/24 FPS at 4K, 60/50/30/25/24fps at 1080P Dimensions/Weight: 132.9 x 93.4 x 83.9mm / 5.23 x 3.68 x 3.30 in (excluding protrusions)/Approx. 480g / 16.93 oz (Body only)

Written by Freddie Kim