Interactive Handheld Projectors

Handheld projectors are not a new invention by any means; however thanks to TouchPico, interactive handheld projectors are.

TouchPico Interactive Handheld Projectors

TouchPico Interactive Handheld Projectors

TouchPico from TouchJet offers a new handheld projector that boasts the ability to turn any flat surface into an interactive screen.

The small, white hand-sized device comes with a pen-like stylus and takes a regular 854 x 480 pico-projector – capable of projecting up to an 80-inch image at 150 lumens – and loads Android 4.2 on it. One end of the pen-like stylus, which is not attached to the projector, has an infrared switcher. The projector includes an infrared camera, which means it can track the movement of the pen in front of TouchPico’s screen. This allows you to interact with any on-screen objects with taps and gestures. TouchPico also includes HDMI and audio out ports; its built-in Wi-Fi can be used with Android’s Screencast technology. The projector runs off standard AC power.

In addition, there’s an auto-calibration system which, after initial setup, can keep the touch and projection layers synchronized even if you move the projector closer or further away from the wall. It’ll even keep working if the projection is at an angle.

Touchscreen handheld projectors like TouchPico can have a multitude of uses, especially for the travelling businessperson. Many of us store a great deal of content on our smartphones and a portable interactive projection screen could save plenty of time when it comes to presentation preparation and setup.

In our experience, there have been several instances in which presentations have not quite gone smoothly due to technical glitches or device incompatibility. Devices such as the TouchPico can remedy such issues, as it is automatically compatible with your device and ready to go when you are.

Take a look at this TouchPico review:

Tell us what you think of interactive handheld projectors. Will they benefit you and your business?

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Why Choose Stock Footage?

Stock footage is essentially video that can be used in more than one production. It is beneficial to filmmakers because it can occasionally save them from having to shoot new or challenging material.

Currently there are several popular websites that provide licensing services for stock images, video and music. There’s a wealth of digital media available which can be licensed for all kinds of commercial use; iStock and Pond5 are among the most popular.

This week, one of our videographers took some time to shoot a variety of stock footage in public locations around the Toronto area. This served two purposes: it provided us with a few obscure shots that we needed for a current project, and we could also make these clips available for purchase online. You can buy some of the shots seen in this video, and many more on Keywest Video’s Pond5 account.

When shooting stock footage it’s important to consider the fact that you don’t know where the clip will end up. Since you don’t know what shot will be cut beside it, static frames and close-ups help separate the subject from its environment. This makes it easier for a potential editor to blend a stock image into their other material as seamlessly as possible.

That being said, static doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting. Use of dynamic photographic techniques such as time-lapse and extreme shutter speeds can make seemingly mundane objects look far more interesting. For example, in our vlog post this week you’ll see a waterfall fade from a slow shutter speed into an extremely fast shutter speed, virtually eliminating the motion blur. You can learn more about shutter speed techniques for digital video on cameradojo.com.

Stock Footage - Waterfall Shutter Speed

Stock Footage – Shutter Speed

If you are putting together any type of video production, don’t forget about #StockFootage resources. Stock footage can add that finishing touch to your project and it can be extremely economical. After all, why should you go shoot two polar bears wrestling in slow motion yourself when there is a perfectly good piece of footage for sale already?

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How To Be A Good Boss

Being the boss of a company has great rewards, but also can be very difficult. How to be a good boss is about being a team player and being human.

How To Be A Good Boss - Corporate Video Production Toronto

How to be a good boss? Let your employees do what you hired them for.

You might be the owner of a company and are asking yourself how to be a good boss.  In the last couple of years Keywest has gone through many great changes.  We are busier and bigger than ever, and we keep striving to reach new heights.  A lot of the things we have been able to achieve is because of the great team we have.  Each member of the Keywest team have their specific role and skill set, and are always trying to find ways to improve and do more to make what we do the best it can be.

How I run my business

I tend to run Keywest in a way where I have certain criteria to be followed, and lists upon lists of things to do that I give to each member of the team to implement.  Once a given task is in their court, I expect my team to be able to do their job and they usually have free reign.  I trust them, and that is what is key to getting an employee to enjoy their job, and to want to do their best.  Knowing they are free to make decisions based on their skill set and experience without someone always hounding them allows for them to feel sure about themselves and the work they do.  How to be a good boss isn’t about actually bossing someone around.  It’s about letting your team roll with what you give them and creating something great.

Open Dialogue and Performance Reviews

I speak open and honestly with my employees.  I find it’s a very important ability to have when wanting to know how to be a good boss.  If an employee is outstanding, they know how I feel.  They know that I think they’re great.  If there are issues with an employee; whether big or small, I have semi-regular performance reviews to bring up those issues, and to discuss why these issues are happening, or to try to figure out ways to curb these issues.  I’m all about making Keywest run smoothly and efficiently, and anything we can improve for each employee goes a long way. My team knows that they can speak to me about anything whatsoever regarding their job or their personal life, and that I will always listen to them, and take their needs into account as best I can.

My Performance

The performance reviews I hold for my team, are not one sided.  I ask each employee to measure my performance as well.  I want to know if they think I’m doing a good job running the company, handling certain situations, and talking to them about any issues that come up.  I want to know if they think what I discuss with them is crazy and that I’m out of my mind, or if they agree with me, and we see eye to eye.  They know that they can speak freely, and that I listen.  I want to know if I’m the only one who thinks something, or if there is consensus.  I want this feedback because certain decisions that need to be made can’t just be made with only my opinion.  I need to know what various members of my team are thinking. Even if I think my way is the right way, I want them to have the ability to convince me it’s not, and sometimes they do convince me.  I am always learning how to be a good boss, it’s not something that you are; it’s an evolving process.  Just like the company I need to grow and adapt in the way I do things as well.

The Burden

I love my job and my business.  I love working with my team to try to make something great, and I love brainstorming to keep making things better.  The one thing I’ve learned about myself and the duties that come with owning your own business is that there are two aspects of my job I don’t enjoy.

The first aspect: The hardest realization for me when I became owner of Keywest is that if things get tough and I’ve exhausted every avenue to cut costs and save money, that I know it has to come down to possibly letting someone go.  There are always ups and downs, and I don’t like or want this aspect of my job.  I have no joy in having a hand in someones life to this degree.  I love being able to hire someone and to be able to give someone money, but taking it away from someone and knowing that I’ve just made someones life more difficult is a burden that haunts me.  I try to avoid this aspect of my job as best I can.  I work very hard to make sure my team is working very hard, and that they become indispensable to me so that I need them no matter the cost, and I will move mountains to make things work; whether they know it or not.

The second aspect:  each of my employees is different.  I handle each differently.  They all have their personal lives that dictate their needs and wants, and that can affect their work, or vice versa.  I believe my team knows that no matter what happens day to day at work, that they can count on my personally to be there for them as a friend.  I’m not insensitive to the needs of a member of my team needing a raise to support a family.  I might not be able to do what they want, but they know that I will try to get there for them.

I know an owner of another company that had their number one employee come down with medical issues, and instead of treating this employee with respect and showing that he valued them, he instead tried to find ways not to pay this employee.  This employee is someone who put many many hours into their job because they wanted it to succeed.  But the new owner has no clue what he’s doing, and he lost this employee because of the sneaky deeds he tried to do.

In my case, I have an employee with medical issues, and we have worked together in finding the best solutions to accommodate her needs, and that of Keywest’s.  Not once have I ever tried to figure out a way not to pay her.  Instead I gave her a raise because when she does the work required of her, it’s done right and it also helps her to be able to pay for her medication.  I’m not trying to toot my own horn and say how great I am by stating this, I’m just wanting to point out the difference between a good boss, and a bad boss.  If you show your team you care, and are willing to do what it takes for them, then they will do what it takes for you.

The Reward

We all work very hard at Keywest.  We don’t stop.  I try to make our work environment a fun place to be.  Sometimes things get very serious, but most of the time everyone enjoys coming into work every day and doing what we do.  I want all of us to succeed because I want to be able to take care of my team as best I can.  I don’t look at everyone just as my employees or even friends, I look at them as if they are my own children, and I want the best for them, and I want them to achieve great things.  Even if they decide to up and flee the coop and try their hand at something else, I want them to succeed wherever it is they end up, and most of my employees know that just because they leave for whatever reason, they know there is always a job waiting for them if they wish to return.

The Future

I hope I’ve been able to give some sort of useful information in how to be a good boss.  I tend to ramble when I’ve got things on my mind, and that tends to happen when things are really busy.  Keywest is really busy.  Busy is good.  With new adventures happening soon, and for those surprises that have yet to arrive, I will continue to be the best boss I can be by listening to my team, and by being there for them.  The company is prosperous when everyone knows their voice is heard, they are trusted and taken care of. This is how to be a good boss.

I feel like I’m back in school and just wrote an essay.  This is why I get my team to usually write the blog posts. I feel like I need a nap now.  If you want to learn more about me, and would like to contact me with any questions, please feel free to add me on LinkedIn.  If you have any tips or questions on how to be a good boss I’d love to hear from you.

 

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Netflix Tests Privacy Mode

Netflix is testing a new privacy mode to help save you from your embarrassing viewing habits, and keep your guilty viewing pleasures a secret.

Netflix Tests out Privacy Mode

Netflix Tests out Privacy Mode

The streaming television giant Netflix knows that sometimes you cave and make some horrible late night movie watching decisions… and they’re trying to save you from living with your bad choices for weeks on end.

Netflix is finally testing a privacy mode that will let you keep your guilty viewing pleasures forever a secret. The feature allows you to hide your viewing history from whomever you share your account with and saving you from those embarrassing “suggested titles” that constantly remind you of your horrible viewing habits.

The privacy feature allows users to hide a movie or TV show from their viewing history, recommendations, and social media.

A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the news in a statement, saying, “At Netfilx we continuously test new things. In this case, we are testing a new feature in which a user watching a TV show can choose to view in ‘Privacy Mode’. Choosing that option means the [programme] will not appear in your viewing activity log, nor will it be used to determine recommendations about what you should watch in the future.”

Netflix has yet to say whether the private mode will become a permanent feature, with the firm telling Gigaom, “We may not ever offer it generally.” However, Netflix has said that it will test it in different territories across the globe.

The feature is being tested across all of Netflix’s markets, and tests could go on for a few months, but not every user will have access to it. Cliff Edwards, the company’s new director of corporate communications and technology, said that a general roll-out will very much depend on how the feature performs in these tests. “We may not ever offer it generally,” he cautioned.

What do you think of #Netflix launching its new #PrivacyMode? Will you finally be able to watch those horrible b-movies guilt-free?

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Weird Al Yankovic’s “Mandatory Fun”

Weird Al Yankovic released his latest album, entitled “Mandatory Fun”, on July 15. As promotion for the album, he has released eight music videos over eight days. Take a look!

Weird Al Yankovic's Mandatory Fun

Weird Al Yankovic’s Mandatory Fun

Three decades after his song-parody debut, Weird Al Yankovic is on track to have his first-ever No. 1 album. The final sales numbers won’t be released until later this week, but Billboard magazine has him neck-and-neck with Jason Mraz for the top spot.

Mandatory Fun is a witty and hilarious album that parodies some of today’s biggest hits. In typical Weird Al style, the videos are eclectic and entertaining (and some are also packed to the brim with some pretty hilarious comedians you might recognize).

Titles include “Word Crimes” (Robin’s Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”), “Tacky” (Pharrell’s “Happy”), “Foil” (Lorde’s “Royals”), and “Handy” (Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”)… just to name a few. Yankovic has released one video per day since dropping the album on July 15th.

Never heard of Weird Al Yankovic? Yankovic released his first album in 1983, just two years after the dawn of MTV. Like so many new artists back then, he used the new medium to his advantage. “MTV was a big part in how I would advertise my albums,” he says. Teenagers watched MTV religiously, so in addition to song parodies, Yankovic made shot-for-shot video spoofs to play off that obsessive familiarity.

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Our favourite #WeirdAlYankovic video from #MandatoryFun is “Word Crimes” which parodies Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.”

Tell us what you think of Weird Al Yankovic’s latest album and #8Days8Videos :)

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How To Make a Corporate Video

Do you need to know how to make a corporate video? In this weeks animated video blog we dive into the key items you should consider before getting started.

So you need to know how to make a corporate video? Well, there are a few things you should consider before you begin. Your video needs direction. Make sure you know the message you are trying to convey, the style you are trying to achieve, and the audience you are trying to reach. The best videos are quick, concise, and tailor made to highlight your goals.  You may think all you need is a camera, but great video production encompasses many skills that work with the camera to produce the best possible results. Lighting, location, lenses, audio, and makeup are all equally important. And of course, you need a talented editor to put it all together. Overall, make sure you keep your video simple, short, and meaningful… and if you ever need help, don’t hesitate to call Keywest Video.

Here are some links to other blogs we have written that may be helpful in your search for how to make a corporate video:

Outsourcing: 5 Q’s to Ask Yourself

5 Tips for Choosing a Corporate Video Company

Employees vs. Actors for Your Corporate Video

Testimonial Videos and Business

Internal Videos: Top 5 Benefits

Campaign Goals for Your Video

Promotion Techniques for Your Corporate Video

Corporate Video Production Toronto

Corporate Video Production Toronto

Interested in watching more of our video blogs?  Please subscribe to our site, or follow us on social media.  Keywest releases a new #vlog every week with helpful information and tips.

Are you a business interested in producing your own #CorporateVideo?  Check out our website www.keywestvideo.com, and speak to one of our producers today.  We’ll be happy to hear from you!

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Motion Capture – The New Face In Film

The Rise and Dawn of Motion Capture

Motion capture, also known as “mo-cap,” has been around for the past few decades. The #technology came into light in 2002, when the second “Lord of the Rings” film debuted. The character of “Gollum” portrayed by Andy Serkis was the first mo-cap character to truly come alive on screen.

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On the set of Lord of the Rings, Andy Serkis portraying the character “Gollum”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to get “Gollum” to physically react similar to Andy Serkis on screen, Andy must wear Lycra bodysuits and face-mounted cameras to capture the emotions and body language for “Gollum”.

In order to bring “Gollum” to life, Andy had portray dramatically by his facial characteristics to his actions on set. Andy’s face was studied for two and a half years, and the animators had created a whole range of “Gollum’s” expression as templates for Andy to use. Below is a link to how Andy’s physical movements on set creates Gollum’s movements on the computer.

The recent #movie, #DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes also used #MotionCapture using the same technology, which also stars actor #AndySerkis.

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Behind the scenes of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

 

 

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Actor Andy Serkis on the set of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Matching the actor’s and the character’s facial expressions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the facial expressions and action shots are complete, it is time to make the magic happen using #ComputerVisualization.

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The process of computer visualization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the physical actors, to the many different stages of computer generation, the end result of the characters in the movie is strikingly realistic.

Here is a link to how the new #DawnOfThePlanetOfTheApes movie is made, and how motion capture is used in the making of the movie:

Lord of the Rings and Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes aren’t the only two movies that used motion capture, there are many other movies that used “mo-cap” technology. Remember the film “Avatar” by James Cameron? The movie blew audiences away with its motion capture technology and it created a whole different spectrum of advanced technology in the film industry that we didn’t know existed.

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Behind the scenes of “Avatar” using motion capture.

 

 

 

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Motion capture “Avatar”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not every motion capture character is beloved by everybody, for example, Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars was definitely not loved. Here is a link to Jar Jar Binks worst moments:

 

Overall, the film experience has changed so much, and it will keep changing for the better. What we see on screen is what we experience; whether it may be through emotions, visuals, inspiration, relation to characters, and so forth. I personally have a feeling that the experience is getting more and more realistic, like living in a whole different world for two hours.

Television and movies are known to be an escape from reality, we all enjoy the action and the drama which is known to be highly unrealistic, but astonishing to see on screen. Especially when it comes to characters that are so detailed and relatable through their actions and expressions which we couldn’t even imagine a century ago, and that my friends, is the power of motion capture.

If you want to know more about the history of “mo-cap,” you can check out the article “A Brief History of Motion-Capture, from Gollum to Caesar” written by Oliver Lyttelton.

Not every motion capture character is beloved by everybody, for example, Jar Jar Binks from Star Wars was definitely not loved. Here is a link to the characters funny moments

 

Fun Fact: Motion capture isn’t just used for films, it is also used for many different purposes, such as; the military, entertainment, sports, medical applications, validation for computer vision, and robotics. You can check out more information on Wikipedia about the different uses of motion capture.

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Online Video Stats That Will Impress

Video is important. But just how important and influential? Take a look at the list of online video stats below to gauge the impact online video is having on our world, and subsequently, on the advertising industry.

online video statsWhen #consumers latch onto something #advertisers take notice. The power and persuasion of #OnlineVideo is insurmountable and nonnegotiable. There is no other medium out there that has as great of an impact on viewers. Therefore, Reel SEO compiled this impressive list of the top 15 online video stats that #brands should know.

With global ad spending set to double in 2014 (ViralBlog), big business will continue to spend their money on the best methods to get their message out to the public. And although most companies utilize online video in some capacity, brands need to continue to find better and more efficient ways to harness this great tool. Check out these online video stats below to find out why.

15 Online Video Stats To Take Notice Of:

89 million people in the United States are going to watch 1.2 billion online videos today. (ComScore)

Online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016. (Cisco)

Only about 24 percent of national brands are using online video to market to consumers. (Kantar Media)

Online video now accounts for 50 percent of all mobile traffic and up to 69 percent of traffic on certain networks. (Bytemobile Mobile Analytics Report)

Consumers give up on an online video if it doesn’t load in two seconds. (University of Massachusetts Amherst and Akamai Technologies)

Users sharing video on retail and brand sites chose Facebook 46 percent of the time, with email accounting for 40 percent and Twitter capturing 14 percent of shares. (Invodo)

Globally, online video traffic will be 55 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2016. (Cisco)

52 percent of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Invodo)

Mobile and tablet shoppers are three times as likely to view a video as laptop or desktop users. (NPD)

Mobile video ads that include social media buttons drive 36 percent higher engagement. (Rhythm NewMedia).

Online video production will account for more than one-third of all online advertising spending within the next five years. (Borrell Associates)

76 percent of marketers plan to add video to their sites, making it a higher priority than Facebook, Twitter and blog integration. (Social Media Examiner)

92 percent of mobile video viewers share videos with others. (Invodo)

More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month, spending more than 4 billion hours watching videos (YouTube).

2 billion video views per week are monetized on YouTube, and every auto-shared tweet results in six new YouTube browsing sessions (ReelSEO).

These online video stats are quite impressive! What do you think?

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YouTube Stats: It’s Presence & Impact

Before YouTube life was just an emotionless rut, right? Well maybe not quite so dramatic. But it has dramatically altered our existence and has shaped the way numerous industries do business. Read these mind numbing YouTube Stats to put things into perspective!

YouTube Stats

http://www.viralblog.com/viral-social-videos/youtube-300-million-hours-watch-time-a-day-is-under-par/

This infographic above gives a nice illustration of the way the world has been shaped by the #internet over the past several decades. Today it seems we think of #YouTube much in the same way we think of running water… it has always been there. For younger generations this may be true, but for the large majority of earths inhabitants it has only been around for a fraction of their lives. Yet it feels so substantial and omnipotent. The YouTube Stats below will give you something to wrap your head around, and show just how present it really is in our lives.

YouTube stats directly from their website:

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
  • YouTube is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages
  • According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
  • Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year

The following was found at Jeffbullas.com:

  • More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years
  • 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
  • In 2011, YouTube already had more than 1 trillion views
  • And in 2011 there were almost 140 views for every person on Earth

That’s a lot to wrap your head around! It’s no wonder why we feel like nothing existed before YouTube. It engulfs many of our lives because video is a powerful medium. It has the ability to teach us, shock us, and make us laugh.

What do you think you would do without YouTube (or a similar site)? Would your life go on without it or would you feel a void? Let us know your thoughts!

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Team Members: What We Look For

Key West Video Inc. is a well established, and growing, source for corporate video production. We are always looking for new talented and creative minds to add to our team.

teamOur #team has been growing steadily over the past several years, and we are thrilled to have brought aboard several fantastic new employees. From videographers, to photographers, editors to motion graphics experts, producers and script writers, we strive to work with the best of the best.

When it comes to new team members, be it full time employees, contract work, or #freelancers, there are several key factors that we look for when deciding on who to represent our company. The Key West brand is one that we have fostered over the years, and take pride in providing our clients with an exceptional service. That is why we only wish to work with individuals who are able to deliver our clients the service they have come to know and expect from us.

1) Customer Service

Above all else, we at Key West Video believe in exceptional customer service. Although most wouldn’t think of video production when they think of great service, we think that they should. A well run, and well organized company, no matter what the industry, should focus on customer service at their core. We understand that “your customers are what will keep you in business. If they’re not happy they’ll leave and go to your competition.” Course Park Therefore it is important to us that someone who is going to join our team understand and appreciates that customer service is and will always be a focus of the Key West team.

2) Creative Thinker

Having #creative team members goes beyond just the traditional uses in our industry, and we know and harness this information. Of course, when we hire a #videographer or motion graphics #editor, we want them to be creative. We want them to be able to think outside of the box when it comes to getting the best shot, or deciding on how to visually show a simply process. Beyond that though, we believe creative individuals work better. Joshua Turner reiterates this on his blog by stating, “Creative people think from different perspectives and ask questions that can be quite pertinent from a customer’s point of view.” That’s just some of the reasons why we look for creative thinkers for our team.

3) Personality

When it comes to finding quality team members that work well with the rest of our crew, personality makes all the difference. we can teach you new techniques, we can show you how we like things done, but we cannot however alter someones personality. That is why our interviews consist of a back and forth dynamic that allows us to see how individuals respond to our atmosphere here. We would never hire a team member or even freelancer without vetting them through this process.

It is integral to us that the Key West Video brand remains the strong name that many of our clients have come to know and love. That is why we pay special attention when looking for our new team members.

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