World’s Toughest Job

A job listing for the World’s Toughest Job was posted online and in Boston newspapers for a “Director of Operations” position. The listing got 2.7 million impressions from paid advertising placements, but only 24 people inquired. These 24 were interviewed via webcam and their real-time reactions were captured on video.

Boston advertising agency, Mullen, posted online for a “Director of Operations” job at a company called Rehtom Inc. The requirements sounded nothing short of brutal:

• Standing up almost all the time
• Constantly exerting yourself
• Working from 135 to unlimited hours per week
• Degrees in medicine, finance, and culinary arts necessary
• No vacations
• The work load goes up on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and other holidays
• No time to sleep
• Salary = $0

After going through the ridiculous list of the job’s responsibilities and prompting the respondents to say things like “nobody’s doing that for free!,” the interviewer reveals that there are billions that have already filled the position: moms.

Of course, interviewees became incredibly emotional and the tearing up began, thereby prompting heartfelt speeches to their mothers, telling them just how much they appreciate all of their hard work and dedication.

The #WorldsToughestJob turned out to be a video advertisement for the international greeting card manufacturer American Greeting, which is eventually revealed to be an elaborate prank staged in homage to motherhood.

World's Toughest Job? Motherhood

World’s Toughest Job? Motherhood

Popular website reveals some of the online commentary in reaction to the “World’s Toughest Job” advertisement.

On April 15th, Salon[4] published a post titled “Motherhood isn’t the ‘world’s toughest job’,” in which the author, a mother herself, explains not only are there many more jobs more grueling than motherhood, being a mother is hard work, but not a job. The next day, TIME[9] published an article titled “Here’s What’s Wrong With That Viral “World’s Toughest Job” Ad,” which accused the ad of “fetishizing” the work of mothers at their expense and the expense of stay-at-home fathers. That same day, Policy Mic[10] published an article titled “Why That Viral ’World’s Toughest Job’ Video Actually Undermines Women,” which argues that the ad makes it seem like “motherhood is the be-all, end-all for women.”


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Pixar Theory: It Continues

The Pixar Theory, although it has been around for some time, continues to generate interest amongst media theorists.

the pixar theory

I stumbled across a youtube video today which explains in detail what is known as The Pixar Theory. This theory was actually formulated by a gentleman named Jon Negroni. He deems that there is a universe created by #Pixar in which their characters within the movies all live.

Apparently I am a little behind on this discovery as the origin of this “conspiracy” if you will, dates back to as far ago as 2003. Jon Negroni however wrote his thesis called The Pixar Theory only in 2013. In it he outlines various Pixar films and how they all exist within a single fictional universe with a shared timeline of events. Films he examines include A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Brave, and Monsters University.

One of the things that makes this theory so interesting, and so believable, is due to the fact that Pixar leaves ‘easter eggs’, or traces of clues which relate back to their other films within all of their films. There are so many in fact that Total Films compiled a list of the 50 best easter eggs in Pixar’s films.

In the video I mentioned earlier, #SuperCarlinBrothers outlines some of the major themes from Jon Negroni’s thesis, as well as some additional information. He also explains how one of Pixar’s latest film Brave, may provide some explanation into how animals and humans came to co-exist in the Pixar universe.

However, Jay Ward, an employee at Pixar, apparently denies these connections stating,

“It’s almost like the 9/11 conspiracy theories… it’s like, really? No, the movies were sort of made in a different order by different directors in different times, in different places. It’s cool that it all worked out that way, but it probably was not intentional.”

Whether or not the theories are true, it is a pretty interesting topic and one that continues to generate interest online. Tell us your thoughts! What is your favorite Pixar movie, or Pixar easter egg?

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Attention Span of Video Audiences

While we tell our clients that the attention span of viewers is scarce, they don’t always seem to understand the depth of the issue. Take a look at some of the statistics we have found to learn just how… oh wait I need to check an email.

attention span #Statistics show that video audiences, today more than ever, are watching and paying attention to content which is as direct to the point as possible. One of the most obvious reasons for this being that we are surrounded by technology with the intention to make our lives simpler, that in fact make us less connected, less concentrated, and create audiences with a much shorter attention span.

One way to gauge this is to look at studies which showcase how the average persons attention span has changed over the years. One such study from Statistics Brain contends that in 2008 the average attention span was 12 seconds long. Five years later in 2013, that number has dropped to 8 seconds, which is one second less than the average attention span of a goldfish.

Rob Weatherhead for an article on the Guardian website, summarizes a Pew Internet study which stated that,

The current generation of internet consumers live in a world of “instant gratification and quick fixes” which leads to a “loss of patience and a lack of deep thinking”

When it comes to video audiences, although video is a great way to capture attention, if the content isn’t compelling that attention won’t be captured for long. We like to direct our clients to stats like this chart below, which showcase the length of videos which get watched the most online. The shorter the content the more likely you will get more eyeballs on it.

attention span This is not always the case however. There are certainly instances when you are able to create videos longer in length and still keep individuals engaged. These scenarios however are most often when you already have an engaged audience with a desire for the content you are providing. For example, if it is an internal video and necessary for the viewer to watch, or if it is for some sort of training purpose. In these cases, although being concise can be a benefit, it is not a necessity.

When producing a promotional video such as an event highlight, product demo, company profile, service offering, PSA, or other video of the like, keep in mind the information we have provided here. As it may greatly assist you in finding a greater audience who will actually watch and actively engage with your video content.

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Netflix Goes to Junior Prom

Netflix was asked to a teenager’s junior prom via Twitter… and they said yes! The media company agreed to go as Muthana Sweis’ junior prom date after Sweis’ request received 1000 retweets.

In January, Sweis tweeted to Netflix inviting them to accompany him to his junior prom in the event that his tweet received 1000 retweets.

Muthana Sweis Invites Netflix to Prom

Muthana Sweis Invites Netflix to Prom

And once he hit 1000, Netflix accepted his request to third wheel, leaving us all wondering how exactly a media company goes on a date. Of course Netflix pulled out all the stops and arranged some cool elements from iconic movies and television shows to make Muthana’s experience a very memorable one.

Netflix Accepts Sweis' Invitation to Prom

Netflix Accepts Sweis’ Invitation to Prom

Sweis picked James Bond’s “Skyfall” tux (kid’s got class) and the 1950′s Buick from “Grease,” with a Danny Zuko look-alike behind the wheel. The teen was given the the choice to ride in one of Don Draper’s gorgeous cars or Walt and Jesse’s meth mobile from “Breaking Bad,” but maybe the latter was a little too edgy.

Netflix Offered Some Cool Vehicles

Netflix Offered Some Cool Vehicles

Netflix sent a camera crew to Sweis’ hometown and followed him all the way to prom where nearly every student hopped into an Instagram photo with him — further proof that Netflix isn’t just a great date for when you’re home alone binge-watching in bed.

Beyond being a fun way for the brand to build buzz by leveraging its connection with fans, the episode reflects how deeply media have become woven into the fabric of our lives. Film content informed key aspects of the evening, there’s a nod to Samsung’s Oscar selfie, and the whole thing played out on social channels. It’s especially telling that Sweis approached Netflix in the first place, tapping into our shared media experience to write his script for the prom. Adweek

Tell us what you think about #Netflix going to prom!

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Subtitling and Voice Dubbing

In this multicultural world we live in, languages have traversed borders. It is now more important than ever to ensure that your content is able to reach a wide audience. That is why subtitling and voice dubbing have become such an integral business.

subtitling and voice dubbing

Having a video available in multiple language is a huge asset which can open your production up to a wealth of new audiences. There are however, multiple ways to approach getting your video done in other languages. You can add subtitles, or you can add a voice-over track, which can be time synched or not. Here is some information that may assist you when thinking about adding #Subtitling and #VoiceDubbing to your video.


One thing that a lot of our clients forget when they ask us to quote for subtitling or voice dubbing is that we need a word for word transcription for the video. If the video had a script and the voice-over or on-screen talent stuck to it, then that would be your transcription. But in many cases, especially with #CorporateProductions, we simply have a list of interview questions to go off of and the individual speaks candidly. In that scenario, we tell our clients that we can either quote them for us to watch the video while transcribing it, or they are able to do so themselves and provide to us in order to save costs.


The next step would be to get the transcription translated. Depending on what language you need it translated into, as well as the amount of words, the costs can vary widely. Certain languages are more difficult to find experts on, and require more lengthy review processes to ensure that the syntax of the sentences are coming across properly. Another important factor stems from the industry language and terminology which are used. It is important to ensure that you express this to the #TranslationTeam, so that they can find a translator who understands the context of the terminology.


Subtitling is a fairly straight forward process. Working with a good translation team is key to the success of this stage of the project. A good translation partner will provide you with a chart which lays out the text, so the editor is able to match sentence to sentence. In this case, you do not need an editor who understands the language which the content is translated into, but they only need to be able to plug in the subtitles where the original language is within the timing of the video. Subtitling is a simple and cost effective way to provide your video content in another language.

Voice Dubbing

Getting your translated script voiced over is the most basic way to add an additional language audio to your video. This is a good option if there are no on-camera speakers, and there is only b-roll footage used. In this case, you could simply hire a professional voice actor to record the translated script, and the editor lays the track down over the footage.

When there are on-camera speakers though, you need to dub the voice-over to match with the on-camera talent. There are still two ways to do this. The more cost effective way is called time synching. Where the editor takes the recorded voice-over track, and synch’s the audio with the on-camera action as best as possible, in order to match with the timing of the original video clip. A second option is called lip synching, which is where the voice-over actor comes into studio and records the voice-over while watching the original video clip, in order to match the lips of the on-screen talent.

Subtitling and voice dubbing are both great solutions which are able to get your video content out to a larger audience. Here are some others thoughts on which is a better choice. Depending on time and budget constraints you will need to decide which is the best option for you.

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Location Consultation: Why Its Important

Whether you are producing a training video, company profile, event highlight, or a product promo, the location that you choose is a large part of the production. Having a location consultation ahead of time will allow for ample informative planning in order to save on time, money, and make your video the best it can be.

location consultation

Choosing a location can sometimes be a daunting task, and other times you have minimal choice and have to decide upon whatever is most convenient, or most affordable. In either case, partnering with a #ProductionCompany that will take the time to come for a location consultation is key.

In the 25 years Keywest Video has been in business, we have done a location consultation with many of our clients. In certain scenarios we were not able to, due to time constraints or not being able to get into the space ahead of the shoot date. When these situations arise we deal with it like we deal with all elements of production, with flexibility and a keen background knowledge to guide us in each individual shoot.

The reason why we do suggest going on a #LocationConsultation whenever we can, is because we know it works. We understand it is helpful. And we believe that you can never be too prepared. No matter how many projects we have worked on, there seems to always be something unexpected when it comes to our line of work. That is why we prepare for the worst, and always #ExpectTheUnexpected.

Certain issues that we have been able to avoid by going on a location consultation include;

  • lighting – for example, daylight mixed with florescent light
  • sound – too noisy of a space to record audio
  • distance – from one location to another
  • space – too small of a space to perform what is necessary
  • obstacles – for example, a desk in the room which cannot be moved
  • background – to ensure the background is visually engaging

Those are just of a few issues which can be observed, discussed, and then sorted out through a location consultation.

Here are some tips for when scouting for locations. Once your location has been pinned down, ensure to speak with the production team you are working with, and let them know that you think a location consultation is important.

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Video Editor’s Role

Video editors play a huge role in the production process. Editing is “where the magic happens” and editors are the magicians. It’s important to have a well-rounded and talented editor working on your productions in order to guarantee the best results.

Video Editor in an Edit Suite

Video Editor in an Edit Suite

First of all, it’s pretty clear that your editor needs to be able to edit. An editor should be well versed in a variety of mainstream editing software, among other things. However, their technical knowledge doesn’t just end there. An excellent editor must be able to perform all the tasks associated with producing the final video for their client, such as audio post-production, colour correction, etc. Many editors are also required to have some degree of motion graphics knowledge, using software such as After Effects, etc. as they will have to incorporate these elements into their videos (to an extent, of course). A good editor will be quite knowledgeable about many aspects of computing technology, seeing as they will have to deal with a variety of codecs and formats – it is important that your editor knows exactly what formats and codecs are required to meet your clients’ needs. Editors also need to be excellent at troubleshooting since there are many instances in which videos simply do not play – a good editor knows the steps required to get to the root of the issue and help themselves and/or the client view the video.

An #editor is just a storyteller. Although producers and videographers may be the ones that actually gather the footage, the editor is one that puts it all together. The editor will determine exactly how the footage will come across. Editors may receive some assistance in this aspect – scripts from the client, notes from the producer, etc. – however, it’s the editor’s responsibility to choose the best take. Along with choosing the best footage, the editor will also determine the length of the video. We find that many clients request a much longer video than necessary. An editor will help you create a shorter video that is more interesting to watch, yet still conveys all of the necessary information. In this instance, your editor will explain to you why they have omitted certain footage and how your story can be told in a clear and concise manner. It is the editor’s job to determine what footage is best and how exactly it should be placed within the video in order to guarantee an amazing story.

Need an editor? Contact Keywest today!

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Scheduling your Video Production

Scheduling is key to a successful production. It’s no secret that time is money, so the more organized you are the more you’ll save in time…and frustration.

Scheduling your Video Production

Scheduling your Video Production

Here at Keywest, we’re no strangers to the scheduling process– we like to think we run a pretty tight ship over here. This is because we realize that if our pre-production isn’t sound, we’re going to have a huge problem on our hands.

#Scheduling begins in the #PreProduction process. Firstly, if you’re juggling multiple shoots over time, you need to ensure that your scheduling accommodates the amount of footage you want to capture per day… without affecting other shoots. This means you have to correctly assess the production and know exactly what it is you want to capture – interviews? Addresses to camera? Location shots? B-roll? The list goes on. Once you know how much footage you need, you can begin scheduling your days accordingly.

Now, we need to schedule out the days of #Production. Be sure to allocate enough time for setup, which varies from shoot to shoot. Setup is dependent on a variety of factors. You’ll need to determine the nature of shoot, how much lighting you’ll require, how many people are involved, the sound situation, creating a set, backdrops, motion shots, etc. All of these elements will help you determine exactly how long you’ll need for setup. Remember – it’s always a great idea to schedule more time than you’ll need so as to accommodate any potential disasters that may arise. Once you’ve scheduled your setup time, it’s good to plan out how the rest of the day will go. For example, have you got interviews to shoot? How many? How long is each one? Will there be make-up required? Are the interviewees prepared? All of these elements will help you decide how to plan out your shoot days.

Once production is complete, it’s time for #PostProduction scheduling. Almost of our clients here at <href=””>Keywest provide us with deadlines and it’s our responsibility to ensure that we provide them with the video they require within a timely manner. Post-production scheduling helps us determine when we’ll receive assets from our clients, when we’ll have recordings completed by, when editing can begin, when reviews can begin, how long reviews will last, and finally… when the finished product can be delivered.

As you can see, there’s a great deal of preparation and organization that goes into video production and scheduling plays a large role in the production process. It’s always helpful to have a dedicated producer on hand to help you through the process and take care of all elements to ensure a smooth production.

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Working with Animals on Set

Working with animals on set: some shoots require actors of the non-human variety and it’s important to know how to prepare differently for these types of productions.

Telus Mobility uses animals in most of their advertising

Telus Mobility uses animals in most of their advertising

Animals seem to be the request of the week here at Keywest and we’ve found ourselves searching for ways to get a hold of a variety of creatures. We quickly realized that preparing for these productions is completely different from the regular day to day shoots we’re involved in. For example, it’s not always that easy to find the animal you’re looking for, and some animals are significantly harder to come by than others… I’m sure you can imagine that animals such as dogs and cats would be easier to obtain than something more exotic, like a lion.

When working with animals on set, you need to be willing to give up the element of control that you’re so accustomed to having. Although many are incredibly well-trained, animals simply do not cooperate as well as humans do. First of all, make sure you find a reputable animal wrangler – you’ll want someone around who not only knows what they’re doing and has done it for years, but it also extremely comfortable/familiar with the animal involved. This will not only help things go smoother, but put your mind at ease… especially if the animal is dangerous.

We all know that time is money… therefore, the longer you spend on set the more it costs you. Animals take up a great deal of time so be prepared to spend the extra money if you need to have them around. Every scene you shoot will take much longer with animals so it is important to factor the cost of extra time into your budget. Keep in mind that animals have no notion of linear time and they aren’t particularly concerned with how much money their bad behavior is costing you – they also need lots of breaks and time between complicated tasks.

Flexibility is your best friend when it comes to having animals on set. In some situations, the animal may not be able to perform the task as exactly written in your script or predicted in your vision… this is where you’ll have to be flexible and compromise. In some situations, you may even find yourself re-writing new scenes in order to incorporate the animal’s strengths and create a better looking production.

Check out some professional advice on #WorkingWithAnimals from Dale Launer, scriptwriter for Blind Date, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, My Cousin Vinny, and many more:

“I had written a scene for my film that involves a chimp,” says Launer. “He’s supposed to imbibe this potion and then come through a wall. I had trainers there, who told me the monkey could do this all in one shot. I had a very flimsy wall and we set everything up. But as we tried to do a take, it was clear the chimp just couldn’t be coaxed to do what was written. So, after some thinking and discussing, I realized, if I broke up the shot into pieces, a hand here, a leg there, I could make it appear as though the chimp came crashing through this wall. Still, it was a fairly complicated scene. I had two trainers working on either side of the monkey and it took a while…I did find out that the chimp could smile broadly, on command, at any time. So I wrote a scene that could use his smiling gift to maximum effect.” Source

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Interactive Marketing: Pepsi Max

Pepsi Max has a great new innovative marketing campaign that utilizes interactive bus shelters to not only entertain and shock patrons, but also promote their brand.

Marketing agency AMV BBDO created an interactive campaign for Pepsi that turns regular bus shelters into the thrill of a lifetime. Those waiting for a ride on London’s busy New Oxford Street believe they are surrounded by simple glass panes — until all around them unbelievable events unfold: flying saucers approach the earth, meteors hit, a giant octopus emerges from underground and a man comes drifting by suspended from a bouquet of balloons. The shelters are outfitted with hidden interactive digital technology that displays a live feed (on what looks like a glass pane) with footage that is overlaid with graphics that lead commuters to believe that they are part of outrageous scenarios. The feed tricks unsuspecting passengers into thinking they are steps away from hovering alien ships, a loose tiger, and a giant robot with laser beam eyes.

Interactive Marketing: Pepsi Max

Interactive Marketing: Pepsi Max

Almost all participants are genuinely shocked by the events, many left speechless, and others of course snapping away vigorously using their smartphone cameras. But once they go beyond the bus stop, they are left amused and entertained by the concept. Best of all, when they breach the other side of the interactive bus stop, they are face to face with a giant Pepsi Max: Unbelievable poster.

Take a look below:

Rachel Holmes, senior marketing manager at PepsiCo UK said, “It truly lives up to Pepsi Max’s Unbelievable proposition from the innovative media planning through to the fantastic creative.”

By the way: What does this #InteractiveMarketing campaign have to do with the #PepsiMax brand? The premise that with no sugar and no calories, Pepsi Max is “unbelievable.”

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