New Commercial for International University In Geneva.

We just finished a new commercial for the International University in Geneva. The spot, directed by Nastassia Roulin, will be aired on local cinemas for the next 4 months and on the University web.

This is the short version of the video.

The long version (90 seconds) will be only shown on the web of the University. Here it is.

We are now preparing a second promotional video that will be shown at the summer. More news very soon!


Vector-based video replaced by the traditional pixels of a moving image

We all know vectors through graphics or maths (for the physicians out there, I will not go into this here, sorry), but we never really thought about it in terms of moving image. For those that aren’t familiar with vectors, put in simple terms; it is the combination of lines, curves and shapes equating to geometric formulas. This equation allows you to blow up an image infinitely without it leaving artefacts or pixilated blocks, which is what you get when you increase the size of an image. Thus allowing to maintain the resolution of the image.

Following research conducted by Root6 Technology, Smoke & Mirrors and Ovation Data Services (University of Bath researchers), they have been able to create a codec which would fill in the gaps between the contours of the image. This vector-based format yet to be known by the public is expected to bloom in following years.

Although vectors are great for graphics and illustrations they are less adapted for photorealistic images as pictures are not composed of “well-defined” shapes and curves. Vectorials leave a smooth and clean image but they have a cartoon side to them and make it more difficult to make images come out real.

Neverthless, if this method actually establishes itself as a working format in the audiovisual sector I won’t disregard the compression wise there will be less of it to deal with. Hence creating lighter files without loss of information.
I do look forward a more in depth explanation of the theory they’ve come up with to back up their discovery. Will we really be able to move away from pixels. I believe it’s a case study which would be interesting to keep a close eye on. To be continued…

Multimedia course at the International University in Geneva

I have been invited to teach part of the course “Multimedia” at the International University in Geneva.

This course is really a spin off of the seminary i gave with Patricia Goldsmith last semester. We thought that we could develop further the concept, and I will have 5 sessions (of 2 hours each, approximately) between April and June to explain in more detailed how to use video for the social media.
The schedule for my part is :

  • Day 1. Multimedia communication. From the idea to the storyboard.
  • Day 2. Introduction to video. Production workflow
  • Day 3. Video shooting and editing. Recording of interviews from a social journalism perspective
  • Day 4. Video editing. Which editing software? Basic principles of editing
  • Day 5. Video editing and dissemination. Video channels, formats, and virality

There will be also sessions from other teachers to explain the basics of motion graphics, and some insights on multimedia communication.

Class on “use of video and social media”

I did yesterday a three hours course for the Master’s students in communication. It was a pretty intense session, and they all resisted very well when I explained the most technical part of the class; the variety of video formats and the compatibility issues to use video on the internet.

At the end, I let them use some gear I brought to the class to record an interview so that they were aware of the full workflow process in video production; From the conception of the idea to the internet diffusion through social media. It was a very interesting experience for me, and the students did a really great collaborative work.

We made two videos. I only have one of them, which is the one that we recorded on my own equipment. The second group used an iPhone to record the interview. The goal of the assessment was to show the differences on the workflow and the production depending on the equipment that one is using, and the pros and cons of using professional material or extremely light equipment as mobile phones or camcorders.

This is the video made by group 1, using a Youtube embeding.

This is the video by the second group (made with iphone) using a Youtube embedding

It’s a clear demonstration that a better equipment really changes the perception of the viewer towards the content of the video. I think in this case is specially true due to the sound differences (professional microphone versus iPhone integrated microphone)

It is interesting also to compare the same video (in this case the video made by groop 1), but using a different video hosting service, for instance Vimeo.

Can you see any difference with the Youtbe embeding? Which one is better? From the uploading perspective-, both took more or less the same time. The uploaded version was a quicktime movie (codec: h.264, dimensions: 640 × 360) of about 210 MB

Seminar about new media at the International University of Geneva

I have been asked by a friend to deliver a seminar on video and podcast as part of the course New Media at the Master in Arts Media and Communication.

I accepted right away as i thought it would be very interesting also for me to take the time to prepare this talk. Things have been moving fast in video communication and It’s not even clear  where is the frontier between video, web, street performance, etc.

After a couple of days thinking on how I could organize this talk, I realized that there is not much reliable information on how the evolution of video streaming and equipment prices  are changing the way that business communicate, and the way they compute their ROI.

This could be an interesting area for research, whether for Media Communication students, or for Business Administrations students. How should companies react to the decrease of production costs and to the shift of the traditional diffusion channels towards the alternative ones?  One can envisage some alternative scenarios. Companies could:

  1. Shift towards creativity by reallocating their existing budgets to look for better creative agencies.
  2. Shift towards diffusion by reallocating their existing budget into more power of diffusion.
  3. Downsize their marketing budget to accommodate to new costs.

Sure there will be other scenarios, and probably each company will decide what works for it, but I really think (and hope)  that option 1 will be the predominant scenario.

Being the seminar a 2 hours presentation, I’m afraid oi will not have time probably to go into that much detail, so i prepare a much more classical programme, to introduce the students to the different tools and workflows for podcasting. (video and audio)

This is the program


    • Rich Media vs Traditional Media. Where’s is the frontier?
    • What, who, when where, Why, How?
    • The new language of Audiovisual Communications: podcast, vlog, syndication, RSS, etc.
    • How did we get here? A little of history
    • Integration on Communication Strategy
    • Creative Workflow
    • Delivery & diffusion
    • Tools and resources.
    • Integration on Communication Strategy
    • Creative workflow
    • Technical workflow
    • Delivery & diffusion
    • Tools and Resources
    • Interactive video
    • 3D video
    • Guerrilla Marketing: flash-Mob, LipDub, viral video campaign
    • Legal & Copyrights issues
    • Music & image licenses, releases forms, etc.