Tag Archives: video

Have Frank Kern and Andy Jenkins been replaced by puppet imposters? Krank and Jandy?!?

See..Jim Henson was totally right, puppets aren’t just for kids.

I got a kick out of this parody of Frank Kern and Andy Jenkins. If you know them it will make you smile with the accuracy. Clearly an inside job… Got the blond hair, inside phrases and everything.

And it was done by an insider..at least partly. It’s Mike Koenigs’s team who is also based in San Diego.

Xraying this, I want you to take away from this video other than it’s funny. Funny is serious business.

1) Look and copy at the format in your own videos: Opening Branding animated element, clearly visible and readable logo in the top form a subtle call to action to click over to the site and find out more. Engaging content that is likely to be passed around. This *IS* an ad, but this is all under the radar because it’s been wrapped up in entainment.

To be honest, puppetry is probably much easier to shoot than live video outdoors and requires no makeup. You don’t have to look good on camera and you don’t even have to wear clothes. You can use any puppets you like.

2) Video quality and video scripting counts. Entertain + Inform and that takes having people who live and breathe this stuff. If you don’t do it, get someone who can. You don’t have to have fulltime people you should start thinking how to outsource this work on an as needed basis.

3) production values in the IM space are rapidly starting to approach that of TV. Just think 5 years go, video was nowhere, now it’s replaced most serious sales letters. At home hardly anybody watches normal TV on old “Tube” sets, I know because when I walk around my neighborhood in LA I see these old TV’s sitting on the curb right next to the flat screen box ready to be garbage collected. I hope your sales pages are in there too.

4) production needs teams of people, like that video was brought to you by Mike Koenigs’s “new” company which has at least 7 people to do the writing shooting, creative etc. How many people do you have in your team?

P.s. If you like adult puppets check out the ADULT improv + telepuppetry called Puppet Up. Puppets + Alcohol + No Holds Barred

P.P.S. If you like puppets you might also like a cartoon of Frank my team created. with Kung FU Surfing Action

How to get a splash image before your video plus other tips.

Put a splash image before your video

In the prior post we showed you how to get video onto S3 and onto your webpage using free tools in under 5 minutes.  That was so fast, we didn’t cover a great feature that gets more clicks on your video.

With and without splash image, which would you rather click on?
With and without splash image, which would you rather click on?

To show an image before your video loads (aka a splash or poster image)  is great to get more clicks by helping users know what the video is about, the result is more people will click to watch the video and that is the point of putting them up on the web in the first place!  The alternative is a rather unattractive black box.

Of the various free media players, there is several that support splash images. Note this is built into a few different media players, but the following code only works with  FlowPlayer (an open source and free player), which we covered in the first episode.

FlowPlayer makes adding images in front easy..it actually supports whole playlists in it’s configuration!, basically a splash image will be just a playlist of 2 items,  the splash image and then your video.  The first will autoplay, the second will not, so it will pause on the image.  FlowControl has a nice fade effect to add polish.

If you’re using wordpress formatting it with the Visual Editor, can make it slightly finicky, your best bet is to copy the code below (stripped of whitespace) update it with the values you need and paste it instead where the 2nd “<script” block begins.  If you’re doing a normal webpage this step is optional.

To Get an splash image here are a few options.

  1. Use any image you have lying around…I like ones of dead relatives, they always get attention.
  2. Create a title slide using PowerPoint, or a simple text editor and
  3. Open up your video in a media player and capture a frame from it using a screen capture utility (built in to most Operating System with the “prt sc” button.
  4. Create it from scratch to be all fancy pants.


It’s a good idea to get your splash image like your video on the CDN,to keep it from clogging up your webserver.

To be safe, once up on the CDN, test the url to the image in the browser directly (to make sure the ACL is setup) then try it in the playlist.

If it doesn’t work in wordpress, create a simple text file and paste the flowplayer embed code into it ,save that text file as *.html, and test that in a browser till that’s working.  Then strip out any unnecessary whitespace to put it into the wordpress blog.

Save that working code into a place you won’t forget, odds are you’ll use it over and over again…especially if your successful.

Coming soon, what CDN’s are, the pros and cons of S3 as a video provider, higher end alteratives. Be sure to subscribe to hear about those and future episodes.

How to get your video on your website or blog, using Amazon S3 in under 5 minutes..with free tools.

You want video on your site, and are confused by all the options, jargon, technical issues and shady expensive stuff.    I feel your pain, I get a LOT of questions about video from my clients with the same questions and confusion…especially when they are getting charged for things that are free.   So I created this short video to clear things up.

Video can be easy, 5-10 minutes is all it takes, and in this video I’ll show you how to take a video on your desktop and get it onto your S3/Cloudfront and then into your website or blog in under 5 minutes.

Here’s what you need to get started

  • A website or blog (duh!)
  • A video you want to get up…(make it good else noone will watch it)
  • To be signed up with Amazon S3 and CloudFront (the latter is especially important for video..both free signup)
  • A tool for uploading to S3 (e.g. S3Fox, CloudBerry (windows only))
  • About 10 minutes

Note: this video was uploaded in the exact same way as shown in the video. One thing we didn’t cover in this is how to get that pretty image at the very beginning, that’s covered in part 2.

NOTE: if this is your first video, and you play the video from a media player somewhere else, you’ll need to upload a crossdomain.xml file, you’ll only have to do that one time per ‘bucket’ (where you can have more than one bucket per your amazon account, for different companies). The one I use is here (but becareful, this is “wide open” access).

There’s lots more to know about doing high quality video that streams nicely and cheaply.  Be sure to opt-in on the right to get notified on new episodes.

Oh and Mr. Pine says hi.

How to video blog with Amazon S3 Cloudfront and free tools in 5 minutes

In 5 minutes how to video blog with Amazon S3

[flash http://d27dsc3xn28g7n.cloudfront.net/howto/troynotes_wordpress_amazon_s3_cloudfront_how_to_video_blog_post_5_min_with_free_tools.flv w=600 h=450]

In this post we’ll show you how to get your first video off your camera onto your wordpress blog, amazon s3 or cloudfront in less than5 minutes, with free tools.

I’ve been using Amazon Services for quite some time, and haven’t ever needed services like EzS3 as most features can be done pretty easily for free.  The video players also are typically available for free and pretty easy to configure.

  1. Get a wordpress compatible blog (comes with most providers) free.
  2. Get the pb-embedFlash wordpress plugin which allows you to quickly embed any flash or flash video with a single line, in a standards compliant way.
  3. Sign up for Amazon s3 with Amazon Web Services (free signup, reasonable costs for hosting)

    The link to signup for Amazon S3
    Click to signup for Amazon S3
  4. Use S3Fox that can be installed into FireFox (free) to upload the files to your bucket. S3Fox is like a FTP for your webserver that works with S3 instead.
  5. IMPORTANT Click the Everyone has Read access, else they won't be able to see the video
    IMPORTANT Click the Everyone has Read access, else they won't be able to see the video

    Once uploaded, set the permissions to these as public so that they can be visible to the open net, by default Amazon makes them only available to you.

  6. Decide on S3 or CloudFront for delivery of the file. I recommend CloudFront for more consistent access across the world.
  7. Copy the URL and Paste it into your embed code.
    Copy the URL and Paste it into your embed code.

    Right click to Copy the url.

  8. Paste that url into the embed code of your wordpress post (see the top video for an explanation)
  9. Preview and that’s it!

You may also be interested in this post, comparision of Amazon vs Ooyala etc.

NOTE: if this is your first video, and you play the video from a media player somewhere else, you’ll need to upload a crossdomain.xml file, you’ll only have to do that one time per ‘bucket’ (where you can have more than one bucket per your amazon account, for different companies). The one I use is here (but becareful, this is “wide open” access).

Be sure to opt-in to the right to gain access to more great tips.

The video that we used in the example, starring Mr. Pine.  Enjoy!

[flash http://d27dsc3xn28g7n.cloudfront.net/howto/mrpine.flv w=320 h=240]

Video Smideo, is the world Flipping out over HD vids?


Found out by Ed Dale


I’ve seen several people use Flips… everywhere.  There were at least 4 this weekend at the secret Mass Control 2.0 Seminar in San Diego, shooting all sorts of things I’d prefer to forget… britney spears shemale dancing (boy shakira), men on men action on stage, the topless pool at the Hard Rock hotel.

Chris Carpenter in his Google Cash Video Launches have also been using Flips to do ‘interview’ style lifestyle videos. With an assistant shooting him doing his normal life, it has a very cinematic feeling. There’s even one which was shot in the water while surfing.

With that sort of abuse I guess it’s a good thing these types of cameras are cheap enough to be disposed.

Pocketable cameras are more important to me than big cameras. While one can always go with bigger cameras, I find the bigger they are the more likely they are to be left at home when out and about, and smaller ones can be done with one hand giving the “over the shoulder feel”.

I personally prefer the Exilim Series, which you may want to check out my notes of here

The Future Of HD in online advertisting

I recently came across the site the Fixer, which is an ongoing HD funny infommercial for the AXE deodorant line.  It’s a great example of multi-camera HD online. The production quality is amazing and funny.  Of course their line of deod0rants are in Target so they have huge volume and huge budgets If you like frat parties, you should probably check it out,

I’ve really been wondering about how HD video will affect 1 to 1 communications, like if the quality will affect conversion rates, and also what the consumer acceptance of full screen video is?  Can even the assumption be made that people shopping online have the bandwidth to view such things? What about those increasing hordes viewing through iphones?  Many of the on-demand HD video services for movies and such currently losing money. Bandwidth cost vs perceived quality, a HD video can be 4x the bandwidth requirements vs a SD counterpart.

Shooting in HD has advantages even if the output is SD (or web).  The crew at Frank Kern’s videos during one of the QA’s talked about how they shoot HD and edit down to SD for the various online videos, this can create a variety in the shoot, to maintain interest, like panning and two cameras during post production. Easy to do in most editing tools.

If you’re interested in video. You should check out the video category.