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Dani Lyman

The death and resurrection of music videos (and why you should produce one)

The death and resurrection of music videos (and why you should produce one) 1500 2246 Dani Lyman

Despite the fact that MTV and VH1 have devolved from boundary-pushing, career-launching creative networks into conveyer belts of reality shows, music videos are not extinct. Directors are still breaking barriers and making history. And millennials ARE watching: just not on TV anymore.

As a producer or director interested in building your portfolio, creating music videos is usually a less expensive alternative to indie films and a more creative endeavor than corporate videos. However, with the video landscape constantly changing, you have to consider a few questions. Are music videos still worth producing? Are they worth the financial investment? Where will they live and, most importantly, will millennials watch them?

First, a look back

  • MTV killed the video star: When I first started film school in 2006 my ultimate goal was to become a sick music video director who used technology to push musicians’ visions to the limit and to reach my potential as a brilliant creative genius. Unfortunately, during that era, MTV was revamping their brand and social media hadn’t quite hit its stride. Music videos, for several years, became lost in the shuffle and industry insiders were on the verge of naming it a lost art. And then, something dramatic happened.
  • Apps took over the world! Musicians began reaching new audiences through social media platforms and direct online marketing. Creative videos presented an excellent opportunity to recruit new fans and increase loyalty from old ones. Music videos resurged as an attention-grabbing avenue for experimentation while allowing bands to reach more people across more platforms than ever.

While extinction once seemed likely, the evolution continued instead

To stay up on the trends, the content of videos changed as well. Gone are the days of sexy female singers dancing in a leather one-piece to keep the viewer hooked. Millennials are so inundated with risqué and controversial content that hair-ography doesn’t provide the entertainment value it used to. Instead, we’ve watched the content evolve into abstract artistic performances that are unusual and out of the box (think anything Lady Gaga did before “A Star is Born”). And yes, music videos are still relevant.

With social media, tabloids, and numerous entertainment gossip shows constantly overexposing artists, the music video has become an art form musicians can hide behind. It is an outlet where they can express themselves and connect with their fans and share their story without even showing their face. Consider Rihanna’s decision to barely appear in Lemon. Instead of making another expected video that emphasizes her sex appeal, she showcased an amazing dancer. The vibe, intensity, and tone were perfect for the song and caught people’s attention. To the tune of over 100 million views on YouTube to date.

Up & comers

The music video not only allows viewers to connect to their favorite musicians, it also helps the up-and-comers get the attention they deserve. Through social media, music apps like Spotify and Pandora, and, of course, YouTube—the god of the video world itself—new artists are getting more exposure than ever.

For fans, the experience of falling in love with a new artist is incomplete if their new single isn’t accompanied by a music video that supports their brand. It doesn’t even have to be fancy, eccentric or expensive. Just check out this smooth and simple video from hip hop artist Jidenna. One easy location, one great visual effect to tie the tone together and one great performer—that’s all you need to create a music video that tells a story and hooks new fans.

The case for making a music video

  • People aren’t watching like they used to, they’re watching more! Aside from satisfying artistic expression and finding a new home through social media and apps, a big question still remains: Are people really watching music videos like they did before? The answer is a resounding NO! According to this article, Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” has 6.41 billion views. BILLION. People are not watching music videos like they used to. They are watching them MORE. They are also sharing with their friends and posting on social media more. And in more countries than ever.
  • The risk is low and opportunity for creative expression is high. The biggest question to any business-minded individual is whether the financial investment is worth the risk. In the case of producing music videos, the answer is a resounding YES! The potential to reach a widespread audience and the current acceptance of abstract creativity makes right now the perfect time to invest your time and talent in music videos.

Now all you need is to find a talented unknown band with the financial backing and commitment to a project. While we can’t help you with that, we can help with a lot of other things—like getting you in front of high-quality clients via our online database of searchable, vetted crews.

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

Creative editing techniques straight from Hollywood

Creative editing techniques straight from Hollywood 5408 3648 Dani Lyman

If you’ve ever had an interest in film, then you’re familiar with the handful of essential editing techniques like the jump cut, match cut, montage or dissolve. These simple actions used in diverse ways can lead to incredibly stylistic edits. They can evoke emotion, jar an audience, or make people laugh until it hurts. But art and technology are always evolvingespecially with visual effects—and there are a few new moves you may want to keep in mind for your next project. 

Continuous Shot

The awe-inspiring one shot—like Scorcese’s famous Goodfellas scene following Ray Liotta through the kitchen of a restaurant—is usually perfected in production.  With advanced editing software and a collaboration with a badass cinematographer and post team, editors can now perfect the look through the post. 

Birdman is the perfect example of how effective, moving, and even disorienting the one-shot look can be. An entire movie filmed and edited to look like it’s happening in real time elevated the one-camera documentary look. 

Check out this video essay‘s expert breakdown of the tricks used to execute this increasingly-popular technique.

Anything Tony Scott Ever Did

The late Tony Scott is an amazing example of forcing your own style and voice on a genre. In the early 2000s, the younger of the Scott brothers made a sub-genre of action films that was so jam packed with stylistic editing choices it either annoyed critics or created obsessed fans (like myself).

Tony and his brother are a solid 60% percent of the reason I went to film school. Marty Scorsese, The Godfather 2, and Guy Ritchie share the other 40%. While Tony’s distinct and notable style may be a bit outdated, the techniques can still be reworked for this generation.

Following are some of my favorites from his signature style: manipulating multiple layers, creating a blur effect, toying with time warps within a short scene, and tinkering with the exposure during high-impact, overly-emotional scenes or flashbacks. 

Some key techniques in Scott’s work you can include in your next project are  jump cuts, fast cutting, using loud sound design to jump with the cut, mutli-layers and flickering light and opacity. If you haven’t already seen it a hundred times, Man on Fire is an excellent study.

Cut to the Music

Have you seen Baby Driver? If you’re an editor, it’s non-negotiable. The elaborate planning and attention to detail that went into every cut started long before any footage made it to post. There was immense consideration about how to execute this dynamic vision in the early pre-production phase. Members of the post team were on set daily ingesting footage and making sure the take and timing were absolutely perfect to cut to the pre-selected music. 

The end result is fun, out-of-the-box and impressive as hell. 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

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The most awesome of Comic-Con 2019

The most awesome of Comic-Con 2019 960 359 Dani Lyman

The first time I attended SDCC in 2009 I had no idea what I was getting into. I was hired as a host for a web series sponsored by an online comic book store, and full disclosure, I hadn’t read a graphic novel since I was 7.  I was hired for my charisma, not my knowledge, and I may have even felt a little high and mighty about it. How cute was this small sub-culture of nerds. Little did I know how humbled and awed I would become.

During my four day journey, I was introduced to comic-book legends like Jeff Smith—author of Bone. I interviewed up-and-coming artists and discovered the very dramatic impact the right costume can make on a room. I was blown away to learn the amount of detail, artistry, and obsession that goes into every inch of the Convention Center floor.

Fast forward 10 years and it’s clear SDCC isn’t just for “comic-book nerds” anymore. Perhaps, more on point, Comic-Con has contributed to converting the rest of us into nerds. Cosplay costumes stitched together with magnificent detail aren’t just for our Dungeons and Dragons loving friends anymore. Now, people from around the world travel in droves proudly displaying their love for fantasy, movies, video games, and graphic novel culture during one fantastical weekend.

Though I couldn’t make it this year, I did scour the internet on a quest to discover the best of SDCC 2019, and I found some true treasures.

Here is my List of Comic-Con 2019’s Most Awesome:

DARK KNIGHT EXHIBIT

The Dark Knight is one of my all-time favorite movies (with Batman Forever not far behind), so when I heard a massive pop-up exhibit premiered across from the convention I was filled with a loathsome regret and envy. Folks who were in the vicinity of The Comic-Con Museum were free to roam the halls and take in the glory of The Batman over the decades. Batmobiles, graphic art, suits, and movie prop-filled displays decorated the rooms, making any Batman lover’s dream a reality. You can check out a full rundown of the exhibit and memorabilia here!

CREEPY CRY BABY
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Meier’s “Walter White” mask

This year also saw the return of noted artist (and Denver local), Landon Meier. His famous Hyperflesh “cry baby” masks (pictured above) are known to both confuse and delight convention attendees. But, they aren’t his only claim to fame.

Meier’s eerily life-like masks have been featured on Jimmy Fallon and famously worn by GOT’s Sophie Turner and Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston.

“Disturbingly realistic,” and occasionally controversial, Meier’s masks have become a Comic-Con staple and undeniable fan favorite. Check out Hyperflesh’s facebook page for a mask of your own!

STUMPTOWN

I was a little too excited to hear about the upcoming ABC show, Stumptown. Not only does it star my biggest crush, actor Jake Johnson, but it revolves around a strong female lead. You know how much we love our strong women over here!

Stumptown is based on the graphic novel (written by Greg Rucka and illustrated by Matthew Southworth) about a female Marine vet/private investigator who suffers from a wide array of issues we usually see in three-dimensional male characters. She has a gambling problem and PTSD along with a brother who is mentally challenged. The physical training for the show was said to be extreme and creators promise a gritty and captivating pilot. With Colbie Smulders as the tough-as-nails lead, we wouldn’t expect anything less.

BEST COSPLAY

Now, on to the really good stuff… Everyone loves Comic-Con for the cosplay and I couldn’t choose just one look, so here is a must-see video of all the most awesome and outrageous costumes of the year. Enjoy!

 

 

 

How to crush your reality TV gig

How to crush your reality TV gig 150 150 Dani Lyman

I recently picked up a job as an editor in a world completely new to me, the land of unscripted television, otherwise known as, “reality TV.” Every entertainment medium comes with its own pitfalls and challenges, but reality is a game all its own. Tensions run high with tight deadlines, unpredictable shoot days and a complicated editing process. However, it’s a great opportunity to grow in your field while working on recognizable shows with big networks. The reward can be worth the work.

In order to get all the material you need to tell a cohesive story there’s a little behind the scenes maneuvering that needs to take place. Believe me, not everything is unveiling right before the camera lens.

Here are a few tips to make your carefully-planned TV show feel like reality:

Pre-production is still king

Whether your reality show is a DIY tiny house theme or a dramatic ladies-throwing-wine-on-other-ladies brand of TV, you still need to bury yourself in pre-pro. You still need permits to shoot at a restaurant or on public property. You still need a storyline created by skilled writers and a shot list to ensure your camera team gets every angle of that inevitable fight, arrest, or beauty shot. You need to know in advance where and when the main action is going to take place and have your team ready to go when everything erupts. Plan, plan, plan. That way, you earn the opportunity to be spontaneous.

Be ready for everything

As much as you can (and absolutely should) plan, the universe has a way of being unpredictable. Often, that’s when the best moments happen. Whether you’re a camera operator suddenly needing to chase a bad guy down over a fence, a writer switching storylines when a construction worker falls off the roof of a house, or a showrunner nurturing a scene that could take a different emotional direction, you always want to be ready to shift gears. Be flexible. Allow the story to unfold before you. Let it breathe and become what it’s meant to be. Don’t force it to be something you’ve designed. After all, the reality aspect is what is most intriguing to the viewer, isn’t it?

The edit is harder than you think

If you’re looking to sharpen your editing skills on a reality show, be prepared for long days (and nights) more footage than you know what to do with and tight, tight, tight turnarounds.

The process of logging, ingesting, and organizing footage from countless cameras is a days’-long process in itself. Then the process of grouping footage, reviewing with writers, making changes, and incorporating producers’ notes all takes place before the rough cut process even begins.  If you’re working with a professional company that has streamlined the process, numerous technical issues and mishaps will be sure to arise and wreak havoc on your perfectly-streamlined system.

Making a schedule with hard deadlines, keeping to it, and holding your team accountable is key. Even in the post-stage of a small show, it takes a large team of people working together in a timely manner.

Final notes

If you want to make your editor happy: SLATE EVERY SCENE!

If you want to make your producer happy: Take initiative and finish projects before they even ask.

And if you want to make your writers happy: Well… you let me know when you figure that one out.

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3 tips to slay your first EPK shoot

3 tips to slay your first EPK shoot 6371 4247 Dani Lyman

Over the years Crew Connection has provided talented crews for countless EPK shoots for movies and TV shows produced by major names. When done correctly, these gigs provide ongoing jobs, a very nice payday and great opportunity to shine. When done incorrectly… well, it can lead to a scarlet letter in the EPK game.

Here are a few tips to make your Electronic Press Kit shoot a massive success!

Professional Behavior is Everything

I know it should go without saying, but it really does need to be said: be professional. We work in an odd industry where off-color jokes and throwing temper tantrums after long hard days are the norm. However, if you want to take your business to the next level you need to walk and talk the part.

Have your crew dress in their best attire, say some “yes, sirs” and “yes, ma’ams,” leave the bickering and complaining behind the scenes and most importantly, I cannot stress this enough, it is so important, do not let anyone on your crew post pictures to social media of the talent, the set or anything revealing about the project!

Again, this really should go without saying, but, unfortunately, it really does need to be said.

Don’t act like star-struck fans, even though you are geeking out inside.

Lighting is Also Everything

There are a few key rules to lighting an EPK:

Don’t get too creative

Make the actors look good

Light for different platforms

EPK footage is intended for use by multiple media outlets. This isn’t a project you want to put your stylized stamp on. Instead, you want to deliver interview footage that can be used anywhere from website clips to E! News, without drawing attention to itself.  So, don’t bust your Tony Scott jagged camera motions out for this event. Instead, keep it fresh and consistent, make the actors look even more beautiful than their natural selves and turn over raw footage that will have the production company and future clients calling you back for more.

Make it Fun

Sometimes, this needs to be said as well. If you’re moving on to the EPK world for the first time, it can be overwhelming to be surrounded by the power players and celebrities. But, if you and your crew are laid back, relaxed, and professional, then the talent is more relaxed and that comes across on camera in a really noticeable way.

If it’s your place on set, give some advice for interesting questions that haven’t been asked yet, or tell a light joke to loosen up a tense actor. You and your crew can really help alleviate stress and create a better piece by controlling the atmosphere in the room.

Remember, you will be judged for the final project. Be professional, light to impress, and have fun! You’ll be sure to have clients knocking on your door.

 

About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

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Most Anticipated Shows of the Summer

Most Anticipated Shows of the Summer 4871 3026 Dani Lyman

Summer! It’s a time for slowing down long enough to sip lemonade on the front porch or get lost in a book oceanside. And of course, long, scorching days and short evenings filled with thunderstorms mean we have also officially entered the season of hunkering down indoors to binge-watch our favorite TV shows.

Here are four sizzling summer hits

 

Stranger Things 3

America’s freedom isn’t the only thing to celebrate this Independence Day. July 4th, Netflix releases the third season of the fan favorite show, Stranger Things. Rumor has it that season three brings even more special effects as well as twists and turns. Always staying on brand to remind us of all the magic and fear of childhood, this season will take place during the summer with the tagline promise that “One summer can change everything.” Eight episodes will be released at once so prepare to binge.

Big Little Lies

The Monterey Five are back and trying to cope with life after covering up a murder. Their lies, trauma, and conscience catch up to them in this sizzling summer hit. Hollywood legend Meryl Streep joins the cast as Nicole Kidman’s mother-in-law who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth behind her son’s death. There has never before been a show filled with such a strong female cast. The performances are riveting, often painful and always truthful. If you missed them, you can catch up on the first two episodes now on HBO GO and OnDemand.

Snowfall

The return of Snowfall has everyone talking this summer after co-creator John Singleton’s unexpected death in April. Singleton left his mark on Hollywood creating powerful films as both producer and director. His success led to the hit drama that tells the story of the crack cocaine epidemic that emerged in the 1980s. Singleton leaves behind a legacy of controversial films which force viewers to contemplate tough issues like racism, prejudice, and the culture and hardships of underprivileged black youths in America. Snowfall piggybacks off these themes while resonating with a modern America. The third season premiers on FX July 10th and will stay true to the voice and tone Singleton helped to define in this breakout series.

Surprise Sleeper Hit?

Danny McBride returns to HBO with a new comedy that is sure to strike a chord with American viewers. Always one to push the envelope, this one will likely incite some backlash, but the trailer alone is enough to conjure up some laughs. We don’t recommend this show for everyone, but if it sparks your curiosity you can catch the not-so-family-friendly trailer here.

 

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again

Summer movies to make you feel like a kid again 150 150 Dani Lyman

This summer movie theaters are sure to be packed with a new generation of viewers who will be introduced to some of our favorite childhood characters. However, kids’ movies aren’t just made for kids these days. Those of us who grew up with beloved characters such as Aladdin, Simba, and Agent Jay will also flock to theaters in droves to revisit our childhood.

I was one of the millions of viewers who rushed to the theater over Memorial Day weekend to witness Guy Ritchie’s fantastical live-action version of Aladdin. Sitting in my reclining leather chair, reminiscing on how different things were when I was a kid, I couldn’t help but wonder why the remakes, reboots, and sequels appeal to us older folk as much as they do to the children.

The performances are charismatic, the humor delightful, the choreographed action sequences captivating and the brilliant colors are mesmerizing. So, no doubt, viewers of varying ages will be entertained. But, at the core, this was a story about true love in the form of friendship, romance, and family. A kind of love that is truthful, accepting, forgiving and willing to put others ahead of our own agenda. It was touching and challenged the viewer to reflect on their own self-worth and motives.

Perhaps as adults, we get so caught up in the rat race of life that we forget the simple principles we learned as children. These nostalgic reboots serve as a reminder of the innocence of childhood. They are also pure entertainment.

Here are 3 movies hitting theaters this summers that are sure to make you feel like a kid again!

The Lion King

Simba comes of age as you’ve never seen him before on July 19th. James Earl Jones reprises his role as Mufasa with a voice full of wisdom that will certainly spark childhood memories.

Toy Story 4

On June 20th, your favorite toys come to life on the big screen (and not in the murderous Child’s Play way, that’s a different movie that also releases that weekend)! Tom Hanks and Tim Allen bring life to Woody and Buzz alongside a cast of great voice actors, Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele and many more.

Men in Black: International

A new generation of alien-capturing agents hit theaters this Friday! Not only is Chris Hemsworth sure to draw a crowd (both young and more mature), but Tessa Thompson will introduce a new female hero as the first woman MIB agent.

Here’s to the magic of childhood, summer, and the big screen.

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Why you should hire a child wrangler for your next shoot

Why you should hire a child wrangler for your next shoot 1440 1440 Dani Lyman

Kids are the best! They are adorable, sweet, funny and can really elevate a video project. But they are also unpredictable, illogical and unreliable. That’s where the Child Wrangler comes in! It is one of the most challenging yet important jobs in video production.

Here are 4 reasons you need to hire an expert Child Wrangler if your next shoot calls for a tiny human actor!

They are good with kids

This may sound like a no brainer, but some people have this gift with children that many of the rest of us (including myself) just do not have. They understand them and can talk to them in that special way that keeps them engaged without being condescending. I have looked on flabbergasted at the way one person can, almost magically, guide a child into an action or mood. A Child Wrangler is that gifted kind of human being. They’re the kind of person you would want working with your own child.

They understand video production

In addition to being great with children, a Child Wrangler also understands the ins and outs of video production. Kids may not have a concept of the monetary value of time on a set, but a Child Wrangler does. They’ll have their actors ready for their scene on time. They also respect the AD and the Director and help children to do the same. They help the production flow smoothly and efficiently. Someone who thinks like a producer and is also good with kids is a rare gem in the video world!

They know how to talk to parents

Have you ever tried to tell a parent what to do with their child? I wouldn’t recommend it. Directors, producers and ADs are often so focused on the outcome of the project that they may overlook the necessary empathetic small talk a video pro needs to engage in with parents. An expert Child Wrangler knows how to make parents feel like a valued part of the production while also making them feel confident that they can hand their child over to the process.

They advocate for children on set

An experienced Child Wrangler will be able to recognize and properly communicate with the production team if a child needs a break, is too sick to work, or isn’t on their game and needs more rehearsal time. They can be the voice for children who are incapable of speaking up for themselves. We’ve heard horror stories of child actors being taken advantage of and dealing with lifelong trauma from working in the production world. An expert Child Wrangler will fight for the child actor’s rights in a professional manner. By adding a Child Wrangler to your video production team, you are helping to ensure the safety of the child you’re working with. Isn’t that what’s most important?

Working with children is no doubt a difficult experience in any field! By adding the right expert to your team you can eliminate some of the hassle and make for a fun, safe and successful environment for child actors on your next shoot.

 

About Crew Connection

Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post-production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

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How to Tell a Story With Camera Angles

How to Tell a Story With Camera Angles 6000 4000 Dani Lyman

The camera is a powerful tool that can influence people’s emotions, desires and perspectives. Using subtle techniques, like camera angles, you can reveal power, weakness and character traits all without saying a word.

In this post we’ll explore 3 classic films that used simple camera angles to create a few of Hollywood’s most iconic scenes. 

Low Angle Shot

Shooting from a low angle where the camera is lower than the subject can give the character a greater sense of importance and power on screen. We often see this technique used to demonstrate a hero conquering a villain or displaying a villain’s power and oppression over a victim. For a more humorous example, the Coen Brothers used the low angle shot to give a rule-abiding parking lot attendant power in Fargo. In contrast, you can clearly see Carl as powerless and weak in comparison. Due to extreme foul language we are too classy to share the video, but you can check it out here.

High Angle Shot

When a high angle shot is used it makes the subjects smaller, more vulnerable and insignificant, emphasizing the character’s weakness in the scene. In a more subtle example of  power vs. weakness is the death of Jesse James in the Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. In the scene below, although the action would suggest the man who has the importance and power in this scene is the man with the gun, the camera angle instead reveals Robert Ford as a weak person. The high angle shot reflected in the painting implies to the viewer that he is weak, unimportant and, in fact, a coward.

Bird’s Eye View

The Bird’s Eye View shot is consistently used to convey the most action to the viewer, give him a broad scope of the scene and reveal the characters in their weakest form. In this iconic scene Ethan Hunt’s cover is nearly blown when he plummets to the ground and dangles inches above the floor sensors. While the eye level shots increase our feelings of anxiety as if we are dangling with him, the famous Bird’s Eye View shot reveals Hunt in his most vulnerable state, at the mercy of his partner and a rope. This shot reveals the danger and magnitude of the situation while looking incredibly badass.

Whether you are demonstrating an inferior character, emphasizing a moment of danger, or revealing the complexities of human nature, you can use very simple camera techniques to educate and persuade your article. These famous scenes are just the beginning when it comes to telling your unique story through camera angles.

About Crew Connection

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Crew Connection puts a suite of marketing tools at your fingertips. Get your demo reels, stills, gear, awards, and more in front of the biggest clients all over the world—for free. At Crew Connection we pay video and post production providers within 30 days of receiving your invoice so your work and your life are never interrupted. Need live assistance or want to add quality jobs to your pipeline? Our crew coordinators are on call around the clock. Sign in to Crew Connection, call 303-526-4900, or email info@crewconnection.com.

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Is Game of Thrones the end of TV as we know it?

Is Game of Thrones the end of TV as we know it? 3456 2304 Dani Lyman

There is a little restaurant in Denver called Stoney’s where local patrons fill the bar on Sunday nights for a Game of Thrones watch party packed with themed competitions and GoT themed foods and drinks. While many viewers choose to watch the show in the dark and silence of their living rooms, uninterrupted, viewing parties like these are popping up across the country. Similar to what we see with sports fanantics, people want to be surrounded by like-minded individuals and root for their favorite player (in this case, character).

While we gather to see who is going to rule the Iron Throne, a larger question emerges. Will TV continue to be a social experience after GoT ends? What will we be watching next and how will we be watching it?

TV and the way we consume programming has changed drastically since Game of Thrones’ first episode aired in 2011. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime dominate with their original and award-winning content. TiVo is nearly a thing of the past now that we can stream from our cell phones whenever we want. The term “binge watching” is so popular it now has a place in the dictionary.

However, there is a social aspect to watching TV that gets lost when viewers binge-watch a series or stream on their own time. We bite back our enthusiasm about the latest episode because a co-worker isn’t “caught up” yet. We avoid social media to ensure spoilers aren’t revealed. We even stop talking to each other altogether when we realize we’re on different seasons.

What was once a social practice, an avenue to bringing friends and family together for a half an hour or an hour, is becoming an isolating experience. Game of Thrones is one show that still brings people out of their dark living rooms and gets them excited to share with others. Will there be shows in the future capable of doing the same?

More niche content is being created today. With more and more series being delivered through various platforms, the mainstream appeal of programs is diminishing. People are loading up on content they enjoy, but not something they can necessarily banter about with their friends.

And let’s not overlook how we are consuming content. We no longer just sit in front of our TV’s. We stream from our phones on the train to work. We watch from our laptops on our lunch break. We sit in a room full of people and stare at our iPads. Chief Marketing Officer of Factual, Brian Czarny, contributed an excellent article on fragmented viewership and what it means for the future of content. He writes, “Rest assured that, for the next hit show, the live viewing numbers will be smaller because consumer behavior is swiftly trending toward…mobile.”

As we move into in the final season of GoT, a series that has greatly influenced pop culture and has risen to become one of the most talked about shows in history, we have to wonder if this is the end of an era. Will there be another show that can bring us together the way Game of Thrones has? Or will we become a nation of binge-watchers, turning TV viewing into a solo sport?