Monday, 25 August 2014

How Netflix Ruined Me

I have always been an avid TV watcher. Since I was young, I would tune in every week for my favorite shows, right on time. Of course, I didn’t live in the golden age of DVRs and instant streaming, so I had to be dedicated. I was network television’s ideal consumer.

Then, last week, I read an article on IndieWire about Aaron Paul's new show which will be released fully through Netflix. He claimed they decided Netflix was the best forum because binge-watching is the future of television. He states, "That's just how people are doing it. That's the future." And this got me thinking. Had my attachment to Netflix, in combination with the millions of others who experienced the same reaction, come to overrun the natural order of cable television? It was then I understood that, somehow, I had slowly become addicted to Netflix.

When it started, it was mild. I had no idea what I was getting into. It really got bad when I began watching TV shows. I feel the need to offer some context to this situation to make it truly understandable. I first got Netflix in college, a time in my life where I didn’t pay for anything but basic cable and had a little too much free time (something that never exists again post-college). At the time, I was working at a bar-type establishment from which I didn’t get home until around 4am. Of course, there was nothing on TV at that time so Netflix quickly became my go-to. Soon enough, I found myself watching nothing but Netflix. A few years passed, I graduated, got a real job and finally had some money to pay for real cable and a DVR (Whoohoo! Adulthood!). I was so excited, I couldn’t wait to get back to in-time television, back to my roots!

I soon began to notice some changes. Commercials, which I had been avoiding for years, became a serious annoyance. So much so that, for a while, I couldn’t watch ANY live television. I had to record it and wait for the playback. 

Then there was the fast forwarding. It wasn’t enough that I could skip the commercials because I was still having to put in an effort. And then I would go too far and have to rewind and UGHHHHHH JUST PLAY MY SHOW! …Whoa, that was a little intense. 

In the meantime, Netflix had trapped me in its jaws with AMAZING shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. Shows I could watch an entirely new season of at my own pace. (My pace was as much as I could watch in between work and sleep; roughly 5 hours.)

The final sign I was ruined came when new seasons of my most loved shows started, like American Horror Story or Walking Dead, both of which have their previous seasons on Netflix primed for binge-watching. The new seasons were great but the fact that I had to wait an entire week between episodes took away from my excitement. It was suddenly less appealing, less fulfilling and, somehow, an inconvenience…

Who had I become? What had happened to me? All these years of dedication to my favorite shows, loyalty to the networks and passionate excitement for the television industry were gone. Ripped from my soul like Khal Drogo ripped that guy’s tongue out in Game of Thrones. This is when I grew genuinely angry with the networks for making me wait. WE KNOW ALL THE SHOWS ARE DONE, GIVE IT!!!!

I had become obsessed with the constant access to new material, so much so that I had left my precious networks in the dark. Sure, I agree to some extent that binge-watching is the future of television. But, as Aaron Paul says,
"...there is something special about watching a show from week to week. You have that week sort of buffer in between each episode to let each episode marinate and it's nice..." 
In the world we live in today, everyone wants everything the exact moment they want it. There is little patience left in our society. I'll admit, patience has never been a strong suit for me, but I understand that it takes time to create such wonderful work. I can't demand that my shows be available to me the second I want them because then, they wouldn't be nearly as good.

I've come to the conclusion that binge-watching, though fun, is extremely unhealthy. Waiting is better for us. It gives us something to look forward to at the end of a week, an hour to escape our lives. If we had every show readily available, I think it would have a detrimental impact on our society and the way we control our urges. Listen to me networks, and all filmmakers at that, take your time! It is your masterpiece and we are the mere consumers. 

Fun fact, "binge-watching" was added to the Oxford English Dictionary this year. What do you think about the future of TV? Are you addicted to Netflix or loyal to broadcast? Do you think the networks will soon all have their own instant streaming services like HBO? Post your comments below!

Bonus: Here are some recommendations from me for Netflix or TV, whatever your preference:

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Our Work: Enfiniti Global

CLIENT: Enfiniti Global, a company that directly sells energy and energy related products. (Should we mention something here about it being an open market?)

GOAL: Working in partnership with Spry Creative Group, produce and edit a comedic web video that spoofs the typical mulit-level marketing evangelist and communicates the differences of Enfiniti's no pay-to-play business structure.

SPOT: Enfiniti Global: Opportunity Video

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Behind the Scenes: Plains All American Pipeline

Here is a behind the scenes look at our shoot for Plains All-American Pipeline last week in Louisiana. We can't wait to see the finished product, but until then, we'll have to settle for these photos!

Hard hat selfie!

Feeling small amongst all the big tanks.

Better than Houston traffic!

Looks like we have some walking ahead of us. 

 Our cameraman Michael catching some quick ZZZs before the sun comes up. 

Monday, 11 August 2014

7 Ways to Be Productive When the Internet Is Down

Sometimes the Internet goes down. AHHHHHHHHH!!!!

Get it together.

When this happens, it doesn’t mean the world is ending (probably); everything will be up and running again soon (hopefully). But what to do in the meantime? How can I possibly get anything done without email, Buzzfeed and Gchat????

I’m here to tell you, friends, it is possible to be productive without the Internet and here are just a few of my favorite ways:

1.     Breathe

Quick! Now’s your chance! While nobody’s looking and everybody’s clicking refresh refresh refresh on their browsers, you’ll be the one seizing the opportunity to just plain max chillax for a sec. I read somewhere once (on the Internet, so there’s no way of verifying right now…) that max chillaxing directly correlates to higher productivity.

2.     Write a blog post

What better time than when all the distractions of the world have been ripped from your fingertips than to take pen to paper (or pixels to computer) and formulate some coherent thoughts! Sure, you won’t be able to search for the perfect GIF to accompany each of your finer points, but you will have the peace and tranquility to verbally work some things out and potentially even say something interesting you weren’t bothering to say before because you didn’t want to take the time! What a blessing!

3.     Organize your files

Stock footage, old client files, your computer’s desktop… Get it together. Make it make sense. And while you’re at it, clear out those 40 ketchup packets you keep in your desk “just in case”. There’s always ketchup. There will always be ketchup. You look desperate, and everyone in the office thinks so.

4.     Update your To-Do list

When the Internet returns, you’ll want to hit the ground running, right? So, do that.

5.     Check in with teammates

There are always conversations we want to have or should have in person that we put off because meetings are time consuming. Welp, looks like you’ve got the time. You’ll be glad you did.

6.     File those expenses!

You know those receipts that are crumpled up in a pile in your desk/in your car/in your wallet/in your pants? You’re supposed to do something with those. Sure, it’s not the most fun activity, which is why you put it off until now, but think of filing your expenses as a trip down memory lane where you get to recall each and every opportunity you spent someone else’s money! Now that’s some good old fashioned 9 to 5 fun right there.

7.     Use your cellphone.

Let’s get real. There’s an app for everything you need to do right now. It’s 2014.  Get back to work.

What do you do when the Internet goes down: head straight to Freak Out City or maintain your productivity flow? Share with us your tips below, because honestly, we’ve forgotten what life without Internet is like and could all use a few reminders of how it’s possible to soldier on without it.

Monday, 4 August 2014

How to Keep Your Swagger in the Face of Adversity

It happens to all of us. One minute, you can be on fire: you know who you are, you have your creative vision, you're making it happen, your clients and colleagues are loving it, and you've got Swagger. For those that might not know, Swagger is a way of handling yourself confidently that non-verbally states, "Pay attention, I'm about to do something awesome."

Pictured: swag.
The next minute, you can catch fire: you forgot your popcorn in the microwave and in a panic you just kind of threw things around that maybe were highly flammable, and, well, let's just not get into that right now...
It's... it's not what you think.
So after the burns have healed and you're back to work, how do you retain your Swagger? How do you continue to project the same level of confidence that you had when you were ridin' high? It's easier than you think, and I'm about to tell you how.

1. Talk with a Smile

How can you keep your Swagger? Start with a smile. Speaking with a smile can really make a difference in how your communication is received, especially with today's common workflows where you may never speak with a client face-to-face but over the phone. Your smile communicates your Swagger through your tone. People will know you are happy to be helping and working with them, and they will in turn enjoy and value your work. Speaking of value...

2. Know Your Value

A part of your Swagger is knowing what you are worth and not letting anything make you appear otherwise. When you know your value, you're confident, fair, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. There is no room for negativity. Giving into your doubts can cost you dearly and lower respect clients and colleagues have for you. Value yourself and your Swagger will shine through in your work.

Swagger can't always be physically contained.
How can you fuel that sense of value? Mistakes.

3. Use Criticism as Fuel

When you think the work you delivered is golden and your client pretty much thought it was what they accidentally stepped in on the way to work this morning, that can really dampen your Swag. Hey, we can't win 'em all, and the important thing is you put yourself out there. However, if you think there is only one way to do things- YOUR way- and your client doesn't like that, well, you HAVE to think of another way to do it. Push your creative boundaries, grow from it, look for more things that could be improved on and strive for that. Own your failures and you'll continue to grow and get better with every project.

4. Own Your Swagger

Stand tall, stand proud, and engage your true Swagger. Swagger comes from within and can't be given to anyone. Engage your Swagger with physical communicators by listening with your eyes wide, nodding, leaning forward, ad really showing that you're into it. Swagger your way into your clients' hearts with your desire to work, listen, and produce an outstanding end product. After that, the rest will fall into place and once again, great things will be popping off left and right.

Be sure the things that are popping are what you intend.
There are countless ways to boost your self-esteem, productivity, and ultimately your Swagger. Let's talk it out in the comments and post some of your methods of keeping that Swagger Swaggin'!