Entries by Carson Coots

Bumper Ads: The Haikus of Video Advertising

It has been reported that nearly half of all Internet video is watched on mobile devices, and Youtube now reaches more 18-to-34-olds and 18-to-49-year-olds than any single TV network – broadcast or cable, on mobile devices. News, comedy, documentary, web series and educational video content is now being tailored to fit the attention span that comes with mobile and social […]

Make Me Care: Pixar Writer Andrew Stanton on Storytelling

In this TED Talk, Pixar director/screenwriter Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E”) shares a few of his ideas about what makes a great story.   Here are a few takeaways from the presentation: Storytelling is “Joke Telling” You have to know what the ending is going to be before you start. Drama is anticipation without certainty. Every action […]

Ken Burns on Emotional Truth in Storytelling

In this short video featured in The Atlantic,  legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains how the whole of the story transcends the sum of its parts: Jean Luc Goddard said cinema is truth 24 times a second. Maybe. It’s lying 24 times a second too, all the time, all story is manipulation. Is there acceptable […]

Study: Original Digital Video Content Advertising Budgets on the Rise

In May of 2014, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) held their second annual NewFronts conference, coinciding with the release a multi part study indicating that (not surprisingly) 68% of marketers and agency executive will be increasing video ad budgets, with three out of four expecting original digital video programming to be as important as TV programming within […]

Considering the Context: Push vs. Pull

If you want to make a video to promote your company or organization, you need to ask a lot of questions.  What is the concept? What is the budget?  Who is the audience?  What is the core message? How long will it run?  What is the call to action?  All of these are important questions, […]

Documarketing: The Branded Documentary

Over the past decade, documentary films have been on the rise in popularity and profitability. Production and equipment is lighter and cheaper, and filmmakers are free to experiment in finding creative ways to tell true stories.  VOD services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and iTunes are giving a growing worldwide market access to huge libraries of quality non-fiction films. But […]

Measuring Facebook’s Massive Growth in Video Views

Since the 2014 introduction of new auto-play video features, Facebook video view averages have been growing by leaps and bounds. Uploads are also are on the up and up as people are seeing videos flying through their timeline, triggering even more uploads.  Since June 2015, an average of 4 billion videos are watched on Facebook each day and climbing. That’s up from 3 billion views […]

Depicting Digital Interfaces in Film & Television

Showing interaction via text, the internet and other devices can be a challenge on film.  You are faced with a few choices.  You can shoot the screen on the device in a live action shot, use graphics or typography to overlay the messages in post, or even supplement a shot of a character typing an email using a […]

Transparency in Fashion Documentaries

From finance to fashion, certain industries are traditionally, by design, cloaked in mystery.  New York Times fashion columnist Vanessa Friedman’s column, Fashion Has Much to Gain From Honest Documentaries, points out how fashion brands clearing the air of this dated, faux mystique to connect with consumers in an age of direct communication and transparency. Fashion is an industry of […]

A Rare Interview with Stanley Kubrick on His Life and Filmmaking

Check out this 76 minute uncut interview with Stanley Kubrick in 1966 during the filming of 2001, A Space Odyssey. Interviewed over a game of chess by New Yorker columnist Jeremy Bernstein, Kubrick answers questions on his early career, creative problem-solving, photography, why he failed english, space exploration, and the bomb. A year after the interview, Bernstein published the […]

Your Name Here: The First All-Purpose Film

After watching the 1960 corporate parody film Your Name Here, it will start to dawn on you that the corporate cliche’s of yesteryear are still alive and well in the modern world. It was created for trade shows by The Calvin Company, a Missouri-based educational and industrial film production company. More on The Calvin Company For nearly half a century The […]

Viral Video Study Part 1: Amazing Stunts and Spectacles

The key to understanding how viral videos spread is knowing what motivates people to share. What common traits do successfully branded viral videos share? I’ve been researching videos that have amassed millions of views in an attempt to find the common denominator. This is the first in a series of articles examining the most viral videos […]

3 Awesome Commercials Directed by Wes Anderson

Commercial production and ads support many independent would-be filmmakers dreaming of shooting their first feature film. Some may look at these ads as a troublesome stepping stone to the “big break”. But for seasoned feature filmmakers like Wes Anderson, directing commercials offers a fertile playground for experimentation. Many great filmmakers have made advertisements, including Fredrico […]

10 Business Website Video Integration Mistakes

Many businesses are now integrating video on their websites. Unfortunately, the integration can be sloppy. Why spend the time, resources and energy making a great video just to fall short on the final delivery? Here are 10 common mistakes businesses make when integrating video on their websites. 

Adobe Anywhere Offers Collaborative Video Editing Across the Web

Adobe has just announced a new service/feature called “Adobe Anywhere” that allows video editors to collaborate on editing projects across the web. Using Adobe Anywhere, video editors can work with remote assets over the network and work on a single timeline without having to copy or transfer files to local systems, apparently without a loss […]

Introducing FilmFu Online Film School

Cognitive Films recently launched a new “online film school” called FilmFu.  The site features a collection of awesome film and video production lectures, tutorials, interviews and case-studies we are compiling from all over the web.  If you are interested in learning about the art of filmmaking, scriptwriting, fundraising, cinematography, editing, sound, and more, check out FilmFu. […]

Robert Rodriguez on Digital Filmmaking at UT

Robert Rodriguez visits the UT campus to host a conversation with students and inspire what he calls, “the next generation of innovators.” covering the push and acceptance of independent films in the 1990s, the rise and explosion of digital film around the new millennium, and the profitable return of the 3-D genre in the 2000s. […]

Get Camera Ready on Kickstarter!

Get Camera Ready on Kickstarter! I recently came across a really interesting Kickstarter project by journalist and former BBC reporter Manoush Zomorodi. Camera Ready is a multimedia e-book that will contain what she says is a culmination of her life’s work as an on-camera reporter and media trainer.  I naturally look twice at books related to journalistic or documentary video production, […]

Say No to Vertical Videos

Camera phones have come a long way in the last few years. The HD video capabilities on the new iPhone are amazing.  Some have even tested the iPhone 4S camera to prove that in certain light the quality can almost rival a DSLR.  Millions now hold the power to shoot decent video right in their pockets. That is […]

Moviemaker Dialogue: Cinema at Your Fingertips

On May 3rd, 2012, Austin Film Society will be hosting a special moviemaker dialogue panel featuring three local filmmakers who will the rise of streaming internet video, as well as their experiences with digital distribution. I am particularly excited that award-winning documentary producer Brady Dial will be on the panel.

Caine’s Arcade: Documentary Story Elements

Even in documentary production, story elements are essential to keep the audience engaged. How can you “plan” a story when you are documenting real life? How do character, setting, plot, conflict and theme play out in a documentary? Caine’s arcade is a video about a young boy who built a mini-arcade out of cardboard boxes and supplies […]

48 Hour Stories: Badgerdog Literary Publishing

The Reel Change Film Frenzy is officially over.  I am happy to report that our video was turned in on time, with minimal hiccups. We were paired with  Badgerdog Literary Publishing, a nonprofit group committed to developing literary communities. We did our best to shoot, edit, encode and deliver a documentary-style story within 48 hours.  The […]

The Austin Reel Change Film Frenzy is Upon Us

The Austin Reel Change Film Frenzy is Upon Us Last year, I participated in the production of a short documentary capturing a behind-the scenes look at the 48 Hour Film Festival in Austin.  This was a contest where filmmakers were challenged with making a short film in only 2 days.  The competition was fierce, and […]

The Five Elements of an Interesting Business Story

The Five Elements of an Interesting Business Story Every business, large or small, local or global, has an interesting story to tell.  Unfortunately, this story is usually buried under a steaming pile of marketing cliches and robotic business language. A great story can work to help potential customers pay attention, connect with your company on […]

Documentaries Filmed in Austin, Texas

Documentary films have been quickly gaining popularity worldwide… And it isn’t just the film-festival crowds anymore.  Documentaries have gone mainstream. In late 2006, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued new requirements for feature-length documentary entries.  To be eligible for an Oscar nomination, documentaries must be screened for seven days in either Los […]

How Video Can Help Your Website Rank Higher

How Video Can Help Your Website Rank Higher Embedding video content on your pages can actually help your website rank higher in the search engines. Why? Studies show that video increases the average time spent on your page, and Google loves it. This is because the time spent on the site indicates the quality of […]

Top 30 Highest Grossing Movies Filmed in Austin

Top 30 Highest Grossing Movies Filmed in Austin Austin’s filmmaking community is alive and well.   With high-end production facilities such as Austin Studios in Round Rock, Spiderwood Studios in Ulty, East Side Stages Downtown, and dozens of smaller studios available, the hills are alive with the sound of…movies. You may be curious about what […]