Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cameras and Online Crowdsourcing Pitches:
Michael Hubbs: Deaf, Olympic Hopeful

In the first example of consumer / prosumer cameras being put to good use by everyday people in online crowdsourcing pitches, we have the online campaign for Michael Hubbs, a hearing-impaired speed skater working to drum up funds to make his way to the Olympics.

The camera work reveals him to unquestionably be dedicated to his training, but what makes this pitch noteworthy is that there is thought put into the composition of the shots, and the editing / post-production is used to pretty good effect.

Setting aside for a moment that half of the athletic crowdsourcing pitches seemed to be geared toward sending college teams to the World Quidditch Championships (a worthy goal for any Harry Potter fan, no doubt) became apparent to me pretty early on in the pitch-surfing process that many hopeful recipients of your money didn't even put together a video pitch, opting instead for a single photograph in the space where a video could have gone.

Don't get me wrong. That wouldn't automatically prevent me from considering a contribution. But it is a lost opportunity to communicate with the audience you are trying to reach.

That said, if you do make a video, you had better do it right, or else you will face the wrath of the Cabbage.

In the case of the Michael Hubbs video, it seems to be shot on something along the lines of prosumer HD, give or take a point or two on the price scale. But there are a number of focus pulls (while shooting indoors), which makes me think that maybe they have something a few notches up that allows for some fast 50mm lens to be attached. Then again, most of the focus shifts were on near-stable shots, so it could have been the old "back up and zoom in" trick, often used with small-chip cameras to get a shallow depth of field.

The colors are pretty rich, so I'm inclined to think they did some sort of grading or saturation in the editing room. Also, they used the good old font from "24" which always adds a little drama.

The music is pretty simple and generic, but effective. All in all, it's a video that shows Michael Hubbs to be serious about his goals. The shot composition and snappy editing, with a bit of post-production value added, contributes significantly to this effect.

And if you want to check out the campaign for Hubbs' Olympic aspirations, visit the following link:

Michael Hubbs at Indiegogo.

To experience what I experienced, check out some of the other pitches under the "Sports" category and see which ones you thought used filmmaking techniques to their best advantage.

It should be noted that the opening of the video identifies GreySkale Multimedia as the filmmaking entity.

Also, my apologies to anyone for whom this video "autoplays." What a terrible feature, and if I hear any more about it, I am going to stop making use of Vimeo embeds, which would be a shame, because they were once at the forefront in terms of both video quality and respect for site users.

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