So in preparation for a 2008 meeting that never happened, the team and I came up with the perfect theme (we were about to impose it): Star Wars. The battle of good vs. evil never gets old and it is applicable to everyday business. Among many things we tossed around, we were able to produce a full short before the plug was pulled. We're still holding out hope that when the market comes back we'll be able to use this video and produce the other stuff we had storyboarded.
Giving credit where credit is due, we created from scratch something we'd seen in YouTube and then threw in a few extra nuances and relevant references (such as the singing). Since we noticed low-brow was a success with some previous potty humor, we had to hit that well once more time. Enjoy.
Chuck Norris Approved
Back in 2007, when the building industry had not completely collapsed, we had a company meeting at the Ritz Carlton in Reynolds Plantation, GA. Every year management comes up with a theme and, as part of the ad hoc production team, we take that theme and go wild with media content. This year the theme was "Vote for US", exploiting the pre-election mayhem.
Internally we have a yearly customer service award that goes to the "best" corporate department in their service to support the company cost centers. So we crafted videos for every department. Some were easy. Some were painful. Most were funny. And then there was the one I did for my own department.
I tossed around a bunch of ideas. In the end, it was an endorsement by the one and only Chuck Norris that made the final cut. When I watched the original video, I knew I'd struck gold. Then, came the hard part: making me the object of the endorsement. Once it was all said and done I was more than proud with the final product. The question was: will everyone in attendance like it?
We closed the meeting with it. I was nervous. Humor is a fickle thing. One never knows what will appeal to the masses. After all, not everyone finds Family Guy as hilarious as I do. Well, as things would have it, it killed. The response was overwhelming. Stress over. Unrelated to the video, my then-one-man department (along with accounting) won the customer service award. Go figure.
Below the master piece:
Video Killed the Radio Star
Call me upgrade man. As is evident from some cubes already, at the end of last year I went on an equipment upgrade bender. Along with new photography equipment and a new computer, I also upgraded my video recorder. Tired of having to import Hi8 from my 6 year old Sony Handicam video through firewire directly into my editing software of choice, I figured it'd be a good time to come into the XXIst century and get a HiDef camera. After scoping sales daily I landed perhaps the best deal on the best camera of all. I got a Canon VIXIA HG20 AVCHD 60 GB HDD Camcorder with 12x Optical Zoom from Amazon with free Canon BP-827 Lithium Ion Battery Pack (the big one) which alone is worth about $150 (and equaled close to a 25% discount on a bundle priced very similarly in every single online retail store). Consumer Reports rated it highest and since I am quite the editor and wannabe filmographer (amongst so many other things I want to be), I had to have it.
The camera is great. It has advanced Image Stabilization and excellent video quality. I have been playing around with it for a while, but since the photography equipment followed quite closely, I have diverted some of my enthusiasm towards the art of the still-frame.
I have gotten a lot better at editing video over the past few years using a couple of name-brand editing tools. Green-screen, titles, effects and the like - no problem. Video editing can be an intensive process, but it can be awesome fun when the creative juices are flowing.
There is another reason for this camera: laying down the technological foundation for the documenting of exciting things to come... if they come.