Jun 23
2017

Today they broke ground on the new St. Petersburg Pier and Tampa Bay video production company CMR Studios is already documenting the new construction with time lapse cameras just as they did the demolition. This will bring full circle a video project that began in August of 2015, the waterfront site was supposed to be cleared of the inverted pyramid and approach in about six months. That initial prediction was way off. As a result the three solar powered camera installations shot an image every five minutes for over a year. That totaled some 315,360 images that were edited into a dramatic time lapse video that belies the months it has been underway. The result is an edited time lapse video of just a minute and a half.

Adam Weber from Tampa Video Production company CMR

Adam Weber, the photographer and producer of the project, visited each camera on a weekly basis to perform maintenance and offload the images to create the video. That included climbing onto the roof of the Birchwood Hotel on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg. That camera provided a dramatic elevated clear view of the entire pier. Another camera was placed at the St. Petersburg Marina for a water level view of the south side of The Pier and another at the Vinoy Marina captured the demolition on the north side. The three locations insured that all the action would be captured and shown in the final edited video.

Incrementally throughout the year the images were processed and edited to delete periods of inactivity. And even though the cameras were mounted firmly, camera shake that would not be visible in normal speed video became very apparent. So the thousands of images had to be processed and stabilized.

View the St. Pete Pier demolition time lapse video here.

Taking the process even further, Adam selected images from each camera that matched the lighting conditions and color from frame to frame and represented dramatic changes in the structure to create GIFs from each angle that are just a few seconds long.

This multi-year time lapse video will become part of the historical archives at the St. Petersburg History Museum which sits on the approach to The Pier.

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Feb 15
2017

Get ready to binge watch videos from Facebook, and change your video production plans. They are making a big move to turn the social network into a destination for watching video with a new Facebook Video app for smart TVs, Amazon Fire and Apple TV. This pits them against YouTube, and will make a big difference in advertising spending, placement, and viewers’ attention It also will make creating quality, entertaining branded content even more important. It also makes a ne revenue stream available to creators because Facebook will have a new strategy of paying creators for exclusive professional video content.

The app will initially be available on app stores for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV, with other devices to come.

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Jan 03
2017

According to new research commissioned by Brightcove Inc, 74% of consumers say there is a connection between watching a video on social media and their purchasing decision-making process. The statistics were just published in a brief from The Center For Media Research.

The global survey ‘The Science of Social Video: Turning Views into Value’ report revealed that 46% of viewers have actually made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media, and another third have considered doing so. The report says further insights for brands include:

  • 81% of consumers currently interact with brands on social media and 43% have done so through watching branded video
  • 79% agree that video is the easiest way to get to know a brand online
  • The number one choice of branded content on social networks, video, was the most popular answer (31%)

Social video consumption has risen in recent months, says the report, presenting a growing window of opportunity for brands to get in front of their audiences on social media. The results showed that:

  • 67% of respondents watch more video on social networks, like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, than they did a year ago
  • The average consumer now watches 49 minutes of social video every day
  • 60% of viewers expect the amount of social video they watch to continue rising over the next year

The research also shed light on broader social video viewing preferences, says the report, important considerations, and insight for brands looking to succeed with their content:

  • Half of social video views take place on YouTube, 36% on Facebook, and the remaining 14% is divided between social networks like Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram
  • The top attributes looked for in branded social video were for content to be relevant to consumer interests (44%) and engaging (40%)
  • Facebook is the social network on which consumers are most likely to ‘like’ (51%), share (44%) or comment on (32%) a good social video
  • 45% of people are more likely to tell friends and family about a brand after watching a good video by that brand on social media, and 76% of people are more likely to watch a social video if recommended by friends or family, concludes the report.

According to new research commissioned by Brightcove Inc, 74% of consumers say there is a connection between watching a video on social media and their purchasing decision-making process.

The global survey ‘The Science of Social Video: Turning Views into Value’ report revealed that 46% of viewers have actually made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media, and another third have considered doing so. The report says further insights for brands include:

81% of consumers currently interact with brands on social media and 43% have done so through watching branded video
79% agree that video is the easiest way to get to know a brand online
The number one choice of branded content on social networks, video, was the most popular answer (31%)
Social video consumption has risen in recent months, says the report, presenting a growing window of opportunity for brands to get in front of their audiences on social media. The results showed that:

67% of respondents watch more video on social networks, like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, than they did a year ago
The average consumer now watches 49 minutes of social video every day
60% of viewers expect the amount of social video they watch to continue rising over the next year
The research also shed light on broader social video viewing preferences, says the report, important considerations, and insight for brands looking to succeed with their content:

Half of social video views take place on YouTube, 36% on Facebook, and the remaining 14% is divided between social networks like Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram
The top attributes looked for in branded social video were for content to be relevant to consumer interests (44%) and engaging (40%)
Facebook is the social network on which consumers are most likely to ‘like’ (51%), share (44%) or comment on (32%) a good social video
45% of people are more likely to tell friends and family about a brand after watching a good video by that brand on social media, and 76% of people are more likely to watch a social video if recommended by friends or family, concludes the report.

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Aug 25
2016

The beginning of the end of the iconic St. Petersburg Pier was one year ago. Tampa Bay video production company CMR Studios was set to document the demolition with three strategically located time lapse cameras. It began in August of 2015, the waterfront site was supposed to be cleared of the inverted pyramid and approach in about six months. That initial prediction was way off. As a result the three solar powered camera installations have been shooting an image every five minutes for, thus far, a year. That totals some 315,360 images that have now been edited into a dramatic time lapse video that belies the months it has been underway. The result is an edited time lapse video of just a minute and a half.

Adam Weber from Tampa Video Production company CMR

Adam Weber, the photographer and producer of the project, visited each camera on a weekly basis to perform maintenance and offload the images to create the video. That included climbing onto the roof of the Birchwood Hotel on Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg. That camera provided a dramatic elevated clear view of the entire pier. Another camera was placed at the St. Petersburg Marina for a water level view of the south side of The Pier and another at the Vinoy Marina captured the demolition on the north side. The three locations insured that all the action would be captured and shown in the final edited video.

Incrementally throughout the year the images were processed and edited to delete periods of inactivity. And even though the cameras were mounted firmly, camera shake that would not be visible in normal speed video became very apparent. So the thousands of images had to be processed and stabilized.

View the St. Pete Pier demolition time lapse video here.

Taking the process even further, Adam selected images from each camera that matched the lighting conditions and color from frame to frame and represented dramatic changes in the structure to create GIFs from each angle that are just a few seconds long.

The production is not yet complete. Filming continues of the demolition of the approach. Then the cameras, and Adam, will get a rest before capturing the construction of the new pier to bring this multi-year time lapse video full circle. The video will become part of the historical archives at the St. Petersburg History Museum which sits on the approach to The Pier.

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Jun 20
2016

The beer coffee creative connection ifographicThe creative process is an amazing thing. Getting that spark of an idea is a rush. Bringing a video, commercial, radio spot to life here in the studios brings a definite feeling of satisfaction. But sometimes it seems the creative ideas will never come. There has always been that adage of “Write drunk, edit sober.” Now it seems there is proof that it is true.

In an article by Mikel Cho at ooomf.com he cites that neuroscientists have studied the “eureka moment” and found that in order to produce moments of insight, you need to feel relaxed so front brain thinking can move to the back of the brain and activate the small spot above your right ear responsible for moments of insight. Researchers found that about 5 seconds before you have a ‘eureka moment’ there is a large increase in alpha waves that activates that. These alpha waves are associated with relaxation, which explains why you often get ideas while you’re on a walk, in the shower, or… on the toilet.

Extensive research on the subject (in actual laboratories not just bars)  shows that alcohol frees up your brain to think more creatively by reducing your ability to pay attention to the stuff going on around you and relaxes you to produce a similar effect on alpha waves. That helps you get creative insights.

The Creative Director Test

Author Dave Birss brought together a group of 18 advertising creative directors and split them into two teams. One was allowed to drink as much alcohol as they wanted while the other team had to stay sober. The groups were given a creative brief and had to come up with as many ideas as they could in three hours. These ideas were then graded by a collection of top creative directors.

The result? The team of drinkers not only produced the most ideas but also came up with four of the top five best ideas.

You have the ideas, now how about some coffee?

Caffeine studies show that coffee can increase quality and performance if the task you are doing seems easy and doesn’t require too much abstract thinking. So, after you have an initial idea or a plan laid out, a cup of coffee can help you follow through on your concept faster without compromising quality.

Always In Moderation – Legal Disclaimer

If you decide to drink coffee or beer while you’re working, stick to no more than 2 drinks per sitting and try not to do this more than once or twice per week to prevent dependency. Coffee and beer shouldn’t be thought of as magic bullets for creativity. If you have to choose between coffee or beer, think about what type of task you are about to do and make sure you don’t over-do it.

So, if you’ve got some great ideas you want to produce, our coffee is always ready. Of course we’ll also be happy to go out for a couple of beers.

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May 10
2016

We’ve been doing video productions and commercials for businesses and products in Tampa and at locations all over the country for years. Every now and then we have encountered a talent who has trouble delivering a line. When it’s the first line of the script an involves the name of the product, the pressure is on. That happened on a location shoot in Tampa back in 2007 for a product called the Quick Shutter Clamping System. In fact, the repeated stumbles and miscues happened so many times it became comical. So we created a little blooper video of it. Posting it on YouTube it has racked up over 17,000 views. Not a lot really in the viral video realm, since cats seem to get a lot more attention for some reason. But the video did just catch the eye of producers at the cable channel TruTV. They contacted us and want to use the clips on a show called “20 Funniest”. We’ll be interested to see who the other 19 are.

Click here to view the Quick Shutter Clamping System blooper video.

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Sep 02
2015

side-bound-spiral-notebooks-largeThe week after Labor Day will always remind me of heading back to school. That brought the possibility of learning new things to fill those new blank spiral notebooks purchased for each class. The clean covers, the pages with crisp corners and all those empty lines were ready for important things to remember.

It’s also another milestone opportunity to get things going again. Like a new year there are projects to start, to re-start and actually finish this time. Go get your own new notebook and start fresh. But keep in mind the best ideas may be from the doodles in the margins, and life is always a multiple choice test.

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Nov 21
2013

You may be asking yourself why a video production company and recording studio in Tampa Bay would post this. But there is a connection and a twist. The 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination reminded me of a job we did in 1999. CMR Studios was hired to digitize President John F. Kennedy’s personal record albums from the Robert L. White Collection for an exhibit at the Florida International Museum.

The collection included some home recordings on lacquer discs that predated recording tape. One featured “John Fitzgerald” and others singing “Smile Awhile” and “Sweet Adeline” at what sounded like a great party. Among the other records and popular recordings was an album by Roger Williams with the song “Yellow Bird”. I was told by the museum that the significance of the album was that it was played by JFK while flying on Air Force One during the trip to Dallas.

One of the well  known habits of JFK was his doodling. Kennedy’s secretary Evelyn Lincoln compiled many of them that are now in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.  After meetings, he would leave his papers behind and Lincoln would collect them. Well maybe those are in the archives, but he evidently drew on lots of other things that were at hand. That brings us back to the record album on that fateful flight.

Holding the records that I knew had been handled by Kennedy was a bit eerie in the first place. When I pulled the record sleeve out of the Roger Williams album I was excited to see pencil markings on the paper. Because of his doodling habit, these were likely by the President himself. At first it just looked like random repeating images which are very common in the archives of his doodles.

Doodle by JFK found by Mike Weber at CMR Studios

Doodle in pencil on a record jacket drawn by JFK on the way to Dallas. November 22, 1963

Then a drawing that looked like the hands of a clock caught my eye. It was spine-chilling when I realized that two of the three hands drawn showed the time as 1:00. That was the time President Kennedy was declared dead at Parkland Hospital. Or was it representing the three shots?

The repeating square images could be interpreted as being the view looking up at windows of a large building, like the Texas School Book Depository. It appears that there are even six lines of squares. Oswald shot from the sixth floor. Could  this have been some subliminal premonition Kennedy had of the assassination that came out in his drawings?

I informed the curator of the exhibit about my discovery, but nothing more was ever mentioned about it. The exhibition in St. Petersburg closed May 29, 2003 and in October Mr. White passed away suddenly of a heart attack. The collection was sold at auction in 2005.  I don’t know if the album was sold at that time. If it was, I wonder if the new owner knows the mystery inside the “Yellow Bird” album perched on their shelf.

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Oct 30
2013

Every now and then a video production project comes along that requires all of our skills and talents in multiple crafts as well as some true artistry. This is one that we are especially proud of. The public service video promoted participation in the foster care program in Tampa, Florida. It presented several challenges. The initial one was that because of privacy issues the heart-wrenching and personal stories couldn’t show any of the families involved.

Unique Approach
Studio president and creative director Mike Weber presented the client with the concept of writing a script that was the blending of several true cases into the story of one child. The treatment would be done in a form parents and children can relate to: a storybook. More specifically, a pop-up storybook that would become a virtual set for the six-minute video. The live action actors would seem to be be inserted into the pages using green screen compositing. “It seemed like a simple idea at the time” says Weber. “But original artwork takes time, lots of time.” Ultimately CMR artists devoted nearly a thousand man-hours over sixth months to producing the one of a kind pop-up book.

Click in the window below to see all the steps in the production process.

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Local Landscape
Every page turn reveals one of eleven scenes depicting: the Tampa skyline, the University of Tampa, a house, various interior settings, Busch Gardens and Lowry Park Zoo. They each open into dimensional art that was then shot close-up in HD. All the actors that appear on camera also appear on the pages of the book, so Art Director Marina Weber had the job of creating their actual likenesses, including wardrobe, along with a whole cast of paper extras. Multiplane dimensional background plates and animation elements add even more detail that wouldn’t be possible to physically fold in the book.

High Def Video and Special Effects
The foster care agency helped select professional talent to match their typical client profile.  The green screen footage was then shoot on the in-house CMR stage. Adam Weber handled shooting the HD footage of the pop-up book virtual set and designing unique pinpoint lighting for each scene. Page manipulation was done by Marina and Melissa.
Like puppeteers, they hid behind the book and wore green gloves so their hands could be removed from the shots later.

Post-Production
Once all the HD footage was shot, the footage was edited in Final Cut, and the various elements were composited together. The actors were put “in” the book, background plates were added along with animated elements before a final color correction and color grading. Mike Weber then handled audio post adding a customized music track and sound effects for each scene before the final audio mix and project completion.

Award Winning Work
The video project was recognized for excellence, winning a national TELLY Award.

Click Here To View The Finished Video

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Apr 16
2013

Remember The Florida Suncoast Dome?
With the passing of Pat Summerall today we were remembering editing the video that pitched (no pun intended) the concept of major league baseball in St. Petersburg. Pat was the voice of the presentation produced by Bob Guckenberger and Landers & Partners Advertising. The narration was recorded in just one take.

Though talk has turned again to a new stadium for the Tampa Bay Rays. It really wasn’t that long ago that Tropicana Field, then known as The Florida Suncoast Dome, was spoken of in glowing terms. In fact, it was the centerpiece of the pitch to get a major league team.

By the way, studio owner Mike Weber was the first person to place a season ticket reservation for the future team.

We thought it would be interesting to share this insight into the facts and figures that contributed to getting Tampa Bay a team and once again hear the memorable voice of Pat Summerall.

This is from an old VHS tape out of our archives so the quality isn’t the greatest. But you’ll still enjoy it.

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