Building a Brand – Never Stop Asking “Why?”

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will remember what you made them feel. That line of thought by Maya Angelou has guided Legendary designer Michael Wolff over his long career. Check out more in this interview from 99u.

We won’t remember the commercial, the logo, or the jingle, but we will always remember how a brand (and in turn, a designer) makes us feel. In this 99U interview, legendary designer Michael Wolff shares lessons from a career spanning over five decades.

What separates a good designer from the rest of the pack, says Wolff, is an unlimited amount of empathy. To do this, approach the world through a child’s mind and have an insatiable curiosity. Ask “why” whenever possible.

“As you question things you have empathy for people in these situations,” Wolff says, “and then you’ll start to see, [the world] doesn’t have to be like this.”

About Michael Wolff

A founder of Wolff Olins – among the world’s most iconic design companies. Now, as Michael Wolff and Company he works with clients around the world both as a designer and creative advisor. Amongst his recent clients are The Ministry of Sound and The UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board in the UK, Citigroup in the US, and a Bank called Pyjom – “Let’s go” – in Russia.

A former President of the CSD and the D&AD, Michael has given talks and interviews in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Latvia, The Netherlands, India, Mexico, Norway, Russia, Sweden and Singapore. He’s a visiting Professor at Central St Martins (The University of the Arts in London) and at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Cape Town South Africa). He’s a Senior Fellow at the RCA (The Royal College of Art), a member of the UK’s faculty of Royal Designers for Industry, and is the ‘Inclusive design champion’ for the UK Government.


Fear on Film Roundtable with David Cronenberg, John Carpenter and John Landis (1982)

In 1982, while working at Universal studios as a publicity and marketing specialist in the horror and science fiction genre, Mick Garris produced and hosted this 26 minute roundtable discussion between David Cronenberg, John Carpenter and John Landis. All three were working on projects at Universal at the time and this piece was originally created for Universal promotional purposes.

Via Chris Jones


A Psycho Science Mashup

A movie mashup made by  for CinemaTV

Films used:
The Human Centipede
Breaking Bad
Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)
Frankenstein (1931)
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell
Hollow Man
The Island of Lost Souls (1932)
Bride of Frankenstein
The Fly (1986)
The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
Weird Science
Young Einstein
Young Frankenstein

‘This is science’ by Jerry Goldsmith (Hollow Man soundtrack) & ‘Brainstorm’ by The Arctic Monkeys.

Psycho Science

Gary Vaynerchuk: How to Tell Stories in an A.D.D. World

In world with Vine, Snapchat, and Twitter, how can creatives capture attention to make their voices heard?

Gary Vaynerchuk

In this 99U talk, best-selling author and founder of VaynerMedia Gary Vaynerchuk breaks down how our work can cut through our current “A.D.D. Culture” — One where we binge-watch entire television seasons in one sitting and prefer texting to phone calls.

“We’ve gotten to a point where everything is on our time,” says Vaynerchuk, “So why is everyone storytelling like it’s 2007 in a 2014 world?” The best digital storytellers, he says, use the social media to “hook” audiences in for the deeper stuff. We should give, give again, and give some more before ever asking for anything from our community. “We have to start respecting the nuances of every platform.”


An Analysis of Akira Kurosawa’s final Battle Scene in “Seven Samurai”

Phil Baumhardt·examines the Kurosawa’s cutting style in the final battle scene from Seven Samurai.


Film editing involves putting on the finishing touches. More than this, it is a process of breathing life into the work.

The most important requirement for editing is objectivity. No matter how much difficulty you had in obtaining a particular shot, the audience will never know. If it is not interesting, it simply isn’t interesting. You may have been full of enthusiasm during the filming of a particular shot, but if that enthusiasm doesn’t show on the screen, you must be objective enough to cut it.

No matter how much work the director, the assistant director, the cameraman or the lightning techicians put into a film, the audience never knows. What is necessary is to show them something that is complete and has no excess. When you are shooting, of course, you film only what you believe is necessary. But very often you realize only after having shot it that you didn’t need it after all. You don’t need what you don’t need. Yet human nature wants to place value on things in direct proportion to the amount of labor that went into making them. In film editing, this natural inclination is the most dangerous of all attitudes. The art of the cinema has been called an art of time, but time used to no purpose cannot be called anything but wasted time.

A Bitter Sweet Life | Read the Full Article

Cameras to Watch from NAB 2014

Each April, technicians, content producers, and video gear heads from around the world descend on Las Vegas for a convention to celebrate the broadcast and all the gear that goes with it.

Well gee... I hope so.

Well gee… I hope so.

As a long time attendee of the show, I have grown a bit jaded with all the new toys and gadgets – although there still is a certain charm to manhandling a new camera prototype. To me, NAB 2014 will really be about getting to connect with people – meeting fans of the site really makes me feel like the not-infrequent 12 hour days in the studio working on the site are worth it. For all those that came up and said “hi” – THANK YOU and we’ve got something big for you guys in store…

But enough of this touchy feely crap…


I really hate that moniker… but it is true. I have been very skeptical about 4K for years now. I could see a difference between SD and HD – from HD to 4K the differences are harder to perceive. At last year’s NAB, I acquiesced that 4K for acquisition was probably going to be in my future soon. With this year’s crop of new camera entries, there’s just no question – we will all have the option of shooting 4K in our cameras very soon. We will still deliver mostly in HD although there are some networks who are hungry for 4K content, but 4K cameras are a serious reality.

And of all the cameras touted at this year’s show, the one that struck me as the most groundbreaking was AJA’s first entry into the camera market: The Cion.


Priced just under 9 grand, the Cion looks to be a real formidable player in studio and low budget production world. Capable of shooting 4K in every flavor of ProRes, you can set the data rate to what you need for that project instead of being forced into crazy high bit rate for everything.

But the most important thing that separates the Cion from other cameras in this range is it’s focus on ergonomics. The engineers at AJA know how cameras are operated on a set – altough the base unit does not come with a EVF style viewfinder, you’ll find P-tap power as well as SDI and HDMI monitor hookups in the front within a short reach. Unlike DSLRs or modular camera set ups, getting this into a shoulder mount setup involves just adding a few rails – industry standard rosettes on the side of the camera allow for quick installation of handlebars and the camera already has a sturdy leather shoulder pad. Weighing in at about 6lbs, the camera is surprisingly light on the arms.

Basically what AJA did, was make a camera, look and behave like a camera again.



Now if the DSLR form factor is more your taste and budget, the Panasonic GH4 and the newly announced Sony a7s are new entries into the 4K marketplace.

Sony a7s


Unlike the Panasonic, the Sony cannot record 4K internally, but can send a 4K signal out through an HDMI 2 cable. I spent considerable amount of time playing with the Sony a7s – currently it is the world’s smallest full frame DSLR – a fact that shocks you when you remove the lens and look at how big the sensor is compared to the body. Boasting ISO up to the 409,600 (which for the most part is too noisy to be usable – I found that 128,000 was the most acceptable high ISO judging by the back of the camera), the Sony could be real contender for the budget 4K filmmaker although Sony was tight lipped about release dates and price.

It Ain’t all About the Cameras

4K doesn’t just exist in a vacuum – there’s going to be significant needs in terms of storage and processing to handle that data. Fortunately computer video graphics cards are up to the challenge as demonstrated in this ridiculously large screen at the NVIDIA booth:

4K monitor

Compensating for something?


Although the gear and gadgets are cool toys to play with – let’s not forget that filmmaking is still about people first – from craftsmen, to human stories – the art of filmmaking involves people, not just imaging machines. For all the press coverage, attending the convention is still about the personal contact with the manufacturer and engineers. Where else could you see broadcast professionals playing team Pac-Man:


… While just a few feet away, rubbing elbows with the legendary Garrett Brown, inventor of the steadicam and responsible for iconic shots in Rocky and The Shining…

Newer Posts
Older Posts