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Great news: I have been tasked with upgrading our media workflow.

With that, IIL Media has purchased a new server: The ProMAX Platform Studio.

As Head of Post Production, I feel like I have come out of the desert at long last. A server that will connect my two Avid’s and 6 producers’ laptops into one place.

Feel the joy, people!!!!!

Our current process creates a bit of redundancy. For example, a project is shot in the XDCAM format, backed up to an external hard drive, then the dailies are made available for screening and logging the same day.

The new plan is to archive dailies to a USB drive which is plugged into the ProMAX server. Producers will then be able to screen their dailies on the network and create their edit, plan a little B-roll, some music and long, dramatic dissolves… then it’s off for approval.

Senior managers and producers can view the rough cut and provide feedback and changes in a “watch folder.” The contents of the folder consist of encoded H264’s for posting.

In the past, we were using “sneaker net” (editor slang for distributing data by foot) to load cards onto portable drives and run them across the hall to the producers to log and create their rough edit plans. As you can image, there was a lot of overlap of footage and redundancy.

As I am writing this blog, my fearless IT team is wiring our offices with lots of cabling. It’s happening, people! No more data spread over countless drives whose location is only known to an anointed few.

So, let me keep this short and sweet. I dare say I am very amped up for this new workflow since we move a large volume of video at IIL Media.

Stay tuned. I will continue posting as the journey continues…let’s see what happens.

Ross B. Boughton
Senior Editor, Post Production, IIL Media

By Lawrence “LAW” Watford

Staying ahead in business is often about reading the tealeaves; that is predicting the future.  Since the birth of the Internet, history is populated with very well known companies that failed to do just that, and as a consequence fell behind or in many cases disappeared altogether.  Well if you’re a company anxiously awaiting the next chapter in the tea leaf manual for business, then I would suggest you read up on how companies are using video as an integral part of their marketing – more specifically how companies are beginning to create web series.

 

WHAT?

What is a web series? Well, Wikipedia defines it as:

A series of scripted videos, generally in episodic form, released on the Internet or also by mobile or cellular phone, and part of the newly emerging medium called web television. A single instance of a web series program is called an episode or webisode.

While the definition seems a bit technical, the reality is that creating a web series is not such a complex feat to accomplish.  In it’s simplest form it requires a video recording device and an online platform to host it.  In other words, all you really need is a cell phone that records video and a YouTube, Facebook or Twitter account.   Simply press record, stop and then upload.

Having said that, it’s important to note that while the “keep it simple” method may work for a teenage singer looking to get discovered, it’s probably not the way you want to go if you’re trying to grow your business.

 

HOW?

If you’re really going to integrate a video series into your marketing strategy, then make sure that the quality is representative of you and your brand.  This doesn’t necessarily mean shooting on the Dream Works Studios lot with Stephen Spielberg directing.  It does, however, mean that your presenter(s) looks sharp, the lighting is reasonably well placed and the recording quality of the camera is at least HD (high definition).  If you have the budget, then it might be well worth it to hire professionals to take care of the particulars of recording and editing so that you can focus on the messaging.

Whoever is presenting is (at least for a moment) the face of your company, so it is important to make sure that they come across well on camera.  This means that they are appropriately groomed and dressed for the audience you’re looking to reach.  Notice I used the word “appropriate” as opposed to “well” or “nicely”.  This is because standards and styles vary from company to company and industry to industry.  A presenter for an MTV web series isn’t going to look and feel the same way as a presenter might for BusinessWeek.

Beyond the visual presentation, the most important thing is that the presentation is compelling. You can have the most polished video production in the world with a presenter who looks like a top model, but your web series will be a flop if that person has nothing to say, or the wrong thing to say, or even the right thing to say, but does it in the wrong way.  So it is important that your presenter is, not only knowledgeable about the subject matter, but also engaging in his/her presentation of it.

 

WHY?

“Why?” is a pretty simple question to answer.  Because you and your company will eventually be left behind if you don’t.  Also, a web series allows you to showcase your company’s expertise or bonafides in your field. It is also a very clever and subtle way to soft-sell your products and services.

The tealeaves – I’m sorry – statistics already bear witness to the fact that customers are more engaged by video content than they are by print alone.

Videos on landing pages increase average page conversion rates by 86%. (com)

  • 80% of viewers recall a video ad they have seen in the past 30 days. 26% of viewers then look for more info about the product, 22% visit the product site, 15% visit the brand site, and 12% make the purchase. (Online Publishers Association)

In addition, if you’re not already doing it, then it means that your competitors may have the jump on you.  If lagging behind is not an option for you then consider these stats from REELSEO.COM:

  • 93% of marketers are using video in their campaigns
  • 84% are using video for website marketing
  • 60% are using video for email marketing
  • 70% are optimizing video for search engines
  • 70% will increase spend on video
  • 82% confirmed that video had a positive impact on their business. (com)

 

WHEN?

Now! Or at least ASAP.  If your prime competitor beats you to the punch and begins to build viewership and recognition for their web series, it’ll become that much harder for yours to garner attention and you run the risk of looking more like an imitator than a trail blazer.

So don’t delay, and remember to have fun with the process.

 

by Ryan Halpner

Our lives have come to a crucial period where time is really of the essence.  Besides a full time course load, students also have to juggle work, family and more. Either we need more hours in the day, or a big shift how we manage our time.  For some, spending 3,4 or 5 days in a training course or classroom is not an option.  What educators do understand, is the growing need to incorporate a blended approach to learning, where students and busy professionals can get the knowledge, but do it self paced; on the weekends, in the evenings or whenever their hectic schedule allows.  And for the designers and builders of these online products today, the language is visual. Technology and education have converged at a crossroads – that has revolutionized the learning process.

J. Leroy Ward has been offering project, program and portfolio management advisory services for over 39 years and has presented to more than 200,000 professionals at conferences, association meetings and other forums. His ability to engage his audience through humor, anecdotes and real life situations has proven to be a winning combination resulting in his popularity as a speaker around the world.

That’s why Leroy was the perfect choice to help re-imagine one of International Institute for Learning’s more successful online learning products.  Leroy Ward has been busy for the last few months, taking one of IIL’s On Demand Products that has been offered for years and bringing it to the forefront with regards to making it a more enjoyable self paced product for the busy professional.  When looking at On Demand, IIL has created an entire suite of product; self scheduled learning.  This new innovation, Project Management Certificate Program: The Kerzner approach to Management Excellence, not only teaches professional project management but also prepares them for the PMP exam and presents information in a way that is not only enjoyable, but entertaining and engaging.


 

IIL spent months working with IIL Media, their in-house video production unit, to create portions of this unique video interactive learning tool that is built according to rapid e-learning design best practices. So, incorporating Leroy Ward’s on camera video narrative and the slides, and toggling back and forth between the content and the presenter, will give a real experience of focused engagement for the learner. And then quickly checking and understanding of the concepts learned at regular intervals, 4-5 minutes.

IIL’s Global Learning Solutions also built the PM Certificate Program mobile friendly.  It can be accessed across Android or IOS platform tablets.  So if the busy professional only has 20 minutes in their day, they can always come back and complete the module on their desired platform that can be accessed anywhere, be it IPhone, tablet, etc.

Dr. Harold D. Kerzner, Ph.D., is Senior Executive Director at the International Institute for Learning.   He is also globally recognized expert on project, program, and portfolio management, total quality management, and strategic planning. Dr. Kerzner’s approach to Project Management is also the basis for which this new video on demand product is based.

Dr. Kerzner ‘s perspective is that “everyone expounds about the value of online learning and the accompanying tools. Most often, the focus is on the benefit for the students. While this is true, there is also a significant benefit to the teaching faculty.”

Dr. Kerzner: “I have been a faculty member at various universities for more than five decades. My greatest challenge in each course is deciding at what level to teach the course. Should I target my lectures to the top 30% of the learners in the class, the middle 40%, or the bottom 30%? Targeting to the top stimulates the best learners but may punish everyone else. Targeting the bottom 30% may alienate the top learners to the point where they may believe that they are not receiving the best possible education.”

“Online tools may make it easier for the faculty member to decide at what level to teach. Students that have difficulty with some of the material may have available additional learning tools and/or exercises to allow them to catch up to the rest of the class. The need for student assistants may very well disappear. Exams can be provided at a time suitable to each student. Continuous student assessments can be made without using examinations to see how easy/difficult it is for the students to absorb the material.”

A real prediction moving forward in the online learning space is that we will see more innovative products like the PM Certificate Program popping up. Not only available as video on demand not only for the busy professional, but also for students in classrooms and beyond.

For more information on IIL’s PM Certificate Program:

http://www.iil.com/pmcertvideo/default.asp

 

On April 7 and 8, 2015, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University will host a summit about online learning and its role in shaping the future of higher education.  For more information on the summit and to join the dialogue click on this link: http://onlinelearningsummit.org

We would love your feedback moving forward in this series of articles on ‘The Future Of E-Learning.’  To contribute to our blog, please join the dialogue and comment below

 

During the first weeks after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast on October 29, 2012, IIL Media visited a number of devastated areas, interviewing small business owners and documenting the impact on their businesses and communities. The result was IIL’s Original Series Weathering the Storm, which told compelling stories of crisis and recovery; loss and resiliency; community and connection.

Prior to the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, IIL Media revisited some of those communities to see how the recovery effort is going. Their stories are a testament to the fortitude of small business owners.

#WeatheringTheStorm

Weathering the Storm: Update

Weathering the Storm Original Series

View the original 13 part series released in 2012.

Weathering the Storm is an IIL Media Production.