So around these parts, you know I'm a fan of cool sounds. And since the Oscars were on last night, and I could care less about dresses or red carpet interviews, my brain exploded when I saw the Sound Editing Montage Award segment. Holy crap was that awesome! The video below is 54 seconds of BOOM, POW, CHING, SLAP, CRASH, SHOOSH, and of course PEW PEW!!!
Congrats to Mad Max: Fury Road, Mark Mangini and David White for their new shiny Oscars!
File this one right under, "budgets & time". I can't tell you how many stock elements I've used over the years as a producer. Whether it was budget constraints, or deadlines, these little tools came in handy in more times than I can remember (and some at 2am).
It’s not always practical or even possible to try to generate all the required video footage for a given project, especially when you are facing a hard deadline that's fast approaching.
For example, producers determine they need additional video elements to serve as bridge material after main photography has finished and there is no time to go back out in the field.
Or, budgetary restraints keep you from developing a special graphic element from scratch in-house and you are looking for something produced by a third party that you can use immediately.
Sometimes footage is needed at the last minute to fix a mistake. You might be in a hurry for a quick nature scene that you can cut to during a last-minute voiceover designed to correct a hole in the narration of your documentary, with stock video being your best option.
Whether your video needs stock footage, motion graphics or graphic elements, having the right tools at your disposal can help you meet deadlines or dramatically increase the effectiveness and impact of a video project. Check out an overview and comparison of the five best places to find stock video elements.
At Pond5, a wide variety of stock video elements are available to download and the site offers prepaid credit packages to make it more convenient when you have a lot of resources to obtain. Pond5 bills itself as having the largest royalty-free video collection in the world. It is free to sign up for membership.
From 4K footage to aerial shots from drones or GoPro cameras, there are 4 million clips from which to choose. You can search for clips or browse by category or a particular artist. The site also offers public domain footage for your creative and commercial projects.
If you can't find a particular type of footage, Pond5 enables you to post a thread in the Footage Request forum so artists can reply with their current offerings. Pond5 sells all footage under the same license agreement, which is royalty-free and gives you the rights for perpetual use in all types of media, worldwide.
There are no fixed prices. The artist lists a fee for each individual clip along with file specifications and details such as whether there is a model release. Users do not pay any additional fees or subscription charges to use the clips.
Personally, it's my favorite, but as anything YMMV. The team at VideoHive hand picks video items and features them on the front page of the site, so if you are looking for more of a curated feel from your stock video elements provider, this may be perfect for your project.
VideoHive currently offers 271,664 video files, all royalty-free, at prices starting at $4. A new author profile is featured each week, which may help inspire you or provide some serendipity as you search for video elements.
After Effects project files, templates for Apple Motion, stock footage, motion graphics and Cinema 4D templates are all on offer. If you are working with a limited budget, you may find something useful in the free section, whose titles change every month.
As part of the Envato network, VideoHive lets users buy and sell royalty-free footage as well as participate in its online community to discuss clips, ask peers questions and share news and tips with fellow video professionals.
To begin, you must make a minimum deposit of $20 and deposits are made in $10 increments. Keep in mind that if you buy pre-paid credits on the site, you must use them within one year or they will expire.
Broadcast quality SD and HD clips are available starting at $5 at MotionElements, which bills itself as a royalty-free marketplace based in Asia for worldwide distribution of stock footage.
The emphasis is on Asian-oriented stock footage, but the clips are suitable for use in projects being developed across the globe for any audience.
As an international supplier of video, MotionElements provides online conversion of videos between PAL and NTSC in HD and 4K resolution, eliminating one more chore from your to-do list.
Artists set their own prices for each clip they post on MotionElements and the site offers 30 elements free of charge for users to download every week. After Effects, animation and a wide variety of video footage are available for browsing and searching via keywords. Prices are all listed in US dollars and you can make payments via credit card or PayPal. Approximately 75,000 video elements are currently available on this site from 2,800 artists based in 70 countries in Asia, Europe and America.
If you don’t want to type in keywords or browse titles during your video elements research, MotionElements lets you drop a reference image file onto the page to conduct new searches. Remember that videos with editorial-only use licenses can only appear in news, editorial or documentaries. Make sure that you can purchase commercial licensed material for your ads or promotions.
The Video Copilot site includes more than 150 tutorials along with its growing library of digital products and tools for video production professionals. It is a one-stop shop for plugins such as Optical Flares and Element 3D, which have become standard tools in the industry.
3D model packs include Jetstrike, a collection of commercial and military jets, Metropolitan, which contains city and buildings and Projectiles, a weapons package. If your project is packed with action, come to Video Copilot for aerial explosions, optical flares and heat distortion. Perhaps the sports package is what you really need, or maybe you simply need a collection of fresh foods. Packages range from about $50 to $100. The “Ultra Studio” bundle costs $695 and includes nine packages so you can save when buying items in bulk.
Video Copilot’s model packages work with a number of 3D programs, including 3D Max, Blender, Cinema 4D and Maya as well as Element 3D.
The type of video production work you typically do may not be best served with individual purchases of stock video elements. In such a case, the best approach for your organization is to sign up for a site that offers unlimited download with a subscription model. This is why many people opt for VideoBlocks, which boasts of an archive containing more than 115,000 HD videos in studio quality. You’ll find templates for After Effects as well as motion backgrounds and stock footage.
Subscribers to VideoBlocks pay $149 for a year of unlimited downloads from the Unlimited Library, now valued at more than $10 million. If you don’t find what you’re looking for in that collection, more footage is available for direct purchase from VideoBlocks’ members only marketplace.
In the marketplace, individual HD clips cost $49 each and 4K clips cost $199, which VideoBlocks says will save you 40% per download when compared to its competitors. VideoBlocks does not charge a commission on video elements that you purchase in the marketplace.
Video editors focused on 4K content and film studios that require advanced features can opt for a premium subscription with dedicated customer support. Premium subscribers enjoy the convenience of batch downloads and the ability to set up sub-member accounts for other members of their team.
After reviewing the details of these stock video sites, you might find it beneficial to join more than one so you can keep your bases covered. After all, one particular site might provide everything you’re looking for on a corporate project this month while another site is home to artists whose work you often turn to for documentaries or artistic endeavors.
You might find the user forum on one site to be more in line with your interests than another as well, so it pays to be diverse when signing up for any stock video company. The convenience and ease of use of any of these stock video services should make your next projects go more smoothly, finishing on time and on budget.
The Future of Audio Production is Now!
If you have a passion for music and technology or all things dealing with the productions of sound; you know how important and popular (NAMM) National Association of Music Merchants truly is. This special event is held every year in Anaheim, California and is actually the world's biggest trade only event, designed for products dealing exclusively in the music industry. Every year in January the Anaheim Convention Center attracts numerous musicians and gives them permission to promote and show-off their very own signature equipment and models.
This grand show allows distributers and dealers to negotiate and plan for future business, while showing off what's new and exciting in the industry. This is definitely the best place to be if you have a passion for innovative technology. This once small event introduced in 1901, has grown and evolved into an international association of it's own. In this article you'll get highlights from the show and details of the digital platforms, which makes this event what it is. Let's have a look shall we.
Hot and Exciting Products
Blackstar's ID Core Amps and Stereo is definitely a fan favorite. The ID Core Stereo 100 and 150 have increased power and range, giving them more power for live performances. Being extremely powerful, they're extremely light, which can be carried around easily. Each one of the model's 10-Inch speakers have 100W and 150W respectively. The two-buttoned foot switch controls an in-built looper which gives you an Octaver Effect. There are plenty of settings to give you that desired sound. This product ships out in May of this year.
Zoom ARQ Aero Rhythm Trak has a weird futuristic look to it but is very versatile. The ARQ is revolutionary and gives you a complete new experience. Performers and producers have the ability to use this a sequencer, looper, drum-machine, or MIDI controller. The options are endless here. There is a wireless Bluetooth ring controller that allows the performer the ability to step out in front of the crowd and not be cut off by just being in the booth. The AR-96 Base Station has up to 468 instrument sounds, drums and digital affects, just to name a few. The synthesizer is very comprehended and has the ability to make one of a kind sounds. Options are endless with this device. The ring controller and base station can communicate simultaneously without any breaks or pauses. IOS-Based BAWs has pressure sensitive pads (AfterTouch) and a 96 velocity. Zoom has always been unconventional by bridging never be for seen products and features to brand new technology.
Top Gear Highlights at NAMM
"Best in Show"
This popular panel discussion gives better insight and highlights of the best gear of the 2016 NAMM Event. There are four categories being judged by six buying agents in front of a crowd of over 800 attendees. This show has the buzz and definitely lives up to the hype. There are six judges and they all have their favorite pick. Let's have a look at the four categories.
There are numerous contestants in each category, but the (BIS) Award goes to the cream of the crop and the overall winner for 2016 is James Valentine and his signature guitar. The Maroon 5 member's guitar was made exclusively by the Ernie Ball Music Man.
More NAMM Winners....
Placid Audio Mics aren't for high-fidelity and full range; rather for meant to add character, attitude, and personality. The (Resonator Series) mics meant more for blinding with other microphones. There is a mechanical filtering device inside of the mic that dynamically filters the vocal tones. The sounds here are brings in more character and is great for live performances. The mics are around $260 and soon to be released in the near future.
Nord Piano 3 (Keyboard) gives the user that weighted piano feel and sound. The all new Virtual Hammer Action Technology replicates the same movement of in such grand pianos, giving you rich, deeper tones. The precision of the key movements are brought out more by the Triple Sensor Keybed. You can get an extensive triggering range without fully lifting the keys. The keys even have a real/authentic feel and are covered in an ivory tone. The Nord Piano 3 has an expanded memory and a huge library full of electric and acoustic sounds. The (VHAT) technology can soften the sounds simply by how fast you take your fingers off the keys. This high powered instrument will hit the seen around may in the UK.
The Halo Reflection Filter by Aston:
This microphone filter is taking the music industry by storm. The patented design makes it a lot bigger, yet lighter, and deeper in total area. The wrap-around surface area catches more of the sounds hitting it. Soft and dense material absorbs frequencies smoother as well. The isolating ability here filters great and blocks outside noises better than anything on the market. Even the mic mount can be adjusted and used with other mics. The (Aston Halo) is surely light years ahead of the game.
As you can see, NAMM definitely represented this year. Many futuristic and innovative products are about to hit the scene. The question is will you adapt or get left behind.
Whether being used in a commercial, film, video series, or social share; finding the right production music is essential.
Choosing the best production music can be the difference between a professional, memorable creative video, or "amateur-hour". While a lot can be explained or shown through purely visual media, a completely silent video isn't likely to resonate with many people. Plus, we all know that horror movies are 9000% more scary becuase of the soundtrack. So, that's where production music comes into play: it's the audio backdrop that lends context to the video.
Finding the best production music library can be a real task. There are hundreds of resources out there, music licensing options, and the simple vast availability of stock music is both a gift and curse. Although it's great to have such a wide selection, it can still be tough to wade through the sea of companies offering production music.
Here are 6 resources for production music that offer differences in cost, licensing, platform, and genre. All good stuff, but as most things YMMV.
When I was a creative director, I loved using AudioJungle. Quality tracks, good platform, and cost effective. There's even a few tracks that I've heard on national campaigns.
AudioJungle is a branch of Envato Market, a media company that offers everything from WordPress themes to 3D models and textures.
This means that aside from production music, Envato is a great resource for all sorts of creative projects!
At the time of writing, AudioJungle has 352,805 royalty free audio files available. One thing some people may find appealing about AudioJungle is that the starting price ($1) for their audio files is listed front and center on their website.
Of all the websites reviewed, Videohelper has the most creative tracks and platform. Rather than paragraphs of text, Videohelper relies on crisp, modern graphics for their home page and navigation.
The front page of their website reads, "We create production music for people who hate production music", a mission statement that matches their hip design.
Feature-wise, Videohelper offers one particularly invaluable service — live chat. This is hugely important as it gives customers real-time answers to their questions. This is a great feature for anyone who's interested but wants a greater understanding of the costs and licensing parameters.
Plus, they are dynamite with new releases and bringing some stellar sound design elements!
Killer Tracks makes its mark by providing access to the Immediate Music catalog.
That means access to chart-topping singles — no more paying for obscure elevator music. Plenty of media projects can be scored with a simple drum loop, but anyone whose needs include more modern, lyric-driven music may find Killer Tracks an appropriate alternative.
Killer Tracks is also a good solution for those seeking music for trailers, movies and other forms of media that require modern music.
The Digital Juice website will feel familiar to anyone who's used Netflix before. Oh, and if you're slightly familiar with the name, it's because if you've been in creative media production for more than 5 years there's a good chance you've seen few Digital Juice CDs/DVDs laying around.
The difference here, is you now pay either $299 or $499 to access the platform. After that, the sky is the limit! The content offered on their website is in the familiar "tile image" format of websites like Netflix and Google Images.
One of the big benefits of Digital Juice is the fact that they offer a slough of other materials for creating media; including animated backgrounds, visual FX, wipes, graphics and stock footage.
This makes Digital Juice the perfect destination for a variety of customers.
The first noticeable element that sets Extreme Music apart from its competitors is the fact that the user's immediate focus is on the artwork for each music file.
While album artwork isn't always indicative of the music's sound, it can give customers a good idea of what type of sound they can expect to hear. Once a file has been chosen, Extreme Music's built-in music player gives users a preview of it.
One big selling point for Extreme Music is their placement credits. From Family Guy and The Simpsons to 007 and Dancing with the Stars, Extreme Music has provided production music for some of the most well-known movies, TV shows and commercials of the past few decades.
Musicbed's platform stands out from the crowd because it enables you to look for tracks based on how you would like the music to feel. Using their search filters and playlists you can easily find independent, quality tunes for your project.
Representing over 650 indie musicians and composers for sync licensing and custom scores, Musicbed say's they "built a platform on discovery" where you don't just feel like you are licensing another track. You're actually supporting some of the world's best musicians and that's pretty awesome!
It is really simple to navigate! They have staff-curated playlists and filter to search playlists based on vibe, genre, and what's new.
There are many companies offering production music — each with their own benefits and niches. All six of these production music companies have something valuable to offer any creative project. However, there are many more music library companies not listed here.
Research and decide what's the best for your workflow, budget, and project needs. In most instances, downloading a watermarked track will help get client approval, or even get closer with a solid post-production scratch track.
Do you use one of these? Have a story to share? Like another one not listed? Comment below and share your experience!
What a night! There was drama, passion, heart-pounding moments, a football game (I'm pretty sure), and a Doritos-causing birth. Favorite ads are now being debated, but we know one thing, Budweiser got the best placement:
Which was your favorite? For me, it came down to a simple choice. One that had the right amount of brand awareness, pop-like infection, and weird. The choice was obvious: #puppymonkeybaby
The first time since 2000 PepsiCo has had an in-game ad, and they created an awesome monster. I just wanted to be in the room when "pizza-sloth-meme" was shot down. Well done BBDO!
So the big question; do you watch the Super Bowl for the game...or for the ads? For me, it's a little of both. Sure I love a good matchup, and this year's big game has some cool storylines to it, but I'm also an ad guy. While the action will be hot, the ads are even hotter...and weirder...and funnier.
I always debate whether or not I will see the ads before, or want to be surprised during the game. Every year the ads come out sooner, to get traction online, so it's hard to ignore them completely. While a few of the regulars (beer, cars, etc...) will showcase (and hopefully grab some impactful ad time), there are a few new or unexpected names to the lineup. Let's check out a some new buyers in the Super Bowl ad space.
First up, Pokemon. Yup you read that right. For it's 20 year celebration, they went all out for an epic, empowering ad.
SoFi, a financial services firm, released their first ad to engage people into a "bankless world".
SunTrust Bank is running their first ever Super Bowl ad. Backed with a powerful voice over, it asks you to "catch your breath" and move forward.
Amazon is now at the Super Bowl party. Alec Baldwin and Dan Marino are set to star in a few versions of the ad highlighting the new Amazon Echo.
Colgate is making it's Super Bowl debut in a campaign to "Save Water". Seems surprising that Colgate hasn't been here before, but they make a splash with this ad.
Marmont, the outdoor apparel brand, is running it's first Super Bowl ad with a cute Marmont character. They released a few teasers as well.
LG is another surprising name that hasn't ran a Super Bowl ad before. But, they went all out and got frickingRidley Scott as the producer! Oh and some Liam Neeson guy is in it too.
There are a few surprising notes about what is left out. Some familiar Super Bowl spending brands have decided not to shell out the $4.5 Million, and maybe buy pizza...???
GoDaddy: After pulling a controversial spot last year featuring a golden retriever puppy that gets sold and replacing it with a last-minute spot. First time in 12 years the brand won't have an ad on game day.
Nationwide: After receiving backlash last year for running a Super Bowl ad about a dead kid, Nationwide confirmed to Adweek that it will sit out of the Big Game this year. "We are not advertising in the 2016 Super Bowl. Nationwide has historically been selective in our marketing approach around the Super Bowl. This year, we are focused on increasing our support of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award and supporting the players making a positive impact in their communities," the brand told Adweek.
Nissan: While Nissan made its first Big Game appearance since 1997 during last year's Super Bowl, the car brand told Automotive News it plans to sit this year's game out.
Mercedes-Benz: The car brand made a rare appearance during last year's game with a 60-second ad retelling the story of The Tortoise and the Hare, but Automotive News confirmed the brand won't return this year.
*Check out more on Super Bowl 2016 Ad's at AdWeek.
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