When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? Me, I wanted to be the guy I'm interviewing in this photo, Dominique Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks aka the Human Highlight film. I remember vividly how my friends and I would spend night after night practicing our double pump jams (albeit on a lower rim!) and watching the NBA Superstars 2 video featuring Dominique's highlight plays edited to Sheena Easton's "Manic Panic" over and over again. The lyrics to that song are etched into my memory as a result.
Whilst technology has made it possible for Jonathan and I to work together efficiently every day even though we are separated by the Atlantic ocean and a six hour timezone difference, it's always a pleasure to catch up in person and we had a chance to do so last week in Berlin.
Watch the video diary from our trip and discover Berlin in 60 seconds.
SoMoney has been shortlisted for the best Employer Video/Image film at the European Excellence awards in HR which will be held in Berlin. The highlight of the European Excellence Awards in HR is the presentation of awards to the winners. Nominees, the Jury and leading human resources professionals from across the continent come together to celebrate the best in European human resources over the last year. Fingers crossed!
I remember the first time I met Grand Master Carol Middleton in Washington DC. I found her a fascinating person with a great story to tell. Whilst she is known as Sensei at the DC Self defense Karate Association, she is a 7th degree black belt and founder of one of DC's best karate schools.
As a parent, I wanted to find a healthy outlet for my kids and as they had already started training martial arts in Bogota, we wanted to continue with that here upon our arrival in the US.
Since my childhood, I had trained a number of different martial arts disciplines, but for me, I loved the approach at DCSDKA of how to train kids from an early age to deal with different conflict situations. I remember speaking with one of the instructors prior to starting with the group and how the approach for teaching kids aged 4 versus a 12 year old were different. It was a whole philosophy based around verbal and non verbal skills to defend yourself at different stages of life.
I felt it was important to capture the essence of the group and with the 40 year anniversary of the group coming up, it was a great opportunity to make a film, which was shown to the students.
Speaking with Sensei, it was also interesting to see how she viewed the use of video for her organization. In the world of online video, we are often tied into dogmas such as the "90 second rule" in terms of the audience attention span and optimal lengths for a video. Sensei explained that within her group, when people have crossed a boundary in terms of accepting their love for martial arts, they will happily devote greater lengths of time to learning more about their passion. We see this with Ted talks and lectures all the time, but it was great to see this in the context of a specialist organization. The video we produced was four and a half minutes in length and it was hugely rewarding to see the audience intently watching all the way through at the gala event.
It was a pleasure to make this film, for a wonderful group of people and we look forward to progressing in our journey as a family with the DC Self defense karate association. Enjoy the film!
We make sure that we are always practicing our craft and testing out new equipment, that we can keep bringing new creative ideas into the films we produce for our clients.
Our adventure into the US has been no different and we were delighted to collaborate with local band the Virginia Southpaws on a video for their debut Single "The Hound".
When I met with Mike and Rich from the band over a beer in Washington DC's Adam's Morgan, we talked a lot about ideas and in the end decided to go the Black and White route, inspired by the Guns 'n' Roses classic Sweet Child O Mine video that it turned out we all loved as we were growing up.
We filmed at Vanish Brewery in Virginia who were kind enough to have us. The setting was absolutely beautiful and I now understand why people talk so fondly about the Fall in the US.
The project was interesting in a number of ways, first I got to continue practice using the glidecam for steady moving shots as well as the slider. As you may have seen from previous posts we love incorporating subtle movements and we used this music video as a chance to work on our skills.
Perhaps the most fascinating thing about the project was the distribution of the video. We designed a mini campaign to help the band with specific objectives, such as booking new gigs, endorsements and with any luck, getting signed to a label. We helped the band build the workflow for their email sign up process, including giving away the single on their website (www.thevirginiasouthpaws.com) as well as optimizing the video for the different distribution platforms to help with ranking on Google and Youtube.
On Facebook alone, the video achieved 2500 organic views (no paid ads) within the first 24 hours and the video was shared 36 times. The Southpaws had 210 followers at the time, so this was a pretty impressive feat. The band managed to get the attention of some local radio stations and have already been invited onto a number of shows! A win-win for everybody, the band managed to use the video to move towards their goals and we honed our skills to bring new gear into our client projects and gained more experience with running online video campaigns.
Thanks to Undeniable Boutique for styling our wonderful model Brooke! Enjoy the video!
From a visual perspective, movement is hugely important in the films we make for our clients. How the camera moves can have an impact on how the audience perceives a scene so it is important to use this powerful element to enhance our films.
In each project, one of our aims is to bring the highest possible production values within the budget available and the use of sliders is a great way to do this.
A camera slider is a set of bracketed tracks that mounts to either a set of tripod legs or a light stand. The slider has a movable "carriage" that you can attach directly to a camera, or you can attach a tripod head between your camera and the carriage for more panning and angle options.
With the beautiful setting of Sutamarchan (near Villa de Leyva) in Colombia as a back drop, we thought we would test out the Konova K3 to show some examples of how to incorporate movement whilst enjoying the scenery.
Music: "Joy & Emptiness" by et_ (et-official.com/) used under a creative commons license.
We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as video partners of the International Conference Centre of Geneva (CICG) through to 2018.
The CICG is conveniently located near the International Airport and major highways, the railway station, International Organizations, Lake Geneva and the historic old town.
To leverage your events, we offer:
- event highlight films and participant interviews to share the the conference experience with a wider audience
- animations for digital signage to enhance brand visibility at your event
- live recording and streaming services to broadcast your conference to a wider audience and create content for your website
For more information on video support for your events please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Following the project with Fundacion Pies Descalzos, we've been getting some fantastic exposure from the media in our homeland of Switzerland.
We were delighted when we were invited to talk on the "Et Bim !" show on Rouge FM about our experiences in business and specifically how we took the leap to start So Money. It is always a pleasure to share insights into the challenges we've faced and how we have overcome them with our local community in Suisse Romande (the French speaking part of Switzerland) and in this interview, we also talk about how we chose the name of our company and what it means it to us - a lot of people have asked us over the years ;)
Ben, Marion and Davy from the show were all really cool and made the whole experience a lot of fun. We've said it before and we'll keep saying it, we're very grateful to all those who have helped us along the way and we send a high five to the Rouge FM team for having us on the show.
Enjoy the interview (in French)!
Very few people in the world have the desire, ability and commitment to mobilize the masses for the greater good. When we learned about the work being done by Fundacion Pies Descalzos and their vision to make education a birth right for all children around the world our first question was, "how can we help?"
The management and communications team of the foundation were very receptive to our ideas and were interested to learn from our experience of working with clients in Europe. The team were happy to try a new approach to increase the exposure of the foundation both at home and in overseas markets.
We were fortunate enough to be involved in the project and designed the animations and social media distribution strategy for the film featuring Shakira, the founder of Fundacion Pies Descalzos.
How do you choose where to start an international expansion for your company? Do you look at the growth potential of your sector in a region? Where there is a pool of creative and ambitious talent? A large number of free trade agreements signed with developed regions? How about a place that the World Economic Forum considers to be one of the most innovative countries in terms of entrepreneurial ambition and innovation? All of the above?
We have been huge fans of Colombia for some time and have built some great connections with the Audio Visual community here over the past few years. We were recently asked by one of our agency partners to produce an online video series for a European firm entering into the Colombian market so a great opportunity to explore an expansion into a new market.
The project was great experience and we had the chance to work with experienced TV Directors and up and coming young talent from the country. We're excited to be here and want to be amongst the first overseas firms to help Colombia talk to the rest of the world through online video.
Running my own business has always been a dream of mine and everyday we have the challenge of how we can better improve our business such that our clients get better service and we continue to grow.
The journey is very much like a rollercoaster and there are emotional high and lows that you need to learn to cope with as you move toward the vision of the company you want to create.
I was asked by the University of Geneva (UNIGE) if I could give a talk to students based on our experience to give advice to those that were looking at potentially starting up their own activity - of course I was delighted to do so.
Many people have been generous with their time and have helped us along our way as we have pursued our dream and it was a pleasure to share stories of our adventure, how we learned from mistakes, what success means to us and how we are thankful to be doing what we love as a day job.
A great day and always a chance to meet some interesting people.
Time lapse photography is a technique whereby, to the human eye, time appears to be passing much faster than it actually is.
Whilst in Bogotá, Colombia, I had the chance to watch the sun go down from various view points in the city. As Colombia is located on the equator, the speed at which the sun rises and set, as well as the speed clouds move is very different to that which we see in Europe.
Here is a short film made using the time lapses of sunsets I shot around Bogotá.
Video "cuando el sol se oculta / when the sun goes down" by somoney.ch © 2014
Song by Craylo - Losing your reflection
A dance, a sport, a martial art, a workout, a game? However you look at it, Capoeira involves beautiful rhythmical movements as players perform elegant and acrobatic moves in the Roda (circle). In this game, there is no winner; you do it for the pure joy of playing.
The music and singing bring an almost hypnotic element to the game as your body moves to the sounds of the Berimbau as you anticipate how to react to the other players next move.
I have been fascinated by Capoeira for a long time and always wanted to make a film about it. The things a Capoerista sees when playing goes way beyond the pure acrobatics you usually see on youtube; I wanted the audience to see the details a Capoeirista sees when they are experiencing the game.
I used the film as an opportunity to test out some new camera settings and color grading techniques using a flatter image. Enjoy this film that we made for Capoeira Quilombo in Geneva.
I was deeply touched when I heard how a typical day is for Leon, the son of my friends Matt and Veronique.
Leon is four years old. Just before his first birthday, he became increasingly unwell until he was taken to hospital in a critical, comatose condition. The paramedics tested for high blood sugars and his dangerously high readings meant he was quickly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.
Performing numerous blood tests throughout the day, relying on insulin injections, being careful with what he eats, when he's playing, getting over excited - any number of things can affect his blood sugar levels and if not managed and monitored can result in dangerous if not fatal situations. A cure for the illness would be life changing for Leon and his family and no doubt for many others who suffer from the condition.
JDRF is the leading charity funding research to cure, treat and prevent Type 1 Diabetes. They provide information for children, adults and parents living with the condition, at all stages from diagnosis. They give a voice to people with Type 1 Diabetes and campaign for increased focus on, and funding for, research to find the cure. They work with academia, industry and governments to make sure that the research that they fund has the greatest possible impact on the lives of people with Type 1 now and in the future. They fund the best diabetes research wherever it is in the world and have made more progress in the last five years than in the previous 50.
Thank you for your support in helping us find the cure for Type 1 Diabetes. With your help, we can get there even quicker. That is why we are raising money for them at this year's Geneva Marathon.
To help with the fundraising, we produced a video and integrated the in-play interactive functionality (actions) of our new player to make it easier to direct potential sponsors to the donation page.
Thanks to Jonathan for giving his time to help me with taking the photos and executing the animations.
Check out the video and help JDRF make type one #typenone.
One of our very first assignments after taking the company live was the first ever British-Swiss Business awards in 2011. Since that time the event has grown in popularity and has become the premier awards celebration within the British-Swiss business community. We have been the the video partner for the event the last 3 years and it is a great experience to learn about companies doing great things for our community.
This year for #BSBA2013, in addition to filming the event, we also managed the entire audio visual proceedings for the evening including animted motion graphics to give the event that extra boost! We used some of the animations from the night in this year's highlight film which you can see below.
The exciting challenge for us each year is to find a new concept for the awards and this year we had the pleasure of working with Solar Impulse TV's anchor lady Helena Humphrey, a great addition!
A great selection of finalists, as usual, but the winners this year were Trans Data Management, Firmenich, ABB Secheron and Phonak.
Enjoy the film!
Children are Treasure us a non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, whose aim is to promote and support children's primary education and health in developing countries and in regions affected by war, natural disasters and diseases.
This year's Treasure ball and fashion show raised over CHF 165,000 and the funds will be used to support 3 primary schools in the villages of Pomgaon, Maripur and Shiravali in the Indian state of Maharashtra.
To learn more about the charity, visit http://www.childrenaretreasure.org
We were very proud to sponsor and support this worthwhile charity and this great event. Watch the highlights of the event in our video here
We attended one of Alex Inchbald's exhibitions earlier this year and were immediately captivated by his paintings. Alex had put together a montage of timelapse videos showing the evolutions of his paintings that he had shot himself whilst painting; we thought this was a really cool idea!
When we asked Alex about his paintings he told us "a painting is more than a product, it is a vehicle through which we can experience another moment in time. These moments can last seconds, minutes, hours or days. The feelings associated with them can last a lifetime." Listening to people who are passionate about what they do is always fascinating for us and we are lucky that we continuously meet passionate people each day who inspire us.
We discussed where he found the inspiration for his art and thought that showing the creation of one of his paintings would make for a great film. A few weeks ago we had the chance to film Alex creating one of his beautiful paintings in the mountains of Chamonix, France.
Watching the painting come to life from a blank canvas to a work of art over a period of four and a half hours in front of our eyes was an incredible experience. Alex's paintings have been likened to the works of Van Gogh and after our day in the mountains, we can tell you first hand that he is an incredibly talented artist that we believe you will be hearing more of in the future.
Oh, and if you are wondering about the shirt Alex wears in the video, it is by our friends at Staunton Moods!
Here is the short film we made when Alex painted "Aim High" in Chamonix:
We've been fortunate enough to work on some awesome assignments this year and this one has to be up there as one of our favourites. It's not everyday you get to film some of the best footballers in the world!
Genève Sport is a Geneva based sports marketing company that organizes events at the Stade de Genève, the home of our local team, Servette FC.
The team at Geneve Sport consists of highly experienced individuals that have organized high profile sporting events including numerous Champions League finals. We are very excited to be working with them and had a great experience filming behind the scences at the Brazil v Italy football match where we also learned first hand about Hugh Quennec's vision for sports entertainment in Geneva.
Our best film yet? Maybe, maybe not, but certainly a lot of fun to film!
There is a lot to be said for running your own business and at times, there is a tendency to let other aspects of your life suffer when you get absorbed in something that you are passionate about. For me (Avik writing here), exercise is one of those areas that I had been making the excuse of “I don’t have time” and I know full well that it is a pretty lame excuse. Jonathan, to his credit, has kept up on his exercise since we embarked on our adventure and has put me to shame.
I love to take inspiration from great entrepreneurs and for me, there are few greater than Sir Richard Branson. Sir Richard’s approach to being more productive, energetic, confident, healthier, having more time, staying focused is simple:
Well, my wife and friends thought that I had been neglecting this aspect of my life since we took So Money full time and threw me an unexpected challenge: they signed me up to run the Geneva half marathon with exactly 4 weeks to prepare!
After close to 2 years of little to no exercise, the thought of running 21KM was somewhat daunting but I was willing to give it a go. So, with an iPhone and a handycam I documented a mini video series to track my progress upto race day with my friend Chris.
Did I make it? Check out Episode 5 of #runfatso below to find out!
For those that are not familiar with the initiative, TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “ideas worth spreading”. Started in 1984 in California as a four-day conference about Technology, Entertainment, Design, TED has broadened its scope and grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives.
So Money are huge fans of TED and TEDx and we have taken much inspiration from the talks as we have built our business. When we got a call to be involved with TEDxLausanne, it was like a dream come true for us!
The event takes place on Jan 18th 2013 at IMD in Lausanne and the theme for this year is “What if we do(n’t)”. The aim of this year’s event is to give visibility to people who have dared to make difficult decisions in times of uncertainty, to question conventional wisdom, and to drive their ideas forward in the interest of a better world. Each of our speakers will have their own unique story to tell about perseverance, courage and achievement.
We are really excited to be involved and we hope to see you there!