3 posts categorized

September 09, 2014

Texting at the Movies


Smartphones may have made our lives easier, but for screenwriters, the proliferation of mobile devices has made compelling, modern-day storytelling that little bit harder. Look around most public places in 2014 and a fair percentage of the ‘characters’ are completely immersed in their phone, heads bowed, the faint glow of the screen barely illuminating their frowning concentration. They’re getting a lot of work done, but it’s not exactly the stuff of nail-biting drama for anyone watching. 

This mass migration of human interaction from lips to touchscreens has thrown up some significant challenges for Hollywood. To gauge the impact this has on our daily lives, one only has to think about how many movies set before the 21st Century would be ruined by modern technology. It’s for precisely this reason that many filmmakers have turned their attentions to historical dramas, in which characters have to carry parchments on long, arduous journeys in order to get a message through. The dramatic possibilities are inherent. Will the letter make it? Will it be intercepted? Is it really from whom it purports to be from? None of these questions are an issue with SMS messaging.

Not that Hollywood hasn’t done it’s best to meet the challenge head on. For much of the noughties, movies took a literal approach to depicting SMS, opting for close ups of phone screens, often with comically large text, and cut with equally laughable reaction shots.

More recently, the modern revamp of Sherlock made some improvements to the depiction of SMS, with the content of text messages hovering around the senders and/or recipients. The typography bears no relation to any smartphone font we know of. By using this technique, the film has future-proofed itself, and will not date as badly as those mid-noughties, pre-smartphone movies filled with antiquated cell phones that tend to compromise the suspension of disbelief. 

Certainly, it's a lot better than most ceulloloid depictions of the internet. Copyright issues mean few movies can use Google (The Internship excepted), which leads to absurd inventions like 'Finder'Spyder', a made-up search engine used in lots of tv and big screen production. 

February 16, 2011

Use Brainshark To Add Video To Your Text Messaging Campaigns

If you’ve ever talked to us about mobile video you know that cross carrier multimedia messaging services (MMS) just aren’t there yet. Today we’re excited to let you know about a great service called MyBrainshark. MyBrainshark is a free online service that enables you to easily create, share and track online and mobile video presentations using your PowerPoint documents and your voice. If you have a plain old video file, that works as well.

So here’s how it works. Sign up for MyBrainshark – basic usage is free but the paid plans are well worth the upgrade, starting at only $9.99/month. Once you’ve created your account you can upload videos (or presentations – we’ll get to that in a minute) and they’ll automatically convert them into a mobile-ready format. They’ll give you a short link that you can add to your text messaging campaigns. MyBrainshark supports pretty much every smartphone. If you’ve been waiting for a way to enhance your mobile campaigns with video, the solution is here.

About the Powerpoints. MyBrainshark is guided by two philosophies. ‘Create once, share anywhere,’ is the first. Everything you upload to MyBrainshark is available on the web, can be exported to YouTube, and of course is available on mobile devices. The second philosophy is ‘Video Presentations…Anytime, Anywhere.’ Thousands of companies and organizations use MyBrainshark to share eLearning presentations and marketing materials. After you’ve uploaded your Powerpoint you can record a voiceover using your telephone, mic, or by uploading mp3’s and add background music for a multimedia viewing experience. If you’re one of the hundreds of trade shows or conference presenters who run at-event Keyword campaigns, MyBrainshark can take your campaign to the next level:

  • If you’re giving a presentation you can encourage your audience to text in your Keyword. Add a MyBrainshark link to your autoresponder and provide attendees with a copy of your presentation – including an audio narration track.
  • If you’re organizing the event you can do the same, providing everyone at the conference with keynotes, promotional videos and more.
  • myBrainshark also works with QR codes, so you can use one video solution for your entire campaign.

For $9.95/month you can upgrade to MyBrainshark Pro, but if you use the promo code –JPLRPKGPDJ, they’ll knock 15% off that price. Among MyBrainshark Pro’s added features there are three we want to highlight:

  • Remove myBrainshark site branding with the stand-alone player. This is perfect for a link inserted into your text message campaigns.
  • Lead capturing and viewer identification are exactly what they sound like – and are great for business customers.
  • Detailed reporting and alerts allow you to analyze usage and gauge the effectiveness of your video/presentations.

If you want to learn more about MyBrainshark for mobile, check out their blog post that covers all of their mobile tools – including their iPhone and iPad apps. Even better, if you want to see what you can do with MyBrainshark, watch their mobile presentation!

Ready to go? Try MyBrainshark now and start adding mobile video and presentations to your text messaging campaigns.  The promo code again is:  JPLRPKGPDJ

April 22, 2009

Text Messaging Commentary In The Movie Theater

Switched has the story on an interesting new SMS application from a company called MuVChat:

At MuVChat screenings (currently only in St. Charles, Illinois), ADD-afflicted Gen Y-ers and Millenials can text their thoughts and heckles to a central number, and then the comments are displayed via a live scrolling feed at the bottom of the screen. So far, the screenings have been cult comedy neo-classics like 'Zoolander' and 'Office Space,' but there have been calls for torture-inducing screenings of Mariah Carey's 'Glitter' and the Ben Affleck/J. Lo opus, 'Gigi.' According to Heald, most people at the screenings send about 40 comments per movie. An example comment? During 'Zoolander,' one commenter wrote, "I want a comb-over like Trump." Now, imagine 8,000 snarky comments popping up on the screen during a film (we're estimating an audience of 200).

Read more @ Switched