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KiQ Cat Funds Over $20K In First 24 Hours On Kickstarter

How many Kit Kat's would a KiQ Cat eat if a KiQ Cat could eat Kit Kat's?

Well, assuming a Kit Kat bar costs around $0.50, and each bar contains 4 sticks; then KiQ raised over 160,000 Kit Kat sticks in the first 24 hours!

We had so much fun making the Kickstarter campaign video for the amazing KiQ team. I mean, sure we filmed it on a hot summer day, in an un-air-conditioned metal workshop; but it was pretty much a spiritual sweat lodge of film making enlightenment type experience.

The concept/direction to poke fun and pay homage to the hipster/maker scene came to us pretty fast after we first learned about how fun/unique this new virtual assistant stuffed animal was going to be. Which is why we chose a workshop as the shoot location and started the video with dramatic music and VO of how millennials crave a connection to every object in their life. One of our favorite shots left on the editing floor was Sydney (our actress) grinding a hunk of irrelevant metal (which actually damaged the grinding wheel and we had to pay a little money to the owner - expensive shot alert!)


By the way, after scouring through actresses, we became sold on Sydney Steinberg after seeing this video where she plays a woman with Puppy Love. We knew right away that she could play our cat lady. Some of her lines in the final video were scripted, but there are sprinkles of her improv genius in there too. One of our favorite lines that didn't make it in because of time constraints was when, after looking passionately at the cat, Sydney turns away and says, 'I can't! Look, this isn't Mad Men. You're my assistant!'


If you're interested in Spaceman Creative making videos for your company, visit us here.

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Writer/Director Dave Ackerman Talks About Making Pizza Hut 'The Dangers of Selfie Sticks PSA' Video

Pizza Hut's selfie stick PSA was one of the most shared ads of May 2015. In honor of the one year anniversary since it's release we did a Q&A with Dave Ackerman (of Spaceman Creative) who was the writer and director of the project. Below is a selfie of him and his wife.

Q: What initially inspired the selfie stick video?

We work with a lot of great creatives and agencies. This was done by Shareability who brought me on to write and direct this video. They knew they wanted to do something around selfie sticks because they were trending and Pizza Hut's Big Flavor Dipper Pizza seemed like it was a fit for these big selfie sticks but they weren't sure how to combine the two. The idea went through a lot of changes but when I wrote the PSA script with the snarky anti-selfie tone I think it just felt like it was saying what so many people where thinking and it felt right to everybody.

Q: Do you find the selfie stick phenomena annoying?

Not really, I don't see them that often. Now whenever I see one I think about the video and kind of chuckle. I guess I probably laugh at people who use them a little.

Q: Have you ever used a selfie stick?

I think maybe once or twice outside the video. My wife is the family historian though. I don't take too many pictures. Using the sticks on the set I can see how someone would get into it though. It's really kind of convenient. I find I do take selfies quite a bit, I think I've become a selfie guy. I do really like how I look in selfies better than regular pictures. Does that make me a Narce-artist?

Q: What was the reaction to the video like for you?

It was awesome to see the video get so many shares and views. It got written up by a bunch of my favorite blogs and reading what people said made me realize it wasn't a spoof of a PSA it was a funny PSA. I had never really realized it but all these blogs were talking about the actual selfie stick problems and our video kind of gave a funny voice to that. 

The best thing that happened though was a week or so after it was out I was hiking in the Grand Canyon with my brothers and another group had a selfie stick and were taking pictures with it and talking about the video. My brother over heard them and introduced me like a big Hollywood director and I gladly played the part and felt Grand Canyon famous for a minute.

Plus the client loved it so, that's always nice!

Q: What worries and concerns about the execution of the concept did you have while writing script?

I was worried it would come off contrived or forced. Like you have these huge poles that people would never use, or these slap stick situations like using a selfie stick in the pool and I just wanted them to come off really natural.

Q: Looking back, is there anything you would of done differently with the script?

Well we had a little bit of dialogue in the b-roll that didn't make the cut, a few funny lines between selfie takers. They didn't need to be in there and that's why they were cut. 

Q: What was your favorite part of the video.

I was really proud of all the coverage we got and all the sight gags. The pool, the gym, the lemonade stand, the elevator stuff, just visual joke after visual joke. My favorite though was the three stooges style room destruction at the end. This happy-go-lucky guy that just destroys his house with a selfie stick. I wanted it to feel natural but also nod to Charlie Chaplin and the Stooges and that kind of mad cap stuff and it came out great. Still one of my favorite all time shots that I have been involved with.

Yeah, thank you for having me. Really fun to be here.

Do I just... go... right? No like, after thing? Cool, yeah cause I... cool.

See yah. Oh just let me know when you put it up so I can post it to my Linkedin. Cool.

See yah later. 

Got my jacket, keys, glasses.

Bye. Later.

-Dave

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Ecobee Builds Energy Wasting Rube Goldberg Machine That Turns On Their Energy Saving Smart Thermostat

Each week we share one video idea with one brand. (creative pro bono)

Who is ecobee?

When it comes to smart thermostats, there are basically two players, Nest and Ecobee. Well, three if you include Honeywell, who despite making thermostats for 60+ years, was late to the 'smart' thermostat game and basically copied Nest's design. But I won't bore you with my knowledge of Honey and Wells.

Ecobee prides itself on saving people energy, one of the way's they accomplish this is by having the thermostat automatically turn it's self on and off depending on activity in the house. That type of functionality makes using this tech gadget incredibly easy to use. So easy in fact, that we think that a video that makes that process harder is in order.

What is a Rube Goldberg machine?

A Rube Goldberg machine is an overly complicated process that performs a simple function. Remember in the movie Back to the Future when Doc has that crazy contraption that opens a can of food for his dog? Or maybe you've played the old board game Mouse Trap. The above screenshot depicts a complicated way for turning on a light bulb.

We've seen bands and brands do their own take on the Rube Goldberg machine; like OK GO or Honda. These types of videos always do well. Sometimes it's just because it gets viewers to say 'Man, that must of taken forever'. Of course it's always good to have a unique twist and ours is below.

The Idea

Create a Rube Goldberg machine that is completely made up of former tech gadgets. Perhaps there is a domino part and the dominoes are stacked smart phones, starting with a Palm Treo, that hits an iPhone 2G, then a Samsung Galaxy, etc. Another part might be a record player that spins and presses play on a tape deck. The video would pay homage and recount a chronological history of all the tech products that led up to the Ecobee thermostat.

Everything would culminate to a final action, where an object is pushed past the sensor of the thermostat and triggers it on.

Maybe there's even a tagline at the end like 'ecobee...stop wasting energy'.

 If you're interested in Spaceman Creative making videos for your company, visit us here.

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Josh James Believes In Doing Business In Cloud So Much, He Inks Domo Deal While Skydiving

Each week we share one video idea with one brand. (creative pro bono)

Who is Josh James and Domo?

Josh James is a tech entrepreneur. He started a web analytics company called Omniture that sold to Adobe for 1.8B. His newest venture called Domo specializes in big business data. A few weeks ago they announced a product called The Business Cloud.

Domo has produced a few quirky online videos to promote The Business Cloud, one actually stars Alec Baldwin and feels a lot like Amazons Echo commercial that also features a walking Alec Baldwin.

Domo is pioneering new tech territory and they have a fun and energetic CEO/culture; we'd like to see a video that more accurately highlights all that.

The Idea

Josh James goes up in a plane with a new (soon to be) 'The Business Cloud by Domo' customer. They jump out of the plane with a piece of paper and a pen or maybe just an iPad; whatever they need to officially ink the deal. They shake hands and then pull the chutes. 

Which will no doubt be the biggest contract ever signed while in free fall; it showcases an epic moment of doing business in the clouds.

 If you're interested in Spaceman Creative making videos for your company, visit us here.

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Lenovo Pokes Fun At Standing Desks With New Drone Powered Floating Desk Video

Each week we share one video idea with one brand. (creative pro bono)

Who is Lenovo?

Lenovo is a Chinese computer technology company that makes and sells tons of PCs. Among those PCs is the Lenovo LaVie Z (pictured to the right) and it's one of the lightest laptops in existence. Weighing in at 1.72 pounds, it even beats out the 2.03 pound newest Apple MacBook (which has a one inch smaller screen by the way).

Despite having the feather weight claim to fame, most people associate lightness with the MacBook or MacBook Air. We'd like to see a video that illustrates how light Lenovo laptops are in a fun and shareable way.

What is a standing desk?

There has been a recent craze for standing desks (especially in hip tech companies). I first learned of the trend through a couple Kickstarter campaigns that boasted the health/productivity benefits of standing rather than sitting. Now you'll notice that even bigger furniture manufacturers like Ikea are starting to produce them.

Below is a cardboard one for those buying on a budget.

The Idea

Lenovo introduces the first 'floating desk' in a video that pokes fun of the standing desk craze. This new hovering desk is essentially a quadcopter drone (something consumer grade that only has a payload of a couple pounds) that has two wires that connect to a small platform that the LaVie Z rests on.

The worker is able to sit down and work. The worker is able to stand and work. The worker is able to walk down the hallway and work. With each turn and movement from the worker, the drone perfectly aligns. It is the epitome of efficiency and convenience.

The ridiculousness of the desk is highlighted as the worker is unable to hear co-workers because of the buzz of the loud propellers or as the wind created by the drone blows nearby papers.

 If you're interested in Spaceman Creative making videos for your company, visit us here.

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Engineering Students Play Cornhole With 6 Foot LoveSac Bean Bags

Each week we share one video idea with one brand. (creative pro bono)

Who is LoveSac?

LoveSac makes two pieces of premium quality furniture; sectional sofas called Sactionals and big old foam bean bags called Sacs (outside of Adam, they are the original sac). We own one of their SuperSacs (the 6ft model), it's over 10 years old and been through it all, and it's still in fantastic condition; whereas we've seen competitor sacks where the cover zippers have broke or the foam gone stale within a year or two.

Despite the companies great products and cool brand image, they have been very susceptible to knockoff competitors stealing business from them (especially in the Sac category). Some of this is due to competitors under cutting prices, and some of it due to lack of brand awareness (customers just don't understand the difference, isn't a bean bag, just a bean bag). We believe the latter can be solved by better representation online with cool shareable content that educates and entertains.

How is the game Cornhole played?

Standing 27 feet back, opponents throw small bean bags towards the hole of a propped up wood platform. 1 point is awarded if you land on the platform. 3 points are awarded if you get into the hole. It's a simple game and very fun to play.

What is a Trebuchet? 

A trebuchet is a type of siege engine used in the Middle Ages...and in Lord of the Rings (remember when Minas Tirith is under attack in Return of the King). Using a counter weight, the trebuchet is able to throw large and heavy objects great distances.

The Idea

LoveSac hosts a competition between two rival college engineering departments (let's say Utah State vs University of Utah for example). Each engineering team is responsible for building a trebuchet that is capable of launching an 80 pound 6 foot wide SuperSac. LoveSac will provide the two wood platforms with large holes used as targets, as well as the sacs. First team to 21 points wins!

The event will be filmed and edited into what will undoubtedly be the most epic 'cornhole' video ever made.

If you're interested in Spaceman Creative making videos for your company, visit us here.

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My Film Didn't Make It Into Any Festivals, But Here's Why I'm Still Glad We Made It

Inspiration 

The script for 'Reservations' was inspired by a campfire story I heard when I was a 12 year old boy scout. By the way, camping in dark woods is kinda scary, but it's much worse when you've got 'animal-fast' indians on the mind.

Later in life, I became friends with someone that had spent a lot of time on a Navajo reservation. He told a personal story once that matched up to what I had heard years earlier as a boy scout.

So I decided to make a short film about skinwalker folklore! 

Production

I only spent money on two things 1) renting a 4k monitor/recorder (in the picture it's the thing on the banana stand) for the borrowed Sony FS-700 camera that we shot with and 2) food for the crew (who were some amazing volunteer friends). 

We shot the entire film in a single Saturday in January 2015 a few miles west of Salt Lake City Utah (got home around 4am). Because the whole film takes place at night, we needed to get creative about how to utilize the day time hours of our shoot. Which is why we shot all the internal car scenes inside a dark garage. (I know, movies are so fake)

These types of projects are kind of like a startup business, you end up doing every role in the company. You end up writing, producing, directing, location scouting, running craft services, acting (in this case I'm the voice on speaker phone), editing, etc.

The last piece of the puzzle before we submitted was finding a voice actor to read the Crazy Horse quote in the beginning. I wanted it read in authentic Sioux, but there's only a handful of people in the world that still speak it, and a Navajo speaker proved to be easier to find.

Submissions

We submitted the film to Sundance Film Festival, Boulder International Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival, and a bunch of other smaller and first year festivals. It was rejected by all of them. Ended up getting a bunch of emails like this one.

The odds of getting into Sundance were the slimmest of all the places we submitted, so I didn't feel bad about not getting into this one. They are actually slimmer odds than the 1.5% the director writes in the email. Because we submitted a short, and about 9ish thousand of those 12,793 submitted films are shorts, not full features. So if they accepted 72 shorts and there were, let's say 9,500 shorts submitted, that's actually a 0.8%.

The selection process is interesting and worth noting. It starts with programmers, and for Sundance Shorts, there are like 6 or 7. The programmers will divide and conquer the shorts, each of them will personally watch over a thousand and select the top 50. Then each of the programmers shares their top 50 with the others and they all watch the 300 or so shorts and narrow it to the 70-80 final selections.

Each of those final selections, fill certain category slots too. For example, they can only allow a certain amount of films for the category 'horror short'. Which means that my film was fighting for what probably was just a handful of slots of that total 72 short films that made it in.

Why I'm Glad We Still Made It

Movies are magical pieces of art. I knew I wanted participate in making one ever since I was a young kid listening to the commentary track on the first DVD my family ever owned, Austin Powers (listening to Mike Myers talk about making the film is the funniest thing ever). 

It's not worth justifying the reasons my first short film didn't make it into any festivals, because in the end, it just wasn't good enough. It didn't stand out. It wasn't so good that they couldn't ignore it (as the paraphrased Steve Martin quote goes).

Going through the process I learned so much, and future projects will be better as a result of it.

To sum up my feelings: You make a first film, so you can make a second.

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3DR Gives Solo Drone Personality and Life In Pixar-like Short

Each week we share one video idea with one brand. (creative pro bono)

WHO IS 3DR?

When it comes to the consumer drone market share battle, all you need to know is that there is a white one (made from DJI) and a black one (made by 3DR).

DJI is winning the battle overall, but 3DR has made great strides to become the 'smarter' of the two drones (by pioneering programmable routes).

The technology in the 3DR Solo can turn even the most novice drone pilot into an expert drone photographer and allow users to get 'the shot' in a fraction of the time; saving you battery life, allowing you to capture more.

We'd like to see a fun and shareable video that brings this smart drone to life, while highlighting amazing functionality.

WHAT ARE PIXAR SHORTS?

Pixar Shorts have become iconic films in their own right, almost as well known as the movies they precede. Pixar always tells a fantastic story with unique and relatable characters. One of their most loved movies is WALL-E. WALL-E is remarkable because the main characters say very little but show a wide range of emotion and personality. In one sequence WALL-E and EVE fall in love as they dance together through space. We want to give 3DR drones character and personality and tell a heartfelt, humorous, real-life story reminiscent of WALL-E and other well known Pixar Animated Shorts.

THE IDEA

Robots have been able to gain consciousness and distinct personalities. In this video, robots of all shapes and sizes are held in cages like dogs in a kennel. Several drones with prop guards hover in their cages. Two almost identical Solos next to each other are separated when a human adopts one of them and takes it home. Using camera angles, music and even the buzz from their propellors we humanize the machines, giving them real emotions. Each drone is taken by different owners, at first they miss each other but come to love their new owners like a puppy with a new family. When the drones are eventually reunited while flying in the sky they go off blissfully dancing around each other (in programmed routes) and their human pilots are brought together as well.

If you're interested in Spaceman Creative making videos for your company, visit us here.

 

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Nest Cam Spoofs Paranormal Activity Series With 'Normal Activity' Video

Each week we share one video idea with one brand. (creative pro bono)

Who is Nest?

On the off chance that you still have an original 1935 Honeywell thermostat hanging on your wall (because the craftsmanship of expanding mercury is so hipster)......

Nest Labs creates connected smart home devices. And while their thermostat has had paramount success, the camera has not picked up the same traction, which is why we think a good video for the camera is important.

Now, Nest Cams are more than a security camera. They are an exciting new way to create content in your home or capture those unplanned moments.

We'd like to see a hauntingly shareable video that demonstrates both these capabilities.

What is Paranormal Activity?

Paranormal Activity is an extremely popular horror film franchise. The films are shot in reality or 'found footage' style using hand held video cameras and home security cameras. This helps the audience buy into the idea that the footage is real. Objects move without being touched, shadows form without a known source, etc. As the film progresses the subjects become more certain that the strange happenings are the result of a haunting spirit and they become increasingly scared as they watch the footage as it reveals the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY.

The Idea

Our idea is to create a short parody of this kind of movie. Using NEST cams, our frightened but determined homeowner sets out to capture the spooky causes of the unusual activity in his creepy, recently inherited home. As he sets up the cameras he explains the reoccurring haunting behaviors: moving dolls and toys, lights that come on by themselves, a clock that mysteriously stops at the same time every night. BUT, things take a turn for the funny when the NEST cams reveal that each of these ghoulish happenings are actually explained by very NORMAL ACTIVITY.

 

If you're interested in Spaceman Creative making videos for your company, visit us here.

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