The Power of Social Media for Nonprofit Organisations

A few years ago, Social Media was an evolving technology praised more for its technical virtues than its capability to request to the people. For a log time, there was a significant change in the way masses participate in social media and make use of it to humanise the interactions between organisations and the community. When the use of social networking websites began to increase rapidly, businesses took notice. Those shrewd companies realised about reaching out to people in social media gave them the opportunity to cast a broad net in the target route.

For instance, companies could place ads targeted towards women in popular fashion blogs and gaining thousands of their attention per day. The change happened when businesses or corporations recognised the key to success lay in interaction, for example, giving target people the ability to have a two-way conversation. Moreover, this is not long before non-profit organisations followed suit.

To get the most benefit from adding social media to our marketing plan, it should be a part of the complete business strategy. All the applied tactics must directly support the organisation’s objectives and goals. As there are so many social media platforms available, which platform and tactics are most applicable? The answer depends on:

  1. The time we have to devote to social media each week?
  2. What will be the main objectives and goals?
  3. How do this social media help to meet the goals?
  4. Which are platform audience engaged more?

Here are the most popular websites and tools:

  1. FACEBOOK helps in communicating softer news and helps in building community.
  2. TWITTER contributes to getting connected to followers by sending updates which are timely and exciting.
  3. FLICKR helps in managing photos and graphic images while sharing with the target. (Photos of events and activities for Non-profits)
  4. LINKEDIN contributes to getting introduced to and collaborate with professionals.
  5. YOUTUBE helps in uploading and sharing video clips to the public.
  6. BLOGS contributes to exchange ideas in greater depth and lets us share tips and expertise related to the goal.
  7. PODCASTS helps in educating the audience with recorded news and information framed by current events data about the organisation.

Other than creating social media campaign, non-profits should participate in other groups in the social media like commenting on blogs, join on FB fan pages.

The non-profits should try to incorporate a mix of messaging objectives targeted towards users in social media. Proper brand awareness helps in engaging in social media and keep our organisation at the forefront of the user’s minds. We should ensure each of the platforms is clearly branded. Branding contributes to reinforcing who the non-profit is and what it stands for.  Education or provide the information to the users about the issues our organisation addresses. Eg, share news links or case studies. Social media is a great tool for mobilising groups of people to volunteer or attend events. The helps in the times of disasters and war. In 2009, a worldwide Twitter event named “Twestival” launched in Uganda, Ethiopia and India. The goal of this event was to provide clean drinking water, and as a result, the event raised a fund more than $250,00 US dollar.

References:

MOTION CAPTURE SENSOR SYSTEMS

Motion Capture is also known as Motion Tracking, or Mocap for short is 3D Animation. Motion Capture is a process in which recordings of human movement are translated into a digital code by filming sensors or every pivot point on characters body. One the video is captured it is then translated onto a 3D Model. (Oxford Dictionary, 2017)

Motion Capture technology has developed significantly since 1970. Performance capture is the term referred to when Motion tracking animates small features like figures, expressions and facial gestures. To portray, all this features more sensors hast to be used, and this makes motion capture process time-consuming. For example, the movie “Avatar” took 15 years to create. The whole purpose of this film was to record the performance of the characters and translate it into digital form.

avatar_mocap_1.png

avatar_mocap1.png

making-of-avatar-14-640x360

Here I am embedding a behind the scene video of the famous movie “Avatar”, which I found while researching Motion Capture.

Mechanical Motion Capture:

product_mocaptrack_animazoo_gypsy5_2.jpg

This Motion Capture is a process by which the actors wear structured skeleton suit called as an exoskeleton capture system to track human joints and angles. This capturing system is the popular type of Performance capture and this because of the lowest price and availability in the field.

Electromagnetic Motion Capture:

gollum.gif

This is the most specific type of the movement capture system relying on transmitters and receivers to track the body movement. An actor would wear a suit with several magnetic receivers in which transmitters would monitor and calculate body movements.  The 20th-century Fox movie ‘The Lord of Rings’  used this technology for one of the lead roles of the creature “Gollum”.

Optical Motion Capture:

lo_lorna_mocap.jpg

Optical Motion Capture system requires actors to wear reflective sensors over a tight Motion capture suit or their own clothes if they wish. The actor is asked to act while several cameras track the reflective pads. When cameras have the desired number of footage, it is then shared each other and translated to digital form.

History:

The system for capturing motion was first developed in the late 70’s, however, it was not recognised as a revolutionary animation technique till mid 80’s when it was eventually used for entertainment purpose. Inspired by Rotoscoping or Rotoscopy an ancient time-consuming technique was developed from early 90’s in which the animator will trace the movement frame by frame. Motion capturing technique was originally tested by the air force to track head movements of the fighter pilots by electromagnetic motion capture.

Below is the typical Rotoscope invented by Max and Dave Fleischer animators from 90’s who used rotoscoping infamous cartoons such as Betty Boop and Gullivers Travels.

rotoscope

 Where is Performance capture or Motion Capture used?

Nowadays motion capture serves a broad range of purposes like pilot’s head movement tracking in the military, tracking of athletes in sports, determining injuries and how to treat them in medical applications, building human-like characters in animation, cartoon, games and films for entertainment and advertisement purpose.

For example, motion capture is used by worldwide car manufacturer Ford to help in developing a better product. Ford is the only company uses the same Motion capture software in its virtual engineering laps as Hollywood to create such motion pictures as Lord of Rings, Avatar and Polar Express.

“Like in Hollywood movies, Ford hooks people with sensors to monitor how they move or react when they are interacting with the machines,” said Gary Strumolo, manager, Ford research and engineering. “Once we capture the motion, we create virtual human models that can use to run hundreds of tests that helps in understanding how people of all sizes and shapes interact with all vehicle designs. This is an efficient way of tomorrow’s engineering vehicles.” (Company, F 2017).

References:

  1. Company, F. (2017). Ford Uses Hollywood Motion-Capture Software Behind ‘Avatar’ to Improve Vehicle Designs. [online] Prnewswire.com. Available at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/ford-uses-hollywood-motion-capture-software-behind-avatar-to-improve-vehicle-designs-79912032.html [Accessed 11 May 2017].

  2. AZoSensors.com. (2012). Motion Capture Sensor Systems. [online] Available at: http://www.azosensors.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=43 [Accessed 11 May 2017].

  3. The Hollywood Reporter. (2017). ‘Avatar’ house is motion-capture Giant. [online] Available at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/avatar-house-is-motion-capture-86549 [Accessed 11 May 2017].

  4. Coldewey, D. (2014). Interview: Reuben Langdon, motion capture artist for Avatar. [online] TechCrunch. Available at: https://techcrunch.com/2009/06/23/interview-reuben-langdon-motion-capture-artist-for-avatar/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

  5. Hand, R. and Hand, R. (2009). The Art of Motion Capture in Avatar |. [online] VizWorld.com. Available at: https://vizworld.com/2009/12/art-motion-capture-avatar/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

  6. Sagar Lonkar. (2014). Types Of Motion Capture. [online] Available at: https://sagarlonkar.com/about-2/motion-capture/types-of-motion-capture/ [Accessed 12 May 2017].

  7. Ranga (2013). Motion capture technology. [online] Slideshare.net. Available at: https://www.slideshare.net/anveshranga/motion-capture-technology-15980853 [Accessed 11 May 2017].

TAXI DRIVER – Travis asks Betsy out

The ‘Taxi Driver’ is the most existential film by Martin Scorsese, even before “After Hours”. Scorsese tells stories through his characters, the main plot is derived from a handful of perspectives, but taxi driver often clings on to Travis’ mind, no one else. In this scene where Travis asks Betsy out, it’s quietly visible. The selected scene involves the protagonist Travis going into Betsy’s office and insisting her to go on a date. What the protagonist says can be described in two ways; the first one, he is describing and reflecting himself onto her. On the other hand, he could be describing Betsy. The cinematographer used some pretty claustrophobic camera shots in this scene to zero in on protagonist’s world and get his perspective and camera work dishing out Travis vision in detail and reality.

The scene starts with a close-up of Travis sitting in his Taxi and looking at Betsy, cut to, Travis walks into the office where the camera tracks sideways of the street, from the suggestion of the cab, where a big space in the frame is empty, showing his isolation and loneliness, and towards the end of the tracking shot, camera zooms onto Travis. Both of the shots take us into the perspective of Travis even before the scene starts.

 2.gif

Inside the office, a tracking outshot where Travis walks towards the frame, fast. These three shots close our thoughts around the character of Travis. The whole scene is told from the perspective of Travis, apart from a couple of lingering close-ups of Betsy’s reactions, most of the time we see Travis or his perception of the moment. After this, Scorsese cuts into the POV of Travis, where we see Betsy and her flirty colleague look into the approaching camera, thus to Travis. The shot tracks into a mid close up of  Betsy.

3.gif

When he reaches her table and tells that he needs to volunteer to her, and when the colleague hesitatingly leave, we see a couple of middle shots, with slight movements of tracking in and sideways, showing a really fast and vague vision of the office, which leaves the audience with less details, just like Travis.

  8.gif

Visually this scene saturates our thinking process in and around Travis until Betsy is introduced. When Travis compliments her we see her close up, and thus the conversation continues, he uses the mid-close track into lock ourselves into the main characters, the only time the camera grabs a wider view to show her colleague spying on them and an aerial shot of her desk.

7.gif

5.gif

When Travis tells her how he thinks of her as a lonely person and he wants to befriend her, the suggestion shots starts to track out slowly, and when she accepts his invitation, we are left out with somewhat of a third person perspective and these characters isolated from their surroundings and connected to each other.

6.gif

References:

  1. Scorsese, M., (2017). Taxi Driver (1976). [online] IMDb. Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075314/ [Accessed 9 May 2017].

My Favourite Adobe Premier Shortcuts

I’m a great fan of adobe’s keyboard shortcuts. I had memorised most of the keyboard shortcuts when I was working in the post-production studio. Learning shortcuts is an energy saver which can speed up our work considerably. Certain shortcuts are easy to remember because the first letter of the tool matches the task name, namely Peen Tool [P], Mark In [I], Mark Out [O].  In Premier Pro we can copy customised shortcuts from one computer to another computer, or to another location on our computer.

The are many keyboard shortcuts one can utilise in Adobe Premiere Pro, but I would like to discuss those we will be using on a more consistent basis as we edit a movie. If it’s on Mac: CTRL = COMMAND and ALT = OPTION.

  1. Selection Tool: [V]
  2. Razor Tool: [C]
  3. Slide Tool: [U]
  4. Slip Tool: [Y]
  5. Track Selection Tool: [M]
  6. Ripple Edit Tool: [B]
  7. Rate Stretch tool: [X]
  8. Add Edit: (SHIFT) + CTRL+[A]
  9. Mark In/ Out: [I] / [O]
  10. Default Transition: CTRL + [D]
  11. Mark Clip: [X]
  12. Link / Unlink: CTRL + [L]
  13. Pen Tool: [P]
  14. Unselect All: CTRL + SHIFT + A
  15. Navigation: (SHIFT) + LEFT / RIGHT / UP / DOWN
  16. Hand Tool: H
  17. Export Media: CTRL + M
  18. Rolling Edit Tool: [N]
  19. Insert to Timeline: [,]
  20. Grouping Tool: CTRL + [G]

I would like to discuss my favourite tools:

Selection Tool: [V]

Selection Tool is the default tool in Adobe Premier and the most used. It is used to select clips in the timeline

Ripple Edit Tool: [B]

This tool is used to adjust an end point and move the other clip in the timeline to compensate.

Rolling Tool: [N]

Rolling Tool is my favourite tool in adobe premier which is used to adjust an end point between two clips. Changing this end points won’t affect rest of the timeline or other clips.

Grouping Clips :[CTRL] + [G]

For using this tool firstly we should select all the clips to be grouped and then press CTRL + G. When we click a clip in the created group, they all turn grey, i.e., gets selected. Grouping helps in moving multiple clips as a whole. After grouping, if we click on the end of a clip, it trims that clip and clicking on edge trim the group.

Razor Tool: [C]

Using Razor Tool, a clip can be divided into two pieces, i.e., unwanted part of the clip can be removed easily.

Add Default Transition: [SHIFT] + [D]

By this tool, default transition effect can be added to the selected clips. Transition effects sink two shots correctly and blend nicely.

Add Edit: CTRL + K

Add Edit is similar to Razor Tool, but it cuts only targeted clips. Add edit can be viewed in a sequence by clicking the wrench icon and choose “Show Through Edits”.

Track Selection Tool: [M]

With Selection Tool all clips on a track from a specified point can be selected, or even select multiple tracks.

Film Making: The Key Process

Filmmaking takes place in many places throughout the world in a range of social, political and economic contexts, and using a variety of filmic techniques and technologies. Typically, it involves a huge number of crew members and can take a few months to several months or years to complete. I have experience working as an associate director in two feature films in India.

I wish to discuss the development stage first; It is a vague, amorphous, and painful period in which the movie’s conception takes form, and the fundamental elements get sorted. Development mainly consists of the building of the story, treatment, script, plot points and structure. In the initial development phase the main plot is developed, here the screenwriter has a personal style of developing a story. However, anyone who takes the three-act structure will determine the plot’s  structure as a matter of significance. During development, the screenwriter decides the boundaries between the three acts, also the inciting incidents, conflicts and the midpoint of the second act. After developing the basic story, for most screenwriters, the next step involves writing a scene by scene outline of the full movie. Most of them use an index card for each scene to arrange and re-arrange the scene.

Next, I would like to discuss the Location. Finding appropriate place would be a real pain. From my experience, the best way to get a good deal on places is to contact an honest film location agent and explains the situation. Depending on the movie budget, location scouts, as like casting directors are worth every denomination if one can afford them. They do exactly what their name proposes; they go with our specifications and cast candidates for our location, and in any case, they already have wide-ranging libraries of location.

How do I write reflectively?

I spent a great deal of my time thinking about stories and scripts in my life. When I reflect on a story first, I start with building a character and make a story based on character. Initially, during my bachelor’s degree, I use to think of a story and add characters and incidents to it. Later when I worked under a director, he asked me to build a character and then brainstorm to make sub characters and conflicts that the character could face.

After reading reflective reading, I realised that what he asked me to do was a similar idea. I use to think about what people have said, and I always try to include it in my stories. Most my character’s characteristics are same as my real world friends or colleagues. I would say, reflection is a personal response to new ideas, information, situation, or experiences. It is a phase of processing where learning and thinking would take place. In my opinion, there is no particular style or format of reflective thinking; there are only questions to be explored and answered. Studying other people is an opportunity to gain self-knowledge, and also a way to achieve clarity and a better understanding of what we are learning.

I would like to discuss the strategies for enhancing learning from surrounding experience. We should also think about the different perspectives on what we read or experience, i.e., alternative interpretations I would like to call. We should be able to answer few questions like, why it is inspiring, confusing, challenging or exciting. We should be able to explore what comes next after thoughts and actions. Later at the end, we should think about, how we solved the problem, reached a conclusion and attained the point of understanding.