Monday, 12 November 2012

Your My Hero!


"Sold! Take my money now and give me the Hero3 in all its pin sharp glory". One view of the video and I was gripped by the kind of Pavlovian response to reach for my wallet and hand over large amounts of cash that marketing teams dream of.

What have I actually been sold though? For an advert; and this video is marketing of the highest order there is very little about the product itself, no mention of the frankly ridiculous 4K image definition (which you will struggle to find a TV capable of displaying), the wi-fi, the tiny size; to find this out I had to go away and look it up. You could sell this on it's technical merits but they don't.

Sure the camera appears a little in the footage but you don't really notice it until repeat viewings. What you do notice is your mind being assaulted with images of people doing some really cool stuff in some really amazing places, and despite the fact that my chances of ever going helli-skiing are remote I instantly buy into the product as part of a lifestyle choice which I want to take. The fact that most of us have neither the physical or filming tallent immaterial we want one because we associate the product with a shot at that lifestyle.

Having said all this, at least this marketing is to sell a product that is actually truly remarkable. How the hell can something be that small and manage to shoot images like this. My big heavy SLR cost more and delivers less and I certainly can't attach it to my head next time I want to head out on the mountain bike.

Arguments about it being over specced vs. future proofed, and the technical wizardry of huge pixel numbers are for me not the real selling point. What GoPro have managed to create with this and its older siblings is a tool that can genuinely give you a new perspective on events. The camera fits almost anywhere from the end of a ski pole to the frame of a bike, I've not seen anyone fit it to the head of an ice axe yet but its only a matter of time.

When you see those ridiculous images of the surfers racing through huge pipes of water or that fantastic shot of a seal launch from the nose of a kayak it twigs that actually this is not just about recording a few holiday shots to impress your mates (Ok for many people this will be what it's about). This is about a tool that offers the flexibility for people to be really inventive with how they compose and frame their footage to tell a story, a tool that allows people to take high quality film almost anywhere you can go. 

There, I've convinced myself that I can justify the purchase on creative grounds and not as a result of brilliant marketing. I want one!

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Off-Road Rodie!

So I may as well sell my mountain bikes then, all hail the lycra clad future...

Movie Time: Iceland

I'm slowly learning with video that you can never shoot too much; I flew out to Iceland with 24GB of storage but failed to fill more than eight, and even then most of that was still pictures. 

I do have a few excuses, the weight saving decision to leave the tripod at home and the really strong winds meant I was not about to let go of the camera perched precariously to get some nice action shots. Really though I just did not think things through, its often the little linking shots that are missing, too much staring at the marco of the jaw dropping scenery not looking for the detail.

From this display of poor planning I have just about managed to salvage a semi coherent story out of the ashes; hopefully it gives a flavour of what the trip was like.


Being critical I feel I now need to move away from the "lots of pretty views to music" style of video and start to tell a story. Unfortunately this will involve me taking and the camera and I'm not sure I want to inflict that on you all yet. Stay tuned.....