Our Blog is Moving!

As a note for those who have been so wonderful as to sign up for this blog. We will be discontinuing the use of WordPress to host our blog. This is for a variety of reasons, but primarily because of WordPress security concerns we have not been able to embed the blog into our website. So we’ve switched platforms and you will now be able to find us directly on the Scorched Ice Digital website at,¬†http://www.scorchedice.com/#!blog/d4cad

We can’t see a clear way to transfer subscriptions from WordPress to our new blog, so please sign up again at the link above! It’s quick and painless, we promise!

Our blog will cease to be here on March 24th, 2016.

Parkland Fuel Corporation :: Access

We recently completed a web commercial for our friends at Parkland Fuel Corporation. It is always a treat working with the wonderful people at Parkland. This commercial is intended to introduce their newly launched online customer account access site, where customers can manage their accounts online, whenever or wherever they choose. This project is entirely comprised of motion graphics, and stock footage from our friends over at Dissolve.

Eye Contact with your Audience :: It can be Simple & Effective

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Looking into a camera naturally is a difficult thing to do. Looking into a lens and articulating a message and maintaining the eye line with the viewer on the other end of the communication is virtually impossible for most people. I came across a product some time ago after watching the PBS Documentary Series, ‘America in Primetime‘. To say I was enthralled with the aesthetic and impact of the series would be an understatement. Not only was I a fan of the background used and the lighting, I was also taken with how well the interviewees made eye contact with me, the viewer; and did what Steve McWilliams calls, punctuating with the eyes, where the subject returns eye contact at key moments of delivering their message, something people do in everyday life when having conversations with each other and aren’t generally aware of.

So what does this preamble mean? Well, I found out how that production was able to get the interviewees to looking directly through the lens and into the eyes of the viewer and it’s deceptively simple. We recently used a device called the Eyedirect, invented, made and sold by Steve McWilliams down in Texas. This thing is basically a teleprompter that puts the interviewer’s face in front of the lens, similar to how a teleprompter works, all live, in real time so your subject has someone to look at; just like having a real face to face conversation. And let me tell you after using it with dozens subjects, people whose primary job function is not being in front of a camera, the results are amazing.

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It is a very natural and instinctive way to conduct interviews and get an emotional or personal connection across to the viewer. For communications such as investor relations, health and safety or any number of other uses where the executive is seeking to make a connection with the viewer in the process of articulating the message, my opinion is that this tool is invaluable when considering the result. We have done dozens of shoots now and all subjects were able to sit down and immediately make eye contact and maintain it!

Recently we used it on the Western Hockey League :: Raise Your Play project.

We also used it on: Influencer | Ivey Alumni Leadership Award

We originally brought this device into our studio’s kit bag in 2013, after more than two years of use for video productions in Calgary, Edmonton and elsewhere in Alberta; I can say without hesitation this is one of the best decisions regarding kit that I have ever made. For business and corporate communications in our home market of Calgary, this device has been helping executives deliver important video messages to business audiences for more than two years now with excellent results.

The Western Hockey League :: Raise Your Play

We were approached by our friends at the Western Hockey League to produce a new recruitment video for the league. The WHL is one of the premiere providers of NHL talent in the world and showcases some of the best junior hockey anywhere. This project took almost 18 months to complete, spanning approximately a season and a half. Logistically it was difficult to get access to WHL Alumni who are now playing in the NHL as well as the current roster of players in the Western Hockey League. Everyone involved has incredibly busy schedules so we had to move rapidly once we had confirmation of a player being in Calgary and that they were available to shoot an interview.

Interviews were shot primarily in Calgary, but also in Red Deer, Edmonton and Seattle.

I’ll post some more about this project soon, the workflow and final product on this is closely related to my previous post about what is good enough. When you might only have five minutes with an interview subject there isn’t time to adjust lighting, tweak the background or make lots of changes to camera settings. When hard time constraints are placed on the interview shoot there simply isn’t time for anything other than getting the shot. But I believe we came up with some innovative ways to raise the production value given those challenges…. Stay tuned.