Video production has a reputation for being costly and time-consuming. If you want to create a commercial, video series, film or documentary with a high production value that also stays within the comfy confines of a pre-defined budget, you are going to need to prioritize your vision. If you already have a concept and script […]
About Carson Coots
Carson is the founder of Cognitive Films, a video production company specializing in documentary, advertising and corporate films.
Entries by Carson Coots
Producing a video isn’t always about acquiring more customers. A well planned and executed video can streamline your internal processes, cut down on customer support time, reduce returns, attract the right people, or train with efficiency. Here are just a few ways you can use videos to make your business run like a machine. Company […]
How do you tell your brand story that resonates with customers? Make your customer the hero in your story. The word “Storytelling” has become a bit of a buzzword in the marketing world. It’s the perfect buzzword because on it’s face it seems relatable and fun (we all love a great story). How do you […]
Capturing a compelling testimonial interview on video is more than setting up a camera and asking customers to talk about their experience. While it’s true that you have little control over how a customer feels and what words they will use to describe your product or service, it doesn’t mean you can’t use techniques that […]
It has been reported that nearly half of all Internet video is watched on mobile devices, and Youtube now reaches more 18-to-34-olds and 18-to-49-year-olds than any single TV network – broadcast or cable, on mobile devices. News, comedy, documentary, web series and educational video content is now being tailored to fit the attention span that comes with mobile and social […]
In this TED Talk, Pixar director/screenwriter Andrew Stanton (“Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E”) shares a few of his ideas about what makes a great story. Here are a few takeaways from the presentation: Storytelling is “Joke Telling” You have to know what the ending is going to be before you start. Drama is anticipation without certainty. Every action […]
In this short video featured in The Atlantic, legendary documentary filmmaker Ken Burns explains how the whole of the story transcends the sum of its parts: Jean Luc Goddard said cinema is truth 24 times a second. Maybe. It’s lying 24 times a second too, all the time, all story is manipulation. Is there acceptable […]
In May of 2014, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) held their second annual NewFronts conference, coinciding with the release a multi part study indicating that (not surprisingly) 68% of marketers and agency executive will be increasing video ad budgets, with three out of four expecting original digital video programming to be as important as TV programming within […]
If you want to make a video to promote your company or organization, you need to ask a lot of questions. What is the concept? What is the budget? Who is the audience? What is the core message? How long will it run? What is the call to action? All of these are important questions, […]
Over the last decade, documentary films have been on the rise in popularity and profitability. Production and equipment is lighter and cheaper, and filmmakers are free to experiment in finding creative ways to tell true stories. VOD services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and iTunes are giving a growing worldwide market access to huge libraries of quality non-fiction films. But […]
Since the 2014 introduction of new auto-play video features, Facebook video view averages have been growing by leaps and bounds. Uploads are also are on the up and up as people are seeing videos flying through their timeline, triggering even more uploads. Since June 2015, an average of 4 billion videos are watched on Facebook each day and climbing. That’s up from 3 billion views […]
Showing interaction via text, the internet and other devices can be a challenge on film. You are faced with a few choices. You can shoot the screen on the device in a live action shot, use graphics or typography to overlay the messages in post, or even supplement a shot of a character typing an email using a […]
From finance to fashion, certain industries are traditionally, by design, cloaked in mystery. New York Times fashion columnist Vanessa Friedman’s column, Fashion Has Much to Gain From Honest Documentaries, points out how fashion brands clearing the air of this dated, faux mystique to connect with consumers in an age of direct communication and transparency. Fashion is an industry of […]
Check out this 76 minute uncut interview with Stanley Kubrick in 1966 during the filming of 2001, A Space Odyssey. Interviewed over a game of chess by New Yorker columnist Jeremy Bernstein, Kubrick answers questions on his early career, creative problem-solving, photography, why he failed english, space exploration, and the bomb. A year after the interview, Bernstein published the […]
After watching the 1960 corporate parody film Your Name Here, it will start to dawn on you that the corporate cliche’s of yesteryear are still alive and well in the modern world. It was created for trade shows by The Calvin Company, a Missouri-based educational and industrial film production company. More on The Calvin Company For nearly half a century The […]
The key to understanding how viral videos spread is knowing what motivates people to share. What common traits do successfully branded viral videos share? I’ve been researching videos that have amassed millions of views in an attempt to find the common denominator. This is the first in a series of articles examining the most viral videos […]
Commercial production and ads support many independent would-be filmmakers dreaming of shooting their first feature film. Some may look at these ads as a troublesome stepping stone to the “big break”. But for seasoned feature filmmakers like Wes Anderson, directing commercials offers a fertile playground for experimentation. Many great filmmakers have made advertisements, including Fredrico […]
Many businesses are now integrating video on their websites. Unfortunately, the integration can be sloppy. Why spend the time, resources and energy making a great video just to fall short on the final delivery? Here are 10 common mistakes businesses make when integrating video on their websites.
Adobe has just announced a new service/feature called “Adobe Anywhere” that allows video editors to collaborate on editing projects across the web. Using Adobe Anywhere, video editors can work with remote assets over the network and work on a single timeline without having to copy or transfer files to local systems, apparently without a loss […]
Cognitive Films recently launched a new “online film school” called FilmFu. The site features a collection of awesome film and video production lectures, tutorials, interviews and case-studies we are compiling from all over the web. If you are interested in learning about the art of filmmaking, scriptwriting, fundraising, cinematography, editing, sound, and more, check out FilmFu. […]
Robert Rodriguez visits the UT campus to host a conversation with students and inspire what he calls, “the next generation of innovators.” covering the push and acceptance of independent films in the 1990s, the rise and explosion of digital film around the new millennium, and the profitable return of the 3-D genre in the 2000s. […]
Get Camera Ready on Kickstarter! I recently came across a really interesting Kickstarter project by journalist and former BBC reporter Manoush Zomorodi. Camera Ready is a multimedia e-book that will contain what she says is a culmination of her life’s work as an on-camera reporter and media trainer. I naturally look twice at books related to journalistic or documentary video production, […]
Camera phones have come a long way in the last few years. The HD video capabilities on the new iPhone are amazing. Some have even tested the iPhone 4S camera to prove that in certain light the quality can almost rival a DSLR. Millions now hold the power to shoot decent video right in their pockets. That is […]
On May 23rd, Experimental collage filmmaker Kelly Sears will be presenting a presentation with a Q&A session at 29th Street Ballroom in Austin. Sears’ Films include: Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise, Imprinted, Cover Me Alpha, Voice on the Line, The Body Besieged, Jean, The Believers, He Hates to be Second, The Drift, […]
On May 3rd, 2012, Austin Film Society will be hosting a special moviemaker dialogue panel featuring three local filmmakers who will the rise of streaming internet video, as well as their experiences with digital distribution. I am particularly excited that award-winning documentary producer Brady Dial will be on the panel.
Even in documentary production, story elements are essential to keep the audience engaged. How can you “plan” a story when you are documenting real life? How do character, setting, plot, conflict and theme play out in a documentary? Caine’s arcade is a video about a young boy who built a mini-arcade out of cardboard boxes and supplies […]
At Cognitive Films, even though we primarily concentrate on documentary video production, we do our best to apply storytelling principals in both the planning phase and the editing room after the shoot. By building to a resoultion (AKA Theme) and layering the information in logically, a documentary can edited to follow basic story structure. Even when […]
The Reel Change Film Frenzy is officially over. I am happy to report that our video was turned in on time, with minimal hiccups. We were paired with Badgerdog Literary Publishing, a nonprofit group committed to developing literary communities. We did our best to shoot, edit, encode and deliver a documentary-style story within 48 hours. The […]
The Austin Reel Change Film Frenzy is Upon Us Last year, I participated in the production of a short documentary capturing a behind-the scenes look at the 48 Hour Film Festival in Austin. This was a contest where filmmakers were challenged with making a short film in only 2 days. The competition was fierce, and […]
Cognitive Films is an Austin video production company specializing in story-driven films for businesses and nonprofits.