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Apr032014

Bluetooth video wins a Telly Award

On 03, Apr 2014 | No Comments | In Innovation | By Hannah Lofgren

This week we were pleased to learn that we won a Telly Award for our work on the Bluetooth World Open!

The Bluetooth World 2013 conference took place in Shanghai and gathered the world’s leading innovators in connected technology. Bluetooth approached RUN to create an event open which would pay homage to their roots, show multiple scenarios of everyday objects being part of a connected world, and, most importantly, inspire the audience.

After brainstorming a number of different ideas, we felt the best motif to achieve all of these goals was a tree. Showing things like roots and growth was obvious. The scenarios could be played out on the different “leaves” of the tree and the motion flying through the branches would keep the pace flowing. Best of all, using a tree as a symbol kept the overall feel of the piece in an organic sphere, which helped to evoke a more emotional response. In fact, the client said that the piece literally “gave them chills.”

It was a fantastic partnership for the project – we are proud of our achievement, and grateful to Bluetooth for the opportunity. Perhaps when the statuette arrives, we will craft a tree out of pipe cleaner to keep our little guy company.

Posted by: Michelle Odo, Motion graphics producer

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Jan172014

Seahawks Week at RUN!

On 17, Jan 2014 | No Comments | In Events | By Hannah Lofgren

Fan Fever has broken out at RUN Studios! (We have spirit, yes we do! GOOOO HAWKS!!!!)

Contests and festivities to celebrate the Seahawks’ first seed place in the NFC Playoffs have filled this week with lots of fun at RUN!

Earlier this week, we held a photo contest and raffled off a pair of playoff game tickets. Winners for “Best use of a baby”; “ Best use of Blitz, the Seahawks’ mascot”; “Best use of a SeaGal”; “ Best use of a canine”; ” Best use of a weirdo”; and “ Best use of the word RUN” all received Seahawks swag! Blue corn chips, salsa verde, grapes and blueberries were on the menu as we announced the winners at our mini mid-day extravaganza!

Seahawks spirit is especially strong today as we celebrate Blue Friday! Awards for most spirited will be given at the Weekend Prep Social Hour at Microsoft Production Studios, where we will dig into the nacho bar and cheer on the Seahawks!

None of your average “Buy a Square” games here! For our version of Squares, support was given to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, with half of the proceeds going to charity.

Fierce competition is breaking out as co-workers quickly bought out the squares for the score board contest– who will win the big money for having the winning scores?

Posted by: Rebecca Seeman, HR & Client Relationship Manager

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Categorized as Events | No Comments

Sep242013

A case study video of our new interactive video wall

On 24, Sep 2013 | No Comments | In Innovation, Video | By Paolo Tosolini

A few months back we blogged about our new interactive digital signage solution that leverages HTML5, Kinect, touch and cloud storage to offer a new user experience for retail and trade shows. This solution is a joint effort among RUN Studios, our development partner Peloton Alliance and Microsoft Production Studios.

This case study video illustrates what our interactive wall looks like in action. If you are interested in a private demo, just drop us a note.

Special thanks to our intern Colin Moll for creating this nice piece.

Posted by: Paolo Tosolini, Director of Emerging Media

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Categorized as Innovation, Video | No Comments

Sep092013

Summer FUN at RUN!

On 09, Sep 2013 | No Comments | In Events, Run Studios | By Paolo Tosolini

BBQ Microsoft Studios collage RUN
What do BBQ’s and Gelato have in common?

Both are deliciously themed events RUN produces in partnership with Microsoft Production Studios to bring smiles to our employees, connect with clients and celebrate our passion all while enjoying sweet treats and summer fun!

RUN recently hosted a lunch-time BBQ to show appreciation to our RUN resources for a successful event season and to thank Microsoft Production Studios for the great partnership. Clients of Studios who were in production at the facility on the day of the BBQ were also invited to join in the festivities. RUN employees from various work locations were able to meet; some for the first time and others had the chance to reconnect and catch up with former work-mates. This meeting of new friends and gathering of all, created some great networking opportunities.

Along with a large variety of great food for every taste and diet; RUN hosted raffles and games.  The “cake walk” was especially a favorite; many hoped to land on the winning number when the music stopped to collect a prize! The simple joys of friendship, food and fun made the BBQ a huge success.

Gelato Tweetup RUN Studios
To keep cool from the summer sun, we enjoyed hand crafted Gelato, provided by Gelatiamo, a local Gelato shop during the 5th annual Gelato Tweetup event.

The Tweetup event is hosted at Microsoft Production Studios and sponsored by RUN to highlight the state of the art facility at Microsoft Production Studios and the partnership with RUN Studios.

The Tweetup is a themed social networking event where guests are encouraged to Tweet about their experience, guess the new Gelato flavor invented exclusively for the event, and gain private access to Microsoft Production Studios by taking a detailed behind the scenes tours of the largest production facility in the Northwest.

This year the Tweetup theme was Technology and Entrepreneurship. The event provided a great networking opportunity and with over 100 attendees; it was quite a busy night.

Want to get in on the fun, food and great opportunities? Please check out our Facebook page and be sure to follow us on Twitter.

We hope to see you at our next event!

Posted by: Rebecca Seeman, HR & Client Relationship Manager

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Categorized as Events, Run Studios | No Comments

Jul012013

HTML5 + Cloud + Media = Interactive Digital Signage

On 01, Jul 2013 | One Comment | In Innovation, Run Studios | By admin

Paolo Tosolini kinect video wall - Interactive Digital Signage

At RUN Studios, we live and breathe visual experiences in the form of videos, motion graphics and 3D animations. All of this media usually ends up on our clients’ web sites, intranets and quite often on big screens at corporate events (and sometimes, on Times Square!).

So it became natural to ask ourselves: How can we make this media more interactive? How about making it mobile too?

We started crafting a vision for a digital signage experience for the retail and hospitality industries, that could be enjoyed not only on desktop PCs, but also on tablets, smartphones and big screen TVs. Furthermore, we wanted to give a choice to users among mouse, keyboard, gestures and touch, as input mechanisms.

To accomplish our goals we needed a capable development partner with a solid background in UX design. Following a careful research, we decided to partner with the Peloton Alliance to turn this idea into reality.

After several months of planning, development and testing, we are happy to share the results of our efforts architected around the latest web technologies; namely HTML5 and cloud services.  Our media wall application features:

  • 3D media carousel functionality (scroll, select, play)
  • Standard support for video, graphics, tags and slide show media types
  • Support for custom media types (e.g. streaming, twitter feed, web widgets)
  • Input via Microsoft Kinect, touch screen and mouse
  • HTML5 compatibility (IE10, Safari, Chrome)
  • Local or cloud media storage (Amazon, Microsoft Azure)
Media types supported by our interactive video wall

Media types supported by our interactive video wall

Deployment and maintenance costs are optimized, thanks to the built-in CMS (Content Management System) that enables a centralized control of the assets in the cloud. Because the entire experience runs through an HTML5 browser, there are no special hardware requirements other than a relatively modern machine or device (e.g. iPads /iPhones).

Touch and Kinect - RUN Studios video wall

“Interactivity is the future of digital signage” says Daniel Orme-Doutre, who runs the digital signage network at Microsoft. “As sensor  technologies, like Kinect for Windows and touch screens gain in popularity, rich media information will find new and engaging ways to be delivered to an increasingly mobile audience. The interactive media wall experience created by RUN Studios and the Peloton Alliance aligns very well with this trend.”

What would you do with your own media wall? Send us your ideas, comments and inquires. We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted by: Paolo Tosolini, Director of Emerging Media

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Categorized as Innovation, Run Studios | One Comment

Jun242013

Breaking new ground: How RUN continues to grow

On 24, Jun 2013 | No Comments | In Run Studios | By admin

(This is a guest post by Emily Weaver, who interned at RUN Studios during the summer of 2012)

As a student at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to join RUN Studios for the summer of 2012 as a video production intern. At the time, the company was in an exciting state of growth and expansion. In the words of Director of Video Production Elie Goral, RUN had literally grown “too big for its britches.” In just five years time, the company has grown from a small animation boutique with only a handful of employees, to a successful digital media production studio that defines itself through its dedication to professionalism, creativity and innovation.

Spending my time in the office this past summer documenting the physical expansion of the company spoke volumes to the overall quality of RUN and its 40+ dedicated employees. Throughout my time at RUN, I was able to help document the company’s redesign, renovation and next steps towards an exciting and promising future.

The video below captures RUN’s latest physical expansion into an office almost double its original size. Special credit to interns James Starlin and Charles McDowell for filming and editing this video.

Thank you to Paolo Tosolini, Elie Goral and Francesca Tosolini for all of your help and support throughout my summer at RUN Studios; I hope it won’t be my last.

Posted by: Emily Weaver, Video production intern

 

RUN Studios office expansion from Run Studios on Vimeo.

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Jun112013

The redesign of RUN Studios lobby and conference room

On 11, Jun 2013 | One Comment | In Run Studios | By admin

(This is a guest post by Francesca Tosolini, owner of CreatingInteriors.com, the company we hired to redesign our lobby)

What more can an interior decorator ask for, if not a team of enthusiastic, young and creative people as clients? RUN Studios is exactly this: a vibrant motion graphics and video production company, who sought my help in remodeling a section of their office, due to their recent expansion into the adjacent building.

We teamed up together to bring a fresher look to the lobby, the waiting room and the conference room, focusing on a modern and linear style. Marrying together functionality and good design, the end result is a bright and welcoming environment that reflects the personality of this energetic and successful company.

The video below captures some of the thought process and decision-making behind our choices on colors, furniture and final layout.

Special thanks to RUN’s interns, Emily Weaver, James Starlin and Charles McDowell for contributing their time to record this story.

Posted by:

Francesca Tosolini
Interior decorator, home stager and color consultant
CreatingInteriors.com

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Categorized as Run Studios | One Comment

May132013

Want employees to create videos? Make it a game

On 13, May 2013 | One Comment | In Innovation | By admin

(This interview was originally published on Ragan Communications web site)

Can you spot the differences between these two statements?

1. “You’re required to create three videos a month.”
2. “If you make the effort to create three videos each month, you’ll get your own video equipment and software to use for free. Not only that, we’ll recognize you as a leader in the company.”

It’s like night and day, isn’t it? According to Paolo Tosolini, director of emerging media at Run Studios, all it takes is a little incentive—a little bit of making video production into a game—to get employees excited about bringing their expertise to their company’s video messaging. It’s a good way to get employees to watch important videos, as well.

Gamification badges

The three mechanics

Gamification, when it comes to employee video, isn’t just about rewards, Tosolini says, though those can be an incentive. It’s about understanding what employees want to get out of going the extra mile.
With that in mind, Tosolini lists three mechanics that a video program with gamification elements can have to get employees excited:

1. Game mechanics, which reward behaviors that you want from your employees and which help accomplish business goals, such as finishing up training modules within a certain amount of time.
2. Reputation mechanics, which elevate the statuses of people within your culture using badges, levels, leaderboards, and other methods of displaying accomplishments.
3. Social mechanics, which enable sharing, recommending, and notifying colleagues of positive behaviors.

These three mechanics work together, Tosolini says, to make a program mutually beneficial. Employees get rewards and recognition, and more videos get produced.

More production

If one department is producing every video a company makes, that company isn’t using all its resources, Tosolini says. “Knowledge really resides among employees,” he says.
Beyond that, delegating video production to employees generates a slew of ideas and keeps costs fairly low, particularly if employees use their own equipment, such as smartphones.

“You could run contests,” Tosolini suggests. “For example, the company SAP decided to run a contest for their 40th anniversary to crowdsource the best songs to celebrate their anniversary.”

Qualcomm logoEnterprising employees submitted about 200 videos featuring 1,000 employees from all over the world, he says.
Qualcomm “created a montage of the videos and used it as the kickoff video for their company meeting,” Tosolini says. That montage was included in the company’s entry into the Great Place to Work competition as well. Qualcomm ranked No. 11 this year.
Qualcomm didn’t even offer any big prizes that Tosolini knows of. The reward was the intrinsic motivation of employees making their voices heard and boosting their reputations, he says.

“If you’re running an employee-generated program, you want to make sure that those who participate become your heroes.”
Even so, prizes can be good, too. A program that Tosolini ran at Microsoft, titled “Academy Rewards,” enabled employees to win all sorts of goodies, such as laptops and phones, by trading in accrued points.
“The idea was that, if you create content, videos, we are going to assign you points,” Tosolini says. “We also want you, the employee who created the content, to tell everybody else you did it. By becoming your own marketer, you’re going to get more points, because for every view of your video, you will get additional points.”

More viewing

Tosolini says companies can use similar elements—badges, points, etc.—to get people to watch a video or series of videos. He used a hypothetical software company that was upping its output as an example.

“How do you train your sales force to get up to speed quicker on your product?” Tosolini asks. “You need to invent some sort of mechanism for them to get their training more often.”
What was a chore now becomes something people want to do.
“It’s not just gamification here,” he says. “It’s smart use of corporate resources to stimulate employees to go the extra mile to accomplish a business objective.”

Posted by: Paolo Tosolini, Director of Emerging Media

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Categorized as Innovation | One Comment

Apr262013

Our New Reel

On 26, Apr 2013 | No Comments | In Events, Motion, Run Studios, Video | By admin

As a company whose focus is creating visual media, a demo reel is the most essential tool we have to showcase our work. It’s a visual response to the question we all get asked: “So what exactly do you do?” By presenting examples of our experience in motion graphics, video production and 3D animation, we demonstrate our abilities and reveal our personality.

Recently, we updated our reel to highlight the most current content we’ve created. To start the process we had to answer a series of questions, like what projects are visually engaging enough to make the cut? What kind of music should we use? How do we want to present ourselves to the world? By answering these questions, we not only laid the groundwork for our reel, we also solidified the image of our company.

During the course of our day to day life at RUN, our time is mostly spent absorbed in projects. We often end up so engaged with the tasks at hand that we forget to look back on what’s been accomplished. By updating our reel, we have the opportunity to reflect on our body of work and select the projects that make us proud. It’s a valuable process for us to go through. After all, what’s the point of making all this great stuff if we don’t show it off?

Our reel is a representation of our company, our clients, and the hard work we’ve put into these projects. It is multiple years of our lives, packed into two minutes. Check it out!

Posted by: Landon Beal, Producer

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Apr092013

The state of employee generated video inside the enterprise

On 09, Apr 2013 | No Comments | In Innovation | By admin

[This is a reprint of a guest post we contributed to Simply Communicate and distributed to 15K subscribers of their web site]

Based on recent research by IDC, the top three drivers for internal video adoption in organizations are training, video messaging and executive communications. However, while the research reveals the business reasoning behind this trend, each company implements their video programs in different ways.

In this article I’ll share some of the results of my own research I personally conducted by interviewing several organizations across various industries on the kind of business processes and adoption strategies that fuel their internal video programs.

The rise of social and mobile video

There used to be a time when video distribution was as simple as posting a link on the intranet. But the digital workplace has been evolving towards a social and mobile experience, and media content has followed suit, too.

VZTube, Verizon Wireless internal YouTube platformLet’s take for example the Mayo Clinic which invested early on considerable resources in creating a solid infrastructure for internal training. Ernie Hain, Video Production Unit Head, leads a staff of 14 people (8 producers / directors, 4 editors, 2 Motion Graphic artists) tasked to feed their internal cable system with fresh videos serving their 60,000 employees. Nurses and physicians increasingly need this content to be sharable and portable, pushing the company to augment the current distribution model with an internal system enabled for mobile access.

Verizon Wireless launched its VZTube platform in 2005 mostly for training and internal communications. Being a mobile company, they have been strategizing training videos to be easily consumable on small screens in order to support B2B and indirect retail engagements. “Videos are always considered supplemental and never a replacement to official updates,” explained Gary Minor, Midwest Area Employee Communications Manager at Verizon Wireless. “’Employees can quickly familiarize with a topic using media, but we always want them to pay attention to the details.”

Crowdsourcing knowledge from your workforce

Knowledge is one of those assets that is distributed all across an organization. However, establishing the flow of information from those who have it to those who need it has always been a challenge. Using video is a smart way to tackle this problem, although it needs to be contextualized as part of a larger strategy that includes easy ways to capture, categorize and distribute it.

Steven Rath Morgan, Manager Global Learning Process at Xerox, explains how high performing organizations have a strong learning culture. Xerox believes that employees should be encouraged to share knowledge that drives performance, and the company should provide the means to make it happen. That’s why they launched an internal user-generated video platform that encourages everybody to ‘Show, Share, and Lead’ through the power of video on their PCs, tablets or smartphones.

Employee generated content at Xerox

If done correctly, the economics of crowdsourcing content are there. Nina Kelley-Rumpff, Program Manager, Enterprise Collaboration at SAP, told me that the company has been open in letting employees publish their own videos straight to their ‘internal YouTube’ platform. The results? A sounding success with 5000 submissions and half a million views in the first two years of running the program.

Both Xerox and SAP believe that the policing of the content shouldn’t be a task solely assigned to a specific individual or team for pre-approval. Governance can be driven, in part, through social dynamics, which means that employees should be trusted to do the right thing when they create and publish their videos. User-generated content providers cannot upload anonymously. Viewers have the ability to rate, comment and report any content that is inappropriate, and so far neither company has experienced any problem by embracing this open approach.

Correlating motivation to social video

In his book Drive, best-selling author Daniel Pink explores the triggers of human motivation. He argues that employees can be organically motivated by the challenge of self-improvement and achieving common and higher goals, provided they are given some autonomy to make that happen.

Drive by Daniel PinkHow do those findings relate to video in the enterprise? Very well, indeed. Let’s think about what could persuade people to spend time recording themselves to the benefits of others. After all, everybody is already busy with their day jobs, and they might not be interested in spending time learning how to shoot or edit videos.

There are a couple of approaches here: the first one is to include these deliverables as part of the employee commitments. This might work to a certain extent, but anecdotal evidence shows that people will create videos out of the necessity of being compliant with their goals more than anything else. The second approach is to demonstrate value in sharing knowledge by correlating this effort to an opportunity of showcasing expertise in a particular field.

The latter will likely yield the best results, and the company should consider ways to leverage internal communications to praise those efforts which will ultimately translate in a positive boost of the contributors’ reputation.

Adding game mechanics to the mix

Gamification is a fashionable word these days. By gamifying a process, you reward people for accomplishing certain tasks and reaching various goals. The rewards could be tangible or intangible.

To accelerate user generated contributions, Microsoft had a program called Academy Rewards, named after their enterprise YouTube platform. Employees accrued points for each video they uploaded and they also received points when people watched them. This stimulated employees not only to create content but also to advertise it among their colleagues. Points were then redeemable for tech gadgets via an online store.

Another popular way to get employees involved is to run internal contests. Laura Shanley, Staff Employee Communications Specialist at Qualcomm, explained to me how the company recently asked employees to record a video on why they loved to work there. The campaign was named ‘I ♥ Q’ and produced more than 200 short user generated clips involving more than one thousand employees. The outcome was so successful that Qualcomm decided to remix those videos into a single montage and use it to kick off their company meeting. It was also submitted to the ‘Great Place To Work’ contest. This initiative accomplished multiple goals, including fostering team building by incentivizing employees to meet new colleagues to create a video.

If there is a single lesson to draw from my research it is that employees can be a great source of stories and learning content if you know how to engage and motivate them properly. The companies who let go some of the control on user generated content are the ones that are benefitting the most from this approach.

Posted by: Paolo Tosolini, Director of Emerging Media

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