All posts by struckdownent@gmail.com

Fart Force an Exercise In Absurdity

In a few hours, at approximately 2:20 AM (Friday night to Saturday morning) during Adult Swim, our brand new “show” Fart Force will premiere. The show will only be visible to people tuning in on FiOS and Spectrum Reach in the WNY area. This is because we don’t actually have a show per se.


Fart Force Crime Scene Poster
FF Crime Scene Poster

Over the summer, director Rob Imbs, and owner of Struck Down Entertainment Dominic Luongo had an idea for what is quite possibly the silliest experiment in television since the Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion. Create a show and secretly insert it onto Cartoon Network through a media buy (aka commercial airtime). Our creation: Fart Force.

It’s something of an Andy Kaufmanesque move.

Also, each episode is only a minute long. Since we were buying airtime, that’s the longest amount of time we could purchase, so we went for it.

“It was an opportunity to try something new and different,” Imbs said. “We wanted to create something that was fast and funny and would make the viewer do a double take.”

Or in other words, it’s an exercise in absurdity, and we want to take you along for the ride.

“It’s the flash mob of TV shows,” Luongo said. “It runs in, hits you with the comedy, and runs back out before you’ve had a chance to fully register what happened.”

To sum up, we basically have the Schrödinger’s cat of television shows. Depending on how you observe it, it is a real show, except for when it isn’t.



http://fartforce.net/

Changes To Struck Down Entertainment

Good afternoon everyone! We here at Struck Down Entertainment wanted to take the time to thank everyone for their support over the years, and announce some changes that we’re going through as a company.

Struck Down Entertainment - ChangesYesterday we closed the following branches of the company: Music Video, Corporate Video, and Television Commercial. We will be turning our attention away from music videos and TV commercials, centering our company around filmmaking. It is both a bittersweet and exciting moment in our company’s history, and again we want to thank everyone for their support in the past.

We hope to continue to receive your support in our future endeavors as we focus on film.

And as always, we will keep you informed as we make our way through this transitional period. So stay tuned!

“Your Business Story”

Now you can create a personal business story and share it with the world…on Facebook!

Your Business Story

As a thank you to all the businesses that advertise using Facebook, the social media platform has recently started offering business owners the chance to make a custom “Your Business Story” video.   The video is a simple way to share with people your business, what it looks like, and what it does.

We think it’s a pretty neat idea, and while not everyone will want to craft one of these short 15-second videos (we’ll admit it, we haven’t), creating a “Your Business Story” could be a fun, quick way to engage your audience and show them what your business is all about.

To create your story, or watch some sample videos, click here.

Aspect Ratio And The Visual Medium

Take a look at a portrait. Then look at a landscape. Then at an argument on the Internet where people complain about someone holding their phone wrong whilst taking a video. In all of these situations, aspect ratio matters.

Aspect Ratio

Marshall McLuhan once said, “The medium is the message.” But what did he mean by that? Luckily, he followed this statement with the more clarifying, “We shape our tools and therefore our tools shape us.”

Wait, what does that mean?

Okay, let us explain. For McLuhan, it was the medium itself that shaped and controlled something. Whether it be a film, a picture, a piece of music, a landscape, or even a broader concept like human interaction, the way something is framed, the “lens” through which we see (or hear) something, very much comes to define it.

In terms of producing videos – since that’s what we do here at Struck Down Entertainment – we are essentially shaping them when we choose what aspect ratio to film in, and in turn that aspect ratio says something about our video.

For example, shooting in black and white will say something to the viewer, just as writing a piece of music in a major key will say something to the listener. To most, a black and white film evokes the past, while music written in a major key often evokes a sense of happiness or triumphant victory.

So you see, aspect ratios are not only important because they impact the size of what will be shown, but because they can be broken down to evoke different reactions from the viewer based on the subtle shape of the screen we are watching.

Below are four popular aspect ratios and how they affect the viewer.


Aspect Ratio:

1) 1:1

Evokes the past. It is often the shape of old photographs and Polaroids.

2) 4:3

Also known as the “Academy Ratio,” this one’s good for period pieces. It was the very first aspect ratio, after all.

3) 16:9

The most commonly used ratio. Often seen on TV, this ratio suggests a documentary type feel.

4) 21:9

Used in most movies. Intense drama, sweeping landscapes, this is the aspect ratio for new cinema. It adds a level of authenticity because it fills more of your peripheral vision.


The bottom line: be sure to keep aspect ratio in mind when filming your next video, because the ratio you choose will undoubtedly say something to your audience.

What’s A Video Worth?

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. Then what’s a video worth?

What's A Video Worth?

Like pictures, videos have been around for quite a while. The way videos are being produced may be changing, just as the equipment used to shoot them is, but they still pack a serious punch when it comes to reaching people. Today, maybe even more so.

With smartphones everywhere, meaning practically unlimited access to media and the Internet, video has arguably emerged as the preeminent way to reach people. Thanks to new technologies (not to mention Youtube), the reach of video has grown exponentially.


Take a look at the infographic above, courtesy of Nielsen. Then check out some of these numbers from last year…

  • 40 billion videos were streamed every month in the U.S. (Comscore)
  • 75 million people watched online videos in the U.S. (Comscore)
  • YouTube had over a billion users watching video – almost a third of all people on the Internet!
  • Americans spent 5.5 hours a day watching online video (eMarketer)
  • 87% of marketers were using video for content marketing (eMarketer)

So what does this this mean for marketers who are using video? What’s it mean for those who aren’t?

It means start integrating more video into your brand…now! Whether its via your advertisements, website, social media pages, or ideally a combination of the three, you have to start using video to your advantage, and not just to stay relevant, but to reach new customers and keep your current ones interested in what your business has to offer.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what’s a video worth? We’ll tell you: a lot more…like millions of people more.

Video Production Trends

It’s been almost a month since 2015 passed us by, and things change pretty fast in the video production world. So regardless of what kind of videos you’re looking to create this year, you need to keep up with these video production trends if you want you’re video to make the best possible impact.

Video Production TrendsHere are three video production trends to watch out for, trends that might be useful to keep in mind as you begin preparing your videos for 2016 and beyond…


Video Production Trends:

1) Streaming video

Traditional television is falling by the wayside (sad, we know). We once saw people tune into their favorite channels and watch their programs live. Then DVR happened, allowing people to skip commercials. Now, people want their TV programming instantaneously, and why wouldn’t they when they can reach other forms of entertainment at the tap of a button. This is where video streaming comes in.

Video streaming gives audiences information immediately. Streaming works best if you or your company is hosting or attending a live event; now you can bring your audience into the experience with you by streaming it live. With video streaming you can also give tours of your workplace, show a new project in the making, showcase old ones, give your audience a demonstration of a product in action, and more.

While not ideal for everyone’s personal or business needs, video streaming is definitely something to look into.

2) Incorporating video into websites

Last year high quality, attractive logos were becoming the norm on both company and personal websites. And while that’s still very much the case, videos are being used more and more instead to not only bring traffic to website homepages, but keep it.

If done correctly, a high-quality video as either a focal point on your homepage or even as a full-blown background can make quite the impression. A video, as opposed to a static image, will also hold the viewer’s attention and keep them on your site longer, which is a huge plus. The only trick is this: the video has to be of high quality, even if it means enlisting outside help. Otherwise you run the risk of loosing potential customers – even already existing ones.

Regardless of the kind of video, putting one on your site is extremely encouraged.

3) Shortening video

Lastly, let’s be honest, people’s lives have become busier than ever and with less time to watch video than in years past. There’s also a lot more out there on the Internet than there used to be. The majority of people are surfing the Web from smartphones because it’s faster and more convenient…and with so much to look at, the videos they’re watching are short.

Think about it. Instagram videos have a 15 second maximum, while Vine has a 6 second maximum. Even Youtube says 50% of their traffic comes from mobile devices. So, it makes sense that a one-minute video will be watched by more people than a two or three-minute video. It takes up less time. The more information you can communicate in a short amount of time, the better.

To put it simply, shorter is better.

Honorable Mention: 4K

Yes, 4K has been around for a while now and a bunch of cameras, smartphones, and TV’s have already been supporting it. However, 4K is really starting to make its way to the masses now, and should continue to do so throughout 2016.

To many, the difference between HD and 4K is minimal. Brights are brighter and darks are, well, darker. Richer tones and a slightly crisper image may not be important to everyone, but some say filming in 4K will make the post-production process easier in the future too. Either way, if 4K truly takes off, it may not be long before everyone is shooting and viewing in 4K.

So, if you haven’t done so yet (and your budget can afford it), start investigating 4K for yourself and see what all the fuss is about.


All right, there are some of the current video production trends that will more than likely continue into 2016 and beyond. But remember: even though these trends are popular, it doesn’t mean you have to adopt them all. Do what best suits your needs, whether they be personal or business-related.

Just know that Struck Down Entertainment has your best interests in mind.

Tips To Improve Your Facebook Videos

2015 was a great year for Facebook videos. The number of daily video views on the social media platform rose significantly, and both businesses and everyday folk used more and more videos to differentiate themselves online. While a lot of the video that’s been produced is personal, just as much of it has been used by businesses as a form of marketing. That’s right; videos on Facebook have huge advertising potential.

Facebook Videos

However, because smartphones have accelerated the pace at which we consume Internet videos, many businesses rush to upload videos and forget about many of the useful tools Facebook has given them.

So, in an effort to help you relieve stress and improve your Facebook videos in 2016, here are five tips…


Improving Your Facebook Videos:

1) Schedule your videos

Whether you’re planning an exciting advertising campaign or just preparing for an understaffed day at the office, scheduling videos on your company’s Facebook Page can help you organize your content and make sure it gets posted. To schedule a video after uploading it, click the arrow next to “Publish” and choose “Schedule Post” from the drop-down menu. On the next screen, you can select the date and time that you’d like your video to go live.

2) Set expiration dates for your videos

This feature may see useless, but it can be valuable when posting videos with licensing restrictions. When you set your video to expire, it is automatically unpublished and will no longer be visible on your Page or anywhere it was shared. To set an expiration date for your video, follow the directions for scheduling your video. On the next screen, you’ll have the option to select the date and time you’d like your video to expire.

3) Add captions to your videos

Since videos on Facebook autoplay in News Feed with sound off, it’s important to think about how to tell your story with and without sound. In some cases, adding captions to your video can help viewers follow along. Captions can be added as .SRT files to your video during the upload or editing process. On a computer, people who watch your video can click “CC” on the bottom right-hand side of the video to enable captions. On a smartphone, captions display automatically when a viewer has the volume muted.

4) Edit and manage your videos with Video Library

The Video Library is a place where you can better organize and manage your Facebook videos. You can access your Video Library by clicking the “Publishing Tools” tab on your Page, then choosing “Videos (Video Library)”. You can use the search and filtering tools to locate specific videos, and you can also edit or change any details related to your videos here as well.

5) Embed your videos

Facebook allows you to display your videos on different sites. If you’re planning an announcement or special event around a video, it’s a good idea to share the video’s embed code with others, like the press or your own website. To access a video’s embed code, visit your Page’s Timeline and click the drop-down arrow next to your video. Click “Embed Video” to copy and paste the video to the desired site.

Advertising Via Groupon

GrouponLaunched in 2008, Groupon is an ever-growing company, having changed the world of online shopping. The company is a group-buying site offering daily deals, and has proven to be very popular amongst consumers. The site provides consumers with great discounts for restaurants, retail stores, spas, theaters, and much more.

With all the traffic the site generates, advertising via Groupon seems like a no-brainer right? Well, while people love discounts – especially when money is tight – businesses may not. Many businesses get into it as a way to advertise without a good understanding of what they want to accomplish by using it.

Like anything, Groupon has its ups and downs, so before you decide to promote your business using it, you might want to check these three pros and cons out first…


GROUPON PROS:

1) It advertises your business

If getting your business’s name out there is what you’re after – especially if you’re a new business – a Groupon promotion can be an excellent way to do it. And not only can you share your business’s existence, but you can entice potential customers to try your goods as well. Which leads us to our next point.

2) It attracts new customers

You can reach new customers be appealing to those who are looking for inexpensive deals. Using Groupon, you get to charge lower prices to new customers. The idea is that they are going to like it so much that they will come back and buy from you again (and at full price).

3) It helps build customer relationships

Offering customers a way to save money can strengthen customer loyalty. If you play your advertising cards right, you can use Groupon to build long-term relationships, as opposed to a customer visiting once and never coming back again.


GROUPON CONS:

1) It creates a lot of traffic

While traffic is typically a good thing, sometimes too much can have a negative effect. The question is: Can your business handle the traffic that a Groupon deal may bring? If not, you may find it a challenge to keep up with demand.

2) It attracts deal seekers

Since the Groupon customer base is made up of low-end bargain shoppers, some of the traffic you generate might not be willing to purchase beyond the value of the coupon. You may find new customers, but just ones that want to save a buck.

3) It is not always profitable

Groupon deals are not always profitable. In addition to the deal you are offering, like a half price service, Groupon is going to take their share of what you sell (50 percent). In the end, you may find you have done a lot of work, but for little reward.


Now that you know Groupon’s positives and negatives, keep this in mind: it’s all about what you want to accomplish as a business. Many businesses can benefit greatly from advertising through it, while for others there are better avenues to advertise.

The 7 Deadly Steps To A Good Video

When looking to produce a video for your business, it’s important to “get the ball rolling” early. Too many businesses skip crucial pre-production steps or start halfway through. If you don’t take the time to properly plan out your production, it will likely fail.

In last week’s blog, Struck Down Entertainment showed you the top 5 videos a business needs on their website. So you know that businesses can make many different types of videos, from advertisements to how-to videos to company reels. And while some projects do not require all of the steps we are about to present, many of them are essential before embarking on a video production.

Following these seven pre-production steps might just save your next project…


7 Deadly Steps To A Good Video:

1) Define your objective

At the start of any video production, the first question should be: what is it that you want to achieve with the video?  Are you looking to merely advertise a new product?  Do you want to drive more people to your website or mobile app?  Or are you looking to teach people about your business or gather new customers?

2) Define your audience

Almost as important as your objective, knowing who you’re really trying to speak to is a big piece of the puzzle. Understanding who your audience is – their age, gender, interests, etc. – is essential before investing further time into a video production.

3) Define your distribution method

Now, based on your target audience, where do you need the video to be presented? Should it be going on the TV, attached to your website, or on social media sites? More likely it’s a combo of various places. Also take into account how long the video needs to be, whether its 30 seconds, one minute, or longer.

4) Develop your concept

Once your goal, audience, and delivery method have been defined you must pinpoint the concept, theme, or message that you want to communicate in your video.  In the beginning you may have multiple ideas in mind, but the key is narrowing them down to a few overarching ideas. What’s the “big picture”?

5) Design a script/storyboard

Then you need to flesh out your concept, either on the page or on a storyboard – sometimes both.  Having a preliminary plan of what dialogue you want or what shots you need in the early going is a huge help before any filming occurs.

6) Determine your budget

This step is rather self-explanatory: how much will the video cost?  Sometimes a budget may already be in place long before any ideas are discussed, while other times a budget cannot be determined until after a concept has been settled upon and scripted.

7) Decision-making

The final step in pre-production involves making decisions – approving the project and meeting to set up the shoot.  Having people on board with the video is paramount – especially the major players within your company – and in some cases, outside investors or larger corporate entities need to approve of the video as well. Once everyone has given the video the ok, the shoot can be scheduled and the people needed to film, edit, and/or finish the video can be hired.


The success of any video production is determined by the time and effort put into properly planning the project. Follow the steps we’ve outlined above, and you’ll be well on your way to a winning video.

The Top 5 Videos You Need On Your Website

In today’s world, in order for any business to grow it has to advertise. And one an easy way to advertise is by presenting videos on your website. In a moment, we’ll give you our top 5 videos you need have on your website.

Top 5 Videos You Need on Your Website

Properly designed and placed videos are an amazing way to build brand awareness, show off a new product, strengthen an existing audience, or find a new one. There are many different kinds of videos that can be placed on a website to help promote a business, but these are our top five…


Top 5 Videos You Need On Your Website:

1) New Commercial

Nothing introduces your business better than a brand new TV commercial! A new commercial not only allows you the opportunity to speak to, surprise, or re-educate your audience, but gain new audience members too.

2) Old Commercial(s)

Allowing people to view your older commercials is never a bad idea. Just because it was last year’s commercial doesn’t mean it still doesn’t speak to your audience.

3) Product Spotlight

A product spotlight video is nothing more than an extended product shot, a way to highlight a particular product. Whether it’s a new item for sale or a product that is a staple of your business, focusing on one product can be an effective way to keep it relevant.

4) How-To/Tip

How-to videos are becoming increasingly popular in today’s YouTube-obsessed, do-it-yourself age. Teaching your audience members something or leaving them with helpful tips can be a great way to further connect with them and gain their trust.

5) Testimonial/Company Reel

Some might call company testimonials and reels boring, but they can be important to your audience. Presenting your business’s successes, commending company employees, or introducing the company’s owner in a fun way lets people put a name (or face) with your brand.


If you’re feeling really creative (and ambitious) try producing other types of behind-the-scenes videos, vlogs, or even an online video web series to further reach your audience and expand your brand’s website.