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Support Syrian refugiees in Brussels

This is a video I did for the NGO #WeExist, a project aiming at creating  jobs for Syrian refugees. They cook and serve Syrian food every Monday. They approached me for a promotion video and I was really happy to help!   

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Thumbs up for the Digital Single Market

A really interesting project I did for the CCIA regarding the review of the digital single market. It was great fun to put together all these short interviews and give them life with thumbs up and down. The video had a really excellent audience on Facebook and Linkedin because it was timely and the content was relevant! looking forward to do more videos in that style!

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Video for WSBI

This a new project I am working on with the WSBI (representing the saving banks all over the world) where we will have have regular videos about the transformation of the banking sector all over the world. It was a lots of preparation from both sides but the filming went very very smoothly. We used a prompter to ease the reading of the text and  3 lights to ensure a professional look. Looking forward to shoot episode 2.

WSBI Exchange, episode #1, May 2017 talks about new data from WSBI that shows how innovation is leading the way in addressing financial inclusion.

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Thinking about clean energy

Google Brussels hired me to cover an event they organised about clean energy. Strange at first to think that Google has something to do with energy... but in fact, I understood that clean energy is super high tech (even renewables) and when there is tech, of course there is Google :-) 

Great fun working is such a relaxed atmosphere and film about really interesting topics. 

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Study Visit to the Silicon Valley of Members of the European Parliament

With more than 20 visits in 4 days, it was a marathon the MEPs have been running in the Silicon Valley but is was worth to understand what makes that place so special! Below in the highlight clip I produced, and here the other videos including a daily blog. 

This summer a delegation of 15 Members of the European Parliament* went on a tour of Silicon Valley (18-21/07/16) organised by the European Internet Forum (EIF) and EU40 under the title 'ICT Innovation & Entrepreneurship: the Road to the Valley'. In this video MEPs share the key learning points they are bringing back to Europe.

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Workshop on sexual health in humanitarian emergencies

A very interesting workshop with a lot of very intense content! The challenge was to summarise all the excellent testimonials into a video that could be seen by people that could not attend the workshop. Judging by the number of views on the original video, it seems we reach that goal and further :-)

'Sex does not stop in humanitarian emergencies! In fact, it is when people have lost everything that they turn to one another'. This EuroNGOs workshop on advocacy for Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in humanitarian response is a great experience sharing about the challenges arising from humanitarian crisis.

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Revolution on wheels

Great filming this event about automated cars... and of course I had a chance to enter the back of the car and then it started driving automatically :-) 

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Match Making of Innovative Businesses

Great filming for the Vanguard Initiative and asking participants of the match making event why they came to the event ... in ONE word? Answers are really diverse and reflects well the energy of the day!  

Short videos like that are a great way to give a flavour of an event and show the diversity of the participants.

 

On February the 25th 2016 the Vanguard Initiative hosted a match-making event where over 400 participants, company-representatives and industrial experts, met to discuss industrial challenges and how to solve them through cooperation in Vanguard Initiative pilot projects. The event was made possible by a grant from the European Commission.

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A lot can happen in a year!

That is the moto of this video I did for ILGA-Europe for their annual conference. Quite a fun project, with a lot of information to put together in an entertaining but informative way. Last but not least, the team there is fantastic and great fun to work with! 

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A solution for Syria?

A very interesting conference organised by the ALDE group in the EP about countering extremism in the Mediterranean region (programme here) with a focus on Syria. Many ideas were discussed on how to stop the war in Syria and defeat ISIS. The path seems long and difficult. 

The ALDE Group in the European Parliament hosted on 18 November a conference focused on countering extremism and improving governance in the MENA Region. To know more visit: http://www.alde.eu/nc/press/press-and-release-news/press-release/article/syrian-conflict-needs-a-long-term-solution-and-national-syrian-coalition-must-be-part-of-it-46360/

And I was lucky to have a picture taken while interviewing the MEP Marietje Schaake :-) 


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First thoughts on 360 pictures and (even better) 360 videos

***DISCLAIMER: Please read this post with Google Chrome otherwise not everything will work as it should ****

This has been my new obsession for the last 6 months and it is growing and growing everyday!

So when I received the Ricoh Theta S last month I have been testing and testing. Here are my first thoughts on 360 pictures and even better 360 videos:  The Theata S is one of the best camera to start with 360 pictures and 360 videos. It is relatively easy to use and you can show the result almost immediately. The result is always the same: Wowww!  

Below a picture I took at an event of 9 to 10 people where the organiser always takes a selfie with the participants. I was giving a short introduction to Virtual Reality after the picture and used this picture to start my presentation... effect was indeed Woww :-) 

Post from RICOH THETA. - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA

After the picture, I made a short introduction Virtual Reality using the Google Cardboard. For most of participants it was a first time testing VR and the reaction was always very enthusiastic. 

At the same time I was filming with the Theta S. The video below is my 360 video about Virtual reality. It works on computers but of course it is even better on phones and even even better on a phone using the cardboard. 

First take aways after that event are: 

-The 'Woww effect' is almost certain with 360 pictures and 360 videos

-360 pictures are working almost immediately on the phone and the stitching is excellent. If uploaded on the Theta server, they can be shared really quick via email or Facebook

-360 videos are more tricky: Apparently it is a big improvement compare to the previous model of Theta but despite that the quality is nor completely satisfying.  There might be some settings to play with or use more lights. Sound is not good, I had an external sound recorder for that experiment. Editing is relatively straightforward once you understand and follow the various steps. At least it is much easier than using several Gopros and doing the stitching afterwards. 

-Once you have the video, uploading on Youtube is relatively easy, you need to 'inject' a code in the file so Youtube identify the file as being 360. Watching on Youtube is OK on a computer, you can play with the little arrow on the top left corner and move in the image. But the best experience is with the phone and even better with the phone and the cardboard. On that respect, Youtube is incredibly reliable and works fantastically.  

-Last but not least, once the picture (or the video) is done, there is a all range of fun stuff to do such as the 'tiny planet' effect below. It is a really cool and funny effect that has also a Woww effect! 

In conclusion, it seems like it is only the beginning with 360 pictures and 360 videos and there are plenty of really cool stuff to discover.

Stay tune, I will continue to explore!

 

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Question to Mr Juncker

An interesting little experiment we did at a conference asking to all interviewees the same 'fun' question at the end of the interview: what will you tell Mr Juncker if you were in an elevator with him? Inspiration came from a video from the NHS asking participants what animal would be the NHS (video is here). 

The client and I were very happy about the energy of this video, but also about the some elements of substance. An experiment that I will continue! 

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Surfing the internet safely for people with intellectual disability

For that project I used a tool called videoscribe that is making some really engaging animations as you tend to follow the hand that is drawing or writing the text. It is also mixing really well with videos. Last but not least, working with people with intellectual disability is a very enriching experience. 

Below it is the original version I created in French and the English version I did later. There is also an Italian, Polish and Spanish versions.

SafeSurfing est un projet sur deux ans qui a pour but de former les personnes en situation de handicap intellectuel à l'utilisation sécurisée d'internet afin qu'elles puissent protéger leurs données à caractère personnel et leur vie privée.

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3 things I understood shooting with a drone

This summer I had the chance to test shooting with a drone. It was the Parrot AR2 of a friend that got it second hand for a very good price. As I always wanted to test these and I was super happy of the opportunity, here are the 3 things I got from it:

1-Flying is piece of cake as long as....

Flying is all automatised! you use an app on your phone and connect to the drone via wifi, super easy! Then you have a button to 'take off' and this button changes into 'landing' when you are flying. If you feel you are loosing control... just land. All the rest is kind of intuitive and requires some practice but after several tests you gain confidence and make progress. After 3 or 4 tests I even did a loop with the drone and my sister in law almost fainted :-) Of course accidents are happening all the time: going on a tree, going too fast and feeling you are loosing it and going to the neighbour garden... all that is possible and mainly due to the wind. 

2-Filming from a drone is a great

The type of shoots you get from a drone are just amazing. Just with the limited tests I did this summer, I could film from a completely different perspective. Being above people, trees, houses (...) gives power to a scene. Camera moves are also super nice and very powerful. 

3-Not for everyday shoots but always an option

Now my conclusion is clear, drones are not for every projects but if there is a need, a client requirement, a great opportunity, it is on my catalog. I will probably need one or two days of preparation in order to get use to piloting the drone again but other than that, no more fear! I think for professional use it is worth going for very good drones such as DJI phantoms where you can have a gopro or at least a good HD cameras. The one I had was a bit on the edge on that respect but on the other hand, I was recording directly on the phone while I was piloting :-) 

Below the short movie I did with the shoots I did during the test. Hopefully, many more to come! 

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Honey honey honey!

I love honey! and fresh honey is the best! I had a chance to follow my father in law picking the honey from his hives and made a small movie about it. 

My father in law, Dimitris, has several hives in Kastro and produces a great honey we are eating all year long. He took me for the harvest on a early day of August, before it go too hot. The day after we extracted the honey and had several kilos of delicious honey!

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The day I reached 50.000 views or behind the scene of HoC intro in Brussels

I have been postponing this post for several weeks, but now we have passed one month after the publication of the video and we are over 50K views... so I think it is time to give a bit of behind the scenes for our House of Cards Intro video.

It all started over a lunch with my friend Daniel in February when we talked about video making and TV series. He shamefully confessed he did not start season 3 of HoC when I was about to finish it.  We agreed that it could be really cool to do the intro of HoC in Brussels by identifying some place of power where we could film some time-lapses.

We started in March at our lunch breaks. First day was not good, for the first time the sky was so bright in Brussels, there were no clouds at all! March and April were very productive, we managed to shoot some really cool night time-lapses on rue de la Loi and next to Kitty O'Shea on the St Patrick's evening! 

For a good time-lapse, you need clouds or people (or cars). In Brussels when you have clouds, it is very possible that you get rain quickly... for some filming we had to bend over the camera to protect it from the rain!

We agreed that the intro will premiere at the May edition of Bucoprox, a gathering of communication professionals lead by our friend Bjorn Becker. Date was decided, it will be 12 May.

On 11 May, Daniel and I spent the full lunch-break finalising the editing, making sure that colours are matching and that there is a logic with the different shots.

On 12 May at 20:00, at the end of Bucoprox, we showed the video to participants. Everyone liked it but it was not a super crazy reactions. In the evening I uploaded the movie on the Itaka Media Facebook page... and the madness started: 

The morning after (13 May), I wrote to Daniel: 

Later around noon, I wrote to my friend Filip that is helping me with my social media:

in the afternoon, I am puzzled but receive an encouragement! 

The day after, early afternoon:

Just some screenshots of the comments on Facebook and some reactions on Twitter:

Saturday 16 May at 13:20 : we are over 20.000 in less than 6 days!

Monday 18 May, 7:00: Jackpot! The video in on top of Politico Brussels Playbook. For those not familiar with the Playbook, it is the new 'must-read newsletter' published every morning at 7:00AM by star journalist Ryan Heath from Politico. His tone is very engaging and since its publication many people (like me) are reading it when they wake up in the morning. That day, I was jumping all over the apartment! 

 

Monday 17:24, 28.533 views!

and we also got some haters! Filip says it is good to have some haters, that stimulate the debate :-) I tried to identify this guy, could find anything. something for sure he or she does not know how to write loser :-) 

More interesting is someone that did a very cool HoC in Vienna, they had a different approach as they worked out the same camera angles as in the real intro! good job guys. Also we got a comment from a guy that conducted a interview with the creator of the real intro! that is very instructive as I learned that the biggest problem for the HoC timelapse was to get the autorisations to shoot.  

Tuesday 17:58, 33.003 view!

We have published a thank you message at 30.000 view. 

 

 

 

Below the stats for the video, something really nice is that over 4000 people came back to see the video :-). An average duration of 33 seconds is not bad even if I would have preferred people to watch till the end :-) 

Monday 25 May, over 38.000 views and 420 likes. It seems that we might reach 40.000 at one point.

Tuesday 26 May, we are approaching 39.700 and we get quoted in De Morgen and Brussels Niews.

Thursday 28 May, 41.000 views and more press including a Catalonian newspaper :-) (below)

Daniel Fritz made a super interesting analysis of the Playbook newsletter and found out that over 1.800 clicks to the video came from it. As suggested, I send a box of chocolate to Ryan.

Wednesday 17 June, it is over a month the video was published and we passed 52K views. I decide to publish this blog. Thanks to all that participated and liked this video! 

Alexandre

 

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Itaka Media First Animation

For that project I partnered with another company in order to polish the script of the client, look at the best visual options for the animation and the best voices for the voiceover.  

It was great fun working on that project and the client was very happy about the result! Looking forward to the new animation project! 

The CLOSER project, supported by the European Commission, is involving the enforcement authorities and the road transport industry's key social partners. Its objective is to facilitate road transport, by ensuring smooth, consistent and efficient controls in the field of Safe Load Securing, Cabotage and Drive and Rest Time rules through the availability of harmonised training packages.

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