“Stack like a Pro”

RunawayTrain Productions in Denver, Colorado has just completed work on an instructional DVD for SPEED STACKS, “the leader in sport stacking” located in Englewood, Colorado.

SPEED STACKS realized that to build awareness and interest in the sport they needed a comprehensive strategy. Educating new users was critical to their success so they called on RunawayTrain Productions in Denver, Colorado to create an instructional DVD.  The DVD features a hands-on demonstration of stacking techniques from the most basic to those used by world record holders. RunawayTrain added motion graphic animation, instructor interviews, and scenes of student “speed stackers” to create a comprehensive and compelling marketing tool.

We’ll be the first to admit that the thought of “stacking a bunch of plastic cups in a PE class sounds downright silly—much the same as it did when in 1891, Professor James Naismith suggested we throw a ball into a peach basket on the side of a barn.  But just look how far the game of BASKETBALL has come today!

This “game” of stacking cups has its origins in a youth recreation center in southern California back in the early 1980s. Stacking has recently gained credibility in the fitness community as a viable addition to youth fitness.

President and Founder of SPEED STACKS, Bob Fox, describes the response to speed stacking in the educational community: “There are two things we hear time and time again from physical educators: “My students absolutely LOVE Sport Stacking” and “This is one of the best, if not THE best, units in my PE curriculum.”

University studies on students involved in Sport Stacking have shown improvement in hand-eye coordination and reaction time; increased activation of both sides of the brain; improvement in reading comprehension skills; and energy expenditure similar to other activities commonly taught in physical education classes today.

Part of SPEED STACKS’s business model is to sell stacking equipment, but they go well beyond a simple shopping cart model. Their website gives information to stackers about starting a club or finding existing clubs. They inform teachers and community leaders on the benefits of the sport. They operate an equipment loaner program. They publish a calendar of tournament events, and most recently started the PE4life/Speed Stacks Sport Pack Grant Program for underprivileged children.

get your “stack-on”  at http://www.speedstacks.com/

Speed Stacks Founder: Bob Fox

Speed Stacks Founder: Bob Fox

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RunawayTrain creates 3-D trade show display for AJA Video Systems

3-D isn’t  just for the movies…

If you’ve seen James Cameron’s Avatar, you realize what 3-D effects can add to the visual experience. But 3-D production is just for the movies right?

Not anymore.

Brock Sherman, Creative Director with RunawayTrain Productions is working with AJA Video Systems to create a 3-D video presentation for AJA’s trade show booth at NAB

(National Association of Broadcasters) convention April 12-15 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Combining high definition footage shot on RED with custom animation created by RunawayTrain Productions AJA hopes to create a show stopper on the trade floor and increase the buzz about their new video production products.

“We have been working with AJA Video Systems for a couple of years now”, says creative director Brock Sherman, “They like the style of our 2-D motion graphics work, and they’ve had us create both marketing and training presentations for them. This year, they wanted to make a real splash at NAB and what better way than incorporating the hot new technology of 3-D.”

As marketers search for more eye catching visuals, and 3-D display technology becomes more affordable, (SHARP is advertising a sub $1000 3-D ready portable DLP projector) applications for 3-D content will infiltrate the corporate space. “We think this technology has some legs” says Sherman, “so we committed some brain cells into developing a workflow for 3-D content production using mostly our existing production tools”.

RunawayTrain Productions believes the investment will pay off and even though the AJA trade show project is a closely guarded work in progress, AJA is thrilled with the direction and excited for the impact it will generate. You can see it for yourself at NAB, April 12-15th at the convention center in Las Vegas.

Has Google Speech Recognition Come of Age?

closed caption on youTube

Automatic Closed Captioning

Until now, if you are hearing impaired or speak a foreign language, you’ve been cheated out on the nearly twenty hours of riveting viral video that is uploaded each minute to our beloved YouTube. Ok, maybe not all the content is that riveting, but credit Google for introducing state of the art technology so the hearing impaired and non-native language speakers can share in the magic of “The evolution of dance” and “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” videos….

“A core part of YouTube’s DNA is access to content,” said Hunter Walk, the product team lead for YouTube. “From day one, that’s what we were hoping to do with video.”

Denver Colorado’s RunawayTrain Productions is working with clients both public and private to integrate this new technology into new projects destined for YouTube. RunawayTrain not only believes this feature will allow videos to appeal more directly to foreign and hearing impaired audiences, but will give YouTube excellent data for searching videos and targeting ads to them. After all, a complete set of subtitles is the same as a transcript of the video. And you can upload subtitles for as many languages as you want.

For the viewers, most YouTube videos now include a “CC” button that, if pressed, will automatically generate the closed-captioning technology. Google’s speech-recognition technology processes the main audio track and generates the text on top of the video picture. As you can guess, this leading edge technology isn’t always perfect but it is a quantum step in communication, as well as a leg up for marketers.

Videos with captions display this small logo at the bottom of the player:  If a video includes captions, you can activate them by clicking the menu button located on the bottom right of the video player.

Adding captions to videos involves uploading a closed caption file using the “Captions and Subtitles” menu on the editing page. To add several captions to a video, you may have to upload multiple files. If you want to include foreign subtitles in multiple languages, upload a separate file for each language. There are over 120 languages to choose from and you can add any title you want for each caption.

Users can also edit and assist in the transcription. Any text editor can edit the machine transcription, Google executives said, and then re-upload it for others to use.

Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/t/captions_about