Archive for YouTube

What Does The Future Of YouTube Look Like?

Posted in L.A., Post, Red, Scarlet with tags , , , , on May 20, 2014 by Jon

Big Media companies are investing in and buying up YouTube based MCNs (Multi-Channel Networks) for hundreds of millions of dollars. Big time YouTubers are making the leap from online to TV. Some are even making direct deals with movie studios. These companies seem to be banking BIG on YouTube as a platform and more importantly as a talent “minor league”. What they may also be banking on is the next generation of streaming video codecs.

H.264 is the most ubiquitous streaming video codec on the planet. It can play on 98% of all devices. The visual quality is very good. It plays HD content flawlessly. Its so good that companies like YouTube and Netflix are the cause of much consternation for ISPs and cable companies. Sure, they claim that the issues come down to “too much bandwidth” and “piracy”. But we know that these companies are playing dirty. With content that looks as good as TV, how are these Old Media companies supposed to retain TV customers? That’s the real threat and its getting harder every day.

We are about to enter the era of next generation video codecs. H.265 and Google’s VP9 are going to revolutionize the streaming of Ultra HD resolution video over the Internet. These new codecs are reportedly twice as efficient as H.264. Practically, that means that HD video encoded with H.265/VP9 will be halved fifthed in size. We’re looking at a vastly improved image quality and vastly reduced bandwidth. But don’t take my word for it, make sure to select 4K from the list of playback resolutions…



I am the Finishing Editor on a web show called YouTube Nation. This “Best of YouTube” show is co-produced by YouTube and Dreamworks Animation. As far as I know we are the only show delivering 4K content daily on earth. Our Post Production Supervisor Peter Salvia (my brother) worked with Google engineers to VP9 encode all of our videos. What you’re about to view is one of the only shows on YouTube/the Internet streaming in 4K that you can actually watch in 4K. Its mixed Red Scarlet Ultra HD footage and various resolutions/codecs upscaled to Ultra HD. It will play on your “crappy” laptop and even worse internet connection.

From working with the footage on ingest to finishing the show and creating the “look”, or what I like to call Digital Neon Sleaze, this VP9 encode looks almost visually lossless. 4K playback on YouTube is here. Now. Strap in. Or as my old math teacher Mr. Wallach used to say,

Punch all the buttons and out comes a big mac.







Far Out. Far Fuckin’ Out.

Posted in Canon HV20, Documentary, Music Video with tags , , , , , , on August 2, 2010 by Jon

News summary since my last post April, 20 2010: that same day the Deepwater Horizon well exploded; I finished my second semester of film school at American Univeristy; purchased a Canon 5d Mark ii; traveled to Greece; and just started a new job this past Monday! Plenty of new stories to be told, dude.

But I figured I’d ease back into blogging with something short & relevant. YouTube  announced that they have lifted the 10 (11 really) minute limit on uploaded videos to 15 minutes! What does that mean? Well, I can finally upload two of my epic artist performances from WRNR in their entirety!

Amos Lee (shot with the Canon HV20)

Donavon Frankenreiter (shot with 2 Canon HV20’s)

They also reside on my Vimeo if you prefer to view them there. Speaking of WRNR, local (Crofton) filmmaker Brian Morrison is producing some gorgeous shorts with his 5d/7d two camera set up. Check ‘em out.

The Aesthetics of Full Screen YouTube

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on May 27, 2009 by Jon

YouTube made a small, but important improvement to their player last week. Full screen mode is now REALLY full screen mode. The identifiable YouTube scrubber bar at the bottom of the player disappears when your mouse goes idle when in full screen. True the YouTube watermark stays on the screen, but this is still an aesthetically pleasing step in the right direction. If you plan on watching any of those Cannes shorts on your 24 inch flatscreen Dell monitor you’ll appreciate this. Or for that matter, if you like watching HD concert performances by No Age filmed by people with the exact same name as you (me)

They’re smart to match the aesthetic value of smaller scale, sleeker designed video platforms like Vimeo and Delve Networks. Kudos YouTube!

Third Eye Comics Vlog Issue #1

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 7, 2009 by Jon

Annapolis’ best comic shop, Third Eye Comics, got the vlog treatment from Peter and myself.  Steve certainly knows his comic book stuff, but even the most knowledgeable comic book  shop owners commit minor errors in the heat of the moment. When that happens cue Steve’s “Third Eye” corrections which play the role of editor notes in comics. Of course in this case, it’s the video editors. Get to watchin’ true believers!

YouTube Makes HD Embeds Officially Official

Posted in HD Video with tags , , , on March 6, 2009 by Jon

Its official- embedded YouTube videos now come with a cool red “HD” button instead of just the red “HQ” button to toggle video quality. While  YouTube videos could be embedded in HD before, you needed to add some code to the html embed file. YouTube finally decided to simplify the process. First up is an example of the new red HD button option. Press play for it to pop up:

Animal Collective “My Girls”

Second, is the HQ button option. Again, press play for it to pop up:

No Age “Eraser”

Remember kids, just press the red candy like button to watch your YouTube videos in HQ and HD. This has also been applied to the YouTube page in general. You no longer have to click a link to watch a video in HQ or HD. Instead, just toggle the red HQ or HD candy like button integrated into the player. Ahhh, streamlining. Update: Just to clarify, that button doesn’t turn candy colored red until you mouse over it.

The Goddamn Plane Has Crashed Into The Mountain

Posted in video, WRNR with tags , , , , , on December 16, 2008 by Jon

At first I was only going to recap the RNR private artist showcases of 2008, but then I thought better of it. I don’t want my Canon HV20 to feel neglected. She didn’t just shoot concerts over the past year, oh no, she shot in studio performances as well. WRNR in studio performances to be precise. The first significant one of the year took place the same day as the Jose Gonzalez showcase. Of course I had no idea Alice was coming in, because why would anyone want to let the guy with the camera know? “That’s radio, Jon.” One of my favorite lines of 2008 as well.

The interesting back story to her visit goes like this: Alice was discovered, produced, and promoted by Clarence Greenwood a.k.a. Citizen Cope. WRNR’s Program Director Bob Waugh managed Cope up until his breakthrough into the major labels. So Cope thinks of Bob as a really, really good friend. As in the “you and your station pals come hang out with my mom and dad in the VVIP Skydeck at Virgin Festival” kind of friend.

Citizen Cope's Mom & Bob Waugh in the Skydeck at Virgin Fest

Exhibit A: Citizen Cope’s Dad, Mom & BFF Bob Waugh in the Skydeck at Virgin Fest

Citizen Cope and Alice Smith are married. Rumors abounded, but on March 5, 2008 they were not even officially dating. That’s the day they both rolled into the WRNR studios. Cope went outside to “smoke” and Alice promoted her new album and upcoming Rams Head On Stage show with an interview and performance. Carrie conducted the interview as she and Alice had met before and had good rapport. On mic Alice wouldn’t admit to Carrie’s probing questions about her and Cope having a relationship and being engaged. After the interview Alice fessed up that it was true, she and Cope were banging (to use the parlance of our times) and she was sporting a rock on her finger that wasn’t cubic zirconium. It’s all on DV tape too, but if you don’t believe me wait for the director’s cut.

Alex, Cope, Bob

Exhibit B: A Smiling Citizen Cope sandwich. L to R: Alex, Cope, Bob

Long story short, Alice Smith sang a song about how Citizen Cope was in reality her special lady guy friend before anyone knew it was true.


Alice returns to play Rams Head On Stage Monday, January 26th. WRNR is presenting the show. I wonder if she and the hubby will drop by to say hi? We didn’t spill the beans about their eloping prematurely. In terms of our relationship nothing is fucked here…

There’s No Ransom If You Don’t Have A Fucking Hostage.

Posted in video, WRNR with tags , , , , on December 11, 2008 by Jon

Jose Gonzalez was one of those rare showcases not at the Rams Head in Annapolis. Being only the 2nd showcase of the year, it was a great early change of pace. Jose was going to play the showcase in Annapolis, but when your country calls you, you damn well answer the phone. At least when it’s Sweden we’re talking about. Surprise- Jose Gonzalez, of Argentinian descent, is actually Swedish. The Embassy of Sweden in DC is one of the most amazing buildings I’ve ever been in. It’s right off of Water Street where it turns into K and sits overlooking the Potomac. It had just completed major renovations prior to the concert and it showed. Water runs through clear tubes in that artistic but structurally sound kind of way, angles are set up to be soothing, and the elevator is completely transparent. It’s basically Ikea’s profits turned into some real 21st century style Scandinavian architecture.

We shot the concert with 3 cameras- 2 HV20s and a PD 150. Sound was recorded into a Marantz through a Press Box. The HV20s were handheld and the PD 150 sat in the back on a tri-pod. We had Alex C hit play when the MC came on and then just let it run, as there were only two shooters.  The MC made mention of a high ranking Embassy official who had just died. The whole concert was going to be a dedication to him. The small auditorium in the embassy’s basement held about 100 people and was a perfect setting. It was just Jose dressed in black with his broke looking acoustic guitar. He stepped on stage, sat down, mumbled some nearly unintelligible English and started playing:


After the show Jose signed a bunch of stuff for audience members and was very approachable. We finally tore him away from the crowd for an interview. He accompanied us upstairs with his Mute Records label rep and tour management to do the interview with Alex C. (RNR’s Morning Show Host). Before we even got on the elevator the tour manager said, “We don’t have much time, how long will this take?” “10 minutes tops”, I lied to her. Tour managers always say their artist has no time to do anything and we’ve got to be done as quickly as possible. God forbid we don’t all feel rushed. We walked into a break room with some refreshments set aside for Jose and company and did the interview. Hopefully, I’ll get to do a full version of the show with interview segments cut in a la Michael Franti. Until then, lets remember the most significant things Sweden has given American culture in the last 40ish years- Jose Gonzalez and Stockholm Syndrome.