Extra curricular work

Earlier this month, June 2012, me and a couple of us photo hobbyists got tapped by the company’s Marketing and Branding team to shoot the video for the new recruitment campaign. Least to say, we weren’t prepared for the onslaught of new stuff that were gonna be thrown our way. Good thing we managed to bring on board another photograper comrade who’s had more exposure in DSLR videography. We got a good schooling on a bunch of stuff in terms lighting, framing and directing our subjects. It was a fun and tiring experience and one I don’t regret sidelining my deskjob for even if it was just for a while.


The process was completely new to a lot of us photo hobbyists in the office as our concepts were still mostly static and very much centred in a single moment to convey a whole message. Luckily one of our comrades had some experience and showed us how different things were in terms of shooting an entire sequence from lights, to action and to cut. We often found ourselves being quite giddy to see the end result in a single scene.  And we did several scenes. To think it pretty much got into the way of the jobs of everyone who was involved for an entire week.

_MG_3191Here we were, a bunch of rag tag, DIY photo hobbyists working on a 5-10 minute   video with minimal acting just for a company recruitment presentation.  I can’t imagine the manpower and hours spent by YouTube film makers Freddie Wong and WongFu productions. The amount of effort dedicated to such simply executed films with such craftsmanship and artistic merit just blows my mind. As I saw snippets of our short film, I truly am quite excited with our final output. I guess what I’m truly proud of in this project is that I got to try out time lapse photography. Even if the clips only called for a few seconds, I had my camera snapping at intervals for an hour or two at the same intersection and office façade. If one can say they’re skills level up in steps, I think in those couple of weeks of shooting, we went up a couple of floors. In a sprint pace. Experience is indeed the best teacher and you often learn more than what you expect from the amount of effort you put out.


Who would’ve thought that just a few months ago, me and my fellow photo hobbyists friends were only taking simple office portraits getting a crash course in studio lighting would end up working on such a big project for the company. Pro Bono at that… I think we got the short end of the stick in this deal in terms of compensation. But at least we know that we can have a life outside of our desk jobs and possible even profit from it. Ambitious? Indeed. Capable? Definitely._MG_3228



  1. What led to this mistake? Companies typically try to maximize revenue by segmenting markets based on price and performance. Increasing performance has a linear relationship to increasing price and shrinking market size. Pricing this way is thought to maximize revenue. Except this common view can be wrong. The Canon 5D was probably part of an orderly revenue optimization plan crafted by Canon product managers. There were cameras in the Canon product line above the 5D and cameras below it. They all fell onto a roughly linear price/performance progression, at least for all the key features Canon thought users cared about, such as megapixels, still frames taken per second and low-light performance. To Canon, the 5D’s video mode was a minor feature that might attract a few more sales. This was actually true for Canon’s traditional market of professional still photographers and serious still photo hobbyists. For those customers the 5D’s features did fit right on the straight line. However, with the video mode Canon accidentally attracted customers from another market, the market of those doing (or interested in doing) film-like video production. These new users saw the 5D mkII on a very different price/performance graph. To these users the 5D was way over to the right on performance but very low on the price axis. That’s what got so many of these new customers so very excited. The 5D enabled us to do things we never expected and did it at a price low enough to actually “create” new customers where there had seemingly been none.

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