Here’s a wonderful piece of CineMagic for you dealing with manipulations. The concept of material manipulation or transformation has always interested me. Steven Briand uses clever stop motion photography to create brilliant animations with a (seemingly) single piece of paper.



In Your Arms

I have always been intrigued by music videos as an outlet of filmmaking. Perhaps because music videos lend themselves so well to abstract imagery. Many would agree that Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer video was the greatest music video of all time, certainly a breakthrough at the time.  This past Monday on my weekly CineMagic segment, broadcast on, I showed a newer music video that is perhaps equally as innovative. It’s a music video for Kina Grannis’ song “In Your Arms”. It consists of 288,000 jelly beans, animated through stop motion. Enjoy!

I cannot imagine the careful planning and attention that went into making this. To give a little insight, here is the making of:

The Necessity of Video

In the past videos were nice to include on a website, today however they are a must-have element of any viable business. We know that a video on our website can give our prospective clients a look into the services and products we offer. Rather than describing your product or service in written detail, a video allows the viewer to see the product or service in action.  But did you know that video is now the essential differentiator that drives search engine optimization?  The days of relying solely on meta tags and keywords for search engine optimization (SEO) are over. According to an article on, when a company integrates relevant videos that match the content of the site, search engines find and index the video. This, in turn, improves your overall website search ranking and also allows search results to be presented with matching video, which increases search-based traffic to your site. This means having a video as the first thing people see on your website is not only good to engage people on your site, but to actually enhance your SEO ranking. According to Internet marketing guru Bruce Clay, “Since Google integrated video into its search offering, websites featuring video have gained a significant SEO advantage. Relevant videos are being displayed near the top of Google search results.” He has also said, “I think, that a year from now, we are going to be sitting here saying – ‘if you don’t have video, if you don’t have engagement objects on your website, you are just not going to rank. It will make you last among equals if you don’t have it.”

In a study by the Market Experiments Journal, the use of video in viral marketing can also greatly increase people clicking on other pages of your website to find out more about what you offer. It seems having relevant video content on your website has become crucial to being listed in search results, making sales, and enhancing the visitor experience. Do you have a video that drives people to your website?  Is there a high-quality video on the home page of your website? If not, perhaps that should be the next consideration for marketing yourself and your business.

Pioneers of CineMagic – J. Stuart Blackton

James Stuart Blackton was known in vaudeville as the “Komikal Kartoonist” because of his ability to sketch drawings on an easel so rapidly right in front of the audience. Today we see something similar to this commonly referred to as “speed painting”. In the late 1890’s Blackton began collaborating with Thomas Edison, who at the time had the first film studio in America – The Black Maria.  James Stuart Blackton went on to form his own film studio called Vitagraph Studios.  In the year 1900, Blackton and Edison collaborated on a project called The Enchanted Drawing.

One of the major reasons I love this particular film, aside from being entertaining and innovative, is that it involves the magical quality of a drawing coming to life. I have always loved that premise. The “drawing to life” concept has many variations in magic – of drawings animating, taking on a life of their own – I think it is so cool to see this brought to life in a film made in 1900.