Archive for the ‘Motion Graphics’ Category

Introducing Martin the Third, our Digital Marketing Manager

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

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We’re pleased to welcome another new face into the Katapult fold…Martin Broadhurst, the newest member of our digital team. Sharing the same name as two of the team, this means that a quarter of people who work at Katapult are now called Martin.

Martin joins us as Digital Marketing Manager from a specialist social media marketing company which he co-founded. His role includes implementing inbound marketing campaigns, focussing specifically on content development, driving traffic and converting leads.

Along with his passionate support of Derby County FC, Martin also has an unhealthy obsession with watching mixed martial arts and likes to think he’s a bit of a funny man.

To help you get to know Martin better, we asked him a few questions:

Q: What sort of projects are you most looking forward to getting your teeth into?
A: “Online ones obviously. I’m particularly looking forward to getting some more measurable campaigns up and running.”

Q: Who or what is your digital inspiration?
A: Phil Higgins. Or Google.

Q: If you weren’t so passionate about digital marketing, what else would you want to do?
A: “Fight in a cage. No, I take that back, I’d get my ass handed to me. I’ve always wanted to be a stand up comic actually”

Me: “but you’re not funny enough?”
Martin: “yeah quite simply”

Q: What is the last film you laughed out loud at?
A: “The Candidate with Will Ferrell on the plane on the way back from India. Everyone was asleep and I was guffawing.”

Q: What is your biggest guilty pleasure?
*Sighs, as if there are many, before saying something rude and getting told off.*
A: “Staying up until 5am and watching sweaty men fight in cages” (the fact we all know this already suggests he doesn’t feel that guilty about his guilty pleasure)

Q: What’s your idea of a great night out?
A: “Derby beating Forest, followed by a trip to a real ale pub, some pork based snacks: pork pies, sausage rolls, pork scratchings, piccalilli…” (he continues for a while on the food related theme) “and a group of friends up to 8 in size, an open fire and maybe some whisky – ideally wintery outside – and then a taxi home to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championship (On reminding him that 3 of his answers are now fighting related, he responds “and even then, that’s not quite enough.”)

Q: What in your opinion is the greatest invention of all time?
A: “The microchip. It revolutionised the way everything works.”

Martin has already hit the ground running but if you haven’t been introduced yet and would like to give him a friendly welcome, you can do so at martinb@katapult-studios.com

Myspace Review: Mixing Social Media and music in 2013

Friday, January 4th, 2013

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After being frustrated by messy looking profiles on the old Myspace and being bombarded with friend requests by bands I had no interest in, I was sceptical towards the new release.  A combination of nostalgia, intrigue created by the teaser video and the impressive new look/style persuaded me to look into it further.

Sign-up

After receiving my beta invite, I was surprised that I could use my Facebook login in order to sign up. It seems that the new Myspace isn’t trying to take on the social networking Titan that is Facebook, but work alongside it. Its new mission is much clearer: to connect people through music.

As promised by the teaser video, the new Myspace interface is clean and simple; high on visuals, low on clutter, which is a refreshing change of pace compared to other highly evolved and wordy social networking sites.

Social Networking Comparisons

The Myspace stream is a lot like Facebook’s News Feed, with updates from your friends. You can see who has made mixes, what music people are listening to and who is connecting. Connections on the new Myspace are more akin to the follow feature of Twitter rather than the ‘friends’ feature on Facebook and with a heavy focus on visuals, the horizontal scrolling feature makes it feel like a music themed version of Pinterest. The biggest appeal for me is the ability to make playlists which are played in your deck whilst browsing, a lot like Spotify.

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Profiles

Unlike its predecessor, with the glittery GIFs plastered over people’s profiles, the new layout boasts a large full screen cover image behind your stream. Something that seems to have made a return from the old Myspace is your chosen top eight connections, and the choice to include a profile song (which thankfully doesn’t play automatically like on the old Myspace).

Improvements

However, with it still being in the beta stages, there are still a lot of improvements to make.
The first of which being the user experience, particularly with regards the search facility which is clunky and difficult to find the exact thing you want. The horizontal scrolling feature also feels like random ‘browsing’, making it difficult to find something you saw before, with a jumble of things in between that you might not be interested in. A filter would be a useful addition to sort this, as would the option to choose what to see from a certain person when connecting to them.

Overall, I can see how the site could be used and who might use it. The new Myspace has repositioned itself in line with what it was predominately used for at its height back in the early noughties – a way of connecting to new music. When the user experience improves, the new Myspace will come into its own.

Go to the new Myspace site and leave your email address to request an invite to trial the beta version of site.

By Martin Stewart

Infographic: Facebook reaches 1 billion monthly active users

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Facebook announced yesterday that the site has now reached 1 billion monthly active users. Have a look at our infographic to find out more about the recently released statistics:

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Cultural Connections fright night at Calke Abbey

Friday, August 24th, 2012

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What a brilliant summer’s evening and a suitably eerie venue to host another great event for our guests: The Woman in Black summer night’s screening at Calke Abbey.

Having worked with QUAD since 2008, we’ve been hosting Cultural Connections, our joint monthly events for clients, suppliers and partners for over a year now. In addition to last year’s outdoor screening of The King’s Speech at Kedleston Hall, we’ve since hosted some fantastic cultural events for our guests including National Theatre Live screenings, exhibition launches, an Olympic Torch Relay celebration party and various film screenings at QUAD.

Arriving at Calke Abbey at 6pm to entertain guests with Pimms and lemonade and strawberries and cream in the evening sunshine, we watched hundreds of others arrive in the grounds to set up picnics and prepare themselves to be scared – pillows and blankets at the ready! We had also prepared some treat bags with a creepy quote from the film to set the tone for the evening. Some of our guests commented on how original it was to spend an evening of informal networking in such beautiful surroundings.

As a location for outdoor cinema screenings, Calke Abbey is not just expansive and visually impressive, but possibly much under explored as a place of historical interest in the region. Currently in the care of the National Trust, the Grade I listed country house estate has an interesting history dating back to the sixteenth century. Before the National Trust took over the care of the property in the 1980’s, it had remained almost untouched for over 100 years. As such, the crumbling paintwork and overgrown courtyards provided the perfect creepy backdrop for The Woman in Black, sharing much in common with Eel Marsh House from the film (and perhaps it even has a ghost or two?)

As the sun began to go down, Calke Abbey came into its own, creating a chilling atmosphere before the film had even begun. Shadows were cast on the walls of the house by people’s torches and candles, really putting the audience in the mood for the jumpy bits that would follow.

Watching everyone settle on the sloping bank on chairs and blankets with candles and bottles of wine waiting for it to get dark, created a feeling unlike that of being in a cinema. It is hard not to feel part of the action on screen when you are out under the stars, not to mention making a film like The Woman in Black hit even harder with its scary punches – cue lots of screams and shouts from the audience along with people ducking under blankets they had brought along (myself included).

With the outdoor cinema events, QUAD have done such a great job in making the most of the limited summer we have; with outdoor screenings taking place at numerous venues around the county between May and September. However, most importantly I think, the Summer Night’s Film Festival has encouraged people from in and around Derbyshire to venture out into the county and explore some of this country’s most spectacular historic properties; and what better way to showcase Derbyshire’s fantastic heritage than providing the setting for some brilliant cinema?

Format International Photography Festival in Derby, Right Here Right Now

Monday, March 21st, 2011

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Photography by Graham Lucas Commons ©

This year’s Format International Photography Festival launched at the beginning of March and runs until 3 April, in over 30 venues all over Derby city centre.

The title this year is Right Here, Right Now: Exposures From the Public Realm, the theme being contemporary street photography from all over the world. The line up is stronger and already more popular than ever with contemporary street photographers such as Alex Webb and Polly Braden, Joel Meyerowitz and Bruce Gilden. Many of the photographers will also be hosting talks, conferences and master classes across the city.

The Katapult team attended the opening night which was packed full and had a great buzz which was made even more colourful with the opening speeches from Brian Griffin and Joel Meyerowitz. Thanks was also provided to all those behind the festival and in particular Louise Clements who is the festival’s co-founder and curator. Dawn from Katapult attended the Format conference on the 5th March at QUAD, and said it was great to hear about the various projects and speak to practising street photographers from around the globe, covering subjects from a geo tagging project, social media experiments and the work of individuals such as Bruce Gilden. One of her highlights was hearing from John Maloof and the work of Vivian Maier.

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Photography by Graham Lucas Commons ©

For the second time, Katapult have created the Mob FORMAT submissions process – an international mass submission online project in association with Flickr. The website functionality enables photographers to submit their work and pay for their submissions online. The administration of the site enables the FORMAT judges to view submitted entries and shortlist them independently online. The final shortlist will then be judged by a panel of industry experts. The best images will be selected by a high profile jury & special guests and shown in the premium section of the site. Selected images will be exhibited in an evolving exhibition throughout the festival on the BBC Big Screen in Derby Market Place, and on mobile screens around the city.

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Alongside the FORMAT11 website and Mob FORMAT submissions portal, Katapult designed the marketing materials for the festival such as banner stands, flyers and posters, roundabout and roadside posters, window vinyls, teardrop flags, press adverts and then produced the VIP launch invites and the official Format Festival guide which featured full event listings and a detailed map featuring the locations of all the Format venues.

So far there have already been well over 8,000 submissions to the Mob FORMAT area of the site from all over the world, a 300%  increase compared to FORMAT09.

The FORMAT team have told us that they are well on target to achieve 100,000 visitors to the festival this year, a 25% increase in the corresponding figure for FORMAT09.

Have a look at the Sky Arts at Format Photography video documentary: Sky Arts at Format Photography

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Photography by Graham Lucas Commons ©

KATAPULT + FORMAT

It was Derby’s reputation for Photography that played a significant role as to how and why Katapult was formed and is located in the city today; two of Katapult’s founding director’s came  here to study at the University of Derby back in 1998 due its reputation for Photography degrees.

Katapult have been working with FORMAT International Photography Festival since 2007. For FORMAT09 – Photocinema, Katapult worked closely with the FORMAT team to develop the  marketing campaign, festival materials and website. We also did significant development work on MOB FORMAT which integrated flickr with a flash gallery within the site to increase  international engagement and participation in the festival.

Katapult into the New Year

Friday, January 7th, 2011

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Happy 2011 to all our clients, suppliers and friends – hope this year is a prosperous one for you all.

Katapult have started the year as we mean to continue it, with the first week including an exciting new pitch, work on the fast approaching Format Festival launching in March, and the next stages of the launch of a new drinks brand – the photo above shows Phil from our video and motion graphic division K-Motion filming in late December for the viral ads.

We’re working on some other great projects at the moment too, including giving our own Katapult website a facelift with some new functionality, info and features.

The year ahead promises to be an interesting one with all things digital growing even more in prominence. We expect to see more interest in digital brand development as client organisations increase their presence and activity in digital channels and need a clear strategy across website, search, social, mobile, apps et al. The challenge is to get all of these working together in complementary fashion to build brand equity at the same time as meeting specific objectives. For example, are HR and Sales presenting the brand consistently to potential employees and prospective customers respectively?

This perhaps presents a window of opportunity for start-ups to build multi-dimensional brands from the ground up and use this agility to steal a march on established, and perhaps less responsive competitors in the digital arena.

We also expect to see the ‘C’ word take centre stage as clients realise the increasing importance of content at the heart of their digital strategy. More will embrace the publisher role of their brand as a key tactic for attracting new customers and creating advocates.

Another ‘C’ that is sure to boost its profile is cloud computing with 2011 providing a better barometer for its impact on capital expenditure and management costs. We’ll see whether the cloud delivers the freedom it promises and whether organisations will make the leap of faith and entrust suppliers with their infrastructure in return for lower costs and greater agility. For marketing folk this could mean less administration, improved access to more up-to-date data and more flexible campaign planning, execution and adjustment. Interesting times ahead…

Anyway, enough of the stargazing for now, we’ll share more of our thinking throughout the year. In the meantime, we’re cracking on with various current brand, marketing, design and digital projects including an online game and viral videos.

Here’s to a healthy and successful 2011.

Illuminating Derby – Gleam:Festival of Light

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

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The winter nights are drawing in fast but Gleam: Festival of Light will be shining down on some of Derby’s best loved public spaces between 12 November and 20 November.

The world-leading interactive technology collective Seeper will be lighting up key buildings in the Market Place in exciting light and music performances on 12 and 13 November. The launch marks the beginning of a spectacular series of events in the city centre.

The following week will see a range of free interactive light events in the Cathedral Quarter with a Light Trail every evening,  a Lantern Parade, a light garden, ‘Rhythms of the World’ drumming performance, River Fire Display and the Christmas Lights Switch On to include just a few. A range of free workshops are also taking place for families and young people with fire drawing and lantern making, with the art produced becoming part of the festival finale.

Katapult created the Gleam brand which conveys particles of light gradually spreading. The logo represents both the traditional shimmering of fire lanterns combined with new cutting edge light technology and the digital display of light pixellation.

Read the ‘Gleam festival identity designed by Katapult’ article on the Drum website.

Katapult are nominated in CIN 2010 Awards

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

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Katapult have been nominated in five categories at the Creative Industries Network 2010 Awards:

Digital Media: FORMAT International Photography Festival – Mob Format Flickr Integration

Graphic Design & Illustration: QUAD branding

Marketing Campaign: Cycle Derby

Best Creative Team/Individual: Christmas Playground project

Photography and Film – Lens based media: K-Motion (Katapult’s Video and Motion Graphics division), Sinfonia ViVA video for the ABO conference

We will find out the eagerly awaited results at an awards ceremony tonight at QUAD hosted by Wayne Hemingway….

My wildlife work experience week by Beth Coley

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

Beth Coley on Work Experience Placement

When most fifteen year olds go on work experience they usually end up in an area of employment that they probably won’t go into later in life, so it can often seem like a week wasted. But I really am lucky to have had this placement with Katapult and to have had a brilliant week of work experience planned for me.

At the beginning of the week I was set a project to work on the new wildlife garden which in my opinion is even prettier than in the pictures. I’ve created a monitoring form to record the wildlife that visits and to see how the garden develops. This included research on animals that are common in gardens, as if I’m being honest, before coming here I had no interest in wildlife, so the first thing I learnt was that local wildlife isn’t all just pigeons, spiders, slugs and worms!

I’ve also done some filming and photography in the garden and I feel particularly lucky to have had that opportunity. As a result, I learnt a couple of things about myself:  although it is fun, I should not be a camera-woman when I grow up and that I really enjoy photography. Not only have I been allowed to use filming equipment but I’ve been taught how to use image editing programmes. I’ve also learnt how to write a press release, which admittedly doesn’t sound as fun as filming or taking photos, but all the insight into this line of work really has been fun, and has made me see that this is the area I want to go into when I leave school.

An added bonus for me this week was meeting Simon Groom, who my mum loves!  I’ve also been able to see what a huge difference Jane Proctor from Derbyshire Wildlife Trust has made by helping everyone at Katapult transform the area at the bottom of the car park into a colourful and generally stunning wildlife garden, teeming with local wildlife. Although I’ve only been observing the wildlife garden for a week I’ve already seen house sparrows, bees, dragonflies, painted lady butterflies and blackbirds to name a few. It really does go to show that even though the area isn’t huge it can still attract wildlife of all different kinds.

Sparrow in the Wildlife Garden

I would just like to genuinely thank all the people at Katapult for this wonderful work placement and all the amazing work you’ve got me to do here.

Go to the Katapult Flickr account to view pictures of the Wildlife Garden. Beth’s film footage of the garden – coming soon.

The Pothole Gardener – the green fingered Banksy

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

Photographs Copyright of Steve Wheen

I came across an article in the Metro this morning which captured my imagination and seems to have become something of a PR and social media phenomenon in the last couple of months.

Described by the press as ‘the guerilla gardener from Shoreditch’, Steve Wheen aka The Pothole Gardener has spent the last few weeks planting mini gardens in potholes on some of London’s worst roads to highlight the lack of repairs.

The idea apparently came to him after many times of nearly falling off his bike riding over holes in the road. He thought by planting flowers in them, it might deter cyclists and motorists to drive around the hole to avoid running them over, claiming that his longest ‘installation’ lasted three weeks.

A keen gardener with no garden of his own, Steve described the project as ‘part art project, part labour of love, part experiment, part mission to highlight how bad our roads are – I want to brighten up a few peoples lives momentarily, and creating mini-gardens in pot holes is my means.’

Likened to ‘guerilla’ street artist Banksy, Steve completes his work before anyone can stop him and like Banksy, is using his environment to make satirical comment and political statements – see below.

The Pothole Gardener has featured in the Telegraph and The Sun, has a large Twitter following – 4 tweets to his blog as I have been writing this – and 25,000 hits to his site this month; and he made his first pothole garden just a few weeks ago. Brilliant.

There are some seriously holey roads around Derby that could do with the green-fingered approach.

Follow him on Twitter @thepotholegardener or check out The Pothole Gardener blog to find out which London street is next.