The King introduces: Sir Keith Hopkin…Duke of GoPro

You should probably watch this video before reading the blog post. The context will better explain the information to follow.

Every now and again a fellow creative produces something His Highness prefers to watch, even more than even his own content. Though infrequent, it does happen. After all, I am my biggest fan.

Through this post, I hope to introduce the reader to two things.
ONE: The GoPro camera that shot the footage in the above video.
TWO: The artist behind the footage.

BTW, this video was uploaded to Vimeo late last night (about 12 hours ago), and already there are indications it is going viral in a big way. More on that, later.

The GoPro is hardly new gadgetry. It’s been around for about two years now. Yeah, I know, that something which came out in 2010 can be considered not-that-new, still sounds absurd to an old fogey like me, but if our industry has taught us anything, it’s that technology waits for no one. Considering how fast things change in the imaging world, two years is a fairly long period. Over that time frame, a friend of the Kingdom, Keith Hopkin (Sir Hopkin , Duke of everything GoPro), has regularly shared with me, the many projects he’s executed with his GoPro camera(s). I usually get a video every month or so with Keith showcasing yet another application for the camera. I would bet, by now, Keith probably knows the limitations and strengths of the camera better than even the manufacturer of the GoPro camera themselves. When I go to the GoPro website I’m mystified why they don’t have some of Keith’s footage as the greeting video. I think you’ll agree after viewing/comparing the above video with what GoPro offers on landing page.

Check out these impressive product SPECS in a camera retailing for about $300:

30, 48, 60 & 120 FPS  |  field of View: 90°, 127°, 170°  |  720p, 960p, 1080p

When you factor in the camera’s rugged durability and the places/locations/sets in which you could take, shoot and abuse it (placing/things you would never think of going/doing  with your ‘regular’ gear), I’ve come to the conclusion that the GoPro camera will soon be a common piece of equipment in the the serious freelancer’s bag of production assets (go to the website and discover the myriad of applications). The images you capture with these babies are pretty darn clean. Though we may find ourselves beholden to our Panasonic-this-or-that, or our Canon-whatch-a-ma-callit, I don’t think anyone can argue that with the right story and for the right brand, shooting a :15 or :30 spot with the GoPro as a primary or ‘sole’ camera could be the ticket to setting our work apart from the competition. No, I’m not saying we replace all of the cameras we currently use and have come to trust, but if we want an extra paint brush and a custom mixed oil color that we can pull out of our taborets when the time is right, ……well….need I say more?

The King himself is seriously thinking about picking up the of these babies (HD HERO2). I don’t think we want to overuse this tool. We should be careful not to do that, but it’s my opinion that, as long as we stay true to our own unique styles of story telling, that despite it’s distinctive ‘look’, we needn’t worry about our work looking too similar to an equally equipped peer.

Keith Hopkin
If you want to see the work of a filmmaker who is constantly striving to think ‘outside’ the box, then go to Keith’s vimeo page.  Granted, lots of Keith’s recent work is GoPro centric, but don’t we always tend to stay true to something we fall in love with? Besides, it is people like Keith who do the homework for us in areas we all end up benefitting from. Keith has directed/produced in a variety of entertainment formats ranging from music videos to commercials to short films, as he has described to me he has been fortunate to work with, “many talented actors, comedians and musicians”.

Just so you know, at the time of writing this blog post,….. Keith’s ‘Dogs in Cars’ video was/is beginning to go viral. During an email exchange we had this morning, Keith shared he’ll be doing a Skype interview with a television show called ‘Right This Minute‘. It is a show that deals with breaking news stories and viral videos (as determined from my rather cursory investigation). They are interested in showcasing Keith’s video. Seems they picked up on the buzz that’s been building over the last 12 hours or so. These guys are fast, especially in light of the fact that Keith only uploaded his video to Vimeo last night. It’s kind of cool to witness through a fellow peer and friend, the minute-by-minute that occurs when the fuse of viral video is lit.

BLOG UPDATE: Click below to see Keith’s interview on ‘Right This Minute‘.

Below are some on-location stills from a recent video Keith shot for comedian Mark Malkoff. They show the GoPro camera in action.  And when you’re done here, be sure to go to Keith’s Vimeo channel to check out more of his work. You won’t be disappointed.

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9 responses to “The King introduces: Sir Keith Hopkin…Duke of GoPro

  1. man, that video is so great, amazing quality, vibrant colors, great slo-mo, it was almost hypnotic while at the same time being really funny….great idea Keith, good luck with the video!

    • Hey Shane, one of the benefits of hosting the Kingdom is the luxury of evaluating other peoples work to educate myself and better understand what we do a film makers. Similar to everyone else, I am regularly too close to my own work to do any good as a critic. It is why I employ the peer review process in all of my projects.

      When I saw Keith’s video, I liked it. I liked it a lot. In fact, before the views on VIMEO started to climb into the thousands this morning, I informed Keith of my intentions to blog about his work. There are some concepts that resonate much stronger with a larger cross-section of the populace than the greater balance of content available on the web and TV. It is one of the secrets of attaining virality. Something we all wish we could do whenever we wanted. In the end, I’m grateful it eludes us all. By definition, it is what makes some things ‘special’.

      With Keith’s video he accomplished the perfect marriage of aesthetic visuals (nostalgic, peaceful, calming), with a hip music bed of high quality and broad appeal, and subtle comedy for dog-lovers and non-dog-lovers alike. All of these elements repeatedly peaked and valleyed alternately throughout the video, making an arguably long video (by web standards 5:00), rather easily digestible…..I’ll take seconds.

      I (among other of his peers) suggested Keith cut a :60 edit to include only the strongest visuals/music parts to increase the ppc value of those attention span internet venues who want to digest his work but can not justify 1:00+ videos. He told me he is going to do it. I can’t wait to see the cut. I don’t think he should change anything with this 5:00 edit, as there will always be an audience for it. But because I know I was hooked after :15 seconds, there will for sure be an audience/value at :60 and an increased ‘multiple-click’ rate/value. Sadly, with the 5:00 version multiple views will diminish. The 5:00 length will have the effect of satiating even the most ardent fans of the video, while the :60 length would beg the re-view.

      Thanks for coming to the kingdom Shane, and offering your props to Sir Hopkin. He certainly deserves it.

      The King

  2. There’s alot better stuff on youtube shot with the gopro 2.

    • …and there’s tons of blogs on the internet with millions of comments a whole lot more interesting than yours, JimBob. I just took a pop shot at your name, based solely on the sophistication of your comment.

      And The King puts his yellow boy back in his saddle holster……

      Don’t be a hater JB.

  3. I was just stating a fact no need to blow up over it. Its a nice video but its just dogs with there heads hanging out a window shot at a high frame rate and slowed. My brother works with the gopro makers and I have seen alot more innovative stuff done with them. I use the Drift innovations Drift HD Helmet cam myself but I am looking to get one of these also.

    • Hey JB, I just did a little homework and found that (aside from ‘promoted’ videos GoPro paid to get featured), none of the GoPro spots received 40,000 hits in organic fashion in the first 24 hours of upload, which is what Mr. Hopkin’s video accomplished. When you add in that this happened on ‘VIMEO’ which is a much more conservative creative community, I think we both have to recognize the specialness of the video whether or not we are ardent ‘dog fans’. These viral statistics don’t lie.

  4. Neat little toy, there. For me, the big selling point is portability… I’d pick one up just as an alternative to hauling around my “big” camera and all its accoutrements… My current “small” camera is a handheld Panasonic that ran me about $600+ back in 2007, and it has jack-diddly by comparison for features and quality… Looks like I’m due for an upgrade.

    Rock on, man.

  5. Pingback: Dogs In Cars Update | Artwork.Not.Available

  6. Awesome, I love it. Great point that 40k+/day organic views are worth much more than any paid views a video might receive, especially on Vimeo! Great post!

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