We Get The Lowdown From Living Photo Experts

At the beginning of this year we announced the news of our partnership with Flixel; a software that allows influencers to create stunning cinemagraphs! There’s certainly no doubting that 2018 has been a great  year for Creators and for the popularity of cinemagraphs.

We had an opportunity to catch-up with the founders of Flixel – Bretton MacLean, Mark Homza, Mark Pavlidis and Philippe LeBlanc – and hear more about what got it all started. Furthermore those generous chaps have an offer just for Buzzoole! Ready to create your own cinemagraph?

Get a 50% discount on a subscription plan by heading over to our dedicated page!

 

 

What made you and your co-founders want to start Flixel – were you driven by passion, frustration or something else?

Well, it was a bit of both. Flixel co-founder Phil LeBlanc had seen some of the first cinemagraphs created by a pair of professional photographers during Fashion Week New York back in 2011. Those cinemagraphs had gone viral on sites like Time, CNN and Tumblr, and like many, he was instantly drawn to the medium and wanted to create his own. After spending time learning how to make them with tools like After Effects and Photoshop, he quickly grew frustrated by how time-consuming and cumbersome the process was. With that insight, the founders of Flixel set out to develop a new family of apps that made it fast, fun and easy for anyone to create cinemagraphs. Millions of cinemagraphs are now produced annually with Flixel apps, and we’re super-proud of how “the cinemagraph” has taken its place alongside photos and video as the next great visual medium.

 

Cinemagraphs are “living photos.” They’re a magical blend of photography and videography that captures and holds attention in ways that photos no longer do.

 

How would you describe a cinemagraph to somebody who has never come across Flixel before? How do they work?

That’s easy. Cinemagraphs are “living photos.” They’re a magical blend of photography and videography that captures and holds attention in ways that photos no longer do. And unlike a photo or video, you just can’t look away. Technically, a cinemagraph is a short, perfectly-looped video that appears to the viewer as a still photo with some movement. It’s that unexpected movement that makes them so mesmerizing. Because the file format is just video, you can use them on the web, social networks, digital ads, and so much more.

 

What is the most disruptive thing about cinemagraphs?

Everything. Photography was born in 1839 and videography followed 112 years later. Amazingly, the cinemagraph is the first new visual medium in 60 years. Digital cameras and powerful smartphones that capture in HD, 4K and soon 8K, have been vital to the explosive growth of cinemagraphs as both art and advertising.

                                       
What differentiates Flixel from other similar products?

Cinemagraph Pro® was the first purpose-built cinemagraph app and continues to be the world’s most popular living photo tool. Our apps use a patented “live-masking” feature that makes creating your cinemagraphs ridiculously easy and fun. Our customers absolutely love it. Cinemagraph Pro is also the only living photo app to have received the coveted Apple Design Award. Our global community of Flixel Artists is also unique. We love to feature their fantastic work on our website, blog social media channels. Many of them have become full-time cinemagraph creators from the exposure we provide.

Photography was born in 1839 and videography followed 112 years later. Amazingly, the cinemagraph is the first new visual medium in 60 years.

Why do you think that cinemagraphs have gained popularity with online Creators?

It’s no secret that still photography is now stale photography. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and have lead the way in making their platforms video-centric. Countless case studies have proven that posts and ads that include videos now dramatically outperform still photos. And unlike traditional long-form video, Flixel makes cinemagraphs quick and easy to create. The hypnotic effect of living photos also helps creators capture and hold attention in the feed. Many top content creators regularly report that cinemagraphs drive better engagement and results then stills or videos with sound. That’s super-exciting.

 

How can cinemagraphs be used for influencer marketing and why should brands look to incorporate new content forms into their marketing strategy?

It’s getting harder to make a social feed or digital ad stand-out. We’ve already seen top influencers and brands using cinemagraphs to delight their audience with super-cool visuals. As an example, a leading hair care brand recently worked with several top beauty and fashion influencers leading up to Fashion Week. Each influencer shared a series of stunning “moving hair” cinemagraphs that delivered fantastic engagement and brand recall for the brand. We’ve also seen top Flixel cinemagraph artists become influencers in their own right with regular invitations to capture and create cinemagraphs at store openings, movie premieres, live events and more.

What are the core metrics marketers should be considering when deciding to add cinemagraphs to their influencer marketing campaigns?

Outcome-driven marketers will love the impact of great cinemagraphs on their campaigns. You can expect to see a lift in Likes, comments, engagement rates, growth rates, website traffic, conversions, brand recognition and ultimately sales.


We are edging closer to the Holiday season and a bumper time for retailers. What would be your advice to brands considering using cinemagraphs to drive awareness and purchase? Are there particular channels that cinemagraphs lend themselves best to?

If you’re producing new visual content for the holidays, make sure cinemagraphs are part of the process. Look for content creators that can produce stills, video and cinemagraphs. Put cinemagraphs to work in your emails ― they’ll stand-out from the hundreds of other Black Friday campaigns your customers will see. Continue the experience by using those cinemagraphs on your website, in your Facebook retargeting ads and organic posts. You’ll be amazed at the reaction and results.

 

Do you have a favourite cinemagraph from last year’s Holiday push?
We ran a holiday cinemagraph contest last year and featured many of the submissions in our Festive gallery. With so many cinemagraphs created daily with our apps, choosing favourites just keeps getting harder and harder.

Outcome-driven marketers will love the impact of great cinemagraphs on their campaigns. You can expect to see a lift in Likes, comments, engagement rates, growth rates, website traffic, conversions, brand recognition and ultimately sales.


Who are the best cinemagraph creators in the world?

That’s tough. Four years ago we could have probably named a handful. We have thousands of Cinemagraph Pro creators now and they’re doing amazing work. If you want to find great cinemagraphs, search the hashtags #flixel and #cinemagraph on Instagram. You can also find them on our website in the Flixel galleries. We have over 30 curated cinemagraph collections that showcase their work.


What is the nicest cinemagraphs-only campaign you have seen?

Again, tough to pick just one. A personal favourite of Robert Lendvai, Flixel’s CMO, was a campaign that Brooks Brothers department store did with an Instagrammer last year. The whole campaign was super-creative and involved filming with a live sheep at the Brooks Brothers store on 44th and Madison in New York City. The cinemagraph videos appeared on 12-foot digital screens around New York City—on newsstands, large in-store digital displays and online. The sheep made the whole cinemagraph-only campaign genuinely baaaaadass.


What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to someone creating their first cinemagraph?

Get out there. Cinemagraphs are a ton of fun to create, and you’ll quickly become addicted. You can capture video for your cinemagraphs using a smartphone or DSLR. Just remember that the key to a perfect cinemagraph is perfectly still footage. Always use a tripod or something to stabilize the camera. If you have an iPhone or iPad, install Cinemagraph Pro for iOS, and you’ll have 1000s of pro-quality cinemagraphs created by top Flixel creators in your pocket. It’s great inspiration for your own projects!

 

What is your vision for Flixel’s future? What can we expect next?

Our focus is crystal clear. We want to continue to build new creative tools that will help content creators do magical things quickly and easily―just like we did with cinemagraphs. We have made some big updates to Cinemagraph Pro and have plans for new apps that we know creators will absolutely love. Stay tuned.

This post is also available in: Italian

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