The Space Between


Copyright – Jamie Beck & Kevin Burg

Understanding where the world is going in digital imagery and visual communication can sometimes be a challenge.  You feel the direction and can see the vision but still struggle on how to describe it to others.  I have been finding myself using the term “Space Between” a still image and a video to describe the area that we are trying to liberate on behalf of advertisers and marketers.  This space represents a growing movement in digital content creation that is driven by simple yet engaging motion.

The still photo can be a small and easily usable image and that is what makes it a perfect piece of content for digital advertising creative.  Photos capture a moment in time and lets the audience complete the story. But the one image is often one dimensional, interpretative and approximate – not providing the clarity, energy and emotion of actual movement.

Video, on the other hand, tells a more complete story and its format is designed to allow the creator room to express an entire thought or idea worth sharing.  Video can be engaging and robust enough to get just about any message across, and sound provides an additional sensation to express emotion and feeling.  However, using video as content in digital advertising is often complicated.  Requiring the user to click to play creates an instant barrier that demotes the video to a still photo with an arrow on top.  And, large file sizes, limited media placement opportunities and hosting issues can add to the video’s inherent complexities.

The average online attention span in 2013 was eight seconds. Twitter has seen the research. This is why they decided on a maximum of six seconds for uploads to their popular Vine video app and standardized the original ‘Tweet’ on 140 characters or less to get a point across.   Less is more in today’s busy world.  If grabbing our attention in a digital environment in less than eight seconds is important, we need a new way to combine the simplicity of the still photo with the engaging nature of a video.  Can we convey emotion through motion simply and quickly?  Absolutely we can.  But what do we call it?


Copyright – Mr. GIF

Since the Dave Matthews Band already used “The Space Between” to title their 2001 hit song, it is our job (collectively) to come up with a name to describe this emerging space.  Some within the industry have begun using their own language to describe the content.  Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, the duo credited with the artistic revival of the GIF format coined the name “Cinemagraph” to describe their moving photographs.  Other creative professionals use terms such as moving portraits, hybrid photography or looping video.  All are valid monikers given to a new art form that is simple, compact, engaging and provides just enough emotion to compel the viewer to take action.  But the medium deserves an artistic distinction that sets it apart, not as a technology but as a form of expression born from the evolution of technology.

We know what this “Space Between” is but need your help giving it a unique and defining name.  We have built a company around this new disruptive technology and are looking to provide smart solutions to creative professionals, digital marketers and ad agencies looking to convey emotion through motion quickly and easily in the form of digital content and creative for display banners, websites, email campaigns, landing pages and social media channels.

Send us a tweet at @Cinegif for your suggestions on naming the space between a still photo and a video, or post on our Facebook page.

Unabashedly Promoting Our Panel for SXSW 2013…

SXSW 2012 – Random Scenes

Okay, I know, I know – it seems like just a few weeks since SXSW 2012 wrapped up, and many of us are still exploring the dizzying array of new concepts, technologies and opportunities that we discovered there…not to mention still playing with the dozens of new apps that we downloaded – but believe it or not, it’s already time to begin planning for SXSW 2013!

With that thought in mind, we’ve officially submitted our proposed panel: “GIF Marketing – Turning a Trend into Profit” to the 2013 SXSW “Panel Picker“, and I’d like to unabashedly promote our panel, and solicit your active participation in making it become a part of SXSW 2013!  You really can help make this happen, because one of the very cool aspects of SXSW’s Panel Picker procedure is the fact that it gives SXSW attendees an active voice in determining SXSW content and programming.  Hopeful presenters and/or speakers (like us!) have submitted their proposals to the Panel Picker, and now you, the prospective attendee, get to view all the submitted panel proposals, and vote for the ones that you want to see at SXSW 2013. Please go here to vote for ours – we’d love to show you how to turn this exciting new trend into profit for your business!

There are also a few other proposed SXSW panels that we highly recommend, and that we think are deserving of your vote and your support:

We’re excited to have this opportunity, and hope to see you all here in Austin for SXSW 2013!