FCPX Features Workshop at Radar

MikeOn October 25th, Radar will be hosting the first-ever FCPxFeatures Workshop, led by seasoned Assistant and Picture Editor Michael Matzdorff. The class will be from 2pm-7pm at 4111 W. Alameda Avenue, Suite 412 Burbank, CA 91505.

Mike has been a pioneer of post production for years, starting with the initial transition from film to digital editorial in the 90s. His credits include Fight Club, Analyze This, Black Sheep, The Little Rascals, and Meet Joe Black.

He was recently hired as the First Assistant Editor on the first major studio feature film release to be cut in Final Cut Pro X. Their team was instrumental in the development of many features in FCPX, as well as supporting 3rd-Party programs like Sync-N-Link, Producer’s Best Friend, and Change List.

During the class, Mike will teach students how to prepare dailies, manage projects, deliver audio to the sound department, roundtrip with the visual effects team, work with the Digital Intermediate, prepare the final delivery elements, and archive the finished product.

There will be a Q&A to provide insight on challenges you might face in editing, media management, or working with 3rd party tools.

All attendees will receive a pre-release copy of Mike’s FCPxFeature iBook. The workshop costs $300 and only has 10 seats. Email fcpxfeatures@icloud.com to register before space runs out.

Since the beginning, Radar has cultivated a safe environment for creative growth and workflow innovation. We’re excited to be hosting this unique event with the hope that there will be many more to come.

 

Stage Manager, or Show Director?

We were finally on-site. It was six months ago that we started working on this particular multi-million dollar event and we had already spent more than 100 hours with the event production company, client, venue and vendors answering every question from how we were going to tell the client’s story differently this year to load-in schedules to screen presets and run of show and everything in between. So much time had been spent on moving segments around, tightening up our show, editing videos to help tell the story more effectively and making sure we never lost sight of the overall event theme and branding. We even helped with the equipment list to cut some fat and help meet our budget. So when the event producer on-site introduced us to the entire crew as the “stage manager,” you can imagine that it seemed like our role had been slightly undersold.

A stage manager manages the stage. He/she makes sure the stage is clear, that those presenting know where they’re entering & exiting from, that there’s water nearby, the “clicker” used to advance PowerPoint slides is either in the stage manager’s safe keeping or in the hands of the presenter and it’s also the job of the stage manager to communicate all of this to the person calling the show, which sometimes, on smaller jobs, is the stage manager. Stage managers direct people to the makeup and green rooms as well as the restrooms. Great stage managers entertain the presenters and make sure they’re feeling comfortable before their big moment in front of thousands of people. They calm nerves and answer the tough questions. They know the show backwards and forwards and often times have a long-standing relationship with the executives or people involved with the event. They double check to see that the downstage monitors are working and displaying what they should be displaying. And the best stage managers can run rehearsals and block segments while the show director (or show caller) advances the next day’s showflows and schedule or puts out fires with the technical crew.

Stage managers aren’t necessarily worried about what content is being put on the main screens in the room. Stage managers aren’t concerned with the overall story nor are they concerned with tightening up the show or making sure the overall theme of the event is obvious. They shouldn’t concern themselves with video rolls and screen presets nor should they be worried about specific lighting cues and cueing the band or special effects.

During the 80’s and 90’s, it was the lighting designers (aka LD’s) who had their work cut out for them. Before multiple video screens and sync’d media, before LED panels and Spyder & Encore presets, LD’s typically called the shows since most of the cues dealt with lighting. It was a natural fit. And a lot of LD’s were quickly becoming TD’s (technical directors) so TD’s would often times call the shows. But things were simpler back then. Calling a show meant you gave specific spotlight cues, you told the LD when to fade the lights down and when to restore. Back then, TD’s might have called for a few videos and given “go” cues to a stage manager backstage.

Today, media is king. And unlike lighting, it’s always changing. There’s a video look for when people enter the room, a video that kicks off the event, 30+ videos throughout the event that can be anything from commercial spots to product launches to sales success stories. And usually these videos come in all different sizes and formats. It’s not uncommon for someone to walk in 20 minutes prior to doors with a YouTube link. It seems as though there’s more hustle these days when it comes to media. Less programming time. More of a “fly by the seat of your pants” mentality. And, unfortunately, most of it stems from the client, not the producer.

In addition, the complexity and uses of graphics have increased over the past few years. Media servers like WATCHOUT!, Pandora and Hippos have become commonplace and having more than 10 screens on which content needs to be displayed is no big deal. Five years ago, if you had more than four screens, you were using a ton of technology. Today, four screens is considered a small event. As with most things related to technology, it’s because the equipment is smaller, lighter & brighter and easier to make that it is also more affordable. And creating engaging content has become more affordable to producers and clients since we’ve seen the overall democratization of media globally.

So what does a show director do anyway?

As we see it, the show director is the link between the event producer and the client. The client and producer come up with ideas and it’s the responsibility of the show director to clearly communicate these ideas to the staff & crew to ensure flawless execution. It’s the show director who comes up with the best way to pull these requests off and formalizes everything in an easy-to-follow run of show (or showflow as we call it). The show director controls the chaos.

Another role of the show director is to aid in the transitions of the event. Making sure there’s music when executives enter and exit stage, that you have something to cut to in between those moments than can easily become awkward or clunky. Clock management, or learning how to shave minutes off of the presenter’s clock as needed, are other skills the show director should excel at. The show director also works closely with the technical director to ensure the crew has breaks and knows what’s next in the day’s schedule. Call times, meal & bio breaks, rehearsal schedules, work calls and what needs to be improved, fixed, setup, added, etc… are all things that fall under the show director’s list of responsibilities.

We personally like to work with the screen switcher to create a list of screen presets we can call out in the showflow. Whether it’s a Spyder or Encore or a WATCHOUT! system, we like knowing what’s going to happen when we say “Spyder 6… GO!”

Knowing which screens will have certain content helps me with transitions and unique presentations that fall outside the “normal” presets. We also like to make sure that we are calling the media files the same thing so there’s very little confusion when hard drives are handed to video playback. You’d be surprised how many possible different names there are for a simple highlight video. In essence, the show director directs the show while a stage manager manages the stage.

To be honest, when we’re show directing a big event, we really don’t worry about managing the stage since we’re usually working with a talented stage manager like Ann Friday. She owns that world, and although we work really well together, we try and divide & conquer vs. overlap.

So what does a show caller do anyway?

A show caller, in our humble opinion, is very similar to a show director. Our theory is that event producers struggle with using the term “show director.” Not sure why. Maybe it’s because they’ve been around long enough to remember when our jobs didn’t entail so much or they come from theater where the stage manager was on comms, calling cues, setting furniture on stage, mic-ing executives and presenters, etc. But since the explosion of media being used in today’s events, we don’t think it’s fair to call a show director or show caller a stage manager in the same sense that we would never dump the duties of a show director on a stage manager.

Radar in Washington D.C. with the SDPA

Radar’s team was in Washington D.C. with the SDPA for their 2011 Summer Conference. Radar’s team filmed interviews, recorded audio & video podcasts for Dermcast.tv and followed the PAs as they participated in the first ever Capitol Hill Day. You can watch highlights here. PAs and dermatologists met with senators and congressmen to discuss pertinent issues pertaining to dermatology.

D.C. was the sixth event Radar’s team has filmed for Dermcast.tv. Next is Orlando, Florida in November 2011.

The New Dermcast.tv

Two years ago, Robert Higham and Radar came up with an idea. The idea was based on two beliefs: 1) the SDPA‘s industry partners needed a new and exciting platform to promote CME and products & services outside the confines of the dermPA.org website. And 2) the SDPA needed to start building up a media library of its own – an online media resource – so that people with an interest in dermatology could go and search through hundreds of videos, audio podcasts, pictures, posts, blogs, etc… with ease. That was the Summer of 2008. And the idea was Dermcast.tv. In November of that same year, we launched Dermcast at our Fall Conference in Tampa. It was a huge success. After Tampa came San Francisco, then Scottsdale, then Chicago in the Summer and now Grapevine last week.

Five events and two years later, with more than 100 videos and audio podcasts available on the site, Dermcast is now the #3 podcast on iTunes under “dermatology” and the site has seen tremendous growth in the last 12 months. Since Dermcast is such a niche topic, site traffic is relative. Considering the fact that there are only 2,000+ dermatology PAs in the U.S. today, seeing 50% of that number visit the site each week would be a huge success. When the site first launched in November 2008, average hits were in the 3-4,000 range per week. Today, we’re seeing anywhere between 10 and 11,000 hits per week. Page requests are up as well and people are spending a lot more time on the site watching videos and downloading podcasts to their mobile devices to listen and learn during their commutes to work.

In addition, industry partners like AMGEN-Pfizer, Intendis and Promius have come alongside Dermcast in an effort to connect doctors and PAs to their products & services.

So here’s the Dermcast of Tomorrow: last week we gave Dermcast a new look (see below). It’s easy to see which posts are the most recent, the most popular and the most talked about. Soon you’ll be able to type in any keyword (psoriasis, for example) and all of the videos and podcasts that correlate with that keyword will come up. Any mention of a specific condition or disease or product, etc… will be called out for you making it easy to jump to that section.

We’ll see more “branded podcasts” and less “billboards” – our goal has always been to make Dermcast a clean, non-SPAM site. So you’ll never be inundated with sponsored content. However, it is our goal to come up with new & creative ways to show doctors and PAs new products and breakthroughs in the field of dermatology. Dermcast will continue to be the industry leader in HOW that content gets delivered to the viewer.

Mobility is key and Dermcast makes it easy to take the content with you. Downloading podcasts from iTunes is easy and with our upcoming improvements to the site and versatile download options, you’ll be able to view all content from any device, even if you have a slow data connection.

Also, look out for videos featuring procedures, helpful tips and what other derm PAs are doing at their practices. And down the road, we’ll feature exclusive content that you can only see on Dermcast.tv and a rewards program that you won’t want to miss out on.

So that’s just some of the vision and success behind Dermcast.tv. If you’ve been using Dermcast, I’d like to get your take on it. Comment below or email us and let me know what you think. I know the board and all of the committee chairs at the SDPA would love to hear from you.

The New Dermcast
The New Dermcast

Project Kindle’s Dance Marathon at UCLA

We’re helping out our friends at Project Kindle today by producing the live webcast of their Dance Marathon at UCLA. Dance Marathon at UCLA 2010 is the 9th annual event of its kind at the UCLA campus. Seeking to educate, fundraise, and spread awareness about the global pediatric AIDS pandemic, Dance Marathon unites over 3,000 students every year in Ackerman Grand Ballroom to literally take a stand against pediatric AIDS.

More information on the event can be found here. Watch the stream, chat it up & say hello. We’ll literally be here all night (did we mention it’s a 26-hour dance marathon?). This year, they raised $407,223.73

Radar Delivers for the DIRECTV Revolution

Dallas. April 21, 2009. More than 2,000 DIRECTV dealers experience a James Bond-themed casino night party complete with card tables, go go dancers, a unique raffle and dancing at the 2009 DIRECTV Revolution event. Eight 16×9-foot screens were strategically placed around the room and were controlled by an Encore system with multiple playback decks, graphics from laptops and 13 cameras (thanks to DMG). Steve Hand from the HAND Company tapped Radar during the development phase of the project and shared his vision for how the media elements would need to be integrated into the space. More than four hours of content was created for the event.

All eight screens needed to be independently controlled in order to match each corner of the room which featured a city theme: New Orleans, Moscow, Hong Kong and Monte Carlo (pictures and videos coming soon). In addition to the playback media, Radar controlled 13 cameras (6 remote, 2 operated, 5 hidden lipstick cameras) to create a sense of Vegas & Bond-like surveillance throughout the evening. Special thanks to the HAND Company, Kuki Design, Steve Kemble and everyone at DIRECTV for making this an amazing event. Radar’s creative director Drew Lucas headed up the media design & production while Tyler D’Askquith and Angel Banchs served as video director and Encore operator respectively.

EnviroSolve Has Radar On Their Mine

The EnviroSolve Corporation has tapped Radar to produce a 30-minute safety training video for the former Anaconda Copper Mine site in Yerington, Nevada which is going through a multi-million dollar cleanup.

The Yerington Site has more potential pitfalls than Raiders of the Lost Ark so it’s critical that all visitors to the mine go through some training before spending any amount of time on the site. The 30-minute training video will be available on the Radar website upon its completion in May. For more information on the site cleanup, click here.

Interthinx Launches “Fraud Bytes” Newscast

Interthinx has done it again. This time with a quarterly newscast called “Fraud Bytes.” The newscast focuses on trending topics within the mortgage banking industry. Interthinx has made the newscast available via its website and on YouTube. Hosted by Interthinx’s Kristi Kennelly, the four minute newscast is another example of how companies & organizations are leveraging their expertise, experience, solutions and strategic use of media in order to reach more people online using new media. Interthinx has plans to produce four Fraud Bytes newscasts and four FHA webisodes in 2009. Interthinx has embraced this new media campaign because of its affordability, its quick turnaround and the ability to track click-throughs and web traffic via free services such as YouTube, Vimeo and Google Analytics. For a higher-quality version of the Fraud Bytes newscast, click here.

Interthinx™ Premieres Webisodes

Interthinx recently premiered “Attack of the FHA Loan Files,” the first in a series of webisodes addressing the riveting details of FHA requirements. The webisodes, written by Interthinx and produced by Radar, feature clips from old movies that have been dubbed over with voice over talent. Radar will produce a total of 12 webisodes for Interthinx in 2009.

Interthinx doubled its website traffic on launch day, had one of their most successful mass email campaigns to date. Initial stats showed the webisode being downloaded and/or embedded more than 90 times with some users forwarding the link 20-80 times.

Interthinx is the nation’s leading provider of proven loan risk mitigation tools for the financial services industry.

Radar Produces Live Webcast

A few months ago, When Derek Williams was making plans to produce the next album for Paul Stephens, we asked if we could stream the 3-day recording session live via a webcast. Weeks later, and with the help of Drew Lucas, our team was in the Firehouse Studios with Paul Stephens, Derek Williams, and the entire band to record Paul’s second album (due out in the Spring of 2009).

The entire process was made available to the world via a free webcast on ForgottenStories.org. Viewers could tune in and watch Paul as he tracked several songs, overdubbed with the talented musicians and tweaked the tracks as needed. And while the artists were busy in the studio, ForgottenStories.org was helping to raise awareness for the more than 14,000 families living in a city dump outside Metro Manila.

The 3 camera webcast features interviews with the musicians as well as special guests who have stopped by the studio to share what they’re up to. Drew was even able to stream to the webcast using his iPhone.

We’ve learned a lot from this webcast and I’ll be blogging about the do’s and don’ts of live multi-cam webcasting in the following days. In the meantime, stop by ForgottenStories.org and pre-order your copy of “The Invitation” DVD/CD today. You’ll be helping families living in extreme poverty.

 

Recruitment Video for Universal Studios Hollywood

The Human Resources department at Universal Studios Hollywood has tapped Radar to produce its 2009 Recruitment Video. The video will be featured on USH’s job recruiting website and will loop in the staffing lobby. Radar’s team is developing the script, filming in and around the theme park and CityWalk and editing the Hi-Def video which will be posted online in February. Here are some non-color corrected images from the employee interviews.

5 Tips For Using New Media in 2009

For those of you who have told us you’re wanting to utilize “new media” in 2009, this is for you. Here are FIVE tips for using new media for your company or organization this year:

1. Start using social media sites like Facebook & Twitter

New media means bringing your brand to where your users/customers hang out. So if your users spend most of there time on Facebook, you should have a Facebook group or page setup. It’s free and easy and there’s no reason why you can’t set this up right now. Twitter is another great example of how brands are connecting with their customers in an easy & free way (see Starbucks, CNN, Zappos, etc…). Start building your social equity (you’ll soon learn that it’s worth more than your financial equity). Want more on this? Watch this. And if you don’t like Gary, you’re not allowed to complain until you get 92 comments on a single post.

2. Blogging is good. Videos are better.

Don’t just have someone in your office type up a bunch of stuff (ie: cut & pasted press releases, links, memos, thoughts on this or that, etc…). A bulletin board blog is boring and so 2008! Buy a $200 Flip HD camera and start shooting little videos to post on your website or blog (then link it up on Twitter, Facebook & Vimeo and let others embed it on their sites. Make it viral!). Interview your CTO talking about some of the upcoming products that will revolutionize your industry. If you’re worried about competitors “stealing” your ideas, keep it vague. Have an expert within your organization (say your CEO or COO or SVP of Marketing) talk about trends, themes or challenges facing your industry today, how they got to be the CEO, funny stories along the way, what’s next. What plans do you have to keep your company “more green”? Or what are you doing to stabilize your company through these tough economic times? How do you plan to stay innovative this year? There’s a 100 questions you can answer with a short 20-30 second video (I suggest keeping them under 3 minutes). If you only did a video a week you’d have 52 videos! Not bad. Listen to the comments. Respond to them. Reshoot accordingly. Re-post quickly. If people want more of a specific topic or want you to answer a specific question, go for it. People want to watch your company vs. read about it. And don’t be afraid to post videos of your customers. Let them be a part of the organization too. Have them sign a standard release form if your legal team gasps at the idea (which they will).

3. Engage your audience

Give them what they want. If your customers want to see more before & after videos, post them online. Examples of how to do something. How to use your products. Features & benefits they never even thought about. Highlights from a recent event. A promo video for an upcoming event. A day-in-the-life-of a [fill in the blank] to show the “real” side of what it’s like to [fill in the blank]. Give your viewers creative ideas & solutions so they’ll keep coming back for more (Williams-Sonoma does this really well with both their online recipes and how-to videos). And for the love of God, please RSS your website. Don’t know what that is? Click here. Have your fans shoot their own videos and submit them for a 6-month contest. The winner gets a new (fill in the blank) and also gets featured on your website in the Summer. Make it last 1 year or do 1 every 6 months to give your staff a break (also a great way to build anticipation for the next one). Remember, these don’t cost much – they’re affordable branded entertainment.

4. Go mobile

This isn’t the technology of tomorrow. It’s happening today. Companies like Amazon.com and SnapTell have already launched their mobile apps for users to connect with their brand while on the go. Truth be told, I did about 75% of my Christmas shopping for 2008 from my iPhone using the Amazon mobile app. What inexpensive app can you create to help connect users with your brand or products? Maybe it’s your entire catalogue of products or a free estimate calculator or featured videos from #2 that are only available on the app. Or keep it simple and make it a “lite” version of your website so viewers can see pricing, products, locate your stores, etc… Remember: 27 loyal brand evangelists are 1,000% more effective than a million people who drive by one of your billboards. Viral = strategic > ad noise.

5. Build your database

When people visit your site, get them to register. Make it easy for them to sign up and DO NOT SPAM them. Use it to build your database. Use it for strategic partnerships. But don’t use it to blast out weekly or even monthly emails to your followers (unless they want that – giving your customers or loyal followers options is probably point #6 but we’d say keep it to 5). SPAM’d followers will opt out of your list, guaranteed. Be smart about it but most of all, DO IT!

If you’ve read 1-5 and you’re now saying, “Well, yeah. Duh!” Chances are you’re already using new media to build your brand and connect with your base. Good job! Keep it up and we’ll compare notes. Next month I’ll share some best practices from our clients who are now starting to see the benefits of using new media in 2008.

[image from Creative Commons by Michael(tm) Smith]

Welcome to dermcast.tv

Dermcast.tv launched last week and is already receiving positive feedback from users who are calling it the “YouTube” for dermatology PA’s. The site, created by Radar, in association with the SDPA, is the only online media resource of its kind for physician assistants. As of today, the site features a few interviews with SDPA board members and founders, expert insight from well-known & experienced PA’s and man-on-the-street interviews with attendees of the 6th annual Fall conference in Tampa. With future updates, the site will feature PowerPoints from breakout sessions and keynotes as well as a library of podcasts from industry events and conferences.

Click here to see the podcast on iTunes.

Click here to visit dermcast.tv and click here to visit the SDPA.

Radar in the Philippines

The Radar team just got back from the Philippines yesterday. What a great trip! We were in Sitio Veterans filming some segments for the first Quad DVD [due out January of 2008]. Things went really well and we’re glad to be back. If you’d like to keep up with Quad, here’s a few links to get you started:

The Quad website is here.
Pics from our trip are here.

Enjoy!

Event Design 2007

 

The Second Annual Event Design Conference in New York was really great this year. If you’re thinking about going next year, we highly recommend it. Great weather, great location and an incredible lineup of speakers and sessions.

People at Event Design/Friends of Radar: Dan Hanover (Event Design Magazine); Ryan Fellabaum (XL Video); Jesse Seppi and Vivian Rosenthal (Tronic); James Frederick (Landor Associates); Sam Caban (Show Designers); Hillman Curtis (hillmancurtis); Jayme LaForest & Michelle (GO West); Irma Hardjakusumah & Tony Timms (Ethos Design); Margaret Aro; Davin Reich; Diane Murphy (Robert Boyett Theatricals); Steve Hand; Julie Johnston (Filmcore); some of the 53rd Street Girls.

Where You Could Find Us: kittichai, Thombar and rooftop bar (60 Thompson); Washington Square; SoHo; Midtown; The New School; Lucy’s in the East Village; Wined Up; momofuku (the smaller one); Burger Joint (of course); Joe Jr’s (6th & 12th); Pen-Top Bar and JFK Terminal 9 (Dear Tronic: check the monitors in the walkway, they’re glitching again!).

Click here for highlights.

[image used with permission from Creative Commons by Ralph Hockens]

Capture vs. Create; “Zero-Footprint” Production

We’ve been thinking about something simple, but profound.

The old way: “create a world in which…”

The new way: “capture a world in which…”

We’ve been thinking a lot lately about this concept of blending scripted episodic television with zero footprint production.

We’re meeting with some people here in New York in May to figure out what it all means. Exciting stuff.

[image used with permission from Creative Commons by Derron Birgenheier]

The Emergence of “Online Companion Series” Webisodes

We’re seeing more and more of “online companion series” — webisodes that take over where their TV counterparts end. Ghost Whisperer is doing this on CBS’ Innertube (among others). Typically, the weekly webisodes are sponsored by a company and feature a storyline that’s similar to their TV counterpart but slightly different, probably a bit more higher-concept than the TV version. Cross-pollinating at its best.

Some more examples:

Comedy Central.com is launching an interactive online comedy school Crash Course in which students create an avatar they use to polish their standup skills. Comedian Ted Alexandro has developed a ten-part curriculum covering writing, delivery, style, originality, stage mechanics and the business of comedy. Clips from the Comedy Central archive will be used to illustrate his points. Hyundai is sponsoring the program.

NBC announced the addition of several new interactive features around The Office, 30 Rock and Heroes on NBC.com, implemented from suggestions given by users. “The Office Quotes Game” was inspired by message board users who were challenging each other to identify who said specific lines. “Marry, Boff or Kill” is a game 30 Rock characters play on the show, naming three celebrities they’d like to do just that to. The Heroes tie in has former Mossad operative Hana enlisting fans to help her thwart Linderman’s plot. Gameplay will pay off in the April 23rd episode when the on-air storyline converges with the one developed online.

[Image used with permission from Creative Commons by Tim Samoff]

Not Sure About This: Commercial Pop-Ups on Online Videos?

ABC recently told media buyers it is considering inserting commercials directly into its online programming. For instance, commercials would pop out of televisions, cell phones and print ads appearing within episodes of shows such as Ugly Betty and According to Jim, then expand to run in full-screen mode.

We’re not sure we’re ready for this. What do you think?

[image used with permission from Creative Commons by Tom Newby]

Radar Turns Two!

RADAR turned 2 on April 16th. RADAR began with a vision of providing its clients with interactive experiences using storytelling techniques familiar to the motion picture & television industries — two years later, RADAR’s commitment to client retention and its focus on quality products & services and tangible results has paid off.

The company has experienced tremendous growth in its sophomore year and is expected to double in size by the end of 2007. RADAR started with five clients and now has 37 and there’s no end in sight: RADAR is opening a seasonal New York office this Fall and has plans to run a pilot program in Denver next year.

Earnings are up considerably for the fourth straight quarter and RADAR is slowly building its street cred as a reputable content provider — something they’ve been wanting to do since April 2004. Since RADAR’s launch, the company has produced more than 70 videos, 30 DVD packages, 12 websites, 6 national events, 17 webisodes, 7 shorts and has won more than 15 national awards.

[image used with permission from Creative Commons by Andrew Storms]