Blackmagic Meet 2014 – Film Matters

Many new and exciting technologies were demoed at this year’s Blackmagic Design meet. While definitely not a mainstream product, my favorite item at the show was the Cintel Film Scanner. If you ask me, it could not have come at a better time.

Film based production has decreased over the last few years. A lot of brick and mortar post houses have stopped developing and scanning film. However, there are still people who are in love with the look of film and enjoy the process. The Cintel Film Scanner is a revolutionary product at a great price. Coming in at $30,000, the Cintel Film Scanner could be a great solution for smaller post houses, film labs, film schools, or boutique production houses.

The Cintel Film Scanner can scan either 16mm or 35mm film to UltraHD in real time. Using Thunderbolt 2 connectivity, an 11 minute reel of film can be scanned in 11 minutes. Film can be scanned to either ProRes or Cinema DNG formats. Color adjustments can be made on the fly, including light color.

There are a few drawbacks. For one, it is using a CMOS sensor and only works in a 4:2:2 color space. The sensor is likely similar to that used in the URSA and Production 4K cameras, so the full latitude of the film is unlikely to be fully preserved. However, film already compresses the contrast of a scene during capture. Therefore, the image rendered through the Cintel could potentially retain detail in highlights and shadows more effectively than the Production 4K camera.

Despite a few drawbacks, the Cintel Film Scanner is perfect for the independent film market. It is a great value for post houses that want to provide film scanning services without a huge upfront investment.

Blackmagic Meet 2014 – The URSA Experience

The Blackmagic Meet in Burbank, CA was much busier this year than last year. That’s probably because of the URSA. While Blackmagic has been making cameras for a few years now, the URSA is the first to have most of the bells and whistles required for day to day production. I had the chance to play with the URSA for a good five to ten minutes. While there were a few things missing in the current build of the firmware, the URSA seems to be a huge improvement for Blackmagic. The ability to swap batteries is a godsend. The three monitors are also quite exciting.

IZ7C2204Another attendee and I worked on separate sides of the camera for a bit. To my surprise, changes to the touchscreen menu on his side updated in real time on my side. Being on the Camera Assistant side, I was glad to see that I could use Peaking on my monitor without affecting the Camera Operator’s monitor.

There are a few opportunities for the URSA to be better. For one, none of the existing monitors are going to be great in the sun. It really needs an electronic viewfinder. While these can be purchased from third-parties, they are not cheap. Another issue with monitoring is control over the SDI send. Currently, to change between Film and Video gammas on an SDI connected monitor, one has to change the recording gamma. There is a separate display gamma setting for the three monitors on the camera. Hopefully a future version of the firmware will allow separate adjustments for the SDI out.

Brand new at the Blackmagic Meet was the Blackmagic Camera 1.9 firmware update. The update brought a screen histogram, time remaining indicator, audio meters, and improved sensor calibration to the Production 4K camera. One of the Blackmagic representatives assured me that, while the firmware for the other two cameras was not ready for the show, it is coming soon.

One Blackmagic representative mentioned that the turnout for the meet was much greater than they had expected. There was always a line around the URSA camera. In the lecture hall, every seat was filled and many were standing the majority of the day. Growing crowds prove that the Blackmagic brand is gaining prominence among small and mid-size production teams.

visionCOLOR Introduces ImpulZ

Cinematographers, Colorists, and anyone else wanting to capture the elusive film look, take note. VisionColor has just released one of the most comprehensive suites of film emulation Lookup Tables (LUTs).

At Radar, we were lucky enough to be part of the Beta process for ImpulZ. We pride ourselves on providing cinematic results for our clients and we’ve had great experiences with VisionColor products in the past, so this amazing new toolset definitely sparked our interest.

Often times, getting accurate film looks requires third-party plug-ins or applications. ImpulZ LUTs, on the other hand, can be used in nearly any non-linear editor (NLE) or color-grading tool currently on the market without altering existing workflows. ImpulZ includes emulations of 16 different film stocks, including industry standards like Kodak Vision3 500T 5219.

To keep results consistent, ImpulZ provides patches for the a variety of popular color science and camera combinations, as well as generic Log and Rec709 patches. That means a shot from a Blackmagic Cinema Camera, a RED Epic, and a Canon 5D can theoretically be color matched to the same film stock in a matter of seconds.

Additionally, each film stock emulation has four different output gamma and color response profiles available: Film Contrast, Film Print, VisionSpace, and CINEON® LOG. The Film Contrast and Film Print profiles are both contrasty and make it easy to get to a finished film look rapidly. This makes them great for creating a quick look in editorial or loading them into monitors on-set during shooting.

Screen Shot 2014-06-09 at 5.11.21 PMFor those who want to spend some more time finessing, the VisionSpace and CINEON® LOG profiles are the way to go. VisionSpace is custom built by VisionColor. It is less contrasty than the Film Contrast and Film Print profiles, and acts as a great place to start a grade without loosing any color or luminance information. CINEON® LOG is the most robust of the output profiles. It was built to emulate the process of scanning an negative for digital intermediate. Once a shot has been graded with the CINEON® LOG profile, film print stock emulations can be added. This is probably the best emulation of a photochemical workflow anyone has seen in the world of digital cinema.

ImpulZ comes in three packages: Basic ($53), Pro ($75), and Ultimate ($135). The Basic Package includes emulation LUTs of a few Fuji and Kodak still stocks with generic LOG and Rec.709 patches, the Film Contrast and Film Print output profiles, and a Kodak 5219 Film Grain Overlay at 1080p. The Pro Package includes a few additional specialty film stocks, patches for various low cost cinema cameras, adds the VisionSpace output profile, and a 2.5K version of the Kodak 5219 Film Grain Overlay. Finally, the Pro Package adds six Kodak Vision3 stocks, support for higher end digital cinema cameras, the CINEON® LOG Output profile, and a 4K version of the Kodak 5219 Film Grain Overlay.

ImpulZ is available for purchase at VisionColor and Color Grading Central.

ImpulZ Quick Start Guide and Overview from Color Grading Central on Vimeo.

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.

The Perfect Mobile Data Solution?

We are always looking for ways to streamline and fine tune our workflows. When we are on-site for a project, data management is ALWAYS a concern. Drobo might have just killed it for us.

Introducing the Drobo Mini.


This is an awesome product that we think will greatly change the way we at Radar think about data management and redundancy.

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 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 Next is Orlando, Florida in November 2011.

The New

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 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 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 and a rewards program that you won’t want to miss out on.

So that’s just some of the vision and success behind 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

Radar Show-directing the Gubernatorial Debate – Watch Live

Gubernatorial candidates Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman converse during the California Governor’s Debate Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2010 at Dominican University of California in San Rafael, Calif. (Photo/George Nikitin, Dominican University of California, 2010)

Radar will be directing the California Gubernatorial Primary debate today at 5:30 PM Pacific time, live from the Orange County Performing Arts Center (OCPAC).

[image courtesy of Creative Commons: Dominican University of California]

South by Southwest (SXSW)

Radar is honored to be involved with this year’s Beacon Lounge (aka: “the Lounge with a Conscience”) at the Convention Center where is producing & streaming a half-hour webcast hosted by Mark Horvath from (with special thanks to Portnoy Media Group). The multicam webcast will air on Saturday March 13th, Sunday March 14th & Monday March 15th at 10:30 AM CT. The webcasts feature some amazing people in the social media for social good world and topics include social media’s impact on efforts to increase support for charities and causes around the world.

You can click here for a complete schedule. Mark’s guests include Jeff Pulver from the 140 character conference; Chris Brogan of Trust Agents and Social Media 101 fame; Kari Saratovsky from the Case Foundation; Terry Storch and Tony Steward from; Beth Kanter, nonprofit social media strategist; and Chris Noble, Founder and CEO of Causemedia Group.


To help us get the word out there, please use the following hashtags: #whatgives and #refreshGary (more info on that here, thanks to Kevin Hendricks).

If you have no idea what SXSW is, then keep reading:

There’s no doubt South by Southwest is a major event: SXSW is the highest revenue-producing special event for the Austin economy, with an estimated economic impact of at least $110 million in 2008. With more than 1,400 performers playing in more than 80 venues around Austin over four days, SXSW Music is really why people come here. But over the years, SXSW Film has become one of the world’s premiere film festivals while SXSW Interactive has attracted a strong following among web creators and entrepreneurs. SXSW Interactive’s focus on emerging technology has earned the festival a reputation as a breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies. Twitter launched at SXSW Interactive in 2007.

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 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, 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 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 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]

Radar Produces the Blu-ray Disc for Super Capers

Beverly Hills-based RG Entertainment recently tapped Radar to produce the Blu-ray disc for the upcoming super hero movie “Super Capers.” Radar created several menus for the disc that matched the comic book style already present throughout the film and the website.

Click here to visit the Super Capers website.

Welcome to 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 and click here to visit the SDPA.

Looking Back: Top Video Content Websites of 2006

As mentioned in Cynopsis Digital, here are the top sites adults used to view video content online in 2006, from Piper Jaffray. The numbers represent the percentage of respondents who said they viewed video on these sites:

YouTube 43.5%
TV Network Sites 41%
Google Video 26.5%
MSN Video 24.5%
Yahoo! Video 22%
MySpace 16.5%
AOL 13.5%
Other 17.5%

[image used with permission from Creative Commons by Johan Larsson]

Lucifer the Movie

RG Entertainment has tapped Radar Creative to create a website, DVD and movie poster for Lucifer, a movie being produced & directed by Ray Griggs of RG Entertainment.

Some of Hollywood’s top “A List” players collaborated on the movie trailer including cinematographer Russell Carpenter, a well-known film scoring orchestra, Cafe FX and ADI. Griggs plans on shopping the DVD trailer around town in order to raise the necessary financing needed to film the feature length movie.


Visual Trends: “Zoom-to-Reveal”

“Zoom-to-reveal” design (or ZTR as I’ll refer to it in this blog) is becoming more and more of a trend in the design world.

A few years ago, websites like Mapquest and Google maps introduced us to an old concept: zooming in to reveal more. You might be familiar with the work of Charles Eams and his Orders of Magnitude, but this concept of zooming in to reveal more information as it relates to the Information Age and not the Scientific World, is a newer concept. Let me explain.

With Google Maps, we can choose what information we want to see and on what level. You can choose Earth, continent, country, state, county, city, highway, road, sidewalk, ant… you get the idea. Stay at a higher elevation if you’re wanting to know where a person’s home is in relationship to the freeway; zoom in closer if you want to see where a person’s home is in relationship to the street (ie: end of the cul-de-sac, before the right turn, etc…).

So now companies are using this mentality with designing their sites. Stay at a higher elevation if you’re wanting to know where this company is in relationship to the industry (how do they compare with the other guys?); zoom in closer if you want to see where this company is in relationship to its clients (who are they working with?); zoom in even closer if you want to see where this company is in relationship to specific projects it’s producing (why are they different/better/smarter?).

The best example of this is Leo Burnett’s website: a creative ad agency in Canada. As you’ll see (after you’ve spent three hours of your life playing with their website), they apply this technique to their world quite brilliantly.

Another example I can’t cut & paste here is what TBS (a TV network in the U.S.) is doing with their graphics packages.

We found this website ( — again, a perfect example of how ZTR is being used effectively in the design world.

What do you think? Is this just a fad or a new way of communicating in a visual world?

[image used with permission from Creative Commons by Yogesh Mhatre]

FSI is An Official Selection at Toronto Film Fest

FSI, Interthinx’s™ training DVD (produced by Radar) that has taken the mortgage banking industry by storm, is now an official selection at the World of Comedy Film Festival in Toronto. FSI was entered into the animation and mockumentary category along with 400 other entries. On Sunday, March 11th, FSI will screen in front of 200 people at a small theater.

Festival director Carla Nolan told Warren that she thought the production value was so great on FSI, she made an exception to her “no training videos” rule at the fest, allowing FSI to be not only entered but shown.


The Reach of FSI (from a Sales Perspective)

Here’s the latest news on FSI (from a sales perspective)
compiled by Kristi Kennely, Interthinx™

895 orders for the FSI DVD to date.
Aurora Loan Services is having their own “Premiere” of FSI for employees.
CTX is having their own “Texas Premiere” of FSI.
Saxon Mortgage is having multiple “Premieres” of FSI.
• The MBA has given Interthinx permission to show FSI at two different break out sessions at the National Residential Underwriting Conference (since the 9/27 premiere in San Diego, the MBA has become supporters of the film).
• The news of FSI was picked up by the Chicago Tribune. Click here to read the full story.
AmNet has ordered 24 DVD’s for all of their branches.
• Mark Liley, Chief Appraiser for Flagstar, has ordered 10 copies for the Fraud Dept, Repurchase Dept, and Appraisal Review Dept.
• National Bank Examiners from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have ordered multiple copies.
• We’ve had orders from Senior District Attorneys, the Department of Justice and the FBI.
ApprasailBuzz wants to show FSI on two large screens in the tradeshow area of their conference.
• Even Interthinx’s competitors and other vendors are being supportive. Here’s a comment from Karen Pawlowski at US Mortgage:
“…wanted to pass along some kudos re: the movie and especially the DVD training chapters from our trainer at The Prieston Group. She says she loves the approach that was taken and the way that the training chapters specifically reference the exact film footage for great impact. I’m with her on that!”
• This came in from Sovereign Bank: “I just watched your FSI movie today. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. It was both full of good fraud knowledge and I laughed my head off, too. Very fun and creative! It was worth every dime your company spent and I look forward to sharing it with my underwriting staff as a training tool. Who is the Air Supply fan there?”
Caryne Clement
Underwriting Manager
Sovereign Bank- Wholesale Lending Division

More to come…

60 Interviews in 4 Hours? Radar in Vegas for Jafra

No one said it would be easy: Radar was tasked with capturing more than 60 interviews in less than four hours for Jafra Cosmetics International. Women from all over the world (Mexico, U.S., Switzerland, Italy, etc…) were asked the same question, “How has Jafra changed your life?” The answers (and stories) were nothing short of emotional, funny and inspiring.

Taping took place at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and was captured using the Panasonic SDX900 (DVCPRO50) from PGR.

Production stills courtesy of Moses Sparks Photography.





Radar Introduces Hall of Fame

RADAR Creative helped introduce the three Hall of Fame inductees at this year’s Spotlight Awards during the Event Solutions Expo in Denver, Colorado (August 23rd). The short 2-minute film follows the journey of a man searching for his place among legends and set up the prestiguous award by introducing John Daly and Andrea Michaels before they entered stage. Radar shot the piece over two days throughout Los Angeles and Lancaster. John Henry Whitaker stars in the piece. To view pictures from the shoot, click here.

Special thanks to:

Michael & Rita Warren, Michelle Rubinstein, Agatha & Hannah Warren, Drew & Dena Lucas, John & Dottie Dobbert, Denny & Cathy Dietz, Joe & Carolyn Davis, John Henry Whitaker, Scott Visser, Dieter Tack and David & Sue Brantingham for their time, patience and willingness to help out. We couldn’t have done it without you!


Radar in Uganda

RADAR’s team will depart for Uganda today. They’ll join up with several people from Children’s Hunger Fund and Africa Renewal Ministries in order to upgrade a video editing system that was installed in 2004. New cameras and equipment as well as new software and tools will be made available to the eight person video team.

Africa Renewal Ministries (or ARM) produces educational DVD’s for faith-based operations throughout Uganda and East Africa. ARM’s main focus is food distribution to children and families who need it most. In addition to equipment upgrades and software installation, the RADAR team will be filming several interviews for multiple non-profit organizations.

Radar Finishes Work on SPIT Trailer

RADAR recently finished post production on the theatrical trailer for Rotimi Rainwater’s Spit, a documentary that takes viewers inside the world of slam poetry. The film is narrated by muMs da Schemer and Rosario Dawson (of Kids and Sin City fame).

At this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Alpine Pictures announced the launch of its domestic theatrical distribution arm with Box Office Productions’ Love Is the Drug, written by Wesley Strick, directed by Elliott Lester and starring Daryl Hannah. After Love Is the Drug, Alpine will release the feature-length spoken-word doc Spit. In addition to the Spit trailer, RADAR recently completed post work on the EPK for Love Is the Drug.


“Stop & Think” Viewed in Outer-space

The below email was sent to “Stop & Think” producer Johnny Karls from space!

Jeff Williams (pictured below), one of the two astronauts currently on the International Space Station (the Station circles the planet approximately 16 times per day, traveling at 17,500 mph in an orbit varying 208 to 285 miles from Earth) watched “Stop and Think” from space Saturday morning. Here’s what he had to say about it:

The video was uplinked to me last night and I watched it this morning (Saturday). Great message! I can echo the proclamation of the glory of Christ in the creation and in His word (Col 1:15-17). I’m going to forward it to my church staff. Thank you for your prayers.

In Christ,

2 Cor 5:21

For more information on “Stop & Think” or to watch the 16 minute short film, visit

[image atop used with permission from Creative Commons by NASA Goddard Space Center]

Children’s Hunger Fund Promotional Video

RADAR is producing a short “overview” DVD for Children’s Hunger Fund. The 5-minute video will highlight some of CHF’s current programs worldwide as well as outline why CHF is already the charitable organization of choice for many faith-based organizations and corporations nationwide. Johnny Karls (Stop & Think) is producing for CHF while RADAR’s Drew Lucas designs the piece.

“Desperate House Lies” Wins Silver ADDY Award

Sysdome’s “Desperate House Lies” won a silver ADDY (American Advertising) Award last week, bringing the total number of awards won to 15. The RADAR SalesCinema™ project won for best audio/visual sales presentation. The District 15 competition, which is the second level of the three-tiered national competition, included the winners from the local competitions in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Inland Empire, North LA County, Central California Coast and Bakersfield.

RADAR hopes to fold this win into a national win where the piece will be competing against the winners from each of the 15 Districts in the United States. Click here to visit the ADDY website.

Post-Production Begins on FSI

Production wrapped on Tuesday for “FSI: Fraud Scheme Investigation” bringing the total number of production days to six.

RADAR will produce several film posters for Interthinx™ for upcoming trade shows as well as an industry trailer, preparing people for the September premiere in San Diego.

The 30-minute project was shot on two DVCPRO cameras, will be edited using Final Cut Pro and After Effects and 3,300 DVD’s will be produced & distributed nationwide.

This “best practice” training film is already receiving rave reviews from industry experts who participated in the filming process as well as staff, cast & crew.

[image used with permission from Creative Commons by Kiril Proskurin]