The Production Room was founded in 1995 as one of the first full time digital commercial recording facilties on the central coast of California. We started with 4 stereo tracks, 16 mb of ram and a 250 mb hard drive. A lot has happened since then. Today we're focusing on ways to serve clients who are creating web based media content. This includes strategic planning to integrate the benefits of traditional media, web design and IT solutions into new programs produced especially for on-line consumers. Join in the conversation. Throw rocks at glass houses. Share your vision of the future. This is the most progressive time in the media arts since Johannes Gutenburg invented movable type!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Power of a Good Idea

Santa Barbara City College is one of the most beautiful College Campuses in America.
You can visit (and study) on line:

The college sits on a high mesa overlooking the Pacific ocean. Our city set aside this large expanse of prime real estate for local citizens to enroll in higher education and it is making high quality college course work available to anyone who wants to learn. That was a great idea.

One of the latest gifts to the community from City College is the School of Media Arts and a series of 7 free seminars offered to the public in the Digital Arts Center. SoMa Now is a series of seminars offered to the public to educate and clarify current technologies that impact our daily lives. The seminar was just as advertised. A 3 hour overview explaining videopodcast production, rss and online content promotion. What a great idea!

My friend Stan Krome of First Crescent Design:, invited me to join him this past Friday at the SoMA Seminar on video podcasting. We started with a relaxing lunch at the local beach grill. We dined at a table on the beach, just a few yards from the water. We were served by pretty young women and were primed for the short (but steep) walk up the hill to our classroom. We entered a computer lab with long rows of clean tables and at each place was an IMAC ready for use on demand.

The class was called to order by Liz Russotti, chair of the graphic arts department at the college. She introduced our instructor, Peter McEwen. Peter is a relaxed man in his 30's who has studied on line technology but is also a creative talent and website developer. He was clear and measured in his delivery and very well organized in his presentation. He allowed for and answered many questions as he explained the technology, the creative process and the applications involved.

As I looked around the room I took note of the number of students (26) and their approximate ages (majority from 40 to 65 + years) and I was surprised that there weren't more youngsters in class. Isn't online video a young persons domain?

I found his approach interesting. He stripped the process down to the most practical solutions to allow all of us to understand and use the most direct means of creating, posting and promoting video content online. He explained that YouTube and Itunes are the primary and simplest means of getting material uploaded, rss tagged, search indexed and available to the most people right away because they are simplest to use. He endorsed using the power of two very good ideas that are drawing the largest concentration of active users on the net.

My thought has been to emphasize self hosted and self contained content and control of content delivered through a private channel (the owner's host site) and allowing Google to sort it all out. But I now see some key advantages to his method. You have a better chance of being seen and heard if you go where people are. Or to put it another way, these two outlets are currently the largest broadcast networks on the web and you can get your content included on their network program schedule today - simply by submitting it. (Try that at NBC). Peter added insight into posting content to other specific online communities so that you can in fact target your intended audience - a factor that is just now emerging but is of huge importance to commercial enterprise.

One other point, you can upload your content to YouTube or Itunes or any other community and still post the same material on your own host site. And you should do this so that your personal or business community are being served - by YOU.

All of these good ideas add up to some very powerful means of communication, and they are moving the very foundations of our media world.


More Power to a Good Idea!

I'm including the following press release from our friend and client Frank Christopher of Cross Keys Media. We had a tiny role in this project (I voiced the funding credits) but Frank created amazing online activity as part of the production of this ground breaking - and now award winning - PBS documentary. Congratulations Frank! More proof of the power of a good idea!

PBS Series wins First Place at 2006 Association of Health Care Journalists Awards
Los Angeles, CA, March 17, 2007 – The four-part PBS series Remaking American Medicine™ ~ Health Care for the 21st Century was chosen as the best television program of 2006 by the Association of Health Care Journalists at the eighth annual conference in Los Angeles on March 17. The awards recognize the finest health reporting in nine categories covering print, broadcast and online media. In only its third year, the contest drew nearly 400 entries.
Contest entries were screened and judged by 44 health care journalists. Remaking American Medicine won in the Television (Top 20 markets) category. A CNN Anderson Cooper 360 report, “Sick and Uninsured” by Sanjay Gupta, Shahreen Abedid and Abigail Leonard, won second place. “Battling Alzheimer’s” by Susan Dentzer of PBS’ The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer placed third.
The judges described Remaking American Medicine as: “A beautifully written and produced piece that sheds light on some of the nation’s most vexing health care issues. The episodes successfully exposed problems and examined solutions. Kudos to the makers of Remaking American Medicine. We should all aspire to produce health stories of similar caliber. Impressive, informative and compelling work!” Pulitzer prize-winning health care journalist Charles Ornstein of the Los Angeles Times presented the award to producers Frank Christopher, Matthew Eisen and Marc Shaffer.
Remaking American Medicine was a four-part, primetime PBS series that aired every Thursday evening at 10pm in October 2006. The documentaries brought to the forefront of national discourse the imperative of improving the quality of health care for all Americans. Over 7 million viewers tuned in. The series was supported by a nation-wide public engagement campaign that succeeded in creating national, regional and local coalitions to re-energize and expand the burgeoning heath care quality movement.
Remaking American Medicine was produced by Crosskeys Media, a multimedia entertainment production company committed to telling stories of American health care. Frank Christopher was the executive producer of the series. Matthew Eisen was the co-executive producer. Marc Shaffer was series producer. Peabody and Emmy award-winner John Hockenberry served as the series host.
Devillier Communications, Inc., (DCI), a public relations and marketing agency with extensive public television experience, coordinated the Remaking American Medicine national outreach campaign. KQED, the award-winning public television station in San Francisco, which serves the Northern California area, presented the series to the PBS system.
Remaking American Medicine was made possible through funding provided by the Amgen Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson FoundationÆ. The Nathan Cummings Foundation, Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts provided additional funding. Additional support was provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
For more information about Crosskeys Media:
For more information about the TV series:
For more information about the Outreach Campaign:
CONTACT: 805.966.3700

No comments: