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!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Now! For ALL Your Radio Needs!

Last weekend was a really important sales weekend for car dealers. I know because I've been voicing and producing car commercials for a very long time.

Memorial Day Weekend sales events are as common as dirt. It's pretty hard to stand out from the crowd of advertisers who blast the airwaves with video vomit and full frequency audio assaults for THIS WEEKEND ONLY!

So I was pretty happy to learn that a simple spot I voiced at Red Rocket Productions for Toland Marketing helped sell 73 Toyotas. That's pretty good for a single dealership. Furthermore, the dealer only bought radio. No Print. No TV. No Direct Mail. So that would be an example of good radio advertising.

Now, for a hilarious example of bad radio advertising that you can write yourself, follow this link:
to "Dan O'Day's Amazing Bad Commercial Generator!"

There's lots of fun stuff here, Dan has been providing prep. sheets, production elements and "sound" advice to radio professionals for years. This is your chance to peek behind the curtain at some real old school radio goodies. Trust me, anybody who ever was a disc jockey knows Dan O'Day and O'liners.

And if you want to know how we helped a single dealer sell 73 cars last weekend, let me know.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Meet An Ambassador of the Environment

I've worked on many projects over the years with Jean Michel Cousteau and Ocean Futures Society. We're pleased to work with this charming man and honored to participate in his mission to develop human understanding of marine life.

When Brooks Intitute of Photography student, Dave Cheney contacted us about a film project featuring a new Ocean Futures program, I was intrigued. The film documents the "Ambassadors of the Environment" program - an educational camp for grade school students who learn environmental science in a natural, hands on setting. Dave needed us to record a professional narration and he needed location audio from the shoot cleaned up.

Almost by definition, a student film is budget challenged. When we met to review his request we realized Dave had a great project that just needed a little help to make it even better. We recorded the narration, Steve Gordon cleaned up the location audio tracks and did the final sound mix. Dave worked with us to cover some of the studio time but once we took on the project we felt the real issue was doing our best work regardless of the budget. Thanks to Dave for sending us a link to the final version of the production:

And then there was a moment of cosmic comedy. Yesterday I spotted Jean Michel and a companion strolling up the walk in front of the San Roque Post Office in Santa Barbara. I was about to say hello when a couple from out of town pulled up behind my truck and asked him if he knew the way to "fisherman's wharf". Mr. Cousteau gave them a slight chuckle and then gave them directions.

They drove away unaware that they had just asked Jean Michel Cousteau for directions to the ocean.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Planting Summer in the Snow

Okay, what happened? last week was sunny and warm in the Canadian Maritimes. The door to Spring was thrown wide open as temperatures climbed into "balmy" territory. Locals were giddy after the long winter. Then it was as if Ma Nature flipped us back into winter, yelling,"Psych"!

On Wednesday the air temperature was hovering near freezing. As a steady wind blew down from the north I bent over the prepared soil in a field I have been fallowing for 3 years. I carefully placed each seed for our potatos, peas, spinach, beets and chard into the moist earth. My hands were numb. I kept working. My back hurt. I kept working. My legs ached. I kept working. Snow and rain in the forcast that night meant finishing all of the field work 3 days sooner than I had expected. After snow and rain soaked the dirt it would simply be mud. Too wet to plant. So I kept working.


All winter I had been making plans. Placing seed orders, organizing tasks so I could optimize the 2 weeks in May when the farm wakes up. My vision of summer bounty required that certain work be done - no matter what.

My plans were largely destroyed by first contact with reality on the ground. I spent time revising expecations and re-organizing tasks. I juggled my time around weather forcasts and visiting neighbors, production work in the studio and just plain daydreaming. But the real test of my creative vision was on that cold afternoon when my body wanted to quit and accept the consequences. I kept working.

And here's what I learned:

Make plans. Then scrap them.

Reality just is.

It's amazing how powerful an intention can be.

I beleive in what I'm doing enough to be uncomfortable in the process of doing it.

It's about love!

Tomorrow, I will leave for Santa Barbara. My seeds are planted. The weather will soon be warm and summer will come. The fields and flowers will be beautiful. I will pick beans with my wife, I will smell fresh mowed grass, I will watch my children steal sweet peas in the late afternoon, I will meet charming couples from Montreal, freckled kids and their parents from Ontario and smiling locals. I will laugh with friends who come home to the island each summer for wine and potluck suppers at the shore and a pack of kids and dogs will scream and shout into the deep twilight.


Sometimes you have to plant it in the snow.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Creative Birthing or Delivering in Public

I just gave birth to a new website.

It was a long and difficult process. The labor pains were intense.

Of course being the father, I actually had nothing to with the most difficult or dangerous part of the experience. But there were many professionals involved,
making sure everything went smoothly.

I'm now convinced that you should never try to do anything like this by yourself at home. For the same reason that you shouldn't try to take out your own appendix with a pocket knife on a Saturday afternoon. Even if you could do it, the results might not be...ummm...professional.

Remember whenever a baby was born in all of those old TV shows? The new father wasn't anywhere near the birth. He just handed out cigars in the waiting room and acted as if he'd inhaled several cubic yards of nitrous oxide. Of course things aren't like that today. Fathers are very much involved in the process and are often found in the birthing room.

Our new "baby" arrived in a very public birthing room called the Pasadena Convention Center during an event called, "The California Small Business Success Conference". Not exactly a calming, ambient environment. But that's where we were when the site went live.

Fortunately our new arrival was judged to be attractive and the attendees all made appropriate and appreciative cooing noises about our user interface and multi-channel media services. And they were amazed that it could already talk!

I sighed, smiled, and passed out marketing branded water bottles.

Anyway, as long as you're here, have a peek at the baby:

I've really got to go and get some sleep!