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, October 30, 2008

Barack Obama 30 Minute Advert

More today from Tom Shales in the Washington Post Online

John McCain - Now with 50% More Negatives!

The big picture rhetoric of this campaign has been remarkably consistent.
Barack Obama has been driving his message of hope and change since the last Democratic Party Convention in 2004. He has been defining the political conversation in this country ever since.

He never surrendered this position against Hillary Clinton and he's forced the Republican Party off of it's own message so many times that it has had to re-tool it's campaign and relaunch it's strategy almost every week since August.

So on the day that Barack Obama stood on top of his winning position, John McCain tried to gain ground in typical fashion:

"Barack Obama's ideologically-driven plans to redistribute income will impose higher taxes on families, small businesses, and investors; expensive, rigid, job-killing health mandates on employers; energy policies that fail to promote domestic oil, natural gas, and coal, and will impose a massive Washington-driven regulation of everything from home furnaces to factories; isolationist trade policies that endanger one out of every five jobs; and massive new spending plans that that will burden the economy and saddle our children with debt. Barack Obama is change Americans cannot afford."

Does anybody else see that when McCain reflexively goes negative on his opponent he cuts his forward momentum in half? He has consistently reduced his ability to lead this election by actually presenting himself as an "alternative". Being alternative to the mainstream makes you number 2.

John McCain has falied to make this election about John McCain. He has made it a referendum on one issue:

Barack Obama for President, yes or no.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Sound of Hope

Barack Obama in Richmond Virginia yesterday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Choosing our Future President

The future is what this election is about. Here are a few thoughts about that.

If John McCain becomes president, he will take office at the age of 72. The oldest man to be elected president. His father and grandfather were distinguished US Navy admirals in WWII. John McCain himself served and did hard time in a POW camp in Viet Nam. That was a very long time ago. The America that greeted John McCain when he returned from Viet Nam must have seemed quite different from the country he left to serve. The Viet Nam war ended in 1975. Just think how different our world has become since then.

Now consider this:

If elected, Barack Obama will become our first post Cold War president.
He will be the first American President to mature in the the modern
post WWII/post Cold War era. That post war era may not have ended on Sept 11, 2001,
but a new era certainly began on that day and the fact that Barack Obama is not bound to the previous era but embarks in the new era is a decided plus. We can no more go back to calling on our post war success in this day and age than we can re-unite the Beatles.

I watched Senator Obama's speech, "A More Perfect Union" or, the "Race Speech" again last night online. If you have time, review John Kennedy's First Inaugural Address and see where Senator Obama's political roots are. Watch John Kennedy be the first President to address the people of the world live on television. His understanding and mastery of TV gave him command of the election and his message reached to the far corners of the world. (My first online search for a link to this speech hit on a Chinese server.) Senator Obama has internet skills John McCain doesn't even comprehend and Barack Obama already speaks to the world.

If he is elected, Barack Obama will be the first president who understands the internet the way Kennedy understood TV. He has built a solid campaign on the internet and has become the first candidate to figure out how to fully integrate his message across all new media.

If he is elected, Barack Obama will be the first African American president. He will be in the unique position of Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson. Americans who responded to "no you can't" with "yes we can". And as such, he will be the first American president with the moral authority to face down the racist past of white America and the opportunistic bullying of soon to be irrelevant black nationalists.

If he is elected, Barack Obama will be the first modern liberal in America. He will be free from the cynical calculations of Democrats from the last generation. In a day when the word liberal no longer holds enough venom, and socialist or communist or anti American or terrorist must be used in it's stead, this will be no small victory for middle America.

If he is elected, he will be the first global citizen to be elected president.
James Garfield (1831 - Orange, Cayuhoga County, Ohio) was the last president to claim birth in a log cabin. Bu we've held fast to the myth of humble frontier beginnings ever since. Barack Obama has humble roots and humble beginnings that span America's modern frontier to the West - in the Pacific. Born in Hawaii and raised in Indonesia before coming to Kansas, Cambridge Massachusetts and finally Chicago Illinois. He has already seen the world Americans inhabit.

He will be the first visionary president since Reagan.

He will be the first "philosopher king" since Kennedy.

He will be the first president who sees the future in our time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Food Is a National Security Issue

I've been learning organic farming for over 10 years. When my wife and I bought a 123 acre farm my life became an episode of Green Acres.

It was a romantic decision. Move to the country. Live on the land. Commune with nature and build a dream. Some people we know had the same dream about leaving the city and having a nice quiet B&B in New England. Or a coastal winery in California.

Well, long story short, I've earned a few blisters, watched the weeds take over the fields and tossed a lot of blemished or unsold fruit and vegetables into the compost. I've been learning first hand about the farm economy and market gardening.

For us, the magic has faded some. Not because we don't love our farm or the community or the work. The magic has faded because we see the cold reality of what farming in North America has become and the difficult choices facing all of us.

*We are now living in a country that must import energy to grow food.

*We are now living in a country that is rapidly losing the ability to feed itself.

*We are now dependent on foreign markets for the energy and food we consume.

*Farmers don't make profit, they service debt and manage cash flow.

*Small family farms are unwanted by government planners and agribusiness marketers.

*The average age of the American farmer is 57.

*We know our imported food supply isn't safe from tampering or poor practices.

*We know that cheap, high fat, low nutrition processed food that sits on store shelves for months creates dietary health problems.

What we don't know is who is going to grow American food 10 years from now.

Michael Abelman showed my wife and I the way forward. A personal friend, Michael encouraged us to go for it. A few years later, we saw him at Fairview Gardens Farm in Santa Barbara. He was reading selections from his book, "Fields of Plenty". Michael discussed his experience traveling across America to meet organic farmers and discuss modern agri-culture.

He finished by saying, "If you want to eat in the future, you'd better make friends with a farmer."


If you want a longer explanation of what's happening you must read this:
"Farmer in Chief" by Michael Pollan in the New York Times online.

The free ride on cheap food is about to end. This article explains why. And I'm here to tell you, Pollan has it right.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Welcome to the New Deal!

Doing Our Part to help YOU!

Re-organization is a pain in the butt. It's just so much easier to keep cruising along the same old way. But when times change, you've got to change with the times.
If your marketing budget has been "revised" you may find that you can't do business the way you used to. You may also find that you need to revise your marketing mission. You may need help negotiating your own New Deal in media production.

The Production Room provides voice over and commercial recording services that can be customized for TV, Video online, Podcasts and radio. We work with experts in video production, graphic design, animation, web design and marketing. We can be a seamless part of your production team - wherever you are. We work directly with independent media producers, web designers, advertising agencies and marketing companies to create media projects that work across all media platforms.

We also offer ISDN service for broadcast networks, content producers, and advertising agencies around the world.

When you're ready to move ahead with your marketing, we'll be ready to help you.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Economy - Don't Panic!

I feel like Arthur Dent from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Today it seems that everything I know is wrong. So Besides recommending that you read Douglas Adams book (and suggesting that you always keep your towel with you) there are several things to keep in mind.

The first is: Don't Panic.

There are a lot of things I could worry about right now but unless time starts running backward we're not going to return to the way things were last October. We're in the midst of a moment of historic and permanent change.

So we'll have to move forward, knowing that change always creates opportunity.

Have a Coke and I'll tell you what I think.

Radio was relatively new in 1929. Talking pictures were also new. Long distance telephone was still expensive and communication in general was still limited.

During the Depression, radio boomed. After the initial crash, businesses that needed to get back on their feet discovered advertising on the radio to reach a mass market. If you were selling champagne and caviar this probably didn't help you.
But if you were selling floor wax and toothpaste you did pretty well. My point is, consumer spending will continue. Marketers will continue to advertise products that consumers need because market share just became a matter of survival. It was during the depression that advertising dollars built a new communications medium and launched a thousand new media stars.

The internet is about to come of age and this is going to have a major impact on what the economy does and how business re-organizes. In a medium that is already showing its ability to create and deliver content on demand it's only a matter of time before ad dollars follow.

Here's the reason this is true. Cost. I don't have to buy air time or print space to tell you who I am or what I do or how I can help you save a ton of money on car insurance. As we reorganize business, this is going to be a huge factor in how we move ahead.

So. Don't Panic.

We all need to re-fit and reorganize around the new technology and new media that is still lagging behind in actual implementation in the United States.

It won't be long until we see "Geico Comedy Theater" and "Microsoft Music Parade"as regular features of online entertainment. And we'll see more websites add content to generate traffic because it costs nothing to distribute online and you can own your brand forever. We'll see more ads - both conventional and online that direct traffic to entertainment sites where branding is part of the product.

A few years ago, Michael Huffington ran the most expensive Senate race in history. After he lost, he left his wife and announced he was gay. That made news, but nobody really remembers him. Nobody would remember who the unfortunate ex-wife was either except that she started a website. You may have heard of, "The Huffington Post".

Arianna Huffington didn't panic. Why should you?

In the next few blog posts, I'm going to describe how I'm re-organizing my business, how I plan to save my customers money and how I'm going to help them create the new, lower cost marketing messages and content they'll need to compete in a tougher market.

I'm also going to describe ways that creative producers can work together to create new products that meet the needs of clients who want to move ahead.

I'm optimistic that we can find the opportunity that this change is going to create.

In the mean time, So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What The World Knows About US

Sarah Palin and several others are claiming that Barack Obama is unpatriotic or un-American for suggesting that US forces are (in her words) 'air raiding civilians' in Afghanistan.

The problem is that US forces are in fact, "air raiding civilians" in Afghanistan.

Everybody on the ground there from the president of Afghanistan to our NATO allies knows this is true and they are complaining loudly about it. Especially since US planes murdered a wedding party last summer and US commanders tried to deny that it happened.

How do I know?

Because our Canadian allies were reporting this story in August and September. Seems the ungrateful Afghanis don't appreciate being murdered at family gatherings.

Why do these air strikes happen?

According to allied commanders it's because US forces operate under different rules of engagement in Afghanistan than NATO forces. NATO rules are more conservative with the result that there have been far fewer civilian or friendly fire casualties inflicted by NATO than by the US.

Barack Obama was speaking about facts that are well understood by everyone.

Everyone but John McCain, Sarah Palin and the red-meat loving right.