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!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Super Model, Super Mom, Super Nice

Kathy Ireland came into the studio at The Production Room in Santa Barbara today to record 4 new radio commercials for her company, Kathy Ireland World Wide. Then we began recording her new audio book, Real Solutions for Busy Moms: Your Guide to Success and Sanity.

We've worked together in the studio several times over the years. Kathy is a Santa Barbra native who's right at home around town. She still lives here with her husband, Greg and their three children. Working at the Prodroom keeps her close to home and family which is clearly her choice since she could work anywhere she wanted to.

She is very tall, and I had to re-arrange the booth to allow her to sit upright on a stool and later, to stand as she read. She is very focused and she powered through pages of material that might have left another talent gasping for air.

Kathy is a committed Christian who shares her compassion for working moms, her good sense about living well and her active faith with readers and listeners. While some might find it odd that a woman they know primarily from swimsuit photos is so strong on faith and life affirming values, it actually is in keeping with who she is and why she has remained healthy and grounded in her home town with her family.

We should all mature so well!

The print version of her book will be available on April 7. Pick up the audio book after it is released and you'll hear the work Kathy recorded here today.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Homecast Show - A Podcast That Works

You might know that I spent a few odd years in radio. Yes, I do mean odd.

During that time I learned to love the medium and I worked with a lot of really cool people. One of those people contacted me this week. Liz Fulton, who you may remember from the news room at KTMS, Y-97 and K-lite radio in Santa Barbara, or from her run with Rick Dees on KiiS FM in Los Angeles.

Liz has re-connected with several of her underemployed radio pals and with Danny Lemos at the helm of "The Homecast Show" they are creating a daily podcast that is smart, funny and nicely paced. This is a podcast made by professionals.

I've written before about podcasting, and described what makes most podcasts horrible. I'm so pleased to have a positive example to share. Whether you're interested in creating daily podcasts, image and marketing content, or training/informational programs, you need to listen to this program for ideas.

Better yet, why not BUY this show?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Green Revolution Starts Now

Note: This was written on Jan. 11 for my Dunn Creek Farm blog.

Barack Obama is setting his course in a radical new direction.
As he takes office on January 20th, he'll be holding most of the cards of his "New Deal" close to his vest. We aren't sure what his program will actually look like. But we do know that the issues of global climate change, North America's energy future and international security are on the table.

While each of these issues has been part of the political discussion for many years, my sense is that this will be the first time that ALL of them will be unified by a single major policy maker who has a popular mandate to take action. The resulting period of change could be deep and long lasting.

The political risks are equally large. Attempts to form policy on the incremental issues have failed internationally. Technical, Economic and Ideological limitations have doomed previous attempts to deal with climate and energy issues. That's why I believe that this is the moment for sweeping change. President Elect Obama has made cabinet appointments that show he is preparing to seize the moment. Green energy will finally get a green light.

When Canada's Liberal Leader, Stephan Dion, ran for Premier last Fall, he did so on an agenda that included sweeping reform to reduce Canada's carbon emissions. He must have believed that Canadians in general support high environmental standards and would therefore support his plan. It didn't work out that way. Voters sensed economic panic and couldn't quite fathom how his complicated carbon tax would deliver positive results. There was another problem. Canada is now one of the largest petroleum exporting countries in the world. One hand simply doesn't wash the other.

President Bush also dealt with the questions of sustainable energy, security and the environment in a piecemeal fashion. The result was a sidestep of the Kyoto protocol and the deployment of about a third of Americas' military assets to the Middle East. We have ground troops throughout the region and at least 1 Navy Carrier group in the Persian Gulf at all times. All to guarantee the status quo in global energy markets. The argument for this policy is based on the ideology that government doesn't provide for people, private enterprise does. Therefore, the government should protect private enterprise.

Obama seems to have a very different outlook. He realizes that we don't have to deploy our military to protect a pipeline that sucks oil at one end and our wealth at the other, IF we can develop a sustainable, secure domestic energy industry AND reduce our greenhouse emissions while boosting our economy. He's going to hire the private sector to deliver a tri-fecta.

Some people here in the States are screaming that the Obama plan is socialist. These same people saw no problem with starting a war and then funding private enterprise to run it with no bid contracts. Haliburton was hired on a blank check mission because it was,"the only company big enough to handle the job". Conservatives and Libertarians are now demanding that there be a "market based solution" to the problem. Well frankly, at this time there is no private or international entity who can meet our need for increasing domestic energy supplies for the next 200 years. And there won't be unless we invest in our own interests.

Last week Vladimir Putin brought Europe to it's knees by shutting off one pipeline. If they didn't know it before, the EU knows now that it is vulnerable. On the current basis, NATO can't guarantee security or stability in Europe unless it intends to invade Russia. The whole global free trade initiative was trumped by the Russian gas company.

This "tweak" at NATO weakness and the conflicts that tie our hands in Iraq, Afghanistan etc. are just a few of the reasons that the table is set for Obama to orchestrate change.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dishing with the Executive Chef

Foodies will know that Cat Cora is the the first woman to win Iron Chef America. She is also the current Executive Chef of Bon Appetit Magazine. She's written two books, just opened a new SoCal Restaurant and happened to be in the studio at The Production Room Santa Barbara yesterday, recording a promotional announcement for "Vegas Uncorked" featuring 4 days of events with celebrity chefs and vintners.

As we were setting up the session with David Miller at R&R Partners in Las Vegas, I had a few moments to visit the chef.

She is petite, attractive, fit and has a bit of intensity about her. She came in ready to work. As we set up I told her that I grow organic produce on a farm in Canada. I asked her what she'd like to find in the farmer's market. She opened up and shared some really great suggestions with me. She likes to work with what she finds in the local markets.

We talked about baby herbs, french carrots, baby beets, mixed greens and fava beans. She asked what we grew and I described the mix of fun and gourmet varieties we usually plant along with down home favorites like peas and potatoes.

Cat is a southern girl. Her voice retains a hint of the deep southern notes of Jackson Mississippi and her manner caries a bit of old southern hospitality. Along with her modern style, she's the traditional voice that says, "Here. Y'all come and eat."

I appreciated finding that her approach is very much in tune with what's fresh and local. No need to fly in baby artichokes from Argentina when the local market has other interesting choices to work with.

For me, preparing and eating food is the natural result of growing and harvesting crops. And part of what I'm doing is working to create sustainable farms and local markets by simply providing all the ingredients of a really good meal.

Triumph of the W

My Commemorative Remarks on the Occasion of the End of the Bush Presidency

By John Quimby

It wasn't easy. It was hard work.
Yes, through hard work and solid determination, George Bush has forever lowered the requirements and claimed the title of, "Worst President of All Time".

Quite an achievement for a wealthy man who was sort of from West Texas. A man who learned early on that he didn't actually have to work for a living.

But now, the public hushes, and we speak in reverent tones as the man himself lowers himself even further to take a final bow when surely none are needed.

I know that the Detroit Lions are glad this day that no one can ever take away their title by losing more football games in a single season. And who can predict another epic failure like New Coke or Windows Vista?

But the sad truth for Mr. Bush is that one day, somehow, we will have a president who is an even bigger loser than he is.

It won't be hard to find that person, because I know that someone out there has the grit, fortitude and American determination to take the Presidency to a new level of arrogance, blind ambition and stupidity.

And so tonight, in the dim awareness of a blindly led Republic, former Hall of Fame greats like James Buchanon and Warren G. Harding shine a little less brightly in the Presidential pantheon of losers.

For tonight they await the arrival of their new champion.

I'll watch the prime time event. I just hope I don't cry.