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!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Barbie Turns 50 - ISDN Connects NPR On Point

Robin Gerber is a keynote speaker and the author of several books, including, "Barbie and Ruth - The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her".

And that's why Tom Ashbrook wanted to speak to her. Tom is the host of NPR's "On Point" which is produced at WBUR in Boston.

On Thurs., Feb 12, Robin Gerber was connected by our ISDN studio-to-studio link for a one hour live segment.

You can link to the show segment called "Barbie Turns 50"

It's an interesting conversation about about a woman, a toy, an icon and an image that continues to play a significant role in the world. And it all came from the imagination of Ruth Handler Elliot, founder of one of America's great companies.

The Production Room is an approved provider of ISDN service to NPR network programs and producers. We use the Telos Zephyr XStream codec to convert analog signal (such as a voice) into an mp3 digital signal that streams over digital phone lines (ISDN). A second codec on the other end converts the mp3 digital signal back into analog sound - in real time. When you listen to the show, it will sound as if Robin Gerber was in Boston.

Our ISDN studio service allows professionals in our area to guest on programs, narrate commercial or films, deliver interviews or be part of media productions anywhere in the world - without leaving town.

For more examples of our service, subscribe to this blog. For a booking inquiry, please email
The Production Room (

And now, here's a little video artifact from YouTube to enjoy:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Why Obama's Identification With Lincoln Matters

On the surface it seems obvious. Even poetic. The African American man, married to the descendant of American slaves and their children are living in the White House. The realization of Dr. Kings dream is also the redemption of the 16th President, who chose to change a war for Union into a war for freedom.

As a counterpoint, there is also the use of the abbreviation, Neo-Con to describe the deep opposition to this president and everything he stands for. The modern translation of this abbreviation is Neo-Conservative. But I prefer to think of it as Neo Confederate.

The Lincoln / Confederate divide is very much present in our news today. And the danger it represents to our Union is just as real.

President Obama is a Lincoln Republican. He's a lawyer, a brilliant orrator and a disciplined campaigner who belives in the Republic and the Union over all. The libertarian mind that saw no trouble with the elite slave owning class in an unregulated market fought any government move to end their special interest. They are very much alive and with us today as well.

While some are romanced by Lincoln's apparent liberalism, it's important to see that he was a very skilled railroad lawyer who represented corporate interests and became wealthy defending thier interests. He knew how to adress the common people in the words of their democratic ideals. But he also made the industrialists rich.

We don't know yet how President Obama will prcoeed, but in his first weeks he has skillfully managed the Congress and moved to find the new political center of America. He doesn't look like the scary socialist that some are afraid of. He looks more like the kind of leader who knows that he can gather support from both extremes and strengthen the center - where he knows how to operate.

Lincoln was very similar. In raising an army to enforce Federal law in the southern states he saw many states rise up to secession. But he also managed to hold slave territory in the Union.

In passing a bill to fund economic recovery, President Obama has seen much of the populace rise up and demand that GOP leaders refuse the stimulus package - almost as if it were an insult. But he managed to hold a few in the center. And he will strengthen the center to make room for more.

Deep within the struggle for this vote is a country in an ideological Civil War during an economic crisis. We are in desperate trouble.

I can only hope that this President is equal to the man he admires.

Happy Birthday Mr. Lincoln.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Los Primeros" Film Premiere in Santa Barbara

Last Friday night Susan and I spent the evening in celebration of old California.

There are those who say that the golden age of California wasn't the 1930's or the 1960's. It was the 1840's - before the gold rush that changed everything.

That era has been part of the romance of the Golden State ever since the 1920's when the mission architectural style became part of the landscape and silent films like "The Mark Of Zorro" with Douglas Fairbanks introduced the Romantic image of Alta California to the world.

So, in a semi glittered and western attired crowd we met in the heart of Old Santa Barbara at El Paseo and mingled with some of the oldest families in the State. We were invited to see the newly restored "Ranchero Room", traditional headquarters of the famous (and infamous) Rancheros Visitadores. The room is decorated with original western art painted directly on the white washed surface of the interior walls.

But I digress...

What the Spanish established and cultivated in California still exists, despite the distortions of Hollywood or the arrival of the worlds' elite.

That is the story told in a series of films by Susan Jensen and Paul Singer. In Los Primeros, they show us the origins of Vaquero culture in Spain, it's movement to the new world 500 years ago and it's eventual spread from the great Haciendas in Old Mexico to the Grand Mexican Ranchos of Alta California.

The 1840's must have been a great time to be a wealthy patron - to be independent and self sufficient in a place with generous resources and Mediterranean climate. History informs us that it was also a lonely frontier and that there were winners and losers in the fight for this land. After the Gold Rush, many Mexican families were themselves displaced and many were bitter over the loss of property and status. Hence a nostalgia for the "Old California" that was lost to the Anglo Americans.

But the remarkable footage in Los Primeros vividly depicts a way of life that is still found on California's ranches today. We see glimpses of what was, and of what was lost.

The care, the elegance and the technical quality of the California horseman has made me appreciate the difference between "Vaquero" and the generic term "western" when it comes to equestrian style. There is a lot in this film the for those like me who enjoy picking the brains of those who know the old ways. For others, the details of technique and gear may be a little too much.

Even so, the film makes much of the people we meet along the way from Spain, to Mexico to the Pacific Coast. It's easy to see that their music and stories come from the heart and I felt a warmth for them and from them throughout the film. This is a tribute to Susan and Paul, who approached a normally reluctant group of very private and often maligned people and allowed them to speak of honor and traditions that have passed from hand to hand for generations.

The story of the West can be dismissed as dime novel fiction. Or it can be read as prelude to the issues we face today. In this film we are reminded again that American culture is not solely the East to West migration of Europeans. The New World mixing of Spanish, Mexican, Indian and American skills and traditions created a unique bond between people, the land and the horse.

UPDATE - 02.11.09

To purchase your copy of "Los Primeros" on DVD visit: J&S Productions
You'll also find information about the other films in the Vaquero series including:
Tapadero, The Remuda, Holo Holo Paniolo and Houlihan