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, November 19, 2009

California Dreamin'

(NOTE - This post was originally published on the Dunn Creek Farm blog.)

CLICK - HEAR - Today's Podcast

November in California is my favorite time of year. The days are clear and warm, the nights are cool and the tourist traffic is at a minimum.

I was invited by Westlake Audio to come down to Hollywood for a presentation on the newest Source Connect software from Source Elements. It took advantage of the opportunity to drive down the coast and catch up on some of the latest in audio technology.

Along the way, I stopped in at Emma Wood State Beach to check the surf.

A small day at Emma Wood - On the Way to Hollywood.
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The Rincon, Ventura County, CA., from Emma Wood.
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Westlake Audio. Jeri Palumbo, Rebekah Wilson, John Quimby, Ryan Kahler
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I got a personal tour of the software from Rebekah Wilson. The New Zealand native is the architect of the software that allows studios to connect and record or send high quality audio over the internet. Fascinating stuff and part of the learning I intend to bring back to PEI this spring.

Working on the farm isn't just about growing organic vegetables. It's about growing a business and connecting to the outside world as a professional media producer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Book No One Has Read Can Make You Famous

Sarah Palin knocked Miss California's masturbation video off the page this week. (Both replaced the Fort Hood shooting, which arguably was another made for media event.)

It's interesting how similar both stories are and how they illustrate what's happening in the world of infotainment. Carrie Prejean didn't mean to distribute her act of self gratification. Sarah Palin did. And both went viral.

I'm not interested in being critical of either woman. I am interested in the phenomena. Both women scored a media knockout. Both women are in a position to capitalize on instant blazing fame. What will they do now? Will message trump substance?

In the case of Carrie Prejean she stands on a pile of the hottest 'keywords" out there and is sure to generate intense interest because of what she brings to the public square. Consider the words she conjures up: hot babe, boob job, California girl, bikini, conservative, anti gay, Christian, beauty pageant winner, sex videos, topless photos...

Let's face it she is guaranteed traffic - a major attraction. Now will someone please help her GET A GRIP. She's been given super powers. Time to be Wonder Woman.

And then there is the release of the "best seller" that no one has read. Advance orders propelled this book up the charts. So what. Who's actually going to read it? The real news is that Sarah is the talk of every media outlet and blogger in the America-centric universe and she did it by publishing a book about herself.

Like Carrie Prejean, Sarah Palin is a pile of keywords and contradictions that create the kind of dynamic tension and expectation that plays so well on camera. She's a walking sound byte. And she has published her own back story - consisting of just what she wants the public to see. It's brilliant. And her media fan-dance is working.

My point is that both these women have worked to create a public image and then have published (sometimes involuntarily) a narrative that people are eating up. Yes, their entry into the spotlight was big (Miss California, Republican VP candidate) but this is bigger. And now, they have to figure out how to keep publishing, promoting and profiting from the fact that they ARE the news.

Both are relative lightweights who are punching above their weight. They are giving the public the right combination of sex and searchable terminology. It makes them irresistible. But for how long. The question isn't, "Will Sarah Run?" The question is, "Will we still care if she does?" (Even money says Prejean gets interviewed about joining Sarah's team.)

In our current, "pop-culture as news" reality, where real news organizations are weak and wobbly, Carrie Prejean and Sarah Palin have the power to punch out the press. And who wouldn't pay to see that?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Web Marketing in 2010

We're working with clients who are already looking ahead to 2010.
This week:

- We produce video messages that are inexpensive, easy to create and simple to use.
- We assess your needs and propose solutions.
- We assist your web marketing and web design professionals to include video.

Your Web Video can be built in to your website. It can be linked to a blog. It can be embedded in an e-newsletter. It can be uploaded to your YouTube account. It can be delivered to TV for broadcast. It can be linked to your Facebook page. It works across all media and once it's produced, it can be distributed for free.

The Production Room is based in Southern California. Contact us for local audio and video capture for podcasts and web media.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Media Tipping Point - Content VS Distribution

Firesign Theater once put out an know, an album...those funny flat plastic discs that are bigger than CD's. Um, you DO remember CD's right?

Anyway, the album was called "Everything You Know is Wrong".

I mention it because that is precisely where we are in the media world. Everything you've always known about multimedia marketing and advertising is wrong.

Think I'm kidding?

Check out today's story from the AP:

Broadcast pioneer NBC prepares for cable takeover

The headline means that NBC - the company that invented the broadcast network - is about to be taken over by Comcast Cable.

For our purposes, the point of the story is this:

"...By owning more content, Comcast further hedges its bets as mainly a distributor of shows in case viewers ditch their cable TV subscriptions and migrate to the Internet, mobile devices or a platform that has yet to emerge. The company could charge for the shows or sell ads wherever the viewers are."

This should tell you something about the value of content versus the declining value of distribution. And that's why everything you know is wrong.

The Tipping Point

We can read about the actions of media titans, but frankly they aren't leading the trend, they're struggling to keep up. In a media world that is broadcast globally and originated individually it isn't a matter of what happens next in the boardroom, it's what happens next in the bedroom. Just ask Carrie Prejean about the value of personal content distributed globally. And note how, in the context of your awareness, Carrie Prejean's story is equal to major breaking news.

What It Means To You

For 80 years people have made media buys on the basis that distribution to a mass audience is what you pay for in a broadcast schedule. On the local level, if you buy an ad schedule your commercial message production is free! But that's all changing.

In a market where global distribution is free, attracting an audience is a matter of search engine traffic and content has more value than distribution.

This underlines what my clients are learning now. They are finding that they must plan a new annual budget for marketing in a landscape that is changing every day. My advice to you is to get ahead of the curve by doing more to create your own media content. You must become a contributor to your own media. You must tell your own story. There are no longer any limits to distribution and the cost of producing content has dropped for 10 years in a row.

The NBC story marks the end of an era. But don't get hung up on that. The NBC story marks the beginning of a new era and that's what should matter to you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beyond SEO - Clients are Optimizing Content

Today's Web Video Profile 11.02.09

Search Engine Optimization brings customers to your door.
It's up to you to greet them when they get there.

Chevron Oil hires The Production Room for Film Narration

One of the largest oil producers in California, Chevron has extensive operations and training facilities in Bakersfield. John Quimby has recorded narration for two projects associated with Chevron's operations in Bakersfield. The read is very straight, no selling, just facts.

Sample Chevron Narration