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Build your in-house video production capacity

With video production tools  such as cameras and editing software becoming affordable and of high quality, producing video in-house is now a realistic possibility.  When planning to move (or start) video production in-house make sure you budget for  training.

While the tools are easy to acquire, knowing how to use them doesn’t come in the box.   When pitching the idea of doing in-house video production (or if you are told you’ll be doing it) place a training budget line item in the plan.  Let those in charge know that their will be ongoing cost savings only if those using the equipment are sufficiently trained.

This is a smart investment as video production without the training isn’t productive at all.

Video Production TrainingPoorly executed in-house video production can

  1. Eat staff time
  2. Look amateurish
  3. Hurt your image

In-house video production done well

  1. Greatly increases your media output per $$$
  2. Allowing you to engage more regularly with your community
  3. Feeding all those video hungry social media users

Those of you with regular staff retreats, how about losing the ropes course for a year and go instead for a digital video production boot camp?

Budgets tight?  We can organize an event with registration fee.  Your team gets in for free and the fee for participation from other organizations pays for the training fee.

In-house video production – you can do it.  And if you want training, we can help.

Fetch with Ruff Ruffman honored with Parents’ Choice Award

Fetch with Ruff Ruffman has just been honored with a 2010 Parents Choice award.  I worked on Fetch season 4 field production, props, finale set and in the studio control room.

See all of the award recipients here.

The Parents’ Choice Award website offers this sound advice:

We all agree that watching too much tv can sprout couch potatoes. But watching age appropriate programs, can germinate learning – about friendship, fish or financial ABCs. Manage your child’s television viewing with intelligent choices and parental controls. Set family limits for the what, when and where television shows can be watched.

Book Launch 2.0

The following video entitled “Book Launch 2.0” highlights the situation many authors face today — they’ve published a book but are expected to engage with potential readers via social media. In today’s market people are increasingly expecting to be able to engage with products, organization and especially authors.

I worked with author Robert Thorson when he decided to launch a Summer road trip and blog to promote his  book Beyond Walden: The Hidden History of America’s Kettle Lakes and Ponds.  We sat down, reviewed the philosophy and strategy of blogging, then set up and customized a free blog.  During his road trip I plotted his course on an interactive map and gave feedback on draft posts.

If you are an author and would like a social media crash course, give me a call.  I work with clients across the United States via phone, Skype and online collaboration tools.

Curious George Interstitials

We just wrapped filming the live action segments for the seasons 3 through 5 of the Curious George show (on PBS everywhere). Each animated story is followed by a action segment featuring children engaging with the concept the story explored.  For all seasons to date I was contracted by the company producing the segments to serve as Associate Producer, work on developing the activity concepts, field testing whatever the kids needed to do, and then served as on site educator, art department and mad scientist when filming.  Curious George is a co-production of Universal Studios and WGBH.

Many of our segments produced to date may be viewed on the Curious George website’s video page.

Curious George is an Emmy award-winning animated series based on the popular books by Margret and H.A. Rey. It airs daily on PBS KIDS. Aimed at preschool viewers (ages three to five), the goal of the series is to inspire children to explore science, engineering, and math in the world around them. And what better guide is there for this kind of exploration than the world’s most curious monkey?

Fetch Season 4

Season 4 of Fetch is now airing on PBS nationally.  I worked six of the challenges, created many of the props, and development of the studio set for the finale.  Nothing like making goat costumes and giant cheese props to mix things up a little bit! In addition to field production, I worked in the WGBH studio control room during the filming in Ruff’s garage, Studio G.

Part game show, part reality TV, and part spoof, FETCH! features real kids, real challenges, real science, and an unreal host named Ruff Ruffman (yes, he’s an animated dog!) Featuring 20 half-hour episodes, FETCH! mixes live-action with animation and breaks the mold with its educational and comical take on America’s newest television genre. Targeting six- to ten-year olds, it is spontaneous, unscripted, and full of twists.

Another season with Peep, Quack and Chirp

Recently we also wrapped production on the live action segments for the latest season of Peep and the Big Wide World.  This show featuring three bird characters (Peep, Quack and Chirp) may be seen nationally on TLC, Discovery Kids and locally in Boston on WGBH 2.   Unfortunately none of the segments are available to view online.  To get a sense of what we’ve been working on you can look at this list of “Anywhere Science Activities” from the show’s website. For each of these activities we produced a live action documentary style segment.

The animated series PEEP and the Big Wide World gives wings to the innovative idea of teaching science to preschoolers. Wry and distinctive visual humor, charming plotlines, and lovable characters combine with a comprehensive science program to attract and engage kids three to five years old.