RunawayTrain Productions garners Regional Emmy

As reported by The Brian Allmer Media Network:

http://brianallmerradionetwork.wordpress.com/

Western Dairy Association’s (WDA) board of directors, dairy farm families and staff members met with Smart Slice Pizza partners on July 19 to celebrate a five-year, farm-to-fork partnership that resulted in the creation of a “smart”, fresh, healthy, low-fat pizza offering that can be delivered hot to schools.

Celebrating Smart Slice Pizza Partnership

The collaboration began with St. Vrain Valley School District’s request for a healthier pizza made with low-fat commodity cheese meeting USDA’s strict standards. Dairy farm families through WDA and Dairy Management Inc. teamed up with Domino’s Pizza and Leprino Foods to formulate, pilot test and roll out a new pizza that is delivered fresh and hot to schools; uses low-fat commodity cheese; is cost, labor and energy efficient; supports local business; AND would be eaten by pizza’s toughest critics – school kids.

“The partnership’s project not only won the approval of USDA and St. Vrain School District’s food service team, it won the taste buds of students. The program is now rolling out via Domino’s new national program,” says Cindy Haren, WDA’s chief executive officer.

To make the project even more successful, WDA’s film and educational materials which were developed to educate food service, school and community leaders, and parents won the region’s top news broadcast award, a Heartland Emmy Award.

The specifics of the award:

Informational/Instructional Feature/Segment
“Pizza Day – A Win-Win For Everybody”

Takeda Entertainment, Inc., Denver

Scott Takeda, Director/Writer

Daniel Dvorak, Director of Photography

Brock Sherman, Art Director

Tami Anderson, Senior Producer

Erin Johnson, Creative Director

Visit Western Dairy Association and see the video:

http://westerndairyassociation.org/schools/pizza-at-school/

RunawayTrain Productions creates 3-D production suite

Due to the increased demand for 3-D content, RunawayTrain Productions in Denver, Colorado has set up a dedicated a 3-D post production environment, enabling real time convergence adjustment with active monitoring.

Fresh off a Regional Emmy Award for Art Direction and a special effects Best of Show in the 48 Hour Film Project, Creative Director Brock Sherman sees 3-D as RunawayTrain’s next big growth area. “We’ve had some early success and it seems to be gaining momentum” says Sherman.

RunawayTrain Productions’ first foray into 3-D post production began by crudely converging stereo video streams using common DVE positioning. Sherman recalls: “We understood the basic techniques needed to create stereomedia but the tools were pretty primitive back then, and a lot of it was trial and error, so honestly, we guessed a lot. The biggest drawback was not being able to see the adjustments in a real time environment.”

After contracting to produce 3-D content for AJA Video Systems and several other clients, RunawayTrain decided a commitment to better hardware and software was necessary. Sherman continues: “Today’s software tools make the process so much more precise and the availability and reduction in price of 3-D monitoring really allows us to fine tune the convergence point for the best effects.”

RunawayTrain purchased Cineform Neo 3D, Dashwood 3d Toolbox, and a Panasonic VIERA® monitor with active glasses allowing the designer, producer, and clients to participate in the process. “We’ve found 3-D is very subjective based on content, proximity to the screen, and individual tolerance, so we see more eyes in the post production process as a good thing”.

RunawayTrain Productions participates in Albuquerque 48 Hour Film Project

48 Hour Film Project

The 48 Hour Film Project is a wild and sleepless weekend in which you and a team make a movie—write, shoot, edit and score it—in just 48 hours.

The internationally recognized contest format created in 2001 involves a crazy idea: to try to make a film in 48 hours. The big question back then was: “Would films made in only 48 hours even be watch able?” The answer was a resounding yes, and now eight years later and with more than 150 competitions having taken place around the world, it is amazing to consider the success of the Project.

This summer, Brock Sherman, creative director at RunawayTrain Productions, in Denver, Colorado teamed up with Scott Takeda of Takeda Entertainment, Inc. to try their luck at this exceptionally challenging event held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Sherman explains: “On Friday night, you get a character, a prop, a line of dialog and a genre, all to include in your movie. 48 hours later, the movie must be complete. When complete, they show it to the public at a local theater, usually in the next week. It’s a challenge and a lot of pressure, but we feel we’re up to it”.

The 48 Hour Film Project’s mission is to advance filmmaking and promote filmmakers. The tight deadline of 48 hours puts the focus squarely on the filmmakers—emphasizing creativity and teamwork skills. While the time limit places an unusual restriction on the filmmakers, it is also liberating by putting an emphasis on “doing” instead of “talking.” Last year nearly 40,000 filmmakers made 3,000 films in in 76 cities.

Check back with us to see how RunawayTrain Productions did ….. and the final video.

http://www.48hourfilm.com/albuquerque/

Sales Tools for Corporations

Hudspeth and Associates

RunawayTrain Productions in Denver, Colorado has been contracted by Hudspeth and Associates Inc., to develop a new series of capabilities briefs for its sales team. The primary assets will be developed using PowerPoint embedded with video elements, as well as a printed “leave behind” to provide the H&A sales force a cohesive branded message that is informative and memorable.

Rob Levitt, president of Hudspeth and Associates was named Ernst and Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Rocky Mountain Region in 2009. Levitt was aware of RunawayTrain’s reputation for solid creative and high production values. “We had used RunawayTrain Productions for our brochure and web design and they exceeded our expectations, so when we decided we needed a capabilities brief presentation we knew who to call.”

“For years we had been developing our own marketing materials including our PowerPoint presentations, but after the positive response from our brochure and web design, we felt it was time to refresh all our collateral, and refine the brand” Levitt continues. Having a sales tool with a consistent, focused message helps our sales force communicate more effectively and ultimately close more business.”

The presentations are designed in a modular fashion enabling sales reps to easily tailor their message to a specific prospect without re-writing or “designing” their own slides.  Hudspeth envisions two base presentations one for public and one for private sales pitches, with optional slides and background templates, graphs and charts within the brand specifications.

“RunawayTrain Productions is primarily known for concept to completion video production services, but in this case PowerPoint was the right solution”, says Natisha Walton Vice President and Executive Producer. “Our goal is to create solutions that serve our clients’ needs, regardless of the deliverable. Sure, it’s PowerPoint, but we’ll make it sing”

Founded in 1999, Hudspeth & Associates, Inc. in Englewood, Colorado specializes in abatement services, general construction services and environmental remediation. This Small Business and GSA Schedule holder company is leading the way in general construction and remediation throughout the western United States.

After the capabilities briefs are distributed to the sales team, H&A plans a brand refresh including, a logo update, a design standards toolkit and a video production focused on H&A’s innovation and dedication in safety procedures.

RunawayTrain creates 3-D trade show display for AJA Video Systems

3-D isn’t  just for the movies…

If you’ve seen James Cameron’s Avatar, you realize what 3-D effects can add to the visual experience. But 3-D production is just for the movies right?

Not anymore.

Brock Sherman, Creative Director with RunawayTrain Productions is working with AJA Video Systems to create a 3-D video presentation for AJA’s trade show booth at NAB

(National Association of Broadcasters) convention April 12-15 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Combining high definition footage shot on RED with custom animation created by RunawayTrain Productions AJA hopes to create a show stopper on the trade floor and increase the buzz about their new video production products.

“We have been working with AJA Video Systems for a couple of years now”, says creative director Brock Sherman, “They like the style of our 2-D motion graphics work, and they’ve had us create both marketing and training presentations for them. This year, they wanted to make a real splash at NAB and what better way than incorporating the hot new technology of 3-D.”

As marketers search for more eye catching visuals, and 3-D display technology becomes more affordable, (SHARP is advertising a sub $1000 3-D ready portable DLP projector) applications for 3-D content will infiltrate the corporate space. “We think this technology has some legs” says Sherman, “so we committed some brain cells into developing a workflow for 3-D content production using mostly our existing production tools”.

RunawayTrain Productions believes the investment will pay off and even though the AJA trade show project is a closely guarded work in progress, AJA is thrilled with the direction and excited for the impact it will generate. You can see it for yourself at NAB, April 12-15th at the convention center in Las Vegas.

Has Google Speech Recognition Come of Age?

closed caption on youTube

Automatic Closed Captioning

Until now, if you are hearing impaired or speak a foreign language, you’ve been cheated out on the nearly twenty hours of riveting viral video that is uploaded each minute to our beloved YouTube. Ok, maybe not all the content is that riveting, but credit Google for introducing state of the art technology so the hearing impaired and non-native language speakers can share in the magic of “The evolution of dance” and “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” videos….

“A core part of YouTube’s DNA is access to content,” said Hunter Walk, the product team lead for YouTube. “From day one, that’s what we were hoping to do with video.”

Denver Colorado’s RunawayTrain Productions is working with clients both public and private to integrate this new technology into new projects destined for YouTube. RunawayTrain not only believes this feature will allow videos to appeal more directly to foreign and hearing impaired audiences, but will give YouTube excellent data for searching videos and targeting ads to them. After all, a complete set of subtitles is the same as a transcript of the video. And you can upload subtitles for as many languages as you want.

For the viewers, most YouTube videos now include a “CC” button that, if pressed, will automatically generate the closed-captioning technology. Google’s speech-recognition technology processes the main audio track and generates the text on top of the video picture. As you can guess, this leading edge technology isn’t always perfect but it is a quantum step in communication, as well as a leg up for marketers.

Videos with captions display this small logo at the bottom of the player:  If a video includes captions, you can activate them by clicking the menu button located on the bottom right of the video player.

Adding captions to videos involves uploading a closed caption file using the “Captions and Subtitles” menu on the editing page. To add several captions to a video, you may have to upload multiple files. If you want to include foreign subtitles in multiple languages, upload a separate file for each language. There are over 120 languages to choose from and you can add any title you want for each caption.

Users can also edit and assist in the transcription. Any text editor can edit the machine transcription, Google executives said, and then re-upload it for others to use.

Check it out:

http://www.youtube.com/t/captions_about

RunawayTrainTV Goes Live!

Ever wanted your own corporate TV channel? Maybe you create an information channel that builds credibility for your industry while enhancing your brand? Maybe you create a corporate identity channel for employee recognition and morale?  The technology is ready and the time is now. RunawayTrain Productions in a partnership with livestream.com has created RunawayTrainTV for its clients, and we can help you create your own branded network as well. Check it out at    http://www.livestream.com/runawaytraintv We realized long ago that traditional television and radio are expensive to maintain, highly regulated, and target too broad a demographic for most corporate, or community uses. As viewers get more sophisticated they seek out entertainment on the internet that is relevant to their interests rather than simply accepting what broadcasters provide. For years, we have been searching for a cost effective way to provide effective, highly stylized content to specific target audiences in a traditional broadcast model. Utilizing the state of the art platform and broadband distribution network at livestream.com, RunawayTrain Productions is now creating unique private and public media networks that incorporate live action, video on demand, animation, and social media connections to Facebook and Twitter. Large corporate entities like IBM , CSPAN, USAToday, and CondeNast, use it, but also smaller, entities like The Women’s Conference, Hear it First Christian Music, and The International Surfing Association support channels as a way to reach their audiences and develop advertising revenue streams. RunawayTrain Productions will work with you to create a professional looking graphics package, develop video on demand content and even stream live events. Everything you need to enhance your brand, engage your target audience and control your message.

Cable Faxies Award Finalists

Cable Faxie Awards

Excellence in Marketing and PR

RunawayTrain Productions in Denver, Colorado has been selected as a finalist for in the Cable FAXIES Awards in the category of Video: Use of Video or Moving Image International Media Distribution’s  2009 NCTA re-brand video. You can check out the video here:

http://www.imediadistribution.com/aboutus/

International Media Distribution (formerly International Networks), has been a leading provider of in-language and multi-ethnic programming in the United States for over a decade. IMD represents 28 TV channels that offer in-language programming from a variety of international sources. International Media Distribution is a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation and a division of Comcast International Media Group.

The video was conceptualized as a re-brand image piece that featured scenes from international networks in the IMD product offering. Comprised of stock footage, music and motion graphics it was cross promoted on multiple networks and increased awareness about the entire product line.

International Media distribution and RunawayTrain Productions are up against some big players in the competition such as ESPN, Motorola/Garfield Group, The Big Ten Network, and GPON Always On Demand. The award will be given during the Cable FAXIES Awards luncheon on April 28 at the Grand Hyatt in NYC. There will also be coverage of each finalist in a special mid-day issue of Cable FAX Daily on that day.

RunawayTrain Productions helps guests experience a piece of American history.

Homestead National Monument

Homestead National Monument

Homestead National Monument brings the epic homestead story of the American pioneer to life and demonstrates the true scope and importance of the Homestead Act of 1862 which allowed nearly any man or woman a chance to live the American dream of owning their own land.
RunawayTrain Productions in a partnership with CEAVCO Audio Visual in Denver, Colorado has been asked by the National Park Service to create an assistive listening guided tour for the Homestead National Monument in Homestead, Nebraska.

For several years, The National Park Service has been upgrading all the audio visual exhibits in the parks to enrich the visitor experience for guests with disabilities. Assistive listening systems are being installed to amplify program audio for the hearing impaired and most recently, audio description audio tracks are being added to the presentations themselves to enrich the experience for the site impaired. For almost a year, RunawayTrain Productions has been working with CEAVCO Audio Visual, the audio visual integrator, to add these audio options and convert the existing media to solid state digital playback systems.

When the National Park Service began renovating Homestead National Monument they realized that no such audio description tracks existed, so they called on RunawayTrain Productions to create one. “It sounds simple but it definitely comes with challenges” says Natisha Walton, Executive Producer and head writer on the project, “Writing for film and television focuses so much on complimenting the existing visual image. In audio description, you really have to imagine being visually impaired and maximizing your language to enrich the exhibit experience”.

The CEAVCO selected the Sennheiser GuidePort system which allows each guest wearing a receiver unit to hear a visual description based on a proximity trigger specific to the exhibit. Should the guest want to hear more detail, they may navigate to more content using buttons on the hand held receiver unit.

“It’s a great system, but it required us to flow chart the content in a much more interactive manner” says Walton. “Each of the exhibits became a bit of a jigsaw puzzle in how we designed the content flow. This project may have taken more time to produce than a conventional script, but the Park Service has been great, the content is fascinating, and at the end of the day, we feel like we may have helped someone less fortunate learn more about American History.

Western Dairy Association video created by RunawayTrain Productions

This Project for the Western Dairy Association takes a whimsical strategy on promoting the dairy industry.

Western Dairy Association – “Cow Caregivers, Earth Caretakers”

 The Western Dairy Association wanted to produce a creative and informative marketing piece to raise awareness and enrich the image of dairy farmers in the state of Colorado.  The result was a warm and engaging animated video that garnered regional Emmy and National Telly top honors for design.

 RunawayTrain Productions used a book metaphor to chapter Western Dairy’s key concepts of family ownership, the ethical treatment of animals, and environmental stewardship through sustainability.  The design involved creation of a 3D book with turning pages as transitions. The 3D elements were created using 3D Studio Max and added to the final composite using Adobe After Effects.

 Interviews with dairy farmers were shot using RunawayTrain’s Sony-EX3 camera on the Comcast Media Center’s soundstage in Denver Colorado.  The set backgrounds were painted with a chroma key greenscreen allowing for later replacement with animated backgrounds. Carefully designed dolly and zooms were utilized to create segment transitions.

 In the post production process, award winning creative director Brock Sherman created still image cutouts from captured images and stock footage using Adobe Photoshop. Images were selected to reinforce themes of nutrient rich milk, family pride, care for animals, sustainability, integrity, and Americana. In the final composite all these elements were chroma keyed, motion tracked with camera moves, and treated with various filters to create a warm, engaging presentation that is consistent with the Western Dairy Associations overall marketing values.

 The Western Dairy Association’s “Cow Caregivers, Earth Caretakers” won both Regional Emmy and National Telly awards for excellence. The video was pressed to DVD for a direct mail campaign, occupies a prominent place in all WDA trade shows, and is featured on the Western Dairy Association website.  Western Dairy Association has had an overwhelmingly positive response to the video, and plans are already underway for next year’s project.