RunawayTrain’s Last Call makes “Best Of” Screening 2011

Great news!! The Denver 48 Hr. Film Project results are in….Our short film, “Last Call,” has made the “Best of Screening 2011.” They judges chose the top 14 films out of all the entries and RunawayTrain Productions is in there.

“Best of” Denver Screening/Awards Ceremony
Friday, September 9th
7:30pm, $10 per ticket

RunawayTrain Productions completes new Network ID’s for PBS Kids Sprout

Natisha Walton, Vice President and Executive Producer at RunawayTrain Productions co-produced the winter season of network IDs for PBS Kids Sprout.

PBS KIDS SproutSM is the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, for kids ages 2-5. It was created as a partnership among Comcast Corporation, HIT Entertainment, Public Broadcasting Service, and Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street®.

Shot on location in picturesque Breckinridge, Colorado, the heart of Colorado’s ski country, the pre production required weeks of location scouting, wardrobe, and casting.Says Walton: “Casting children can be a lot of fun, but it can also be challenging. You really never know how child actors will react the day of the shoot. You use your best judgment, but in the back of your mind you know they could be in a great mood during casting and not want to perform once they are on set. In our case we were very fortunate.”

Sprout is the #1 Kids On Demand service for young children, generating over half a billion orders to date. Sprout provides 60 hours of VOD programming each month, including 10-15 hours of Spanish-language programming (Plaza Sésamo®, Angelina Ballerina™, Barney & Friends™, Bob the Builder™,  Olly El Submarino™).

The IDs are live action and involved nearly 40 crew and talent for 2 days, and were directed by Marianne Fernsler of Sprout.

The finished products are currently running on PBS Kids Sprout.  Look for it on your local cable listings.

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/

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