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.

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International HD Production for RunawayTrain Productions

Location: Amsterdam

Feature:  One of the world’s biggest providers of electronic consumer lifestyle products finds new competitive success.

When BMGI, an international business problem-solving firm, helped global giant, Philips Consumer Lifestyle, target over 120 million euro in potential cost savings, they turned to RunawayTrain Productions to spotlight the details. Sample: “Not only was this project our first International location shoot, but this project was exciting because it involved multiple trips to Amsterdam and hiring a local crew,” says RunawayTrain’s Vice President and Executive Producer of the project, Natisha Walton.

The HD video news feature is a case study highlighting the partnership between BMGI and Philips, the leading consumer product supplier to major retailers across 150 countries. Along with the Lean Six Sigma training, the two companies actually collaborated and created an intense new business methodology called ‘Smartistics’ for its sales and marketing employees worldwide.

“It’s aimed at improving the decision making process in marketing. So we think of marketing as the classical four Ps; product, pricing, placement and promotion, and trying to understand what are the best combinations of all those various variables that are going to drive your market share and drive your profitability,” explained Greg Kinsey European Managing Director at BMGI.

RunawayTrain’s HD Production that highlights ‘Smartistics’ will help BMGI garner more business. They already have 40 active clients in over 20 countries.

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.

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