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

Emmy Nomination for RunawayTrain Productions

Emmy Nomination for RunawayTrain Productions

After taking the Silver World Medal in the New York Festivals®, RunawayTrain’s AIDS Awareness project is now up for a regional Emmy. The video entitled, Have You Been Tested? is a co-production with Takeda Entertainment, Inc. of Denver.

Brock Sherman, President of RunawayTrain Productions, got the nomination nod as Co-Director and Art Director. In reaction to the Emmy consideration, he said, “Everyone worked really hard to make this AIDS piece real and effective. I do think it’s worthy of being recognized as one of the best in community affairs out there right now and it’s great we were nominated.”

Winners will be announced at the 25th Annual Heartland Regional Emmy Awards in Denver on July 23, 2011. The Heartland Chapter is one of 19 that’s affiliated with the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS). Founded in 1947, NATAS recognizes the best in the television industry every year through the Emmy Award.

To check out this year’s Heartland Regional nominees, go to http://www.emmyawards.tv/

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 Awarded the Silver World Medal in the 2011 New York Festivals®

For the 2nd time in three years, RunawayTrain Productions boasts another win in the New York Festival® television and film competition. The AIDS Awareness video, entitled, Have You Been Tested? was a co-production with Colorado based Takeda Entertainment, Inc.

Brock Sherman, President of RunawayTrain Productions and the Co-Director/Art Director for the award winning piece says, “The video had a strong message and in working with our client, the Colorado AIDS Foundation, we were able to put some ‘on the street’ realism into it that I think made it stand out in the Society and Social Issues category.”

Have You Been Tested was shot on the Canon 5D with the talent credits of:

Executive Producer: Dawn Martin

Co-Executive Producer: Cynthia Aadal

Director: Scott Takeda

Co-Director/Art Director: Brock Sherman

Cinematographer: Ben McCoy

Field Audio: Steve Roseboom

Production Manager: Yvette Manculich

Creative Director:  BT McNicholl

Audio Post Production: Frank Durrett

The New York Festivals® is in its 54th year and recognizes the World’s Best Work™ in advertising and TV, Film & Radio programs.

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.

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

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.

General Motors – “The All New GM” turns to RunawayTrain Productions

General Motors – “The All New GM” video produced by RunawayTrain Productions

2009 was tough on the auto industry and for General Motors it was no different, but when most auto manufacturer’s got conservative in 2009, GM was busy renovating dealerships, improving product, systems, and procedures. The executives at GM know the future was bright but they wanted to let the dealer base know it, so GM turned to RunawayTrain Productions in Denver, Colorado. GM wanted to create a series of video presentations that would rekindle the feelings of optimism and pride in the company, while clearly illustrating recent milestones and vision for the future.

The opening piece titled “The All New GM” highlights the themes of the campaign.  New products,new look, new clientele, new facilities, new commitment, and new spirit. GM wanted to hear from a broad cross section of employees, see high quality shots of renovated dealerships, and package it with contemporary graphics and music to create a feeling of momentum.

RunawayTrain Productions shot in multiple locations across the United States to capture a variety of recently remodeled dealerships, interviewing corporate executives, dealership managers, as well as sales and service employees. By crafting interview questions around GM’s key bullet points RunawayTrain was able to create a variety of video pieces ranging from short attention grabbers to longer, more detailed presentations.  GM liked this approach for several reasons. Economically, the modular nature of the productions gave them lots of presentation options for a reasonable budget.  By designing a campaign wide graphics package, that could be easily adapted to existing running footage, they enhanced their brand direction with a consistent graphic look that appears on many platforms, and many viewers.

The creative community also recognized the success of the production by awarding RunawayTrain Productions two Telly awards which honor the very best in film and television. Check out this and other video projects by RunawayTrain Productions on youtube, vimeo, and vodpod.

Xcel Energy produced two videos on SmartGrid technology with RunawayTrain Productions.

 

Xcel Energy

 The board of directors of Xcel Energy, the largest utility in the Rocky Mountain Region, contracted RunawayTrain Productions to produce two video projects structured to raise awareness and support for Xcel Energy’s new SmartGrid technology.

 The first video substantiated a legislative effort for the city of Boulder to revamp the city’s aging analog system and become the nation’s first “SmartCity”.  By upgrading to Xcel’s real time management and distribution system, the city would not only become the flagship of green municipalities but reduced their annual operating budget.

 The second project involved integrating the video presentation into a mobile educational display that could attend events around the country to educate and market SmartGrid technology to both public and private entities.

 Xcel Energy enlisted the award winning motion graphics skills of RunawayTrain Productions in Denver Colorado to create a virtual city model and illustrate the technical advantages of the SmartGrid. Mixed with live action of everyday households, the video creates an effective relationship between energy management technology and the homeowner.

 RunawayTrain Productions partnered with Xcel Energy’s marketing department, technical representatives and product managers to concept, write and design a script which would explain the benefits of the SmartGrid technology as it relates to consumers, communities, and the environment. RunawayTrain Productions shot in multiple locations including Denver and Boulder using a Sony-EX3 high definition camera.

 Post production involved the use of complex 3d and 2d animation, stock footage, and live action to illustrate our culture’s transition from analog to digital as the fundamental difference between legacy technology and Xcel Energy’s new SmartGrid system.

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.