RunawayTrainProductions places in 2010 Mark Awards.

     

The annual Mark Awards competition is a member service of the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, and recognizes outstanding achievement and excellence in marketing from networks, cable companies, and their agencies. Award recipients are known throughout the cable and entertainment world as “best in class.”

Nearly 700 entries are judged annually. Roughly 200 Gold, Silver and Bronze winners are selected by more than 100 elite marketers during a rigorous judging process.

The awards were announced October 18, 2010 at the Summit in New Orleans by CTAM President and CEO Char Beales “The Mark Awards isn’t just about winning entries and outstanding creative. It’s about the people who work diligently in our industry and crank out the best work year after year”.

 

RunawayTrain Productions snagged a silver award for its work for International Media Distribution’s NCTA Sizzle Reel: 2009 Rebrand Video, and was in good company with other heavy hitters HBO, National Geographic Channel, Discovery Networks and Cox Communications.

 

Beales continues; “New in 2010, we asked the finalists to send in their photos, and we whipped up a couple of photo montages to honor the winners”. See RunawayTrain Productions photos along with all the winners at:

 

http://www.ctam.com/html/markawards/pastwinners/2010/winners-2010.htm

 

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 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

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.