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”.

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.

“Stack like a Pro”

RunawayTrain Productions in Denver, Colorado has just completed work on an instructional DVD for SPEED STACKS, “the leader in sport stacking” located in Englewood, Colorado.

SPEED STACKS realized that to build awareness and interest in the sport they needed a comprehensive strategy. Educating new users was critical to their success so they called on RunawayTrain Productions in Denver, Colorado to create an instructional DVD.  The DVD features a hands-on demonstration of stacking techniques from the most basic to those used by world record holders. RunawayTrain added motion graphic animation, instructor interviews, and scenes of student “speed stackers” to create a comprehensive and compelling marketing tool.

We’ll be the first to admit that the thought of “stacking a bunch of plastic cups in a PE class sounds downright silly—much the same as it did when in 1891, Professor James Naismith suggested we throw a ball into a peach basket on the side of a barn.  But just look how far the game of BASKETBALL has come today!

This “game” of stacking cups has its origins in a youth recreation center in southern California back in the early 1980s. Stacking has recently gained credibility in the fitness community as a viable addition to youth fitness.

President and Founder of SPEED STACKS, Bob Fox, describes the response to speed stacking in the educational community: “There are two things we hear time and time again from physical educators: “My students absolutely LOVE Sport Stacking” and “This is one of the best, if not THE best, units in my PE curriculum.”

University studies on students involved in Sport Stacking have shown improvement in hand-eye coordination and reaction time; increased activation of both sides of the brain; improvement in reading comprehension skills; and energy expenditure similar to other activities commonly taught in physical education classes today.

Part of SPEED STACKS’s business model is to sell stacking equipment, but they go well beyond a simple shopping cart model. Their website gives information to stackers about starting a club or finding existing clubs. They inform teachers and community leaders on the benefits of the sport. They operate an equipment loaner program. They publish a calendar of tournament events, and most recently started the PE4life/Speed Stacks Sport Pack Grant Program for underprivileged children.

get your “stack-on”  at http://www.speedstacks.com/

Speed Stacks Founder: Bob Fox

Speed Stacks Founder: Bob Fox

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

Runaway Train helps launch 3D TV

Golf’s Masters Tournament to Be Broadcast in 3D

March 15 (Bloomberg) — Comcast Corp. will broadcast next month’s Masters Tournament in 3-D on a special dedicated channel, marking a first for golf and capitalizing on the growing popularity of the format spurred by films like “Avatar.” Comcast, the largest U.S. cable-television provider, will assist with production and provide 3-D distribution of the tournament, golf’s first of four annual majors, the company said on its Comcast Voices blog. RunawayTrain Productions is working on a promo video announcing the channel to be shown on Comcast’s OnDemand product.

Subscribers who have a 3-D-enabled TV or personal computer will be able to watch two hours of 3-D coverage a day on Comcast’s Masters channel when the tournament airs next month, The effort marks the first live 3-D broadcast of a major sporting event on TV. CBS Corp. and Walt Disney Co.’s ESPN, which share coverage of the tournament, will continue to broadcast in 2-D, said Steve Ethun, a spokesman for Augusta National Golf Club. The U.S. PGA Tour, the world’s largest golf circuit, experimented with 3-D production at the Sony Open in January. The 3-D feed wasn’t available to viewers at the time. Sony Corp. will sponsor and provide the technology and on-course cameras for the Masters 3-D broadcast, tournament officials said in a press release.

Comcast is joining a growing list of companies that are ramping up 3-D offerings as consumer demand for the technology grows. ESPN plans to start a 3-D channel in June. Discovery Communications Inc., Sony and Imax Corp. have said they’re creating a venture to introduce a channel in 2011. DirecTV said it’s embracing the technology and has plans to introduce three 3-D channels in June.“We’ve been experimenting with different holes and camera angles, and so far the test footage looks fantastic,” Derek Harrar, Comcast’s senior vice president of video, said in an interview.

U.S. box-office sales set a record last year, boosted by the 3-D epic “Avatar,” the highest-grossing movie of all time. “Alice in Wonderland,” the 3-D version of Lewis Carroll’s tale, topped the box office the past two weeks, bringing in $208.6 million in ticket sales for Disney.

Sony, Samsung Electronics Co. and Panasonic Corp. are introducing 3-D TVs this year. The portion of U.S. households that will have a 3-D television set in four years will rise to 45 percent from 3 percent this year, according to U.K.-based research firm Futuresource Consulting.

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.

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.