Maximize your budget with our 30% tax credit. We know what keeps you up at night. That’s why in Georgia you won’t have to worry about a thing. Our deep crew base, diverse & unique locations, and production service suppliers will support your project every step of the way. All you need to bring is your suitcase… To learn more, call the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office at 404.962.4052 or visit www.georgia.org/entertainment
Oh, and did we mention 30%
OZ contributors & contents Jon Lee Andersen is an Atlanta area attorney who focuses his practice providing advice and assistance for advertising copy, sweepstakes, contests, promotions, labeling, endorsements, testimonial, copyright, trademark and licensing issues. His clients include advertising agencies, marketing firms, e-commerce businesses and freelance professionals. www.advertisinglawfirm.com Column, page 16
Bobby Hickman is a freelance journalist who writes mostly about business and travel. He is also a copywriter and former president of The Freelance Forum. Bobby is currently ghostwriting the autobiography of a Celtic shaman in North Carolina. He is also developing a book on great Southern honky tonks, enabling him to hang out at bars and claim his drink tab as a business deduction. email@example.com Cover story, page 20
Contributors & CONTENTS
By Jon Andersen
Updating the Tool Kit
By Bobby L. Hickman
voices - You Better Find Somebody to Love
By Jerry Burns
Celebrating 25 Years: Craig Miller Productions
By Kate Siegel
Let Me Give You My Card
Jerry Burns is the founder of StudioBurns, Inc., one of Atlanta’s most renowned and long-standing photography studios. Burns has traveled to and been published on every continent. His work has appeared in CA, Print, AR100, Graphis and has won several ADDY’s as well as Best of Show in ShowSouth. He has served on the board of APA Atlanta and as the Charter Sustainability Chair of AIGA Atlanta. In 2001, he was granted the Hometown Hero Award by the City of Decatur where he lives with his wife and three children. When not shooting, Burns spends his time writing and recording music with two indie albums to his credit. Voices, page 26
Kate Siegel, a creative geek, has been freelancing for 13 years as a creative director, print and web designer, editor, and copywriter. She specializes in publications and also works with small businesses, non-profits and artists developing branding and marketing. Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, plays flute, and occasionally attempts to cook Indian food. Although not a natural redhead, she has the personality of one. www.kartouchedesign.com Feature, page 28
Editorial: Kime Harless, Ozcetera Editor
O Z M A G A Z INE STA F F Publishers: Tia Powell, Group Publisher Gary Wayne Powell, Publisher Kime Harless, Assistant Publisher
Sales: Tiana Fernandez, Sales Consultant Megan Wilbourn, Sales Consultant Design: Mikel Hutchings, Production Manager Christina Wills, Designer Ted Fabella, Logo Design
Christina Wills is a painter, graphic designer, and coffee enthusiast. Christina is an old friend, and former Art Director for Oz who recently returned from a three year hiatus in sunny Florida. Now back in Atlanta, Christina is available for freelance gigs. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Oz Magazine is published bi-monthly by Oz Publishing Inc, 2566 Shallowford Road, #302, Suite 104, Atlanta GA 30345, (404) 633-1779. Copyright 2010 by Oz Publishing Incorporated, all rights reserved. Reproductions in whole or in part without express written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. This magazine is printed on recyclable paper. Visit us on the web at www.ozonline.tv.
OZ cetERA President Obama Visits Meddin Studios
Meddin Studios owners Jon Foster (l) and Nick Gant (r) give President Barack Obama a tour of the facility. Meddin Studios was honored to be one of the locations to receive a visit from President Barack Obama during his visit to Savannah, Georgia. During his visit, President Obama was able to tour the facility with business owners Nick Gant and Jon Foster. President Obama visited the facility to learn about Meddin Studios’ “pitch-to-post” solution for digital media and the advanced workflow that puts Meddin Studios on the cutting edge of the industry. Speaking to the press, the President highlighted his interest in the facility as a regional success story, aided in part by federally backed SBA loans, and the addition of such unique infrastructure, which opens doors to a wide array of creative individuals and companies in the Southeast.
Jajeh and His Roundtable
Arketi Group’s Sami Jajeh, recently named vice president of the Technology Executives Roundtable.
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Arketi Group principal Sami Jajeh has been appointed vice president of the Technology Executives Roundtable (TER), an association that consists of more than 100 CEOs, CFOs and COOs in Georgia’s technology community. As principal at Arketi Group, Jajeh provides clients with senior-level expertise and marketing advice from a technology businessperson’s perspective. The largest portion of Jajeh’s career has been spent in marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship, ranging from IBM to co-founding two start-ups. Jajeh serves on the board of the GRA/TAG Business Launch and is also very active in High Tech Ministries. Mike Neumeier, principal of Arketi Group, was also named to the 2010 TER leadership team and will serve on the board of directors. In other news, Arketi Group has been selected by StatCom, which provides comprehensive patient throughput software solutions to hospitals, as its agency to help elevate the company’s corporate brand. The selection extends Arketi’s ongoing thought leadership work with StatCom over the last three years, most recently conducting and promoting the 2009 National Survey on the Impact of Technology in Healthcare Reform. “The healthcare market is filled with solutions that are vying for the attention of the executives in the hospital C-suite,” said Rory Carlton, principal of Arketi Group. “By working closely with StatCom, Arketi will take the company’s brand from emerging to established and from solutions provider to consultative partner.” Arketi Group has again earned a spot on BtoB magazine’s Top Agencies of 2010 list. The annual list, released in the March 8, 2010 issue of Crain’s BtoB, is comprised of small, medium and large BtoB agencies. This marks the third consecutive year that Arketi has earned a place on the BtoB’s Top Agencies list. During 2009 the firm launched two new practice areas, one in lead nurturing and marketing automation and the other in branded content marketing. Winning major clients in both of these areas helped to secure Arketi’s position on the list.
Lords of the Rings, Olympic and Honey Nut Working with BBDO New York in creative partnership with Tronic, Monumental helped transform AT&T’s 2010 Winter Olympics “Here’s To Possibilities” campaign into a social experience that brought millions of Team USA fans together to celebrate. The Monumental team developed a 3D micro site that features “virtual monuments,” original artistic interpretations of Team USA athletes, orbited by points of light that expand when clicked on to reveal messages of support and celebration from people around the world. Visitors can post their own message to join those that the micro site has brought together from fans elsewhere across the web. Monumental also developed a companion mobi site and Augmented Reality iPhone app to keep fans connected. The Augmented Reality iPhone app allows users to view the artistic models in 3D at specific real-world locations. And with each big victory, the micro site and participant’s AT&T mobile devices exploded with activity and light, gathering the fan comments into a moment of mass celebration. Monumental architected the solution and developed all of the software - a back-end Trampoline management application that runs the website, the Augmented Reality iPhone app, and 3D website and mobi site - all in a six-week time frame. In other project news, Monumental worked with Primal Screen and client Saatchi & Saatchi New York, to build “Honey Defender - The Case of the Honey Heist,” the new 3D web game based on the Honey Nut Cheerios brand and characters. Monumental optimized the graphics so they would be easy to download through a web browser. They included a unique interstitial flying game that’s played while content areas are loading, taking into account the bandwidth constraints of a large 3D world played through a web browser. They also integrated third party analytics right into the quest system of the game. Great attention was paid to the organic integration of branding elements, by weaving them into the storyline as Buzz collects Honey Nut Cheerios to regain health. When Cox Media started planning their new website, they weren’t looking for an agency that would take over the project and “do everything.” They wanted to leverage the experience and talent of their top-notch, in-house creative team but wanted a technical partner that could collaborate in the creative process as well. They came to Monumental. For Cox Media, the redesigned website needed to make the customer experience more efficient, to make it easy to understand Cox product offerings and quickly guide customers to the right point of contact. Through focus group research Monumental learned that customers were often seeking their local market information, rather than Cox Media’s national offerings, but had a hard time getting to this information quickly. The Monumental team built this insight into the new concept and architecture, creating “adaptive selling” functionality into the site that allowed users to immediately select their local market and find information and case studies relevant to the services offered in a specific region.
J Pervis Clicks J Pervis Talent has teamed up with Click Models of Atlanta Inc., a division of Click Models Worldwide, to form a powerful force in model and talent management in the Southeast. J Pervis Talent is a full service talent agency providing representation in every facet of the entertainment industry. With over 20 combined years experience in the entertainment business, Jayme Pervis and Joy Pervis have developed a solid reputation from Atlanta to Hollywood. Frances and Joey Grill founded Click Models in 1980. Over a span of thirty years Click has discovered many of the top models in the fashion industry. Today Click has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, North Carolina and Philadelphia representing over 1,000 models for fashion, print advertising, television commercials, runway and showroom modeling. In 1985, Click, seeing a need to better service its clients diversified and formed Flick Talents, a bi-coastal talent agency to concentrate on all the TV commercial work available to models and a growing roster of actors. In 1996 Click and Flick spun off a bi-coastal theatrical talent management company called Framework Entertainment. Framework currently represents over 200 actors. Joining J Pervis Talent & Click Models as a booking agent is Julie Martin. Martin’s career spans over 20 years in the talent & modeling industry. Martin has worked with top agencies in Atlanta such as Arlene Wilson & Ford Models.
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OZ cetERA DI from Scratch With the growth of RED camera work in commercials and features, CineFilm recently installed the Assimilate SCRATCH system for conform and color correction in their DI suite. The installation has opened new opportunities in Atlanta and drawn independent features from other states. Within the first month, an independent feature from Florida shot entirely on the RED was booked. The suspense-thriller, “Endure” stars Judd Nelson of the famed “Brat Pack,” along with actor/comedian Tom Arnold. Producer/editor Jim Carleton of NFocus Productions brought the project to Atlanta. “I do most of the color correction for spots myself using FCP Color, but we knew this feature would require more experienced color grading skills and technology, so we turned to CineFilm.” CineFilm had the first DI projection suite in the Atlanta area that was specifically designed for indie features. “We’ve done several film and RED features using FCP Color in the past,” says John Petersen, a colorist at CineFilm, “but we just upgraded to SCRATCH digital workflow, which was the only finishing system to directly read the RED raw files. In SCRATCH, I was able to do the offline conform effortlessly. I loaded in the EDL and the media was immediately at my fingertips.” Petersen adds, “A clear advantage of working digitally is the efficiency that occurs throughout the post process. For example, we were able to colCineFilm colorist John Petersen adds the finishing laborate quickly to match the footage from multiple cameras and create the touches to “Endure” using the SCRATCH system various emotional moods this suspense-thriller required. Also, we were able designed for RED camera files. to load all the RED files onto the hard drive. During the final DI, we needed to replace two shots. I was able to quickly pull the shots from the files and immediately replace the shots in the master grade. This avoided a new project file, which equates to time and money. “The efficient workflow and intuitive GUI allowed me to focus more on the artistic aspects of color grading rather than the process. This way you can stay in the creative groove rather than starting and stopping,” says Petersen. “The SCRATCH Scaffolds tool for finishing gave me great creative freedom, especially when working with the lighting and close-ups.” The production team knew that quality DI would be critical to the success of “Endure.” “Once you see what a colorist in the DI process can bring to the final look, you’ll always budget for this as part of the finishing process, and work backwards - we feel it’s that important,” says Carleton. CineFilm has SCRATCH loaded on a RED-BOXX workstation, running in Windows 7. They now have RED Rocket, which makes the 4K post process even faster. “This is a very stable, robust tool suite,” says Petersen. “I really beat on this system and it can take it. The project timeline was 16 days and we made it.”
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High Quality Printing
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OZ cetERA At Least Win The Party An Atlanta film, “The Party,” took top honors this year at the 168 Hour Film Festival, winning Best Film and a total of six major awards out of the eight nominations it received. In the 10-minute short film, a young girl faces a moral dilemma when she decides to kill her father with a spider. “Shooting and posting a 10-minute film in 168 hours, and actually getting a good result is a bit of a tall task. That’s why we’re fortunate to surround ourselves with such strong talent all around,” states Helen Urriola, who coproduced the project along with Jim McKinney. Six-year-old Maggie Jones won the biggest applause of the evening, as well as Best Actress for her performance. A relative newcomer, she has done three commercials and is already working on “Most Likely to Succeed,” a Fox television pilot. Jeff Rose, who won Best Actor, is well known beyond Atlanta for his work in “Army Wives,” and just finished a serious role on “Drop Dead Diva.” Another well known face in the Atlanta market, Carrie Walrond, took home Best Supporting Actress for her role as the mother. There was a lot of buzz at the festival regarding the strong screenplay. Scott Ippolito wrote the story and screenplay, winning the prize for Best Screenplay. Jim McKinney, a local director of photography, was shocked and elated when he received Best Director for the film. Also nominated were Jay Hunt for Editor, and Jessica Boller for Production Design. Neil Fried contributed music, Jason Shablik the sound design, and Melissa McBride was a tremendous help with the casting. Tax credits are not available for sale, as this production did not meet the half-million dollar threshold.
Jim McKinney celebrates the six awards “The Party” took home from the 168 Hour Film Festival. Photo credit: Nathaniel Bluedorn.
Actors Maggie Jones and Jeff Rose took home Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively. Photo credit: Christina Arena. Maggie Jones in “The Party.” Photo credit: Jim McKinney.
EXPERT www.miechiels.com/oz 877.304.6854
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Come Fly With Me
Dick Klinger lays down some vocals for “Siriusly Sinatra” on Sirius XM.
and get what you expect.
Dick Klinger, one of Atlanta’s longtime voiceover talents, recently spent some time at Doppler Studios laying down tracks for a new gig. About a month ago, Tina Sinatra, who along with her sister Nancy, produce a show on Sirius XM called “Siriusly Sinatra,” approached Klinger. Turns out Sinatra was a fan of Klinger’s from his Turner Classic Movie days, and had been tracking him down for quite some time thinking he’d be perfect for “Siriusly Sinatra.” Klinger did a couple of auditions, received tons of praise from the Sinatra sisters and the management at Sirius, and he got the gig. Klinger is now the voice of Frank Sinatra on Sirius XM’s “Siriusly Sinatra.”
PC&E Beefs Up Offerings New to PC&E are the Canon 5D Mark II, with its full frame CMOS sensor, and the Canon 7D, with a super 35mm size sensor. PC&E recognized the need for professional quality accessories for these cameras, so they also carry the Zacuto Sniper kit, which consists of a shoulder mount, Z-finder eyepiece and follow focus. For lens solutions PC&E added the Canon L series glass including a set of primes ranging between 14 and 135mm. A wide range of zoom lenses rounds out the package including 16-35mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm with image stabilization. The lenses and Sniper kits are available for rent separately from the cameras. PC&E has also added two Panasonic AJ-HDX900 cameras to their inventory. The Panasonic AJ-HDX900 is a professional tape-based DVCPRO HD camera designed for a wide variety of applications. This full 2/3” DVCPRO HD camcorder records pristine 100Mbps HD images in any of 11 video formats, encompassing 60Hz and 50Hz production. Also new to PC&E’s inventory is a large quantity of brand new Filmair Dolly Track. This hi-load swing fold dolly track is constructed of anodized structural aluminum, and is designed to carry maximum loads with minimum deflection. The track rails are flush with the ground, and create support along their entire length preventing any flexing between crossbars. The load carrying capacity of this track is rated in excess of two tons and it’s fitted with precision-machined stainless steel cones and connectors for corrosion proof durability and maintenance free use.
Kilgannon Takes a Bow Kilgannon walked away with two ADDY® awards this year. The agency won a Silver ADDY® award for the website it redesigned for The Bantam Group, and a Bronze ADDY® award for a direct mail piece it developed for Manheim. Kilgannon modernized The Bantam Group’s website and logo, changing both the color scheme and font to better match the company’s personality in the marketplace. In addition, the agency introduced flash, video and motion elements and tailored the site messages to appeal to small to medium-sized agencies, the firm’s primary audience. The direct mail piece for Manheim was developed to educate prospective dealers about the company’s frontline services offering. Manheim can recondition a used vehicle so that when it arrives on a dealer’s property, it is in “sell now” condition, saving a dealer both time and effort. The Manheim Frontline direct mail piece was sent to dealers in Dallas, one of the company’s test markets. The piece, along with other marketing components, helped to increase the revenue Manheim gained from post-sale reconditioning by more than 400%. Due to the overall success of the Manheim Frontline marketing program, it is scheduled for a national rollout later this year.
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OZ cetERA Red Carpet Freaknik at Soapbox
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Nikos Mavrommatis and Phil Tan put the finishing touches on The Oscars music. Soapbox Studios just wrapped up two projects that reside in different planetary systems in the creative galaxy. One involved writing music for the most glamorous TV event of the year, and the other was sound designing the iTunes trailer and TV spots for an animated TV movie airing on Adult Swim. The common thread is Soapbox Studios resident composer and sound designer Nikos Mavrommatis, who provided services for both. Artistic Image’s Ed Dye directed the project. Dressing up his elegant visuals with music is no easy task especially when the brand is The Oscars. Soapbox pulled it off with a collaboration of Mavrommatis and Soapbox’s two-time Grammy winning mixer Phil Tan. The result was a fresh but true interpretation of the tradition and glamour of the Awards balancing the elegance and energy of the event. T-Pain stars as the Ghost of Freaknik Past in a one-hour special on Adult Swim, which was a co-production of Williams Street Studios, Carl Jones of “Boondocks” fame and T-Pain. “Freaknik: The Musical” also features Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross along with Andy Samberg, Charlie Murphy, Kellis and Mothership Connectors George Clinton and Bootsie Collins. Mavrommatis got his Freaknik on working on the three-minute iTunes theatrical trailer as well as the on-air promos for the show with Auto-Tune aficionado and Adult Swim writer/producer Matt Hutchinson.
Siteminis Snaps to Attention Attention has been tapped by Siteminis to help bring awareness of a unique mobile website platform targeted at major retailers, entertainment and sporting events, non-profit organizations, and travel. Siteminis has provided consultation and design to major retailers over the past three years and has finalized their research and development, launching one of the only mobile website platforms that can be deployed across every web enabled cell phone and all popular smartphone operating systems such as iPhone, Android, Palm, Nokia, Blackberry and Microsoft’s Windows Mobile operating systems. Siteminis CEO Marci Troutman says that the company retained Attention to guide the company’s public emergence and provide marketing services.
Total Drama at VTA Cartoon Network partnered with VTA and Play to create a national television campaign marketing “Total Drama Island, The Complete Season 1” on DVD. “Our internal team did a smash-up job writing and editing the spots, concentrating on the characters’ outspoken personalities,” said Play creative director, Brett Player. “My favorite being the island’s chef, who ordered kids around like an aggressive drill sergeant. In the end, you need to entertain while marketing the show. I think we did that well.” ISEC, Inc., a $300 million national prime trades contractor and subcontractor, approached Play, a VTA company, to market a new product. Play advised ISEC to freshen up their brand with a new logo, tagline and marketing collateral. Play then leveraged the new look to create an advertising campaign which was not only utilized to launch laboratory furniture manufactured by ISEC, but also encompassed a brand awareness campaign across all ISEC offerings. For the third year in a row, VTA was selected to be The Weather Channel’s editorial partner to format compelling original programming such as “100 Greatest Weather Moments,” “Epic Conditions” and “When Weather Changed History” for Video On Demand. According to VTA editor Bob Castro, “The Weather Channel wanted us to reformat their broadcast hour-long HD masters to VOD specifications faster than the current file-based work flows allow and without disturbing the existing HD closed captioning. In this case, file based editing was not the best option. To capture and output back to tape a one hour show takes at least two hours,” continued Castro. “Render time to add an HD logo throughout the program increased total delivery time way beyond that. Live Edit was the solution that kept the project on schedule and on budget.” In other news, VTA reeled in a profile video for The National Coalition for Marine Conservation, detailing the 35-year-old conservation group’s efforts to conserve and protect marine fish. AutoNation revved up for 2010 with the DVD distribution of their Executive Team’s “Kick-off Message” to 15,000+ employees across the nation. Marcus Productions kept VTA editors busy with short-form broadcast projects for PetSupermarket, Liberty Medical and Humana Healthcare. VTA producers, crews and editors tackled spots and various projects for the Orange Bowl Committee for the fourth consecutive season and in February, thousands of Mount Sinai Medical Center employees boogied down all over the Miami Beach hospital campus during the taping of their music video, which celebrates National Heart Health Month and will reach thousands of viewers via You Tube and Facebook.
Fine Living at Tube Fine Living Network producer Lily Li recently approached Tube to make a graphics package for “15 Xtreme Outdoor Projects.” In order to make the most custom tailored graphics package for the project, the Tube team went outside. Armed with their HVX200 and shovel, creative director and owner Chris Downs, production assistant Laura Relyea, and editor Greg Partridge took to the hills of the Fourth Ward. There they captured shots of Georgia red clay being shoveled and thrown to create background plates and transitions for the gritty graphics package. After filming, Downs rolled up his sleeves and dove into After Effects, where he animated and composited the show logo against the footage they had captured. The vibrancy of the yellow and black color palette against the soil provided a distinctive look befitting the hour-long special.
The Metropolitan Welcomes All The West End Art and Business community members including The Metropolitan, Hammonds House Museum and Resource Center, The B Complex Artists and the Wren’s Nest are hosting The Second Annual West End Art and Studio Tour. The tour of the participants’ venues, studios, galleries, museums and businesses will take place on Saturday, May 15th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is no admission for the tour. The afternoon tour includes open artist studios and businesses at The Metropolitan. The B Complex will show their main gallery and studios. The Wren’s Nest will have house tours and scheduled storytelling, and Hammonds House Museum will display an exhibition titled “Incendiary Exposure” by Darryl Harris and Michael Morgan. Because some visitors might consider the exhibition too controversial for young people, hands-on art activities will be provided for children on the front porch. A major attraction for the 2010 WE Tour will be the Atlanta Printmakers Studio Print Big! Steamroller Print Event at The Metropolitan. This community gathering celebrates the art of printmaking in a “BIG way.” Students from area colleges and universities will prepare large-scale 4’x8’ carved blocks which will be printed during the day using a steamroller. The idea for the West End Art and Studio Tour came together as a result of the participants’ desire to expose the vibrant, growing community of artists and creative thinkers that make Atlanta’s West End a growing cultural network of businesses, residents and artists. The afternoon portion of the event will feature art from over 23 participants involved with The Metropolitan, The B Complex, The Hammonds House Museum and The Wren’s Nest.
Ed Alba Changes Partnership
Ed Alba joins The Partnership as executive vice president, client services and digital integration. The Partnership has hired Ed Alba as executive vice president, client services and digital integration. Alba joins The Partnership from LBi and brings more than 15 years interactive marketing experience. His background includes directing marketing programs at The Chicago Bulls, The Chicago Bears and BellSouth. He has also worked at agencies including Busch Creative Services, Creative Digital Group/LBi and Aspen Marketing Services. On the client side, he has worked with Newell Rubbermaid, The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Motorola, Arby’s, Yamaha, Subway and Turner Entertainment. “I’ve known Ed and respected his work for years and I’m very, very pleased we will be working together,” said Jim Crone, managing director at The Partnership. “Ed is a proven leader and has great experience creating digital solutions that deliver results for clients.”
Joe Gora Seen at Church AGORATV lensed a service for the Change a Generation (CAG) Church. AGORATV used three high definition cameras in full studio configuration with a fourth on a 30-foot Jib arm. All were switched to a system of large screen projectors and numerous LCD monitors throughout the complex while being recorded onto the new AJA HI PRO hard drive SDI recorder backed up with BETA SP and DVD copies. For MLK weekend, AGORATV was proud to continue service for the Salute to Greatness MLK dinner at the Marriott Centennial Ballroom in downtown Atlanta. The three standard definition cameras in full studio configuration were switched into the GVG Indigo special effects switcher, put up on five large screen projectors and recorded onto DV VTRs and the AJA KI PRO SDI/SD hard drive system. Late that night, AGORATV moved to the next location at the Ebenezer Baptist Church for set up of the 42nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service. Present at the event was a “Who’s Who” of the Atlanta civil rights movement, new Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Princeton University professor and author Cornel West. AGORATV was there to catch the Gwinnett County High School ARTSTAGE Dance Performance Event. The set up was three cameras in full studio configuration with two additional client supplied cameras, GVG Indigo switcher recorded to DV VTRS for later editing and airing on the Gwinnett School System cable channel. Lastly, AGORATV recently had a three-camera gig at Spelman College’s Camille Cosby Academic Center for a Camille Cosby hosted panel discussion special program. The program was streamed live to the internet and recorded to a Ki Pro hard drive record device.
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OZ cetERA PRSA Pros Certified Melissa Medori, Teri Nagel and Rich Steele have earned their APR certification. Medori is a public relations associate manager at The Weather Channel (TWC), supporting its interactive properties including weather.com, TWC Mobile and TWC Desktop, and is part of the company’s social media team. She is also a member of the Georgia Chapter’s Young Professionals Special Interest Group (SIG). Prior to TWC, Medori worked at Rountree Group Communications management. She earned both her master’s degree in mass communications and her bachelor’s degree in public relations at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. Nagel oversees communications for the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology where she works to preserve and enhance the reputations of the college’s schools of Architecture, Building Construction, City and Regional Planning, Industrial Design, and Music. She manages online marketing communications, alumni and corporate relations, media relations and publications. Before Georgia Tech, Nagel worked at Edelman’s Atlanta office and Spaulding Communications in Decatur, Georgia. She holds a bachelor of science in industrial design from Georgia Tech. Steele currently leads a government communications contract for Crawford Communications. He holds a bachelor of arts in communications from Rio Grande University and a master of mass communications and journalism from Marshall University. Steele decided to pursue accreditation after retiring from a career in the U.S. Army as a public affairs practitioner. As he transitioned from the military to a new career in public relations, the APR process provided a great opportunity to review the foundations of the profession, learn how it has evolved in recent years and understand its contemporary application as it relates to the broader civilian practice. Connie Crumbley, communications specialist for McKesson Provider Technologies, and Simone McKinney, media & community relations manager for SCANA Energy, have been awarded the PRSA Georgia Chapter’s Chapter Champion award in recognition of their outstanding volunteer work for the Chapter. Crumbley graduated from University of Georgia with a degree in public relations. She participates in media relations, customer and employee communications and social media activities at McKesson. She was the co-captain of the Sponsorship Team for the 2010 Real Word PR collegiate conference and for the second year was the captain of the Sponsorship Team for the 2010 Annual Conference. She’s been a participant on the College Relations CommitConnie Crumbley was awarded tee for two years and also is a member of the Healthcare and Young Professionals SIGs. the Chapter Champion award McKinney is currently the coordinator of PRSA|GA’s SIGs. Previously, she served as co-chair of the Travel & Tourism for her volunteer work. SIG for three years, and before that she co-chaired the Government/Public Affairs SIG for two years. She has also served on the Awards Committee. McKinney graduated from Boston University with a bachelor of science degree in communications and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations. In other news, PRSA|GA’s annual collegiate conference, Real World PR 2010, at the Loudermilk Center in downtown Atlanta attracted 215 students, almost twice as many as last year, from some 30 colleges and universities throughout the Southeast. The conference included various career seminars focusing on topics such as how to make the most of an internship and how to find a job in public relations. Volunteer Chapter members critiqued résumés, and students also learned more about specific public relations functions to help them better determine which area of the profession is right for them. The keynote speaker was Sean Cassidy, president of Dan Klores Communications in New York. His PR firm is a Top 10 independent with a specialty in celebrity branding so his lunchtime address was “At the Intersection of Hollywood and Corporate America.” There were 150 PRSA|GA Chapter members present with the Real World students for an attendance of about 365 persons at the PR Newswire-sponsored luncheon. The 2010 Summa Cum Laude Sponsor (top tier) this year was Edelman’s Atlanta office. “Attracting the best and brightest emerging talent is essential to our industry’s continued growth and success,” said Claudia Patton, president of Edelman Southeast. “Real World consistently gives Edelman the opportunity to meet and interact with the future leaders of our industry. This year’s group of high-skilled graduates brings not only essential writing and public relations skills, but a wealth of digital and social media skills which are essential in today’s marketplace.” Other sponsors included Cartoon Network, Fiserv, UPS, Fleishman-Hillard, Jackson Spalding, Kleber and Associates, MS&L Worldwide, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, Business Wire, Fitzgerald + CO, Georgia Department of Economic Development, GolinHarris, Hipple & Co. Reputation Management, and Hope-Beckham Inc. There were some two dozen other PR agencies and organizations that made in-kind donations and other contributions. The PRSA|GA Committee that ran its largest project of the year included 25 persons including committee leaders and members. Sarah McLean Cannon of MS&L Worldwide’s Atlanta office and Terrica Oglesby of Susan G. Komen for the Cure-Greater Atlanta co-chaired Real World PR this year. Among the 30 colleges and universities represented by students this year were Auburn University, Berry College, Clark Atlanta University, Florida A&M and Florida State universities, Lee University, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Alabama, Western Carolina University plus most major colleges in Georgia and the Southeast.
Melissa Medori, Teri Nagel and Rich Steele earn their APR certification.
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Facebook’s New Promotion Rules by Jon Andersen
As more and more advertising and marketing dollars find their way to social media outlets, popular marketing programs are also adapted to these new sources. Among the marketing programs finding their way into social media sites are two promotional favorites: contests and sweepstakes. One social media site, Facebook, has recently released guidelines for all marketers and advertisers who wish to use any of the Facebook pages for contests and sweepstakes. The Guidelines, containing six sections, cover a rather extensive list of dos, don’ts, cans and can’ts. The General section of the Guidelines makes perfectly clear that the sponsor of the promotion is totally responsible and liable for ensuring that the promotion and its administration, advertising and fulfillment complies with all federal, state, provincial and other applicable regulations and industry rules. Furthermore, without the express written consent of Facebook, none of the Facebook trademarks, trade names, copyrights or other intellectual property of Facebook can be used in the official rules or other materials relating to the promotion. Finally, in a nod to the Federal Trade Commission, the Guidelines require that all publicity concerning the promotion be true, accurate and not misleading. Then come the prohibitions, which marketers will certainly need to be aware of, especially if they are focusing on a younger audience. In this section, Facebook forbids promotions open to (a) individuals under the age of 18; (b) individuals who reside in Belgium, Norway, Sweden, Italy or any country embargoed by the USA. Promotions which offer prizes of alcohol, tobacco, dairy, firearms or prescription drugs, or which promote gambling, tobacco, firearms, prescription drugs or gasoline products are also prohibited. As would be expected, promotions that condition entry on the purchase of a product or completion of a lengthy task or other action that might constitute consideration or payment are not permitted. The Guidelines are quite specific concerning the administration of a promotion utilizing Facebook. They recite, for example that “you may not administer any promotion through Facebook, except that you may administer a promotion through the Facebook Platform with our prior written approval.” This approval can be obtained only from a Facebook account representative. In addition, the Guidelines require that the promotion be administered through a Facebook Platform only as directed by Facebook, and entry into a promotion can come only from two Facebook sources: the canvas page of an application or an application box in a tab on a Facebook page. 16 OZ MAGAZINE www.ozonline.tv
The Guidelines require that all materials for promotions be submitted to Facebook for approval at least seven days prior to the start of the promotion. If not approved within that timeframe, the promotion is to be considered unapproved. And that material must have the following language adjacent to the entry field: “This promotion is not in any way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with Facebook. You understand that you are providing your information to [Sponsor] and not to Facebook. The information you provide will only be used for [disclosure of how it will be used].” For those of us like me who write the official rules for sweepstakes and contests, Facebook requires that official rules contain the following provisions: an acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook; a complete release for Facebook from each entrant into a promotion; that any questions, comments or complaints regarding the promotion be directed to Sponsor, not to Facebook; and that taking any action on Facebook, such as updating a status or uploading a photo, cannot be a condition to entry into the promotion. Finally, and again as would be expected, Facebook requires a complete indemnity from the Sponsor against all damages, losses and expenses of any kind for any claims against Facebook related to the promotion. Furthermore, Facebook reserves the right to modify the guidelines at any time, to review promotion rules, and to remove any materials relating to a promotion if it determines that the continuation of the promotion may be unlawful or may cause liability to Facebook. And by the way, decisions concerning promotions on or using a Facebook Platform are to be determined solely by Facebook. So there! But this may be how it is in the marketplace:
To promote the contest “Footrace” Social media seems the right space But we quickly decide After seeing the Guide Facebook will not be the place © 2010 Jon Lee Andersen
best place to plant a seed…
…is inside the MIND
think prINtINg, think 810 E. Brooks Rd. • Memphis, TN 38116 • Tel: 901.396.2023 • Fax: 901.344.8734
Women in Film & Television Atlanta Short Film Showcase Photos courtesy of Holly White www.hollyjowhite.com
(L-R) Jasmine Burke, Director Terri Measel Adams, Director Rose M. Barron, Director Kat Phillips, Director LaKeisha Fleming, Director
(L-R) Sherry Richardson, Chair at Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI) Jasmine Burke, Director
Dana Serby, President WIFTA Atlanta Cynthia Brooks, WIFTA Grants Director
Daq Ofori, Director Lydia Sue-Ellen Chitunya, WIFTA Student Ambassador
(L-R) Candice Lashay, Actress Christian Oâ€™jore, Actor Tabari Sturdivant, Director Nikki Simpson, Producer LaKeisha Fleming, Director
Larry Rhem, Actor Terri Thompson Trish Taylor, WIFTA Public Relations Director
Dellis Caden Noble, Director Dana Serby, President WIFTA Atlanta
Dana Serby, President WIFTA Atlanta Sherry Richardson, Chair at Women in Film and Television International (WIFTI)
Terri Thompson Samantha Worthen
Trish Taylor, WIFTA Public Relations Director (L-R) David Howard, Actor Michelle Kabashinski Kelli Wilcoxen
(L-R) Dr. Eric Springman Jasmine Burke, Director Kat Phillips, Director Dana Serby, President WIFTA Atlanta
UPDATING THE TOOL KIT By BOBBY L. HICKMAN Successful photographers are always evolving. Not just creatively, but technically as well. Many still photographers are updating their tool kit and now offer video capabilities.
“A lot of people are testing the waters or jumping in head-first and praying they don’t hit a rock. That’s kind of the approach my buddies and I are taking. And if we hit the rock, we bounce off it and figure out what to do next.” - Jason Fobart
Professional still photographers, who only a few years ago transitioned from shooting film to using digital cameras, are now tackling a new challenge: Adding video capabilities to their list of creative services. Photographers are using a new generation of digital cameras that offer HiDef video capabilities in addition to state-of-the-art still capabilities. They are also able to increase their billings to budget-conscious clients who see efficiencies in using one shooter who can produce two types of media products. Many veteran still photographers are finding the technical transition easier by using D-SLR cameras with video capabilities that are similar to digital cameras they have used for years. The biggest challenge for many is learning the nuances of how to put a formerly still image into motion and how to edit the finished product. Most photographers are learning their new skills online. Some read books, take courses or visit chat rooms. And, they attend live seminars such as those offered by the Atlanta chapter of the Advertising Photographers of America (APA). Best of all is talking to other photographers in person or online to share tips and tricks about transitioning to the world of moving images. Regardless of exactly which equipment they use, who their clients are and what level of technical expertise they seek, the six photographers we interviewed are striving to keep pace as marketing and media continues to move towards a video-centric future.
Jason Fobart Fobart Photography Jason Fobart, former director of APA’s Atlanta branch, said he has “definitely seen a flood of interest” among photographers who want to add video to their toolkit. “A lot of people are testing the waters or jumping in headfirst and praying they don’t hit a rock,” he said. “That’s kind of the approach my buddies and I are taking. And if we hit the rock, we bounce off it and figure out what to do next.” What is driving that interest? “Simply the fact that we can do it now,” Fobart said. “We can shoot highdefinition video with the same cameras that we were using on our advertising and other jobs.” Being able to do still and motion with “one set of gear is really cool,” he added. Design by: Mikel Hutchings 20
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Clients also benefit from the trend. “We can produce two different products in a little more time, with little more complication, not twice the time or twice the complication.” Depending on the project, Fobart added, “It doesn’t necessarily require a complete second crew just for the video now.” Overall, Fobart said, the transition provides a way “for photographers to make a little extra money by providing an extra service to our clients. Everybody in the creative industry has been dealing with reduced budgets. So it’s a good thing when we provide an opportunity for our clients to get better value for their money by doing two things at once.” Photographers going into video need a few pieces of additional equipment, Fobart said, such as a microphone and headphones, but they are not required to “invest in a whole new kit.” “Five years ago, if you were a photographer and you wanted to learn to direct, that’s was a whole different world, especially shooting on film,” he said. The “lingo is different,” movie cameras are more complicated, and it was “intimidating to deal with all that,” he said. “Nowadays we can dip our toe in easier because we already have familiarity with the equipment.” He said there are a “few technical things you have to know to execute video well,” but they are relatively simple and “you can learn that in one day.” After that, he said, the learning curve is “all about telling a story in motion.” Fobart said still photographers are “used to getting a good picture in 1/500th of a second. Now you’ve got to string it together 24 frames per second times 10 or 15 or 30 seconds.” Fobart owns the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 7D, plus a few accessories. “I own enough just to get by,” he said. “When we need more, we rent,” as not every client requires the same level of production. He mostly works through advertising agencies, so the types of projects vary. Fobart said his involvement in editing also varies by project. “On some stuff, you hand it off to the agency, which has its own editors and post production,” he said. For small projects it is “easier to do the editing yourself.” Editing is a specialized craft, Fobart continued, so “it’s a nice toolset to know something about.” He said he wants to know enough to communicate with the editors that his clients hire. “I need to be able to speak his language and understand the technical limitations he’s dealing with,” Fobart added. Generally, Fobart said, photographers need to understand fundamental technical concepts and practices to work effectively. “If your client doesn’t need an expert, you can do the basics,” he said. “And if they need an expert, you’ll know how to speak to an expert or hire one so you can get the job done.” Learning video “has been a fun ride,” Fobart said. “I’ve always been interested in cinematography and the art of telling stories in motion. The ability to do that to a degree with the kit I already own and use to shoot pictures with has made it a whole lot easier to jump into this. And it’s kept it fun.” He compared the transition to “trying to drive left-handed stick in Europe. Familiarity (with the camera) means you can focus on shooting cool content instead of being caught up in the tools.”
David Fields Professional Photo Resources
The movement by still photographers into video is an important one, according to David Fields, the store manager at Professional Photo Resources (PPR), a rental and sales house that primarily caters to professionals. “The photography industry got damaged several years ago with the new digital SLR cameras,” he said. “The techniques of photography changed” and the skill levels became “really confused.” Whereas manual cameras required a great deal of photographer skill and technical knowledge, “the D-SLRs do so much themselves, it’s almost a point and shoot.” A similar change in equipment is now happening with video, Fields continued. “The new D-SLRs are attacking the film industry. Now every camera I sell, it’s because it has video capability.” A number of photographers who want to get into video do not have a video background, but Fields notes that they are facing the same obstacles as those who experienced the film-to-digital transition. The Canon 5D Mark II, which is the most popular model, was not the first still camera with high-quality video capabilities, but it was “the first good one,” Fields said. “Nikon had some video out first but the Canon is full HD 1080p.” The Nikon works in 790p, which is “a smaller format of HD,” Fields said. He noted the Canon 5D is “an allaround camera with full-frame, which changes the look of the image, depth of field and so on.” Canon also has a 7D model, which has “a smaller sensor but is also full HD and 1080p,” Fields said. He added the Nikon’s “still capture is excellent, but the video is still a little behind.” www.ozonline.tv OZ MAGAZINE
“It is inevitable a lot of us photographers are going to be in this world of film, and ultimately the worlds are going to come together as one. So I think we all need to start embracing that.” - Zach Wolfe
With the push into video, Fields said, PPR is carrying a lot more video cameras and related equipment for sale and rent. For example, strobe lights are popular for still photography but are not used in video, so the company is “changing the type of lighting we’re renting.” The change is happening so fast, he added, even manufacturers “are overloaded like crazy. There are backorders on all that type equipment – even microphones.” Fields, who also teaches photography classes, said demands of the marketplace are driving the changes. A number of his still photography customers are learning how to add video because it is more efficient for their clients to deal with one photographer than adding a videographer to the mix. “It also brings in more business for a photographer,” he said. “They are learning this new skill set in order to stay relevant.” The staff at PPR is also learning so they understand their customer needs, added Fields. “I’ve been to workshops and I’ve learned an incredible amount just working with the photographers who are transitioning. We’re fumbling through it together.” Fields expects to see more video in the future. “You’re seeing more demand for videos on the web and YouTube, and less demand for still images.” Magazines and newspapers are cutting back or folding, so there are fewer demands for print ads and less need for still photography. “Now, everything is online and everything is moving,” he said. “It’s got to be entertaining.” The trend towards still cameras with HiDef video is also bringing the previously separate worlds of photography and cinematography closer together. Fields said he has seen “a number of video people in the store lately, which we’ve never really had before because I didn’t carry what they needed. But now as we’re changing our equipment, they’re finding us as a resource for what they’re doing.” Fields said the film industry “has always thought of still photographers as a lower class” and their craft was “a less prestigious thing. But now the manufacturers are looking at the still photographers as the resurrection of their business. It’s given them a new customer base.”
Don Matter Don Matter Photography Don Matter said he added video to his list of services because the market is evolving to include more multimedia. “I’m trying to provide my current clients with a new tool for their marketing,” he said. “Just being able to add movement to the still images I currently shoot allows them to use video on their website, in focus group settings or for PowerPoint presentations.” Matter, who does mostly consumer brand shots, said photographers combining a still shoot with video have a competitive advantage. Clients “get a lot of value for their shoot day.” And, the photographer has another service to sell. Matter is creating three- to five-second clips that the client can use for various applications. “We’re not doing any editing,” Matter added. “I’m providing clients an additional resource, just as they would use a still image.” If the client combines the still image with an in-store display that features video, for example, “it makes a nice cohesive package because that incorporates still and motion shots of the same products done 22
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with the same background and same lighting,” he added. don’t do any editing. I shoot and deliver the raw video The learning curve has been steep on the technical files to the client. They use their own editors to achieve side, Matter said. “There are a lot more formats to work the final product.” with.” However, his main challenge has been “the transiTransition to video means a different approach to tion from what looks good as a still to what looks good shooting, Miller said. “With photography, I’m constantly moving. You really have to start thinking differently to responding to the action of whatever I’m shooting in a come up with the best solutions.” Besides visual compo- way that’s a little more frenetic than video can support.” nents, he said, shooting video means considering “what He said he “had to learn to be more patient and commitlooks good mechanically and the time constraints of do- ted to my composition, to decide on my shot and follow ing that. After all, you don’t have Photoshop to retouch through to the end. I can’t change composition mid-shot. something.” If I see something else I want to get, we need to do anMatter said he feels strongly that “the marketplace other take. It’s not a completely different way of thinking, is leading us to more combinations of stills and video but it is a shift.” in different presentations. That’s the way everything is going down the road.” He expects to shoot more video Zach Wolfe in the future “because that’s the route a lot of my clients Zach Wolfe Photography are going for their advertising needs.”
Greg Miller Gregory Miller Photography
Greg Miller said his new technical skills “came by necessity.” He said his clients, ad agencies, design firms, corporate and editorial, were requesting video to use online, “and I knew I had to learn to keep up with my competition.” His first video project was an annual report for Whirlpool Corporation. “I read a lot and talked to folks about video,” Miller said, “then I learned a lot on the job. It was a two-week job with travel to Iowa, Michigan, Italy, Germany and Brazil.” He added the project “was a real crash course that yielded great results.” Miller owns a Canon 5D Mark II and Sony HVR Z7U. “I hire digital and sound support as needed,” he added. “I
Zach Wolfe’s specialty is photographing urban music. After five years shooting stills of rappers and hip hop artists, he has spent the last year transitioning into video. When the Canon 5D came out, Wolfe started out “messing around with it because I was curious.” He asked some of the artists he worked with if he could do some behindthe-scenes video. “One thing led to another, and now I’m only doing video,” Wolfe said. He has been working with Big Boi from Outkast since early 2010, including live concerts, web documentaries and a music video that should debut soon on MTV. “In the hip-hop world, it seems like budgets for photography are being cut tremendously,” Wolfe said. Music industry budgets “are being cut in half or more. I realized if I didn’t start looking to other avenues there wouldn’t be much work left for me in the future.” While video budgets have also been cut, Wolfe noted, “There was always more money in video. For me, a reduced video budget is higher than the still budget was.” He also noted that there are “more photographers in Atlanta than there is work. I think a lot of photographers are getting driven into other avenues just because they don’t have a choice.” www.ozonline.tv OZ MAGAZINE
OZ cetERA Wolfe said he plans to expand beyond music. He wants to parlay his music background into other work, although he has not decided what other areas he wants to explore. “I just don’t want to be pigeon-holed as a music video guy; I’m open to anything.” Learning to shoot video with the new D-SLRs is not that difficult for still photographers, Wolfe said. “Exposing and composing your shots is the easiest part for us; the rest is a steep learning curve.” One challenge is the intricacies of shooting motion. Says Wolfe, “Putting cameras on dollies and jib arms . . . those are not things still photographers use.” Editing is also “a nightmare,” Wolfe said. “As a photographer, you could have loose ideas; go out on a photo shoot and wing it; then come back and put together a nice portfolio. With video you’re not going to be able to do that. You have to pre-plan everything.” The planning includes anticipating the editing. Wolfe said he remains “very involved” in the editing: “I feel like if I pass my editing off to somebody else, my vision may be lost.” He also wants to understand every step of the filmmaking process. “If I get a big budget for a music video and I’m on the set and I don’t understand everything I’m going to lose control,” he said. “I’m trying to learn every aspect of filmmaking so when the bigger budgets come, I have a way to communicate with people when I hire them to do certain things.” Wolfe said he “feels it is inevitable a lot of us photographers are going to be in this world of film, and ultimately the worlds are going to come together as one. So I think we all need to start embracing that.”
Rich Addicks Rich Addicks Photography
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Rich Addicks spent 27 years at the Atlanta JournalConstitution (AJC) as a still photographer before taking a buyout in May 2009. After years of traveling and “doing big projects you looked forward to,” the industry changed. Reduced budgets and new business models meant “those kind of fun, challenging things were gone,” he said. Before he left, Addicks learned how to make videos for the AJC’s website. “I had been doing video on my own since the invention of iMovie,” he said, “but it was mostly kid stuff.” At the newspaper, he did a few videos which “got me energized. It was not just images but also sound. At that time, I saw it as a little bit of the future. Today I see it hugely as the future.” Now a freelancer, Addicks offers his clients both still and video services. He strings for the Associated Press as a photojournalist, and does portraits and other stills for corporate and private clients. However, “I recognize the industry is already full of photographers. I’d love to do photojournalism the rest of my life, but I recognize why they offered me a buyout. At this moment in time, journalism is not making any money.” He also noted the market rate for photographers has also been depressed since digital photography replaced film. Addicks said it does “not take a genius to look down the road to the future and see video is going to have a huge place in our lives. If print is going away, electronic becomes the new print. And the language of the web is video.” He noted some people are learning new skills such as video, while others are “kind of hoping that when the economy rebounds, that things are going to be the same. I don’t believe they’ll be the same. They never are.” In addition to the pragmatic considerations, Addicks said, “I really enjoy doing video.” Video provides a good fit for those who “tell stories visually and journalistically.” Most of his work has been outdoor videos for private individuals and a commercial client. “I have a bunch more video work lined up this summer,” he said. “By this time next year, I should have a full portfolio I can show to clients and prospects.” Addicks owns both video and still equipment. For the past two years, he has used the Panasonic HPX170, a traditional camcorder that “produces great images and has great audio options.” A lifelong Nikon user, he bought a Nikon E3S in January. He said he just made his first video with the E3S and found it “quite different” from using the Panasonic. While he still favors the flexibility and broader capabilities of the Panasonic, he added, “I would use the Nikon again, depending upon the situation.” He said he wants “to be prepared when I go to a still assignment in case someone says, ‘Can you shoot a little video also?’ Then I’ll have the E3S right there.” Addicks also does all his own editing. “I want to be a one-stop-shop guy who does it all for a client,” he said. “If I edit what I shoot, I’ll learn more from what I did right or what I did wrong.” He agreed editing is “really time consuming. Some photographers are embracing it, but many are intimidated by learning a new skill set like editing. I tell them to jump in and do it: You’ll get hooked and it’s a lot of fun. This is an exciting time for visual communicators.”
locations • events weddings • fine arts bridget oneill • 678.252.8354 BONphotography@gmail.com
think at our core we want to be loved and we don’t like being lied to. Human nature.
Nothing new. For ages people have interpreted life and humanity through art. Drawings, paintings and sculptures were all beautiful stories told by humans about what they witnessed or what they imagined. The artist had power. He or she could make the subject more beautiful or more grotesque, depending on his or her politics. An artist could influence others, even entire nations, with his art. The masses mostly bought it, but there was always room for doubt. Did it really happen or was it fiction? Reality and fantasy look the same on the canvas. Then, enter the new and magical world of photography. The photograph became the irrefutable witness to the real. It was science. Sit a person in front of the camera, trip the shutter and that person and their moment were documented forever. It was authentic. For a time, humanity embraced the medium in their hunger for the truth and quest for wisdom. We wanted to see the world and it’s people, and photography brought it to us where we lived. It was believable because we sought the truth and had no reason to lie or tinker with this marvelous new invention. Ah, but remember, we’re human and we can’t leave anything alone. We are a chronically dissatisfied species. Garden of Eden ring a bell? So technology brought us the ability to “stretch” the truth. Rewrite the story to suit our needs. Reduce the world around us to parts that we could rearrange into any shape. Lots of fun at first. We love new toys. And as the world got crazier, escaping reality seemed like a pretty good idea. We’re entertainment junkies and the world was just too boring. “Avatar” has taken us to a whole new level with it’s nearly $500 million price tag, but to what end? Amazing science; but really it’s just more flying stuff that’s not real. It’s not amazing because it didn’t happen. Henri Cartier Bresson’s “decisive moment” photograph of the man jumping the puddle is amazing because it’s a real moment captured perfectly. Harmony of man, machine and subject. The universe converging. Irving Penn’s “Worlds in a Small Room” is amazing because humans who had never seen a white man, much less a camera, were captured on film forever.
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“When the truth is found to be lies, And all the joy within you dies.” - Grace Slick
What you see is exactly what Mr. Penn saw. It was new. It was authentic. He took you there. The underlying dissonant tone of angst buzzing in the DNA of humanity is the lack of truth. Lies are everywhere . . . from the mouths of our politicians, our ministers, and our advertising. And the last hope that we could run to is gone. The photograph. It can no longer be trusted. So be happy that you lived in the fleeting moment of the golden age of photography before it evolved back into illustration. “Don’t you want somebody to love? Don’t you need somebody to love? Wouldn’t you love somebody to love? You better find somebody to love.”
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By Kate Siegel
Craig Miller Productions commercial shoot for Pergo for Fitzgerald+CO in 2009.
Marc Dobiecki directing Mark Schultz on the set of “Letters from War.”
Craig in the middle ‘80s on production with John Schneider.
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Craig Miller scouting locations for The Weather Channel in Joshua Tree, California.
Craig Miller Productions is a full-service film and television production company located in Atlanta. At the heart of Craig Miller Productions (CMP), literally and spiritually, is Craig Miller. Miller sets the tone for his crew, vendors and clients. “Craig is happiest on set. He is a highly social person,” observes creative director Mark Falls. “The constant, improvisational interaction of a production set suits his animated personality perfectly. He’s warm, loves to laugh, and is more than generous in the bear hug department.” “Craig has enormous faith in God,” says his operations manager Lorraine Heninger. “It shows in the way he lives his life and runs his business. I have learned so much from Craig over the years, not only about how to honestly operate a business or produce a spot, but also how applying values and keeping faith leads to a better life.”
Starting Out “I’ve always been a producer,” Miller says. “I was never a production assistant. I was never a cameraman. I was never a grip or a gaffer or an audio man or any of those things. I started out as a producer, and I was mortified. But I was able to overcome my own inhibitions to say, ‘You know what? Bill VanDerKloot or Ed Myers or Marc Dobiecki or Bill Wages all know more about filmmaking than I do. I want to be a part of that.’” His personal library has about 4,000 tapes (culled from around 6,000). It’s a “unique little history” of his work and events of the last quarter-century. Miller began his career right after getting his ABJ from the University of Georgia. He returned to Columbus, Georgia, got married, and spent six years at Aflac in the pre-duck days when it was still known as American Family Life Assurance Company. His time was split between working on conventions and providing A/V support for promotions and training. He was a producer and director of films and videos and a programmer of multi-image — “what is now a dinosaur of an industry. It doesn’t exist at all; it’s a dodo.” The computer-controlled slide projectors brought “a gigantic amount of angst” because one small glitch such as a burned-out lamp could ruin a coordinated 18-projector presentation. “I had a good boss, and we wanted to do good work. We did lots of nice projects that I really enjoyed,” Miller says. There were only a few projects a year, but they were weighty enough
that they couldn’t be produced in Columbus, so he became familiar with the players in Atlanta. Then Miller moved and joined A/V Spectrum, a small shop that no longer exists. “It was hard work,” he says, “but there was lots of aspiration and we did some good things.” He knew he wanted to get out and run his own company, “but I had kids by that point; I had a mortgage. And I could not afford to jeopardize all of that.” There were two “almosts” where he thought he had put it together only to have it all fall apart. Then came a great opportunity. In 1985, Miller was on the verge of assembling enough clients to form a one-man consulting firm. He was meeting with his good friend, Ted Robison, marketing director for Callaway Gardens. During the meeting, Miller got a call from his other client-to-be, backing out. “I said to him (Robison), ‘We can stop having this meeting now. The other guy’s backed out. Sorry that I took up your time.’ He said, ‘Well, how much were they in for?’ And I said, ‘The same amount that you’re in for.’ And he says, ‘Well then, I’ll cover it.’ And we just hugged each other. And I knew then that I would be ok.” It’s moments like that when you appreciate how “you’re blessed with friends and colleagues and folks that want you to succeed.” Luckily, Robison was in between ad agencies at the time, so Miller stepped in. He “burned up the road between Atlanta and Callaway Gardens” to handle their radio, their TV, their newspaper and their internal communications. “Now I wasn’t so sure I was going to be ok three years later when Ted got promoted, there was a new marketing director, and I was out there trying to figure out what was going to happen next,” he laughs.
Notable Projects Miller now counts heavy hitters like Coca-Cola, UPS, Novelis, McDonald’s and the U.S. Army among CMP’s clients. He says his best project is “One Day in Search of the South,” a 35mm film that was the centerpiece for the Welcome South Visitors Center during the 1996 Olympics. During a single 24-hour period in October 1994, 18 directors shot nine and a half hours of footage in 134 locations in 27 cities, including aerials. Locations included Cape Canaveral, Disney World, the Everglades, Keeneland race track in Kentucky, and a college football game. The planned game was cancelled due to lightning, so another crew had to shoot a different game. Alton Brown covered barbeque restaurants and Graceland in Memphis. “It was the largest rental from Victor Duncan (a camera and accessory rental house) for the entire year in that one day.” For the voice-over, writer Mark Johnson suggested Johnny Cash. Miller pursued the idea. “We started out at some exorbitant number that we couldn’t even think about paying,” he says, “and they eventually came down to a very reasonable number, as long as we were willing to fly to Ft. Worth and record Johnny in a hotel room before one of his concerts.” Yet the project almost never happened. After landing the job with a last-minute pitch that involved camping out in a client’s home driveway to ensure she got the bid package, Miller learned that the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism had no budget for it. So CMP searched for funding. Randstad stepped up, paying to produce the project and construct a 90-seat CMP-designed theater. The 12-minute film screened for a year and a half. “It’s really good. It’s something that, ok, I haven’t done another one like that since 1994, but it’s something really cool,” Miller says proudly. One of Miller’s most prestigious projects was almost the most disastrous. While shooting a one-minute segment about the Masters for Coca-Cola, his four-man crew needed a way to haul their 35mm gear. The only transportation allowed around the course were golf carts — but CBS had all the carts. Miller asked his client, Pete Foley, “Have you ever gone over and asked CBS if you can have a golf cart?” No one had considered it. “So I went down and introduced myself to the technical director,” who gave him Jim Nance’s cart and a second cart fitted for baggage to use during the practice rounds. www.ozonline.tv OZ MAGAZINE
OZ cetERA A favorite of Craig’s: Ed Myers, DP and Robin Kranz, Producer, The Weather Channel, Craig Miller, Director.
(up to 7,000 hits on patriotic holidays) with two or three comments left per day. The video was nominated for a Dove Award in 2005, and it won the Barbara Rosser Award for best video produced for external communications by Department of Defense 2004–2005. “I was humbled. It was very cool,” says Miller. “The fact that it’s got life since then — I mean, that was five years ago. The fact that it’s maintained and it’s working for the guys in Iraq and Afghanistan … It’s just a nice thing to look back on and say ‘Well, that started with one little idea that we pitched and it moved.’”
Good Fortune and Grace Under Pressure
Four years later, the weather wasn’t cooperating. But the crew set off anyway: Foley, an associate producer and a production assistant in the first cart; Miller driving a cameraman with a 35mm camera fitted with a 600mm lens and the gear cases in the second cart. “We go around the green, so we’re sort of sideways. Well, because it’s so wet and with our weight, the cart slips, goes screaming backwards down the hill, takes out a dogwood tree, and right into the lake. My cameraman, who was 6’5”, leaped out of the front of the cart and just caught the bank before we hit the water, with his camera cradled in his arms.” Foley “comes up, rips off his shirt, and dives into the lake” to rescue the equipment. “We never told the client until many years later that the cases in the cart were empty,” Miller admitted. Amazingly, the CBS director took the incident in stride and dubbed them the Masters Swim Team. “He gave us two more carts and said ‘Try to be a little more careful.’” CMP lensed the aftermath of the biggest weather event of our generation, a Hurricane Katrina story involved Gwen Stefani’s tour bus, most of the teamsters from the Rolling Stones tour, and a Weather Channel windbreaker that turned a roadblock into a police escort. (If you bump into Craig, ask him to tell you the story). A couple of years later, he was back in New Orleans filming a service project for the McDonald’s division of Coca-Cola. They had chosen to rehabilitate the famed St. Augustine “Marching 100” Purple Knights as part of the rebuilding of the city. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the all-male Catholic high school had been forced to close; students were living in trailers and attending other schools. The band’s instruments were lost in the flooded band room, and their practice field was under water. “Sometimes you have to make a great story out of a story that’s only so good — this was a great story that told itself. It was one of those things that you just had to put the pieces together right.” Sometimes it’s merely a matter of being in the right place at the right time. One Friday night Miller got a strange phone call: “Hi. I’m at the airport, and I only have a few minutes. I got your name from somebody here in town. I’m producing for Tim Burton. We’d like to shoot a scene for ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ here in Atlanta. Would you be interested in helping us out?” A four-man team was coming from Florida. The location had already been scouted and selected. Easy enough. Then Miller found out two other people from England would be coming. Then Burton himself. “So now suddenly we have to deal with the logistics of A-players,” he says. “By the time it’s said and done, we worked with [Warner Bros. UK] about a month prepping.” The simple little job had turned into a crew of 40, two satellite trucks, rental cars in every driveway on location, 30 teamsters, a cast of 15 kids and lunch. Yet the scene in the movie — the outside shot just prior to when the gum-chewing character Violet Beauregarde is introduced — lasts only a few seconds. “It was a big budget and a whole lot of responsibility. And it was just answering the phone.” A 25-minute safety video CMP did for the Army led to Miller pitching a music video for a Christian song. The video was then used in a summer safety campaign, which led to producing a Christian music concert in the courtyard of the Pentagon. Chaplains from all branches of service picked up that video for Mark Schultz’s “Letters from War,” and now it is played every week during basic training. On YouTube, it has received more than 280,000 hits and still gets a daily viewing of 800 to 1,200 30
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Serendipity and good fortune seem to follow Miller. Heninger says, “The most amazing thing I have noted over the years I have spent working with Craig is that he is subject to divine intervention more often than any person I have ever known or know of. It is not just luck. In situations that might cause anyone to panic, Craig offers up sincere gratitude for the challenge, does research if needed, and waits. The outcome is not necessarily what either of us expected and is often so much better an outcome than we could have asked for or imagined.” “Craig has an amazing ability to keep the vagaries of production in a positive light,” says Falls. “When clients present impossible conundrums, Craig has the ability to be direct without being abrasive. He’s seen it all and maintains an unusually even keel. In 10 years working with Craig, I’ve seen him get bent out of shape exactly once. For some producers, that’s a daily average.” Steve Mensch, now the director of studio and location operations at Turner Studios, has known Miller for 20 years. Likening Miller to the cat who always lands on its feet, he compares his friend to Clark Griswold putting up his outdoor lights in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” falling off the ladder, then standing up, brushing the snow off and carrying on. Heninger gives an example: “Recently while filming outside the country, the cameraman actually filmed over THE moment — a live-action shot. Having lost the reason we were getting paid could have sent any other producer into a tailspin. It was a nightmare, a worst-case scenario that should have unhinged anyone. However, Craig kept his cool. He said a prayer of gratitude for the challenge and proceeded to coerce another film crew into sharing their media, saving the day, the production and our client! He kept his faith, his cool, his wits and, he would say, God did the rest.”
Selfless Mensch describes Miller as Dudley Do-Right, the kind of guy who does the right thing because it’s the right thing. “If there was a devil with a big bag of money that would take care of his whole family for life on one shoulder, and an angel with his reputation on the other, the angel would win every time.” He cites Miller’s involvement in industry associations: A past co-president of the Georgia Production Partnership and current Southeast vice president of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers. Miller lobbied in support of the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act even though it was unlikely to directly benefit CMP. “The only thing you can knock him for is being a nice guy.”
Craig ring side with Evander Holyfield on a Boys and Girls Club Shoot in the late 90s.
delivering more. “Obviously, if somebody tells me they’re going to throw down some eggs and bacon — great, I’ll show up to eat,” he says, “but it seemed like we should do something to make it special.” Guests are treated to a reading by Tom Key of Theatrical Outfit, and people who aren’t acquainted day-to-day get to know each other as well as every member of Miller’s family who is in town. “If we had an awful year, I would still try to pull that together. It’s that important.”
Family (L to R) Carson, Hamilton, Craig, Carolyn, Megan, Tad Low (new son-in-law), Mallory, Ben and Alex at Megan’s Wedding in August.
Miller explains it this way: “If you are of a creative nature — even if you’re not very creative but think you’re of a creative nature — you can only get as high in the advancement of your career that your own creativity will take you. Then you either say, ‘Well, that’s what I want do, I want to do stuff at this level and I’m very happy and having a great time,’ or, if you want to do more, if you’re trying to tell a better story or build bigger projects, then you’ve got to count on the talents of other people. I may be a creative soul, but I know where that mark is for me.” Miller drops dozens of names — not to sound impressive, but rather to acknowledge their work and to share the credit for his company’s success and longevity. “It’s always been our philosophy to hire people who know more about [a specific discipline] than we do,” Miller says. “I still need to give them guidance and direction and things like that, but in terms of making the film a great story, find people that know more about it than you do. Then you can stretch to wherever they are, and they might introduce you to five more people that stretch you past that.” Falls first heard of Miller . . . and his six children . . . while working at Crawford. “Everyone was in awe that a guy working independently in our market could support a family of that size. And such a nice guy, too. You heard this over and over.” He got to know Miller later at Aux TV. “I had designed some motion graphics for one of Craig’s projects. He needed some copy written in a hurry, so I banged something out and he liked it.” When Falls and his wife opened Superlux in 2001, Miller was their first client. “Craig is not only a nice guy, but he will undertake risk while giving someone a chance to grow,” he says. “Since then, we’ve worked with Craig a lot, both writing and designing. I’ve gotten to know him and his extended team. All the hype is true. Craig is as good as gold.”
Client Service Miller definitely engenders loyalty. “One of the things I can say after 25 years, there might be one, maybe two people that we don’t work with now that we worked with back then. We work really, really hard to be good providers of good communications media as well as client service,” he says. “I know that I’m always pushing: ‘Yeah it’s good enough, but is it as good as we can do?’ It’s always about the value that you can bring to it that is above and beyond the expectations of your client, because that gets the word out. That’s what gets you noticed. That’s what gets the phone call to come back to you. Business is about meeting challenges and building relationships.” His clients do notice. “Craig Miller is a consummate professional. What I like about him is that he listens to you,” says Mike Slocum, assistant vice president of customer engagement at the McDonald’s division of the Coca-Cola Company. “There are so many people in the creative community now that want to work but are listening for what they want to do. I deal with it all the time. He listens for what you want.” CMP’s annual Christmas breakfast to thank clients for their business is a joyous event that blends Miller’s love of God, family, Southern food and storytelling. It’s a tradition he started five years ago, with his characteristic penchant for
“I have no greater incentive to go to work every day than to provide for my family,” Miller says. “They have been my support and are my greatest sense of joy in life.” Carolyn Miller, his wife of 31 years, agrees. “As much commitment as Craig has to CMP, he has placed a high priority on being a great dad. He may get up at 5:00 and not go to bed until midnight, but he never misses a ballgame that one of our children plays in or cheers for, and he never missed a dance recital. With six children, you have to plan one-on-one time … when they turned 13, he allowed them to choose a trip to go on with just him, something they all looked forward to.” Miller says, “If there’s anything that I’ve taught my kids, I hope that I’ve left this message with them: Dad might go through some tough times, but he loves getting up and going to work every day. He loves us . . . we spend lots of time together. But at the same time, he gets up and he feels challenged, and what helps fill his life with good things is meeting that challenge and making it work and doing good work. If nothing else, it’s fun to come to the office every day.” Carolyn Miller agrees. “He has modeled a great ethic of working hard and doing your best in all you do, and they have all greatly benefitted. The thing I am most grateful for,” she continues, “is that God provided and Craig had the heart for me to be a stay-at-home mom. It has been such a privilege to be home with all of our children as they have grown up and to have the opportunity to enjoy all the phases and stages of their lives. Even in the difficult years when a second income would have really lightened Craig’s burden in providing for a family of eight — including a son with severe asthma that required many hospitalizations — Craig lived with expectant faith that, if he did his part, God would provide. And for 25 years, He has. “Our family is so proud of the work Craig does, but we are even more grateful that he is a man after God’s own heart and the heart of his family.”
Loves His Work and Future “I really thought, once I find a job, I’m going to do that for the rest of my life,” Miller says, “but that was not God’s plan for my life.” In fact, the very first person he worked for told him, “Craig, you need to work for yourself. You need to some day be in charge of what you’re doing.” Celebrating the 25th anniversary of CMP is a good indication that he is on the right track. What might the future hold? “We have always lived on the fringe of entertainment. Whether we’re doing promotions or commercials or documentary kinds of things for a corporation, entertainment is a part of what makes it work,” he says. Those touches that he’s had, the songs, Tim Burton, 2nd unit production for the pilot of “Saving Grace,” have given Miller a taste for more feature films, music videos, commercials and television. “I thank God every day that I get to go to work and do what I do for a living,” Miller says. “I’ve had some awfully dark times over the years because, you know, we’re a very small company. We’ve got a lot of pressures that are going on. But I’ve always loved what I do. I’ve always had a passion about telling a great story. I‘ve always enjoyed having my clients’ eyes light up when they see that we’ve brought their message to life in a way that they couldn’t communicate any other way. It’s just fascinating to me.” That passion, that heart, is what makes Craig Miller Productions successful.
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