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We've been very busy! It's great!
Well, the month of May in Boston is one of the two busiest months of the year in terms of events and production. Once again we helped our friends from Capron with projection for an event for the satellite campuses (campi?) held at Boston University's FitRec Center, our eighth year assisting Rick Mansur and ATS with projection at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, and of course, no year would be complete without listening to each graduate's "fifteen words" at the Olin College of Engineering commencement, where we provide sound and multiple cameras for the live audience and for hosted web content.
Memorial Day Weekend brings many things, but for many of us it brings a sobering reminder of the cost of freedom. This year the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund planted 33,000 flags on Boston Common. Each flag
"represent(s) every brave Massachusetts service member who gave his or her life defending our country since the Civil War."
We have provided sound for Chris Farris of Michael P. Wasserman for several years now. It is an emotional event, as relatives read the names of their fallen family members. Many folks, Boston area natives and those from other cities and countries, pause at the flags to pay their respects and to interact with family members and attendees, often finding that we all have more in common than we think.
It's been almost 4 years since we launched version 4.0 of productivemedia.com, so we figured it was due for a refresh. Kudos to Kathryn Roberts and Heather Kent for chasing down the details.
We've stripped it down a bunch, focused it on what's important and moved it to a system that supports mobile adaptive design; so it ought to work better on your phone.
We're happy with the new look! And with the simpler design, we're hoping that we'll keep it up to date more... (although we're hoping that you'll still keep us too busy to keep it completely up to date)
Our friend Dr. Rafay Mehdi asked if we could help international performer Heather Schmid put together a TV series pilot to bring along with her on her upcoming performances in Pakistan. We were delighted to help. Heather is an amazingly talented songwriter, performer, and an unfailingly positive person. When she sat down to talk with us for the interview section of the pilot, we realized that we had worked together ten years previously on a couple of Boston-area shoots. Time flies. . .
So, how to describe the overwhelming success that our secure webcasting solution has been? Well, um, we can't! Or at least we're not allowed to! We did manage to shoot and deliver the Siemens competition at MIT and interviewed some brilliant young minds describing things that are pretty darned impressive. This is our fifth year shooting, editing and posting the Northeast Division news release for Siemens and the Summerlin Group. We produced two secure live webcasts of a quarterly meeting for a large manufacturing company that prefers not to be named - complete with full AV services support - 2 proejctors, screens, PA system, camera, etc. We produced two Client Conference webcasts, complete with AV and video production support for their dinners, workshops and full-day presentations for a Boston-based financial company, who also prefers not to be mentioned, supplied an audio console, PA system and technician for a meeting at Hanscom Field, supplied a bunch of 50" and 60" LCD screens for various clients, edited a presentation for yet another financial customer who would prefer to be nameless, edited video for Liberty Mutual Insurance, provided projection for our friends at Boston Early Music Festival, provided projection for Raytheon, several hundred DVDs for WGBH, and finished up by providing playback, projection, screens and sound for the South Shore YMCA "Enchanted Evening" on November 30th, which raised over $232,000 for ther annual support campaign!
When one of our clients came to us needing a product comparison shot we loaded up, went to their lab and shot it...
... and while the shot looked great, the message failed. Miserably. We needed to dump out 3 different powders (by hand) to show how each of them might spread if they spilled on a factory floor. The problem was: The manner in which you dumped out the powder so completely changed the results that it completely distorted the message they were creating.
However, we had a way to fix that. If you've ever stopped by the Productive Media offices, Seth's edit suite. . . often looks like a lab. Hard drives stacked, servers taken apart (sometimes still running), circuit boards in a pile to one side and often a bread board or two waiting to go under the soldering iron strewn about the console.
So one trip to Microcenter, a trip to You-Do-It Electronics, a bread board, a computer power supply, 2 open source libraries and some custom code later, Seth had removed the variable human element from the drop without changing the parameters of the shot. We can tell you that each of the beakers follows the same path over the same 2000 milliseconds of time.... Seriously.
This year Olin College celebrated its first ten years of educating some of the best math/science/engineering minds in the world. Multiple displays of amazing research, work, and fun and games were available to demonstrate how much Olin students have to offer, and how they've already changed the world in just ten short years.
Productive Media received the call to get footage of the event and all of the trimmings. There were multiple fascinating displays, demonstrations and most notably, enthusiasm for the the entirety of all of the science/math/engineering disciplines represented at Olin. The celebration concluded just a few hours before Hurricane Sandy made life on the East Coast a little, um, inhospitable.
In early September, we were contacted by Jacqui Conrad of delaCruz Communications to assist with the Joslin Diabetes Center event "Ritmos de Salud" at New England Conservatory's Jordan and Brown Halls.
Ritmos de Salud (Healthy Rhythms) is a benefit concert to promote awareness and raise funds for the diabetes care, education, research and outreach programs of Joslin’s Latino Diabetes Initiative (LDI). Productive Media provided technicians, switched playback, projection and screens in both halls for the event.
It was a successful social event with tremendous food, music and a fun atmosphere!
New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall was the locus for Creation the first weekend in June! Seth Wereska and Geoff Briggs were contacted by David McCue of Chorus pro Musica to project moving images created by Joss Sessions for Haydn's Creation onto upper pipes of the hall organ. Every possible projection space and sightline was investigated and rated. Joss flew in from Leeds to oversee the results and to creatively live-mix the visual elements for the production. The results were impressive!
Where to even begin this news item? This May we provided technicians, screens, projectors, flat panels, cameras, PA systems, webcasts and more for Brown University, Olin College, Boston University, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, UMass Lowell, and at least one or two more institutions of higher learning that got included in the enormous equipment and manpower maelstrom that is the month of May in Boston.
At BU, Brown and UMass Lowell, we assisted our long time compatriots at Capron with people, cameras, PA systems and wireless mics, 60" flat panels, switchers, and projection.
At Harvard we provided technicians, camera, projection and screens for ATS, with whom we have worked since 2006. For Olin we provided sound, cameras and a webcast. In addition, the Communications Department at Olin then took our camera footage and edited it for their graduating seniors.
Oh yes, and a client conference webcast for a renewable resources investment group, a quarterly meeting for an automation company, a half dozen small projector rentals for meetings and graduation parties, shoots and edits for Liberty Mutual Insurance and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, events at Legal Harborside and Raytheon. . .Whew!
The Harvard Signet Society has been promoting the intellectual, literally and artistic life at Harvard for quite a while (since 1870). We've been supporting their dinner for a somewhat shorter period (not yet a decade) but every year we enjoy the poetry, music, and speakers that make up a Signet dinner.
We are less tempted by the two champagne bowls from which 170 very smart people drink.
This year we provided a small pa system, wireless microphones, a piano and a camera to record the event for posterity, and the staff to run it all. (The staff didn't play the piano, though, that would have been very bad.)
Every so often we get to help with an event that, while always professionally done, is also just fun. This March we got a call from the Highrock Covenant Church in Arlington MA to help with their Easter Services on April 8, which are held in the historic Arlington Town Hall. It's a cool location, with a balcony, hardwood floors, and gilded plaster work, and it has enough power spread around the building to allow us to bring in a 10K HD projector, a 3000 watt PA system, a Source Four lighting package, and a light viper optical audio snake. Pastor Eugene Kim was very helpful in assigning "volunteers" to help us run gear up into the balcony, and the result looked and sounded great!
Also, the staff at Arlington Town Hall were very helpful in explaining what was what and where, and they were easily accessible and pleasant during the set up and tear down of all of the gear.
For the past four years, the Seguro Group has asked us to provide all of the audio visual support for their Secure World Boston event at the Hynes Auditorium. Our client contact Sean Besso informed us that registration had doubled for this year, so making sure everything was set was even more important than usual. We provided flat screeens for some of the exhibitors, projection and sound support for eight breakout rooms, and screens and PA system for the 400+ person keynote theater for the two-day event. Geoff Briggs was the lead for Productive Media.
The Hynes loading dock was - as always - clean and well organized, which made for an easy load in and out, and the Hynes staff was courteous, pleasant and professional.
Okay, actually the CEOs in the CEO Club Of Boston are really nice folks. Led by Chairman Fred Greene, the Club allows CEOs to share their insights with one another in a safe and nurturing enviroment. Member Jeff Starfield, CEO of CDWorks contracted us to videotape the 10th Anniversary meeting. Our CEO Geoff Briggs videotaped the event, liked what he saw, and soon joined the Club. Productive Media now provides all of the audio and video recording services, and also provides Audio/Visual support in the form of projectors, wireless mics, knowledge, and whatever else is necessary. The CEO Club of Boston is a terrific, well-run forum for CEOs to share truly inspiring thoughts and opinions, all while learning something new.