Ferro Productions teams up with Marvel US Management, MYGoal, HeartACause and many more to help make a difference in the Autism Community
To learn more about the event click here!
Q: What does it mean to be Marvelous?
- Connecting art, fashion, family and music with food and beverage in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Autism.
- Volunteering creative concepts and countless hours/days/weeks/months in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Autism.
- Bringing together some of the most beautiful, well-rounded people on the planet for a runway fashion show and exhibition marketplace in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Autism.
- Repeating numbers 1, 2 and 3, only this time in efforts focusing on Down Syndrome.
At Ferro Productions, we firmly believe that all of the above are marvelous, which is why we are especially excited to share with you this story, featuring Saudia Ally, the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Events for Marvel US Management. A play-on-words, yes, although there are no games being played by Saudia and Marvel US Mgmt, strictly business.
Marvel US Mgmt is a boutique fashion business management company specializing in brand management, marketing, social media and event design. Together with American Apothecary, an emerging socially conscious fashion brand that has participated in many philanthropic opportunities which also boasts a plethora of marketing and event management experience, they have established an annual fundraising event series titled “Heart A Cause.” This year’s focus was Autism Awareness, as Heart A Cause appointed MyGOAL Autism to be the beneficiary for the annual fundraiser.
Before I dive too far into detail about this year’s recent event (which FERRO PRODUCTIONS had the honor and responsibility of covering) let’s talk about Saudia.
Saudia Ally’s career reads something like a Table of Contents featured in a fashion magazine. From print ads, to designing clothing and handbags, all the way to strutting her stuff on the runway, her resume truly runs the gamut. So, who better qualified to call herself the Chief Operating Officer for Marvel US Management? ANSWER: NOBODY.
She shares,“ I have a great perspective on not only the world of fashion, but on the business of fashion.” This may be due to Saudia’s experience working at the corporate level for names such as Ralph Lauren. She continues, “Ralph Lauren didn’t get to where he is today by himself. You need a design team, working hand-in-hand with a sales team, working hand-in-hand with a manufacturing team. Visual team, marketing team, the list goes on. From drawing board to store shelves, this truly is a BUSINESS.”
The list of heavy hitters in fashion continues, in regards to folks whom Ms. Ally has worked alongside of: Jo Lance, Alexander Chopin, Andrea Matiz, Yolanda Morell, The Nakash Family… the list goes on. All of Saudia’s experience has absolutely molded her into a master of fashion; both design and business.
As previously mentioned, this year’s Heart A Cause event was geared towards Autism Awareness. It was indeed a fashionable way to give back, as the event raised over $12,000 in products and donations for MyGOAL Autism, founded by NAACP award recipient, Dr. Genevieve Kumapley. Those are pretty amazing numbers, but even more amazing is the fact that EVERYONE involved was doing this as a volunteer. From the models to the food vendors… EVERYONE. When we asked Saudia if she was surprised that some of the world’s top models were doing this all pro bono, she replied, “ Absolutely not. There are FAR too many misconceptions about models and the fashion industry. The models were thrilled to get involved in this event, much like they are with dozens of other charity events each year.”
The old saying “Never judge a book by its cover” is thrown around a lot in everyday conversation. Could it be that clichés like this one have programmed our minds to believe that if a person is beautiful on the outside than most likely they are ugly on the inside? The Ferro Productions crew covering this event witnessed first hand that that couldn’t be farther from the truth. These people were truly the perfect balance of inner and outer beauty.
Ferro Productions would like to extend our most sincere THANKS to Saudia Ally, Darius Mayfield, Anastasia Fokina and everyone else involved in this amazing Heart A Cause series. We at Ferro are excited and honored to play a part in such worthy causes with such amazing and MARVELOUS professionals. We have already blocked our production calendar for next year’s, focusing on Down Syndrome Awareness!
NOTE: Be sure to check back in mid-Oct for our Video Feature on Marvel US Management and Saudia and also, our Video Feature on the “Heart A Cause” Fashion show event in NYC.
“Eli Manning. Back to throw. Under pressure. Avoids the rush, and he’s gonna … fight out of it! Still fights out of it! Now throws it deep down field to a wide-open Tyree! Who makes the catch!”
Do you remember what happened that play? I’m sure you do, if you’re a Giants fan. If you’re not, you might not know who was making that radio broadcast. His name … Bob Papa.
Privileged to have called several Super Bowl broadcasts, Bob Papa, then in middle school, was equally, if not MORE privileged to do the play-by-play of his mother doing the dishes and his father reading the newspaper.
Papa’s dream of becoming a radio broadcaster stemmed from listening to local sports radio his entire life. Papa, having grown up a Giants, Knicks, Rangers and Yankees fan during the pre-cable TV era, found himself listening to radio broadcasts because most of their games were not nationally televised and there wasn’t any other outlet for their transmission. Papa enjoyed listening to the broadcasts, believeing radio was truly the “theater of the mind” due its obvious lack of imagery. “Depending on how good the play-by-play guy is, you need to visualize everything and make your own pictures using your mind,” Papa expressed.
Calling “the goings-on” within his house, he began honing his play-play skills at an early age; he called his morning walk to school, and even his pick-up basketball games WHILE he was playing, which happened to infuriate the opposition. And when a professional game was broadcasted, you would find Papa sitting in his living room in Dumont, NJ with the sound down calling his own version of the game.
“I would literally set up one of those old fashioned metal snack tables … I had two separate tape recorders—one for the play-by-play and the other for the theme music and crowd noise—and I practiced my play-by-play off the T.V.,” he fondly recalled.
Papa’s unrelenting passion for radio broadcast remained steady into his college years. After his first year at the University of Delaware, he realized that he wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to pursue his broadcasting dreams because Delaware’s sporting events were covered by a local professional broadcast company. Student radio had no part in broadcasting games. With that, Bob packed his bags and went back to NYC where he enrolled at Fordham University. Fordham boasted one of the best college radio stations in the country. Notable graduates include Michael Kay (broadcaster for the Yankees) and Mike Breen (lead announcer for the Knicks).
The radio program at Fordham immediately put Papa at the forefront of the action. Now close to the only two local sports talk radio shows: Art Rust Jr.’s weeknight show and the Fordham’s show on Saturday and Sunday nights. Bob’s next opportunity emerged from a new service being offered by a company called Sports Phone. Bob’s role? Announcer.
Sports Phone was a phone service sports fans would call for score updates. How did it work? Sports Phone employees would gather the scores from stringers all around the country approximately every ten minutes and record the information on paper. They would then give that information to the announcers and he/she would notify the callers of the game scores. Additionally, some Sports Phone employees had the privilege of attending games and getting pre-game and post-game interviews with professional players and coaches. This aspect of the job helped Papa extend his network even further, as his name was heard more and more.
As an announcer, Papa had the credentials to attend Knicks, Yankees and Mets games. As such, he would have to get pregame interviews with players and coaches and do the same for the postgame. After capturing the interviews, Papa would then have to cut the tape accordingly to compile and edit his 45-second pregame report and get all of his sound bytes in order. The same process was repeated for the postgame, extending his night(s) until about 2 a.m. As Bob had hoped, all of his hard work would eventually pay off.
Papa now worked on the “Yankees Hotline” through Sports Phone with John Gordon, the Yankee’s play-by-play announcer. Said hotline was essentially a two-minute report going out over the phone along with any radio station around the country that wished to access it. Papa would take in the feeds and make sure the tape was running while Gordon did the announcing. Gordon, recognizing Papa’s talent and dedication to the craft, recommended Papa for his first job with the Utica Blue Sox.
Having landed his first gig with the Utica Blue Sox, a NY Yankee farm team, Papa felt out of place during his first few months there because he wasn’t doing the amount of play-by-play broadcasting he had hoped. Instead, he was broadcasting a sports talk show that relied on guest callers, having remembered one specific time when he didn’t get a phone call for four-and-a-half hours! Bob packed his bags once again and moved back to New York and got his job back at Sports Phone full-time. Like many young talented individuals, looking to find their place in the world, Bob was discouraged because of his inability to fulfill his passion in the form of a steady career and path.
“I was depressed. ‘What do I do?’ I’ve been doing this [working at Sports Phone] since my sophomore year of college. I don’t want to get stuck here like the others I saw,” Papa remembered.
However Sports Phone came through again for him by providing a plethora of contacts and connections. One being the Fordham Athletic Director, who asked Papa to be the PA announcer for the school’s basketball team. In that position, one day before a Fordham-Seton Hall basketball game, he met Marty Glickman. Glickman was the on air play-by-play talent for the Giants on WNEW radio from 1959-1971 and also broadcasted for Seton Hall basketball at the time. He asked Bob to send him his two best play-by-play tapes. Glickman listened and thought Papa’s play-by-play was tremendous! Before Glickman went on his annual ski trip, he informed Seton Hall that he wanted Bob to do the play-by-play for the basketball games while he was away. This exposure showcased Bob’s talent wonderfully, helping him obtain a job at WNEW (the NY Giants radio affiliate) as a sports radio cohost in 1988.
SUCCESS!!! At 24 years old, Papa was able to break into the New York Giants organization. He went on to participate in pioneering the Giants Point After postgame show, as well as the pregame tailgate show that took place outdoors by the Meadowlands Racetrack. Bob’s career was on the rise as the tailgate show became a moneymaking machine. He then started filling in as the Giants’ play-by-play radio broadcaster when incumbent, Jim Gordon, was not available. Bob, thriving in that role, became Gordon’s backup, and when Gordon resigned in 1995, Bob took over his coveted role full-time. The rest, as they say, is “history”…
Papa currently announces for the Golf Channel and HBO, and is most known for his broadcasting on WFAN (660 AM) for the New York Giants. For Papa, weekly leading up to Giants game day, just about every minute, hour and day is filled with preparation and analysis. Every game broadcast for the Giants requires approximately 25 hours of prep during the week to ensure he is ready to deliver the audience a colorful and informative play-by-play. This entails statistical analysis of the players, information about theopposing team, and what Papa likes to call his “specialty stats.” They include red-zone efficiency, touchdowns, career milestones a player might hit that week, a player’s career numbers versus the opponent, etc. Papa finds it critical to call upon all his talent, experience and passion to engage the listener with the utmost of his announcing abilities. Packaging all the work on and off the air into a personal experience, second to none, that’s what defines Bob Papa.
“I provide the eyes and ears for football fans. When calling games on radio and describing the action, I try to bring the in-stadium experience to people in their cars or at home and make them feel like they are one of the select 80,000 people in the stadium,” says Papa.
All of which wouldn’t have been possible without hard work and clear direction, but most importantly, a home where Bob Papa could do the play-by-play of his mother doing the dishes and his father reading the newspaper.
Follow Bob on Twitter: @BobPapa_NFL
Jamie Kiley shares how he made his way through the ranks and various positions in the Television industry, from shooting camera in college to Directing Live Network programming.
David Rosenthal’s illustrious talents and ambitions have propelled him to the pinnacle of the modern music world since his graduating from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Top Ten Singles, Grammy Nominations, and World Tours with names like Billy Joel and Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Enrique Iglesias, Robert Palmer, Cyndi Lauper and many others. For most folks, a dream of unobtainable proportion and for Dave, well, merely a few “BUCKET LIST WISHES” he’s been able to check-off on his Keyboardist, Orchestrator, and Synth Programmer’s to-do list.
David also shares his passion for music through education; giving lectures at universities and music industry seminars, and more recently, the release of his DVD, “Building Your Music Career.”
One might argue that David Rosenthal has done it all in terms of professional achievements, and in the opinion of Ferro Productions, that argument would hold up in even the highest court of law. That being said… let’s take a look at where it all began. How does a young boy with an interest in music end up touring the globe with Billy Joel on the world’s biggest stages? Let’s rewind the clocks and take an exclusive behind the scenes look at David Rosenthal’s path to success…
“I started playing when I was seven. I asked my parents for a piano, I don’t know why. They told me no, that pianos were too expensive. Weeks passed and I continued to ask my parents everyday for a piano, but still the same response. Finally I decided to start saving my allowance money. Eventually, after eight weeks, I had saved two dollars. I went back to my parents and asked ‘Will this help?’ They were so moved by my passion that they went and wrote that check for the piano, minus two dollars, and I gave the guy the rest of the money in my allowance quarters,” shares Dave.
At this point in time, a young David began taking piano lessons just like any other child would. Unlike any other child, however, David was progressing at a rapid pace. Mr. Rosenthal recalls his old piano teacher sitting down with him after a lesson and asking him how he was learning these songs so fast; insisting that there must be some sort of external source that would justify this phenomenal progress. In his truest, most sincere fashion, David responded, ” I don’t know. You tell me to play this, so I play it. I don’t think it’s that hard.”
A few years passed and David started “getting more serious” and studying Classical Music. Along with his astounding interest in the Classical genre, the twelve year old David was interested in Pop and Rock music, much like other adolescents. Although, unlike his peers, David was now playing in a band… with a group of seventeen and eighteen year-olds. He was so young that his parents wouldn’t let him hang out or even practice with the band at any location other than their own home. Nevertheless, David was jamming and loving life, all-the-while continuing on his quest to fulfill that burning desire in his heart to learn music.
Coming out of High School it was very apparent that David’s love for music would be punching his ticket to the future. As previously mentioned, Mr. Rosenthal attended Boston’s Berklee School of Music. While enrolled at Berklee, he completed an intricate, unimaginable TRIPLE MAJOR in Audio Recording, Electronic Music, and Piano Performance. As if David’s list of accomplishments wasn’t monumental enough by the time he graduated, he was about to make his resume sexier than he ever thought possible. In fact, he was about to join the club where there are no resumes needed, just sheer talent and reputation…
At the start of the 1980′s, Rainbow, headed by lead-guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, was one of the biggest names in Rock n’ Roll. Mr. Blackmore happened to be mutual friends with a guy that David Rosenthal was a friend of, so when the band was auditioning for a new Keyboardist in 1981, David sent Ritchie a tape of his cover band and some classical piano pieces and subsequently received an invitation to try-out for the band.
Mr. Rosenthal recalls showing up for the audition, not knowing what to expect. “I showed up and Ritchie wanted me to play his equipment. I had never played any of those keyboards before, but we just jammed, and I did well. When I got the call back saying it was between me and one other guy and that I had to come in for another audition the next night, I quickly found a Sam Ash in Long Island with a Mini Moog and I played around with it all day until I went to the audition. I wanted to get an edge any way I could, so I figured if I got to know the synth better I could go to the call-back and be able to do more with it than I had the day before.” Needless to say, the twenty-year-old David got the gig and the rest is legitimate music history.
It’s always a pleasure working with a true professional like David Rosenthal. David, like many others in the entertainment industry, always had a deep desire to keep learning and keep creating. Remember: It’s not about the fame, or the money; rather, it’s about the love and the passion.
“Music chose me, I did not choose music. There was no shade of grey for me. This is what I do, period. It all worked out for me but whether it did or didn’t work, I would still be doing what I do, and that is music.”
“Boxing is fighting. It’s life and death; people have literally been killed in the ring. It’s different from other sports because the athletes aren’t thinking about moving on to the next series, or the next championship. Rather, they are thinking about how to knock their opponent on to the ground, and make him stay there. This is serious stuff.” - Rick Cypher, HBO Boxing Camera Operator.
There’s nothing quite like the entertainment of watching two heavyweight boxers brutally bash in each other’s faces until one of them can no longer stand. A tad bit vulgar? Yes. But, one simply could not deny the fact that, through out the ages, the masses have always gathered to view these sort of “life and death” battles. Think about it: The bloody combat of the Roman Colosseum, the outrageously dangerous Jousting matches of the Middle Ages, and more currently, Ultimate Fighting and Boxing. Although Boxing may not be as intense as Colosseum battles or Jousting matches, it seems to be the closest parallel we have to it in our modern society.
For the past twenty years, Rick Cypher has been providing this hand-to-hand, up-close and personal entertainment to millions of HBO viewers around the world. Acting as a Camera Operator, Mr. Cypher has the unique (and monumental) responsibility of allowing television viewers to feel like they are in the ring with the fighters, even though they are in the comfort of their own home.
“The best is when people tell me they never watch boxing, but they watched the match because they knew I was shooting camera, and they say that they were floored with genuine emotion and really couldn’t help but feel like they were right there in the ring,” shares Rick.
For HBO to deliver such brilliant broadcasts time after time, decade after decade, it takes a group of very talented and experienced cameramen. Five (including Rick) to be exact… Two main cameras (set-up on tri-pods) are each responsible for covering both fighters in the ring at all times. One shoots both boxers head to toe in his frame, and the other follows the boxers from head to waist. There is one 90 Degree camera set up on the opposite side to get shots in the corners where the two main cameras cannot see. ”The 90 Degree camera also provides great shots for television replays,” shares Rick.
Finally, there are two handheld cameras being operated on the apron. The apron refers to the small two foot area of the ring that lies outside of the ropes. Due to the close proximity to the fighters, these cameras provide viewers with in-your-face action of the fights, but also happen to be highly dangerous for the camera operators. Mr. Cypher explains that shooting the handheld apron camera is his favorite because, “I’m right there! I can hear the corner people (trainers, friends, family) yelling. I can literally see the emotions of the fighters. It’s pretty intense.”
IN FACT… Mr. Cypher knows first hand the dangers of shooting the apron camera…
During our interview, Rick shared with us his experience of nearly getting knocked off of the apron during an event. ” I was shooting from the apron and one of the fighters came over and leaned into the rope. Then, the other guy came and leaned up against him. At this point there was 500 LBS pushing up against the ropes, I knew that I wasn’t positioned correctly, and in a split second decision I determined I needed to jump off of the apron.”
Fortunately, Rick did not suffer any injuries or damage to his camera….
It’s certainly not everyday that you see members of the TV production crew putting their bodies in harms way in the field of play at a sporting event, which brings me back to an earlier topic. Why would a cameraman willingly stand on the edge of a boxing ring to capture the fight, when he is literally one missed hook away from getting knocked in the face? And further more, how could he possibly enjoy it so much?! Well, perhaps the answer lies in the fact that Boxing, like Medieval Jousting and Roman Death Matches, provide for the best sort of entertainment… and after all, Mr. Cypher is a seasoned veteran in the Entertainment Industry.
The day begins very early, because of the extremely high level of security screening. The location is The Waldorf Astoria and we’re here to tape an interview with the new President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi. We load in half a cube truck of video, lighting, engineering and grip gear, then we’re given a small two room suite.
One of the fun things about working as a camera operator is getting to opportunity to work with other gifted DPs. This day it’s Paul Koestner, the DP of the Emmy award winning show “Louis”. The lighting set up is very simple, but elegant. Two Diva lights for keys, over the head of each person with two 300 watt backlights a few feet behind them. In the next room, an interpreter’s booth is built, along with the video city. We’re shooting with two Sony PDW-F800 disc camcorders. The show is switched live and also recorded in iso at the cameras. Once we’re set up, we move out and the Secret Service comes in and does a sweep. Then Egyptian security does a sweep. Once everyone is happy, they bring in the President and he meets Charlie for the first time.
The interview lasts about a half hour and goes well. Then comes the long process of tearing down and repacking the gear. The long wait to load out after that is because of the even tighter security screen that follows our own leader. President Obama is in the building.
It’s challenging and exciting working on these jobs, because of all the protocol and politics. The security screenings can be annoying, but they’re in place for good reason. As long as you remember that they’re in charge and you’re a guest. At the end of the day, what matters is that we get the show on the air.
What does it take to succeed? Furthermore, especially when all the odds are pointing in the other direction? How does one find the courage and the motivation to soar above and beyond the status-quo, in order to reach higher ground? Ferro Productions unveiled the answers to those questions during our most recent Up-and-Coming interview, featuring Michael Becton… Enjoy!
Michael Becton is a talented twenty-six year-old from Brooklyn, New York… Brownsville to be exact. A neighborhood in Brooklyn certainly NOT short of notable native born talent that ranges across the board to include the names and brilliant careers of the GZA, RZA, Andrew Dice Clay, Aaron Copland, Arnold Greenberg (co-founder of Snapple), Larry King, Willie Randolph, Otis Wilson, Mike Tyson and many many more. Similar to the majority of young males in America, Mike always had a warm spot in his heart for music and sports. His favorite sport: Football. His favorite music: Hip-Hop… and how fitting, if you consider that New York City is notorious for not only birthing some of hip-hop’s most renowned artists, but for birthing the genre of music itself.
“It’s the roughest neighborhood in New York. I decided at an early age that I was going go to college and provide my mother and grandmother with the lives that they deserved.”
After graduating high school Michael fulfilled that dream of his and began classes at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. Initially enrolled as an Electrical Engineer major, he quickly decided that a change was needed. Mike ultimately made the switch to Television Production because he felt it would not only allow him to work towards a career where his creativity would flourish but it would also give him an opportunity to work in the Sports and Entertainment industries that he loved so much.
In the early years at Morgan State, Mike recalls hanging out with a few friends at a local recording studio and laying down some verses. After that first trip to the studio Mike began writing music of his own but strictly as a creative hobby…
By senior year the Brooklyn native got his first big break into the TV industry, working as a production intern with the Baltimore Ravens Broadcasting Department. He was part of a small crew that was responsible for portraying the Ravens to the media in interesting and exciting ways. Whether is was TV shows, commercials, or stadium presentations, Michael was thrown right into the mix and as he shares, “It was amazing. I was mixing sports and television and I was only twenty-one… I loved it.”
Following a job-well-done with the Ravens, Mr. Becton immediately landed a job with the Baltimore Orioles Broadcast Department where he was a game-day camera operator for the stadium presentation, as well as a contributing editor for their local programming. It was now beginning to become apparent that Michael was well on his way to earning his stay in the television industry.
Michael graduated college while working the Orioles. It was at this same time that he came across a Tweet (Twitter) that would forever change his life. A person affiliated with the New York rapper, 50 Cent, sent out a tweet informing the public that they were looking for an editor to contribute to the website ThisIs50.com. Mike immediately sent over his resume and, you guessed it, he landed the gig. “They saw that I had been around celebrities before. They saw that I could operate a camera and I could edit, and they saw that I was a local New York kid.” Needless to say, the music lover in Michael made the executive decision to move back to NYC and take the gig with G-Unit and ThisIs50.
Mike’s first day on the job was one that he will never forget. He sat down with 50 Cent, who was, “ Very professional and very encouraging. He treated me with nothing but respect from day one. I can’t say I wasn’t a little star-struck at first though.” Shares Mike. Although it was a dream job for Mr. Becton, it turned out to be short-lived. After four months of shooting and editing interviews for ThisIs50.com he got a call from the New York Giants Broadcasting Department, who ultimately offered him an intern position after a successful interview. He left the job with 50 Cent, but not before making a lot of great connections in the music industry. Michael was still very interested in music…
“TV and Video was something to pay the bills. The whole reason I went to college was to land a job that would help me pay the bills and provide for my family. I always had music in the back of my mind though.”
Upon completing his first season with the Giants, Mike was offered a full-time job as an Associate Producer. All of his hard work, all of his dedication, all of his perseverance… He now found himself with that full-time salary job that he always wanted. A goal that he decided at an early age he was going to obtain…
Mike now finds himself in his fourth season with the Giants Broadcasting Department. He is traveling to a new city every weekend, he is using his creativity and passion as a means to obtain income, and he even got to experience one of the greatest moments of his life. “Shooting camera at the Super Bowl was the second best moment of my life, behind only the birth of my daughter. I remember sitting on the bench during the pre-game and just having that moment of clarity where I got the chills and everything. I looked up and saw my mother sitting in the twelfth row and I just smiled. I knew I had done something right in my life.”
In the midst of a hectic schedule, the young and accomplished associate producer put some of the connections from ThisIs50 to work and has since recorded two rap albums. The EP’s feature some club songs, some songs for his daughter, but mostly songs that tell a story about Michael’s life. “Although I write my own lyrics and find my own beats, I can’t consider myself a rapper nor a producer. You’ve got to earn your stripes for something like that. I’m just putting my creativity to work in a hobby, much like some people do with video games or something. Unlike video games though, I think that this has the potential to turn into something big.”
We hope that Mike’s story serves as a means of motivation to all of those aspiring to make it in the industry; as it certainly has inspired all of us here at Ferro. When we asked Mr. Becton what trait he possesses that enabled him to arrive at this exact point in his life, he said, “ Aside from hard-work and all that, I think you always just have to stay humble. There is absolutely no room for ego in my life, or anyones life in my opinion. Where I’m from, all the people with egos, are now dead or in jail.”
Interested in listening to some of Horse’s music? Click here and enjoy!
Don Canfield is arguably one of the most knowledgeable and accomplished motion control operators in the country. Don’s 20+ years in the industry operating and innovating at the highest levels of sophistication within the niche area of advanced motion control hardware and techniques has nobly served and entertained he and the public very well.
What is work, if nothing shy of entertaining for a professional who loves what he is doing. I was told that reaching the pinnacle of success was when you are getting paid to do a job you would do for free. Certainly providing this video-game view to the public does come at a cost. Based on an article written in the LA Times (2008), $50,000 a game is the estimate.
The closest statement I can use to describe the end results of Don’s work with Cablecam in providing shots of the New York Giants at play, is that he and his team provide a God’s-eye view of the game. Interesting term “God’s-eye view.” I first came across it as I walked around the glass-floored balcony of The Panorama of the City of New York, a crown jewel in the collection of the Queens Museum of Art. Built by Robert Moses (1964) for the Worlds Fair. It’s 9,335 square feet of every single building in New York constructed before 1992 in a miniaturized version of the five boroughs (one inch equals 100 feet) all rendered within a contractually guaranteed one percent margin of error. The balcony of glass allowed me to look over as well as through the clear vertical wall. More importantly, clear through the floor to all the elements of New York City that lay under my feet in miniature all as if I were free flying overhead.
And why even mention all of that? Well, I had thought! It came to me during the interview with Don that his life’s work has been advancing technology and technique from the big to the small. Respectively concerning physical size and shape, motion and control, to give us that view of REAL LIFE. Let’s call it the Godzilla view this time. Real life views from an unreal perspective that only through the evolution of technology and the well honed technical craftsmanship of men like Don, are we able to enjoy such works as contained in his Filmography of over 30 titles as Motion Camera Operator/Visual Effects Supervisor. Dons’ credits also extend voluminously across Television and Commercial work as well.
Coming next is what’s truly special about sitting down with a guy having 25 years of hands on experience in the industry in which his path transcends the most integral parts of the development and application of motion control cameras. Sometimes it’s all about the wisdom and war stories, isn’t?
Sure it would be appropriate to now go on and list some facts and figures about the Cablecam System, which I’m going to do, however, more importantly after that’s done, get ready for the real meat of this story. That being how it all seems to come together over our lifetimes. This leads to that. That spins this off. He knows how to do this and that and so forth and so on…
Cablecam System Basics:
- Sending Signals (fiber optics)
- Camera (gyro-stabilized – High-Def)
- 2 ropes (X-Axis, Y-Axis)
- 3 motors (X-Axis Winch, Y-Axis Winch, Z-Axis Winch) = 6
- 3 Riggers
- 1 Camera/Fiber Technician
- 1 Camera Operator aka Robo-Operator
- 1 Pilot = 6
- Pilot (operates the platform)
- Camera Technician (operates the camera)
So I asked Don “where and how does this all begin? Tell me the story leading up to flying the Cablecam. There’s no University with a Cablecam 101 course available.” To which Don replies “My career path has taken me to become a motion control camera operator in Visual Effects, Film and Commercials. It’s only been in recent years that I’ve gotten into television sports through Cablecam because as they computerized their systems they started to use industry standard motion control software. They found me, with a few other people who knew that software to run their systems.” Interesting, so it seems like it’s a matter of professional organic grow that takes one to these heights. Don’s been with Cablecam for the last 6 years along with running his own company.
Gear+Rose, founded in 1998 with Don as Co-Founder/Motion Control Operator/Technical Consultant now solely at it’s helm, has built an veritable “A” List of credits. From stop motion animation, table top and live action commercials, music videos, TV promos to feature films, G+R delivers advanced portable motion control to New York and throughout the East (read world). As we duly sing the praises of Don and G+R let us not fail to mention that beyond motion control, they can help with camera data motion capture, data interpolation and post effects coordination for the porting of motion data to CGI.
“What’s the story between motion control and Cablecam?” I inquire. “Motion control is a robotically controlled camera systems who’s primary purpose is to shoot the same camera move multiple times. An example of that is Star Wars, which is more or less where motion control got it s start.” Star Wars, always seems to be only a few degrees of separation away from some aspect of technological history. “The first movie to use motion control to any extent was 2001: A Space Odyssey, however it was Star Wars that catapulted motion control off as an industry” Don elaborates.
“And the connection between Cablecam and Motion Control is what again?” I follow up. Don explains, “Even with today’s CGI there is still a lot of practical photography done to make CGI work. The use of robotically controlled camera’s (camera dolly’s that are motorized and computerized) are used to create a camera move, generating camera move data that can be duplicated on real people, objects and backgrounds. That computer technology is what Cablecam used at its start to control its cameras. They used a very, very small subset of all of the motion control tricks and applications that were available in the software to run their cameras up and down anything, by having three motors, running 2 ropes and have the cameras capable of going in a straight line in a 3 dimensional space.” (3 x 2 = 6)
Now my head is really spinning!!! “Don, what exactly are you then?” I had to ask, learning of this confluence of camera capture, mechanics, software programming on top of everything else. The answer was simple and spoken without a moment of hesitation “I’m a camera person. I basically operate a camera with a keyboard.”
It’s those simple answers that roll off the tongue as if nothing that always tell me there’s SO MUCH MORE to the story and I thank Mr. Canfield for sharing just that, he said “It’s a funny business that I work in. Almost everybody I work with has a college degree and nobody needs it. They have them because that’s the caliber of people I’m working with, yet it’s not part of the job description. They don’t care how you learned what you know as long as you know how to do it well.”
“I have a BFA in graphic design. Which is what got me into the 1- animation houses which is what got me into 2-graphic animation which is what got me into the 3-industry which got me into the 4-studios where I gravitated from 5-drawing boards to 6-cameras.
Amazing! As I sat and listened, I couldn’t help but notice the pattern of 6 emerging over and over again. The last thing I am is a numerologist and the first thought I had, being in “the business” was, with Don having a 30 Major Motion Picture Filmography, how FRIGGIN cool would it be to play 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon to illustrate how randomly precise a journey of success looks. All using a game that actually represents the very serious science of COMPLEX NETWORKS, championed by Albert-László Barabási. Perhaps I’ll have to save that for a Part II Don Canfield story later down the road.
In closing I felt it my duty to ask Don “if there were one pearl of wisdom to pass on to someone who wants to do what you do, what would it be?” Here is what he said “A visual effects supervisor was once asked by a student, what should I take in college to become a really good Visual Effects Supervisor? The answer was surprisingly not as heavily weighted toward what you might expect, film and photography… rather it was a brilliantly distant yet connected, 1-engineering, 2-electronics, 3-chemistry, 4-literature, 5-math and 6-human resources.”
The best part of being granted the privilege of writing this story for Ferro and getting to know Don, is that at the conclusion of the editing process, I had a few minutes to catch up with Joe Scacciaferro of Ferro Productions. Joe an accomplished professional with many “industry credits and innovations” to his name, summed it all up and as such, validated and encapsulates this entire article by stating the following:
“Nobody ends up where they started and it seems if you do, your not any good.”
~ Joe S.
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Michael “Horse” Becton shares his process of creating a story concept and turning that into entertaining music in this video segment.
For further information on “Horse” and to hear more of his music:
“Live presentation is about human contact. We all need it. No matter how many times we iPhone ourselves to death, I believe that the best sort of entertainment is right here in the theatre.”
Ferro Productions was at the Warner Theatre in Torrington, Connecticut earlier this month conducting an interview with the theater’s Executive Director, John Bonanni. A true legend in the world of live performance and theatre, Mr. Bonanni has been a part of some of the greatest shows this world has ever seen. Prior to his arrival at the Warner Theatre he was able to cross the following items of off his professional “to do” list:
1.)Stage Manager for dozens of Broadway shows.
2.)Production Executive for over ONE THOUSAND concerts and events at Madison Square Garden.
3.)Stage Manager and then Executive Producer for the “Radio City Christmas Spectacular.”
During Ferro’s sit-down with Mr. Bonanni, our crew gained the inside scoop as to how he got started in the wild world of production and how he turned his humble beginnings into an illustrious livelihood…
It all started in New York City. A fifteen-year-old John Bonanni was in his junior year at an all boys Catholic high school in Brooklyn when he began his career on the stage. John recalls himself and a few friends attending an audition for the Gershwin musical titled “OK” and from what he can remember, the sole reason they attended was because their drama club had invited girls from the sister school down the street to come and audition for the show as well. ”To be honest I really was not interested in auditioning at all once I arrived at the theatre, but one of the Franciscan Brothers asked for volunteers for stage manager. I asked him, ‘What’s a stage manager?’”
Mr. Bonanni spent the next two years learning some of the answers to that question while fulfulling stage manager duties for all of his high school’s musicals. At this point John had already fallen in love. No, he didn’t meet a nice girl from the sister school down the street, he had fallen in love with the performing arts.
“I loved the camaraderie of everything. The social structure and collaboration of working with people outside the fact of being a student. I walked outside of the student identity and now I was someone who was responsible for something. So yeah, that’s how I got started.” shares Mr. Bonanni.
Following high school graduation, John decided that his college major was going to be Theatre. Ultimately ending up at Queens College, he had the opportunity to work as the “head office boy” for Broadway Producer, David Merrick, while still attending college. This was Mr. Bonanni’s first opportunity to truly work firsthand with real stage managers and experience a professional work environment. ”Every day I spent at that theatre really solidified that I wanted to do this. This isn’t glamerous stuff. I was making $20 a week, but I was loving it.”
After his stint as the “head office boy”, Mr. Merrick hired John as the 2nd assistant stage manager on a show titled “Very Good Eddy” at the Goodspeed Opera House. As Mr. Bonanni shares, the role of stage manager is one of the most crucial in the world of theatre. It is the stage manager’s responsibility to schedule and manage the whole process of putting on a show, as well as receiving and processing everyones information so that the production, as a whole, can continue to collaborate.
~Fast-forward to Radio City Music Hall~
Mr. Bonanni’s final experience as stage manager was the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. As one could imagine, the coordinating and production of an event such as the Christmas Spectacular is rather complex. Whether it was calling for music or lighting cues, directing people to walk to a certain place on stage at a certain time, the bottom line is that the stage manager needs to know the entire script, down to the very last dot of the i.
Although Radio City was John Bonanni’s last experience as a stage manager, it happened to also be his first experience as an executive producer. ”I didn’t understand a lot of line items we were spending and that is what led me to become an executive producer. Radio City was a HUGE budget and we had about five or six sub-budgets to go over too,and I was responsible for all of that. I was lucky enough to be highly effective at cost cutting so I ultimately decided to leave Radio City and produce two “off-off” Broadway shows.”
Currently, John is the Executive Director of the Warner Theatre, where he has been for about a year. He possesses the utmost respect for the members of his theatre because they, unlike all of the other theatre folks he ever worked with, are not professionals. Not professional in the sense of skill set, because as Mr. Bonanni shares, “they are truly top notch.” No, I mean professional in the sense that they have lives outside of these shows. Day careers. This was a very fascinating concept for John and is one of the main reasons why he decided to interview for the job at the theatre.
From the bright lights of Broadway to a community theatre in Northern Connecticut, Mr. John Bonanni has proven not only that he is a talented man, but a passionate man as well.
“This is what I want to do. The economy has changed, situations are changing. No matter what changes, you really have to commit yourself to something in order to be successful. You need to give up a lot of things you think you want to do in order to accomplish the things you know you want to do. If you have the courage to do that than you will make it in this business.”
Standing over “center” of the digital services department of the New York Giants, similar to Eli Manning when he’s calling the shots at his position, is Nilay Shah, the Director of Digital and Social Media Strategy for the Giants’ organization. Whereas Eli has oversight of the New York Giants’ offense and primarily administers the running backs, wide receivers and offensive line, Nilay has oversight of the New York Giants’ digital line. This includes their website (Giants.com), mobile app development, email marketing, and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.
The New York Giants “old school” sentiment is epitomized by building their team through the draft, which is how Nilay emerged as a star on the marketing side of the organization. Nilay began as a web intern in the organization in 2004 while attending the New Jersey Institute of Technology and with his talents recognized early by the NY Giants, he was hired full-time in 2007. And now, witness to two New York Giants Super Bowl victories, Mr. Shah has had the pleasure of using his unparalleled creativity on the big stage. The Giants haven’t had this much exposure at the forefront of the NFL since their 1986 and 1990 seasons in which they were Super Bowl champions both of those years, which, oddly enough, were both separated by four years just like the victories in 2007 and 2011.
Coupled with the legendary status of the organization, the social media programs and trends have rapidly emerged in recent years and contributed to this explosion. More and more people, specifically fans, want to feel actively involved in their respective team because of the access social media has granted its users. With the click of a button, a picture on Instagram can make the fans feel like they are on the field, and with a mention on Twitter a loyal fan can feel directly involved in the conversation. And that’s exactly the goal of the Giants organization, which is masterfully orchestrated and executed by Mr. Shah.
“At the end of the day, our main purpose as an organization is to make our fans feel a part of the organization, so from a digital perspective we try to get all of the information out to them,” said Nilay.
These methods of disseminating information include the use of social media, the operation of the Giants website, and mobile app developments. Each of these avenues has proven phenomenally successful in recent years. The New York Giants mobile app was launched only a year and a half ago and it already has 500,000 active users. The New York Giants social media campaign has been arguably unrivaled in its creativity and originality. Communication to fans whether it’s through emails, news on the websites, photos on social media, or updates on the mobile app has never been more efficient. And this is all a direct reflection on Nilay’s and the Giants’ deep personal consideration for the fans.
“The year of the lockout we thought, ‘What can we do for the fans? They’re left out,’” said Mr. Shah. And for the first time in the history New York Football Giants’ organization, the fans (images of them) were put on the tickets for the regular season games. Nilay and his team got over 10,000 people to enter the contest to be put on the tickets. These fans submitted stories and photos, but only a handful of them were able to bask in the glory of being printed on a New York Giants game ticket. And for those that didn’t win the contest? They received a 25% off coupon to the Giants online store. This accomplishment wasn’t the first groundbreaking media-related success for Nilay and the Giants organization.
They were also the first NFL team to integrate Twitter in-game broadcasts. It was made possible thanks to Nilay’s wife! One night when they were watching the television show ‘The Voice’ he saw her tweeting into the show and thought it was an interesting idea. So as soon as he could get it done, he found a company that did live tweeting and it is now another fundamental part for how the organization communicates with its fans. Nilay continued his dynamic mission of trying to become the “first” in the NFL for using various methods of communications.
The next innovative social media tactic came during one summer at New York Giants training camp. After realizing that the attention span of social media users was getting shorter and short, the play-by-play breakdown was shifted to tweets. Every time a highlight play occurred, or a play that involved a significant player or outcome, a tweet was sent to inform the @Giants followers. Then Mr.Shah thought, “Yeah, it’s good to read about a play, but wouldn’t it be great to see it?” So the Giants Entertainment team contacted a company named “SnappyTV” who worked with the NCAA to broadcast the best plays for each game. It was previously difficult because it took almost an hour after training camp ended to get the clips of the plays out on the website. Nilay didn’t think that the process was as effective as it could have been due to the high-demand for timeliness on social media. “SnappyTV” was able to help Nilay and his team stream practice live, where they can clip in and out the best plays. “We get that up seconds after it happens, “said Mr. Shah. “The great thing about this is we can use it with social media and link it to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.” Ever since employing this new system, the Giants have seen over 700,000 views on the clips.
AND Nilay Shah didn’t stop there! He wanted to make fans feel involved on a whole new level. He knew how much the fans meant to the team and vice versa, so after the Giants’ last Super Bowl Victory following the 2011 regular season, he consulted the team’s management and pitched the idea of using augmented reality to give the fans something special. “When I presented the idea about the virtual Super Bowl rings, there was a little bit of a concern about the exclusivity of the rings,” Mr. Shah recalled. But the main goal of the organization is to make the fans feel as involved as possible.” The new initiative saw immediate success when over 50,000 fans took pictures with the virtual rings in a two-week span. “We’ve been lucky. When management sees a good idea and it’s fan facing, they’re all about it,” he said.
The social media campaign is continuing to find ways to make their tactics more creative, timely, and involving. All of the information and content regarding the organization is pushed out through the website, all the while, Nilay and his team need to make sure the information is compatible across all platforms, whether it’s a tablet, iPad, SmartPhone, etc. And as mentioned before, the attention span of social media users is getting shorter and shorter, so Nilay and his team need to constantly display the information in different ways depending on the platform it’s sent out on. “We have a separate RSS feed for our mobile content, which is a shorter form so it’s easier to read on your phone,” he said. All in all, the social media initiatives, mobile apps, and new website developments are catered to the fans because their loyalty is an important catalyst for the success of the New York Giants organization. And just like Eli Manning, Nilay Shah enjoys buckling down during crunch-time situations and delivering to the fans what they deserve. Play after play, game after game, and from one season to the next.
Well done Nilay and company!!!
FACT. There have been fewer Ringmasters of the Greatest Show On Earth® than Presidents of these United States. 36 to be exact and arguably such a grand position and title stand as a mere SUBTITLE in both form and function to the New York Football Giants, Director of Production, Christine Baluyot. Let’s meet our Ringmaster Extraordinaire aka Game Day Producer and sample from behind the scenes some of what has to happen for a fan to enjoy a game, players to remain motivated and the owners to operate successfully.
Someone’s got to pull it all together and that someone is the very talented Christine.
Like every legendary stadium, I take you back to perhaps one of the most iconic, the Colosseum, Rome. Why, you may ask? Not to compare eaches technical achievements as they, Metlife Stadium and the Colosseum, represent state of the art at the time but rather to connect a tradition of the past that rings true through to this very day. THE RUNDOWN.
If Christine had an instruction manual for Game Day Assembly, it would resemble nothing like the couple a pieces of paper that fly out of an IKEA box just after the nut’s, bolts and hex wrench. I’d say close your eyes and envision the old Sears Parts and Tools Catalog. A substantial book with nearly everything anyone would ever need to create something. The hitch is putting it all together to produce something that worked. Christine presents and produces and extraordinary sporting event, read multimedia experience around the focal point of a NFL football game throughout an entire season.
Rundowns, a tool, “Ring”masterfully employed by Christine to breath life into Aristotle’s old adage “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”. Remove hungry lions, and tigers and bears. Replace with rabid fans and a world-class football team.
What you won’t be reading due to space considerations are the details in the voluminous amount of RUNDOWNS at Christine’s command. What I have figured out was a rather creative “surrogate” for a taste of what comprises essentially the very same basic elements from a historic Colosseum “rundown”. Just multiply that by … let’s say 40 and we get ourselves close to what’s on the plate of our “Game Day Producer”.
RUNDOWN – Parades and Processions at the Colosseum
The order of events on the opening day of a festival of ‘games’ at the Colosseumstarting with the parades and processions:
- The Opening Parade
- The entry of the Vestal Virgins and the most important priests, politicians, soldiers and senators of Rome
- The entry of the Emperor
- The Religious ceremonies and sacrifices
- The Games begin and the Entry of the Gladiators take place late afternoon
RUNDOWN – Events at the Colosseum
The order of events run to roughly the same format:
- The display of exotic and wild animals – morning
- Animal Hunts – venatores and replicated hunting scenes follow
- Emperors join in these events, shooting animals using a bow and arrows, from the safety of their Imperial Box
- The Bestiarii – gladiators fight with mighty wild beasts such as tigers and leopards. Scenery, trees, hillocks and exotic plants add for reality
- Criminals sentenced to fight wild beasts but without any skills, weapons or armor
- Meridiani – lightly armed gladiators will fight in the middle of the day, after the wild beast fights
- Horse racing
- The Andabatae – the hapless criminals will provided comic relief to the audience. Wearing helmets without an opening for the eyes.
- At noon the executions were scheduled – tortures and varieties of executions amuse the crowd
- Late afternoon the most important events of the day – the gladiatorial combats
- The Gladiator fights started with the Praegenarii who are the ‘opening act’ to fight with a whip, club and shield
- These preliminaries will then be followed by the proper Gladiatorial fights
- Various matched pairings of gladiators to follow
- Optional battle re-enactment.
Fast forward, modern day Christine, her world and toolbox:
MetLife Stadium Facts:
- 800 points of sale screens and terminals
- 2,018 HDTV’s ranging from 20 inch screens in the elevators to 39 x 103 foot inner bowl video boards. In other words, Four 110 foot HDTV’s.
- 82,500 seats
- 1,350 toilets a 56% increase from the old stadium for the trivia crowd!!!
- four massive 30 x 118 foot HD video screens
- 48″ x 2200′ ribbon board that circles in the interior bowl
- 2,100+ HD Monitors throughout stadium
- (20) HD video pylons ranging from 20′-60′, welcome fans all around the stadium
I venture to say that from both an insiders view and the end game experience of the fan, Christine and her team produce weekly ONE HECK OF AN AMAZING EVENT!!!
There is so much more to share on the technical levels as well as a few really interesting and insightful war stories that we at Ferro will bring you in our forthcoming featured articles.
Let me close with Christines’ words when we asked her to summarize what exactly she does.
“Basically we are in charge of every screen that’s in that building. Over 2,500 screens, 20 Tower Boards we program which are split into 2 different shows into 3 on one side and a full board on the other side with it’s own show. Obviously, the 4 Boards that are in blow, the ribbons in bowl. I also deal with the live event, pregame, all the different thematic presentations for that game. The halftime show, all the stuff that get’s in during the time outs. Then within the actual game it’s trying to get the fans in, creating a home filed advantage by dictating the flow of the game with music and visuals. Also we provide all the camera angles for the different plays for coaching should the team want to challenge a play. We also are in charge of any live event ½ time show. The Plaza activities have to be managed as well and coordinated with the sponsors’ requirements, even the menus on the clubs and concession stands.”
That’s the “WHAT” of Christines’ role. The “HOW” is even more amazing…
Ken Kelsch takes another step down the DSLR road with you. He talks of his early Cinematography teacher at NYU Grad Film& TV.
Having just ONE day off to recharge the batteries, FerroProductions’ crew made the ONLY logical choice to kick back for the day/night; drop in on a great friend Shavo from System of the Down at their NJ PNC Bank Arts Center show. System is arguably one of the best live shows out there. We, as a “Crew” have been fortunate enough to be up close and personal with many bands and it’s easy to say that SOAD’s show is one of the best.
“You’ve got to come to rehearsal and see this band!” a friend said to David “Beno” Benveniste, Founder of Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group. That band was System Of A Down or SOAD or just SYSTEM. Four Armenian-American guys from LA who’s sound was so original it literally changed the face of Rock once again.
That was the mid 1990′s and those 4 amazingly talented guys are Shavo Odadjian (bass), John Dolmayan (drums), Daron Malakian (vocals and lead guitar) and Serj Tankian (lead vocals and keyboards and rhythm guitar).Together as a band they have released 5 studio albums, selling over 20 million records worldwide. They have been nominated for four Grammy Awards, winning the Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance in 2006 for “B.Y.O.B.,” much to the chagrin of artist such as Nine Inch Nails and Robert Plant. And very well deserved, as I’ve personally experienced they’re mastery in live performance many times over the years. You know something is special when the music speaks to you on so many levels. When the artistry, creativity, showmanship and love for what they bring to the world through music is transposed from their souls through stacks of amplifiers and out to the world. Not just as musical offerings, rather as multifaceted gems of interpretative light refracting beams far beyond what the eye can see, cloaked as chart topping music. Chart topping, Grammy winning Rock and Roll. At this level we are clearly speaking of truly rarified air.
So much so that in 2005 with rave review from the critics, the Grammy Award winning group topped a short list of talent in being the ONLY artists to EVER have 2 studio albums debut at #1 in the same year. The first album, Mezmerize, (released May of 2005) and Hypnotize (released November of 2005). Each debuting at #1 in the United States, and in other major markets around the world. Along with SOAD it’s “only” The Beatles, Guns ‘N Roses, and rappers 2Pac and DMX who can share such a notable and historic accomplishment.
Shavo with his signature goatee and hockey shirt “Odadjian” on the back, worked the stage, crowd and bass to perfection. John Dolmayan gets more sound out of his drum kit than anyone could even imagine. Same for Daron Malakian, ripping riff after riff his guitar fills the air as an accompaniment to his vocals. Serj Tankian spits the political verses Rock and Roll style somewhere between opera, folk song, and Nicki Minaj rapid fire vocal antics.
The boys played straight through at PNC, no encore, and KILLED IT!!!! What makes SYSTEM such a great act is that they have successfully combined mixing so many musical styles from salsa breakdowns to commercial pop choruses with a homage to Armenian folk songs leading back to the type of Metal they do best, frenetic, perfectly-timed grooves backed by the best of the best thrash-metal riffs.
Learn about the wide range of skills Mr. Bill Diamond, founder of Diamond Productions, uses to create his imagination into a reality. Bill took us on a tour of his self built studio to give us just a glimpse of where he gets his inspiration.
Creative Motion Designer Matthew Swensen or “Swen” shares his ability to create print and motion GFX in his own way. Swen is Ferro’s in-house designer and you can see a lot of his work throughout our website, FerroProductions.com
Catch Swen on Twitter and Instagram @MattSwen
To read Swen blogs click here!
On the back of our Ferro shirts is a quote by Henri Matisse, “ Creativity takes Courage.” Three simple words which every time I hear or see, take on a new meaning.
Throughout my career I have had the honor and blessing to work with some of the worlds most “creatively courageous” people. Many of the names would read as a who’s who across a diverse range of industries; from Broadway to aerospace; from CBGB’s to the Metropolitan Opera; from local access to HBO. There are also many names that will never be spoken of beyond a small cluster of people. In either case they all remain an inspiration to me and represent the spirit of creative thought. Their passion and dedication to their inner voice(s) should be the tales told to our youth at bedtime. Tales that would insure the next generation to learn to believe in themselves and dare to dream beyond the boundaries.
At first glance you may not think these people have anything in common. Although, when you strip away their window dressings and expose the essence of the person, you find they all possess a common trait, Courage. The courage to believe they have something to contribute, something of great value; the courage to follow a whisper in a world of rattling noise; the courage to stand-alone until others join them. Sometimes it comes in the form of a new combination or sequence of musical notes, other times it’s the interpretation of a landscape in a remote part of the world. I’ve seen it take place on the drafting table of a small architectural firm or in the lines of code written by a young software engineer. I watched as a healthcare worker reached beyond the boundaries of their education to heal the “lost causes”. I have witnessed and participated in “it” hundreds of times and ways, all starting with two basic ingredients, creativity and courage.
Many believe that these courageous people are without fear. That they are somehow immune from the feelings of ridicule, embarrassment or scorn from the more accomplished in their fields. Their lack of fear lets them succeed and create beyond the norm. It is fear that holds the rest on the MORE traveled paths. In my experiences I have never found that to be true. What I have found is that these “creatively courageous” people have just learned to balance their fear with determination and remain committed to seeing their beliefs all the way through to their conclusion. The ironic outcome is, many times, that conclusion proves their idea wrong or presents immoveable obstacles. It is here that they now balance that frustration with the courage to free their inner belief and try again.
I have learned that creative courage is not a unique trait. The masses say “You either have it or you don’t”. I say NO! I have witnessed over and over again, that creative courage is a learned art. One that we are all capable of mastering. It is not an antidote for fear. It is a skill that allows us to move forward despite our fears. Once you push forward with your fears intact, you would have learned the art of courage. It’s that simple.
We all possess the potential to change the world in some way. We all possess at least one talent everyone would be drawn too, courage is the amplifier that will let your voice be heard. Go and be heard…the world wants to listen…
Creative Courage allows us…
…to look past the obvious and traditional.
…to look past the guidelines we’ve been taught to judge oneself and others.
…to believe we found a better way.
…to believe we are right and they are wrong to tell us otherwise.
…to remain dedicated and determined.
…to walk away from the masses if you feel the masses are wrong.
…to try something new and not accept the status-quo.
By: Joe Scacciaferro
Original Design spec:
Since this assignment was an in-house project for Ferro it was only logical that they would rely on the talents of their senior designer. Swen’s roll was expanded from designer to project manager of conceptual development and design, “We were looking to make an animated open for a new Ferro video series called REEL FERRO. Since the Ferro logo is actually a filmstrip I decided to expand on that image and expand that concept by incorporating a film projector into the animation” Swen explains.
Can be seen:
As the intro on all of the videos for both Ferro Productions video series; Industry Experts and the Behind the Scenes series.
Concept to Element Development:
After the concept was agreed upon Swen began researching different projector images on the web, “I looked at huge theater projectors and new digital projectors, then began narrowing my focus down to an old school 16 mm reel to reel projector; The style you’d find in any high school’s A/V room from the 50’s – 70’s.”
The selected image was imported into Cinema 4D. Since this was a flat 2D image and the animation spec called for a full 3D image, Swen’s first step was to redesign this projector image as a 3D model, “Using my pen tool I traced the outline and major components of the projector”. (see BEHIND THE WIZARDS CURTAIN Note: 1) “By tracing the object, it creates splines to the image.” Now using the Extrusion tools he was able to manipulate these images to create a 3D model of the projector”. (see BEHIND THE WIZARDS CURTAIN Note: 2)
A few of the components were created separately. The film strip was created using a long simple rectangle and bending it to fit in the film path. The actual film look was created later which we explain in the next phase. The film reels were purchased from a preset pack and scaled to fit the projector model.
To give the model’s skin a traditional metal look Swen used a few prepackaged textures. Blending these gave the image a true “old projector look”. The BUTTONS and LENS were also textured from those packs except this time he used a flat black plastic look. The NUMBERS on the buttons were created by using a flat image that when dropped on top of the knob gives the impression of the NUMBERS being screened onto the knob, ‘I did these rather than spend a lot of unnecessary design time creating each number in 3D”. (see BEHIND THE WIZARDS CURTAIN Note: 3)
The FILMSTRIP is another slight of hand / smoke and mirrors trick. Although it looks like the filmstrip is traveling through and around the reels it is actually just a mapped texture laid over a long rectangle, “I build one frame of the filmstrip in Photoshop and then tiled it in Cinema. To give the feel of movement I then animated the texture.” This technique gives the same visual impression of film moving without the processing time necessary to move the actual rectangle.
Since only one side of the image was dominant in the final design, lighting was fairly straightforward; Light the dominant side and shadow the backside. Secondly, to give the illusion of the projector running Swen added a Volumetric light emanating from the lens itself. (see BEHIND THE WIZARDS CURTAIN Note: 4)
To begin the animation sequence it was determined that a “grand gesture” was needed. After some consideration Swen decided on the activation of an “ON” switch. The projector’s original switch was just a simple “toggle” switch. “The switch that was on the original image was to small… not a strong focal point.” Swen chose a common light switch and although this particular type would never be found on a real world projector, it integrated perfectly for story telling. After adding textures and modeling the common house light switch was transformed to the “grand gesture” necessary to kick start the animation.
“Typically I use one camera with a long tracking move. Due to the complexity of the animation story and knowing a single long shot would be boring, I opted to cut the piece into four moves, or “clips”. The first move starts with a push into the projector’s switch clicking on. The second angle is from the back of the projector. The third is a close up of the filmstrip moving into the projector. The fourth and last move pans from the projector to the actual projection on the screen. This sets up the beginning of each REEL FERRO video. (see BEHIND THE WIZARDS CURTAIN Note: 5)
Camera Move Breakdown (green lines are the different angles)
These clips where then imported into After Effects and cut together to create the total animation and add the final color and flickering film FX.
The last phase of the process is the audio sweeting. In this case the project was sent out of house for the music and sound FX mix. Swen reveals, “When I say out of house I really mean of my office and into the audio studio down the hall.”
Designers final notes:
Although, I felt like cheated a little in that I used several clips rather then on long continuous move, it always comes to a balance of your time budget vs your personal integrity challenge. In the end this animation came out way cooler then my original vision.
BEHIND THE WIZARD’S CURTAIN:
NOTE 1: You should always trace and create the major components separately. This way when you begin modeling / animating you will have the freedom to tweak and adjust each piece. It also saves a lot of time in rendering.
NOTE 2: These tool allow you to expand a 2D image into 3D. You can control the XYZ axes of image as well as bevel edges and dozens of other tweaks necessary to return a 2D image back to its original 3D real life appearance.
NOTE 3: This particular technique of texture mapping is similar to how real world manufactures create a flat label for a bottle then wrap it around the bottle. As opposed to the costly method of printing directly to a circle surface like a bottle.
NOTE 4: Volumetric light is a light that the “beam” remains visible. In the real world this light is usually created by adding smoke or dust into the lights beam. Thereby revealing the beam as well as its effect.
NOTE 5: using Cinema cameras can be best understood if you visualize the process as you would real cameras shooting a real projector. i.e. place a camera in the first position and do a slow push as the switch turns on. Reposition the camera to the back of the projector and record. Again reposition the camera to capture a close up of the film moving and finally do a camera move from the projector to the screen.
Sunset Timelapse of the New York City Skyline shot in Hoboken, N.J. Shot on a GoPro Hero3 “Black Edition”
For more Go-Pro TimeLapse videos, click here!
TimeLapse of the New York Giants practice facility using the GoPro Hero3. We mounted the camera on one of the team video lifts for all of practice
For more Go-Pro TimeLapse videos, click here!
This past Sunday the New York Giants played host to the Indianapolis Colts in their pre-season home opener. For all of Big Blue’s home games, I use my Canon 7D camera and Sigma 10-20 mm lens to capture photos… Immediately after the game I check out all of the pics and decide which one I want to work on…
This week, I chose the following picture:
Before I started shooting, I was aware of the fact that I would need to do some retouching to make the photo look just the way I wanted. As Andre began running onto the field, I started walking perpendicularly to him, all-the-while letting my camera shoot on motor drive to capture all of the background elements that I would need to use in post-production. Typically I could shoot other elements individually but since Andre’s entrance onto the field happens all within about 20 seconds, I had to think of a quick work around. Ultimately I ended up using elements from 6 different photos to create my final product, using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Bridge.
Check out the screen capture from my 2.5hr retouch session. (5000% of original speed):
Timelapse of Ferro Productions getting the NYG studio ready for broadcast by laying down the new floor and setting the stage for showtime.
For more Go-Pro TimeLapse videos, click here!
Timelapse of the New York Giants Training Camp Live Show, shot everyday at 6pm post practice. The Timelapse was shot using the GoPro Hero3 camera starting from the beginning of the show until the full set was broken down and moved back into the studio.
For more Go-Pro TimeLapse videos, click here!
Lisa Marie shares her thoughts on how hard work, determination, and taking risks helped launch her career in the industry of broadcasting television.
For more information on Lisa click the links below!
If you grew up watching football in the 1970’s, 80’s, or 90’s, you were viewing a league that is much different than the NFL we enjoy present day. From the clunky shoulder pads and baggy jerseys, all the way through to the actual game-play, rules, and regulations… The game of football has transformed. Arguably leading the transformation are the talents of a “Giant” you may not see on the field, yet rest assured, without his efforts, player safety, style and performance would be greatly diminished.
Joe Skiba is the Equipment Director for the New York Football Giants and lives daily with transformation in the National Football League. Earlier this week we had a chance to sit down with Mr. Skiba to get the exclusive #FerroBTS scoop on the role of an NFL Equipment Director and the impact they have on the new-look-NFL.
“We are in the football business but we are also fashion designers to a certain extent. Not only are our uniforms and equipment viewed by millions of eyes on television every week, but this stuff is also sold in the stores. EVERYTHING has to be perfect.”
Joe continued the conversation by focusing on the unique creative process that the equipment department endures in order to make everything “perfect” for television. In particular, the G-men use “Rush Blue” and “Gym Red” for their jerseys, helmets, uniforms, gloves, socks, etc. The exact color code used for the uniforms is very specific, and entirely unique to Nike apparel.
Before the age of high-definition television, Skiba shares, “This wasn’t something we gave much thought to. Nowadays it is crucial that we use the correct color code for our equipment, otherwise it will not be in sync with the HD cameras, and it will look skewed on TV.” In short, they can’t have the “Big Blue” looking like the “Big Purple” for the viewers at home.
Ferro Productions being a premier television broadcast-productions company knows the importance of having every member of its team, from interns up, become familiar with the PRINCIPLES OF COLOR TELEVISION. Having a working knowledge of the physics of color adds to working effectively at every level and at every task. It helps eliminate production problems from white-balancing a camera to color-coordinating wardrobe and sets.
There are 2 prominent processes that must be understood for one to gain a fundamental understanding of color in television. They are the Subtractive Color Process and the Additive Color Process.
In short, subtractive color is defined due to an objects color being determined by the colors of the light it absorbs and reflects. THIS is the science behind the fact that black objects get much hotter in sunlight than white objects. Black absorbs (subtracts & turns into heat) all of the colors of light hitting it. While white reflects all colors (staying cooler by creating little heat exchange).
Additive color is an effect similar to mixing paint. When light of different colors are mixed (added) together, a new color is created. Hence the results are additive rather than subtractive. That’s some of the really interesting science from behind the scenes as it relates to production technology and style. Let’s now take a look at safety and performance.
Joe continues, “We get together with Nike every year and figure out exactly what we are going to be looking at for the next season. We talk about how we can best protect the players while enabling maximum athletic performance; all the while creating a sleek look that will sell to the TV viewers and to the buyers in the store. Smaller pads and uniforms… Everything. We go as far as having each players uniform tailored specifically for their body dimensions.”
Design and creativity are everywhere you look nowadays, even in a locker room. Football is no longer just a game; it is a business. Ferro Productions hopes that our interview with Joe Skiba helps solidify this fact for you, our fans… The fact that from the runways of Paris to the Gridiron of the NFL, fashion sells.
*TOMORROW, 08/18/13, the NFL is paying a special visit to Joe Skiba and the New York Giants to test two new uniforms. They will be “suiting up” specific players during the pre-season game against the Indianapolis Colts and testing how the colors appear from the stands, how the colors and numbers look together on the jersey, if the letters are eligible, and finally if it looks great on HD as well as SD. Keep an eye out to see if you can spot the “test” jerseys!
33 second TimeLapse of New York Giants Training Camp practice 2013
Shot with the GoPro Hero3 “Black Edition”
For more Go-Pro TimeLapse videos, click here!
During the first game of the 2012 NFL season at Metlife Stadium the New York Giants and Major Mike LaPoint conducted a pre-game flyover with 3 UH-BlackHawk Helicopters. Ferro cameraman Frank Scacciaferro had the good fortune of being able to accompany Major LaPoint in the stadiums catwalk to get an EXCLUSIVE look at how this flyover was called and conducted from the front lines.
Our internship program will provide you with an opportunity to combine your hard earned book learning with some necessary real world experience. Ferro Productions offers one of the most hands-on programs specifically designed to make use of the talent and motivation in every intern. We offer a multitude of exciting opportunities for our interns, from the broadcast booth to behind-the-scenes and everything in between.
- How to identify key issues and sources on his beat
- How to get background information that will give his stories context
- How to develop resources to focus his coverage
- The value and inner workings of social media, liveblogging and crowdsourcing as reporting tools
#GiantsCamp always entails a 10+ hour workday. It is always hectic and MOST IMPORTANLY, it truly is always FUN!
“Find a job you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.”
Television is serious business. Work, in general, should always be handled with a sense of professionalism and significance … However, one must not forget the importance of what’s said in that age-old chestnut “enjoying what you do.” Here at Ferro Productions we take GREAT PRIDE in that pursuit, quite frankly, it’s fair to say that we are rather successful at it. After all what could be better than performing at the highest level in the entertainment world and having the best time doing it? Our client, The New York Giants, have also proved, they too are masters of the work-hard/play-hard mentality.
…That got us thinking…
With all the legitimate action happening on the football field that needs coverage, how does one capture the “Fun Stuff”?
Professional Football is a multi billion-dollar business… It’s also a game. When the masses think of these athletes,they tend to think of them as strictly “numbers on the uniform”… #10: Manning. #91: Tuck. #80: Cruz. Disembodied celebrities who do one thing and one thing only: Football.
Perhaps they only see them in the Twitterverse as @Weatherford5 (Steve Weatherford) or @PrinceAmukamara (Prince Amukamara) or @TeamVic (Victor Cruz) or @davediehl66 (David Diehl) or @IAMCweb (Corey Webster) or @RuebenRandle (Reuben Randle) or @BearPascoe or @HenryHynoski (Henry Hynoski)
They may even be recognized as Television Personalities that once wore a numbered jersey and now have Twitter accounts along with a vaunted seat in front of the camera and into the homes of millions. The likes of such celebrity as @CarlBanksGIII (Carl Banks) or Michael Strahan @michaelstrahan. The list is extensive…
The simple fact is that quite contrary to belief, these guys have BIG personalities; Eli Manning, Justin Tuck, Victor Cruz, and the rest of the guys on BIG blue.
Executive Producer, Joe Scacciaferro, elaborates… “These players are not machines. Sometimes our job is to personalize the players and capture the fun stuff that goes on during practice and on the sideline, etc. This stuff is GOLDEN for the fans. One may think that capturing this footage is simply luck of the draw, however, they would be wrong. It takes skill, thought, experience, and knowledge of your subjects and environment to capture such footage.”
With nearly two decades of Executive Producing for New York Giants Broadcasting, Mr. Scacciaferro has developed the skill, thought, experience and knowledge required for such capture.
-Which camera-operator is the most qualified for the specific task?
-Which players are the “serious” or “quiet” ones? Which are the “Big Personalities”?
-Which drills or scenarios will provoke such behavior in players?
-In what manner does this footage need to be delivered to the television audience?
Joe continues, “ After all my time spent here with the Giants, there are some things that never change. For example, the Defensive Backs ALWAYS have big personalities. It’s no different now then it was when I started this gig. Guys like Rolle, Webster, and Ross are big stars with big personalities.”
With week one of Training Camp in the books, we have already captured an abundance of such footage, which can be viewed on all of the New York Giants Entertainment television and web broadcasts.
Stay tuned for more #FerroBTS insights as the weeks progress and we get closer to the Giants regular season opener against the rivaled Dallas Cowboys!
What do the NBA, CNN, CBS and the New York Giants all have in common? Watch this video above to find out the answer! To learn more about Don Sperling click here!
“We could walk with someone to their car … talk to players in a much more casual sense, outside the cafeteria” for example. “In Albany the access was much different.” recalls Paul as related to access… And access is precisely what this mini-series is all about!
The words above are from the very talented Columnist, Mr. Paul Schwartz. We at Ferro thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to share with the world what an amazing job the press does covering the NY Giants from the vantage point of our #FerroBTS lense. We couldn’t think of ANY BETTER WAY of doing it than asking Paul Schwartz if we could be embedded in his routine throughout his various assignments for the @NYPost as #GIANTSCAMP unfolded over it’s 5 weeks.
*Paul Schwartz has been The Post’s Giants beat writer since 1994. He’s also covered the Nets, Knicks and college basketball. He is the author of two books, “Tales From the New York Giants Sideline” and his recently published “You’re Wrong And You’re Ugly” with Sid Rosenberg. Paul is a SUNY-Albany graduate.
Both books, penned by Mr. Paul Schwartz can be found on Amazon here http://www.amazon.com/Tales-From-York-Giants-Sideline/dp/1582617589 and here http://www.amazon.com/Youre-Wrong-Ugly-Radios-Always/dp/160078321X . Each fascinating reads and we at Ferro especially enjoyed the Foreward in “You’re Wrong and You’re Ugly” written by Artie Lange, Comedian, The Howard Stern Show.
Yesterday we were privileged to spend a few minutes with Paul just before we began our LIVE broadcast segment for MSG+ (follow on Twitter @MSGNetworks). The question and buzz around #GIANTSCAMP in week one was focused on the differences between Albany and New Jersey as base for NY Giants Camp.
+40° 48′ 44.77″, -74° 5′ 6.72″ is pretty darn close to the coordinates of the front door leading to the New York Football Giants HQ, known also as the Quest Diagnostic Training Center.
+42° 40′ 58.93″, -73° 49′ 44.80″ is nearly smack in the middle of the sports fields at SUNY Albany. And outside of the fact that the #4 appears 5 times each, somewhere in the latitude and longitude, that’s where the similarity seems to end!
Paul brought up a very interesting point about how #GIANTSCAMP held at HQ (aka HOME) was for him, much more like going to “work” during the regular season vs packing his bags for the month of August and literally going AWAY to camp for a good part of the summer. Of course this has to do with where one is physically located for work and residence throughout the rest of the year. Yet, the message seems to be that being AWAY was much more conducive to a relaxed environment for the media to work, as opposed to the more corporate structure that is currently present.
“For the past 16 plus years, I felt like I was going to training camp. I packed like people pack when going to camp. I packed my shorts, my shirts and my sneakers and even a tennis racket, and I went to camp for 3 or 4 weeks and it was CAMP. Kids go to camp and sometimes their Daddy goes to camp or their husband. So I was at camp and it was a whole different mindset. It was a different feel, this is more corporate.” Paul shares with us. Being a local press personality “it’s the same thing as coming to practice during the regular season. It’s much more of a business as usual feel but in the Summer, with no games.” Paul reflects.
“Journalistically it’s not much different.” being in NJ vs Albany say’s Paul. “Now there are very big differences in how we do our job here… In Albany the access was much different. We were able to talk to players in a much more casual atmosphere such as walking in and out of the cafeteria. Here, we have to request any player we want. In Albany we also requested players, yet we also had the opportunity to get quick answers to smaller questions as we walked them to their cars right outside of the cafeteria.” With change comes opportunity and for the NY Giants as an organization, being in their own backyard naturally lends itself to many many more people across all media having much more favorable geographic access to the team, while being AWAY seems to have given fewer greater access to the players.
Next, we discuss with Paul how his stories always have a unique angle to them and how his creative mind formulates, composes and makes it all happen for his readers. Join us again for our upcoming and really excellent piece as we remain embedded with Paul!
Nearly impossible, it would be, to turn on your TV at any given time, on any given day, anywhere in the world and not bear witness to their brilliant designs, in all their glory illuminating your screen.
A wise man once said, “If you don’t have the proper lighting on a television set, you might as well just be on the radio.” Said wisdom from the mind and lifes work of Dennis Size, Senior Vice President of the Lighting Design Group.
The Lighting Design Group is the largest lighting company in the Entertainment Industry. The MAGNITUDE of that statement needs to be reiterated and expounded upon. The “LARGEST LIGHTING COMPANY IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY” written here not for effect, rather, to properly put into perspective the level of talent, professionalism, innovation and management skill, both artistic and “hands on” literally across the globe.
Ferro was priveledged to sit down with Dennis at LDG headquarters in Midtown Manhattan to discuss his journey to success in the often characterized, “wacky” world of show biz.
Mr. Size was born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His father owned a middle class bar in town, Dennis shares, “My parents wanted me to escape the blue collar life. I was supposed to become a doctor.” Similar to most children, young Dennis took his parents advice and set his focus on becoming a doctor. In the meantime, however, he was learning a whole lot about entertainment as he spent time hanging out in his fathers bar. In which, there was a big stage with lights, live music and dancing…
In addition, Dennis shared:
“There were a lot of carpenters and electricians that hung out in the bar. My father would have these guys bring me to work with them so that I could stay out of trouble. I got good at that stuff and my dad eventually wanted me to use those skills to make the bar nice; lighting the stage, strobe lights… stuff like that. So yeah, I got my start lighting the stage at my fathers middle class bar in Scranton, PA.”
As the years progressed Dennis found himself enrolled as a Pre-Med student at the University of Scranton. Still intrigued by the performing arts and entertainment, he joined the theatre program, which became a creative outlet to decompress himself a bit from the inevitable pressures brought on by his demanding major. By junior year of college Mr. Size had quite the revelation and made the switch from Pre-Med to a double major in English Literature and Communications. He simply couldn’t deny his love for entertainment any further. “It’s all about telling a story, entertainment is. Orson Wells didn’t know a thing about film, but he knew how to tell a story and that’s what I wanted to learn. I knew that the English major would teach me content and Communication major would teach me how to deliver it to the people.” And it was EXACTLY THAT revelation which propelled him forward and to the top!
Upon completion of his studies at Scranton, the ambitious college graduate attended Penn State University and earned his MFA in Scenery and Lighting Design. The knowledge and credentials earned at Penn State were undoubtedly invaluable for Dennis’ future, however, the network of people he associated with proved to be the stepping-stone that brought Mr. Size to the next level. He explains, “ My Lighting Design professor from Penn State called me and informed me about this summer relief program that was going on at ABC” he continued, “ When I went to ABC for my interview, it turns out one of the engineers that did lighting worked on one of my crews during grad school at Penn State. He put in the good word for me and the rest is history.”
***REMEMBER: It’s all about the network!***
The summer relief gig was a great success, seeing that Dennis was hired as full-time Lighting Designer for the Soap Opera “Ryans Hope.” Six years and an Emmy Award later (Yup, an EMMY), the twenty-nine year old moved on to other Soap’s such as “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” And, soon enough Dennis said he, “ Wanted more experience, more challenge. So, I left the entertainment division of ABC and moved on to lighting design for Special Events.” The Special Events included the Olympics, Presidential Conventions, and the Emmy’s.
It seemed as though Dennis Size had reached the pinnacle of his career. Where does one go from this point in order to achieve elevated greatness and accomplishment? Well, following an outstanding lighting set-up at the Emmy Awards, Mr. Size found himself in Chicago, Illinois with the up-and-coming TV sensation, Oprah Winfrey. Mr. Size redid the lighting design for Oprah’s television studio in Chicago and also went on the road with the crew each and every time they went out for a special. This new “freelance” gig is the ultimate driving force that led Dennis to leave ABC; subsequently the same driving force brought him to the Lighting Design Group.
Currently , “ After forty years of doing it, I’m having fun. Doing shows, training young designers, it’s a blast. LDG is a very specialized company providing a very specialized service, and I’m loving every day of it.” Dennis Size has continued to elevate himself and conquer massive challenges in the industry, recently designing the lighting for the Republican National Convention. So now I ponder, what’s next for Dennis Size? History tells us: Dedication and outstanding performance. Dennis tells us: Educating the youth.
“I tell the kids to learn it all. You are not going to be a pro right out of school, so just forget that idea. The more skill sets you have, the better off you’ll be. I just caution them not to be the jack of all trades and not the master of any trades.”
That sage wisdom seems to be carried forward to LDG’s hiring process. They continue to assemble a team diverse in style and experience; each bringing his or her unique flair to the project. This diversity allows LDG to “design” or tailor a design group to fit the client and their needs perfectly. Whether it’s the massive live stage at the Emmy’s or a single news desk in Hyderabad, India… the LGD team is well prepared and probably already there.
Change is it good or bad?
In which “CAMP” do you find yourself?
In the summer of 1996, the New York Football Giants partnered with State University of New York at Albany and began a sixteen-season relationship in which Big Blue called the Central NY campus home for the month of August.
That partnership has changed, and for that matter, so has the facility name of what the Giants now call “CAMP.” Change #1 from Albany, NY to East Rutherford, NJ. Change #2 from the Timex Performance Center to the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.
Formerly known as the Timex Performance Center, the Quest Center is ALSO the NYG’s state-of-the-art headquarters located just across the parking lot from MetLife Stadium, which will host Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014.
Let me elaborate briefly on what’s meant by the Giants “headquarters”. It’s home to;
- Ownership and corporate offices.
- Team training facility: Practice fields, weight rooms, meeting rooms, etc.
- Gourmet dining facility.
- Broadcast Studio and Control Room. (Ferro’s home base)
- Official Team Video Department and Studio.
All of the above and much, much more can be found within the compounds of the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING THAT IS THE NEW YORK GIANTS, IS FOUND AT THE QUEST DIAGNOSTICS TRAINING CENTER, including the 4 Lombardi Trophies (found in the lobby on the left as soon as you enter the complex) celebrating their Super Bowl wins.
With the pattern being broken and the team going through training camp at home, the natural question for all, centers around this…Change – good or bad?
In this #FerroBTS (Ferro Behind the Scenes ongoing feature blog) there are a plethora of comparisons between Albany and Jersey that everyone is talking about and we at Ferro are personally curious about how said changes will translate into what we do, bringing the NY Giants Broadcast to you.
With that said, we are going to share with you the intimate details from the PRODUCTION perspective of what it entails, bringing NY Giants Camp coverage to the masses.
SPECIFICALLY expect from us, exciting, on the spot coverage of how WE cover those that are “covering” CAMP. (Media and reporters, players and coaches, NYG corporate staff, and the fans.)
All the hype surrounding the switch in location makes for fantastically interesting and somewhat unpredictable events driven by change… and we’ve decided to bring to you, in this EXCLUSIVE MINI-SERIES as much detail as possible, that will take you behind the scenes and deliver a personal production perspective of training camp, to YOUR home which is now being held at OUR home!
STAY TUNED throughout the remainder of training camp as we will be bringing you content available ONLY here, as well as additional features not found ANYWHERE else. Ferro Fans, Big Blue Fans, TV Production Fans….STAY TUNED!!!
Creativity is everywhere. All across your city, your state, your country, your world… Contrary to popular belief, creativity is not isolated to the glittering sidewalks of sunny southern California. Furthermore- it is not isolated to any one area, period. Earlier this month our crew was reminded of this concept as we traveled to rural upstate New York where we sat down with a man who provided us with an absolutely mind-bending day, choc-full of creative inspiration.
Creativity takes Courage.” -Henri Matisse
Bill Diamond Productions has been around for the greater part of the past four decades; thirty-seven years to be exact. WOW… Let’s pause here. Thirty-seven years is a long time in terms of business, especially in terms of maintaining a successful business that continues to flourish as it approaches it’s fourth decade of life. OKAY NOW, LET’S RESUME… What exactly is Bill Diamond Productions? Where are they located? What have they accomplished? The answer to all of these questions can all be found by asking another question: Who is Bill Diamond?
“I did some child acting, commercials for television… I was a child actor on Broadway, so yeah, you could say I got my foot in the door at an early age” replied Mr. Diamond after being asked about his start in the entertainment industry… and the rest is history, as they say. By the time Bill was in High School he was running his own theatre company; touring local playhouses across New York. In the meantime the young teenager was winning awards from the State of New York for stop-motion animation; an early indication that Mr. Diamond was not going to be the type of guy who was content with one job or one responsibility.
At the ripe age of nineteen Bill was introduced to Jim Henson, a legendary icon in the industry recognized mostly for his creation of the Muppet’s and Sesame Street’s puppet characters. Bill happened to be friends with Jim’s son, John…
Now take a moment to think about the landscape of the industry at this point. It was the late 1970′s and as Bill shares,” We felt like anything was possible.” Video was becoming a very usable media for the everyday person. It wasn’t just the television networks that were using video cameras now, there were students and everyday folks who were passionate about production who were now able to obtain their own cameras and create anything they wanted. With the combination of Mr. Diamonds creativity, talents, determination, and not to mention personal relationship with Jim Henson, it’s no wonder why he felt like anything was possible.
After working under the wings of Mr. Henson, Bill began realizing that he wanted to create his own identity. “Jim had a great way of taking talented people and letting them run with their dreams. He inspired me to be all that I could be, and that’s the greatest gift that I ever received from him.”
Next, Mr. Diamond decided he wanted to put a halt to his stop-motion animating and move on to the fast paced world that was television. He began creating commercials for national corporations such as IBM and Miller, making a name for himself, and building his own company all at the same time. Bill shared that he always did freelance work because he always wanted to keep his options opened. “One day I’m a lighting guy, one day I’m a director, one day I’m a puppeteer, and then the next day I’m doing makeup” says Bill… which brings me to a very important point… Bill continues, ” I felt that in order to be a good director or a good producer and if I wanted to run my own studio some day I had to know every ones job. If there are directors out there who don’t understand how EVERYTHING works, how can they even call themselves a director?”
Mr. Diamond was certainly on point with that philosophy, as he now runs his very own “Dream Factory” (as we like to call it) in upstate New York. A full network studio, soundstage, editing systems, make-up rooms, not to mention an abundance of puppets and masks created by Bill for names such as Phantom of the Opera and Little Shop of Horrors. Yes- Bill’s creative concepts and masterful work have played a big role in Phantom, as well as Monster TV, and the list goes on. So with a resume as sexy as Mr. Diamonds, what in the world is his most memorable accomplishment? What is the one thing he cherishes most about his four decades in the industry? Well, Bill says,” Doing my work with Make a Wish. Putting a smile on the kids faces and helping raise money for these kids- that’s rewarding. Aside from that, it’s the people that I have met over the years in the industry… I cherish all of them. Those are some true life-long friends. I love everyone I work with.”
Bill Diamond should serve as an absolute inspiration to everyone: especially youngsters who think they want to get involved in the wacky world of entertainment. With that being said, I will even leave you with a suggestion from Mr. Diamond himself…
“Experiment with it all. Don’t limit yourself. Keep reinventing yourself everyday and remember: anything is possible.”
Check out more about Bill Diamond and Bill Diamond studios in our video series “Bill Diamond Productions: Creative Production Company.”
Ken Kelsch’s philosophy is very similar to that of Nike’s: “Just do everything,” he says. As a cinematographer with over 40 years in the film and television businesses, his resume is as polished as perfectly as an Officer’s shoes.
Kelsch has served as the cinematographer on 49 film projects, including 31 feature length films. He has also worked as the cinematographer on various television shows and commercials. His most notable works include the feature length film Bad Lieutenant and the NBC T.V. series Medium. But one would never believe how he had arrived at this point in his life with his divergent background.
Kelsch grew up in New York and was one of four children. His father passed away when he was 14, which left his mother with the sole responsibility of supporting all of her kids. Kelsch was still able to pursue his interests despite growing up poor and being fickle about his career path.
For Ken, photography remained an unwavering fascination of his. He had a dark room since he was twelve years old and it helped him cope with his bashful nature. He became president of his seminary school’s photography club and upon graduation of high school he decided that he wanted to become a doctor. However, that notion was quickly kicked to the curb when he sought to join the military during college, eventually enlisting in Special Forces and going off to the Vietnam War in 1965. “I didn’t think I was going to be around to see my twenty-third birthday,” Kelsch recalled.
Photography took a short hiatus for Ken because he decided that he wanted to put aside taking pictures and actually live his life to create new experiences. While working at MAC SOG Command and Control North 5th Special Forces, Kelsch and his fellow soldiers were responsible for cross border operations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and were directly involved with interdicting trips coming into the Ho Chi Minh Trail. And although he wanted to stay in the military, he had second thoughts. He frequently pondered, “Would I make it through a second tour?”
Yet another life-altering decision was made when Ken left the military after his first tour and went back to school to finish his undergraduate studies. He chose to attend Montclair State University in New Jersey and reacquainted himself with photography after purchasing a new camera. The school had no film program, but there was a cinema club and Kelsch became the president. He “bullied” his way into getting funded and made his first film, which was his entrée into NYU graduate school.
His acceptance into NYU led to another enlightening decision. Since he couldn’t afford his tuition, Kelsch had to work full-time and save up. This experience really helped Ken come into his own. After he saved enough and was done working, he decided he was never going to work a steady job. That inclination helped him pursue cinematography because he knew he would be able to work on different projects at different times in different places.
And this takes us back to Kelsch’s philosophy. During his time at NYU he hopped on anybody’s film shoot because he wanted to learn empirically. He believes the only way to truly learn is to physically operate every piece of equipment that you can get your hands on because those moments of instruction will lead to your success on another set. But sometimes, Kelsch would take matters into his own hands when he wanted to explore more equipment.
Every time he received a paycheck for the fruits of his labor, he would purchase new film gadgets. “I never made a profit off of a film because I would always buy gear with my money,” he said. He preaches the importance of using various film tools because cinematography encompasses EVERYTHING. The cinematographer is responsible for making the image under the director’s tutelage, determining the composition of the image, lighting it, framing it, protecting it; basically every step from start to finish. “You have to do the impossible every day and it has to be within a time frame. Plus you are dependent upon so many other people to exercise your vision,” Kelsch said.
Kelsch also made certain that he kept his “encyclopedic” knowledge of film up to date, and that many others should too, because there are people out there who will “cut their wrists” to do your job. For example, he believes lighting is the most important aspect of cinematography, which is why his wit is unremitting when it comes to that subject. “If the lighting is bad, then it’s a bad movie,” Kelsch said boldly. Lighting is important because it expresses personality, which helps shape one’s image.
“My kids used to ask me ‘Daddy what’s your favorite color?’ and I would always say ‘dark,’” chuckled Kelsch. “In my soul I’m a pretty dark guy, attitude wise and everything else.” He considers his job a failure if his image isn’t retrieved and portrayed, whether it is dark, jovial, or neutral. “I’m a mission oriented guy. I’ll do whatever it takes to get the image. That’s my job,” he said imperatively. If Kelsch could express his work ethic and success in terms of lighting technique, it would certainly be a very bright image.
Kelsch is currently working on Abel Ferrara’s “June Project” with Gerard Depardieu and Jackie Bisset.
To learn more about Ken Kelsch, click any of the links below!
Founders William Violette and Joel Roy discuss how their set-design company became one of the television industry’s most prestigious names.
For more info on Creative Dimensions click here:
Ferro takes you behind the scenes of the Audio/Performance rehearsal featuring Travie McCoy and Queen Latifah at Metlife stadium before Opening Day of the 2012 season.
In my career as an Associate Director, I’ve been fortunate enough to work in varying AD capacities such as Control room, tape, post-production, sports and music. All those roles come with their specific responsibilities, as well as their own skill set needed to do the job.
One AD role is not necessarily tougher than the other. Each have their own challenges, and like everything else, the longer you do it, the better you get. Being organized, good at multitasking, maintaining your cool and able to work in chaotic environments are crucial skills, but the ability to do base-60 math, is essential.
Unlike normal math, which is based on 10’s, base-60 is the addition, subraction, division of seconds, minutes and hours. All these calculations are made within the confines of time. Television programs and all their elements are timed to fit within the confines of the time allotted. Elements can be any item that pertains or is to be used in the show, an item being an interview, playing a video, graphics, a host reading from a script, etc. All those items have individual, preset total running times or TRT for short.
A one-hour program may contain only 45 minutes of actual show content. The other 15 minutes is set aside for commercials. The average commercial break is probably around three minutes, so simple division results in five individual three-minute breaks. Based on the five commercial breaks, the 45 minutes of the program will be divided into six segments. These six segments are usually not timed equally. The first segment may be 8:00 minutes, the second; 3:30, the third 4:45, etc., but at the end of one hour, all those different segment times will have to add up to 45 minutes. Throw in the 15 minutes of commercial time, and their sum should add up to one hour.
In a perfect world program segments would always be to time but rarely, if ever does that happen. In moments like those, that’s where the Associate Director’s role is most crucial, and base-60 math comes in handy.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City is arguably one of the most historic landmarks in the United States. Since opening it’s doors in 1879, millions of people have visited, gathered and prayed at the cathedral encompassing an entire square city block from 5th Avenue to Madison Avenue between 50 and 51st streets in Manhattan. The building has undoubtedly seen its fair share of upgrades and renovations; however, the mission has remained the same. The man behind the idea, Archbishop John Hughes, shared the mission of St. Patrick’s 150 years ago when he envisioned this historic cathedral:
“For the glory of Almighty God, for the honor of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin, for the exaltation of Holy Mother Church, for the dignity of our ancient and glorious Catholic name, to erect a Cathedral in the City of New York that may be worthy of our increasing numbers, intelligence, and wealth as a religious community, and at all events, worthy as a public architectural monument, of the present and prospective crowns of this metropolis of the American continent.” -Archbishop Hughes
That being said… It should come as no surprise that Sunday Mass at St. Patrick’s has become one of the most sacred and sought after experiences of many modern day church-goers. Not only in NYC, but worldwide, people want to be a part of mass at St. Pat’s…
Sean Cox has taken a diverse path throughout the production industry during the past few years. Starting off in the realm of reality television, Sean quickly made his way from a post-production intern with Leftfield Pictures to numerous production assistant roles on shows such as Monster In-Laws, Oddities, and Cake Boss. Further elevating his career, Mr. Cox embraced a job with Ferro Productions. Assigned to the New York Giants broadcasts and programming, he served as a camera operator, editor, and production assistant/stagehand.
Next, Sean decided to do what all successful people in the production industry tend to do, namely, keep searching for new gigs and never saying “no”. It was about seven months ago when Mr. Cox was asked to become a remote camera operator at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Sunday morning mass. Recognizing this honor, Sean quickly accepted the job without knowing exactly what it entailed. Since then, Sean has spent a majority of his Sunday mornings filming the mass, among other duties.
Sean’s Sunday responsibilities would impress even the most seasoned production veteran. Sean explains, “I show up at 9 AM for the 10:15 mass and, well, I’m doing everything. Chipping cameras. Directing Photography. Camera Operating. Technical Directing. It’s like a one-man show, it’s really cool. I’m working like eight different positions. By 10:15 we are streaming live to the whole world via the web. I can’t take all the credit though. There is one other guy on the crew; he handles all of the Audio Engineering, which is a monumental task in itself!”
This means that Mr. Cox has no camera or show direction at all, no one calling for shots, no one telling him what things are supposed to look like; he’s doing it all on his own. Impressed? Well, consider this… Aside from a couple of crash courses from Sean’s co-worker, (fellow camera operator who Sean alternates Sunday duties with) Mr. Cox has acquired all of these skills (directing, producing, video-tech, dual robotic camera operator) through self-instruction.
Interestingly enough he attributes his quick learning and success to the following two things:
1.) Being familiar with both mass and production; how live TV shows are shot. This allows him to anticipate what is going to happen next to be able to have the correct camera in the proper position at a given point in time.
2.) Playing video games. Sean compares operating the robotic camera to playing Xbox… HA! “It’s exactly like playing a video game. I have two joysticks controlling two cameras with a couple buttons. Except these buttons are focus, zoom, iris, and a fade bar, not A B X Y. You have to be smooth, efficient, and observant at all times.”
Probably not the most orthodox way to become successful in the industry, but as all of you industry professionals know, there really is no “textbook” way to make it. It’s not how you get there, it’s what you do once you’ve arrived. You either have it or you don’t and Sean simply possesses that “it” that so many people in the industry strive to achieve. Mr. Cox is loving the gig at St. Pat’s and boasts about the knowledge and experience he is gaining as he knows it will surely come in handy in the future.
On behalf of the Ferro Productions crew and the thousands of dedicated viewers of Sunday Mass, I would like to congratulate and thank Sean for his ambition and dedication.
I’ve worked with tons of different cameras, lenses, mounts, robotics, jibs, dollies, just about anything related to capturing images, so when a new technology comes along, and I have the chance to work with it, I jump on the opportunity.
The director for ESPN soccer games, who I’ve worked with for years, wanted to add a different dimension to ESPN’s match coverage in the US. Most soccer matches here take place in football stadiums, where real estate is not a problem and there’s plenty of room for a jib, but in European stadiums, room is very limited, so the use of the Tower Cam is common.
The Tower Cam is a vertically, telescoping camera mount that rises and lowers via two operator-controlled foot pedals. It’s similar to the jibs’ up and down motion but without the arm’s sweeping range. But what it lacks in that department, it makes up in ease of set up, break down, smaller footprint and reliable, remote operation.
And when the towers’ movements are complimented by the robotic cameras’ zoom, tilt and pan, an extra dimension of composition is added.
The director was on the hook in making ESPN spend all this money to rent this new piece of technology. The tower cam guys were hoping ESPN would like it, and result in landing a juicy contract. There was a lot riding on this. The director wanted it to look good, the tower folks wanted to look good, I wanted to look good, it was absolutely nerve wrecking! This was my first time using it. I’ve done robotics for years, but never had to use my feet at the same time. And to add more fuel to the fire, I had to operate two of them, one behind each goal!
The Director went over what look he wanted to achieve. He was looking for a downward motion as the player taking the shot, approached the goal. He wanted the tower to telescope down, the camera to widen, so when the shot was taken, the camera would be right behind the goal, a similar shot you would get from a jib, but much more stable and controllable.
I sat down on a swiveling chair, the best way to spin between the foot pedals for each tower and robotic controls for each camera. The pedals control how high and how low the tower telescopes. Applying different levels of pressure to each pedal can control the rate of speed. The softer you push down, the slower it rises or lowers. I felt like the Wizard of Oz working his levers, spinning wheels. The whole thing was absolutely insane.
The game started, and I quickly got the hang of it. Controls were very responsive, and the hydraulic and pulley system ran very smoothly. Its hefty base made the whole structure extremely stable. Following the game action was no problem at all, I know the game pretty well and I know when the action is culminating into a shot-on-goal or when they’re about to rip one into the goal.
When the players are on the offensive, running towards me, they’re passing the ball back and forth, I have the camera up high, and as they get closer, about to take a shot, I bring the tower cam down so it’s now behind the goal net.
When the goalie had the ball and was about to kick it, I would do the opposite, start the camera low behind the goal, the goalie would be head to toe in my frame. As he ran to kick it, I would raise the camera and zoom out at a medium speed, showing not only the action of kicking the ball but the expanse growing as the ball sailed across the field. I would then spin in my chair and take control of the opposite tower cam, raising it high, and then lowering and zooming in as the action approached. This back and forth went on for the whole game, with only a break at halftime. That’s 90 total minutes of game play. Crazy, intense pressure!
All the extra movement in the scene, the up and down, the camera zooming in and out, it all looked really cool, and when you got the timing right, it was some amazing stuff. It added a whole new dimension to shot composition. It wasn’t just about keeping the subject in the frame; it was all this other action taking place around, and because of the subject.
Everyone seemed to be happy. It was important to me that this trial go off without a hitch. I wanted to save the directors ass, and do good for the company. That was a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, no wonder I was exhausted! But it was all well worth it.
Here are some pics I took during my time working with the TowerCam…
Go behind the scenes with the founding members of Kool & The Gang, Robert “Kool” Bell & Khalis Bell as they breakdown their hit song “Hollywood Swinging”.
For almost 40 years, Art McLaughlin has been a pioneering member in the entertainment business. Mr. McLaughlin currently works as the Tour Manger, Production Manager, Road Manager, Lighting Director, and Video Director for the show Golden Boys , which has been on the road since 1985. Ferro Productions had the privilege of catching up with Art for an in-depth interview on his expansive career.
Other Stories about Art
Rick Cypher, robotics camera operator is a seasoned vet in the production industry, specifically covering live events. In this segment Rick discusses the challenges and techniques he used and overcame while working President Obama’s State of the Union address.
Ken Kelsch discusses the value of a focus dedicated monitor, along with exposure considerations
Watch and learn as world renowned Keyboardist and Synth Programmer, Dave Rosenthal, shares about his work experiences with Cindy Lauper and also discusses how he learned his craft.
Veteran Stage Mangager John Bonanni gives us a backstage pass to how he operates in the exciting world of live theatre and how he manages to keep his cool while managing actors, music, and lighting cues throughout the show.
Click here to learn more about Mr. Bonanni
Industry veteran Rick Cypher has spent the last 30 years of his life working as a Director of Photography. Listen as he discusses his on-set experiences with Mark Wahlberg while filming “The Fighter” and find out why Mr. Cypher was the perfect man for the job.
Other Stories about Rick
Learn about Dr. Loretta Long: Singer, Actor, Educator, and Original Cast Member of Sesame Street.
Cinematographer and Director of Photography, Ken Kelsch shares what goes into his everyday life on set and his unique experience shooting in Africa.
For More about Ken:
When people think about the most imperative job titles in a production house, seldom do the roles of Intern or Production Assistant pop into their head. Producer, Director of Photography, Audio Engineer; those are some of the usual suspects who collect all of the credit. In our newest Up-and-Coming Featured Article, Ferro Productions is going to show some love to the roles of intern and PA by sharing the story of a very talented young man and his journey through the ranks of the television world. What does it take stand out? Why are PA’s and interns a crucial component to ALL productions? And finally, what does the future hold for a hard-working individual at the entry level of our industry? Let’s find out…
“It’s crazy how far I’ve come from a twenty-one year old intern to now be shooting network cameras everyday.” –SC
Sean Cox was merely an adolescent when he began messing around with cameras. Between driveway skateboarding sessions and backyard wrestling matches, Sean was always that kid who was capturing all of the action for him and his friend’s future enjoyment. Years later Mr. Cox found himself at Marist University studying Public Relations, however, he was still honing his TV knowledge by enrolling in numerous Broadcast and Digital Media electives.
The knowledge attained from those electives certainly resonated with him, as Sean was hired as an intern for Leftfield Pictures on the brand new show Pawn Stars, at the age of twenty-one. His responsibilities included making calls and e-mails for show castings, as well as logging and transcribing of all of the video capture for the show. “As soon as I saw that the work I was putting in was going directly onto the show I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Not being an intern for the rest of my life, but being in the TV business. The excitement and fulfillment was unexplainable” shares Sean.
It took merely three months for Mr. Cox to ascend from Intern to Production Assistant with Leftfield. This rapid level of promotion was an early indication that Sean was not only a diligent worker, but that he also possessed the “it” factor that is required to make it in this business.
“It” includes, but is not limited to:
Sean spent the next year and a half living in a Production Assistants paradise; working on shows such as Oddities, Fashion Hunters, My First Renovation, and Monster Inlaws. He shares, “If you mess up…you’re gone. Luckily I didn’t mess up and they kept hiring me.” With all the experience and success as a Production Assistant, Mr. Cox’s next move may come as a surprise to some. He decided to take an intern position for the highly recognized show, Cake Boss. Where many others would have said “no” to the demotion from PA to intern, Sean knew that he couldn’t let ego get in the way of the opportunity. During our interview he revealed, “I loved being out in the field with responsibilities as a PA but I didn’t want to pass up on building my resume and contact list. Plus it was such a popular show and I wanted to see how they did things.”
So it was back to scratch, so to speak, as Sean found himself logging and transcribing footage as an intern for Cake Boss. However, Mr. Cox and his “it” factor once again proved to catch the attention of Producers, as he was quickly promoted to Production Assistant. He shared, “Cake Boss was less work than the previous shows I had PA’d for because it was more established. The whole bakery was set for the show to be shot every day and there was a routine that everyone had already been accustomed too. Never-the-less, it was cool to be behind the scenes on such a successful show like that; definitely a great learning experience.”
After a few episodes as PA on Cake Boss, Sean kept the pattern rolling, as he accepted an intern position with the New York Giants Broadcasting Department. From intern to PA, back to intern, then to PA, and now back to intern?
“This time it was different though. I was working for the New York Giants. I was in the presence of Eli Manning and Justin Tuck… every day.” For a football fanatic like Sean, this was a dream gig. Oh and not to mention… after the first few weeks of Cox’s “internship” he was shooting camera and editing segments for the Giants daily programming on FOX, MSG, My9, and Giants.com.
Now in his third season with the NYG Broadcast Crew as Camera-Op and PA, Mr. Cox finds himself expanding his already vast array of experience, while freelancing in the NYC area. Whether it be operating the robotic cameras at the coveted St. Patricks Cathedral for Sunday Mass or shooting camera for the New Jersey Devils, Sean is definitely an up-and-coming member of this industry that will be providing talent and creativity for years to come.
“I love the energy and the pressure of this business. It’s really exciting. I’m also really excited about the direction that the industry is going with all the new technology. It should be fun.”
Ferro recently had the opportunity to venture deep into the life and career of renowned Cinematographer and Director of Photography, Ken Kelsch, as he sat down with Joe Scacciaferro for an on-camera interview. Ken’s knowledge and experience in the industry is second to none, which is why we are very excited to announce the installment of Mr. Kelsch’s very own video blog under the Insiders tab here on FerroProductions.com.
Be sure to check Ken’s Insider page periodically for a full gamut of production knowledge; from chatting behind the scenes with Hollywood movie directors, to product reviews, and more! Enjoy.
Ken chatting with two Directors Frank Rainone and Abel Ferrara on set.
Damien Gonzales shares his knowledge of electricity on the set.
Anton Gold shares some of his wisdom on location sound.
Ken discusses the responsibilities of a “Grip” on a film set with Key Grip, Keith Gordon.
Working with Ken Series. Corey Gegner Focus Puller on “Welcome to New York” discusses working with the Arri Alexa.
Ken Kelsch, ASC talks matte box, filtration,and “the cool factor” on his DSLR rig.
Ken Kelsch shares production values, and thoughts on focus assist accessories for DSLRs.
Ken on his career, influences, being a Director of Photography and his entrance into the world of no budget documentaries with his DSLR.
“Don’t ever miss an opportunity to make an impression. You never know who’s watching.” ~ DS
Prophetic words of wisdom spoken by Mr. Don Sperling. Keep reading and you’ll surely absorb the deeper meaning beyond the letters penned above. Letters turned into words, words become sentences and sentences become paragraphs, chapters and the ongoing story of an outstanding, career.
Don Sperling is the Vice President and Executive Producer of Entertainment for the New York Football Giants. Prior to accepting this VP and EP position, Mr. Sperling’s ambition and talent has propelled him through the ranks of the most notable “Three Letter” iconic companies, such as CBS, NBC, CNN, and NBA Entertainment.
Ferro Productions recently had the privilege to sit down for an interview with Don, who is now approaching his seventh season with the Giants! We discuss his very impressive career path…put your seat belts on and ENJOY the ride!
Born and raised in Yonkers, NY, Don Sperling attended The State University of New York at Albany. He shares, “I didn’t have too many options. My Father told me I could apply to all of the schools I wanted, but it didn’t matter because I was going to end up at a state school anyway. It was all we could afford at the time.” UAlbany did not have television program at the time, which, by default, lead Don to a History & Political Science Major. However, he was writing for the school newspaper and doing some work for the school radio. In addition, every summer Don traveled to Miami to visit his aunt; an assistant news manager for WTVJ Miami, a local TV station. He had the honor of hanging out with the news crews, going out on shoots to Dolphins games, and watching how the whole production process took place. “It was really exciting. I was just a college kid and I got to watch these professionals work their craft. Being exposed to that behind the scenes atmosphere ultimately lead me to my first gig with CBS” Don explains.
Upon graduation, the twenty-one year-old Sperling got a gig with CBS news, working as a production assistant in the film library. He was pulling footage for the nightly news, for 60 Minutes, and more. While working at CBS News during the week, Don was also freelancing at NBC Sports working as a tape logger and highlights coordinator. These entry-level positions proved to a solid foundation for Mr. Sperling’s career. “I did well at CBS and NBC, but there was only so much room for furthering my career. I looked around at the crew one day and I realized it was going to take me a very long time to work my way up this ladder here. That’s when I reached out to CNN.” CNN? Hmmmm…. ATLANTA?
Don explained that making the move from New York to Atlanta was one of the most difficult of his young life but he realized that there was a great opportunity ahead of him with this NEW 24-hour network, called CNN. Mr. Sperling was working with a group of people from all over the country who gave up their secured jobs back home to be a part of CNN. “It was the best thing that ever happened to me, going to Atlanta. I quickly made my way to segment Producer, which is something I would have never accomplished at CBS.” He was thrown right into the fire and he did not burn. As previously mentioned, he earned the role of segment Producer and then ultimately made the switch to Sports Producer. For two-and-a-half years Don helped mold what is now considered to be the most highly recognized news network in the nation, all the while gaining invaluable knowledge, experience, and lifelong friends.
Why did Don only stay at CNN for 2-and-a-half years? Well, the NBA was starting up their own Entertainment department, housed in New York City and shortly following an interview with commissioner David Stern, Mr. Sperling found himself in-charge of NBA Entertainment. Don was the Producer, writer, and editor and he was putting his heart and soul into the new company. They started out by building an infrastructure and foundation; keeping an archived library on EVERYTHING NBA, producing Features for the USA Network and
CBS, producing fifty-five halftime Features, and also getting involved in community relations and home video. With the birth of NBA Entertainment brought the birth of an all out NBA frenzy. The 84’ Finals pitting Larry Bird against Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan getting drafted (GIANTS of the game – no pun intended), jersey and ticket sales now through the roof… everything was blowing up.
With all of the media spotlight, the small crew of six guys that was NBA Entertainment, quickly evolved into a crew of two hundred. “We created NBA Inside Stuff which was on the Saturday morning lineup on the NBC network. We created the “I Love This Game” campaign. We did it all. We were even the first in the industry to make the switch from analog to digital. We digitized our whole library. We made the NBA relevant again. We made it hip. Everything we did was innovative, and I’m proud to have been a part of it. ”
After fifteen years, Don left his roll as Senior Vice President at NBA Entertainment, started his own company for production and consulting, and eventually landed a job as the Vice President and Executive Producer of Entertainment for the New York Football Giants. It is his job to construct a story each week, starting on Monday and culminating on game day on Sunday, building an emotional relationship between the fans and the organization using all the tools at his disposal aka “Giants Entertainment”. Giants Entertainment includes TV, Radio, Web, Social Media, and Game Day presentation.
Decades of passion and perseverance have brought Don Sperling to the pinnacle of the Television community. The man with such an outstanding career shares with us that his current role with the Giants is nothing short of a “dream job” and all of us here at Ferro Productions are sure that you will also agree, a very well earned and deserved “dream job” that through Don’s talent, timing, travel, tenacity, trials and tribulations, turned into reality. REMEMBER THIS… “Don’t ever miss an opportunity to make an impression. You never know who’s watching.” ~ DS
One of the most integral components of the human race that has enabled our species to evolve over the course of time is that innate ability to design. The fact that humans can develop a concept out of thin air and then transform that figment of imagination into a physically existing object is simply phenomenal. Fast forward yourselves from the idea of cavemen designing tools for hunting or scientists designing aircrafts to transport humans into outer space… and bring yourself to the present day. In this featured article Ferro Productions is going to dive into the world of Graphic Design by sharing with you the story of our own in-house designer, Matt Swensen.
“Graphic design is everywhere I look. On food labels, television commercials, magazines, clothing, websites, coffee mugs… everywhere. Everything you see started out as an idea. It’s my job to transform those ideas into reality.”- MS
Matt Swensen is a twenty-three year old designer from northern New Jersey. Please don’t let the age fool you, for Matt has been waist deep in the industry since he was a teenager. At the age of sixteen Matt spent a lot of time hanging out with his friends that were members of a local band. Mr. Swensen would occasionally capture photo and video for the band and as he shares, “That’s where I really started to figure out I was interested in production.” Matt’s newfound interest in production along with his already keen fascination with computers proved to be the perfect ingredients for this young man to get started in the industry.
A member of the local band was making t-shirts, flyers, and bumper stickers to sell at shows… This caught Swensen’s attention. Although Matt considered himself a horrible artist, he was fascinated with this new fad that his friend was involved in. Swen immediately installed PhotoShop on his father’s PC Laptop and began exploring. “I remember sitting on that old laptop and just typing in ‘Cool PhotoShop tutorials’ on Google. After that I would spend hours upon hours going through these tutorials and literally teaching myself how to use the program. It was honestly fun, except for the fact that I spent a lot of time staring at the progress bar waiting for stuff to load.”
By 2007, at the age of 17, Matt got his first Mac Book and no longer was he spending hours staring at the progress bar on his father’s PC. The senior in high school was cutting skateboard and music videos on Final Cut Pro and learning the basics of graphic design on PhotoShop. A kid who once considered himself a horrible artist was now discovering that he could use his creativity and intelligence to portray art… on a computer.
When it came time to graduate school, Matt was stuck at a crossroads. “All of my friends were going off to big Universities but I really wasn’t into that. I didn’t like being forced down the standard road that everyone else was so content with. I decided I was going to try my own thing and teach myself everything I needed to know. If it didn’t work then I would settle and go back to the way everyone else does things.”
A classmate of Mr. Swensen’s caught wind of his experience with Final Cut and PhotoShop and hooked him up with an interview for the New York Giants Broadcasting Crew. The eighteen year old made quite the impression at his interview, as he was offered a position immediately. Matt’s first week on the job was nothing short of overwhelming. “My boss gave me a laptop with an After Effects project opened and said ‘We need this by the end of the week.’ I went from making band flyers that 10 people saw to designing motion graphics for network TV, overnight.”
Where many would have folded, the determined new Graphics Designer spent the whole week on the internet watching video tutorials for After Effects. Needless to say he got the job done and the rest is history. Matt now finds himself approaching his sixth season with NYG Broadcast, working as the head of the Graphics department. His day-to-day work is featured on all of the Giants network TV shows, as well as on the big screens at MetLife stadium on game day.
During our interview with Swensen he reveiled his inside opinion on what it takes to make it in the industry. You may begin to notice a reoccurring theme with the insider tips given by all of our interviewees. To all aspiring graphics designers and to all aspiring to do ANYTHING in the industry, Matt says, “You need to realize that this takes an insane amount of time. I wasn’t good at this stuff for a while but I truly have a dying passion for it. I don’t know why, I just do. It took sleepless nights and failure to get where I am right now but I have this burning desire in my chest to never stop learning and never stop creating… I think that’s what separates me from the majority of people my age.”
New York, NY
MyGOAL Autism, whose Mission is to Support Families Facing Autism through education, marriage counseling, and advocacy as they navigate through the complex challenges associated with the journey of autism from diagnoses to recovery or a better quality of life, held an amazing Fashion Fundraiser at Sony Wonder Technology Lab in New York on Monday, April 8th. All to support the fashion and arts community of New York City in its goal to raise awareness for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). What a great group (Family) for us at Ferro to lend a hand.
Marvel US management together with American Apothecary hosted the event, Heart A Cause: Autism and what an event it was! On display was a gallery of art by children with autism and artists INSPIRED by autism. A silent auction, trunk show, 2 runway shows (choreographed by Mexico’s Next Top Model judge and professional photographer, Jo Lance), featured emerging and established designers and so much more.
Marvel US Mgmt, a boutique business management company specializing in brand management, marketing, social media and event design, partnered with American Apothecary, an emerging socially conscious fashion brand, that has participated in many philanthropic opportunities and also boasts a plethora of marketing and event management experience, to establish an annual fundraising event series.
Ferro was there to capture it with All-Access and it was a fantastic effort covering A to Z. From the dressing and makeup rooms to conducting interviews with models and designers, we were up-close-and-personal on the runway during the event, we were in the VIP booth with the event’s coordinators as they addressed the energetic New York crowd after the show; we were everywhere. It was truly one big “Family!”
Family being an operative word for MyGOAL who’s vision is to restore lives and families affected by Autism through Education and Empowerment.
“The foundation for the recovery of individuals affected by autism is a solid family”, MyGOAL writes. “It is based on the principle that the family unit has to sustain through the journey for recovery from Autism.”
Keep your eyes peeled on our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates on our footage from Monday’s event! You are sure to get an inside look at what we at the Ferro Family experienced up close and personal through the Family and Community of such wonderful friends, at a great event, for an amazing cause.
To help Heart A Cause: Autism raise funds for Autism Awareness, visit www.heartacause.com for more info.
To learn more about the fine work of MyGoal Autism helping families affected through Education and Empowerment. Visit www.mygoalautism.org
The Featured Articles and Videos on FerroProductions.com, historically, have given you an in-depth look at the careers of the industry’s most seasoned veterans. We decided to mix things up a bit and give you, our fans, an inside scoop on the up-and-coming members of the production world. These new articles and videos will serve as both learning tools and building blocks for aspiring youth, as well as inspiring stories of dedication and triumph for all to enjoy! The “Rising Stars” tab at the top our Homepage features the new video segments, while the “Articles” tab features the written segments.
In addition, you’ll notice that the design of our Homepage has been upgraded. The slider at the top of the Homepage now includes three of our Featured Videos. In fact, you will find our first installment to the “Rising Stars” section there now, featuring Michael “Horse” Becton.
We would love to hear some feedback from our fans regarding the new look of our site so feel free to contact us by clicking on one of the following:
or E-MAIL us at contact@FerroProductions.com
Production or producing is a team sport. Or have we forgotten that fact, given the advent and advancement of new technology? With the advancement of technologically creative tools and their inexpensive price points, we straddle the fine line between “because we can, does that mean we should.” My point is this, just because technology allows us access to each phase of a project, independent of other artists, should we accept that as a positive or better approach? In the Thirty something years I’ve been bouncing through both the music and television industries, I have concluded the answer is an emphatic, NO!
There is no arguement that access to pro gear at an entry level price has allowed many, who would never have been heard from, now have a voice and I believe that’s GREAT! I am a strong proponent of the notion that everyone possesses talent. For some it lies on the surface, for others it’s buried and needs to be mined like a precious metal. Regardless of where that talent resides, creativity and its expression needs to be nurtured and cultivated, bringing me to my main point.
Never create in isolation. That is not to say the genesis of an idea MUST be the results of collaborative efforts, although it may well be if it naturally took that course. Regardless of which, bringing that vision to life will always have a better chance of soring beyond your expectations given a blend of creative specialists.
Imagine for a minute going to a concert to hear your favorite band, you arrive and instead of the 5 experienced musicians who have all mastered their instruments, you see a single unknown keyboard player on stage using an array of synthesizers simulating the performance of the missing musicians.
He may be able to reproduce every note in their songs but the X factor, soul and personal interpretations of those musicians will surely be missed. Each artist brings a lifetime of mastering and passion woven together by their day-to-day, year-to-year experiences. No single person can duplicate those artistic impressions. I see each of us as a “flavor” or an ingredient to be combined to produce the perfect meal. No satisfying meal ever came from a single ingredient!
When you hear about of an actor who decided to go out on his own to write, produce and direct his vision, he still has an army of experts collaborating on that vision.
When a musician breaks away from their band to do a “solo” album, they still rely on the talents of others to create their solo vision.
With a deep sense of humility, I can say I am quite comfortable at most phases of production in both music and video. Even with that comfort zone I would NEVER assume responsibility of all aspects. Nothing I am proud of came to life solely by my talents. To this day it remains embarrassing for me to be referred to as an Emmy award-winning Producer. Those Emmys belong to everyone on those productions.
These words I speak are not just the words of a humble acceptance speech, they are fact.
The most AMAZING creations are the ones that come from a perfect combination of “FLAVORS”.
Steve Cohen, the Grand Wizard of SiriusXm satellite radio, sat down with us to discuss the talk radio boom and the advancements in technology as they both molded modern day radio and his career. Some bonus footage from behind the scenes at the Hard Rock Café-Times Square at the annual SiriusXM Fantasy Football Celebrity Draft
Have you ever pictured yourself entertaining bystanders in the subway to earn some cash? How about not only picturing that, what about DOING just that as a young teenager? Well what better a band, than one called Kool and the Gang to handle such a daunting task? The crew’s open-arms approach to unconventionality was an integral step in their concrete “jungle boogie.”
“We started playing for sandwiches at the Café Wa, and later on put the pan out there in front of the 9th street path and collected maybe ten to 15 dollars to get back home,” said Ronald Bell, the tenor saxophone player and co-founder of the band.
Kool and the Gang, the legendary jazz, R&B, soul and funk band, was formed in 1964 in Jersey City, New Jersey. Their hits include “Jungle Boogie” (featured in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction), “Get Down On It”, and “Celebration.” They still widely perform today, but only four of the eight original band members remain together: Ronald Bell, his brother Robert Bell (bass), George Brown (drums) and Dennis Thomas (alto saxophone). Unfortunately the other four original members have passed away over the years, but their legacies remain intact.
It all began for Kool and the Gang in New York City when they were just youthful teenagers. Thanks to its close proximity to their hometown, New York helped kickstart the band’s growth. As it turned out, their first shows in the Big Apple were also their first pivotal experiences as a young group. Their unwavering dedication to music has lifted the band from performing in subways and cafés to venues such as the Apollo Theater, Madison Square Garden, and other places across the world.
“We’re here in Dubai, we’re here in Australia, we’re here cause of song. From traveling so much I kind of got the connection that music is a universal language,” said Amir Bayyan, the band’s guitarist and the younger brother of Ronald and Robert.
Despite being on the road and having demanding lives at such a young age, Kool and the Gang have nothing bad to say about their extensive background of learning and performing–except for their views on Philadelphia.
“You can give those people free tickets, free food, free parking, and they’ll still have something to talk about. ‘Well I didn’t like the way his socks looked,’ mimicked Robert Bell. “It’s a tough crowd in Philly.”
Such exposure at an early age gave them the proper introduction to new learning experiences, good times, and most importantly, camaraderie: all of which would be renewed throughout the years as well.
Early on, after moving on to perform at weddings while still playing throughout New York City and New Jersey, the crew was invited to play at the Apollo Theater when they were only 16 and 17 years old. At first it seemed like an honor to play at such a venue, but Kool and the Gang was quickly roused by the other talent amongst them.
“We thought we had it all together … then this group called Willie Feaster and the Mighty Magnificents got up there … Oh man! They hit you with the vocals, the bass solos … they ran us back to Jersey City!” recalled Ronald Bell.
The young and talented are sometimes blinded by their surroundings, which seemingly was the case for the gang when they first hit the big stage at the Apollo.
“We had to regroup. We thought, ‘Man, this is what we’re up against?’ But you know what, it helped us get our act together.”
A realization of that sort is a strong sign of maturity and growth, which can surely explain the illustrious history that the band has had (they have sold over 70 million albums worldwide). The pragmatic nature of Kool and the Gang has helped them bring their talent down to earth as well as maintain such great composure under various circumstances; even when an instrument caught on fire during a show in California.
“We’re playin’ and we get to [the song] ‘Too Hot’ … and I start to smell somethin’ … then I see people in the audience looking, pointing … and then keyboard caught on fire!” said Amir Bayyan.
However, maturity and growth did not always resonate behind closed doors.
When Kool and the Gang began to travel more and had to be on time for recordings and gigs, the boneheaded qualities of the boys began to surface more frequently, especially those of lead guitarist Charles Smith. However, these qualities were more of an amusement rather than a burden. Smith passed away in 2006, but his silly antics are still remembered by the remaining band members today.
“In my history of hangin’ with Charles Smith, a lot of people have called him eccentric. That’s the only man I know that made a limo back out the Lincoln Tunnel because he forgot something,” Robert Bell said while holding back laughter.
The band members recall waiting in front of Charles’ house for two hours as he dilly-dallied before coming out. Many times when they scheduled a recording session at the House of Music in West Orange New Jersey, the guys would all carpool there and they would typically find themselves sitting outside of Charles’ house for unreasonable amounts of time. On many occasions they would have to rush when Charles was finally ready, including one instance when they had to drive “90 miles per hour” straight down I-95 to make it on time for a gig in Atlanta.
One day Robert Bell was curious and decided to ask Charles’ son, “What does your father do in there?” Charles’ son replied, “Well, he puts his socks on then he plays his guitar. Then he gets dressed and plays his guitar. Then he starts making a phone call and he’s playing his guitar.”
Despite watching time wither away, the guys think that sitting there and waiting hours for Charles represents what being part of Kool and the Gang really is. Since day one, they have been able to stick together over decades and adapt to one another’s imperfections because of their lightheartedness and spirited dedication and loyalty. While they know how to joke around, they clearly are masters of their craft and take pride in their work and performances.
“You’ve got people that come out to see you. It’s not supposed to be their concern about whatever you’re dealing with in your life,” said Shawn McQuiller, the band’s lead singer since the ‘90s. “They paid their ticket and they came out to see a great show. So when we hit that stage, we got to give them what they paid for.”
Even if it means remaining “kool” when your keyboard catches fire.
Check out EXCLUSIVE VIDEO from the Kool Bus Tour by clicking here!
When Blackberry introduced their brand new Blackberry10 operating system and new phones, the Z10 & the Q10, they had to get the word out, they needed to reach as many people and media outlets as possible. The company’s market share had been shrinking dramatically, in part due to the iPhone’s continuing dominance and the slew of Android and smart phones flooding the market.
A simple press release or a flashy commercial wasn’t enough to raise the once dominating force in the cell phone industry from its slow demise. They needed a presentation that would wow the market and quiet the critics. And they did that in a big way.
Blackberry hired Hartman Studios to design and produce this multi-million dollar extravaganza and Creative Technology, an international audio/visual staging company, provided the tech and know-how to deliver the impact Blackberry was looking for.
The event needed a home… a real big home. They chose the 70,000 square foot Basketball City on Pier 36, located on the lower East Side of Manhattan, as the venue to house this mega-event. The transformation turned the multi-court facility into an experience of rock concert proportions.
The Blackberry10 visual presentation was made up of dozens of rear and front projections screens, ribbon screens, the narrow height and long length screens typically encircling stadiums and arenas. Each of the screens was being fed a variety of graphics, animations and live video originating from two video switchers and a bank of video and graphic servers.
My role was to direct the live webcast feed going out to all of Blackberry’s worldwide satellite offices, the video streaming to the web and to all the news bureaus and outlets on the planet. It was an intimidating thought, but having been doing this for close to 25 years, it was merely just another day at the office…. a real big office. I would later find out that the live stream drew over 75,000 viewers, small by broadcast standards, but huge for the web.
I was using a Barco FSN-150 production switcher to direct/switch two independent shows. The world web feed included graphics and animations, while a separate “clean feed” (without graphics), went out to one of their satellite offices in London. Other satellite offices included Brazil, Dubai, Johannesburg, Paris, Ontario and Chicago. London had up and down satellite links for two-way communications, while other in-coming video images for other locations were being supplied through Skype.
To show off their two-way video capabilities and novel phone screen interaction feature, the video output via HDMI from the phone in New York and a live HDMI feed from the London phone via the up-link were combined on-screen for a live interactive demonstration.
This was probably the biggest corporate event I’ve ever taken part in, in not only the scope of the importance, the level of production, but in the number of people involved. There were techs, staging, productions, creative designers, writers, satellite coordinators, lighting and lighting designers, electricians and various other jobs and personnel. If I had to guess, I would put the number of people at or near 200. That’s a lot of coordination in not only what you see, but in the number of talented people coming together for a common cause.
The Featured Articles and Videos on FerroProductions.com, historically, have given you an in-depth look at the careers of the industry’s most seasoned veterans. We decided to mix things up a bit and give you, our fans, an inside scoop on the up-and-coming members of the production world. These new articles and videos will serve as both learning tools and building blocks for aspiring youth, as well as inspiring stories of dedication and triumph for all to enjoy!
“Passion. It just takes a little bit of talent and a whole lot of passion.” -LML
Lisa Marie Latino is the President and Executive Producer of Long Shot Productions. Long Shot, founded in 2009, is based out of Northern New Jersey and is considered a full-service production company. Everything from corporate videos to documentaries, 30-second commercials to show development… They truly run the gamut.
It all started at an early age for Ms. Latino; her interest in production, that is. She recalls watching Super Bowl XXV as a young first grader and telling her parents, “That’s what I want to be when I grow up!” No, she wasn’t aspiring to play Quarterback for the New York Giants. Rather, she was talking about the woman on-camera, reporting from the sidelines.
After High School graduation in 2002, Lisa was enrolled at Seton Hall University in West Orange, NJ. Seton Hall is well known for their very competitive radio-production program and sure enough Ms. Latino found herself as an on-air talk show host for WSOU, the school’s radio station. The Pro-Sports show that Lisa hosted was so successful that the Star Ledger (New Jersey’s Leading Newspaper) published a full-write up in the Sunday paper detailing Lisa and her show. It seemed as though Ms. Latino was well on her way to a fulfilling career in radio…
That summer, however, there was a sudden change in heart for Lisa. She was visiting the campus of Montclair State University and caught a glimpse of the immaculate TV Studio at the school’s broadcasting department. “I immediately called my parents and told them I was transferring to Montclair. It was the best decision I ever made in my life.” She shares. Despite all the success at the coveted Radio Program at Seton Hall, an awfully prestigious University may I add, she could not deny the feeling in her gut that was telling her to move on to the more respected television program at Montclair. And so she did…
While still enrolled in college, Lisa got involved in an internship program with wFAN. She was doing Promotions and Marketing, which wasn’t what she had dreamed of, but it was a foot in the door. “I took a lot of positions over the years that weren’t necasarilly the most fun or most glorified but they got my foot in the door. I was learning all aspects of the industry and I was making a name for myself.”
In 2006 Ms. Latino had earned her Bachelors from Montclair and was now working directly for Steve Adubato and the Caucus Education Foundation. Once again, she was not on-air talking about sports or producing her own segments, but she was in the door. At Caucus Education Foundation Lisa learned all about the business side of production, which she credits a lot of her current success to. Over the next three years Lisa continued working with Steve Adubato, as well as with wFAN, and even with the New York Giants Broadcasting Department. It was in 2009, at the ripe age of 25, that the jaded Lisa decided she was going to make a change… and that was the start of Long Shot Productions.
Just like that- With a Mac Computer, a camera, a microphone, and a tripod- Long Shot was born. In a class of Ms. Latino’s at Montclair she had to create a production company and maintain it throughout the semester with a small group of peers. It was those same two peers that Lisa asked to join on her new endeavor… this time in the real world. So, what next? How does a production company in its infancy grow into its adolescence?
“I created ‘In the Zone w/ Lisa Marie Latino.’ I just started showing up at Red Carpet events with my camera and interviewed celebrities. You would be surprised how easy it is to get onto the red carpet, by the way. Then I put together a few weekly shows, and the rest is history. Word of mouth spread, people begin to ask me to do a small project here and there and I began finding myself up at 3 AM editing segments in the guest room of my home. Me! Editing?!”
Ms. Latino learned, at a rapid pace, that in order to succeed she needed to perform at all levels of production. Business, Producing, Post-Production… EVERYTHING. All of her experiences from college, interning, working; they had all come full circle.
Throughout our interview with Lisa the young Producer kept delivering a reoccurring message. She could not stress enough to the fact that this business is not a walk in the park. It’s not your typical 9-5 job, and it is CERTAINLY not for the faint of heart. Long Shot is currently in the midst of a full schedule, and as Lisa says, “It’s only the beginning.”
If you are interested in learning more about Long Shot Productions, click here to visit their website!
February was a busy month for Ferro Productions as we re-embarked on our path to seek out the industry’s most intriguing names for on-camera interviews. We were fortunate enough to sit down with three individuals, respectively, who represent very different spectrums of the production community. Each of our interviewees took us on a vivid ride from their humble (or not so humble) beginnings,to their unique behind the scenes experiences, all the way to providing insight and advice for people aspiring to enter the wild world that is production.
Our first interview featured award-winning cinematographer, Alex Aurichio. Mr Aurichio’s talents as a camera-operator and Director of Photography have brought him to the four corners of the world and back (literally). Whether it’s on-set with NFL superstars or on-set with the President of Egypt, the experiences that Alex has racked-up over the past thirty years surely made for an awesome interview! To learn a little bit more about Mr. Aurichio, check out his blog on our Insiders Tab or visit his personal website!
Next on the list was Lisa Marie Latino. Ms. Latino is the Executive Producer and Founder of Long Shot Productions. This interview took us from her early days as a radio host at Seton Hall University to becoming an Executive Producer of her own production company; all-the-while detailing the excessive hours and dedication it took along the way. Even now, Lisa is striving for bigger and better things and we are sure that after you view our Featured Video from the interview, you will agree that she is well on her way!
Our final interview, to date, brought our crew to Central New York. Bill Diamond, founder of Bill Diamond Productions, has made a larger than life impact on the world of television and theatre. Mr. Diamond’s ideas and influences have been featured on Muppet Babies, Phantom of Opera, Fraggle Rock, Monster TV and much more. Now rather than attempting to explain the breathtaking day that we had at Mr. Diamonds “Dream Factory” , I stronlgy urge you to take a minute and view our newest Featured Video.
Over the next few weeks we will be sitting down with some more of the industry’s hottest behind the scenes names. Stay tuned for these interviews, plus our interviews with Mr. Aurichio and Ms. Latino, coming soon!
The radio communication service of the world has sure come a long way since it first burst upon the scene in the early 20th century. From the original patents of “wireless” to current day satellite, radio has undoubtedly made a monumental contribution to humanity.
Steve Cohen is Vice President of Sports Programming at Sirius XM Radio. Steve amongst his many lifelong accomplishments is also the creator of Sirius NFL Radio. Mr. Cohen’s many talents and ambitions have driven him to the pinnacle of a billion dollar industry…how did it all happen, you may ask? We did just that! ASKED. Earlier this year Ferro Productions had the privilege of sitting down with Steve for a detailed, behind the scenes discussion about the talk radio boom and advancements in technology as each molded modern day radio and well as his career.
“Internships were very important for me in college. I started at WARY Radio at Westchester Community College as a Heavy Metal Radio Jockey. I was just a kid, hanging out and having a good time, all the while playing some Iron Maiden. I spent a little time there but after I got my grades up at WCC, I decided to move on to finish my education at the University of Arizona” Steve shares.
As an upperclassmen at The University of Arizona, Steve got his first big break in the realm of internships, landing a gig at WNBC with the Joey Reynolds show in the summer of 1986. He was now writing comedy, writing movie reviews, and surrounding himself with the right crowd.
After graduating college the following year in May of 1987, Steve landed a job at an ABC affiliate in Tuscon, KGUN radio. Although excited about his first legit gig in the business, Mr. Cohen’s tenure at KGUN would be short-lived. ”I took a 60 day leave of absence from KGUN, came back to New York, went over to WNBC, and woke up Mike Breene who had been doing the overnights in the office…. He caught me up on what was new around NYC and told me they were starting an all-sports radio station in Queens. The program director was going to be John Pruder. ’Here’s his number give him a call’ he said. And I thought, OK, Sports Radio Station? This will never work!”
Needless to say that Steve’s hunch about Sports Radio couldn’t have been further from the truth. Mr. Cohen and a group of very talented men, read geniuses, were on the front lines of a “Sirius” revolution. Pun intended.
Back then there was no Internet and certainly no iPhones. When Steve and the crew needed information about the latest score for a game, they literally picked up a phone and called the press box of the stadium in which the game was being held. On top of that, there were no ISDN lines or any other sort of wireless technology that is used in this day and age. When you fast forward to today, you have Satellite Radio, iPhones, ISDN, and all the other great wireless equipment used in and for broadcast…
Moving along with the progression of technology, sports radio must be accredited also to a new way of thinking. One that swept through the minds of a few bright individuals in New York City. “These guys were talking Nebraska Cornhuskers and Iowa Hawkeyes Football… I mean, WHO CARES? No one in New York cared about college sports and they still don’t. You need to play the hits: Giants, Yankees, Jets, Mets, you know. This is a professional town with professional fans, and Mike Francessa and Chris Russo were a couple of New Yorkers who were able to come together and really blaze the trail for the entire future of sports talk radio” shares Mr. Cohen.
As Steve Cohen climbed the ladder of the radio world, from intern, to tape-operator to board operator, to producer, to executive producer… He always knew that he wanted more. After covering the Jets and Giants for FAN and spending valuable time as Mike Francessa and Bill Parcel’s personal NFL researcher, Steve was about to find that certain something that he was looking for.
“When I got to Sirius Satellite radio we only had 250,000 subscribers. I did not know if this thing was going to work out, but I knew it was time for me to put my stamp on the industry. When I created Sirius NFL Radio here, it was really the first time that legitimate experts were analyzing and reporting, not just some Joe Schmoe speculating on opinion and common knowledge. We had former players, coaches, scouts… We had everyone who mattered.” Steve’s philosophy was if they were going to comment on the game, they had to be connected to the game. That made it real and different while elevating the level of professionalism from speculation to facts.
Mr. Cohen has since moved on to the role of Vice President of Sports Programming for all of SiriusXM Satellite radio; A true honor, and a long way from spinning Iron Maiden records at the County College of Westchester. Sirius currently has over 20 million subscribers and that number is always rising. Mr. Cohen credits new technology such as the SiriusXM App. for smartphones with helping in the rapid expansion and value of the company.
Ferro Productions would like to give a special thanks to a true industry pioneer, Mr. Steve Cohen, for not only providing our crew with such an enlightening interview, but also for welcoming us with open arms at Sirius Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan and at the SiriusXM Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft in Times Square!
With Super Bowl XLVII in the books, it’s that time of the year again when Ferro Productions says goodbye to it’s NFL Programming responsibilities and hello to the world of endless entertainment and production possibilities. It is always around this time of the year when many of our friends and industry peers begin asking the same question, “What are you guys up to now?” Well not to worry folks… we are undoubtably busier than ever and loving every minute of it. That is not what this story is about, however. This story is about taking time to reflect back on the New York Giants memorable run to Super Bowl XLVI last season, as told by Ferro Productions own, me.
It was a bone-chilling afternoon in East Rutherford, New Jersey and the New York Giants had just suffered a heartbreaking defeat to the rivaled Washington Redskins. The date was December 18, 2011 and pardon the cliche, but, I remember it like it was just yesterday. Not only did it appear that Big Blue had just let another opportunity to return to the playoffs slip away; it appeared that within the next three weeks I would be looking for another job. It was my second season working with the New York Giants Broadcasting Department via Ferro Productions and I was sad to face another offseason and the possibility of never working with the crew ever again. In order for my job as production assistant to continue for a few more weeks the Giants needed to pull-off two big wins in week 16 & 17… and sure enough…
Next thing I knew I was witnessing the Giants steam-roll over the Atlanta Falcons as they christened MetLife Stadium with it’s first ever post-season victory. After assisting with the audio set-up for the post game press conference, I remember sitting down and listening to Eli Manning address the media. He spoke of comparisons to the 2007 post-season and how this team was looking as though they were following in the same footsteps. This was legitimitely the first time I considered the possibility of the NYG and Ferro Productions making the trip to Indianapolis for Super Bowl XLVI, however, it wasn’t something that I was going to dwell on or get my hopes up for. After all: I am an employee, not a fan. That’s not to say that I don’t have a deep passion for the game of football, though. On the contrary; I played football throughout my youth and high school days, all-the-while rooting for the New York Giants.
Going into work at the Timex Performance Center that following week was thrilling. Ferro was busier than ever with extended playoff coverage, interviews, additional press conferences, etc. and I began finding myself getting thrown into different situations and taking on much larger production responsibilities than I had ever faced before; Needless to say I was loving every minute of it. The energy around the facility was buzzing and I started noticing more familiar faces from ESPN and NFL Network around that week. It truly was beginning to feel like something special was in the air. That feeling would be multiplied by 1000x within the next two weeks following absolutely exhilarating victories in Green Bay and San Francisco.
Monday, January 23rd is a day that I will never forget. It was the morning after Big Blue attained the 2011 NFC Championship and my boss, my mentor, and my executive producer (who all happen to be the same person) called me aside for a meeting. He informed me that I would be traveling with the crew on the NYG team plane and spending the week in Indianapolis working as a camera operator and production assistant. We were going to be shooting fifteen shows that week and we needed all hands on deck. ”Your going to be recieving a crash course in a lot of subjects this week, but for some reason I have full confidence in you.” he told me.
HOLY $&@# !!! : I was ecstatic to say the least. I felt like my whole life, especially everything I had been working so hard at for the past few years, had brought me to this one magical moment in time and I knew that I was going to rise to the occasion and seize the opportunity.
Now, instead of documenting my week in Indy for you here in this Article, I am going to provide you with a link to our very popular “Super Bowl Series“ which I worked on every night last year while in Super Bowl City. I highly recommend you take the time to read the short series, as it will truly put you in my shoes and show you exactly how incredible Ferro’s week was.
Michael Morrissey began his career at the age of 20, working as a production assistant with the New York Giants Broadcasting Department. Since then Michael has endured numerous freelance positions in the New York City area including working with the 16-time Emmy Award winning crew of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as well as operating network camera for NYG Broadcast’s MSG and FOX daily programming, including on-location camera-1 operator during Super Bowl week in Indianapolis. More recently Michael has expanded into the cyber-world acting as the Chief Staff writer and Content Manager for FerroProductions.com, all-the-while continuing his never ending passion for television production.
The “Holy Grail” and its attainment, to some in the archeological world is considered to be the epitome of success. Depending on your viewpoint, the Holy Grail can be mystical, mythological, ethereal and even intangible. Regardless of what it may be in other worlds, in the world of production, it’s clearly, a single, coveted and quite tangible gold figurine. A gift to the chosen few from on high, the Academy… the gilded dandy is presented yearly as “Oscar®”
A lot has to happen before Oscar shows up! As evidenced by the sea of names, mostly off screen talent, whose matrix like rapidly scrolling closing credit crawl has been the highly produced accompaniment to many an exiting theater goer. It may even be fair to say that closing credits have seen more backs than a cheap mattress at a day rate motel.
Here’s the point. Arguably if it weren’t for the likes of such highly trained, experienced and creative camera operators, I say nearly none of what’s out there for consumption would ever get done. Just like the role of bassist in a band, it’s not glamorous, it’s often times cumbersome, your work is primarily done in the background and goes mostly unnoticed, EXCEPT for the trained ear or eye in this story. And all the while an operators vision and scope can range from panoramic to close up, yet the people in the front always seem to be looking right through.
Meet Rick Cypher, a veteran Ferro Productions camera operator. Participating in the process of attaining “Holy Grailness” did NOT elude Rick as it has most. In fact, it was Mark Wahlberg himself who personally called upon Ricks talents and that of the HBO boxing crew, for a task most critical, which without, there was no movie. There would be no masterfully captured and recreated fight scenes. There would be a no more critical mechanism than that of Rick, a best in class camera operator and his lens to bring together the components of a recipe through raw ingredients to a fully produced entree to feast upon, a major motion picture. Like a rock solid bass player and the deep, rhythmic and steady line he lays down, Rick and camera are fundamental. The foundation upon which to build, and build they did.
The year 2009 (Principal Photography). The movie The Fighter (2010). The Cast, to include, Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Melissa Leo. The story-line, a depiction of the life of up and coming fighter “Irish” Mickey Ward, following his dramatic road to boxing fame in and out of the arena.
Thanks to the Tsongas Center at UMASS Lowell, the arena became host to the big fight sequence for The Fighter, as well as home away from home for Cypher and the rest of the HBO boxing crew who were on location for 5 days, clocking more that 12 hours a day on set applying their craft. Having surprising parallels to professional sports, moviemaking from the perspective of a camera operator is often about dedication, flexibility and focus, using a highly trained eye and fluid motion to get/make the shot(s).
“My role consisted of doing what I do for HBO boxing, operating a hand held camera on the ring apron during a fight.” Cypher said.
With years of experience around the ring, there is no more perfect a match than Rick for this job. There aren’t that many movies made about a real person being portrayed by an actor where both, the real and portrayed, have been captured by the talents and lens of the very same camera operator. Rick shot the original Ward fights and it was truly the good fortune of the film that Cypher and the HBO boxing crew were there for the job. Having Cypher at the helm brought even greater authenticity to the production than that of the 1990’s era HBO camera’s used to film some of the segments.
The Results, in the 2011 83rd presentation of the Academy Awards®, Ricks work on this film either captured directly or contributed to The Fighter being recognized by 7 Academy Award nominations and it’s Winning of 2 Oscars.
“I have to admit, it was pretty amazing. In my wildest dreams I did not imagine just how much of our footage would actually wind up being used in the film. To see your work on the big screen like that, knowing that millions of people are watching it and having the film nominated for, and winning so many awards, is a very humbling experience to say the least.” Cypher recalled. “I can’t wait ‘till my kids are old enough to see it, its rated “R” you know.”
Cypher’s further contributions to The Fighter helped provide audiences with a doubly deep personal experience of the captured action and emotion. Rick originally lived and filmed it LIVE and then re-lived and filmed it for the story.
Quoting Clarence Leonidas “Leo” Fender (Inventor and Founder of…) for the closest semi-religious reference I could find to wrap up a story I began with the “Holy Grail” may I close with Leo words “Let there be bass”! Ohhhh and from all of us at Ferro Productions who value all things Cypher, may we bellow from on high “LET THERE BERICK!”
Sergio Geraldes is a freelancer who has decades of experience in television. Aside from Directing for Ferro Productions, Sergio has written and produced for networks such as Fox, ESPN 2, FX, CNBC, and MTV. In addition to his creative role in production, Sergio also serves as a Technology and Media Consultant for companies like Verizon, Citigroup, and Nintendo.
In the midst of a hectic, full-bodied schedule, Sergio has recently added a new chapter to his impressive resume. Starting last year, he began teaching classes at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. Acting as an Adjunct Professor, Geraldes teaches TV Studio Production and TV Production and Editing courses two days a week. “When I was offered the position I accepted it without hesitation. It brings me joy to give back to the kids and to share my experiences and knowledge with them.”
Sergio’s experience and knowledge certainly make him a well-qualified professor for Television Production. His interaction with clients from all across the world, along with his ability to speak fluently in Spanish and Portuguese also help him deliver a truly unique method of education for a very diverse group of students from the New York City area.
Billy Joel’s keyboardist, Dave Rosenthal, takes you on stage of the last concert at Shea Stadium and shares how his quick thinking and past experiences aided him throughout the performance. Dave also shares how a very “special guest” made the concert even more memorable.
Each year the YES Network conducts a remote shoot at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at New Jersey’s Montclair State University. YES and Montclair have developed a great relationship with each other over the years due to this annual affair. This year the crew was back to shoot Yankees Baseball Tonight, but this time the stakes were higher; this time we were going live! In years past we taped our segments and shows from Montclair but not this year. Live TV brings on a whole new plethora of responsibilities and leaves absolutely no room for error… and I was ready for the job.
Our lighting crew arrived on location at 8:30 AM to begin set up. The location: a small lecture hall and learning center; not so adequate for TV lighting. Although we weren’t rolling until 6:30 PM, we still needed to allot ourselves enough time to make sure everything was exactly in order, because like I said, live TV leaves absolutely no room for error. Earlier this month myself and a few other crew members spent a day “scouting” the location and began brainstorming and noting things that needed to get done in order to make the set look as good as possible on our limited budget.
Another reason we arrive on the scene so early is so we can get the majority of our work done before the rest of the crew shows up. When the camera men are around and the director is on-set, things tend to get a little stressful. This way, the basic lighting configuration is set and the camera-ops and directors can come in and block their shots and determine whether or not any changes need to be made. If the director does call for a change in the configuration, it will be a minor fix since we are already set.
After a long day of work it was time to roll the cameras. With a live studio audience and a live television audience tuning in, I can confidently say that it was a successful day of production. The show ran smoothly and we received nothing but positive feedback about the set’s appearance on television.
This particular gig was fun for me for two reasons:
1.) I was able to get out of the studio and work on a remote location, all-the-while being a part of the growing relationship between the Yankees/YES and the local community.
2.) I needed to be creative with the only items I had on hand. ”Doing the best with what you’ve got” was our phrase for the day, as we were working on a limited budget.
I would like to give a big shout out to The Lighting Design Group for brilliantly designing the rig and set up for this show. Those guys are the absolute best in the biz and I’m fortunate to be able to collaborate with such talented people to get the job done. Additional kudos the Metrovision for providing the satellite truck for the shoot, as well as Shadowstone for supplying the rental lighting package.
NEW YORK – What can you do with 2 cameras and a passion for your profession and for the game? Specifically, Video Production and Football that is. Well, you can be the “Fundamental” source that creates a nearly insurmountable amount of content, in nearly impossible time frames using state of the art technology. All to be filtered, sorted and batched for the purposes of “Technical Analysis.” Hours upon hours of clips broken down week after week over the ENTIRE SEASON including PRACTICES!
The upcoming opposing teams last 5 games will be masterfully broken down into broad edits consisting of the 3 facets of football, Offense, Defense and Special Teams. Then edited down further into such minutia that prior to the cutting edge technology, it was a 0300 hrs start time to get the work done for the day.
Let’s continue. Each play then breaks down to anywhere from 60 to 70 sub categories such as distance, down, personnel, situation, yard gain and so forth and so on. Feel free to sketch out a chart for yourself if it’ll make it easier to follow. I know I charted it out for myself to make sure this story went in the right direction.
Now, for the sake of space and sanity, let’s just isolate the “Defense” which in turn will then be further broken down into edits of ANOTHER 44 sub-sub categories; tendency, red zone, 1st down runs, 3rd down passes etc. etc. etc. not spoken lightly and in full recognition of the intentional deletion of “Offense and Special Teams” and their sub-sub categories!
Which in mentioning Special Teams, simply given the constraints of space may we dedicate this paragraph to the full recognition of the fact that Dave doesn’t do it alone! Dave works closely with a Special Team, which is second to none. Know that all the stuff GLOSSED over in this article is MASTERFULLY handled, in the real world by Assistant Video Directors, Carmen Pizzano, Ed Triggs, and Steve Venditti.
Dave Maltese, Video Director…
Keep this all in mind and for those in the business, you know exactly or perhaps not, what the above would entail in the old days of FILM!!! If your not sure, ask an Industry Veteran who’s lived the life of a “tape jockey” and watch their head immediately start shaking as their eyes roll, shark like, signaling the YOU HAVE NO IDEA expression.
Dave Maltese, Video Director, NY Giants…
Ask HIM, we did and what an amazing interview it was. Self Analysis, Analytical, Line Movement, Criteria, Breakdowns, Find The Flaws, Instantaneous Access, all buzzwords Dave was using to answer and explain to me, exactly what his work consisted of and what exactly it does for the team. “Dave! Dave…Dave, if I were to ask you for a sentence that BEST would summarize what Dave Maltese, Video Director for the Giants and his Team is all about, what would it be?” Ready for genius folks, here’s Dave’s response “We’re hoping to find the flaws in our opponents so that (our camera work and production) will enable us to teach them to our players in hopes that we can get a victory on Sunday.”
A reply to which I took a moment to soak up and fully appreciate the profoundness of, before my follow up question “By shooting what specifically?” Dave said “well, according to the rules set down by the NFL Competition Committee we are required, as is every club, to shoot our games, home and away, from a sideline and an endzone perspective capturing the alignment and movement of all 22 players participating in every play.” Wow, was an appropriate response from me. “The stuff we shoot is also fed to the Officiating Crew for contested plays as well as to the “Color Guys” on the telestrator” Dave added. Unlike the 11 to 13 cameras used for broadcast, Dave, with 2 cameras, superior leadership skills and the rest of his key Team have a very critical and specific mission, providing content to be uploaded to the CGE Network*.
With those 2 cameras and angles, Dave and his Team are able to nail down content that will eventually be used inGAME CRITICAL TECHNICAL ANALYSIS by the coaching staff. Bottom lining it, what’s shot can and will eventually be broken down and filtered into any of these categories, key words and/or Football terminology: advance – bounce – box – cadence – comeback – contain – contrarian – cycle – crash – decline– distance – fade – fakeout – flag – drop – flat – formation – gap – hook reversal – invert – isolation – tendencies – analysis – situational – motion – neckline – negative territory – option – opening – pattern – pivot – outside reversal – momentum – resistance – reverse – screen – secondary – signal – separation – settle – slant – spike – sticks – strong side – support – swing – switch – trailing – territory – variance – weak side – wedge – zig zag – zone of resistance.”
“Hang on” I said…”We talking Wall Street or Football here?” Actually, I answered my own question with the fact that it could literally be EITHER or BOTH! I had a really fascinating realization at that moment of just how close winning and loosing a game and season is to winning and loosing in business. Literally every single word in that list above can and is seamlessly and interchangeably uttered daily from the lips of Wall Street Technical Stock Analyst s andNFL Coaches or Commentators!
Technical analysis plays an equally big part when it comes to bringing home a win be it on the “Field” or on the “Street”.
If your a successful Video Director for the NY Giants with 21 years experience and a Super Bowl Ring to your name, the above jargon is your life and plays a vital part in obtaining a victory on Sunday. Grant it, a “Technical Analyst” on Wall Street clearly shares and verbalizes many of the same terms in addition to Fibonacci Sequence, Mandelbrot Pattern, Head and Shoulder Pattern and Dead Cat Bounce, NONE of which would help him analyze a winning team at any sportsbook in the world regardless of the spread (oh, spread is another mutually used term, for the record).
So what’s the difference between an HP12C and a XOS Digital? One helps you with Technical Analysis in theFINANCIAL WORLD and the other in the FOOTBALL WORLD..
That was a bad attempt at a “trade joke”, however what Dave and his Team do is anything but a joke. Wining IS everything. IN THE REAL WORLD that is, because if you win on Wall Street, you make money and bonuses. If you win WITH your team, you make money and bonuses and if one’s technical wizardry as Video Director and Assistant Directors contributed to anything beyond 0 and 16, there just may be another SUPERBOWL ring waiting!
BONUS MATERIAL: (WARNING: TECHIES ONLY)
CGE NETWORK Back End
Here are some details we’ve come across online about Signiant and the infrastructure and technology behind theCGE Network. (per 2010 info)
Description of Club Game Exchange
o NFL Competition Committee requires every club to shoot their game, home and away, from a sideline and an endzone perspective capturing the alignment and movement of all 22 players participating in every play.
o A copy of the final play marked game in O/D/K format must be distributed, by the home club, to the next 2 opponents of the home and away club
o Tape – NFL Films Dub Center
o Hard Drives – Signiant Duplication
o Signiant Digital Transfer – Virtual Dub Center
League wide IPVN Network
800 mb/sec at central Dub Centers
40 mb/sec at each club site
300 mb/sec HSIP circuits at central Dub Centers
400 mb/sec MVNS circuit connecting central Dub Centers
3 years of online pro footage and 1 year of online collage footage (Roughly 1200 games) at central Dub Centers.
50 TB Storage Area Networks at each Dub Center
The systems are duplicated in identical hardware, software and connectivity at 2 Virtual Dub Centers (NFL Films – NJ and NFL Network CA)
• The 2 methods of distribution
o Signiant Content Distribution Manager
o Signiant Media Exchange
o 38 circuits, 2 XSans, 66 PCs, 2 Firewalls, 33 NAS devices, 35 switches, 35 routers, 3 Signiant servers, 80+ Signiant Agents, 2 transcoding clusters, 5 Coaches systems.