Category: Blog

Why Maker Faire Is A Favorite For Us

We do a fair bit of “event-style” video production, including doing webcasts and captures of group meetings (especially organizations like WIMP: Web and Interactive Media Professionals), and then quickly producing a finished video that is suitable for viewing online (be it YouTube or Vimeo or the like).

Maker FaireBut none of that prepared us for the tidal wave of video production that was the Maker Faire Bay Area Center Stage venue. 28 sessions captured, most of them 30 minutes long. Each one of those videos needed to be produced and uploaded to YouTube within 96 hours of the event closing. And there were two camera angles!

Needless to say, we had our hands full not only with capturing the speakers, but producing so many videos in such a compressed timeframe. And speaking of compression, 20 hours of clock time were spent with just encoding the final output!

However, we’re really pleased with how the result looks and sounds. We hold a lot of pride in getting a clean sounding, great looking product out, and no client is closer to our heart and our philosophy than Maker Media!

Here are some of the more lively examples of the Center Stage experience:



We look forward to a lively partnership with Maker Media in the months and years to come!

A New Idea For Sonoma County’s Indie Filmmakers

FILMLocalHere’s a provocative thought: what if all of the capable and talented artists here in Sonoma County didn’t have to drive to San Francisco to get steady work? What a crazy notion, right? But what I’ve come to realize is that there is definitely a capable and talented pool of actors and performance artists, directors, producers, cinematographers, makeup artists and other crew here, and they all are burning giant gobs of gasoline driving south in order to work.

So, as VOM Productions recently joined the Go Local co-op in Sonoma County, it only seems fitting that we unveil the initiative that matters to all of us film and TV folks up here in Sonoma County: Film Local.

What does this mean? This means we as a community of film artists (of whatever stripe) start to transform our work and our priorities to move our work closer to Sonoma County and further from (dare I say) the city by the bay. I don’t expect that this will happen overnight; in fact, I have more than a little expectation that this is my “Jerry Maguire” moment.

All the same, I am sure that this is the way forward for me and my production company. Hire local talent and crew, post-production locally sourced, filming local by selecting film locations and settings within the county, and do all of it as much as possible, with the goal of 90% of my work being done within a 25 mile radius of my headquarters in Santa Rosa, and 99% being done within a 50 mile radius.

FilmLocalServiceLevelsDo I think such a goal is easy? Heavens no, it’s tough starting a production company, period. But when I hear over and over how creative professionals and aspiring filmmakers complain about the film production desert that exists north of the Marin County/Sonoma County line, I get it and feel the same pain. And I think we can make it happen for us, without having to give up our principles or whore ourselves to the rest of the Bay Area in order to just barely make a living.

There has to be a better way. Seriously, there is a better way, we just have to come together to realize it.

Contact me if you want to be a part of this. We are talking a ground-floor opportunity to transform our creative community.

707-five-niner-six-eight-five-niner-six is my number.

Apparently The Film Industry Is Stuck In The 90s

So, I’ve been working since the end of October in the production office of a feature film. We’re talking an independent production here, not financed by a big studio or anything. And through my work experience arrangement with SF School of Digital Filmmaking, I was assigned to work as the Assistant Production Office Coordinator, affectionately abbreviated to “APOC”, but not the character from The Matrix.

As part of that, I was told I would be “doing the daily sides” for cast and crew to have for the shooting day. Yippee, I thought to myself. Read more

What film folks use to feed the Social Media Monster

In my other life (previous life? it’s hard to tell any longer), I used Twitter. I used it a lot, and it was awesome. I met a ton of great people (and some not so great) and the community was small and tight-knit and inclusive. This community centered around the wine industry (shout out to all my wine friends reading this!) and was vibrant and fun and casual and real. I do miss those early days on Twitter. Yes, I am reminiscing about four years ago, shaddup already.

Then 2009 happened: it seemed that Twitter started to lose its shine for wine folks. Sure, some people stayed on, but most of the rest of the (using air-quotes here) community had moved to Facebook, or was fully on its way toward that. 2010 brought groups and the switchover accelerated. Now it seems that the majority of useful wine conversations seem to be taking place in Facebook groups (and there are several of them for wine, and I happen to belong to some of them).

So when the time came to find a film community to support my new vocation, I figured that I would find them on Facebook as well. Not so, it seems.

For whatever reason, I’ve found that film folks have stayed on Twitter. There are film groups in Facebookland, but they don’t seem to have any real community behind them, no zeitgeist, no banter. Everyone posts their latest Vimeo or YouTube films or videos and figures they’ve done their job.

I have two competing theories about why film people haven’t moved to Facebook. It could be that filmmakers were not jumping into the social media hot tub as early on as wine folks (which, if you knew the wine industry, you’d think was ass-backward). Either that, or there’s something about Twitter’s immediacy that seems to resonate better with film folks.

The jury is totally out on this; I am still actively seeking community in both FB and Twitter. I just seem to be making more progress with the little blue bird of late.