Posted by: Greg Vass | March 5, 2010

SolidLine Media (and family) Predicts the Oscars!

By Marcus Leshock

SolidLine Media Writer

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards are this Sunday night. If you’re like us, you can’t wait to root for all of the movies you didn’t see this year!

Just kidding, our staff tries to get out to the movies as much as we can, but with a crazy production schedule, it makes it hard sometimes.

We thought we would do something different with our Oscar predictions this year. We asked a few of SolidLine’s youngest members to pick some of the categories, because after all, our toddlers know about as much of the SLM staff!

Here we go – I’ll label each category with who picked it and a short reason why. Then, I’ll give a long-winded “Thank You” speech for reading the entire blog. Feel free to cue the “Get Off The Stage Music” whenever you like!

BEST PICTURE: Up (Picked by Spencer Vass, son of Executive Producer Greg Vass)

Sure, “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” are heavy favorites, but Spencer is going for the upset. Why? Greg Vass explains…

Spencer was asked multiple times about his favorite movie and each
time he responded with “Cars.”  When asked if he liked Up, he said
“How ya doin?”  Then we asked him “Do you like the movie with the
balloons?” and he pointed up in the sky, so I guess it could be Up In
The Sky or just Up…I think given the fact that he is 2 we will go
with Up…

BEST DIRECTOR – James Cameron for “Avatar” (Picked by Hayden Kromm, son of SLM Creative Director Michael Kromm)

It’s the biggest moneymaker of all-time. “Avatar” is sure to rack up some Oscars over the weekend. Hayden Kromm thinks James Cameron will be King of the show again. How did he come up with it? His father Michael explains…

I just read them off and that is what he picked. He also mentioned something about big blockbusters – not sure what he meant.

Good enough for me!

BEST ACTOR – George Clooney “Up in the Air” (Picked by SLM Executive Producer Greg Vass)

Jeff Bridges appears to be a lock to win the award, but Greg is putting his brains to work and picking the Clooney upset. Why is this?

I am a bit perplexed as I have seen none of the movies.
But I feel that its going to go to George Clooney…mainly because he
used to be on the show Roseanne.  I also cannot pick Morgan Freeman
because we asked him once to narrate a video, but he wanted
(Marcus note: I have removed the financial figure out of respect for Mr. Freeman. Let’s just say it you would need a VISA card with no-limit to afford him).

BEST ACTRESS: Sandra Bullock “The Blind Side” (Picked by Creative Director Michael Kromm)

Sandy Bullock is the favorite to win, especially after taking home the Screen Actors Guild award. Michael never gave me a reason for picking Sandra, but rumors around the office indicate he was pretty burned “All About Steve” wasn’t nominated for anything. Maybe his dream will finally come true.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Maggie Gyllenhaal “Crazy Heart” (Picked by SLM Art Director Mike Petrik)

Never mind Mo’Nique has won every award out there, Petrik is going for the total upset and picking Maggie Gyllenhaal. But don’t worry, he has a great reason for doing so.

I didnt see any of these movies this year.  Isn’t Mo’Nique a washed up R&B artist from the late 80’s?  I guess I missed the boat on who Anna Kendrick is.  Vera Farmiga should get some sort of award for her role in Orphan.  Did Orphan get any Oscar nods?  I’ll have to check TMZ’s back log.  But I’m gonna go with Maggie Gyllenhaal, because she was good in Donnie Darko.

Great pick, Mike!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz “Inglorious Basterds” (Picked by SLM Production Coordinator Ed Boe)

Ed didn’t have to elaborate on his pick. Christoph Waltz was eerily delicious in “Inglorious Basterds.” It’s his year to take home the trophy. Fellow nominees, we hope you enjoy your gift basket. Thanks for playing.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: “The Princess and the Frog” (Picked by Molly Petrik, daughter of SLM Art Director Mike Petrik)

We have a war among the toddlers. Spencer Vass likes “Up” for Best Picture, but Molly Petrik doesn’t even think it will win Best Animated Feature. In fact, she’s going with a 2-D winner! Why is that? Mike explains…

I decided to Google the title of the flick, and show her the first image that related to the title on Google images.  Keep in mind she hasn’t seen any of these.  I started at the top of the list with “Up.”  The first image I came up with was that chubby boyscout character floating away, but you couldn’t see the balloons.  Molly seemed bored and asked to see Elmo instead.  Next, I Googled “The Princess and the Frog.”  As I was saying it out loud, she said “ribbit ribbit,” which probably means, “The Princess and the Frog should win best animated feature.  It really is a renaissance type of film for Disney.”

Good pick, Molly!

Now, to the boring stuff. I pick the rest of the technical categories. CUE MUSIC!



BEST COSTUME DESIGN: “The Young Victoria”


BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: “Last Truck: The Closing of a GM Plant”

BEST EDITING: “The Hurt Locker”


BEST MAKEUP: “Star Trek”





BEST SOUND EDITING: “Inglorious Basterds”





Having an Oscar party? Download your own printable ballot HERE.

Posted by: Greg Vass | February 8, 2010

The 5 Best Commercials of Super Bowl XLIV

“The 5 Best Commercials of Super Bowl XLIV”
By Marcus Leshock
Writer, SolidLine Media

Like so many football fans across the world, SolidLine Media was glued to the action during Super Bowl XLIV. A big congratulations to the folks down in New Orleans we’ve worked with over the years, a much deserved NFL Championship is finally in your grasp.

Anyways, seeing that we put together commercials and advertisements for a living, we thought it would be fun to share our favorite Super Bowl commercials to air during last night’s game. We ranked them based on entertainment value, but most important, how they met their client’s needs and reinforced their branding message.

OK…too much blabbing. Lets get to the fun….

#5 BEST Commercial: “Fiddling Beaver” followed a Super Bowl tradition. Make a very cute animal do something human, but with positive results. They chose a beaver with a knack for fiddling. He uses to find a job opportunity in the big city, and more opportunities follow from there.

Brand Reinforcement: The advertisement clearly shows the product at work. We see a computer, a job description, and success from using the product.

Entertainment Value: Enough for the whole family. Every demographic will get a chuckle out of such a cute little thing ripping through a fiddle in an exposed hot tub on a limousine – from teenagers to Grandma. The ad is a winner…

#4 BEST Commercial: Dockers “Men Without Pants”

While this might not jump out as a memorable Super Bowl spot, Dockers has successfully created the most buzzed about viral campaign of the Super Bowl. The company is giving away 1,000 pairs of free pants to customers through its website. The result? Dockers-related terms are filling up the trends list on Google. A chorus of men singing about not wearing pants during the Super Bowl is only fanning the flames. So while you may have watched this spot and said, “What’s the big deal,” it’s turned out to be a mighty big deal for khaki pant lovers across America.

#3 BEST Commercial: Hyundai “Brett Favre MVP 2020”

Hyundai chose to do what not too many advertisers did during the game, make a current ad about football. The piece starts with a post-game interview from 2020, with a then 50 year-old Brett Favre accepting another MVP trophy, before deciding whether or not to retire again.

Brand Reinforcement: LOW. People will remember this ad for Favre and his humbling ways of poking fun at himself. Hyundai counters with the “you may not know what will happen in 10 years, but your Hyundai will still be covered” line, but it’s not enough to make people remember the product.

Entertainment Factor: HIGH. Favre is on every football fan’s mind right now, and I especially enjoyed the reporter’s hologram microphone flag and cheesy futuristic trophy. But couple this with the Sears ads, and its time to move on from the Favre retirement jokes. This was a fun farewell…

#2 BEST Commercial: Doritos “Snack Attack Samurai”

Doritos came through with a killer viral campaign, asking up-and-coming filmmakers and advertisers to create spots using their product. The pieces that received the most votes would be aired during the big game. Our favorite was “Snack Attack Samurai,” about a couple of guys at the gym (a good enough joke to begin with) who snack from the wrong bag.

Brand Reinforcement: HIGH. Doritos are on display through nearly the entire spot. One character even wears a costume made from Doritos. A man is even killed with a Dorito in humorous fashion. I can’t think of a commercial that made me remember the brand more, except for maybe our #1 choice.

Entertainment Factor: HIGH. Again, a spot that is full of laughs for everybody. See for yourself…

#1 BEST Commercial: Google’s “Parisian Love”

This is a wonderful advertisment that plays right into Google’s customer base. We follow along as one of its searchers become a study-abroad student, meets a young Parisian woman, falls in love, marries her, and has a child. And we see nothing but shots of their search engine in the process.

Brand Recognition: HIGH. Again, there are no other shots except for images from the search engine in use. And it was one of the few ads that didn’t involve anything negative – watching it makes the audience feels warm inside, the kind of feeling you want people to have when thinking about your product.

Entertainment Factor: HIGH. The spot features a hip, soft score. It moves like an Apple commercial while telling a heartwarming story. It’s an emotional piece that connects with its user base. Easily our favorite advertisement from Super Bowl XLIV…

You can contact Marcus at

For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at  Or call 312-939-8600.

Copyright 2010 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

Posted by: Greg Vass | January 21, 2010

Teaching Teachers Through Evidence-Based Research

“Teaching Teachers Through Evidence-Based Research”
By Greg Vass, Executive Producer
SolidLine Media NewsReel Article

SolidLine Media is currently in post-production on a series of educational video seminars for Learning Point Associates. Funded by the Dept. of Education, the productions educate teachers and administrators on how to excel in the classroom. The seven productions feature topics such as Data-Based Decision Making, Interpreting Test Score Trends & Gaps, Understanding Formative Assessment, and Evidence-based Practices. The videos were produced across the US, including Denver, CO, Chicago, IL, Washington, DC, Grand Rapids, MI, and Notre Dame, IN.

“This information is very important to the future of our school systems and educators,” states Peggie Garcia from Learning Point Associates. “SolidLine has done a great job for us effectively capturing the messages, and have also worked closely with our IT team to develop an online portal so that the content is available to educators around the country.”


You can contact Greg Vass at

For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at  Or call 312-939-8600.

© 2010 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

Posted by: Greg Vass | December 17, 2009

Making Your Video Stand Out

“Making Your Video Stand Out”
By Brian Green, Director of Marketing
SolidLine Media

The other day was fairly typical for me. On the bus to work, I checked my email and watched a YouTube video a friend forwarded to me. I scanned news headlines while riding the elevator. Stopping by the corner Walgreen’s, I heard about new products from tiny video screens in the aisles. I got caught up on the health care debate while standing in line for a sandwich, as a flat screen television played CNN. Back at the office, I had a video conference call. I surfed the internet doing some research for a marketing project we are working on, encountering countless Flash advertisements and video productions. On the bus home, video screens at the front and middle played advertisements, headlines, and trivia. When I got home, I watched some shows on my DVR.  All in all, pretty typical.

But really stopping to consider it, I realize just how ubiquitous video has become. With its growing role in the internet, effectiveness and reasonable cost, video is now a mobile medium; with screens appearing pretty much anywhere you can think of (I even watched a video on a screen while fueling up my car recently!). Just as strong as video’s presence is the mind’s ability to filter the messages, remember the important ones and filter out the junk. And lets face it…most of it is junk.

So how do you keep your message from getting cast aside? Craft a simple message and present it in an engaging, original way. It really is that simple.

Let’s talk about honing a good message. Boil the message down to its core. The old adage, “keep it simple, stupid” applies now more than ever. A simple message is going to stick. You only have a short window in which to grab the audience and deliver your message. Too much information and you’ll lose them in the details and they won’t even remember the main point. This goes for anything type of video production from commercials to product promotions to training videos. Keep your audience engaged by keeping sight of the point. If you stray even the slightest bit too far, the message won’t seem as important, and you’ll lose your audience. Attention spans are just not what they used to be…you are still reading this, right? Ok, good.

Context plays an equally important role in delivering a successful message. Do you have your audience’s undivided attention? Likely not, so you have to grab it. Creativity is paramount. But you have to consider the tone of the message. A video to raise awareness about the dangers of smoking probably shouldn’t try for humor. It would distract from the sobering message. Remember, the message is what matters.

The venue is an important part of finding the right context for your video. If you’re promoting a franchise, you probably don’t want to use the small screens in retail shops – this type of distribution is more suitable for products. Likewise for training, you’re going to deliver a more effective message showing the video in a small room or making it available to individual viewers to watch on their computers than you would if you projected on a big screen to a large audience in a convention center.

The right message in the right context. That’s the big picture answer for how to separate your video from the rest. Watch videos around you for examples of what works and what doesn’t.  I am sure you will be surprised at what you actually see.


You can contact Brian Green at

For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at  Or call 312-939-8600.

Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

Posted by: Greg Vass | December 9, 2009

Video Training Saves Time, Money, Sanity

“Video Training Saves Time, Money, Sanity”
By Brian Green, Director of Marketing
SolidLine Media

Ever had to sit through an employment orientation or training session? If so, and you’re like me, you found the experience, well, to put it democratically, inefficient. In an orientation scenario, you’re anxious to get started, wanting to make a good first impression. Instead, you’re stuck in a room for a few hours, maybe even longer, sometimes for several days. Or if it’s continuing education or a new policy at your current employer, then it’s precious time lost, cluttering an already busy schedule. Sure, you’re getting paid for it, and the information is necessary, but you can’t help feeling there has to be a better way.

And there is a better way, and one thats much more efficient. Training videos go a long way to offsetting costs, increasing information retention, improving the quality and consistency of the message, and shortening the time required to train and orient new staff.

Consider the costs of instructor-led training. You have to pay the instructor and the trainees, you have facility costs, printing costs, travel costs, possibly even refreshments. And you’re stifling productivity by blocking out hours or even days from your employees. Still worse, if it’s the typical training course, the majority of trainees aren’t going to retain half of the material, undermining the entire purpose of the training.

A training video can take a two hour course, cover all of the same material in an engaging way, and condense it into a 30 minute high end, entertaining video. Don’t believe me? SolidLine Media has done it. And not just once.

Think about it. A video training course that employees can view at their desk, on their computer, during downtime. A course that would take a full week could be viewed in less than a day. It could be streamed over the company intranet, there whenever the employee needs it, as many times as necessary.

Moreover, with a training video, the message stays consistent. An instructor could repeat the same course a hundred times, but it will never be exactly the same. Vocal inflection, word choice, every little nuance and gesture all can change the message, even if it’s unintentional. But using the same training video ensures that all employees get the same information presented in a uniform manner.

The moral of the story? A well produced (and entertaining) training video saves money, time and your employees’ sanity. The message gets across more clearly and uniformly. It’s a win-win proposition.

Click here to read a few Case Studies on how SolidLine has helped other organizations save time and money.


You can contact Brian Green at

For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at  Or call 312-939-8600.

Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

Posted by: Greg Vass | November 24, 2009

SolidLine On-Location: New York City

“SolidLine On-Location: New York City”
By Greg Vass, Executive Producer
SolidLine Media

As we talk about often one of the greatest benefits of our job is the amazing places we get to travel to.  From coast to coast the SolidLine crew has covered most of the country over the last decade…several times over.  Every town we head to has its own unique characteristics, benefits, and of course challenges.  And one of the most challenging places to film is, you guessed it, New York City.  And wouldn’t you know, we just got back.

Our trip to NYC last week was a pretty quick in and out, from Saturday to Monday, with filming all day Sunday.  It was strictly a green screen shoot so our equipment needs were minimal…and when I say ‘minimal’ I mean we only needed to travel 8 production cases.  That means we were able to fly instead of taking the SolidLine bus.  Don’t get me wrong, we love travelling in our rig, but sometimes it’s nice to just get there and get back quick.  Even though flying with our equipment is, well, a royal pain.  It’s always pretty funny to see us at the airport; Smart carts piled high with film cases, as well as our personal carry-ons of course.  I can only imagine what other passengers must be thinking.  Probably something to the tune of “I wonder what their baggage fees will be…”

Michael Kromm surveys the gear on the curb at Midway Airport before checking in on Southwest, the official airline of SolidLine Media

We arrived to NYC with no problems.  The next step: get to the hotel.  Usually when we fly this is no big deal.  We would rent a van and head to the hotel or location.  No big deal.  But as you know, New York City is not a place to rent a vehicle, nor someplace you want to drive into…so alternate transportation was in order. Now, getting 3 people and 12 total bags into a NYC cab, or any other cab, is nearly impossible, but if you know SolidLine we are always up for a challenge.  We hailed a cab and began to use the Tetris method to fit everything in, even using the front seat to fit a large case.  After about 10 minutes we were packed and ready.  It was all good for us because we only had to take 1 cab, even though I don’t think the driver was very happy. But we got to the hotel, checked in to our typical tiny New York room, and headed for a crew night out.

Ed and Greg load up the SolidLine NYC 'Grip Truck'

Sunday morning rolled around quickly and we had to again load our production cases into the jigsaw puzzle of a cab, but we figured it out.  We headed to the soundstage we rented in the Flatiron district.  It was a great space and the staff there was in good spirits, especially since it was 7am on a Sunday.  Our talent for the day was a great guy named Siafa Lewis.  He is also one of the hosts of the 5pm NBC News show in NYC.  We were shooting the ‘host’ scenes for a promotional production for the National Society of Leadership & Success.  The President of the Society, Gary Tuerack, joined us as well at the soundstage.  We have the opportunity to work with so many great people and it always makes a production day so much more enjoyable when you have screen talent like Siafa in front of the camera.  He was professional, talented, and most important, had a great sense of humor.  We had about 12 scenes to do with Siafa and we nailed them all from 9am to 4pm on Sunday.  A pretty amazing feat in my opinion as Siafa had several complicated scenes where he had to interact on the green screen with graphics that he could not see.  We were impressed.  And on top of it all, we laughed all day and had a great time. After 9 hours in the studio, we wrapped the day and packed up the gear, with enough time to enjoy another night in NY before an early flight back to Chicago.

Another successful production day on the books, and, regardless of the logistical challenges, a great trip to NYC.


You can contact Greg Vass at

For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at  Or call 312-939-8600.

Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

Posted by: Greg Vass | November 18, 2009

What is the Value of Video?

“What is the Value of Video?”
By Brian Green, Director of Marketing
SolidLine Media

Video is arguably the most flexible communication medium, and it is constantly evolving as we discover new ways to use it. Video’s only limitation is our imagination.

Of course a video production company makes this claim, right? But think about it. Statistics show that 65% of us are visual learners, and 30% learn verbally. Is there a better way to reach nearly everyone than with the audiovisual communication of a video?

One of the most important characteristics of video is its flexibility. Our projects often evolve during production to spawn additional videos for our clients. The best example is a conference opening video. After premiering at an associations annual event, SolidLine Media can make a few key edits and transform the conference opening video into a promotional or educational piece that the organization can use throughout the year. So not only will the video grab the audience’s attention and establish a high level of excitement at the opening of their conference, but they will generate this level of excitement throughout the year through the organization’s website, DVD distribution to members and clients, and for broadcast at regional events. Essentially the same video can be used to energize current and prospective customers alike.  And that’s more bang for your production buck.

Flexibility and adaptation are central to video’s value-adding and cost-reducing capabilities. This is an increasingly important part of our services, especially in this economy (yeah we had to say it…). Adapting videos for multiple purposes increases the value of the initial investment, and improves the organization’s communications model. In addition, videos can help streamline operations. For example, our training videos can cut a two-hour safety class down to as little as thirty minutes, all while increasing information retention and creating a consistent message. This will reduce the overall cost of training while improving its effectiveness.

Another important characteristic about video is that it integrates with evolving technology. Organizations are under increasing pressure to incorporate Web 2.0 technologies like social networking. But content is still king. An organization has to engage customers online. And the evolution of the web has included video streaming, animation and motion graphics, further evidence that there is no better way to engage an audience than with video.

Flexibility, reusability and adaptability: the core characteristics of video. The possibilities for integration into business communications and direct impact on the bottom line make it essential to communications and marketing models.



You can contact Brian Green at

For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at  Or call 312-939-8600.

Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

“Watch out! Low Clearance Ahead – Traveling in the SolidLine Truck”
By Edward Boe, Production Coordinator
SolidLine Media

Throughout the course of a year here at SolidLine, we are traveling consistently from city to city.  Sometimes we fly, but usually we drive…a 50 foot semi…into cities…crowded cities…crowded with cars, people and height restrictions (New Jersey, I’m looking at you!).  Tight quarters or not, we have to get there, and as a result, a lot of planning goes into the travel in order to quickly and safely get us from point A to point B, on time and in one piece.

A few things stand in our way when it comes to traveling anywhere with the SolidLine rig, not the least of which is city size.  By size I am referring to a number of different things, population (the more crowded the more difficult), expanse of the city (the more we have to take side-roads or worse rural roads, the more challenging it becomes), and of course infrastructure size (height clearances, weight restrictions, truck routes, and street width all fall into this category).

Population becomes a factor when the location has a highly concentrated population, or population centers.  For instance, Boston, New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and even our homebase of Chicago are all places that SolidLine has driven to in our rig, and each has posed unique challenges regarding the number of people we have to dodge while driving. 

The SolidLine rig contends with traffic as it is parked along a narrow street just outside of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The number of people can also present a problem when it comes to security for our truck. Aside from our own safety, we have hundreds of thousands of dollars of the top-of-the-line high definition camera gear that we’d like to keep safe and in hand.  Sometimes it’s worth the piece of mind to find secure parking lots that offer 24-hour surveillance.

Our truck had to hold in it's gut in order to get into this secured parking lot along the Mississippi river in New Orleans, Louisiana.

When traveling anywhere in the Solidline rig, inter-state highways are the best route.  Anytime we have to get off the main artery roads, we run the risk of getting stuck in series of narrow streets, turned around, or simply stuck in stop and go traffic.  Large cities are usually have interstates running right up to them, but often times it’s the out-of-the-way locations (or even big cities that require going through a lot of out-of-the-way rural country) that can cause us trouble.  States like Wyoming, the Dakotas, and New Mexico have a lot of one lane roads with no where for a 50-foot semi to turn around.

This is one of the many ridiculous bridges we have to cross in our gianormous truck.

And then there’s the issue of proper infrastructure.  A lot of cities on the east coast were built early on in the life of the country, and as such, weren’t able to take into consideration the expanding size of commercial sized vehicles.  Our truck is nearly 14 feet high (13’6” to be exact), and when driving anywhere the driver has to be constantly aware of bridges, railroad trestles, and overpasses that are too low (these are prevalent in and around the east coast especially…cough, cough, New Jersey, cough…).  Weight restrictions prove to be a similar problem, at 30-some tons, our truck isn’t made to go across something like a tiny, rural, one-lane county road bridge.  Rural locations like backwoods Pennsylvania or middle of nowhere New Mexico have a lot of these conditions to look out for. 

One final consideration of travel, is Mother Nature.  Mountains, rain, snow, ice, and cold are all conditions that must be taken into consideration when traveling in a semi.  More than once we have altered our route, or made a detour to avoid a dangerous incline, or inclement weather for the sake of safety.

Our GPS diverted us off the interstate in Wyoming in the dead of winter all in the interest of saving 5 minutes. That GPS was fired!

Getting anywhere means a good amount of research into not only the end destination, but also the conditions on the way there.  Each of our licensed drivers is constantly glued to the weather channel, and many have gotten advanced degrees in meteorology and traffic physio-psychology in an effort to be hyper-vigilant and aware of each stage of SolidLine’s travel needs.  Of course these degrees probably weren’t from an ‘accredited’ school…

You can contact Ed Boe at
For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at  Or call 312-939-8600.
Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

Posted by: Greg Vass | November 9, 2009

Do Yourself A Favor…Do A Location Scout!

“Do Yourself A Favor…Do A Location Scout!”
By Edward Boe, Production Coordinator
SolidLine Media

A production trip for SolidLine takes shape in many different stages over the course of many days, weeks, or even months.  Some of the steps are obvious, writing a script, filming, editing, etc., there are however, some other steps that are not as readily thought of, but equally important to the success of the project.  A prime example of one of these in-between yet extremely important steps, is the location scout.  Existing in-between the script writing and production stages, the location scout is a crucial step that helps you to draw up a blueprint of how to approach the production stage of your shoot.  Each step of the shoot, from the beginning of a project on through the final delivery is connected, each step affecting the next on down the line.  The more prepared you are for the production stage, the smoother the post-production stage will go, and so on.

Even if you have the best high-definition gear in the world, it doesn’t amount to much if you can’t figure out how to get it to where you’re going, and what to shoot when you’re there.  Going on a location scout will help you to answer a few questions, and fill in a few blanks.  Some things to consider…

Does your location have a loading dock? 

Does your truck fit in that dock?

Do they have a freight elevator? (You do not want to try and carry this stuff up stairs)


The SolidLine crew brings a load of equipment into University of Illinois Hospital for our shoot with Transparent Health

Is there power?  Is it the right amount (you don’t want to go blowing fuses)? Do you have enough room to set up your equipment?  Is there an out-of-the-way spot, that is secure and safe to park both your truck as well as your crew’s automobiles?  Do you need a filming or parking permit?  Will your car get hit by, say, a golf ball?  Is there…well, you get the idea.

Each of these questions and concerns can be answered relatively quickly by actually seeing the location.  Getting in contact with the location manager, or a supervisor of your location will get them familiar with what you are trying to accomplish as well, that way you don’t have anyone freaking out about the loads and loads of equipment you’re dragging through their doors.  Once the SolidLine team has a good idea of the requirements of the project, it is time to drive or fly out to your location, and see what sort of challenges you face.  Based on this trip, you will know right away what you can expect and what you’ll need to plan around.  You don’t, for instance, want to get there and realize that you have nowhere to plug-in your batteries, or worse yet, nowhere to keep your equipment safe from theft or damage.

The SolidLine rig secured outside of our location at the Omni Hotel in Chicago, IL.

The SolidLine rig secured outside our location, the Omni Hotel in downtown Chicago, IL.

There are difficult shots that require a lot of work to get “in the can”, but with a simple location scout out to your location, those shots will be easier, and the simple ones will be a breeze. 

Learning Point Set Up

Kromm puts the finishing touches on the Learning Point set-up.

So take it from SolidLine, do yourself a favor…do a location scout!

You can contact Ed Boe at
For more information about SolidLine Media, visit us online at  Or call 312-939-8600.
Copyright 2009 SolidLine Media, a division of KV Media Group, Inc.

Posted by: Greg Vass | November 3, 2009

SolidLine Media Sponsors Fitness 5k

“SolidLine Media Sponsors Fitness 5k”
By Brian Green, Director of Marketing
SolidLine Media

Over 600 participants gathered Sept. 26th in Palatine, IL for the 7th Annual Midtown Athletic Club 5k Run & Family Fitness Walk. SolidLine sponsored the race and produced a video for the fundraiser. The SolidLine bus was onsite for the event as well as several SLM crew. The 5k raised over $20,000 for Bears Care, the charitable beneficiary of the Chicago Bears.

Since incorporating in 2005, Bears Care has granted over $3 million to programs supporting education, youth athletics and medical research and health awareness programs.

Greg in the Crew Cart

It's very important to stay hydrated during a 5k.


You can contact Brian at

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