Posted by: Greg Vass | October 28, 2009

SolidLine Production Featured in Wall Street Journal

SolidLine Production Featured in Wall Street Journal
By Brian Green, Director of Marketing
SolidLine Media

A Wall Street Journal article profiling Transparent Health’s patient safety initatives showcased a trailer for their new educational documentary, “The Faces of Medical Error…From Tears to Transparency: The Story of Lewis Blackman.” SolidLine Media produced the video for Transparent Health, which aims to teach hospital staffers important patient safety initiatives and empowers patients to take a more active role in their care.

The video premiered September 24th at the University of Illinois at Chicago to an audience from across the country. Health care consultant and author Michael Millenson commented on the premiere stating, “This is a rare film that pulls at the heart and enters the soul, yet also calmly lays out a set of well-reasoned suggestions that allow individuals and institutions to respond to what they have seen, heard and felt.” The production is available for purchase to hospital systems worldwide at http://www.transparent-health.com. Transparent Health has contracted with SolidLine to create 11 more patient safety educational documentaries.

Transparent Health Team

The Transparent Health team at premiere night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can view the article and trailer here

BG

You can contact Brian Green at brian@solidlinemedia.com

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

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

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Posted by: Greg Vass | October 28, 2009

Pro Golfer Jim Furyk Films Message with SolidLine

Pro Golfer Jim Furyk Films Message with SolidLine
By Brian Green, Director of Marketing
SolidLine Media

Before his runner-up performance at the BMW Championship at Cog Hill this month, professional golfer Jim Furyk spent some time with the SolidLine crew while filming an introduction for the Western Golf Association’s new Caddie Training video. Furyk, currently ranked third in the PGA’s FedExCup Playoff standings, highlighted the vital role caddies play in the game of golf. He also encouraged young caddies to work towards an Evans Scholarship, which is a full 4-year tuition and boarding scholarship available only to caddies who excel both on the course and in the class. The involvement of Furyk in the SolidLine produced video will inspire thousands of teen caddies each year as they go through an extensive WGA caddie training at over 500 clubs across the country.  The video will be released in January 2010.

Jim Furyk Films with SolidLine Media

Jim Furyk gets ready to work the camera while filming with SolidLine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BG

You can contact Brian Green at brian@solidlinemedia.com.   

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

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

Posted by: Greg Vass | October 8, 2009

The Economics of Art & Design

“The Economics of Art & Design”
By Chris Hamilton, Motion Graphics Artist
SolidLine Media

Economics of A&D

The Colosseum was not created in a year, Michaelangelo’s Statue of David was not created in a month, and Van Gogh’s Starry Night was not created in a day. Great art can usually take many years and tremendous amounts of resources to create. In most cases, artists and designers work their entire lives without producing what would commonly be regarded as a “masterpiece.”

Graphic design and motion graphics are no less different; regardless whether it is personal or commercial work.

The introduction of business and commerce and how it relates to art & design is a constant struggle of tight deadlines, budgets, and the ability to produce quality work. Far too often clients do not understand the amount of time, effort, and resource it takes to make something of extremely high quality. Many times they think that it is possible to make something great in a little amount of time and still have the cost remain low. This, unfortunately, is just not true. Great visual imagery takes time, expertise, and, you guessed it, money.

The Project Triangle
The Project Triangle states that:
Design something quickly and to a high standard, but it will not be cheap.
Design something quickly and cheaply, but it will not be of high quality.
Design something with high quality and cheaply, but it will be done quickly.

A good understanding of the Project Triangle is paramount to the success of your project, whether it be graphic design, motion graphics, or video production. All of these things are creative endeavors that will be hampered if there is not sufficient time and resource to accomplish the project goals.

So when you are thinking about undertaking your next video project, the best things to do are to:
1. Identity measurable goals and objectives.
2. Leave ample time to achieve those goals.
3. Understand quality comes either at the cost of time or money.

If you can do those three things your project should be a success, maybe even a masterpiece.

ch

You can contact Chris Hamilton at chris@solidlinemedia.com

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

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

Posted by: Greg Vass | September 22, 2009

Creative Brief!

“Creative Brief!”
By Mike Petrik
Art Director, SolidLine Media

Understanding is a major part the job for both sides. The client, the one with the money wanting to do a video, needs to understand what they want. The video nerds, us, needs to understand what they want. Usually us video nerds can help guide the client in figuring out what they want. Two things can happen here; One, the client comes into the process knowing exactly what they want, and the outcome can be a perfectly executed amazing video. As the Art Director, the perfect relationship between myself and the client goes like this…

Client: “Hi, Im so-and-so. I need to do a video and my budget is this amount of dollars. I have everything already storyboarded out. Here are my logos and branding guidelines.”

Me: “Perfect! Thanks!”

This sounds like a wild fantasy, but it does happen. For example, this video we did over the summer had this exact scenario, and the video turned out perfect.

Or, scenario two, for those who are still struggling with what you want out of your video, there is a way! Behold, the SolidLine Media Creative Brief! When you first set out on your video making journey, take a look at this. Fill it out as best you can. It will guide you down the path of near-perfect-video-production!

slm_creative_brief

You can contact Mike Petrik at mpetrik@solidlinemedia.com

To learn more about SolidLine Media, visit us online at http://www.solidlinemedia.com. Or call 312-939-8600.

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

Posted by: Greg Vass | September 16, 2009

Concept is KING

“Concept is KING”
By Chris Hamilton
Motion Graphics Artist, SolidLine Media

King
  
We live in a world in which media is virtually around every corner we turn. We are constantly bombarded with various types of media – which comes to us in many shapes and forms. Studies from Texas A&M University state that the average American consumer is exposed to more than 850 commercial messages a day. It is impossible to escape it, and for good reason. Media is the vehicle in which we as individuals can express ourselves, and as companies it is a way we sell our ideas or services.

So…How is it that we can go about creating media such as promotional videos, television commercials, training videos, or conference videos that will resonate within our audience’s mind? There are a lot of questions to consider when thinking about creating a great visual message. A few to consider: How can we truly have a lasting impact on our audience when they are constantly bombarded with visual content? How can we stand out from all of the rest? And most importantly, how can we get them to act upon, or learn from, the information presented to them? The answer ultimately lies in a great creative concept.

Audience

Anyone can regurgitate information though a camera and on to a television set that will ultimately go in the audiences short term memory only to be forgotten minutes later. Raw information needs to be molded and applied in a fashion that the audience can relate to, yet also in a way they might find interesting. Entertaining is a good thing. People like to be entertained, even if it’s a training or educational video, sales presentation, or other marketing production. Entertain your audience and they will pay attention and retain information. A good concept allows us to do exactly that.

A concept can mean any number of things; from a story-line with a character animation, to a cutting edge visual style. There are a number of methods we can utilize to make video productions that are engaging for the viewer to watch. Any production company can gear up with high-tech video cameras and make you a “corporate video.” But does this video engage your customer? Your employee? Your client? Is your viewer going to act upon what they have seen, or remember your key messages? Without the foundation, or the concept, you cannot build the frame. And now think about a house without a frame…sound like a very ‘sound’ structure? Didn’t think so. A good concept is created by taking into account a client’s goals and expectations, their target market, branding, and what they want to communicate to their audience. At SolidLine Media, we take into account all these important variables and then brainstorm as a team on how we can communicate that message in an interesting, fresh way. Each concept is custom, unique to each client and each production. After all, it is the original and great ideas along with the subsequent well executed concepts that will allow you and your company to stand out in a media saturated world.

So when you want to produce a truly high end video production, don’t be afraid to create something special… entertain your audience…and make them wanting more of what you got. And…don’t forget to call the Creative Team at SolidLine Media!

ch

You can contact Chris Hamilton at chris@solidlinemedia.com

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

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

Posted by: Greg Vass | August 20, 2009

Branding…It’s Like Getting Dressed in the Morning

“Branding…It’s Like Getting Dressed in the Morning”
By Chris Hamilton
Motion Graphics Artist, SolidLine Media

Branding

Branding has become a dominant term in the world of commerce. Its definition varies depending on who you ask, but is typically thought of as a company’s identity in the eye’s of its consumers. It has an uncanny ability to communicate what you or your company does, the quality that you produce, and the manner in which you achieve those results. Ultimately branding is the impression, whether conscious or subconscious, that you leave in the minds of everyone who interacts with your company.

Humans more often than not, are a highly visual and judgmental species. What we see, allows us to form judgments and biases based on what we see and encounter on a daily basis. For example, if we see a dark alley late at night, we typically think of it as an unsafe place to go. The alley’s brand late at night relates very much to its visual indicators: dark, dirty, abandoned, not to mention the creepy guy in the trench coat who’s giving you weird looks. These indications have become associated with how the alley might be unsafe and something we have learned to be fearful of, regardless if those fears are justifiable or not. These fears and biases will ultimately help us to decide if walking down the alley is a good idea or a bad idea. These kinds of biases encompass how we interact with certain individuals, groups of people, and how we interpret the world around us. Branding allows artists and designers to manipulate this aspect of human perception to help shape other people’s opinions of ourselves, and the companies we either work for or own – hopefully for the better.

Simply put, branding is like the clothing you wear, only it’s for your company. Do you want your company dressed like a bum or dressed to the nine’s? The answer is obvious, but the question is how can we go about creating a successful brand?

Having a solid brand, especially in an increasingly brand aware world is going to be paramount to your success in the long run. Most Fortune 500 companies are aware of this and they attempt to use it to their advantage, some succeed more so than others depending on your personal opinion. Your brand encompasses everything from your visual identity, to the culture of your work place, to the experiences your clients have with you. For the purposes of this article, we will be tackling the visual aspects of your brand.

Company Logo

Your company logo is a key piece in creating a successful brand for your company, it can be equated to the kind of shirt you put on this morning. Is the shirt dirty? Does it have holes in it? What is on the shirt, any graphics, colors, or patterns? Is it nicely ironed? We can create an impression in our mind based on how someone is dressed that will lead us to assume certain things about the person that may or may not be true. If we see someone in a nicely pressed white collar shirt we can assume that the person might be a successful business person, someone who is intelligent and competent.

For a large part our experiences in life have taught us to react in one fashion or another based on those impressions. Your logo, as mentioned before, can be thought of like the shirt you are wearing. Was your logo custom tailored by a professional who knows how to use color, shape, line, typography, and iconography to clearly communicate the positive aspects of your company? Or was it designed by an amateur who gave no thought to how it would be perceived in the eyes of the public?

One of the most prolific examples, as well as one that truly has a historical impact, is the importance branding played in the 2008 Presidential Election.

2008 Election

Historically, campaign branding and design has not been something that has played a tremendous role in the outcome of elections seeing how most campaigns typically didn’t have much associated branding other than typographic red and blue signs. This election, however, was slightly different.

The Obama campaign which was trying to capitalize on the youth vote, and they understood the importance of having a good brand in attracting the eyes of a generation that has been exposed to brands virtually all their life. The visual style of the opposing campaigns are rather clear cut. McCain’s campaign had the run of the mill, typical campaign look to it. Whereas Obama’s had a new, more modern look to it – a look that is reflective of the Web 2.0 generation. Obama’s logo also was one of the first to include any sort of iconography within it, which all lent itself to his message. It was the first campaign to really brand itself according to how it wanted to be perceived to their target market, and was quite successful in doing so.

As most political campaigns go, each side states that it is going to bring “change” to the political arena. Whether Obama will truly bring that change is a matter of political opinion, but his branding was the first to really speak about that change and hope that he had promised.

How could we believe McCain’s campaign, seeing how his branding was so much like all the predecessors before him? If he looks like all the politicians before him, he will most likely just be more of the same, right? Obama’s campaign capitalized on this fact, and made a point of difference to set themselves a part. Apparently it worked because he is now the 44th President of the Unites States, and it would be safe to assume that his campaign has changed the way we think about branding and the political process. Branding is important no matter what business you are in.

So what exactly does a logo contain that helps create a successful brand? There are many schools of thought, and it is a very subjective topic – everyone has their own opinion and we all respond to things differently. However, there are certain traits that leading brands have within their logos. Having said that, we also need to note that societal perceptions are constantly changing, adapting, and responding to everything else that is going on, which is why some brands are updated every now and again.

Coke

The first trait is that most logos are simple. You want your logo to be as economical as possible, but still maintain resonance within your audience’s mind. You want to be able to communicate your message in one quick glance. In the case of Obama’s logo, they used the sun rising on the horizon which was comprised of red stripes. A simple message being that we’ve awoken to a new era in government, and that hope is on the horizon. You could go on interpreting it however you see fit, the important thing is that it communicates a lot of information in a rather simple form. Not to mention the “O” in which the icon lies, obviously standing for Obama.

The second trait is that it should be timeless. A lot of amateur designers typically create their first logos in styles that are popular or relevant at the time, only to have their clients frustrated later on because down the road they just look dated. Certainly, some designers play into this aspect and some logos may not be used over a long period of time. Ideally, for most corporate logos, longevity is a must so your logo cannot be reflective of the current fads happening at the moment. They should still be consistent with the market’s taste however, but that is also fleeting. One example of a widely known brand and logo is Coca-Cola. They’re logo hasn’t changed for over 100 years and it’s still relevant to this day.

The third trait is that is should be executed by a professional. Often times people underestimate the role of the designer in creating a successful brand and they often think that anyone can design a logo. Sometimes they’re right, most of the time they’re wrong. Designers have a great deal of knowledge that can help alleviate some of the difficulties of creating a successful brand down the road. Some of that knowledge includes understanding the historical relevance of the typeface that is used in your logo, or knowledge of color theory and an understanding of how humans react to and perceive various shades of green. For the most part, when starting a company, or redesigning your logo, just leave it to a pro. It might cost more, but it will pay off down the line.

Not only is your brand communicated through your logo, which we could equate to the shirt you may or may not be wearing at the moment. But it also encompasses all the other printed material, web, video (VERY important of course!), and signage that you might posses as a company. Which is why, once again, that it is so crucial that you work with designer’s who know what they’re doing. You want your brand to be consistent across all the various media’s just mentioned and professional designer will make sure that it is accomplished.

CH

You can contact Chris Hamilton at chris@solidlinemedia.com

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

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

The SolidLine Summer Intern: Why did I sign up for this? Week 5
By Michael “Cornbread” Radostits
Summer Intern, SolidLine Media

Week five started off with a busy schedule, which I was hoping to have a good night sleep for, but I didn’t find out until 11 p.m. Sunday that I was going to have to be downtown Monday morning at 6:30 a.m. This means that I was going to have to be up at 4:45 Monday morning to catch an early train. Thank you Greg. Fortunately for me, I can take an hour nap on the ride up, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

Man I sure was tired on the train ride into the office.

Man I sure was tired on the train ride into the office.

As soon as I arrived at the office, Ed and I started to unload equipment to bring up to the office. We had a young actress, Whitney, coming in to the office to be our talent for a video. I’m pretty used to loading and unloading the truck by now, but I did have a unique experience while bringing equipment up to the building.

Instead of using the front door and the main elevators, we had to bring the equipment down the side of the building and up through the service elevator. Ok, that doesn’t sound too unique, but it gets better. As Ed and I got to the ramp up to the building, we had a tough time getting to the ramp. There is scaffolding on the side of the building for God knows what. (All I’ve heard about it is that there are workers drilling into the building.) They have little rooftops built so if anything falls, it will not hit anyone down below. Ed and I worked and worked to squeeze the fully loaded carts of equipment through this tight space to get to the ramp. We were pushing and turning and lifting over and over. It was very cramped. Ed decided to go to the front of the cart and pull while I was at the other and of the cart to push. We start to move everything up the ramp and I slip, almost falling back to the ground. Somehow I caught myself, but that wasn’t even the worst part of it. I look down to see what I slipped on, and there was some dog poop there looking up at me. I look at Ed and say, “Wow, who the heck walks their dog way back here in the alley?” Ed was quick to respond, telling me that there aren’t any dogs that come back here. I’m sure you can put two and two together…it wasn’t pretty.

I dont think that anyone ever walks their dog here...

I dont think that anyone ever walks their dog here...

Once we were inside, we got back to work. We set up a green screen and camera upstairs, and got to work fast. Once again, other than setting up the equipment, I handled some business on the slate, and I also took notes. I’m telling you, if someone were looking to hire a person to slate everything, I would be the man for the job.
Slating is a very tough, and important job.

Slating is a very tough, and important job.

Whitney did a great job on her scenes against the green screen we set up in the office.  She said it looked like I was a good slate operator too, which made me blush a bit.

Whitney did a great job on her scenes against the green screen we set up in the office. She said it looked like I was a good slate operator too, which made me blush a bit.

Our talent worked out great. We finished the shoot with her fairly quickly, packed the equipment up, and then we were off to UIC Medical Center once again to finish shooting for the Transparent Health Project. Ed and I shipped off to UIC right away and got all the equipment into the hospital. We had asked Tim, one of the doctors working with us, where we should stage all the equipment. All of the hallways are pretty tight, and we didn’t want to leave our equipment in a place where it would be in the way. Tim found us a hallway that he thought wasn’t going to be used, so we staged everything there. Tim ran off to a meeting, and Ed and I waited for Michael and Greg to show up. While waiting, I think everyone in the hospital came through that hallway. And many people came through wondering what movie we were filming. As much as I wanted to tell them we were shooting some important scene for some big film, I didn’t. I still want to do that before the summer is over though…I will.

Scrubs just make you look smarter in my opinion.

Scrubs just make you look smarter in my opinion.

We initially set up for scenes in the operating room. This time, our entire crew was wearing scrubs. We were all able to make cameos as extras in the project, but I think Kromm had the best cameo. During a staged operating scene, Michael was in the background creeping through a tiny window. He really isn’t that easy to spot, but it gave me a good laugh to see him in the background.

Getting ready to film in the operating room at UIC.

Getting ready to film in the operating room at UIC.

Reviewing a scene.  I had to read the narration out loud to make sure the scene timing was correct.

Reviewing a scene. I had to read the narration out loud to make sure the scene timing was correct.

We finished up shooting there, and Greg, Michael and I hitched a ride with the other doctor we worked with, David. David drove a beautiful Mercedes Benz, which I think Greg partially broke. As soon as we got into the car, the dome light would stay on, and nobody could figure out what was wrong. Greg seemed pretty worried about it, so I thought it would be easiest to blame it on him.

Loading up at 11pm after a 17 hour day of filming

Loading up at 11pm after a 17 hour day of filming

The long day ended late, so instead of heading home to New Lenox for the night, I ended up staying with Michael and Greg downtown. We got back and immediately had a drink to celebrate the end of a long, successful day. We were all starving, so we threw out ideas for food. I don’t think I’m too picky, but I did make sure that they were not planning on having any sort of seafood. Pizza was the first choice, but instead we ordered some Chinese. We all made a giant plate of food, and all talking ceased. We turned on an episode of Deadliest Catch, and just demolished our plates. It was like none of us had eaten anything in weeks. I don’t know if any of us were even breathing. As soon as I finished eating, I had to lie down before I fell into a coma on the couch.

The next morning we took the train into town, and we had a much more relaxed day. I did make sure to grab my McDonalds breakfast to start the day off right. I was busy uploading production photos and videos on to the SolidLine Media Facebook page. I know it sounds like it is a quick task, but when there are roughly 20-30 picture albums, and 15-25 videos to upload, it can take some time.  Plus, Mike Petrik kept bugging me with his silly faces. 

Mike Petrik can be really distracting.

Mike Petrik can be really distracting.

Also, I did get somewhat sidetracked watching some of the Michael Jackson memorial on television, which was ridiculous. I uploaded as many albums and videos until it was time to go, and then I was off to New Lenox and back to cutting grass.  I’ve gotta make some money somehow! All in all, the two days flew by, and the SolidLine crew was able to get a lot accomplished.

cb

You can contact summer intern Mike Radostits (aka “Cornbread”) at cornbread@solidlinemedia.com

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

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

Posted by: Greg Vass | July 20, 2009

A Guide to Parking the SolidLine Rig

A Guide to Parking the SolidLine Rig
By Edward Boe

When the SolidLine Rig is on the road, short of the occasional narrow street, or low lying tree, we are kings of the road.  At 50 feet long, and 13 and a half feet high, SolidLine floats on a cushion of sleek technology wherever we go, and talk about arriving in style.  Let’s put it this way, when we arrive at a job, EVERYONE knows it.  Once we stop moving, however, the biggest challenge can sometimes be finding a parking space.

Here we have the SolidLine Truck parked outside of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO

Here we have the SolidLine Truck parked outside of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO

Sometimes, we have our pick of the litter in terms of places to park…

The crew taking a break and enjoying the scenery at a rest stop in the middle of Utah.

The crew taking a break and enjoying the scenery at a rest stop in the middle of Utah.

Other times, it can be  a pretty tight squeeze.

This time parked for our shoot at the somewhat busier Notre Dame University in Indiana.

This time parked at the somewhat busier Lambeau Field, in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

During the logistics planning portion of the Pre-Production phase, half of the battle is figuring out a spot to park the truck where it will be easily accessible, out of the way, secure, and out of harms way.  This can be a complicated proceedure especially if our location is in a major metropolitain city…

We've parked in some of the largest metropolitain areas in the United States including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, and Denver.

We've parked in some of the largest metropolitain areas in the United States including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, and Denver.

…in a very rural part of the country where, perhaps, the roads are narrow or in some cases, non-existant!!

We had to drive down the narrowest mountain roads, and across a number of tiny, single lane bridges, in order to get to this location in rural Pennsylvania.

We had to drive down the narrowest mountain roads, and across a number of tiny, single lane bridges, in order to get to this gravel road at the location in rural Pennsylvania.

Either condition requires us to be experts at both driving and navigation.  Each of us has to be willing to jump out at a moments notice and re-direct traffic so someone else can turn the truck around.  It’s lucky sometimes that there are usually 3 of us out on the road, because some situations require more than one person as lookout…

To fit in the space we had for the night while in Boston, we had to prune back some of the trees...from the top of the truck...while it was backing into the driveway.

To fit in the space we had for the night while in Boston, we had to prune back some of the trees...from the top of the truck...while it was backing into the driveway.

Since we need so many people just to travel from one location to the next, it is a good thing that the first two thirds of the truck are living quarters, leaving the last third for our high definition production gear, and the SolidLine golf cart.

Eddie hauls some of our more delicate high def equipment in the SolidLine Golf Cart

Eddie hauls some of our more delicate high def equipment in the SolidLine Golf Cart

Most of the time, we are able to find a nice spaceous place to park for the night at a local Wal*Mart, allowing us to do the necessary shopping for the trip all in one convenient stop.  Despite the sometimes tedious driving conditions (New Jersey and New York, I’m looking in your direction), travelling on the truck is truely a fun time, with all the comforts of home.

Relaxing after our shoot at the TLN studios in Aurora, IL.
Relaxing after our shoot at the TLN studios in Aurora, IL.

You can contact Edward Boe at ed@solidlinemedia.com
To learn more about SolidLine Media, visit us online at www.solidlinemedia.com.  Or call 312-939-8600.

The SolidLine Summer Intern: Why did I sign up for this? Week 4
By Michael “Cornbread” Radostits
Summer Intern, SolidLine Media

We unfortunately didn’t have a shoot Monday or Tuesday, so Tuesday I started off working in the office. At first I wasn’t sure what I was going to be doing. Greg seemed to be living on the phone in the office, Michael was running around doing different things, and Petrik was just real excited because he had an enormous cookie cake left over. I believe Greg bought the cake for Mike because his birthday was over the weekend. The cake was delicious, but way too big. As I sit here writing my blog, the cookie cake still sits on the table next to me, waiting to be eaten.

This is all Greg does all day long...drink coffee and talk to people.  Not sure who he is talking to, but I bet its his mom a lot.

This is all Greg does all day long...drink coffee and talk to people. Not sure who he is talking to, but I bet its his mom a lot.

A lot of SolidLine clients think Mike Petriks name is Patrick because everyone around the office calls him Petrik. Of course noone ever corrects the clients...

A lot of SolidLine clients think Mike Petriks name is Patrick because everyone around the office calls him Petrik. Of course noone ever corrects the clients...

 I wrote my blog as soon as I came into the office, but then I got into some serious business. SolidLine is currently switching their Facebook pages from one to another. They now have vanity websites, so Greg wants everything switched to a new Facebook page for some reason. Anyway…SLM has many videos and pictures on the initial Facebook page, documenting productions and showing off some final projects from the past few years. I was given the job to re-upload these pictures and videos with the same captions, descriptions, locations, and people tagged correctly. Now, this may seem like some silly, quick job, but it is not. When you have to take 31 photo albums, along with over 20 videos, and re-upload them with the correct information, it will take a decent amount of time. I did get quite a few albums uploaded, and only 2 videos. Now, I wasn’t slacking off with the videos, we just kept having trouble uploading the videos. The Facebook page continually froze up, so all we could do was retry to upload the videos.

Check out the new SLM Facebook page and become a Fan at www.facebook.com/solidlinemedia.

 SLM Facebook

We did have a shoot on Wednesday though. I was able to do some traveling again. This time, the destination was Wisconsin!!! Too bad the actual destination was Rockford, IL. I drove up to Rockford myself early Wednesday morning, but this time no McDonald’s breakfast before the road trip. I waited until the Belvidere Oasis on I-90 for my McDonald’s treat.

Well back to the drive. So I had directions to get to Greg’s house for the shoot, but there was a TON of construction on the way up there. I was half asleep, and definitely missed my detour exit that I was supposed to take. Now there is this clock tower that is connected to a hotel, or something, along I-90. It’s north of Rockford. Now the only reason that building is significant is because when I was young, my parents used to take my family to Wisconsin, and that was where we stopped for breakfast every year on our way up. I knew that clock tower was close to the Wisconsin border, so when I drove past it last Wednesday, I knew I was going to most likely be visiting the great state of Wisconsin soon. And with the construction, it seemed that a lot of the exits on the highway were closed, so I had to make a decent drive north of Rockford, just to drive back the same way to get back to Greg’s. I did find Greg’s no problem after I turned around, but I was there by myself.

This is the last thing you will see before you hit Wisconsin.  If you are going to Rockford, get off here!

This is the last thing you will see before you hit Wisconsin. If you are going to Rockford, get off here!

Greg said "just follow the rainbow Cornbread...and he was right!"

Greg said "just follow the rainbow Cornbread...and he was right!"

Greg and Ed had taken off to go get the truck, so I was able to relax in my car and close my eyes while I waited. That nap was short lived when they arrived about 30-40 minutes later, and the real day began. Ed and I unloaded the truck and set up inside Greg’s living room to interview high school students. While unloading, I was able to get my first look at the retrofitted SolidLine Media golf cart. I should call it a luxury vehicle now. Greg and Michael had it custom fitted with turn signals, brake lights, headlights, and a horn to scare people out of their way. I must admit that it’s a pretty sweet golf cart. I still need to get a chance to get that thing to full power on the road. My day will come…

Here are the new golf cart lights in action in Chicago...

Here are the new golf cart lights in action in Chicago...

SO Ed and I set up the scene for the interviews. We set up fairly quickly, and after that, all we needed were the students to interview, but they weren’t coming for 90 minutes. While Greg was doing whatever downstairs in his home office (he said he was working…), Ed and I watched some serious Wimbledon tennis action. Both of us agreed that tennis isn’t the greatest sport. Although four students were supposed to show up, only two did. It was a bit unfortunate, but we were able to work around it. Greg actually threw me into the mix to be interviewed…saying “hey, you are a student.”

Here I am doing some lighting and sound tests...

Here I am doing some lighting and sound tests...

Chelsey, one of the teen interviews, did some poses for her introduction.

Chelsey, one of the teen interviews, did some poses for her introduction.

Greg really wanted to do a "GO Team" thing after the shoot...it wasn't really that 'inspiring' but he felt good about it...

Greg really wanted to do a "GO Team" thing after the shoot...it wasn't really that 'inspiring' but he felt good about it...

We interviewed the students, and we were able to break everything down and reload it into the truck by 3pm. Again, another smooth shoot, and another good week at SolidLine Media.

cb

You can contact summer intern Mike Radostits (aka “Cornbread”) at cornbread@solidlinemedia.com

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

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

The SolidLine Summer Intern: Why did I sign up for this? Week 3
By Michael “Cornbread” Radostits
Summer Intern, SolidLine Media

Last week I actually spent some time in the office. Since I’ve started my internship here, it’s been all go all the time. We were doing a different shoot every time I would come in. It was great. We were all over the place. Greg broke the news to me that I would be getting some office time in, but I didn’t know what to expect. I had been to the office before, but one time was for my interview and the other was to grab some water before we shipped off to Notre Dame. So really I hadn’t been in the office yet to work, but I was still looking forward to seeing what it was like when SolidLine wasn’t running all over the country on different shoots. I really didn’t know what to expect. I’ve never really been in an office type environment. I’ve been cutting, trimming, and edging grass for the past three summers, so being inside an office in Chicago was going to be a big change. A cleaner change.

I was a bit nervous going into the office, but I got myself together and finally headed through the door.

I was a bit nervous going into the office, but I got myself together and finally headed through the door.

I arrived to the office and was not sure where my desk would be, so I waited in the waiting room.  But nobody came to get me so I eventually got up and headed further into the office.

I arrived to the office and was not sure where my desk would be, so I waited in the waiting room. But nobody came to get me so I eventually got up and headed further into the office.

The Solidline crew is very relaxed in the office, but they still are able to get things done when they need to be done. We had a creative meeting and talked about upcoming projects. I was also able to watch Michael edit some video, which was overwhelming a bit, because Michael just flies through the editing. I think he was saying about 10,000 words a minute, explaining different things on Avid, but I felt I kept up quite well. Michael did have an issue with captioning for a video, and he got all worked up for nothing. He was worried that something was wrong, or he was sent the wrong thing, or it was something with the time code. We ended up having a brief meeting while he was trying to figure this out, and the actual problem with the situation was Michael’s patience. If we would have just waited, everything would have worked just fine. But we jumped the gun, thought there was some big problem, and we were wrong. Oops. Hey-at least I learned another important lesson about being patient.

Michael got frustrated and I was not sure what to do, so I just sat there.

Michael got frustrated and I was not sure what to do, so I just sat there.

We also met with the Evans Scholars to discuss a new project about a caddy training video, as well as a video about the Evan Scholarship, which is awarded to caddies that excel. The meeting seemed to go really well, but I thought it turned out to be GREAT because the Evans Scholars client, another Michael, was talking about wanting to get Tiger Woods and Bill Murray to do intros and outros for the video. Now, I don’t know how serious he was about this, but he seemed pretty confident that something could be worked out.

Oh, and our meeting with Mike from the Evans Scholars closed with a bang. My name, Cornbread, seemed to become an official title. I was introduced as the summer intern, Mike, but Greg and Michael told him that I was also known as “Cornbread” because there are 3 Mikes in the office, and “Mike” and “Michael” were already taken. Now I hope you can follow me, but Michael from the Evans Scholars, even after all our talking about the new project, stood up, shook my hand and said, “Hey it was nice to meet you Cornbread.” Greg, Michael, and Ed all got a good laugh out of it, as did I. It was like I was “knighted”, but instead of being called “Sir,” I was going to be known as Cornbread.

Michael and Greg got a kick out of the client calling me "Cornbread"

Michael and Greg got a kick out of the client calling me "Cornbread"

I did have a slow part of the day, organizing business cards for Greg. He told me he had some business cards for me to go through for him, but when he pulled out three large stacks, I knew the day was going to slow down. He assured me that this was apart of working. It wasn’t going to be all fun all the time, like when we are out on shoots. I was understanding, and I started to get tired after organizing the business card information. I was scanning the cards into the computer, and correcting any mistakes the scanner would make . I thought I would breeze right through it, but I was terribly wrong. Over four hours and 204 business cards, I had finished. I gave Greg his business cards back, but he wasn’t concerned with everything being stored, he was worried about the actual business cards being in the same order as they were when he gave them to me. They definitely were not, but hey, all the information was in the computers.

Scanning business cards is an important job

Scanning business cards is an important job

The scanner only really grabbed about 75% of the information correctly...

The scanner only really grabbed about 75% of the information correctly...

We finished Wednesday with a recording session of the talent for the Transparent Health video. It was interesting to see how that was done, because it was over the phone. The talent recorded it, while we just listened in on the phone lines making sure he was at the right pace and correct tone. That went well until Greg laughed at me because I began to give my two cents about the recording. I was asking if he was saying the correct thing, or pronouncing words correctly. Greg, as well as everyone else here at SolidLine, likes to keep things “cool” in the office, so everyone will give each other a hard time so nobody gets too serious. It keeps the crew calm and focused.

We finished off the week with a shoot at UIC Medical Center on Thursday. We were reenacting scenes for the Transparent Health video. I did my usual, unloaded and put together equipment. Oh, and since I’ve gotten such great knowledge on using the slate, I was able to control that for a bit as well. But when they needed more actors for a few scenes, Greg was quick to nominate me as a volunteer. I’m no actor by any means, but I thought I handled myself quite well on camera. I threw on some scrubs and got to work. Now when I say I got to work, all I was doing in scenes was helping a doctor take care of a patient with other doctors and nurses. Greg continued to re-assure me that I was doing a great job, so I continued with my award winning performance throughout the night.

No matter where we go, the truck always looks pretty cool.

No matter where we go, the truck always looks pretty cool.

The crew gathers to review the production notes and script.

The crew gathers to review the production notes and script.

Here I am acting.  I should be getting my SAG card soon...

Here I am acting. I should be getting my SAG card soon...

Our clients kids helped us act in the shoot, and of course they loved the slate.  I was pretty proud to be Slate Operator at this point.

Our clients kids helped us act in the shoot, and of course they loved the slate. I was pretty proud to be Slate Operator at this point.

Mike and Ed obviously called each other the morning of the shoot because they wore the same SolidLine polo...

Mike and Ed obviously called each other the morning of the shoot because they wore the same SolidLine polo...

The shoot went as smooth as it could go, and we got a variety of different shots completed. At 11pm we finally finsihed the shoot. We packed up the equipment, loaded up the truck, and the day was done. Well, I drove Ed home first, and then my day was done. Everything went as smooth as possible, and another week was in the books at SolidLine. 

I am getting pretty good at loading...even at night.

I am getting pretty good at loading...even at night.

Week 4 is just around the corner…

You can contact summer intern Mike Radostits (aka “Cornbread”) at cornbread@solidlinemedia.com

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

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

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