Wednesday, December 19, 2007
When I started out in television production in 1992, Cell phones where the size of pocketbooks, fax machines cost $500 and the internet did NOT EXIST. Can you imagine?? In an effort to stay on top of how quickly things are changing, I read...a lot. One report that caught my eye was from Horowitz Associates, "Broadband Content and Services 2007." It is amazing how pervasive broadband video is becoming. Some the key data: A whopping 61% of high speed Internet users watch or download broadband video content at least once per week, up from 46% last year. The number jumps to 86% for users who watch at least once per month. FYI- Every category of on-line video experienced an increase in usage over the past year. These are very impressive numbers and they speak to how significant broadband video has become and how quickly it has gotten there. Hold on, You Tube is only 2.5 years old.... Put your seat belt on, this is going to be a wild ride!! Checkout http://www.videonuze.com/editor/assets/HorowitzVideoUsage.jpg for a great chart on video downloads in 2007.
Friday, November 16, 2007
As members of the entertainment industry, and regular contributors to WGA scripted programming, Rosey Media has been among the many impacted by the current writer's strike. It would be less than honest to say we're excited about the strike. We're not. Several of our major clients are down for the count. We understand, however, what has brought the members of the WGA to the table. These negotiations, and arguably, the resultant strike, are not only necessary- they are an inevitability. Clearly, digital and internet distribution is no longer a sideline or broom closet experimental division of the major networks and studios. Rather, it has cemented itself as a staple, and is rapidly approaching flagship status. If this is where the industry is headed, it seems only reasonable that all parties involved in the creation of content to be used in this medium have defined responsibilities and benefits, just as they do in previously existing mediums. Internet programming is a viable marketing platform, and therefore comparable to other traditional mediums where it is considered fair that writers be compensated for their contributions. While the network and studio position that all revenue generated at this time is only going to repay investors for building the existing infrastructure is understandable, it does not excuse them from showing the same regard to their employees as they would in any other venture. No new business hires a staff and waits to pay its employees until it has broken even on its start up costs. Despite the logic of their position, we anticipate a long strike. It seems, however, that the network and studio hesitancy to grant the WGA the requested contracts only gives credence to the union position that there is quite a bit of money somewhere... And while neither of the involved parties are poverty stricken, their negotiation is necessary to set precedent for those who, years from now, could end up grossly exploited in a predominantly digital market. Having said all that, we urge both sides to stop the bitching, sit down and hammer out a deal!
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Mockin' 'Moud! Well, just a little. But certainly making a splash with what may well be the next SNL Digital Short viral phenomenon. See, we shot this "Dick In A Box" thing for SNL last Christmas which by now everyone near electricity has heard of. So how do you top it? For the Saturday, September 29th, 2007 SNL show, the damn-near-genius writing/performing Lonely Island trio of Andy Samberg, Akiva Shaffer, and Jorma Taccone scripted a soul-stirring love ballad dedicated to Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on the heels of his controversial visit to NYC. They then called in dreamy pop megastar Adam Levine of Maroon 5 (Yeah, like you don't have "Songs About Jane" hidden in your iTunes somewhere) and the ever-funny Fred Armisen. The Rosey Media gang was brought in to make their vision of a monumental love song come to life. Steadicam ace Ian Woolston-Smith, under the direction of D.P. John Rosenblatt gave the video a sweeping, epic quality, truly capturing the grandeur of locations such as the Williamsburg Bridge, 30 Rock's "Top Of The Rock" observation deck, and the hidden, off limits, yet stunning 30 Rock 12th floor "Tuscanini Gardens" at NBC. And speaking of the Williamsburg Bridge and Times Square- those shots were partially courtesy of Mike Derrig at Kennedy Trucking, who supplied a monster flatbed semi, which the uber-capable set builders of Stiegelbaum Associates tricked out with custom fittings and harnesses for crew, talent, and oh,yeah. . . the frickin' grand piano strapped to the back! Just a little digital video shoot. Really... Question is. . . what's next? With the video having scored around 1 million views in its first handful of days on the web, it may well be on it's way to Box-like infamy. In which case, it too will have to be topped. Whatever the call is, count Rosey Media in. After all, how often do you get to truck-surf on the Williamsburg Bridge and in Times Square- with one of the biggest names in music, the funniest guys on TV, and a half million in camera gear? That is what we call fun. Special thanks to Don Downie, who had to drive along behind. Dammit. Next time. Really Don. We promise. Check the video out at: http://youtube.com/watch?v=A9OfNrxt5Q4
Starting as a fairly direct parody of ABC's improvising mechanical genius and action hero MacGyver, the Macgruber character played by Will Forte made a second appearance last season on SNL as a progressively worsening alcoholic, loosely poking at a certain other preposterous quasi-kid's show action hero whose home drunkenness hit the internet in a video shot by his own daughter (David Hasslehoff. . . seriously. . . where have you been??) On Saturday, October 6th, MacGruber was back for a third round, this time as a mess of mid-life crisis and plastic surgery gone bad. Director Jorma Taccone, cast members Will Forte, Maya Rudolph, guest host Seth Rogan, and. . . you guessed it (or if you haven't by this point, just quit. . . yer droolin' on the keyboard...) ROSEY MEDIA!!! Perps in question were DP John Rosenblatt, RM Sound Guy Dan Walter, and the ever-present-and-even-occasionally-useful Brian Townes. Special thanks go to all of the folks at NBC who weren't even the least bit phased when, post-MacGruber, we blew some stuff up. And filmed it. Really. . . but as much fun as that was, since the sketch didn't air this past show, we'll have to save that story for another time.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
As individuals and a company, we pride ourselves on staying abreast of the latest developments in multi-platform content, and keep our edge through continued personal drive and interest in understanding this exciting medium. Thus, when we received a call from Firebrand's Ellen Davis, with an offer to create an interactive commerical for Firebrand TV.com, we were more than willing to go play. Firebrand TV is a soon-to-be-launched website, television network, and mobile internet service which features continuous, streaming content of the most creative commercials. Only comercials. No joke. All commericals. To promote the launch of this network, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder Roman Vinoly and Davis brought on Chris Dealy and Greg Erdelyi of the maverick ad firm Splick 13. Each of these guys are responsible for some of the biggest campaign concepts in recent history. After this dynamic duo offered their spin on how to get the word out about the site, Davis contacted Rosey Media to make their virtual "website construction site" a reality. On September 6th and 7th, RM crew moved into NEP Studios courtesy of Barry Katz. With the help of Mac genius Yan Schvalb, AC Don Downie, RM Sound Tech Dan Walter, and a host of support staff from NEP and Firebrand, as well as some serious bells and whistles, RM shot the promo using the Panasonic HDX 900, providing not only live HD monitoring, but also direct importation to hard drive (Final Cut) as well as traditional digital tape. The end result was an efficient shoot culminating in footage in a ready to edit format. The promo is currently airing at: www.firebrandtv.com
Hey, kids. . . you like scary movies? We do. Which is why when producer Angie Freeman and her brother Jack approached us with their script for the suspense thriller short film "Abberration," we jumped at the chance to create the spooky, atmospheric world of horror and psychological intrigue these two cherubic South Carolinians had envisioned. We all proceeded to lock ourselves in a rented Upper West Side apartment for the better part of a week. If that isn't scary enough, we shot the film while we were there, too. The final product is appropriately claustrophobic and creepy. The lighting's funky, the camera work's cool. . . and, oh yeah. . . there were some actors in it,too. Seriously, we cannot say enough about the professionalism, patience (while some artsy crew guys endlessly tweeked camera and lighting gear,) and committed performances of the cast. We will keep you posted on when and where the film will be screening.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
So as to follow proper journalistic procedure and not bury the lead: July 12th and 13th, Rosey Media shot a, webisode format piece for and starring the high powered PR firm, PJ Inc. The piece was written, directed, and produced entirely by Rosey Media. It's development was a two month collaborative process between RM and PJ Inc., and it will hit their website, and ours, in the next couple of weeks. And now, the shameless plug: (We can't help it. We're fans.) The staff at PJ Inc. just straight up kicks ass. They are a high octane PR firm, dealing with Fortune 500 clients, with a myriad of winning campaigns to their credit, including the incredibly successful Vegas.com phenomenon. And they're NICE! And FUN! And CREATIVE! The firm's fearless leader is a force of nature by the name of Pamela Johnston, whose ability to multitask is stunning. Her no-nonsense manner is amazing to watch, and her presence commands such respect as to border on Jedi mind control. Extra-terrestrial or not, she was a pleasure to work with, and kept everyone focused and on task throughout two long shoot days. We would also be remiss were we not to mention Gabrielle (Gabi, Gabs, Larry) Rubin, who was our liason, our rock, and is the focus of our newly formed secret cult-like fan club in the back closet at Rosey Media. She's funny, she's quick. . . bottom line, if you don't have a Gabi- get one! Shout outs are also in order to our crew: soundman Dan Walter, AC Don Downie, and Wavetek's Karim Badwan and Paul Jones. At Rosey Media, we pride ourselves on being able to make art in the trenches, deadline looming. It's a refreshing departure, however, to have the time and space to create content from conception to completion. Further, we are grateful to have had the opportunity to do so with such terrific people. Look for the video here soon!
Friday, June 29, 2007
Chicago, Chicago. A massive, beautiful city with a thriving arts community. Rosey Media has more than a few ties to this Midwestern metropolis, including a 2006 collaboration with TMK Productions Executive Producer Ted Kay on the Memory Bridge Alzheimer's and Cultural Memory Foundation documentary "There Is A Bridge," which premiered this month on PBS affiliates all over the U.S. Following the successful collaboration, Mr. Kay once again extended an invite to Rosey Media, this time to create and shoot a music video for the incredibly talented singer songwriter Emily. As charming in person as her warm and magnetic on-camera persona, this 14 year old pop prodigy is well on her way to stardom. . . and hopelessly destroying the hearts of adolescent boys everywhere. Add all this wholesome goodness to the Chi-town jazz scene and it's little wonder that Rosey Media's head honcho, resident Director of Photography, and avid musician (though don't tell him we said so publicly) John "Rosey" Rosenblatt accepted the offer and headed down for a three day stint in the Windy City this past June. The shoot, culminated in a music video which you can now catch on YouTube or via Emily's own MySpace page at www.myspace.com/emilyrecordingstar Rosey had a great time, thanks to the diligent work of the Chicago Crew and the ever intrepid Mr. Ted Kay. For the rest of us back at RM in NYC, we can at least say we knew Emily, like, WAY before she was, like, famous and stuff, and now we are Soooooo BFF.TTYL.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
Sunday the 29th of April found the RM Crew collaborating once again with producer Jill Abrahams and director Joshua White on another installment of Cherry Dish. For those of you who missed our first notes on this, it's a soon to be launched webisode series for www.CherryTV.com- featuring, as it claims, juicy talk for women, by women. And this second taping proved every bit as juicy as the first. The gals kicked around topics including "Technique," "Boundaries," and the one we all really want to know about "What Makes A Good (or Bad) Partner." The panel, now familiar with, and quite at home in the intimate, RM-constructed studio, got so raucous at points that even the ever-so-composed Ms. Abrahams had trouble maintaining order. Heck, even camerawoman Femme Fatale Kristana Textork, joining the RM Crew for the Cherry Dish episode, learned a thing or two. As for the rest of the RM guys, they once again left in a somewhat stunned, but wiser state.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29th: Rosey and Brian Townes were invited by a contact at CNBC's The Donnie Deutsch Show to sit in on a taping of this popular business television program. In an exceptionally rare event, advertising mogul and TV personality Donnie Deutsch was doing a first-ever on camera interview with the world's 104th richest man, Ron Perlman- whose personal estimated worth is somewhere around $7 billion. That's right. . . billion. 7 of 'em. This is, of course, not saying anything about the value of the many corporations he has purchased and sold, and the subsequent fortunes he has made over the years for those involved. And what was it like in the presence of this tycoon, this pillar of Wall Street, this Emperor of the Exchange? He was nice. No he was cool. Relaxed and joking with Mr. Deutsch, Perlman spent the better part of an hour imparting the wisdom that has made him his fortune, over a Diet Coke, as though he were at any cafe in the city. Gracious and humble, he even accepted questions from the invited audience. So, how does one, according to Perlman make a fortune? Rule number one- without question- "You have to love what you do. If you don't, you'll never be as good at it as someone who does, and they are your competition." Shortly after the floor was opened to CNBC's guests, the ever intrepid Rosey stepped to the mic, and posed the following: Rosey: "Hi! John Rosenblatt with a question... (got the last name in there- didn't quite make it to plugging the company, but hey- gotta admire his restraint) "What do you look for in the people you hire. Your team. . ." Ronald's response was simple: "You have to surround yourself with people smarter than you. And they have to be good people. Every bad situation I've ever been in in business has gone back to a person who did not have a good heart, and should not have been on the team...' To which Deutsch added: "I used to say this. . . the people we hire have to have big brains, big hearts, thick skins, and be 2% off-center" Ok- so maybe we lean a little more toward people around 7% off-center, but otherwise we couldn't agree more... At press time, the show is slated to air in the second week of April. Check CNBC and www.roseymedia.com for details.
Monday, March 26, 2007
Ever watch those paranormal documentary shows? Y'know, the ones where the guys are wandering around through the supposedly haunted house, and they suddenly say "Did you hear that?" And even though we, at home, in our living rooms, don't, we still accept that it may have happened, and keep watching? So, it goes like this- Rosey Media Production Coordinator and general go-to guy Brian Townes, sound guru Dan Walter, and DP John "Rosey" Rosenblatt are on a soccer field at the Hudson River Park. They've been there for about three hours on a gray March morning, shooting a Digital Short for SNL with director Akiva Schaeffer and writer/cast member Seth Myers. Things are bumping along, when Rosey ducks out and heads for the blue Porta-John on the edge of the field. Seconds later, the show's host for the week, 6'5" Colts QB and Super Bowl Champ, Peyton Manning comes bounding across the field. "Who's in the port-o-let? Who just went to the john?" Never one to betray a comrade, Walters and Townes immediately and simultaneously rat their fearless leader out. "Watch this. . ." Peyton picks up one of the footballs he has been throwing around during the taping of the SNL Digital Short "United Way" and sprints toward the can. With a carefully trained arm and eye like a laser sight, he fires the pigskin, full throttle, directly toward the door of the Porta-John. The most primitive of microphones could have captured the collosal thud the football made as it slammed into the fiberglass door of the little blue Porta-John. Although brief, the drum-like boom was heard by everyone on the field. What was not, however, was what Mr. Manning reported gleefully as he jogged back toward the assembled cast and crew. "Y'all hear that?" He exclaims, grinning ear to ear, belly laughing as he runs."Aw, man. . . he screamed just like a girl!" "I don't blame him. . ."Manning continues, briefly regaining his composure. "We have those port-a-johns at practice, and. . .you can't go in 'em without the guys [messing] with ya. . . shaking 'em all over and. . . aw, man, he did scream. . ." he trails off, laughing again. This entire transaction takes about thirty seconds, a slightly unnerved Rosenblatt exits the Porta-John in a dignified manner... smiling...kinda. During later discussion, Rosey did admit to being quite startled by Peyton's prank... Bottom line- If you want to scare the crap out of someone (Get it?!). Chuck a football when your mate is taking time out in the Porta- John. As for Peyton Manning, anyone who caught last week's Saturday Night Live can attest he distinguished himself by being not only well spoken and charismatic, but genuinely funny as well. If you missed the Digital Short, check it out at: http://youtube.com/browse?s=tr&t=t&c=0&l=
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
There's a reason they call it "girl talk." If you're male, you don't know what they talk about. If you're a more progressive, open-minded and well educated guy, with lots of close, sincere, female friends, and you think you know what they talk about. . . you don't. But thanks to Cherry Dish- the brainchild of producer Jill Abrahams, and director Joshua White, and the ingenuity of the boys at Rosey Media, you will have the opportunity to learn what women really like. On Sunday March the 4th, Rosey Media shot the first four episodes of Cherry Dish, a new internet series for the website www.cherrytv.com. The round table discussion, four camera format featured rotating groups of six women, engaging in remarkably honest, sexy, fun and educational discussion on various aspects of women's sexuality. Our take? While television shows have flirted with this kind of material for years (think Sex in The City...), rarely has it been addressed in such an open manner, with such humour and confidence. Guided by an insightful Abrahams, the women shared their sexual experiences and views on such topics as masturbation, bi- sexuality, dildos, and the pros and cons of vibrators in a comfortable, fun, and engaging show. The boys at Rosey Media- and it did just happen to be an all male crew- learned a lot and were happy to have been a part of this project. It's always a pleasure to be a part of a positive, professional, and dynamic production- but it's rare to come away from a day on the set wanting to discuss with your friends how their mates like to 'diddle their skittle'... Diddle your skittle, get it? No really, it's important! Juicy? Certainly. Engaging? Totally. Most of all, this series is an opportunity for anyone, regardless of gender, to learn about what women like from a women's perspective. The webisodes are currently in post production, check in at www.cherrytv.com for the debut date.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
One thing not commonly known about SNL is that every week, one half hour of material (25% of the show) gets chucked between dress rehearsal and air. Every week the cast and writers script and fully realize two hours of funny- sets, full costumes, special effects- the works. This full two hours is then performed at a dress rehearsal before a live studio audience. Based on audience reaction, time constraints, and a few more aesthetics we're not privy to, half an hour or so's worth of sketches, shorts, etc., get cut from the live show. Occasionally, pretaped material (the stuff we work on...), resurfaces on a later episode. Sometimes, however, it is just flat out dumped, never to be seen again. Rosey Media put in a long day last Friday, shooting two sketches for the weekend's show. The Digital Short starring Rainn Wilson, a reasonably large endeavour featuring the full SNL cast, appeared about 20 minutes into the Saturday night broadcast. It was widely hailed as a progressive move and civil rights triumph, being the first digital short on national television to feature prominent roles by both a Giant Turkey Sub and a Mounted Tiger Head. Seriously. The second pretape, however, didn't make it to the show. At least not this week. How much of the content we are able to disclose and discuss here on our modest piece of cyber real estate is directly proportionate to how much we wish to incur the wrath of the National Broadcasting Company (spelled out fully for dramatic effect). . . which is not at all. So, suffice to say, we shot two things for SNL on Friday. One aired, and one is M.I.A.- whether or not it has in fact completely gone the way of the dinosaurs remains to be seen. We will give you a hint though- the skit had robotic puppets, ladders, and Lorne Michaels. Puts you on pins and needles, doesn't it?
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Tuesday Feb 13th- D.P., Ari Haberberg and sound engineer Dan Walter, found themselves braving wind chills in the teens on the tarmac at Teterboro airport, an exclusive airstrip about 20 minutes from the City. Kimora Lee Simmons, her two daughters, and a staff of about ten others were boarding Simmons' private jet and escaping to the warmer climates of Vegas. And as part of a new series in development for the Style Network chronicling the fabulous life of our Phavorite Phat Phashion Diva, Style producer Carmen Mitcho and the Rosey Media boys, undaunted by the weather, and the reports of the oncoming storm, were there to cover their departure. Even less daunted were DP Matt Beals, Sound Engineer Joe D., and Production Coordinator Brian Townes, who,after covering the journey's preparations at the Simmons' NJ mansion, watched the frigid action from inside the well heated Atlantic Airlines terminal, feeling really, really bad that airport security only allowed for one crew on the tarmac at a time. . . ...really.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
January 15th and 16th found RM audio engineer Andrew Barker, international adventurer (and sound guy) Alex Marshal, and DV documentary whiz Don Downie teamed with L.A. based hidden camera duo JR Reid and Dawn Fleischman. In a period of 48 hours, under the direction of Dr. Phil producer Kathleen Killeen, the crew completely wired and covered six Manhattan locations, including Grand Central Terminal, with as many as 8 hidden cameras at any given time. With temperatures barely in the double digits, the coffee bill went into the triples- and herein lay the problem. While the crew worked together dynamically and admirably on the personal and technical fronts, they could not reach an agreement on who had the best cup of joe. In the end, the West Coast delegation held tight to the Green and White, while the NYC crew insisted on Oren's Daily Roast. It appears Oren's simply cannot make a double upside-down caramel soy latte to L. A. standards. Our bad- we thought you wanted coffee. All kidding aside, it was a pleasure as usual working with all the Dr. Phil folks. The "Ethics" episode, featuring actors in hidden camera scenarios testing the ethics of the average New Yorker- or at least the ones caught on camera- is at press time scheduled to air on February 27th. Look for it on CBS!
Thursday, February 1, 2007
"Dick in a Box" Dec. 12th, 8:00am. In the first hours of what will prove to be an uncharacteristically chilly December morning in New York City, Rosey Media's President and lead Director of Photography John Rosenblatt, and Production Coordinator Brian Townes sit in the relative warmth of their production vehicle parked almost legally on the sidewalk across the highway from Chelsea Piers in NYC. While awaiting the arrival of Saturday Night Live producer Nick Mallardi, Digital Short director Akiva Schaffer, cast member Andy Samberg, and of course, the week's host, Justin Timberlake,their coffee and cell phone reverie is interrupted by a sudden frigid blast from the truck's rear passenger door. Jorma Taccone, the third member of the SNL Digital Short Triumvirate (along with Schaffer and Samberg,) resplendent in stovepipe jeans, uncombed shag hair and a light windbreaker ill-suited to the persistent Hudson wind, launches himself into the vehicle, with a groggy "What's up?" and a quick slam of the door. He is . . . well, exhausted. But everyone at SNL is exhausted. YOU try turning out an hour and a half of fully realized funny in a week. . . These guys work around the clock. They are witty, they are inventive, and they are tired. But they are always funny. And Taccone is no exception. "How are you, man?" Stretching himself across the back seat, shoving a nearby duffle and a folded piece of black duvateen beneath his head, Jorma groans. "I feel like my life is slipping away." he says, rubbing his eyes. "I got two hours of sleep last night." "So. . .how's the thing?" Rosenblatt asks- referring to the morning's shoot, of which he has been told only two things: 1.) It's a music video, and 2.) Justin Timberlake's in it. "Oh, man. . ." Jorma groans again- and then breaks into an ear to ear grin, his fatigue instantly replaced by an almost palpable energy. ". . . it's the JOINT." 16 hours later, Rosey Media, Taccone, Schaffer, Samberg and an affable, funny, and consummately professional Justin Timberlake wrap on what has become SNL's most successful Digital Short. "A Dick in a Box". has been downloaded over 15 million times since it's initial broadcast on December 16th, and has spawned at least 50 internet spinoffs. We at Rosey Media had a good time filming it, and were happy to have been part of the team. If you have not seen it, we invite you to come out of the cave, brush off your knuckles, and check out http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/ Seriously. . . go ahead. We'll wait.