Blog, film/video, Pasadena and local, portfolio, post production for film and video, sound

Six (yes, six) new videos released today

The Los Angeles Children’s Chorus asked me to create some short introductory videos on each of their choirs. Previously I had produced one for their First Experiences in Singing class [see my eailer post]. These new videos required many hours of filming rehearsals and concerts for all six choirs, as well as music theory classes. Then we interviewed all the different directors to get their take on each chorus. Finally, we edited each piece together, trying to give new parents and members of the ensemble a sense of each chorus’ identity. And we attempted to keep them all under four minutes.

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I’m excited about how these will be used to further the educational and artistic mission of the L.A. Children’s Chorus.

Preparatory Choir

Apprentice Choir

 Intermediate Choir

Concert Choir

Chamber Singers

Young Men’s Ensemble

 

Blog, business, film/video, portfolio, post production for film and video, sound

FASGI event complete success

Do you want an event that is amazing? Hearken Creative can help, much like we did last night. Loren A. Roberts/HearkenCreative worked with the board of FASGI (Filipino American Service Group Inc.) to stage an incredibly fun event at SPIN L.A. (in the Standard Hotel) on May 6, 2014.

First (months ago), Hearken Creative worked with FASGI on social media, creating “save-the-date” images that got people interested in the event.

Next, we extended the same branding through invitations, flyers, and additional social media pushes.

At the event, HCS handled the printed programs, which continued to extend the exciting “party” brand that we had created.

Finally — through our partnership with Visions Lighting and our own expertise in event A/V — Hearken Creative handled sound, lights and video for three separate rooms in the venue, including providing sound reinforcement for hired musicians throughout the evening. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti was honored along with Lou Diamond Phillips and several other community leaders, with Filipina community star Yong Chavez as the emcee for the evening. The party was hopping all night, FASGI had standing-room-only attendance, and the event was a complete success — both as a fundraiser and as an opportunity to extend the FASGI name throughout the community.

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Blog, business, film/video, Pasadena and local, portfolio, post production for film and video, sound

New Client, New Video, Incredible Story

Villa Esperanza is a ground-breaking school here in Pasadena, CA that serves kids and adults with developmental disabilities. The staff is amazing, the results are astounding, and we got to tell one small story recently. Take a look:

The school has launched a capital campaign that will build a new school facility for the numerous programs that they run, and this video was produced in concert with the campaign launch. We hope that the video will help them raise the money needed to build the new school.

As always, we were able to assemble a team of incredible people to bring this video to completion. HCS principal Loren A. Roberts produced, directed, and filmed (a little) and did sound. Greg King filmed/directed and edited. Roberto San Luis brought HCS and Villa together, and provided the concept and script for the video. On The Mark Rentals provided some gear that HCS didn’t already have. Vanessa Voors and Michelle Cox at Villa Esperanza were instrumental in making the production run smoothly. Most importantly, Jamie and his father were patient, enthusiastic cheerleaders for Villa — we couldn’t have made this video without them and the wonderful faculty at Villa.

Can we do this for you? Get in touch with Hearken Creative if you have a story you need told on film — or through e-mail, or on paper, on a website — whatever the project, we have a solution that will make you look great.

Blog, business, film/video, graphic design, photography, post production for film and video, sound

Welcome to 2014.

Well, we’re legal. Or, of legal age. Or will be really soon…my business will be drinking age in the state of California this year!

Hearken Creative Services turns 21 this year. I don’t know what significance that holds, except that we’ve been working with some truly wonderful vendors and clients for a very long time.

Let me tell you a few things that I have observed over the years.

First, whether it be print or web or video or skywriting, story is essential. And not just any story, but a story that invites you in to partake in the story. Here’s an example:

Cecilia has been working to learn English and support her family at the same time. She now has a good enough grasp of the English language — through the help of “Charity X” — that she has enrolled in college to get her law degree. But she needs your help to finish this wonderful task: Cecilia will spend an hour volunteering in your community for every dollar raised towards her college education — giving back through her education in response to your giving.

Or here’s another one, for a pharmaceutical company:

Phil has spent his entire adult life researching Type Two Diabetes, because it has claimed so many lives in his extended family. Finally, after years of dead ends, Phil’s partnership with “ABC Pharmaceutical” has paid off, and they have received approval for a revolutionary treatment that will change the lives of millions of people living with Type Two Diabetes. There is nothing so rewarding as finding a solution to a problem that plagues so many people — and Phil wants to share it with you.

Story changes everything. It makes you — the reader — interact with the product/service/philanthropic cause in a way you never would if it weren’t for story. Remember the Axe deodorant commercials from a few years ago? Whether or not you liked them, you can’t argue with the power or the “stickiness” of the story: put Axe on, and the girls go wild over you. You remember that meme, and therefore remember the brand.

Second: you get what you pay for. Nothing worthwhile is ever free.

I remember a tradeshow that one of my clients went to — this was some time ago — and they wanted to cut corners significantly. So, instead of printing up brochures, catalogs, posters, and ads, they asked me to create “masters” of a few flyers that they could print up themselves on colored copy paper, using the company copy machine. I understand that there is a time and place for cheap flyers, but this was not the time or place. The event tanked for them, and they lost money and credibility within that community.

You want video? It will cost. But why would you not pay for good quality video? At this point, YouTube ensures that any well-produced video you create could potentially still be working for you in 3, 4, 5 or more years. What brochure could do that for you?

You want to send an e-mail blast? Like those tradeshow flyers, you could throw together a cheap, poorly-designed e-mail, but why? This could potentially be the sales tool that convinces someone to buy, so why try to cut corners? And here’s something more: YouTube was going to give you returns beyond the initial cost over time; a well-designed e-mail could be sent to double or triple the number of people on your list — you just have to find those people!

Finally (at least for today): Experience counts. Twenty years ago, I was a good designer. Today I am a fantastic art director, brand consultant, and project manager. Fifteen years ago I was a good audio mixer. Today, I have the experience to produce, direct, and monetize corporate audio and video for my clients. That doesn’t mean I don’t like working with younger talent, but it does mean that I understand the value of experience. It also means I love partnering with people who are even more experienced than I am. Right now I’m working on a video project and, because of my schedule and experience, I felt that it would be a good idea to bring another director/editor to work with me. He brings a set of skills that are a little different from mine, and I value the opportunity to learn from him. And, the client gets an even better product!

I truly don’t know everything; (hopefully) I’m learning new things every day. But it is gratifying to see this little freelance company that I started — after getting laid off from the entertainment industry in 1993 — chugging along 21 years later, helping people through design, marketing, brand management, and video marketing.

Happy New Year. May your story be told, spend your money wisely, and may you have ever-greater experiences to bank on in the new year.

Blog, business, film/video, Pasadena and local, portfolio, post production for film and video, sound

YouTube videos for Christian counselor

I recently had the privilege of working with best-selling author Mark Baker, who runs the La Vie Counseling Centers in Pasadena and Santa Monica. Mark wanted to start sharing some of his insights to a larger audience through short videos that took a single idea from his books and “put a face to it.” Having done countless large-format conferences and training sessions, Mark was completely at ease in front of the camera, and extremely well-prepared.

Because much of his audience is in Brazil, we also close-captioned all of these videos for a Portuguese-speaking audience. Mark’s found an extremely competent translator in Brazil who forwarded transcripts of each video as we produced them.

This is the power of video: getting concepts delivered to people who are “visual learners.” This project embodies much of what can be done on a relatively-inexpensive budget: this was all shot in one day, on two cameras, and has all been accomplished in roughly six weeks (it could have been faster, but we felt that “trickling” the videos out would get us more bang for the buck).

If you want to do something like this for you company, contact me now, and we can discuss how to utilize the power of YouTube for your brand.

Blog, business, film/video, portfolio, post production for film and video, sound

New Asian Access video released

Once again we have partnered with Asian Access to bring stories from the heart of tsunami-ravaged Northeastern Japan. This story about Sue Takamoto and the Nozomi Project was filmed in a few hours one afternoon in Ishinomaki, Japan, and edited with help from friend and colleague (and pro storyteller/artist) Greg King in Southern California. The client is pleased with the speed of delivery and the message that we were able to communicate in only a few minutes:

Blog, business, film/video, photography, portfolio, post production for film and video

New music video released

We are incredibly excited to be showing you a new music video from Shakedown Mambo, a musical duo comprised of Rick Solem and Phil Bloch. Loren A. Roberts produced and directed the video with assistance from Lilly Wild, based on a concept devised by the band along with Loren and Lilly (and Lilly’s wind-up nose). A fun shoot, and gratifying to have a product up on YouTube that can help the band sell more records (hopefully)!

Blog, business, film/video, portfolio, post production for film and video, sound

New video posted

In March 2011, Japan experienced one of the worst disasters in modern history: an earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the Northeastern coast of Japan. One year later, a team traveled to Japan to observe the relief work that Asian Access pastors were leading. Now, another year has passed, and we are able to report on work that has been done over the past two years. This is the first of several (hopefully) videos that report on the use of funds donated to earthquake/tsunami relief through Asian Access:

The team consisted of Loren A. Roberts from Hearken Creative on camera and editing, Joshua Clayton on camera, Jeff Johnston from Asian Access as producer, and Takeshi Takazawa as liaison, interpreter, and all-around wonderful travel leader.

Blog, business, film/video, graphic design, portfolio, post production for film and video

Two new websites live

Websites fulfill some very important tasks in today’s world. First and foremost, they are the electronic version of a business card — providing name and contact information for a new vendor or client. But they can do so much more than a business card, and Hearken Creative has just finished two such sites.

HARVARD BUSINESS PRESS BESTSELLER

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When Karen Berman and Joe Knight asked for a website that advertised the new edition of their bestselling book Financial Intelligence, I suggested doing things a little bit differently. Instead of creating a traditional site, maybe just a single page with some video and strong copy would be enough to draw people in — without overwhelming them with information. Using Premise landing page software from Copyblogger & Studiopress, and a backend theme from WooThemes (Canvas, specifically), we created a punchy landing page with a video of co-author Joe Knight talking about the book. Here is where it gets good…

The YouTube video (which Hearken Creative filmed and produced as well) is SEO-ready, so that it becomes a key driver of more eyeballs (remember, YouTube is almost as important as Google when it comes to search). In addition, video is much more enjoyable than simply reading a page of copy. The video also can get used in multiple streams:

  1. on YouTube,
  2. on the new landing page,
  3. on the client’s existing website,

therefore getting more bang for the buck of the dollars spent on video.

As stated, the previous edition of the book was already a bestseller (translated into over a dozen languages), so getting more traction for the new edition is simply icing on the cake. Still, a good landing page will help drive sales even further.

STICKING A TOE INTO THE E-COMMERCE RIVER

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Longtime friend and colleague Alison Siewert has received accolades for writing short dramas seen at conferences and events. But she has never had a place to sell the scripts, which have recently been receiving more and more attention. So we created a website where those scripts can be downloaded — directly from the website — for a small fee.

The e-commerce solution was ready-made — again from WooThemes — and was relatively easy to set up. The site has already generated business, and we look forward to assisting Alison as she grows the business even further.

Both of these sites were designed and produced by Loren A. Roberts at Hearken Creative. Our multi-disciplinary approach allowed us to use the best tools available to come up with real-world solutions for our clients, including imagery, producing and editing video, and (as always) cutting-edge, award-winning  graphic design.

We can take the same approach for your company as well. Call us today at 626-396-1500 to talk about your online needs.