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Preview: The Production Room

The Production Room

Commentary and observation on media, marketing and communications.

Updated: 2017-10-30T00:32:55.990-07:00


UPDATE: Having Cake. Eating it Too.


The prim young woman is holding a birthday cake behind her parent's home in Washington, D.C. She has no idea that more than 70 years later she will blow out candles on her 90th birthday and watch the sun set on the Pacific ocean. That's my mom.  I spent the past week with her. She is tiny and frail and she is fearless.  She is a spiritual warrior and an inspiration.

When The Production Room moved from Santa Barbara to Prince Edward Island, Canada in June of 2010, I decided to stop updating this blog. But I continued serving clients and providing voice-overs and production services from The Production Room studio here in Murray Harbour North.

Now it's time to share some news and updates as we move ahead into 2012.  I continue to serve clients in Southern California and I am excited to anticipate the addition of new clients in Canada.

Here are some of the highlights from the past year at The Production Room

Online Media: 
Flight Sciences International, Pratt & Whitney - Eco-Flight Solutions
Thanks to Montgomery Miller at Flight Sciences who invited me to audition for an online video project in 2011. Eco Flight solutions is reducing the carbon footprint of major air carriers around the world by saving fuel and money.  Flight Sciences programs have reduced carbon emissions by 91 million metric tons since 1992.  Narrating this project was a great fit for me and is a leading marketing tool for Pratt&Whitney.
Other highlighted projects from the past year include:

Webinar content, public service and documentary films.  
Interagency Threat Assessment and Coordination Group - US Government
NOAA - US National Weather Service / National Hurricane Center
Satellite Pictures - A Leap of  Truth

Radio and TV Commercials:  
I continued to serve as a voice talent on radio and TV commercials across North America.
Nissan USA 1-800 Buy Nissan
PODS Moving and Storage
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Promo on ESPN

Corporate / Sales / Promotion 
Litton Entertainment - Syndicated TV Programing pitch pieces to broadcast networks
Chilean Avocados - Marketing to Retailers

Further developments:
John Quimby is available to provide voice and production services to clients in the Maritime Region and across Canada.  As a legal resident of Canada and a US citizen, John is available to clients across North America.

Contact The Production Room:

The Production Room - New Location & New Contacts


Greetings from Prince Edward Island, Canada!  The new home of John Quimby and The Production Room.

In 1998, my wife, Susan visited the island.  Then we returned together (she'd already told me we were moving) in 1999. We bought a farm in the spring of 2000 and we've been spending part of the year (you know, the WARM part) ever since.

In that time I learned to make the studio portable and continued to work for clients (Toshiba, Chevron, Channel Islands National Park, etc.) even as we were spending our summers in the country.

This year we're moving up to stay year 'round and that has meant a few changes at The Production Room. For example, we no longer offer ISDN or studio services in Santa Barbara. But those whom I've worked for in the past will find it just as easy as it ever was to have scripts voiced and audio delivered for production. And I hope to make new friends and clients in media production here in Atlantic Canada.  

So here's the rundown of services and contacts:

I'm now available to you for recording and delivering voiceovers - narrations, web media etc. 
You can send me scripts for fast turnaround and you can even direct the session by phone if you wish.
All studio gear is professional industry standard and audio quality is excellent. 

Voiceover rates are competitive. I have experience on network TV, Radio, Film, Video and Internet.
I'm an award winning copy writer and producer with thousands of commercial productions to my credit.
I have been and will be continuing to write and produce a podcast series and I am familiar with using podcast media in marketing.

Please contact me for schedules, rates and production information:
(902) 962-3755

Starting a Garden? Look For Seeds You Can Save


(For more news from Dunn Creek Farm - Hey, I'm not a plant genetics expert and my understanding of the issues around GMO's is limited.  I just have some basic concerns about splicing genes from one species into another and hoping that the outcome isn't bad.  You know, like a giant fire breathing dinosaur ravaging Charlottetown.   That would be bad.But seriously there are some great reasons to consider your seed sources, even if you're just planting a few tomatoes.Angus Mellish at Vesey's once asked, "Do you what kind of beans people will be planting this year?  The same kind they planted last year."  His good natured attitude explains that we all find favorites that we plant year after year.  Garden heirlooms become popular again when people re-discover varieties that used to be popular.A great example of this is the return of the brandywine tomato to commercial seed catalogs. The brandywine was a commercial variety that was listed in seed catalogs in the 1880's. It came back into the garden in the 1990's, thanks in part to Seed Savers Exchange.   These humble seeds were planted every season and saved for over 100 years, then passed to the Seed Savers by an elderly gardener.  There are now many sources of this heirloom available, which bring me to where we are in our garden this year. Part of our challenge every year is meeting the requirement to create a seed search document to prove that we have made an effort to find, purchase and plant organic seeds from approved organic sources.  This is much easier than it use to be thanks to the internet and an increase in resources in Canada.  But as you'll see, whether you're planting a garden or a few acres, buying quality seed is expensive.  Buying certified organic seed is even more expensive.  An shipping is...well...not cheap.So now, here's where GMO, patented seeds, heirlooms and sustainability cross.  We have to select organic seeds whenever possible.  And we're also investing in seed we can plant, harvest and select for planting next year.  It's part of our plan to keep our costs by producing our own seeds on the farm. And we hope it will be our small contribution to creating a stock of seeds that can help feed PEI into the future.If you're interested in locating and growing certified organics, heritage and open pollinated varieties, you might want to get on the Seed Savers Exchange website and stock up on some varieties to try this summer. If you find something you like, you can save seeds and save money.            [...]

New KJEE Radio Commercial is Pharma Parody


Been a while since I posted here on the studio blog but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy!
Watch the new KJEE radio commercial I wrote with Ray Pierce at Red Rocket Productions.

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I've also been blogging and podcasting at my other blog:

And I've been working on several accounts as a voice talent:  

Lou Fusz Chevrolet in St. Louis, Mo.
Chumash Casino - Cirque Dreams Illumination
Community West Bank - "Impressions" Radio
Ayers Automotive Repais - TV / Radio

And ISDN session engineering:

CBC Radio 1 "Tapestry"
Applebees Restaurants - John Corbett

Contact me for help with your voice overs and media production:



Rob Lowe From Santa Barbara by ISDN


It's always my goal to have the studio ready before each session. And it's not unusual for me to feel a bit nervous before working on a project  like this.  Bad things can and do happen.

Today we were scheduled to piggyback two different studio clients recording scripts with Rob Lowe. That meant one session immediately followed by another from two different remote studios on a day that was booked solid.  

My work on this session began as soon as the bookings came in  several days ago. I made sure scripts were delivered, payment options were locked in, W-9 forms relayed, contracts forwarded and studio engineers ready for dial ups. And I was at the studio early this morning to run ISDN tests before the session.  That extra work pays off when the talent steps into the booth and everything is perfect. Thankfully everything was perfect!  I enjoyed working with Rob and he was kind enough to record special greetings for several people on the project. He also posed for this snapshot which I forwarded to the clients just a few minutes after the session.

Hear Matthew Stewart via Santa Barbara ISDN On CBC Radio 1


(image) Once again CBC Radio in Toronto  contacted The Production Room in Santa Barbara to provide local ISDN services.

And once again host Anna Maria Tremonti conducted an interview for "The Current". 

Our friends in Canada know that The Current airs nationally in Canada and is heard across the country at 8:30 AM
(9 in Newfoundland) on CBC Radio 1 and on Sirius Satellite 137.

Last week, our guest in studio was Matthew Stewart, author of, "The Management Myth. Why The Experts Keep Getting It Wrong." The interview aired as part three of  The Current, Monday Dec. 7.  You can click the link to hear the fascinating discussion.

I'm also hoping you'll notice the technical quality of the ISDN from Santa Barbara.  We've recently switched out our always compatible and lovely sounding Neumann TLM 103 and replaced it with an older Microtech Gefell M900
We mated this unique "large diaphragm" condenser mic with some older outboard gear that had been gathering dust in the closet. Listen to the sound as Matthew Stewart begins speaking.  It is rich, full, and pleasing to hear.  There is real "presence" in the recording.

It seems we may have fallen for the breathless audio and computer tech hype of the past few years.  The idea is that you can plug a digital simulation into your signal path and get, "that classic sound".  What we're really getting is homogenized sound as everyone reaches for  mass produced hardware with the same digital algorithms instead of plugging in a real classic. For this session we simply  used older outboard gear that wasn't built in China and set it up in a very basic configuration.

It might be a bit heavy on proximity effect even though the mic was placed about 7 inches from the subject.  But I think it sounds pretty nice. Let me know what you think.

Pirate Radio - The Boat That Sank


I went to see Pirate Radio (The Boat That Rocked) yesterday with my 17 year old son.

Verdict? I'll have that for you, right after these words...

Boss Radio hit Boss Angeles in the summer of 1965 as Drake/Chenault and Ron Jacobs used 93KHJ to dismantle what had been LA radio. By the end of the year, my home town of Santa Barbara California had it's own top 40 legend, complete with the PAMS jingle package. In those days, 1340 KIST was scoring a 70 share in the local surveys.

Anyway, I was raised on the sounds of Top 40 AM radio on a Montgomery Ward transistor radio smuggled under the covers at 11:00 PM. Years later, I became part of the last wave of top 40 radio when I became a DJ and a program director. I started when I was just 20 and working part time on a Top 40 AM station on the California Coast. I wasn't legal to drink but I had a license to play rock n' roll on KUHL (The Super Cool) radio at 2:00 AM on Saturday nights.

And now about the movie...

The Bad News.

It didn't happen like that. Radio Caroline has a much more interesting story. Too bad they booted it in favor of a fantasy that pales in comparison. The offshore pirates did have a major impact and Brits loved their home grown radio and the American influenced fireworks that followed. But this film isn't doing that any justice.

Philip Seymour Hoffman is a fine actor who absolutely SUCKS in this move. He was badly mis- cast here. He's 43 years old for Christ's sake! Too old to play a rock DJ in 1966 - an era that didn't trust anyone over 30. He should have been 26 and thin as a rail.

The story was re-edited for the American market... but apparently not for coherency. It's a film clipped together from what must have been a fun shoot. And it ends in a tragically over hyped and lame finale. Once again, sticking to the truth would have been better.

The disturbing irony is that this film is a tribute to artistic and cultural freedom that ends up mocking it. It was hacked by the studio to try and salvage box office. In other words this is what the 60's would have looked like if the international entertainment corporations had supervised the birth of R&B. It's clear that the creatives lost. And isn't that what really happened to radio.

The good news.

There ARE bits and pieces worth seeing here. There are moments of what are (or could easily be) radio truth. The cruel groupie. The young man getting laid. The live broadcast of the young man getting laid. The comradeship, the desperate heart break, the ridiculous attitudes, the egos, the outrageous moments that came out live on thousands of watts of radio energy - they were all represented here. Those are things that I saw or participated in as a young DJ. And it was wonderful.

My son liked the movie. He liked the "Young Carl" angle of the story. But as we left the theater I realized another reason why this film struggled to find an audience. Nobody under 30 understands it. How could they?

Remember American Graffitti? All of the cars out cruising on Saturday night had their radios tuned to Wolfman Jack. You could get out of you car and walk around town and you'd still hear the same radio station coming from 100 small speakers all around you. That was rock and roll radio. And for a moment I was part of it.

What Did Obama Say About Afghanistan?


We have seldom had a president with such command of language. That ability placed him firmly in charge before he was elected. When he went to West Point to speak on the Afghan War, the nation and indeed the world stopped to listen.

I found his speech well constructed and well delivered as always. Barely had he finished speaking than interpretation of his remarks began. It's one of the hazards of instant punditry. When a leader, even a master communicator who knows how to choose his words with precision delivers a clear message the fog of analysis sweeps in immediately to obscure his thoughts. It's an odd effect.

As someone who focuses on communication I listened carefully to the post-speech commentary to find out what Obama had communicated.

The rejection of his message was swift on the left. The right gave it a tepid nod of approval, with several notable exceptions who burst into applause.

Some progressives already frustrated by the pace of reform branded this as the final straw. The policy statement was a sell out of their desire to end both wars and concentrate on their domestic agenda. The speech itself was not well heard.

Some on the right, including Karl Rove, applauded the policy politely while rejecting aspects of the speech itself and it's specific wording. I have the feeling that the right is all too eager for Obama to ante in and double down. This not only shifts the burden of this war to Obama, it validates their point of view after a long period of withering critique.

Overall, the president's verbal power was reflected in our news media which went to 'round the clock discussion and analysis of what he said. In broad terms what he said is in fact policy and what I heard from the public were a variety of coping strategies for dealing with an unpopular war.

Our media and our political ideologues are nationalistic to a fault. No mention was made of the NATO charter or the US call to lead NATO allies in this campaign. No thought was given (until today when Defense Secretary Gates addressed it) about the timetable some of our allies have already adopted for the end of this mission.

So what did the president say about Afghanistan? It depends on whether you stand on the right, the left, or somewhere overseas. The rest remains to be seen.

California Dreamin'


(NOTE - This post was originally published on the Dunn Creek Farm blog.)

CLICK - HEAR - Today's Podcast

November in California is my favorite time of year. The days are clear and warm, the nights are cool and the tourist traffic is at a minimum.

I was invited by Westlake Audio to come down to Hollywood for a presentation on the newest Source Connect software from Source Elements. It took advantage of the opportunity to drive down the coast and catch up on some of the latest in audio technology.

Along the way, I stopped in at Emma Wood State Beach to check the surf.

A small day at Emma Wood - On the Way to Hollywood.
(click to enlarge)

The Rincon, Ventura County, CA., from Emma Wood.
(click to enlarge)

Westlake Audio. Jeri Palumbo, Rebekah Wilson, John Quimby, Ryan Kahler
(click to enlarge)

I got a personal tour of the software from Rebekah Wilson. The New Zealand native is the architect of the software that allows studios to connect and record or send high quality audio over the internet. Fascinating stuff and part of the learning I intend to bring back to PEI this spring.

Working on the farm isn't just about growing organic vegetables. It's about growing a business and connecting to the outside world as a professional media producer.

A Book No One Has Read Can Make You Famous


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Sarah Palin knocked Miss California's masturbation video off the page this week. (Both replaced the Fort Hood shooting, which arguably was another made for media event.)

It's interesting how similar both stories are and how they illustrate what's happening in the world of infotainment. Carrie Prejean didn't mean to distribute her act of self gratification. Sarah Palin did. And both went viral.

I'm not interested in being critical of either woman. I am interested in the phenomena. Both women scored a media knockout. Both women are in a position to capitalize on instant blazing fame. What will they do now? Will message trump substance?

In the case of Carrie Prejean she stands on a pile of the hottest 'keywords" out there and is sure to generate intense interest because of what she brings to the public square. Consider the words she conjures up: hot babe, boob job, California girl, bikini, conservative, anti gay, Christian, beauty pageant winner, sex videos, topless photos...

Let's face it she is guaranteed traffic - a major attraction. Now will someone please help her GET A GRIP. She's been given super powers. Time to be Wonder Woman.

And then there is the release of the "best seller" that no one has read. Advance orders propelled this book up the charts. So what. Who's actually going to read it? The real news is that Sarah is the talk of every media outlet and blogger in the America-centric universe and she did it by publishing a book about herself.

Like Carrie Prejean, Sarah Palin is a pile of keywords and contradictions that create the kind of dynamic tension and expectation that plays so well on camera. She's a walking sound byte. And she has published her own back story - consisting of just what she wants the public to see. It's brilliant. And her media fan-dance is working.

My point is that both these women have worked to create a public image and then have published (sometimes involuntarily) a narrative that people are eating up. Yes, their entry into the spotlight was big (Miss California, Republican VP candidate) but this is bigger. And now, they have to figure out how to keep publishing, promoting and profiting from the fact that they ARE the news.

Both are relative lightweights who are punching above their weight. They are giving the public the right combination of sex and searchable terminology. It makes them irresistible. But for how long. The question isn't, "Will Sarah Run?" The question is, "Will we still care if she does?" (Even money says Prejean gets interviewed about joining Sarah's team.)

In our current, "pop-culture as news" reality, where real news organizations are weak and wobbly, Carrie Prejean and Sarah Palin have the power to punch out the press. And who wouldn't pay to see that?

Web Marketing in 2010


We're working with clients who are already looking ahead to 2010.
This week:

- We produce video messages that are inexpensive, easy to create and simple to use.
- We assess your needs and propose solutions.
- We assist your web marketing and web design professionals to include video.

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Your Web Video can be built in to your website. It can be linked to a blog. It can be embedded in an e-newsletter. It can be uploaded to your YouTube account. It can be delivered to TV for broadcast. It can be linked to your Facebook page. It works across all media and once it's produced, it can be distributed for free.

The Production Room is based in Southern California. Contact us for local audio and video capture for podcasts and web media.

The Media Tipping Point - Content VS Distribution


Firesign Theater once put out an know, an album...those funny flat plastic discs that are bigger than CD's. Um, you DO remember CD's right?

Anyway, the album was called "Everything You Know is Wrong".

I mention it because that is precisely where we are in the media world. Everything you've always known about multimedia marketing and advertising is wrong.

Think I'm kidding?

Check out today's story from the AP:

Broadcast pioneer NBC prepares for cable takeover

The headline means that NBC - the company that invented the broadcast network - is about to be taken over by Comcast Cable.

For our purposes, the point of the story is this:

"...By owning more content, Comcast further hedges its bets as mainly a distributor of shows in case viewers ditch their cable TV subscriptions and migrate to the Internet, mobile devices or a platform that has yet to emerge. The company could charge for the shows or sell ads wherever the viewers are."

This should tell you something about the value of content versus the declining value of distribution. And that's why everything you know is wrong.

The Tipping Point

We can read about the actions of media titans, but frankly they aren't leading the trend, they're struggling to keep up. In a media world that is broadcast globally and originated individually it isn't a matter of what happens next in the boardroom, it's what happens next in the bedroom. Just ask Carrie Prejean about the value of personal content distributed globally. And note how, in the context of your awareness, Carrie Prejean's story is equal to major breaking news.

What It Means To You

For 80 years people have made media buys on the basis that distribution to a mass audience is what you pay for in a broadcast schedule. On the local level, if you buy an ad schedule your commercial message production is free! But that's all changing.

In a market where global distribution is free, attracting an audience is a matter of search engine traffic and content has more value than distribution.

This underlines what my clients are learning now. They are finding that they must plan a new annual budget for marketing in a landscape that is changing every day. My advice to you is to get ahead of the curve by doing more to create your own media content. You must become a contributor to your own media. You must tell your own story. There are no longer any limits to distribution and the cost of producing content has dropped for 10 years in a row.

The NBC story marks the end of an era. But don't get hung up on that. The NBC story marks the beginning of a new era and that's what should matter to you.

Beyond SEO - Clients are Optimizing Content


Today's Web Video Profile 11.02.09

Search Engine Optimization brings customers to your door.
It's up to you to greet them when they get there.

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Chevron Oil hires The Production Room for Film Narration

One of the largest oil producers in California, Chevron has extensive operations and training facilities in Bakersfield. John Quimby has recorded narration for two projects associated with Chevron's operations in Bakersfield. The read is very straight, no selling, just facts.

Sample Chevron Narration

Tomatillos on PEI? Yes You CAN


(This post also appears on the Dunn Creek Farm Blog. We use this blog and our podcast series to promote our farm business and interact with our customers.)CLICK - HEAR TODAYS PODCAST!Please enjoy this recipe for authentic Mexican Salsa Verde!Jane Dunphy prompted this post because she grew tomatillos in her PEI garden this year and has been searching for information about how to use them. Turns out you can freeze them or can them and of course, they make wonderful salsa verde, one of the most popular condiments in Mexico. But all of the ingredients can be grown and used in PEI!You can simmer your salsa verde with pork to make chile verde or you can bake chicken, shred the meat, cover it with salsa verde and serve with beans and rice. Salsa verde It's spicy but not too hot and the tangy fresh flavor is a delicious change of pace.Please enjoy!Ingredients 3 pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed2 large jalapeño chiles, stems removed5 small garlic cloves, peeled1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin1 1/2 bunches fresh cilantro, thick bottom stems trimmed1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil1 1/2 teaspoons salt Preparation Mix first 2 ingredients in large saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes. Drain. Coarsely chop tomatillo mixture, garlic, and cumin in processor using on/off turns. Add next ingredients; blend until herbs are chopped and salsa is chunky. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add salsa and simmer until slightly thickened and reduced to 4 cups, about 10 minutes. Stir in salt.NOTES: This is a recipe from the web that most closely resembles Monica's description and technique with measures to help you.You can add other herbs (mint, etc) and lime juice is a common addition too.[...]

Entertainment Based Marketing


New Elements, New Strategies in New Media

Prod Room produces a radio campaign based on a podcast.

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John created the "True Car Stories" concept for Ayers Automotive Repairs several years ago. But sounding "true" with voice actors reading testimonials in a studio was challenging.

A summer road trip and a podcast series changed that. The Production Room hit the road and captured true car stories as they happened. And John demonstrated how easy it is to add reality to a marketing campaign that isn't tied to a studio location or the printed word.

Here are 3 of the radio spots currently running in Santa Barbara:

Ayers Road Trip Radio 01
Ayers Road Trip Radio 02
Ayers Road Trip Radio 03

Contact John Quimby:

A Time for Sponsored Podcasts


A few years ago I had the idea that a radio series could be produced and commercially sponsored by local clients who need to establish a local brand. I started with my own interest in local history which led me to Barbara Tompkins, widow of one of Santa Barbara's most popular historians and the creator of a long running radio series. It was Mrs. Tompkins herself who reviewed the first scripts and gave her input direction on the project. The demo programs were also reviewed by the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

I have adapted material originally presented by Walker Tompkins and others into an entertaining and condensed format that can be easily produced and distributed. The result is "A Time In Santa Barbara", a two minute long audio program that includes a :30 sponsor break.

Though originally conceived as a radio program to fill dead network breaks with local, sponsored content, this feature is also suitable as web content. And while the program was created to strengthen a local institution (in this case a bank) It could be easily structured to promote interests such as a hotel, a conference center, a winery or even the County of Santa Barbara itself. Because every effort is made to present information that is factual and historically accurate, these stories can also be used to illustrate California History in local schools.

I invite you to listen to the demo tracks linked below and enjoy these true stories about Santa Barbara County. If you are interested in knowing more about A Time in Santa Barbara, please contact me at The Production Room (805) 563-0346 or email:

Click the links below to hear, "A Time In Santa Barbara" DEMO TRACKS

1) Tecolote Tunnel

2) Pearl Chase

3) El Capitan

Production Room Service Update


Greetings from Prodroom North. I'm in Prince Edward Island, Canada and the good news is that the studio here is all ready to continue production work for our clients.

Even more good news is that high speed wireless is now online here so sending and receiving media files is as fast and easy as it is at the Studio in SB.

I've also hired some help in Santa Barbara to continue providing studio services there, so our ISDN business will continue to be available and supported on demand. Booking service is as easy as sending an email to me:

Or you can call the Production Room at the local nimber: (805) 455-5134 and it will forward to my mobile phone here. And since the studio here in Canada is no longer using dialup, you can call the studio directly at (902) 962-3755. If I'm not in, please leave a message.

I have a fully equipped room here for voice tracking, editing, mixing and delivery of finished audio. The studio features some benefits we don't have yet in SB. We have a really sweet focusrite mic pre-amp which tracks audio to directly to a digital input on the computer for a very clean signal. It sounds great! I'm using our very nice Microtech Gefell microphone for voice recording and I also have the same complete music and sound effect library we use in SB.

I've brought our production archive here too, so we can update exisiting production for you from this location and deliver revised production to you.

Basically, anything I can do in Santa Barbara, I can do here - at the same level of professional quality you expect.

Email is the same as always, and is probably the best way to reach me. Keep in mind that I'm four hours ahead of Santa Barbara, which often helps me deliver completed production faster. And since I'm able to finish and deliver production while the west coast is still asleep, it's likely that your finshed production will be on your desktop when you arrive at work the next day.

I am continuing production on our new weekly podcast series for the Homecast Show, a daily podcast from Los Angeles. And I'll be working on new projects for the 5 Minute Media Manager on this page.

For more about our location this summer, please visit:


On the road to Canada


For continuing pictures and stories from our road trip please visit:

On Route 66 from Albuquerque NM to El Reno OK


Please follow our trip with more picture from the road at:


The Production Room is happy to help you with your projects and studio services while I'm on the road.

Day Two - We Turn Left at Albuquerque


Saturday, May 2We started off this morning from Scottsdale Arizona. My brother in law, Tom Frazier and I, checked that all systems were go for the road.Then we were off and running toward Albuquerque. North from Scottsdale to Flagstaff, Winslow, Gallup and into New Mexico. We detoured onto the old Route 66 at sunset for the run to town. We had planned to go all the way to Tucumcari but we just couldn't push that far today. We did have some fun though...We Stopped around mid-day on the Yavapai Apache Reservation to visit the ancient cliff dwellings.Then we detoured off the I-40 to Winslow on the old Route 66...We're stopped in Moriarty New Mexico. It's late. I'm pooped. We have another long day tomorrow.[...]

The Adventure of a Lifetime a Lifetime of Adventure


I was pleased to visit once again with Jean Michel Cousteau in the studio today. He was a guest of the BBC and presenter Nick Haslam. Nick interviewed him for an hour about his life, his father and his work. It was fascinating. Mr. Cousteau was relaxed but ready to speak clearly and passionately. He told some marvelous stories about his life aboard Calypso as a 13 year old boy with his 10 year old brother. To have been part of his father's voyages of discovery in the 1950's and 60's and to be part of the crew was obviously transformational for Jean Michel.

This was real adventure in an age when communication from across the world was by morse code and the ship stayed at sea for many months. And no one knew what they would find out there. "As my father said, 'If I knew what I was gonna find I wouldn't go'."

I'll post the link to the BBC interview when it becomes available.

And this week, I'm heading off on my own adventure with a portable Production Room. I'm driving from Santa Barbara to Prince Edward Island, on the east coast of Canada in a 1965 GMC pickup truck. I'll be posting updates so you can follow along the way. There will be a podcast updating the trip and Ayers Automotive Repairs, the shop that does all my service and maintenance, is going to run radio commercial updates from the road.

And what will we discover along the way from the southwest to the northeast? If I knew I wouldn't go.

Ten Four Eleanor! So Long Steve Gordon!


"These Suck!" doesn't really fully detail the craptiousness here...-Eleanor RooseveltAt the risk of hurting someone's feelings at the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce, this was Steve Gordon's evaluation of radio scripts he was bidding to produce for the Chamber at the end of January. He had emailed them to me for review and asked me to bid on re-writing them for production. He was proposing a collaboration. It would have been our last but he didn't get the job. And there it all is in a nutshell.The blunt (and correct) evaluation of the scripts - linked to the email sign-off from Mrs. Roosevelt is vintage Steve. He was absolutely honest in his evaluations but he loved to leave 'em laughing. I think he found the world to be absurd. He understood that taking the world seriously was fine as long as you realized its absurdities were seriously amusing.Steve was a Libertarian who used to love to taunt my liberal sensibilities with editorial content from the CATO institute and Glenn Beck (before Beck went totally insane...) We had more than a few rounds on society and politics which I appreciated because I enjoy that sort of thing. Unfortunately, Steve shared commonality with a large population of gracelessly aging, despondent white males who find themselves left behind, broke and bitter, unwilling to yield their independence but unable to fight for it.Steve ended his life as a brilliant man. As a brilliant man he ended his life as an under employed, under appreciated casualty of change. I've seen more than a few of the walking wounded come out of radio in the last 15 years...and you know who you are. The death of radio has killed or crippled more than a few of the brilliant people I love dearly. The survivors carry scars you can't see because radio is not a visual medium.The pictures here are from what some people have told me was the best party they've ever been to. Certainly it was the best party I've ever hosted.In January of 2007, we sent out a tarot card image of the Magician to invite our guests to an open house for creative talent, clients, marketing executives and a cross section of the community. We demonstrated the magic of our ISDN studio with a live studio link to San Francisco and Los Angeles. We played a hilarious short film Steve had worked on in the studio. We showed a rich media web site from the Beatles that showed the direction we knew our clients should embrace as the future of communications media. At the after party, we turned up the music and we DANCED!There was live music and food and there was video on every screen. There was a close-up magician and a hand writing analyst. It a was a memorable and magical alchemy of the sacred and profane, of technology and artistry and the vibe of unlimited possibility hummed above all. I see these pictures now of Steve in his favorite position, at the console.Sadly my old studio is gone. That desk which I built with my own hands in my dead father's workshop is gone. Steve is gone. All gone because the world changed. Gone because the only work we knew is gone. Gone because we couldn't afford to make them stay. Gone because we didn't need them any more. Gone because they could go no further in this world.People say after they lose a limb or a physical part of themselves that they feel phantom pain as if the limb were still there. These are my limbs. These are my phantoms.Steve lived the way he died. He made his own terms and stuck to 'em in a world that no longer cared to negotiate. [...]

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Obama and the Media - A Full Court Press


It's been a while since I wrote on the president and his communication-media-political style. Last night's 1 hour press conference with 300 reporters was a high profile display of how the President of the United States chooses to communicate and what the media reports about it. So I have some thoughts on form and substance (or lack thereof).The Message:The president restated his position and elaborated on the need for spending on education, energy and health care. He did a great job of staying on message for the full hour and provided details as he answered questions from the press. He was particularly effective at explaining why investing in future growth was required to lower the deficit. He very nearly quoted Reagan circa 1982 in his call for cutting taxes, eliminating government waste and increasing deficit spending.The President and the Prompter:He looked a bit was the end of a long day. He was criticized almost immediately on the use of the teleprompter in the back of the room. The image makers at the White House were no doubt trying to deal with the recurring conservative meme about Obama being unable to speak without a teleprompter. So they took the small screen from his face and moved it away from the cameras.I'm willing to bet that Obama hates the teleprompter. Unlike Bush, he doesn't need one in order to speak clearly or coherently. Obama is a master of delivery and the prompter is a distraction that breaks his rhythm. I've used a teleprompter and it essentially makes you read a script into a TV camera. It tends to make you look as though you are reading a prepared statement - because you are. What he has probably learned (and been told) is that the teleprompter is there to help him remember the key points, names, dates and figures he needs for greater impact on the national debate. I think we'll see him improve. Meantime, the White House should disregard the critics and let their man work.Press Reports Top Story of 2009: The Press!It's amazing to me that one of last night's first headlines on Huffington Post pointed at another post on Politico, reporting that the President didn't call on the Washington Post or the New York Times.HUH?On the day the president re-affirmed his vision of a transformative economic agenda, the top story is: one media outlet covering another media outlet covering other media outlets.(HELLO HEllo Hello hello! There's an ECHO ECho Echo echo!)The press really loves the sound of it's own voice.The Political Bout - President Ahead on Points On :60 Minutes, Steve Croft asked, "Are you punch drunk?" Let's take that fight analogy to the press conference. I watched the full conference then looked at the transcript of a live blog on the Washington Post.President Obama did two things that showed his control of the Press and the Opposition.1) The president was asked whether or not he would sign a bill that did not include several of the budget items he has asked for. He patiently explained to the press why he wouldn't comment on signing legislation that hasn't been written yet. He has a backhanded way of scolding the press for not asking smart questions.Bush used to tell the press what he was going to sign becuase he already knew what the White House had directed Republicans to pass. Then they'd give a press release to the media. Obama appears content to propose legislation and then wait for the legislative process to deliver a bill to his desk. This m[...]

Sweet Dreams Down Under With Robert Bosnak


I haven't done a live airshift since 1995 but I still have dreams about being on the radio.

I'm on the air doing my DJ shift and the song on the air is beginning to fade. That's when I realize I have nothing cued up to play next and no idea what to say. That actually happened a few times while I was awake and the feeling is enough to give a person nightmares. We started on a similar note on this ISDN connection to Australia - when technical problems had us stumped.

The mix of dreaming and consciousness and the space in between has fascinated human beings for quite a long time. (image) Psychoanalyst Robert Bosnak, believes we can consciously work inside of those dreams in that strange space. I was introduced to Mr. Bosnak, thanks to The ABC - that's the Australian Broadcasting Company - which invited Mr. Bosnak to guest on their program, "All In The Mind" using ISDN studio service from The Production Room in Santa Barbara.
The Interview was conducted by Natasha Mitchell, a journalist and ABC presenter with a depth of experience.

You can listen to her interview titled, "Dreams - The Body Alive" on "All InThe Mind". You can also read Ms. Mitchell's blog and listener comments about the program. I don't know if Ms. Mitchell has dreams about radio, but she came to her interview prepared to explore their nebulous nature.

Mr. Bosnak has written an internationally well received book that just might interest someone who'd like a brief course on dream work. You can review excerpts of his book, "A little Course In Dreams" at Amazon's online reader.

I'm honored by the opportunity to provide links that connect interesting people I'd never meet were it not for the larger world and the curiosity of the people in it. I hope you'll listen to to this example of radio Australia's excellent reporting and the latest on dream work from Mr. Bosnak.