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December 6, 2015 - 1 comment.

2015 NY & DC Downton Events

As I write this, I'm northbound on Amtrak's Acela Express to NY's Penn Station to prepare for the last ever Downton events1 we'll be promoting in New York at the Hudson Theatre. If you've never gotten a chance to ride the rails instead of fly, you should really give it a try. The train is an infinitely better experience than a flight, it's also just as expensive, which is why most Americans never even give it a shot. I love it though and I'd definitely take the train more if the prices were lowered and the schedules for the southern lines were more frequent.

I'll be meeting up with my colleague Phil Piga who organizes and runs events for PBS. Phil and I have been working together for quite awhile now and I've been getting involved more over the last several years, even Directing the live online stream last year, which was a thrill and something I've missed. This year, there is no live stream, so I'll be there more as a Creative Director, making sure the branding, backdrops, posters, lighting, stage, presentations, and much more are designed and setup properly. Once the event begins, I'll take my place backstage to make sure the lights, audio, and talent get the proper cues.

It's been a privilege to have been backstage with the Downton cast on several occasions. To see and chat with them in such a cordial & relaxed manner has made the effort and late nights all the more worth it; not to mention made my job seem very cool to mom & dad. Once again, we'll be shooting interviews with the fans and recording the event for a video we'll put together later. And of course, I'll have another post on this year's Downton creative when it's ready, so be sure to lookout for that. Till then, remember, Jan 3rd - the last season of Downton begins!


  1. This is actually my 3rd time at this event. I'd like to think it's gotten better each year. 

May 11, 2015 - Comments Off on PBS Annual Meeting

PBS Annual Meeting

This week I'm attending PBS's Annual Meeting in Austin, TX which is a fascinating insight into how local stations work and an opportunity to connect with people across the system.

The PBS Annual Meeting is the premier gathering of public television professionals, bringing together station teams, independent producers, community partners and national organizations to connect, collaborate and plan our future together. In Austin we will build on the momentum of the PBS Regional Meetings and showcase local and national content and innovative ways our industry is transforming our service to meet the needs of the communities we serve. And it is Austin, home of Austin City Limits, so you know there will be some serious music!

I'm presenting a session on how PBS builds it's visual brand over a long period of time and how stations can use that philosophy to create their own visual brand that's tied to the PBS brand but totally their own. If you're in Austin, make sure to drop me a line or attend my session - Take it to the Next Level - Animation Package Deep Deep, or one of my 1-on1 30min sessions on Wednesday.

May 7, 2015 - Comments Off on Poldark

Poldark

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Working with Leroy & Clarkson, we crafted a spot for this revival of Masterpiece's Poldark.

Savor a swashbuckling new adaptation of the hit 1970s series, starring Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark.

Check out the trailer!

March 31, 2015 - Comments Off on KQED tries out Square Cash to boost mobile giving

KQED tries out Square Cash to boost mobile giving

After mobile-payment processor Square expanded its peer-to-peer payment service Square Cash to businesses and to nonprofits last week, KQED began soliciting donations using “cashtags,” a unique identifier designed for social media marketing.

Using the tag $KQED, the station’s March 23 campaign raised about $1,500 from 60 donations, according to Michael Lupetin, v.p. of marketing.

It’s fantastic to see local stations embracing new and creative technology for donations. It saddens me though, a key metric is still to gain an email address.

KQED tries out Square Cash to boost mobile giving

March 26, 2015 - Comments Off on Goodbye Downton

Goodbye Downton

Today Carnival Films, and MASTERPIECE on PBS, are announcing that Season 6, premiering in January 2016, will be the final season of “Downton Abbey.” We can all be proud of the success of “Downton Abbey” in the United States, and the enormous response from audiences that has helped bring new audiences and members to our public media system. As we pause and reflect on the success of Downton, thank you for all that you’ve done to create public media history.

I've had the incredible privilege of working on every one of the promotional campaigns and it's been quite a ride. I still remember getting the screeners for Season 1, watching them late one night on the couch in an editing suite and thinking, "Wow. This is pretty damn good."

It's been very interesting to me, seeing a show's marketing campaign evolve over time. With the launch of Season 1, no one cared and we had almost no budget for promotion. Then, by the time Season 4 launched, we were throwing ideas around for Times Square billboards and traveling tea trucks.

I have no idea what Julian has in store for us during Season 6 yet but I'm sure it'll be worth the wait and knowing it's the final season will at least bring some closure.

And check out the campaigns from Seasons 2-4 1.


  1. I can't seem to locate Season 1 and Season 5 is basically the same as Season 4. 

March 12, 2015 - Comments Off on Using Slack within a team is harder than I thought

Using Slack within a team is harder than I thought

I’ve been trying to implement Slack within our department for a few months now and the challenges in getting it adopted are a bit harder than what I've read in many an article online. Here are a few things I’ve run into that make it pretty challenging for Slack to become the de facto communications platform within our dept. Hopefully, others in similar situations or the team at Slack can find some of these useful.

1) People have a very hard time letting go of email.

This is by far, the biggest problem. Whether it’s muscle memory, forgetfulness, or something else, people have a very hard time letting go of email for tasks that are much better suited for Slack. Even when all participants are on Slack, someone will still send an email resulting in another back-n-forth email chain cluttering up an inbox. Making Slack top-of-mind is a very difficult task among a team who is very used to an email culture. I’m stumped in this area as to how to provide guidance.

2) Notifications aren’t consistent across users.

Everyone has different ways of setting up their software. I like to download the desktop version as well as the apps, then go through each setting tailoring the app to my liking. I make sure all notifications are turned on and even slightly adjust those notification settings depending on the app. Ninety-nine percent of my coworkers however aren’t like this. They may download the desktop version, they may not. I have a few coworkers who had no idea there was an official Mac app and were using the web version. Almost all had no idea there was an iPhone app - much less an iPad app. Some have notifications turned on, some don’t. Some people go through and kill all the apps they don’t use, essentially de-enabling their background processes and any chance of notification. My point is, if people don’t get notifications that conversations are happening or their attention is needed, they forget about Slack and revert back to email.

3) People don’t understand the flexibility or capabilities of Slack.

Even when I can get a good conversation going within Slack, most people don’t understand all the functionality of Slack and revert to email very quickly. For instance, I had a coworker who didn’t know you could save images within Slack, so whenever they sent a JPG of a design, they sent it via email because they didn’t know you could save an image out of Slack. I have coworkers who still don’t know there’s an edit function in Slack, so when they make a mistake in typing, they just retype the same thing again with a correction. I have coworkers who haven’t added their real names to accounts. This results in people not recognizing their coworkers online or have no idea who’s available, so they revert to email.

4) It’s a toy.

Lastly, it’s my belief that a lot of people within our department view Slack as a toy and not a serious communications platform that can add tons of value to their workflow. They don’t sign up, thinking it’s just a passing fad, which leads to the fact that very few projects have their complete team within Slack. This causes even more confusion because people aren’t sure wether to communicate within Slack for this project or do they need to revert back to email because “so-n-so” refuses to sign up and work with the rest of the team. Senior Management is now testing Slack though, so if they like it, then we could soon have an “official” blessing.

I love Slack. I love the easy of use. I love the transparency it provides around the creative process, projects, and conversations. I love the fact that it takes the burden of keeping everyone up-to-date off key stakeholders and puts it squarely back on each user. I love the fact that Slack isn’t burdened with all the regulations and procedures our I.T. department implements for every piece of company software. It just so happens that not everyone within my department shares those sentiments, so getting everyone to use Slack consistently has been a real challenge.


UPDATE: See my new post on the Top 3 Slack Requests

March 6, 2015 - Comments Off on Sunday Night Drama

Sunday Night Drama

Recently, we were challenged to present our slate of Sunday Night shows (Call the Midwife, Mr. Selfridge, and the premiere of Wolf Hall) in one :30 story. We called our good friends at Block & Tackle to create a new Sunday Night Drama package to help tie all the shows together.

Check out the trailer!

February 27, 2015 - Comments Off on Wolf Hall

Wolf Hall

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Adapted from Hilary Mantel’s best-selling Booker Prize-winning novels: “Wolf Hall” and its sequel, “Bring Up the Bodies”, PBS presents a six-hour television miniseries which provides an intimate and provocative portrait of Thomas Cromwell, the brilliant and enigmatic consigliere to King Henry VIII, as he maneuvers the corridors of power at the Tudor court.

Check out the work & the spots