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Waiting for the Main Event

Ok. It's Thanksgiving. Helped my mom prepare dinner for 14 people, and found a way to shoot some stills and video along the way.

The main event is not dinner however. It is next week's big medical meeting we are putting on.

I just responded to an email from Sao Paulo, and was exchanging messages with Kuwait last night. We have people from 30 countries attending this meeting, and about 30 US states are represented as well.

I finalized the audiovisual gear - 9x12 screens with DLP projectors, audio, video switcher and lots o cables. We are doing a live switch to tape and plan to record direct to disk using OnLocation. As long as we are bringing our cameras and decks we might as well take an editing system along for the ride too. In theory this will save 24 hours of digitizing later.

Yesterday we added a satellite truck to the mix. I will leave it to that crew to figure out how to run cables from Times Square to the 4th floor ballroom!

So this is the main event. T minus 7 days and counting.

Thanks for reading.

Mike Cohen

PS - This post was written on my phone - don't worry, I already helped set the table!

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Nov 25, 2010 at 11:35:36 amComments (3) Live events

Down Time

I may give the impression that I work 24/7. Occasionally. But I do have some hobbies.

One hobby that I need to spend more time on is creative writing. When people ask me what I am working on, I always say "I have a lot of first acts."

As far as screenplays go, this is the case. I write about 30 pages and realize there isn't really a whole story, or at least not one I am aware of. Sometimes I will discard a draft and start over, knowing the basic premise and the characters, but knowing that the story has been maturing in the recesses of my brain.

Last year during the CT Film Festival, I took a seminar with CT's premier screenplay teacher Peter Fox of Tripeg Studios. He talked about a more systematic approach to screenwriting, and this really helped.

I flip flop between starting screenplays and novels. Looking back at some early attempts, I see that my writing has matured along with the rest of me. Likewise, I find myself trashing old drafts of novels and starting over with the same story but a better sense of what looks good on the page. In some cases, I have written the same introductory scenes as both a screenplay and prose to see which reads better.

For inspiration, I listen to podcasts from Creative Screenwriting Magazine. These are fascinating conversations with some of the hottest screenwriters in Hollywood. Amusing anecdotes, breaking in stories and process are all helpful ways to figure out this craft.

Well, it's 12:15 am - I've been writing for 3 hours and I have a busy day tomorrow at work.

Thanks for reading.

Mike Cohen

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Nov 11, 2010 at 9:16:06 pm writing, screenplays

Live from New York....

Coming up in a few weeks we have a pretty large medical conference. Cine-Med's specialties in medical video production have been well-documented. But I should also mention our medical conference services - CME accreditation, meeting registration and associated audiovisual management. We work with some top hospitals and physicians annually on some unique programs. We also are approached by organizations looking for help growing their meetings once they pass the point of being able to manage them on their own.

Part of my responsibilities includes planning the multimedia coverage for the main session. 3 days of lectures, panel discussions and debate, all shot and switched live to tape with music, roll-ins and I-Mag to two 9x12 rear projection screens.

There is nothing more exciting than doing a live switch - something we don't get to do too often in the non-broadcast world.

So in the coming weeks we need to edit the intro video for each day, create slides for each speaker's intro, figure out the exact layout of cameras and sound reinforcement and finalize the rental order. Also hoping we can get into the ballroom for setup during the day, otherwise we are looking at an overnight setup. We did an overnight setup once before in NY - there was a wedding that did not get turned over until midnight. I think we finished setup just in time to shower, shave and change clothes before the 7am start time.

So in planning a live event like this, the key is to plan in detail, be ready for anything and did I mention have a plan? I've got a plan.

Stay tuned...more on this later.

Thanks for reading.

Mike Cohen

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Nov 9, 2010 at 7:54:01 pmComments (1) meetings, audiovisual

I have a passion for my job, which entails training for medical professionals such as surgeons, nurses and administrators, not to mention various industries.

Technology is great, but how you apply your skills is what pays the bills.

Years ago I canceled my Media 100 support contract upon discovering what a treasure trove of helpful advice can be found on the Creative COW website. I am proud to be a part of this fantastic community.

In my blog I talk a little about media production, a lot about travel and workflow, and occasionally about cooking, nature and my four-legged friends.

Follow me on Twitter: med_ed_mike

I'm also on LinkedIn if you can't get enough of me!


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