2014 Adventures - Part 6: Workation|
By: Mike Cohen on Aug 28, 2014 at 10:46:18 pm
It's now April 2014 for those keeping score at home! 2014 all told will have me going to 9 conferences. Good thing I went to the Jos. A. Bank buy one get two free sale!
2014 Adventures - Part 5: A Tale of Two Cities|
By: Mike Cohen on Aug 28, 2014 at 10:44:12 pm
Salt Lake City really does feel like two separate places. On the one hand you have a convention center, hotels and restaurants like any other city, not to mention some really unique architecture, spectacular scenery in most directions and a bunch of history.
2014 Adventures - Part 4: The Walk of Fame|
By: Mike Cohen on Aug 28, 2014 at 10:29:31 pm
A few weeks to go until our annual diabetes conference in LA. The course director asked about having a live Twitter feed ticker under the main content. This was a technical challenge, solved in part here on the COW:
3D - 4K - MPG2? |
By: Mike Cohen on Oct 8, 2012 at 2:51:40 pm
Last week I made my annual pilgrimage to the American College of Surgeons meeting, this year in Chicago. 4 days of promoting our products and services to surgeons from around the world - lots of talking, walking, and checking out some of the latest medical technology.
Production Related Travel Tips|
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 30, 2012 at 10:59:57 am
Ok, so your client wants you to shoot some interviews and b-roll at their factory in another part of the country. In my case it is likely a medical procedure, but not always. It doesn't matter - getting there and back is the fun part.
One of my Favorite Cities|
By: Mike Cohen on Oct 24, 2011 at 11:12:49 pm
Every 3 years our Fall medical convention is in San Francisco. The cool things about this city are the abundance of good dining selections, the great combination of old and new architecture, the unique but easy to navigate street layout, the relative safeness of the central city areas for walking back to your hotel at night, the abundance of Walgreens stores every few blocks for bottled water, snacks and cheap fridge magnets, the ability to walk from hotels to the convention center (as opposed to say Chicago where you need to get on a bus and drive mostly underground in...
By: Mike Cohen on Aug 13, 2010 at 6:07:48 pm
This past week was a perfect example of contrasts in my job duties. I often say that I wear many hats, that every day is different, and that my job entails a wide variety of activities.
Ready for Action|
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 8, 2010 at 7:50:40 pm
Yep, another travel-related blog, complete with signature bad cell phone pics and a few DSLR images for good measure. Hey, everyone has to have a signature!
What can I say - I spend a day, a week or more preparing (on and off) for a big trip. Sometimes a big trip is a weekend, a few weekdays or likely just an overnight.
This entry will give the highlights on the past two trips, and attempt to give some tips and tricks for a successful shooting / travel experience.
Planning Ahead - Locations
The first trip was actually to a familiar location -...
Locked and Loaded|
By: Mike Cohen on Feb 21, 2010 at 4:52:03 pm
Yep, another blog about leaving the safety of my cubicle to work with a client.
Why so much emphasis on this? Because it is good for business to have your, er, stuff together!
Many people have a checklist for a shoot:
- lav mic
- xlr cable
- bnc cable
- hdmi cable
- 20 blank tapes or 6 p2 cards
- gaffer tape
Likewise I certainly make a checklist for a week long trip:
- 2 pair knakis
- 6 pair black socks
- 2 polo shirts
- 4 dress shirts (white, grey, blue, pinstripe)
- 4 favorite ties
- dress shoes
- bathing suit, flip flops (assuming they...
A Photo Blog|
By: Mike Cohen on Feb 6, 2010 at 9:09:21 pm
On this week's journey, I think I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. Well, perhaps a bit of commentary to tie it all together.
The title card is from the Philly Airport. I had just enough time between flights to grab a bag full of food for the 4 hour trip out to Denver. I ate it all, and got a lot of work done on the plane. Sometimes I think I should install an airplane seat at my desk!
Let's backup a bit. The planning for this trip was interspersed with another time consuming project. I suspected there might be some...
By: Mike Cohen on Jan 27, 2010 at 3:58:10 pm
I know I tell a lot of stories about the old days, but this doesn't mean I'm 100 years old.
Just wanted to get that cleared up for those of you keeping a tally of how many times I mention 1" tape and CMX edit controllers.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress...
For those of you just joining us, welcome to the Mike Cohen Creative COW 100th Blogiversary .
"100 blog posts? So what," you might be saying.
Well I try to put a little bit of my personality and philosophy into every post. For me it's a big...
By: Mike Cohen on Sep 1, 2009 at 4:33:08 pm
Back in the late 90's I was always the guy to take a stills camera on a shoot, or to various travel destinations. The result was usually a few snapshots, such as of our exhibit booth setup or a group shot after we wrapped.
As the 21st century took hold I continued the tradition with a range of semi-pocket sized digital still cameras. Our first one was a Kodak 1 megapixel unit - for video resolution it was actually pretty good. I got the camera suggested by a colleague who did a doc about the Shroud of Turin.
While the resolution and...
Around the world in 16 days!|
By: TL Westgate on Aug 11, 2009 at 2:55:41 am
As a corporate videographer, I fight the neverending battle of budgets and travel. Often times it will be cheaper to fly me to a site and capture video than it is to hire a local crew. Sorry, independant videographers, but your prices are just too high sometimes!
Such was the case recently when we needed footage of several of our international locations. The quotes were coming in ridiculously high. So, my VP asked "why don't we send TL?"
This blog will be my observations and advice for the traveling videographer. My focus will be on the international aspects, as I have been...
Round Pegs in Square Holes|
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 19, 2009 at 10:00:33 pm
Thursday - Midnight
Lately, for some unknown reason (caffeine) I have been staying up late. Too late. Oddly, after stumbling to bed around 1am I manage to wake at 6am, hit the snooze bar exactly 4 times, allowing my body to wake up on its own schedule, and still get to work at a reasonable time. A cup of extra bold from the K-Cup machine, a bowl of bran flakes (watch enough colon cancer videos and you'll tolerate the woody texture), and hit the road to the office.
Usually the last thing I do before bed, after my continuing search for...
The Known Knowns|
By: Mike Cohen on May 27, 2009 at 8:24:47 pm
When preparing for a shoot, a trip or a trip to a shoot, one must visualize the known knows and anticipate the known unknowns. A little bit of planning plus confidence in your abilities and you are off to a good start.
Recently I have discovered Live Maps - a more detailed online mapping service - excellent when planning a driving route in unfamiliar territory. Normally Google maps with and without the satellite view is adequate. But sometimes it is hard to tell where highway exit and entrance ramps are - fairly important to have nailed down before getting in your...
To The Rockies and Back: A Photo Blog|
By: Mike Cohen on May 13, 2009 at 5:57:57 pm
Mother's Day weekend 2009 - sorry Mom, I will see you soon! Duty calls.
Two weeks ago, or whenever my last blog post was, er, posted, I did a site survey and client meeting in advance of this past weekend's trip. After months of editing on a new crop of videos, we made a detailed list of pickup shots needed to complete these videos, and shots to cover some new scripts recently green-lit for production.
As usual, the locations for our projects are far from home. But thanks to modern air travel, it is mostly easy. i say mostly because modern...
An Edit Bay with a View|
By: Mike Cohen on Apr 20, 2009 at 7:10:47 pm
The usual edit bay (we used to call them edit bays back when an online editing suite resembled the bridge of the Enterprise. Today an edit bay resembles a computer desk - results may vary - consult your pharmacist)…The usual edit bay may or may not have a window. Very often the only light is dimmable track lighting, perhaps a lava lamp and the soothing red glow of the mouse.
My particular office is just that - an office - in which we happen to do editing.
Office Half of my Office
Edit Bay Half of my Edit Bay
More Travel Tips, Tricks and Laments|
By: Mike Cohen on Apr 14, 2009 at 7:57:11 pm
"Don't they do these surgeries in Connecticut," my wife used to ask me. Well now she and I have accepted the fact that video shoots and conventions tend to happen everywhere but Connecticut.
Inevitably, this travel has everything to do with airports, airlines, middle seats, tray tables, lighted signs and placards and free cups of ice with a splash of soda! Here are some anecdotes that might help you should your job take you to the friendly skies:
Back in the pre-9/11 days, you would check-in at the counter and be asked two security questions: Did you pack your...
Measure Twice, Cut Once|
By: Mike Cohen on Apr 13, 2009 at 7:25:18 pm
This old adage is often repeated by the likes of Norm Abrahm and my dear departed Uncle Ted (you know they named a school after him - no joke). It is wise advice indeed. Just as relevant to production as it is to carpentry and limb amputation.
Planning for a video shoot can range from client meetings, detailed SOW's or as simple as basic preparations the night before - usually a combination of long-term and short-term tasks.
The night before a shoot, whether in a hotel room or my living room, follows a typical ritual for me:
1. Eat a healthy, hearty,...
By: Mike Cohen on Apr 5, 2009 at 3:02:00 pm
Stress is a natural part of life. Even happy events like a wedding cause a lot of stress. As discussed at length in this blog, air travel and travel in general causes plenty of stress. Planning a video shoot and dealing with clients of different levels of detail-orientedness are more ways to lose one's hair. Luckily, I haven't got much hair left to lose. This means I need to find other ways to decompress. Here are some ways:
1. After an especially stressful phone call with an angry mob, get up, walk outside and walk around. Even in the dead of...
More Travel Adventures|
By: Mike Cohen on Mar 29, 2009 at 3:07:36 pm
I have blogged before about the fun and not so fun parts of travel for business. Over the past few weeks I have combined business travel with some mini-vacations.
Standup comics like to make fun of the airplane safety lectures and airplane food (airplane food, what is this 1973?). I won't try to match the clever punchlines of Ray Romano or Jerry Seinfeld, but last week in Ft Lauderdale I had my own Seinfeld moment. My wife and I were visiting Miami for a conference at the historic Fontainebleau resort, to be followed by a few days with my parents in...
Is it worth going to NAB anymore?|
By: Dan Dennis on Feb 18, 2009 at 5:48:06 am
The other day, our facility engineer was telling me about his experience booking a hotel room in Vegas for NAB this year. Apparently, the hotels and casinos in Sin City are hurting. He told me he was able to book a hotel room through our corporate travel system at the MGM Grand for less than $100 a night.
That, coupled with the fact that Apple and Avid stayed away last year, and who knows who's staying away this year, leads me to believe that (1) NAB is going to start dwindling away into irrelevance, or (2) those of us not in...
By: Mike Cohen on Dec 28, 2008 at 6:09:56 pm
Many of my blog posts include mentions of food. Alas, a good hearty meal before and after a shoot is a good idea, especially since you are on your feet for 8-14 hours a day. If you are one of the 5 people who have read my blog from the beginning, you may see some repetition, but in the great tradition of "the man who made lists", I shall make a list.
I have had a few conferences and numerous shoots in Bean Town. There are enough hospitals in Boston to care for millions of people. One of...
On the Road with a Stranger|
By: grinner hester on Oct 28, 2008 at 3:11:05 pm
The freeby gig. We've all done it. Most of the time we are not quite sure why we are doing as we do it and most of the time we are glad we did it later. Such was the case at Lucas School House, a music venue in St. Louis, MO. I was shooting a music video for friend Colin Gilmore of Austin Texas when in walked in the music industry's best known mystery… Beatle Bob.
The Big Easy|
By: Mike Cohen on Sep 28, 2008 at 1:33:06 pm
Attention ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for choosing Creative Cow Airlines. We have a few important safety reminders for you. Please stow your belongings in the overhead compartments and keep the aisles clear. Please observe the lighted signs and placards to the left and right of this blog... Last week I had to go to New Orleans for some pickup interviews and b-roll. I booked a reasonably priced ticket to fly out on Sunday, got to the airport early, paid my $140 for luggage. Let me stop there. In an effort to keep ticket prices down, US Air now charges...
Homeland Security wants your laptop. NOW.|
By: walter biscardi on Aug 14, 2008 at 6:50:57 am
Traveling anytime soon into or out of the United States? Homeland Security is now authorized to detain your laptop for a reasonable amount of time with absolutely no warrant and no suspicion whatsoever. From MSNBC.com today: WASHINGTON - Federal agents may take a traveler s laptop or other electronic device to an off-site location for an unspecified period of time without any suspicion of wrongdoing, as part of border search policies the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed. Wow, can t wait to travel out of the country again sometime soon. This is just getting ridiculous. Full story: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25960741/...
Hit the Road|
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 28, 2008 at 12:06:10 pm
Not all travel is by aeroplane. No sometimes we need to drive. If you do mostly local production, you are always driving. If you are like me, your gigs are anywhere and everywhere, although we do have a lot of shoots in Boston, NY and Philadelphia. A big concern at the moment of course is the high price of fuel. I can't take a long car trip without adequate fuel in my tank, and one must make this a priority, or you might not get to your destination. I am of course talking about coffee and the very best gas...
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 3, 2008 at 4:28:40 pm
Memorial Day weekend arrived in the US, indicating my 4th annual trip to Cape Cod for a much needed vacation. The weather was pleasant, the roads were relatively empty and my brain appreciated the chance to recharge. I set out this year to take fewer pictures than usual, but make them more interesting as a result, and I left my video camera at home, forcing myself to relax a bit more. I also rented a bike and took some nice rides along the Cape Cod National Seashore. The lobsters were sweet, and I tried some new recipes...
Mexico Goes to China - Part 2 of 2|
By: Noah Kadner on Apr 23, 2008 at 3:38:36 pm
I wrote two articles for the Final Cut Pro User's Group Supermeet at NAB. They appeared in the SuperMag magazine(which I named btw). Here's part two of the first article looking at an Apple network system that is being used at the Beijing Olympics this summer in China. For part one click here.
Mexico Goes to China - Part 1 of 2|
By: Noah Kadner on Apr 22, 2008 at 12:00:43 pm
I wrote two articles for the Final Cut Pro Supermeet at NAB this year. Here's part one of the first article looking at an Apple SAN network system that is being used at the Beijing Olympics this summer in China:
By: Mike Cohen on Apr 21, 2008 at 2:14:36 pm
Over the past two weeks I attended several medical conventions as an exhibitor. First was a meeting for laparoscopic surgeons. Last week was a combined meeting of surgical program directors and coordinators, held in Toronto. The unique aspect of the exhibits at this meeting were the uses of multimedia technology aimed at surgical education. First, of course, the Cine-Med display featured our latest books and our online video libraries, and a demo of our forthcoming Multimedia Atlas of Surgery. At this meeting, the most popular items were the books. Particularly a book about improving communication techniques for surgeons. The ACGME...
Go Fast Productions|
By: Mike Cohen on Mar 29, 2008 at 7:10:14 am
No, that's not the name of a new company - but it sounds good actually. I actually was thinking of the term "go fast boats" as used in the Miami Vice movie(it has been on HBO in a loop). Basically fast racing boats used for smuggling. This week was a go fast production week. Monday - Pack my gear, print Google maps of two hospitals and a client's offices in Massachusetts. Fuel up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster (Saturn ION) for a mere $30, and hit the road. I also hit the library to stock up on books for my...
More travel Fun|
By: Mike Cohen on Mar 21, 2008 at 4:26:39 pm
Twice a year we face "Convention Season." I doubt this would make an interesting documentary, such as Bee Season, but it defines work schedules, deadlines and Yahoo Travel's bottom line. Every October I attend the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress, as an exhibitor, along with my boss and other colleagues. Our goal at this NAB of Surgery, if you will, is to exhibit our medical education products, to network with clients, future clients and to support the AV needs of still other clients. Every 3 years this meeting is in either San Francisco, Chicago or New Orleans. I have...
Always on the move...Part II|
By: Mike Cohen on Feb 9, 2008 at 5:30:08 pm
My job entails the following types of trips. I will describe each one in brief and include some memorable experiences. Overnight Trips These are generally trips somewhere to shoot one or more surgical procedures. I leave Hartford or LGA mid-morning, or at the crack of dawn if it is a cross country flight. We used to travel later in the day, possibly doing some work on the ground before leaving. However,lately the airlines seem to have improved their baggage losing capabilities, probably due to some new bar code software, so I like to allow extra time should a bag become...
Always on the move...|
By: Mike Cohen on Feb 9, 2008 at 4:25:57 pm
While I have never traveled as much as I did in 2000, my job continues to send me on a few different kinds of trips. Recently I received a new laptop, with the hope that time spent locked in a metal tube 5 miles up could be a bit more productive than reading the latest Harry Potter book. Oh yeah, we are out of new Harry Potter books, which is a good thing because those things are heavy. We selected the Dell Vostro. For the price it is a good value. Core 2 Duo, 2gigs ram, 160gig 7200rpm...
It has been 3 months since my last post|
By: Mike Cohen on Feb 1, 2008 at 10:00:40 pm
Hi. My name is Mike. It has been 3 months since my last blog post. All: Hi Mike. I have missed all aspects of the COW. I receive my Business and Marketing forum e-mails, but frankly have had little time to read these, or browse the forums or the blogs. Well, dammit, I pledge to find the time. Here is a little review of what has happened these past 3 months, and why I have strayed from the COW's fertile pastures. Ooh, that last sentence may have come from a Mike Huckabee speech! LOL Early October 2007 With the looming...
Shane's MacWorld 2008 Wrap Up.|
By: Shane Ross on Jan 28, 2008 at 7:29:25 am
When Steve Jobs was giving his keynote speech for MacWorld 2008, my buddy Jared and I were standing in the CalDigit booth, both of us staring at our iPhones...parked on the MacRumors site and reading the announcements as they came. That s right...we BOTH had our iPhones out. Wy didn t we just look at one and conserve the other s battery? We were excited. WE ARE MAC ADDICTS! And last year the keynote was exciting. But, with each announcement, our excitement faded. iPhone update? OK...cool. Now I can make my icons dance. Now what? Oh, I can find where...
By: Shane Ross on Sep 18, 2007 at 5:54:45 am
OK, I found it. Yup, I found Lindeboom Beer in Amsterdam. I asked for it at nearly every restaurant I went to and no one had it. Heineken could be found EVERYWHERE. And one of my new favorites, BAVARIA, was in a few places, but Lindeboom beer was a rarity. Was this due to the fact that it is a really good and rare beer? Maybe. I am not a beer connesieur, but when I DID find it, and buy one...it was pretty good! Where did I find it? At a bar just a couple blocks from the Red Light...
By: Shane Ross on Aug 26, 2007 at 8:21:05 am
I leave Tuesday for Amsterdam...I will be attending IBC. I am heading out a week early to bring the family along and do the tourist thang. Then I will be at IBC, working at the CalDigit booth as their expert who uses and likes the product. So if you are a follower of my blog, and happen to be in Amsterdam and HAPPEN to be at IBC, that is where you can find me. I will also be checking out the RED camera (finally shipping) and see if I can find the MOTU booth and look at the V3HD.And I...
Amazon has a rocket! Really? A ROCKET?!?|
By: Tim Wilson on Mar 22, 2007 at 7:19:10 am
Well, to be precise, Jeff Bezos has a rocket. He s the founder of Amazon.com, and he s apparently been working on this for a while. It s not a big rocket, but it s really, truly a rocket. Its first successful launch was in November. He s got pictures and a movie at the project s website, Blue Origin . How the heck did I miss this story at the time?!? It turns out that I m not the only one. It didn t get wide coverage until January, when an FAA notice from November was published, warning air traffic to stay clear...