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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! ...

travel

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. ...

travel

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: ...

event AV

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. ...

travel

Busy The Summer Has Been
By: Mike Cohen on Aug 14, 2012 at 9:55:47 pm

Travel, intensive pre- and post-production and even a vacation have made Summer 2012 memorable. ...

travel

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. ...

travel

Takeoffs and Landings - a Travelogue
By: Mike Cohen on Mar 25, 2012 at 10:05:56 pm

Getting to the West Coast often includes a stop in O'Hare - this tunnel is a favorite stopping point - I always look for something calm in the middle of the hustle. ...

travel

Would You Put the Camera Away Already!
By: Mike Cohen on Nov 10, 2011 at 8:43:08 pm

My co-workers make fun of me for taking pictures of my dinner - you're supposed to eat it! Well, when I am away from home, and often when I am at home, I'm always snapping photos. Since I got a truly pocket sized and high quality point and shoot camera it is even easier. Usually my dinner shots are with my Droid X. ...

photography

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...

travel

Can you be productive on an airplane?
By: Mike Cohen on Oct 23, 2011 at 10:18:33 am

If in business class and you don't have to tuck your elbows into your armpits to use a computer, maybe. I'm in an aisle seat in coach and once I find a good position it's not so bad. ...

travel

After Logistics...
By: Mike Cohen on Oct 1, 2011 at 10:17:29 pm

If you have checked off everything on your checklist, the plans should come together. ...

travel

Logistics
By: Mike Cohen on Sep 22, 2011 at 1:37:35 pm

As project manager / producer of either big projects or simply projects involving lots of puzzle pieces, logistics is a word that always comes to mind. Currently planning a project that involves, in no particular order: ...

travel

Checking in...
By: Mike Cohen on Sep 15, 2011 at 7:30:34 pm

I happen to have a few free minutes before bed time. It's a Thursday about 10pm. Over the past few weeks we have been finalizing 17 slide decks for a series of courses. This week we added 4 more case studies as well as a deck of 50 or so audience response questions to use with wireless remotes at each course. ...

travel

Just Visiting...
By: Mike Cohen on Sep 6, 2011 at 11:20:48 am

Since about June 1 I've been in a constant state of activity. Denver, Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Providence, Washington along with the East Coast hurricane-induced partial shutdown and the prep and recovery time associated with each trip, along with the work that actually gets accomplished at home base has made for a busy schedule. I try to find some down time where available, and not always on weekends which tend to become travel days. ...

travel

Travelpalooza Episode IV: Born on the Bayou - Update 1
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 22, 2011 at 8:13:56 pm

Well I wasn't - I was born in New England. This is about my 7th trip to New Orleans. Usually it is for a medical convention. This time it is a shoot, which means I will be spending as little time as possible looking at this: ...

travel

Travelpalooza Episode III: Rocky Mountain High
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 12, 2011 at 9:09:18 pm

What gets me out of bed in the morning? This does: ...

travel

Travelpalooza Episode II: The Chicago Code
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 11, 2011 at 10:41:31 pm

Last week I had a one day meeting to review artwork for an upcoming book project. While there I was planning to shoot some interviews with the project's editors to use for web-based video promotions. ...

travel

Travelpalooza Episode I: A Little Planning Goes a Long Way
By: Mike Cohen on Jun 3, 2011 at 5:19:26 pm

Over the coming months my time will be broken up thusly: ...

travel

Improving the Airport Experience
By: Mike Cohen on Mar 3, 2011 at 3:45:28 pm

Last week I was away for 8 days, and I spent about 9 hours in airports and 6.5 hours flying. ...

travel

One Heck of a Commute
By: Mike Cohen on Feb 16, 2011 at 7:16:00 pm

Flying to and from Chicago in one day looks good on paper. ...

travel

Contrasts
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. ...

travel

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 -...

travel

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: - batteries - lav mic - xlr cable - bnc cable - monitor - hdmi cable - 20 blank tapes or 6 p2 cards - headphones - gaffer tape - etc Likewise I certainly make a checklist for a week long trip: - suit - sportcoat - 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...

travel

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...

travel

100th Blogiversary
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...

blogs

Mind Meld
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...

photography

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...

travel

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...

travel

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...

travel

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...

travel

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 Lately my...

editing

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: Security Back in the pre-9/11 days, you would check-in at the counter and be asked two security questions: Did you pack your...

travel

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,...

planning

Managing Stress
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...

stress

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...

travel

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...

nab

Fine Dining
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. Boston 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...

food

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. ...

documentaries

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...

travel

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/...

politics

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...

travel

Ahh...vacation
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...

travel

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. ...

mac os

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: ...

mac os

Adult Education
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...

education

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...

editing

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...

travel

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...

travel

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...

travel

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...

workflow

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