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Audio & Video

Our New Location Kind Of Rules!

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Co-production

We’re pretty well settled into our new location on Fairfax avenue.

We started the move in April and here it is the beginning of September and we’ve added a lot of new services to meet your video needs as well as shipping needs.

We’ve added FedEx ground and express shipping with pickups every weekday. Last drop off is 4pm. That means we can ship anywhere in the US and we handle international shipments. On top of that, we’re a USPS authorized ship center. That means if you need to send something fast and cheap, we’re here to help you and we’ll even box it up for you.

That being said, some things never change. We’re still doing all of the great deals on video services and transfers to DVD and or files. That means analog to digital transfers and if you don’t know about us, please read the Yelp reviews. There’s a lot of positive feedback that we’re getting and I personally am very proud of that.  I just noticed that we have 5 stars! Pretty sweet.

Here’s a quick link to the yelp so you can see what other customers and clients have had to say. Thanks for reading.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/advanced-media-los-angeles-2

On Difficult Clients

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Almost everyone I’ve met here as the office manager of Advanced Media has been very friendly and kind but once in a while a difficult client can present a real challenge.

Recently, I had an experience with a client who demanded a lot of my time and energy. The job was simple enough. It was digitizing analog tape to file. The client requested a fast turnaround and on top of that a discount. I was happy to oblige and the job was ready very quickly and it was picked up promptly. I thought that was the end of it.

I got a call the following week regarding the job. The client asked me to look at the files because there were a number of things wrong with them. There was one very valid point on 2 of the videos. I looked over the rest and did not see a problem but I agreed to redo the job out of a strong wish to never see any customer unhappy.

The job was ready a few hours later and the client came in to review the tapes and was happy with the perceived improvement of the quality. However, there was another problem with the color. I tried in vain to explain that different monitors have a different calibration and that I would be happy to do some color and brightness corrections but that there would be a small fee because it was extra work. The client was not satisfied with this so I promised to give a full refund. It got pretty tense in there and I thought about it a lot that night and the following morning. I was really not happy with the way everything happened. It seemed to be out of my control and unfair. Hadn’t I used these systems on hundreds of tapes and nobody had complained on any previous jobs. I wondered if the systems had been altered in some way or if I had missed something.

I came to the conclusion that I would make a final offer that I would do the color and brightness correction free of charge. After all, it would probably only take about an hour to get them looking polished. When I received an email regarding the job, I was actually deeply touched. The client requested that I send the refund but the way she said it made me feel really good. My initial reaction the day prior was to want to be done with the job and to move on but the only way I could get closure was to make this final offer, to know that I had done everything possible. But when I received this email, I knew that I had been guided by some mysterious force within, to do the right thing and I’m glad for that.

Pre-Production

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One of the many services we now offer is video production.

Many people don’t realize that a lot of planning has to go into production for the shoot to go off without a hitch. There are always many factors to consider from location to talent to equipment choices.

Many actors want to write and shoot their own scenes and they need to hire a little crew that is both affordable and efficient with the skills necessary to create a quality product. We work hands on with our clients to help them plan it all out and to ensure that any snags or obstacles can be overcome. Our lead producer will request a copy of your script as well to aid in that planning.

It’s important to know that it doesn’t all just happen on it’s own. There are decisions to be made along the way, some artistic (which we leave up to you) and others more on the technical side, which our team has experience with.

So whether it’s your vision coming to life in the form of a scene or a monologue or a live event such as a play or a performance, leave it to the professionals to get the job done. In the end, only professionals can be held accountable if something goes wrong. Please contact us here for more information. Thanks for reading.

Services We Provide

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Pretty much every day a customer will ask me point blank, “What else do you guys do?”

Within the Advanced Media umbrella there are actually several small companies and we all work together. Between us, we do everything from transferring VHS to DVD to feature film finishing. Mainly, we deal with picture but we do have a couple of sound experts on call.

My department mainly handles analog transfers to digital. So whether it’s an old tape that you want put to DVD or to disc, or a tape you need digitized to file, I’m your man.

Other services I provide are DVD and CD duplication as well as data management. I can also help you upload files to the web and help you manage your content. We really try to cover all of the bases as far as media is concerned and we are always looking for ways to keep up with the ever changing media market. There’s been a million little changes over the last couple of years and we’re changing along with the environment, adapting at every curve. Feel free to contact us with any questions you might have by clicking here.

Running Down A Dream

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Tom Petty and the Heart Breakers are playing a series of shows at the Fonda this April and it’s looking like tickets are upwards of $400. If Petty is running down a dream of earning giant mounds of cash, I think he can quit dreaming.

I was a little surprised to see the prices. I figured maybe I could find something for eighty or so dollars. He’s playing so many shows there. It doesn’t seem fair. But I would say that he has inspired me to be tenacious and to keep moving forward in times of adversity. My life hasn’t always been easy and even now in times of prosperity I find that I have difficult challenges ahead. And when that magical song comes on the radio and reminds me of a time before Tom Petty was rich or famous or a house hold name, he was just some kid with a guitar running down a dream and writing brilliant songs.

He was always hanging around Dylan and the Byrds but they just thought he was a copycat version of themselves and didn’t pay him much attention until his first album in 1976 turned out to be a monster hit. The album didn’t go gold for a couple years. Turns out we’re still listening to “American Girl” today.

I thought it was funny in the 1990’s when Johnny Cash was covering songs like Beck’s Row Boat and Soundgarden’s Rusty Cage, not to mention NIN’s Hurt! Had the old man lost it? Had he finally run out of songwriting steam? Perhaps he had but his cover of running down a dream is pretty sweet. I love the first verse about how Petty’s singing with Del Shanon Little Runaway (a very sentimental song for me) and flying down the road, probably in some relic piece of steel.

In the 90’s when I first became aware of Tom Petty’s music with the hit Free Falling I thought it wasn’t all that great but then I listened to everything else and it turns out that classic rock is the only music for me. So what’s my point? What does this have to do with anything? I saw CSNY for $45 a few years ago and I don’t think Petty or anyone is worth $500 to see them perform. I can’t think of anyone I’d plunk down half a grand to see play a few songs over an hour or two. Can you?

Production Jobs

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Let’s face it, a lot can go wrong in any production.

I recently watched a film recommended to me by one of my long time clients by the name of Lost In La Mancha. It’s a documentary about Terry Gilliam’s failed attempt making a film about the fabled Don Quixote from the book by Cervantes. I actually know one of his descendants but I digress. The film is really about the folly of man and Orson Wells also failed in his attempt to bring the story to the big screen. Some would say that the project is cursed.

The 2nd day of shooting was marred by a deluge that destroys most of the equipment and permanently deranged the landscape. A few days later the actor playing Quixote, Jean Rochefort is flown to France due to an ailment. It seems that one day of riding a horse in bad weather has led to irreversible back injuries for the aging star. This was the dream role of a lifetime for Rochefort and eventually the film went under when he was unable to return.

So you see dear reader that even the best laid plans of mice and men can be torn asunder by an act of God or an unlucky break. That being said, we offer production and tend to work indoors in sunny Los Angeles, California, my hometown. It’s been said that you can hire a professional or you can rely on a amateur. The amateur creates problems and the professional fixes them. So take your chances with your production jobs. Or on the other hand you could call a professional. Click here for contact info. Thanks for reading.

Turning Media into a Business Card

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I think it’s important to remember that we are not simply judged by what we look like or how we look or who we think we are but we are judged by others mainly on what we actually do.

That’s why examples of your work on video are so important today. The video allows someone to view your work remotely without ever having to go through any hassles. You want to make these examples of who you are accessible and easy on the viewer. Especially when that viewing may be considering you for hire.

That is often the case with actors. But it holds true for Cinematographers, Directors, Stylists, Editors, VFX Editors and pretty much any media professional. An agent may never contact you. That producer may find out about you randomly through a friend and they may Google your name. If a video comes up, guess what, you’ve just become much more credible as a candidate. It says, this is someone who is still actively perusing a goal.

I have actors tell me all the time about how nobody will take them seriously without a reel or that the reel has nothing to do with them as an actor and I really don’t understand. This reel is what you’re being judged on. So let’s polish it up and make it look as good as it possibly can. Let’s make it shine because I guarantee you, your competition is doing this and there’s a reason. Anything you can do to get an edge is worth trying. For more information please contact us here.

Technology That Empowers

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I remember a time when the extent of my power in regards to media was simply as a recipient.

I only had the power of choice about what to watch on television, really. The world was dominated by networks run by strange men and women running around in grey suits in unimaginably tall buildings that wouldn’t let guys like me inside. Luckily all that has changed.

Well of course there are still networks but now the little guy has a voice. We have sites like Youtube and Vimeo to share our videos with the world. So now that there’s a free forum to share on that effects the demand for content. Now anybody can make a viral video that everyone on the planet sees, as long as it’s interesting enough. That’s the key.

Also, pro grade cameras are still not cheap but they’re more inexpensive and smaller than ever. Editing software is also abundant. Internet access is a must in today’s world. So what are you waiting for? An idea?

Me too. Now, all I need is a big idea and I can share it with the world.

Sustainable Media

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Generally, people come to me for help when they want to save their media and or share it with family, friends and colleagues.

We also work with film and video professionals as well as the “prosumer.” These nice people all have one thing in common, they’re trying to rescue their media from the inevitable fate of all things, which is to change and ultimately deteriorate or take a new, unrecognizable form. The next question is, “What’s the best way to preserve my videos and other media?”

I can tell you that the world is most definitely moving towards cloud based storage solutions. However, we’re not all there yet. So what can we do to prepare for the future? The first order of business would be to create a new digital version using your analog media. This can be done with either DVDs or files. You’ll need to understand a few basic concepts about files. A file is a self contained unit of data readable by a computer. It could be a JPG for example if you have a photograph. Of course there is an endless variety of file formats. For video, the most common are .MOV (for Mac users) and (.AVI) for PC users. You may also want to create files for the net, which are smaller for fast streaming media on sites like YouTube or Vimeo. Or you may have your own personal site. In this case you would most likely want an .MP4 file.

So once you’ve created the files or DVD you now have to store them properly in order to keep them. Even these formats can wear out or be lost, scratched or damaged. Hard drives can die and the media on them can be lost forever. So for today’s consumer, I would recommend backing everything up. For DVDs, make a 2nd copy and store it in a separate location. It’s much less likely that you will lose it that way. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

What’s The Pixel?

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A pixel is kind of like an atom. It’s the smallest element in a display device. Each pixel on your screen is located on a coordinate.

The word pixel is actually a combination of “pix” and “elements” and a pixel can be either like a dot or rectangular in shape. How does this pertain to video exactly? Let’s look at specifics. For example, Full HD is considered to be 1920×1080. Those numbers refer to pixels. So there’s 1920 lines with 1080 pixels moving horizontally. So that’s when it pertains to your screen, tv set or monitor.

However, I’m sure most of us are familiar with the term megapixel, which tends to refer to cameras. For example, the new Canon 6D has 20.2 megapixels! That’s going to eat up a lot of hard drive space. A megapixel is simply 1 million pixels. That’s the number of image sensor elements this particular DSLR is equipped with.

I know this can all be a little confusing if you’re not familiar with the terms and in my research for this blog I have actually learned some things I didn’t know of which was curious about. Oh internet. When everyone I love is dead and gone, you’ll still be there to comfort the masses, unless the corporate bullies have their way and sensor everything.

Perhaps we’re living in a golden age that will be looked back upon in future generations as a time when information was shared freely. Or perhaps freedom will prosper across the land as a result of the information that has already been shared today. Sorry to get political folks. It’s just my way of saying, I care. For more information please click here.

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