Concept One Media [conceptone]
What is your specialty? Production, direction, something else?
Concept One is a full service award-winning video production company.
We offer HD and digital camera crews, graphics, editing, duplication and web delivery.
Is there a link to a site where we can see references to your work?
How did you begin in this field? Who introduced you to it?
I graduated with a degree from Southern Illinois University in 1983 with a degree in Radio/Television Writing and Production. I started as an unpaid intern producer for a talk show and soon got a paying job producing (writing, shooting, editing, graphics, scheduling, and guest coordination) for "Homes on Video" a half hour program highlighting homes for sale in the Chicago Suburbs. When HOV went out of production I began Concept One to produce commercials for local businesses who wanted to advertise on cable.
Do you work for a client, for the audience, or for your own creative adventure?
The first question I ask is who is the audience.
The second question for my client's is what do you want the audience to do...learn something, buy something, call, enjoy the show, etc.
I try to show the message creatively while staying on point - what do you want the audience to do?
Name three contemporary directors or producers that you admire.
Steven Spielberg - always entertaining
Martin Scorcese - a great storyteller
Roman Polanski -Visually interesting without being distracting
If an actor delivers the lines but is not believable, how do you direct him/her?
I wouldn't have hired them - we audition
We may have them do a takes and try to explain the emotion behind the action.
I always try to be encouraging and positive.
Are you the type who instantly knows when a take is good, or one who does another three takes to be safe?
I generally ask for a safety only for technical reasons.
What type of direction are you used to giving the director of photography?
Color, lighting and depth of field are all important. Watch your headroom and look space, be familiar with the camera so you know what is camera "safe" with your particular camera.
Which has been your experience with conflicts between direction and production?
Money/budget is an unfortunate a reality that gets in the way of the creative process. You have to learn to work within a structure and get the best bang for your buck for your clients. Deadlines too.
Do you enjoy post-production, or do you prefer to leave that in the hands of other professionals?
I truly enjoy the post production process and seeing everything come together. Finding the perfect voice, perfect score, a beautiful and interesting graphic, it's great.
Do you approach an editing session with a clear idea of what you want to do or with an attitude of experimentation?
I trust my editors to tell the story outlined by the script. But it can evolve and often does. I find a disturbing trend in commercial features that they (producers.directors, and editors) don't understand editing at all. Almost every movie I see nowadays, I hear the same thing - it was too long, this could have be cut down. It's an art, truly.
What is the best movie than you have seen in the last year, and why did it seem especially good?
"Slumdog Millionaire" - it was a good story- loved the script. The casting was terrific from the kids to the adults, it wasn't too long - well-directed and edited. I really enjoyed the movie. Funny, a love story, tough, nice job.
Do you eat popcorn at the movies?
I'm not supposed to, but it smells great. OK, I sneak a few handfulls.
What do you think of public subsidies for cinema?
Growth in the arts is important, there are a lot of stories out there to tell.
What respect does the reality phenomenon deserve? What experiences have you had with this genre?
Its part of television now. We produced an Urban Home Makeover show for BET last year. It was great info and opened a new audience to home makeovers.
What works best for you when selecting an actor: an audition, seeing some of his/her previous work or having a long conversation with him/her?
Audition - with the actual script if at all possible.
Do you like to have a second unit or do you prefer to control every still of a production?
We are full service and can handle everything from concept to distribution.
Do you change the dialogue after selecting the actors in order to adapt the characters to them?
I'm absolutely open to it IF it adds to the message, or delivers it more effectively.
Which do you like more, large budget or small independent productions?
We've produced full length feature documentaries, television programs and 15 second web clips, they're all a great challenge.
Do you like to experiment with new technology immediately or do you prefer to wait for it to develop?
What ever the client/script/message calls for.
Is the future of cinema the Internet? Mobile phones?
The internet and mobile technology offer an alternative delivery option. But I don't believe theatres will ever be obsolete. I think last year was the best year ever - some billions of dollars of ticket sales. Seeing a movie in a theatre is a destination, an experience.
Does the concept of interactive video stir up creative thoughts for you, or does it leave you cold?
I think it offers the consumers options and offers them a choice of delivery options, which means more work for me, not a bad thing.
What recommendations do you have for someone who wants to break into in the industry?
Be willing to work for free. Be commited to your employer and clients - get the job done on time and on budget. Work everyday on a project - even if it's research or your demo.
What is your specialty in multimedia?
Producing video programs for distribution on the web or via DVD. Live Event Support, video training, corporate video, interviews, documentaries, television programs (commercials, infomercials, and full length programs.)
Do you have a website or blog where we can see something of your work?
What has been your career path? How have you arrived to the point where you are? What did you do before?
Graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1983, began Concept One in 1984. I started in the business as a freeliance producer for Continental Cablevision producing a cable show and then moved to working on "Homes on Video" a real estate cable video program highlighting homes for sale in the Chicago Suburbs. Concept One began when HOV went out of production, but local businesses wanted to be able to advertise on local cable and I started producing television commercials for them. I now have 9 full-time employees, we offer full production services from writing and concept to production, editing, graphics to duplication or web-delivery. We have two offices - one handles all of our production services and the other handles duplication service.
What types of clients do you have? How do they find you?
Our clients range from independent producers who need a production company to advertising agencies, cable stations, television stations, and corporations who use us for sales, training, promotional, live events (conventions, meetings and seminars) for video production and support (big screens, lighting, audio).
They find us on the web, in the yellow pages and by reference.
How did your interest in multimedia technology begin?
I originally went to college to become a journalist, news reporter in the style of Mike Royko. When I went to SIU, I decided to take a few television classes and the rest is history.
Please provide a brief description of the hardware and software you currently use most.
HD equipment - Panasonic HDX900
AVID HD editing technology
Boris Effects, After Effects
DVcam equipment - Sony DSR400s
AVID and Final Cut Pro Editing Systems, including a portable edit system of on-site editing
Studio with green screen and teleprompter
Audio booth with high end Shure electronics
Rimage duplication systems with thermal on disc printing
What parts of your work are the ones you enjoy most and least?
Everyday is different, we work on a huge variety of projects -
Today - I have a crew in San Francisco working on a documentary on Haight/Ashbury and the anniversary of Woodstock
Three television commercials
A series of training videos
A capital campaign video for a local high school
A vendor video for Ulta, Inc. highlighting new products
A demo for the local arboretum
and various duplication projects
Least - last year I had to lay off two people, that stunk.
Do you usually keep an eye on the work of your competition and analyze how they have done things?
I let my customers dictate not only the market for pricing, but also equipment purchases - we recently bought a green screen and teleprompter as our clients are doing more web work and we were renting them constantly. Now I keep the $$ in house.
What new technologies are you experimenting with now?
True High Defintion production, graphics and editing. We have had little demand for Blu-Ray DVD, but a lot of demand for high quality web video.
What technology or phenomenon do you believe will revolutionize the sector in the next few years?
Video for the web...big demand.
Does it irk you when something new makes what you've already learned obsolete?
No that's growth and knowledge, not a bad thing. You have to have your eyes open and mind open.
You spend many hours in front of screens and in dark rooms. How do you compensate for that on a personal level?
Just went skiing with my son, I try to spend quality time with family, friends and love my job. I'm happy to come in everyday.
If you have to hire an assistant, what qualifications and qualities do you look for when making your choice?
Dedication to getting the job done.
A love of learning new things and self improvement.
Personable and the ability to convey that you're going to work hard for me and the client.
What types of professionals are you used to collaborating with, sharing experiences with, or forming a team with?
Outside producers who need production services - camera crews, graphics, editing, programming, compression. Advertising agencies, AE's, writer's and corporate types, PR companies and reps. Television producers and stations.
What professional publications or portals do you follow regularly?
What advice would you give those who want to break into this profession?
Don't be afraid to work for free, work hard, love what you do. Look everyday for something to work on - even if it's for your demo.
Concept One Media
Downers Grove, IL