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Going mobile

We all want our media portfolios viewable on any of the smart devices that everybody has in their hands. Whatever you call it; responsive, adaptive or mobile friendly, that’s what we build here. The ultimate reflection machine. It all makes sense when you get that call because someone saw your latest project on their mobile device.

laura-evans-mobile2

Set Decorator Laura Evans’ website is one of our Ultralite series, a hand-coded assemblage of the sleekest HTML5 components that I can find. Minimalism makes me happy.

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Here’s a live one on an HTML5 framework: Cynthia Charette’s Interior Design portfolio at Charette Designs.

charette-designs-mobile2

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Visit the online portfolio for the renowned Les Dilley, Production Designer who collaborated with cinema’s legends to take us to the stars and into the deepest seas.

Our website development sessions were always inspiring and relaxed with a cup of tea, thank you.

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We recently revamped our Spooky Films website to launch The Return novel by Marta. She made a couple of chapters available for free viewing, including The Journal of Julien Delacroix (excerpt from The Return) in eFlipbook format. Julien’s Journal is a 300-year-old secret diary which reveals the source of the family curse in The Return. Scary fun for adults!

The Journal of Julien Delacroix

We installed a touch enabled WooTheme Flexslider to present the Spooky Films’ catalog. Flexslider is a lean gallery style browser where slides are like mini-webpages and not simply images.

Marta’s photo books are available in digital formats from our website and print versions from Blurb: Visit Carnival Dreams and The House on Rue Burgundy.

Gustavo Borner, owner of Igloo Music Studios, returned in 2014 for Phase II of his website. This time we went with a Parallax Responsive theme on the popular WordPress platform. Igloo Studio’s Facebook photo album feeds content to website galleries. Gus posts to FB and his WP website simultaneously. Mobile access, easy to use.

igloo-mobile

Shown above is the slider menu for mobile screens – Responsive Menu created By Peter Featherstone. I recommend this highly customizable plug-in.

Tech note: The photo album feeds from Facebook via API/jQuery, viewed in a custom Galleria Responsive JavaScript Image Gallery. I consider this feature to be one of my best products.

Go Daddy’s Managed WordPress brought a welcome layer of security and great performance. It’s efficient to have a development website and a public website, so I can refine open-source components before releasing to the public.

We bid farewell to our Ice design, described in a previous post. Adapting his website for multiple devices led to re-visualizing his presentation. I’m usually a minimalist but sometimes you want to turn it up.

Igloo-WPweb

Blog posts are hidden for now, but I hope one day there will be music and sound perspectives on the site. They are world-class engineers, specialists in the art and science of sound. I’m fascinated by all the hi-tech mojo that they make at Igloo Studios, chillin’ in the Burbank Media District of L.A.

Igloo Music Studios

Igloo Music is a world-class sound recording complex located in Burbank. In 2013, owner Gustavo Borner hired us to build a funky cool website befitting a rock-n-roll heaven.

Igloo Music Studio

Igloo’s talented team of engineers (all Berklee grads)  have collectively won 19 Grammys and Latin Grammys combined. Projects range from studio films to music stars like Elton John, Marilyn Manson, Santana, and Phil Collins. Films include ROBOCOP, PACIFIC RIM, 28 WEEKS LATER, SUNSHINE and many more.

gustavo-bio-grammys3-500-3

Marta’s portraits of the engineers showed the team in their magic world, and I collaborated with Gus on the staff bios. Igloo’s clients are sophisticated entertainment executives and creatives so there’s a bit of word sculpting involved.

My only quibble is that I can’t move into the Igloo and chill out for a week with my guitar plugged into nirvana.

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Spring 2012: Carlos Barbosa, Production Designer of MAGIC CITY, webcast a set of portfolio videos of his gorgeous designs for the hit show from Starz Network.
Visit carlosbarbosa.com to see how he and his team re-created the 1950’s era in Miami. Website by beyond words LA.

Magic City Atlantis Lounge

The custom HTML5 player plays two formats: MP4 on iPads and FLV for Flash-enabled computers. The player was constructed with the Video-js open source JavaScript and CSS library. I combined Video-js with a cool minimalist player FLV Player Lite.

Carlos’ high-quality videos are delivered via GoGrid CDN.

GoGrid CDN
Jan. 2012: bwLA plugs into GoGrid‘s Content Delivery Network (CDN) – Powered by Edgecast.

Our clients’ videos are cached at 20+ Points of Presence (PoPs) around the globe including 9 in North America, 6 in Europe, 4 in Asia and 1 in Australia.

Website Acceleration—faster page load
Large Object Download Service—software, videos, games, music, podcasts
On-Demand Video Streaming—Flash and Windows
Live Video Streaming—Flash and Windows

GoGrid has rich offerings in Security, Cname, and Reporting. The Reports show cached video performance with pie charts illustrating data flows through the Edge Networks. It’s a beautiful machine.

Edgecast provides top tier services for broadcasters and networks, for a higher price. GoGrid provides the DIY version so media mechanics like me can offer this quality service to our clients at reasonable prices.

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Carnival Dreams by Marta“Marta’s photographs capture private moments in the middle of celebration. Her infrared film absorbs the shimmering light of carnival day and sees into the shadows of night. Her grainy color film renders scenes of magical realism and fantasy. In the darkroom, the alchemical process reveals more secrets.”

Preview Carnival Dreams on Spooky Films.

 

Photography by Marta

Visit Photography by Marta

Enjoyable website project from 2007: Producer / Designer of CRC Jianian, an international music & entertainment portal for China Record Corporation. This site was built for business and listening pleasure with a music database (PHP, MySQL) containing over 20,000 tracks, Featured Artists pages and corporate information.

CRC Jianian promotes cultural exchange. A portal for  China music licensing and publishing, and cultivating US and Chinese business

CRC Jianian

The music catalog browser has a song sampler with track details, and links to point-of-purchase and licensing outlets.

 

CRCJ music database CRCJ track detail page

In 2012, CRC Jianian was rebranded as China Music Group and continues licensing and publishing of Chinese music. The rebrand was managed by another team.

crcjradio

CRC Jianian Flash Radio

Designed to fit into a column, the player is ideal for promoting tracks. I look forward to devising new configurations with song groups so the listener can peruse through a juke-box system.

Special thanks to Alec Vance (programmer) and Court Batson (designer) for their fine work on this versatile player.

CRC Jianian is one of a family of companies that comprise Global Entertainment Media (GEM).
I work with GEM’s CEO, Frank Mayor, on his web based media ventures- film libraries, music, image collections, creative services.

Visit GEM’s portal:  Global Entertainment Media

 

Spike Radio

A gang of Aussies from Spike ad agency in Sydney set up the coolest multimedia venture on Sunset Blvd. In 2000, I  mellowed for a while as Producer at Spike Radio, Toyota’s Gen Y entertainment portal. Our state-of-the-art studio delivered Nike’s Radio Free Sydney that same year. Two at the same time.

 

Spike Radio was rated #1 online radio by Shift magazine

Spike Radio was rated #1 online radio by Shift magazine

Spikeradio award nominations :
2000 ATOM Awards, Melbourne – Finalist Best Innovative  Production
2000 Golden Awards of Montreux – Finalist Best Editorial/News/Media
2000 London Interactive Association Awards – Finalist Best Entertainment

Live in studio guest appearances and DJ sets included contemporary artists such as Beck, Groove Armamda, BT, Alex Gopher, Paul Oakenfold, John Digweed, Supreme Beings of Leisure, Blackalicious, Dilated Peoples, Jungle Brothers, Ben Lee, and others. Live radio amped to 11. My favorite job of that era. RIAA compliant too.

See Spike Radio Demo

Note: The Flash demo of each branded show has to download before playing. Wish I had live streaming versions.

The Spike Radio player was a modified Windows Media player streaming multi-language Flash ads. I marvelled at the combination of live radio broadcast, Flash ads and mp3s, streaming through Akamai’s edge networks back in 2000. I want to do one of those again. Spike ruled.

The business base for Spikeradio included an number of sponsorship and services deals. These included Toyota (Overseas Marketing Division), Le Rendezvous Toyota:Paris, Nike, ATT, Paramount Pictures, Paul Frank, Skechers, Clearly Canadian , Fingerhut,and UGO (Under Ground Online ).

 

Radio Free Sydney by Nike

Olympics 2000: Radio Free Sydney
Nike and Blast Radius agency (New York) contracted Spikeradio as the producer for their online media project, Radio Free Sydney. The project consisted of DJ’d radio stream broadcasting 24/7 from L.A., in-sync with live journalists in Sydney, Australia, for the lead up and duration of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Radio Free Sydney integrated a unique blend of programming of new music, daily athlete commentary/interviews and editorial stories on Sydney’s culture into Nike.com/2000 website. Nike.com/2000 won the Communication Arts’ Interactive Design Annual 2000 – Best in Interactive Design Award.

Below is Spike’s promo video. We did a business EPK, but that one got away.

 

Spike Radio

House Of Blues

From 1994 through ’98 I was music journalist and Los Angeles interviewer for some mighty fine syndicated radio shows. House Of Blues Radio Hour was my favorite steady gig. On air, Elwood Blues was the host. On location, I was his invisible cousin, wielding a microphone and Sony DAT Walkman, asking the questions, digging for truth about the blues.

Other favorite shows I worked on include “I Want To Take You Higher – The Psychedelic Years” for Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and various programs for Disney, Putamayo and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.

HoB Ganesha Room

HoB’s Ganesha Room was the quietest hideaway for recording sessions. Artists who joined me there: Carl Perkins told of the night that he wrote Blue Suede Shoes. The Go Gos’ Gina Schock reprimanded the day shift for makin’ too much noise while we’re recording. Hot Tuna melted me by playing a couple of songs.  Sounded great through my Sony DAT rig. Branford Marsalis‘ spirit was like a Crescent City parade. Joe Ely opened up about life on the road. Ely’s show that night at the Viper Room restored any faith that might have gotten lost on Sunset Blvd.

House Of Blues Radio
Excerpts from two HoB Radio Hour Shows: Bo Diddley and New Orleans. Voices heard are Elwood Blues, Dr. John, Taj Mahal and Bo Diddley. Music by Rolling Stones, Eric Burdon and the Animals, Professor Longhair, Sonny Landreth, and Neville Brothers.

My other job was as Multimedia Director of House of Blues on Sunset Blvd. Fun? Yeah.  And a lot more work. House of Blues is a hi-tech juke joint museum of music and folk art. Seven days a week, all day and night, I was the house DJ / VJ, keeping the music playing with artists’ bio, music history and song info displayed on closed circuit TVs.

After four months in the nightclub, I was getting a little frayed from the 14-hour days. It was more of a lifestyle than a job. The music was our lifeblood, the food was the best, and the staff stayed focused with weekly management meetings. The relentless crowds filled the club every night. Media crews were everywhere. We did our best to tame the chaos. The music never stopped. Beautiful, wild nights.

One morning Isaac Tigrett was visiting me in the sound booth as I created the day’s music playlist. I asked him if he’s ready to take House of Blues to the Internet. You can’t say something like that to Isaac and not expect your world to change. Next thing I know I’m Creative Director of House of Blues New Media. That’s a whole other world. Ohmm.

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