Jul 26

Here’s the full article that appeared in the Tampa Bay Business Journal about the AAF 4th District www.FriendFlorida.org public service campaign.

It’s likely that Tampa Bay area residents know the beaches are oil-free. But people outside the area aren’t so sure.

Now, the American Advertising Federation – Fourth District, the affiliate of the national professional association representing Florida and the Caribbean, is giving the message an extra push. A national understanding of the condition of Tampa Bay area beaches is important not only to pirate ship cruise operators, jet-ski rental companies and the tourism industry, but to the economic health of a region built around the water.

Mike Weber, president of St. Petersburg media production company CMR Studios, is leading the AAF – Fourth District campaign. He was inspired to start the effort after attending the AAF national conference in Orlando in June.

“People I talked to thought that all the Gulf beaches were black with oil,” Weber said.

The campaign will involve television spots, print ads and other media promoting the website www.friendflorida.org, which contains links to social media channels Facebook and YouTube and encourages visitors to “friend” Florida. Each of the 22 AAF-Fourth District’s Florida chapters will produce and distribute advertising directing people to www.friendflorida.org.

The entire campaign, including the media buys, will be on a pro-bono basis, Weber said.

The idea is people will better understand the state of the beaches if they hear it from someone they know.

Timing is right

The campaign is set to help Florida as it stands at a crossroads for tourism marketing.

Visit Florida, the state’s official tourism marketing organization, on July 18 spent the last of the $12 million it received out of BP’s $25 million grant to Florida for tourism advertising.

BP denied Gov. Charlie Crist’s June 30 request for another $50 million for tourism advertising and has yet to officially respond to further appeals for funding.

With funding still stuck in the sand, Visit Florida is trying to figure out its options.

“There’s little chance that without additional funding from BP, or some other sources, we would be able to continue at any level for the next couple of months,” said Visit Florida spokeswoman Kathy Torian.

In the meantime, hotels are taking their own steps to bring in customers and keep the public informed.

Sirata Beach Resort & Conference Center in St. Pete Beach has its “Clean Beach Guarantee” that promises to waive early departure fees, allow a 6 p.m. cancellation on the same day of arrival and assist in finding other accommodations in event of a beachfront oil spill.

Negative perceptions around the country have shortened the booking window and cut into out-of-state group business, said Steve Rosenstock, marketing manager. “Everybody is losing some business because of the oil spill.”

Longboat Key Club & Resort has implemented its own “Clean Beach Guarantee” through the end of September that changed the cancellation policy from seven days prior to arrival to 24 hours.

Public Relations Manager Katherine Songster hopes the plan will increase people’s confidence.

“It’s a significant move on our part,” she said. “We want to make the consumer comfortable.”

While levels of business at the 218-room property are not dramatically different from a year ago, call volumes dropped at the height of negative press, Songster said.

Of particular concern was a call from a Tampa resident concerned about oil on Longboat Key beaches.

“We were all scratching our heads on that one,” Songster said. “It was a bit surprising someone so close to here had that perception.”

Multimedia experience
Pinellas County’s destination marketing organization Visit St. Petersburg Clearwater has taken a multimedia approach to keeping the public informed.
VSPC received $1.15 million from BP’s $25 million tourism advertising grant to Florida.
VSPC first increased the frequency of television and radio spots in the Tampa Bay and Orlando markets, which are the two major feeder markets for summer tourism.
VSPC’s efforts also have included “Wide Open” themed print ads with aerial images of clean beaches, a rotator board at Tropicana Field, e-mail blasts and search engine optimization to link the VSPC website to oil-free Web searches.
This week VSPC initiated “Underwater Updates,” short videos of footage from the reef system spanning the length of Pinellas County’s beaches.
The videos appeal to another important segment of area tourism, scuba tourism, VSPC Executive Director D.T. Minich said in a release.
Live Web cam images have been a component of both VSPC and Visit Florida’s efforts to inform the public.
— Margaret Cashill

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Mar 13

Reducing traffic on Florida highways may be as simple as getting workers to just stay home. That’s the message Bay Area Commuter Services wants to send in a video being written and produced by CMR Studios. The High Definition project will feature on-camera talent Art Edmonds. Bay Area Commuter Services, Inc. (BACS) is one of the Florida Department of Transportation’s nine commuter assistance programs within the state. It is a private, non-profit organization founded and funded by the State of Florida Department of Transportation to promote transportation alternatives to the single-occupant vehicle in the Tampa Bay area and surrounding counties. The agency operates in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties. CMR has already produced two corporate videos and a series of award winning television commercials for the transportation agency.

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Feb 02

Like many times before, the call came from a production company out of town. They were coming to Florida to shoot a commercial in a few weeks and wanted to rent our RED ONE camera package. As usual they needed RED support with a DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) and a 1st AC (Assistant Cameraman) but the details about the job were unusually slim. They said it was a two day shoot  at a stage in Orlando but couldn’t reveal any more. They completed the checklist of requested gear in the package, sent the deposit, an insurance certificate and that was the last I heard from them until I got the call sheet the evening before the shoot.

Tim Tebow Commercial Call SheetIt was Sunday. I was at home. I opened the email and read it, but ironically nothing stood out to me. I saw it was a large crew, shooting at Full Sail Studios in Orlando and the call time was 8am. I printed it out, put it on the kitchen counter and headed off to load the RED and gear for the trip. When I got back my wife said “You’re shooting a Super Bowl spot? That’s great.” I said “What are you talking about?” It turns out I had read all the details of the job except the big bold title on the front page Tebow Super Bowl Commercial. Suddenly it appeared that the job was going to be more interesting than expected.

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Mar 01

MOVIE Clips Virtual Theatre Lobby created by CMR Studios

Nationally Distributed MOVIE Clips CD-ROM Campaign Wins GOLD

A virtual movie theater on CD created by Tampa video and integrated media production company CMR Studios won two ADDY® awards including a Gold for interactive campaigns in the Tampa Bay Ad Fed competition. The CMR Studios staff created all of the content and programmed the interactive disc, designed and modeled virtual sets that included a highly interactive movie theater lobby, theater, arcade, screening rooms, a studio backlot and comiceven the rooftop skyline of Batman’s Gotham City. One disc in the series also contained exclusive content for the High School Musical films created by CMR for Walt Disney Studios.

Host Debra Schrils was shot in the CMR Tampa Bay green screen studio using the RED ONE digital cinema camera then composited into all of the locations and guide viewers through the many entertainment  options and disc interactivity.

Over a million of the CD-ROMs were distributed nationwide in theater lobbies by Capitol Color Mail. Released seasonally, the interactive program features previews for upcoming features from all of the major motion picture studios, advance screenings, movie themed games, exclusive behind the scene features, and even a virtual Batman comic series by DC Comics.

Get the best longbow by following the link.

With over 60,000 entries annually, the ADDY® Awards is the world’s largest advertising competition. Conducted annually by the American Advertising Federation, the ADDYs represent the true spirit of creative excellence by recognizing all forms of advertising in all types of media. Read more about the geek culture, here.

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Jul 08

The highest state-of-the-art in video production has arrived in Tampa. CMR Studios is the first facility in Tampa Bay with the new RED ONE Digital Cinema Camera and to offer the complete RED workflow for production and post. The new camera shoots Ultra High Definition 4k images that are five times higher resolution than all previous HD cameras. The complete CMR RED camera package includes 35mm cine prime and zoom lenses by Zeiss and Cooke that provide the depth of field and selective focus usually associated with film cameras.

Among the first in the world, studio owner Mike Weber ordered the new RED ONE camera over a year and a half ago while it was still in development by the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company. The camera is unique because of the ultra high definition quality, dynamic range and file output in RAW format that is essentially digital film. Shooting on RED at 4K allows for delivery in several format resolutions from the same footage. Output can be 4K, 2K, HD 1080, HD 720, SD and even vertical HD for digital signage. Because the creative freedom in post-production is limitless, it is ideal for both cinematic images and special effects. The film “Wanted,” in theaters now, was shot using the RED ONE. In addition to feature film work CMR clients who will use the advanced camera include: indie films, broadcast, corporate marketing and advertising agencies who want to shoot national quality commercials.

CMR Studios can be booked to do all aspects of production and post using the RED ONE. The camera is also available for rental to qualified professionals anywhere in Florida. For more information visit http://www.RedOneFlorida.com.

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Jan 07

Eleven model homes are going to star in their own online videos. Builder and developer Rottlund Homes has contracted with Tampa Bay production company CMR Studios to visually feature the amenities that will be shown on the Rottlund Homes corporate website. Unlike the virtual tours that are more common on real estate websites, these productions will lead viewers though the properties and showcase the high-end finishes, layout and design, using production techniques usually reserved for television commercials. The project will be shot in High Definition and the footage can be re-purposed later for TV commercials and promotional DVDs. Here is another way to help you build your business check out web application development.

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Nov 28

ron_paulIt’s no debate that technology is taking front stage in the Presidential race. While in town for the CNN/YouTube Republican debate, Congressman Ron Paul recorded radio commercials in Iowa from the CMR Studios in St. Petersburg. For studio owner Mike Weber the event was mildly ironic. He used to work in Iowa in 1976 when such a technological feat would have been far more uncommon. “We would spend a lot of money shipping tapes overnight between studios to do this.” Weber went on to say, “If you would have mentioned YouTube back then, people would have thought you were talking about real tubes in their TV sets!”

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Aug 14

All the expertise that we have gained and the facility we’ve built combine to make CMR Studios the perfect resource in Tampa Bay for independent film production and post. Ideally the filmmaker brings us in early in the process so we can assist with pre-production and shooting. We can help avoid the common pitfalls of lower budget films right from the start. But you can also bring your project to us after it’s underway for us to finalize the finishing touches, fix problems and bring your vision to the screen.

Gary Busey in Descansos

HD|SD Editing
Often budget minded directors have already done a rough-cut edit on their laptop with Final Cut. Since we’re using Final Cut Studio 2 HD we can import the edit as a starting point, saving time and money. Our comfortable suites give you plenty room to work.

Once we’re done we can master your DVD for festival applications, shopping for a distributor or direct sale. You also walk with the whole film on a hard drive with the session files, timelines, M&E and final output, ready for film transfer when you make your deal.

Funny… nobody saw that boom mic or light stand when you were shooting the scene! We can get rid of them. Or you may need high-end special effects and wire removal on those stunts to make them real. We do that and more in Shake. For example, using the green screen hard cyc on our insert stage you can do special effects or even add people to scenes.

Color Correction
Of course you shot in HD but you want a “film look” as well. Color correction is more important in movies than anywhere. We also have the plug-ins to select the film stock you want to emulate.

Sound Design
Special effects require special attention when it comes to sound. Often it requires creating a sound that doesn’t even exist in real life. Combining Foley with our extensive library of sound effects as well as acquiring new sounds we can create a unique signature for you.

Problems with dialogue are common even in big budget films. It get’s compounded on smaller budgets where the audio is sometimes the last consideration on set. Partial scenes, single actors and even complete replacement are all jobs we’ve tackled.

Audio Sweetening
Great sound comes from attention to detail. Proper sound effect placement and ambience along with musical score that fits the film and punctuates action are elements that make a film succeed. We bring decades of sound recording experience to your film.

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Jul 10

CMR Studios in St. Petersburg has been awarded a contract for post production services on “Descansos,” a independent film featuring Gary Busey, Charles Durning, and supermodel Cindy Taylor. The film takes its name from a Spanish word – Descansos – which means “resting places.” It tells the story of a man compelled to rid the world of roadside memorials to victims of traffic accidents. He ends up trapped on a remote island where he must face his inner fears and conflicts after he meets a mysterious woman who tends one of those crosses. The film is being finished in one of CMR Studios’ Final Cut HD suites by senior editor Rich Roddman. Work includes the final edit, color correction and compositing the special effects. Mike Weber is overseeing the dialogue replacement, sound effects, Foley and the final mix of the audio track in their ProTools audio suite. Produced by Gulf+Atlantic Films, written and directed by J. Michael Kipikash the film was shot entirely in the Tampa area. The production team includes LA Based composer Don James and Midwest based effects house Dimension-X. Since the project collaborators are geographically separated they are utilizing a web-based workflow, sharing the digital video and audio files over the internet as they are completed. CMR has also been providing compressions of the trailers in Macromedia Flash and the new Apple H.264 codecs for superior quality in online video viewing by distributors and film festival organizers.

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May 26

CMR Studios now offers High Definition Video services to our clients. Two of our editing suites are running Apple’s Final Cut Pro HD, providing the ultimate in flexibility allowing us to work in any format from DV through uncompressed HD. CMR utilizes Blackmagic hardware for an HD-SDI I/O and true pixel per pixel monitoring without having to resize the image. CMR also took delivery of three (3) Sony HDV Cameras. These small and highly versatile cameras offer the beautiful imagery of 1080 lines of horizontal resolution versus 486 on standard definition video, giving a more film-like quality image, which translates to the look of a higher budget production, yet we’ve managed to keep the pricing of HDV the same as standard definition. This new format is changing the way companies produce projects. You can now future-proof your projects by shooting in HD. CMR’s experience with this new technology continues to grow. Productions include local area commercials and corporate videos shot around the Tampa Bay area and abroad, with a production shot on location in Roatan, Honduras, wrapping in late Spring ’05.

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