Dispatches from PromaxBDA Day 2 & 3 By Ray Ecke
For many creative professionals, the motto is ‘less is more,’ but don’t tell that to the organizers of this year’s PromaxBDA 2014. There were so many fascinating panels Wednesday it was impossible to see them all. Highlights included the State of Design featuring Stephen Price of Stash Magazine showcasing some of the best work of the last year; New Best Practices 2014, in which the always insightful Lee Hunt spoke in detail about measurement and how networks can better retain viewers; and leftchannel’s Alberto Scirocco’s Promo Bootcamp session Internet Killed The Promo Star that discussed new ways to inspire your creative soul and avoid ruts. Day 2 wrapped with an amazing discussion with filmmaker and founder of the El Rey Network Robert Rodriguez. His emphasis on living a full creative life was eye-opening. As he noted, “Ten percent of anything is understanding, the other ninety percent is being creative.” It was also fascinating to learn that he has a paint studio on all of his sets so actors when they are not shooting can go there and paint and “keep their creative juices flowing."
At the hotel bar, I had a chance to sit with voiceover artist and fellow “Jersey boy” Harry Legg (yes he swears that’s his real name). Over Diet Cokes (it was still a little early for drinks) we discussed his transition from radio to voiceovers, and the state of medium of radio in general. Are we the only two people who miss the classic DJs from the old WABC and WNEW New York radio stations? I hope not. If you get a chance to meet Harry, do get his business card, shaped like a hairy leg (get it, hairy leg/Harry Legg).
The night wrapped with a trip downtown to the Videohelper party. Inside their cool space with instruments hanging on every wall, guests were greeted with top shelf booze, a pool table and a free-for-all jam session in their soundproof studio. Spotted at the shindig were Steve Marino, director/CD at Nitrous Studio, master rep Stuart Sternbach of Pangea and design house The Goods’ EP Jason Sonner.
All of which led to the Day 3…
Highlights from the Thursday sessions were “Fresh & Flashy But Familiar: The Art of the Episodic Promo” featuring JD Currey of Fresh Cut Creative and Joe Tamanini of Studio City, who got into ways to liven up your promos; and “A Deep Dive Into The Rebranding of CCTV International” featuring Stephen Arnold and Chad Cook of Stephen Arnold Music, Tim Saunders and Caroline Aldridge of Broadcast Design International and Stefan Mueller of Flint Skallen, which went deep into their collective work for CCTV’s relaunch of 6 channels.
Before that session though, Stephen Arnold Music did its annual guitar giveaway. The winner this year of a Fender Strat signed by Tom Petty was Jon Fox, Executive Creative Director of Hothaus Creative, Atlanta. Later at pre-awards reception Jon wondered about the best way to get the guitar back to Atlanta (definitely on the ‘no’ list was the airline baggage check).
At the awards show, hosted by the very clever comic/actor Jeff Leach, some of the notable winners included Nickelodeon and 20th Century Fox’s Walking with Dinosaurs "Dino Rap"; Comedy Central — Franco Roast in the category of Entertainment Promo Spot; and CBS Television – "Under the Dome" Launch for Entertainment Program Campaign. The Agency of the Year Awards went to L.A.-based Stun Creative (North America), and The Corner London (Global Excellence).
The complete coverage and list of winners is here: (http://brief.promaxbda.org/content/fx-networks-wins-big-at-2014-promaxbda-north-america-awards)