Importance of the Peers

Peer Awards

Honors in the DC video production community don’t get much bigger than the annual TIVA Peer Awards. These awards, which have been around since 1997, pay tribute to excellence in local media and are one of the most sought-after awards in the area. Every November the TIVA community comes together at the National Press Club to give out this honor in a variety of different categories. Some of the categories include best independent short, best music video, best documentary and best children’s program. This year brings the addition of a few new categories, such as government production, foreign language  and for one year only, a special Docs in Progress category, proudly sponsored by Word Wizards Inc. The winner will receive a $500 cash prize.

The Peer Promise Competition

Since TIVA recognizes that it’s important to help pave the way for the next generation of great film and media makers, it created the Peer Promise Competition. This special category is the high school component of the Peer Awards, where students are invited to enter their individual or class media projects in film and video. These projects are then judged on the basis of their creativity while being compared to other schools in the DC, Virginia and Maryland region. These students may be awarded a certificate of merit for their work, or even be chosen as one of three regional finalists who are invited to the awards with the winner receiving a gold award while the other receive a silver and a bronze. The best thing about the Peer Promise competition is that its absolutely free to enter, so there is absolutely no reason for future filmmakers not to put their best work forward.
Peer Awards2

Backstory and Details

The awards were started by the former Washington Film and Video Council way back in 1997 before merging with the ITVA-DC Video Festival. The three levels of awards for each category are silver, bronze and gold. The gold winner receives a trophy to take home while silver and bronze winners receive a foil-embossed certificate and the option to order a trophy if they wish. While the early-bird deadline for submission just ended, there’s still plenty of time for film and video makers to get their work in by the regular deadline of June 30th. Entries will still be accepted up to July 31, but a late fee will apply. The full list of entrance prices and fees can be found on the awards Q&A page. Video professionals can register on the online portal. There is a two-year eligibility window for entries: this year the window is between June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2013.

 A Community Comes Together

As someone who has volunteered to help at the past two peer award ceremonies, I can honestly say it is a truly memorable evening. It is one of the few times a year that the DC Metro Area production community comes together to really celebrate one another. Everyone is there supporting the impressive body of work on display, and to win of course, in a very sympathetic and celebratory atmosphere. Its a time for people to reconnect with each other and catch up about their lives, as well as past and future projects. Of course the awards themselves are special since its the DC film-and-video community congratulating their best and brightest. The fact that peers and fellow media/production professionals are the ones voting makes these awards incredibly unique and personal.

 

 

 




Getting Started in your Media Career

 

Ready set go

Last night at American Universities School of Communications,  several media professionals gathered with TIVA to give out

some very valuable information about how to get your foot in the media industry whether your a college student or a seasoned professional

looking to switch careers. The panelists included:

 

Jason Villemez, Production Assistant at PBS Newshour

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jason-villemez/10/a27/594

Kristen Edgell, Marketing Assistant at National Geographic

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/kristen-edgell/31/13b/b88

Laura Mateus, Campus Recruiter at Discovery Communications

http://www.zoominfo.com/#!search/profile/person?personId=1770693696&targetid=profile

Julia Beyer, Career Advisor for SOC Students

http://www.american.edu/profiles/staff/juliab.cfm

 

A variety of issues were discussed which included networking, resumes,

social media and linkedin, age and experience, reaching out and internships.

 

 

  • Networking, As Kristen pointed out networking is very much the name of the game. She very smartly made time to talk to every person she worked with, grabbing a cup of coffee and picking their brains. After these meetings she would inquire about other contacts that person might have that would be a good fit for her to talk to and then sought out those individuals. Another point that all the panelists agreed on was the value of a mentor and really getting to know an individual who will work with you and even advocate on your behalf.  Also, its key to stay in touch with those connections you make and to stay on their radar. They might be looking to fill a spot in an afternoon and if you stay fresh on their radar, you may just be getting that call.

 

  • Internships, the panel unanimously agreed that having at least one internship college is a great way to get some real world work skills outside of the classroom. Make sure that you really assert yourself in the role trying to learn as much as possible about the work your doing and present yourself well. Employers and companies respond well to someone who is eager to learn and want additional responsibilities instead of that person who’s just waiting to go. Many internships are now paying but even those that aren’t are still a valuable way for people to focus on their interests by getting to practice them in an adult setting.

 

  • Social Media, Obviously this is a huge facet of the media and business worlds and will only continue to grow. The best social media to present in terms of professionalism is Linkedin. The panelists all agreed that not only is it the preferred way to present yourself to new business contacts, its a great way to scout out potential employers and new relationships as well. A surprising note came from Laura who pointed that just because someone’s young and of the “plugged in” generation, that’s not a guarantee that they themselves are tech savvy or fluent in the art of social media. Twitter and facebook are also good venues to reach out to contacts, just be weary of  what they may see when they look at your profile. It’s smart to put your website and social media links under the header of your resume to show just how connected and tech able you are.

 

  • Resumes, one of the most important topics discussed was resumes and presentation. As Julia reminded everyone,  the basic look for a resume should be a header with your name, address, contact info and any links to your website or social media. This should be followed by education and most recent or appropriate work depending on the job your applying for. After this should come other work experiences and then your skills.  Unless you have more than ten years experience in the field, resume length should be one page. Grammar, punctation and spelling are also key since many people overlook these and will send resumes carelessly riddled with such mistakes. Also don’t put things that aren’t true, if your not familiar with software or a technical skill don’t put it on your resume. You may be questioned about it during your interview and not knowing anything will immediately make you look unprofessional.

 

  • Age and Media as a second career, Jason pointed out that in his position as a production assistant, one of his duties is to review candidates for internships and job openings. While there are the typical college students and recent graduates in that mix, Jason is also seeing lots of people in their late 20’s, 30’s and some who are doctors or lawyers looking to switch careers and that’s not a bad thing. Jason, who himself started in his job at the age of 27, says age is not an issue and what really matters is the desire to work your way up from the bottom. As long as the drive, willingness to learn, punctuality and professionalism are present, than people will notice your hard work and take you very seriously.

 

 

A huge thank you to the School of Communications for hosting this event and to TIVA for holding it.
SOC
TIVA
Further highlights of the event will soon be up on TIVA’s website at http://www.tivadc.org/



Building Government Contractor Relationships

A special thanks goes out to Tanya Spann Roche,  for giving us this great info.  Tanya is a producer, writer and editor making her a triple threat. Her website is www.thinkspeakact.com

So you want to do some video or production work with the US government. Building a work relationship with them can lead to some lucrative jobs so why not. However, before you get started there are a few basic things you will need.

-A TIN, Tax Identification Number, or EIN, Employer Identification Number, can be obtained for your company at http://www.irs.gov/business/index.html under Employer ID Numbers in the left-hand column – you can also use your Social Security Number if you are a sole proprietor.

-A DUNS#, Data Universal Numbering System, Dunn & Bradstreet www.dnb.com  – -a DUNS# is free, but they will try to sell you their other services. Go to the section D-U-N-S Numbers at the top right.

New In 2012! Registration in the SAM (System for Award Management) database www.sam.gov Replaces the previous CCR database – even if you were in the CCR

*Click on create user account (your CCR login info will not work) – select individual account, enter personal info to create account.

*You can then register a new entity and add your company information (or migrate it from the CCR)

*You’ll need to enter the same kind of information entered into the CCR database previously, but there is an additional section called “Representatives and Certifications” that includes questions about specific FAR sections – this is somewhat painful to complete, but there is a fallback answer “Vendor will provide information for specific offers” that can cover you if you don’t understand the specifics of the question.

*When registering, take the time to also complete the additional info for the SBA, which allows buyers to find your company in their small business searches.

*Need to be able to accept EFT payment (electronic funds transfer) to your bank account.

-Optional but very important: Method to accept credit cards (mainly MasterCard and Visa) with a Merchant Services Account (Papal does Not count)

Effective September 8, 2009, federal contractors awarded new contracts of $100,000 or more with a performance period of longer than 120 days are required to use E-Verify to verify their employees’ eligibility to legally work in the U.S. http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify

Contracting Opportunity Resources




AIG vs The US Government – Thanks For Nothing

What are they thinking! Insurance giant AIG is considering whether to join a lawsuit against the US Government for “human rights violations incurred during the financial crisis bailouts. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you, it is a shock that the company would even consider such a move.

AIG Building

The Huffington Post Reports the following:

“The board of insurance giant AIG, which got a $182 billion government bailout during the financial crisis, meets Wednesday to hear a pitch from its former CEO, Maurice “Hank” “The Grinch” “A**clown” Greenberg, who wants AIG to join him in suing the government for violating shareholders’ human rights by giving them money. AIG’s board will also hear pitches from the government about why it would be out of its cotton-picking mind to join said lawsuit.”

 

AIG To Decide Wednesday Whether It Will Join Lawsuit Against Government Over Bailout

Lets Get Serious…

The cushy terms of AIG’s bailout enabled them to continue operating as normal, including paying a full series of executive bonuses that same year, ON OUR DIME. Think about the nerve of these individuals to bring this lawsuit forward; as people in our country continue to loose their homes, and congress desperately tries to navigate the choppy fiscal water we are now sailing.

We are hopeful that AIG couldn’t possibly be stupid enough to go through with this decision. However, damage has already been done by not simply dismissing the issue right off the bat. Because of the delay and deliberation, legal costs have increased for our Government at a time when everybody knows we need to keep spending at a minimum.

Not cool guys…




Trade Show – GV Expo 2012 / GovComm12 Exhibition Recap

As expected, The 2012 Government Video Expo was an all out success. The exhibition floor was teeming with top of the line tech and the biggest names pulled out all the stops to showcase the latest and greatest. I took a little time to document some of the stuff that caught my eye, so lets take a look!

This way to The Government Video Expo!

Video Technology Recap – All Systems Go

The main focus of any GV Expo is the video gear. This year it seemed that the big boys were in a battle for showroom floor supremacy.

Digital Video Group at The 2012 GV Expo
Digital Video Group, Inc.

Digital Video Group had one of the most extensive and impressive displays at the expo. Top of the line camera systems, screens, and control surfaces were shown off in style. Conference attendees really got a good show at DVG’s booth this year, with hands on displays and a team of friendly trade show experts to demonstrate the goods.

Next lets check out the battle of the touchscreens!

Aurora vs. AMX, battle for touch sreen dominance!
Aurora (Left Front) – AMX (Back Right)

Makers of high end touchscreen systems Aurora and AMX went head to head this year at GV Expo 2012. Squaring off with opposing booths right at the entrance to the expo, the two tech titans seemed to be competing for the biggest display at The 2012 GV Expo. I think both exhibits were equal in size, but each company took a unique approach. Aurora went with an in-your-face but clean and clear 4 sided display, while AMX decided to create a spacy enclosure to show off their tech. These booths defiantly saw a lot of action this year, and you can see why!

Now lets look at another cool display, this time from Crestron.

Crestron display showed off their top of the line switchers, converters and netowrking solutions.
Crestron

Crestron decided to show off their high end collaboration systems this year at GV Expo 2012. After reviewing their company online, I am amazed at how many high tech solution this company has a hand in. From HDMI switchers, to video converters, Crestron is delivering some surreal tech these days. This particular display caught my eye for its clean combination of friendly service and easy to read documentation. Maybe I am a nerd but networking systems for real time video collaboration is just plain cool!

Now that we have covered the big show, I want to highlight a very cool vendor, BWC Visual Technology, that grabbed my attention this year.

BWC Visual Technology demonstratic their new spherical displays!
Spherical display screens!

Nerd alert, I find this vendor very cool just because they are doing something different. BWC Visual Technology was showcasing their impressive spherical display system. Basically you can integrate a 3D esque spherical display into any regular display system. Their demo in the background showed a flat image of the expo, with a super-imposed 3D sphere showing a data driven display of water temperatures of planet Earth’s Oceans in real time. Sweet…

*Note* I would have privided a link to BWC’s website but I could not find it! All I can offer is this link to their GovComm12 Registration page.

Audio Tech: New Gear From Info Comm

The partnership with InfoComm and GovComm brought much more sound gear to this year’s GV Expo. That means sound tech’s like myself were thrilled to go explore some of the premium gear that we all dream of playing with but can’t afford. Of course there was lots of focus on microphone systems for field use, as well as wireless systems, streaming devices and much more.

I was glad to see a both with plenty of reps from Audio Technica, a new addition to The GV Expo this year.

Audio technica Shows off their gear at the 2012 GV Expo.
Mic Check!

TIVA-DC: Another Great Membership Drive

One of the ways Word Wizards contributes to TIVA-DC as a sponsor is by helping out every year at The GV Expo. This year TIVA-DC signed up 220 new and returning members at the booth! The GV Expo is one of TIVA-DC’s best opportunities to showcase ourselves to the DC video and media services community. Each year at the expo, TIVA-DC offers a half price membership drive for people who come and sign up in person.

TIVA-DC in full swing at this year's GV expo.
TIVA-DC gets the boogey on! (Can you spot Word Wizards CEO Scott Gordon in this photo?)

TIVA also hold a raffle every day at the Expo and gives away a bunch of cool prizes. One of our contributions was two $50 gift cards to Olazzo, a delicious Italian Restaurant located in Bethesda and Silver Spring Maryland. Other prizes included hats, TIVA swag, and USB thumb drives.

Entrance to the 2012 GV Expo

I think that’s about enough for this article, stay tuned for a recap of the best speakers and presentations of the GV Expo. Make sure to leave us a comment if you enjoyed this post. Also, sign up for our newsletter to receive our best blog posts every month. Have a great weekend everyone!




Government Video Expo 2012 – Behind The Scenes First Look

GV Expo 2012 Banner with this year's sponsors

The time has come to take a first look at this year’s Government Video Expo (G.V. Expo) hosted at The Washington Convention Center from November 27th – 29th. It looks like this year is going to be bigger and better than ever before, thanks to a co-location deal between The GV Expo and GovComm 12. The G.V. Expo 2012 will be the largest professional video and AV/IT event of the year on the East Cost, lets take a look at what to expect.

The Big Show – Working Together

What happens when the two largest government video trade shows decide to host their events in the same place at the same time? Well, you get something that looks like The G.V. Expo 2012. This year G.V. Expo and GovComm are teaming up to deliver one spectacular showcase of technology. Exhibitors from all over the globe will soon be descending on The Washington D.C. convention center to demonstrate the latest technology and techniques of their industry.For years there was a slight rivalry between the two conferences. Now, the former competitors have teamed up for the sake of delivering a better experience for everyone.

Dog helps cat raid the refrigerator, now thats teamwork!. Speaking of teamwork, did you know that GV Expo and GovComm have team up this year! Check out the article for more details.

G.V. Expo 2012 – Events and Breakdown

Logo for the 2012 GV Expo

The “traditional” G.V. expo has a lot going on this year as usual. There will be many workshops, break out sessions, panels, and presentations to educate people about all aspects of the video production industry. There is so much good stuff to see, I can’t possibly cover it all in this post. If you want a full schedule of special events check out this webpage. TIVA-DC will be sponsoring the event and is hosting another Meet The Government Producers panel where people can learn what goes into the buying process for government video producers. TIVA-DC will also be hosting our annual membership drive where conference attendees can sign up for TIVA-DC at 50% off.

In addition to the usual suspects, the “traditional” G.V. Expo is hosting 2 special sub-conferences this year, in addition to its normal exhibitions and special presenters. The first I want to highlight is the Pro Media Conference. Here is the description from The G.V. Expo website:

The Pro Media Conference takes place within Government Video Expo and is designed to educate, motivate and engage professionals working in media and entertainment, video and audio production, internet and mobile video, AV, government, corporate video environments, and IT. Through a series of papers, presentations and case studies, PMC gives media professionals access to the information and technology that will allow them to create, manage, monetize, and deliver compelling content… for all video applications, across all platforms and for all customers.

If you want to check out all of the events of The PMC visit this webpage.

The next sub-conference to take a look at is The Digital Media DC Conference. Here is how the G.V. Expo website describes it:

“The Digital Media DC conference is DC’s leading training event for professionals in the TV, video, film, motion graphics and New Media industries. Now in its eighth year, DMDC offers 3 days of sessions in 4 parallel tracks focusing on the latest techniques and practices for editors, motion graphics designers, new media professionals and video producers. DMDC is produced by Future Media Concepts, the nation’s leading training organization and features the world’s best Certified Instructors, award-winning editors, authors and power users. With a full pass, attendees may move freely between all the tracks and attend sessions of their choice.”

Take a look at the events scheduled for The DMDC by clicking here.

GovComm 12

The Entrance to GovComm 11

GovComm is owned and produced by InfoComm the leading non-profit association serving the professional AV communications industry worldwide. GovComm has teamed up with G.V. Expo this year and will be hosting their own schedule of events throughout the week. GovComm will be hosting additional exhibitors from all over the AV industry spectrum. Take a look at this short YouTube Video about GovComm 12.

For more about GovComm 12 visit their website by clicking here.

Following The Multi-Media Frenzy

As always, our team will be helping out at the TIVA-DC booth getting people signed up and giving out prizes at the raffle. Come by and say hello if you are going to be there. There is still time to register if you have not yet got your tickets so don’t feel like your time is up. If you want to get the full scoop on the G.V. Expo 2012, but can’t attend, check back here next week for a full recap of the event with technology spotlights, speaker summaries, and an overall showcase of this audio / video industry extravaganza.

If you want to check out our coverage of The G.V Expo 2011 click here!

See you on the Exhibition floor!




Audio Description: Legally Required Starting November

 

Word Wizards Inc., now offers a complete solution for creating broadcast, internet, or YouTube media with Audio Description for blind and low vision individuals. We are working non-stop to help prepare our clients for the beginning of The 21st Century Accessibility Act’s enforcement in October of 2011. In October, video content providers under the laws of the U.S.A. Federal Government will be required to provide a significant amount video that includes audio descriptive media. At least 50 hours of audio description content will be required by ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and the top five non-broadcast networks. Click the following link for more information regarding our Audio Descriptive Content Solutions.

To see an example of Audio Description in action, click the following link

http://www.longtailvideo.com/support/jw-player/22/making-video-accessible#Accessibilty_Example

Follow this link for an overview of the legislation as it appears on the website of The National Association of the Deaf.

http://www.nad.org/issues/civil-rights/communications-act/21st-century-act