Word Wizards Salutes Richard Harrington, A Wizard of Digital Video

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Every once in a while Word Wizards likes to shine the spotlight on some of our fellow video professionals in the DC media community to showcase some of the truly talented individuals we have around us. Today we’re going to be taking a look at Richard Harrington, CEO of RHED Pixel, editing expert, producer, prolific writer and podcast master. His personal philosophy to communicate, motivate, create is a great indicator of Richard’s strong desire to create media with the power to truly inspire and impact others.

A native of Chicago, Illinois, Richard’s first experience in the realm of media occurred when he used magnets to rearrange the picture tube on his family’s tv at the age of seven. After graduating from college with a dual degree in production and reporting  Richard starting out working in the newsroom but after a few years grew tired of the grind. He and his soon to be wife moved to the Washington D.C area where he received his masters in project management. Richard decided to strike out on his own in 1999 and opened Richard Harrington Video which later became RHED Pixel as it grew.

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The goal that Richard founded the company with and still continues to do today is utilizing the latest digital video tools to bring the best quality media production to the largest possible audience. RHED Pixel does an amazingly varied portfolio of work which includes graphic design, video production for all types of projects, interactive multimedia, quick time virtual reality and 3D Motion work. Always on the forefront of technology, RHED Pixel has made podcasting the latest addition to their arsenal of products. Podcasting is the art of making a form of video, usually episodic content, that people subscribe to and download often through web syndication or stream via the web to a computer or mobile device. A prime example would be the program Mommycast which began life as an audio only series in 2005 and soon was getting over one million downloads a week.  Seeing a great opportunity, RHED Pixel stepped “in to” help make it a fully video podcast.

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Aside from founding and running RHED Pixel, Richard has a number of other impressive feats under his belt. He is an accomplished author, having written a number of guides and training books for  photoshop, aftereffects, final cut pro, producing video podcasts and apple training. His friendly attitude, passion for multi media and video work as well as his renowned expertise have also made him a popular speaker on the digital video circuit. As an avid tech, gadget and sci-fi fan Richard loves to know about the next big thing and firmly believes these technologies are the key to bringing important messages to the masses. In his spare time, he loves to travel, share his love of comic books with his kids and volunteer with different media production organizations such as the Television, Internet and Video Association or TIVA.

 

Be sure to check out his blog at: http://www.richardharringtonblog.com/ 

Also check out RHED Pixel at: http://www.rhedpixel.com/

 

 

 

 




Happy New Year: Top 10 Stories From 2012

Congratulations, another year has come and gone. As we prepare ourselves for 2013, lets take a look at the top 10 most important stories from the year prior.

#10: 2012 Faux-Pocalypse

Worst Apocalypse Ever

I remember many years ago when I heard that the world would be ending sometime in December of 2012. Now that we have passed the threshold of our generational hysteria, I am happy to announce, if you didn’t know, that we are all very much still here.

As we have learned, the Mayan calendar was not some sort of celestial doomsday clock. It turns out that the Mayans were very much reliant on astrology and the movements of celestial bodies to manage the cycle of their planting, growing, and harvesting activities. Most importantly, they knew that there was a center point to this galaxy we call The Milky Way, and that our little section of space is rotating around what scientists have only recently discovered to be a “super-massive” black hole.

So after all of the terrifying movies, exploitative Discovery channel specials, and paranoid internet dilutions, here we are for better or worse, in 2013.

Nostradamus is rolling in his grave…

#9: Whitney Houston Passes On

Whitney Houston's Coffin Carried To Her Grave

Tragically, the world lost one of our most talented and influential musicians this year. Whitney Houston was found dead in February in her hotel room in Beverly Hills. After overcoming a very public battle with drug addiction, Whitney was preparing to make her big comeback with the release of the movie “Sparkle.” Despite a world of personal problems, drug addiction, and chronic health issues, Houston will go down in history as one of the most accomplished and talented musicians of our age.

“As I lay me down, Heaven hear me now, I’m lost without a cause, After giving it my all…”

#8: Gas Prices On The Move

Gas lines starting to form as prices hit the roof.

Gasoline in The USA reached record highs this year. Energy and the economy were center stage in this year’s elections in part because of oppressively high Gas prices. We are flirting with price levels that may cause some of our major institutions and companies to go out of business. Every corner of our economy is directly impacted by the price of gas, and Americans want solutions, now. In 2012 we hit a record national average of $3.60 per gallon.

As the first affordable electric cars begin to make their way on to the road, demand for alternative fuel vehicles has never been higher. I hope that we put our full effort as a nation into finding a sustainable, long term fuel, to ultimately replace gasoline. Otherwise these lines are going to get longer and our wallets will continue to get thinner, no matter who is in The White House.

#7: The London Olympics

London Bridge decked out for the Onlympics in 2012

As always, the Olympics offer a chance for all world nations to peacefully gather and compete with one another in the world of sports. With a world dominated by turmoil and negative news, it was a much needed breath of fresh air to see all of these countries put their differences aside for a short while. The spectacular opening ceremony in London demonstrated England’s rich cultural history and their ability to throw one heck of a party.

Check out the YouTube videos below for some of the highlights.

#6: Violent Crimes On The Rise

We all know that this year saw a disturbing rise in violent crimes against the public. However, I must say that I am disgusted with the media frenzy that was created during each of these tragedies. Thus, I refuse to mention any of the perpetrators by name, nor will I show any pictures of them or their atrocities. I partially blame the media for obsessing over these horrific stories, glorifying the people who did these despicable acts, and in the process possibly inspiring others to do so.

#5: Space Jump 2012

Felix the fearless Sub-astronaught, looks out from his capsul as Stratos prepares for launch.
Felix inside Red Bull Stratos Capsule

O.k. RedBull, you win the competition for “most extreme” in the world of extreme sports… At the end of the Summer of 2012, daredevil Felix Baumgartner willingly jumped from the edge of our upper atmosphere in the highest recorded free-fall in human history. The “Stratos” mission was more than just a stunt to please adrenaline junkies, it put us one step closer to understanding the limitations of traveling in space for human beings.

Want to see him break the record, follow the link below!

http://www.redbullstratos.com/gallery/?mediaId=media1900707044001

#4: Finding The Higgs Boson

An Expriment detector at The Large Hadron Collider.

For years the scientific community has been hunting for evidence of an elusive sub-atomic particle, The Higgs Boson. After decades of searching and trillions of dollars, The Large Hadron Collider at CERN finally found its mark in July of 2012. This marks a new era in particle physics where we can now use The Higgs to explain why particles obtain and retain mass. In simple terms, this answers a question in physics that allows us to revise our way of explaining this reality with much more confidence.

Only the future will tell what these results will yield, but we are one step closer to a true understanding of the nature of The Universe!

#3: Hurricane Sandy Strikes Home:

Hurricane Sandy Seen from space

This summer, Hurricane Sandy struck a huge blow to the The East Coast of The United States. Over 125 people were killed in The US as a result of the devastation of Sandy. More than $62 billion in damage occurred due to the massive storm. At its apex of intensity, tropical force winds were recorded extending over 820 miles.

Climate and environmental scientists are warning that Sandy was just the beginning, predicting worse to come in the future. We hope for the sake of our coastline and our urban populations in those regions that the scientific community comes to some real conclusions about “climate change” and how we can mitigate our impact on global weather patterns.

#2: The Arab Spring

Protests in Cairo Egypt

It seems that many populations of oppressed countries in The Middle East are tired of their autocratic, theologically dogmatic leadership. The Arab Spring sparked the overthrow of multiple theocratic regimes, including Egypt and Libya. It also fueled the flames for several attempted uprisings in other countries that were brutally crushed by the powers that be.

In my opinion, this marks the threshold of a new paradigm in The Middle East. Much of this progress is owed to the influence of information technology in the developing world. For centuries, the Arabic theocracies have used the control of information to hard wire their populations to support extremist activities and anti-western sentiment. With the advent of the internet and social media, those systems of control are breaking down, and as we have seen, people are giving their lives for the hope of liberty.

God bless, and good luck to all of those who are fighting for freedom. This is not just an important event in 2012, its a critical turning point in history. Visit this Wikipedia Article for an extensive timeline of the uprisings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Arab_Spring#2012

#1: The USA Presidential Election:

A political cartoon of the 2012 Presidential Elections in The USA.

First of all I must say that this blog maintains a neutral political opinion, so save your hate mail for someone else. That being said the USA’s presidential election in 2012 was a significant and historical event. It is possible that his campaign will go down as the most negative and bitter election in our nation’s history.

I speak to a nation divided, please put the pettiness aside. Our leader’s divisive tactics only reflect our attitudes as citizens, so take that into consideration when you are debating your friends and family. Remember, were all in this together! Stop pointing fingers and start finding solutions otherwise we might not have anything for our grandchildren to argue over.




News Media – Technology and Election Season News

Last night’s Vice Presidential Debate seemed to leave both parties satisfied. Relax, the purpose of this article is not to argue about who won. I want to take a close look at the technology behind how the big news networks cover these elections. Just think about whats involved when you have 5 HD cameras and 3 microphones streaming live feeds from the debate stage. These extremely high bandwidth data feeds are recorded, encoded, transmitted to space, relayed to TV stations, and streamed for live broadcast over national and local networks ALL IN REAL TIME.

News Floors – Welcome to The Bridge

CNN’s Election Center 2012

CNN's Election Center
The Stage of CNN’s Election Center

It feels like the bridge of The Starship Enterprise, only this show stars Captain Wolf Blitzer and 1st Mate Anderson Cooper. In the photo above, there are countless HD screens, thousands of watts of lighting, a fully functional smart board, or two, and every tool a newscaster could possibly need to convey their message to viewers. Don’t forget, that’s only half of the stage, there is a similar array of technology right out of this camera’s view for a second anchor. Now remember, all of this gear works seamlessly with the feeds coming from the field, and is then broadcast to our TVs.

Fox News Election Center 2012

Fox News Election Center
Fox News Election Center

In an equally brilliant display of news media pizzaz and nationalistic pride, Fox News has set up their own 2012 election nerve center. Plenty of room for visuals, pundits, interviews and anything else that might be shown on Fox News Network. A central stage like this and the one above are critical aspects of the modern news media paradigm. However, its whats going on behind the scenes and off camera that really makes all of this possible.

Mission Control

The Control Room
CNN Media Control Room

Behind every great news-floor, is a broadcast media control room. I think the only thing you could compare it to is NASA mission control or something inside the Pentagon. The engineers in this room control every graphic, video feed, audio signal, and pretty much everything else. They handle countless live feeds from all around the world and are ready to respond to any crisis no matter what no matter when. A highly skilled team of audio / video engineers operate with tactile control over the entire operation, making critical decisions every second, from how fast to scroll the teleprompter, to what camera angle to display.

Simulcast – Your News, Anywhere

CNN on Satellite Radio
CNN on Satellite Radio

National news networks are no longer confined to the cable television medium. Now you can get all your news in real time via satellite radio, website, or even mobile app. I must say its cool to listen to my favorite news show while I am driving down the highway trying to kill the time. Just think about how amazing it is that my phone can receive a signal from space and let me listen in on a live broadcast as if it were there in front of me. Now think about how much pressure those newscasters must be under, one mistake, one slip, or one stupid unintentionally offensive comment and the whole world hates you…

A Geek’s Paradise

Maybe I am just a bit nerdy, but I find it fascinating how all of this comes together so seamlessly. Even more so, it seems that every year these systems get more capable and equally more sophisticated. I have a love for A/V tech in my blood, and if you enjoyed this article you probably do too! Make sure to sign up for our mailing list to receive more articles like this one from us on a regular basis. Be sure to drop us a comment and let us know what you think the coolest media technology is today.




Malala Yousafzai – Appreciate The Freedom of Blogging

Today, I became aware of the story of Malala Yousufzai, a 14 year old Pakistani girl who lives under the unrelenting oppression of Taliban extremism. Malala and two other girls were ruthlessly attacked on Tuesday by Taliban militants for the crime of blogging about what her life is like under their rule. I extend my prayers to join in with people all around the world who are outraged, horrified, and inspired by these events.

CNN – Pakistan Enraged Over Attack On Teen Blogger

Malala Yousafzai

The Blogger’s Pulpit

Here I sit in a comfortable office in Silver Spring, Maryland, blogging away about issues related to the media services industry that this company serves. We try to remain objective and neutral, bringing points of interest to our readers and reviewing the world of media technology as it evolves every day. I forget how much power there really is in this medium, and I write my articles never worrying about someone coming to kill me if they disagree with what I say.

The internet has allowed freedom of speech to move beyond how many people can hear you preaching from a soapbox outside your local town hall. Malala, if you ever read this, we are listening! I implore my readers and fellow bloggers out there to appreciate the power of writing articles for online distribution, take your stand, as Ghandi once said, “be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

A Battle of Minds

I have long held the opinion that there is a fundamental link between terrorist extremism, gender rights, education, and religious doctrine. There was a time when the Islamic world was filled with the most brilliant philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and biologists in the world. Those who have grabbed power in modern Middle Eastern history know that if you control the education system, both in school and in religion, then you control the perception of the people. That is precisely why the Taliban is so afraid of an innocent 14 year old girl, sharing her opinions with the world.

What Terrifies a Terrorist

Malala during an interview

I once studied the concept of social control through mental domination and how it lead to the rise of Fascism in Europe and eventually resulted in the Holocaust. There is no greater threat to a system of oppression and control than free, uncensored, exchange of information. What scares a terrorist? Apparently a 14 year old girl who can speak freely with the world.

Here are some links to Malala on the web. Defeat the Taliban by sharing her message with everyone and anyone you know.

Malala’s Facebook Page

Malala’s Website – http://malalayousafzai.webnode.com/