Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How does a Voice Talent Prepare for a Session?

# 20- Von C.

We asked some of our top 100 voice talents to find out how they get ready for a voice session. Here is what Von says…

“How do I prepare for a voiceover session? If the script is TV or Radio, first, I read it to myself with no voice in mind. You’re doing two things, getting familiar with the script and trying to figure out what the writer is trying to say. Some call that Script interpretation. Third time around I put a voice to it and read it out loud. By the time I’m ready to do the session, I have read the script 4 to 6 times… sometimes more, grab a little water and… Press record.”

More responses from other talents are coming soon!

Jordan Eckenrode

Intern, Propulsion Media Labs

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Propulsion’s Top Picks for Communication Programs Across the Country

For those who have aspirations of entering the Communications field, or for employers looking for talented future hires, we decided to compile a list of Communication schools and programs across the country that standout. This list is loosely based off the 2011 US News College Rankings and our own research of 20 colleges (from their own school websites). From there, we chose these five universities because they had something special to offer a student trying to break into the industry. These are our results:

1. Northwestern University- School of Communication
One of their premier facilities, Fisk Digital Media Studio, contains 20 Mac workstations and 10 DVCPRO tape decks along with graphics software such as Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Photoshop, and Adobe After Effects. Classes in the studio teach practical skills, such as video editing, graphic design, and 2D animation.

*Notable alumni: David Schwimmer, Steven Colbert, Zach Braff

2. University of Texas- College of Communication
This university competes with colleges based in LA or NYC by offering a special program called University of Texas Semester in LA. Each semester 30 students go out to LA and can choose from 6 different classes they wish to take while also participating in an internship.

*Notable alumni: Matthew McConaughey, Renee Zellweger, & Owen Wilson

3. Syracuse University- S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
The Newhouse School is considered to be one of the nation’s top mass communication schools. The school’s curriculum even in includes the opportunity to study abroad and a summer internship in India’s famous Bollywood.

*Notable alumni: Taye Diggs, Vanessa Williams, & Aaron Sorkin

4. University of Southern California- School of Cinematic Arts
The school holds an annual film festival called First Look. The categories include: Cinematography, Documentary, Writing, Editing, Sound, Directing and Producing. The films are narrowed down to three top prizes: FotoKem Gold, Silver and Bronze awards. Winners can be awarded $1000-$3000 in order to distribute their film.

*Notable alumni: Judd Apatow, Ron Howard, & Will Ferrell

5. University of Miami- School of Communication
All students within the program are encouraged to become involved in UMTV, the school’s cable television channel. The channel reaches all the entire Coral Gables area and other parts of Miami. Student run shows that can be viewed on the channel include: Cane Eyes View, Hurricane Gameday, NewsVision, Off The Wire, The Slate, SportsDesk, UMTV Today, Uni Miami, We The Students.

*Notable alumni: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sylvester Stallone, & Enrique Iglesias

Please stay tuned next time when Propulsion reviews Communication programs in the Delaware Valley/Tri-State area.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Music In The Workplace

We’ve all been guilty of it. . .you hear a song on your way into the office, and when you get it in, you wind up tapping your pen on your desk to its rhythm, whistling the chorus, or even humming a verse or two when your cubicle-mate isn’t paying attention. In most office environments, these little “performances” would be called distractions, because what managers in their right minds would allow their staff to listen to their favorite jam when there’s work to be done and deadlines to be met?

Well the shot-callers at Propulsion Media Labs say “Why not?”

“If humming along to Hall and Oates’ ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’ bleeds the creative pressure valve a little and puts a smile on the face of one of our producers, then so be it, says Account Coordinator Mike Remp. “We just need to make sure the edit suites don’t turn into a karaoke party.”

We surveyed some of the creative staff here at Propulsion to see what’s their soundtracks to sanity here at the studio, and here’s what we found out:

Matt Dipippa (Producer)- Matt works his best when he’s listening to punk rock, ska, or “any song really”. Some songs on the top of his list are “Hey Thanks”, by the punk rock band Boys Night Out, “Pretty Handsome Awkward”, by The Used, and “Gainesville Rock City” by Less Than Jake.

Andrew Kunkle (Senior Video Producer)- Andrew has a very wide range of musical preference, but prefers rock and rap. His songs of choice to listen to when working are “I saw the sign” by Ace of Base, “Changes” by Tupac, and Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”.

Darren Exley- Darren doesn’t play much music himself, but has the pleasure of listening to his co-worker, Andrew, serenade him. His favorite tune to hear is Andrews beautiful off key version of “Come Sail Away” by Styx.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Catching A Break in a High Volume Production World

In a high-volume production environment, stealing a moment to oneself during a busy workday is imperative. A little diversion is good medicine to fight exhaustion and burnout.
Here at Propulsion, borrowing time here and there offers an employee time to think, time to breathe, re-charge his/her mind, and who knows, he/she may stumble upon the inspiration for a creative idea that will translate into the next great TV or radio spot.

How can you spend that break time?
  1. Talk about anything thing other than work. Talk about local sports teams, what you had for breakfast, the latest celebrity idiocies, or anything you want.
  2. Go get some fresh air. Maybe not enough to get tan lines, but some fresh air can do you good.
  3. Find something funny. Go on YouTube and find a funny video, then share it with EVERYONE in the office.
  4. Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths.
  5. Stretch it out. Even if you have no elasticity left in your body, it helps to just sit back and get some kinks out.
  6. Grab a healthy snack. Everyone needs a small boost of energy, but opt for a granola bar or fruit. It’s healthier and you won’t have a sugar crash later.
  7. Play your Nintendo Gameboy, PSP or an online game. Enjoy the brief pleasure from this and let yourself smile again.
  8. Play time. Keep a super bouncy ball, bubbles or a pack of cards in a special drawer. When things get rough revert to childhood and play a little. You’d be surprised at how good this will make you feel.
  9. Jam out to some great music. Music is a great mood changer and just a few minutes with a favorite song can lift your mood and put a smile on your face.
  10. Get your Facebook/Twitter fix. Tweet, status, post, comment, like, or poke as needed.

Or you could “Go Costanza” like in this clip.

Friday, May 20, 2011


This teaser was created by Video Producer Matt Dipippa. Not only did the clients love it, but everyone around the office did too. “I like this spot because I got to play around with some bright colors and cool 3D effects” Matt said. If the eye catching visuals and awesome effects don’t get your attention, then the announcer demanding you cancel your appointments or even call in sick to make this event will.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hotdogs: Creative Super Food?

What’s the first food you think about when you’re at the ballpark? Chances are it’s a hotdog. Even though it may not be one of your dietitian’s first choices for a snack, it sure does taste good. Now, with all of the concerns of your food and its integrity, you may wonder what’s in the hotdog that you love and care for.

The average hotdog contains any of these ingredients in any variation:

· Pork

· Beef

· Chicken

· Bread/Other type of cereal filler

Let’s not forget about these additives water, salt, corn syrup, dextrose, sodium lactate, sodium phosphate, ascorbic acid, etc.

While these may sound delicious, a regular dog contains about 150 calories, 125 of which come from fat. This amount of fat can go on to lead to significant health issues including obesity, high cholesterol and heart disease. Again, your dietician may not agree with you on your choice, but your stomach sure will.

As professionals in the advertising and production industry, finding a steady meal can be a daunting task. With constant deadlines and thousands of dollars on the table at any moment, you need to be able to get in and eat, and get out quickly. There is no better solution for this than the beloved hotdog.

To keep our crew on the move and productive at Propulsion, the first choice at lunchtime is, you guessed it, the hotdog. Since our clients demand the highest quality production, we strive to keep our employees well-fed. Hotdogs fuel creativity and allow them to be fast and efficient. One of our employees has even gone on to say, “Ya know, when I eat the Oscar Meyer dogs, my After Effects work is a little sharper than when I eat the Hatfield brand – which just gives me gas.”

Dan Morlock

Intern, Propulsion Media Labs

Telecommunications, Penn State University

Theodore P Rysz III

Intern, Propulsion Media Labs

Television, Radio, and Film, Syracuse University

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Propulsion Media Labs is now on Twitter

According to the endlessly reliable Wikipedia, Twitter has roughly 200 million users, and now Propulsion Media Labs is one of them. The time has finally come; we are now Tweeters. We are looking to connect with talent, clients, and future clients to our Twitter. We plan to use Twitter to give you access into all of our media. From our ads to our blog to our shenanigans (PML Raw reality videos), we want to show you what we are all about here at PML.

Go on our Twitter page and you can follow @ProMediaLabs