Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Interns: Where Are They Now? - Jon Heller

Our next Propulsion Media Labs former intern spotlight is on Jon Heller.  Jon interned with us from August 2002 – December 2002 during the Paul Turner days.

Jon’s fondest memories are scheduling his first session with a guy who was in England. Coincidentally, Jon had just come home from a semester in England.  Another was Corey giving him a Pro-Tools assignment and delivering it that same day.

Jon is currently an Account Executive at Schubert Communications. There, he is in charge of managing 5 B2B accounts that focus on Web-Centric Marketing. He maintains and nurtures client relationships to realize strategic initiatives, drive projects to completion, and create new business from existing clientele.
He was also the Senior Project Manager in Creative Services at the Campbell Soup Company; he was there for 8 1/2 years.

For more information on Jon check him out at

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Interns, Where Are They Now? - Alex Kramer

This week’s former intern is one Alex Kramer.  Alex interned with us from May 2007, until August 2007.

Alex’s fondest memory that he took from his time interning with us was creating the infamous intern video “Real World: Propulsion Media Labs”. 

Alex is currently the Media Scheduling Associate at ESPN.  There he is responsible for scheduling and maintaining promo inventory for 5 domestic networks.  He works with ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, and ESPN Classic.

For more information on Alex, check him out at

Friday, June 15, 2012

CG Motion: To Be or Not To Be

Remember all of those fancy commercials on your parents’ or grandparents’ black and white TV?   Didn’t think so.

Now, we have computer-generated animation films, 3-D television sets, and high-definition cameras that take those fuzzy faces and 2D images and transform them into something almost…touchable. Television advertising today comes mostly in 2 extremes (with a handful of middle ground): The creative and the there’s-too-many-commercials-in-the-running-so-I’m-going-to-throw-as-many-words-on-a-screen-as-possible-in-the-next-30-seconds-of-your-life.
The former was fashioned to counteract the latter. But nevertheless, many creative commercials are beginning to repeat themselves, taking old ideas and somewhat “modernizing” it.

So what’s the next step?

I have a proposition. I’d like to dub it: CG Motion. Copyright © Jenny Shi. Come at me.
“What is CG Motion?” you may ask (and if you didn’t, you just mentally did). Let me lay out my proposal for you.

CG Motion: Take One.
CG Motion is the lovechild of stop-motion and computer-generated animation. You may or may not familiar with the idea of “speed painting,” the new YouTube phenomenon of time-lapsing the creation of a painting, drawing, event, incident of a cat yawning, etc. This is an extension of stop-motion using software that takes screenshots of your computer at any desired interval that can later be stitched into one fluid movie.
I, Jenny Shi L.L.C. dot dot dot and company and incorporated and characters welcome, suggest that we take this phenomenon and apply it to television advertising. Every agency is looking to expand their business, push beyond the limits of box number one. But, what about box number two?
CG Motion creates a new branding of creativity, 2-feet-from-hipster-rebellion imagination, and desire to perfect. Click here for a professionally-created sample (cough. Otherwise known as: an intern created this with Photoshop, an iPhone camera, and semi steady hands): [link here]
This idea of CG Motion takes from the already existing ideas and stereotypes that such short films are creative, unique, and imaginative. Don’t we want our advertising to be the same? So much revenue could be obtained if we simply used what we already know and applied it to business.

I’m surprised no one has thought if this yet.

Or if they had, they didn’t give their idea an awesome enough name.

CG Motion: The Future Of Advertising, The Future Of Lovechilds, The Future Of Creation.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Video Game Acting, Redefined.

Nolan North had no idea what he was in for when video game developer Naughty Dog called him in for an audition. He probably just figured that his prolific voice acting career in video games just landed him yet another role, where he would sit in a booth with a microphone and record lines for yet another grizzled space marine. He had no idea that he was auditioning to be a part of the critically-praised "Uncharted" series of games, and to witness the birth of a revolution in game design.

In most video games, the scripts are read by voice actors in a microphone booth, body actors go through motion capture to record the animations (characters falling down, firing a gun, ect.), and the programmers put it all together. Since the people doing the voice work aren't the same people doing the body work, the finished product can sometimes look a bit unnatural.

Naughty Dog inspired a great deal of change by having the voice actors provide the physical motion capture at the same time as they recorded the lines. The actors wear motion capture suits, and go through the scenes like they're shooting a movie. The dialogue is recorded at the same time as the motion capture, which adds a tremendous amount of realism to the performances.

So, what does this mean for voice actors? Other game companies have taken notice of Naughty Dog's approach and success, but does this indicate a possible radical change in the way that voice actors do their jobs? Perhaps all games will eventually be made this way, but what's next after that? Will voice actors starring in animated television shows be asked to provide motion capture for their characters? Will Brad Pitt don the mo-cap suit for his next big film?

What do you think?

Interns: Where Are They Now? - Rick Agajanian

Our first Propulsion Media Labs former intern spotlight is on Rick Agajanian.  Rick interned with us from January-June 2003, during the Paul Turner/Propulsion transition.

Rick’s fondest memory during his internship with us is being sent home by Corey, before he could even walk through the door.  Rick’s little cough infecting Paul’s voice was too much of a risk that day.
Rick’s major take from his internship with us was to work hard and take chances. Rick has had his fair share of jobs from data entry, to selling products, to then designing them.  He has been moving up the corporate ladder due to some of those chances turning into brilliant decisions.

Today Rick is the Director of Broadcast Products at Radiate Media.  He works with web, mobile, and television graphic products to create sellable products that are also cost efficient and utilize the latest technologies available.

For more information on Rick check him out at

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Gamer's Fear

If you were born after the seventies, I have some good news and some bad news. Unfortunately, the bad news is that you missed most of the good music. However, on the positive side, you probably grew up with video games, playing classics such as The Legend Of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and even Pong. Yes, I'm sure that most of your allowance was sacrificed to that seemingly ancient arcade game, whiling away the hours at the mall until your mom picked you and your friends up. Since then, games have transcended the arcade experience, and have invaded our homes and offices (not Propulsion Media Labs' office, of course ☺).

Since gaming is so pervasive through our culture, it makes a lot of sense that advertising would start to work its way into the industry. Businesses are hard pressed to find a group of people that stare at a screen for enjoyment more than gamers, allowing massive opportunities for product placement, pop-ups, or even full-blown commercials. Indeed, the 2010 Xbox 360 title "Alan Wake" contains a scene where two full commercials for real companies can be viewed for points.

Now, I don’t mean to diss advertising, but here’s the million-dollar question (bad pun, I know). What’s the future for advertising within video games? Could the mobile game “Fruit Ninja” one day advertise for the produce department at Wegman’s groceries? Perhaps in the next “Legend Of Zelda”, Link has to go to Cabela’s for his boomerang. Could you imagine the next Mario game including side quests revolving around trips to Home Depot for a plumber’s uniform?

What do you think?

Jake Summers
West Chester University

Where are they now?

At some companies, the word “intern” is synonymous with “gopher”, where bright-eyed, bushy-tailed students are relegated to photocopying, sorting mail, stuffing envelopes, and getting coffee and food. At other companies, it can get even worse…

At Propulsion Media Labs, we’re proud that our internship program encompasses much more, allowing our interns to make real contributions to the company. Whether it’s assisting our production team, creating their own unique projects, joining the promotion effort, we encourage our interns to take initiative. Our goal is to try to expose our interns to as many aspects of the business as possible.

Since 1998, our unique learning environment has welcomed hundreds of students, several of which have gone on to even greener pastures and successful positions within the media industry. In the coming weeks, we salute these alumni as we feature select former interns and highlight where they are now!