Archive for April, 2009

How to save BIG in your next production

Wanna save a little coin on your next broadcast production? Try using donut-style or open-tag copy, you can save nearly 70% in music licensing fees! Music is licensed per spot and if you create one spot with a blank area for voice over copy or tags – you are creating “one” commercial.

audio mixingWhy would you want to create several versions?  You may want to localize the message with different addresses, prices and promotions. When the music license is filed you only need to pay for one license fee for that one commercial. This can be a big savings because music license fees add up quickly.  If your commercial is to be completed at a radio station or broadcaster you will save even more on voice talent fees.  Many of our clients don’t trust the broadcaster to complete the commercial properly and we create all of the alternate versions. Once all of the versions are created we deliver them via dataSlap.

With a little pre-planning it’s possible to save money with music licensing, voice talent fees and studio time.  Plan a little before starting production and save some money.  Feel free to ask me any questions you have about sound and video production – the best way to reach me is @dwightcook on twitter.



April 29, 2009 at 8:42 pm Leave a comment

How are your facebook manners?

There are manners to social media. Many sites list a bunch of tips for new users that are helpful. I think the most important things are to engage others, keep your posts pithy and relevant and do not spam. We tend to take the rules for granted after doing social media for a while. I love this video which makes fun of facebook manners. It’s well done and the 50’s style production is great, good production value too.

April 29, 2009 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

Social Media Now Necessary!?

On the heels of Schmoozefest III, I was thinking about conversations … I recall many discussions about social media. I must have discussed facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with dozens of people and I didn’t even bring up the subject.

Ssocial-networkingocial Media is all the Buzz – but is it necessary?

Check out this article I ran across this morning about a Toronto agency’s new policy to “drop clients not into social media”.

I don’t know of any Houston Ad Agencies willing to go so far as to drop a client for not participating in social media . . . but I also can’t think of any that would recommend against the use of it.  So what do you think? – please add a comment below with your opinion regarding SM or share an experience with us.


April 29, 2009 at 3:14 pm Leave a comment


I subscribe to Urban word of the day…for the entertainment value, of course.


urban dictionaryMy favorites have been:

  • multislacking: doing multiple slackeresque things concurrently
  • workahol: what workaholics are addicted to
  • foreploy: misrepresenting yourself on a date in hopes of getting lucky
  • thumb lashing: To be reprimanded via sms messages on a mobile phone.
  • echo effect: A slogan or jingle gets into everyday talk. Echo effect examples: Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” or Miller Beer’s “I love you man!” Nike’s” Just do it!” “Show me (or Follow the) money”  These brand slogan reverberated in pop culture and infiltrated our everyday conversations.

But it was another topic altogether that caught my eye:

  • Metro sexual – Guy who is straight but LOVES to shop and dress well, like a gay man. Metrosexuality—do I really have to spell it out?—is mediated masculinity.
  • Uber-metrosexual – Beckham and George Clooney are the über-metrosexuals, simply more metrosexualization.
  • Bike sexual – Unlike guys who like gals, guys, or guys and gals; bike-sexual guys are only into bikes.

    “I’m into him but it seems like he’s not into me. At first I thought he was stuck on his x-girlfriend but now I think he’s just bike-sexual”

  • Audio-sexual – Guys who by night are regular married men who spend time with their family, but by day are rocket scientist about audio, it’s what they dream about. “Mark loves being a family man but in the daytime he is such a audio-sexual.”

Someone who, apparently, loves audio so much that he dreams about a project while sleeping. That’s us. We love stepping into the unknown, playing with fire and other metaphors… But most of all, we love audio. That is why we do what we do…


April 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm Leave a comment

Banner Ad Tips ~ get noticed

by Dwight Cook

Banner or display ads can be a very effective way to monetize a website. In many instances, it’s the primary goal of the website design and layout – Build targeted visitor traffic to sell targeted banner advertising.

The most effective type of banner ad includes motion.  How many times have you seen that dancing man and woman while you try to read an article on a page? It does get your attention. Placement on the site is ideal if your ad will display without the visitor having to scroll.  Some sites want to place your ad in a less-than-ideal location at the bottom of a page.

Before your purchase, you should request site stats. Some web sites charge for the number of impressions displayed to visitors while others charge per click on your banner. Cap the cost of your expenditure – There is nothing worse than getting a surprise bill every month.

Get the physical specs for the ad – You want the exact size and acceptable file types. I recommend you use flash, if possible. My second choice is an animated .png or .gif file. This blog does not support posting a flash banner but did support a static .png file as seen above. To see how much movement adds to it’s effectiveness, click on the graphic below, then close close the new page to return here.


As mentioned earlier, movement helps draw attention. I prefer flash, as it looks richer and it supports video, graphics and sound. Sound is another attention getter. If you DO add sound, add a feature to control the volume. Nothing is worse than visiting a loud web page without control. If done right, sound can differentiate you from competing ads.

Always provide a mechanism to link back to your site and include real-time stats to track the effectiveness of the ad “click-through”. Your stats should include referral information. With the right stats, you’ll know what’s most effective and can audit the media bill when received. It’s possible to get this information from Google analytics, which is free, or another program that can deliver similar statistics.

Unless you have a marketing background, know graphics and website programming, please hire a professional to consult with you, design the graphics and program the flash.


Dwight Cook is President of Sound Works a full-service production company. Sound Works designs and hosts display banner ads and full web sites.  They specialize in creating and producing rich media for the web with video and moving pictures.

April 24, 2009 at 9:03 pm Leave a comment

Texas Governor Signed Production Incentive Bill

When so many people are concerned about earmarks – why do we need production incentives?  Did you know that moving picture industry brought 1.2 billion dollars to Texas in the past ten years?  Texas has long recognized that making moving pictures in Texas has boosted state and local economies.

Governor Rick Perry Signs Production Incentive Bill

Governor Rick Perry Signs Production Incentive Bill

Texas is diverse with deserts, mountains, beaches, tropical and rolling hills scenery. If you are looking for a location to shoot a picture you can probably find it in Texas.    This industry shows off Texas and boots the economy.

Why now? I googled and found that many states are now offering production incentives. In the last few years these incentives from other states have drawn the industry away from Texas.

I thank Governor and other Texas lawmakers for passing this bill.  This makes Texas competitive, helps the economy and creates more jobs in Texas. So filmmakers take note, Texas wants your business!

*also see signing HB 873

Dwight Cook
Chairman, OiH


April 24, 2009 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

Production Incentives Passed for Texas!


TXMPA and other supporters made history! 

texasfilmTons of calls were made to legislators and Texas now has production incentives! 

It was close and very late in the Texas Capitol when the film incentive grants bill passed. Now the $22 million bill must be signed into law by the governor and that looks positive!  I wish to thank Hector Garcia, Texas Motion Picture Alliance -President, the legislature and all of the supporters of this bill.

The film business has been good for the economy and now Texas can be competitive with other states offering incentives.



Dwight Cook – Only In Houston Chairman

also see – Production Incentives Passed for Texas!

April 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm Leave a comment

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