Distinguished Service Award


A wonderful evening as Anne Schwab is presented with the Distinguished Service Award at the National Press Club. Thank you Scott Gordon.Anne with Scott's award moved scott3

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Go Green This Spring


Kermit the Frog remarked, “It’s not easy being green.” Goin’ green takes new thinking and a commitment to a better, more sustainable way to do business. Here are some practical ideas for greening your business–and home–to help the environment and your bottom line.

Stop the energy vampires
Turn off and unplug equipment when not in use and save up to 25 percent of your energy costs. Check out the ENERGY STAR link for more info.

Flush away water expenses
To use less water, simply fill an empty plastic pint or quart container with stones and place in the toilet tank. Click here for 100 more water saving tips.

The heat’s on
Save money by lowering the heat in the winter, and raising the A/C in the summer. Just one degree difference can save 3 to 5 percent on your bill.

Put the brakes on business travel
Use more video conferencing. Buy a hybrid corporate fleet and perhaps a few electric cars. Some garages offer free spots for electric vehicles. Check out electric car charging stations in the metro area.

Think local
While globalization renders the world a smaller place, the unique qualities of regional markets still exist. Buying from local businesses supports local economies and saves materials and energy used in shipping. How wonderful to bite into a big juicy apple picked just moments before.

Join a community-supported agriculture program or CSA and support local farms. Spring is the time to sign up.


To print or not to print
Remember the Lorax who spoke for the truffula trees? We need to speak for all trees and limit excessive printing. But when you do print, use both sides. Send documents from computer to computer instead of faxing, and buy paper with a high percentage of post-consumer content. Dr. Seuss would be proud.

Schedule an energy audit
Many utility companies subside them. Here is a link to Pepco’s program. You could save beaucoup bucks.

Be a sun worshiper, go solar

Easy to swallow
Reusable plastic gallon water jugs save money, the earth and its waterways. Many Safeway stores offer water-refilling stations called Glacier Water, which have six-times filtered water. Or install a reverse osmosis station for yourself and your employees. Better water = better health.




Check out the work. CMS Video Production: www.cmsvideoproduction.com;
CMS Writing: www.cmswriting.com.
Call for a quote: 202.333.3560.

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Video Production Basics

There are three main phases of video production basics.

Video Production Basics. In Preproduction we generate ideas, write the script, develop storyboards. In Production we shoot the script, and in Post-Production we edit and add the sound,  graphics and animation. Let the fun begin.

PREPRODUCTION. Your video production begins with the generation of an idea or concept. But let’s backup, before the creation of a concept comes the meeting of the minds. A CMS team studies your company and your competition. And learns who’s doing what in your industry. We decide where you fit in the marketplace and what strategy will help you to outrank the competition.

OK, we’re ready for the concept phase. We’ve listened and learned what’s important to you and your customers. It’s time to develop the creative concept. After several brainstorming sessions with our most creative minds, we develop several ideas. And choose the idea we believe will spawn your video success, and ultimately your corporate success.

Production shot JPILiliane-Blom ProducerLiliane Blom producerNate ClappEditing sessionDirector with sound engineerInternet 2 production shotGreen screen shootBlocking the Exit production shotInterview set up checkStone RidgeDepartment of LaborCamera set up for over the shoulder shotMakeup applicationExtreme closeup of young girlSound engineer at workoutdoor shoot with sound boomsetting up camera for outdoor shot

Next comes the script. A talented scriptwriter understands the chosen concept, as well as what needs to be accomplished and for what audience.  A talented scriptwriter—with an exceptional talent for storytelling and the creative use of language—weaves your corporate story into a clear, concise, engaging treatment. A talented Scriptwriter with a solid command of the language and an ability to develop characters and settings, the stage for a winning script and video.

The scriptwriter collaborates with the producer, director and the client to produce a script that effectively motivates, persuades and informs. And if possible, entertains. Each page of a script represents about one minute of play time so preciseness and economy are important.

During preproduction, the producer sets a schedule for rehearsals, shoot days and arranges for props, crew and equipment. Occasionally, storyboards are required to put the script into a visual form showing the sequence of shots.

PRODUCTION. The booked talent—including actors, interview subjects and show hosts—arrives according to the shoot schedule set by the producer. The crew—including camerapersons, gaffers, grips, PAs, makeup artists/stylists and sound engineers—arrives according to the shoot schedule. All equipment—cameras, lights, sound equipment, trucks and props—also arrive on set.

The director now takes creative control and shoots the script. A director must put the crew, talent and clients at ease and explain what is expected of each of them.

POST-PRODUCTION. Post-production or editing—taking weeks or months—is where the magic begins. And Includes cutting the video together, color correction and the addition of sound, graphics, special effects and music. Animation may be desired for effect or illustration. So much happens in post that it is often seen as the second directing. The director, producer and client may change the intended focus of the video, as well as the atmosphere, to heighten the dramatic effect. For example, a blue-tinted film that feels cold and austere can be warmed to feel inviting and safe.


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Should Video Be Part of Your (Client’s) Social Media Plan?

By Greg Ball, President of BMI

Using Social Media as a key part of your business’s marketing strategy is “no longer a bold new idea.” It’s more like a necessity. In fact according to the most recent Association of National Advertisers (ANA) survey of US marketers in 2012: “90% said they were using social networks for their efforts—about even with [2011, at 89%. This percentage has risen dramatically since 2007, when just 20% of marketers used social media…”

So it’s likely that you’re already using social media as a part of your company marketing strategy, and if you’re not, you’ll need to move forward to stay competitive. If you are using social media, here’s an important question for you. Are you using it correctly, or to its full potential? This is where video and rich content comes into play.

When it comes to building or improving upon your social media presence, the power of online video is unparalleled.

There’s an old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Multiply that by a few million pixels, and — you get the picture! Video creates an emotional connection to your target audience in a way that text alone just can’t touch.

More and more companies are coming to realize that web video is good for more than just cute videos of puppies and kittens, or teenagers getting pranked.

Forbes magazine reported that 75% of its executive readership watches business or work-related videos at least once a week, and that over 50% of those work-related videos were watched on YouTube! So if you still think that YouTube is nothing more than a 24/7 version of America’s Funniest Video’s – think again! The truth is that YouTube has evolved into a Social Media powerhouse, rivaling Facebook and LinkedIn.

As a social media platform, YouTube is the ideal place to connect and start a conversation with existing and prospective customers. The point is, YouTube is a community, and you can use it to build your own community around your brand, just like you hopefully already are with other social media platforms. And you can use your videos on your social media pages as well!

But, if you have already undertaken any kind of Social Media Marketing you know that it takes time and effort to build that community. The key is regular, fresh, and engaging content. That’s not a problem for the Nike’s and the Coca-Cola’s of the world. Huge companies, with huge advertising and marketing departments have internal video production teams that can crank out television broadcast quality videos on a daily basis.

YouTube and other online video channels may level the playing field. You don’t have to have a Super Bowl Budget to purchase “airtime.” All you need is an internet connection! But, the mistake a lot of companies make is thinking that just because it’s going on YouTube, a video doesn’t have to “look good.” That may have been true a few years ago, before YouTube grew-up, but no longer. Really the only acceptable amateur content on You Tube today is that made by – amateurs, or homegrown non-business related user-generated content.

If you’re a professional company, and your social media video looks amateurish, it sends a very wrong message to your viewer.

That’s not to say that your videos need to be dry and stodgy like the “Corporate Videos” of the ‘80s. Quite the contrary, they need to be fun and engaging, which is all the more reason why they need to be professionally conceived and executed.

While they’re the major player, understand too, that online video is not restricted to YouTube. Vimeo, Yahoo Video, Metacafe and dozens of other video sharing portals are giving YouTube a run for the money, proving that online video has indeed become a “social technology.”

Types of Online Videos: Promotional Video/Corporate Documentary: Every company has a story. This is your opportunity to tell yours. This is the kind of video that is the “must have” for any video marketing strategy; it puts a face on your company and your brand.

How to/ Product Demos: If you’re selling the kind of product or service that could benefit from a “how to video” or product demonstration, this kind of video shows that you care about your customer, and want them to have the best user experience possible with your brand.

Video Blog: A video blog is a great way to provide timely and updated information about your company, your products, news and events related to your brand and industry. Think of it as a “live” company Newsletter.

Testimonial Videos: There’s nothing like posting a few rave reviews from satisfied customers who look and sound “just like me” to your target audience.

The optimal on-line video strategy will use a combination of all of the above.

Bottom Line. An ever-increasing number of consumers expect to see video about the things they buy on company websites, on popular video distribution sites, and on social networks – not only when cruising the internet on their computers, but on smartphones and other mobile devices.

On the one hand video content may be easier than ever to create. There are Smartphones that put out HD video better than the broadcast video cameras of just a few years ago! But while the tools may have changed, and even become more affordable, creating good video content is still an art that requires creative concepts and professional effort.

No matter how you look at it, the better your video looks and sounds the more return you’re going to get out of your investment in social media marketing.

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Writing Commercials — No Time to Lose

Unlike print media, TV | radio commercials or spots often have just 30 seconds to command the attention of the listening audience and persuade them to a viewpoint. Fewff! With print media or websites, the audience has time to read and reread information. But a commercial is a quick and dirty attempt to win the audience. And there’s not much time.

A short-form scriptwriter from CMS understands that a :30 sec TV radio commercial is precious little time catch and command an audience. The scriptwriter studies the product and the corporate mission, then learns the competition. Every accomplished writer enters a “zone” to write. A space where creativity or originality give new meaning to words and phrases. A space where the writer’s imagination makes interesting and unexpected connections that drive the message. Creative thinking yields little pearls, nuggets of interesting perspective the audience may not have experienced. And the all-important lead sentence—like the headline in a print ad sets the mood and drives the spot. A powerful ending, or wrap sentence, doubles as a call to action. NOTE: Creativity trumps big bucks every time in the production of TV radio commercials.

The CMS scriptwriter becomes an integral part of any creative team and works closely with the creative director, the account manager and the client. Sometimes the creative director decides on the direction of the commercial. But often the scriptwriter develops the creative concept, produces an outline, then fleshes out the script for client approval. Sometimes the scriptwriter doubles as the director to assure the desired result.

Filming a spot demands high-end video and sound equipment, a talented director of photography, sound engineer, gaffer, and most importantly, a winning director. In post-production, a skillful editor works with the director to cut the film, correct the color, sweeten the sound, then adds music, a voiceover, graphics and animation.

Jockey Sale at Macy's Script

Creating a commercial script is relatively easy. Creating a knock-out commercial script is the job of the knock-out scriptwriters at CMS. Take a look at our site: www.cmsvideoproduction.com or call 202.333.3560. Love to talk with ya about a :30 spot that is long on impact! Check out our award-winning script for Jockey underwear: http://bit.ly/1aKVts2.

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New Video Production Site from CMS! Let us bring your vision to the screen.

Visit our new video production site (and scriptwriting) with work for Lockheed Martin, Veterans Affairs, and Van Metre Homes:

http://www.cmsvideoproduction.com/video/video/. Let us know what you think!



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A Makeup Artist/Stylist: Don’t Leave for a Shoot Without One

A Makeup Artist/Stylist: Don’t Leave for a Shoot Without One

(with one tiny weeny exception)

By: Anne Schwab

Writer | Producer | Director | Styling Consultant

As part of a national depression-awareness campaign, a major health organization brought in a production company to develop a series of PSAs. Two stylists from Creative Management Services were also booked to design the character makeup and wardrobe needed to give the two actors that tired, unhealthy and depressed look.

Knowing how important the use of makeup is to the overall look of a production, we proudly set up our makeup boards and hung the wardrobe. However, before we could begin the makeup application, the producer said she wanted the talent on the set for a lighting test. The camerawoman fiddled with the lights then took one look through the lens and exclaimed, “Perfect. The makeup’s perfect.”

Why without makeup do we look naturally and perfectly tired, unhealthy and maybe even depressed on camera?

–The lights for film and video are strong. Strong lights often penetrate the thin, outer layer of skin through to the dermis. The dermal layer contains arteries (reddish) and veins (bluish) and when the light reflects through this layer, the skin appears blotchy and discolored often with deep under eye circles.

–Lighting also reflects highlights on the surface of the skin. So, if an actor’s skin is shiny, the lights could bounce back a beam to the camera bright enough to be seen by the International Space Station. Not cool.

–No one has perfect skin. Blemishes, large pores, rosacea, acne, scaring or eczema may need correction as well.

–Makeup for film and video is heavier. Not transparent like over-the-counter makeup products. The opaque foundations and powders prevent the light from traveling through the top layer of skin.

–The texture of the foundation—when applied correctly—gives an even canvas and a natural appearance.

–Create special effects. Foundation, blush and eye colors can create special effects. The artist is not limited to the actor’s own coloration and is at liberty to choose a palette that works better with the character and the overall look of the production.


Moral to the story: never, ever shoot footage of a human face without makeup unless you are attempting to recreate scenes from the Great Depression!


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            STAND-OUT! How to Write an Attention-Grabbing Press Release


Working on a new production? Is it of topical interest with a twist? Then you have the making of a successful online press release and an effective free publicity tool. Follow these six simple tips and you too will create a newsworthy, stand-out press release that assures publication.

  1. Grab ’em from the get-go.

Make your company or agency jump off the page. A snappy headline demands attention. “Dog bites mailman” isn’t news, but “Mailman bites dog” is.  Interesting content + clarity + creativity = success.

  1. The facts, just the facts.

A newsletter must include the five Ws: who, what, when, where and why. And maybe “how.” If you leave facts out, like the time of your event, you will lose your audience. Duh! Bullets can be very effective and easy to read.  Remember, a press release is news, not advertising.

  1. Forget the fancy fonts.

Overdone graphics are distracting and look unprofessional. Pare down and prepare for success.

  1. A picture speaks a thousand words.

An appropriate photo or illustration—with captions—gives your potential clients an immediate explanation in addition to holding their interest.

  1. Be up front.

The old 80-20 adage is true with press release as well. Eighty percent of your readers will read only 20% of your copy, so tell them early.  And, if possible keep it under a page.

  1. A capital idea. 

Case is important. Austin State University research shows that emails WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS are harder to read than those written in upper and lower case.

Call Creative Management Services and we’ll write an attention-grabbing press release for your company. How’s that grab ya?

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Free Public Domain Footage and Documents!

Public Domain Footage and Documents and They’re All Free!

Public Domain footage and documents supply additional footage and other media to enhance your budget-conscious video? Your government provides free footage, photos, etc. in a gazillion different categories. One little known area at The National Archives—DocsTeach—offers students and teachers and producers access to many one-of-a-kind documents. For example, under “Historical Era” choose: Revolution and the New Nation, Expansion and Reform, Civil War and Reconstruction, the Development of the Industrial U.S., Emergence of Modern America and the Great Depression to find audio/video, charts, graphs, images, photos, maps and written documents.

Young men on the Monitor

The Monitor

Fascinating photographs of the Civil War era include this wonderful shot with enlisted men on the deck of the Monitor, ca. early 1860’s. And that’s just a tiny segment of the vast holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, www.archives.gov; and www.docteach.org. For help with the collection of appropriate materials for your project or to discuss original footage, contact CMS: www.creativecms.net.

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Tongue wrapped around your ankles? Read my article, Principles of Painless Mingling, Part 2

iStock_000023693128XSmallPrinciples of Painless Mingling, Part 2

Anne Schwab, Writer | Director | Producer
Creative Management Services

Whether you are attending a convention, special event or a company party,is is where business and friendships form and flourish. Did I think I would better advance my career sitting home watching Mad Men? So here I am and sometimes feeling as stiff as a potted plant. To make circulating easier, I developed the Principles of Painless Mingling, (cont’d).
5. Who Am I and Why Am I Here? Sometimes if I feel uncomfortable at a function, I get a momentary bout of amnesia and forget why I am there. So before I head out to an event, I run though my short list of desired outcomes: make three new contacts and at least one job lead.
6. Play Tag. Most events pass out name tags to make introductions easier. So, stand near someone you think looks interesting and read their name tag that may also have company information. Now, you have some idea of who’s who.
7. The Approach. When the person is free, make your move and inquire about their company and their job. If the well runs dry on those topics, ask about their connection to the host or to the organization.
8. Take Charge. If your contact knows the host or person in charge of the organization, ask for an introduction.
9. Copy That. After collecting several business cards, take a moment to write information about the person and organization on the back of each cards. This step is one I need to practice. I am so certain that this time I will remember. Yeah, sure.
10.Movin’ On. Unless your contact seems to have immediate work for you, set up a time at a later date to talk at a later date, and move on.

Got the plan, Stan? Go to every event you think might be beneficial to your bottom line— business contacts, job leads and even new friendships. Then plan a few outcomes, study name tags, make the approach and gather business cards. And practice, practice, practice the Principles of Painless Mingling.
Contact CMS to discuss fresh, painless approaches to your communications, 202 333 3560. Please review our new video production site: www.cmsvideoproduction.com. Shall we meet?

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