Sunday, June 27, 2010

Scott Sigler ANCESTOR Book Reading in Cambridge, MA

Friday, June 25, 2010
I finally got the chance to meet the Future Dark Overload (FDO) himself, Scott Sigler (, in person at Pandemonium Books & Games ( on Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010, where he was doing a reading from his latest novel, ANCESTOR. I video taped the event and posted it on YouTube.

There are several video segments to view. All tolled, the reading and question & answer session lasted almost 70 minutes. This meant chopping the video up into 10-minute chunks to adhere to the YouTube time constraints. After producing the seven (7) segment project, I realized that not everyone may want to sit through the whole thing, so I edited the event down to 10 minutes. This summary video contains a condensed version of the reading and the signing, but none of the question and answer period.

For the intro and outro, I used the pre- and post-roll video Scott Sigler produced for the ANCESTOR video contest ( The challenge was to modify the video to remove the references to the contest and insert text referencing the book tour. I pulled the footage into After Effects and overlayed the new text to cover the original text. It's not nearly as clean as the original, but it's only on screen for a short time so I think it works quite well.

I did have moments of trepidation as I edited Scott's reading. I kept thinking that he might not approve of what I kept in the video -- that he would have edited it differently based on his desire to communicate certain things to the viewer. I hope Scott approves!

 The final bonus of the evening was having Scott sign my copies of ANCESTOR -- both my new one and the original published in soft cover many years ago by Dragon Moon Press ( After the reading, everyone headed over to Tommy Doyles in Cambridge ( for beers.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Digital Display Video Loop Installed at PGA Center for Advanced Dentistry

Friday, June 11, 2010
We recently installed a 28-minute video loop in the PGA Center for Advanced Dentistry, the dentist office of Dr. Jay Ajmo, ( located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. Dr. Ajmo has a state-of-the art facilty with dual 42" displays located in each exam room. However, Dr. Ajmo felt the displays were being under utilized. Their primary function was to display patient x-rays - a huge improvement over the ancient way of placing the x-rays up against a fluorescent backlight. With the computer and digital display, Dr. Ajmo could readily zoom in and point out areas of interest to the patient.

Taking Advantage of the Technology
However, the time used by Dr. Ajmo's team to display x-rays to the patient was almost negligiable compared to the time the displays were available. Thus they created PowerPoint(tm) presentation to run continously on the display, but it was not very engaging. It would also be interrupted all the time whenever the computer was used to do something else. Patients would often request that the photo of someone's teeth be removed from the screen after staring at it for fifteen minutes! The solution we proposed was to develop a customized video loop for Dr. Ajmo.

Personalized Commercial

We sat down with Dr. Ajmo to discuss the scope of the video, and we sketched out the topics that he wanted to present to his patients. There were to obvious patient success stories, but we also wanted to take the opportunity to educate his patients to avoid having the video come across as a pushy commercial. Thus, we developed segments that show the consequences of non-treatment, the close tie between good dental health and your overall body health, and many treatment options, including the unique IV-sedation that Dr. Ajmo offers.

The final production is a 28-minute video loop that takes Dr. Ajmo's patients on a journey. It makes extensive use of text and graphic effects to keep the viewer's attention without being over the top. Each individual segment in the loop is kept under 2 minutes to make sure the information on the screen is always fresh. That way something new is always just around the corner in case any particular topic is not interesting for the viewer. Similarly, we felt it was important to make the video loop long so it would only repeat once during a patient's visit.

The patient stories make use of direct quotes from the patients themselves to help personalize the story to the viewer. Someone who can relate to a situation is more likely to stay engaged with the story and be receptive to absorb the treatment options performed. We then close the stories with strong visuals of how the patient looks post-treatment.

The overall look of the video was kept clean and bright to promote a fresh, positive sensation to the viewer. The animations to communicate the treatment options and consequences of non-treatment were also designed to be simple and clean. We also included a soft-sell call to action for the patients throughout the video to think about referring friends and family to Dr. Ajmo's office for dental treatment.