Monthly Archives: September 2013

Snahel Produces Action Short

As told by The Association:


Kevin Shahinian of Pacific Pictures and creator of a new genre of wedding films, starting with his Indian wedding extravaganza, “The City of Lakes” has done it again, this time with a new twist -  gangsters and wild motorcycle chases for his recent short, “Flawless”. The action adventure was shot on a Canon 5D Mk II camera.


Many of The Association’s Canon DSLR Boot Camp graduates helped crew the production effort. These professionals did an amazing job! They jumped into the frey and helped make this challenging shoot a success.

With most of the filming taking place at night, the 5D came through magnificently, both in image quality and reduction in set-up time since less lighting equipment is needed to get the shots in the “can”. Gaffer Tom Myrdahl said he was, “amazed at the images the 5D can produce in the low-light, nighttime scenarios”.


The Association launches “The New Entrepreneurs.TV” series

While there are those who are throwing in the towel, there also those who are turning things around.  The Association is going to spotlight these stories in their new series, ‘The New Entrepreneurs’.  In each webisode the forward-thinking movers and shakers will share their business strategy and personal philosophy which has resulted in a successful company that’s expanding at a rapid rate. These visionaries recognize a need and deliver the goods.

the idea

“Let’s face it. We’ve got to turn this thing around,” says Fletcher Murray, President of The Association. “Night after night we hear how the world is heading for disaster.  If we don’t do something about it, who will?  Our little part of it, as creative media producers, is to get stories out about those entrepreneurs experiencing exceptional growth.

So, we’re collecting stories of successful entrepreneurs in America and worldwide. We’re picking the best thirteen to produce. It’s a co-venture to get these entrepreneurs’ stories out.  We’ll use the stories in our series to inspire the audience and the entrepreneurs will use them on their website – to attract investors, customers and employees to their companies. These companies deserve to succeed and prosper. Why? The Small Business Administration reports that 90% of companies in the U.S. have 20 people or less, and these companies create 97% of all new jobs. So we’re going to strengthen the spine of our society by focusing on the upstats who are expanding jobs.”


Murray is revisiting an award-winning documentary series he produced and directed about successful businessmen for Leake Industries with Bob Gregory as the host. Two of the documentaries featured J. Paul Getty – the first about the businessman, the second about Getty’s purpose in providing billions to turn our civilization around through art.”

“Mr. Getty was all business, but people who think he was all about money got him wrong,” says Murray. “Mr. Getty had a great sense of humor and found it amusing that he got letters from people all over the world asking for all kinds of money.”

“They seemed to think,” said Mr. Getty, “that my money is a huge burden, and it’s in my pocket and I want to get rid of it.”

Getty also understood the priorities of life. While Fletch was changing film during Mr. Getty’s interviews, Mr. Getty volunteered, “But I’d give all my millions for one successful marriage.”

Fletch films Mr. Getty with Bob Gregory.


“I want to tell more stories like Mr. Getty’s, because people need this right now,” Murray says.  “People think Getty got his money from his father.  He did get a stake to start with, but Mr. Getty was shrewd.  For example, he was bidding on oil leases under the big tree at the Osage Indian Reservation in Pawhuska, Oklahoma.  There were well-healed businessmen outbidding Getty, even as rich as he was. So Mr. Getty asked one of his friends from the bank to bid on a lease in his stead.  Mr. Getty explained that he knew most of the big moneymen under the tree owed the bank money so they wouldn’t bid against the bank. He was right. Getty got his lease. The rest is history.”

“What we hope the stories will reawaken that spirit of the pioneers. Just imagine how the pilgrims felt getting off the boat with winter coming on, no cabins and no grocery stores.”


Dreams come true“We want to inspire young people that their dreams CAN come true. The cards aren’t stacked against them.”

“Everybody knows the world economy is in trouble. It’s time we do something about it.  We want to help wake people up and show them the survival strategies others are finding successful.”



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How to Make All Your Marketing More Effective

Pretty much every business is going to attempt marketing and advertising to some degree.  There are those businesses that survive just through referrals, and maybe that’s all they need. But lately I’ve been hearing more and more that what used to work for business development isn’t working as well anymore, regardless of the method.

Postcards, mailings, TV ads, newspaper – Traditional Media doesn’t always cut the mustard anymore.  So what does that mean for the future of business development?

First off, Traditional Media may not be as effective as it once was, but that doesn’t mean it should be canned.  From a "holistic" perspective, it does have its place in the overall scheme of things.  Traditional Media is great for creating awareness and driving interest about any topic.  But realize that, because of the Internet, consumers have a voice in the marketplace they didn’t have before.  This voice is expressed through blogs, comments, Facebook, etc., and is picked up by new potential customers with the help of a quick Google search, and serves to validate (or not) your marketing message.

If a company is doing a bad job delivering what it promises, it is unlikely the world of social media will be very kind without first addressing that issue.  But that is an Operations matter and not the subject of today’s article.  Perhaps the next article. So, potentially a business needs to continue their Traditional Media approach while also engaging in social media and online networking to ensure the consumer has enough information with which to make a decision: to purchase, or not to purchase?

Whether your business has been around for years or just got started, there is a way to increase the effectiveness of both Traditional (mass) and New Media (digital) efforts.  It’s very simple, but escapes the attention of many business owners. Take the blindfold off.

Yep.  It’s that simple.  Let’s look at this from the perspective of two gunmen at target practice.  They both have the same model gun, bullets and targets.  One of them, however, is blindfolded.  Assuming they have the same level of skill, which one of them is going to hit the targets more?  Obviously the one without the blindfold.

The way to remove the blindfold is to conduct market research prior to executing and effective marketing plan.  But not just any kind of market research.  I mean emotional market research.

Sometimes market research is conducted, but all that is obtained is facts and figures.  What you need are the “buttons” that when pushed, get an emotional reaction, and communicate directly to the heart of the consumer.

A fatal, fatal mistake is to assume that you know exactly what your customer needs and wants, and that you know how to communicate to them on an emotional level that will speak to their mind on the subject.  Did you ask them?  If not, you just might be off an inch or too. However, we are looking to hit a bull’s-eye, not just get kind of close.

Case in point:  One of our clients, a skilled and trustworthy attorney, had a 2-3% conversion rate for his Pay Per Click campaign before market research was conducted.  All of his marketing, both paper and online, spoke a very conservative message: “I am an attorney.”

Market research dug deep and  revealed his potential clients didn’t trust attorneys.  They also weren’t conservative about the issues they had, they were angry!  So the existing marketing efforts missed on two levels.  Potential customers couldn’t “see’ the advertisements because they couldn’t relate to them on an emotional level, and an attorney was the last person they would seek out to resolve their valid cases.

The solution was to re-brand the attorney as a “Consumer Advocate” and change the imagery in the advertisements to show angry and upset consumers.  Instant success!  Conversion rates rose as much as 8%!

Market Research can save a business thousands and thousands of dollars if it’s done correctly, and the data is usually valid for at least 10 years.  How much more income would your business have if your existing marketing was 8% more effective? Take 10-20% of that figure and invest it in Market Research, and see your results soar accordingly. Make every move an effective one.  Get market research done for immediate use, and use social media to create a permanent “feedback loop” so you always have up to date information (the good and the bad), and the door to success will open.  If you feel like you don’t know what to do, you just might not have enough information to make a decision.  Done properly, Market Research will give it to you.

HoverCamera makes “dream aerial shots” come true…


As you know exciting aerial shots have long been an Association mainstay. From Apache Helicopters, to Kawasaki Jet Ski’s in St. Thomas, to cruiseships transiting the Panama Canal, the glaciers of Alaska and passing historic Istanbul we’ve shot with 35mm Cinemascope lenses on big, Bell Long Ranger helicopters at hand-held shots aboard the tiny Robinson choppers.

Jetski in St. Thomas


But here’s the big news.  Unlike most mini-chopper platforms, which are still shaky and require post processing to “smooth out” the shot, our buddy Robert Hogg’s technology breakthroughs allow us to get vibration down to below a sub-pixel level.  That means SMOOTH, Hi Def shots.


So, the HoverCamera opens a whole new range of dynamic shots because the small, 4′ square mini-chopper can orbit close to people (real helicopters must be 300 feet above populated areas) and then rise up to astounding heights.


Courtney in Park

And because the HoverCamera is so small, we can now shoot aerials inside as well as outside.

Here’s a montage of Robert’s work



Exciting times ahead.  We can now shoot the shots we dreamed about.

More and more, it’s a great time to be alive. So many dreams are coming true.

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