Steady State Podcast

Bonnie Troy GardenListen to our new podcast, Steady State, about the people, businesses and institutions making Connecticut a stronger, more prosperous, healthier and sustainable State. In our first episode, It’s Still Not Easy Being Green, host Amy Kalafa interviews Bonnie Troy, the first Green Party candidate in Connecticut to be eligible for state campaign funding. Bonnie is running for State Legislature in District 135 – Weston, Easton and Redding. This is the first podcast in a new series about sustainability in Connecticut. The series features sustainable business, sustainable living and sustainable policy issues in local and state government.

At 4:00 – Headline: First Green Party candidate to be eligible for state campaign funding

at 9:40 – Even her campaign strategy is green. A local business does all her printing. Signs are recyclable. And she will use social media instead of much print material.

at 16:20 – Ever wonder what a local district convention looks like?

at 23:40 – It’s better to be at peace than to be right.

at 31:05 – Legalize marijuana to bring in revenue, support local farms, reduce prison costs and improve social justice.

at 37:30 – Introducing “Fairshares” a local currency for Fairfield County

at 40:20 – How sustainable are we in Ct? No one wants to talk about things like pesticide use in schools, etc.

at 42:10 – Young mothers need to know what’s leaching into their well water. It’s all about raising awareness.

A-RAY Production Selected as Finalist in A&E Unscripted Pipeline Contest

Our latest original project, THE OUTLAWS, has been selected as a finalist in the A&E Networks’ Unscripted Pipeline Contest. In addition to a preliminary development agreement with A&E, the project is an OFFICIAL SELECTION of the New York Television Festival coming up this October in New York City. We will be attending the festival as Official Artists and will have the opportunity to meet with executives from a number of television networks to pitch this and other programming. Here’s a sneak peak at our first demo for THE OUTLAWS:


with police 3

Is it Tellys or Tellies?

Once again, has swept the Telly Awards. This year, we won three Tellies (?) for the series, OUR STORIES, which we produced for our client, Constellation Energy. The 13 part OUR STORIES series promotes Constellation’s work in the energy conservation and clean energy service sector. The stories include the genesis of one of the largest solar farms in Maryland – on the roof of the McCormick spice factory, as well as an energy conservation program at the Trenton, New Jersey Housing Authority that provided brand new upgraded appliances to thousands of tenants with no up front cost as well as lower utility bills for the city.

Our Stories: McCormick Spices

Our Stories: Trenton Housing Authority

Other stories in the series took us to a Chicago Black Hawks game, the city of Morgantown, West Virginia and the rolling bluegrass horse farms of Lexington, Kentucky. Our small crew has become very nimble with those equipment cases at the airport, and kudos to the airlines for uniting us with our gear at every destination. Here’s what Constellation’s brand manager, Marjorie Kass, has to say about her experience working with A-RAY on this series,

“My company hired two production companies to produce case study videos. Some colleagues insisted that we had to hire an expensive New York Ad agency because they felt ‘you get what you pay for.’ We also hired A-Ray, because they have many years of experience with both long and short form video and have won awards for their work. So it really was a head-to-head comparison of talent, budget, work ethic and quality of end results. The agency brought in a dozen crew members, great craft services table and went 4 times over the A-Ray budget. A-Ray brought their talented eye for lighting, captured every angle of the shot with top quality HD equipment, brought a small crew, attention to detail and incredible editing skills. The result? Hands down, A-Ray has become my go-to resource, travelling all over the country for the past two years, sometimes at a moment’s notice. The videos they produced won three Telly Awards this past year and everyone in the company, as well as our customers, are raving about our videos. I am one VERY satisfied customer!”

Home Office

A-RAY .tv is celebrating our 20th year of working from our home office in the Georgetown neighborhood of Weston, Connecticut. Back in the early 90′s, working remotely in the television production business was a radical concept. We purchased state-of-the-art equipment and convinced our clients, who included Martha Stewart and New Screen Concepts (production company for ABC, CBS and Lifetime), to try it out. It worked out well and in fact they were thrilled to save the space in their facilities. At the time, we had to either hand deliver or overnight express screening tapes to our clients, which meant a daily rush to make the FedEx drop.

Twenty years later, we are an all-digital production company and services like Vimeo and YouTube have streamlined the screening process. At this point, I can’t imagine doing what we do out of a rented office space. Our postproduction facility runs day and night; we often start an upload or a large compression project just before heading to bed and then check on it first thing in the morning so that our client has a link in their inbox when they get to work.

Back in the 90′s, working from home enabled me to be available when my kids needed me, and I’d often work a few hours in the evening after they’d gone to bed. Last year, our youngest daughter went off to college. Around that time, we also upgraded all of our equipment to HD and as a result, in addition to some empty bedrooms, the space needed for our equipment has shrunk. Our five editing suites used to require towers of video decks, patch bays, external mixing boards, video controllers and multiple large monitors. Now all but our online Symphony suite neatly fit on a desktop.

Even though I no longer need to work from home for the kids, we’ll still continue working from a home office. It’s no longer radical, but it sure keeps the overhead down, and that’s a savings we can pass on to our clients.

Using Video to Increase your Web Traffic

Clients often ask me how video can increase their visibility on the web. Ideally, we’d all like to create that viral video that suddenly racks up a million views on Youtube. Obviously, numbers like that will translate into visitors to your site and help you reach your target market. But even videos that don’t go viral can really boost your rankings in Google and set you apart from your competitors.

Creating well produced, high quality, simple videos with lots of relevant content, and posting them on every page of your site will add value to those all-important SEO algorithms. Having lots of video content though, is not enough. You also need to have clearly defined goals and projected outcomes for your video and that means good strategizing, pre-production and planning before you start shooting. And I can’t stress enough the importance of quality in every aspect of your video production. Even though your audience may not articulate it, they will know the difference between a video that has been shot and edited on your ipad, and one that is professionally produced. And that quality will impact their perception of you or your product or service.

To learn more, here’s a great article on Video and SEO