Sunday, September 27, 2015

Four Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards for FireRock!

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The ballroom at the Philadelphia Hilton on Saturday, September 19th, 2015 was packed for the presentation of the 33rd annual National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards. The energy was contagious. As we walked in, we immediately felt humbled to be in the presence of so many talented media makers. It was an amazing and overwhelming realization: we were standing in a room full of hundreds of Emmy® nominees spanning 77 different categories, and we were lucky enough to be included in 7 of them. Our nerves were only settled by remembering that we already had plenty to celebrate, regardless of what was engraved on the statues lined up backstage. We walked into that room surrounded by more than just our clients and colleagues - we were there with friends.

We know that what we do doesn't exist without the people and groups who ask us to help tell their stories. We are so grateful to have been able to share Saturday's gala with Laughing At My Nightmare, Inc., The Chamber, Discover Lehigh Valley, Countess Communications, and Weller Health Education CenterThe way in which these groups came together to support and celebrate each other and FireRock Productions was nothing short of extraordinary.  

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When "A Will to Survive" and FireRock Productions were called for the Human Interest Program Feature/Segment as the first of what would be four wins that evening, we were shocked. To have won one Emmy® with Shane in 2013 for "Happiness is Always an Option" was unbelievable, but to win a second with him… We have no words. He is one of the most amazing individuals we have ever known, and has taught us so much. Our lives have been immeasurably enriched by Shane, his family, and his non-profit, Laughing At My Nightmare.

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To then have your name called, as an individual, celebrating a craft that you love to do… we're pretty sure by the brevity of his acceptance speech that Rocky was stunned! Rocky celebrated his Craft Achievement Emmy® for Photography by thanking Julia for allowing him to "turn his hobby into a career." This is an award celebrating the skills of an individual, but, according to Rocky, "it takes an entire team around any successful individual to achieve something like this."

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Nobody celebrated in a bigger way that evening than Joe Uliana and Lynn and Don Cunningham. What a fun group to share an evening with! Joe nearly knocked his chair over when "The Bethlehem Story" won for Public/Current/Community Affairs Feature/Segment. The jokes, the hollering, the laughter… Don and Joe kept the mood light all night! And what a wonderful thing to be celebrating - Bethlehem, and all of Lehigh Valley have so much going on and so much to be proud of!

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The fourth and final award we received Saturday was in the Lifestyle Program Feature/Segment category for "DISHcover Lehigh Valley: Porters' Pub," a project created with the help of Countess Communications, and hosted by the indomitable Kim Lilly, Executive Vice President for Discover Lehigh Valley. Kim was, at first, unsure about hosting the series, but, with a little arm-twisting, conquered her nerves and won an Emmy® for it! For this episode and more, visit: 

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Having 20 people on our team that evening, each of them representing the many other individuals who have believed in us and been there for us from the beginning, was quite possibly even more awesome than winning. We could never ask for a better support system. And we never could have predicted or asked for the support that each of those individuals showed to each other.

For us, this is indicative of why and how we achieve the successes that we do. It's about you: all of the people who ever believed in us, and continue to believe in us to this day; everyone who has ever given us an opportunity. We do not create videos for us, we create them for you, your businesses, your families, and your colleagues; and we want to be there for you in return, and give you the best product, which you deserve.

The four Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards that FireRock came home with represent not just the accomplishments of FireRock and the other individuals listed on the awards, but also Lehigh Valley, its organizations, and the people who live, work, and play here, as well as the companies that we are lucky enough to consider extensions of our team, just as much as we aim to be an extension of theirs.

We thank you - our friends, families, colleagues, and clients - for these awards!

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"Show me your friends and I'll show you your future."

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

FireRock Receives Seven 2015 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Nominations

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We snapped the photo below as we entered McFadden's at Citizen Bank Park in Philadelphia on August 11, 2015.

FireRock Productions Receives Seven 2015 Emmy Nominations

Maybe it was a sign that we were about to knock one out of the park... but seven? Simply unimaginable. Our hearts stopped the first time we heard our name, and as it was called for that seventh time, one quote instantly came to mind.

"In order for people to succeed, all they need is a little nudge - someone to give them the opportunity."

There are so many of you that have given us - and continue to give us - that "nudge," and we will be forever thankful. The above remark was recently shared with us by Cops 'n' Kids Lehigh Valley President, Beverly Bradley during a memorable and meaningful conversation at The Bethlehem Chamber's 2015 Annual Dinner, and it was like everything came full circle.

A piece which premiered at that same Annual Dinner the year before, The Bethlehem Story, was the first video produced in the qualifying time frame for this year's Emmy® submissions.

FireRock Productions Receives Seven 2015 Emmy Nominations
Host, Liz Kkeptner, in The Bethlehem Story
This story of Bethlehem's renaissance, hosted and narrated by Liz Keptner, ended up being one of our seven nominations! Here are the nominated videos, and all who were recognized for their contributions:

Public/Current/Community Affairs Program Feature/Segment: “The Bethlehem Story”

Joe Uliana - Producer
Lynn Cunningham - Producer
Julia Urich - Director
Rocky Urich - Editor

Human Interest Program Feature/Segment: “A Will to Survive”

A Will to Survive is the second collaboration between FireRock Productions and Shane Burcaw, President of Laughing at My Nightmare, to earn an Emmy® nomination. The first, Happiness is Always an Option, went on to win a 2013 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award!

Shane Burcaw - Executive Producer/Writer
Erinn Malone - Producer
Julia Urich - Director
Rocky Urich - Editor

Children/Youth/Teen (19 and under) Program/Special – “Better Start Early”

The above video is a preview of the full length version. Better Start Early is a 17-minute educational piece about early detection and prevention, created for and with Weller Health Education Center. The video is centered around Sarah Trimmer, an inspiring individual who was brave enough to share her experience with cancer.

Melissa Lee - Executive Producer
Erin Postel - Producer
Julia Urich - Director
Rocky urich - Photographer

Lifestyle Program Feature/Segment – Dishcover: Porters’ Pub

Our collaboration with Discover Lehigh Valley and Countess Communications resulted in this nominated episode of DISHcover Lehigh Valley, a series about the best dining and dishes in Lehigh Valley!

Kim Lilly - Executive Producer
Julia Urich - Director
Rocky Urich - Photographer
Marta Countess - Assoc. Producer
Jeff Countess - Assoc. Photographer

Craft achievement awards are presented to individuals for excellence in a specific craft discipline. Rocky has been nominated in three craft categories: Short Form Editor, Program Editor, and Program Photographer.

This is one of the videos submitted for consideration of craft achievement:

The 33rd Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award presentation will take place at the Philadelphia Hilton on Saturday, September 19th, 2015. Congratulations to all of the nominees - we are humbled to be in the company of so very many talented and deserving individuals.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Release of "Crescendo" - FireRock Productions' 48 Hour Film Project

What amazed us each time we embarked on our 48 hour scramble, was the willingness of others, whether lifelong friends or people we've just met in the Lehigh Valley business community, to help in any way possible - that could be fulfilling the role of an actor, providing a filming location, or lending a much-needed prop. It really has been a special community of relationships we've built through the years. Thank you to everyone for making what we do feel so special!

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Team #FireRock48 Wraps Their 48 Hour Film Project 2015
It all started a few months ago when Julia started receiving reminder emails that the 48 Hour Film Project was coming up in New York City. Rocky and Julia began reminiscing about the great time they had during the last 48 hour film project, during which they created a film called BRAINS!, that included blood,  zombies, puppies, bunnies, and one or two laughs.

Of course, Casey couldn't be left out and wanted to experience the craziness for herself!  So, one afternoon, she watched BRAINS! and was hooked. A few days later, while Rocky had his headphones on and didn't have a chance to object, Casey and Julia signed up for this year's 48 Hour Film Project! FireRock was set to compete against 60 other teams, all creating short films in only 48 hours. Well, this should be fun.

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Team #FireRock48 Begins Brainstorming
Fast forward two months to Friday, May 29th at 7p.m. - the official start of the contest. Rocky began the evening by asking - one more time - if we were actually doing this, because, in all reality, he's the one who has to edit the masterpiece, which means way less sleep for him and way more of a reason to want to jump off a bridge before it started. But nope, we were in this for the long haul... the whole 48-hour "long haul!"  ( the lack-of-sleep-hangover we would have after the weekend.) The #FireRock48 team, along with a few close friends, gathered in the office to start brainstorming how the heck we were going to make a Superhero movie (our assigned genre) in only 48 hours. Ideas from sidekick-turned-hero, to villain movies were thrown around, but nothing stuck. Around 3:30a.m., those left standing abandoned the office for bed, set to return in the morning to finish the idea. At 10a.m. we reconvened and we wrote our story... and what a story!

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Our #FireRock48 Superhero Pose
By 2p.m., a rough script was written, the story line was perfected, and phone calls were made. Our cast came together and the team dispersed to gather objects, costumes, materials, equipment, and - of course - some coffee. Somehow, by 2:30a.m. ...yes, just over 12 hours later, filming was wrapped and it was time to edit.  Rocky got a whole three hours of sleep and got right to work!  Here are some behind-the-scenes pictures and, at the bottom, the end of the story of our weekend.

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12-Year-Old is Needed for Lead Character…
Josh Accepts the Challenge!
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Props Department Scrambled to Create this Costume…
After We Scrambled to Create a Props Department
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Preparing to Shoot Scene 2
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It Got Very LATE Very Quickly!

Last Scene Wraps with Paul Luongo & Valerie Bittner at 2am…
Oh… We Still Need to EDIT!
Luckily, this was not the sign that Rocky and Casey saw when they went to hand in the film... although it was a very close call.

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Rocky, Julia, and Casey left Emmaus at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday night to get to the drop off location in NYC by 7:30 p.m. Nah, we weren't stressing... calm, cool as a cucumber... as we drove through POURING rain and TRAFFIC into the city! At 7:16p.m. our GPS was saying 4 minutes to go and .3 miles away... and the road was BLOCKED where we had to turn to get to the drop-off. Do we get out and run? Yes, we run! Julia drove around Washington Square park, arriving at 7:29p.m. The film would have been late had we all stayed in the car, so, Rocky and Casey jumping out of the car .3 miles away in the rain and running to the drop off venue was the best decision we could have made. "This is what we've been training for," Rocky said, as they jogged along the streets of NYC, looking for a bar that he's pretty sure Casey has no idea how to find ...and there was a good chance they were running the wrong direction and there's no way they will get there in time. Rocky, incredulous that they've made it, jogs with Casey into the bar and hand in the video with less than 5 minutes to spare.  

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Rewind to Rocky asking "Do we really want to do this?" at the beginning... maybe he knew what we were in for? Above is the actual picture we saw, and it was totally worth it. New York City's 48 Hour Film Project consisted of over 60 films this year! Our film made the Top 16 and was included in the Best Of Screening at the Cantor Film Center where it was awarded Best Sound Design! The required elements this year were:

Required Character: Hugh Lawson, Musician
Required Prop: Grapes
Required Line: "He said he'd be here."

We hope you have as much fun watching the film as we had making it! AND who knows… next year, we could be calling you for help!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

FireRock Productions Receives 2015 ADDY Awards!

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On March 6th, the American Advertising Federation - Greater Lehigh Valley chapter presented the 2015 ADDY Awards. FireRock Productions is honored to have received two ADDYs for collaborations with Discover Lehigh Valley, Lehigh Valley Health Network, and Countess Communications.

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Two ADDYs Awarded to FireRock Productions

The first of the two videos honored that night highlights the breadth and scope of Lehigh Valley Health Network in less than 3 minutes.

The second video by FireRock Productions to receive recognition is an episode of "DISHcover Lehigh Valley," a series hosted by the executive vice president of Discover Lehigh Valley, Kim Lilly. Filming these "DISHcover Lehigh Valley" segments usually makes the FireRock crew hungry, but this one really made them THIRSTY! Kim brings along her colleague to compete in a Beer Tasting Challenge in this ADDY Award-winning episode at Porters' Pub & Restaurant! Even the loser wins in this one!

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Our FireRock Team Photo after the Awards Ceremony

Friday, April 24, 2015

Casey Actually Learns Something

Being at FireRock for a little over 5 months now, I have begun to really feel like I bring some value to our team. (Took me long enough, right?) I may even be ready to run this place.... (oorrrrr maybe I'll leave that to the professionals.) 

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Yep, definitely leaving it to the professionals!

But seriously, it now takes me one less try to get the light on the tripod, I know which batteries go where, and (most of the time) which cable connects to which part of which camera that is located in which bag (believe me there's a lot of stuff that goes into this setting up nonsense and I now somehow almost understand 82% of it), and I'm able to set up and break down sets without asking 30 questions. I'm down to about 3 on average (hoorrrayyy!). Sometimes I even handle all the equipment by myself: filming, setting up, carrying, and all...(haha yea, right... that will be the day). 

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Don't worry guys, I got this!

I call this the wobble cam...

For someone who knew absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing, about the video production industry 5 months ago, I feel pretty proud knowing that I have become someone that can be counted on to get things done. I am now a valued member of the team (I hope) rather than the girl who keeps asking questions and screwing up social media when we have way more important things to worry about (that happened too many times, don't tell my boss…).  Sometimes I even make important phone calls.

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...with coffee in hand, of course. 

I get to work on projects from the beginning stages and really see them come full circle: through pre-production, production, editing (well listening to rocky edit at least... that's close enough, right?), and sharing the final product with the client.

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Working hard... or hardly working?

Just putting together a see-through box for a teddy bear.

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The end product was pretty sweet! Watch the video below to see why I made this!

All jokes aside, the last five months have already showed me what it really means to be a part of a small business team. 

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We work through snowstorms...

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we never have any fun...

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and we hardly ever drink on the job...

but when I really sit down to think about how much I have already learned, and how much I have grown,  I really can't even imagine what is yet to come... 

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Unless it's ice cream... in which case I can definitely imagine it and count me in! 

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