Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Three Years in a Row!

Lehigh Valley Video Production

Three years in a row, the Program Photographer Emmy® Award has gone to Rocky Urich of FireRock Productions. Rocky always says it takes an entire team effort... this year is a testament to that and is extra special as he gets to share this honor with Jim Herman and Amy Sheller of Abominable Productions. Their talents have been an invaluable addition to many of our productions over the past few years; collaborating with them is so seamless, and best of all, FUN!

Lehigh Valley Video Production
Amy Sheller of Abominable Productions & Rocky Urich of FireRock Productions

One of those collaborative projects earned three Emmy® nominations this year. In fact, "The World of Roey's Paintbox" involved an entire team of individuals who wholeheartedly gave of their time and talents in order to create something one-of-a-kind, and it is hosted by Roey Ebert of Roey's Paintbox.

This educational series for kids was nominated in the Children/Youth/Teen Program category, the Program Editor category, and the Graphic Arts/Animation category.

Lehigh Valley Video Production
The "World of Roey's Paintbox" team en route to the 2017 Emmy® Awards
In late 2015, the team began the long process of creating a series of videos that might provide a short escape for the patients of Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital. "The World of Roey's Paintbox" was brought to life with the help of so many people and sponsors. From concept to launch, everyone on the team wore multiple hats and put in the extra time to make deadlines without sacrificing the quality of their piece of the project. The result is a whimsical world in which children can learn through the arts... with an original set, theme song, and soundtrack.

We did it all without an Emmy® in mind, but when the series was nominated three times this August, of course we got excited about the possibility of winning one together. We had a wonderful time celebrating with each other at the ceremony this past weekend and congratulate the winners and all of the other nominees. One day, this series will earn an Emmy®, but for now, more importantly, we forge ahead with a new series of segments for the kids!

The World of Roey's Paintbox - FireRock Productions
Reactions from the children as they see the "World of Roey's Paintbox" set for the first time.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

20 Years in 2017!

20 Years in 2017!
FireRock Productions - 20 Years in 2017!
Happy New Year, everybody! 2017 brings with it reason for us to celebrate beyond the holidays. Believe it or not, it has been 20 years since Rocky first picked up a camera and pushed record! That was the beginning of what is now known as FireRock.

What was once just a high school hobby with friends back in 1997, has become our passion and livelihood today. Together, we've overcome a lot to get where we are now, all while remaining true to ourselves, our values, our standard of excellence, and ethical business practices. The decision for a young, newly married couple to become full-time business owners in 2009 was a risky one, to say the least. AND we made that decision shortly after buying our first home! If you have seen the movie "The Big Short," you know how that turned out...

But our dream was and is big, so we continued to persevere; not just surviving, but thriving in the recession, outlasting bigger production houses and making it through a short-lived partnership with someone who pulled the wool over our eyes and would rather squash us than help raise us up. We learned a lot (we'll never again be so na├»ve!), refocused, and recommitted to our mission which is bigger than ourselves. And that mentality and focus has helped lead us away from negative relationships and toward successes, including two more Emmy® Awards in 2016 - bringing our total to seven.

Lehigh Valley Video Production
Paul Luongo, Rocky Urich, Julia Urich, Liz Keptner, Casey Feinberg, & Carlo Acerra
celebrate an Emmy® Award for "Nazareth: Resonating Through Time."
"Nazareth: Resonating Through Time" received a 2016 Emmy® Award in the Magazine Program/Special category.

This is the second year in a row that a piece we created about a Lehigh Valley city or town has received a prestigious Emmy® Award. It is also the second year in a row that Rocky received a craft achievement Emmy® Award in the Program Photographer category which recognizes excellence in a specific craft discipline demonstrating the skills of an individual.

2016 also brought us the opportunity to revamp an educational series for children. Roey Ebert, artist and author, came to us with her idea for a tv show in which she would help guide viewers - even the most timid beginner - step by step through the painting process. What could have easily turned into another typical, meets-the-status-quo local show, we dreamed into a whimsical new world of children's programming.

The title of this revamped children's educational series is "The World of Roey's Paintbox," and it's the perfect example of what can happen when you make the mission bigger than yourself. Paint and learn in this 6-video series, which was inspired by the patients of Lehigh Valley Children's Hospital and brought to you by Capital Blue Store!

Lehigh Valley Video Production
Roey Ebert, Rocky Urich, Julia Urich, Jenn Natalie, Hillary Carrigan, Carlo Acerra & Kory Burrell
celebrate the launch of "The World of Roey's Paintbox" DVD at the Capital Blue store!
This program was made to entertain, educate, and encourage children of all ages and abilities to create their very own works of art while also teaching about music, nutrition, science, movement and more! Thank you, Roey, for trusting us with your image and brand during the entire evolution of this project!

See, below, how our vision for the show evolved from a seemingly wild and unattainable concept into a reality!

As we quoted on Instagram, "If you're not passionate enough from the start, you'll never stick it out." Passion is what drives FireRock forward with every project, every single day! We get regular feedback from the community that they recognize our work. How? Why does it stand out from the rest? We try to self-evaluate regularly, so we've asked ourselves why people see our work as unique, and we've concluded: because we genuinely care; and we put a lot of our own time into the product. And we'll continue to do so.

So, where is FireRock headed in 2017? Well, in order to achieve our goals locally in our hometown of Lehigh Valley, we think it's vital to continue to expand outside the region. Our desire has always been for our work to compete nationally, far beyond the Valley, to the benefit of our clients, especially those clients with the responsibility of growing Lehigh Valley, PA. The fact that we brought home one Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Award each for Lehigh Valley's tourism bureau and the chamber of commerce in 2015, and earned an Emmy® nomination for Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) in 2014, hopefully tells you a lot about our aspirations. In 2016, our collaboration with LVEDC was awarded the Silver Award for Best Video/Multimedia Promotion by the International Economic Development Council for our video highlighting manufacturing in Lehigh Valley. FireRock always aims to go beyond the status quo, and our client earning recognition from the largest council serving economic developers suggests we succeeded with this one!

The winning video was just one of a 6-part series, which focuses on the four target sectors of LVEDC's strategic plan, as well as Lehigh Valley's entrepreneurial community, and Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Inivtiative's redevelopment projects. Our goal, together with LVEDC, was to answer the question, "Why Lehigh Valley?" Check out the entire series by clicking here!

As we move forward, more of our story will be revealed, but, in the meantime, we'll continue to focus on telling yours! We will forever be grateful to the mentors and supporters who have believed in us since the beginning (you know who you are!), and, to everyone who ever tried squashing, hurting, or discouraging us... good luck with that.

"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb"
- Nelson Mandela

We'll keep climbing. Here's to 20 more years!