Levi’s 30 Second Spot

This 30 second spec TV commercial was written by Doug Tracy, animated by Tim Smyth, and directed by Patrick Ortman. We shot it on a Canon 7D, using Dragon stop motion software. It was edited in Final Cut Pro, using a lot of plug-ins to give a bit of a distressed film look. Enjoy!

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Interactive Media Award Press Release (MPAC)

Los Angeles Digital and Interactive Agency PatrickOrtman, Inc. Wins Outstanding Achievement In Website Design and Development from Interactive Media Awards

STUDIO CITY, CA — PatrickOrtman, Inc., an award-winning digital and interactive agency headquartered in Los Angeles, California., today announced that it has been awarded Outstanding Achievement in Website Development by the Interactive Media Awards™ for its work on the Muslim Public Affairs Council Website. The honor recognizes that the project met and surpassed the standards of excellence that comprise the web’s most professional work. The site was honored specifically for excellence in the Nonprofit category.

The judging consisted of various criteria, including design, usability, innovation in technical features, standards compliance and content. In order to win this award level, the site had to meet strict guidelines in each area — an achievement only a fraction of sites in the IMA competition earn each quarter.

Patrick Ortman, CEO of PatrickOrtman, Inc., said, “It’s an honor to have our work recognized by the Interactive Media Awards. Being granted entry to such an exclusive club by the Interactive Media Awards is testament to the true standard of excellence by which PatrickOrtman, Inc. operates. I’m thrilled with our design and development team, especially Ryan McMaster and Jeff Whitfield, who contributed greatly to the project’s success.”

About PatrickOrtman, Inc.
PatrickOrtman, Inc. offers full-service website design, social media marketing, and high-end video production company services to clients worldwide. They create digital marketing projects that range from website redesigns to TV and Internet commercials and promos, sometimes working in concert with a client’s advertising agency, and sometimes as the digital agency of record. Their clients range from the Fortune 500 to smaller companies and organizations. They are based in Los Angeles, California and are privately held.

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New Website Launch: TruckAccidents.com

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We’re happy to announce that we’ve completed a major overhaul and redesign of truckaccidents.com. The new website is based on web standards, and uses a state-of-the-art MODx CMS, with WordPress blog integration. The website also includes a bunch of new video content, shot on RED and posted at our edit suite in Los Angeles.

The website was a huge team effort, and we’d like to thanks our awesome teammates Amy Gallaher-Hall (lead designer), Jen, Gradiva, Crystal, Corinne, Tyler, and of course Jeff.

You can view the new website at www.truckaccidents.com.

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We Won an Interactive Media Award

We won an IMA Outstanding Achievement Award for our website we created for MPAC- the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Usually these awards go to much larger creative/design firms who have much larger budgets. So, we’re kind of stoked. It’s nice to be in the company of bigger agencies like Happy Cog and Huge, Inc.

We had a great team for this project, hats off to everyone! I’m especially happy that this award goes to our first collaboration with Collabpad, and that we chose MODx as our Content Management Framework.

Sure, we’re prepping a proper press release about all this. But in the meantime, here’s more about our award:

Congratulations! We are happy to announce that your entry into the IMA competition, the Muslim Public Affairs Council Website, under the category ‘Nonprofit’, has won the IMA Outstanding Achievement Award with an overall score of 462.

To win an award your entry had to successfully pass through our comprehensive judging system. Our judges utilize a points-based scoring system which allows each entry to receive a maximum of 500 points. By adhering to the specific guidelines and criteria of this system our judges are able to maintain the highest degree of fairness, accuracy and integrity; competently and effectively evaluate entries; and, deliver clear results.

Our individual scores were as follows:

Design: 91
Content: 95
Feature Functionality: 98
Usability: 92
Standard Compliance & Cross-Browser Compatibility: 86

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More Thoughts on Twitter for Business

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We were one of the first companies to get into Twitter as a marketing tool and way to stay in touch with clients and colleagues. But lately, something hasn’t been sitting right with us about Twitter. For us, it’s time to completely change how we use Twitter… and a big part of that is a massive reduction in the amount of time we’ll be spending on the service.

Quitting Twitter has become a bit of a fashion lately, with high-profile celebrities abandoning it for charity or personal/business reasons. For us, our decision’s been more of a pragmatic one: there’s just too much noise on Twitter to make it useful for us. Even when we had a fulltime person culling through our followers, setting up lists, etc., the signal-to-noise ratio made Twitter something that rapidly went from semi-useful to useless for us. Twitter’s become much less of a conversation, which is a shame. It’s more like a very noisy broadcasting and self-promoting medium, and that’s no fun.

We’ll still check our Twitter feed now and then. But we won’t be tweeting much, anymore. Sure, when something big and cool happens we may let loose a tweet. But I don’t see the point in adding to the noise, or culling through it looking for the good stuff, anymore.

That’s the thing about social media. It’s constantly changing. I completely understand that many businesses have done well with Twitter. And I know legions of self-described ‘social media experts’ will scream that Twitter’s awesome. But its time has passed, for us.

Subject to change, of course.

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Quantity or Quality

I just watched a short film from a guy I know, and it really struck me that his movie would have been a lot better if it was half the length. Not just in terms of tightening up the story a bit, but also by giving him an effectively larger per-minute budget, which would let him compete with the big guys.

See, there’s a reason national TV commercials cost millions of dollars to make, and feature films cost tens or hundreds of millions of dollars to create. If you want to compete with the big guys, you need to find ways to increase your production value on your limited budget. In my experience, one of the best ways to do that is by simply making a shorter film.

In filmmaking, if given the choice, I’d go for quality over quantity every time.

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Making a Corporate Video

Corporate Video Production Tip of the Week: When you settle on a video production company to work with, you should really include their input from the beginning, at the conceptual stage of your video. It’s always amazing to me that some clients don’t ask for help when it’s time to flesh out their ideas. A good director or production company can really help you put your best foot forward, and make the most of the budget you have. We know all the tricks about how to make you look great, and we want your project to succeed. A few paid hours upfront can save you untold pain and suffering later on.

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Website Design Wednesdays- What is a Good Website Redesign?

Welcome to Website Design Wednesday. It’s a new thing, I’m hoping it catches on. Today’s topic: what is a good website redesign? I know a lot of people wonder about this subject. Well, I do at least. Here’s some things that a great website redesign should get right:

Don’t screw up your audience’s expectations.
Oh, sure. I bet you were thinking I’d talk about CSS or web standards. We’ll get to those, someday. But first, you need to keep your audience in mind. If they’ve gotten used to using your site one way, you better have a very good reason for making huge changes to that experience. I’m not saying you shouldn’t make wholesale changes to your site architecture. But if you do make huge changes, you should really make them with your audience in mind. Anticipate their needs. How can you do this? By spending a bit of time with your Google Analytics or whatever website stats app you use. Learn how your audience is using your site today, before making changes that could mess them up.

Simple is good.
Many times in a web redesign project, we’re asked to have a billion huge buttons screaming and competing for attention. That’s just nutso. Don’t fill up the pages with billions of competing messages. Settle on a few key actions you want people to do when they visit your site. If you do that, I’ll stop exaggerating. Truth is, we’re not asked for billions of huge, competing buttons. It’s usually in the low millions at most.

Consistency is better.
Websites that don’t work the way you think they should ruin the experience and make customers hate you. A consistent user interface throughout the site is best. But it’s not just the UI I’m talking about, here. A certain consistency in the tone of the written and visual content of your website goes a long way towards a successful website redesign.

Make sure the new design fits your brand’s image.
Every once in a while, a potential client will tell us they want a website that’s nothing like any of their marketing or advertising materials. Something that doesn’t truthfully reflect the company. This is almost always a mistake. Your brand is something that needs to be nurtured and carefully protected. It’s OK to extend your brand or identity by stepping out a little with your website. But the best websites are readily identifiable as representing the brands and organizations they were created for. There’s a reason for this.

That’s all for today- happy Website Design Wednesday!

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Wabi-Sabi

Michael Tuck wrote a great article today on Six Revisions called The Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic. Wabi-Sabi applies to all sorts of design, not just website design or page layout. Most good filmmakers use a bit of the Wabi-Sabi aesthetic, like when we’re working on tv commercials or whatever for clients. We commonly add a little bit of imperfection, or organic elements, to shots in order to better sell them. Sometimes it’s adding a bit of grain, a lens flare, or even a bit of camera shake. The idea is, sterile perfection is not what you should aspire to. A little bit of imperfection is much more interesting to us humans.

If you create things, it’s pretty cool to keep the Wabi Sabi aesthetic in mind.

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Valentines Day

What can Valentines Day teach us about marketing our businesses? Plenty.

1) Planning matters. If you leave your marketing plans to chance, odds are you’ll end up with the equivalent of dining at Dennys. Not cool.

2) You know that guy, the one who over compensates every Valentines Day because he doesn’t lift a finger to show his appreciation the rest of the time? Don’t be that guy. Your digital marketing needs to be purposeful… and ongoing. It’s not enough to tell your customers you love them once a year.

3) If you build it, they will come. Valentines Day is a made up holiday created by the greeting card industry. They made it up out of thin air. And yet, it worked. Same with your marketing, assuming you have a good product or service. So get your story out there!

Happy Valentines Day!

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About PatrickOrtman, Inc.

PatrickOrtman, Inc. is one of the top-rated video production companies in Los Angeles and New York City. We make high-end corporate videos, and commercials for TV and digital for clients that include 11 Fortune 500s.