Andy’s Fiver Friday #185 – Going to the moon, best of Memorial Day Imaging and what do I listen for working out!!!
This was a great week! summer is near, I can feel it! FINALLY! Off to an awesome , long Memorial Day Weekend!1.Plugin
And another one (DJ Khaled voice): Check out this free piano plugin which sounds really great for being free to download. Enjoy!
Simply inspiring… WOW!3.Music
This is what I listening while working out!4.Web/Social/Whatever
Really astonishing how far technology has come, if we progress like that what will be left to the artist?5.Imaging
This is a quick recap of what we do for Memorial Day this year on the Benztown library, including yours truly with some CHR stuff!!
Kelly was first introduced to Radio when he was 15 years old and has consistently been in it ever since. He was complimented on his voice at a young age and a lot of people told him he should be doing something with it…but he didn’t yet understand how to utilize it. However, through years of experience and training, he now has it down to a science. Consequently, his voice has been heard on numerous television and radio stations across the country, in movies, video games, concert tours and commercials as well. He loves being able to look at words and bring the to life with his voice!
What radio VO work have you done in the past?
When I entered the Voiceover world, I started in television promos first and because I was on the radio as an on-air personality, I never really considered being a radio imaging voice. However, when my radio career led me to Satellite radio, there were so many different genres of music and talk channels, that we all utilized each others amazing talents. So, I became the voice of a variety of imaging, inclusive of the Dr. Laura Show, College Sports Nation, Urban View, Real Jazz, Watercolors, Soul Street, and some of the occasional pop up channels. Later, after a merger with Sirius and XM, I met my good friend Bryan Apple, who introduced me to Kwazi and POWER 1051 in NY, which happened to be my first Radio Imaging gig in terrestrial radio. Since then I have done Milwaulkee, El Paso, Boston, Atlanta, Washington DC, Philly, Detroit, Orlando, Syracuse, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Birmingham, Ft. Wayne, the Breakfast Club syndication, etc.
What are you up to presently?
I am currently still on the air as a personality at SiriusXM Heart & Soul, Channel 48. I have been doing my satellite radio show for the past 15 years.
Check out Cayman’s Demos:http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Cayman-Kelly_URBAN-IMAGING-DEMO.mp3 http://blog.benztown.com/voiceover/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Cayman-Kelly_URBAN-IMAGING-DEMO1.mp3
What do you love about your job?
I love the fact that I can do what I love! I fell in love with radio when I was about 15 years old and since that period of my life, I have been around radio in some capacity. Even though it has presented some challenges over the years, I have had a lot of growth in the process. In my current on-air position, part of my job was programming the channel as well as being on-air. But, as my Voice-Over career started to grow and take shape, I was able to shed some of my responsibilities of programming and just be on the air, which is really my passion. So, nowadays I am able to do my voice-overs and my radio show from my studio in my house, which is another thing that I love! Plus, my commute consists of walking down a couple flights of steps every morning…What’s not to love?
How did you get started as a VO actor?
My voice-over career actually started by “accident” while I was at BET. I had been hired to provide content for BET UPTOWN, which was a 3rd party channel for the newly launched technology, XM Satellite Radio. So, in an attempt to be in the know of what was happening on the television side, we had meetings with the Creative Services Department. As we became familiar with each other, they started asking me to voice some of the radio commercials that they needed. Then, I started doing ALL of the radio commercials for their programs. Shortly thereafter, I became the voice of the TV Network itself. They also, had some new digital networks that I voiced as well. There’s a Proverb that says, “A Man’s gift will make room for him and bring him before great men!” That’s how it all began…Something I always wanted to do but never knew how to start and the doors were opened!
What was your first gig? Any memorable ones since then?
My first VO gig was BET, which lasted for about 7 or 8 years for me. Since then, I have done some really FUN and MEMORABLE gigs! One of them that stands out to me was the first CARTOON NETWORK promo that I ever did for ADULT SWIM. I remember looking at the script and seeing a line that said, “When he’s not kicking ass…He’s Getting It!” I felt like a kid that was getting away with bad behavior…it was just so much fun to get loose like that on a read. My other standout had to be my FAVORITE and that was having the opportunity to voice some reads on GRAND THEFT AUTO V! That was another session that I got to get loose on. The crazy thing is, when I did that session, I couldn’t tell anyone! Trust and believe, I didn’t say a word…I wasn’t about to be the ONE who caused a leak for a Billion Dollar game. Oh, and there’s one more…I played myself as a Radio DJ in the movie, “Barbershop: The Next Cut!” I remember going into that studio and there was a huge screen in the booth where I could see the parts of the movie that I was going to provide voice for, and when the LION roared at the very beginning of the movie my voice was the first thing people heard! Oh what a feeling! I had the opportunity to walk the red carpet at the premiere and party with Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Common, Nicki Minaj, Anthony Anderson, and so many more celebrities at the After Party. Made me feel like I was a STAR!
Who are your VO idols/mentors?
There are a lot of people that I look up to in the VO world such as Joe Cipriano, Don Lafontaine (RIP). But as far as radio imaging is concerned I would definitely have to say Dr. Dave. He was doing imaging before I even knew what it was. I remember watching him record his voice for different stations across the country on reel-to-reel and then package them up in boxes and fedex envelopes (way before Mp3’s and internet). I was a young teenager with a deep voice and he used to always tell me, “You need to be doing something with your pipes!” I didn’t really know what that meant until years down the line. So, when I landed POWER 1051 in NY and started to pick up more and more radio stations to image, I remember calling him and telling him, “This life is awesome!”
If you weren’t doing voiceover, what else do you think you’d be doing for a career?
That’s a great question! I often think about that too. But to be brutally honest, I really have no idea. However, I do still enjoy being a personality on the radio and I woud love to transition into TV at some point. So, I guess I do have an answer. Lol
What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on the radio/television?
The first time I heard myself was on television and it was soooooo exciting! I don’t think there are any words to describe the feeling of hearing yourself do something that you’ve always desired! I also voice a lot of concert spots. So, seeing or hearing one of those spots unexpectedly still gives the same feeling of excitement. I guess it never gets old!
How has new technology changed the way you work?
Technology is so amazing! It allows you to be portable and still maintain the quality of a “Studio”sound. All while not even having to carry big bulky hardware. Also, you can work and audition from anywhere in the world and with the internet, turn around times are QUICK! Like I mentioned earlier, I can remember when there was no internet and seeing Dr. Dave record his station imaging on reel to reel and Fedex out to the stations. We have certainly come a long way.
What gear do you use on the road? In your studio?
I have an Apogee mic that I plug right into the bottom of my iphone and record on an app called Twisted Wave when I need to do quick pickup type stuff. But, when I’m traveling and I can set up in my hotel, I carry a Macbook, shotgun Mic (Rode NTG3), and my Universal Audio Apollo. If I need to do something in my car I just purchased the Universal Audio Arrow (which is bus powered). As far as the main studio in my home is concerned I use a Mac, Adobe Audition DAW, I have a few different mics that I use (the Nuemann TLM 103, Shure SM7, and my favorite Rode NTG3). I use a Universal Audio Twinfinity and a Mackie board as well as the UA Apollo (which I bought in 2014 and just recently took it out the box, thanks to a post on FB that I saw Rick Party do).
Which production system do you use and why? Any favorite plugins?
I use Adobe Audition probably because I’m used to it. I learned on that program when it was called Cool Edit. Since, I’ve added the UA Apollo to my arsenal, I stay trying different plugins. But, Rick Party turned me on to the Manley VOX BOX, Little Labs, and Valley People, which I absolutely LOVE.
Have you ever had a voice coach? Would you recommend it?
I’ve actually used several voice coaches and I highly recommend it. I’ve gained nuggets from each one of them that I have applied to my voice-over gigs! If you think about everyone is a unique individual and we all have different ways of doing things. Consequently, working with others allows you to learn from some of their techniques that YOU may not have ever thought of. I think it’s really beneficial to keep an open mind to learn. It just makes you that much better as a Voice Artist.
How do you schedule and prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?
Unless I have a scheduled session, I usually just voice my scripts in the order that I receive them during the day. I really pride myself on a quick turnaround. So, as soon as it’s in, I voice it and send it back to the client. I also spend quite a bit of time auditioning. Afterall, being an entreprenuer, I really can’t afford to get comfortable. Things change really quickly in this business and if I want to keep up with the lifestyle that I desire, its certainly important to be heard and try to increase my clientele.
How do you market your services to potential clients?
I don’t have a particular formula that I use to market. I’ve been blessed to have landed a lot of gigs through recommendations and auditions. Sometimes, when I land something really cool, I will mention and post it on social media and/or send a blurb to the blogs to post.
When it comes to VO work, studio & gear, what are your most ingenious methods or discoveries for saving time and cash?
VO work can be one of the most amazing things that I have ever done. Sometimes, its kind of surreal that you can make a living using your voice! As far as Studio and gear, you no longer need a lot of expensive hardware to give you that studio sound. For example you can get the same exact sound using the UA Apollo and it’s plugs, which would cost you in the $1k range opposed to $12k for the hardware. That’s saving some serious cash and it’s portable! Plus, that’s not a lot of wiring that you need to be bothered with. Doing VO as a career saves you commute time as well as fuel costs because most of the time, you’re in the comfort of your own home working.
What is the best voice processing trick or voice-over technique everyone should know?
I’m really not an audiophile kind of guy, so I have relied on people that actually do sound design and engineering to show me some things as far as processing is concerned. I’ve learned a lot by trial and error, turning knobs and flipping switches until I get the sound that I desire. I will say that Mic Technique is very important. If I’m doing a comedy read, I need to back of the mic and if I’m doing a dark supsense read, I need to ride the mic close.
Do you have a different approach to reading radio imaging copy as opposed to TV/Radio commercial ads?
Usually, looking at any script, whether it be radio imaging, TV Promo, or commercial, every script needs its own technique regardless of what it is. As you grow in VO artistry and understand the gift of interpretation, it’s almost like the copy speaks to you and tells you how it should be delivered! It’s amazing when you find your voice and can use it for the instrument that it is to bring word to life! I know it sounds weird, but those who actually do it will understand exactly what I mean!
Can you offer 3 helpful tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
There are so many people that ask me how do they break into voice-overs. I think a lot of people look at it as being an easy way to make some quick money. So, the first thing that I would suggest is to erase that thought and do the research to understand the competitive nature of the field and learn as much as you can about technique as well as the business side of it. The next thing I would suggest is to get some training from a coach or some classes because it’s not enough just to have a nice sounding voice, you have to know how to use it. Lastly, I would advise that you find the lane of voice-over that suits you because it is a very broad field, there’s commercial, promo, trailers, narrations, audio books, etc. Not to say that you wouldn’t be able to do it all eventually, I just think that it’s easier to learn when you focus.
If you could go back in time and hang out in any decade which one would you go back to and why?
Wow! That’s a good question…I think I would choose to go back to the late 80’s or 90s. I really loved the New Jack Swing genre of music that was created in that time period as well as the fashion (that’s now coming around full circle). Plus, if I knew then what I know now, I certainly would’ve started doing voice overs back then and I would have been a lot more aggressive and assertive!
Favorite 2 pizza toppings?
Hmmmm! I would probably say spinach and onions.
If you could invite one person to dinner, living or dead, who would it be?
Another good question! I’ve met a lot of people throughout my career that I have become friends with but I think I would have to say Stevie Wonder. He’s someone that I’ve always admired as an artist. His amazing gift to paint a picture with his song writing skills and he’s just a genius in music and his philanthropy efforts are nothing short of GREAT! There was an occasion when I was chosen to be the voice of the TV spots for his “Songs in the Key of Life” Tour and I felt like I met him then! LOL But, man I would have a conversation about him being a radio owner, song writing, and a whole host of topics…then I’d probably ask him what’s the possibility of me voicing KJLH??? LOL
Connect with CaymanFacebook: Caymankelly Twitter: @caymankellyshow Instagram: caymankelly LinkedIn: Caymankelly
Yeah, it is Friday , again. This week was good, cant tell now, but great things are coming your way:)….It goes to 11!!!!! TRUST ME!1.Plugin
Waves just released Submarine, a plugin creating subharmonic frequencies to boost your kicks, basses, synths etc. Looks quite promising and is definitely worth a try, check out their demo:2.Inspiration
I started with this last week…hosted by Will Smith!! Awesome series!
Masa’s pick for the week!4.Web/Social/Whatever
Jan still ruling the Urban format like a boss – gotta love this VO effects… Check it out!
So this is a short in between type of post, as I got this question so often within the last weeks. What Do you use for building FX? Answer : A LOT :)! I thought it would be helpful to add a few things I use the most and maybe you can let me know what you guys like the most, use for creating the workparts, building, layering and and and…
In general I think there is a ton of ways to approach this, we are talking about how to generate source sounds here and what plugIns are good for this and are worth checking out.
1. Field recording and foley material:
Depending on what you want to build there is a ton of great stuff available, if you go out yourself, record or purchase the sounds online.
We do both!
All type of DRUMS, base drums, cymbals, snare, percussion – again a ton of stuff available on the www and in various plugins.
My go to would be BATTERY and SPLICE as online source !
Of course, there’s awesome plugin for fx creation and sound design out there! I listed you some of my/our favorites:
UVI – Meteor
Native Instruments – Rise & Hit
Heavyocity – Damage
AIR Music – The Riser
Apart from that, Native Instruments – Reaktor offers a lot of sound design possibilities, you should definitely check that out too!
So, thats basically what I use in a nutshell and of course a lot more and whatever I can get my hands on. What do you like the best? How do you manipulate the source sounds… Let me know!!
So again, guess what it is Friday and here is your latest …Before that, make sure, if you are in Toronto you catch up with these guys at Canadian music week :)!1.Plugin
Guess everyone loves free plugins, so here’s another one – Camel Crusher: Looks kinda old school but offers compression, distortion and a filter for times when you just want some quick results without tweaking too much. Sound is ok and solid.2.Inspiration
What a great read, I feel everyone should read this at least once a year if working a creative job!
Love this new track….Relax!!4.Web/Social/Whatever
A great company out there, if you are interested in the Podcast Creation Space you should check them out!
Our very own Ketch with some awesome stuff for Virgin.
When working with any client – whether it be trailer houses, network television, animation, video games or promotional branding for radio and television – my number one job is to make their job easy. The last thing I want is a client worrying about me. I’m good at what I do and they hired me for a reason. I never want them regretting that decision. – David Kaye
What stations are you on currently?
- KSRZ-FM Omaha-Council Bluffs
- WIAD-FM Washington, DC
- KJHM-FM Denver-Boulder
- KBEZ-FM Tulsa
- WOWO-AM/FM Fort Wayne
- WDAE-AM/FM Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
- WCJK-FM Nashville
- WBZE-FM Tallahassee
- WOMC-FM Detroit
- CFXL-FM Calgary
- KHCM-FM Honolulu, HI
- CJAD-AM Montreal
- KTTH-AM Seattle-Tacoma
- WBZO-FM Long Island
- CIRK-FM Edmonton
Check out David’s Radio Imaging Real:
What was your on-air first gig?
Like many in this business, I began as an on-air jock in my hometown of Peterborough, Ontario, Canada at the age of 17. I was hired for overnights on weekends. Some of my fondest memories. I was horrible but Program Director Rick Johnson trusted me enough to throw me on the air. Between school announcements and weekends on the radio, I began to see a way forward as to what I wanted to do with my life.
Who are your VO idols and mentors?
I became a fan of Rick Dees and admired what he was doing on the air and as a businessman. I wrote to anyone who would listen, including the late John Major from Chum FM Toronto/Much Music fame. To my surprise, we wrote back an incredible letter of encouragement. Much later on the late Don Lafontaine, the great movie trailer narrator, offered me a glowing review and again words of encouragement. These are incredibly important people in my life and I owe them a great deal of gratitude. My dear friend Tara Strong, who is one of the top animation voices in the world, suggested my time would be better spent in Los Angeles and told me to “get my ass to LA!” Without these wonderful folks, including my amazing wife and family, I’m not sure my career would be anywhere remotely where it is today.
Many years back I realized if I could get a small percentage of work from the many radio and television outlets throughout North America, I could supplement my radio income and really start to grow something. The great Jim Conrad was a hero of mine at the time in Vancouver. I remember hearing his voice as the voice of Rock 101 years ago and saying, “wow…I want to do THAT!” He inspired me to start my imaging business which at the time I had no idea that’s what it was even called.
What did it feel like the first time you heard your voice on either on radio or television?
My first big break for television affiliate work happened in Vancouver for U-TV, which I believe was a ‘Global Television’ outlet. Now it’s owned by Rogers in Canada I think. I had a dozen letter ‘K’s made of chocolate sent over as an introduction. To this day, former employees still remember that. They hired me after a trial and the rest is proverbial history.
I went on to acquire a couple hundred stations throughout the 90’s and into the following decade. One of the big ones pre 9-11 was ABC 7 in New York. I was the fill in for about 4 months and I remember the first time I heard my voice on the news opening in New York I almost cried. This led to many more radio and television clients from WMGK Philadelphia, CFOX Vancouver, Detroit (now on WOMC FM) to Washington DC, Raleigh, North Carolina, and even around the world from Africa, The UK. Trinidad & Tobago and Thailand.
Radio and television imaging led to many other avenues and I quickly realized I needed to be not just ‘good’ at it, but good at many other genres of the business as well. I wasn’t interested in being a ‘one trick pony’. In the late 80’s, early 90’s animation came calling and my first talent agent started sending me out to auditions because I told him, “yes, I can do voices.” I had no idea what he was talking about or what I was doing until GI Joe came calling in ’89. I landed the role of General Hawk for DIC Animation’s ‘Joe’ series which was recording, of all places, in Vancouver, Canada! Here’s this Canadian kid voicing ‘The Great American Hero.” Trust me, I felt guilty. So much so, that I got my US citizenship 4 years ago just to rectify that situation.
From the moment I was cast and began recording ‘cartoons’, that was it. I quit radio and ventured out on my own. I wanted to get good at ALL of it! On-Camera beckoned with my small share of roles in a burgeoning film town like Vancouver as well as many other cartoon roles until THE BIG ONE ! Transformers was going to do a new computer animated series in Vancouver and I secured an audition in 1993 for the role of Megatron. From the moment the first season aired, things changed. Imaging business was booming, a fair number of commercial campaigns had themselves under my belt, cartoons were speeding full ahead, on camera was still calling but I wanted more. My eye was on trailers. I wanted to reach that pinnacle at some point. It’s the most difficult to break into and that’s why I wanted it.
How do you continue to stay motivated throughout your long career in voiceover?
There was a time not long ago I was thinking of getting out of the radio imaging game and focus on everything else. I remember the exact moment and the conversation while driving the 134 freeway near Glendale (The home of Benztown) with my assistant at the time, Steve Sisk. He said, “Listen, you remember Nate Zeitz from William Morris New York? He’s over at CESD now as a junior. Why don’t you reach out before you make any decisions.” I always liked Nate and called him. To this day, he continues to not only grow that side of the business, but most importantly he is a very close friend. Thank you Steve and thank you Nate!
These days I still have a blast providing VO for radio around the planet. Everyday is different and I look forward to Mondays. That’s always been my goal. I’ve been scratching trailers for 10 years almost and finishing on more and more lately. Hey, if you’re going to climb Mt Everest, you need to establish a base camp. Current campaigns are Secret Life Of Pets 2 (also did the 1st one), The Aretha Franklin doc, ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘Sonic The Hedgehog.’ Animation has been steady with my roles in the Avengers animated series for Disney playing JARVIS, Vision and Baron Zemo. My favorite moment was during Black Panthers Quest when I got to work with both Mark Hammil and Stan Lee. What a day that was. Also for DC’s Justice League I played Vandal Savage. I’m Grandpa Max in Ben 10, King Peppy for Dreamworks Trolls: The Beat Goes On and coming this fall will be appearing in the Ellen Degeneres executive produced Dr. Seuss series. I cried again when I saw my voice coming out of a Seuss character. I guess the tears don’t necessarily stop and I hope I never grow up. Over the years many video game projects have come and gone but the one near and dear is the on going Ratchet & Clank series from Insomniac. I’ve had the privilege of providing the voice for the loveable Clank for over 15 years no …. long enough for them to make a feature film for us. I’ve been the voice for the past five seasons of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. To think I’d be anywhere NEAR an Emmy award seemed absurd, but I’ve done it now 3 times. What an amazing team they are. If an old ‘me’ would have also told a young ‘me’ you’re going to work for Saturday Night Live and do a bit with Edris Elba, I would have called myself certifiably insane. Thank goodness I didn’t ! It happened. ‘Surreal’ isn’t quite the word.
What gear do you use on the road? In your studio?
Things continue to be busy and I thank the stars I still love the hustle. I have to always travel with the ‘Road Kit’ though. George Whittam, my engineer has me firing on all cylinders. A leather shoulder bag which consists of an Apollo twin, a Sennheiser mic, and cables assure I’m never ‘not available.’ My Tesla is also a perfect mobile studio. Many emergency sessions have been recorded from that cabin. Thank you, Elon!
In the home studio I use a Peluso vacuum tube LAB P-12. It was the only one I was able to replace my beloved U67 with. This mic and the Apollo twin allow me to bang the hell out of it and get very intimate without blowing up the recording track. Because I’m switching gears all the time, day in and day out, I needed a mic that could take it. One minute screamy animation, the next an intimate story teller for NFL Football. Love the mic.
How do you schedule or prioritize your work? How much time do you spend auditioning for new work?
As far as scheduling, people ask how I’m able to accommodate so many varied clients on a daily basis. Radio imaging and TV affiliate comes in throughout the day and I don’t let it ‘cook.’ I hate seeing anything in my inbox so my goal is to get it out asap. If I’m in animation for 4 hours I can usually work around it but there have been times when on break I’d quickly use my road kit and set up in a vacant room or even my car if it’s close and get something done that needed attention. I’ve been in commercial sessions where I was able to set up (with agents and clients permission) in the booth itself and when I have some time or break I’ll get some stuff banged out. It is possible to be in two places at once but you need to know your client and the situation. I would never do anything if it wasn’t all agreed to in the first place. If you don’t, you could end up looking like an asshole. Whether it’s a large client or small, everyone gets the same attention. I do my best to accommodate when I can but some days can be a circus.
Can you offer tips for newbies trying to make it in the voice-over industry?
I’m also asked for advice often about getting into the business. I got into it just when the internet was taking off. When you could place an ad in Radio and Records. I had no plan other than it’s what I had my heart set on doing. I wanted to get as good as I possibly could and then take it to another level. I won’t settle of ‘ok’ or ‘good’. I want to be excellent and if I’m not, work to become excellent. If you want to do this you shouldn’t settle either just be forewarned there’s many more folks wanting to get into voice over more than ever. There’s a lot of ‘noise’ out there. The best thing you can do is be comfortable with who you are behind the mic. Don’t BE anyone else but you. It’s easier said than done but that’s why it’s a lifelong profession. Travel, eat something different, read, be curious. All of those give you perspective and a reference point, so when your asked to read a piece of copy, you already have an idea of how your going to read it. Everything you read should come from truth. From a REAL person. Study acting, take improve, write. What’s going to distinguish you from the thousands of others sending in demos to agents or hanging their shingle out to open a business ? You. That’s it. Just you. So work on that.
Connect with David on the web!Twitter @dkayevo Instagram: david_kaye_voiceover http://www.davidkaye.com soundcloud: @davidkaye
The week goes by so fast, I know I say that very week, but the wheel is spinning and it is MADNESS :)! Hope you guys have a great weekend and enjoy the time of the PROTOOLS !Here is this weeks findings!1.Plugin
This looks awesome for sound design! Didn’t have the time to check it out yet, but you should definitely give it a try, trial is free!
Great Read I found on socials. Wanna know why some Sonic Logos stick and turn out great?
My favorite Singer/Songwriter, the Tom Brady of MUSIC!4.Web/Social/Whatever
The students of Scratch radio are one of the reasons why I love working at a company like benztown!
Just gotta love what Bryan is doing for LL COOL J Radio!
1.How was your overall LA / WWRS experience?
Wow.. what a week!
Where do I start! From smashing a Philly Cheese Steak with Dom Evans when we first arrived in Glendale at 8:30am on the Monday…. to passing out for 5 hours on the flight home from exhaustion (and maybe a couple too many Vodkas in the Qantas Lounge)… The experience of being in LA for WWRS and Iron Imager is one that will stick with me forever. Cementing amazing friendships with the Benztown Team and Re-Connecting with your good self Andy, opening my world up to so many amazing Image producers who’s back stories blew my mind, shaking hands with guys I have idolised my entire career and never actually met (Jeff Thomas), getting to know Sam Wickens (and Em and Ryan), being introduced to Moscow Mules (purchased 4 of the copper cups the minute I got home) and just making my way around parts of L.A in Ubers that don’t involve a Pier at the end of Route 66 and some shady looking characters handing out prescriptions on a beach. To be honest.. the buzz of the week is still with me.
2. Iron Imager champ, how does that feel?
For me winning the spot to challenge Sam was the prize. The above mentioned experiences were the prize. Honestly.
Taking home the chocolates was a bonus. I had a fair backing at home as it turned out… and when I walked back into work with the Iron Image Belt raised above the head…. the Triple M Team really got around me and it was at that moment the win truly sank in.
3. How did the actual contest feel? How challenging was it to produce a country promo? Have you worked in the format before?
I have done the odd country thing here or there in the last 2 years as our network has a couple of country brands.. in ‘Triple M Country’ and ‘The Range’ but nothing more than a couple of sweepers to give the producer who usually looks after the brands a bit of a chop out. Whatever the format we were to be given… I always had it in my head that I will take what I do for Triple M and adapt it to the format. That thought process helped keep me calm right up to the start of the contest. Then.. the shit hit the fan. Take the clock out of the equation and I would be comfortable to work on the format. Give me my toolbox I work with everyday and the promo could be calmly built in the same or less time.
But throw in the clock, and a folder full of 300+ elements that I have no idea of what is in there and where and having to sift through it all before even making a start… thats when the minutes start melting and the stress levels peak.
4. What have been the biggest challenges during the contest?
1. Keep calm. The minute u stress.. u start spinning the wheels. Spending all your energy and going nowhere.
2.Trusting your instincts. Knowing that the process you go thru, combined with a cool head… will get you through.
The stress of it all was the hardest.. but also the coolest thing about the contest. Because what it did… it brought Sam and I to somewhat of a level playing field.
It will bring anyone of any number of years experience to something of a level playing field. Workparts and format aside…. It all comes down to your process and the way you go about putting a piece together.
5. What has been your favorite LA moment?
Realising that Benztowns Chris Johansing and I (or whoever chooses Chris’s clothes and My Wife… who is my ‘Director of Fashion’) … have the same taste. Around the table back at Benzhaus the night after the contest… pulling up a chair beside Chris to take my place in the drinking game and we are basically in the same outfit. That moment and that image will be with me forever.
6. Any new learnings, take aways, parting words?
The only thing really is to encourage Image guys the world over of all levels to support the Iron Image Contest that you guys have been putting on for 8 years now. No-one else is doing anything like it for our part of the industry. I can imagine it is a fair investment from Benztowns point of view not only in Dollar$…. but also in time and energy. The entire Benztown team put so much into the week and the event…. So all I can do is encourage other Image guys to support the contest…. have a crack at it… cos u just never know where it will end up for you.
It’s been nothing short of a world of fun.