Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Canobie Lake Screeemfest continues In-House with Tom Clifford as Halloween Season unfolds

What anyone in this business...or any business fears is the changing of the guard. Things happen to those brothers from another mother as they say when the company you've been working for either gets taken over. Or you loose your connection to a company as result of that company going In-House with their advertising. Changes are inevitable and will have little to do with your past performance. It's usually just a matter of bringing in their own people to replace the present crew. Just happened with a company after 15 years where they were gobbled up by a mega-brand. Even though I was told there would be no changes regarding their VoIP, sometimes it can't be helped. And it's completely understandable. They bring with them their own ideas of company image along with established relationships. 

The best thing anyone in business can tell you after a new rank & file comes in... they STILL want you On-Board to continue representing their company image.

Click to Play Tv Spot

Canobie Lake Park's Screeemfest division, whom I've supplied the Creepy-Guy voice for almost a decade via Collage Advertising, is continuing In-House with us this year with a full round of announcements. Now the next thing someone in business will tell you is 'Don't screw it up' .

Lot of things to consider startin' out fresh and all. Couldn't be happier that they like the product, but the ground rules may have changed. Top-of-the-Chart is Money. Not my favorite part. There's a client or two that has gone yonder 'cause of misunderstandings. So far the folks at Canobie have already shown their generosity. So, the bar is set for what I hope is the beginning of a mutual friendship...ain't that right. Louie!







Correction: November 2, 2008
An obituary last Sunday about Lou Dorfsman, chief of design at the Columbia Broadcasting Company, referred incorrectly to the design of the artwork for the CBS headquarters’ cafeteria wall, “Gastrotypographicalassemblage.” Although Mr. Dorfsman developed the overall design, the typography was by Herb Lubalin and Tom Carnase under Mr. Dorfsman’s direction.


In 2007 we had the pleasure of Lou's company and he mentioned to our staff that he was responsible for the development of the famous CBS Didot typeface that followed the archetypal CBS eye logo graphic. William Golden in 1951 designed the emblematic CBS eye, amid the most identifiable logos in the world.

After Mr. Golden’s sudden death in 1959 at 48, Mr. Dorfsman was named creative director of CBS television, and in 1964 he became the director of design for the entire Columbia Broadcasting System. A few years later his title became senior vice president and creative director for marketing communications and design. The cleverness and subtle beauty of his advertisements were credited with winning over many viewers to both news and entertainment programs on the network.

Lou studied at the Cooper Union, where he received a four-year scholarship, and it was not long after his graduation that he began working for CBS. In 1964 he became the design director for all of CBS. As the design director he oversaw the use of the famous CBS eye logo and proprietary typeface, called CBS Didot. Lou also designed the interior signage and graphics of the entire CBS building, designed by architect Eero Saarinen. One of his most revered works was the Gastrotypographicalassemblage, a 35-foot long wall of carved wooden words, created for the dining area in the building. It now resides at the CIA. Remember, it was Herb Lubalin & Tom Carnase who designed the typography.

Mr. Dorfsman remained with CBS shortly after Laurence Tisch assumed control of the company in the mid-1980s and instituted cost-cutting programs. Somewhat rebellious to such programs, Mr. Dorfsman designed an annual report that lacked any visuals or typographic flourishes. After Mr. Dorfsman left in 1991, William S. Paley, the former chairman of CBS, asked him to become creative director for the Museum of Broadcasting, now the Paley Center for Media.


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Monday, August 20, 2018

Tom Clifford Strikes-12 for NOLA's Mortuary & Scout Island



It's that time again in the Haunt Industry. Actually, the season has lengthened by about 2 weeks in the last few years. Originally, we'd start voice recording for the Halloween Season in Mid September. We started this season in late July with the Mortuary's newest event attraction - "Strikes 12"
Cue: The Creepy-Guy voice: As darkness spreads across the land - Lawlessness reigns. Chaos runs amok.
And at the heart of it lies...The Mortuary.

As the clock strikes 12, we hear that murder becomes legal! People need a release... a page from the PURGE films franchise.

Here are the Rules for Survival; At Midnight, The Mortuary gives the average person the opportunity to vent their frustrations by hunting their fellow man. When you and your friends enter The Mortuary, look to your left… then look to your right…

Do you really know who your friends are? Someone isn’t who they pretend to be.
Did your friends invite you to go to The Mortuary to have a good time or were their intentions more sinister than you could have ever imagined? Oh NOOoooooooo!

We continue with; Will you be an unknowing participant in a beat-the-clock to survive death game? Thrill-killers are amongst you. You ARE the hunted. Oh, My - Just Horror-able isn't IT!

Also, New for the Mortuary is Scout Island Scream Park coming to New Orleans City Park. Fun for the entire family with Scare Free Kid Zones and Zombie Outbreak Battlefield  - a live combat Zombie survival experience that thrusts guests into an apocalyptic world with military style Laser-Tag weapons. Guests get a chance to shoot their way with video game-like infrared bolts of light on a “fight or die” survival mission through the living-dead. Oh Goodness... I'm hoping they have a few exploding Zombies along the way for that added gooey splatter of Zombie protoplasm!





Here's something you may not have known about the songwriter Paul Vance, who co-wrote the 1960 pop hit “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” which, BTW appeared in "Love Actually" and by IMDb count 30 other movies and commercials.

Paul was stunned to learn that another person was claiming authorship of the song. But, only after the impersonator had died did he and the world get wind of it.

It was the result of a not so Teenie Winnie story the Associated Press ran about the death of Paul Vance on Sept. 6, 2006, citing his wife as its primary source.
The actual obituary, was for Paul Van Valkenburgh, a native of New Milford, Conn. It was reported that Mr. Van Valkenburgh wrote the song under the name Paul Vance.
 
The 'real' Mr. Vance, who was 76 at the time and had moved from Long Island to Coral Springs, Fla., said he was “kind of shook up” over reports of his demise. Mr. Vance also wrote the song "Catch a Falling Star" that was made famous by Perry Como.

Itsy Bitsy... co-written by Lee Pockriss, was recorded by the teenage heartthrob Brian Hyland and rose to No. 1 on the Billboard chart in 1960. It has survived as a novelty single and was rerecorded by the eclectic rock act Devo for the soundtrack to the film “Revenge of the Nerds II.”

John Castaldo, chief financial officer of the Music Sales Corporation, the publisher representing Mr. Vance, said there was no question that the living Paul Vance was the co-writer of the tune, and added that his company had been collecting royalties for Mr. Vance since at least the late 1980’s.

Mr. Vance said he was particularly concerned that companies outside the United States who license his songs would be confused by the reports and would not make payments. “Believe me, if they think you’re dead, they ain’t going to send the money,” he said.

As it was explained to us first hand by Paul himself, he's made an enormous sum every year from the royalty usage of - IBTWYPB. When we met him, it was under entirely incongruous circumstances to the music business when he just so happened to divulge who he was and that he was responsible for writing or co-writing various hit tunes. It struck us as a bit unbelievable.

Here's Paul talking about his early days (in a Utube video) as a junk yard owner (get-the-picture) and at the same time...a songwriter of: Itsy Bitsy & Catch a Falling Star. The 'real' down-to-earth character of Paul shines thru like a glimmering light on a Rainy Day...albeit a bitzy rough around the edges!


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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

TC & Company goes International with Brit Deals

Working with various IVR companies has its merits, one of which is to be recommended as the voice to represent the companies they do business with. This means more than just being good talent...they're trusting you to play nice with their bread-N-butter as well.



The latest is a company across the pond based in the United Kingdom, called Brit Deals.  Brit Deals Limited is an Amazon-like online retailer with elements of Ebay. BDL offers wholesale & closeout deals on all sorts of merchandise in more than thirty different categories. The ONE particular category they wanted was a believable English accent. (soon to link)
This is not as easy as it sometimes sounds, and that's the key to believability. How it sounds...not just the accent, but the pronouncement of certain key words. British pronouncements of key words like 'simultaneously', 'aluminum', 'process' and quite a few others, can trip-up your delivery from having it sound as though one is trying to do an accent to one that sounds authentic & believable. 


As a new addition to the Blog, it was suggested, is a section on "Influencers" of the business. A behind the scenes look at industry stuff like - who wrote that jingle, or revealing hidden info on creative & commercial content.  

 

 


Being it's certainly at the Top of the Topical List...this month it's The Gong Show...hummm, kinda. No, not Mike's, but Chuck's. Still, it could be about West Side Story. A TCM Fav, seemingly slated to air every other Tuesday at 8:00 PM.

Wait just a second, it could also be about the subject of the movie George Clooney made his directorial debut with: 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind'. Based on a story about Chuck Barris, who passed away earlier this year in March.

Chuck was the common denominator to all of 'em. But, what many people don't know - is that Chuck Barris was also a song-writer. Back in the early-sixties, he wrote the song "Palisades Park" named after the amusement park in New Jersey. Click the RED link and hear Chuck talk about how it came to be. It was one of those Time-Stamps back then  - that summer was in full bloom when you heard it. Freddy (Boom-Boom) Cannon sang the toe tappin' finger snappin' tune.

He also created & produced The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game. BTW, the reference to West Side Story is because Palisades Amusement Park is featured prominently throughout the movie as a poster ad on a brick wall they shot scenes against.

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a 2002 biographical spy comedy film depicting the life of a popular game show host and producer of The Gong Show, Chuck Barris. He claimed to have also been an assassin for the CIA (NOT actually the case). The film was George Clooney's directorial debut and was written by Charlie Kaufman, and starred Sam Rockwell, Julia Roberts, Drew Barrymore, and Clooney.
The film opens with...you guessed it, the sound track  A Palisade State of Mind.

Tune-In next month where we shed some larger-than-life light on the song:
"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" 


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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

I'll have a G-I-F please! TC & Company's path to more Eyeballs

That's animated G-I-F! You've seen 'em for a long time now. And Now you see 'em on most all social media...Incl: here!

It became a proprietary concern for so long that most platforms refused to ignite a GIF, Flash or whatever else was Not-Their-Source. But with more of the recent mind-set that "it's OK to play in my sandbox" from the likes of Big Name here and Big Name there, it might be time to hop on the animated GIF bandwagon to E-Y-E-B-A-L-L Central. It's become much easier to find and apply GIF mechanics with all the free and quasi-free software to make your own animated GIF.
(That's - Jif to some or hard 'g' to others) I like 'crunchy' style.

Here are a few sites that are free and according to Google "Safe" (or so they say) - I have personally tried (2) without glitches;   https://ezgif.com  and   https://imgflip.com/gif-maker). I used EZ gif to make an animated GIF with one of my spots for Lycos search engines, featuring Claudia Schiffer. Now here's the rub...there ain't no sound to these guys! Yeah, sorta anti-usable for any voice-over artist wouldn't you think? Well, in a (2) dimensional world - sure. But the whole idea behind the internet - is to get seen by those Eye-Balls behind all the 'bells and whistles' ... the code!
So, when you post animated GIFs, it's one more way to get seen by the likes of Google. It's a reel-them-in sorta time as with a teaser. And it's always playing so there's no 'click bait' consequences.


AND, you can re-name the GIF anything you want. So, it'll get picked up by Google bots...depending how precise you are with titling keywords. I chose TomCliffordLycosVoiceOver.
P. S I also used the default Windows video editor to edit the original spot from 30 to 6 seconds. Here's the entire spot with sound at our FB page.


Thing is: Can there be too many GIFs floating around on one screen or one part of the screen? Below is an animated GIF I made from the Arm & Hammer Tv spot featuring the "Shaker" character I voiced. This one is a little bit longer with a bit more weight at (8 Mb's). Also, it takes a little bit of creative talent to make 'em seamless...just a matter of time before sound is gonna be added. Things might start looking & sounding an awful bit like 'Max Headroom' re-visited around the neighborhood soon...Mr Rogers!

Here's the full spot on Youtube with sound, including the Shaker Character voice I did for Arm & Hammer's new roll-out baking soda shaker dispenser. Just another proof of a happier life through television or...the internet.



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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Netflix's " The Week Of " premieres 'This Week 0f April' featuring - TC and Company's home town


The Week Of - has Netflix Premiere.

The movie is about the parents of an engaged couple who are in the final week of preparations for their wedding. Despite their differences, the two clans surprisingly get along, all while witnessing the drama and chaos unfolding between Rock and Sandler.

It was in late July of 2017 that the movie crew for "The Week Of " came into our fair town as they've been oft to do these days. Check it Out. That's Steve Buscemi with Chris & Adam at one of our classic Italian restaurants in town where they finished for the week. It's Steve's 11th pairing with Adam. Dare we say a charter member of Adam's posse?

Here's a link to the Netflix Trailer


Shortly afterward, we had another film crew set up here to film scenes of - SyFy's 'Happy" with Patton Oswalt. No, he wasn't on set as the character is pretty much the disembodied voice of Patton, as the rest of him...a blue unicorned-horse w/wings, is compliments of - CGI. And at years beginning, we had Killer Films come in for several days in February and shoot scenes for the film "Vox Lux" with Natalie Portman, who's also Exec. Prod'r. Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Raffey Cassidy share starring roles. The story-line highlights the highs & lows of pop star "Celeste's" 15-year career.


Going back to The Week Of - just realized that Robert Smigel is the director and is co-writer on that with Adam Sandler. Robert is also represented by the same casting director as - Our Cartoon President, who I had pitched last month on the political/celeb voices front. They have a steady troupe, but wanted to be considered for when & if their 'regularly' scheduled talent may not be! She also represents: Triumph (TICDog)...AKA Robert Smigel. I had emailed her that Stefan Nadelman worked with Robert on an SNL skit. Talk about being connected.

Now, all I have to do is work that into my next hello and somehow get on the 'who-ya-gonna-call' list for when Reagan's ghost needs to be summoned up!


 

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Escape Rooms taking Front & Center with Tom Clifford Unraveling the Clues!


Escape rooms are taking the country by storm. The Mystere Escape Rooms are Year-Round and are live-action team-based where players discover clues, solve puzzles, and accomplish tasks in order to escape from the room(s) in 60 minutes.
Just did two radio spots for the Mystere folks in NOLA and the demand is for more...they already have a bunch!
Up to 12 participants per themed adventure including a Treasure Hunt Pirate Adventure, an “Indiana Jones” type adventure called The Game Room, capture a Poltergeist in The Ghost Lab, or escape from a “live” zombie in the Embalming Room. The question is whether you can beat the clock? It may be the most intense hour you and your posse will ever experience. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock… EscapeTheMansion.net


Playing on Social Media with the ubiquitous need to display everyone's activities to the world is another avenue most escape rooms follow. What better way than by capturing the moment with a 'group-photo' for posterity. Claiming success can be a badge of honor in some of these circles. So, imagination has no limits with as many features to provide all the ingredients for celebrations! Targeting private parties complete with catering, entertainment, and the creatures of the night pays off well! PartyVenuesNewOrleans.com



Around these parts of Long Island, N.Y., you can Escape in a Cool-ass..Big-ass Bus. Or L.I.'s *NEW* mobile (multi-concept) escape room...'cause it's the perfect form of entertainment for your Long Island event. They bring their #1-rated escape room challenge to your choice of location – for hours of on-site fun! Of course they offer all kinds of packages at all sorts of budgets with events that have multiple rounds for all guests to have a chance to play. The ride that travels to the burbs.

Or a modern day version of the W-H-I-P ride that would make the rounds of neighborhoods of yore. It was basically about 6 rusty barrel seats that were crunched on the back of a truck. They were connected with a chain on a track that would go around in a circle. At one point it would heave (whip) a row of seats into the stratosphere with a wall of steal mesh to prevent kids from falling out onto the street...or chopped up in the mechanism. One of those 'when we were kids' stories.




Click for Mystere Radio Spot 

     
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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Mysteries at the Museum uncovers Willig's Wager with some sleuthing from TC & Company...

Ya'll remember a post about the Travel Channel being interested in George Willig for their Mysteries at the Museum Show. It's sort of a docu-enacted History Channel feel that revolves around an artifact of a person or persons history making.

I was approached last August about the possibility of the Show using George's 1977 climb as a vehicle for an episode featuring Don Wildman as the host.

The producer had called and emailed after he had heard clips of the YouTube video "Unclimbable" . He had caught the Blog Talk Radio show Bob Brown & I did for the 40th Anniversary of the climb. He wanted to get in touch with George with the idea for the show. Depending on a few factors that can sometimes be a tall order. But as luck (and Good Timing) would have it, was able to get a good deal of interest from George, who offered some creative suggestions no less.  He said, how 'bout having the "artifact" hand off at the Explorers Club in New York... which he's a member!


The idea behind using George's climb would be for George to donate an artifact from the climb to a museum of his choice. The Show would re-enact his feat of climbing One of the WTC Towers and offer some back-end unique tale about how it was done.

Well, just did the infamous "checkin In" call and it seems there's been a 'development'. The producer says that it's just one of those "things" that the project has been passed to a different team. They'll do another reach-out if anything should develop. But here's the kicker, not to be one to ignore an opportunity, I asked the the producer if he and the team might be receptive to having some samples of my vo work, since all the teams DO actually talk to each other and from time-to-time. Sent 'em a series of links to voice demos and hope for some interest. 

But wait! Stop the presses! Due to a few glitches and an admiration for the Mysteries at the Museum show and concept, we just received news that MM had its YouTube release of the episode featuring George Willig's historic climb. Watch the entire show episode at this link: The Great Panjandrum and More. Pictured right is the actor portraying George in the April 6th episode segment called: Willig's Wager.

We couldn't be happier and the list goes on; from actors and story-tellers to production people - all just as happy to retell George's saga. It was shear happenstance that a BLOG reader had informed us of seeing the episode back in early April. We did our due diligence tracking down where we could find the episode online and had two choices: itunes & YouTube. And please remember these two channels impose fees for the privilege of viewing the editions after air. But, we were eager to see how they pieced things together. Of course it would've been of benefit to know when the episode was airing. Just for the social media blitz and 'Premier' party alone. But, Mysteries at the Museum unfolds in great detail and with realistic production values the when, where and how's of that day. We're working on getting a quick clip to convey the pacing, the landscape and a time that was much different than it is today.


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