Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pandering to the Pandemic...finally !


Just when you thought the C-One-Niner pandemic was headin for the last wound-up...it's becoming clear that with more and more state re-openings, a resurgence of outbreaks are flaring up around the country. This seems to be in large part a result of not having any federal or national plan in effect to reopen in concert or with any coherent standard of reopening protocol. Not to mention, the apparent partisan splintering with mask-wearing as one of the factors in virus transmission.

I know it ain't just me, 'cause according to 100 year old pictures of the Spanish Flu...people are wearing protective masks even then to insulate themselves from the infection. So why wouldn't it be a No-Brainer for our politicians to wear-a-mask and lead by example to do the same. Strategists say - it's because they ain't leading! I thought the object of the game was to get back to normal...the new normal if that's the case. Get back to work. Put partisan politics on the back burner, at least temporarily, while the business at hand can begin. Though lately and keeping the aforementioned in mind, it's by no means only one party or candidate's supporters who are failing to respect appropriate mask-wearing norms and mandates.

Flattening the curve and thinking up new & improved ways to do so should be the order of the day or so it should seem for; An Early Clue to a New Direction!

I'll say one thing, I'm grateful to be healthy, along with the fam and the overall lot of us. We're safe and secure and hopeful. Sure, working regular would be grand and oh, those terrible, awful, unsightly masks (gee willikers). But, it's all relative, ain't it. Just asked some folks Beyond-the-Pond what's been shakin over there. They're pretty dire. Things are getting scarce. I'll say a prayer that maybe an aids package from our nation will make its way to our ally.


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Thursday, May 28, 2020

CoronaVirus - Civil Rights Protests - Making a Living

Entering month 'three' of the lock-down mandates that have been in effect since March 22, things are, or maybe I've just been hearing of late that they are... picking up. One things for sure, there are a lot more people walking and bicycling around.

Warmer weather aside, there's also a lot more people not wearing masks outside. It's still mandated here in New York. But only about 50% are wearing them around town. Go to a store and it gets weird. Everyone's got a mask on and it's a d-i-f-f-e-r-e-n-t world. People appear faceless, anonymous with muffled voices...if any voice at all. There's no denying the landscape has changed, especially with the noticeable 6 degrees apart everyone is when standing In-Line. To that end, can't help but feel a little like Dave Bowman in the final scenes of 2001. Every breath punctuated. Though, unsure why people are mask-wearin alone in the car!

Still figuring out how all this will affect how we effect jobs in the new norm. So now could be the time to post about a job done earlier. On standby for a sample link from the client to the video. In the midst of all the Pandem'onium, the call was for a newsman delivery for the Mid-East Diabetes Society. The focus was on the 'ABCD Initiative' which stands for the Ability to Beat and Control the Disease (diabetes). The theory is that healthier people are less susceptible to the illnesses...including virus'.


As I write this on the 28, there's a developing story of a man in Minn. who 3 days ago was killed by law enforcement which has caused an enormous outbreak of protest throughout the nation. Literally, shifting the Pandemic out of our daily consciousness. Demonstrations are occurring around the nation, nay - around the world. Yet, outside agitators in this country have infiltrated the protestors, who were initially peaceful, and set a different tone with rioting and buildings, stores and vehicles being set ablaze and store looting and violence propping up in 20 states and 40 major cities.



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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Life in the Pandemic Age


No matter what side of the Isle you're on...you gotta admit that things seem to have gotten outta hand when just 42 days into the Covid-19 Virus Pandemic (March 11th), the call goes out (April23rd) to inject disinfectant into our veins to set us free!
Hey Lady...How'd you'd like to make $1,200.00 the hard way.

New York has been officially on "Pause" Lock-Down since March 22nd. It feels longer than that since feeling awkward to be in large crowds...all the way back to March 1st when attending the Broadway play "Come from Away".

Come to think of it, there's a correlation with the plays story-line and today's Stay-at-Home order. We were all conscious of risk if there was something floatin' around. But no one was really sure of what. One thing's for sure, traffic was not normal. Bing, bang boom from How-am-I-doing to 47th, but missed the turn off to 45th Street. Normally, a Big-Ass mistake. But, not that night. Did complete circle around straight into the parking lot a few doors down from the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre and was still 10 minutes early. 

To think about it now (well into Pandem'onium) we musta been crazy to have attended that night. Crazier still to have purchased a $27.00 cup of wine. It wasn't enough that there were millions of those "Outbreak" drop-lets swirling around us, but were paying dearly for the privilege of getting additional contagion from the cup! Turned out to be a great play and got home in an hour. Then, almost overnight it seemed, came the ratcheting into government hyper-response mandates. The play shut down not long after with all the others in response to the State-Ordered theater closures.

Business as usual is pretty much at a stand still. At this point, old business had been thoroughly acquainted with all the options to voice current & updated notices. Some, thankfully have acted on some of those options. New business by and large, just ain't answering the door as much as they used to. Go figure. All that's left it seems is to make it up. Still workin on that. At present 30 + million workers have filed for unemployment insurance benefits as well as a host of other socialized safety nets gone out to stabilize industry & the work force. There's been talk of a magic bullet vaccine of sorts from a firm called, Moderna Therapeutics. The stock market has reacted favorably to that perception. Fragmented states have started to partially reopen on their governors orders.

But, tests seem to be the prevailing sentiment for data driven re-openings in certain states. Here in New York, which has businesses ground to a halt, also has schools closed for the rest of the school year. With the lock-down slated to end soon on May 15th, this could be the beginning of the 2nd phase of the 'Pause' program and begin to partially reopen parts of New York state. Yet, not 100% sure of dates vs. tests and tests that have all the parts to them to actually tally results. Upstate will go first, with downstate being "more complicated" so says Andy Cuomo, Governor of NY.

More to come...as it develops.

As a way to keep busy and recognize Bernie Sanders' contribution to the fight, we put together a little satire called: My Friend Andy... as in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily COVID-19 Briefings. Borrowing from the Shawshank Redemption theme, we gave Sen. Sanders a heartfelt tribute, complete with graphics and Morgan Freeman Sound-A-Like voice-over. Put it up to be in sync with Bernie's 4/8/20 announcement to discontinue his run for president: Click to Play below






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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Structuring a Work-from-Home ~ Office/Studio

Order...Ayn Rand preferred it over routine.

Who don't know r-o-u-t-i-n-e these days when we're washing our hands every five minutes to the tune of:
Happy B'Day... including the verse:
"And many M-O-R-E" no less!

Perhaps, that buzzword should be changed to Structure. Because it's probably N-O-T a good idea to be doing anything routine nowadays...whether operating a home studio/office or any other service-centric business. Not an easy task, particularly when the landscape has changed by most estimates to less than 85 percent of what it used to be.
(And it should be said: It's Only Temporary).

Like a lot of axioms lately, it appears that 'temporary' will have to be redefined. At first estimate, social distancing (and its economic impact) was to last till August. Then till Easter. Now it's definitely just till the end-of-April. Nobody's really sure for sure anymore, but there seems to be a general acceptance that they'll be some sort of social/economical change-up in May...right?

So, let's figure out a way to operate a successful business without access to customers for at least a month. Maybe try and artificially design some sort of work flow routine..order-of-the-day...a plan!

Working remotely for 10 or so years should account for something in this Work-from-Home only environment. Should energies virtual or not go towards the eventual 'start-up' mode of the economy after work mandates are lifted? Just heard from a doctor on NPR (Alabama-U) who had contracted covid-19, likened it to an experience to that of Ground Hog Day...for 14 days and especially agonizing nights. He thought it was a matter of How rather than When to return to normal speed.

But this is a whole new dynamic (yep, we got one in there). That's why it's called relief.
Welcome - to the New Landscape of Enterprise. Greet the day, do the usual checks of email/texts from overnights. Allow for some clerical and follow-ups and remember to get up outta the chair. Get a little distraction maybe prepare lunch.  Get active - cardio/Resp (or switch w/late afternoon). Lunch around 12:00 or so. Afternoon break to go for a quick walk or personal call (structured distraction). Parse out the best level of chi for greater good and productivity. Now how do we fill up the other parts of our day's schedule? Guess it would help the chi if we all could fall under the spell of a Spock Mind-Meld to distract from the stock market loosing as much as 36 % of its value during all this. Something still hasn't clicked. It's still not set-in-stone real. Just temporary, right. It hits you at night, when you can't do dinner out anymore... that's keepin' it real.

If people aren't supposed to be doing business then how do we make our work-day behave. Making it up as it develops, even planning some strategy could be nothing more than just therapy if not income generating. Be even better to be able to put our time & experience to benefit someone personally or professionally. Doesn't even need to be a pay off. Maybe we're talkin a whole new Call-to-Action model.


Does that mean the New Norm will shift acceptance for more & more work from home? More & more Skype and Zoom sessions and such. Actually, that sounds less 'structured' don't it? Don't forget the peripheral bonuses; better air for us humans (right in line with the 50 year anniversary of Earth Day in a few weeks), less noise and less tax on major systems. BTW, we haven't heard a jet overhead in a while now. Holy Shit...have we turned into Socialists!!

So, in true "Show me that you got three-of-a-kind" R. Lee Ermey form, we give you: The Drill Sgt s. morning Call-to-Action. No hangin out in our pajamas all day just because we can Skype with a dickie on. They'll be clean pits...teeth brushed. Perhaps, a regiment of Die Hard movies for the flow factor, but absolutely no Love Actually or Notting Hill".




But what about the more sensitive among us who'd enjoy a kinder, gentler way of greeting the day ...the Covid-19 way. So, for those who'd like the gentleness of Mr. Rogers and his neighborhood way of saying hello to a brand new Corona-Virus Day; here's another version!

 

After all it might just help remind us to get out of bed every morning. Breathe In & Out all day long. And after a while we won't need to remind ourselves to get out of bed while we think about how great and perfect we had it for a while (Sleepless in Seattle).


This could possibly work for a daily wake-up Call to Action program. At last...A Job!



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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Time to Feel (and Hear) the B-E-R-N

"Hi, got a small favor to ask".

No matter where you stand on Bernie Sanders, one thing's for sure. He's a character...and as of this writing the Democratic front-runner. Granted some of his proposals are out there and he's a little quirky. Makes him a fun character to have some fun with...particularly, since this BLOG time slot was dedicated to another project, one that's in the can, but has been asked to be placed on the back burner.

What's that, does Bernie have a moniker, tag line per se? Well, just like the guy who said the 'rents too damn high', Bernie's could be: "I'm sick & tired". Bernie had a cardiac episode back in early October.

He's been asked about it. And apparently it was all due to a few disagreeable tacos...

Check out his newest campaign video if TC & Co were his creative agency (below).



 
Click to Play

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Friday, January 31, 2020

Tom Clifford`vo goes to the Super Bowl (regional)


Here it is...Super Bowl LIV bearing down mightily on us this Sunday, February 2nd, 2020. Where a 30 second spot is going for 'just' $ 5.6 million.

And Tommy Boy will be in the Super Bowl mix with Fantastic Plastic's championship season roll-out of the 'Winnie-the-Pooh' character for Damson's auto dealerships TV spots throughout the south east.


It started late in the season with a call asking if it were possible to reprise the 'Winnie-the-Pooh' character for short television tags on spots for Damson's auto group, a major auto dealership in the southeast. Then it was explained that it would have to be in time for the spots to be added to the roster for this years Super Bowl! 

Click to play original/May TV spot



The ID's were a series of (5) second tag lines that reinforced Damson's message with cute Winnie-the-Pooh rythmic style like 'Want new wheels...You won't haggle for deals'. We established the cadence back in May of 2019. The client and agency wanted it a certain way and made an audio scratch track with the meter they wanted. It was a bit different from the "Sam I Am" Dr. Seuss cadence we followed in May because of the five second limit on tag length.
Click to Play TV tags





by:+Tom Clifford, VoiceOver & Creative Services   
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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

TC & Company's Year-End Round Up

2019 client review TC and Company

From regional VoIP companies to international tourism campaigns, it's been quite a year for voice overs & production. There was a good amount of rekindling of older VoIP clients or those who were in the dormant pile. What was there to lose...aside from a little time and a little dignity maybe. The odds were in our favor and it proved to be an excellent timing thing. To boot - all of them had graduated to the new 'Dash-Board' systems for easy email file uploads. The Tv & radio spots came in as well. From next door with radio and as far away as Jordan in the mid-east with TV. There was a lot of stretching creatively too. So, we had some fun, maybe even established some recurring roles. And then there was the Haunt Industry throwin all sorts of business our way this year. The Creepy-Guy voice was getting a work-out with plenty of opportunity to create new characters with a bit of dusting off of the Pooh Bear as well. Scroll on down for the complete skinny.


It all started 15 years ago with an outfit that specialized in Haunt-Indy media called, Elswarro Films. They reached-out and asked if I could create a creepy-guy voice that could go 'high energy' to include the incidentals of most Haunt venues around the country. To date, we've pretty much settled in the eastern 1/3 of the country - lending specialty voices to Haunts, Escape room & seasonal venues. Go to Post

Voiced a travelogue for Phenomena Advertising, Beirut, Lebanon. Still a bit daunting with 5,600 miles between us. They wanted to promote travel and tourism in the Mid-East regions like Abu Dhabi, the UAE, Lebanon and Jordan. The script called for two voices to weave the story-line along with the premise of taking off on a journey...complete with airline pilots narration at beginning & end: Go to Post

Got to be the MC in the NOLA film - Boogie Spooktakular. A spectacle of fun for the whole family with a cast of characters that inspire kids to have sing-a-longs and create their own fun amidst a safe scare-free environment. For the MC voice - Think a-bit-daffy with a dash of Pee Wee and a pinch of surfer-dude wonderment and Voila! Go to Post

From VoIP to radio. One of the perks of voicing company VoIP's is that you sometimes get to be cast in their radio & tv advertising, as is the case with Water Mill Building Supply radio campaign. This wasn't going to be a typical :60...insomuch as they had 223 words that needed to be fit into what is usually 160 words. All brought on by adding another client, located in another state with their own website & app that had to be mentioned. Go to Post
Fantastic Plastic Video & Film Production for a major Auto Group in the Southeast has chosen Tom Clifford as their character voice for their new TV ad campaign. Much like that of Winnie-the-Pooh, Tom conveys the warm & fuzzy sound of a mythic story-teller. Tried walking the audience through in rhythmic rhyme as the story unfolds with the turning of pages. This was a great vehicle for our character talents to shine and it came out like 'totally cool' man. Go to Post


After Tucker Carlson got in hot water in March with unearthed audio tapes it was a prime time to unearth an On-Cam Tv spot I did based on his early Sunday morning political show "Crossfire". I was cast as the Tucker Carlson element, right down to his bygone bow tie. Watch as I...or Tuck gets pummeled by none other than WWE's Kane the Destroyer!  Go to Post





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