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Posts Tagged ‘industrial video’

Downtown Charleston Homes: Lots of Charm for LOADS of Cheddar!

And now a few thoughts on Real Estate writing – Charleston’s third most popular professional writing topic (behind Old World Charm and Missile Guidance Systems!)
Writing for Real Estate is tricky, especially in a town the size of Charleston SC. Whenever a realtor comes to me, he or she needs writeups on the usual things like Home, About, Services, etc. So far so good. 

But then they want me to write charming descriptions of the part of Charleston SC where they specialize. And, in a town this size, “everywhere” is our specialty!

When I first got to town I had no clue about West Ashley or Mt. Pleasant or Park West…or anywhere. So it was research, research, research. I believe the pieces I wrote were fine, especially considering my lack of knowledge of the area. They did the trick and got the Google hits. I don’t believe, however, that the reader would get the sense that the author had “lived it.”

Time took care of that. Now, all these years later, I know the Charleston SC area pretty darn well. The stuff I write about Isle of Palms or South Windermere actually DO sound like they were written by a local.

home sale

Cozy and charming. And in Downtown Charleston, it’s only $575,000!

The final piece of the puzzle was Historic Downtown Charleston. That’s how you’re supposed to say it. Downtown had always been a once-every-few-weeks occurrence for me. Usually a Saturday, and usually to chill on a lawn chair at the Battery or something.

My 8-month stint at Philips changed that. I only worked a 20-hour week, but I was there every day. Working in Ansonborough, lunching on East Bay, vendor meetings in the French Quarter, happy hour on Upper King, and so on. The feel of Downtown started slowly seeping in.

So, when a realtor asked me to write a big SEO-drenched essay on Historic Downtown Charleston, I was ready. Now, I can say “Ansonborough is a charming neighborhood of Charleston Singles and Doubles, refurbished row houses and even modern condos with harbor views” with confidence! I LIVED it, by gar!

Anyway, check out my Historic Downtown Charleston SC Homes article! And a special shout out to Realtor extraordinaire Heather Lord!

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If YOU need compelling copy  – real estate or otherwise – that feels like it’s been lived in, please contact livelyexchange (at) gmail (dot) com!

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An awards logo that's bold, proactive and in your face!

Welcome to Lively Exchange, where our shakes are thick and creamy and our horns are self-tooting!

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Usually, it’s the first thing you learn about me after my name, as in “Michael Lively, comma, award-winning copywriter…”

Why? Because, as a potential client said to me today, “this is a business of perceptions.” I agree, and one perception is that if you don’t have a bunch of awards up on your wall for your copywriting or web design or video production, you are something less than truly successful. I think that’s BS. On the other hand, I have my share of awards.

Which is the long, tortured way of saying that a piece I wrote copy for just got a Bronze Addy from The Charleston SC Advertising Federation. You’ve seen me mention it a couple of times: The Dead Battery Anxiety website for Philips. The wacky videos were recognized in the “Internet Commercials” category. So, kudos to Philips Art Director Kit Hughes, the gang of creative creatives at Slant Media… and me!

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If YOU would like to see what the award-winnin’ is all about, contact LivelyExchange (at) gmail.com!

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ImageMatrix Halloween Party, City View Tavern, Cincinnati 1989

For those of you who aren’t Cincinnati Krauts, that means “Beer please!” As I was going to press last time (or whatever) I learned that the long-gestating Kroger Supermarkets beer web page I had written had gone live.

This one was fun. Working with a Cincinnati web marketing firm that I can’t name, I had to dig in to all kinds of beer ephemera to write web copy about beer trivia, food pairings, beer history in America and so on.

As I said previously, I have done a bunch of beer writing for Anheuser Busch, Miller Coors and Kroger – mostly for video. And of course, being some internal merchandising or training video, I almost never get to see the final product. So it’s really fun to see it all come to life. Especially the timeline of Beer in America. So check it out!

And now, I leave you with the words of Norm from Cheers: “Women! Can’t live with ’em, pass me the beer nuts!”

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And if YOU can’t live without compelling copy for web, print, social media or video, Please contact LivelyExchange (at) gmail.com!

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The photographer was sober. They tilted the camera for effect!

I guess it is part of the copywriter’s creed (mine anyway) of Never Saying No. Ever write for beer before? Wine? Spirits? No, but there’s always a first time for everything  (another one of my highly original maxims.)

I have done several campaign rollout video scripts for Anheuser Busch, Miller Coors and Kroger Supermarkets, as well as some web work and in-store promotional stuff for the Kroger wine and beer departments. Even so, I hadn’t considered them part of a specialty or trend – they were just some interesting individual gigs.

Then the geniuses at look-listen creative hired me to do a big splashy press release for a new kind of rum. It begins thusly…

Every armchair entrepreneur dreams of taking the thing he loves and turning it into a successful business. For Todd and Zach Kane, that dream is becoming reality. The father and son team are the founders and inventors (as well as consumers) of Cayrum, a new brand of premium liquor. Cayrum, a cleverly unique blend of dark Dominican rum, fresh ginger root and natural honey is now available in the US.

It was a fun process, working with the agency, getting to know the client duo, crushing their life stories into 1000 words, and seeing the result splashed ALL OVER the web, thanks to PRWeb.  Now that it’s done, I guess I can say I have a sub-sub specialty in beer, wine and spirits writing – for web, video, in store and public relations.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am suddenly very thirsty!

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Thirsty for compelling copy for web, print, social media or video?

Please contact LivelyExchange (at) gmail.com!

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Today, an old compatriot chimed in about particular aspect of my resume. And I suddenly realized I once blogged – that is, TYPED, onto PAPER, and FAXED to someone, for PUBLICATION, on PAPER – about an ITVA meeting that his company had sponsored. It was the dawn of non-linear video editing, and a bunch of us tape-to-tape editors were gathered around a first-generation nonlinear system, poking at it with our spears and saying things like “Unh! Magic glow-box make pictures be!” Anyway, this one’s for you Tim, AKA T-Bone Malone, AKA Tim-Tim-Sala-Bim! Please to enjoy this 1995 REWIND Classic!

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What’s a non-linear editing freak to do? There you sit at your Mac, which has been tricked out with all the latest software. Sure, all those bells and whistles (not to mention the flame decals on the sides of your monitor) seemed like a good idea when you misappropriated your office furniture budget. But now it’s time to use the stuff, and you don’t have a clue. If you’re like me, you’re not about to read a 600 page manual just to figure out how to make your logo spin. However, the sheer statistics regarding spinning logo injuries require you to receive at least a little instruction, for safety’s sake.

So where do you turn? Well, if you attended our February chapter meeting at Park Avenue Productions (and a surprising number of you did) you got the lowdown on the Digital Production Academy. Bill Wells, the Dean of Men at the Academy, was our featured speaker, along with Joel Embry of sister company Television Systems Inc (who also serves as DPA’s Athletic Director.)

Founded in the late 1950’s, the Academy was the haven for radical thought and the gathering place for all sorts of creative weirdos who could not otherwise make it through college (funny how some things never change.) According to records, their first graduate project was a black and white , 2-D treatment of the word “NEW”, which was supered over a box of laundry soap. It required a computer as big as a two bedroom house in Cheviot, and twelve weeks of rendering time. Also, an engineer died when a paper cut he received from one of his punchcards became really infected.

The DPA has come a long way since then, and was recently ranked in US of A Today’s Top 25 Schools Which aren’t as Geeky as You Might Think. Unlike some schools Back East (Rockport) and Out West (AFI), the DPA is geared toward guys and gals who make TV, corporate and otherwise, on a daily basis, and who don’t really care what Scorcese had for breakfast the day they shot the kitchen scene in “Raging Bull.” Instead, you get an intensive two to five day seminar that speaks directly to your immediate production needs. By the way, Mr. Embry had too much class to name the offending schools, so I did it for him. This is the sort of bare knuckled journalism which answers the question “exactly what am I getting for my $150.00 ITVA membership?”

In the course of the evening’s presentation, one very important question was answered: Just suppose my $440 million company had, I don’t know, a bake sale, and came up with a couple of grand to spend on software: Where would we begin? The answer came without hesitation. Photoshop, for around $700.00, is known as the “Swiss army knife” of production tools. Comet CG, at $1200.00, and Adobe AfterEffects, at around $1,895.00 (the “Soviet assault rifle” and “German Panzer division,” respectively) round out the package. Why these particular systems? Well, TSI sells them, for one thing. But they also feel that they are tools which do the job of making TV well, and inexpensively. Of course, there are other choices. You could go down to Steinberg’s and pick up a Flame suite, but you’ll probably have to root around behind the couch cushions for that extra few hundred thou. And while you’re back there, could you look for my virginity? It’s been missing since 1980.

Overall, it was a very informative presentation. It was also a bit of the old deja vu for me. Later that evening I sat in the drawing room of stately Lively Manor, sipping General Foods International Bourbon and leafing wistfully through my yearbook from the Digital Production Academy. Instantly I was transported back in time, to a scene reminiscent of a digitally remastered version of “The Day the Music Died” crossed with “Revenge of the Nerds.”

It was a brilliant autumn day as the DPA Fighting Pixels took to the football field bearing the school colors (Red, Green and Blue) on their jerseys with the pocket protectors. Meanwhile, a marching band full of guys with their eyeglasses taped together blasted a bad brass version of their fight song, Black Sabbath’s “Digital B*tch.” It was a hard-fought but ultimately disappointing gridiron match against Starfleet Academy to decide, once and for all, whether Kirk or Picard was the better captain. Later the crowd stormed the field, destroyed the uprights, and burned and looted well into the night. In all, it was a Homecoming I will remember as vividly as if it were a bit I made up right before my deadline.

Anyway, DPA is located in Sellersburg, Indiana (that’s Louisville, KY to you and me.) They can be reached at (812) 246-1075. The number for Television Systems, also in fabulous downtown Sellersburg (near the theater district) is (800) 545-6949. Mention this article and receive a 5% discount on all orders over $350,000.00!  Lastly, call our gracious hosts, Park Avenue Productions, at (513) 281-4888 for production services, or to merely borrow their studio for an ITVA meeting and grind a big mustard stain into their carpet (sorry, dudes.)

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Re-using old Baby New Years: Part of the "new austerity"

January 2011: New Year, new resolution to blog more consistently, blah blah bling bling blah.

Anyway, so far so good in the new all-freelance era of Freelance Copywriter Charleston SC (see what I did there?) The Philips stuff is less prominent but more satisfying, pound for pound, so there’s that.  The healthcare client is undergoing some personnel changes, but I am confident it will find its equilibrium.  My Charlotte web marketing client is hitting the ground running in 20-oh-11, and apparently they aren’t sick of me yet.  I’m doing a couple of web and print projects for a giant Midwestern grocery chain.  A law firm in Columbia SC needs some web copy. A Charleston realtor needs some blogging, a mental health professional needs web content, and so on. My biggest new project has been cooking along for about 4 months now – social media coordination for a marketing website. Nice steady tentpole gig, Praise Be, though the workload and the success of it is a primary reason for my lack of personal blogging lately. What, you mean I have to log out of THEIR WordPress site and log back in to MINE? That reeks of EFFORT!

So, that’s the update. I actually have several ideas for blog posts upcoming, so consider yourself warned! Talk soon!

Please contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com

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Well, dang. The thing I was having the most fun writing has gone dormant. The Charleston dining/entertainment/ real estate/ what have you site has gone on hiatus while the owner concentrates on his paying business (the NERVE!) Frankly, in a town as  dining/entertainment/ real estate/ what have you as Charleston, the field of dining/entertainment/ real estate/ what have you websites is crowded, to say the least. Every time you turn around, a new one has popped up. Just the other day, I saw a CARTA bus with the full screen print wrap treatment advertising a new site – and this one had local geriatric newscasting legend Warren-freaking-Peper endorsing it! Grrr!

Well, it all goes naptime on good terms and, if it revives, I am sure I will be included in the festivities. I sure hope so – it’s a great gig! I invite you to check it out, because there’s a whole lot to like – even in limbo!  PremiereCharleston.com

Contact livelyexchange (at) gmail.com!

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