Q Media: Audio Tour Experts

Delivering your goals, to your visitors, within your budget.

Archive for Clients and Projects

Q Media works with Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson

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Q Media recently had the privilege of working with Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson when he lent his voice to the welcome and closing stops of the Q Media produced Kennedy Space Center audio tour. (Primary English tour narrators were Chris Hurt and Ellen Sowney). Dr. Tyson was a great choice to reach out to be part of the tour because all involved with the project believed he would bring a passion for the importance of continuing space exploration that few others could have.

Dr. Tyson was contacted by NASA about contributing to the tour and he was happy to assist. From speaking before Congress for NASA funding, to even his appearances on ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’, Dr. Tyson is consistent in his message that space exploration is critical to the health and well-being of our nation and mankind.

Mike Lutz and Stasha Boyd were able to meet with Dr. Tyson at the Hayden Planetarium while working in New York on the upcoming project for Dock 102 on Governor’s Island. Dr. Tyson was recorded in his office and he was charming and affable – a gentleman to work with and the experience of working with him was a wonderful one.

So if you find yourself at Kennedy Space Center please do yourself a favor and take the audio tour. There are 45 selected stops for the tour throughout the KSC complex and it was produced in English, Mandarin, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and also as an Audio Described Tour for the visually impaired with a sign language tour also produced for the hearing impaired. It provides great stories, vignettes and insights into KSC and you will hear one of America’s premier astrophysicists set the tone for your tour experience!

qmediaproductions.com

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Q Media in Rome!

We realize we haven’t updated our blog since September.  Many things have happened since then and we’d like to share with you what they have been and what we’ve been up to.

First off October 2011 found Mike and Stasha attending the Orpheo Partners Meeting in Rome, Italy. Q Media is an Orpheo partner and every two years Orpheo invites their partners from around the world to attend a meeting to catch up on what’s new with Orpheo and each other. This year’s meeting in Rome had attendees from Italy, Hungary, Russia, Bulgaria, Slovenia, France, Austria, Japan, Malta, Poland, Sardinia, Greece and Portugal. It was great to see folks we hadn’t seen in a few years and hear what other members of the Orpheo Network are doing with audio tours in their countries.  One great aspect of being an Orpheo Partner is that we are involved with a world-wide network of skilled, experienced audio tour producers and our combined strengths allow us all to prosper by assisting each other.  When you hire Q Media you don’t just get a team of award-winning audio tour producers with 10 years experience producing tours: you also get the benefit of many others who assist us in many ways in producing and equipping audio tours.

Besides the experience of traveling to Europe and seeing our partner members we also found out what Orpheo has been up to with developing their equipment. One of the exciting new things we learned about was the MyOrpheo App for both iPhone and Android. We’re now adding that as an option for our clients.

As for Q Media projects the end of last year and the beginning of this one have been busy times for us. We completed the audio tour pilot program for apartment rental industry leader Aimco and Q Media produced tours are now operating at apartment complexes in Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco.

Also a project for The Kingsley Plantation in Jacksonville, FL is soon to be launched. This project was written and produced by Q Media and is being offered on iPhones that will be GPS triggered. One of the exciting aspects about this tour is that the visitor will always be immersed into a sonic environment and the audio tour stops will trigger automatically as they wander the grounds. A new, novel approach for tours and we’re really excited to be a part of this new application of technology.  But it isn’t all ‘sets and lights’.  The Kingsley Plantation allowed us to tell a story of slavery in the American South that is compelling, moving and novel.  We’re really proud of this one and the telling of the Kingsley story allowed us to touch upon greater human themes.  There are some wonderful performances from character actors in the production that really help to bring a sense of the people who lived there to the listener to allow them to imagine what life at Kingsley was like for them.

We’ve also been busy continuing to produce visually described audio tours for the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U. S. Army Corp of Engineers.  More Q Media visually described tours are now operational at facilities in Wyoming, New Mexico, New York City and Missouri.

This winter also had us updating the MillerCoors Brewery tour in Golden, CO in English, Spanish and Mandarin.  MillerCoors likes to be sure that they are staying current in their tour with developments and improvements to their facility and products and Q Media is happy to be a part of making the audio tour at the largest single site brewery in the world the best it can be.

For other repeat clients we’re busy this Spring producing the audio tour for Mt. Rushmore into French to be launched and we’re also working again with Friends of A1A to add another component to their cell phone driving tour with a tour of Bird Island in Ponte Vedra, FL

Lastly there’s BIG news coming from Q Media and we’ll need to let you know about that in another post dedicated to it.  We promise we won’t make you wait as long as it took up to update our blog from our last post in September and we’re REALLY excited about it.

Until then!

Mike and Stasha

It’s been a busy year so far for Q Media!

Hello Q Media blog readers. So far its been quite a year for us and we’d like to keep you updated on what we’ve been doing.

Q Media has been working with US Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service facilities all over the US this year doing Audio Described Audio Tours for the Visually Impaired. From New Mexico to New York, Texas to North Dakota we have been traveling the land producing tours. Some of these tours are strictly audio described tours and others are what we call ‘Combo’ tours – two separately produced tours that can be taken by both sighted and visually impaired visitors. You can find out more about this in our previous post ‘Audio Tours for the Visually Impaired’.

We’ve also branched out on providing audio tours for a new industry for us – apartment complexes. Q Media has been hired to produce seven audio tours for seven different properties throughout the US as a pilot program to see if the apartment leasing sales process can be augmented with audio tours. From what we know this is a new application for audio tours and a type of facility that we haven’t produced tours for in the past. The apartment complexes are in Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco and the tours are cell phone distributed.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed with this one and hope that it takes off – a whole new market could be opening up for us and we’re excited about the possibilities.

Lastly we are going to attend the Orpheo Partners meeting this year in Rome, Italy. Partners attend from all over the world and we’re excited to see some friends whom we haven’t seen in years.  It’s always good to hear what other Orpheo Partners are doing in their countries!

Well that’s about it for now and a big thank you to all of the writers, voice over talent and technicians who have worked with us on projects this year – we couldn’t do what we do without you!   Here’s hoping that you are also doing well too.  We are thankful to be so busy in these economic times and we love what do, treasure the opportunities to go to new places and enjoy who we meet along the way in our pursuit to provide stellar audio tour experiences for our clients and their visitors.

Ciao!

Mike and Stasha

What we’ve been up to lately

Well we realized that we hadn’t updated our blog in some time and we wanted to write a post to let the world know what Q Media has been up to these last several months.  We like keeping you up to date on what our recent past projects have been and what are current projects are.  Maybe the next project we produce will be yours! 

Here are some of our recent past projects:

We produced and equipped an audio tour of the Seedskadee Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Green River, WY.  This area of Wyoming is beautiful with its wide open lands and wildlife and Q Media was hired to write and produce two tours – an audio tour of the visitor center and another audio tour for the visually impaired.  Q Media executive producer and main writer Stasha Boyd recently received her certification from the American Association for the Blind to write visually described tours and the National Park Service and The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Association are organizations who are striving to make their facilities compliant to the ADA requirements by offering interpretative content to the visually and hearing impaired.  The tour is presented to the public on Infrared triggered Orpheo Classic audio guides so the content plays automatically when a visitor enters each audio stop area.  Special thanks to Formations, Inc who designed and built the exhibit areas and provided the installation services to install the audio guide equipment.  Client – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  Green River, WY.

We produced and equipped an audio tour for the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee, WI.  Miller and Coors merged in 2009 and the Miller Brewery also offers tours like the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO which Q Media produced an audio tour for in 2008 .  Q Media was contracted to produce a Spanish audio tour of the facility and we worked with the Miller Brewery staff who provided the script and we provided the translation, voiceover production and audio guide equipment.  A good example of how audio guides can be incorporated to enhance, not replace , live docents by providing foreign language translations so foreign visitors can hear and receive the story too.  The tour is provided to the public on Orpheo Classic audio guides.  Client – The MillerCoors Brewing Company.  Milwaukee, WI.

We produced the Coors Brewery tour in Golden, CO in Mandarin.  Q Media already had produced the Coors brewery audio tour in three languages – English, Spanish and Japanese – but their research showed that they were getting many Mandarin speaking visitors so they decided they wanted to tell their story to them too.  Client – The MillerCoors Brewing Company.  Golden, CO.

As for our recent projects:

We are currently producing an audio tour for The Mennello Musuem of American Art in Orlando, FL.  This is the third audio tour that Q Media has produced for the Mennello.  This tour will focus on early 20th century American art and the collection of Edward Wales Root – a patron of American artists in the early to mid-twentieth century and the audio tour covers selected pieces from Root’s collection and stories of his relationship to the artists.  Client – The Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, FL

We are currently producing an audio tour of the Miami Circle in Miami, Florida.  Unearthed in 1998 the Miami Circle is an enigmatic ruin dating back over 2000 years ago when the Tequesta Indians inhabited that area of Florida.  A 38-foot circle of holes cut into the limestone bedrock where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay, the Miami Circle is considered a sacred place by Native Americans and revered by scholars as an important artifact of Miami’s past.  The Miami Circle site is being preserved and cared for by History Miami for future generations to experience a part of Miami’s history and they are providing tours of the site in both English and Spanish as a downloadable mp3 audio tour.   Q Media was hired to both script and produce the tour.  Client – History of Miami.  Miami, FL.

We’ve just received notice that we have been rewarded the contract to produce a driving tour of historic highway A1A in both English and Spanish.  This 45-stop cell phone driving tour will cover the 75-mile stretch of A1A from St. Augustine north to Ponte Vedra and will incorporate archival oral histories and interviews with local luminaries.  Q Media is scripting the tour, designing and installing the byway signage and designing and producing the tour’s rack cards.  Production is set to begin the beginning of March and the tour will be launched October 1, 2010.  Client – Friends of A1A.  St. Augustine, FL.

Hope you enjoyed catching up on what Q Media has been up to lately.  We have proposals out for many more projects so please check back to see our next update to find out what’s on our horizon.  Maybe the project we will telling the world about will be yours!

Knowing how to swing a hammer doesn’t make you a psychologist…

                                 Hammer                  We recently lost a bid to a competitor. After asking for feedback why so we could be better in the future , criticism was offered and was fair and was provided with the utmost respect and objectivity. The feedback we received regarding why we didn’t get the project was the tour sample we sent (the one closest in subject matter to the project we were bidding on) didn’t reflect their perceptions of how they envisioned the creative direction for their audio tour. Fair enough; but I wanted to add something I thought was missing from the equation when they evaluated our sample: the fact that we produced that tour in collaboration with that client. That tour reflected the vision of the previous client; it is what they wanted and achieves what they wanted to say. It delivers the goals they defined for how they wanted their visitors to interact with their space. Not to say it’s perfect – I can think of small things in any tour we’ve produced that afterwards I thought a change could improve – but the point is that working closely with the client was how that tour came to be. If we had won this recent proposal, we would have pursued the same spirit of collaboration with our new client because that is how we operate with ALL of our clients. At the end of the day, it is their vision and goals that need to be communicated through the audio tour. Of course we offer our learned perspective based on our experience and know-how, but in the end, the client is always right and we produce the tour they want.

And that brings me to the weird title of this post. Being able to drive a nail doesn’t mean you can build a house, or coordinate effectively with all the other folks needed to achieve that complicated goal. And like construction, skill sets need to be available for many aspects of audio tour production. Working with the people aspect — the group dynamics, the creative team, the psychology, if you will — of how a tour comes together is, indeed, the best thing that we know we bring to any project. Is the staff at the facility on the same page when it comes to the approach and content? If not, who brings about the cohesion to make that happen? Are the goals being defined and refined to meet what the theme of what the tour should be? Who facilitates the compromises when there are different viewpoints? Is there good working chemistry between the front-end creative team (writer, producer, and director) and the experts assigned to the project by the facility? If not, how can this be overcome and adapted to bring about excellence?

These factors are just some of the challenges that need to be addressed and they change each time we produce a tour. So in the future, we suggest that when you evaluate a proposal, or a bid, don’t simply ask yourself if the tour sample is similar in style or tone to what you want. Call and ask the previous client if the tour sample reflects what they wanted. Find out if the production team brought something to the table that improved on the vision they had at the start. Ask if the production process created a better outcome than they started with. That’s the key to producing a good audio tour – listening to the client and delivering the result they want.

Q Media to provide new audio tour equipment for Kennedy Space Center

NASA LogoJuly 16 2009 – Q Media is proud to announce that they have been contracted to update the audio tour equipment at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex in Kennedy Space Center, FL. The KSC Visitor’s Center originally had an audio tour installed in 1998 utilizing JVC audio guides. However, time has taken its toll on these players which are no longer supported by JVC and the number of players available to the public has been in sharp decline over the last few years. Q Media is providing Orpheo Classic audio guides to KSC along with the current tour content so once again visitors can enjoy the information previously developed.

The tour will be available to the public in 7 languages–English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. Q Media is also incorporating Infrared triggering of the Orpheo audio guides for some of KSC’s interactive exhibits.

Orpheo system engineers Antoine Eisenstein and Sylvain Plaetevoet will also be on-hand during the installation to assist Q Media Technical Director Mike Lutz. The new tour hardware also includes Orpheo Desk Manager which allows KSC’s staff to expedite audio guide operations and visitor registraion without the need to hold personal identification.

The tour will once again be available to the public on August 1, 2009.  For more information about Q Media and their project for the Kennedy Space Center Vistor’s Complex please contact Mike Lutz at Q Media at mike@qmediaproductions.com.

Revenue Share Audio Tours

MPj04331180000[1]The first half of year 2009 has been tough. Donations, sponsorships, attendance are all down, down, down. Across the board our clients tell us they are getting hit in the pocketbook by things over which they have little or no control. “What we have to do is bring in more money without spending our cash reserves.” Exactly. Which is why if you don’t already have a revenue share audio tour with Q Media, then I highly suggest you give us a call.

Most organizations are familiar with a standard revenue share arrangement–the vendor covers most or all of the up front costs including hardware and production; the client provides the marketing and promotion, then the earned revenue is shared between the parties. What most museums are not aware of is that Q Media is different; first, we offer this option to organizations that are considered too small by our competitors. The larger audio tour providers cannot offer this valuable service to small to medium sized museums because the return is not considered large enough to cover their overhead. Second, our service is truly shared risk/shared reward. Q Media takes into account large scale disruptions, i.e. hurricanes, that grossly affect your attendance. Last, but certainly not least, Q Media’s productions enhance your visitor’s experience at your museum and add to your ability to tell your story. Our primary talent, focus and purpose is to effectively deliver your message to your visitors.

Let us help you increase your revenue. Seven years ago, Mike and I started Q Media because we were committed to serving our clients and we’re proud to say we’ve succeeded — in good times and bad. Please, give us a call and let’s see what we can do together.