VO Peeps Scholarship Funds Reaches $16,700!

What began as an entrepreneurial vision of one girl, Anne Ganguzza, VO PEEPS CREATOR and FOUNDER of the VO Peeps Career Education Scholarship Fund, has now evolved into one of the most exciting and PLUGGED IN places to be for the Voice Over Community! The rapid growth of the popular global networking group since its inception in 2009, led Anne to seek ways in which to give back to the community. She approached MCA-i as a fiscal sponsor and the VO Peeps Career Education Scholarship Fund was born.

The fund, established in January of 2012, is an MCAI-OC sponsored nonprofit 501(c)3 fund dedicated to providing both need-based and merit-based scholarships to qualified members of the voiceover community. You don't have to be a VO artist to donate! In fact, the success of the fund has been partly because so many in the media want to help...and of course because of the efforts of Anne Ganguzza! To date, more than $16,700.00 worth of scholarship and aide to the VoiceOver community has been donated, and Anne continues to grow the excitement and drive the VO Community to what it does best, and that’s GIVING BACK!  The spirit of giving back is inevitable in every community, and when you look at the many blessings that have been bestowed  upon the VO Peeps Community through the Scholarship Fund, you can't help but recognize it’s generosity!

Listen to what some of our Scholarship winners had to say:

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Need a Last Minute Tax Deduction? Use MCA-i!

Looking for a last minute charitable donation to help you with your 2013 taxes? Then consider donating a few dollars to MCA-I. MCA-I is a 501c3 non-profit association, so any contributions you make are tax deductible!   You can give a general donation to help keep the association moving forward, or you could designate your donation to the G. Warren Scholarship Fund. Either way it's tax deductable!
To Donate Go To: http://www.mca-i.org/en/donations/add.asp


Small Business Accounting Basics - What you NEED to Know!

Webinar Presented by VO Peeps  - Sponsored by MCA-i

Wednesday June 26, 6 pm PST 8 pm CST 9 pm EST

Join Host Anne Ganguzza and presenter Denise Chamberlain for this special webinar aimed at media professionals! Whether you own a company or freelance you need to operate like a business! This webinar is the first in a series to help you be successful in Show Business!

Register Here!

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Help Future Media Leaders

 Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) http://www.fbla.org for high schoolers and its college division, Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) is holding its annual conference in late June at the Anaheim Convention Center. They're looking for professionals from every industry to volunteer as judges. If you can donate six hours in either a morning or afternoon session contact them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or signup online at fbla.org/judgesform.asp

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6 Things You Should Know About Every Prospect

Selling: It's always a big mistake to "show up and throw up" a bunch of slides. That's just asking for trouble, because the prospect will know that you're not really prepared to talk about the prospect's real issues. Therefore, before you present to a prospect, there are six key perspectives that you absolutely MUST have (if you want a fast sale). Here they are:

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5 Ways To Grow Your Business Despite The Economic Crisis

Looking at the gridlock in Washington, it’s easy to get discouraged about the future of your business. But entrepreneurs have a long history of tunneling under, over and around obstacles—and finding new opportunities on the other side. You can do the same, even if the obstacle is as daunting as the current economic uncertainty we all face. Here are some strategies to grow your business, despite today’s political climate.

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Free Internet Marketing Tip

By Anne Ganguzza, Courtesy of http://blog.vopeeps.com 
(Anne is the founder of VO Peeps and serves on the Board of Directors for the LA/OC Chapter of MCA-i. While this article was aimed at VO artists, it contains good advice for all media professionals who need to market their services—Editor)

There are a lot of tips and tricks we can apply to our Internet marketing to increase our effectiveness, but there is one tried and true method that has proven to be effective on many different levels, and is something I have been telling my students for years:  Content is key.

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Don't be the weakest link on LinkedIn

Are you on LinkedIn (LNKD)? Probably so. Is it helping you sell? Probably not. Never have so many connected with so much and landed so few new customers. Although everybody in the business-to-business world seems to be on the professional networking service, only a rare few have a strategy that gets results.

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Duel of the Edit Systems: CS6 vs. FCPX

Our friends at OCMMA (OC MultiMedia Association) have an important event on Nov. 8th which you should not miss! It's a head to head matchup of Adobe's Premiere Pro CS6 and Apple's Final Cut Pro X! OCMMA's Mike McGready will pilot the CS6 and MCAI's Dolores Jennerson-Madden (an apple certified instructor) will engage him in battle with FCP-X! Besides comparing how the two systems perform you may win some valuable doorprizes!

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Tips to Undo the Damage Your Facebook Profile Has Done

Social Media can be a double-edged sword. Even in the media industry, where so many of us have the freedom to dress, act and opine without corporate restrictions, this can still be true. MCA-i is always looking for articles to help media pros, and while this one was written for job searchers it has lots of good advice for media freelancers as well. -Editor

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Building an Audience Online

A blog is simply a web log, or diary, that one shares with others. But when users were finally able to add video to these blogs, a viral phenomenon was born. People watched more than 10 billion videos online last year. Shouldn't some of those people be watching your stuff?

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You Can Pick the Entries for Anaheim Fim Festival!

Beginning July 26th, the Anaheim Film Arts Society (AFAS) will give you the opportunity to participate in the selection process for this year’s Anaheim Film Festival & Media Arts Expo.

Every Thursday evening at 7pm for six weeks starting July 26 through Aug 30th, The AFAS will present a selection of shorts, features, and documentaries that are in consideration for this year’s festival. After viewing these films, you’ll have a chance to give us your feedback and be a part of selecting some of the films that will play in October

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Branding With a Better Website

What is your website saying about your brand? I've looked at more than 750 business websites for clients and their competitors in their industries in the last two years. The majority are blah and do not build the brand. All of this is happening at the exact moment that these companies are saying that they want to stand out from the market clutter. If you want to take your brand to the next level, try these website tips:

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8 Ways To Focus When Working From Home

Working at a home office is a blessing and a curse. Your commute is nil, but distractions are everywhere. Television, household chores, dogs, children, roommates and spouses can all knock you off your game. I asked dozens of those in the trenches to share their best work-from-home tips. Here are eight of the most helpful.

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Getting the Best Performance from VO Talent.

Your client’s approved the copy. You’ve cast the voiceover talent. You’ve booked the session. Now, it’s time to record.  With the talent behind the mic, ready to lay down the track, you wonder, “Will I get the read I hear in my head?”

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Travis Analyzes The SAG-AFTRA Merger

The SAG/AFTRA Merger:  What does this mean to MCA-I Members?

Short answer: Nobody knows.

Slightly short answer: Not nearly as much as the industry changes which prompted the merger in the first place.

Longer answer:  As of this writing, it appears that the two primary actor’s unions in the United States are about to merge into one union. The merger depends upon acceptance, by ballot, of the majority of the members of both unions.  


The reason there were originally two separate unions is because, until recently, the two unions represented performers in two separate industries – AFTRA (The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) represented performers in the broadcasting industry.  SAG (the Screen Actors Guild) was formed to represent actors in the Motion Picture Industry. 

Both of these unions were formed before the advent of television.  Since both are part of the AFL-CIO, and because many performers were members of both unions, the two unions agreed to work together to avoid conflict when determining jurisdiction – which union would represent which performers who appear on television.  It was decided that AFTRA would represent actors who appeared on live television, and SAG would represent performers on TV programs which were shot on film. When videotape came into widespread use, the unions agreed that videotape would be treated as “live” television when it came to matters of jurisdiction.  For non-broadcast programs, such as corporate videos and training programs, the same rules would apply, SAG for film, and AFTRA for everything else. 

That system worked well, until the advent of the digital age.  Each year, the lines between “TV/Tape” and “Film” productions became less clear.  Some forward-thinking members of both unions succeeded in getting members to vote on mergers in 1998 and 2003, both attempts failed.  There were too many issues of disagreement between the unions concerning existing matters of retirement, dues, and joining eligibility for those merger attempts to succeed.  Many predicted that a serious jurisdictional dispute would occur in time.

That dispute came in to existence 2008 during contract negotiations with the major TV show producers.  AFTRA wanted to accept an offer from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers that SAG would not.  AFTRA then broke with SAG and accepted the producer’s offer.  Though SAG ultimately came to agreement with the Producers, rates for TV shows under the AFTRA agreement were slightly lower.  The same year producers realized it was becoming possible to give up film and keep the same film-look and quality on TV shows.  Producers pounced on the opportunity, and converted dozens of TV shows from film to electronic, thereby switching union jurisdiction from SAG to AFTRA. Needless to say SAG was not happy.  There were also issues of jurisdiction in “new media” which neither side could agree.  The only reasonable solution – merge the two unions.  Most people involved say the merger is likely to go through this time.

Impact of the Merger:

So what does this mean to producers?  -In the short term, very little.  Rates working under both unions are essentially the same.  If you use union performers in your productions, there may be some slight changes of paperwork, but that’ll be about it.  If you usually work non-union, you’ll go on using the same people under the same working conditions.  And remember, most professional performers already charge considerably more than SAG/AFTRA scale- they have to in order to make a decent standard of living.

Long term, however, may be a different story.  Longstanding differences between AFTRA and SAG will need to be worked out, and worked out quickly.  Take, for instance, the matter of the 30-mile “production zone” in Los Angeles, which states that production which takes place within 30 miles of the intersection of Beverly and La Cienega are “local” – which means no per diems or other expenses typically charged for “on-location” productions.  For a long time, many SAG members have seen the zone as discouraging union work in Southern California, while the 30-mile zone has been a real cash-cow for AFTRA members working for TV stations. – Extra money for TV news reporters and other performers who cross the zone under certain locations. AFTRA has been known to intentionally discourage production in Orange County to keep that situation in place.  The merger may mean new SAG/AFTRA offices in Orange County/Ventura/San Bernardino counties, or an extension of the “zone”.

Some performers have benefitted in the separation of the two unions – Having a SAG membership for “bigtime” film and TV productions in Hollywood, and not joining AFTRA, so they can do lower-budget video productions without the risk of violating the union’s “rule-one” (Don’t do non-union work) and subsequent penalties.

SAG also has a history of being much more flexible than AFTRA for certain productions.  For instance you can produce a low-budget SAG feature, and only pay your actors $100.00 per-day, with the union’s blessing – the deal being that if the film’s a big success, you’ll need to pay your actors what they would-have-made under a full SAG contract-plus a bonus.  AFTRA has no such provision, except for certain “new-media” productions.

I don’t consider myself to be a good prognosticator, but it seems that nobody else is either, so here are my predictions:

(1) Most smaller production companies will notice very little change as a result of the unions’ merger.

(2) It will take a couple of years before the total impact of the SAG/AFTRA merger will even begin to be felt.  There are a great number of things the two unions will need to work out AFTER the merger is approved, and there will be a few lawsuits to settle.

(3) Some SAG members and some AFTRA members will hate the deal and attempt to start a new union.

(4) The TMZ (Thirty Mile Zone) will be extended or there will be a new “Local Zone” created in Orange County and other places.

(5) Ultimately, there will be an increase in small productions using union performers. Many producers will be surprised to find it actually saves them money.

(6) We will see greater flexibility from the “new” union, in terms of working with smaller production companies and low-budget production.

Standardization of “new media” rates.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Travis (who goes professionally by just the one name) is a Newport Beach voiceover artist and lifetime member of MCA-i who, before becoming a fulltime voiceover performer, worked as a broadcast engineer, producer, AV industry writer and programmer.  His demos may be found at: http://www.VOTalent.com


Kevin Smith Engages Fans at 'Live From Behind' Event

By Jessica Gardner
February 3, 2012 From Backstage: http://www.backstage.com/bso/news-and-features-features/kevin-smith-engages-fans-at-live-from-behind-1006093362.story

Director/writer/podcaster Kevin Smith spoke live at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto on Thursday. However, "Silent Bob" fans could view the three-hour event from 300 movie theaters across North America.'

During "Kevin Smith: Live From Behind," Smith and his long-time friend and frequent co-star Jason "Jay" Mewes recorded their popular podcast "Jay and Silent Bob Get Old." The duo then took questions from their audience in Toronto as well as from Twitter using hashtag #livefrombehind.

Smith is known for openly sharing his thoughts on his work and the industry with his fans in his podcasts and interviews. Smith's trademark blue humor peppered the conversation, but fan questions kept the night from being entirely raunchy.

Photo by Getty Images - Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes

Smith talked about his opinion on the SOPA/PIPA debate; his production company, Smodcast Pictures; and how he plans to help filmmakers distribute unreleased projects.

Smith also discussed his past, present, and future projects including "Clerks," "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," "Reaper," "Red State," "Hit Somebody," and "Jay and Silent Bob's Totally Groovy Cartoon Movie."

 Here are some highlights from the evening.

 On the SOPA/PIPA debate:

"As a guy who creates content, I should be like, 'I believe in stopping piracy,' but I don't. I don't think piracy is all that bad. If piracy leads to buying our shit down the road then I'm for it. You're talking about a generation who is used to getting shit for free. You've got to play the ball where it lays. Let's just accept the fact that the genie's out of the bottle. Now they watch and if they like it, they buy it. It's just the world we're living in now. My thought is: adapt to what the audience wants."

On his theory of film marketing and creating content:

"I used to believe that you make a movie, people come see it, and that's it. It felt like a weird one-sided equation to me…Now, I believe more in being there in person. That makes people want to come out of their houses. You've got to live in the nooks and crannies of the audience's lives. You can't anymore say, 'Put your shit down and come to us.' There's too many different entertainment options. Me, I've been trying to find ways to go into the free time that an audience has. That's why I like to create audio content. You can take that with you anywhere."

On "Hit Somebody," which he claims will be his last film:

"'Hit Somebody' is the hockey movie I'm writing which will be my last movie. It's about taking one shot. It follows a character from 1950 to 1980…It's a great big valentine to Canada and to the land that created the game, kind of like 'Field of Dreams' for hockey. That's what I went for. Hopefully we'll start filming in June or July."


Half Watch Online Pre-Roll Ads

New Data Indicates Almost Half of Online Viewers Watch Pre-Roll Ads Even When They Can Choose Not To


by Will Richmond NATPE Video Nuze

Two recent data points share a common, though somewhat surprising, conclusion: almost half of online viewers watch pre-roll ads to the end even when presented with the choice to opt out and skip the ad entirely. Clearly two data points aren't enough to form a real trend, but they do provide insight into how online video advertising may ultimately differ from traditional TV advertising.

The first data point came from YouTube and Scripps, via this article in Online Media Daily. Scripps ran ads for 3 different programs on YouTube using its "True View" format that allows users to easily skip past the ad. It turned out that 44% of viewers actually watched the ad through to the end (a key benefit of the TrueView model is that advertisers only pay for ad views, not for skips).

Then separately this week, video ad manager AdoTube released its Q1 2011 In-Stream Ad Format Index, which provides data on the 4.25 billion ad impressions generated across AdoTube's network (slides here). Among the key findings: 45% of viewers of its "Polite Pre-Roll" which allows skipping, watched through to the end. That was a 7% increase from the prior quarter and on par with conventional pre-roll ads. Another interesting finding was that when the Polite Pre-Roll is used, the abandonment rate for the content itself is 18% lower than when conventional pre-rolls are used, suggesting that ad choice enhances the content experience.



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