Articles Published in Newspapers, Trade Magazines and Newsletters
PRESS RELEASE - September 17, 2007
A Gold 2007 Aurora Award has been awarded to Richard Kretchmer and Susan Kretchmer of Rainbow Video Inc., Morristown. The Aurora Awards is an international competition designed to recognize excellence in the film and video industries.
The honored DVD, "Building on the
Past, Building for the Future" was created for The North Ward Center of Newark.
For 36 years, this non-profit organization has positively influenced the lives
of thousands Essex County residents. The purpose of the video, commissioned to
this husband and wife creative team, was to capture the spirit of The North Ward
Center and tell its story. It was shown to an illustrious audience at The
Center's annual gala.
Magazine, July 2001
In Morristown, New Jersey, in the center of the Garden State, Rainbow Video is doing the corporate work it’s always focused on. But, like Big Shot, it’s branching out due to customer demand.
“We do Web sites and streaming and work with
different multimedia companies,” says Producer Susan Kretchmer. “We
digitize and compress encoding, and have the dpsVelocity which allows us to do
state-of-the art video editing with 400+ effects in realtime.”
Rainbow primarily has corporate clients but also
partners with multimedia firms that focus on CD-ROMs. The business split
today has evolved to 60/40, video/multimedia. As that figure suggest, the
firm is getting much more involved with other independents that us the latter,
like CD-ROMs which need video. “They’re basically computer people who
need help from a company like ours,” says Kretchmer.
One recent project found Kretchmer and husband/partner Richard re-editing very dry subject matter for a corporate client in the office equipment business. “It had to appeal to a young, hip audience. So we had to take the music off and re-edit footage that had already been edited.” Several versions were created including one with European dance music and “effects to add some razzle dazzle.” For another version they added a hip-hop track.
Although New York City is easily accessible by train,
Rainbow finds “there’s plenty of work right here in New Jersey,” Kretchmer
reports. “Philadelphia doesn’t enter into our lives at all, but we
have had clients from New York, some [of those] for years.
“We think the firms that have survived through the years are those with low overhead. We operate from our home, which isn’t unusual on the creative side,” she says. “We’re a team – and, yes, we can work [together] here and not kill each other,” she laughs, “and we go out and see people. So the isolation isn’t there.”
Communications Magazine, August 1999 issue
TRAINING WITH POWER
By Shelby D. Clark
Pushing equipment to its limits certainly presents a challenge. Pushing one of the most popular presentation programs to the limit for an employee training guide under tight deadlines presents a unique set of challenges, especially when that program is Microsoft’s PowerPoint.
Richard and Susan Kretchmer of Rainbow Video Inc., Morristown, NJ, faced and met that kind of challenge when they created and delivered just such a project in the two weeks before Christmas. The client was Unoaerre/Gori and Zucchi, Inc., a world-renowned gold jewelry manufacturer. The project was to create an on-the-road training presentation for the client’s sales staff. The staff would use the presentation to teach jewelry store personnel how to sell Unoarre’s products.
Originally, Unoaerre expected that the original training module, created by Performance Concepts, a company dedicated to training specialty retailers in Plainfield, NJ, would be delivered with a presenter. The module was intended to be used as a platform-training tool during sales training sessions.
Unoaerre’s focus groups, however, found that the sales staff preferred to have the module on their laptops, where they could refer to it as needed. Rainbow Video took the client’s existing PowerPoint module, which consisted of text, graphics and photos, and synchronized it to voice and music. They created a CD from the combined program.
In deciding which approach was best, the Kretchmers explored different options. “We looked at [Macromedia] Director with a number of different people working on it, but with the client’s time frame and budget, we knew we couldn’t do it correctly,” says Richard Kretchmer. “Organizing the project would have taken four or five days and when you’re talking 14 days, you just can’t take that amount of time.”
Kretchmer decided that the best option was simply to add video and audio to the presentation.
With the audio portion completed, Kretchmer moved on to incorporating the video files. Unoarre had wanted to use video as part of the presentation, but since there wasn’t time to create new video, Rainbow reviewed existing video that Unoaerre provided from another project.
The Kretchmers decided to break the video into two sections to make it easier to work with. They found a spot in the middle of the video that was a natural break, then presented it as two pieces in the product.
The selected clips were converted to QuickTime, AVI and MPEG file formats. Kretchmer ran each file type on one of Unoarre’s standard-issue laptops, selecting MPEG as the preferred format.
“I wanted to use the best format for their laptops,” Kretchmer says. “You’re never sure about the speed of the hard drive or the CD-ROM or what other software they have loaded that will affect the presentation. I wanted to make sure it was perfect and the best quality for the laptops they’d be using out in the field. AVI and QuickTime would have run fine, but not as good as the MPEG.”
With the preliminary work out of the way, Kretchmer started the time consuming and painstaking process of synchronizing the PowerPoint presentation to audio.
“I’d mix the music and voice-over soundtracks together,” he says. “I would take one slide at a time and mix that slide. Then I’d move on to the next slide. It was easier to synchronize the program one slide at a time.”
To synchronize the slides, Kretchmer timed the audio to the animation and movements on the screen, delaying the next image or animation to fit the voice-over. About every 10 slides, he would burn a new CD, testing the completed CD on Unoarre’s laptop. Once the grouped slides passed the final test, they were delivered to the client to approve.
“It was difficult to synchronize the voice to the slides with all the animation and movement,” Kretchmer comments. “It was very time consuming. I spent 10 to 16 hours a day, probably for 12 days, once all the pieces were together. But that was the only way it could be done on time.”
A fortunate crash
The first benefit was that dividing the program into smaller bits helped create a completely modular presentation. Any slide can be removed and replaced with another without losing the synchronization.
The second benefit was the result of a crash partway through the project.
“When the PowerPoint presentation got over 100MB, it crashed,” Kretchmer says. “One of the characteristics of PowerPoint is that it saves files externally as well as internally, so the presentations get very large. That’s an advantage for someone who wants to take the whole thing on the road, but it wasn’t for this project.”
Kretchmer found a way around PowerPoint’s apparent size limitation by breaking the presentation into two main sections.
“I found a spot in the middle of the presentation that was a natural area to pause,” Kretchmer says. “It was at the end of a subject and it was a little more than halfway through the presentation. “I then created a hyperlink that led to the next part of the presentation. It worked out nicely.”
Kretchmer credits much of the project’s success to organization and the flexibility of the tools he used. “I couldn’t have done this without good organizational skills,” he says. “I was able to draw on years and years of experience to create what they needed. It’s not like what you would do with Director, but for what can be done with PowerPoint, it was outrageous.”
By Diane Arcieri
This month the spotlight is on Richard Kretchmer, video and new media Producer/Director of Rainbow Video Inc. in Morristown, NJ. Kretchmer has more than 20 years experience creating training and marketing videos.
Rainbow Video is a husband and wife (Susan) company that has won numerous national video awards. Kretchmer has extensive experience creating live "distance learning" and informational broadcasts and has a talent for translating complex information into language appropriate for the target audience. In addition to his work at Rainbow Video, Kretchmer is the NNJ*ASTD webmaster.
Most exciting: Rainbow Video recently created an "MTV" style video to educate potential clients about a cutting-edge technology. The project gave Kretchmer a chance to go behind the scenes of a revolutionary new technology and the creative freedom to showcase it in a modern style. The clients were thrilled with the final video and it won a number of national awards.
Latest accomplishment: The creation of a "product knowledge/training" CD-ROM. The project took a PowerPoint presentation and synchronized it to music, voice over, and video clips. The timing of these elements as well as the timing of the project was crucial - the client needed it delivered in 2 weeks!
Biggest challenge: Technology is changing so rapidly today. Keeping up with the latest development and educating clients on how to use it to their best advantage is a tremendous challenge. Another creative challenge and one Kretchmer truly enjoys is keeping ahead of the latest "look and feel" being popularized by the media..
Tip: Dont try to do it all. When you hire independent consultants, take full advantage of their expertise. Let them get involved enough with the project to be able to contribute ideas and suggestions.
Morris Newsbee press coverage, December 1998
On behalf of the International Television Association (ITVA) North Jersey, Morris Township residents Richard and Susan Kretchmer, left, owners of Rainbow Video Inc., Morristown, are presented with the Northern New Jersey Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association's 1998 Circle of Honor Media Award by the chapter's immediate past President Patricia Lombreglia at its annual meeting held recently at Warner-Lambert in Morris Plains. The Circle of Honor Awards program was established to acknowledge significant commitment to the mission of the Northern New Jersey Chapter. ITVA North Jersey selected the Chapter as its primary public service project for 1996/97, creating an award winning 30 second public service announcement "to make those suffering from the affects of caring for an Alzheimer's individual aware of the services and support available to them through the chapter".
ITVA North Jersey News, November 1998
The ITVA North Jersey 1997 public service project was honored by the Northern New Jersey chapter of the Alzheimers Association at their annual meeting. The award was accepted by Susan and Richard Kretchmer of Rainbow Video Inc. who were the producer and director, respectively, of the 30 second television public service announcement. "This is the 5th award that the PSA has received" stated Richard Kretchmer, who is also a past president of our chapter.
The Alzheimers Association expressed their great appreciation to ITVA North Jersey and all those who contributed their time and talent to this pro bono production. For more information about the PSA project please visit our web site at www.itvanj.org.
By: Richard Kretchmer, Producer/Director
10 tips to help you plan any live video conference, from distance learning to a message from the CEO.
These ideas were provided by Richard Kretchmer, President of Rainbow Video Inc., Morristown, NJ. He has been working on live corporate television broadcasts since the early 80s. Richard has Produced and Directed numerous different types and styles of video teleconferences. He has over 20 years experience in the television industry, mainly for Fortune 100 companies. Richard is the Webmaster of NNJ*ASTD and also a Past President of the North Jersey Chapter of the International Television Association. He can be reached at Rainbow Video Inc. (973) 993-5757.
MEET OUR WEBMASTER - Message from the Editor (NNJ*ASTD Flipchart)
By: Frances Denmark
Welcome to our website, also known as www.nnjastd.org. Richard Kretchmer, president of Rainbow Video and web-wiz, is giving generously of his volunteer time to upgrade and update the site. It looks really cool! Pay it a visit to learn about our next meeting and how to get there (map included); our special interest groups and where they are meeting; the Chapter board members and how to contact them via email; and everything else you ever wanted to know about the Northern New Jersey Chapter of ASTD. Thanks, Richard!
The ITVA North Jersey television Public Service Announcement (PSA) has been honored by The Communicator Awards - Television Commercials/Programs. The PSA was created for the Alzheimers Association as the ITVA North Jersey 1997 public service project. The project was Executive Produced and Directed by Richard Kretchmer of Rainbow Video in Morristown. Kretchmer, our chapters Past-President, led a dedicated team of ITVA volunteers to create this award winning 30 second PSA.
The Communicator Awards recognizes outstanding work in the communications field and individuals whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. Winners of The Communicator Awards come from video production companies, independent producers, broadcast television operations, and advertising and public relations agencies throughout the country.
The Alzheimers Association PSA features the hands of a mother and baby as they travel through the years together. The final scene depicts the hands of the now elderly mother and her grown daughter being joined by a third set of helping hands, representing the Alzheimers Association. The goal of the PSA is to create awareness of the assistance available through the Association.
The PSA has been distributed to television stations in the area, including WCBS-TV, WNBC-TV, WABC-TV, WPIX-TV, WWOR-TV, New Jersey Network, News 12 New Jersey, CTN of New Jersey and cable TV stations throughout the New York Metropolitan area.
For more information about the PSA project and its volunteers, or to view the 30 second video, visit the ITVA North Jersey web site PSA feature.
By Richard Kretchmer
The 1996/1997 ITVA North Jersey Public Service Project is completed. The pro bono project is a thirty second Public Service Announcement (PSA) for the Alzheimer's Association. It is scheduled for release in November of 1997. Distribution will include all New York network stations as well as northern New Jersey and regional cable television stations.
The Alzheimers Association is thrilled with the finished product and appreciates all the time and effort donated by all the volunteers. "I was amazed and impressed at the level of detail that went into the creation of the PSA and the professionalism of the participants," said Fred Brand, the Chapters Manager of Family Service Programs, who was present at the 6 hour shoot. After viewing the PSA for the first time, Marcia F. Mohl, Executive Director of the Northern New Jersey Chapter, said, "The PSA packed an enormous amount of emotion and an huge message into a tiny amount of time. We are very grateful to ITVA for this wonderful gift which will help us get the word out about our services to those who need our help. We are fortunate to have these new friends at ITVA who have given so much of themselves so that others can be helped."
Many individuals and companies came forward this year to help our chapter with this project. The Alzheimers Association and I extend our heartfelt thanks to all of them for donating their time, talents and facilities.
Here are the volunteers that made it all happen: Executive Producer & Director - Richard Kretchmer, Rainbow Video Inc.; Script Writer, Associate Director & Talent - Diana London; Associate Producer - Susan Kretchmer, Rainbow Video Inc., and Associate Director & Catering - Jeff Wilson.
Production crew: Production Manager & Talent - Pam Rutherford; Director of Photography & Technical Director - Bill Kronemyer, WJ Kronemyer Associates; and Production Studio & Equipment - Joe Vargas and Dan Flynn, MediaMix.
Voice over aspects: Narration - Barbara Johnson; and Audio Engineer & Voice Over Studio - Glenn Taylor, Taylor Made Productions.
Post Production: Editing & Duplication - Dennis Chominsky, Paradign/Full Scope Productions and Sound Design & Music - Paul Kaplan, Castle Lane Productions.
We would also like to thank our talent: Esther Kretchmer, Annie Rose London, Fred Brand, and Austin McNulty (and Austins mom, Karol McNulty).
There were also many volunteers behind the scenes: Distribution Coordinator - Whitney Sugarman; and Public Relations Coordinator - Deborah Lerner. A special thanks to James Ringwood and John Selvaggio at Maxell and Leigh Herman and Dave Bastaoy at Sony for donating the tape stock.
When you visit the ITVA North Jersey web site the completed 30 second video can be downloaded for viewing.
Rainbow Video Inc. of Morristown, (formally of Short Hills) was recently honored with the Crystal Award Of Excellence by The Communicator Awards. This prestigious award is given to the winners whose ability to communicate elevates them above the best in the field. Project Management was performed by the creative team of Richard and Susan Kretchmer.
The winning entry, "What You Should Know About Buying A Diamond" is a consumer education program now being used in over 15,000 jewelry stores across the United States. The programs Executive Producer, Susan Kretchmer, commented "The client wanted a very romantic feel to the program while still providing enough technical information to help consumers make an educated purchase." The program included a brief history of diamonds, how they are formed, and the 4Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat. Styles, shapes, and settings were also discussed, as well as how to select a jeweler.
"Shooting such a small inert object and capturing the spectacular brilliance of beautiful diamonds was very challenging. We wanted to show the light reflection and refraction properties that give diamonds their sparkle. " remarked Director Richard Kretchmer. "We used a 77MM Series lens with a X2 extender and a very heavy duty tripod to keep the shots steady. For certain scenes we added a Star Filter. We brought a variety of filters along to capture the exact feel we wanted. "
The finished video received heavy praise from diamond experts. Apparently, diamonds seen in television commercials have usually been graphically enhanced. The diamond experts were impressed that this video captured the stones natural brilliance without any special effects. Kretchmer was able to do this by shooting the diamonds on natural surfaces using a revolving stand, and by a variety of creative lighting techniques designed by Rainbow Video and Director of Photography, Jeff Wilson.
The creative team for this project included Susan Kretchmer, Producer; Richard Kretchmer, Director; Robin Pearson, script writer; Jeff Wilson, Director of Photographer; Chris and Pat Corbitt on graphic creation; and the editors at Melovision Production, Bill Braun and Mel Obst. The sound track included Linda Katz, voice-over; MacNeil Johnston, custom music; and Glenn Taylor performing the final stereo mix and audio sweetening.
The Kretchmers found the excited response of the jewelry industry to this video as fulfilling as receiving this prestigious award. Founded in 1982, Rainbow Video specializes in video and interactive multimedia productions. The husband and wife creative team of Richard and Susan Kretchmer can be reached at their Morristown office at (201) 993-5757.
By Richard Kretchmer, ITVA North Jersey President
Thinking about todays rapidly advancing technology and that my company just celebrated its 15th year of incorporation, Im realizing just how much times have changed. The year I was born is the same year video tape was invented. Twenty years later I entered the video business. Now, another twenty years have passed and I am amazed at how the industry has changed.
In the late 70s the only real users of video equipment were the 3 major networks, cable TV, and the US government. Corporate TV was in its infancy. Multimedia was a slide show synchronized to music and a voice over. Have times changed!
When I started working for New Jersey Bell TV in 1979, they had a million dollar studio. We didnt have SMPTE Time Code, we had a thing we called "JOE Code". Well there was a guy named Joe who counted up the seconds for one hour. We would insert his audio on the tape so clients could view the footage and give us the "JOE Code" reference numbers. It wasnt exact but it was close enough for the editing we did in those days.
Editing in the late seventies at New Jersey Bell was done on the "B" format 1" machines. Does anybody remember that format? Great color and richness. However, when you had to do an "A/B" roll, something very common today, you had to transfer every other segment to another tape timed in order. After figuring out your "edit in" points, you would take the 1" reels and back them up by 10 seconds manually. The real trick was how do you start 3 machines at the same time? Well, if you were alone, you would start your "A" machine with your left hand, your Record machine with your right hand, and the "B" machine with your big toe on your right foot. Then after the 10 second pre-roll, you would place the Recorder in record and then run across the room to the switcher to do your transitions manually. If you got it wrong you would have to start from scratch. It wasnt frame accurate but it was very close with practice.
I remember working with the first portable broadcast camera and field recorder. It was made by Bosch. The CCU unit weighted about 45 pounds, the camera about 25 pounds, and the portable recorder 35 pounds. It took a lot of energy to power it. We always used a car battery on a cart. It needed a lot of light, 200 to 250 foot candles, to get a decent picture. That was field production in those days. No such thing as todays "run and gun"!.
Prior to getting into corporate TV, I worked for Suburban Cablevision as Master Control Operator. That meant inserting the commercials in up to 6 cable stations simultaneously. Today its all controlled by computer. Back then we truly did everything manually. For some programs we had a time log, but for the live sporting events you had to know the rules for each sport. In Hockey for example, after an Icing Penalty the announcers would say "Theres a break in the action. The score is ...". That meant 10 seconds to black. I would immediately roll the commercial tape that I had queued with just a rolling counter - remember the old 3/4" machine counters? No digital read out related to time. As soon as I rolled the tape, I would use a stop watch to count down the 10 second pre-roll and then insert the commercial. At 20 seconds into that commercial I would then roll the second commercial and so on. All of that was done, by one person for 6 stations at the same time. Listening to 6 programs at once was a true art. The cable Master Control people today dont know how easy they have it. Have times changed!
That was twenty years ago. Where will we be in another twenty years? Will video tape be extinct like the 8 track cassette and the 8" floppy disk? Do you think we will be able to wear a pair of special glasses with an implanted recording chip, so that everything we see is recorded? Will we be able to just think about how a program should be edited and it would be done? These kinds of leaps in technology are not that far off. Our grandparents saw the start of radio. Our parents saw the beginning of television. We witnessed the race to the moon and now the onset of the personal computer. What will the next generation see? Only the future will tell. Be ready for it!
Richard Kretchmer, of Morris Township has recently been elected President of the International Television Association (ITVA), North Jersey Chapter. "Richard, an award winning producer/director and President of Rainbow Video Inc., has over 18 years experience in the visual communications field. These credentials make him the best candidate for the important position." announced ITVA Past President, Paul Payton.
As President of the largest visual communications association in New Jersey, Mr. Kretchmer is responsible for guiding the chapter in the attainment of its goals, one of which is to enhance the professional development of its members. Managing a volunteer staff of 12, he supervises the monthly newsletter, the newly created Internet Home Page, monthly educational meetings, and the New Jersey Video Awards Festival. "This festival is the most prestigious and largest video awards contest in the state. The call for entries is going on now." said Mr. Kretchmer. His duties also include selecting a worthwhile cause for a Television Public Service Announcement (PSA). New Jersey ITVA members talent and resources will be fully donated for the project.
The International Television Association is the premier organization serving the professional development of visual communicators from all types of environments. It has over 100 chapters world wide. Its membership is comprised of video professionals from Fortune 500, Broadcast, Cable, and production companies, as well as students.
Rainbow Video Inc. of Morristown, (formally of Short Hills) was recently awarded the Crystal Award Of Excellence by The Communicators Awards as well as a bronze statuette by the TELLY Awards. Rainbow Video is owned by the creative team of Richard and Susan Kretchmer.
Rainbow Video's winning entry, "The JA 100 Club", is a documentary about retail jewelry stores in business over 100 years. "The program was very challenging", remarked its director Richard Kretchmer. "I wanted everything to be authentic. If we talked about 1880s Madison, Wisconsin, it had to be 1880s Madison Wisconsin." Therefore, a lot of time was spent doing research for authentic old photos. Another challenge was to select 10 retail jewelers from the many 100 Club members. Which ones had the most interesting stories? And, would the participants be able to supply enough actual material to cover the script?
After selecting the retail jewelers to be featured, Susan Kretchmer, the program producer, had to track down and coordinate historic materials from the selected jewelers as well as from historical societies across the United States. A few weeks later boxes of family heirlooms arrived, some so fragile they looked as if they should be under glass.
To set the stage for these photos and their stories, Rainbow Video used old period maps as transitions. To help the audience follow where each jeweler's story fit in U.S. history, period footage was multi-layered over the maps to convey the mood of the country during each time period. The historical maps progressed from the 13 colonies through the founding of the 48th state.
"The jewelers were very excited about having their family store histories told on video" remarked Susan Kretchmer. One jeweler in Nebraska had very few actual photos but had recently restored his store to its turn of the century look. To compensate for his lack of old photos, he and his employees dressed in period costumes and hired a local video company to capture the event inside the renovated store. The resulting footage, although interesting, was not even close to broadcast quality. To make this footage work it was converted to black and white and a strobe effect was added. The effect made the footage look truly turn of the century.
The photographs were transferred to tape and On-line edited at Melovision Productions, Princeton. The script was written by Robin Pearson. A custom sound track was created by Outland/Tangent Music and the stereo mix was performed at Taylor Made Productions. Both music and sound effects were appropriate to each time period in the video.
The Kretchmers found making this documentary as rewarding as receiving these prestigious awards. Founded in 1982, Rainbow Video specializes in Corporate Video Communications and Interactive Multimedia productions. Richard and Susan can be reached at their new Morristown office at (201) 993-5757.
Rainbow Video Inc. of Short Hills was awarded a 1995 TELLY statuette for a video program created for Bellcore. The program was created to market a product called Language Standards, a family of code sets used to track anything from a telephone pole to transmission lines.
The honored program, titled "Bellcore Language Standards" is being shown throughout the world. Working with an English and Spanish scripts and bi-lingual actors, the program was videotaped in both languages simultaneously in locations throughout New Jersey. The dramatizations were combined with custom music, CoSA graphic animation, and video footage to create an exciting, informative program.
The program was executive produced by Joan Shapiro and Lawrence Shea of Bellcore, and produced by Richard and Susan Kretchmer of Rainbow Video Inc. The program was directed by Richard Kretchmer.
The TELLY Awards is an international contest recognizing excellence in video and film programs. Rainbow Videos program was selected from over 8,600 entries from advertising agencies, cable networks, and production companies.
Inc. Richard & Susan Kretchmer
(973) 993 5757 Located in Morristown, NJ, Northern New
Web Site Designed & Created by Richard
Kretchmer, Rainbow Video Inc. All Rights Reserved
Inc. Richard & Susan Kretchmer
(973) 993 5757 Located in Morristown, NJ, Northern New
Located in Morristown, NJ, Northern New Jersey/New York Metropolitan Area
Web Site Designed & Created by Richard
Kretchmer, Rainbow Video Inc. All Rights Reserved
All Rights ReservedRAINBOW VIDEO Inc., Morristown, NJ 07960