Confessions of a Small Working Studio—Put Up or Shut Down

Oct 5, 2010 6:13 PM, By Lisa Horan

photo of PopMark partners

PopMark Media partners Kevin Hill (left), Lisa Horan and Stephen Joseph Antonelli at work.

This new crop of customers is being perpetuated by a climate that has required musicians and filmmakers to take on just about every facet of their projects and careers, themselves. Truth be told, by the time these folks come to us—either to have their song produced or mixed or to have the audio post on their film project completed—they’re nearing the phase in their journeys when they’re going to have to tackle, or at least contemplate, promotion. Oftentimes, though, they lack the skills and/or energy to do this effectively, or they simply don’t have the stomachs to so much as think about how they are going to take on yet another responsibility. We, however, are in a prime position to assist them with this critical stage in the process because, in addition to the expertise we offer, we have an intimate knowledge and involvement in their projects.

“With the exception of color correction, sound is the last part of the post-production process, and by this time, the filmmaker is typically fully in touch with his vision and is able to communicate that to me,” Kevin says. “A logical progression is for our team to talk with the filmmaker about what is going to be done with the film once it's completed—whether that means submitting it to film festivals, posting it online, or trying to get a distribution deal—and working with him to develop a promotional plan that will best support those goals.”

In the few months that we've been up and running, we've already seen this philosophy ring true. As Kevin was completing the sound design on an action adventure film called The Photon Effect, for instance, I was busy working with the filmmaker to create a full-scale promotional package. In this case, the package included developing a Website and cohesive online presence, writing a bio, creating a social networking schedule, and writing and distributing press releases, among other services. What resulted was a successful campaign that led to exposure all around the world, not to mention a pro online presence that has helped the filmmaker to stand out.

And it's much the same when it comes to music. “The beauty of PopMark is that when a singer or band or songwriter comes in, they're not just going to walk away with a track after a few sessions. They can, if they choose, obtain a really necessary service above and beyond music production—a service that will help them maneuver through the cluttered and confusing world of diy music marketing," Steve says. "The promotional services we offer can provide them with tools that can help them place their music, better position themselves in the industry, and make sense of the multiple social networking options that otherwise tend to be overwhelming for them to navigate and force them to stick with the same old model—make a CD, sell a CD—which just doesn’t work anymore.”

In fact, it's the overabundance of options available that has propelled bands and singer/songwriters to use our services. Take, for instance, music client Sweet Leda. This exciting neo-soul band are rising stars in the Maryland music scene. They recognized the need to step up their game—both from a music as well as promotion standpoint—as they move into the next phase of their endeavors: touring. Not only did the band begin working with Steve to produce a dynamic, full-length CD (which is currently being mixed), but also they contacted us to put together a promotional package that includes a new Website and a fan funding campaign.

“What’s been great about working with PopMark is there's a cohesiveness and continuity in the product we're getting because of the communication that takes place between our producer and our promotional consultant," says bandmember Jaime Horrigan. "With the crazy schedule that we keep as a band that plays multiple gigs, it's a good feeling to know that we have a team that is walking alongside us in the process, making sure that all of the dots are connected for us. It’s one less burden we have to bear."

Focusing on the Future
In addition to working with music and film professionals, we’ve begun targeting new media opportunities that seem to be springing up just about everywhere we turn. PopMark Professional, which we just recently launched, offers music, audio post and promotional services to business owners who are looking for solutions to their new media challenges. In the future, we’ll continue to expand services in this increasingly popular area.

“Not only are we building a company that is poised to evolve with the changing climate, but one that we hope will invalidate the notion that you have to be in New York, L.A., or Nashville to be successful in the music or film industries,” says Steve. We know the year ahead of us promises to be unpredictable because with any new endeavor, there is bound to be turbulence. We’re looking forward to the destinations that lie ahead, and hope to share our experiences with you along the way.

Studio Unknown is full-service audio post-production facility and recording studio that specializes in helping clients discover creative sound for film, video, Web, gaming, and artist projects. For more information, visit

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