WHAT WE DO
Content And Creative
WHAT IS BCM
Greetings from Rocky Mountain West. My name is Michael Alan Cox. Most people call me Mike. Burro Creek Media is the name under which I operate. I am a media generalist with many years of experience and success in Radio, TV, Newspapers, Magazines and Digital Media. I also did some live theater work way back when.
The name I use refers to a real creek, with real running water, a rarity in western Arizona. There really are burros to be found, there is water year around, and the scenery is spectacular.
The name became a benchmark because I was rewriting the final scenes for "The Last Cowboy" and the idea for the new finish, my agent has asked for, came to me while I was driving up Highway 93 and crossing the great silver bridge that spans the canyon and Burro Creek 200 feet below.
Burro Creek Media is my custom media operation offering expertise in video production, photography, digital signage, script research and writing, and digital book and magazine production. We like to specialize in Restaurants and Bars, Golf, and Travel.
My clients over the past few years included GOLF MAGAZNE, Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery, American Golf Corporation, Communications Links (Co-Founder), Screenbrokers, PGA, and others.
I have written five screenplays and had two of those optioned. In helping to build the Tilted Kilt Brand, I wrote and produced hundreds of training and marketing videos and developed a propriatary TV network as well as digital magazine. I also have seven books to my credit.
My travels have taken me to 23 countries and 49 states -- missed Rhode Island when I made a wrong turn in Conectincutt.
Spend a little time on the site and look for us on our Facebook and Linked-In sites as well. I hope we'll meet someday on a great project
Some fun in front of the camera for a change.
What BCM Does
I love to tell stories. But the idea that a story I tell can take any of number of communication forms totally fascinates me. The written word and/or the graphic representation of those words are what my life has been all about. Helping people transport their messages to others on a small or large scale is my passion. That is so much so, that if I stopped "working" I would still do what I do for the sheer fun, excitement, and satisfaction of it.
Under everything is the writing.
From the blockbuster motion picture down to that pop-up ad on the website you're trying to read, writing is where it all begins. The words come right after the idea spark that ignites the creative process.
Sometimes the project is only words, a blog, a newspaper story or the quintessential literary masterpiece. Other times the words are the foundation for a movie or a slide/narrative presentation.
Even silent movies were screenplays at birth. Without the well executed written map no communication effort is going to produce the results expected.
To that end I am, first, a writer. I have written everything from Corporate CEO speeches to drama-filled screenplays, and from 15-second radio commercials to videos that taught bartenders how to mix special drinks. I have written hundreds of articles for organs such as GOLF Magazine and many daily papers. I wrote and published Golf For Travel Agents, which became the training manual for The American Society of Travel Agents.
If you have a message, I can craft it to be delivered through whatever medium you wish to use. I can deliver a rough draft or a final package properly formatted for the desired channel.
The process begins with a meeting and spoken words. You tell me what you want to do and I will suggest the solutions. If you like what yo hear, then we'll create.
A/V project consulting
Script Writing and Development
A/V for Meeting Presentations
News Release Writing
News Release Videos and Photos
Corporate Training Videos
Stock Video and Stills
Digital Signage Content
Digital Magazines and Books
Maintaining video archives allows that annual meeting a kick start that cuts those boring speeches to a minimum.
Sometimes show and tell is best
The rule in audio visual media is, "Don't Tell, Show." If all you want to do is put a talking head on the screen and have them drone on about whatever, just call it in. Unless you're presenter is Anthony Hopkins or Dame Judith, you won't accomplish anything other than boring your audience to tears or worse.
In screen writing school they drill a hole in your head and pour in the words "show, don't tell" in all the known languages of the universe. It's crude but effective.
When I shoot a training video I will spend time looking for the right visual for a scene or a training point rather than writing out the instructions. The less time the presenter spends on the screen the better. I love voice overs -- the viewer gets a double shot of the training juice. We know they will retain more as well.
There is another caveat in corporate Audio/Visual, "Don't Read The Slides."
You give me a project with a speaker talking over a slide presentation and there won't be slides to read, there will be slides that illustrate and reinforce his or her words.
When BCM creates a training video or a marketing video we'll shoot fresh, properly planned footage and we'll pull from our huge library of properly licensed stock footage, images, and music and original creativity to provide a product that definitely shows AND tells.
The BCM Blog
Thoughts on Making Media Work Better
Video used in the training of employees is all the rage now. And, it should be. Video with sound is an effective training tool when done right. A few companies make good use of the tool and bother to approach the task with the seriousness required. Too many trust the job to the kid in the mail room, who has a Go-Pro or a phone cam. Here are five mistakes companies and their video training producers make that leave them open to all manner of problems, not the least of which are legal issues that arise from some of these errors.
No Script – I can honestly say I have never shot a training video without first writing a script and getting everyone involved, including legal, to check off on it. Without an approved script you’re flying blind. Production costs are higher because of missed shots, retakes, extra shooting time, and pure unadulterated screw ups. You would not try to build a new office building without first doing a set of plans, why do it with a training video. The video is just as important as that office space.
Missing The Target Audience – Too many training videos totally miss the audience for which they are intended. Script and Production decisions are, many times, made according to the likes and dislikes of an executive or team in charge. In reality, other than brand adherence and production values, the content and direction of a training piece needs to be tailored to the people who will watch it. Sometimes it is a good idea to engage some individuals who are in the target audience to find an effective way to communicate with them.
Using Employees and Executives as Actors – If an executive is delivering a message to the trainee, by all means use him or her. But using exec’s and employees as actors harms the credibility of the production. Training video “customers” need to be people who come from outside the family circle. I have shot my
share of “employee actors” at the request of clients, and believe me when I say it almost never works.
Using Unlicensed Material – Way too many in-house productions use current unlicensed popular music (as well as pictures gleaned from the Internet) in their videos. That is wrong on more than one point. First using copyrighted material without paying royalties is wrong, it is illegal, it is stealing. Let me put it this way, you would not like it if someone ripped off your trademarked logo and used it as their own. You would probably sue. Some artist wrote and produced that music and it belongs to them. There are too many in our industry who don’t honor that trust. I had a corporate legal executive tell me it wasn’t an issue because there was little chance of getting caught. But that is not the point. Is robbery still a crime even if you don’t get caught? If you do get caught, the numbers can add up pretty quickly. ( See www.ascap.org ).
There is another reason not to use current popular music: It blocks the effectiveness of the message by distracting the viewer. If the viewer likes the song, they will remember it, but not the message of the video.
Poor Audio Quality – Among production professionals, it is often said than minor glitches in the video quality can be overlooked if the audio is great. Voices are the main issue. Unless a room is completely dead (no echoes) lavaliere or lapel mic's are the only answer. Do your voice overs in a clothes closet if you don’t have a booth. Be careful when mixing music and words. The editor should trust the meters, not his ears. For the final cut, the video ought to be run through a program like Premiere Pro’s, Loudness Radar to set the final level of the overall piece.
There are more items that could be on this list, but these five come to mind first when I’m producing a training video. I would love to hear from other producers with their thoughts. Comments welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org
BCM Blog Archives
The first in my series of Golf Short story books. This is a collection of nine short stories spawned by my golf life.
In Golf Shorts, you will see both Thalia and Melpomene, sometimes at the same instant. Most people are way too serious about their golf. At the same time a lot of funny things happen in golf.
What you won’t see here are people you have ever heard of, except in passing reference to set a scene. My characters are regular folks who love the game and who find themselves in some pretty strange circumstances, trying to do some pretty weird stuff. Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes it is gut wrenching.
The book will be available on Kindle in March. Click Here for a short preview read.
Holliday, Earp & Goldfarb
Here's a spoof based on the movie "Tombstone." Wyatt Earp meets Marty Mcfly is a comedy romp through the famous shootout with Sally Goldfarb completely changing the history of the old west after she and hubby, Doctor Marshall Goldfarb, get blasted back in time to 1881, where things are not exactly like they were in the movies or reality.
Ellie and her fiancée, Uwi, living in the communist controlled East Berlin of post WW2, get separated for nearly 30 years when her mother's love of a priceless antique lamp causes problems with their escape in the days prior to the raising of the Berlin Wall. An ingenious plan to get the lamp out as well falls short forcing Uwi to risk returning for a missing part. A gritty look at East Germany and a warm family story.
The Last Cowboy was the second screenplay I ever wrote. It came after "Salad Wars," my first and least known work. It deals with subject matter with which I am intimately familiar and with which I have considerable experience.
The matter of eliminating ranching on Federal Lands was tested by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) back in the 70s in a series of events, one of which took place in Mohave County Arizona. I was the editor of the Kingman Daily Miner, the newspaper of record in Mohave County. The Miner and the community supported the ranchers. The science was on the ranchers side, the politics were on the other.
In essence we earned a retreat by the BLM after exposing many mis-truths. But, we knew they would be back someday. Of course, events in the 2014 and 2015 proved that. The Cliven Bundy incident and the stand off in Oregon that left a man dead in the snow, were sorrowful reminders that the greatest percentage of people in the world have no idea what allotment ranching is all about and how much land the federal government controls in the Western US. There is so much disinformation disseminated by the eco-terrorists groups, the ill-informed and misguided media, and the government that the families who ranch in the west have little left to them for their stewardship of the land for the past 150 years.
The "Last Cowboy" is a simple story of a man wronged not only by the forces named above, but by a wayward son seeking revenge. The setting is northwestern Arizona. The people are not real, there are no composites. There was a Cane Springs outfit (in fact there were two of them).
The screenplay got me quite a bit of attention. My screen-brokers and agents Bonnie Sanders and Alan Ross got the script into the hands of enough people to allow the work to be optioned three times. We were never able to get the green light on production.
I wrote the Jack McLeod voice somewhere between Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood, both of whom read the script but passed. Eastwood, who told his assistant that he did like the story, had just completed Unforgiven and was moving on from the west-related genre. I cannot say that I would blame him after his intense work on that gritty, but brilliant, western.
We were shopping the script around and one morning my wife heard Burt Reynolds say on GMA that he wanted to do one more western. Alan jumped on it and caught up with Burt in Florida. We overnighted a script and Reynolds called the next day to say he was in and then signed a letter of intent. Unfortunately, by that time, Burt was well below “A” list by then and we couldn’t get a producer to climb on. Thanks for trying Burt.
BCM Phone: 602-703-2476
Mike Klemme Photos and Art. Best golf and landscape shooter ever.
Kristin Cronhardt, Mind Meld Partners Food and Beverage marketing and consulting.
ScreenBrokers Contact for screen writers to get exposure in the movie market.
Adobe Stock Art Best stock art (stills, vectors, video clips) BCM has many pieces in the Adobe catalogue.