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Theta Media Group (TMG) Designs Artist Showcase Website for Multi-Platinum Songwriter Harriet Schock
TMG Digital Business Strategist Randall Michael Tobin worked directly with Harriet Schock to craft a web presence commensurate with the multiple creative careers of the artist.
By: Theta Media Group
Always looking to expand her creative endeavors, Harriet starting teaching songwriting and soon had more students than could fit in her teaching space, so she added a second concurrent class to the schedule.
Harriet became a bona fide author when she began to publish essays on the art and craft of songwriting. A curated collection of these essays eventually became the book "Becoming Remarkable" which was bundled with Harriet's latest album at the time, "Rosebud."
Harriet added acting to her résumé when indie film writer/director Henry Jaglom cast Harriet in his films and a stage play.
The preceding sets the stage for the question: How does one create a website that presents all of the above in an aesthetic, concise, navigable way? Being the industry icon she is, Harriet had many connections to web designers, but chose Randall Michael Tobin at Theta Media Group for the project.
Randall recalls, "I've known Harriet for many years, having recorded several of her song and movie soundtrack projects at our recording studio here at Theta Media Group. I've also run live sound and shot video for her shows, and taken her songwriting class a few times, so I am quite familiar with the many hats Harriet wears."
It was clear from the start that curating the extensive catalog of Harriet's recorded works was going to take time. And once the selected images, audio and video items were organized, it was determined that some of them needed to be restored and/or brought closer to today's standards of quality.
"I'm fortunate to have learned many artistic disciplines in my industry," said Mr. Tobin. "With websites, content comes in many forms. Most of the time, images need to be resized, color corrected and cleaned up. Audio files need to be cleaned up and mastered for web streaming. In Harriet's case, she had several songs that were only available on the original vinyl LPs, so we did the vinyl-to-digital transfers in our studio as well. But the biggest challenges were the video archives. Both the audio and video elements of these archives needed fixing. Some of the clips, the audio and video were out of sync by almost a second! My extensive experience as an audio engineer and a video editor came in handy to solve these problems."
Randall continued, recounting a particularly difficult problem: "On Harriet's Acting Reel, there were segments originally taken from DVDs of the films in which she appeared. On one of the clips, a visible overlay of the DVD playback button appeared in the corner of the frame for about a second or so. Once it disappeared, the background was in the clear for a couple seconds, so I knew it could be masked and cloned to cover the 'play button.' But it wasn't as easy as it sounds; the director shot the scene while slowly zooming in. I ended up solving the problem by covering the unwanted button frame by frame, adjusting the zoom and position of the masked clean footage for each frame, until it was seamless and undetectable."
A major component of website design is the text content. Often taken for granted, text copy is an art in and of itself. Here, too, Mr. Tobin's skills in that area meshed well with Harriet's: "Being on the outside, yet being intimately familiar with Harriet's world, I found it both challenging and engaging to come up with different ways of communicating the breadth of Harriet's legacy along with her present and future activities. There was a large amount of information, images, audio clips and videos to make available, and literally hundreds of testimonials covering all of the hats Harriet wears. I solved this problem by making each page its own mini-website, complete with intro, main content, feature video or audio tracks, listing or gallery, and testimonials for that page. It worked great and Harriet loves it."
"Another important factor for search engine optimization is being mobile friendly (also known as responsive design)," Randall said. "We use a flexible digital framework that addresses that challenge elegantly and I verify the results on our desktops, iPad, Android phone, etc., using different browsers as well."
Randall closed with, "Our company, Theta Media Group, speciallizes in websites for Artists, Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses. It takes a specialized approach to be able to serve those niche markets with the variety of content and design options needed to achieve the desired outcome for each endeavor. That's where our experience, artistry and technical expertise set us apart from other web design services. We're honored to have been able to use those skills to bring the art and craft of Harriet Schock to anyone in the world with an Internet connection."
Visit the Harriet Schock Artist Showcase Website at https://www.HarrietSchock.com
Theta Media Group