R.A.P. Interview: Terry Phillips

JV: Sounds challenging.
Terry: Yeah, but you know that’s the thing right now with the economy; every single one of us, whether you’re in a small market or a major, you’re doing more. You just are. That’s how it is. I’m a big believer in those two kinds of people: the people who aren’t as good with the pressure, and the people who hunker down and just try to find a way to get it done. That may be an overly Texan attitude from me.

JV: CBS Radio’s “Idea Sharing Group” is something you headed up some time ago. What’s the story on that?
Terry: Well, it’s still very, very loosely organized. CBS still is very independent from station to station. So, there’s no way to do corporate mandates of things. I’m still in charge of the email list, and somewhat the community. I’ve been working on trying to build a community portal for them, and juggling with IT, and obviously in this economy, there’s a lack of budget. It’s not something that they don’t have a priority for at all. They’ve very, very, very supportive, but people are being stretched 18 ways to Sunday.

My project, which I have still sitting out in the wild in open beta called ProdNation has been on hold because corporate wanted me to build them one like it -- a little more resilient in some areas, a lot more secure in others. That security makes me reliant on IT, and additionally being busy with my stations, nobody at corporate wants me to not pay attention to our stations so I can take care of that.

It’s something that is in progress. It’s something that things are happening with. But like anything else, everything either happens quickly, or it happens so slow it’s like a herd of turtles. At the moment, we’re a little bit of a herd of turtles. We have a great group of creative folks in our company. Not saying that anyone else doesn’t, I’m just happy to lean on them and to have them ask for my help whenever possible.

We have it set up at the moment essentially so we can all contact each other instantly, and shoot out, “Can anyone do this character voice? Does anyone have this song? Does anyone have this? Where can I get this noise?” They can call out for help and get it nearly instantaneously. That’s because of everybody being helpful, rather than one full–time person, or a couple full–time people taking care of that. There are a lot more resources I would like, that they would like, and that all of us would like, but we’re getting there.

JV: Texas Terry Productions has been in business since 1993. What services do you provide, and how is business?
Terry: It’s good, trying to develop strategies and time to expand pretty much as everyone is. We provide voice over obviously and production services obviously. I’ve consulted a couple of small stations on approach and image, and I do some commercial work as well, and not just locally -- nothing to brag about nationally yet, nothing recent at least.

In 2008 I had two floods wipe out my studio. One took out the walls, and the next one took out all of my equipment. So, for a little over a year now, I’ve been rebuilding studios. I finally got my new studio done. I’m almost done building a new website with the bigger, stronger client interface. I’m hoping any stations or agencies haven’t fallen in love with anybody else on the planet, and now that I’m ready to roll again at full speed, I can bring in some of that business again.

I’ve been real fortunate and real lucky with the company I work for, and I’m one of those types of folks who really wants to make things work, and for them to be right. So I give a little too much of my energy to CBS Radio, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing at all. And as far as freelance is concerned, I’m staying involved. The latest area that I’ve expanded into is doing TV commercials, video animation and pre–rolls for radio stations. Figuring out how to price that affordably, competitively, and how to make it worth the investment is where I’m at now as I’m rebuilding the website.

JV: What program do you use for editing video?
Terry: For editing video I almost live in After Effects from Adobe, which technically isn’t a video editor. For chopping the video to fit, I usually use Vegas just because it’s a comfortable pair of shoes to me, and it can do pretty much anything Premiere can. And as with any person who is used to an audio editor and has ever had to go across the street and use another, once you get used to a comfortable pair of shoes, it’s not that you can’t retrain yourself, it’s that you can go so much faster in what you know.

After Effects is an animation tool that broadcasters use to spin things and make things animated and everything else. When you’re watching a TV commercial where you’re seeing arrows pop up, or video pop up, or things fly across the screen, most of that animation for television, network and commercial is done in After Effects. Anything that is not pure 3D, which is usually 3D Max, is After Effects. I always like to learn new things, so I dove into that program, and I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

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