No Substitute for Experience, Especially in Healthcare Communications

October 10th, 2013

Having just completed and delivered our 8th annual educational DVD for the National MS Society, it struck me how much I have learned about medical studies, procedures, and environments over the years. No, I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I sure have filmed a number of them: Neurologists, Epidemiologists, Geneticists, Psychologists, Obstetricians, Physical Therapists, – even Veterinarians!

How many people can say they’ve been a fly-on-the-wall during a vocal fold augmentation AND a sleep study AND have seen an actual centrifuge in action? Ok, maybe I was easier to spot than a fly with my camera crew, but not much, and that’s the point.

Having had the opportunity to film in prestigious medical centers across the country such as the Cleveland Clinic, Yale, Harvard and the CDC to name a few, you can’t help but be in tune with “the right way to do it”. Because when it comes to working in these facilities – there most certainly is a “right way”.

Let me put it this way: I have worn scrubs, over heels. Those of you who know me best are more likely surprised by the heels, but trust me, working in an environment that requires scrubs to be worn by the video crew has other important requirements as well. Details such as staging equipment, finding power, movement restrictions, all must be considered and observed. And it’s not just for the OR and exam room. Hallways are busy in medical facilities. Personnel must be able to move through them unobstructed. Unlike typical marketing projects, It actually can be a life and death issue. These are serious environments, with serious consequences. We have to be quick, and light on our feet and know when and where to point our lens so that we get the shot. Sorry, but that needle is not going in twice.

There are other pragmatic details we have learned to check off our list along the way, as well. For example, we know that even though a doctor may agree to be filmed, we still need to go through the Medical Center’s PR team for permission to film on the premises. There may be additional paperwork including insurance requirements, and media releases – outside of our own.

Access to the loading dock is very important, as is alerting and gaining a contact in security. If you think airports are tough – try hospital security! Certain labs are working on sensitive research; so shots of equipment or research must be pre-approved, or shot around. And perhaps most importantly, note the hazard stickers. DON’T TOUCH anything that has one.

In addition to logistics and safety, we have become incredibly sensitive to the needs of patients, such as accessibility, dealing with fatigue, temperature, and privacy. A filming schedule must be respectful of these considerations for both interviews and b-roll. I have learned it doesn’t matter how fast WE can move, the pace of the day is determined by the subject: matter or person.

At the end of the day – this is what it is all about: telling a story. In order to do any subject justice, you must have an understanding not only of your communication goals, but how to accomplish them fully, accurately and safely. There is no substitute for experience, and this is especially true in the case of healthcare communications.

Moxie celebrates first 10 years!

July 9th, 2013

In July we are celebrating Moxie CCA’s first 10 years. The time has gone by so quickly…

It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun but it has also been incredibly rewarding. For myself, I can say that my role at Moxie has been the one professional achievement that I am most proud of in my entire career. No question. I owe a great debt of thanks to everyone who has worked at Moxie and made us the great team that we are today. We have worked with incredibly talented people and helped many amazing organizations to get their messages delivered in creative and compelling ways. I want to thank everyone we’ve worked with for the opportunity and for the trust.

We thought it might be fun to share some of the many memories from our first 10 years in this crazy business. I hope you enjoy them.

Mike Schrader

Mike’s Top 10 Moxie Memories

  • 2003 - Realizing I had worked 80+ hours from my home office in my first week getting Moxie up and running. Many of those hours in my PJs.
  • In 2004, discovering our amazing offices in historic, downtown Littleton after a long week of searching. The restored craftsman farmhouse was the last place I looked on the last day of looking. It was like coming home…

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

  • Compliments from Champ Bailey… While shooting with Denver Bronco Champ Bailey for a Comcast commercial, I had to walk from behind the camera to where Champ was standing. I took two feeble steps and my feet became tangled in a cable. I tripped and was going down but I saved it at the last minute. Champ laughed and told me I had good feet! I tell this story to anyone who will listen.
  • Learning about the game of “Corn hole” with Kimman Harmon and Scott Jones while on Location in Ohio.
  • Working with Meredith Vieira (The Today! Show) on location for the National MS Society.
  • Working with Deborah Norville on a live studio shoot in New York for Avon. We designed and built a 60 foot set and then assembled it on a sound stage in New York. Five cameras and a jib. Great day.

Deborah Norville and Mike

Deborah Norville and Mike

Control room for Avon multicam

Control room for Avon multicam

  • Shooting in New York. We were shooting beneath the arch in Washington Square for the National MS Society. All of my attention was focused on the arch and the person we were taping at the time. After a while I noticed a person standing patiently beside me waiting for me to finish. He had a clipboard and he had that feel of a “person in the business”. “Can I help you?” I asked. He said “we were just hoping you could finish up soon we can get started”. Then, he pointed behind me. I turned around to see an entire feature film crew of 50+ people complete with a camera on a dolly. They were all looking at us –because they had a permit to shoot right where we were taping. We quickly picked up our toys and moved out of their way. They were filming “August Rush” starring Robin Williams.
  • Trying (and failing) to have a Skype conversation (via Dial up connection) with Susan Canetto in Littleton while I was on vacation overseas. 10 minutes to say 10 words. Two tin cans and a long string would have been better.
  • 2010 Winning “Best Strategy” from the Colorado BMA for the Janus program: “Keeping Volatility in Perspective”
  • 2013 Winning our first National BMA Award of Excellence for the T-Mobile Program: “The Voice of the Customer”

BMA Award of Excellence T-Mobile The Voice of the Customer

BMA Award of Excellence, parody of "The Voice"

Dave, Susan & Mike - 2013 BMA Gold Key

Dave, Susan & Mike - 2013 BMA Gold Key

Susan’s Top 3

  • Having our Monday morning meetings at Sister’s Coffee House in downtown Littleton.
  • The excitement we all felt when our Moxie Media Group brochure was named Best in Show at the 2005 IABC Gold Quill Awards.
  • Being in NYC for the Avon studio shoot and running to B&H to buy tapestock. B&H is the quintessential New York experience.

Kevin’s Top 3

  • Appreciating that after 2 other Producers were unavailable I was going to go to the Grand Cayman islands. Rich Golish and I were there for 4 days staying at the Ritz Carlton hotel, and the people we were interviewing were only available for about 1 hour a day – the rest was free time.

Kevin "On Location"

Kevin "On Location"

  • Moving into the new Moxie Media Group location and working on the Tape Library with Susan Canetto and Billi Henderson, not realizing that 10 years later Billi and I would be married.
  • Doing a character animation for a client that we had never met in person, only to find out later our character looks exactly like the client.

Kerry’s Top 3

  • Being invited to the New MOXIE Office Space party by Susan – not knowing a year later it would be my home too!
  • Mucking up the Mexican border entry by refusing to take our “wrong turn” all the way into Matamoros with camera equipment and no passports, instead putting it in reverse through the less than supportive traffic line behind us.
  • Plotting the most efficient route of food tastings at the MOD Signature Chef event with Lisa. Susan could not keep up.

Kerry and an on-the-fly script rewrite with client

Kerry and an on-the-fly script rewrite with client

Dave’s Top 3

  • Doing the 48 hour film festival at the Moxie offices with Kerry, Mike and Mike’s daughter Michelle.  I remember helping to write, edit, and score the film.

Dave, still smiling (approximately hour 25)

Dave, still smiling (approximately hour 25)

  • Going to the UTI Boston location for the commercial shoot for their national campaign.  I had just gotten my Canon 7D and wanted to test out the camera.  While I wasn’t ingesting RED footage, I shot a ton of footage, I brought back and edited into a “behind the scenes” video.  Mike entered it for a Telly award, and it won.
  • Going out on a Moxie day to play golf in Evergreen.  At the end of the day, the course was over run with elk, and we all just continued to play through it.

Todd’s Top 3

  • “Hey asshole…”  - Being involved in the 48 Hour Film Fest last summer (2012). It was cool to see so many people put so much effort into a non-paying job, just for their passion for the industry.

Team Moxtopia, 48HFF

Team Moxtopia, 48HFF

  • Watching Susan squirm to my right, and Mike laugh out loud to my left, while watching the preview for “Evil Dead” in the theater before seeing “The Call.”
  • Getting praise from the folks at Carrington for nailing their branding in the comps for the high school presentation, and Mike, Susan and I being able to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Lisa’s Top 3

  • All the times I’ve appreciated being able to bring my dogs to the office.
  • The fun Moxie holiday poker tournaments.
  • Being introduced to Tubing at Copper Mountain during a Moxie fun day and no one got hurt.

Moxie Party

Moxie Party

And our hands down collective favorite scripted line of the decade:

“He’s a pro. He’ll be fine.” – Comcast Champ Bailey TV spots

PART FOUR - How to Ensure Your Video Communications Project is a Success

April 11th, 2013

moxieblog-production101-41

Post-Production

Depending on the size and length of your piece, the first hours or days of post-production are typically spent organizing footage, creating graphics, etc. Before editing begins, be sure you have approved the script, or the content outline, and provided any notes about selects or takes that you preferred during filming.

Understand that you will likely be presented with a content cut or rough cut in an initial approval stage. It is more efficient to add b-roll, graphics, music and sound effects after content has been approved. But never be hesitant to ask questions about something you expect to see in the final.

Be sure of the final deliverables you will need: What format? What file size, or type? How many DVDs? This is information that you should absolutely know BEFORE the bidding process begins, because every detail, every phase from budget, to schedule, to creative should consider the final deliverable.

To recap:

Understand and share your goals.

Know what you want to spend.

Appreciate and get involved in pre-production.

Provide clear, combined feedback – from a single source.

Pay attention to approvals.

Participate and provide feedback during the shoot – at the appropriate time.

Understand what you are reviewing in the final stages.

Never be hesitant to ask questions at any stage of production.

Perhaps most important: One size does not fit all. In this four part series, we focused on the video project process, but there might be other ways to tell your story. Be open to them. At Moxie, our goal is to make YOU the hero. It’s not about us, so we won’t try to talk you into a certain type of product or approach because it’s what “we do.”

Instead, we start with your goal, create solutions within your budget, and make it happen. The team and the tools come together as a result of your specific communication needs. We welcome your participation in the process and look forward to finding appropriate solutions that make you a hero - every time.

PART THREE - How to Ensure Your Video Communications Project is a Success

April 10th, 2013

moxieblog-production101-31

Pre-Production

Know, understand and respect the value of pre-production. Without this vital step success cannot be ensured. If completed thoroughly, everything from concept, art direction and scripting to scheduling, crewing and logistics will be nailed down well in advance.

Pay attention to approvals. When asked for feedback, take responsibility for efficiency and clarity. Take a poll of all internal decision makers on your end, compile everything you need to convey in a single document and provide clear detailed notes. Conflicting feedback can create confusion and mistakes not to mention inefficiency and in some cases, added cost.

Also, know what exactly you are approving. Once a concept is approved, the rest of the project is born out of this concept. Once a script is approved, everything from scheduling to talent to props, etc. is determined and built. If you wait to share script changes until the day of filming, there could be delays, surprises or challenges that could have been avoided with attention during the pre-production phase.

Production

If possible, you should join the production crew during filming. Make sure you pay attention to how the shot looks. You have valuable expertise to contribute regarding branding and priority of content. During filming, you should be taking notes. If the project is scripted, take notes on the script itself: what takes you liked best, or if there is a reason not to use one of them. If the project is interview based, do the same with a list of “must have” content you need to accomplish your communication goals.

Don’t hold back opinions, concerns or suggestions for later – this is the time to speak up. However, make sure you have discussed this process with your production team prior to the start of filming because you should never interrupt when the camera is rolling, and talent should only take direction from one person, or it can get confusing. At Moxie, we make sure we check in with our clients before moving on to another shot to be sure we have covered everything to their liking. Usually this is accomplished through quiet conversation, not in front of the entire cast and crew.

PART FOUR of this series will wrap up post-production and delivery, along with a recap of our step-by-step tips.

PART TWO - How to Ensure Your Video Communications Project is a Success

April 9th, 2013

moxieblog-production101-21

The Team

When you hire creative and production professionals, experience is important, of course. This will be evident not only in a resume or work samples, but in the types of questions you are asked during the bidding process.

Questions such as: “Who is the target audience?” and “What’s the total length?” are important and a great place to start, but the real pros will want to hear about the ultimate goal of your communication, and what kinds of results you hope to achieve. Remember - communications is never one size fits all, so even though you have selected video, there are many different options in terms of format and delivery that need to be considered at this point.

Talk about what format will be used and why. There are different looks that can be achieved, different costs as a result of the types of camera, lenses, etc., and different delivery methods also need to be considered. For example, is this communication going to be a broadcast commercial, displayed on a monitor at a tradeshow, or posted on a company intranet or external website? Answering the question about where and how the video will be viewed will help an experienced video professional advise you on format.

The right team will want to take time to discuss all of the above with you.

The Numbers

If you have a number in mind, share it! Sharing your budget upfront allows for a realistic approach and appropriate solutions.

When reviewing a bid for a particular job, take note of the scope of work as well as the line item budget. This is an itemized list of exactly what you are buying and how much it costs. If the budget you are given only shows the bottom line, or does not come with an associated scope of work, ask for more detail. This will help you better compare with other bids.

PART THREE will discuss making sure your message is captured through the creative and production process.

PART ONE - How to Ensure Your Video Communications Project is a Success

April 8th, 2013

moxieblog-production101-11

Companies hire agency and production professionals to create, produce and deliver internal and external communications vital to their business. If it is your responsibility to manage such communications what can you do to ensure that your project has the best chance for success?

Let’s be honest, by the time you are ready to hire your team, you have probably already decided what kind of communication you want to use: print, video, digital… But at Moxie, we believe communications is never one size fits all. Our goal is to make YOU the hero. It’s not about us, so we won’t try to talk you into a certain type of product or approach because it’s what “we do.”

We believe the most vital and first step is defining the ultimate goal of your communication - what kind of results you hope to achieve. From here the best approach will be determined. Is this a communication that is best served by a print campaign, a radio spot, a long or short form video? What is the best way to tell this story? In many cases a campaign may require the combined use of varied media – print, web, video, etc.

In this Blog series, we will lay out the process of a successful video communications process - step by step. We have chosen video because although many of our clients tell us this kind of project is the most fun they have on the job, it also seems that a video project can seem intimidating if the process is unfamiliar.

This series has been broken into four parts. In PART TWO we will discuss how to put the right team together.

Things have changed.

March 22nd, 2013

I grew up in the days of LP records, Pink Princess Phones, skateboards with metal wheels… and, typewriters.

When I wanted to see one of my friends I walked or rode my bike over to their house. If I couldn’t go in person, I called them – on our one and only home phone. I still remember our home phone number. The worst possible outcome of calling a friend was a busy signal: Beep, Beep Beep…. It was awful. Who were they talking to? Why weren’t they talking to me? I still hate busy signals.

In the evening, we’d be out playing with friends in our neighborhood. When it was time to come home, I would hear my mom screaming from our porch: “Michael… Dinner’s ready!” It was simple but it worked every time. And every mom on our street announced the evening meal with the same cutting edge technology.

Things were pretty simple.

Fast forward to today…

Today I’m a dad. That’s the biggest change of all. It’s great. You’d also call me an “early adopter” when it comes to technology. Moxie CCA is a tech business. And, I like to have the latest gadgets and technology available for work and play. Over time I have become assimilated into mobile culture in ways I never imagined. A crazy percentage of my day is spent interacting with my iPad, iPhone and my laptop. Sadly, I often spend a lot more time interacting with these digital friends than I do talking with my human friends and family. I think a lot of us do the same thing… Don’t get me wrong, I do a lot of communicating with my family and friends – maybe more than ever. Just not in person.

Here’s a snapshot of a typical day:

5:30AM The very first thing I hear in the morning is the alarm on my iPad playing music from my music collection. This morning it was Joe Walsh screaming the first lines of “Meadow”.

Very soothing.

Shortly after getting up I use the same iPad to tune in a local radio station so I can get a preview of the weather and my ride to work.

6:00AM Over breakfast I grab the iPhone to check “Words with Friends”. I have about half a dozen games going. I’m a bit competitive so….

6:30AM Before I head out the door to work I grab the laptop and take care of any e-mail that needs attention.

7:00AM I’m in the car and off to work. My car has a system that syncs my iPhone to the entertainment system. I can make calls with a voice command or answer a call with the touch of a button on the steering wheel. It’s pretty cool and I use it a lot. It’s also a lot safer than driving with a hand-held phone.

8:00AM I’m in the office, in a chair and working on the laptop. Fortunately, many of my days are on location shooting programs for our clients. That’s where I’m happiest. And to get to the shoot location – I use voice driven GPS navigation on my iPhone.

9:00AM I get a text (the first of many I will get today…) from my 17 year old daughter about her phone. She lost all of her contact info. Epic disaster. We text about this on and off all day until the mystery is solved. BTW, High school girls WILL NOT respond to a phone call. In fact, the ringers are never on.

Text good.

Call bad.

Go figure.

10:00AM I tear myself away from the laptop and visit Dave in our edit room where we are cutting a documentary program for a client. More computers, more screens. I bring along my iPad just in case I need to fire off an e-mail or check some facts on the web.

10:00AM – 12:00PM I split my time between the edit, texts, phone calls and e-mails… and working with Dave.

12:00PM Lunch – I eat and read a few chapters of crime fiction… on my iPad.

1:00PM – 5:00PM More editing, texting, e-mailing and phone calling…

6:00PM – Bedtime We try to have a family meal and talk about our day – just like the old days. But the iDevices are never out of reach. Later, I might watch a documentary on my iPad from Netflix or read some more of my book – also on the iPad. Or, I might make a reservation for an upcoming trip – all with a mobile device. If we watch TV, the iPad is right there in case I need to look up the filmography of an actor or director.

10:00PM I set the alarm on the iPad and get ready to do it again tomorrow

So, what’s it all mean?

I think mobile technology has certainly made a huge impact on how we live our lives - iDevices are fun! iTechnology has made our lives easier and more convenient. It has put information, shopping, entertainment and communication with friends and family at our fingertips. It has also made us very dependent on this same technology for everyday tasks that we once carried out in a simpler and more personal way.

I love engaging with new technology.

I miss engaging more with people.

It’s all good, only different.

Mike

Experience

February 26th, 2013

Although my Tax Return says “Producer,” often when asked what I do for a living I instead say, “Corporate Anthropologist.” And although that sounds made-up, (it is – technically) it is perhaps a more accurate description of what we do at Moxie CCA and the true value of the skills we have honed over the years.

Wikipedia explains, “anthropology has been distinguished from other social sciences by its emphasis on in-depth examination of context, cross-cultural comparisons, and the importance it places on participant-observation, or long-term, experiential immersion in the area of research.” This is without question what we do for our clients. We learn their business inside and out. We immerse ourselves in the content; work to truly comprehend specific goals and audience; and use that knowledge to craft and deliver compelling stories. Every business is different, has a unique personality and culture. Our experiences have proven this time and time again.

Recently, Mike Schrader and I were having a conversation (I really should change the title of this Blog to “Meetings with Moxie Mike”) about the breadth of our team’s combined experience: feature film; broadcast television; national commercial spots, independent film and theatrical documentary with international TV and DVD distribution; corporate B2B, B2C, internal communications, training, sales presentations…the list goes on. We have been communicating on behalf of world-class businesses and brands since the 80’s.

Like the famed Tootsie-Pop Owl, we can’t even begin to count the number of on-camera interviews we have conducted over the years. It is a learned and applied science, vital to the success of effective content gathering and storytelling.

What does this mean for our clients and their projects? Experience = Smart. Tested. Proven. We don’t have to experiment - we’ve done it. We’ve seen it, we know the guy who invented it… We’ve survived the pitfalls, overcome the challenges and lived all the “fine-print” of creative, production and post. A valuable asset for every project is the team’s ability to seamlessly employ an effective “Plan B” that is indistinguishable from “Plan A” in terms of outcome.

A huge misconception in the creative world is that you can only be fresh if you are fresh. If that was true - you could only ever be fresh once. We are not produce – we are producers. Production takes practice. Ideas get better. The system becomes smoother. Fresh ideas and approaches must be created over and over and over again. This is where experience is essential and it is what seasoned professionals bring to every project.

At Moxie there are two kinds of experience that differentiate us. Not only do we have on the job experience dating back to the days of splicing, pagers and neon leg warmers, we have experience working together. We have experience being a team, having worked together for over decade and in some cases, more. This is truly rare.

It’s a well choreographed on and off-set ballet. It’s Kimman knowing my glance meant “roll camera” so we don’t unnerve an already tense on-camera participant with the call to ROLL; Kevin anticipating the technical requirements for every deliverable; Mike boiling down the details and owning the creative direction; It’s Susan’s ability to dissect the game plan and add an efficiency to the process; Using only a few descriptive words and having Todd take a design concept to the next level; Being secure in the knowledge that not only will Lisa bring burritos to that breakfast meeting but she always knows exactly where to find the answer to that archaic question about insurance, payroll or account log-ins; and that Dave will always find a way to squeeze more into his packed edit schedule, never leaving anything on his list at the end of the day.

There is tremendous efficiency and comfort in always knowing when and how your team will zig and zag. “Well-oiled-machine” doesn’t begin to cut it. It is synergy at its finest. It is an ecosystem of productivity, creativity and respect. It’s a team – no a family - of which I am very proud to be a part. “Corporate Anthropology” may not be a real science, but we sure have it down to one at Moxie.

Part 3 - Work that Matters

February 11th, 2013

Recently, Mike Schrader said to me, “One of the best things about what we do is having the opportunity to learn about so many different things - to meet organizations that are doing so much good. We are fortunate to tell their stories.” Which brings us to part three in our “Work that Matters” series.

Last fall, Moxie had the opportunity spend time with one of these exceptional organizations and document their story. For the past 25 years, D.C. Central Kitchen has been transforming people’s lives in the inner city of our nation’s capitol.

Here’s how DC Central Kitchen CEO Mike Curtain describes their mission:

DC Central Kitchen is based on a very simple premise that waste is wrong. Whether that waste is food, productive minds, or kitchen space. So what we do is we take food that’s been thrown away or will be thrown away, bring it to the kitchen, we prepare that food using men and women uh who have been marginalized or in many ways thrown away by society, train them, uh give them a skill so they can go out and work in the hospitality industry and break that cycle of homelessness, hunger and poverty on their own.

It’s so simple but so powerful…

Here’s how it works:

It all starts by finding and using food that would otherwise have been thrown away. Edible, healthy produce local growers find hard to sell, maybe for aesthetic reasons. Tomatoes that aren’t round or shiny enough, potatoes with exterior blemishes, squash that is too small or too large for grocery stores to sell. All this healthy food used to go to waste. But through a visionary combination of business and non-profit partnering, the D.C. Central Kitchen has worked out pricing deals to buy this unglamorous, but good-tasting, real food (all grown within a 150 mile radius of central Washington D.C.) and put it to work in Washington DC’s inner city.

The next step is to help men and women that need a second (or third) chance, by teaching them self-sufficiency and new skills in the hospitality industry. The training they receive is a source of empowerment, and helps break the cycle of homelessness, hunger and poverty. They prepare the food, to the tune of 10,000 meals a day - providing healthy meals to feed shelters and schools.

So what is the kitchen’s ultimate goal? CEO, Mike Curtain, describes it like this:,

“…Our goal is not to do more meals; it’s to do fewer meals smarter so ultimately we don’t have to do any. Now will that happen anytime soon? Probably not. But if we continue to train men and women so they can get their own jobs and get on to a life, to a life of self-sufficiency, then we’re going to be closer to, to solving these problems.

The D.C. Central Kitchen has a quite a story. It’s one of those rare examples of a situation where everyone wins…

Local farmers are provided with a new market for their produce.

Children and families in need are provided with healthy, nutritious food.

And, an otherwise marginalized population of inner city residents are given a fresh start.

It is a story we feel fortunate to help tell…

Part 2 - Work that Matters

November 6th, 2012

This story is the second of a three part series we will dedicate to inspiring people, the work they do and results that matter.

While in Lamaze class preparing for the birth of our first child, I recall an exercise the instructor asked us to do. We were asked to write various outcomes on index cards, words such as “natural birth”, “epidural”, “boy”, “girl”, and “healthy”. During the exercise, we were asked to remove cards one by one, until ultimately we were left choosing between “healthy” and whatever our second most important outcome was. Everyone chooses healthy – which was, of course, the point of the whole exercise.

For the past four years, Moxie has supported the March of Dimes by producing a video program used at fundraising events across Colorado. Every year we meet amazing families and document their unimaginable, terrifying, and emotional experiences with premature birth.

Sitting across from a mother or father that has watched a tiny, infant child fight for their lives, having them recount the long, unexpected, and horrifying journey, is heart wrenching. There are universal themes they all share, the helplessness, the miniscule size of their child, the wires and tubes and machines…but what is amazing is that each of these families is as unique as the child they bring into this world. Each of them leaves us with something special.

This year, for example, we had the opportunity to meet a little boy who beat the odds, and is a thriving, feisty, energetic grade-schooler. To begin a morning hearing frightful stories and viewing unimaginable photographs; but end the day watching the same little boy skateboarding and kayaking is quite a ride, to say the least. This was the same experience we provided to our viewers, as well.

It is both rewarding and humbling to be able to produce a video that documents such a wonderful success story, and highlights the positive contributions the March of Dimes has had on babies and families including funding the development of surfactant, a substance that helps premature babies breathe; advocating for a regionalized system of neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), to enable sick babies in all part of the U.S. to get the specialized care they need; and offering continuing education for NICU health professionals, to keep them informed of breakthroughs in their field and new ways to help critically ill babies.

Additionally, this video, as part of the Colorado funding events, helped raise more than $150,000 for the March of Dimes. The family and their willingness to share their story, the video we produced to bring their story to life for an audience, the March of Dimes and the people that contributed to its mission, together - we’ve all made a real difference.

After all, at the end of the day, the one card I still believe we would all choose for every child to be dealt is “healthy.”

Watch the March of Dimes Video.