Monday, September 8, 2008

"Beyond Oil" - Energy Rush TV at Microsoft

This past Thursday and Friday marked another in a continuing series of conferences organized by the Seattle-based Cascadia Discovery Institute. The title of this one was "Beyond Oil" with a subtitle of "Transforming Transportation: A National Demonstration Project." The Cascadia folks have put other events on in the Puget Sound area, but this was the best one yet.

The setting was the Executive Conference Center at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and of course the Energy Rush team was there covering the event and interviewing key participants. Among those interviewed by our friend and colleague Dr. Andrew Frank (Professor Plug-in) were:

  • State of Washington Governor Christine Gregoire
  • X-Prize Executive Director Don Foley, visiting the conference from Washington, D.C.
  • Eric Leonhardt, professor at the Vehicle Research Institute in Bellingham, WA
  • Dick Lee, senior architect with international firm NBBJ
  • Rob Bernard, chief environmental strategist for Microsoft
Many of the other speakers and participants at the "Beyond Oil" event have been interviewed by Energy Rush TV before. And yes, there was a Bill Gates sighting (Steve Ballmer too)!

Besides Dr. Frank, other Energy Rush TV team members at the conference were Paul Steinbroner and Mark DuMond.

Kudos to Bruce Agnew, Steve Marshall and the whole Cascadia group for pulling off a first-class, positive, forward-thinking event.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Covering the BuiltGreen 2008 Event

One of the largest and most comprehensive green building conferences in the USA took place in mid-March in downtown Seattle. It's called BuiltGreen 2008 and Energy Rush TV covered it like no one else.

Our crew videotaped a keynote address by Andrew Winston of Riverside, Connecticut, founder of Winston Eco-Strategies and co-author of the best-selling book "Green to Gold." After the speech, Winston sat down for an interview with Energy Rush TV, where he spoke about the importance of going green in buildings around the world, going as far as to say that buildings need more attention in terms of going green than either the transportation or industrial sectors.

We also interviewed Patti Southard, a perennial co-chair of the annual BuiltGreen event and also head of the King County Recycling and Environmental Services department, which has developed a cool program called Green Tools, a way for suburban communities throughout the region to get greener and cleaner.

One of the presenters at the conference was Mark Schuster, president of The Schuster Group. His company is finishing up work on an ultra-green high-rise condominium project in the Belltown neighborhood near downtown Seattle. Mark spoke to us at length about the project, called the Mosler Lofts, and aside from being green from top to bottom, the condos are unique in their adherence to the original concept of an urban "loft" with ceilings that soar up to 19 feet high. The Mosler Lofts are scheduled to be completed by the first of April, and The Schuster Group has arranged for the Energy Rush TV team to come shoot footage of the inside and outside of the finished building. Look for more on this story soon.

Another innovator we interviewed that afternoon was Betsy Hands. She's a Montana State Legislator from Missoula, and also executive director of homeWORD, an affordable housing advocacy group in Montana. They recently completed construction on a project called Orchard Gardens, which intermingles land, housing, agriculture and affordable living in one tract of semi-urban property. The day after the conference, Betsy emailed us a whole bunch of great photos of the project, which we'll post soon.

In Issaquah, Washington a group of forward-thinking folks are embarking on a new endeavor called the Zero Energy Project. It's a small neighborhood which is designed to create more energy than it uses. We interviewed five of the key people involved with the ZEP, including:

  • Brad Liljequist, project manager from the City of Issaquah

  • Mark Wierenga, architecht of the ZEP

  • Dennis Rominger, representing the builder

  • Patti Southard, from the King County Green Tools program

  • Aaron Adelstein, executive director of BuiltGreen

The Zero Energy Project breaks ground this September. The Energy Rush TV team will be on hand, and will be following the progress of the ZEP from mud to final touches.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Energy Rush TV Storms the (Pre) Oscar Party

Just a few days prior to the 2008 Oscar telecast, a huge bash was thrown near the fabled intersection of Hollywood & Vine in the heart of Hollywood. And of course Energy Rush TV was there!

Wait ... Energy Rush TV was at a pre-Oscar party? What's up with that? Well, there's a story behind it, and here it is:

One of the clients that Energy Rush TV serves is Envision Solar, an innovative creator of solar-array-topped structures ( They're based in San Diego, California but are ready to put their unique products anywhere. Envision Solar decided to have a significant presence at a pre-Oscar party held at the Avalon Theatre and Spider Club across the street from the famed Capitol Records building on February 20th. They constructed a life-size "Life Pod" at the entrance of the soiree, which was put on by Global Green.

And that's where Energy Rush TV comes in. Envision Solar asked us to be there to record on video the entire construction process of the Life Pod. Our team flew to Los Angeles and set up at the crack of dawn, videotaping the construction with twin HD cameras. Producer Paul Steinbroner kept track of all the activity while Energy Rush TV cameramen Eric Bishop and Mark DuMond rolled tape on the whole thing. During the day while we were taping the Life Pod creation, crews came in and built a huge sub-floor and tent for the big entrance to the party that evening.

Since the Energy Rush TV crew had to obtain press passes to shoot the Life Pod construction, we decided to hang around for the big red carpet moment. (Check that -- it wasn't a red carpet after all, it was green grass; after all, this was an eco-event.) That's right, the Energy Rush TV team became "paparazzi for a night." Sandwiched on the "rail" between Canal-4 from Paris, France and a news team from L.A., we shot footage of TV and movie stars. We even got some of them to say good stuff on camera about the Life Pod. Some of the stars we got up close and personal with were Salma Hayek, Adrien Grenier, Sharon Lawrence, Tate Donovan, Tia Carrere and Oliver Stone. We also got to check out some very cool electric vehicles, including the Aptera, a three-wheeled stunner that caused several people to actually ask if it was an aircraft, and the Fisker Karma, which looks like a Ferrari on steroids.

Within 36 hours, Energy Rush TV had created a video for the Life Pod and the Envision Solar folks had it on line. Check it out here:

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Energy Rush TV Team

The new EnergyRush is a 21st Century story that deserves the attention and talents of respected storytellers. More than a simple story, the series is a tapestry woven of the vision and reflections of the key innovators in alternative energy systems. So well-honed interviewing skills needed to be part of the design. The producers of EnergyRush: Innovators and Entrepreneurs are veteran storytellers. As testament to their skills as filmmakers and videographers, the team has won honors and awards including the Grand Prize at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the National Educational Film Festival's Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. Award, and a host of awards for creative excellence from the educational film industry. Recent efforts have been recognized with The Cine Golden Eagle Award, and 1st & 2nd place honors in the American Film Festival.

Principal producer, Paul Steinbroner is a graduate of San Francisco State University. He received his B.A. in Cinema in 1974; then completed graduate school at the American Film Institute, Producer's Program in 1982.

Paul is joined on the team by long-time collaborator, David Kirschner. David brings over 35 years of technical and production experience to the team. He has produced feature documentaries and segments for Forbes Magazine, The Disney Channel, and Real People and others. As an Emmy nominated production sound mixer, he has provided audio services to every major studio and network on feature films (Into the Blue. Scary Movie II, Lies and Alibis, Zoolander, Dr Dolittle), television series (In Case of Emergency, In Justice, Once & Again, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Chicago Hope), documentaries and reality series worldwide.

Rounding out the production team is David Okimoto. As a film and video editor for the largest owned and operated ABC station in the country, KGO in San Francisco, David was responsible for the overall quality of the station's on-air product. He also coordinated live feeds for broadcast via microwave and satellite, and supervised master control. He has distinguished career as a cinematographer and has worked on many independent film and video projects. David also served as senior staff photographer for San Francisco State University prior to serving in the US Army as a Combat Photographer.