The Lab; Portnoy Media Group Blog

End of the Year – Loyola Law School

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Here’s a piece we did with Loyola Law School. Give it a look.


Portnoy Media Group uses the influence of social networks to expand your organization's voice and tell your story. We connect people with your mission and enable your brand to be shared, discovered, and connected. Work with us as we empower your organization to dramatically extend your online presence and increase donations.

Get Set for S.T.E.A.M.!

Foothill Christian School was looking for some help to get across a complex plan for updating and improving the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math or S.T.E.A.M.

We worked with their team to build a script and profile that would be entertaining but also easily understandable. The concept was to let our host walk us through what was happening at the same time interacting with their environment. We thought it would be great to do this though long takes. The final product is just 6 shots, 35 actors under the age of 12, and a whole lot of love.

Check out these behind the scenes shots taken by Adan Pena.

Foothill Christian also used Instagram, Twitter and facebook to help let their community know about the event and to tease what was coming up at their gala banquet.

2014 Telly’s = 3 WINS!

telly I just received word that we received 3 Telly’s for a couple of projects and I’m super thrilled to tell you about them.

United Way of Los Angeles

The Workplace Hero Campaign – Internet/Online Commercial – Campaign – Not-for-Profit facebook cover photo 6-2   In what was easily one of the most fun projects to create, The Workplace Hero Campaign for The United Way of Los Angeles was firing on all cylinders. When building this campaign, it was difficult because or solution had to have the ability to expand or contract depending on the place or format. Plus, with any campaign in Los Angeles, had to be ready for the media savvy and multi cultural market.  Here’s the video: The campaign has raised over 100 Million so far in the past 2 years for The United Way of Los Angeles. Workplace Heroes has been used in conjunction with several corporate partners Like Enterprise Rent-a-Car, JPL, Lockheed Martin, UPS, and even the Mayor of Los Angeles got in on the cape and goggles action. Lockheed martin-2 enterprise-rent-a-car-taking-part-2

Big Thanks to:

Graphic Design – Jeff Millican at Double Vision Inc. Website – Tim Grahl and Joseph Hinson at Outthink Group Director of Photography – Ryan Prouty from Picture Block Produced by Tiffany Johnson, Jen Fodor, Dan Portnoy Directed by Dan Portnoy Visual Effects – Won Novalis for Abandon Films Editing – Justin Dial Hair and Makeup – Amy Holiber, April Metcalf Music – The Daylights Photograhy – Nathan Winston Actors – Lynn Downey Braswell, Dan Braswell, Isaac Johnson, Chris Artola, Angeline Woo, Teena Mazing, Jacqueline Caruso, Josh Roberts, Melissa Chinchilla, Sean Anthony Kaleialoha Nereu,    United Way of Los Angeles Staff – Elise Buik, Maria Weist, Taulene Kagan, Jessica Yaz, Elian Ohebshalom, Bentley Coplin, Rachel Stich, David Bruce, Florence Chan, Cathy McClure, Christine Magiotta, Taj Wood, Dana Szyka, Chris Ko, Sarah Oesterle, Lisel Dotson, and Chris Sanchez.   mayor of LA - Anthony Villaraigosa-2

4Liters – DIGDEEP

Take The 4Liter Challenge – Internet/Online Commercial – Editing Take The 4Liter Challenge – Internet/Online Commercial – Not-for-profit This project was lot fun too. The concept was already in full swing before our involvement. I was brought in to produce and then due to some scheduling conflicts, direct the project. A great cast, featuring David Henrie (Wizards of Waverly Place, How I Met Your Mother), Jen Cadena (Bigger than the Beatles, The Roommate), and the vocal stylings of Drake Bell (Ultimate Spider-man, Drake & Josh) The idea was to communicate all the different ways that the audience (15-40) takes water for granted without making people feel guilty. Put a positive and active spin on Produced by Michael W. Moore, Audrey Lecker, Dan Portnoy Director of Photography – Ryan Prouty for Picture Block Directed by – Dan Portnoy Editing and VFX – Won Novalis of Abandon Films Hair Makeup – Jenny Calderon Concept by Max Lanman Written by Max Lanman and George McGraw


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Over the past few weeks, I created a couple videos in partnership with Pure Charity for their BRAND NEW resources section and it launched today!

Head on over and check out their platform and see the difference they’re making for non-profits around the globe.

3 Tips for Great Engagement

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Here’s a couple quick ways you can engage your audience and new audiences today.


Like Captain Picard says, “Engage!”


Saving Eliza

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I love receiving emails like this one from Wendy Wareham.


Although we have never met, I have enjoyed your book and your audio sessions.  Your messages help fundraisers to remember to keep working on crafting the stories.
I’m sending this along to you because I feel like, even though I have 30 years of fundraising experience, I’ve been “taken to school” by a photographer with a purpose.  I thought you might find this interesting as well.  It’s the clearest case for support I think I’ve ever seen–and an excellent job of storytelling.  And he’s never done fundraising in his life!

If you’re like me, this tugged on the heartstrings with some force. In the time since receiving this email and writing this post, the cause has raised an additional 24K in just 12 hours.


So why does this video work so well?

It’s well crafted.
Benjamin Von Wong is not a newcomer to people and cameras. He understands emotion, connection and engagement. The use of slow motion, good music and there’s a place for us as the audience to insert ourselves into this story. The best part is that 80% of this video doesn’t take special equipment. It’s simple not easy.


The villain is defined 
I’ve never heard of Sanfilippo Syndrome but in under 3 minutes I know a good overview and how terrible this condition can be.


There’s a time limit.
There’s a hard end date. We need money by June 2014 or this doesn’t happen. It allows us to interact with them and function as the hero – and who doesn’t want to be the hero?


The solution is spelled out.
This part is different for most medical conditions.
Cures this certain to work are a rarity in medicine, but we have one, we actually have one, and the only thing standing between Eliza and her miracle is money. The trial is lacking funding to remain on schedule, and every moment counts as Eliza approaches the tipping point when her disease will take an irreversible turn for the worst.
Nothing is 100% guaranteed but this feels really good to put my money behind.


100% Guilt Free
All of the language is hopeful and encouraging with the appeal. Educated and not heavy handed. We feel the gravity of the situation without being manipulated.


Great inspiration and an audacious goal. I love how they’re swinging for the fences for Eliza and it looks like they’re going to get there.


Check out Saving Eliza for yourself. 

Last Call!



10 Days ago we announced the first course in Non-Profit Story Training Series. This first class will be at a discounted rate of $247. (Regular price will be close to $500). Several organizations have signed up – from small to large in annual fundraising. All seeking to tell a great story, engage their audience and change the world.

In the Non-Profit Story System you’ll find:

  • How the Narrative Story Framework applies to your non-profit.
  • How to acquire and cultivate an audience while telling a compelling story.
  • Strategy to determine Your Best Audiences
  • The Top 3 Storytelling Principals
  • The Step-by-Step guide to Audit and Assess Your Social Media Presence – Turn the Social “Me” to a Social “We”.
  • How to Execute Your “Why” in Your Communications – The “Why” is the most important piece and will inspire your audience to action and support.
  • Ideas to help your team know what needs to be adjusted to transform your current site into a cultivation and acquisition tool.
  • How to Create a System to Measure Success (Key Performance Indicators)
  • The guide to determine your primary and secondary audiences and define the Ideal Behavior for them – Defining what you need will help staff and audiences know what they’re being asked to do.

Here’s what you need to do to secure your discounted spot:

  • Enter the coupon code PREORDER to get the discounted price (case sensitive)


Introductory pricing will end this week. Don’t miss out, enroll in the class today!




Behind the Scenes with 4Liters


4 Liters is the next campaign from DIGDEEP, a human rights organization that defends water access. They work on the 100% donor model and generally make the world a better place. We’re collaborating for 4Liters, a next generation experience on the need for access to clean water. The campaign launches in the month of October. Here’s a few pictures of the campaign video shoot this Saturday, starring David Henrie (Little Boy, Wizards of Waverly Place ) and Jennifer Cadena (The Roommate, Premonition).




Some say it can’t be done. (I think I’ve been one of those people)

Honestly, I don’t have many good examples of great symbiotic relationships when it comes to video but I think this one does a great job.


It shows Expertise

Metro Food was dealing with the problem and Toyota’s team asks questions about process. They talk about how they want to continually improve what they’re doing and they brought that to the scenario. They didn’t get into logistics of location, personnel, and track records. They saw 2 problems and then looked to solve them. I know that’s oversimplifying but a video can only convey a few things.

It shows Caring

Both groups are passionate about their work. Metro Food wants to help people, Toyata wants to help people too. Two sides to the same coin, it’s savvy.

Both groups stay in their strengths.

The engineers from Toyota aren’t trying to belittle the group doing food distribution. They want to use their knowledge and make the system better. Both groups want the same thing and there’s a nice dance happening between the groups. No one is stepping on toes

It’s personal

We learn names not just brands. We see reactions and progression. I can’t tell you how many videos I see where we don’t go anywhere, it’s just facts and there’s no emotion. We are emotive beings. Hearing questions, concerns, smiles and laughter gives us the subtext.


This may look easy but it’s not. It’s simple but there was a lot of thought put into this edit. Make video like this and your partners are going to look great.


The Telly’s – For Your Approval


Just submitted a few pieces of our woe from this past year to the 34th Annual Telly Awards. We won 2 last year, so we’re back for more this year!


Internet/Online Commercial – Not-for-profit

United Way of Greater L.A. – Workplace Hero

It was an incredible team effort and this campaign has really resonated with audiences. Including the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa (below)



Next up:

Internet/Online Video – Documentary

Frank – ArcLight Cinemas


This short began the Behind The Curtain Series and has really resonated with viewers.



Judging begins next week and as soon as we here, you can bet we’ll be posting it. In the meantime – Why aren’t we creating your next big campaign or art piece to build your brand? Let’s get started: email me @