The Lab; Portnoy Media Group Blog

10,000 Copies!


As of July 2015, The Non-Porift Narrative has sold over 10,000 copies. I couldn’t be more thrilled. A big thank you to so many for picking up the book and making the choice to tell better stories.

The picture above was taken 3.5 years ago just before the release of the book. If was a rough, nine month process to get on paper what I wanted to say in the most concise way.

I owe great thanks to:

Josh Kaufman – for the push to write and the guidance to help me bring it home.

Jenelle D’Alessandro – You gave the project structure and gave me the first inkling of what it could look like.

Tiffany Johnson – So many drafts of reading and rereading and you did it all without a complaint. So grateful.

Sonja Kolstad – Part archeologist and part sculptor – you made this project infinitely better.


I relate so much to writers from Gloria Steinem to George R. R. Martin who say “Most writers don’t like writing; they like having written.” If you’re thinking about putting out a book, I recommend it. I think everyone has a good book in them and with the onset of self publishing – there’s nothing stopping you!


Thank you, thank you!

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.

Laundry Love Santa Ana Turns 5!

The 3rd Thursday of the month a group of people get together and turn a laundromat into a community hangout where the laundry is FREE. Bravo to Scott Overpeck and his team.

Check out the video we produced for them.

“5 whole years. That is 60 events. That is 1050 pounds of laundry detergent. That is 1800 individuals and families given dignity, friendship and the opportunity to wash their clothes. That is 6000 loads of laundry. That is 6000 dryer sheets. That is $30,000 given by folks just like you. Learn more and get involved at


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

Click to enbiggen



Nice piece from one spot.


“Don’t try to change the structure of the outside world [hoping that] then you’ll be fine, then you’ll be creative and then you’ll be brave. No. First, figure out how to be creative and brave and courageous, and the outside world will change on your behalf…”

Creativity, creation of art and dancing with fear/”The Resistance” is consistently on my mind lately. I really dig this conversation with Seth Godin and thought you would too.





3 Tips for Great Storytelling

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 12.31.16 AM


Here’s 3 ways you can tell a better story today.




Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 10.45.30 AM

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

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 10.32.00 AM

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


Like Captain Picard says, “Engage!”


Saving Eliza

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 12.20.26 PM

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.