The First Decade
A Time Line
February is a momentous month for Dynamix Productions - it's our tenth anniversary. I want to thank every one of my customers, past and present, for the opportunity to work and grow with you. Dynamix simply wouldn't be here ten years later without you.
The picture above is what greeted me the first week of being out on my own. The Great Ice Storm of 2003. 65,000 people were without power in Lexington, including yours truly - and our new business site. The outage lasted a week, stifling any progress I could make on installing equipment and earning money. I was almost more anxious during that week than I was waiting for my daughter to be born. Once we finally got going, business was brisk during our first two years, which were spent in modest studios at Perimeter Drive. While there, we provided ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement) for two Hollywood movies, helped our clients win a handful of Addy Awards, and looked forward to building new studios.
In 2005, along with Post Time Productions (a video production company we partnered with from the beginning), we moved into a re-purposed warehouse on Ashland Avenue. The open warehouse allowed us to design and build new offices, though we were immediately challenged by the "shotgun" width of the space. In our first year, we realized we had already outgrown our space. As other businesses in the same building began to shrink, we relocated non-vital operations to those areas - and began to plan for a new facility. Despite the space limitations, for six years we continually upgraded our equipment, expanded services, and grew our business.
We must have looked at thirty buildings when searching for a new place, but I never thought to look right across the street. A tech company had just moved out and a "For Lease" sign had been up for several weeks. I called my landlord, went in, and immediately saw the possibilities. After eight years of crowded and disjointed rooms, we could now have a facility laid out the right way: production in one area, operations in another, and plenty of room to grow. Plus our clients could find us because they already knew how to get here.
Our new studios also allowed us to not interfere with another business when doing something as simple as recording a voice-over. In both of our old studios, we had to shut off air conditioners, close doors, and ask everyone to whisper and tiptoe around whenever we recorded. With floating floors and walls, silent HVAC, a sound lock, and immense amounts of dampening insulation, we can now effortlessly get the kind of sound we needed. We also have multiple control rooms and voice-over rooms for simultaneous sessions.
But it's not all about our recording space. We've refined, added, expanded, and broke new ground in ten years. From our humble beginning recording radio spots, we now produce film and video soundtracks, music, and even full-fledged documentaries. We restore old recordings, provide live interviews for National Public Radio, and record orchestras. We record location audio, teach audio production classes, and produce radio programs. We help our clients realize their vision. We take part in the creative process. We listen.
A Look Back in Pictures
Recent Projects From Dynamix Productions
Voice-over for the Cooking Channel's "From the Kitchens of...Crock Pot" (Concentric Entertainment, Norwalk, CT)
"SAVE IT!" radio and television spot soundtracks (East Kentucky Power, Winchester, KY)
Soundtracks for Lexmark International's annual Sales Kickoff event
Radio spots for Valvoline diesel additives (Price-Weber, Louisville, KY)
UK Health Care radio and television spot soundtracks (DBC Works, Conshohocken, PA)
"Citizen Lex" awareness video campaign for LFUCG (Bullhorn Creative, Lexington, KY)
"Citizens for a Digital Future" radio (RunSwitch PR, Louisville, KY)
DVD On Sale Now
The documentary produced by Dynamix Productions, "The Beat of a Different Drummer: The Story of America's Last All-Female Military Band," is now on sale in our online store. Read more below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
America's Last All-Female Military Band Subject of New Documentary
Lexington, KY – January 28, 2013 – They played stirring music for presidents, national audiences on radio and television, and they were even in a Hollywood film. They were The Women's Army Corps (WAC) Band, and they played under the Stars and Stripes with grace, style and virtuosity. Now their story is at last being told in a new documentary, "The Beat of a Different Drummer: The Story of America's Last All-Female Military Band."
The 14th Army WAC Band is now largely forgotten, but in its heyday it transcended the novelty of being an all-female band and was respected as an elite military band. The documentary, by Lexington, KY producer Neil Kesterson of Dynamix Productions, features interviews with former WAC Band members, WAC officers, and current Army musicians. Rare photographs, film and recordings make up a compelling story of how these trailblazers helped change the landscape for American women.
The 14th Army WAC Band existed from 1948 to 1976, during a time when America was struggling with equal rights. The WAC Band was a rare place where a woman could work as a professional musician. "I felt like I was special, because I was doing something that not many people did," said Jan Larson of Lexington, KY, a member of the band from 1954-1955. "And I was doing it as a woman."
From 1954 to 1976, the 14th Army WAC Band was stationed at Fort McClellan, AL, the last training site for all WAC enlistees. Women musicians were not allowed to perform in male military bands during most of this time; the WAC Band was their only option—many for their entire careers.
In contrast, male Army musicians rotated through different post bands every two years. The longevity, camaraderie, demanding hours, and high-standards turned the 14th Army WAC Band into an elite band, often compared to the top male-only bands in the other military branches.
"I didn’t realize at the time that the Women’s Army Corps Band was a group of handpicked musicians," said Robert Delano of Charlotte, NC, the last official member of the WAC Band. "It wasn’t just another post band that you got assigned to. It was a very select, elite group of musicians. I’ve played all my life, and that still stands as one of the truly great wind ensembles I’ve played with."
The WAC Band played for formal military and political events, national broadcasts and telecasts on radio and television, and in a feature film. They made whirlwind recruiting tours in cities and towns across America where their appearance was a big event. That fame came at a price, however.
"It was more difficult than you think," said Bernice Goldstein of Washington, DC, a member from 1952 until 1975. "A lot of people think we just play our instrument and that’s it, we don’t do anything else. But we really worked hard. And a lot of times we had to give up our meals because we had to be at a certain place at a certain time."
By the 1970's, it became increasingly difficult for the Army to maintain gender segregation, chiefly because it was inefficient. But after the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1972, the push for equality eventually led to the full integration of women into the Army in 1978. In 1976 the 14th Army WAC Band broke boundaries once again, just as its early pioneers did, by integrating early and adding a male saxophone player.
Today, its former members still have bi-annual reunions and concerts at Fort McClellan in Anniston, AL. A handful of former members still serve in the U.S. Army, Reserves, and National Guard.
Documentary filmmaker Neil Kesterson is the owner of Dynamix Productions, Inc., a production company in Lexington, Kentucky. A native of Ironton, Ohio, he has been a producer and sound designer for film, video, television, theater, radio, audiobooks, and multimedia since the mid-1980's. The inspiration for this documentary came from one of Kesterson’s family members who was in the band, a mutual love of music, and a great story to tell – one that we should never forget.
To view the trailer and press kit, please visit www.wacband.com.
I hope you find this newsletter informative. If you haven't seen our new studios, go to our web site. Or better yet, stop by! We now have two complete control rooms and voice-over booths, allowing us to be even more flexible in scheduling your projects. Oh, and pet the dog Daisy while you're here.