This month we are specializing on talking to those who have made their lives a professional endeavor to incorporate their geeky lifestyles into their career and work lives. Today we are talking to a good friend Ray Nagar of Project 760 Productions. Created in San Francisco, California, this organization now spreads to the Fresno area as well as most of Southern California. We chatted up with him to learn more about our fellow friend and his organization.
So where did the name “Project 760 Productions” come from?
The “760” originates from my high school days when pagers were popular in the 1990’s. One of my friends at the time needed a three digit code to tell him who called before he returned a page. He chose a three digit “code” that corresponded with the numbers and letters on a telephone keypad. If you look at a cell phone, the number 7 is “PQRS” and 6 is “MNO.” 0 was a placeholder. My initials are “R.N.,” so 760 became my pager code.
The “Project” and “Productions” part of our group name came from my days in college when I did a lot of projects for my video production classes. When I needed a name for my class work, the name “Project 760 Productions” just seemed to make sense and it later became the name of our business when I produced television shows, internet radio, podcasts, and other events.
For those not in the local geeky scene in CA, what exactly does Project 760 Productions do?
At its core, Project 760 Productions produces media content and events mainly for the anime convention community, but also works with independent musicians, Asian American community, video gaming community and many others. We also provide consultations to organizers, vendors and attendees who are interested in attending conventions by providing them with the information they need to make an informed decision about the conventions they wish to attend, as well as give our insight on the latest trends in the convention community.
When Project 760 Productions started up, I never really gave much thought into how well-known we’d become. We started out making shows about introducing people to different hobbies like paintball or anime.From there, we became acquainted with so many people in different areas of fandom, from guests of honor to the organizers of the events that people attend regularly. And then one day, I handed out my card to people and when people recognized the name and said “Wow! That’s you? I’ve seen your stuff!” or “I’ve been to one of your events!” that’s when I realized how far we’ve come and how many people actually know what we do.
When people see your work, what impressions do you want people to have and leave with?
That’s a pretty hard one to answer since I handle a lot of different aspects of Project 760. The overall impression I want people to have and leave with about us is that we provide quality products that they can tell their friends, relatives and colleagues about. Our group is all about listening to the people that we meet with and being able to understand their needs and provide a product that will be enjoyed by them and many others.
Our slogan is “Your Interest. Understood,” which keeps us focused on why we do what we do. We understand our audience’s interests and would like to provide media,events or information that our fans need to make informative decisions while having fun with us in the process.
What is your Geeky Vice? What do you have no problem spending good money on?
I’d probably say it would be unique clothing items and accessories. Most people recognize me from my t-shirts with cool designs, the Hawaiian shell-leis or the rice bag jersey and those items spark a conversation and break the ice with people. A couple of my friends make unique clothing items that really stand out in the convention scene and I love supporting their work by sporting their clothing lines.
There are many videographers that are looking to one day have the level of industry respect that you do, do you have any advice for them?
I think the most important thing to keep in mind is to respect the people in the industry that you would like to work with. I’ve seen a lot of amateur videographers in the convention scene that harass attendees and put guests of honor in the hotseat at the most inopportune times.
We’ve gained the respect of the industry because we keep our coverage and features objective, rather than try to bias ourselves one way or another. We feature who we can and support the ones who have supported us and that’s the most important thing for me and everyone in our organization.
Based on current events in Egypt and Tunisia, how do you see social media/video media evolving to meet the needs of a ever-changing society and geek society?
I think that social media- especially video-based social media- has taken on the challenge of meeting the needs of society head on, and even more so with geek society. Today’s technology has made it possible for people to share pictures, video and sound almost instantly, empowering individuals to report news as it happens right in front of them.
The current events in Egypt and Tunisia are good examples of how ordinary people can give us a first-handand sometimes personalized look at what’s going on in the world when someone takes videos and/or pictures through a mobile device, posts a status update on Twitter or share a video on YouTube and make it available to anyone when people type certain keywords in a search engine.
Bringing it back to geek society, the same technology connects people to the latest news or gossip that comes from a convention when others can’t be there to experience it themselves. For example, I would normally read RSS feeds ranging from tweets by industry reps about their company’s latest product release to photo tweets by attendees who are hanging out at someone’s room party playing DDR, followed by a hash tag related to the convention they are attending. It gives everyone their own soapbox to express what they want to and brings everyone closer together and I’m curious to see how technology will further close the gap in the way that we receive and digest the news.
So after 14 years, what new “projects” are in store for Project 760?
Well, I don’t know if we’ll actually hit 760 projects in my lifetime, but we are always looking forward to the next project that we can help further an understanding about, whether it’s entertainment, events or a business. I’ve always enjoyed each experience with the different projects we have worked on, and I know that there are others in our organization that have a variety of interests that Project 760 Productions would like to explore someday and learn more about as our organization grows. We do have a few things I’d love to talk about, but can’t discuss them right now.
Okay then, well, if someone is interested in your services, where should they go?
Well, they can check out our website at: http://www.project760.webs.com/ or they can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org..