2 Weeks In Nevada

One fo the wonderful things about the Internet Economy is getting and working with clients from other countries.

Out relationship with Valkyrie Combat has blossomed into a couple more fantastic relationships.

First off, we spent four intense and amazing days with Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts at their P.A.R.C.  facility. Three 270 degree, 100 foot bays and one massive flat range, with a mountain backdrop and elevated targets made for some fantastic film opportunities. The mountain is riddled with goat trail straight out the middle east and hand dug cave mines that date back to the early 1800’s. Getting images of PFC Instructors running Valkyrie Combat modified Glocks was both challenging (these classes are hi-tempo and intense) and infinitely rewarding as we were immersed in the culture that both Valkyrie Combat and Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts embrace.

Brain Hartman -Executive Vice President / Chief Instructor

PFC is not just its facility however. The Instructor Cadre are out of this world dedicated to the mission. That mission is increasing survivability of each student they interact with. They do this by constant, relentless examination of process and action. Progressive in the name isn’t just an afterthought. The only things that stays the same is the constant review and vetting of doctrine against new ideas, techniques and tactics. If it works better, and can be proven so, then the training changes.

I have shot on many ranges with many training companies and this one is fundamentally different. Many companies use the words “real world” in their training. PFC is the first company where I have seen that, in every course, on every day, in action as more than a marketing line.

They are not a firearms training company. The closest I can come to a proper description is a Gunfighter Survival School. They are truly a life saving, not a life taking company.

Returning to the networking storyline, we had the pleasure of getting connect (over a few beers) with Jason Daub, Head of Production from AviSight. AviSight is a pioneering (see what I did there guys LOL)  UAV and manned aerial company that works across verticals and retrofits UAV to fit the needs of their customers. They don’t wait for it to get invented, they design the solution, get the parts (often off the shelf), write the code and get the solution built.

Jason has a film background, and his pilot for the day, Richard Meeker, is a friend of Valkyrie Combat and made the intro and arrangements to get them on site to shoot with us. They were kind enough to come out and film with two fine pieces of aircraft (a DLI Inspire Pro and a Phantom 4 Pro) and get some fantastic footage. They also brought a FLIR chipped DJI 13mm thermal camera and captured some AMAZING footage with it as well. Stay tuned for that series of films.

The last two weeks have been simply amazing, and we are looking forward to working with Jason, Richard and PFC again in the future.

Bottom line? Working with people whoa re passionate, and approach their passion with a heads up, focussed attitude is an honor and a privilege. It makes us want to do better, up our game, and drive to

 

 

The Right Tool For The Job

There was a meme floating around Facebook once. It was an infographic of all the gear used in the production of a rock and roll song.

It started with the rental of expensive guitars even more expensive vintage amplifiers and microphones. Then the inevitable decision between recording to analog, with all its inherent (and wonderful) flaws and vulnerabilities, which make it fantastic. Or going digital with provides a level of clarity and stability.

Expensive rental of Studio space. High hourly wages for engineers and production staff and an epic amount of money for a producer and someone to master it all down. Then to put it either on vinyl, which is the new rebounding tradition or send it to CD format.

The last part of the infographic was the most revealing however, because after all that money and cost to make a fantastic product that has a depth and breadth of meaning and emotion, its delivered via MP3 format on a device with skeptical audio abilities. And finally to your ears on a pair of headphones that cost $0.99 to make in China.

I found in many scenarios film is very much the same thing. I see guys running around doing videos for firearm companies with Red Epics and close to $70,000 worth of hardware. What’s the point if it’s all going to the YouTube channel. Even in 4k uptake is reasonably slow at this point and most people are going to watch it on their mobile device which isn’t going to deliver 4K anyway.

The picture in this post is my “Run and Gun” setup. It runs about $12,000 (half of that is a Chronos 1.4 high speed camera) for the entirety of the setup, not counting tripods or Steadicam gear. It fits in the two cases you see.

This rig also happens to include a full set of Sony lavalier mics, LED lights, a TASCAM digital audio recorder and enough batteries to shoot for two days straight.

Everything I need for a complete shoot practically anywhere including a blue screen rag would only add two more cases to this. In fact I’ll take a picture of the entire set up when I get back home.

The moral of this story is? Be careful what you’re paying for when you’re paying for media content generation. In many cases you’re footing the bill for someone’s technology obsession and not paying for the skill and knowledge that are required to produce a good product.

Not unlike gear in Law Enforcement and Military, the right tool for the job is key and ensures mission success, but it is the knowledge of the operator that should be getting the most attention.

Don’t judge a book by its cover or by how much gear it’s packing into the shoot.

How Big Is That Thing?

Let’s face it. A picture is worth a thousand words. Even more so on social media. But making sure the subject of your image displays front and center is key. So here you go. The 2018 social.medianimage cheat sheet we use at Telos Alpha to make sure the imagery we create for our clients for and display perfectly.

https://www.socialmediatoday.com/news/the-ultimate-social-media-image-size-guide-for-2018-infographic/519183/

The Landing Page – Nailed It

Anyone who knows us knows we are, in fact, bag whores.  Personally I have a fetish for EDC bags that goes back to well before my tactical days, and have a decent collection. The CFO however has stated that I must start recycling them to free up equity (wife said I have to sell some before I can buy more) for future purchases. I might go this route for winter or off reservation (read: holiday or business travel) daily carry. I have a Valance now, and use a TAD Axiom for EDC when I have to jacket and layer up.

On the marketing side of the house, the product announcement page over at ITS has some FANTASTIC images that really show the bag off in a series of lifestyle pictures. The page is a bit busy, but it has all the information I need to decide to buy. Which I will. Once I sell something. 😀

Check it out.

PFC Ballistic Off-Body Bag

Greg got interviewed by GUNS.com about his CCW rig. He has taken a lot of flack and stirred up controversy with his choice of off body carry, but honestly, after watching this video, I am convinced that this is how I am going to carry in the future.

The PFC Ballistic Off-Body Bag, aka B.O.B.B. is well covered in this video, and I think I am going to head out and buy one.

Article here: Ballistic Off-Body Bag

Bag can be purchased here: PFC Ballistic Off-Body Bag

And Another video from the manufacturer Progressive F.O.R.C.E. Concepts on how to set it up and maximize its potential.

The Magic Camo Viral Video – Explained

So there has been a lot of stir over this video, as demonstrating some new camo technology that is utterly amazing. As media producers in the firearms industry, we are always conscious of being honest with our film. Making sure that there is not too much “Hollywood” in our productions. After all, we are influencing where people put their hard-earned money, and that is a responsibility we ned to, and do take seriously.

The original video didn’t come across as malicious, but the headline was misleading on more than one share when it was going viral. I put together a short (and very basic) video on how it’s done and the basic technology behind it.


Firearms Marketing and Facebook – Part Two

In Part One we looked at why Facebook can a be a resource intensive and low ROI marketing tool for business in the firearms sector. That doesn’t mean abandoning it, however, as the platform has some great tools and opportunities which are essentially free to the business. In Part Two we looking at what Facebook does well, and in Part Three we are going to look at how we can get around the marketing blocks we encounter as firearms owners and “monetize the ad platform” (use Facebook ads to sell stuff in normal person speak…). 

You may have noticed that we have strayed from the original topic that Part One said this article was going to cover. We realized that this topic goes deep, but it’s a bigger project that we initially scoped (how is that for consulting talk?). As we progress and research, we keep adding to the body of content. What we thought would be a couple of articles is turning out need several. We want the information to be as clear as possible, so hang in there and we will make sure we cover everything properly. – Brent

So we now understand what Facebook won’t do for us. We understand what our boundaries are (for now) as firearms and martial companies operating a presence on the medium. So let’s focus a bot on what Facebook can do for us.

Read more

Runenation – Words From the Clinch

Runiation LLC is a … well… let’s let Ian (CEO and Chief Educator) explain it. He does it best:

Runenation is a consulting and education company specializing in the constant growth of the multidisciplinary tactician. Too often in the “gun world,” you see people who are drawn to a singular tool in lieu of looking at the bigger picture. It isn’t solely about the gun, blade, grappling, striking, medical, fitness, or verbal acuity. It’s a constantly evolving skill set that you put a varying amount of effort into throughout your life. Like the rings on a tree trunk , it will grow as long as you put in the necessary effort. I’m constantly evolving how I teach so as to bring the best knowledge to my students which will allow them to be better able to answer the call if violence is the only option. We are more than happy to give the offered training and customized training to any law-abiding citizen, law enforcement officer, military and security professional.

If you value a strong opinion, extreme ownership narratives and an overall ethos of personal responsibility, then this blog is for you. In this article, he communicates many of the same beliefs we at Telos Alpha regard as prime. By prime we mean they are core to our way of life. They shape the things you do every day. They are the template you use to creates the good daily habit that foster progress, improvement, and Mastery.

We are looking forward to training with Runenation LLC and will be following their “Mind Fuel” (a much more engaging label than BLOG) daily.

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