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What The #&@$ Do You Do, Adam B.?!?

Adam Brostoff
Video Operations Manager
Joined The Orchard in October 2012

It seems as though Video Operations keeps growing and growing. And we see you guys watching movies a lot. Tell us, what the #&@$ you do?
You’re certainly right, we’re growing! January 2013 was just myself; February 2013, Tim Vargas joined us and now February 2014, Video Operations consists of 7 people working everyday to ensure that our music video, film, and TV content is ingested and delivered properly! That means QC’ing or watching each film, episode, or video. We look to make sure that the video quality is intact, the audio sounds good, there are no iTunes style guide issues, and ultimately that the product delivered to us appears to be the best possible asset. On the delivery side, this means monitoring our delivery feeds and making sure no internal issues like bad metadata, encoding issues, or Aspera/SFTP connection issues get in the way. It also means updating our feeds to the retailers with any new requirements. For example, most platforms are requesting closed captioning for the hearing impaired and subtitle language files. This requires us to have the XMLs and V.E.C.T.O.R. updated to ensure we’re storing, tagging and delivering the new assets to each store’s liking.

In a nutshell, Video Operations reviews, corrects and delivers all video content on behalf of The Orchard and our clients. As manager, I help prioritize our needs with Product/Tech, maintain our relationships with our counterparts at retailers, and monitor our film/TV deliveries and feeds. Since we work in a currently evolving side of the business, new standards, metadata/XML updates and new store integrations are all part of what I do as well. I also aim to make sure everyone on my team, and even outside of it, has what they need to succeed.

Fun stuff! Are we growing at this rate because our film/TV catalog is getting larger, and can you give us some fun facts and stats so we can get an idea of just how much?
Our catalog is not only getting larger, it’s getting smarter! We’re now delivering every film to iTunes, Amazon and YouTube. We’re also delivering more and more content to our cherry picking stores XBox, Sony Playstation, VUDU, Hulu, Comcast, and Netflix — all because of an increased focus on sales from the Film team. To put things in perspective, we used to max our capacity at 50 films a month; we now max out at about 30 films per week! Additionally, we’re delivering far more content than we ever used to: in November 2012, we delivered 475 videos between iTunes, Amazon, and YouTube, and we only did 123 videos the year before that.

Apparently you like partying with famous rappers in Vegas. What’s the story and can we join in next time?
Party? Vegas? Nooo… Every year there is a convention in Vegas for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), you can imagine the type of crowd an event like that draws — let’s just say there aren’t too many rockstars or rappers in the bunch. I was out there by myself and looking for something to do the night before the convention and figured I’d attend the convention “after hours” event at one of the Vegas clubs. I certainly expected to be networking over some red wine and maybe a luke warm buffet, instead… I was treated to a surprise Snoop Dogg concert in a small Vegas club! I finagled my way to a balcony directly across from the stage and proceeded to jam to Snoop hits till the wee hours. The next day at the convention my conversation starter couldn’t be beat!

That’s AMAZING! Glad to finally know what the #&@$ you do, Adam, and how much fun you are in Vegas.

favorite winter feel-good activity: Definitely my wife, my dog, and some Netflix!
guilty pleasure album: Currently anything with Action Bronson.
best and worst habit: Best habit, I follow quite a few relevant news feeds in an effort to stay up to date on our industry — worst habit, I wait too long to grab lunch!
random fact: I’ve licensed music to quite a few reality TV shows.

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Charles?!?

Charles WisniewskiCharles Wisniewski
Senior Developer/Tech Lead
Joined The Orchard in June 2011

Now that we’ve renovated our office, you’re no longer in a cube and we can actually SEE you. More than ever we need to know, what the #&@$ do you do?!?!
The office renovation was AWESOME. I was in on the weekend before everyone moved in to help out a bit and it’s amazing that it all came together. The whole team of people involved is AWESOME: kudos.

Now for the “what would you say you do here:” I take requirements from the Product team, Ops team, other developers and bring the concepts to code. I’m also involved in coming up with the concepts and how they would actually work in our environment: we have a lot of moving pieces as everyone knows. Being a Tech Lead brings me together with Business, Marketing, Product, and Client teams. I try to learn from everyone.

That’s what you call diversity! For those not-so-tech-savvy, what’s an “environment?”
An environment is just that, though in this context it is the environment of hardware and software, and how they are networked together and interact.

Can you please walk us through a recent project you brought from concept to code to what we see live today?
Last year, I moved our data warehouse into a columnar db. What this means is all data which drive our Analytics and Accounting interfaces run faster. Over the past year, I’ve also been working to move all business logic — which in the context of computers is the same as in how people conduct business on paper and in person, i.e. a UPC cannot be assigned to more than one release — to a central place: our API. Those changes are hard to see from a user’s perspective… I also worked with Paulo in bringing our Analytics graphs to life.

In other news, we hear you’re our resident ‘outdoors/adventure guy.’ What’s the most extravagant tale you’ve lived to tell? 
I am writing this right now on my way to Vermont, my home away from home. Snowboarding is my favorite thing in the world, followed by skateboarding, surfing and rock climbing. Just being outdoors makes me happy; seeing the outdoors from 15,000 feet is insanely awesome. I did my first solo skydive last year and am looking forward to doing more. So far Ackim and Artur have come skydiving with me… Who’s next?

Before anyone replies with a “Me! Me!,” shall we perhaps spread a word of caution? Our infallible sources tell us your girlfriend broke her leg last time she jumped… 
My girlfriend did break her leg while skydiving. However, I broke my leg when I was 12 jumping off a 3 foot ledge; other people have broken their ankles just walking: life is dangerous!

Very true, very true. Well, we now not only know what the #&@$ you do, but also who to turn to when in need of some adrenaline-pumping activities. Thanks, Charles! And…. stay safe! 

favorite food: anything mexican
go-to karaoke song: Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark
best kept secret about you: nice try!
random fact: I have a poem published.

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Brendan?!?

Brendan NunnBrendan Nunn
Manager, Video Programming
Joined The Orchard in August 2009

You’re located in the square reserved for Video, Retail Marketing and Mini Basketball Throwing. What the #$&@ do you do there?!??
Besides schooling Brandon Becker on the nerf basketball court, I work with our video retail partners on all aspects of our Film/TV products; this includes marketing, promotions, and business operations with destinations like Hulu, iTunes, XBOX, Netflix, etc. I take full responsibility for the R. Kelly: Trapped in the Closet banner on iTunes last week.

Congrats! So how do you get a banner up on iTunes like that? Do you have to be a charming and dapper young man like yourself, or can anyone do it?

Well, when it’s a great work of art like Trapped in the Closet, it sells itself, but other times it helps to develop some trust with our partners and believe in our films. When we can show that we do the marketing and drive traffic to the platform, it helps our relationship and the likelihood we’ll see more features. A great example of this is the work that our own Danny Grant, out in our California office, does with our action sports clients. The brands and athletes he works with have huge outreach in terms of social media messaging. I would never refer to myself as dapper. Is that someone who wears a fedora? Gross.

O-kay… Never give Brendan a compliment; noted.

So, what was your favorite kind of promotion and how did you come up with it? And “business operations?” That sounds fancy.

Most of them are just focused on pricing and features within platforms, but I would have to say targeting demographics for the RiseUp Hulu campaign was fun. I mean it’s a Reggae documentary, so we might have gone a little heavy on the, um, “herb friendly” users. Business Operations is just a fancy way of saying spreadsheet.

Snow. Refrigerator doors. Prospect Park. GO!
I believe in reducing, reusing, and recycling. I also believe in appliances made in the U.S.A. As I was leading a sledding party to Prospect Park from my cabin two weeks ago, and without a sled of my own, I procured myself a stainless steel refrigerator door from my neighbor’s trash. Our own Meagan Friedman and Deana Crosper from the Frenchkiss Label Group can attest to its speed, durability and danger. I actually kept it and we’re thinking about taking a grinding wheel to it and adding some ropes and grip so it can be ridden standing up.

That. Sounds. Awesome. Next time there’s a huge snowfall, we’re all knocking on your door. Thanks for sharing with us what the #$&@ you do, Brendan!

most recent favorite movie: I was really surprised how much I liked Silver Linings Playbook.
preferred method of discovering new music/films/TV shows: I tend to stick to Netflix and Hulu Plus, but also love to poke around the Film Board of Canada website for experimental documentaries on Albertan Hudderites from the 1960′s.
most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done: Ever? Well I hitchhiked to Colorado from Washington with a friend to buy a truck when I was 18, hiked to Camp Muir on Mt. Rainier in tennis shoes through snow, and just last week I got half a restaurant to sing happy birthday to someone who was only guilty of ordering dessert.
random fact: I only fear one animal: the Emu.

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Rob?!?

Rob EggintonRob Egginton
Senior Manager, Operations
Joined The Orchard in April 2007

You’re the man behind the Ops, it seems. Tell me, what exactly does that mean? Secret missions, dangerous and highly technological recon pursuits, torrid love affairs…?
I like that you refer to us as “the Ops!” Yes, there are many missions and recon pursuits that I am obviously not at liberty to discuss in such a public forum.

Overall, it is my responsibility to ensure that our full track, mobile and video deliveries are running smoothly while also overseeing the integrations of new partners that we are signing at a record breaking pace. Seems simple in theory, but the below is just an example of an email the ops team may receive at any given minute:

“Help! My release is not live on iTunes! The label has gone on hunger strike and the producer is chugging Red Bull and calling me every three and a half minutes!!”

Hmm, you didn’t mention anything about the torrid love affairs… Noted. But let’s stay on course here: How does the delivery process actually work, and what do you do when these emails come in? Redeliver? Scold iTunes? Call up the press agents for Red Bull?
The delivery process is straightforward in theory. A client uploads a release via Release Builder, the client manager reviews it and transfers it to content, and V.E.C.T.O.R. (Very Efficient Conduit To Our Retailers) puts it into an encoding order and delivers it out to stores.

This is all assuming that nothing goes wrong along the way, which as our friend Murphy tells us is not always the case. There are many different issues and error types that happen (I won’t bore you with the details), but dealing with delivery issues as they come up is a major part of life in ops, and all kidding aside, something the whole team takes extremely seriously. Everyone on the team is well versed in handling a wide array of delivery issues. From fixing them ourselves, to working with tech to fix “bugs,” to some good old fashioned iTunes scolding, we do whatever we need to do to get our content delivered (short of chugging Red Bull, that is).

It has come to light that you lead a double life as an accomplished playwright. Do we need to worry we’ll see any of our quirks and dark office secrets in one of your plays?
“Accomplished” might be a bit of a stretch, but you are correct, I have written several plays and even had a few of them produced. Former Orchardite Glenn De Kler and I were theater majors together at the University of Miami and have run a company called Panicked Productions since 2005.

To answer your question, I would say that yes, you should all be very worried, as there is no shortage of characters roaming these halls!

Our sources also tell us your middle name is Swan. What’s the story behind that, and would you say you live up to it?
Your sources have done their homework! My middle name is indeed Swan, which is my Mom’s maiden name. I was teased pretty relentlessly throughout elementary school about it. The silver lining is that I ended up inheriting my Grandmother’s engagement ring for my troubles, so I suppose I had the last laugh.

Haha, well done! We fully expect to see it on your ring finger next time we walk by.
You know, as much as I loved wearing it, in the end I decided to give it to someone a little more deserving than I am.

favorite part of the job: The people
top new year’s resolution: Finish the play I started a year ago
biggest pet peeve: Bill Belichick press conferences
random fact: I am a long suffering fan of both the New York Mets and Jets

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Tricia?!?

Tricia ArnoldTricia Arnold
Senior Director of Sales and Distribution
Joined The Orchard in March 2012

Congratulations on just being appointed Senior Director of Sales and Distribution, Tricia! Tell us, what the #@&$ do you do now?
Thank you! My job at The Orchard remains rather varied. Firstly, I oversee the international physical distribution network, scheduling releases, providing sales information and tools to international distributors, setting pricing, coordinating campaigns, launching catalogues internationally, pitching our physical distribution network to potential new and existing digital labels. With Mr. Chris Tams sadly leaving us, I am now also overseeing digital marketing for both new releases and catalogue in the UK, Ireland and Scandinavia, which I had been doing for IODA before it was integrated into the Orchard’s retail marketing, and I am also working to expand our offering and efforts with Amazon Disc on Demand. In addition, I am continuing to client manage for some awesome labels for the time being, including Demon, Townsend, Ace, ZTT and Rocket Girl.

You’re clearly still entrenched in the Physical world… What makes it exciting? And what do you predict up ahead?
I still buy CD’s! Although physical sales are declining of course, it remains a large part of the market internationally and I believe a market will always exist for physical product. Labels just need to be smarter about physical now and what they release and in what format. We’re starting to see more exciting physical releases with special packages, nice vinyl pieces, added value that gives the fan something they can’t make themselves at home. Some people will buy a piece of vinyl even if they don’t have a turntable because it’s a nice collectible piece to have of their favourite artists. I also think programs like Amazon Disc on Demand are an interesting space to watch, giving the option to offer a physical version without the exposure of having a stock holding all over the world.

Hear, hear! Can you tell us a bit more about Amazon Disc on Demand and what it does?
Amazon Disc on Demand uses the digital files of an album to print a CD (or DVD) of MP3′s with artwork for customers who want a physical product. It’s a digital sale that results in a physical copy. No stock is held — the units are printed when the customer places the order, and Amazon is able to ship the next day. They have greatly improved the quality of late with heavier grade paper, and I’ve seen official physical releases that are of a lesser quality. This is a great option for catalogue titles that may not move enough units to justify having stock available in every territory, but still might find some sales for physical units. As Amazon expands this program (and a couple other stores have experimented with something similar), I think it will turn into a real solution to reach fans that would otherwise be missed by not having a physical product available.

Apparently, you met your husband at an Indie club in Philadelphia where Dave Pak was DJ’ing — the same Dave who used to date your roommate. Such great stories! Please, tell us more.
Rumours! Okay, close, but not quite. I did spend quite a lot of time on the dancefloor of Sorted, Dave’s once-upon-a-time monthly club night in Philadelphia, and I’ve consequently known Dave (and a couple of his exes actually, but I won’t tell!) for a scarily long time. It was at an indie club in London though where I met my husband, dancing to “Rocks” by Primal Scream of all things (the first thing he said to me was “Not a great song to make eye contact to, eh?”). We did bring in our first new year together though back in Philadelphia, once again with Mr. Pak on the decks.

Well thank you for clarifying that! We were also tipped to ask you about Duran Duran… Mhmm? 
Now I wonder who could have tipped you off to the Duran Duran thing! I may have had a childhood over-enthusiastic appreciation for Duran Duran, a good decade after it was socially acceptable. By “over-enthusiastic appreciation,” I mean that I might have had a poster of Simon Le Bon on my ceiling and still own to this day the Duran Duran trading cards and board game (you have to help the members of Duran Duran find their way into the Arena!). Although I’m a bit less fanatical than I used to be, I still buy every album (even suffering through one listen of the Timbaland-produced one) and catch them on every tour. I swear that it’s a complete accident though that I’ve ended up living pretty close to Simon.

Riiiight, we believe you… Thanks Tricia for sharing what the #@&$ you do and restoring our readers’ faith in the future of physical!

album you would take with you on a desert island: Sci-Fi Lullabies by Suede
favorite spot in London that no one knows about: Shimla Mirch – a tiny, eternally empty Indian restaurant on the Shepherd’s Bush Road that is the best Indian restaurant I’ve come across.
what you’re most thankful for this year: All the new experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have. And Nate Silver.
random fact: The band I’ve seen the most times live is Air Supply. They are my mother’s favourite band and I went to see them with her nearly every year growing up.

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Beni?!?

Beni Barca a.k.a. Brandon JacksonBrandon “Beni” Jackson
Video Engineer
Joined The Orchard in August 2011

Beni, you work in the mysterious dark room by the Production Studio and the Dungeon where Business Insider discovered an old computer rigged as a Nintendo Classic MOD. What the #@&$ do you do there?
LOL, yes, mysterious indeed! I spend most of my time hiding from the light, drinking bootleg iced coffee and playing Legend of Zelda… oh, no… that’s what I do at home, LOL. What I actually do, on paper, is prepare music videos, movies and TV shows for digital distribution, but in reality, it’s a bit more involved. I design production workflow, inspect the videos for quality issues, provide post-production tech support for our clients, and even do a little bit of in-house video production.

I hear you’ve got 16 years of digital media production experience behind you! What do you have to say for yourself?
Yeah, 16 years… and for those who are familiar with Non Linear Editing, yes, that’s WAY before it was practical for most people, LOL. I have been working in the music business, professionally, since I was a teenager. I started out producing music in my mom’s basement and soon landed a position at one of the radio stations doing dubbing and production for commercials. After that, I became a Recording and Mixing Engineer, which eventually brought me to New York to do writing and production for Toby Gad. While I was working for Toby, I got pretty heavy into video production, and have clocked well over 15,000 hours in Final Cut since I started back in 2006, all self taught, (believe me when I say, I have made EVERY video production mistake possible…) which brought me to Sony Music Entertainment, where I worked in Video Production and Engineering before coming to The Orchard.

Who is Beni Barca?
Who IS Beni Barca, LOL! Beni Barca is the name I create music under, and it’s pretty much who I’ve been for some time now. My family back home calls me Brandon, but I very rarely hear that in here in NY. Toby actually once wrote one of my paychecks to Beni Barca, LOL. Check out some of the stuff I’ve worked on here (Arama Mara lyric video), here (Shakira ft. Pitbull remix) and here (Britney Spears remix).

I heard you recently treated one of our visiting partners to a tour of the House scene in New York. Can you take us on a virtual journey of your favorite clubs of the city, old and new?
We actually never made it out on that tour, but we did talk about it in great detail, LOL. I’ve only been living here for 6 years, and during trips to the city before that I rarely left Midtown… Actually, the only time I left Midtown was to go to TVT… kinda weird that I work in that office now. When I first moved here, I was a BIG fan of Studio B. I saw a lot of good shows there. I loved the way Avalon looked, but I wasn’t too excited about the $100 credit card minimum at the bar. I saw Sasha at Cielo, but I don’t really hang out in the Meatpacking District all too much… except for Le Bain… I like that place. I was a fan of Cheeky Bastard’s parties at Hiro Ballroom, and still will go to Girls & Boys at Webster Hall, when someone I want to see is DJing. Right now, I’m more into smaller venues like Public Assembly and stuff in the Village and East Village, but what I like most are Warehouse parties… even the commercialized version that has become popular with marketing companies these days. As far as the legendary clubs go, unfortunately I missed them all… well, except for Limelight, which became Avalon.

Thanks Beni, now we know what the #@&$ you do! Also, our sources located this amazing photo of you from back in the day. We thought our readers would enjoy it.

favorite part of the music biz: Going to shows and concerts. I used to keep a video blog, and I’m starting that back up now.
best video so far this year: I have seen LOTS of great videos this year, but I feel one of the most memorable was “WELCOME TO BABYLON” (yes, the official title is in all caps) by A Toys Orchestra. It follows the principle character from birth to death, and it kind of puts life into perspective.
activity of choice once you punch the clock: When I punch the clock I hop in the trenches. I either head to my studio in Bushwick to work on tracks or practice DJing, go to a show or concert to get pictures and video, or if I’m feeling particularly counter productive, I put Shochu in a water bottle and walk around the East Village… actually I do that a lot. The winter is coming, though, so it will be too cold to be counter-productive pretty soon, LOL.
random: A random fact, huh? I walked from Roppongi to Shinjuku [in Tokyo] one night when I missed the last train and didn’t feel like spending 2,000 yen on a Taxi. I had no idea where I was going, but the buildings in Tokyo are usually under 10 stories, so I just walked in the direction of the skyscrapers till I got there. It took like 3 hours, LOL… is that random enough for ya?

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Jamie?!?

Jamie Sanchez, Client Manager, The OrchardJamie Sanchez
Client Manager
Joined IODA/The Orchard in January 2009

You’re all the way in San Francisco, and you didn’t make it East for our Summer Barge party, so we’re a bit clueless about you Jamie. Tell us, what the #&@$ do you do?
Yeah, sorry for skipping out on the Summer Barge party. I was at the 2012 Olympics in London!

I manage digital distribution for about 100 amazing labels — from Dance/Electronic, Indie Rock, Jazz, Classical and New Age — even Soundtracks for Hollywood blockbuster films. I’m basically the point person for setting up new releases, getting them delivered to all services worldwide, ensuring proper metadata guidelines are met, dealing with fire drills and pitching new releases for marketing opportunities.

What’s your favorite part of the job?
Hands down working with some amazing labels on a daily basis, and introducing the world to lots of amazing new music.

Since we’ve started working closer together, have you noticed anything different or exciting about how our client teams work?
It’s great having teams on the East coast as well as the West Coast, plus all of The Orchard’s international offices. We can effectively handle client needs to matter where in the world they are.

Can you take me through a day in the life at the San Francisco office?
We all usually roll in around 9AM, then it’s off to the races, so to speak. With the recent IODA/The Orchard merger, it’s been pretty hectic around here. So, we brought in a foosball table to break up the day. We just had our first foosball tournament. All I’ll say is that I’m working on my game! Besides that, we’re all playing new music from our labels, so you’ll hear lots of Dance/Electronic coming from my desk. Most recently, the new Dragonette album has been on repeat.

I’ve heard you like to work facing a wall. Do the beautiful SF views just not do it for you?
I never get tired of the spectacular views of downtown San Francisco and Twin Peak from the office. But, yes – my desk does face a wall. I’ve had the same desk since I started at IODA as an intern several years ago. I guess I just can’t let go.

Thanks for giving us a peek into life at the San Francisco office and what the #&@$ you do, Jamie! Better brush up on those foosball skills before the tournaments go international…

first concert: Wang Chung and The Cars in 1987
pet peeve: iPhones at the dinner table
album you’re most excited about this fall: Dragonette’s Bodyparts
random: Before coming to IODA, I was an international DJ and traveled the globe performing all over the world. I currently work as a Billboard Reporter compiling their Dance/Club Play chart every week, and I’ve had several remixes hit #1 on the Billboard Dance Chart. Oh, I also co-own a production company that produces huge club parties here in San Francisco.

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Elaine?!?

Elaine Lee-Chaperon
Senior Manager, Royalties
Joined The Orchard in November 2007

Let’s get straight to business: What the #&@$ do you do?
I am the Queen of Travelex payments. Other than that dubious title, I also process monthly and quarterly royalty payments, create manual physical statements, answer questions from Project Managers, Client Managers, Client Services and labels. There is a list of others things that I do behind the scenes for statements, but I won’t bore you with all the details.

Aww, come on, don’t sell your job short! We want to know! What details are you hiding from us?
It’s a lot of the behind the scenes work that needs to be done in order to have the smoothest payment process. We have a tickler [note: a tickler is the accounting way to say a list of terms or checklist] to review before making monthly and quarterly payments — making sure any advances are applied, manual adjustments such as withholding tax and check fee, calculate flow thru payments, create CRM tickets to hold payments due to bad address/bad banking info and sending updated label information to Paychex. Bored yet?

Nope! What do Travelex payments entail?
I help create new Travelex campaigns for labels to enroll. That includes approving their enrollments and banking updates, adding the enrollment link to the Workstation, updating labels to payment type “Travelex” in OA [our backend administrative system] and working with Travelex to get payments reprocessed by reaching out to labels for correct banking information. Every month and quarter, I create a payment file for Accounts Payable to upload for royalties to be paid out. It totals to over 2,500 payments.

Sheesh! Queen of Travelex, indeed!

I’ve heard you and Pete Cairis go way back and that your relationship has been quite tumultuous…! How did you go from never wanting to work for Pete at Sony to being on the same team at The Orchard?
I joined Sony’s royalty department in 1998. Peter was with Epic label group and I was doing copyright royalties. As I moved from copyright royalties to artist royalties with the Columbia group, I dealt with Peter more. It was mainly with monthly journal entries and clearing out holding accounts. I was friendly with his staff and they would share their experience of working with him… some involving tears… I came to The Orchard from Universal to help Peter with quarterly payments. Someone left from his group and he was in a crutch, so I stepped in. After a couple of days of working with him, I realized that this was a more mellow Peter. He was quite different back in his Sony days compared to now. Also, Peter has a lot of stories to tell about his life experiences and they never get old. I am amazed that he is alive after hearing some of his adventures!

You have the privilege and the curse of sitting on the fourth floor of our office. Can you tell us how it’s a privilege and how it’s a curse?
I have the privilege of having toned legs and a great cardio workout everyday. We have a private bathroom and I am in the company of some great people. It’s a curse temperature wise — in that in the summer, it’s the arctic circle and in the winter, it’s the Sahara desert.

Thanks for sharing what the #&@$ you do, your highness! Uhm, I mean Elaine… Stay warm!

favorite thing to do in the summer: Relaxing with friends at the lake, beach or pool
favorite TV show: Friends is my all time favorite. Currently, Game of Thrones.
first album ever: Heart – Bad Animals
random fact: I am older than I look and I have 2 kids, 3 years and 10 months.

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Philippe?!?

Philippe Giard, The OrchardPhilippe Giard
Client and Interactive Marketing Manager, France & Benelux
Joined The Orchard in November 2011

Bonjour! I hear we have you to thank for the amazing French translations on our website and Workstation… Aside from that, what the #&@$ do you do?
It’s one of the advantages of being a French native; I can speak and write quite good French, but on the other side I think I will keep all my life an incredible French accent in English…

Apart from translating a lot of things from English to French (blurbs, contracts, Facebook ads…) and also translating on the other side from French to Frenglish, I work on a daily basis with around 30 French-speaking labels from France, Switzerland and Belgium, helping them with the Workstation, metadata, digital strategy, release date, pricing, Spotify playlists, presenting their releases to our retail team, helping them to get an EIN from the IRS, …

On the other side I also try to help our bands and artists from all over the world to get a better set up in France by talking with their labels, French agents, French indie PR, journalists… I write the French monthly newsletter (en français!!), which is sent to 400 people in the French business, as part of this process. The other goal is to accelerate The Orchard’s notoriety here in France and it’s already progressing as people start now to pronounce our name correctly instead of Ze Orkard!!

I dunno… Ze Orkard has its appeal… never underestimate the power of the French accent on the rest of the world!

What kind of labels do you work with?
I have so far a quite large range of labels and music, from Classical music (Alia Vox, Claves, Saphir, VDE-Gallo) to French catalog (Isis, RDV Digital — one of our biggest catalog labels) but also international catalogs (Plaza Mayor), Relaxation music (Fonda-Mental), Brazilian music (Urban Jungle — big up to Olivier de Simone!) and we just signed recently with some labels representing exciting new French Acts (DBTH, Deaf Rock Records). I try to do my best to help sign more great French music, talking regularly to many producers, managers, agents and promoters I met when I was previously working at French indie label naïve for 10 years.

In a few words I’m the French guy in the French office trying to help The Orchard’s Frenchyfication.

Hear, hear! Speaking of which… I hear you’ve already worked with Colleen Theis, Tricia Arnold and Nic Rizzi… Come on, dish the dirt. We know you have some. 
Indeed I had the chance to work with these amazing people during almost 8 years, from Ryko to ADA Global, when I was at naïve, first in charge of the promo for their labels, then as a Label Manager. It was hard work but good fun, so I’m happy we all followed Colleen to The Orchard. I also had the chance to meet Michael Black during these years, which reminds me of some interesting meetings with my Vice President at naïve and his famous Frenglish words “In the wall we go, in the wall!!” I still don’t know how Colleen achieved not to burst into laughter. On Nic’s side I remember going to a very small venue in the suburb of Paris to see one of his punk rock bands — 20 people in the venue… I must admit I felt a little bit all alone when it was time to come and say hello to the band… (I was almost ready to do like the PR in Spinal Tap). And I think Tricia should be happy I now work on the digital side after thousands of emails always asking “Do you have stock? When will you have stock? When it will be shipped…”

Not to go all secret service on you, but we’ve received some intel that you’ve been going out for a smoke more and more these days… Are you just being French or is there some suspicious Mad Men debauchery going on there? 
Well.. It has become quite a joke between Ben [Oldfield, VP France & Benelux] and I. When I joined The Orchard I told him, “Ok, I will stop smoking in January;” then in January, “Ok, I will stop smoking in March…” and finally I think that for the moment I’ve just stopped trying to stop…

Another funny detail for those who know the Paris office is that of course, we can’t smoke in the office (even if in my previous job after 8PM, everyone was smoking in the office… French conception of proscription…). So we can’t smoke in the office, so I have to go outside on the Boulevard, and on the other side of the street, I can see high heeled women in their sixties waiting for…. clients… Not a cliché ;-)

Speaking of clichés, French people are not that depraved ;-) And we take a shower every day ;-)

Glad to hear our French Orchardites are of the clean and moral kind… and as skilled at multi-tasking as you are. Thanks Philippe! Now we know what the #&@$ you do!

favorite part of Europe: Come on! France of course ;-) and not only Paris or the French Riviera but also Ireland, Spain, Belgium, East Europe…
favorite food: Normally I should answer French but I’m also a sucker for a nice burger…
first concert: Wow! I was 16 and it was a French punk band called Burning Heads in a really small venue in the country, surrounded by Mohican haircuts drinking 10° beer!! Such an experience.
random: I’m probably the only guy in the EU team not interested in soccer.

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Paulo?!?

paulo kuong, the orchardPaulo Kuong
Web Engineer
Joined The Orchard in July 2006

Hey Paulo! So, we know you’re hidden in your developer pen, and that you, well, develop, but that’s about it. Pray tell, what the #&@$ do you do?
My role changes from time to time, from back-end developer, front-end developer to data warehouse guy. I helped develop most of the sections in OA [our backend administrative system] — my first project was The Orchard’s user management page — and the Artist and Label Workstation [ALW], for instance old Release Builder, new Release Builder, Artist Builder, Analytics, etc. So, I have been maintaining, debugging, re-factoring and extending all these whenever is needed. Recently, my focus has been on data warehouse and Analytics, ETL’ing old/new data from all the stores that we distribute to.

Nice! What are you working on in regards to the data warehouse and analytics? And what does ETL mean for us non-developers?
It means “extracting, transforming and loading.” I make sure the data gets into our databases, and that the Analytics section in ALW and reports in OA that use these databases have accurate data and acceptable performance. And, if there is any business logic changes, I alter the databases to store different things in different ways or change the code to display the data in a different way.

I heard we just reached 1.7 billion rows of data. That sounds like a lot. What does that mean/entail exactly?
We will probably reach 3 billion rows of data after we’ve loaded all old Spotify data. Billions of rows means there are billions of activities (track downloads, streams, album downloads…) on the assets that we deliver out, meaning we are becoming more capable to show more accurate trends and statistics of how all the assets are doing across all the stores. The statistics and trends can help us make more accurate business decisions, and predict and discover new money-making opportunities…

On the technology side, it means we need a more powerful, more advanced database system to handle the queries, smarter user interfaces to present the data to users so that they can retrieve the data quickly and easily without hanging their browsers, re-factoring our web applications so that they can use the new database system…. Well, in short…. more work.

So about that developer pen, we hear lots of rumors… what do you guys do in there? Secret society? Give me some beef!
Not sure about what specific rumors you heard… =) We have a lot of small group meetings, conference calls everyday so we need a little space with walls to prevent our noisy tech conversations from disturbing the rest of the working areas. Secret society?? No…. You’re free to come by and say hi… We are friendly and open… And I’m still single.

Noted! I was told to ask you about iced tea… Long Island Iced Tea… Do I want to know? [Read: please tell me.]
Haha… It was the strongest iced tea I have ever had. I seldom drink, so I thought it was really just iced tea when my good co-workers handed it to me. I drank the whole glass. It took me a while to get home that night…

Thanks Paulo! You’ve just elucidated a lot of developer mysteries. Now, girlfriend and/or summer flings: coming right up!

favorite app: Google Maps
favorite TV show: The Big Bang Theory
most stupid thing you’ve heard: during tech meetings… “This is why we are here, this is why we are talking about this…” You can also find a lot here.
random: I’ve played guitar for a little band in some small-community-songwriting contests, and I’ve played for a lot of church friends’ weddings these past few years. And my name should be pronounced as “POW LO” or “Pa-wl-o”……. I think. And this.

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Manning?!?

chris manning client services operations the orchardChris Manning
Client Services and Operations Manager
Joined The Orchard September 2008

I hear you’re kind of a jack of all trades in the London office Chris… Please tell me, what the #&@$ do you actually do?!
A jack of all trades is one way of putting it! I look after labels, generally a mix of catalogue both local and international. I also look after the dance labels we have. Managing labels means I cover many things from marketing campaigns, delivery issues, help building label revenue, advising on release strategy, accounting and so on. From the operations side, I am the point of contact for our EU-based stores and the ops point of contact for the EU team. On a more general note, I am the support for our EU team when things go wrong in our client dashboard, OA [our backend administrative system], the office etc… or if things don’t happen as they should!

So what you’re saying is you’re the go-to person for clients, retail partners and Orchard-ites alike and the rest of us can just go home, haha. How do you manage all of that? Can you take me through a day in the life of Chris Manning?
I couldn’t do what I do without the support of an amazing team so if everyone went home I don’t think I would last long ha! The days are very busy and varied which is great but juggling many different things certainly keeps me on my toes, I am very organized so I think that helps! The day starts with going through emails and addressing the issues that get sent my way. This generally continues throughout the day helping the team. I keep in contact with my labels talking about release plans, marketing schedules and plans, meetings, plans to grow revenue and general day to day management of their needs. Then it’s a case of keeping on top of any store issues as well.

A little bird told me you’re a fan of dance music and have an upcoming stag trip to Ibiza. What can you say in your defense, and what do you have up your sleeve for the trip?
Dance music is where my passion lies in music! I was very happy to sign Intec Digital – Carl Cox’s label – at the end of last year. Good times ahead on that one.

Ah yes the stag do (or bachelor party as you guys call it). As the best man I’ve been entrusted with a very important part of my best friend getting married, his stag party. It will be a fairly civilized affair, good food, some light beers and general good rest before the wedding. Just kidding! It’s going to be carnage! The Hangover 3 springs to mind. There are no crazy tricks up my sleeve, just one rule for the stag: he’s not allowed to bring anything apart from a passport; we’ll cover the rest!

I’ve always been meaning to ask: how do you differentiate between all you Chrises in the UK?! Between you, Tams and Duncan… Ever miss hearing your first name? Is having Chris as a first name a deal-breaker now when someone applies for a job or internship?
Let’s see… Myself and Duncan are referred to by our last names. Mr. Tams is slightly different, he prefers Chris unless he likes you, then you can call him Tams! Sometimes, when someone rings the office and asks for Chris it can get interesting. Strangely though, I’ve never received their email! As for job applicants, the CV doesn’t get pass the first stage unless they are called Chris. Mark Denby only got in on a default! [Only joking, it's just pure coincidence we all ended up being a Chris.]

Thanks Chris! I always wondered what the @&#$ you did!

favorite sport: football – English style; team: Liverpool
favorite TV show: The Sopranos
random: I have a funny party trick, most people are either impressed or disgusted… (personally I think it’s boring!)

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Tonia?!?

Tonia Samman
Interactive Marketing Manager
Joined the Orchard October 2006

So tell me, what the #&@$ do you do?!
I manage artist release campaigns, interactively. Ok, ok, so really what that means is that I handle a lot of the non-retail online marketing for our artists’ upcoming releases. Everything from implementing social media apps to landing track/video premieres and features, album streams, running Facebook and Google ads, direct to consumer sales campaigns, setting up in-studios in applicable markets, etc. And whatever other crazy ideas we or our labels come up with!

So basically you’re responsible for keeping up with the constant changes, updates, sometime headaches (Timeline anyone?!) that happen online and in the social media and making sure our artists are always in the spotlight, yeah? Can you take me from point A to point Z of a typical IM campaign?
Yes, we always have to be aware of the new trends/best practices/changes that happen with regards to social media and try to stay ahead of the curve. I start work on a project when a client manager has pitched an upcoming release to the IM director (Tierney Stout) with a marketing checklist, and Tierney assigns it to me. I then create a marketing plan with overarching ideas, social media strategy, apps and tools we want to use in the campaign, a timeline, budget needs (if any – we usually ask for an advertising budget), etc. The label/management then approves/rejects/edits the components of the campaign and we get started. Ideally we have at least 3 months lead time, but it’s often closer to 2. At the end of the campaign, which is generally within a month or two after release date, we deliver a wrap up report with key wins, stats, analytics etc.

And this isn’t your first foray into the world of music. (You’re not nicknamed “Tones” for nothing…) I hear you’ve played in bands. What’s the dish?
Yes indeed! I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13, so the nickname Tones came from a high school friend and has just stuck ever since. I was in a band called The Shapes from 2004-2008 and we self-released an EP and an LP during that time. We also toured a bit around the East Coast and Midwest, did a 10-day stint in the UK and played one West coast show in San Francisco because we won a contest from MP3.com and were flown out there and put up in a hotel to play the show. And we have an agent in LA who still gets us sync placements on those old songs from time to time, so all in all it was a pretty good run :)

That’s awesome! A true rock star in our midst. Are you working on anything we can look forward to?
My husband and I are working on writing some new songs so we can one day record again and play some shows. No more touring though, I’m over it!

Look out for an Orchard-ite entourage at your next show!

While we’re waiting… I hear you love food. What’s your recommendation for the “Best Restaurant In New York That’s Not on Your Radar”?
Hmm not sure I want to share it! But the truth is it was a recommendation from Ronit, so I know the secret’s already kind of out there. Miller’s Tavern in Williamsburg. Second choice, my own kitchen.

I think our readers would really enjoy a special recipe from the second best place to eat in New York! Can you give us a Tones specialty that’s not too confidential…?
I would love to, but the problem is that I rarely use recipes! I do occasionally find some keepers from Bon Appetit (which yes I subscribe to), so here’s a Mark Bittman one that I’ve adopted as my own over the last year:

Multi-Grain Pasta with Butternut Squash Ground Lamb and Kasseri

My tweaks (which make the recipe good for 4-6 servings depending on how hungry you are):

  • Use 1 whole fresh butternut squash
  • Use about 1 lb. ground lamb
  • More olive oil (extra virgin of course) and more garlic (always. Don’t measure these things, just throw in as much as you want!)

Thanks Tonia! My mouth is watering already… See you either on stage or in your kitchen! [Oh, and at work.]

Orchard-ite Award: Cutest, fastest and most fearless small dog, with the best music taste and the coolest name (Bowie)
favorite color: black
favorite TV shows: Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Top Chef, Iron Chef America
random: Aside from the fact that I’m obviously a giant food nerd, another random fact – I probably have the worst eyesight of anyone in the office. Except maybe Mollie.

What The #&@$ Do You Do, Monty?!?

Manthan “Monty” Mehta
Product Manager
Joined the Orchard November 2010

Let’s start mildly for once: Monty, what the #&@$ do you do?
Well, in order for you to get a good idea of what I do here, I need to start from the beginning:

I actually originally came to The Orchard as a Business Analyst, but that changed within a few months and my current title is Product Manager (but I still prefer Business Analyst… lol).

From November 2010 to about February 2011, I worked on the beginning phases of what is now The Marketplace (boy has that come a LONG way). I helped write the requirements for the “Press Kit” and “Promo Player” apps, and I also tested the developer portal.

From February 2011 to about September or October 2011, I worked on the music video element of Release Builder. I did everything from writing the requirements to testing it to addressing post-launch bugs… it’s my baby.

From October 2011 to about December 2011, I floated around working on various projects. I helped John DuPre with The Marketplace and the SoundCloud Connect app, I slowly started to get involved in the Store Integrations project, and last but not least, I was the “go to” guy for any music video issues in Release Builder.

I’m sorry Monty, but there are a few too many approximations in your description. Let’s be specific here. What’s been on the agenda for January 2012 and beyond?
Well, since you ask… I’ve now taken on the role of Product Manager of Internal Tools. That means that if you have any issues related to our internal systems, you should talk to me so that I can put it into the backlog and have that resolved in one of the upcoming sprints. In addition to that I’m also working on the Store Integrations project I mentioned earlier, which basically just focuses on updating our current store profiles and setting new ones up so that we can expand our reach. I’m also working on something else that currently needs to have a tight lid on it but you’ll soon begin to hear about it…

Oooh, secret project… Now you’ve really perked us up! 

In the meantime, I’m dying to know, what’s the story behind the “Monty” nickname?
There’s not an interesting story behind my nickname. I just thought that Monty would be easier for everyone to pronounce. I got tired of being called “Monton,” “Manhattan,” “Man-tan,”…

OK, OK, Monty it is! Here’s another funny thing I heard through the grapevine… You auditioned to be on The Amazing Race! Details, please! 
Who told you that?! Well, it’s true… I did audition for The Amazing Race. I went to Atlantic City in late 2011 for the open auditions, and man was that an AMAZING experience! I left on a Friday night and gambled the entire night in order to actually stay awake. At around 8-9AM on Saturday, they started to take teams of two into a room they had booked at the Trump Taj Mahal. I went in with my team mate and we actually made it through to round 2!

That’s impressive, Man-tan! I mean Monty… Now that I know what the #&@$ you do, I’m really glad you didn’t end up racing around the world. 

What The #&@$ Do You Do?!?

Eulàlia Ràfols
Client Relations Manager (Spain, Italy, Portugal)
Joined the Orchard September 2010

Eulàlia, como se dice “What the #&@$ do you do” en Español?
Se dice “Y tu qué #&@$ haces” en Español and “I tu què #&@$#$% fas” en Català. We actually speak Catalan in our office.

Okay so, I tu què #&@$#$% fas, Eulàlia?
From our office, we manage all the labels from Spain, Italy and Portugal, which is quite a big amount of labels. Sometimes my job is basically extinguishing fires and trying to have everything under control as much as I can. Other times, it is about guiding labels, teaching them to think more in a “digital” way, or together with Celia, it is about building interesting campaigns with our strong local product. And of course, it is about transferring releases to stores, setting territory restrictions, prices, asking for deliveries, redeliveries… things without which a Client Manager wouldn’t be able to live!

We heard a rumor that involves you, Nick Gordon and an elementary school in St Paul, MN.
Ja ja! How did you know that? Well, some years ago I spent a year teaching Spanish in a Junior school in St. Paul, MN. It was a great experience. I learned a lot of things about American culture and also found out that are very cold places in the world. One day, while I was just starting at The Orchard, I was on the phone with Nick and I told him that I lived in the US for a while and was teaching in a school and… SURPRISE! He was a student at that same school when he was younger! As we say in Spanish, “el mundo es un pañuelo!”

So how did you make the transition from teaching to music?
At that particular time in my life, teaching was the best way to leave my country and have the chance to experience another culture so I became a teacher for a while (in the US) and after that, back home I took a postgraduate in teaching. My main goal however has always been what we call here “cultural management” – especially related to music. After coming back I studied cultural management and music management here in Barcelona and started working in the Barcelona Opera House (Liceu), where I used to organize lyric concerts and also conferences, courses, etc. to support the artistic activity of the theatre. And from them to The Orchard. So that’s when I really started working in the music industry.

So is it true that Albert is the nicest guy in Spain? We all think he is, so now is your chance to rat him out. He’s got to have some kind of flaw, right?
Mmmm, difficult question knowing that he is my boss… but yes, he does something that annoys me and I have never told him, so it seems this is the right moment to do it: Albert please, clean the cup of tea before you leave the office?! Besides that he is quiet, organized and respectful, so he can difficulty annoy somebody.

And while I’m at it, our interns have not been educated in CLOSING DOORS. They always leave the office door open! Anna really seems to be unable to transfer calls to the right person and Cèlia often plays embarrassing songs on her computer while I am on calls!

Wow, now I feel much better…

Sounds like someone needed to vent! Thank you for your honesty and we’ll check back in later to see if Albert is cleaning his dishes, the interns are shutting doors, Anna is transferring calls correctly and Cèlia is revising her music (and volume!) preferences.

What The #&@$ Do You Do?!?

James Kass
Director of Digital Sales Processing
Joined the Orchard September 2007

So James, what the #&@$ do you do?
Well, my profane friend, around these here parts I’m known as Director of Digital Sales Processing. In addition to general database troubleshooting and generating analysis reports for the higher-ups, the Digital Sales Processing team (consisting of myself and Becca Shimkin) get the granular, track-by-track sales detail from our digital sales partners (which come in a wide variety of formats, some more frustrating than others). We check them all to make sure The Orchard is getting paid the correct rates per the terms of our contracts, then we work our patented Database Magic™ on the data to get it integrated with our accounting system. Each month, once I get the thumbs up from A/R that we’ve been paid by the stores, I deliver the sales data to OA, where our labels can see how much dough their content has earned.

As the star of the YouTube hit “Better With Bacon,” have you got a meatier way to look at it?
Here’s the analogy I like to use: The statements are various pieces of meat that we get from our stores, and my job is to cram them all into a meat grinder (our database) and turn the handle. What comes out of that grinder are lovely little sausages (money!) that we then deliver to our labels (who are NFC North football fans that eat a lot of sausages, I guess… I never really thought this far into the analogy…)

Ha, nice.

So, how long have you been in the music industry?

I joined The Orchard a little over four years ago, back before the DRA/DMGI merger. Prior to working here, I worked at eMusic for two years as a Royalties Assistant, and before that I worked at theatrical publisher Samuel French, Inc., where my job was to drag their licensing systems technology from out of the 1970s. Seriously, they were using typewriters and index cards to keep track of everything.

Does a Director of Digital Sales Processing make you a Donald Trump of sorts?
I don’t like to compare myself to fictional characters, though I truly believe that once you take that dead animal off his head, I have slightly more hair than he does.

So seeing as I’ve already shamelessly promoted your “Better With Bacon” show, what is NOT better with bacon? I’m hard pressed to think of anything.
It’s a very short list… Off the top of my head, strawberries are HORRIBLE with bacon. The textures of soft and seedy clash strongly against the crispy chewy of bacon, and the tastes are very uncomplimentary. Same with Nerds candies. The texture just throws everything off. Avoid bacon in yogurt, it’s just nasty. Most Jelly Belly jelly beans are terrible with bacon; a few exceptions exist by they are rare. I highly recommend you don’t shove a bunch of contrasting jelly bean flavors and a piece of bacon into your mouth at the same time. I had to call out of work the next day, it was that horrible. Eh, we live, we learn.

But I can tell you what does go well with bacon: Oreos. Rice Crispie treats. Ice Cream Sandwiches. Chocolate chip cookies. I realize these are all good on their own, but adding bacon to them really makes them better!

Well thanks, James! I always wondered what the #&@$ you did!

What The #&@$ Do You Do?!?

Christopher Covert
VP of Film, Television & Advertising
Joined the Orchard March 2007

So Covert, what the #&@$ do you do?
I guess I lead the team here and try and find creative opportunities for our labels – at least the ones that opt in – to place their music in TV shows, films, trailers, commercials, and other mixed-media things like video games and interactive video. Its a bit of a creative job presenting cool music, a bit sales, and a lot of begging.

How long have you been working in the music/begging industry?

About 17 years. Its more a combo of music, film, and TV industry since ’94 when I started working at MTV.  Started there in production and dealt with live music events and was a floor producer for 120 Minutes way back.  Music Supervisor on films for a long time after that.

I didn’t realize MTV once aired music videos. Interesting.

What are some notable sync placements that come to mind?
I think the new Heineken spot is very cool.  And a Korean club/house cover version of “Move Bitch” by Ludacris we were able to place in Hancock a couple years ago–was a pretty funny use.  But there are lots of great things the Team has done…

What made you move back to NY? You wanted to be closer to ol’ Schustack?
I actually just wanted his office. There was too much light in California. That, and I wanted to be closer to family now that I have a baby girl.

So, Schustack’s office first…family second. Are you not worried about losing your golden L.A. tan?
No, not at all.  I just had a 42,000w surround-tan system installed in my office.  If there is a City-wide blackout, I was never here…

Last live show you attended?
Honestly, my bedtime is like 8:30pm now.  I saw Ivan & Alyosha do an in-house showcase at Gray Advertising we set up.  And my daughter bangs the shit out of tables and screams.  So I guess the answer is pretty un-hip…

That was hip enough. Favorite office coffee flavor?
That is rather obvious. The Covert Double Double – two nestretto, two hazelnut coffee – all happy jitters for days…**

Favorite item in The Orchard vending machine? 
There’s a vending machine?

Well thanks, Covert! I always wondered what the #&@$ you did, and yes… we have vending machines.

 

**Please consult your physician before experimenting with “The Covert Double Double”

What The #&@$ Do You Do?!?

Dave Pak
Manager of Sales and Marketing, Physical
Joined the Orchard February 2011

So Pak, what the #&@$ do you do?
I help set-up and sell records.

That sounds easy enough. Tell me more…
No.

Okay, well how long have you been working in the music industry?
15 years or so.

Who is your favorite Orchard artist?
Tierney Stout

Never heard of him. What are you looking forward to most about the barge party?*
Snacks!

Last live show you attended?
It was either John Maus or Wooden Birds. No, wait…it was the Black Angels! Street soda!

Mmmm…soda! What is your go to vending machine item?
Coke.

Do you think you could ever rival Kman’s high kicks? 
Don’t mess with the physical dept.

Thanks, Dave! I always wondered what the #&@$ you did…and this was VERY insightful.

 

*The barge party has come and gone, and it has been reported that Dave Pak did not have any snacks.

What The #&@$ Do You Do?!?

Doug Shineman
Director, Video Business Development
Joined The Orchard January 2008

So Douglas, what the #&@$ do you do?
My work here sits somewhere between maintaining and growing our video distribution business, trying to keep us on par with the rate of change of the industry…as it’s a baby that just learned how to run. I used to manage “all things video”, but thanks to Shawn and Brendan stepping up recently to own video operations and video programming respectively, I’m gravitating away from those areas to get laser focused on growing our film distribution and YouTube businesses this year.

Jargon aside, that means managing video acquisitions, building our action sports business, and working with our product and tech teams to design our video distribution fulfillment platform.

People do not use the term “laser focused” enough!
Is there some trick to wearing all those hats every day…any strategy?

I’d recommend some tasteless oatmeal that’s similar to porridge in The Matrix at the start of every day…it sets a good tone for myself so my day can only get better from there.

Is this the same cinammon oatmeal that Meagan Friedman eats every morning that you can smell even if you are in Jaclyn’s office with the door closed?
If by same you mean opposite, yes. Her day must run downhill from that delicious start.

Do you have a days-end routine like your morning routine? This does not include going to Phebe’s–please keep this professional, Doug!
My day never ends with the feeling that I finished everything…It’s more like a “to be continued” ending where I leave the big problem to solve for the next morning with a brighter mind.

 

So overall your day always starts off with crappy oatmeal and an unresolved problem left over from the previous day?
Yes, again, it’s all about the upward momentum. Then rinse and repeat.

What are you excited about for the future of the industry?
I’m excited for our industry to get to a point where we really don’t feel like we’re missing anything without a cable subscription. I have a personal vendetta against the Triple Play package. I told them I didn’t want a phone but my Time Warner TV keeps telling me someone’s calling. We’ll get there soon, ironically around the end of 2012.

Shineman HOTSEAT…
Favorite movie of all time? Forrest Gump, and then Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas

 

Favorite viral video (please leave Bieber & Rebecca Black out of this)?
A Trailer For Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever

Last concert you attended (once again, please leave Bieber out of this)?
Soulive @ Brooklyn Bowl

On May 3rd (or whatever day it is), who will dominate at Orchard kickball?
I forgot what they’re called but whichever teamwon by over 20 points last game.*
*Doug is on this team.

Thanks, Doug! I always wondered what the #&@$ you did.

Introducing…What The #&@$ Do You Do?!?

Every couple of weeks, we will be introducing you to the people that make The Orchard the well oiled machine that we all know and love. So, without further ado, we give you the first ever edition of “What the #&@$ do you do?!”

 

Myron Machado
Senior Developer
Joined The Orchard May 2007

Hey Myron, what the #&@$ do you do?
There are 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don’t. Care to take a guess which type I am?

What do I do? – I am a project manager by day and PHP developer when shit hits the fan. Most of my responsibilities are to manage projects with outsourced developers and our super awesome product team. Product team gets requirements – we try to figure out which technology, how many resources and time would be needed, conduct research and come up with prototypes – which for a geek like me is the most fun part of work, finding out the latest and coolest tech toys which will best serve the needs of our products.

Bottom line – Computers are incredibly fast, accurate and stupid; humans are incredibly slow, inaccurate and brilliant; together they are powerful beyond imagination. – Albert Einstein.

What is your favorite part about working at The Orchard…besides Tom Lorenc?
Hard to think of anything as soon as you say besides Tom Lorenc. I guess kicking people’s butt in ping pong?

I’m sorry. Tom Lorenc was the obvious answer. We want these profiles to really challenge the interviewee. On your down time from the ping pong tables, you and your team just wrapped up launching Artist Builder. What the #&@$ is Artist Builder?!?!
Artist Builder is an innovative front end facing creative idea of combining all social networks into one. Basicially, it is pretty much in itself one of those apps that the whole web industry is moving towards–which is to make use of all the other social networking apps that are out there, and basically building off of that and making something of your own. Facebook, Foursquare, and Twitter have their own information gathering, and building apps on top of that is becoming the new “in” thing, and I think that is what Artist Builder acheives.

What was your role in Artist Builder?
Artist Builder was our last complete in-house project. We received the requirements from the product team, and then we told them what technology is feasible. Based on that, we made a list of tasks that we could perform to get the project done. Then we entered a phase of technical design [how to wire it all]. The first sprint we did, it was flat out new product, Artist Builder…launching into ALW. That is why we spent 5 days just thinking over it and making sure that we weren’t missing anything anywhere so it would seamlessly integrate into ALW. Then, Sammy, Ankit, and I took charge of doing that–making sure that the lineout of detailed tasks were in place so all of the other developers could jump in, read those tasks, and begin working on it by themselves. That worked really well for us.

Is that generally how all of your projects begin?
We usually work in three week sprints. We make sure that at the end of any three weeks, we have the product at a decently stable state. So, at any point if you want to stop it, and launch it, we should be able to do that. We always take projects in terms of steps. Then we decide who will be working on each project. Ankit and I will do the product management stuff, and we manage those teams.

What are 3 albums that you are listening to this week?
Imran Khan – Unforgettable
Pink Floyd – Pulse
Brad Mehldau – Anything Goes

What was the first concert you ever attended?
Bon Jovi at the Meadowlands 2010 :) Would love to go out for concerts more often!

Wow, 2010?! I’m surprised you can remember that far back!
When is the Dev Zepplin reunion tour? The Orchard needs to know!
Rumor has it we might open up for Sammy Sands in Slovenia soon.

Lastly, what is your favorite lunch joint in the Orchard neighborhood?
Just got back from there. Ramen noodle bar on 7th and 2nd Ave. Enjoy Mexican cuisine as well (Chipotle included).

Thanks, Myron! I always wondered what the #&@$ you did…and where you went to lunch!

Myron Glossary:
ALW: Artist & Label Workstation
API: Application Programming Interface
Dev Zepplin: The most spirited band to hit the stage at the 2010 Orchard Holiday Party

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