Featured User: David Hentschel

Famous Record Producer Discovers MediaWorks

The Challenge:

Marketing and promotion are key areas for any self-employed creative professional. In the music business it has been traditional to provide a 'showreel' to showcase talent and experience, usually in the form of an audio CD. The challenge was how to stand out from the crowd by taking this one step further.

The Solution:

Legendary record producer David Hentschel, who has worked with some of the best in the business including Elton John, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Genesis and Queen, turned to the Mac OS X version of MediaWorks as his multimedia authoring tool of choice for creating a themed high-impact interactive presentation. Read more about David on Wikipedia!


DH DVD Jacket
Click images to view a larger version


Cdr. Kevin Marty While most of David's time is spent in the recording studio, he does have a parallel career in technology - primarily software design, programming and "anything to do with computers". Amongst other outlets, he used these talents to develop his own website. In his presentation project David wanted to carry through the visual theme of his website, but develop it further by incorporating extra features and content which are not suited to web delivery. An interactive DVD-ROM was the only way to go....

After sketching out his ideas, and to help in deciding which authoring tools he would use, David prioritized what he needed to incorporate in his project.

  • menu-driven interactive framework
  • many large high quality audio and video files
  • graphic animations
  • dynamic on-screen text often synchronized to music
  • active email and weblinks
  • universal cross-platform delivery

The final piece of the puzzle was that the whole project needed to be built and ready for deployment as quickly as possible. David takes up the story:

"I looked at all the other software available for authoring my project and found each package wanting due to either inadequate features, unnecessary complexity, unreliability, steep learning curves or prohibitive cost. 'Time is money' - a cliché but true, and I needed to turn this project around fast. After a quick web search, I came upon MediaWorks. Literally within minutes of downloading the demo I was authoring. MediaWorks is so intuitive and includes all the tools I needed in one very user-friendly package. All this for $49? Wow!"


Successful Outcome:

David's presentation opens with a high speed eye-catching graphic animation, created in Flash and imported as a QuickTime movie into MediaWorks.

"From the outset I wanted make the DVD feel familiar to people who had visited my website", says David.


From here you are taken to a series of menu pages or scenes, each containing text buttons which link to lower level menus whose text links in turn link to the content pages. Every page has a 'back' button to return to the previous page.

"I wanted the navigation scheme to be familiar to any user, so that they can concentrate on the content rather than how to find it", says David. "With the scene linking capabilities of MediaWorks, this was a breeze".


Click images to view larger versions
The first page is the Main Menu. There are links to David's biographical section 'About Me', a 'Records' section containing full length versions of songs he has worked on, a 'Movies' section containing video clips of movies he has composed for, and finally a 'More' section containing other snippets of interest. Each menu is underscored by ambient music themed throughout the project. All movies and audio segments were compressed using QuickTime 7's amazing h.264 compression.
This first sub menu contains links to David's biographical content. MediaWorks provides for active weblinks, so here you can see a link to his website and also an email link. Each of the links in every menu appears progressively, and always in time to the underlying music.
This sub menu contains links to a short mission statement about David's recording philosophy, the songs themselves, an edited video of David working in the studio with Elton John during the recording of "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road", and finally a section containing press reviews of some David's more well known albums.
Here is an example of an artist content page. It lists some of Elton John's songs which David either recorded or performed on. The user clicks on the appropriate blue loudspeaker to hear each song instantly in high quality audio.
On to movies. These are just some of the movies for which David has composed the music score. An edited video trailer of the movies runs in the center of the screen while this page is being viewed, and the links below take you to video clips and more information about each movie.
This is the movie content page for Educating Rita. After the movie text information there are links to eight movie clips which each feature some of David's music.

"To complement the look of my project I put a lot of emphasis on visual synchronization of the graphics and text to the music. In a sense this is an expression of what I have learned through my movie scoring - marrying audio to visual in as pleasing a way as possible. The Sequencer built in to MediaWorks simplifies this greatly, allowing me to slide graphic images around to precisely match audio hits"

An example of synchronized text


David summarizes his experience building his project thus:

"By far the biggest and longest job, at least for me was editing the video clips. Most video editing was done in iMovie with which I was already familiar, and the movies were exported using QuickTime 7's h.264 compression prior to importing into MediaWorks. Assembling and structuring the project was a very straightforward and quick process thanks to MediaWorks which I also used to create all the text based content and many of the effects. I used Photoshop for the more demanding image editing, and Flash for the more complex visual effects - it's simple to import anything into MediaWorks so integrating other specialist software is never a problem. I am in no sense of the word a graphic designer or layout artist, but it was really satisfying to be able to realize my ideas so easily. Added to that is the fact that MediaWorks is so ridiculously simple and intuitive to use and that saved me an enormous amount of time. Finally, when it came to publish my project, using the MediaWorks Player made it really simple to ensure that both Mac and Windows users would be guaranteed an identical viewing experience without the need of anything more than the ubiquitous QuickTime."

The Bottom Line:

A few months on and David tells us that he has received nothing but enthusiastic reaction to his presentation DVD from everyone who has viewed it. Let's hope that it brings results for him!

"Thanks guys, and just let me add that I've since found that it's very easy to add new material and update my project - because MediaWorks links separate scenes to create a structure, each scene can be easily edited without affecting other parts of one long timeline, and since each scene is a mini-timeline of separate objects, these can easily be moved, changed or supplemented individually." David H.

All material ©2014 - 2015David Hentschel.