What is an ISCI Code?



What is an ISCI Code?


At times we have clients come to us for assistance when they are handling the distribution of commercials we have produced for them. This can be a somewhat confusing process sometimes as different broadcasters have different requirements. The one thing we are asked most however is “What is an ISCI code?”


It is a good question as it is not a commonly heard item outside of the broadcasting world. ISCI stands for International Standardized Commercial Identifier. It is a unique code used to identify a commercial within a broadcaster’s system. It is normally eight characters long, four alphabetic and four numeric. Some broadcaster’s will create one for you, others will want you to create one. Usually the alphabetic characters represent the company. For 10 Bridges Media, we would use TBME. The numeric characters relate to the ad itself. Every ad, including different versions of the same ad, will have its own unique ISCI code.


Some people just use a number and increment accordingly, others will break it out by date. For instance, if we are creating an ISCI code for the eleventh commercial we have produced this year, we would use TBME + 14 (the year) + 11 (the specific number for that spot). The code would be TBME1411. Much of it boils down to personal preference or broadcaster requirement.


There is a new standard in use that has replaced ISCI called Ad-ID. It allows for a twelve character unique ID and can also be applied to other media besides television. If you aren’t sure what to do, it’s always good to check with your broadcaster. If you work with us, we are always happy to assist as well.


Here are some links if you would like further information:







Three New Television Commercials



We recently had the opportunity to work with a fantastic client in iQ Credit Union. Their marketing staff hired 10 Bridges Media to produce three humorous television commercials in a very short time period. We worked quickly to coordinate all of the little (and big!) details needed to execute a smooth and high-quality shoot. Using our access to some incredibly talented crew and talent in the area, we created three 30 second spots that make us smile every time we watch them. Head over to “Our Work” and enjoy!

Our New Logo and Website



It is with great … JOY!  we announce our new logo and website.

As we begin our fourth year of business, we wanted to bring a fresh new look to our company and brand. We worked with a very talented branding professional, Alicia Nagel of Alicia Nagel Creative, who helped us to create a look and feel that represents our approach. We wanted something warm, fun, friendly, and professional. We think she nailed it. So with great aplomb, we bring our new website to you.


The website has our latest work, some very well stated and appreciated customer testimonials, easy methods to contact us for questions or quotes, and a little of our tongue in cheek humor. We will be updating this blog regularly and look forward to creating work with our fantastic clients!

Outpost’s New Video “iRecharge”

Outpost The Band


We were recently hired by well-known reggae band Outpost from Portland, OR to produce the first video for their new album. Over the month of July, we worked with them on the story, production requirements (things like props, set dressing, extras), and then of course the shooting!


Aaron and Ben Working


We shot the video in 3 locations around Portland. The first was a fun old house in South East. We were able to do several scenes there with the help of some great extras. The next location was the biggie. We shot over 40 shots at the Mt. Tabor theater on SE Hawthorne. This is a great location to shoot. It has a large amount of space to utilize as well as a very cool bar and stage. The last location was a yoga studio owned by the brother of one of the band members. This location was very nice and we really liked its setup as well.


Stage shot at Mt. Tabor Theater


Back to the Mt. Tabor shoot, that was a long day. The band provided “refreshments” for the 50+ extras who came to be in the video. While we were working away, many of our friendly extras were enjoying their drinks and providing a very realistic bar atmosphere. This was also one of the first hot days in Portland and the bar was pretty warm. To everybody’s credit, they didn’t complain and provided good energy. The band especially was excellent on this shoot. They were stuck in plastic sumo suits for most of the shoot and were basically sweatlodging themselves. Through all of that, they remained upbeat, energetic, and focused as we had so much to shoot. They did a great job and we’re looking forward to working with them again.


Jib shot of cheers scene.


As you can see from the photos, we had a lot of fun. This last picture is of the cheers scene shot where you can see the camera on the jib above the band. We had a lot of fun doing some unique shots including the jib and glass on the bar. We enjoy making visually interesting videos and we’re very happy with this effort. Congratulations to the band for a job well done and an excellent new album!

Check out the new video on our media or YouTube pages!




All photos by Kena. Many thanks to her for documenting the video making process.

Our New Commercial

10 Bridges Media Commercial


We have released our first commercial for our company! We are practicing what we preach per se and decided to do a fun take on Mad Men. We worked with a very talented actor doing a clean look, retro feel spot. Click on the link above (the picture) and it will take you to our homepage where you can click the picture and the video will start. Remember to set the quality to 720p or higher if the clip doesn’t start out in HD. Enjoy!

Nikon’s New D4, What Do We Have Here?

Nikon has FINALLY released it’s new D4 (and D800 shortly) after a painstakingly LONG year for us Nikon users. From everything I’ve been able to read and see, I’d say this is going to be a very good video (and of course photography) camera. I’m still waiting for it to be released into the wild of normal users like us to see what they think but, there has been one heck of a nice video released shot entirely on the D4 by Corey Rich that looks beautiful.



The stats for the Nikon are what you would expect and more:


  • Full 1080p video at 30 or 24fps in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC HD.
  • 720p video at 30 or 60fps.
  • Native ISO from 100 all the way up to 12,800.
  • Live video autofocus.
  • 20mins record time at 24p, 30mins at 30p.
  • Remote control via an iDevice (my favorite).
  • Remote movie stop/start with basic shutter remote.
  • Uncompressed HDMI out.
  • 1 CF and 1 XQD card slot.
  • Headphone jack.
  • $5,999.95 MSRP.


I’m personally looking forward to using this camera soon. Let’s see what the price does in the next couple of months. Anyone reading have one yet and wants to share their experience?



Priory to Open for Foster the People!

As some of you may know, we did a video for a very talented band from Portland, OR. They entered a contest to open for arguably the hottest band in the US right now, Foster the People. Priory were selected by the contest committee as one of 5 finalists who were then judged by the band itself. Using our video, Priory was selected to open for Foster the People at tonight’s sold out show! We are crazy happy for these guys as they are genuinely good people and deserve this opportunity. So, check out the winning video on our media page and go buy Priory’s album, you’ll be glad you did.


Canon C300, RED Scarlet, Sony, and Panasonic. What to buy?

Our company has been plugging away at videos using mostly HD-DSLRs and loving every minute of it. While not singly purposed video cameras, they allow you to do things that were so not achievable in a consumer market before. Now, video camera makers are coming out with their improved video options that are meant to compete with the DSLRs. Unfortunately, there just doesn’t seem to be a DSLR killer yet. While there are some very nice options out there, it appears that nothing compares to the price point of the DSLR. While we use the right camera for the job, we are still waiting to see what comes of the new crops of video cameras coming available.

The following article from Prolost is a great breakdown and comparison of the prime contenders in the market today. Tell us about your own experiences.

Red Scarlet, Canon C300, and the Paradox of Choice

How to – Low Light Photography

Low Light Photography – A How To


I’ve had many people ask me how to get into low light event photography. I can say in all honesty, in my opinion of course, that it is the most difficult type of action photography out there. Light is the fuel that powers our cameras. The more you have, the easier it is to take good pictures. When you shoot in low light, you need a camera and lenses made to operate on much less light than a typical SLR or point and shoot.


The Tools


A camera can control light in three ways: Shutter Speed, ISO, and Aperture. Each function is used to control specific aspects of quality and composition in photographs.


Shutter Speed


Shutter speed is oh so important in low light event photography. If your subject is moving regularly, as a dancer would, you will need a shutter speed that allows you to capture a portion of the subject in focus, or your photograph is not going to pass muster. The golden rule is to keep the eyes in focus, but if you can be creative in your focal control, other areas can make for very interesting shots. I find that I can handhold and shoot at 1/50 s and get very useable results. I also am very practiced in holding my self still and controlling my breathing to keep from blurring these shots. If the subject is moving their limbs but you can capture their face with good focus, it can make for a very good action shot. If you wish to get the entire subject in crisp focus, you will need to increase your shutter speed, maybe all the way up to 1/250 s. That will require much more light and/or extreme changes in the other two areas: ISO and Aperture. I find that if I have the light and my other settings are where I want them, I use 1/80 s shutter speed most of the time.




ISO controls the sensitivity of the light sensor in a digital camera or refers to the sensitivity of film to light. The higher the ISO value, the less light it takes to capture the image at a given exposure and the more artifacts that will appear in your photographs. For many cameras, beginning at 1600 ISO, graininess begins to show. While some amounts of grain in photos is acceptable, and sometimes even desired, it is best to shoot at as low an ISO as your camera is able. I shoot with a Nikon D700 which has exceptional ISO capabilities. I can shoot at 6400 ISO and still procure useable images. This is an ability of this specific camera which is why I use it for this specialty. If you wish to shoot low light event photos, you will need a camera that can shoot well at high ISOs.




Aperture controls the size of the opening that light travels through within the lens before it enters the camera body. Changing the size of this opening controls how much of the photograph will be in focus. This is referred to as Depth of Field. While contrary to thinking, the smaller the number in an aperture rating, the larger the opening. Lenses are called fast if they possess an aperture rating of f2.8 or lower. Lenses also become much more expensive the faster they are. Prime lenses, those which are set at an unchangeable (fixed) focal length, can be very fast. Lenses that measure f1.8 or f1.4 and even f1.2 can be procured to allow much more light into the body, which in turns allows for the shooter to increase shutter speed (to reduce or remove unwanted motion blur) or reduce ISO (to reduce or remove unwanted grain). Aperture can be tricky however as the faster you set your lens, the less depth of field it will have. If you are shooting photos at distance, this will help somewhat but you should always be aware of your subjects eyes or notable features to ensure they are in focus, as other parts of the subject can and will fall out of focus.


Key Advice


First things first, shoot in Manual mode. You can try to shoot with the camera auto selecting your settings but I guarantee you will not get very many, if any, good photos. You should be working hard to know your camera settings as well as your own name. This type of shooting requires an intimate knowledge of how ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture affect each other. I can’t stress enough, practice, practice, and practice some more. Go out and shoot shows every chance you get. Most local bands and acts do not care if you bring a camera and shoot. While you will need to get permission to sell the photos, you can obtain lots of experience shooting in low light.


DO NOT USE A FLASH. The purpose of this article is to help you shoot subjects in the element of stage lighting. This is how the audience sees them, this is how you will get dramatic lighting and shadows and textures. Flash makes most photos 2-dimensional. It removes shadows or creates overly harsh ones and does not make very attractive event pictures. Once you have mastered shooting without a flash, then and ONLY then, should you experiment with one. This is all my opinion of course but, I’m sticking with it.


Be careful with zoom lenses. They are great for getting intimate pictures of the subject, and I do love mine but, when you are zoomed to the max, all movement of the camera is accentuated making it much harder to shoot crisp photos. Be aware of this and make sure your photos are coming out right while shooting. You very well may want to increase your shutter speed and practice and be very aware of your hand holding technique.


During small breaks, check your focus in the photos. Pull one up on your LCD and zoom into it, looking to see if the subjects eyes or other focal points are in focus. If they are not, you need to up your shutter speed or improve your hand holding. I constantly go through and delete photos that I can see are outside my range of acceptable focus. This keeps my card clear for more photos and keeps you aware of what settings you’ll need to shoot in the low light environment you are in at the time.




While this is not an exhaustive list, and believe me, the more you do this the more things you’ll pick up, it is a good representation of what you’ll need to go down the path of a low light event photographer. One thing I cannot stress enough is that this takes a lot of practice and experimentation. The best part (and why I love it) is that every shoot is different and often every performer, as the lighting changes constantly. If you love a challenge, this is definitely a good field to look into.


If you have any questions, feel free to comment or send them to me at ben@10bridgesmedia.com


Thanks and good luck!


Ben T

GoPro Alternative?

There is a new player in town, the Swann Freestyle HD (1080p) wearable video camera. It is a direct competitor to the GoPro line and to be honest, for the initial $280 price, I like all of the accessories that come with it. First and foremost, the 1.5″ lcd screen. If you’ve ever tried to setup a GoPro without being able to see the frame composition, you know how nice this is. Also very nice, a remote control, very handy if you’ve got the camera in a hard-to-reach place (say very high) and don’t want to fight to shut it off between shoots. Again, both of these come with the camera for $280. The new GoPro Hero’s sell for $300 and do NOT include a lcd or remote control. Maybe we consumers will get a little price benefit from some competition. For now, I’d love to try out a Swann Freestyle!

Check out the rest of the article here:


Canon Launches New Digital Video Camcorder for High-Resolution Motion Picture Production

Canon has just thrown their gauntlet into the high-res video production ring with aplomb. They have announced a Super35 sized sensor on a video specific EOS platform that looks very VERY promising. I’m excited to see how this foray pushes the other players, notably Sony and Panasonic, with their products in this area. While the $20k price tag is steep, it should create products down the road that will be much more friendly to video users than Canon’s SLRs to date, hopefully in the 2-5k price range. This sensor should also remove many of the issues seen in Canon SLRs related to aliasing/moiré. We will be watching with great interest to see just how this plays out in the next year. They have also added an EF Cinema Lens lineup that I’m very curious to see how it performs. Follow the link to Canon’s site for more information.


Exciting times!