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Taproot Productions

June 18, 2008
Chicago | Brand, CMS

After working feverishly on a large number of documentaries, Alex LeMay and Taproot Productions, a Chicago based media shop, was finally ready to put the spotlight on themselves. Woking closely with Taproot, GeekPAK channeled the site's focus into two different disciplines; “Commercial and Corporate Media” and “Film and Televised Programming”. The two disciplines are the core of the companies work and most projects can be categorized into one or the other.

The aesthetic for the website stemmed from GeekPAK's previous work on the Taproot Productions brand. The concept was, “new technology… but 50 years from now”. This concept was developed over the last 3–4 years of intensive collaboration between GeekPAK and Alex LeMay and his obsession with texture and human interest stories. Taproot wanted the feeling of new but old. Keeping this in mind, GeekPAK created a white room ambiance but made it look aged and worn.

Next GeekPAK decided to add some animation since the site was for a motion picture studio. Showing this off was important. To do this they “smashed” the plasma screen, making it seem dysfunctional, and designed wires that crawled into the ground. GeekPAK used orange and white wires as a means of way–finding. When clicking around the website the wires come up from the ground through broken glass to display the title of each section. Finally, GeekPAK animated the Taproot logo to make it seem even more “paramount” than it's static form. It helps introduce the site, but then falls into the background. They also added a touch of animated spice to the left side of the tv which calls back elements of the Taproot logo. Well done!

Alex enjoyed the animation that he had on his last site but, he wasn't fond of his inability to easily update the entirely flash based website. GeekPAK worked closely with Alex to meet his needs to make the video accessible on multiple platforms and make the content Search Engine accessible by creating a hybrid site that combines Flash, traditional DHTML and the GeekPAK CMS. Flash is one of the most popular ways to display videos online, however GeekPAK knew with the recent rise of more handheld devices such as the iPhone (which aren't Flash compatible), other video alternatives had to be available. Using GeekPAK's Content Management System GeekPAK gives Taproot the ability to update there own Flash Video's, Quicktime downloads, pdf documents and content. By building the site using a combination of HTML and Flash GeekPAK was able to make the site accessible for everyone and most importantly, updatable by Taproot.

Another feature is user controlled play of videos upon entry to pages. This reduces the risk of jarring noises and visuals in corporate environments. Giving the user the option to play the video, or read about it as they see fit. Also, because the large tv screen accommodates large videos, having the user “opt–in” to watching the video cuts down on unnecessary downloads. GeekPAK also created a custom JavaScript that automatically scrolls the browser window up to the top of the page to view the flash video. Very handy for the user!

Taproot Productions now has an updated web presence that speaks to LeMay's unique company and style. The GeekPAK eblast module gives him the ability to send targeted messaging to his prospective and current clients, keeping them informed and updated. Plus, he now has an expandable Content Management System (CMS) that will grow along with his company for years to come.

Project Highlights:
+ Self managed website using GeekPAK to manage dynamic Flash.

+ Flash animation for added spice

+ eblast capabilities for targeted messaging

+ Bifurcated site based on industry needs and naming conventions

+ Downloadable video and file capabilities

Modules used to create this site:
Content Management, Contact Management, Mailing & eblast
CMS Content Management Systems provide a structured, database driven suite of tools for managing your website. At GeekPAK our CMS can help you manage your website and your business.
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