Rampant Live! Wants to Know All About You

For one hour, twice a week, the spotlight is on you.

Rampant Live!
Rampant Live!. Rampant Design Tools

There are many truths in the world of production, though none truer than this: we are a group of storytellers. It’s the underlying strength behind every good content creator. Whether we’re producing a corporate video or shooting a motion picture, weaving our content into a compelling story is what finds and holds an audience.

So who tells the stories about the storytellers? As an industry and, heck, as a society, in general, we’re pretty good at self-promotion.

Most of us dabble in the social arts. We might write a blog. We might post on Facebook and Twitter. We might comment on articles that interest us. We might write for About.com. Might.

But our stories never truly come out. My biography speaks of my experience in video production and motion graphic design. My Twitter feed retweets news about video cameras and software plug-ins. But that’s not really who I am as a person. It’s a piece of the puzzle, but it’s not the whole story. Imagine how much more you would know about your favorite producer if you sat down and had a drink with them for an hour or so. Surely, you wouldn’t talk shop the whole time. You’d speak of family and friends, interests, hobbies, maybe what led them to the life they’re currently at the helm of.

Now think of how much more connected you would feel to that person following your conversation.

This is what Rampant Live! has come up with.


We have mentioned Rampant Design Tools in past articles, as they are purveyors of fine Style Effects for video editors, designers and anyone else that works in a timeline, but this latest project of theirs might just be the most interesting one yet.

Rampant Live! is a live web show where Sean and Stefanie Mullen of Rampant Design Tools speak with personalities in our industry.

Not just production celebrities – though they’re there too – but with people at all levels in all areas of the content creation world.

What makes the show great is the show’s absolute lack of an agenda. Nobody is trying to sell you a tripod or get you to download an eBook. Heck, it was started by a VFX company and the show isn’t about them at all. It’s all about the guest, and, in a way, the audience.

With no advertisers, no agenda and no format to speak of, what ends up happening is something real and kind of beautiful that has never come about in our industry. In fact, I can’t think of an industry where it has happened. Here it is:

They just want to talk to you.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, that’s what they thought too. Most of us will never truly be known these days. Our online presence usually paints a very two dimension picture of ourselves. Much like how a resume doesn’t do the job of an in-person interview, our online selves don’t tell the entire story of who we are, what drives us, what has shaped us, how we spend our spare time, and what we dream of becoming.

That’s the genius of the show. It’s a fascinating social experiment, in a way, as none of us has had a proper forum to tell our story.

We never get to be ourselves in front of the world. For example, many of the show's guests will enjoy an adult beverage while they shoot the breeze. A little social lubricant never hurt a discussion, and it sure helps guests relax and feel at peace for the duration of the show. The casual, laid-back approach to the show makes for some amazing, organic and natural discussions, ranging from what musical instruments the guests play, to how to survive running a small business, to everything in between. By the end of each episode, the viewer really feels like they have spent an hour or so at a pub or out for dinner with the guest.



Of course, there’s more to the format than the standard host – guest relationship. Viewers are invited to submit questions and interact with guests, and can even be invited to join the show. This makes for lively, unpredictable episodes. It is very much a case of the guest – and the audience – steering the ship. If the guest is wild and off the wall, the show will be wild and nutty. If the guest is reserved and buttoned-down, so too will the show be.

This ever-changing originality is really what makes the possibilities with Rampant Live! infinite. With each show being built around a personality and a handful of curious viewers, no two shows will be alike. They probably won’t even be similar.

After two weeks the show has featured a diverse range of guests, including the incredible NLE Ninja Kes Akalaonu, industry leader Walter Biscardi, global software evangelist Colin Smith, and New Jersey-based production company helmer Eric Hartmann. The response has been so wonderful that the Rampant Live! team has been flooded with requests to appear on the show and they are now booking October shows for this year.

The diversity of the guests makes for truly great watching. We’re all involved in production in some way, shape or form and it’s tough to not see ourselves in each of the guests. We see the human side of each participant, as opposed to just hearing a series of bullet points about career achievements. I have to say, it sure is interesting to hear what it’s like running a production company in New Jersey, or learning that the guy who has been teaching us Premiere Pro online for the last 20 years is also an accomplished singer, drummer, guitarist, and composer.

Heck, I’ve watched Colin Smith tutorials on Adobe TV and Video Revealed since I started creating content a decade ago, and I didn’t know what his favorite movies were until last week.

It can be difficult classifying something like Rampant Live!, but one thing is for sure: It’s definitely a thing. It’s on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9 pm EST, rain or shine, but that’s about as far as the organization goes. It’s really more of a “hang” than a show, and the lack of a format keeps it new and refreshing all the time. It humanizes the names we see on Facebook, blogs, and Twitter. It also goes by before you know it, as you really feel like a fourth person in the room with the hosts and guest.

As a software user group manager, one of the complaints I heard time and again was that it was tough to simply sit back and digest work-related rhetoric, boring presentations or, worst of all, a pseudo sales pitch after a long day at work. We are fortunate enough to have an industry hungry for more information about the tools, techniques, and talent that shares our space, but when it comes time for us to put our names and faces out there it can be a real challenge venturing off tried and true – or tried and tired – formats. We emulate old television shows, we add more blogs to a growing pile of blogs, and we even put out audio podcasts to tell people about what we do in the video.

Sometimes it's just nice to hang. It's nice to shoot the breeze.

If this sounds like the most fun way to mix a little bit of shop talk with a whole lot of enjoyment from personalities from our industry, it certainly is. The old format of controlled interviews and newsroom mannerisms are going the way of the dodo, and Rampant Live! is leading the charge to bring real talk, real people, and something genuinely engaging to an audience that is tired of being advertised to.

Times they are a changin’, folks, and the future is now. Get to know the folks in your industry with Rampant Live!. Participate on Rampant Live! and tell the world a bit about yourself. From the one-person video hobbyist pointing a camera at a robin’s nest for weeks on end to the head of multinational marketing agencies, one thread ties every one of us together: we all have a story to tell. It’s nice that somebody noticed that the world is interested in listening. 

Watch Rampant Live! Tuesday and Thursday night at 9 pm EST. Visit RampantLive.com for details about how to watch live, or to view replays of all of the previous episodes. For those of you on the go, Rampant Live! can be watched on demand on YouTube and Vimeo, and listened to via iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.