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07/30/2002 - ILF Media – From Production to Programming

Even the person who watches little television has seen ILF Media’s creations. Their name doesn’t appear in the credits, but they are responsible for many local company commercials. Working with several local creative agencies like BHW1, ILF Media does the photography, creates graphics, does 3-D animation, edits the piece, and finally puts the finished product on the delivery system of choice. Delivery systems may be videotape, CD or DVD, or the Web.

ILF Media is a small, very high-tech company with offices and studios in the Steam Plant portion of Steam Plant Square. The three principals are Daro Walker, Dave Holcomb, and Jim Swobada, and each brings a different expertise to the company. Walker has a BS in Computer Science; Holcomb is chief editor, and Swaboda is Director of Photography. The company’s staff also includes content creators, graphic designers, art directors, producers, and project coordinators. ILF stands for “Intelligent Life Forms” because, according to Walker, “that’s what you will find when you come here.” ILF’s headquarters have been called the “coolest” premises to be found in the entire United States, by international visitors.

In addition to commercials and other work with local television, ILF creates corporate marketing pieces. These pieces may be for trade shows, image creation and branding, or for delivery on a web site. To facilitate this corporate work, ILF has created a dedicated web site for better communications with their clients.

For this web site, ILF created software -- programmed in ASP, JavaScript, and some Visual Basic --that facilitates the delivery of content. Through this URL clients can send their video clips as needed. The software inspects the recipient’s technology capabilities. It determines: what browser is being used; what plug-ins are available; what Windows’ media are available -- Quick Time, Real Video, Flash, etc. Based on this information, the video displays using the appropriate means to view the clip at the maximum quality for the recipient's system. This happens very quickly and a video clip can transmit in a matter of 5 minutes using ILF’s software and high bandwidth. ILF is the only Spokane media firm with this capability, according to Walker.

In addition to their media production work, ILF does custom programming in areas of their special expertise. An example of this is a program they developed for Itron. The company wanted all of their collateral material on one CD-ROM, but also wanted easy access to the material and the ability to find a multimedia object in the correct format for specific jobs. ILF created a “best use” program -- one that was easy-to-use to mediate between data and user and required only the Windows’ clipboard as an extra tool.

According to Daro Walker, ILF Media is a small company that wants to stay fairly small. They feel that their work is outstanding and that their clients are well served. They don’t want to outgrow the ability to deliver best quality work on an individual level. However, for anyone with a project that involves audio, visuals, and fun, ILF wants to help. “Give us a challenge,” says Walker, “we love to be challenged.” They especially like special effects, 3-D animation, and quality film work. It looks like fun, and it is. “It’s easy to come to work every day,” says Walker.

For more information, and a very flashy web site, go to http://www.ilfmedia.com.

Billie Moreland
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