Curt Fissel, Director of Photography of Voices & Visions Productions corporate video company, inducted into NJ Advertising Hall of Fame

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Curt Fissel, Director of Photography and video editor for corporate video production company Voices & Visions Productions, was inducted into the NJ Advertising Hall of Fame on October 15, 2008. The award recognized Fissel’s contributions to advertising and marketing through his top-notch work as a cinematographer producing video web clips and promotional, marketing, investor relations, industrial, educational, fundraising and other videos for corporations and nonprofits of all sizes. V&V is based in Montclair, NJ outside NYC, has a satellite office in Los Angeles, and videotapes for clients around the world.

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I wanted to attend to honor Curt, whose camerawork reputation had compelled me to contact V&V when I needed some informational corporate videos produced back in 2000

Curt Fissel has a long and impressive list of awards for his work over more than 25 years as a cinematographer and video editor, but his latest honor – being inducted on October 15, 2008 into the NJ Advertising Hall of Fame – came as a surprise to him.

“I’m a photographer – not an advertiser, marketer or PR guy,” Fissel stated. “But I understand that the work I do for our clients is really the underpinning of their campaigns.”

Voices & Visions (V&V) is a corporate video production company that uses state-of-the-art equipment to produce video web clips and promotional, marketing, investor relations, industrial, educational, fundraising and other videos for corporations and nonprofits of all sizes. V&V is based outside NYC in Montclair, NJ with a satellite office in LA, and the firm’s team works in locations around the world.

Fissel said he is “honored to receive this award. I grew up holding a camera in my hand, which later morphed into sophisticated video equipment. I feel privileged that I am able to earn a living engaged in the activities I most enjoy. Whether the subject is a large law firm, breathtaking gardens, an inner city school, or a manufacturing facility, I love the challenge of making every shot interesting, moving, distinguishable, and significant.”

Gary Denburg, past president of the NJ Ad Club which sponsors the induction ceremony, said that this year marked the first time the organization has bestowed the Hall of Fame honor on a cinematographer.

Denburg said the Ad Club panel of judges, like Fissel, was initially taken aback when they received the nomination, but when they read through it, they were “overwhelmed and wowed by his accomplishments and how he met the criteria big time.” Criteria for awardees include leadership, creativity, professional integrity, professional history, philanthropic involvement, economic contributions to the state, achievement on a national level, and personal activities that further enhance New Jersey’s position in the national advertising community.

“We were so happy to honor someone in this field who is not a traditional ad person, particularly in light of the importance of video on the Internet pulling people away from the conventional forms of advertising. The industry is rebranding and refocusing, and hopefully this precedent will attract other nontraditional people,” Denburg added.

The host of the Hall of Fame awards ceremony was long-time NYC-area DJ Herb Barry, whose roast to Fissel had the crowd of over 100 in an uproar. Fissel was formally introduced by the person who nominated him, Ellen Friedland, the executive producer at Voices & Visions. Friedland told the audience that she thinks “Curt was born with three hands and three eyes: right, left and camera. It’s hard to explain this, but he scopes out everyday life through human photographic lens. Sometimes I think that every time he blinks his eye, he is taking an internal picture. When the video camera is in his hand he memorializes it.”

Friedland added: “It is that natural quality that he brings to our work – and much more. When he walks around the factory of a portfolio company of a private equity client or of an afterschool program of an educational client or of a building for a real estate client, he captures the entire operation from angles most people never see. By day’s end he has allowed the visuals to dance in his head, ultimately settling into ideas for graphics and layouts, much of which he also creates.”

Among the gala attendees were two clients of V&V: Ron Brown, CEO of EMET Realty, Management & Development Co., and About.com Senior Vice President Sheryl Goldstein.

“I wanted to attend to honor Curt, whose camerawork reputation had compelled me to contact V&V when I needed some informational corporate videos produced back in 2000,” said Brown, whose realty firm is involved in the management, development, ownership, and syndication of commercial and residential properties. “Through the process of working together to create outstanding products, we became good friends, largely due to his amiable personality in addition to his talent.”

Goldstein called Curt a “true perfectionist.” Her high regard for his work compelled her to recruit V&V to produce a marketing and fundraising video for the nonprofit Thinkquest NYC, on whose board she sits.

Fissel’s accomplishments support his clients’ assessments. He has received a Cine Golden Eagle, silver Tellys, an Associated Press Outstanding Documentary award, and earned numerous Emmy nominations, among other achievements. He was the Chief Photographer and Manager of News & Documentary staff at NJN for 18 years, and has done freelance work for CBS, YES Network, HBO, ABC Nightline, The Voice of America, CNN, Outdoor Life Network, and America’s Most Wanted. In addition to owning V&V with Friedland, the two are principals of a nonprofit video production company called JEMGLO which produces documentaries on global issues generally but not exclusively for the PBS market. JEMGLO is currently in post-production on a Uganda-based documentary entitled Delicious Peace Grows in a Ugandan Coffee Bean.

Two other people were also admitted into the NJ Advertising Hall of Fame at the annual 2008 event: Daryl Rand, president of Harrison Advertising/The Rand Group and Ilene Greene, president of MarketShare Communications. The awards ceremony t is a program of the NJ Advertising Club, which supports the highest standards of professionalism and integrity to advance the advertising and marketing community of New Jersey through advocacy, education and leadership.

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