About George Birnbaum

Fast Break

Gemstone Media returned to The Bolles School to livestream the final day of Rivalry On The River, a series of six high school lacrosse games, presented by High School 9:12, in partnership with Airstream Ventures and WJXT-TV4, a Graham Media company.

The day started with the top-ranked Bartram Trail and Ponte Vedra girls, and ended with the home Bolles vs. Lucy Beckham boys.  Gemstone captured every goal on a camera atop the press box, sent video downstairs where score graphics and sponsors’ commercials were integrated and livestreamed to viewers on WJXT’s News4Jax digital platforms.

“We’re a versatile, technically creative production company, making simple to highly complex presentations happen!” says George Birnbaum, Gemstone Media CEO and Founder.  “Small, medium, or large, Gemstone can scale a production to meet a client’s needs, on-point, no matter what.”

Read more about our livestreaming services here.

A Week In The Life/Live of Gemstone Media

Recording interviews locally, documenting private events regionally, producing indoor and outdoor sports for national streaming and broadcast…

It’s all in a week’s work at Gemstone Media!  Ask us how we can help with your next video project, and see the difference.

Follow us on Instagram to watch more of Gemstone Media behind the scenes.

Chris working in the audio booth

Audio Is Half The Product

Standing in a closet.  Using the ⅛” connection on a laptop.  Many creatives have recorded audio this way in a pinch, or had to work with those results later.  And yet, we all know nothing can substitute for a professional audio booth.  Fortunately for you in Jacksonville, Gemstone Media has an audio solution you can use right now.

The best video can become unwatchable with bad audio, and Gemstone Media’s commitment to helping clients with their entire “eyes and ears” production experience motivated us to rebuild our audio booth from the ground up.  

We are fortunate to have Senior Editor, Chris Linke, who understands how to capture and mix high-quality audio. Gemstone Media CEO & Founder, George Birnbaum, says, “This complete rebuild was Chris’ concept and design, and really brings this space to a whole new level of professional sound design.”

Of course, the main purpose of a sound booth is to improve acoustics; to isolate the recording environment from external sounds, while eliminating echoes or reverb (save that for special effects). We have completely new acoustic treatments, from the carpet on the floor, to custom constructed sound-deadening panels.

The Gemstone Media recording facility now occupies two comfortably sized rooms.  Talent performs with less physical restraint, potential claustrophobia, or the feeling that the engineer and producer are hovering.  (And they are not sitting on top of each other, either.)  

Our remote monitoring system allows clients and other creative personnel to “sit in” on the voiceover session via Zoom anywhere in the world and give instant instruction.  No more retakes or pick-ups on another day!  This saves time, money, and frustration.  Even though the talent works in their own room, being able to see and hear everyone else on an iPad maintains the necessary human connection for feedback.

Tommy in a voiceover sessionGemstone’s Tommy Riggins entered the new audio booth for a thorough test, a day before voicing a series of automotive spots.  He communicated with Chris in the next room, with Executive Producer Ray Hays giving feedback from his office down the hall, simulating a virtual session.

How well did it turn out?  After hearing the playback, Tommy told Chris, “I sound great!  What did you do?”  

Chris replied, “Oh, I haven’t done anything to the audio yet.”

Gemstone Media can help with your next voiceover session, too, in addition to video production.  Audio is half the product.  Contact us to reserve your time.


Executive Producer Ray Hays behind the camera

Producing Training Videos for First Responders

Gemstone Media is proud to be part of CSX railroad’s effort to prepare firefighters, police, and other first responders for emergency incidents on or around rail crossings, yards, and mainlines.

CSX announced that 2023 saw their Hazardous Materials team hold more than 60 sessions, across its 26-state system, with more than 6,000 first responders, contractors, and local government officials.  The training includes videos produced by Gemstone Media to help prepare the responders for potential rail-related emergencies.

“Our ONE CSX collaborative culture is deeply rooted in safeguarding our communities” said CSX President and CEO, Joe Hinrichs. He added, “Through classroom, virtual, and hands-on trainings, we provide first responders with the confidence and skills necessary to effectively manage rail-related incidents, which helps protect our communities, employees and customers.”

CSX Hazmat and infrastructure personnel work closely with state and local authorities to deliver what has become the gold standard for emergency response to railroad incidents.  The award-winning videos produced by Gemstone are used in classrooms, on board the Responder Incident Training (RIT) train, and online.  The RIT train includes a classroom and rail cars for a hands-on training experience.

“Personal and community safety is the most important aspect of how firefighters or police approach an incident involving a train.  We’re honored to help CSX’s emergency response personnel spread their expert knowledge to towns across the eastern half of the nation,” said Gemstone’s Executive Producer, Ray Hays.

Since the first iteration in 2015 the training has also been taken online by thousands of first responders in the other 24 states who find the information is helpful for all railroads and not only CSX.

Gemstone is currently collaborating with the CSX team in the production of expanded and more versatile update of the video training tools scheduled for release later this year.

Gemstone Media, Inc. is a full-service video and digital media production company helping clients achieve their goals through the power of effective media.  The company produces live broadcast sports, corporate media and training, commercials, and social media messaging.

For more information: Contact Ray Hays at Gemstone Media.  The CSX press release is here.

Rolling Sculpture, and Golden Statues

A shimmering sight in the lobby of Gemstone Media is our trophy case, which contains evidence of the quality work our team delivers, including two Emmy Awards and one Communicator Award for nationally broadcast documentaries about one of the world’s preeminent automotive events.

Winning Amelia and Driving Amelia were created by Gemstone Media. Executive Producer, Ray Hays, wrote and directed these hour-long documentaries showcasing the 2019 and 2020 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.  Both aired in prime time on NBCSN, and locally on WCWJ and WJXT.  

The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, founded by automotive journalist and collector Bill Warner, has earned an international reputation for its high-quality selection of cars, attendance by racing legends, picturesque setting, and the unbridled celebration of automotive history and design.

“Bill trusted Gemstone Media to faithfully share the essence and purpose of the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance to the world. Our talented team turned the opportunity into multiple awards for the quality of the show!” says George Birnbaum, Gemstone Media CEO & Founder. 

“For over 25 years, The Amelia has been the crossroads of the unexpected and the incredible.  It’s the people, their passion, and their stories which gave our production team such fantastic content,” added Gemstone Media Executive Producer, Ray Hays. 

Winning Amelia drove off with a Communicator Award in 2020. The Communicator Awards honor excellence in a variety of categories and the entries are judged by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts (AIVA).

Winning Amelia and Driving Amelia both earned Emmys for “Special Event Coverage–Edited” from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Suncoast Chapter in 2020 and 2021. 

High School Basketball’s Best

Over six years, The Fortegra High School 9:12 Basketball Invitational has established itself as a premier exhibit of the top teams in the greater Jacksonville area.  The event showcases the sport to those who would not watch or notice it otherwise.  Additionally, it gives the students an opportunity to play in a tournament-style competition in-season, and with professional video ever-present, also serves as a platform for recruitment.

Through Airstream Ventures’ partnerships with Gemstone Media, Florida State College at Jacksonville, News4Jax, and 1010XL, not only do the players compete on a grand stage, people near and far can catch every bucket.

Gemstone Media produced live video of all games, streaming through News4Jax–and added REMI to this year’s tournament.  REMI reduced production costs while helping us discover additional ways to continue improving the overall product.  Read more about REMI here.

“This event is a slam dunk every year.  We are proud to continue to work with Airstream Ventures, spotlighting these young athletes,” says George Birnbaum, Gemstone Media Inc. CEO and Founder.  “When people call on Gemstone to produce their events, once it’s time for the next one, over 99% want to bring us back into the game.”

AAC REMI Touchdown in New Orleans

For its college football championship pre-game coverage, The American Athletic Conference handed the ball to Gemstone Media Inc. to employ our REMI proficiency.

REMI is short for Remote Integration:  a revolutionary workflow that allows us to produce video on-location without bringing all the necessary equipment and people to the actual site.

For this program, only the videographers and an engineer joined the talent at Yulman Stadium in New Orleans.  Each camera’s view was transmitted individually and securely.

Everything else a producer would normally transport—switcher, monitors, graphics system, and all the cables—remained at our headquarters in Jacksonville, along with the director and rest of the crew.

The result is identical to what would have been achieved with a production truck and entire staff on-site, but with a significant savings in time, travel expenses, and fuel.

“It’s great how we can put on a professional pre-game show all the way from Jacksonville, while the event is taking place in New Orleans,” notes Tristan Morhous, director and Gemstone Media Inc. Production Supervisor.  “REMI has been a game-changer in our industry.”

And with the velocity of a running back receiving a handoff from a quarterback, the entire process from the press box in Louisiana to our headquarters in Florida, through Tristan’s cues and switches, and on its way to AAC fans, took fewer than two seconds.

“Bottom line, every REMI production Gemstone Media has undertaken, we find even more ways to utilize technology and add value,” says George Birnbaum, CEO and Founder.  “And that speaks to the people behind it, and the expertise we all bring.”

Gemstone Media, Inc. and Jacksonville University sign exclusive agreement to broadcast live sports

November 15, 2023

Gemstone Media, Inc. (GMI), a nationally acclaimed video production company boasting multiple Emmy® awards and headquartered in Jacksonville, FL., has proudly unveiled an expansive offering of new live Jacksonville University (JU) sports broadcasts. Simultaneously, GMI has introduced a dynamic sports broadcasting internship program in collaboration with JU. This groundbreaking agreement has been crafted to spotlight the exceptional synergy between GMI and JU Athletics, while creating exciting learning opportunities for JU students. Collectively, the partners are set to deliver more than 100 live television sports broadcasts throughout the year, encompassing a diverse range of campus sports.

“We are truly honored to receive ongoing national recognition for our work and the exceptional efforts of our broadcasting team,” stated Gemstone’s CEO and Founder, George Birnbaum. He emphasized the success and effectiveness of the GMI proven training model, which garners national accolades and also fosters invaluable skills and career prospects for JU students.

Production Manager, Tristan Morhous, expanded on this sentiment explaining, “Our partnership with JU provides students with an exceptional platform to learn the ropes of sports production in the context of live TV broadcasts. Our experienced professional television crew works hand in hand with students, engaging them in real-time broadcasting experiences. This hands-on approach is integral to our training philosophy, ensuring that students are actively involved in every aspect of our live broadcasts.”

This year, JU Dolphins Broadcasting is making waves by delivering a diverse range of live sports broadcasts to ESPN, etc.  “Our ambition is to secure the top position within the Atlantic Sun Conference, not only in terms of the quality of production but also the quantity and diversity of sports broadcasts,” concludes Birnbaum.

JU Deputy Athletics Director/Chief Operating Officer, Rick Canter, enthusiastically expressed the significance of this endeavor, stating, “This represents one of the most substantial opportunities we can offer to our current students and athletes. Through our collaboration with GMI, the future of JU Sports looks remarkably bright and promising.”

Gemstone Media Inc. and the University of South Florida launch @bulls_broadcasting Instagram hub


Gemstone Media, Inc., a multiple Emmy® award winning national video production company with headquarters located in Jacksonville, FL. announced today it is proud to launch the new @Bulls_ Broadcasting Instagram Hub. This is a site is designed to showcase the outstanding work of our broadcasting and training partnership with University of South Florida (USF) Athletics and the USF student body. Together we will produce over 170 live television sports broadcasts this year in a wide variety of campus sports.

“We are honored that our work and our broadcasting team continues to be nationally recognized. Our statistics show we have a proven template that builds lifelong skills and broadcasting career opportunities for the USF students”, says Gemstone Media CEO and Founder, George Birnbaum.

Gemstone Media Production Manager, Jon Dougherty, explains “we are providing our USF students a fantastic opportunity to learn sports production during live TV sports broadcasts. We have first-class on-campus facilities and equipment and while working alongside our seasoned professional television crew, we engage, incorporate and train students during our live broadcasts”. This year, USF Bulls Broadcasting is delivering a variety of live sports broadcasts to ESPN and has vaulted to the top of the American Athletic Conference in terms of high quality production and the quantity and variety of sports broadcasts.

“Our talented group of students are learning to be directors, producers, camera and replay operators, etc., and they are seeing that hard work and professionalism pays off in the real world,” says Birnbaum.  “Gemstone Media’s secret sauce is our amazingly talented team. By establishing trust, collaboration, and ongoing communication with the USF students, we can create and surpass the magic our clients may expect from their live sports production.  When student engagement and professional skills training is done right, it can have a powerful and lasting effect. Hearts open. Minds change. Careers blossom and creativity thrives.”


Super Bowl LIV: From The Field To Your Screen

What The Super Bowl Means To Us

As one of the biggest live television sporting events, the Super Bowl truly makes a mark in the sports production industry. Last year, 102 million total viewers were reported to have tuned into Super Bowl LIV. This year, with the pandemic lingering and in-stadium viewing options becoming limited, audiences are connected to their televisions more than ever before. And Super Bowl LV is going to reflect that. Gemstone Media is ultra excited about this year’s Superbowl because we are directly involved in the production!

Many viewers don’t think twice about it; a game’s playing, and it’s expected to seamlessly appear on our screens. In fact, that’s exactly how the experience should feel. That’s what those of us who produce live sports production regularly strive for: a seamless delivery of content from the field to the screen. But to us, this year’s Super Bowl LV is more than “just” a game. It’s a representation of the array of possibilities new technology brings to the table. It sets the precedent for the ultra-high-quality future of sports production in the digital age.

So, how exactly doesthe game come to your screen? What’s it like from the “inside”? What goes into ensuring that seamless delivery of content? Let’s talk.

As CBS puts it, the millions of viewers tuning in to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be treated to an unparalleled viewing experience. This year’s coverage will have a more cinematic feel, thanks to cameras and camera enhancements never before used in football’s biggest game. Additionally, the talented people who run the equipment. Toys are cool- but the creativity and the technical expertise of the professional team bring them to life.

For instance, the trolley cam will zipline along a wire extending from one end of the stadium to the other at speeds up to 65 miles per hour. You’ll be immersed in the game, with this camera making it feel like you’re watching from the eighth row of the stands.

If that’s not enough, more than ten 4K and multiple 8K cameras will be integrated among the 120 cameras used for the live broadcast. Dozens of camera angles embedded throughout the field and in the stadium will bring the Super Bowl to viewers at home.

All of these digital components will be synthesized together on-the-spot as production crew members quickly cut and edit together the best footage as it takes place on the field.

What’s really exciting to us is the addition of new tools used for broadcasting this game. Here’s a list of some things that stand out to us:

  • Augmented Reality – Animations, in-game graphics, and augmented reality will enhance the viewer experience   
  • Embers and particles will light up the Tampa night as the game takes shape to produce the event with detail never before seen on sports television                                                                                                                                                                    Trolley Cam – This is the camera we mentioned earlier, which will provide a look at the players from a vantage point never used, until now, in the history of the Super Bowl

    Venice Cameras

    • These on-field cameras will capture that dramatic, cinematographic feel like you’re used to experiencing while watching commercials and movies
    • Some of these cameras will be operated on devices called Steadicam rigs and MOVI rigs that have been described as giving a 3D video game look and feel
    • Movie Bird CranePositioned at 53 feet in the air, this crane has traditionally been reserved for major film and television productions.It’ll also serve as one of the many augmented-reality-encoded cameras strategically placed in the stadium
      • The Numbers

        • 120 total cameras
        • 18 robotic cameras
        • 32 cameras embedded in end zone pylons
        • 2 wireless pylon cameras along the sidelines
        • 19 television mobile units
        • 3 sky cams and fly cams
        • 1 trolley cam 
        • 1 Movie Bird cam
        • 25 super slow motion angles
        • 12 cameras with 4K and 8K production capabilitiesHow Gemstone Media Is Involved

          We’re especially excited about the game because some of our very own team members are working as part of the production crew! Our team has an extensive history of working in the live sports production industry, this game in particular really stands out to us. It’ll illustrate the ways in which technology continuously opens the door to new opportunities and capabilities. It will also create great opportunities for our clients going forward as we capitalize on the paramount experiences and knowledge our team gains and can bring back.

          Beyond that, we look at Super Bowl LV as a chance to recognize the vital role that this digital age plays in connecting people together. It’s a chance to harness the skills, tools, and technology at our disposal to embrace and meet the needs of the very people who give us purpose, reason, and a platform to apply our skills.