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Digital Communication Media Staff (FDA TV Studio)

Digital Communications Media (DCM) production facility that specializes in providing video production, broadcasting, and webcasting/distance-learning services exclusively for government agencies.

Operated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), DCM's superior team of production professionals has created a wide range of award-winning projects for federal government clients, including PSA's, educational videos, mini-documentaries, animated videos, live broadcast events, and a variety of webcast, interactive, and multimedia programming.

Control Room
The Studio
Live Field Production
Field Production
Control Room - The DCM facility is a fully equipped High Definition Studio with equipment found in most major net production facilities. The Studio - The DMC studio is one of the largest government sound stages in the Washington DC area, capable of handling large studio audiences. Live Field Production - The DCM Studio can produce live webcasting content from almost any location. Field Production - The DCM studio is fully equipped to perform a variety of complex single-camera, movie-style field productions.

Although we work solely with government agencies, our state of the art production studio is designed to meet any production need imaginable. A hidden gem, it is one of the largest and best-equipped 4K broadcast facilities in the entire federal government. Studio features include:  

  • a 30' x 30' chroma green "infinity" set for virtual productions
  • 6 UHD (4k) Broadcast cameras (4 with teleprompters)
  • portable set pieces for customized studio configurations
  • 7 UHD (4k) AVID editing systems
  • a Pro Tools Digital Workstation for sound editing
  • DVD authoring and duplication services
  • Skype and Zoom remote video connections

DCM is not limited to studio productions alone, however. We also offer a robust array of field production services.

To meet the growing demand for streaming services, we use the most reliable satellite and fiber optic transmissions technology available for content distribution. This affords us the ability to stream content and provide interactive satellite downlinks and webcasts to and from anywhere in the world. Additionally, our superior interactive and multimedia services support training, education, public information, internal communications, and a variety of other types of programming.

Agencies that choose DCM for their projects enjoy a number of value-added benefits that can't be found with traditional production companies, including:

  • the convenience and efficiency of working with an "in-house" vendor
  • extremely competitive pricing that typically comes in significantly under that of outside production companies
  • an accessible "park and enter" location that is just off I-270 and boasts abundant onsite, meter-less, FREE parking.

Why DCM? Because superior government productions are our business.

For more information or to find out what DCM can do for your projects, view our Studio Capabilities.

Studio Capabilities

Video is one of the most effective communication tools available today because of its interactive and visual communication benefits, improved accessibility, productivity, and affordability. DCM is the choice for a full range of government video productions.

Why DCM? Because we breathe life into government productions.

Our Portfolio

For a COMPLETE listing of our Live and archived Webcasts as well as On-Demand videos, visit our catalog.

Video Description Type Run Time
Looking Your Best on Camera For Women
Helpful information for women who are preparing to be filmed on camera. Factual 2:49
Looking Your Best on Camera For Men
Helpful information for men who are preparing to be filmed on camera. Factual 8:01
The studio produced this vide to help introduce The FDA Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (OMHHE) which works to promote and protect the health of diverse populations through research and communication that addresses health disparities. Factual 1:07
During the COVID Pandemic, the studio found ways to adapt our capabilities to produce and deliver via webcast internal communication products that used to be in person.  This video is an example of an “All Hands” meeting hosted by the FDA Commissioner. Factual 48:39
The Public Health Service set up a vaccination clinic on the FDA campus; this video is a brief highlight to showcase the quality care and expertise of the PHS officers as they administered some of the first vaccines given to FDA staff. Factual 1:33
The studio produced a number of videos that highlighted what the CDRH Public Health Service Officers did as a part of their deployment.  The videos used PHS Officer provided photos and a phone recording of their voice relating the story of their deployment.  This series has provided other PHS Officers with a new perspective on their mission, as well as helping to recruit new PHS Officers. Factual 5:53
Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, CDRH Center Director asked the studio to produce a video to highlight the accomplishments of the year 2020.  After the chaos of 2020, this video was especially helpful in reminding all staff of the accomplishments of the Center, along with the importance of supporting each other through this difficult time.  Factual 7:38
The FDA Studio produced a live “Virtual” press conference with the FDA Commission (Dr. Stephen Hahn) and CBER Center Director (Dr. Peter Marks) a day after the FDA advisory panel approved the first COVID vaccine.  This press conference was shot live in the studio (with appropriate social distancing) while hosting the press pool on Zoom.  The live video program was also broadcast via fiber to the National News media.   Factual 43:25


The studio created this for the Center of Drug Evaluation and Research to promote their new on-line professional development program. Factual 0:48
A brief video about how to safely choose and use an over-the-counter medicine, the kind you buy without a doctor's prescription. The video introduces and outlines the sections of the Drug Facts label: the Active ingredients, Purpose, Uses, Warnings, Directions, Other information, and Inactive ingredients. Also, the video explains why it's important to follow the label's information Live/Animation 1:43
This video provides background about acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer, and the many different types of medications that might contain acetaminophen; the danger of taking more acetaminophen than directed; how to learn if acetaminophen is in a medicine by looking at the Drug Facts label; and how to take acetaminophen safely. It also encourages consumers to contact their healthcare professionals if they have questions or concerns. Live/Animation 2:02

La videonovela sobre salud ¡Nunca Más! fue preparada para educar a las mujeres latinas sobre el uso seguro de los medicamentos. ¡Nunca Más! presenta los peligros del mal uso de los medicamentos, pero lo más importante es que subraya varios consejos sencillos que pueden seguir las mujeres para el uso adecuado de los medicamentos. Los episodios de la videonovela ¡Nunca Más! relatan las experiencias de Lourdes y su familia. ¡Nunca Más! es una producción of la Oficina de Salud de las Mujeres de la Administración de Alimentos y Medicamentos (FDA).

Episodio 1: A Lourdes se le pierde la receta para su medicina contra la presión arterial alta. Su amiga Sonia piensa que puede ayudarla. ¿Puso Lourdes su vida en peligro?

Dramatic 6:23
Are you smarter than a food label? Find out on our quiz show spoof with host, "Labelman". Plus-CSI ("Calorie Scene Investigator"), a play-by-play sports show battle between two dinner parties, nutrition at the drive-through and more. Produced by FDA's Division of Communication Media for CFSAN. Dramatic 28:47
Many pregnant women take medicines for health problems like diabetes, asthma, seizures, heartburn, and morning sickness. Not all medicines are safe to take when you are pregnant. FDA and text4baby share helpful tips for pregnant women and new moms. Dramatic 4:32
Dr. Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, explains how the current salmonella outbreak associated with peanuts was identified and how the affected products are being tracked and recalled. Factual 5:26
This video educates retail and foodservice establishment employees on the dire consequences of poor preparation practices and provides tips for preventing foodborne illness. The video features the story of a woman who contracted listeriosis while pregnant and nearly lost her newborn daughter to the disease. Factual 6:53
The Food & Drug Administration, which has responsibilities in the area of ensuring the safety of people and their animals, offers information about safe handling of pet food and treats in the home. Factual 6:49
An introduction to the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine. Factual 32:24
Most medical device inventions start out as a single great idea, but how does that idea become a marketed medical device? This video provides a brief overview of how a medical device, which can range from a contact lens to a knee implant to an MRI machine, begins with an idea and ends with its submission to FDA. The video highlights aspects of the Investigational Device Exemption (or IDE) process, and provides general information on medical device clinical trials. The audience is device manufacturers and health care professionals. Scientific 10:29
Tips to help people with diabetes safely use their diabetes medicines. Scientific 0:35
The FDA developed this video to inform potential patients about the risks of LASIK. The video includes images of common visual problems that a LASIK patient may see. Scientific 4:34
Medical X-rays are an important tool for diagnosing and treating diseases, but they pose a small risk from radiation. Learn what you can do to reduce the risk in this FDA Consumer Update video. Scientific 2:27
This FDA Consumer Update video highlights the agency's involvement in product recalls from the moment the agency is notified to successful completion of the recall. Educational 1:50
Simple Steps to help ensure that harmful bacteria won't be a guest at your festivities. Educational 2:39
Milk and milk products provide a wealth of nutrition benefits. But unpasteurized milk can harbor dangerous microorganisms that can pose serious health risks to you and your family. Educational 2:55
Weather emergencies can happen. When they do, the best strategy is to already have a plan in place. This includes knowing the proper food safety precautions to take if the power goes out. Educational 2:45
FDA Consumer Safety Officer Armando Zamora explains what to do if you think you may have a recalled product. There are many numbers and dates on the foods, drugs, cosmetics, and other products we use every day. Some help manufacturers track inventory, while others help retailers ensure quality. But when unsafe products must be removed from the market, these numbers and dates can also help identify them quickly. Educational 1:29

Case Studies

FDA Center for Drug Evaluation, Office of Generic Drugs

Create a polished, interactive virtual hiring event with the primary goal of highlighting the benefits of working for FDA and encouraging employment applications. The Client wanted the event to appear as if it were live and include the ability for participants to send in and have their questions 0answered by staff.

To accommodate the Client’s requirements to produce the first of two videos within a short turnaround time, DCM traveled to the Client’s facility to shoot interviews remotely. DCM then edited footage and produced a 50-minute video that was webcast using Adobe Connect. A second, 45-minute video was subsequently produced – from script to webcast – via DCM's production facility.

The Client reported that 700 people viewed the initial webcast of Event 1 and 1,000 viewed the initial webcast of Event 2. These videos continue to be viewed by thousands of individuals on a regular basis. Because of the success of the project, a third virtual hiring event that will be produced by DCM is in the development stages.

"Before being put in touch with Chad and the DCM video production team, I didn’t even know the studio existed. I spoke with Chad, and he told me that DCM could handle everything we needed for our virtual hiring event. Immediately, Chad’s team hit the ground running and provided even better ideas than what we had originally come up with. For the first event, because we were under a very tight deadline, the production team even came to my facility and shot all of the interviews right on site. The second event was shot at the studio. The final products were awesome! We had 700 people watch the event live, and 1,000 on the next go-around. When I tell people the videos were produced by our ‘in-house’ video production unit, they can’t believe it. Because the projects were so successful, we are going to do another virtual hiring event that DCM will be producing."

Karen Donnelly, Management Analysis, FDA Center for Drug Evaluation, Office of Generic Drugs

CBER International Program

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER), International Program, FDA

Produce a web-based outreach program designed to train international government regulators on FDA CBER’s standards on regulating biologics. The course was to take the place of live seminars that had required FDA staff to either hold individual seminars in the US, or travel around the globe to present in workshops.

The DCM team worked closely with the Client to develop an effective approach to presenting the material. The process included full script to screen production, from writing to casting to working with SME’s to ensure accuracy during a 2-week studio video shoot. DCM also handled all post-production and Web-based delivery of the course.

To date, CBER has benefited from nearly 3,000 recorded hits to the Web program, as parties throughout the world have taken advantage of this training program, which otherwise would have required greater efforts of FDA staff to conduct live presentations locally or globally. With continued access to the course via the Web, a greater number of individuals or groups throughout the world will be able to receive this vital training, while saving the Client inordinate funds and time.

"Online training has become one of the best and most efficient and cost-effective resources that an organization can invest in to get viable and timely information out to their audience. DCM was able to deliver an exceptional online training product for us. They have the professional resources to guide you with a project from start to finish and provide excellent TV production services that create projects you can be proud of. We have made a tenfold return on our investment in terms of the product we received and the savings we’ve enjoyed over time. The program DCM produced for us is still paying off every day. I can honestly say that it has been one of the most beneficial and rewarding projects that the International Group has ever done."

Leslie Haynes, Foreign Regulatory Capacity Building Coordinator, International Program, Office of the Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, FDA



Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

To provide training to grantees and constituencies through programs that present information about the delivery of youth mental health services in a factual, yet engaging manner.

Using an interagency agreement, DCM worked with the Client to create a webisode series that is presented in a talk show style format and includes news segments and follow up Twitter chats. The series, which is fully produced at DCM’s Gaithersburg production facility, is an ongoing project, with 4 additional episodes planned this year and hopefully more in the future. The in-studio series will be supplemented by live remote events featuring real-time audience Q&A sessions.

In its very early stages, the program has already been well received by audiences and is being used by grantees at staff meetings for training purposes. Because the program is available online, it can be accessed at any time, allowing participants to watch and learn at their own pace.

"I’ve collaborated with other high-end studios on video projects in the past, and I can genuinely say that the folks at FDA’s DCM run a highly professional operation that is extremely customer-oriented and responsive. They have helped us create programs that present information in a way that makes sense and keeps our audience engaged. Because FDA’s DCM is a government entity, we are able to use an interagency agreement, making our working arrangement seamless. I couldn’t ask for a better studio experience. I just find it amazing that we have this tremendous resource available to us right in Gaithersburg and within the federal government."

Gary Blau, Ph.D., Chief - Child, Adolescent and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration


Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

Create a video for a middle school audience that communicated the importance of knowing what’s in your “Over-The-Counter Medicine” and how to take it. The client also wanted to outline what’s on the “Drug Facts Label” (the drug equivalent of the food label) and what it means to the person taking the medicine.

DCM Producer Mike Sobola worked with Editor Barry Goldstein to develop an animation-style look and feel to the piece to appeal to the core demographic. Drawing on mainly internal resources, they shot the actor “live-action” on a green background and then designed and animated the “set” that would be the actor’s world. Once the actor was composited with the background set elements, the result was a fun, but informative explanation of the Drug Facts Label that anyone could understand and use.

YouTube views have hit nearly 16,000 plays since the video was posted, and classrooms around the country are using the video to educate students on the utility of the Drug Facts Label. The client was so pleased that they commissioned a second work in the same style that garnered similar results.

"I have known Michael Sobola and the CDRH video production team for over ten years now. I have used their professional services for developing radio announcements and video clips on various FDA/CDER consumer education campaigns. Michael has always been able to take our messages and develop a high quality, professional product. The “Medicines In My Home: The Over-the-Counter Drug Facts Label“ video received accolades at the 2011 DC Peer Awards. Most importantly, it was picked up and is currently being used by Scholastic in elementary school classrooms across the country. In fact, a leading manufacturer of OTC pain relieving medicines was so fond of the video they wanted to know and use our contractor. They asked for a referral! The story line, the script, and the creative execution were created by Michael and his talented team. I will continue to rely on them for all my video and audio communication needs."

Mandy Eisemann, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research



Collage of various awards.
  • Aegis (triangular) trophies - 5
  • Film and Video International - 3
  • Telly Trophies - 15 Gold, 2 Silver, 1 Bronze
  • CINDY Award - 1 Gold, 1 Silver
  • NY Festivals Finalist Award – 2
  • Awards in Media Excellence - 1
  • CINE 1999 - 1
  • MERCURY 2001 - 1
  • CINE Golden Eagle - 3
  • Communicator Awards - 5
  • Mercury Silver - 1
  • Mercury Gold - 1
  • Mercury Bronze - 2
  • Mercury Finalist - 1
  • ITCA Teleconferencing - 1
  • HERMES Creative Awards - 2
  • TIVA Peer Silver - 2
  • TIVA Peer Bronze - 6
  • NAGC Blue Pencil Gold Screen Awards - 2
  • MARCOM Gold Award - 1


FDA Digital Media Studios Team

Picture of Chad HeupelChad Heupel

Staff Director, FDA Digital Media Studios

With over three decades of broadcasting experience, FDA Digital Communications Media Staff Director Chad Heupel's career began at a radio station in North Dakota. While pursuing a double major in Broadcast Journalism and Broadcast Production at the North Dakota State University, Chad also served as the Broadcast Officer for the ND Army National Guard's Public Affairs detachment. After Graduation, he relocated to the Washington DC area, working in FEMA's Career Management Intern program.

Upon completion of FEMA's intern program, Chad was named Studio Manager at FEMA's National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, MD.  He served as the primary videographer/editor for programs produced on campus, as well as filling the role for engineering / operations of the facility.  Over the course of 14 years at NETC, he managed the analog renovation, the digital upgrade, and the installation of a satellite uplink system. 

In 2004, Chad transferred to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), where he managed the renovation of the HHS Secretary's Studio in Washington, D.C.;  responsible for the planning, acquisition and installation of all equipment within the TV studio, while maintaining the operational readiness to perform Satellite Media Tours with the Secretary of HHS.

Chad was named Director of the Division of Communication Media for the FDA in 2008, and currently manages the television operations at the FDA studio.

Producers / Production Management

Picture of Barbara RichardsBarbara Richards

Producer / Writer / Director

Barbara Richards is an award-winning producer/director/writer with 38 years of service in the federal government. While working at the US Information Agency from 1977-1989, she produced short features on artists like photographer Ansel Adams, political cartoonist Pat Oliphant, opera star Roberta Peters and Felix de Weldon, who sculpted the Iwo Jima Memorial. She also directed multi-camera live performing arts programs, produced a monthly video series called ARTS AMERICA, and traveled to Guam, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan directing a documentary on US forces in the Pacific Rim.

She now produces and directs a wide variety of training and educational programs – both in-studio and on-location – on subjects ranging from Medical Management of Biological Warfare Agents to Inspection of Feed Mills and Rendering Plants to using Genome sequencing to trace to the source of foodborne outbreaks.


  • Telly Awards - Fourteen
  • CINE Awards - Four
  • Peer Awards - Four
  • Communicator Awards - Four
  • CINDY Awards - Two
  • Mercury Awards - Two
  • AEGIS Awards - One
  • New York Festivals - One
  • International Film and Video - One
  • US Distance Learning Award - One

And many miscellaneous special recognition awards and citations from FDA and the military.

Picture of Mike SobolaMike Sobola

Producer / Writer / Director

Boasting over three decades of industry experience, Emmy Award winning Writer/Producer/Director Michael Sobola strives to transform the mundane into the interesting and fun. His work has been seen on NBC TODAY Show, HBO, Discovery, TLC, HGTV, USA Networks, Maryland Public Television, Japan's NHK Network and The Travel Channel, Michael brings that creativity and experience to every project he does for the FDA.

Since coming to the FDA in 2005, Michael has produced ward winning videos and public service announcements that have aired on all major market television stations and networks across the USA, including one PSA for women's health that received over $4 million worth of free airplay.

Picture of Michael HydeMichael Hyde


Michael Hyde has worked as a producer with FDA's Digital Communication Media staff since 2009. He has worked on live and taped productions, public service announcements, training videos, and webinars for FDA clients. Outside FDA, Michael has produced and edited several short films and documentaries that have played in film festivals throughout the U.S. Michael has won multiple TIVA-DC Peer Awards, a CINE Golden Eagle, and was a nominee for an Eddie Award in student editing by the American Cinema Editors honor society. Prior to working in film and video, Michael practiced law in Washington, D.C. for 12 years. Michael has an M.A. in Film and Video Production from American University, a J.D. from The George Washington University.

Picture of Jeannie VinsonJeannie Vinson

Production Manager

As Production Manager, Jeannie Vinson's role involves coordinating the division's resources and administrative functions, including personnel scheduling and production resource coordination among productions. She administers all financial transfers for the studio productions, as well as coordinating production days with producers and clients. Jeannie is also involved as the teleprompter operator for most DCM productions.

DCM: Ellis

Chris Ellis


Chris graduated from Stevenson University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Film. While in school he interned at Maryland Public Television in Owings Mills, Maryland where he served as a production assistant for the production of MOTORWEEK. He came to DCM in the summer of 2009 as an intern as an editor and production technician, and became a full-time employee in Mya of 2010.

Chris currently serves as an on-line video editor, and production technician for studio and field productions. In the studio, his duties encompassed a wide range of skills from operating the teleprompter to managing PowerPoint presentations so that they are production-ready. In the field, he sets up and operates robotic cameras, and webcasting systems.

Picture of Mark NobleMark Noble


Mark Noble's career in television began in 2008 while I was attending Frederick Community College, in Frederick, MD. He was co-instructor for two television courses aiding students in the proper use of studio equipment, field production equipment, and post- production software. Mark came to the FDA in 2009 as an intern while completing his degree at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Mark works primarily in post-production, as an Avid editor and graphics artist. He is also is involved is a great deal of field production work, operating cameras and graphics and assisting with production support.

Production & Technical Staff

Picture of Stan RoseStan Rose

Director of Photography

Stan Rose is an award-winning cameraman with more than 30 years of experience shooting news, documentaries, entertainment, government, corporate, and educational videos globally. He came to the FDA in 1990, and has been the primary man behind the camera ever since, specializing in field video and film-style productions. Stan is well versed in a wide variety of cameras and formats for High-Definition and 4K videography.

Picture of Dave BaileyDave Bailey

Senior Technical Advisor

Dave has been with the DCM studio for over 23 years, beginning as an intern from a local college to being the senior technical expert in charge of our production network, and webcasting operations.

During his tenure here at DCM, Dave has been an integral part of the production process in one form or another, with a primary focus on the technical aspects such as being the audio engineer for live studio and field productions, teleprompter operator, engineer, editor and graphics artist.

In addition, Dave's network and computer expertise has been involved in improving the methods of disseminating or production products to the clients and their target audiences. Dave serves as a digital media compressionist, a DVD design author, webpage designer, digital media captioner as well as providing provided computer support and a systems/network administration for the DCM studio network and production systems.

The current primary dissemination method for productions involves the internet, as so much of Dave's time is spent managing most of the division's web streaming/projects and managing the archiving of the all the digital assets that are involved in creating those products.

Picture of Steve SchaferSteve Schafer

Systems Administrator

Steve joined FDA in the fall of 2009, after working as a video installation and production technician at the US Dept. of Health and Human Services in Washington DC. Since coming to FDA, he serves as Avid Systems Administrator and as Network Assist Administrator. While working in a production capacity, his primary roles are as EIC, video shader, audio engineer, CG, video compression and web-streaming.

Picture of Chris MaylettChris Maylett


As a 2nd generation broadcast engineer, Chris grew up in the television industry working as a grip on television broadcasts to being a cameraman for news live shots. I have learned that each job I have worked was to help hone my engineering skills. I have now been doing full time engineering for over 15 years for many different government agencies and public sector companies.

Chris has been with the FDA since 2012, providing engineering/maintaining/upgrading the DCM production facility. He also is involved in field productions often running audio or camera, and engineering technical support.


Contact TV Studio

301-348-1474 (direct)
301-348-1440 (general inquiries)

Chad Heupel

Director - FDA Digital Media Studios Staff


Digital Media Studios
16071-B Industrial Dr.
Gaithersburg MD 20877


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