Last Week: Not a Dull Moment

Monday, Jan. 7th:  Not too much going on aside from my normal Monday routine.

Tuesday, Jan. 8th: Shot basketball in Pana, where I had the saltiest popcorn in the world. One bite and I was instantly dehydrated and feeling ill. Probably shouldn’t have finished the bag…

Wednesday, Jan. 9th: Filmed a fun story at the library, where a group met to discuss children’s books that adults would enjoy. Story and video HERE!

One of the speakers was Alissa Henkel, a fun actress who I met through my friend Sue Bishop. They work together in a really great library program called READiculous, where they act out children’s books. VIDEO and STORY here!

Sue & Alissa - Herald & Review Photo/Jim Bowling

It was fun to catch up with Alissa, because she almost acted in one of our Doritos commercials this year. Unfortunately (for me) she was on a cruise, and wasn’t available before the deadline. After talking to her, it was nice to know she’s still looking forward to do some acting. Hopefully I’ll be ready to shoot something soon!

Thursday, Jan. 10th: Did a story at a Durfee Magnet School, where 5th graders are doing more complex animation than I’ve ever done. Basically, instead of doing a plain paper report on the book they read over Christmas break, they’re doing animation on iPads. They used a free app called Toontastic, and now I really wish I had an iPad so I could try it out. Story and video HERE!

I came home from work to find a new toy on my doorstep: I finally broke down and bought a 47″ Konova slider!

Without spending too much time on the technical aspects, because the internet is flooded with reviews/tests/comparisons, I will give a few reasons why this thing is awesome:

  • It’s the least expensive ball-bearing slider you can get, and from what I’ve read ball-bearing > friction.
  • You can set it up any way imaginable: with included legs, on a tripod, light stands, and more.
  • It’s extremely lightweight. When I saw the box, I cursed Amazon for not sending the carrying case and accessories it was supposed to include. When I opened the box, I was surprised to see that everything fit in there, because it’s a tiny little piece of awesome.

Here’s a really short test video I did with it. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it really demonstrates how versatile the slider is. This was all with one tripod and the slider, shot pretty much as soon as I pulled it out of the box.

 

Here are the setups I used for the video. Mounted horizontally, diagonally, and vertically. I’m really excited about using this in a movie soon!

 

Friday, Jan. 11th: Spent the morning speaking to kids at an 8th Grade Career Fair.

I love my job, so it’s really easy to fill the time talking about what I do, why I do it, and what sort of skills and values they are learning apply to my career. I ended the presentation on a slide that showed off some advice my dad gave me and my brother. It’s two steps, and it’s fantastic advice: 1- Find something you love to do. 2- Find a way to get paid doing it.

I’ll just take this time to point out that Google Drive is amazing. While I was debating on how to do this year’s presentation, I discovered that they now offer a program similar to PowerPoint. In no time at all, I was able to drag in photos from my computer, add text and animation, and view my presentation from any computer connected to the internet. Simply amazing. That being said, someday Google will turn on us and rule us from space or something. I’m calling it right here.

After lunch, what was supposed to be a pretty standard afternoon turned into a rush to deliver breaking news. Early in the morning, an officer was shot in the leg during a raid. I sped through McDonalds drive-thru and made my way to the police station. The officer was in “stable condition and good spirits” at the time of the press conference. Story and video HERE!

A few of us showed up early, because it’s not pretty when you come in and start setting up cameras in the middle of an important announcement. While I was chatting with a TV camera guy, we got talking about DLSR filmmaking, and he said he was interested in helping out making movies. This made two days in a row that a work shoot turned into networking for films.

After all of that excitement, I was able to unwind and watch my wife play with the Curators.

Her co-worker, and band frontman, Jake Tolbert is raising money to spend 2 weeks in China doing mission work. They played a great gig for a good cause. Check them out on Facebook!

Saturday, Jan. 12th: Not to be outdone by Friday, Saturday was packed with excitement.

First, we started the day off with an engagement shoot near Springfield. The couple was a lot of fun, and won Alida and I over even more when they mentioned they had baby pigs. Not just babies- newborns… less than 24-hours-old newborns. Any shoot that involves hanging out with baby animals is a success in my book.

After that we headed to the opposite side of Springfield to hang out with some friends of ours and take some photos of their 1-year-old. This is my second time helping out with a shoot like this, and I’ve yet to see a kid really tear into the cake. This little guy took his time and was more interested in taking small bites than with burrowing through the cake. Still, it was a good time.

Before we made our way back to Decatur, we made sure to stop by and catch up with one more set of friends from Springfield. We don’t see these guys nearly enough, so it’s always fun to have some free time after shoots in that area.

I didn’t think the day could get any better, and then we had dinner at Dublin Pub. What’s so great about that? Buffalo chicken horseshoe pizza. You read that right. I have no idea how it was physically possible, but it happened, and it was amazing.

Sunday, Jan. 13th: Sunday was very productive, but definitely a nice, slow pace to finish off the week.

In the morning, I hosted the first of what I hope is many sketch-writing meetings! It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, since so many of the ideas we bounce around when writing films are in short sketch format. So until we get into production on a short film, we’re going to be meeting to develop some sketches. If all goes well, hopefully we’ll be able to produce some really funny stuff on a regular basis.

So keep your eye out, and if you want to participate with writing or acting, drop me a line!

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