Last Week: Plays, Presentations, & Piano

Monday, Jan. 14th: Nothing to report, just another Monday at the office.

Tuesday, Jan. 15th: Filmed an exciting basketball game between our 2 city teams: Eisenhower and MacArthur. No matter who is having a better season, when they play each other it always comes down to the wire, and this was no different. Video HERE!

As I was transferring footage that night, I had a breakthrough with my 15mm rig setup. I’ll elaborate more on this in a separate post, but I finally came up with a quick way to transfer the camera setup from a tripod to my shoulder. The way I had it before, the balance had to be adjusted if I went from one to the other. Now I can swap out as often as I want without wasting time adjusting gear.

Wednesday, Jan. 16th: I got to give another presentation! I was scheduled to speak at the Decatur Area Arts Council in May, but this week’s speaker had an injury and wasn’t able to make it. (He’s OK now, by the way.)

I was asked to talk about the process of making a movie from start to finish. It went really well and I got to speak to a great group. I had some friends in the crowd, and got to meet some new people. Afterward I was able to stick around and chat, and met some kids who had a film in this year’s 21 Film Project. They had lots of questions and it was fun to pass along some of the things I’ve learned making movies over the past couple years.

Check out the Decatur Area Arts Council website to see what other events they have coming up. One that I’m really looking forward to is “Improvisation with Angie,” hosted by the actress that starred in our Doritos spot, Variety Packin’.

Thursday, Jan. 17th: At South Shores School, some of the kids get to go to the Macon County Animal Shelter on Fridays and read to the animals. It’s a really cool idea, because the kids get excited about reading and the animals get some quality time with someone. Thursday I filmed a class making dog treats from scratch. Anytime you get kids measuring and mixing messy ingredients, it’s guaranteed to be an entertaining shoot. Video HERE!

After work I started production on a new segment  that I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’m no expert at filmmaking, but I have picked up some tricks along the way and figured out some things that I didn’t see anywhere else on filmmaker websites.

I figured it was time to take the things I’ve learned and share with the masses. Eventually I’ll probably have a specific “Tips & Tricks” link on the this site, but until then, check out the first episode of “Just the Tips!”


Friday, Jan. 18th: Went with Alida to see “Leaving Iowa,” a fantastic play put on by some great friends.

Doug Bishop, who has starred in many of my movies, did an awesome job directing. I also knew most of the cast and crew, and they were all amazing. If you’re in Central Illinois, go see this play and support my friends in Theatre 7! You can buy tickets HERE!

Saturday, Jan. 19th:  Finally redesigned my YouTube page! I’m still working on it, but it’s a lot cleaner now, and everything is organized into playlists. I also started making those clever little bumpers at the end that point you toward other videos to watch and beg for subscriptions. So take a look and subscribe please!

I also finished a really fun wedding montage. A good friend of mine ( and the sister of one of my best friends) got married in Starved Rock State Park. I got to spend the weekend partying with their huge family and filming the festivities. Have a look!


Sunday, Jan. 20th: Had another sketch-writing meeting, and decided to be pro-active and just shoot something. We whipped up a script and knocked it out really fast! During the editing process, I found a lot of great music on If you’re looking for royalty free music, it’s a great resource.  Here’s the finished product!


Update: I almost forgot to mention the Beatles! Before writing sketches, Ken Lowe and I sat around the piano and played some music. There’s no way to describe how cool it feels to hammer out “Hey Bulldog” and work on harmonies.
After Ken left, Alida and I hung out and played some more music. We used to play a lot more often, and just kept packing our schedules tighter and tighter. It felt good to get back at the piano, so hopefully we keep that part of the routine this time.

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