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Dingbat 101

May. 2nd, 2011 | 01:27 am
mood: amusedamused

At the late Passover/ Beltane / excuse to drink and be silly dinner I went to tonight, there was one female that stood out - a sister of a friend apparently. She had tattooed feet. Nowhere else (at least none showing). She was wearing a very high cut, V neck dress showing off absolutely as much as she could legally get away with.  She looked like a stripper on her day off.

Not that I have a problem with that, of course.

Anyway. At dinner, she asked who made a particular potato dish and I pointed out that it was the individual wearing a bowler hat. She didnt know what that was. So I described it as, "a 'Clockwork Orange' style hat."  And she replied "Not that I know what *THAT* is.

And at that point, any microscopic interest I might have had with that individual flew out the window like a fart.

Now I wonder if the tattoos on her feet said "left" and "right"

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(no subject)

Dec. 8th, 2010 | 05:29 pm

I love the fact that they are using my voice for more promos at the station. I really like doing voice-over work and every time I do it I learn something more about the tone and inflection of my voice. Today was the first time someone mentioned that I need more sibilance with the way I deliver the lines. I never noticed it, but I need to stress my "essess" a bit more to compensate.

Half the time I feel like Im just faking it when I do VO. its nice to hear that people really like the sound of my voice.

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Core dump: So THIS is what being a Producer is like?

Dec. 5th, 2010 | 10:28 pm
mood: bouncybouncy

The shoot went well, though there were a few fumbles early on.

The camera we were set to use shoots on a memory card rather than videotape, and my partner had been kind enough to foot the bill for new recording media for us to shoot on. Unfortunately, he got the wrong ones and the camera wouldnt accept the cards.Thankfully the station has a second camera that was available that shoots on a more conventional Blu-Ray disc. Its actually a much higher quality HD camera, but it weighs a ton, and we were going to be very mobile with this shoot. It was a lot to lug around, but it was good exercise and a beautiful day to show off Austin. 

The local foodie magazine is sponsering "Eat Local Week" here and the kick-off  is a bike tour of the local urban farms around the city. There's eight of them within a mile of each other and only a few minutes from Downtown.  Out of the eight, six of them are owned by women. I thought this was a great thing to integrate into our first episode of the show, so we set up our host to ride a bike on the tour and follow her around the city.  We'd drive to a location, catch her riding in, grab an interview, shoot some B-roll, and then jump to the next location and do it all again.

Each farm was fantastic. They provide the freshest produce to restaurants around the city and they show that it doesnt take much to be able to grow your own food. This was something I really wanted to highlight in the show. I think its one of the things that makes Austin just plain awesome. 

There was a pig roast being hosted in the evening by one of the farms. A couple of  Whole Foods employees volunteered to build a fire pit and roast up an 80lb pig. They had brined the pig in a solution of brown sugar, salt and fresh squeezed oranges and were roasting it over this beautiful oak fire for the past six hours. The smell was absolutely intoxicating. But by three PM, all of us were exhausted and all we wanted to do was collapse.

So we have to plan a second day to shoot. Ideally I would love to get something together soon, so that we have an entire pilot we can show potential underwriters in January. The second part of this shoot is going to be crucial, but also the most fun to plan. We need the main cooking segment and the big party at the end of the show. One of the farms has a kitchen and back yard that is ideal for what I want to show. We havent worked out the menu yet, but Im thinking something like brined pork chops and some kind of vegetable, or a great cole slaw recipe as part of a potluck style dinner.  The key is to show how to cook something that doesnt take a lot of crazy work. 

I have this vision of how I want the show to look. Its been something that I've been dreaming of for over two years. I think the end of the show should be really dramatic: beautiful shots of people toasting glasses of wine in front of a setting sun with oak trees filled with lights. Everyone smiling, laughing, eating, carrying-on and just ...LIVING. Maybe a musician playing in the background, maybe not. The idea is to show that it doesnt take much to live the good life.

But it's going to be getting more and more difficult to shoot something outdoors and not have it look like everyone is freezing their asses off. I think we can show off a lot of what we've already shot, but I'd love to have that sunset dinner shot to show underwriters. It could sell the entire series.

I think this show has a lot of great things going for it: It shows off local talent, highlights the things that make Austin special, and shows how to cook something really great without being crazy difficult.  On a personal side, it's a fun way to show off the people I care about, help a few friends get some work, and make somethig that in the end helps to build my own community.

But there is a lot more work to do and a tough time of year to try to get it done in.

OK, core dump done for now.

That felt good.

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Away I go.

Dec. 3rd, 2010 | 01:14 pm
mood: bouncybouncy

After two years of thinking and talking about it, I start shooting footage for the first episode of my TV series.  My co-producer is fantastic and my host is amazing. With the three of us, we should be able to put something together that can help us pitch the show to more potential underwriters.

As expected, the process of getting money for this project has been tedious. The Texas Department of Agriculture is saying they are considering giving us $1500. but that really isnt squat. To buy all the gear we would use for the series is about $15,000. I was really hoping to have some funds locked in before Thanksgiving and it didnt happen and trying to get money out of businesses this close to the end of the year is just a waste of time. So we shoot what we can, edit it into a pilot and then attack underwriters with the video in January.

Nervous. So many things to think about. So many things that can go wrong. As a producer, I guess its my job to consider all of it, then push everyone in the right direction to make it happen anyway.

The concept is sound. The people we've talked to love the idea. The Austin American Statesman and KLRU are on board and the Austonian - the tallest building in Austin is excited that we are considering using their location for one of the episodes. All this project needs is money.

My friend sent me a quote the other day right when I was wallowing in doubt about this: "Lack of money is no obstacle. Lack of an idea is an obstacle."  Well I've got the idea and the passion to see it through, but money would SURE help things.

Nervous, excited, anxious, giddy, impatient.

And away I go on my foray into the world of independent production.

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(no subject)

Nov. 11th, 2010 | 10:39 am

Its hard to believe that I really do have the career I always wanted when I was in High School. I just wish it paid more.

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(no subject)

Dec. 19th, 2008 | 01:12 pm

Dan, the editor of "Austin City Limits" is working on the next episode of the season, which will have Duffy and Sara Mclachlan. However they keep working on one part of a Duffy song - presumably to get the timing of a shot right.

But they keep playing the same part over and over and over.

And over

And over.

And while listening to Duffy is not too bad, her squeaky voice and forced vibratto is starting to get on my nerves.

In case you dont know who Duffy is, here is the video from her one big hit:


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(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2008 | 07:08 pm

Unless there is an absolute need for it, I will never shoot in HD again.

The process of digitizing all of my footage for my Haunted Driskill story has gone so incredibly, painfully slow today that after 10 hours, I am STILL not done transferring everything over. I spent most of the day waiting for the technical adviser to be available to work with me. He had originally scheduled the time with me at 9am, but something came up that was higher priority, so I got bumped to the end of the list.

I have until Wednesday to put this piece together and time is quickly running out.

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