Archive for September, 2011
I hadn’t seen fit to take the $300 dive into Final Cut Pro X just yet, but have wanted to for a bit. Once the trial was available, I wanted to apply it to this best real world, low risk situations I could to see if it was all it was cracked up to be.
So, I opened up a thread on Google Plus to drop my thoughts as I work with it. I’ve editing my weekly editions of AwesomeCast, Wrestling Mayhem Show, and Chachi Says to begin with. While I’ve seen some hiccups and things I have to adapt, this new way of doing things really seems like an improvement to my process. Already, the audio work has eliminated parts of the process as well as the whole use of Soundtrack Pro in my weekly editing process. The way I can compartmentalize things I used to edit all at once, and always went out of sorts, will help speed things up.
I’ve been able to run the program on both my late 2009 Macbook Pro and late 2007 iMac to varied results. I’m not doing anything really complex yet, but I feel the slug as it background renders clips. But the process knocks a good bit off of editing Chachi Says. I’m able to drop the clip and get right to it as it converts instead of using Compressor to ProRes his Kodak Zi6 footage in advance.
The BIGGEST hangup is still the organization. As I’ve been told, if you’re coming from iMovie, you get it. Or maybe don’t pay attention to it. After working in an environment that was big on organization for a good 6 years, organization is key, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around where everything needs to go, and how do I decide what to backup. Because it seems like if you render a file in the background and drop the render, it’s broken.
The biggest help in this has been some great open discussions with Pixel Corps. They have a few episodes of Macbreak Studio Live on their youtube page that are tremendous to get answers to the most common questions.
I have a few more first hand impressions, and will continue to add to, this thread on Google Plus.
Let me know you’re thoughts on Final Cut Pro X, and let me know if you have any questions you need answered before taking the dive as well..
For the longest time, since our first Podcamp Pittsburgh sessions, we have always had one message to deliver: community interaction. It’s something we got early that we could build off of. It’s always evolving and seeing the faces (or usernames) come and go has been interesting. But often it’s that live feel that’s kept the energy alive and made the most incredible and rediculous shows for us. Tonight’s video is Chachi and my reaction to the night’s Wrestling Mayhem Show 289, and AwesomeCast 70 shows.
What are you? How to you envision yourself? What are you to ther people?
This is something that’s been on my mind for nearly a year since one of the first talks I heard by Dr. Chaudhary as I started working on bringing his message online with S’eclairer last October. But in this case, we look at labels as a negative. When you look at mental health, as we often see it in media, you are a psychopath. You are schizophrenic. Dr. Chaudhary talks about how we (the doctors and social workers) need to keep from classifing these people in such a way. Because they are people. People with psychopathic disorders. People with schizophrenia. It’s very important in bringing them out of their condition. If they see themselves as the condition, they’ll accept that as the case.
Well, that’s as far as I understand psychology via these talks and my art school Psych class…
But then I noticed a trend in the other direction.
I listen to a lot of Merlin Mann, who is most known for his 43folders site and neurotic examinations of how people get things done on Back to Work. One of the common themes to the creative or independent worker is the trouble in just getting started. I can relate to this. You can relate to this. There’s always something you were going to try to do someday but that day never came. It comes back around to how you identify yourself. And perhaps it’s something that will be the tipping point to motivate you.
Want to write that blog? Want to be a blogger? Be a blogger. Don’t do it because it’s what needs done to get your blog up and get those hits and get people to see you and this and the other thing. Just be. And if it’s hard for you to just be a blogger, writer, dancer, then maybe it’s time to tuck that away and be someone else. It’s when you don’t identify with that process that things come up, seemly all of the time, that are just that much more important than that goal.
Me? For better or worse. I’m a Podcaster. I’m a Creator. I don’t think about these things. They become a part of me and what I do every day. If I’m not creating something, I’m not doing my job and I’m not living. Notice not making a living in that sentence. Just living.
What’s you’re label. And are you being successful at being that?
Back in June, I had the fortune to talk with the director of Memphis Heat, Chad Schaffler, as the film was taking a tour of theaters around the title’s region. Just the bit that I had to talk with Chad about the phenomenon of Memphis “Rasslin’” gave me a sense of the energy and excitement of those memories.
Well, I shared some of that enthusiasm when a copy of Memphis Heat showed up in my mailbox the other day, and I’d been scraping for a moment to watch the movie. This is what you would hope. A complete retrospective with the names you know from the area, Jerry Lawler, Jerry Jarrett, Rocky Johnson, Jimmy Hart, Jimmy Valient (who is easily mistaken for Tommy Chong). But the laundry list of other stars of the area that I’d never really gotten to know.
As a longtime fan, this disc delved into just where guys like Jimmy Hart and Jerry Lawler came from. It was the perfect companion to reading Lawler’s book all those years ago (and might lead to me re-reading it with this context). Stories from the road, about the crazy crowds, and wars between promotions, and even a departure to WWF. When the movie was done, I sat through all of the outtakes from the interviews.
In an era when WWE is releasing revisionist history DVDs of WCW, World Class Championship Wrestling, ECW, and AWA, it’s nice to see something straight from the source, and from what I understand, one of the few libraries not currently owned by the big WWE. If you’re big into reading everything you can get your hands on about life in wrestling, this is a great flick.
You can find the trailer, and a shop for the DVD and book it was based on, at www.memphis-heat.com
I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the people I work with on my shows lately. Especially as some of them find new roles thanks to their lives and I’m starting to look at ways the shows function. One of the people I’m assessing is Mad Mike. Mike joined us after emailing the show for a while, and through the magic of Skype, has for the last several years. He’s put a lot of energy in this shared dream of talking wrestling on a Tuesday night in front of a few hundred people online.
Here is a small talk with Mike after this week’s show. Please bare with the audio as it didn’t pick up as well as I’d liked. Headphones maybe?
On Sunday, September 18, I’m doing/have done a session by the same title at Podcamp Pittsburgh. A little bit of this process, I actually am writing this post as a nice organization of thoughts, and a nice side note for those that may attend or watch the video later on. Enjoy!
I’ve uploaded my slides from the event. Not highly informational, but the visuals could be nice!
1. Opportunities are endless - Because I’ve done a wrestling show, I’ve had the chance to talk to so many locally and nationally in that industry and become part of it. For a time I worked on the website forIWC Wrestling (and Jesse’s done a tremendous job when he took the site back over, I might add) and now shoot regularly with Digital Horizons for IWC, RWA, and an occasional spot show, which in turn led to taking gigs shooting for area high schools. Through the people I meet, I’ve had a few interesting projects that led me back stage to Ring of Honor on HDNet tapings in Philly. The development of Unsung on PittsburghOnVideo.org is directly related as being known as the guy that does podcasts. Chachi became host from his on camera demonstrations thanks to his Chachi Says show.
When you love something so much that you can sit there for a half hour, or two hours, it demonstrates you as (hopefully) somebody who knows what they’re talking about. It’s a no holds barred look at who you are on this topic. If you do a show teaching music like Walt Ribeiro, you’re the guy that can handle music tasks everyone knows about. When you do a beer cast like Should I Drink That, you become the two guys local craft beer producers and venues look to and I go to to ask what the hell I should drink at this bar.
2. Numbers are important - The biggest thing people try to get are advertisers. Make sure when you build your show that you use a service, or funnel traffic with something like Podtrac, Lybsin, or blubrry that can break down the numbers a lot better than you can on your own. I often shoot myself in the foot and too afraid to change my links to move to these services while hosting on something rudimentary like TalkShoe when it comes to numbers. This is your biggest tool, if you’re doing well in this catagory, to “sell” your show to advertisers and hopefully make it better for the effort.
3. Numbers are not important -I’ve had conversations with people doing shows that have scores of hits over what I have had on my shows. I’ve seen my shows explode to 2000 hits a week and drop to 80 over the course of doing this. But what keeps me going that apparently makes others go away is that engagement. If you’re audience isn’t engaging with you, they are less valuable. rather have 10 people that love my stuff than 100 who never respond. And for those that do respond, I believe you can multiply the response an unknown time.
4. Affiliates Suck - But they’re good practice. While I haven’t been able to attract a classic advertiser to my show…yet…These can be an interesting test bed to make sure you can handle doing advertisements with the proper respect, and see if your audience reacts to it in one way or another before going headlong into a sponsored situation.
5. Keep the Faith - This will only work as long as you believe it’s worth it. Is this a subject worth talking about? Is your audience engaging? When you’re trying to get your show online at that same time every week, drinking Faygo and watching a render bar at 3 AM when you have a 9 to 5 in the morning, do you think it’s worth it? I’ve started to think that motivation for something like this is faith based. Faith in the worth your creating. Faith in knowing that a number of people wake up that morning, sync their itunes, and hope that episode is there to get them through the commute or work day for a few hours. I am a customer on that end.
6. Review Your Methods - You need to not become complacent. Look at your show on a regular basis objectively. I found a period where we appeared to have the very same debate every week about a wrestling promotion. It was taxing, and needed to be changed up. Sometimes I’d neglect to bother to get guests for a show for several weeks, if not months, even though I know it contributes greatly to the variety of the show. Don’t let yourself do that, and let your co-hosts call you out on it.
7. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk Out Your Ass - some of the best stuff seems to come when we’re far off script, playing devils advocate, and blurting something out. One such example was when we were pontificating on AwesomeCast about whether we should have a right to internet as we do utilities, and a concept came up that it was one to one with the Right to Bare Arms. Deep stuff that doesn’t come with playing it safe. It’s sometimes more entertaining to your listeners if you take your stance on a conversation and dial up the passion a little.
8. Get out and meet people. Get out of your cave - Go to the places that your audience is. I’m always taken back when I run into someone that knows me from one of my projects, be it from my own shows or a client project. It’s that one on one feedback that qualifies what you do to that little part in your head. I was recently attended an event for a client that I wasn’t quite sure I was reaching people with. A chance encounter with one patron of the event changed my whole view as he complimented everything from the site to the quality of the videos I was producing. That one encounter changed my perception on how I was doing with things.
9. You Figured It Out Now. You Still Have to Figure Out Tomorrow - You’re show is going great. You have listeners. Your co-hosts have a rapport with eachother and then the audience. Then one gets a job from Tuesday night, or starts a wrestling school, and the face of your show changes. You have a great audio show, but video is starting to become the hot thing. Can your show adapt or add on this feature? What about your community. We went from AOL chat rooms to BlogTV to Ustream to Justin.tv over the course of our show for the live community.
10. Little is Unreachable - The amazing thing about all of the people we have asked to be on our shows are the people who say yes and know. Once you get over the idea of being afraid of being told no, you’ll find so many people to say yes. We’ve talked to wrestling legends, American Gladiators, writers, directors, nationally touring music artists, and more. What’s more surprising are the people who do say no.
Today I had the pleasure to greet Chachi for his birthday with his first love, Ryan Reynolds, in 8″ plastic form.
Who is Chachi?
I know some of you know Chachi from his persona on Twitter, his video blog, and work with charity and other projects of mine. This is the guy that’s stuck through with me on all of my crazy plans for world domination over the years. I don’t know why. My history of harebrained schemes has to be quite sordid by now. Chachi was always a guy I knew I could put a camera in front of his face and Chachi Magic happens.
And this last year Chachi grew as a person and a persona with his Chachi Plays charity and becoming a host on Unsung on PittsburghonVideo.org. I’m tremendously happy to have him as a friend and a colleague on this adventure we’re on.
Happy Birthday Mr. Chachi!
Do you have a favorite Chachi moment you’d like to share?
More or less, I’ve lived in and around Pittsburgh for a good 10 years, getting our first apartment in Mt. Lebanon in late 2003. I came to this town because I always loved what I saw visiting my Grandparents in Moon, and what they showed me of the city. It stuck.
But with everything going on with attempting at having a career, maybe I spent one too many nights coming home and watching cartoons instead of getting out doors.
Only recently during my recent stint with shooting Unsung, and other various projects, have I been thrust into my town. We’ve had to get creative on where we shoot around town, and where we need to go to cover what’s going on. There’s so much I haven’t seen around here in my own backyard. On the release of Unsung episode 10 this week, I thought it was time to look back.
So what have I learned?
1. Bike! I’ve heard so much from my compatriot on the AwesomeCast Rob that biking is the **** and this is a good place to do it. I’ve seen so many show up to the Cafe and to events on bikes, or walk in with their bike seat. I’ve always been weary since I always thought I’d have to coinhabit roads with cars, and people that don’t seem to follow the bike rules. But there are so many trails that maybe that’s not an issue. The old bikes are acquired and I’m ready to get them restored to get out there!
2. Use the Rivers. They’re not just cool to look at, or a reason for bridges, or for jumping into once a year when the year turns. I don’t need to buy a boat (but who wouldn’t want to buy a boat. Or a monkey. But I digress). Kayak Pittsburgh seems to be the thing to do. Missy’s already been on an outing with her work, and I’m thinking about doing the same.
3. Stay away, Duckie’s. I don’t like them. They offensively quack at you and ruin shoots downtown for me. I bet they’re ruining scenes from Dark Knight Rises right now! But if I wasn’t so personally offended by them, the concept of a land and aquatic tour of the city sounds fantastic. I’ve been on a “duck” a long time ago in a region I can’t recall, but remember it being a lot of fun. And not ruining any videographer’s day….
4. Climb. Not physically. But I’m sure that’s fun too. Get up there and look at the city at a different level. Get some perspective. I’ve been fortunate enough to “climb” several of the buildings downtown for interview meetings and clients, and find myself peaking over the shoulder of who I’m speaking with to scope out the view. I’m sure I’ve been caught, but I can’t help it! I often go to Mt. Washington, often have, when I think I need a minute in my life to take it all in.
5. Have someone to experience it with. I’ve been so fortunate to be able to discover all of this with my best friend. We get to get out of our dark geek caves at home and the bright (oh so very bright to our computer screen experienced eyes) outdoors of this town.
6. People are not phased by cameras. Not like they should. Like when they’re shouting at someone from right beside out camera in PPG Plaza. Nope. No problem. Maybe it’s a city thing. The funny one was on a dock on the Allegheny when I heard the classic iPhone camera noise taking a picture of our shoot.
This is something I wrote for the upcoming edition of RumiNations, a magazine I assist with as Director of Web Media at S’eclairer. You can find the latest released issue digitally, and more information as the site develops, at Ruminations.biz.
A couple of years ago I made a decision. It might have been partially of frustration, but wholly of necessity, but I decided to let go of the day to day job as I knew it. For six years, I was a video editor for a company and felt unfulfilled. It was a steady job. It paid the bills. I learned a lot out of necessity.
But that was it.
For some the freedom, and fear, of becoming independently employed is the only way. We’re coming to the days where the 9 to 5 worker is not going to be the norm and more people will find success, and overall happiness, with striking out on their own. Here’s a few key factors to consider.
Have Passion - It’s hard to find the drive without the passion. You can do it, but that’s not why you’re making this sort of move. Or considering it. I couldn’t leave my day job for landscaping. I lack a green thumb and almost kill plants with a touch, as my luck is. I love computers. I started working on things on the side that interested me. That I would be doing for free either way, and getting good at that thing as a side effect. Make a list of the things you think you would love to do, for free, day to day without falling into a rut. Now start looking at what opportunities those passions may present in the real world.
Be Aware - I didn’t intend to go into video, majoring in Web and Multimedia, but I saw a cross section between the thing I enjoyed in high school, but never thought would be a job that was real unless I left the area. Then I saw the rise of video on the web and Podcasting happening as my own irritation grew. It was a perfect mix. What opportunities are out there. Are you seeing a need your skill fits that fills the gap? Locally.
Be Online. Be Connected – The internet has changed the world, opening up opportunity in a new avenue. You can invoice online, brand yourself and connect via Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Produce online “Webinars” from anything relating to computer design to cooking. I could never have been able to build my work on word of mouth and community, and have a ready made point to show off my skills five years ago in this field to the effect I have now, and see a lot of freelancers of different disciplines do the same.
Take a Step Back – You have the passion. You have the drive. Now take a step back and smell the roses. Gary Vaynerchuck proclaims in his first book “Crush It” that you can do all the work you can physically muster and have all of the skill in the world, but if you’re family and home life isn’t in check, it all falls apart. Make sure you’re not putting your work in front of your family, your kids, even you’re girlfriend if you’re at the point. If you have this issue now, it’s not likely to get better as you push in your field.
Get Out There - If you’re working from home, get out of the house. This is why coffee shops are a freelancer’s best friend. It gets lonely working from home. The dog is not a great conversationalist and the cat just stares at me. Many freelancers join together in “work spaces” rented or each other’s house, that gives the feels of comradreerie that you miss from that day to day job, that in my case at least, fuel the creative fires. Can’t do that? Get out to local events in your area. MeetUp.com and Facebook are a great start to look for groups of interest that you may be able to join and network to talk shop and see some faces.
Find Other Voices - For me, I found Podcasts and blogs that fit my field. I’m a fan of FreelancerSwitch.com, a blog for freelancers, obviously, and listen to shows about organization and my field, including Back to Work (http://5by5.tv/b2w) and Film Riot (http://revision3.com/filmriot). It’s a fit to my work, but anyone can do this (I’m a firm believer of the access of social media, but that’s another article) but start your own podcast! I started Freelance 4 Real (http://freelance4real.com) to put my head together with other freelancers in social media, programming, acting, and more fields to figure out just how we manage our personal businesses and learn from each other’s mistakes.
It’s a changing world, and exciting opportunities are out there that will fill that personal void in your day to day life. It’s challenging and scary, but the rewards are worth it personally, if not monetarily.
Over a year ago, I had the chance to real Crush It in audiobook form. You could say this was one of a few books that inspired me to make some leaps in my life. I took to the book as something of a cheerleader. I’ve listened to the book about three times now as a reminder to just why I’m doing the things I am when things get a little tough to swallow and you need a little more faith.
I didn’t expect much of the same from the “Thank You Economy”. While “Crush It” is what I call an “independent’s pep talk”, this book is “the book of facts to convince people social media is important”. We get to hear Gary’s thoughts on how the one to one relationships were so important some 80 years ago, disappeared, then are coming back in the form or social media.
For me, this book supports and gives me even more samples and thoughts to flesh out my pitches of social media being a new level of transparency that a company should work to meet. Samples are given from Gary’s own company, restaurants, and even some samples and thoughts from the medical field, which is another nut I’m trying to crack.
As with the last book, I held out for the audiobook. Vaynerchuck brings so much more to his reading. You know what points he intends to emphasize by the passion, and repeatedly taking himself “off script” to bring some additional personal thoughts and updated information since he wrote these words. It’s a tremendous value add. I picked this up for a long six hour round trip to the middle of Pennsylvania, and the time passed with ease. As I listened through, I had a whole list of potential initiatives for our own Cafe and my own freelancing business. It got the juices flowing to kill the time like nothing, and will likely fall into a similar reread cycle like Crush It and Rework have recently.
You can currently get this audiobook FREE with Audible via our affiliate link at www.audiblepodcast.com/sorgatronmedia, no risk to you.