Thursday, August 31, 2006

10,000 squirrel power

Amy and I really love our Prius. We think it was the right car at the right time. Plus we like sticking out our tongues at the H2 drivers as we pass them at the gas station. (To any H2 drivers out there...you do realize that your basically driving a gussed up Chevy Tahoe not an actual HMMWV?)
Even with gas prices around $3 a gallon we are probably spending around $40 a month on gas. Which is as it should be.

Anyway we're currently a 1 car, 2 bike family (The miata shaped object or MSO is on permanent motor pool status in the garage right now) which is ok with us. But if I were to get another car it would probably be this one.

The Tesla is 100% electric and can go from 0 to 60 in about 4 seconds. Only one small problem...it costs about $100,000 at the moment. That's $10 per squirrel! Maybe they'll go on sale next year.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Watch out Steve Zissou!

I've just gotten my first documentary assignment!!!!

So it looks like Amy and I will have an opportunity in October to go on our church's Pan-American Medical Mission. The church sends doctors, dentists and nurses to a small village in Quintana Roo, in the Yucat√°n Peninsula. Amy and I will be helping out with the medical mission (looks like I'll be constructing eyeglasses) but they've also asked me to take the camera along and document the whole thing. Can't wait. I really need to start brushing up on my Spanish (even though most of the people speak Mayan. We have to go from English to Spanish to Mayan. Better to cut out one of these if possible.)

So if anyone has advice about shooting documentary films in small Latin American villages please pass it along.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I swear this place exists

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Time to get outta Dodge.

So my dad walks into McD's the other day in BFE, Texas...

Dad: "I'd like the Oriental Salad" (Hey my dad's trying to eat well even if it's mcd's)

Underpaid worker bee: "I'm sorry sir, we have a Ceasar salad and an Asian salad, but no Oriental Salad."

Now at this point I realize there is a slight possiblity she was being PC and took some offense at a slightly antiquated term. But I doubt it.

I think my parents are so ready to get out of this little town of 6000 its not even funny. I'm not sure what they're going to do when they get to a place that acutally has a bookstore.

So basically they've got another month before they move to Texas City. Granted it's basically a Houston suburb, but at least it's near a real town.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I think of this stuff at 3 A.M. I swear.

There is a well-documented ability of people to come up with snappy answers and comebacks approximately 1 hour after the necessary moment it was needed. For me, my witty retort epiphany hits me at about 3 A.M. Problem being I'm usually asleep or really tired at 3 A.M. and I don't care.

My friend Steve is a strange exception to this rule. He has the uncanny ability to comeback with a sharp response nearly instantly. Not only that he can do it first thing in the morning, which I found beyond irritating when were roommates in college.

My brother Dan also is blessed with the ability to verbally respond with uncanny rapidity, however, he does it in such a deadpan, dry manner it would make an Englishman weep with jealousy. Really, it took me 20 years or so to figure out exactly when he was joking.

Needless to say that this post is all just a big buildup. Yesterday I stumbled across video blog that encapsulated perfectly the way I was feeling about the latest rash of terrorism (or lack thereof). Anyway check out The Show with zefrank. (Warning - Not for the kiddos)

Geez, why hadn't I said it first?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rip Van Stewart aka Welcome to my blog.

I created this blog over 3 years ago. Like many things in my life it sat here in cyberspace, neglected and unused. So, forgive me as I dust it off and change the oil, and maybe get this thing up and running.

At one point in my life I did an amazing amount of writing in my life, partially because it was required for school and partially because I enjoyed it. Some of my work was fairly scholarly, but the majority of it was just random bits and snippets out of my brain. The hardest part about writing is usually finding a starting point. We've got to find a starting point somewhere so I guess we'll start with what's going on in my life at the moment.

I'm finding a real push to be creative in various outlets right now. I'm currently on the broadcast team at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Oklahoma City.

We've just gotten a JVC GY-HD100U High-Def capable camera and I'm really enjoying getting to know the camera. If we had access to one of these when I was an RTVF major in school (21 hours of college credit that is actually coming in handy these days) I think I'd be living in Hollywood making movies. This thing is amazing. It shoots natively at 780p 60fps and converts to 1080i or down to SD or even 24p for that film look. This is a professional camera with a price point for under $6,000. Simply unreal.

The church has also invested in a really nice dedicated graphics pc along with Adobe's Production Studio software which includes Premier Pro 2.0. PP2 is a computer based non-linear editor (NLE). Again when I learned basic editing we were cutting film and splicing it together with glue and tape. Computer editing cuts the time down by leaps and bound and gives even the beginning editor incredible power. The flexibility and price of this software is such that it's getting out of the realm of professional editors and into the hands of serious amateurs.

Basically for under $10,000 we have everything we need to shoot, edit and produce professional level commercials, broadcast, or dvd's. As soon as they get the HD-DVD formats figured out then we will have everything we need to produce our entire workflow in HD as well.

Anyway, as soon as I get my first real project produced I'll make sure and post a link to it, but in the meantime here is some stock footage of my dogs I shot with the new camera.

I've got a few ideas for some funny shorts including: Iron Chef: Jack vs. Amy (this is funny when you realize my wife has no acutal cooking ability whatsoever) and Heaven outsources its call center (to speak with St. Peter press 3)

I'd also like to do a video for one of my favorite new artists Jonathan Colton.

If you have any other ideas for a short video project let me know. I'll take all submissions under consideration.