Monday, April 16, 2012

Thoughts dump II

Most of my posts are educational. This one is not. This is one gives you insight into my personal life which I am usually very careful to sidestep in my blog articles. Not to say I'm not open about what I talk about. I'm very open but I pick and choose topics without revealing too much in terms of personal information. After all, there has to be some separation between us all!

- Lost. I'm uploading a video that I've been working on since December. It was a collaborative piece that I'll talk more about later. I had an idea, hashed out some ideas with Jacqueline Lavaun (the stylist), wrote a "script", and we shot it one cold December morning. I'm really excited to get this out into the wild and relieved that I made it out of that video in one piece. Did it really take 4 months to edit? No, but I'll talk more about that in the dedicated article.

- Jury Duty. Tomorrow morning at 9:30AM in downtown LA. Ugh, as a self-employed professional it's really one of the banes of my existence to have to take time out of my work to go and do jury duty. I'm sorry, but no one is covering for me when I'm doing jury duty. Not to mention the lack of ability to take on work during this time.

- Commercial Video. Shot a promotional video on Saturday for! Collaborated with the very talented Rick Craft on this project and I'm looking forward to our next few video projects! Special thanks to Rodney Alan, Ben Tsui, and Ren Lara for the assists!

- Client Video. Hashing out ideas for a client video shooting in a couple weeks.

- Video Concepts. I've been working on a few concepts that I'm excited to shoot going forward. On Saturday night as I was unwinding from the MakeMeChic shoot, I started putting together the outline for what could be a short film. I got carried away and ended up writing for almost 2 hours. Who knew that good stories could be so complicated and wrapped in intricacies with issues in consistency and logic?

- Videos in General. It's somewhat divine how my procrastination of Lost wound up being the ramp up into the video projects I've been working on over the last couple weeks. I've acquired some cool new hardware, played around with some new software, and also shored up my workflow.

- Hardware. Camera Motion Blackbird, considering a new video lens, it's always fun to think about hardware but honestly not very practical when you can rent for assignments and

- Software. Compressor. MPEG Streamclip. Automatic Duck. Fun stuff.

- Podcasting. Still doing it. Just need to do more interviews! :)

- Color Shifts on FCP7 Export. You know, for a company that supports so many graphs, image, and other visual art, Apple is inconsistent about their ability to retain consistency across the board. I exported Lost from FCP7 to my desktop and voila! Huge color shift when played in QuickTime on the same computer. Play the same file in Compressor, boom! No color shift. Look at the canvas in FCP7 and there's nothing wrong with it. Upload to Vimeo, no problem with color shifts. Here's what's really going on.

- Fixing Pixelated Text on FCP7 Export. On my last video (the video with Jordan) I spent probably 5 hours researching text pixelation on export. Most of the threads I read pointed the finger at the fact that FCP exports/outputs were meant for TV monitors and not computer displays. Nope. My problem was a sequence setting issue. I had my sequence settings at poor quality and draft outputs. So when rendered, it looked like crap (pixelated). I'm obviously feeling my way through FCP and need to reread the manual a little better.

- FCP Frustrations. I have this annoying issue that FCP seems to have "remember" old cuts and edits after it renders the the video into memory. Basically I'll be cutting a new video. None of the edits are rendered. Computer starts to render my edits while I work. Computer finishes rendering while I'm still editing. But now maybe I remove a cut here and there. I play it back. WTF. It's playing back old footage I already removed. Frustrating as hell. My workaround was to delete all render files each time I opened FCP7. Totally stupid.

- Converting 7D H.264 files to ProRes422 Prior to Importing. Didn't know I was supposed to convert to ProRes422 before editing in FCP. I don't know if this is the reason FCP seems to "remember" old edits long after they're gone? Why convert to ProRes422 prior to editing? Apparently FCP plays better with ProRes422 because H.264 is not an "editing codec". It's probably the same reason why you're not supposed to use .MP3 audio in FCP but rather to .AIFF. Speaking of which, I did have problems with .MP3 audio files that I imported into FCP trying to do a quick and dirty audio cut. Had audio artifacting with the MP3 file that I didn't have with the .AIFF file.

- Ironman NYC. So first of all I'm training and running the Ironman race in New York City in August 2012. I'm not sure if I mentioned it at all on my blog. It's the reason why I ran the LA Marathon last month (as part of the training). So I'll be in NYC in August!

- Workshops in NYC. I'll definitely be teaching private workshops in NYC (contact me if you're interested) during the weekdays of 8/6-8/9. I'm considering teaching a group workshop in NYC as well during 8/4-8/5 but it's way too early to tell if this is feasible.

- Dolly. Well actually I really like the dolly that Rick brought on Saturday to the shoot. The thing was built like a kit go-cart. All it was missing was an engine. Super smooth and could go anywhere. Even had inflatable wheels! I'll talk about this when I blog about the shoot.

- WordPress. Been working on trying to speed up my website. Testing things like CloudFlare, minify, WP3 Total Cache, and more. Anything to speed up my website!

- Analytics and Google SEO. Learning much more about my marketing efforts via Google Analytics and SEO. But the thing to remember is that these are just numbers. Passive numbers. It's how you generate the numbers and what you do with these analytics that's important.

- 2-day Business / Retouching. Thinking about putting this together sometime in min-late June. Not sure if I can do this though. My schedule is very tight after end of May and prior to Ironman NYC.

- Vimeo. Realizing that my Vimeo page might get more hits than other of my websites:, tumblr, blogger, etc. And sadly, I totally neglect Vimeo. Well not anymore.

- Creativity. I'm really loving the creative environment I'm in when I'm either in pre-production, production, or even post-production. Especially as it pertains to video because it allows me to explore facets of myself that I previously did not have access to. Based upon my fashion nudes you'd think I'm a shallow person but that's not true at all. I simply find fashion editorials images is a poor storytelling vehicle when compared to fashion videos. I'll explain more in my Lost video article.

- Mike Tyson screenshot. Was watching Piers Morgan on CNN the other day as he interviewed Mike Tyson. During the interview there was a screenshot of Mike Tyson's twitter quote. He said, "In order to fail greatly, you have to attempt to succeed greatly. The two come together." This quote resonated for me and I meant to blog about it. There are many things I mean to do and never get around to it. If I never get around to it, at least I talked about it here.

Well there's so much more but why take up more space with randomness, I should start talking about the video I just finished! :)


  1. What did you end up finding to speed up your wordpress site? anything that worked particularly well?

  2. Bronson,

    I wound up using a combination of CloudFlare and W3. Currently with the payment integration and the membership site, I've disabled them. But they worked very well up until then. Cheers!

  3. Great - I'll check into those. Thanks!!!