2012: The End of the World (as we know it)

I keep hearing about the end of the world happening in 2012. It makes me think of the song by REM.

I like how they added the “as we know it” part to lessen the catastrophic  implications. This helps me focus on positive ways the world is changing. Thanks to new technology such as cellphones that record and broadcast video to the internet, and social networks that can spread the content across the planet within hours,  our awareness level of injustice and violence has grown exponentially in the last few years. (Whew! Try reading that last sentence in one breath!)

Even if we aren’t evolving towards a peaceful Utopia (fast enough), at least government officials and military dictators have to deal with the fact that their crimes aren’t as secret anymore. I don’t intend for this to be a political rant, and I’m not a conspiracy theorist (except that whole “moon landing” thing), but I think that it’s wonderful that so many people now have a voice. They can be heard and seen by the entire world in their time of need. I think of people in Iran, Egypt, North Korea, and other volatile places. They courageously show the world what’s happening, unfiltered by a news corporation with a (possible) political/financial agenda.

And then, of course, we, the viewers, need to take action by protesting, boycotting, voting and pulling financial support from those who abuse their power whether they be politicians, media entities or countries with dismal human rights records.

You may be wondering how this relates to my work, or this video production website. The connection for me is that I am part of the media machine because I create content for broadcast/cable television, the internet, companies, schools, non-profit organizations, etc. Having this ability to put out a message about a product, philosophy, or need for help from others, is a responsibility that I take seriously. Consider the power of media when it comes to electing a president, or starting another war. Many of us are glued to one screen or another most of the day, so lets stay vigilant and use this power for good. Because we do have the power to make a positive difference in the world, even if it’s by clicking away on a keyboard, or sharing a Facebook post. We’re only powerless when we’re apathetic.

So, if the end of the world as we know it means the planet has become a more open, compassionate, honest and just place, I feel fine indeed.

Hip to Be Square

With a title like “Hip to Be Square” you may flash back on the frenetic 80’s music video by Huey Lewis & the News, but I’m talking about an even cooler way to be “square”. You know…now that I think about it,  I may not be cool enough to pull off this “clever” intro with such intricate word-play, so I will get straight to the point lol.

We found a very cool product/service called “Square”. It’s a tiny square-ish device (pictured at left) that you plug into your Android or iPhone. Square enables you to accept credit/debit card payments anywhere you have a phone signal. It’s super-fast, easy, paperless billing.

I’m a tech-junkie who loves gadgets, so I had to get this little thing. Amazingly enough, the device is free. No strings or wires attached. After downloading the free “Square” application to your smart phone, you simply enter the amount of payment, slide a credit card through the slot and hit “Charge”. It even gives you options to enter a description, take a picture of the item being purchased and send a receipt to the customer who signs for the transaction on the phone’s touch screen!

Of course there’s a small fee (around 3%) per transaction, but imagine being able to get paid on the spot for your work. Whether you’re an aspiring musician who just played a gig at a local pub, a plumber, or a much loved video producer (see “About Me”), this item could help you get paid a lot faster.

I’m not getting paid to endorse this product (although I won’t refuse mysterious bundles of unmarked bills under our doormat) I just thought it was a brilliant idea that could help a lot of small businesses. Getting paid for your work, and dealing with billing can be frustrating for any business owner. Most of the time, it’s fine and people pay as promised, but having to chase down someone to pay what they owe is stressful.

So, this is our official announcement that you can now pay for our production services on the spot with a credit/debit card. We also accept online payments through PayPal. Learn more about Square at  their website www.SquareUp.com and take another step into the future (cue old “Star Trek” music). Beam me up!

Watch a Square Video on YouTube

Work/Fun Traveling

A few months ago, I decided that I wanted to do some video work that involved traveling and shooting some outdoor footage. I set the goal (mostly just made the statement that I wanted to do it) and then kind of just let it go to see what would happen.

Since then, we’ve traveled to Bandon and shot the gorgeous beaches there, as well as lions, tigers and bears at the West Coast Game Park Safari. We also spent the night in one of the luxurious Jacuzzi Suites at the Inn at Face Rock, in Bandon, and were treated to a deliciously huge lobster and prime rib dinner (we had shot the food for commercial footage, and SOMEBODY had to eat it lol). Christy and Tasha rode horses in the surf while I got some great shots. It was a lot of fun. We produced a commercial for them that’s on our Portfolio page and had a wonderful time staying there two nights.

My next travel adventure was in North Klamath County shooting outdoor footage for Discover Klamath. We saw some of the most beautiful Oregon scenery including lakes, rivers, lush forests and snow capped mountains. I got to stay in my own little cabin at Crescent Lake Resort and enjoyed the two days of meeting campers, boaters and the friendly local residents. I got a shot of a bald eagle soaring in a perfect blue sky, and some great footage of fun outdoor activities.

I spent yesterday afternoon at Osprey Point RV Resort and shot video for their commercial. People were excited to be in a commercial and I got some great footage of a couple on a wave-runner doing stunts about 10 feet from the dock I was standing on. Somehow my camera stayed dry! The food in the resort’s pub was really good. We needed pizza for a shot and, again, I helped out by eating some after the scene was done 🙂 (very generous of me huh?).  I got shots of campers having family barbecues, the resort amenities, boats passing by, travelers enjoying the sun, and a quick shot of a hovering osprey. It was a lot of fun and everyone was nice and helpful.

So, I’ve been able to travel and do some outdoor shooting in the last few months. I had set the goal, but not really taken any action to make it happen. I didn’t take any specific action anyway, no knocking on doors or calling around, but I have a good reputation for shooting and reliability, so that helps. The point I’m trying to make is that the act of stating a goal, or desired situation, with the faith/hope that you really want it to happen is very powerful stuff. Once you set your mind on something (positive or negative) you’ll find it presented nicely in your lap.

Food for thought…mmm pizza…drool.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend! Donovan

System Upgrade: Complete

We’ve just finished setting up our new editing work station. It’s an amazingly fast and quiet computer built by Safe Harbor that’s designed especially for editing HD video. Now we have the ability to create 30-second HD commercials as well as long-format videos in a lot less time. Recently, we have been creating educational videos that are each around 90-minutes long. It’s very cool to be able to play HD in real-time and not have to wait forever for video to render.

We also upgraded to the newest version of the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium software. It has great new features including improved 64-bit performance, video image stabilization, rotoscoping and a smoother editing workflow between the different programs (Premiere Pro, Photoshop, After Effects, Audition, Encore and more).

We now have the ability to author Blu-ray discs for HD video playback on Blu-ray players. Blu-ray discs can also be used to store data. We keep a digital archive of every project including video files, graphics, audio recordings, client information and scripts. It all adds up to about 8TB (that’s terabytes) of data, and it increases daily. It’s a challenge to keep the archives current. External hard drives fail. Being able to save irreplaceable files on Blu-ray discs at 25GB each (plus they’re about a dollar per disc) is going to be great!

If you feel that this post is kinda rambling on, feel free to visit this site for more entertaining content lol.

Anywho, we’re excited to continue providing excellent video production services by producing television commercials and long format video. While keeping up with current technology and new media trends, we can create effective advertising, educational and inspirational video content for our clients and causes.

Contact Us today to get started on your next video project!

Have a wonderful day and thanks for reading my blog, Donovan 🙂