Design, Art, Film, Ideas

Behind the Scenes

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the kind of stuff I do all day, well when I’m not drawing spaceships or doing a podcasts.

I shot most of this video in-between set up and during the photo shoot. You never know what you’ll get when you’re doing this sort of thing you just have to have the camera with you and ready to get moments when you’re not helping with lights or moving props around.

This was the last video I shot with our Sony VX-2000 before we moved to HD. Still love that VX-2000 that was a sweet camera! Ellen Morris the editor that went through all my tapes and did a great job editing this project told me she didn’t even know I was shooting this stuff. I think that’s a compliment because I don’t really want people smiling and making faces at the camera, you want real action shots. Not only that it can get in the way if people notice you too much. Then they can’t focus on what they need to do to get the job done.

Crazy Old Bag

Need some bags to haul your grip tools and film gadgets around on set but would rather spend your money renting lens or a great camera?  Check out Harbor Freight Tools for their assortment of tool bags.  These bags are perfect for your production needs and at more reasonable prices than what you might find at your production supply place.

This bag is 10 bucks! I picked up 2. They have a lot of pockets on the inside and outside for all your tools and stuff.  Maybe I’ll go to Home Depot today to pick up some Spring Clamps to fill up my other bag.  I get my C47’s at Target… some things you just can’t bend on.

If you don’t have an Harbor Freight Tools near you go here to see their selection of bags, maybe you can find one that will work for you.

Porch time


This was a neat treat while in Key West I spent a few minutes sitting on Ernest Hemingway’s porch and sketching in my Moleskine. Which if you know the lore or read the history that comes with every Moleskine you’ll know why this might be an interesting experience.

On this trip I trying to sketch a little more than I normally do.


It was a nice day in Florida to draw.


What’s in my camera bag part 1


So I got the new camera and I want to take pictures of people, places, and things. Places and things are easy, just take the picture. People that’s a different story.

I don’t mind asking for permission but I wanted some way to offer them a copy of it without giving them my regular card. Something less business like and kind of fun. I was also looking for a way to share the photo since they were nice enough to let me take their picture.

I ordered these cards from Vista Print for free and paid about 5 bucks for shipping.

If you have ideas share them here.

Caller You’re on the air!

You’re doing a podcast and the only way to get your guest is on the phone? Well here’s how you do it. This post is just for recording off phones, and just about any phone. You can always use Skype but that’s just a little different so that’s like a whole different topic.  If you’re having trouble figuring something like this out drop me a line.  If it can be hooked up I’ve probably tried to hook it up so I might have some suggestions.

1. Cordless and Cell phones are the same because most Cordless phones have an earpiece jack. Both phones are sub-mini.
2. Land Lines or hard wired phone.
3. Use Talkshoe

I personally like the cell or cordless system because they are more portable. When I’m recording from a cell phone I’ve done podcasts in my car and if someone is driving you could do it from the road! I get to use a good mic so I sound like the radio guy an the interviewee sounds like they are on the air.


This is the adapter you want to use for cordless and cell phones. The trouble is you won’t find these at Radio Shack anymore. Worse thing is it works great I wish I could find a secret stash of them.  Radio Shacks Model number is 17-855.


If you can find one BUY IT! Other wise you will have to buy this CELL TAP from B&H Photo for $75.  But if you are going to be doing a lot of phone recording it will be worth the investment it’s simple and fool proof and you’ll get very good audio out it and you’ll be surprised how good it sounds.

Some Extra Parts you might need for this set up:
1. 1/8 to 3/32 sub mini This will get you from a mini plug to a sub mini. A mini is like an ear bud jack, a sub mini looks the same but is about half the size and this is what cell phone ear pieces have for a plug.

2.  You you’ll need the ear/mic piece that came with the phone or buy one if you don’t have one they are like 5 or 10 bucks and they have a sub mini headphone jack. You’ll use that so the person on the other end of the phone can hear you talk back to them.


Plus there is a jack on the device where that plugs in. I usually put the earpiece mic near my mic or I wrap the cord around my mic so I know it’s close to where I’m talking.


You won’t have to use the ear peace if you are recording into a device where you are monitoring on head phones.

You can use either of these products for hardwired phones, or landlines. Mini Recorder Controller or a Smart Phone Recorder Control

These you can get at Radio Shack no problem. One plugs in to the main telephone line. The other plugs into a handset remember that Phone with the cord that goes into a wall?  Yeah that thing!  I prefer the mainline instead of the handset. Just feel like a better connection. Recording this way you’ll leave the handset off the phone and you’ll need to come up with a way to hold the phone because you’ll still need to speak into it so you guest can hear you.

I have used suction cup mic pickup that you can get at Radio Shack but they are better going directly into a micro cassette or a small handset digital recorder. They don’t seem to work well going into any sort of mixer. Well at least I haven’t had much luck with it.

In both cases keep in mind the devices comes out MONO 1/8 inch connectors. So now it’s time to figure out what you are mixing that into so you probably have a better idea than me what you need. If you need to step up to 1/4 inch or XLR you really need to get a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter and make sure it’s MONO. This is KEY the sound will be off with a stereo adapter. Then you can go into a mixer with the 1/4 or 1/4 to XLR.


This is also a great reference if you still have questions about these plugs.


A third way is to use Talk Shoe.  This is a great FREE service I’ve used a little bit but I really want to do a podcast where all the people are driving around and calling in from cell phones hand free of course.  After you set up an account you get a phone number and 4 digit access code people can call in on they punch in their code and follow the 2 or 3 step instructions. Believe me it’s easy! And now you are in a chat room that is being recorded to an MP3 format.

The cool thing is you can set your options which I recommend, to start recording the second the HOST calls in no extra steps boom you are online recording and guest can come in and out of the show goes on seamlessly. Of course you are both on phones so it might sound like two phones depending on the kind of phone you are calling in on.

After you are done it encodes an MP3 for you that you can download and edit it if you want. It’s going out live while you are recording but if you don’t tell anyone no one will know….

I hope that helps.