A little cut here and a little snip there (Way Back Wednesday)

So I’ve been editing away at footage I shot from one our buddy A was in town last week (the 8 year old that took all my energy.) In the last year something he’s picked up that he’s extremely gifted at is skateboarding. The kid can shred and he doesn’t realize how good he is for only being in it for barely a year.

So when he was here I made sure to get a good chunk of footage of him dropping in to quarter and half pipes (he did his first 5 ft drop too! It was awesome!) So I started clipping them together tonight to see if I could make something cool. Even put in a neat After Effects (AE) comp; a very choppy and amateurish title card like Guy Ritchie does (learned how to do it from this tutorial.)

While snipping and trimming, I began to hark back to the first time I took on any kind of film/video/editing task. I was a Sophomore in high school and in our youth group we had started to use videos we made ourselves in the messages each week (extensively, very seldom did we not have one.) D, son of Pastor R, was immensely talented on making these. I would help in what ways I could; camera man, actor, idea guy, etc. But it was a while before I decided to take one on all by myself. When I was asked if I’d like to give it a go, I told D that I would need a week to shoot things and another week to edit (due to my editing knowledge only coming from looking over D’s shoulder when he worked on his projects.) He said no prob and gave me the equipment to fulfill my “vision.”

My “vision” (yeah, I suddenly became the pretentious high school filmmaker that just annoys everyone) was simple enough; some video footage of our youth group hanging out before, during, and after service, some “BTS” footage of the setup for Wednesday youth group, and a little music video to one of my favorite Demon Hunter songs, “My Heartstrings Come Undone” (still a good song but I was totally an emo/screamo/metal/hardcore wannabe at that time.) The footage of everyone in the group was easy enough. Open LCD screen, push record, and just go let everyone¬†be silly with a camera in their face. Done and done.

Next, the BTS footage. I did some handheld stuff during worship band rehearsal and then put it on a ladder (didn’t have a tripod) and just recorded all of the volunteers setting the stage, instruments, and what not for the next night’s service. Part two done. Now, my big¬†Pi√®ce de r√©sistance!

My idea was to use my friend Lil B (I was good friends with his older brother Big B…don’t let the names fool you, they were both of equal size and very talented athletes, these names are not reflections of their actual sizes) as the subject of the music video. My idea was to intercut scenes from a fairly popular film adaption of the life and death of Christ (I think it came out in the 90s, not the Scorsese flick and¬†Passion of Christ¬†wasn’t coming out for a few months…I just remember this movie being on two VHS and having to copy them on to a DVD to copy to my computer…it was a pain.) I would show Lil B in mental/emotional anguish, cut with the physical anguish of Christ’s crucifixion, and end with Lil B seeking solace at the foot of the cross when all of a sudden, the Man in the White Robe puts his arm on his shoulder to be lift him up.

Ok, in retrospect I totally see why this is a very silly idea (or at least a little too on the nose.) However, in my defense, I was just a high school kid who was just kind of making it up as he went. Anyway, I had Lil B come over and we spent the better part of the day and evening filming all over our little town of 984 people. We wrapped around 10 pm that night and I resigned myself to my “editing bay”, a term I use VERY loosely. A week later I emerged (only smelling¬†kind of¬†bad) with film in hand. I sped off to youth group and handed it off to Pastor R. I don’t even remember if he had a chance to watch it before service.

It was time. It was here; Premiere Night! Everything I had been building towards for two weeks was finally going to be seen by all of my friends! What an experience! The lights went¬†down, projector came¬†on, and we then faded in…

More to come next week.

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey

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Film Friday Apology

So as you may have noticed there was not a¬†Film Friday update and I apologize for that. I’ve been quite busy with an eight year old who is visiting who is just a bundle of energy and takes a lot of focus to keep tabs on. That’s not a complaint mind you, the kid is awesome and a blast, just tiring and is the focus of my time (were he in school during his stay it would be different, but alas he is not.) So writing, shooting, and editing my vlogs for¬†Film Friday¬†are kind of out of the question until after Christmas.

I will, however, give three hints as to the first film I will be discussing.

  1. The voice of Jamie Lee Curtis
  2. Tight pants
  3. Synthesizers

I’m curious as to whether or not anyone can figure it out. Get to guessing!

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey

TABLE TIME! (Teach Me Something Thursday)

Ok, so I mentioned that for Thursday’s I will be focusing on topics that will be about certain skills or projects¬†I’m learning (or interested in learning) for the current week. For the final week before the Holidays, I want to learn something very simple in concept…

A table. Just a simple four person table.

But…it’s not just any table. It is a gaming table that can be made for less than $150 and looks just like all of the $5k+ tables that you can buy online. This guy put together a how to video (it is almost an hour long but it’s worth the watch, trust me) on the steps he took and how you can save money from trimming some fat from the project. I want to aim for something closer to his so the final cost will end up around $250, but I think it would be worth it.

So I have linked the video below; take some time over the next week or so and take a watch. If you just want to see it in action, skip to the about the last eight minutes.

It’s time to build a table!

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey

NSV – Non Scale Victory (WBWed)

So today was my weekly session with my personal trainer, J. The man puts me through the paces each week and is just an overabundance of information on healthy living. He’s become my captain in the rocky seas that are my health. Today I achieved a NSV (that’s Non Scale Victory) that literally made me want to fall to my knees and cry tears of joy. But first…let’s go back.

It’s fall of 2010. A few months prior I had moved to my new store as a manager in SE KS. One weekend I went out of town to visit one of my favorite ladies in the world, my grandma. It was a double bonus because my brother and sis-in-law would be joining us as well. I had a lot to look forward to. It was during this visit that my brother would sit down and have a major heart to heart with me, letting me know his fears about my health. It was a tough talk, it stung (a lot), and I went home feeling pretty low about myself. Yet the more I thought about the talk we had, the more I realized that what my brother had done was finally get me in to the right mindset to make a change for myself.

The next week I joined a local gym that was very family friendly and not slightly intimidating (plus they had a great smoothie bar.) I hired a personal trainer. I was there at the gym almost every day. Minimum five visits a week. 30-45 minutes of lifting followed by an hour or so of basketball and running. Over the next year and few months I would drop 120 lbs. It was great.

Then Mrs. H and moved to CO. That’s when it all changed.

While living in CO, we would have a lot of life experiences in a very short time. Some great (our wedding, buying a house) and others not so great…some where downright life altering. All of this insanity mixed with being so far away from our family and friends (we had a few close friends and some amazing extended family there in CO, but most of them¬†led busy lives so we didn’t get to see them that much) led to slight depression for me. During that time, my health suffered greatly.

Now, almost two years removed from the atmosphere, my wounds have healed and my mind has been course corrected. I’m back in the frame of mind I was back in late 2010. So that brings us to today.

This morning, as J and I were getting to the end of another hard workout, we hit the bench. He likes to superset two exercises together in a way that rests one part of the body while working the other. So I would do a set of 10 reps on the bench and then hop up and do five single leg squats on each leg. For the second rep he put on the weight (we always start with a warm up set that is just the bar) and I repped’em out. Then leg squats. I turn back to the bench and he’s upped the weight again, more than I’m used to doing for 10 reps. But I was in the zone, so I decided to go for it. I repped out 8 of the 10. Pumped I was able to get the weight that many times, I jump up to do my next set of squats.

I then blurt out “I wonder…d’ya think I could beat my one rep max (1RM) on bench?” J, who smiles the cheshire cat from¬†Alice in Wonderland, says, “I don’t know…what do¬†you think?” The challenge has been made. He wants me to test my determination and my strength. So I tell him to set the bar for 5 lbs below my 1RM. He does and I get set. I knock out four lifts. That was a first. I tell J “put my 1RM on…let’s do this.” He sets the weights and I slide under the bar.

I lift the bar…

1 rep…

2 reps…

3 reps…

I rack.

My mouth is agape in joyful shock that I was able to do that. I turn to J and he says “You know what this means right? We keep going!” For the next five minutes (we had to make sure I rested to regain my strength) we keep pushing it.

When it was all said and done, I had added 15 lbs to my 1RM and the best thing about this? I could have kept going! I am still riding the afterglow of achieving a goal I could never dream of reaching just a few months ago. Achieving what I did today has made me reflect my health journey over the last several years; it hasn’t always been consistent and hasn’t always been that great, but I’m determined to make damn sure I get to my goal weight and ideal body shape at the right pace. No shortcuts, no magical pills. Just through good eating, hard work, and perseverance. Watch out Chris Pratt, you’re not the only lovable doof who’s about ready to go from tubby to “OMG TAKE ME NOW!”

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey

Sometimes you just need a little structure…

Have you ever ran in to the struggle where it seems everyday you start off with a lot of motivation to get a lot of stuff done and then all of a sudden you get caught in a time suck? That’s been my day to day over the last month. Silly things that shouldn’t be distracting keep pulling me to them like a mosquito to a bug light. I gotta stop that. So to do that, I am adding some more structure to this bloggie thingie. If I stay consistent with this, I should have content, using both the written word and the visual medium of “vlogs”, every day.

So below are the seven themes for each day that I will be using to add structure and some explanation for each.

Mrs. H Monday’s –

This day, in my opinion, is the wild card. Mrs. H, my beautiful wife, will be posting on this day. More than likely it will be just a bunch of random thoughts thrown together and plopped in to a blog (that is kind of how she is with most things.) I’m thinking that by challenging her and getting her to consistently write will free up her creative muscles some more for her future zombie/buddy cop movie she’s gonna make (and I’m being completely serious about that.)

TableTop Tuesday –

I think this one is fairly obvious. This will be full on tabletop/boardgames discussion. Maybe it will be about a new game I want to play (or did), any fun things from my gaming sessions, thoughts on a relevant topic, or even discussions about a current campaign I am putting together. Trust me when I say there is never a reason to run out of things to stay about tabletop games.

Walk Down Memory Lane Wednesday –

Here I will do my reflection and storytelling of tales past. Experiences I’ve gone through growing up, lessons learned, funny stories, painful failures, and uplifting successes. This will be the day most of my family and friends will tune¬†in.

Teach Me Something Thursday –

Here I will be focusing on the various things I am trying to improve my skills¬†at. Things I am trying to learn or master in some way, for example it could be a tutorial on a certain VFX in After Effects, a recipe I tried, or even a gaming table how-to-video I’m obsessed with…I’m not saying that happened or anything…zip it.

Film Fridays –

Probably the day I am looking forward to the most. It will be my weekly vlog¬†post that will be discussing my chosen film for Friday night viewing. It could be a classic (think Citizen Kane, Star Wars Ep. V, Apocalypse Now, etc.), films that are hugely popular and have impacted popular culture in countless ways. Others will be more of the cult fair (Rocky Horror Picture Show, Repo Man, newer ones like Turbo Kid, etc.) to provide a wide taste range. A good chunk of these I will have already seen, but I’m going to throw some new ones in there. As well as some bad movies every once in a while because what the hell right? Each post I’ll discuss some background about the film, a synopsis, and a recap of my thoughts at the end. Each posting I do will be in the 3-6 min range.

Substitute Saturdays –

On Saturdays it is pretty much anything goes. This day can have anything I am feeling like that particular day. It could be a topic of the other six days, it could be something completely unrelated to everything else. This day will probably be the most challenging as there will be times where I can’t think of anything to talk about. But if there’s no challenge then it is not worth trying.

Something Fun to Read (or Check This Out!) Sunday –

Finally, Sunday will be day where I give shout outs (and links) to anything interesting I’ve read throughout the week (as well as anything that tickled my fancy.) So maybe I read a really cool essay on Tuesday and found an awesome new podcast on Thursday. Both of them would get some appreciation on this day. I’m hoping this will encourage me to keep trying to find new, exciting content wherever it may be.

So that’s it. My weekly posting structure/schedule. As this is the first time I am posting about this, we won’t be starting with Mrs. H Monday mainly because she is still trying to figure out her first post. But I am hard at work for TableTop Tuesday. I am aiming to have all posts up and ready by 5 p.m. CST daily so it would be ready for most people as they get off work and start browsing the inter highway. While this may be an exercise in futility, I say it’s worth the try. When you start working out to lose weight you may never make you goal weight, but you may add months or years to your life so it is still worth it. I’m looking at this idea in the same way. So here goes.

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey

 

Donkey! Shrek! (Or How a true friend taught me self worth)

Time for a trip down memory lane…

So back in the day (wow, it is crazy to think I am now at an age where I can actually say that) I had a friend. A very awesome friend. An awesome friend who would become a very loving and caring husband and father who does so much for his family, often at the sacrifice of himself. I may be  a bit older than him, but I look up to the guy. A lot.

He’s been on my mind recently for a couple of reasons, but it all started due to a picture. This picture in fact —>

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Yeah, we kept it cool.

During high school we were pretty inseparable. School, after school, weekends, etc. You name it, we were always finding time to hang. What was crazy about it is that we had varied interests, we weren’t clones of each other. He enjoyed anime and Nintendo games, I was a comic book guy who loved Sony consoles. We did have the sports connection for awhile but towards the end of my time in high school I realized I lacked physical talent while he was overflowing with it. It didn’t matter though, we had a friendship that was deep. It is no stretch to say he was my best friend and our relationship at that time is the standard I use today for true friendship. Since then we have continued living our busy lives, but always staying in each other’s orbits just enough so there would be at least somewhat of a bond. But that’s life ya¬†know? You grow up and other life priorities become more important or take more time.

Yet the reason I look so fondly on our friendship is because of something very important he taught me. Without even realizing it, “E” taught me the meaning of self-worth. Join with me as I recount the tale of his lesson…

Back in high school, I suffered from extremely low self-esteem mixed with slight depression. My close friends were very keen to this fact, while many people in the school were not. I kept my feelings and issues hidden from most. Of everyone I hung out with, probably three people total knew some of what was going on. Only one knew everything. That was E. And I didn’t have to tell him. He just instinctively knew. He never pressed the issue on trying to find out more, he just knew that the best way to help was to be the most awesomest friend he could be. He did that, amazingly.

I always admired the fact that he didn’t really put much stock in to what other people thought of him or his friends. If you were a good person and gave people their proper due, you were cool with him. That’s what made him a friend to pretty much everybody. But he didn’t let that go to his head. He had a strong sense of humility about him that was very inspiring to see.

During my Junior year and his Sophomore, we were both heavily involved in youth group together. It was during this time we would attend youth rallys and other church events. Also during this time, the Shrek movies were very popular (see, the title will finally start to make sense!) During these events a strange thing began to happen. E, due to his outgoing personality and charm, would be called “Donkey” form the movies. I, being slightly closed off and the larger of the two, would start being called “Shrek”.

That became our thing when people saw us. They’d see us walking up to them and they’d be like “Shrek! Donkey!” and we’d all laugh. However, when it first started, I didn’t enjoy it. I was not a fan. I was interpreting the intent different than everyone else. While they may have meant it in jest and were referring to the fact that the two characters were best friends and had a funny back and forth (much like E and I did), I saw it as a subtle insult towards me.

Why am I the ogre? Ogres are considered monsters in most of fantasy lore. Even in the films Shrek is portrayed as a scary monster to normal people with many flaws. Why do I have to be that character?

It weighed on me quite heavily. More than it should have. Yet E either knew this from observing me or just never viewed this nicknaming thing the same as me. It would be his approach to something as simple as a nickname that would teach me a lesson of self worth I still rely upon today.

When E and I would be hanging out, it was very much an equal playing field. Neither one of us was the leader really, we had friendship that was a lot like¬†a collaboration. It was awesome. And when the nickname happened, I was worried the structure of our friendship would change. Yes, this name bugged me that much. Back then, I was known for letting small things bother me in big ways (just ask me about the whole signature fiasco of ’00.)

I don’t know if because E knew me well enough or that’s just the type of guy he is, but it seemed like he made it a point to show that even though there were nicknames given to us that could have an underlying meaning to them, that didn’t matter. We were still that equal partnership. And as this nickname thing continued, E would show in many ways (like a best friend does) that a nickname is just that; a name that is not your real name (sorry if that sounds silly.) To him, I was still best bud. No name or supposed title would change that. And even if someone intended for the nickname to have a deeper meaning, the meaning it was given was not determined by them. It was determined by us, two best buds who really just wanted to have a good laugh and enjoy some Buzzard’s Pizza.

While E did not do anything specific that is earth shattering or mind blowing, E showed that true friendship doesn’t have to do that. All that matters is the respect each gives to each other and 100% acceptance of who they are. It was because he was so good at this that I began to learn what self-worth was; that I wasn’t some ogre that people wanted to get away from. I was a fella filled with joy and caring, as well as a few good jokes. I admit, the lesson wasn’t learned completely that year. But the path towards it started that year. It would come to completion¬†the day I would meet my future wife, Heather.

So thank you E. Without realizing you showed a guy how friendships really work, what it means to value oneself, and set me on the 10 year path that would lead me to eventually win over my future wife. And ya didn’t even have to try. Thanks buddy. You showed me I was a parfait, not an onion.

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey a.k.a. Shrek