Digital Production Buzz
July 2, 2015
[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]
(Click here to listen to this show.)
Larry Jordan & Mike Horton
John Putch, Director / Writer / Producer
Tom Inglesby, Editor, Markee 2.0 Magazine
Kristen Nedopak, Creator CEO, The Geekie Awards
Larry Jordan: Tonight on The Buzz, we start with John Putch. John is described as an independent film maverick because one of his first feature films landed the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. In his spare time, he directs programs like Scrubs, Cougar Town and My Name is Earl, as well as dozens of television movies and many series. Tonight, John shares his thoughts on the secrets of independent filmmaking.
Larry Jordan: Then Tom Inglesby is the editor of Markee 2.0 magazine and recently attended a creative storage conference in Culver City. Tonight, he shares his thoughts on the future of storage for filmmakers.
Larry Jordan: Finally, Kristen Nedopak is the creator of The Geekie Awards, as well as the host of her own YouTube channel. Tonight she explains why geeks rule the world at Comic-con.
Larry Jordan: All this plus Tech Talk. The Buzz starts now.
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Announcer #2: From the media capital of the world in Los Angeles, California, The Digital Production Buzz goes live now.
Larry Jordan: And welcome to The Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for creative content producers covering media production, post production, marketing and distribution around the world. Randi Altman has the night off, but Mike Horton and I are still here. Welcome, Mike, good to see you back.
Mike Horton: Hi Larry
Larry Jordan: How was San Jose?
Mike Horton: It was good. It was actually really good. I was a little bit worried about it, but it was good. A little bit worried about it. I always come in here every week and I go, “Larry’s my psychologist.” I’m just ranting and raving. But it was actually very, very good and it was good to see a lot of people that I hadn’t seen before and it was all about Final Cut Pro 10 and there were a good couple of hundred, 250 people there.
Larry Jordan: Well, I know that you had Randy Ubillos there talking about some of the filmmaking ideas that he’s had, but who else was on the agenda and what was the highlight for you?
Mike Horton: The Supermeet-up was actually a separate event to the Final Cut Pro 10 conference summit, but we had Blackmagic, we had Adobe, we had Other World Computing and we had [KAIN] & Flowers. But the whole idea was learning more about Final Cut Pro 10 and networking. It was a networking event and I didn’t hear any lousy things about it, so it was a good thing. It’s over, Larry, it’s done.
Larry Jordan: What’s the next one?
Mike Horton: Amsterdam.
Larry Jordan: Oh, that’ll be fun.
Mike Horton: Yes, which you have been a part of.
Larry Jordan: Yes, I remember, I gave a speech there one very short night.
Mike Horton: Yes, you flew in, gave a speech, flew out.
Larry Jordan: You wouldn’t let me go on the show floor.
Mike Horton: No, you could have stayed there for a few days. I would have showed you Amsterdam.
Larry Jordan: You took my badge away.
Mike Horton: But you flew in, flew out, gave a speech and…
Larry Jordan: I couldn’t get on. I wanted to see the show and you said no, I wasn’t old enough.
Mike Horton: Took you to London, flew in, gave a speech, flew out. That’s what Larry does. He flies in, gives a speech, flies out.
Larry Jordan: I just wanted to go to the show and enjoy talking to the exhibit and you wouldn’t let me.
Mike Horton: Really?
Larry Jordan: No. I was so devastated. It just broke my heart.
Mike Horton: Actually, I’ll write that note down.
Larry Jordan: Ok, please take a note because it’s important. I want to see the show.
Mike Horton: It’s done. It’s there.
Larry Jordan: I just realized that our first guest is John Putch and you’ve known him for a while.
Mike Horton: I’ve known John Putch since the 1940s.
Larry Jordan: Really?
Mike Horton: Yes.
Larry Jordan: When you were both child actors.
Mike Horton: Yes, we were both child actors, yes. John is in studio, by the way. Did you know that?
Larry Jordan: Yes. It’s going to be fun. I’ve been looking forward to chatting with him for a while. It’s such a cool show we’ve got planned for you, but just a couple of notes that we’ve got for those of you who are unable to watch the live show. We’ve got Facebook and we’ve got Twitter. You can visit with us at digitalproductionbuzz.com on Facebook; we’re also on Twitter, @dpbuzz.
Larry Jordan: But what I want to emphasize is if you haven’t had a chance to subscribe to our free weekly show newsletter at digitalproductionbuzz.com, this gives you an inside look at both the show and the industry and it’s under the editorship of Eileen Kim and she is doing an amazing job in terms of being able to give information that you just can’t find anywhere else, not only about the show but also about other resources that are available to you on the web and articles that you need to read, even if you haven’t had a chance to read them yet.
Larry Jordan: The newsletter comes out every Friday afternoon, it’s totally free to people who subscribe with the digitalproductionbuzz.com website. By the way, we have got such a great group of guests and it’s going to start with John Putch. Mike and I will be back with John right after this.
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Larry Jordan: John Putch is often referred to as an independent film maverick because one of his first indie efforts, Valerie Flake, landed him at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. His other notable films include the indie cult favorites Bachelor Man, Mojave Phone Booth, which just totally dropped jaws, and The Route 30 trilogy film. His television directing, which he does in his spare time, includes just a few minor shows like Family Tools, The Goodwin Games, The Middle, Body of Proof, Scrubs, Cougar Town, My Name is Early, Ugly Betty, Grounded For Life, Outsourced and more television movies and miniseries than I can count. Welcome, John. Is there a series you have not directed?
John Putch: Oh yes.
Larry Jordan: Besides Game of Thrones.
John Putch: Oh! Dream. Dream job.
Mike Horton: Really? Seriously?
John Putch: I would love to do that.
Mike Horton: Really?
John Putch: Yes.
Mike Horton: Are you a fan, then?
John Putch: Big fan. Big fan.
Mike Horton: Actually, I’ve never seen an episode. Never seen an episode.
John Putch: One day you’ll watch them and you’ll enjoy.
Mike Horton: I’ve seen all the women who have been on the show on those talk shows and they have some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen in my life on those talk shows.
John Putch: You won’t recognize them on the show, though.
Mike Horton: Apparently not.
John Putch: They’re all just in costume but, yes, there are many shows that I haven’t, but thank you for rattling off the last 15 years.
Mike Horton: Makes you feel old, doesn’t it?
Larry Jordan: We’ve worked together without meeting for a long time. I have to start by saying, which is not totally true, but I have to say that you have provided more footage for my training and more USC students have worked with your Trilogy 2 footage than I can count in terms of the scene of the two guys and the winter farm and the two women reconciling in the living room. That has been such an exercise in how to edit film for so many people. I just have the world’s most fun time bragging about you, saying, “This is such a cool scene. Watch how this was shot,” so having you here to chat is a highlight.
Mike Horton: How did that happen?
John Putch: Thank you. But wait, let me remind people that I was your student 100 years ago, the top floor of Creative Computer in Santa Monica. I was a Final Cut Pro student and a DVD studio…
Mike Horton: Wasn’t that where Macmall was or something like that? Or PC Mall?
John Putch: Macmall, that’s what it was.
Mike Horton: Yes, that’s what it was, a Macmall.
John Putch: Yes, Santa Monica, yes.
Larry Jordan: The classes at Macmall were not academic.
Mike Horton: You actually taught at Macmall?
John Putch: He taught at Macmall.
Larry Jordan: A few years ago now.
Mike Horton: Is that right?
John Putch: And not only that, he got laughs.
Mike Horton: Well, of course, he’s a funny guy.
John Putch: He got laughs the whole way through, all day long. It was brilliant.
Mike Horton: I didn’t know you did that.
John Putch: Yes.
Mike Horton: I’ll be darned.
Larry Jordan: It was very cool stuff.
Mike Horton: Well, now I’m really impressed, Larry.
Larry Jordan: See, now I’ve graduated up to small schools like USC and teach there. Actually, half our control room has gone to USC, so we’ve got to treat the school with respect.
John Putch: I went there.
Mike Horton: Did you go to USC?
John Putch: Mhmm.
Mike Horton: Is that right?
John Putch: Mhmm.
Mike Horton: Gee.
John Putch: Yes. Ra-ra, go Trojans, man.
Mike Horton: But seriously, did you do the whole four year program?
John Putch: No, no, no.
Mike Horton: I didn’t think so.
John Putch: One year dropout.
Mike Horton: Yes, I knew it. I knew it.
John Putch: One year dropout, yes.
Mike Horton: I knew it.
Larry Jordan: What got you started in filmmaking?
John Putch: My dad. He gave me a Super 8 camera when I was about, I don’t know, ten and he said, “Here, go out and entertain me with some movies for our dinner parties,” and that’s basically what it was, and I did. I just went out and started shooting and editing and I took a film class in a grade school, a very forward grade school out here. Only in California would you see a filmmaking class for a fifth grader.
Mike Horton: That would be like Crossroads or something like that.
John Putch: Well, it was the school before Crossroads. It was called St Augustine by the Sea, which was where you went before you went to Crossroads.
Mike Horton: Wow.
John Putch: And so that’s where I caught the bug, because he used to make films for us all the time and put us in them and then we’d watch them as entertainment.
Larry Jordan: You have a strong lineage in entertainment and filmmaking which you’ve never kept a secret. But who are you parents?
John Putch: Both have gone now, but my father was a theater director, he was Artistics Director of the Totem Pole Playhouse, which was a summer stock theater in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; and my mother was the late great Jean Stapleton, who appeared as Edith Bunker on a show called All In The Family.
Larry Jordan: Were you living at home when she was on that series?
John Putch: Yes. We had to move to California from Pennsylvania when she got the show and then we became bi-coastal. In the summer we were summer theater people and we performed and worked at my dad’s theater, and in the wintertime we were in school here and mom was doing the show.
Mike Horton: Do you believe, like I do – and you have to say yes to this – that the best film directors come from the theater?
John Putch: Yes, or actors prior to being…
Mike Horton: Well, certainly actors, but even directors. I think the best film directors come from the theater, and I can name you a list of them from forever, from Orson Welles to Mike…
Larry Jordan: Why would you say that, Mike? Back that up. Why? Why? Not who, why?
Mike Horton: Because I think not only do they have a way of talking to actors that is unlike any film director, but I think their blocking, their staging and their composition with the camera is much better than guys who just go to film school.
Larry Jordan: What do you think, John?
John Putch: I’d say yes sometimes and other times there are plenty of good directors that didn’t make…
Mike Horton: And also that actors become great directors.
John Putch: I agree with that, because when I was an actor, any time I worked for a former actor turned director, I happened to like everything about that show that I did or I actually enjoyed the performance they got from me, whereas other times it was not the same.
Mike Horton: Name me your favorite director and most likely they came from the theatre.
Larry Jordan: Well, thinking of a favorite director brings me to the gentleman sitting on the far side of the table. How was that? That was a smooth blend. You’re directing at a level that most of us only dream about in terms of the shows that you do. How did you get your first network gig?
John Putch: It’s who you know, I’ve got to tell you. It took me ten years to break TV and prior to that I was making low budget B movies for a B movie house over in Sherman Oaks and it took a friend of the family who was in a position to say, “Let’s give John Putch a shot on this show called Grounded For Life,” and that was how it happened. Then you just don’t screw it up. Once you get in there, make sure they want you back and then you’re off to the races, and I still have to do that every new place I go.
Mike Horton: Back in the days when I was an actor, they would always have somebody following the director who was trying to get into the TV business. Were you able to do that or were you just thrust into it?
John Putch: No, I had to do that. There’s this thing that they recommend you do called shadowing and they tell you to go and follow some director and people think that that’s a way to getting the job and it never works that way. It’s really just a way to get on a set if you’ve never been on one and watch what happens, be a sponge.
Mike Horton: Like actors doing extra work.
John Putch: Yes. When I hear people say, “Hey, you should observe,” and they ask me what they should observe, I tell them they will not get a job from that company, they’re just being nice and letting them visit.
Larry Jordan: But can you use it as a learning experience?
John Putch: Oh yes.
Larry Jordan: Can you learn how to behave on set and how to run a set that way?
John Putch: Yes, if you stand in the right places and listen, for sure. All of my experience as a filmmaker and director came from watching my father work with actors in the theatre and his staging, which I take with me all the time now, and being an actor in TV for so many years, I never left the set, I just hung out with the crew and watched everything in between the shooting and you learn everything at that point.
Larry Jordan: There’s always better stuff in future films, but the stuff you’re directing is A level stuff. Why the interest in independent films?
John Putch: Well, it’s the only place I can go where I control everything and I can do what I want. While television and movies occasionally will afford me great attention and money sometimes, I don’t have the control. I’m not really the author of the film. My movies are a direct response to that, in fact a rebellion, and I do them because they make me happy and they make me feel better and they get me through the rest of my job.
Larry Jordan: That gets, I think, to a really important point. You’ve got a philosophy in terms of how often or how long you shoot and how you run a set when you’re doing an independent film. Share some of that, because a lot of people feel that you’ve got to stand on a soap box and scream at people to get anything done. Is that true?
John Putch: No it’s not, and my whole motto with these micro budget movies is the less professional, the more fun. If everyone just drops their attitude and tries to do something together, the experience ends up being more important than the outcome and I prep them all, believe me, ahead of time and you have to be really careful who you invite to this type of thinking because people think it’s crazy, but you can make a really good movie and have a really nice time, just like I did in summer theatre all those years, if you’re generous and you’re a host, not a boss. That’s kind of what it is.
Mike Horton: Yes, that’s a… that I’ve read that you’ve always said, “I’d rather be the host than the boss”, because when you’re in charge of people who are not getting paid well, they’re getting paid, what’s the most important part of that morale part of making the movie?
John Putch: Well, you have to always appreciate everyone who’s there, just like you guys do in what you have going for you. But a lot of people don’t appreciate the time people give you. No-one cares about your movie at all. You’re the only one that cares about it. No-one cares, so you’re the only one that cares, so therefore everyone there is doing you a favor, so you’ve got to acknowledge that and you’ve got to thank them for it and be aware of it, and that just dictates everything. I’d rather not inconvenience somebody who’s come to help me than get that dumb moment or shot that really no-one will notice in the end.
Mike Horton: So there’s a lot of, “Thank you for doing my movie.”
John Putch: Oh yes. Yes, and buying them dinner and lunch and taking care of them.
Mike Horton: And really good craft service.
John Putch: Yes.
Larry Jordan: You said something that troubles me, in that the less professional you are, the more successful. Yet to me, professional means trying to get a good product, trying to tell a good story, trying to have good craft and stitch it together well and it sounds like you’ve got a different definition of professional than I do.
John Putch: No, I said less professional, more fun, meaning don’t walk around posturing. It’s putting the fun back, I guess, in the profession.
Larry Jordan: In other words, enjoy what you do.
John Putch: Enjoy what you’re doing and don’t take it too seriously because in the end it’s just a dumb movie, right? And it will entertain some people, it may touch people, it’s whatever you want it to be, and you have to be secure in the notion that you’re going to make something that’s of quality, sounds good, looks good, good acting, good writing hopefully and good directing, and you will accomplish that. But people who are very over the top about how important the thing they’re doing is lose sight of, I think, the people involved and I think if you’re aware of the people involved in what you’re doing, you somehow get a better movie.
Mike Horton: Yes, but when you’re dealing with these micro budgets, you’ve still got to make your days, your locations are only for a certain amount of time and you’ve got all these elements going against you, whether it be the weather or something else, and you’ve got all that stress and sometimes it just is so hard to be fun.
John Putch: Yes, well, I set it up so it’s fun. I make sure it’s not a grind and I’m super prepared. I’m beyond prepared and organized and there’s nothing to the minute I don’t know.
Mike Horton: And you’re still able to allow collaboration?
John Putch: Oh, absolutely.
Mike Horton: Ok.
Larry Jordan: Well, how do you allow collaboration? You’ve got a clear vision in your mind. How do you have the courage to listen to somebody else’s opinion when they disagree with you and then accept that they’ve got a better idea than you do?
John Putch: Well, they have to wave their hand and suggest it. If they don’t start the dialog, I’ll never know. I’m very open in how I set stuff up, everyone knows the script ahead of time, there’s a lot of talk beforehand if there are questions, and by the time you get to the scene to shoot, I want to make people comfortable in how it’s stage, where they’re coming from, where they’re going and how they’re feeling here.
John Putch: But if you cast the movie right – I’m talking about actors now, obviously, not the crew – you’ve pretty much done your job 90 percent of the time and then I just have to make sure I watch out for them. I watch out that they look good and sound good and are not embarrassing themselves.
Larry Jordan: And they know you’ve got their back.
John Putch: Mhmm. And the crew, in my movies, it’s three other people. It’s Keith Duggan, my DP – we’ve done so many films together, we just have the same idea; and my sound man and our camera assistant Mike.
Mike Horton: That’s it?
John Putch: Yes, pretty much.
Mike Horton: So it’s pretty much available light and…
John Putch: No, we have four lights.
Mike Horton: Ok.
John Putch: Yes, we allow four lights. I allow four lights.
Larry Jordan: Key, fill, back and set. He’s ready to go.
John Putch: Yes.
Larry Jordan: Which gets me to your rules for a micro budget. How do you define a micro budget film?
John Putch: For me, it’s anything that’s, say, the price of an automobile, maybe. It could be a high end automobile or it could be a low end automobile.
Larry Jordan: Or it could be Mike’s automobile, that wouldn’t be enough to buy lunch.
John Putch: That would not be much.
Mike Horton: Could be a Honda Fit or an Explorer.
John Putch: But I tell people, “I want to see rich people complaining who are directors or something that they can’t get a movie.” I just want to go, “Don’t buy a test. Look, go use that money and make a film and you’ll have it.” No-one wants them.
Larry Jordan: So your budgets for the films you do are less than what?
John Putch: Less than 100 and, listen, there are people that make them for a lot less, as you know, and they can. I just happen to be spending that on these because I go to Pennsylvania to do them and that pretty much eats up a lot of the budget. Almost half goes to lodging.
Larry Jordan: Yes, but you get deals on hotels.
John Putch: Yes.
Mike Horton: Well, why don’t you do them in California?
John Putch: Hmm.
Larry Jordan: It’s not as much fun as Pennsylvania.
John Putch: Not as much fun, don’t like it. I’m tired of looking at the same skyline. I don’t know, I like the green and the country.
Larry Jordan: Do you self fund these?
John Putch: Yes. Oh yes, yes, I save my money and put it aside and when I get enough to get something shot, I’ll go, “Time to do something,” and I’ll block it off in whatever month I can do it.
Mike Horton: Do you have time for rehearsals?
John Putch: Oh, no, right on set.
Mike Horton: Right on set?
John Putch: Yes, just like you would a TV show. Just come in, block the scene, rehearse it twice, shoot it.
Larry Jordan: Rehearse it twice and shoot it. How many takes to get it right, or ’til you’re happy?
John Putch: I try to do no more than three.
Larry Jordan: So basically five shots.
John Putch: Yes. Well, we have two cameras and we can get two angles at once and two or three camera positions and you’ve got the scene, depending how many people are in it. But the next movie I do, I want to do less angles. I want to see if I can make it look a little more film…
Larry Jordan: Just as we’re getting ready to talk about The Father and the Bear, we’re almost out of time, which means that we get to invite you back again to talk about it. When do you plan to shoot The Father and the Bear?
John Putch: Start shooting August 17th.
Larry Jordan: August 17th.
Mike Horton: Seriously, that’s a done deal?
John Putch: Yes, I’m leaving on 3rd with a U-Haul behind my car.
Mike Horton: You’ve cast it, it’s going to happen?
John Putch: Yes, it’s done. It’s prepped, it’s ready to go.
Mike Horton: Ok, all right.
Larry Jordan: A U-Haul? You’ve expanded your grip equipment. You used to have a minivan.
John Putch: No, I don’t like to put it in my own car because it just thrashes it, so I get a tiny U-Haul, a five by eight. It’s about the size of a van and that’s what we put everything in and I drive it across country and everything.
Larry Jordan: For people who want to know more, where can they go on the web to keep track of you?
John Putch: There’s putchfilms.com and then there’s also thefatherandthebear.com and on July 11th I’m showing my Route 33 in Chambersburg for the last time.
Larry Jordan: All right, cool.
Mike Horton: When are you showing it in LA?
Larry Jordan: Will you hush?
John Putch: It’s over.
Larry Jordan: That’s putchfilms.com. John Putch himself, filmmaker. John, thanks for joining us today.
Mike Horton: Thanks, John.
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Larry Jordan: Tom Inglesby has been a writer and an editor since 1979 and the editor of Markee 2.0 magazine since 2014. His bi-monthly digital publication focuses on film and video production and Tom has the responsibility of choosing article topics, writing or commissioning articles and photography for each issue. Hello, Tom, welcome.
Tom Inglesby: Good afternoon.
Larry Jordan: It is wonderful to have you with us. A little loud here in the studio, but definitely good to have you with us.
Mike Horton: That was the guy in the booth’s problem.
Larry Jordan: Anyway, Tom, tell us about what Markee 2.0 magazine is.
Tom Inglesby: Markee is a 30 year old publication that was part of a regional film and video production magazine for the southeast and has grown to national prominence. Well, we like to think prominence anyway. It has grown to a national audience and now, after being a print magazine all its life, it’s gone to digital. We are trying to catch up with the rest of the film industry by being all digital these days.
Larry Jordan: You went through a change in life around 2013/2014 – new owners took over. Did they redirect the magazine? Or what happened at that point?
Tom Inglesby: No, we went from The Markee to Markee 2.0 because we added the digital aspect of it, our website and… newsletters, all those kinds of good things. We didn’t change the direction of the magazine so much as we just changed the way we presented it. We looked at possibly having more content focused on the digital revolution in filming; and filming, of course, is probably a misnomer these days, but production of movies, whether they’re on television, TV shows or whether they’re feature films.
Mike Horton: Tom, everything has changed from print to digital. How much has that hurt you, for lack of a better word? Do you miss holding the magazine in your hand?
Tom Inglesby: Yes, tactical stimulation. Yes, if you like to have something that you can pick up and say, “This is what you do,” and look at it, now you don’t have to do that. With an iPad, you can point to it and say, “Hey, I did this,” and people say, “Oh yes, sure, everybody does online these days, so we don’t think of that as being a big deal.” But you go to a trade show, for instance to NAB, you want to have something to distribute. You want to have a print magazine that you can leave on somebody’s desk. There’s all kinds of value in having paper. But digital is the way things are going.
Mike Horton: Yes, unfortunately. It brings a tear to my eye.
Larry Jordan: Tom, you’ve been involved with writing and editing for a long time. What got you involved with Markee?
Tom Inglesby: I have a background in film going way back into the ’60s, analogue film – remember those things? Sprocketed film – and I was doing educational industrial films back in the ’60s and ’70s and I was the sound guy for Encyclopedia Britannica Films and did recordings as well as films for them, so I had a whole background. When the editor of the magazine was looking for somebody to be a writer, I said, “Sure, I’ll do it,” and he said, “Ok, you can do it.” After about three months the publisher said, “Look, the editor has got so many other things in the fire, why don’t you take over?” so I did and that’s how it happened. Right place, right time.
Larry Jordan: That is very cool.
Mike Horton: You know how common that story is?
Larry Jordan: Oh yes, very common. Just step in. I’m busy, step in.
Mike Horton: You just step in, take it over. Here you go, you’ve got a new life.
Larry Jordan: I’m tired, move on.
Tom Inglesby: Yes. Going back to my earlier days, in ’79 I got into print magazines because I was a… producer at a… contractor and they said, “Gee, we need to get a magazine out for the military repair people on these jet engines,” and I said, “Oh, I can do that.” The next thing I know, I was an editor. Couldn’t spell editor without an O or a Z.
Larry Jordan: Tom, recently you attended the Creative Storage conference and Mike and I were chatting about that before the show started. Describe what that conference is.
Tom Inglesby: The Creative Storage conference is, well, first of all creative storage is a thing you could drive a truck around and not be sure what you’re doing. It revolves around storage for media as opposed to storage for files and the databases of all those people that don’t want to have their information stolen. We have a great need in the film and video industry for storing all that digital data and so this conference was basically formed to do a review to technology people mostly of how to do a better job in storage.
Larry Jordan: What were some of the highlights that you learned at the conference?
Tom Inglesby: We’ve been covering the storage beat for about four years in the magazine. We look at using things like the cloud, and I use air quotes on that one, for workflow and storage. We’ve looked at local storage, hard drives and so forth, on-camera storage, all of that, so it was a pretty good thing to go to this conference and see what everybody else is looking at.
Tom Inglesby: One of the things we found out was that we were lucky to have on our panel – I was a moderator of a panel – to have three very creative independent filmmakers, great credentials. Not only they were active producers and cameramen, operators, writers, everything they did on this thing and they were very avid about their needs in storage and they had people in the audience from both… community and from the… community, if you will, in the media business listening very quietly. They wanted to hear what the people in the field really needed.
Tom Inglesby: For instance, the digital revolution in filmmaking has created a number of storage problems that the big guys don’t pay much attention to – the IBMs of the world aren’t interested in what the little guy on the field wants to do – so how do you handle the dailies, for instance? What do you do about file transfers and workflow and all the things that are required in the new digital age for filmmaking?
Tom Inglesby: What they talked about and what we found out about was there is a tremendous need for storage and active storage and fast storage and storage that can be accessed easily, indexed so you can find things when you need them, all that comes together with the need for having those dailies on the field, later on post production, passing material back and forth. We just looked at it from the analogue era. We looked at storage as being throw the film in a can and hopefully it’s going to be there when you need it. Nowadays it’s a lot more difficult and a lot more expensive.
Larry Jordan: One of the things that I was struck by, because I attended that conference and actually chaired a panel in the morning, is there’s a big difference between storage that’s needed for production and post, where high speed, high capacity is critical, versus the storage that’s needed for distribution and archiving, where it’s an entirely different environment. Where Mike and I work is in production and post, where we’re always looking for the largest storage capacity and the fastest speed, but that is not really the bulk of the market, as far as I can tell, is it?
Tom Inglesby: Well, the camera operator has the little SSD, the solid state drive, in the camera. They’re worried about whether they have enough memory to load up a scene. Then they worry about what they’re going to do with it afterwards. These are the things that the big guys don’t pay too much attention to. And then it gets into a cross factor too. Besides using speed and storage capacity, you have how much is it going to cost you?
Tom Inglesby: For an independent producer, when you hear $6,000 per terabyte for storage and 4K output, for instance, you’re looking at maybe ten gigabytes per minute in camera use and you’re running a feature film and you’re having all that raw data, you’re looking at a lot of money being spent on storage and you wonder whether there are some protocols we can start using that are going to compress it better and store it better and save it. Also, we have to look at whether it’s going to be accessible forever and ever.
Larry Jordan: Mhmm. Yes, that’s a big issue.
Tom Inglesby: …in our session and there were three, were pretty much in agreement that the storage companies – and that’s the clouds and the local storage guys, the guys with the hard drives and so forth – need to start working with producers and crews to see what they really need in the real world. If you’re going to be a media storage company, you have to deal with the media developers and producers and one of the real demands that they have is that they need to have indexing. You can create a database, you can create a file format, you can store all the stuff but you have to be able to access it and if you can’t get at it when you need it, if you can’t go in there and depend on it being there when you want it, it’s not going to be a whole lot of good.
Larry Jordan: That’s very true. One of the people on my panel mentioned that in 1998, you could get a ten terabyte hard disc. It stood eight feet tall, weighed 8,000 pounds and it was $32,000 a terabyte. Now, we’ve got terabyte things we can just slip in our pocket for about $1.98.
Mike Horton: Ah yes, now you’ve got to remember to take off your shoes otherwise you step on your movie.
Larry Jordan: Tom, for people who want to learn more about the magazine that you write for, where do they go on the web?
Tom Inglesby: We’re at www.markeemagazine.com.
Larry Jordan: Is the subscription free or what does it cost?
Tom Inglesby: Well, it’s on the web, so it’s free.
Larry Jordan: I had a chance to visit your website. It’s a lovely website and some very nice articles. I want to congratulate you. Tom Inglesby is the editor of Markee 2.0 magazine at markeemagazine.com. Tom, thanks for joining us today.
Tom Inglesby: Glad to be here.
Mike Horton: Thanks Tom.
Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.
Tom Inglesby: Bye.
Larry Jordan: This is Tech Talk from the Digital Production Buzz.
Larry Jordan: This is FCP Effects and they’ve got a variety of titles. Their website is fcpeffects.com. These are available at their website, they support Final Cut Pro 10, it’s $39 and what BPM2 is are 55 Final Cut effects which allow you to quickly synch video effects to music and it’s easy. You just simply drag and drop the desired effect onto the clip that you want to modify. We want to animate a great blue heron, so let’s see what that looks like. Here is – let’s just turn these off for a second – here’s the music. One, two, three, four.
Larry Jordan: Ok, so what I have to do, the homework that I have to do to get this to work is to figure out roughly how many beats per minute that is and it works out to about 120 beats per minute. You don’t have to use a drum beat. I did because it makes it really, really easy to hear the beats, but you could use anything you want that’s got some sort of rhythm associated with it. So now here’s our great blue heron and even if you’re being generous, you would say that he’s not doing a whole lot. But this is a music video and I want to have the great blue heron do a whole lot more than he’s doing, so let’s add an effect.
Larry Jordan: We’re going to go to the effects category, go down to ‘My FCP Effects’ – remember the name of the company is FCP Effects – and notice the category called BPM2. I’m going to find from all these different categories, which are essentially Final Cut effects that have been repurposes for BPM, let’s go find something called ‘flip’ or ‘flop’. Let’s do ‘flop’. Wow, does that bring tears to your eyes or what? He’s just pointing in the other direction. Here we go, watch this. We’ve got a breakdancing great blue heron. How can you not love this?
Larry Jordan: Hmm, I have another shot here. Let’s work in a different effect. Let’s go again ‘My FCP Effects’ and this time we’ll go down to ‘kaleidoscope’. Now, here we’ve got control over, say, the size of the angle of the kaleidoscope, we can play with that. We have the frequency controls, we’ve got noisiness controls, we’ve got offset angle controls. We can make this thing bigger or smaller. There we go.
Larry Jordan: All right, so maybe we can get a bit carried away, but think about it – you’re doing a music video for a performer that has no talent whatsoever and you’ve got to keep that fact hidden. This could make your life a lot easier, to create effects that occur in time to the music to make it look like you spent weeks editing it and you can tell the client that you did, but in point of fact you can synch the audio to the video and do interesting visual effects with what’s called BPM from a company called FCP Effects.
Larry Jordan: This Tech Talk was shared from Larry Jordan’s website at larryjordan.com.
Larry Jordan: Kristen Nedopak is the creator of The Geekie Awards that honors gaming, comics and indie film content. She’s also the host of her own YouTube channel and has recently won Best Host at the IWA TV awards. She’s also on the Geekie panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-con. Hello, Kristen, welcome.
Kristen Nedopak: Hi guys, how you doing?
Larry Jordan: We are talking to you, how can we not be doing well?
Kristen Nedopak: Well, that’s good.
Larry Jordan: Kristen, what are The Geekie Awards? I have to figure that out first.
Kristen Nedopak: Oh no, they told me that you were a nerd. I’m just kidding. Is that true? I don’t know. Are you into comic books at all?
Mike Horton: I am.
Kristen Nedopak: Or…
Larry Jordan: Michael is a child at heart.
Mike Horton: I am, but I can’t get a ticket. Nobody can get a ticket. If you don’t get a ticket within four minutes of the tickets being sold, you don’t go to Comic-con.
Kristen Nedopak: Oh my gosh, you know what? I got mine in about 50 seconds, speaking of that. It was tough.
Mike Horton: Yes, if you don’t have your own panel, you don’t get into Comic-con. It’s so tough. Today, they announced, by the way, that Comic-con is staying in San Diego through to 2018.
Larry Jordan: I think it would make a difference if you had a costume, though.
Mike Horton: Yes, well, even if you wear a costume you don’t get in.
Kristen Nedopak: No, you’ve got to be really high up on the celebrity food chain or paying somebody to get into Comic-con.
Mike Horton: Exactly. It’s a tough show to get into.
Kristen Nedopak: It is. I’m actually going there next week. But to answer your question about The Geekie Awards, that’s my show. It’s not as previous Comic-cons. It’s a… show and it’s an award show for geeks, so you mentioned it, it’s an… show celebrating independent creators in all these different industries – gaming, fashion, art, comics, you name it we cover it – and also it’s a family reunion of sorts where all the geeks get to come together and celebrate. This year it’s going to be a two day event, so we’re going in the direction of something crazy like Comic-con, but we’re not a convention.
Larry Jordan: Is it just on the web or is it a live attended event kind of thing?
Kristen Nedopak: It has been in the past a live attended evening, so everyone’s at the event, has a great time partying, they get to see everything in person while we shoot the broadcast and then we live stream it internationally. This year, we’re going to be announcing a new venue in about a week, just after Comic-con, and we’re announcing a venue that holds about 4,000 people instead of a few hundred, so it’s definitely going to be a destination.
Larry Jordan: Wow, 4,000 people. Mike, you were complaining about getting…
Mike Horton: Maybe I can get into that.
Kristen Nedopak: You just let me know…
Mike Horton: Yes, now that I know you I can just send you an email and hopefully I can get in.
Larry Jordan: Have you announced the city this is going to be in?
Kristen Nedopak: It is going to be in Los Angeles. Last year it was in Hollywood and this year it’s going to be in Santa Monica. Then we’re going to announce where it’s going to be in a few weeks. I can’t say anything more, but it’s definitely going to still be in the Los Angeles area.
Larry Jordan: Have you picked a date yet?
Kristen Nedopak: We are going to also be announcing that, but I will tell you that it’s going to be in mid-October.
Mike Horton: Awesome.
Larry Jordan: Mid-October this year, somewhere in Santa Monica at a place that holds 4,000 people. I think we can start to narrow it down pretty closely.
Kristen Nedopak: Uh-oh. You can’t tell anybody.
Mike Horton: Kristen, do you wear costumes?
Kristen Nedopak: I do. I don’t wear them at Comic-con because it’s too crazy, but I have my own… Usually I’m wearing something fantasy like fairies or something along those lines. I have a unicorn costume that I do that’s pretty cool.
Larry Jordan: A unicorn costume. I can’t see you in a…
Mike Horton: I can see me as a unicorn, yes.
Kristen Nedopak: Well, some people do… I’m a big fantasy person, I’m a big… fairy person, so we all have our own thing that we love to do, but I usually make my costumes a lot more original and… character, so that was the one thing that I just love.
Mike Horton: The one thing that I love about Comic-con, and I’ve never actually been there but I’ve talked to people who have gone there and I have also read all the articles, seen all the YouTube videos, that everybody who goes to that show is happy. They are happy. It is as though this strangeness, this geekiness, this part of them that doesn’t fit in with their normal lives, they come together at Comic-con and they are happy and I think it’s a wonderful thing.
Kristen Nedopak: It is, and it’s interesting because I’m the Los Angeles area and everyone I hang out with is a geek and so it is actually part of their daily lives. They’re making shows about geeks… creators, I’m making my show and so I think it is unfortunate if people are living somewhere where that’s not accepted and they have to come to Comic-con, and I know that that is the case for a lot of people. But we’re growing, there’s such a huge audience in the world and I think that we’re opening everybody else up to how cool it is to be into some of this stuff.
Mike Horton: As you say, you rule the world.
Kristen Nedopak: We do.
Larry Jordan: Kristen, why did you decide to create The Geekie Awards in the first place?
Kristen Nedopak: Like I said, I’m actually an independent creator myself and so there was a point where a few years ago I had been submitting my work to festivals and people weren’t really looking at it seriously or taking it seriously because it was geek, or it was about video games, my YouTube channel’s very much about video games.
Kristen Nedopak: Now, however, that’s not the case… and everybody’s video gaming, but at the time I just looked around and I said, “You know what? There is nothing out there for independent creators that are really making web series and doing art and doing fashion outside of these comic conventions and outside of these conventions, even something like Unique LA,” and so I decided to make a show for geeks and for those independent creators because there was nothing like that out there.
Kristen Nedopak: We’ve got the Oscars, we’ve got the Emmys, you really have to be at a certain level to be able to broadcast an award show and so that’s sort of what spawned the idea, just looking around and saying, “Well, there’s no award show for me, so I know there’s not an award show for a huge chunk of people that are doing the same thing I’m doing,” and so that’s how I created the show. And, of course, I needed to make it geeky because that’s my thing.
Larry Jordan: One of the other things you do is you host your own YouTube channel.
Kristen Nedopak: I do. Kristen Nedopak, yes.
Larry Jordan: What does it take to be a successful YouTube host?
Kristen Nedopak: You are not just a host, number one. Most of the people on YouTube have to be producer, director, editor, host, on camera, off camera. They’re doing everything. I think very few people on YouTube are people that have gotten to a certain point and they’ve got billions of followers and they’re able to hire people.
Kristen Nedopak: Usually to be successful you really have to be able to do it yourself, at least at first, and I think for the most part, especially for this generation, which I love, is you have to be very authentic and genuine to who you are and what you love because the next generation are really looking at you, as opposed to hosting back in the day, maybe in the ’90s or ’00s, when people could be off and on camera, stand there and talk about anything.
Kristen Nedopak: Now, the world really wants to know who you are as a person and if they don’t see your personality, they’re not going to watch you. So it’s kind of a combination of those two things on YouTube.
Larry Jordan: But is it a personality or is it building on outrageousness? I haven’t seen your show, I do apologize, but…
Kristen Nedopak: Oh!
Larry Jordan: There are a lot of hosts who just try to be outrageous as opposed to be themselves and I’m just curious if that’s true.
Kristen Nedopak: I think it’s a combination, because I think both of those have an audience and I’ve definitely seen that online, where it’s just somebody that’s screaming at the camera and they got an audience and maybe that is them, who knows? But they’ve come up with a shtick that works and that’s how they’re building their audience. So I think it’s a combination of the two of those or either one of those, where you just have to do what you love and put it out there and do what you think is going to work and put it out there and see what happens.
Mike Horton: Well, obviously it’s happened pretty well for you.
Larry Jordan: Yes indeed.
Kristen Nedopak: Yes, thank you.
Larry Jordan: What do you recommend for building a YouTube audience?
Kristen Nedopak: Consistency. I would say first and foremost you have to be consistent if you’re going to be giving somebody anything. It’s like a TV show. If we… the first episode of Game of Thrones and they didn’t do another episode for a few years, we probably wouldn’t be watching the show even though we love it. It’s the same thing at the networks. They’re consistent, they have every single week at the same time and so most of the people that are really successful are putting videos out all of the time.
Kristen Nedopak: I would have to say the second thing that you could try – and this is what I did – is play up something that already exists. My channel is about video gaming, so it’s not me playing video games, but it’s my personality talking about games and making fun of games, which is kind of what I do, but I’m still talking about an entity that already exists and has a huge fan base, and that’s how I started my fan base, by picking something that was already out there and then make fun of it, and it just kind of blew up.
Mike Horton: So when you talk about consistency, do you have to put up something once a week? Once a month?
Kristen Nedopak: There are definitely people who put stuff up several times a week. Some do it every single day, some do it several times a week and some do it once a month. I think it really depends on the production quality and the production time that it takes for them to be put together, but it really is up to you. I think the going rate is every two weeks is a great thing. If you wait a month, it might be a little few and far between, but two weeks is generally the number.
Larry Jordan: We’ve got a live chat that’s going on and Grant has a question. He’s asking, ‘So the big question is how do you make money at this? Or is it just a love of doing the project?’
Kristen Nedopak: If we’re specifically talking about YouTube – The Geekie Awards is a completely different beast because that’s not a YouTube channel – again, these people are constantly posting videos and then they usually get a partnership with YouTube or a partnership with a small… network or a company that helps them get as much ad revenue as possible… and so, if you think about it, if somebody has been on YouTube for a few years and they post videos several times a week, all of those videos start to accrue more and more views and sooner or later they’re living off of that because they have this entire network on their channel on videos that are constantly get ad money on it.
Kristen Nedopak: But that’s basically how people on YouTube make money, is ad sales, and you can monetize anything on your channel through YouTube Google Ads.
Mike Horton: Are you a fan of any particular person out there who’s doing something similar to what you’re doing?
Kristen Nedopak: Oh gosh, I don’t know. I don’t know if anybody’s doing anything similar.
Mike Horton: Yes, you want to say no you’re not, you’re the best.
Kristen Nedopak: No, no. Actually, I’m a huge fan of Toby Turner. He’s hilarious. He’s probably one of the first… I saw. He is on the outrageous side, but he’s just so funny and I remember thinking, “Oh, he’s really creepy,” but he’s just talking about video games and that’s what I want to do. But there are so many channels out there, I can’t name all of them. The Fine Brothers are amazing, Tio and [PEO] are probably my favorite people online and now obviously they went to TV but, I’d say they’re my ultimate gods of online content.
Mike Horton: Yes, I love them too, that’s for sure.
Kristen Nedopak: Yes, they’re hilarious.
Larry Jordan: When you go to Comic-con, are you heading up a panel or just participate? And if so, what’s the main subject you’re going to be talking about?
Kristen Nedopak: Yes, I actually have a panel, Saturday night at 8pm, a crazy time spot, and it’s called Burnt and I’m actually participating on it as myself and not from The Geekie Awards, and it’s about women who are creating content and women who are creating award winning content out there, mostly online but some of these ladies are actresses and film directors and TV personalities as well. But it’s mostly for people content. The panel is filled with women, but it is also for men. It’s just for anyone to come and talk about the same question that Grant had – how do I do this? How do I do this? We’re really very much about show and tell and letting people in on how we became successful and how they can in turn become successful doing the same thing.
Larry Jordan: Do women have to do something different to be successful in this? Or do they just need to work hard like guys do?
Kristen Nedopak: End of the day, everyone just needs to work hard. There are still some industries out there that are catching up, but I definitely think, especially in… the world, it’s pretty equal online and it really is about being authentic and I’ve definitely never had an issue with that. I had a little bit of an issue working in corporate back in the day, but if we’re talking about doing online content, I really do think it’s about being unique and being authentic to yourself and then people fall in love with you, no matter who you are.
Mike Horton: Yes. Good for you.
Kristen Nedopak: Yes, thank you. Exciting times we’re living in.
Mike Horton: It is. It is exciting times.
Larry Jordan: Where can people go to learn more about your Comic-con session for those that are going to the event?
Kristen Nedopak: We are on Facebook. If you Google Spark, you’ll probably find it, or you can find it in the Comic-con program or online. They have all of their panels listed. I’ve forgotten what room it’s in but it is Saturday at 8pm, so if you guys are there, I would definitely love to see you. Come check it out and say hi to me.
Mike Horton: Sorry, we can’t get a ticket.
Kristen Nedopak: I know! Sad. Well, you can come to The Geekie Awards, how about that?
Mike Horton: Ok.
Larry Jordan: And for people like Mike who can’t get a ticket to Comic-con, where can they go on the web to learn more about you and your programs?
Kristen Nedopak: You can go to my website, it’s kristennedopak.com, but the majority of the time I’m on social media. Twitter is a big thing for me and… and of course you can go to The Geekie Awards website and Facebook and Twitter and it’s on thegeekieawards.com.
Larry Jordan: The website is thegeekieawards.com. Kristen Nedopak is the creator and CEO of The Geekie Awards. Kristen, thanks for joining us today.
Kristen Nedopak: Thanks, guys. Thanks for having me.
Mike Horton: Bye Kristen.
Larry Jordan: Take care, bye bye.
Kristen Nedopak: All right. Bye.
Larry Jordan: You couldn’t get into Comic-con.
Mike Horton: Did you go?
Larry Jordan: Oh, I could go.
Mike Horton: I would. I would go in a heartbeat.
Larry Jordan: I would go. I couldn’t wear a costume.
Mike Horton: No, I wouldn’t wear a costume, but I want to see the whole experience. I’ve seen it on YouTube, I’ve seen it on everything else and, like I said, everybody is happy. They just feel like they belong and it looks like a bunch of people who don’t belong anywhere else.
Larry Jordan: They’re having a great time.
Mike Horton: They belong only in Comic-con.
Larry Jordan: Well, you know, it gets back to something John said in his segment when he was talking about the fact that if you’re doing an independent film, you’ve got to have fun .
Mike Horton: Well, these people are having fun and they belong. It’s a likeminded community and a likeminded community unlike any other. And bless them, bless them for finding each other to be able to do this. There are Comic-cons going all over the world. There’s something going on almost every week similar to what the big one is in San Diego, so it’s a brave new world.
Larry Jordan: And we still can’t get in.
Mike Horton: And we can’t get in. We can’t get a ticket, Larry.
Larry Jordan: No, no. I think it’s because we’re too old.
Mike Horton: We’re too old. I think they cut it off at 40. If you’ve got gray hair, you can’t get in. You’ve got to be gray haired superheroes. We need a few more of those guys.
Larry Jordan: You could wear your Star Trek uniform and you’d get in in a jiffy.
Mike Horton: Yes, I’ve got one of those. I’ve got a Star Trek pen at home. It’s very valuable.
Larry Jordan: It is.
Mike Horton: Yes.
Larry Jordan: Gets you free drinks.
Mike Horton: It’s somewhere in a drawer someplace.
Larry Jordan: I want to thank our guests today, staring with John Putch, the independent filmmaker; Tom Inglesby, the editor in chief of Markee 2.0 magazine; and Kristen Nedopak, the creator of The Geekie Awards.
Larry Jordan: There’s lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you’ll find hundreds of past shows and thousands of interviews, all searchable, all online and all available 24/7.
Larry Jordan: You can visit with us on Twitter, @DPBuzz, and Facebook, at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Our theme music is composed by Nathan Doogie Turner, with additional music on The Buzz provided by smartsound.com. Text transcripts by Take 1 Transcription; visit take1.tv to learn how they can help you.
Larry Jordan: Our producer is Cirina Catania; our amazing engineering team is led by Megan Paulos and includes Ed Golya, Keegan Guy, Alex Hackworth, Ailin Kim and Brianna Murphy. On behalf of moose breath over there, Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan; and thanks for listening to The Buzz.
Mike Horton: Goodbye everybody.
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