Quality Time Premiere Tonight!

This is it!

The premiere of my short film Quality Time is tonight! Watch the trailer below, and below that is the when and where!

Michael can’t stand his roommate, though the issue is almost entirely in Michael’s head. One morning, a chemical emergency happens, trapping them both in one room for about six hours, and trapping Michael in what he sees as his own personal hell. During their hours together, he must (try to) learn to put up with John. In the end, he learns nothing, because it’s more funny that way.


See Quality Time and 19 other short films produced in the last several months!

Fat Cats Rexburg

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Lighting Shopping List

I’m making a little trip to Home Depot this weekend. I need some lighting. Sure,  I could borrow some from the school, and I still might, but I’d like to have a few on hand for myself. So I’ve been doing some research on what I’ll need to buy. Here are some of the resources I found:

This video is the basic idea I want. It also reminded me of some important things I would probably have forgotten (like extension cords).

This video is a response to the previous one. It’s a little different and gave me a couple other ideas.

I’m undecided about whether I’m going to buy some stands online (depends on the price and whatnot), or if I’ll make one DIY style. I almost want to do the DIY method just because it’s fun to build things!

I’ll be posting about my shopping trip toward the start of next week and sharing everything I picked up!

Building My (Almost) Dream Editing Machine

Long story short, I’m impatient. I don’t like it when I have to wait a long time for my computer to do things. That’s why I set out to build a computer this past December. In this post, I’ll share:

  • What my goals in building this computer were.
  • How I selected the parts I used.
  • What parts I actually ended up using.
  • A few snags I ran into during the actual building process.

The Goals

I had three goals in mind while building this computer:

  1. To be able to edit (and export) video pretty quickly using Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
  2. Be able to play current video games at high graphics settings in 1080p
  3. To not have to buy Adobe CS6 again.

That third one was what created the biggest problem: I owned CS6 for Mac. That meant one thing: I needed to build a Hackintosh.

Goals 1 and 2 work pretty well together: the venn diagram of things that make a good video editing machine and a good gaming rig has a pretty good cross section. That meant the starting point was to start with the hardest part (Hackintosh), and then get the others to work within the restraints presented by Hackintoshing.

One more thing: my goal was to stay right around the $1000 mark. The good news: I was buying the parts in November, which has some of the steepest discounts on computer parts all year.

Selecting the Parts

Knowing that I’d have to work within the constraints of building a Hackintosh, I set out to find parts that work best with that. One of the most trusted and comprehensive sources of information on Hackintoshing is TonyMacX86. The best part is that they publish guides to the most compatible parts every month. The great thing is that Hackintoshing has come a long way and there’s a wide variety of parts you can use. That would be enough, except that those same parts are the best ones for video editing!

Long story short, I just selected the best parts within my budget limitations from the Tonymac list.

The Actual Parts

I used PC Part Picker to price out and plan the parts.

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z87X-D3H ATX LGA1150 Motherboard
  • Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
  • Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5″ Solid State Disk
  • Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K 120GB 2.5″ Solid State Disk
  • Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
  • Video Card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card
  • Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WDN4800 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter
  • Case: Corsair 500R Black ATX Mid Tower Case
  • Power Supply: Thermaltake Tough Power 750W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply
  • OSes: OS X Mavericks & Windows 8.1

The Snags

This was my first time building a computer, and it was a little scary. I was going very slowly when building it because I was so afraid of messing up. The number one thing I’d recommend to people building a computer for the first time is to prepare. Watch tutorials online. Read the manuals (seriously, they are necessary). Preparation is going to make your life much, much easier.


One of the problems I’ve always had is underestimating. I underestimate how long it will take me to do an assignment. I underestimate what I’ll need to have for a project I’m working on. And I certainly underestimated how much stuff I need to do when working on my short film.
I’ve been working on a pre-production plan for the short film I’ll be shooting next month. Once again, I underestimated just how much planning goes into it. I have scenes pictured out in my head, but when I actually sit down and break down the scene, I realize that I’m going to need X number of actors; this, that, and the other prop; a lot of lighting to make sure people aren’t just shadows. The list goes on and on.
The worst part is knowing that no matter how much pre-production planning I do, I’ll have forgotten something. I always do. Every time I travel between home and school I always leave something behind. I know the same is going to happen with this production. But that’s a part of life. Things will be forgotten, but rolling with the punches is an important part of any creative effort.

A Collection of Dark Premises

Image from Ready.gov

Image from Ready.gov

It’s time for an update on the short film I’m working on. I figure it’s time to share the premise.

“A student who hates his roommates must spend 6 hours trapped in a room with them during an emergency.”

I’ll elaborate a little.

Tim’s a college student who just wants to be left alone. He doesn’t really have a good reason to hate his roommates; he just really hates living with them. He’d rather be on his own. He doesn’t want to talk to them. I imagine in the kitchen he probably has a cabinet that the others aren’t even allowed to open up.

This post isn’t about that though. This is about the inspiration for the other part of that.

When I was 12, my family moved to Southeast Washington. Part of the TV market in that area was Umatilla, OR. Once in a while, there would be a little PSA on the local channels about what they should do in case of emergency. You see, Umatilla was home to one of the US’s stockpiles of chemical agents. There was a plan to incinerate them, but until that was completed just a few years ago, there was some serious danger.

If there was an incident, they would have had to shelter in place (quickly, I might add) and seal off the outside air coming in. So that was the inspiration for the premise. In fact, the characters largely follow the instructions given on Ready.gov for sheltering in place (though in reality they probably would have evacuated; sheltering in place like that is only good for a couple of hours).

Now I’m at college in Rexburg, Idaho. And wouldn’t you know it, I’m close to another place. Idaho National Laboratory in nearby Idaho Falls doesn’t pose the same kinds of danger (they mainly focus on energy research), but they’ve had incidents too. In fact, they were the site of a fatal nuclear accident in 1961 (the ones killed were personnel working on the reactor).

So put my college experience and the chemical accident premise together and you get this story!

Starting is the Hardest Part


That image above is a good summary of the hardest part of making a short film (which is just one of the things I’m doing in the next few months). Seeing a blinking cursor on screen is just so intimidating. Even though my ideas are always brewing in my head for a while before I actually start typing things out, that doesn’t make it much easier.

The weird thing is that once I start, things open up. The words just start flowing out of my fingertips when I actually start typing. But it takes a massive amount of effort to just get those first words onto the page. I’ve started though. I’ve got the draft of my short film’s script written, though there’s some stuff I’m not happy with yet about it.

Until I get it refined a little more, I’ll just leave the logline here:

A student who hates his roommates must spend 6 hours trapped in a room with them during an emergency.