Category Archives: Random

To focus or not to focus?

After thoroughly immersing myself in everything Olympics (as most of us do every 2 or 4 years); and just sort of always having it on (regardless of the sport), I sometimes wander off on random tangents. One of these random thoughts came after watching the ever-so-popular swimming events, and the fact that a lot of the swimmers wore headphones out to the pool.

I always thought in the back of my mind that this was kind of cool, and subconsciously a good marketing tool. Michael Phelps was sporting a brand I had never heard of before “Sol Republic”:

Not to mention more than a couple were showing pride for the “Beats”; the well-known brand brought to us by Dr. Dre himself.

As far as athletes that jam out (up to) seconds before an event, it seems as if swimmers are the only ones to do so… On camera no less, for everyone to see. Is this planned? or are these sport stars just enjoying the music?

I realize this is probably a technique to remain focused and in the zone, so as not let the Olympic vibe put the pressure on. Having said that, does it work? The sheer volume of the crowd in a place like a swimming arena is so deafening, that I could not imagine how a set of mid-range headphones plugged into an MP3 player could over power it. I realize that the Beats are significant in that they have the noise cancellation feature in the ‘studio’ style phones. However, my audiophile side says “meh, this probably doesn’t make a difference”, between the distortion from the noise cancellation and the crowd, the sound quality is going to be diminished anyways.

By the ‘official’ admission of Phelps, he was not paid to wear them in front of the cameras or be a spokesperson for the brand. So if there is truly no planned marketing or sponsorship gimmick at play here; I am sort of curious…

Why predominantly swimmers? Because it’s one of the most watched sports?

Why mainly the big teams/names where them? Because that’s where the focus is going to be?

Are they just being awesome and rocking out before their event? Can they actually hear the music?

Like I said, by no means am I trying to nick-pick the issue. I just found it curious, and sort of feel the urge to go pick up a pair of “Sol Republic” headphones to see how they sound.

What are your thoughts? Anyone have any experience with the Sol Republics they would like to share?

Thanks for stopping by

-Z

Advertisements

Musically Inspired Appointment

Wow! There are just sometimes you get the amazing opportunity to meet with people that have nothing but true passion for their dream.

I just finished up an appointment with an inspiring individual who wants to track some vocals and make a demo CD of all self-written music. Through out the conversation I just found my self getting more and more excited at the different possibilities and prospects for this artist. The Latin inspired songs are a culmination of sounds ranging from Mark Anthony to Aventura and everywhere in between.

Once we can sit down and hammer out some tracks I am sure this dreamer will go far. It is just refreshing to be able to talk to someone that gets you excited about THEIR projects. Its all too often I talk to people that want to do this and wish they could do that, but let the practical burdens gets in the way.

I will definitely keep you posted with this potentially on-going work! Have a great weekend!

-Z


The Pope’s peachy promenade to Mexico (with contrast)

Well, it has been a long time coming. My best friend just got hitched, and invited us along for their awesome union taking place in Playa Del Carmen Mexico! It was a blast and I was just glad I got the chance to be a part of their day. They have been together for a number of years now, and definitely felt they had to do this thing in a big way. Well figuratively… I think the total head count was only like 18 people including the photographer (who happens to be another best friend who rocks the shizzy when it comes to photos). Anyways, they had a really great resort, right along the coast in Playa Del Carmen. They had the ceremony and dance floor set up right on that big sandy chunk.

Their wedding march started and the tears continued…

After that, it was a heck of a party that went into the night with a bunch of white kids dancing to the Cupid Shuffle, and not caring. Oh sweet humiliation… you are not following me to Mexico too. haha

So I guess I just wanted to say Congrats! to my best friends and much love!

Now for the contrast… actually its just more of a sad comparison… During a day trip to Tulum we got the chance to tour around the old ruins and swim on one of the most magnificent beaches I have ever seen. Gorgeous blue water, soft sand, all set on a cool looking hill-side.


The waves and beach were amazing. So after getting to voyage out of my routine life for a bit and get to see a friend get married and lay on ‘nice’ beaches all day. It spoiled my wife and I, now we have to re-adjust our beaches here.

No Comparison…

Moral of the story, get married on the beach and make sure it’s beautiful enough to make all of your friends jealous.

Take care!

-Z


24 Hr Film Race-Houston

Whooo! Just got back from shooting a short film all last night with the 24 Hr film team. I am actually really excited I got to be a part of something like this, it was an awesome time with awesome folks. I havent stayed up for more than 32 hours in a long time. So sort of delirious, sort of numb, but hey its all part of it.

I actually got a call from a friend of mine who offered me the opportunity to get involved in this project. The 24 Hour Film Race is basically a timed project, where everything from writing and conception alllll the way to post production. Let me tell you… 24 hours is NOT a lot of time to work the whole scope of a film.

So I arrived only 15 minutes after the comity had passed down our ‘theme’ ‘prop’ and ‘action’.

Those seemed like a challenging set of guidelines! I definitely let the writers handle this one! My input was not needed here. haha Although when it came to audio and the equipment… for the lack of a better term… it was a crap shoot.

I have no previous experience with the gear I am using, and I am running the audio show (mainly) alone; there were a couple bad asses that helped me out. Not to mention that the story just now has been decided, so the location of the shoot could be anywhere (micing various environments takes a certain amount of planning and preparation… not to mention testing mic placements, levels, etc…) Well no time for that… We had to go go go if we were going to meet the dead line.

So the race officially began last night at 10pm EST (or 9p in Texas). So they must have submissions in by 8:59 tonight!  The editors job has only just begun, and I feel super bad cause I know how tired I am right now… but the guys that are editing were up along with us all night wearing various ‘production set’ related hats.

It wasn’t without the ups and downs though! First off, we had a slight hiccup with the equipment… It was in a Suburban out front of the building, and the keys had been locked inside! Sort of threw everyone off about 30 minutes… but luckily we had a band of car thieves in the bunch.

This was everything we needed for the night (minus the lighting kits… i think).

And I guess my hiccup was not knowing the gear prior to using it… So all adjustments were on the fly and I felt bad for ending up with about 1/3 of the audio garbaged up.

Lastly just as we were all packing up and dumping all of the audio and video to the editing stations… We realized that one of the cards we had been shooting to was corrupted. That sent tempers off after a LONG night. So I guess the editors have some critical and creative thinking ahead of them 🙂

Anyways there are going to be lots more pictures and I hope to get a copy of the submission after tonight and I will try to update with all those goodies.

Update (post sleep): The film was finished and turned in on time. Man they must have worked crazy hard to get it done, knowing that they had been awake as long as everyone else. The premiere  screening for all the chosen films in Houston will be on June 28th at the Landmark River Oaks Theatre.

Take Care

-Z



Trip to Milan

Well it was about 10 am Tuesday morning and I got word that I would be taking a trip to Milan Italy. The flights were to leave Saturday the 14th, and return the next Friday the 20th… I am not a huge fan of flying, as a few of my friends (and my wife) know. I have to calm my self with a drink or two during the ordeal. Traveling sucks WAY more now than it used to. Regardless…

…a week in Milan! (Granted this was a business trip for my other job, so I wouldn’t imagine getting the chance to venture out on the town an awful lot) So starting in Milan and hitting a few other places around the area for a week is going to be an experience for sure. That night I grabbed my new carry pack and jammed a weeks worth of clothing and a few various things inside and I am off.

The first leg of the trip was anything but a delight… this is what I was looking at for 8 hours of a lay over in Newark, NJ. It wasn’t all bad considering we were in the United Club right above the food court, but still… Airports aren’t THAT fun.

Finally; after another 8 hour flight into Milan and an hour drive, we arrived at our first hotel in Isola Dovarese, Italy… It was an awesome little place and quiet village out in the country.

The drive was nice. It was pretty much all farmland; flat farmland, like Texas! 🙂 looked familiar.

This was a cool old building, I think they said it’s been around since the 14th century. Walking around in basically a huge stone and mortar home thats stood for hundreds of years. There was an elevator, but I just had to take the old stair case.

This was the village square with a Pizzeria we had to visit on the first night.

It was an awesome town square! We got to do a bit of walking around that first day just before the Pizza 😉 I happened to get a few cool shots around town before it got too dark.

Their local church was awesome! I could even imagine how old this building was. There was actually an old sun dial attached to the street side of the church wall, they said prior to clocks this was the only way the town could know what time it was!

The church doors.

More of an inside joke between my wife and I. I just had to throw this up for her. Love you honey! I went to the Farm-macy.

When I said QUIET before, I mean just that… just going to sleep in pure silence and waking to…

Only to find this waiting for me downstairs (sans the grappa, unless it was past noon). Im pretty sure Italy just runs on Espresso… there is not one place you can go where a generous selection of coffee isn’t offered.

After the first half-day rest, we were on the move. A lot of company business stuff happened the first two days. There are not too many interesting pictures of all that. On the third (or fourth day… depending which time zone I was keeping up with) we did catch a slight break in the action and got a chance to take a train into downtown Milan. From the central station you can walk to all sorts of cool places.

After a nice walk in the Italian rain we reached the Galleria right outside the Cathedral Duomo. I had to take a shot of the roof. All this stuff is old in the magnificent… Not the broken down way that I’m used to.

The main one on my list was the Duomo Cathedral in downtown Milan, which was magnificent. You’ll have to forgive the bad photo splicing.

Downtown Milan was crazy… Just like any other big city, its crowded, loud, dirty, and everyone is moving at lightning speed. I did however get to slow down enough to catch this beauty… and the italian experience is complete… hah!



After getting to roam around for a few hours and being accosted by a few different gypsies (one of which a scored a free bracelet from, and got to keep my wallet), we hopped back on the train and made it back to the hotel by the Malpensa Airport.

However, the next day trip to Burgamo, Italy proved positive. This town was about an hour out of Milan, and was absolutely awesome.

Of course there are a ton more! I will try and update by throwing some of my Holga images up.

One of my big regrets was not getting more recordings while I was there. Apart from the two above, I think I ended up with three or four more decent clips.  Anyways, more reason to go back someday right! hah!

Just thought I would share the journey and I hope you all have some amazing journey’s of your own.

Oh well back to work, and routines 🙂 Take Care

-Z


Pandora!

Does anyone else get inspired by Pandora.com? Maybe its just me and I am on the strange side, but I can turn on a good mix of music and just let my mind wander.

I end up in many different places when I rock a good Pandora mix… sometimes spaced out… sometimes uber focused and productive… sometimes just apathetic… Isn’t music and sound beautiful?!? For me, it does things to the senses that rivals a chocolate sundae on a warm summers day (or your flavor of choice).

Right now… Quantic Radio… its helped me work on my website, and a nice wedding shoot with Blessed Events Weddings.

More to come very soon!

-Z


Hello world!

Hello everyone out there in the Blog world! This is a completely new thing for me, so cut me some slack if I’m not up on blogging etiquette. It seems like this electronic web presence we have at our finger tips 24/7 is a crowded social media, blog filled, status updating world network… Largely filled with content I would consider ‘Jeopardy Knowledge’; that no one pays an awful lot of attention to. Until that one moment in your life that (insert random fact) is applicable in a  conversation; then you’ll remember back to something you read, blurt it out, and feel like the smartest person in the room! Hah! It happens… I do the same thing on a daily basis.

Anyways, this blog will be about the same… ENJOY!

-Z