Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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Paranormal Ohio

What is up everyone?!? It feels like it has been a long time since my last post (I hope I’m not making a trend of this), so I figured I would throw a little update out there regarding a recent project that I was fortunate enough to be able to help out with.

A good friend of mine was working on this photo / multimedia project that was delving into a slightly creepy side of things. Apparently in and around Athens Ohio there exist some of the most haunted places in America. So the project was attempting to tell a few of the tales accompanied by re-enacted photos of the situation or location.

After the photo work was done, he contacted me about throwing together some sound fx to give a little more ‘punch’ to the imagery. Of course I was completely pumped about this idea! I have always admired the behind-the-scenes audio fx work; it has always sounded so fun. You get to take an image (be it film or still) and give life to it by way of sound.

Shortly after we spoke, I grabbed some gear and I was jotting down ideas and trying different things out to see what would work. I didn’t have a ton of specifics on the project, so I decided to throw together sort of a demo track of our combined efforts in order to get ideas out there.

The project was still underway, so the imagery and order was evolving into the final product. After using a lot of the fx that were cut and compiled on his end the final project came out well. I had a ton of fun being creepy and trying to sound like it. Haha!

Thanks so much for checking it out! Take Care

-Z


48 Hr. Film Race-Houston

Surprisingly they were closer together than I thought. (The 24 hr race and the 48 hr race). It snuck up on me pretty quickly. I received a call from a contact I have been trying to work with for sometime now and he said that they are getting a team together for this 48 hr race and would I like to be a part of it. OF COURSE!   Field work and working on a film crew are strenuous, but incredibly fun things to get to do.

In such a short time span it’s always sort of a guerrilla type operation. Everything is rough, disorganized (to an extent) and rushed.

When I first got there we still lacked a solid location for some of the shots in the story, so it was up to me and another of the crew to find a spot that could work. I think the mood was dingy, run-down, dirty & undesirable… well

This place had all of those things in spades… we found this little truck stop motel off of I-45 that would pretty much just make your skin crawl if you had to stay there.

It was perfect. Haha! So after a full day of shooting there and a few other locations we had everything except a few short scenes.

All the filming at this location and around town on Saturday burnt up half of the 48 hrs, and editing was still needing to be done. Regardless everyone was tired and went their separate ways only to meet up again in  5 hours to finish everything up. So the short break came and went all too fast, and we met up at the studio again to finish some shots.

Unfortunately I had to split for some meetings and appointments I had else where in town, so I didn’t get to help run boom on the final scenes. However, I did get word that everything was completed, it looked great and it was turned in on time. SUCCESS!

It was a ton of fun getting to run audio for this. The crew was really cool and dynamic together, and we were graciously hosted by a local studio and producer from Pixel Lion Studios. Check out their page on Vimeo. Pixellion Studios.

Take Care!

-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



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