Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Film: Silver City Mountain Resort

This is my latest commercial/montage film. I've been working on it off and on for the last couple of weeks. I really like this piece but there are a few artificial stabilization problems within but I hope they are easy to overlook.
I just sent the video to the manager of the resort and I hope to sell him the link to the video. I didn't really give him a price but just asked what he thought it was worth to him. I had no intention of making any money off of this project so whatever is made is simply icing on the cake. I kinda hope to get some free days at the resort because I would love to take several friends up there. It is a fun place but really hard and to reach due to this 22 mile one lane road that hugs the side of a mountain, and has more twists and turns then Highway 1 towards Big Sur!

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Film: Las Vegas 2010 Video Montage

Here is my latest montage I created from our recent Las Vegas trip.
I originally didn't want to do a video b/c I was getting a little tired of doing these but when we happened upon this older gentleman playing How Great Thou Art on his accordion I had to shoot him and from that initial video I knew I had to create something.
I have a longer version that I will upload at a later date but I feel this version is much tighter and better polished.

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2 More Pictures from Vegas

These are two panoramic photos I did in the lobb of The Bellagio at 2:30 am. The Bellagio just goes over the top when it comes to fanciful decorations. Katie and I both agreed that we loved the Bellagio a little bit more then all the others.
Anyways, these two pictures are from this little side exhibit right next to the lobby when you walk into the hotel.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Las Vegas: Our First Gambling Experience

Katie and I aren't really the gambling type. I am not an avid poker player... not even a novice poker player and Katie sure isn't one either. Eventhough there were hundreds of card games we could have played katie and I decided to play it safe and have some fun at the fancy Bellagio penny slots!
I had horrible luck but Kate sat down and won several dollars! We should of cashed out when we more then doubled our $5 bill but we got greedy and cashed out right as we reached $5. Our first experience was fun and would probably of been more fun if we hadn't just walked for miles all over Vegas and sat down to play at 2:00am.
We had fun though. :)

Here is a long and boring clip of us playing the slots.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Las Vegas Hotel Timelapses

I was only able to do one timelapse video on our first trip to Vegas. When Katie and I returned to our room Saturday night at 3:30am I forced myself to set the camera up facing the outdoor pool and the distant desert mountains. The results are not very exciting but interesting.

The Rough: This is the first version with no color correction or movement added.

The Final: This is the final version. I tried to remove some of the flickering with FCP's internal flicker filter but I am still not sure whether it helped at all.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

things i'm loving

 - carpooling with my husband
 - diet coke from a soda fountain over ice
 - ice cream wednesdays at work
 - chatting with friends and family on im
 - catching up on blogs (aka blog-stalking)
 - so you think you can dance
 - warmer weather
 - candles at night (we're working on conserving energy)
 - the broadway station on our free month of satellite radio
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Monday, July 12, 2010

Cold day in July...

... was the metaphor the Dixie Chicks used in their song, but it really IS a cold day in July in LA! Brrr!! I have come to accept "June Gloom" living in LA, but come on... bring on the heat, baby!

Other than the chilly, gloomy weather, July is turning out to be a pretty awesome month. You already know that we bought a snazzy new car and next I'm going to tell you about our visit with Will and Josh.

So my best guess is that our apartment is around 500 sq ft. This is based on the fact that we stayed in a 231 sq ft cabin this past week, I'm thinking our apartment is probably twice that. Anyway.. this is really not enough room for one girl, three boys and a dog. Pee-yoo. Besides just being boys, Will is training for another marathon, so his sweaty clothes also resided in our place. Am I complaining? No way! I'd take a stinky apartment again for a week with my favorite brother.

They flew into the Long Beach airport on Wednesday night. We don't go down to LB much, so I looked for "restaurants" on my Google Maps and Five Guys Burgers popped up. I have seen people rave about this place on Facebook and also know it's an Obama favorite. They were down with going and Matt has since mentioned several times going back. Not impressed with the fries, but the burger was great!

On Thursday morning we all got up early and headed down to Santa Monica. This is where their "Ultimate Vacation" (as Will deemed it) really began. We first stopped by the Apple Store at around 7:15am, only to find two lines wrapped around the building. This was the day the new iPhone was released and Matt had one on reserve. So we ditched that and went to LAX to pick up a rent car. (This was before we sold our cars, but renting was cheaper than driving Matt's truck all over LA.) Now this next part is when things REALLY started heating up.... we went to the...


I know, am I the best sister or what? But if you think the Texas DMV is a headache, you ain't seen nothin' like CA DMVs. Luckily, we were only there about about an hour, and Will and Josh were very patient. Will even found a S*bux nearby to pass the time. Afterwards, Matt headed to work, while we grabbed some brunch at Jack & Jill's. The weather was so beautiful, so we rolled our windows down and drove up the 1 to the Getty Villa. Next we kept driving north towards Malibu, went to the Country Mart (one of my favs), enjoyed a Crumbs cupcake, and finally headed back to Santa Monica where we met up with Matt at 3rd & Promenade. For dinner we picked up ingredients at Trader Joes and made homemade pizza on our grill.

View from our table at Jack & Jill's.
Getty Villa gift shop.
 Will chillaxin in the Bu

On Friday while Matt worked, the boys and I went to Universal Studios where we rode the Simpsons Ride, Revenge of the Mummy, Shrek 4D, the backlot studio tour and our favorite - Jurassic Park. That night we picked up Matt and met up with some of our friends in Marina Del Rey at C&O Trattoria - home of "That's Amore" and killer garlic rolls.
Ran into some of our favorite astronauts.
Will punching the shark ... me sharing my breakfast bar.
 I ain't skeered of no Jurassic Park ride.
King Tut O'Rear

Saturday morning we slept in, took it easy, made pancakes-- all while Will took a 10 mile run. The rest of the afternoon we mostly chilled before finally deciding to visit the Americana at Brand. We arrived just in time for happy hour at Frida's, then browsed through some stores. While we were there, I gently took my husband by the hand and led him to the kitchen section at Anthropologie. "This," I said, "is what I want my kitchen to look like. If you ever want to get a surprise gift for me, just come pick out anything here." And being the amazing husband that he is, he picked up this kitchen timer and said, "Well let's start here." I know, I know. He's the best. We ended our evening at the Holzapfels, or "Wooden Apples" as Matt likes to call them. (They are a whole other blog post, because I could just go on and on about how much we love them.) Anyway Will and Josh met them last summer before Miss Lyla James was born, so they wanted to officially meet her. We had a great time, listened to some Douglas James tunes, watched the in-progress music video, and mostly just oo'd and aah'd over Lyla. She and Will especially bonded.
Will & Lyla James

On Sunday we shared our beloved family, Ecclesia Hollywood, with them and then grabbed some Kitchen 24 with friends. Our afternoon plan was to go hiking, but their "Ultimate Vacation" kicked back in when we received calls from Craigslisters offering to buy our cars. So in one afternoon, we sold both of our cars and spent a few hours at our local Toyota buying our new one. I felt sooo bad for the boys at home, stuck in our house. When we finally got home around 7:00pm, we decided to go to get some dinner and see Cyrus.

Monday was our last day together - Matt went back to work, while the boys and I brunched at Aroma Cafe. That afternoon I took the boys hiking to Fryman Canyon. The fact that Fryman is located in the middle of LA seemed to concern the boys, as maybe they thought it wasn't going to be a challenging experience. Well... it was. And they learned another reason LA is so great -- not just beautiful beaches, but also gorgeous hiking trails smack in the middle of the city. That night we invited our dear friends, the Benners over for build-your-own quesadillas (only Rhi could come) and ended our evening with Menchies.

Josh was very brave!

Will... not so much (he takes after his sister)

WHEW!! Ok, I realize that was waaaaay long, and probably only my darling mother is still reading this. But I wanted to share all of the fun we had! Thanks Will and Josh for coming to see us! And if you, dear reader, would ever like to visit LA, we have two couches with your name on them.

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Film: Our Sequoia Adventure 2010

I know I've already posted a video of our little vacation in Sequoia and Silver City but this little video has much more professionalism behind it.
I am also working on a little commercial for the Silver City Resort where we stayed. Maybe I can sell it to them. :) I'll post it within the little commercial within the next week.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Great YouTube video!

I've recently fell in love with stop motion and have been lucky enough to work on a couple of large stop motion projects. I love how people are becoming very creative with the ways they create these short little masterpieces frame by frame.

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Our New Prius & some car thoughts

For those who haven't heard yet Katie and I made our first big purchase. We bought a new Prius and are loving it! We have been thinking about a new car for about a year with the thought of me selling my truck and purchasing a vehicle that was much more economical. I had my heart set on the Honda Fit because it was small, economical and had a surprisingly large cargo area.
At the beginning of June I started my new job with Kennedy/Marshall Company. This is a great company to work for because the PA I replaced has gone on to work for Stephen Spielberg! Anyways... I work in Santa Monica which is not far from Katie's work and this allowed us to carpool. We found that throughout this last month I only got in my truck to move it from one side of the street to the other so that I wouldn't receive a street sweeping ticket. So we decided to sell my truck due to the lack of need. We also discovered that the money I make from mileage when I do runs throughout the week would almost entirely pay for a car payment.
We looked at a handful of cars but decided that the Prius, with it's gas sipping tech, would allow my mileage money to go further.
We picked the car up on Sunday and just love it.

Now on to some of the other cars I would recommend...
I was talking to my mom the other day who mentioned that she and my dad might be looking into a car purchase in the next year or so, and I created a quick list of cars I thought they should check out:

Here is an excerpt of an email I sent her with a list of cars I think she should check out if they are thinking about a new one in the next year.

Sports Cars:
The Honda CR-Z
This is a very cool sports hybrid car... now kinda lacking but it would be fun like your current car and get stellar fuel economy!

Small SUVs
The Chevy Equinox
This is a small suv that is getting great reviews. Super quiet and great interior refinements. It has plenty of room and equipped with the 4cyl engine you get 32mpg highway!

The Hyundai Tucson
This is a brand new vehicle by Hyundai and looks very cool. It can get 31mpg on the highway as well.
The Ford Fiesta
Very cool car that can get 40mpg when equipped with their new automatic transmission. It has some great features like the ability to connect to your iPhone and have access to all your music, as well as bluetooth calling, Pandora radio, sunroof, push button start, and automatic proximity door locks (very cool). I love this car and is pretty much equal to the Honda fit. The interior is very cool and hip with red back lit lights. I am not a fan of overly used red lighting in interiors but its easy to get used to. The back seat does not fold flat like the Honda fit so it makes it more difficult to lay flat items in the back but again is adaptable.
The Honda Fit.
One of my favorite cars. It has so much room and a price that is hard to beat. It doesn't have all the cool tech that the fiesta has but makes up for it in it's incredible interior styling and use of blue lighting at night. I love blue night lighting and really disliked that our new prius uses an old green lighting motif. Agh. Honda has some of the best interiors but lacks in it's tech department.

Katie and I have a our new Prius and absolutely love it. I love the fact that its like a huge electronic toy that is drivable. The car successfully turns driving into a mile per gallon game and although you risk creating quite a few angry drivers following you it feels good to keep passing the pump. I am excited to fill up though and feel the excitement as the pump stops at around 12 gallons and doesn't continue to 24gallons! :) I will miss my truck but for now Katie and I love our prius and the fact that we get to spend so much more time together as we car pool.