Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Ever wish you could reverse life? Go back, do things differently.

If so, (and you have diabetes), I just produced a TV spot for you. This week I finished up the production on a TV spot for the Utah Department of Health. They wanted a spot to motivate people with diabetes to go out and get their A1C levels checked. By doing so, they would greatly reduce their risk of major (and irreversible) complications such as blindness and amputation.

The idea is really simple. I wanted to remind these people that they can't go back in time, so they can't procrastinate getting this test done. I did this by simply showing a hospital scene going in reverse with dialogue focusing on the need to get an A1C test done. Simple right? Well, here's the tricky part. The actor had to learn his lines in reverse so that when we flipped the film around everything would be going in reverse but we could still understand him.

Here is the raw footage, or in other words, how it all looked while filming it. Listen to him deliver his lines in reverse, it's pretty remarkable.

Now check out the final version once we reversed the film. It's not entirely perfect, but for some reason I really wanted to do this without any post trickery and/or wizardry. We also added subtitlery.

And now go get your A1C level checked.

Monday, August 28, 2006

A wise man once said, "Never look back in time." Said wise man must've seen my high school senior pictures.

In Jerome, Idaho, no moment of a teenager's life holds more significance than that of getting his/her senior pictures taken. The idea of being immortalized in soft focus while leaning against a step ladder is met with heavy anticipation. The actual photoshoot itself is much like a right of passage. A child walks into the studio and emerges an adult (with a couple 8x10's and a few sheets of wallet-size). These photos not only capture the physical transformation of a child, but they also instill a heroic sense of optimism. A can-do-anything attitude that is ever needed in meeting today's demands of success.

As I was cleaning out my garage this weekend, I found some boxes of memorabilia that my mother had dropped off after they sold the house in Idaho. Apparently, my mother was extremely detailed and committed to saving every possible element of history in regards to my life. Every report card, every handwritten note, every doodle made while sitting in church, every paper written for school, every home movie, and most importantly, every photo.

I couldn't help but take the time to go through every single picture, each transforming me back to a place that time had forgotten. I was especially taken back by my all-important senior pictures. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So I did both. It was weird.

It is with much pleasure that I present to you the photos of, "When Steve Became a Man."

Delightful in a Junk Yard
This particular piece demonstrated my equal mix of two parts softy and two parts hardcore. By mixing such diverse emotions, this photos could be issued with equal acceptance from both the church-going crowd as well as the hardcore kids who would skip class to smoke cloves behind the bleachers.

CHURCH GOERS: "Aw, Steve. What a cute smile."

HARDCORE KIDS: "Dude, junk yards are wicked."

Ponder, Yet Snowboard in a Junk Yard
Props are not to be taken lightly when it comes to your senior picture. And apparently, they aren't to be taken in context either. No matter. This shot utilized the time-honored technique of black and white creating a wealth of drama. It says, "Hey, I snowboard, but anyway, I'm sitting in an old bus in the middle of the junk yard. What's life all about?"

The Monster Rock
Who was hardcore? Steve was hardcore. This piece really cranks the volume with a low angle and a monster stance. The setting Idaho sun mingled with pants meant for obesity really makes the statement. Throw in some leather boots and you better just walk away from this photo.

The Thoughtful Musician
With my head tilted just slightly and my instrument resting on my inner thigh, this photo really expressed my sensitive side. Sure, the facial hair suggests perma-rocker, but the deep stone washed dropcloth interlaced with the hand-to-chin pose speaks volumes of thoughtfulness. It proclaimed, "Within each hardened soul is a vulnerable butterfly, fully capable of a romantic dinner and a movie. And hey, check out my wicked axe."

The Confused
Sadly, not all senior pictures work out as well as they may have on paper. This is one of those pictures. The combination of elements, emotions, and location conclude in nothing save it be a trainwreck of upheaval.

The I Want My Grandmother to Think I'm Sweet, but Still a Snowboarder
Recipient planning - a key ingredient to any successful senior picture. Knowing your target audience and your intended message can save you hours, even days worth of post heartache. This piece is a classic example of "play it safe, yet I still participate in a sport commonly frowned upon by society." By limiting anything that could be taken as offensive by people familiar with a more conservative era, this photo checks all family members off the "Here's my senior photo, now send me money" list.

The Prop Amalgamation
"Now we've got all these props here in the studio. Let's randomly throw some together and see what we get. Oh yeah, that's nice. Just like that."

Prop-Aided Symbolism
At the ripe age of 18, who doesn't feel fenced in? Who doesn't feel as though the entire world is trying to keep them down, trying to douse their flames of expression. I know I sure did. And this photo captures that. The scowl (peering through strands of hair) says, "For every fence you put up, I'll provide a bulldozer to knock it down." I think this photos also says a bunch of swears too.

While the following photo isn't a senior picture (I believe this is seventh grade), it is definitely worth comment. Now, I believe my mom was a caring mother. I believe she had my best interests on the top of her priority list at all times. What I can't figure out, however, is how she allowed such a monstrosity of a haircut to exist on my head. I mean, were scissors even used here? Straight lines sure weren't (notice the overstated curve atop the right eye). But perhaps the most perplexing thing is the variety of hair styles all integrated into one. So far, I've counted a bowl cut, a Brian Bozworth, and a semi mullet. Clearly, a lethal combination.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Once again, I enlist your help.

Since we're on the topic of public transportation, I thought I'd provide a visual aid to help emphasize the points made in my last entry. I believe said visual helps to support the "all walks of life ride the train" argument. But the real question here is, just how different are these people? Sure, their outward appearances sing striking disparity, but is there more to these books than just their covers? Please take a moment and offer your analysis on these three wayward commuters.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Advice from a Train.

For those of you who don't know, my wife and I recently sold our home in East Millcreek and moved out to the suburbs of Sandy, UT. In doing so, I've discovered the joys of public transportation, specifically the TRAX service provided by the Utah Transit Authority. With a station only three minutes from our house, it's become a great alternative to the otherwise road rage-influenced rush hour I-15 commute. Additionally, the savings on gas is borderline inconceivable (I've only had to fill up my car twice in the two months I've lived out here). Plus, the 25-minute post work wind down has done miracles for my state of sanity.

But there is one thing that trumps all the aforementioned. One advantage that does more for me than all others combined.

The people watching.

You see, the train is no discerner of persons. It'll shuttle a 40-something nutjob in camo fatigues who's on his way to threaten his former employer with a butter knife and a screwdriver just as well as a sweet 80-something grandmother who's on her way to offer praise at the Mormon Temple. The girl who doesn't say a word, let alone even make eye contact with anyone rides the train as well as the guy who plops right down next to you and says, "Hey, how's it going? I've got a giant growth happening between my buddy sack and back door right now. Itches like a mother!"

Yup, it truly is a melting pot of folk.

Or fertile ground as I like to call it. Fertile ground, you ask? Yes, fertile ground. For my new project, Advice From a Train - A book containing pages of advice from would-be, non-participating train commuters. It's simple really. Here's how it works. Whenever I encounter someone of interest, I simply hand them the journal and ask them to fill a page with their life advice (and anything else they might find particularly interesting and/or noteworthy). It's an empty page. Fill it with wisdom.

When it's all said and done, I should have a great myriad of advice from some of this planet's most peculiar. If that collection can't assist me in answering life's most perplexing questions, I don't know what can.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Snow globe update.

My experiment was a total bust. I got nothing other than a short, "oh, thanks."

I feel so lost. So scared. So unsure.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

You've heard the expression, "southern hospitality" right?

Today, I experienced it. So check this. Earlier this morning, while trying to hail a cab in Atlanta, a lady pulled her car to the side of the road and the following conversation ensued:

NICE LADY: Hey, are you trying to get a cab?

ME: Yes.

NICE LADY: Where are you going?

ME: 3060 Peachtree.

NICE LADY: Well hop in!

ME: What?

NICE LADY: Hop in, I'll take you there.

ME: Really?

NICE LADY: Yeah, let's go.

ME: Okay.

Slightly confused, I got in her car and she drove me to my destination. I asked if I could pay for the gas or anything and she quickly declined. She did let me take her picture, however.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Can one snow globe bring the world together?

I'm about to find out.

Later today, I will board a plane destined for Atlanta. There, I will be meeting with people from another advertising agency, one of which, has a collection of snow globes. So, as a quasi-scientific experiment, I'm going to provide said individual with a complimentary Salt Lake City Temple snow globe upon arrival. It is the belief of this hypothetical hypotenuse hypothesis that by giving the gift of a snow globe, I will be able to create a very profound and strong relationship within mere seconds. Further reports will demonstrate the various levels of relationship by documenting such activities as hand shakes, hugs, open mouth kisses, butt pats, etc. - all in relation to time.

Yes, your minds should be blown.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Don't hate me because my sweats are extreme.

NOTE: Unfortunately, there is a lot more where this came from, so consider yourself warned. Extreme sweats!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Medella Breast Pump & Kids Jeep - $100.

So I'm in the market for one of those little kid jeeps for my daughter, Berlin, right? Problem is, I'm a total tightwad and the idea of spending upwards of $300 for one makes my backside pucker. So I decided to talk to my ol' trusty friend - craigslist. I did a quick search and found the following listing:

Medella Breast Pump & Jeep - $100.

Awesome breast pump. I paid $225 for it and only used it for 6 months. It is a double pump and if you are trying to increase your milk supply this works wonders. $100

Blue Jeep from Toys r US. Dad had to buy it! Paid over $200 new. $100.

Jessi; 801-XXX-6037

I thought to myself, "It probably would have been more effective to simply make two different posts for such different items, but hey, perhaps she was crunched for time and the thought of combining the two appealed to her." Interested in the lower price of only $100, I sent the following e-mail:

is the jeep still available? if so, what color is it? also, does it
still work well?

A day went by and I got the following short-but-to-the-point reply:

it's blue. it works well.

Feeling the need to gather more information before I made the trip over to see the item in person, I followed up with a series of sub questions:

Well, it's for a little girl, but I'm sure she won't really know the difference, right? Does it go very fast and how long does the battery usually last? I'm assuming it can be recharged by simply plugging it in, right? Sorry for all the questions. I'm new to this.

At this point, I'm thinking to myself, "Hey, we're on a roll here. We're really making progress in this potential transaction of used goods and/or services." At this pace, that sucker is as good as already parked in my driveway. Then I got this reply:

it doesn't have batteries, it just plugs in. My little girl would only take the bottle that has the nipple that is larger and more simular to my breast so that helped her adjust. It goes pretty fast. I spent a lot of money on other pumps before i bought this one and this one is amazing.


What happened here? I thought we were really making some headway. Then, boom, like a blunt object to the temple, I find myself seeing stars in a flashback montage of confusion and sorrow. At some point, my new interweb friend, Jessi, abandoned the jeep and went straight for the breast pump. Was she hoping that I'd become disoriented as a result of her internet tomfoolery and purchase the breast pump and be none the wiser? Was she thinking that, although I didn't know it, my real intentions were for that of a breast pump and not a jeep? Did she just want an excuse to tell a complete stranger that the bottle was more "simular" to her nipple? Was she high on beer?

So many questions.

So few answers.

I just sent another e-mail explaining that while I'm sure her breast pump is great, I'm really just interested in the jeep.

Stay tuned.