Production Notes for Overcooked Vegan Episode 4

Episode 4 is live as of 5 am or so my time.  Episode 3 was supposed to be the last bit of lemonade however this episode went up without a restaurant overview because it was delay another day (I try to launch early Tuesday mornings) while I get footage today or get it out. I’ve adjusted the compression settings so the compression is 8x faster but it takes 5 to 6.5 hours to upload the thing. That would have meant another Thursday launch and I don’t want to feel that burn again.

Because I launched ep 3 on a Thursday before a holiday weekend, it got lost in the throng. Subsequently, I don’t understand YouTube‘s counter because it fluctuates browser to browser and if I look at the analytics from Google, there are massively more views than what the tube admits. Oddly enough, I don’t really care about the view count aside that it poisons a viewer into thinking it’s not worth their time. My main goal is to make steady gains in the production technique and package it all longer format later.

I’ve been up all night making certain that the upload went successfully, so I’m cooked right now and should keep this short. Reigning myself in now.

Pre-production: Given that I had to animate a doll for ep 3 because of the quantity of flakes, I opted to go through Backstage.com and pull some actors. One was vegan. One was not. Both showed up early. The problem that arose was the location people… chose… non-communication as communication. I am not going to go any deeper than that. I’ll just say that it led to the clusterf**k that this episode became. And not that the episode is all bad but I wanted every episode to be a building block not a further display of crisis management skills. Que sera… or wutEVaaa.

Production: Having to split locations and alter the time frame, I gambled that I could get away with on-camera mic only. Master class of WRONG! Audio sounds more hellish than normal. I had to bounce light to the ceiling for flat, whack light. And for the coup’deville to the coupe de grace, I didn’t get a proper money shot on the first food item. Is youuu CRAZY?!! Time crunch like a mofo, man.

Post Pro: Minimal color correction. The first segment took over a day to edit because it had the most going against it. Having to deal with the producer part of the production had sapped my energy and I didn’t push the guy properly. He did a good job on his own but I fell flat as a director in both instances, I feel. So that led into a messy edit and me choosing not to re-cook the dish to cut in. Time was most important so I felt it best to take the hit and put it in the wind. The 2nd segment cut in under two hours. That’s probably because it was more cooking show formulaic and the weight of the location shift had already passed. I normally render segment plates then add music and bugs for the final output but it was more expeditious to copy and paste the edited elements into the output timeline then export it all to Compressor. After that, drag to YouTube, alter the web sites, post to social media, sleep for an hour then type this then hit the streets hunting.

Pre-pro 5: Don’t let the same mistakes occur. Start integrating the plotted elements. Lock down one more participant. Practice the beauty lighting speed. Get the lavaliere working. Keep on pushing.

Devil business

The business card layer of the abyss

The business card layer of the abyss

I got my start in computer graphics like almost everyone I know. I shall I say, “Yo ho ho, matey!?” An acquaintance had a copy of Quark 3.11, another had Photoshop 2.5, someone else had Freehand and all I had was a 40 lbs coal-powered computer with an amber monitor pushing CPM and sporting dual 10″ floppies. Actually, that computer’s power switch was an ignition. I had to use an actual metal key to power the thing on! Hahahahahaaa! I totally had forgotten about that detail. Apple had released System 7 and I was learning what I could intermittently on other people’s machines.

Fast forward to ’94 and I had been pretty good about pre-flighting files. I don’t recall ever looking at a product/file that I had commercially printed that yielded any low res proxy. I used good production techniques and I checked my work like a good little desktop printing soldier. Bulletproof results!!! Well, not anymore, sailor!

Old card: Free of Satan, not free of chaos

Old card: Free of Satan, not free of chaos

I was running out of cards and I really needed a change of logo so I fashioned something like an anarchy symbol but using the megafunk “M”. I did the thing in under a half hour — didn’t proof, step back, nada. Time was an issue. Auto-pilot was more so. I’ve been handing the things out for a couple of months but during my gallery show I handed one to someone and really looked at it for the first time. (I’m referring to the information side of the card. The front side is just an image.) The web site is a bit of a bitch to read because it’s a little too small. It’s not as chaotic as the one prior. I preferred the chaos. But the hilarity was that the anarchy M can easily be misconstrued as a goat head. The looks of confusion that the card brings are plentiful. Anyway, I’m not changing the damn thing until I’m all out of cards.

Unfortunately, the trip to the crossroads hasn’t yielded anymore height on my vertical nor successful bank deposits. To top it off, Next Day Flyers screwed the order so much that I’ll probably never print with them again. That’s my advice to the kiddies: Watch for goat heads and Satan calls if you’re the sensitive type. I find the card funny. Sloppy, yeah. That too.

Hawaii time to my show

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Yes. I was early to my own show… were it in Hawaii. Lateness is often a sign of disrespect but not today. I’m just relaxed. Thus far it’s a smallish turn out at the gallery but I’m way good with that. I’ve had some decent conversation and some possible leads on portfolio/head shot work. Shake the rust off kind of thing. 2 hours left before I can strip the walls and go.

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Gallery Show, July 11 4-8pm

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Click image to enlarge.

It’s been awhile but I’m dusting off the beret and the protruding tea cup finger to display a range of some of my visuals at the CAb this coming Saturday, July 11th, 4-8pm, 8443 S. Crenshaw Blvd., Inglewood, CA 90305. I’m recovering from an injury so that’s going to force a little scramble in terms of installations but everything will be up in time. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to hold off on presenting my most recent project though. I’ll be presenting photo and video. There will be food and music by a DJ; free admission. There’s a permanent collection, my stuff and some of the other artist rooms might be open.

It’s a good place for local artists to show their work so bear that in mind if you’re an artist or a patron looking for something to support in the neighborhood. The open house varies from monthly to bi-monthly, if I’m correct. You can search Facebook for Ericco Studio to fact check that.

I’ve wanted to get back into displaying some of the stuff so this will be fresh step. So many things have changed over the years with the how and who to collaborate with that there is a void of connection despite all of the communication mediums available. There’s also the transition from youth to older. You have to find different options in different ways. Well, this is supposed to be an announcement post rather than a musing so I’ll cut it here.

Production Notes for Overcooked Vegan Episode 3

You might notice something a little fake about one of the presenters in episode 3 of Overcooked Vegan.

episode type is too damn small

episode type is too damn small

I had joked with a friend that I would start animating a doll if I had anymore no shows. That became a planned segment I was preparing for episode 5 or 6. I wanted it to be smooth animation and build a nice set. As I alluded to in the last production note, I had a person cancel 34 minutes before the shoot and she has never been heard from again. I’m fine with that. However, the cauliflower was blameless and aging. I then I had several more cancellations and someone no show/no call that I would not have expected to do so. So, I frankenstein-ed a segment for Episode 3.

Initially, it was to be Spicy Curry Potatoes, Cauliflower and some asparagus thing. I’m not big on asparagus. It went bad (rotted) so only the 1st two dishes were possible to salvage. I called some people whose numbers I hadn’t tried in many years. Voicemail. Bah. That turned my Sunday into a cooking day. Neither dish takes over 20-25 minute to cook. Prep time isn’t too bad… UNLESS YOU’RE #@$%*! ANIMATING A FAKE BARBIE DOLL ON THE FLY! This lovely knock off from Jieyang has almost no weight to her. Under a proper set up, I would have added weight in areas and shot metal into her feet or used modeling clay.

I had to bumrush the animation. The doll was held in one hand. I made certain to leave one finger designated as the shutter button. Of course that certainty immediately dissolved and I was washing my hands every couple of minutes. I purposely left the camera on autofocus because I needed less to do. What would have taken an hour had the talent arrived those weeks ago turned that Sunday into a 3+ hour production. I ordinarily attempt to have the dishes cooking simultaneously no matter who is cooking. You can’t do that with a doll in your hand. And the funniest thing to me is that the manufacturer molded protruding nipples. Strange.

I don't set up light during the regular shoot. Think I did with tumeric and paprika stuck to my hands?

I don’t set up light during the regular shoots. Think I did with tumeric and paprika stuck to my 9b$@3-ing hands?

The other task was writing for the voiceover. Circumstances were not ideal but I do appreciate Batani-Khalfani coming through and laying down the overdub. I was juggling several projects so I omitted some things that I thought were funny and that might explain the root of the jokes better. Things that I obvious to me, as I strained to overdo my normal dry humor, might not translate as well without the proper set ups. I have no invite to write for any network comedies so I guess I can keep playing with dolls.

The name of the character had to be that way. 17-20 years ago I had a meeting at Mattel®. I had stripped all offensive items from my portfolio… except the one of with the pile of bleeding Barbies™ being stepped on. Total oversight. Totally haven’t gotten any work from them EVER. It was humorous. Head nodding in approval for everything then BAM! I’m not the world’s best designer, anyway. So, Barbéi’s tatoo says “Made in Jieyang, China”. Just because she’s plastic, does it make her a liar? From there, I was going to have her “exoticize” herself by claiming she was part this, part that in percentages that don’t add up. That slipped my mind. What you get is that her family history is a bit too close to too many things. I was trying to go the McDowells’ Coming to America riff. Shaw Bros became Shawz. Run Run became Walk Walk. Bruce Li, Bruce Le, Bruce Lie, became Bryce Léi. I mixed two different readings so that it seemed like she didn’t know what accent she was doing moment to moment.

Overall it wasn’t too difficult since I was going in for the hack job style. The 3 hours of standing was a bit arduous. I had a wall of things to do so that compressed post-production and brought me to releasing the episode on a day that no one will probably see it. I had to cut some animation out because I didn’t have any extra dub. But it’s all cool. I think it’s ok. I haven’t watched it yet as an entire show, just pieces. Work to do now. Gone.