The LAIKA Crew

Here’s the latest crew photo / goofy selfie combo from our behind the scenes photographer at LAIKA. There’s a ridiculous amount of talent, grit, and humor in this bunch and I’m proud to work with all of them.

Working with these artists and engineers, I’ve grown more as a maker in the last year than any other time in my life – from my craft in machining and mechanical design, to software, electronics, and camera work. And while I can’t say much about the work I’ve done there in a specific way, I’d like to share an aphorism my friend G taught me: Less Haste, More Speed.

When mistakes are made in motion control, they can be serious. Badly programmed robots will carelessly, emotionlessly drive their metal arms through sets and artwork that took months to create. Or worse, they can do serious harm to people. Or waste animators time and concentration. So the minutes you spend double checking your work, setting true home marks, labeling your cables, and saving your setup files won’t be remembered, but the mistakes you make will be because they cost everyone time.

Less haste, more speed.

Pan/tilt head controller with Unity

Recently I found a Telemetrics PT-LP at surplus for cheap. Originally designed to move TV studio cameras with teleprompters, it’s powered by some hefty servos and has heavy baffling foam to maintain quiet operation. After making a power cable for it and writing a basic controller for it in Unity, I can drive now drive it around on my laptop.

Get my code on Github.

UPDATE: screenshot of the latest interface

120

I finally shot some 120 film with a Mamiya 645, and I fell in love with it. See more of my latest photo work at flickr.com/poodus

Fluorescent

Fluorescent 9

A new study in after-hours and accidentally beautiful industrial lighting with mixed color temperatures.

Generative Design

025-01This was one of my favorite generative designs I made at my last job  – it was intended for the background of a talk show set. Using software to create the design gave me the power to quickly iterate through variations, then export an SVG that could be manually tweaked to my producers’ liking.

VIDEO PRODUCTION quick tips

I made a series of web tutorials on video production. The idea is to catalogue small but helpful things I’ve learned that make life easier on set or in the field. It’s often the little things (labeling, organization) that save you lots time and frustration.

Riverview Family Dental

Riverview

I did a 4-part commercial video series for Riverview Family Dental. When the videos go live on Riverview’s new website, I’ll embed them here  Videos available here.

Prairie Musicians 2016 teaser

I produced, animated, and shot this teaser for the 2016 season of Prairie Musicians.

Code quilt

I sewed my first quilt recently, based on a design I made using custom software. After experimenting with several rules to limit color and form, I ran the software and saved several of my favorite designs. Then I picked out actual fabric to approximate the colors generated, and began sewing an actual quilt over the course of a few weeks.

This project was an experiment in different ways to approach creative processes. Using generative design meant I could define a system of graphic rules, then enjoy the spontaneity and variety of some psueudorandom output.

FFF 2016

Fargo Film FestivalMy favorite local event starts this week and I’m excited to be involved. This year I have 2 films screening and will be a guest on a panel discussion. Here’s a rundown:

Ashley and Doug of Main Street

Monday March 14th

I’ll be on Prairie Public’s radio show Main Street talking about my film Bill Brunton: Guitar Maker. Duluth filmmaker Mike Scholtz will also be on the show talking about his film “Lost Conquest,” a “deconstructionist documentary about why we believe the things we believe.”

Bill Brunton: Guitar Maker

Thursday, March 17th

The documentary Bill Brunton: Guitar Maker which I produced, edited, and shot is an official selection and will screen this Thursday, March 18 at 11am on the main screen. It’s a poetic, endearing look at a guitar builder’s process and philosophy.

 

CLEMENTINE poster frame

Friday, March 18th

On Friday, I’ll be on a lunch panel talking entitled “Filmmaking in North Dakota & Minnesota: Roadblocks and Solutions.”

Later that night, my film CLEMENTINE will screen at the 2 Minute Movie Contest.