Archive for June, 2010

“Apple of My Eye” – an iPhone 4 Film

Just yesterday on AnywhereMan we were discussing squeezing everything you can out of the equipment you’ve got. This video captures that concept perfectly. Forget expensive HD video cameras, this film was shot (and edited!) entirely on the iPhone 4. Unbelievable.

Props to @jerdoyle for sharing this.

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Shot and edited entirely on the iPhone 4 / iMovie App (in 48 hours).

Directed by Michael Koerbel
Produced by Eric Edmonds and Rebekah Koerbel
Written by Anna Elizabeth James and Michael Koerbel
Photographed by Michael Koerbel
Edited by Anna Elizabeth James
Production Design by Leigh Koerbel
Original Score Composed and Conducted by Corey Wallace

Starring Greta Charness and Timothy Guest

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Making the Most of What You’ve Got

I love creativity and talent. The great thing about both of these characteristics is that while good equipment and the right “stuff” can really enhance them, both can shine through no matter the medium.

Photographer Chase Jarvis has a book and an iPhone app named “The Best Camera,” as in “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” He spends a lot of time actually shooting photos with his iPhone even though he has a full lineup of high-end cameras as well. And the pictures still look great because Chase really knows what he’s doing.

I like to do the same thing with photography (and I am not a photographer). We’ve got a few DSLR cameras but more often than not, I like to walk around with my trusty 7MP Canon Powershot and take pictures of things that interest me. And some of the pictures actually turn out nicely because I’m focused on the actual shot and not so much on the technical aspect.

It’s the same with music: More often than not, I prefer the early albums of my favorite artists over the big-budget, professionally-produced later albums. For example, while I enjoy all of David Gray‘s music, my favorite album is still White Ladder. It’s a super low-budget album but contains some of his best songs. ┬áThe content over-rides the fact that he didn’t have access to the “biggest” and the “best.” Artists do more with less.

Often times low-budget, independent films have better storylines than $100 million epic adventures. And some of my favorite videos on Vimeo are those shot with the HD camera that I’ve got: A Canon HV30, consumer video camera that dwarfs in price and features compared to what the pros use, but people are squeezing amazing creativity out of it.

There’s something fulfilling about knowing you are getting every possible ounce of usefulness out of your existing equipment. This is especially relevant to do-it-yourself entrepreneurs and freelancers because we don’t have the budget of a large corporation.

Squeeze everything you can out of your Photoshop CS2 software instead of feeling paralyzed because you don’t have CS5.

Push the boundaries of what you can do with iMovie since you can’t yet afford FinalCut Pro.

Make the most of what you’ve got and focus instead on what you are doing. Take note of the current limitations but don’t dwell on them. Someday you’ll be able to afford bigger and better, but right now you’ve got what you’ve got and what’s important is that you continue to evolve your craft.

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Fight Creative Time Wasting: Tips for Resourceful Time Wasters

Good article from FreelanceSwitch. I especially like the approach of bunching distractions together. I think that could work well.

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Most readers of this blog provide creative services of some kind, largely as designers or as writers. And if you are contemplating a switch to the freelance life, you may be wondering about your own creativity, about your ability to constantly come up with new and better ways to do things for your clients.

What’s the Cure?

Frankly, some people never get past this phase. But while successful freelancers may not be completely free of these afflictions, they eventually learn to manage them, to hold these distractions down to a level where they do a little less damage to their productivity:

  • Start with patience. If you are new at freelancing, you are facing a whole new lifestyle and “workstyle.” It takes time to adapt, so don’t expect to apply a heavy dose of “will power” or “self-discipline” and suddenly make everything better.

  • Bunch your distractions together. Check mail (e- or other) at specific times, and deal with it in a few set time periods, instead of constantly throughout the day. Get those office supplies, and all those other errands you have discovered, done on a single day in the week, instead of running out the door repeatedly.

  • Earn your distractions. Get those software updates only when you complete your work quota for the morning. Recognize these activities as the breaks they are, and use them as rewards.

Generally, outwitting these time wasting maneuvers works better than trying to eliminate them through some kind of brute force effort. And when you have that occasional relapse — as you will – forget all the guilt. Just have a laugh at yourself, and accept time wasters as part of the freelance life.


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The Journey to Coworking Part 1

As much as I love being the AnywhereMan and working WHERE I want, sometimes I miss the interaction that you get in an office environment. The coworking movement caught my eye about a year ago and today I talk about my plan to help start one in my local community.

Do you cowork, or are you thinking about it?

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Seth Godin, The Internet, & Crack Cocaine

A few more thoughts from Seth Godin‘s “Linchpin” and the addicting distractions of the Internet.

What’s the biggest time-zapper for you online?

I’ll come clean that Vimeo is probably the most addicting distraction for me (especially when paired with my HD projector). Endless amazing art and talent. The creativity of others draws me in every time. Twitter comes in at a close second.

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What Are You So Afraid Of?

I’ve been reading Seth Godin‘s “Linchpin” at a surprisingly slow pace. It’s not because it’s a bad book, it’s just because each little section in it is just so good and I’d be missing out on so much by reading it too quickly. I’ve got this book earmarked all over the place!

In the book, Godin discusses the idea of the resistance. This includes habits, emotions, and other barriers that keep us from truly becoming more than just a cog in the corporate machine. Today I talk about one of those barriers: fear.

So, what are you afraid of?

A big thank-you to @MichaelHyatt for the book!

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The Stay-At-Home Dad Workout

I find that this is incredibly relevant to me as I have actually done some of these exercises. Hilarious! I’ve seen a bunch of Gavin’s videos (the “How to Defend Against Someone Attacking You” is incredible), but this is a top sketch for sure.

Kudos to Jake Olson for sharing this one.

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