Monday, September 20, 2010

One episode down, nine to go

I watched the first episode of the Un-Road Trip TV show last week. It was pretty surreal. The graphics weren't quite finished and the audio wasn't final yet but there it was - twenty some minutes of television about the first few days of my trip. And it was pretty cool. I forgot how many awesome people I met on this trip and it was fun to see all of those folks again. And it's been fun to get back in touch with a lot of them to get new depiction releases for Halogen's legal department. Who knew procuring legal documentation could be so fun?

This pilot episode is now making the rounds at Halogen TV and once it gets approved, (hopefully this week), we'll get started on the remaining nine episodes. I've been recording temporary narration tracks for the show on my laptop in Portland, but I'll head out to North Carolina again in November to lay down the final audio. And in a few short months the TV show will be unleashed into the world.

It's incredible to see how much collaboration goes into a TV show. I know I already wrote about that a few posts ago, but I was looking over the credits for the first episode and it's surprising to see how long that list is. I was trying to remember all the folks who helped out with the first week of the trip and adding them to the "special thanks" section. Did you help with the trip? Want to be in the credits? Let me know and maybe I can squeeze you in.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Time to start the hand exercises again...


I feared this day might come and it looks like it has. In fact it looks like the day might have come twice this summer. It appears that my Guinness world record for "most high fives in an hour" has been broken. Twice. It all started a few weeks ago when someone mentioned that they had searched online for my world record and found plans for another high-five record attempt in Chicago. ComedySportz in Chicago was attempting to break my record:
After each and every performance of ComedySportz, our players line up and high five the audience on their way out of the theatre. It is a simple gesture of gratitude and camaraderie that has been a part of our show for over 23 years. In short, the High Five is part of our culture and now we will bring the "high-five culture" to the City of Big Shoulders. Especially with so much bad news permeating the headlines, we think this is exactly the kind of fun, positive event that Chicago needs.

The current record for 'Most high-fives in one hour (individual)' is held by Boaz Frankel (USA) who high-fived 408 people at the Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon on October 23, 2006. C'mon Chicago, we can do better than that!

It was honestly a little strange to be reading about myself in this context- as "the guy they wanted to beat." I emailed the ComedySportz guys to see how it went and apparently they beat my record by less than a hundred high fives though they were still waiting for verification from Guinness.

Then just a few days ago I heard about another attempt around Chicago at Hoffman Estates High School:

Hundreds of Hoffman Estates high school students slapped hands with their mascot, Flash, Friday afternoon in a bid to smack down the Guinness World Record for most high-fives in an hour.

The current record stands at 408 high-fives. Boaz Frankel set the record at Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Ore., on October 23, 2006.

One by one students filed into the football field near the school, delivering a high five -- no underhands, down lows or fistbumps allowed -- to a purple lightning bolt standing outside.

The final tally in the school's effort: 1,363 in one hour.
That's three times as many high fives as I got! That's just over 20 high fives a minute. It looks like I've got my work cut out for me.

I'm already starting to think about my next record re-breaking attempt. In order to high five all those people I'll have to do plan it at a sporting event or parade or something like that. Stay tuned for details...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Shine your kazoos! We're planning a party!

After weeks of toil, hours spent on eBay, and a soft open a few weeks ago the Kazoo Museum is having an official grand opening! I spent a week in Beaufort, SC in June installing the museum in its new spacious home at the Kazoobie Kazoos Factory and now we're ready to share it with the world! Or something like that. I'm still not exactly sure what this event will include but I guarantee fun, wonder, and definitely kazoos. I'm prepping a short film on the history of the instrument which will premiere at the event and then play year-round in the Kazoo Museum Theatre. The Kazoo-Spectacular will be going down at a yet-to-be-determined time on Wednesday, October 6th. So book those tickets!

I've also been toying with the idea of starting a kazoo podcast. Maybe something quarterly? Anyone have interesting insights on the kazoo and want to be a guest?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Post production is moving along...

For the longest time the Un-Road Trip was just me. I started planning the trip in August of 2008 and for nearly a year it was just me sitting at my computer, doing lots of research, sending a lot of emails, and looking at a lot of Google maps. And then I set off on the trip in April of 2009 and suddenly a lot more people were involved. So many folks helped me out along the way. They lent me their horses and boats, invited me to spend the night, and offered a ton of helpful advice. Those people really made the trip the amazing experience that it was, and I still keep in touch with a lot of them. In the last few months production has really ramped up on the Un-Road Trip TV show and now the whole Halogen TV family has gotten involved. I can't even track all the folks currently working on it. From what I gather they include musicians writing a theme song, animators creating the show open, editors cutting it together, marketing people planning how to promote, and probably some other people I'm not even aware of. And suddenly there are dozens of people involved in the Un-Road Trip that I've never met. It's a pretty strange/funny/wild thing to have this little project suddenly employing people. So it's bizarre to talk to Todd (who's producing the show for Halogen) and have him show me all these clips created by people who I don't know. During an iChat conversation yesterday Todd showed me a rough cut of a segment from the show:
Watching a rough cut of episode 1 via iChat
It was crazy to watch. Sure, I was there but I had no concept of what it would all look like. And I probably still don't have a great idea since when I look at these clips I remember my thoughts during filming and interactions with the off-camera crew. And then came the really wild part. Todd showed me an early version of the animated opening segment of the show. It features a little collage-animated version of me traveling around the world on all sorts of modes of transportation. I had no concept of what the opening would look like and this really blew my mind. I can't believe that a guy I've never met had to sit at a desk somewhere and animate me. So strange. Here's the end of the intro as photographed on my laptop:
Un-Road Trip TV show opening graphic
It looks pretty sweet and I can't wait to start sharing clips with you guys- thought that probably won't be for another few months.

There's other wacky stuff on the horizon too. My documentary about the endangered Salt Creek Tiger Beetle is coming along, I'm helping to plan a big grand opening for the kazoo museum in South Carolina, and I'm working on a little music video too. Stay tuned!