Monthly Archives: May 2015

Shut Down & Restart: Why we need to hit the reset button

By | Creative, film | 4 Comments

Last month we went to Eeyore’s Birthday Party, a festive Austin tradition.  I filmed with my new camera—the Sony FS7, which shoots beautiful 4k slow motion.  Kelly and friends dressed up and happened to win the costume contest!  This short experimental video was supposed to just be a simple camera test, but thematically, it turned into something more meaningful. 

It’s been almost 6 years since I wandered into the woods of Zilker Park and discovered the interactive circus.  It was there that I met my wife Kelly for the first time.  In that season of my life, I needed the healing power of play more than anything.  I was ready to hit the reset button.  There’s something about festival that invites these kinds of connections.  We thrive on peak experience. 

I believe that finding space for rejuvenation outside the online noise and urban hustle is essential.  When we hit the reset button, we have the potential to be more productive, to find our focus. 

In just a few days, we’ll be hitting the road to go on tour with the Wanderlust Festival again, an event that blends the best of mindful living and ecstatic experience.  Yoga classes, talks, and exquisite hikes during the day, and soul-shaking music at night.  It gives us a chance to take a breath and reevaluate our intentions.  And it’s lovely backdrop and participants become the canvas for our series of short form documentaries. 

What kinds of rituals bring you closer to that sense of “shut down & restart”?    Do you do them often enough?  What are small ways you can bring them into your life each month? 

We’ve made a practice of integrating these things into what we do for a living, and never looked back.  Although sometimes we face major challenges, creating a built-in infrastructure of wellness into our “company culture” has made all the difference.  Our objectives look different than most organizations, and we like it that way.  From hiking down to the Greenbelt in the middle of a work day, to leveraging video services in exchange for free yoga classes—we’ve designed our work/life balance intentionally.  I’ve seen too many people burn out in our industry, heck, I used to be one of them.  I discovered that it wasn’t the actual labor (though exhausting) that drained me, but the nature of the content. 

Each month, we strive for more clarity on the kind of media that is most needed and fulfilling to produce.  Along the way, we seek to express ourselves, help others, and create community along the journey.  Thanks so much to all of our subscribers who offer us such kind words of support and join us on our video ventures.  We’ll be traveling all over the US this Summer, so if you’d like to connect and create we may be seeing each other real soon! 

If you’re not already a subscriber, please join the fun! 

(Listen to more music by our dear friend GLU!  He created “Shut Down & Restart” as part of his album Glubotic, recorded in a single month.)

A Nepal Tribute

By | Travel | 2 Comments
My heart goes out to the people of Nepal.  Just today another 7.3 earthquake hit Nepal with thousands injured.  This is two weeks after the devastating 7.8 earthquake that killed 8,000 people.

 

We made this video tribute from our recent trip to Nepal to share our favorite moments from the trip.

As we departed from Nepal in December, I told Jefe that Nepal now topped my list of favorite countries, but that I was relieved to be getting out alive.  I was referencing the terrifying driving around cliff-side blind curves and pursuing less than safe adventure sports.  Considering the recent Earthquakes and devastation in Nepal, my comment is sadly all the more true.

I love everything about Nepal: the people and their colorful attire, the language and how it flows off the tongue like velvet, the spice filled food, the historic bells ringing across the plazas, and the spinning of prayer wheels as people walk past temples with little murmurs of prayerful words.  You can feel the powerful energy in the air from the Himalayan mountain range, and the strong forces beneath the earth that create the majestic landscape.

The toll of the earthquake and aftershocks is so heartbreaking.  I see all those people, with friends and family, huddled together in the squares.  The same ones that Jefe and I walked upon not long before.  The historic buildings collapsed, waiting as a pile of rubble to be constructed again, if ever.  Still not knowing how many bodies might be trapped below.

Nepal is considered one of the ‘least developed countries’ on the Human Development Index.  The new government has been thwarted by rebellion and corruption.  It’s devastating enough when a catastrophe happens to a country with the resources to swiftly rebuild.  But here, aftershocks and rains blocked the search and rescue process for days; continuous fear of future earthquakes caused by the shifting still plagues the residents; the momentous task of rebuilding it’s city is an overwhelming burden to bear for a government that’s just struggling to provide it’s people with electricity, shelter, food, and water.

It’s amazing to see from afar the international community and local communities coming to Nepal’s aid.   I feel a sense of connection to the place, because of our recent visit.  I have family in Nepal too, who thankfully were not injured in the quake, and are there helping in the recovery.

Please consider making donation to the relief effort in Nepal.  Here’s a good site linking reputable organizations and what you should know about donating.

 

You were Born to Bloom

By | Adventure, Creative, Food for thought | 3 Comments

There’s something special about this video.  Beyond the feeling it captures or the majestic field of bluebonnets, it’s the fulfillment of a vision.  Over five years ago, I felt called to begin making short poetic videos.  And for some strange reason, I pressed pause on producing these cinematic shots of expression.  Why?

First of all, I was afraid.  Because the ideas came from a deeply spiritual place, I suppose I had my guard up on revealing what was living in my heart.  The last time I shared a personal, visionary message to a larger audience, I let myself get shot down by just one critic.  One person who felt like it would be funny to shout “wake up already!” in the middle of my short film screening at a festival.  The story was about fleeting memories, and there was a long (possibly indulgent) dream sequence.  Even though the film won awards and was an awesome achievement, this moment scarred me.  Caused me to cringe and halt whenever I felt compelled to create something original.

“Born to Bloom” is a nice way to say F* that.  It’s an invitation to feel free to awaken the artist within.  That vulnerable ventriloquist too afraid to stand strong with their own voice (nothing against puppeteers, I adore them).

Furthermore, it’s a war cry for creatives to come alive and express themselves.

Why do we forget the reason for our existence?

How can we more readily embrace our inner light?

Where is the proverbial hoverboard that will help us navigate the path ahead with more fun, swiftness, and grace?

I go to battle with these kinds of questions.  They lie just beneath the surface, and arrive into my awareness when I take the time to write what’s on my mind (journal more!).

The exercises in the book “The Artist’s Way” certainly help, I highly recommend it.  But I must warn you–we often hide behind our healing process for too long instead of leaping forward and taking action.  This is where the magic exists.  Where we have to confront our fears more tangibly.  There’s struggle and triumph, and every emotion in between.    And it’s the ultimate medicine for the soul.  It’s why we’re alive.  We were born to bloom…

For me, that takes the shape of just going out there and filming things for the fun of it.  And that’s what we did with this video.  We invited friends to go frolic in a field with us.  And decided to weave that visual tapestry with some deeper personal inquiry.

I realize I’m not so attached to how others may receive this video.  The reward was the process.  The art was in the action.  I can still smell the fragrance of thousands of Texas Bluebonnets.  The rush of chasing the sun as it set along the hill country horizon.  These are the moments I live for.

Want to see us make more videos like this?  Better yet, wanna be in our next video?  Let us know!  Share the love by submitting a comment below.

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