Category Archives: Creative

If you want to go far, go together

By | Adventure, Creative, play, productivity, relationship | No Comments

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” ~ African Proverb

When my wife Kelly and I first bought our shiny yellow tandem bicycle, I was so excited to take it out for a test drive. I expected the tandem to be just like, well… riding a bike. If perhaps just slightly more awkward? When I jumped on the back seat, I immediately realized that I was in for a surprise. You see, on a tandem bicycle, the back seat handlebars are fixed in place. They exist only to help you keep balance, and contribute nothing whatsoever to the steering of the bike. I then quickly realized that tandem connects both sets of pedals with a single chain, forcing the riders to cycle in sync. As we made our way out into the neighborhood street, one thing became clear; my job here was to pedal and to lend unquestioning support to Kelly in the captain’s seat.

Personally, as someone who likes to take charge, I found it very difficult to surrender control of the bike to my wife. When I tried to lean over to look ahead, I threw us off-balance and we would begin to wobble. When I shouted out steering suggestions, they were misinterpreted (putting it kindly) and always ended up doing more harm than good. I slowly began to relearn the lesson that we first discovered through our practice of acroyoga: it requires trust in order to be graceful.

Ultimately, I had to let go. I had to learn to be playful despite my lack of control or direction in the ride. Once I was able to fully let go of my need to be the in front, the experience became so much more fun. While Kelly steered us to good places, I put in the extra pedal power to give us momentum. We were having a great time, we were in sync, and we were cruising.

Given our current political climate, I think many male leaders could learn a thing or two by taking a few laps around the block in the back seat of a tandem bike. In so many arenas, males dominate the leadership positions. Women make up just 16.6% of corporate board officers at Fortune 500 companies, and own a staggering 1% of all titled land in the world.*

When learning how to row or ride or work together, it takes good communication and equanimity to stay in balance. Arguments arise easily when you’re in the thick of it and, in my experience, this friction often stems from the man’s need for control, and from his belief he can do better.

Through the years, I’ve learned that if you win an argument with your partner, nobody wins. However, when you treat your relationship like a team, everything changes. You realize that you are on a long journey together, and that a win for her means a win for us. Whenever I catch myself growing argumentative, I try to take a deep breath and remember that teamwork makes the dream work!

As a creative couple, Kelly and I have been working for years on how to thrive as married business partners. This year, things are getting even more interesting. As we enter into a new year under our new brand of CIRCUS PICNIC, we do so for the first time with a team working around us. We have recently hired on a staff of four editors and producers to take our work to the next level. With this creative cast of characters, we’ll be able to hoist up even bigger circus tents and climb up even steeper hills.


You can go farther when you’ve got a team! The CP Team!

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Sure, we didn’t need to build a team. As the proverb suggests, we could just as easily go the road alone and pedal quicker with less complexity. In fact, for years, Kelly and I did just that, working in tandem to produce amazing videos and events while collecting unforgettable experiences. However, we realized that our mission of bringing positive movement media to the masses is far too big for our four legs to support alone. When you have a team moving forward together with a common vision, there is so much more strength and momentum.

I see us pedaling collectively towards some incredible projects this year, and we hope you’ll follow along to see what we create together!

P.S. Does anyone know where we can find a 6 seater bike?

* statistics referenced from the phenomenal book Leading Women: 20 Influential Women Share Their Secrets to Leadership, Business, and Life.

Building the Brand Story for Lucid Audio

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We recently completed the first round of 8 lifestyle videos for the company Lucid Audio.  They make a new type of head phone with patent-pending AMPED technology that merges hearing aid technology with traditional headphones.  Essentially you are able to amplify your surroundings for safety while also jamming to your favorite music or taking calls.

We explored how 8 people use this technology to enhance the experience of their favorite hobbies.

See more of the videos we produced on their youtube channel here.

Mr. Greenheart's Treehouse

Mr. Greenheart’s Treehouse Episode… and That’s a Wrap!

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We’re happy to announce the pilot episode of Mr. Greenheart‘s Treehouse is officially in the can, so it’s time to say, “THAT’S A WRAP!”

Thanks to the generous support of over 400 backers, we had many more successful shoot days of LIGHTS, CAMERA, & ACTION, including in the green screen studio. We’re thankful for so many things in 2016, but most of all, for your words of encouragement and belief in our first major original production!

Now, we’re deep in the editing process and having so much fun.

We have something very special in our hands, and are focused on making it the best it can be. We have a few months until we’re ready to share the final episode with you, and in the meantime, we’re working on finding the right home for Mr. Greenheart‘s Treehouse starting early next year. We’ll be pitching to Youtube Red, PBS, Amazon Kids, Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and whomever else you think would be a good fit for our Treehouse family. Got any hot leads, sponsor relationships, or tips of where we should land? Please share with us!

Wishing you and your family happy holidays! Don’t forget to go outside and play!

Mr. Greenheart & the Treehouse Tribe

P.S. Please check our Mr. Greenheart Facebook & Instagram pages for daily updates about the show. Like, comment, or share if you feel called.

How to Make Epic Promo Films

By | Creative, film, productivity | No Comments

Want to create a powerful promotional video?  You probably already know that the right video can help you go places, but where do you start?  If you’re a video producer, or looking to make a high-end promo film for your brand, let me introduce you to my magical process. 

Disclaimer: I’ve been making promotional pieces for years, so realize the recipe is improved by attaining my “10,000 hours” in the creative kitchen.  Results may vary. 

The following steps show you how I worked with Lewis Howes on his book trailer for “The School of Greatness” which debuted #3 on The New York Times Best Seller’s List.  Watch it here, then read the process below.  

There are so many things that go into making a high quality promotional film like this one.  Some of our secrets included getting an awesome soundtrack scored by Lewis’s brother Christian Howes & producer Hamilton Hardin, and sourcing some of the footage I was shooting with major celebrities this Summer.  But the following steps are what I’ve boiled down as what made the most impact…



I’m cheating here, because that’s the advice Lewis Howes gives in the first chapter of his book “The School of Greatness”.  But it’s the most important foundation for any endeavor.  I talked with Lewis at length about the “feeling” he hoped to evoke with the book trailer.  Early on, we developed a shared vision of the tone, shots, and underlying message the film would communicate.  Not only did we cast a vision for the film, we also visualized the positive impact it would have on his audience.  We started this process many months before his book release, because pre-planning is one of the most crucial ingredients to a successful launch.  When it comes down to it, all great video is comparable to alchemy.  The combination of scenes, music, and choice of words combines to create something bigger and more moving than you could have imagined.  And it all starts with solid storyboards that become your blueprint.  Our intention was to make something epic and aspirational, so striking visuals were #1.  But we also didn’t want it to seem like any other inspirational mashup, so a consistent look and cohesive movement throughout the piece were prioritized.  I also focused on shooting in the most epic locations possible which required some solid scouting.  Although we often didn’t have an official film permit, our crew is small and agile so we were able to fly under the radar.  The result: Remote beaches, Hollywood views, and trails off the beaten path.  

Lewis Howes athlete on beach on book trailer shoot with Jefe Greenheart

Lewis Howes being filmed by Jefe Greenheart on Zuma Beach for “The School of Greatness” book trailer.




Remember to play to your strengths.  We identified two major advantages in approaching the project:

1) As a result of interviewing so many greats on his podcast, Lewis is friends with some of the most inspiring athletes/entrepreneurs on the planet.

2) I would already be going on a Summer tour across North America shooting branded content for Wanderlust, so I could schedule shoots with all these amazing characters along the way.

This helped dramatically reduce production costs, and made everything possible.  Although it made our travel schedule absolutely exhausting, it was all worth it for the experiences along the way. 

If you want to start a movement, there’s power in inclusivity.  Since the message of the book is bigger than Lewis, and shares the inspirational stories of others, we wanted to incorporate as many luminaries and modern-day legends as we could that represent the ethos of the book.  Those featured in the final project volunteered their time because they believe in what Lewis stands for and want to see him succeed.  When you have the backing of an army of awesome people, you have unlimited momentum.  By including and truly celebrating others, you create a spirit of collaboration and a sense of “we’re all in this together” that makes everyone feel like they’re invited to the party.  Since they shared the project with their audience, it amplified his message to a much greater audience.  So no matter how big your following is, when you include and feature other awesome personalities, it complements your promotional content.



As part of the campaign strategy, I thought it would be ideal to put the extra content that didn’t make the final cut to good use.  We made 10 instagram teaser videos (pitched 8, always over-deliver!), each told a short cinematic story of an athlete in training.  This was the perfect way to show off more beautiful footage we filmed with each person.  It also resulted in building more buzz in anticipation of the book release with all the social interactions generated.  We essentially provided fresh content every few days to keep fans excited about the book launch.  Meanwhile, Lewis was making appearances and doing several interviews each day.  With the added feature of a book trailer on his website, it acted as a way for readers to wet their appetite and feel connected with it.  Having a simple video book trailer is becoming the standard for successful book launches.  Having a cinematic trailer takes you to the next level. 



The rest is history.  Want to know what years of building a core audience amounts to?  Although Lewis is a first time author, he’s been building a huge following because he’s constantly giving.  Free training, inspirational podcasts, and more have helped make a name for himself in the online marketing world.  Beyond that, he’s fostered a network of entrepreneurs that support one another.  He’s also become clear on who he serves, which has resulted in an audience that knows him as well as he knows them.  He’s a guy that truly lives in the present.  If we had an idea about filming with someone, he’d immediately dial their number and get them on the phone.  I suppose it helps to have superstars on speed dial.  No matter how good your video is, you’ll need to have a marketing plan and release partners if you really want to make a splash.  Some of my most successful videos have been for brands that understand the value of leveraging their community.  



The internet has become short attention span theatre.  Nobody’s proud of it.  It’s an easy target to criticize, and as a media producer it can be frustrating to try to share something of substance with the reality that most will click away or scroll down if your video lasts longer than a couple minutes.  That’s why we focused on a TRT (total running time) of 60 seconds.  As a result, you get more viewers re-watching the video to catch all the cool moments again.  Have you ever watched a movie trailer that completely gave away the whole story?  That’s just annoying.  What are the chances you’ll end up going to see that movie?  Feels like you already saw it, right?  That’s why any good promotional video should leave us asking more questions and inspiring our curiosity more than anything else.  It’s like an impressionistic painting.  You get the big picture, but it inspires you to walk closer to see more detail.  The beauty in the brush strokes.  There’s so much more meaning waiting to be explored. 

To learn more about the book and get your copy today (which I highly recommend), go here: The School of Greatness.

What kind of promo video do you want to produce?  Want to know more shortcuts and secret ingredients to streamline the process?  Sign up below and I’ll share more free tips from my Producer’s Blueprint for making great videos.

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Motivational Mondays : Embracing the Naysayer

By | Creative, Uncategorized | No Comments

This year I’ve dealt with some big challenges. But that energy can either crush you or propel you forward. It all depends on your relationship with this one archetype that seems to cripple so many of us: “The Naysayer”. I’m learning that they are often well-intentioned individuals that don’t want to see you get hurt or struggle. They speak from experience, but they also limit us from breaking through our boundaries.

I’ve noticed myself slipping into this critical voice from time to time, and I hate how it seeks to stifle experimentation, progress, and risk-taking.
I want to be a voice of support and inspiration. I want to lift up my friends and point to the possibilities. And I want to find the strength within to focus and expand upon what helps my best self emerge. I think we all desire that on some level.

Why does the naysayer have so much power over us? I still have the words of some of mine stuck in my head from years ago. Jefe share’s some stories in this video…

Have a motivated Monday!


I have a Kelly.

By | Adventure, Creative, Love, productivity, relationship, Travel | No Comments

Somebody asked me, “how do you do it?” Good question.  How do I juggle all these balls in the air?

Came at the perfect moment, because today I felt like I was really behind on things that matter to me.
I thought for a moment. I looked back on this epic journey I just returned from, only to hit the road again in a few days.
The simple answer:

I have a Kelly.

@yeskelly helps me endlessly. And she nourishes me in all the ways that restore my health when I am hustling.
It’s been a tough day. But there’s nothing like coming home to this woman. This weekend we celebrated 6 years together.
What a love, tested by trials and marked with miles of smiles all the same.

This photo was snapped at Burning Man by@danieldav_is –and this art piece still hits me right in the heart. When we are turning our backs on one another and suffering, our inner child, a deeper essence is yearning to reach out in love.
So grateful to be surrounded by a whole community of loving connection. The past few days being back in Austin has been beautiful. 1,000 yogis chanting at the capital, bringing rugged Texas Rangers to tears, and all the little moments in between that shake me awake. You guys got me gushing… Life is great. Everything is going to be okay. Reach out when you need help, and you will be supported. Even if you haven’t found your “Kelly” yet.

#burningman #austin #art #inspiration#motivation #love #greenheart

Love, Boot House

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Ever get that feeling…

“Let’s sell our home and live in a boot!”

This artist actually did.

A few years back Kelly an I lived in an RV full-time. While it was a great adventure, I learned that as artists we need much more space for our creations to bloom.

And that’s not just physical square feet, you need mental space, to boot. Haha!

I’ve always been allured to tiny houses, and I definitely won’t rule out a treehouse in our future.

Being back in our home in Austin has been so nice. But somehow my to-do list tripled. Guess that comes with being a domestic gentlemen.

That being said I’m almost on the road again. Going on an epic hike with my spirit brothers in Colorado and filming a travel documentary from LA to Austin.

After a few more shenanigans, I’m looking forward to a season of grounding down. Getting clear. Making big plans, then executing them.

Sometimes it’s hard to make space for what you want to do next. But you can at least take one small step each day. And if you’re living inside a giant boot, you might be taking way bigger steps than you ever imagined…

Have you seen your true self?

By | Creative | 2 Comments

We asked ourselves that very same question when we looked into John Walter’s True Mirror. It’s the only mirror that doesn’t reverse your image. Wait what? YES! Everytime we look into a mirror that image we see is not what everybody else sees. I was hugely taken aback at my first look, much like the woman in the video, and quite concerned because I noticed my asymmetries significantly more exaggerated. But then upon closer look, there was something different, deeper. I was able to look and feel myself, as if I was looking into the eyes of another human being; just as I would be conversing with my best friend.

John explains this phenomenon on his website: “There are a few key reasons for why the True Mirror reflects the real you. The first is the all-important eye-to-eye contact — the strongest way we understand what people are saying. When you communicate with every other individual in the world, your eyes always meet left-eye-to-right-eye and right-eye-to-left eye. This normal biological pattern conveys information “just so”. With traditional mirrors, where the right eye picks up the right-eye reflection, and the left picks up the left’s, you are experiencing a highly unnatural way of gathering information about yourself. You don’t communicate with anyone else in the world in that pattern. The result is that we always feel we are somehow different than everyone else, often in a negative way. It is very common for people to feel “I won’t join a club that will have me” or “I know there’s something wrong with me, no one else seems to see it, but I sure do. Other people report that flat mirrors create uncomfortable or pointless feelings that really don’t have any good explanation. ”

John explains how getting to see yourself in the true mirror can actually help you become more confident; “Accurate eye-to-eye-communication fixes one of the most dynamic feedback loops in existence, leading to higher and higher levels of self-understanding and awareness.”

As we explore Burning Man festival this week, I know we’ll run into John and his True Mirrors. This year’s theme after all is “Carnival of Mirrors”. Burning Man on it’s own has the power to transform lives. I wonder now with the symbolism of the mirror how we may all come out with a deeper understanding of our true selves.

The Highs and Lows of Life on the Road

By | Adventure, Creative, Travel | No Comments

Are you a cosmopolite?

A cosmopolite is someone who is at home at any place in the world.  It’s the feeling that I aspire to in my travels.  And now that we spend half of our year on the road  filming new episodes, it’s essential we learn to adapt.  To land in each new place with a sense of connection.  Although we’ve only been on the road a couple months on this Summer’s road trip, we’ve grown through so much.  From ecstatic peak experiences, to the loss of a loved one.  Along the way, we’ve crossed paths with bears on 4 different occasions, in 4 different states!  Therefore, we are proclaiming this to be THE SUMMER OF THE BEAR!

The first lesson I learned so far this Summer: how powerful you become through the challenge of a climb.  As we navigate the highs and lows of life on the road, it’s the stories of struggle that make us stronger.  Our dear friend Nature Williams took us out for our first rock climbing adventure at Rumney in New Hampshire.  I thought I would easily ascend and find my way, but quickly learned that my upper body strength didn’t necessarily mean I would be able to muscle my way up.  On the contrary, I was too conservative in choosing my grips and barely made it a few feet on my first all-out effort.  Meanwhile, my wife Kelly was a natural!  She gracefully found her footing and used her flexibility to her advantage—making it all the way to the top of her first climb in no time!

roadI learned to be more adventurous on my second climb route.  An Aussie climber labeled it “totally jug-tastic” referring to the plentiful natural grips or “jugs” available on the ascent.  I balanced my body weight closer to the wall, and relied more on my legs.  The feeling of accomplishment when I made it 90% of the way was well worth the fear and exhaustion.  When we return home in the Fall, we hope to frequent a rock wall located only 5 minutes from our house in Austin!  As if we didn’t have enough hobbies already…

RoadWe’re lucky to land with good friends along the road.  Although finding a parking spot is sometimes nearly impossible (especially in Los Angeles), navigating the country in our family’s camper van has been a huge blessing.  We can camp out at remote hot springs, store all our equipment for video productions, and cart around a van full of friends for a shoot.

Campervan FullThe biggest unforeseen obstacle has been getting over the sudden passing of my dear grandmother Dorothy Rulapaugh.  Her friends knew her as “Dot”, and she was a powerhouse of a personality in the lives of so many.  We had just celebrated her 70th wedding anniversary with my Grandfather—what an achievement!  I’m so glad we made it out to Virginia to honor them, but I never expected to return within the month to attend her funeral.  She was the glue that kept our family together.  And now I feel a heightened sense of responsibility to keep in touch more, and let those closest to me know how much I love them.

roadI was buoyed up by the love and support I received from my extended family, including our traveling family that works with us as part of the Wanderlust tour.

This road trip has also been full of adventure.  Some of my favorite moments have been spent filming athletes that have become new friends.  Most notably, we have been filming with high-liners.  What’s that?  Quite simply, slacklining between two cliffs.  If you’ve ever seen the documentary Man on Wire, it’s pretty similar, but in some of the most exquisite natural environments.  We’ve been inspired by the courage and lifestyle of these guys and gals.  We’ll be integrating footage into a film for Wanderlust as well as our epic book trailer for entrepreneur Lewis Howes.  More on that soon!


RoadOverall, we’ve learned that there’s virtue in experiencing the highs and lows of life on the road.  The challenge of a climb only adds character.  After seeing so many bears this Summer, I thought it might be a good idea to investigate the deeper meaning.  The Bear Totem is apparently all about strength through hard times, confidence, and leadership.  So fitting, as we are seeking to embody these values with integrity moving forward.

When I used to jump in my Grandparent’s camper van as a child, we’d always race to say “On the Road Again!” saluting Willie Nelson’s classic song, and signifying a new departure.  Now that we are traversing the country in a similar camper van, I can hear my Grandma Dot’s cheerful voice as I step behind the wheel, On the Road Again…


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