So today we follow up yesterday's shorter blog by talking about catharsis. To be precise, catharsis is relief obtained through emotional release - Crying to feel better, screaming or punching things to feel better, et cetera, et cetera. It's the human race's number one stress relief method and it comes in many forms; Music, gaming, writing, working, whatever you can do that provides an emotional pressure valve for built up stress inside you. For me, music and gaming are two of the biggest sources of stress relief.

Whenever I'm feeling stressed out, I turn on my new favorite album or one of my favorite Pandora channels or Spotify / RDIO playlists, pull up a game I've been playing recently and turn the volume down, and just turn my brain off. I let the music wash over my mind and lose myself in the game. With this, the game distracts me from whatever is stressing me out, and the music helps me deal with the pent up emotions that the stress caused, allowing me to calm down and approach the problem later.

Sometimes that's hard to do - I may not be at home at the time, and thus not have those options available to me; I may be in the middle of an activity and not be able to deal with whatever is causing me the stress, or the game I'm playing may be the one causing the stress in the first place. In situations like that, I tend to just bottle it up and push it away - Which, eventually, results in all of that stress boiling to the top in an emotional volcano which is something I don't enjoy experiencing.

We all need that pressure valve, that catharsis, that keeps us from bottling our emotions up. Whatever it is, own it, and don't let it become the thing that stresses you out. 



Brushing up on my dad jokes

So my wife and I officially announced yesterday that we are expecting - which we are! We found out a little before Christmas, which was when we told our family and closest friends - there was lots of screaming to be had from excited people, lots of congratulations, and lots of happy people. We then had to tell them all to be quiet until Katie had her first doctor's visit, so we could share the news with the rest of the world.

Needless to say, it's been a wonderful few weeks knowing that my wife is pregnant after we've been trying for about a year and a half now. It's exciting, and I'm really looking forward to being a dad. I actually wanted to tell everyone the day we found out, but cooler heads prevailed and we decided to wait.

It's going to be weird, doing this thing that I do every day of the week with a kid, I'm sure it's going to be weird for them growing up and watching their dad entertain people for a living from his house - How do you talk about that as a passion on parent's day? But still, I look forward to it, and I can't wait to meet the little one.

All those songs about being a father have started hitting me even harder now.


Guild of the Dungeon Masters

So, I learned about two things today, both of which inspired the Two Guys One camera that just went up on the youtube channel. Wizards of the Coast have recently released the Open Game License for 5th Edition D&D, and launched a website / online store called the Dungeon Masters Guild, or DMGuild, wherein content creators who have made homebrew additions to 5th edition can hock their wares for free or for some amount of money. In particular, internet sensation Critical Role's Matthew Mercer has put both his Gunslinger fighter archetype and Blood Hunter unique class on it for "Pay what you want" I.E. free, considering he's got them available for free other places as well.

This excites me for two reasons; One, the open game license for 3.5e resulted in many fantastic spin offs on the D&D formula that are still played to this day; Pathfinder and Warcraft RPG just to name two. I greatly look forward to seeing what sprouts up from 5th edition and see where other people take the formula. Two, the DMGuild provides a fantastic resource for up and coming DMs who aren't particularly experienced at creating new content to make their games a little more unique and memorable. It also provides inspiration for others to craft their own homebrew mechanics, classes, races, etc.

It was such a fun idea that we began chatting about 'celebrity modules', which got us onto the subject of 'Walken 'n' Dungeons' - Originally titled 'Walken & Dragons' but we decided the pun was too delicious to ignore. The idea of a 5th ed remastering that only added extended awkward pauses to all of the text tickles a very particular part of my funny bone - the absurdist part, to be specific.

I look forward to seeing what fun things come out of the OGL and DMGuild in the meantime.


Adobe Premiere Shenanigans

So yesterday's Two Guys One Camera had a bit of a hiccup until I fixed it this morning. To be precise, a 2 minute long video showing me recording the unedited footage for the episode was uploaded rather than the edited copy I had made and thought I'd exported. How did this happen? Well, it's really simple - Adobe Premiere is silly.

To be precise, Adobe Premiere decided that when I hit 'Export' I meant to export the source video - The thing that was already a stand alone video file with no modifications done to it from Premiere and thereby not needing to be exported - instead of the complete and edited sequence that I'd been working on and saved.

Why? Because I'd accidentally clicked it while going from the sequence to the File > Export feature. 

So, because of an errant mis-click Premiere did the equivalent of opening the door to drag a slab of marble into the workshop, only to turn it around and drag it right back out untouched by a chisel. As opposed to the sequence, which was a slab of marble from the same stock that had already been carved into a statue and was ready to be taken out  and placed on display.

Then, because I'm in the habit of trusting my equipment to do what I tell it to when I tell it to, I didn't check that the file was the correct file and uploaded the footage to Youtube as yesterday's episode. This was the equivalent of my, seeing a covered box outside the workshop, planting it up on a display pedestal sight unseen and assuming it's exactly what I wanted it to be.

When I woke up I noticed a few messages notifying me of the issue, which I then fixed and now we have the correct video in place and all is right with the world. Fortunately I didn't decide that the recording process of that particular video was the time to watch adult movies or declare deeply held racist beliefs. Dodged a bullet there.

So, the moral of this story? Never trust computers and always check your work.


On the subject of film setups

So, remember a couple of days ago when I said my New Years resolution this year was to improve the things we started in 2015? Well, we're already doing that and I thought it would be a good subject for the blog, so here we are. How many of you know anything about film sets?

There are three critical aspects of any film set, from the new Star Wars movie to a 30 second comedy video about lighting character sheets on fire. Those three aspects are; Audio, Video, and Action - also known as "What are we hearing?", "What are we seeing?", and "What is happening?" If any of these three things are missing, then you have an uninteresting or incomplete shot most of the time. Either you've got something exciting sounding but can't see it, something fun looking but can't hear it, or gorgeous visuals and audio of what may as well be a postcard. 

In order to achieve these three aspects there is a variety of equipment required. For the video, you need cameras and lights. For the audio, microphones and recording devices, and for the happening well you need people. Most importantly though, you need a way to capture all of this information and turn it into an editable format. It's there that we come to our conundrum here at Final Show Films. We have these grand ideas, but no way to capture it effectively - we've got lights, camera, and action but in order to put it into the format we want - Live - we need different equipment. Cameras that can be plugged in and don't rely on batteries, a mixer that can take audio and visual data and send it to a computer, more and better lights, etc.

So that's how we've come to me sitting at my computer looking up film setups to get ideas. Geek & Sundry have a very good setup for their studio out in California, and have the name power to get sponsorship deals. We're not that big yet, so we've got to scrounge and purchase what we can when we can. Still, every little bit helps, and what materials we've been able to scavenge have worked thus far.

We just need to do our best to keep them working.