It’s my birthday today, which isn’t that exciting for you, but is very exciting for me. Because, Ice. Cream. Cake. Well, that’s only part of the reason. The real reason is because a few years ago I instituted The Birthday Rule.
What is The Birthday Rule, you ask? It’s kind of like Retta’s Treat Yo Self. On your birthday, you are required to buy yourself one present. One thing that you would not normally buy because:
1. It’s silly.
2. It’s expensive.
3. It’s inappropriate.
4. It’s just kind of dumb… but it makes you smile.
5. It’s a duplicate of or very similar to something you already own.
It’s The Birthday Rule. Just buy it. This year, I am buying myself a poster of a giant crystal structure. It’s expensive. And huge. And totally not necessary. But I love it and I want it, so thank goodness for The Birthday Rule.
I’ve been working more and more in writing scripts for animation and this project is one I found particularly fun. It’s for an amazing site (and client!) called The Parsnippety, which aims to be The Onion for Plant and Animal news.
We had a lot of fun poking at the food industry in this one. Did you know that some scientists believe that the combination of salt and sugar is more addictive than many narcotic drugs? It’s true. Look at the ingredients in many “healthy” products like protein bars and gluten free mixes and you’ll find out that salt and sugar are hiding inside in massive quantities.
If you’re interested in foodie culture and healthy living, I can’t recommend The Parsnippety enough.
I never thought I’d be an internet filmmaker. Storyteller. Videographer. Movie maker. But never internet filmmaker. And you know what? I like it. I like that something I didn’t even know could be a job just a few years ago is totally my job today.
If you’re thinking about making a living as someone who produces videos for the web, then I have three sites I need you to bookmark, like now:
So technically this is a site for people who make motion graphics. But, seeing as motion graphics are the hottest, most intensely loved thing on the web right now, it only makes sense. Plus, most people don’t know that many of the fundamentals of what makes a great motion piece are very similar to what makes great animated pieces in general, so you’ll end up finding a lot of great tips, tricks, Q & As and other generally awesome stuff on this site.
I always find the best stuff on Short of the Week. While Vimeo’s Staff Picks often take up a lot of real estate on here, there are also lots of really cool unnoticed pieces that get picked up here that just blow my freaking mind. I get so many great ideas from the fellow artists featured here.
This site is relatively new amongst the internet shorts websites, but it’s one of those places that I’m excited about, because they also pick up on little known ad spots that are expertly done. At the end of the day, it’s all about finding a diverse set of resources and I’m looking forward to seeing this site grow.
Who did I miss? Who do you count on to find amazing internet short films?
Every so often I work on a video that is so fun, so silly and so exciting that it’s beyond real explanation. No, that’s not true. It’s easy enough to explain with a simple question: what do you think is faster? Building robots or making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?
Aha. I know. We had more fun than any people should be allowed to have while “working.”
But what’s the real lesson here? Building robots is kind of insanely fun. And thanks to new innovations in toy making, it’s like play time activity. And when it comes right down to it, that’s a good thing, because science should be wickedly awesome to kids and adults alike. For those wondering, the product in the video is called Cubelets and it’s available at modrobotics.com.
As a professional videographer, I spend a lot of time telling people how to look awesome on camera. Whether you’re representing your new start up on a local news station or just want to start your own web show, these tricks will help you kick ass the next time you find a lens pointing at your face.
1. Your smile is your best asset. You don’t need immaculate Hollywood teeth to look good on camera. A genuine smile is the first thing people notice, so don’t be afraid to show those choppers. If you’re appearing on camera with another person, smile at them! Not only will your viewers feel more comfortable watching you, your fellow on camera guest will also be more comfortable.
2. Do some serious posture prep. Want to look svelte on camera? Want people to think you’re trustworthy? Proper posture will go a long way. Practice standing and sitting with perfect posture and strengthen those back muscles before the big day.
3. Avoid white clothing. Yes, people will often tell you that white is crisp and clean and neutral, but it just doesn’t look good on camera.
4. Wear your favorite color. If you feel good when you arrive on set, it will show when the cameras start rolling. A simple mind trick can be wearing your favorite color. And hell, who doesn’t love an excuse to buy a new top.
5. Listen. Carefully. With all the thinking about posture and smiling and saying the right things, it can be easy to lose track of what others are saying. This is especially dangerous in an interview situation, but it can also get you in trouble with directors. If you listen, others will notice and treat you with a great deal more respect. Plus, you’ll sound smarter if you answer the right question.
As you may know, I made a video for the PBS web series “Are You MN Enough?” which is all about what it takes to survive and thrive in Minnesota (including things like hot dish and winter biking). The team that produces these series is raising funds for “Season 3” using Indiegogo.
It’s a really cool project and I’d love to be a part of it again. How can you help me make that happen? By supporting the endeavor at the $30 level. Here’s the video I did in season 1 in case you need a reminder:
What would I do in season 3? Well, I’d definitely be down for another crazy, food based social experiment. But I won’t say too much, because then you might sabotage the experiment. We must show our truest behavior in these social experiments.
You can support them— and vote for me to produce another episode— by going here. Just choose the “Vote for Liz Giorgi!” option at the right!
It’s pretty much the easiest and most fun way to support PBS—and the t-shirts are kind of adorable. Thanks so much in advance!