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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Video Victory

Wednesday January 11th, 2012, - Kenosha, WI

   In the words of Hannibal Smith of The A-Team, “I love it when a plan comes together!” I don’t know why it took so long to get one, but I finally have a three camera professional video shoot of my comedy show, and I’m ecstatic. This has been far too long in coming.

   There are all kinds of reasons why I haven’t gotten this done up until now, but none are legitimate excuses. I’ve needed a quality video shoot for years, and the longer I’ve waited the more it has bothered me. Now I’ll have one, and it will be a positive on many levels.

   Shooting any kind of video is never an easy task. It’s gotten easier with technology, but it’s still difficult to get everything on point because so many things have to come together at one time to make a quality product. Venue, audience and logistics are key ingredients.

   In this case, we made our own venue. There’s a performance space that was created for acoustic sets by bands at the WIIL/WLIP radio building in Kenosha, WI where I host The Mothership Connection on Sunday nights, and there is seating for 40 or 50. It was perfect.

   My director friend Mark Gumbinger was the one who suggested using that space, and it was a brilliant idea. It never occurred to me, and it totally took our risk factor away. If we had used another location, we’d have had all kinds of other issues. This was ideal because all we had to be concerned about was getting people to show up to be a studio audience.

   That was tricky enough in itself, as we didn’t want too few or too many due to the space constraints. We each worked our lists to hand pick people who were either good laughers or good lookers for cut away crowd shots. Mark is a meticulous director, and knows how to shoot and edit with the best of them. It was his call to find ‘eye candy’, and it worked.

   Lou Rugani from WLIP was kind enough to host the evening, and he dressed up in his tuxedo and made it an event. He’s got the voice of God, and was the perfect choice. Also, he’s the one who asked for permission to use the building. Technically, I don’t work there even though I host a once a week show. They may have said yes, but Lou sealed the deal.

   Another friend Russ Martin showed up and let Mark use his high quality video camera, and he also did a few minutes to warm up the audience. Everything worked out exactly as planned, and I came out and did about an hour and five minutes. I laid out my material in editable chunks so Mark can cut and slice, but there weren’t that many spots to be edited.

   I kept it squeaky clean, and that won’t hurt me either. I can send it out to corporate gigs or cruise ships or even churches if necessary. This will open doors I won’t be able to open myself, and I can’t believe it took this long to finally get this done. It was a total success.

   Slowly but surely, I’m making some solid decisions. It took me a while, but now I feel a positive momentum building. This was a solid way to begin 2012, and will lead to a lot of higher quality work in the future. It was a giant career leap - even if it was long overdue.

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