Gear For Sale

Gently used, extra loved film production equipment for sale.

We're packing up our bags and moving our little family across the country from Columbus, Ohio to Los Angeles, California. Moving is expensive. And what's even more expensive is trying to find an apartment in Los Angeles that can fit all the gear I've accumulated over the years.

All equipment is in great condition with original accessories and could pass as like new if not for very minor wear from regular use. Any exceptions will be noted. First come, first served. I prefer to sell and deliver locally, but shipping within U.S. is possible for an additional fee--I'll even split the shipping cost with you. Everything must go by October 1st, 2014.

Email me with any questions.

ARRI 150/300/650 Light Kit + Case with Wheels


Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly (Traveler length - 29.5")


Canon EOS M + EF-M 22mm STM Lens + 16 GB SD card


Jag 35 Field Runner (v1)


Mic Stand + 2 mic clips


Looking for something else? I might be willing to get rid of it. Let me know what your kit is lacking and what you can afford to pay.

The End of Enemy

Originally posted on Medium.


Enemy, Denis Villeneuve’s (Prisoners) latest film, leaves you with a lot to think about — whether you want to or not. It does something relatively simple throughout the film and does it without apology, taking the dread and tension of Prisoners to an unsettling extreme.

I’m purposely writing this without having read many reviews or theories, aside from David Ehrlich’s review of the film. This is the kind of film that makes you want to think, read, and talk about it, so these are my initial thoughts and scattershot ideas, with full acceptance that there may be deeper connections and theories that I’m not yet considering.

It’s not a perfect film, but I like the idea of a piece of work that leaves room for interpretation. A viewer can bring their own baggage into the analysis (for better or worse), and in turn, change the experience of thinking about Enemy.

The film can come across as pretentious, and shots and sequences go on for a good 10 seconds longer than you want. Maybe that’s intentional—to draw attention to the fact that you are watching this film and forced to think about what you are seeing, and not simply swept up in experiencing something.


Massive spoilers for Enemy below. Not only will it spoil the end of the film, it probably won’t make a bit of sense if you haven’t seen Enemy.


Jake Gyllenhaal as Adam Bell, the history teacher, leads a monotonous, nearly miserable life. To escape from the monotony, he’s created a dream world in which he has everything—a very mildly successful character as an actor, a beautiful wife with a baby on the way, and an apartment to match.

But, as True Detective’s Rust Cohle puts it, “Like a lot of dreams, there’s a monster at the end of it.”

The spiders represent Adam’s biggest fear. Perhaps it’s the fear of being consumed into nothingness. The thought of just being one in a billion. Maybe it’s representative of buried guilt.

He lives out the monotony of his real life, not pushing back too much. Slowly, just like his life, his dreams have become overrun by his greatest fears. Then his dream world begins to fight back.

I think it’s important to reiterate that he’s created a dream world, not simply a fantasy version of himself, or that Anthony St. Claire, the actor, is a manifestation of a split personality disorder. And even in this dream world, he can’t escape his greatest fear.

The idea of a dream world explains a few things — first, the giant spider walking over Toronto. This shows that it, too, is not reality. Second, the scene with Adam and Helen (Sarah Gadon) outside of the school. She’s his illusion. Her call to Anthony, while played up for thematic tension, is meaningless. It’s two whispers of a thought trying to connect.

His subconscious dream world, led by Anthony, rebels from the thought of his fears bleeding into his dreams. In its revolt, his subconscious destroys the only real thing he has—Mary (Mélanie Laurent), who he’s long since grown distant from, preferring the slightly more perfect dream version of his relationship.

Finally, Adam chooses the dream world, letting Anthony get his way, but he only realizes this at the very end, when he sees the spider.

And maybe his look at the end, rather than jolting awake, is his acceptance of not waking up and returning to reality.

I hate spiders.

2014 AVA Digital Awards Platinum Winner

I'm proud to announce I've been selected as a Platinum Award Winner by the AVA Digital Awards for Creativity in Video Production as Director of Portrait.

I consider myself very lucky to be able to share stories of wonderful people like Andria and Cory, stories that reach and inspire tens of thousands of people. It wouldn't have been possible without the support of my wonderful Kickstarter backers, my wife, my mom, and my partner in crime in producing the project, Zach Frankart.

Portrait was a passion project from the beginning, and I'm happy I was able to share that passion with you.

AVA Digital recognizes outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of media that is part of the evolution of digital communication. 

AVA Digital Awards is sponsored and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP). The international organization consists of several thousand production, marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, and freelance professionals. AMCP administers recognition programs; provides judges and rewards outstanding achievement and service to the profession. As part of its mission, AMCP fosters and supports the efforts of creative professionals who contribute their unique talents to public service and charitable organizations.

Judges are industry professionals who look for companies and individuals whose talent exceeds a high standard of excellence and whose work serves as a benchmark for the industry. 

The Platinum Award is the organization's top honor.

Platinum Site Bug.png


“The past is just a story we tell ourselves.”

Originally published on Medium.

"A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that's designed to meet his every need." It’s such an unassuming and almost goofy description and it’s a credit to writer and director Spike Jonze that he elevated the story to such heights. Her is a brilliant film. Among its brilliance is that it speaks to the past, present, and future in a confident way.

Many films would fall into the trap of making the technology the story. That would be a goofy or unnecessarily dense movie. Instead, Her does what great science fiction films do and it just assumes everything makes sense. Everyone in the world accepts the technology because that’s the way it is. It just works. Compare that to today’s world and maybe it’s not such an unbelievable premise.

Think about how this would look to someone who died in 1950: I take a small device made of glass and aluminum out of my pocket and instantly send a letter to a friend on the other side of the planet.

In storytelling, when you present something as a given and just keep moving forward, it engages the audience. Time isn’t wasted trying to decipher how something works or poking holes in its logic. A lesser filmmaker may have fallen victim to this ego, wanting to show off the cool theory and ideas. It would have been caught up in showing code on a computer monitor or making the main character an unlikable nerd because, of course, those are the only people who like technology. In truth, everyone uses technology in their own personal way. And only coders care about code, everyone else just wants technology that works. Spike Jonze understands that.

If Her opened with an info dump that said, “The year is 2029 and we’re in Los Angeles,” suddenly the viewer is making a whole lot of assumptions and attempted connections at the logic. Will technology look or act like that in 15 years? Or worse, when you watch this movie in 2029, will it look comically outdated, or will it mostly hold up like Blade Runner or Alien?

It also makes bold, and probably accurate, statements about work life in the near future. Everyone either works with computers or is an artist (working with computers). The film doesn’t get caught up on whether or not that’s good or bad, it just is. Her drips with subtext, but none of it assumes anything about anyone.

Her explores love and feelings in a way that’s satisfying and profound without being convoluted or sappy. Two words you’d be hard pressed to define are woven through the characters, specifically Theodore, Samantha, and Amy—all played wonderfully by Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, and Amy Adams, respectively. It makes you feel for something that doesn’t exist. Or does it exist? Samantha points out that we’re all just matter, after all. We come, we go. We’re together, we’re alone.

Her raises a lot of questions about today’s world and our near future. It shows its main character, Theodore, navigating those choices but it doesn’t explicitly explain all the answers. Even when he asks his OS an unanswerable question, she simply responds that it would be difficult to explain. Sometimes the answer doesn’t have to be a binary yes or no.

What if Samantha wasn’t artificial intelligence? What if she was a virtual assistant that spent her days in a cubicle? Would that make their love any more or less real? Machines may never be able to feel, but artificial intelligence may be able to understand feeling. What is that world? Is it good or bad? Does it have to be either?

“We are only here briefly, and in this moment I want to allow myself joy.” — Amy

We've got a problem

Originally posted on Medium.

Let me start by making something clear: I don’t think Phil Robertson is the problem. I don’t think Justine Sacco is the problem. Neither deserves to be torn apart for the downright dumb things they said this week. Nothing should condone violence. Anyone threatening Ms. Sacco for her racist remark is just as wrong as she was when she hit “Tweet.” Although she now finds herself without a job, that simply sweeps the issue under the rug. The internet feels like they won. And while someone who probably should not have been in a high ranking position at a huge company like IAC (,,, CollegeHumor, Vimeo, and many more websites you’ve heard of) lost her job, did she—or anyone, for that matter—actually learn anything?

Don’t tweet something stupid before getting on an international flight. Or ever, really.

Don’t tweet something stupid before getting on an international flight. Or ever, really.

Some of the reactions to the inappropriate tweet were no better. You don’t make a point by attacking the attacker. Even the #HasJustineLandedYet hashtag, the top trending topic on Twitter for some time, was more scary than amusing. It felt like the entire internet was waiting—watching—for someone to step through the gate at Terminal B to throw a surprise party.

But what’s lost in the reactions since is how her comments make people feel—and how it shapes the attitudes of others. I think that’s why many jump to mob up at something like this, because so rarely do people feel like they have a majority voice. A chance to make a statement.

We focus on her losing her job or the angry tweets sent back at her and miss the real problem. Ms. Sacco was, presumably, in a position of some power at IAC. She worked in PR and was prominently listed on the company’s contact page. The issue isn’t simply what she said—it’s that she thinks that way at all. And it’s that many people run to her defense.

Phil Robertson caught heat this week after making some pretty awful comments in a GQ article. He equated homosexuality to beastiality. He equated black people to white trash, and claimed to know that black people were happier in the “pre-entitlement” era. So I guess, by some extension, he may have even just equated Civil Rights to a sense of entitlement.

He’s allowed to have an opinion. What I find troubling is that he feels it is appropriate to publicly put down people he doesn’t understand. What I find troubling—again—is that many people run to his defense.

A Phil Robertson support page on Facebook has over 1.7 million likes. 1.7 million! He’s become a figurative martyr since A&E suspended him from the hit show Duck Dynasty indefinitely. It’s not a free speech issue. He’s not being put in jail for his comments. His employer, who pays him handsomely, feels his comments were unbecoming of someone who represents their network. They are entirely within their right to suspend or fire him.

What needs discussion in light of Ms. Sacco and Mr. Robertson’s comments is why people think it’s ok to communicate this way. And we need to discuss, and truly understand, why people get offended at these comments. It’s learning why “be kind” is something you do—not just something you say.

I have to interview with people like Ms. Sacco if I want a job in communication or marketing. I have to interview with people like Mr. Robertson if I want to pitch my company’s services as a freelancer. And while it’d be just as wrong of me to generalize every white person in a managerial position at every company, hearing comments like this are harder and harder to digest when I get rejection letter after rejection letter. It’s seeing people like Pax Dickinson, formerly of Business Insider, tweeting comments that I won’t even quote here. It’s Justine Sacco at IAC. It’s Phil Robertson at Duck Commander. All people that feel it’s important to point out that they’re “different” than me.

I have applied to at least one company falling under their reign. Maybe I didn’t get the job because they don’t like the way I look? Probably not, but how am I supposed to feel when I see similar comments over and over again? How am I supposed to feel when I see company websites featuring pictures of their employees and not a single one is black? How am I supposed to feel when I see casual racism, or sexism, or homophobia and people see nothing wrong with it? Do you think at least 1 of those 1.7 million “likes” are people in a hiring position at a company? Probably.

It’s not about ignoring color, or gender, or sexuality. I know many gay people who are all extremely proud of their sexuality, as they should be, and pretending like their sexuality doesn’t exist is just as unfair. But hiring a “token minority” does what, exactly? It doesn’t fix the problem from either end of the equation. The minority person knows they’re the token hire, and everyone else that works there (likely a majority of white males) knows exactly why that black woman got the job. If anything, half-baked “affirmative action” plans only fuel the fire in the opposite direction.

There needs to be a discussion of why these comments aren’t ok. It’s not about trampling on someone’s opinion, or right to free speech, or bad joke. It’s about understanding that when you surround yourself only with people who look, and talk, and act like you—you can’t pretend to know how someone else feels. You just can’t. You can’t claim that black people were happier in pre-Civil Rights America. You can’t slam an entire continent and walk away from it without responsibility.

Ms. Sacco can delete her Twitter account (and she has) and while she’s currently without a job, I doubt it will be a permanent situation. If over 1.7 million people support Phil Robertson, I’m sure she’ll find at least one who supports her.

But the rest of us can’t change our skin color, or gender, or sexual orientation. And that’s why comments like this are not ok.

25 favorite movies of 2013

Last year, I listed my ten favorites. I really couldn't contain the list to 10 this year. This isn't about finding the "best" movie. It's about my favorite movies. Movies that inspire me. Movies that reveal something new every time I watch them. Movies I get lost in. This is not scientific.

  1. 12 Years a Slave
  2. The Wolf of Wall Street
  3. The Place Beyond the Pines
  4. Gravity
  5. All is Lost
  6. Upstream Color
  7. Man of Steel
  8. Ain't Them Bodies Saints
  9. Zero Dark Thirty*
  10. Captain Phillips
  11. Stories We Tell
  12. Prisoners
  13. Fruitvale Station
  14. This is the End
  15. Pacific Rim
  16. What Maisie Knew
  17. Mud
  18. Iron Man 3
  19. To the Wonder
  20. We Are What We Are
  21. Oxyana
  22. Side Effects
  23. Spring Breakers
  24. Fast & Furious 6
  25. The Great Gatsby

Films I didn't get to see, but can't wait to watch: Her, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis, Short Term 12, Dallas Buyers Club, At Berkeley

*Limited release in 2012, wide release officially in 2013

Top 10 favorite movies of all-time

  1. The Social Network
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. There Will Be Blood
  4. Collateral
  5. Inception
  6. No Country for Old Men
  7. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  8. Django Unchained
  9. Rear Window
  10. Alien

See my 50 favorites of all-time on Letterboxed

Heisenberg: A genius, a madman, a little bit lucky

Originally posted on Medium.

Spoilers for the entire series of Breaking Bad below.

Chemistry is, well technically, chemistry is the study of matter.
But I prefer to see it as the study of change.

Walter White in season one, setting up everything we are about to see.

Walt rolls a black barrel housing roughly $11 million through the dusty New Mexico desert. His DEA-agent-brother-in-law is dead. He blames Jesse for giving Hank the information that led him to his death.

But Walt has always been the architect.

This is the same place it all started. You can even see Walt’s old khakis in the middle of the desert—the pair that blew away in the very first episode.

All the while, this song plays.

Had a job a year ago,
Had a little home,
Now I’ve got no place to go,
guess I’ll have to roam.
Take my true love by her hand,
Lead her through the town,
Say goodbye to everyone,
Goodbye to everyone.
Every wind that blows boys,
Every wind that blows,
Carries me to some new place,
Heaven only knows.
Take my true love by her hand,
Lead her through the town,
Say goodbye to everyone,
Goodbye to everyone.

Walt’s one true love: Power. His power is in that heavy barrel. $11,000,000 worth of power. Worthless power.

This wasn’t a song written for the show. This was a song written over 50 years ago. Yet it perfectly summed up that moment.

A poem from 1818 about the fall of leaders and their empires.
Walt’s story is as old as greed.

In episode 514, titled Ozymandias, Jesse is finally a dead man in Walt’s eyes. After watching his brother-in-law get shot in the head, he’s ready to watch the same thing happen to his surrogate son. A son that he’s been closer to than his own for awhile.

Later in the episode, Walt berates Skyler on the phone. He knows the cops are listening. He’s trying to exonerate her as much as he can. He’s become Heisenberg because Walter White can no longer save his family. Walter White no longer has a family.

His voice—cold, calculated, and down-right evil. His face—crying and in pain. This was the last good thing he could do for his family.

Bryan Cranston’s performance as Walter White is more than award-worthy, it’s legendary.

In the end, Breaking Bad is really just a show about a science teacher that becomes a really good actor.—Dan Trachtenberg

Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle “states that it is impossible to determine simultaneously both the position and velocity of an electron or any other particle with any great degree of accuracy or certainty.”

Walt has been spiraling out of control since the day he told Bogdan to shove it. His choice of Heisenberg as a pseudonym confirms Walt’s genius, hubris, and dumb luck.

He’s never really been in control. His actions have always been a reaction to uncontrollable events. He gets cancer. Tuco. Gus. Mike. Jesse. They all had him figured out a lot earlier than they realized.

And that’s what Breaking Bad did so well. We all saw what he went through, but we also remember from where he came. His actions were wrong. His intent wasn’t entirely evil.

Seems like everything up to now has been prologue. 4 seasons of origin story, now we are in it!—Jeff Cannata

A world was established. The consequences of his actions had been coming for a long time.

Breaking Bad will go down as one of the greatest pieces of drama in any medium. It started with series creator Vince Gilligan. The writing team he put together was nothing short of brilliant.

For as brilliant as the writing was—the crew was outstanding.

Director of Photography Michael Slovis shot television with more skill and attention to detail than some movies with budgets over $100 million. The editing was top notch. Kelley Dixon, one of the show’s editors, won an Emmy this year. Deservedly so.

And the cast. Anna Gunn—as Skyler White—went to hell and back. Betsy Brandt transformed Marie from a purple-loving kleptomaniac to a person that felt like she lived in the real world.

Dean Norris—as the tough as nails Hank—went out the only way he could, with his dignity in tact. No one wanted Hank to die, not even Walt in his lowest moments. But no one wanted to see him beg or side with the bad guy.

And Jesse. Jesse. They were going to kill him off in season one, can you believe that? But Aaron Paul brought something special. He took a junkie loser and made him a lovable, if misguided, soul. You always wanted to see him turn his life around.

But sometimes the study of change just leads you back to the same place.

I will not back your Kickstarter project

Who am I to talk about Kickstarter? I’ve started 6, yes s-i-x, campaigns. Two of them were underdeveloped ideas back in the early days when people were still figuring out what Kickstarter actually was (and they failed). One was a project that I put a solid three months of work into, but unfortunately it didn’t work out. One project I relaunched and became one of my two successfully funded projects, one short documentary and one short narrative film. I’ve been to the school of Kickstarter and back.

Visiting my profile on Kickstarter shows I’ve officially backed 59 projects. One project failed to meet its funding goal (so no one was charged), and another is currently funding.

If I’ve learned anything, it’s that running a Kickstarter project is an immense responsibility. These are real people, giving you real money, to make something real.

Kickstarter is not a store. That much is clear. But it’s also clear with the rewards system that there’s an expectation of projects to be completed — or at least the process shared along the way of a failed vision. That’s the idea—you help support an artist or inventor and they show you the nuts and bolts of what they do. Hopefully, they launch a product or release a book or film and you get a cool token of their appreciation—maybe even that product or book or film.

I love Kickstarter. I love the idea of Kickstarter. I love that I can make a film through Kickstarter not because I have a rich uncle that can lend me $2655, but because 68 people came together and let me use their money, anywhere from $1 to $500. That’s the power of Kickstarter and it’s beautiful.

Yet, I think I’m done with Kickstarter. If a close friend launches a project, I’ll back what I can. If Joss Whedon launches a Kickstarter to bring back Firefly, I mean, come on. But I’m no longer checking the local page or the film category to see what’s new. I’m not excited about new crazy product ideas that someone dared to dream up. It’s unfortunate that even with a “successful” project that eventually delivers its rewards, you can still feel burnt.

Below are some stats on projects I’ve backed.

  •  17 out of 57 projects have delivered their rewards (another 5 projects I opted to not receive a reward).

Of those 17 delivered projects…

  •  6 projects have delivered on time.
  •  2 projects delivered within 3 months.
  •  4 projects delivered 3-6 months late.
  •  1 project delivered 6-12 months late.
  •  2 projects delivered 1 year after funding.*
  •  2 projects delivered more than 2 years after funding.*

Of the 35 remaining projects that have yet to be delivered…

  •  1 project is 2 years late.
  •  2 projects are 1 year late.
  •  21 were due between January and November of 2013.
  •  4 are due this month.
  •  7 have delivery dates sometime in 2014 or 2015.

*Before Kickstarter required estimated delivery dates, but yeah… those were late.

There are two major issues with projects on Kickstarter. The first is often forgivable. The second issue is more prominent, and really is at the heart of my issue with Kickstarter.

  1. No one knows how to estimate when a project will be completed. At best, with a perfect success rate from here on out, no more than a third of the projects I’ve backed will deliver on time.
  2. Project creators woefully under-communicate throughout the process.

The lesson from the first issue is simple: Take the amount of time you think you need to finish your project and double it. Maybe triple it. No one will complain if you deliver a product 6 months early. People will grow frustrated if you deliver a project 1 year late. Under promise and over deliver.

This second issue is nearly universal, but it also has a simple solution.

Many fail to do something as simple as respond to an email. I currently have no fewer than a half dozen comments out to project creators that have not been responded to… innocent enough things like, “How’s it going?” or “Any update? Hope all is well.” Some of these comments have been ignored formonths.

That’s not right.

But that’s unfortunately common on Kickstarter.

No, creators don’t owe us a product or book or film for our pledge. Kickstarter is not a store. Creators do owe us the courtesy of communication and showing us the process of the project—that is what Kickstarter is all about.

At least one project hasn’t updated or responded to backer comments since December 2012. Its estimated delivery date was January 2012.

Until there’s some type of accountability, until project creators universally feel the responsibility of their accomplishment (many raising tens of thousands or more), no I will not back your Kickstarter project.

I really hate that it’s come to this. I believe Kickstarter changes the creative landscape, and it will continue to revolutionize it without me, but it needs people like me. I’m the person who gets my mom or my wife to back projects. I’m an advocate and a success story. But they’ve lost me.

From Kickstarter’s Terms of Service, something every creator agrees to before launching a project:

What should creators do if they’re having problems completing their project?
If problems come up, creators are expected to post a project update (which is emailed to all backers) explaining the situation. Sharing the story, speed bumps and all, is crucial. Most backers support projects because they want to see something happen and they’d like to be a part of it. Creators who are honest and transparent will usually find backers to be understanding.
It’s not uncommon for things to take longer than expected. Sometimes the execution of the project proves more difficult than the creator had anticipated. If a creator is making a good faith effort to complete their project and is transparent about it, backers should do their best to be patient and understanding while demanding continued accountability from the creator.
If the problems are severe enough that the creator can’t fulfill their project, creators need to find a resolution. Steps could include offering refunds, detailing exactly how funds were used, and other actions to satisfy backers.

What’s so hard about that?

To project creators out there: I know it’s not an easy road. I’ve been there. I’ve run into hurdles. I’ve spent my own money to finish projects and deliver all the rewards.

The one thing you have is communication. Too many people are afraid to be honest, to admit failure or struggle, but from my experience, people respect you when you’re honest. People respect you when you share lessons you’ve learned. Most of all, people are patient when you’re kind. Be kind.