Snowboarding: Snow Tunnel, Flips, and more!

April 29th, 2011

A couple weeks back, Christine and I went snowboarding… and built a tunnel, did some flips, and saw an awesome sunset.  This video was slapped together, but is highly entertaining!

 

Working Like A Boss

April 22nd, 2011

What does it mean to be a small business owner?  Well, at the point when your business is expanding rapidly, you work like a dog.  Over the last sixteen days, I’ve clocked over 200 hours (a regular full-time employee would clock just 96).  Also, this time doesn’t include transportation time driving to and from venues (Mission, Maple Ridge, Surrey, and Downtown Vancouver)!

The graph on the left shows the number of hours over time.  Yellow bars are weekends.

We’re in the middle of our dance competition season where we have the majority of our computers and equipment packed up in my car and we bring it to various theatre’s and setup a video, audio, and photo production station.  We do a variety of services including a one-hour video and photo service so dancers can take their performance home with them right away!

Above is a photo of my car and just how full it is.  Tim also has to fill the back of his car with our large printers and some LCD monitors.  And below is a photo of our edit bay looking down onto the stage.

I’m definitely thinking of getting a truck for next year.  It’s quite a complicated setup, and I keep thinking of ways to “box-it-up” more and make it more portable.  It’s a tricky balance though because we could invest money and time in developing a vastly more portable and boxed up solution, but we currently aren’t doing enough dance competitions to see enough of a return on the investment!  Problem being that we can’t take on many more without boxing it up because it’s such a hassle at the current time.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that in amongst all these dance competition setups, we’ve pulled out some of the production gear and filmed a few more shoots for Table Tennis University.

During all this, we also wrapped up and uploaded all the videos for Salon Business Expert because they needed them early.  There’s tonnes more work coming down the pipe too, and it’s been a challenge to manage it all as it comes in.  Thankfully, I have an amazingly dedicated team to help me out through it all and step in when things get tough or staff fall sick.

Good thing there’s a puppy at home to get me through all this =)

The Facebook Debate – Artist vs Business

April 1st, 2011

To start off, let me say it’s been a very difficult decision that I’ve been weighing over the last several months.  In short, it’s a smart business move but my artistic identity suffers.

Before making this choice, I read through Facebook’s entire Terms of Usage and Privacy Policy, and noticed a few things:

  • 1. They have amended their text talking about content ownership, and it doesn’t seem to have such a tight grip on it.  It now states “You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook”.  That statement nicely says what you own there to make you feel safer… however you’ll  notice how it doesn’t say anything about what Facebook owns and can do.
  • 2. An amusing line under paragraph 4 states “You will keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date”.  So what – they’ll delete my account if I don’t?

There’s an interesting documentary, Inside Job,  that talks about the corrupt banking system in the states that caused the economic crash of this decade.  It details how the bank execs kept getting richer by building a complicated system and telling everybody it was okay, while they completely knew it wasn’t sustainable.  When the crash occurred, they got to keep all the millions they accumulated, and were never caught – but instead many got promotions even into the presidential administration!  It sort of resembles how I feel about their updated Terms of Use.

On that note – here’s an informative flash video that details how deep the rabbit hole might go: http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/facebook

Not trying to be a conspiracy theorist, but just some interesting links to provoke thought or discussion.

Facebook is a really good concept of connecting people through an online social network.  There’s many great alternatives too – but the problem is that Facebook already has such a large following.  There are more than 500 millions active users – that’s about 1/6th of the entire planet.

This brings me to my main reasoning.  It’s about my business, and the business networking opportunities I’m missing out from not being on Facebook.  Sure, we have a Facebook page, but having a personal account that people can connect with (and stalk) is much more effective as a marketing tool.

From another perspective, my media production business can be broken down into three aspects: the business, the technical, and the art.  Not being on Facebook is really good in one light because it compliments the art aspect – it’s something that defines one as an artist to have things that they stand for and against.   As a company, we have our technical knowledge of our profession down, and our work is really high quality and that allows our inner artist to show through. One area we’ve been growing in, and need to focus more on is the business. Many media companies fail because they never get this part down and they simply think their technical knowledge and artistic work will make them profitable.  There’s no denying that it’s a good business idea to use the world’s largest social networking site to advertise my company. It will help market us to a larger audience, and will increase business.

Other things that have defined me as an artists are things sort of like always wearing red socks, or not having a cellphone.  Well – both of those have fallen by the way side.  It took years, but I finally gave in to getting a cellphone because it was also obviously a really smart business idea.  Sure, I didn’t like being tied down, and didn’t like giving ‘the man’ tonnes of money, but eventually I gave up that part of my artistic identity to strengthen my business.  Some even say getting a cellphone was the best business decision I ever made.

So do I join the masses on Facebook?  I still stand against it in principal and that will not change, but it’s a stupid business move to NOT put myself in the middle of the world’s largest social networking website.

Well here it goes nothing.  Add me as a friend: www.facebook.com/paul.romein

Mailchimp Sing-A-Long about Merge Tags

March 28th, 2011

Another reason why we love MailChimp.com! They made a sing-a-long video about how to use their merge tags.

Found in their resources section.

Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami

March 24th, 2011

The New York Times has a really neat thing on their website where you move the slider to compare satellite images, taken by GeoEye, from before and after the disaster.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/13/world/asia/satellite-photos-japan-before-and-after-tsunami.html

Sunset on Cypress

March 24th, 2011

I got off work relatively early yesterday and had some spare time so I went up Cypress and did just over an hour of boarding. After just one run, the front clasp on my binding broke off! I lost a lot of control, but was able to push through another five runs. Without a doubt, my shortest day ever.

I was lucky to catch the sunset from atop this gorgeous mountain! the only camera I had with me though was my cellphone. Watch the quick video above – pretty good quality for a phone!

Oh, and here’s my GPS track:


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