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Why Hire a Videographer?

In the ever growing world of e-commerce, blogging and people who just want to be seen or heard, video can capture everything you need. . .if done well.  This is where videographers come into the picture.  A good videographer has all of the necessary equipment and the skill set to use it properly.  With the technology boom, high definition video has become more readily available than ever before.  video equipmentDSLR’s (digital single lens reflex camera) have been flooding the market and turning everyone into a DIY videographer or movie maker.  The most common statement is “I can do the same things on my I-phone that you can do.”  This statement is only partly true.  Yes, if you mean that you can record high definition video on your smart phone the same as me, you are correct.  If you are asserting that you can create the same quality of video as a professional then you are mistaken.  When I show up to a shoot, I bring anywhere from $4000-$6000 worth of equipment depending on  the video.  I also bring hours of schooling and hands on experience.  Yes, admittedly, we as a video production community charge what seems to be an exorbitant amount of money for videos but we are really worth it.  My background begins with a Bachelors in English and Speech minor and a Bachelors in Film, Television and convergent media, not to mention the countless hours watching and dissecting movies my entire existence.  When you hire a professional videographer you get a storytelling background, lighting, audio and a whole range of other equipment that you don’t have.  This doesn’t even take into account my super computer, editing software and hours of experience editing the footage.  Now we are up into the $8000  range on equipment.  If you need a couple of videos and are weighing your options, it always comes down to the simple math of, “what is my time worth?” Well lucky for you there is a simple equation:

(cost of equipment+hours of time spent+number of swear words used in process)= What your time is worth in frustration units (FU’s)                             (hours of research to use equipment-mistakes made+how many things you break)

If your FU’s are negative then you need to hire a videographer to get your video done correctly, and if you still feel the need to be a jack-of-all-trades then, by all means, video away.  Yes, we need to weigh our options and if you cannot afford a videographer or if it’s cost prohibitive because you would like to produce videos on a regular basis then purchasing your own equipment could work for you.  If that’s the case then get on Youtube and brace yourself for some research.  Here is a list of some individuals who offer different types of information.

Tom Antos


Dave Dugdale

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, just a few of the people that I turn to for tips, tricks and product information.  No matter what your project, you should always get an idea of how much it would cost by getting a quote from a professional and if you decide to try it for yourself, at least do some research because there is way more to it than you think and even professionals go through a period of making mistakes before they realize that you have to bring two of everything to a shoot because equipment can and will fail you.

If you do need videography services, let’s set up the free consultation to see how I can help you.  Contact us at:







My Birthday Wish List

This year just like every other, there is a day that signifies the first day that I came into this world and said, “Holy shit, I’m cold!”  Because this is my special day it doubles as the opportunity for me to openly allow my wish list to be explored in case there is any individual wishing to fulfill any or all of my requests.  Since I am not independently wealthy yet I still covet some items and some of these are more useful than others and because of that I will take this in two main sections of things that I require and things that I really really want.

Things I require:

1.  Canon 1DC Cinematic camera.

EOS1DC1This is Canon’s way of showing how a DSLR still frame camera can be integrated with a filmmaking camera that fits cinematic lenses while shooting in 4K.  As a filmmaker I am just like any other profession and I require the tools that will get the job done best so this would be my ideal camera for under $12,000.  The list of pro’s far outweighs the price tag and if you buy this for me I will personally take professional photos of your family every year for the next 10 years and you will be invited to every one of my shoots for the next 5 years including but not limited to a film release party.   I will also make it a point to list you as one of the producers in my next 5 films no matter what.  To sweeten the deal I will let you take 1 selfie with the camera.  Now, how’s that for incentive?

2.  Panasonic GH4 cinematic camera.  So if the price tag of $11,000 dollars for a 1DC seems exorbitant, then there is always the Panasonic GH4.  This is a versatile little package because it actually has adapters that allow you to use Canon, Nikon, and cinematic lenses while shooting in 4K.

gh4For the price this thing can really hang in there with some of the other more impressive and expensive cameras.  At right around $1,700 this is a perfect gift for my 37th birthday.

3.  Mossberg 590A1

Mossberg 590A1

Mossberg 590A1

Quite possibly the best pump shotgun ever, I absolutely require one of these.  With a heavy barrel, aluminum trigger guard, bayonet lug and 9 shot overall capacity, this shotgun was used by the US military for decades because of its ruggedness.  Since I am also a firearm aficionado and family man, this is the perfect fusion of home defense and complete survival.  One of these can be purchased for about $550 and a bayonet for about another $100.  I already have the ammunition and am ready for this wonderful gift, thank you so much!


Things I Want:

1.  Cinematic lenses for my camera.  Since movies require bigger and better cameras the key is to also use bigger and better lenses.  I am not particular, and am willing to accept whatever cinematic lenses that you are willing to purchase for me.  Ideally the Canon 50mm cine lens would be great.

2.  Ruger LCR .357mag.  I don’t have a conceal and carry yet but when I get one I would really like to have one of these on my hip or stuffed into the back of my pants gangster style.  Since this only fits 5 rounds and has a very short barrel, it is not exactly practical so this is more of a want, and since I am registered as a lethal weapon I don’t really need to carry a gun on me (but I do need a Mossberg 590A1 in my home in case I need to defend my entire family).

3.  Barrett M84A1 rifle.  These things are f$cking awesome! Nuff said.


This is by no means a comprehensive list of viable purchase options to show me exactly how important I am to you, but it is always better to run it by me anyway because I might ask you to return it due to “unsuitable status”.  If purchasing one or all of these seems daunting, just go to my paypal account which is  and load me up with as much money as you would like.

Thank you in advance for the wonderful presents and have a great day.

Ghostwriter for Hire

Ghost Rider- Not to be confused with Ghost Writer

Ghost Rider- Not to be confused with Ghost Writer

Upon initial encounters with individuals, many inquire as to my profession to which I have responded on occasion (in a deep, sullen voice), “Ghostwriter.”  This moniker however, is a false representation of the range of my services.  Ghostwriters are typically responsible for taking someone’s brain child and artistically transposing it to words on paper.  Essentially a ghost writer is the person you hire to write your story if you have a great idea and lots of money, or don’t believe you can write it yourself.

A professional writer is an even broader spectrum of capabilities and could mean grant writing, copywriting, script writing, and even a writer of letters and such.  While many of these are niche markets in and of themselves it still doesn’t define what I do.  What about, “Creative Writing Consultant?” That’s still a little broad, but sure, that’ll have to do for now.

1.  Ghost writer- I can do the typical job of searching for souls to collect for the devil while consumed in flames and riding the coolest chopper ever.  Wait, I can work closely with you on your ideas and help develop them into a cohesive and interesting book or I can coach you through the entire process.  Writing the book for you is a little costly while the second option is much more cost effective if you have any confidence about your writing skills and more-so, my ability to coach you.  If every minute of your life has been super cool and you want to share with the public how rock star you really are, I can help you determine which of your 257,482 life stories to keep and which ones to omit.  If you are working on the next Harry Potter style series, I can totally help you develop the story, the landscape and even help create  some stupid Jar Jar Binks type character if you so desire.  Remember, this is your story and I’m certainly not judgmental enough to tell you that your book is not a good idea.  Every person has great stories and may just need a little help.

2. Script writer- I have worked with a Hollywood producer/director on developing a couple stories from beginning to end in an extremely precise manner.  This is storytelling in 3D because you have to see the vision to create the vision and some writers fall short in the descriptive category.  When I am writing, my mind thinks in “Movie” so the details are vivid.  Let’s get your movie rolling and if you want to hire me to shoot it, I do that as well.

3. Web Content Writer-  Let’s face it, sometimes you go to a website and say, “I don’t understand what this site is about and I cannot move my mouse over the ‘get me away from this site’ button fast enough.”  If you have a website and actually want people to read the words and keep clicking to other words contained within the confines of your site, then you need some zesty writing.  Sure, we kind of need to know what you do but nobody really cares what you do or your background unless you tell us what we are going to get from you.  That’s where I come in.  Between interviewing you and doing some research, I can tailor some really awesome web pages for your site that not only make people interested in what they are going to receive from you, but keep them clicking around and maybe even buy some of your widgets.

4. Creative Writing Consultant- Involves all of the above except I coach you to do the writing.  That’s right, you got this and it starts with an idea, continues with hiring me to help you through the process and ends with a finished product that you can be proud of.  Then,  I can put my name on one of  first 20 or so worthless pages in the beginning of the book that nobody reads including 5 or 6 pages that repeat the title and 10 additional pages of forewords, prefaces, preambles and other stuff to make the book look legit.

I hope this has totally confused you so that you have to contact me to find out what the hell I really do.  Seriously though, if you are reading this it is probably because you were searching for some type of writer and found my site.  I am open for projects and have flexible payment plans of gold medallions, first born children, and cash in some cases.  Call or email right now so I can tell you how wonderful your project is and how absolutely excited I am to get started.

Philip Mackey Valentina



Colorado Sunsets: Nothing Quite Like Them

Beautiful Colorado SunsetNature is quite amazing.  These pictures were taken three days apart from one another in the same yard in the Northern part of Fort Collins.  the giant cloud looking plume is actually smoke from the Hewlett Gulch fire that ravaged thousands of acres of beautiful Poudre river landscape.  Smoke billowed and travelled for miles, making its way to Fort Collins and most assuredly parts of Wyoming.  Colorado is no stranger to wildfires and thanks to Forbes magazine, a swelling influx of vacationers and out-of-staters.  Granted, some fires are started by lightning, some by dryness that is conducive to spontaneous combustion, but most are started by some form of human blunder.  Here is living proof that our planet can take whatever we dish out and will most certainly outlast us, and in millions of years will show no sign of our existence if we do happen to destroy ourselves.  If you have ever been fortunate enough to witness a tranquil Colorado sunset, you will have been imparted the grandest sense of life, which is, no matter what happened today the sun will still rise and set.  Gazing at the mountain skyline, the waning light never ceases to amaze.  Colors that are so vibrant yet soft, and contrasting in perfect complements.  Clouds that have been placed perfectly in order to absorb the colors and blend them to make a paint pallet that cannot be repeated or described.  It makes you wonder how many other people are witnessing the same beauty and are they seeing it exactly the same.  This type of natural occurence is not some whimsical idea geared toward our minute insignificance, but an everyday opportunity for us to realize that we are truly part of something great.  Imagine if everyone stopped what they were doing in their busy night time routine and went outside to see the sunset, or took the time to wake up in the morning just to catch a majestic sunrise.  It is certainly easy to get mired in the conundrums of everyday life and lose focus of our connection to one another and nature.  Life’s very purpose is to experience and enjoy, and in doing so we truly live.  Colorado sunsets show us that there is hope.  Hope for a better tomorrow.  Hope for our planet.  Hope for us.  Even after the smoke filled skies showed evidence of the blaze, days later we were shown that everything will be okay.  No matter what higher power you believe in, there is no higher power than the circle of life that we all belong to.  We are all part of the same energy that the universe is made up of and that will never change.  If you live in Colorado, make sure to get out and enjoy a sunset as often as possible.  No matter where you live get out, experience the wonder of nature and enjoy life.

Freshly Pressed

Oh to be freshly pressed! But what exactly does it take to be freshly pressed? As a newbie to WordPress, I am always excited for people who get freshly pressed because it’s great exposure and means that she was very creative in her approach to [insert very dull topic] or he wrote a laugh out loud post on underwear. No matter what, it calls for champagne (or Welch’s grape if you’re a recovering alcoholic). Is it the pinnacle of blogging much like Pulitzer or Caldecott of writing books? During my tenure as an English major at Colorado State, I learned a great deal about writing, including classic works and their authors, and that there is really not much objectivity in writing anymore (if any), just getting our thoughts out for others to appreciate.

My capstone class was on Ernest Hemingway, and the teacher happened to be a Hemingway ‘junkie’ so it was very informative indeed. Hemingway is responsible for such classics as Hills Like White Elephants, The Sun Also Rises, and For Whom the Bell Tolls. If you’ve read any of these and can appreciate the genius of his style, then you may wonder why The Old Man and the Sea won the him the Pulitzer prize. This contrived piece of work was quite masterful but only because he knew what the critics were looking for and tailored in a manner that could not be refused the coveted ‘Pulitzer Prize for Fiction’.

Journalists often crossed classroom paths with my creative non-fiction concentration because of similar degree requirements. Many of these journalistic types were very aware of the lack of objectivity in the media and even in the schooling of journalism. Blogging is great because it allows anybody with an idea (no matter how subjective it is) to get it down on digital paper and share it with whomever is interested, via the internet. Subjectivity is fine, especially when you are writing from a particular viewpoint and challenge or create ideas pertaining to our society or even the world. Besides, if everyone were objective, blogs would be like excerpts from textbooks (which can also be argued as subjective), suffering from dry, boring tones and no witty picture accompanyment. Communist blogging?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Freshly Pressed is governed by a commitee of totalitarian judges with strict rulebooks and narrow guidelines for getting ‘pressed’, but there is a mathematical equation in everything (usually a logarythmic equation) that offers the path to the correct answer, such as (Cool author name+ quirky sense of humor+ number of posts)/(following- political views)x(objectivity to subjectivity number from 1-14 like a pH scale)= your number that goes into a database and is regurgitated as a placement. If it is an odd number that happens to be in the 20’s, 50’s or 60’s, if your number comes out negative from -1 to -3, or a prime number with no square root then you will be a candidate for Freshly Pressed.

So here I am with a book and no Pulitzer Prize, and over a dozen posts and have not been ‘Freshly Pressed’ yet. While my book is very subjective and at times even ridiculous, it is a well thought out awakening piece on survival but I still have no idea what the equation for a Pulitzer even looks like and really don’t even know what my values should be in the pressed equation to equal a successful placement. It’s perfectly okay that our blogs are all somewhat subjective as long as you take a different angle on the difficulty of catching earthworms, or how beanie babies will be our next currency. So why is it okay to be subjective? Because, we the bloggers have no corporate agenda and want only to get our thoughts out, be heard, and of course be ‘Freshly Pressed’. For those of you individuals blessed enough to have been ‘pressed’, I applaud you and ask only that you divulge your numbers so I can plug them into ‘the equation’ and see how my numbers fare. Also, if anyone who reads this has won a Pulitzer Prize, do you happen to know the logarythm for that and what are your numbers? Hemingway knew the equation and cracked the code for the numbers, but as we all know he was really assasinated because of this knowledge with suicide as a cover up. God speed, and don’t get caught by the Pulitzer or WordPress logarythm officials!

Kids. . .with a side of Beer please.

People have been raising kids for a long time and every culture and time period presents new challenges for parents but the kids are always the same right? As a Roman history junkie, I wonder what our ancestors in any culture did with their children. Wealthy aristocrats often had full days of instruction for their children which included (but was not limited to) politics, arethmetic, history, an instrument of some sort, and combat in many cultures. That’s fine because it’s really not much different these days. Parents with lots of money would like their children to be well rounded, so they hire tutors, nannys and others to keep the children busy and entertained. What about the lower and middle classes who don’t have that kind of money? There’s always television. When I was a child, I woke up early and went outside in my back yard to swing on my playground set, then scoop a few cat turds out of my sand box to make some castles, then go to my friend’s house, where we would turn his father’s garden into a fortress for our GI Joes. Occasionally I would wander home to be fed pizza, hot dogs, peanut butter and jelly, or a grilled cheese and then resume playing until the street lights went on. When those lights went on, we all scrambled to get home as fast as possible. The only video games were on Atari or something similar on our TRS-80 from Radioshack and there were a couple of people in the neighborhood who played those at all, because frogger and pong get boring after a while. Our television had rabbit ears and 2 dials, one for changing the channel and one for fine tuning.

Fine, I’ll get to the point. These days, as a society we are becoming more in touch with our feelings and are more aware of our interactions with our children in order to create autonomy. As a stay at home father, I am with my children every day and am able to interact with them and teach them (when they are not melting down) according to the priorities set by my wife and I.

As I got older, my parents bought a TV that utilized a cable box, and had lighted display above a key pad to punch in pre-dialed stations, and growing up in Illinois, the winters were cold so I turned to more television. As a parent I struggle not putting my children in front of movies all the time having been raised on television, and am thus forced to actually interact with my children (which I do enjoy most of the time).

For my tenth birthday, I ended up with about $130 (if my memory serves me correct) which allowed me to buy a Nintendo with Super Mario Brothers/Duckhunt combo, the gun, and Spyhunter. Through the years I literally played hundreds of games on multiple video game consoles which ended with Playstation 2. The video game dynasty came to a crashing halt with the arrival of children and a wife who absolutely detests video games and what they do to children. My spiel of “they make for good hand/eye coordination” fell on deaf ears as she has completely outlawed video games in our home.

I was the last of all of my friends to have a cell phone and when I finally got one it was a Motorola Razr which had been out for almost five or six years and thus propelled it to antique status. As far as I am concerned, my children will not need cell phones until they actually need them or can pay for them so cell phones are out. So there you have it, no television, limited movies, no video games, and no cell phones. What ever are our children to do? My almost 4 year old has become very good at catching insects, lizards, and frogs and holding them gently until he releases them, and my 19 month old loves going on hikes in the woods. They have a pile of toys in the corner of their room which sort of get played with, except for the Hot Wheels which are a current favorite of both boys. Sure, one or the other wakes me up early every day and both require constant attention so they don’t scream and hit each other and they end up wearing both my wife and I out every day, but when I see how creative and happy they are it makes all the difference in the world. At the end of the day when my wife and I are almost completely worn out and are wondering how people do it, we have a beer.

Rednecks Will Survive. . .

On a recent trip to get groceries, I noted a bumper sticker that said ‘Rednecks Will Survive’ with a hunting rifle in the middle of the sticker. The truck was a multi-colered/primered Chevy with a topper that did not fit correctly and the rusted ‘Chevrolet’ decal was hanging down in a forty five degree angle. Far be it from be to be judgemental, but my curiosity got the best of me as I began to ponder this phrase, the driver, and the origin of the sticker.

First of all the phrase ‘Rednecks Will Survive’ got the best of me as I questioned what exaclty about rednecks make them survivors? They typically have guns so they can shoot animals and trade said animals for things they don’t know how to do but that is as far as my questioning went while my mind raced to what the driver looked like. I pictured a medium build woman with a mullet covered by a confederate baseball style hat, blue and black flannel shirt, cigarette barely hanging from her lips, and a half finished can of warm Budweiser in the middle console.

Rednecks are a funny species of humans insofar as they are proud of the monniker. If you spot a sterotypical redneck and say ‘hey redneck’ he will probably ask you what you need fixed while pulling up his pants to hide his butt crack. This leads me to believe that there is some type of company called Redneck Inc. that lists out specific codes of misconduct and means of furthering the cause with bumper stickers and keychains. It all started over a century ago with the Hatfields and McCoys. After the redneck warring factions sustained heavy enough losses, they came to a truce to maintain the redneck way of life and in order to compete with Hillbilly and Sons Inc. After the confederates lost the civil war, they grabbed their distilling equipment and as many sheep they could carry and got lost in the forrested mountains of the US. These disgraced and defeated hillbillies created a vast empire that was funded by moonshine and wool and formed Hillbilly and Sons Inc. The sole purpose of this conglomerate was to form an army and retake the country by force. The rednecks, tired of being downtrodden by their powerful hillbilly enemies, began their own company and have been thriving since.

I have never been sure of the differences between a hillbilly and redneck but I can assure you there are differences. With that being said however, rednecks are often thought of as ‘dimwitted’, slovenly, lazy, drunk, inbred, and racist in many cases. How is it that an entire cross section of our population actually fits that description and are not only surviving but thriving? I have heard of redneck ingenuity and the internet provides plenty of pictures to vouch for the legitimacy of the term; but when I see a shirtless, mullet sporting individual driving a multi-colored pickup truck that has five antenna and dried deer blood on the hood it piques my curiosity and drives my imagination to the limit. Is it just that easy? Live simply and carry a big gun and you can survive anything? As a learned individual, do I just need to have a couple beers before an important project and throw logic out the window? What exactly the hell is it about rednecks that makes them survivors? You know, cockroaches have actually been around for hundreds of millions of years and they are merely disease carrying pests that invade and multiply. In any event, no matter what others may think of them, rednecks and cockroaches know how to survive.

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