Making "Ed and The Aberts"

Last month I traveled to Hardy, AR, a beautiful town in the northeast corner of the state, to conduct interviews for my most recent project, "Ed and The Aberts."  I had the good fortune to interview Ed Helvey, a self-described "location independent, digital nomad, serial entrepreneur, blogger and van-dweller," and the Abert family, John, Sharon and Angel (the pup), who are in the process of converting a cargo trailer into a custom RV, selling 90% of everything they own (including the house), and hitting the road, full-time, later this year. If you're interested, you can watch it here and find out more about how it was made below.

This was my first project using the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC) exclusively. Despite some minor technical issues, I was very pleased with the results. I used two lenses, a Canon L-Series 17-40mm f4 and a Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm f2.8. All of the audio was recorded through a Zoom H2 lined directly into the camera. The audio recorder was mounted on my homemade L-bracket for the handheld shots and mounted on a boom stand for the interviews. I used one, five-bulb fluorescent softbox for lighting the interviews and a small LED light on camera for some of the handheld shots. I edited in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 and color graded in DaVinci Resolve 11.

I transitioned to the BMPCC from Canon DSLR's (T2i, 60D, 7D) and it's a big improvement in image quality. My favorite attributes (compared to DSLR's) are image sharpness (RAZOR SHARP), dynamic range and the ability to record in ProRes 422 (HQ). The menu system is a little quirky but has been dramatically improved through recent firmware updates. It's not a camera for those who prefer a point-and-shoot, auto-mode approach; however, if you're comfortable shooting manual on a DSLR and you want to improve your image quality and give yourself more creative control in color grading, this is the camera for you.

Let me know what you think about "Ed and The Aberts." Thanks!

Without Bound - Perspectives on Mobile Living (Documentary)

This project started the summer of 2012 when Aaron Harlan and I traveled through New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah to meet and interview a fascinating group of people who choose to live in vehicles rather than traditional dwellings. As a personal interest project, it has been repeatedly postponed for other priorities like work, illness and family issues to the extent that I often wondered if it would ever be completed.

I am pleased to announce that the finished video will be available Friday, November 21st at 6:00pm CST on YouTube. You can check out the trailer below.

You can learn more about the people here:

Bob Wells -

Randy Vining -

Josh and Meisha Manwaring -

Steve Ballee' -