Archive for September, 2010

Midnight Riders Video Contest – Final Entry

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

I talked a little bit about a contest going on right now where you make a music video for the midnight riders.

You can’t click the link in youtube because you are here, so here it is:

Well, I’ve been working pretty hard on my entry so here it is. This took about 40-50 hours to do, and somewhere around $100. It was pretty fun and I learned a lot. I know it’s not perfect, but here it is. Leave a comment and let me know what you think! Also,watch in 720 or 1080p because I went to all the effort to make it in those resolutions.

DIY Bicycle Rack

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Since I was busy making stuff for the Midnight Rider’s video, and since I was building a solar site evaluator for one of my classes, I decided to go ahead and build a bike rack. My wife and I recently got nice bikes and they’ve just been stuck in the kitchen. It hasn’t been ideal and I thought a nice bike rack would be perfect.

I drew out some plans and got it together pretty quickly. I also filmed all the Midnight Rider footage and built a solar site analyzer. It was a busy weekend.

The results:

Midnight Riders Video Contest

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

Valve has a contest going on right now where you can make a music video for the Midnight Riders song Save Me Some Sugar. As the legend goes,

The Midnight Riders need your help. We haven’t seen the Riders for a long time. We were hoping they could help us with the official release of “Save Me Some Sugar” for the upcoming DLC for Left 4 Dead 1 & 2 “The Sacrifice”.

This is the first time Left 4 Dead 1 players will get to listen to the Midnight Riders while they slay zombies. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we wanted to release on YouTube their full music video for the song. This was the very first Music Video the Riders ever made “for the MTV”.

Sadly the video was lost and the Riders aren’t helping us find it. The only thing we have left behind from the band is one of Dusty’s guitars signed by the band. Dusty was not one to accept the charity of others so he had left this with management to be sold for bail money.

This leaves us with the guitar, the song, but no video.

Here’s where you can help. Make a music video for “Save Me Some Sugar” and post it on with the tag L4DMNRSAVESUGAR. The best video will win the guitar signed by the MNRs and a gift pack from Valve. We will wait until October 1st 2010 to judge the winning entry, so take your time.

Should you make it live action? Use game assets? Show the Riders? Well the band would have wanted this contest to have no rules. So you choose what’s in the video – THERE ARE NO STINKING RULES*!

Given the success of my last video contest entry I decided to give this one a go. I decided on the concept of a backstory for the fallen survivor in “The Passing” campaign. So far he’s the only uncommon common infected that isn’t just a guy in uniform. There are the CEDA workers, construction workers, riot police, clowns, and mud men in the other campaigns. This made the fallen survivor unique in that he is a character. He has a unique costume. If there were other fallen survivor models in game then it would be different, but there aren’t.

The concept story I came up with was the fallen survivor before he turns. He comes home to his wife, only to find she’s been rescued. He then gets sick from a bite he got that day and realizes that he isn’t immune at all. He writes a goodbye letter to his wife should she ever come back and leaves their home to go and change.

Some of the lyrics are made interesting by the video. “One day I’ll be back” takes on new meaning as well as “save me some sugar,” which could now be interpreted as him wanting her to make sure she saves bullets to kill him should they meet after he has turned.

This is a very rough first cut. It took about 30 hours of prep, writing, shopping, prop making, set building, filming, and editing to get to this point. I’ve been putting in about 2hrs a day since this was made in After Effects and Premier to refine it as much as it needs. I’m also dedicating about 8hrs per weekend until it’s good enough or until the Oct. 1st deadline comes. If I work hard enough this weekend I might get to the 90-95% point, which I would be happy to call good in case school work picks up considerably. For now, enjoy this first cut as something of a preview. There’s no editing to this other than putting clips together in Premier, so it should look and feel quite a bit more refined when I upload the final version. Let me know what you think!

Art I Own: Cameron Moll Letterpress

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

I’m a member of the LDS Church. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m also into art at least a little bit. I spend a fair amount of my online time looking at art and design blogs. Members of the Church have been advised to keep a picture of Christ and a picture of the temple prominently displayed in their homes. It’s an open, non-pushy, testament to those in their homes that we believe in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for us. It’s also a bit of a conversation starter. We want people to feel comfortable asking questions about the church so that they can hear the truth. A lot of lies and half truths float around, and it’s disappointing that people don’t find a member of the church when they want clarification.

Since I like art, and maybe even pretend to know something about it every now and then, I decided to get something a little different when I got a picture of the temple for our home.
What I ended up finding is a letterpress poster by Cameron Moll. It’s $100, which isn’t cheap, but it goes on sale fairly often for $75, which is the price I paid. I added a frame and matte and hung it on the wall. It’s pretty big with the extra large mat and 2″ frame, but I think the end result looks pretty good.




Total price for the frame, matte board and print was around $120. Not bad for something interesting. If you want to learn more about the church, its members, and the doctrine, you can go to You can chat live with a member, find a nearby church building, or click around and learn about the church.