Fixing my train wreck in post

So, uh... Anyone else get sick to your stomach after finishing something and absolutely know you weren't as prepared as you thought you were? Ooo, it's even worse when you get other people involved. It's like that time as a sophomore when I talked a senior girl into being my date to the highschool band equivalent of prom and didn't realize it was a formal event. She looked great in her formal gown but you should've seen me in my khakis, denim button up, and Goofy tie. She sat at another table and got a ride home with other friends that night.

Last Monday I reached out again to Olivia Abassi to see if she'd be up to make something. We've made other stuff in the past and I had a couple loose ideas and some references, but those basically got tossed once we started. She's fantastic on camera and an even better person; Anne and I have basically claimed her as our younger cousin. I think that's why I felt sick to my stomach afterwards knowing she gave up her free time to go make something with me and I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was.

In the end we ended up with two different edited pieces, but actually making the sausage couldn't have been pleasant to watch. In going out I'd wanted to shoot some stock type footage to send to my FilmSupply account. The hope was that any sales would pay for our expenses (pizza, coffee, train ride) plus generate some additional passive income for both of us over time. I honestly didn't feel like anything was landing so we stopped for coffee and assessed what we had. We had one shot I absolutely dug and we went back to what we'd enjoyed doing before (her dancing in public to music no one around could hear). She and I came up with two different songs we're each obsessed with at the moment. Olivia knew all the words to "I'd Rather be Blue" sung by Barbra Streisand and I've been wearing out "Ladders" by Mac Miller.

I'm also still working my way through Principles by Ray Dalio and some of it fits in nicely with [in my opinion was] Monday night's train wreck.

"Bad times coupled with good reflections provide some of the best lessons."

"An ability to figure things out is more important than having specific knowledge of how to do something."

"The key is to fail, learn, and improve quickly."

Originally we'd planned to do Olivia's song as one long take. We did a few different takes and were happy with a couple of them – her performance and my shooting. But once I got back and started through the edit I realized it just wasn't working. Each take had great parts that I didn't want to ditch just because the original idea was to have one single performance. I ended up syncing up the different takes like a multicam shoot and edited using that idea. I'd already made 2k proxies from the original 8k .R3D files so it wasn't that taxing on my computer run the multiple takes at once. It actually made for an interesting way to approach the edit and an idea I'd be all about using again.

The Mac Miller track ended up being way too long to stay interesting with my original idea. We did a few take with her dancing to the nearly five minute track and I knew right off the bat it wasn't going to work using a single take. Rather than just ditching the footage in post, I synced it up with the track and marked each downbeat throughout each take. From there I made a 60 second edit of the track and pulled some selects from the stock footage we shot at the beginning of the night. The thought was to make a short piece where our hero, Oliva, was trying to get to an event or meet up with someone who in the end would cancel. The dancing part was what she had to do mentally to deal with the stress of someone bailing on her.

Lunar New Year

This past Tuesday was the Lunar New Year. I'd seen photos and footage from years past and knew to be in Chinatown with a camera in hand. It took a bit to work through the footage and tame those 8k R3D files with proxies, but I'm diggin' what I got.

One of the big draws to Tuesday's New Year Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival event was the something like 600k firecrackers being set off. With how the event space was shaped and laid out I was never in a good spot to see them go off. What I ended up with was a ton of people watching the event plus a good deal of paper confetti flying around. I went out thinking I'd get some footage of the dragon dances, but there actually wasn't much of that. In the end I worked towards making a somewhat whimsical cut with the confetti paper playing as big a role as the people watching it fly around.

MUSIC: Kabul To Paramaribo by Clap! Clap!

The first time I went to China was around this time of year in 2007. A Christian non-profit based in Tulsa hired me out to help film some of the work they were doing there. It's been a minute since then, but I absolutely have some fantastic memories from that two week trip. Bonus points for the BTS photo of me from that trip DEEP into my Euro-mullet days.


It wasn't my first time overseas, but China was my first experience being in a non-western country. I remember kinda tripping out when we got there because it was late-January and they were prepping for the upcoming "New Year." We'd already done our thing back in the west and the early 20s me had zero clue about a lunar calendar. Honestly the later 30s me is still on the western end of just reading a few Wikipedia entries about a calendar based on moon cycles and the Chinese zodiac. I'm diggin' the fact though that both 2007 and 2019 are Years of the Pig. Oh, and let's not talk about the image and resolution difference between the Panasonic DVX100b I was rockin' back then and my RED Weapon Helium now.

When I first moved to NYC, Yelp sent me to Chinatown for hand pulled noodles. Since then I've gone out of my way to spend time in that part of town and drag my family along when I can. I'd read something about how you're supposed to eat dumplings and noodles during the holiday for good luck, so obviously dinner had us taking the train back to Chinatown. Afterwards we waded through the closed and confettied streets where events that night were being wrapping up. You know it's a good party when it takes a fleet of garbage trucks and an army sanitation workers wielding push brooms and leaf blowers to clean up.

2019 NYC Women's March

Go do the networking things kids... Through one of the first events I went to here in New York I got a change to meet producer Elizabeth Potter. She and her husband James run Potter Productions and we had a chance to work together on this small project centered around the 2019 Women's March in NYC. The Potters worked their magic and put together a sign making event where we interviewed a few attendees and shot some b-roll. The Women's March was the following Saturday and we hiked out to the Upper West Side to march alongside a crowd the New York Times said stretched about 10 city blocks.

I missed out on the 2018 event, but attended the 2017 Women's March in Oklahoma City. Having covered newsworthy events as both part of the media and on my own, I want to say that I'm very intentional about what I include in the pieces I put out.

I'm assuming you're not here because of my political beliefs, so you may want to skip the next couple paragraphs.

Regardless of how many people see this edit, I feel responsible for its content. I believe in the major ideas behind the Women's March and want to do what I can to help promote it. Were there counter-protesters waving "Trump 2020" flags? Yes. Where there individuals wearing all black with sunglasses and masks covering their face? Yes. What about those with homemade signs smearing Trump and honestly promoting violence against those who think differently than they do? Yea, they were there too. Did any of that nonsense make the edit? No.

The march route passed by both the Trump International Hotel and Fox News building. While I'm not an ardent fan of either, I didn't see it helpful to join in on the "Shame! Shame!" chant as we walked by each one. One woman standing outside the Fox News building made sure the passers by knew "Fox News helped pay for [her] daughter's education!" I know where I stand, but I don't see it as my responsibility to publicly shame someone who believes differently than I do.

Now that I've got that off my chest, onto the "How'd we do that?" part.

Gear-wise I shot all the nonsense with a pared down version of my RED Weapon and a Zeiss 35mm CP.2 lens. For the audio interviews we used my Zoom H4n audio recorder and a shotgun mic. I'm still getting used to moving around the city with gear, and especially for a zero budget project like this, less is always better.

For post-work, Elizabeth and I pretty much divided and conquered: I sent her the audio files and she sent me notes with timecode; I dug through the footage and pulled selects. All the footage was shot in 4k 2:1 ProRes at 23.98fps. Throughout the edit process I'll pull still frames from the footage and color them on my phone with VSCO (see below). Absolutely dug a good deal of the imagery from the march, but the lighting and color temperatures from the sign making event were a hot mess.

In putting together an edit like this, my workflow typically starts with building out a story line using the interview audio. Once that structure is there, I'll start laying in footage that hopefully makes sense and supports the story line. If you've seen anything else of mine you'll know I'm a fan of using natural sound in an edit like this. The additional audio is just from the internal mics on the RED Weapon.

The thinking was to keep it short and sweet plus push out a shorter edit for social media. I'll say there was a bit of a headache with the Instagram edit. Turns out there's some codec nonsense in getting video uploaded to Instagram via iPhone XS; thx for the help Reddit. We ended up using two of the 4-5 interviews we recorded and only 90 seconds from the 24+ minutes of footage selects.

From the beginning I felt like Elizabeth and I were on the same page about what we wanted out of this: make something together we could both use to help promote our work. I'm pretty sure that's what we're all trying to do but the fact that we both believe in what the Women's March stands for is just icing on the cake.

Last Week

Well, it's been a week. Not super interesting or horrific, but there was a ton going on and I'm glad it's behind us. Rather than trying to write something meaningful, I figured I'd share how the week went.

Seeing as how these things normally get written in a last minute rush on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, just know that I'm a bit later than normal because I spent Sunday afternoon cleaning up a flooded bathroom in our apartment. While the fam and I were at church Sunday the tub and toilet decided it'd be best to go on strike and fill our bathroom with brown water.

Monday, January 21, was dumb cold. Seriously some of the coldest weather I've experienced. My phone said it was something like 6-7° F outside with the windchill rockin' a -11°. I've never been in a position to see dog pee freeze on the sidewalk – thanks New York. Oh, and it was MLK day and I'm super bummed I didn't make it out to Harlem for the day's events.

Tuesday was – I'm assuming – good enough for jazz?

Thankfully I landed a meeting with a production company I admire here in the city. No clue how well it went short of saying no one died and I didn't poop on the floor. I felt like I'd botched the meeting and kinda whined about it via social media just long enough to realize I was being dumb and sucked it up. Probably the best part of my afternoon rant was forgetting that the person I'd met with also follows me online. They direct messaged me laughing about the rant; I died a little out of pure embarrassment.

There were also some birds not far from their office that were getting seriously annoyed that I kept disrupting their feeding frenzy.

Oh, and the second Miley Cyrus & Mark Ronson video I got to help shoot with Vevo a few weeks ago was released.

Wednesday had me finally going through some color work that a new buddy of mine had done in Dallas, TX. Somehow I got connected to a couple magicians at Lucky Post and colorist Neil Anderson reached out asking if I'd be up to have him color some of my 2018 Demo Reel. ABSOLUTELY hope I get to work with that guy again soon.

Thursday had Anne the Wife and I renting a car and driving out with our younger kid to Long Island. Tax season is closing in and I've been working to get my tax ducks in order. Another connection I've made in the last few weeks, Craig DiBiase with MinusL, introduced me to his CPA. Turns out I'm switching from my Oklahoma "Tanner Herriott Productions LLC" to a New York "Tanner Herriott Inc." Oh, and I'm having to start putting back quite a bit more money to pay taxes at the end of each year.

Friday, well Friday was busy. I had a video chat meeting with a producer I got to meet at a networking event a few weeks ago. Elizabeth Potter and I are working together on a short project from the recent Women's March here in New York. Thankfully this project had me out and about with my RED Weapon for the first time in a bit and I'm diggin' some of the footage we'll have for the edit. Side note: please ignore the fact that I tend to frame everything to the right.

Friday afternoon had me spending some much needed time with David Bizzaro; good grief that guy is a saint. Thank goodness we've got some more projects in the works.

Outside all the daily nonsense I've also been plowing through Ray Dailo's Principles. It's a bit dense at times and way thicker than anything I'd normally read, but I'm honestly diggin' his insights and experience in the financial and macroeconomic worlds. This guy's experience is crazy different from mine, but I'm constantly trying to take other thinker's situations and try to apply them to mine.

"...everything that was going on had happened before, and that logical cause-effect relationships made those developments inevitable. My failure to anticipate this, I realized, was due to my being surprised by something that hadn’t happened in my lifetime, though it had happened many times before."

"I learned a great fear of being wrong that shifted my mind-set from thinking “I’m right” to asking myself “How do I know I’m right?” And I saw clearly that the best way to answer this question is by finding other independent thinkers who are on the same mission as me and who see things differently from me."

"An ability to figure things out is more important than having specific knowledge of how to do something."

Family Stuff

So the wife and kids have been up here in New York just over three weeks at this point. We’re figuring out what it’s like for Anne to be a stay at home mom while also developing new relationships herself. We're figuring out what it's like for our older boy to start a new school while the younger one is home and no longer in daycare. We’re learning what it’s like to build a new life somewhere.

So much of why we left what we knew is wrapped up in forcing ourselves to grow. It's been a dance of learning something new while also maintaining responsibilities. While I want to say Anne the Wife and I have done a decent job so far – both as a couple and as parents – it still feels like we're constantly stepping on each other's toes.

By default I lean into what's comfortable. Obsessing over money and finances has always been a warm blanket for me. That's not to say I'm an expert, but I can sure as hell build out a spread sheet and balance a checkbook. A very close second is losing myself in trying to make an image. So much of my time over the years has been experienced through a view finder or monitor that honestly it's much easier to keep moving forward behind a camera than not.

Being a good dad and husband: f*ck that's hard. As much as I'm expecting to grow professionally and creatively in this new season, the biggest challenges so far have been centered around family. Anne and I have been at it long enough that we can squabble and work it out, but there's no diplomatic or elegant way to say I count it a win when I make it through an entire day without wanting to strangle our kids. At six years old Elliot is coming more into his own and making his own decisions. Flynn is 19 months old and can't talk so yelling at the top of his lungs seems to be the next best thing. How that kid still has vocal cords is beyond me.


While I've been pushing hard to make new professional and creative relationships, Anne has been just as intentional about connecting with other young families also living in the city. It's been a trip peeping into other family dynamics and trying to gleen what we can.

Surprisingly, one of my favorite things about Instagram has been seeing other creatives who also happen to be dads work out and share how they stay creatives while also trying to raise tiny people. You'd better believe I screenshot the hell out of these parental nuggets. And seriously, thank goodness for the whole AMA thing.

Dallas this time

Growing up in Oklahoma City, Dallas was the cool older brother we looked up to. It's where you bragged about going before the school year to buy new clothes at the "good stores." They also had the closest Starbucks when people were losing their minds about Frappuccinos. As someone from Oklahoma City, Dallas was always the varsity quarterback who hung out with cheerleaders while the rest of us cleaned up the used towels and sweaty uniforms.

There was a season when my dad worked for company based in Dallas. He'd work from Oklahoma City but make the three hour drive down a few times a month. His boss rocked the slicked back hair, drove a red Ferrari, and had a sweet pool in his backyard; there's no way that guy didn't do tons of coke. He killed himself a few years ago.

Doesn’t seem like much changed as I got older. Oklahoma City has grown and there's some great things happening there, but in my mind Dallas was still better than where I was from. There was something there that we'd never live up to and we'd never be good enough to do more than just visit.

Last week had me in Dallas for a job and this visit to my hometown's cooler older brother felt different.

Thank goodness for the Running Robot guys and them keeping me so busy in what’s typically one of the slowest seasons of the year. I'd show you some behind-the-scenes photos from our shoot and a few frame grabs of the interviews, but good grief if you've been following along you've seen enough of that already.

Somehow I'd traveled to Dallas with a TSA sized bottle of magical powers. On multiple occasions people who had no reason to be impressed were somehow wowed when I said I was "in town from New York." It wasn't like I was being superfluous in offering the information but small talk normally comes back around to "so where you from?" It didn't seem to matter that I also included "but I just up moved from Oklahoma a few months ago."

Dallas would've been the logical step both personally and professionally to this Oklahoman. Surely there would've been more professional opportunities for me, Anne would've easily made more money as a teacher, and my parents would've much rather we moved their grandkids across the Red River. A handful of friends made in college and during that weird season afterwards now live in Dallas and I wish we saw them more often. I’ve also had a few Dallas based clients over the years and I wish I saw them more too.

I can say with all honesty that Dallas was never really somewhere I wanted to live. There would always be that cooler older brother thing constantly overshadowing anything we'd ever accomplish. Somehow in signing that lease to our Brooklyn apartment we're now part of something allowing us to escape where we're from – at least in other people's eyes who've not lived in New York. Dear God don't I pray that never sinks in personally. But if it helps, I'm all about it.

I'm still hustling to connect with new clients and creatives in a new city that's incredibly expensive. I honestly feel like I'm making some progress but my bank account has only noticed an uptick in my coffee shop spending. I've shot a handful of images I'm proud of and good grief I feel like I'm learning a ton. I've always known there's some kind of magic here and I sure hope I end up finding a bottle or two.

Not quite al dente

Good grief I'm ready to start shooting again. I've worn out my excuses and my camera gear is still sitting in the closet in well protected cases. I'm off again this week with Running Robot shooting more interviews for one of their clients; this week has us in Dallas, TX. I'm pretty sure my RED thinks I've forgotten about it – I haven't and neither has my bank or insurance company.

I've connected with quite a few people here in New York and started the process of shooting something soon. None of those noodles have stuck to the wall just yet, but I'm hoping something will be done cooking soon so we can move on with the process.

Even this freakin' blog post is a bit undercooked: there's no plan or outline, I'm not out to say something specific, and I'm pretty much just ticking this week's box of "Did you write something?"

I'd read something a couple weeks ago via the Musicbed blog that felt just about right:

If we are going to create the same quality of work as those we admire most, I believe we must give ourselves time to develop. In our day and age, there seems to be a need to be constantly producing and posting new work. I find this pressure to stay relevant can be depleting, and ultimately can hinder the integrity and caliber of the work. - Amy Gardner

Talk about cooked noodles.

I feel like it's very real that you need to be practicing your thing. More than anything I've been writing a good deal more this last bit. No one is hiring me to be a writer, but it's still a knife in my creative kitchen. As per usual I've procrastinated until Sunday afternoon to write for Monday's 10am-ish deadline and I'm kinda glad I did considering a quote from Catholic Priest John Chapman embedded in this morning's church service:

"Pray as you can, not as you cannot!"

I'd like to be shooting more, but right now I can write. With everything going on in my current circumstances I can sit down with a laptop or notebook and pen and crank something out. Earlier this week I had some time to collect a few visual references and start down the road to making something. Right now a good part of that "making something" process is writing and I'm sure the cameras will be fired up soon enough.

One Year Later

Last year around this time a goal of mine was to write a weekly blog post. It's not like I had something to say, but more the idea of setting up false deadline each week forcing myself into making stuff. It's been a full year now and thankfully I've stuck to the plan – for the most part.

2018 had me shooting some of my favorite images and pushing myself with personal work, but good grief it was f**king tough personally and professionally. Uprooting and moving to New York City is unquestionably the hardest thing I've ever done. No amount of planning and prep would've been enough but we followed through and did the thing. We're all in New York now and floored at the possibilities ahead. Still, I'm not sleeping well considering all the unknowns.


A sickly and slightly overweight version of me has followed me around the last year or so whispering "Hey dummy, how you going to pay for all this?" He's stinking up and stretching out my clothes while also shooting footage with my name on it that's just bad enough for people to not hire me again. On top of that I've somehow started following this waste of time – and his friends – on Instagram and can't look away. I'm constantly reminded that he's on much better projects than I am and people are lining up to work with this turd fest only to have him flake out for another project in some other exotic location. I'm not too upset with his success though – he's still sick and overweight plus his footage is out of focus and not framed well. Oh, and all his stuff looks like everyone else's.

By no means am I the day to this dumbass's night: I'm not the hero my dog thinks I am, I for sure need to be running more, and good grief I'm ready to be spending more time on ideas rather than trying to "move to New York City." I've mentioned it before, but I'd met with a director not long ago who asked me something along the lines of "What are your goals? What do you want to do?" I just remember the ocean of sheer panic I fell into while trying to even mumble something intelligent. Even my desk stapler would've known I was failing at being a person at that moment.

"Screw you stapler. What have you done with your life?" - Me

I'm a fan of routines and the false deadline of a weekly blog post has been good for me; it'll not see the chopping block anytime soon. I'm also a fan of Chuck Close's idea about inspiration being for amateurs.

"Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. And the belief that things will grow out of the activity itself and that you will — through work — bump into other possibilities and kick open other doors that you would never have dreamt of if you were just sitting around looking for a great ‘art idea.’ And the belief that process, in a sense, is liberating and that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today, you know what you’ll do, you could be doing what you were doing yesterday, and tomorrow you are gonna do what you did today, and at least for a certain period of time you can just work. If you hang in there, you will get somewhere." - Chuck Close

See you next week...

"Happy Xmas" - Vevo & Contrast FIlms

"Hey dude! Wanted to see if you’re available to cam op on a multi-cam thing this Wednesday in NYC. Should be a fun one!" - Jordy Wax, Contrast Films

Anne the Wife and I have been super quiet about our decision to move to New York City. That being said, I've been hustling behind the scenes the last year or so in reaching out to other creatives. Turns out freelancing without connections is called "unemployed."

One of those cold emails, direct messages via Instagram, and/or bat signals was to Micah Bickham at Vevo. That led to a phone call while I was in Las Vegas for NAB which led to an introduction and quick face-to-face with Jordy Wax at Contrast Films – he was in Vegas for NAB too. All that nonsense plus plenty more along the way gets us to the other day.

Jordy shot me an email late Saturday night about cam op'ing on a "multi-cam shoot in NYC" on Wednesday morning; not much detail outside that. If you've been following along for any period of the obvious answer was a polite and collected "Yea man! I'm in" while FREAKING OUT ON THE INSIDE AND HOPING THEY DON'T FIND OUT YOU'RE A FAKE. A few emails, a callsheet, and a Google search later it turns out to be a shoot at Electric Lady Studios with with Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson, and a special guest.

"Good job team. Looks like our work here is done and we can pack it up. No need to try and do anything else to professionally top what I got to do a month into moving to New York." - Me

There's no need to try and explain how big a deal Electric Lady Studios is – just know we've all heard music recorded there. There's no way I was going to be late so I figured being thirty minutes early was a solid balance between "professional" and "Oh God, who is this guy?" The space was buzzing with an army of people who all seemed to know what they were doing. Then there was me, the nervous mid-semester transfer student trying hard to to "play it cool" while simultaneously fighting back the urge to projectile vomit out of excitement.

There were five or six Alexa Minis setup with Vantage Hawk anamorphic lenses on various tripods, sliders, and one prepped for a Movi Pro. I straight up stood next to the camera with the biggest lens because it was the most out of the way when Micah – who was directing all this nonsense – walked up and assigned me to it. "So you're going to be on Camera 1. 85% of your shots will be following Miley with some slow zooms. You've shot live music performance stuff, right?"

I’ve had shoots and editing work with existing clients since I’ve been in NY, but shooting on this project was technically my first paid gig after moving to the city. Honestly I couldn’t have asked for a better situation and I’m incredibly thankful. It's not like I've never worked on big sets with high-profile celebrities and high-end gear. More than anything this just felt like a door opening after patiently knocking for more than a decade.

There's no shame in admitting I was floored to be and work in the same room with creatives I've followed online for years – as well as others I got to meet and follow now. There's also no shame in admitting I had no idea who the long-haired guitar player was they were all tripping out about – my bad.

Fun bonus fact about the scheduling of this shoot: I'd already been booked for a project in Phoenix the next day and thankfully I'd booked a flight out of NYC later Wednesday afternoon. Scheduling somehow threaded the needle on this one with the morning Vevo shoot in Greenwich Village giving me enough time to get back to Brooklyn, get Clara the dog to the pet boarding place, and me to the airport with my gear in time to catch the direct flight to Phoenix. Thanks science.

Phoenix and Red-Eye Flights

This week had me booked again with Running Robot to shoot out in their home turf in Phoenix, AZ. Being used to flying out of Oklahoma City all these years, it was a bit of a hike from New York to that part of the country. Flying out Wednesday afternoon got me there in time to get to sleep that night, pick up rental gear the next morning, the actual shoot, return rental gear, then race back to the airport for a red-eye flight back to NYC Thursday night.

Big fan of and how easy they make shipping across the country. For this trip it was easier to rent and ship a similar tripod to a local FedEx vs. me traveling with mine. For grip and electric, I connected with MP&E Equipment Rental out in Scottsdale. They're 30-40 minutes outside of Phoenix but the scenery was worth the drive.

Speaking of Scottsdale, Chris Fenner – a solid Instagram follow and car enthusiast – introduced me to Four Coffee and their rubber stamps. Have I mentioned I've got a mild obsession with collecting rubber stamps from coffee shops? It's a thing and filling up my notebooks...

Once again, we were rocking the two camera interview setup: Canon 5D Mark III with a 70-200 lens for the tight; Canon 7D with a 24-70 for the wide. They also had me shooting a third camera through the interview to act as additional B-roll for the edit. The Running Robot guys booked a conference room in a downtown Phoenix co-working space. Three of the four walls were floor to ceiling glass so reflections were a real issue.

Slowly but surely I too am preaching the good news of working with these 4' Quasar Crossfades. The slim profile let me get the backlight in a tight spot between the talent and glass wall. The skimpy dimmers from by rental house were unusable trash, so instead I used some gaffe tape on the fixture to make a small skirt on the light cutting back some of the output. Oh, and the baby pin mounting option and rubber bumpers on each end of the tubes – so rad. The hodgepodge of color temps flooding the glass room from everywhere was a hot mess. I still feel like the color on these fixtures is a bit more red than I'm used to, but it's an easy fix in camera or post. My iPhone Xs was having issues too getting the color temps correct in my BTS photos. Side note: we had to rig the audio boom pole to a light stand via spring clamps because we felt like it (and didn't have the proper mount anyway).

Can we talk for a moment about red-eye flights? They're pretty awful – but still have their place. By all means it was my choice in scheduling because I wanted "the experience." Plus I knew it would help budget-wise seeing as how expensive all this is. Plus (plus) I'd already scheduled a couple meetings back in NYC knowing I'd be back in time thanks to flying through the night. The air travel part isn't that bad. Yes, it sucks trying to sleep on a plane, especially on a rough flight and next to a seat mate who isn't into "personal space" or "boundaries" or "jackets without massive shoulder pads." Some solid red-eye flight tips are only a Google search away and I know what I'll be doing next time – i.e. neck pillow, window seat, glasses instead of contact lenses, etc...

For me the rough part of flights back to NYC is actually getting from the airport back to my place in Brooklyn. There's a tipping point between in the financial benefits of public transit ($15-20 and 60-90 minutes) and time and comfort of just hiring a car from the airport ($50+ and 30-40 minutes). It was seriously a trip stumbling into my now regular coffee shop knowing only a few hours earlier I was standing on the other side of the country (Phoenix to San Francisco to Newark). I was fried for my 11am meeting in Manhattan, but it still went well. I was two coffees in before my 1:30p back in Brooklyn, but again, it went well too.