Web Developments

When I'm not writing, or working on a cartoon with Mike, these days you're likely to find me plugging away on website development work. I really love doing web design and learning new things. For example, figuring out how to make this blog work, and integrate nicely into my site was a lot of fun.

I'm the the 'webmaster' of a site called HI-POD.com as well as this one. (Heh, I like the title 'web-master'; it sounds akin to 'Kung-Fu master' or something.) The HI-POD company is run by a good friend of mine named Enrique. We worked together for five years at the animation studio Klasky Csupo.

A HI-POD is a high-end camera monopod that can elevate a video or still camera to a 15 foot elevation, and allow a single camera person to shoot and monitor the signal at eye-level. The unit is fully controllable, and portable; there's nothing else than can do the same task without an unwieldy multi-person crane or jib setup. And you can't begin to get those into the same small spaces the HI-POD can fit into.

I think the HI-POD's origin story is remarkable. Enrique originally started a sporting event taping company. His idea was a fleet of mobile-studio vans that could cover smaller local games that media wouldn't normally document. He needed to quickly get multiple cameras covering the field, and feeding back to the mobile van- the same set up as the big guys use, but with every element scaled down to it's most compact possible form. In the course of developing a compact and portable field camera platform for game coverage, Enrique invented the HI-POD.

The idea was so good and the HI-POD was such a success, that he eventually dropped the original sports taping company and made manufacturing the HI-POD his core business.

It just serves to remind me that many times great ideas are born wholly unexpected out of the rubble of cast-aside dreams. It's a fascinating part of the creative process. You just never know when you start a creative endeavor, exactly what will emerge in the end.

That's what I like about writing books and creating animated films. I know that I'm in for a wild and crazy journey from start to finish. I love knowing that along the way, new and unique ideas and concepts will be born out of the fury of creative shuffle. It's just one of the many things I love about the creative process.

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