Kickstarting In The Basement
I’m fascinated with technology. Especially when technology helps small businesses compete on nearly the same level as their larger competitors and peers. The goal with this series is to promote all the goodness of using free / low-cost technology pieces to help support and promote small businesses.
I met Roger on the soccer field. I can’t remember which group it was - we play all over the city (Harlem, Upper West Side, Indoors, Outdoors) - and I don’t remember how we actually met. But since then, we’ve met up with Roger and Carlin for birthdays, New Years Eve, World Cup Finals, Hot Sauce launches, and our favorite - movie nights. Nothing beats a night with food and wine, and one of Roger’s movies.
As an independent filmmaker, I thought he’d be an interesting person to learn how technology works in different organizations and industries.
You can find Roger on Tumblr.
Who are you? I am an independent filmmaker, who freelances as an editor, shooter and producer.
What have you been up to lately? Working on post-production of my first feature film, which is a horror by genre.
How did you end up in New York? I lived here in the 80s when I was a bike messenger and party animal. I loved the city for it’s vibrancy, grit and cinematic appeal, as well as after-hour bars and clubs. I grew up in London and have lived in Israel on a Kibbutz for four months and traveled extensively, but always kept my eye on returning to New York after school.
The reason I am here is that New York has a way of making things happen. Time goes by faster here but time is polarized and therefore things happen faster. There are more like-minded people in the city and as an artist there is a plethora of expression from all forms of creativity making it a very exciting place to live and find influence and collaboration.
I also love the fact that you find people keeping tigers in their Bronx apartments, chickens walking down the middle of a midtown street or a box of escaped lobsters crawling around in Chinatown. That stuff just doesn’t happen everywhere!
Your business leans heavily on successful collaboration. How do you use technology to make it work? Being a filmmaker I do a fair amount of freelance work using edit software like Final Cut Pro, which has been my standard approach for a while. I use plugins like Magic Bullet to add to my desktop tools and DVD authoring programs but tend to outsource for more specialist areas like titles and music.
I use sharing sites like Vimeo to send edits back and forth from clients remotely. Working on HD means file sending through email is ridiculously limited unless you compress something to an unacceptable low grade. Sites like Yousendit, Dropbox and alternate FTP sites are attractive but time consuming and tend to limit any other online activity during uploads.
The only way I can actually send a full size file without limitation is by snail-mailing a DVD! A 90 minute film would be impractical to send online. Finding a way of sharing your working Final Cut Pro desktop with clients would be a great tool for me.
I don't really do much with networking on social media sites. I tried a few sites but the people that use those sites haven’t been too appealing.
My contacts have always been found through current and previous work relationships. When I need to find someone to help with a project, they normally come from me looking at work I like and finding the creators, then approaching them in a conversational manner. This approach has been pretty successful.
Any recent additions to your technology family? No, sadly I am still working on a Macbook Pro with an external monitor to edit.
A quick aside: Roger is using Kickstarter to support his upcoming film, Do You Like My Basement?. I've purchased / supported artists using Kickstarter previously, but only for physical products. It's great to see technology being used to support all types of ideas.
If you're interested, you can see Roger's trailer here.
Who should I interview next? My wife: Carlin Wragg.
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