Broke, Busted, and Disgusted – Documentary Project in prep

We’re setting out to produce a film called Broke, Busted, and DisgustedThe documentary will examine issues of rising tuition, mounting student debt, and the potential future of higher education at colleges and universities here in the United States. You can get more information and see some occasional updates at the film’s page:
Over the past 30 years, the United States has seen a consistent increase in the cost of college tuition (four times more than CPI) and a soaring level of student debt (more than $1 trillion as of March 2012). Money well spent considering that the yearly number of graduates considered “academically excellent” has seen a similar up-curve. Yet at the same time, more and more employers are saying that college graduates lack the skills needed to place them in open jobs and are forced to spend time and money training new hires. So what is happening during those four (or five…or six) years?

During college students live the dream of traveling across the globe, eating in gourmet dining centers, exercising in brand new rec facilities, and attending endless student activities. After college, graduates are shocked by a reality of tight job prospects and staggering monthly payments. Yet the problem is not that more and more graduates are in tough financial situations. The problem is that it takes so many of them by surprise, even though it is exactly the situation for which they signed up.

Broke, Busted, and Disgusted will examine the educational system in three broad questions: Is there something wrong with the system? Is there a way to work the system? and Is there a way to fix the system?

Broke, Busted, and Disgusted will ask all of these questions, and any more that may lead to a better educational system. We don’t believe we have the answers. We just believe there is a problem which, if fixed, can help lead us back to wealth, health, and happiness.

Again, check out the documentary website here:
or join the conversation on facebook here:

Project Prep: Your Fellow Americans

We’re excited – and have been for the past weeks – to be prepping for a new documentary project. The series is titled Your Fellow Americans. It’s going to be a (hopefully) on-going web series that will slowly, calmly take a look at what it means to be an American. It will examine issues of race, immigration, and The American Dream.

The challenges that we’re facing are moderate in number. We have ability and a good stack of production gear. We have a small team (Christopher Cook is leading, with assistance for a variety of different filmmakers, as schedules allow). Presently we don’t have funds – for this project or for much else – but we’ll be launching a Kickstarter by the start of January. Calls have been in the works for a while, slowly finding and schedule the first round of interviews. Those will be based her in Kansas City to save money. Once the project is rolling, and funding is achieved, we’ll being broadening the scope and connecting with filmmakers in other cities (if you’re one of them, let us know).

We’ve got the social profiles acquired and half-set-up, but now it’s an issue of getting some funding so we can get a get someone to focus on Social Media. As you may see by the history of posts, we’re Listeners, not so much Tellers. This is good since we’re documentary filmmakers. But it’s not good for audience-building, which is often the un-thought-about production phase called “Distribution.”  So, that’s a hurdle.

Facebook page:

We’ve got a splash page up at  – not too worried about burning time on an extensive site build. Once there are a few videos in the queue, we can paste up a simple WordPress build and worry about an extensive sight if the project “blows up.”


 Since the issues of race and immigration are capable of being exceedingly divisive topics, the plan is to focus the first round of interviews on families rather than individuals. We’re going for multi-generation families in as many ethnicities/races as we can find here in Kansas City. This will yield two strong positive results. Firstly, the majority of our nation can easily identify with the idea of “Family.” By having the initial interviews focus on this we can avoid the potential push-back that we individualistic Americans often have when we see an individual talking on touch issues. We often react by thinking the person is “preaching” at us, and stop listening. Secondly, by interviewing a grandparent, a parent, and a teenager we’ll have the ability to see how thoughts on these issues change across generations as well as across cultures.

It’s gonna be interesting. In every way.

The Adjusters Bureau

Sound design for this promotional animation was handled by Brainroot. The project was designed, animated, and managed by HowdyMates!

The Cigar: An Introduction

An introduction to cigars and cigar smoking for first-time smokers and novices. Curt Diebel is a second-generation owner/operator of Diebel’s Sportsman Gallery in Kansas City, MO.

Oddly Correct – Timelapse Tuesday

The third of 22 Timelapse Tuesdays. This one was spent with Mike Schroeder of Oddly Correct Coffee in Midtown, Kansas City. It was a fun production with a lot of beans and Mike talks about balancing the views romantic and practical views on roasting coffee.

We Are Superman: Documentary Trailer

Finally, a solid trailer for the documentary that Kevin and Christopher have been working on since February of 2012. We Are Superman is a documentary film that takes a look at the historic socioeconomic and racial divide along Troost Avenue in Kansas City. The film explores the history of Troost, and chronicles the actions being undertaken by members of the community to transform Troost from a dividing line into a gathering place.

See more at   or

Kansas City – Timelapse Tuesday

The second of 22 Timelapse Tuesday.

Once again, the evening was over-crowded and the 1.5 hours just wasn’t enough to get the post-production done. I don’t know why I thought it would be. But, it is live and it is posted. The purposed of this project is multifaceted. For the pieces themselves, the goal is to give people the opportunity to reflect on a day in the middle of the week that often flies right by. Aside from being an enjoyable alliteration, Tuesdays work well in the piece because those 5 week days take up the most of our lives. If the only timelapses made are of singular, spectacular events, than it plays into the cancerous idea which can lodge itself in our brain – that our life is boring and insignificant. If we can take a moment, look up and out, we often find that life is pretty great and that all of the actions and days and happenings that brought us to this exact moment are pretty mind-blowing.

The reason to do a project in the first place is to just get back in the routine of consistent creative output. We just finished up a lot of work on We Are Superman about 6 weeks ago. A new project called Broke, Busted, and Disgusted has been very slow to gain momentum. So, in between these documentaries, it’s important to not let the muscles (mental or physical) atrophy. The more you do something, the easier it become. So this is intended to form a good habit of creative output. Too often I sit on a project because it isn’t turning out nearly as well as I feel it ought to, and then it never sees the lite of day.

Good, great, or regrettable, these Timelapse Tuesday videos will go live each week. Hopefully by the end, they will be consistently Great. Let me know how I’m doing.



Spring – Timelapse Tuesday

The first of 22 Timelapse Tuesday posts.

Didn’t manage the evening properly – edited it yesterday but the render took way longer than anticipated. So, here it is on Wednesday instead.

TMS: Bob Atkins of Skylab Letterpress

The latest from Think. Make. Ship.:

Bob Atkins is a commercial letterpress printer in Kansas City, MO. He started his own shop, Skylab Letterpress, in 2006, and has been growing his business and his business skills ever since. In this interview, Bob talks about the passion that led him to go out on his own and he gives some pointers to others that are contemplating making the jump into entrepreneurship.

TMS: Geoff Wood of Eggcrates

The latest from our Think. Make. Ship. project:

Geoff Wood is an entrepreneur and connector in Des Moines, IA. He is the co-founder of VolunteerLocal and CampusAuthority. He also created a position for himself at Silicon Prairie News and has since worked up to become their COO. In this video, Geoff talks about being an entrepreneur, what it takes to be self-motivated, and how he went about launching his newest product, Eggcrates.