Thursday, November 20, 2008

Doritos Commercial

We shot a spec Doritos commercial for their "Crash The Superbowl" contest. Take a look and please go to their

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Hop 15 - CarBoy Films Beer Review

For this, our first ever CarBoy Films Beer Review, we tried a beer called "Hop 15".

According to our sophisticated and ever-changing rating system, Will gave this beer 3 out of 5 Reindeer while Kevin gave it 2 1/2 Reindeer, giving it an official CarBoy Rating of 2.75 Reindeer. Which is certainly a score to be proud of.

Hop 15 is a double IPA from Port Brewing Company in San Marcos, CA. You can check them out at

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Necessary Evils of Video Compression

Compressing video is terrible. You spend an absurd amount of time finessing and tweaking your short film just for it to look like some washed out, pixilated shell of its former self. Of course, by “short film” I mean footage of your best friend hurting himself in some hilarious yet life altering way.

There are as many opinions about video compression as there are for making a Thanksgiving turkey, who made those crop cycles, and which presidents were in the Illuminati. This is just the best way I have found to compress video for the internet after trying a lot of time consuming and frustrating methods. I’m sure there are some who will read this and have all sorts of rage to share on the subject, but they can write it on their own blog.

Most of this comes from advice I received from our friend Coplin. At his suggestion I started using Compressor for all our compressing needs. If you are using Final Cut Pro to edit your video, which is my recommendation for almost all low budget productions, then you probably already have Compressor. It is a program that comes with the Final Cut Suite. It’s easy to use and produces great results. If you don’t have Compressor, find the guy who installed it on you computer or burned you the disc and have him give you this too. It’s worth it.

So from your Final Cut sequence, make sure you don’t have an in or out marked and go to > File menu > Export > Using Compressor. This will open compressor and place you sequence in the Batch Window.

In the Setting Window find the plain old h.264 preset. Depending on which version of Compressor you’re using, it should be under Apple > Formats > Quicktime.

H.264 is by far the best codec for the internet. It gives you more bang for your buck: quality vs. file size.

From here hit the Encoder tab in the Inspector window and adjust your audio and video settings.

Under video just move the quality slider to just above medium.

You want your audio to be AAC, Mono, 44 khz. This should be plenty of quality for internet use.

Now go to Geometry tab in the Inspector window ad make your dimensions width 640 x height 360 for 16:9 or width 640 x height 480 for 4:3.

That’s it. Hit the Submit button and you’re done. Enjoy uploading all that footage of getting kicked in the balls.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Women for Sarah Palin

CarBoy Films teams up with One Hott Mess.

This is a sketch we just did for an all female sketch group called One Hott Mess. Some of you may have already seen it. As of right now, it has been viewed on 18,235 times.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Prohibition Style Beer "Sneaky Pete" (a.k.a. Alaska Bush Beer)

This is a recipe I pulled from The Alaskan Bootlegger's Bible by Leon W. Kania, a fascinating DIY reference for the homebrewer. This book has recipes for wine, beer, liqueur, and whiskey; and it also covers equipment and brewing techniques.

This recipe was handed down to Kania from his grandmother. He admits there are a few flaws, "i.e., no fermentation lock, bottling the murky wort before it clarified, using bakers yeast and not much hops", but it's basic and cheap. "There's probably been more of this beer made in Alaska than any other style. The ingredients are easy to get and when you're packing in several months of provisions to a remote homestead or mine, it can mean the difference between beer or no beer." Indeed, I think many of us are from time to time haunted by visions of remote homesteads with no liquid bread.

So if you're looking for an easy first homebrew experiment, this might be it. Kania says the Blue Ribbon Malt is available in most grocery stores (I haven't done any recon on this yet). Let us know if you make some and if you do send us pics/video and if possible, a sample.

3 Lb. Can Blue Ribbon Malt Syrup (hops flavored)
4 Lb. Cane sugar
5 Gal. Water
1 Pkt. Bakers' yeast

In the biggest pot you can get your hands on, boil and dissolve in a total of 5 gallons of water, the malt and sugar. Put this wort in a primary fermenter (a crock in my younger days) and when it's cool, crumble in a cake of bakers' yeast. When almost all the little bubbles stop, bottle it, adding 1/4 teaspoon of sugar to each bottle.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Our Trip to the Stone Brewery

So we recently went to the Stone Brewery in Escondido, CA just outside of San Diego. We took the tour, ate some great food and drank some terrific beer. Here are some of the things we saw.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Carboy Films Arts and Culture Series - Agriculture: Demon Engine of Civilization

In keeping with our commitment to improve the world through beer-making and the Video Arts, we humbly present to you the Carboy Films Arts and Culture Series - a panoply of significant contributions to the human experience that we feel should be savored like a fine wine (or beer). From time to time this blog will highlight such items for your edification and enjoyment.

First up is John Zerzan's inconvenient essay Agriculture: Demon Engine of Civilization. Zerzan is an anarcho-primitivist philosopher living in the Pacific Northwest who doesn't pull punches.  Some of you may consider this work a big downer, but sit with it a while and you might find a certain resonance with your inner gatherer-hunter.   

Agriculture, the indispensable basis of civilization, was originally encountered as time, language, number, and art emerged.  As the materialization of alienation, agriculture is the triumph of estrangement and the definite divide between culture and nature and humans from each other...

Read more here

Pic by Gabu-chan

Friday, August 8, 2008

Setting Up the Greenscreen

It's hard work making films about talking dogs. So to prove it, here is an old-timey silent film to show you how we did some of it.

A friend of ours, Joel Svensen, gave us a butt roll of greenscreen material and we built a pvc frame to hold it based on plans we found online. It's a very inexpensive way to have a lot of fun.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Dog School Part 1

Professor McGrueder teaches his students the finer points of American History. Enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Homemade Steadycam

We made a homemade steadycam based off of plans we found online prepared by Johnny Chung Lee. It cost us more than the $14 he claims it will, but we are very happy with the steadycam. Here's how we did it.

We've tried this steadycam with our tiny Sony DCR-HC20 and a Canon GL1. It works really well with both cameras. It works great as a "hand held" option.

This is our first "how to." It's mainly an experiment with the format, trying to give information in a concise and helpful way that is also entertaining. Let us know how we did.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Hi everyone. Here is a short film that we shot a really long time ago. In fact, it is probably the first CarBoy Film. We shot it on my little cheap Sony MiniDV camera, a DCR-HC20 to be exact. We finally got around to finishing it. The footage has been sitting on a firewire drive for quite sometime. I'm glad we get to share it with you. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Contributors to CarBoy Films

Contributors to CarBoy Films:

WILL BOWLES - Creator, Executive Producer, Writer, Director

BOB DEROSA - Writer & Actor - provided the voice of Shirt and Tie McGrueder in "Dog School Part 1"

JOSH FLAUM - Actor & Writer - provided the voice of Blue Shirt McGrueder in "Dog School Part 1"

JESSICA FUNCHES - Producer & Filmmaker - gave us a great interview about managing her rheumatoid arthritis

COPLIN LEBLEU - very talented Graphic Designer & Animator - gracious enough to let us borrow his Canon GL1, as well as a wealth of technical and creative advise

MCGRUEDER - my dog

TARA OCHS - Actress and funny lady - gave us some greenscreen floor panels to use

BEN ROCK - Director, Filmmaker - always a wealth of helpful info and advise and generous with gear, was kind enough to loan us all the equipment needed to shoot "Silent All-Nighter" - Instant Film

JOEL SVENSEN - All around swell guy - was kind enough to give us a roll of greenscreen material.

UNICORN - both a terrific actor and stuffed animal

KEVIN WARD - Creator, Executive Producer, Writer, Director

Above is an ongoing list of contributors to CarBoy Films. We will update this list as more people share their time, talents, stories, and stuff with us. So please check back with this posting to see the list grow.

Cowboy Hat Logo

So here is a new CarBoy Films Logo from something Will came up with.

6 secs

Monday, February 11, 2008

More Cell Phone Animation

So here is another animation made with a notepad, a marker, and a cell phone. The only media came from my Treo 650 and even though I monkeyed around with it in After Effects some, it's still a very basic idea. Animating something in a simple way is a fun little exercise and gives me some ideas about how things can work on a larger scale.

(37 secs)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Anatomy of Santa

This is a sort of a holiday homage to the famous title designer Saul Bass. He did everything from "Vertigo" to the original "Ocean's Eleven" to "Good Fellas." It is based on his opening title sequence for "Anatomy of a Murder" and features Santa Claus.

And here is a split screen of the same piece with Bass' original artwork included for comparison.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"Your LA" News Piece

So I saw someone I hadn't seen in a while and he told that he saw me on TV a couple of months ago. I immediately thought he was mistaken. Why would I be on TV? But he insisted. It later donned on me that maybe there was a news story about Instant Films, the 48 hour film festival I entered in November. (You can see my submitted short below.) Sure enough "Your LA", a local news show aired a piece. It is all about my film. I remember a little crew on set and being interviewed, but I didn't know what it was for and that we were the only film being followed. In any event, here it is:

Also, it is a new year (Happy New Year by the way) and we are really trying to commit ourselves to getting this blog off the ground. We are setting a goal of posting a new video every two weeks. I can't imagine us generating a finished short film at that pace but we can at least post videos related our movie making activities and show you what we are up to in a raw form as well as a finished product.

Thanks for watching!