MMN Season 2 ep 004 Crossing Lines

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I talk with Charlie Breit about his Branded entertainment project “The Lines”. He’s also putting together a meetup on Thursday September 29th to bring together local Chicago filmmakers.

“The Lines” is branded entertainment sort of “The Hills” meets driver education. Allstate Insurance is the brand and safe driving is the message. Charlie cleverly weaves young adult situations with driving mishaps. Each episode ends with nice message about safe driving. The production quality is great and he’s brought together some great local actors. The project is worth watching and a good sign that brands in the Midwest might be looking for opportunities to get their messages out in different ways.

On Thursday September 29th Charlie is hosting a Meetup at Market Bar Chicago in the West Loop at 6pm. Be there or be square. Midwest Media Now always supports these gatherings. It’s a great chance to meet people you might want to work with and find out what’s going on here in Chicago.

Hope to see you there!

Find info:
Charlie Breit emailtwitterwebsite

Watch the show:
“The Lines”

CN-160 LED Light UnBox

If you’re looking for a cheap “inexpensive” light pick, up one or two of these. I do an unboxing of the lights I’ve purchased and just recently used them on a shoot. Was pretty happy with them and plan on buy 2 or 4 more. Wish they came with barn-doors. Maybe it’s the farm boy in me I think all lights should come with barn-doors.

Find out more at EPhotoINC, or go Check out the spec on the CN-160 or get it for about 10 bucks less on Amazon. It’s nice to NOT have to lug around cords and 3 or 4 of these well fit nicely into my camera bag.

MMN S2 ep003 Space Hospital a Galaxy of fun

MMN S2 ep003 Space Hospital a Galaxy of fun
Listen to the podcast right here!

Or Subscribe to Midwest Media Now! On iTunes


The Intro
Yes I like cheese especially on pizza, hamburgers, fries, hotdogs and yes some of my content. Check out what one of the co-creators of Space Hospital Rob Poe has to say about making a series on a shoestring and still making sure everyone has fun doing it. Space Hospital has found that balance of cheese, story, camp and fun. It’s a fine line to walk and not many people can do it. You can try to look good and not pull it off or not now how to make it campy and just make it look bad. This kind of work needs the right ideas and the right style and Poe has manages to make it a reality.

Space Hospital is created by Sigurd Ueland and Robert Poe, is produced by Susan Stoebner.

This isn’t for everyone but if you like “Saul of the Molemen” and “Tim and Eric’s Awesome Show” then this might be for you.

Robert Poe webTwittercontactblog
Sean McMenemy webtwitter

Space Hospital Website
Space Hospital on Facebook
Space Hospital on Twitter
Space Hospital on YouTube

Check out their Space Hospital’s Blog for Behind the Scenes details.

Shout out to Rob Gokee for for doing some cool music for Space Hospital. Follow Him on Twitter

Check out an episode right now!

Things That Came UP
Second City Chicago The Conservatory
Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog
The Victory Theater Center

Some Tools They Use
Garage Band

Wood Sugars, Comedy Brewing in Chicago MMN S2 ep002

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Or Subscribe to Midwest Media Now! On iTunes


The Intro
I’ve been lucky doing this show. I keep meeting a lot of funny people here in Chicago that are making great comedy. Maybe this dates me I’m not sure but when you listen to the Wood Sugars podcasts you really get a sense of old school comedy. When they say variety show they mean it they are all over the place. Short skits, interviews, music you name it they are doing it. They are also quick to mention their producer Jeremiah Watkins which his expertise adds to the great radio show quality.

These guys aren’t stopping there they are filmmakers, writers and musicians, I guess that’s where the variety comes from. Check out Wood Sugars and see for yourself they different projects they have going.

Like a lot of content creators here in Chicago they are looking for partners WoodSugars is one of them. They want to work with others in the budding new media community here in Chicago so if you’re looking to try something new, get hooked up these guys they want to work with you.

WARNING: These guys are one of my favorite groups. You might hear a little fanboy talk on this show from me and them. For some reason they are fans of Midwest Media Now.

On the Show
Donny Rodriguez
Eliaz Rodriguez
Jeff Phillips
Talked about a lot but couldn’t make it to the recording.
Jeremiah Watkins webfacebook
You can get all of them here they are like one mind…webtwitter

Sean McMenemy webtwitter

Things that came up!
Jeremiah Watkins webfacebook
Idiocracy Mike Judge
Lenny Bruce
Indie Movie Cast
Mark Ramsey
Maybe HIP
Joe Avela
Fans of Film
Making OF founded by Natalie Portman and Christine Aylward

We Are Skokie — MMN S2: ep001

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Or Subscribe to Midwest Media Now! On iTunes

The Intro
That’s right we’re back! To kick off the new season of Midwest Media Now I’m starting off with some shows I recorded last year. Even though some time as past since producing some of these episodes the conversations are relevant to what’s going on in new media.

In this episode I talk with Karen and Frances. They are working to bring a community together with photography and social media to help build out it’s historical archive and start conversations and share stories about what life is like in Skokie, IL. What’s great about what they are doing is this can be done anywhere by anyone. Frances and Karen are passionate about their community and wanted to put the tools together to make it easy for the rest of their city to share it’s history and open it up to everyone.

This is perfect example of social and new media working together to build something great for future generations. We talk about the tools they use, and the hoops they are still jumping through to get the word out and get people talking about Skokie.

Tell us what you are doing for your town.

On the Show, Friend, Follow, Find
Karen Kring – Kring Lerner Group  web – twitter
Frances E Roehm – SkokieNet Librarian/Community Liaison  email – webtwitter
Sean McMenemy –  webtwitter


Things that came up
Skoke Net
Live From Skokie
All Skokie Photo Contest
All Skokie Photo Contest Blog
We Are Skokie on Facebook.
Skokie Library
Skokie Library on Twitter

Some tools you might be able to use to build you’re community and tell stories.
Maybe there’s something in your town or you can use Patch to start you’re one local newspaper.


Poke, Nudge whatever you want to call it. Midwest Media Now is trying to get you’re attention. Plus new episodes will be starting soon, we’ll call it Season 2.

Want to be a contributor to Midwest Media Now?

We want to partner with you the help bring this site and the stories, podcasts, tips and tricks and whatever else we can come up with a voice in the Midwest to help other content creators old and new find a new way to establish a creative foot hold in middle America and salute the ones already there. We want to help create the opportunity to not only get you’re content out there but to get your voice and your story out there as the experts you are or working towards.

What we are looking for?


We need media bloggers. Even if you already have a blog and you want to expand your content to another channel. Let Midwest Media Now be that channel. It will be a great way to get more visibility for your story.


Photographers, what kind of events do you go to? Share your photos of the event you think people should know about. So more will know what’s happening with content creation here in the Midwest. Maybe it’s just a Flickr slide show, or a Youtube montage.


Podcasters, we want you’re voice. Tell us what you’re working on, talk about your show, tell us what kind of shows you’d like to hear.

Student content creators.

Are you a high school student that’s really into new media and making you’re own voice? We are interested in your point of view and we want to share that with others.  Midwest Media Now want’s to get your perspective. The way you use tools and software is very different then other generations. Sharing you’re knowledge and seeing you’re point of view will be educational.

We want to help tell your story.

Midwest Media Now wants to help encourage new media production and promoting the skills it takes to get the job done. Have an idea for a podcast or web-show pitch it maybe we can help get the ball rolling. If you live in the Western suburbs of Chicago we want to help get you started with an audio podcast or webshow. If you have something to say about media in the Midwest then drop us a line.

  1. You can be on the Midwest Media Now Podcast.
  2. Write a guest blog post or if you want to be a regular contributor let us know what you want to to write about.
  3. Want to talk about gear? Send us your Review
  4. Send us your Press Release we want to hear about your new product or production.

Whatever it is we want to help get your story out about your latest project it will be a great way to get more people looking at what you’re doing plus help others in the Midwest figure out how to get started. Let’s encourage creativity here.

If you have a great ideas for a story drop us a line or sign up and send us your pitch!


How to Fake a Webcam

The Zi8 comes though again. For this episode of FashionCents we needed a webcam look but I didn’t want to record the webcam video and try to make that HiDef. Of course I could have purchased a HD Web Cam but why when I had the Zi8.

I could have had our talent use a regular camera but I knew the small camera taped to a Netbook would work better. Why? You would carry a Netbook one way and a camera another. Plus as a prop it helps the talent visualize the webcam and use the prop more like a computer. Also the Zi8 video file format made it easy to bring into our video editor.

I only had electrical tape in my camera bag. But it’s a good idea to get some real Gaffers tape which you can get at these fine places. FilmTools narrow and wide, B&HPhoto and my local place Calumet Photo

Electrical tape got me through this shoot but try to have a roll of gaffer tape, NOT Duct Tape, while it might be fine for home repairs and mending your favorite shoe it’s not great for cables or gear. Because it leaves such a sticky mess behind. Duct tape is made to stay put and last till the end of time. Electrical tape is good to have too for that occasional wire fray.


Here’s the final result of the video. I think you’ll agree it has more of a webcam feel than it would if it was shot with a regular video camera.

The Kodak Zi8 is a great camera that should be in every video-makers back pocket. Because of it’s features which you can read about in this story you’ll see why that’s camera is a videomakers buddy.