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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Meet Gregory L. Hines, Writer and Director of MOD-X

Gregory L. Hines is the writer and director of the forthcoming sci-fi short film, MOD-X. He has worked as an artist in such media as music, drama, writing, and photography. Upon receiving an honorary discharge from military service in 2012, he moved to Southern California, residing in between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Learn more about MOD-X at www.mod-xmovie.com.

1. What gave you the idea for MOD-X?

In the summer of 2014, my friend and I wanted to film a movie together, and we ended up with an idea about a bounty hunter tracking down a criminal in a post-apocalyptic world. Unfortunately, our schedules never could match up to film together, but I ended up writing a script called X1978. Eventually I developed the script further, and it became known as MOD-X.

2. In shooting the film, what did you do (and where did you film) to create a post-apocalyptic setting? 

I have always been of the belief to use what is accessible to you to raise the production value of your film. In my case, I live in the Mojave Desert and wrote a script around the landscape. My "in-camera" approach to create a post-apocalyptic Earth was to capture the fantastic mountains and the vast voids of the land. Additionally, I found a junk yard that gave us the perfect setting for our end scene called "The Deadlands."

Taking these shots, I was able to hand them off to my Visual Effects (VFX) team who started a process of matte painting, manipulation, and enhancements, thus adding to the world of isolation and desolation.

3. Your film has taken 14 days of production and several months of post-production. Could you tell us a little more about what that process has been like?

Tiresome. The process of making a film can be a long and arduous process, and it takes teams of people to successfully complete a project. MOD-X had its fair share of hurdles from over eight rewrites and having to replace two members of the cast mid-way into filming. This put constant demands on the cast and crew such as constantly learning aspects of an ever-changing script to dealing with the extreme environment of the desert. However, as a team we did succeed in getting the shots we needed by staying positive, focused, and determined---a bit of humor also went a long way.

Once we got into post production, the stress of lugging tons of gear into the vast enclaves of high winds and dirt were finally over, but the overwhelming task of assembling the film into a cohesive story both visually and audibly had just begun. Because the sound was unusable, I had to completely reconstruct every sound in the film in a process called Foley and sound design. Additionally, all of the actors had to come and rerecord their lines in another process called ADR or Automatic Dialogue Replacement. As you can imagine, this took over two months to complete, but it gives the film a unique and dynamic feel. Currently, we are waiting for the VFX team and our composer to complete their work.

4. What are some things you've learned about ways to make a quality film on a micro budget?

Most beginning filmmakers worry about gear or what camera they should use. The number one aspect to ensuring a smooth and successful film is to plan, plan, and plan. In doing so, take your time and do not rush or you run the risk of it coming back to haunt you later in production. Another aspect which I noted earlier is to use what is accessible to you. Take a drive and scout your area and ask yourself, what stands out and what is unique? When asking people to help you, always show respect and gratitude for anyone's time. A poor attitude is a sure way to turn people off and lose help. Lastly, be excited about what you do. I found that my excitement and drive was infectious, which attracted the right types of people to MOD-X. People want to work on a film that has a great story and work with dedicated and professional people, and most of all, people want to have fun!

5. What's your advice to other independent artists who want to make films but don't have any funding?

Starting out with a simple script without unnecessary fight scenes, explosions, and VFX. Keeping the process simple will allow you to concentrate on the meat and potatoes of filmmaking. Additionally, resource with people through the filmmaking community in whatever way possible to meet fellow artists. Bargain with people in exchange for services to accomplish your project. One of my cast members worked for free on MOD-X, but in return I filmed a short film for him which allowed him to get his project off the ground. Lastly, be creative, know that it is okay to fail, and don't be afraid to ask for help--and most importantly, HAVE FUN!

Thanks, Greg!

Meet Abel Kalpinand Prasad of Abel Kalpinand Prasad Financial Services

Abel Kalpinand Prasad is based in Sydney, Australia and is about to launch a company called Abel Kalpinand Prasad Financial Services. The idea of the new company is to help low income earners achieve affordable loans. Abel worked in the banking industry for twenty years for Commonwealth Bank, Police Credit Union, and Bank of New South Wales. He has a beautiful wife named Annelise Oriti.

1. What motivated you to launch your own company, Abel Kalpinand Prasad Financial Services?

In early 2006, I was working for Bank of New South Wales as a private banker. I completed numerous tasks for the top 1% of Sydney's richest. Whilst working for them, I noted that the majority of them did have to worry about loan repayments. They had too much money and spent it on worthless items.

I started to get bored and moved to retail banking and saw everyday people come in worried about how they would make their next repayment. They couldn't afford the increasing interest rates. It was then I decided that we needed to start a business to help them manage their expenses and keep up with their repayments.

2. Would you tell us a little more about the services your company will provide?

We have sixteen private investors who have pulled together a sum of $45,000,000 of which we will provide people with low percentage loans.

3. What are some of the most important things you've learned in your twenty years of experience in the banking field?

Only that family is important, and you must always look after your family before work.

4. How would you describe the financial climate of Australia today, and what can Australians do to improve their own financial profile?

The market is very volatile at the moment. More and more people tend to borrow instead of using their own money.

I've taught my children only spend what you have. If you don't have the money, don't spend it.

5. On a more personal note, what do you and your wife like best about living in Sydney?

We love the outdoor environment and the relaxing nature of the suburbs.

Thanks, Abel!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Meet Jade Whitfield, Author of Forever Love

Author Jade Whitfield is a 22-year-old mother of one. She has a love for all things romance and believes that everybody should aspire to find their "Forever Love."

Her first romance novel, Forever Love, is currently available for pre-order on Amazon, with the release date set for August 5.

1. What gave you the idea to write Forever Love?

I was in the process of writing a completely different novel at the time which is actually still in my files. As soon as the idea for Liv and Noah popped into my head, I just had to write them. I wanted to write a book that, although it contained heavy drama, was basically very uplifting.

2. Have you always been a fan of romance novels as a reader?

Yes, though my penchant was fantasy, I am now obsessed with romance. I love reading about the journey of soulmates--it's very inspiring.

3. What did you find most challenging--and what did you find most fun--about writing your first romance novel?

There are certain parts that were quite heavy and difficult to write in the way that gave them the respect they were due given the subject matter. On the other hand, there are definitely comedic elements that were really fun to write.

4. How would you describe the relationship that develops between Liv and Noah in your novel?

It's very sweet. Even though they are stepbrother and sister, the book doesn't focus on that as much. It's more about two people who are absolutely meant to be together, overcoming all obstacles.

5. Now that Forever Love is finished, what project(s) are you currently working on?

I'm working on my next book which is romance but quite different than Forever Love. It will be announced after the release of Forever Love, and there will be a snippet at the end of Forever Love, too.

Thanks, Jade!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Introducing Bootstraphunter.com

If you're looking to design websites that work equally well on desktop computers and mobile devices like phones and tablets, you're going to run into Bootstrap, an open source project that helps you build responsive and easily navigable sites. Bootstrap is meant to make web development faster and easier, and it has a nice, clean look.

A great way to get started with Bootstrap--or to expand your repertoire--is to check out the free and affordable themes and templates for Bootstrap that are available on Bootstraphunter.com. This site is a digital marketplace for responsive HTML website themes and Bootstrap templates. The idea of the site is to provide a one-stop shop for your development needs.

There are some free themes you can download, but the premium themes are priced very competitively with some available for just $5. These are nice-looking themes, and some are geared toward specific types of businesses such as real estate.

If you're a web developer, you can partner with Bootstraphunter.com and make your themes and templates available for sale on their site. When you license your work with the site, you receive royalties when your work sells.

There are already some great designs available on the site, and the site only launched a few days ago. I'm sure the site will grow very quickly as word gets out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Introducing Younique Mascara

Have you ever wanted to find a mascara that makes your lashes longer and fuller? Younique Make-Up has created a mascara that is a fiber and gel combo, and it's designed to help your lashes become more full and long.

Younique sells a lot of different cosmetic and skin care products, and their Moodstruck 3D Fiber mascara is their number one selling product. They are also known for products that are designed with science and nature in mind so that they are specially made to nourish your skin.

The nice thing about their mascara is that it's very easy to apply, though it feels a bit different than other mascaras because you apply it in gel form. Basically it is a simple, two-step application process, and you can learn more about applying the mascara as well as some other tips for use by visiting this Younique Mascara page.

This product is currently available for just under $30, and you can only buy it from independent Younique presenters, so check out the links above for more info and to purchase it if you wish!