Monday, December 16, 2013

Toy Run, 2013

Here are a few of the photos I took at the Toy Run this year.  We had a lot of people come by and help set up and tear down the whole event within a couple days.  I've done this event before a few times, so this time I asked myself, "What can I do different this time?"

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Toy Bowl, 2013

Had the chance recently to take photos at a local charity event, the Toy Bowl, put on by Pueblo Bikers United.  It's where a bunch of bikers and a bunch of cops come together for a friendly game of flag-football.  The proceeds from the ticket sales go to the Toy Run, which is another event that will happen in a couple months, where the bikers gather toys for families who can't pay for their own during the Christmas season and give them away.

I've always found this to be a particularly enjoyable event.  I love the moment when I see a great photo and try to time it just right--sometimes I get what I was looking for, sometimes I don't.  Either way, I'd bet it feels just as much a game to me as it does to the players!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sturgis promo 2013

Seems like I just got done with last year's Sturgis promo just a few months ago...

I've had a great time this Summer--lots of fun, but also always busy and on the move!  We had a family reunion during late July, which was nice, kind of a relaxer after some of the business that comes with editing wedding videos.  Yet even there, I found plenty opportunities to bring out my camera and snap some shots.

It was two days after we got back from that when we set out for Sturgis.  I was able to ride my bike up the whole way, which is definitely the farthest I've ever ridden in a couple days.  (Actually, Josh and I got to ride our bikes back home together in one day.  To top that all off, we were in soaking rain.  That was tough--and yet somehow fun, too...)

At Sturgis, I was very busy every day helping prepare for the daily kids show and watch bouncehouses.  Whenever I got time in between, I'd grab my camera and take a little footage or some photos.  Not sure where all the time went, but it did go by fast!

When we came back home, I gathered my footage from this year and from years past and assembled what I have embedded below...a friend needed it the Sunday after we got back home, but I was able to edit it and upload it just in time!

Sturgis Need from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.

This is a short video I made when I was up at Sturgis this year. Have a friend who needed something he could show his church real soon after the event was over, so I made the best short video I could in a small amount of time. Had some fun with the black-on-white look, I don't think I've ever really done that in a video before, as usually it's white text on a black background. However, the design coupled with the music made for a different, interesting feel, I thought.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

General Update--July, 2013

Time goes by fast when you're busy; I've been juggling a several major things that have kept me on my toes for a few weeks now.  I'll just lay it out here:

First, probably the single thing that has most affected my time and schedule every day, I just got a second job, thanks to a friend who got a job at the same location and referred me.  It's kind of a dream job to me--I work at a place called Data-Com Solutions in Fowler.  We work on computers there--fixing computers, building them, cleaning out viruses, optimizing systems, and serving several professional businesses all around the area that have huge computing needs.  My boss is kind of the go-to computer guy in the area, and he has been helping for years.  But now he is getting so much business that he needs help.  I've been interested in computers and have been working with them for years, so he hired me on.  I love it so far, and am learning a whole lot.  However, it seems the more I know, the more I know I don't know!  (If that makes any sense...)

The day that I was filming the rodeo mentioned in my last post, Forrest Rowell (you'll see him in the video below) saw me shooting the event and asked if I would be willing to film an event for him the Saturday after next.  I tried to finish my rodeo project before that day, but things were just too busy and I wasn't able to finish it at that point.  So for a while I had two jobs going on at once, but I finished with the rodeo quickly.  The work I did with Forrest was for the "7 Project," and you can find out all about it in the video below.

The Saturday after I filmed the 7 Project I was scheduled to film a wedding, so I tried to make as much progress on that video as I could in the time that I had (which is what the below video is) before I had yet another job to edit.

Weddings are kind of strange; I like them but I also dislike them.  On one hand, they are so full of fast-paced fun that at the end of the day you can't even remember it all--it's a blur.  On the other hand, it is one of the most stressful events a person ever has to go through!  Even more so for the photographer/film maker who is trying to make money and do a professional job at events like these.  But I did my best, went through the whole wedding, and got the best shots I could.  At weddings, that's really all you can do!

It seems like everyone scheduled weddings around the same time this year; one week later I found myself running around filming another wedding!  Same thing, though, I did the best I could at the time in the circumstances with what I had, and I think I did a pretty good job.

All of this running around has made me log some serious miles on my bike in a relatively short period of time, which really is a good thing.

If filming were the whole job, if I could just say that I'm done after the hard day's work, I'd probably have a pretty open schedule. But there is a huge amount of work that goes on after the wedding, too.  I have to put the video clips, audio recordings and music--along with creating my own titles and DVD menus--into a professional looking product that I can sell.  It takes longer than the actual day of shooting the wedding--much longer. 

So it's been a one of the most fun, most busy, most difficult times of my life.  I'm still working on a bunch of video projects and am trying to get them done for the clients in a timely manner, but it's pretty difficult to balance all of the responsibilities I now find myself with.  However, I think when I'm through this set of projects I will come out for the better.

Here's the 7project video I mentioned earlier--let me know what you all think!

90-sec Ad Promo for YouTube from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Western Play Day, 2013

This is a trailer I made for an hour-long DVD I made of a rodeo. It took all day to film and a few weeks after that to put together a fully functioning DVD.  I always have some fun dabbling with some slow motion at this event, and this year was no exception. I also went with a slightly rockier feel with the music (taken from

Western Play Day, 2013 from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

General Update--May, 2013

Things have gotten busy again.  I've been getting several job offers recently--a few weddings, a rodeo, and a kid's school ministry.  I also just got a job at a computer repair shop, so I have less time than ever to work edit these projects...

But the only reason that all of these things are possible is because I now have transportation!  With the help of Andy Hanning (he comes to biker church and has a local bike shop in Pueblo) I was able to get the bike trailered in town so I could finally get the thing licensed!  I have now been riding it for a week between Pueblo and Fowler.  My first big ride was on the Cycle De Mayo, where I, Dad and several dozen other riders went from Pueblo to Rocky Ford to Ordway and then finally back to Pueblo.  It was a nice ride and gave me some practice for my future rides into Pueblo...Traffic is no fun on two wheels.

I got to film a rodeo again this year.  It's the same one I did last year, but they changed locations, which made things interesting.  I had to find ways to get in close without being obtrusive, but also get good audio.  It was a long, hard day, but well worth it, in more ways than one.  Although I sell DVD's of the event, I also was noticed by Forrest Rowell, who was planning on doing a kids event a couple weekends later.  He saw me out there with my big camera and microphone, and asked me if I could help him with the event to film it and create a promo video.  Sounded like a great idea, and as it turned out my parents knew this guy very well even though I didn't.

Before I move on, though, I seriously should mention a certain phenomenon that happens at the rodeo and just about everywhere else I film now.  When I take my microphone, I put a wind buffer on it--a big, fluffy, hairy thing that is technically called a "Dead Cat" wind buffer.  It really does have a practical purpose--when the wind comes in, it reduces the blowing noise that has ruined so many of my audio clips.  But any time I bring it out into the open for the public to see, people can't stop looking at it.  I've had a few kids even run up and try to grab it!  It's funny to see how much attention it gathers from the adults, too.  I've been asked countless times what that thing is on top of my camera, and what on earth it's supposed to do!  And I have a hunch that's what got Forrest's attention...but I don't know for sure, it's just a guess.

Anyway, by the time that event came around, I had gotten some practice on the motorcycle.  I really didn't want to take all my equipment on the bike (if I were to crash, that'd stink anyway, but I didn't want to risk my equipment too!).  But I did it and made it there just fine.  I went around with the group all day and shot, shot, shot.  It was lots of fun, and I'll be uploading some of the results as soon as they're ready.

Now I'm in the process of editing both those projects.  As I said earlier, doing those while having two jobs is rather...challenging.  More so than I expected, but I keep telling myself that as stressful as it can be, this is what I want to be doing.  Nobody is forcing me into these jobs other than myself.

As for my new computer job, I am very excited to see how this turns out.  I am getting an education that basically surpasses what the guys at the Geek Squad know (the tech-know-how geeks at Best Buy--yeah, that was my dream job for a few years).  What I'm learning will also work for me at other jobs, if I pass the certification test.  But for right now, I'm learning how much I haven't learned yet.  Just being around these guys, hearing what they are talking about, seeing the way they do makes me feel a lot less tech-savvy!  I'm excited to see what I'll be able to learn here.

The months continue to go by without waiting up for me!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kidz Zone at Sturgis Bike Week: On Location

Here is my latest work:  a documentary style advertisement for Thunder Road Ministries.  I filmed this last year and have been working on it a little bit at a time to get it ready for this year's Sturgis event, which will be going from August 5th-11th.  If you think this is something you'd like to help out with, you can contact Curtis for information or to sign up a few ways.  Probably the best way would be to simply call the number at the end of the video:  719-252-1086.

This video ended up being quite a bit of work.  For one thing, I hadn't even planned on making a video at all this year!  But, when I was up there, I just couldn't shake the feeling that I needed to interview some people, put it down on film.  I felt like I had to at least try.  So, during the week, I put together a few questions and wrote them down on a little sheet of paper.

I was really glad to see that I had at least brought my portable recorder, which happened to have a stereo mic on the front.  Since I had not thought to bring my fancy Rhode microphone with a wind buffer on the front, I just had to put a bandana (one of Dad's smiley-face bandanas, in fact--some of you know how much he wears those everywhere) on the front of the little microphone, which helped a little bit.  But there were bunches of noises that got in the way of every recording--the wind seemed to be blasting like crazy every time I got someone to give me enough time to interview them.  But more than that, you have to realize I was filming in the middle of a motorcycle rally--and not just any rally, but Sturgis Bike Week, arguably the largest rally in the US!  I had to cut out whole sections of audio due to motorcycles revving by, music blasting over from distant concerts, advertising airplanes, kids running around and yelling, and noisy bounce house motors all over the place.  However, with some tedious cutting and a little audio work, I was able to pull together what I think is a halfway decent sound (at least in the short version).

It was a lot of work finding people who both wanted to stand in front of the camera and answer my questions and had the time.  But I thank the people who did--they were very patient with me and gave me what I needed to put this video together.

Probably the hardest work was in the editing.  Simply going through the massive amount of information, the seemingly endless clips of people giving me their honest answers, and then sorting them into some kind of a coherent order, was a pretty big undertaking.  But when I came out of it on the other end, I knew I had something I really wanted to share--with some more work and polish.

I finally thought I had come to the end of it when I showed my family the video.  They said they liked it, that it was okay, stuff like that.  But when it came time to show it at the biker church that we do every Thursday (you can find out more from the link) I came to realize two huge problems.

One, the audio really sounded bad coming from huge church-sized speakers.  It sounded fine in my little speakers on my computer or on my portable speakers.  But with huge speakers that could really put out the bass tones, the wind noise became far more prominent, pretty much drowning out the audio that I wanted people to hear.

And for the other, it was just too long.  There was a lot of information to digest, and looking back I think it was too much.  The main purpose of the film is to advertise--to draw people in, get them interested, and perhaps get them so interested that they would want to help.  But when the video was almost eight minutes long, is was just too much.

So I went back and cut, cut, cut until I got it down to just over two and a half minutes.  I think it is still clear, gets to the point and communicates the right message, all in a short period of time.  Of course, you can watch it below, and tell me what you think yourself!

The one on top is the final cut, and the one below it is the extended cut.  I posted it mostly because there is still a lot of good stuff in it (in my opinion) that just takes too long if you're not already really interested.  Feel free to comment below!

Kidz Zone at Sturgis: On Location from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.
This is a film I shot at the Kidz Zone during Sturgis Bike Week, 2012. It explains a little bit about what Sturgis Bike Week is, what the Kidz Zone does there and why we need help to run the event. All the footage was taken by me this year, and the photographs were all taken by me as well, but come from this last year to several years past.

Started by my father, Curtis Hubbell, Thunder Road Ministries has been doing ministry at events like Sturgis Bike week for over a decade now. If you would like to know more about the organization, or their new church (Steel City Biker Church) you can visit their website at:

If you'd like to sign up or get some information, you can any of the methods described at the end of the video, but the best would probably be just to call the number: 719-252-1086.

Thanks to all of those who let me get an interview in! Kevin Riley, Richie Perko, Emily Hubbell, Ken Dalby, DNO and Steve-O--thanks bunches to all of you, even if I couldn't fit you in!

Kidz Zone at Sturgis: On Location--Extended Cut from Zachary Hubbell on Vimeo.