Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

Category: Real (Page 1 of 47)

Malarkey's Dueling Piano Bar - Wiz performing

Malarkey’s Dueling Piano Bar

Malarkey’s Dueling Piano Bar brings in entertainers from around the country for an all-request music show. Managing Partner, Wayne Potter, along with performers, Jamie McNeill and Wiz, talk about Bricktown’s newest nightlife spot. Several elements that set this Oklahoma City venue apart is the elevated stage, available appetizer menu, and the separate smoking/cigar lounge.

I had featured Wayne back in 2010 when he was the general manager at Michael Murphy’s Dueling Piano Bar. Wayne has taken all the feedback he was received from his time there and used it to make Malarkey’s better. Before the interview, Wayne gave my wife and I tour, explaining all of the various improvements, which I’m listing below in summary.

– Bigger, more space all around
– VIP table booths (you can even dance at your table)
– No support beams obstructing stage viewers
– Elevated center stage
– More bathroom stalls (Michael Murphy’s has 3 women’s stalls, Malarkey’s has 5)
– Dedicated smoking room (if you want to smoke at Michael Murphy’s, you’ll have to go outside and you cannot bring your drink)
– Food (Michael Murphy’s has no kitchen)
– TVs that show the stage
– Performances not broadcasted outside

I haven’t been to Michael Murphy’s in awhile and I’m sure there are some pros and cons, as with everything in life. However, overall, Malarkey’s is an improvement for Wayne. There is a cover charge of $10 at Malarkey’s (depending on the night, time, and specials so it may vary). My wife and I enjoyed our time. Watch the video, see for yourself, and check it out if looks like someplace you might like.

Photo of the OU Duck Pond taken with the GH5

First Impressions: Panasonic Lumix GH5

I recently bought the newly released Panasonic Lumix GH5 camera to go with my GH4. I actually pre-ordered it, which is not something I usually do, but my first impressions are positive. I think my only complaint is that the location of the record button is on top of the camera instead of the back, where I’m used to it on my GH4. At this time, I can’t open the raw photo files on my Mac until Apple releases a new raw camera support update. The continuous auto-focus for video was a spazzy mess on my test, however, I record in manual. Other than those things, I’ve been enjoying the camera.

With the SDXC memory cards, video clips go way past the 4GB file size before the camera splits them. This improves my video organization. I did a 30-minute interview and it was one 21GB file, whereas on my GH4 it would be several clips. I felt this was worth mentioning as I didn’t learn about it until I read the manual.

Our dog, Sasha, sleeping

Since I was getting the GH5 as a second camera, keeping my GH4 to do multi-camera shoots, I got the new Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. lens. I haven’t done an extensive photo shoot yet, but every photo has been real crisp and sharp. All the photos on this post were taken with it on the GH5.

A drink at Malarkey's taken with the GH5

The focus stacking feature for images is neat. I played around with it a little bit, doing a close-up shot of my GH4 with the focus stacking. It does require the use of a tripod to work best. I can see myself using it for food photography.

Low Light Test with GH5
There’s no built-in flash but I never used it anyway. I took the above photo at night with only the glow from my computer (the light is orange because I’m on night shift mode). This was taken in automatic mode with an ISO at 3,200 and it looks great. Getting the camera to auto-focus in this low light was fast.

I haven’t recorded in 10-bit 4K because that’s not needed for most my work. I am excited about having it and doing some projects that will take advantage of it.

The flip-out video screen is amazing. I noticed the screen improvement the moment I turned it on.

I’m still playing around with my GH5. Overall, I’m happy with my it. 👍

Behind the Scenes of Yes Science with Katrina Menard

Getting Started with Yes Science!

Yes Science! is my new documentary and science show that highlights women in various STEM fields. Think of it as a cross between a TED Talk and Bill Nye.

Tamaki Yuri holds bird for Yes Science

I’ve filmed the first three episodes with Katrina Menard, Jennifer Larsen, and Tamaki Yuri from the Sam Noble Museum in Norman, Oklahoma. I have yet to edit them. The plan is to edit this first batch videos, get feedback on them, and possibly re-shot if needed. Once those are done, I’ll start filming more. Since this is a new project and I’m using a different setup, I want to make sure everything is good.

Be sure to follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, or right here. If you’re intersted in helping to support this show, become a patron.

Cake from Sooner Legends - photo by Dennis Spielman

The Food of Lindsey Street

Throughout the past two weeks, I have been highlighting some of the merchants along Norman’s Lindsey Street in my Food of Lindsey Street series. These small business owners shared why they love the area, what visitors can expect, and why you should come out and support Lindsey Street. This tour featured the following seven places:

  • Classic 50s Drive-in
  • Legend’s Restaurant
  • Ray’s Smokehouse BBQ
  • The International Pantry
  • Sooner Legends
  • Pizza King
  • India Village

    The video featured here is the complete tour, which includes the introduction, all seven businesses, some closing remarks, and bloopers. The remarks about the construction have been removed on this video to keep it timeless as the construction will end one day.

    This project presented several new challenges for me. For starters, it was the first video I made using funding from a grant. I learned how what a CV was (and how to write one), how to prepare a proposal, and how to handle everything else involved.

    Another challenge was managing multiple projects. I initially thought I could finish this in three weeks. However, when I first thought I would be working on it, I had nothing going on. When I got the approval for the grant, there were other fires in the oven such as my Coffee of Norman documentary. I also picked up some freelance gigs and a feature documentary project along the way. I was able to push back some other projects to keep my workload manageable.

    I want to give a final shout out to Norman Art Council’s We Art Lindsey Street initiative for their support for this project and to viewers like you.

    Shop local. Shop Lindsey!

  • Classic 50's - photo by Dennis Spielman

    Intro to The Food of Lindsey Street

    Get to know several of the merchants along Norman’s Lindsey Street in this Introduction to the Food of Lindsey Street. They share why they love the street, what visitors can expect, how the construction has been hurting them, and why you should come out and support Lindsey Street.

    This video is first in a series highlighting several of Lindsey Street’s restaurants. In this video is Doug Kennon, Joe and Rebecca Sparks, Jeri Sieber, Kristen Mccall, Stephen Henkel, Darrol Ray, Andrew Marsh, Inderjit Singh, and John Trobare. Stay turned to Uncovering Oklahoma as individual videos about these places will be released over the next several days.

    Support for this video provided by the Norman Art Council’s We Art Lindsey Street initiative and viewers like you.

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