Pre-2014 deadCENTER Film Festival Thoughts

For the first time I’m going to Oklahoma City’s deadCENTER Film Festival and I’m getting to go in style with an all-access press pass! For those not in the know, deadCENTER is Oklahoma’s largest film festival, recognized as one of the “Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” according to MovieMaker magazine. More than 15,000 people attended deadCENTER Film Festival screenings last year. I wrote this Uncovering the 2014 deadCENTER story if you want to know more.

Since this is my first time going to the festival, I thought I would share my before and after thoughts. I will start with the Opening Night festivities, which begin with a rooftop party, open to all pass holders, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art. I’ve been told from Lance McDaniel, executive director for deadCENTER Film Festival, that “It’s the perfect environment for our local and visiting filmmakers to meet deadCENTER supporters and festival goers, and toast the beginning of a crazy, beautiful week.”

What exactly I’m going to see will be planned day by day. (I would go to almost everything if I could.) There are three feature movies I do want to see for sure that I have been keeping tabs on during their production.

The Posthuman Project - movie still
First off is teen superhero movie, The Posthuman Project. In my Uncovering Oklahoma interview with Director, Kyle Roberts, he described the movie as “a teen superhero film with the heart of a 80s John Hughes movie and the flare of JJ Abrams. Oh and let’s go ahead and o that on a micro budget!” The effects and the movie itself look great. The song from the trailer, “There’s So Much Energy In Us” by Cloud Cult, is beautiful. Introduced to a new group. Awesome.

Army of Frankensteins
Next is Army of Frankensteins. The movie is “a fun and exciting adventure/horror movie about a guy who accidentally ruptures space and time and winds up fighting in the civil war with an army of Frankenstein monsters from parallel universes,” Director/Producer Ryan Bellgardt said in my interview.

From the trailer, the movie seamlessly features an Army of Frankensteins played by one actor. I also always get a kick when I watch a trailer and I recognize one of the locations, like the Crest that used to be across my street.

Rough Cut still
Finally, there’s Rough Cut. It’s a comedy about making movies. Hey, I can relate to that! However, Adam Hampton said in my interview that Rough Cut is more than a comedy and that “it’s an underdog story about chasing your dreams that anyone can relate to in one way or the other.” The screening at deadCENTER is going to be the first episode as Rough Cut will be an episodic series. Best of luck to them.

There are some shorts I’m interested in as well. What I end up seeing and who I interview will all depend on everyone’s schedule.

I am excited! This deadCENTER is going to be a blast and someday I’ll have a movie there.

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Take 9 Video Interview

For Uncovering Oklahoma, I interviewed some of the cast and crew behind the variety show, Take 9, in Norman, Oklahoma.

This video features a fast-cut, multiple people style edit that I’m proud of how it turned out. It went so fast, I couldn’t really leave people’s names on the video.

Take 9 borrows the hilarious cast chemistry from Carol Burnett, adds a touch of Saturday Night Living, and finishes with the irreverent audience interaction of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. With recurring characters and themes along with some exciting new elements, this is not a sit-and-watch show — it’s dynamic!

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Progress: May 12, 2014

Most of my creative energy has been spent toward Uncovering Oklahoma.

Over the past month, I overhauled the web site. It features a responsive design — looking sexy for any device, magazine style front page with featured images, and in short, it looks much nicer. I’ve had popular articles, like this one, that got an insane amount of shares. I’ve been building relationships with media managers. I’ve been having fun taking a typical press release like this one and turning it into something like this story. I’ve done several fun interviews, like with the band, Team Nightstand; director/writer, Brandon Bergin; and singer/songwriter, Audra Elizabeth. I have a new video in the works on the Take9 variety show in Norman, which I should finish this week. Plus, so much more.

I feel like Uncovering Oklahoma is going somewhere positive and I feel great about it. I just got to do something big to give it a popularity boost. I’ll keep working on it and see where the site goes.

While Uncovering Oklahoma and my day job has been getting my focus, other projects…not so much. I’ve done little creative writing. I have been researching for a new car though. The Crashing of Heaven and Hell is now available for the Nook. Shelved a private investigator romance series for another time along with story connecting to The Time Travel Troupe. I did come up with a few ideas for new projects. That’s good!

And I’ll be sharing one of those new projects soon! Good night!

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Five Years of Uncovering Oklahoma

The first day of filming for Uncovering Oklahoma

The first day of filming for Uncovering Oklahoma

Five years ago today I filmed the first video for Uncovering Oklahoma. It’s been an incredible adventure thus far and to celebrate I’ve made a free book about some of my Experiences of Uncovering Oklahoma. The pdf book contains a journal about the first day, my interview questions, history of the date idea book, some of my favorite photography, and questions I’ve been asked. The book is short, around 30 pages, and I may flesh it out in the future for print. For now, it’s a free ebook to celebrate five years.

Let’s keep Uncovering Oklahoma!

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Free Book this Week!

For the week of my 30th Birthday, I have a present for YOU! My sci-fi/fantasy novel, The Crashing of Heaven and Hell, is free Monday through Friday for the Kindle! If you enjoy it, please rate and review it to help with future sales.

Get the book for free for Kindle

Here’s one positive review of the book:

Leave all of your preconceived notions of Heaven and Hell at the door, but do hang on to your sense of fantasy as you enter the universe created by Dennis Spielman in The Crashing of Heaven and Hell. Two young lovers get caught up in a bizarre series of events through an act of human concern and kindness. They have become pawns in a battle of the gods as a plot unfolds to unleash havoc on the Green Planet (one of five planets in another star system named by color.) Heaven and Hell are “islands” shrouded from the eyes of the living, what would happen if they were both brought together, and this tale is narrated by the God of Egos as he watches Virus and Jet take on supernatural forces intent on playing with fate. One will become a force to be reckoned with, one will be the catalyst for that change. Will the Green planet be saved from insanity? Will the islands of Heaven and Hell return to their rightful places? Are Heaven and Hell what our minds envision them to be?

The day Dennis Spielman was born, there must have been a generous helping of imagination dished out, because the world he has created can only be related to our reality in a very general way! Virus and Jet are completely likable, actually seem very “normal” and most definitely have grown to their full potential, one becoming something far greater and more powerful than a mere mortal! I pictured myself using Ego’s eyes to see the events unfolding, until it almost seemed normal to talk with a gorgon, pet Cerberus and see the guy in the potholder suit walking down the street! Did I mention the vampire, who cleared up a few things about vampire culture, myths and mysteries? there is no point A ending at Point B…the reader will travel through a maze of characters, twists and turns before arriving at”The End.”

As I read, I began to feel I was seeing a message in this farfetched tale, I could be wrong, but its extreme stretching of plausibility in this fantasy world seemed to mirror some of the excesses of “our reality.” Or was that a result of my own imagination on hyper-drive?

I read to be entertained and even to think/learn in the process, and Dennis Spielman did amuse me with his far out events, people and descriptions! Is this mainstream fantasy? Probably not, but there is a niche for it and I’m sure Mr. Spielman’s fan base will swell! If you are looking for something off the beaten path, cleverly written, with some snarky dialogue, a strangely foreign world and quirky characters hiding a possible deeply hidden message about our society’s state? Its all there in The Crashing of Heaven and Hell!

Now, go get the book for free for Kindle or buy the paperback.

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Starbase Studios with Uncovering Oklahoma

On my travel blog show, Uncovering Oklahoma, I traveled boldly to Starbase Studios in Oklahoma City. Watch the video to learn about Starbase Studios, how filmmakers can use the set, and you can volunteer.

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Thoughts on the 2014 Date Idea Book and the future

Uncovering Oklahoma’s 2014 Date Idea Book expands the concept of, ‘What can we do for a date?’ Written with all types of couples and dates in mind, this year’s edition features over 70 pages suggestions of activities for couples throughout the entire state of Oklahoma.

Want to know where to eat? How about staying at a Bed & Breakfast? Or how about something daring and adventurous? Uncovering Oklahoma’s 2014 Date Idea Book has it all uncovered for you.

Whether you need creative first date ideas or date night ideas for married couples, buy a copy of the 2014 edition for love and adventure all year round. It’s the perfect for birthdays and anniversaries too! Or keep the book a total secret from your partner and surprise them with fantastic dates. I won’t tell.

There’s a ton of new content in the 2014 edition. Highlights include:

– New layout and design
– Bed & Breakfast listings
– More cities featured like Stillwater and Davis
– Not Oklahoma ideas
– Plus more ideas in all of the other cities featured

The 74 page paperback book is available on Amazon for just $14. The book will be available in local shops and as an eBook soon. Your purchase helps support Uncovering Oklahoma. Check it out for great times year round

Putting together the book took longer than I expected. I thought I would’ve wrapped it up in December, but I fell into my problem of thinking things won’t take as long as they really do take. Plus, I did keep adding and updating things until a few days ago. Café 7 for example got updated (despite the book being done) because of a revisit in which I found out they changed things up.

I’m rather proud of myself with this new book. Why? Last year’s book had 48 pages and I beat with 74. The whole inside of the book was greatly improved and looks more professional. I reorganized the ideas into districts. Featuring Bed and Breakfasts is a great addition. I have an awesome cover designed by Jill Lynch. I like that I got to include some Not Oklahoma places this year, which is part of a small step to do a national project. Again, all of the new content and updated information is cause for celebration.

I wish I would’ve gotten some advertisements in the book, like for spa services or flower shops. I just didn’t have to time to make that effort. I wish I had pictures of places that I didn’t get to personally visit last year. I wish I could’ve added even more ideas in the Tulsa section, but I did give it more pages. If only I didn’t have a day job… I guess I got to save some stuff for 2015.

If you’re wondering what’s next, one of my projects is another Uncovering Oklahoma book. Since this year will mark my fifth year, I thought it would be neat to make a book showcasing my photography and what I’ve learned. I haven’t decided on a title yet. (Uncovered Adventures from a Travel Show Producer? Meh. I don’t know.) The book will be written as a good read even for people that don’t live in Oklahoma as it will have helpful information, beautiful photography, and insights of working on a travel show. I have decided I want to release the book in April, which is the month I filmed the first video back in 2009. This book is also part of a step to do a national travel project and I’m not going to say anything else because it’s way too early.

One major milestone for 2014 done!

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Preview of 2014’s Date Idea Book

Preview of 2014 Date Idea Book
Above is a preview of Uncovering Oklahoma’s 2014 Date Idea Book. Pretty cool, huh? The book should be out for sale within a week or two. I’m really proud of how much an improvement this year’s edition compared to last’s year’s. I just wanted to share what I’ve been working on real quick.

Let’s go 2014!

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I Dare You

If the unknown scares you, then you should not continue reading this story that truly happened to me.

Today I had trouble sleeping. I had fallen asleep just fine, however, I woke up at about three in the morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. There was a good few hours chunk of time where I kept tossing from side to side to get comfortable. I finally laid on my back to force me not to move around. (I’m generally a side sleeper.) I fell asleep for an unknown length of time and when I woke up, I was still on my back, dead still, and eyes closed.

Then I felt something stiff my face.

If you’ve ever had a dog get in bed with you, you know exactly what I felt. My mind went through this thought process: Where I am? … I’m at my place… I don’t have any dogs… Did Leslie come to my place bringing one of her dogs? That’s a weird thing for her to do…

So then I decided to open my eyes as I still had this sensation of a dog sniffing around my face.

What I saw was not exactly a dog. I’m not entirely sure what it was. I saw this small creature, but it was more like an outline of a dog, similar to active camouflage in video games and movies where you would see something but you would see through it.

Whatever it was, knew I was aware of it. It freaked out and ran away, scoured down the side of my leg and off the bed. I then looked up at the ceiling where I saw this glowing, red, misty, light shapeless…thing flailing about in the room. At one point it looked like a butterfly, a snake, a skull, a dragon, and yet it just remained shapeless. The more I tried to decipher what it was, the more rapidly it changed its appearance to confuse me and make me doubt its own existence. It also acted quite shocked and as if it were saying to the invisible dog, “Oh, shit, oh shit, he saw us! He sees us! Quick, run!”

The invisible dog and red light faded away as I saw up in bed.

My heart raced. I knew what I felt. I knew what I saw.

However, I can’t help but think the red light dared the invisible dog to lick my face.

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Crack – Crack – Crack

I wrote a short scary story because ’tis the season and all for scary ghost stories. It’s somewhat inspired by the ice storm we had recently and a comment a friend mentioned about the sound the icy tree branches made. The story is less than 500 words, so read and enjoy.

Stay warm and stay safe.


Catherine rolled over and lifted the comforter to better bundle herself, ignoring the crackling of the tree branches falling from the weight of the ice. She snuck a peak of the clock. It read 3:23. She closed her eyes.


Catherine bolted up. The room felt darker to her. She looked over at the clock. It was blank.

“Figures,” Catherine mumbled as she plopped back down on the bed.

She tried to steady her breath. Her heart still pounded from what she told herself was only the transformer exploding. She began to wonder how long it would be before the power returned. Then she began to worry how cold it would get. The place she lived in wasn’t well insulated. She lived in what was similar to a studio apartment, but was a small building behind a house her friend owned. She rolled over to her side, closed her eyes, and tried to go back to sleep.

She wished her fiancé was there and not at work at the hospital. She placed a pillow behind her back to make it at least feel like he was there with her, comforting her back to sleep.

Crack – Crack – Crack.

Her face crunched together and she tried to figure out the new crackling sound. It wasn’t the ice, she thought. She knew the sound of the ice. She knew it well. She attentively waited for the sound again.

CRack – CRack – CRack.

Catherine felt a glow of light in the room. She rolled over and looked at her clock. The power was still off, but she saw a reflective blue light on the wall. She sat up and looked around. On the wall facing the bottom of the bed was a glowing blue crack. It was about a foot tall.

CRAck – CRAck – CRAck.

The crack stretched taller and wider, while remaining a crack. Catherine rubbed her eyes. The crack was still there.


The crack had stretched even further, expanding to the ceiling and floor. The room became frigid. Catherine wrapped the blanket around herself. She slowly approached the glowing crack on the wall. She blinked, trying to get her eyes to adjust to the brightness.

“This is weird,” Catherine said.

With herself wrapped up in the blanket, she poked the crack.


The crack unfurled, vacuuming her blanket in and dragging her with it. She screamed, but the crack vacuumed the sound too. When Catherine was gone, the crack turned purple and then shrank into nothing.

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