Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Zloou’s Prank Show still

Zloou’s Prank Show

An unwilling participant becomes a guest on a demon’s prank show.


After being on hiatus for over a year, Quarter Minutes returns with a new story! My goal for 2019 is to create at least two new videos a month for the series, releasing them on the second and fourth Mondays of each month.

For those that haven’t heard of my Quarter Minutes series, I describe the show as being like Black Mirror or The Twilight Zone, but the stories are super short, lasting under a minute.

This video featured the talents of Brian Gililland, Pallas, Daniel Aaron Austin, and myself, Dennis Spielman.

Filmed on location at Factory Obscura’s Beyond in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Huge thanks to them! I’m thrilled we were able to film a fun creative video there. This particular exhibition is from Beyond, which is no longer around. See their next exhibition at FactoryObscura.com

For future updates, follow Quarter Minutes on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and right here on my site. If you love what we’re doing, want to see more, and before everyone else, became a patron. I would love your support so I can make more and better videos.

Talimena National Scenic Byway - photo by Dennis Spielman

Reflecting on 2018

Hello, Adventurers!

It’s New Year’s Eve, which means it’s time to work on my end of year reflections. As customary, here’s some numbers of what I’ve accomplished in 2018.

Weekly Videos for Uncovering Oklahoma: 55
Artist Statement Minutes: 20
Yes! Science! Videos: 7
Tales Unveiled episodes: 10

-Uncovering Oklahoma in 2018-

Since Uncovering Oklahoma was my biggest project of the year, I’m going to discuss how that went first. I’m to start by sharing the top ten most viewed videos on both Facebook and YouTube. This list only includes videos that where made in 2018. Videos that I made a previous year that were still watched this year, I kicked them off.

Top 10 Most Watched via Facebook in 2018
10. CHAOS (2K)
9. Colorful Escapes in Norman (2.3k)
8. The Miller Grill (2.4k)
7. Kwan’s Kitchen (2.9k)
6. Gathering Place (3k)
5. The Ruins Bar & Grille and The Sanctuary Escape (3k)
4. Factory Obscura’s Beyond (4.5k)
3. Red Rock Canyon State Park (7.8k)
2. A Day in Bartlesville (19.7k)
1. Gogi Go (19.7k)

Top 10 Most-Viewed via YouTube in 2018
10. CHAOS (264)
9. Vacca Territory (273)
8. Kwan’s Kitchen (324)
7. Jimmy’s Round Up Cafe (334)
6. Illuminations (367)
5. Factory Obscura’s Beyond (378)
4. HunnyBuddy Biscuit Co (399)
3. Gathering Place (522)
2. Gogi Go (871)
1. Oklahoma State Fair Food of 2018 (3,290)

It’s always interesting to see how different these two lists are from each other. The thing to keep in mind is that I use the YouTube videos for the website and I directly upload a copy to Facebook, which is where most people tend to watch my videos. Note that on the Facebook videos, the number next to them is not a view count, but minutes watched!

Growth for Uncovering Oklahoma has been great! At the time I’m writing this post, likes for Facebook was 13,130 (was 10,571 at the start of the year), Twitter was 3,549 (2,959 last year), and Instagram was 1,426 (new account this year). While my video views are way up compared to last year, the site visits were down 15% overall. There are two reasons I believe: more people were reading/watching via social media and I had a viral story last year.

I got to make some great collaboration videos like my Norman Music Festival interviews, A Day in Bartlesville, Film Row Pub Crawl, and Gathering Place. I traveled more outside the Oklahoma City area for stories, including Yukon, Tulsa, and Bartlesville. Lately, I’ve felt like there’s too much going on for me to uncover, which is a good problem.

-Yes! Science! in 2018-

In its second year, Yes! Science! did better, both in performance and video quality. I have exciting new plans for season three.

-Tales Unveiled in 2018-

One of my new projects for the year was my first podcast series, Tales Unveiled. Jeff Provine and I did ten episodes sharing Oklahoma’s spooky ghost stories. Unlike typical interview podcasts, Jeff and I took on fictional personas and did the series as a docudrama. Because of the show’s format, it would take about three or four days to make one episode. The extra work was worth it as the show has had great reviews.

Jeff and I do have plans to record a second season in the summer.

-Quarter Minutes in 2018-

There wasn’t any. I atempted, but just didn’t make Quarter Minutes happen. I was more focused on making other projects happen. However, I have scheduled January 5th to film a few Quarter Minutes at Factory Obscura! I’m excited to get this show back on track.

-Books in 2018-

Another failure for this year was the lack of finished books. I did “finish” Intertwined by Cracks, however, I felt the story needed more. I was driving one day a few months ago when I had a stoke of inspiration of a way to give the book a few more chapters, which I’m currently writing out. If you’re wondering what the book is about, here’s my current description:

“Despite Lindsey Way’s early life being a total mystery to herself, she’s adapted to life on Earth as a Realm Walker rather well in her opinion. She has a job as a travel writer allowing her to use her gift of making a door lead to another door and she even has a loving boyfriend, Tommy, whom she hasn’t yet shared her secret with yet. When purple cracks appear during a date night, leaking monsters from other planets into theirs, Lindsey is forced to share her secret. The couple becomes intertwined with people connected to the cracks and discover a sinister plot to harness Lindsey powers by a stranded time traveler.”

I’ve also been working on a sequel to The Crashing of Heaven and Hell and a third book which is a continuation of Intertwined by Cracks, but follows Tommy’s sister instead.

-Top Songs of 2018-

These were my most played songs in 2018 according to Spotify, which is how I mostly listen to music. I enjoy sharing what I listened to this past year. It’s fun to look back. Nothing this year matched anything from last year. Keep in mind I will often put a song (or playlist) on repeat when writing or for inspiration sessions.

-The Show Starts Now Studios in 2018-

On June 4, 2018, I revealed The Show Starts Now Studios. It’s my new parent company for all of my shows. My goal with this venture is to open a live TV audience studio producing live streaming shows every day. I’m years away from that happening, but I’m making progress. The first phase involved aligning all of my current shows under this new banner and plan for the next phase, which is about producing new shows.

-Now For 2019-

Before writing this blog post, I looked back at past end of the year reflections to compare myself. There were a few things that I wrote last year that I had planned to accomplish in 2018, but didn’t, such as new books, a national travel show, and a public art instillation. However, I did new things that I hadn’t planned like a podcast and a new feature documentary.

My main ambition for 2019 is to start producing new live streaming shows while being memorable. I still have these moments where I feel like both what I’m doing and me personally is forgettable. It’s an on-going struggle to improve, trying to learn what works and what doesn’t, how to balance work/life, and figuring out/decdiing what needs to be done. I’m reminded of a motivation quote that went along the lines of, “Don’t expect your friends to support you – make something worthy of their support.”

I have several new shows planned for 2019! As you know, I’m quiet on what I’m working on until it’s about done, but fuck that, I’m sharing some of the new projects I’m planning to get feedback/advice now.

  • A monthly music show in collaboration with Norman Music Festival where performers answer questions from the host and audience and then perform a few acoustic songs.
  • A monthly panel series that shares advice on various topics for creative professionals.
  • Season Three of Yes! Science! will be done as a live talk show! Plus, an overview Yes Women in Science mini-documentary for (hopefully) the deadCenter Film Festival.
  • New 30-minute documentary special on the Plaza Walls project with a big fundraising premiere on Monday, April 15th, the ten-year anniversary of Uncovering Oklahoma.
  • A political satire series focusing on Oklahoma state politics that’s a mix of Weekend Update and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. Ideally, it would have a weekly run for a month or two in the fall. Big ambitions and challenges for this show hence a fall release.

I do have a few more shows planned that I will be filming where others will be taking charge. I feel like I’ve been doing so much planning and talking, but not enough action. I’ll just say that everything is building up and it’s all about to burst.

I want to thank you for following me and I hope you continue in the new year!

Season 2 Thumbnail Grabs

Season 2 Collection of Quarter Minutes

This video is a recap collection of all of the stories we made for Quarter Minutes throughout the year. This collection contains Parallel Travels, Something On Your Face, Stranger Roommates, Afternoon Nap Killer, A Ricktastic Profit Idea, Don’t Touch the Elf, Future Elf on the Shelf, Happy Nutcracker, and Rascal of the Elf.

2017 Featured the Talents of:
Daniel Austin
Dennis Spielman
Finley
Justan
Kristy K. Boone
Michael Roberts
Pallas
Robyn Wheelock

Plus music by Matt Harris and Kevin MacLeod.

To stay connect, follow Quarter Minutes on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. If you love what we’re doing, want to see more, and before everyone else, became a patron. We have plans to do a third season so stay tuned!

Caterpillar photo by Dennis Spielman

Reflecting on 2017

Hello, everyone!

It’s now time for my annual End of the Year Reflection. Last year, 2016, was a big year for me. I wrote last year “was, by far, my most productive year.” In 2017, I stepped my game. Before I get into details, here are some numbers covering what I made.

Weekly Videos for Uncovering Oklahoma: 45
Artist Statement Minutes: 19
Music Videos: 1
Feature Films: 2 (Norman Music Festival and Inviting Art)
Quarter Minutes: 9
Yes! Science! Videos: 6

-Uncovering Oklahoma in 2017-
I’m going to review Uncovering Oklahoma first, but starting off with some stats. Keep in mind the for weekly videos, sometimes I would feature multiple places, such as when I did my Coffee of Norman episode. Some of my weekly videos focused on an event rather than a place, which I made more of this year because I had footage from 2016 to do that sort of thing.

Top 5 Most Viewed Uncovering Oklahoma Videos Made in 2017 on YouTube:
5. McClintock Saloon & Chop House [509 views]
4. Intro to The Food of Lindsey Street [860 views]
3. The Underground [2,046 views]
2. Poe Bouyz House – Sneak Peek Tour with Uncovering Oklahoma [8,229 views]
1. Beck’s Garage: Tuning up and Servicing Oklahoma City | #AmexAmbassador [36,180 views]

At this time, no other video of mine has more views than my Beck’s Garage video. The reason it’s so high is that the marketing company did a paid boost on it. The Poe Bouyz House Sneak Peek Tour video was something that went viral because so many people were curious about what that weird looking building on the highway was going to be. Back in 2009, the very first video I did for Uncovering Oklahoma was about the Underground, which I revisited this year to include as part of my series I was doing about art galleries and for Inviting Art. Downtown OKC was impressed enough with my video on The Underground that they embedded it on their site, which for me, is one of the highest praises.

Now, to mess up those numbers, here’s what was popular on Facebook because this year I started also uploading them directly to my page.

Top 5 Most Viewed on Facebook:
5. An Afternoon in Davis [5.6K]
4. Off The Hook Seafood and More [13.6K]
3. Oklahoma State Fair Food of 2017 [14.8K]
2. Davis Road Trip [17.8K]
1. Poe Bouyz House Sneak Peek Tour [407.3K]

Having the videos on Facebook did affect my YouTube views, however, they were getting watched and that’s what’s important.

The popularity of Uncovering Oklahoma has grown like crazy. On January 2, 2017, the Facebook page likes was at 1,969 and on December 31, 2017, it’s at 10,571! I can attribute a good chunk of that to my Poe Bouyz House coverage. As for Twitter followers, I can’t find out what I started with, but I’m ending the year with 2,959. Over at Uncovering Oklahoma, I wrote a recap there, which includes my top ten pages and videos.

-Books in 2017-
One thing I didn’t do this year – which I also didn’t do last year – was publish any books. Not for the lack of trying. Intertwined by Cracks has been going back-and-forth on the editing process. Granted, the book has been getting better and better with each revision my editor has sent back. I’ve also been working on a sequel to The Crashing of Heaven and Hell, which has an intertwined chapter with Intertwined by Cracks.


-Quarter Minutes in 2017-
This year, I didn’t do as many stories for Quarter Minutes, but on average, they were longer this time around. I’m a little bummed that they didn’t get many views because I felt we did a great job on them. Something for me to work on for next year. Shout out to Daniel Austin, Pallas, Robyn Wheelock, Michael Roberts, Finley, Justan, and Kristy K. Boone for their work this season!

-Yes! Science! in 2017-
Yes! Science! is my new series I started this year. The show had a rocky start, which involved some technical errors. I didn’t debut the series until October 3. However, it was well received! I took a mid-season break from it because it was getting harder to schedule interviews with the holidays and their end of the year project/research wrap-ups.

-Travel Adventures in 2017-
The other new thing I started doing was more personal travel videos, which would have me in it or not be related to Oklahoma. I figured, I had a personal channel on YouTube, which I wasn’t using, so I decided to do something with it. The most popular video I made this year on it was about the Oklahoma State Fair Foods of 2017.

Leslie and I didn’t travel out of state until December when we went to Seattle to visit her sister and then to see my parents in Georgia for Christmas. Our schedules and budgets didn’t allow for much travel.

Spotify 2017 Wrapped
-My Top 18 Most Played Songs in 2017-
These were my most played songs in 2017 according to Spotify, which is how I mostly listen to music. I enjoy sharing what I listened to this year. It’s fun to look back. Nothing from my top 15 this year matched anything from my top 15 of last year. Keep in mind I will often put a song (or playlist) on repeat when writing or for inspiration sessions.

Top 18 Songs Played in 2017

-Now for 2018-
Before I talk about 2018, I feel it’s important to talk about my failures of the year. Despite my growth, I can’t help but feel somewhat forgettable. I’m still figuring out what people are and aren’t interested in watching. Basically, what works and what doesn’t work. More than once I’ve had to tell myself not to compare myself to others – only compare yourself with yourself. I’ve also had some weight gain as I do most of my work in front of a computer. I’m at 220 pounds today and I’ve set a goal to lose weight in 2018.

As a business, I am not financially stable or profitable. I did sponsorships to make three videos: The Food of Lindsey Street, Inviting Art, and Beck’s Garage for American Express. I also did several freelance video projects. However, I had equipment and medical expenses eat up everything. While I am grateful for the paid work, it takes time. Time to court people. Time to work out deals. Time to get paid (for example, on Inviting Art, I was paid half up front and the other half upon completion, six months later). I’m working on building up patron support so I can focus more on making things.

It seemed like overall in 2017, I was doing a lot of learning and getting a grip on everything, which some people may say that’s what every year is like. In the month of October, I had released at least three videos a week – one from each of my shows. I am so proud of that turnout. I’ve had people tell me that they live through me and my adventures. I’ve had tons of people that described themselves to me as “not being good on camera” later tell me how good my video on them turned out. In other positive growth, I’ve done collaborative videos with other professionals, such as in my Davis, Uptown 23rd, and A Solo Day in OKC videos. I plan to do even more collaborations next year. I did get PAID to make videos this year, which is a first.

When I compare the me of today to the me of last year, I’ve progressed.

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned this year is that I can’t do everything by myself, but I can get things started by myself. Collaboration is going to be key for 2018. I just need to keep things rolling.

Now, I’m not keen on talking about future projects when they are in the pre-production stages hence why I’m going to be a little vague below.

I plan to release a new book from my 16th Phoenix Universe series of stories. As I mentioned before, Intertwined by Cracks is in the editing phase. Collecting Cassie’s Soul, which is the sequel I mentioned, I’m still writing it out, but it’s been fun to write. It’s told from the first person perspective and although it is a sequel, I’ve been writing it so that it stands on its own. I’ve also written a little on a third book.

Of course, I will continue making videos for Quarter Minutes and Yes! Science! The Quarter Minutes group had some great ideas we just didn’t get to film. In January, I’m going follow up with those who requested I check back then to be interviewed then for Yes! Science! Scheduling and juggling all of my shows has been a challenge.

I would like to attempt to do a non-documentary feature film this year. I have a few ideas I’m bouncing around, but nothing solid yet. As of I’m writing this post, I’m leaning toward a horror film.

For Uncovering Oklahoma in 2018, I plan to do behind-the-scenes kind of videos to show sides of places the public doesn’t get to see. Heidi and I plan to go more small towns and do similar videos to our Davis ones. On the subject of collaboration, that’s one of my key elements for 2018. I plan to do another pub crawl video and A Solo Day in OKC Summer Edition. If funding allows it, I plan to do more coverage outside of the Oklahoma City Metro.

I have an idea for a public art installation. I’ve been inspired by all of the artists I’ve interviewed. I’ve had the idea for some time now, but I’m just now making time to figure out how to build it because it will be an undertaking. Few people know what it is because I’m keeping it quiet until I’m sure I can actually build it. As Jack Fowler advised in an interview I did with, “you just got to do it.”

On the subject of ambitious, I have three words to share: National Travel Show. My goal is to film the pilot episode in the first quarter of the year. This has been something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

In 2016, I thought it would be fun to do a show involving a live studio audience. In 2017, I started trying to figure what that entails and how to make it happen. In 2018, I take steps to make it happen!

That’s it for my yearly reflection. I got a little personal this time, talked more than normal, and I’ve shared some rather lofty goals. Again, I’m sorry if for my vagueness on the future as I things can change at this point. In January, I’m going to be meeting with people to make things happen.

I want to thank you for your support and I hope you continue to adventure with me in 2018!

Have a Happy New Year!

Rascal of the Elf

Rascal of the Elf

The final video of our Four Days of Quartermas 2017 was written and directed by Finley, who plays the elf. She came up with this idea as we were brainstorming one last story to film. She says it’s a sequel to the Future Elf on the Shelf video.

This video features the talents of Finley, Kristy K. Boone, and Dennis Spielman.

For future updates, follow Quarter Minutes on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. If you love what we’re doing, want to see more, and before everyone else, became a patron. If you love what we’re doing, want to see more, and before everyone else, became a patron.

We are planning get together in January or February to film a new batch of stories!

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