December 19, 2009

The Credit Card Con - Small Business in SLC

Credit card transactions are quickly becoming the norm for business owners in the US. You may have noticed signs at businesses alerting you to a credit card transaction fee or denoting a minimum purchase price for credit card use. These strategies are used to counter the processing fees charged to business owners who wish to use credit cards in their transactions.

Large businesses like Wal-Mart get discounts on their transaction fees because they process so many cards per day. But small businesses get charged a higher percentage per transaction to compensate for the fewer transactions. This means that small businesses with slimmer profit margins and smaller revenue streams are being charged more than large companies.

I was hired by Dave Owen of Owen Communications LLC to find small business owners and conduct brief interviews about their opinions of the unbalanced credit card policies. Furthermore they all asked Senator Bennett of Utah to support legislation against higher fees for small businesses.

Dave Smith owns Shop 'n Go market in Salt Lake City. Due to the nature of convenience store purchases, says he actually loses money on small items purchased with credit cards.

Craig Buchi of Craig's Service Center in Salt Lake, says that his largest expense is credit card transaction fees.

Emigration Market owner and Salt Lake City Councilman JT Martin discusses the rising frequency of credit card transactions and the impact on his business.

All of these videos were spontaneous, middle of the day interviews with no preparation whatsoever. I'm very impressed with the way my camera handled 3 different lighting conditions in 3 different environments. The footage doesn't look as good as it would with a full lighting setup, but for a run 'n gun deal they look great. Another important thing is they don't look staged. I literally went in and talked to these guys for about as long as the video takes. It's raw and rough but then again, so is the state of small business.

To learn more about the legislation against high transaction fees, visit

Utah Light Opera

On Sunday I was asked to document a performance by Utah Light Opera in association with Utah Premiere Brass. The two musical organizations came together in a dazzling display of Christmas music.

The concert was unique in the respect that it was offered free of charge to the public, with a $5 suggested donation and contained top-notch vocalists and musicians.

The Utah Light Opera is the brainchild of my voice teacher David Schmidt and his wife Shalee Schmidt. The two created a nonprofit organization to showcase the talents of vocalists in the state of Utah and to give vocalists of all levels opportunities to perform.

David is selling DVD's of the concert for $20, you can contact me if you'd like to buy one. Shoot me an email at

Here's a silly picture of my camera eclipsed before the lights of God.
From Utah Light Opera
The Holy HPX

December 13, 2009

Dork Knight - Rebecca Mabey's Short Film

Months ago I was cast in a short film made by my neighbor and local wedding photographer Rebecca Mabey. We've been working steadily on the project for a while and now we finally finished shooting.

The film follows Kate, a girl who needs some money so she starts a business as a paid friend. At first she only meets nerds and losers but then she meets Chris, played by me. Chris' roommate Jake set the two of them up and is paying Kate with Chris' money without him knowing. Chris and Kate become closer as they begin to fall for each other, but what will happen once the secret is revealed?

You'll have to watch the film to find out!

The film was made for the University of Utah Film Department's advanced production class. I've appeared in three films for that class so far, including Colin McDermott's about lifeguards, look for a post about that later.

Rebecca is one of the most organized and professional directors I have ever worked with. When shooting student film, one normally expects things to take much longer than they need to and do things that probably aren't necessary for the final cut. Rebecca however, kept her word about what time we would finish shooting and was incredibly coherent when it came to what the crew's role was on set.

From Believing and Dork to Dork
Above you can see our fabulous DP, Ryan, and Rebecca shooting a scene with Kate, played by Morgan Mabey, dressed as a princess.

I managed to appear in none of the behind the scenes pictures so if you want to see me you'll have to watch the film. There will probably be a premiere at some point, I'm quite excited to see how it turns out. The script was a lot of fun and made me laugh out loud when I read it, that doesn't happen often I assure you.

You can check up on the progress of the film on Rebecca's blog, for which I have a link on the right side of this page.

From Believing and Dork to Dork

From Believing and Dork to Dork

From Believing and Dork to Dork