Extraction

Give it just a moment to start playing after you click the “play” button.

This is just the beginning of adventure for these guys.

If the above player either isn’t there or doesn’t work for you, then you may download the video here (I suggest saving it and then playing it):

For those already up-to-date on their story…

The local street department forwarded my e-mails to a Texas Department of Transportation official, who summarily ignored my calls and e-mails regarding the persistent trash.

Everyone else…

For the full story, with more pictures, video, and reader commentary, see:

Blue Straw

Music
“Sophisticated Maybe”
by beatbox flutist Tim Barsky. Other free downloads are available at his site.

Equipment
Sony DCR-HC30 miniDV Camcorder
Olympus D-20 Digital Voice Recorder
Core Sound Low Cost Binaural Microphones
Homebrewed Computer

To see the whole story up to this point, click here.

21 thoughts on “Extraction

  1. H–O–L–Y F–R–E–A–K–I–N’ C–R–A–P!! “That was totally wicked!” So, can we safely say this is Episode I? If you need any props, don’t hesitate to ask. My only regret is I never made it to that intersection to see them in their original state in person. Great choice of music by the way. And with all your camera credits and stuff, you didn’t list the voice credits. And no ‘in order of appearance.’ Still this so rocks.

  2. I’ve been pushing play and giving it just a moment for over half an hour now (while doing other things), so I think I’ll have to wait until I get home this evening.

    DAMMIT!

  3. FREEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!

    It sounded like one of the cups had been possessed by the spirit of the guy from Sling Blade.

    Sweet video, though. I’m getting a camcorder today.

    Did you upload this to Youtube or anywhere else?

  4. Wow.

    I have to say though…the actual extraction was somewhat less climactic than I had imagined. I was sort of sad at the sudden end of an era. But then the cups started channelling Dusty and Lefty and I was back on board. I’m just hoping your videoed Shannon’ face when you brought those things home. I’m also curious about the smell.

    I’m quite impresed with your vocal acting, too. Got a future in cartoons.

  5. Althought I thought the video was funny and amusing, I’m much more impressed with the editing and production. It’s WAY better than almost everything you see on Youtube or other video sites.

    I think Moksha is probably right regarding the extraction, but I think there were likely some challenges logistically with having a shot that was any closer than that. It would have required an “accomplice” and somehow I don’t see Shannon as a willing participant. Maybe you could have solicited Alvis as your helper, and he could have stood in traffic and risked life and limb. Of course, then he’d be forever included in the video credits, and he may not be ready for that sort of fame just yet.

    What you did with this is probably better than our “professionally made” video production of Charles’s T-Ball games. I’m very impressed.

  6. Dave – Although I admit I was up very late Sunday night working on this (because I also made a more serious, environmental mix with different music and additional footage), I think it’s more about what someone wants to do with his or her time. I don’t watch much TV and I don’t play video games at all, and that frees up a LOT of time.

    Thanks for the compliment. Laughter was one of my main goals.

    Anna – Dang! Sorry. Maybe you could try the free Windows Media Player for Mac, or the free Flip4Mac, which allows playing Windows Media files in the Mac’s Quicktime player.

    I tried to output this to Quicktime, but it was not good. I think Apple saves the best Quicktime encoders for their own products.

    Josh – Yep, it’s only Episode 1. Even Shannon was tossing in ideas for how to make the cups live on even after their removal.

    On the credits… because I did everything, listing my name over and over would have been awfully egocentric. I’ve done that before, and it got silly after a while. Plus, the credits would have been longer than the video.

    Simon – I’ve added a download link in the post. I hope that helps (and I’m not sure why I don’t always do that).

    Alvis – I’m sure many of the passing motorists thought the same thing — Freeeaakk!! Actually, one particularly redneck girl hung her head out the window as she drove by and screamed, “Take a pitcher!!! Whooo!!!”

    I ad-libbed all the dialogue, and the redneck accent was supposed to be the same as the one I did on that little radio play about the guy losing his shirt. It turned out way more like Carl from Slingblade than I wanted it to.

    I haven’t uploaded it to anywhere else, but I’m considering it.

    Moksha – I was very bummed about the extraction process, myself. But, once I realized that TXDOT folks weren’t going to call me back, I had to take action quickly. I didn’t want to leave them there a whole weekend. The first “take” was the final one, in large part due to traffic. Many people pull in front of that white line before they stop, thereby blocking my shot. I was just doing a test to make sure the shot wasn’t cutting off my head, and then I launched into the intro and kept going. That’s another reason it’s a little lame. I was totally ad-libbing, mainly for a sound check (I had my mics clipped inside my shirt, wired to my digital voice recorded in pocket, and synched the audio up later).

    I love acting as much as anything other creative endeavor. Making voices, especially, is fun.

    Charles – I always wonder what I could do if I had some REAL content. With some tricks, I was able to make it at least a little entertaining.

    The logistics were WAY challenging, as I noted in my reply to MG’s comment. If I hadn’t had my voice recorder, I would have had to record the audio separately (as I did for the cups’ dialogue).

    I thought about sending you the video and saying, “Okay, now lay down a guitar soundtrack for this.” That would be the coolest thing ever, bro. Custom soundtrack to fit my vid, by my brother.

    Okay, I’m getting vaklempt. Tawlk amongst yourselves. Here’s a topic, “Jim Dandy is a good name for neither a rock singer nor a place to workout (Gym Dandy). Discuss.”

  7. P.S. Yes, I’m off work Monday (and Tuesday), which is why I had time to pore over these, reply to them, and then amend my post. Nobody fire me, please. Unless, of course, you saw me making this video less than a mile from the office and just figure there’s no room for freaks in our company, but you have this cousin who runs a studio and could really use my nascent skills.

  8. THAT WAS AWESOME! I totally didn’t expect that…I couldn’t believe you were taking them out of there. My husband is now hooked on this ongoing saga so I will have to show this to him as well!

    And dude, that music….what was that? The pan flute? I think I saw an infomercial for that once. I am thrilled that you took the time to do this and I really enjoyed watching it. I am with Moksha….did you video your wife? That would have been funny.

    Oh, and thanks for the Windows link….it came right up.

    Later Mark…

  9. OK, I totally went to the guys website you posted…Tim and spent some time reading and listening. VERY COOL. Great stuff on there…and a interesting site to visit.

    Very talented.

  10. Anna – Glad you and your husband are following along with the cups’ journey.

    I guess you saw that it isn’t pan flute. Just a regular flute like you might see in a high school band. Besides the actual beatboxing, his style reminds me a lot of Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull.

  11. It’s kinda like Wayne Gretzky breaking Gordie Howe’s NHL scoring record — you don’t want to see it happen, but then when it does you get all excited like and begin to wonder at the possibilities of the future, like fast food beverage container death matches. (Or if hockey ain’t your thing, then the whole Bonds vs. Aaron thing, but without the ‘roids.)

    I’m very impressed both by the acting prodigy in front of the camera (and behind the voices) as well as the mad post production skilz you got.

    This thing is gonna be HUGE! I tell ya, huge!

  12. BTW, I was just kidding about the “having too much time on your hands..”…

    That was such a cool video!

  13. Dave – I sit here exhausted because I sometimes go on time binges and stay up too late, which is the largest source of time on my hands. I tell myself I’m going to start getting more sleep, and invariably I make it about four days of getting to bed right at midnight (sadly, that’s early for me) before I get into a project that tempts me to lose track of time.

    You’d think a grown man would have more self-control than that.

  14. Oh. My. Gawd. Mark. You are certifiably, amazingly and awesomely insane. That was fabulous. At first I couldn’t really believe that you were actually going to go through with the extrication. Then it was like you’d set some sort of precedent for the actual practice of removing said cups from said drain… You were obviously sent here to carry out this mission. I’m totally impressed.
    The scene in the trunk… I’m still laughing. PD will appreciate the squirrel reference once I explain the whole cup story and make him sit down and watch this. The accents and dialogue were primo.
    You have unfortunately missed your calling. Quit your job.
    Thanks for this, was Great!
    Now I am going to go back and read the other comments, I didn’t want the spell to wear off before I gave my $.02.

  15. Linda – ‘Twas fun, and you guys will be the first to know if/when I change careers. Let me know if PD likes it… that may be the deciding factor.

    BK – Thanks. Where’d I get that nickname, by the way? I noticed you used it last time, too.

  16. Eeww! There’s one thing to make a note about. You put those cups in the trunk.

    If I had to make a flight down there and needed to put something in your car’s trunk, I would have to say, “Did you ever sterilize the trunk after having those cups in there?”

    Concerning TxDOT, they are probably going to say, “What cups?” when they go take a look.

    If your wife reads my post, watch out if he drives in your car. You may not know where those cups have been!

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