5 Things on my First Day of Postmates

Several months back I joined Postmates because I have a Vespa that I love to drive, I thought I could crush deliveries with said scooter, and its another way I could make money on my own time. Joining was no problem at all. I downloaded the fleet app, applied accordingly, and within an hour my account was ready to start making deliveries. I thought it would take days, but it took minutes, and so I said fuck it, changed my schedule and gave it a go.

1. First Delivery Was Canceled

I put my helmet on. I took my account online. I got a notification for an available delivery. I started driving towards the pickup. Halfway there my delivery canceled. My very first was supposed to be special, but just like most first time doing things, it wasn’t special. In fact I had many cancelations. I spent quite a bit of time changing directions due to canceled orders. Super sucky.

2. Prius Drivers Suck

Yes, if you own a Prius it is a character flaw and I am judging you. There is heavy traffic everyday, and yet many believe they can beat traffic by cutting people off and speeding to the next line of traffic. Plus, no one uses turn signals. When you come to LA you will experience the full wrath of the river of garbage Prius drivers. Everybody and their mother drives a Prius, and they all suck.

3. Meet the Driver Out Front

When your delivery is coming to anything other than a house with one doorbell you should meet the driver at the front sidewalk. If you have your stuff delivered to an apartment building, office building, or anything that requires the driver to get out of a car and search for you, then you should meet the driver at their car. They are not getting paid enough to navigate anywhere other than the closest sidewalk to your location. If you do, you better tip them at least an additional $8-$10 on top of at least 20% tip. Parking and finding your ass is a pain in the ass. I delivered to a mega apartment, and the guy wouldn’t meet me at the front. I had to find him on the 13th floor, and low and behold he was a mega douchebag that I didn’t punch in the face.

4. Delivered to a Friend

This is the one positive thing that happened other than kinda getting paid. I delivered to a friend who I hadn’t seen in awhile. It is always nice to see how small the world is. We chatted freelance, personal projects, and weekend plans. It made my day. Friends are dope, and the world is small.

5. Tip Your Postmate

I think you should tip anyone performing a service, but especially your Postmate. It is a lot of work for a very small base pay. I did not get to see the tip amount right away, but a few days later I got to see the tip amounts, and it was bleak. In total I made $42 for about 5 hours of constant driving around. I received about $3.50 base for each delivery, and I made about 10 deliveries. It ads up to be 20%, but it is far below minimum wage, and no where close to my day rate as a freelancer. So needless to say I will not be post-mating anymore, but to those that still are, I will tip you handsomely.

Overall, I made this seem like a horrible experience, but plainly this is an accurate litmus test of Los Angeles.
You do not get paid enough to spend time running around this busy town delivering Erewhon to pricks. I have worked in the service industry before, but this was an entirely new experience that reminded me how impatient I can be. I learned a quick lesson. That shit is not for me. Respect deeply those who are making a living from those type of apps. They are truly hustling. Be kind, give them a smile, and tip them well.

.jpg: Lost Valley Ranch

Lost Valley Ranch is a dude ranch in Colorado where my Dad grew up visiting. Last month we all went and made some lovely memories. I rode a horse named Pinecone.

.links: End of Summer 2019

As the end of summer approaches I tend to reflect on my year so far. I better see the things I need to be grateful for and where I need to improve. I try not to be too hard on myself. Here are a few links recently that were fun to hear, read, and watch.

  1. The Playlist - 8-tracks

2. Philosophy - René Descartes Quotes

I always enjoy reading quotes that make me stretch to understand them. Short little lines of words that broaden my perspective. Quotes and Dreaming

3. The Video

This is a 30 minute video that I watched a few months back at my full-time job. While sitting at my desk I had this playing in my headphones, and it really came at the right time. It gave me a little perspective that I needed while grinding that 9-5 job.

How I Edited This: Pixel Sorter

Last night I released a video in a style that I have been trying to develop for a few months now, and I’m getting good at it :). I am hoping to accomplish a dream sequence that feels like a memory or dream state. This feeling is conveyed through close up footage, hard to distinguish talent, and with a post production effect called Pixel Sorting in a desktop app called after effects.

1. Close up Footage

In this video I used footage I have taken over a year period, and pieced together in a way that jumps between similar moments and movements. The close up aesthetic highlights the details like a memory or dream. In dreams you only see and remember specific small details and descriptions of the big picture. This footage creates a spacey feeling and no real feeling of the actual location the footage was shot in. At the end of the video there are two totally different silhouettes, but they feel like they might be sequential in an actual timeline.

2. Hard to Distinguish Talent

When it is hard to know or identify who the face of the person is on screen, then the viewer can easily project a familiar face of their own and identify with the video on a different level. This happens in dreams and memories all the time. You think someone was there who actually wasn’t in memories, and you place faces of people that you used to know in dream stories.

3. Pixel Sorting

Pixel sorting is an effect you can buy that takes pixels and skews them across the screen at a threshold you set. There is so much more to it than that, but below is a great tutorial by the man who made the plugin. Here is the overview of the plugin. Here is where you can buy the plugin for after effects.



My Timeline in Premiere Pro of this instagram edit.

My Timeline in Premiere Pro of this instagram edit.

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Gopro Fusion 360 Sailing

This is a clip sailing in a rain storm. It is a very raw clip, but around 2:05 you can see the boat tacking. If you go to this video you will either need to drag the screen on a computer to move around the video, or on a phone, click the title to open in Youtube, and move your device around in the air and the accelerometers in your phone will intuitively move the video around so that you can see the footage from the camera’s point of view. This is the first clip I have uploaded as a 360 video, and I thought you might enjoy seeing the footage. Let me know what you think in the comments on this video experiment!

Birthday in Paris

Today was my birthday, and I flew to Paris on the 737 dreamliner. It was smoothest flight over the Atlantic I’ve ever had. I started to get excited when I first saw the classic French countryside that charms even the coldest hearts. 

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After I arrived, I ended up taking an Uber because my parents offered to pay, but the best option would be the 10 euro train into the city.  My parents just finished with their trip to Togo, and planned to stop in Paris for a decompression before the haul back to the states. I figured it was the perfect opportunity for me to crash their trip, have Gilly come down from London, and introduce everyone! We all caught up at Le Champs De Mars over drinks and Escargot. It was just as boujie as it sounds, and I wouldn’t recommend it cause it was terribly expensive and just out of view from the Eiffel Tower.

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My parents debriefed us on their trip, and my dad in proper fashion showed us all of the open wounds of doing general surgery in one of the most remote areas of the African bush during the meal. I love that nothing has changed since I was kid. Chatting and showing visceral images over dinner.  I am very grateful for these humans. 

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We have a few more days in the city together, and my jetlag is going to hit me hard tomorrow. For now, I am going to revel in the romance of the city with the people I love. I am staying at Hotel Comtesse and it is in a great location with view of the Eiffel Tower from every room. The Paris charm is at full tilt.

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Much Love,

CPitty

10 TiPS: When Being Interviewed on Camera

1. Wear Solid and Neutral Colors, NO PATTERNS

For technical reasons, patterns do not come off well on camera. Stripes, especially vertical, have this optical glitch called a moire effect. It is distracting, and will take away from what you are saying. For fashionable reasons, patterns are tacky and do not age well. While you are at it do not wear all white or all black or any green. You may be on green screen. PRO TIP: wear something that has convenient placement for a clip lavalier microphone just below your chin. PRO TIP: bring a backup outfit just in case your outfit clashes with the backdrop.

2. Do Not Chat Equipment

This one is just a pet peave of mine, but it would be greatly appreciated if you do not comment or share how much you know about camera equipment. We do not care about how much you know or want your opinion about the setup. If we had a bigger budget of course everything would be higher end, but we don’t, and we don’t want to be reminded of the money we don’t have. Pro Tip: try not to utter, “lights, camera, action”, “that’s a wrap”, or “ready for my close up”. You are not the director.

3. Use Full Sentences

The key to the interview is clean succinct sound bites. When the interviewer cues you with the question you should reword the question such that the answer is complete with context to the question. Likely the interviewer is not on camera or mic’d.   

4. Do Not Speak With Your Hands

When you use your hands it will distract the viewer and at times make it hard to edit because your hands are up and then perhaps in your lap. Also, this prevents you from making sounds that the mic will pickup like clapping, scratching, touching the mic on your chest, and general body movements.

5. Sit Still And Hold Your Posture

When you go on camera get comfortable in the way you will sit for the entirety of the interview. The cameras will be framed to you and focused at that point. If you move around you will go out of focus and/or out of frame. Also, it brings more gravity to what you are saying rather than how you look.  

6. Do Not Wear Loose Jewelry

Audio is very important and loose jewelry will make noise. Try not to wear necklaces other than delicate single chain minimalist styles. No hanging metallic earrings or bracelets that jingle.

 7.  Know The Talking Points

Any good production will have sent you the prep doc with all the questions. Have a good idea of what you are going to say, and feel free to glance at your own notes in between bits. Understand the goal of the project and cater your expertise to that vision. The interviewer should more simply be promoting you to the next point rather than an off the cough response. Of course new information you bring may result in a deeper dive on that question, but be prepared with a full response. This creates better sound bites, better conversation, and easier post production.

8. You Are The Expert

Let this empower you to be enthusiastic about what you are saying. Share you ideas with confidence, and be comfortable that you are supposed to be there sharing your knowledge. It is important to be secure with your yourself because it will make it a stronger production.  Also, feel free to share extra comments at the end if you think you have ideas or concepts that are pertinent to the topic, but were not covered in the designated questions. 

9. Expect To Be Interrupted

This is because the set will need to be adjusted wether it’s lighting, battery changes, audio levels, or to pause for sirens etc. It’s not about you, it’s about capturing the best footage and audio.  

10. Take A BTS Photo

You did it! You finished the interview! Now ask the camera operator or PA to snap any kind of behind the scenes photo of you with your phone so you can share it. Build the hype and show your audience! It’s fun! 

 

Some of it may sound a little harsh, but I just finished filming a docuseries with over 80 interviews over the course of a month, and I’m tired. The inexperienced peeps and the overly eager peeps drained me and my time and now I have to edit that ish. Use these tips, and you’ll do great! Just get in and get out and the whole crew will love you. You probably are not the only interview for that day so respect the crew’s time for setup, breakdown, and everything in between. We still have to edit your footage and listen to you many times over.  No pressure, you’ll do great, but keep it succinct, short, and sweet.

Sailing Belize: Christmas con mi familia

I spent Christmas this year with my parents and close family friends sailing off the coast of Belize on a 48 ft Moorings catamaran named ‘Blew Nowhere’. 

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We anchored at random cayes which is pronounced like keyes and made food together for every meal. We anchored most nights. The islands per se were underdeveloped at best or often simply just a colony of mangroves. We covered around 100 nautical miles over the span of 6 days and ran out of rum on the 3rd day. Note to self for next trip. more booze, Cigars, And More fruit. There were no restaurants or provision shops to restock our kitchen like European or more popular Caribbean cruising locations. Overall this cruising area had a more remote vibe than more established cruising areas of the world like the BVI or Greece and Croatia. In more established areas you can typically pull into a port pickup a mooring, settle in, and dingy in for dinner with several options for dinner and sometimes a whole city to explore. In Greece and Croatia we rented scooters and cruised around the islands. Here in Belize the islands are sprinkled throughout a barrier reef, with no major populations, and almost always no beach, but it is beautiful. It is has a much more off the grid feeling. You don’t see very many boats around and so I felt it was somewhat untouched. 

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The water is warm, the Belizean people are timid yet very kind, and I didn’t get sunburned. We played tons of card games, got up to 9.7kts speed in a storm, and did i mention we ran out of rum? 

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I curiously enjoyed staring down the drop off sections of the reefs. It’s very mysterious and i just waited to glimpse sooomething peaking out. What is it, 5% of the ocean we’ve explored? It’s like staring into the deep end of earth. It makes my imagination go crazy. What 👏is👏down👏there👏? Speaking of what is down there, this landmark in Belize called the Great Big blue hole is what drives a lot of coastal tourism. We were not able to go to it because it was too far for our 1 week trip. I will be back to see it one day! 

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Sailing is incredibly relaxing and fantastically adventurous. Before living in a van I originally wanted to live on a boat. There’s nothing like being on water, but van life makes more sense at this time in my life. I do already have the captain’s license. 

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I have a passion for sailing because my Dad has always loved sailing. We do have different styles though. He tends to tweak the lines in an effort to optimize the boat’s performance while I like to put it in auto pilot and enjoy the distance I am from civilization. He likes to race, and I like the simplicity it can bring, but we both love the adventure. Here is a photo of us at the 2013 America’s cup in SF.  

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Overall, sailing in Belize is pretty far out there. It’s like driving an RV out to a very remote location in the desert with lots of gas, food, and water. You don’t have cell service or WiFi, and so the only real connection is a VHF radio that may also be out of range. You get the weather forecast from 9-9:30 on channel 74 and set sail accordingly. In a sense it is my favorite way to be around nature. It’s the greatest form of glamping. It was wonderful to spend Christmas with my family on a boat in Belize, and now I am looking forward to spending New Years with friends in LA. 

Much love,

Curt