Local Filmmaker Makes video for Death Cab for Cutie

Ross Ching, a recent SDSU grad, created a beautiful music video for Death Cab for Cutie’s: Little Bribes and it got picked up by Atlantic Records! Ching has been making beautiful films for years and he specializes in stop-motion and time lapse. He created the music video on his own and by promoting it online, he got the attention of the band! On July 1st, Atlantic Record sent out a press release announcing Ching’s video as the official music video for the Death Cab song.

I knew Ross from SDSU, so I got in touch with him to find out more about how he created and promoted this film.

(Mel) About how long did it take you to create the Death Cab music video?
I spent about 50 hours/10 days working on it.

How long ago did u create this?
I finished it around May 18th.

How did u promote this? (blog/digg/facebook/youtube)
I made some friends on Twitter that had 50,000+ followers and gave them a digg.com short url to view it.  One of them submitted it to Digg and it just exploded from there.  It got about 100,000 views in the first week.

How did u get the attention of Atlantic Records? did u reach out to them or did they contact you?
Atlantic actually emailed me.  Apparently, Nick Harmer, the bassist for DCFC saw the video first and he sent it to their management.  Then the management sent it to Atlantic.  Everyone along the chain loved it.

How has the death cab video changed your work load? have you gotten new offers since creating this video?
The Death Cab video has DRASTICALLY changed my work load.  Before this I had all the free time in the world and basically just surfing the wanted ads.  Now, Atlantic has me doing a new music video for an artist named Robert Francis, I’m doing a video for one of the biggest bands in Mexico (can’t say which one just yet), and I’m doing Collective Soul’s next music video set to begin on July 10th.  And a few other little projects in development.  So I definitely have my work cut out for me.

What advice would you give to filmmakers who are trying to promote their work?
Don’t break the bank trying to make your student film.  Whatever you do, DON’T go into debt for your short film.  Write a story that you can shoot affordably and use the internet to learn how to work around some of the obstacles.  As far as trying to promote your work on the internet, you have to create something that not many people have seen before for it to go viral.  Nobody wants to watch a “The Office” parody or some poorly produced, hand held home video with your friends as the actors.  You really have to think outside the box and think of some original ideas.  Granted that’s easier said than done, but once you have a solid idea, it makes things a lot easier to promote.  Oh, and if you’re trying to promote something on the internet, it better be less than 4 minutes.

PS.  Film Festivals a kind of a waste of time for us small filmmakers.  It’s really hard to get people to pay attention to your little short film, and unless it’s a wonderful masterpiece, the odds of making it into a big festival is like 1 in 100, or 1 in 1000.  Why not do some research and use new media tools to promote yourself as a brand virally instead?

Ching’s video also got the attention of the NY Times online and his video was featured last week under “Must See: Videos Worth Watching.” Way to go Ross! I am proud to see on of our own getting some well-deserved attention. 🙂
Check out more of Ross Ching’s amazing films on his website. OH and follow Ross Ching on twitter.

I Can Read: images with words

Mel is always telling me about awesome blogs I should be following. My new favorite blog is I Can Read. Everyday there are several simple text-based posts with inspirational, beautiful and thoughtful sayings creatively shown through photographs, drawings or design. Here are a few of my favorites:


Subscribe to i can read here.


WE HUB: Ashton Kutcher


WE HUB: Ashton Kutcher aka @aplusk

WHO IS ASHTON KUTCHER? The hilarious actor from “That ’70s Show“, “Punk’d” and the best movie from 2000,”Dude, Where’s my Car.”

WHY WE HUB HIM: Ashton knows how to gather the troops!! Last Thursday, April 16th, Ashton became the first twitter millionaire. He declared he could beat out CNN’s twitter to be the first person to have a million followers. Kutcher had challenged CNN to the Twitter race, saying he would donate 10,000 mosquito bed nets to charity for World Malaria Day in late April if he beat CNN, and 1,000 if he lost. CNN agreed to do the same. Kutcher crossed the 1 million mark on Twitter at 2:13 am on Friday morning. We love that the “tweet off” was about proving that one person can have a voice. We like that he’s always pushing the envelope and challenging the media. We are such fans and supporters of everything social media that it’s great to see celebrities learning to use these tools as an effective way to connect with the public. Ashton proved that you can use twitter for more than telling the world what you had for breakfast and that you can transform that into something that’s positive and can effectively change that world.

HOW WE CAN HELP: Ashton has already proved the power of twitter and communication. Artistic Hub would love to team up with Ashton to run a trucker-hat design competition to benefit one of the many charities he supports. It would be awesome to use that power to pull the design community together to help those in need. Kids and adults could design a trucker hat, t-shirt, shoes, etc. for the charity of Ashton’s choice and the public could vote for their favorite design. It would be a really fun way to get the community involved and aware of world issues, while still letting the people decide on the final design. The winning t-shirt could be sold and worn at all the events – awesome for fundraising and a great way to get people involved. How does it work? See the Sports Illustrated KIDS t-shirt contest going on now! (this requires a log-in) Or see the Interactive Day San Diego Design contest.


We love that Ashton is using his fame for good, showing that one person’s voice can be heard. His high energy, hilarious and positive attitude is why WE HUB HIM!

Mel & Michelle


Social Media Workshops with Artistic Hub


Our new company, Artistic Hub, is now putting on Social Media Workshops and we may be coming to a city near you! (YES, that’s our big hub family jumping above. Look at our company grow! 🙂 )
We are proud to announce our second social media workshop is in SAN DIEGO. NBC: San Diego knows what’s up. – read their article about our workshops. OH – and The Daily Aztec Article. (If this was an audio blog, I would be playing “Get Around” by the Beach Boys RIGHT NOW)

The event will be April 11th at San Diego State and has been organized in conjunction with the SDSU Entrepreneur Society. We want to thank them for their involvement and 5% of all registrations go to support their event.


Here is more about the event, what we believe, and who should attend.

We believe 2 things:

1. There are a lot of tools out there, but only a few necessary ones to get the biggest results
2. Success with social media is directly related to the idea of Social Capital

Our workshop is going to focus on these two things and give you tools you need to be successful. You will leave today with a new or improved blog, an impressive LinkedIn account, an understanding of Facebook ads, your own social community on Ning, an e-commerce store on Zazzle, and the knowledge to harness Twitter effectively.

Who should attend:
Small business owners who want to leverage social media to attract more customers
Students looking to use social media in business or to start a business
Professionals who want to use social media to monitor their competitors, attract more customers, or increase their social capital


Conference Agenda:
9:00 – 9: 15 Introductions – Jimmy Hendricks, CEO of Collar Free Inc. and Artistic Hub

9:15 – 9:45 Opening Talk: Building Social Capital – Patrick Dillon, President of Collar Free Inc

10:00 – 12:00 Build a Foundation through Blogging – Jimmy Hendricks
· Purpose
· Power of blogging
· How to setup a blog on WordPress.com
· Writing
· Management and tracking analytics
· Reading and feeding (Using RSS feeds)
· Commenting and growing your traffic

12:00 – 1:00 Lunch is included

12:20 – 12:50 Facebook Lunch Steven Cox, CEO and Founder of Takelessons.com
· Overview of pages and groups
· Using Facebook advertising

1:00 – 2:00 Linkedin – Speaker being finalized
· The power of LinkedIn
· Using groups
· Building your network
· Using it effectively

2:00 – 3:00 Ning for your own social network – Jennifer Mitchell, Principal, JMPR Communication

3:00 – 3:15 Break

3:15 – 4:00 Zazzle.com for easy on-demand e-commerce, Patrick Dillon

4:00 – 4:30 Twitter – Ingrid Sanders, GM Online Advertising, The Active Network, @ingridsan
· What is it good for?
· How to use it?
· Brand monitoring
· Good tools

4:30 – 5:00 Wrap-up: The path to expert – Jimmy Hendricks

6:00 – ? Social and Networking Mixer at a local bar/restaurant – TBD

Additional workshop dates and cities include:
March 27 – Omaha, NE – Register Here
May TBD – LA
July TBD – Washington DC
September TBD – Chicago

PS- $50 discount for students! YAY

See you there – Mel