Michael W. Dean
|Michael W. Dean|
filmmaker / writer / musician / podcaster
Agoura Hills, CA
"I lived in cities for the past 23 years. I recently got married and moved out to the burbs/the country. I love it. Not only is it safer and quieter, but I have more space. It's the first time in my life that I've had an office that isn't the same room I sleep in. In fact, now I've got two work rooms. One I only use when I need a change of scenery (picture 14, the photo with the cat sitting on the desk), and another room we call "The InterNest." My wife and I are in constantly in the InterNest. (We call our home "The Nest", and we call this special room "The InterNest", which is short for "The Innermost Nest" Or "The Nest In Which We Interface With The World.")
"The InterNest is a spare bedroom turned into an office/recordingstudio. Debra Jean (the wife) and I covered the floor, walls and ceiling with carpet. We boarded up the window, put insulation behind the board and covered that board with carpet. It's acoustically very dead in the InterNest, and we love that, and so do the mics when we record podcasts for fun or voiceover for pay."
"The InterNest (pictures 1-12) is where we work, collaborate, create and play. Pictures 1-3 show different views of our desks. Debra Jean's is on the left, mine is on the right. Between us is a little table for our beverages and snacks. The whole room is about 100 square feet, so it's pretty cozy with two desks, two end tables, two microphone stands and four chairs (two chairs are shown in photos 1-3, the other two are in photo 4 and in photo 10. Those two are collapsible camping chairs, which we also take out into the backyard sometimes, to sit in while watching the sun set."
"In photos 1-3 and photo 5, to the right of Debra Jean's computer, on the left desk you can see our small but powerful USB audio mixer (Alesis MultiMix 8USB). It's a pretty bitchin' unit and gets great sound, and has powered outputs, which our microphones require. I'm amazed at how much the price of electronic gear has come down with advances in technology (and with the march of globalization.) Aside from the computers, our "studio" (two mics and a mixer) cost under 500 bucks total, and gets better sound than $2500 worth of gear did in my old studio ten years ago."
"This is me editing video, and photo 5 is Debra Jean editing audio."
"I have a CRT monitor hooked up to my laptop. It helps my back and neck to have a monitor higher up. But when we record, we switch it back to the laptop's LCD screen and turn off the CRT, because the CRT makes enough sound that the very sensitive condenser mics pick it up."
"On my desk to the right of the CRT is a pile of books I wrote and DVDs of films I directed (picture 6 and picture 7). I like to keep them handy, partially for inspiration and partly because I sometimes actually use my own works as references in other things I do, and need to be able to grab them quickly to do so. The inspiration part is this: When I'm working on a large project that takes between six and thirty-six months (like a book or a film), I can look at stuff I did that's already out in the world, and it seems to whisper to me, "Yes, the thing you're slaving away at now will, in fact, eventually reach the world."
The copies of "Requiem for a Dream" and "Last Exit To Brooklyn" are UK and Australian editions, two-disc sets that include a film I directed, "Hubert Selby Jr: It/ll Be Better Tomorrow."
"Picture 7 also shows a 10-dollar halogen light we bought at Target. We love it, and have five of these throughout the house."
"Above (Pic 8) is the lamp and printer above Debra Jean's desk. The lamp has paper taped over it as a shade, and the printer has brackets I drilled into the desk, to prevent it from falling on my wife in the event of a hefty earthquake."
"In this photo you can also see a candle with a little toy bird's nest sticking out of it. It was in a bouquet of flowers my sister gave Debra Jean and I when we got married. We love it. It's the little nest for the InterNest.
Picture 9 is toys on Debra Jean's desk. She saw this photo, laughed and said, "You're sending them that? They'll think I'm five years old." (By the way - she really does wear the kitty ears sometimes, for inspiration.)"
"Another halogen lamp, this one attaches with a clip to our little "showcase" table. I "spotlight" whatever project of mine has most recently come out commercially."
"Charlie the kitty under my desk. None of these cables are live. I shoo Charlie away before I turn on the power strip."
"Our sexy podcasting and voiceover microphones. They're MXL V63M. We love 'em."
"This is the InterNest way back before we remodeled it and turned it into the majestic place it is today."
"Above (Pic 14) is the only indoor photo here NOT taken in the InterNest. It's Charlie on the desk in my other office, the one I don't use much. I mainly use that one as a "staging area", for having room to pack things up to take to the post office, stuff like that."
"Above (Pic 15) is the view out our bedroom window, at the woods, with a mountain in the distance."
"The tiger kitten is named Smokey McFluffernutter and the white/butterscotch one is named Peanut the Bold."
"Only a cat would find this comfortable!"
"I used to think, back when I lived in cities, that I had to have junkies pawing through my garbage cans to really feel alive, to have my "finger on the pulse" as an artist. And I thought that people in the burbs were boring, that to move to the burbs was to "give up." Now I know differently. I love it out here, and find that I'm far more creative when I'm not concerned on a minute-to-minute basis with not getting mugged."
"Well, hope you liked the tour. And if anyone has further questions, you can contact us through any of the websites listed above." -MWD