Capturing so many interests, services and sales in one video: AKA- A Crash Course in Content Creation

It’s as if I crammed all my interests into 1:27. To note, you can order these figures via my Amazon Associates LINK HHERE

A couple of the hardest things to do for me is to 1. Put together a demo reel and 2. Narrow down and pidgin hole my interests. That’s what led me to throw my hair down and do what I encourage everyone be they content consumer or client: Go Play!

So what do I mean? What am I saying in a silly, 1:27 video that features talking toys with a spooky ambience? How does this serve me or you in a professional manner? I discovered that there are actually a few different ways.

Process – How I made it from idea to final cut.

Software and Assets- What I used to make it.

Distribute – Getting it in front of you.

Pitch – How I monetize it.

Scalability – What all can be done from here


Before we dive into all of those, I want to back up a give a shoutout to Dan Koe and his “Creator Economy” themed content. If you haven’t checked out his stuff you should. It’s very insightful for todays content service providers. I also find it very, very true. As a lifelong “content creator” in traditional and online broadcasting, his line of thought sums up the reality of purpose for a guy like me. The trick? How does one harness it all without coming off as a know it all jerk? Just be real, or as the modern lexicon describes it: be authentic. That video coupled with this post has helped me do that.

One of the biggest secrets I’ll share with you is that in almost all my years of doing these things, it’s never been about “me” and my interests as a motivation. My pleasure and satisfaction comes from helping others see their visions coke to life for the betterment of their work or play. Sure, there have been times with certain promotions and programs I was looking to prove a point and that was all “me” in being bullheaded, not to be right as much as it was an example of dragging a horse to water or like Nada getting Frank to put the glasses on in “They Live”. Or in other words, I saw what was either to come or working now and the folks I was working with had their blinders of habit on for so long (or their fear of change) that their lack of action and innovation was hurting them.

I can of course point that spotlight right back on myself in that, for my own blinders, I set up massive mental blocks that caused me to be nervous about exposing myself and methods to the masses. This of course didn’t make any sense considering I sincerely LOVE helping people learn and equally LOVE watching their dreams come to fruition. So why the reservations? The conflict.

That’s not to say that I’m not one to go to the mat for something I believe in. Far from it. In my younger days, I’d be a bit more hot headed about it but with years and experience, I’ve learned how to better discuss and debate a perspective. However, in working for other companies time and again I would find myself conflicted with “the customers always right” (so long as they’re signing the check) philosophy. I absolutely believe in top shelf customer service no matter what industry, service or genre one may be servicing, but sometimes that means telling them “No, that’s not a good idea at all” especially when I know the desired outcome is not going to deliver the desired results.

The main instance where this occurred was in the realm of radio and television advertising. I have no idea what rates are today but I do know that the impact of that ad buy is not going to have the results it did 20 years ago (even 5 years ago the same can be said) without a clear understanding of what the desired outcome of the campaign is. That was always the case but certainly now more than ever. I can go on and on with that and give you plenty of examples but for now and not to venture too far off point, if you are buying radio and TV the best suggestions I’ll make is to either sponsor very time specific elements such as news and weather or understand that your campaign should focus on branding over one off special event unless you are doing one helluva blanket push for a special event. It’s in that where I find myself conflicted in offering services that I know I can provide but not necessarily what you need. So how does the we remedy that? Offer it all up a’la carte. And that’s where it gets really shaky in building a sustainable business. “Enough complaining, Jim!” I say to myself. “So what’s the solution?” That’s where I point back to Dan and the Creator Economy.

It’s in that where I use the video at the top of this post as Exhibit A in what I do and how I can either do it for you or teach you. Now I’m going to fight my Achilles Heel of droning exposition and just get after it. Let’s dive in…


It’s Sunday, April 23, 2023. I’m in what seems to have been a perpetual rut when it comes to career. There’s plenty of services I can perform for businesses, organizations and individuals in the content creation and education space. But what? I’ve got a laundry list of skills I’ve developed, used and sold over the past 35 years of my professional life. So why can’t I get focused and get it off the ground? Get focused? Stay consistent? Utilize the skills of persistence that have kept me moving forward my whole life. So what gives?

One thing I do know that is universal for all of us and is the benchmark for all that I show and tell as a service provider and teacher, is that everything starts with an idea. The imagination is a powerful tool, always ready for you to access it and channel it into creative expression. But what about when we get stuck? Such was the case here for me. To fight through that, I looked around me and pondered the things that entertain and inspire me the most and dedicate todays creative energy solely to playing. That was harder to do then I care to admit because, embarrassingly enough, for so long now my efforts have been super pointed towards building a new business. But now it was time to stop and play. Damn it!

Process – How I made it from idea to final cut.

All things start with an idea. Brainstorming with a pen and paper is always my method of choice regardless of tech at hand. Something about the organic and physical nature of that old school stone and chisel works for me. But you do you. Just do.

As noted in the intro, I looked around my nest and pondered. The two hobbies of mine that jumped out because, well, they always do, are action figures made by the Mego Corporation and the paranormal (we’ve been binging a lot of Haunt TV and the WB Supernatural channels in the ROKU Channel). From there I thought; “Okay, how do I combine them into something that although asinine will make some sort of sense?” The answer I came up with is the Final Cut you see at the top of the page. Now here’s how I got there…

Software and assets – What I used to make it.

Now that I had a vague and admittedly goofy idea solely for my own amusement, I needed to figure out how to go from paper to pixels. Going with the concept of mashing up my interests in the paranormal and acation figures, I thought what would be funny to see would be my army of Mego 50th anniversary action figures serving as the testimony givers for a “paranormal survivor” type of show. I’ll be honest here, none of this was outside of my “wheel well” as far as interests and tools so the speed at which I worked had a decided advantage (tip to top took about 6 hours).

For the sake of this example, I’m going to go as linear as possible to hopefully avoid any confusion.

Step 1: The script – As I noted, my brainstorming starts with a pen and paper. From there I slid over to the PC, opened up Libre Office (Great and free alternative to Microsoft Open) and typed in my notes and flushed the idea out a bit better. From there I decided to play with another favorite shiny object of the now: Artificial Intelligence.

I copy and pasted my rough outline into ChatGPT to see what it would come up with. it was quite impressive really, for a soul trapping line of code. I’m kidding, I’m kidding (maybe. The jury is still out). I’m not an AI hater but I’m also not all in either. As I’ve noted in previous posts, a tool is no more nefarious than its user but this one has no real restrictions on it compared to other potentially dangerous tools. Moving on…

With the script now copy and pasted into my Libre Office document, I began imagining what the actors and scenes should look like. I also started to “hear” the soundtrack. *The best way I can describe my soundtrack process is this: I hear it on my head and then deconstruct it element by element and then actually build it out on the timeline of my video editor. We’ll discuss that more in a bit.

I figured I’d plug some image ideas into Bing Create to see what that AI influence would look like. Honestly, I wasn’t impressed. I did use a couple images in the final but in the end, stock video and animated graphics popped better for me. *For funnsies, I put together this gallery to show you what the machine considers campfire spooky…

Now that I had a basic idea of visual elements, I then needed practical footage of my actors. For this I used the iPhone 14 Plus that’s in my hand right now. I set up a crude backdrop and lined the figures out as if they were around a campfire with the intent to always photoshop the actual background in. I made a couple changes to that idea for the final mainly because of time and I got a little flustered due to the heat in my office room. I tell you more about why the room was so hot in a few but for now, I’ll keep it linear and share this gallery of pre edited pics that ended up in the final cut.

The next round of assets that I needed to gather were the voices. In my younger days, I might have been able to handle 3/4 of them myself. But honestly, my chops are out of shape for that heavy a load. So, why not let another AI take off some of that weight? Wouldn’t be nearly as good as an organic human voice but again, this is for me and for fun. On that note I could have done the narrator part myself but there was a big obstacle to creating a solid, professional audio recording (this will also explain why the room was so warm)…. A baby chick…

This is Tweeter. He looks small but his chirp is mighty! We’re keeping the room extra warm for the moment to ensure little baby chick chick doesn’t get a cold.

Anyway, I turned to an online, cloud based platform I actually purchased months ago before the AI boom exploded onto the mainstream. It’s called Vidvoicer and it was very interesting to play with back then. Of course the works of Eleven Labs has far surpassed this dinosaur of a software but such is technology.

It’s at this point I don’t want to go too far into the weeds of describing exactly the editing process. Not that I don’t wanna share, but it’s too intricate a process and would make this article ever the longer. I will share this much though, when it comes to editing both audio and video, for me, I watch the whole thing in my head. And then deconstruct it into its elements and then put them altogether in the software. From there it’s a dance. I can show you those steps for sure but it’s a private dance 😉 . I will also note that I used the PC and the Mobile apps that I have for this. The PC for the facial animation using Crazy Talk and then Sony for the actual timeline. The mobile app, Power Director Pro, came into play for its allowance of licensed stock footage since it is a paid app. Meaning, I was able to legally and lawfully use licensed footage. *This alone shows how content creation ideas are truly endless. Wow!

Below are links to all of the software and platforms mentioned above.

  • Libre Open Office – a powerful tool that certainly rivals the Microsoft suite. And it’s free.
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 – this is a way “outdated” version but is still a physical copy that I’ve used since it was released a decade ago. I have no idea if you can even get a copy and make it work but the Adobe Cloud services are fine if you are good with the subscription based products. There are also a mountain of photo editing apps out there both free and paid that can do everything I’ve done here.
  • Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD – Bought this one off the shelf many many moons ago. Sony doesn’t even offer Vegas anymore to the best of my knowledge. But like I’ve mentioned, it still does everything I need it to do. Again, there are so many video editing apps and options there really is no one better other than your budget and your commitment to the learning curves that each has.
  • Power Director Pro for mobile – now this one is the most modern of softwares that I have. Currently, I am using the latest version on my iPhone 14 Pro but I first discovered it years back on my old Samsung phone and it’s served me well ever since. It’s a literal full service production room in your pocket.
  • Vidvoicer for AI voice overs – I wouldn’t recommend this one. At the time, about 5 months ago, it seemed fresh and new but it’s limitations are massive even with the paid version I have. It has lots of paid “upgrades” you can do but frankly, don’t. The AI space is flooded with free and much lower cost tools that give you more.
  • Open AI Chat – I’m using the free version and all thing considered, I have no reason to upgrade to a paid account. While it is a very handy tool and I’m sure will only get more and more so, at this moment in time the free version is all I need. I will not that downloading it to your local machine may not be a great idea as it eats up a lot of ram and I honestly have no idea what all its till doing when I shut it off.
  • Bing Create – To me this one is nothing more than a toy but a good visualizer. And notice I said good and not great. But it’s free so go play
  • Crazy Talk Animator – Realillusion is the granddaddy of desktop animation software. I have another of their products (Animator, that does more full body stuff) but I don’t use it. I will recommend them however on the whole of you are wanting to get into 3D animation and all that entails nowadays. Very powerful and easy to use software for sure.

Distribute – Getting it in front of you.

Social media is pretty much the necessary evil.

Pitch – How I monetize it.

This was a matter of using my affiliate account with Amazon.

Scalability – What all can be done from here

First and foremost is this article. While it is at its core meant for my amusement more than anything. It certainly gives me opportunity to talk about everything you’ve read here in individual detail.

Conclusion and final pitch

So what’s it all mean at the end of this rather lengthy article? For me it has been incredibly fulfilling. I got to share with you what I needed to share with myself: my purpose. And what’s that? To do my part in helping you learn how to use the many avenues and tools available in this amazingly interesting time to be alive. Be they for business, Play or just because, the ability to learn and communicate are the the things that I truly believe are the bedrocks of a good, healthy and hearty society. It’s in those two truths for me that give me a reason to push on every day.

I hope you learned as much as I did in this and I hope you’ll gain something from it. As such I do hope you’ll be kind enough to like, comment and share this article to help me grow the blog and feeds. And if you have interest in learning any of my methods or would like me to provide a service for you, email me now at and we can set up a time to chat. I truly appreciate you exploring this leg of my journey that will hopefully help you add to yours.

Now, Go Play!

Jim 04/24/2023

P.S. I was considering doing this same type of thing with a few other videos I’ve created recently as well as some others I’ve done in the past. There is still a mountain of educational/ content worth in them. You can find a ton of them on my YouTube channel.

PSS- what did you decide to be today? That’s a like of thought I’d like to explore in the near future.

Author: Jim Bumgardner

Jim's Toy Box features programming that is inspirational, uplifting and motivational all the while offering encouragement to those who wish to make the most of this life in preparation for the next.

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