In this interview, Deke McClelland introduces dekePod, his new video podcast devoted to computer graphics, digital imaging, and anything else that happens to spill out of his head. Lasting a mere five minutes (short enough to watch three times in a single coffee break), the pilot episode shows you how to scan and open money in Adobe Photoshop.
In the United States, it's legal to integrate money into artwork as long as you follow specific guidelines. (To research those guidelines or explore the rules for non-U.S. currency, go to www.rulesforuse.org and select a country.) But erring on the side of caution, Photoshop sometimes recognizes money and tries to stop you from using it. Fortunately for law-abiding citizens who are smart enough to follow rules, Deke knows a workaround.
Derrick: You've really created a wild visual experience here, Deke. Tell us a bit about this video.
Deke: This is something I've been itching to do for a while. After listening to and watching other people's podcasts, I thought, I've got to take a swing at this myself. I'm not necessarily talking about the tech stuff either. It's the really entertaining shows that grabbed my attention. Jack Black, French Maid TV, Ricky Gervais--they're just too great! All the time, I'm thinking, how can I make imaging and design training--the stuff I really love--that much fun? So I hooked up with the guys at Flying Moose Pictures, and we came up with dekePod. It's edgy, it's ironic, with a bit of music video pacing thrown in for good measure. Really tightly produced, too. We've set the bar high on this one. It looks brilliant. I'm stoked about that.
Derrick: I agree that the production and the content are terrific. Seems like you've got a great team here. Ironically, though, I think of you primarily as a teacher and book author, not as this wild guy in the video. What attracted you to this new medium?
Deke: I think most folks think of me first as a writer because that's where I started, and I still write two or three books a year under my One-on-One brand. But I've done lots of video. About a decade ago, I had a cable TV show called Digital Gurus. We filmed nearly 100 episodes in all. And I've created a couple hundred hours of video training for Total Training. Even my books contain video training. Lately, I've become obsessed with my video iPod; there's something wonderfully Jetson about holding a TV set in your hands. I just knew I had to create something for it. And it's so new, I don't think we've begun to exploit the possibilities of this medium yet. An environment this wide-open is very attractive.
Derrick: As you look into your crystal ball, what kind of future do you see for podcasting and vidcasting? I know many people thought that this was just a fad. But based on what I'm seeing in the iTunes Music Store and around the Web, a lot of talented people seem very serious about this, including you.
Deke: One of the amazing things about this is, podcasts are nothing new. I mean, what's a podcast? Free downloadable content; that's all. I think of Harry Shearer, who has been posting his Le Show broadcasts on Audible as free MP3 files for years. Those are podcasts. Heck, iTunes lets you podcast a PDF file!
But some wonk coins the term "podcast." It gets up on iTunes, then the video element enters the picture, and suddenly it's on fire. I met the Flying Moose guys at Scott Sheppard's Podcast Summit a couple of weeks ago. First year they've done it, and it's the #1 attraction at NAB's Post-Processing World. There's so much interest, so many wacky ideas.
We were joking that podcasting looks to be shaping up into a miniature version of the old dot-com balloon. But no, I don't think it's a fad. As screen sizes increase, and iPods and other devices improve, I imagine this little cottage industry is going to grow into a major medium. Granted, the days of a couple of guys pointing a camera at themselves--sitting on a couch, drinking beer, reading viewer email, and calling that a podcast--those days are limited. Mercifully limited, I might add. But I see a real heyday for quality content producers and hungry subscribers alike.
Derrick: What kinds of ideas do you have for upcoming episodes? Can you give us a teaser or two?
Deke: I want to take broad topics--things everyone wants to do--and boil them down into the simplest, most streamlined techniques. Like, how do you make someone look thinner? How do you disguise flab and other body defects, stuff your friends and family are sensitive about, with a bowl of flowers or some other deftly placed object? How do you repair really difficult red-eye, make someone appear less cross-eyed, or open someone's eyes when they're closed? How do you repair a missing detail in a photo, put two people in the same photo together, assemble artificial vacations, create family reunions where none actually existed, make family portraits that include dead ancestors? You know, imaging miracles--little supercharged bursts that make you think, "Yeah, I could do that," with just enough real info to maybe help you pull it off yourself. A little bit of empowerment, a little bit of fraud, all boiled down into a five-minute micro meal. I'm calling it a syringe of information to the visual cortex. Tiny imaging multivitamins: each dekePod episode a different color and flavor, and shaped like Flintstones or Scooby Doo characters so you get hooked on them and you keep coming back.
Derrick: Thanks, Deke. I'll be one of those people coming back for more. Great chatting with you, but I think it's time for me to watch the video just one more time...
Deke: It's a pleasure, Derrick. Thanks for the opportunity to hype my hype.