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The Art of Dramatic Improvement by Project: So Called Mom

How many filmmakers cringe at the thought of getting in front of their own cameras?

What about setting up your own camera (read, ahem: iphone), conducting an interview with yourself, editing yourself and surfing your own BRoll to create mini episodes….daily? Then market the hell out of it all? Does that sound like a dreadful undertaking or (gasp) a lot like selling out? It’s neither, if you look at it like you’re improving your desire to make more, and make it better.

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I have been doing this daily since February 2017 (well, not daily, but pretty damn close) and if you were to fast forward from my first post to today, the improvement in content, efficiency in recording, quick-turnaround editing and use of forecasted BRoll for story is pretty astonishing.

All of this has transformed into a real show, which is called So-Called Mom: an idea born from a brunch with Executive Producer Sally DeSipio at our house with our family of nine.

Yep, you read that right. There are NINE members in our immediate family: My husband Pippin, Me, and our blended family of seven kids ages 17 – 5.

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During our chaotic and fun-loving brunch, Sally learned that we’ve been obsessively recording our kids since Pippin and I merged our families in 2006. A handful of meetings later, and under her direction, I started writing a blog to feature our family story on video and to begin giving a voice to exactly what our family was–everything but conventional. From our massive library of family footage, a pitch was created that goes like this:


I’m proud to say that Pippin and I acted as assistant editors to this trailer. There were many people involved on this one and it was so much fun to respond to: Do you have any footage of someone falling, a birthday cake being made, crying, etc? We were literally like, do you want the birthday cake to be chocolate or vanilla? From Jake’s 14th or MJ’s 11th? It was pretty specific at times, but really fun to reveal exactly how much we had to work with.

Ever since, I have been writing a blog to keep the story going, but most importantly, recording a vlog and slowly but surely gaining an increased understanding of how episodes work. It’s incredibly hard to do with a studio of two, three or even four people. If you think of the level of work that goes into creating a show, let alone the outreach and marketing, I say we’re doing pretty awesome with what we have to work with.

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Working on So Called Mom has led to a number of opportunities. Besides getting pitched and put out there for some big wigs to consider, I have figured out the value of getting in front of the camera–not something many filmmakers like to do.

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It’s about building engagement, an audience, and a brand.

It’s about being authentic and also letting go of what people think about you. I usually am the first to admit on the blog that I’m an imperfect parent plagued by perpetual (self-imposed) chaos. I have all sorts of rudeness thrown my way, but this project is about something much bigger than worrying about what someone might think about my content, my family or my parenting style. This is about documenting for life. In life and especially with parenting, you are designing, building and flying the plane all at once. And in our case, we’re doing it with an audience. To me, there is nothing better than that.

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My accomplishments so far have been making other parents laugh and realize that it’s not about being perfect, but about being real and contributing to a more forgiving parenting landscape. That motherhood is really about letting life come unhinged, as it does, and not to try too hard to keep it all in place. Other accomplishments? Gaining an audience from people who don’t have kids. Which tells me we’re doing something right with story, too–beyond the mom blogger niche.

While getting in front of your own gear and pressing record might seem terrifying (and it is), that fear does die down, revealing transformative you. It’s not narcissistic, at all. To me, playing a part in my own work is smart, shows character and creates a magnetism (and confidence) for more creative work that I might otherwise not have a full understanding of.

For more information, send an email to:

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The Pitch Deck

Promotion with a pitch deck is essential for every video and film project

Especially if you’re seeking financing. It can be used while delivering a presentation and also as material to send around to important people who can have an impact on the success of your project.

When you work in the industry, it’s easy to get comfortable in the film/video bubble. Creating a great pitch will help you get outside of your comfort zone, and into open territory to raise awareness (and money) for your film.

I put together the pitch deck below for our feature film Portland, Inc. You can see it’s loaded with pictures and content that shows our story, initiatives and projections. This deck has put us in front of some really great people, some who have helped shape the story, and others who have helped finance it. Without this deck, the film wouldn’t have the level of support it currently has.

Pattern Integrity, LLC offers pitch and promotional services to assist in getting projects the attention they deserve. Contact us

Portland Inc Pitch Deck pdf download

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fire and rescue video

Fire & Rescue

One early morning in 2012, a neighborhood house caught on fire down the street from us.

Pippin and our neighbor rushed to the scene to make sure the structure was vacated, and I chased after them, camera in hand. Little did we know that the video we captured would become so useful to fire departments and their educational programs, globally.

The documentation of pre-arrival structure fires are rare and often times, fire and rescue organizations can utilize them to teach in their own classrooms.

In the case for Portland Fire & Rescue, they were able to use the video to prove to the Mayor of Portland the critical need to keep their engines at their station, and not swap them out for SUV’s, when their program was at risk of being cut.

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Fast forward a few months, to when we met a firefighter who was impressed by the video, and introduced us to his fire chief at Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue.

We signed a multi-year FEMA contract to make recruitment, station promos, as well as fire and safety videos.

That contract gave us the ability to offer a variety of services like conducting interviews and recording B-roll. As well as writing copy, hiring voice and music talent as seen in the recruitment video below.


We remain committed to fire & rescue because it is our pleasure to work with those who bravely put their lives on the line for people they don’t know.

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If your fire & rescue (or service related organization) is in need of video services, please contact us. We look forward to working with you!


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Sharing your Projects: Behind the Scenes

One of my favorite things to capture while on a video shoot is the video shoot itself.

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Sharing behind the scenes footage and photography adds a layer of interest to what we do because it humanizes the process of filmmaking and videography. It also helps build a following. Since we usually share this content on social media first, our audience gets to see what we’re up to, in the moment, and follow the story to the final product.

We also like to share pictures to highlight the people we’ve worked with on larger projects, like Sean Conley of Sleeping House.

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These pictures start many types of conversations:

When we post behind the scenes images on social media in the setting of a company we’re working with, sometimes it adds a little promotional edge for them. Sometimes, professionals in the industry comment on the gear we’re using and share their own experiences. We also like to share pictures that show how footage is being used. Sometimes, it’s just one person behind the scenes of many interviews and BRoll, assembling story and getting a draft together.

We also like to share pictures of who we are: a husband & wife duo who have a family and work hard to set an example of owning a business and what it takes to stay passionate about what you do.

Check out our full album of behind the scenes pictures on our Facebook Page here.

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La Ruta PDX: A Gastronomic Festival

Working with Toro Bravo, Inc and the Gorham Family on the La Ruta Gastronomic Festival is a dream come true. And it’s not just the food that has our hearts skipping a beat every time we get to record a session, write copy or make promotional materials.

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We love working with them, well beyond our tastebuds. 🙂

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It has everything to do with their mission for all of their restaurants: bringing people together around a table, for a moment in time, to build strong community. To encourage the celebration of life by sharing food with the people we love.

It was our absolute pleasure to write, direct, film, edit and produce this piece for their first ever La Ruta PDX: A Gastronomic Festival:

Check back for our follow up videos of the event! Here’s to next year!