Interview with the Author of ‘Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career’

Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career
Cover for Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens.

I’ve mentioned my Nerd Lunch projects here some in the past, but haven’t brought it up too much unless it was specifically to showcase what I was working on. However, a new episode of the podcast has been released that I think people who frequent this blog might enjoy. I was contacted by Elizabeth Hyde Stevens, the author of Make Art Make Money: Lessons from Jim Henson on Fueling Your Creative Career, and I was asked to review her book and offer a blurb for use on the Amazon page. I did and found the book to be worthy of this blurb:

“When someone asks me who would I have dinner with if I could choose any person, dead or alive, my answer is always Jim Henson. Unfortunately, that’s never going to happen. This book feels like it is the next best thing. Liz Stevens has done a remarkable job at deconstructing the life and work of Henson in a way that thoroughly explains what made him a successful artist. Just like a meal spent with Henson would be life-changing, this book opens up the reader to ways of acting and thinking, as modeled by Henson, that will surely aid in the growth of one’s artistic goals. Stevens impressively points out threads that appear all the way through Henson’s entire body of work illustrating the struggle that exists between art and business…and more importantly, how the two can live in harmony.” —CT, Nerd Lunch

Elizabeth had written an article about two years ago about the Muppets in a post-Henson world and I thought the piece was brilliant and was so glad to see she had done more in regards to the Muppets. After reading the book, I thought she would be a great guest for the podcast and she proved me right. We had about a 45 minute conversation about the book, our creative struggles and the Muppets.

You can listen to it here:

Nerd Lunch Comic Con

My wife and I each recently purchased an iPhone 4. I really wanted to check out the video these things shoot. Being impressed with a couple projects produced with the iPhone 4 that I’ve seen recently, I felt the need to put together my own project. So, in a 24 hour period, my family and a couple friends put together this seven and a half minute short for my Nerd Lunch blog.

If you’re not a comic book nerd or have never been to a comic book convention, some of the jokes may fall flat for you, but I still thought I’d share it here. It didn’t get a huge response, but it was effective in being something fun the family and some friends could enjoy.

There are things I like about the iPhone 4 footage, but now having used it, I can’t see doing any major projects with it. More fun stuff like this though.

Nerd Lunch Comic Con from Carlin Trammel on Vimeo.

Special thanks to Scott Holstein and John Kimber for swinging by to be actors in the video. And also check out Michael Calienes’ site for more music like the clip I used at the beginning of the video.


I had the opportunity to write a one-page article for Tallahassee Magazine. I’ve worked as a production coordinator for Tallahassee for almost five years and this was my first chance to get a story published. My friend Marc drew a fun illustration for it as well. I’m pleased with how this turned out.

The story is in the May/June 2010 issue which is hitting stands as of the writing of this post. It is also available to read online here.

Grab Your Chalkboard…

Two and a half years ago, in my second video for Meridian Woods, I had an opportunity to do some sci-fi. Being one of my favorite genres, I wanted to return to it once more before wrapping up my tenure. I wrote this script pulling bits from Star Trek (using a metaphor to explain technobabble), Back to the Future (drawing on a chalkboard), Doctor Who (music) and numerous other sci-fi sources.

There’s a running gag at church that’s been labeled Meridian Woods Time. That concept is explained in the video. It’s something that a lot of people joke about and I felt it played in perfectly to my desire to revisit this genre.

My Homage to Sesame Street

For about two years I have been formally in charge of the “Media & Communications Ministry” at Meridian Woods Church of Christ. And for a few months before that, I was putting together videos unofficially. It’s been a good experience and I’ve had fun doing it.

However, it takes a lot of time to put these together. Between the writing, wrangling, shooting, capturing, editing, exporting and uploading, I can spend hours on a project that maybe only has a final run time of three minutes. And in light of the upcoming arrival of my second child, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s time, at the very least, for me to take a break from this. So, I informed the church leadership that I am resigning as deacon over this ministry effective November 2. They had already asked me to put together videos promoting “Freedom Sunday” (a day in which they are hoping to raise the remaining funds needed to pay off the mortgage on the church building), so this series will be my last set of videos for Meridian Woods for the foreseeable future.

It took me some time to figure out what I wanted to do with these, but being my last ones, I decided to take this opportunity to do a couple things I’ve long been wanting to do. In this week’s video, I put together my homage to Sesame Street. This video features Ralph Whatnot and fellow member Kime Landes.

Next week, I’ll post the second video which is also is an homage to one of my favorite things ever. It’s a fun one as well and has gotten some good reactions so far from the people I’ve shown it to. I look forward to sharing it here.

Making Rainbows

I had the opportunity to participate in a 24 Hour Film Contest over this past weekend. At 9 am Saturday, we were assigned the theme of “knowledge” and had until 9 am Sunday to write, shoot, and edit a 3-5 minute movie short. We were able to complete a nice little story in about 21 hours and turned it in an hour early.

Anyway, has all of the entries available to view on their site and you can vote for the one you think is the best. I would appreciate a vote for “Making Rainbows” and appreciate even more if you would pass this request along to everyone you know, post it on your Facebook pages, or your blogs asking for votes for “Making Rainbows.” We would love to win the Viewer’s Choice poll.