Fat Head Kids Trailer

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We have quite a few items that must be delivered to our distributor by the end of this week.  A trailer was one of those items.  I hadn’t created on yet, so that was my weekend.

You wouldn’t believe how much head-scratching work is required to go through an entire film and pick a mere two minutes to capture the essence of it … or least entice people to watch it.

Anyway, here it is.  If all goes according to plan, the film will be available in December.


Why Lying Liars Lie

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I wrote about this before, but it deserves another mention, given the topic of this post. Back in December, Morgan Spurlock made a public #MeToo confession, admitting he’d sexually harassed a female employee and is very, very sorry now and will become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Yeah, whatever. Given who is, I suspect Spurlock learned he was about to be named publicly and decided to get out in front of it. Or he just figured the confession was good P.R.

What I found interesting was that he blamed his behavior, at least in part, on being an alcoholic. In fact, Spurlock said he’d been drinking since age 13 and hadn’t been sober for more than week in decades.

Surprisingly, hardly anyone in the major news media put two and two together and wondered if perhaps Spurlock’s confession also means Super Size Me is a load of bologna.

The Wall Street Journal and The Daily Wire did finally ask the question recently. The WSJ article is behind a paywall, so let’s look at some quotes from the Daily Wire article, which also quotes from the WSJ article:

McAleer [of the WSJ] rightly asks: “Could this be why his liver looked like that of an alcoholic? Were those shakes symptoms of alcohol withdrawal?”

Indeed, one of the doctors asks Spurlock in “Super Size Me” if he abused alcohol, to which Spurlock replied no.

“Any alcohol use?” the doctor asks at the outset. “Now? None,” he replies.

I guess “Now? None” means I’m not drunk at this particular moment.

So the audience is presented with the image of a healthy young guy who doesn’t drink. And then he eats just three meals per day at McDonald’s, and by gosh, everything goes haywire, including his liver. (I explained in Fat Head that Spurlock couldn’t possibly have eaten three typical meals per day at McDonald’s, given his calorie totals, but that’s what we were told.) This review is pretty typical of what the film’s fans took away from it:

In just a month, Spurlock gains 25 pounds, his cholesterol increases sharply, and he suffers severe liver damage. In the last few days, the doctor tells him that his liver resembles an alcoholic’s and if he continues the diet much longer, it could entirely wipe out his liver.

Hmmm … his liver resembles an alcoholic’s. And now we know he was an alcoholic, and had been one for decades. And yet Morgan Spurlock was happy to have the world believe that just a single month of eating at McDonald’s trashed his liver. An interview with Spurlock about Super Size Me in The New York Times was titled You Want Liver Failure With That? – and again, Spurlock blamed the fatty food he ate at McDonald’s for turning his liver into pate.

So the question is: why would he do that? Why would a guy who knows damned good and well  he’s a heavy drinker decide it’s okay to blame McDonald’s for a liver that resembles an alcoholic’s? In words, why do lying liars lie?

I believe the answer is related to what I’ve written previously about objectivists vs. subjectivists. An objectivist thinks like this: If it’s true, I’ll believe it. But a subjectivist thinks like this: If I believe it, it’s true.

Subjectivists have a fuzzy relationship with the truth. That fuzziness allows them to believe that it’s okay to stretch, twist, or otherwise abuse the truth if they are serving a larger and more important truth. Call it little truth vs. Big Truth. It’s okay to abandon little truth if Big Truth is advanced in the process.

My guess is that Morgan Spurlock told himself it’s okay to blame McDonald’s for damaging his liver because McDonald’s sells unhealthy food. Little truth: I’m an alcoholic, and that’s why my liver is trashed. Big Truth: McDonald’s is an evil corporation that’s making people sick, and if people believe eating their food damaged my liver, maybe they’ll stop eating there. I’m doing them a favor.

Spurlock is a gimmicky filmmaker. We’re talking about a guy who paid people eat dog turds and worms on his MTV show. But even reporters for the national news media make the little truth vs. Big Truth tradeoff.

In the 1980s, I was working at a small health magazine and wrote an article on AIDS, which was very much in the news. The conclusion (quoting a researcher more or less verbatim) was that if you’re a heterosexual and don’t shoot drugs with used syringes, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than to contract AIDS. (As a single man at the time, I was quite relieved.)

Meanwhile, I was reading articles in national newspapers and magazines assuring us that AIDS was about to explode into the heterosexual population. Nobody was safe.  U.S. News & World Report declared that The disease of them is suddenly the disease of us.  Life Magazine ran a cover story with the title Now No One Is Safe from AIDS.

I kept thinking, Are these people reading the same research I’m reading? Where the hell are they getting this?

It was little truth vs. Big Truth. The little truth (otherwise known as the actual facts) was that AIDS was a horrible disease, but mostly confined to gay men and drug abusers using infected needles – and almost certain to remain so. But the major-media types were more interested in the Big Truth, which was that if the public believed were all in danger, it would be easier to convince politicians to spend more money on research. So they wrote articles they knew were abusing the facts.  The predicted explosion of AIDS into the heterosexual population, of course, never happened.

I’m convinced little truth vs. Big Truth explains a lot of what passes for research in the field of nutrition and health. We’ll look at some examples in my next post.


It’s Over! Noakes 2, The Anointed 0

The more unjustified a persecution, the more vehement and long-lasting it is likely to be. – Eric Hoffer, who wrote in the 1950s.

Well, it’s finally over. The persecution of Tim Noakes has ended. Here are some quotes from a Business Day article online.

The Banting diet guru Prof Tim Noakes has won his case at the Health Profession’s Council of SA (HPCSA)‚ four years after he tweeted a response about a mother weaning her baby onto a low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diet.

He told TimesLIVE: “The predominant feeling at the moment is one of intense relief. Relief that it is finally over and that the appeal judgment was again 100% in our favour, as was the original judgment. This chapter is finally closed. I just hope that all the effort put in by myself and my team will help move the dietary guidelines forward to the benefit of the health of all South Africans.”

In February 2014‚ the mother‚ Pippa Leenstra‚ tweeted: “@ProfTimNoakes @SalCreed is LCHF eating ok for breastfeeding mums? Worried about all the dairy + cauliflower = wind for babies??”

The complaint against Noakes was laid with HPCSA by dietician Claire Strydom‚ who was then chairwoman of the Association of Dieticians of SA.

Way to go, dietitians of South Africa! In a previous post, I pointed out that:

1. Nobody should be prosecuted for answering a question tweeted to him by a fan.  (The fan didn’t complain; the dietitians did.)

2. It isn’t necessary to prosecute people who offer contrary dietary advice if they’re actually wrong — people will discover that for themselves.

3. Tim Noakes isn’t your real problem.  Lousy results are your real problem.

4. There’s no positive outcome to your continued harassment of Tim Noakes.

I believe point number #4 could hardly be more obvious now.

Four years. Lord-only-knows how much money spent on the prosecution. A fine man put through the stress of two trials. And the final result of this whole, sorry episode is that you’ve made yourselves look like the petty @$$holes you are.  You took a shot at Noakes and wounded your own reputations in the process.  Well deserved.

None of this ever should have happened, of course.  If you don’t like what Noakes tells people about diet and health, argue your own case. Prove him wrong. Engage him in the marketplace of ideas. Demonstrate that your results are better than his. That’s how a sane person would react to a critic.

But no, you had to prosecute. You wanted him stifled. You wanted to make an example of him to scare off anyone else who dared tell people your dietary advice is wrong. This was never about a tweet. It was an assassination attempt.

To quote from the Business Day article:

During the appeal hearing, Noakes’s lawyers mentioned e-mails they had accessed through the Promotion of Access to Information request. The e-mails were between Strydom and a professor of dietetics at North-West University and discussed a plan to complain about Noakes — before the tweet in question was posted.

Noakes’s legal team argued that the two had planned to take him down and found a tweet to do so.

There’s really no question about that. Marika Sboros tweeted the text of those emails. This one was written by Strydrom to the professor on January 30, 2014 – before the tweet by Noakes that was the supposed basis of his trial:

Subject: Tim Noakes impact on the dietetics profession.

Here are other examples of what other people are writing due to the negative attention we are getting from Tim Noakes.

Sure sounds like Ms. Strydom was upset that Noakes inspiring others to question the advice offered by dietitians, doesn’t it?

This one was written by Strydom on March 20, 2014. If it doesn’t portray someone scheming to prosecute a critic, I don’t know what does:

Just would like to follow up on the Tim Noakes problem – the bashing of the profession continues and we need intervention from the HPCSA as a matter of urgency. As ASDA we do comment, but the HPCSA has a much bigger clout and we are desperate for an intervention.

Allow me to interpret: we’re not big enough to really hurt the guy, so we want you to do it.

Unfortunately for Strydom and the rest of the @$$holes, they chose the wrong target. Noakes was 65 years old at the time and could have simply ridden off into the sunset to avoid a long and painful trial. But the man has a steel spine. I’m reminded of a line from A Few Good Men: “You @#$%ed with the wrong marine!”

They wanted to shame him and instead gave him the opportunity to become a hero. Like most heroes, Noakes didn’t set out to become one. He was thrust into circumstances that would have crushed an ordinary man. But he’s not an ordinary man, so he stood up and fought a battle that lasted four years – for himself, yes, but also for the rest of us.

Congratulations, Professor Noakes. And thank you.


The Magic Pill And The Anointed

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As I wrote in my review, The Magic Pill is a beautiful film that shows how switching to a paleo diet produces astounding improvements in health for a handful of people.

So naturally, The Anointed want Netflix to pull the darned thing:

Netflix is being urged to pull a documentary narrated and produced by celebrity chef Pete Evans.

The streaming giant quietly released a show about the controversial ketogenic diet earlier this month. The documentary – which is narrated and produced by Australia’s best-known paleo – features several people who claim a diet high in protein and fat but low in carbohydrates can help alleviate everything from asthma to autism.

The Magic Pill came under fire soon after it was commissioned, with high-profile members of the medical industry calling for it to be scrapped.

Well, of course the medical industry wants it scrapped. The Magic Pill proposes that instead of always looking for a pill or procedure to cure what ails us, perhaps we should change our diets and avoid getting sick in the first place.  If people follow that kind of radical advice, it won’t exactly be a boon to doctors.

If members of the Australian medical industry believe The Magic Pill promotes incorrect ideas, they’re free to critique it. No one is stopping them. But that’s not what they want; they want to prevent you and me and everyone else from seeing the film in the first place.

It’s the same urge to stifle dissent we see over and over with The Anointed. Normal people are satisfied to argue in favor of what they believe and let others decide for themselves. I believe a vegan diet is unhealthy for many people (and I’ve had the sick vegan friends to buttress that belief), but I would never in a million years demand that Netflix pull What The Health. In fact, I applaud Netflix for offering documentaries that recommend very different diets.  That’s how a marketplace of ideas is supposed to work.  You make your case, I’ll make mine, and we’ll see who’s more convincing.

But that’s not how The Anointed think. The Anointed assume people are too stupid to think for themselves, so if they’re exposed to multiple viewpoints, they’ll be led astray – and astray, of course, means any course of action not approved by The Anointed. So The Anointed favor censoring “incorrect” ideas, as I pointed out in this post and this post.

Here’s a perfect example:

Newly appointed AMA president Dr Tony Bartone told Fairfax Media he was worried vulnerable members of society – for example, people living with cancer – would believe some of the claims contained in the documentary over the advice of health professionals.

For goodness sakes, don’t try curing yourself with food! Shut up and take your pills.

Dr Bartone said there were decades of evidence-based research to back up current healthy eating guidelines.

Boy, that really makes me mad. Back in my standup days, I’d spend dozens of hours writing a new bit, shaping it, rehearing it, tweaking it, etc., etc., all in the hopes of drawing a good laugh. And here Dr. Bartone says something that’s laugh-out-loud hilarious without even trying to be funny. Life ain’t fair.

Suuuure, Dr. Bartone, it’s because of those evidence-based eating guidelines that we have worldwide epidemics of radiant health and successful weight loss.

I’ve seen several Twitter commentators (otherwise known as idiots) saying something along the lines of Well, of course, we should listen to doctors instead of Pete Evans. He’s just a cook!

Dr. Bartone says pretty much the same thing himself:

“I respect Pete Evans’ ability and expertise in the kitchen, but that’s where it begins and ends,” he said. “I would never dream of telling him how to prepare a meal. However, when it comes to the trusted health of our patients, everyone should turn to a health professional. That is, in the first instance, your GP.”

Ahh, so doctors are qualified to give advice on diet and health, but not a mere cook. That’s an odd argument to make, considering that the average doctor spends a grand total of about 24 hours studying nutrition in medical school. I’ve spent more time reading up on nutrition over a long weekend. I suspect Pete Evans has as well. In fact, I suspect Pete Evans has spent more time studying nutrition than 100 typical doctors combined.

The he’s not a doctor! argument is especially odd coming from Australia, where Dr. Gary Fettke was told to stop giving dietary advice because he wasn’t qualified. In case you need a reminder, here’s what ABC in Australia said about that case:

According to Dr Fettke, an anonymous complaint from a dietician at the hospital sparked an investigation by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).

Two and a half years later the watchdog found he was working outside his scope of practise and was not qualified to give specific nutritional advice, and he was ordered to stop speaking about the low carbohydrate, high fat diet.

“The committee does not accept that your medicine studies of themselves provide sufficient education or training to justify you providing specific advice or recommendations to patients or the public about nutrition and diet, such as the LCHF lifestyle concept,” it read.

So according to the AHPRA itself, graduating from medical school doesn’t qualify anyone to give dietary advice … although as Dr. Fettke pointed out, doctors ranging from neurosurgeons to cardiologists regularly tell patients what to eat, and nobody complains. I’m pretty sure The Anointed don’t really mind if doctors give dietary advice, as long as they don’t tell people to stop eating grains and margarine.

As for Pete Evans being “just” a cook … so what? I’ve met him. He’s a very bright guy. Why the heck would anyone need to go to medical school and learn which pills to prescribe in order to have an informed opinion on diet and health? This is the same nonsense we see when The Anointed tell us to ignore Gary Taubes and Nina Teicholz because they’re “just” journalists.

According to my college degree, I’m “just” a journalist as well. I’ve never taken a single class in computer programming, and yet I somehow developed enough skill to write complicated software programs for Disney and BMI, who were happy to employ me. In fact, I was hired a couple of times to rewrite crappy software developed by people with computer science degrees. As one employer told me, “We were fooled by the previous guy’s degrees and Microsoft certifications. He looked really good on paper.”

The Anointed love to pretend that the only way to acquire knowledge is to get a degree – because they control the degrees. But as Nassim Nicholas Taleb pointed out in Antifragile, far less knowledge is generated in universities than most people think. A heck of a lot more knowledge is generated by tinkerers than by professors.

But for those impressed by degrees, it’s not as if Evans stood up in front of a camera in The Magic Pill and expressed his own opinions for 90 minutes. Many of the people he interviewers are doctors and researchers – people with degrees. They explain the theory of why a grain-free, low-carb, paleo diet improves health. Then we see ordinary people improving their health on that diet.

So what exactly is the problem here? What’s the big threat to health that Netflix is risking by showing The Magic Pill?  That people will throw away their Wheat Thins?

The only threat is to The Anointed themselves … because viewers might actually learn something about how to take care of their own health.

p.s. – The Magic Pill is distributed by Gravitas, which also distributes Fat Head. While I was on the cruise showing the final version of Fat Head Kids, I received an email from the acquisitions manager: yes, they watched Fat Head Kids and yes, they want to distribute it. They were a streaming-only distributor when they took on Fat Head, but now they do the whole works: DVDs, download to rent or buy, you name it.

That’s great news, but it means I’ll be busy putting together trailers, art work, bonus DVD tracks, and other materials they’ll need. I’ll probably be posting once per week until we’ve got it all wrapped up.


The Older Brother Looks Forward to The End of Alzheimer’s

Hey, Fat Heads!

Long time. My bad for not getting this out there last week while Tom was on the Low Carb Cruise. I had kind of a week.

My annual Abe’s Army started up again last week, so I spent that Monday night running and trying to remember why I thought that’s a good idea.  It’ll come to me.

Then I had to make a 50 mile trip north for non-GMO chicken feed Tuesday (we’ve got a new batch of meat birds on the farm), which turned into two days because I had to beat it back to town to head out of town 50 miles west for an unexpected visitation (childhood friend of The Wife’s), dropped the chick feed the next day (15 miles east), and spent a couple of days making trips to move stuff from The Younger Sister’s house that just sold to her new place, which is, oddly enough, about 50 miles south. The closing on her house went a month ahead of schedule, which was good. Unless you had a few other things you’d planned on.

Guesting in The Big Chair, for example.

Speaking of which, someone (ahem) moved all of the knobs around on The Big Chair during the whole Nautilus website remodel adventure, so I was a little disoriented. I couldn’t ftp to save my life. Not that I’m complaining.

This post is something of a callback. Tom had a post (here) about two years ago about a treatment protocol developed for Alzheimer’s patients that incorporated several lifestyle modifications without involving some new $5,000 a month pharmaceutical miracle pill. Nine out of the ten patients participating in the study improved, and six who’d stopped working returned to their vocations. I don’t know if I pointed it out to him, or if we both heard about it at the same time, but we were both naturally intrigued after Dad spent the last few years of his life as an Alzheimer’s zombie.

The protocol, developed by Dr. Dale Bredesen, focused on what is essentially a keto-centric diet, regular physical activity including weight-bearing lifting, stress and sleep management, hormone and nutrient balance, and genetic testing.

I kept kind of following up occasionally, and Dr. Bredesen has a book now laying out the whole protocol. For something as relentlessly hope-shattering as Alzheimer’s has been, Dr. Bredesen makes some bold statements.

Consider that over the last few decades tens (hundreds?) of billions of dollars have been spent, nearly 250 drugs have been tested (fail), hundreds (thousands?) of research organizations, universities, and pharmaceutical companies have focused on Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Where are we?


Patients : 0, Alzheimer’s : WINNING!

[Aricept, the one you’re going to be given if diagnosed, supposedly moderates onset for up to two years, at which point you’ll be in the same place cognitively as if you’d never taken it. I suspect kind of like statins supposedly prevent heart attacks.]

If you’re in a treatment program, you’ll be given Aricept, maybe one or two others that have been proven not to kill anyone too quickly yet, and encouraged to participate in more trials as a guinea pig for whatever new molecule has been cooked up to eliminate the dreaded amyloid plaques.

I’m pretty sure that at some point, “amyloid plaques” will be in the same wing with “arterycloggingsaturatedfats” in The Museum of Things We Got Conned Into Thinking Were Trying to Kill Us (The MOTWGCITWTTKU, for short).

But here is Dr. Bredesen:

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: Alzheimer’s disease can be prevented, and in many cases its associated cognitive decline can be reversed.”

“What the research from my laboratory colleagues and me adds up to is this: No one should die from Alzheimer’s disease.”

Whoa. What did he say?!?

“Let me say that again: No one should die from Alzheimer’s disease.”

So, what’s Dr. Bredesen know that everyone else is missing?

There’s several points he brings out (some of these are already out there in the wild, but of course diligently ignored by the pharmaceutical-driven research establishment):

  • Alzheimer’s is not a result of the brain doing something it’s not supposed to — it’s an effort by the body to mitigate damage.
  • Ditto for the dread amyloid plaques.
  • There are three different types of Alzheimer’s, and it’s important to identify the type involved to effectively address it.
  • There are over thirty molecular mechanisms that contribute to Alzheimer’s.
  • Most of those mechanisms have to be addressed to reverse Alzheimer’s — fixing one or two won’t get results if several others are out of range.
  • Treatment — whether hormone supplements, vitamin levels, physical activity, sleep management — must be to optimal levels, not minimum or “recommended” levels.

As Fat Heads, I’m pretty sure none of those thirty-plus factors will come as a shock to you. In chapter 4, facetiously titled “How to Give Yourself Alzheimer’s: A Primer,” Bredesen goes over everything you can do in modern life to pull the trigger on whatever cognitive gun your genes have loaded — high carb/gluten-laden diet, continuous stress, statins, proton-inhibitors, terrible sleep habits, environmental factors, etc., etc.

His protocol, formerly called MEND and now re-branded to ReCODE (Reverse Cognitive Decline), consists of a battery of tests to determine levels for all of those (currently 36) markers, and then designing an individualized program to move everything into the optimal range, accompanied by regular evaluations and feedback.

Of course, once they had completed the initial study, fine-tuned the protocol, and worked with several dozens more patients with similar levels of unheard-of success, they got a backer and applied for a clinical study. They proposed a “four arm” test of a new drug (already in use in 48 other countries, but not the US) both alone and in combination with the ReCODE protocol, and a placebo with and without ReCODE.

Of course, they were granted “a perfect storm of rejection.”




Bit of quick math. Let’s assume Dr. Bredesen is on to something and there are (as currently defined) thirty-six different variables that have to be in balance to reverse cognitive decline. To test each of the possible combinations using the “scientific” approach that the single-bullet research industry insists on, that would be 2 (true or false) to the 36th (number of variables) power. So you’d only have to run between 68 and 69 billion separate studies.

I’m thinking it would be worth a shot to allocate a few million of the billions of dollars the Anointed of the Alzheimer’s industry have been pounding down the amyloid plaque rat hole for the last couple of decades. You know, just to see what happens.

Or how about we have a vote? We can have a vote between all of the people who have demonstrated long-term clinically measured improvements in cognition from the several hundred that Bredesen has treated vs. all of the people who have demonstrated long-term clinically measured improvements in cognition from the several million that the existing Alzheimer’s industry has treated. Pretty sure the Bredesen group would win by a landslide.

The book lays out all of the tests in the protocol, along with how to assemble an action plan based on the results. The easiest way to implement the protocol is to go to Bredesen’s website and send an email via the “participant” tab. It’ll cost you $75 a month (one year minimum), plus probably several hundred to a thousand dollars for a local practitioner (they have a list) over the year, and whatever supplements or additional tests you need. All in, probably about what most people spend on their cable and cell phone plans for a year.

Besides being an interesting, well-written read on a topic that’s going to affect many of us personally and certainly all of us as a society, I also got a new favorite term out of the book — “hanging crepe.” The origin is in the old practice of hanging black crepe in the doorway and windows of a home where someone has died to notify everyone of the bad news. It’s evolved to mean being incredibly pessimistic generally, and in medicine it means painting the bleakest possible picture to prepare concerned parties for the worst possible (inevitable) outcome. So now when I hear “Alzheimer’s specialist,” I think “million dollar crepe hanger.” It works.

So, we’ve kind of got primers for each stage of the HFLC/Paleo/Primal/Fat Head life. Of course, “Fat Head Kids” for the younger crowd. If you’re under 35 or 40, read (and live) “Primal Blueprint.” Up to 60 or so, if you’re a little late to the party, you should probably check out “Undoctored.” Sixty-plus or have someone you care about who’s getting a bit (or very) fuzzy, buy “The End of Alzheimers.”

Today would be good. Have a great weekend!


The Older Brother


Sneak Peeks: Fat Head Kids, The Movie

That sound coming from my office is me taking a deep, relaxing breath. For nearly two years, much of my evening and weekend time has been devoted to the Fat Head Kids film. Now it’s done. Well, okay, there might be a tweak or two when we get feedback from our distributor. We’ll also have to cut a trailer, produce some poster art, etc. But the big job is done.

Like the book, the film is presented in chapters. I’ve uploaded chapters two and four to YouTube as sneak peeks. As you know if you’ve read the book, Chapter One explains why getting fat isn’t about your character. Chapter Two goes on to explain that getting fat is about chemistry. That’s the chapter where we introduce The Nautilus, the biological spaceship that serves as our analogy for the human body:

In Chapter Four, we explain how the ship’s fuel system works. Later chapters explain how a bad diet causes that system to go haywire:

The brief opening credits aren’t actually part of those chapters, by the way. I added them to the YouTube videos just to make sure anyone who sees them embedded elsewhere knows they’re part of the Fat Head Kids film. Some of my Fat Head clips ended up embedded in blogs with no attribution or link to the film.

Man, this film was a ton of work. When I made Fat Head, I paid other people to create the animations, compose the music, mix and master the music, record and mix the soundtrack, and color-correct the video to broadcast standards. It was a huge financial investment … and then the first two distributors never paid us.  You’ve likely heard that story, so I won’t repeat it except to say I had no intention of ever making another film.

We have an honest distributor now, but because of my experience with Fat Head, I nonetheless didn’t want to be in a position where I need to sell 20,000 units or whatever just to break even financially. So we decided to do all the work ourselves this time.

For each of the animated sequences (more than 400 of them), Chareva and I kicked around ideas and created a thumbnail storyboard.  Then she drew the necessary cartoon characters, props and environments — most of them by hand before scanning them into Adobe Illustrator to vectorize and color them. Then I composed the animations in After Effects — after learning how to use the software, of course.

I recorded and edited my narration and all the character voices (most of which were performed by my talented relatives) in Adobe Audition. I composed and recorded the music, which required learning how to mix and master music in Logic Pro. And of course, I edited the whole film together in Premiere before adding sound effects and mixing the final soundtrack.

Like I said, it was a ton of work. We may have to sell 20,000 units or whatever to earn the equivalent of minimum wage, but knowing I won’t have post-production debt to pay off is quite comforting.

Those of you coming aboard this year’s low-carb cruise will see the entire film on Monday night. After that, I plan to spend much of the cruise catching up on sleep. Don’t be surprised if you don’t see me at the breakfast buffet.