Recently, I sat down (in the proverbial sense) for a conversation with Jon Aiken of Age of Rockets, avid Zooppers and shoe-string-budget production whizzes.
Who makes up the Age of Rockets team, and how did you guys come together?
Age of Rockets consists of Nick Southcote, Jon Aiken and Jordan Montgomery. We have been close friends since 4th grade and studied video production together throughout school. We started Age of Rockets in early 2009. Also, Crystal Roberts designed our website and pushed us to shoot the Clarsonic
commercial, which she also wrote!
What advantages have you found through being part of the Zooppa community?
We find many, many advantages to Zooppa. You can expand your demo reel, win some money, network with lots of other filmmakers, get exposed to a continuous variety of commercial projects and maybe best of all, take a very active role in the commercial marketing industry.
Give us an anecdote about overcoming a challenge during one of your productions.
For our video “Bubble Gum Blowout” we had planned a three person set up with a small, medium and gigantic bubble idea. But on the day we set up to shoot, we found out (for the first time ever) that our partner, Jordan, couldn’t blow a gum bubble. We tried different techniques and different gums, but we had no luck. Eventually, we decided to rethink the concept and quickly developed a “showdown” version and shot that. In the end, I think it worked out better with just the two of us squaring off.
Talk about the assistance (DIY videos, free content) you guys provide through your website/blog.
We often work with very small budgets and cutting corners is a must. We found a few great online resources for DIY tutorials and kinda got hooked on trying them out and perfecting the ideas. We wanted to show our successes and try to help others to build their own tools too. It’s also a great way to network with other filmmakers and give back to the online communities who have been so helpful and supportive of us.
We strongly recommend www.thefrugalfilmmaker.com and www.diyphotography.net
What’s next for AoR in the short-term? What are some long-term goals?
In the short term, we have a project planned for the Cold Shower Challenge. It has taken some time to get going because it’s a somewhat elaborate idea, but if we can pull it off, it’s going to be really great. We also have a short film that we hope to produce in the next month or so. It’s a comedy script called “Criminal” I wrote a few months ago and we’ve been waiting for the right time to move forward, and now it’s the time.
Longer term, we are still trying to figure everything out, but mostly we’d like to find steady work that we can live on as a full time job. Up until now, we’ve been operating Age of Rockets as a full time secondary job. It’s very fulfilling and we won’t stop, but it’s hard to find time to run out and shoot whenever we feel the urge to do so and that would be good to change.
Anything else you guys want to get out there?
As a testimonial, we wanted to share that we got a job offer from [MemoCue] based on a video of ours from the Ultimate Software competition. We would have never gotten the job had we not found out about Zooppa and entered into the contest. We think that’s the essence of Zooppa, just give it a try… You never know what could happen.
Thanks guys keep it coming!