Justin Hall's personal site growing & breaking down since 1994

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Personal Pantheon

Who inspires us, sitting in our Personal Pantheon? How do we honor human lives we reflect upon? Experimental Evangelist Justin Hall herein shares a few of the figures in his Personal Pantheon, along with an apparatus for the honoring thereof. Deeper context awaits you here:

Last year I was having fun painting small canvases. Separately I began considering what kind of altar I would make for myself, and how I would incorporate my deities - the beings I referred to for guidance. Here is a video detailing my first draft Personal Pantheon:

Find this video posted across half the known web:

  • Personal Pantheon on Flickr
  • Personal Pantheon on YouTube
  • Personal Pantheon on Vimeo
  • Personal Pantheon on Facebook

    My Personal Pantheon

    My personal pantheon described in this film includes a number of folks, and it's still evolving. Here's the folks I included in this round:

    Clarence Darrow
    Tallulah Bankhead
    Art Tatum
    Howard Rheingold
    Joan Hall
    Jimi Hendrix
    Duke Ellington

    Frank Moore R.I.P.
    Muhammad Ali
    Molly Ivins
    Cory Doctorow
    Perry Farrell
    Tim Berners-Lee
    Willie McTell

    Process Notes

    Looking over a few of my earlier experiences, I realized I want more sizzlacious text up next to the video online. I want the title and first two sentences to grab someone's attention - here I open with the question.

    Folks have been asking if I'm working from a script:

    I start with a theme. Sometimes I storyboard the theme, or outline major beats I want to hit. I pick an outfit, set up the camera, and talk for about 8 minutes. I go to my computer and I cut that up. I see what points are missing, or poorly stated, and I go re-shoot. Sometimes I get my material in one take. This video took eight or so takes - including a few wherein I forgot to turn on the microphone so they had to be shot again :-P

    The first footage seemed too low energy to me, so I reshot some stuff feeling more amped up. I watched that and felt like I was shouting at myself so I went with the more mellow footage for most things. My hair is more flat for the footage that seemed almost too intense for me; my hair was fluffier for the first take.

    After my first video Jake Lodwick strongly suggested I go with single outfits for each single subject video. I hear that feedback; I want to focus the distractions I offer. In this video, I put the credits up next to some outtakes of an experiment I did with a full body green screen suit. Watching the final cut I realize most folks will only focus on one of two things: the scrolling text titles or the guy in the suit waving wooden tiles. I could say that this video rewards repeat viewing. I could also say that I am double plus super eager to get a new computer; this laptop is from 2008 and I think I will have more opportunities for articulate madness with faster hardware. Go Apple Go, please.

    Some friends have pointed out that I might improve the quality of my footage by upgrading my camera. I'm using a 2006-era 4 megapixel consumer camera the Sony HDR-SR1 - Sony's first hard drive digital camcorder. 30 GB of storage!

    Blurry footage quality doesn't bother me nearly as much as my limping computer. Layers!!! I want to have many layers!!!! So first I upgrade my mindbox, and then, after a few more weeks of this I should have a better sense of what other equipment I can justify involving in this knavery.


    This time editing in Final Cut Pro X, I logged my footage with keywords for the first time. It was a good discipline that lead to easy finding clips later. I drew out my name on an iPad, using ProCreate, and exported that into Dropbox to inhale into FCPx. I purchased a full body green screen suit and used that whilst holding the tiles and tile rack, sort of puppeteering.

    I tried using Motion to make something like these puffy 3D letters but this text effect just absolutely killed my computer. So motion graphics will wait a few weeks yet.

    I cut the footage to form new sentences or remove my most ponderous pauses, especially when I can cover up my stuttering facial expressions with b-roll or transitions. Since I'm editing myself I don't feel there's anything dishonest, though while I practice this art, I see how edited video could make anybody say anything.

    Between ZDTV, Home Page and collaboration with Ryan Junell, I have enough video experience to hear myself sometimes and realize when something can be better stated. So I'll do multiple takes while the camera is rolling. I bought a remote control for my camera off eBay; now my old video camera obeys me at a distance.

    I found some teleprompter software for the iPad. But I seldom wear contact lenses during my days working at home, so, blind I haven't been able to try it yet (I remove my glasses right before filming so even at 266 size font I can't read it a few feet away).

    As I described in my last video, I'm making a series of videos to "accelerate serendipity." Since I don't expect to make money off these, that frees me to cross-post anywhere that people might see me yakking, where we might connect and collaborate. This means maintaining identities and attention streams on Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook. Not sure if this video identity splaying is a good idea; I intend to let you know.

    Music - All Available Free Online!

    "Dalai Lama's Healing Mantra" by Hein Braat

    "EastMinster" by Kevin MacLeod

    "Anville Chorus" (1942) by Les Brown & His Band of Renoun

    "Whispering Through" by Asura


    Cory Doctorow by Aleksi Aaltonen

    Crowd photo by James Cridland

    Detail from "Detroit Industry Murals" by Diego Rivera; photo by Gabrielle Pescador

    Images otherwise sourced from online sources especially Wikipedia. Woo hoo for Wikipedia!


    Rotating column from Footage Island
    Sky lightning from

    our future

    As long as my mousing hands have strength, I look forward to updating here. Another video in progress for next week! After a little bit of Grand Theft Auto V :-D

  • Welcome!

    Thanks Steve Rhodes - from @tigerbeat on Instagram
    June 2012 dancing in the streets of San Francisco with Ilyse Magy, photo thanks Steve Rhodes on instagram!

    Hi, I'm Justin Hall and this here is a personal web site I've used to chronicle my time on earth since 1994. The content on the front page is relatively recent; if you search through the archives, you'll find old pieces of Justin. Some folks have indexed my doings on Wikipedia.

    Twitter: jah
    Facebook: Justinreach

    eBooks by Justin Hall

    I've published books for sale, somewhere else online! Behold:

    Now available for the Kindle: A Story of GameLayers. My experience being CEO of a tech company, 2007-2009:

    "A tell-all story of a startup from the very beginning, with lots of info about real-world fundraising. A more intimate look than you'll find in other business reads." says Irene Polnyi in a 5-star review on

    A Story of GameLayers, for the Amazon Kindle.