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

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Just In Berlin

I had a free plane ticket to Europe and some free time; I decided to visit Berlin Germany for my first time. I was attracted to Berlin because of all the creative folks I know moving or visiting there. When I arrived I was stunned at how hard the tragic history of the place affected me.

Here's a short video about the trip:

YouTube: Just In Berlin

Featuring interviews with Doris Steinbichler, Gabriel Shalom, João Paglione and Felix Petersen. Plus footage from a performance by Urnamo Ali at Savvy Contemporary and time well spent at Holzmarkt 25.

I attended Sunday services at Berliner Dom which features English translations. I was rejected from the infamous dance club Berghain, and spent much time at the Topography of Terror and German Historical Museum.

Huge thanks to João Paglione and Der Magnetmann for hosting me! I met João years ago through Flickr where I enjoyed his lively cheerful presence. We established communications and Berlin was the first time we met. I was grateful they could put me up.

Behind the Scenes

I filmed all of this with my mobile phone (iPhone 5s) and a cheap lavalier microphone. I used an inexpensive mobile phone tripod to film myself talking out in front of the Topography of Terror museum; that was an intense half an hour - riffing on horror and humanity and my travels as people wandered around nearby.

I used Motion to make a "lower thirds" title template that I could edit-once and change across all the text in the video. For the background, I used cobblestones I filmed abroad, slowed down and color-tweaked.

I finally learned how to reattach clips elsewhere in the timeline of Final Cut Pro X - command+option click where you want it; so easy I never knew.

Plus I learned how to export frames as images from FCPx, thanks to Larry Jordan.

My Video Publishing Future

So my skills are improving, I've got more polish at my reach plus an evolved sense of how to capture useful source material. In the last eleven months I've learned about green screens, color correcting, audio balancing, lower thirds, motion graphics, sourcing content from the web, the importance of soundtracks, uploading and sharing video in 2014. It's a lot to learn! It's been fun to motivate and publish myself in regular videos.

Your sponsorship on Patreon is fantastic - I'm grateful to the people there who support my videos, and the money is motivating. Having patrons makes me want to make sure I produce something worthy of your dollars, so that has me combing over one video to polish it, and not cranking 'em out the way I did late last year.

Sometimes I debate publishing less-polished videos more often - informal riffing, maybe like I used to do when I filled web pages with free verse poems each night. For now I'm enjoying the craft of prioritizing a single story for a spell.

I aspired to one video per week; I'm now averaging more like 2 per month. May 2014 I will probably only publish this video, Just In Berlin!

In the next few months, I'll be returning to the 20 Links project - making a short film about my time on the web. I look forward to more video sharing with you here! Just maybe not as often as I have been producing. Based on how much time I spend making a 6 minute video I like, polishing up a 20-40 minute video could take a good while.


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.