4 Videos, 1 Couch

I hate waste especially if I know something can be used for a future video. Should I throw away the couch I just used for one video? Should I throw away this new Tiffany lamp and side table? Thankfully I am only talking miniatures!

When I built a small hamster-sized set last year for a Friends “Central Perk” video I acquired some small dollhouse furniture at a shop on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. One of these items was a cute brown two-seat couch. I never thought I would repurpose it so heavily. Here is how I used it in four different videos.

1. Hamster Friends

The  “Central Perk” coffee shop centerpiece is an ugly, fuzzy orange couch.

Friends Central Perk

So I took my new tiny brown couch…

Hamster Friends Couch

And painted it orange!

After the shoot this small furniture set sat near my desk for many months , sometimes giving a place for  mini Fox Mulder and his Mario Bros. friends a place to kick back and have a drink after a long day of conspiracy hunting.

Fox Mulder on Couch

2. Hamster Things

Back in September I decided to recreate the now-iconic lightbulb filled Byers living room of Stranger Things. Their couch is more or less a light brown and had blanket and pillows thrown on it.

Stranger Things Season 1 Byres Couch

So I painted the orange “Central Perk” couch back to brown:

Hamster Things, Stranger Things Couch
My Mashable colleague Laura Vitto drew yellow lines on  a paper towel for the blanket and I gotta say it worked really well!

You can watch Hamster Things here.

3. Hamsterfeld

I recently recreated Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment in Seinfeld. One of his couches was somewhat of a  blue fabric. So I took the same couch from “Hamster Friends” and “Hamster Things” and painted it over once again for “Hamsterfeld“:

hamsterfeld couch by keith hopkin

What’s the deeeeeal with couches??!

4. Hamster Yule Log

And finally, here’s the same pre-painted one-seater from all of these videos that appears in “Hamster Yule Log”. It’s a 12 minute video you can throw up on your big screen on loop while you enjoy the holidays!

You can watch that one on a 4-hour loop here!


Hamster Yule Log by Keith Hopkin

Special thanks to the Westchester Rescued Hamster Haven for providing all of the talent to use all of this tiny furniture!

Where will I use this couch next??!!

Keith Hopkin Behind the Scenes with Hamster Friends

Seinfeld Things

As I was dismantling the last bit of my “Hamster Things” set I decided to mash it up with my “Hamsterfeld” set and take a photo. I give you SEINFELD THINGS:


Seinfeld Things


GoPro Hero3 WiFi iPad App is Great!

GoPro Hero3 Black iPad App on Petcurean video shoot by Keith Hopkin

I’m currently working on a really fun film project for Canadian based pet food company Petcurean. We wrapped a few days of shooting in Amenia, New York and West Lebanon, New York (at the Red Robin Song Guest House).  Dave is mainly shooting high speed on a Sony FS700  while C.J. is shooting on a Canon 5D MKII. I’m handling GoPro shots.

This is the first time I’ve really taken the GoPro iPad app out for a spin and I gotta say I am really impressed.

Ease of Use:
First and foremost is the ease of flipping through settings. Even if I wasn’t using this to record and preview this would be a valuable asset to quickly change my record settings or quickly go from video to photo mode. Kudos to GoPro for building such a great interface.

It seems that the iPad’s range is more consistent and greater than the iPhone app but I haven’t really done any side by side controlled tests to verify this. As you can see in the above live preview image Mia is all the way out in the yard in the the red vest.  The signal does drop when she runs to the side or back of the house but when she’s back in plain site the signal eventually returns. It’s not perfect but I am impressed. Although there are a few seconds of delay it is good enough since I can just run out and make corrections to the camera angle if necessary.

Note: You do not need an existing Wi-Fi access point. The GoPro itself becomes an available Wi-Fi access point that you can connect to in your settings.

Currently the app does not support preview in ProTune mode. I find this a bit disappointing because I was planning on taking advantage of the increased quality level for these shoots. It’s more valuable to me to get the correct framing so for now I will be shooting 1080p @ 60fps with ProTune off.

I  definitely made sure to get a protective case for my iPad while in the field. The Gumdrop case seen in the photo is holding up well. Ports are all accessible and touch screen still works great with the cover.

Dave posted some fun behind the scenes photos here:


Be sure to follow me on facebook and twitter for more updates!



Keith Hopkin and C.J. Gardella using GoPro iPad app on Petcurean film shoot
Keith Hopkin and C.J. Gardella