Our rough cut critique and final critique were both pretty brutal. The rough cut we had prepared wasn’t of the best quality, and we only had a fraction of the footage we planned to get, so our critics Jerry and Shanti let us know that we still had much to do. Our final critique was similar – even though we had developed our characters pretty well, our story wasn’t told completely, and Shanti actually said that our rough cut was better. That hurt, Shanti. That hurt…

Anyway, for the screening on January 15th we’ll have all of our footage and our story completed.



Team Hotbreak

Beginning and Ending

Our documentary will start out with Sam and Ben introducing themselves, and then starting a batch of beer. It will end with them finishing the brew, and since it takes a week of waiting for the process to actually complete, we will all taste a beer of the same type that Sam had pre-made of the same variety.

Production Checklist


Each day of production needs its own checklist.


Equipment Checkout:

Do you have everything you reserved?



☐ camera (s)             ☐ tripod                     ☐ batteries     ☐ cables

☐ mic(s)                     ☐ white card              ☐ lights           ☐ other__________


☐ Batteries charged for the shoot?

☐ Lighting kit lamps working?




☐ Storage Media

☐ consent forms

☐ pens/pencils

☐ batteries (disposable

☐ snacks/meals

☐ beverages/water bottles


Equipment Setup:


Camera: Audio: Lighting
☐ LMW settings on

☐ White Balance

☐ Iris

☐ Gain

☐ shutter

☐ zebra

☐ neutral density filter

☐ timecode

☐ focus/zoom

☐ mics connected

☐ mics turned on (if needed)

☐ mic settings checked

☐ camera inputs set

☐ gain levels set

☐ channels set

☐ headphone volume set

☐ mic proximity tested

☐ backlight check

☐ lights focused

☐ shadow check





Location Setup:

☐ equipment placement

☐ electrical outlets

☐ lighting sources

☐ background setup – (move clutter, decide what works in camera frame)

☐ crew positions


Location Teardown:

☐ equipment packed

☐ forms signed

☐ clean up any trash or mess

☐ return moved items to where they belong

☐ check space before leaving for items not packed


Equipment Check-in:

Don’t forget to get your footage off the P2 Cards before you return them to the ER. You can return the camera and check out a card reader to do the transfer later.

Interview Questions

We have interviewed Homer, who works at a brew store nearby, and Jeff, a classmate with some brewing experience. Here are some questions we asked them:

-When did you brew your first batch?

-What kind of beer did you make?

-Did you brew with family or friends?

-How did you first learn about brewing?

-What was your first brewing experience like?

-What did the final product taste like?

-Would you brew again? Have you brewed since? Why or why not?


I asked some professional/more experienced brewers these last two questions:


-Do you have any advice for me as an amateur?

-What makes your beer unique?


Our approach to filming this documentary will be somewhat relaxed; Sam has some prior homebrewing experience and Ben has no brewing experience at all. We’re planning on just letting the camera roll while Sam gives Ben a brewing lesson. Tavon and Mike will make their appearances as well. Overall this will be a light-hearted trip through a group of friends brewing together.


Homebrewing With Sam (Working Title)

This project is focusing on the failures and successes of homebrewing from an amateur’s level. Sprinkled throughout the piece will be facts about the history of homebrewing and how it came to be legal (once again) in the United States. Sam will be telling the story through the brewing process and narrating certain events and scenes. Other parts of the story, such as the prologue will be told by interviewees and archival news footage.

This is a Hotbreak Productions Project.

New Book (Fun Fact)

New Book:

I was at The Oak Barrel the other day while buying supplies, and I walked over to the book shelf. After gazing at all the different “how-to-brew” books, one caught my eye. It was a book about making hot sauce, inventively named (you guessed it): Hot Sauce! I was amazed to realize that I could possibly use the same supplies I used here and make smaller (most likely 1 gallon or less) batches of hot sauce at home. I was thoroughly impressed as I read the preface in the store. I bought the book and I have started to read it.

Fun Fact:

Something I noticed as I read the first passage was a little fact:

Chiles are a good source of potassium, as well as being dense in vitamins A, B, C and E; flavonoids; and iron, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin. Green chiles have twice the vitamin C found in the equivalent weight of oranges, and red chiles are a better source than carrots of vitamin A, which is essential to protecting skin and strengthening eyesight. Indeed, Spanish sailors took chiles on voyages in the sixteenth century to ward off scurvy, and they ate two roasted peppers for dessert each day in the hope of improving their vision. (Thompson, 9)

Wow! That’s amazing. I never knew my lack of palate as a kid meant I had to eat more bites of veggies at dinner? Bummer… Hahaha. But still this book has a wealth of wisdom, I get the feeling I might have to start a mini-section for hot sauces on here. (Who knows)


Thanks for reading-


Homebrewing in the USA

“You can brew your own beer?” & “I thought that was illegal…” Are statements I seem to be running into a lot as I talk to my friends and family about my project. I wanted to address the history of homebrewing beer in the United States and as such address these questions. Charlie Papazian sums it up in his book: The Complete Joy of Homebrewing: Fully Revised and Updated 3rd Edition.

Homebrewing beer is not a criminal activity. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were all homebrewers. In November 1978, a bill passed by Congress repealed federal restrictions on the homebrewing of beer. In February 1979, President Carter signed the bill into law. What is the law, and why was it ever illegal in the first place? It all dates back to that “Noble Experiment”–Prohibition. …Now it is legal. By federal law, an adult twenty-one years or older is permitted to brew “not more than one hundred gallons of beer in a year.” (Papazian, 1-2)

I’ve been reading his book while working on this project and I was reminded of it when asked those questions. so there you have it, my (super short) spiel on Homebrew History for those of you reading this in America.