Spaghetti Pie & Directing for Pepper Custom Baits

One of the most recent projects at Hoptocopter™ Films was a piece for Pepper Custom Baits (  This was one of my favorite pieces I’ve ever directed.  Justin & Gene Covello really helped us in every way we needed to produce the piece they asked for.  They told us their ideas AND listened to ours.  They planned and organized everything we needed them to do…on time or ahead of schedule.  We were given the space to be creative. They had the boats, pros, and location.  My job was to display their bass fishing baits in a way that would get people’s attention.

This shoot needed a small crew. We were out on boats, didn’t have cell reception, and we weren’t sure how long the long hours would be.  Picking a very flexible and competent crew was particularly important on this project.

Short (Carrington Schaeffer) was obviously on the crew list and did a fantastic job running the interviews and details.  I wanted an experienced time-lapse guy with the skills (not to mention equipment) to be the main camera operator when needed; I called Wade Yamaguchi of Yamo Films ( to fill those shoes.  James Drake of James Drake Films ( was the Director of Photography and the “everything” consultant.

On set, we had a RED Epic-M (, RED Scarlet (Yamo Films), Canon C300 (Hoptocopter™ Films), two 5d Mark IIs, almost every Canon lens you’d need, too many GoPros to count, a steadicam system (from, Wade’s timelapse gear, and every tool we’d need for media and backup media.  It’s stressful being on a shoot away from a store, cell reception, or internet, but we prepared to be set with everything we needed (backups to our backups in almost every way).

Our acting producer from Pepper Custom Baits, Justin Covello, had his eyes set on filming at Lake Powell in Hite, UT.  He drove us from Grand Junction, CO to Hite with fishing pros Fred “Boom Boom” Roumbanis ( and Tommy Jonovich (  We connected with Pepper Custom Baits’ Gene Covello and professional bass fisherman Josh Polfer ( at the trailers we called home for a night or two.  Sheila and Gene Covello made sure the crew was ALWAYS fed and therefor happy.  I’d never had Spaghetti pie, but as Justin promised, it was fantastic and more than worthy of seconds (and 3rds, and…).

A few things I learned from this shoot:

  • Telling a pro fisherman not to fish is nearly impossible.
  • Time lapse photography is nerve-wracking for a guy like me.  Wade left his gear in places all over Lake Powell knowing and trusting it was safe from all those thieves that run around Powell stealing camera gear…and he was right.
  • Spaghetti pie is awesome.
  • ALWAYS get a permit to film in national parks.
  • Lake Powell is lower than it used to be but is still beautiful.
  • “Stripers” (Striped Bass) make for great shots but don’t work for a bass fishing video because they’ll eat anything.

I called my friends Chase Martinez and Danny Odom of “Caged Friendship” to see if they’d score the music for the piece.  I got more than I could’ve asked for.  One night Danny stayed up with me past 5:00 AM tweaking the score to fit the vision of the film.  They killed it (in a good way), and it’s exactly what the spot needed.

I edited the piece with the Adobe Master Suite CS6.

The crew rocked.  The pros were patient and on their game.  Pepper Custom Baits was patient before, during, and after the shoot.  So this is the commercial we got out of it:


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A newer, better version of Short & Hat

We are artists.  Travelers.  Striving storytellers and people-enjoyers.  We love community, love technology, love nature, and love to share it with you.  We realize there’s a lot we’ve not shared with you here (as it’s not as “travel” specific) but we feel that should change.

Short (Carrington Schaeffer) is a writer, sewer, knitter (thanks A from Tangle!), hiker, and wife.  She’s not a fan of pre-9AM and loves learning.  She loves to be in community, loves to listen, and loves to learn about other people.

Hat (Seth Schaeffer) is a director (Hoptocopter™ Films) and Musician (You Me & Apollo). He’s a lover of coffee, community, music, and traveling, and loves producing films.  He’s also not the early morning guy but usually has a few cups of coffee before Short wakes up.  He’s all over the country for gigs with his film company and band.

It’s time we start posting more, eh?

Short’s going to start sharing in her process as a writer and life-observer.  Hat’s going to start sharing as a tech guy, director, and musician.  Short and Hat will still post when we have a traditional Short and Hat post.

So what’s changing?

You’ll still see it all here.  You can keep everything the same, but as we start adding more content, you’ll be able to subscribe to either EVERYTHING, SHORT, or HAT…. separately.

Tech peeps can follow the Hat post, Writers and other artists that don’t care about the latest camera can follow Short’s post.  Die-hards (like our awesome friend Becci! :) can still just follow everything.

We love you all and we are excited to start sharing a whole heck of a lot more.





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Catching Up

No, your computer/internet are not broken.

Yes, Seth and I have been MIA from Short and Hat for a long time. But now, we’re back, and posting this feels like exhaling after holding it in for a very long time.

Let’s Catch Up

We Moved

…to our friend Allison’s house across town in Grand Junction. We took residence in her basement.

Our home in Grand Junction


Last year, I got really serious about writing full time. I write children’s and young adult fiction. Pretty much, if I’m in a roomful of adult and kids, I’m in the corner with the kids, talking to them, observing them, playing with them. I find children endlessly fascinating.

So, to help me in my mission, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, an organization that challenges you to write 50,000 words (the length of an average novel) in a month. I’ve always wanted to do it, but I’ve always had school or some other distraction. This year, I was free, so I shoved off into the wide waters of writing 1,666 words every day to make my 50,000 word goal. I ended up finishing NaNoWriMo and nearly finishing my very first novel.

Grad School

I applied for grad school at CSU. I was convinced that I wanted to go back for my MFA in Creative Writing. I got my application packet complete with the first two chapters of my novel. I like school. I like it because it gives me a framework for my life, a system that helps me to stay motivated and disciplined. I don’t naturally have that, so I gravitate toward systems that do it for me.

I ended up not getting accepted, and looking over my writing sample I sent them, I can understand why. Looking at my writing over the past year, I am improved by leaps and bounds. Partially, this is due to my kick-arse critique group I have been a part of since January. Partially, it’s due to attending every educational event I possibly can.

I also started auditing a couple writing classes at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction. But I learned something in all of this: that to be an adult means to be self-motivated. By going to school, I would be running away from creating my own structure, my own system, which, to me, is much harder than going to school and having someone else do it for me.


Seth and I got to spend part of Christmas day with Allison and her kids. Allison recently divorced a man who doesn’t celebrate most major holidays, so the kids had never celebrated Christmas. We got to be with them as their faces lit up that morning and our dry-erase-drawn-on-the-hall-mirror Christmas tree presided over the mountain of presents.






Seth in his element.

My dad likes to draw funny little things on our Christmas presents. That’s me singing “O Sole Mio.”


This is one of the last pictures taken of Seth’s sweet father who passed away in March. He will be missed, but we know he’s in a better place without pain. We’re modeling our Loki coats here.

The kids had always celebrated Hanukkah which Seth and I celebrated for the first time.



Seth and I drove down to San Carlos, Mexico for some R&R with my pen pal, Annie Brooks, and a bunch of friends. I was convinced, either on the way there or back, that I would be sold into sex slavery, but I’m very glad to report that I wasn’t. Annie and her husband Jake (from Brumley and Well Photography) did a photo shoot of some of us, and they actually were featured on Inspired By This. Here are a couple snapshots from that photoshoot; I’ve never felt more beautiful in my life. Thanks, Annie and Jake!



While we were there, Seth shot several music videos. Here’s one he did of our friend Cyle Talley–it’s from a new music series we’ve started called “Enjoy Music,” and we hope you’ll enjoy!

We’re Moving across Colorado

We had been in Grand Junction for about eight month, and Seth was starting to travel a lot for his business. All the work is over on the eastern side of Colorado, so he was spending weeks at a time there. As you can imagine, this gets really old in a marriage.

We talked about it and decided that it’s time to move to Fort Collins. For Seth, it makes sense for his business, plus, he’s in a Fort Collins-based band called You Me and Apollo. Most of my writing resources and events are on the Front Range, so it works out well for me as well. We were sad to leave our community, but we both have a suspicion that, at some point, we’ll be back.

Moving to Fort Collins

Also, notice that huge U-Haul. It’s, once again, time to get rid of stuff.

The Tonettes

After successful Christmas and Valentines seasons, the Tonettes decided to take a break. Two of our members had babies, so we all needed some time. Since Seth and I decided to move to Fort Collins, I officially stepped down from the group. I’ll miss those girls.

The Tonettes

As far as Seth goes, he’s been a busy little bee. Here’s a smattering of what he’s done lately:


This is Seth’s new band, You Me and Apollo.

My pen pal, Annie Brooks.

My acting debut with Hoptocopter Films!

I’m in this one too!

Seth asked me one day what I’m passionate about–what makes me just tingle with excitement. I told him it’s listening to people who are passionate about what they do. So, we created the “Enjoy Life” series where we interview people about what they absolutely love to do. This is the first in what we hope to be many, many videos.

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A Colorado Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays.
It’s the time of year that’s every bit as familial as Christmas (without the pressure of Christmas)—when eating as much pie as possible is totally expected.

This year, we did it up big.
Our flatmate and I spent an entire day making pies—four pumpkin pies, a blue berry pie, and an apple pie. We’ve been trying to not eat as much wheat, so we made two pumpkin custards (pumpkin pie sans crust).

For Thanksgiving breakfast, all five of us feasted on pie and homemade whipped cream. It was epic.

Thanksgiving pie breakfast

Thanksgiving pie breakfast

Thanksgiving pie breakfast

Thanksgiving pie breakfast

Thanksgiving pie breakfast

Thanksgiving pie breakfast

Pie for Thanksgiving breakfast is now forever sealed into our family’s holiday traditions.

Afterwards, we went for a hike on the Colorado National Monument. We chose the Devil’s Kitchen trail because it’s easy for the kiddos.
It was gorgeous.

Thanksgiving hike

Thanksgiving hike at Devil's Kitchen
The flatmate and her kiddos

E & C - Thanksgiving hike at Devil's Kitchen

Thanksgiving hike at Devil's Kitchen
The kids did little meditation pose all on their own.

Thanksgiving hike at Devil's Kitchen

Thanksgiving hike at Devil's Kitchen

Thanksgiving hike at Devil's Kitchen

This is us, and we live here.

Thanksgiving hike at Devil's Kitchen

All of us - Thanksgiving hike

Freezing on our Thanksgiving hike

Thanksgiving hike at Devil's Kitchen

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Goin’ to the Corn Maze

Since this is our roommate’s first year celebrating Halloween, I decided to take her and her daughter to our local corn maze.  I had never been to this particular maze, Studt’s,  and was super excited when I saw the map of the two mazes.

Studt's Corn Maze

It’s huge!!!

So we took our little selves out to Fruita, ready for an adventure.

Corn maze
Studt’s Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

Studt's Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze
Studt’s also sells pumpkins!

Corn maze

Studt's Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze
Trying to figure out the maze using the map

The Map at Studt's Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze
The map!

Corn maze
Eating the feed corn in the maze

Corn maze
Huge slide!

Studt's Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

Corn maze
Massive blowup “pumpkin”

Studt's Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

Corn maze

Corn maze

Corn maze

They even had a petting zoo where we got to pet horses, goats, and sheep.

Studt's Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze

Corn maze

All in all, I think that Studt’s pumpkin patch will definitely be an annual family tradition!  We highly recommend!

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