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What is Home Cookin'?

In 1993, Chris (Hanson), Dave (Kessner), Bob (Maple), Eric Schultz, Chris Hurtt, Earl Miles and a few other malcontents found themselves in the possession of a microwave oven, a cheap VHS video camera, some worthless CD-ROMs, and a (then state-of-the-art) Amiga/Video Toaster editing system.

Thus was born, Home Cookin': The Electric CD Acid Test.

We didn't set out to change the world. We set out to see what it looked like when you put a CD in a microwave oven.

And we found it was funny. And we liked filming and editing short films. So, we made a cheesy graphics package of titles and CG. We recorded goofy voice-over and wacky foley sounds. It wasn't a sophisticated kind of kitch made by people who appreciated fine work and made kitch to prove they could make fine kitch. It was kitch because we were a bunch of amateurs with barely-workable bleeding-edge equipment, no budget and way too much free time.

With a tip of the hat to The Wizard of Speed and Time: "It's the kind of video you would make if you didn't have anything better to do."  We didn't. So, we did.

When it was done, we made VHS copies to show our friends, and we all had a fine time laughing about it. Fate scattered many of us to the winds -- Home Cookin' tapes traveled the world, being seen as far away as Antarctica.

Enter, 1999. We grew up a little bit, and got better jobs. The Internet blossomed. It was time for the whole world to taste our Home Cookin'. We digitized Home Cookin' from the best-quality SVHS master we had, and encoded it into a downloadable Quicktime movie. On Wednesday, October 20th, 1999 (about six years ago, and six years after the original creation of Home Cookin'), it hit Slashdot.

Our webserver melted. Our ISP banned us. But, Pandora was out of the box and would not go back. Around the world, people mirrored it, converted it to other formats, and sent it to their friends.

It was good. And it was funny.

Time passes. People continue to watch Home Cookin. It is found on movie download sites (legal and otherwise) around the world. Sites come and go, but some of them show disturbing facts. Millions upon millions of people have downloaded and watched Home Cookin'.

And they ask, what of the sequel? You see, at the end of Home Cookin', we teased everyone to tune in for the next episode where we would electrocute a pickle. The footage was something Eric had had lying around from an experiment he and some co-workers had done in the back room of the TV station he worked at at the time. We hadn't really shot another episode.

But, There Must Be a Sequel.

And so in 2003, we began shooting again. This time we borrowed more modern (but still consumer) digital video cameras. We built the set in Chris' garage, made props, borrowed lab coats, and turned up the voltage on a variety of pickles, relish, peppers, Vienna sausages and incinerated some spam with a blowtorch for a good measure. It was great fun, and we remembered exactly why we do this. It's not because of the stench of scorching, let us assure you.

Home Cookin' II, The Electric Pickle, took nearly a year to edit, voice-over and post. Y'know, we all have jobs, and some of us have families now. We even dug up some old Amiga floppies and got Chris' Amiga 3000 working long enough to copy the old HC1 digital audio sound clips onto our modern editing systems, and remixed the HC1 audio to remove the SMPTE timecode bleed from the original VHS master. Classy.

Episode II (better than Lucas'!) has been seen by very few human eyes, until NOW.

And what of the future?

At the end of Home Cookin' II, we tease you with the next upcoming episode. And we're not joking this time. In the summer of 2005, the gang re-congregated (missing a few members, and with a new additions), clad in brand-new embroidered lab coats. We own our own cameras this time. We made props. We made safety gear. We created a Home Cookin' so insane that we had to shoot it in a vastly remote location, nine miles from the nearest source of available electric power. We shot the biggest, baddest Home Cookin' episode yet.

What is it? When can you see it?

Watch the video, and stay tuned...


Copyright © 2005 Chris, Dave & Bob - Website by Bob