I'm not sure where the idea came from. I recall being struck during a whole phase of FPV about soft mounting. Long story short is that adding a rubber or squishy padding between your motors and your frame made the whole quad feel more "locked in".
Granted, it did take out some oscillations in the gyros, but what struck me were that so many people had opinions, deep, hard fought opinions. The craze swept the community in less than a week.
All of the sudden all anyone could talk about was soft-mounting. Something I had glimpsed before became obvious: this is a passionate, opinionated community full of folks that are not only really smart but ready to get their hands dirty in the nitty-gritty.
There was a second interaction that proved to be important. I read an article about the untapped potential of the iPad Pro in terms of video editing. It has a monster graphics processor and a beautiful, vibrant touch screen. But the software is mediocre compared to the PC and Mac market.
I asked around and Nick Miller, the head honcho of MQC, shared how he uses his iPhone in the field to throw together quick, powerful edits. But he mentioned that short videos were best. Robert Carson also shared some tips on optimal settings.
And thus the constraints were set:
- The videos must tap the passion of the community (the "hype" if you will)
- The videos must be shot and edited as much on the iPhone as possible with an obvious exception of GoPro or DVR footage
- For social media purposes, the videos must be a minute or less
- Because of who I am, they had better be funny
- Per a good friend Sean Byrnes, they must follow a regular cadence
I rolled the idea around in my head for a few weeks and then on a complete whim I made the first. I satirically said that soft-mounting your controller with an oven mitt led to an extremely "locked in" feel. I cut in some horrific flight footage to "prove" it. The entire affair was tongue in cheek.
I dubbed it "The Hype Train". With an incredible amount of anxiety (for me) I tentatively put it out to the local Drone On community. The reaction was so swift and immediate I was shocked. They loved it. I think Mitchell Adams actually ordered oven mitts on Amazon to keep the joke going.
With that under my belt, I put it out to the MQC community. It was met with similar hilarity. I finally put it out on the Rotor Riot community, a community known for tearing the unwary to pieces, but the reactions there were just as the other groups.
It seemed like the idea had legs.
I intended the cadence to be weekly, but I honestly had so much fun making the first one that a second followed that very Sunday, the Building Dive episode. That set the cadence of two a week.
The very last piece to fall into place was the character "Mike". "Mike" is angry, dismissive, and talks in a clipped, fast growl. "Mike" knows more than anyone else and he's out to prove it at all costs. "Mike" has a catch phrase, "Choo choo!" It's fun to be "Mike".
At almost the 10th episode I feel like the reception is actually growing. There have been no outright duds and the Eye Liner episode generated a huge amount of activity.
So long as it stays fun, I'll keep it up. Like all good things, it will one day end, but right now, there's a whole lot of hype to explore.