Jordan King, one of my co-workers at Tempo Storm, left the comfort of his cornfield hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska to visit Los Angeles. Humorously, flights from Omaha directly to Los Angeles were over double the price of flights to Las Vegas, so he decided to fly into Las Vegas first to visit me, then we took a road trip to Southern California. Along the way, we decided to stop by Zzyzx, an unincorporated community in the Mojave National Preserve, and a hot tourist spot for people traveling through the desert. I’ve driven to and from Los Angeles and Las Vegas a handful of times already, so I obviously have seen Zzyzx on the map and passed signs for Zzyzx while on the freeway, but I never actually bothered to stop; I felt this would be a good opportunity to experience it for the first time with Jordan. While traveling down Zzyzx Road towards the California State University Desert Studies Center, we saw “majestic creatures of the rock,” as Jordan called them (I believe they are officially named bighorn sheep, though I’m not entirely sure). It was quite unexpected, as there aren’t really too many wild animals in Las Vegas where I live. After we visited the Desert Studies Center and started making our way back to the freeway, they were still there and bravely stood their ground against my rental truck, so we were able to get some pretty good close-up shots of them. After the animals headed back up into the hills, we proceeded until we found a good spot where Jordan could head out deeper into the desert and collect some small rocks to bring back home to Nebraska for his daughter. He grabbed two small black rocks that had originally been located somewhere near 35°09’16″N, 116°06’20″W. I haven’t been vlogging too much lately, but I remembered to bring my camera with me, so I cut together some clips, starting from picking Jordan up from McCarran International Airport and concluding with departing Zzyzx.
Full photo album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157667844122227
Although I’m local to the H1Z1 Pro League in Las Vegas, I haven’t regularly been attending the live event because I’m not actually able to watch the games without getting motion sickness. This is also the reason I can’t play or watch first-person shooter games either – the rapidly-shaking player point-of-view makes me dizzy. Although I haven’t been officially diagnosed, it’s very similar to sopite syndrome, where I feel unwell when exposed to excess horizontal motion – both literally (in cars and planes) and virtually (in FPS games). But, with that being said, the last time I went to the Arena to see the team was back in late April during the premier of the league (though I have seen the players on multiple occasions since then, just not in the Arena). I wanted to snap some new photos of them, seeing as the only photos we had was when there was partial construction going on in the background, so I headed over to Caesar’s Entertainment Studios for Week 5 of the games during rehearsal (I left before the actual games started). Since then, the stadium has been improved a substantial amount (though that opinion may or may not be biased because Twin Galaxies messed up VIP access for the premier and a lot of people were denied access to the VIP area because some random actress who I had never heard of was in the VIP section and her escorts were apparently being uncooperative – the stadium might have just looked better this time because I was actually able to enter the VIP area with the couches).
(Full photo album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157669060686858)
This past weekend, Blizzard and their Heroes of the Storm team invited me out to do press/media coverage for Heroes of the Dorm, an annual collegiate tournament where teams from colleges and universities across the United States and Canada compete to crown a champion who will receive tuition for their college careers. Last year, Heroes of the Dorm was at the Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas, but since then, Blizzard set up the Blizzard Arena, their own studio in Burbank, CA near Hollywood. The Blizzard Arena is a full-blown production studio and stadium, and part of the media day leading into Heroes of the Dorm was an Arena tour. The Arena was actually pretty amazing, and people who actually know me well know that I don’t really give out compliments too often, and even when I do, the word “amazing” usually doesn’t get thrown around too often. The media group got to see all the behind-the-scenes production rooms and equipment, as well as the different stages used for different games. Luckily, I had clearance to take photographs of everything.
(Full 2018 Heroes of the Dorm album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157691099653260)
After a long two weeks of preparation with the team house and bringing in our new players, the day is finally about to come. Our team house is finally in livable condition (though it still needs a substantial amount of additional furniture), the players are ready to perform and compete for the first show, and all the visiting Tempo Storm staff members have arrived in Las Vegas and have all gotten lodging settled. People were originally prohibited from posting photos of the rehearsal stage to the public because they didn’t want untasteful pictures of a construction area being released (this is also why I didn’t do day-to-day vlogs with the team). However, as the stage neared completion, they lifted that ban, so I was able to snap a few photos during our team’s rehearsal: In celebration of the premier of the H1Z1 Pro League, Twin Galaxies set up a welcome reception atop the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in the VooDoo Lounge. Although I’m not really a fan of parties, I still attended for the sake of getting some free food and taking photos of the Las Vegas Strip from a really tall building. Our Chief Business Development Officer and one of our social media specialists also came along, so I attended to accompany them as well. We arrived early enough that the sun was still up and we were able to see the buildings. This is a photo facing southeast from the Masquerade Tower at the Rio; the most notable buildings present are those composing CityCenter, as well as the Panorama Towers and the Martin beside it: After-the-fact, I realized that I probably should’ve brought along my tripod and set up my camera for a time lapse of the sunset and all the lights coming on, but unfortunately, I didn’t think of that idea early enough. Instead, I just have photos from after sunset – this next photo is at a similar view southeast; the one following it shows the more northern side of the Strip: One of the Rio’s attractions is the VooDoo Zipline that extends from the top of the Masquerade Tower all the way to the Ipanema Tower. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to catch anyone riding it, and I wasn’t really too interested in riding it myself, but this is what it looks like:
(Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157694126820331)
I think saying that April has been and will be a busy month is a catastrophic understatement. With Tempo Storm setting up a brand new team house in Las Vegas, the prep and opening week of the H1Z1 Pro League, Ninja’s Fortnite event at Esports Arena Las Vegas, a ton of people coming in from Southern California to Las Vegas for these events, the new Hearthstone expansion The Witchwood and two new Meta Snapshots in two different languages to go along with it, plus a massive change to Tempo Storm’s operations division, my schedule is going to be pretty packed. With the H1Z1 Pro League being the biggest thing coming up for me right now, I’ve been traveling back and forth from my apartment to the Las Vegas Strip to take care of incoming players and attend H1PL-related events and seminars. Yesterday was the official induction of all 75 new competitors into the H1PL during the orientation. And of course, at this point, it wouldn’t be a real Adam Parkzer blog post without some food photos … this was some of the catering they had for the attendees (couldn’t get photographs of everything because a lot of it was in covered containers right up until people started grabbing at the food):
(Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157665766074197)
Although I “specialize” in a few particular fields – namely entertainment and psychology – I am very much a generalist within those fields. For example, if you present me with a production-related project, I’m a king-of-all-trades in that I can basically do all parts of the production process myself as a one-man crew to an above average level (planning, filming, editing, post-production, etc.), but there are very few things where I can say I am the top 0.01% in the world. Historically for Tempo Storm, my role has been to oversee larger projects as the director, then focus in on post-production and polish before pushing things live to the public. However, lucky for us, we now have two dedicated executive producers who are actual experts in the production field, as well as a brand new studio in Hollywood. This also means that I had the opportunity to join in with them and attend the 2018 NAB Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Our executive producers were interested in the technical aspects of the show because they were looking for new and innovative solutions to issues they’ve been having during their work. On the other hand, I was just interested in getting more first-hand exposure to other areas of the entertainment industry. Unfortunately for me, we spent a majority of the time looking at studio equipment and solutions without getting too involved in film or software, so my sub-fields of interest were never soothed. Instead, I just felt like a confused child wandering around taking photographs of flashy and shiny things. It was definitely still an interesting and valuable experience, though.
(Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157667680160648)
Literally three days after moving from Southern California to Las Vegas, I got on a plane and went straight back to California to visit Hollywood and Burbank for Tempo Storm’s Fortnite team’s onboarding. (Yes, I could’ve just chosen to move after the onboarding, but then I would’ve had to miss the Esports Arena Las Vegas grand opening, so that posed another problem. On top of that, we ended up postponing this Fortnite event by a week, so I was actually originally under the impression that it would happen before I moved.) I was hoping to turn this entire trip into a vlog, but unfortunately, I committed an idiot and literally forgot to bring my camera battery charger. I explain it in greater detail in this video segment, but long story short, this is the only video footage that I have from the event: That video above were from travel day, as well as the early morning before the first day of onboarding. Yes, we ended up just eating at Denny’s, and our players all successfully made it from the hotel by crossing the street without any fatalities. The first day was mostly composed of video interviews and photo shoots – we wanted to get as much media footage of the players as possible so we had some stuff to work with when creating features and segments. Our executive producer Doug was the one who primarily ran most of the interviews, while our photographer Bills captured head shots: Later on in the day, Greg Grunberg stopped by to direct a pilot episode of a talk show with one of our players. To conclude the day, we went up to the Observatory to enjoy the view of Los Angeles. The second day was show day. We had the players participate in a 10-in-5 challenge, where our team had to get 10 wins in 5 hours. We didn’t realize how easy it would end up being for them – they blasted through with 10 wins in a row in right around 3 hours, then spent the remainder of the time doing silly stuff to entertain the audience, like queuing up for 4-man squads the splitting up half-and-half to wipe out everyone else on the map and meet in the middle. The evening concluded with some group photos, followed by a trip to all-you-can-eat Korean BBQ and an escape room.
(Full album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/adamparkzer/sets/72157689199589840)