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    element14's The Ben Heck Show

    Join the Ben Heck team every week for amazing hacks! Watch them build and mod community-inspired projects using electronics!

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    This documentary chronicles the start of the Ben Heck Show starting in the early 2000s up till just before the present era. Benjamin Heckendorn explains how he got into electronics as a diversion from his hobby at the time which was as independent film making. His first project involved taking apart an Atari 2600 and turning it into a Portable Atari 2600. He decides to share his project with the rest of the world by creating a website around it. The response he gets is overwhelming and before he knows it he's doing custom requests for people that thought his project was so cool.  So begins Ben's start in the field of electronics!

     

    The Ben Heck Show got started back in the summer of 2010, through an ad agency that was working for the newly formed element14 community. The element14 community, looking for ways to help their brand, expresses interest in Ben Heck at a before branded channels on YouTube were commonplace. They start out with a six episode pilot to see how it would work out. It goes well so they do their first full season. The first 12 episodes were basically Ben vlogging through two static cameras.  Things go well so they add a camera person to add production value to the show.

     

    Allison Herried becomes the first person to work beside Ben on the show.   She would join as the producer of the show from January of 2011 until February of 2015. Her primary role is shooting and editing film but as the producer she handles a diverse number of roles including developing episode themes. Felix Gardner is introduced and he discusses how he became involved The Ben Heck Show. He was approached to become an assistant for Ben while he was attending lab at a Madison area technical college where he was studying electronic engineering. Max Olmsted joins the show in January 2015, debuting on Episode 174: Auto Tracking Camera Part 2.

     

    Ben talks moving to a larger workshop in October 2014 now that it wasn't just him. He reveals how he and his crew deal with stress through pinball breaks, movie references, and a lot laughter. He also reveals that their show's biggest disaster project was the slot loading Nintendo. It turned out to be a lot more complicated than they thought it would be, especially trying to make all those pins.It kept going over schedule, having to be redesigned, and in the end they got it to work only to have it break within 20 minutes.

     

    Ben talks about how working with others to come up with solutions is the thing he likes most about the show. Using circuit boards as an example, he talks about how he finds it more enjoyable when its a collaboration on camera. Ben finds satisfaction from projects that are cool and have a good result, while also allowing that much like life there are other projects that can be a bit of a slog. Max and Allyson give a behind the scenes glance on what they enjoyed most about the show. The documentary closes with the current crew looking forward toward the future of the show!