Who are you, and what do you do?
I’m Thomas Frank, a 23 year-old bearded dude from Iowa. By day, I create videos, articles, and podcast episodes that help students study more effectively and generally “win” at college on College Info Geek. By night, I sleep. Also by day, I co-host the Listen, Money Matters podcast and attempt to help people learn about money in a fun way.
What forms of media have influenced you the most?
Honestly, I get inspired by almost any kind of media. According to Spotify, I apparently listened to 39,000 minutes of music last year, and that’s spread out over a lot of different genres. Right now I’m listening to a remix of Waka Flocka Flame’s “Throwing Money” with a bunch of anime and Yoshi’s Island samples thrown in. It’s pretty tight.I love books as well – both fiction and nonfiction. In the fiction realm, I’m a sci-fi and fantasy guy with a proclivity towards hard sci-fi and anything with smartly fleshed out worlds or intricate magic systems. Permutation City and Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality are good examples. As for nonfiction, I like to read almost anything – I’m really into world history right now and I’m having a great time going through Daniel Boorsten’s The Discoverers, which I found in an antique shop by chance.
Video games are a huge source of inspiration for me as well. I don’t actually play a ton, but I’m fascinated by almost every aspect of them – story, design, player motivation, culture, lore, etc – and I spend a lot of time watching the great videos that game reviewers create on YouTube. I get a lot of ideas from these for my videos on studying, which could easily get boring given the topic. Video game references and other things keep them fresh.
What hardware / software do you use?
Since I create a lot of different types of media, I use a lot of different tools. If you’re very curious, I wrote an entire post about my setup and favorite apps, but here are some of the top ones:
- Premiere Pro (video editing)
- Photoshop (video graphics, blog images)
- Audition (video/podcast audio)
- Slack (team chat)
- Trello (project management)
What would be your dream creative setup?
For me, it’s actually all about keeping it varied. My main creative spot is my room, which is the best place for filming/editing videos and recording podcasts. However, I can write from anywhere and often do it from coffee shops.