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  • Aaron Berogan

The Genesis of Valley Studios

So far every post has been about our podcast, this is not one of those posts. This is instead our genesis. Not like Sega, more like the bible except without Adam and Eve and more technology. Okay so it's not like either, but it is our beginning.

So why change the format of the blog? Well saying "We are super excited our new episode is here," is getting old fast. Instead we have faced a lot of bumps in creating Valley Studios, and hopefully this will at some point help someone else who maybe wants to create their own cloud based studio. So let's get started.

To get to the beginning of Valley Studios, let's start with the road that came before. That road begins at Mike Cook. A young animator attending the Art Institute of Schaumburg use to pal around with some of his art friends in the commons. It was in those hallowed halls they would gather and start improving characters and scenes. These moments of improv, that were most certainly done to procrastinate from homework, led to Mike having the bright idea to script some of these improv moments, put a show around them and called it HodgePodge Tonight!

The show went through a couple different formats from being a live show that wanted to be like the old school variety shows like Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis to being web shows with the same throwback.

After a few years with little success Mike was ready to see some positive change. He heard of this actor who his friends recommended, but the actor seemed hesitant about joining the project. Then through some twist of fates Mike was working to help build a set for a show in Chicago, and this very same actor was starring in the show.

This is how Michael met Aaron. Despite a weak script, zero production experience, and a cast that had 1/3 of my performance experience combined, Mike's passion and belief in HodgePodge Tonight! is what drew me in. I have never seen someone have such absolute faith in something, even when the project was floundering.

Now I could delve deeper into the story and growth of HodgePodge, but that is for another day. The important part here is this is the project that brought Mike and I together.

While filming HodgePodge Mike brought in a couple animation friends to help. This is where I learned of another project that Mike had been cooking up and working on since his days at the Art Institute, Chucky Chicken and his Barnyard Friends. Sadly I can't draw, like not even stick figures, but I know how to direct and produce. So with HodgePodge Tonight and Chucky Chicken in the burners Mike and I started developing two shows. Well wouldn't you know it, filming is expensive. Eventually Hodge Podge Tonight ran out of money, and we had to start searching for more. It was also around this time I switched gears to completing my Bachelors in Broadcast Journalism.

Since I already had one degree in theater performance I didn't need to take gen eds to graduate, but I did need some random credit hours. So I took an independent study to do nerd culture journalism. It was at the Northern Television Center at Northern Illinois University RAMtv was born.

I know it's like "Wait, HodgePodge Tonight, Chucky Chicken, RAMtv, this is a lot of stuff, how does this play into Valley Studios?"

I am glad you asked. With the birth of RAMtv we realized we had a lot of projects at once. In order to better lead these projects and our volunteers we needed to separate duties, but we wanted to ensure that those who saw any of these projects knew they were coming from the same minds. This realization led us to create the entity now know as Valley Studios.

Valley Studios has seen so helped others build their projects over the last 4 years. We have done photo shoots, video production, audio editing, social media management, and of course our own projects as well.

If you want to know what I've learned from the last few years. If you have something you are passionate about, go for it. Don't help others find their success while they hold you back. We did all these other passion projects for others, and now it's our time with the Tenno Way to make our passions fly.

So why post all this? Well the long and short of it is this; If you have passion and drive, you can create whatever you want. It doesn't matter if someone doesn't like what you make, it doesn't matter if it never becomes a world wide success. The world needs creators. People who want to build something positive, build something better in all the b.s. we are surrounded by. The world needs people who want to follow their passions and not just give in to what society says they should do. The world needs people like Mike Cook.

Thanks for joining me on this journey and expect more in depth discussion as we talk about all the projects that shaped Valley Studios and get us to where we are today.

Don't forget our podcast releases every other Monday, and if you want to see all of our shenanigans follow us on social media at,, and

If you want to reach out to us with questions comments or fan art, drop us an email at

And of course if you want to become a monetary partner you can do that at

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