Wednesday, November 23, 2011

On vlogging.

I've been feeling peculiar all morning. It's like my movements require no energy or effort, like I'm in my body, but I'm just along for the ride. I'm hyper aware of my own gestures, and each is somehow 100% efficient. I'm not even being philosophical. It's the best kind of weird.

The weather is beautiful, the break has begun, and "Iris" was on the radio. This is, as they say, living.

However, none of that pertains to the purpose of this post. After two weeks of radio silence, it is my pleasure to present to you a vlog.

Because I had delayed writing about so many things, I decided that making a video would be quicker than bushwhacking my way through a dauntingly lengthy written post. In one respect, I was right. In another respect, I was very, very wrong. Filming the video and moving through all of the events I wanted to cover took far less time than writing them out would have. Editing the video was a horse of a different color. If filming the video was a lovely bay, then editing it was a dapple grey someone rode into a paintball battle and then left out in a downpour laced with food coloring.

I don't think Windows Movie Maker likes me very much.

Trimming out the the "um"s and "anyway"s took longer than writing probably would have, but it felt like less work. I didn't really notice the time passing because I was too wrapped up in rewatching tiny segments of video to make sure I cut the clips precisely where I wanted them. It required just the right amount of brain power.

It was after that that Movie Maker decided to be a jerkwad.

Pretending to be a real vlogger, I decided to make an end screen with my YouTube name on it. My poor computer freaked out when I opened Photoshop and Movie Maker at the same time, which is understandable. Of course, then Movie Maker freaked out when I tried to import a song to lay over my picture. Troubleshooting that probably took me about an hour. I had to try several different websites for converting music files and convert my mp3 into two different formats before I found a combination that worked that Movie Maker would open for me. I don't know whether the Windows website is lying about which formats it accepts or whether the program just hates me.

It took a good 25 minutes to publish as a .wmv file, and then another half hour to upload it onto YouTube, only to discover that Movie Maker hates me even more than I thought and what they claimed was a 16:9 format was, in fact, not.

I had to delete the YouTube video because I couldn't stand looking at the squashed image. I may not know much about making videos, but I still have my pride. At that point, also known as 3 AM, I called it a night and went to bed.

It was a good thing most of my classes got canceled today because I woke up late, and by golly, I was going to upload that video before I went to school if it killed me. I tried three more publishing settings, and even busted out some math, before I found one that preserved the widescreen format. Movie Maker is a lying liar. The hostility between us is mutual.

Even after all that work, I think the video that I finally uploaded is actually grainier/more pixelated/whatever the term is-er than the original. The one publishing setting I found that preserves the 16:9 format has slightly larger dimensions than the original footage, and in true computadorian fashion, the video did not expand well. The difference is smallish, but it still bothers me.

Of course, what will probably bother most viewers is the length. This thing clocks in at a whopping 9 minutes and 33 seconds. Vlogging: I'm doing it wrong. Among professional vloggers (yes, that's a thing), the general consensus is that videos should generally not exceed four minutes in length. I just didn't know what to cut! Everything I kept seemed important to me. I wanted to include all of the events that I'd put off blogging about, but I also wanted to include all of the humorous asides and tangents that cropped up as I was filming. My silly rambling generally seems to be people's favorite thing about my work.

Some of you asked for long and detailed. The rest of you can blame them if you're unhappy with the outcome.

And because no blog about a vlog would be complete without video:

Listening to: The Remus Lupins
Reading: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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