Mexico Instagram Edit

     I recently realized that one of my weaknesses is the inability to follow through on longterm projects. I start, work hard for one to three days and then my motivation dies and I am left with yet another partially finished project. This ended today. I decided that finishing a short project and having it be shitty would teach me more than spending 3 days trying to make something perfect and then giving up. I decided to try to make 15 second videos which conveniently is the maximum length an instagram video can be. I edited this series of clips gathered yesterday in 20 minutes on iMovie on my laptop. After getting used to premier pro, using iMovie felt like driving a Prius after years of driving a Ferrari. But here is the final output. Not perfect, but its done and a step towards becoming a self taught master of the lens.

The revised 100 day challenge

When I Started this project I did a handful of things right and a handful of things wrong. Like my blog I realized I needed to set deadlines for myself, and a quantifiable end goal. For this video quest of mine there were three main components.

  1. Making videos
  2. Posting one every day
  3. Making one hundred

I had assumed that because of my success on a writing schedule that this would be a piece of cake. However I was wrong about one of the aspects and right on the other two. Making videos was a good choice, I absolutely love making them and plan to continue to do so in the future. And making one hundred was the right amount. 25 would have been too few and making a thousand would have been unrealistic. The only problem with my video challenge is the rate that I wanted to put out movies. One movie every day is a Huge amount of movies. The time it takes come up with them, then write, film and edit them is large but not impossible. However, this combined with my pre-existing writing goals was too much. I stopped writing and stopped making videos too. When you make a goal, you only fail if you stop working altogether, it isn't a crime to slow down if that's what it's going to take to finish the race. I will keep working towards 100 but on a less rigorous schedule and with a more doable pace. 

Day 31 Of 100 Day Film Challenge

Todays was also not very good. I was more just playing around with an effect. I think the quality of movies is decreasing but my ability to make good movies is increasing. The part that is lacking is what to make the movie about, not my ability to make it once I have an idea. But that too is an important part of film making so I still have much to learn.

Day 27 Of 100 Day Film Challenge

     I am not the kind of guy who can just build things. I really wish I was, but I'm not. My dad is that kind of person though, he makes all sort of stuff with his hands. He repairs trailers and builds sheds and stuff. I decided that today was the day I become a building man. I decided to start off with a relatively easy project; installing a new desk in my new workspace. Very simple and if I mess up there aren't really any consequences. When I told my dad that I was planning on trying to build the desk by myself he was ecstatic. He let me barrow whatever tools I needed and gave me the two by fours for the instillation. When I finished I felt like the grinch, but instead of my heart growing three sizes, my balls did. 

     This project was not only my film making project for the day, creating the desk was also my output. The combination of having to film and having to make the desk was extremely difficult. I would have struggled making the desk even if I didn't also need to focus on filming everything. Because I was so focused on the turnout of the desk my filming was lacking. But I learned a lot about filming yourself and about making stuff and that's what counts.

Day 26 Of 100 Day Film Challenge

     This video is far from perfect. I once again tried to sync up the movie to music and as I worked on it, it actually started to get worse. So I stopped. Not because I was sick of editing or had worked too hard (even though I had stood in the rain for hours waiting for the parade and then hours filming it) but because I had learned something that I deemed more valuable than a perfect piece of cinematography.

     My usual method of film making is to throw a bunch of random clips together that I like, rearrange them into an order I like then watch it over and over again slowly changing different parts of the movie (volume, length of clips, order of clips, adding or subtracting clips) until I am happy with it.  However this method is not very affective when it comes to editing things that sync up with music. I learned that you need to edit it entirely chronologically, you can’t jump around. If you edit it through once so everything syncs then go back to the beginning again and find something you need to change, everything after it gets thrown off and you have to put it back together again so it fits the music. This wouldn’t be that hard except for how I first edit it; I put all the clips in way longer than they need to be and slowly cut them down until they fit between the beats of the music. If they get shifted half a second off then I can’t cut off the tail end so it fits. Adding more would take a very long time to do every time I made a change.

     In essence what I learned is that when you’re dealing with music as the central part of your film you need to go in order. Rather than making your entire movie get better and better and better, you need to first make the first five seconds perfect while the rest is still crap, then move on to the next five seconds and so on. I have yet to actually try this new method but the way I do it now doesn’t work very well so I’ll try to change it up. 

Day 25 Of 100 Day Film Challenge

     When I think about what I am going to be like in the future I think of tony start or bruce wayne. Healthy in body and mind and free to pursue whatever appeals to me. However when I look at my life I think whether or not thats a realistic goal. I can't change my life entirely in a day, but I need to start somewhere. Here is my step by step plan to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

     Making this video was actually relatively simple. I only had a few things I needed to figure out. If I had tried to make this video 24 days ago it would have been a lot more difficult. One of the only shots that I struggled with in the actual filming part was of me taking my journal out of my pocket. I wanted the point of view look but I didn't have a way to mount it on my head and it was too big to fit into my mouth. I ended up attaching it to my tripod, folding all the legs up and holding it between my shoulder and my neck. 

  In retrospect I should have kept each point separate rather than adding them on to the one before it. It would have made it look slicker and less confusing.

Day 24 Of 100 Day Film Challenge

Well at least yesterdays wasn't terrible. I kept thinking that genius would strike me but It never did. I had a plan to make a movie but it fell through and fell through again an hour later. Thats the nature of it. Some days you be do and some days you be don't. I have to do something and the best I can do is do better tomorrow. I am currently in the city which should be a hotbed of good stories. tomorrow I start my search. 

Day 23 Of 100 Day Film Challenge

I am very proud of my work today. What I struggled with today is figuring out how to change between the dialog in the video and me dubbing over. sometimes I had to throw in a clip that didn't entirely fit just because I needed a half second more for me to talk and because I couldn't talk over the actual dialog. This was exciting because it was one of the first thing I struggled with that felt like it was actually about the art of film making, not just about my inability to properly use a camera or the editing software which have been sources of problems previously.

Day 21 Of 100 Day Film Challenge

I learned the most today than I have learned in any other video. Today was the first video I was really directing someone. I need to be more assertive about how I want the shot to look. I also think I found a good balance between talking and music even though the transitions into and out of the musical parts weren't very good. I also figured out a handful of new things with the software which was exciting.